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Obama Speaks Ill of His Allies

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Posted on Dec 9, 2010
White House / Pete Souza

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

What does President Barack Obama think of those who fought and bled to pass his bills in Congress (in some cases losing in this year’s election for their pains) while also defending him against wild charges from the right wing? Are they among the liberals he described as “sanctimonious” who long for the “satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people”?

Obama’s comments make you wonder: Who does he think he can count on when conservatives try to repeal the health care law, force cuts in programs he supports, investigate his administration down to the last pencil, and continue to denounce him as an un-American socialist?

A senior Obama lieutenant insisted that the president wasn’t attacking liberals. He was responding only to those condemning him as a “sellout” for a tax deal that achieves many progressive goals, at the cost of extending tax cuts for the wealthy and egregiously conceding billions to very rich people who inherit large estates.

Yet simultaneously, the White House was also sending out signals that it was consciously casting the president as a centrist problem-solver in a new iteration of Bill Clinton’s old “triangulation” strategy.

This would suggest that Obama is perfectly happy to see liberals publicly furious, and happier still that some right-wing Republican politicians and groups, notably Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and the Club for Growth, came out against the tax deal, too. There’s nothing like occupying the lofty heights of moderation, especially where Washington conventional wisdom is concerned.

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What’s most striking about Obama’s deal with Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell is the extent to which it only reinforces Obama’s image as an inside technocratic deal-maker. It turns out he will negotiate with anyone to get what seems sensible to him.

The problem is that this approach shortchanges the need to carry on a sustained argument on behalf of his overall objectives and rejects the idea that some “fights,” a word Obama uses with disdain (except, perhaps, when he’s criticizing liberals), are instructive and can help accomplish change over the long term.

In the short term, Obama did get more than most liberals expected. It is good news that he’s focused on the need to give the economy another jolt, even if some of the measures the accord includes are not very stimulative.

The rest of the package delivers tangible benefits to the unemployed and to lower- and middle-income taxpayers. For roughly $100 billion to the rich, Obama got $197 billion in benefits he sought for the non-rich, $146 billion in business tax cuts to push job creation, plus an extension of the $280 billion middle-class tax cut. Many Democrats insist the Republicans would have eventually given in on relief for the middle class; the administration is not so sure.

These substantial concessions have led many liberal policy leaders—among them, Bob Greenstein of the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, John Podesta of the Center for American Progress and Larry Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute—to support the deal, partly on the theory that any next deal would be worse. Other liberals would go along if the estate tax cut could be made less munificent.

And at least these negotiations have had the benefit of proving conclusively that the only people for whom conservative Republicans will go to the mat are the country’s best-off citizens—and deficits be damned.

But in the long run, is Obama capable of winning the future battles with the Republicans that this temporary agreement sets up? By expanding the deficit, it will make it easier for the Republicans to push sharp cuts in all manner of domestic programs, including Medicare and Social Security. This accord will not stop Republicans from expounding regularly on “the Obama deficit,” or from trying to box him in again on the tax cuts.

One House Democrat, who because he respects Obama asked not to be named, offered an unexpected case for the package that tells the president how much ground he has to make up with those who were once his most fervent supporters.

“If I thought they were ready to go 12 rounds on this next year, I’d kill it in a heartbeat,” he said of the administration. “But if they’re going to keep leaving the ring after the first punch, this is the best alternative we’ve got to keep this recovery going and helping those who are hurting the most.” There was no sanctimony or purism here, just a sober and melancholy realism.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2010, Washington Post Writers Group


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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, December 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm Link to this comment

LucasFoxx, December 13 at 10:34 pm,

I’m proud to be a liberal.  If all the genteel conservatives knew they were working against themselves they wouldn’t be conservatives; the genteel population is deceived; no real conservative is genteel.

Report this

By garth, December 13, 2010 at 8:01 pm Link to this comment

To LucasFoxx, December 13 at 10:37

You’re a day late and a dollar short.

We went though this a number of time before in the past two years.  If ‘Charlie’ isn’t a tea bagger in disguise, then he must be just a big bag o’ shit.


To hell with him and fuck you and the horse you rode in on.

We are on our own.  Go fuck youself and get the fuck out of the way if you know what’s good for you.

Message to African Americans:  Obama proved that color is only skin deep.  He’s a smilin’, nasty little man.

Watch out!

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By LucasFoxx, December 13, 2010 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

With allies like these, who needs an opposing party.

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By LucasFoxx, December 13, 2010 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is precious.  Obama is only 1 branch of our government.  The Democrats had control of both houses of Congress for 4 years.  For the last 2 years, Obama has been taking the right-wing head on (even walking alone into the Republican lion’s den), while the Democrats sat on their hands, and let the right filibuster the Senate to a stand-still, and the wing media define them as anti-constitutional (read: un-American) radicals.  The cat herders in the Democratic party couldn’t get their act together on Health Care Reform and stretched the debate out over 4 fantastically ugly sessions.  Then, they didn’t even run on it.  In fact, they didn’t seem to even START running for the 2010 elections until Obama stepped onto the bully pulpit for them (too little, too late).  Liberals haven’t had Obama’s back since the close of the 2008 election, and now they are shocked (SHOCKED) that he would call them “sanctimonious” and describe them as longing for the “satisfaction of having a purist position and no victories for the American people”. 

