Persistent Resistance To Boldness

Paul Krugman calls this an Epitaph for the Obama Administration:

In today’s report on the foreclosure mess, a revealing sentence:

As the foreclosure abuses have come to light, the Obama administration has resisted calls for a more forceful response, worried that added pressure might spook the banks and hobble the broader economy.

The country has demanded bold, persistent experimentation and the Obama Administration's economic team has provided persistent resistance to boldness.

Speaking for me only

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    Gotta (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by kmblue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:12:46 AM EST
    get re-elected!  That's the Obama mindset.

    By who though (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:33:37 AM EST
    The Republicans hate him, and there never were other options on that but by God he's determined to make some come hell or hell.  That Indies that voted for him were probably the first ones who jumped ship and that was long ago. Has he done anything to earn them back?  And then half of his base would rather hit the snooze than get out of bed early before work to go vote for him again, if they still have a job and the gas in the tank to get to the polls.

    You don't mind (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:56:57 PM EST
    if I file this and quote you on occasion, do you? ;-)

    Well said.


    He's not even (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by Edger on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:05:09 PM EST
    a good enough politician to do that properly.

    Yeah, cuz the broader economy (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:17:42 AM EST
    is Wall Street....sheesh.  Well, at least it isn't anything as broad as each and every individual that actually makes up this economy, that would just be too broad and too hard and too liberal and too everything.  It's too bold to acknowledge through actions that it is the people that really matter.

    More Krugman (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:19:14 AM EST
    Or to put it another way, the administration has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity. And soon there won't be any more opportunities to miss.

    Mixed with a little Richard Socarides.

    "People were very excited by him. But he overpromised and underdelivered."

    And he and Michelle and Bill and (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:40:08 AM EST
    the rest of the heavy hitters are all out barnstorming the country to whip up enthusiasm for Dems to get out and vote in November...what is it they want us to vote FOR?  More of this?

    And, quite honestly, I think Obama's taken plenty of opportunities - to thumb his nose at us common folk, and solidify his alliance with the elite; those who thought he would do something different, more populist, allowed themselves to be fooled by the words and optics of the campaign, and didn't see what was there the whole time - plenty of signs that Obama was never going to be the "progressive" the country needed him to be.

    Old story at this stage, but it makes the current rallies and speeches and exhortations to get out and vote just fall flat, I think.

    I'm tired of being used to further policies that don't benefit me.


    I knew he was no progressive (none / 0) (#13)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:51:46 AM EST
    I didn't think he'd be a lawless, self important, self absorbed and self adoring POS though.  There is no defined and demonstrated ethos coming from this President, just whining and rolling over for immediate gratification treats.

    I had no idea he would be this bad and I fear becoming so jaded that I could have known he was going to be this bad because my ESP sucks.


    I think the problem is that (5.00 / 4) (#14)
    by observed on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 12:00:13 PM EST
    1), he has no ficking clue about economics or finance and
    2) He has zero empathy.

    A President needs at last one of those.


    What he seems to have is (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 12:21:32 PM EST
    a finely-tuned ability to know which side his bread is buttered on, and to use those who generally suffer more than they benefit from his policy decisions to keep that bread from hitting the floor butter-side down...

    Someone who whines as much as he does about not being appreciated for all of his accomplishments, and who yearns for the fun days of the campaign,  probably does come up short in the empathy department.

    I don't know, maybe if he realized his post-presidency career plans for sitting on boards of major banks and investment houses  - not to mention his all-important legacy - are being jeopardized by the bad policies that threaten to bring that house of cards down, he'd change his approach...but first, he might need to get some help for the savior complex.


    Unfortunately, I think that (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:11:54 PM EST
    you give him too much credit.  If he knew which side his bread was buttered on, he wouldn't be looking at this kind of an election year loss that will likely relegate him to one-term presidency status.

    If he really were a gifted and talented politician, he'd at least have marginalized and neutered the really crazy elements in the opposition some time ago.  As he chose to cater to them instead, he's set himself up to get completely clobbered.  Worse, by catering to the nut cases, he has given his enemies credibility that they do not deserve.  I'm not sure he's going to find himself beating off the big money offers when he leaves office once a GOP Congress goes after him and the public gets really tired of his Administration's whining over the course of the next two years.  Maybe he will - but I definitely do not think that this guy knows where his bread is buttered - I'm not even sure he could identify real butter if pressed.

    Gifted and talented politicians butter their own bread.  This one's got no clue, it seems.


    The buttering of the bread has (none / 0) (#53)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:44:45 PM EST
    nothing to do with electoral politics - it has to do with positioning himself for a lucrative post-presidential career where he will finally get to move at the top levels of the elite, moneyed crowd of Wall Street and Big Bank "savvy" businessmen.

    Because it's all about him, you know.

    I really don't think it matters to him that he might be a one-term president; I'm pretty sure he would see that as evidence that the dim-witted voters weren't able to truly appreciating his greatness - he will beneficently forgive us for our anger because he knows that one day, the history books will confirm that he was perhaps the greatest president ever...

    He's going to feather his nest regardless of what Congress looks like - but maybe in the back of his head, he's hearing the whispers of impeachment under a Republican majority and that's really where this GOTV effort is coming from.

    Because again, it's all about him...


    No president in their right mind (none / 0) (#68)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:18:35 PM EST
    wants to have to rebuild the way that Carter had to - that's my point - Democrats don't get the post Presidency perks that the Republicans do in this era.  I think that his post presidency lot will be worse than Al Gore's post presidential campaign life was.  Obama thought he'd never lose his mojo - Obama still thinks that he won't lose his mojo.  He's in for a rude awakening.  It is, indeed, very possible for him to fall farther than he already has.  At the end of the day, popularity is a big factor on the paid speakers' circuit.  Unpopular people don't often sell that many books either.

    50k, or 100k (none / 0) (#105)
    by NYShooter on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:39:37 PM EST
    per speech; is there really that much difference?

    No, I don't think he's all that consumed with making money, post Presidency. That's pretty much a given....even at the low end.

    I wrote several posts on Salon, and elsewhere, about several meeting I sat in on during the campaign. What made them slightly different than the norm was that they were comprised of psychiatrists. Open collars, feet on coffee tables, and beers in hand, the discussions were, to say the least, fascinating.

    Not that it's possible, but I'll make a feeble attempt to boil it down to a sentence or two. Their premise (after the requisite caveats) was that he scared them to He!!. Due to his early abandonment by the Male figures in his life, they hypothesized that he was on a life long mission, no goal mind you, just mission. One guy who had met him said that when they were talking, Obama had all the mannerisms: smiles, friendliness, closeness, but the Dr. couldn't get beyond the feeling that Obama was talking "through" him, or "over" him, as if he couldn't wait to get past him and move to his next contact.

    They even had a slang expression, also used to describe the many super stars who went on to self destruct after reaching the seeming "Top," .......The "is that all there is syndrome."

    Just a parlor, Yenta gab fest, but it struck a chord. What happened to the fiery, purpose filled Knight of the Campaign? He seems so bored now, like a spoiled, rich, brat whose mother is scolding, "You can go out and play with the boys After you finish your homework."

    And just like so many of us scribbled out some paragraphs the night before our term-papers were due, Obama seems to just want to turn in something to the teacher; getting past it far more important than getting an "A."


    I've always thought that he was (5.00 / 1) (#106)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:56:50 PM EST
    very much like a number of people I knew in the Ivy League and Seven Sisters system that basically had figured out how to more than get by without working very hard.  But there's an ego and there's that mission to consider.  He won't be able to handle $50k if any Clinton is even getting $1k+ $50k.

    I met him and it was as if I was a ghost.  I know exactly what that talking "through" experience feels like.  Interestingly, his response came after I said, "Good luck."  Even when it was all about him, he couldn't muster a connection.  But that's what Washington is like these days.  You don't even have to pretend to care anymore.


    I think what explains a lot about Obama (5.00 / 1) (#115)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:39:40 PM EST
    is the abandonment of him by his father followed by the constructive - and sometimes actual - abandonment by his mother.

    I think it's a classic case of "why didn't they love me enough to want to stay with me?"  And ever since, he's been chasing approval, seeking in others proof that he is worthy.

    All I can say is, it pretty much ticks me off that we're serving as the background for Obama to play out the dysfunction in his life, mainly because however much adoration he feels from the crowds, it will never be enough.

    Therapy would have been a whole lot less expensive, on pretty much every level I can think of.


    As someone who has had a very (none / 0) (#120)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:04:39 PM EST
    challenging childhood too, and done lots of reading and spent a lot of time finding myself because I didn't have enough of my parents to define myself off of and find self approval through....I think you might be right about this Anne.

    It is rumored that he is unresponsive and depressed I read recently.  When I was younger I studied a lot of Erik Erikson, he was a genius about childhood development and also healing certain deprivations that occurred from childhood trauma....and that was my fascination, I was such a child.  Valerie Jarrett is by his side at all times now and guess what Anne?  Valerie Jarrett's first degree is in Psychology...and that is fine, I'm not dogging her in any way.  Her mother was also one of the founders of the Erikson Institute which was established to provide advanced knowledge in child development for teachers and other professionals working with young children.

    I don't think it is a fluke that it is she who is with him at all times right now.  I don't think he knows how to deal with this situation that he is in right now.  I think he may be going through an internal falling apart.  Being a child of abandonment can lead to all sorts of gifts you would not have if you had not been challenged, but it also comes with many hidden fragilities that take us double the strength and energies to overcome and transform through.


    I'm sure his apologists will assert that he always (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kempis on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:19:37 AM EST
    said he believed in incremental change and never vowed to institute a bold, new politics.

    It's hard to believe that this president is this guy:


    Of course, I never believed in that guy in the first place, but still....

