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The New Old Obama

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Posted on Aug 14, 2011
White House / Pete Souza

By E.J. Dionne, Jr.

For President Barack Obama, these are the days of never hearing an encouraging word. Not since his own supporters were losing faith in his presidential campaign in the summer of 2007 has Obama confronted so many bad reviews and such widespread frustration and angry criticism from his own side.

Now, the censure is reinforced by terrible tidings from the outside in the form of wildly swinging stock markets, persistent unemployment and divisions in the nation’s capital so deep that they make the period around President Bill Clinton’s impeachment look like an era of good feelings.

For Obama’s lieutenants, his comeback from the ‘07 summer doldrums provided an overlearned lesson that encouraged them to ignore external criticism and cruise along with complete confidence in their man’s almost magical powers of restoration.

The president’s loyalists still have faith in him and still love to criticize media narratives they think underestimate him. But this time, both he and they are expressing a level of frustration that may be the healthiest thing happening to Obama in what is an otherwise dismal moment in his presidency. A White House crowd often too sure of itself is fully aware of the ferocious fight Obama faces and the seriousness of the problems he confronts. Their mood and past experience suggest that a new Obama—or, in many ways, the old Obama of 2008—is about to appear.

The biggest factor is the end of the default threat. Make no mistake: The administration was petrified that conservatives in Congress really would push the country over the cliff in the debt-ceiling fight. GOP leaders may have realized the dangers involved, but Obama worried that if he miscalculated, House Republicans might not muster a majority to prevent the worst from happening.

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Obama’s aides say he understood liberal anger over the Republicans’ irresponsibility in using the default threat to strengthen their own bargaining position. But while progressives wanted the White House to call the right wing’s bluff, Obama insisted that this was not a risk a president could take. He preferred to escape this box with the best flawed deal he could get, provided he could take the lethal debt-ceiling weapon out of Republican hands.

Having done so, the White House now sounds liberated. Even a government shutdown would be a day in springtime compared with the economic Armageddon that default might have let loose. Obama has a margin for maneuver and action he didn’t have before.

Then there is Obama’s own character. He is both conflict-averse and highly competitive. On the one hand, he believes his old speech declaring there is neither a red America nor a blue America, and he trusted his own capacity to bring left and right together—an imprudent presumption, given the nature of the current GOP.

Allowing this side of himself a much longer run than seems reasonable is what unleashed all the recent commentary describing him as weak and indecisive. But no sane human being (and sanity is still an Obama hallmark) can pretend anymore that today’s Republicans remain the party of Bob Dole or Howard Baker. The proof came in last week’s Republican presidential debate when every candidate on stage raised a hand to declare unacceptable even a deficit deal involving 10 times as many spending cuts as revenue increases. This provides a handy new definition of extremism: When 90.9091 percent purity is not good enough.

Obama knows he’s reaching the end of the line on negotiating. Now he has to win. This brings out his competitive side. The rules of an election are similar to those of the sporting contests Obama so enjoys. Candidates are expected to be tough, to go after their opponents, to push and shove and throw them off balance. If you doubt Obama can do this, ask Hillary Clinton or John McCain.

The president’s speech last Thursday in Holland, Mich., was the first sign that the competitive Obama is re-emerging. His target, like Harry Truman’s in 1948, was an obstructionist Republican Congress. He condemned “the refusal of some folks in Congress to put the country ahead of party” and urged that it “start passing some bills that we all know will help our economy right now.”

With Obama, there is always the danger of a relapse into the passive, we’re-all-reasonable-people style. The fighting Obama has briefly appeared before, only to go back into hibernation. This time, the evidence suggests he’ll stick with it—and, in truth, he has no other choice.

E.J. Dionne’s e-mail address is ejdionne(at)washpost.com.
   
© 2011, Washington Post Writers Group


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By Inherit The Wind, August 25, 2011 at 6:00 am Link to this comment

Resident Dickhead:
Is there any, and I mean ANY depths you won’t stoop to in your attempts to discredit
me? You lie, you obfuscate, you insult, you ignore hard core evidence. You claim I
“ignore” your challenges.

Yet you haven’t even TRIED to show evidence that the Green Party has grown past the
305,000 membership count of 2005, nor show why the GP won’t list membership counts
on its website.

You haven’t been able to counter the hard, cold fact that the GP has not one a single
US Senate, US Congress, Governship, State Upper House seat, or State Lower House
seat in its 25 years of futility.

Facts, dickhead, facts.  These are facts you cannot dispute so you resort to the tricks of
scoundrels, the lies of Swift-boaters to attempt shut me down.

Unlike you, I recognize that repeating the same action in the face of failure is the mark of
insanity.  I accept that changing conditions and changing facts require changing tactics. 
You are incapable of such rational analysis and assessment.  Yes, I NOW want the
Democratic Party “raided” by a Progressive “TeaParty” movement of our own.  Yes, that
is a change.  But it’s not a lie.  It is a rational response to the conviction based on
repeated observations that there is NO situation in which the Dems will stand up for
what they need to, but will always back down.  The conditions and facts have changed. 
Therefore my response must change.

Logical. Rational. Ethical.

You are a bat-shit-crazy religious fanatic who drank the Kool-Aid years ago and now
gets apoplectic with rage when the obvious is pointed out:

You drank the Kool-Aid.  You are not even smart enough to know it.

Report this
drbhelthi's avatar

By drbhelthi, August 23, 2011 at 12:15 am Link to this comment

Sure, Barry Obama will soon be morphing back into “Peace Prize, Middle-
Class-supporting” Obama just like any good 25-year CIA operative and his
brainwashed sycophants will eat it up again. LocalHero

Amazing how he switches back and forth, while he accelerates the
destruction of the USEconomy.
Some blogers are more interested in personal-appearing volleys against
each other, which amount to distractions of a rather stupid nature.

How is the Barry Dunham Obama Soetoro entourage paying for the CIA/MOSSAD
operatives that have organized and led the attack on Gadhafy?  Certainly
the manipulation of the various idiots among the international puppetry
that constitutes NATO, with the US footing most of that bill, has played
a significant role.

The question repeatedly arises, whom had Gadhafy attacked, with the
answer, NO ONE.  He was the singular leader who would not be
bribed/bought by the US C.I.A.  Thus, they destroyed him.  While the
puppetry of the Democrat and Republican parties continue to power the
movement to destroy the U.S.ofA. Continuing the dictatorship begun by
GHWBushSr, destroying the western world, doesn’t seem to capture the
attention of +-98% of USCongress membership. 

Whom do such short-sighted people think will pay out their congressional
retirement packages, when the U.S.ofA. bites the dust?  Are they so naïve
as to think that the “Red-Schields,” Rockefeller & Ford Foundation
Zionists will jump in and secure their retirement incomes?

What have the string-pullers of the C.I.A. done historically, with agents
and operatives who “knew too much”?  Right.
This element of specific history will continue to be repeated.

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LocalHero's avatar

By LocalHero, August 21, 2011 at 10:21 am Link to this comment

Sure, Barry Obama will soon be morphing back into “Peace Prize, Middle-Class-supporting” Obama just like any good 25-year CIA operative and his brainwashed sycophants will eat it up again.

Report this

By smdahl, August 19, 2011 at 7:21 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@TrishaJ: Here’s one big concrete step we can take organized by Citizens for
Legitimate Government:  Seize DC on September10:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Seize-DC/157212034341382

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, August 19, 2011 at 6:12 am Link to this comment

Reader,
Don’t waste your time challenging someone’s religion, even if that religion is a political party.  Challenge a religious fanatic’s faith and dogma and he will rain down a torrent of abuse, insults and accusations that have nothing to do with facts of logic. In fact, in the face of logic, the abuse reaches foaming mad dog status.

Even when The Management keeps removing such abusive posts, the acolyte will violently persist.  Don’t be fooled by the pretense of “civility”.  Challenge one fundamental premise and you’ll fall victim to it, as have
Entropy
Leefeller
Shenonymous
others
and yours truly.

I actually want the Dems reformed or replaced, soon, fast and hard. The Far Right has done it to the GOP with devastating and fantastically destructive success.  We are up to our asses in alligators and any religion saying we need to work to drain the swamp is…well it should be obvious.

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By ardee, August 19, 2011 at 4:41 am Link to this comment

Reader, August 18 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee,

It’s very hard to get 3rd party candidates elected.  In my community, they boast about being progressives, but even here, they couldn’t elect a progressive.

Firstly, I would thank you for helping to keep a civil discussion alive, especially in the climate of silliness we find from one unreasonable and unreasoning source.

Yes, you are correct, and I have stated several times how the deck is stacked against the growth of any party challenging the Duopoly’s monopoly on our politics and money flow from contributors.

But difficulty isn’t a bar, or certainly should not be , when the stakes are so high. We are in a sort of “perfect storm” that works against all political dissent, something we haven’t seen, at least in such magnitude, since Joe McCarthy ruled the legislature and the headlines.

I would offer that, in the main, the fault lies, not with many candidates for office, but with the top down and controlling party organization. In the case of the Democrats, Clinton’s raising up of the DLC has led to the silencing of dissent within that party and the inability of progressive thought to be heard much less acted upon.

Similarly, the rise of the extreme right wing in the Republican Party has led to that party’s refusal to consider meeting in the middle, the traditional way our government has operated.