Congratulations!  Over the last 2 years, you have laid the ground work for TeaParty validation, Republican victories in 2010 (that cost us the House), and may end up costing us the White House and Senate in 2012.  Great job.  Looks like we’re all Teabaggers now.  It makes me so proud to be a liberal in a time when it means ” my way or the highway “; “all or nothing.” 

Good luck to us all.

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By garth, December 13, 2010 at 2:51 pm Link to this comment

The new psychotic:

Thom Hartmann is interviewing Ishmael ‘Call me Ishmael’ Reed of UC Berkeley about the racist element of the criticism of Obama on his show on Monday (12/13).

Last Friday, Thom Hartmann shewed away drunken and psychotic callers in his show with US Senator Bernie Sanders.  I happen to be one of them.  But, to paraphrase Winston Churchill, “I am not drunk now.”  I am in high dudgeon.

Let me enlighten Mr. Hartmann (as much as he’d like to be known as Doctor in the same frail way that Alan Ludden, former host of Jeopardy thought of himself),

pyschotic means:
“a mental state often described as involving a “loss of contact with reality”.

Loss of reality:  When you talk to Prof. Reed on the Monday after Senator Sanders’s 8 and 1/2 speech on the Senate floor about Obama’s sell-out of the working class, I have to ask, What Foundation is paying your freight?  what is your reality? 

You are not that interesting and you are not that good in carrying carry your own weight.  Who’s behind you? Ford Foundation?

Who grills you on the facts that you present?  Most of the your facts are like Amy Goodman’s first ten minutes of DemocracyNow! 

Bill Moyers complimented her for those 10 minutes.

Let us now return to the golden days of yesteryear when there was a trustworthy guy selected from those among us who told us what he had gathered from the bastards who are trying to destroy us.  Not you.

Oh, yeah, back to the blog, Obama speaks ill of his allies.  I watched the high-yeller man with darkening eyebrows greet some elementary school children in the White House. 

He carried it off in much the same way I think we all would, Bumptious.  Hail fellow,  well met.

He was dealing with 6 year-olds, yet they had to show it.  Bring back interesting, honest books.  Tv does the soul no good.


How many of you have tried to be bumptious and have pulled it off?

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MarthaA's avatar

By MarthaA, December 13, 2010 at 1:59 am Link to this comment

garth, December 12 at 5:34 pm,

Either Obama is selling out the majority population, like Clinton did, or he is only an educated savant protecting the Republicans, either way the majority population of the United States will decline economically as long as Obama is in power, because he is a purple dog conservative with disdain for patriotic liberals concerned about the health and welfare of the majority common population.

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By garth, December 12, 2010 at 12:34 pm Link to this comment

Obama has distinguished himself as the penultimate and the ultimate. 

He’s a panty-waste and an ass-wipe.

Two conflicting aspects to the tax deal:  $800 Billion for tax relief, $700 Billion of which goes to the wealthy, which is supposed to increase the number of jobs.  And $57 Billion for a 13 month unemployment extension.

Does that mean that the lion’s share for the rich will create enough jobs to absorb the unemployed after the 13 months?  If that’s what they think, they’re crazy-mean, sadistic.

Layoffs:  TJX announced yesterday that they are closing the A.J. Wright Stores and laying off 4400 workers.  A.J. Wright was the store brand that was aimed at low income shoppers.  TJX said (after about 15 years of A.J. Wright’s existence) that it was a bad business model. (The light goes on in Marblehead?)

Difficulty in Retiring:  The proposed 2% cut in Payroll tax:  Let’s see what good that’ll do.  The Catholic Archdiocese of Boston is stopping it’s pension for its employees and going to a 401K model.  The next Wall Street crash should wipe them out.

The three legged stool model for retirement consists of savings, pension and Social Security.  Pensions are being jettisoned and Social Security is being weakened.  Fat chance anyone over 60 will be able to find a job.

I repeat, Obama is a panty-waste and an ass-wipe.  His Wall Street handlers have one of their mitts on our retirement prospects and the other is on the flusher.

They want us to whimper dejectedly, “Good-bye, cruel world.”

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By Timothy Gawne, December 11, 2010 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is a corporate shill.  He talks like FDR but he walks like Marie Antoinette. 

What is worse than Obama is the almost total lack of skepticism in the
American people.  Most of us believe that Obama is a ‘liberal’ for no better
reason than the New York Times and Rupert Murdoch tell us he is.  We are
sheep.  Ack!

When most people acknowledge that that Obama has stabbed us in the back,
then and only then will there be hope.  But if we keep making excuses for why
he keeps kicking us in the gonads even though he says he loves us, then we are
doomed, and deservedly so.

When trying to decide if someone is accidently getting in your way, or really out
to get you, I like the saying from the movie “Goldfinger”

Once is a happenstance.
Twice is a coincidence.
Three times is enemy action.
50 times?  Obama is our enemy.  Stop tying logic in knots, stop trying to
psychoanalyze him, and accept it.

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By duan, December 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Audacity of Hope,indeed!

I voted for this man,,, and he has capitulated at each turn,,,

2 year tax extentions and 13 months of unemployment benefits?

and he is frustrated at the sacrimonious? he is spineless and hopefully has inspired millions to revolt. Shame on him. Corporate prostitute and those Democrats who side with his policies,,, I will not vote Republican and I will not vote to reelect this president,,,that would be a death wish for progressives, it is time for the third wave.

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By garth, December 11, 2010 at 5:53 pm Link to this comment

Those who criticise Obama are sanctimonious?

