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Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

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  • Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

    (The next in a series)

    The politics of Barack Obama are nothing like we were led to believe 4 years ago. This should be a surprise to no one but the most fervent (blind) follower.

    Ben Domenech reminds us to view Obama:

    The key to understanding Obama from my perspective is the traditional lens of urban Democratic machine politics an approach bent on bending your foes into caricatures of themselves and organizing your own community into a political blunt instrument to wield at whim.
    Seemingly, you can take the boy out of Chicago, but not Chicago out of the boy.

    Applied nationally, this approach doesnt heal the land or the hearts of people tired of partisan dischord it doubles down on the divides of class and interest, an approach even the left acknowledges has made for a nation more divided. The contraception mandate is a perfect representation of this strategy: a calculated and unexpected declaration that religious liberty extends only so far as the whims of a bureaucrat will allow while benefitting politically from creating a wedge within the opposing coalition and ostracizing those Catholics in their funny hats. These flashpoints are perfect examples of traditional big city politics: you sideswipe your foes with an argument they dont even expect using the full weight of power, and reap the benefits. This harsh approach has its limits, however it poisons the well for negotiation and agreement on things that matter as Obama has discovered on more than one occasion.

    Summing up the last 4 years gives us a look at the next 4 years:

    Obama accepted the presidency four years ago as someone for whom the hopes of the nation were wrapped up in healing the wounds of the Bush era. Today he accepts it as a self-branded visionary who has revealed himself at heart to be a pedestrian partisan who wants to use the love and affection of his loyal supporters to crush his opponents and their constituencies. This is the essential broken promise of Obamas presidency and his entire political career. He is not a technocratic wonk or a healer of planets or public squares. The healing he seeks is false talk of goodwill and charity after his opponents have been thoroughly defeated, just as the policy he seeks is the consolidation and cultivation of power. He has four more years to engage in his brand of political rule now and at the end of it, I suspect we will look back on eight long years full of strife, when little was achieved for a nation where e pluribus unum no longer applies.
    The world was a dangerous place when Obama first took office. Our economy was still freshly reeling from an almost crash. In these last four years not only has Obama failed to address either of those issues, he has reveled in them and used them time and again for his own personal advantage. As is so often said: 'Never let a good crisis go to waste.' And Obama hasn't. His party our nation and it's people are all the worse for these last 4 years. Only Obama has benefited. I think that to be the plan.


    Thoughts?


    The Broken Promise of Barack Obama | RealClearPolitics

  • #2
    Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

    I think that those who refer to Obama as the campaigner in chief are the closest to being right. It's about the only thing that I see he does well. He certainly isn't a leader or even a good manager. He pretty much lets things happen around him. He couldn't make a deal with Boehner even when Boehner made significant concessions. He vacations, plays golf and shoot hoops. If he liked to fish I would probably enjoy him as a neighbor but he is far from Presidential material.

    ?


    • #3
      Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

      Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
      He certainly isn't a leader or even a good manager.
      I 100% agree with you! (*waits now for imminent freezing over of hell* )
      I have along said that Obama is a truly great campaigner, but he is not a manager. He is a leader in the sense that he is able to inspire others, but he is not a leader in the sense of being able to lead by example. I think you'll be hard pressed to find many on the left who are satisfied with what Obama accomplished in his first term, particularly the plethora of promises he failed to keep.

      During the 2008 election season I said on a number of occasions that I thought that whomever won the election would be a one-term president. My justification was that the US was in such dire straights in 2008 that the only way to rectify it would be to take some seriously unpopular actions, which would mean being tossed out on election day. If a section of the GOP hadn't swung so far to the right and become so unpalatable to many other traditional Republicans; and if the GOP had have nominated a better candidate, I suspect the 2012 outcome would have been different. Obama wasn't prepared to be a leader; instead from day one he was focused on re-election. From that perspective I think that Virginia has a good model, where governors are limited to one term; that way they can't use their office to seek re-election, and instead spend the full four years actually doing the job the people elected them to do.

