Democrats & Liberals Archives

His Success is Our Success

Eight years ago, I was not a happy camper. I was certain that Bush so tainted his legitimacy with the way he became president that he would join his father in the four-year fraternity. But did I wish him to screw things up? God no. Minor political defeats, mostly symbolic, would have been sufficient. When crisis loomed, when Bush faced challenges, I wanted him to succeed, because unlike Rush Limbaugh, my first loyalties were not to my party.

When 9/11 hit, I hope President Bush would rise to the occasion, manage the crisis, take charge and strike back at those who struck at us. My patience was only strained when it seemed obvious that he had taken his eye off the ball in Afghanistan. But in that case, I wanted him to succeed at eliminating the threat there.

When Colin Powell gave his presentation at the UN, I decided there might be something to the threat, and we needed to confront it. I was perhaps more skeptical at that point, having long been deprived of the hoped-for outcome of seeing Osama Bin Laden's head on a stick. But I didn't see my political differences as outranking my interests in the security of this country. The reason I would later hold this against him so forcefully would be that I would see the failure to be straight with America and straight on the facts as a failure on Bush's part, a failure I would have preferred he would have never committed.

When we went to war, I wanted our soldiers to succeed, for the plan to work, for Bush to have taken care of business. I only came to oppose the continuation of the war after the breakdowns convinced me that things had gone past the point of no return. Even then, my first concern was that this country leave Iraq in the most responsible fashion, leaving the most stable nation behind we could. I did not cheer for a failure to occur, rather, I cursed the day that the Bush Administration failed to properly justify, run, and strategize this war.

As the economic crisis developed, I was not displeased to see the Republicans held accountable, but I wasn't rooting for them to make mistakes. I wasn't rooting for the whole affair to become so corrupted and ineffective. I wished that Bush and the others would have done their absolute best to rise to the occasion.

My political differences were never concentrated into hopes of seeing the other side fail, in realms outside that of an election. I sure advocated for the electoral defeat of those who had failed in thier duties, but I never wished for a failure at those obligations ahead of time. I always hoped, and even yet still hope for all our politicians, regardless of party, to manage their duties and obligations well.

Rush Limbaugh embodies a spirite of politics where the other side is always the cause of problems and their side is always the solution. But most of us have seen both sides fall short, both sides mismanage affairs in Washington. Your real life liberal hardly wants an ineffective government that's out of control. Your real life conservative hardly wants to see limited government become so limited that it fails to serve its people. We all more or less want what's good for the country, and differ on the approaches, methods and configuration of the government necessary to acheive that.

But in a time where we face deep economic problems, and two problematic wars, where we face the acute dilemmas between our security and the rightful limitation of Government powers, simply sitting their arguing about it, each side hamstringing the other side's solutions, is not acceptable. We have to work out a (literally) agreeable compromise that actually works.

Rush Limbaugh sees this as a game, and it is. But it's not only a game, it's our lives. Ever since the Republicans rebounded under Reagan, they've been playing the game, often enough, better than the Democrats. But playing that game well and succeeding in improving those lives are two different things. As we approached 2006, the promises were that the economy would prosper without limit, that the war would be won, that we would defeat the terrorists once and for all. The opposite results came about.

That's what got Republicans kicked out. Not simply a failure to serve the principles of conservatism (which they did not, true enough), but a failure to serve the American people properly. While democracy permits us to kick out and bring in folks for political reasons, The failings of the incumbent and the hopes of people for the candidates ability to do good in that office are often the primary reason for people to vote or not vote for the people in question. The Democrats were not necessarily the political genius we needed to be during the last few elections, with a few notable exceptions. However, the Republicans played into our hands by repeatedly screwing things up, and then lying and spnning to avoid consequences, avoid having their power taken from them.

My preference, ultimately, was for the Republicans to succeed in governing, in fighting the wars, in protecting this country, in upholding the constitution, but gradually losing ground in the political arena as Americans became less sympathetic to their views. What the Republicans did over the Bush Administration's years, was make that kind of gradual change impossible to manage in good conscience. As the failures mounted, what had been simply the casual politics of political preference became for Democrats a fight for the destiny of the country.

The Republicans were screwing up, but at the same time pulling out all the stops politically to maintain their dominance. Winning the political fights ultimately took priority over holding themselves to standards of civility, standards of performance, standards of honesty and openness. And guess who was cheering them on, every step of the way. Rush Limbaugh doesn't berate his people now because they weren't acting like conservatives, he's berating them because they're losing and submitting to Democrats. He said it himself: he wants Liberalism defeated. He doesn't think of Government in terms of the common good, nor does he think of this country as a place where people have to work and play well with others. For a couple generations now, Republicans and pundits like Rush Limbaugh have encouraged a kind of alienation from their political rivals, the better for Republicans to mass together, put up a solid front, and resist all the evils of New Deal Liberalism and all its descendants.

But even as they do this, a reality exists: we are in this together. The President is our airline pilot, and we are in the fuselage behind him. If he crashes and burns, we are not going to be looking out the window waving to him as he goes down, we will be gripping our seats in terror every foot of the way down. As partisans, we will, of course, cheer for the political downfall of our rivals. But the hopes for political failure must take a backseat to a commitment to the practical success of those who govern us. America must come first. Those Republicans who wish our President to succeed wish the country to succeed. Maybe, like me, they have different ideas of what will bring success, or feel that the President is on a path to a failure. Fair enough. But as we compete, as we argue, the first priority must be to shape policy that serves America well, not to win political games, oblivious or even callous to the consequence of those wins.

People want results. Obama will rise and fall on his ability to deliver those results, but the Republican's game should not be to sabotage those results on political grounds. Americans will not tolerate the fate of this country being held hostage to the ambitions of its politicians. Either the Republicans work with the President towards the success of this country, or they will share its failure with everybody else. We don't elect these people to glorify their own causes, but to support America's needs, and shoulder the responsibilities of keeping our country safe, prosperous and free. America must come first, even if that means wishing for the success of the folks in office who would not be our first or even last choice.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 7:01 AM
Comments
Comment #274032

Two great things happened on Tues 1/20/09. Obama was sworn in and our country is already the better for it and I woke up and checked and yes, once again, I am not Rush Limbaugh. It don’t get much better than this.

Posted by: ray at January 22, 2009 8:42 AM
Comment #274036

Stephen,

I heard Limbaugh on the radio yesterday parsing/spinning Obama’s Inauguration speech for his ditto-head audience.

Is it possible that 22 million people (Rush’s claimed listening audience) truly need to have these words translated?

If so we may be even worse off than we think.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 22, 2009 9:08 AM
Comment #274038

I have to say at least Limbaugh was truthful in expressing his opinion and desires for the next few years. Most other conservatives/repubs feel the same way only they hide it. Which is better false respect or true hatred?

The problem is Limbaugh is using this free publicity to bolster his waning audience. He is the past. Talk radio conservatives will eat this up and regurgitate it, while true conservatives will turn their back on this man IMHO. The only question is are there any true conservatives left?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 22, 2009 10:29 AM
Comment #274040

j2t2,

My issue with Limbaugh isn’t his opinion, it’s that he reports his opinions as facts, and brooks no debate on those facts.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 22, 2009 10:48 AM
Comment #274041

Rocky, yes he does attempt to make his opinions statements of fact. That is one reason I stopped listening to him years ago. If he were to allow serious debate on his opinions his show would fall apart as he would not appear so wise to the uninformed that make up the majority of his audience.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 22, 2009 10:58 AM
Comment #274045

I dislike Rush’s opinion, but am resigned to his freedom and free market-afforded opportunities to express them.

That said, I am not resigned to leaving his opinion unchallenged.

I think it is in both Conservatives and Liberal’s best interests not to become apologists for a political party, but activists for responsible, efficient government. Liberals benefit because it proves us right to have government that does its job well. Conservatives benefit because it’s easier to argue for government to stay where it is when one’s needs are fulfilled reasonably well by what already exists. It was easier to argue for laissez faire economics when the economy was on a never-ending climb than it is now.

Republicans must live in a world they share with the rest of us. While it may be advantageous to the political game not to acknowledge common ground, to treat the other side almost like an invading enemy, it’s a poor place to recruit folks on the other side from. We must concede that our views are subjective and persuasion is necessary, that people do have the choice to ignore us and they are entitled to make that their response if they so care to.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 11:39 AM
Comment #274050

I agree if the Obama administration succeeds economically, the country will be better off, obviously. For it to succeed though, it needs to happen fast, tough,and slashing through middlemen and red tape, as well as some of the supporters that have backed his candidacy.

Globalists need to be taken out of the administration and it’s decisions, primarily in their interest for good business by providing opportunities in China, India and Southeast Asia when those are missed or denied in the U.S.

For example, a lot of British and American investors are “jumping ship” to deal exclusively with Chinese banks, and moving to Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai, Mumbai, etc. and effectively taking the money that has always been from the U.S., where they’ve milked success, over to the east. Some might argue, yes, that’s business and the ability to expand your business and they can run it the way they want.

