LEADERLESS

Screams the headline on Huffington Post. It has become evident that the White House is not only not doing enough for a public option but actually not fighting against the proposals being pushed. It might be surprising to some but the writing was on the wall for a long time.

Since the story first broke on TPM the White House released the following statement:

"The report is false. The White House continues to work with the Senate on the merging of the two bills. We are making good progress toward enacting comprehensive health reform."

However Huffington Post did a detailed follow-up:

But the push-back, say sources with direct knowledge of deliberations between leadership and the administration, does not square with Obama's private indications to Senate leaders. The sources say that the president has left little doubt about his apprehension regarding an opt-out approach.

It is not philosophical, one White House aide explained, but is a matter of political practicality. If the votes were there to pass a robust public option through the Senate, the president would be leading the charge, the aide said. But after six months of concern that it would be filibustered, the bet among Obama's aides is that Reid is now simply being too optimistic in his whip count. The trigger proposal, said Democratic aides, has long been associated with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel.

"He's been so convinced by his political people from the beginning that we can't get a bill with a public option, he's internalized it. Even though it's now become obvious we can get a bill without selling out the public option, he's still on that path," said a top Democratic source. The White House, he said, continues to assure progressives it'll improve the bill in conference negotiations between the Senate and House, but advocates are unconvinced.

"If we're this close in the Senate and they're not helping us, I have a feeling they could screw us in the conference," said one.

Moderates in the Democratic party have been dithering on the public option without any leadership from the White House. As a result we have a vague statements like this emanating from the conservative Democrats:

Appearing on ABC's "This Week," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO.) conspicuously did not predict that a robust, national public option would pass. The Missouri Democrat said that leadership would likely "end up... having votes on a number of choices" including a public plan that states could opt into, one they could opt-out of, and a plan that would be triggered in "if these insurance companies don't manage to bring down costs within a certain period of time."

McCaskill, who recommitted herself to voting for the public option, told ABC that the final product would likely be "some kind of opportunity to go to a public not-for-profit among many private options for people don't currently have insurance."

It was a remarkably vague response -- though the phrasing seemed to hint that she believed the Senate would settle on a trigger proposal. The concern among senators, McCaskill admitted, was about vote counts. "I would be less than honest if I didn't say all of us were concerned about getting the votes to move forward," she said. "But I remain pretty optimistic."

The lack of any position taken by this President has not gone unnoticed. The lack of enthusiastic support for a compromise like the opt-out has not gone unnoticed even among the Democratic Senators:

That is not good enough, Harkin said. "I've not been very happy with the White House's lukewarm support of the public option," he said, articulating a gripe liberals have been making for months.

"I would hope the president would speak out more forcefully in favor of the public option," Brown said, adding "I expect he will."

The anger in the Democratic base over the sell-out of a campaign promise has riled people up. The upside of it is Sen. Harry Reid, who is now fighting a tight re-election campaign, now appears to be the champion for public option reacting to pressure from the progressive base:

On Thursday evening, after taking the temperature of his caucus, Reid told Obama at a White House meeting that he was pushing a national public option with an opt-out provision. Obama, several sources briefed on the exchange, reacted coolly.

HuffPost

Finally the progressives have turned their attention to the President, who beyond giving repetitive speeches has really not done much to shore up the waffling moderates to support the public option, instead has propped Sen. Olympia Snowe as the de facto commander on this issue. It is time for this President to act like a Democratic President and live up to his campaign promises to the same grass-roots that helped elect him instead of placating with empty speeches and carefully organized beltway talking points. Here is the latest ad directed towards the president:

It is high time progressive joined this campaign: http://yeswestillcan.org/p-tpm

Tags: Healthcare, obama, Public Option (all tags)

Comments

168 Comments

Yawn

The whole Huff 'n Puff nonsense was based on multiple unnamed sources, which equal garbage.

Of course, you're doing their bidding by ginning up support for the PO.

So carry on.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-25 09:47PM | 0 recs
Re: Yawn

but the pattern of WH seems to be in line with the huffpost article...

http://fdlaction.firedoglake.com/2009/10 26/the-history-of-the-conspiracy-to-lin k-obama-to-triggers

by devil 2009-10-26 11:02AM | 0 recs
Obama will never be a leader

He is a legislator, not an executive.  He hasnt shown me once that he has what it takes to lead this country.  

by Kent 2009-10-25 11:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama will never be a leader

Well, I am sure that your opinion carries a lot of weight with the Administration...

by JDF 2009-10-26 08:52AM | 0 recs
Right wing talking points

He is a legislator, not an executive.
The same exact line of argument used against Gore and Kerry!

by NoFortunateSon 2009-10-26 09:19AM | 0 recs
Time to join

your buddies Jerome and bruh in the hide bin. Bye.

by sricki 2009-10-27 09:51AM | 0 recs
Hilarious

We're closer to comprehensive health care reform than we've ever been, and somehow we're "leaderless"?  

Would all this have happened if McCain had won?  Who would have crossed the country doing 20K person rallies to bolster support for reform?  Who would have given a primetime speech on television warning of the dangers of inaction?  

Huffington Post is so full of bull these days it staggers my imagination.  Really, they should stick to embarassing celebrity wardrobe malfunctions like on their entertainment page.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-26 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Hilarious

Being there is not the same as causing an effect. My being in the room when my neighbor gets a job did not cause him to get the job.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 09:49AM | 0 recs
What the heck are you saying?

So you're saying that we would be approaching health care reform now if Obama hadn't been elected?

by Dracomicron 2009-10-26 10:39AM | 0 recs
Re: What the heck are you saying?

I am saying several things.

a) That any Democrat would have addressed the issue so comparing it to the GOP candidate misses the point.  This is not about what McCain would have done. No one expects Republicans to address these issues.

b)  The question is whether another more aggressive Democrat like say LBJ would have obtained more with the political capital that President Obama has.  Comparing this to a wider field than you allow in your observation leads to the conclusion that while a bill may pass, it is not certain that it was Obama's leadership or lack there of that caused it. Anymore than my being in the room would my neighbor necessarily to get a job.

That question can not be answered given his bystander approach to the battle over the public option.  Therefore, ascribing cause (It was Obama) to the effect us use getting the public option can not be proven.

The only variable that I am certain of is this: that without the progressive in the House we would not have a public option.  The rest: it was Obama's choice to act as a bystander. Is speculation, and tells us nothing of what more we could have gotten had he chosen a different strategy because players on a board tend to play off each other rather than remain static.

c) The best argument for him goes that this was necessary because of Clinton's experience in the 90s, but then that argument assumes 2009 is like 1993. That this was the best we were going to get rather than the best we got because the House progressive having to act alone rather than with a President with a powerful mandate. This is not an argument for single payer. Just a stronger public option.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 11:00AM | 0 recs
Rhetorical wankage

Funny, it sure seems like democratic presidents have been failing at this for the last few, well, forevers.

History tells us that, if we succeed this time, this is unusual. Unique, even. What's different now than previously?  Well, a strong majority in both houses and Obama.

Obama doesn't deserve all the credit, of course, but suggesting that he's not doing all he can when you don't even know the extent of what he's doing now is foolish.  

Unless you have some sort of access to the behind-closed-doors meetings that always happen in Washington, of course.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-26 11:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Rhetorical wankage

If you are going to use history and saying Democrats have failed, it would be nice to point out that two Democrats passed Medicare and Medicaid. IMO, you and others lack perspective.  History tells us that other Dems have obtained more in the past who have faught for this. the only example you can show that is contra was at the height of the Reagan revolution in Congress. I think Obama was irrelevant. Some such as Shaun thinks that's a good thing. He may be right about that, but to hear other supporters claim that the President's irrelevancy to this process (by Reid's own words Obama was not a factor) produced the results rather than a) the times (we are coming off on of the worse economic breakdowns in 2 generations) and b) the rising power of progressives in Congress is again not a strong argument.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 11:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Rhetorical wankage

Unless you have some sort of access to the behind-closed-doors meetings that always happen in Washington, of course.

We were all supposed to get behind-closed-doors access, remember?

To achieve health care reform, "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators. Insurance companies, drug companies -- they'll get a seat at the table, they just won't be able to buy every chair. But what we will do is, we'll have the negotiations televised on C-SPAN, so that people can see who is making arguments on behalf of their constituents, and who are making arguments on behalf of the drug companies or the insurance companies. And so, that approach, I think is what is going to allow people to stay involved in this process."

wankage indeed...

by TxDem08 2009-10-26 04:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Rhetorical wankage

My reference to fundamentalists/supporters logic is a little different. I always two examples lately to illustrate the point.

"How do you explain evidence that shows that the world began before 7000 years ago?" "That's just God testing my faith."

"I support Bush because he supports the troops." "But Bush does not supply them with the proper body armor." "---Bush is a good man."

I am sure your post over the lack of transparency will be met with something similar. Perhaps, "He's got our back."'

Someone else, when I described the nature of the discussions here, provided this link to "If Only the Czar Knew" regarding how the polls showed this disconnect between how people link their views of politicians to policies, in this case Katrina:

http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/200 5/09/08/if_only_the_czar_knew/

It is an interesting phenomenon to observe.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 04:54PM | 0 recs
Re: What the heck are you saying?

