Obama At His Best

I have not seen it (Transcript here), but the universal reports are that President Obama owned the GOP Caucus in his "Question Time" turn today. Much of it apparently was televised on cable television (Fox News cut away quickly.) Politico reports:

Republicans invited Obama to appear at their annual conference; the president surprised them by accepting – and then by asking that cameras and reporters be allowed into the room. Republicans immediately agreed to the request, but they may be regretting it now. Obama was clearly energized by the exchange – and again and again, he turned the Republicans questions against the GOP, accusing the party of obstructing legislation for political purposes and offering solutions that won’t work.

If politics actually worked this way, Dems would win every time. And Obama would be our FDR. But it doesn't. Do not expect the GOP to ever make this mistake again.

Speaking for me only

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    Yeah I was just reading (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by lilburro on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:14:59 PM EST
    the TPM account and I completely agree.  I was very impressed by his performance.  If that's what bipartisanship means, then keep it up.

    Of course it's almost sad that he IS good at this, but it's only coming out at this point in the healthcare debate.

    Intersting (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:19:00 PM EST
    I'm going to have to catch this video.

    Too bad it was on Friday.

    Find it somehow (5.00 / 5) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:14:55 PM EST
    I think you'd find it really fascinating.  I'm still digesting it, but I was riveted, and frankly, dazzled-- against my wishes!

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#115)
    by Faust on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:19:17 PM EST
    I guess I'm going to have to watch this then.

    C-span is re-airing at 8 tonight and (none / 0) (#31)
    by Joan in VA on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:03:09 PM EST
    probably again sometime over the weekend.

    Huffpo also (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:31:46 PM EST
    has a link supposedly to the complete video I think in the Sam Stein article about it.

    I'd like to see this too (none / 0) (#87)
    by mexboy on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:09:06 PM EST
    but I will not give Huffo a click, ever again! They deleted all my posts during the primary, but kept me as a member. At least the orange ones kept my posts.

    The money quote (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Manuel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:30:39 PM EST
    ... I think, of our political climate right now is that, compared to other countries, the differences between the two major parties on most issues is not as big as it's represented.

    Obama really believes this (and governs accordingly).  This is what many Obama admirers and detractors fail to realize.

    Other critics do realize this.  My view is that small differences can have a huge impact (particulalrly over time).

    he admitted his health plan is Republican centrist (5.00 / 5) (#18)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:45:23 PM EST
    I only saw snippets, but I'm quite sure he said something like this: that Republicans shouldn't be opposing his health insurance plan because it's centrist and it contains ideas that Republicans raised to counter Bill Clinton's plans!  Clever comment in the setting, BUT substantively, isn't this essentially the reason that he has angered and disappointed some elements in his own Democratic party?  Yup, we heard it from the Prez himself: it's republican health care he's serving up!

    I'm all for Obama gaining his footing as a (5.00 / 10) (#23)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:57:06 PM EST
    leader, but I want him to gain Democratic footing, and not Ronald Reagan footing.

    Okay, so I can almost hear the usual suspects telling me that I will just never be satisfied with Obama, but I think it makes no sense to be pleased about a new Obama resolve if the result of it is that the issues I care about have even less of a chance of being dealt with in line with traditional Democratic ideals than they did before Obama's spine stiffened.

    If his message to the GOP is, "see all these things I'm doing your way - please vote for them" as opposed to "elections have consequences and if you can't do these things with us, we will do them without you," what, exactly does that get us?

    I don't think the GOP is going to see it quite the way Obama does - there isn't much in it, really, for them to be agreeable, and maybe it works better for Dems if, the more Obama moves to the right, the farther the GOP moves to the right, too.


    When (5.00 / 7) (#27)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:59:35 PM EST
    Obama evokes Reagan, as he did at the SOTU, it really makes my skin crawl.

    to change their image to capture the trust of the people in the wake of the MA election.

    It was the first time his voice/speaking style didn't grate on my nerves. Now, if he would start giving his speeches to the country in that calm, conversational style, with a command of the issues, while fighting for Democratic legislation, I'll become a supporter.


    There was more than the (5.00 / 5) (#47)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:34:07 PM EST
    "bipartisan" talk....There was the policy talk--I'd agree with you guys but your ideas are "boilerplate" political statement without "detail" or ideas that don't work.....

    He skewered them--but very nicely......

    You guys went to ribbon cuttings for projects in the stimulus you voted against.....


    MKS, I said I thought he did a great job. (4.33 / 6) (#56)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:54:24 PM EST
    Now, you are doing an epic fail yet again with your pathetic misinterpretation of folks here. The political variables are more than 1 "likes/loves Obama" and 2 "dislikes/hates Obama." You need to learn that people here have LEGITIMATE concerns and criticisms. I don't know whom you listen to, nor do I really care. I don't know where you are, how old you are, whether you have voted for every democrat since FDR, or whether you were a closet fascist until Obama "showeed you the light."

    I will tell you this much, you are boring. you make ad hominem attacks, but then you decry them, or accuse others of making them. You lambast long term liberals, yet promote Obama's liberalism (which is centrist-right, or centrist republican, in many ways).

    Hell, you are a propagandist, even though you excoriate propaganda. I wash my hands of even wasting more electrons on you.

    you are an epic fail. good night.


    You misread my post (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:08:34 PM EST
    I was not addressing you at all....

    I was paraphrasing Obama's words to the Republicans....

    You are too quick on the draw here....


    I did not put (none / 0) (#65)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:14:16 PM EST
    the "you guys" in quotes because it was a paraphrase--as contrasted with the word "boilerplate" which was a direct quote from Obama.

    Given how the converstion went in the last thread, I could see how you could take it the way that you did...I was quite frankly surprised that it created the reaction that it did....its intent was quite different....


    Epic fail? (5.00 / 3) (#124)
    by Thanin on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:49:02 PM EST
    What are you, twelve?  Go back to world of warcraft with that.  By the way, attacking ad hominem attacks with ad hominem attacks, hilarious.

    Say what? (none / 0) (#61)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:02:27 PM EST
    "You guys"?

    I was paraphrasing Obama (5.00 / 2) (#63)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:07:16 PM EST
    Obama said to the Republicans that: you guys went to ribbon cuttings for projects in the stimulus that you voted against.

    I wasn't talking about anyone here.....

