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11.24.10

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A Real Downer

Richard von Busack is a real downer. I have seen many movies he has panned and found them quite enjoyable.

He is insufferably pedantic and condescending, he loves to flaunt his deep film history knowledge and, worst of all, he does not know how to review a movie without ruining any surprise for the audience. His reviews should be headlined "Spoiler Alert!"

Seriously, we deserve better.

David Rosenberg

Boulder Creek


Election Aftermath

What can one say about the midterm election that hasn't been analyzed and diagnosed to death? Is there an American past the age of teen-hood self-absorption that hasn't an opinion or a gut-response to the predicted turnaround? I reckon even my dog has an opinion, but she's too intelligent to let on.

Not being nearly as smart as my dog, however, I'll offer a few thoughts about the Democrats' bloody Tuesday.

Progressives blast Obama for compromising on healthcare and the public option, continuing the war in Afghanistan, a weak, ineffectual financial reform bill, bank bailouts with no provisos, not effectively stopping home foreclosures and readjusting bad loans, showing corporate allegiance over people's needs, BS about BP's mess, abandoning justice for the prior administration's war crimes, a wrong-headed educational agenda and a host of other infractions large and small. Uppermost from the progressive perspective is Obama's willingness to compromise on what they see as core provisions of reform bills just to see them passed. Rightly or wrongly, they view him as betraying his base and their core principles.

Taking a step back from partisan perspectives, Obama came riding in on a giant stallion, sword in hand, promising to change the direction of the country and to change the way things were done in Washington. He built a whole campaign around these promises, and a lot of people were swept up in the hope that they were true. So the question is, has he delivered? The last election seems to have answered that question. If you promise real change and then just go about business as usual, it's bound to piss off a lot of people.

As to what the election means now for the country, well, the Republicans' path is clear, they've stated it plainly: they're going to do everything they can to knock Obama out of the game by 2012. What the Democrats will do is anybody's guess, but if the past is prelude, they'll continue to give away the store and then be forced to close shop.

Obama has tried to walk both sides of the street—reforming healthcare but bowing to insurance and drug companies, reforming banking and Wall Street while depending on their funding—and all that gets one is hamstrung. I want to see him draw lines on important issues and not waver despite the pressures or the outcome. Even if people disagreed with him, they'd respect his stand on principle. He came in espousing Democratic progressive ideals about social and economic equity and liberation from corporate control. Now he has to stand for those things, and if he goes down, at least it's for a good cause.

Will Shonbrun

Sonoma


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