Obama: Political Misfortunes Show That "facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day"

How much does the president not understand why his party is about to get shellacked? This much:

WEST NEWTON, Mass. - President Barack Obama said Americans' "fear and frustration" is to blame for an intense midterm election cycle that threatens to derail the Democratic agenda.

"Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day all the time is because we're hardwired not to always think clearly when we're scared," Obama said Saturday evening in remarks at a small Democratic fundraiser Saturday evening. "And the country's scared." [...]

He faulted the economic downturn for Americans' inability to "think clearly" and said the burden is on Democrats "to break through the fear and the frustration people are feeling."

As Nick Gillespie mentioned earlier this morning, the thing you'll notice absent from this formulation is any hint whatsoever that this frustration may have been caused in part by federal policies that failed to deliver on their promises of private-sector job growth, contained unemployment, and summers/Summers of recovery. Instead, as detailed in this weekend's big New York Times Magazine profile of Obama, you have a braintrust (and arguably a broad swath of the Democratic Party) utterly convinced of its own moral, scientific, and historical certainty, plagued only by doubts about its salesmanship. Excerpts from that:

"Given how much stuff was coming at us," Obama told me, "we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who's occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can't be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion." [...]

The view from inside the administration starts with a basic mantra: Obama inherited the worst problems of any president in years. Or in generations. Or in American history. He prevented another Great Depression while putting in place the foundation for a more stable future. But it required him to do unpopular things that would inevitably cost him.  [...]

Gov. Ed Rendell  of Pennsylvania, though, is among the Democrats who grade Obama harshly for not being more nimble in the face of opposition. "B-plus, A-minus on substantive accomplishments," he told me, "and a D-plus or C-minus on communication." The health care legislation is "an incredible achievement" and the stimulus program was "absolutely, unqualifiedly, enormously successful," in Rendell's judgment, yet Obama allowed them to be tarnished by critics. "They lost the communications battle on both major initiatives, and they lost it early," said Rendell[.] [...]

[F]or all the second-guessing, what you do not hear in the White House is much questioning of the basic elements of the program — Obama aides, liberal and moderate alike, reject complaints from the right that the stimulus did not help the economy or that health care expands government too much, as well as complaints from the left that he should have pushed for a bigger stimulus package or held out for a public health care option. [...]

Instead, what you hear Obama aides talking about is that the system is "not on the level." That's a phrase commonly used around the West Wing — "it's not on the level." By that, they mean the Republicans, the news media, the lobbyists, the whole Washington culture is not serious about solving problems. The challenge, as they see it, is how to rise above a town that can obsess for a week on whether an obscure Agriculture Department official in Georgia should have been fired. At the same time, as Emanuel told me, "We have to play the game."

As Brands, the historian, put it, "It'll be really interesting to see if a president who is thinking long term can have an impact on a political system that is almost irredeemably short term in its perspective."

The reaction from these folks on Nov. 3 sure is going to be interesting.

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  • ||

    When they manage to beat expectations by losing control of both houses, they'll blame a resurgent radicalism and racism based on people not being able to handle a black president. Oh, and militias.

    'Cause insane amounts of spending, a spiraling debt, and a government approaching the point where it doesn't have any visible limits on its power couldn't possibly have anything to do with it.

  • ||

    "Citizen's United" is already being trotted out as the the official unofficial narrative of "Why We Got Our Butts Kicked in 2010".

  • ||

    Dumb move. That's not going to work with anyone but the true believers. Moderates and the opposition will just laugh and laugh.

  • Brett L||

    Its more about the professional fund-raisers keeping their jobs at the DNC, DSCC, and DCCC than anything else. Dumb, yes. But then again what has Michael Steele done for the RNC?

  • ||

    Politics and reason don't mix.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Yeah but do you want another 6 month long Rand-pective?

    Well, yes....

  • ♥♥♥||

    I'm still waiting to see those videos produced by foreign interests that I was warned about.

  • The Other Kevin||

    we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right.


    Does anyone REALLY think that Health Care, bailouts, etc. were well thought out and carefully crafted legislation? Wow. Just wow.

  • ||

    No kidding. 90% of them don't even know what's in it.

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    Look, we've already been over this. Did you ever play with invisible ink as a kid? Well, that's sort of how the health bill is. It's written in lemon juice, and once we passed the thing we were allowed to put it over a warm light-bulb. When the secret message was revealed, we were just as surprised as all of you were.

  • ||

    Yeah, considering that the first ingredients to Obamacare were not scientific studies of reforms that would make the system more efficient, but rather goodie bags to get Big Pharma, the AMA, and the hospital lobby on board, that doesn't pass the smell test.

  • ||

    He "got the policy right" by farming it out to Congress? Huh? And wasn't he all over the place on what would be acceptable to him i.e. he didn't care what Congress was going to hand him? Double huh? How can the media not follow up on Mr President's still born answers?

  • Abdul||

    By that, they mean the Republicans, the news media, the lobbyists, the whole Washington culture is not serious about solving problems. The challenge, as they see it, is how to rise above a town that can obsess for a week on whether an obscure Agriculture Department official in Georgia should have been fired

    Great example: the administration goes from zero to panic in the course of a few hours, and fires someone undeservedly, and who's fault is it? Why, everyone else's!

  • Ron L||

    And the cop and the professor; that was the 'Pubs making a big deal out of it, right?

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Matt is your typical conservatarian. He says he believes in things like ending the Drug War, recognizing gay marriage, pulling back our military presence overseas, and abortion, but to maintain his cred with his the right people, he has to write articles like this so he can still get invited to the best keggers. We see through you, Matt.

  • kinnath||

    "Here's a recipe for the beloved Haggis of Scotland. In addition to the other naughty (read 'delectable') bits, the lungs are traditionally included in Scotland, but are omitted here as it's illegal to sell lungs in the U.S. (Any clues as to why, anybody?). Some folks also think that liver shouldn't be used ..."

