In a typically good analysis of the recent uptick in support for the healthcare bill from moderates and liberals, Nate Silver says:
Liberals like the idea of being the scrappy underdog — being the fighter — and Obama, after a strangely aloof performance on the health care bill throughout 2009, has been fighting the good fight.
I’m sure there are many things that Obama would change about 2009 if he had a do-over, but being “aloof” probably isn’t one of them. One big difference between the Obama and Clinton healthcare reform efforts, aside from the obvious benefit Obama gains from hindsight, is that the current push is being led by someone who served in Congress.
Obama had first-hand knowledge of the preening, feckless and cowardly jackasses he was dealing with. If he were perceived as dictating the contents of the bill, or pushing Congress around, he’d have bruised the fragile egos of those, like Max Baucus, who wanted to be seen as the real authors of the bill. And if HCR became “Obama’s bill”, it would have been far too easy for the Democratic caucus to run away at the first sign of trouble. The path Obama took, though painful and ugly, is probably the only way that we could have gotten as far as we have.
But don’t take my word for it. Watch a few clips from the new C-SPAN archive and try to imagine what more Obama could have done to corral this herd of bloviating assholes.
If you are right, (and I think you are) then we have to change the Senate. Have to.
People died because of their egos?
The Grand Panjandrum
But, he has the Rahmatollah who can appear naked in the shower and force even the manliest of men to do things they don’t want to do.
Agreed. Those who accused Obama of being naive for not cajoling, arm-twisting, shoe banging, pinching or pulling the hair of these senate blowhards were, in my opinion, themselves naive. Obama is of above average intelligence, there is no way the treachery of a Joe Lieberman or the mendacity of Blanche Lincoln were things that somehow escaped his notice. They would have loved the chance to defy any ultimatum coming from the White House; it would have given them unlimited TV time, etc.
I wish Obama could have gone after these clowns with an actual whip, but the reality is that he was stuck working with these unredeemable assholes and that he’s done a pretty good job under the circumstances.
I think Obama’s been fighting against that second sentence ever since the first health care push. At the time I remember everyone thought it seemed foolish that he wasn’t injecting himself more into the process, but after Baucus, Conrad, Nelson et al. turned out to be little shits, I think we all discovered the real point.
By handing it off to Reid and Pelosi, he pretty much ensured the rest of the Dems had to either kill their own futures along with his, or else find some workable solutions, except for those who can simply replace DSCC/DCCC and other liberal contributions with insurance industry money.
Well, I agree with mistermix entirely. However, we won’t know what the correct opinions are or should be until such time as Fuckhead and BTD weigh in with their expert and always unfailingly correct view on things.
How many times do we have to say LBJ failed FAILED failed to get universal healthcare.
I keep hearing, if only Obama had twisted arms like LBJ. Well, guess what, LBJ failed — as did Carter, Monica’s lover, and all of the other dead guys.
I call on Jane Hamsher to resign.
People have got a good view in the last year of the egomaniacs in Congress that have been willing to hold American lives hostage to their petty political whims. I am not naive about politics or politicians but nevertheless I am appalled that many of our elected officials have no interest in doing anything but keeping their cushy jobs with excellent health insurance that we pay for.
I agree that it was a good idea for Obama to let “Congress” take the lead.
But success is success, and failure would be failure, and if it works anyone is free to decide that the exactly correct paths were all taken, and if it failed people could claim that any particular path they didn’t approve of was the problem.
@Mike Kay: The key difference between the LBJ and Obama motivational efforts is that LBJ brought people into his can when he was taking a shit, and Obama delegated the responsibility to Rahm, who did it in the shower.
Obviously, if only Obama had followed LBJ’s example, we’d have HCR today.
only the Senate can change the Senate. and you will never get 67 people to agree to limit their own power.
@mistermix: He used to bring Katherine Graham and Doris Kearns Goodwin into the can while he napalmed porcelain and he STILL failed to coral that stubborn unicorn.
I think you can mainly criticize the lack of urgency in 2009. I mean, I think you probably had to let Baucus play footsie with the GOP for a while, but those 60 votes (gained by a defection no less!) were clearly fragile. Obviously nobody could have predicted Scott Brown in January 2009… but I think they probably needed to have more of a “we’ve got 60 votes and we’ve got to pass tons of stuff while we can” attitude. Presumably some of those 60 egomaniac votes would rebel if they were prodded so… but it seems clear that the process was just way too long here.