Now this is a surface analysis by any standard and not meant to deny many other factors at work that result in such dysfunction of government at all levels. That I believe we are engaged in a struggle against corporate fascism ruling our governance, through the media of ever higher campaign costs for one thing, leads us to another topic.

While my own reasons for insisting that third party growth is a necessary counter to the lose of the people’s representation by both parties are just that, my own, nor do I insist that other reasons and other paths are present and even possible I see no such discussions taking place.

You seem to dwell overly on the difficulty of formation and growth of such a movement, as I dwell upon my belief in its necessity, regardless of how difficult the path or long the process. I hope we can continue to engage as we do, despite the noise from the children’s table.

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By TrishaJ, August 18, 2011 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

smdahl: By “off point of the comments discussion” I meant that just scanning the comments they seem to be discussing a third party,namely the Green Party, and rather than joining that discussion,I was commenting on what Dionne was saying in his article.

Do you have any concrete suggestions for how we do that - take back power for the people?

It sickens me that we seem forced to choose between a Republican and Obama. I wrote to Obama and told him that if I vote for him in 2012 it will be a lesser of two evils vote and that I didn’t consider it much lesser. But with the amount of corporate money in the elections now, and labor saying they will back Obama despite their disappointment in his performance, how could an alternative candidate make any headway?

Until or unless we pass public financing, I don’t see how we can get around the lock the two parties have on our electoral system.

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By smdahl, August 18, 2011 at 1:14 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@trishaj:  If your comment was directed @ Dionne, why did you begin with “Off
point of the comments discussion, I am commenting on the article itself.”?  But I
do apologize for jumping so fast; I did read your comment though.  I too held
hope for Obama before he took office so I should be more understanding of
others who still do, even if only a shred.  What worries me is that we really cannot
afford to wait until January, 2013 to arrest this decline of civilization.  The nuclear
industrialists, generals, bankers and contractors who pull Obama’s strings are
going to destroy it before then if we don’t stand up and take power completely
back for the people.

Report this

By Reader, August 18, 2011 at 12:28 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee,

It’s very hard to get 3rd party candidates elected.  In my community, they boast about being progressives, but even here, they couldn’t elect a progressive.  They keep voting in the same Democrat who’s on the payroll for the corporations.  He’s not a blue dog, but he’s a real game player.  He didn’t do anything for health care - we were all supposed to fall down on our knees in thanks because - whoopdedoo, he has a college education - so he read the legislation. 

And on health care, he never opened his mouth and took over a year to answer letters to his constituents.  When the letters arrived, we were all supposed to understand how busy his majesty was. 

What was he busy with, anyway?  Well, he’s very pro military - sits on armed services - and votes for all the disgusting budgets that come up and go through.  Yet the environmentalist Sierra Club loves him because he’s saved some trees (even though he’s been promoting the destruction of the planet in Iraq and Afghanistan - and destroying all of theirs). Against the religious right, he’s *reasonably* pro-choice in that quiet conservative youngish patriarchal way, and with a football team face that could be selling soap detergent on television.

So what do you think happened in our progressive, enlightened community? 

A true progressive stepped forward to challenge Mr. Conventional.  He was intelligent, had background fighting for single payer, anti-war positions, didn’t mind having his election photos taken with black high school students (Mr. Conventional only appears with 5th generation whites), etc.

But the progressive community voted for Mr. Conventional with the party elites behind him and his pretty boy face.

The progressive got about 7,000 votes (including mine) which was a drop in the bucket.  I was truly surprised given the boasted tenor of our area.  If he had gone into the House, we’d have another Dennis Kucinich, Raul Grijalva, just to mention a few out of a couple of dozen names.

Every Green candidate I’ve seen, I liked.  Even though I didn’t agree with the computerized voting platform they floated during one of the elections (though I thought their position on run-off elections sounded good).  If I was in South Carolina, I would have voted for Tom Clement.  And if Tom Clement ran here at the local level against the Democratic Party’s football player sitting on the armed services committee, I’d vote for him, here, as well.  But he wouldn’t win here either, even with a very different demographic than South Carolina.

As we go higher and higher up the election ladder, the stakes gets greater.  Republicans in my area - at the local level - some of them are very rational individuals - moreso than Democrats.  They are more responsive to inquiries by constituents and you see more organization and effective action from their offices.  But when you get to Michele Bachman or Rick Perry, you’re looking at very big implications in terms of who gets in.

Are they going to drop an atomic bomb on Iran?  Are we going to wind up in 3rd world war?  Is such and such treaty going to be signed?  Are we going to see a complete lack of federal response to a national disaster?  Are millions of people going to thrown off their food stamps or their very minimal Medicaid?  Are seniors going to see their already very small social security cut by 100 dollars - 200 dollars - a month?  Are millions of children going to be thrown off school lunch programs?

Report this

By TrishaJ, August 18, 2011 at 10:36 am Link to this comment

smdahl: Did you just read the beginning of my comment? Seems so since I stated pretty clearly that the likelihood of Obama doing things differently in another term would only be believable if he started to do things differently NOW.

I was pointing out the danger of being fooled again by a good campaigner who obviously lacks the qualities of a good leader. Where in that do you see my belief in the “hope” of 2008?

My comment about “we can hope…” was directed at Dionne who sounds like he believes the Obama of 2008 is coming back and that is a good thing. My response to that is fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

I am not interested in seeing the good campaigner again. I am only interested in seeing a president who acts like a progressive president. Obama has about a year to show whether or not he can be that. I’m not holding my breath.

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By pundaint, August 18, 2011 at 8:56 am Link to this comment

I’m just not that into sacrificing for wars of choice.

I’m just not that into heeding the fiscal advice of people who have proven to be wrong for three decades.

I voted for Obama in ‘08, but one big difference between us is that I am willing to learn from my mistakes.

The Democratic Party needs to learn the lesson of Scott Brown, and the ‘10 midterms, and hear Harry Truman.  It’s time to run Democratic Democrats espousing Democratic principles.  Obama does not qualify.

Report this

By Wikileaks for Nobel, August 18, 2011 at 6:41 am Link to this comment

You can always tell a fraud when you have to specify which one of this or that candidate you’re talking about.  Is it “Obama Mark V” or is it some other edition?  Depends on what sells, like any other commodity.  Strike a pose, strike up the band, tell ‘em anything, get “nuanced,” bring out your pretty family.

Honest people don’t have versions of themselves because they are consistent and true to principle.  Can you think of any politician who fits that profile?  But hey—people like that aren’t electable…because corrupt voters want politicians as twisted and false as themselves.  How’s that for a feasible explanation of why we’ve elected the scumbags who rule us?

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By smdahl, August 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@trishaJ:  your comment: “We can hope that what we are seeing is a wiser
Obama,...” should be a wake up call to yourself.  You still haven’t awakened from
the award winning “hope” advertising campaign.  Obama is a corporate
spokesmodel for banks, big oil and military.  Corporate spokesmodels, by
definition, do NOT represent the TARGET audience: you.

Report this

By TrishaJ, August 17, 2011 at 3:47 pm Link to this comment

Off point of the comments discussion, I am commenting on the article itself.

We can hope that what we are seeing is a wiser Obama, who learned from his mistakes of the past two and a half years. But there is also a good possiblility that what we are seeing is the Obama we already know. Nobody questions that he is a good campaigner. But that doesn’t mean he will be good with the follow through required to be a good leader of our country. Experience says he won’t live up to his promises any better this time than he did last time.

I would like to see him prove that he will do better by starting to do better now. If he would start pushing a jobs agenda that reflects the views expressed in his Georgetown University speech on April 14, 2009, that would be a start. We cannot afford another four years of president who claims to be a progressive but acts like a conservative.

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By Birch, August 17, 2011 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment

Too little, too late! The damage has been done. People won’t fall for that routine again.

Report this

By KittatinyHawk, August 17, 2011 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Buses Bought in Canada….this is the Republican Obama…not buying him this next go round.
He is a republican in whatever since you cannot tell the Party’s apart anymore.
We need Integrity, Honesty, Intelligence, No Fear.

You can cold bloodily kill Bin Laden and cannot tell Congress where to go bad enough but out on a tour during Presidency as others are supposed to be working also, and in Buses Not Made In USA?  So much for the Job and Economy Talk

Report this

By Jason Pacifico, August 17, 2011 at 11:52 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In regard to your article The New Old Obama”  on Obama, the “Corporate State,” media, the ruling class elite, “progressives,” etc., on his interposing “jean” (Calvin Kline) and oligarchs generational, immeasurably he is a deeply compassionate man (I feel it), he blew the “genre” (psychologically, socio-politically allocational culture) on the “Corporate State” in the abandonment of the Public Option, the Single Payer, the “modification plan” for homeowners that only helped 3% of troubled homeowners, and now we are seeing “underwater homeowner” in trouble which the “Eight Families” (See “Federal Reserve Cartel, Part 1: The Eight Families”) will move-on them (like the Gambino family)  to additional down payments to 10 million more foreclosures (43 million moms, dads, a their kids).

