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Things Done And Not Done

Kevin Drum writes:

Obama is stuck trying to convince [2008 supporters] in very practical, non-soaring terms that he really has done a lot for them. That list is pretty long[. . . .] Were there disappointments too? Sure. [. . .] But that's to be expected. This is the real world, not utopia, and Obama is a cautious, pragmatic, mainstream, center-left Democratic president.

I'm good with this appraisal. Here's the problem though, Obama gets credit for what has been done and also blame for what has not been done. Just below in the Open thread, ABG writes about $1.5 billion in savings to seniors on prescription drugs and demands acceptance that ACA worked and the public option not being included is not important. I think Obama get credit for the $1.5 billion savings and also questions about the public option (and the housing finance crisis, among others). It's not all one thing or the other. I have stated that I think Obama could have been a great President and was not. but he was not terrible either. And obviously he has my support for reelection.

Drum titles his post "Real Obama vs. Fantasy Obama." That's kind of dumb imo. It's real Obama, the good things vs. Real Obama, the not so good things. He's not running against FDR. He's running against Romney or Gingrich.

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  • Drum's description (5.00 / 5) (#1)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 12:38:19 PM EST
    Obama is a cautious, pragmatic, mainstream, center-left Democratic president.

    is this accurate?

    "cautious," yes - often to a fault

    "pragmatic," maybe not - the preoccupation with "postpartisan unity" and "bipartisanship" strikes me as an ideological mind-set productive of strikingly nonpragmatic outcomes by way of preemptive "compromise"

    "mainstream," yes - but only if that word describes Beltway insiders, with their blindered vision & groupthink, rather than most Democrats & even most Americans in the country at large

    "center-left" -absurd, imo, apart from a scenario in which the Overton Window has been moved far to the right

    Good analysis, Addams. (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 12:43:01 PM EST
    I'd point out that his orientation to process over outcome ensures that the end product comes out somewhat less than optimal.

    Parent
    & i would add (none / 0) (#3)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 01:42:33 PM EST
    that Obama's famous compromises are not even attempts to split the difference between his own core principles & the demands of his opposition

    they are attempts to split the difference between the opposition's demands & the policies that others have proposed to Obama, notwithstanding his own core principles (whatever they are apart from "bipartisanship" & "passing" anything so he can say he "passed" something)*

    & that's only after Obama has preemptively handed over large amounts of inventory from the store

    case in point: the "public option," whatever that was supposed to be

    Obama didn't mind if the ACA ultimately included a "public option"

    then again, he doesn't mind that the ACA does not include a "public option"

    i'm on the fence about whether his impassivity regarding the "public option" exemplifies Obama's cynicism, an excessive pliability deriving from his inexperience, or both

    * i find it interesting that Obama so often speaks, in his role of chief executive, as (singlehandedly?) "passing" (rather than "signing") this or that bill - it's as if he's still in the Illinois State Legislature, where "all of his legislative accomplishments were in his final 7th year and were handed to him by his mentor, Ill. State Senate President Emil Jones."

    Parent

    He was not cautious when ... (none / 0) (#39)
    by Robot Porter on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:13:06 PM EST
    it came to bailing out banksters, supporting massive giveaways to insurance companies, droning innocent children and uncharged/unconvicted American citizens, dropping 25,000 bombs on Libya, continuing the aggressive limitation of our civil liberties, doing the opposite of 99.9% of his promises, letting thousands of banking and wall streets crimes go unpunished, starting wars without congressional support, increasing the already egregious amount of secrecy in the government ...

    I could go on.      

    Drum lives in a fantasy world.


    Parent

    Ignoring (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 02:01:28 PM EST
    the fact that Kevin Drum "never paid attention to his stump speeches" that he commented in length on here, it doesn't seem like Obama needs to "win back" 2008 supporters who would be impressed with that his accomplishments.  As ABG often reminds us, he still polls very well with self described liberals and Democrats.  

    Obama's problem isn't that people don't know about Lilly Ledbetter.  It's that the economy is still terrible.  Ledbetter and DADT aren't going to win the election for him.

    Drum asks (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 02:11:08 PM EST
    (via your link, published just before the 2008 election):

    Liberal pundits have been stewing for months over the question of whether Obama is too cautious to win big victories, too invested in a narrative of bipartisan unity to get his hands dirty in a real street fight. As a former community organizer he understands the power of direct action, but does he understand how to shift public opinion on a national scale? And is he willing to try?

    yes, yes, no, & no

    Parent

    Those questions were important (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 02:57:11 PM EST
    to Drum at the time.  But he's dismissed them as unimportant since, without explanation.  That's why I find all his posts about what we "expected" to be silly.  He can't even remember what he expected.

    Parent
    fanboys don't really care n/t (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:13:09 PM EST
    Sometimes (none / 0) (#10)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:55:31 PM EST
    Winning the election means something and sometimes it doesn't.

    Isn't the bottom line that if Obama wins the election, he has probably struck the appropriate line between progressive and conservative ideals given the polarized state of the country and the economy.

    For him to win again in this political climate will make him unique in modern history and say that his presidency has been a unique one.

    My take is that if he wins, it will destroy many of the arguments made about him on the left and the right. Whether you agree with every policy, his strategy will have succeeded.

    Make no mistake, the President in 2015 will be overseeing a rapidly growing economy booming after the recession years regardless of whose policies control.

    What we are fighting about now is which party thinks it can start the process sooner.  It's going to happen eventually regardless and almost certainly within the next 4 years.

    The winner of this election will be viewed favorably by history and the public regardless of what he or she does.

    Parent

    Or . . . (5.00 / 4) (#17)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:55:37 PM EST
    if he wins, it will be noted that he sucked less than the other guy . . . or that the right went with bat sh!t crazy as their option . . .

    not sure how many arguments that would destroy . . .

    just sayin'.

    Parent

    Huh? (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by lilburro on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:08:14 PM EST
    I have no idea what you are talking about.  

    If he wins the election he wins the election.  That doesn't vindicate his policies anymore than GWB having 2 terms means anything necessarily (about the virtue of his policies, that is).  

    I'm not going to make any predictions about 2015.  I'm pretty sure "history" is not going to think being President during a 6-7 year slump/recession is awesome, but I could be wrong.

    History will look kindly on DADT, Ledbetter, and the ACA, I think.  But he won't win a 2nd term on those (alone).

    Parent

    How kindly will history look (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:14:16 AM EST
    on the continued erosion of civil liberties and the further expansion of presidential powers.

    If Obama's actions in these areas are to be deemed wonderful presidential achievements, then history should look very kindly on the Bush II administration as well.

    Parent

    History (none / 0) (#57)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:09:35 AM EST
    Doesn't pick one issue and judge a president on the basis of that one issue.

    Those living through the presidencies do.  

    I think Bush will be viewed by history more favorably than we view him now.  That's not to say that I like Bush.  I think he was terrible.

    I also think that perspective of years will soften the edges as it does with every president.

    Parent

    Well if history reports that Bush II (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:57:16 AM EST
    was a great American president who promoted the general welfare of U.S. citizens, pushed through legislation that improved the lives of the poor and the middle class and promoted democracy here at home, I am sure that it will give Obama credit for the same policies.  

    Parent
    Aside from (none / 0) (#11)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:56:51 PM EST
    really stupid wars, extramarital affairs, etc. of course.

    The point is that the economy is going to improve regardless.  The question is how quickly.

    Parent

    Speaking of the public option.... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:11:35 PM EST
    [A]ny plan I sign must include an insurance exchange: a one-stop shopping marketplace where you can compare the benefits, cost and track records of a variety of plans - including a public option to increase competition and keep insurance companies honest - and choose what's best for your family.
      President Obama July 20, 2009

    On the other hand.....

    Now look... (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:35:58 PM EST
    Obama has NEVER approached the masterful response of his party's last President: "Well, I meant it when I said it."

    Parent
    I suppose (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:27:19 AM EST
    that all I can say is that when Obama said that, he didn't mean a word of it.

    I notice that Obama is dusting off his populist facade once again - identifying himself with Teddy Roosevelt. (Not Franklin. Teddy.)

    Parent

    He does have a great admiration (none / 0) (#56)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:08:07 AM EST
    for republicans, doesn't he?

    Parent
    Obama's positions on civil (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by observed on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:19:40 PM EST
    rights would be cautious and moderate in 1970's Soviet Union.


    But we're not mentioning (1.50 / 2) (#51)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:06:21 AM EST
    The oh-so-open Kazakhstan!?! I almost couldn't stop the laughter that rises up when reading protestations of the sort you note in view of the examples provided by your host country.  (sorry for my nasty tone...but it really is offensive to see that kind of disconnect.)

    Parent
    Not so funny to think about how (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:43:04 AM EST
    the dearth of jobs here in the US of A is resulting in people having to go to countries like Kazakhstan for work.

    Jeffinalabama, another highly experienced and qualified educator, having been unable to find work in his field here, is also considering a job out of the country.

    But, you just go ahead and chuckle, giggle, and cackle away, christine, from the comfort of your place in life.

    And in between fits of hysterical laughter, perhaps you should consider this:

    The United Nations envoy for freedom of expression is drafting an official communication to the U.S. government demanding to know why federal officials are not protecting the rights of Occupy demonstrators whose protests are being disbanded -- sometimes violently -- by local authorities.

    Frank La Rue, who serves as the U.N. "special rapporteur" for the protection of free expression, told HuffPost in an interview that the crackdowns against Occupy protesters appear to be violating their human and constitutional rights.

    "I believe in city ordinances and I believe in maintaining urban order," he said Thursday. "But on the other hand I also believe that the state -- in this case the federal state -- has an obligation to protect and promote human rights."

    "If I were going to pit a city ordinance against human rights, I would always take human rights," he continued.

    In my opinion, the US is losing, if not already lost, its right to throw stones at other countries, now that it's clear our house is made of glass.

    Try not to choke on your laughter.

    Parent

    What was absurdly funny was (5.00 / 2) (#88)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:31:21 PM EST
    the comparison to the Soviet Union......

    Ridiculous....absurd......

    But it shows what passes for intelligent conversation around here....

    You guys sound like the right wingers who call Obama a Socialist.....

    See, too many here are just the progresive inverse of Mitch McConnell--who conforms all into the overriding goal to make Obama a one term President....and calling Obama a friend of the Soviet Union fits the bill.  You and Mitch McConnel are one in goal and rhetoric now.

    So you guys are actually acting like Joe McCarthy--calling Obama in effect a Soviet Communist.

    Totally absurd.  But many here like the slur so muchm, they jump in like idiots.

    Parent

    Excellent post, Anne. Excellent link, (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 04:29:42 PM EST
    also.

    considering the link to Salon
    I posted yesterday concerning military surplus being sold at bargain basement prices to police departments, I do wonder about civil liberties and their protection.

