The third way Obama can gain in the next few years is by controlling the bully pulpit. Bush did this masterfully from 2001 to 2003. All ideas were presented through his (largely incorrect in my opinion) lens. Anyone disagreeing with Bush had to prove themselves before even being heard. Even after the Dems took Congress in 2006, this remained the case. The default assumption was that Bush was right.
That will never ever happen. If there is one lesson from the past two years, that is Obama is not very good at communicating ideas outside a stump speech. He is definitely much, much, worse than either Bush or Clinton when it comes to putting up or picking a fight and defining the argument at hand in his terms. He thinks, it's divisive. He still perceives himself to be the healer and the great bipartisan leader, even though the partisanship in Washington has been at the most unprecedented level right now.
I hope you do realize that the central message of the incoming Republicans is to do everything they can to hobble the healthcare bill. What I am saying now and what I always said, is that Americans vote for someone who stands on principles, does not make backroom deals and is willing to put up a fight. This administration has done none of the above, therefore we are facing this bleak midterm outlook.
One other thing, if there is gridlock in Congress, barring a complete miracle he will not be getting a second term. Those are just harsh realities.
Really?? Pray where are the same people when the Republicans blocked the vote??? Why aren't the same people criticizing John McCain, or Lindsey Graham, or Jim Demint, or Olympia Snowe?? Anybody? Anybody? Bueller?
Are you fucking kidding me?? Where were they when Bush was demonizing gays in 2004, oh I remember Ken "I'm gay" Mehlman was running that demonizing campaign. So do me a favor, when you want to criticize the administration cite some credible source, not this sorry, self-loathing pathetic organization.
No please vote. I live in PA now, I will vote for Joe Sestak for the senate, but my congressman is Tim Holden, a blue dog, I am still investigating his record, unless his opponent is an absolute whackjob I probably will not vote for him. Same applies for everyone else. See which congressman or senator represents you and what you stand for and vote for them. Send money to ActBlue or third party groups, don't send money to OFA or DNC, they will blow it on idiots like Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, etc.
He said something like this: the President opposes the California ballot initiative but at the same time he also opposes same sex marriage. Logically it makes no sense, since the ballot initiative is to prevent same sex marriage. Setting that aside, if he was really serious about suspending DADT, he could do it through a executive order pending the findings of the joint chief's commission report. What really irked many of his LGBT supporters is the kabuki votes that are being held in congress when they know it won't pass.Of course the Republicans are to blame for the obstruction and it comes as no suprise.
But why the equivocation on this? Again for political expediency. The administration doesn't want to fight on this issue, just like any other issue. Which basically glosses over the fact that the majority opinion in the US are for giving the LGBT community equal rights. Thus whenever you have an adminstration equivocating or pussy-footing on a hot-button issue, you will see these kinds of manufactured outrage in news articles.
When all Democratic politicians show the same kind of principle as people like Michael Bloomberg and Orrin Hatch. The equivocation of some of the Democratic politicians including some of the "progressive" ones like Anthony Weiner is just shameful.
But I told her, that's how it has seemed on EVERYTHING this administration has done. That's been the unifying theme of the Obama adminstration - the right comes up with false information and hates it, the left rightly dislikes it for it's timidity and incompetance.
This here is the problem. The opposition is myopic, incompetent and frankly scarily crazy, the entire Republican party seems to be made of nutjobs on steroids. However, instead of actively marginalizing them and exposing their astroturfed tea-parties, this administration is trying to engage them. Robert Reich recently had an excellent blog post about this. Coupled with that is a fractious Democratic party, perpetual navel gazers who see any criticism of this administration as a personal affront and people like the new front-pager, who just says outrageous things. We still have the best ideas in the party, we just don't have leaders with spine or political conviction. Obama might have campaigned on a more progressive agenda, but once in Washington he became less of reactionary and more of a functionary as Jon Stewart put it, surrounding himself with advisers who made him choose the politically expedient way, rather than the right way. That is why you have half-assed health care bill, stuff like your girlfriend points out, and a total unwillingness to take the fight to the opposition or holding conservative Dems accountable, both of whom are actively undermining this administration.