    "You guys" were the Republicans....


    quotation marks, please! (5.00 / 0) (#66)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:16:17 PM EST
    I reserve what I posted earlier. I won't take it back, but feel free to put it in the area of 'responses to possibly misunderstood posts.'

    I explain the quotation marks issue above (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:28:54 PM EST
    Won't take it back.....Sheesh....

    That is a problem around here....


    In other words, I still think you are (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:38:08 PM EST
    a propagandist for Obama based on your posts. I won't take that back.

    You prove my point (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:01:33 PM EST
    Take your time. (none / 0) (#93)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:26:08 PM EST
    draw references.

    Make your point.

    Enlighten me. when I am demonstrated to be incorrect, I admit it. but not from a comment such as 'you make my point.'

    The ball's in your court. What point are you trying to make that I make for you?



    It is simply not productive (none / 0) (#94)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:32:44 PM EST
    at this point.....To explain would only aggravate....

    never too late to seek (5.00 / 0) (#95)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:35:46 PM EST
    or to offer understanding.

    You sound like Obama (5.00 / 0) (#98)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:41:41 PM EST
    understanding isn't either (none / 0) (#101)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:54:35 PM EST

    ugh, "understanding isn't either (none / 0) (#102)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:55:50 PM EST
    agreement or concensus.

    damn the preview-post dichotomy.



    Yeah (5.00 / 2) (#123)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:43:37 PM EST
    You're raining on the lets-pretend-the-Clintons-are-leftists party.

    We make the rules around here now.


    Wev... (none / 0) (#132)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:18:03 PM EST
    Resolute, steadfast and unswerving (none / 0) (#146)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:45:46 PM EST
    a once and future king. In exile.

    Who could never seem to "lead" or inspire the citizenry to add a few more necessary Democratic seats to congress.


    Major problem being (none / 0) (#82)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:01:11 PM EST
    you were assuming all the folks opining on what he said had actually seen or read what he said already and would recognize you were quoting/paraphrasing his words.

    You lose. :-)


    I don't see (5.00 / 1) (#113)
    by call me Ishmael on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:07:03 PM EST
    how this follows--since the comment treated going to ribbon-cutting ceremonies the same way as the "you guys" it seemed pretty clear that s/he was paraphrasing Obama.  

    Apparently so (none / 0) (#91)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:15:02 PM EST
    Well, at least I clarified it...

    I have no problems insulting Republicans but I'm not really trying to do that to progressives....

    It does frustrate the dickens out of me that too many progressives see Obama as a greater problem than Republicans....I have no reason to discuss anything with conservatives--no hope there....


    Good job. (none / 0) (#104)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:07:35 PM EST
    You are insulting progressives without really trying.

    Talking past each other (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:44:46 PM EST
    I've been in 'bad relationships' that didnt have as much talking past each as what goes on at this site.

    What I Heard (5.00 / 2) (#111)
    by daring grace on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:01:11 PM EST
    Obama saying at this particular event was different than the possibilities you mention.

    I didn't hear him saying  "see all these things I'm doing your way - please vote for them". I heard him calling the Repubs out for voting against his agenda and then taking credit for the benefits of it back in their districts. I heard him telling them to put up their own workable solutions or stop obstructing the ones he proposes.

    You're right. In a practical sense, he isn't about to win Repubs over. I don't think that's what this was about. I think it was more about exposing them as the obstructionist cabal they are.

    I think this is another salvo in the battle to win the public perception that he and the Dems are the ones trying to solve our serious problems and the Repubs are all about playing fiddling-while-Rome- burns political games.

    How useful is this? (shrug) It's one outing. Maybe not much. But it builds on the momentum he has coming out of the SOTUS.

    Whether he and congressional Dems take this anywhere productive, well...


    Republicans seem to like it (none / 0) (#136)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:38:34 AM EST
    I heard a couple of them on the news who were pleased with what Obama said today.  They seemed very happy.  ugh.  Doesn't seem like a good sign.  

    Smart Republicans (none / 0) (#141)
    by daring grace on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 09:12:59 AM EST
    I know...what a concept, right?!

    When the prevailing public/media reaction to Obama's performance at this retreat is positive and approving, acting like that's the way you want things to go can only enhance your own public image: "Hey, I'm no obstructor! I'm just glad the POTUS finally met us halfway like he said he would!"

    These ARE people up for reelection in November. Depending on their districts, and the amount of indie support they need, this is good strategy.

    UNLESS...they're in a really red place and then...uh oh...watch 'em walk it back like all the momentarily big, brave Limbaugh critics who turn tail and ultimately apologize.


    Obama's political inclinations declared (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:58:04 PM EST
    The only bills that I voted for, for the most part, uh, since I've been in the Senate were introduced by Republicans or George Bush.


    This quote is at 2:17


    I wonder how many (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:20:58 PM EST
    Democratic bills actually came up for a vote while he was in the Senate--when he was first there, the Democrats had only 45 seats....

    It could be a throwaway line......


    Oh I see. (5.00 / 1) (#103)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:04:12 PM EST
    Obama didn't mean what he said.
    He just said something about his voting record that he didn't mean.
    He just threw a line out there.
    I see.

    Um no. (none / 0) (#134)
    by dainla on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:00:22 AM EST
    It was an example to them.  In other words, "you can vote for the other guys bills when you are not in power."

    Not exactly brain surgery.  That was the point he drove home minute after minute.


    Alternative (none / 0) (#148)
    by lentinel on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 06:19:34 PM EST
    He could have voted against the republican/Bush bills - such as FISA and the renewal of the Patriot Act.

    Instead, he voted for them.
    And then trumpeted the fact in order to shore up his support with the cretins on the right.


    Noholib, you hit the nail on the head... (5.00 / 1) (#116)
    by FoxholeAtheist on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:34:28 PM EST
    I was watching the Q & A between Obama and the GOP and was totally amazed by how comfortable and cogent he seemed to be. I was impressed, but then I was totally floored when he came right out and likened the Dems current health plan to centrist Republican health plans from the Clinton era:
    "[the current health plan] is pretty centrist...if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say this is actually what many Republicans...it's similar to what many Republicans proposed to Bill Clinton when he was doing his debate on health care".

