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View Diary: Obama on the Economy: 'We Didn't Know How Bad It Was' (300 comments)

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  •  it works with their particular strategy (60+ / 0-)

    Obama has perfected the leader-as-victim model.

    The rule is that Obama is never to blame for anything bad. He never has a choice--there's always a convenient, ever-changing villain of the week who made him do bad things. Conservative Democrats, Republicans, members of his own administration--always someone else. Obama, the most powerful man in the world, is merely a passive bystander in all this.

    I have never seen a politician who was as proficient in finding others to walk the plank for him. There is no shortage of willing scapegoats who offer themselves to deflect the responsibility away from him.

    Even now he has much of his base convinced that the tax cuts which he signed into law were the "Bush tax cuts," rather than the Obama tax cuts. And that he will repeal them (after his reelection, when he'll no longer have to care about what we want), even though punted when he had the chance to abolish them, and then extended them as soon as he had a GOP Congress.

    So when he says "we didn't know," and slaps his forehead, many of his base will feel sorry for him and angrily defend him against his critics.

    What would be for other politicians an admission of rank incompetence, instead becomes an occasion for a pity party to rally the troops around their embattled general--who, they argue, is at least is honest about his failure.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 12:36:47 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  Republican much? (15+ / 0-)

      If not, you sure sound like one and might want to get that checked out.

      This president does not pass the buck as you imply and/or blatantly state.  He just isn't as wrapped up in the pr game on constant, obsessive basis as other folks happen to be.

      He IS working with the most intransigent congress in recent history, if not ever.  This IS mostly on the GOP side, but there exists a bit of inflexibility on the Democratic side as well.

      Your implied expectation also makes me think you are looking for some sort of totalitarian approach to executive governance, a return to GWB, perhaps?

      Is Obama perfect? Absolutely not.  Is the state of the economy his fault? Absolutely not. Should he be out making a case for the latter? Absolutely not, you, as a good Democratic voter, should be.

      Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

      by linc on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 01:11:07 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  if he admits mistakes, (11+ / 0-)

        he's to blame.  if he doesn't, he's to blame.  some steps taken were the best he could have done at the time, others weren't.  move the shit on.

        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

        by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 02:10:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except it wasn't the best he could have done. (29+ / 0-)

          He was roundly criticized at the time, on these exact grounds, and derided those who criticized him.

          The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

          "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

          by Punditus Maximus on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:26:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep, this is just another attempted rewrite (18+ / 0-)

            being orchestrated by the administration and its toadies as part of their feverish and ongoing attempt to cast things (even if it means reinventing the past and spinning yarns out of whole cloth) in a more favorable light in preparation for this coming years election.

          •  To coin a phrase, Obama came to office with the (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheLawnRanger, Kickemout

            congress he had, not the congress he wished he had.

            If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter. ~ George Washington

            by 4Freedom on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:38:59 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Who on earth did he "deride"? (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Loge, Supavash, OnlyWords, randallt, Fireshadow

            And why are 10-20% of 'democrats' so obsessed with past tripping at any given moment? MOVE ON friend, rise up and fight today's battles rather than obsessing about the ones you lost.  You were right, or so you imply. Excellent news. Unfortunately, the POTUS took someone else's advise and you lost that battle.

            This minutia debating is also ridiculous.  If Obama were some sort of neoconservative as implied by many of the commentators in this diary, there would have been absolutely no stimulus, rather than nearly a trillion dollar one.

            Give me a f'ing banana - Eddie Izzard

            by linc on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:47:09 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  "some steps" (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            randallt

            i think he derided those who assumed away the problem of passing bills in the Senate, or assumed that simply proposing a bigger stimulus would result in one.  He was probably right to do so, though "deriding" is a bit strong.  Arlen Specter was many things, but he is not a stupid man.  He is not going to simply vote for cloture on a trillion dollar stimulus bill if Obama asked for 1.5 trillion versus voting for a 750 trillion stimulus bill when Obama asked for like 800 something.  He had a good sense of what he thought the size of the stimulus should be, which put him in a minority of his former party for thinking there should even be one.  Other things can be fairly criticized.  

