Obama's Progressive Accomplishments

In comments here, and in blog posts elsewhere, the lecturing of "the Left", led by Chait, has been boiled down to their personal view of President Obama's accomplishments. For example, Andrew Sullivan writes:

Chait notes how systemic and eternal liberal disenchantment is, and how congenitally useless Democrats are in rallying round a leader, even one who has achieved so much in such a short time. [. . .] (Memo to the left: universal healthcare was achieved under Obama). But much of this is the usual Democratic limpness and whininess. [. . .] If I hear one more gripe about single payer from someone in their fifties with a ponytail, I'll scream.

Universal healthcare was achieved? Why are we not celebrating? Maybe because not everyone thinks ACA has done that. Indeed, I recall a certain "wonky pundit" telling us Obama was a "moderate Republican" whose health plan was based on GOP ideas. More . . .

Like Andrew Sullivan, Booman laments the emergence of the "hippie":

And if we look back now with the benefit of hindsight, we can see that the liberals were on a victorious march towards ending apartheid in the South and winning much of the argument over social policies with Lyndon Johnson's Great Society. There was something of a liberal consensus in this country. At least, there was enough of a consensus for liberal ideas to win the day.

But then came Vietnam. That stupid war destroyed the liberal consensus. It created a counterculture. And that counterculture is where liberal legitimacy went to die. You cannot be a governing philosophy at the same time that you are countercultural movement.

(Emphasis supplied.) If I am understanding this argument correctly, Booman is saying that the South was not lost to Dems by the Civil Rights movement, it was lost by the Vietnam War.

That is a pretty stunning claim it seems to me. Ridiculous even. What happened since the 60s, at least in terms of politics, is that the South became solidly Republican and the rest of the country became more Democratic. (Psst, California used to be solidly Republican - a Dem did not win it after 1970 until 1992 - yep, that was Bill Clinton. And the Dems have won ever since 1992.)

But back to the lecturing -- personally, I think President Obama did some good things, and was inadequate in others. I'm supporting him for reelection and I have been quite pleased with his political performance since August.

I find it weird so many think it is persuasive to lecture others because they are not as enraptured by President Obama's accomplishments as they are.

Of course the likes of Jon Chait and Andrew Sullivan have been lecturing "the Left" for a while now (Fifth Column anyone?) Personally, I just find it funny coming from them.

I do find it ironic that super Clinton haters like Booman now find themselves writing apologias for "triangulation."

Me? I've always been from the "pols are pols" school, so I don't need to be a contortionist when I write about politicians.

Speaking for me only

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    #1 (5.00 / 4) (#1)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:15:45 PM EST
    More people than ever before now have more hope for more change they can believe in than ever before.

    There still is a liberal concensus on ideas (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:29:07 PM EST
    Isn't it pretty consistent in the polling, when they just poll on policy choices with no parties attached?

    What makes the difference in what policies get enacted is the money. As always. And that takes many forms - both contributions to politicians, and the right wing propaganda arm that successfully taught people that being associated with 50 yr old guys with ponytails is a bad thing, even if you agree with them.

    Folks in their fifties now weren't old enough (5.00 / 4) (#19)
    by Farmboy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:16:54 PM EST
    to be hippies. At least, not Viet Nam era hippies. Now, if we revise this up to sixty-plus years old, sure.

    But fifty year old guys with ponytails these days aren't hippies; they're hipsters. An entirely different sociocultural demographic and income group.


    I was sut using Sullivan's terminology (none / 0) (#47)
    by ruffian on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:42:54 PM EST
    Wrong, as you say, but he was using it as shorthand for hippies.

    Simple math and a basic understanding (5.00 / 4) (#7)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:49:30 PM EST
    of the English language disproves the claim that
    "universal healthcare was achieved under Obama."

    definition of universal:

    Something that is universal applies to every case or individual in a class or category

    The Lewin Group estimated that eliminating the mandate and penalty while retaining the prohibitions on preexisting conditions and other insurance reforms in the ACA would induce a premium spiral that would ultimately increase nongroup premiums by 12.6% before leveling out. The analysis noted that the number of uninsured people under the ACA as written would be approximately 20.7 million people, compared to 28.5 million people if the mandate were eliminated. This is an increase of 7.8 million uninsured people, if the individual mandate were lifted.

    Nope, Obama's health insurance legislation does not meet the criteria for being universal.

    Definition of health care:

    the provision of medical and related services aimed at maintaining good health in individuals or the public, especially through the prevention and treatment of disease

    Nope, Obama's health insurance legislation does not meet the criteria for being health care. It is insurance.

    The Lewin Group?!? They are owned by a large (none / 0) (#20)
    by Farmboy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:29:20 PM EST
    insurance company, UnitedHealth, which has spent millions lobbying against the Affordable Care Act. Their numbers are anything but unbiased. TMYK

    I agree with you that Sullivan is wrong in calling the ACA universal health care. As you say, it's insurance. Of course, its proponents never claimed that it was anything but insurance reform.


    Ok (none / 0) (#21)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:32:43 PM EST
    I am glad we can agree Sullivan did.

    Obama and the Dems (none / 0) (#66)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:13:27 PM EST
    The health sector, which includes physicians and other health professionals, is one of the sectors in which Obama's campaign has a considerable advantage.

    His campaign has raised $1.6 million from the health sector, according to research by the Center for Responsive Politics. That's 76 percent more than the $920,000 raised by Romney and more than three times the $494,000 raised by Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

    Within the health sector, the pharmaceutical industry has dramatically favored Obama, whose Affordable Care Act, notably, did not allow Medicare to negotiate with drug-makers for lower prices or allow individuals to "re-import" prescription drugs from Canada or other industrialized nations.
    Individuals within the health insurance industry have given Romney $111,000 and Obama $91,000 so far this year, according to the Center's research, making them far and away the industry's favorite candidates. link

    UnitedHealth political  contributions

    The Lewin Group itself does not have any history of lobbying the federal government, according to Center for Responsive Politics records. But UnitedHealth spent $1.6 million on lobbyists during the first quarter of 2009 after shelling out $4.7 million last year...
    UnitedHealth's political action committee and employees have given current lawmakers $1.6 million since 2007. And although many Republican lawmakers have been singing Lewin Group's nonpartisan praises, 61 percent of its parent company's contributions have gone to Democrats since the beginning of the 2008 election cycle.

    Based on contributions given since the start of 2007, UnitedHealth's top recipient (not including presidential candidates) is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who has collected $35,000. Bennett has brought in $8,000 from the company since the start of the 2008 election cycle, at which time UnitedHealth's subsidiary Igenix acquired Lewin. link

    In total, health insurance companies' PACs and employees have given 25 members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation $3.3 million in campaign contributions since the 1990 election cycle, with 53 percent of that going to Democrats*.

    At the top of that list is committee member Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), who has collected $680,200 over time for his candidate committee and leadership PAC from the companies. But the industry under scrutiny has also helped pay for the campaigns of committee chair Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.), who has collected $141,000, while ranking member Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas) has brought in $119,700. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has the strongest financial tie to senators currently on the committee, giving $505,700 total, followed by AFLAC, which has donated $337,250 since 1989. Although none of the individuals testifying today were from a health insurance company (instead they were from various health care and consumer task forces and associations), UnitedHealth Group president Stephen Hemsley is scheduled to testify at the second half of the hearing on Tuesday. His company's employees and PAC have given members of the committee $206,300, and Hemsley himself contributed to Rockefeller in the 2008 election cycle.
    President Obama received $1.3 million from the industry in the 2008 election cycle link

    Cantor, Walker, and the GOP (none / 0) (#126)
    by Farmboy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:21:13 AM EST
    Lewin produced one of the most widely cited statistics of the health care debate: That, under a particular version of a public option, the number of people with private, employer-sponsored coverage would decline by more than 100 million.

    Opponents of the public option have invoked the finding as proof that offering a government-run health plan would not just create competition for private insurers -- it would deprive people of their existing employer-sponsored coverage and lead to a government takeover of the health care system.

    "The nonpartisan Lewin Group predicts that two out of three Americans who get their health care through their employer would lose it under the House Democrat plan," Cantor, the second-ranking member of the House Republican leadership, said in a July 12 commentary in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


    And you conveniently snipped out this little tidbit about UnitedHealth, the owners of the Lewin Group:

    UnitedHealth is one of the largest health insurance companies in the country, with its various insurers covering almost 70 million Americans. The company spent millions of dollars lobbying legislators against federal health care reform efforts, and was notorious for funding the Lewin Group, a consulting firm which produced slanted data to make the case against a public health insurance option.

    Everytime (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:35:01 PM EST
    someone lists Obama's list of "accomplishments" my eyes just want to glaze over. It just comes off as a droning dull thud.

    The ACA is bad legislation. You'll get no argument from me on that.

