The Latest In Obama As Ineffectual: Obama As 1938 Czechoslovakia?

With defenders like Jon Chait, President Obama needs no enemies:

Krugman's column employs a pretty good World War II analogy. Let me use another: imagine a scathing column about the 1938 Munich accord that devotes most of its energy to castigating Czechoslovakian President Edvard Benes for his ineffectual efforts to gain the support of Britain and France, rather than putting Britain and France at the center of the story.

Obama as 1938 Czechoslovakia? That's the defense? Wow. I know that the Village wonks (Yglesias, Ezra Klein, Jon Cohn, etc.) have been arguing that Obama is powerless on health care reform, but Chait is the winner, of sorts, in the "defending Obama as impotent" competition. I'll give them this though - they do not use the annoying "Don't Worry, He's Got It" photo of Obama that was rampant in the Obama fan blogs before.

Speaking for me only

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    Since Presidents, even those with (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:02:49 AM EST
    super majorities, are powerless, let's eliminate the position and save the money.

    But if we do that, (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:04:39 AM EST
    how will President Snowe's demands be met?

    Reconciliation? (none / 0) (#5)
    by Spamlet on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:05:38 AM EST
    Heh (none / 0) (#8)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:30:33 PM EST
    When Congress was busy naming park benches and congratulating the Capitol police I felt the same way about them.

    There should be a Statute of Limitations on (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by steviez314 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:05:35 AM EST
    historical analogies, maybe anything over 50 years can't be used.

    Or maybe the other way, that only historical analogies over 300 years can be used.  Then we can compare health care to the Battle of Hastings or something like that.  Let's make history come alive again!

    Ha, Love it! n/t (none / 0) (#7)
    by cawaltz on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:28:31 PM EST
    "Decline of the Roman Empire" (none / 0) (#9)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:36:56 PM EST
    "Nero Fiddling While Rome Burned"

    That would have been Bush, but if you like: (none / 0) (#10)
    by steviez314 on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 12:46:48 PM EST
    Obama finds Augean stables trashed.  Says "who do you think I am, Hercules?"

    How about (none / 0) (#11)
    by jbindc on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 02:16:59 PM EST
    McClellan's Peninsula Campaign of 1862?

    Neville Chamberlain. (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by oculus on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:08:24 AM EST

    3 Republicans (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by lilburro on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 03:22:53 PM EST
    voted for the stimulus at the time.  To blame everything on Ben Nelson is to apply the healthcare debate dynamics to the stimulus debate.  They're similar, but let's not act like they're the same.

    As far as the actual point of the article, consider this - Obama chose that dumb 900 billion number.  He could've chosen something slightly larger, why not?  Is 1.1 trillion or 1 trillion simply too high for some imaginary reason?  

    Yes Virginia, Obama is often cautious.

    Does anyone want to consider that (5.00 / 3) (#13)
    by Anne on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 04:14:49 PM EST
    maybe what we have here is "Obama as Obama?"

    Somehow trying to compare him to historical events or figures makes no sense to those of us who knew a long time ago that he might not even be big enough to fill his own shoes, much less anyone else's.

    That one had me doubled-over (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Fri Nov 06, 2009 at 11:00:04 AM EST
    I knew there was a reason why TNR was still in my reader.

    wrong actor in 1938 (none / 0) (#14)
    by diogenes on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 07:26:49 AM EST
    My worry is "Obama as Neville Chamberlain" as Iran continues to build the atom bomb while our diplomats appease away.  Luckily Israel (unlike Czechoslovakia in 1938) can fight and has its own atom bomb.

    You need to keep up (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 09:31:49 AM EST
    The IAEA is asking Iran for clarification and more explanation regarding evidence that the country has expriemented with creating an advanced implosion device for use in nuclear weapons.

    The Guardian newspaper reported on Thursday that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has requested a response from Iran in regard to evidence that the country has experimented with the creation of advanced implosion devices designed for use in nuclear weapons.

    The report, which was compiled by using the data of numerous intelligence agencies over an extended period charges that Iranian scientists have been working on creating the components in a "two-point implosion" device. Such a device is used to bring about the chain reaction in a nuclear fission warhead. Furthermore, the device would be smaller than other nuclear implosion devices, which would in turn give Iran the ability to create much smaller warheads and therefore require a smaller missile system to deliver it to its target.

    "Possible Military Dimensions of Iran's Nuclear Program" is a report which the IAEA had previously released segments. However, this new information was not disclosed until now.

    In September El Baradi said there was nothing to worry about with regards to Iran's uranium enrichment site at Forod - but their report, hopefully with more clear answers, is expected to be out in a couple of weeks.


    What public support did he attempt (none / 0) (#15)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Nov 07, 2009 at 08:43:10 AM EST
    to gain for the stimulus that he finally got passed?  None really because there wasn't anything much in the stimulus for the little people.  The stimulus he did pass was pretty pathetic and mostly shored up those who created this whole mess, and those same players have done everything in their power to resist regulation insuring that they can now do what they originally did all over again.  I don't even want to talk about it.  But the dynamics of passing the stimulus were not the same dynamics we face in passing health-care except that Obama believes that FDR style policies should be dead and he does his part to make them that way.