    1 sheep's lung (illegal in the U.S.; may be omitted if not available)
    1 sheep's stomach
    1 sheep heart
    1 sheep liver
    1/2 lb fresh suet (kidney leaf fat is preferred)
    3/4 cup oatmeal (the ground type, NOT the Quaker Oats type!)
    3 onions, finely chopped
    1 teaspoon salt
    1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
    3/4 cup stock
    Wash lungs and stomach well, rub with salt and rinse. Remove membranes and excess fat. Soak in cold salted water for several hours. Turn stomach inside out for stuffing.
    Cover heart and liver with cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Chop heart and coarsely grate liver. Toast oatmeal in a skillet on top of the stove, stirring frequently, until golden. Combine all ingredients and mix well. Loosely pack mixture into stomach, about two-thirds full. Remember, oatmeal expands in cooking.

    Press any air out of stomach and truss securely. Put into boiling water to cover. Simmer for 3 hours, uncovered, adding more water as needed to maintain water level. Prick stomach several times with a sharp needle when it begins to swell; this keeps the bag from bursting. Place on a hot platter, removing trussing strings. Serve with a spoon. Ceremoniously served with "neeps, tatties and nips" -- mashed turnips, mashed potatoes, nips of whiskey.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    I never eat the lights.

  • bill.||

    Haggis and the Banhammer

    True Scottish haggis, sheep lungs and all, hasn't been legal to import since 1971, when the U.S. Department of Agriculture banned the use of lungs in food.

    Researchers found "stomach contents, lesions and bacteria" in lungs, says Amanda Eamich of the USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service. Since then, the USDA has considered them an adulterated food item.

    The mad-cow disease outbreak in the United Kingdom in the 1980s put sheep stomach on the "out" list as well, because sheep get a form of mad cow called scrapie.

  • ||

    I always thought the USDA made an offal decision on this.

  • ||

    [Throws tomato]

  • ||

    About fucking time somebody got it.

    [Takes bow]

  • ||

    I figured the illicit status of sheep lung is some bit of government stupidity, but I don't actually know. Perhaps you can fix this gap in my knowledge?

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    I take it you missed Welch's post on not voting for Tea Party candidates last week.

  • Zeb||

    I think this is a joke, not a troll. But I could be wrong.

  • pmains||

    Yep. It's a clever inversion of the, "he just wants to be invited to the right cocktail parties" cliche. John recently lost it over Matt's supposed liberal bent, and stubbornly resisted correction.

    Bravo. Subtle enough to be believable. Inflammatory enough to trigger an inane recipe response.

  • ||

    Obama is simply too good for this terrible world. I am sure he will forgive us, though, for we know not what we do.

  • smartass sob||

    I long for the day we won't have Obama to kick around anymore. ;-)

  • Ragin Cajun||

    Truly, we are crucifying an innocent man.

  • ||

    Obama: the Danica Patrick of Presidents.

    Why doesn't that petulant, whining little shit just have a sex change operation, and get it over with?

  • ||

    Implying Obama would be a better President with a penis is oversimplifying the issue, dontchathink?

  • ||

    Seriously, dude, fuck off. If Danica Patrick were a middle-of-the-pack Nationwide driver with a penis, you would have no problem with her. But as she's a mediocre driver with a vagina she comes in for all this criticism.

  • DJ Drugs||

    Turn left!

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    This is part of why the "shadow money" narrative has been building since the Citizen's United case.

    If they can blame their loss on the undue influence of unknown corporate donors, then they can ignore the true reasons they lost. The denial will continue after Nov. 3rd in a flood of calls for campaign (ie Disclosure) reform.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I wouldn't count on such reform being THAT, er, reformy... Democrats count on money from shadowy sources as well, and the really smart ones are at least going to ensure their under-the-table supply routes are kept open.

  • ||

    If they can blame their loss on the undue influence of unknown corporate donors,

    To the extent they believe it, that narrative will do the Dems more harm than good, by reinforcing their self-delusion that they just need better marketing and MOAR MONEY!

    Obsessing about marketing and messaging and fundraising is a big part of their problem. As long as they focus on that, they're fucked.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Both sides depend heavily on scapegoats. For Republicans, it's the liberal media; for Democrats, corporate donors and the Koch brothers.

  • Tacos mmm...||

    Presidents can be screwed by circumstances and public perception, in spite of generally sound polices. take Hoover for example.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    2010 = 1930 redux?

  • Tacos mmm...||

    The last thing we need are more comparisons to the great depression. I was just pointing out that Democratic claims are not without historical precedent. However, that's a matter for history to determine. Now it just sounds like whining.

  • sr7||

    The kind of people who say:

    Tacos mmm...|10.18.10 @ 10:57AM|#

    The last thing we need are more comparisons to the great depression.

    and

    Presidents can be screwed by circumstances and public perception, in spite of generally sound polices. take Hoover for example.

    unless they are being sarcastic, tend to be the kind of people who don't know anything about either.

    A Great Lie has been perpetuated on the American people by the public school system and it's private counterparts heavily dependent on Uncle Sam's ill-gotten silver. An utter betrayal of the Republic that can no longer remain unpunished. Until there is justice there will be no end to the litany on the bad faith history and economics lessons!

  • cynical||

    Wait, I thought Hoover was proto-FDR?

  • ||

    Hoover's policies were terrible.

    He, an engineer, tried to engineer the economy back to health. That. Doesn't. Work.

  • ||

    While Coolidge was generally a good president, some of his policies paved the way for the GD. Like pushing banks to loan money to unstable governments in Latin America.

  • ||

    That is an interesting point. As Mike P points out above, Hoover's policies were not very sensible. But, his actual policies were nothing like most people think they were. He pretty much did everything FDR would have done had he been President. Hoover was very much in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    It is kind of funny when you think about it. Most liberals thought 2008 was another 1932. It is looking instead that it was more like 1928 with their guy playing Hoover.

  • ||

    Oh, I think Bush did a fine Hoover all by himself. He started the engineering of a recovery -- bailouts, takeovers, TARP, stupid stimuli.

    Obama is playing FDR to Bush's Hoover in taking that lead and running much farther with it, adding long-desired social engineering on top of the economic.

  • ||

    "... looking more like 1928..."

    Which means we should see the Dow hit 6,500 again sometime next year?

