Is Obama substandard?

The Economist runs a good article about Obama’s fall, called the “Man who used to walk on water.” Obama is a brilliant man who just doesn’t follow up. IMO, he was too privileged. As a smart, articulate young black man, he was always praised and never told no. This is why he is so confident and arrogant, why he promises so much but delivers so little.

The "Economist" points out that Obama's blaming others is wearing thin. He needs to get down to work. No more excuses or grandiose plans. In his second term, he owns the problems. He IS the promise he made and it is coming due.

Can Obama recover? Actually, I think not. He is no Bill Clinton. Obama feels that people should do what he wants because he is Obama. He feels no need to persuade and is insulted and petulant when others disagree. . Obama might make a good king, aloof and ostensibly wise, but as a leader of a democracy he is substandard.

BTW - "The Economist" endorsed Obama for president and supported his ObamaCare. They are not Obama haters. My liberal friends might listen carefully to what reasonably disinterested and even mildly supportive commentators think of Obama.

Posted by Christine & John at November 25, 2013 6:53 AM
Comment #374568

Obama and his administration broke the back of rising health care costs with the ACA, which in turn broke the back of the increasing national debt, and, by the way, reduced the deficit every year in office. At the same time, his administration put together a long string of uninterrupted job growth and GDP growth numbers, along with all time highs in the stock market, low interest rates, and low inflation.

Osama bin Laden is dead. Khaddafi is dead. US foreign policy goals have been advanced around the world without American casualties, while simultaneously strengthening bonds with allies. The Syrians gave up their chemical weapons arsenal without a shot. The Iranians elected a more moderate government and have turned away from the path of developing nuclear weapons. (Gee, I though conservatives told us they would already have one by now! Wrong again. If you really want a laugh, look into the predictions made by Krauthammer). So! it looks like Obama will earn that Nobel Peace Prize after all. The Iraq War has been wound down, and hopefully Afghanistan will be wound down next year too.

On the domestic front, a raft of new legislation- mostly from the Democrats in Congress- has advanced the rights of minorities.

It has been a good, solid performance, and one of the best presidencies we have seen in our lifetimes.

Oh! Sorry to interrupt this vague and unfocused hand-wringing with indisputable facts. Conservatives, please feel free to put the collective backs of your hands to your foreheads, clutch your pearls, and commence swooning.

Posted by: phx8 at November 24, 2013 7:16 PM
Comment #374569

Here are some concrete examples of the substandard in politics:

Fewest bills passed: the Republican 112th Congress

Pace to break previous record for fewest bills passed: The 113th

Over 40 attempts to repeal Obamacare: Guess who?

Number of bills passed by Republicans to replace the current health care reform legislation: zero

Shutting down the government: Now THAT is substandard. Congratulations. It is the GOP again.

Threatening to default on the debt unless political demands are met: GOP

Winning the 2010 midterm on the platform of ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’ and then producing precisely zero job bills?

Ah conservative, thy name is Substandard.

Posted by: phx8 at November 24, 2013 7:27 PM
Comment #374571

How funny, you try to tell us Obama is “substandard” whilst just this week a teabagger repub representative from Florida is convicted for possession of cocaine. No demand for his resignation by repubs, the same repubs who demanded Wiener resign for his lawful transgressions. Seems to me the only thing substandard, other than the faulty premise of this article, is the double standard of conservatives.

Obama gives us Obamacare the conservatives give us unfunded Medicare part D, yet conservative logic try’s to tell us Obama is substandard! The conservatives give us 8 years of GWB, an economic meltdown, two wars on a credit card, unfunded mandates and tax cuts whilst charging the cost of the wars and try to tell us Obama is substandard, what a joke.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 24, 2013 10:30 PM
Comment #374572


The decline in the growth of health care came before ObamaCare started to “work”. Usually causes need to come before effects.

The deficit came down as Congress refused to allow more Obama spending. It is still way too high, however.

The biggest success and the most important real stimulus of the Obama time is fracking, which created millions of jobs. This, too, started before Obama. His big contribution was that he was unable to stop it, although many of his supporters are still trying.

Read the Economist. It is written by those who supported Obama and ObamaCare, but are intelligent enough not to keep on praising failure.


Indeed, one representative from Florida is a bad guy. He should resign. Your argument that at least one guy is worse than Obama is not a strong argument in favor of a president.

Posted by: CJ at November 25, 2013 4:05 AM
Comment #374573


RE Iran - let me remind you that I have lectured you and the other liberals on this blog dozens of times about 1)why we were not going to invade Iran and 2) how the Iranian people were fundamentally civilized and probably nature U.S. allies. I support the Obama policy, but I fear he will screw it up. Obama attention span is just too short to handle a complex issue like this. Kerry, however, is much better than Hillary. He may be able to pull it off. Let’s hope.

Posted by: CJ at November 25, 2013 4:09 AM
Comment #374574

C&J I am not comparing the two guys, I am pointing out the hypocrisy in conservative thought, the double standard that exists with anyone who complains about Obama after voting for GWB twice. The inability of conservatives to realize the intentional obstructionism of the repubs in Congress for the past 5+ years. The inability of conservatives to acknowledge the massive propaganda campaign conducted by tea party bank rollers and their ilk against Obamacare the past 4 years. The inability of conservatives to recognize we are in much better shape today than we were when GWB turned the rudder over to Obama.

The tea bagger druggie representative of the people of Florida is just one example of the double standard of conservatives.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 25, 2013 6:50 AM
Comment #374575

Perhaps the rel issue is the dems propaganda machine that is substandard C&J, especially when compared to the repub/conservative propaganda machine.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 25, 2013 7:13 AM
Comment #374577

And that is why your wise Bush Administration stirred things up by calling Iran a part of the Axis of Evil, a move that hardliners used to get our friend Ahmedinejad elected.

