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View Diary: Dan Agin nails it! Obama's Failure: A Presidency Without Ideology: Update from Dan (289 comments)

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  •  Did you nread the diary? If so what is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Kevskos

    your comment about?  We address this.

    An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

    by don mikulecky on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:44:02 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  I think that he is very ideological and (7+ / 0-)

      that the problem with your premise is that only two camps of ideology are acknowledged in your thesis.  

      The reality is that the emergent ideology over the past 25 years has been this "third-way" concept which is difficult to pinpoint as ideology only because it is often untethered.  

      But that doesn't mean that it isn't an ideology nor does it mean that people can't act ideologically within that context.  

      There seems to be this really intense requirement in this Administration that if they do A they must also somehow find a way to do Z - they try to take from the opposites and find themselves in these very awkward situations as a result with conflicting and competing interests that don't work well together.  

      The biggest canard about this Administration was the claim that proponents made that they were pragmatists.   No pragmatist puts a mouse in a cage with a rodent-eating snake because they want to show them both love and expects the mouse to survive.  But that's what a lot of their policy has been about.

      Another way to describe their ideological realm is to put them on the center line of a heavily trafficked highway trying to defy the laws of physics and ultimately getting hit from both sides almost every time.

      Your thesis suggests that the Administration is not ideological because they can pick from the only two "sides" that you acknowledge, but that view is not in step with the modern reality of our politics.

      I can't blame you for not being able to take this centrist ideology seriously enough to count it as an ideology, but it is an ideology regardless of whether or not it makes any sense at all when it is being applied.

      •  then you did not read the diary...clearly (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Kevskos
        that the problem with your premise is that only two camps of ideology are acknowledged in your thesis.  

        An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

        by don mikulecky on Thu May 02, 2013 at 02:59:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I read the diary. (8+ / 0-)

          Maybe I misunderstood what you meant, but I read it.

        •  I want to add that people who aren't (6+ / 0-)

          working from some sort of ideology do not do things like taking Medicare for All off of the table before there has been any debate at all.

          •  Really? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            don mikulecky

            But putting Social Security out there isn't a problem, apparently....

            "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

            by lunachickie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:52:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Where would you get that idea? (0+ / 0-)

              The Medicare for All was just one of many examples of ideology being applied by this Administration.

              •  Excuse me? (0+ / 0-)

                I'm almost positive it came up right on this here blog...

                At the summary level, the president's budget is a dollar-for-dollar replica of his proposal earlier this year to replace the sequester. It even includes the same Social Security cut. So what's new here isn't the proposal, but the fact that it is being formally included in the budget. Republicans, obviously, repeatedly rejected the plan in its former life.
                Among other places.  

                You seem to imply that Social Security isn't/wasn't on the table, what with your subject line, wanting to know where I got such a notion. Was that somehow an imaginary budget proposal?

                "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                by lunachickie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:30:53 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You're kind of being nutty. (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Quicklund, Wordsinthewind, skohayes

                  Let's try this again...

                  I used Medicare for All as "one" example and did not go into the "many" examples.  I never said anything about Social Security being on or off of any list.  I just targeted one specific point in this Administration's ideological history.

                  I have no clue why you are arguing with me.  I picked one of many apples from the basket as a singular example.  That does not mean that there are not more examples.

                  Sheesh.

                  •  I'm not the one (0+ / 0-)

                    who didn't make myself clear.

                    Yes, let's try this again:

                    I want to add that people who aren't (5+ / 0-)

                    working from some sort of ideology do not do things like taking Medicare for All off of the table before there has been any debate at all.

                    by inclusiveheart on Thu May 02, 2013 at 06:05:40 PM EDT

                         Really? (1+ / 0-)

                        But putting Social Security out there isn't a problem, apparently....

                        by lunachickie on Thu May 02, 2013 at 07:52:18 PM EDT

                        [ Parent | Reply to This ]

                    What a great "Ideology"! "Let's destroy PART of the New Deal. If we leave some of it alone, we won't be thought of as an Administration without ideology."

                    Or something.

                    I'm not arguing with you. I'm pointing out the absurdity of the continued pretzel logic of those who defend this President in the face of any criticism whatsofuckingever.