    Once BofA starts foreclosing on those 100,000 loans in earnest, and housing actually FINDS its floor, another Dow of 6,500 is easy to imagine. Considering the movement in the market between Jan 1966 and Jan 1983, I'd say we've got another six years or so before we start moving again.

  • Beezard||

    I think the president (or any other politician) knows exactly what's going on, better than most. There's simply no political capital in admitting the whole semi-socialistic/corporatist power grab thing is wrong...especially in the middle of a term.

    It's the people who actually believe the way those politicians wish to spin the ideas and ideals that we need to worry about.

  • jtuf||

    I find it amusing that the people who preach the most about following their policies in the name of science are the people who could not handle a science degree.

  • ||

    Agreed. I think one of the fundamental problems people like Obama have is that they look at their Ivy league sheepskin, and think, well I'm a smart guy so I MUST be right. The confuse education with being smart, or capable. Frankly, I wouldn't hire Obama as a third shift supervisor at a paper cup factory. Maybe if he'd had a real job like that, he wouldn't be so cock-sure that he's the smartest guy in the room.

  • Paper Cup Works Shop Steward||

    I would love to have Obama as 3rd shift supervisor. We'd walk all over him.

  • ||

    Also consider that the most horrible and destructive things over the last 100 years were dressed up as science. Marxism called itself a "science". Fascism had an entire wing of "fascist science".

    You rarely if ever hear real scientists using appeals to the authority of science. They don't even think that way. It is just "here is what we found". Generally, whenever someone frames their argument explicitly as an "appeal to science" their argument is the opposite of scientific truth and they are trying to conceal that fact by calling it "science".

  • Sam Grove||

    It's all about framing.
    If you call it science based, then it is.

  • sarcasmic||

    Obama is blaming voter discontent on an irrational response to an emotional reaction.

    I find that oddly humorous being that his presidential campaign was little more than a plea to an emotional reaction to Bush, McCain and Palin.

  • Michael||

    “Given how much stuff was coming at us,” Obama told me, “we probably spent much more time trying to get the policy right than trying to get the politics right. There is probably a perverse pride in my administration — and I take responsibility for this; this was blowing from the top — that we were going to do the right thing, even if short-term it was unpopular. And I think anybody who’s occupied this office has to remember that success is determined by an intersection in policy and politics and that you can’t be neglecting of marketing and P.R. and public opinion.”

    God damn if that ain't my favorite quote of the decade thus far.

  • Michael||

    In other news, our Osama Bin Laden urinal cakes failed to meet sales expectations because we diverted all of our capital into R&D instead of educating potential consumers about the man's significance.

  • ||

    "blowing from the top"

    Huh? What is that supposed to mean?

    I understand why the man isn't allowed outside the house without his TelePampers.

  • Mr Obama||

    Jesus Christ guides me in all my decisions. He tells me to practice scientific socialism and to be my brothers' keeper.

  • .||

    Oh crap, dude! Jesus Christ comes to you for advice.

  • A Christian||

    Nowhere does the Bible say a man should be his brother's keeper. Cain rhetorically posed the question as sarcasm.God, who Christians believe is omniscient, understood Cain's meaning, and did not answer the question.

    Abel was a keeper of sheep, and this fact probably gave rise Cain's question.

    Obama wants to be your shepherd, as in:
    "Obama is my Shepherd, I will not want."

  • Matt C||

    I would note that this was the NY Times Magazine interviewing a Democrat, and the president no less. Did you expect him to actually criticize his policies?

  • Randy||

    The trouble is...Obama DID inherit a big mess, his team DID manage to avoid an economic meltdown of epic proportions, and he did all this IN SPITE OF getting no help from my own Republican party. Everyone complains that we still have problems. Does anyone ever take the time to think how much worse it could have been? Common sense tells us that the bigger the problem, the longer it will take to recover. This was a huge economic problem and we are healing remarkably well. It just needs time and perhaps a little less negative political interference.

  • ||

    Thank you Randy. Beacuse of you I know that I cannot be the dumbest person in the world. Thank you very much.

  • Sam Grove||

    As he has thoughtlessly illustrated, some people swallow the dialog like a hungry Pug.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    <blank stare>

  • ||

    Unfortunately, I know a fair number of people who think what Randy posted is gospel.

  • ||

    I have such a strong desire to be his porn.

    Must.
    Resist.
    Urge.

  • sr7||

    Does anyone ever take the time to think how much worse it could have been?

    Yes. Every day. The counterfactuals do not empirically equate, and their post hoc application (after being justified by a worst case scenerio that was not as bad as the results of Obama policy being applied) are worthy of epic ridicule.

    Common sense tells us that the bigger the problem, the longer it will take to recover.

    At the time of its passing Porkilus was justified on the grounds that the private economy could not recover quickly enough to offset the amount of pain the public were willing to endure. Now, the argument is porkulus hasn't been given enough time to work. Progressives are laughably confused about everything that really matters and laser focused on things that don't mean shit (Citizens United). Time to go fuck up someone else's country. This one has grown weary of you, and your super awesomely sciency superficiality.

  • cynical||

    "Does anyone ever take the time to think how much worse it could have been?"

    Have you ever taken the time to think how much better it could have been? And do you have any evidence one way or the other?

  • Randy||

    I agree with you. I don't have a clue about what goes on in Washington or what it takes to affect the economy.

    All of the should haves and shouldn't haves are easy enough for us to declare, sitting out of the 'hot seat' so to speak.

    The biggest take away I get from all this is that it doesn't seem to matter what your intentions or your plans might be (if you become President) because it isn't a dictatorship and you can't (as we've seen) get everything you want. Apparently Obama can't get anything he wants without having to compromise it into a disgusting mix of garbage.

    What bugs me about that is how can anyone solve our problems if the process can be so easily disrupted? Let's say, miracle of miracles, someone knows what needs to be done to fix everything and to make everyone happy (ha!)...it almost seems like our system as it is wouldn't allow those fixes to go through. This is messed up.