Though there should also be a moral obligation, that wherever you’ve made your fortune, grown your business, should be your duty to protect all the interests (government, community, country, state, city) that have helped or surrounded you.

For example, today this was on the Economics Editor:

Jim Rogers speaks during the first day of the Asian Financial Forum ‘The Changing Face of Asia’ in Hong Kong on 19 January 2009


When asked his advice for a young person growing up in Britain, Jim Rogers, former partner of George Soros and one of the world’s most successful investors, is forthright. “Move to China; learn Chinese.” In an interview with The Independent, Mr Rogers warns that Britain will go bankrupt if the Government continues to follow its present policy of attempting to save the banks through subsidy and nationalisation.

He has sold all his sterling assets and has “no position” in sterling, but Mr Rogers reveals that he had been planning to short-sell sterling in the present financial crisis, before recent disparaging remarks about the pound’s prospects from his own lips had put paid to those plans. “I should have kept my mouth shut.”

Mr Rogers had in mind a repeat of his previous coup, when he and Mr Soros’s Quantum Fund famously “broke” the Bank of England in 1992, when sterling was forced out of the European exchange rate mechanism, costing UK taxpayers $1bn and making Mr Soros and Mr Rogers correspondingly wealthier.

Sterling is at a 10-year low against the dollar, and Mr Rogers is confident that it will fall to below its previous nadirs, though he has “no idea” where that floor may eventually be. His message is blunt: we used to have North Sea oil and the City of London, but now “you don’t have anything to sell… it’s a terrible shame”.

Mr Rogers is still more forthright in his advice to the Prime Minister, who he urges to resign, but not before abolishing the Bank of England. “They are the ones printing all this money,” he said. “Central bankers are not gods or geniuses; why does anyone think they are?”

The US Federal Reserve, Mr Rogers thinks, is also on the road to bankruptcy, and he points out that the US has already had three central banks in its history. Instead, the Singapore-based billionaire urges the UK authorities to take the radical step of allowing the commercial banks to fail. He cites the example of South Korea, Russia and other nations where such financial violence was followed by a renewed burst of growth and prosperity, in a relatively short space of time.

In the overwhelmingly likely event of Mervyn King and Gordon Brown ignoring Mr Rogers’ advice, the “crushing” burden of debt and of taxation to service that debt will bankrupt the UK, “technically or de facto”, with a “terrible” inflation to follow.

A colourful figure, Mr Rogers was born in Alabama and educated at Yale and Oxford. He has made it into Guinness World Records for some of his epic motorcycle journeys. He began collaborating with George Soros in the Seventies and more recently has specialised in commodities. In 2007, at the age of 63, he drew some attention for his decision to move from New York to Singapore, declaring that “moving to Asia now is like moving to New York City in 1907”.

Not all the details, but it essentially serves to underline what, I think, these guys are doing, just hopping from one place to another where they can get rich, influence the places/market to their whims and don’t really care what they leave behind if things go sour.

Posted by: Jon at January 22, 2009 11:54 AM
Comment #274056

Rush Limbaugh is a man. He makes millions of dollars telling people something from a perspective they want to hear. Sometimes that means no more than telling them WHAT they want to hear.

I put very little stock in people. Not in Limbaugh, (whose sources are often very informative) not in Jon’s Mr. Rogers, Not in George Bush, nor even in President Obama. I have learned lessons from very very smart people like Irwin Rommel who, in 1940, deeply admired Adolph Hitler and who, in 1944, was collaborating with the would-be assasination conspiracy detailed in the current movie “Valkyrie”. Putting your full faith in people is akin to putting your full faith in calves made out of gold.

If you want to have discernment in people choose ideals first. Then measure your “heroes” carefully and constantly against them.

The same goes for nations. The Mr. Rogers noted above can’t be very smart if he places his trust in a nation whose governmental ideals, embodied in a Constitution, depart so appallingly from its governmental practice. (Scoffers say what you will. There is no legitimate comparison between the U.S. and China.) His only yardstick of success appears to be money, and as long as he has a lot of it he feels safe in China. ‘Mr. Rogers’ fails the ideals test.

Stephen,

Good article. What you say about “Republicans” and values is, even where it is not true, too close to the truth. If Rush makes his opposition into a four-year hissy fit he may just make it into an eight-year hissy fit all by himself.

May Obama’s presidency be a succes by virtue of our success (as opposed to his having gotten everything he wanted).

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 22, 2009 12:40 PM
Comment #274057

Jon,

It’s just free market…business as usual.

Sun Trust, a large bank of the South, had been in the black until all that ‘free’ money started showing up for Lehman, Citi, AIG et al, and has now suddenly come up half billion in the red.

Greed never changes and has no conscience.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 22, 2009 12:41 PM
Comment #274059

Stephen,

Very good article…thanks for voicing what I’ve been thinking. They called my way of thinking ‘traitorous’, for at least the last five years, when I said we were in Iraq for dishonorable purpose, and thus had placed ourselves in an un-winnable situation. I wonder if they will call Lamebrain, ‘traitorous’? In essence, that is what his blather is…”I want my country to fail”, how much more traitorous can you get without taking up arms?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 22, 2009 12:47 PM
Comment #274061

In that article, Rush says liberalism is the problem. The left says conservatism is the problem.
In 2000, the right wanted the country united behind their President, and the left did and said everything to prevent that from happening. It’s 2008, and now the left wants the country to be united behind their President and their policies, and the right isn’t too keen on that.
What a big surprise.

And the cycle continues.

Posted by: kctim at January 22, 2009 1:05 PM
Comment #274062

Daughtery writes; “Either the Republicans work with the President towards the success of this country, or they will share its failure with everybody else. America must come first, even if that means wishing for the success of the folks in office who would not be our first or even last choice.”

Well said, it would have helped if this same attitude prevailed when Mr. Bush was president. Conservatives will work with PO when we agree with his policies and work hard to defeat those policies with which we disagree. Unlike many on the left who hate those with whom they disagree, I will merely disagree with the message from time to time.

Posted by: Jim M at January 22, 2009 1:06 PM
Comment #274064

I’m not a Limbaugh person sometimes I’ve listened to Glenn beck no choice the wife likes him, At least in my opinion he tries to make a point counter point Limbaugh is in love with himself.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 22, 2009 1:38 PM
Comment #274065

Marysdude-
I wouldn’t call him a traitor. I’d just say there’s something wrong with his logic, something too narrow about his conception of how this country could work. He takes an approach that there is no way, ultimately for this nation to move forward except through the furtherance of his party’s political interests. His people had to win those elections, maintain those majorities, adhere to conservatism, or we were all doomed.

I’d say you have to do better in making the case for that kind of necessity, and to start out, it’s something you have to do on an part by part basis, candidate by candidate, policy by policy. Rush lets his politics blind him, shape his opinions more than facts and realities.

For my part, I’m keen to practice patience, but not apologetics.

kctim-
The great big difference between what I want and what Republicans wanted with their President is that President Obama has earned the respect of many on the other side, and does not engage in the kind of divisive Rovian politics that Bush did.

It is one thing to encourage people to unite with you when your leaders are willing to do outreach, to have some humility. It’s quite another to call for unity and then berate, bombard, and humiliate the people you’re expecting to get on board.

Jim M-
The problem is, the Democrats were willing to work with Bush. Sometimes TOO willing. However, to do that, they were expected to essentially cave in on every issue. No negotiation, no being kept in the loop, no voice the Republicans would listen to. The anger and even hatred stem from that shutting out, and from the Right’s inability to admit its mistakes, admit its excesses. It’s like having an incompetent boss who’s terrible to his subordinates.

I’d just as soon we shed the anger and resentment from that time and be more forgiving. But Republicans and others expecting folks to calm down and become more civil need to keep in mind that they’ve got a lot of fences to mend, after years of what was often a viciously adversarial approach to politics.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 1:39 PM
Comment #274068

kctim,

“In 2000, the right wanted the country united behind their President, and the left did and said everything to prevent that from happening.”

Baloney.

It may have started out that way, but after Sept. 11th, virtually everyone in this country, of both parties, and also around the world united behind Bush. All of us wanted him to succeed, and very few Presidents have enjoyed the approval ratings Bush did at that time.
Then with Iraq, and the mistakes, the Bush arrogance began to appear, and with it the cracks in the facade.
He told us all “I know what I am doing”, even as it became obvious that he didn’t.
I am sorry I don’t agree with your statement above.
Bush’s problems with the folks in this country, no matter what party, were a product of his own making.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at January 22, 2009 1:57 PM
Comment #274070

Stephen
The only difference is that most on the right are willing to give Obama a chance because they respect the office, whereas most on the left do not and were not willing to give Bush any chance at all from day one.

You cannot encourage people to unite if they won’t even listen to you. Before he even took office, the left had made it clear that Bush was not their President and that he did not represent them.