    As it turns out, Anne, I'm heading to Romania in January. Not much of a job, but better than nothing. I'll have time to write, so it's not bad. However, the insurance is poor, as is medical care in general there. But not much I can do to change it. Just like I can't go back and put the stimulus where it needed to be.

    Here's a comment for ABG... the math on the 'jobs saved' is so fuzzy it is opaque. I've been following that since the stimulus. Some of the assumptions in the jobs saved are ridiculous, also.

    I had a job, it wasn't saved. So you tell me, why should I be thrilled with Obama? I'm older, in poor health, and unemployed. I have cancer. If i had a job, I could buy insurance, but trust me on this one, medicaid sucks in what it offers. Furthermore, the jobs available, such as stocking shelves or so forth may not be good ones for someone in my condition.

    But the job I am educated for and have skills in? Guess what? not a lot of hiring going on. And if you think I get the same shot as someone fresh out of a PhD program, think again. I have an established agenda and a track record. Universities are looking for beginners right now... they can pay them less, and frighten them over tenure.

    Parent

    That really is a good article (5.00 / 0) (#178)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:13:56 PM EST
    Re-reading it, I was struck by this:
    La Rue said he sees parallels between Occupy and the Arab Spring pro-democracy protests. In both cases, for instance "you have high level of education for young people, but no opportunities."
    As much as the media would like to portray the occupies as the unwashed illiterati, by and large they are largely just the opposite.

    I also just found myself wondering if those well-educated people in Tehrir square and Los Indignados also have the added burden of those soul crushing, lifetime student loans.

    Parent

    Nobody forces anyone here to (1.00 / 2) (#81)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:51:46 AM EST
    go to countries with a history of and current demonstration of what is regarded by many as closed, corrupt practices. Put as much sugar or honey on it as you will, I think you will find that the evidence is there (Most recently on the internationlly published list of the eleventh annual scale of corrupt governments, where 10 is good/open and 0 is bad/closed...Kazakhstan's rating by the German-based NGO compiler was approximately 2.7.  The US had a fairly good rating a @7.1.  The view from outside this thread :))

    Look, while I do not have a stake nor a concern in where someone on this thread would choose to live, it strikes me as funny--and that is stating it very nicely, & gently--that one electing to go to a country with a history of questionable government practices (said nicely, again) amd add to that country's economy by the activities of living in it would be unaware of the irony presented by lambasting the US with a comment more reflective of where he is at than where he has been.

    Parent

    Well I suppose (5.00 / 1) (#87)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:27:17 PM EST
    one could choose to stay here and starve.
    Nobody forces anyone here to (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:51:46 AM EST

    go to countries with a history of and current demonstration of what is regarded by many as closed, corrupt practices.

    It sounds as if you are regarding such a move as a political statement as opposed to survival efforts.

    Expatriation is not an easy process for most people, you know.

    Parent

    When calling Obama a friend of (none / 0) (#89)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:32:37 PM EST
    the Soviets?

    Parent
    What you lack (5.00 / 1) (#95)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:47:41 PM EST
    in reading comprehension, you make up for in self-righteousness.  Show me where I called Obama a friend of the Soviets.  I'll wait a couple of hours to give you time for that research.

    Or did you downrate because I gave false facts?  Is it, in fact, easy to expatriate?  If downrating for false "facts" were appropriate then there should be 1s and 2s all over this site instead of verbal pushback.  Are you leading the charge by example to become that kind of DKos knock-off?

    Oh.  And I almost forgot:  On advice of [a] counsel[er]

    MKSblowsalot

    And that's the only time I'll use that.  Probably.  Maybe.

    Parent

    You are being dishonest (none / 0) (#121)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:25:22 PM EST
    You gave a "5" to this comment:

    Obama's positions on civil (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by observed on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:19:40 PM EST

    rights would be cautious and moderate in 1970's Soviet Union.

    That's you with the "5":

    Obama's positions on civil (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by observed on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:19:40 PM EST

    rights would be cautious and moderate in 1970's Soviet Union.

    Reply to This | 1 2 3 4 5  
    Others have rated this comment as follows:
    sj 5




    Parent
    A little hyperbole (none / 0) (#127)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:36:24 PM EST
    sometimes makes an excellent point.  Our civil rights are being eroded.  People are promoting a "papers please" society -- or least excusing it.  Citizens are being encouraged to report their neighbors for "suspicious" behavior.  Private movements of private citizens can be tracked electronically.  All this is true.  So was there some hyperbole?  Sure.  However, the underlying situation is one that I find personally alarming.

    So in your eyes this counts as saying Obama is a friend of the Soviets.  Oy.


    Parent

    btw (none / 0) (#133)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:42:47 PM EST
    You are troll rating because of a rating?  You really are trying to turn this into a DKos spinoff.

    Parent
    Yes, sj, I do regard as political (none / 0) (#100)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:54:49 PM EST
    The statement disparaging the totality of civil rights in our country. I am not a sycophant by any means...and it does not render me naive not to portray our government challenges as a soviet-type system  when I read the original comment to which I responded, the persistent thought was "Well, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black!"

    Not for one minute is the reply about having to seek work in a country long regarded for corruption in government more than a political rejoinder.  Trans: there are numerous countries in the world.  I understand the draw of a place willing to paint a new face by paying attractive $$$to come; and, the technique of joining with international corporate types to paint a new image is also not unknown.  Perhaps, we should all (me included) do update reading about democracy & civil rights in K'stan.    Clearly, I'm skeptical

    Parent

    Okay (5.00 / 1) (#109)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:05:24 PM EST
    I see.  But then you missed the main thrust of the argument.  Forget Kazahkstan.  The particular country need never be named and the point still stands.  (Although, I expect few US citizens would relocate to Kazahkstan for the cultural experience.  I could be wrong.)

    But to follow your digression, trust me when I tell you that is much easier to relocate to a dicey country than it is to a more stable country.  Seriously, look at how hard it is to relocate here.  At one time I really wanted to move to Europe.  It would have been really, really hard.  And taken a long time.  

    (I could have relocated to Costa Rica, but it was pretty dicey then.  Or at least I felt it was.  Who knew what it would grow into?  Financially I would have made out like a bandit.)

    Relocation is a major decision.  Especially for those with families.  

    Parent

    Costa Rica has never been dicey (none / 0) (#116)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:18:30 PM EST
    not at least in my lifetime.

    Parent
    You may be right (none / 0) (#123)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:26:44 PM EST
    I said that it was my perception.  Heavily influenced by the border it shares with Nicaragua (which for some reason I have a hard time typing) and the instablity of that region the mid-80's.

    Parent
    I lived in Central America in the 1980s (none / 0) (#125)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:28:03 PM EST
    Costa Rica was never dicey.

    Parent
    You (none / 0) (#129)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:38:27 PM EST
    appear to be articulate.  So I'm baffled why you don't appear to understand the word "perception".

    Parent
    Your perception was wrong. (none / 0) (#130)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:40:42 PM EST
    Not really surprising....

    Parent
    So it was wrong. (5.00 / 2) (#135)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:57:41 PM EST
    It was 1985 and I was young.  At least I was wrong privately when I was young. And I readily admit it now.  Instead of being wrong by publicly throwing insults at the imagined words of others.

    You are some piece of work.  Sometimes you make sense and have valid input.  

    Then you have days like today.  When all you can do is look for insult in the words of others so that you shout it down, all the while calling others stupid.  Troll rate away, my little stalker.  And take something for your blood pressure.  You can clearly be discounted for the rest of the day.  Maybe tomorrow you will be worth reading.

    Parent

    Oscar Arias was President of Costa Rica (none / 0) (#149)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:35:02 PM EST
    in the 1980s and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987.

    Parent
    Your point? (none / 0) (#152)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:37:34 PM EST
    You were spectacularly wrong (1.50 / 2) (#166)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:21:50 PM EST
    It was common knowledge in the 1980s that Costa Rica was safe.

    Moreover, a mistake back then is one thing, perpetuating it now is another.  It appears you were trying to bootstrap your argument about the complexities of accepting a posting to a dangerous country by using the example of Costa Rica.  So you were wrong again today.

    You had no idea what you were talking about--today.

    Parent

    Lordy you are (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:24:03 PM EST
    the sorest winner I have ever encountered.  Several comments up I acknowledged that I was young and I was wrong.  

    Please do find another dead horse to beat.

    Parent

    sj, i think you mean "dead pony" (5.00 / 2) (#171)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:26:49 PM EST
    Kooky at this over here etc. (none / 0) (#137)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:59:59 PM EST
    Nope , I did not miss the point  

    My eye blinked & my ears hurt when first considering the comment by observed likening current US cil rights practices to the Soviet Union. Tell that to the relatives & friends of Stalin's victims ...many of which victims were sent to K'stan notorious prison camp.

    Nope, a second time. This isn't me on a high horse or lost somewhere in the woods on said horse.  What this is  a response to a glib, out there nonsense comment that started a string of the robotic Obama-is -so bad-blah blah that later arguments along the line are undercut by the hyperbole  

    Hyperbole can underscore a point, but it can also destroy a point if it strains credulity.  Ergo, my earlier direct Kazakhstan references.

    Parent

    Stalin again (5.00 / 2) (#138)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:01:48 PM EST
    MKS is the one who keeps bringing up Stalin.  He did a great disfavor to this discussion by doing so if you are now taking that as your reference point.

    Parent
    Stalin (none / 0) (#157)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:51:45 PM EST
    Relevancy:When commenter, observed, opined about the US resembling the old Soviets, I replied with a "how could you...in view of where you geographically chose to reside" kind of reort.  Why?  largely because of the Soviet reality (and remnants) as ushered in there by Stalin.  y'see, to me, the original comparison of US to 70s Soviets was so far removed from reality as to diminish the genuine horror wrought in those Stalinist prison camps.  To compare that to the US, as observed's remark connoted, is unfathomable & downright incorrect.

    Parent
    Stalin was dead (5.00 / 0) (#159)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:01:46 PM EST
    nearly 20 years.  Who "ushered in" what is food for a treatise, I'll gladly grant you that.  As a basis for comment response not so much.

    Parent
    So you're suggesting there's ... (5.00 / 2) (#161)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:05:00 PM EST
    ... something hypocritical about observed's criticism of Obama on civil liberties, merely because he took a job in Kazakhstan?!?

    Seriously?!?

    It's a little hard to decipher.  Maybe it's because you're trying to be so "nice" about it ... maybe it's because that last paragraph is one, loooooooooooooooooong, run-on sentence.  Either way, that criticism strikes me as "funny" - to be "nice" and "gentle" about it.