      The biggest problem in politics (on both sides) is that the money in politics now means that it's not necessarily the best person to do the job that runs; instead it's the person that is most able to be elected, or raise the money that runs, and often wins. If money and campaigning weren't the issues, then how many recent presidents would have actually won office? Bush won the GOP nomination because of his name recognition, and his ability to tap into the mega-rich donor base of his father and effectively knock out the competition from day one with his fund-raising ability. Obama won because he was able to tap into the national anger directed at Bush, and turn that into a message of hope, which in turn drove fundraising. Neither were good managers, and should never have been given the job. Even looking at the 2012 Republican presidential field - how many candidates were really worthy of being president? Bachmann? Santorum? Gingrich? And they were the cream of the crop that the GOP could muster against a damaged president? No. They were the candidates who were going on an ego trip, or thought they could be elected. The Republicans who would have actually made better presidents didn't run, because they couldn't/wouldn't be elected.

      This situation is not going to change whilst campaign financing is an issue; in fact, I suspect it will continue to get worse. In actual fact I foresee a continuation and escalation of parties putting up a candidate who is capable of winning an election, but in actual fact the ral governing is done behind the scenes by unelected people. The same situation is occurring in Cabinet appointments. In decades past it used to be people like the Secretaries of Treasury, Commerce, and Defense who advised the president on monetary and security issues. Now the litmus test for getting Senate confirmation has been so politicized that successive presidents nominate people who are capable of being confirmed to these positions, but presidents then rely on a series of non-confirmed appointments to advise them, such as the National and Homeland Security Councils, and Council on Economic Advisors. The White House Executive Office has ballooned to accommodate all of these advisory roles that should really be the pervue of the Cabinet, otherwise what is the role of the Cabinet?

      The problem is that the media and money are now creating a society where many (if not all?) of the highest level decisions in government and politics are being made by unelected representatives, and people who do not have to go through a senate confirmation. The litmus test for a senate confirmation should be: is the nominee capable of effectively doing the job to the best of their ability, where that ability meets the needs of the United States and its people? Nothing more, nothing less. Instead, politics has become so partisan that BOTH sides look to see how much damage they can inflict on the president by seeking out "gotcha" type quotes, actions etc from nominees; often times these issues will have no bearing on the nominees ability to do the job.

      As I said, I see the political environment changing ... for the worse. I think these issues will continue to deliver poor quality candidates, which will in turn continue to deliver poor quality presidents, and political leaders. Worse still, I think the people of the United States will come to be further governed by unelected representatives, and that is perhaps the most troubling thing of all.

      ?


      • #4
        Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

        The economy ALMOST crashed?
        Forgot those GW and Obama bailouts already?

        ?


        • #5
          Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

          Originally posted by tsquare View Post
          Thoughts?
          Here are some pertinent thoughts:

          To Rush Limbaugh, who said "I hope he fails" on inauguration day: Suck it. He didn't.

          To the birthers, whose claims about Barack HUSSEIN Obama's "questionable" citizenship were nothing but racism cloaked in concern-trollery: Suck it. He's a two term Kenyan president now.

          To Mitch McConnell, who said his #1 goal was to make Barack Obama "a one-term president": Suck it, turtleman. #44 is #44 for another 4.

          To John Boehner, who as House minority leader yelled "Hell NO you can't!" to Obama's first-term agenda: Suck it. Hell YES he could!

          To former South Carolina senator and tea party organizer Jim DeMint, who said the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act would be "Obama's Waterloo": Suck it. It so wasn't.

          To the tea party idiots who hoisted signs at their Obamacare protest rallies that read, "Bury Obamacare with Ted Kennedy": I'd rather bury your ideas with Reagan. Suck it, jerks.

          To Mitt Romney, who ran the most classless and bullshit-dense campaign of any presidential candidate in my memory: Here's something you can scrawl on your Etch-A-Sketch: S-U-C-K-I-T.

          To Dick Cheney, who said America would be less safe under Obama: sir, the attacks of 9/11/01---and there were four of them---happened on your watch. Obama killed bin Laden and there were no al Qaeda attacks on American soil. So suck it. Right after you take a remedial gun-safety course.

          To all those ignorant fools who called Barack Obama a Muslim, a Kenyan and/or a socialist as if those are all inherently and self-evidently "bad" things: grow the fuck up. Right after you suck it.

