Obama Derangement is All They Have Left

Remember when anyone who dared to criticize President George W. Bush’s policies was automatically accused of “Bush Derangement Syndrome,” as if no sane person could possibly be unhappy with the Bush administration? Well, there were a lot of perfectly rational reasons to be against Bush — and some of the same objections can be raised against the right-wing corporatist Obama administration.

But that’s not where President Obama’s major party opponents are coming from. Willard (“Mitt”) Romney, Newton (“Newt”) Gingrich, and Rick Santorum all offer a made-up version of the Obama administration which blames every American problem, real (the worst economy since the Great Depression, skyrocketing health-care costs) or imaginary (nonexistent Iranian nukes, nonexistent oil shortage, not enough religiosity) on Obama’s alleged “socialist” hard-left rule.

The Santorum campaign has produced a masterpiece of post-logical Obama fear-mongering, the phony “Obamaville” video. I guess they finally realized that campaigning against contraception and threatening to outlaw pornography wasn’t going over well with either women or men.

John Brabender, the Santorum strategist who made the video, said it was a trailer for an eight-part series that will start in two weeks. Each of those videos will show how various Obama policies, such as those regarding health care and energy, have affected everyday life.

“It’s just a little teaser to get people to start watching our episodes and do it in a way that piques their interest,” Mr. Brabender said. “It’s all about driving traffic to the Web site.”

The trailer is set in a desolate town called “Obamaville.” Here, gas prices soar so high that people seem to want to kill themselves (a man puts a gas nozzle to his head). The flame of a candle symbolizing religious freedom is blown out. A girl sits glumly on a bench in extreme poverty.

“Every day, the residents of this town must come to grips with the harsh reality that a rogue nation, a sworn American enemy, has become a nuclear threat,” intones a narrator as the viewer is plunged into a cold war fallout shelter with old television sets and an air raid siren.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s image appears, quickly interspersed with one of Mr. Obama. Mr. Brabender said the coupling was meant to suggest the constant conflict that will ensue if Iran develops nuclear weapons.

Fear is an effective political tool, especially when legitimately scary stuff is happening to the American middle class as a result of Washington policies that favor the 1% at the expense of the 99%, and Wall Street at the expense of Main Street. It makes sense to be afraid of a government that asserts the right to kill or imprison American citizens anywhere in the world without a shred of due process, put us all under constant surveillance, and make protest illegal– all in violation of the U.S. Constitution.

Why can’t somebody make a video about all that? It would have the additional advantage of being true.

UPDATE: Provo artist depicts Obama torching U.S. Constitution. But the title of the painting is “One Nation Under Socialism.” Can anyone name one “socialist” policy of the Obama administration? They even want to cut Social Security and Medicare.

  1. #1 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2012 - 1:26 am

    The sole reason that small businesses are struggling is that there is no way they can compete with the VERY LARGE businesses that can buy in bulk at a much smaller cost.

    If any congressperson would address this problem, he/she would be shot down by Walmart and the Koch heads.

    As far as I know, this has been going on since I’ve been alive. I’ll be turning sixty in about two months.

  2. #2 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2012 - 1:40 am

    Buying in bulk at lower prices should be illegal. If it were, truly small businesses would be able to compete by giving their customers better service.

    I propose a bill.

  3. #3 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2012 - 1:49 am

    “One Nation Under Socialism.”?

    I think Jesus would be turning tables over if this guy makes one dime off of his paintings.

  4. #4 by Researcher on March 25, 2012 - 8:36 am

    Increased regulation favors the large business over the small business.

    A large restaurant conglomerate such as Darden can more ealiy and efficiently comply with the infinite employee regulations, benefits regulations, zoning regulations, food regulations, taxes, etc.

    But Jim’s burger joint has the same regulations to comply with but not the scale and staff to comply with the regulations. So over-regulating on the Obama scale favors the Olive Gardens of the world over the Jim’s burger joints.

  5. #5 by Larry Bergan on March 25, 2012 - 9:01 am

    Researcher/Noname says:

    Increased regulation favors the large business over the small business.

    Well, of course it does. The large business has mo money.