Howzabout, Obama is perfidious—treacherous, or faithless; deceitful?

The Republicans say: Extending Bush’s tax cuts will end the uncertainty.

Our uncertainty will end, too.  Be certain that more of us will be poor and poorer as a result of Obama’s perfidy.

But, you might say, doesn’t he have a great smile, and that wonderful education. 

That’s what they used to say about Charles Stuart at Kakas Fur in Boston.  He’s the guy who murdered his pregnant wife, Carol DiMaiti, in 1990, and tried to frame an African American.

Turned out he lied about his being a graduate of Brown, as well.

How much of Obama’s past is a lie?  So far, everything he said on the campaign trail has been less than true.

I know, let’s be sanctimonious.  It’s that time of the year.

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By garth, December 11, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, December 11 at 4:22 pm Link to this comment

“Of course, this is continued monarchicalism and is not going to have much effect on the general situation.  But it’s indicative of the deterioration of ruling-class control of the people.”

—————————————————————

NBC provided an interesting slant in their nooz from London,  The lead-in was:  The Rolls Royce that was driving Prince Charles and Lady Camilla (in their nightly perusal of the poor) was attacked by rioters.  Lady Camilla looked on in ‘abject terror’.  At least, abject.

She looked more like she coughed up an oyster.

It was a breach in royal security, the story goes on, not hundreds of thousands of students protesting the tripling of their tuition in the new austerity, nay, nay.

From now on, the super-rich will say, we’ll always have our ‘riotous’ poor.

What does Brian Williams make a year, by the way?  Anything over the minimum, he’s stealing.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, December 11, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

A lot of proggies are now talking, seemingly seriously, about a primary challenge or a third party.  Not just bloggers, either.

Of course, this is continued monarchicalism and is not going to have much effect on the general situation.  But it’s indicative of the deterioration of ruling-class control of the people.

Report this

By garth, December 11, 2010 at 11:11 am Link to this comment

We’ve Obamaed again.  When will we smarten up, or is it too late already?

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RayLan's avatar

By RayLan, December 10, 2010 at 10:40 pm Link to this comment

Obama proves himself to be characterless at every turn.

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By DCambly, December 10, 2010 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

We did it to ourselves years ago.

We believed we would be better off by picking up a few cheap television sets made in China. We bought electronic products that can be tossed away for a “newer” better product made elsewhere.

We did it when we sold out of farmers and purchased products from “somewhere” in the world. Without thinking for ourselves we bought into the idea that we could have more for less.

We laughed at people out protesting the closing of a small plant in Michigan. After all it wasn’t anyone we knew that were losing their jobs.

We bought vehicles that fall apart in a short time, when we could have told our own companies, to “snap to it”.

We surrendered our government and country to someone on the other side of the oceans. It was our money that we happily sent to communist China.

We even went as far as to surrender our creativity and ingenuity. If we want it back then we better get moving again as a people. Is it not the people that make a small plot of land a nation?

We became a spectator watching other countries do all the work. A spectator who stopped playing the game and thus never got up to bat the ball.

If anyone has any doubts ask the Japanese to send us some photos taken during a recent satellite mission. Apparently some really brilliant people left a few used cars on the moon.

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By garth, December 10, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

“Blame it on the DNC.  Blame it on yourselves.

Are we blamers or flamers.  Burn baby burn.

Devon’s Health Care argument:

(I don’t think it went that way.  To get a clear picture of the current situation that Democrats are in you have to see Obama as a Big, smiley-faced junior executive who doesn’t have the know-how nor the balls to carry off being President of the United States.  Indeed Bush was a new low.  Obama started from Bush’s low point and worked sideways.)

People in this country need jobs, and until those jobs are available, they need unemployment support.  Do any of you think that the GOP House would give you those things in January?  (What about after the 13 months?  When the rich are lavishly spending their cash.  The jobs are gone.  Can’t you get it through your thick skull?  The Jobs, J-o-b-s are gone.  And they ain’t coming back.)  If you do, you are living in a fools’ paradise, and if you think that the Democrats are not going to screw this up for the President, you are even crazier.  (Then let us be crazy.  These people are trouble makers.  But no one knows what the outcome of such trouble will be if it breaks out.  I think they’ve been itching for a fight since FDR’s days when the word went out that FDR saved the US from communism.  Maybe a fool thinks he or she knows the outcome, but then again, a fool is a fool.)

The old-line Democrats do not like our President anymore than the GOP does.  Don’t believe it?  How many endorsed him in 2008 before the nomination; (The political surveys showed that the least likely candidate voters would vote for was an old man.  Look who Obama ran against, McCain, the old man.)  actively campaigned on a national level after the nomination; and then when he was elected announced that they would not be dictated to by the new President?  I can think of 2 right off the top - Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid!  You are a no good Republican.  I bet the words, ‘Speaka Pelosi’ roll off you tongue. 

I need not go on further with your schtick.  It’s nonsense mixed with an alleal for sympathy while acting like the spoiled brat who pisses in the drinking water on a hiking trip.

I left your quote.  It is all unrarified bullshit from here on in

This President is right to call out the Democrats who undercut him for 2 years, just as he has called out the Republicans. He is stuck with this deal in order to get the best he can while he can, because he is a realist:  He knows the next 2 years are all about this Congress stopping him and making him a one-term president, and thanks to Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats in Congress led by Pelosi and Reid, that is exactly what he will become.