Ain’t that the truth. One of the things I admire about him is his steadiness. Dood just keeps going.
How he was able to sit for 6 hours at the HCR summit, for example, and listen with a degree of patience I could never muster while Republicans made their inane talking points over and over, only to have each one batted down….
Of course there’s also this regarding institutions which might need to be reformed, maybe, if a certain Senate weren’t in the way.
Well, I guess you’d have to know whose massive irregularities etc. were being overlooked before deciding what “done enough” meant.
Heckuva job, dudes!
@mistermix: But Rahm was out to sabotage HCR from day one. He was chosen as COS for the express purpose of killing the public option and taking magical unicorns off the table. Single-payer would have been passed unanimously if it were not for the diabolical machinations of this man and his giant organ.
…many of whom have run for president or fantasize about being president, and still can’t wrap their egos around the fact that the FSM allowed the half black young upstart to lap them. Brown’s win made the biggest preening assholes irrelevant, not that there was ever going to be 60 solid votes for any bill of this import, and any time you can make Joe Lieberman STFU is a good time.
While I do not completely agree that Obama handled this HCR battle like the 11th dimensional chess player that this seems to make him out to be, I do agree that it is amazing to be where we are today simply because of the egos, mendacity, and utter stupidity of our very own House of Lords. They are worse than useless. They are destroying our country and should be shunned and mocked by all Americans. They disgust me more than almost anyone on earth, with the exception of any and all religious fanatics from any and all denominations.
I, personally, see this as more of a joint effort by a couple of very smart and politically adept people, one of whom is the president and the other of which is the Speaker of the House. And a small shout out to poor Harry Reid. It’s hard for me to blame him completely for his seeming weaknesses when you remember who he has to attempt to lead. Would another Majority Leader have done better? I really, really doubt it.
@beltane: Being serious for a moment, Rahm always seems to be more conservative about what Congress can do than Obama. And Rahm had a whip/leadership role in the House, and served longer than Obama. These two facts are directly related.
I don’t think Rahm’s ideology or lack of moral fiber or whatever has anything to do with it. Rahm’s just been around Congress longer and seen how bad it is.
We also have to remember, we do NOT have the corporate media on our side.
@Cat Lady: True. It was worth losing that Massachusetts seat to get Lieberman to lose his disproportionate power. Weeks have passed without any new Lieberman outrage and this is a good thing. Plus, the teabaggers now hate Scott Brown which is also a good thing.
I don’t think what Obama has done is especially clever or devious. In fact, it’s the obvious way to deal with the clown college that is the Congress.
But we’re so wedded to the idea that the President calls the shots that we just don’t see that backing off is an obvious strategy. When someone (like me) points it out, it looks like they’re saying that there’s a clever subtext involved.
I’m not saying there’s a clever subtext — I’m reading the text.
We won’t fall for your ‘I’m just doing the exactly obvious’ tricks, buddy — this is exactly proof that you’re doing the complete opposite.
While this won’t add much to the discussion, I just want to say that I am duly impressed by mistermix’s command of adjectives!
And yes, in agreement with the sentiments as well.
Well, I don’t disagree with your analysis of what he did and why. I just don’t think it was just him writing the text. I think he had at least one very tough, smart, and pragmatic co-writer who does not often get the same credit in posts like this. And I simply believe that someone should point that out so it doesn’t get lost in all the O-bot lovin’ that these sorts of threads often become. And which goes to your point about how we view it as only the president calling the shots and not using other strategies, such as good legislative partnerships.
@beltane: Talk about falling into a crack. We had to be above 60 in order to absorb losing some conservadems or be below 60 in order to expose the gop obstructionism, but by being exactly at 60, the gop could demand a cloture vote and hide, while empowering the conservadems to grind the process to a crawl.
That’s why Nancy gets so much done in the House. She has the votes to absorb conservadem loses.
I’ll go further than that; they’re actively on the GOP side, either because they don’t realize that the radical right will yell “liberal media” no matter how many Erick Ericksons they hire (hell, Erickson himself will yell “liberal media” any time the Republicans need a boost) or because they’re in on the con themselves.