    The "fierce urgency of now" (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:33:14 AM EST
    has turned into sometime in the distant future.  

    January 21, 2013 (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:35:12 AM EST
    Ha! (none / 0) (#10)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:37:53 AM EST
    That is exactly what I was thinking

    I don't doubt that Obama (none / 0) (#12)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:47:27 AM EST
    will make the same promises to get elected in 2012. What I do doubt is that he will actually deliver on his promises any more than he has to date.

    Oh he'll deliver on the promises (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 12:36:42 PM EST
    he made to his constituency.  He just won't deliver on the promises he made to the lowly voters...

    That is what I think (none / 0) (#22)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:11:15 PM EST
    His constituency and the lowly voters are not one and the same.

    His constituency was made clear in his first vote (none / 0) (#161)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 10:38:01 PM EST
    against credit card interest ceilings, as well as the complete farce that his widely touted nuclear regulatory (spill notification) reform actually was.

    Either way (none / 0) (#17)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 12:34:04 PM EST
    It doesn't matter.  If he's re-elected, then he CERTAINLY has no impetus to do anything differently, except how it will affect his legacy and future speaking tours.

    Oh, I think you must have misunderstood. (none / 0) (#29)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:15:14 PM EST
    When he said "now" he meant right "then" - right at that very moment.  

    Once that moment passed though, it was not so urgent.



    It's fun to read the comments in that old thread (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by Farmboy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:06:08 PM EST
    Everybody knew this administration would never accomplish anything as soon as the primaries ended - in 1992. "Should've elected Perot" FTW. Thanks for reminding us, BTD.

    You know what? (none / 0) (#33)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:29:20 PM EST
    I actually thought Obama was going to do a lot more bold stuff.

    Obviously, the fool was me.


    Perhaps circumstances make the presidency (5.00 / 1) (#162)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 10:40:29 PM EST
    more than the presidents want to admit.  That said, the surveillance state continues developing, unhindered.

    Yes, Obama's failures are all your fault (none / 0) (#47)
    by Farmboy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:19:15 PM EST
    If only you'd clapped louder in 2008! Obama would have made all the economic problems fade away with just a wave of his magic wand. Then those silly old republicans would've turned their frowns upside down, and started handing out smiles and lollipops.

    But no, you didn't give Obama enough credit, so instead he just sat alone in the Oval Office with the drapes closed, listening to the Cure and feeling sad. That's what people do when they're resistant to boldness, you know.


    Heh (none / 0) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:22:53 PM EST
    Course that's not my point.

    No, but's the image that popped into my head (none / 0) (#52)
    by Farmboy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:33:00 PM EST
    emo-bama. Nobody seems to understand him; the Republicans call him names; and the Democrats aren't really his friends, they just come around when they want stuff.

    Aside from hoping that my instincts (none / 0) (#109)
    by inclusiveheart on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:07:01 PM EST
    were completely wrong, I couldn't figure out how being the total newbie to this town that he really was - and still is in many ways - I couldn't figure out how he could make bold moves and changes.

    I believed fairly early on that Kennedy, among others, backed him because they felt that they could control him.  If they thought he was an easy target, I figured that he probably was - and that he wasn't going to change a whole lot in the end.

    I thought he was hand-picked not because he was strong, bright, talented, etc., but because he was easy.  Turns out that I was pretty much right.  He's been played in so many ways that it is astounding that he was capable of overcoming the early hurdles in his life.  Then again, being compliant rather than bucking the system is a strategy that has been known to work well for outsiders - at least for a time...


    Right-on (none / 0) (#122)
    by NYShooter on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 12:35:22 AM EST
    You've paraphrased many of my prior posts quite well, especially the Kennedy connection. Having Hillary in the W.H. was something Ole Ted simply wouldn't be able to tolerate; not too much different from his disdain for J. Carter. In both cases the Kennedy bravado proved so very damaging to our country.

    But, back to Obama, consider this: Also from the psychiatrist rap session I attended, one Dr. pointed out, "what degree of clinical arrogance is required for a 30-something, blank resume, un-accomplished, social climber to write, not one, but two, autobiographies at such a young age?



    "clinical arrogance" (none / 0) (#163)
    by Mr Natural on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 10:41:54 PM EST

    He's what W. was supposed to be--- (none / 0) (#165)
    by observed on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 08:02:36 AM EST
    a complete patsy and a pawn for the powers that be.

    I don't remember a time (2.00 / 2) (#23)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:46:14 PM EST
    where the moderate/left, triangulating tactics used by Clinton to craft a smashingly popular presidency were so hated by those who I would guess believe Clinton did a great job.

    It's the economy stupid, a great man once said. If employment was 3 points less, we'd be talking about Obama as one of the greatest progressive POTUS's in history. He doesn't have the power to move that job number much, so bring on the hate.

    But the idea that any fan of Clinton is going to bash Obama for not being bold enough is funny.

    I mean how many Clinton policies/laws is Obama tasked with undoing right now? DADT, DOMA, etc.

    You accept (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by lilburro on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:57:48 PM EST
    the premise that nothing can be done about unemployment.  What does he have power over exactly?

    Also (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by lilburro on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:03:16 PM EST
    if you're going to make the argument that nothing can be done, make that argument.  But it's not like it's going to win elections.

    Very little (2.00 / 1) (#39)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:01:06 PM EST
    can be done for any number of reasons:

    1. States are laying off more people than fed stimulus funds can hire.

    2. Companies are keeping their profits instead of investing.

    3. The EU is in even worse shape than we are.

    4. The housing issue is here to stay for a number of years.

    5. Interest rates are on the floor, and there isn't any additional flexibility left.

    No one wants to hear the conservative phrase "the government is not the answer to every problem" but sometimes, every once in a while, the conservatives have a point. Even if Obama walked on water against and got another wave of stimulus through congress, the impact is likely to be minimal. Ditto various tax breaks, increases, etc.

    To some degree, the private system created this mess and they are the ones who have to get us out. They are the ones who have to start hiring to make the unemployment needle move. The levers Obama has to make that happen are particularly weak given the type of recession we're having and the type of opposition he is facing.

    Government has a role in fixing this but it is way less material than people believe. To be fair, we give Bush a lot of crap, but his role in causing this mess was similarly limited. Don't get me wrong, he was a huge part of it, but not as much as we on the left like to tell ourselves.

    This falls on all of us to one degree or another, and no one is going to have a magic bullet that will fix it.


    Did you then (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by lilburro on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:21:09 PM EST
    agree with the stimulus, or did you think it was a waste of money?  I cannot believe that you think another stimulus would be unsuccessful.  

    We got out of the Great Depression.  We can't get out of this recession?  


    I believe the stimulus helped (none / 0) (#66)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:11:08 PM EST
    but the hole we are in is massive. Additional stimulus is probably required to jump start us again, but it is only a short term fix until the private sector gets its act together. I support further stimulus but I'm realistic about what it can accomplish.

    What makes this hole so massive? (none / 0) (#86)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:57:51 PM EST
    It's (none / 0) (#88)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:00:14 PM EST
    Ross Perot's "giant sucking sound", although he was misguided and thought our jobs were going to Mexico and not just disappearing down a rat hole.

    Yeh, FDR's impact was so minimal (5.00 / 8) (#51)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:26:52 PM EST
    as were all those programs that put people back to work.  All of your numbers 1-5 applied then, too.  So useless ol' FDR just wailed about how mean was the opposition, how unappreciative was the American public, and how little he could do. . . .

    Obama has yet to face even an nth of the attacks on FDR, from the opposition, from the press, etc.  


    Well (5.00 / 2) (#96)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:43:59 PM EST
    then if nothing can be done, Obama better start thinking about retirement because the populace is not going to stand for hearing that. If we are going to have supply side economics from the Dems then why bother?

    Um (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:59:06 PM EST
    If the unemployment rate was 3 points fewer, it would still be higher than most (or all) of George Bush's presidency, so no,we would not be calling Obama the greatest progressive president.

    He should quit whining and pointing fingers.  He wanted the job - with the fun stuff comes responsibility.  He should man up.


    No I think you are wrong (3.00 / 3) (#37)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:54:13 PM EST
    because Bush didn't have a recession hit at the start of his presidency. A three point decrease in unemployment would be a smashing success relatively speaking.

    I just want folks to keep two thing in perspective as we continue our efforts to spend more time bashing obama than we do the conservatives:

    1. For as hated and despised and evil and wicked and ineffective as Obama is, he's still more popular than Clinton was at this exact point in his presidency. And we all know what a failure that was.

    2. The man hasn't been in office for two full years yet.  The idea that you look at his presidency at this point and declare that you know what his legacy will be and how this is all sure to turn out is crazy. I am disappointed with some of the stuff the guy has done to but for the love of all that is good, keep it in perspective people. There is a long way to go and a lot of hard work to do. And hate him or love him, I think everyone can agree that Obama is not a dumb guy. He's made some mistakes and had some real successes and his opponent is ruthless, sometimes dishonest and completely unfair.

    And the conservatives are pretty bad too.

    How about we focus on how bad conservatives in power will be until after the election. I am sure that following the elections there will be plenty to bash Obama about, but why isn't the hate directed towards those who really deserve it on the eve of the midterms.


    No (5.00 / 2) (#42)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:10:37 PM EST
    We Jada recession in 2001 and then 9/11 happened and sent world markets in a tailspin for which we never truly recovered all the way.  And three points fewer would still be 7%, which is much higher than what we're normally used to.

    It's not that we've declared his legacy yet - we are seeing the signals he is sending for future behavior, plus past behavior, and it doesn't add up to anything good.  Some of us were never bamboozled in the first place by him, but we still have to live with the consequences.

    Oh, and he is no Bill Clinton.