            Though you concede the point without realizing it -- when Obama was (if he was) -- actually engaged in "deriding" anyone, and that would have been for political naivete not economic acumen -- it was the statements made that were objectionable.  And yet somehow admitting some mistakes is also a bad thing.  He should admit more?  Should never have been wrong in the first place?  doesn't matter -- the senate passed what it was going to pass.  

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:58:41 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think admitting mistakes is a bad thing. (6+ / 0-)

              I think Obama doesn't mean it -- it's a "sorry if someone was offended" moment.

              If he meant it, he'd be seeking advice from the people who were right about what was going to happen, such as Krugman.  And he won't, because his admission of "error" was transparently self-serving.

              The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

              "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

              by Punditus Maximus on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 07:14:22 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, this is still something of a democracy (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                sunbro, Fireshadow

                i also think "listen to" can cover both "listening to and acting on," "listening to and not acting on for independent reasons," or "listenijg to and disagreeing with.". Krugman's not exactly a lonely voice in the wilderness.  I suspect Obama already knew what the temperature was in congress for a big ass sitimulus, so i think choice 2 is the best bet.

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 08:13:24 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Loge (0+ / 0-)

                  You're fricken great, my friend.  I'm so sick of the naysayers, all the time talking about how Obama could have done this or that, and saying that he hasn't done nearly anything correctly.

                  More power to you, Loge.  Thank you very much for telling the other side of the story here at dKos.  Seriously.

                  -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

                  by sunbro on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 09:52:27 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Yeah, we shouldn't be questioning our leaders (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dfarrah, magnetics, wsexson

                    or complaining when we can't find work or lose our houses.  Stupid American pony-wanters, trying to stay middle class.  Shouldn't they know better?

                    The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                    "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                    by Punditus Maximus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 07:39:17 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  All I see you doing (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Fireshadow

                      is bagging on President Obama, when the real assholes are the Republicans and DINOs in Congress, so yeah, it pisses me off.

                      Why don't you rail against the real culprits?

                      But, Noooooooooooooo...it's Obama I see you talking about here always...it's just bullshit.

                      -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

                      by sunbro on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 07:55:51 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Have you considered reading (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        magnetics

                        my sig?  Every post, every time, I treat conservatives with the contempt they deserve, hon.

                        The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                        "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                        by Punditus Maximus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:13:11 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  When I see your (0+ / 0-)

                          name on a post, I always am asking myself, "Is this post the same old tune?  Will he bash Obama or the Rethugs?"

                          And constantly, I see yet again that it is Obama you choose to focus your ire on.  Your focus is exactly what Herman Cain said he wanted:  

                          Don't protest Wall Street.  Protest the White House.  

                          I'm sure that Herman Cain would be happy to see that you have taken his suggestion, as it seems that 99% of your criticisms are aimed at Obama.

                          -4.75, -5.33 Cheney 10/05/04: "I have not suggested there is a connection between Iraq and 9/11."

                          by sunbro on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 12:51:27 PM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  there's not a virtue in (0+ / 0-)

                      questioning leaders if it's done on the basis of a false dichotomy.  that's just being wrong.  

                      "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                      by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:24:31 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                •  The problem is that that explanation (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Robobagpiper

                  is totally inconsistent with Obama's repeated references to the deficit and balancing our books.

                  At that point, the stimulus was bounded by Obama's ideology.

                  The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                  "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                  by Punditus Maximus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 07:38:44 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  only if you can't do two things at once (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Geekesque

                    one of the selling points of econ stimulus is that, over the medium term, it pays for itself.  how often do we see posts noting rightly that growth is the best way to cut the deficit.

                    i agree the stimulus reflected Obama's ideology, but the choice between $800 odd billion and $1.2 trillion isn't ideological.  your argument that it is is completely circular (the stimulus was too small because of ideology?  how do i know his ideology?  the stimulus was too small).  there are other examples, but the overall structure is the same, so a circular argument about, say, health care, added to a circular argument about stimulus, isn't corroboration.

                    in any event, the mea culpas here aren't about the size of stimulus, but rather the internal assumptions about growth given the known size of the stimulus.  perhaps had congress and the president both had the information about what Q4 2008 numbers were revised down to, it might have been different, but the overall political argument would likely be the same, just with different numbers.  we'd be sitting here complaining about a $1.2 trillion and not a $1.8 trillion stimulus instead, about 7% unemployment versus 9% unemployment.  Better, to be sure, but resting largely on an untested assumption.  we might say with some degree of confidence that had Obama known in advance of the revised Q4 figures he might have asked for more, based on these statements.  but we can't say the same about the senators who largely dictated the size of the stimulus before the details of the proposal hit the floor.  