    What is a Darden?

  6. #6 by Richard Warnick on March 25, 2012 - 5:41 pm

    Can anyone cite an example of “over-regulation” or “increased regulation” by the Obama administration? Last time I checked, they were ordering federal agencies to reduce regulations, essentially conceding to the right-wing propaganda about “socialism.”

    Let’s face it, if logic and truth had any role in politics Barack Obama would be the front-runner for the GOP nomination.

  7. #7 by Researcher on March 25, 2012 - 10:11 pm

    Darden is a conglomerate that owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and others.

  8. #8 by Researcher on March 25, 2012 - 10:17 pm

    Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 111, Rearview Mirrors. Estimated cost: $2 billion.

  9. #9 by Richard Warnick on March 25, 2012 - 11:30 pm

    Rear-view mirrors were invented a hundred years ago, and became required by law in 1968. I think everyone considers them a good thing. So how is this motor vehicle safety standard an example of “over-regulation”?

  10. #10 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 26, 2012 - 4:04 am

    Purchasing power has more todo with business competitiveness between small and large businesses then regulation ever.

    Olive Garden will always be at an advantage over “Joe’s Burgers shoppe” merely due to the ability to negotiate lower prices for the meat and veggies they use.

    Specifically a chain that large can directly purchase from farmers, ranchers, and fishermen and use the derivatives market to guarantee that they won’t pay higher then a particular amount. And then via use of their own distribution network have fewer middle men to pay.

    To say that both restaurants via regulation having a similar cost structure for employees benefits and pay as even being remotely part of what separates them on a competitive level is idiotic.

    And this comparison gets stupider when you factor in things like international trade. It is easy for a company like McDonalds to purchase Beef from China, not so much for “Joes Burger Shoppe” and this isn’t due to regulation this is purely due to the cost of maintaining contracts, and setting up/monitoring the supply chain a fixed cost that as low for large scale business operations but high for small ones.

    Volume is everything, more volume is more buying power, more buying power is the ability to get cheaper rates on raw goods by buying in huge scale bulk, buying in huge scale bulk means more predictable supply delivery and production scales for raw goods, predictable supply and production means means lower volatility for suppliers which means lower interest and capital financing and insurance costs.

    Regulation is important to all of this, it ensures everyone is playing by the same rule book, it sets the safety standards that keeps products safe, keeps markets more open for new entrants, etc.

    And restaurants are a wonderful example of a market that functions pretty well. They are heavily regulated, to the extent that a government employee inspects all aspects of the retail location and suppliers all the way down the line. You have a large government agency that studies food and has the power to remove product from the selves or disallow production processes and food additives. Hell a restaurant can be shut down for not complying with regulation, Image if they could do that with oil wells or fracking operations!!

    You would think it being such a vibrant industry that it would have to be completely free of regulation listening to the republicans. But in reality its the regulations that make that market work and stay competitive. And everyone of us benefits from safe food.

  11. #11 by Researcher on March 26, 2012 - 8:47 am

    Please know what you are talking about before you post.

  12. #12 by Researcher on March 26, 2012 - 8:49 am

    That is about the most uninformed post I’ve ever read.

  13. #13 by Richard Warnick on March 26, 2012 - 9:11 am

    More info on rear-view safety standards:

    The purpose of this standard is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries that occur when the driver of a motor vehicle does not have a clear and reasonably unobstructed view to the rear.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has decided to postpone the regulation until after the next election, and even then it would be phased in gradually over several years. While people continue to die.

    Backover accidents cause an average 229 deaths and 18,000 injuries per year, according to NHTSA. The agency said that small children and the elderly are particularly vulnerable. Of those killed each year, 44% are under the age of 5, and 33% are over the age of 70.

    I fail to see how it’s “over-regulation” to require elimination of the rear blind spot. Many vehicles have this already, and to add this feature to a new car won’t cost much more than $100, in some cases less. I think it’s an example of right-wing regulation-phobia that they are not going to implement this until after the election.

    Anyway, a safety regulation like this isn’t going to cause the zombie apocalypse that Santorum’s video apparently depicts.