    He isn't Bill Clinton (2.00 / 1) (#59)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:40:25 PM EST
    Bill Clinton was less well liked at this point and had far fewer things to show for his two years in office.  His presidency is superior to Clinton in almost every way at this point.

    We remember what we want to remember.

    At this point in Clinton's presidency, DADT had been in effect for months, healthcare reform had just crashed and burned and we were set to lose congress for the first time in 40 years.  Yet somehow, people here remember that period as a good one for Clinton.

    Clinton would have given anything to get the healthcare reforms Obama was able to push through this year.

    Don't believe me. Just go back and look at Clinton's numbers and the news stories you read about his demise.  Good results take time. If anyone should know that it's the democrats because we watched it happen with Clinton.

    But I understand the need to vent. One of my big problems with Obama is that he can't let it get to him. He's seemed irritated at times that his accomplishments aren't being respected. The POTUS can't do that. There is plenty of time to take credit later. For now, you do what you think is best and try to explain it the best way you can.


    Clinton wouldn't have touched (5.00 / 4) (#64)
    by observed on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:57:08 PM EST
    Obamacare (recycled Dole/Gingrich poison) with a 10 foot pole.
    In 1993 he passed a more progressive bill than anything Obama has done to date.
    Clinton certainly would have responded far more vigorously to the mortgage/housing crisis.
    Obama's performance in his 1st two years is the worst I have seen of any Democrat in my life.
    Certainly, in political terms, W. was far more successful than Obama.
    What's sad is that you can't defend Obama on his own terms.

    Perhaps, observed, it would help to (none / 0) (#69)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:22:38 PM EST
    listen to what former President Clinton has to say today. They make quite a team now--Bill Clinton & Barack Obama. (You must be talking about different things in your remarks :) )
    Really. Listen to what the source--B. Clinton--has to say. Tonight, he will be in Denver holding a rally on behalf of Sen. Michael Bennet, wherein he will delineate once again the clear choice involved in each of these races. As he points out, pick an issues... and, e.g., see where the opposition (as in Ken Buck) gets you and compare to Bennet's position. Yep, it comes down to one or the other.

    Yes (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:43:54 PM EST
    Bill is quite the politician and team player - he will do whatever he has to to help Barack, although my guess is, ol' Barry would never return the favor if it was needed.

    Always a loyal Democrat, that Bill.  Which is why he's so popular and appearing at all these fundraisers and rallies, I guess.


    Bill Clinton is being quite the good (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:50:40 PM EST
    soldier, I agree, but I have to confess that I am not someone who believes that I have to go along with whatever Bill Clinton says just because he's Bill Clinton; I will consider his comments and accept or reject them based on whether they make sense to me.

    Ken Buck may well be the sharp stick in the eye that people know they want to avoid, but it seems to me there is no guarantee that Michael Bennet won't end up being the guy who flicks you in the back of the head over and over no matter how often he is asked to stop.

    Bill Clinton's coming to Baltimore on Thursday, for a rally in support of Martin O'Malley, who is running to be re-elected governor against Republican former governor Bob Ehrlich; in the state race, I see the choice between these two men as having a much greater chance to affect me, as a Marylander, than would a national race for Senate.  And since one was the governor, and one is the governor, we have a much better idea of what's at stake.

    I'm glad he's coming, and hope it will encourage people to vote for O'Malley and save us from his odious opponent - but that doesn't mean I think the man walks on water.


    No human walks on water, Anne (none / 0) (#98)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:52:54 PM EST
    I agree. But, that Clinton...well, to put it mildly--in terms of political know-how, delivery, and the ability to connect with real people (probably because he genuinely likes real people)--that Clinton is something to behold. He is dang good.  
    In Colorado, the Senatorial race has a direct impact on all Coloradans--especially in view of the environment. It doesn't take much to see the choice when one compares Bennet vs Buck issue by issue.  Former President Clinton can drive that point home.
    Good luck to all of you on the O'Malley race.

    What do you expect (none / 0) (#145)
    by cal1942 on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 12:50:30 PM EST
    Bill Clinton to say?

    His wife's a cabinet member.

    It's not that Obama is worse than the current crop of Republicans.  He isn't.

    He just hasn't been a real Democrat, the type of President people wanted. He's been more like a '50s - '60s "moderate" Republican.

    You should have listened to the Mondale interview if you wanted a take on how actual Democrats feel about Obama.

    I don't believe anyone here is suggesting support for Republicans.  The point is that Obama has put the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress at risk because he hasn't acted with the boldness necessary to gain public confidence in him or the Party.

    Like many others here I had Obamna figured during the primaries.  My fear was that Obama would do damage to the Party because he was, IMO, nothing but a mid-twentieth century Republican.

    I have children and grandchildren to worry about.  I hoped I was wrong.  Unfortunately I wasn't.


    Your comment is wrong at so many levels (none / 0) (#156)
    by Politalkix on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:21:43 PM EST
    "Democrats" have evolved with time. Evolution occured when FDR transformed his party from its more conservative roots to form the New Deal Coalition, evolution occured with LBJ and with Bill Clinton. So why cannot President Obama drive a natural evolution of the Party in a way which fits the times. Who are you to decide who is a "real Democrat" or an "actual Democrat" and who is not?

    Obama is free to take the party in (5.00 / 2) (#157)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:16:07 PM EST
    whatever direction he chooses, but understand that Democrats are equally free to (1) push back against that and (2) decide the party no longer represents what they stand for.

    I can't speak for anyone else, but when you believe, for example, that women should have the right to make their own reproductive choices, there is no "evolution" of that position that works.  If you believe that we have to look out for the least of us, "evolving" into a party that has no problem kicking the old, the sick and the poor to the curb doesn't work.  If you believe in accountability, if you believe in due process, "evolving" into a party that exempts the rich and powerful doesn't work.

    Sure, Obama is free to try to make the party over, but I don't have to like it, and I don't have to accept it.


    Every evolution experiences pushback (none / 0) (#158)
    by Politalkix on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:37:53 PM EST
    IMO, this is part of "growing pains" during the evolution process. It is important to keep a big tent party and make efforts to expand the tent. Everyone has the responsibility to make their voices heard without trying to push anyone out of the tent.

    Your argument is crap (none / 0) (#170)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 12:26:13 AM EST
    Both major parties have changed and even exchanged over the last 150 years.

    You really think you're revealing some stunning new information.

    My point is not 'wrong on so many levels.'  My point is that I do not like where Obama is trying to take the party.

    Get the eff over yourself.


    And (none / 0) (#171)
    by cal1942 on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 12:38:22 AM EST
    Who in hell declared that the direction Obama's taking the party is a "natural evolution."

    Is it natural to evolve to the right?  Is that the natural fate of the nation?

    Establishing the center on the right is, I would suggest, regression.


    Ridiculous (5.00 / 3) (#128)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:18:04 AM EST
    Bill Clinton was less well liked at this point and had far fewer things to show for his two years in office.  His presidency is superior to Clinton in almost every way at this point.

    We remember what we want to remember.

    At this point in Clinton's presidency, DADT had been in effect for months, healthcare reform had just crashed and burned and we were set to lose congress for the first time in 40 years.  Yet somehow, people here remember that period as a good one for Clinton.

    Clinton would have given anything to get the healthcare reforms Obama was able to push through this year.

    Clinton could easily have had Obama's "healthcare" plan - all he had to do was sign the Republican plan in '94.  Maybe you're too young to remember how we arrived at DADT, but Clinton actually fought for the repeal of the ban when he entered office, and he paid a high political price for it at a time when the Congress, DOD and public were strongly against its repeal.  Now, the DOD, Congress and the public strongly support the repeal, and Obama wants to have a "survey".

    BTW - Care to place a bet on whether Obama's numbers rise steadily after Dec. of his second year?


    rediculous comparison (none / 0) (#55)
    by CST on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:02:41 PM EST

    2001 doesn't even come close to 2008 - 3 points would've been huge.


    Ha! The reason that Bush (5.00 / 3) (#43)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:11:57 PM EST
    had a good economy at the start was because of . . . who was his predecessor?  But you can't say a single thing good about those racists, can you?

    And of course, Obama is a smart guy.  So you also don't get that is exactly why this disaster is so troubling.  Why would such a smart guy make such a series of decisions so stupid for the American people?  Just who, then, are Obama's decisions for?


    Let me just ask the question directly (none / 0) (#60)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:42:04 PM EST
    What one thing could Obama do that would be guaranteed to lower unemployment quickly and on a lasting basis?

    I'll hang up and listen.


    A federal jobs guarantee program, (5.00 / 2) (#65)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:09:28 PM EST
    would be something he could get behind.

    L. Randall Wray has written extensively on this subject:

    A job guarantee program is one in which government promises to make a job available to any qualifying individual who is ready and willing to work. Qualifications required of participants could include age range (i.e. teens), gender, family status (i.e. heads of households), family income (i.e. below poverty line), educational attainment (i.e. high school dropouts), residency (i.e. rural), and so on. The most general program would provide a universal job guarantee, sometimes also called an employer of last resort (ELR) program in which government promises to provide a job to anyone legally entitled to work.


    Proponents of a universal job guarantee program operated by the federal government argue that no other means exists to ensure that everyone who wants to work will be able to obtain a job. Benefits include poverty reduction, amelioration of many social ills associated with chronic unemployment (health problems, spousal abuse and family break-up, drug abuse, crime), and enhanced skills due to training on the job. Forstater (1999) has emphasized how ELR can be used to increase economic flexibility and to enhance the environment. The program would improve working conditions in the private sector as employees would have the option of moving into the ELR program. Hence, private sector employers would have to offer a wage and benefit package and working conditions at least as good as those offered by the ELR program. The informal sector would shrink as workers become integrated into formal employment, gaining access to protection provided by labor laws. There would be some reduction of racial or gender discrimination because unfairly treated workers would have the ELR option, however, ELR by itself cannot end discrimination. Still, it has long been recognized that full employment is an important tool in the fight for equality. (Darity 1999) Forstater (1999) has emphasized how ELR can be used to increase economic flexibility and to improve the environment as projects can be directed to mitigate ecological problems.