                    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                    by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:22:43 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      dfarrah
                      your argument that it is is completely circular (the stimulus was too small because of ideology?  how do i know his ideology?  the stimulus was too small).

                      My argument is that I know his ideology from his focus on the deficit starting in 2010, and his refusal to prosecute the banksters.  That's why I said "deficit," and "banksters" when describing how I know his ideology.

                      My logic, for those playing at home:

                      1) The stimulus was too small.

                      2) Obama did not correct his course once it became clear that the stimulus was too small

                      3) Not only did Obama not correct his course, but he stated whipping out stupid supply-side tropes about the confidence fairy in 2010.  In addition, he refused (and still refuses) to try to fix the rampant and grossly illegal fraud in the financial sector.

                      4) So I believe that the reason (2) happened after (1) happened, was because of the ideology implied by (3).

                      Again, if you're not interested in what I'm saying, but rather defeating a strawman, that's fine.  But don't bother to engage, then, just have a happy sense in your own head that the strawman is down, and you won't have to be contradicted.

                      The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                      "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                      by Punditus Maximus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:33:26 AM PST

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  The more I think about this, (0+ / 0-)

                        the more it seems like the prototypical Obama supporter's conversation.  It is unpossible that Obama engaged in the gross policy failures implied by not prosecuting banksters or focusing on the deficit for a year during 9% unemployment.

                        So, to an Obama supporter, it just didn't happen.  And any argument based on Obama doing these things is assigned to a random other statement.  Because the eyes just slide over this incontrovertible evidence of Obama's neoliberal economics.

                        The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                        "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                        by Punditus Maximus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:47:46 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  now, THAT is how to build and attack a strawman (0+ / 0-)

                          well done.

                          "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                          by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:51:44 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                        •  Methings yer verbage, Punkus Maxiumus, is just (0+ / 0-)

                          a smokescreen for your inability to reconcile the inconsistencies in your arguments. Circular logic does not support your premise (Obama= bad cuz I say so). Circular logic is a cat chasing his own tail. Circular logic is you stating artificial facts (Obama knew how bad it was) that you project onto Obama even though all the charts and graphs said he didn't know. Maybe WE knew here, but really we could only suspect the severity of the crash, as the data was minimized (under Prez Bush... gee how could that have happened?). You are basically making shit up to enforce your ideological view that if Obama did it, it must be bad.... oh and your little sig caveat " but Republicans are real bad".  I'm not buying it.

                          Use this for our causes! "Goodbye American Dream" music: http://tinyurl.com/3hhtuyo lyrics: http://tinyurl.com/3jm7g2k

                          by Fireshadow on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:31:20 AM PST

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  This is exactly what I was referring to. (0+ / 0-)

                            Because the idea that Obama focused on the deficit for a year during 9% unemployment is simply not possible, my arguments which are based on this incontrovertible fact are now based on me just asserting things.

                            Denial is a hell of a drug, seriously.  The more I interact with Obama's supporters, the more clear I am on how terrible a leader he actually is.

                            The two things Teabaggers hate most are: being called racists; and black people.

                            "It takes balls to execute an innocent man." -- anonymous GOP focus group member on Rick Perry

                            by Punditus Maximus on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 01:49:46 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                      •  i think when you say (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Fireshadow

                        "logic implied by (3)," the notion that your reasoning is circular isn't quite the strawman you imagine it to be.  instead, you're doubling down on circular logic and confirmation bias.  

                        "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                        by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 08:50:16 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

        •  He received very good advice on the stimulus (37+ / 0-)

          Krugman and Stiglitz, among others, engaged in expert analysis and came up with proposals that were sound and fact based.

          Obama chose to not take their advice and ended up with exactly what they predicted - a too small stimulus with no lasting economic recovery.

          I would have a lot more respect for Obama if he followed the advice of economic policy experts instead of chasing the dream of "bipartisan grand bargains".  With the latter, he always ends up looking bad and we end up with an ongoing economic depression.

          "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

          by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:39:29 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  he received bad advice (5+ / 0-)

            by Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, and Ben Nelson.  They voted.