    Sitting here with someone (5.00 / 5) (#36)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:28:43 PM EST
    who will need some extensive healthcare for as long as he lives and who will also be a member of society that can and most likely will give back (Joshua), and parenting someone who was regularly "denied" by Tricare until the insurance companies became frightened of the growing "insurgency" they were feeding, ACA is pathetic legislation.  It is better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.....but only slightly.  The minute the insurance companies find a way to shore up their reasons to fear we are right back to murder by spreadsheet.

    I think murder by spreadsheet may still be going on, but they aren't doing it to military dependents because we are the media golden child in our current political history, and if you willfully kill our children for profits CNN cares and both parties will race each other to our aid.  Everyone else may still be just as phucked as ever out there and I just don't know it.

    It sure is hell though trying to find a good doctor around here who will take my horrendous paying insurance.

    Interesting segment on "All Things (5.00 / 3) (#62)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:57:49 PM EST
    Considered" this afternoon re expansion of MediCal (Medicaid) in the area of Bakersfield CA.  GOP Congressman from the area is spending all his floor time advocating repeal of ACA.  Meanwhile, in Bakersfield, the expansion has helped many people who formerly weren't eligible for MediCal, especially w/untreated chronic diseases.  

    Did you ever see this back in the summer? (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:04:58 PM EST
    Health Care Most Americans Only Dream Of

    Back when he presided over the Senate's health care reform debate, Max Baucus, chairman of the all-powerful Senate Finance Committee, had said everything was on the table -- except for single-payer universal health care. When doctors, nurses, and others rose in his hearing to insist that single payer be included in the debate, the Montana Democrat had them arrested. As more stood up, Baucus could be heard on his open microphone saying, "We need more police."

    Yet when Baucus needed a solution to a catastrophic health disaster in Libby, Montana and surrounding Lincoln County, he turned to the nation's single-payer healthcare system, Medicare, to solve the problem.

    You see, a vermiculite mine had spread deadly airborne asbestos that killed hundreds and sickened thousands in Libby and northwest Montana. W.R. Grace & Co., which owned the mine, denied its connection to the outbreaks of mesothelioma and asbestosis and dodged responsibility for this disaster. The federal government got stuck with most of the tab for the cleanup costs, and the EPA has issued a first-of-its-kind order declaring Lincoln County a public health disaster.

    When all lawsuits and legal avenues failed, Baucus turned to Medicare.

    The single-payer plan that Baucus kept off the table in 2009 is now very much on the table in Libby. It turns out that Baucus quietly inserted a section into the Affordable Care Act that covers the suffering people of Libby, Montana. Medicare covers the whole community, not just the former miners.

    Residents of Libby don't have to be 65 years old or more. They don't have to wait until 2014 for the state exchanges. There's no 10-year roll out for them -- it's immediate. They don't have to purchase a plan -- this isn't a buy-in to Medicare. It's free. They don't have to be disabled for two years before they apply. They don't have to go without care for three years until Medicaid expands. They don't have to meet income tests. They don't have to apply for a subsidy or pay a fine for failure to buy insurance. They don't have to hope that the market will make a plan affordable or hide their pre-existing conditions. They don't have to find a job that provides coverage.

    Baucus simply inserted a clause into the health care reform law to make special arrangements for them in Medicare.

    Obama's big on reaching out to the other side - maybe he could cuddle up with Max for a night and work something out?


    Andrew Sullivan :( (5.00 / 5) (#37)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:32:09 PM EST
    the expert on the slutty whores that all women are, and how much we laugh and giggle planning our next abortion.

    He iis anti abortion rights? (none / 0) (#76)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:01:59 PM EST
    His boomlet in liberal approval topped out when he was anti-torture.

    Tough position to take? (none / 0) (#124)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:14:50 AM EST
    being anti-torture?

    It should be automatic in any sane society.


    Imagine (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:35:52 PM EST
    Imagine that we eliminate the words, "Liberal, Progressive, Leftist, etc," and, substitute, "Realist, fact-based, humane, smart, fair,".... you get the picture.

    Why do we play the Republicans' game? We can't win it; they're so much better at it than us. They smear, distort, obfuscate, and confuse like you and I breath. Again, I point you to: "Death tax, Death panels, Compassionate Conservative, and so on.

    They openly admit they play in an alternate universe, and we run after them instead of saying, "NO, we won't go there, we'll only deal with "fact-based" issues. Not Liberal issues, fact-based issues.

    We're supposed to be the "educated? ones, so why do we bring a bean bag to a gun fight?

    The Facts and Logic Party (none / 0) (#81)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:10:05 PM EST
    is my new aim, as I mentioned in an earlier thread.  That name surfaced in a comment on another blog and just so clicked for me.  

    Admittedly, the full name there was something like the Facts, Logic, and Civil Discourse Party, but I am attempting to be  somewhat reality-based.:-)


    The NPA (none / 0) (#82)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:18:10 PM EST
    opposes both of America's sold-out, anti-Progressive major parties. We not only support a primary election challenge to Barack Obama in 2012, but will endorse an Independent or third-party candidate to oppose both corporatist marionettes in the general election, provided they publicly pledge to run on the Unified Progressive Platform and to govern based upon it when elected.

    --New Progressive Alliance


    And you said you were not going (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:40:01 PM EST
    the Nader route.....

    Sorry, but I've learned to distrust (none / 0) (#141)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:30:30 PM EST
    the term "progressive," as it used and by whom it is used these days.

    In that case (none / 0) (#142)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:45:51 PM EST
    it's probably a good idea for you to read what they're doing, so you don't get blindsided.

    Not how I read that (5.00 / 2) (#87)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:27:55 PM EST

    My reading isn't that liberals lost the South because of the Vietnam War.  Booman is arguing that liberals lost a unifying voice with the advent of the Vietnam War.  Certainly 1968 led to a pretty major fracturing of the left with the anti-war left breaking away from the domestic rights left.  

    The anti-war left abandoning Humphrey left some bitterness among the civil rights liberals who thought of Humphrey as true a liberal hero.

    I also think that Booman makes a good final point...

    Liberals used to be able to do this. But since the disaster in 1968, it seems like we just want to attack all forms of power, even when they are our own.

    I don't believe that the left needs to be countercultural.  Historically when the left has made great achievements they have had the force of mainstream popular support(abolitionist, 19th century progressives, FDR).   So the inherent distrust of authority that has metastasized among the left has actually been counterproductive.

    Sure (none / 0) (#106)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:13:10 PM EST
    the Civil Rights Movement had NOTHING to do with it.

    Hilarious. You guys are too funny.


    Wait what? (none / 0) (#109)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:28:42 PM EST
    What are you talking about?  

    The Civil Rights movement had nothing to do with what?  

    Who are "you guys"?

    I was responding to your point about the South which wasn't pertinent to Booman's commentary.


    Liberals may've lost (5.00 / 6) (#110)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 11:17:29 PM EST
    a unified voice in part due to the Vietnam War, but note that even Booman acknowledges FDR cobbled together a coalition that included Jim Crow Democrats.  Post Civil Rights those guys were gone (from our coalition anyway), but it's not like they lost their political voice.

    It's not like the Democrats we have in office (including Obama) are hippies.  The war machine keeps on rolling away today.  

    Booman suggests (particularly in his update) that liberals are afraid of acknowledging their values are now mainstream cultural values (tell that to, I don't know, our President who doesn't support gay marriage?).  In his list of "things we've proved" he ignores all issues relating to income inequality and taxation.  OWS by virtue of its all walks of life membership is trying to prove that our views on income inequality and taxation ARE cultural views.  Yet a lot of what Booman wrote seems in opposition to their role.  

    By the way, I would suggest that part of the problem with this (second) essays is the way he characterizes liberal values - "tolerance for gays" is now mainstream.  That's a completely bullsh*t thing to say, IMO, as though it were a meaningful accomplishment.  We know the real battle isn't tolerance, it's equal rights.  And that had far more to do with gay rights groups specifically than some nebulous group of "liberals" as a whole.  If a lot of the argument among liberals now is about the pace of change, that's a perfect example of such a point of contention - "liberals" (aka Party Democrats) slow walking things and acting like it's 10 years ago.  The cowardly ones are not OWS and the gay rights groups demanding change; it's the politicians who abdicate the moral leadership game to Republicans whenever they can.


    Fair enough (5.00 / 2) (#112)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 11:58:09 PM EST
    I wasn't trying to delve into the specifics of the issues themselves moreso the argument that the left is no longer effective.  

    I do think that it is much more difficult to come up with a truly liberal economic plan.  Unlike civil rights issues where there usually is a bright line separation between equality and inequality, when it comes to economic rights there is a fundamental conflict between equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.   Just about everyone wants to see equality of opportunity, at least among the left, but since it isn't possible to make things completely equal there are those among the left that would like to even the scales when it comes to outcome.

    And that is where things get challenging and that is why the OWS guys can't really deliver a coherent message.   It's fine to be angry at Wall Street but what do they propose should be done?    Populist anger usually isn't the best way to tangle with complex economic issues.