    Finally, some supporters emphasize that an ELR program with a uniform basic wage also helps to promote economic and price stability. ELR will act as an automatic stabilizer as employment in the program grows in recession and shrinks in economic expansion, counteracting private sector employment fluctuations. The federal government budget will become more counter-cyclical because its spending on the ELR program will likewise grow in recession and fall in expansion. Furthermore, the uniform basic wage will reduce both inflationary pressure in a boom and deflationary pressure in a bust. In a boom, private employers can recruit from the ELR pool of workers, paying a mark-up over the ELR wage. The ELR pool acts like a "reserve army" of the employed, dampening wage pressures as private employment grows. In recession, workers down-sized by private employers can work at the ELR wage, which puts a floor to how low wages and income can go.

    You asked - there's an answer.


    He could only propose that (none / 0) (#70)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:28:33 PM EST
    "Doing" has required enough votes in Congress to go along in real terms of funding. The tactic of "no" does work to discredit the guy at the top...only for awhile--but, it would be difficult to deny that the Congressional reality (Republicans plus fearful Blue Dogs) throughout this process.
    BTW, the "jobs guarantee" approach does make a lot of sense...however, it would be fashioned.

    Jobs Guarantee (none / 0) (#73)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:37:05 PM EST
    1. How do we pay for it?

    2. In what world could something like that ever hope to pass. They call dems socialists for trying to give everyone healthcare and you think we can pass something that guarantees everyone a job? What if they don't perform well? Do we still have to pay them? Etc.  Unions are at the top of the List of All Things Evil for conservatives and what you've proposed is a union utopia.

    So I guess my response is yes, on a Planet Liberal, a government program that guaranteed everyone a job could conceivably lower employment. However, on planet Earth, that proposal has absolutely no chance of succeeding.

    So let me rephrase the question:

    What could Obama do here in the real world that would make a rapid and lasting change to the employment numbers, given the deficit and the political constraints he has?


    In Obama world (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:52:59 PM EST
    He had the political capital at the start of this crisis to have done such a thing.  At this point, he would have to sell it like Clinton had to sell things and he would have to threaten Dems about withholding certain campaign funds and support when Democrats didn't support him.  But he has let so many Dems in the House and Senate down now getting total crap legislation passed that he thought would benefit himself that he has no teeth to leverage in that fashion either.  The worst has already happened to most of them, what cards does he hold in that hand now? And he harbors no desire for such job legislation and likely never will because he wants to hang out with savvy businessmen for the rest of his life after he is no longer President.

    I believe that you are kidding yourself, MT (5.00 / 0) (#113)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:29:21 PM EST
    He had the same "political capital" that all new Presidents have--fleeting & somewhat illusory. President Obama actually had less because his detractors came at him openly, frontally, and massively from shortly after the inauguration. In the earliest Republican talking-points (repeated endlessly) he was portrayed as a "socialist" while Republicans, in lock-step, responded with "no" to every suggestion. In fact, most people--myself included--underestimated the "power of no." (We thought that the strategy would make the Repubs look obstinate, etc.; but, ultimately, the "no" coupled with the absurd "socialism" charge creeped into the belief system. Voila! Gridlock!) It was the vehemence, partially racially tinged, that greeted the new President that was different by degrees from other early opposition experiences.
    It could (and maybe should) be argued that the President and his staff should have appreciated the depth of that unified opposition earlier or shown appreciation of that extreme partisanship much earlier. Even so, MT, the fact that hits one in the face: The President needed all of his Democrats of most plus a few Repubs to secure any meaningful legislation...and, the reality has been that the Blue Dogs (a number from Repub-leaning districts) knew the limits of their parameters...the die was cast early on. In the face of the political hardball in place since the onset, it verges on amazing that President Obama and his Administration accomplished as much and the level of legislation that they did in less than 2 yrs.
    Personally, I have felt that if the Administration could survive the first two years reasonably in tact, the Republicans would have little choice but to cooperate in the second two years. I guess that we will see....

    He came into office (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 10:33:55 PM EST
    with record majorities.  It came about that way because the whole voting country wanted a huge shift left and they got the shaft.  Every President knows to do what is most important and what they really want to do in the first two years.  Most Presidents never ever get what Obama got when he took office for backing either.  You are flaming wrong on this.  And I know exactly what Obama wanted because he knows the first two years rule too, that is exactly what I got.

    What kind of direction (none / 0) (#121)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:32:53 PM EST
    Well...we are in agreement that the country wanted a major "shift."  The problem, tho, is that a very significant number of those shift-shapers were Independents and even former "moderate" Republicans. Thats not beans; thats a fact. You and I wanted a leftward shift; but, all the analyses so far indicates that people got scared and bought the rubbish that Obama is overreaching, socialist, etc. That is a principal reason that the lucy-goosey Independents have reportedly shifted rightward in the past months.

    If the shift that was sought by liberals (and I include myself in that group) did not match the shift sought by significant other sectors whose hopes were different, there would be a dilemma. It boggles my mind that the numbers of those declaring themselves "conservative" are increasing again while the numbers of those saying they are "liberal" are decreasing. (Part of me believes the pollsters have it wrong, but....)

    It is an obstacle for the time being: The fear of change from the status quo that surfaced again in the middle of recession. The Sisyphean approach of mowing down the opposition, politically, would only cause us to be crushed by the rock of numbers if we go straight uphill. The compromises in order to advance were sensible in that light.

    No, I'm not "flaming wrong."  I've only been reading too much analysis about who wanted what. Turns out that a lot of people wanted a lot of different things in this diverse country. Broken record me: It takes time.


    Listen MT (none / 0) (#89)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:04:35 PM EST
    In Clinton World, we had welfare reform, dismantling of pensions and off shoring of jobs to Asia. He sold America that "the era of big government is over".
    Why didn't he try to sell the Federal Jobs Guarantee program?

    And we had budget surpluses (5.00 / 1) (#99)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:56:48 PM EST
    and a booming economy and things that directly made my life better that he did?

    Unscrambled the GPS signals so I can find myself now

    Cracked down hard on deadbeat parents (and thank God for that).

    Expanded Earned Income Credit (I bought a washer and dryer one year with it when I had a six month old baby...what a God send)

    No nuclear weapon is aimed directly at any country either in the U.S. or Russia

    Banned the manufacture of a whole bunch of assault weapons


    It was not a booming economy for everyone (none / 0) (#102)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:30:33 PM EST
    but self-obsessed people like you and some other commenters will never understand that! Everything has to be about how you see the world! Some of the safety net that were removed during the Clinton years hurt a lot of people. Those safety nets would have even helped people who did well during the 1990s but are in distress now (15-18 years really reduces job marketability).
    Look at your own posts before calling others "jerks". Don't imagine that if you fire paintballs at others, some of it is not going to come back.

    Okay (5.00 / 3) (#108)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:02:56 PM EST
    Well, let's take what you are saying and boil it down:

    Clinton: welfare recipients under the bus


    Obama: the entire country except the elite under the bus.

    Do you really think that you are going to get a lot of sympathy about whining about welfare reform back in the 90's when we have 10% unemployment now and the WHOLE populace is worse off?


    It is not about B. Clinton v B. Obama (5.00 / 0) (#114)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:39:15 PM EST
    The only people who try to play the two off against each other these days are dancing to the Republican script.
    Clinton & Obama are working superbly together. (Both B and H Clinton, btw.) They both are human, and--therefore--each has done a thing or two that we wish had been approached differently. Now, today: The former and present Presidents are in tempo, politically supplementing each other. In fact, former President Clinton recently pointed out in an interview how the situation greeting President Obama at the outset was much more difficult than what he faced and Clinton went on to commend him on the steps he has taken thus far.

    Today, it is NOT either-or. It IS both. Presidents Obama & Clinton are working very well...together.


    Strange comment, as it is has been (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by observed on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:12:41 AM EST
    the Obama contingent which has made the most of playing off Obama vs. Clinton---far more than the Republicans.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#154)
    by christinep on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:26:51 PM EST
    Perhaps, there is smoldering in a very few places now.  But, the divide & conquer, old time trying-to-drive-a-wedge is clearly being pushed by Republican operatives even as we speak.

    Really? I haven't seen any of that at all. (none / 0) (#155)
    by observed on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 05:45:44 PM EST
    Not sure what you mean by Republican "operatives" in this context---hope that's not shorthand for people on blogs who don't like Obama.

    No shorthand (none / 0) (#159)
    by christinep on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 09:04:20 PM EST
    It means what it means: Republicans. As for "operatives," it means those Republicans who are activists (almost professionals in strategy.) Goodness, I must have mistakenly deduced that you were aware of that.

    Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#125)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:46:49 AM EST
    is a team player and party loyalist and I would expect nothing different from him. However, that being said, people should be extremely angry at Obama for destroying the party. He has been nothing short of a disaster so far. Hopefully, he can turn it around but I haven't seen that ability so far.

    Wrong (none / 0) (#112)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:25:17 PM EST
    During the Clinton years a lot of people other than welfare recipients were thrown under the bus. And at this time, the "entire country except the elite" is not under the bus.
    When you talk about economy you will always have to talk about "whose economy". I think you keep putting too much emphasis on personal situations.
    Also the problems in the Obama economy at this time are directly related to the Clinton economy and Republican economies (Reagan, Bush I, Bush II). Those who invested in their careers and skills and learning during the last 30 years are doing a lot better now compared to those who bought into the bubble of real estate and stocks.

    Are you (5.00 / 1) (#123)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:43:55 AM EST
    kidding? Name one group who is better off now than they were in the 90's? I certainly can't think of one.

