Does Obama Deserve a Second Term or Why Should Not Old Men Be Mad?

Obama likes to reach out to people only through impersonal internet. He doesn’t talk to people, including both his friends and foes in Congress. That is one reason things fall apart. Obama is the center and the center does not hold. Not a phone call, not a visit. He doesn’t talk to Congress; he doesn’t like their company. His promises have not been put in place. Who said this?

If you watch this video, you may be surprised. Suffice to say, the thrill is gone. Obama's end will not be worthy of the start.

IMO the whole Obama debacle has to do with the common fallacy that anybody can be a leader. Our popular culture features stories and movies where an ordinary guy, by some act of chance or accident, takes over a team, a company or even the country. With his "common sense" and good instincts, he managed to solve problems that have baffled and perplexed leaders for years or decades. We keep on looking for such people, but they rarely exist. I won't say it never happens, but experience with leaders who rose quickly "out of nowhere" has not been good. It can happen in the case of specific firms, especially in rapidly changing conditions, but that is about it. Most leaders have been at it a long time before their chance comes. They may present themselves as outsiders, but let's hope they aren't.

Both left and right are victims of this fallacy. Some conservatives were (and some still are) greatly enamored of Sarah Palin. She had little experience and not much of a record to attack, so many thought she had the authentic voice of the people. Barack Obama is more articulate and has learned to be circumspect, but he fills the same niche. His biggest selling point was that he had no significant record to attack. He was promise incarnate. The promise has not been kept.

Please forgive my digression, but as I write this a few lines from my favorite poet keep on coming to mind. The first is what I alluded up top. They are famous lines from "The Second Coming" that seem to apply to our condition.

"Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity."

The other lines are from a lesser known poem called "Why should not old men be mad?"

"Why should not old men be mad
Some have known a likely lad
That had a sound fly-fisher's wrist
Turn to a drunken journalist;
A girl that knew all Dante once
Live to bear children to a dunce;
A Helen of social welfare dream,
Climb on a wagonette to scream.
Some think it a matter of course that chance
Should starve good men and bad advance,
That if their neighbours figured plain,
As though upon a lighted screen,
No single story would they find
Of an unbroken happy mind,
A finish worthy of the start.
Young men know nothing of this sort,
Observant old men know it well;
And when they know what old books tell
And that no better can be had,
Know why an old man should be mad."

Posted by Christine & John at November 21, 2011 5:12 PM
Comments
Comment #332268

Here are two very interesting and different comments by Pat Caddell and Doug Schoen; Caddell, pollster for Jimmy Carter, Schoen, a pollster for Bill Clinton. One in 2010 and one in 2011. It appears that not just old men are mad. I believe even Democrats cabn see the handwriting on the wall.

“If Democrats ignore health-care polls, midterms will be costly”

By Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen
Friday, March 12, 2010

“In “The March of Folly,” Barbara Tuchman asked, “Why do holders of high office so often act contrary to the way reason points and enlightened self-interest suggests?” Her assessment of self-deception — “acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts” — captures the conditions that are gripping President Obama and the Democratic Party leadership as they renew their efforts to enact health-care reform.

Their blind persistence in the face of reality threatens to turn this political march of folly into an electoral rout in November. In the wake of the stinging loss in Massachusetts, there was a moment when the president and the Democratic leadership seemed to realize the reality of the health-care situation. Yet like some seductive siren of Greek mythology, the lure of health-care reform has arisen again.”

In retrospect we know what happened in the 2010 election, and then we have this new comment by the same men:

“The Hillary Moment”
“President Obama can’t win by running a constructive campaign, and he won’t be able to govern if he does win a second term.”

When Harry Truman and Lyndon Johnson accepted the reality that they could not effectively govern the nation if they sought re-election to the White House, both men took the moral high ground and decided against running for a new term as president. President Obama is facing a similar reality—and he must reach the same conclusion.

He should abandon his candidacy for re-election in favor of a clear alternative, one capable not only of saving the Democratic Party, but more important, of governing effectively and in a way that preserves the most important of the president’s accomplishments. He should step aside for the one candidate who would become, by acclamation, the nominee of the Democratic Party: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Never before has there been such an obvious potential successor—one who has been a loyal and effective member of the president’s administration, who has the stature to take on the office, and who is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan
economic and foreign policy. ..