    Personally I'd like to see things that would make me comfortable like a balanced budget, congressional reforms such that they couldn't pass anything without fully funding it, no wars unless the entire country has to get involved and feel the pain/sacrifice (so we couldn't ignore it and thus we would all rise up if the war was, you know, inane), abolish campaign financing and replace it with, say, an internet website and TV station and Radio station dedicated solely to candidates where they all get a set, equal amount of time. And it would be fact-checked by some independent body so that no attack ads or untruths or whatever could be employed. I'd kinda like to see term limits as well so that citizens ended up running the country rather than professional politicians and lobbyists. As for taxes what a mess! I don't know what the solution to that is because obviously even though I don't like government meddling in my business, I don't mind them keeping an eye on national security, food and drug safety, police, fire, ambulance, schools, social security (for those who need it) and a whole list of other things we kinda take for granted. I'd probably lean towards no taxes up to the poverty level of income (whatever that is) and then a graduated tax level above that with no exceptions, loopholes or deductions for anything. Maybe no sales tax on groceries and clothing and a few other essential items so as not to create further burdens on the poor. The idea is to get enough money from everyone who can contribute in order to fund essential government services, but not to get so much that those insulated government decision makers dip their fingers in too many pies. Ya know?

  • Mike Laursen||

    What bugs me about that is how can anyone solve our problems if the process can be so easily disrupted?

    Perhaps we could have some kind of a decentralized problem solving system where individuals make their own decisions based on their on-the-ground knowledge of their own situation. We could call it freechoiceatarianism or something like that.

  • Randy||

    Sounds good. What about the problems our country is having that affect us all and can't be solved by freechoiceatarianism?

  • ||

    You start naming them and we'll start offering solutions.

  • Randy||

    Let's see...
    1) paying for future outlays in social security and medicare/medicaid.
    2) figuring out how to arrest the slide in the quality of education in America
    3) reducing our dependence on foreign oil - as well as preparing for potential skyrocketing oil costs from whatever causes them (supply disruptions, too much use, or whatever)
    4) The current housing crisis
    I'm sure others are better than me at naming important problems

  • ||

    1) Put all existing SS payments in an account and give each person exactly what they paid into the system to date.
    2) Allow real school choice and abolish teachers unions to allow underperforming teachers to be fired.
    3) Open ANWR and the shale oil reserves in the Rockies and put the middle east's cartel on notice that we don't need them.
    4) Let the market find it's true bottom. This is an individual problem to those of us who rent yet are being forced to piss away tax dollars on mortgage rescue while not benefitting from the tax deduction that comes with ownership.

    That's a start. Again, cutting the spending of each department by 25% and abolishing all pensions for government workers is another.

  • Randy||

    I'm skeptical or better stated I suspect the law of unintended consequences could be a problem.
    1) If you "solve" SS in the way you suggest, what happens to all the people dependent on it for sustenance and shelter? Do we let them starve/die or how do they survive?
    2) what if real school choice doesn't work? For example, too many people could choose some schools and nobody would choose the others. That's fine if everyone gets to go to school, but what if the imbalances cause the system to break down?
    3)And when ANWR and the Rockies run dry?
    4)I tend to agree with you on that one for different reasons; however, if the market implodes you may find that rent costs skyrocket, unintuitive as that may sound.

  • ||

    I missed the medicare/medicaid part of your question. Sorry.

    Opening up med schools to the necessary number of doctors will reduce medical costs to the point of affordability and tort reform can reduce doctor's overhead, also making care affordable. We also need to drastically cut down on the cost associated with bringing new drugs to market by cutting through the FDA's bureaucracy. This will also reduce costs to where seniors and the poor will be able to afford care.

    Two more points on these costs. One, if insurance were truly insurance as opposed to subsidized care, policies would already be dramatically lower. Two, if insurance markets were national rather than state-wide, the added competition would help rates to fall.

  • Ivan||

    Exactly.

  • Randy||

    Okay, how would you implement these suggestions? Wouldn't there have to be laws passed or something like that? Isn't that the root of our problem - that even if a good idea comes along, it can't get implemented due to obstructionist politics?

    As for the suggestions they sound good on the surface but as you probably know (depending on your age, etc.), the devil is in the details.

    Anyway, it is good to think about these things for sure.

    I'm out.

  • Tony||

    I do. I think it's pretty obvious that things would have been a lot better if the supreme court had appointed that other guy in 2000.

  • ||

    Other than the guy who won the election?

    You know who else wanted to destroy the democratic process?

  • ||

  • DesigNate||

    You obviously didn't pay attention to the nearly one year of coverage the media paid the whole healthcare thing. The Republicans offered lots of suggestions, nobody, especially Obama, wanted to listen to them.

    Whether or not they were good suggestions is another story entirely.

  • Barely Suppressed Rage||

    <blink>

    <blink>

  • Michael||

    You're telling me. It took nearly TWO YEARS for my monthly health insurance deduction to go through the roof. I blame it on Republican interference.

  • Michael||

    That was a reply to Randy. I just couldn't help myself.

  • Randy||

    That must be terrible and I'm sorry for your loss. On the other hand we have one less thing to worry about as my younger son can stay on our health plan a little longer.

  • Bob Dobalina||

    Awww, what's da matter, Randy? Need a little hug and some arugula? I agree with your first line to a degree. Obama inherited a mess. But guess what: you don't get to complain about a mess when you make it bigger your damned self.

  • Randy||

    Good point. What would have worked better? I mean, how would you, for example, have done it?

  • ||

    Bring our military home, cut every government department by 25% (including defense), and eliminate ALL income, capital gains and inheritance taxes for two years would have been my starting point.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Obama inherited a mess."

    No he didn't. In addition to campaigning his ass of for more than two years he paid about a half a billion dollars for it.

  • DesigNate||

    Nice point Gobbler.

  • Tony||

    this frustration may have been caused in part by federal policies that failed to deliver on their promises of private-sector job growth, contained unemployment, and summers/Summers of recovery.

    Ah, so Obama has failed to move things past goalposts set up by Republicans, while Republicans have had a stated mission of not contributing to the effort whatsoever.

  • Brett L||

    I think he failed to meet his own predictions (See unemployment, rates with and without stimulus).

  • Tony||

    Yes yes the great Romer debacle, where they underestimated unemployment by a few tenths of a percent. Man that thing has legs.