    Obama’s new enlightened position, I’m happy to see I believe, during his kick-off Campaign in September, where he will annonce an additional Stimulus Plan of 1 trillion or more (revisiting his 787 trillion dollars stimulus in 2009), and if he just allocated the entire new 1 Trillion dollar plan to infrastructure repairs (see Laura Tyson’s New York Times article “A Second Stimulus Needed,” advisor to Obama’s Counsel of Economic Advisors) , etc., no new tax breaks or help to states with budget deficits, but 100% Infrastructure Stimulus Plan for jobs, he will win in November 2012…not Mitt Romney (version of Adolph Hitler: George W. Bush’s brother “incarnate”). In my “crazy professor’s” facebook page (60 million visitors), which Obama’s White House is on daily, I would be very happy to see, I like to send Obama—or if I was his aid—the article “The Federal Reserve Cartel, part 5: The Solution” by Dean Henderson, advocating eradicating or cancelling 10 trillion dollars of Debt, the US Treasury printing the currency in “US Treasury Notes”  (as A. Lincoln and JFK did similarly) cancelling the privately owned “Federal Reserve Notes”— vis-a-vis the aforementioned analysis, but they would murder Obama in a second, like JFK on his executive order 11110.

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Alan Lunn's avatar

By Alan Lunn, August 17, 2011 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

We must remember that we have a bought government. We
get the lip-service from those we elect and the
“corporations (that) are people”—as Romney said—
get the perks from their government slaves. Obama
can’t get out of that loop, either, except as a lame-
duck president, when he has nothing to lose. Then he
could morph into Teddy Roosevelt and, for our sakes,
should.

It is time to bombard Washington with the absolute
need of a constitutional amendment to end money in
politics. That is what Jefferson wanted: a clause in
the Bill of Rights that made any monopoly illegal.
Because this was never done, we have had over 150
years of “corporate person” (money = speech) judicial
decisions while robber barons, in their seasons,
robbed this nation. They’re doing it again.

End the trajectory in America toward an ineffectual
managed democracy and an inverted totalitarianism.
How? End the unholy alliance of business and
government.

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By drbhelthi, August 17, 2011 at 11:05 am Link to this comment

What´s new about promising one thing,
doing the opposite,
then making the observation of what a good job one did ?

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By Dave L., August 17, 2011 at 10:52 am Link to this comment

The “Nobel Peace Prize” <sarc> winning war monger has proven himself to be the sock puppet that Wall St. and the military industrial complex hired him to be. He has a trail of broken campaign promises and shattered hopes in his wake. His plummeting approval ratings are proof that we the people want and deserve alot more than just another “establishment” tool.

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By Reader, August 17, 2011 at 10:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Inherit the Wind:

The Greens are relatively ineffective by themselves.  Joined with the Progressives, the Nader people, and other independents, they could have quite a bit of muscle.

ardee:

I believe in peaceful means with big steps. smile  I think we should shoot for the stars.  Voting is important, but it is not enough by a long shot.  I do think Americans should be out there by the millions demonstrating peacefully.  I think we need a short-long term political strategy, based on what I have observed over the years re this American election debacle going round and round.

I think the Progressives in the Democratic Party should answer some hard questions posed by the public with clear specifics and rational answers.  Namely,

1 - Are they going to break from the Democratic Party after the next president is elected?

2 - If not, how exactly do they propose to surmount the problems we face due to campaign financing?  That is, they are used for the elections, but then, when it comes time to dealing with real issues like health care or military budgets, they are bowled over by the party’s status quo.

I have also read that great fact about Canada.  Every other westernized country uses paper ballots and shuns software as inherently corruptible.  They view our system as insane, just as they view our health care system insane.

I have lost my posts twice, but I am trying again.  We must all move forward into the future with as much determination as we have when posting at websites that keep losing our posts.

We must keep talking to other Americans and using our planning and strategy skills.  They pay political strategists a lot of money to do this for them—but I suspect we have the ability to out perform these idiots.  We must believe in ourselves and help one another.  History is filled with examples of human beings overcoming obstacles at great odds against them.

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By Inherit The Wind, August 17, 2011 at 5:48 am Link to this comment

Yeah, lots of baby steps.  In another hundred years the Green party may actually achieve something.

If we still have a nation and the Perrys and Palins haven’t balkanized it with the secessions they advocate of the two largest states of the union.

It’s not that I’m not sympathetic or not in agreement with where the Greens want to take the nation. I would LOVE to see the Green Party succeed.

It’s that their history of failure to get traction when other groups (like the fanatical religious rightwing-nuts and the TeaParty on the extreme Right) have been dramatically successful in pushing their damaging and destructive agenda on the nation, where the Greens are wandering in the wilderness.

The Greens have NEVER been able to motivate the Left and Progressives in the same way.  All the excuses in the world and all the blame heaped on “2 Party System” and all the insults and name-calling I’m going to get for this are just rationalizations for its failure!

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
—Albert Einstein

It’s true: This can be applied to our current political system. We keep electing Democratic spineless blubbering bozos, or Republican flat-out corrupt fascists. But it also applies to the failure of the Green Party to build a substantial and influential base.

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By John Poole, August 17, 2011 at 5:29 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Fish’s cartoon of MLK asking Obama what his dream is seemed a very plausible
explanation of Obama’s decision making meme.

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By ardee, August 17, 2011 at 3:30 am Link to this comment

Reader, August 16 at 10:51 pm

As to hand counting; Canada uses such, and their results are available in less time than are our own, computerized, tallies.

Small steps are necessary to the building of third party politics, especially in a nation wherein two parties are the gospel handed down from our holy founders. James Madison, by the by, noted, late in life, that he was reconsidering his position as enumerated in Federalist #10 regarding Democracy v.Republic.

But small steps are a better alternative than violent demonstrations I believe. Don’t you?

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By Reader, August 16, 2011 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

ardee,

Maybe the Greens will put someone out soon.  But I’d like to see them change their
platform on computerized voting.  Everything should be hand counted paper.  The
Green Party needs to see the article about the court information that’s come out
recently about how the Bush people racketed the vote in Ohio.  They now know
specifically how.

If the Progressives broke, however, by the beginning of a first Obama term (if they
were pressured enough by people to do so) - Raul G., John C., Dennis K., and
there’s many more - including in Illinois - and then merged with groups like
Nader’s people and the Greens—there would a lot of muscle there for an election
with a clear playing field (Obama having finished his second term).

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By indc, August 16, 2011 at 4:10 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article is absurd nonsense.  You are either fantasizing or have move over to become a PR hack.

“Having done so, the White House now sounds liberated. Even a government shutdown would be a day in springtime compared with the economic Armageddon that default might have let loose. Obama has a margin for maneuver and action he didn’t have before.”

Do you have to buy what you are smoking or is it available free as part of the job.  His rating have plunged since he went along with republican because he is a neo-con and nothing more.  If he is conflicted it is because he said one thing and does the opposite, so who can tell who he is or what he stands for, he may not know himself, except that he will do whatever is necessary to ingratiate himself with and certainly not to piss of big corporation and people with money.  This is his life story.  Otherwise he is a rather ordinary guy that did well in school and not too well out of school, with regard to achievement, but given his positioning, he always failed up.  Next election he will fail down.

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By ardee, August 16, 2011 at 2:26 pm Link to this comment

Reader, August 16 at 9:46 am

A heartfelt and sincere post, for which I applaud you.

I wonder how the last three years sit with you, with respect to the Obama administration and the actions and inaction along with the campaign promises and which of those has been kept.

You rightly note the damage done by the Bush presidency, but how much of that damage continues to date under Obama, and how much damage has Obama’s love affair with all things corporate continued to wreak upon the economy?

You note Bushs’ Supreme Court appointment of Roberts, whose every opinion has been in favor of the big over the small, every damn one. Yet , speaking of appointments, how do those of Obama match up with your own goals and vision?

I do understand the folks driven to vote against the GOP, especially the current make up thereof. But running from the obvious to the obviously clueless seems a poor choice to me. We have had ample evidence of how things work with a democratic president and a democratic majority in the legislature, or rather how things still fail to work.

You do not, I note, disparage those who believe this government needs an infusion of third party blood. I would ask you to consider, despite the lengthy process it will surely be, to join the increasing numbers who turn to said third party solutions. Consider,if you will, how wasted a vote is the status quo.

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By Reader, August 16, 2011 at 10:02 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I just want to add, present posters excluded (i.e. I know you’re rightfully angry left voters) that a lot of people want to take what truly IS a remarkable achievement in American history - and make it into nothing.  To wit:  “How that’s hope and change treating ya?”  laugh/laugh/barfing on their bibs/etc.

I think we do have some choices here - on whether or not we are going to allow history to be written the way they want it written - or to make it the achievement we want it to be.

Just some thoughts.

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By poodfreemon, August 16, 2011 at 10:01 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is clear to me, at last, that Obama has his head up his fanny, and that it doesn’t matter who is president. I tried to talk to Barack but he wouldn’t listen: out of Iraq, out of Afghanistan, reinstate Glass-Steagall, indict the Wall Street pigs, public option, pay off the debt by October 2012… but noooooooo! I don’t need another four years of Obama.

[female voice at a gentle whisper:] “Space Station USA will self-destruct in… 29… 28… 27…”

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By Reader, August 16, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I believe the each person’s vote IS their own.  When someone goes behind that curtain, they can write-in their goldfish, AFAIC - it’s THEIR vote - they don’t have to justify it.

On the other hand, I do think people SHOULD vote.  If you are dissatisfied with the major candidates, vote for a 3rd party, or use a write-in.

The conflict here, however - about the Democrats and 3rd party candidates is an old one.  Barack Obama didn’t invent this.  Many people were saying the same thing when Gore ran against Bush and Nader was on the ballot as a third party candidate.

I really like Nader, and I considered voting for him - but the election was close - and the thought of GW becoming president really scared me.  As we can all see now .. WHY.