Put simply, it seems that the White House has concluded that if the president cannot run on his record, he will need to wage the most negative campaign in history to stand any chance. With his job approval ratings below 45% overall and below 40% on the economy, the president cannot affirmatively make the case that voters are better off now than they were four years ago. He—like everyone else—knows that they are worse off.”


http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970203611404577041950781477944-lMyQjAxMTAxMDIwMDEyNDAyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email

Posted by: Steve at November 21, 2011 7:35 PM
Comment #332270

C&J,
You fundamentally misunderstand the nature of the Obama presidency because you think it should be modeled on the Bush administration. This one functions very differently. You may approve. You may not. But you need to recognize it and assess it in different terms than the Bush presidency.

Obama does not govern as the leading liberal and head of the Democratic Party. Instead, he acts as a facilitator, using the presidency to conciliate differences between the opposing Legislative blocs. That has been his vision of how the Executive Branch should function, and that is what he has done. At times it disappoints Chris Matthews, and at times it disappoints liberals like me. That is the disadvantage. Another disadvantage is that willingness to compromise can be seen as weakness by the opposition, and can be risky in such a hyper-partisan environment. The disadvantage is that Obama can act as a unifying force. It keeps the presidency above the fray of hyper-partisan politics, and allows Obama to take the position of being a moderate, reasonable president of all Americans, not just one party. It is a more powerful strategy than might appear at first blush. It might be a powerful enough strategy to win re-election.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2011 8:48 PM
Comment #332271

phx8

Are you one of those people who thinks cats are smarter than people? Some people think cats are really smart because they don’t do anything. They are detached. They wait until somebody else does something. Maybe they are smart; maybe not. You really cannot tell by what they don’t do.

Obama stays above the debate by not being part of it. This is fine for most people, but not for a president. Or shall I say, not for a progressive president.

President Calvin Coolidge stayed above the fray because he believed in the limits of his office. President Obama believes in an aggressive government; he just doesn’t do anything about it. Silent Cal didn’t shoot off his mouth about … anything. Obama shoots off his mouth all the time.

So as president, he just is not there. Since we know it is NOT because he believes in limited government, like Calvin Coolidge, there must be other reasons. But it is not leadership.

Obama has NOT acted as a unifying force, even among Democrats. He is very divisive. He does not seem moderate.

If he would be like Silent Cal or like a cat, we might not know what he was thinking and could give him the benefit of the doubt. Unfortunately, he is always on the campaign attack. We know where he stands. We just know that the only important thing to him is expressing this w/o taking responsibility to do something.

We need a leader. We got a complainer in chief.

Posted by: C&J at November 21, 2011 9:15 PM
Comment #332272

I meant to say, he acts as a unifying force.

Cats? Love them. Used to have them, until my wife’s allergies ruled out the felines. Now we have pugs.

Can you cite examples of Obama “shooting his mouth off” or being a “complainer” or being “divisive”? Sure, he occasionally uses the bully pulpit, but more often, he sends the issues to Congress, lets Biden spearhead the major initiatives, and stays above the fray. He does not make much use of executive orders. He does not pass important legislation by using reconciliation.

Think about the various attacks upon Obama by the right over the past few years. The attacks are often contradictory: Obama is a tyrant, yet Obama is weak; Obama does not lead, yet Obama rams through legislation; Obama is a socialist, marxist, communist Muslim Mao-mao from Indonesia, yet he is a radical Reverend Wright-following community organizer who comes from the corrupt Chicago political machine. Why do conservatives have such a difficult time understanding Obama?

It’s difficult for the conservative mindset to grasp Obama’s leadership style. Conservatives respond to authoritarian styles of leadership. In terms of Kohlberg’s stages of moral development, conservatives fall into the fourth phase of conventional law and order morality, while Obama falls into the sixth stage. Obama’s experiences in the Illinois Senate and the US Senate, along with his experience teaching Constitutional Law, make this kind of orientation foreseeable.

The evidence is there. The evidence is plain. Let’s stop forcing ideological blinders on our perception of Obama, and see this administration for what it is. THAT is fair game for praise or condemnation.

Posted by: phx8 at November 21, 2011 10:13 PM
Comment #332279

phx8 said, “Obama does not govern as the leading liberal and head of the Democratic Party. Instead, he acts as a facilitator, using the presidency to conciliate differences between the opposing Legislative blocs. That has been his vision of how the Executive Branch should function, and that is what he has done.”