As for short attention span? I remember Bush tiring of looking for Bin Laden after just a few months, while Obama stuck with it for three years and got him.

Obama, at the very least, did something wise: he bypassed Netanyahu. Netanyahu basically built his position on Prime Minister on having Iran as a boogeyman. If Iran is neutralized by other means, what use is he?

I don’t think Obama is substantard. I think he’s had to deal with one of the most obstructive Congressional Minorities in American history, in the aftermath of one of the most destructive presidencies in modern American history. I think he’s done the best job most anybody could under the circumstances.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 25, 2013 8:50 AM
Comment #374579

Spinning laughable talking points.
Some guy in Florida.
Those are the reasons why President Obama is not doing a substandard job?

C&J, the liberals are so invested in a liberal President saving the world, this one in particular, that they have lowered the standards Americans used to demand from their President.

Posted by: kctim at November 25, 2013 10:38 AM
Comment #374580

Health care costs slowed in 2008 and 2009 because of the economy. Remember these substandard numbers?

- 8.3%
- 459,000, - 472,000, - 775,000

Those represent GDP growth and non-farm payroll numbers for the last quarter after eight years of a Republican in the White House. They slowed growth everywhere, no doubt. But when the economy recovered, the growth of health care costs resumed. I say again: the last three years have been the slowest growth for health care costs on record.

Oh. And just to be fair let’s compare the same, most recent numbers under the Obama administration:

+238,000, +163,000, +204,000

The Neocons are busy denouncing negotiations with Iran. Krauthammer wrote an article for yesterday’s paper that was so bad, so off the mark, I thought it must have been written before the release of the news about the thawing relationship between Iran and the US (and six other countries). How does Krauthammer keep his job? How does he do it? He predicted Romney would win in 2012! Seriously, this guy gets paid to make predictions like that. He predicted Donald Trump would run. Krauthammer must have a drawer full of pictures of Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch in compromising positions. How else to explain such a long and undistinguished record of gross incompetency?

Not sure? Do on search on articles Krauthammer has written about Iran. His predictive powers and policy assessments are absolutely horrible. Wait. Not just horrible. Wrong.

Posted by: phx8 at November 25, 2013 11:48 AM
Comment #374581

phx8, you are quick to jump on the correlation between the ACA and the slowdown. From the Whitehouse, “While the causes of the slowdown are not yet fully understood, the evidence available to date supports several conclusions about the slowdown and the role of the ACA.” And from the New Yorker, “To be sure, it’s too early to celebrate, or to attribute the slowdown in spending growth to the A.C.A, which is only starting to make its impact felt.”

I will say this however, because of the ACA I’m going to a high deductible plan in 2014. You bet I’ll be watching every procedure and every test ordered since it will be coming out of my HSA savings. So I guess it’s “thank you Obama” for pushing me to Bush’s HSA.

Posted by: George in SC at November 25, 2013 2:58 PM
Comment #374582


What you are doing is trying to disqualify any criticism of Obama by trying to disqualify people like me from making comment and it is a very fascist thing to do. I deplore this kind of attitude and ask you to be that way. It is an invalid argument and I don’t accept it.

Re being better off today, the economy improved. I believe it would have improved more under better management. The most important stimulus has been the millions of jobs created by the fracking boom. This was not part of the Obama plan.


I applaud the development with Iran and I credit John Kerry with it. Since Obama appointed him, I also applaud Obama. Hillary would not have been able to do it. I fear that Obama will screw it up. I don’t have much confidence in his ability to follow through. Let’s hope it works.

Posted by: CJ at November 25, 2013 3:01 PM
Comment #374585

C/J and others may applaud the development with Iran while I and many others deplore the deception that obama and Kerry have bought into.

“The deal does not stop the Iranian nuclear program. It merely slows certain elements of that program for six months while others continue. After six months, Iran can resume where it left off. Iran made no concessions that cannot be reversed.

More telling, Iran has protected its top nuclear priority. The deal allows it to continue enriching uranium, a stark departure from previous U.S. policy and a clutch of U.N. Security Council Resolutions that declare enrichment by Iran illegal and unacceptable, period.

If Iran was on the verge of a nuclear breakout, it might make sense to pay a high price to slow the Iranian nuclear program. If nuclear breakout was less imminent, the trade-off looks reckless.”

The sanctions were working and causing great harm to their economy and halting some of their worldwide terror network.

Once again we and some of our allies have snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. Victory being the dismantling of Iran’s ability to enrich uranium.

Should we awake some morning to find Iran with a nuclear bomb…the half black half white president of supposed superior intelligence will be noted as the greatest failure ever of an American president.

While the Iranian centrifuges continue to spin; our feeble-minded president and SecState will spin their treasonous actions.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 25, 2013 6:30 PM
Comment #374586

Deceptive piece of misinformation you posted there. There is no need to stop the Iranian nuclear program. There is no reason to be opposed to the Iranians developing nuclear energy. However, there is good reason to want to prevent the Iranians from obtaining nuclear weapons. The terms of the agreement let the Iranians enrich up to 5%, which is harmless; at the same time, over the next six months they must dilute or get rid of Uranium enriched to 20% or more, which is what it takes to produce a bomb.

See how deceptive your article by Frum really is? Nasty piece of work there by Frum.

You write: “After six months, Iran can resume where it left off. Iran made no concessions that cannot be reversed.”

This is true. And we- the five nations of the UN Security Council + Germany- can resume full sanctions as well. In the meantime, some sanctions will still remain in place. And nuclear inspectors will be in the ground, in Iran, verifying the terms of the negotiations.

There is no guarantee this will work. But there is good reason to think so. Negotiation is preferable to violence. Sanctions have taken a heavy toll on Iran. A more moderate government has been elected, and there is good reason to think they are sincere as matter of their own self-interest.