    More Obama apologia. It's getting tiresome. It's always somebody else's fault isn't it? I hear Obama constantly whine about how he inherited this problem but the truth is all of this was known. If he didn't want to handle the problems, then he shouldn't have run for President. It's that simple.


    Except (none / 0) (#124)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 06:44:39 AM EST
    the elite. They are better off with Obama obviously.

    Talk to people (none / 0) (#138)
    by Politalkix on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 10:29:17 AM EST
    who worked in the aerospace industry in the 1990s, talk to people who worked in the steel industry, talk to people who worked in the manufacturing sector as their jobs started moving out of the country.
    You are not just a very tiresome and whiny person but a person completely lacking in empathy. It showed in the way you commented when I wrote about people who got hurt because of "welfare reform".
    I do not want to carry out any more conversation with you.

    You (none / 0) (#140)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 11:08:13 AM EST
    are kidding? The aerospace industry has had problems since the 70's. You are using anecdotal information to try and prove a point. I guess you don't think that 5% unemployment is better than 10%?

    I lived in Greenville, SC the home of the textile industry and those jobs were leaving in the 80's. So yes, I am aware that certain jobs have left the country but it is not because of NAFTA or any other bugaboo you guys like to whine about. Corporations are always chasing cheap labor and whoever gives it to them is where they are going to go. I've lived in the south pretty much my entire life and it's has been the nexus of cheap labor for the country and now they are suffering because they went along with that mindset.

    I daresay auto workers were much better off in the 90's and many other manufacturers simply because there was low unemployment which produced a demand for their products.

    Completely lacking in empathy? LOL! You keep saying that a few people who you have picked out that got left out in the 90's are somewhat more important than everybody else in this country. You are the one lacking in empathy if you can't understand why people are so angry right now.

    Whiny? Nope. Anyone who thinks the 90's were better than now is whiny? You're off your rocker.  

    If you believe all that you say, then you should be doubly angry at Obama for what he has done. He has ruined the Democratic brand. He has been a literal disaster so far and he's looking to actually surpass Carter in ineptness.


    Who ... (5.00 / 2) (#129)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:27:42 AM EST
    ... exactly?

    During the Clinton years a lot of people other than welfare recipients were thrown under the bus. And at this time, the "entire country except the elite" is not under the bus.
    When you talk about economy you will always have to talk about "whose economy". I think you keep putting too much emphasis on personal situations.

    The middle and lower class was doing faaaaar better in the 90s, including most of the poor.

    But I understand, ...

    ... it is easier just make stuff up.


    It is the internet, I am a dog (none / 0) (#104)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:35:46 PM EST
    and I'm not skeerd of you or what comes back at me :)  It isn't that sort of medium.  We can exchange ideas and walk away untainted so long as we are unidentified.

    Seriously? (none / 0) (#166)
    by Yman on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 08:41:31 AM EST
    Why didn't he try to sell the Federal Jobs Guarantee program?

    Maybe because unemployment hit its lowest rate in over 30 years and averaged 5.2%.


    Do your own research, and (5.00 / 2) (#91)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:08:19 PM EST
    you will find answers to your questions; shoot, you could have answered some of them simply by reading the link provided and using The Google...

    "How will we pay for it" is the question people ask who don't understand the government's relationship to money and how it is created; it tells me that you suffer from the same kind of deficit and debt hysteria that Obama has and is making more noise about.

    When there is no demand, it has to be created; a much bigger stimulus would have helped, but Obama wimped out, cowed by the GOP he so, so badly wants to have love him.

    The only thing that constrains Obama is his pathological obsession with compromise in service of approval.  Not the approval of those who are already supposed to be on his side, but the approval of those who aren't.

    He gives up before he even tries; I have no respect for that kind of weakness.


    Our deficit and debt "hysteria" (none / 0) (#93)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:20:19 PM EST
    is caused because of taxes we poor saps in the private sector have to pay to support government programs. Some amount of government is necessary, however, if we are not careful the size of government will just explode and become a burden to people who work in the private sector.

    I did not see the former Soviet Union and Cuba create a lot of demand for products they created through "federal jobs guarantee programs".


    Bizarre (5.00 / 4) (#103)
    by lilburro on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:33:57 PM EST
    in one comment you tell us that Obama doesn't represent "liberals," who are a minority.  Here you tell us that we can't have a jobs program because that would be socialist.  And not only that, that government must stay a certain size, even when we're deep in a recession and the only entity capable of generating the necessary demand IS the government.

    Doesn't this say a lot about why you defend Obama?  Do you consider yourself liberal?  You shoot down liberal arguments in the same terms as conservatives do...and yet WE'RE the ones supporting the right wing?

    Look back on a few key moments during the healthcare debate and the stimulus and tell me that bolder solutions were tried.  See Obama's interview on the stimulus here.

    HARWOOD: If it's correct that, as your aides have said, the danger is doing too little rather than doing too much [. . .] why stop at $775 billion? Why not go to the $1.2 trillion that some economists have recommended? Is that because you think that the political figure of a trillion dollars is too politically charged to get over? Is it because you think more spending would be pork rather than stimulus? Or do you think you've figured out exactly the right amount of stimulus that's needed?

    Pres.-elect OBAMA: [. . .] We've seen ranges from 800 to 1.3 trillion and our attitude was that given the legislative process, if we start towards the low end of that, we'll see how it develops.

    Obama hemmed himself in in a similar manner regarding the healthcare bill.

    You can make an argument about political constraints hindering what Obama could do, but his team never took them head on - they accepted them as a given and let themselves be boxed in (and shot themselves in the foot on top of that at times).  If nothing else, not Draper-esque.


    Well (none / 0) (#110)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:07:16 PM EST
    On some issues I am "liberal", on other issues I am not. I am certainly not an economic "liberal", though I do see a bigger role for government, public sector, non-profit organizations and public-private partnerships compared to conservatives.
    Anyone who loved Clinton economics, social and foreign policy cannot be an "liberal". One would have to indulge in hypocrisy or self-delusion to maintain such a stance.

    It is clear (none / 0) (#134)
    by lilburro on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:47:16 AM EST
    that you, like Obama, are not particularly liberal on the economy.  You, like Obama, are sitting here telling me the deficit is the problem when unemployment is so bad.  If you don't want to get behind the Keynesian arguments fine, but that's what worked.  Say you don't believe it would.  Instead of suggesting that it's "impossible."  You're not fighting for any actual position, other than that Obama is better than Clinton.

    And your question "Why didn't Clinton try to sell the Federal Jobs Guarantee program?" is completely absurd.  We're obviously in extraordinary circumstances here.  The 90s and now are not the same and the same solutions are not needed.  You can say Clinton was far luckier, I think that's fair.  But Obama won't be judged in comparison to Clinton, he'll be judged as to how he dealt with this economic crisis.  


    Perspective (2.00 / 1) (#87)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:58:31 PM EST
    Anne thinks that we still live in the 1960s in a country called Sweden.

    Wow what a jerk you are (5.00 / 1) (#100)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:58:25 PM EST
    Anne knows what Anne wants and experiences, she doesn't need to rip off someone else's desires and experiences and paste them on herself.

    no, Anne thinks we live in (5.00 / 3) (#126)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 07:12:07 AM EST
    a country where the message seems to be that we just have to learn to accept double-digit unemployment for the forseeable future, and where the general attitude seems to be a shrug of the shoulders, accompanied by some version of, "there's nothing we can do about it."

    Well, I call BS on that, and so should everyone else, because it is not just defeatist, throwing a suffocating blanket of inertia over the whole thing, but it is helping to harden the divide between the haves and the have-nots.  It's sending a loud and clear message that "we don't care that you don't have a job, can't afford to keep your house, still can't afford health care: if you can't make it on your own, maybe you weren't supposed to, so just quit whining and get out of the way!"

    Glib comments like yours are just evidence to me that people are coming to accept that we have a peasant class in this country, and they don't deserve anything; there's going to be a consequence for choosing that route, instead of the one where we put all our energy and effort into solving these problems - and it isn't going to be pretty.


    There is a lot of space (none / 0) (#131)
    by Politalkix on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:31:46 AM EST
    between not accepting double digit unemployment and accepting the list of your demands (federal work guarantee program for every person, single payer health care plan, nationalized banks and god knows what else) for which you berate people who do not agree with you. I would prefer to explore that space.

    I honestly don't understand the (none / 0) (#137)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 09:06:51 AM EST
    mindset that automatically rejects an idea on the basis that "it can't be done."  At pretty much every turn, this has been the approach of Obama and the Democrats.  And even when they consider the next level, they give up on that, too, whether in the interest of "bipartisanship," or signal to the other side that they're willing to negotiate.  Before you can blink, it seems, the good ideas have been rendered inoperable, and we are left with policy and/or legislation that is at once weak and potentially regressive.

    ABG asked what Obama could do now that would help the economy in a long-lasting way; he rather glibly said he would "hang up and listen," probably believing no one would be able to offer any ideas.

    Well, I offered one - and I did so not in the way of a demand, but in the way of "here's something he could get behind."

    But I suspect that, just as with single-payer, he would not regard a program where the government is the employer of last resort as being "American enough," and would reject it out of hand.  

    We seem to be in the grip of a powerful and dangerous paralysis/inertia at a time when we really should not be taking anything off the table - the more ideas we have on the table, the greater the chances that good solutions can be found.

    I find a jobs guarantee program an intriguing idea that is worthy of discussion - but there seems to be this fear in some quarters that if we discuss it, it might actually happen, and this is somehow automatically a bad thing, so let's not even consider it.

    When the country is gripped by fear of their own economic fate, the last thing we need is a president who is afraid to be bold in his thinking.