          To Sean Hannity, Karl Rove and Dick Morris: Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha!!!!!!!!! Suck it.

          To the Wall Street banksters, who….. who….. hell, I can't even begin to write the words that describe your obscene, cold-hearted, destructive, greedy and soulless behavior over the past four years. Just suck it.

          To all the governors and state legislatures that tried their damndest to rig election laws so they favored Romney over Obama: Suck it. All you did was ensure that voters were more committed than ever to making sure their votes were counted.
          Thoughts?

          ?


          • #6
            Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

            Originally posted by jpn View Post
            Here are some pertinent thoughts:

            Thoughts?
            Is it the whining of an OWS leftist typed on his MAC (that his Mommy and Daddy bought him) from his parents' basement?

            Oh wait, I see in the URL that it's just some garbage from dailykooks.





            Of course, those aren't mutually exclusive...

            ?


            • #7
              Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

              Originally posted by smurf View Post
              Is it the whining of an OWS leftist typed on his MAC (that his Mommy and Daddy bought him) from his parents' basement?

              Oh wait, I see in the URL that it's just some garbage from dailykooks.





              Of course, those aren't mutually exclusive...
              Thank God there are no kooks on either extreme.
              On the other hand, ...oh, no! Joe Biden just came to take away my iPaddddddddd!!!!!!!!

              ?


              • #8
                Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                My thoughts are this is the consequence of elections, when the electorate is clearly asleep at the wheel. Consider that with all this contention and debate back and forth we ended up with the exact same political power condition on the hill after the election as before (all the way down to the exact same players in charge in their respective positions.) What is so sad about it is if little to nothing is accomplished in the next 2 (perhaps 4) years we have no one but ourselves as voters to blame as we changing absolutely nothing on the hill. Obama kind of deserves to be a little arrogant here getting re-elected with the economy where it is, unemployment where it is, and what our fiscal condition is. Perhaps ole Boehner and Reid does as well, they somehow managed to keep their positions getting really nothing done over the past 2 years. Speak of, Reid has not passed a budget in almost 4 years now and he kept his job too.

                We are the morons, they are all probably laughing at what they individually accomplished convincing the majority of Americans to make it possible for them to all mostly keep their jobs. Darwin is not the one asleep, he just gave up.
                Last edited by Sluggo; 01-21-2013, 06:07 PM.

                ?


                • #9
                  Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                  Thoughts? Yes, here's some more thoughts.....

                  Republicans Accuse Obama of Using Position as President to Lead Country

                  Responding to reports that President Obama is considering signing as many as nineteen executive orders on gun control, Republicans in Congress unleashed a blistering attack on him today, accusing Mr. Obama of cynically and systematically using his position as President to lead the country.

                  Spearheading the offensive was Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who charged the President with the wanton exploitation of powers that are legally granted to him under the U.S. Constitution.

                  Calling him the Law Professor-in-Chief, Rep. Stockman accused Mr. Obama of manipulating a little-known section of the Constitution, Article II, which outlines the power of the President.

                  President Obama looks down the list of all of the powers that are legally his and hes like a kid in a candy store, Rep. Stockman said. Its nauseating.

                  The Texas congressman said that if Mr. Obama persists in executing the office of the Presidency as defined by the Constitution, he could face impeachment and/or deportation.

                  Noting that the President has not yet signed the executive orders on gun control, Rep. Stockman said that he hoped his stern words would serve as a wake-up call to Mr. Obama: Mr. President, theres still time for you to get in line. But if you continue to fulfill the duties of President of the United States that are expressly permitted in the Constitution, you are playing with fire.

                  Read more: Republicans Accuse Obama of Using Position as President to Lead Country : The New Yorker

                  How dare Obama use the presidency to lead the country. lol

                  ?


                  • #10
                    Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                    Originally posted by noahath View Post
                    I 100% agree with you! (*waits now for imminent freezing over of hell* )
                    I have along said that Obama is a truly great campaigner, but he is not a manager. He is a leader in the sense that he is able to inspire others, but he is not a leader in the sense of being able to lead by example. I think you'll be hard pressed to find many on the left who are satisfied with what Obama accomplished in his first term, particularly the plethora of promises he failed to keep.