    Of course if Congress had passed the stimulus economists were saying the country needed, rather than the allegedly more politically palatable one that was less than $1 trillion, things might have been better.

    What is the Republican plan again? Oh yeah, policies almost specifically designed to depress the economy further.

  • ||

    Hey, Tony. You must be fucking retarded. The Republicans were shut out of the stimulus debate just like they were with healthcare. Trying to paint them as obstructionist is not gonna work anymore.

    Obama said his plans would keep unemployment down, right? Well, the plan his party rammed through without any Team Red support did nothing but piss away over a trillion dollars. The healthcare fix is already causing a panic in the industry leading to huge rate hikes and his foreign policy has everybody on both teams scratching their heads because it is a fucking disaster of Bush-like proportions.

    Keep carrying the water for Team Blue and all you'll end up with is a sore back. Face facts that his plans and programs have been an unmitigated disaster. Or, name me one thing he has done that has borne tangible positive results. No emotional touchy-feely nonsense, future projections or anticipated outcomes, but actual definable results. I shall patiently wait.

  • sarcasmic||

    "Hey, Tony. You must be fucking retarded."

    very

  • Tony||

    I hope you're not a libertarian, because you sure sound highly entitled to a government that makes things perfect for you right when you want it to.

    The Republicans have a stated position of not cooperating with Democrats. They have made it clear that they wanted the economy to be bad prior to the upcoming elections. If you know how Republicans operate, this should not surprise you. They have not been shut out of anything, they have shut themselves out, not least by demanding outlandish nonsense as the alternative to any Democratic proposal. What they have meant by compromise all along is "do exactly what we want."

  • ||

    Not at all. I'm simply stating what Team Blue and most Team Red people expect from our government. All I want is for the fuckers to dramatically lower taxes, scale back the size and scope of government and let people live their lives the way they see fit.

    I was giving examples of what people like you expected from dear leader because his promises and predictions said we'd be the land of milk and honey because of government action, and I was pointing out the failure of those policies.

  • Tony||

    He never promised milk and honey. Specifically, I believe he said that change was hard and that it takes time. Add the worst economic conditions in generations and that counts even more so. My expectations were certainly not that unrealistic, I don't know about you.

  • ||

    I'm still patiently waiting for you to give me one example of an Obama policy "(from above) "that has borne tangible positive results. No emotional touchy-feely nonsense, future projections or anticipated outcomes, but actual definable results."

    I imagine my wait will continue for two more years.

  • Tony||

    Well we can't know how unemployment would have been without their programs, but everyone assumed it would have been a disaster on the level of the GD. So saving the economy from a second GD is pretty good work. I assume you preferred the healthcare status quo over the bill we got, so there's no point arguing about that. The thing I'm most disappointed about is the lack of action on climate legislation, but I'm not sure you care about that either. I do know where the blame lies, though, and that's in the dysfunctional minority-rule Senate. If the House had been the only legislating body we'd have seen a lot of very good laws (from my perspective) by now.

  • Jordan||

    So saving the economy from a second GD is pretty good work.

    So your evidence that Obama saved us from a second GD is... well, it's nothing. Even though his economic teams other assumptions have been consistenly incorrect, we're just supposed to take that one on faith?

  • Tony||

    Since the downturn started under Bush and everyone in both parties could see the edge of the cliff the economy was going over, and people in both parties in a rare instance of bipartisanship worked to save the financial industry and then stimulate the economy, I'd say that it was pretty accepted that a GD was possible, even eminent.

  • Jordan||

    worked to save the financial industry and then stimulate the economy

    I ask for evidence and you just keep begging the question.

  • ||

    Still waiting, Tony. Just one example is all. You can do it, right?

  • ||

    Just what I expected from you. I ask for tangible results and you cite "what-if" scenarios.

    "Saving the economy, "How unemployment would have been" and touting the healthcare are not tangible results.

    What would the unemployment rate have been without the stimulus? Give me an actual number, not a Keynesian projection.

    I will repeat my request and will refuse to take you seriously until you give me a tangible positive result that has come from the Democrat in the WH and the Democrats who have majorities in the House and Senate.

  • The Gobbler||

    "I'm still patiently waiting for you to give me one example of an Obama policy "(from above) "that has borne tangible positive results."

    Appealing the ruling on DADT is a positive result. He's keeping queer's out of the military (and the ones who hide their queerness living in fear).

  • The Gobbler||

    "He never promised milk and honey"

    Milk and honey. Hope and change. What's the fucking difference?

  • ||

    I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on Earth. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves, and our highest ideals.

    Yeah, he didn't promise anything.

  • ||

    "Obama is, of course, greater than Jesus."

    -- Politiken (Danish newspaper)

    "No one saw him coming, and Christians believe God comes at us from strange angles and places we don't expect, like Jesus being born in a manger."

    --Lawrence Carter

    "Many even see in Obama a messiah-like figure, a great soul, and some affectionately call him Mahatma Obama."

    -- Dinesh Sharma

    "We just like to say his name. We are considering taking it as a mantra."

    -- Chicago] Sun-Times

    "A Lightworker -- An Attuned Being with Powerful Luminosity and High-Vibration Integrity who will actually help usher in a New Way of Being"

    -- Mark Morford

    "What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation’s political history"

    -- Jesse Jackson, Jr.

    "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

    -- Barack Obama

    "Does it not feel as if some special hand is guiding Obama on his journey, I mean, as he has said, the utter improbability of it all?"

    -- Daily Kos

    "He communicates God-like energy..."

    -- Steve Davis (Charleston, SC)

    "Not just an ordinary human being but indeed an Advanced Soul"

    -- Commentator @ Chicago Sun Times

    "I'll do whatever he says to do. I'll collect paper cups off the ground to make his pathway clear."

    -- Halle Berry

    "A quantum leap in American consciousness"

    -- Deepak Chopra

    "He is not operating on the same plane as ordinary politicians. . . . the agent of transformation in an age of revolution, as a figure uniquely qualified to open the door to the 21st century."
    -- Gary Hart

    "Barack Obama is our collective representation of our purest hopes, our highest visions and our deepest knowings . . . He's our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence."