    It seems Obama is implying that, at this point in time, the GOP is opposing the plan because they have become more intractable than they were in the 1990s. That's debatable. Perhaps it's more relevant that Bill Clinton provided resolute, steadfast leadership on his health care proposals and thereby compelled the GOP to take a more centrist position on the issue - despite the fact that the Dems had a minority in both the House and the Senate.

    If Obama had taken a similarly strong leadership position on behalf of universal health care, single payer, Medicare for all, the public option, etc., he would have had something to bargain with. If he had set the bar at the highest level - with a Democratic super majority in Congress - he might have had a shot had pulling the Republicans somewhat toward the left of center.


    to FoxholeAtheist: If Obama had taken ... (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:32:37 PM EST
    You're absolutely right.  You can't move the center leftwards if you refuse to articulate anything that appears to be outside the already-existing center, or what is conventionally understood as the center.
    I made my first comment after hearing only a snippet. Now that I've seen it all, I agree: "comfortable and cogent." I noted his comfort and commitment in my comment much later in the thread.  

    As for the huge "if only ..." in your last paragraph:  
    I don't forgive him for not allowing single payer to be discussed while he was so busy getting the opponents of meaningful health care reform to the table so he could sign deals with them which he thought ensured success ...
    Excessive pragmatism, inexperience, naivete, hubris -- I don't know how to assign the proper proportions -- but he has not shown much leadership on the health care issue except for putting it on at the top of the agenda.  Rep. John Conyers came to our small city last year and claimed that Obama really believes in single payer and is working toward it incrementally, but that his "evil advisors" are dissuading him from it; I told him I didn't buy that, that rather I never sensed that Obama was committed to single-payer or that if he ever was, I had no confidence that he'd stick to it.  
    So here we are ... I am disappointed overall, but I think he helped himself politically today with this performance of Daniel in the Lions den.


    And (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by cal1942 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:51:46 PM EST
    not just angering his own base but the American people as well who seem to want heavy government participation in health care including a STRONG public option.

    RCP caught it too (none / 0) (#144)
    by jbindc on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 11:37:04 AM EST
    Real Clear Politics blog

    From Obama's speech

    The last thing I will say, though -- let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we've presented -- and there's some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge. [emphasis added]

    Obama Admitted He Violated Trust IN HC Bill (none / 0) (#154)
    by norris morris on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 06:30:48 PM EST
    Hasn't anyone listened? Obama said in his Repub meetup that inspite of having pledged that all americans could keep the insurance they liked, somehow he said, it just "sneaked" in that all would have to buy into his healthcare. He said "somehow a lot of little things got sneaked in" by Democrats and lobbyists.

    I find Obama totally inept and opaque on this entire Healthcare fiasco and his lack of leadership and transparency has led to this sorry state of affairs.

      We all knew he wasn't leading or controlling the debate, and wasn't honest about breaking his word and standing by while everyone carved it up and he did nothing. Few people really understand the public option or the details of this jig- sawed bill.

    Isn't it time the Vilagers started being relistic?


    You only heard the bipartisan talk (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:38:04 PM EST
    What Obama did today was very effective....

    You have to sound reasonable to the center to gain credibility...so saying you're for bipartisanship while destroying
    GOP talking points.....very effective.  

    You are ignoring the substance of what he said on policy.....


    I've been doing nothing but (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by Manuel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:49:46 PM EST
    listening to bipartisan talk (ever since the campaign).  I think Obama sincerely welcomes ideas from people whose political philosophy differs from his own.  And I don't think he is being disingenuous when he minimizes the differences between the two major parties.  Compared to most other countries, they are small indeed.

    On policy, his ideas are quite centrist.  No public option? Charter Schools?  National Security?  He has taken Republican ideas in each of those cases.

    Part of what made him effective today is that he has followed through on bipartisan cooperation.  He exposed the Republicans for the hypocrisy of their recent political actions and gave lie to their claims that he is a socialist or even a far left Democrat.


    He's always been a centrist (none / 0) (#135)
    by dainla on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 12:03:06 AM EST
    But his talk today made me wonder if this is all part of a bigger plan.  During the election, Obama would get battered, then come out with a moment like this and it would change everything.  This seemed very familiar.

    So, if he attempted to meet the Republicans halfway and they still obstructed, he could call them out on it, drag it into the light and force them to the left.

    It's possible.  Who knows?


    The republicans liked it (none / 0) (#137)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:41:39 AM EST
    They seemed very happy with what he said.  Maybe those were just the ones I heard on the radio news.  

    Great! maybe they will make it a regular event (none / 0) (#145)
    by ruffian on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:35:37 PM EST
    Allthough they are that stupid (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:33:16 PM EST
    So you never know.  One can always hope. Perhaps Obama has begun to find his brass balls.  I'd help polish them if I thought they were brass to stay.  

    Isn't (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:46:16 PM EST
    there some other way to refer to courage or integrity without referring to male genitalia?

    when it's a woman... (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by Dadler on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:14:55 PM EST
    ...i say brass tits. I'd say ovaries, but tits sounds more boom.

    Actually, (none / 0) (#126)
    by itscookin on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:34:33 PM EST
    either one is sexist and insulting to women.

    spine. (4.66 / 3) (#22)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:56:09 PM EST
    he showed spine. He was not as weak as water. He demonstrated 'intestinal fortitude.'

    Hell, I'm just glad he has improvised and adapted in this context.


    And all he had to do was have the facts (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:59:47 PM EST
    on hand, and tell the truth. It really should not take any fortitude.

    would you prefer (none / 0) (#29)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:01:46 PM EST
    I talk about brass balls? I was offering alternatives.

    Sorry, did not mean it that way. (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:04:02 PM EST
    If it took some spine, or balls, or whatever, then I'm glad he had it. I personally don't care what it is called.

    But I'm sorry simply telling the truth to these guys has to be an act of bravery.


    I should have interpreted it as (none / 0) (#33)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:09:52 PM EST
    you meant it, but misinterpreted. No harm, no foul, I hope.

    No foul! I can see where it was unclear! (none / 0) (#121)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:20:03 PM EST
    Elaborate, please. (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:23:40 PM EST
    Which "guys".
    What "truth"?

    Here's an example of what I meant (none / 0) (#120)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:19:24 PM EST
    On the HCR:
    Now, you may not agree with Bob Dole and Howard Baker and Tom -- and certainly you don't agree with Tom Daschle on much...