    More "perspective" (5.00 / 1) (#130)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:30:43 AM EST
    Politicalkix thinks we live in an alternative reality called "Obamaland".


    Not a big fan of having someone speak for you?


    WOW! ABG @ #73 (none / 0) (#92)
    by BTAL on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:19:00 PM EST
    Never in a million years would I have presumed to be in agreement with your position, but you sir have just proved me wrong.

    A "job for everyone" is as much a liberal pipe dream as a "chicken in every pot".  It works as long as you don't run out of other people's money.


    This is silly (none / 0) (#40)
    by CST on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:03:37 PM EST
    because "if the unemployment rate was 3 points fewer" would mean huge numbers of jobs created in a relatively short period of time.

    As it is, that's not what happened, and he holds responsibility for not doing enough.

    But frankly, both these arguments are silly, because a) that didn't happen - and he shoulders some of the responsibility for it not happening.  But b) if it had happened, he would have created significantly more jobs in a short period of time than Bush did his entire presidency.

    In any event, I think we'd all be a lot happier with that 3 point drop.  But that's not what happened.


    Fair points (none / 0) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:46:04 PM EST
    I guess i am just trying to say that when people work, they feel like things are good. When they aren't working they think the country is in horrible shape.  It's really that simple.

    We get side tracked on lots of different ways of explaining what is happening but it all boils down to that at the end of the day.

    My primary point is that Obama has the ability to make a relatively small dent in unemployment numbers.  But it's all being placed at his feet.

    I understand why but it doesn't make it true. The problem is that the untruth is going to result in the bad guys taking over. Let's argue about how much responsibility Obama should take after we prevent the real boogeymen from returning.


    If he had nationalized the banks at the start (none / 0) (#84)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:56:03 PM EST
    of this we would not have experienced this kind of contraction in the job sector.  But he couldn't do that because it was too time consuming and it would have interrupted his scheduled agenda.  Now we have his worthless healthcare legislation and his worthless finreg legislation and no job and no house and not much else.

    I do seriously trust you are applying (none / 0) (#94)
    by BTAL on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:21:44 PM EST
    rhetoric with the idea of nationalizing the banks.

    Come on, really.


    Yeah, kinda like (none / 0) (#107)
    by NYShooter on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:59:54 PM EST
    the Banks are nationalizing our homes.

    That's what happens when you fail to keep your agreements.....no?

    The banks failed; take'm away and give'm to someone who will have a better chance at succeeding.

    Democracy gives us the opportunity to "pursue happiness."

    Capitalism demands you either "Win" or lose; and losers get hauled off stage on the next available gurney to make room for the next "contender."

    Them's the rules; what are you, a Socialist, or worse?


    Since when did the law become rhetoric? (none / 0) (#167)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 09:21:49 AM EST
    About bank nationalization (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 09:00:15 PM EST
    I started with the position too that the banks should have been "nationalized."  To me, it seemed obvious. To a lot of others with whom I talked, it wasn't so obvious. What gradually convinced me that the strong-arm nationalization approach might not have "worked" in terms of the precarious situation here was the opposition I encountered from people I regarded as reasonable. They had a variety of reasons; but, the overriding one could be summed up by their concern that the reach of such a move struck them as foreign to our system, etc.  While many here appear to disdain the President's every move, outside of this sphere--remember--his mid-to-higher 40s ratings (and 50s favorability)rank higher than Clinton and, for Repubs, Reagan at this point after the first challenges are faced. Certainly, it isn't just about polling; but, generally, a President would not want to stray too far from societal norms at the outset lest credibility completely evaporate. That is, nationalization of the banks in one fell swoop might have been the correct step on one level, but a major misstep on another level.

    Well I have to go with the people (none / 0) (#119)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 10:43:09 PM EST
    who successfully brought this country through other economic trials and fiascos and lawlessness like Bill Black.  You didn't have any other choice and you still really don't.  You are just dragging your feet and dragging the whole country down getting to where we have no other choice but to face the insolvency and face the fraud and reemploy the rules to banking that work.  In case you didn't take a look at what is happening right now, everyone's wealth is being drained from them like we have a vampire on our jugular, because we do.  And nationalizing the banks is not strong arm anything, it was the LAW and they all knew it before they did what they did.  The rule of law was ignored when all that went down just as they are going to ignore it again.  How and why do you think those laws came into existence?  Through painful trial and error, and you can ignore all that history and experience all that pain all over again.  And maybe we need to because nobody is alive anymore who remembers WHY we observe those laws so I suppose we will have to experience it up close and personal again.  I was all for taking history's word for it though and I still am.

    To measure employment another way (none / 0) (#41)
    by Farmboy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:08:55 PM EST
    you can count the number of jobs created. As of the end of September, 863,000 private sector jobs have been created in 2010. That's more than twice the annual average of jobs created when Bush was president.

    Of course, your argument of x > x-3 (which it is, by definition) then y > x and therefore misogynist comment, is beyond rebuttal.


    Of course (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:46:55 PM EST
    How many private sector jobs were lost in that same time period?  Many more than were created.  

    Whatever "greatest job creation" you're touting, you need to also give the other part of the statistic that Obama is still way behind the curve in having private sector jobs created on his watch.


    Fair enough, let's talk net job numbers (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Farmboy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 01:38:47 PM EST
    The sum net job numbers so far in 2010 stands at +613,000. The sum net job numbers for all the years of Bush's presidency were +1.08 million.

    Let's talk apples to apples (none / 0) (#147)
    by jbindc on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:29:19 PM EST
    What is the sum net job creation for the entirety of Obama's presidency?  

    I believe (none / 0) (#148)
    by jbindc on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:44:49 PM EST
    You'd have to take out something like a net loss of 4.7 million jobs for 2009.

    No fair (none / 0) (#152)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 03:45:04 PM EST
    You should just pick the best months.  Of course, given that we need a net increase of @ 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with increased population, I guess a loss of 3-4 million jobs isn't very convincing.

    Not to mention the fact that the unemployment numbers are heading up again.


    And I also think (none / 0) (#149)
    by jbindc on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 02:49:37 PM EST
    The net creation for all of Bush's years was 1.8 million, not 1.08.

    Think of the economy like a boulder (none / 0) (#150)
    by CST on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 03:13:20 PM EST
    If you send it rolling down a mountain, you have to slow it down before you can stop it and then start pushing it up.

    But yea, Bush was great.  Except for that whole pushing the boulder off a mountain thing.

    Obviously he's not pushing that boulder as hard as we would like.  But to compare "net jobs" at this point is completely meaningless.  Bush had 7 additional years to make up for the job loss he caused in '08.  Obama's had one additional year to make up for '09.  But the "curve" is absolutely in the right direction.  You're thinking integral (area under the curve), not slope.


    This chart is a few months old (none / 0) (#151)
    by Farmboy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 03:27:58 PM EST
    but the trend is still in the right direction.



    This data isn't a few months old (none / 0) (#153)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 04:18:41 PM EST
    ... and the trend is not in the right direction (losses of 175,000, 66,000, 57,000 and 95,000, June through September, respectively), not to mention the fact that the report likely underestimates job losses, given that it doesn't include job losses for the latter part of September.

    The point was (none / 0) (#168)
    by jbindc on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 10:31:56 AM EST
    Farmboy is comparing apples to oranges.  I don't recall anyone saying Bush was great, but a little honesty is much needed in these discussions - especially as we had a recession in 2001-2002 and massive job losses after 9/11 as well.

    But some would prefer to think of the wonderful job that's been done for us since 1/20/09....


    Seriously (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Marvin42 on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 01:59:42 PM EST
    Are you comparing what is going on in 2010 to 1993? Seventeen years later if we are comparing policies does this mean we have not gone anywhere in that time?

    Also I thought that was the whole problem with the "Clinton" camp, they triangulated. Wasn't that the point of supporting candidate Obama, because he wasn't going to do that?

    And finally hey, at least it worked back done, now we are "triangulating" and losing badly. Winning always makes the medicine go down easier.


    exactly (none / 0) (#31)
    by Capt Howdy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:23:05 PM EST
    if any of the hamhanded stuff the Obama administration has done had actually, you know, worked to either hurt the republicans or help democrats we and the administration would be in a very different place.

    I actually wrote a lot about it (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:27:59 PM EST
    Especially during the campaign.

    Obama was the Clinton Redux candidate imo.

    Though I think the reality is Hillary would have done pretty much the same.

    You can look it up. Key phrase - "not a dime's worth of difference."

    More interesting to me is the hypocrisy of those who opposed Hillary based on their hatred of Bill Clinton (see Booman.)


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:41:56 PM EST
    I think she would have done a lot differently, starting with any kind of health bill.  She would have focused on jobs, jobs, jobs.

    And I think now we see there was a Grand Canyon's worth of difference, including life experience (yes, it really DOES matter).

    But, you were right about the media adoration.  Style over substance.


    And you can argue that (5.00 / 3) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:15:00 PM EST
    I generally hate bringing Hillary into these discussions because well, she is not the President. It's rather pointless.

    True (5.00 / 2) (#75)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:38:42 PM EST
    But, actually, you can argue that anyone would have done things differently - mostly for the fact that they are different people, would have had a different makeup to their cabinet, and certainly had different focuses (foci?).

    And anyone else would definitely have handled the health care debacle differently.  That, done at the expense of a comprehensive jobs plan, is the largest single reason we are where we are today, at least politically speaking.


    Who has more Presidential Experience Right Now (none / 0) (#62)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:47:19 PM EST
    Hillary or Barack

    (The crazy thing is that Obama's been president for over a year and you still have people who say Hillary has more experience).

    Just saying.


    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#76)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:40:44 PM EST
    And I know you know this, but are just being deliberately obtuse, my observation was to BTD's point that there "Wasn't a dime's bit of difference."

