The wisdom of Winston Wolfe

Whenever I get a swelled head, whenever I think I’m king of the world, I dial up this little clip.



This is where we are right now.

Yes, we’ve won a battle. A great battle. A great victory. But the war continues.

If you think the Kochs and their ilk are going to go home with their tails between their legs, you haven’t been paying attention.

President Obama’s victory over the debt ceiling and government shutdown may be a turning point. The GOP’s nihilistic ideology may be tarnished beyond repair. But they are not out of the fight.

For the Kochs and their billionaire fellow travelers, this is a death struggle. They have a dystopian Randian view of the world; they are the makers, and should be allowed unfettered freedom of action to follow their Nietzchean will to power. (Never mind that Nietzche would have looked with horror upon them.) In their minds, anything good in the US is due solely to their efforts, and the lack of gratitude from the majority of those they grudgingly call “fellow citizens” chafes at them. They have massive power, and the only point of their existence is to amass more power. At some point, one more billion is immaterial; what they want is the knowledge that they can shape the culture of a superpower to their inclinations.

And they find enough useful idiots to use to their purposes, people who believe that if they do the bidding of their betters, they’ll be first in line for the scraps from the table. There is no logical reason why a white blue-collar trucker from Alabama should vote for a party which is a front for plutocrats. But he has been fed enough lies and misinformation that his bitterness is at a fever pitch. If it weren’t for those undeserving people (read: those who look and sound different from him) he’d be living high on the hog, in a fancy house, abounding with luxuries. If the GOP were to make its pitch based solely on economics, the party would whither up and die. It’s the idea of the Other, which is as old as the Republic, which keeps the party in the game. Without it, it has no energy, no motive force. No one would be willing to storm the local party precinct for the Kochs’ interests; but inject a massive dose of resentment and the idea that you’re defending all that’s good and decent and American, and the GOP lives on.

The paranoia in American politics will never die. But, we’ve seen in our history that it can be contained. It can be curtailed. It can be driven to the fringes. What must never happen is that it is forgotten. After the Scopes trial, which elites thought a death knell to paranoid politics, it went underground, and was forgotten. We are reaping the fruits of that negligence right now, at this hour, at this minute. There’s a direct link from the founding of the Family and C Street to Ted Cruz. There’s a direct line from the Right going underground to that white blue-collar trucker voting against every grain of economic self-interest. We can’t, to paraphrase Winston Wolfe, pleasure ourselves just yet. Or, in other words, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. Freedom is fragile, liberty a spring shoot. It can be undone in the blink of history’s eye.

We are in a long twilight struggle. Perhaps some day the struggle will end, when technology and culture advance to a state where a society of scarcity is replaced with one of abundance. But we’re not there yet. The work will continue for some time to come.


102 Responses to “The wisdom of Winston Wolfe”

  1. October 17, 2013 at 11:22 am

    President Obama: “You don’t like a particular policy, or a particular President, then argue for your position and win an election.”

    • 2 Judith Fardig
      October 17, 2013 at 11:41 am

      Well said, Mariele. LL, you always make us think with your compelling articles.

      I am concerned about who Boehner appointed to the budget conference committee since 3 out of 4 of them voted FOR default. How can that be a signal they will negotiate in good faith? Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), along with Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), Tom Price (R-Ga.), and Diane Black (R-Tenn.). Only Cole voted with Nancy Pelosi’s majority to reopen the government and avoid default!

      Tweeted about it last night:

      • 3 Ladyhawke
        October 17, 2013 at 11:57 am

        You can bet this will never be picked up by the likes of Chuck Todd. I hope someone will run this by Chuckie and see if he can bring himself to report on the irony. I won’t hold mu breath.

  2. 5 57andfemale
    October 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    Thank you, Mr. President. He has had it with these bastards.

  3. 6 hopefruit2
    October 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

  4. October 17, 2013 at 11:27 am

    OCTOBER 17, 2013

    WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—Residents of the District of Columbia were roused from their sleep by a massive fireworks display over the White House just after midnight, as President Obama declared what he called “a national day of gloating.”

    “It would not be productive for this nation, going forward, to crow about our victory over political adversaries,” he said in a nationally televised address. “So let’s get it all out of our systems today.”

    Immediately after the President’s speech, loudspeakers outside the White House blasted “We Are the Champions,” and the national day of gloating began.


  5. 9 africa
    October 17, 2013 at 11:28 am

  6. 10 amk for obama
    October 17, 2013 at 11:29 am

    The paranoia in American politics will never die. But, we’ve seen in our history that it can be contained. It can be curtailed. It can be driven to the fringes.