  14. #14 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 26, 2012 - 1:41 pm

    That is about the most uninformed post I’ve ever read.”

    Your way of saying you have no means to write a rebuttal?

  15. #15 by Researcher on March 26, 2012 - 4:03 pm

    If you say that they sky is polka-dot does that mean I need to explain to you that it isn’t?

    My friend has a company with 8 employees. He is the owner, accountant, marketer, facilities manager, manufacturing supervisor, customer service manager, problem solver, HR manager and chief bottle washer. So when he was to stop what he is doing and deal with regulations for Salt Lake zoning issues, employee tax issues, employee immigration issues, environmental issues, product safety issues, OSHA issues, that is time he is not spending making his product, selling his product, marketing his product, taking care of his customers, managing quality control, etc. All of that stuff pulls him away from running his business more effectively, being more successful and potentially hiring more employees.

    That is a much bigger problem for an 8 person company than a 30,000 person company.

  16. #16 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 26, 2012 - 6:43 pm

    I have managed a Pizzeria before myself, And their is no escaping fixed costs of basic property, infrastructure, and employee management.

    And how much insurance do you really want to pay for?, Those regulations don’t just protect the safety of workers and the general public they create a standard environment for addressing of legal disputes between all interested parties(employer, employee, customers, and suppliers). For example as long as regulations are followed the business doesn’t have to take huge hits from injured workers suing them because their is a workman’s compensation insurance program for that.

    Your just playing musical chairs with the costs, ignorant deregulation merely changes fixed costs into large variable costs that would put most small businesses out of business.

    “That is a much bigger problem for an 8 person company than a 30,000 person company.”

    Economies of scale apply with or without regulation. I don’t see where this shocks anyone!

    “If you say that they sky is polka-dot does that mean I need to explain to you that it isn’t?”

    No this is a case of me saying the sky is 470nm wavelength color due to the light spectrum absorbed by air’s 70% nitrogen content, and you saying nah uh because your research is observation only without further fact finding or questioning of the very model around with you have built your belief system.

  17. #17 by Shane on March 27, 2012 - 12:01 pm

    Ronald, meet he who cannot be named… The reason the facepalm ws invented. Enjoy.

  18. #18 by Researcher on March 27, 2012 - 12:08 pm

    Whether or not economies of scale help larger companies is completely beside the point that regulations are a larger burden on small companies than larger ones. So yes, economies of scale help larger companies. No one is disputing that. But in addition to that, it is also true that more regulations are a larger burden on smaller businesses. So if you keep adding more and more administrative burden on businesses, then are you burdening smaller businesses more than larger ones. That will kill new company formation, new growth, new jobs. You will concentrate more power into the hands of fewer people. You are the apologist for the plantation economy.

  19. #19 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 27, 2012 - 2:23 pm

    “But in addition to that, it is also true that more regulations are a larger burden on smaller businesses.”

    Nonsense, you need to read my entire statement. Economies of scale are only 10% of what my statement references.

    “You are the apologist for the plantation economy.”

    You understand that ending slavery is in fact a form of regulation yes? Ohh the horror the big bad government forcing that poor plantation owner to actually PAY HIS WORKERS. That same government that gives those same workers the right to leave and seek better employment and opportunity else where.

    “That will kill new company formation, new growth, new jobs.”

    Jobs have always been and will always be created as a net result of economic participation of wage earners. Dumping something like the minimum wage regulation doesn’t save small business so much as it takes a huge chunk of buying power out the market. This also creates a situation where the large business can locate their different production and administrative functions in places with lower wage averages then the small business who generally has to have their production and administrative functions and retail sales all at the same location.

    So again I ask why do you want to take relatively low fixed costs and turn them into giant variable costs?, How much insurance do you think that the small business can afford to pay for when they are liable for all the things regulation protects them from?

    Large business loves your argument, As they can internally even out the cost curve, through a combination of internal controls, insurance, and far better lawyers then small business has access to.

    Regulation, scale, and insurance act as a means for smoothing out the cost curve and turn variable costs into fixed costs. And the entire thing works like a balloon, squeeze one side and all of the air(cost) just moves to a different side of the balloon.

