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Everything old is new again, including Shakespeare's King Lear. The scene I find most immediately relevant* is this one:

KING LEAR [W]hat can you say to draw a third more opulent than your sisters? Speak.

CORDELIA Nothing, my lord.

KING LEAR Nothing!


KING LEAR Nothing will come of nothing: speak again.

CORDELIA Unhappy that I am, I cannot heave my heart into my mouth: I love your majesty according to my bond; nor more nor less.

KING LEAR How, how, Cordelia! mend your speech a little, Lest it may mar your fortunes.

On a very simple reading, when I'm told to "get over it" and get with the Obama Movement, I identify with Cordelia:

I love Obama "according to my bond [as a D]; nor more nor less."

And every demand that I "heave my heart into my mouth" makes me want to comply demand even less.

Classic, simple interpersonal dynamics....

NOTE Ignoring the parts about dynastic conflict, madness, human frailty, torture, and family dynamics....

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MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

Is it the habit of the mind and its injured heart to justify all rancor--so much is wrong that all else beware?

Put on the elder's mantle, and pretend no more to knavery. To rise up and launch assaults based on principle, but then to withdraw in all haste, muttering excuses of "I, of little moment" is a dodge.

Yes, the Moor of Illinois is but a man, and She has been wronged, but there is another game afoot, one that cannot be "well met" with lingering bitterness, no matter how justified that bitterness.

How long the declarations of faded fealty and damnations tinted with faint praise? Ensconced in this virtual edifice are many who share the wound but not the salve, the cut but not the stitch, the headache but not the aspirin.

Get over nothing, for there is aught to get over.

(forgive the style of text, dear Lord, for though you have empathy for Cordelia it is time for the raiments of Lear (if not the madness), protest though you will. For every season a pithy epigram! As for characters from various plots, so for us!)


shystee's picture
Submitted by shystee on

brilliant as ever, MJS.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Things done well, and with a care,
exempt themselves from fear.

eRobin's picture
Submitted by eRobin on

I'm floored by and in general agreement with MJS. Still, loving Obama according to our bond seems like excellent advice to me. It allows for working hard to get him elected and positions us well to fight him when he is President Obama and needs help (read pressure) to do the right things.

Submitted by cg.eye on

buddies done with stripping his Administration of the trace copper in the pennies, that's when he'll need the little people then, eh?

When he's too weak to help anyone, including himself?

When all his shiny pals have gouged out the eyes of the Body Politic, then cast the corpse on the heath?

I prefer Macbeth. He is a bastard from the beginning, and I don't have to be the fool, to trust him or to love him, and I'll know how the tragedy goes. No need to be fooled by a tragedy that will break my heart, in telling me everything's going to turn out OK, in the end. I'll brace for the pain now, thanks.

And as for "Get over nothing, for there is aught to get over"?

It is the cause, it is the cause, my soul,--
Let me not name it to you, you chaste stars!--
It is the cause.

Obama golf that.

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

What you describe has yet to occur: we are not graced by Sister's Three and their warning of "something wicked this way comes." If all is already lost (and all is vanity) then rejoice and meet these days with abandon, for no one sees where all things may lead. The readiness is all! But turn the crooked stick to fouler quarry first, for there are many beasts afoot. Would we place a greater danger in a fairer place for reasons of spite or worse? We are always to be betrayed: we must not betray ourselves.


Submitted by cg.eye on

then why am I forewarned of perils calamitous
my withheld vote for Obama is fraught?

Before the Denver Hall is made ready?

Before superdelegates pleas are aired?

Before all votes are counted fairly,
the darkness of McCain comes?

Cart before horse, sir;
cart before horse.

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

32 seasons of Bush...the cart has been before the horse for an octagon of years. I have suggested that as adults the time is here to put off the abject, if sincere, attitudes of a daughter wronged and wear instead a mature cloak and grab the reins resolutely. The first job is to occupy the White House, the second job is to occupy the President. Cart before the horse, indeed.

That being written (with grains of salt and armor of steel at the ready) at a blog that has nursed its democratic enmity, rightly or wrongly, I must also say it is a pleasure to see cg.eye here. Prost!