    ... but that's not a radical bunch. But if you were to listen to the debate, and, frankly, how some of you went after this bill, you'd think that this thing was some Bolshevik plot.


    No, I mean, that's how you guys -- that's how you guys presented it.


    And so I'm thinking to myself, "Well, how is it that a plan that is pretty centrist..."


    No, look, I mean, I'm just saying -- I know you guys disagree, but if you look at the facts of this bill, most independent observers would say this is actually what many Republicans -- it -- it's similar to what many Republicans proposed to Bill Clinton when he was doing his debate on health care.

    So all I'm saying is we've got to close the gap a little bit between the rhetoric and the reality.

    I'm not suggesting that we're going to agree on everything, whether it's on health care or energy or what have you, but if the way these issues are being presented by the Republicans is that this is some wild-eyed plot to impose huge government in every aspect of our lives, what happens is you guys then don't have a lot of room to negotiate with me.

    I mean, the fact of the matter is is that many of you, if you voted with the administration on something, are politically vulnerable in your own base, in your own party. You've given yourselves very little room to work in a bipartisan fashion because what you've been telling your constituents is, "This guy's doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America."

    I like to hear that said out loud. Regardless of my opinion of the HCR bill, there is a separate issue of the Republican misinformation about it, and everything else, which needs to be pointed out continually.

    Of course then he nearly spoiled it by going on to say that Dems demonize the other side too. Butthe overall impression was going int here and telling them that he is on to their game and is going to call attention to it. I hope he sticks with that.


    Ignoring and dancing (none / 0) (#105)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:08:39 PM EST
    around certain unsavory facts that are hand for everyone to see is a grand American poltical tradition.

    It's another one of those shouldnts that goes on constantly.

    Like that brazen clown who just said (as if they had nothing to do with it) "we didnt make this mess.."


    Very sharp (5.00 / 3) (#26)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:58:21 PM EST
    I liked the specific answers to all the charges, and the willingness to call a lie a lie.

    If the GOPers think they got a win by being able to get up there and state their talking points, then that's fine too.

    The chin... (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:39:39 PM EST
    ...what about the chin?  Did his voice grate?  What kind of collar did he wear?  Was Michelle there and did she have short sleeves?  Did he call anyone bitter?


    And how could he (4.00 / 4) (#67)
    by IndiDemGirl on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:16:42 PM EST
    answer all those questions without his teleprompter?!!

    Any hope that the constant harping from some about the teleprompter will stop now?


    I just read the transcript (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:46:09 PM EST
    More PPUS. It might be good politics, but it's not the politics of contrast. Not my cup of tea really.

    Do you think it might be a beginning? (5.00 / 0) (#57)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:56:51 PM EST
    My hope is that going into the adversary camp and confronting them might lead to the yeast of leadership being activated.

    I hope his sucess will give him (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by hairspray on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:54:37 PM EST
    the spine to take them on.  The GOP are bullies and with Obama playing "Mr. Nice guy" they took advantage of him.  If this is his wake-up call, then I say Go...Get them!  The bullies only understand overt shows of strength.

    Can't argue with anything you said. (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:56:39 PM EST
    I share your hopes and opinion.

    In a word-- no (5.00 / 0) (#88)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:09:08 PM EST
    His idea of "leadership" is just totally different from yours and mine.  Keep reminding yourself he views "leadership" as facilitation, not as actually getting out in front and directing the specific order of march.

    facilitator or SLOTUS? (5.00 / 0) (#100)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:46:45 PM EST
    Having seen POTUS (President of the U.S) and SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the U.S.) so often now on blogs, I've been thinking these last few days of SLOTUS -- Seminar Leader of the U.S.

    Don't get me wrong. I think being a good seminar leader is a great accomplishment.  I'm just not sure it's the most effective mode of political leadership! I can't resist: maybe SLOTUS is too slow for this country :).

    That being said, I do value having an intelligent,  rational, deliberative, calm, well-spoken person as President. Talk is very good if you explain positions clearly, advocate forcefully for good policies, and persuade others.  Sometimes, however, to be an effective leader, it's also necessary to be a bully in the bully-pulpit, twist arms, and apply pressure in some of the ways mastered by LBJ.


    You need to watch it, Andgarden (5.00 / 4) (#86)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:07:34 PM EST
    A great deal of what he said on policy per se ain't my cup of tea, either.  But then it never has been.

    This was pretty darn masterful in terms of defending and standing on his approach to doing this stuff-- and in the attempt to reason and shame the few rational GOPers into cooperating once in a while, while showing up the rest of them for the ridiculous hypocritial a**holes that they are.


    That is how I see it too (5.00 / 3) (#122)
    by ruffian on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    and likeed as much as you did. I have come to the conclusion that I just don't agree with him 100% on a lot of policy issues.

    But separate from that is the issue of the GOP misinformation campaign. That needs to be confronted head-on, and I am glad to see him doing that.


    I remain pretty wildly (5.00 / 2) (#133)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:20:01 PM EST
    ambivalent about him.  I VERY much like his basic foreign policy approach (yes, including Iraq and Afghanistan generally, with some caveats), but the domestic stuff is making me flat-out nuts.

    I guess I feel slightly-- very slightly-- better about it because I no longer think his domestic stuff is the result of either bad ideology or incoherence.  Convince him that X works better than Y, and he'd subscribe to it with no qualms.

    But this utter dependence, as i see it, on "experts" and advisers only highlights for me the consequences of electing somebody so astoundingly inexperienced.

    It's really a fascinating contrast with Bush.  Bush made his decisions on his famous "gut," which he interpreted as guidance from The Lord.  Obama doesn't have that or anything like it, like an ideology, so he goes almost completely 180 and pursues only "what works"-- which would be admirable if he had trust in different experts and advisers or enough of his own experience to sort through the policy weeds himself.

    The question then in my mind is how he came to choose and depend on this particular set of "experts."  No idea what the answer is to that, but it seems to me ultimately the key for historians/psychoanalysts to try to figure out somewhere down the road.

    But within that context, what he did today with the GOPers was awesome, just an incredible display of rationalism and supreme self-confidence.  That's how he sees himself, and he has no microspeck of doubt, far as I can see.