    Regulation, scale, and insurance also act as a form of risk pool against large temporary costs(like say losing a law suite). Regulation creates a form of legal safety buffer, so long as the rules are followed its hard to sue the business. Scale allows the risk of temporary cost events to be spread across a wider scale of business operations. And insurance is literally exchanging money for protection based on the probability of a cost event occurring.

    Small business doesn’t have scale, and generally they only have limited means for accessing insurance so their only protection is regulation.

    Again why the hell do you want to increase your liability?, how much insurance can your small business afford to pay for when you don’t have the firewall of regulation between you and your liabilities?

    Nothing kills small businesses more then unknowns, want a SBA loan to start a business?, well the interest rate is based on the probability of repayment. In your world business lending will dry up for small time businesses because their accountants will rightfully come to the conclusion that the variability in the cost curve is to great a risk to be worth investment and interest rates will be so high for everyone else that no one can afford to barrow money.

    What is so hard to understand about this?

  20. #20 by Researcher on March 27, 2012 - 4:08 pm

    “You understand that ending slavery is in fact a form of regulation yes? Ohh the horror the big bad government forcing that poor plantation owner to actually PAY HIS WORKERS. That same government that gives those same workers the right to leave and seek better employment and opportunity else where.”

    Wrong. The United States government created slavery, enforced slavery, protected slavery, accommodated slavery. Through its courts enforcing property rights of slaves, contracts for slaves, international commerce for slaves, interstate commerce for slave. You can make no argument that the United States government was somehow only the savior of slaves. Read your history.

    “No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.”

  21. #21 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 27, 2012 - 4:37 pm

    “The United States government created slavery, enforced slavery, protected slavery, accommodated slavery. “

    Slavery existed before the United States government did. Originally it was called indentured servitude, which was basically a private contract between two parties that being an immigrant seeking passage to the new world and a employer seeking labourers.

    Outside the confines of government it grew into a cottage industry that started kidnapping African’s and selling them into indentured servitude. This slowly transformed into what we know as slavery mostly through immense private corruption with the indentured servitude contracts.

    The United States government is really a late comer from the point of its creation with regards to slavery. The reality is that a compromise was made to keep the Union together by the government opting to not make slavery illegal or to otherwise regulate the activity.

    You perhaps should take up your own suggestion and read a little history!!!!

  22. #22 by Researcher on March 27, 2012 - 6:58 pm

    My ancestors were indentured servants, so I know all about that.

    Are you arguing that the United States through its property rights enforcement, courts, judicial system and legislation did not support and enforce slavery?

  23. #23 by Ronald D. Hunt on March 27, 2012 - 7:43 pm

    All that is not prohibited is allowed. What is defined as being a person and what is defined for who or who doesn’t get rights is in of itself fundamentally a regulation.

    The constitution does have references to slavery, mostly to the extent passing the buck to the States.

    It is not so much that the Federal level judicial system supported slavery as that it had no jurisdiction to either support or not support it.

    In fact their really wasn’t much in the way of Federal law on the subject until the fugitive slave law. Which would be the only basis of your original argument. And this argument could go both ways given some of the rather creative ways a few northern states regulated around it to the benefit of runaway slaves.

    Prior to the civil war slavery is among several “States rights” issues that created a deep divide between the north and south. Others being export tariffs on cotton and whether new states would be slave states or not.

  24. #24 by Richard Warnick on March 28, 2012 - 8:03 am

    “Obamaville” is about Republicans exploiting the worst economy since the Great Depression and fears of another war for political purposes. Yet Republicans are to blame for all of this. Discuss.

  25. #25 by Larry Bergan on April 1, 2012 - 3:07 pm

    Cheney has a new heart. Let’s hope it’s better then the last one, but I’m not hopeful because he hasn’t had a brain transplant.

    Cheney’s 1% solution is based on precedent. I used to hear that if 1 American lost his life, it was grounds for massive retaliation against the nation that was responsible.

    This time, the only grounds for retaliation were against guys on planes with razor blades, or perhaps Saudi Arabia and friends.


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