    -- Eve Konstantine

    "This is bigger than Kennedy. . . . This is the New Testament." | "I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often. No, seriously. It's a dramatic event."

    -- Chris Matthews

    "[Obama is ] creative imagination which coupled with brilliance equals wisdom . . . [He is] the man for this time."

    -- Toni Morrison

    "Obama's finest speeches do not excite. They do not inform. They don't even really inspire. They elevate. . . . He is not the Word made flesh, but the triumph of word over flesh . . . Obama is, at his best, able to call us back to our highest selves."

    -- Ezra Klein

    "Obama has the capacity to summon heroic forces from the spiritual depths of ordinary citizens and to unleash therefrom a symphonic chorus of unique creative acts whose common purpose is to tame the soul and alleviate the great challenges facing mankind."

    -- Gerald Campbell

    "We're here to evolve to a higher plane . . . he is an evolved leader . . . [he] has an ear for eloquence and a Tongue dipped in the Unvarnished Truth."

    -- Oprah Winfrey

    “I would characterize the Senate race as being a race where Obama was, let’s say, blessed and highly favored. That’s not routine. There’s something else going on. I think that Obama, his election to the Senate, was divinely ordered. . . . I know that that was God’s plan."

    -- Bill Rush

    Yeah, expectations were low with the one.

  • barfman||

    *barf*

    *cough, choke*

    *BAAARRRFFF*

    Oh god
    make it stop

    *BLLLAAAARRRRRRGGGHHFFFFFF...*

  • Tony||

    I'm not sure what point you're trying to make. MY expectations were not that high because I know how our government works (it doesn't very well). Now what are you gonna do about that? Bitch and whine for all eternity? Yeah I thought so.

  • ||

    Still waiting on that one example, Tony.

    And the point I'm trying to make is about the overall expectations. From the press, people in the street and from his own lips came these pronouncements of god-like greatness in the man.

    Anyway, let's stay on topic. One. Tangible. Result?

  • CatoTheElder||

    You're right. He never promised milk and honey. His followers are too ignorant to understand the allusion.

    And, anyway, Obama is much to modest to promise milk and honey. He only promised to heal the planet and make the oceans recede.

  • Sam Grove||

    What has the Obama administration DONE that is very much different than the Bush administration, other than changing the address of the war?

  • Tony||

    Rely on evidence instead of Jesus/intestines to make decisions? That's good enough for me.

  • Jordan||

    Such as?

  • DesigNate||

    What fucking evidence?
    How bout the evidence that no country has ever spent themselves out of a recession? Hmmm?

  • ||

    He's spent a trillion on a failed stimulus. He's put out death warrants on American citizens. He's taken over industries by ignoring bankruptcy law. He's gone back on his DADT promises. He's gone back on his Gitmo promises.

    Those are a few differences. Otherwise he's pretty much the same.

  • Brett L||

    By a few tenths of a percent, and by a couple years. Its the continued flat, high number that's killing him.

  • The Gobbler||

    Since when is 1.6% (the difference between 8% and 9.6% "a few tenths of a percent"?

  • Brett L||

    I was being generous. Its easy to do when the facts are on my side.

  • Michael||

    Well, technically sixteen-tenths could be considered a few.

  • SFC B||

    I think it's cute how people think that unemployment is at 9.6%.

  • pmains||

    And remember that the actual peak reporting by the BLS (so far) was 10.1%.

  • Ivan||

    Tony, please see: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/.....gop-i-won/

    Here's a hint: "I won"

  • ||

    Don't be his porn.

  • ||

    Too late (shit !)

  • Michael||

    Ah, so Obama has failed to move things past goalposts set up by Republicans, while Republicans have had a stated mission of not contributing to the effort whatsoever.

    Only a true power bottom could deliver this kind of insight.

  • ||

    Should I be ashamed that I got that ?

  • ||

    [shudders]

  • ||

    This only makes sense if you think drilling more holes in a sinking canoe to let the water out is "contributing".

    If you haven't noticed, the Dems control both house and the White House. It is unsurprising that as things have gotten worse (both economically and in our foolish military adventures*) the voters are going to blame the folks who are actually setting policy.

    * In another thread I laid the blame for the failing as we watch Iraq clusterfuck squarely on Bush the Lesser's shoulders.

    I also blame every penny spent and every life lost in Afghanistan since Jan. 20, 2009 on Obama. It will be interesting to see if he actually recognizes realiity, withdraws and lets the Taliban resume "governing" that tribal hellhole or drags it out so he won't have to admit failure till after the 2012 elections.

  • Tony||

    Things have clearly not gotten worse. They have just gotten better painfully slowly. If you're halfway aware of current political realities you'd know that the Dems controlling two branches of government doesn't mean Obama or liberal Democrats get everything they want, especially considering the Senate is pretty much run by the minority.

  • ||

    Tony this "recovery" has been the worst on record. We have had other bad recessions that had worse drops in growth and higher unemployment than this. What is historic about the current situation is the lack of a real recovery. And why didn't the economy recover where it had in the past? Because Obama followed the faith based Keynesian economics of Pauli Krugnuts.

  • Tony||

    So you expected the worst downturn since the great depression to recover along the lines of past, less severe, recessions? Or do you not believe it was that bad? Turning half a million jobs lost a month to positive (if very tepid) numbers is evidence that the Keynesian stimulus worked and that we needed more of it. Not that you'd consider evidence when you have partisan games to play.

  • ||

    Tony, I'm gonna be in Vegas in a few weeks. Could you post the scheduled dates of your comedy routine so I can get tickets?

    I mean, really. This has got to be a joke, right?

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "Turning half a million jobs lost a month to positive (if very tepid) numbers is evidence that the Keynesian stimulus worked and that we needed more of it. Not that you'd consider evidence when you have partisan games to play."

    LOL

    You don't have any actual evidence that Keynesean economics has ever worked anywhere.

    And you aren't the least bit capable of proving that the probability that the 'stimulus" package had ANY net positive effect on the economy whatsoever is iota greater than the probability that it had a net negative effect.

  • Tony||

    So you tell me how the job numbers improved so markedly.