    So, he's learning? (none / 0) (#138)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:47:06 AM EST
    It is very clear that he listens (none / 0) (#147)
    by Politalkix on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 03:54:40 PM EST
    to different experts on all domestic issues and then taps into his knowledge and common sense to make decisions. I really have not seen the effects of what you allege is his "inexperience". Every President encounters bumps during their Presidency; if you ask me, he has had a smoother Presidency so far than President Clinton did (I brought President Clinton's name up because I know that you think he was a good President and was experienced to take the job).

    I don't think it's at all clear (none / 0) (#151)
    by gyrfalcon on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 09:28:03 AM EST
    that he listens to "different experts" in the sense that he really listens to people with different approaches.  Second, he doesn't have any experience in complicated systemic issues like the structure of the health care system in the U.S. (and the rest of the world.)  Third, "common sense" is useless as a guide through this kind of morass.  (And "common sense" would tell you the way to go is single-payer, frankly.)

    Yes, I do admire Bill Clinton as a person, but there aren't very many points of comparison between the two presidencies.  So it's not about how smooth or how rocky the presidencies per se have been.

    My point is that Obama seems to me a very different kind of person with a different modus operandi on policy considerations than either Bill Clinton or any other president in my lifetime, maybe ever.

    Succeed or fail, I'm certainly more comfortable with the Bill Clinton type-- guided by a mature ideology and fascinated by the nitty-gritty details of policy-- because I can see where he's coming from and where he's likely to go, and his goals are/were ones I generally approve of very much.  Not so with Obama.  I have to study his favored "experts" to figure that out, and those I'm familiar with, like Gruber, I very much do not approve of.


    Not really (none / 0) (#153)
    by Politalkix on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 11:03:33 AM EST
    Let me make a few points
    (1)It is a fact that conditions when Obama became President were significanty more difficult than when Bill Clinton became President.
    Bill Clinton became President soon after the Cold War had ended (peace time), he had an opportunity to tap and commercialize a lot of research investments that had been made during the cold war years.
    If Obama's term has been smoother than that of Bill Clinton Presidency so far, it is even more testimony to Obama's preparedness for the job.
    (2)I have seen a lot of comments in TL regarding how good the health care systems in other countries are. Missing from those comments is an acknowledgement that all these countries have 10 to 50 times less people, the populations are more culturally and economically homogeneous than what we have in our country and the politica history of all these countries. A little "common sense" in understanding these differences as well as more "common sense" understanding about how complicated it is to totally dismantle an existing structure (that even the majority of doctors prefer)to start afresh would have helped the debate here.
    (3)Most people who spent their adult formative years in the tech industry will readily acknowledge that the kind of "experience" you value so much is useful to a point but a "hindrance" beyond that. Please remember that companies like Google, Microsoft, Apple, HP, etc were founded by people who were not very "experienced" in the way you define experience.
    (4) The notion that Bill Clinton types were guided by a "mature ideology and fascinated by the nitty-gritty details of policy" is a myth. Bill Clinton, himself, did not care about any "mature ideology", he cared more strongly about "surviving" (unless you think surviving by any means is an ideology in itsef), if he needed Dick Morris to do that, he would do so. If he needed to giddily tell us about gutting company pensions plans and replacing them with portable 401K plans (because according to him, the average American worker would be changing 7 jobs in a career), he would do so. Paying attention to nitty-gritty details of policy do not lead to creating a housing bubble and technology off-shoring from the country, completely screwing up policies in Iraq, not being aware that India and Pakistan would be testing nuclear devices till they had already done so, etc.

    Fair enough (none / 0) (#110)
    by andgarden on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:58:31 PM EST
    With as disappointed and even (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by Militarytracy on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:06:06 PM EST
    betrayed I was watching the SOTU, count me pleased.  Now that was just about as authentic as you can get.

    The diarist mentions Obama (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by brodie on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 09:49:19 AM EST
    should be more like FDR, but Roosevelt never, to my knowledge, directly confronted either the Repubs or the "economic royalists" on their home turf.  Obama's going into  the enemy camp to take them on has more of a direct antecedent in JFK.  

    Twice in 1960, Kennedy went into the lion's den -- first at the Dem convention when he accepted the invitation of presidential candidate LBJ to debate him before the TX convention delegates, then in the fall when JFK famously appeared before a hostile group of conservative ministers to explain why his being a Catholic shouldn't disqualify him from being president.  

    On both occasions Kennedy came out clearly the victor.  As did Obama yesterday.

    That makes two major political victories for O in the past week.  Not a bad comeback for someone who was taking a terrible pounding on the ropes for most of the past few months.

    Well (4.70 / 10) (#20)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:52:55 PM EST
    If he was so great, why didn't he use any of that greatness to further REAL healthcare goals.

    So he can talk an inspiring talk.  We knew that already.  Where's the walk.

    5.7 GDP increase (none / 0) (#55)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:50:38 PM EST
    4th quarter 2009--a very big number.

    If history is any quide, the employment numbers will follow.


    Numbers are not expected to hold, (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by Anne on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:26:10 PM EST
    or so I've read in a number of places today.

    Good grief (none / 0) (#72)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:37:24 PM EST
    Every silver lining has a black cloud.

    Of course, a 5.7 rate of growth cannot hold....It is inflationary as h*ll....a couple of points higher puts you in the China category....

    If it drops to 3% that would be a good thing--good, manageable long term growth....

    It is a very good sign...If you go by history, we will turn the corner soon....I suppose we could experience something historically unprecedented, but all the signs appear to be good....


    Not according to the majority (none / 0) (#75)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:39:39 PM EST
    of analysts and economists... it's an inventory refill. I would rather it wasn't but it doesn't indicate a turn of the corner.

    Stripping away the inventory (none / 0) (#78)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:54:28 PM EST
    issue yields 2.2% growth up from the 3rd quarter.

    Here is the blurb:

    But even stripping out inventories, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, accelerating from the 1.5 percent increase in the third quarter, reflecting relatively strong performance from other segments of the economy.

    2.2 percent, if sustainable, (none / 0) (#81)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:58:05 PM EST
    beats recession.

    but it isn't a recovery, either. (none / 0) (#90)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:14:08 PM EST
    Forgot to add that part.