    This. It has to be driven to the fringes and kept there vigilantly.

  7. 11 africa
    October 17, 2013 at 11:31 am

  8. 12 hopefruit2
    October 17, 2013 at 11:32 am

  9. October 17, 2013 at 11:33 am

  10. October 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Fantastic slap-down Mr President. You are saying ENOUGH, to all the idiots out there.

    Line of the day: ‘You don’t like a particular policy or a particular President…Go out and change it…WIN AN ELECTION!!!!

    I’m still in awe. Thank you President Obama. Love you abundantly. I will ALWAYS have your back.

  11. October 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    • 17 africa
      October 17, 2013 at 11:44 am

      Sweet! Love it, Chips.

    • 18 GGail
      October 17, 2013 at 12:06 pm

      This Administration does belong to the People. I’m so happy that President Obama has like minded people in his corner. He himself would be out there welcoming people back to work if he could.

    • 19 pkayden
      October 17, 2013 at 12:13 pm

      That’s so nice. Wonder which Agency that was.

      • 20 sonjiaduncan
        October 17, 2013 at 3:58 pm

        Vice President Joe Biden greeted workers returning to the Environmental Protection Agency with hugs, handshakes and muffins. Over at the White House, Chief of Staff Denis McDonough did the honors of welcoming employees back to work. (Oct. 17)

  12. 21 Vicki
    October 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

    Better send the EMT to my home.
    On MSNBC Chris Matthews was just asked what he thought of President Obama’s speech and Chris said “Perfect.”

    • 22 Allison
      October 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

      I was stunned when I heard him. Hopefully, he remains consistent at 7:00pm EST. We’ll see….

    • 23 cos
      October 17, 2013 at 11:43 am

      I was stunned when he said it was a “three pointer”.

      • 24 pkayden
        October 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

        He has praised President Obama warmly before. He just strikes me as a panicky guy who praises you one minute and then throws out rash criticisms when he gets nervous. Kind of like Ed Schultz. I’ll never forget (or forgive) how Matthews and Schultz behaved after the first Presidential debate. They panicked so badly that I didn’t watch the other two debates. Thank goodness that Maddow, O’Donnell and Sharpton remained calm.

        • 25 AJ
          October 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

          pkayden, this is very true. I believe Matthews really is an Obama guy; he just wants to have his hand held when things get shakey.

    • 26 57andfemale
      October 17, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      he was absolutely fantastic on Bill Maher this week. I wasn’t going to watch it, but Hubby had seen it at a friend’s house and insisted I watch it.

      I love these decent liberals who think they have to act like idiots when under NBC’s thumb.

    • 27 Nena20409
      October 17, 2013 at 1:51 pm

      Matthews speaks from both sides of his mouth.

      50/50 any way the wind blows.

  13. 28 99ts
    October 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

    g’nite all – way too late last night – early tonight 1.30AM

  14. 30 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

  15. 31 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 11:38 am

  16. October 17, 2013 at 11:39 am

    From last night, maps of how the Senate and House voted.

    Red diagonal stripes are NO votes
    Solid colored (red or blue) boxes are YES votes.



    • 38 Bill R.
      October 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

      A lot of sage brush in those No votes out west. That huge slice of Eastern Oregon is nearly all sage brush. That’s one congressional dist. Comparied to 4 Dem districts.

  17. 39 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 11:40 am

  18. 40 Ladyhawke
    October 17, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Part of the agreement that House and Senate approved included the appointment of budget negotiators finally. Meanwhile this process could have been started back in March but the Republicans blocked 21 requests from the Democrats for conference. A waste of precious time stalling for the default hostage to get their way with Obamacare. Now they are forced into regular order which is a tremendous problem for them. They will have to negotiate and compromise on the merits of their warped ideas. I can’t wait to watch the meetings on CSPAN.

    Ryan, Murray strike positive tone amid pessimism they’ll succeed

    By Erik Wasson


    Van Hollen said that he hopes the morning’s meetings signals brinksmanship over the debt ceiling and government shutdowns are over.
    “I hope that one lesson that came out of this totally unnecessary shutdown is that nobody should try to advance a partisan agenda by trying to shut down the government,” he said. “I hope people put away the clubs and come to the table for a traditional negotiation.”
    The full budget conference is set to have its first formal meeting the week of Oct. 28 when both the House and the Senate return to work.


    Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/budget/329049-ryan-murray-try-to-strike-positive-note#ixzz2hzfr2Emw
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

  19. 41 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 11:47 am

  20. 42 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 11:49 am

  21. 43 africa
    October 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

  22. 50 utaustinliberal
    October 17, 2013 at 11:50 am

  23. 51 Lila
    October 17, 2013 at 11:52 am

    ** Deleted **

    Chips: Don’t bring that stuff here please!

    • October 17, 2013 at 12:07 pm

      I did not look at what she said, I can imagine it, though. We all have people like that
      in our lives. what I have done, in those cases, is to move away from them. period.
      That’s my choice, not my recommendation, necessarily. But for me, friendship involves
      shared values, and in these times, what we mean by government and democracy is
      one of the biggest pieces my life. It’s the basis of how the world occurs for me.
      and it matters. And yes to more adorable baby pictures. xoxox

      • 53 Lila
        October 17, 2013 at 12:16 pm

        Chips – I’m so so sorry. I was stupid and didn’t think. I’m so so sorry to everyone who had to see that – my own stupid fault for posting something with half a brain.

        And yes, Sara – baby pictures are always better (I think I spent half my life looking at cheering pictures of the President and his family as balm for my soul). But oh, it’s lovely to have a leader like him in the world.

      • 54 jacquelineoboomer
        October 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

        I didn’t go to the link, either. There’s enough floating out there already, under the cover of “political analysis.” I did, however, love seeing the sick face on Chuck Todd earlier, on MSNBC.

        By the way, Mark Dick Halperin, favorite guest on MSNBC, every time you dawgs say “entitlements,” I add, “that we earned.” You dawg.

        Back to listening to Nancy Smash on C-Span!

        • 55 57andfemale
          October 17, 2013 at 12:32 pm

          se cupp said the ‘pro-government victory lap was nauseating.”


          Hubby says Repubs are imploding all over the tee vee. Hatch is blaming Heritage.

          double HA!

  24. 56 hopefruit2
    October 17, 2013 at 12:00 pm

  25. October 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    I LOVE IT when POTUS doesn’t mince words. He really opened the door and all the windows to let some fresh air in. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO.

  26. October 17, 2013 at 12:02 pm

  27. October 17, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    This was my favorite part of the President’s statement, which I thought was one for the history books (but more times than not I feel that way).

    Our President’s statement should be reviewed by American History students when they are studying this nadir of American politics.

    I think it was Meta who posted this at the end of a prior thread (my device doesn’t like to have more than one TOD window open at a time):

  28. 66 hopefruit2
    October 17, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    • 67 pkayden
      October 17, 2013 at 12:23 pm

      Good. Their nerves need to be flayed after what they’ve just put this country (and the world) through.

    • 68 57andfemale
      October 17, 2013 at 12:47 pm

      “If Obama isn’t going to show us respect, we’re gonna be MEAN.”

      A bunch of whiny, know-nothing brats. All of them.

  29. 69 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Nancy Pelosi live on C-Span, taking no prisoners.

    • October 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Yes, Nancy Pelosi is a credit to the Congress and to us all. She was awesome just now,
      talking about the compromise that she herself participated in, recognizing that the big issue
      was to get the government back up and running. She’s wonderful

      • 71 jacquelineoboomer
        October 17, 2013 at 12:53 pm

        And I’m thinking she may not have had much sleep last night, and still her mind was totally clear and she looked fresh as a daisy! Not to make light of it, but she is one strong woman and, as you said, wonderful!

        • 72 hopefruit2
          October 17, 2013 at 1:09 pm

          Indeed Sara and JOB. She basically called these folks asking the same stupid questions over and over, hypocrites – and she was right. They are so “outraged” about a few elements added to the senate bill, but are not nearly as outraged at the fact that 800K workers were furloughed, and the US almost defaulted on its bills – far more catastrophic and consequential than a few pieces of appropriations which were already part of the ongoing CR!!

  30. 73 57andfemale
    October 17, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    • 74 jacquelineoboomer
      October 17, 2013 at 12:35 pm

      Nancy Smash is giving a marvelous address in front of the press at this moment. She’s now taking questions. So proud of her, and happy she is getting “her” moment to point out that 100% of the Democrats voted to end the shutdown and not default on our debt.

      Also heard on MSNBC that Hatch is now “against” Heritage. Well, today, anyway.

  31. 85 sheinfrance
    October 17, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Everyday he makes me proud. I love the way he delivers a telling-off and offers solutions at the same time.

    • October 17, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Yes, re Nancy Pelosi’s offeriing solutions to some of the press’s “concerns.” She suggested that they, the press,
      are part of making transparent the whole process of upcoming of budget negotiations. It would be such a
      leap forward for our country if the press [and all the rest of us] do our parts, and do them well, rather
      than playing small.