To watch conservatives denounce this deal is nothing less than appalling. These are the people who brought us the War in Iraq and these same people want to solve issues with Iran through violence, rather than diplomacy.

It is a yet another clear cut example of why the foreign policy of Democrats and liberals are so completely and utterly superior to the disastrous course advocated by Republicans and conservatives, a course based on fear, insecurity, and violence.

Posted by: phx8 at November 25, 2013 7:24 PM
Comment #374587

“Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Iran had not given up its right to enrich uranium - one of the sticking points which had held up a deal. The US however denied any such right had been conceded.”

This one paragraph sums up our strategy. We insist that the agreement doesn’t mean what the Iranians think it means.

Just great…how splendidly stupid. I can’t wait for Kerry to wave a piece of paper claiming victory that means absolutely nothing to Iran.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 25, 2013 7:28 PM
Comment #374588

“To watch conservatives denounce this deal is nothing less than appalling.”

Hey bub…read the news…many dems are not pleased either.

Since 2005, the Security Council has adopted six resolutions requiring Iran to stop enriching uranium, some imposing sanctions. All have failed.

The US and EU have imposed additional sanctions on Iranian oil exports and banks since 2012, crippling Iran’s economy.

Despite this, Iran continues to enrich uranium. In 2009, it disclosed the existence of a new underground facility at Fordo.

Now, all those resolutions mean nothing as they were simply ignored by Iran. The US and the other five countries have capitulated to Iran with little to show for our diplomatic defeat.

We finally had Iran in the position we desired with the sanctions and then we just roll over and play dead.

Our Idiot in chief and his barely cognizant SecState are two of the most dangerous men on the planet.

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 25, 2013 7:42 PM
Comment #374589
It is a yet another clear cut example of why the foreign policy of Democrats and liberals are so completely and utterly superior to the disastrous course advocated by Republicans and conservatives, a course based on fear, insecurity, and violence.

Aaaand then you go off the rails. I was right with you there until you just discredited everything you said with this single provably stupid comment.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 8:14 PM
Comment #374590

Ok, some basics about Uranium enrichment:

The most common nuclear reactors around the world use Uranium enriched to 3 - 5% for their operation.

Uranium must be enriched to 20% or higher in order to make a nuclear weapon.

Iran enriching Uranium to 5% is not a problem. Iran enriching it to 20% is most definitely a problem.

The terms of the agreement leave the question of whether Iran has a right to enriching Uranium uncertain. Iran says it can, while we disagree.

No one capitulated. No one rolled over a played dead, whatever that means. Both sides have a great deal to show for their diplomacy. Whether this improvement in relations continues beyond six months remains to be seen, but this is a start- a very good start.

In 2009 Iran disclosed the existence of an underground facility. Uh huh. Are you saying we did not know about it until they disclosed it? Again, that is just so much carefully worded baloney.

Clearly, you are on the side of fear, insecurity, and violence. Clearly, I am on the side of strength, diplomacy, confidence, and peace.

Posted by: phx8 at November 25, 2013 8:15 PM
Comment #374591


It might be a good thing. But it takes persistence and follow through. Obama has demonstrated the ability to start big but so far none of his finishes has been worthy of the starts. I support the attempt, but I don’t trust our perfidious president to carry it out.

Posted by: CJ at November 25, 2013 8:18 PM
Comment #374592
So! it looks like Obama will earn that Nobel Peace Prize after all.

??? I think you have a different version of the word ‘peace’ than the rest of the world does…

We didn’t leave Iraq, we replaced troops with hired mercenaries still there, still fighting. I know, no one reads the news anymore about all of bombings that still go on there now that ‘we’re no longer there’, but being blind and stupid doesn’t equal success.

We won’t be leaving Afghanistan as I have already explained to you with the announcement of the long term deal keeping us there. But in that time when you used to lambast (and still do) President Bush for the deaths of Americans during his tenure, the fact remains that Obama is responsible for TWICE as many deaths in a QUARTER the time period (8x worse death rate) and more than 3.5x as many troops as was GWB.

This administration has waged a war or terror on a civilian population of the world that dwarfs what all other presidents did before, actually more than 14 TIMES WORSE. The result of the other presidents before was 9/11, yet we are systematically targeting and killing innocent children with drones at levels that boggle the mind.

This administration has claimed, AND ACTED UPON, the power to kill anyone, including US CITIZENS, without due process, a trial or even a warrant presented to a judge.

This administration refuses to sign the Cluster Bombs Treaty, making sure that he and future presidents can still use them to indiscriminately kill. Of course, this isn’t different than his other policies that result in the same thing.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 8:31 PM
Comment #374593

The US is not the only one involved in these negotiations with Iran. Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany. We are working together through the UN to stop nuclear proliferation. We have an overwhelming advantage in military and economic strength. Iran, on the other hand, is alone, isolated, and encircled, with a relatively weak military & economic hand. Sanctions have worked. The Iranians have come to the table with us and our allies, which is exactly what we wanted.

This was the whole point of the exercise in the first place, the point of sanctions and the point of negotiations.

The idea that the effort is somehow doomed ignores the existence of Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany. It assumes Obama is weak and perfidious, but really, that is pretty silly, isn’t it?

The opposition is reflexive, nothing more. If Obama favors it, conservatives must oppose it, no matter how ridiculous the opposition becomes. If it is good for the country, it must be denounced, because that will make Obama look good.

Pathetic. Just pathetic. Is this how low conservatives have sunk? How much lower can they limbo? The depths of foolishness seem to know no bounds.

Posted by: phx8 at November 25, 2013 9:10 PM
Comment #374597
Is this how low conservatives have sunk?

You mean they sunk to the same low depths as progressives in 2001-2009?


Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 9:25 PM
Comment #374598

Oh, and phx8, before you try to suggest that that isn’t the case, I refer you to this page:

Where you can see what former Clinton staffers who were none to happy about Bush put together and created, this page was lifted from January 19, 2001.

Some of the ‘headlines’

Take Our Counter-Inaugural Oath: George W. Bush is Not A Legitimate President

Kennedy Filibuster Hint Angers Republicans

Kennedy Signals Ashcroft Filibuster

Exclusive Feature: Ashcroft Filibuster Watch Launches ‘Ashcroft Lied’ Campaign to Get Democrats to Call their Senators

Why are there No Jews in Bush’s Cabinet?

40% of Americans Think that Bush is Illegitimate

Ashcroft Was a Draft Dodger!

The Largest Protests Since Vietnam

Inauguration Day Protests Across the USA

Wear Black on Friday, January 19

Theft of the Presidency: Day 65

Yeah, thoughtful evenhanded disagreements going on there, dontcha think?

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 9:34 PM
Comment #374599

BTW, from that same page on October 8, 2001, I found this:

“Demonstrate for Justice, Not Terror
Across the US and the world, citizens are gathering to insist on justice for terrorists but not violence against innocent civilians. Check here for protests near you.”

It’s interesting what a change in the party in control of the White House does to people’s views…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 9:53 PM
Comment #374600

What is your point? Do you dispute the 2001 election was controversial?

Ashcroft was a questionable pick for AG, but he still passed his confirmation hearings with a 58 -42 vote and no filibuster, and remember- this guy was the antithesis of a Libertarian, between his pushing for the Patriot Act, the War on Drugs, denial of rights to women and minorities. And having said that, he was still a far sight better than his successor, Gonzalez.

Disagreeing with Obama to an extraordinary degree is what we see with conservatives. It is reflexive.

With the advantage of hindsight, we can see Democrats and liberals were right to disagree with Bush and his cabinet. If anything, they were not vociferous enough. They did not filibuster his SCOTUS picks or tax cuts or unfunded wars. True, they mounted a principled opposition and they eventually won at the ballot box, and they saved the country from a Great Depression. But think how much better off we would all be if Bush had never been selected by the Supreme Court in the first place.

Posted by: phx8 at November 25, 2013 10:12 PM
Comment #374601
What is your point?

That the parties reflexively hate and attempt to block anything and everything the other party does. It is even how many policies that both parties adhere to seem to contradict their other policies, they were opposed reflexively and have stuck since because of the rhetoric.

Do I doubt the 2001 election was controversial? It was, but remember WHY. Because the parties made it so. The complete and total BS Rhetoric of ‘fulfilling the voter’s wishes’ was stupid from the day it was first uttered, most non-partisan people saw through that. Where the the recounts in other states, other counties in Florida? Only 3 heavily democratic counties? Yeah, the ‘wishes of YOUR voters’ you mean…

It didn’t stop the left from demonizing Bush and everything he did and stood for for 8 years. Of course, he wasn’t black so the use of the Race Card wasn’t something the right could play, so you have additional ammo (that only affect the unthinking) on your side in your insipid partisan fights, other than that, very very very little has changed.

The fact that you think it has just puts you squarely on one side, willing to overlook the bad of your own and the good of your opponent in order to win your little war over who gets to control the lives of the citizenry, like a good totalitarian progressive.

But think how much better off we would all be if Bush had never been selected by the Supreme Court in the first place.

Interestingly enough, he WASN’T selected by the Supreme Court, the Supreme Court stopped the Florida Supreme Court from violating the 14th amendment rights of millions of Florida citizens… Bush one the election, the second recount and in the end won the stopped recount after everyone went back and went through the ballots.

Your continued ignorance on the issue is just backing up my original point, don’t you think?

BTW, I do not think we would be any better off with Gore as president in 2001… I didn’t vote for either so I think you can tell that I didn’t want either one to win.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 10:52 PM
Comment #374602

Another BTW, the original point stands though that this notion that the right should roll over and let the Democrats govern and ‘not be haters’ is laughable after what the Democrats did to Bush for 8 years…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 25, 2013 10:56 PM
Comment #374605

Oh, and phx8, let’s not forget the actual numbers…

During his first term, President Obama nominated 42 persons to U.S. circuit court judgeships. Of the 42, 30 (71.4%) were confirmed, 5 (11.9%) had their nominations either withdrawn by the President or returned to the President and not resubmitted to the Senate, and 7 (16.7%) had their nominations returned to the President at the end of the 112th Congress and subsequently were renominated during the 113th Congress.

During the first terms of the five most recent Presidents (Reagan to Obama), the 30 confirmed Obama circuit court nominees were tied with 30 Clinton nominees as the fewest number of circuit nominees confirmed. The percentage of circuit nominees confirmed during President Obama’s first term, 71.4%, was the second-lowest, while the percentage confirmed during G.W. Bush’s first term, 67.3%, was the lowest.

Of the 173 persons nominated by President Obama to U.S. district court judgeships during his first term, 143 (82.7%) were confirmed, 6 (3.5%) had their nominations withdrawn or returned and not resubmitted, and 24 (13.9%) had their nominations returned to the President and were renominated during the 113th Congress.

President Obama’s first term, compared with the first terms of Presidents Reagan to G.W. Bush, had the second-fewest number of district court nominees confirmed (143 compared with 130 for President Reagan) and the second-lowest percentage of district court nominees confirmed (82.7% compared with 76.9% for President G.H.W. Bush).

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 26, 2013 4:03 AM
Comment #374606


I am opposing the proposed result. I don’t trust the process or Obama to carry through properly.

The gap between supposed intent and result is a big problem for liberals. Obamacare, for example, might be a good idea in intent, but it cannot be carried out well.