By the way, if confirmed in the news conference today, the one other person who has shown demonstrable leadership rather than showing up for the photo op at the end, has to be Reid. We shall see. But if he has gotten the 60 when the White House said it was impossible, then he deserves the credit. Not Obama.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 11:20AM | 0 recs
Stupid argument

Do you realize that the healthcare "reform" that Obama is now championing is the same one he campaigned against? This mandate for 40 million new customers without public option is a Republican plan. I would even say that McCain's plan did not include a mandate. Even the Republicans balked at shoveling 40 million new customers without a cost control alternative.

by tarheel74 2009-10-26 10:53AM | 0 recs
Cost controls

Last I checked, it was going into the vote with the cost-controlling public option.  

by Dracomicron 2009-10-26 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Cost controls

But what you claimed was that this measure exists because of President Obama when Reid makes it clear that President Obama was not a part of the Senate process.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 01:33PM | 0 recs
As it should be, really

It's very good for Reid's re-election prospects for this to be his personal victory.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: As it should be, really

 But it's sad that you have to explain everything to some people down to the minutest detail.

by QTG 2009-10-27 06:51AM | 0 recs
Quite so

I blame Bush for turning the presidency into a blunt intstrument when it's best used as a scalpel.  People don't understand subtlety anymore.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Quite so

I have a degree in these issues. People like you amuse me. You are ignorant, and you walk around blissfully assuming others are. You can not respond to a single argument I have made so you fall back on that ignorance as a source of comfort.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:23AM | 0 recs
Perhaps

I admit that I'm not always up to speed on every muckraking Huffington Post article that comes down the pike, but I like to think that I have a reasonable understanding of civics and how the government is supposed to work.  

I'm okay with you thinking that I'm ignorant.  You don't seem to have anyone's best interests at heart at all, so your utter cynicism and disregard for my opinion is ultimately a non-issue for me.

I hope whatever anguish that keeps you banging your head against the door labeled "optimism" will someday subside, and allow you to simply open it.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 07:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Don't worry

 you need not be concerned with the criticism of an educated man if he's wrong on the facts, and obviously striking out in anger. You understanding of the Constitution, the process, the politics, and the history surrounding the HCR movement is far more accurate and your analysis far more astute. Your approach has been much more in keeping with behavior one would expect from a real Democrat, as well.

by QTG 2009-10-27 08:03AM | 0 recs
That's awful nice of you to say

I'm a bleeding heart liberal before I'm an Obama supporter or a Democrat for that matter.  As an example, I was extremely upset about Obama's FISA stance, even if I understood it.

I'm strong enough in my beliefs to see the big picture and realize that Obama, for all of his career, has been working for the betterment of his better man AND the furtherance of his ambition.  Right now the two goals are one and the same because of the sorry state of the country he inherited.  Assuming the worst out of him just seems naive under the circumstances.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Cost controls

An article covering what happened behind the scenes according to  Senator Durbin:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/26 /durbin-progressives-force_n_334438.html

by bruh3 2009-10-26 01:35PM | 0 recs
Yay!

It's so satisfying when the system actually works.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Yay!

Actually, thanks for confirming you are a troll. You basically say one thing now, and, the opposite before. That you are a liar is now revealed. I don't k now what you trolls get out posting this stuff.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Yay!

What is your compulsive name-calling accomplishing?  Just because you don't agree with answers offered to your questions doesn't mean these aren't real responses.  The ad hominem stuff adds nothing here.

Does this response qualify me as a nut-job and liar too?

For my opinion on this debate in general, see below.  I think judging Obama is beside the point.  We should be focusing on how to be the most effective left flank.

by Strummerson 2009-10-27 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Yay!

Your double standard is showing.  

Forgiv and QTG do this in every diary. Yesterday, they called me a hater of President Obama. When I asked for a single statement  QTG linked to a diary in which I said I was less pessmismistic over policy.

When I wrote a recent diary on Wage Defaltion, these same people you are defending pissed all over my diary with contradictory comments, name calling and other approaches. I am giving what I am receiving from them.  Pretending otherwise is promoting a double standard.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:56AM | 0 recs
so your defense to the charge

that you are making fallacious ad hominem arguments is a fallacious tu quoque argument?

by JJE 2009-10-27 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: so your defense to the charge

List the fallacious arguments. Ad honinems assumes that the descriptions are not accurate. Look up both words.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:08AM | 0 recs
no it doesn't

Perhaps you're confusing ad hominem with appeal to authority.

Calling names and accusing people of being devoted to Obama or in a DC bubble or whatever insult you like to hurl is a classic ad hominem.  It doesn't matter if the insults are true or not - you are still attacking the person, not the argument.

And saying "They started it!!" when that is pointed out is pretty much the definition of tu quoque.

Perhaps you would get more productive responses to your posts and comments if you laid off the personal attacks.

by JJE 2009-10-27 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: no it doesn't

I am not using it as my central argument. It is an in addition to statement over pointing out the tactics involved in  responding to disagreements with t hem. To be ad honinem, I would have to say "they are troll therefore they are wrong."

I said they are troll, and their actions along this thread proves that they are troll. By your definition of the word, one can never actually discuss how someone is behaving, including you right now trying to describe what you think of my behavior. I

Questioning my intelligence (which again like  with stummerson you ignore in favor of the one sided 'you are attacking them') is an example of an ad honinem. Rather than responding to my argument, the poster simply wrote I am not intelligent enough (paraphrasing) to understand.

And actually, pointing out that their actions are the cause of my calling them the noun for their action is the definition of providing support for calling them the name.

Perhaps the real problem here is two fold: folks such  as yourself defending "your team as QTG keepd describing the discussion" and b) rationalizing that behavior by throwing out terms that are inappropriately used.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:23AM | 0 recs
If you want to argue both

that they are wrong and that they are trolling, that's one thing.  

But it appears to me a lot of the time your response to the actual substantive argument is (paraphrasing) "you would understand this if you weren't inside the DC bubble" - you say this to DTOzone a lot.  You also tend to say (paraphrasing again) "you're blind to this because you're such an Obama fanboy," as we see here:

http://www.mydd.com/comments/2009/10/25/ 122241/11/27#27

So, it turns out I was using both phrases entirely appopriately.

by JJE 2009-10-27 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: no it doesn't

By the way- a quick follow up

It is an interesting thing to read your post on the level of this is what the MSM does or used to do with the GOP. SOmeone would point out that it is hard to have an argument in which someone is not arguing in good faith (as I just did) and they would say that is out of bounds to point out that someone just made an argument in bad faith. Instead, I am only in bounds if I keep going back and forth igoring the bad faith. I respond to the actual arguments made, but I also respond to the underlying behavior. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing particuarlly illlogical about itother than not allowing gamesmanship of the debate.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:27AM | 0 recs
Re: no it doesn't

By the way- a quick follow up

It is an interesting thing to read your post on the level of this is what the MSM does or used to do with the GOP. SOmeone would point out that it is hard to have an argument in which someone is not arguing in good faith (as I just did) and they would say that is out of bounds to point out that someone just made an argument in bad faith. Instead, I am only in bounds if I keep going back and forth igoring the bad faith. I respond to the actual arguments made, but I also respond to the underlying behavior. There is nothing wrong with that. There is nothing particuarlly illlogical about itother than not allowing gamesmanship of the debate.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:27AM | 0 recs
How so?

You said that Obama is touting a lack of cost containment, I mentioned that the bill currently has the public option cost containment, you said that this was Reid's doing, not Obama's, and I expressed satisfaction that everything worked out the way we wanted it to.

Now, if Obama were to veto the bill because there's a public option, and I were to somehow defend that as a victory for progressives, then you might have a valid point.  He's not going to do that, and I wouldn't do that, so the point is moot.

Not for your benefit, but for rational people who might be reading this and undecided on the issue, Obama has laid out what he wanted to see in the final bill.  He was willing to accept less if it decreased the risk of failure, which is understandable, because a failure here would undermine his delicate success ratio.

Reid, who is the majority leader despite being a sucking void of charisma, almost has to have his numbers in order, and the behind-the-scenes weight to put down opposition in his own caucus.  He also knows that he's going to be facing a tough re-election campaign next year.  He put the effort in and informed the President that he could do him one better, that he should chill out, because they have the votes to get a better result.  

The President differed to his Majority Leader's assessment of the state of the legislative branch, because that's how politics is supposed to work.

To suggest that somehow Obama was working at odds with Reid when he was simply acknowledging that a somewhat less-than-optimal bill would still be acceptable as a starting point for later reform is FAR more trolly than me implying that they were working together to get whatever they could get.

There was a fantastic episode of Futurama years ago, where Bender meets a galactic computer that might be God.  At the end of the episode, everything works out for the best, and the computer says, "If you've done it right, people won't know you've done anything at all."  The same applies here.  Logic dictates that Obama was involved with the process, since he's been involved with the process from the start.  While he might not be Lyndon Johnsoning the hell out of the Legislative branch, the current apparent success suggests that whatever he was doing, whether that be making deals or simply giving the Congress room to grow up and do their jobs, is working.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 08:20AM | 0 recs
Re: How so?

If you think that I am not rational for pointing out that effect does not equal cause, then that sums up the problem here. You don't understand what rational means.

Again, the question is a simple one: Is Pres Obama's indifference the cause of the outcome  we just saw or did it happened despite him?  This is a question of accountability.

The part of the equation that shows you are irrationality is that you ignore that there are two choices regarding causality. That it is as possible that he had no impact as he had impact.

That you choose the one that positively spins for President Obama does not make you particularly logical because you offer no evidence based arguments for your position.

Rather than offering some logical way in which we can assess the accuracy of your claim, you keep using the circular logic: "It happened therefore he intended it."  How do we know he intended it? Because it happened.

That's a logical fallacy. The sun came up because I went outside. How do you know the sun came up for you? Because I went outside, and it came up.

