Remember those political wizards who ran the 2008 campaign for Obama? Remember how they seemed steady, on message, and it was clear where they wanted to take the country? Remember how everyone was excited, enthusiastic, and raring to go? Remember their vision?
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Running a campaign ain’t running a country.
they caught the last train for the coast
If that has you sad, this article should make you very sad.
Regarding Obama’s Religious Beliefs
As for messaging since 2008, sure would have been nice if Bush hadn’t left that country in a such a deep smoking hole and the Republicans would have, in Obama’s words, grabbed a mop.
Until we have two political parties interested in governing again, we’re fucked.
Dude. Please. The drama queens are TRYING to clutch their pearls.
Plouffe went back to Chicago to squeeze out a kidlet, which I think was Obama’s big mistake for letting him go. He’s back, and if you notice Obama’s tone has gotten harsher, but it’s still pretty much ignored by the media. Or it’s spun so badly by the time it hits the airwaves it’s like they’re in Bizarro world.
Obama was versus Hillary’s idiot brigade and the Palin campaign.
@stuckinred: Yeah. That’s pretty much it.
Though, it should be noted that Obama’s supporters doubted him every step of the way. You’d think a bunch of people so disgusted with Broder would learn to not subscribe to his bullshit with such strong conviction.
Cole, you do realize that Obama did get health care passed, in spite of you having given up on it several times. Don’t be so eager to lose, okay?
Well they used to be able to articulate a message too. That is clearly part of running a country.
Love digby to pieces, but “neo-liberal”? Was she just being cheeky there?
ETA: The more I think about it, the more I think Obama wants to be a Woodrow Wilson-esque President. I’m not saying that’s a good thing, obvs.
@cjw79: They have to have one to articulate it.
Just Some Fuckhead
The Obama administration seems to be pulling out all the stops for the Korea free trade agreement.
Also, I’m not sure Obama was prepared for the hateful mendacity from the corporate world, which did perfectly well last quarter; supposedly, they are sitting on oodles and scoodles of money that they will invest in workers when there is “certainty”. Whatever the fuck that means beyond getting a tax cut (any asshole can run a business in complete certainty; getting it right in times of uncertainty is why they get paid the big bucks).
During the campaign remember all the freak-outs about the Obama campaigns inability to sustain a message? Remember all the times McCain won the week in the eyes of the Villagers? Well I do. I actually don’t think the WH is run that differently from the campaign. They tend to ignore the daily noise. Whether it will turn out so well this time, I don’t know.
If our president was a football jersey, he’d be the old peach tampa bay buccaneers one
@Dan: Go Falcons!
Ironically, certainty means that people will buy stuff and pay for services so that they NEED to hire more people to provide the stuff and services.
Of course, people aren’t going to buy stuff and pay for services if they’re looking over their shoulder at unemployment.
You can cut taxes all you want … hell, you could start PAYING companies extra money out of the Federal Till if they make a profit … and they’re still not going to hire until they understand why hiring will make them some cash.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Well, it’s a more beneficial agreement for us – not unlike the Canada side of NAFTA.
I wonder how badly the free-marketers are going to freak out when they learn that the tariff weren’t the reason that US autos weren’t making headway into Korea – that it was that most our vehicles pollute too much to be sold there.
But iPhones, WoW, and golf clubs – Korean free trade is good news for the
@The Dangerman: It means it’s to their advantage to have short term losses to get their crony motherfuckers back in power.
That’s a fair point. I agreed with that assessment back in the campaign too to an extent, but I think it’s far more of a problem now than it was then, especially given the fact that the congressional Republicans are far more aggressive and focused than McCain was.
I’m wondering if the Obama strategy is to keep drifting more and more rightward, with the idea that this will force the 2012 GOP candidates to be even MORE rightward in order to establish their distance from the evil liberals … and that the resulting GOP nominee will scare even more Frumish conservatives than Palin did back in 2008.
Which, if I’m recalling my Keynsian economics correctly in my present condition (not entirely sober), is when the government should be spending money wildly*. Of course, now, Deficit trumps all.
*on things other than wars
I really hope that isn’t the strategy, or we’re all fucked.