    NO WAY! (4.25 / 4) (#97)
    by pluege on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:40:06 PM EST
    And Obama would be our FDR.

    what is it about obama that makes left leaning folk lose their heads and project progressive values onto someone who clearly, clearly does not possess progressive values?

    obama is a center-right, insider wannabe. He would be promoting nearly the identical corportist agenda no matter how Congress acted.

    I just watched the whole thing (4.20 / 5) (#37)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:22:46 PM EST
    Very interesting.  Lots of we can work together stuff, classic Obama....

    Good on details--"I've read your bill and know what is in it...but there are two problems with it...."

    Very good on push back on policy....Portability across state lines is okay if you have a floor on consumer protection....(which the GOP doesn't--that is the point abour portability.)

     A couple of questioners tried to get in his face and for one Texas Congressman, he will not be showing the clip come election time:  Obama telling him his long-winded question was part of the problem and just a campain speech of talking points....and then addressing the points one by one.

    At one point he said the GOP alternatives, I think he said this in response to Marsh Blackburn, were often just so much "boilerplate" (his exact word there) political documents that promised results that could not be verified by credible economists....

    He was nice, smiled, and said let's all just get along, while puncturing GOP talking point after talking point.

    I agree, the GOP will never let this happen again.  So much for Obama can't speak without a teleprompter.  

    I watched it all (2.33 / 3) (#17)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:37:23 PM EST
    Typical Obama. "Aint my fault" was his chief theme.

    The Demos will love it, no one else will be impressed.

    Tweety made a good point (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:44:50 PM EST
    last night....the first one in a while.

    With Hoover, you had not only the crash but but 4 years of GOP flailing around in power before FDR took over....

    In this case, the Republicans crashed the system with their economic policies of tax cuts for the rich and deregulation--and then skipped town before the all the chickens came home to roost....

    Blame should be on the Republicans--their ideas caused this mess....

    But 5.7 is today's big number.....

    And Independents will love the bi-partisanship talk.   True, Republicans are a lost cause....so I don't care what they think....  


    If this is what Tweety said (none / 0) (#109)
    by BackFromOhio on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:25:43 PM EST
    he did not have all the facts straight, as the credit crisis hit before the Repubs left town. The Dems failed to make clear what had transpired until after the Repubs left, because, it seemed to me, to some extent the Dems were complicit -- at least by their silence all those years and their support for various measures.

    That is not what he said. (none / 0) (#77)
    by hairspray on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:50:18 PM EST
    He said that he inherited a huge deficit from his predecessor who in turn had inherited a sizable surplus.  You seem to have trouble with facts!

    If you'd read the diverse responces (none / 0) (#107)
    by jondee on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:19:00 PM EST
    here, you'd know that "the Demos" didnt all love it.

    We still havnt mastered that on-message anthill uniformity that you guys have down to a science.


    I was able to listen to a lot while (none / 0) (#1)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:05:28 PM EST
    at the doctors' this morning... he was masterful. I was wondering how he could be so strong here, after what I saw was a weak performance Thursday. IF they changed his breakfast to red meat, keep it up!

    Maybe it's just wishful thinking (none / 0) (#4)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:34:59 PM EST
    He called them out at the SOTU also. Maybe he's laying the ground work for using reconciliation of HCR?

    If that's the case he better make sure it comes out as a real Democratic bill. If we end up with the current one, a Democrat could find it hard to get elected as dog catcher.

    Not at all what he did here (5.00 / 7) (#11)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:27:52 PM EST
    He made a compelling (even to me...) case for bipartisanship-- or more precisely cooperation on things they agree on.

    But he also responded to several GOP complaints about "their ideas" not being considered by saying he had looked at them, had them looked at by various experts, and that the ideas simply won't work.  He laughed out loud at a GOP proposal on health care that they'd proclaimed would provide health coverage to everybody but not cost anything, for one example.

    So he said, by all means, bring me some ideas, but they have to be credible ones that "objective experts" on both sides can validate as effective and feasible.  Otherwise, the very strong implication was, "Don't even bother."

    I have to say this was the longest sustained burst of actual "straight talk" I've ever heard from any politician ever.

    He made a very compelling case for cooperation to any GOPer who has the slightest shred of integrity, and I assume there were a few in the room.  Whether any such thoughts in those GOPer minds will last or evaporate in minutes I have no idea.

    He pointed out time after time specifics that the entire GOP had voted against things he'd proposed or the Dems. had proposed despite the fact they were things the GOP themselves had asked for or advocated.

    He managed to be both entirely reasonable and utterly unbudgeable at the same time.  I'm still not sure how he did that.

    I think I heard the distinct sound of Boehner and Cantor grinding their teeth more and more as it went on.


    I hope your right (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:55:47 PM EST
    If Obama left the meeting thinking that he's converted any of them, he's going to be in for an even rougher second year.

    There is absolutely no advantage for the Republicans to work with Obama. They don't have to do well. All they have to do is make sure Obama and the Democrats do poorly. The public will blame the party in power.

    So far their strategy of obstruction seems to be working. They've won each of the highlighted elections against Democrats. And November is looking a lot brighter for them than I thought it would be a year ago.


    This wasn't about converting them (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by rdandrea on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:21:30 PM EST
    He got the best of them.

    He kicked some serious butt today.


    He actually addressed your point (5.00 / 4) (#58)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:57:45 PM EST
    He told them to their face that their campaign-style rhetoric put them in a box of never being able to compromise because their base would hold it against them.....

    He said that their rhetoric of Obama trying to destroy America was actually believed by many of their base--making compromise impossible....He basically said that the Republicans knew that they were telling lies for political effect....Gawd, that was masterfully done....Basically calling them liars in a very low key way.


    My question (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:18:51 PM EST
    would be what does "bipartisan" mean to Obama?

    Escalation of the war in Afghanistan.
    Renewal of the patriot act by the democratic congress.
    A healthcare bill that is a corporate bonanza. No public option.
    "Rendition" still in place.
    Indefinate detention of "suspects" without charge or trial.
    References to Christian religious beliefs to justify his opposition to gay marriage.
    Increased use of drones.

    So what is he talking about?

    If this is "bipartisan", who needs him?


    Elections have consequences (5.00 / 6) (#43)
    by mmc9431 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:28:44 PM EST
    I think what aggravates me the most on this whole bipartisan schtick is that for eight years we were constantly reminded by Republicans that elections have consequences. We were told, You lost get over it and shut up.