And I’m not just talking about his appointment of John Roberts or cut-backs on reproductive rights—the usual hot button Democratic Party issues.  Of course.

When I vote - and again, this is about your vote - I respect your right to choose (just think you SHOULD vote)—I can’t help thinking about what the results of my vote will be in terms of who actually does get elected.

If it’s a primary battle, it makes sense to relentlessly vote your opinion of the best candidate possible, without consideration as to who will win the primary.  The reason being, your vote really is a message to that party about where the weight of opinion falls on issues - thereby swaying the party in that direction - regardless of who actually does win.

But in general election .. ?  Presidential elections - more and more these days - but as always - have been about the control of big money interests.  I don’t think the election is where people, for the most part, win of issues, and should burn themselves and their energy out.

We need to think and act more strategically as a united group.

If the Progressives broke now to form a third party and run an incredible candidate - say, like Elizabeth Warren for office - well, yeah, I’d have to support here.

But they’re not going to do that because of the politics involved with the Obama candidacy.  The timing is very poor for such a move.

That is why I would go with reelecting Obama and the Progressives breaking from the Democratic Party right after the reelection - with a up-front commitment position that none of their candidates are accepting certain forms of campaign financing.

Imagine Michele Bachman or Rick Perry in office.  I thnk about who they are individuals - ITO their intellect, their values, their emotional maturity - and making key decisions about the future of the United States and the state of the planet.  They are vastly different types of individuals.

George Bush did SO much damage. 

I can’t get worked up about the campaign - I feel that I went through too much, personally, to put myself out there again like that.

But that’s my take, that’s how I see my responsibility as a voter.

Again, I do believe your vote is your own.  I wouldn’t tell people to do what I’m doing - because I can’t say I have “the truth” on this myself.  It’s really F-ed Up what’s going on in our election system.

I would tell people to vote.  However frustrated and hopeless they feel the system is.  Whatever their opinion is.

And I think Americans need to get more active demonstrating publicly - and, if planning this kind of political party break-up - should organize early because the biggest things they have against big money is time and footwork.

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By Salome, August 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“...has a margin for maneuver and action he didn’t have before…”

After the election, thousands and thousands of Americans had Obama’s back, would have done anything he asked.  He threw it away chasing Republican ass, a.k.a bipartisanshit.

It’s pathetic to hear him bleating for people to call, tweet, email their representatives on this or that issue.  When we needed him, he wasn’t there; well, I’m busy now.

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By ardee, August 15, 2011 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

Barack Obama has had enough time in the Oval Office to be judged, not on his mellifluous speeches but on his appointments, his endless concessions to the radical right and his inaction.

I think I have more faith in the American people to hear and understand the truth than does our president. He has faithfully followed the blueprints of George W. Bush in far too many things for me to ever support him or his party.

Not once has Obama stood before the people and explained the lies and distortions of the GOP, not once has he drawn a line in the sand and stood his ground for what he pretends to believe in. Nor has he kept much of his campaign promises either. Guantanamo still in business, rendition still the order of the day. War still raging and far beyond the point when most understand the futility thereof. An administration filled with the very people who have brought this country to its economic peril.

I have voted three times for Ralph Nader, believing his campaign to be the most truthful and his ideas and ideals the best of them all. If the old guy runs again I will vote yet again for him, still believing that ones vote is ones own, and casting mine for the best candidate period. I believe that Barack Obama is not competent to lead this nation where it must go.

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By Reader, August 15, 2011 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is E.J. Dionne a pen name for Eugene Robinson?  Or visa versa?

Anyways, the Republican obstructionist and blue dogs and weak-knee Democrats are a sorry bunch.

The biggest mistake of Obama’s administration, IMO, is health care reform.  That’s where the domino effect really started to tumble.

Still, it’s pretty clear that there’s a vast difference between the intelligence and character of Obama and the Republican candidates. 

If you don’t agree, think back to Al Gore and George Bush, and what might have been.

If you think this is bad, imagine much worse.

Hopefully, by the next election after this one, progressive democrats will have started their own party with a commitment first and foremost, to what kind of campaign financing is accepted by their candidates.  And they better start campaigning and organizing early enough, following Obama’s reelection, in order to overcome the challenges of opponents who are heavily funded by Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Health Insurance, the Military Industrial Complex, and so on.

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By Anahid, August 15, 2011 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss who always escapes “with the best flawed deal he could get”

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By Al, August 15, 2011 at 2:18 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You know an election is around the corner when Democrats trot out the apologists. At this point, I would compare Obama to George McLellan during the Civil War. It doesn’t matter whether the guy is overestimating the enemy or lacks the nerve to fight. He just needs to be replaced. Republicans can put up whatever wing nuts they want in this election because after all, another Obama term won’t be so bad for them. And after the Grand Ayatollah Rick Perry loses to Obama in 2012, somebody like Eric Cantor will seem like a breath of fresh air come 2016.

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By hannabanana, August 15, 2011 at 2:10 pm Link to this comment

“But while progressives wanted the White House to call the right wing’s bluff, Obama insisted that this was not a risk a president could take. He preferred to escape this box with the best flawed deal he could get,...”

And that in sum has been his strategy from the first confrontation with Republican recalcitrance and it is that and mostly that kind of “deal at any cost” capitulation which may very well cause him re-election.

Obama has undone himself and it has been sad to watch.

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By raja1031, August 15, 2011 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Why is Eugene Robinson’s email addresss under an article written by E.J. Dionne?

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By raja1031, August 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I voted for Obama in 2008. It didn’t do any good because I live in AZ and my vote means nothing under the present antiquated electoral system.  This time around I’m voting for Geo Washington.  A dead president with integrity is worth 20 slick talking, do nothing pols of any party.

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By MollyJ, August 15, 2011 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Obama 2012 theme song:

Carole King’s “It’s Too Late, Baby”.

I won’t be voting for him and this convuluted drivel is not likely to convince any one who’s been paying attention to do so.

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By Morpheus, August 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment

Just what we need. More smoke and mirrors.

Memo to America: Stop waiting for Democrats and Republicans to save you. It’s bad
for your health and your future. Can’t you tell?

“WAKE UP PEOPLE!” 
Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( http://www.revolution2.osixs.org )

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By adelante, August 15, 2011 at 11:24 am Link to this comment

I totally disagree with the comments of JDmysticDJ below:

(1)  “Obama did not offer the [health plan] legislation we wanted because he knew what was doable, and what he believed was doable just barely passed in the Senate.”  Wrong.  This was the propaganda line fed to us regarding the lack of a public option in the healthcare debate.  The fact is that Obama cut deals with Big Pharmacy and was in fact committed to a policy of keeping the health insurance companies alive and well.  Obama made sure the panel was stocked with corporate-friendly democrats like Max Bauccus and Kent Conrad and never involved himself in the debate, let alone used the bully pulpit to demand the public option that had wide popular support. 

(2) “Tax cuts for the obscenely rich not being eliminated Is the fault of those who withdrew their support for Obama and the Democrats.”  Wrong.  All Obama had to do was let them expire.  That would have required no congressional support at all.  Instead he made sure that the very tax breaks that he vowed to eliminate were actually extended.  Why?  What did he get in return for doing this? There is no one to blame but Obama for this result.

(3) “Entitlement Programs being on the table is the fault of those who withdrew their support of Obama and the Democrats.”  Wrong.  No one made Obama put Social Security “on the table.”  Even the repugnicans were not demanding it.  Yet Obama took this sacred calf of the New Deal and offered it up for…what exactly did he get in return?  NADA.

Obama at this point has exposed himself as a fraud.  But that is apparently good enough for some people.

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By rbrooks, August 15, 2011 at 11:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Wowsie. The New Old Obama can kiss my ass.

Got a fundraising letter from our hero the other day. I really, really wanted to mark it “Return to Sender” and tape it to a brick, but I decided to stay classy and content myself with tearing it up into small pieces and mailing THEM back.

I wouldn’t have another vote for this fraud on my conscience. I’ll write in Bernie Sanders.

It’s amazing, isn’t it. I couldn’t listen to Bush I or II - just the grating sound of their voices made me leap for the mute button. Obama is worse. His oily, patronizing, seizure-producing voice is WORSE. I wouldn’t have believed it possible.

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By George, August 15, 2011 at 11:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A challenge for JDmysticDJ who wrote “This constant denial of dichotomy between the two Political Parties can only be attributed to irrationality or a gross ignorance of political reality.’

Educate me please JDmysticDJ. Name ten policies on which Obama has differed substantially from the Republicans in deed, not merely rhetoric.

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By werdy, August 15, 2011 at 10:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama is about to break free from his master’s chains, that is, break ties with his sponsors from wall street? Wake up!

Whoever holds the presidential office, bush, bachman or obama, represents the richest 1 percent. Now that’s a fact. You can dream up otherwise but why would you.

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By Samson, August 15, 2011 at 10:13 am Link to this comment

Lovely, the Democrats have become such Republicans
that they use the Republican line of telling everyone
that doesn’t like their warmongering corporate
cleptocracy to get the heck out of the country.

The answer is a grass roots campaign independent of
the Democrats.  People power can counter money power. 
We’ve seen it around the world in the last year.

Of course, the Democrats hate this option and won’t
mention it, and instead try to create the myth that
the only two options are to support their wars around
the world and their rule by corporate America or to
leave the country.

