Happy thought to start the day: EventheNoLiberalHe Dave Weigel at Slate reports from this week’s MoTU Snoglobe on “What the rich guys and corporate types in Aspen think of Obama“:
… The people on the Aspen campus this week pay attention to politics, but they have slightly different attitudes. The first is boundless optimism. Think-tankers and sustainability pioneers and representatives talk up the investors they’ve got and the interest they’re generating. Panels on “green jobs” and education reform and food policy are packed…
And then there’s the second view of politics in Aspen: Despair. The crowd here is not monolithically liberal, but it is monolithically disappointed in Obama. The disappointments change from subject to subject. Phil Beck, a Republican lawyer from Chicago, says Obama “squandered an opportunity to pass some really effective legislation” and “handed it off to Reid and Pelosi.” Martha Jackson, whose husband’s company develops oil deals in South America, says Obama has prolonged the war in Afghanistan more than she would have liked.
How can he turn things around?
“He can win a second term,” she says.
This was the tenor of a lot of Obama critiques. On Tuesday afternoon, David Axelrod took a friendly shellacking from Time’s Joe Klein about all the opportunities Obama had missed. The attendees agreed with Klein—to a point. Their questions, about Obama’s economic appointments and about his messaging problems, all began with some variation of “I’m going to vote for Obama again, and work for him, but …”
There’s desperation where there used to be hope. No one here still believes Obama can engineer great change. He’s what we’ve got; he’s offering more than the Republicans. The most realistic ideas about what can be done politically are predicated on what Washington will be forced to do by crisis.
So, even the sort of people who are willing to let the Atlantic-based Libertarians wine, dine, transport & schmooze them have publicly given up on the Republican Party and its loons. I suspect David Axelrod will be perfectly happy to accept the votes (and donations) of people with “Obama 2012: Where Else Are You Gonna Go?” bumperstickers on their luxury SUVs…
oh, it doesn’t matter, what they are SAYING at Aspen, or that Hilton Head SC Clinton seminar, over drinks…..what matters is, will they get out their checkbooks when the election gets really hot, an entire YEAR from now
our system is so insane. I don’t care much for tinkering with the ol’ Constitution, but, one idea is starting to appeal: the Amendment to give the President one 6-year term.
The loons might have taken over the GOP, but that doesn’t mean their candidate will be a loon. Mittens has twisted himself into a pretzel of contradictions to win over the loons. He can morph back into a less loony version of himself in time for the general election.
Money is speech. The Supreme Court has proved it.
The highest form of 1st Amendment Protection has always gone to Political Speech. That’s the nugget of “freedom” that the “Founding Fathers” wanted: it’s more important than commercial speech. or artistic speech, or entertainment speech, or pornographic speech. All of which are important, too!
And that political speech has been legally ruled equivalent to money. Think about that for a while, and enjoy your July 4th weekend, folks!
Speaking of rich guys, I open Google News and the story this morning is about DSK and whether his accuser is quite as believable as people initially had thought. I haven’t read all the details, but expect the usual “told you so’s” from the high and mighty who were convinced he was accused for political reasons.
oh, I forgot religious speech – also very very important to even me (I can say that all Gods are ….farm products, and no one can stop me)
FFS! We need a better Congress! won’t matter for shit if he wins a second term if he loses the Senate and doesn’t win back the House. In fact we need a less conservative and/or greater Dem majority in the Senate – wishful thinking I know. He could appoint everyone’s dream team but there will be more “missed” opportunities if we do not have the right people in Congress.
Then there are local and state races where we need governors and other state pols who won’t sabotage or block implementation of his policies.
Obama is “offering more than the Republicans.”
Like the executive order that grants him the authority to kill ANY American citizen … without external review?
That even turned the growls of Cheney’s constant criticism into pleasant coos of delight AND envy.
monkey knife fight
Ummm…I do not think our government works the way he thinks it does.
Face it – Obama dealt with the reality of a Congress where 40 GOP Senators plus a couple Blue Dogs or Dems in the pocket of a special interest on one issue or another could bring any legislation to a screeching halt (see Cap and Trade, and the Public Option).
And like it or not, Obama dealt with being black, and always on the cusp of being judged by a completely different set of standards if he ever got too forceful (think America was ready for a black man to stand lecturing a chamber full of rich white men over and over and over? Nice version of reality you live in …).
What really pisses me off, besides ignoring his substantive achievements – is that virtually nobody gives Obama credit for the hard work he’s done to rebuild a Federal Bureaucracy that had been being structurally undermined by Heritage vetted termites for 8 years.
