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View Diary: Obama Doesn't Really Mean It... or does he? (203 comments)

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  •  The "blank slate" thing has driven me crazy (18+ / 0-)

    since Obama became a national name. To a point where I almost started to actively dislike him because of it. Back in 2005 or 2006 The Nation interviewed him and I remember thinking "this is our progressive future?"

    The thing is, he wasn't a blank slate. He was clearly left-of center socially and right-of center economically and not shy about it.

    I suppose that may have been what people wanted after the Bush years, just an intelligent, thoughtful guy who didn't demonize other people. But I never did understand how so many people, here and elsewhere, heard something completely different than what he actually said about things.

    I like Obama as a person. I think he's a decent guy and he's done some good things. But as far as economics go, he's a moderate republican.

    What stumps me is that he doesn't pretend to be anything else. But that "blank slate" kicks in and here come otherwise intelligent Democrats saying that in this sphere, he's a Democrat, too.

    If he is, and if this is what Democrats are now going to stand for, then what is the point? One socially liberal but economically conservative party against one socially and economically regressive party?

    That doesn't bode well for our future.

    /end of morning rant.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 05:00:31 AM PDT

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    •  You said it yourself (9+ / 0-)

      We wanted someone who was not Bush, and we got it. Our frustration and hunger for someone to put us back on track who reflected our values, outlooks and goals was so great that for a while many of us were willing to be taken in by Edwards for gods sakes let alone Obama. We wanted--badly--a liberal Reagan, someone with the charm and magic and appeal to us that Reagan had for the right. And Obama delivered. But as with Reagan, more on style than substance. Obama knew this from the start and exploited it.

      Personally, I don't get how someone can be this cynical and soulless. I'm just a few years younger and am from the same basic generation and lower middle class background and went to similar schools as him, so I've come across the type before. I suspect that it comes from a combination of a desperate need to succeed, a deep fear of failure, an aversion to risk, conflict, displeasure and chaos, and a learned desensitization to painful emotions due to a difficult childhood. You end up acting the part of successful person rather than being it, because acting avoids feelings that being can't (unless you're a "method" actor, which he's not).

      Once you master that, you're unmoored from moral reality, which feelings tend to keep you connected to, and are free to do things that would be unthinkable to someone who genuinely cares about the issues he claims to care about. I don't think he has any emotional connection to the things he does, which allows him to do them. It's not that he can't feel such things, as I don't see him as a sociopath. Rather, it's that he's taught himself to not feel them, because it's easier and less painful. He's all about gliding through life, not struggling. It's all part of that "cool" image he cultivates and I believe lives by. Where reality is unpleasant, deny it, and cover it up with pretty words.

      It's like he's from the cast of Mad Men, only 50 years too late.

      "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

      by kovie on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 06:32:07 AM PDT

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      •  Best Obama analysis ever (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Thanks Kovie, you have elucidated my thoughts and feelings about Obama's character so well, and broadened my understanding with your 'taught himself not to feel' hypothesis. So much could be written on the topic of Obama's character, please continue to share your insights.

      •  Cynical and soulless. That's what I think when I (0+ / 0-)

        stop to consider:

        Here I am, sitting down to write my speech about Social Security.

        I think I'll talk about my grandmother for awhile. She was a wonderful woman. I sure loved her.

        She chose to "go it on her own" but Social Security was the safety net below which she could not fall.

        Yeah, that sounds good. Mentioning the safety net, but not promising not to lower it or reduce it. That sounds good.

        And then, well, how do I address the changes we are planning in Social Security?  Reducing the Cost of Living adjustment for over 30 major Federal programs, including disabled Veterans, food stamps, and all the rest?

        Of course, I have to talk about "strengthening" the programs. If they have less outflow, they'll be better funded.

        (No, don't let me think about extra revenue coming in, only the payouts.  The payouts have to be cut!)

        If they're still contemplating the heart-touching story about my grandmother, they won't hear the wrap up much.

        So, there we have it:  heart-touching story about my own grandmother, then "Strengthening Social Security" and I'm done.

        I've got this. Yep, I've got this!

        He flat out chose to utilize his grandmother's memory to do something which would have been harmful to his grandmother's income, thus livelihood.  

        Talk about cynical.  Might be a lot worse than that!

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 02:11:48 PM PDT

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        •  What's cynical as well (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is the dead-enders on this site and elsewhere on the "left" who keep denying that he's doing this, or claiming that it's either brilliant 11DC or something he has no choice but to do, because sequester.

          It's not a cut!

          Ok, it's a cut, but it'll never get passed, and is his way of messing with the GOP to make them look bad.

          Ok, it might get passed, but he has no choice. Repubs control the house and can block anything in the senate, and Ben Nelson dammit!

          Why don't you purists shove it you're not the boss of me whaaaaaaa!

          "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

          by kovie on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 03:28:40 PM PDT

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          •  I was rather shocked at KOS' front page diary (0+ / 0-)

            basically saying this was 11tyeth dimensional chess.  
            That Obama really didn't want this.

            I mean, really?  It doesn't get much more clear than this. The guy offered up Social Security cuts on a silver platter without even being asked (except, perhaps, by his pals in Wall Street).

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 07:29:04 PM PDT

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            •  I didn't read kos' diary (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              as validating the 11DC take, just saying that this MAY be Obama's strategy. I have no idea. I can't read Obama's mind.

              "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

              by kovie on Tue Apr 09, 2013 at 09:29:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

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