NPR’s sadness over heath insurance reform’s imminent passage is almost palpable.
535? What happened to the other 3?
@geg6: I agree — Pelosi will go down as a good speaker, minimum, if this passes, and perhaps great, depending on how the next few years go.
Reed in some ways has a harder job, but he’s not as good at it, either.
@geg6: This. Nancy!
I think we got a hundred reasons for our current predicament, but a Rep ain’t one of them.
I guess my only question is, in LBJ’s time, weren’t there lots of bloviating assholes who’d torpedo a liberal agenda in a heartbeat?
Well, yeah, there were, but you don’t have CSPAN footage of them.
LBJ won on civil rights and the Great Society stuff because he knew where all the bodies were buried and how to hammer out deals that could get Conservadems on board. Obama doesn’t have that knowledge (he was in the Senate for too short a time) or that personality – but Rahm was supposed to be a badass cutthroat with no time for bullshit. Evidently his real talent is getting a deal as quick as you can so you can claim a win.
In curling parlance, he’s the skip who takes a one instead of trying for three. Disappointing, but at least now we know better than to expect much more than the status quo on the rest of Obama’s agenda.
@NobodySpecial: The Emo self is on Aisle 3.
Read <A HREF=http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/18/opinion/18kristof.html?ref=opinion= Nicholas Kristof in the Times today. You’ll be glad you did. It’s the most interesting take on health care access I’ve seen in a LONG time. And it explains why so many of The Greatest Generation have lived so long.
I’m bitter about media in this. Really. Screw them. Health care reform was not interesting to them, so they blathered on like idiots about the politics.
I don’t know what else they need to make something interesting and relevant. Everybody in the country uses this system, there are millions of stories, and we heard none of them.
You know, they’re more than happy to find a human interest angle when they’re selling a war. They couldn’t be bothered to find examples of why health care reform might be necessary? It wasn’t exciting or prestigious enough.
This chuckling, patronizing tone they have taken makes me sick to my stomach.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@geg6: Being a Nancy Pelosi fanboy for a long time, even when it was uncool in many prog corners, The “Obot lovin” you lament has never excluded this first rate Speaker of the House as an equal good partner to getting passed into law Obama’s agenda. And other folks as well. We Obots have never considered Barrack Obama with kingly powers over congress, in fact we have promoted the opposite of him being only the proper leader of but one equal branch of government, not a self appointed Unitary Executive al la Bush that orders congress to deliver his will like a pizza from Dominos/
Yes, and personally, though I think you’re absolutely correct, I also think that Barack basically wasted most of his first year in office (assuming that HCR was/would be the main priority) trying a work-around approach with said jackasses. He also allowed (or, well, to be precise, failed to adequately defend against) this country’s pathetic media to let the Republican opposition – whose character I think Obama also misread – to frame the terms of the debate, get too much unwarranted press, and cement their obstructions in place.
One would have thought with all that “first-hand knowledge”, the Administration would have done a better job of getting serious with fixing this nation’s broken health-care system. But apparently not.
@NobodySpecial: LBJ also had a much bigger majority in the Senate to work with, and a Republican minority that was nowhere near so entrenched in the ranks of the batshit crazy. No one ever seems to mention this in their criticism of the current administration.
LBJ had a huge advantage because he dealt with Republicans who were not insane, not because he was able to sway many conservadems.
Consider the Civil Rights Act, which was fillibustered for 54(?) days by a block of Southern Dems. It too, had to be weakened to get more support, but when it passed it garnered a higher percentage of Republican senate support than Democratic.
no doubt Reid has a tough job – trying to corral ~58 blockheaded egomaniacs isn’t anything i’d like to try. but, Reid is especially pathetic because he never looks like he’s fighting for anything. a better M.L. would have been in front of TV cameras giving passionate denunciations of GOP obstructionism – maybe we wouldn’t have had to wait three years for the press to learn about the GOP’s record-setting use of the filibuster.
in other words: he could be a party leader in addition to a Majority Leader. a better M.L. would’ve worked to humiliate and frustrate the GOP, instead of letting the GOP frustrate and humiliate him.
a better ML would act like a leader and would inspire the party. Reid does neither. that’s why people hate him.
and as much as i like Obama, i think his lack of visible leadership is hurting his image, too.