Two years ago on this site and others I said “Forget who wins the Democratic Primary, concentrate on sending progressives to Congress in overwhelming numbers if you want to see anything change. Make them the “go to” caucus that will be needed to win votes.”  No one listened, except the Tea Party apparently, because the Blue Dogs controlled everything, and now the Tea Party will. 

So stop complaining about this bill as a sellout.  WE abandoned this President when we did not give him a Congress that could actually change things.  WE abandoned him when we did not stand up to the Tea Party and shut them down.  WE abandoned him when we did not vote this November to make a point or to try to actually change things.  WE ABANDONED HIM, and he is trying to get us something still so that people like my husband and I can survive.  So try looking in the mirror if you do not like this bill - YOU and your desires for instant change are the reason this deal was made the way it was.  He had no other choice!

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By garth, December 10, 2010 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

By Devon J. Noll, MPA, December 10 at 5:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After reading a few (and I admit only a few because I got so mad at the “arrogant, self-righteous” put downs I could not read further)I need to write this.

So far so good.

My husband (and your name is Devon?  Sounds a little masculine to me, but what do I know?)  has been unemployed for 2 years and I am disabled (and so are many others).  He went back to school (Lucky Jim!) and I had just finished last year, so our income is supplemented with student loans.  These loans are the only thing that keeps us afloat.  So I do not have the luxury of being arrogant about this bill.  We need this money! (If you want to be arrogant, as a luxury, be a Republican.)

I have a Masters in Public Administration and have taken several courses in economics, so I understand how truly odious this bill is, (Do you really? Obama said set my people to Slavery and set the rich free.) but I also realize that this negotiated bill is not the result of Obama selling out our citizens - it is the result of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel selling out this nation continuously for 4 years.  (No, it is the result of Obama not having any cujones.  First came the appointments of Geithner and Summers, then came the cave in for no public option along with his lecture that we, the Amercians, are not ready for it.  Where does he get off?  Millions have been under Medicare for 60 or so years.  Is he new to these shores?).  They caved on every bill sent by Bush to Congress, (yes, that’s true.) and in the last 2 years, they wasted time on health care instead of jobs creation and getting this country back on its feet with their overwhelming majority. (That was a ploy as it turns out.  They have no idea of what a job is.  Wait’ll the Korean Tade Deal is voted on and passed and its effects kick in.) 

My own words:  It just goes to show how strong this economy and this country are.  Other countries would’ve toppled long ago.  This new breed of slime keeps taking, keeps jerking us around in search for the bottom.  They are now bottom-feeders.)

Next post

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By Inherit The Wind, December 10, 2010 at 1:45 pm Link to this comment

Clinton learned.  Will Barack Obama? I don’t think so, at least not before Harry Reid learns or is replaced.  Nancy Pelosi MAY be learning—or just putting on an act.  I don’t know.

But it’s not just Obama. It’s the leadership and a majority of the Senators who are exactly the same.  The House is FINALLY saying “NO!”

But will they stick by it?  I hope so, but I doubt it.  But Obama’s mentors in the Senate are as much to blame as he is.  They have to change, too.

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By Devon J. Noll, MPA, December 10, 2010 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

After reading a few (and I admit only a few because I got so mad at the “arrogant, self-righteous” put downs I could not read further)I need to write this.

My husband has been unemployed for 2 years and I am disabled.  He went back to school and I had just finished last year, so our income is supplemented with student loans.  These loans are the only thing that keeps us afloat.  So I do not have the luxury of being arrogant about this bill.  We need this money!

I have a Masters in Public Administration and have taken several courses in economics, so I understand how truly odious this bill is, but I also realize that this negotiated bill is not the result of Obama selling out our citizens - it is the result of Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Rahm Emanuel selling out this nation continuously for 4 years.  They caved on every bill sent by Bush to Congress, and in the last 2 years, they wasted time on health care instead of jobs creation and getting this country back on its feet with their overwhelming majority. 

Blame it on the DNC that pandered so much to the corporate money people that they never ONCE set up a media campaign or grassroots/astroturf group to combat the Tea Party. 

Blame it on yourselves for not getting yourself, your friends, and your families to the polls in November to vote in more progressives, not Tea Party clowns or DINOs or GOP members of Congress.

For 18 of the last 24 months our nation was torn apart in a battle over health care that was lost before it ever began because Rahm Emanuel understood that progressives would cave on any decent reform, and that the conservatives from both parties would sell out the country rather than give the nation and Obama a decent health care bill - and it cost those democrats the President was talking about dearly.

People in this country need jobs, and until those jobs are available, they need unemployment support.  Do any of you think that the GOP House would give you those things in January?  If you do, you are living in a fools’ paradise, and if you think that the Democrats are not going to screw this up for the President, you are even crazier. 

The old-line Democrats do not like our President anymore than the GOP does.  Don’t believe it?  How many endorsed him in 2008 before the nomination; actively campaigned on a national level after the nomination; and then when he was elected announced that they would not be dictated to by the new President?  I can think of 2 right off the top - Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid!

This President is right to call out the Democrats who undercut him for 2 years, just as he has called out the Republicans. He is stuck with this deal in order to get the best he can while he can, because he is a realist:  He knows the next 2 years are all about this Congress stopping him and making him a one-term president, and thanks to Rahm Emanuel and the Democrats in Congress led by Pelosi and Reid, that is exactly what he will become.