With those crony motherfuckers being so anti-worker and anti-union that they are pissed that Michigan isn’t a wasteland right now after the auto bailout. It all does have a funny smell to it…
I think I am going to take a holiday break until after the new year. Even with the few constructive, solution seeking posts we get here, we’re getting like three freak out posts a day about optics. News Flash: The MSM isn’t interested in reporting the truth and all the messaging by the White House of whatever flavor isn’t going to change that. The Obama Campaign had a megaphone because of the horse race that is campaigning: you pretty much HAVE to report what both sides are saying. Now, not so much.
Example: Headline from yesterday’s vote on taxes = “Senate fails to pass tax cut package for middle class.”
That’s right. “No Republicans kill tax cut for middle class in order to extend tax cut for millionaires.” It was the whole Senate. Got that?
But people just simply refuse to accept the evidence of their own eyes. It’s easier to take the short cut and just blame the president. After all its just one guy that you can direct all your anger at instead of the entire system. The system is big and diffuse and there are all those names to keep track of. Obama is a short name and easy to remember.
All the negativity and naivete here is just freakin’ wearing me out.
Suck It Up!
Seriously, if people long for the campaign so much, its on Youtube.
Don’t forget, back then the media liked Obama. Not now where they feel like he’s snubbing them. Michelle and Obama aren’t out on the town giving the DC elites the opportunity to kiss the first couples ass. Also, one of the “journalists” over at Politico said that the press enjoys it when Obama has pie on his face (their words not mine).
@balconesfault: Yeah, this is exactly the problem. Though the government is not without power here. They can generate demand, even if it’s artificial. Call for something along the lines of a national mobile wireless network under the direction of the FCC. Use the power of the marketplace to force infrastructure investment to happen.
Even if they can’t see the immediate return on the investment, they’ll be too scared to sit out the land rush that non-telcos will be eager to get into. That particular instance may not work, but there are plenty that will.
True. And those who are already unemployed can’t buy stuff beyond housing and food and a few minor things. All their money, such as it is, goes to sustaining themselves at a very low, basic level. And when the money dries up or runs out, they look at losing everything and then they can’t even buy housing or food.
The AP story was basically all about how the Senate voted to allow a tax cut package to be worked out. WTF?
You’re absolutely right about the media. Obama can talk for 20 minutes in detail about how the GOP is screwing the country, than say his door is still open if there’s anyone reasonable wanting to talk, and the only message carried by the media is that Obama wants bipartisanship.
Suck It Up!
Obama doesn’t need to go anywhere. The GOP base is dragging the GOP further and further to the right all by themselves.
@JAHILL10: Hey, they sports and pet threads are great! Fuck all this other bullshit.
Jrod the Cookie Thief
That’s only true when it comes to building and repairing infrastructure, maintaining an economic safety net, or stimulating job growth.
When it comes to keeping taxes ridiculously low from the top 1%, deficits don’t matter.
Pundits love to yak yak yak about the very difficult choices our nation faces regarding the deficit. Funny, it seems fairly simple to me: raise taxes on the wealthy.
We all know how this game is rigged, but the sheer whiplash of going straight from “we must cut unemployment benefits because the deficit is too large” to “we must maintain tax cuts for the super rich” surprises me. Nobody even bothers to paper over the hypocrisy anymore.
I remember all the campaign promises that Obama made that he hasn’t kept. Public option, close gitmo, transparency in government, ending wars, abolishing torture, changing the culture of corruption in Washington.
My enthusiasm for Obama went out the door with his unkept promises.
@Jrod the Cookie Thief:
We all know now that average people having money to spend is not helpful for the economy, but wealthy people having money to sock away is.
Heritage told us.
This kind of gets to the heart of the matter. I think the real deal is that that Obama is really being who he is and that everyone has projected what they wanted to on Obama. I think that I have been guilty of that because I bought what the campaign was selling
At heart he is a centrist and what he is doing is what he is. He isn’t stupid. He’s dancing with and watching out for those that “brung him”.
The following really nails it:
President Obama is neither weak nor stupid… nor a progressive:
It’s simple. They miscalculated on several fronts. They under invested in various plan “A”s and when some of those got snagged, adjustments were not made quickly enough if at all.
When you can stonewall and block, and then blame the other guy for “making excuses” when they protest, and the public BUYS it, there’s no reason to do anything else. They haven’t even needed to go to the Angry Black Man plan.