We also have a problem with Obama himself. He has shown himself to be casual in his connection with truth and unable to follow up on hard issues that require engagement with those who oppose him. Iranians have a history of dishonest manipulation and deadly support for America’s enemies. They are unlikely to “play fair.”

The big improvement for Obama is that we now have fracking, which puts the Iranians (and the Russians) at a disadvantaged position.

Fracking is the most important geopolitical factor of the Obama presidency and a much bigger part of the economic recovery than any Obama policy. It is the wind beneath his wings, to the extent that he is flying. W/o fracking, we would be a lot worse off. It is disturbing to me that more people cannot see this obvious fact and still talk about it as though Obama is calling the shots in isolation.

Posted by: CJ at November 26, 2013 4:07 AM
Comment #374608

Rhinehold, did the dems attempt to repeal any of GWB’s and/or repubs laws 30 or more times during the GWB era?

C&J, Talking truth, pointing out the faulty premise your post is based upon is fascist! I would think your silly accusation is due to your inability to respond to the point made and name calling is your only retort.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 26, 2013 7:06 AM
Comment #374609


Let me explain. I bring up negative points about Obama. You tell me that anyone who supported Bush has no right to criticize Obama. This is classic fascism, whereby you try to de-legitimize an argument by de-legitimizing the person making it. If left to its logical conclusion, it is the ultimate appeal to force, since there is no way that persuasion can be applied.

I have never done that to you or anyone else here, both out of better manners and greater intelligence. Put in simple terms, if your worst enemy tells you 2+2=4, it does you no good to deny that simply because of the source.

So, I am not complaining the you pointed out the faulty premise of my post (although I think you failed to do that anyway). I am complaining about the attempt to shut down debate by referring to characteristics of the source, i.e. me.

Let me be specific. You say, “I am pointing out the hypocrisy in conservative thought, the double standard that exists with anyone who complains about Obama after voting for GWB twice.” To me, that implies that anyone who voted for Bush is disqualified from complaining about Obama. This means that about half the population, those that voted in 2000 and 2004, would not be qualified to criticize Obama. And this is totalitarian.

If you did not mean to do it, I regret calling you on it.

Posted by: CJ at November 26, 2013 7:33 AM
Comment #374611

“Clearly, you are on the side of fear, insecurity, and violence. Clearly, I am on the side of strength, diplomacy, confidence, and peace.”
Posted by: phx8 at November 25, 2013 8:15 PM

Clearly, I am Churchill to your Chamberlain.

phx8 writes; “The depths of foolishness seem to know no bounds.” I agree, We and our allies working thru the UN placed sanctions upon Iran that were really hurting them. All the Iranians needed to do to get relief was agree to sit at a table…truly foolish. It reminds me of our negotiations with the North Koreans following the truce. Hell, they couldn’t even agree on the shape of the table.

I don’t have much respect for liberal political philosophy but I never believed they were stupid…just mislead. Now…?

Posted by: Royal Flush at November 26, 2013 1:57 PM
Comment #374632
Let me explain. I bring up negative points about Obama. You tell me that anyone who supported Bush has no right to criticize Obama. This is classic fascism, whereby you try to de-legitimize an argument by de-legitimizing the person making it.

C&J, First and foremost this illogical roundabout way you have arrived at the name calling is just silly. Nowhere have I threatened or coerced you. What I have done is question the validity of your complaints. After all as I have noted in previous comments you did not find GWB to be substandard despite the economic collapse on his watch (or any of the other examples I provided). Based upon your conservative bent you find it acceptable to charge wars on credit cars while lowering taxes, running up a huge debt for the country in doing so. Yet you find Obama substandard and insist upon insulting me for pointing out the nonsensical double standard required to make such a determination.

Speaking of deligitimizing someone I would offer it is you who are trying to delegitimize Obama, you and many extremist pundits on the right. You state “Obama might make a good king, aloof and ostensibly wise, but as a leader of a democracy he is substandard.” Without anything to back this statement up other than a website that doesn’t work and a comment that was technically accurate but misleading. Kinda like the WMD statements of GWB (only not nearly as deceptive as Obamas statement did have a basis in fact) yet at the time you didn’t write about GWB being substandard. Which I find to be hypocritical.

I am complaining about the attempt to shut down debate by referring to characteristics of the source, i.e. me.

It is your complaining I question C&J. I also question your need to use hyperbole and exaggeration as you have done with this comment. I have never attempted to shut down debate as you claim, nor have I threatened or bullied you, I have simply presented my opinion of your complaints.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 26, 2013 7:56 PM
Comment #374637


You just did it again. “What I have done is question the validity of your complaints.” This is an invalid argument. It would not matter if I supported the devil himself.

You may argue that Bush is as substandard as Obama and I have actually supported that idea in previous writing. Compared to Clinton or Reagan, both Bush and Obama are substandard.

Re my criticism of Obama - that is the subject of our discussion. His behaviors and characteristics are indeed important. If we are not discussing them, we have no discussion to have, which is kind of what you are trying to do.

Let me be clear - in a discussion like this you have limited rights to question the personal history or motives of the person you are engaging. You may point out inconsistencies in past writings. You could say that that Bush is also substandard. I would have agreed, as above, but that is not a valid argument that Obama is NOT. We could argue re which is more substandard, but that is not a very useful argument, since Bush is no longer president nor will he run again.

Posted by: CJ at November 27, 2013 4:24 AM
Comment #374646

C&J it seems we are going around in circles here with this name calling thing you have going. Yes I do take exception to your opinion which I have stated once and again on this particular thread. You seem to have made such a subjective benchmark for judging presidents, you and many many other conservatives. I mean by using the term substandard you must have a certain level that makes up the standard don’t you? But what is it? Based upon the many times you have defended GWB and the repubs over the years standard would be getting us into wars and charging them to future generations. Obama is then substandard for doing so? I don’t think so.