The cycle contintues Stephen. The left has already started with the defending, ignoring and excusing and it won’t be long until the right starts up in full force. If I was you, I would hoping for the right to put be willing to put country first and not be as vindictive, nasty and hateful as the left has been for the past 8 years. Because if they act like the left has, it is going to get real ugly.

Posted by: kctim at January 22, 2009 2:18 PM
Comment #274074

That’s vile .

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 22, 2009 2:35 PM
Comment #274075

Hurry up and finish dying.

Posted by: phx8 at January 22, 2009 2:42 PM
Comment #274076

Vile but sadly expected Rodney.

Posted by: kctim at January 22, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #274077


Kctim, the 2000 election was very controversial. The candidate with the most votes lost. That was not good for democracy and it caused a lot of animosity.

Had we know at the time that the first meetings, in Jan., Feb. and March of 2001, of the Bush National Security Council were all about the invasion of Iraq and the dividing of Iraqs oil reserves between the U. S. oil companies and other nations that got on board with the invasion, the animosity would have been much greater.

911 united most of the people behind Bush and gave him the opportunity he was waiting for to go foward with the invasion of Iraq. Had it not been for 911, Bush’s planned invasion of Iraq would have been a much tougher sell, both here and abroad.

Posted by: jlw at January 22, 2009 2:49 PM
Comment #274078

jlw writes; “…and the dividing of Iraqs oil reserves between the U. S. oil companies and other nations that got on board with the invasion, the animosity would have been much greater.”

Please cite a credible source for this statement. Thanks.

Posted by: Jim M at January 22, 2009 3:02 PM
Comment #274079


Jim M., I’ll give you a Republican source, Paul O’Neal, The first GW Bush Treasury Secretary who was fired for revealing what bush was up to. Look it up, it’s public record now. With just a little effort, you can even find the map of Iraq used by Bush, showing the Iraq oil fields and all the areas that the geologists marked for possible areas of oil exploration. Google Paul O’Neal/Iraq war and look at the evidence for yourself.

Posted by: jlw at January 22, 2009 3:23 PM
Comment #274080

Lee -

I’m not putting stock in Mr. Rogers at all, I’m just saying that attitude of that guy and many many others like him is exactly what’s wrong with business or “business as usual”.

Somewhere along our collective history we separated business from humanity by such a large margin that people essentially “selling out” is normal business practice, because they’re free to do so.

Yes, but if those people say, go into international waters in a yacht, I’m “free” to fly by and drop napalm on them. Dosen’t necessarily mean I would. Or would want to, as it’s (Get ready) IMMORAL AND WRONG.

We have hundreds of thousands of laws in hundreds of countries, yet the “leader” of the free nations (us), cannot stop ambiguous ways of money laundering, which the business of these investors who flock overseas boils down to.

Posted by: Jon at January 22, 2009 3:30 PM
Comment #274082

kctim-
Bush employed strong-arm tactics and disrespect for those who didn’t vote for him from the start. His political advisor specialized in divisive tactics; Rove’s name became a byword for expedient, merciless, wedge-issue focused tactics employed with few scruples about honesty or civility. Obama enjoys his current approval ratings and support of overwhelming majorities because his tactics have been geared towards connecting with people, rather than turning them against each other.

Rove’s tactics and Obama’s differ greatly. Bush could talk about unity, but Obama acheived it.

nomas-
Obama never made excuses for his performance on account of his race, and nobody makes them for him. He fought and won the race based on his policy prescriptions and his unshakeable calm and collected personality.

You talk of power going to his people, which seems an interesting way of talking about it, since Obama is of mixed race. I guess you subscribe to the one-drop theory of race, which ranks right up there with the biological theory of race in terms of its credibility.

If we have something to regret about the Obama administration, it will not be because Obama is black, it will be because he screwed up. Obama was elected in no small part because he did better than the people he was competing against, who were all white, as I recall.

Last of A dying Breed-
Interesting that you employ the term breed. Location overrules skin color in genetic similarity. A North African black has more in common with a Sicilian than he or she has with a South African.

Obama brings hope because he seems to have all the qualities of leadership that have been lacking, an even temper, a listening ear, an astute mind, and a genuine gift for communication and organization.

As for whether a person will find another person in their job over time? Well, inevitably, somebody’s going to see somebody replace them. It might well be a black person. Obama, of course, will not take the Republican’s uncritically negative view of employing government to ensure fair hiring practices, but he will not be uncritically positive. He once taught a class saying that they would likely some doubts and reservations about affirmative action when he was done teaching the course.

As for your other concerns? It puzzles me to see a person cling to the irrational fears of slaveowners and sons of slaveowners in this day and age, especially after decades worth of successful, non-world ending integration.

White, Anglo-Saxon males like me will just have to undergo the indignity of competing on a progressively more level playing field. Oh, the horrors. You talk about being fourth-class citizen, but I think that reflects the anxiety of those who still think in terms of the control freak insecurities of the slavery era, the uncertainty of those who think they must control and surpress somebody else in order to enjoy their own freedom and prosperity.

I would venture that the stronger person is the one who can accept competing with others as equals rather than the person who needs to hamstring the other fellow in order to feel safe.

Hopefully, more people will recognize that a superiority based on the unfair crippling of another person’s chances is no way to demonstrate or maintain strength.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 3:38 PM
Comment #274083

jlw wrote to me; “Google Paul O’Neal/Iraq war and look at the evidence for yourself.”

I googled and was given one website; “The 7th Fire” which showed a reference on 11/5/07. I opened the website and could not find any listing on that date. Care to give me another. By the way, Is “The 7th Fire” a credible source? Thanks!

Posted by: Jim M at January 22, 2009 3:43 PM
Comment #274085

Daugherty writes; “Rove’s tactics and Obama’s differ greatly. Bush could talk about unity, but Obama acheived it.”

Please end the hyperbole. The unity you speak of exists on PO’s second day in office. Are you suggesting that Mr. Bush did not have unity on his second day in office. Further, I don’t recall Rove ever being president. How did I miss that?

Posted by: Jim M at January 22, 2009 3:50 PM
Comment #274086

jlw-
No, he was fired for not being on board with Bush’s monster tax cuts. The NSC meeting he sat in on was just one incident out of many. He was, though, drubbed seriously by a Right-Wing media that felt this Republican moderate’s words were a betrayal and a product of far-left sympathies.

Jim M.-
The book is The Price of Loyalty by Ron Suskind. Read it, it’s pretty illuminating.

Kenny-
I’m white. I didn’t go to the downstairs coffee shop going “I guess because I’m white, I’ll get a cookie.” A black person eating watermelon or fried chicken is not going to go “I’m black, so I’ll eat this”. They’ll most likely go to KFC because they think its juicy, and for the watermelon because it’s sweet and it cools them off. A lot of people just live their lives and don’t bother much of anybody.

Obama is no longer unknown, or untested. He’s come through during one of the most intense, grueling campaigns in modern history and won a victory that not even Bill Clinton himself was able to achieve.

What is it with you proponents of racial panic and proper grammar, capitalization and punctuation? It seems in pushing the supremacy of whites, you’re illustrating just how poorly educated some of them really are. Kind of defeats the purpose, don’t you think?

Of course, I have no problem with you defeating your own purpose. It’s a mark of how lonely you stand that Conservatives and Liberals alike can agree on the value of the messages being put forward: not great.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 3:52 PM
Comment #274091

Jim M.-
I’m not suggesting. Lets make an explicit comparison. In a NYT’s poll taken in Feb. 2001, Bush’s favorability was at 42% January 2009 polling data has Obama at 60% This is with an undecided option.

Without it, as is the case for USA Today Gallup Polling, the comparison at this point is 62/36 for Bush, 78/18 for Obama.

Let’s put this another way: Job Ratings. Bush entered his first term, according to the ABC Washington Post poll, with a 55/23 split. Obama enters with about an 80/20 split.

Real world, it’s difficult to get people to unite, so when four out of very five American feels good about Obama and the way he’s doing his job.

And why does this happen? Well, Bush comes into office having come out the victory in a bitter power struggle, one where he didn’t show much inclination to make sure all the “i’s” were dotted, and the “t’s” crossed on counting all the votes. Obama, on the other hand, wins by a rather clear landslide in the electoral college and a substantial popular vote victory. He’s also done his genuine best to reach out to his former opponents and to his rival party.

Call it people skills. Obama’s not looking to have a flamboyant political battle every time he wants something. He’s looking to create a power base that actually has some power.

It’s the kind of politics I’ve been speaking about for a long time: instead of using differences to drive wedges, he uses similarities to create bridges to otherwise indifferent or even hostile groups. Result? People are less hostile, less indifferent to Obama than they were with Bush.

You know, I don’t think I’ve been plain about this, but I always thought the Bush Republican political approach was a foolish one, on a practical level. It burns through political capital faster, leaves the candidate more “injured” in the public’s eyes, and alienates groups that might be inclined to support them, if properly approached. Obama’s approach gives him power and popularity to burn, and he burns it more efficiently for his political friendliness.

nomas-
He featured them prominently in his campaign. They are featured prominently in his two books. He hid them away just about as effectively as Las Vegas hides its neon.