So in other words, he is running the presidency like a community organizer?

“Can you cite examples of Obama “shooting his mouth off” or being a “complainer” or being “divisive”?”

Perhaps every time he opens his mouth, he is blaming someone else. Example: today’s news conference, he came out the gate blaming the Republican controlled House. But I notice he didn’t say anything about the Democratic Senate. It’s been 3 years since the Senate voted on a budget bill.

Posted by: Frasnk at November 21, 2011 11:34 PM
Comment #332280


“It’s difficult for the conservative mindset to grasp Obama’s leadership style.

The conservative mindset had no intentions of voting for Obama with or without grasp.

Obama’s problem is that some liberals and independents are having difficulty grasping his leadership style.

Steve, it is hard for me to imagine Obama running the most negative campaign in history considering the campaign Republicans have been running against him for the last three years.

You make a fairly good case for Obama’s withdraw and Hillary’s ascension, but Hillary’s Democratic credentials are quite similar to those of Humphrey and Stevenson. I think the difference is that Hillary would win the Republican women.

Posted by: jlw at November 21, 2011 11:40 PM
Comment #332282

jlw, I believe Hillary would have a very good chance of winning not only the primary, but also the general election. She has had 3 years of foreign policy experience, and 8 years in the WH with her husband.

I voted for Obama, but not again. In my opinion, he has shown no leadership qualities. I do not believe Hillary would run the office the same.

I would love to see her run, because no matter how many pep talks by progressives, he cannot win. JMO.

Posted by: Steve at November 22, 2011 12:03 AM
Comment #332289

Frank,
What Obama did today supports what I said. At the request of the GOP, Obama said nothing while the Supercommittee negotiated. Now that it has failed, Obama has stated he will not bail out the Congress, and that they must either negotiate at least $1.2 trillion in reductions, or the triggered cuts will take effect. This is really a pretty good example of Obama’s leadership style.

Steve,
I have to agree with jlw. Obama does not have a history of negative campaigning. It’s a style of politics inconsistent with his personality and leadership style.

It will be a weird campaign if Romney wins the GOP nomination. He has been on both sides of almost every issue. Who knows what he will say he believes next year? It could be anything. Romney will be criticized for flip-flopping, of course, but I don’t see that as negative campaigning. It’s a fact.

I wish Hillary could run, but that was never likely, and now it is virtually impossible. I’d like to see her replace Biden as the VP on the ticket.

Posted by: phx8 at November 22, 2011 1:14 AM
Comment #332291

Phx8

Obama criticizes bonuses given to executives, while allowing bonus to executives at places like Fannie or Freddie where he actually has some responsibility. I wrote a whole post about that.

Obama goes to Europe where he complains that Republicans are holding up his “jobs plan”, while evidently makes no effective efforts to broker a compromise or even rally his own troops. We wrote about that too.

He is a man who is better suited by temperament and preference to hector others. This is the skill set of a trial lawyer or a community activist, as we also wrote. These are wonderful skills, but not those of a good president.

He is just in the wrong job. And I think this is an example of the nowhere man I talked about above. He came up too fast, w/o the experience and w/o the testing that would have revealed to himself and others his inappropriate skill set.

Let me be clear (to copy a favorite Obama phrase) Barack Obama is an intelligent, attractive and good man. He has wonderful skills that would make him successful in many areas of life. He would be a good leader in a collegial organization such as a law office or an academic department. The Presidency is not like that.

As Chris Mathews says, he has surrounded himself by “propeller heads” who also have skill sets more appropriate for other sorts of work. They are great campaigners, because they can connect on superficial levels needed to get votes and can tell good stories. But getting a person to flip a voting switch one time every four years is different than getting him to do routine hard work every day for four years.

Re being a tyrant and being weak - the two often go together. Weak leaders are often tyrannical. It is compensation for their weakness. Those in stronger positions can be magnanimous and patient. What some people are talking about re tyranny is the original definition, i.e. seizing power or prerogatives that are not legitimately his. All leaders run the risk of tyranny. It requires considerable restraint and humility to avoid the traps.