Standard for the specific issue addressed in the link would be truth and veracity perhaps? Reagan ran the most corrupt administration in modern history yet he is the basis for truth and veracity? He promised to cut the deficits and debt yet he tripled the debt! Clinton tried but failed to get a health care bill passed, GWB did get an unfunded Medicare part D passed and charged it to the next generation. Obama passed the Heritage plan during his first term, but darn the website had start up problems so he is substandard, really?
Obama is substandard because he mislead the American people is your claim when we take away the hyperbole and exaggeration. Name one president that hasn’t mislead the American people. Reagan and the Contras, Budget deficits. Clinton and the dress. GWB and the war in Iraq based upon WMD’s that didn’t exist. His misleading is not as great as Reagan nor GWB’s but in line with the dress and Clinton. So is it really substandard or typical of the level of misleading of dems presidents? It may not be to the level of repub lies but perhaps it is above standard rather than substandard. What do you think?

Motive is beyond approach! It is logical and acceptable to attack Obama’s leadership yet not be questioned as to why one would make such an illogical statement? Doing so makes one a fascist! This is what you are saying to me?

Well we have come full circle and it seems you brought up delegitimatizing for a reason but it is you attempting to delegitimatize Obama. Yet you call me the fascist. One must consider the source when propaganda is involved IMHO C&J, to not do so ….

Posted by: j2t2 at November 27, 2013 11:39 AM
Comment #374653


Obama is not substandard only because he lied repeatedly to the American people. I dislike that, but other have lied, sometimes for decent reasons, such as FDR in the run up to WWII.

Obama is substandard in his general performance. Bush too, BTW. I understand that this is a judgement call. That is why we can debate it. But Obama is certainly as disappointment to most Americans, as the polls show. He stands just where Bush did at this point in his presidency. Substandard. Perhaps we can say below average if you like, but when they make a list of presidents from to with guys like Washington and Lincoln to bottom with guys like Warren G Harding or James Buchanan, Obama and Bush will be near each other and both below the median.

Re delegitimizing Obama - I am not delegitimizing him. He is legitimately president. He just is not a good one.

Re your argument - you can make any you want. You just cannot validly say or imply that anyone who supported Bush, or anyone else for that matter, has no right to criticize Obama. You cannot, another words, appeal to status of the speaker in order to win an argument, except in areas where you might question expertise. For example, a person w/o medical training might not be taken seriously in a technically medical discussion. This is not the case here.

Posted by: CJ at November 27, 2013 2:17 PM
Comment #374655

No mention of how those that voted for GWB have set the standard C&J. If you voted twice for GWB and didn’t criticize or actually defended his bungling of the war and the economy as well as the budget and the unfunded mandates yet want to tell me Obama is substandard then shouldn’t your expertise to set a standard be questioned? If your track record of standard setting is so bad as to elect GWB twice then do you really have the expertise to set standards or to judge others on this set of standards you use? When you set the bar so low then raise the bar for the next guy so high shouldn’t the reader question motives?

A double standard seems to be the problem here and IMHO it should be critiqued. How many
killed at US embassy attacks during the GWB administration?
Yet Benghazi is the Obama scandal.

Conservatives seem to be trying to protect nothing more than a groundless opinion, a politically motivated groundless opinion. Perhaps it is an issue of ego that makes conservatives in general want to project onto Obama all things GWB. Certainly the concerted effort of repubs/conservatives, including yourselves, to impede anything Obama should be subject to questioning by readers of your post. How many sitting representatives called GWB a liar during a SOTU speech?

General performance! IS that what you call all these non scandals we have seen for years from the far right? Using a made up set of facts to deligitimize the sitting president on the level we have seen from the repubs the past 5 years brings “expertise” into question IMHO. And you call me the fascist, go figure.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 27, 2013 3:23 PM
Comment #374656


Opinions about Bush differ. The economy for most of the Bush presidency was better than it is today. Analyst who have studied the crash in 2008 are coming to different explanations as to the cause and effect. Most agree now that it was caused by a combination of too much risk based on faulty analysis, exacerbated by push into housing by Bush, Clinton, Democrats, Fannie May etc. TARP enacted under Bush and the Fed saved the economy before Obama was even in office. That is becoming the consensus analysis among people who are not particularly partisan. It is not out of step with what I wrote.

RE Iraq - I wrote that the initial invasion was probably a mistake. BUT once involved we needed to finish. I supported the surge, which worked as planned and even better. I saw that personally and participated personally, boots on the Iraqi ground in that operation, so I know what I am talking about.

Re Benghazi - I wrote that it was a mistake, but not a scandal. I explained that people die doing their work and that we need to be prepared for that. The scandal was Susan Rice lying about it. Most people agree that she lied, even most Democrats. That is why they didn’t put her up for SecState.

Now for Obama -

Our foreign policy has not improved and may have gotten worse with Russia and the Middle East. Iran may be a good thing, but too soon to tell.

Economy - slowest recovery in our lifetime. Unemployment still higher today than almost any time in the last 25 years before Obama.

Health Care - debacle. Some people think it may work in the long run, but he really screwed the pooch on the roll out.

The biggest success for the Obama time is fracking, which created millions of U.S. jobs. We are now producing more oil than any time in nearly 25 years. These are things Obama just could not stop. It was not something he promised or supported.

So his biggest success is based on serendipity. After five years, it is time for him to step up. You think he will. I am not sure. The argument of the left is that all the mistakes are not his fault. Even if true, it is not much of an endorsement.

RE calling Obama a liar - I think it was bad manners and I rejected it at the time and now, but it turned out not inaccurate.