    Thanks for the welcome.  Nice to stop by once and a while.


    excellent comment, lilburro (5.00 / 2) (#114)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 12:31:05 AM EST
    Also, (none / 0) (#111)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 11:18:48 PM EST
    it's nice to see you again, flyerhawk.

    I was responding to your comment (none / 0) (#120)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:02:00 AM EST
    There Seems To Be A Divide (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by john horse on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:09:03 PM EST
    between liberal Villagers like Chait and those of us that live in the reality based community outside the bubble.  Apparently, the belief in a "faith based community" is not just limited to Bush supporters.  

    The Southerner who signed the CR Act knew (5.00 / 1) (#125)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:18:11 AM EST
    he was losing the South for Dems for several generations.  LBJ said so at the time.

    Another generation or two and the whole race issue will stop being a significant factor in electoral politics.

    Quesiton is whether any recognizable democracy will be in place then.

    Incompetent/stupid people do not become Pres? (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:58:37 AM EST

    Need I say more?  But for the money & power of his family friends the guy would be the drunk who sits night after night at the end of the bar.

    bush was not incompetent either (none / 0) (#147)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:03:00 PM EST
    On the contrary, he was extremely effective for eight years at getting exactly what he wanted, whenever he wanted.

    He accomplished everything he set out to accomplish, in spite of -and even because of - a Democratic Party that for the last two years of his presidency controlled a majority in both the House and the Senate for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995.


    I agree (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by sj on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:44:23 PM EST
    I don't think Bush was incompetent either.  Anathema, but not incompetent.  And lack of verbal skills notwithstanding, I always saw a kind of native shrewdness that can (and clearly did) carry one a long way.

    thanks for the evidence Edgar (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Bornagaindem on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:46:56 PM EST

    [Cracking Knuckles] (2.67 / 3) (#45)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:35:09 PM EST
    [Not directed to BTD specifically]

    Everyone lectures everyone about everything.  The folks that don't dig Obama are some of the most lecture happy folks out there.  They'll tell you how you are not a liberal.  How you don't understand the facts about the unemployed and their plight.  How you are secretly doing the republicans' bidding. Etc.  

    But that's no knock against them.  Generally, a person believes what they believe and they voice their opinions on the subject.  When others agree with those opinions, it's a "good point", "yo go boy/girl", and "I'd rate that an 11" if I could.  That kind of thing.  When you (the generic "you") don't agree, it's a lecture in your eyes.  No one is immune to this.  I do it too.

    My only point is that at this particular point, for every Chait making the "pro-Obama" point, there are three Jane Hamsher types arguing the opposite.  In the lefty blogosphere, Chait is the exception and those that lecture Obama supporters are the rule.  Why is it that what Yglesias does, for example, is lecturing and when Hamsher calls me and other Obama supporters "the dumbest m____ers in the world", that's just one of Obama's critics keeping it real for all of us dumb m____ers.

    The idea that Obama is doing a decent job isn't even a position that an intelligent person is allowed to have in some circles.

    I wonder (5.00 / 5) (#49)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:53:32 PM EST
    if you know that Hamsher was a huuuge Obama supporter back in '08? I think she's a classic example of someone who brought into Obama's marketing campaign and has now found out that it was all just a joke to get votes and he didn't really mean it. The people who were fooled by him are the maddest of them all. There comes a day for a lot of people where you wake up and realize you were being played for a chump and you become extremely angry.

    I don't care (5.00 / 1) (#74)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:46:16 PM EST
    What she was in the past.  All I know is that intelligent and knowledgable liberals are allowed to disagree.  It shouldn't be a liberal litmus test that you have to be disappointed in Obama to keep your liberal card.  

    There are plenty of good, knowledgable, intelligent politically engaged people who disagree with the anti Obama sentiment of some on the left.

    My only issue is the idea that there is only one acceptable way for a liberal to view Obama and the idea that those who do not share that view are ignorant or shills.  Every once in a while, I'll try to argue that folks are just Obama Haters and it causes all manner of consternation.

    If you don't want those labels, don't bestow simplistic labels on others.


    I liked that (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:55:26 PM EST
    phrase from link "Obama undergoing his ritual humiliation". I think that's a pretty good synopsis of Obama's negotiations with the GOP.

    He just promised to veto any attempt to (none / 0) (#63)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:59:57 PM EST
    do an end rum around the automatic cuts.  Strange.  

    Most (none / 0) (#116)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:00:35 AM EST
    people who come here to present sales pitches are rightfully labeled as site violators.

    I hope you crosspost this (none / 0) (#2)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:18:14 PM EST
    I think you're right on target.

    Meh (none / 0) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:26:33 PM EST
    I sort of lost interest again.

    Maybe I'll write a variant of this for Sunday.


    Well, as much as I hate (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:29:04 PM EST
    puffing up Jon "STFU" Chait, his voice is loud and stupid.

    There won't be an NBA/racism f/u? (none / 0) (#59)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:43:12 PM EST
    I think it's fair (none / 0) (#6)
    by seabe on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:39:56 PM EST
    to say that the counterculture split the unions and the leftists. Didn't the unions back Nixon in 1972 to spite the hippies? Didn't many leftists back Nixon in 1968 on the premise that he would end the war?

    Yes, Civil Rights gave the South to the Republicans for decades (and we still have another decade to go before Texas might be swingable). But there was a fracture due to the counterculture within the left itself...

    I don't think it is fair at all (5.00 / 4) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:56:48 PM EST
    I would strongly argue that the civil rights legislation did much more to split the white union vote against Dems than opposition to the Vietnam War.

    I can point to where Dems lost white votes to back up my claim too.


    i would argue that as well (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:58:51 PM EST
    I can point to where Dems lost white votes to back up my claim too.

    so can i

    & it certainly wasn't only in the South, by any means


    You want to count up the lost votes? (5.00 / 2) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:02:51 PM EST
    I guarantee you the losses of white votes in the South dwarfs any losses anywhere else.

    i am AGREEING with your point (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:12:01 PM EST
    but not articulately enough, it seems

    My bad (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:13:32 PM EST
    I think we were trying to say the same thing (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by CST on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:52:25 PM EST
    my bad too.

    The number of lost southern votes (none / 0) (#33)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:03:14 PM EST
    did necessitate a different strategy from Dems. That is why the MidWest became so essential...with a little relief now coming from the West.

    Also: I would, tho, rank the "cultural" divide component of the Vietnam War on the same level in terms of its long-playing division within the party...as personified briefly in the talking-points some used after a certain Nob Hill function during 2008 supposedly referencing gun-clinging, religion, & uneducated (at least, that was the accepted portrayal in those area like PA where H. Clinton won handily.)

    This cultural divide is real...still. The political harm: Losing parts of the Big Tent over the years over "values" interpretations coupled with a kind of associated purism can & does hurt the essential Dem electoral numbers outside of the Repub solid south. (BTW: Recapturing Texas & adding Arizona with Nevada & New Mexico clearly alleviates the consequences of that Vietnam hangover cultural split in the MidWest & MidAtlantic.)


    Yes, but you miss gender in the Midwest (none / 0) (#84)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:21:19 PM EST
    as in:

    -- "angry white men" (remember that phrase re the Reagan movement) about women in numbers in colleges and in careers starting in the '70s.

    -- reaction to Roe v. Wade, also starting in the '70s.  Remember that the Midwest was and even now is the most churchgoing region in the country.  Remember from whence Phyllis Schlafly came (Illinois) and where she won her first victory (Wisconsin).

    Even as union numbers dissipated -- as, after all, they did since the 1950s, so the labor movement was not nearly as powerful as you see it in the 1970s and 1980s, I think -- the massive force that Susan Faludi attempts to measure, the backlash against women, had immense impact in the Midwest.  Which states still have not had women governors?  Which states still have not had women in the Senate?  Which state was the last with a woman in the House?  etc.  See where many, and in some cases most, of those states are on the map.

    And the gender backlash still has immense impact today in the Midwest, a reason that so much of it remains so split, so "purple."  (See: 2008, Hillary Clinton; see 2012, Tammy Baldwin; I fear that gender may work against her in her state, one of the worst for women, even more than gender orientation.)


    Of course, you are right. (none / 0) (#86)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:27:55 PM EST
    That backlash had its crescendo in the MidWest. And, that has been part of the contrived "values" demarcation.

    I don't know how it all fits together, towanda. But, more & more, I feel that we have been the repository of a massive divide & conquer.


    Yep, you and I agree on that (none / 0) (#140)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 01:29:29 PM EST
    and I just don't know where will feel like home anymore.  I think home was not a place; it was the past -- and I don't have time to wait for that past to return, as it will take decades to recover from this destruction to our society.

    I tell myself to be thankful that I had a past that had promise, unlike the future for my progeny.


