Village "Wisdom"

Matt Yglesias:

The smarter elements in Washington DC are starting to pick up on the fact that itís not tactical errors on the part of the president that make it hard to get things done, itís the fact that the country has become ungovernable.

You see? The Village (or the Obamabot part of it anyway) has decided it is NOT Obama's fault! He is impotent! I suppose this is all a set up for a Truman-like "Do Nothing Republican Congress" campaign in 2012 by Obama. Of course that will require the Democrats lose the Congress in 2010. Hey, wait a minute . . .

Speaking for me only

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    Yes (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by jbindc on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:38:06 AM EST
    We, the masses, are "ungovernable" because we actually are paying attention, and are actually demanding accountability from our politicians. How dare we!

    I know they long for the days of back room deals, cigars, and a press (and by extension, the public) who looks the other way...Ah, the good old days!

    Did you actually READ Matt's post? (none / 0) (#122)
    by s5 on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 12:01:53 PM EST
    He's arguing against the filibuster, continuing an ongoing series he's been writing against minority rule. He's arguing for MORE democracy not less democracy.

    Yup (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by andgarden on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:57:00 AM EST
    Going by this logic, you'd think that the fix would have been to change the filibuster rule a year ago to allow for cloture with 55 votes. But frankly, I don't think it's quite that simple. (Though I would have supported such a move).

    Or using budget reconciliation ... (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by magster on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:02:27 AM EST
    right out of the gate with the support of the bully pulpit.

    The Bully Pulpit Obama Never Heard Of (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by norris morris on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:00:35 PM EST
    I'm shocked!  Just er, shocked that Obama knows nothing about the Bully Pulpit. If only someone in his staff had just told him he might have done this to pressure, and er, you know, LEAD and educate this good for nothing Congess.

    And imagine, the Obamabot Village didn't even advise him of his responsibilities, but er, you know they blame the Repubs for not advising him of his options. Even, uh, the Public Option. And even those who are just not Obamabots, like discerning Democrats who actually voted for him because they believed his words.

     It's not Obama's fault that the Congress has made chopped liver out of his precious healthcare reform.  He just doesn't know that he has all this power. You know, the Bully Pulpit.  Again, The obamabot Villagers will tell you it's all the Repubs fault that he didn't do this.

    As for options, you'd NEVER know Obama ever heard of the Public Option, and that the Bully Pulpit could have and even now, you know....he can still use this to actually pressure for the Public Option.  And, gosh he could even succeed at this if he exerted pressure.

    Maybe Obama doesn't even know that without the Public Option there is no possibility of Healthcare Reform.  The real word here is Reform.
    Someone should tell him this because he doesn't seem to understand.

    So if the Obamabot Village could just let Obama know now that he still has a chance to save any notion of healthcare reform by using the Bully Pulpit to convince Congress and get the people behind the Public Option, then they could actually see this vague President really do something he promised to do.



    Ohhhh. It's THE COUNTRY's fault. (5.00 / 5) (#3)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:02:25 AM EST
    Seems that his predecessor was able to get through almost anything except for immigration and privatizing SS.

    But now THE COUNTRY is at fault, not Obama.

    Passive agressive, or narcissistic?

    WTF do the villagers suggest? Lopping off a few states?

    Please list everything that GWB (none / 0) (#8)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:31:36 AM EST
    was able to get through that made the far right wing very happy instead of saying something fuzzy like "seems that his predecessor was able to get through almost anything".

    Heh. (5.00 / 2) (#10)
    by Fabian on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:37:32 AM EST
    The first thing that comes to mind is the 2008 FISA bill.

    Dems in the House, a split Senate and GWB in the White House.  Whose bill was it exactly?  

    I'm sooooo tempted to slap "National Security!" on every bill.  Health care - essential for National Security!  Immigration reform - essential for National Security!   Greenhouse gas caps - essential for National Security!


    Not a bad idea, actually. (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by coigue on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:26:32 AM EST
    One of the best things I've ever heard was when Jerry Springer expanded the word 'security' to include health security and job security.

    I wish that would catch on.


    The Healthcare Security Reform Bill (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by norris morris on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:17:57 PM EST
    Yes. Security. Even the Homeland Security Healthcare Security Reform Bill.

    But I doubt even that would have actually allowed Obama to sell it.

    Listen his villagers are telling us it'll take years for him to do anything 'cause things are, er such a mess and he didn't realize this when he came on board. It's all Bush's fault and there's nothing Obama can do about it now.

    Later.  Oy Vey.


    The "it's Bush's fault" excuse (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by BrassTacks on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 02:43:34 AM EST
    Is getting old.  Obama can continue to blame Bush, but at some point it's his responsibility to clean up the mess.  When my kids used to fight and spill something, I didn't want to hear over and over ''he did it" or ''it's his fault", I just wanted them to clean it up.  I feel the same way with Obama.  JUST CLEAN IT UP.  JUST FIX IT. And stop whining about whose fault it is.  We elected you to do something, not to whine about whose fault it is.  

    Judging (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 05:32:48 AM EST
    by the declining poll numbers  the public is getting tired of the excuses.

    If Obama thinks that it's all to much and the situation is so bad that he can't handle it (that's what he's implying when he whines) then do us all and the coutnry a favor and step down. Find somebody who CAN do the job.


    Only 1 item? (none / 0) (#14)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:03:15 AM EST
    I will also let you know a little secret that many in TL will dishonestly not admit. The FISA bill passed because many Democrats (the majority of whom voted for HRC in the primaries) agreed with GWB on national security issues. There is a reason why HRC used to indulge in her "national security" rhetoric during the primaries. She knew the kind of Democrats that she had to appeal to (the kind who agreed with GWB on national security but also wanted healthcare). When Obama was attacked from the right on "national security issues" by a huge section of his own party, there is no point in pointing out the number of Democrats in the House and Senate.

    We know this (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:19:22 PM EST
    Why hang around here if you think you are speaking to intellectually dishonest posters?  What would be the point in revealing your untold wisdom to such fools?

    Mrs. Clinton voted against the FISA bill, (4.75 / 4) (#71)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:13:16 PM EST
    in July 2008.

    And most Dems (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:08:58 PM EST
    and Hillary supporters, as I recall, did not approve the FISA bill or the amendment in 08.

    then there's W's (none / 0) (#121)
    by DFLer on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 11:21:42 AM EST
    tax cuts for upper incomes....and with no 60 votes bs  either.