    Parent

    as i read that exchange, (none / 0) (#168)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:23:46 PM EST
    christine originally objected to observed's comparison & then Anne shifted the subject to economic hardships in the U.S. that may be contributing to expatriation

    maybe it's time for observed to return & explain in more detail what he meant by the comparison - give the specifics

    i glommed onto the "civil rights" part of observed's comment to agree that Obama's stance has been "cautious and moderate" with respect to an issue that i regard as a question of civil rights

    next thing i knew, MKS was shrieking at me about Josef Stalin

    when i was a child, my next-door neighbors, & beloved surrogate grandparents, were refugees from the Hungarian revolution - i have also been close to many Jews who emigrated from the Soviet Union to the U.S.

    i think i understand some of where christine is coming from

    at the same time, i have been noting for some 25 years that our own country is increasingly becoming "Sovietized," & not in the rightwing sense of "socialized medicine" & all the other disingenuous GOP demonology

    the reaction from MKS reminds me of all the knee-jerk vitriol from the wingnuts when some on the left dared to point out that, although 3,000 people did not deserve to die on September 11, longstanding U.S. policies could not be viewed in isolation from what even the CIA calls "blowback"

    Parent

    And you live in a country which (none / 0) (#194)
    by observed on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 07:00:04 PM EST
    has committed the highest Nazi crime (as defined by the Nuremberg Court), displaced millions, killed hundreds of thousands, poisoned whole cities for generations.
    The freedom YOU enjoy, and the lifestyle along with it, comes at the cost of the life and well-being of millions outside.
    By the way, while I'm not aware that the US is doing much to support (or take away from) the government of KZ, the US has supported Karimov in Uzbekistan for many years.
    Your freedom comes literally at the cost of dissenters being boiled alive in oil in Uz.
    And has YOUR country renounced nuclear weapons completely? I know only one country in the world which has given them up completely.


    Parent
    How do you square your beliefs (1.00 / 0) (#200)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:46:41 PM EST
    in civil liberties with living in Kazakhstan?

    Parent
    True, in the Bay Area in particular, (none / 0) (#90)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:34:32 PM EST
    the police response was wretched.

    Do you think that makes us just like the old Soviet Union?  No difference.  No, of course not.

    Parent

    Oh, come on (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 11:51:07 PM EST
    That is so over the top...

    Parent
    not over the top at all (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:09:06 AM EST
    consider Obama's "states' rights" position on marriage equality

    i consider marriage equality an issue of civil rights

    so in that respect, Obama's public position doesn't even rise to the "cautious and moderate" standard to which observed refers

    (oh, & before the usual suspects jump in & point this out . . . neither does Hillary's public position, OK?)

    Parent

    You twist reality as much as conservatives do (1.00 / 0) (#73)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:29:23 AM EST
    Disappointing.......

    Parent
    & note this (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:44:46 AM EST
    Barack Obama was born in 1961

    Loving v. Virgina was decided in 1967

    if Obama had been born in Virginia, his parents' marriage would not have had legal recognition

    in fact, it would have been regarded as "miscegenation"

    you know, a crime against nature

    why not suck on that before you accuse others of "twisting" "reality"

    Parent

    So? (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:48:12 AM EST
    What does that have to do with the price of tea in China?

    Parent
    everything (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:58:20 AM EST
    if you regard marriage equality as a civil rights issue & choose to connect the dots

    & if you don't, then not so much

    Parent

    No, your comments are stupid (1.00 / 1) (#85)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:21:24 PM EST
    First this discussion started out with comparing Obama to the Soviet Union.

    An absurd proposition to begin with.

    And you are just flat wrong on gay rights.  Did you hear the news today?  How Obama is making gay rights a part of our foreign policy?

    And the states rights position is anti-DOMA, you realize that, right?

    This President has done more for gay rights than anyone else.

    Name any other major Presidential Candidate--at any time, ever--who has a better record on gay rights.  Such a person does not exist.

    So, Obama is like Stalin even though he has done more for gay rights than any other President.  Sheer nonsense.

    You trot out your knee-jerk criticisms, some cut and paste function, without thinking.  

    Your comments are the quintessence of stupidity.  It would be hard to come up with something more stupid.

    Parent

    of course . . . (5.00 / 0) (#94)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:46:17 PM EST
    i was talking about marriage equality

    i was not talking about "gay rights"

    what the eff are "gay rights," anyway?

    all kinds of people profess to be for "gay rights"

    maybe they mean equal treatment under the law for the LGBT crowd, as those of us who belong to that crowd tend to call it

    but when it comes to marriage equality, where the rubber hits the road, suddenly the "pro-gay rights" crowd is all for "civil unions"

    that is a civil rights issue

    in my opinion, it's stupid not to see that

    Parent

    sorry (none / 0) (#97)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:49:27 PM EST
    didn't mean to offend on terminology.

    Parent
    not addressed to you, nyc (5.00 / 0) (#101)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:56:21 PM EST
    i was responding to MKS, who said i am the quintessence of stupidity itself because i see marriage equality as a civil rights issue & presume to say so on a blog called "TalkLeft," & because i connected my point to our half-African American president who opposes marriage equality even though his own parents would have been in violation of "miscegenation" laws if they had lived in Virginia instead of Hawaii in 1961, when our president was born

    i do think this is a civil rights issue & i do think that President Obama's public position on marriage equality is not a pro-civil rights position

    Parent

    Ah, no, not so fast (none / 0) (#106)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:01:18 PM EST
    Your comments were not stupid because you advocate Marriage Equality.  

    Your comments were stupid because you agreed that Obama was like the old Soviet Union.

    Your most current comment is a sea change away from your first entry into this conversation.

    Parent

    actually, no (2.00 / 0) (#108)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:04:01 PM EST
    read my comment more carefully

    or don't

    Parent

    I did (none / 0) (#113)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:16:35 PM EST
    You agreed that comparing Obama to the Soviet Union was not over the top.

    That is clear and unambiguous.

    Parent

    You are spinning off into (none / 0) (#99)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:54:33 PM EST
    incoherency by trying to make a distinction between gay rights and marriage equality.....relying on hairsplitting definitions?

    No, the stupidity was throwing in with an accusation that Obama is just like the old Soviet Union.

    Gawd, you anti-Obamabots are even using the language of the right wing--in effect calling Obama a communist, for Pete's sake. And not even most Republicans would go that far.

    You and Mitch McConnell are becoming fast friends....same reasoning, same rhetoric, same motivation.

    Parent

    Are you trying to imply (5.00 / 1) (#105)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:00:07 PM EST
    people who express disagreement with Obama on issues are Republicans? If not, what?

    Parent
    Speaking of (5.00 / 1) (#131)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:41:26 PM EST
    spinning off into incoherency.  Mitch McConnell?  anti-Obamabots?  Calling Obama a communist?

    Parent
    show me where i did that (none / 0) (#104)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:59:27 PM EST
    i said that seeing Obama as "cautious and moderate" on civil rights is not "over the top," as you put it, when it comes to marriage equality

    i am not splitting hairs about "gay rights" and marriage equality

    you are the one using the term "gay rights"

    that is a very problematic term, in my political lexicon

    why don't you just come out & say "special rights"

    then go right on accusing others of being incoherent rightwingers

    amazing

    Parent

    No, no, no (none / 0) (#112)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:15:34 PM EST
    That is not the record here.

    Observed said:

    Obama's positions on civil (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by observed on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:19:40 PM EST

    rights would be cautious and moderate in 1970's Soviet Union.

    I said:

    Oh, come on (none / 0) (#47)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 11:51:07 PM EST

    That is so over the top...

    You then immediately said:

    not over the top at all (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:09:06 AM EST

    consider Obama's "states' rights" position on marriage equality
    i consider marriage equality an issue of civil rights

    so in that respect, Obama's public position doesn't even rise to the "cautious and moderate" standard to which observed refers

    (oh, & before the usual suspects jump in & point this out . . . neither does Hillary's public position, OK?)

    So you agree that comparing Obama to the old Soviet Union was not over the top.  And  SJ and Zorba agreed with you.

    Maybe you do not what the old Soviet Union was.

    Parent

    And you are changing the subject (none / 0) (#103)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:58:32 PM EST
    Remember where you came in:  Supporting the statement that Obama is like the old Soviet Union on gay rights, or civil rights ....

    If you want to discuss Marriage Equality, you missed the turn when you when on an old fashion red-baiting binge right out the 1950s.

    Parent

    RIF (none / 0) (#115)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:16:46 PM EST
    the original comment referred , prudently or not, to the Soviet Union of the 1970s

    Josef Stalin was in office from 1941 to 1953

    but don't let that fact, or reading comprehension, stop you

    Parent

    That really makes a difference? (1.00 / 3) (#126)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:35:26 PM EST
    So, you stand by your comment that comparing Obama to the old Soviet Union is not over the top?

    It is still Mitch McConnell/Joseph McCarthy red baiting.

    Parent

    i made no such comment (5.00 / 1) (#142)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:12:57 PM EST
    but here's a quote for you, from an actual barking-mad GOP crazy:

    YOU LIE!

    troll rating, btw, is for 3 lies in one comment

    Parent

    Hmm, I have to wonder if the push (none / 0) (#91)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:37:10 PM EST
    today originated with SoS Clinton an Obama rode along . . . . as he has on other gay rights issues.

    President Barack Obama, in a memorandum to executive departments, and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, during a speech before the U.N. Human Rights Council, issued a coordinated denunciation Tuesday of anti-gay discrimination, stating that equal treatment of gay, lesbian and transgender people was an explicit U.S. foreign policy goal.


    Parent
    Doesn't matter (none / 0) (#92)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:40:09 PM EST
    You guys are so jaundiced.....

    It is a policy of his adminsitration.....

    But since it was Hillary's idea and Obama just went along with it (not that we even know that), Obama is still really like Stalin when it comes to gay rights....

    Parent

    I never said that (none / 0) (#93)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:45:37 PM EST
    nor do I believe that

    Obama is still really like Stalin when it comes to gay rights....

    All I was saying is that Obama doesn't usually lead on gay rights issues. He follows and sometimes needs to be pushed.

    Parent

    Okay (none / 0) (#96)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:48:14 PM EST
    The comments upthread, however, do state that, though--and even when the original comment is questioned, the anti-Obama, Mitch McConnell acolytes come out of the woodwork to support it.

    Parent
    I just did a search (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:53:45 PM EST
    on the entire thread.  And you are the only one who mentioned Stalin until nycstray called you on it.

    Even I (clearly no Obama fan) was appalled at that comparison.  Then I find that it wasn't made at all.

    Parent

    Okay, old Soviet Union (none / 0) (#107)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:03:10 PM EST
    make a difference?