When I point to evidence that is contra "that he did not intended it" you respond "well but he intended that too therefore it happened."

And around and around in the cause -effect circle we go.

 The funny part for some of you is that y ou keep trying to insult me-  "I lack the smarts to get what you are saying" etc, but the problem at base is your own lack of understanding of basic logic. You are making circular arguments.

I can't help you with that. It may not be nice to tell you that, but you open the door with your own bit of backslapping nasty responses.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 08:44AM | 0 recs
Again, no.

Your problem is that you're being a stickler for our logic, without backing up your own.

You're trying to assert that "it happened, therefore it happened despite him," which doesn't pass the smell test for a number of reasons.

A) Obama has been in the corner of the public option since before he was president.  It is implausable that he would turn against it now, not to mention unsupported by any evidence.

B) Obama has clearly and publically supported this kind of reform, most blatantly in his nationally televised speech to a joint session of Congress.

C) Obama has had congressional leadership in closed meetings.

D) Obama has a Chief of Staff who is a tough ex-legislator and a notorious strongarm.

E) None of this would even be possible were Obama not elected president, and it was one of his campaign promises.  Obama is clearly an ambitious politician who knows what his self-interest is.

Now, I never claimed that Obama did this all by himself.  If you think that's what Obama supporters believe, then you're way off base.  Part of Obama's appeal is that he's actually a leader instead of simply an authority, and part of leadership is getting people to do their jobs.

You've been the first to admit that Reid hasn't exactly been the paragon of fighters or obvious leadership.  I'd say that there's definitely an overflow effect, owing partially (not entirely, of course) to Obama's leadership.

The world is a complicated place, and you can't always point at the cumulation of years of work and say it happened for one reason and one reason only.  Wise people know that it's usually a combination of factors.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 09:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Again, no.

My problem is that I believe in weighing all the the facts rather than cherrypicking. I don't need to deny what you just said to then point out the additional facts about what really happened according to those Senators who were there behind the scenes, unnamed sources and the White House own contra behaviors to your claims.

a) Practical example, you use the fact he makes a public statement as proof of what he has done behind the scenes. Because we all know presidents never say one thing in public, and do another behind the scenes. Public statements should be our sole basis for evidence?

Indeed, when Bush discussed Iraq, we should have just trusted his word rather than looking for ways to verify it. What I am doing here is how accountability works: you don't just listen to the words in speeches.

You look at what other evidence demonstrates what they are doing and whether it verifies the claims in the speeches. That's why the words of the Senators, contra statements by the White House and unnamed sources matter. They illustrate the gap between the PR face of White Houses and the reality of what is actually occurring based again on additional evidence other than speeches and what I would like to believe (and yes, I would like to believe the White House, but facts are facts).

b) I agree Obama has had meetings with Congress, which is why when they say he has been lukewarm about the public option and did not fight for it, it tells me there is a gap between public rhetoric that you want to believe and WH action that does not support your thesis that he caused this outcome. Again, all the evidence, not just the part that is meant to convey what I want it to.  That in a nutshell i the problem- you want me to ignore all the contra evidence in favor of the speeches and status. If the Senators said the opposite, I would not be here now. But since they said what they said, I am going to come to a reasonable factual conclusion that he was not a part of this other than as a bystander.

c) It is ironic. someone above misused the term appeal to authority. Appeals to Rahm's reputation tells us nothing about what happened in this instance. What we can go on are reports on what happened.

d) Appeal to Obama winning is also irrelevant. Any democrat winning (which was highly likely last year for any democrat to win) would be doing the same. I am comparing the mandate that Obama obtained to what other Democrats would have done with it. You again confuse status (he's the president) with effect (therefore he caused the specific action). I am sure there would be a health care bill regadless of the democrat, the question is what type? You can't answer that. So you return to vague discussions about how he's better than the GOP. Thanks for the low standards.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Again,

if "no evidence at all" is the evidence you insist on using to evaluate the performance of the President, then I can't argue with you.

The PO is alive. The leadership in the House and Senate has thanked Obama for his assistance and leadership on the matter, and for the fact that he did not pull a GWBush 'my way or the highway' stunt on them. Admittedly, a few Senators and House Democrats lower down in the pecking order have taken more heat than they'd have liked and groused a little. Tough beans.

It is now being argued here at MyDD that now that the PO is fait accompli, we ought to go for the brass ring. I say why not? But what is so very special about that fact is that there is a real success to almost celebrate, and I'm going to start almost celebrating right now.

by QTG 2009-10-27 09:57AM | 0 recs
I didn't say that

I never said that his public words were "proof."  I said that they were "supporting evidence" that he was pro-public option.  "Evidence" is the thing that leads to "proof."  It's the accumulation of evidence that makes a juror decide whether or not the case is proven or not.

In this case, I believe the burden of proof has been satisfied.  You don't.  You put higher credence on unnamed sources than I do.  That's fine.  A little foolish, in my book, since there's a lot of people out there with a lot of different agendas, and being an unnamed source is a cheap and safe way of trying to push a narrative (not unlike being an anonymous poster on the internet) without actually having to live up to one's words.

Anyway, feel free to have the last word.  I'm going to go have a beer in toast of the living public option.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 11:03AM | 0 recs
Be sure to toast

 the Obama bashers. Without them, the PO would have died.

by QTG 2009-10-27 11:08AM | 0 recs
Re: How so?

There was a fantastic episode of Futurama years ago, where Bender meets a galactic computer that might be God.  At the end of the episode, everything works out for the best, and the computer says, "If you've done it right, people won't know you've done anything at all."

by Steve M 2009-10-27 08:57AM | 0 recs
Re: LEADERLESS

Now everybody is wedded to the public option.  I bet arms get twisted, if they haven't been.

by Drummond 2009-10-26 01:26PM | 0 recs
Obama's quiet power

As history has testified, being truly and effectively powerful depends not so much on the ability to bully legislation as on the ability of the Leadership to understand and communicate the implications of alternative futures.

Moronic troglodites want arms twisted and heads banged together. They MUST be twisted! They MUST be banged!

Obama persuades people to do their jobs, let's them do their jobs, and lets them take the credit.

The job gets done and the troglodites call for a general banning of those who admire the President and appreciate his quiet power.

Gofigure.

by QTG 2009-10-26 01:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's quiet power

"appreciate his quiet power" = do nothing but manage his own image? Because over the last 6 months his "efforts" hindered public option rather than facilitate its passage.

by tarheel74 2009-10-26 03:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's quiet power

 There really wan't a need to identify yourself, everyone knows you are among those I referred to.

by QTG 2009-10-26 04:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's quiet power

Ah, and the burning of bridges continues.  The "troglodyte's" are hailed as agents of change and a new message, and  get him elected...and once elected they're they're back to cave dwellers and outmoded reactionaries....

Same as it ever was.

by TxDem08 2009-10-26 04:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's quiet power

ahem....they're there...wow.  One to many coffee's!

by TxDem08 2009-10-26 04:39PM | 0 recs
"too"

excessively, overly, to a fault, also, as well

The other "to" means something else.  Not sure what.

by chrisblask 2009-10-26 04:44PM | 0 recs
Re: "too"

Um, no.  Try again...

"To"

http://www.aolsvc.merriam-webster.aol.co m/dictionary/to

"Too" funny.

by TxDem08 2009-10-26 09:41PM | 0 recs
I was just being funny,

you are just being wrong.

(Which is - arguably - funnier. :~)

I actually figured it was a typo and just thought I'd try to lighten things up by giving you a little rib-nudge and a wink.  Apparently you missed the joke and took it seriously and, um, actually want to argue that the definition of "to" includes the synonymous of "excessive"...

Um.  No, it does not.

Too much, too little, too late.  Too much coffee...

I could direct you to TooMuchOnline.org, you could call an English teacher or you could read the definition you linked and perhaps the other one from Webster:

Pronunciation: ˈtü\
Function: adverb
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English tō to, too -- more at to
Date: before 12th century
1 : besides, also <sell the house and furniture too>
2 a : to an excessive degree : excessively <too large a house for us> b : to such a degree as to be regrettable <this time he has gone too far> c : very <didn't seem too interested>
3 : so 2d <"I didn't do it." "You did too."

toodles...

by chrisblask 2009-10-27 04:00AM | 0 recs
Re: I was just being funny,

Nevermind, we are discussing two different "to's".

You are correct...TOO much coffee.  Not, back "too" their caves...

I guess I needed more coffee.

by TxDem08 2009-10-27 06:38AM | 0 recs
No problem,

I'm not really all that funny, anyway...

;~)

by chrisblask 2009-10-27 03:14PM | 0 recs
Re: Obama's quiet power

I prefer Animal Farm.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 04:57PM | 0 recs
&quot;The job gets done....&quot; Really?

You should be careful using the word "job" when discussing this President's performance. Remember the economy?

Obama declared in February that his top priority was "jobs, jobs, jobs!", a little chant echoed by Joe Biden, speaking in his role as Chairperson of the Middle Class Recovery Task Force, and Nancy Pelosi. That commitment lasted about a week and a half, before the President got interested in moving on to some other stuff. Oh well....

Now that unemployment has soared to 9.8%, maybe you'd like to review the testimony of Cristina Romer last week....apparently, things aren't going so swell. Bottom line, Obama's "top priority" of creating (or "saving", whatever that means) 3.5 million new jobs in two years was a goal (HOPE!!!), not a promise. In other words, don't look for improvement on the jobs front anytime soon.