Submitted by lambert on

Surely that's all that can be asked, MJS?

I'm not sure how useful I find the psychologizing, considered purely from the instrumental standpoint of getting people who don't agree, to agree. "Nursing enmity" and all that -- though I note, with continued amusement, the implied feminizing in the penumbra of "nursing." You know how those Hillary supporters are....

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

Submitted by cg.eye on

Nice to see you too, even though I reject you and all your works.


MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

You jest at scars that never felt a wound.

My goal is to see McCain defeated in November. I'm not savvy enough to know how to change Obama into a progressive candidate: he is not one. One dragon at a time, perhaps? Vanquish the Ancient Lizard first, then circle back for further instructions?

Note: Suggesting that "nursing wounds" is "feminizing" is truly reaching--please, though you indeed may have no healthcare, go to a hospital and add up the male and female nurses. It is time to reconsider old stereotypes, yes? As for psychology, I would not cast you for a role you have outgrown.

cg.eye: methinks you love me not. I have no argument to compel thee otherwise.


Submitted by lambert on

.... and from what everybody's telling me in the press, the polls, the A list, the Democratic Party, and the Obama campaign, the matter of vanquishing the lizard is well in hand. Obama ran a flawless primary campaign, and I have no doubt will do the same in the general. "My bond" is to vote for Obama, as I have repeatedly said I plan to do.

Unless the implicit request is that I do something other than vote?

If so, it's (a) completely unclear to me what the nature of the request is, and (b) completely unclear what impact a tiny little C list blog can have. If anybody wants free oppo on the Republicans, there are five years of archives I feel no need to rewrite -- though perhaps such matters are better left to professionals.

As for "circling back," that reminds me of Alice's "jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, but never jam today." I can see very well the line in 2009: "The 2010 mid-terms are too important for divisiveness!" And so it goes, on to 2012 and as far as the eye can see.

Assuming the oceans don't suddenly rise 2 meters in the meantime, of course.

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

20 meters, not 2. Unless it turns out to be 80 meters.

Too many demands for digital thinking. While as MJS describes there is a need for priorities, it is also true as he has said previously that a prioritized approach does not require us to accept an either/or structure. It is perfectly possible to simultaneously work unrelentingly against further Republican dominance, support the eventual Democratic nominee whoever that turns out to be, and criticize Obama or anyone else who deserves it - when they deserve it.

Promoting divisiveness on the Left because not everything is as one might wish it to be is a damaging strategy, and yes of course Obama and the Democratic Party as a whole are marginally on the Left.

Submitted by lambert on

Actually, that map (too lazy to find the link) I linked to had 3 meters, I thought. Of course, that was a couple of years ago.

The problem here, bringiton, is that you write:

It is perfectly possible to simultaneously work unrelentingly against further Republican dominance, support the eventual Democratic nominee whoever that turns out to be, and criticize Obama or anyone else who deserves it

and also write:

Promoting divisiveness on the Left because not everything is as one might wish it to be is a damaging strategy...

The problem is that "some" see the first paragraph as the very definition of "promoting divisiveness," where you, I believe, don't?

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

The first paragraph is, as I see it, how adults deal with the complexities of real-world interpersonal relationships.

Others around us are "less than perfect" in that they rarely agree with us on every point in every way. That should not prevent us, however, from forming alliances and political movements including political parties through which we can oppose those with whom we disagree on a great many things. Nor, I think, must we shrink from expressing our unhappiness and disagreement with our allies when they occur. We should be able to discuss our differences without advocating a destruction of the alliance.

What I'm seeing happening on the Left, however - by both pro-Obama people and anti-Obama + pro-Hillary people - is a demand that the only acceptable path is 100% for or against a particular candidate. Indeed, I see it more and more from the Ant-O-Pro-H crowd these days that, as one person on another thread just wrote, we are witnessing in the Obama campaign the final destruction of democracy, and from another just above in the same thread that it would be better to vote for McCain than for Obama becuase Obama is somehow more dangerous to liberty and freedom.

Both of these claims are, under any rational examination, clearly patent nonsense, divisive and destructive; never the less, they are not just accepted as legitimate points of discussion but treated as though they deserve something more than derision and hysterical laughter. I cannot do that.