Posted by: CJ at November 27, 2013 5:28 PM
Comment #374660

Still no mention of any standard to judge by C&J. So it remains that Reagans administration was the most corrupt and under his reign we tripled the national debt. Yet he is idolized by you and other conservatives and often used as a means of comparing what other presidents have done. Perhaps because Obama hasn’t tripled the debt he is substandard by conservative terms but for the rest of us it is a positive.

Our foreign policy hasn’t improved with Russia or the middle east? That is the benchmark? GWB led us into war in the middle east! As for Russia it seems this administration repaired the damage from the GWB administrations faulty policies. Certainly more than substandard by any stretch.

Our system of healthcare is the most expensive of the industrialized world C&J, yet the free market answer that is Obamacare is considered a debacle. I agree a single payer medicare for all system would have been much easier to roll out and make workable but only time will tell on this significant piece of legislation. If it weren’t for the all out conservative propaganda attack on the ACA you could make the case that you aren’t prejudiced against the act. But with such an onslaught of misinformation half truths and outright lies the fact that it hasn’t been repealed could be considered an outstanding success.

But at the least it is not an unfunded Medicare part D. Certainly you can’t call it substandard.

Gotta run Grand daughter to the movies time, have a good Thanksgiving.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 27, 2013 7:55 PM
Comment #374665

Well what do you know C&J, I have found something that Obama is below average on, judging by other presidents over the years. So is this the exception that makes the rule as we haven’t been able to find anything else that could justify “substandard” in any intelligent rational mind?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 28, 2013 10:40 AM
Comment #374666


Read the “Economist” article. They are not Obama haters. They supported him for President and supported ObamaCare. A majority of Americans disapprove of him. He is rating almost exactly the same as Bush. If you thought Bush substandard, Obama is there with him.

RE Russia - It doesn’t count when you just give in.

Posted by: CJ at November 28, 2013 1:30 PM
Comment #374668

C&J I perused the “Economist” article. I didn’t notice where they called out any criteria for substandard nor did I see where they called Obama substandard. They did however put to rest some old conservative myths such as Reagan’s recession being worse than the economic meltdown and Obama is not a bully as congressional repubs and the conservative propaganda machine would have us believe. They did tell us the bully pulpit is the major tool in the presidents arsenal. Yet against the conservative propaganda machine where truth is rarely seen or heard it isn’t much of a pulpit, being held to the conservative double standard of ubertruth.

They did base their article upon another conservative created myth, the myth that Obama walked on water, the Messiah myth. Which is probably why you have been so mistaken on so much for so long here on WB. You fell for the myth.

The false noose you and other conservatives have tried to hang around the Obama neck, the noose of impossible expectations is a much higher standard than you held GWB, Reagan etal to. Obama is suppose to work with an extreme conservative congressional leadership that will stop at nothing to ensure he fails. He is supposed to bully the rest of the world. He is supposed to fix the results of decades of voodoo economics, corporate takeover of elections and other conservative generated problems with no help from conservatives. Hell, Obamacare is the conservative Heritage plan that they now have attempted to repeal 40 times!

Now we are seeing you and other conservatives developing the myth Obama is as bad as GWB, see the polls say so. But results tell us it is simply another conservative myth. It seems you just cannot believe the failure of conservative ideology that occurred during the GWB error. So here you are telling us “he is just as bad as our guy”. With nothing but vague generalities and myths for support. Oh and a misleading statement and a website that had a bad start up.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 29, 2013 11:51 AM
Comment #374669


I am saying he is substandard. You are disagreeing. The “Economist” points out places they hope he can improve. The fact that supporters like that are pointing such things out is important.

Re the Obama myth - that was what his fans thought. It is one of the reasons I believe you have a hard time accepting his failure.

Obama is doing about as well as Bush. His popularity rating is nearly identical. I am not saying “as bad” since I don’t think Bush was that bad. Both Bush and Obama are a bit substandard.

In twenty years, what do you think Obama will be praised for doing? IMO, there is a good chance that his greatest contribution to American prosperity will be that he soured a new generation of Americans on liberal overreach.

Of course, Obama can thank fracking for keeping the economy going.

Posted by: CJ at November 29, 2013 3:22 PM
Comment #374671
I am saying he is substandard. You are disagreeing. The “Economist” points out places they hope he can improve. The fact that supporters like that are pointing such things out is important.

C&J So your OPINION is he is substandard, but you are unable to point out anything other than the vague “general performance” line to indicate he is substandard, except to say the “Economist” points out places they believe need improvement, does that seem to wrap it up? Sounds to me like another conservative myth falls flat when held to anything other than the double standard of conservative logic.

Re the Obama myth - that was what his fans thought. It is one of the reasons I believe you have a hard time accepting his failure.

Here on WB and throughout the blogosphere, if you bother to look back, you will find it was the conservatives who used the term Messiah when referring to Obama. They were engaged in mythinformation, using hyperbole and exaggeration to criticize those who voted for Obama. McCain was decent enough to admit it was politically motivated gibberish whilst most conservatives buried their head in the sands of misinformation half truths and outright lies.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 29, 2013 8:21 PM
Comment #374705


By this time in a good president, there is more good.

He screwed up the roll out of his prime achievement, ObamaCare. The economy is still seriously subpar. Our foreign policy is still in the pits. I hope Iran works; let’s see.

Let’s assume a Republican had won in 2008. We have unemployment still above 7%. Total people employed are are 1.3% BELOW what they were before the recession began. The average for all the other recessions in our lifetime is 10.2%. Guantanamo is still open, despite the promise. The Arab spring has turned bad. Egypt and Syria are worse. Iraq is falling back into chaos. The Russian president openly despises our president. The Chinese are declaring exclusion zones. NSA is spying on everybody. The president’s main accomplishment is crashing. The president says he didn’t know, wasn’t told, was out of the loop.