    The American public soundly rejected the Republican form of government. Democrats took the House the Senate and the WH.

    So why are we so worried about what the Republicans want? I already know what they want. They want us to fail.


    You ask... (5.00 / 4) (#59)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:58:42 PM EST
    So why are we so worried about what the Republicans want?

    The sad fact is that the current democracy party wants just about everything the republicans want.

    And nobody wants what I want...

    Single-payer. Everybody in. Nobody out.
    An immediate end to the wars.
    An end to the patriot act.
    Emphasis on renewable non-toxic energy sources.
    An end to increased use of nuclear power.
    An end to the push for "clean" coal.
    An end to the evocation of religion at political gatherings.

    That's for starters.


    reply to: lentinel (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:18:28 PM EST
    when are you running for office? :)

    Isn't that the nature of democracy? (5.00 / 2) (#127)
    by Realleft on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:49:39 PM EST
    You're not going to get all you want, even within a party that you may side with.  For the most part, those aren't centrist things, so any large group/party is going to be more centrist than the things you want, just statistically.  Just because you want them (I want most of those too) doesn't mean that enough others do to make it happen, and so you get some aspects of some things you want and keep advocating for your points.

    I think Obama is very much like Bill Clinton in his approach to civility, intellectual debate, and trying to make government work.  Neither is a slash-and-burn politician.  Both are brilliant.  In terms of positions, Clinton is more from a 60s ideology and Obama is more from an 80s ideology, but they have a similar approach in the idea that debates should be vigorous but with some civility and intellectual rigor and honesty.


    Best approach imo (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:02:33 PM EST
    Ignore the bipartisan talk and see what actually happens.....Most of you skeptics would agree, right?

    Every politician has to sound "bipartisan"--it is a pro forma pronouncement....What Obama did today was very clever--he showed that the Republicans were to blame for the lack of bipartisanship.

    This won't matter for the vast majority of American people....but it is a blueprint for Democratic politicians and officials and opinion makers to follow in opposing Republicans......

    Watch Republcians whine about how nasty Obama was....but most people will only hear Obama sounding reasonable....

    I have never seen Obama better.


    Yeah, (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:26:38 PM EST
    He told one congressman his proposal promising coverage for all at no additional cost was simply "not true."  Ouch.

    He said kumbaya stuff about getting along but didn't give an inch (at least that I could tell o policy.)


    his SOTU make-over (5.00 / 1) (#119)
    by noholib on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 09:13:13 PM EST
    Whatever the effect on the Republicans in the room,
    I think he sounded very good to the broader viewing public.  He seemed knowledgeable and reasonable, firm without being defensive, calm and good-natured, serious-minded but also humorous. He loves to say, "we've got to work in a better way here in Washington." He sounds committed and comfortable when he talks that way, and he comes across well when he does so. I think he demonstrated some of his more appealing aspects in this SOTU make-over. It should help his public image after the slide of the last while.
    P.S. I wish he'd have this as much commitment on some particular issues, and not just for the cause of "sweet reasonableness."

    Do you think our political discourse and media (none / 0) (#5)
    by steviez314 on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:46:41 PM EST
    are ready for question time with the Prime Minister?

    They'll be back to the latest on John Edwards in no time at all.

    Well, the UK has its tabloids and The Times (none / 0) (#7)
    by jeffinalabama on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:54:59 PM EST
    so a bifurcation, with the Rush Limbaugh/Glenn Beck/FOX/MSNBC arrangement to exist for one level, and real questions and answers for folks, liberal and conservative, who want more than the latest 'gotcha' on another level...

    nope. too many wouldn't be ready. Great idea, though. Even a forum would be difficult to find.


    That would be bi-partisan (none / 0) (#48)
    by jbindc on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:37:34 PM EST
    John Boner said that would not work, as the POTUS (none / 0) (#152)
    by DFLer on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 10:08:12 AM EST
    is not a member of the Congress, while the PM of GB is a member of Parliament.



    win-win (none / 0) (#6)
    by Upstart Crow on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:48:23 PM EST
    Republicans immediately agreed to the request, but they may be regretting it now.

    Do not expect the GOP to ever make this mistake again.

    Check out the National Review blog coverage. They are praising the session and calling it a "win-win" for the Prez and the GOP. Two separate posts to that effect.

    The two quotes above demonstrate precisely the kind of thinking the President was warning people against.

    I think objectively the president (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Slado on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 02:59:12 PM EST
    wins because he's the president.  That's why its important to win the presidency.  He had the bully pulpit and from just showing up he had the upper hand because he was able to give the answers while the republicans had to ask the question.

    However though it does make the "party of no" a tougher sell now because the president repeatedly referred to "republican ideas".  i didn't know they had any?

    Really we should all be glad this happen and I applaud the president for going, the republicans for having him and putting it on TV.

    You think it would have gone this well if President Bush had met with Pelosi and crew?  I don't, both ways.


    FDR (none / 0) (#10)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:17:57 PM EST

    What would our FDR be? What domestic programs would he fight for?
    And what about Obama makes you think that he wants to be our FDR?

    Our FDR (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by kenosharick on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:28:14 PM EST
    would fight- really fight- for affordable, decent healthcare for every American. Our FDR would lead the charge for equality for every American, straight or gay. Our FDR would end the disasterous war on drugs. Our FDR would end foreign wars of choice.  Our FDR would fight for economic justice for all - main street and Wall Street. Now, whether Obama wants to be our FDR, however, is certainly debatable.

    Sh*t K-Rick... (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:57:37 PM EST
    you aren't describing the new FDR, sounds more like the second coming of JC!  If we got a leader to deliver all that I'd join the priesthood:)

    lol (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 11:03:41 PM EST
    There seems to be some unspoken rule operating here that dicates that the farther in time a Democratic president was from Obama, the more Christ-like he was.

    He (none / 0) (#30)
    by lentinel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:02:32 PM EST
    wouldn't have to "deliver".
    The question is what is he willing to fight for.

    I hear ya... (none / 0) (#85)
    by kdog on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:05:15 PM EST
    I'm all for fighting the good fight and losing...no shame in that at all.

    I just can never seem to tell if they're fighting or play fighting and laughing about it later over brandy.