So in terms of "the job getting done", try again: how's Barack doing?

by BJJ Fighter 2009-10-26 09:04PM | 0 recs
Excellent dodge

I wasn't aware that this diary was about job loss.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 08:21AM | 0 recs
Just be thankful

s/he didn't start in on the birth certificate.

by JJE 2009-10-27 08:46AM | 0 recs
I really want to be the better person...

and not gloat over someone's pain.

I really should...

[ahem]

"I'm really sorry the PUMA pessimism hasn't be fulfi(snort!)"

[sorry]

"fulfilled. I'm sure something bad will happen later to make you feel better."

This will help:

ZOMFG!!  "Proof that Obama can't swim!!"

Wait!  Was that someone's president being fierce I heard?

Yep.

I'm just so sorry.

by chrisblask 2009-10-26 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

It must be easy living in the spring of 2008 forever like that.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 04:47PM | 0 recs
It really is.

It's like getting to be right all the time, all over again.

[sigh]

Someone oughta sell tickets...

;~)

by chrisblask 2009-10-26 06:45PM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

Getting right about what? that WH tried to sell the public option down the drain and the progressive caucus was able to preserve some remnants of it? Unfortunately this president has lost all leadership credibility on this issue. This is the latest GOP talking point:

"As Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) prepares to announce he's ignoring concerns from moderate Senate Democrats and the Obama White House, and moving forward with a government-run health care option at this afternoon's press conference, please consider the National Republican Senatorial Committee's statement regarding this latest example of heavy-handed partisanship," NRSC spokesman Brian Walsh told reporters.

by tarheel74 2009-10-26 07:00PM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

<spittle>Getting right about what? that WH tried to sell the public option down the drain and the progressive caucus was able to preserve some remnants of it? Unfortunately this president has lost all leadership credibility on this issue.</spittle>

Oh yeah!  Obama tried so hard to shuffle off that public option (that he's advocated since the campaign).  I bet he's stomping mad that Democrats appear more competent, more effective, and that the Senate Majority leader looks much less like the pansy than he did a week ago. Obama is sure to throw some heavy elbow fouls on the court this week, AMIRITE?!?! Unless, wait, what was that Sen. Reid said today?

"The best way to move forward is a public option with the opt-out provision for states," Reid told reporters, adding that he "clearly" believes that such a bill would have "the support of my caucus."

It also has the support of the White House, which said that President Obama was "pleased that the Senate has decided to include a public option for health coverage, in this case with an allowance for states to opt out."

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/capitol -briefing/2009/10/sources_reid_to_suppor t_a_publ.html

Now, this thing aint over yet.  In the meantime, make an L-shape with the thumb and index finger of your left hand and hold it over your forehead until a bill passes.  You'll know when it's okay to take it down.

by fogiv 2009-10-26 07:52PM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

Your comment is non responsive about what occurred in the lead up the Senator Reid's decision. No one thinks President Obama is stupid. So yes, he's going to support Reid after Reid has done the heavily lifting. The question raised which you won't answer is why are Senators Reid, Brown, and Harkin saying that President Obama either did nothing (Reid's words regarding whipping the vote count) or that President Obama's support was lukewarm (Senator Harkin's words).

Please do not respond by a) attacking the messenger b) throwing out  trust Obama slogans c) quoting speeches that do not speak to behind the scenes actions the way that the senators did or any other link that's non-sequitur d) deny the message from the senators, demonize them or spin it or e) otherwise engage in sophistry like 11 dimensional chess. If that's all you can do as a response, the truth is you have no response.

I don't expect you to say anything new. The truth is as  I said before you add nothing to this blog because you have no interest in issues and you lack principles.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 08:43PM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

So yes, he's going to support Reid after Reid has done the heavily lifting.

You suggest that Obama is jumping on the bandwagon after all of Reid's hard work (ed. actually his regular job), yes? The same Majority Leader that you characterized this way two days ago:

Re: Reid Defies White House! Will Move Ahead with (none / 0)

We shall see. Reid has a habit of saying he will fight only to retrench days later.

by bruh3 on Sat Oct 24, 2009 at 05:23:21 AM PST

From iffy wimp to Hercules in two days. Not too shabby for the jut-jaw from the great state of Nevada, eh?

The question raised which you won't answer is why are Senators Reid, Brown, and Harkin saying that President Obama either did nothing (Reid's words regarding whipping the vote count) or that President Obama's support was lukewarm (Senator Harkin's words).

Before the WH released it's statement of support, Reid says:

"I've concluded, with the support of the White House, Senators Dodd and Baucus, that the best way to move forward is to include a public option with the opt-out provision for states," Mr. Reid said at a news conference.

Which Reid are we to believe?  Your heavy lifter or your retrencher? Bear in mind your admonition to not "deny the message from the senators, demonize them or spin it".  If Reid says his conclusion to include the PO (w/ opt out) was reached with the support of the Whitehouse, he's either lying or the administraion has been cooperating, correct? You think maybe this new Harry the LionHearted just made up the whole "with the support of the Whitehouse" bit to share some glory scraps with the wildly unpopular President?  Reid the serial retrencher (according to you) to the rescue.  Hell of a guy!

So break it down for me, Bruh.  Obama has not done enough to get a PO included in the Senate bill (per Reid, he didn't whip the vote count). Well, here we are with a PO in the bill.  If Obama hasn't done enough to get a PO included, and we got one in anyway, let's assess the value of all of the strategy critiques you've made these last few months (over and over and over and over), particularly those that suggest that Obama's actions, or lack thereof, have obstructed the inclusion of a PO.

The truth is as I said before you add nothing to this blog because you have no interest in issues and you lack principles.

Plenty would disagree, but they care for your opinion about as much as I do:  zero.

by fogiv 2009-10-26 11:45PM | 0 recs
Little fog?

The truth is as I said before you add nothing to this blog because you have no interest in issues and you lack principles.

The hyper-diligent anal-retentive activist-archeologist little fog has no interest in issues and lacks principles?

I'd suggest you were a pain in the ass for kinda the opposite reason, but apparently I haven't been reading the right fogiv...

by chrisblask 2009-10-27 04:04AM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

As expected. Like I said predictable. Not one thing of substance. If you found the time to quote me (which is pretty sad by the way) you had the time to look up the questions I asked.  But , then you and the sock puppets in a nutshell. I have to hope you are just one person rather than several. Otherwise we really do have a lunatic fringe in the party.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 06:24AM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

You know, I think there ought to be a few people in the Party who actually like the Party, like being in the Party, like the other people in the Party, like the elected officials of the Party, and especially like having a President who is a member of the Party.

by QTG 2009-10-27 06:47AM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

As expected, you respond with ad hominem.  That's a consession.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

Since you are nothing but a troll or a sock puppet who will be gone soon enjoy what ever victory in your on mind that you think you gain by playing games here.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: It really is.

...and another.  psssssttt (you forgot to mention Jerome)

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:33AM | 0 recs
If you can't beat 'em join 'em

That's the WH motto. Otherwise the reality is something like this:

<blockpost>"We've spent countless hours over the last few days in consultation with senators who've shown a genuine desire to reform the health care system. And I believe there's a strong consensus to move forward in this direction," Reid said Monday.

His decision came despite the private worries of the Obama administration, which remains concerned that the 60 votes aren't there.

But skepticism from the White House isn't the only hurdle that remains. While a host of Democrats, including the administration, publicly praised Reid for standing by an opt-out public option, internal whip counts indicate that there are approximately 57 votes for the proposal. Convincing the remaining three caucus members that the bill should be allowed to get an up-or-down vote remains an uphill lift. Having a president that is non-committal in the process makes it even harder. Meanwhile, the likelihood that the proposal will not have a single Republican member's support removes the bipartisan cover that some conservative Democrats are demanding.

Read more at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/26 /how-reid-found-his-silver_n_334687.html </blockpost>

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 05:02AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

Good work.  Now subtract the MSM hype that hints at conflict (way sexier, you know), set aside your incessant distrust of all things Obama, and quell your precambrian urge to hyperventilate.  What remains sounds like this (at worst):

I hope you know what you're doing, 'cause getting real reform enacted is mad important.  Good work, keep it up, we've got your back.

I'm always a bit dismayed to see fellow progressives (or anyone really) who seem to have forgotten (or never knew) how our government is supposed to function.  If all goes as I suspect it will, you'll be able to nitpick the snot out of the details of the passed HCR bill (with a PO) until your corneas bleed, and tell us all how badly Obama fucked it up.  The rest of us will be celebrating a significant achievement.  

In the meantime, I'll be doing what little I can to pressure everyone who matters into making the best bill possible, including the WH.  Right now, things are looking pretty good, but there's plenty of work yet to be done.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 05:52AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

 Your fawning is non-responsive, non-productive, and adds nothing to the substantive work of progressives who are solely responsible for keeping the leadership's feet to the fire and Obama's finger off Snowe's trigger.There's a plan!

by QTG 2009-10-27 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

Our government is supposed to work like it always has for the last 200 years, the president is the leader, he sets the agenda and leads from the forefront. In this case, the president basically worked behind the scenes to take the most expeditious route that would be conducive to his image. But I guess for fawning admirers like you none of that matters.

We are on a very dangerous trend in American politics which lets the leadership get away with just about anything because they know their apologists will stand behind every thing they do, however egregious that might be.

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 06:06AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

Yeap, it is yet another sign of a declining empire: the appearance of charismatic leaders and supporters. In fairness, I doubt even Obama realizes how nut some of his supporters are, but they are what they are. They care nothing about issues or policy. This other poster orestes put it this way- he thinks they are just sock puppets of a few people coming here to get a rise out of people. From the behavior, I am hoping he's right. But having been to Daily Kos, I can say I see more of that blind support there.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 06:27AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

It's a pandemic, apparently.

by QTG 2009-10-27 06:40AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

George Washington was a remarkably charismatic leader.  They say many of his supporters actually wanted him to be King of America!