Two years ago on this site and others I said “Forget who wins the Democratic Primary, concentrate on sending progressives to Congress in overwhelming numbers if you want to see anything change. Make them the “go to” caucus that will be needed to win votes.”  No one listened, except the Tea Party apparently, because the Blue Dogs controlled everything, and now the Tea Party will. 

So stop complaining about this bill as a sellout.  WE abandoned this President when we did not give him a Congress that could actually change things.  WE abandoned him when we did not stand up to the Tea Party and shut them down.  WE abandoned him when we did not vote this November to make a point or to try to actually change things.  WE ABANDONED HIM, and he is trying to get us something still so that people like my husband and I can survive.  So try looking in the mirror if you do not like this bill - YOU and your desires for instant change are the reason this deal was made the way it was.  He had no other choice!

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By garth, December 10, 2010 at 11:22 am Link to this comment

So saith the the worm, December 10 at 3:55 pm Link to this comment:

Thanks.  Geat information

And as far as your claim goes:

“Well, Eugene, if you still believe in this guy, you must have a very rich fantasy life.”
—————————————-
I think it’s masturbation.

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By tdbach, December 10, 2010 at 11:20 am Link to this comment

Well said, FiftyGigs.

I may not agree with Obama’s tactics or all of his ideas, but I think it is perverse - and sanctimonious - speculation to cast his motives as nefarious, and thereby making the hard work of consensus and progress impossible.

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By surfnow, December 10, 2010 at 11:00 am Link to this comment

I’m done with this two-faced phony. At least with Bush you knew what you were getting-  Obama’s just the smiling face of the empire. I’m voting for Sarah Palin in 2012- at least she’ll put a quick end to all of our suffering. Obama is just delaying the inevitable with his posturing and ass******** of the conservatives.

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By the worm, December 10, 2010 at 10:55 am Link to this comment

Would you want someone to ‘negotiate’ for you or to conceive a new ‘tax
structure’, if they:

Gave $10 in tax breaks to billionaires for everyone $1 they’d give to the
unemployed?

Or

Supported a 15% tax on Billionaires while keeping middle class taxes in the 20-
30% range?

Or

Accelerated America’s greatest transfer of wealth from the public coffers to the
private for-profit financial industry to their debts?

Or

Who presides over the manipulation of our financial system, so banks can
borrow money from the government at less than 1% to buy bonds from the
paying over 3.5%, to make 2.5% by just shuffling paper OR lend the 1% money
to you and me at 5%, 12% or 18% and make 4%, 11% or 17% (charging us money
on the money they borrowed from us).

Is this is the fellow you’d like to have ‘negotiating’ for you or who you’d like to
have developing a new ‘tax structure’ with the Republicans?

No, me either. That’s why the Democrats can either stop Obama or lose the few
of us who still (perhaps, foolishly) believe there is a Democratic Party.

Well, Eugene, if you still believe in this guy, you must have a very rich fantasy
life.

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By garth, December 10, 2010 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

I was happy to read that Michael Capuano (D-MA) Congressman of the 5th District has come out against this raw deal.  As Mayor of Somerville, he could have shown some of these so-called negotiators in the Obama Administration a thing or two.
Obama began by showing his back-side and then bending over.


Capuano, BTW, should now be the Senator from MA rather than that ‘flip-flopper’ Scott ‘Boring’ Brown.  Brown is all over the place on just about everything.
He came out against increasing the unemployment benefits, as shown on C-SPAN the other morning. 

I guess enough MA residents saw it so that by 5:00 PM he changed his tune.  Where does he stand now, the barn-coated, pickup-truck driving dimwit?

He changed his so-called mind on DADT from Nay to Yea, and then voted against it.  He must be dizzy.

Anyway, it looks like a sure-thing for the gamblers of Wall Street to be able to pay off their losses thanks to the American people.

$700 billion for the rich.  They say it’s for small businesses.  I heard that around 98% of the small businesses here in the Capitalist, Free Market heaven make around $200,000.  That is less than the cut-off point of $250,000. 

So, the money is going to the Paris Hiltons.  Meanwhile, the Wall Streeters are wondering when to issue their next bonuses and pay raises. 

It’s a matter of timing for them.

For the rest of us it is: location, location, location.  We’re stuck in the Criminal World of the United Stats of America between a rock and a hard place.

I hope you Republicans and Obama can stave off the starving, uproot the homeowners with foreclosures, and resist the urge to do something ‘right.’

But then again with you people, there is no such ‘urge.’

Can their reasonable argument for out-and-out slavery be far away?

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By Ray Comeau, December 10, 2010 at 8:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I can`t read these comments anymore , because voters continue to debate which is the better Party, the Democrats or Republicans. Well it is obvious to anyone who has a few healthy working synapses, that the power behind both the Democratic and Republican Parties, is the same bunch of greedy all for the rich crowd. Obama is merely the person they hired to do their bidding. WAKE UP AMERICA !

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By de profundis clamavi, December 10, 2010 at 5:50 am Link to this comment

Mr Dionne, another Obama apologist and appeasement strategist, tries to tell us we really must accept this “deal”, but his following comment goes to the heart of the matter and says with total clarity why it is not just a setback, but a catastrophe that will beget further disasters in two years or so.

“But in the long run, is Obama capable of winning the future battles with the Republicans that this temporary agreement sets up? By expanding the deficit, it will make it easier for the Republicans to push sharp cuts in all manner of domestic programs, including Medicare and Social Security. This accord will not stop Republicans from expounding regularly on “the Obama deficit,” or from trying to box him in again on the tax cuts.”