One point about the timing of the current push: had Obama done this last summer, he might have gotten everyone on board…but then they’d have had time to change their minds as the process dragged on. The only time it can possibly be effective is at the end of the process–not at any point before then.
@Mike Kay: I’m sorry–I can’t agree. If she resigns, there’s no accountability. She has to be impeached and put on trial.
@geg6: This. If this passes, my Representative goes into history as one of the greatest Speakers of all time.
@NobodySpecial: LBJ won on civil rights and Medicare and all (but, as someone pointed out, failed! FAILED! to get universal healthcare) because the Republican party still had moderate-to-liberal members, and because nobody was using the filibuster on every single piece of legislation (edit: and because he had bigger majorities in the first place). It’s an open question (one Ezra explored the other day) whether LBJ could have passed any of his agenda in the Senate of 2010.
All right, this is freaking enough.
I am a fighter, I know what it is, and for fuck’s sake liberals in Congress don’t do it. The House liberal caucus always folds to the massive pricks in the Senate.
Liberals like the idea of being the scrappy underdog—being the fighter…
Total bullshit. We have large Democratic majorities and we have shit for liberal results. Just an outrageous statement, Democrats and liberals can’t fight for shit and the results are obvious.
….try to imagine what more Obama could have done to corral this herd of bloviating assholes.
I am SO SICK OF RATIONALIZING FOR FAILURE AND MEDIOCRITY! Stop it! Jesus please stop!
He could have lead last summer like the last two weeks, nearly a fucking year ago!
Almost all the liberals are sick with rage and disgust all that time, fucking President Lieberman and President Snowe!!
Get this, motherfucker, I can imagine not getting screwed by that colossal prick Joe Lieberman! So fucking easy, it crushed us so bad.
Jesus. This is why Glenzilla sneers at this blog, this unholy fucking nightmare is excused, rationalized, lied about, and then…….ta-da, Obama is a badass great politician!
Vomit vomit vomit. Please grow the fuck up and learn to accept unpleasant truth. If you can, which I really doubt.
Read Nicholas Kristofin the Times today for one of the most interesting takes on health care access, life expectancy, and why members of The Greatest Generation are living so long despite millions of them fighting in World War II. It’s fascinating.
I disagree — it isn’t that health care was not interesting so much as that it’s difficult. Understanding an issue well enough to know whether one side is lying to you about it — repeatedly — is hard work, and why do that when you can just leave it there?
And again, that’s assuming the corporate media isn’t deliberately slanted toward the Republican position.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@Jay C: Sigh
And I couldn’t agree with this more. I am not of the Rahmisthedevil camp nor am I in the Rahmistheawesome camp. I actually don’t think Rahm is very effective or has very good political instincts. I have yet to see any evidence of either and I’ve been watching him his entire national career. He may be a cutthroat, but he’s no badass. Rahm is about Rahm and that’s about it. He’s just another Village idiot, no better or worse than any other. Mediocre at best. But it doesn’t matter, AFAIC, since I don’t think the president really listens to him. He uses him as the useful idiot that he is.
And let’s not forget the bloviating assholes in the blogosphere. People like Jane Hamsher. Some of these people want to be seen as doyens of public policy, but they are just opinionated assholes.
I’m an opinionated asshole, but I know that I’m not in the center of the action and I just hope that Obama can get it done.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@paradox: Please piss off you arrogant twerp.
El [email protected]: am wary of any article that attacks the pay structure of Federal employees. Bonuses are one of the only ways that the Gov’t can keep halfway decent employees; when adjusted for education level and length-of-tenure, Federal employees are paid 26% less than private sector equivalents.
There has been an increase in articles attacking Federal employee compensation of late, and this is after 30 years of attacks on gov’t compensation and competancy
i’ll just note that there are plenty of lefties who sneer at “Glenzilla” and his perpetual state of frantic exasperation, and therefore don’t give a fuck about what he thinks about them.
Ah – so you call on Jane Hamsher to resign, too. Great! The pressure in building.
@cleek: Dickhead isn’t even a lefty, he’s a ron paul libertarian who cheered the corporatist Citizen United Not Timid (CUNT) decision.