If we had an Internet back in the day I'm pretty sure there would have been plenty of Jeffersonbots.  Maybe we should look elsewhere for the signs of a declining empire.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: King

A king would dictate his wishes to the Senate and House, something Obama gets criticized for not doing by the very people who despise his fans, while his fans enjoy the fact that he understands the role of the Executive.

Obama has quickly reversed the Republican idea that laws are dictated from the White House and sent to the Congress for a Rubber Stamp.

The entire process of moving toward HCR has been a exercise in returning balance to the Balance Of Powers between the Executive and Legislative Branches.

We are witnessing serious and wonderful History in the making.

by QTG 2009-10-27 07:34AM | 0 recs
Re: King

The beauty of the apologist approach is that you can have it both ways.  When Obama leads strongly, it's because he's a confident visionary.  When Obama fails to lead strongly, it's because he's a modest constitutional scholar who understands the separation of powers and doesn't want to be a king.

The problem with the view that Obama is merely playing his proper role is that it ignores the examples where Obama has actually dictated his wishes to the Senate and House, such as the heavy-handed way he handled the F-22 program.  He is perfectly capable of approaching health care just like he approached the cancellation of the F-22 program, if he wanted to.  The difference may be based on a strategic judgment, and that strategic judgment may very well be correct, but one thing it's not based on is some kind of process-based appreciation for the separation of powers.

You can't laud him for refusing to be the kind of President who dictates his wishes, when in many cases he actually DOES dictate his wishes.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 07:59AM | 0 recs
Re: King

You're ignorance of the F-22 issue is appalling. Decisions about funding ongoing weapons systems like the F-22 are completely different animals from new legislation like HCR. What happened to the F-22 was covered pretty well in the press.

 When Secretary of Defense Robert Gates withdrew support from the F-22, he clearly persuaded the Air Force to withdraw the military leg under the F-22 stool.  When the Air Force went public about its official view, the stool started to wobble.

Even a second leg became less sturdy.  Lockheed-Martin, the contractor, announced it would not lobby (hard) for the program, perhaps because it has many other equities in other programs at DOD.  This reduced the pressure on the third leg, the Congress.  Key members - some from key states and districts, some from key committees - fought hard for the program.  But a two-legged stool is weak, and a one-and-a-half legged stool even weaker.

The pressure for the stool to fall was accentuated by the President's Statement of Administration Policy (SAP). SAPs occur on every bill, and usually contain revealing language about how much the President cares [this is important - the SAP appears after the Bill (qtg)].  In this case, the SAP was very clear: the President would veto the bill.  (Not the same for the F-35 alternate engine - there the SAP said his advisers would recommend he veto the bill - a softer, more distancing approach).  And the nail in the coffin was the follow-on communication from the White House and DOD just before the Senate vote, reiterating the veto threat.

Your example fails on the facts. You've mixed apples with oranges.

by QTG 2009-10-27 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: King

I think the idea that military and Congressional support simply faded away on their own is belied by the fact that Obama felt he had to issue a veto threat.  What's your argument here, that the veto threat was just for kicks?  Obviously there was plenty of support or the veto threat would have been unnecessary.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: King

The veto threat was a normal Administrative activity with regard to a decision on continuation of a military program already being Administered (note the verb) and therefore different in kind from new legislation like HCR. The Veto threat was pro-forma and came after the DoD had decided that the F-22 program was useless going forward. The Congressional pushback was expected and normal for obvious reasons, and the process was handled appropriately.

You need to come up with a different example to support your case.

by QTG 2009-10-27 09:07AM | 0 recs
Re: King

There are other examples of the president using his power to strong argument congress or to maintain the powers created by the Bush administration in civil liberties areas.

Here's one example of strong arm tactics:

"The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

"We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/12 /white-house-browbeats-dem_n_214870.html

This belies your claim that this is a different type of White House. There other examples beyond on this one. The problem many of you have is that you can not respond to the gap between what President Obama says (which I agree are nice things) and what he does (which in practice is like any other president before him). Thus, the accountability question i keep  answering is avoided because you either rely on speeches or when confronted with counter facts, attempt to discount them  as you are doing with Steve's example. The problem is that it is not the only example.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:53AM | 0 recs
Re: King

By the way- least you play the game that you like to play- this does not mean Obama=Bush. It means he's a typical politician who says one thing, and does another, and that our job is to hold him accountable rather than believe his speeches are the same as his actions.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: That may be your job

but it is not my job. My job is to make sure that criticism of the Democrats, including the President, is questioned and tested. If it turns out to be proven by the evidence, then and only then will I accept it as true. So far, I've not had to decide what my next step is.

by QTG 2009-10-27 10:02AM | 0 recs
Re: King

Which as I wrote to Stummerson goes to the heart of the deeper issue: How do we hold a politician accountable? One which I touched on with my concern over charismatic leadership. That this type of leadership tends to ignore issues of accountability.

Without factually determining what has or has not happened, and allowing spin to define the debate, how can we determine whether President Obama is indeed doing a good job if the retort is in all cases "It happened. Therefore, he intended it."

That sets up no standard by which to judge President Obama's leadership or lack of leadership.  As a practical matter, when we started to require a set of evidence different for President Obama than say we required for Bush. Now, unnamed sources are bad. Where was this concern during the Bush administration?

As Glenn Greenwald writes "where are principles involved in such analysis?"

That we require a smoking gun, and even when sitting Senators make it clear that Obama was not a big factor, we are told he still was because no evidence was offered that is contra. At the end of the day, I don't see this leads to good government much less good policy making.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 08:17AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a Democrat

You argue there is no evidence that Obama has or has not played an appropriate Constitutional role in the process and you therefore conclude, based on your imaginings of his bad intents and motivations, that he is unworthy of any credit which might be handed out and worthy of much derision for his fecklessness and charisma (a characteristic as unchangeable as his skin color, btw).

You ought to just save us all a lot of grammatical and logical errors and simply admit that you're jealous of the guy and hate his guts.

by QTG 2009-10-27 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: You are a Democrat

This is why I refer to you as scorched earth. I make an argument about how your arguments are illogical. You respond back "I know  you are, but what am I". You are not particularly serious. Just throwing everything and the kitchen sink. Point to any logical flaw in my argument. You may disagree with them, but they are logically constructed.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: OK

"Without factually determining what has or has not happened, and allowing spin to define the debate, how can we determine whether President Obama is indeed doing a good job if the retort is in all cases "It happened. Therefore, he intended it.""

You conclude that because 'we' (you, and presumably others) don't know, then Obama is not doing a good job.

I think a much more logical approach is that if a good job gets done and the Administration is the responsible Branch, then he did a good job. If the Congress is the responsible branch, then they did a good job. If the Congress does a good job and the Leadership (as opposed to lazy or ass-covering underlings) thanks the President for his input and advice, then he did a good job.

And if you say he didn't do a good job, then you say he didn't do a good job.

by QTG 2009-10-27 09:18AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

I will look squarely in combination with other factors at where this country is headed with this style of leadership. We have had 4 of these types of leaders in a row with maybe the exception of Bush 1 (Reagan, Clinton, Bush II and now Obama).  I go over to Talk Left, and read some of the comments, and see  some of the same kind of politician worship for Clinton as I see for Obama here. It is just not healthy to assume pols are not pols.

If it were only one factor, you might be right. But it is not. We also face others such as a concentrated media, corporate interests capturing the structures of government through money influence and a military industrial complex. This plus a decreasing rather than increasing social mobility, in other countries when combined with charismatic leadership does not lead to good results.

So, while charismatic leadership can exist in many context. That does not mean that they are not particularly dangerous in the context we are facing economically and socially in America.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

I think you are just nutpicking.  Sure, there are people online who are ridiculous, but I don't know anyone in real life who views Obama with unfailing adoration and I live in Democrat Heaven.  Despite what Glenn Beck says, we have not become a nation where thousands of schoolteachers are teaching kids to sing worshipful songs about Obama.  Sure, most people and almost all Democrats like the guy (as do you, I assume) and that's a good thing.

Understand that some of the people you view as "cheerleaders" are not really mindless followers, it is just that they easily lapse into a mode of reflexive defense of the President because they have spent so long dealing with PUMAs and actual haters.  Among themselves, with some exceptions of course, they have no problem thinking critically about Obama and discussing their concerns.  But the Internet dynamic, where you don't truly know anyone, is conducive to an atmosphere of paranoia and clubbishness where it's easy to assume the other guy is a bad-faith participant until proven otherwise.

Maybe we're a doomed nation, but it's for the traditional reasons - unchecked corporate power, media consolidation, the military-industrial complex - and not because we've suddenly become an unthinking bunch of Obamabots.  Maybe you'd be surprised at how many "bots" continue to worry about the exact sort of things I just mentioned even though they now have a President they really like.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Remind me

It would seem that the quality of Obama which annoys you (plural - I include the whole team)is his charisma. Remind me why charisma is a bad thing, especially when it is coupled with highly effective leadership. Perhaps the problem with Obama is that he is a highly effective leader with charisma, but I am left wondering, "What's so bad about that?"