     

    Parent

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#118)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:21:03 PM EST
    Okay, old Soviet Union (none / 0) (#107)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:03:10 PM EST

    make a difference?

    First of all, Stalin was dead nearly 20 years by 1970.  Not, mind you, that Brezhnev had anything to recommend.  But at least it's accurate and far less hyperbolic.

    Parent
    Hyperbolic??? (1.00 / 1) (#132)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:41:59 PM EST
    Do you like hyberbole or not?

    Can't make up your mind....

    Parent

    I can make up (5.00 / 1) (#136)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:58:56 PM EST
    my mind.  Can you make up yours?

    Parent
    By the way (none / 0) (#140)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:07:13 PM EST
    One is pure hyperbole.  Yours is hyperbole accompanied by inaccuracy as to fact. I can see a difference there.  Can you?

    Parent
    For the record (5.00 / 3) (#102)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:56:58 PM EST
    I did not come out of the woodwork, nor am I a MM acolyte. I just happened to see the yahoo article related to your comment and wondered about the initiation of today's news based on recent history (aka this admin).

    Parent
    This "doesn't usually lead" motif (none / 0) (#110)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:12:47 PM EST
    It doesn't matter.  Nor can the real feelings be known. The history books and other documents will show the results.

    If we want to imagine what really makes an individual tick, that is something else entirely.  And, if what we imagine tends to mostly reflect a negative or withholding theme, then don't we reveal more about ourselves & our own perspective than the one whom we would purport to analyze?  And, what does that say?

    Parent

    Interesting. It may not matter to you (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:21:39 PM EST
    but it does matter to me. And if the history books record accurately, credit where credit due will be noted.

    And, if what we imagine tends to mostly reflect a negative or withholding theme, then don't we reveal more about ourselves & our own perspective than the one whom we would purport to analyze?  And, what does that say?

    backatcha.

    Parent

    Translation: credit goes to Hillary (none / 0) (#128)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:38:08 PM EST
    not Obama....

    Even though Obama issued a statement of his own.....

    Parent

    I don't know that (none / 0) (#144)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:16:08 PM EST
    and nowhere did I say that. I wondered. As far as history books go, I was talking general, not specific as in the current discussion. Obama will (and should) get credit for many things, good, bad and neutral. After all, he is all about "historic"  ;)

    I haven't seen Hillary's speech yet, but if it's memorable as one of her past one's is, she may get remembered for it more than a statement would. But that's the optics of speeches vs paper.

    Parent

    Clarification: nycstray (none / 0) (#143)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:14:26 PM EST
    my point in the first instance: the results/ what an administration accomplishes is what countsp in terms of effecting everyday lives.  Not the more hidden psychological aspects.  Although the emotional and/ or thought process of a President may be fascinating in a future biography, the record of accomplishments can be measuredd, objectively, by the bottom- line acts via legislation, executive orders, etc.

    Parent
    with interest

    nyc's original comment was this:

    Obama doesn't usually lead on gay rights issues. He follows and sometimes needs to be pushed.

    i think that this is simply what the record (to date) shows

    but i was confused when your original response to her seemed to shift the discussion to psychological issues, whereas nyc appears not to have been addressing the question from that standpoint

    sometimes commenters here do engage in psychoanalysis of Obama - personally i find that tiresome & unhelpful

    but it seems to me that nyc was making a statement of demonstrable fact

    am i missing something in your response?


    Parent

    Okay. on reflection, (5.00 / 2) (#162)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:08:25 PM EST
    You are correct, Addams Family.  I did veer off into something broader than my stray intended. it may be "the sometimes needs to be pushed" phrase caused me to react as if it were a more subjective comment   (I think that the idea of needing to be pushed versus playing a defense ploy of deliberately letting it play out to a more strategic level may be one of those in-the-eye-of-the-beholder things.      mea culpa for my probable misinterpretation..

    Parent
    heh (none / 0) (#75)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:36:16 AM EST
    look in the mirror

    "reality," eh?

    & "disappointing"?

    again, heh

    i'm surprised you didn't use the word of choice among GOP prevaricators: "troubling"

    Parent

    I predict (1.00 / 0) (#147)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:32:57 PM EST
    much discussion about how much power Obama has over Sebelius.

    I gotta say (5.00 / 2) (#154)
    by CST on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:44:00 PM EST
    I'm pretty pissed about that.

    And I don't care who it was, it's messed up.  Just like I don't care if it was Hillary or Obama, I like what they are saying about gey rights abroad.

    But kids under 17 are the ones who need this the most, and are the least likely to have support from mom and dad (and depending where they live - access to a doctor without them).

    It's just flat out bad policy.

    Parent

    Have to agree (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by nycstray on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:52:58 PM EST
    and I thought the reason was pretty poor. Not like the pharmacy couldn't answer questions/instruct them on the use. They've always done that for me when I was using a new prescription.  

    Parent
    Yup, me too (5.00 / 1) (#172)
    by ruffian on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:29:13 PM EST
    As far as Obama's role went, I tend to think he left the decision up to her, and would not have overridden her either way. I don't think he cares that much about the issue one way or another.

    Parent
    If Obama (none / 0) (#184)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:41:42 PM EST
    was involved, I disagree with him on the issue. If he was not involved and is giving his agencies independence, I guess he can't be blamed but Seblius should take some serious heat (and I think she is).

    Parent
    Fair Enough (none / 0) (#8)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:44:53 PM EST
    Here is a question for the commenters. Would you rather:

    1. Have Obama promise to move further left in this election, barn storm on those ideas and then slightly disappoint as a 2nd term president;

    or

    2. Have Obama state that he will govern from a center/left position and alienate the left during the general and win that way.

    Either way the left will hate them (which is kind of the bottom line), but the question is what is worse.  

    Either Obama is a phony or he is not a "progressive". But maybe one is better than the other.

    Let's see... (5.00 / 4) (#15)
    by sj on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:42:43 PM EST
    Do I want to cut off my right arm?  Or my left arm? hmm...

    Because those are the only treatments available for sunburn.  I mean, it's a really bad sunburn...

    You are just full of false choices.

    Parent

    I am giving you the binary choice (1.00 / 1) (#19)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:50:04 PM EST
    of your typical person on the left who thinks Obama is some kind of conservative.

    Those aren't the only choices.  His most extreme critics on the left just end up taking one of those two paths.

    It is always interesting to me when people claim that Obama lied to everyone and then almost instantly talk about how silly his focus on bipartisanship during the campaign and primary was.

    [cough, Anne, cough]

    Parent

    Oh, ABG, if only you had it in you to (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:17:19 PM EST
    at least represent my views accurately, but, alas, I have become the person you haul out and misrepresent when you want to have an argument you can't have any other way.

    Is this really the best the Obama folks can do for its bloggy focus group work?

    Tsk, tsk.  Sad.

    Anyone who paid attention, before, during and after the campaign, knew where Obama fell on the political spectrum, and it wasn't close to being on the left.  

    The problem with the whole bipartisanship thing was that in order for it to be "bi," there needed to be a Democratic presence, and for something other than helping move the whole debate closer to where the GOP wanted it to be.

    To where Obama was clearly more comfortable.

    Oh, he's a master at rhetoric that sucks people into believing he's got the will and the drive and the desire to shape and move the nation in a liberal, progressive direction, but it's talk, ABG.  Talk.  The cheapest, easiest thing there is - and almost wholly unmatched by action.  By leadership.

    But you go ahead and keep invoking my name to try to have arguments that almost everyone here knows are crap.

    And, seriously, even if you're working for free, you're still being overpaid.

    Parent

    Then (none / 0) (#36)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:02:27 PM EST
    obama is governing exactly as you predicted and as he said he would?  

    We got what we purchased?


    Parent

    It's not so much that I made predictions, (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:29:07 PM EST
    actually - it's that what I saw and heard and read made me highly skeptical he was going to live up to the hype; I would have loved to have been proved wrong, but...

    What I feared turned out to be worse that even I thought it would. And so, I couldn't bring myself to buy what was on offer, even though all the cool kids kept telling me I'd be sorry, and I'd be forever known as a bad Democrat.

    Oh, well.

    But, hey - you love what you bought, and you're ready to buy more.

    Congratulations.

    Parent

    People on the left are going to hate (5.00 / 3) (#53)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:24:30 AM EST
    Obama. I guess this is the day when the left is the "other." IOW, you are not part of that group today. Tomorrow, you will once again claim to be liberal.  (Much to the chagrin of liberals everywhere.)

    Who knows. Maybe Obama has created a new category the "liberal right" to allow ABG to talk out of both sides of his mouth.    

    Parent

    I am not (none / 0) (#58)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:10:59 AM EST
    a part of the left that views Obama as a conservative whose presidency was a failure.

    And proud to be excluded from that group.

    Thankfully most of the left does not hold those views and I am in that other crowd.

    Parent

    How's your conversion rate? (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:45:15 PM EST
    Recruited any new suckers here yet?

    Parent
    Recruitment = 0 (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:52:59 PM EST
    Salary = ???

    But whatever they're paying him, it's too much. Maybe they consider TL his loss leader.

    Parent

    Not here to recruit (none / 0) (#20)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:50:49 PM EST
    You know that many minds are made up based on the types of arguments they make.

    Just here to discuss.

    Parent

    Are you paid (5.00 / 0) (#24)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:06:00 PM EST
    with money or do you receive any other form of, shall we say "compensation"(?), by any person or organization, for your time spent to be "Just here to discuss"?

    Now you won't lie to me with your answer, of course. Since you've assured me that you do not lie, or at least assured me that you will not admit to lying.

    Parent

    Are you? (none / 0) (#27)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:03:29 PM EST
    No (5.00 / 0) (#29)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:05:28 PM EST
    As a matter of fact I spend more money blogging than the ads on my site bring in.

    Parent
    How so? (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:10:23 PM EST
    Pay for webhosting and find out (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:15:36 PM EST
    Edger (none / 0) (#60)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:18:19 AM EST
    I am not paid by anyone to post here or anywhere else.

    The fact that you see me as some sort of plant says a lot about your think on anyone who disagrees with you.

    It is possible to believe as I do without being a paid shill.  Sorry.

    Parent

    I didn't really think the (none / 0) (#173)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:47:20 PM EST
    Democratic Party would pay you to do this, ABG.

    Republican Party maybe, but not the Democratic Party.

    Parent

    Many made up their minds in the Spring of 2008 (none / 0) (#28)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:04:42 PM EST
    And not much has changed...

    Parent
    And Obama has how long to change (5.00 / 4) (#31)
    by nycstray on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:10:39 PM EST
    those minds based on his actions as POTUS?

    I actually had a changeable mind. I was hoping like all H*ll he would prove me wrong in my assessment of him.