    Don't change this to (5.00 / 6) (#11)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:43:35 AM EST
    'make the far right wing happy,' and look at his governance.
    Start with tax cuts and work your way through the patriot act, FISA, faith-based initiatives, healthy forests initiative, clear skies initiative, withdrawal from Kyoto, two wars, NCLB, and judicial nominations/appointments.
    that's just to start with. you can do your own homework after this.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:52:16 AM EST
    Just the Iraq war alone -- against a country that had no role in 9/11 -- is a sign of backbone.

    Obama would never have attempted the equivalent...not that I want him to start a pre-emptive unnessary war, but something in the interest of good with the same backbone behind it would be refreshing.

    People are going to get really tired of the wimpiness....while our country goes to heck in the process.


    Well, backbone ... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by brodie on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:36:47 AM EST
    Junior had all elements of the Establishment behind him on that diversion, including 98% of the MSM which helped whip up a rush to war atmosphere where dissent was tantamount to appeasing the 9.11 terrorists.  Dunno how much courage that took.  Certainly it required some determined, stubborn and stupid single-mindedness.

    But as for Obama, he did act too cautiously early on.  And that was when his political power was at its greatest -- the first 3-6 months coming off the solid election and uplifting Inauguration.  He missed a golden opportunity to really move the ball down the field with some bold plays and put some touchdowns on the board early with a much larger stimulus bill and HCR.  Instead, he's settled for field goals, even with the home field advantage and going up against a dinged and aging opposition defense.

    Harry Reid hasn't been any bolder either, though the latest Medicare buy-in play for 55 and over has promise to possibly pull out a narrow win late.


    Yes the Iraq war alone (none / 0) (#15)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:16:28 AM EST
    where HRC was an enabler. You johnny-come-lately liberals are phoney. If you held your icons, namely FDR, LBJ and Bill Clinton to the same liberal standards that you are holding Obama to, you would find that your icons had feet of clay.
    I value legitimate criticisms of Obama, I will however not suffer dishonesty silently.

    Try to be more accurate (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:24:09 AM EST
    TL liberal commenters don't defend the actions of any democrats who make really contrary decisions to the Democratic agenda. ONE action at a time, though. Then, when a collective display of not acting like a D exists, expansion to wanting them primaried out is often discussed.

    The dishonesty you accuse people of is of your own creative design.


    Really (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:11:21 PM EST
    I've had multiple people tell me that Welfare Reform was a great thing and it was undeniably anti-progressive.

    Heck, Inspector, I was just going to ask (none / 0) (#17)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:26:56 AM EST
    if s/he had been drinking this morning.

    Koolaid, I trust (none / 0) (#18)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:33:22 AM EST

    Your opinion (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:34:41 AM EST
    is diferent than my own and that means I'm being dishonest?

    Not the behavior of a liberal, Johnny-come-lately or otherwise.

    More like an authoritarian.


    no no no no no no see that's the point (5.00 / 3) (#21)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:35:03 AM EST
    and i take a tiny offense at your comment because the case for politicians who i have supported is not that they don't have feet of clay, i never said "she will be different.  she will be a paradigm shift."

    i did say she was more competent, had more experience.  that i knew where she stood on things and had a better idea about what she would and would not do.  i agreed about most.  disagreed on some.

    so.  who did we say those kinds of things about?


    p.s. (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:36:16 AM EST
    i do like Bill grouped in with the pols you listed though.

    thanks for that.

    take care.


    Do you support the escalation in Afghanistan? (none / 0) (#24)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:40:06 AM EST
    Compare the projections of the time and treasure to be spent there with Kosovo or Iraq in the 1990s. Yeah, I read you LONG post. Get ready for the Long Good War.

    Obama's the Johnny-come-lately around here and he's so much better than anyone else at the war stuff who's tried their hand at it, isn't he?

    The sheer glittering hubris of it all.  


    Yes, I support the escalation in the AfPak war (none / 0) (#29)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:07:18 AM EST
    along with investment in civil projects there (Afghanistan and Pakistan). Yes, I am also aware that the war in AfPak will be very long.
    My take on the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan has been the same (since 2001), long before I had heard of a politician named Obama. I was very opposed to the Iraq war right from the beginning because I did not buy the GWB-Cheney-Rumsfield-Powell sales pitch on it (which HRC did).

    Here's what I find funny. (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:19:31 AM EST
    Obama was elected president more than a year ago.
    He took office in January.

    What does Hillary Clinton's Iraq war resolution vote have to do with Obama's policy in 2009? According to one of your posts, Iraq is winding down, thanks to Obama. How is that vote germaine to Afganistan and Pakistan, especially since Clinton is now part of the administration? Is she misleading the president in her role as Secretary of State? Did she use the Jedi mind trick to make Obama appoint her?


    for that matter Biden voted yeah on AUMF (5.00 / 4) (#37)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:13:04 PM EST
    So really it is immaterial what Obama may have voted for or against in 2001 if he'd been on the hot seat. My guess is he'd have caved in or gone along to get along.  If in doubt he escalates exponentially when he feels threatened politically/militarily-he's proving it now.

    Wow, Salo! (none / 0) (#46)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:42:39 PM EST
    You are resorting to falsehoods now. Obama promised during this campaign to escalate the war in Afghanistan and also hunt for Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan is the Pakistani government did not do so. He is fulfilling his campaign promise with the escalation.
    Can you ever hold HRC accountable for her Iraq war resolution vote without coming up with silly excuses like "I think Obama would have also caved in if he were a Senator then"? Can you ever admit that President Clinton was spineless to stand up to Republicans and change the discourse on national security?

    You misunderstood the post (none / 0) (#40)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:22:11 PM EST
    HRC's Iraq war resolution vote has nothing to do with Obama's war policy in 2009. The AfPak war is Obama's war now, he will live or die by it.
    My post was in reply to the poster who said that GWB's actions in Iraq alone showed how he could push his agenda. I replied that was only because powerful Democrats like HRC were enablers in the war in Iraq.
    I blame HRC for enabling the Republicans to start a war in Iraq with her Iraq war resolution vote, I do not blame her for any of Obama's war policies.
    I believe in the AfPak war (and ofcourse civil projects in AfPak). Obama agrees with me. Whatever happens in AfPak will be Obama's responsibility.

    People aren't misunderstanding (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:37:51 PM EST
    your posts. You bring these votes into the conversation, and we reply to it. This isn't the Dreyfus affair, yet you make plenty of accusations.