Obama shows no sign now of being ashamed of his White Heritage, nor his black heritage now. He is a product of both, neither perfect, neither unmarred by tragedy or difficulty.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 4:26 PM
Comment #274092

nomas,

I think the last of his close white relatives, his grandmother, just died. Unless he truly is the Messiah, he can’t present them in public…you could have found that out before you went off half-cocked…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 22, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #274093

I would ask some who are showing such exuberance over PO to read his own comments. I wonder what changed his mind.

President Barack Obama, immediately following his election to the Senate in 2004: “I can unequivocally say I will not be running for national office in four years… . I am a believer in knowing what you’re doing when you apply for a job, and I think that if I were to seriously consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the Senate. There may be some who are comfortable with doing that, but I’m not one of those people.”

Posted by: Jim M at January 22, 2009 4:27 PM
Comment #274094

Stephen
Are you actually trying to say that on only his second day on the job, President Bush was talking unity but was really being divisive? Get real man. The left wanted, needed and promoted him being an evil idiot before he was even sworn in.

Anything and everything Bush did was seen as “Rovian,” “strong-hand” or as “disrespect” from the left. He couldn’t even fart without the left claiming on every channel that was an attempt to destroy the world.

And you are correct. Obama has not done much to be too divisive yet, but then again, he has his supporters for that, doesn’t he.
The left very successfully attributed everything Bush supporters said or did to President Bush himself and so far have been very successful at separating Obama from his rowdy supporters.
Gotta hand that to you guys, great job!

Overwhelming majorities? Please keep believing that and please push this mandate you guys believe you have because everybody just loves Obama.
It will make WatchBlog a blast over the next 4 to 8 years.

Posted by: kctim at January 22, 2009 4:40 PM
Comment #274096

Caved into pressure I suppose. Following Bush’s incredible freefall of popularity after ‘04-‘05, of course.

Also, to nomas I guess. Like most foreigner/native children, one side of your family is going to be dominant or non-existant. Obama has a fairly large family on his dad’s side in Kenya, but he dosen’t know them at all, or to a family extent. His white family is sparse, to non-existant. So I guess most of his “family” is on Michelle’s side, who happen to be black.

There wouldn’t be this issue, I think, if his white family was everywhere, a la Kennedy or Bush,
where whites could identify with him more (maybe).

Posted by: Jon at January 22, 2009 4:49 PM
Comment #274099


Stephen D., thanks for the correction and the help.

Jim M., the 60 minutes interview with Paul O’Neal can be watched on YouTube. It has been misleadingly renamed, Paul O’Neal 911 Inside Job parts 1 and 2.

Posted by: jlw at January 22, 2009 5:14 PM
Comment #274100

Stephen,

Polling on Obama at this point in his presidency is an exercise in applied ignorance. He is a genuinely historic figure and all assessments are colored by that fact. I would not answer with a negative now even though I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I will oppose him furiously on issues like abortion, (Today is the 35th [I think] anniversary of Roe v. Wade, by the way.) disposition of Guantanamo detainees, social spending, corporate taxation, and any number of issues central to our long national conversation.

Unlike my continuing impression of Bill Clinton, I do not see him as an amoral leader driven by the fickle turbulence of public polling.

I also give him a little leadership room because the people who need to see him most clearly are his own constituencies. I don’t want to try to whittle on him. That would just reinforce impressions founded in romantic fantasy with misimpressions of excessive opposition. The people on whom conservatives must inforce discipline are those who inform us all. Point out the disproportionate numbers of blacks killed in abortion. Point out terrorist tactics founded in seeking to take advantage of legalistically ‘warm and fuzzy’ treatment of terror suspects, to reveal our investigational methods, overseas intelligence assets, and establish the failure of our resolve to protect our friends in dangerous places.

Just the facts. Back the facts up. It’ll be a drip, drip, drip process. Over time truth has proven to be an unbeatable weapon in dealing with the fantasy and euphoria that attends liberal excess.

And if Obama turns out not to be a drug dealer of liberal excess the truth will serve him and us very well. He will be a great success, and my children will be able to celebrate this time in their history to their great-grandchildren.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 22, 2009 5:29 PM
Comment #274101

kctim-
What I said was that Bush entered office with public unity on his side hindered by his rather divisive tactics in the campaign.

Anything and everything Bush did was seen as “Rovian,” “strong-hand” or as “disrespect” from the left. He couldn’t even fart without the left claiming on every channel that was an attempt to destroy the world.

The Brooks Brothers Riots during the the 2000 recount. Getting the Supreme Court to cut the recount (which was prescribed by law) short. Resorting to Vietnam era arguments about the press and political opponents of the war, claiming dissent endangered the troops, and press coverage of the war meant more to its progress or lack of such than the strategy. Trying to defend torture and and an unpopular war, despite majority disapproval of both.

The injection of fear and questions of disloyalty into nearly every national security political matter. Just try and have a reasonable conversation with a Republican about the merits of torture, and we’ll see what heavy-handed really is.

Obama separates himself from his more rowdier supporters by not being like them, not encouraging divisive approaches to politics, demonstrating cool and patience far beyond most recent politicians. It’s called leading by example.

As for pushing mandates? Well, kctim, I do believe you’re jealous! We actually have one. I mean, damn, if we don’t have one, who the hell does? If we overstep, sure, Watchblog’s going to get real interesting. But I think we can go quite a bit further than you are comfortable with before we get the kind of resistance you’re hoping for.

The thing you have to keep in mind is that the Bush Administration was one giant overstep on the Republican party’s part. That gigantic overstep has essentially discredited the conservatives on just about every front. The public’s mainly in the Democrats corner. They’re going to be taking our vehicle out for a spin for a while now.

timmy-
Obama’s mother was an only child. Charles Payne, who was credit with being part of the troop that liberated a concentration camp in WWII showed up at the Democratic Party 2008 Convention. Are you asking him to dig up people who are second and third cousins and whatnot in order to prove he’s not racist against whites?

Lee Jamison-
I guess the way I would put it is that within a Democracy, the successful fulfillment of duties gives people the political room to do what they like politically speaking, while the failure to do so lowers the threshold of people’s patience concerning such activity. Political litmus tests are less important to most people than practical measures of success.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 22, 2009 5:43 PM
Comment #274104

Rush Limbaugh has been horrible. On the day of the inauguration, I heard some of his radio show on the way home to lunch. According to Rush, the inaugural speech was mediocre, the crowds disappointing, and the events afterwards likely to be underattended, and cancelling left and right. Nearly everything he said was belied by the live media images and viewer’s own lying eyes. Rush played Debbie Downer, and even some his listeners were not down with Rush.

Now Rush wants Obama to fail. Nice. Well, he is making his priorities clear, and his loyalties are there for all to see.

Posted by: phx8 at January 22, 2009 6:57 PM
Comment #274121

timmy,

Wasn’t Obama’s grandmother, the one who raised him much of his young life, the one who died recently in Hawaii, flown to the DNC to see her grandson chosen to run for president? It was obvious he loved her, and that she loved him. He cannot flaunt that which no longer exists…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 23, 2009 4:23 AM
Comment #274122

What drives the Lamebrain is fear. He is so afraid Obama will be successful, he’s peeing in his pants.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 23, 2009 4:25 AM
Comment #274125

Marysdude-
Actually, she was not healthy enough to travel. But Obama took time out of his busy schedule campaigning to be with her one last time.

It’s a stunning feat of logical convolution that timmy pulls off, though, alleging that Obama’s rather well publicized white family is somehow something he didn’t want much to do with.

Some people like to believe that other people think the way they do: in a constant panic over what the other race is doing.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 23, 2009 7:51 AM
Comment #274128

timmy,

Obama doesn’t have many left, but here’s an example of what his ‘white’ family thought of him:

Charles T. Payne, 83, a great uncle to Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., is seen during an interview with the Associated Press Tuesday, July 22, 2008, in his apartment in Chicago. Helping to liberate Ohrdruf, a subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, in April 1945 was Payne’s first close brush with history. Payne put on an Obama pin and said of his history-making great nephew Tuesday, “He’s truly an astounding young man and always has been.” Payne is the the brother of Obama’s maternal grandmother.

Under his fingernails…how silly…and uncalled for…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 23, 2009 9:22 AM
Comment #274130

Stephen
When it was said and done, he was elected President, not gore. But instead of healing the country and coming together, you guys did everything in your power to keep us divided.
Justify it how you want, but the truth of the matter is that you did not give a rats ass about unity until your guy was in power.
Of course you don’t see it that way, no, you even blame the lefts own actions on the Republicans.
You are right and they are wrong. It’s like we are stuck in some kind of cycle or something.

You speak of the injection of fear as if that is not happening today. Only instead of terrorists, its a depression.

As I said before, please keep believing a few million more votes means you have everybodys permission for a far-left mandate. Please, please, please.