    This morning while walking with my dog (none / 0) (#143)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 02:48:23 PM EST
    I was talking to my sister...my prayer is that she is with God & can hear my happy-sad remembrances of Thanksgivings past that we cooked together & always shared together. It makes you feel that--as you feel--that home is in the past.
    But, one of my sister's favorite song-dittys as a little girl was "Pick yourself up, dust yourself off, start all over again."

    This isn't to preach. It is to say that, at some level, I feel the loss of home. For me, there is no option but to carry that Home forward with me always in my Home today.

    Have a very peaceful, loving Thanksgiving.


    I just had that talk with my daughter (5.00 / 1) (#149)
    by Towanda on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:38:03 PM EST
    today, as she is missing her grandmother so much at this time -- the grandmother whom she lost at nearly 100, little more than a year ago, and whose philosophy was much the same as your sister's.  That got that amazing woman through real tragedies in her life, and that has gotten my daughter through some rough days of late.

    She admitted that she wondered if it is weird to feel her grandmother almost with her sometimes, still.  I said, not at all; that happens to us all.  Maybe it's a memory trick; maybe not -- and if not, grandma really is here, hovering like a guardian angel.  Well, that image did not fit her very grandma, very active in her time.  So then I said that perhaps grandma was hovering like a chopper over her favorite girl child!  

    That vision of her grandma, rotating like a whirlybird, dried daughter's near-tears.  May you get a good laugh from it, too -- as home is where the laughter is, remember, as well as the sadness.


    I, too, often think of my brother (5.00 / 1) (#154)
    by sj on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:40:16 PM EST
    on my dog walks.  Especially on those mornings that are so beautiful that they almost humble me.  I imagine him taking it in, paints in hand.  He did the most wonderful cityscapes and watercolors of historic buildings.  

    We shared a favorite song with a similar message, though likely a different tempo.  Living the life of an artist is hard, but he always got up again.  Thanksgiving and Easter are particularly hard as the siblings always got together for them.  Now, I'm far away and he's ... even further.  

    Bringing Home forward with me sounds like just the right thing to do.  Thank you for that thought.


    what makes you think (none / 0) (#12)
    by CST on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:02:17 PM EST
    only the south would have a problem with civil rights?

    They had MORE of a problem (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:03:41 PM EST
    Boston and busing (5.00 / 1) (#80)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:09:19 PM EST
    From long ago, whites in Boston protested busing as strenuously as anywhere in the South.

    Outside of Cambridge, there is a lot less acceptance of Civil and Women's rights.....

    Gender bias will be Elizabeth Warren's biggest problem.


    who can ever forget... (none / 0) (#99)
    by desertswine on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:50:42 PM EST
    this photo of attorney Ted Landsmark about to get his nose broken by an American flag during an anti-busing demonstration in Boston? He happened to be walking by.

    This shows what a disaster (5.00 / 2) (#103)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:00:23 PM EST
    the loss of Bobby was.  I like to think he could have defused such things......

    The combo (none / 0) (#25)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:47:35 PM EST
    Nixon's Southern Strategy combined with the longstanding upheaval generated by reactions to the Vietnam War did a number...for a long time.

    Yes, the solid south became a different solid giving guaranteed electoral votes to the Repubs since the LBJ domestic legislation aftermath. But, there definitely has been a simultaneous schism within the Dems that became unmistakable during Vietnam. Most notable was the migration of significant labor/working class middle-age people & sons to Reagan as Reagan Dems. In so many ways, the plant workers, the manufacturing workers of Pennsylvania, northern Ohio, parts of Michigan, etc. have been up for grabs as swing voters. That did not stop after construction workers & teamsters moved away in the early 1980s...for example, see the appeal of what had been typed as centrist (Hillary Clinton) vis-a-vis what appeared to be new generation emerging values (Barack Obama) in 2008 primaries. The old FDR coalition was fractured at two key points. That fracture, of course, had also been seen in the 1968, 1972, 1976 conventions with the old school v. new school divide around both foreign policy perceptions & the vaguer "values" cue left over from the 60s.


    I th9ink the racial component is overwhelming (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:58:19 PM EST
    on this and indeed, the Emerging Dem Majority in the future is also a part of this.

    I think the Vietnam War, to the degree it had an effect, was due to the failed war, not the hippies.

    After all, Bob Dole talked about "Democratic wars" in 1976.


    Yes, BTD...it wasn't the hippies (none / 0) (#40)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:49:08 PM EST
    What Vietnam did (the more I think back on it)was: It separated by class/education. I saw both sides from my limited perspective of being from a working class (lower-middle income)family with strong Pennsylvania union roots...and myself being the first to go to college (& marrying one who got a college deferment) The "culture" was different in some ways; but, a lot of it was a classism based on education & the related funds needed for it.

    Perhaps, that is why the Occupy movement has such broad appeal...because it does cut through & accross the 99% and isolates, in a way, that group that has been for so long successful not just at keeping/hugely increasing wealth but also at telling those on the lower economic rungs that they too could aspire to the top.  The last decade or so has really exposed all that--where the "values" voters were separated from each other by turning attention away from the economic realities toward & against "elitist hippies."

    Long-winded from me, I know.  But, it is dawning on me--more analytically because of Occupy--what Vietnam really wrought at home...and the undercutting electoral effects Dems have so long felt because of it.  You are correct, of course, BTD, that the direct voting numbers were impacted most severely by the Repub Southern Strategy. It is the pall of this contemporaneous Vietnam ginned-up values war that has exacerbated those numbers.


    in passing, an idle thought (none / 0) (#34)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:13:30 PM EST
    i see the 1984 Gary Hart, after his surprise second-place finish in Iowa, as an early proto-Obama figure vis-a-via Walter Mondale (who would be the Hillary Clinton figure in this analogy, though Mondale did become the party's eventual nominee)

    i see Obama's nomination & election as an outcome & fulfillment of Hart's emergence some 25 years earlier - very likely many of the same primary voters who backed Hart in 1984 also backed Obama in 2008, this time in the company of their children

    (Bill Clinton, who ran successfully 8 years later, was a candidate of a rather different stripe from Hart's)

    In so many ways, the plant workers, the manufacturing workers of Pennsylvania, northern Ohio, parts of Michigan, etc. have been up for grabs as swing voters. That did not stop after construction workers & teamsters moved away in the early 1980s...for example, see the appeal of what had been typed as centrist (Hillary Clinton) vis-a-vis what appeared to be new generation emerging values (Barack Obama) in 2008 primaries.

    Addams Family: Progeny (none / 0) (#52)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:08:37 PM EST
    Who descended from whom in Democratic lineage over the past half-century...? A great question. And, I really think that the Hart and Mondale dichotomy that you mention is a big part of that. Apart from G. Hart's self-destruction, he followed the line from anti-war McGovern (whose Iowa campaign he directed) while Mondale, the stalwart old progressive, was cast as the old school rep. (The funny part for me is that my husband & I were strong early supporters of then-fellow Coloradan Hart, who visited the poli-sci class my husband taught at the time. We even went to his announcement in Denver. Well, c'est la vie.)

    Following on your thought, Addams, I'm thinking that the whole shebang after the upheaval of the 60s on so many levels left everyone--and especially our Democratic Party reeling (for years to come.) I feel (not think, but feel) that thet the country moved toward what sounded like populism...someone who spoke their language. Voila! An actor who sounded nice and reached out to people and clearly loved to interact with people...Reagan. Look at us Dems. We might have had the issues, but the presidential candidates seemed to resemble more & more the intellectualized aloof someone (reincarnation of Stevenson.)

    Until Bill Clinton. He had the intellect & general Democratic values...and he talked openly the language of the people. He merged the two--populism & intellectualism--better than anyone I have ever seen. Then...fast forward to 2008 & we see that cleavage again. This time, perhaps because of the disaster wrought during the Bush years & the readiness for a Democrat, the cool & intellectual embodiment in the person of our current President won easily.  And, yet....

    And yet, from all that I have seen on these blogs, we see again a longing for the populist. We see the "why doesn't he care" "why doesn't he understand," etc. And, I might add: "Why doesn't <he show> that he feels our pain?"  I don't know what this all means.  Except: It is curious; and, I wish, we could figure out how to bridge this obvious divide.


    I am by no means saying (none / 0) (#56)
    by seabe on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:30:06 PM EST
    it's accountable for more of the swing. I happen to believe that Civil Rights did more to split the vote. However, I don't think we can just excuse the split from the counterculture as a minor blip comparatively speaking, when they were both intertwined with the DFH embracing such legislation.

    You're being too dismissive, imo.


    wha?? (5.00 / 3) (#15)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:08:04 PM EST
    "Didn't many leftists back Nixon in 1968 on the premise that he would end the war?"