    Yet you only mention HRC's vote, nobody else's.

    I would venture that TL posters' reading comprehension, in general, shouldn't be questioned.

    By the way, Obama will not live or die by Afghanistan policy. Afghanis, US and NATO soldiers, government civilians and NGO workers will live and die by it.

    you remind me of those chickenhawks who supported Bush's war. I don't mean this as a compliment.


    I mention HRC's vote (none / 0) (#59)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:09:32 PM EST
    because it seems that a lot of Clinton supporters have become johnny-come-lately pacifists while being hawks during the primaries. I have rarely seen Biden/Edwards/Kerry supporters bash Obama on his "hawkishness" (on an escalation that he promised during the campaign). Were I to see them, I would have also mentioned their AUMF votes.
    I have a lot of respect for real pacifists (people like Amy Goodman), not phony ones.
    OK, Obama will not live or die by his AfPak policy, his political career will live or die by AfPak policy. However, I expect him to take responsibility for his policy, unlike people like you who are always ready to provide silly excuses and not hold HRC accountable for her AUMF vote.

    Heh. What you DON'T know about folks ... (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:23:34 PM EST

    you know (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:24:25 PM EST
    i know it's like some rosetta stone security blanket to keep bringing up the aumf vote, and yes, history has been written by people (conservatives and progressives alike) who refused to actually read the text of the aumf resolution itself.

    which is fine.  what's done is done.  no one's going to start posting text from clinton's remarks during that debate.  it's all been talked to death.

    some of the criticism Clinton gets for the vote is fine.  ultimately, she was held accountable during the primary, and now she is not president.

    but i hear the way people talk about Clinton and the AUMF vote, and i hear the way people talk about Biden and his AUMF vote, i note the differences in tone, and content, and then i make a conclusion about how people get a little pathological about Clinton, .... a Clinton .... or a woman with a little power, ...... or a little of both.

    hopefully you're not all that worked up about it.

    i haven't quite made that conclusion about you yet.


    Let's be honest about war (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:39:25 PM EST
    Obama is also the Commander in Chief of the Iraq War.  He is making MAJOR decisions concerning that war as well and has a current goal of winding down.  I have no beef with any of his decisions at this time with either war that he is commanding.  I'm a military dependent though of a deployed soldier.  Now my spouse lobbied to go to Afghanistan and his lobbying efforts were entertained but make no mistake that if he were seriously needed in Iraq for any reason he would gladly drop everything and go.  It is his job, he does it well and he does it proudly for this President, and let us be very very clear that President Obama COMMANDS both wars and no war is more his than the other when it comes to the decisions being made since January of this year. And I refuse to entertain sheer political posturing on the issue.

    Given the Olympian detatchment... (none / 0) (#51)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:55:54 PM EST
    ...that modern Presidents have from everyday life it seems like a structural feature that we doomed to deal  with  A "Roi Soleil" Presidency no matter who we choose to elect. It's almost like reading Barthes account of Racine's dramas to witness the apologia that each president attracts by the weak minded acolytes they attract. it must be great to pretend that he's always right or he's always impotent to change things because that's nature.

    I don't feel this way about this President (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:02:02 PM EST
    Of course I live in a different reality and it is a reality where we will wage war if it is decided that that is what is needed by our President and in longterm cases our Congress.  After such decisions my family will take part.  I also gladly share the floor and nation with those who will always question the validity of such a decision and the souls of those making it knowing full well that I have no desire to live in a nation where such daily questioning is ever discouraged or repressed.  Our culture is militarized enough and our only hope of ending combative situations will be through the peaceseeking.

    MT, I greatly appreciate the sacrifices (none / 0) (#64)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:33:01 PM EST
    that your husband (and you) are making. Yes, I did listen very intently to the President when he addressed the military cadets in West Point. This may be the first war since WWII that I can fully support with my heart; part of the reason is that I have faith that the President and Gens McChrystal and Petreus understand the cultural situation better on the ground (and will be a little more flexible in making deals after inflicting some pounding and launching special forces operations) and have realistic definitions of winning. I have felt since 2001 that the US should not disengage from the region, the speech that the President gave made me feel a lot better about the way our country wants to remain engaged.

    These Generals... (none / 0) (#65)
    by Dadler on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:04:03 PM EST
    ...understood nothing, apparently, until they read "Three Cups of Tea". That is not only pathetic, it should tell you LOUDLY and CLEARLY that these are not men who have any business running any conflict like this. That they came SO late in their military careers to knowledge any person with half an imagination could, well, speaks very poorly of their training all these years, the training they have given others, and their own quite lacking intellects.

    But have no fear, they read the book, they get it now, they just have to instantly change everything about their personalities and paradigms to make it work.

    That is impossible.

    If we said, instead, we are pulling everyone one out, every single one, for comprehensive retraining BASED on lessons like those Greg Mortenson has given, along with many others who have long been ignored, then I could buy it. But we are expecting an institution with ZERO imaginative history, with ZERO respect for genuine creativity, to suddenly change its stripes.  Absurd.

    Mortensen himself says that we blow it going in armed, we blow it with drones, we blew it planning this new surge with ZERO input from the elders who control much of Afhgan society.

    The military necessary to do the job we are fantasizing about does not, in any comprehensive way, exist at all. Wishing it does won't make it so.


    Dadler, we were examining this-- (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:04:40 PM EST
    Islam, and potentially fundamental islam, as well as Afghanistan, Iran,Pakistan, and even the former Soviet Moslem States, as I remember them being called, some 30 years ago in Officers' advanced courses.

    Africa and the same area, with Wahabbi'ism some 20 years ago is Cand GS, and War College. Don't accuse the military of being unprepared. this was a contingency from long ago. Whether acted upon correctly is another discussion.

    I must admit, like MT, I think the current generals in theatre have a handle on it. Doesnt matter whether I like or dislike that handle.

    Hell, it doesn't matter that I have personal, even intimate, feelings, not particularly nice, about McChrystal. He knows his stuff, and his staff does likewise.

    I don't know if he still maintains on his staff his contrary voice. IIRC he used to have a devil's advocate.


    "have faith..." (none / 0) (#66)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:04:52 PM EST

    Lambert, (none / 0) (#120)
    by jeffinalabama on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 08:33:08 AM EST
    if your post was addressed to me, I didn't say havee faith. I was stating that the military has much more knowledge about this that a recent book. Doesn't mean it will be a success or a failure. I just state that there's a lot of area specific expeerise dating back many years.