  • Jordan||

    U6 is the highest it's been since April (17.1%).

  • Mike Laursen||

    Dude, as has been pointed out many times, the late 1970's recession was worse.

  • Tony||

    Ok so... thank you for making my case?

  • ||

    Tony, you're still ignoring our simple request. Please give one positive tangible result that has come from the Obama WH and the Dem-controlled Congress.

  • ||

    Things have clearly not gotten worse. They have just gotten better painfully slowly.

    Goddam, you're a fucking idiot.

    The US Unemployment Rate January 1948 to August 2010

    To the assembled commentariat - I'm sorry guys, I know this is like boxing with a 5 year old.

  • Tony||

    Well that's dumb. So we have the worst downturn since the Great Depression, and that chart starts in 1948?

  • Spoonman.||

    Hey Tony, what about Obama suing to keep DADT?

    Eat shit.

  • Tony||

    I'm pretty sure that's his justice department defending a law passed by Congress, i.e., its job. And I'm also pretty sure Obama has said clearly that DADT will end on his watch. And I'm 100% certain no Republican would go that far.

  • Spoonman.||

    I don't care what the Republicans would do. And as far as I know there's nothing that requires the DoJ to appeal.

  • ||

    Bullshit, Tony. If that was the case, he'd be enforcing the immigration laws that are in place. The executive branch has selectively enforced laws and campaigned against existing law countless times in our nation's history and you know it.

    He had a chance right here to end DADT on his watch. Without the appeal, the policy dies. Or, do you not know how our court system works?

    And I'm also as certain no Republican would go as far as ending DADT, but until Obama ends it, that promise will be considered broken, and he's the asshole who made it, not any Republican.

  • Tony||

    Then I suppose he secretly wants to keep persecuting gays in the military, and he's just pulling wool over our eyes?

    I think what's happening is that he doesn't want to be seen as ending this policy by fiat. They've said all along that it would be best dealt with in Congress. You know, respecting the separation of powers and not relying on an activist executive or an activist judiciary. That's something I'd expect libertarians to appreciate, even when the policy in question is a bad one.

  • ||

    By fiat? WTF are you talking about? The Judicial Branch ruled on it. The Executive Branch can simply say they agree with the Judicial, and let the policy die. IMO, that would leave the Legislative Branch twisting in the wind, trying to find a way to constitutionally ban gays from service, and there's no way there are enough votes there to do that.

    Obama did it to pander to the bigots out there that hate gays, and since that's half his base (as well as half Team Red's), he can't afford not to play up to their fears and hatreds. If you can't see this, you're blind as well.

  • Michael||

    You seriously not only think that Obama doesn't harbor antipathy toward gays but actually gives a shit about them? Holy fuck, are you ever deluded.

  • Tony||

    I have no reason to believe he harbors any prejudices against gay people, no.

  • Jordan||

    He just doesn't give a shit, which in policy terms, makes him identical to his twin, Dubya.

  • Tony||

    Yeah except for everything he's ever said with respect to DADT.

  • Jordan||

    Let me requote the relevant part of that comment, since you missed it the first time:

    in policy terms
  • ||

    Yeah except for everything he's ever said with respect to DADT.

    What's that old saying about actions speaking louder than words? Please, pandering to the gay community to get their votes and doing anything to get them equal protection under the law are two different things, and Obama seems incapable of the latter. The proof of this is in his unnecessary appeal of the DADT ruling.

  • Michael||

    I would remind you that he is a black man from Chicago's south side, but that wouldn't mean anything to your worldly mind beyond being proof of my inherent racism for making note of it.

  • Tony||

    Whatever color you are, anyone remotely cosmopolitan is not a homophobe. For the record, I don't think bush was either. I don't think anyone in DC, except for a few backwater types, is, because you can't walk two steps in DC without running across someone gay. That goes for the floor of the Senate too.

  • ||

    Cosmopolitan=hipster
    Inner-city blacks tend to fall outside of the hipster culture, so I doubt you'd find a gay person "every two steps" in South Central LA, or Oakland, or Norfolk, or East St. Louis or any other "black" center.

    Geez, you live in a fucking bubble if you don't think inner-city blacks hate gays a lot more than most. They got Prop 8 passed, for fuck's sake.

  • Tony||

    Cosmopolitan does not equal hipster. It means worldly, sophisticated. Obama is not and never has been some kind of street thug.

    I get it that blacks don't overwhelming support gay rights measures. They're still not gonna vote Republican so suck on it.

  • The Gobbler||

    "Then I suppose he secretly wants to keep persecuting gays in the military"

    That's my take. The blacks really hate the queers you know.

  • ||

    A quibble:

    Obama didn't "inherit" a mess. He spent hundreds of millions of dollars to be put in charge of the mess. There's a difference.

  • Stony||

    Obama saved capitalism from the capitalist and none of you greedy fuckers appreciate that fact.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    Another troll who needs training wheels.

  • NoVAHockey||

    As long as they lose handily, Democrats are welcome to blame whomever they like.

  • ||

    “Part of the reason that our politics seems so tough right now and facts and science and argument does not seem to be winning the day . . . “

    No Mr. President. The reason politics seem so tough right now is that facts and science and argument ARE starting to win out over fabrications and pseudo-science and fallacy.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "The reaction from these folks on Nov. 3 sure is going to be interesting."

    They are already preparing their reaction. The Obaman administration is gearing up to go around Congress altogether and continue implementing the leftist agenda through even more illegal expansions of executive branch powers.

  • ||

    I, for one, am looking forward to a pitched battle between a Republican House and the White House regarding the defunding of agencies that are doing things the Republicans don't like.

  • ||

    Midgit Sumo!

  • ||

    The Obama administration sounds like a bunch of Browns fans this morning. Waa waa waa, Harrison should have been called for helmet to helmet twice, Polamalu was offsides on every play, our quarterback is a rapist, waa waa.

  • ||

    our quarterback is a rapist

    I thought Steve Smith was a receiver for the Panthers.

  • ||

    ...and for the Giants.