Nothing could be more anti-progressive than promoting McCain over any Democrat; nothing could be more damaging to liberal interests than painting the presumptive Democratic nominee as some sort of monster who will gobble down the nation whole and create a tyranical reign of despotism; nothing could better serve the interests of the Plutocrats than having the Left divided against itself, and yet here we are doing it once again.

Critical analysis is not the same as paranoid ranting. Obama will be neither as great as his fans hope nor as bad as his doubters fear; he will be transformative as would Hillary be, but not in some great-gettin'-up-mornin' kind of way. This Democratic government will represent the bottoming out of 40 years of Plutocratic dominance, and will of necessity be no better than the beginning of a turnaround. To those who hope for more from the next four years, it will seem not enough; to those of us who see better days ahead, it will be an adequate beginning.

McCain, on the other hand, will be a disaster - we know this because he is telling us so. Anyone from the Left who will not support eviction of the Republican Party from the levers of power by any Democrat is not a legitimate critic but a divisive and damaging influence; anyone who advocates supporting any Republican is my enemy. On both of those, I am well past mincing words.

Submitted by lambert on

... criticizing Obama is not being "objectively pro-McCain"?

NOTE I disagree with you on the bottoming out of plutocratic dominance. I certainly hope I'm wrong!

[x] Very tepidly voting for Obama [ ] ?????. [ ] Any mullah-sucking billionaire-teabagging torture-loving pus-encrusted spawn of Cthulhu, bless his (R) heart.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

Of course not. Friends and allies should be able to disagree, robustly when required, and still not abandon the friendship or the alliance for an enemy camp. Who would want to live without the ability to exercise differences?

It is exactly that damning of any dissonance, as shystee rightly points out in another post, that is the real problem. Speak against an Obama position and the FOB are all over you; speak in support of an Obama position and the anti-O-Pro-H-PUMA whatever they are crowd jumps down your throat. Foolish, both of them, but the "McCain would be better" bunch I particularly have no use for.

Sudden reversals are what we call "revolutions" and they are always horrible and seldom predictable; I'll take incremental change, and bottoming out this nightmare is where it has to start. I am resolutely optimistic that a Democratic government provides a very real opportunty for improvement.

Submitted by gob on

because I'm getting more pessimistic all the time.

Tell me more about how you see an Obama administration being good for us.

This is not snark, how sad that I need to say so.

bringiton's picture
Submitted by bringiton on

that I wouldn't put up any more front page posts on the presidential race for a while; exercise in self-discipline, which I break in small doses down here in the comment threads when my bile boils over.

Here's an exercise for you. List the top ten most important things that you think need to happen over the next four years (list 20, whatever). Then put an "D" or an "R" next to each one as the party most likely to make that issue better. Put aside all the petty nonsense about campaign financing and who said what nasty thing about which competitor - just on policy history alone, which party would most probably have a positive effect?

You'll feel better; not real good, perhaps, but better. Obama/Any "D" will be (better than) (not as bad as) John McCain; sad, pathetic, but there it is.

FrenchDoc's picture
Submitted by FrenchDoc on

How does your reasoning work out on FISA? Were the Dems really that better than the Reps? On war funding?...

MJS's picture
Submitted by MJS on

to speak for me at my next job interview: I believe I would be hired on the spot!

"C blog" or not, many valid points have been presented here, too many to bury casually beneath a growing pile of blood-clotting rhetoric: a number of posters here have asserted their intention to not vote for the Democratic candidate for president--yes, it is their right, but who do they serve? Not even anarchy or nihilism can be said to be first in line for the reward from that path: it will be McCain and the GOP who benefit first and foremost.

What is the bond? An abstraction or flesh & blood or...? Fealty to a ghostly apparition from a past that did not give us the candidate we desired? Let's be creators and not merely the created, agents of action instead of just the acted-upon. Obama must be made to answer to progressives, for he cannot continue to plead "hope" and "unity" by ignoring the heart and soul of liberal democracy. We will matter because we will insist upon it or be damned!

The wolf at the door enjoys it when we fight: he gains easy entrance and finds his victims in a weakened state.