    Again, expertise doesn't indicate success. However, this isn't johnny-come-lately expertise.


    No, they had... (none / 0) (#45)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:41:48 PM EST
    ...simple majorities (or effectively 50-50 splits  they could wheel Cheney out for)  in both houses at that time. All they needed were a few very conservative Democratic Senators like that nutter Joe Lieberman or Zell Miller for instance.  That they got half the Senate Democratic Caucus was a bonus for them. it wasn't needed to commit the war. The votes by the center left that went yeah on AUMF were not the dealmaker.

    Obama gets a book deal (none / 0) (#47)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:45:35 PM EST
    he doesn't live or die by any of the decisions he will be making.  His distant subordinates, victims, and the other poor forgotten hordes will do the dying.

    And this seems to me to (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:52:14 PM EST
    be the posting of someone who didn't hear the speech at West Point.  We aren't signed on for a long good anything.  We have signed onto 18 mos of pounding the Taliban to a pulp along with every military talkinghead yammering on the tube about how we must have an exit and sort of demanding to know what that is right this minute.  There is no shared universal consciousness plan leaking from the President downward for longterm nation building in Afghanistan at this time.  I don't anticipate anything of the sort on a grand scale either.

    Hopefully Obama is flexible (none / 0) (#52)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:57:04 PM EST
    meaning ha feels confident enough to retreat if the times calls for it.

    the problematic is the logistic train. (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:02:03 PM EST
    Irrespective of support or antipathy for an effort such as this, the constraints on time frame for moving into or out of either afghanistan or iraq are huge. Moving millions of tons of equipment and supplies doesn't happen overnight.

    But recent news reveals we are leaving (none / 0) (#57)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:05:59 PM EST
    sh#tloads of materiale in Iraq.  

    Broken stuff (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:10:53 PM EST
    We stopped shipping some stuff back.  It's too damned broken to ever do anything with a lot of the National Guard stuff we sent over.  It was old when it got there and it was all really really downhill after that.  Should the UN fine us for littering?  Probably

    Without a doubt tons will be left. (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:21:00 PM EST
    However, there's plenty that the US doesnt want to leave as well. depends on the class of goods. Classes VII, VIII and IX that can be utilized elsewhere, as well as Class II and V not given to Iaqi armed forces would have to be removed.
    Class I that can't be readily consumed? Easier and more cost effective to give it away.

    So while a lot will remain, it depends on what it is.


    I don't mind leaving them with (none / 0) (#117)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 04:02:17 AM EST
    things that it would actually cost us more to send elsewhere either considering the level of damage they must heal from.  I know that my own country is also facing its own daunting difficulties right now, but this still sure beats living in Iraq.  Just about anything that can be recycled and reused by the population in Iraq gets recycled and reused.  I shudder to think what most Iraqis would think about what I freely throw away because it is a little worn.

    And I expect him.....even demand from him (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:07:48 PM EST
    that he end these things WELL and it goes down in history exactly that WAY!  I am sick to death of Republicans claiming that Democratic leaders cannot be trusted or successful in military endeavors or national security and I'm sick of a majority of Americans believing such tripe.  I demand that this President wind this up WELL, and after that Conservatives can KMA.  I feel very emotional about this.  Mostly because as a nation we cannot afford to believe such universal lies - that the biggest, most soulless, conscience lacking Cowboys in the room are the only ones who can play with our guns and do it right.

    But didn't Secy Gates (none / 0) (#90)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:53:28 PM EST
    and other top officials all say, on appearances on the Sunday talk shows following the President's speech, that July 2011 withdrawal would be a mere beginning, a drop in the ocean, and that in fact, the troops would be in Afghanistan much longer?

    I am certain that we will have troops there (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 03:38:29 AM EST
    for a much longer period of time. Not all troops will be leaving in 18 mos. Obama has only given McChrystal 18 mos though to preform the combat operations that General McChrystal says we must do in order for the Taliban extremists to no longer be a major threat to Afghan or Pak national security.  I know that everyone is worried about where this combat operation could go, but my understanding is that Obama has a heavy hand on the rein and seeks actual objectives.  This is not a show of force or occupation.  I cannot blame people for the fear either after what we have all experienced under Bush.  I can tell you that when Bush was President his goal was only have a heavy troop presence in Iraq.  He wanted to occupy Iraq and the only reason anyone would want such a thing was for the oil.  The mission was poorly defined where it was defined at all until he began to have his arse handed to him.  Without mission definition our military is at best wildly dysfunctional along with being sitting ducks.  Even I had no sense of purpose running the family in my husband's absence.  Why were we there?  What is succeeding and what is failing and why are body bags coming home?  It was terrible.  This President is not like that at all.  There are clear plans, there is a clear mission, we will experience cause and effect for clearly defined actions and this is no free for all unless you are Taliban but even going after them is much more organized that simply air strikes that kill so many innocent with them.

    Afghan War & Oil (none / 0) (#85)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:15:12 PM EST
    I understand some believe there is a connection between the expanded commitment of troops, etc. in Afghanistan and U.S. oil companies' interest in getting an oil pipeline built; in support of the argument, among other things, it was pointed out that the areas where troop reinforcements are being sent are the areas where the pipeline is intended to be built.

    The pipeline is a canard (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:31:21 PM EST
    Don't even pay attention. It's been conspiracy-theoried for a long time. Yes, it's one of the proposed routes for a pipeline. It follows the earth's contours well.

    Terrain notwithstanding, a pipeline through territory uncontrolled for the past 30 or so years, a 'pipe' dream. i'd venture that even the new world order doesn't see this as realistic.

    Reasons for concetrating troops and aid? population and agrucultural infrastructure. This area is where food CAN be grown readily.


    Thanks, (none / 0) (#91)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:54:50 PM EST
    for info.