Lafayette’s comment could have been written by any
Bush-backer during his reign.  Certainly catches the
essence of the Bush years.  The fact that money
should rule everything.  The sneering attack that
anyone who disagrees should shut up, and if they
can’t then they should leave the country.  Welcome to
BushObamaLand in all its glory.

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By FRTothus, August 15, 2011 at 10:10 am Link to this comment

>>“Now, the censure is reinforced by terrible tidings from the outside in the form of wildly swinging stock markets, persistent unemployment and divisions in the nation’s capital…”<<

Maybe it’s not a typo that capitol was spelled capital.  It’s not a mystery for whom the government works, after all.  Seems to me that “capital” is not divided in the least.  They support their front-man Obama, the smiling face that disguises the mailed fist and the iron heel, that gives away what the Aristocrats used to have to fight the populists for.

“The Republican and Democratic parties are alike capitalist parties — differing only in being committed to different sets of capitalist interests — they have the same principles under varying colors, are equally corrupt and are one in their subservience to capital and their hostility to labor.”

“It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.”
(Eugene V. Debs)

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By Samson, August 15, 2011 at 10:00 am Link to this comment

One bit of American political humor is watching how
the description of the Presidency takes on two polar
opposite values.

One pole is that the Presidency is an all-powerful
imperial office.

The other pole is that the Presidency is an impotent
office that’s little more than a figure head.

During the Bush years, it was an imperial Presidency
so mighty and all-powerful that Dick Cheney was a
threat to world peace and all that was good and just
in the world.  Amazingly, even the Vice President’s
office was extraordinarily powerful.

During the Obama years, the President is an impotent
figure head who can’t get anyone in his own party to
do anything he wants, and who can’t even control his
staff.  Everything is the fault of evil forces that
Obama can’t control, or the fault of his team/staff
that keeps the President locked in the closet of the
Oval Office and apparently only brings him out for
photo ops.

What’s really fun is watching both polar opposites
align and appear in the same political message, such
as in ........  “its not Obama’s fault because the
President is so weak he can’t control Congress or his
own staff, but we have to re-elect Obama because we
can’t let the Republicans get control of the powerful
office of the President again”.

I guess what’s really amazing is that people fall for
this BS.

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By Margaret T. Currey, August 15, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In the second term (lame duck) this president will take more risks because he has nothing to lose being the last four years, and I will not take the risk and vote for what the republicians have to offer.

The thing to remember is Obama does not completely control the budget, congress has to start the thing rolling and the uniformed Tea Party think congress is a “my way or the highway thing, someone should tell them compromise is the “name of the game”, so the only thing is to vote them out of office.

There always will be the fight over who controls government congress or the executive branch and right now the third branch thinks that corporations are people.

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By Marian Griffith, August 15, 2011 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@inherit the wind
—-I’ve said this many, many times here in the last months: Obama should have threatened the TeaParty with a total cutoff of funds to their districts and states if we defaulted.—-

Assuming the president even has the power to do that, what do you think the result would have been?
It would have kicked off a shitstorm of epic proportions. Nothing as pleasant like poo hitting a fan, more like the annual production of shit hitting a hurricane.
The whole point of that ill-conceived debt ceiling debate was to gridlock Obama’s government until the next election (why do you think the republican ‘compromise’ had a reprsie every 4 or 5 months?). The republicans and their tea party madmen would have fallen on an action like this like piranas on a dead horse fresh in the water. It would have haunted him and the democrat party till the year 20000 and there almost certainly would have been impeachment procedures and ‘Obama is a tyrant’ and ‘Democrats take your rights away’ slogans to terrify the simpleminded majority into voting republican until kingdom come. You do not give the fringe lunatics and the obsessed the ammunition like that to use against you.

But the boo sayers here and elsewhere can rest assured in their hatred for ‘the great betrayer of impossible dreams’. It will take a minor miracle for Obama to be re-elected and chances are the next president will be either Perry or the Romney/Bachman team. And wouldn’t that be wonderful news for the country and the rest of the world.

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By Lafayette, August 15, 2011 at 9:52 am Link to this comment

Sam: ... he’s spending time every day “dialing for dollars”  to the corporate bosses he’s been so faithfully serving ever since the last time he conned people into voting for him.

And so would you.

Money is a verb not a noun. How do you think politicians get elected - by means of the nickels and dimes the grass-root voters give them? The last presidential election cost half a billion dollars.

What planet do you live on? You don’t like the political system, change it or immigrate.

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By Samson, August 15, 2011 at 9:46 am Link to this comment

Its a good thing that we had Obama in the White House
to exercise his veto power to keep the Republican
crazies who only control one half of Congress from
forcing their agenda on the rest of us.  Fortunately,
we had those two famous bulwarks of populism, a
Democratic Senate and the Obama White House, to shield
us from Republican craziness. </end sarcasm>

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By Samson, August 15, 2011 at 9:37 am Link to this comment

I love the propagandists who try to say its all the
fault of “Obama’s team”, and not the fault of their
great leader who is of course blameless.

Wake up to a few facts.  Obama picked his team. 
Obama’s team is the people Obama hand-picked to work
with him.

Obama is the leader of ‘his team’.  Does one really
imagine that if Obama says he wants something done
that his team won’t jump to get it done?  Or that if
Obama’s “team” is doing something that Obama doesn’t
like that Obama can’t put a quick stop to it?

What you are seeing is propaganda techniques.  Keep
the Obama personality cult alive by shifting all
blame to this mysterious “Obama’s team” that somehow
is the blame for Obama declaring war on the world and
serving corporate donors 24/7 while the Obama from
the 2008 election sits impotently in the Oval Office
unable even to call a staff meeting.

What a bizarre line of argument.  Mixed of course
with the typical Democrat “politics of fear”
approach.  Even though there was basically no change
at all from the Bush admin to the Obama admin, we are
supposed to be deathly afraid of a return of a
Republican admin.  Yet, surely by now its obvious
that whether you elect Obama or a Republican then
there won’t be any change at all. 

Remember, the Republicans lie to their base just like
the Democrats lie to their base.  If a Republican is
elected, what you’ll get to read is stories a year
later about Republican activists who are disappointed
that their candidate didn’t bring the change he
promised, and that somehow the bankers and the
generals are still running things in Washington and
making the rest of us pay for it.

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By George, August 15, 2011 at 9:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So bad ass Obama reappears and fights and he wins reelection. And then we get a fourth term for Bush. Screw that. I’m not voting for him again. Here’s why: I’m on Social Security and Medicare. Whoever wins in 2012 is going to demand cuts in those two programs. If it’s Obama the Democrats will join the Republicans in gutting those two programs. If it’s a Republican President maybe the Democrats will fight the cuts-maybe.

On other issues I care about: evisceration of civil liberties, wars and war crimes, immigration, the environment, regulation of the banking and oil industries, Obama is no better than a Republican.

And Mr Dionne, I am so sick of you so called liberal Obama apologists.

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By MK77, August 15, 2011 at 9:33 am Link to this comment

David Byron: “As for boycotting elections—Americans have been doing that for decades now or didn’t you notice?”

I’ve noticed. Only 1 in 3 Americans votes in off-year elections and only about half vote in presidential elections.

But this abstention is not the same thing as a boycott. A boycott would be an explicit disavowal of voting—a public protest against the lack of choice in the system and the whole simulacrum of elections.

There are many reasons people don’t vote. For some it’s a principled act of dissent. For others—possibly most people in America—it’s simply a matter of not caring at all about politics. A boycott would spell out the reasons for non-participation and cast shame on the existing process.

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By weylguy, August 15, 2011 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

The article was written by E.J. Dionne but has Eugene Robinson’s email address posted at the bottom. Hey, I’d dilute responsibility for this article, too.

The Republican right wing is a bunch of terrorists, and Obama has decided that he would rather negotiate with terrorists than call their bluff. Obama’s latest negotiation gave the terrorists 98% of what they wanted. This is why you don’t negotiate with them—it only encourages further outrageous demands. Now they’re more energized than ever.

“Taking back our government,” “The socialist in the White House” and “Repeal ObamaCare” are all euphemisms for “There’s a goddamned nigger running the country.” Obama thinks he can negotiate with this kind of racism, but he’s wrong. They’ll win every time because Obama cannot bring himself to be cast as an angry black man. He’d rather utterly betray his base than cross swords with 20% of the populace, which are totally insane.

The scary default debacle is over, you say, and now we can expect a lean, mean President Obama? Forget it.

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By Samson, August 15, 2011 at 9:27 am Link to this comment

Power belongs to the people.  If you boycott the
elections, you are just giving your slice of that
power to the people who do participate.

If you back a corporate Democrat who takes and serves
corporate money and not you, then you just gave your
slice of that power to the corporations that bought
the corporate Democrat.

The solution is to participate in the elections by
backing a candidate that’s on your side.  Most
likely, this will be the broke candidate.  It most
certainly will not be the candidate with millions of
corporate dollars in their accounts.

Right now the American system only represents the
rich and powerful between elections.  That will
continue to be the case until people start to
participate in elections AND do so by backing
candidates that will represent them and not their
corporate donors.

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By JDmysticDJ, August 15, 2011 at 9:26 am Link to this comment

Any article that mentions Obama, or comments about Obama’s performance will bring out the vehement “Boo Birds.” The fact that Obama continuously has been” thrown for a loss” says more about the weakness of his team and the unified efforts of the team that opposes him than it does about Obama.