Please, educate me. Why should I, as a Democrat, be angry with Obama for being an effective leader with charisma? and why should I be persuaded that other Democrats who admire him and enjoy his style of leadership along with the Party's successes in  dealing with the shithole the Republicans left us in?

by QTG 2009-10-27 08:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Remind me

I cannot speak for the "team," but I am not bothered one iota by Obama's charisma.  Heck, I am capable of being smitten with his winning smile as much as the next guy, and I don't find myself regretting it in the morning either.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 09:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Remind me

Your ability to move beyond the gap of what he says and what he does not mean others are capable of doing so. Many people l isten to wht he says, and assumes "he said it so he is doing it."

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:11AM | 0 recs
Charisma alone is not everything

Reagan had oodles of charisma and great leadership, but disastrous policies. Obama has learned the Reagan lesson of carving a good, likable image, unfortunately while he does propose good policies he either lacks the leadership to see it through.

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 09:12AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

I agree that I am probably overly sensitive to blind loyalty after having dealt with that for the last 8 years with President Bush.

As I said before, it was difficult to talk to people who when you asked them why they supported Bush would say "He supports the troops." When you pointed out that he is not providing body armor for the troops, they would retort "he's a good man."

I don't see all of these people here as the same. Some like stummerson seem reasonable even if I disagree with him. The same with Shaun when he's not using bad faith debate tactics. The other night I disagreed with him, but for the most part I did not feel that he was just here to scorch the earth like forgiv and QTG are.

What bothers me about a stummerson or a Shaun is that they will ignore what is some really nasty behavior by QTG and forgiv, and then attack me as stummerson does above discuss how I am calling people names like there is no context for it. I just want play along to that.

Glenn Beck is an idiot. My friend listens to him, and I think its rotting her brain. I keep telling her to stop because there are better critiques like Glenn Greenwald. So far, I have just convinced her to read Glenn.

And yes, I like Pres Obama. This is not about liking him or not. I just disagree with how much change he is willing to fight for. He strkes me as like Clinton in the 90s. The problem is that I don't think we can afford another Clinton. Clinton was not bad either. Just he let open  gates he should not have. And now, we need- like with the banks- to close them back up. You can't really be bipartisan about banks that are too big to fail. Either they are or are not going to be a danger to the market if allowed to exist.

As for the real haters- this is why I asked another, JDF, to point to an instance where I did not focus on policy and strategy. What ends up happening is that I will say something on policy and strategy, and they will perceive that as a personal attack against PResident Obama. I am just at point where with my online activity I am not interested in fighting the irrational response.

By the way, I don't consider many people bots. I do consider them cheerleaders- which means they are first promoting president obama, and second policy. Bots to me are people like QTG and forgiv. Not Shaun who seems to have his own views. My problem with them is that they are not related to what President Obama actually is doing, but rather what Shaun and others seem to project onto Obama. Ie, that he wants to limit the power of the presidency when there is no proof of that.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: If you can't beat 'em join 'em

 I don't know where to start on this claptrap, so I won't.

by QTG 2009-10-27 06:38AM | 0 recs
Sorry.....it's not the time to be smug.

Unemployment---up from 7.9% at the beginning of the year to 9.8% (and probably higher) today---has only gotten worse under this President. Against Obama's promise to create 3.5 million jobs in 2 years, those numbers look especially awful. And just last week, we heard from his top economist, Mrs. Romer, that we've probably already seen most of the benefit that the Stimulus Act (some would call it a Sedative) will provide. Wow...if this has been a benefit, one can only guess what a Stimulus II would yield.

Those who have lost their jobs and livelihood this year probably don't agree with your assessment that "it's like getting to be right, all the time......"

by BJJ Fighter 2009-10-26 08:46PM | 0 recs
That's odd

because during the first two years your hero Ronald Reagan was in office unemployment went from 7.2 to 9.7.  Because of the optimism, I'm sure.

That you think an economy as large as the US's can be magically turned around in 9 months indicates a charming naivete about basic macroeconomics.

by JJE 2009-10-26 09:38PM | 0 recs
Sorry to confuse you with the facts, but....

President Reagan had to simultaneously confront a recession and 14% inflation---something the Keynesians had always told us couldn't happen. I don't know if you've studied economics, but trust me, that made it just a little more challenging that what Obama faces today.

Essentially, Reagan didn't have the added stimulus of Fed liquidity to drive the economy, as Volcker was tightening monetary policy at the time to combat inflation.

Contrast that with today, where the Fed under Bernanke has been injecting massive amounts of stimulus into the economy for well over a year. In other words, fiscal and monetary policy are both working in the same direction, a luxury that President Reagan didn't have. When you consider the magnitude and direction of this Fed's monetary policy today, it makes Obama's fiscal policy, in particular his stimulus (sedative) program, look all the more feeble and pitiful.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-10-27 06:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry to confuse you with the facts, but....

Reagan again.  The greatest president in the 20th century.  If only democrats would embrace Ronald Wilson Reagan...

by Strummerson 2009-10-27 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry to confuse you with the facts, but....

Well, a lot of them did....ever hear the term "Reagan Democrats" ?

by BJJ Fighter 2009-10-27 08:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry to confuse you with the facts, but....

Nope.  Never heard of Reagan Democrats.  Never.

THAT WAS MY POINT.

The implication, which several others succeeded in grasping and agreed with, is that this was a disaster for both the country and the party.

Have a good time trying to convince us otherwise.  The best thing I can say about your compulsive peddling of hagiographic myths regarding St. Ronnie around here is that it's slightly quixotic and apparently sincere.

by Strummerson 2009-10-28 01:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Sorry to confuse you with the facts, but....

by JJE 2009-10-28 06:48AM | 0 recs
If special pleading is the game

Did St. Reagan of Eureka face an unprecedented liquidity crisis?  The threat of collapse of major financial institutions?  Two major automakers in bankruptcy?  Fifteen years of a declining manufacturing sector?  Budget-busting tax cuts enacted by his predecessor?

by JJE 2009-10-27 08:40AM | 0 recs
You're missing the point

It's not about who had it worse, or "special pleading", as you put it. The point is that the President was faced with two starkly different economic realities: record inflation, as well as a sharp and deep recession. One calls for stimulative policy, the other for contractionary. That's a much more complex dilemma than anything Obama's had to face.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-10-27 10:22AM | 0 recs
What?

It's not about who had it worse, or "special pleading", as you put it.

....

That's a much more complex dilemma than anything Obama's had to face.

Even if we accept your special pleading, it doesn't help the Reagan canonization case, inasumuch as inflation was largely curbed by falling oil prices, which he had little to do with.  And, of course, Reagan's chief stimulus programs, tax cuts for top income-earners and defense boondoggles, contributed to the stagnation of real wages and thus the situation we find ourselves in today.

by JJE 2009-10-27 12:06PM | 0 recs
Cannonization.....not a bad idea

Today is the 45th Anniversary of "A Time for Choosing", perhaps the third greatest Reagan speech (#1 being the Berlin Wall, #2 being his speech at Normandy):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXBswFfh6 AY

There are a lot of lessons in this speech, which are as applicable today as they were then; we ignore them at our peril. Suffice it to say, that in every way: he made America strong again.

by BJJ Fighter 2009-10-27 08:43PM | 0 recs
Wow

You like that classic of right-wing demagoguery?  That explains a lot.  Anti social security, anti medicare, pro pointless wars in faraway lands.  Could have come from the mouth of Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck.

This Youtube better captures the disgraceful legacy of Ronald Reagan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vAqlRpSI DE

by JJE 2009-10-28 06:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

You really think a couple of 'fancy' pictures are enough to distract from the fact that you're just another of Q(u)TG's happy-talk hatchet men?  If you can't dissent you don't belong in the discussion.  Enough of these endless diary hijackings for the sake of your fanboy boosterism!  

Change is on the way and you hopesters will have to find another place to troll with your thoughtless positive messages!

by January 20 2009-10-26 05:13PM | 0 recs
Well you do know don't you

that Senators are incapable of listening to their constituents and serving their best interests unless they get orders from the President right?

I mean you have heard about the "Imperial Presidency" right?

I mean you actually think Congress is a whole branch of government or something?  You got some crazy idea that they write laws or something?

Everybody knows how this is supposed to go.  It was settled by the last king president when Congress passed the AUMF.  They took their orders and obeyed.

Get real.  Pres. Obama knows all this and that's why he's proposing another joint session - to speak, tie the Senators' shoelaces and wipe their noses.

by Satya 2009-10-26 05:50PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

This irrational and frankly embarrassing devotion to this president is beyond fawning. All signs and reports indicate that up until they decided to join the happy bandwagon, this WH was doing everything to stop this bill in its current form. Fortunately the number of people in that camp is few and getting fewer. Here are a few blog posts by very progressive people who elaborate more on this charade:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2009/1 0/25/797100/-A-response-to-tonights-Whit e-House-statement

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_ greenwald/2009/10/26/obama/index.html

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archive s/2009/10/if_you_cant_beat_em_join_em.ph p?ref=fpblg

by tarheel74 2009-10-26 06:57PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

By "all signs and reports", you mean multiple reports from unnamed sources, yes?

by fogiv 2009-10-26 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Reports confirmed by sitting Senators through their views of what has occurred up until now. Your denial is just a form of flat earth argument, or a fallacy.

by bruh3 2009-10-26 08:45PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Sitting Senators whose opinions are that they have not yet been coddled enough by the Whitehouse?

Opinions are like assholes: everyone has one.  The difference between you and me is that I don't espouse mine as fact.

by fogiv 2009-10-26 10:01PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...
Regarding assholes:
 I definitely want mine to be a fact. I just don't want it to be a well-known fact.
by QTG 2009-10-26 10:26PM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

keep on fawning. It's great for our democracy. It's people like us who pressured the government to pass the bill, if we relied on the house we would have Obama's finger on President Snowe's trigger

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 05:08AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Seriously, if you think Obama would rather have Snowe's blessing (of a kick the can down the road trigger) over a real public option, you're just flat out delusional.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 06:05AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

No he liked it because it was politically expedient. It would probably have gotten the 60 votes without him having to lift a finger while maintaining the image of "bipartisanship".