    On Oct 2, 2002 State Sen Obama gave what was (none / 0) (#79)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:13:37 PM EST
     to be his pivotal campaign speech against the invasion of Iraq. As a candidate for US. Senate, Mr. Obama stated in a July 2007 Chicago Tribune article that there was not much difference between his position on Iraq and Bush's position at this stage (explaining that he did not want to take issue with the Kerry campaign and he was the convention keynote speaker, after all).  Upon becoming US Senator from Illinois, Mr. Obama voted to fund the Iraq war in 04, 05, and 06. From this record, I sense some enablement.  Oh, and Mr. Obama, as candidate for the Democratic nomination was a staunch opponent of FISA, threatening to veto the bill; after securing the nomination, he voted against it.  

    in that in Oct 2, 2002 he gave what was to be a pivotal campaign speech against the Iraq invasion at an outdoor rally at the Kluzinski Federal Building, along with Jesse Jackson, but  once a candidate for US. Senator) stated, on Nov 12,  that not much difference existed between his position on Iraq and Bush's position at that stage, and as senator, voted to fund the Iraq war in 04, 05, and 06. Also, he was a determined opponent, to the point of filibuster, of the FISA bill as a presidential candidate, but voted for it after receiving the Democratic nomination.


    regret the double post, computer slip. (none / 0) (#80)
    by KeysDan on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:15:46 PM EST
    Wars are different (none / 0) (#93)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:09:54 PM EST
    and you know this- they're relatively easy to get through on less than 100% declarations of War- heck, during impeachment Clinton got Kosovo approved (a war that was largely based on "evidence" later found to be grossly exaggerated).

    We Voted For Obama Not Bush (5.00 / 1) (#104)
    by norris morris on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:32:18 PM EST
    We all know about what Bush wrought.

    What we were hoping and waiting for was that Obama make good on his promises, which he hasn't.

    His Afghanistan enterprise doesn't surprise as he mentioned it often on the campaign trail.

    What we're all pissed off about is the fiasco we've been subjected to called Healthcare Reform, and Obama's staying behind for political cover.

    What's far worse is that Obama is leading us into the abyss of delivering millions more Americans into the jaws of the Healthcare Insurance Monopoly without any options to change being gouged.

    Forget the fancy language of "triggers", "exchanges" as it's all bull sh**, and we do not have Obama anywhere near this fight using his power to change this.

    In fact it's been a poor fight as Obama caved before the Congress did.

    The insidious clauses we now begin to hear that were inserted into Senate bill about cancer care had to be challenged by the American Cancer Society, and it now sits on Obama's desk as he's been shamed into fixing it. Bill said that cancer patients could be given "reasonable" reimbursement by insurance co's.  "Reasonable" means no reimbursement as the Insurance Company decides WHAT is reasonable.   Ugh.

    This is an unacceptable,vicious,dangerous healthcare bill that will cost the Democrats big time, and most of us will go down with it.

    Obama will find many many Democrats turning against him.


    Please be honest (none / 0) (#25)
    by Politalkix on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:41:13 AM EST
    A lot of what you what you wrote is being reversed.
    Obama is re-engaging in every environmental change initiatives (re-engagement in Copenhagen as a counter to withdrawal from Kyoto), Sotomayor has been appointed to the SC, reversal of course has occured in stem cell research, Lily Ledbetter, etc.
    Obama is working to keep his campaign promise in Iraq and Afghanistan. Irrespective of how dissatified you are with the health care bill, it will still provide health care to a higher % of people in all our history, inspite of Republican obstructionism.
    Tax increases are not a progressive end in itself.
    Eric Holder is dismantling a lot of things that the previous attorney general did.
    You guys need to have consistent standards. If GWB set out to score 100% and ended with a 30%, you cannot say that he got what he wanted to do. However, if you are willing to do that you should be willing to give Obama credit for getting his 30% (and not say that Obama is a wimp because 100% of what you wanted has not been achieved).

    tax increases are progressive (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by The Last Whimzy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:46:15 AM EST
    but there are regressive taxes, and progressive taxes.

    pop quiz:  

    the sales tax of 9% in california is?

    a) regressive.
    b) progressive.
    c) none of the above.


    Whimzy, you're (none / 0) (#27)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:56:25 AM EST
    harshing the mellow, dude!

    Dear jeffinalabama, (none / 0) (#41)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:27:10 PM EST
    Your comments of late seem to tend toward the obfusctory or something.  Is this the result of your move?  Please clarify.

    Not following you (none / 0) (#44)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:41:36 PM EST
    Oculus--the post this is attached to was simply a joke.

    Ah. But look back for the past week. (none / 0) (#48)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:46:19 PM EST
    You're certainly (none / 0) (#50)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:55:53 PM EST
    entitled to your opinion, Oculus.

    As always! (none / 0) (#56)
    by oculus on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:04:14 PM EST
    I love the "critics are dishonest" trope (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:10:19 PM EST
    Used by authoritarian followers everywhere:

    Net net:

    1. Bush's seizure of executive authority not rolled back.

    2. TBTF banks more powerful than ever, with moral hazard not addressed.

    3. Higher NAIRU being normalized, with not even a jobs program

    4. Preventing foreclosures farcically poor.

    5. A whole new war.

    6. HCR fiasco.

    So, I'm not being honest, according to you. I can live that that.

    Oh please (none / 0) (#95)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:14:16 PM EST
    "rollback of executive power" no one, and I repeat no one would have rolled back executive- at least no one America would have elected President- every single President since Carter, every single one of them has expanded executive power.

    You're also forgetting.... (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:30:09 PM EST
    ... that Obama did, in fact, run on rolling back executive power; see his interview in the Globe on that very subject. Of course, his vote on FISA was a clear sign that he was lying through his teeth, but few were willing to see that, so in fact, "no one America would have elected President" is just wrong.

    Oh, and that was just the first point. I assume, then, that you agree with all the others, and that Obama's a net negative?


    No its pretty clear (none / 0) (#105)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:41:04 PM EST
    that Obama's not a net negative- indeed while he hasn't dramatically curtailed executive power, his decision to move forward with trying KSM in Manhattan is a positive move in this regard essetially acting as a statement that Administration believes in the rule of law not unilateral imprisonment.  As for your other points I agree with some Obama should have cracked down more on the banks importing much of the last Democratic Administration's team on Economics was a mistake- despite the growth that Admin helped spur, there wholesale endorsement of financial deregulation clearly played a role (less than say Bush but some role nonetheless) in fomenting the current crisis, I would have preferred a more Keynesian economics package to combat the higher NAIRU, Preventing Foreclosures- seriously, I need to know what you want here- direct federal intervention would have been rightly seen as illegal, some res-structuring has been attempted and a full scale Home Loan program ala FDR while tempting would have been almost impossible to pass. I don't even know what you mean by a "whole new war" in terms of Foriegn Policy Obama has done exactly what he promised to do: Drawn down Iraq and refocused on Afghanistan. The HCR fiasco is bad, no doubt and frankly it sucks that we've never had a good enough Democratic President to get it through and that Obama could only partially improve upon the failures of FDR,Truman,Carter and Clinton (LBJ gets credit for Medicare and Medicaid).