The answer is obvious: if Obama won’t fight, he will never win, and this deal gives the Republicans weapons for future battles. The deal is a suicide pact for Democrats, and for the ebbing life of America’s sick “democracy”.

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By ohiolibgal, December 10, 2010 at 1:18 am Link to this comment

Obama was the first coward, naming in and out of government Goldman Sachs execs to police - Goldman Sachs and the rest of Wall Street. The Rubin crowd We know how that worked out. He then hired a chief of staff who thinks progressives are “retards”.

Then he told us he was fighting for the public option after he already sold us out on that. He’s like a prize fighter who takes a dive in the 1st round. Just a lousy negotiator.

I worked hard to elect the man and I am now disgusted with him. I know there are apologists who will keep making excuses for him, you have to admire that misguided loyalty.

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By AT, December 9, 2010 at 5:01 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you fifty gigs fro being a voice of reason. I am so far to the left of Obama I don’t
even fit into the US political map. I opposed the war in Afghanistan when 90% of my
fellow citizens (including most so-called progressives) we behind it. When he opened up
his website after he was elected soliciting questions from the people, I asked Obama
what his stance is on prison reform, because again, unlike most progressives, I worry
more about the torture happening everyday in prisons and jails around the corner and
less about gitmo. And I understand that Bush is not to blame for inequality, that
inequality is not won by having a black president, but by ensuring a decent living,
healthcare and education for all as guaranteed by the UN universal declaration of rights,

Yet in my eyes, Obama has more compassion and concern for the people in the empire
he leads than all these so-called progressives, who are foaming at the mouth because
the tax cuts also apply to the top1.5% of households. Hey my liberal friends, the median
income in this country is less than 50k so if you want to tax the rich, how about raising
taxes for everyone who makes over 70k - or does that strike to close to home? How
about fighting for rolling back the defense budget to the year 2000, thereby by freeing up
500 billion dollars which can be used to lower tax burdens, invest in green energy,
improve education and healthcare? How about cutting our prison populations in half so
we don’t have to go to the supreme court to deal with prison overcrowding? The list
goes on and on, but don’t call yourself a progressive. If your goal in life is to score cheap
political points on the back of the poor and unemployed.

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By garth, December 9, 2010 at 3:50 pm Link to this comment

As Anarcissie said, ”  The system is self-replicating.”

In ‘guvment’ work they used to call it a self-licking ice cream cone.

I talked with a woman yesterday who was on Medicaid and she was all for the Republicans.

Where does one start?

Maybe, the word is to ‘hang on.’ I hope you come out of this still able to afford food, shelter, health insurance payments, and water bills and whatever it is you need to survive.

C-SPAN featured a man named Campbell, a Congressman from California.

His double-talk would’ve been disturbing in its own right but for the fact that he could barely carry it off to the point where he believed it himself.

Where do we go from here?  Obama is a Globaloney Corporatist and Bankee.  For more proof, check out the Korean Free Trade Agreement, the NAFTA of Obama.  There’s plenty there to object to.  In fact, all of it.

It’s just going to get very serious from here—third world level serious.  I just hope that someone is left here who can understand the English language.  And I’m not talking Chinese here.  I mean speaking about your fellow countrymen.


Maybe they let him go, out of kindness I suppose.

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By Inherit The Wind, December 9, 2010 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

If you are starving, eating botulism-laden food isn’t going to keep you alive.

If you are bleeding from an arterial wound, cutting your wrist may slow the blood flow from the big wound, but overall you’ll bleed out faster.

If your are in a boat that’s taking on water, you don’t bore holes in the bottom to let the water out.

Sooner or later you have to lance the boil or it infects your whole body.

The current Republican Party is a boil that needs to be lanced. It will be painful. The nation will be sick and weak for a while. But without that lancing the nation will collapse.  If the GOP is willing to cut off all funding to the Government so they can keep certain expensive programs THEY like, let’em.  if the GOP is willing to raise EVERYBODY’S taxes unless millionaires get tax breaks bigger than most families’ income, let’em.  If they will prevent 9/11 victims and heroes from getting health care, and the unemployed from getting extensions without giant inheritance tax breaks, let’em.

Let them shut down government, services, the military, the post office, eveything—and let the people know who did it and why.

Then stand back.

But the dims won’t do that.  It didn’t start in January 2009—it was already there. It didn’t start with the victory in 2006. It was already there.

Back in 1994, the GOP swept both house and the Dims have been pissing on themselves ever since.

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By REDHORSE, December 9, 2010 at 3:14 pm Link to this comment

What are we discussing here? Is “victory” for the “American people” an either/or? The statement itself acknowledges the “we” vs. “them” psychology of a greed soaked D.C. thug. The “people” and the American future are second to what? Wall Street looters and MIC profiteers?

    Obama allowed the sychophant Boehner to hold the Nation hostage, declared capitulation victory, snorted at so called “purists” and in short, let the millions of Americans hanging on by a thread know they were lucky to get anything at all.——But the “wealthy” are gonna have a very Merry Christmas.

    The American People built this Nation blood and bone. They give their lives in war, and endure hardship, poverty and death in building and maintaining America’s great cities and infrastructure. Their hard earned tax dollars pay for the generous benefits, salary and retirements of both Obama and Boehner. We owe them nothing!! Who are the People second to?

