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View Diary: So how depressed are you?/Update x 2 (156 comments)

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  •  I'm sorry, but I disagree, and I think it's odd (0+ / 0-)

    that you chose to say this:

    You're so worried about what people think that you fail to consider things in a more active way, changing what people think, instead of trying to adapt to deal with it.

    Doesn't that negate the argument that Obama has been helpless because he can only work with the political reality that he faces?  

    I agree with David Sirota:

    According to the Washington Post, the president's advisors say the only "responsible" thing for the president to do is to "explore policies that have a chance of passage, rather than making a political statement." Translated into plain English from Washington-ese, this is the White House stating that the president will only consider job-related legislation that congressional Republicans already support, and that the president will not push a proposal that the GOP right now opposes. Hey, the administration is saying, the president is binded by the political reality of today's GOP intransigence -- and there's nothing he can do about that, other than work within that reality's confines.

    Except, of course, there is something he can do. He can stop pretending to be an innocent bystander, and instead acknowledge what he really is -- an active participant, and likely the single most powerful one, in the political process. In Washington-ese, he can reject the notion that having "a chance of passage" is the opposite of "making a political statement" -- and realize that the two are complementary concepts. In short, like other legislatively successful presidents, he can use "political statements" as a means of changing the political reality, thus giving other legislative alternatives "a chance of passage."

    •  He has to deal with the Republicans directly... (0+ / 0-)

      ... and they have purpose built their system to take him down.

      We, on the other hand, can do something he can't do by himself: win an election, and bring back a Democratic majority, so the people who want to see him lose are less powerful, less in control of the agenda.

      See, what David Sirota's hidden premise here is, and what I don't think you would agree with is that Republicans are reasonable enough when pushed that they would yield the President a political victory.  That's what you, and far too many people on this site believe.  You want Republicans to behave like Democrats did in the past.

      I think it's far too soon to expect that.

      Additionally?  I think the President's a bit more agile than people give him credit for.  I mean look at the Lame Duck Session last time.  He exploited the pressure Republicans put themselves under to get a number of items I was personally worried wouldn't get through, like DADT repeal and the START Treaty, things Republicans had been blocking for so long.

      I think he's an opportunistic fellow, not just passively waiting for things, but creating opportunities that confound his enemies despite the high ground they often occupy.  People say he's a bad negotiator, but Republicans must be far worse, since they not only sacrificed a lot of political goodwill to push the deal, they also failed to get the kind of Spending cuts, balanced budget Amendments, and whatever else, simply because they would not accept any diminution of the tax cuts.

      I think he plays the long game, rather than performing and posturing, and I think in the long run we will see more change in the way things are done, simply because of how Obama did things.

      Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

      by Stephen Daugherty on Wed Aug 17, 2011 at 05:33:38 AM PDT

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      •  The republicans are sharks; they have proved (0+ / 0-)

        that repeatedly and anyone who believes that they can be trusted to act in good faith is a fool.  And because that is their nature, many of us have urged the president not to compromise with them.  You never negotiate with people who are trying to destroy you.  But Obama is arrogant.  He has always believed he could persuade them to reach compromises because he is a smooth talking guy and he has always been able to move people in his direction with words... but it hasn't happened yet...and it never will.  

        He is not a good negotiator.  In fact, he looks like a novice up against the republicans.  That is why he always comes up on the losing end of negotiations when he tries to compromise.  They just keep moving the goalposts until his position becomes their original position.

        And only the most naive person can look at what happened during the debt ceiling debate and not realize that it was an abysmal failure for Obama.  He wasn't brilliant and what he did turned millions of people against him.  He should never have placed social security on the bargaining was a cynical move that will always come back to haunt him.  He might have looked more reasonable than the republicans, but for many people my age (boomers), he proved that he can't be trusted.

        I have always tried to support the democratic candidate no matter how flawed he/she is, but I can no longer support Obama and every time one of his followers on this site taunts me, bullies me, or calls me names, it only reinforces my dislike for him.  I have yet to see any of his followers show compassion for people who are hurting.  They just don't give a damn about anything accept getting Obama reelected.  AND THAT IS A BIG MISTAKE that will become apparent during the 2012 Democratic convention.

        •  Look, it works like this: (0+ / 0-)

          We can't put pressure on them, but folks from the center and from the right can put pressure on them from two different directions.

          The President's game, it seems to me, is to use the rigidity of the GOP against it.  I mean, take a look at the last two votes the Republicans forced on the Government Shutdown and the Debt Ceiling.  Doesn't it strike you that Obama essentially bargained them out of immediate entitlement cuts, out of benefit cuts, out of frontloading the budget cuts?

          More to the point, he bargained them out of having the Default weapon to use again until after the next election.  Put another way, he succeeded in making the next few battles much more about Republicans wanting to cut benefits, while Democrats move for revenues.

          Both votes had significant numbers of Republicans, especially the new tea partiers breaking away, forcing Boehner to take an insufficient majority and supplementing it with Democrats.  I don't think he got those votes for free from the Democrats.

          And I'm sure that turning to the Democrats has pissed off many in the Tea Party.  They don't know they've won, they believe they've lost.  How many losses are they going to take in stride, with their lack of patience?

          The Republican's insistence on being so hardline has left them in a very strained position, in my opinion, and for all their ability to force short term concessions, if their long term power is diminished, if the voters aren't enthusiastic about showing up next year, their majority can easily become our majority, and all the austerity they forced on us can be reversed, or changed to a form that better suits our purposes.

          Responding to rhetoric is the worst way to conduct politics.  Obama's pitting the Republicans against each other, to weaken them and their candidates.  We shouldn't be doing the same here.

          Simple question: In the years since Republicans successfully urged the disempowering of workers and unions in the Midwest, what has happened to those states economies?

          by Stephen Daugherty on Fri Aug 19, 2011 at 10:25:58 AM PDT

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