    Obama's positives are pretty clear- he's signed multiple pieces of progressive legislation, added millions of Children to CHIP, appointed a new progressive to the Supreme Court, improved America's image around the world (not a pointless thing- high approval on the International Stage makes it possible to achieve things otherwise not even imaginable), he's closing Gitmo (it'd be closed already if some supposedly "progressive" legislators didn't become NIMBY cowards the moment the administration even started looking at their state as a possible destination for detainees).


    Let's be honest here: (none / 0) (#110)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:06:06 PM EST
    indeed while he hasn't dramatically curtailed executive power, his decision to move forward with trying KSM in Manhattan is a positive move in this regard essetially acting as a statement that Administration believes in the rule of law not unilateral imprisonment.

    This would be more believable if he were not picking and choosing the venues for trying the detainees.

    Obama's positives are pretty clear- appointed a new progressive to the Supreme Court,

    Too soon to tell on this front.

    improved America's image around the world

    Not so sure about this.


    Your point? (none / 0) (#98)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:21:53 PM EST
    I'm not engaging in speculative fiction; my point is that Obama's netting out negative.

    What?! (none / 0) (#106)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:43:34 PM EST
    Seriously, a net negative? Are you insane you're basically saying things were better in 2008 under Bush? Wow, the ODS is so strong that's its driven you completely over the bend at this point Lambert. I mean seriously, other than Kucinich and possibly Edwards is there a single Democratic canidate from 2008 that would have changed things in a manner satisfactory to you?

    Where's it better? (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:25:47 PM EST
    1. Jobs? No.

    2. War? A wash.

    3. Big Banks? Bigger.

    4. Foreclosures? Just as bad.

    5. Hunger, especially kids? Worse.

    6. Gitmo and all the rest of it? Go read Glenn Greenwald.

    And that's before we get to being forced to buy junk insurance with the IRS acting as a collection agent and union health plans being taxed.

    Yeah, my life is materially worse than it was in 2008. Me and many others. But I'm super-happy Obama got round to hastily calling a jobs conference in December 2009 after whipping Congress to give the banksters billions NOW NOW NOW in 2008! Priorities, and all.

    The only thing that's different is that we aren't in the midst of a financial meltdown, and even that gets cancelled out by the Shock Doctrine

    NOTE Hey, I like "ODS." Original, ya know. I guess the Kool-Aid hasn't completely rotted your mental faculties.


    In all fairness, GWB had (none / 0) (#36)
    by hairspray on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:10:02 PM EST
    a Republican senate and house.  However, the Dems didn't fight much as I recall.

    Hmm.. lets see (none / 0) (#92)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:08:05 PM EST
    First you can't compare bills passed in late-2001-2003 to anything other than LBJs bills post Kennedy- the Death of JFK and 9-11 were the two best legislative helpers of the last half century- If Obama had gotten such help say a million people die of H1N1 over the course of 2 weeks- we'd have comprehensive national healthcare right now.

    Secondly, faith-based initiatives and withdrawl from Kyoto aren't "accomplishments" there unilateral presidential actions not requiring legislative approval (actually since the US never adopted Kyoto this didn't require anything)- there comparable to Obama taking funding from abstinence only and changing the stem cell and other scientific regs.

    As for Judicial appointments- Obama got Sotamayor through, and lower level judiciary appointments are being held up at around the same rate as we held up Bush's.

    Obama's stalled on Healthcare- something that's stopped every Dem President since FDR- that said he has added millions of Children to CHIP coverage.


    "Obama's stalled on health care" (none / 0) (#99)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 07:25:41 PM EST
    Interesting lack of agency, there. I mean, it's not like Obama bears any responsbility here...

    * * *

    As far as SCHIP, sure. Minimally sane policies are now the baseline? Not exactly exactly the impression that Obama supporters conveyed during the primaries. Of course, I'm a racist, so what would I know?


    Fair Enough (none / 0) (#108)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:45:54 PM EST
    how about this- Currently, Obama is following in the footsteps of his Democratic predecessors: Clinton, Carter, Truman and FDR and is failing to achieve significant Healthcare reform, it is still possible but admittedly unlikely that he can turn it around and surpass his predecessors.

    Except... (5.00 / 1) (#112)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:28:26 PM EST
    ... that doesn't sound a whole like the transformational brand image that got sold to enough of us in 2008. Just saying.

    Passive Aggressive Narcissistic (none / 0) (#102)
    by norris morris on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:11:52 PM EST
    No doubt all three.

    He's snookered a lot of people and comes off extremely deceptive and weak.  He feels so loved that Obama appears sure no one will blame him for actually delivering millions more victims to the Insurance Monopoly.

    He's counting on the Obamabot Village and villagers to defend him at all costs. Blame it on
    the Repubs. He inherited an impossible situation that he refuses to actually govern.

    No problem, as The Precious One will be adored no matter what.

    That jutted chin pointed high, the oratory now hollow and followed by no action as Obama flitsaround  doing speeches and sounding angry and sanctimonious at Congress and the Repubs.

    I wonder if he ever finds the stones to take on the insidious conservative Democrats who have gamed this Healthcare fiasco?

    Listen up, he's just loved so none of it mattters.
    He has, as they say, a following.


    If this is what the "smarter elements" (5.00 / 6) (#4)
    by Anne on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:05:50 AM EST
    are picking up on, it's no damn wonder things are so messed up; with excuses like this, it's not going to be long before one of these Village Absurdists tells us that Obama's dog keeps eating all of Obama's "homework."

    What it really portends is that the members of Obama Village have no intention of holding Obama accountable; instead, they are becoming the guardians of the gate, and it really is going to be up to us to crash through, somehow.

    I just wish I could understand why they are working so hard to keep someone so mediocre from having his tender feelings hurt, at the expense of this one, brief chance to advance issues that have been on the back burner for years - are they protecting him or are they protecting the lousy job they did that got Obama where he is?

    Whichever it is, I don't see much good happening anytime soon.

    One of the comments after the article states, (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:18:28 AM EST
    "it's not a dysfuctional system, it's a dysfunctional party." I agree, at least in the Senate.

    During the past few years, the Democrats have been unable to work together either in the minority, parity, or majority roles. Republicans have done so effectively, even if not 100 percent of the time.