    Here is the video (none / 0) (#13)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:29:08 PM EST
    ooops (none / 0) (#14)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 03:30:19 PM EST
    The faceoff

    Bipartisan HCR? (none / 0) (#38)
    by BrassTacks on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:22:50 PM EST
    Is that what he said?  Does this mean we get tort reform and ability to buy insurance across state lines?  I thought those two republican proposals were worth looking at since they might save us some money.  Wasn't saving money one of Obama's original goals?   Or did Obama declare those to be ''solutions that won't work"?   He needs to explain why some of the republican solutions won't work before he claims bipartisanship.  He can't claim to be bipartisan if he dismisses everything they propose.  Not to say that he should be bipartisan at all, but he needs to stop claiming that he is.    

    Novel idea! (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:39:17 PM EST
    Why don't you try reading or watching what he said before you complain about it, eh?

    Across state lines (none / 0) (#45)
    by MKS on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:29:58 PM EST
    He got them good on the policy point....

    He said yes with a "caveat"--that you have a floor for consumer protection tha won't allow for cherry picking....which the Republicans will never agree to do because that is the purpose of selling across state lines--to avoid the consumer protections provided by states like California.....

    Tort reform--he really didn't address it as I recall....


    So he shot down everything they wanted (none / 0) (#139)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 02:58:10 AM EST
    Ok, I've got no problem with that but how's that bipartisan?  
    Of course Congress can pass minimal standards that must be used in all policies and then allow people to purchase them across state lines.  They could also agree to some minimal tort reform.  Both of those would help save some people some money.  

    Bipartisanship (none / 0) (#40)
    by Upstart Crow on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:25:27 PM EST
    What am I missing?

    There seems to be a common misunderstanding about "bipartisanship." Bipartisanship isn't the Prez saying: "Here's my plan. Lemonade and cookies if you do it my way."

    It's hammering something out so that it's advantageous to all involved -- with tradeoffs, arm-twisting, compromises, etc.

    That's why you don't get radical change in this country.  It also accounts for the system's incredible stability.

    Obviously, there are disadvantages to bipartisanship -- and sometimes it's better to blow off the other side.

    But all I hear lately is the lemonade-and-cookies interpretation. They should do it his way because he smiles nice.

    Am I missing something?

    What you're missing (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:43:39 PM EST
    I think is actually listening to this session or reading the transcript.

    He's actually not really talking about "bipartisanship" per se, but something much simpler, which is he would like a few of them to vote for things they already agree on and not vote against them just because Dems. proposed them.

    THere was certainly not much lemonade and cookies, or smiles, in evidence at this event.

    He's not at all ideological and not particularly partisan, either.  (I'm not at all saying that's a good thing, it's just interesting and novel.)


    You're right... (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Upstart Crow on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:01:48 PM EST
    I'm reacting more to about a year of talk about "bipartisanship." The whole thing about getting a majority in both houses is so that you can forego a lot of that.

    Yes, but I think (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:38:25 PM EST
    the performance is what clinches its success.  Mr. Obama demonstrated detailed knowledge and confidence.  The "bipartisan, I want to work with you, let's be civil or we get boxed-in" tone was effective given this audience.  His demeanor was presidential (save for a few colloquialisms not to my liking, such as you guys or man). And, in some ways, the context would  be just as applicable to some  members of the Democratic party.  

    Moreover (none / 0) (#42)
    by Upstart Crow on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 04:27:26 PM EST
    Moreover, working out bipartisan deals is a skill, not a wish.  It takes experience and ability.  Kennedy had it, McCain has it. I'm not a policy wonk so I don't know about some of the others.

    It's more than wishful thinking.


    Obama's not a policy wonk (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by BrassTacks on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 03:01:18 AM EST
    It's not his thing.  

    McCain may have had it (none / 0) (#84)
    by Manuel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:03:05 PM EST
    but he has lost it somewhere.  This was never more in evidence than during the financial crisis in the middle of the campaign.

    fox (none / 0) (#68)
    by jedimom on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 05:17:33 PM EST
    news actually covered more than 40 mins of it, i thought Obama did very well, but he just kept saying none of his experts agree with their proposals, they were able to show they have been making proposals something Obama Admin keeps saying they arent doing

    That's the key flaw (5.00 / 2) (#89)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:10:59 PM EST
    in his approach.  He's totally dependent on what those "experts" he's chosen think and advocate.

    And the fact that he really hasn't mastered the details of any of it was pretty thoroughly revealed, I thought, by the way he dealt with those issues today.  He has a layman's basic understanding, but not a policy wonk's.


    Yes (5.00 / 0) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:37:31 PM EST
    mediation=leadership to Obama unfortunately so he really doesn't understand leadership at all.

    Hmmm There is more than one way to lead (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Manuel on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 06:44:46 PM EST
    Not to say that Obama's way is/will be effective.

    How's it going so far? (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:16:21 PM EST
    Ga (none / 0) (#150)
    by jondee on Sat Jan 30, 2010 at 11:05:59 PM EST
    You're gonna wear that record out, if you dont pick up the needle at some point.

    WEll (none / 0) (#155)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun Jan 31, 2010 at 07:14:50 PM EST
    I know it doesn't play well with the apologists like you but whatever.

    Sometimes it was "an independent expert" (none / 0) (#114)
    by KeysDan on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 08:08:32 PM EST
    which made me think of Jonathan Gruber, perhaps unfairly.

    Entirely fair (5.00 / 2) (#130)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:59:26 PM EST
    That's kind of my whole point.

    Really? (none / 0) (#129)
    by Realleft on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 10:58:45 PM EST
    What did he demonstrate that he doesn't understand?

    Start with his inability (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by gyrfalcon on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 11:02:35 PM EST
    to summarize Hensarling's proposal correctly and go from there.

    He didn't badly come acropper on anything other than that, but that's because he made zero attempt to get into any of it more than superficially, and sometimes he really needed to to make his point.

    Compare and contrast with the last Dem. president, who could drill down into the weeds as deeply as he needed to.


    Prime minister's question time (none / 0) (#108)
    by diogenes on Fri Jan 29, 2010 at 07:24:13 PM EST
    Of course, if this happened all the time then the leader would be a veteran of this and a veteran legislator/leader of his party.  
    "Obama is our FDR"?  FDR stacked the court, did unconstitutional stuff, and needed a war to end the great depression.