            Economic policy experts are not experts on how bills become law.  Saying oh just ask for $1.2 trillion is a good way for nothing to get passed.  

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:53:32 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  So Obama doesn't know how to negotiate? (23+ / 0-)

              That "pre-compromising" thing hasn't worked out to well for him so far.

              "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one."

              by Betty Pinson on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 04:00:31 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  well, we'll never know (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lying eyes, sunbro, Fireshadow

                whether the possibility of "just ask for everything" would have worked, but that does not mean he "doesn't know how to negotiate" because he didn't pursue that tactic.  Congress is under no obligation to pass a stimulus bill, believe it or not.  Clinton tried one in 1993 and got rejected.  If I'm one of those four senators and the President comes in with a demand I consider ridiculous, i don't say, wow the problem is really bad (which Krugman imagines would happen), i laugh.  Now, this would not make me a very good senator, but the four i mentioned are/were not very good senators, and that's not even mentioning Lieberman and Bayh.  

                Considering that the economy is no longer in complete free fall, actually having passed something worked out sufficiently well that i'll overlook that you're using Sarah Palin's phraseology.  Those criticizing Obama's negotiating skills seem less acquainted with negotiating than those who refrain.  But you don't want to be convinced of Obama's first term accomplishments, you just want to monday morning quarterback.  Which is fine, as long as everyone knows what game it is you're playing.

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 04:23:53 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  Don't ask opponents, mobilize supporters (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mightymouse

              The thing that most rankles me is that even before taking office, Obama laid off all of the paid staff that had helped him get elected and essentially told all his volunteers to go home. He claimed it was now time to negotiate with Congress and we weren't needed anymore. This was really stupid. Any good organizer would know that you don't send your supporters home when it is time to negotiate -- you mobilize them to pressure your opponents.

              The corporate Right controls much of the media and much of Congress. Our strength is in the large number of mobilized progressive activists willing to lobby our Congresscritters. If Obama had asked us to help him -- instead of asking Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arlen Specter, and Ben Nelson -- we might have been able to pressure a few of them to go along with him. But instead he tried to go it alone and the result is that we all got screwed.

              •  I get about 10 emails a day (0+ / 0-)

                impluing the exact opposite.  What is OFA if not exactly what you say isnt here?  Obviously, he cant run a campaign operation, but the networks were still there.  

                Anyway, we didnt get screwed, failing to pass anything would be being screwed, and i dont quite know what it means to go around the senate, and specifically the senators who were the deciding votes.  

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 08:19:42 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  OFA? (0+ / 0-)

                  As best I can tell, OFA mostly lobbies progressives to support the watered-down, compromised bills that Obama has already negotiated. On the stimulus bill, Obama should have staked out a stronger bill calling for at least $1.2 trillion of real spending (not tax cuts) and then mobilized OFA to fight for that. He might have had to compromise from there, but he might have been able to force the Repubs to compromise. Instead, he pre-negotiated a poor bill and then lobbied us to support it. Then he followed up by spending most of his time echoing Republican talking points about deficits and setting up the Catfood Commission to undermine Social Security and Medicare (and enlisting OFA to support that).

                  And yes, we got screwed. The economy is still a disaster 3 years later. Democrats lost big in 2010 and may lose again in 2012. In Ohio, where I live, the Republicans won all the executive positions in 2010 and big majorities in the statehouse. Now the Republicans have just drastically gerrymanded the Congressional map so it is unlikely that more than 4 Democrats will be elected (out of 16 Ohio districts) for the rest of the decade. This is terrible.

                  •  yes, which i think was the point (0+ / 0-)

                    lobbying to support the President's bills, however one chooses to characterize them.

                    "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                    by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 10:41:58 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

            •  Loge. Today, Thursday 12/15, the House GOP just (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              miningcityguy, dfarrah

              unveiled a $1 Trillion spending bill.  Obama could have asked for more and gotten it.  He just got stingy with the 99%.  He certainly wasn't stingy with the 1% bankers.

              •  Thats a regular budget bill, (0+ / 0-)

                not stimulus, and it represents a cut in discretionary spending.

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 06:44:26 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  And had he said their stimulus was not enough (0+ / 0-)

              he could now rightly blame them for the bad economy and ask Congress to do it right this time.