I really thought shining the spotlight on the RW media would expose them as the Wizard of Oz. It turns out that being revealed as charlatans is a positive in the eyes of their supporters. FU,IGM means winning any way you can, so you can get admired for doing just that.
Public option, close gitmo, transparency in government, ending wars, abolishing torture, changing the culture of corruption in Washington.
This is where I think Obama gets the bad rap.
He never said he would push the public option – if you go look carefully at what he said HCR should contain … the final bill did contain.
Close Gitmo? The man tried. When even Dem Congressmen vote that they won’t allow any Federal Funding for detainees to be transferred to legal facilities on US soil, the President’s hands are tied. They do control the pursestrings.
Ending wars? He actually is pretty much doing what he said he’d do in Afghanistan. And Iraq, for that matter.
Abolishing torture? I have no reason to believe that he hasn’t. It would be nice if he and Holder actually prosecuted torture, but that’s a different issue.
Transparency? Not as much as I’d like to see, for sure – but it’s been a reversal of trends. We do need to keep applying pressure here.
Culture of corruption – are you kidding? There has been a massive improvement here. The bureaucracy is significantly more honest and dedicated to the public good than at anytime in the Bush Administration. Can you imagine the Bushies managing TARP the whole way through? We’d never know what happened to the money. The GM bailout? It would have been money flushed down the drain, with the add-on benefit of having been structured to screw the unions. The stimulus package? If you had handed $500 billion to the Bush crew to spend, it would have all been gone 12 months ago, and we’d have some very very wealthy men become wealthier without it having produced a lick of jobs.
There are legit criticisms of this Admin – but that list is really weak.
That is just delusional. Enjoy President Jesus, the only President you could ever support.
@WyldPirate: Interesting. I do agree that more responsibility for what has been going rest with the president then many here would like to accept.
But I have a hard time accepting that frame since it would mean a dishonest man, and I am not willing to go there…yet.
It might be the case that Obama was/is none of the above and he is just a smart, talented, ambitious guy with a great story who wanted to do good things for his country. Maybe we are just witnessing what happens when a leader without the fire and fight provided by ideological ferocity is put in charge of this government.
Suck It Up!
I remember when Eliot Spitzer was running for Governor, and everyone couldn’t wait to vote for him because he “took on the bad guys and was a tough guy” then when he was Governor, the same people complained he was “partisan, harsh and uncompromising”
Another words, what made him a bad governor in their minds is the same thing that made them vote for him in 2006.
@timb: If I wanted to get what we got, I would have voted for any republican candidate. I voted for the one who made those promises and more. I don’t think it would have taken Jesus to keep those promises. Just a real progressive president.
Sorry to quote myself – but this one has me worked up. If progressives want to celebrate ANYTHING, it’s that this administration has been acting as if the money entrusted to it by the public belongs to the public … and not as if it’s a slush fund for corporate profiteering and to reward political backers. If the Obama Administration was 1/50th as corrupt as Bush, we’d be hearing about some very detailed and concrete allegations 24/7 from Fox and Limbaugh and Palin-tweets, instead of the half-baked crapola they can throw against the wall to make their drones happy. Hell … we’d already have been in impeachment world even without Issa in charge, the drumbeat would have been so loud that the Blue Dogs would have joined the parade.
Give the man credit where it’s due, or we deserve the next round of grifters and looters and revolving door careerists who get their hands on the public till every time the GOP takes office.
yeah, because John McCain absolutely would’ve signed the Matthew Shepard Act, pulled combat troops out of Iraq. invested in high speed rail, and defended the right of free people to pray anywhere they damn well please despite the media, the people, and his own party (including Howard fucking Dean), against him.
Come back, reality misses you.
@Nick: Other than pulling combat troops out of Iraq, I don’t recall any of those things in his campaign speeches. And we still have troops in Iraq.
somebody made a funny!
money contributed by FIRE sector to Obama campaign 2008:
The Baseline Scenario
a pretty good joke, no?
” pulled combat troops out of Iraq.”
Left troops, who have been stop-lossed beyond abusively, and mercenaries. If you are going to fight a war, levy a tax, and draft, goddammit. Make everybody feel it, not just soldiers and their families.
” invested in high speed rail,”
” and defended the right of free people to pray anywhere they damn well please despite the media, the people, and his own party”
He did walk that back pretty fast.