There is nothing to be jealous about Stephen. Obama won and the ball is in your court, do with it as you please. I personally wish him well and hope that he can accomplish some good things for the country. But, just like Rush, if Obama forces more liberalism onto us, I hope that fails.

“The public’s mainly in the Democrats corner”

No, the left is unquestioningly in your corner, as usual, and this time you guys got more of the moderate vote than the Republicans did. While its not surprising to see that you believe that only your fellow leftists make up the public, it is nothing more than a dream and it is the kind of belief that makes people like me say its just part of a cycle.
Obama must represent all of us, not just those who agree with him, if we wish to end that cycle. Judging by Obama’s past and his record, its doubtful the cycle will end with him.

Posted by: kctim at January 23, 2009 9:57 AM
Comment #274132

nomas and timmy,

Please do us all the honor of taking accusations of racism on Obama’s part elsewhere. It is asinine to think that anyone, black, white, or chartreuse benefits from the stirring up of a subject that is simply intellectual poison.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 23, 2009 10:15 AM
Comment #274134

Watchblog Manager? #274133 Not good!

Posted by: Marysdude at January 23, 2009 10:53 AM
Comment #274142

kctim-

When it was said and done, he was elected President, not gore. But instead of healing the country and coming together, you guys did everything in your power to keep us divided.

You talk about healing and coming together. The only way, though, that Bush and the others would have that is through the Democrats holding their convictions cheap and just giving in to the Republicans. Which they did, to a large extent. But it didn’t make a lot of people outside of Washington very happy.

Obama is doing what Bush did not: he’s working with the other side with respect, actually discussing things with them. Obama earns unity. Bush expected it as a privilege of his victory. Obama’s going the extra-mile to at least listen to people, to talk with them, rather than shut them out.

We can talk about unity, but the truth is, there will always be differences of opinion to go along with the commonalities of it. The trick of creating greater unity is what researchers in information theory call “the strength of weak ties”

The principle of this phenomenon falls along these lines: the closest people to you are also generally close to one another. It makes sense if you think about it. Your friends know your friends, your family knows your family.

And your political compatriots know each other, speak mostly with each other.

In other words, the it is not an especially effective political tactic to seek political change by preaching to the choir. The people who already accept your views as gospel are already on board, and need minimal encouragement to remain there.

The challenge is to draw others to your line of thinking, others, who by definition don’t feel as compelled to listen as your friends might be. The challenge is to implicitly understand your own political stands, and then translate the justifications you might have for your position into justifications others might find valid. The challenge is not to take an adversarial approach, even as you stand on your principle.

That is how Obama’s approach is superior to that of his rivals, to Bush’s, and why Obama’s call to unity is taken much more seriously: his appeals have always been couched in these terms.

You talk about forcing liberalism on the American people. What got you folks into the current situation was forcing conservatism on people. But you didn’t see that as forcing. The difference is, the majority of people want a return to more liberal positions. This point is demonstrable in the polls.

What’s also demonstrable is that it was utterly unnecessary for Obama to fearmonger about the economic crisis. The truth is, the sudden collapse of credit in this country doesn’t need to be overhyped, nor the failure of the Bush Adminstration and Republican Congress’s regulatory system. The Republicans, setting out to prove that they were right about the New Deal, have ultimately vindicated it, demonstrating by accident of their incompetence in keeping the economy prosperous and the markets under control that their announcements of a new economy that didn’t need so much regulation was premature.

You want to act as if there will be a backlash against liberalism, but the truth is, we’ve been seeing it for the last few decades, and as of this point, the tide has turned.

I don’t believe it will be purely cyclical. I prefer to think in terms of states of critical changeover, where tensions build up in a system until they are released, tensions that might be similar over time, but which also build uniquely in response to differences in society over time.

I don’t believe that only leftists make up the public. Probably felt good for you to write that, but you wasted your time, and you misunderstand your targets. Obama and my folks won by reaching out our hands to folks other than just the Democratic mainstream and making liberalism appealing to them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 23, 2009 12:30 PM
Comment #274156


Nomas, Obama has gotten more flack from the progressive wing or left wing of the Democratic Party than he has gotten from conservatives. The exception being moronic whack jobs like Limbaugh and Colter.

Many progressives were upset by many of Obama’s cabinet appointments. He promised change we can believe in but, he appointed, for the most part, Washington and Wall Street insiders.

Many of Obama’s supporters say that his choices are not a reflection of how he will govern but, he doesn’t know how to run these cabinets and he probably won’t have the time to micro manage them so he will be dependent on the secretaries for advise.

During an election, there is a lot of retorical promises bandied about. The first indications of how a new president will govern can be detected by who he chooses for the cabinet positions.

More than 50,000 progressives signed a petition asking Obama to name a progressive to head the Dept. of Agriculture. Someone who would add more diversity in agriculture by providing incentives to small entrepreneurial farmers. Obama declined their request and instead named a liberal friend of Argibusiness to the post. We can expect a lot of cornpone from Vilsak.

Posted by: jlw at January 23, 2009 2:09 PM
Comment #274167

nomas,
I am one of the “conservative media” of whom you speak. (Boy, does it feel wierd to say that!) I am not setting him up for anything. He has professed a desire to do some things I think will be harmful to the country. I’ve long since said I will oppose those things. That’s not the same thing as saying I disrespect him as a leader, though, or trying to set him up for some big, embarrassing fall.

The fact of the matter is each side of this debate honestly thinks the solutions they want to try are better for the country than the solutions proposed by the other side. No doubt there are people who only want to win at any cost and they will try to game forums like this in the effort, but they don’t stick around here very long because what they have to say is just too predictable and trite.

Let’s put it this way. No American benefits from our president looking to all the world like a fool.

Posted by: Lee Jamison at January 23, 2009 3:30 PM
Comment #274170

I think the media might occasionally jump on Obama just to demonstrate it’s not in the tank, but it’s hard to beat up on the man minus a clear reason to do so.

Conservatives are doing themselves no favors, I think, by assuming that Obama’s support is some delicate little flower. This is a guy who won twice as many electoral votes, more or less, than his opponent, gaining the largest majority in an election for a Democrat since LBJ, and beating his opponent by almost 10 million voters

People who underestimate the political strength of Barack Obama have a nasty habit of losing their political battles with him.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 23, 2009 3:45 PM
Comment #274171

Stephen
Obama has not been in office long enough for you to claim he has done what Bush did not. The unity you say Obama has right now is because the right is willing to give Obama a chance, something the left refused to do for Bush.

“That is how Obama’s approach is superior to that of his rivals”

I will give you that one, but again, you are comparing 3 days of Obama to 8 years of Bush instead of Bush on his 3rd day in office. If Obama does it throughout his term or terms, then you can claim it, but to preach it as gospel now is ridiculous.

“The difference is, the majority of people want a return to more liberal positions. This point is demonstrable in the polls”

No Stephen, a small majority of the people want more liberal positions and the large minority who voted against them should not be ignored because doing so is what creates division.
IMO, the liberals in charge believe as you do, will ignore those with opposing views and will go to far. That is the cycle.

“I don’t believe it will be purely cyclical. I prefer to think in terms of states of critical changeover, where tensions build up in a system until they are released, tensions that might be similar over time, but which also build uniquely in response to differences in society over time”

VERY interesting point and I will give it alot of thought. Thanks.

“I don’t believe that only leftists make up the public. Probably felt good for you to write that, but you wasted your time, and you misunderstand your targets. Obama and my folks won by reaching out our hands to folks other than just the Democratic mainstream and making liberalism appealing to them”

That would be true IF you did not believe winning the election by a few million more votes gives you a mandate to force liberal policy onto everybody. But you guys do believe that is what the whole country wants and you will dismiss the millions who voted against you in order to please the few million more who voted for you.

That will be a success to those on the left, but it will not be “our success,” and IF “our success” is what is truely important, you will break the cycle.

Posted by: kctim at January 23, 2009 3:54 PM
Comment #274174

>That will be a success to those on the left, but it will not be “our success,” and IF “our success” is what is truely important, you will break the cycle.
Posted by: kctim at January 23, 2009 03:54 PM

kctim,

Short of capitulation, forming policies on your schedule, and forming them according to your core beliefs, how can ‘reaching out’ occur? No one wants to reach out, just to lose their hand. Give us a clue.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 23, 2009 4:44 PM
Comment #274177

Ok his success is my success. Well since the election all I have seen is the stock market still go down. No money for me from the bail-outs that I could use better, then those on wall st.

I will wait awhile before I will say his sucess is our sucess, because he hasn’t shown me much yet.

On the negative, where are gitmo people going? My idea since the EU is happy about it, lets bundle them all up and drop them right in the middle of Paris.

Posted by: KT at January 23, 2009 4:58 PM
Comment #274178

Stephen:

Your link quoted Rush as saying, “So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, ‘Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails.’ (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, ‘Oh, you can’t do that.’ Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: ‘Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.’ Somebody’s gotta say it.”.