              Unfortunately, he chose to side with Snowe, Collins, Spector, Nelson and all the other optimists, and now he owns the bad economy.

              It's amazing to me that the President feels the need to tout every compromise as a great victory that will fix all our problems.  I don't understand why he'd rather be a cheerleader than a realist.  Take the best deal you can get, yes, but acknowledge the shortcomings.  No one will mind if the measure outperforms the expectations.

              "I told you so" is a hell of a lot better position that "No one knew".

              To believe that markets determine value is to believe that milk comes from plastic bottles. Bromley (1985)

              by sneakers563 on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:04:47 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  how is it a matter of "siding" with them? (0+ / 0-)

                he needed them to vote one way, which they might not otherwise have done.  Who suffers more from blaming the republicans for passing a stimulus that was too small?  The republicans or the people who benefited from it?  Now imagine had compromise not happened and nothing passed.  the downside to the republicans would be (arguably) political -- it's not like the stimulus is overwhelmingly popular.  Obama's compromise did significantly more good than harm.

                The rest of the comment is a bit of a false dichotomy.  Obama has pushed for additional spending and blamed the GOP for being recalcitrant, so he's really doing both.  The "no one knew" was a very specific point and only partially related to the size of the stimulus, though that's an easier target for progressive angst than multipliers and Q4 GDP data.

                "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

                by Loge on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:11:21 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  He's passing the buck on China (4+ / 0-)

        FT headline a few minute ago....

        China set to tax US-made car imports

        http://www.ft.com/...

        What will President Obama do?  Convene a task force to study the issue?  Have Treasury emark on a study to determine whether China is unlawfully undervaluing its currency?

        Of course it is.

        And Romney has vowed to immediately call China what it is, a Currency Manipulator.  He would then immediately slap Chinese goods with countervailing duties.

        Next fall, in the debates, the American people will witness a China debate.

        I'm hoping that by that time, Obama has done the right thing: Label China a currency manipulator.

        Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project. http://www1.hamiltonproject.org/es/hamilton/hamilton_hp.htm

        by PatriciaVa on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 05:24:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not republican -- just progressive. (0+ / 0-)

        The hungry judges soon the sentence sign, And wretches hang, that jurymen may dine.

        by magnetics on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 09:02:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It was the job of President Obama, and no one else (12+ / 0-)

      to know the correct information and to respond appropriately and adequately.  He didn't know and he didn't respond appropriately or adequately.

      •  The President doesn't write the law. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lying eyes, janemas

        Congress does.

        Democratic leaders in congress had to make compromises on the size of the stimulus in order to get the votes to pass it.

        •  cloture (6+ / 0-)

          No, purely budgetary items can be voted through reconciliation requiring only 50 votes---and yeah, there would have had to have been some screwing around with projections over ten years to make the numbers look ok for reconciliation--but it could have been done. Newly in office with a mandate for change, he could have pressed for a huge stimulus threatening to use Bill Frist's nuclear option to blow up the filabuster if needed. He could have gone to the nation directly and openly blamed Bush, conservatism, and  Republicans for driving the nation into a depression--yes, demagogued a little instead of always insisting that both sides were partly right and partly to blame. He could have demanded (as Romer, one of his inner circle, wanted) a 2.1 trillion dollar stimulus coupled with huge tax increases on millionaires/corporations and then--when the Senate watered it down, gone on TV saying that it would help but not enough, and that thanks to the Congress unemployment would stay higher than it should. He could have kept mentioning that and had his surrogates mention that every week on Sunday Punditfest for two years.  He asked for a weak stimulus, then led the cheerleading for Happy Days are Here Again, so that when things weren't getting better (just no longer getting worse), he and the Democratic party took the blame. Thus 2010. You know the sequel.

          •  Hundreds of billions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            FG

            in deficit spending cant be used for reconciliation,  it has to be deficit neutral.  A stimulus that qualified wouldnt be stimulus.

            Anyway, i think the diary jumps immediately to size of stimulus, which wasnt much up for debate, but rather the projected multipliers, that is, how fast and how far unemployment would fall.  This is a much narrower wuestion.  It says Obama oversold the stimulus, but he would have evidently oversold a bigger stimulus -- were one possible -- by a proportionate amount.