    If Mr. Dionne Jr. and other “journalists” want to believe a hogs ear is a silk purse fine. I’m tired of “lets pretend”.  Again, I remind them that deals with the Devil always include the Soul. The American reality has reached critical mass. How about earning your money Sir. We have all the cutesy propagandist we can stand.

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By Julio, December 9, 2010 at 2:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Join Democrats who Won’t Vote For Obama Again

http://www.facebook.com/?tid=1765466616960&sk=messages#!/group.php?gid=242597275641

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By Lincoln, December 9, 2010 at 1:38 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Amazingly, today I received a letter from VP Joe Bidden.  Well it is one of those boiler plate ones that the White House emails to the “pureists” of past Obama supporters. 

He tries to defend Bush tax cuts to the ultra rich greedy predators and speculators on Wall Street.  I don’t buy a single word of it.  It would not be surprising if Bidden resigns prior to 2012 election out of shear disgust.

Isn’t it amazing how all these holding the highest office on the world, claim they are victims of the system.  The buck isn’t ending on Obama desk.

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By garth, December 9, 2010 at 12:57 pm Link to this comment

Ya gotta luv this guy, Obama. 

He and Dick Durbin are going to join cliches and put all of their laser-like focus on JOBS.

What is ‘all of ones focus’?  Is it quantifiable, Oh great communicator?

The only way I can relate to this new mind-number is to remember a Portuguese wedding I went to.

The groom wanted to take a picture of his new bride with her mother and he was taking a liitle too long for the mother’s comfort.

She asked her daughter what her new son-in-law was doing with teh camera?

The daughter replied, “He’s trying to focus.”
Her mother said, “Both of us?”

That’s what Obama is doing as the lead-hand of this group shills who represent the rest of the gambling leaches:  They want to ‘foke’ all of us.

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By Anarcissie, December 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm Link to this comment

Mr. O understands what his allies do not: that the U.S. has become a plutocracy.  It is nominally a representative democracy, but those who do not go along with the program find themselves with very well-funded opponents both within and outside their parties.  The system is self-replicating.  Those who want to see something different have a long march ahead of them.

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By morongobill, December 9, 2010 at 11:58 am Link to this comment

This president who does such a great job bending over for the republicans and whaling the tar out of any liberals who dare oppose him, can kiss my ass.

To hell with him and his administration. If I wanted repub lite, I’d have voted for McCain.

Stick a fork in the s.o.b., he’s done.

Go ahead report me to the nannies, I don’t give a damn.

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By blueworld, December 9, 2010 at 11:42 am Link to this comment

He is a sellout, abysmally without long-term vision.  Throwing scraps to the unemployed for 13 months & lowering the payroll tax by $2.00 per every hundred is hardly stimulating to anyone outside of his immediate circle of advisers.  As Weiner said on CNN, Obama thinks bipartisanship is a goal rather than a means.  He assumes that the first round of votes is the definitive end-all.  He is a perennial victim of circumstance whining about the ingratitude of the left.  He has no passion to create real change, he merely twists & squirms until things look different.  His ego will not accept a defeat so he accepts deformed, impotent legislation & then crows about what he thinks he’s done.  And he’s shocked that this is the same criticism he got for HCR.  Duh. 

I’m also sick of the MSM sycophants who feel obliged to put the lipstick on the pig after one of his miserable failures to lead, polishing pennies & ignoring dollars flying out the window while lambasting purists (a.k.a. people with real ideals & integrity).

Thanks for your column, however, and your insights (as always).

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By Jim Yell, December 9, 2010 at 11:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

What this all proves is the voters are now meaningless to the process. The country is now controlled by International Corporations that only carry the name of Ameican Companies. The Corporate money will keep any real effort to keep or capture American Jobs from going outside our borders. It is the same process that keeps once cherished brands selling merchandise, all manufactured outside our county, outside our environmental protection laws, outside our fair wage laws, outside paying their taxes.

Meanwhile our military has become a mercenary military, not protecting our country, but protecting the unsustainable profits of gangster corporations and the American Tax Payer is paying the bill, but not getting much out of it except dead children.

Obama is a liar, but not in a good way, but than he is really just a member of a closed club, all playing a careful dramatic representation of a dead democracy.

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By the worm, December 9, 2010 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Who can Obama rely when the Repubs try to repeal Health Care Reform?

EJ are you kidding me? The insurance industry will be the one Obama relies on to
stop the Republicans, and the Health Insurance industry will come through to save
its newly acquired mandated customers, raise its guaranteed 20% overhead rate
(and perhaps redefine it) and assure higher insurance premiums are paid with your
and my tax money.

It wont be hard for Obama to find someone to ‘side’ with him in Health Care
Reform.

What we dont have is someone to side with America’s middle class.

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By the worm, December 9, 2010 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

EJ speaks of Obama’s ‘allies’. Who is allied with Obama in these policies:


$ 3,400,000,000 or $ 3.4 BILLION in ‘loans’, bailouts and guarantees given to
Wall Street from the public coffers.

And

The largest shift of debt (i.e. losses) from the private sector to the public in
American history.

And

Billionaires enjoying all the benefits of our country, but pay only 15% on their
incomes (carried interest).

And

100’s of 1000’s of ‘mandated customers’ brought to the insurance industry and
guaranteed the industry will get to keep 15-20% of the ‘premiums’ received
from the new ‘mandated customers’ (oh, if a ‘mandated customer’ cant afford to
pay the insurer, taxpayers will pay the insurer , but the insurer can still keep
15-20%). Only 80% of your and my premium has to be spent on actual health
care services.