                    "The “Left” is NOT divided on the need to oppose austerity and the Great Betrayal. The Third Way is not left or center or even right. It is Wall Street on the Potomac."--Bill Black

                    by lunachickie on Fri May 03, 2013 at 05:59:06 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I am not defending the pretzel (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      WB Reeves

                      logic - only stating that I think that as confusing and strange as it is, it is still an ideology.  Lots of ideology makes no sense - that doesn't exclude it from being ideology - just look at the rightwing ideology being offered up in this era - that stuff is completely inane.

        •  Clearly she did (0+ / 0-)
          There are two ideologies in American politics and they can be stated succinctly:

          Conservative ideology: The business of America is business.

          Liberal ideology: The business of America is social justice.

          “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

          by skohayes on Fri May 03, 2013 at 03:22:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oversimplification (7+ / 0-)

      You note that yourself; it didn't bother you overmuch, but it was a deal-breaker for me. Agin's piece may have clarified your thinking, but it doesn't help me any, because the categories seem hopelessly broad--I can think of several conflicting subcategories within "the business of America is business", for example, as well as ideologies that comprise some blend of the two categories listed. And it seems to me that opportunism/careerism is a significant ingredient in any presidency, or the guy doesn't get to be President in the first place.

      In short, by the time I got through my list of "Yes, but"s, I didn't feel that I'd gained any insight into Obama's presidency.

      •  Diary = oversimplification...n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        michelewln

        An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

        by don mikulecky on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:24:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with the premises laid out in this diary, (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        don mikulecky, tacet, basquebob, pgm 01

        but I also agree that's it is more complicated than that.   Don't know that I can explain how, but I think a piece of the puzzle is still missing.

        There is no doubt that our government, political system, and democracy have been stolen.

        What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

        by dkmich on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:36:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As a person who's field is complexity (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dkmich, basquebob

          I clearly agree:

          it is more complicated than that.

          An idea is not responsible for who happens to be carrying it at the moment. It stands or falls on its own merits.

          by don mikulecky on Thu May 02, 2013 at 03:40:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I followed your link to HuffPo (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jbsoul, basquebob

            It is a damn good read.    As a country and a people, I don't think we can afford another crappy President and 8 years.   The GOP Govs. and dismantling infrastructure faster everywhere.  The public school will soon be history and every teacher worth their salt gone from the profession.  

            What we need is a Democrat in the White House.

            by dkmich on Thu May 02, 2013 at 04:18:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I think the missing piece is that Obama does have (4+ / 0-)

          an ideology, but his ideology is process.  I really think he places more value on having two sides come to an agreement rather than what that agreement is about.  

          For a while both parties have relied on social issued to define them and often those social issues are defined by the right.  Democrats are for the most part, pro-choice, pro-gun control and pro gay rights.  These are all in response to Republicans setting the agenda by being against these things.  Democrats were until very recently the party that set the agenda about poverty and social justice, but once they handed the keys to the conversation to the Republicans, those issues stopped being the main focus.  That drop also seems to have occurred at the time that Democrats started embracing corporations and working with them during the rise of the third way.

          This has led to a situation where the only place where you will find many Democrats not identified as liberals agreeing with Republicans not identifying as libertarian is on the expansion of corporate rights through neoliberalism.  Since Obama's goal is agreement and he himself is more comfortable with neoliberalism over liberalism, his administration's actions often are neoliberal while he speaks about liberal ideas.  I think he sees the speeches as the world that could be and the process is the way to get there but has little need for ideologies that restrain the ability to negotiate.  Essentially both sides need to slaughter some of their sacred cows to limit the herd size, and both sides negotiate together on whose cows will be sent to the abattoir.

          He isn't ideologically opposed to Social Security the way Republicans are.  He is not ideologically for its protection the way liberals are.  This is why cutting the rate of inflation in the program seemed like a great idea to him.  It is not an immediate slash to benefits, it does not end the program and it helps strengthen it over time.  A nice technical solution on paper that was completely blasted by damn near everyone because of its detachment from the injury it will cause to seniors and to politicians asking those seniors for votes. Process is his ideology which is why he was not prepared for the attack from all sides on that proposal.

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