Re why we have trouble understanding Obama - it is the same reason liberals have trouble understanding Obama (as evidenced by Matthews and others). Obama is enigmatic. He was a blank slate on which others wrote their fears and aspirations. He still is. I have been unable to identify his core principles, other than he seems to believe in the efficacy of government more than average. He very quickly adapts his rhetoric to the occasions. Again, wonderful skills for lawyers and community activists.

Re Chicago, Wright etc - Wright is a horrible racist. It was right for the right to be concerned abut Wright. The left did a good job of sweeping that away, but having a guy like that as an advisory or even a friend indicates a certain lack of moral compass.

Re leadership styles - maybe indeed I do not understand. I have been studying leadership most of my adult life. I understand that there are those who favor a more collective approach of valuing every opinion equally. I think this is the beginning but not the end of leadership. You have to start with the nebulous but end with the concrete.

Different styles are appropriate to different situations. A diffuse leadership approach is good when you don’t have a real direction, as I said in law firms and academic departments.

The irony is that liberals theoretically believe in inclusion, but don’t do it when making decisions. The health care decision, for example, excluded more than 40% of congress and half the American people.

What annoys conservatives (who make up a greater % of the American population than liberals) is that liberals seem to think that legitimate opinion stretches from left to far left. They dismissed the Tea Party, which was a big grass roots movement, while they embrace the much smaller OWS. What is the difference between these movements? One uses more left wing rhetoric styles, the other more right.

Re the super committee - He should indeed have said nothing publicly. But he should have been working hard behind the scenes as Reagan, Clinton and even Bush did.

jlw

Please see above.

You are right that I would not vote for Obama. He has a vision of the scope of government that I think is wrong. Why would it surprise you that most conservatives would never vote for Obama? Remember that nearly 60% of Americans voted for Reagan. That leave 40% who did not, a big number, and I bet that many of them would NEVER vote for Reagan, no matter what. Sometimes there are real disagreements. That is why we have elections.

Frank

Right.

Posted by: C&J at November 22, 2011 5:11 AM
Comment #332294

C&J,

“Remember that nearly 60% of Americans voted for Reagan.”

Actually, it would be more correct to say that nearly 72% of American voters didn’t vote for Reagan.
In 1980 only 52.6% of registered voters even cast a vote.
Only 27% of all registered voters voted for Reagan.

In 1984 voter turnout was only marginally higher at 53.1%. Reagan may have gotten 58% of the popular vote, but again nearly 57% of eligible voters didn’t bother to cast a vote.


Re Rev. Wright; Wright may be an ass hat. He may be a racist.
However, in 1972 he stepped into a church in an area that was literally on the edge. Radical black Islamics were on the rise, and the Trinity United Church of Christ had 250 members, with only 90 regular attendees.
It now has over 8,500 members.

One question that has never been asked about this issue was whether Obama was more interested in Wright (and his message), or his congregation/community (and the available voters there).


Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 22, 2011 8:49 AM
Comment #332295
The irony is that liberals theoretically believe in inclusion, but don’t do it when making decisions. The health care decision, for example, excluded more than 40% of congress and half the American people.

Nonsense C&J, nonsense. The conservatives didn’t want to play, they took their toys and went home on their own. Remember a single payer plan was the goal but we ended up with essentially Gingrichcare, the conservative answer to Hillarycare.

Another thing to remember is the recent health care reform plan the conservatives passed when they were in power. They added benefits but not the money to pay for them. That was their best and brightest, their great answer to the health care insurance problem in this country.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2011 8:55 AM
Comment #332296

phx8, as I said I voted for Obama and the point of the articles I linked too, was that the writers (both Democrats) were correct in 2010 and I fear they will be correct in 2012. I don’t consider myself a liberal or progressive, but I am a Democrat. So the things I say are just my opinion. Pelosi promised she would be open and correct the corruption problem in Congress; she did the opposite. Reid has completely blocked anything from coming to the floor of the Senate, and Obama promised an open, transparent presidency. He has been anything but transparent. He always seems to be AOL when his leadership is needed most. As a union employee, my wife and I work all year with the hope of being able to take a week’s vacation; but President Obama has been on a perpetual vacation for 3 years. Am I upset; yes I’m upset. It is our tax dollars that pay to send him and his wife and kids all over the world. At least Hillary has been working her butt off, which is more than I can say for Obama.
Re negative campaigning: Obama will go negative; he has too, because he has no record to run on. I will not vote for him again and if it’s a tossup between Obama and a Republican, I will stay home. Although, I have thought of voting for Romney, if he wins the primary.