“because John McCain absolutely would’ve signed the Matthew Shepard Act”
Point to Nick.
Did set up the Catfood Commission, does think Ronald Reagan makes a good liberal role model, did insist that if health care reform didn’t pass the country would go bankrupt, but didn’t mention his defense budget. Does think one should pay attention to history except for Afghanistan, and that the collective punishment of people is apparently a-ok (see Gaza, Pakistan, Yemen, Dronewars). Is ok with civil unions but not ok with two people of the same sex doing it and being married. Has religious views uncomfortably close to your average evangelical teabagger.
It’s just confusing. I voted for the guy, I’ll probably end up voting for him again but I have to say, I just generally walk around saying WTF is it NOW?
How come our President has decided whistle blowing is evil and censorship is not?
What. The. Fuck?
Care to tell me where that money went in 2010?
I’m sorry – but we really have no idea what the President said or didn’t say in negotiations on the finance bill … we do know that there are Dem Senators ready to scuttle anything that did more. I kind of put the blame for legislation on the people who write and pass legislation.
I do know that Obama named Elizabeth Warren to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. That scores lots of points in my book.
@cathyx: Right….First of all, if you thought Obama was a progressive, then the 2008 campaign passed you by. Down deep, he’s a liberal, but, as his campaign promises and actions made clear, he is/was a pragmatic technocrat when it came to governing. Were you asleep when he voted for Fisa immunity? Did you not notice his health care plan did not feature universal coverage or a mandate? Did you miss his calls for bi-partisanship? The guy governs as a centrist, because that’s what he is.
I don’t understand how people missed that. Personally, a lifetime of living with Rush Limaugh dittoheads dominating the local media and every family reunion and I figured the last thing the country needed was another Clinton. They already hated her so much! I figured Obama wouldn’t bring out the crazies. How did miss how crazy and stupid the right wing is?
Still, at least I apparently knew I wasn’t voting for FDR’s ghost….some of these lefties are suggesting purity tests as bad as the Tea Partiers
@timb: Go watch “Inside Job.” That film has a clip of a speech that candidate Obama gave denouncing the excesses of Wall Street and calling for tough regulation and accountability. There is no way that any rational person, after hearing that speech, could have expected that Obama would appoint the people he did to every key economic position in his administration. To claim otherwise is simply bullshit.
@NR: you mean Paul Volker? You mean Elixabeth Warren? Or, you mean the people he had with him in the campaign?
Why do you people believe speeches over actions? He had an economic team during the campaign! And, here’s a hint, most of them were the same damn people he hired as President-elect. If you were snowed by pretty words and not actions, then I’m real sorry.
He NEVER walked that back, why are you guys such liars?
Fixed it for you.
@balconesfault: Interim; “Assistant to the President & Special Adviser to the Secretary of the Treasury on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.” Not Director.
Glass half full now?
@Kath: I’m shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, you refuse to give Obama credit for not just having Warren’s nomination die in the Senate by giving her some made up title and putting her in charge anyway.
and here I thought liberals wanted him to “get around obstruction” somehow.
@Kath: He got her on the job right away, at a time Blue Dogs were already calling for someone who would make the financial sector happier, and at best confirmation might have taken months. So, yeah – I’m happy with the decision, although not with the conditions that forced it,
@Nick: It’s funny, because I have these arguments with GOPers all the time. They say “why does Obama only spout leftist rhetoric?”, and I point them to his healthcare speech where he talked about how there are conservative economic principles we need to respect. They say “why doesn’t he put any responsibility for the Palestinian problem on the terrorists and Arab Governments?”, and I point them to his Cairo speech where he did exactly that.
If people listened to Obama, they’d have a lot fewer misconceptions of what he actually said. I’m as pissed over this whole “negotiate with the GOP” stance on the tax thing as anyone, and there a lot of other places I find serious fault with Obama, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t deserve some serious props for some of the things he’s accomplished.
Particularly given the toxic climate he’s accomplished them in.
@Nick: Ok, it’s a possibility that “walking it back” is incorrect.
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there,” he said in response to a reporter’s question after he spoke about efforts to aid the Gulf Coast region. “I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That’s what our country is about.”