                    During the 2008 election season I said on a number of occasions that I thought that whomever won the election would be a one-term president. My justification was that the US was in such dire straights in 2008 that the only way to rectify it would be to take some seriously unpopular actions, which would mean being tossed out on election day. If a section of the GOP hadn't swung so far to the right and become so unpalatable to many other traditional Republicans; and if the GOP had have nominated a better candidate, I suspect the 2012 outcome would have been different. Obama wasn't prepared to be a leader; instead from day one he was focused on re-election. From that perspective I think that Virginia has a good model, where governors are limited to one term; that way they can't use their office to seek re-election, and instead spend the full four years actually doing the job the people elected them to do.

                    The biggest problem in politics (on both sides) is that the money in politics now means that it's not necessarily the best person to do the job that runs; instead it's the person that is most able to be elected, or raise the money that runs, and often wins. If money and campaigning weren't the issues, then how many recent presidents would have actually won office? Bush won the GOP nomination because of his name recognition, and his ability to tap into the mega-rich donor base of his father and effectively knock out the competition from day one with his fund-raising ability. Obama won because he was able to tap into the national anger directed at Bush, and turn that into a message of hope, which in turn drove fundraising. Neither were good managers, and should never have been given the job. Even looking at the 2012 Republican presidential field - how many candidates were really worthy of being president? Bachmann? Santorum? Gingrich? And they were the cream of the crop that the GOP could muster against a damaged president? No. They were the candidates who were going on an ego trip, or thought they could be elected. The Republicans who would have actually made better presidents didn't run, because they couldn't/wouldn't be elected.

                    This situation is not going to change whilst campaign financing is an issue; in fact, I suspect it will continue to get worse. In actual fact I foresee a continuation and escalation of parties putting up a candidate who is capable of winning an election, but in actual fact the ral governing is done behind the scenes by unelected people. The same situation is occurring in Cabinet appointments. In decades past it used to be people like the Secretaries of Treasury, Commerce, and Defense who advised the president on monetary and security issues. Now the litmus test for getting Senate confirmation has been so politicized that successive presidents nominate people who are capable of being confirmed to these positions, but presidents then rely on a series of non-confirmed appointments to advise them, such as the National and Homeland Security Councils, and Council on Economic Advisors. The White House Executive Office has ballooned to accommodate all of these advisory roles that should really be the pervue of the Cabinet, otherwise what is the role of the Cabinet?

                    The problem is that the media and money are now creating a society where many (if not all?) of the highest level decisions in government and politics are being made by unelected representatives, and people who do not have to go through a senate confirmation. The litmus test for a senate confirmation should be: is the nominee capable of effectively doing the job to the best of their ability, where that ability meets the needs of the United States and its people? Nothing more, nothing less. Instead, politics has become so partisan that BOTH sides look to see how much damage they can inflict on the president by seeking out "gotcha" type quotes, actions etc from nominees; often times these issues will have no bearing on the nominees ability to do the job.

                    As I said, I see the political environment changing ... for the worse. I think these issues will continue to deliver poor quality candidates, which will in turn continue to deliver poor quality presidents, and political leaders. Worse still, I think the people of the United States will come to be further governed by unelected representatives, and that is perhaps the most troubling thing of all.
                    I very much agree that campaigning and governance are, in fact, two very different skills. I used to say that Republicans were terrific at campaigning and terrible at governance. Recently, however, they haven't even been that good at campaigning... but luckily for them they are aces at gerrymandering.

                    I had two problems with Obama's leadership style. One was that his bipartisan outreach to a party that had already chosen to obstruct his agenda and make him a one-term president struck me as tremendously naive (unless he was playing the long game). Perhaps more important, though, was that during his first term he largely abandoned his campaign persona and instead became somewhat of a technocrat. He was pushing good policies, for the most part, but he was failing to articulate his vision and explain how his policies fit within that vision. At today's inauguration, we heard his political agenda placed in a broader context; he gave us a narrative, a vision, not just a series of initiatives. That was almost completely lacking during his first term.

                    But let's keep some perspective...