Posted by: Steve at November 22, 2011 9:29 AM
Comment #332297

Steve,

“As a union employee, my wife and I work all year with the hope of being able to take a week’s vacation; but President Obama has been on a perpetual vacation for 3 years.”

Do you actually believe that any President, unlike you or anyone else on vacation in this country, is “off the clock” when he is away from the White House?

Just asking.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at November 22, 2011 10:50 AM
Comment #332298
As a union employee, my wife and I work all year with the hope of being able to take a week’s vacation; but President Obama has been on a perpetual vacation for 3 years. Am I upset; yes I’m upset. It is our tax dollars that pay to send him and his wife and kids all over the world.

SO Steve I take it your job is as taxing as being president? The envy you show with this sad tale of woe makes me wonder how you would feel about us that also work for a living yet don’t get any paid vacation days.

Your proclivity to continue this conservative myth that Obama takes excessive vacation days has me questioning the veracity of your statements. Fact is your statement “President Obama has been on a perpetual vacation for 3 years” is pure BS, vague ambiguous BS, but BS none the less. When compared to presidents back to Reagan the only president with less vacation days this far into the term is Clinton.


http://ezkool.com/2011/08/obama-vacations-vs-george-bush/

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2011 11:22 AM
Comment #332299

The Republicans complain about anything and everything these days, when it comes to Obama. Their goal is to create a pervasively negative atmosphere about the man, the same way they did with Clinton. Unfortunately, when we talk about everything, we’re talking about everything. That is to say, even the stuff that’s mutually exclusive.

The Republican goal is not to make sense here, it’s to poison the atmosphere around Obama’s presidency.

Part of what they’ve done is resolved to prevent as much as possible from being done, and refuse all but the compromises that give away the store for Democrats.

It’s impossible to lead those who will not be lead, and the Republicans don’t want to be lead by anybody else but a Republican, even if that Republicans is a complete moron or extremist.

Republicans got enamored of Sarah Palin, long after everybody else gave up on her, because they had to be contrarian about anything coming from the mainstream media. Only when that opinion began to filter in from outside did they let themselves realized how badly they’d been had.

It’s not an accident that you have all these crass, moronic, extremist, or spineless candidates up on stage. It’s not an accident that a thrice married, cancer patient leaving, insider lobbyist resembling jerk of an former Speaker of the House who is now proposing child labor as a solution for our economic problems is your current leading candidate, and the other guy is a moderate Republican too spineless to admit it. It’s the net effect of a media set up that discourages any sense of mainstream self-awareness, a media more concerned with who fits their far-right agenda than telling you who’s crossed the line or failed to live up to reasonable standards.

There is value in being capable of being embarrassed. There is value in being able to let go of the morons and the fringe players, rather than feeling the pressure to embrace them just to spite the liberals.

Too much of your party’s culture centers around opposing liberals and liberalism, on being deliberately contrarian on those counts, rather than finding it’s own reasonable balance, whether it has agreements with the Democrats or not.

The process fell apart because no matter what the Democrats sacrificed in terms of entitlements or budget cuts, the Republicans would never agree to balance those cuts with tax increase for those who could afford them. Democrats could kill their sacred cows, Republicans could not. I’m tired of Republicans insisting that we give away everything before they’ll conceded to an agreement.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 22, 2011 12:13 PM
Comment #332300

Rocky Marks and j2t2; I am not trying to continue a conservative myth. In fact I have no use for conservatives; but while President Obama and the Congress blast CEO’s for taking huge compensations and bonuses (which they should do), at the same time we see the Congress and the President on constant vacations, on the taxpayer’s dollar. The latest information by 60 Minutes shows politicians engaged in insider trading (legally), yet if it was any of us working people, we would go to jail. There is a double standard in DC.

This is just my opinion and since Watchblog is supposed to be a political opinion blog site, I figured I would give my opinion. Perhaps I was wrong to even correspond on this site. My political views are undoubtedly the same as most Democrats. It is my opinion that Obama is going to have a hard time getting re-elected. Hence, my opinion that Hillary would be easier to vote in.