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 06:10AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

What?  He's lazy now too?  Doesn't want to lift a finger?  Look, Reid and Pelosi have delivered, and the Whitehouse 100% ready to roll.  What exactly is the problem now?  You're upset that the legislative body that was supposed to do the work in the first place is doing its work?

What you describe as 'fawning' is simply me recognizing that progressives cannot allow ourselves the luxury of being cynical about the motivations of our leaders.  To win, we have to be tougher, smarter, more determined than the opposition - and believe absolutely that we can succeed. Cynicism and defeatism simply have no place in a battle like the one being waged over HCR.

It's like watching your favorite half-back take the snap.  Are you gonna bitch and moan about every step, every juke, every head fake the guy makes while he breaks tackles and moves the ball downfield?  Make no mistake, we're moving the ball and the play isn't dead yet.  So I'll be out throwing blocks as best I can while you snipe from the sidelines.  See you in the endzone.  

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:02AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

That's the weakest argument. I named two senators who were unhappy that the WH was non-committal. But what the heck blind faith in the president is not new, we have seen it under Bush we are seeing it now under Obama. Also just to remind you, some of the biggest news were broken because of unknown sources. I don't think any high level aide is absolutely stupid enough to jeopardize his job by going on the record for the satisfaction of anonymous blog commenter. In the same note, the WH pharma deal that was broken by unknown sources and reviled by unknown message-board commenters turned out to be true...surprise surprise.

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 05:06AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Absolutely, big news has been broken by anonymous sources.  The news becomes big when it's verified, either by investigation or by people who are willing to go on record.  Still waiting for that, aren't we?

Per the WH Pharma deal:  how are those protections looking in the house bill now?

by fogiv 2009-10-27 06:12AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

You were given 3 named sources, and continue to pretend you were not. This is the game you nutjobs who post here play. You are no better than the Christianists. Indeed, I keep saying I hope Jerome does ban you.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 06:29AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

I'm not pretending anything, dipshit.  I just don't sympathize with legislators who feel like they need a hug from big Papi to do their job.  Awwww, they felt underwhelmed.  And here we are, well on our way to getting exactly what we want anyway.  Tell me, how much better would Reid's bill look, right this minute, had Obama held a pep rally for each of these guys?  Oh, and prove it.

Indeed, I keep saying I hope Jerome does ban you.

I know you do.  You mention it in about every third comment.  Maybe if you keep that up, he'll notice.  Until that day comes, you'll just have to deal with the ever growing number of users here who disagree with your nonsensical doublespeak, and find both your relentless obfuscations and constant cynicism tiresome.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:15AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Hey Tarjob, if my comment is worthy of a zero, I assume you'll be scrolling up to exact same on every single one of Bruh's 'nutjob' remarks.  Get busy.  While you're at it drop a few on yourself for all that 'fawning' bullshit.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:28AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Um...wait a second.  Didn't you just post above that we need to work together as a party to "bring the ball down the field"?  (God, I hate hackneyed metaphors.)  Now, you're mocking Democratic senators who are moving the ball down the field because they may have been critical of the administration?  See, this leads to the conclusion that you are not primarily interested in moving that ball or working together as a party, but that your primary goal is to prop up the president.  The president should be spared criticism, but not other elected officials.  The slip always eventually shows.

by orestes 2009-10-27 10:27AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Indeed, I did.  You seem to be forgetting that 'helping move the ball downfield' involves more than cheerleading (as some here are inclined to remind us again and again and again.  On occassion, scorn is deserved.  I don't oppose all criticisms, I oppose dumb criticism.  I'll try to make that more clear for you next time, and shall endeavor to avoid hackneyed metaphors (on account of your sensitive literary palate).

Besides, the mocking tone in my comment is sarcasm in response to the "Obama didn't help these guys" comments peppered throughout the thread, which when repeated often enough, covey the message that these Senators (Reid included) were pretty damned helpless.  I disagree with that assesment, and given the current circumstance (i.e. the PO is fiat acompli, it would seem they didn't need the help from Obama anyway.  At least not yet.

See, this leads to the conclusion that you are not primarily interested in moving that ball or working together as a party, but that your primary goal is to prop up the president.  The president should be spared criticism, but not other elected officials.  The slip always eventually shows.

You've simply come to the wrong conclusion, based on some faulty assumptions.  I don't spare criticism for anyone, I just tend to wait until it's warranted.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Sherrod Brown, Chuck Schumer, Tom Harkin....do these people sound good enough to you. All of them were underwhelmed by the WH's lack fo enthusiasm. In fact one of them went on record to say that that the WH preferred the trigger for purely political reasons. You are probably one of the fringe that believes in the executive implicitly.

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

So, you don't care to answer the question?

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:16AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Your question has been answered several times.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:45AM | 0 recs
Re: I really want to be the better person...

Kindly point that out, Pepe.  This should be interesting.

by fogiv 2009-10-27 08:22AM | 0 recs
BORING!!!

I think this whole debate over whether Obama deserves credit or not is beside the point.  The best possible democratic president needs an effective left flank to accomplish anything.  The most progressive democratic legislative caucus requires an effective left flank.  Trying to define Obama one way or the other simply gets us stuck in the least productive kind of politics that centers on personality, allegiance, and affiliation.  Wouldn't it be better to debate how to be the most effective left flank possible instead of bickering over whether Obama's leadership is adequate or not?

by Strummerson 2009-10-27 07:17AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

Triple mojo.

Wouldn't it be better to debate how to be the most effective left flank possible instead of bickering over whether Obama's leadership is adequate or not?

At MyDD?  Pppffffftttt!

by fogiv 2009-10-27 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: How doth one define 'effective'

Doth not one find effectiveness by observation of outcomes? How then wouldest we find such effectiveness at this middling point in the grand endeavors thus far undertaken, forsooth?

The vaunted PO is alive. IT's ALIVE!!!!

methinks the effectiveness is well evidenced, while the manner of the effectiveness is veiled most troublesome for our lessor thoughtful friends. Alas.

by QTG 2009-10-27 07:44AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

It matters regarding whether that left flank can find that the president is working at crosshairs to the progressive agenda. pretending that it does not matter, like some many other excuses here, adds a lack of accountability. That accountability is what is at stake.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

It matters regarding whether that left flank can find that the president is working at crosshairs to the progressive agenda.

Pics or it didn't happen.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

And by the way, let me give you a practical example from just this thread alone- the other denial of what happened in the lead up to yesterday, then means future battles are equally confused as to what things mean. if Obama is not going to be there to help, but will be constantly blocking or indifferent to policy, progressives need to know this. Indeed, the gap between what he says and what he does goes to the heart of accountable government. I continue to be fascinated by the unstated definitions many of you bring to the discussion. I have to wonder do you apply this to all politicians or just President Obama?  if not all politicians, explain the double standard. If so, how you thing you hold them accountable or is your argument that we can only do that during elections? In which case, I would ask how can we even hold them accountable during elections if we do not ascertain what they have and have not done while in office? That's the point of this discussion.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

The only "failure" attributable to Obama in this undertaking is his refusal to step out of his proper Constitutional role to legislate. His all edged "failure" has resulted in unprecedented progress toward a great leap forward in HCR, legislated by the legislators - a few who agree that the work was difficult and share the royalist view that a Democratic President Decider in Chief sure would be more fun and less work. Those lazy legislators are as wrong as the royalists here at MyDD.

(I am not crying to Jerome to have the royalists removed, btw.)

by QTG 2009-10-27 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

Stummerson- This is exhibit A of what I mean. The key element here is - how do we know any of this is true?

We ask these questions to test what QTG is saying against what people like Senators Brown, Harkin and  others are saying happened.  Thus giving us a window into accountability. Without factual understanding of what is actually happening, how can one ever hope to have open government?

That's important to know. Going into a fight in the future without this knowledge allows one to be blind sided each time. If QTG's claims are true, we need to be able to know that's "his strategy." If instead, it's not , this is also important.

I will give you a practical example. Shaun argued the other night that Obama is doing this because he wants the Congress to take a more active role in policy.  That this is Obama's strategy and that it is his intent. Or at least he suggested it through his argument. That he does not want to bully Congress. Is this true?

Let's test that. I looked up the history of other legislation, and found out that in fact President Obama is willing to bully Congress. Just not on progressive causes.

Here's that example:

"The White House is playing hardball with Democrats who intend to vote against the supplemental war spending bill, threatening freshmen who oppose it that they won't get help with reelection and will be cut off from the White House, Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said Friday.

"We're not going to help you. You'll never hear from us again," Woolsey said the White House is telling freshmen"

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/06/12 /white-house-browbeats-dem_n_214870.html

Again, this is not about credit. I don't care who gets the credit other than understanding who is accountable for to know who are and are not allies.

This is about assigning accountability so that others can know the nature of the players involved. Not as what we may want them to be, but what they are.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 08:07AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

There are Senators and Members of Congress who share your distorted view of the Constitution, and would hope that the President would do all the deciding so as to give them cover. It's an understandable bad habit, but needs to be seen for what it is: lazyness at best - cowardice at worse - malfeasance at worst.

Balance is being restored. Bad habits are being broken. Seven more years. There's work to do and we've got a flying start, thank goodness.

by QTG 2009-10-27 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: BORING!!!