So let’s see; in the abstract we have religious rights, yea! In the now, ok, no comment on the “wisdom” of whether one should apply those rights. But why not comment on it? How about “This is an example of the religious freedom that is a right Americans have had from the founding of the country.” Truly sad, but not as bad as Howard Dean in this case, you’re right about that.
@balconesfault: I’m pretty pleased too, but as the Geithner adviser, she’s not an independent authority. Really, she’s not, she’s co-opted, and Geithner didn’t want her. My admiration for Elizabeth Warren however is such, that I figure she’ll quit and say so, if there’s interference.
Easy answer, they all got passed over for jobs by Clinton retreads.
I’m more in the magical unity pony camp. Liberals (generally wealthy liberals) seem to fetishize the whole idea of making nice with people who disagree with them a la Rally for Sanity. I think he thinks he’s doing the right thing by talking to people openly contemptuous of him and giving concessions to them.
What a fuck-ton of Obama as Progressive drivel has just been run out here. The man said what he said and wrote what he did and there was not a hint of some leftist Democrat in any of it. Not in the Primary and not in the General. I avoided him early on trying to find someone somewhere to the left of him and was left with him. Not some imaginary progressive/left liberal whatever, a pragmatic centrist capable of expressing himself astonishingly well – with no script. Now there were some things I assumed went along with that which seem to have gone missing – like communicating and a real respect for the Constitution and BOR.
The man has done a heck of a lot better on his promises than most, in some cases fucked by his own and in some … well, I don’t know. But these Kath, cathyx, etc howls of pain are absolute and entire bullshit and provably so.
Just so you whiners have some perspective I’m the guy Fuckstuck referred to as a racist critic of Obama.
So you’re not only a whiner, you’re an idiot? The President stated the historical basis for a correct decision and did not directly inject himself into a local issue and you don’t get it?
Are you going to tolerate your Grandma kicking open the door of your house, marching into the bedroom, properly making your bed, and then stomping back out? Fuck…
@Chuck Butcher: It’s not a local issue. You let this crap happen in NYC… then it spreads, as it has. So while this seems to be a little local dust up, best avoided for political points, the larger ethical failure is not to adamantly comment on the side of justice, very specifically. This is about principle and where leadership makes a difference. It is the application of rights that really matters. Right, Left or Center.
I’ve heard this all way too often:
Show: Top Chef:
Yes, you’re good but your mole — well I could barely stand to keep it in my mouth
Your dish was a disaster – how can you hold your head up?
You told us you were going to put garlic in your souffle — where was it, I didnt taste any garlic…
Your dish was raw
America’s next top model:You are so beautiful, but you are stiff.
“Why couldnt you jump in that tank? Couldnt swim? Well, if you are a top model, you have to do what the photographer tells you to do..what I tell you to do”
THIS is America right now. This is our paradigm. Reality shows and judging panels that insult contestants who while obviously talented, that day are just disgusting beyond belief. No in between. You are horrible, you are great.
The other paradigm is the sports world. Go read the football pages. When I read the columnists reporting on the Bears, I just hear the same shit as I read here — just replace “the Bears” with Obama and its a perfect swap out.
If they win, its never enough cause they should have won by more points and with more panache. SOME part of their play sucked and Lord, you are going to read it in the paper and hear about it on the damned radio. Some of the radio announcers sound like they are going to blow a cerebral artery — like the fucking world is going to stop turning on its axis (now THERE would truly be a problem)
We want absolute perfection and for all outcomes to be absolute and obvious right away. 100%. Of course WE don’t have to be, but we can demand that of others without hesitation.
Obama is definitely not perfect. Like many humans and other leaders throughout history he had weaknesses, he makes mistakes. Time will tell to what extend these will interfere with his and our success during his tenure. That said, those of us who care for our country must surely want good things to happen to him and us, no? Well — maybe not for some of you…Good things HAVE happened. But maybe his souffle wasnt high enough for some of you… maybe he couldnt swim that lap as well as you thought…
Great movie for those who are beyond moving their lips while they read their comic books: The name of the Game — Hold on there now, its complex and the right and wrong of what really happened to Valery Plame and why is more interesting than the black and white picture we all thought we knew.
Some of the lefties WANT a tea party so bad they could wet their pants. THAT is what they want.. a purge and purity standards…
Others just want to be judges on America’s Next Top Model