Posted by: Steve at November 22, 2011 12:30 PM
Comment #332301

Rocky

Those who don’t vote support those who do in the same proportions. If they choose not to vote, that is what they are telling us. So we don’t have to give them another thought. But anyway, if we take that approach, we also know that Obama got an even smaller % of support and Clinton was elected twice by only 10% of the voters.

Re Wright

Hate mongers can often get big following.

j2t2

A leader gets others to cooperate, even when they oppose. Reagan got Democrats to go along. He was a good leader. Obama … not so much.

Posted by: C&J at November 22, 2011 12:34 PM
Comment #332303
I am not trying to continue a conservative myth. In fact I have no use for conservatives; but while President Obama and the Congress blast CEO’s for taking huge compensations and bonuses (which they should do), at the same time we see the Congress and the President on constant vacations, on the taxpayer’s dollar.

Steve, connecting the CEO’s of bailed out banks receiving millions in compensations and bonuses immediately after being bailed on the taxpayers dime with Obama taking vacations, not out of the norm for presidents, is quite a stretch. Other than the taxpayers money they don’t have much in common.

Once again you claim Obama is on a constant vacation, which is just not true. His vacation time is less than previous presidents as I pointed out previously. So IMHO you are in fact continuing a conservative myth whether you have use for them or not it appears they have use for you.


This is just my opinion and since Watchblog is supposed to be a political opinion blog site, I figured I would give my opinion. Perhaps I was wrong to even correspond on this site.


Steve, everybody is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. When your opinion is based upon misinformation you should probably expect to have it questioned, as we have done, here on Watchblog.

BTW, I would agree that Obama is going to have a hard time getting re-elected.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2011 2:49 PM
Comment #332304
A leader gets others to cooperate, even when they oppose. Reagan got Democrats to go along. He was a good leader. Obama … not so much.

Perhaps David Frum says it best C&J. What you seem to interpret as a lack of leadership is a following that has moved to a fantasy based ideology.


“This is, unfortunately, not merely a concern for Republican voters. The conservative shift to ever more extreme, ever more fantasy-based ideology has ominous real-world consequences for American society. The American system of government can’t work if the two sides wage all-out war upon each other: House, Senate, president, each has the power to thwart the others. In prior generations, the system evolved norms and habits to prevent this kind of stonewalling. For example: Theoretically, the party that holds the Senate could refuse to confirm any Cabinet nominees of a president of the other party. Yet until recently, this just “wasn’t done.” In fact, quite a lot of things that theoretically could be done just “weren’t done.” Now old inhibitions have given way. Things that weren’t done suddenly are done.”

http://nymag.com/news/politics/conservatives-david-frum-2011-11/index4.html

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2011 3:06 PM
Comment #332306


C&J, your consistent show of affection for Reagan does harm to your small government, fiscal conservative credentials. As such, only one of the last five presidents has done anything to earn your support and it wasn’t Reagan.

“Reagan got Democrats to go along.”

Equally true: Democrats got Reagan to go along.

Reagan compromised with Democrats. It wasn’t all that hard, not nearly as hard as Obama getting compromise from Republicans today, he had something the Democrats wanted and they had something he wanted.

Can Obama compromise with today’s conservatives? Yes, if he sends them a budget that privatizes Social Security and Medicare, eliminates Medicaid completely, increases military spending and eliminates taxes on the wealthy.

Steve, I agree with your assessment of Obama as a traditional leader and your comments about transparency are right on. This transparency president was in the back room with the health care providers and insurers before the echos of his oath of office faded away. He found out early on, that is the preferred way of doing the countries business in Washington. Strong leaders are very authoritarian and it seems as if Obama has tried to avoid the authoritarian label even though Republicans have been determined to label him as dictatorial while, at the same time, labeling him weak and ineffectual.

Your remarks about Pelosi are right on. She has become a dead albatross hanging around the neck of the Democratic party. I feel exactly the same way about Reid, but your evaluation of him is not accurate. The House and the Senate have sent a goodly amount of legislation to Obama for signing, the majority of it corpocracy related.

Obama doesn’t have to go all that negative on his opponent. The Citizens United ruling allows surrogates to do the real dirty work for both him and his opponent while both employee the plausible deniability standard. Obama will probably be running against the Congress for the most part and I consider attacks on Congress as deserving rather than negative.