            "This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind[.]" -- Robert F. Kennedy

            by Loge on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 08:30:44 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I completely agree and was thinking the same (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfarrah

            thing as I read the diary and the comments. Not only was the administration fail economically, it failed politically.

        •  Obviously you haven't been watching. Haven't (0+ / 0-)

          you been paying attention during negotiations - Harry Reid will say they took a call from Obama and the President agrees with what is in a bill.  Besides why would McConnell want to negotiate with Obama.....Obama is giving the dems the outline of what bills Obama wants.  you need to watch more tv, news, etc.  Congress passes the bills.  If it is GOP written it could be by lobbiests or ALEX.

      •  Hey Squirrel, did you immediately call for the (0+ / 0-)

        impeachment of Bush after 9-11? Because if you believe the it was the job of the President "to know the correct information and to respond appropriately and adequately", well then you must have been calling for Bush's impeachment immediately!.... Right?
        Bush and his inner circle were repeatedly sent reports titled "Bin Laden determined to attack USA" ... and he and his top advisers ignored them!!!

        President Obama, on the other hand, has just recently (like us) received the corrected data of how bad things really were in '08. "His job" is to make the best decision possible with the information given, but that information was accumulated from the previous administration, so you could say it's just further proof of a GOP setup to make Obama fail. I'm sorry, I just get annoyed sometimes with all the Monday morning quarterbacking that goes on here...

        Use this for our causes! "Goodbye American Dream" music: http://tinyurl.com/3hhtuyo lyrics: http://tinyurl.com/3jm7g2k

        by Fireshadow on Thu Dec 15, 2011 at 11:44:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Amen! (16+ / 0-)

      And people here wonder why, even with bat shit crazy Repubicans, Obama is not going to have a cake walk to reelection.  

      Of course that reelection assumes there won't be a brokered convention and the Republicans settle on a Jeb Bush.  

      What would be for other politicians an admission of rank incompetence, instead becomes an occasion for a pity party to rally the troops around their embattled general--who, they argue, is at least is honest about his failure.

      The new selling point.  

      We've gone from "the smartest guy in the room" to the "eleventy dimensional chessmaster" to "at least he admits his failures".  

      This is a nightmare.  We have crazy on the GOP side and incompetent/ignorant on the other.  

      Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich: I'm loving it.

      by NyteByrd1954 on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:41:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If it were true..it's not ..someone knew because (16+ / 0-)

      I know for a fact I wrote the President every single day
      telling him I felt we were in a depression and to get out and see some real harm down on Main Street.  Now whether the intercepter shredded the message..I don't know but people on here were screaming about our economic mess as well.  Respectfully, Mr. President, I don't buy the we were in the dark.  I buy the lights got shut off and we lit a candle and sang Kumbayah while choosing to look the other way and that includes yelling for public option and the abuse of protestors.  I am not that naive.  I will vote for the dem but don't try and sell me that bill of goods.  Flame me if you want.  I won't change my mind.  If I was writing and calling and emailing I know others were.

      We the People have to make a difference and the Change.....Just do it ! Be part of helping us build a veteran community online. United Veterans of America

      by Vetwife on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 03:43:35 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Reagan was as proficient, and Reagan is Obama's (5+ / 0-)

      model.  Reagan was called the teflon president.  Obama is another.  Bush must be laughing his ass off.  Everything Bush wanted that he didn't get, Obama is delivering.

      BTW, keep an ear tuned to the near possibility of an hellacious explosion coming from the direction of Pakistan.  We've hideously screwed up there and Pakistan probably can't any longer be threatened or bribed into acquiescence.

      Those who forget the pasta are doomed to reheat it.

      by CarolinNJ on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 04:02:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  bashing Obama and quoting Paine (0+ / 0-)

      if you aren't a what ever those glen beck followers are called then i am shocked

      we are living on a tiny little speck of a rock somewhere in an infinite universe and the only thing any of us know for sure is that we have each other. i can't imagine how we shouldn't be holding on to each other for dear life. - me

      by Anton Bursch on Wed Dec 14, 2011 at 08:13:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually he is admitting fault here (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Fireshadow

      You should be overjoyed. Instead you spin it as a 'pity party'.

      So when Obama is not admitting fault then you accuse him of passing the buck. When he admits fault then he is having a pity party. Got it.

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