                    Obama scored some major legislative victories. How long had progressives been waiting for a president who could deliver on health care? And Obama did. No, it isn't perfect, but it was what was politically achievable and it is something that can be built upon. This was, in the words of our vice president, a Big Fucking Deal and progressives seemed to do little but grouse about it.

                    The fiscal stimulus? Saving GM? Ending the war in Iraq? Ending torture? Come on, people, these are all things that progressives believed in and Obama pulled it off in the face of ferocious and unified opposition.

                    I am not saying that he did everything right, I am not saying that I agree with every decision (his stance on civil liberties is particularly troubling) but progressives also have a lot to be happy about and we should give them man his due.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                      Originally posted by jpn View Post
                      Here are some pertinent thoughts:



                      Thoughts?
                      How can you not possibly see Obama as a failure? Unemployment has stayed the same, gas prices have doubled, the debt has gone up half again, and there are a record number of people on disability. Obamacare will bankrupt the country.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                        Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                        How can you not possibly see Obama as a failure? Unemployment has stayed the same, gas prices have doubled, the debt has gone up half again, and there are a record number of people on disability. Obamacare will bankrupt the country.
                        It is not about failure or success for hyper partisans on either side of the isle, it is about (D) or (R) behind the name. Outside of a couple of issues it turns out Obama is somewhat center, going back and forth between center left and center right when it comes to Obamacare, who should be paying for our fiscal irresponsibility, and more recently the 2nd Amendment. Even Obamacare is up for debate on really being liberal.

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                        • #13
                          Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                          Originally posted by Sluggo View Post
                          It is not about failure or success for hyper partisans on either side of the isle, it is about (D) or (R) behind the name. Outside of a couple of issues it turns out Obama is somewhat center, going back and forth between center left and center right when it comes to Obamacare, who should be paying for our fiscal irresponsibility, and more recently the 2nd Amendment. Even Obamacare is up for debate on really being liberal.
                          For me it's about what is good for the country. I don't much give a rip about D or R.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                            Originally posted by AdamKadmon View Post
                            I very much agree that campaigning and governance are, in fact, two very different skills. I used to say that Republicans were terrific at campaigning and terrible at governance. Recently, however, they haven't even been that good at campaigning... but luckily for them they are aces at gerrymandering.

                            I had two problems with Obama's leadership style. One was that his bipartisan outreach to a party that had already chosen to obstruct his agenda and make him a one-term president struck me as tremendously naive (unless he was playing the long game). Perhaps more important, though, was that during his first term he largely abandoned his campaign persona and instead became somewhat of a technocrat. He was pushing good policies, for the most part, but he was failing to articulate his vision and explain how his policies fit within that vision. At today's inauguration, we heard his political agenda placed in a broader context; he gave us a narrative, a vision, not just a series of initiatives. That was almost completely lacking during his first term.

                            But let's keep some perspective...

                            Obama scored some major legislative victories. How long had progressives been waiting for a president who could deliver on health care? And Obama did. No, it isn't perfect, but it was what was politically achievable and it is something that can be built upon. This was, in the words of our vice president, a Big Fucking Deal and progressives seemed to do little but grouse about it.

                            The fiscal stimulus? Saving GM? Ending the war in Iraq? Ending torture? Come on, people, these are all things that progressives believed in and Obama pulled it off in the face of ferocious and unified opposition.

                            I am not saying that he did everything right, I am not saying that I agree with every decision (his stance on civil liberties is particularly troubling) but progressives also have a lot to be happy about and we should give them man his due.
                            Yeah, the latest left wing talking point, Republicans only retained the House because they Gerrymandered. As if the Republicans could have gerrymandered if they hadn't won the state houses in all of those states.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Obama - Halftime Report - Politics

                              Originally posted by OldmanDan View Post
                              Yeah, the latest left wing talking point, Republicans only retained the House because they Gerrymandered. As if the Republicans could have gerrymandered if they hadn't won the state houses in all of those states.
                              The Republicans didn't win, the Democrats lost...and they deserved to lose.
                              The Republicans wisely Gerry-Mandered whilst they had the chance.

                              People are simply fed up with the limited menu but it's impossible for a real person to win.

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