Romney? Are you talking about voting for a candidate that believes or doesn’t believe in something based on the crowd he is addressing? If leadership is what you expect, I think you are barking up the wrong tree.

I throw my vote away on third parties. There is only one person in Washington D.C. that I voted for and it isn’t Obama. This time around, I am considering throwing a brown paper bag over my conscience and voting for him. The alternatives are totally unacceptable to me.

Posted by: jlw at November 22, 2011 4:11 PM
Comment #332309

Steve; you are the exception to the rule if you are a Democrat and not liberal. Don’t come on WB and expect to complain about Obama, even if you did vote for him; the liberals on WB eat their own offspring. Your fault is that you are using your own brain to come to a conclusion about Obama and that’s a no-no. The liberal Democrats on WB spend all their time defending Obama, so I would suggest, since you are a democrat, just go with the flow.

jlw, “Romney? Are you talking about voting for a candidate that believes or doesn’t believe in something based on the crowd he is addressing?”

Are you talking about Obama? He changes his message, depending who he is speaking too.

Posted by: Frank at November 22, 2011 5:29 PM
Comment #332313

jlw

“Reagan got Democrats to go along.”

Equally true: Democrats got Reagan to go along.

And Obama got neither.

Posted by: C&J at November 22, 2011 6:15 PM
Comment #332325

C&J, You fault Obama for the shortcomings of the extremist conservatives in the Congress. If Reagan faced the same he would have done much less than a healthcare reform bill that has been on the table for 2 decades. Bush had 7 years to get Bin Laden but it was under Obama when the mastermind of the 9/112 attacks on the work trade center received his due. Have you forgotten “mission accomplished” while we remained in Iraq for longer than it took to fight WWII? Obama brought the troops home.

Sooner or later you will have to fact the fact that despite you continuing attempts to fault the leadership of Obama the conservatives gave us much less leadership the last time out.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 22, 2011 10:32 PM
Comment #332326
If Reagan faced the same…

LOL. Now that’s some funny revisionism…

The ‘extreme republican’ congress had no power until this January, what did Obama accomplish for the two years previously?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 22, 2011 10:44 PM
Comment #332328

Yes, but Obama passed obamacare (which j2t2 said had been on the table for 2 decades), which no one wanted.

Posted by: Frank at November 22, 2011 11:58 PM
Comment #332345

But Rhinehold they did have lock stepping power before January. Obstructionism was rampant, in fact they set the record for Congressional obstructionism during the period they were in the minority. Remember it is not a simple majority that gets things done anymore.


Frank according to Romney, Romneycare the precursor to Obamacare was the brainchild of Gingrich. Gingrichcare the grand daddy of Obamacare was the conservative response to Hilliarycare. Many didn’t want healthcare reform simply because it put on the table by Obama and the dems. Others didn’t want it because they didn’t want the gubbernment involved in healthcare! Others wanted single payer healthcare.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 23, 2011 9:02 AM
Comment #332346

j2t2

Getting bin Laden had nothing to do with who was in the Oval Office. We are glad that Obama did the right thing, but it was American continuing intelligence and strike capacity that made it possible.

Re congress - you recall how they hated Reagan. In 1982 you would have bet the world was ending if you just listened to liberals. But Reagan reached out. If you don’t want to credit Reagan, think Clinton. He faced a very hostile congress yet he also made progress with his political enemies.

Obama is just not a good leader. He is a campaigner and a front man. This is becoming clear to everybody.

Re “lock stepping power” Republicans,as you have pointed out, are very disorganized. They cannot agree on even the basics of a candidate, as you have said and ridiculed. They are not a impermeable block. They only seem that way because Obama is such a poor leader that he cannot find ways in.

I guess Obama is a kind of uniter. He manages to unite opposition.

Oliver Wendell Holmes called FDR a man with a second class intellect but a first class temperament. Obama seems to have a first class intellect, but he doesn’t have the temperament or the leadership skills to be even an average president.

Posted by: C&J at November 23, 2011 11:54 AM
Comment #332349
Getting bin Laden had nothing to do with who was in the Oval Office. We are glad that Obama did the right thing,

Sure it did C&J. The same as it did when the Iranian hostages were released. The ongoing attempts to release them didn’t have a thing to do with it.


Re congress - you recall how they hated Reagan.