  • ||

    Your quarterback is a racist. And Polamalu is off sides most plays. I don't ever want to hear again about how the Roonies are different than the rest of the league or Steelers fans care about anything but winning just like every other fan in the NFL. They could have a video of Rothesburger going Steve Smith on that coed and the Roonies and Steelers fans would be screaming to get him back before the playoffs.

  • ||

    make that Rapist not racist.

  • Ragin Cajun||

    our quarterback is a rapist

    Colt McCoy did what?

  • ||

    No, I didn't mean him. He only raped the clock at the Big 12 Championship last year.

  • ||

    +1000

  • Brett L||

    No worries, mate. Nebraska's joining a conference where they stand a chance of winning a few.

  • ||

    Not if we have anything to say about it. (But based on Saturday, we both have work to do)

  • Mike Laursen||

    Well, now I know that I hate being condescended to worse than being lied to.

  • ||

    The ironies abound. A statement insulting the intelligence of the American people delivered with a split infinitive and a subject/verb mismatch. An appeal to "facts and science and argument" from a leader continually questions the motives of his opponents instead of addressing their substantive arguments. Attributing his opponent's political strength to fear based on the economic downturn, when he himself was elected at the very height of the economic panic in 2008.

    All said with a straight face, and the certainty that he's just smarter that everyone. Unreal, this guy, just unreal.

  • new laptop battery||

    gsdgsdPersonally I know a guy is gay when we meet and i feel the need to check my fly~

  • new laptop battery||

    sd hbfrrNice post.It's all in the eyes and where they are looking~

  • ||

    Whatever the truth of the matter, the American people need to know how he managed to become a "natural born" American citizen between 1981 and 2008..

    Given the destructive nature of his plans for America, as illustrated by his speech before Congress and the disastrous spending plan he has presented to Congress, the sooner we learn the truth of all this, the better.

    If you Don't care that Your President is not a natural born Citizen and in Violation of the Constitution, then Delete this, and then lower your American Flag to half-staff, because the U.S. Constitution is already on life-support, and won't survive much longer.

    If you do care then Forward this to as many patriotic Americans as you can, because our country is being looted and ransacked! TO THE WEAK-KNEED REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRAT…..TO ALL THE COMMUNIST IN THE IG,FBI,CIA,AND U.S. Senators and the left wing media outlets…..Wake up america!!!! This goverment is the most corrupt we have had in years. The good old boy network is very much in charge.Mr. obama and pelosi are the puppet masters.How many of their good friends benefited by the agreement ” what a farce. All of the u.sSenators voted for this. I am ashamed to say I voted for the these corupted self serving politicians.With good reason they picked an out of towner to be president.All u.s departments need an overhaul. We need to rid ourselves of the puppet masters and the dept heads that bow down to obama and pelosi.I am sick of the lip service I have been getting from these dummies over violations, their friends are getting away with.in the goverment . Barack Hussein Obama , threatens friends and bows to Mmslim.
    INPEACH OBAMA ,GOD OPEN YOUR EYES.///For us there are only two possiblities: either we remain american or we come under the thumb of the communist Mmslim Barack Hussein OBAMA. This latter must not occur.THE COMMANDER.
    OBAMA goes about his business by speaking the lie. II Thessalonians 2 says that he comes "with all deceivableness of unrighteousness." Revelation 13:12 says, "and he spoke as a dragon...." Revelation 17 tells us that he was a false prophet, a prophet being one whose calling it is to speak and to teach. The armies of the world may have guns and tanks and bombs to bring people into submission; but the power of speech and ideas is a mighty power. In his initial attempts to destroy the cause of God Obama used a serpent to deceive the woman with crooked speech: "You will be like God." Now he uses a "dragon" who speaks crafty, lying words. His speeches will be heard by millions who will hang on his persuasive rhetoric. The content as well as the form of his speech will attract. Like most false prophets, he will even be sincere and passionate. But he is a liar. He adds dashes of truth to the mix, so that his lie tastes like truth. He will use all the right catchwords, using the language of the church, even throwing in a Bible text or two. But he is the ultimate Liar, and will deceive many.
    OBAMA will use every tool available: school teachers, politicians, news broadcasters, artists, musicians, scientists and doctors, lawyers and businessmen. All will be pressed into the service of OBAMA to deceive men. But especially he will use those whose calling it is to persuade and to teach -- men who claim to be preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ. ===================Both communists and National Socialists prospered in this climate in which the common people powerfully rejected the whole concept of a liberal democracy.
    In the 2009 election campaign obama put himself forward as the strong and decisive leader which america had been longing for. As many have commented, all the Party really offered was order, discipline and authority since they had not drawn up any detailed policies �quot; however, it was indeed the order, discipline and authority which the america were longing and craving for! Moreover the party made it clear that, when elected, they would form a dictatorship �quot; not a democracy, but this, again, was exactly what the people wanted
    THE COMMANDER,,, REPOST THIS IF YOU AGREE .. THE END OF AMERICA.

  • ||

    Fail to deliver? The left believe they have delivered in spades. I'd like to see a good rebuttal of this ...

    http://www.dailystar.com.lb/ar.....z130qKuKcv

    "Constant repetition of anti-government rhetoric in our political echo chamber has dulled Americans into overlooking an important and perhaps surprising fact: We have just lived through one of the more notable successes of government intervention in modern times – the auto and bank rescues that almost surely saved the country from another Great Depression."

  • ||

    The Fiat patent fraud. About the Fiat hybrids: the technology double clutch with electric motor between has been stolen by a patent that Fiat Company has never wanted to purchase, but only shamelessly to copy. This hybrid solution will be the basic technology with Chrysler's electric and hybrid car program. Please give a look in my blog where the "vitality" and boldness of the Fiat planners it appears in all of evidence:dualsymbioticelectromechanicalengine. If the industries can afford unpunished to copy the ideas and defending it need very expensive trial, to which target need the patents? How to defend the rights of private inventors? How our young people can find intellectual courage if the economic potentates crush the rights of the single ones? Whoever is about to ask for a patent or wants to propose a proper patent to a big firm I suggest to give a look to my experience with the Fiat, to get able to operate with better adroitness. Thanks and good time to everybody. Ulisse Di Bartolomei (Not spam! Please don’t stop this comment)

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