    Parent

    I had a changeable mind, too (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:08:20 AM EST
    In fact, when the primary season started I was really excited about the calibre of presidential hopefuls (unlike the current bunch on the R side).  

    As it progressed, obviously we learned more and more about all of the candidates.  I became more and more skeptical about what I was seeing from Obama.  But I was open to putting that down to election "stuff" and see how wrong I could have been.  

    Wasn't wrong, though, alas.

    Parent

    I certainly did (none / 0) (#34)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:30:48 PM EST
    earlier than 2008.

    George W. Obama? Or Hillary R. Bush?
    July 28, 2007

    And since then things have gotten progressively, and not incrementally but in large leaps, worse.

    Parent

    Fair Enough (none / 0) (#9)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 03:50:08 PM EST
    Here is a question for the commenters. Would you rather:

    1. Have Obama promise to move further left in this election, barn storm on those ideas and then slightly disappoint as a 2nd term president;

    or

    2. Have Obama state that he will govern from a center/left position and alienate the left during the general and win that way.

    Either way the left will hate them (which is kind of the bottom line), but the question is what is worse.  

    Either Obama is a phony or he is not a "progressive". But maybe one is better than the other.

    I want him to be smart and effective (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:12:34 PM EST
    I want him to have something resembling a functioning imagination.

    Haven't seen either yet.  At all.

    When he decided it was better to destroy home ownership for a generation (the result of his administration's inaction on the housing chasm) rather than cramdown refinancing, all because cramdown might possibly reward a few undeserving home buyers (no mention of the undeserving lenders), I knew all I needed to know.  Out of touch.  Period.  

    But he'll probably win because the Repub party is the batsh*t crazy wing of the Corporate Party, the Dems being the normal crazy wing.

    Parent

    Dadler (none / 0) (#13)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:27:27 PM EST
    Obama destroyed home ownership for a generation? All by himself? He walked into the housing crisis, remember?  Cramdown refinancing would have required getting through a filibuster.  How was that supposed to work?

    It's crazy that the guy trying to fix the problem he inherited is accused of creating the problem because he did not employ the solution you preferred.

    I don't mind people blasting Obama or the dems.  I just want the blasts to be kind of fair.

    Parent

    How has Obama tried to fix the situation? (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by Anne on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:38:01 PM EST
    Seriously.  What has he done?  HAMP?  Please don't tell me that is supposed to be his claim to "trying to fix the problem."

    And no one, by the way, has accused him of "creating" the housing market problem - it's more of a perpetuation kind of thing: if he's not acting to fix it, he's perpetuating it.

    And while you scoff at the idea of the problem spanning a generation, have you taken a look at how long it is estimated for the homes currently in the foreclosure pipeline to be sold?

    Well, take a gander (note: the following article is from a MARYLAND paper - but with stats from other states):

    At the rate homes are going on the foreclosure block in Maryland these days, it would take 21 years -- yes, years -- before the current "pipeline" of homes in danger of foreclosure are all sold.

    That's according to industry consultant LPS Applied Analytics, which shows a dramatic drop in the number of Maryland foreclosure sales (repossessions or other involuntary transfers) after the robo-signing revelations last fall. That's pushed the state's time-to-sell figure skyward to the fourth-highest nationwide.

    And take a look at the chart in the article; what do you think - is 57 years long enough to be considered a generation?  That's how long it's estimated it would take for New York to clear the 217,350 homes either in foreclosure or 90 days or more behind in mortgage payments.  57 years.

    Just curious: where do you think the point is where you stop finding reasons for why Obama is unable to do anything that needs to be dealt with?

    57 years?

    Parent

    Oh you are right Anne (1.00 / 3) (#21)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:52:09 PM EST
    Obama has done absolutely nothing to fix the economy or the housing crisis.  He's just been sitting in the white house counting his money, smoking cigars and laughing with his banker friends. That's how he rolls.

    Parent
    Smoking cigars? Prolly not (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by shoephone on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 05:54:04 PM EST
    Word has it, he quit smoking.

    Parent
    Mitt Romney (none / 0) (#14)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 04:40:42 PM EST
    thanks you for your advocacy.

    Parent
    Obama has no worries (5.00 / 5) (#26)
    by The Addams Family on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 06:28:09 PM EST
    as long as you are on the case, punching the hippies at TL between bouts of logorrhea

    Parent
    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 07:34:32 PM EST
    I actually had to look that up. ;-)

    Parent
    It's funny (none / 0) (#37)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:06:53 PM EST
    Out in the non-TL world what I am saying is common sense to many.  TL zone makes one confident in their own out of the mainstream opinions.

    Parent
    What a wonderful world. (5.00 / 2) (#41)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:17:16 PM EST
    Out in the non-TL world what I  am saying is common sense to many.

    How many?

    Parent

    The majority (none / 0) (#59)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:15:59 AM EST
    of those who call themselves liberal. Actually more than a majority.  Over 77% according to almost every poll.

    I stand on the side of 77% of the liberals.

    Obama's liberal haters stand on the side of 23% or so of liberals.  The mainstream of liberal thought on Obama is crystal clear no matter how much the Edgers and Annes and Oculus of the world talk to each other to make themselves believe that they are the heart of liberal opinion on Obama.

    Many ideas expressed by Obama's biggest detractors here simply aren't mainstream, even among liberals.

    Parent

    Those (none / 0) (#62)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:40:31 AM EST
    are people who have an emotional investment in Obama or people who have the "lesser of two evils" mindset. I think Bush had about that same number on the GOP side didn't he? How many of them "strongly approve" and how many of them "somewhat approve". Somewhat approve could be a very telling number out of that 77%.

    Parent
    Please (none / 0) (#111)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:13:57 PM EST
    Now you are trying to align the Ga6thDem, Annes and Edgers of the world with those who somewhat approve of Obama.

    Sorry, you can't claim them for your team.  You think the man is little different than Bush. You think he's actively working to hurt the economy.  You think he's a closet conservative.

    The "somewhat approve" folks you are trying to claim as your own don't share those beliefs.

    Just accept the fact that no, most liberals do not share your absolute disdain for this president and your views are in the minority of a minority of the people in this country.

    Parent

    Good grief. (none / 0) (#141)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:09:52 PM EST
    No what I am saying is that included in the 77% is people who somewhat approve and therein lies Obama's problems.

    The only one polling strongly disapprove and strongly approve is Rasmussen. His number is 21% who strongly approve. So frankly for all your condescending yammering about how people here are in the minority the reality is that people like you are in the minority.

    Parent

    That must be why (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Edger on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:34:07 PM EST
    Occupy is terrifying the non-TL "mainstream" world into the kinds of human rights abuses all across the country that Obama so vehemently opposes, I guess....

    In Statement To Press Barack Obama Sides With 99% in Occupy Movement

    ...
    btw, you forgot to answer my question up above. It was probably just an oversight on your part, but a non-answer looks like an answer to the TL World, and we wouldn't want them to misunderstand you, now would we...

    Parent

    Example of ABG's mainstream opinion (5.00 / 3) (#54)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:32:52 AM EST
    from past posts: Supports Obama making changes (i.e. cuts) to S.S.

    70% of American do not support making changes (cuts)
     to S.S.

    Parent

    MO Blue (none / 0) (#61)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:23:01 AM EST
    Well sure. I am sure that I can find a number of issues in which Obama is at odds with the polls.

    That's a stupid way to judge a presidency comprised of literally, hundreds of thousands of nuanced positions on hundreds of topics.

    I could give you a list of a 100 issues on which Obama's actions are in line with the majority, but that would tell us nothing because the Presidency is a combination of hundreds of issues.

    The bottom line is that liberals generally support Obama in material majorities in every poll that you could provide.  There is no poll that has his liberal support at less than 60%.

    It's a fact and one that does not fit into the narrative here so people close their eyes and ears and pretend that TL World represents what most liberals believe when it comes to Obama's performance.

    It does not and their is no poll that says otherwise.  Liberals approve of Obama in significant majorities and they will be voting for him again in significant majorities.  

    Parent

    So, polls are good or not good? (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:02:04 AM EST
    You constantly bring them here to prove some point you want to make, but when someone else attempts to meet you on that playing field, you all of a sudden think polls are a stupid way to judge a presidency.

    And then, believing you have successfully slayed that dragon, you go on to cite polls about liberal support to prove that the opinions and views expressed here are out of the mainstream.

    Define mainstream, ABG.  If Obama has 60% approval from so-called liberals, doesn't that mean he does not have support from the other 40%?  Are you really going to argue that 40% isn't in the mainstream?  

    Has it occurred to you that the 60% support comes from people like you, whom most here would not consider liberal?  And the 40% that do not support him are people like me, whom even someone galloping by on a horse could identify as liberal?

    I think we're more than aware of what's going on, what polls and pundits and others are saying and reporting about Obama; it's not that we're closing our eyes and ears to it, it's that we don't use those as measures of our own opinions, beliefs and principals.  We are not as interested in being part of some ABG-or poll-identified herd as we are in standing up for what we believe, expressing that here or wherever we want, and not being cowed, guilted, shamed or intimidated into giving up, just because some poll says that "most" people think something else.

    Speaking only for myself, before you grant yourself the right to speak for liberals, you might want to do something about the condescending way in which you refer to the left, the extreme left, the out-of-the-mainstream left , whether here at TL or out in the wider world.  Why?  Because it gives you away, just as Obama's derision for the left gives him away; you might as well have a screaming neon sign over you head, that's how obvious it is.

    I don't own the term "liberal," but I know what it means to me, and you and I and Obama are working out of different dictionaries.


    Parent

    Anne (none / 0) (#67)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:11:42 AM EST
    Many times you claim that everyone has been let down by Obama or that we have all been fooled or you otherwise state a position and back it up with the concept that your thinking is representative of what other people think (instead of the words of a random person on the internet out of touch with what people really believe).

    There are three ways to determine whether an opinion is commonly shared:

    1. Polls
    2. Elections
    3. Spending habits

    3 is useful for certain topics but not as useful for much of what we discuss here.  1 is very useful but we only have elections every 2 years and as I am sure you would point out, the fact that Obama, for example, might win may not mean that everyone supports his policies.

    That leaves us with polls that, while imperfect, give us some indication of whether statements like "Obama betrayed the liberals" is actually believed by, well, liberals.

    As I have said before, if the conversations here were only about individual ideas and we never got into discussions of groups being fooled or betrayed or disillusioned or what have you, I'd be fine to avoid polls and talk only policy.

    But when you blast Obama or the dems and then pull the ideals of "liberals" or "betrayal of ideals" into the mix, I am going to tell you that one person isn't the arbiter of whether all liberals have been betrayed.  

    We should probably try to find out what people who call themselves liberals generally think.