@cleek: I read Glenzilla every day and don’t remember him sneering at B-J. Also, too.
Obama had first-hand knowledge of the preening, feckless and cowardly jackasses he was dealing with.
Can I make a request to have “preening, feckless and cowardly jackasses” set up as a new tag….?
Yeah, if he’s going to add “sneering at third-tier snarky blogs” to his repertoire, eventually it’s going to get so long that even childless petless unemployed people with live-in maids and chefs won’t have time to read him.
This is what I’ve always said…there is no Majority Leader in history who had success leading the body without watering down legislation to appease the egomaniacs…and this includes LBJ, who is considered a successful Majority Leader BECAUSE he watered down legislation to appease the egomaniacs.
People like to pretend like he was the great arm twister who forced the egomaniacs to vote for his audacious liberal legislation, when all they can show you is a picture of him screaming at Senator Ted Green or Rhode Island, an 80 year old liberal he was arm twisting to vote for legislation he watered down to get Republican votes because he couldn’t get conservative Democrats.
“One big difference between the Obama and Clinton healthcare reform efforts, aside from the obvious benefit Obama gains from hindsight, is that the current push is being led by someone who served in Congress.”
I will give you the fact of Obama having served in Congress is a plus.
Yet, the consensus among the population when it was announced we were getting 2 for the price of 1 from the Clintons did not go over big at all. I kept on hearing and reading “she was not elected”. That generated the opposition to Hilary being in charge of the Clinton health care reform and sunk the project before it was even started.
That would be because the Senate is much more powerful than the House liberal caucus. Always has been that way. Deal with it.
I say this as I knock on wood since the bill has not yet passed, but if Obama was playing any 11th dimensional chess it is simply that he allowed the Repubs to go to Crazytown over the summer. They’ve called him everything but a child of God and this plan everything but a reform that will cover tens of millions of Americans. Now if health care passes and the apocalypse doesn’t happen, which I am pretty sure it’s not going to, the Repubs are exposed to the entire nation as the giant obstructionist assholes they are.
Sorry, but he’s not playing to the political junkie peanut gallery, meaning us libruls who are supposed to be on his side (though factions of us often forget this). He is trying to convince the entire country that government can be effective and government can help them. To do that he has to destroy the comfortable assumption that the Repubs give a shit about anyone but themselves and their top 5% tax bracket buddies. And the best way to do that is to let them destroy it themselves with the words from their own mouths. Which they have pretty convincingly done over the last year. (Anyone see Shadegg yesterday call for single payer? I bet his constituency didn’t know he was a closet commie!)
As even the centrist Matt Yglesias recognized, one thing the White House could have done differently is to play more of an inside-outside game against some recalcitrant members (not referring to Rahm’s schlong here). Start raising money for Vilsack to take on Chuck Grassley and Grassley starts getting more reasonable.
As for the Democrats, though, I understand your point. When you have prima donnas who base their votes on making sure that they piss off the party leadership, there are only two ways to go. Negotiate with the terrorists, or go scorched earth on their asses, burn the place down, and start from scratch.
Sixty nominal Democratic votes was the worst thing that ever happened to HCR. It raised expectations of the left and empowered the worst elements of the Democratic party, as well as the
Morning, Paradox. How you doing?
As recalcitrant as he was just a few days ago, kudos to Kucinich for pulling out all the stops now that he’s on the bus:
We first of all you need Tom Vilsack to actually WANT to run for the Senate and second, you need Vilsack to realistically be a threat to Grassley, who despite his obstruction, never saw his approval rating dip lower than 60%.
@General Egali Tarian Stuck: General, it doesn’t what has been pointed ad nauseaum for the past year. There will always be people who claim that Obama didn’t do anything last year. There are list of accomplishments about Obama’s first year. Hell, even CQ had an article about how Obama is the most successful 1st year President since FDR.
Obama gave speeches and attended townhalls pushing the importance of Healthcare Reform in 2009. Since he has worked in Congress, he has some idea of who his peers are and how arrogant they are.
But none of this will matter, because facts are irrevelant.
@paradox: Care to comment on Coach K’s clock management or Le Bron’s shot selection while you’re at it?