Nice selective editing. His entire quote was,” Look, what he’s talking about is the absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don’t want this to work. So I’m thinking of replying to the guy, “Okay, I’ll send you a response, but I don’t need 400 words, I need four: ‘I hope he fails. (interruption) What are you laughing at? See, here’s the point. Everybody thinks it’s outrageous to say. Look, even my staff, ‘Oh, you can’t do that.’ Why not? Why is it any different, what’s new, what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what’s gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here. Why do I want more of it? I don’t care what the Drive-By story is. I would be honored if the Drive-By Media headlined me all day long: ‘Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails.’ Somebody’s gotta say it.”.

Yet you say in continuance after the quote of Rush,”my first loyalties were not to my party”. Thus begins your thesis. IMHO your thesis is flawed due to the fact that you quoted a source that took a partial quote out of context(it took me less than a minute to confirm the entire quote)to make your PARTY look better than the opposition. Spin, pure spin.

When taken if context, is Rush not conveying the same sentiment that you are claiming to have in the last eight years? IMHO he is. I am curious as to what your(and everyone else’s) opinions are now that Rush’s words are quoted correctly and without the spin associated with a partial quote.

Posted by: submarinesforever at January 23, 2009 5:16 PM
Comment #274179

Stephen:

BTW, I am curious what your thoughts are on a President signing an Executive Order on Ethics Reform(rules for lobbiests) and violating the same Order. I would have expected a headline article by now had President Bush done this and given the same answer that President Obama’s staff has given. Partisen? PARTY politics?

Posted by: submarinesforever at January 23, 2009 5:21 PM
Comment #274180

Dude
MY schedule and MY core beliefs are no longer of importance. I am a Constitutionalist and I am not naive enough to believe liberals and conservatives are going to magically start respecting the Constitution.

You can however reach out to moderate Democrats, Republicans and Conservatives by respecting their beliefs and working with them.
You don’t have to change your beliefs, but you shouldn’t expect them to change theirs. You guys have got to start understanding that you can’t force liberal policies onto the whole country just because coastal liberals want this or are afraid of that. You need to understand that what you think is good for urban areas, isn’t always whats good for rural areas.

For the most part, people on the right just want govt to leave them alone. IF they want to live like liberals, they can vote liberals and liberal policy into office and then you can dictate how they live.

You reach out with respect and you won’t lose your hand.

Posted by: kctim at January 23, 2009 5:25 PM
Comment #274181

Stephen -

When the Iraqis held their first election post-Saddam and the pictures were published with those purple thumbs, I was so happy that I wrote a letter to the local paper praising Bush, telling him it was a ‘job well done’. It wasn’t about party, but about freedom…or so I thought.

Now, I’m a stark raving lunatic liberal who fumes at the DIShonor Bush has brought upon the flag, and upon the service rendered by every man and woman in the military.

So you’re not alone. I was eager for his success, too.

I’m not comparing Bush to Hitler, but people to people: you well know how the German people were so jubilant for Hitler’s successes…but were so ashamed once they’d found what he had really done. They, like we, had misplaced their patriotism, and only found out years later.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at January 23, 2009 5:37 PM
Comment #274183


Nomas, you are well versed in the anti- liberal propaganda but, I doubt you know what a liberal is, what they believe, what their governing philosophy is and the difference between progressive and liberal.

I am not even sure I know myself but, for me it is the difference between we aren’t going to take this aristocracy B S anymore vs can’t we all get along and make this thing work.

The truth is, no, we can’t all get along and make this thing work. From 1776 till now, the economic history of this country has been a rollercoaster ride from king cotton to king bank.

We have been privileged to live in a land of abundant resources and great wealth. Wealth that had we properly managed it would have lasted possibly hundredes of years into the future.

Instead, we fritter it away in the good times on convient mass consumption and borrow our way out of trouble in the bad times. In addition we have a great propensity for ignoring the exploitation of peoples both here and abroad in places like Appalachia, Banana Republics and Oil Sheikdoms.

There has hardly been a time since the Great Depression when my Appalachian County has experienced anything but double digit unemployment rates. We export coal, timber and kids. I had to leave, go on the road for years to earn a living. After I came back home, for twenty years I had a 150 mile average round trip commute to get work.

So, when the city folks cry the sky is falling and the ugly depression word is being thrown around, it doesn’t impress most us because depression is all we have known.

Now we have a new president who during the campaign said he hears our cries, he sees our plight and he is going to help us. Many of the blue collar workers here were driven out of the Democratic Party by the liberals because of the gun issue and the sellout of our jobs.

But, this time enough of those blue collar workers here in southern and eastern Ohio heard Obama’s message and responded by voting for him. We are now waiting to see if Obamas words were only empty retoric like so many Democratic and Republican politicians in the past.

Posted by: jlw at January 23, 2009 5:47 PM
Comment #274184

Sadly, I just heard on the news that PO has lifted the restriction on abortions being paid for by Americans in those countries to which we send health aid. PO pandered to the left fruitcakes and threw them some scraps at the expense of the innocent. It must make his minions feel really good to brag about their role in demanding this horrendous change.

Oddly, in a time of financial crisis PO finds the time and money to provide the means to kill foreign unborn babies. What a sad commentary in our efforts to help those folks.

I have read blogs by many on this site decrying our government being involved in killing our enemies in war time and many of these same folks will now defend killing the unborn.

Posted by: Jim M at January 23, 2009 5:52 PM
Comment #274185

Stephen good post, I appreciate your candor and advancing the discussion. I don’t see a lot of value in punishing those in power because I felt that my party was being punished when it was in power. Let’s get behind the president, I want him to succeed on the economy and with bipartisan efforts … I won’t be disappointed if some of his liberal policies don’t come into existence.

Glenn, let’s do it then! Let’s get Bush/Cheney (et al) in court. What a blessing that would be to answer the accusations to the affirmative or the negative. Bush is found guilty or he is not-guilty. While it would stink to hear the later, I am ready. Just so we can get past the constant insinuation and innuendo. Won’t happen because no hearing, no court date, no ruling, means that we can forever say that he did something illegal without due process.

So let’s go through due process to answer the accusations more clearly. How is not prosecuting Bush more beneficial than prosecuting him with comments like Glenn’s that draw SOME comparison between the people of German and the people of America as it relates to a horrible dictator?

Posted by: Honest at January 23, 2009 5:52 PM
Comment #274187

Lee -

No American benefits from our president looking to all the world like a fool.

No American benefits from our country knowingly and publicly harboring war criminals, either. There IS such a thing as our national HONOR…and we lost much of that honor by publicly sanctioning torture.

People follow a bully because they HAVE to…but people follow a leader because they WANT to. Russia cannot lead as we can, and neither can China - other nations would follow them because they HAVE to. Nations WANT to follow us, though, because they want to be LIKE us…but if we knowingly and publicly harbor war criminals - and torture IS a war crime - then we lose the honor that enables us to lead this world as no other nation can.

Prosecute those who tortured…and take it all the way up to whoever authorized it.

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at January 23, 2009 5:56 PM
Comment #274198

I found this report very surprising.

President Obama’s inauguration was not the highest-rated presidential inauguration in television history.

That honor goes to President Ronald Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 which drew millions more viewers than President Obama’s (41.8 million versus 37.8, according to Nielsen).

Posted by: Jim M at January 23, 2009 7:23 PM
Comment #274199

Jim M -

That television rating doesn’t take into account the rest of the world….

Posted by: Glenn Contrarian at January 23, 2009 7:37 PM
Comment #274200


Obama’s Jobless “Jolt”
by Donald Lambro writing in Townhall.

Mr. Lambro presents the findings of the CBO and OMB. Very interesting I think.

It’s going to take a lot longer than almost anyone thinks for the Obama administration to get the $825 billion stimulus money into the economy. Don’t believe me? Read the Congressional Budget Office’s recent analysis of the Democrats’ plan.

President Obama has said he intends to give the economy “a jolt” by quickly injecting stimulus funds into the nation’s economic arteries in the hopes of creating more than 3 million jobs. But according to the nonpartisan CBO, which crunches budget numbers for Congress, only a small fraction of the proposed $274 billion in infrastructure spending to jump-start the economy will be spent by the end of this fiscal year and the rest won’t be disbursed until 2010 or later.

I’ve written in previous columns that the critical flaw in pump-priming spending programs is the length of time it takes to get money through the bureaucracy and into the pipelines at the state and local levels — often after the recession is over. But the outlook seems grimmer than that.

Among CBO’s findings:

— Only about $26 billion, or 9 percent of the infrastructure stimulus, will be spent by Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2009.

— Less than half of the $30 billion in highway-construction money will be circulated over the next four years.

— Incredibly, CBO says only about $4 billion in highway-construction funds will get into the economy by September 2010.

— Obama talks about creating thousands of “green” jobs by pumping billions into biofuel, solar, wind and other technology. But most of those jobs are not going to be seen for many years. Only about one in seven dollars of the stimulus plan’s $18.5 billion investment in renewable-energy resources and energy-efficiency programs will be spent by 2010, according to the CBO.