    Er, in a word, no.


    in 1968 & in 1972 (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:10:41 PM EST
    i was leftist & politically active

    in 1968, none of the leftists i knew backed "Tricky Dick" for his "secret plan" to end the war or for any other reason

    in 1972, many northern and midwestern Democrats in the unions did back Nixon because of his "law-n-order" policies (after 1968, they saw "law-n-order" as a weapon for beating down the uppity blacks & the degenerate, elitist, race-traitor hippies), but many of the same union members also supported Nixon because he had escalated a war that they saw a need to "win," since so many of their sons had died in Vietnam & they didn't want their sacrifice to have been "in vain"

    that is what i remember from those years, but then again my memory isn't always what it used to be


    That is what I saw as well. (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:50:06 PM EST
    Counterculture didn't split the left (none / 0) (#61)
    by Coral on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:56:13 PM EST
    The Vietnam War split the Democratic party. The unions were mostly for the war. A lot of working class whites were also anti-school busing (for example, Boston).

    I wouldn't blame the counterculture, which was mostly an antiwar, environmental movement (with a liberal sprinkling of sex, drugs, & rock and roll).

    The Democratic party lost a lot of rank-and-file union constituents on social issues and the war. And they lost the South with passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Acts.

    The amazing thing about the whole occupy phenomenon is that it is bringing these disparate factions, splintered since the late sixties/early seventies, under the same umbrella. Minus the white South of course (at least much of  it).

    We are undergoing some kind of a sea change right now. Where it will lead, though, is anybody's guess.

    The thing about Obama that is really lacking is the common touch -- a failure to be able to fashion an appealing populist message. He's great at appeasing the oligarchs. He has been truly blessed by the appalling lineup of GOP presidential candidates...who appeal to no one.


    Obama can't fashion a believable (5.00 / 2) (#69)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:20:28 PM EST
    populist message because he is not a populist. Also he must continually prove how "business friendly" he is through the policies he pushes through Congress and the staff he hires.  

    This is (none / 0) (#71)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:26:49 PM EST
    Who Obama is ( 5 min video )

    A thousand people (5.00 / 2) (#95)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:43:18 PM EST
    In a thousand different ways all say the same thing,
    the thing I said long before his nomination
    Candidate/President Barrack Obama is a fraud.

    He wasn't campaigning,
    He was being merchandised.

    Just like Fabian in the 50's, a punk plucked off the streets by the studio bosses,
    (They could make anyone a Star)

    The Masters designed their candidate, listed their requirements, Auditions were held
    Obama got the call.

    When you own all the money, all the media,
    all the instruments of government, including the actors (Congressmen & Senators)
    Even the courts, of course also the S.C.
    And the military, don't forget the military

    How could you lose?

    My problem is, Obama didn't just "follow orders,"
    He slobbered for the role like Sinatra did for,
    how appropriate, "From Here to Eternity"


    Not a thousand (none / 0) (#98)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:46:57 PM EST
    more like tens of millions, I think....

    If you believe that millions will oppose (none / 0) (#100)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:55:01 PM EST
    the re-election from the Left, you will be disappointed.

    I thought the anti-Obama Left were disdainful of naive idealism like this.....


    I may, or may not, (none / 0) (#107)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:14:08 PM EST
    speak for Edger, but I was referring to the growing number of Left Pundits, mostly ex-Obama supporters, who, I believe, have finally seen Obama for what he is: A candidate who won the prize, and doesn't know what to do with it.

    There's a difference between ... (none / 0) (#119)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:51:49 AM EST
    ... "naive idealism" and utter gullibility.

    BTW - I don't think anyone actually said that tens of millions would oppose the re-election from the Left - kinda guessing that's never been polled.  OTOH, with 30% disapproval rating from liberals, it's completely accurate to say that tens of millions of the Left disapprove of what Obama's done.


    Supreme Court??? (none / 0) (#102)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:56:46 PM EST
    You believe that Sotomayor and Kagan are corporate toadies?

    they're in the minority (none / 0) (#104)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:07:26 PM EST
    they could stay home, watching "friends" reruns

    get real


    I thought Obama was a corporatist toady (none / 0) (#108)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 10:15:02 PM EST
    who helped create a corporatist toady Supreme Court.

    More Justices like Sotomayor and Kagan would be helpful.


    broken clock (none / 0) (#131)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:50:24 AM EST
    and all that.

    Mussolini made the trains run on time.


    Coral: You said it so well. (none / 0) (#73)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:42:29 PM EST
    A dem didn't win it (none / 0) (#10)
    by me only on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 03:59:19 PM EST
    '72 Nixon
    '80 Reagan
    '84 Reagan

    Just how truly awful a candidate do you have to be to lose your political base-state.  I mean you must be beyond the pale.  (Of course I am referring to Al Smith).

    California was very close in '76.  I am not sure what conclusion can be drawn from '88, other than Dukakis.

    I wrote (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:01:49 PM EST
    "And the Dems have won ever since 1992."

    1988, when Bush 41 won, 1980 and 1984, when Reagan won, 1976, when Ford won. 1968 and 1972, when Nixon won, all preceded 1992.

    SINCE 1992 Clinton won in 1996. Gore won in 2000, Kerry won in 2004, Obama won in 2008.


    I was pointing out that (none / 0) (#42)
    by me only on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:25:05 PM EST
    the Democratic losses might be more of a product of the Republican candidates being from California than the state having been some bastion of Republicans.

    Ike won Cali (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:32:17 PM EST
    So did Hancock (none / 0) (#68)
    by me only on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:16:32 PM EST
    and Cleveland ('92), Wilson ('16), FDR (4 times), and Truman.

    I am not saying that California isn't trending Democratic.  I am saying that the voting record in Presidential elections isn't great evidence of that.


    Also look at the margins of victory (none / 0) (#97)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:44:21 PM EST
    A generic Dem starts out with a 15 point lead in any state wide race in California.

    I do not think there are any state-wide elected Republicans.  And we have all kinds of state wide offices:  Lt. Guv, Treasurer, Auditor, Secy of State, Ins. Commissioner, AG.

    "Republican" is a dirty word in this state.  


    really? (none / 0) (#113)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 12:16:56 AM EST
    "Republican" is a dirty word in this state.

    not exactly

    not in Orange County

    not in the Valley, whether that means San Fernando or Silicon

    not in & around Shasta

    not in whole swaths of suburban Contra Costa County

    & not even 20 minutes past the border between Marin & Sonoma Counties

    have you forgotten that as recently as 2003 the California GOP pulled off an actual coup & unseated a legally elected Democratic governor?  


    Yes, statewide, it is (none / 0) (#135)
    by MKS on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 11:11:59 AM EST
    True, there are pockets of GOP strength.

    But Obama almost won Orange County....There are a lot of Latinos and Asians in Orange County.

    Arnold was pro choice.....That is how a Republican can win here.....

    But Arnold was not nominated by the Republican party--he leapfrogged that step. A pro choice Republican could not make it through the Primary process.

    Last year during the GOP wave, the closest the GOP could come to winning a statewide race was 10 points.....


    And Mayors (none / 0) (#136)
    by MKS on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 11:14:51 AM EST
    Is there a Republican mayor in this state (of a major city)?

    Not LA, San Francisco, Oakland.  Maybe San Diego but I'm not sure.....


    Must have been Nixon as VP that did it! (none / 0) (#134)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:59:45 AM EST
    California was very close in 1988 (none / 0) (#91)
    by MKS on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:38:29 PM EST
    That was the last time the Republicans won the state in a Presidential election.

    In 1994, the Republicans had a majority in the state legislature.....

    Pete Wilson's Latino bashing ended that.


    I haven't read Booman recently (none / 0) (#23)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:46:19 PM EST
    but he has the strangest set of opinions.  I would've thought he would support OWS, if only because he believes that the country should be fully primed for action (a task that can only be accomplished by political actors that are not politicians) before a politician moves to do something.  He makes the connection between Stonewall and DADT in his post, for instance.  You would think he would see that OWS makes space for more liberal political moves.

    It's interesting that he hates Bill Clinton so much, but if you really think that the only way something happens is if the nation is fully primed one way or another, why hate one politician more than another?  If Presidents don't lead the way, why blame any of them?

    It's (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:57:23 PM EST
    a personality thing or something. It's certainly not based on issues since Obama is to the right of Clinton on almost all issues.

    Obama is not to the (none / 0) (#46)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:39:28 PM EST
    right of clinton on almost all issues.

    Geezus. I just can stand to have people just make random unsupported comments like that.  It's the internets and that happenes a zillion times a day, but it is particularly irritating to see that here for some reason.


    Tax policy (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:50:20 PM EST
    for one? Pro-choice for another? Obama is a supply sider which is to the right of Rubinomics. ACA is Bob Dole's baby. It seems to me that this is supported by many of Obama's own actions. Oh, yeah, and you can add the Reagan worship on top of all that and add in the continuation of W's policies for good measure.