    That's where polls come in.  If you have a better way of testing your statements that doesn't rely on "because Anne said so" I am all ears.

    Parent

    That only works if one listens (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:26:05 AM EST
    We should probably try to find out what people who call themselves liberals generally think.

    We've been telling you what we think and you keep saying that we don't speak for liberals.

    Which is actually true (though not in the way I think you meant that).  I am a liberal and I speak for myself not for xx% of those you consider liberals.

    I haven't forgotten that you yourself said that you weren't a registered Democrat.  That your family is not one of registered Democrats and that you don't associate with registered Democrats, so I'm not sure how you would recognize traditional Democratic, liberal values.

    Parent

    I am a liberal (1.00 / 1) (#117)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:20:14 PM EST
    See how easy that is.  Who are you to say I am wrong? Answer: no one.

    All you can go on is what a person calls himself/herself and the majority of people who call themselves liberal approve of the president.

    The problem is that when you and those who think like you call themselves liberals, that's supposed to be respected as sancrosanct.  When those who disagree call themselves liberal, they don't know what they are talking about.

    But it is not surprising.  That's the tactic that those who aren't in the majority in a political ideology always do.  It's happening on the right as well.  

    Mitt Romney isn't a TRUE conservative say a bunch of folks calling themselves conservatives.

    Meanwhile the rest of the world is like "what the ^%^! are those people talking about? On any rational scale Romney is conservative".

    You are the Rush Limbaughs of the liberal world.

    Parent

    ABG (5.00 / 2) (#148)
    by CST on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:34:04 PM EST
    that's kind of messed up.

    I'll put it this way, the vast majority of the country supported the war in Iraq.  Does that make them right?

    The difference between Rush Limbaugh and the 27% you are talking about is that Rush Limbaugh is an evil hack who is proposing very damaging things to this country.  The 27% that you are talking about are at least criticisizing for things that as a liberal, you should support.

    Now you may not agree with people's methods, but if you honestly consider yourself a liberal, than you cannot compare those people to Rush.  Because the problem with Rush is not that he is out of line with public opinion.  The problem with Rush is that he's wrong.

    Polling has no impact on what is a good decision and what is a bad decision.  I am willing to bet that a number of the 77% polled have a wish list of things that Obama has not accomplished that looks a lot like Anne's or Edgar's or whomever's.  The only difference is their perception of the president through this.  It's not necessarily that they don't value the same things, or that that 27% is comletely out of line with those values.  It just means that they disagree about how they see the president in relation to that.

    For the record, if someone polled me, I would probably be in the 77%.  But that doesn't mean I disagree with the political arguments of the 23%.

    Parent

    whole comment: BEAUTIFULLY stated, CST (5.00 / 2) (#188)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:59:15 PM EST
    For the record, if someone polled me, I would probably be in the 77%.  But that doesn't mean I disagree with the political arguments of the 23%.

    all of my dearest friends are in the 77 percent, too - &, funny thing, they NEVER harangue me or tell me i'm "far left" (even though i am on many  issues) or "out of the mainstream" or a "Rush Limbaugh of the liberal world"

    they respect diversity of informed opinion regarding President Obama's policies & his record & they are secure enough in their own stances that they have no need to disparage me

    Parent

    CST (none / 0) (#179)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:30:31 PM EST
    Let me say something fairly daring.  Rush Limbaugh isn't evil I don't think.  At least not in the traditional sense. He is simply hungry for power and cash and he knows that the way to both of those is to provide an echo for all of the nasty and dirty things the far right thinks in their hearts but have no voice to say. In other words, the issue isn't that he's evil per se.  The issue is that the core block he represents has some very evil thoughts.

    They don't care about the politics and the fact that Mitt can't win being everything the far right wants.  They don't care that giving Mitt the flexibility to agree with Dems is best for the country.  

    All they care about is that they have an idea of what the country should be and how things should work and anyone who doesn't fight for those things without concession is a traitor to their principles, regardless of how practical it might be to do so.  They believe that you don't betray conservative principles and if you do, you can't be considered a conservative no matter how much the other side opposes the issue or how it might damage the overall ability to get conservative policies passed.

    Those are people for whom Bush is a traitor.  He gave them the wars for oil, he gave them huge cuts in taxes, he gave them real attempts to gut SS, he gave them supreme court justices who will carry the conservative message for decades, he gave them  deregulation, he gave them almost everything a conservative could want.

    But he conceded on the prescription drug benefit and damn it, if you are a conservative, the Rush dittoheads can't stand for that.

    That's the mirror to [insert name Anne is comfortable with for the very far left] as represented by many here on this site.

    The parallel is obvious. The only difference is that we are more sympathetic when we hear such unreasonablemness on the left because we are closer to their views.

    But there is a conservative oculus somewhere claiming that Mitt Romney and even Newt are flaming liberals with a secret agenda to make the country socialist.

    Parent

    what is the point (5.00 / 3) (#185)
    by CST on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:44:47 PM EST
    Of calling yourself a liberal if you don't think liberal ideas are right?

    I think mitt>rush BECAUSE he is more liberal, and yes, therefore better for the country.  Not because of some label.  Of course I think we are right and they are wrong, otherwise is be a conservative.  I do not buy into this whole "the truth lies in between" meme.   The truth is the truth.

    I think moderate republicans are better than the right wing because they are more liberal, not because of the moderate label they have.  The same applies to democrats.  Its not a race to a mushy compromise.  It's about getting closer to what I consider correct policy.

    I apologize for spelling and grammar issues.  Autotext and its too hard to fix with a glitchy phone.

    Parent

    I think liberal ideals (2.00 / 0) (#186)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:56:15 PM EST
    are right. I have never said otherwise.  I am a liberal. Period. Full stop.  The difference is in what I view as possible in an environment where even the word "liberal" is a curse to many.

    I also don't view conservatism as inherently evil. I believe that most conservatives don't believe in cutting taxes for the rich because they want to reward themselves (most conservatives aren't rich) they believe it because they think that is the best way to help the country.  In other words, for most there is no bad faith in their conservative ideals.

    Given that (opposing views with each side believing that they are 100% right) we have to learn to compromise on some core stuff.  That means asking moderate conservatives to push back on Norquist types demanding a blood oath on no taxes, and that means pushing back on far left liberals unwilling to concede on anything and labeling those that do traitors.

    I guess you start with what you think the end point can theoretically be:

    I do not believe that we will ever have a society that fulfills the conservative ideals.  The best we can hope for is a society that hits say 30% of the liberal wish list.  With that in mind, the strategy has to revolve around how to get that 30% as quickly as possible and without getting decent compromises on the other stuff.

    The difference between me and other liberals here is that they believe that they can get a 50/75 or even 90% liberal-structured society.  The numbers of conservatives, the existence of independents and a lot of other factors make that completely impossible, but if you do believe that, you are probably going to think I am not a liberal.

    That's really why people get so fired up at me.  I just don't believe that what they want is possible under and president or any circumstances and it is a complete waste to strategize as if it could happen.

    Parent

    No (none / 0) (#120)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:24:57 PM EST
    I didn't say my family weren't democrats. I said I never registered because it seemed like a silly thing  to do.

    I like democrats just fine.

    There is no gotcha there.

    The issue we are having is that I was absolutely correct when I said most self idenitfied liberals share my beliefs and you have no logical way to neutralize the point.  

    Because it is true.

    I think a lot of people come here to hear their beliefs reinforced and I cause issues because I don't do that.  The fact that I am here reminding you that you are in the minority really gets to you.

    Me? I come here to hear opinions that I don't agree with.  I need no echo chamber of warm embrace.  I am fine being the only one making a point.

    Folks that like to hear their own echoes don't get that.  

    Parent

    You know (none / 0) (#139)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:04:16 PM EST
    that your comment follows mine right?  Where I am specifically talking about registered Democrats?  Where I, in fact, used the word "registered" three times?

    Parent
    I have no idea (none / 0) (#180)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:33:15 PM EST
    why being a registered democrat is even relevant to anything we are discussing.  Edger think that Obama and the Dems are paying me to be here, so what's the point?

    Parent
    That's a fair question (5.00 / 1) (#191)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 06:30:10 PM EST
    I have no idea... why being a registered democrat is even relevant to anything we are discussing.
    And I'll answer with no snark whatsoever.  

    It is highly unlikely that anyone other than a registered Democrat has done any organizing for the party.  This includes, but is not limited to:

    • canvassing, both in person and on the phone
    • dissemination of party literature
    • Taking on a role in the organizational structure at even a precinct or district level
    • Attended meetings or conventions where planks to the party platform were proposed, championed, amended and/or ratified
    • Party fundraising

    It is highly unlikely that anyone other than a registered Democrat can promote any Democratic candidate for office under the Democratic banner. (I make this distinction because clearly, as a non-Democrat you can advocate for your candidate as fiercely as anyone).  

    You cannot however have any influence whatsoever as to whether or not s/he runs as a Democrat.  You not only don't have standing you don't have the vehicle.  

    In Colorado you could not have voted in the primary or legally participated in any caucuses which would actually determine the candidate.  Being a registered party member actually has real meaning.  That's why it was significant when I registered as an Independent.  That was not done in a huff.  It was an issue to to which I gave serious and careful thought.

    I've said this before and no doubt I will say it again:  the heavy lifting for a campaign is done long before a voter ever reaches the voting booth.  Election day is critical, but turnout depends on that other work.

    I don't use the terms Obamabot, or fan-boy, but as an active Democrat of many years I completely understand why others do.  I was rubbing elbows with my fellow Democrats for years.  We were talking strategy at meetings, policy in working groups and the political landscape in bars.  

    I know where my precinct stood.  I know where my district stood.  Because I heard it from my Democratic neighbors.  I knew their faces.  I knew which ones showed up.  I knew which ones were squeaky wheels.  I knew which ones could be counted on to quietly give a few hours a week or month as long they didn't have speak up.  I knew who was likely to donate and attend.  I know who would donate as long as she didn't have to attend (there was only one of those).

    And why is this all relevant to the discussion?  Because there is precious little representation of "moderate liberals" (huh?) in that group of active party members.  It is mostly true blue (very blue) believers.  We knew we were going to vote.  But we also knew that that if didn't do our job the moderates might not necessarily be similarly motivated.

    I didn't have to rely on polls to tell me what liberals thought.  Why would I?  I had (actually still have) plenty who are happy to speak for themselves.  They were students, retirees, parents, tradespeople, professionals.  I heard directly from them.  I griped with them, worked with them, phonebanked with them.  Organized the primary district fundraiser.

    After all that work -- which spanned years -- your attempts to define what liberals think strikes me as beyond ludicrous, beyond arrogance, beyond hubris.  You diminish the work of thousands of political stalwarts with your casual dismissal.  