See one of the problems within the Democratic party is that we cannot have a rational dialogue like you and I are having. We have the blind Obama loyalists, who take any criticism as a personal affront to the president, and then you have folks like this new kid who is a front-pager and some of the other "impeach Obama" people.
There are real problems in this country. Believe it or not, the only party with ideas is the Democratic party. We just don't have the leadership, and the leaders we have don't have the political will. That is what's disheartening to a lot of us, like me. We are activists, but both for my job and for my family I have to tangle with these corporations. I see them growing stronger, while my position in society, be it income, importance, you the dream, stagnating. This is what everyone in the country faces. This is why they are restless and want more decisive action, not half-measures, but actions with courage of conviction. If Obama passed a great healthcare bill, broke up the big banks, ended the iraq war and did it all with political courage and in the process lost his reelection, I would have said he is the greatest one term president, hell even the greatest president ever. But these politically expedient half-measures are very disheartening. One reason I think he did not publicly champion the health care bill, like he did for the stimulus or financial regulation, is because he knows deep down that it was a cop-out.
So only professional journalists are supposed to be skeptical or elected leadership and hold their feet to the fire?? Is that your idea of democracy and political activism. Let only a small group ask for accountability, while the rest of the electorate follow their leaders blindly?? Jesus!!
Yes, we as a nation might have been moving towards the left, but right now the actions of this administration has put the brakes on it. I hope you realize that.
If being a Democratic strategist means flushing the entire party down the toilet, then yes it is definitely not a pay grade that I belong to, or even aspire to.
As far as academicians go, being one myself I think I fit into that niche. Maybe not quite a Paul Krugman, but his criticism of this administration has been more strident and consistent than mine, but guess what people like you have stooped down to calling him some pretty vicious names for voicing his opinion. But that's what hero-worship does for you, takes away reason and accountability.
Unfortunately nothing in the bill can stop that. The only leverage the government has to kick them off the exchange, and those do not start before 2014. And as I said once before, the worst kept secret among insurance companies is that they all offer the same types of insurance and more or less the same rates, and when one of them raise their premiums, the others follow suit. Call it price fixing. So if all insurance companies do the same thing in unison, how many of them will be kicked off the exchanges? Just this week 4 large insurers decided to drop their child only policies across several states. Four of them together on the same day, coincidence?
If criticizing this administration make me Ben Quayle, then so is Mike Lux, Markos Moulitsas, Andrew Sullivan, Keith Olberman, Michael Moore, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hayes, Digby, John Aravoisis, Glenn Greenwald, Arianna Huffington, Paul Krugman, Simon Johnson, Velma Hart, Jon Stewart, and then there are people like you, true believers, hero-worshippers, completely removed from the problems of the real world. I think I like the company I keep.
Perpetual navel gazing and sycophantic hero worship is one of the reasons why the Democrats are in this pathetic situation against a bunch of nutjobs.
The basically apolitical american electorate thought - that the whole battle about reform, was basically about getting a national health service. And they cared deeply about it. 72% of Americans wanted it, even as far back as 2004 - support was constant. And always blocked by lobbyism.
You hit the nail right on the head. Most polls showed overwhelming support for a public option, in fact even though the mandate was universally unpopular, in certain polls most respondents warmed up to it if they were given an option like a public option or medicare. The backlash against the healthcare reform is as much a backlash against lobbyists, especially on the left. To deride their concerns as hand-wringing is just wrong. Yes, the health care bill was an accomplishment for Obama (not his greatest, I still think Fin-reg was), but it is as much an accomplishment for the House progressive caucus, without whose unbending stand against a awful Senate fill we probably would not even be celebrating all the good stuff in it.
In the end it all boils down to a lack of leadership and terrible messaging. I just can't stress this enough. Certain people should have left their jobs for mystery illnesses long long ago.