You want to know why things happened like banks paying back TARP loans, or Chrysler and GM turning into anything more than black holes for government money? Because Obama staffed government with people who believe that government is more than an ATM for the well connected, and that their jobs were to be good stewards of the public dollar and to actually achieve something more than destroying public faith in public institutions.
What they’ve accomplished in two years has been phenomenal. Consider the stimulus grants – do you know how easy it would have been for all that money to have been spread quickly among political supporters and disappeared down a million ratholes? Do you think that had there been even ONE significant misuse of stimulus dollars, we wouldn’t be hearing about it 24/7 from Fox and Rush?
These people did an incredibly good job … and in an environment where they would never know when the next phone call or visitor to their office might be another Breitbart disciple playing “gotcha”. The discipline of the Federal Bureaucracy has been phenomenal. Obama deserves kudos for TRUE leadership that most Americans can’t even understand, since that form of leadership didn’t involve blowing things up or fancy signing ceremonies.
Despite more than three years of Republican vilification of President Obama, the reality is that even many who differ with his policies still like him. And in the recent McClatchy-Marist poll, it showed that voters don’t necessarily blame Obama for the economy. Sixty-one percent said Obama mostly inherited the economic conditions, including 30 percent of republicans and 64 percent of independents. In a recent NBC/WSJ poll, 62% majority said Obama inherited the mess, with far more placing the blame on George W. Bush.
Surely republicans have seen these poll numbers, which explains why they are going with the “he made it worse” narrative, which has already gotten Romney into trouble.
Obama hands legislation off to Reid and Pelosi is a complaint? WTF is he supposed to do? Didn’t anyone pay attention in 4th grade social studies? boss bitch has it exactly right, and even then look what happened when we had the House and 60 senators – Joe Lieberman became president, when Ben Nelson or Olympia Snowe weren’t being president, and that’s against the backdrop of one of the parties being lock step nihilists. This country has become ungovernable, and that’s not on Obama.
Ivan Ivanovich Renko
Have any of you guys heard about the upcoming government shutdown in Minnesota?
Wow. I mean, just fucking wow.
The Republicans are not acting or negotiating in good faith anywhere.
Balconesfault is right. From start to finish.
The GOP strikes me as a party of nihilists. People who would wreck the country for spite.
@ivan, i mentioned it in the thread above this one. Reading quotes from the repub legislators, they’ve taken their grover norquist kool aid and they’ll be happy to let the people suffer. I hope they pay a price politically, but the cynic in me doubts it.
agrippa I agree..
Ivan Ivanovich Renko: Seems like kind of a trial run of the the debt ceiling fiasco. In any case, I’m sure all the Washington pols are taking notes as to how blame is being apportioned by the public.
I don’t think it’s just spite.
I think it’s a matter of a distilled groupthink among a group that finally senses an opening to do what they’ve been wanting to do for decades.
Conservatives have hated Social Security since 1936. They’ve been feinting around at the edges for years, looking for a way to gut it. Now, add a mix of glibertarians and wall street swindlers anxious to support them thanks to extreme ideology or visions of profiteering, and a sprinkle of dire economic predictions thanks to the Bush recession, and they believe they truly have the window of opportunity they need to sow the seeds of the death of SS.
Conservatives have hated Medicare since 1966. See above.
They’re sitting on top of the mother of all shock doctrine opportunities – and they worked damn hard to get America here, structurally undermining the Clinton debt reduction plan with irresponsible tax cuts, targeting the solvency of medicare with Bush’s unfunded drug bill and Medicare Part D, tossing a few trillion dollars down the Middle East war ratholes, and exporting a generation of US jobs to offshore locations.
The window for them to kill SS and Medicare might not last long … and they might not have the chance again for another 30 or 40 years. They’re going all in because it truly, truly matters to them.
Is the guy who think that Obama handed over the lawmaking to Reid & Pelosi hiring. Something tells me that if I ever was going to grift someone, this wealthy ignoramus is perfect for it. And the whole lot of them could bite me.
@ cat48:Pretty much proving that Joe Scrambledbrains knew even less about governing as I thought he did.
If you read the whole article, you learn that these rich fucks love Bowles-Simpson and think it’s our only hope. No wonder Bobo’s so popular there.
Actually, he deliberately lies daily. He’s a mini Foxnews which makes him dangerous b/c he pretends to be a “no labels” type of guy. He’s not; pure GOP dogma with talking pts.
Head Bulshytt Talker in Chief of the Temple of Libertarianism(superluminar)
So hold on…all of America’s great and good, the well-connected wealthy, Joe Motherfucking Klein are Firebaggers? Oh that is just too funny. Unspoofable.
Agree or disagree with his policies, President Obama has given the country what they so desperately wanted in 2008; competent and responsible leadership in the White House.