At one 1986 dinner, for example, Reagan said of O’Neill: “Our friendship is testimony to the political system that we’re part of and the country we live in, a country which permits two not-so-shy and not-so-retiring Irishmen to have it out on the issues rather than on each other or their countrymen.”

http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2010/02/17/tip-oneill-and-reagan-and-model-for-breaking-partisan-gridlock

Doesn’t sound nearly as hateful as this IMHO C&J-

“Even with the country on the brink of default, the Senate’s highest ranking Republican says his “single most important” goal is to make Barack Obama a one-term president.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/07/10/mcconnell-stopping-obamas-re-election-still-single-most-important-goal/

Posted by: j2t2 at November 23, 2011 3:27 PM
Comment #332352

J2t2

Reagan credited Carter and insisted that he be present. Again, we had the example of a good leader confident enough to be magnanimous.

Re O’Neill - Reagan build that relationship. Obama is unable to reach out … even to his own party evidently. Bad leader, plain and simple.

Re making Obama a one term president - it will indeed be very bad for the country if we get four more years of his sideways leadership.

We all love the idea of Obama; we just don’t like Obama’s ideas.

Posted by: C&J at November 23, 2011 6:08 PM
Comment #332363
Re O’Neill - Reagan build that relationship.

C&J are you trying to convince me it was a one sided deal that allowed them to work together for the good of the country? We both know that is baloney. Reagan didn’t have to deal with bat sh#t crazy zealots determined to ruin the government as Obama has to deal with. It isn’t about leadership it is about intentional abuse of our country by conservatives, for political gain.

Re making Obama a one term president - it will indeed be very bad for the country if we get four more years of his sideways leadership.

Coming from a GWB supporter that is laughable. The fact is the repubs aren’t bringing anything to the table C&J. The best they could do is Newt or Mitt and those are some might slim pickings. The country was brought to the edge by conservatives during the first 8 years of this century. Your prescription of more hair of the dog that bite you is crazy talk.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 23, 2011 9:38 PM
Comment #332370

j2t2

The Republican candidates have not yet begun to campaign in the general. We know what we have had, however.

RE Bush - he was not my first choice, but I still think he was better than Kerry. No matter, it is an invalid argument to want to maintain a bad situation because you believe there was a worse one at some other time. Bush is gone and will not return. If Obama was to run against Bush, your argument would make sense.


Re compromise - It does indeed take two sides, but you have to put the bigger blame/credit on the president. There is one president and 535 members of Congress. Obama surely should have found a few to support his programs. And if one man cannot get along with hundreds of others, it is probably the one man.

Obama is just not a good leader. We have a chance to make a change in 2012. That is the great thing about democracy.

Posted by: C&J at November 24, 2011 4:53 AM
Comment #332373
RE Bush

I don’t disagree with you on this C&J as that was then and GWB isn’t running for office. However I do question those very same repub and conservatives that told us GWB was a leader and good for the country. Their ability to judge what is good leadership has been proven to be misguided and just plain wrong. Why should we listen to them this time around when we can see their choices are wrong. You tell us Obama isn’t a leader yet you put GWB up as a good leader at the time. I question your reasons for continually telling us Obama is not a good leader, it seems just partisan rhetoric to get yet another of the misguided into office.

Look at the repub party today. While marching lockstep towards an extreme conservative authoritarian stranglehold on the country they cannot field a decent choice for president. Their governors and other elected officials have performed miserably this past 2 years. They have veered off into la la land with conservative ideology as they attempt to bring the country into the third world without a middle class.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 24, 2011 10:12 AM
Comment #332382

j2t2

I supported Bush because I thought he was better than Kerry. I still do. I also worried that we would lose the war in Iraq. I am pretty sure that Kerry would have done just that. Things looked very bad in 2006. The surge worked. Kerry would have been out long before that.

I believe that defeating Muslim extremists in the heart of the Middle East was a very important task. We will see the good results of that, despite all the setback. Kerry, IMO, would have left the field to them.

I also continue to believe in market forces and smaller government. Bush did not give that to us, but Kerry would have bloated government even more, as Obama has done.

So I believe Bush was better than Kerry and I believe Bush was better than Obama. He was not my perfect guy, but he was the best on offer.

This “lockstep” word you guys use, is this some kind of Dem talking point. Nobody really uses the word lockstep in ordinary conversation.

Posted by: C&J at November 24, 2011 7:20 PM
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