And

Afghanistan, pre-emptive war (starting wars to avoid wars), torture, renditions,
etc continued.

And

Non-reform of the financial industry (six largest banks still too-big-to-fail,
and investment and commercial banking functions still greyed - so, your and
my deposits are at risk).

And

The system manipulated so banks can borrow from the government at 1%, to
buy government bonds that pay banks 3.4%; thus, ‘making’ 2.4% by simply
shuffling paper. (This is a great trick! And illustrates clearly why a huge finance
industry provides nothing to the nation)

And

The budget will be ‘balanced’ on the backs of the middle class while tax
gimmicks will persist for the wealthy and corporations.

These are Obama’s most significant policy decisions or actions.

Who are his allies in these?

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By G.Anderson, December 9, 2010 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

When values become a moving target, propelled by the next deal, then their not values at all, just expiediency.

When you don’t have values then, you don’t have anything. Nothing, is not much of a choice.

So, then, just what makes you a Democrat Mr. President?

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By madisolation, December 9, 2010 at 9:07 am Link to this comment

I don’t think it’s just the left and the Tea Party who are mad at Obama’s sell-out. And it’s not a good deal, no matter how you spin it, when 25% of the money goes to 1% of the population. It’s not a good deal when a payroll tax holiday is a back door way of decimating Social Security (which, by the way, Obama couldn’t accomplish with his own personal, hand-picked Careerist Catfood Commission).
Obama can childishly lash out at his supporters all he wants, but he’d better remember: the majority of the population doesn’t like his “More Power to Rich Tax Scheme,” either.
Let the search for a primary opponent begin. Let the investigations and calls for impeachment begin. It’s time to do battle against the “Centrist” (i.e., far right) President Barack Bush, and may the most honest men and women win.

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By FiftyGigs, December 9, 2010 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

More Beltway bias from the “free” press.

I like E.J. but he took this one way too personally. That Obama was attacking those who consider him weak is a fact, not a spin, as E.J.‘s skillful writing tries to cast it.

The proof of Obama’s blunt honesty and rightness is visible in the comments of this website that uniformly either (a) simply call him childish names, or (b) simply measure his action against some sanctimonious—sorry, purist—ideological specification that the commentator is “certain” is a great idea, even though the majority of people don’t.

Obama has a point. You can disagree with it, but if you truly are NOT a conservative, then practice what you preach. Disagree, argue, vote, then rally as a patriot to make the consensus work whether it’s your idea or somebody elses. The Left really does need to get out of this “I got only 90% so I’m sure I got suckered” stupidity. You’re Mitch’s bitch.

For days and days, the sanctimonious “free” press has been selling the sob story that the unemployed need help.

Seriously?

Okay, then make the deal. Make the deal with help from the party that doesn’t want to do anything. In that case, you say, walk away. Yeah? Walk away from the unemployed, wipe you hands, say you tried, and Merry Christmas?

Obama is making the deal. He’s going to help them. That’s decided. That’s what a President does. That’s a reflection of his values. (Yours?) Against this radically right Republican Party, he’s going to have to give away too much. In part because of Leftist whiners.

What do you propose instead? Do nothing for the unemployed, nothing at all to shore up the economy? Mighty Republican of you.

Sanctimonious: making a show of being morally better than everyone else.

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By ardee, December 9, 2010 at 8:40 am Link to this comment

One more voice noting that the Democrats have the President they deserve. This article calls the President out for betraying legislators who “fought for him and his policies”. I must have been out of the room at the time.

This should send a message to all those Democrats in Congress who failed utterly to push this President to actually be an old fashioned democrat. Oh, wait, are there any of those left?

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By Mike789, December 9, 2010 at 8:23 am Link to this comment

Concur with mrfreeze ~ Where were the Dems with an impetus to bring to vote on the tax-cuts issue prior to the election. They’re too busy kissing wealthy donors butt. Couldn’t alienate the cash cow, eh? Now, everybody, post lost election, finds a scapeqoat in the Pres. If the Dems would stay on the sheet music for a session or two things would get done along the lines the voters expressed.

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By aacme88, December 9, 2010 at 8:01 am Link to this comment

You know the Republicans have won not just the battle but the war when the deal is struck to pay for necessary new expenditures with tax cuts. Since when did that math work?

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By glider, December 9, 2010 at 6:27 am Link to this comment

Obama has worked hard to kill Democracy in Amerika.  By morphing his positions into Republican positions via unilateral “bipartisianship” his Democrat electorate who voted for X has gotten Y.  In the end they voted for something closer to McCain/Palin than to the lies peddled by the campaigning fraud Obama.  Bipartisianship kills choice and produces a Totalitarian State.  Sieg Heil Obama and the Democrat Party.

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By mrfreeze, December 9, 2010 at 2:02 am Link to this comment

Oh bullshit! The Dems in Congress have been the biggest bunch of cowards imaginable. What made them wake up so late in the ball game? They had 2 years to help President Obama out and NOW they are somehow hurt that he’s not kissing their collective ass?

There’s politics and there’s politics…..this current crop of Dems are fucking cowards, plain and simple. If they had more backbone, this president could have avoided most of the compromises he’s been forced to make.

Certainly, President Obama hasn’t been perfect, but the Dems???? What a bunch of pussies!

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