Its findings reaffirm Obama economic adviser Jason Furman’s warning last year that infrastructure spending is one of the “less-effective options” for boosting jobs and economic growth. In an economic paper evaluating all the ways to end the recession, Furman doubted that any infrastructure spending “would generate significant short-term stimulus,” because all too often the money is not spent “until after the economy has recovered.”

Obama’s advisers acknowledge the lengthy time it will take to get the money working on job-producing projects, but they say most economists believe this recession will last a lot longer than past downturns.

In fact, many economists now estimate the recession will be coming out of its slump sometime near the end of the year.

But this is only part of the story in this huge public-works boondoggle that experience tells us cannot and will not get the economy growing again. Here’s where much of the money is going:

— Government-run programs at the federal, state and local level. This stimulus bill will pour billions into 150 different federal programs, from the money-losing Amtrak rail service to the Transportation Security Administration.

— $15.6 billion goes into Pell Grants to increase each student grant by $500, though the added money ends in two years. This may be a worthy thing to do, but it’s not going to create any new jobs.

— $54 billion will go to 19 programs that the Office of Management and Budget has rated as “ineffective” or “results not demonstrated.”

— Much of the money will go to federal programs that still have unspent funding in their accounts. For instance, the bill will pump another $2 billion into the Army Corps of Engineers’ water-construction program that still has $1.5 billion in unobligated funds.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s homeless-assistance program would get $1.5 billion despite an unobligated balance of $1.5 billion.

The General Services Administration has $3.3 billion of unspent funds, but GSA would get another $7.7 billion from the stimulus package.

— Billions will be dished out under this so-called stimulus bill mostly to protect or create government jobs — including money to renovate federal buildings, and $600 million for the government to buy brand-new cars and vans.

Overall, the stimulus would spend $16.4 billion on federal agencies that, among other things, will buy new computers, new office furniture for the Public Health Service, and add $50 million to the National Endowment for the Arts budget.

The money is being spread around like a slush fund, going out to every nook and cranny of the federal bureaucracy. This will not create a single new job, let alone stimulate the economy. Everyone from the Bureau of Indian Affairs to the Smithsonian Institution will get a piece of the action.

As for the plan’s “making work pay” tax credit that will lower withholding taxes for low- to middle-class workers, it is estimated that this would add $10 to $20 per paycheck for those below the median income level.

That’s far from the much-hyped economic “jolt” that Obama is promising beleaguered taxpayers.

Posted by: Jim M at January 23, 2009 7:39 PM
Comment #274201

Glenn responds to me; “That television rating doesn’t take into account the rest of the world….”

And you know this because…? What worldwide TV rating agency can you refer me to? Regardless, I find these numbers very surprising.

Posted by: Jim M at January 23, 2009 7:44 PM
Comment #274242

Lee Jamison, and Jim M - you are disappointed in obama on abortion issues? once again your disappointment is displaced, and should rest on bush. if he really wanted to make abortion an issue (and voters - mostly republican buy into this every election cycle) or non-issue, he would have overturned roe v wade in the first 5 years in office. he had control of all 3 branches, and could have done so at any time. he didn’t. you still can not see that he let you down? his promises were lies? i do not understand this simple fact. you both have an excellent grasp on virtually every issue, yet you can not see w’s failures and lies. listen, once and for all, this is only an issue at election time. neither party is going to change abortion. but, only one admits to it.

Posted by: bluebuss at January 24, 2009 10:49 AM
Comment #274244

The abortion rules changes were promised by both Obama and Clinton during the primaries. No matter which one beat McCain, this was going to be done. Why the surprise or disappointment?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 24, 2009 11:00 AM
Comment #274251

marysdude asks, “Why the surprise or disappointment?”

No surprise…huge disappointment. Why would I not be disappointed with the prospect of American taxpayer money being spent to enable more killing of the unborn in foreign lands? I could make a very strong (non-religious) case that if it were not for the millions of unborn destroyed right here in the U.S. that our economy would be much better off.

Posted by: Jim M at January 24, 2009 12:24 PM
Comment #274255

Jim M,

If the rules had not gone too far to the right they might have been left in place. Abortion was not the only restriction…there was a stop order on any facility that even had birth control products available. An abortion option could not even be mentioned. Such exaggerated denial of common-sense information had to be dealt with.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 24, 2009 12:46 PM
Comment #274262


A majority of the people support a womans right to choose. A majority does not support government funded abortions. This just makes the whole issue much more confrontational by forcing people who don’t condone abortion to help pay for them. Why can’t a charity pay for these procedures when funds are an issue? Who has been doing this while the ban was in place?

What would happen if millions of people refused to pay their taxes because of abortion funds? I don’t think we want to let that cat out of the cage.

A substantial majority won’t have a problem with federal funds for other birth control measures especially if they are administered in a health care setting.

Posted by: jlw at January 24, 2009 1:33 PM
Comment #274265

jlw,

Legal medical procedures and legal wars and legal criminal executions…blah…blah…blah…everyone has a cat in the fight. If it is legal and under normal governmental funding in certain circumstances, how can it not qualify? The reason some are on Medicaid is their lack of funds. The very folks who need assistance the most are the ones you want to deny…oh, well…

Rich people don’t need help with their medical procedures…abortions are available to them, whether they are legal or not (they can afford the travel expenses, or bribe a good doctor), whether they are paid for by the government or not…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 24, 2009 1:58 PM
Comment #274286

Jim M-
The CBO report quoted is neither current, nor a complete review of the Stimulus bill nor even a real report from the CBO.

Reports of a recent study by the Congressional Budget Office, showing that the vast majority of the money in the stimulus package won’t be spent until after 2010, have Democrats on the defensive and the GOP calling for a pullback in wasteful spending.

Funny thing is, there is no such report.

“We did not issue any report, any analysis or any study,” a CBO aide told the Huffington Post.

Rather, the nonpartisan CBO ran a small portion of an earlier version of the stimulus plan through a computer program that uses a standard formula to determine a score — how quickly money will be spent. The score only dealt with the part of the stimulus headed for the Appropriations Committee and left out the parts bound for the Ways and Means or Energy and Commerce Committee.

Because it dealt with just a part of the stimulus, it estimated the spending rate for only about $300 billion of the $825 billion plan. Significant changes have been made to the part of the bill the CBO looked at.

So much for the jobless jolt. As for abortion, I don’t support it for the most part, but I’m hardly surprised or disappointed that Obama reversed that decision. The whole world doesn’t necessarily agree with our religious outlook on abortion, which, lets face it, is a major component of our opposition. Before I became a Christian, I was a supporter of a Woman’s right to choose. Now I believe a woman’s right to choose exists primarily before conception, and that life begins after it.

Framing abortion as murder makes a great deal of sense to people who have religious views like you and me, but to a person who views conception as only the beginning of the process that only eventually results in a human being, it makes absolutely no sense. It’s a self-gratifying argument which does little to persuade those who do not share our views.

There will be good organizations overseas that do a great deal of good work, which are deprived of our help for the sake of satisfying a point of view that not even most people in our country actually hold.

The question in this is whether you see the government as something to be grasped and controlled by people like yourself, or whether you understand it to be something you have to share with others who don’t share all your views, under a constitution meant to constrain your power even when you are in the majority.

Arguing to most Americans that this is funding murder overseas won’t work, whether or not you believe it to be true. But what about proposing funding for orphanages and aid to those organizations who help pregnant women faced with that problematic choice? Is it better to curse the darkness and do little good, or to light a candle? It’s unlikely you will get Obama to reverse his position, but I think you could get support for aid towards such a goal.

As for the viewership of Obama’s inauguration, the Neilsen Ratings neglect online audiences, which had to be considerable. A number of people at my workplace were watching it. How many millions of people at worked tuned in?

kctim-
Walk up to somebody and whack them in the face with a sea bass.

Walk up to somebody else and shake their hand.

Next day, ask each for a job. Results? I think it’s easy to imagine.

Get my point? Obama continually took an approach that left his bridges to the right unburned, despite all the crap they gave him. Bush, on the other hand, used scorched earth tactics throughout his campaign. I think its a bit arbitrary to suggest that either Bush or Obama came into office fresh from the farm. Each built up a political relationship with the public, with their allies, and with the public before they were ever sworn in, and that carries over into how unified the public is behind either of them.

Obama did more good faith work to leave the door open for Republicans to deal with him than Bush did for his part. He filled many of his appointments with rabid ideologues, even recruiting from fourth tier law-schools to get people of a suitable tenor.

Obama’s been more pragmatic than that.

My theory of critical changeover is based on Small Worlds network research. You know, Six degrees of separation? Well, the basic idea of that is that many of those steps go through people we just casually know, while the first few usually go through people we’re quite familiar with, and who are familiar with ourselves and our friends as well.

The beauty of the theory is that you’re not merely oscillating between two poles. The direction can go just about anywhere things pull it. All supposedly cyclical relationships are temporary, in that a fundamental change in society might come along (like the Industrial Revolution, WWII, or the Great Depression, to name a few big examples) and mix up the political rivalries. More subtle changes can also have their effect.