    Parent

    Well (none / 0) (#195)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:17:16 PM EST
    Your points about who gets the work done are all accurate and I commend you for your work. Seriously.

    But.

    Passions and ideology are very different things.  We are talking about what liberals believe.  There are lazy liberals that depend on the hard work of good folks like you.  I am one of them.

    But despite my respect for your work, I am not going to concede that your work gives you any more right to define a liberal than the laziest of lazy liberals out there.

    On matters of who shows up to vote, I have to defer to you.  On matters of what most liberals believe, I'll defer to pollsters skilled at gaining that information and not anecdotal evidence.  You have no idea whether your district was representative of liberals in your state, let alone the nation.

    Poll after poll indicates that liberals believe Obama is doing a decent job.   I just don't think you can argue against that point, regardless of how much great work you have done for the party.

    Parent

    Oy (5.00 / 2) (#197)
    by sj on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:50:23 PM EST
    liberalism is a point of view.  It is, in fact, an ideology.  It's a way of looking at the world.  Can those views be adapted and personalized?  Absolutely.  But shed too much of the core and you have entered another section of the political spectrum.  

    And granted, there is no hard line that delineates, but your insistence that you know what liberalism "is" more that those who have worked for those ideals is frankly childish insistence. You are saying "am so" just ... because.

    Supporting a Democratic candidate doesn't automatically make one a liberal.  Heck, it doesn't even make you a Democrat.  It just makes you someone who supports a Democratic candidate.  

    There is nothing intrinsically wrong with having moderate views.  Which are what you have.  It is your insistence that you have liberal views that generates a great deal of the push back that you get.  

    That's like saying green is actually blue, when blue is only a component of green.  It actually needs yellow to exist.  I know the difference between green and blue.  And I can see the differences in shades of blue and shades of green.  But green is still green.  Green is not blue.  And moderate views are not liberal views.  Although they can spring from liberal views.

    Parent

    I do? (none / 0) (#187)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:58:06 PM EST
    And I refer to (2.00 / 1) (#68)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:14:03 AM EST
    the far left in the same condescending way that people like you refer to moderate liberals.

    You don't get to call us sellouts and ignorant and robots and then get offended when those moderate use such insulting words as "far left" or "hard left" to describe them.

    You have no standing to talk about insults, because all you do all day is insult liberals who don't believe what you believe.

    You expect moderate liberals to take your insults. Well right back at ya.  If you don't like it, grow the same thick skin we are expected to have.

    Parent

    I really don't have time for this today. (5.00 / 3) (#80)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:51:12 AM EST
    I'll just say that this is probably the first time, to my recollection, that you have used the term "moderate liberal."   Does that mean there is a "conservative" form of liberal?  And does that make me, what, an uber-liberal, or a liberal liberal?

    Come on, ABG, this is just too much pretzel logic.

    I've never called you a sell out, or ignorant or a robot.  Have I said that your comments focus more on what is good for Obama's political fortune than the greater good?  Have I said that your focus on process over substance ended up supporting bad policy?  Sure - because that's what you do.  Only you can decide if that makes you a sell-out.

    Have I said that your comments in response to what I and others write, to the links we've provided, reveal a failure to fully read those comments and links?  Sure, and I'm not the only one.  Does that make you ignorant?  I don't know - maybe it makes you unwilling to risk learning something that might shoot your arguments to hell.

    Robot?  I've never used that word with you.  

    Honestly, the majority of the time, my comments to you are directed not at insulting you - I guess now you're a moderate liberal - but at correcting your almost-always mangling of what I originally said, in your usual attempt to shift the argument to one you want to have because you think you can win it.

    It's where most people's comments to you end up, ABG; I think that's what's known as a pattern.

    Parent

    A moderate liberal = (1.00 / 1) (#114)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:16:35 PM EST
    The 77% who approve of Obama. How is that for a clear definition.

    All that matters is that you are in the 27% that does not.

    Call the the two camps whatever names make you feel happy and warm.  It won't change the fact that one group represents the bulk of the liberals and the other group represents a minority of the liberals at the extremes of the ideology.

    You are playing name games and I am hammering the hell out of your fundamental position.

    Parent

    Funny thing about you, ABG... (5.00 / 1) (#146)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:26:55 PM EST
    there always comes a point where you just lose it, and end up saying things that reveal even more about who and what you are.

    I have a picture of you waking up each morning and running to check the polls to see if you still want to call yourself a moderate liberal.  To see where the mainstream is so you can be sure to make whatever mental adjustments are required.  Looking to see what Obama said today and planning your arguments for why it's okay that it's not what he said last week or last month.  Trying to convince yourself that the only thing that matters is that if Obama said it, it must be so.  

    I don't hate moderate liberals - whatever that means at this moment - I have an intense dislike for those who don't seem to be able to have an opinion until they check to see what "everyone else" is thinking.

    The only thing you are hammering the hell out of is the idea that you are capable of coherent debate; at this point, you've entered foot-stamping, temper-tantrum territory, and all I can hope for is that the next stage is taking your batty arguments and your balled up logic and going home.


    Parent

    Since you just LOVE polls (5.00 / 1) (#170)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:25:57 PM EST
    Please provide me with a link to one poll that samples data based on a category labeled "moderate liberal."

    IMO "moderate liberal" is just another example of you making stuff up.

    Parent

    70 percent (5.00 / 1) (#174)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:59:56 PM EST
    ABG likes to tell us that "polls show" support for President Obama among 70 percent of "liberals"

    what can we extrapolate from these findings?

    that 30 percent of liberals no longer support Obama? or that 30 percent of liberals never supported Obama?

    30 percent is not minuscule - it's almost 40 percent, which, as we saw yesterday, is "nearly half"

    Parent

    you really think (5.00 / 1) (#160)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:02:29 PM EST
    that TL is "far left"?

    maybe you need to get out more . . . in Democratic/liberal/leftist circles

    then again, you often seem to think you're at a P^MA site

    TL is neither - i see TL as centrist/mainstream liberal to fairly mainstream left

    & apart from one person who occasionally comments here, & who used to & maybe still does identify as a Big Cat, i don't know of any P^MAS 'round these parts

    what is new to me, however, is the contingent of hippie-punching "progressives" whose hero-worship style of politics prompts their lockstep support of their hero's regressive policies, liberal values be damned

    nothing about that is "progressive" as i understand the term

    Parent

    I count (none / 0) (#196)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 08:20:55 PM EST
    About three other commenters here who aren't pretty against Obama on everything other than me.  Christen, MK, Don in Hawaii.  

    Are there others?

    Parent

    Ah, I was correct (5.00 / 1) (#165)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:21:06 PM EST
    Obama has created a new category the "liberal right" to allow ABG to talk out of both sides of his mouth.

    Thanks for confirming that for us.      

    Parent

    Liberal right... (5.00 / 1) (#175)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 04:00:53 PM EST
    sort of like Christian atheist.

    Parent
    Actually, (5.00 / 4) (#40)
    by lentinel on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 08:13:52 PM EST
    both things are possible.
    Obama can be a phony and be not a progressive at the same time.

    Parent
    What is the purpose of this question? (none / 0) (#46)
    by observed on Tue Dec 06, 2011 at 10:20:57 PM EST
    I would like his to espouse tax policies that are to the left of Reagan, just for a start.
    Is that too much to ask?


    Parent
    Gee (5.00 / 2) (#50)
    by lentinel on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:32:14 AM EST
    Don't you want Obama to "win"?

    Are you really asking him to assume positions that, while they might be equitable and fair, while they might be intelligent, while they might be what downtrodden Americans want to hear, are politically to the left of Reagan?

    Please.

    We must have a winner.
    And that winner must be Obama.
    It would be just awful to have draconian policies enacted by Republicans when we can have them enacted by Democrats.

    Can't wait.

    Parent

    The purpose (none / 0) (#70)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:20:59 AM EST
    is to focus criticism on what is a blog that supports democrats into a real message that can be acted upon.

    IMHO, if you hate Obama because he's not liberal enough and hate Obama for not telling the truth when  he makes overly liberal promises, you want it all ways.

    My preference is that Obama tell the left "look, I hear what you are saying and I am going to push back harder but I am not going to give you your wish list and you need to support me at times even though I am pushing proposals that aren't exactly what you want".

    That's what I want out of the guy.  Some here want him to campaign on stuff that he can't deliver and make liberals feel like they are the priority, win somehow even though much of that stuff isn't supported by the majority and then blame him when he can't make the miracle happen.

    I ask the question to force the conversation towards a very simple discussion:

    What can Obama realistically promise and commit to do that is possible and that won't kill his chance to get re-elected?

    We don't need a pie in the sky, blow up campaign finance by business, re-qork every mortgage in the country, type dream lists.

    We need a "here is what you could do, sell to the public, win and ultimately enact" list.

    Then we need to get behind it and push it as hard as possible.

    Parent

    "what is the purpose of this question?" (none / 0) (#74)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:33:31 AM EST
    Between the Obama extollery
    and the endless poll-citing @ssholery,
    it's not hard to see
    what drives ABG.
    In the end, it all comes down to trollery.


    Parent
    Troll = (none / 0) (#82)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:54:47 AM EST
    Someone f*cking up the echoes in the chamber around here.

    I am happy to be one of the few voices here not repeating the Obama Sucks gong day in and day out as if he were Bush.

    Parent

    is there a troll shield law? (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:12:49 PM EST
    or am i allowed to point out that you are also well known for taking your "feminist street cred" to self-described feminist sites & using illogical, ill-informed arguments to pick fights with other commenters & hijack threads on those sites?

    that is what i call a troll

    i guess it's attention-getting behavior

    i try not to reward it but sometimes i just want to whack the piñata

    my bad

    Parent

    I am well known (none / 0) (#151)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:36:28 PM EST
    for calling out stupidity where I see it.

    And when folks were calling Obama a sexist for not selecting the right kind of progressive women, I was happy to get banned for it.

    The issue is that you have no ability to address a point directly and without diversion and I frustrate you because I am relentless.

    Feel free to ignore me, but if you engage me, don't get mad at me if you can't respond on point and have to go the "well, well, you are a troll!!!!!!!" route.

    If you had said "I am taking my toy and going home" it would be more mature than that sorry excuse for a response.

    Just say you can't counter.  That way we can avoid this embarrassment for you.

    Parent

    Obama gave a pretty good speech yesterday (none / 0) (#66)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:08:57 AM EST
    Robert Reich parses it here

    of course, Obama has given pretty good speeches before

    if this is the kind of thing he is going to be saying throughout the 2012 campaign season, i'm all for it

    &, faced with the GOP crazy, it makes sense for liberals & progressives to have Obama's back if he is going to talk this way

    but there's a problem

    but how many now trust Obama to follow through if he wins a mandate next year on the basis of speeches like this one?

    without the possibility of another term in the balance, how will Obama be held accountable to what he has said during the campaign?

    even more to the point, will the pundits & bloggers who call themselves liberals & progressives finally hold themselves accountable to their professed values, or will they continue to employ pretzel logic so they can justify anything & everything Obama does?