Stummerson:

Brown, Feingold, Harkin and others are not beleivers in democracy now because they disagree with QTG.  . And, this is where we fall into the rabbit hole.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 08:53AM | 0 recs
Out of context.

QTG didn't say that.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Out of context.

Of course I didn't. But I'm actually beginning to believe he really thinks so. Very sad.

by QTG 2009-10-27 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Out of context.

You are right. QTG claimed that there is  a constitutional issue here, which is the basis of our democracy. So no, they did not use the word democracy. They just used the word Constitution, which as we know has no particular meaning in our democracy.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:46AM | 0 recs
Yes, it does.

I know you're trying to be sarcastic, but you can have a constitutional problem, like believing that it's the President's role (as opposed to the Legislature's) to formulate law, without somehow hating democracy.

If you're going to jump all over us for not living up to the specific corner case logical scenarios that you come up with, the least you could do is not intentionally misrepresent what we're saying.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes, it does.

The complaint made by Tom Harkin and Sherrod Brown was that Obama could have been more unequivocal about the public option.  Agree or disagree as you choose, but it's laugh-out-loud ludicrous to suggest that it would have been unconstitutional for Obama to be more clear.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 10:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Tom and Sherrod

are certainly welcome to their opinion, but I think your argument would be stronger if you could quote the Speaker or the Leader. Sherrod and Tom, as much as like them, are just not as important in the relationship between the Congress and the Executive Branches.

I tend to think that if the ass gets cleaned, the exact technique of the wipe is up to the individual involved.

The PO is alive. QED

by QTG 2009-10-27 11:04AM | 0 recs
That wasn't what he said, though.

This is what QTG said:

There are Senators and Members of Congress who share your distorted view of the Constitution

Which gets translated into "these lawmakers don't believe in democracy."  

Sorry, but no.  What QTG is saying is that the lawmakers in question want Obama to come out and lay the whole thing out for them, to give them cover.  This isn't, constitutionally, Obama's job.  Obama's constitutional job is to either sign the bill when it comes across his desk or to veto it.  Technically, that's it.  Now, we culturally might expect more of him, like to threaten to keep Congress from going on vacation until they get a bill he likes to him, like Bush did, but it isn't a strict requirement.

We've gotten so used to presidents who use every tool at their disposal to make sure that their agenda, and only their agenda, is achieved.  The Founding Fathers wrote into the Constitution checks and balances to try and make sure that this does not happen, but somewhere along the way our politicians left their spines at the base of Capitol Hill.

So I guess I would caution on going off on this "unconstitutional" tangent that bruh3 is trying to push, because it's an invented controversy, like Obama's supposed "war" with Fox News.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-27 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Thanks

 It couldn't be any clearer than that.

by QTG 2009-10-27 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: That wasn't what he said, though.

What kind of logic is this?  Because the Constitution doesn't require the President to give anyone rhetorical cover, anyone who wants him to do so has "a distorted view of the Constitution"?  By that reasoning, I have a distorted view of the Constitution if I want Obama to send me a Christmas card.

I am really sick and tired of reading these sleep-inducing paeans to Obama's deep respect for the constitutional separation of powers when what you really mean is "I am basically content with what Obama has done on this issue."  You know, for the most part I'm pretty content myself!  It is always possible to put more time into an issue, it is always possible to fight for a more progressive result, but in our imperfect world you seldom get 100% and so you have to decide "ok, I'm comfortable with what I got nonetheless" or "no, I'm disappointed, we should have gotten more."  There are some people around these parts who are ALWAYS disappointed and I think it's kind of an unfortunate way to go through life.

But while I don't have a problem with the people who are content all the time, it starts to annoy me a little bit when they try to blow sunshine up my ass.  It's this idea of a President Obama who always delivers the absolutely most progressive result that could have been achieved, and anything more progressive simply was impossible.  It's this idea of a President Obama who fights exactly as hard as he can for progressive results without stepping outside his constitutional boundaries, and if he had gone even an inch further it would have offended the separation of powers.  Come on.  Down that road lies absurdity.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: That wasn't what he said, though.

Yeap.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 02:28PM | 0 recs
Re: You want the President

to step outside his Constitutional boundaries, and I'm the crazy one?

It wasn't OK when Nixon did it. It wasn't OK when King George the Pinhead did it. It's not OK. And when I expect the legislative branch to do its job, I'm the crazy one?

I respect your right to your opinion, but I think mine's the better one, and mine is the one which would pass muster with most of the people who understand the intent of the Constitution.

Obama is Constitutionally restricted from giving you that pony.

by QTG 2009-10-27 03:22PM | 0 recs
Re: You want the President

The only constitutional boundary I want Obama to step outside is the imaginary one you have erected.

There is nothing in the Constitution that prohibited Obama from advocating more strongly for the public option, the way Tom Harkin and Sherrod Brown wanted him to, and pretending otherwise is silly.

by Steve M 2009-10-27 04:48PM | 0 recs
Who knew

That after 200 hundred years the President of the United States is supposed to be a titular position with only signatory powers!! The consitution has been interpreted in many ways by many people but this one is really novel, hold up the constitution as an excuse for the leadership failings of the President!!

by tarheel74 2009-10-27 08:01PM | 0 recs
Re: You want the President

You have absolutely no idea what went on in the discussions between the President and the members of the Legislature. So those charges are specious, rely soley on hearsay, and reveal an underlying distrust of the President. You've even drawn conclusions (which vary) regarding an outcome that remains in the future. I even used your 'fait accompli' insanity as a joke premise in a serious diary I wrote. It predicts the meme for the next wave of anti-Obama horse-pucky from bruh3 and his whining weasels, if something gets passed and signed which has a public option. Read it, no one else has.

Or don't. You didn't read anything I've written here regarding the Constitution. Maybebruh3 could read it and give you his strange interpretation - that's your normal filter.

by QTG 2009-10-28 01:05AM | 0 recs
Re: That wasn't what he said, though.

Wait a second- do you really believe what you are writing?  If Obama's only job vis-a-vis creating law is to sign or veto that which comes across his desk, why did he (like every other presidential candidate) make promises to change the law?  You have stretched reasoning to the point that you're being ridiculous.  Clearly, Obama doesn't share your view because if he did he would have campaigned on a platform of I'll either sign bills or veto them.  The rest is up to Congress.  You can't really believe that, can you?

by orestes 2009-10-27 05:01PM | 0 recs
I can't believe this.

That's not even what I said.  I said that his only CONSTITUTIONAL requirement is to sign or veto the law.  Anything he does in excess of that is opitional.  Currently the extent of what he's done is of unknown quantity and quality, since a lot of it is certainly going on behind the scenes.  You can't know for sure how much he's done, since you're not a fly on the wall of the Oval Office.  Therefore criticism of his efforts lack credibility, at least until there's an actual result.

Are you really having trouble understanding this, or are you just pulling my leg?

by Dracomicron 2009-10-28 05:43AM | 0 recs
Re: I can't believe this.

No, you did not say it is his only constitutional "requirement", you said it was not his constitutional job.  Those are very different.  The clear implication of your original (now revised) statement is that Obama has no role here (ie, it is not his job).  That, to me, is twisted logic.  Furthermore, your revised position is so reductive to be of little value.  In fact, the president is not required to sign or veto any legislation.  He can simply allow it to become law through inaction.  By your logic then, the president has absolutely no constitutional obligations because he can remain inert and stay within the ambit of the separation of powers.  

On your second point, if you believe that we should wait until health care is a fait accompli, why are you even engaged in politics?  If you believe the public's role is to not form any judgments (because we are not flies on the walls of the white house) until the result is presented to us, you cannot find room for political engagement with this approach.  I also remind you that the wait and see attitude (so helpfully adopted by the press over the Bush years) is a recipe for disaster- if you believe in moving the country in a progressive direction.  Do you have that goal?

by orestes 2009-10-28 06:27AM | 0 recs
You're going to nitpick 'job' and 'requirement?'

Yeah, you're willfully misinterpreting what I'm saying, so... nevermind.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-28 07:06AM | 0 recs
No

you cannot rebut the argument, so you're avoiding it.  Hannity would be proud.

by orestes 2009-10-28 10:31AM | 0 recs
No

I've already explained all this sufficiently; you're deliberately misrepresenting what I've been saying to make it seem like we're still arguing an issue.  

Much like the fact that Obama simply not doing business with Fox because they're not acting in good faith does not equal going to "war" with them, me not engaging you further when you're not debating honestly is not "avoiding the argument."

by Dracomicron 2009-10-28 10:50AM | 0 recs
Re: No

Still arguing an issue?  You never responded to any of my arguments.  All you can do is hurl baseless accusations that I'm somehow being dishonest with you.  My alleged bad faith absolves you from trying to defend your meritless (and vapid) position.  And you have the chutzpah to claim you've provided an explanation, but it's clear you have not responded to ay of my points.  This is how you emulate the right wing.  Dodge the issue, play the victim, ignore the argument.  You're an intellectual halfweight and coward.

by orestes 2009-10-28 01:26PM | 0 recs
Wow

You need a hug.

by Dracomicron 2009-10-29 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Out of context.

sorry the precise phrase "Distorted view of the Constitution." That has no meaning regarding our democracy when someone writes that.

by bruh3 2009-10-27 09:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Out of context.

Actually, the Constitution is quite specifically interested in defining and enumerating the roles and responsibilities of each Branch of Government. The even sectioned it off that way.

But, I'm quite sure you already knew that.

by QTG 2009-10-27 10:41AM | 0 recs

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