I wouldn’t say that Obama’s been fear-mongering, but I guarantee you, Obama’s not passing up the opportunities that crisis and tumult in our society have given him.

He can’t force liberal policy on everybody. But then again, he probably doesn’t have to. A lot of people are probably begging for somebody to take some discipline to the markets. People want Global Warming to be dealt with. People want somebody to keep this economy from having something worse happen to it. They’re tired of crappy healthcare that doesn’t even work for them when they have the coverage for it. They’re tired of sacrificing more and more to the corporations they work for, only to see their bosses reap the rewards.

In short, I think people want liberalism more than you think they do.

The Republican Congressional majorities have been not only overturned but completely reversed. Call me crazy, but does that not constitute a shift towards liberalism? If people are making that decision to elect these people, knowing what their political inclinations are, how is applying the mandate forcing liberalism on folks?

The system is set up so that the majority rules. In a sense, you could say that things are forced on the minority by the majority, but in another sense, this is what you folks signed up for; the implicit agreement of Democracy that we consent to is that whoever gets the majority writes the rules, makes the decisions.

This is done, so when the tide turns and tensions pull back in our favor, we have legitimacy to our own “forcing” of our views on others.

If we are really forcing things, there will be a backlash. If we are not, people will simply go about their business. That’s Democracy. That’s being held accountable as an elected official. We’ll see how it goes. I just thing that the threshold is further to the left than you care to admit, and you resent where it is now.

KT
While it’s perfectly alright to defer your assessment of things, I’d have to say that Obama shouldn’t be held accountable for big banks having crappy balance books, since much of the reason for that precedes even his nomination as the Democratic Party candidate. That and the fact that the jerks spent a lot of their TARP money on giving money to their excellently performing executives.

Submarinesforever-
It still amounts to him saying the same thing: the other party, the other political philosophy is the problem.

Here’s the thing: I believe that many of the Republican policies will fail of their own accord, without my help. Limbaugh doesn’t merely say that, though. What he says implies that it can succeed, but must not be allowed to.

Some policies could not be allowed to succeed in my view: extralegal wiretapping, for one. But when confronted with issues concerning the Surge, it wasn’t really my wish to see it fail; I just thought it wouldn’t work. Now my fears did not prove entirely unfounded, but nor did my worst imaginings take place.

And that’s the way the world works. Sometimes, despite the fact that you bitch and moan about something, it works despite your worst predictions.

Rush says Liberalism brought us to the brink. I could say the same about conservatism, but I will not, because it would trade on vague rhetoric and miss a critical point: it’s not conservatism or liberalism that matters to the outcome, it’s the fit of problem to solution.

There may be a liberal way to deal with a problem and a conservative one. Republicans may not prefer the liberal methods, but if they work, they work (same going back the other direction in the spectrum) Point is, we got to take the Political Party glasses off sometimes, and look at things in a less constricted sense.

As for the ethics reform thing? He is paying a price of disclosure every time he does it. Its embarrassing, draws negative attention, the way he’s doing it. Which I think is a good thing, and on reflection better than the situation under the Bush Administration was.

I’m not thrilled with it, and I hope this doesn’t become a habit. But unlike Bush, Obama seems more willing to take in criticism, and be influenced by it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at January 24, 2009 11:57 PM
Comment #274294

>Arguing to most Americans that this is funding murder overseas won’t work, whether or not you believe it to be true. But what about proposing funding for orphanages and aid to those organizations who help pregnant women faced with that problematic choice? Is it better to curse the darkness and do little good, or to light a candle? It’s unlikely you will get Obama to reverse his position, but I think you could get support for aid towards such a goal.

Stephen,

I think many of those organizations we were withholding funds from were also in this business. We were holding one thing against them, while the other thing suffered as well. It was a ‘whole-hog-or-none’ attitude, and it stinks…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 25, 2009 7:01 AM
Comment #274295

bluebuss


“if he really wanted to make abortion an issue (and voters - mostly republican buy into this every election cycle) or non-issue, he would have overturned roe v wade in the first 5 years in office. he had control of all 3 branches, and could have done so at any time.”


at what time did the republicans have a filibuster proof majority in the senate ?

Posted by: dbs at January 25, 2009 10:47 AM
Comment #274297

How many filibusters were threatened by the Democrats on this subject?

Posted by: Marysdude at January 25, 2009 11:16 AM
Comment #274323

“Jim M -

That television rating doesn’t take into account the rest of the world….” True But, Technology has advanced in bounds since 1981 and There is a lot more People Around on earth And people who can afford TV sets.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 25, 2009 6:33 PM
Comment #274325

Like yesterday Apple celebrates 25th year of Mac there first mac was like $2,500 in 1984 I know my mom and stepdad had one, That is about $ 5,000 and some change Today.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at January 25, 2009 6:41 PM
Comment #274338

I bought my first Kaypro II, in 1984, and began writing the ‘great American novel’. By the time I’d written enough to print out a draft manuscript, I’d changed to a PC with a DOS (Kaypro had a CP/M OS) operating system, and I could no longer translate the CP/M into DOS, and my old Kaypro fizzled out on me. I never was able to print out the first half of the novel…damn the luck!

Posted by: Marysdude at January 26, 2009 6:44 AM
Comment #274343

Stephen
The left seen everything Bush or his supporters said or did as some kind of evil plot and refused to give him a chance from the very beginning. Hell, you guys even gave it a name in order to spread it like propaganda.
Obama talked down to people with differing views and his supporters did anything and everything they could to win. The only differences between what Bush did and what Obama did is that you support “scorched earth” tactics from your guy and you guys won the propaganda war this time.

You can ignore the facts all you want, but the truth of the matter is that you guys did not give Bush any chance and you did EVERYTHING possible to help him fail or at least make it look like he failed, from day one. Bushs’ success could not be our success, EVER! But now, everybody must roll over so that Obama can succeed if they care about the country?
BS.

“I just thing that the threshold is further to the left than you care to admit, and you resent where it is now.”

Actually, I do admit the threshold is too far left. You guys got something like 52% of the vote.
What I don’t admit though, is that you guys will succeed in uniting the country by ignoring the percent that does not support you and going by the Obama’s record and his words, you guys are going to do just that.

But, the Obama has only been on the job for one week now, and, unlike the left would ever do, the right seems to be giving him a chance, so maybe the Obama will take that into account. We will just have to wait and see.
Maybe it IS time to get rid of individual rights and embrace the liberal utopia. If thats the case, then you are right.

Posted by: kctim at January 26, 2009 10:18 AM
Comment #274355

kctim,

You insist on saying we on the left never gave Cheney/Bush a chance. I beg to defer…we resented that he took the 2000 election away from us. He may have won it fair and square, but he did not let us find out…but, after he was installed in office, he was as accepted as most presidents, plus his boost after 9/11. We even took his word for the WMD. There were doubters, but for the most part Cheney/Bush was gliding.

When the truth started to come out, and when there were more SNAFUs (“great job Brownie”), and when the gilt wore off the lily (Patriot Act)(Plame Gate), we began to pick…how can we be blamed for that? He’s the one who screwed-the-pooch…Cheney?Bush apologists are…well…just that…apologists.

Posted by: Marysdude at January 26, 2009 2:28 PM
Comment #274402

Come on Dude, your own words show that you guys never accepted him. Resented? Took the election away from you? Installed in office?
The left absolutely hated that a Conservative won and they did everything they could to insure he was portrayed as a bumbling dolt intent on setting up a theocracy and taking over the world. It was politics at its worst. Not because the left refused to offer any respect for Bush, but because they put their party first and refused to respect the office.

Luckily, the right has given Obama a fair chance and more respect in his first week on the job, which is ten times more than the left gave Bush in his first 6 months.

Apologist? Refusing to take anothers opinion as fact is not being an apologist.
Have you ever asked yourself why you believe the Katrina aftermath was all Bushs’ fault? Why you believe WMD is the only reason we went into Iraq? Why you believe its only the Republicans who are responsible for Iraq, the wiretapping and the Patriot Acts?
Why you don’t believe you are being an apologist yourself by trying to blame everything on the opposing party for political gain?

Of course Bush made mistakes and of course they should be pointed out, but based on facts, not opinions.

Posted by: kctim at January 27, 2009 10:41 AM
Comment #274403

kctim,

Resented, not because he stole an election, but because we were not allowed to be sure. He was to become the President of the United States, but did not want to make sure he’d actually won the position. Had the shoe been on the other foot, do you think for an instant he would have bowed out, ‘for the good of the nation’ like Gore did? Puhleez!

The right has not and is not giving Obama a fair shake. They are right now fighting as hard as the last two elections will allow them, against proposals they know are better than their own obstructionist agenda. America means very little to them, even as it wallows in the muck of free market melt-down.

Cheney/Bush had an easier time with Democrats, even after his skimpy win, than Obama is having with the Republicans, even after a substantial win…go figure…

Posted by: Marysdude at January 27, 2009 10:55 AM
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