The biggest achievement of this president is fracking boom, which most of his supporters dislike.

If this is a Republican, what do you say about this president if he is a Republican?

Posted by: CJ at November 30, 2013 6:11 AM
Comment #374707
Let’s assume a Republican had won in 2008.

Is this why the repubs/conservatives in COngress have deliberately sabotaged anything and everything Obama?

We have unemployment still above 7%. Total people employed are are 1.3% BELOW what they were before the recession began.

C&J The repubs/conservatives have blocked every attempt to stop the tax credit for sending jobs overseas and you wonder why employment figures aren’t better?

The average for all the other recessions in our lifetime is 10.2%.

Comparing “all other recessions in our lifetime” with the economic meltdown is apples and oranges C&J. Add in the deliberate obstructionism of the repubs/conservatives and the numbers you mention sound rather good. How can business be prodded into developing jobs when repubs/conservatives are using the debt ceiling as a hammer to keep the country of the verge of default and lower credit ratings? Shutting down government over the heath care bill was detrimental to the growth of the country as well. Would repubs have done that if Romney were president?

The Arab spring has turned bad.
But there was an Arab spring C&J, what other president can say that? Bumps in the road in the middle east is all Obama’s fault I guess.
Egypt and Syria are worse. Iraq is falling back into chaos.

Well then lets get our children’s credit cards out and go to war with them, that seems to be the conservative answer.

The Russian president openly despises our president.

Got a chuckle out of this one C&J, Really Putin despises Obama so Obama is substandard! Even after you claim that we just gave in! IS that Obama problem or Putin’s?

The Chinese are declaring exclusion zones.
And we are flying into them. That darned Obama making the Chinese declare these zones.

NSA is spying on everybody.

When the PATRIOT act was rushed through Congress and signed in 3 days did you think this wasn’t going to happen. Yet conservatives were all for it when they were the majority. Obama disappoints only because he hasn’t signed a bill into law that changes the ability of NSA to….wait has that bill even come out of the HoR yet?

The president’s main accomplishment is crashing.

Figuratively yes. Literally no. After 5 years of vicious attacks and 40 attempts to repeal the law and a government shutdown it seem to me a miracle it is actually lower costs as we speak. The website will eventually work but sometimes , especially with software, we must be patient. I mean can you name an application that works without constant fixes and or upgrades?

You seem to have left out Hurricane Sandy the Typhoon in the Philippines, the floods in Colorado and the tornadoes in Illinois that were Obama’s doing and sufficient reason by the double standard of conservatives to call him substandard.

If this is a Republican, what do you say about this president if he is a Republican?

After GWB he would probably have been hailed as the next Reagan, unfortunately because of the damage caused by repubs/conservatives we can only guess.

The president says he didn’t know, wasn’t told, was out of the loop.

Kinda like Reagan and the Contra isn’t it? But emulating Reagan is now considered substandard when it is Obama doing it. Perhaps Obama should have did it the GWB way with the “problem what problem” answer to everything. But would it have made a difference C&J? The issue here is the escalated repub/conservative attack on Obama because as they claim “you guys did it to GWB” completely forgetting what they did for 8 years to Clinton. Time to come back down to earth conservatives, time to deescalate the misinformation half truths and outright lies. Time to work with the president for the good of the country not your corporate sponsors.

It is a shame that after the first couple of years Obama stopped playing the appeasement game with these good for nothing tea baggers in Congress and started challenging them. Perhaps if he would have done a better job earlier on that things would have been better today.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2013 10:46 AM
Comment #374709

That damned Obama allowing the geese tsunami to happen and then late in getting there to clean up the crap. What next…… oh the pipeline rupturing in Missouri, and once again no Obama out there to put out the fire. Probably on the prayer mat in the east room of the White House So substandard.

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2013 11:48 AM
Comment #374710
The Russian president openly despises our president.

“The people on this list have global impacts and generally for evil and not good. A man like Putin certainly did not “earn” his vast wealth by any means we would consider honorable.”

From the Worthless Rich Folks post

Yet Obama is substandard because of his relations with the Russian leader and the middle east leaders! DO you notice the double standard I have been referring to C&J?

Posted by: j2t2 at November 30, 2013 11:59 AM
Comment #374715


I think Putin is a shit. I always have. I am not interested in his liking anybody. In fact, I would be insulted if someone like Putin liked me. The difference is despise. Despise doesn’t mean hate. It is a kind of contempt. Our president should be a little more respected by our friends and enemies.

Maybe that is your problem. You don’t understand how things work. You think other leaders should LIKE us. I don’t care if they like us. I am more interested in what they do to and for us.

When I was in Iraq, I knew there were people who hated me but didn’t try to kill me and people who tried to kill me but didn’t hate me. I prefer the former.

Posted by: CJ at November 30, 2013 5:16 PM
Comment #374729

Like us! who said anything about “like us”? The evil Putin despises our president so Obama is substandard that is what you are telling us C&J. Who cares if they evil Putin despises Obama? Sounds like a compliment to me. The point being Obama hasn’t had to duck because a reporter threw a shoe at him like your guy GWB yet Obama is substandard according to you. You just cannot tell us why. I guess now it is because people in Iraq hated you but didn’t shoot you so GWB ….. what? You are all over the place here C&J everywhere but defining what substandard is and how your opinion has any merit at all.

Which of course was my point to begin with. Playing “guess the double standard today Obama and see if you can beat it” may be fun but it earns you no respect. I started out with “I am pointing out the hypocrisy in conservative thought, the double standard that exists with anyone who complains about Obama after voting for GWB twice.” and after all the comments it still seems to be accurate. Despite your false claim I was trying to stop debate on the issue!

Posted by: j2t2 at December 1, 2013 9:13 PM
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