They know the ins and outs of the various “important” players, though. They know exactly who is pouring money in to opposition advertising, and which member of the Senate has some obscure and state-specific objection. All of that takes a certain amount of work and study.
We spent way more time on insurance company concerns about health care delivery than we did on sick people’s concerns.
I maintain that health care as a regular-person issue wasn’t important or prestigious enough for them to bother with.
It could have been stellar work. They could have really shone at this.
I’ve actually been saying sort of this since last summer. It may just be that the guy has no other style, but he calmly made sense while Republicans screeched like howler monkies. As a result his poll numbers dropped and many liberals think he’s weak – but GOP poll numbers fell into the basement, moderates abandoned them utterly, and they started kicking out the merely conservative.
Obama acted like an adult and looked weak. The GOP saw this as their chance to go Full Teabag and imploded. Think about it. If we have any decent chance in the midterms, it’s because Teabaggers are political poison and are reinventing the circular firing squad to make Dems blush.
Could anyone have seen that coming? Dunno. That DOES sound 11-dimensiony. Damn if it’s not working. Thanks, Glen and Rush!
mem from somerville
Yeah, that’s exactly the conversation I’ve had with some people who said Obama was too hands-off. I remember the Clinton battle very acutely. I was periodically irritated with Obama’s apparent lack of direct involvement, but I understood the larger goal of distancing him from this.
Congress has 535 members. The other 3 that you’re thinking of are electors from DC (the Electoral College seats 538 electors), which doesn’t actually get to vote in Congress.
Bingo. All 60 votes ever meant was that Joe Lieberman was made President. I caught a lot of flak for saying that the Massachusetts loss might have been a good thing, because it meant the Democrats would be forced to govern from the perspective of having a simple majority instead of a super majority — which is all they ever really had, when you think about the handful of Dems who would be ecstatic to screw the party over. It’s too early to see whether it really was a good thing, but (fingers crossed) we seem to be on the edge of getting HCR, which means a 59-41 Senate minority didn’t kill us stone dead.
@paradox: Dude, get yourself a nice doughnut for breakfast and calm down, will you?
The President did three really important things to get us where we are right now – on the verge, we hope, of passing HCR.
The first one was to put it on the agenda, right at the beginning, as a top priority – including setting aside a big chunk of money in his initial budget as a “down payment” on the cost.
The second was recognizing that August did more damage in terms of the media perception of the desire for reform, than in the real desire for reform. That was a moment he could have backed off and scaled down massively and instead he doubled down in his speech to Congress saying we need to do this.
The third, and probably most important, was to respond to the Congressional post-Massachusetts meltdown by effectively taking control of the process and holding folks to the deal that was basically already in the works. Again, given the history of Democrats moving rightward after such events, I feared we might see the “school uniforms” version of HCR – and it is clear that was on the table and a camp of both WH advisors and Members of Congress was all for it.
Mistakes? Plenty of them on all sides – WH, Congress, and even in the advocacy community. Also plenty of heroics on all sides, and I’d give Pelosi for one a huge chunk of the credit. I do agree that a heavy visible WH hand as it moved through Congress is as likely to have hurt the process as helped. I also agree that in hindsight we would have done some things differently.
But the politics of healthcare is deadly. It was always going to be messy. It was always going to be hard. No perfect path that we know would have worked better and a lot of risk in alternate paths that might have given us a more progressive bill and also might have led to the same failure we’ve seen every time we tried to get a more progressive bill through.
But ultimately, simply by holding Congress steady to the basic goal of covering virtually all Americans, making insurance more fair and affordable, and setting us on a long term track to shift away from the current system, the President played a key role in all this. Now let’s make sure we actually get it across the finish – it is NOT a sure thing.
WTF over? This post and almost all the comments are like health care reform through the looking glass. Whether or not you care to admit it, Obama has completely blown this mess. He had a mandate from the people and could have either pushed through a great piece of reform or driven Congress into total disgrace in front of its constituency. He did neither. He let politics as usual take its form, and now we have a watered down remnant of what could have been.
When did such mediocrity become, not only acceptable, but seen as a victory? This is pathetic!
@Pam C./femlaw: This. A thousand times this. (And I don’t like saying “This” very often).