People from the Left such as me know that the best that can be said about Obama and the Democrats is that they are a bulwark against the worst excesses of the Right. Yes Obama and the Democrats leave a great deal to be desired, to say the least, but what is it the “Boo Birds” desire, a further move to the Right? Counter productive irrational exaggerations of Obama’s perfidy can only serve the end of returning the Right to power once again. I believe that Mitt Romney would be every bit as bad a President as was George W. Bush and that the current crop of Republican candidates are even more frightening to behold than Mitt Romney.

Regarding Health Care Legislation, Obama did not offer the legislation we wanted because he knew what was doable, and what he believed was doable just barely passed in the Senate. The Mid-Term elections put Obama and the Democrats deeper in the hole, and those who withdrew their support from Obama and the Democrats during the Mid-Terms should hold themselves responsible for the difficulties we now find ourselves in. Tax cuts for the obscenely rich not being eliminated Is the fault of those who withdrew their support for Obama and the Democrats. Entitlement Programs being on the table is the fault of those who withdrew their support of Obama and the Democrats. In order to stop the further shift to the Right in our politics we should be working to re-elect Obama and to give him sizable majorities in the Congress, not trying to destroy our only protection against right-wing lunacy.

The sad fact is that as bad as Obama’s Foreign Policy and National Security objectives have been they would only become more insane under the guidance of Republicans.

Personally, and against the conventional wisdom, I don’t believe that a more progressive challenger to Obama in the Democratic primaries, would serve the interests of the Right, I believe such a challenge would bring the issues to light, further point out the insanity of right-wing policies, and should Obama prevail, he would prevail by being pulled back to the Left.

Be that as it may, the most important thing now, and for our future, and for the future of the world is that Republicans not achieve power and dominance once again.

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By Samson, August 15, 2011 at 9:22 am Link to this comment

Duh, anyone who can read a calendar could have
predicted this.  The lying, fake Obama of the 2008
elections was always due to reappear just in time for
the 2012 elections.

How long can people keep falling for the same old
con-game.  Democrats like Obama get huge money from
wall street and corporate contributors.  Then they
run campaigns where they claim they’ll fight for the
people against the very people who finance their
campaigns.  Then, not at all surprisingly, this turns
out to be a lie as the Democrats take office and
faithfully serve the people who gave them the money
to get elected.

Just remember this. At the same time Obama is
reinventing himself back to the ‘old Obama’ in
public, he’s spending time every day “dialing for
dollars”  to the corporate bosses he’s been so
faithfully serving ever since the last time he conned
people into voting for him.

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By DavidByron, August 15, 2011 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

I don’t think anyone can be that dumb so the conclusion must be that the author is willfully lying here to try and bolster support for Obama.  A pretty typical position among the Veal Pen Democrats.  Article is a pack of lies from one end to the other.

As for boycotting elections—Americans have been doing that for decades now or didn’t you notice?  Is there any “democracy’ with a lower turn out?  In some countries the election turn out of the US would lead to automatic new elections with new candidates due to the voter disinterest.

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By DavidByron, August 15, 2011 at 8:57 am Link to this comment

Is this guy (1) utterly clueless, or (2) flat out lying?

“Make no mistake: The administration was petrified that conservatives in Congress really would push the country over the cliff in the debt-ceiling fight.”

Nobody sane believed that for one second.

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By camustranger, August 15, 2011 at 8:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

‘MAKE NO MISTAKE: The administration was PETRIFIED that conservatives in Congress really would push the country over the cliff in the debt-ceiling fight.’ Thank you, EJ. Here I was thinking all gloomily like that the administration really didn’t give a dime about me, YOU, and the rest of us. Good that you’re here to remind me that it isn’t as heartless as its record would suggest.

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By MK77, August 15, 2011 at 8:16 am Link to this comment

What this country needs, possibly more than anything now, is a boycott of its national elections—a statement from various civic leaders to the rest of the world that American electoral politics is an utter sham, a media-concocted pseudo-event in which the outcome is always decided in advance.

Has the intelligence of the average citizen evolved to the point where such a boycott is a serious possibility? No, I’m afraid it has not.

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By Lafayette, August 15, 2011 at 8:06 am Link to this comment

ITW: Obama should have threatened the TeaParty with a total cutoff of funds to their districts and states if we defaulted.

The Crazies would have called his bluff and the default would have been declared. Next year, he’d assume the blame for the percentage increases in All The Credit you use to purchase - which is enormous in our credit-driven economy.

How would that outcome be better for the American people?

This sort of comment above is ill-placed bravado. You cannot negotiate with Crazies, which is why they are called Crazies. So, Obama looked for a solution that kicks-the-can down the road.

But before we get to it again, either the American people in next year’s elections select correctly their representatives in Congress or, when we come across that can once again, it will prove to be an IED.

Kick it at your peril. You don’t fool around with debt when you have it up to your gills.

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By A bird in the hand, August 15, 2011 at 7:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Must be time to crank up the NOBAMA marketing facade in a vain attempt to suck everyone back into his line of BS..He is not real..Just another talking head in a long line of corporate figureheads and puppet of the DOD.. And this site and others can stop promoting this guy anytime now..

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By Hendrik Van den Berg, August 15, 2011 at 7:34 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We now know that the “old Obama” was a liar and a fraud, chosen to fool the left into going along with the corporate agenda. 

Real Democrats should be lining up a candidate to oppose another four years of Obama deception.  Take your choice, Democrats, field a real candidate or progressives stay home on election day.

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By maruata, August 15, 2011 at 7:08 am Link to this comment

“The president’s loyalists still have faith in him and still love to criticize media
narratives they think underestimate him.”

Mr. Dionne has defined himself here.

Obama needs no redefining, he is simply an eloquent liar.

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By Traditional American Democrat, August 15, 2011 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Obama’s aides say he understood liberal anger over the Republicans’
irresponsibility”: This is what Obama’s aides think?! Liberals are ‘angry’ over
Republicans? Please.

Though they may believe otherwise, Obamas aides aren’t all powerful. But, they act
like they think we’re feeble minded and treat us like we’re half wits.

For the record, let’s repeat ‘the record’:

a. Obama did not support us on debt and fair taxes: Washington Post-ABC poll
Washington Post-ABC poll, Spring 2011: 72 percent supported raising taxes on
the rich including 68 percent of Independen­ts and 54 percent of Republicans.
Obama twice ‘bargained­’ to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and will soon
extend the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy a third time.

b. Obama did not support us on TARP & Financial Bailout: Over 70% of us opposed
the bailout. Obama accelerate­d it with Geithner and Bernanke - both Bush
carryovers embraced by Obama. Geithner is soon to receive his ‘bailout’ from the
financial sector (as he soon ‘retires’ from the Obama administra­tion).

c. Obama did not support us on Health Care: 72% of us supported “a government­­
administe­red insurance plan - something like Medicare for those under 65—that
would compete for customers with private insurers.” Supporting Max Baucus,
Obama blocked hearings on single payer and chocked off true health care reform.
Instead he supported a private-sector, for-profit health insurance ‘reform’ that
provided insurance companies fabulous guaranteed profits.

d. Obama did not support us on Afghanistan: 64% of us opposed expanding the
war in Afghanistan and wanted to disentangle from Bush-era ‘War on Terror’ and
‘preventive war’ policies. Today, still over 60% of Americans oppose the war.
Obama continues it.

These are just a few of the things Liberals are angry over.

Because “Obama’s aides” refuse to believe this and continue to treat the
Democratic base like it’s stupid, Obama and his aides are trapped in their own
time warp.

It’s 2011 and we’ve watched Obama for three years; it’s not 2008, when people
just look at Obama and ‘fill in the blanks’. It’s way past the time when Obama
and/or his aides can define what the public thinks by telling us what we think.

Here: Let me try telling the aides what at least one of “we” liberals think:

“We” think Obama was handed a ‘bad situation’. The ‘bad situation’ was the perfect
time to exercise leadership and move the nation away from long-standing
Republican and newly fashioned Bush-era policies and to more traditional and
more enlightened policies.

As the public polls indicated, America was primed to (a) be led, (b) to follow and
(c) to move forward and implement new policies.

Under Obama we went backward. (Why? He ‘did not lead’. He did he not really
represent ‘change’? He was co-opted by [fill in the blank].  Who knows. Who cares.
Leave it to Oprah to figure out. The point is by squandering a huge opportunity,
under his watch, the nation went backward.)

Judging by the views of Obama’s aides, Obama believes he’s made no mistakes.
But liberals are angry - and we acknowledge a big mistake: having supported
Obama for the Presidency.

As I’ve said before: In 2012, I’d rather “waste” my traditionally Democratic vote on
a third party, than waste it on Obama and the current crop of nominal Democrats.

We’ve seen Obama for three years. If Obama and his aides seriously believe people
are angry at Republicans for being obstructionists, it is time for Obama and his
aides to ‘move-on’. Good riddance.

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By Lafayette, August 15, 2011 at 6:40 am Link to this comment

B-I-A-B

WMW: These remarks, from a 2007 campaign speech called Taking our Government Back, are consistent with his repeated themes of hope and change; they are also completely at odds with the present-day reality of his administration.

You are picking up on campaign rhetoric from 2007 to blame Obama because he did not come across with his rhetorical promises?  That’s foolishness personified.  I can make the same accusation of any candidate since elections were the foundational principle of a democratic nation.