    Given the political realities of 1993-94 etc. (none / 0) (#54)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:19:22 PM EST
    the Clintons moved from their earlier single-payer focus. (I was part of that earlier push; and, we got creamed.) By 2008, they were in accord with reform as exemplified in the ACA...as were most people who had long supported & worked for health & insurance reform.

    alas, poor Booman (5.00 / 2) (#31)
    by The Addams Family on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:00:21 PM EST
    I would've thought he would support OWS, if only because he believes that the country should be fully primed for action (a task that can only be accomplished by political actors that are not politicians) before a politician moves to do something.

    the term "veal-pen progressive" was coined specifically to denote people like Booman


    Booman would be all over OWS, if (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:48:02 PM EST
    the movement was aligning itself with the Democratic Party and had been willing to be fully co-opted by the Obama campaign.

    He's just one of many who can't see the value in something if it can't be mined for votes and money for his preferred candidate.

    Everything is seen through a lens of, "is this good for my guy?  Can we leverage this for votes?"

    Glenn Greenwald:

    The strength and genius of OWS has been its steadfast refusal to (a) fall into the trap that ensnared the Tea Party of being exploited as a partisan tool and (b) integrate itself into the very political institutions which it's scorning and protesting.

    As I noted several weeks ago, WH-aligned groups such as the Center for American Progress have made explicitly clear that they are going to try to convert OWS into a vote-producing arm for the Obama 2012 campaign, and that's what "Occupy Congress" is designed to achieve. I believed then and -- having spent the last few weeks talking with many OWS protesters around the country -- believe even more so now that these efforts will inevitably fail: those who have animated the Occupy movement are not motivated by partisan allegiance or an overarching desire to devote themselves to one of the two parties. In fact, one of the original Occupy groups -- as opposed to partisan organizations swooping in to exploit it -- has announced its own D.C. occupation to, in part, "demonstrate the failure of the Democrats and Republicans in Congress to represent the views of the majority of people."

    Booman really just doesn't get that the establishment has so failed us that Occupy being subsumed by a party or a candidate would be the most effective way to kill it.


    Anne (none / 0) (#51)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:59:33 PM EST
    I am just going to counter everything you say with "you wouldn't believe that if Obama supported it".

    You use this same line on everyone who supports Obama on anything.  It's completely unfair.

    So here goes: If Obama supported OWS from day one, you wouldn't support it and wouldn't believe it was a secret attempt to help the bankers somehow.


    Obama has supported OWS from day one (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:14:50 PM EST
    as long as it doesn't happen in America.

    My administration has been closely monitoring the situation... and I know that we will be learning more tomorrow when day breaks.

    As the situation continues to unfold, our first concern is preventing injury or loss of life. So I want to be very clear in calling upon the... authorities to refrain from any violence against peaceful protesters.

    The people... have rights that are universal. That includes the right to peaceful assembly and association, the right to free speech, and the ability to determine their own destiny.

    These are human rights. And the United States will stand up for them everywhere.

    Violence will not address the grievances of the... people. And suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away.

    prez here to read it all


    There probably wouldn't need to be (5.00 / 11) (#60)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:48:39 PM EST
    an Occupy movement if Obama had been the kind of president, the kind of Democrat, who supported the kinds of things that Occupy stands for, and who was committed to the interests of average people who desperately need a voice and an advocate.

    Obama had the opportunity, the political capital, to be that kind of president; he chose not to be.

    Try again.


    No need for OWS if Obama had been the president (5.00 / 6) (#64)
    by Coral on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:03:04 PM EST
    he promised to be when running for the office. All that change he wanted us to hope for and believe in.

    I feel betrayed. And especially angry at the betrayal of my struggling kids, who worked day & night for his election. They are the ones struggling to find decent jobs, pay off college loans, etc. etc....and don't get me started on health insurance.


    The "theory of rising expectations" (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Towanda on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:32:36 PM EST
    applies again, as it has for social justice movements throughout our history.

    People without hope for change don't form  movements, don't see reason to even try to obtain justice.  They remain hopeless and without  expectations, reasons, to think of organizing and acting.

    Social movements arise when people are given hope for change -- "rising expectations" -- and are organized for it but then, that hope is betrayed.  They take over the organization or revise and restart it or another organization on their own.


    C'mnon now...single-handedly superman? (none / 0) (#67)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:15:56 PM EST
    The "rich get richer, poor get poorer" dysfunction has been growing for almost two decades. There was no "if only Obama (or anyone for that matter....)

    Equally important to remember is that this was not a time--like following Hoover--when the destruction was so immediately & obviously apparent that people essentially gave the President free-rein. That was a false wish that we may have all fallen into. The reality was & is that the country remains very divided.  That Obama won in 2008 with a comfortable margin did not change the reality of that split and other impediments such as the 60-vote phony requirement to pass anything in the Senate.

    Not making excuses.  I don't much care for excuses. But, it resembles magical thinking to argue that political reality changes with a "presto chango."

    Don't diminish the Occupy movement with an attempt to call this broad-based, long-building justifiable protest as merely a newbie problem borne of the symptomatic 2007-08 economic collapse. I too believe that our government could & should have done more thereafter; but, the scapegoating--i.e., anything wrong, bad, not right must come from Obama--doesn't add up...particularly in view of substantial agreement among economists that the economic situation would have been much worse without the actions of the Obama administration.

    So hey...where is the common ground here? Or do we want to find any?


    Right (none / 0) (#75)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:50:50 PM EST
    Because wall street and 50 percent of the population would have magically disappeared if Obama had just been more vocal about his liberalism?

    In what reality does that happen. We'd be having the exact same battle if he had done what you suggest.


    If he had done what Anne suggests up there (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:02:08 PM EST
    he certainly wouldn't need anyone shilling for him on blogs.

    And he wouldn't have to spend a dime to get re-elected. The free publicity would utterly destroy anyone who was stupid enough to run against him.

    But then, he would never have gotten his republican agenda advanced as far as he has.


    Obama squandered (5.00 / 6) (#78)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:05:57 PM EST
    his first 100 days. He alienated the left, and continues to do so.

    He is more concerned about bipartisan process than any sort of end game. He thinks that cool heads and rationality win the day.

    But by practicing these beliefs, we get the affordable health insurance act, brinksmanship by the republicans, and blinking and back-stepping by Obama and his chief supporters.

    His authoritarian streak and disregard for civil rights remains evident to anyone who cares to look. His disregard of middle-class and lower people should be painfully obvious to even the most casual observer.

    The banks were to big to fail, but people? not so important. His stimulus used cooked books to talk about jobs saved or created, and the money didn't get to where it was needed.

    So excuse me if i don't seem concerned about Obama being considered a liberal or progressive. I don't think he will be in the pantheon of great presidents.

    I don't think he'll be in the pantheon of good presidents, either.  He'll fall into the pantheon of presidents who kicked the can of business along, at the expense of the people. A president who said he would do wonders and sh!t ragbabies, but missed.

    He's not a closer. He's not really a leader. He's the facilitator in chief.


    I'm thinking the UC Davis students (5.00 / 4) (#79)
    by oculus on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:09:02 PM EST
    quoted today from the mass protest this afternoon have a good point:  federal gov't. bailed out the banks but we, the students are paying ever higher tuition and fees and the student loans are killing us.  But does the fed. gov't. care about us?  

    It's such a salient point. (5.00 / 2) (#83)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:18:58 PM EST
    If student loans don't get repaid, guess what? they take it out of your social security check.

    But hey, profits are up. I guess the students needed to invest those loans.


    whenever anyone brings up (5.00 / 2) (#122)
    by CST on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 09:20:50 AM EST
    how the bailout was necessary to save us from financial collapse I think about things like this.

    I agree that the bailout helped the economy to some degree as it was heading off a cliff.

    But something the TARP defenders never get around to asking - what would have happened if we had spent that money somewhere else?  Not if we had just not spent it, but if instead of giving it directly to banks, we gave it to homeowners/students/etc... to pay off their loans.  The banks would have been saved, but so would the people.  And I think that's missing from the whole TARP picture.

    The cost of higher education in this country is crippling our future.


    Well sure (none / 0) (#123)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:10:33 AM EST
    The key difference being that the banks have paid back TARP whereas had we given it to consumers they would not have paid it back.  

    TARP was not optional.  It may be distasteful but it had to be done.


    it would have been a giant stimulus package (5.00 / 2) (#128)
    by CST on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:33:48 AM EST
    the fact that it was paid back means not a whole lot to me.  Especially since in a lot of cases it was paid back by - borrowing more money from the treasury.

    I really don't care that much about the deficit right now.  TARP should have been replaced by a massive stimulus.

    I don't think letting the banks fail was an option.  I do think there was a better way to save them, and not just them.