    Crediblity is the (5.00 / 0) (#69)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:19:04 AM EST
    crux of a lot of Obama's problems. The fact is he has had four years to do something and pretty much voted present for four years. I have no hope that a second Obama term would be any better than the first and likely worst than the first term.

    Parent
    This (3.00 / 2) (#72)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:27:16 AM EST
    completely underestimates the number of promises that Obama delivered on.

    If you told a democratic voter in 2007 that the next democratic president would eliminate pre-existing conditions and put set up a plan to give 20-35 million more people healthcare, draw down all combat troops in Iraq, repeal DADT, stop defending DOMA, usher in democratic revolutions in Libya and Egypt without setting boots on the ground, and nominate two fairly progressive female supreme court justices, they'd have said "done".  Sign me up. No need to even promise anything else.  Those would be enough.

    Then if you told them that as an extra bonus, the democratic president would kill Osama within 2 years when Bush couldn't do it in 8, they'd stop listening because surely you were making up some kind of democratic wet dream.

    If you think Obama's list of kept promises and accomplishments is weak, you are delusional.  There really is no other way to say it.

    He's done so much that people have forgotten about a lot of it.  That's what will be good about the coming months.  Lots of reminders.

    Parent

    sure, that's what always happens (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:39:28 AM EST
    He's done so much that people have forgotten about a lot of it.

    hardly a man is now alive who remembers FDR

    Parent

    If Obama wins (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:26:26 PM EST
    I am almost certain that he will be remembered as FDR.

    Perhaps you should see what they were saying about FDR DURING his term.  Sounds a lot like you.

    Parent

    Can't .... BREATHE .... (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:48:41 PM EST
    If Obama wins I am almost certain that he will be remembered as FDR.

    Must ........ stop .....

    ..... laughing.

    Parent

    Ding ding ding (5.00 / 1) (#163)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:15:15 PM EST
    Perhaps you should see what they were saying about FDR DURING his term.  Sounds a lot like you.

    And this type of dialogue allowed FDR to move to the left.

    I am almost certain that he will be remembered as FDR.

    Based on what?  The ACA?

    Parent

    Don't you (5.00 / 1) (#167)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:22:53 PM EST
    know? Bob Dole is now the new FDR. So if you look at it that way it all makes sense.

    Parent
    Yes (none / 0) (#181)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:33:49 PM EST
    Based on ACA.

    Parent
    An over 50/50 chance that Obama (5.00 / 5) (#198)
    by MO Blue on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 09:53:48 PM EST
    will be remembered as the president who helped dismantle FDR's programs.

    Parent
    A phrase (5.00 / 0) (#78)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 11:45:06 AM EST
    that people like you conveniently forget:

    It's the economy stupid. Obama has failed to do anything constructive on the biggest problems we are now facing.

    The stuff you are talking about is only about the margins. There's no evidence that 20 million people are going to get healthcare. And the people without healthcare has increased dramatically over the last few years.

    Look, I know you have an emotional investment in Obama. I don't. Results matter to me. They don't to you. As long has Obama has done something that he can check off a list with you, you're all for it and think it's the greatest thing ever.

    He has broken a ton of promises but kept a few marginal ones but the ones that he broke are major ones. Look, Obama doesn't even seem to want to be President anymore.

    Parent

    Hilarious (none / 0) (#124)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:27:17 PM EST
    "It's the economy stupid. Obama has failed to do anything constructive on the biggest problems we are now facing."

    His stimulus and other actions saved between 1.5-3 million jobs.

    Other than that you mean?

    Parent

    He did (5.00 / 1) (#134)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 01:53:16 PM EST
    such a poor job of the stimulus that the GOP is going to run against it since it really didn't solve the UE problems in the country did it? This is what happened when you do something halfa**ed. It's sometimes better to do nothing than to do something badly which is something that seems to escape Obama.

    Parent
    Says who? Obama?!? (none / 0) (#177)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 04:44:08 PM EST
    His stimulus and other actions saved between 1.5-3 million jobs.

    Other than that you mean?

    Must be nice just to make it up as you go along.

    Parent

    Says the studies on the subject (2.00 / 0) (#182)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:39:18 PM EST
    There are about 5-6 listed here:

    Link

    Here are the results of just a few of those:

    • What it says: Through the first quarter of 2011, the stimulus created between 1.6 million and 4.6 million jobs, increased real GDP by between 1.1 and 3.1 percent, and reduced unemployment by between 0.6 and 1.8 percentage points.

    • What it says: The stimulus created 2 million jobs in its first year, and 3.2 million by March 2011.

    • What it says: The state fiscal aid portion of the stimulus, which specifically increased federal Medicaid matching funds, had significant positive effects on employment. The additional matching funds increased employment by 3.5 job-years per $100,000 spent, and the multiplier for the funds is around 2.

    Etc, etc.  Here what's really stupid.

    Your argument seems to be that Obama's stimulus did nothing but a stimulus of a few hundred million more would have absolutely changed everything.  As if you go from no jobs to full employment the minute you cross a magical stimulative threshold.

    You have no in what actually happened. You want to believe Obama failed and you are crafting the narrative to fit that.

    I'll wait for you to provide the non-existent or GOP sponsored studies that say otherwise.  

    Put up or shut up.

    Parent

    "Put up or shut up" - heh (5.00 / 2) (#199)
    by Yman on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 10:17:32 PM EST
    Your argument seems to be that Obama's stimulus did nothing but a stimulus of a few hundred million more would have absolutely changed everything.  As if you go from no jobs to full employment the minute you cross a magical stimulative threshold.

    Really?  Is that what my argument "seems to be"?  Now you want to point to where I said either of those things?  I know that might be a bit difficult, because I never said it, suggested it, or implied it - you just pulled it out of your ...

    ... well, ... let's just say ...

    ... mouth.

    But while no one (besides you) would make the ridiculous claim that a larger stimulus would take us "across a magical threshhold to full employment", there are a lot of economists (over a hundred, actually) who posit that the stimulus was too small - Stiglitz, Krugman, Feldstein, Baker, Acemoglu, Reich, etc.  But what the he// do they know, right, ABG?

    Guess it is a lot easier to knock down those straw arguments after you build 'em, isn't it, ABG?


    You have no in what actually happened. You want to believe Obama failed and you are crafting the narrative to fit that.

    I'll wait for you to provide the non-existent or GOP sponsored studies that say otherwise.  

    Put up or shut up.

    Actually, there's no need.  The article you provided cited three studies that indicate the stimulus effect was either quite small or impossible to detect.  I guess we can stipulate those studies "exist", so I guess that means they must be "GOP sponsored" studies, only ...

    ... they're not.

    As far as my actual opinion re: the Stimulus, of course pumping 770+ billion into the economy had some stimulative effect.  But when the CBO can't decide whether the number of jobs "saved" (heh) or created is .5 million or 3.3 million, and the other studies indicate the ARRA created somewhere between zero and 4.6 million jobs, one thing is obvious ...

    ... like you, they're just guessing.

    Parent

    But if you asked that voter in 2008 (5.00 / 1) (#164)
    by lilburro on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 03:16:10 PM EST
    they'd be wondering if he did anything on jobs.

    Parent
    And the answer would be (1.00 / 0) (#183)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 05:40:19 PM EST
    his stimulus created millions of jobs and stopped the recession from being far worse.

    Parent
    Good luck (5.00 / 1) (#189)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 06:00:30 PM EST
    with that. The economy spent most of the last three years shedding jobs with very little job creation. What's the net job amount for the last three years? I'm willing to bet it's negative.

    Parent
    Of course it did Ga6thDem (none / 0) (#190)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 06:17:07 PM EST
    Have you looked at the employment chart from the year before Obama took office to now? It looks like a big pyramid that peaks around the time that Obama's policies started hitting bottom lines.

    How long do you think it takes for any policy on a national level to actually hit bottom line employment numbers?  Do you have any idea?

    Parent

    What you fail (5.00 / 2) (#192)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 06:35:26 PM EST
    to realize is that people don't care about that. Real people are hurting right now. People don't have jobs. People are living in their cars. And you're offering some antiseptic charts to salve their pain. Good luck with that.

    Parent
    nice (5.00 / 1) (#193)
    by Edger on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 06:36:08 PM EST
    link to that chart of unemployment from 2001 to now, abg.

    Would have saved me some time if you'd included it in your comment though.

    Parent

    I'm going with Door No. 2, (5.00 / 0) (#86)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 12:24:20 PM EST
    the one that involves pretzel logic.

    Honestly, as I read the speech, I just could not help thinking of the disconnect between the soaring rhetoric, and you know, the reality of Obama's record.

    I'd love to see leadership focused on the ideals and principals in this speech, but I don't think his history suggests he will hold himself to it once victory is in hand.  Hevk, I'd just like to believe he actually believed what he was saying, and I just don't.

    I'd say "fool me once...," but I wasn't fooled the first time, and I have no reason to believe this isn't more Obama okey-doke all dolled up for the campaign.


    Parent

    Often...giving voice to a posion (none / 0) (#150)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:36:19 PM EST
    Or a principle or a message is the first necessary step. And, taking a cue from a Teddy Roosevelt in clearly expressing people's longing for fairness reveals positive movement. (Shades of Harry Truman too)

    It doesn't hurt to be skeptical insofar as politicians speak...but, sometimes it doesn't hurt to trust a little. Don't expect magic, of course. You know, the good thing about a little trust is the uplift it gives one...and, mor often than not, the renewed sense brings about good things in our own lives...because it delivers a good energy dose better than any vitamin or other supplement.

    Parent

    i am ALL FOR the candidate (5.00 / 3) (#156)
    by The Addams Family on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:51:11 PM EST
    who will take to the campaign trail & debunk, consistently, on a daily basis, all the toxic lies that the GOP crazies are spreading about Democrats & our Democratic president - the candidate who will call the crazies out on their BS about "socialism" & all the rest

    if that candidate turns out to be Obama, that's great - i'm thrilled

    i don't even care if he's doing it because OWS has struck the fear of electoral defeat into him - that is what he is supposed to do: respond to pressure from the people who might conceivably vote for him

    & if the political fight of his life is what brings a populist Obama to the fore, then i hope he means what he said yesterday

    Parent

    Sorry...typos aplenty. Word in title: position (none / 0) (#153)
    by christinep on Wed Dec 07, 2011 at 02:38:23 PM EST