    I think HRC was opposed (none / 0) (#34)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:37:14 PM EST
    most visibly by people in the left, primarily for her Iraq war vote and her stubborn and belligerent defense of it. Independents liked Obama not because of policy issues but other factors like "he brings civility to politics", "family values" etc.

    Nothing you posted makes any (5.00 / 3) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:29:26 PM EST
    sense to me.  Ever watch her speech that was made before giving her AUMF vote....and you call her stubborn and belligerent?  And Independents liked Obama because he was getting out of Iraq, taking on the real problem in Afghanistan, and he was fixing healthcare and the economic crisis.  The only thing he delivered on were things involving his war promises and if you go by Woodward's book he had almost nothing to do with that success other than telling the military what they would do and then shut the door in their face and speak to them no more :)  It's friggin crazy.  And given what was most important to Indies, the war thing was a big concern but when a sledgehammer is being taken to their pocketbook and their economic future all day every day they care about that MORE.  The economic crisis has become so bad that delivering on war campaign promises at this point is almost a bad thing because Afghanistan is now costing us more money, not less.

    The war and the economy (none / 0) (#63)
    by jondee on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:47:58 PM EST
    aren't the disconnected issues many would like them to be. Oil went from 19 to 40 $ a barrel after the Iraq invasion. Of course, only the little people who
    have to worry about the price of gas and who don't have REAL PROBLEMS, like organizing five million dollar weddings, worry about things like that..  

    Nah (5.00 / 2) (#80)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:48:56 PM EST
    They worry about things like multiple vacations in Hawaii and Martha's Vineyard, and date nights in New York and Chicago.....

    STILL harping on that? (none / 0) (#132)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:36:59 AM EST
    Are you upset because you didn't get an invite?

    Yeah, (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:41:09 PM EST
    those silly single issue war voters brought us to this mess. They certainly were short sighted due to the fact that it's the economy stupid.

    The Clinton obsession just never ends, (5.00 / 5) (#54)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:00:59 PM EST
    does it?  And whether the Clinton in question is Bill or Hillary, the arguments get dragged out in service of propping up Barack Obama and making sure he comes out a winner.

    It's old, it's tired and it's irrelevant.  

    So what if at this exact moment in the Clinton presidency, Bill's numbers were lower than Obama's?  Is everything else about that time period a match for what is going on today?  Do the lessons and experience and events of the last 17 years just evaporate so we can compare Clinton to Obama just on some stupid poll numbers?

    I am also completely over the let's-pretend-Obama-is-powerless argument; he knew coming in what was happening to the economy, he chose - against some of the best advice around - to play small ball at the precise moment when he needed to go big.

    He wimped out.

    And he's done it over and over and over again - on pretty much everything that had the power to affect where we were going economically, and it's hard to find any point along the way where the benefits of his weakness have accrued to those who most needed the help.

    The task of undoing some of the Clinton policies - the politics of which some of us actually understand and which have been gone over often enough here that everyone should be familiar? More weakness. He's thinking about it, he's studying it, he WANTS to do it, but golly...it's just so darn hard to commit with action when words can keep people on the hook and hoping, isn't it?

    More important, the embrace of so many of the Bush policies, the extension of the Bush power, the refusal to hold anyone accountable, continuing to hide behind state secrets - those matter, too - and Obama's actions in this regard are 180 degrees away from where he said he wanted to go when he was campaigning.

    I'll leave it to BTD to remind you of the single most bold action Clinton took with regard to the economy, and what effect that had going forward.

    But it had something to do with that big surplus Bush inherited in 2000.


    ABG, some of us are very happy (none / 0) (#30)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:22:50 PM EST
    with the job the POTUS is doing link . We will just have to learn to ignore some of the hypocrites in this blog. Let them stay home or vote for someone else in 2010 and 2012, if doing so makes them happy!

    I don't get it (5.00 / 1) (#36)
    by kmblue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 02:44:46 PM EST
    your link is about Obama at a science fair?
    I see no mention of happiness in there.

    Approval Ratings (none / 0) (#44)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:12:40 PM EST
    First week of October, year 2 of presidency:

    Obama: 46%

    Clinton: 42% (and no recession)

    Just saying. We've got a guy that people generally like despite the fact that things aren't going well on a lot of fronts.  Be good to take a step back and understand what that means.


    Forgot the link (none / 0) (#45)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:13:03 PM EST
    Except ... (none / 0) (#135)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:47:17 AM EST
    ... Obama entered office with the highest approval rating of any POTUS since Kennedy and has been steadily declining ever since.  Clinton's numbers began steadily rising from December of his second year onward.

    Care to place a bet on Obama's numbers?

    "Just saying" ...


    You're a big fan of science fairs? (none / 0) (#133)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:40:52 AM EST
    Good luck with that ...

    Epitaph (none / 0) (#5)
    by TJBuff on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:24:30 AM EST
    That Admin's not dead, it's just pinin' for the fjords.

    He's not pining (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 11:34:54 AM EST
    He's passed on.  He is no more.  He has ceased to be. He's expired and gone to meet his Maker.  He's a stiff.  He's bereft of life.  He now rests in peace!......


    Bonus points to you for introducing Monty Python on a Monday!


    Not much of a ... (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by Robot Porter on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:31:25 PM EST
    cheese shop, is it?

    Whaddya expect (none / 0) (#16)
    by scribe on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 12:33:14 PM EST
    coming from an administration led by a guy who selected for his economic advisers and Tresury Secretary men who were proteges and/or allies of a guy, Rubin, who thought making investments with Bernie Madoff's son(s) was a great idea.

    Exactly what I expected (none / 0) (#19)
    by Rojas on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 12:41:26 PM EST
    when he staffed the ship of state.

    "Education of a President" (none / 0) (#50)
    by KeysDan on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 03:26:24 PM EST
    by Peter Baker (from NYT Magazine, 10/17). In his lengthy and overall complimentary, article, Mr. Baker provides several interesting insights, based on interviews with administration and legislative officials (named and anonymous).   A comment attributed to the president seemed both odd and at odds with itself:

    President Obama regrets that he let himself look like a "tax and speed" liberal but he also says he should have let the Republicans propose the tax cuts so that they would then support the bill because they would be contributing to it.

    Another : the president came to Washington with enormous faith in his own powers of persuasion.  He seemed to believe he could overcome divisions if he just sat down with the world's most recalcitrant figures, be they mullahs in Tehran or Republicans in Congress.  He found his vaunted speaking skills are not enough to change the dynamics of government.

    More from Baker: One prominent Democrat (not named) lawmaker told me Obama's problem is that he is not insecure.  He always believes he is the smartest person in the room and never feels the panic that makes a good politician run scared all the time, frenetically wooing lawmakers, power brokers, adversaries and voters as if the next election were a week away.

    So: Inexperienced and arrogant. (5.00 / 3) (#57)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:26:37 PM EST
    No news there, not to those who watched closely in the campaign.  But what an awful combination of characteristics for these times.

    And this is a favorable article?!


    Sounds about right. (none / 0) (#56)
    by observed on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 04:22:44 PM EST
    Personally, I haven't seen him as the bright bulb in any gathering of politicians.

    Ridiculous (none / 0) (#67)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:15:55 PM EST
    That some of the clearest analysis comes from the other side:

    "If you believe in Barack Obama's agenda (as, presumably, most of the people working for him do), then you have no business giving up on Rushmore now: His presidency could still have over six more years to run, and he's already achieved the public policy dream of a generation's worth of liberals! There have been dark, depressing times to serve in a White House (the last year or so of the Bush administration, to pick a recent example). But the midterms and Tea Partiers notwithstanding, the 22nd month of the Obama era really shouldn't be one of them -- unless, of course, you came into the job with such unreasonable expectations that anything short of a perpetual inauguration-style lovefest would have disappointed you."

    Repeat after me: (5.00 / 4) (#72)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:32:37 PM EST
    Obama is not a liberal.
    Obama is not a liberal.
    Obama is not a liberal.

    But the more he's labeled as one, the harder he tries to disprove it so the conservatives will love him, and the weaker and less worthwhile his policies become.

    It's really a shame he didn't embrace a more liberal philosophy with that electoral mandate for change, the one that came with the largest majority in decades; I would much rather hear the other side screaming about the liberal president while I admire and enjoy actual liberal legislative and policy victories that were too long in coming, than be facing the reality that Obama will be trying even harder to please the GOP and Blue Dogs in the next two years - giving us more conservative and regressive legislation - with Obama's full approval.

    All the while telling real liberals to stop whining, sit down and STFU.

    Obama is not a liberal.


    Obama is more liberal than the Clintons (none / 0) (#74)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:37:45 PM EST
    Does that mean they are not liberal?

    Obama is more liberal than James Inhofe (5.00 / 2) (#79)
    by MO Blue on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:47:33 PM EST
    That does not make him a liberal.

    Keep telling yourself that as if (5.00 / 4) (#85)
    by Anne on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:56:31 PM EST
    it matters - it doesn't.

    Neither Clinton is president, last I checked, so where the Clintons fall on the political spectrum is meaningless.

    Move on and deal with the only reality that matters - Obama is the president and it's his actions - not his words - that tell the tale.

    The only tale that begins, "once upon a time, there was a liberal president named Barack Obama" is a fairy tale...


    Really, your internal debate (5.00 / 1) (#117)
    by Cream City on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 10:29:20 PM EST
    about 2008 is so tedious when made external.  It still fascinates you, fine; just keep it internal, while the rest of us move forward in a new decade.

    Really? (none / 0) (#81)
    by jbindc on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 05:49:48 PM EST
    Please explain how.

    O.K. got my soap box (none / 0) (#111)
    by NYShooter on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 08:23:30 PM EST
    So, please listen, contemplate, and try to understand what I'm saying.