General Egali Tarian Stuck
Yes, and Obama had his fair share. It is when falling off the Unicorn, the dude ponders for a while, then hops right back on and corrects course. A tough human thoughtful POTUS.
General Egali Tarian Stuck
@gwangung: And I second your [email protected]Pam C./femlaw:
I’m sorry. He’s just not a magic negro!
I really must ask…
Do you actually LIVE in the United States? Are you sentient?
You really must answer no to one or the other; otherwise, your post makes no sense.
“bloviating asshole” sounds like the result of eating at one Mexican restaurant too many.
Had to say it.
Folks, the comments sections on CNN stories are ripe with opportunities for fun. Below was mine in response to a piece of vapidity by Julian E. Zelizer titled “Obama risks being called ‘The Undecider”:
“As someone who voted for McCain, and who is not a racist, I’m continually impressed with President Obama’s ability to work within the framework of the three co-equal branches of government. Each of his campaign pledges is being accomplished, or pursued, to the best of his ability, given a dishonest, obstructionist opposition. Looking back, my attempt to foist the anger and ignorance of the GOP ticket on this nation is a source of personal shame. Thanks, Mr. President, for helping one old Boomer out of many see the error of his ways.”
Finally! Someone understands. The President got so much criticism for not providing leadership. I understand group dynamics somewhat. I thought he handled it beautifully. He had the patience, through all that hell, to sit quietly and wait for the best moment to lead. That’s now.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
That’s a funny observation, because a mere week ago Dennis Kucinich was BJ’s official #1 bloviating asshole in Congress. Things move fast around here.
@gwangung: well, but there’s the second part of the either/or: “or driven Congress into total disgrace in front of its constituency”. Which, of course, he also couldn’t have done, but never mind that–if he had done it, it would have been…bizarre and self-destructive.
So, to sum up: Obama is to be condemned for not having crazily crippled his own presidency (in a way that wouldn’t have achieved its ‘goal’ in the first place) when it turned out he didn’t have the superhuman mind control powers to bend Congress to his will.
Davis X. Machina
Faculty senate meetings…. there is no better training. You can’t even go pee — they’ll put you on a committee.
@Pam C./femlaw: well said. And the common thread between the second and third things is persistence, which isn’t a quality much valued in the cable-news cycle (not like ‘toughness’, valued by wingnuts and lefties alike, which plays well in soundbite form).
@Pam C./femlaw: Very much this.
@Dave Paulson: Take a reality pill. You are living in a fantasy world.
Yep! Unlike the GOP we’re not one trick ponies. We always knew the Senate (and too much of the House) were bloviating assholes. Kucinich was the bloviating asshole who was making himself super especially obnoxious at the time. Now he’s backed off, and there’s a grudging truce as we are drawn to current problems.
Sorry, Bruce said it, can’t edit on the ‘ol iSpud.
@Bruce (formerly Steve S.):
Yeah, he changed, so we changed our opinion of him, or were you not awake yesterday?
i still think he’s an asshole.
assholes can be useful though. without one, life would be short, and explody.
@Tom Hilton: Hm. Sounds like “persistence” isn’t very manly, then.
“aloof” is the new “uppity”.
Bruce (formerly Steve S.)
No, it went like this: Kucinich is a bloviating asshole, then the President gives him the Air Force One treatment, then Kucinich changes his mind.
One more time, your Arrow of Time lesson for the day:
Kucinich is bloviating asshole.
President applies pressure.
Kucinich changes his mind.
Worse, Rahm haunted the congressional showers with a permanent hard-on, with his hands on his hips screaming at congressional leaders before smacking them with his member before fading back into the shadows. My gawd, can no one stop this man?!
Yes, the national media has done a crappy job. F-. What about the local papers? The Oregonian, has had some good pieces which actually did some analysis on healthcare costs and problems. The editorial board is behind the bill thinks it should pass. Amazingly sane bunch of folks. There used to be a conservative on there called Reinhard or something like that I haven’t seen him in a long time. His stuff was all republican talking points, he bought nothing to the table. Worthless. Overall, the paper has gotten more progressive and it is probably because Portland is more progressive and being out of step with the population is a bad thing when it comes to circulation.
Don’t make us send Rahm to your shower. You won’t like it.