    TARP was only a fraction (none / 0) (#145)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:25:38 PM EST
    of the countless, special programs set up by the FED & Treasury to funnel trillions to the banks. From "carry trade" to "Investment Bank given "Bank" status, to Qe1, 2, and soon 3, to free money and 4% repurchase scam, To TBTF status which gives them competitive advantage over other banks and allows them to make ever riskier bets, and those barely scratch the surface.

    oh, and the only reason they paid back TARP (with our money) so fast was so they could return to multi million dollar bonuses, which they weren't permitted while they owed tarp money.

    Keep looking for a silver lining, there isn't any.  


    So now (none / 0) (#148)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 04:14:28 PM EST
    We've moved on from things the President CAN do to things he can't.  The President has no ability to control monetary policy.  So if the Fed chooses to engage in QE or allow GS to register as a commercial bank, what is Obama supposed to do?  

    Your comment, (none / 0) (#150)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:24:40 PM EST
    And I truly don't mean this disrespectfully, won't be responded to as I can understand you're not familiar with how the economics of our system works. But, it doesn't matter; you made a good point: The President is a victim, he's powerless, he's impotent, so why bother trying?

    Look, I don't even remember how this thread started, and I don't think we're that far apart.

    I just feel the President could've done a lot more, and tried a lot harder. What I'm hearing too much of here is, to use baseball talk, the batter doesn't run out an infield grounder.

    The shortstop's probably gonna scoop up that little dinger and throw the batter out by a mile, so why bother running?

    That's our president.....and too many of his excusers.  

    IMO, of course.


    LOL (none / 0) (#153)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:55:37 PM EST
    I don't understand how our economy works?  You guys are complaining about how Obama "wasted" money on QE and I'm the one who doesn't understand how our economy operates?

    It seems there is a standard response given to anyone who actually tries to explain how our government works.  That response is to engage in hyperbole along the lines "Poor Obama is powerless!  He's a victim!"  which of course has nothing to do with understanding the Constitutional powers and realistic political capabilities of the President.  

    The President is the single most powerful man in America.  However he isn't King and he doesn't lord over Congress or even the Federal Reserve.  

    I agree that the President could have and should have done a lot more.  As a matter of fact I believe that his decision to go after health care first was a strategic error.  He should have focused on the economy, gained political clout and worried about health care reform after he had the street cred to get it done.  

    But the notion that he could have singlehandedly turned the economy around is pure folly.


    Indeed (5.00 / 3) (#156)
    by Yman on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 07:45:03 PM EST
    But the notion that he could have singlehandedly turned the economy around is pure folly.

    Straw arguments usually are ...


    you said (none / 0) (#157)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:00:46 PM EST
    "I agree that the President could have and should have done a lot more."

    good, we agree, case closed.

    Unfortunately, then you said,  "But the notion that he could have singlehandedly turned the economy around is pure folly."

    That's what we call a "straw man"
    Please point to anything I said that even remotely resembled that view.
    You can't.

    But, you agreed with me upthread, so now I'll agree with you.
    you said, "the notion that he could have singlehandedly turned the economy around is pure folly."

    I agree completely.


    I think (none / 0) (#85)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:24:57 PM EST
    You are forgetting what he pulled off in the first 100 days of office.  The auto bailout saved hundreds of thousands of jobs.  The stimulus saved hundreds of thousands more.  But we forget about all of that when it is convenient.

    As if the man was just looking at himself in the mirror all day during that period.  Dude did a LOT of things during that period.


    Ugh (5.00 / 6) (#94)
    by Pacific John on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:42:14 PM EST
    The stimulus was a success? At that point in time, 100% of accurate economists said it needed to be much larger, or many people would suffer and the economy would not recover for a very long time. He allowed 0% of those views into his discussions.

    Nearly all of us would demand that a GOP president be fired for that level of bad judgement.


    He wasn't a magic man (none / 0) (#117)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:44:40 AM EST
    At the time he was being killed for the size of the stimulus.  The odds of him getting a bigger stimulus through we very low. This is revisionist history at its finest.

    And the fact that it was not large enough doesn't mean that it wasn't massively successful.  I cannot find an economist who believes that the stimulus didn't save hundreds of thousands of jobs.

    He deserves credit for it that you refuse to give.


    The odds for Obama getting a (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by MO Blue on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 08:22:15 AM EST
    larger stimulus bill through Congress was exactly ZERO because he made ZERO attempt to get anything other than the smallest amount.

    In a mater of days (5.00 / 3) (#127)
    by Pacific John on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:23:24 AM EST
    Obama took the biggest Dem landslide of my adult life - based in large part on the crash - and pissed it away. He offered no leadership the public could identify with, but showed his true motivation to discuss and compromise. This was not a surprise to those of us who paid attention to his heartfelt plea for consensus, "Tone, Truth and the Democratic Party."

    A savvier leader took a much smaller electoral mandate, and with a razor thin margin, gave us the economic package of the '90s, one that set the tone for economic and political success.

    How Obama screwed himself and the world by pissing away his mandate is still sort of beyond me, and will probably be seen by historians as the worst Dem performance in modern history, worse than Carter, who at least operated on a stated system of values.

    But it's not like that matters. A policy transition to Romney would be seamless. Obama made us used to GOP-level competence. If anything, the country would swing left if congressional Dems would voice open opposition to the crap they've had to support.

    ...and you list of high points would be more impressive next time.


    No, i remember what he did. (5.00 / 3) (#96)
    by jeffinalabama on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:43:58 PM EST
    I submit that he didn't do enough then. he had the chance to do so much more, yet he didn't. He negotiated it away, or let it fail through inaction.

    Well, Obama's not even close to being (5.00 / 6) (#89)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:32:53 PM EST
    a liberal, so it would have been impossible for him to be vocal about it at all, much less "more" vocal.

    There is no one with a quorum of brain cells who thought the monolith of Wall Street was going to magically disappear, but if Obama had had any interest in, or commitment to, reining in Wall Street and holding it and those responsible for driving the economy into a ditch accountable, maybe there wouldn't be as much of a need for an OWS movement.

    In your reality, Obama is powerless and blameless; in mine, he squandered a tremendous opportunity to bring the country back to the people, and chose to use his considerable power not for the many, but for the few.


    In a strange, and kind of (5.00 / 5) (#101)
    by NYShooter on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:55:38 PM EST
    wonderful way, OWS is becoming the, albeit purified & evolved, "Third Party," some of us have been hoping for. They will make the rules, they will set their agenda, and they will determine how they want to use their power.

    Really fantastic, and surreal, to watch it grow.


    edit: "a lot" recently (none / 0) (#24)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:47:01 PM EST
    I did read his post that BTD quoted and a few others.

    He really should think about it (none / 0) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 04:55:30 PM EST
    like I do don;t you think? "Pols are pols" and all.

    A weird post for him (none / 0) (#32)
    by lilburro on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:01:43 PM EST
    he is one of the last people I would expect to agree with the idea that progressives are always dissatisfied with their Presidents, and that's the problem.

    IMO, not really (none / 0) (#35)
    by sj on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 05:24:10 PM EST
    "Pols are pols" and all.

    It's fine as a starting point, maybe.  Although it would be a huge improvement for him.

    RE: so you support the ruination of SS/Medicare ? (none / 0) (#41)
    by Bornagaindem on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:10:07 PM EST
    "I'm supporting him for reelection and I have been quite pleased with his political performance since August."

    Why would you do that after the "deal" that got us into this mess in the first place?

    I guess you don't want social security and medicare to exist any more after 2012 either because that is going to happen if Obama gets re-elected. As I have had to say over and over again - only a democratic president can eliminate social security. At least if Obama is not in the white house dems can start opposing these republicans to eliminate those programs again.

    The only people (2.00 / 1) (#55)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:24:16 PM EST
    at the highest political levels that are supporting ruination are Republican individuals such as the Republican House & their vote for voucher-pushing Cong. Paul Ryan's plan. Lately, the privatization reality has been signed onto by Mitt Romney...and, today, the latest (oldest) flavor Newt Gingrich.

    Sorry...repeating blather doesn't make it true. Produce your evidence. Not gossip; not fantasy; not Repub talking points. The Democrats are what stand between you & privatization vouchers in Social Security & Medicare. President Obama has never supported that. Without more, you seem to be blowing...well, you know what.


    Has it occurred to you that Obama's (5.00 / 8) (#58)
    by Anne on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 07:42:55 PM EST
    creation and embrace of the Deficit Commission, and his appointment of Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles to head that commission, his embrace of the Commission's report, his efforts to draw up a Grand Bargain, the SuperCommittee whose focus was to be more Grand Bargain austerity have all given permission to Republicans to pick up that agenda, and be able to point right to the WH and say, "well, even the Democrats support...?"

    This isn't blather, christine - this is the dynamic that has largely been created by Obama with a big assist from Blue Dog Democrats.

    Maybe you have confidence that Democrats are still a bulwark against the erosion of the social safety net, but no one that I know who has been keeping up with and observing what has been going on shares that feeling.