    I don't know the percentages but let's accept that a decent plurality here were Clinton supporters. Let's also accept that most here don't accept BTD's analyses regarding "not a dime's worth of difference."
    Regardless, Talk Left's debate was vigorous, more than spirited, surely , unusually intelligent, and mostly fact filled.

    Now, I can speak only for myself, but I believe my thoughts are shared by many of my fellow Hillary supporters:

    Once the election was decided, no one, NO ONE, not the most fanatical, ardent Obama supporter wished success to Barack Obama's Presidency more than Hillary supporters.

    Believe it; don't believe it....it's the truth. And if you don't, and if you can't make your points within that framework, what good contributions you could have made to our common search for answers (and which BTD encouraged you continue) would be just an utter shame.

    Angry? We're all angry. Let's lock elbows and figure out how to defeat the enemy, not each other.



    Wish I could believe this statement 100% (none / 0) (#139)
    by Farmboy on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 10:39:52 AM EST
    Once the election was decided, no one, NO ONE, not the most fanatical, ardent Obama supporter wished success to Barack Obama's Presidency more than Hillary supporters.

    The folks in left blogistan who couldn't get over the primary results are right there in lockstep with the Fox folks like Hannity and Malkin who mock every Obama misstep and deride every positive act. For the sake of clarity and those who hit "reply" before they're done reading, I'm not saying that all Hillary supporters are rooting for this administration's failure. But it's an ugly fact of life that many are. It's really too bad, because it muddies discussions and as you said, takes focus off the real target of trying to fix problems.


    Actually (none / 0) (#141)
    by Politalkix on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 11:42:49 AM EST
    a vast majority of very strong HRC supporters are rooting for the success of the Obama Presidency. I meet a lot of these people in my daily life. Some of them are my very good friends. However, some of HRC's most irrational supporters who are virulently anti-Obama and who root for the failure of his Presidency, have unfortunately (for whatever reason) descended on this blog. It is skewing the perception of HRC supporters here.
    Many of the HRC supporters in this blog are not even progressives, though they pretend to be. You cannot talk to these people in good faith, I have come to the conclusion that it may be better to confront them and shine a light on their hypocrisies. It however really muddies discussions as you succintly observed.

    I think the thing that gets missed (5.00 / 2) (#144)
    by Anne on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 12:15:54 PM EST
    is that many of us who are highly critical of Obama, and Dems in general, wanted nothing more than to see him succeed, but we wanted success at implementing and advancing the truly progressive policies we needed, including the all-important economic policies required to increase demand and get people back to work, rectifying the actions of the Bush administration, and holding accountable those responsible for what transpired during those years - to name a few.

    He had the wind at his back, he believed he had a mandate for change, a large majority in both houses of Congress, and what did he do with it?  Conceded it away, played Lucy-with-the-football on a variety of issues, used women as a bargaining chip in the health whatever debacle, gave Bush/Cheney and Company a Get Out Of Jail Free card, embraced the Bush policies, went weak on the stimulus, has yet to present a comprehensive jobs plan, convened a commission on deficit reduction and put a well-known entitlement-hater in the driver's seat.

    Yes, he has "accomplishments," but they aren't the ones a lot of people wanted, so it's hard to define him as a successful president if he hasn't succeeded in doing what people wanted him to do.

    I didn't vote for him - or anyone - for president; I didn't see anything in his history that suggested there was much substance or Democratic principle there.  But, once elected, I really wanted him to prove me wrong.  He didn't, and I don't expect a sea change in the next two years.

    Would Hillary have been better at succeeding on the issues that matter to me?  I don't know.  I think she would have been better on some issues - I can't see her getting behind that health "plan" and I can't see her sacrificing women's health issues to do it.  She would never have had the benefit of the media darling treatment, the pressure would have been on from Day One from all sides.  I don't see her giving her base the same kind of STFU treatment Obama has used, with the help of the so-called elite bloggers and journalists, and I do see her as being more responsive to the left-of-center crowd.

    That being said, had she disappointed me on issues that matter, I can assure you I would be just as critical - and I have to wonder if the Obama supporters had been able to be more objective early on, whether that could have made a difference.

    We'll never know.

    Yes, we wanted to be wrong about him, we wanted him to succeed on issues that matter to us; it's not a lot of fun, in this case, to have been proved right and to watch him take all the opportunities before him and more or less squander them.


    No disrespect,, Anne, but... (none / 0) (#160)
    by christinep on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 09:25:58 PM EST
    A question I finally will ask: How long did this new President get before being regarded as not meeting what you wanted him to meet, your applicable standards? Particularly, in light of your statement that you wanted him to succeed, how many months did you allow for changes before your writings moved from supportive to quite non-supportive?

    While I do not question your standards (for yourself and your world-view), nonetheless, the strength of your remarks and conviction suggest a definite turning point.  I have been wondering, then, how long he was allowed to fulfill the standards. (And, btw, this question is a question I would ask of friends, family, and of myself in situations where a strong turn from support to non-support is evident. The reason: It helps communication to understand different sets of time expectations.)


    Well, it's not soemting I marked on (5.00 / 2) (#164)
    by Anne on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 07:35:14 AM EST
    my calendar, or entered in my journal, but let me see if I can address your questions...

    I was skeptical about Obama from the beginning.  Maybe it was his seeming rise out of nowhere in such a short time, with little, really, that should have impelled him to such prominence so quickly.  His so-called accomplishments pre-presidency were, on closer inspection and research, over-inflated, and in some cases, the result of others allowing him to take credit for things he hadn't been particularly involved in - and in some cases, others have suggested that it wasn't a case of him being allowed to take credit, but him just taking it.

    I didn't like what that might portend.  

    His Senate career, such as it was, seemed to be more of the same, with him once again glomming onto the work of others to boost his own resume.  I didn't find it encouraging, nor did I think it spoke well of his interest in the real work of the Senate, that he pretty much blew off his sub-committee chair responsibilities.  

    Listening carefully to him, I wasn't hearing the kinds of things that gave me any encouragement that he would lead in a progressive manner; I was often left feeling that he could talk the talk, but wouldn't walk the walk.

    So, there's no question that while I wanted him to succeed at the things that mattered to me, there was little I was seeing, hearing or reading that suggested he would - or that he was really interested in doing so.

    Wanting a politician/elected official to succeed does not mean that one should suspend one's doubts, does it?  If he were a family member or friend I had regular contact with, I can see the importance of conveying utter confidence so as not to discourage, but with politicians, I think the doubt and the skepticism should make them rise to the occasion - I see no reason why Obama, or anyone else holding elective office, should not have to prove to me that they stand behind their promises.

    From the Get Out Of Jail Free card for the Bush crowd that came really early, to the single-payer-off-the-table, to embrace of the Bush policies, to the execrable health whatever thing, to using women's health as a bargaining chip, to the weak stimulus, to his failure to fight for Dawn Johnsen, to his constant nods to Republican policies, to the Cat Food Commission, he has shown me that I was right to be skeptical and right to believe that he wasn't the president we needed him to be.

    So many of the things he has done are not the kind that evolve over time to be good policy or good legislation, so this "he needs more time - it's still so early" mantra just doesn't cut it with me.

    And for those who will react - perhaps even you - with "well, you never liked him, so of course you weren't going to give him any credit for anything," I would simply say that there were reasons - valid reasons - why I didn't like him, and he has done nothing to prove me wrong for feeling that way.

    He's had two years' worth of chances, on some very important issues, and the choices he's made are going to be with us for a long, long time - and not to our benefit.  I don't need more time  to know this, and neither should anyone else.

    But, to each his own.


    Thanks, Anne (none / 0) (#169)
    by christinep on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 02:55:47 PM EST
    for taking the time to respond. Your thoughtful comments help me to understand your perspective more fully.  As for the correct guess that you made about how I (or others) might respond to your response, well...from my gut, I do feel that initial impressions can be hard to overcome for any of us. And, when we expect one thing and something we very much disagree with happens, the old "once burned, twice shy" comes into play.

    So much depends upon one's expectations. Those expectations are very personal, but conflicting sets of expectations--it seems to me--can heighten certain disagreements and muddy perspectives. For example: As I've mentioned elsewhere, my expectations about accomplishments in two years of a Presidency--notably under the set of circumstances at the beginning of 2009--were much different, with sights not set as high as you indicate that you expect from a White House.  The results, then, are quite positive in absolute and in comparative terms for me.  As I've read more of your commentary, I've come to understand a bit more why we might view the same portrait so differently: We started with very different expectations and very different perspectives. While that might sound obvious, it took me awhile to digest the differences in a more complete sense.  Again, thanks.


    Fairy tales (none / 0) (#142)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 12:07:09 PM EST
    They can be entertaining ...

    LOL (none / 0) (#143)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 12:10:51 PM EST
    You sound like W. where any criticism of the War in Iraq was rooting for 'Merica's defeat against the terrerists.

    Obama never said he was a liberal (none / 0) (#90)
    by Politalkix on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:08:05 PM EST
    and the electoral mandate that he got was not for embracing liberalism.
    I think only 18% of the country identify themselves as liberals.

    Obama (5.00 / 3) (#97)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 06:45:42 PM EST
    never said he was anything and that's the problem. It was all about a bubble that has now burst.

    I've been waiting for someone (5.00 / 4) (#101)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 07:11:21 PM EST
    to say this in one of these debates where the facts are all on the table, and here we are :)  I don't need to wait any longer, and only 18% expected liberal things of Obama.  I'm dying laughing now

    True, but then again, ... (none / 0) (#136)
    by Yman on Tue Oct 19, 2010 at 08:52:44 AM EST
    ... he never had to.  He had all his surrogates and progblogs to make the argument for him.  Of course, ...

    ... he did make a whole lot of "liberal" promises.  Ya' know, ...

    ... back when he needed their votes.