We are all disappointed with “his” performance. But not a one of us would have done better and most of us – you included – could have done worse. Much as we don’t blame the messenger for the catastrophe announced, in a tripartite system of government we cannot single out any one branch for failure.

The system of checks and balances is complex. If we don’t like it, we can always chuck it and bring in a dictatorship. Plenty of nations are trying to get rid of them, so dictators are in fairly large supply.

Besides, all of this spite would be anecdotal were unemployment at 5%. There are 14M unemployed in this nation, which makes for a lot of bitterness from a people who got used to the Good Life – that ain’t comin’ back.

Dontcha jus luv bitchin’-in-a-blog? I do …. ;^)

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By Inherit The Wind, August 15, 2011 at 6:36 am Link to this comment

Make no mistake: The administration was petrified that conservatives in Congress really would push the country over the cliff in the debt-ceiling fight. GOP leaders may have realized the dangers involved, but Obama worried that if he miscalculated, House Republicans might not muster a majority to prevent the worst from happening.
***********

This is the one truly revealing statement.  We all suspected this, but EJ’s insider connections confirm it. McConnell, Boehner and Cantor all knew it as well.

The one who controls the relationship is the one who has less to lose.

I’ve said this many, many times here in the last months: Obama should have threatened the TeaParty with a total cutoff of funds to their districts and states if we defaulted.

“If you are the ones sinking the ship, don’t expect there to be a seat in the lifeboats for you and the ones who sent you here to sink it!”

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By Paul, August 15, 2011 at 6:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well, of course. It’s election season and the bullshit must fly again! We were fooled
the first time. Many of us won’t be this time though. GOP or Dems…it doesn’t
matter. The system is completely corrupt and rigged in favor of the corporations,
the banks, and the wealthy. The idea that “your vote counts” is being found to be
just a comfortable illusion foisted on the public by the entrenched two-party
politicians. Your vote will only count when you are able to vote for a candidate
who is not owned by the corporations or isn’t who isn’t a whore of the lobbyists.
Sadly, it turns out Obama is both of these.

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By wanked, August 15, 2011 at 6:01 am Link to this comment

He’s the same as he ever was…a self absorbed liar.

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By aacme88, August 15, 2011 at 5:26 am Link to this comment

Of course he’s going back to the 2008 Obama. It’s campaign time again!

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, August 15, 2011 at 5:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Some folks want to play political games.”  It’s always somebody else.  Obama is trying to gut social security and medicare while posing as the one who wants to save them.  That’s not a political game?  What is surprising is that so many people haven’t yet learned that, as Dennis Kucinich said the other day, “The president isn’t weak, he’s stubborn.”  Kucinich had to remind the interviewer that it was Obama who put social security and medicare on the table during the debt ceiling fiasco, not the republicans.  Obama’s political game is to pose as “the only adult in the room” by giving away the store without a fight.  Then he can go on the campaign trail and say he was willing to “take heat” from his own party in order “to get things done.”
The things he gets done are the things he wanted to do all along, namely, to get rid of entitlements.
He always said Reagan was his hero.

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By Valerie Long Tweedie, August 15, 2011 at 4:37 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It will be interesting to watch and see how this all plays out. No one I know, who worked for Obama and supported him can stand him anymore. Some will vote for him as the Lesser of Two Evils, but many, like me, will not. I don’t see how Obama can get anyone to believe his speeches and promises. He has proven himself to be a liar who colludes with the very same people he promised to fight. Whether or not Obama can get his speech giving mojo back is irrelevant. His adoring public is on to him and his record speaks for itself.

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By smdahl, August 15, 2011 at 4:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Time to wake up people…Obama was never a democrat; just an opportunist willing
to do anything form power.

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By Dr Bones, August 15, 2011 at 2:23 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Time to grow up.  Unless you’re on Wall Street with lots of tax sheltered funds for his campaign, or a mega global corporation,  Mr. O just doesn’t give a hoot about you.  Sorry your beliefs are so fragile that you need to pretend Mr. O agrees with you.  He isn’t Jesus, just another bamboozling politician, that tells you whatever he think you want to hear, so you’ll throw your vote away on him.

As he chief of staff clearly stated, you’re just f-ing retarded liberal!  That’s how much Mr. O loves you.

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By Marian Griffith, August 15, 2011 at 1:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am thinking that Obama is talking to the kind of power brokers for the rich and mega rich right now, explaining to them in no uncertain terms that the republican party seems intent on self destruction by electing Michelle Backman, or somebody equally fundamentalist who will destroy the economy out of a misguided sense of idealism.
People, especially the type of people who manage to amass billions of dollars are guided only by self-interest, and the best anybody can do is to turn that into enlightened self-interest.

The fanatics may believe that they can stick up their middle finger to the rest of the world and have a response of ‘thank you’, or that they can pull a blanket over the country and ignore the big bad outside world, but the mega rich know what a default would do to the economy, or a removal of all social programs (they are greedy and selfish, not moronic), or even an attempt at isolating the USA from the rest of the world.
At the best they will be facing protests London style, but it might just as easily turn into protests Tahrir square style. They have seen the same news footage as we did (and probably more, seeing they are not limiting themselves to only what the American news is showing). Obama just might be able to convince them that they need to give him the funds to get re-elected and to put enough pressure on the republican party to give him enough room for meaningful change, instead of the destructive course they have set themselves and the country on.
After all, to a large extent the country is in this position because the insurance companies were looking only at the short term loss and created the tea party to obstruct Obama’s health care reform plans. Now that has almost blown up in their faces they, and other companies, just might be willing to listen to reason and work with the changes to give themselves a more viable long term future.
Mind, I am not holding out much hope. Not just because the democrat party does not have enough vision to pursue this course of action, but also because as a country the USA has a long tradition of arming fanatics to fight an immediate enemy of their interests only to be surprised when said fanatics turn around and start shooting at them too (e.g. the Taleban were a CIA product, as was the Pakistani IRI). Why would companies be any smarter?

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By Lafayette, August 15, 2011 at 1:56 am Link to this comment

GLUED IN GRIDLOCK

ED: ... divisions in the nation’s capital so deep that they make the period around President Bill Clinton’s impeachment look like an era of good feelings.

We can only hope this continues when the rubber hits the road in next year’s elections.

America, that is, Americans, have a tough choice to make. Shall taxation continue to coddle the rich, whilst the Crazies focus dogmatically upon “entitlement change”?

If not, then we can kiss good-by forever to any Stimulus Spending that could help put America back to work.

BY THE NUMBERS

from the Bureau of Labor Statistics -
Civilian non-institutional population: 239,671
*Civilian labor force: 153,228 (those who ordinarily work for a living)
**Participation rate: 63.9
**Employed: 139,296
***Employment-population ratio: 58.1
**Unemployed: 13,931
***Unemployment rate: 9.1
*Not in labor force:  86,443
**Persons who currently want a job: 6575

We have a Civilian Labor Force of 153M people. Of that, 139M are employed, giving rise to 9.1% unemployment. Full employment means adding 14M jobs, but we have never achieved Zero Unemployment. We should content ourselves with 5% unemployment – meaning we need to add 7.6M jobs to get to that level.

This target is well within the range of Stimulus Spending – particularly if spent on national infrastructure.

BEYOND THE NATIONAL BUDGET

But beyond that immediate need to change fundamentally National Budget priorities in Congress (and particularly the HofR), is a need to reform American elections. That’s not so easy, because our political parties have worked the system as it is, so they will not want to change it.

They will not want corporate donations to be altered, because they have become dependable sources of donations. They may not give a damn about gerrymandering that encrusts American politics within a two-party system (wholly dependent upon “dependable sources of donations”). In fact, they have put up with it for over a hundred years since it was “innovated” in the 19th century.

MY POINT

We may all think that these matters are small beans. But they go to the heart of our disgust with the present set-up.  We, the sheeple, need ways to influence political parties far more effective than bitching-in-a-blog.

We must change a dysfunctional electoral process.

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By Textynn, August 14, 2011 at 11:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Obama gave away the farm during his first term with the
second term still looming. He is nothing but a Wall
Street tool Republican in sheep’s clothing.  I fear his
Lame Duck session like no other.  He won’t be getting
my vote.  He has hurt me and my family even more than
the half wit. I voting third party , nothing to lose,
either way the Repubs will win if I don’t try.

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By david451, August 14, 2011 at 10:15 pm Link to this comment

Obama’s failures are all the more spectacular in the context of his sweeping campaign rhetoric.  And candidate Obama was quite clear about what he would do:

- “We need a President who sees government not as a tool to enrich well-connected friends and high-priced lobbyists, but as the defender of fairness and opportunity for every American;
- We cannot settle for a second Gilded Age in America.  And yet we find ourselves once more in the midst of a new economy where more wealth is in danger of falling into fewer hands; where the average CEO now earns more in one day than an average worker earns in an entire year;
- It’s time we had a President who tells the drug companies and the oil companies and the insurance industry that while they get a seat at the table in Washington, they don’t get to buy every chair;
- I know that in every campaign, politicians make promises about cleaning up Washington.  So it’s easy to become cynical.  I know that for me, reform isn’t just the rhetoric of a campaign; it’s been a cause of my career;
- As a candidate for President, I’ve tried to lead by example, turning down all contributions from federal lobbyists and the political action committees that the special interests use to pass out campaign money;
- We will return government to the people by bringing government to the people—by making it open and transparent so that anyone can see that our business is the people’s business;
- It’s time to renew a people’s politics in this country—to ensure that the hopes and concerns of average Americans speak louder in Washington than the hallway whispers of high-priced lobbyists;
- Early in his presidency, Teddy Roosevelt gave a famous speech before farmers and factory workers that laid out his vision of what government at its best should be. He said, “The welfare of each of us is dependent fundamentally upon the welfare of all of us, and therefore in public life, that man is the best
representative…whose endeavor it is not to represent any special class or interest, but to represent all…by working for our common country.”  It’s time to get to work once more for our common country.  It’s time we had a politics that reflected that commitment.”