Remarkably, the Obama administration has remained scandal-free. Which explains why three years in, republicans were still desperately clinging to the hope of nailing Obama on his long-form birth certificate.
I realize that we are supposed to think what these spoiled mo-fos think is important, because they have deep pockets and all, but did anyone notice that Obama just got shy of 500,000 new donors to sign on before the end of the quarter? One mass email to those people saying “Can you guys kick in $10-20 to help out?” would raise more money in a day that kissing ass in Aspen for a month.
Screw the disenchanted rich who don’t seem to understand that the president is not dictator-in-chief with the power to pass legislation by fiat. This is going to be another people powered campaign and despite the whining you see on the blogs all the time, I think the people of this country are sticking with Obama.
I don’t know what Obama can do under current political conditions to help generate a real recovery, but what’s happening to this point is jobless, wageless but quite profitable for the Aspen types:
Frankly, any deficit reduction strategy can only make things worse – unless there really is a miraculous confidence fairy hidden in Eric Cantor’s underpants that he plans to Tweet to the business elite once he gets his full package.
“Which explains why three years in, republicans were still desperately clinging to the hope of nailing Obama on his long-form birth certificate.”
I don’t think any Republicans with even half a brain (and admittedly there’s a cohort out there with less than half) thought they would “nail” Obama on his birth certificate. They just let it be kept it alive as dog-whistle racism, which has been their ace in the hole against the President. It’s hard to see any brief from the Right against Obama that isn’t rooted in resentment – fed, of course, by the craven opportunism of the Mitch McConnells whose only concern is partisan advantage no matter the cost to the country.
I’m trying to count how many times I haven’t voted in the spirit of “Where Else Are You Gonna Go.” Over 30 + years, damn few. Am I unusually cynical?
Jay in Oregon
David Prosser needs anger management counseling. Or, possibly, to be tossed out on his ass. He grabbed the microphone out of the hand of a reporter in front of a camera.
Listening to NPR this morning, going over the Supreme Court cases that were heard this year, and how the Supreme’s ruled in favor of big business. Next year? Affirmative Action, Gay Marriage, Health Care.
That alone would keep me voting for Obama, just in case any justice retires, but especially the more conservative Justices. I’m praying Clarence Thomas resigns.
Political Science 101: The President of the United States does not “pass” ANY legislation. Leaving it to Reid and Pelosi was not only the correct decision, it is the Constitutional procedure we use for creating laws in this country. Look, I think Mr. Obama could have taken some stronger positions on the issues, but I still say he’s playing 11-dimensional chess while his opponents are playing Tic-Tac-Toe. Which of the Republican midgets contending for the nomination is really going to beat him? Really??
Murray takes first set from Nadal at Wimbledon, ever. Thought that was a sufficiently big deal.
Actual quote: “The consensus in Aspen is that bipartisan fiscal reform needs to happen”. Not necessarily Bowles-Simpson, but someone asked Simpson to appear with Bowles at an event.
You could infer that for these folks Obama is the only hope for anything bipartisan happening, not just fiscal reform.
OT, but I just ran across pictures of Anthony Weiner’s wife. Sweet Mary, what is a woman that lovely doing with a putz like Weiner? Maybe she won’t be around much longer. But man, she may be the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen (after my wife, of course).
I can’t defend Obama except on raw competence. He’s that popular and he’s unwilling to heighten the contradictions?
And for every person who says that he couldn’t take any strong public positions because he’s black, what you’re really saying is that we shouldn’t have voted for a man who couldn’t be effective in a time of crisis.
Missed opportunities? How about recess appointments?
How about all the deficit rhetoric?
Bowles-Simpson? Frum-Bartlett would have been better.
How about the year end deal to extend the Bush Cuts? All he had to do was stand there and say we just can’t afford the cuts, and we wouldn’t be having this new precedent of a budget cut clusterfuck over the debt ceiling, which will now be repeated semiannually until 50% of us live in concrete block houses with tin roofs.
How about pretending the recovery was working?
How about the continuing flogging of free trade deals?
Why no perp walks for bankers?
Why Geithner? Why Summers?
Why not bring troops home or war tax? Alan fucking Simpson thinks that’s a good idea.
And I’m not one of the smart guys, surely people could have created more possibilities than that collective brain trust of Axelrod, Summers and Bobo.
You do have to pick your battles, and he should have picked more.
He single-handedly created the 2010 debacle by not visibly fighting harder for jobs, and by not being willing to spend all his time fighting Congress. Ask anybody in the Midwest – people really thought the Republicans were more commmitted to job creation.
We are now in a cycle approaching 50 years in length where for 8 years we move radically right, and for 8 we move a bit right, and then repeat. We really did hire Obama for Change. He has not delivered, and it is his fault.