    Does it really go back to senate leadership? Where's the head-cracking going on? Heck, let's imagine Boxer or Franken as leader. Any better, do you think?  Heck, who's a good candidate in the senateto lead the party? Is there one? Hell, Lieberman or Sanders? Landrieu? they certainly have or appear to have more power than Harry does.


    Legacy parties (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:12:49 PM EST
    Both parties together are an extremely functional system -- at least for the inside players in both parties, who are set for life once they've gone through their internship on the Hill.

    The rest of us, not so much.

    We can try for "more and better Democrats" as we did in 2006 and 2008, but "fool me once..."


    Sort of off-topic (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Pacific John on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:42:18 PM EST
    But, "more and better Democrats," was relevant a few years ago when the party actually championed meaningful legislation like the progressive taxation of '93, expansion of EITC, more college grants, programs for foster and adoptive kids, and SCHIP.

    Until then, the DP saw the value of strong leadership. But I think there's a straight line between abandonment of policy in favor of nest feathering, and rejection of leadership.

    We knew all of this about Obama and his movement of The One. He strongly rejects partisan conflict over moral and ethical issues. His campaign platform on HC, Ed and taxation is something we'd expect from a McCain or a Pete Wilson. We knew he would defer to Congress, which is to say, we knew he would be a weak domestic leader. We also knew who he worked for when he irrelevantly rejected campaign spending limits and raked in more cash then he could use, right after he had just proven in the primaries that no matter how much he spent, he could not produce votes in proportion, he proved that votes were delinked from the seemingly infinite paid and free media he got.

    "More and better?" How about "some," "real," or "traditional?"


    He Dreams Of Reagan (none / 0) (#107)
    by norris morris on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 08:43:52 PM EST
    Actually this behavior of Obama comes as no surprise.

    He openly admired reagan and praised Mr. President Of No regulation repeatedly, especially when in Nevada and the western states. Obama is a political opportunist who is being handled badly.

    The Dalai Lama has just commented on the bad advice he's getting. When someine is adored in advance as "The One" it leaves little for them to do but coast.

    This isn't to say that Obama shouldn't be keeping his promises, but hey, he's loved unconditionally and there is no accountability under these circumstances.

    His blue sky change has morphed very quickly into a conservative right center compromiser who wants to be known as "bi-partisan".

    It's all a bad joke, a wet dream, but we're in it.

    Obama is just simply a disappointment. He's reneged.


    Yeah nothings easier (none / 0) (#109)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:02:34 PM EST
    than going against the grain to try terrorist in NY, to attempt to close Gitmo, etc. Obama's made mistakes no doubt, he's attempted and failed to build consensus on Healthcare and comprimised to much on the stimulus-- however, to pretend that any of these things were unforseeable is wrong- Obama, ran as a consensus builder and he's tried to govern as one- this despite the fact that doing so makes him a "radical socialist" to the right and a "political opportunist" to the left (seriously, an "opportunist" you mean like every President other than Washington- wow, what a shock-- here's a hint no one puts themself through the scrutiny and stress of running for the position if they aren't at least a bit of an opportunist).

    I love "attempt to close Gitmo" (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:31:39 PM EST
    I mean, sure, Obama's only the President, so I think it's only right to lower the baseline for him as much as possible.

    Hey, here's an idea! Could we go more meta? Like give him credit for "attempting to attempt to close Gitmo"? How does that sound?


    And, they know it..... (none / 0) (#12)
    by Inspector Gadget on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:49:55 AM EST
    "it's not a dysfuctional system, it's a dysfunctional party." I agree, at least in the Senate.

    Got a letter from the Senator who has the misfortune of having to campaign next year (the one of the two D Senators we have and should want to keep). She has spelled out the challenges all the D's are going to face next year in trying to keep their places in the warm, housed, six-digit salaried, healthcare secured seats they enjoy.

    The campaign trail should be a fascinating walk next year. I don't envy the D's who have to get out there and explain themselves.


    Post Title Could Read (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by samsguy18 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:20:45 AM EST
    "Village Idiots"

    What are we - California? (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Fabian on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:29:52 AM EST
    Now there is a state with problems, that at least one person has called "ungovernable".

    But a Democratic White House with a Democratic Senate and a Democratic House is ungovernable?  

    Methinks they should save that judgment for 2011, when they can at least blame the GOP for a good chunk of the problem.  

    Thatk GOD (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by coigue on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:31:34 AM EST
    The US has no proposition system. Shudder.

    What's "ungovernable" (none / 0) (#87)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:39:49 PM EST
    is a political system where there are 5 healthcare lobbyists alone per member of Congress and the industry interests these and other lobbyists represent make major political contributions to both parties.  I.e., public policy has been bought off by industry.  In addition to the ungovernable, you have the media reinforcing the disinformation, i.e., political "spin" of industry-supported politicians and the powerful lobbies promoted by the media.  

    I never thought I would become so cynical, but the fact that despite all the disinformation, overwhelming majorities favor, among other things, (i) real healthcare reform with a meaningful public option, and (ii) higher taxes on the wealthy rather than a tax on healthcare insurance, etc., and the Dems can't seem to stop conciliating industry and anti-government, anti-saftey net Repuglicans, have made me this way.  

    At least I had hoped that once Obama became President, competence would be restored to routine matters of government.  But various developments leave me wondering even about this.  For example, while the Admin is urging us to support the build-up of troops in Afghanistan and the major additional costs of same as necessary to assuring the security of Americans, this week there was a major leak of detailed, classified information on TSA methods of keeping air traffic safe.  



    The nice thing about (none / 0) (#97)
    by robotalk on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:41:14 PM EST
    California is if the populace thinks the state is ungovernable, they can make it governable again.

    Can the populace protect itself from itself is the question of California.


    So (5.00 / 9) (#9)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 09:37:11 AM EST
    The country is ungovernable....but is it too big to fail? LOL.

    Could be.... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by coigue on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:32:48 AM EST
    I mean, how do we make both Vermont and Wyoming happy?

    Heh! (none / 0) (#77)
    by gyrfalcon on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:12:16 PM EST
    Aux barricades mes journalistes! (5.00 / 5) (#20)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 10:34:57 AM EST
    Defend your inflated salary structure!