    Frankly, I think your eyes-wide-shut approach, rooted in a loyalty that Dems and Obama have done nothing to deserve, is very useful in enabling this awful agenda to move forward; I just hope you are suitably pleased with the results.


    Dear Anne--my confidence comes from reality (5.00 / 0) (#70)
    by christinep on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:21:48 PM EST
    It is not the Democrats that are supporting any form of privatization--read: vouchers--for Social Security and Medicare. It is the Republicans. Simple as that.

    Conjecture. What ifs, what about pre-negotiation meetings, what about gossip and rumors?  Nothing.


    I think that is a difference without (5.00 / 4) (#90)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:34:51 PM EST
    real distinction. The Republicans, via Ryan's plan, would kill Medicare sooner. That is true. Still, the plan espoused by Obama and many Dems is just a slower death.

    Neither party is proposing a plan that would strengthen Medicare. Both are determined to make disastrous cuts and other destructive changes (means-testing, raising the eligibility age, chained CPI, etc.).

    That Obama and the Dems on the Super Committee put real, structural and damaging changes to Medicare and Social Security on the table is fact, not rumor and not gossip.

    The only disagreement seems to be over how quickly and with what weapon these programs should be destroyed.


    And the phrase should be a distinction (none / 0) (#93)
    by caseyOR on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 09:41:06 PM EST
    without a difference. My apologies for getting the order of words wrong.

    It's better for SS & Medicare beneficiaries (none / 0) (#132)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:55:47 AM EST
    to have a GOP Pres. pushing for privatization than to thave a Dem PRes. pushing to raise eligibility  ages, reduce COLA etc.  The former cannot pass into law, the latter will.

    Negotiation positioning (none / 0) (#138)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 11:35:38 AM EST
    I can cite official speech situations & formal calls for harmful changes to Social Security & Medicare by today's Repubs. See the House legislation incorporating Cong. Paul Ryan's privatization approach to Medicare this spring and see recent call for a voucher system by putative (almost) Repub nominee Mitt Romney.

    In contrast: Remarks attributed to President Obama regarding Social Security & Medicare involved potential computation changes in COLAs IF accompanied by raising the pay cap and the private positioning during negotiations with Boehner concerning raising the age by 2 yrs for Medicare.  While I do not support even those changes--except if dire financial need were involved & could not be addressed elsewhere--I do know positioning in negotiations when I see it.  And, as most people know from any type of bargaining in which they have engaged, seen, or heard of, the size-of-the-table & early jostling means little more than feeling out.  Many grains of salt, IOW.


    You trust Obama's negotiating skills? (none / 0) (#144)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 03:11:28 PM EST
    I don;t care what the GOP says should be done with SS & Medicare, everytime they try to tinker with it they get their political head handed to them.

    Obama, on the other hand, is wanting to "reform" SS & Medicare, it is his Nixon to China moment.  It will also be the end of the Democratic Party.

    I guess on the bright side, the end of the Democratic Party.


    Looks to me like we are somehow (none / 0) (#151)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:38:45 PM EST
    in a new posture of the Repubs having to seek extra $$$ for gargantuan Defense budget(s) and seek a reprieve from tax-hike expiration for their kazillionaire buddies...funny how the tables appear to have turned or set differently. Hey, the Repubs will be seen to enlarge--er--the debt.

    Wonder how that happened! Meanwhile, President Obama--by all measures in polling & anecdotal senses--seems to have come off as reasonable while the Repub Congress bungled the whole "debt" fiasco they have been pushing since November, 2010. Maybe it was accidental? Possibly...tho most political turns like this result from well-played strategy. Offense/Defense...some things play out over a longer period of time than the first sit-downs. It is particularly something to see the WH play the newbie Repubs who suddenly realize there is a game change with the President who might have been seen in summer making all kinds of overtures (that one at his level & with his ability knew would be rejected) look reasonable, not have lost any position that we Dems hold, and obviously retain the advantage. That is called...take your choice...one fine strategist and/or "pols will be pols."

    Strategic lesson: A good strategist does what has to be done to preserve & enhance <Dems> position. A long way from the down days of November, 2010. As we move to the next Repub attempt to avoid passing any helpful economic legislation. the President has engineered a Houdini-like escape from what the Repubs had bragged would by a demise by debt. Like it or not, he done good.


    Yoiks...I got carried away (none / 0) (#152)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 05:40:54 PM EST
    Correction: first para. should read that Repubs would have to "seek a reprieve from tax-cut expiration" for their wealthy friends.

    So far the Republicans stand on taxes (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by MO Blue on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 08:28:51 PM EST
    is what stands between us and Obama personal negotiations on the safety net programs.

    Medicare: Raising the eligibility age, imposing higher premiums for upper income beneficiaries, changing the cost-sharing structure, and shifting Medigap insurance in ways that would likely reduce first-dollar coverage. This was to generate about $250 billion in ten-year savings. This was virtually identical to what Boehner offered.

    Medicaid: Significant reductions in the federal contribution along with changes in taxes on providers, resulting in lower spending that would likely curb eligibility or benefits. This was to yield about $110 billion in savings. Boehner had sought more: About $140 billion. But that's the kind of gap ongoing negotiation could close.

    Social Security: Changing the formula for calculating cost-of-living increases in order to reduce future payouts. The idea was to close the long-term solvency gap by one-third, although it likely would have taken more than just this one reform to produce enough savings for that.

    Discretionary spending: A cut in discretionary spending equal to $1.2 trillion over ten years, some of them coming in fiscal year 2012. The remaining differences here, over the timing of such cuts, were tiny.

    Absolutely (none / 0) (#43)
    by me only on Mon Nov 21, 2011 at 06:26:50 PM EST
    I mean the alternative is that guy with the nice mustache.  He will save SS.

    You (none / 0) (#115)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 12:54:40 AM EST
    say that you think that Obama has done some good things.

    Could you enumerate them?

    Sure (none / 0) (#118)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 06:55:08 AM EST
    Auto bailout
    DADT Repeal
    Stop enforcing DOMA
    Lily Led
    Two female SC justices
    Large number of female cabinet and admin members
    Dra down font rooms in Iraq
    Support of Libyan rebels
    Role in Arab spring
    Death of Osama
    massive counter moves to China this week and last
    Student loan reform
    Financial industry reforms
    Extended benefits to same sex partners

    I could go on but I do not think that the number of accomplishments I list will matter to yu in the least.


    And explain why a Dem President insists (5.00 / 4) (#130)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:38:43 AM EST
    that union contracts be renegotiated in return for auto company bailouts while sanctity of contract protects Wall Street bonuses etc even though the Wall Street bailout was many times the amounts involved with the auto companies, and the Wall Street bailout was necessitated by the bailed out parties' fraud, mismanagement and financial gambling.  Nothing to see there though, time to move on.

    That was disgraceful.


    I (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 11:33:39 AM EST
    didn't ask you, happy angry one. I asked BTD.

    You're a salesman with an axe to grind.

    And you're quite right, the list of sound-bites does not matter to me in the least.


    ACA, stimulus, (inadequate), financial reforms (none / 0) (#129)
    by BobTinKY on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 10:35:54 AM EST
    (illusory), "massive China counter moves?  really?  He passed  a lot of measures, measures that don't work well if at all and he refused to fight hard for measures that would have worked better.  He saw his job as protecting the investor class form the mobs with pitchforks and passed a lot of window dressing in an attempt (remains to be seen how successful) to quell the mob.

    His foreign poilicy and continuing of Bush's Nat'l security state policies are inexcusably horrific.  

    Let's face it, while troops believe they are protecting our freedoms and security and fighting terrorism, that is seldom the case.

    What is being protected are the economic interests of a small but well heeled portion of the investor class.  Rather than fighting terrorism our military exploits around the globe are the obvious primary cause of it, blowback.  Ron Paul hints at this and the media deems his statements "controversial."  Controversial if you happen to be deaf, dumb, blind and purposefully ignorant; hard wired into Fox News. "Our" national security is being threatened by Iran? Some peoples' interest may be at risk, but "ours?"  Are you kidding?

    What our political leaders teach us to fear and what is out there that we really should fear, concentrated power & wealth, are two different things. The threats our Government responds to have rarely anything to do with threats us as citizens or our way of life.  They are almost always threats to the concentration of power and wealth. And the biggest threat to our Contitutional form of government are the national security zealouts who always claim to be acting on its behalf.


    Add (none / 0) (#139)
    by christinep on Tue Nov 22, 2011 at 11:44:43 AM EST
    Executive orders respecting job creation
    Executive order on stem cell research
    NLRB appointment (labor friendly)
    Executive order assisting students with loan     repayment via consolidation mechanism

    BTW, good job on quick reply. When someone asks (demands) "all the reasons why" you should love this, that, or the other...it really is a putting-on-the-spot technique. (I'd like to ask the proponent of that question to name--quickly now--all the specific legislation that X <fill in with name of actual favored candidate> would do & with evidence that such would be the case.)