These remarks, from a 2007 campaign speech called Taking our Government Back, are consistent with his repeated themes of hope and change; they are also completely at odds with the present-day reality of his administration.  Of all the statements above—and all should now make Obama wince in shame—
the last is particularly disheartening.  At no point since his election has Obama “laid out his vision of what government at its best should be”, much less has he defended it. 

The audacity of hope, the fierce urgency of now, Yes We Can, Change We Can Believe In—these phrases have long-since been sacrificed on the alter of expediency.  Worse still, they have become gag lines, joining other fan-favorites like “read my lips”.  Or, perhaps Matt Taibbi got it right when he asked, following the debt ceiling capitulation, “Is it possible that by ‘surrendering’ at the 11th hour and signing off on a deal that presages deep cuts in spending for the middle class, but avoids tax increases for the rich, Obama was doing exactly what was expected of him?”

Obama should be forced to watch a video mash-up of his campaign rhetoric.  If for no other reason than to remind him how Candidate Obama differs from President Obama.

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By joentokyo, August 14, 2011 at 9:57 pm Link to this comment

To the editor:

Why is Eugene Robinson’s email address at the bottom of Mr. Dionne’s commentary?

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By joentokyo, August 14, 2011 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

In the words of the great Carole King:

And it’s too late baby, now it’s too late
Though we really did try to make it
Something inside has died
and I can’t hide it
And I just can’t fake it.

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By ocjim, August 14, 2011 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

Exactly what is left for Obama? There is no way he can negotiate anything of importance with the miscreant Republican House. He has already given away the farm. There is nothing else to give. The only thing he can offer now is rhetoric and that is getting extremely old. I would choose Obama over any Republican because any Republican is reprehensible compared to Obama, the wimp.

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By mrfreeze, August 14, 2011 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment

Copeland, thanks so much for your well-thought-out, articulate comment. I’m afraid I could only come up with a more visceral post. I’m tired of BO’s total lack of spine. WTF will it take for him to understand that his opponents in Congress will never rest until they have destroyed him, our politics, our international reputation, our economy and, ultimately us?

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By john crandell, August 14, 2011 at 9:25 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm..

I’m wondering who Rick Perry will ask to give the invocation at the inaugural, seventeen months from now…

Wasn’t that glorious? The dude hadn’t even been sworn in and he went and threw a bucket full of shit in our faces.

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By Copeland, August 14, 2011 at 9:22 pm Link to this comment

There are no rhetorical solutions for this country’s problems. Obama is not
going to talk his way out of the political morass he has created; and he is not
Harry Truman and cannot become like Truman. He can arch his voice; his
speech can rise up into that higher pitch we have become used to. But what
significance belongs to anything he can say? Wasn’t it Obama who pushed
Bush’s Big Brother state to its present stage? And wasn’t it the president who
pushed covert war and special ops all over the globe? He laid Social Security and
the rest of the social safety into the debt default bargain, not because negotiations with republicans demanded it; but because it was his own initiative.

This president is dishonest, and he misrepresents his intentions. He can’t be trusted with another term of office.

Dionne’s description of him is not half accurate. Obama is not so much
“conflict-averse”  as he is risk-averse. And he is not risk-averse because he is
weak or timid; on the contrary, he is as Kucinich recently described him,
stubborn and inflexible. Obama saw the problem as long ago as December; the
leverage the republicans were bound to use was brought to his attention by a
reporter. Obama’s “competitiveness” is keenly focused on his legacy and the
rewards he will reap when he returns to private life. Obama’s inclinations, where
Wall Street is concerned, are republican inclinations. And it’s been quite painful
for the president’s former supporters and his political constituency to discover
just how republican his inclinations are.

Obama’s passivity begins to look like a mental condition; especially if, after
three years, there is no detectable change on his learning curve. But the
president’s stubborn naive behavior is tediously predictable now; and frankly
it’s no longer a believable performance.

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By mrfreeze, August 14, 2011 at 9:17 pm Link to this comment

Sometimes it’s helpful to go back to literature for insight into our troubled world. I only wish President Obama had committed to memory the 48 Laws of Power (Robert Greene) before he took office. His fatal flaw is embodied in this short proverb from Greene’s book:

“When you meet a swordsman, draw your sword: Don not recite poetry to the one who is not a poet.” (from a “Ch’an Buddhist Classic, Thunder in the Sky)

I find it hard to believe he was so naive as to believe that the members of Congress are not some of the most corrupt, nasty, evil & amoral individuals in modern history. That whole cast of characters was there long before he showed up. He had to know that their evil and human vulgarity knows no limit.

If ever there emerges a candidate who promises to eviscerate the fucking scum-bags running Congress, I will vote for that person. We no longer need a “statesman” to be the executive of this country.

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By david451, August 14, 2011 at 9:13 pm Link to this comment

Mr. Dionne says, “Obama has a margin for maneuver and action he didn’t have before.” Nonsense.

When he won the presidency he had the ultimate margin for maneuver and action, and he didn’t use it then.  So why would he start now?

Its a depressing exercise, but reading his campaign speeches from ‘07 and ‘08 demonstrate the total disconnect between President Obama and Candidate Obama.

It will be deja vu, all over again.

See http://corporateconstraint.blogspot.com for a more detailed commentary.

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By Newt, August 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Obama knows he’s reaching the end of the line on negotiating…”

I don’t believe you. In order to buy this, you would have to show me one…or more! example(s) of him successfully sticking to his guns & telling the Republicans where to shove it. Instead, they’ve (successfully) blocked almost every good plan of his at every turn. I’m over it; for my money, I’m staying home in 2012, he can lose, the Republicans can have 4 more years of ruining the country some more, and then…THEN…maybe we’ll get a Democrat candidate that a) knows how to fight and b) isn’t essentially just espousing Republican plans with minor differences.

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THX 1133 is not in the movie...'s avatar

By THX 1133 is not in the movie..., August 14, 2011 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

Does the old idiom still hold; Fool me once, shame on
you; fool me twice, shame on me…

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By bobthecats, August 14, 2011 at 8:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You are hallucinating.  The old Obama of 2008 will reappear and the supporters
will all return.  Good luck. 

I helped with his campaign, donated money and voted for him.  This time I won’t
even give him the time of day.

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By glider, August 14, 2011 at 8:17 pm Link to this comment

Obama has and deserves no credibility.  He is very fortunate that there is no constitutional mechanism to protect citizens from bait and switch hypocrite presidents.  This sleazeball has played a big part in killing the Democrat Party, which has been dead for some time now.

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By bnerin, August 14, 2011 at 7:55 pm Link to this comment

One lesson we have learned; beware of Obama’s hypnotic speeches.  Rather let’s
just see what he does the next 12 months besides talk.  Is any thinking person not
aware that Big Money controls both Parties.  Where are the arrests and trials for
the criminals on Wall Street.  Lots of silence about that, just for starters.

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By bnerin, August 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment

One lesson we have learned; beware of Obama’s hypnotic speeches.  Rather, let’s just see what he does the next 12 months besides talk.  Is any thinking person not aware that Big Money controls both Parties.  Where are the arrests and trials for the criminals on Wall Street?  Lots of silence about that, just for starters.

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By Alan, August 14, 2011 at 7:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The “competetive” Obama?,  are you flipping nuts?
The only thing that Obama competes in is the
“Yes Massa Games” and he shows and places every damned
time.  We want a Spartacus not a slave!!!

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Robespierre115's avatar

By Robespierre115, August 14, 2011 at 7:38 pm Link to this comment

Dionne is just a complete useful, willing idiot. Of course Obama will try to revive his 2008 RHETORIC for votes in 2012, any college freshman majoring in Political Science could tell you that. Meanwhile Libya still burns and Wall Street toasts all around. Seriously Dionne, go f—k yourself.

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By kerryrose, August 14, 2011 at 7:36 pm Link to this comment

Blah Blah Blah.  Obama is going to be this person or that person the old person the new person Obama is frustrated and will be the old person and the new old person.

Where is any substantial talk about anything?  Who gives a shit who Obama decides to ‘be.’ Is he friggin Hamlet?

What is he going to DO?  Deciding who to ‘be’ is for Obama just erecting the facade again.

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By Manny, August 14, 2011 at 7:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It is far too late for Obama to recover his mojo (if
he ever had it). I have washed my hands of him and
the lily livered democratic party.

He has handed so many wins to the republicans that if
he didn’t hand them a single one between now and
November 2012 he is still way behind.

The American people of been screwed non-stop since GW
took office 2001 and now that Obama has continued the
illicit sex act for 3 more years, the jig is up.

The current political process and economic system is
so rigged as to prevent ANY chance of change from
within.

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By Amex, August 14, 2011 at 7:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

O’bush is a coward at the least and should be primaried away for ever.  At the worst, he is another corporate fascist and a leashed little monkey doing the rulers bidding.  Either way - get him the F$%k out of there!!!!

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