    Wow, that was a huge load of B.S. (5.00 / 5) (#31)
    by Militarytracy on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:19:34 AM EST
    What's wrong with the country?  It is inhabited by people who vote for teams now and nothing gets past the sound bite or the knee jerk or the hopey changey.  There is no actual informed debate that takes place that the people could witness let alone take part in or learn from. And Ezra and Matt have done nothing much outside of contribute to that problem!  They think they have become some sort of "evolved" intellectuals who now spend most of their time writing pretty prose about how to best swallow the next round of pathetic sold out legislation.  There is no evolving away from the debate, this country IS debate....it is debate that eventually gets to what is effective in dealing with any problem or solution we must come to and it is nothing greater than or smaller than that no matter how big your I.Q. gets.

    Give me your ungovernable masses (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by ruffian on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:56:48 AM EST
    yearning to breathe free.


    I admit it must be very hard to please the corporate masters and the everyday people at the same time. Maybe he should just forget about the former group and concentrate on the latter for once.

    A great idea, especially since more people (none / 0) (#38)
    by hairspray on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 12:19:14 PM EST
    are now independents.  Unfortunately our rigid two party system is structured to keep independents out.  Until the independents no longer act as "spoilers" as Nader did in Florida
    nothing will change.  How to fix it?  Try instant runoff voting, ranked choice voting or proportional representation.  It works.

    Ungovernable (5.00 / 5) (#55)
    by Pacific John on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:03:56 PM EST
    And yet public opinion polls consistently show overwhelming support for things DC considers unserious, like open access to public health insurance, broadly expanded financial access to college, ending NCLB, legalizing civil unions, muscular regulation of corporations and insurances...

    Sooner or later a political party will decide to organize around issues that have sensible, broad consensus, rather than around social hot buttons that serve as a screen for the work of large campaign donors. It probably won't happen soon, but when it does, it will obsolete at least one of the legacy parties.

    And when it does, can someone figure out how to hang enough responsibility on Ezra and Matt so they are unemployable in the punditry racket?

    I believe the phrase is (none / 0) (#72)
    by robotalk on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:14:17 PM EST
    physician, heal thyself.

    Public Support is just moronic though (none / 0) (#96)
    by Socraticsilence on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 06:17:25 PM EST
    They support benefit expanison yet almost always oppose increased taxes.

    The irony (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by robotalk on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:12:18 PM EST
    the government by and thru its beltway operatives call the country ungovernable.  Gee, I wonder why.

    What's more frightening... (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:15:01 PM EST
    ... is what Versailles would do to make the country "governable."

    That the Dems are not governing (5.00 / 2) (#81)
    by Cream City on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:39:41 PM EST
    does not make the country ungovernable.

    But keep up that kind of whining, and the bums will be booted out for others who actually want to govern -- again, goddess help us all.

    Sure the Dems are governing (none / 0) (#114)
    by lambert on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 11:33:04 PM EST
    They're just governing in a way that has nothing to do with accountability to the electorate.

    Actually (none / 0) (#62)
    by TheRealFrank on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 01:23:27 PM EST
    He has a point. The Senate, with its ridiculous cloture rules, works as long as the opposition party is at least somewhat interested in moving things along.

    If they are hellbent on blocking at every turn, as the Republicans are right now, then it becomes virtually impossible to do anything. Right now, it is at least conceivable to break a filibuster, but you end up with a very slow process and bills so watered down that there doesn't seem to be much of a point.

    Imagine what will happen after the 2010 elections. I'm guessing there will still be a Dem majority, but it will be small (52 seats, maybe). Meaning that while now, some things can get done (although in a ridiculously watered down way), in that situation nothing will get done at all.

    You can't use reconciliation for everything.

    The Republicans were right when they threatened to blow up the filibuster a few years ago. As it is now, the Senate is useless because of the tyranny of the minority.

    I addressed that point (5.00 / 3) (#67)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:07:11 PM EST
    in another post - The World's Worst "Greatest Deliberative Body".

    Indeed, I addressed that point for 3 years - in my commentary on the Post Partisan Unity Schtick.

    Whining about it does no one any good. You govern in a manner that is most effective given the circumstances.

    To excuse Obama's tactical mistakes because of problems that have existed for at least 20 years is Obamabot Apologia.

    This is not a surprise to anyone who was paying attention.


    I'd hazard a guess... (none / 0) (#75)
    by Salo on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 02:40:42 PM EST
    ...that most of the Blue-dogs could be pushed in the same way that Tiger was pushed.  There must be scandals that these "moderate" slimebags have been involved in that Obama can use as blackmail.

    That's hardcore politics but the lack of scandal not plaguing the obstructionists makes me wonder what Obama/Rahm etc are really up to.


    I addressed it as well, BTD, in the thread (none / 0) (#76)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:09:33 PM EST

    I think I should change my username here to Wamba.


    the above is probably too obscured (none / 0) (#78)
    by jeffinalabama on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 03:12:44 PM EST
    Wamba from Ivanhoe.

    Add to that (none / 0) (#88)
    by BackFromOhio on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:43:34 PM EST
    BTD, your many posts explaining how the Dems could use reconciliation to achieve, inter alia, a real healthcare bill.

    Goes under the heading (5.00 / 1) (#89)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Sat Dec 12, 2009 at 04:47:48 PM EST
    "You govern in a manner that is most effective given the circumstances."

    You govern (none / 0) (#119)
    by jbindc on Sun Dec 13, 2009 at 07:53:33 AM EST
    with the Congress and Administration you have, not the one you could hope for (to paraphrase Rumsfield).

    Oh please (none / 0) (#123)
    by DancingOpossum on Mon Dec 14, 2009 at 09:36:00 AM EST
    This is not a show of force or occupation.

    Right. I'm sure the Pakistanis and Afghanis looking at the blasted, mangled bodies of their loved ones, the ruins of their home, the threat of death at every corner, the heavily armed, menacing hordes of foreigners traversing their homeland and their farms as if they owned it, the homelessness, the hunger, the despair...

    No NO NO, it's not an occupation, I tell you! Not a show of force! Really and honestly! Those guys blowing up your children and destroying your home are really nice, seriously they are such nice guys, they are sacrificing for their country! And anyway, they won't be here all THAT long...only a year or two.

    Dear God, the lies we accept when they come wrapped in a flag.

    Obama promised during this campaign to escalate the war in Afghanistan and also hunt for Al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan is the Pakistani government did not do so. He is fulfilling his campaign promise with the escalation.

    In other words: "But Obama promised he would kill and maim thousands of civilians and increase our deadly imperialistic reach! He promised he'd be a murdering, rapacious thug just like Bush, and by golly he is!"

    Well, you're right about that.