  32. 87 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 12:49 pm

    From C-Span, here is part of Defense Secretary Hagel’s statement to his personnel:

    “I appreciate your professionalism and your patience during this difficult period of time … My hope is that they [Congress] will realize that these kinds of crises do great damage to our people, our national security, our economy, and America’s standing in the world.”

    I so very much appreciate the fact that Chuck Hagel agreed to serve our country again!

  33. 89 Ladyhawke
    October 17, 2013 at 1:03 pm


    Rick Perry Is Actually Encouraging Texans To Enroll In Obamacare


  34. 90 Ladyhawke
    October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    BOB CESCA WEEKLY PODCAST (This week with guest Angry Black Lady)

    The Bubble Genius Bob & Chez Show 10/16/13


    You Lose: Imani Gandy the Angry Black Lady joins us for the hour; We Enjoy Some Schadenfreude at the Expense of the Tea Party; The Government Shutdown is Over; The Debt Ceiling Will Be Lifted; Statements from Ted Cruz, John Boehner and Pete King; Rush Limbaugh Says GOP is Irrelevant; Matt Drudge Welcomes Nancy Pelosi Back to the Speakership; The Weekend Tea Party Rally Featuring Stockman’s Derp Face; Bob Helps Ted Cruz’s Speechwriter with Some Math; Congress is Dumb; and much more



  35. 91 GGail
    October 17, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    Defense Sec Hagel speaking now on C-SPAN

  36. 92 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 1:12 pm

    Secretary Hagel is speaking live on C-Span, now.

  37. 95 Linda
    October 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    It was Kelly O’Donnell that was picking at Nancy Pelosi…

    She was just on Mrs. Greenspan’s show .

  38. 97 jacquelineoboomer
    October 17, 2013 at 1:23 pm

    Secretary Hagel is at his best right now (on C-Span, giving a briefing). He’s talking about the lost morale of the federal workforce that follows not only the shutdown, but sequestration woes. Concurrently, he’s saying it is all impacting our readiness as a military force, whom the civilians support, and how this uncertainty is affecting our allies who are asking questions about our credibility. There are general consequences from not being able to adequately prepare and plan for the future.

    He gives his best remarks when he’s talking about something he really believes in, extemporaneously. Wish y’all who aren’t watching could catch up with his remarks later. He’s using the same tone he used in my favorite remarks from him when he was a senator and was calling out the Bush handling of the Bush wars and kept questioning strategies and asking, “For what????”

    Oh, and, hey, Republicans, thought you were “big” on the military? You rotten _______ .

    • 98 0388jojothecat
      October 17, 2013 at 5:11 pm

      I will never forget him saying to the affect, “This is governing, if you don’t want to it then go sell shoes”!

  39. October 17, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    Well howdy there all you O’s!!!! What a great getting up day again on the TOD landscape!!! I missed PBO’s speech, but I did catch some MSNBC pundit recaps and reading the tweets, it sounds like he did yet another yeoman’s job in getting the country back on track. What I admire so much about PBO is his impeccable patience and timing; his focus and ability to see the big picture; the way he is able to address the issues, brush his shoulders off, and then move on to the next concern. He said what had to be said, to those who needed to hear it.

  40. 101 sjterrid
    October 17, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I never listen to the Washington/NY TV media pundits anymore. The President is right, they’re the problem. I don’t care if they got their little feeling hurt!

    I’m very happy and proud to be a democrat. The debt limit was raised, the gov’t is back to work, and Cory Booker is going to be my new Senator. Despite the reports, the Camden County Democrats were very happy with the turnout. I was making phone calls for GOTV at the Camden County Democratic Committee Headquarters. We had made around 10,000 calls from Saturday until about 7:45PM. You have to realize Gov. Christie decided to have this special US Senate vote on a Wednesday a few weeks prior to the general election on Nov. 5th at a cost of $12Billion Dollars to the NJ tax payers.

Comments are currently closed.







Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email.



RSS Obama White House.gov

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS WH Tumblr

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

RSS Steve Benen

  • Joe: Irresponsible voices on the Trump right are putting targets on backs of FBI agents
  • A story about friendship and brotherhood that developed in combat
  • Neal Katyal: 'A brilliant chess maneuver' for AG Garland
  • FBI upping security posture after attack
  • Ryan: Republicans, including JD Vance, haven't thanked law enforcement for what they've endured



Blog Stats

  • 43,266,769 hits

%d bloggers like this: