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View Diary: Republican obstruction, White House timidity, and a broken government (223 comments)

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  •  He Really Couldn't Do Those Kinds of Things. (30+ / 0-)

    He's not a leader; as others have pointed out, he's a consensus builder,  and he's deeply  committed to that. I don't know if he even has the skills or talents of a leader.

    Just because our nation needs something doesn't mean we get it. Many times in the past, just the leader we needed was nowhere to be found.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Fri May 03, 2013 at 08:43:16 AM PDT

    •  Oh, I think he's got the skills (24+ / 0-)

      Two winning presidential campaigns in extreme and contentious circumstances suggest he's more than just a carnival barker.

      The skills are there, the desire is not.  

      I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

      by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 08:50:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Bullshit. Utter, pure, unadulterated bullshit. (12+ / 0-)

      As Troubador said he is not the asshole whisperer.

      Some people just like to watch the world burn and the GOP are serial arsonists.

      There is nothing Obama can do to "lead" such a group of fuck ups

      Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

      by LiberalCanuck on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:09:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is precisely why Mr. Obama should give up (42+ / 0-)

        even trying to "lead" the Thugs...

        and begin to threaten them instead.

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:12:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Agreed. (14+ / 0-)

          But it would require the President to find the courage of his convictions--along with some high-level convictions--and that doesn't seem to be in the cards.

          I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

          by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:20:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It really seems that he sees bipartisan consensus (14+ / 0-)

            as worthwhile for its own sake, not as a tactic to achieve political goals. He may well view "comity" as the highest possible good.

            The problem with that approach is that its desired endgame is a peaceful body politic, rather than a healthy one.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:30:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's hard to believe someone that intelligent (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BroadwayBaby1, Mr Robert

              Is that determinedly stupid, but it's a possibility.

              My perspective is that the President dislikes gridlock to the extent it keeps him from trying to save corporatism from itself, but not to the extent that it keeps him from fighting corporatism, since he himself is manifestly a dedicated corporatist.

              The idea in some parts that the President is either a victim of Wall Street, etc., or their hired man, is puzzling to me.  He never needed to be intimidated or bought.  He wouldn't have gotten anywhere near the Presidency if he had.

              That's who he is.  He's not just one of them, he's the leader of the liberal faction of "them".  Apart from issues of political hygiene, gridlock is a tool to extend the interests of his and the Democratic party's patrons.

              I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

              by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:53:09 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  wouldn'cha just love to see his full hand? (0+ / 0-)

                "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:17:00 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I've already seen it. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

                  by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:42:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So. You're that certain? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Deep Texan

                    You've seen all the cards?

                    What about Matthew 7:1?

                    "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                    by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:52:39 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  There is a difference between using your judgment (0+ / 0-)

                      And being judgmental.  I take Matthew 7:1 to be about being judgmental, not simply using one's head.

                      Is there another perspective you had in mind?  

                      I'd also like to know what significant cards you think are up the President's sleeve, which is what you seem to be implying.  

                      I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

                      by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:07:26 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  well, if I had actually seen ALL the cards (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Deep Texan

                        the president has been dealt, then there might be cause for judgment (even in the biblical sense)

                        but I haven't

                        and neither have you

                        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                        by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:12:44 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Like what? (0+ / 0-)

                          We don't know ever single "card" there is, so we can't point out what's in front of our eyes?

                          Is there, for example, some big secret "card" that changes a friend of big money into a friend of the working person?  

                          ?????

                          I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

                          by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:29:00 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  Herbert Hoover was an extremely intelligent (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ferg, ichibon, MrJayTee, PhilJD

                man of very humanitarian intentions who was intellectually hamstrung by his ideology.  PBO's ideology is less obvious because it's the intellectual ocean that almost all the Beltway and media VSP's swim in -- bipartisan neo-liberal capitalism.  (Hell, he apparently even takes Friedman & Bobo seriously.  What does THAT tell you?). As he himself has said, his policies are basically those of an old-fashioned moderate Republican.  So is his ideology.  What you get is what he sees through those ideological spectacles, even if they sometimes seem to be invisible.  

                "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

                by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:59:01 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  oh, so then we're not questioning his courage (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Deep Texan

              or his convictions, either/or

              afterall

              "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

              by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:15:34 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  I think that Obama (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MrJayTee

            does have the courage of his convictions.  The problem is what his convictions actually are.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:05:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I have gotten what I want easier and quicker (10+ / 0-)

          historically, when I have pounded my fist on a table, raised my voice and become threatening ("Do this or I will come across this desk and pull out your teeth with my fingers" I told one man who promptly gave me waht was mine to begin with.)

        •  Hard to do when they are your most important (5+ / 0-)

          constituent.  I mean he wouldn't treat those in his own party badly.  (Ahem)

          The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

          by accumbens on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:07:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Like this (10+ / 0-)
          On the other hand, President Obama could make this a real fight. He could put forward nominations for every single vacancy and then make daily noise about how those nominees are being blocked by Republicans, and how that is making government not function. And blame it, every single day, on the Republicans. The only thing that will make Republicans stop their obstruction is if they have to pay a bigger political price for it. And the only way to make them pay that price is by shining a bright light on how destructive they are.

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:13:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Uhh.. that would be leadership (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, JVolvo

          fighting for something and threatening to win is part of leading.

          We have a president floating through history hoping he doesn't have to make any hard decisions.  See: Syria for a perfect example.

        •  Exactly,a (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, tb mare, 3goldens, JVolvo

          We are not talking about leadership here, more like having a will to resist.  I'm not sure Obama has what it takes for that.  Too busy being nice to everyone I guess.  Unfortunately, in life there are times when one can't be nice to everyone and expect to get anything of importance done.

          Perhaps he is just biting his tongue just a little longer and letting the tension build, so that he can really whip up the fervor with a round the nation campaign in 2014.  If so, then he better hurry up and start spending his time 1) building the democratic warchest and 2) figuring out ways to block and make the life of republican politicians as difficult as possible, as time is rapidly running out.

          But honestly, with this new Justice Department Plan B request for retrial and the foot dragging on the Washington and Colorado Marijuana issues, and now the failure to make noise about the embassy security post in the face of the faux Benghazi crisis and I know longer have a clue as to what is actually behind the inertia in the White House.  Maybe a secret deal is in the works and soon we will all be sold downriver.

          If its this bad a few months into his second term, just think of what its going to be like after 2012, when the GOP smells blood in the water.

        •  Yeah, He Should Take Them Hunting And Shoot Their (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tony Situ, NedSparks

          Faces off, right?

          Seriously, what should he threaten them with?

          Politicized DOJ investigations? What?

          This belief that Obama has some magic power to issue threats that will force the GOP to do his bidding is truly infantile.

          This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music

          by Beetwasher on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:00:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Threaten with what? (0+ / 0-)

          IRS audits or the like?  They'd immediately tell Politico, the msm would bash the president for "abuse of power", and the threatened repub would vote against the president and be praised in his district or state for standing up to WH dirty tactics.  This ain't the 60s anymore.  Threats not only don't work, they actually backfire and do more harm than good.

          If the threat you have in mind is the president personally campaigning against them tm their districts, well that won't work because they come from ruby red districts that hate the President's guts.

        •  Indeed, what happened to the bully pulpit? (0+ / 0-)

          If all this timidity is due to Obama schmoozing with one group of dickhead republican senators after another and his attempt to score a grand bargain, and he doesn't want to sour relations (yeah, like none of them wouldn't cut Obama's throat in a heartbeat, politically speaking), then it's inexusable.

      •  Ministry of Truth (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TomP, Nada Lemming, MeToo, anonevent

        Though, oddly, the expression could have come from Troubadour, too.

        I'm not a Socialist because I want what's yours. I'm a Socialist because I want what's mine, and because I want other working people to have what's theirs.

        by MrJayTee on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:17:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  or Booman (5+ / 0-)

        Knowing What is Broken

        summarized (my bold):

        Of all the things that are broken in our political system, the president cannot be counted as one of them. He's the one thing we've got going for us. His administration isn't perfect but it is performing as it should.  His agenda is broadly popular and reflective of the will of the people who elected him.

        You want to know what is wrong in Washington? Look elsewhere. Look at the gerrymander. Look at the state of campaign finance reform. Look at what right-wing media has done to the brains of millions of Americans. Look at Mitch McConnell's strategy of no, and John Boehner's inability to strike a deal that his own caucus will back. Look at any number of things. Presidential leadership is not the issue.

        ... too "centrist" for many, no doubt

        oh, & Booman included a good chart in that diary also

        "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

        by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:11:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  an agenda is meaningless if it is never (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          bdop4, Mr Robert, 3goldens, JVolvo

          instituted.  Republicans are playing that game.  Use it against them.

          Oh...btw-Booman doesn't have a good track record...check the analysis of the sequester in real time after int passed on 2011.  It isn't pretty.

          "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

          by justmy2 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:32:50 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well y'know, that may be (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Deep Texan

            I'm not always 100% behind MoT either, but he sure smacked the nail on the head here

            goes without saying, nobody gets it right every single time - even krugman wavered early-on about c'CPI

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:35:23 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Booman makes some good points (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Tony Situ, Deep Texan, Nannyberry

          But after Sen. Toomey's latest confession of the  GOP agenda,  something clicked for me the way it never clicked before.

          It isn't just  that the Repubs want to sabotage Obama's progressive ideas.  So  much policy that Obama has pushed  for had Repub  authorship on it anyway.  And it isn't that they want to prevent Obama from having another term - he can't have a third term.

          There is a dark skinned man in the White House.  There is a man in the Whiite House that wants social justice for people of color, LGBT and others.

          The Repubs HAVE to pull out all stops to shred Obama's credibility and legacy.  If history writes the dominant narrative of the Obama presidency as an intelligent man of color who not only governed as leader of the free world but did it far better than his predecessors, their bubble world implodes.  Their "natural  order of things" disappears.

          Better to destroy the country in the hopes they can retake power in the chaos than admit the fear, hate and ignorance they nurture in their hearts.

          I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

          by Satya1 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:45:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I guess my point is (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tony Situ, Deep Texan

            We as liberals should not underestimate the forces that Obama is up against.  This is primal stuff that hasn't seen this level of expression since the period before the Civil War.

            I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

            by Satya1 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:55:20 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm not sure that I ever underestimated it, (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              3goldens, JVolvo

              but it sure as hell looks like PBO did.  Don't ask for as large an initial stimulus as is needed to really get the job done because you can always go back and get more later if the first proves not to be sufficient?  Are you shitting me?

              "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

              by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:51:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  um...with all due respect (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Deep Texan, Satya1

                "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

                by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:26:45 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I don't know ANYONE (0+ / 0-)

                that  predicted the extent of blocking Repubs have been willing to do or the extent of damage to this country the Repubs have been willing to inflict.  This has gone way beyond the Gingrich shutdown.  Early during Obama's administration the prevailing CW among progressive analysts seemed to me to be that the Repubs wouldn't go there again.  

                There might be some predictions on the right, after all it is something they're open to and even planned on to some extent.  One can find websites on the right that are promoting far worse.

                I know that is a popular view of the stimulus at DK, but I never bought into all the elements that led to that conclusion.  Looking at Sybil's link below it looks like I am not the only one.

                I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

                by Satya1 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 03:27:27 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Absolutely. "black-man-in-white-house" (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Tony Situ, Deep Texan, Satya1

            that was never gonna fly with those people

            We pretty much knew that after the republicans
            plotted their obstructionist strategy before Obama's first inauguration ceremonies were even over.

            Nevertheless, we-the-people elected him, duly elected him, not once, but twice.

            "Show up. Pay attention. Tell the truth. And don't be attached to the results." -- Angeles Arrien

            by Sybil Liberty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:25:10 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Oh we knew it (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              DSPS owl

              but the depths of the amount of destruction and hardship they are willing to unleash on the American people?  The unprecedented dept ceiling hostage crisis?  The sequester?  The solid brick wall on appointments?  Nullification in some states?  The eagerness of Repub pols to turn their back on the wishes of their constituents on gun safety?  All the impact that has on people struggling to get by during the worst financial crisis in 70+ years?  

              Where does it stop and what limit will they reach before they begin to work for the country's welfare?

              I wonder if what they want is armed confrontation among citizens in the street.  They're  pushing every fear button the right has and goading them to buy more and more arms.  And it will be "Obama's fault".

              I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

              by Satya1 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 03:09:31 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  That's right. (4+ / 0-)

          It's all the Republicans fault.  President Obama and the Democrats have absolutely zero responsibility for the debacle that passes for politics these days.

        •  Wrote a diary on their other prime tactic. (4+ / 0-)

          Don't fund it.

          Unfunded: Panel on Health Care Workforce to Meet ACA Care

          One of the biggest threats to the success of President Obama’s health care law comes from shortages of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals. But a 15-member commission created to investigate the problem has never met in two and a half years because it has no money from Congress or the administration. Emphasis added
          The commission was created by the 2010 health care law, the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Obama has requested $3 million for the panel in each of the last two years, and some Democrats, like Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, chairman of the Appropriations subcommittee on health, have supported the request.
          But, Republicans in Congress have been reluctant to provide money for anything connected with the law, which they opposed. Emphasis added
          Cuz, we all know throwin' money - AKA, Tax Payer Dollars- will not solve a problem. Only certified, for profit dollars will solve Any Problem.

          I just wish 99.14% of the billionaires would follow Zuckerman, Gates and Turner's philanthropic largesse. Maybe we could solve unemployment, health care bankruptcy, foreclosures, hunger, gun violence, climate change, teen pregnancy rates, increasing suicide rates, bullying, rape, discrimination...

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:52:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  No, but he could attack them relentlessly. Of (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Boogalord, mcmom, MrJayTee, 3goldens, JVolvo

        course, then he'd lose the respect of those whose opinion he apparently values--you know, like those towering public intellectuals like Tom Friedman and Bobo.  Jaysus wept!  

        "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

        by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:18:39 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for reminding us that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, 3goldens

        President Obama can do absolutely nothing except continue to try to negotiate with people who don't want to negotiate.

      •  kind of the point many of us have been making (0+ / 0-)

        for about 5 years now...

        "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

        by justmy2 on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:29:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  this argument became stale years ago (7+ / 0-)

        he's been playing patty-cake with the Republicans who want nothing more than to cut his throat. instead of picking them out of the gutter in 2008, dusting them off and legitimizing their worldview as something to compromise over, he should denounce them and their actions daily and whip the Democrats into the solid voting majority that they are.

        the alternative to that, is, well, what we've got right now. adoption of conservative policies, accepting their framework of looking at things and total capitulation.

        Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

        by Boogalord on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:31:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sadly this appears to be (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mr Robert, 3goldens

          the defining characteristic of the Obama presidency, which appears to mean that that progressive and liberals will finally only get what they want from the Obama administration when they decide to abandon him and start turning their attention to building and investing in their own leaders.  Seems ironic, but evidently this is how the game must be played in order to illicit a response.

        •  He made a huge mistake at the very beginning by (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, DSPS owl

          not fighting for a larger stimulus when most of his economic advisors told him the one he eventually proposed was going to be too small to kick the economy back into a truly healthy recovery.  Instead of saying, "This is what is needed" and then laying the blame on R.'s when they refused to vote for as much as he said was needed, he started out by proposing only what he thought enough R.'s would go for without a big fight.  Then when the actual stimulus he had proposed worked only to the extent that his advisors had predicted, of course the R.'s wouldn't give him any more stimulus and stuck him with responsibility for the anemic recovery.  And the 2010 debacle came.  Maybe he should' e studied FDR and Truman more and Neville Chamberlain less.  

          "If you don't read the newspapers, you're uninformed. If you do read the newspapers, you're misinformed." -- M. Twain

          by Oliver St John Gogarty on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:09:22 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I would hold a press conference every Friday (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tb mare, jds1978, 3goldens, PhilJD

        and go over the ridiculous GOP shit that transpired that week. I would outline the clear consequences of GOP obstruction and how it affects the daily lives of Americans.

        I would also take every possible unilateral action that can be performed by the POTUS to make these mofos' lives as miserable as possible.

        The media loves a good fight and I would give them one.

    •  this is really Reid's problem (8+ / 0-)

      Granted, Obama could be trying a bit harder, but the problem is the broken Senate, and the Senate is broken because Reid and the Democrats voted the rules to keep it broken.

      •  Would Reid have resisted a clear statement (8+ / 0-)

        by Mr. Obama that he expected the Senate to modify the filibuster rules?

        When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

        by PhilJD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:34:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  he still needed the votes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          msmacgyver

          neither Obama nor Reid have that kind of power.

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:51:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, they don't have the power to *force* votes. (5+ / 0-)

            Mr. Obama however has proven to be adept at bringing Dems on board when the outcome matters to him; see for example his plane ride with Dennis Kucinich during ACA.

            When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

            by PhilJD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:56:17 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Kucinich believed the legislation was better (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ferg

              than nothing.

              that's that.  it's not the same with the filibuster. there are too many Dems who do not want to change the rules.

              and that's that.

              -You want to change the system, run for office.

              by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:01:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Wow! you know how each Dem Senator (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Aunt Martha, bdop4, MrJayTee, 3goldens, JVolvo

                would have voted on the filibuster rules change, even if intense pressure had been exerted at the highest levels of Democratic Party leadership?

                Your mind-reading talents are wasted on this blog.

                When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                by PhilJD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:14:56 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  you are naive to think anybody (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Ginny in CO

                  has enough on the leaders to make them bend on any issue.

                  some of them have been in government longer than Obama has been an adult.

                  -You want to change the system, run for office.

                  by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:19:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So let's see... We're frequently reminded (4+ / 0-)

                    that Congress not the President enacts legislation (although the President does deserve the lion's share of credit for the passage of anything we like)...

                    We're informed that the commander-in-chief of our nation's military lacks the authority to close a naval base...

                    We're reminded that there is no bully pulpit...

                    Now, apparently, Mr. Obama can't even use the weight of his office and his own considerable powers of persuasion to sway a handful of Democratic votes...

                    What exactly does this President guy do, anyway?

                    When you triangulate everything, you can't even roll downhill...

                    by PhilJD on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:29:30 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  you should have learned this a long time ago (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Tony Situ
                      Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the United States in the president and charges him with the execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers, with the advice and consent of the Senate. The president is further empowered to grant federal pardons and reprieves, and to convene and adjourn either or both houses of Congress under extraordinary circumstances.[8] Since the founding of the United States, the power of the president and the federal government have grown substantially[9] and each modern president, despite possessing no formal legislative powers beyond signing or vetoing congressionally passed bills, is largely responsible for dictating the legislative agenda of his party and the foreign and domestic policy of the United States.
                      Since there is no formal legislative powers, it's up to congress.  Presidents have had different levels of success depending on the congress.

                      whining about government without even understanding the inner workings is not productive.

                      -You want to change the system, run for office.

                      by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:33:30 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  i understand the R's were beaten and deeply (5+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        bdop4, Aunt Martha, 3goldens, JVolvo, PhilJD

                        unpopular in 2008, and then they proceeded to run roughshed over Obama for the rest of his term, endlessly shoveling shit in his face as he continually watered-down progressive policy to "bring them to the table".

                        there's no need to be condescending. we all understand the President doesn't make laws. but if you look at GWB and you look at Obama, it's pretty obvious that there's a vast difference in how the parties use the power of the office, and i'm talking outside of national security, because really, they're both pretty much the same in that respect.

                        Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                        by Boogalord on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:43:24 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  they used the power they had (0+ / 0-)

                          we did similar during Bush iirc.  

                          just no where as bad.

                          there's no need to be condescending.
                          there is no need to be hyperbolic and spread bullshit that isn't true.  especially if you claim to know how our government works.  

                          we didn't have 60 votes in the senate long enough to get something done.  you know that.  we all know that.

                          -You want to change the system, run for office.

                          by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:51:53 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  if the Dems hadn't helped kneecap (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            3goldens, JVolvo, PhilJD

                            filibuster reform we wouldn't have needed 60 votes to get something done.

                            you know that. we all know that.

                            Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                            by Boogalord on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:20:55 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  the filibuster reform bills (0+ / 0-)

                            wouldn't have prevented filibusters. in fact forcing republicans to filibuster live could have had the opposite effect than what we anticipated.

                            none of the proposals would have ended republican obstructionism.

                            and that's that.  you can blame Dems or you can blame the real culprits.  

                            your choice.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:26:48 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  how do you figure? (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            3goldens, JVolvo

                            forcing the R's to filibuster live, with the cameras on them for all the bills they do it to, would do so much more to paint the GOP as obstructionists and the Dems as "the adult in the room" as so many "pragmatists" insist is the true path to victory.

                            filibuster reform would not have done away with the filibuster, but would make the filibuster process more visible to the general public. so, instead of the story being being Manchin-Toomy bill was killed by turncoat ConservaDems worth nothing to any self-respecting "liberal" party, it could have been plain to see that it was filibustered by some dumbass Republican congressman talking stupid on the floor for hours.

                            i have not the faintest fucking clue how you think "it could have the opposite effect that we wanted" but it is pretty illustrative of how your knee-jerk reaction to any kind of fight on the part of Dems is "it might not work so we shouldn't do it!"

                            are you afraid that live Republican filibusters would be devastating displays of effective Republican speechmaking? or.... something?

                            Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                            by Boogalord on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:49:16 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  could have went that way (0+ / 0-)

                            or could have went the way of Rand's filibuster.

                            however, that doesn't mean we would have won the votes.

                            get my point? winning the votes for the legislation you want is all it's about.

                            -You want to change the system, run for office.

                            by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 12:06:19 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Rand Paul filibustered Obama's drone policy (0+ / 0-)

                            way to leave out all of the context. i'm going to assume you're deathly afraid of the cutting Republican filibuster oration we would have had to endure on the Manchin-Toomey bill. surely it would have all blown up in our faces.

                            you really aren't in favor of the Dems taking any political risks, ever, are you? why are you so obsessed with the idea of complete conservative dominance over liberal ideas? because Fox News says mean things so that makes it "reality"? it's sad.

                            Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                            by Boogalord on Sat May 04, 2013 at 11:47:10 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                    •  I've heard (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      3goldens

                      the dinners are nice and there's always Camp David.

                  •  The length of time was very evident in (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Deep Texan, 3goldens, JVolvo

                    that charade. It was the old timers that could not deal with the reality of the 21st Century bringing evil CHANGE to their beloved Senate Chamber. Uppity young dude would get schooled even if he was white. Oh, yeah, like Clinton was.

                    Which is part of the reason we do not need Hilary in '16. I am about to explode over the glorification of ANOTHER DLC CENTRIST to be the nominee for some of the most critical years this country has ahead.

                    If Obama doesn't stop the Fossil Fuel Train, HRC sure isn't likely to go there - nor as far and fast in a different direction we will need to.

                    "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                    by Ginny in CO on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:04:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i know but i would like to elect Hillary (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Ginny in CO

                      just to stick it to the republicans.  they got three terms of Bush.

                      -You want to change the system, run for office.

                      by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:36:07 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Heh, one way of looking at it. (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm OK with making  them sweat and pee the pants. Then get someone really awesome out there. True revenge for the Bushes would be any kind of legal action for the crimes. (If that happens, I will pass out.)

                        Electing a less than effective and minimally progressive person is the 90's mentality. The 21st century is much different. If we don't deal with that, the generations being born are going to have ugly lives.

                        I was impressed with Hilary taking on health care, until I found out how poorly she did it. I chalked it up to a learning experience, also had to watch my patients (and now me) pay for it over 2 decades. There are good things, definitely. She's strongest in wonk aspects, not exceptional. Not enough vision. Way too embedded with the DLC support for an economic structure that won't seriously address the flaws generated and maintained by the 1%. The fight to return wealth distribution that promotes the general welfare and national security is going to be dirty and brutal.  She won't go there.

                        "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

                        by Ginny in CO on Sat May 04, 2013 at 12:14:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

            •  No but they do have the power (0+ / 0-)

              to make life absolutely miserable for republicans to continue with the obstructionism they are now engaged in.  Its not as if two can't play that game, especially when one controls the Senate and the White House.

              Use the sequestration to start mucking up the comfort of the Senators and you will begin to see progress.  You saw the results when they were inconvenienced by the aspects of sequestration when the FAA was going to cut air traffic controllers that would keep their planes delayed on the tarmack.  

              My sense is that the democratic leadership isn't so much interested in leadership as it is in its own comfort and convenience as well.   We need a wholesale revolution at the base of the party apparatus to get their attention.  New party rules on creature comforts permissible for leaders in the party.

          •  Well, how about trying? (6+ / 0-)

            I'm not one to give an "A" just for trying, but failing without trying is unforgivable.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:10:09 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  they did try (0+ / 0-)

              they couldn't get the votes.

              and that was that.

              -You want to change the system, run for office.

              by Deep Texan on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:13:08 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  "and that was that" (5+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                accumbens, bdop4, JVolvo, MrJayTee, PhilJD

                my that's a quaint phrase you've got there.

                could have prosecuted the bankers and made sure Dodd-Frank had teeth, but there was opposition. and that was that.

                could have pushed the public option on ConservaDems the way he's pushing CCPI on progressives, but he shot it in the backroom instead. And that was that.

                could have not pivoted to the deficit like the R's wanted.... but he did. and that was that.

                Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

                by Boogalord on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:40:15 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  It never ceases to amaze me (0+ / 0-)

            how Obama's defenders like to argue that Obama is all-powerful (11 dimension chess) but also has no power (it's all Congress' fault!), depending, of course, on which argument suits their interests at the time.

            Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

            by democracy inaction on Sat May 04, 2013 at 07:10:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Reid needs to be replaced by a (6+ / 0-)

          Blue State senator who doesn't have to continually look at the polls back home.

          When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

          by msmacgyver on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:16:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'd really like to know the back-story (6+ / 0-)

        on that one.  Do Reid and Obama work together---or is it "every one for him-/herself"?  I find the opaqueness of their working relationship rather odd.  In most administrations, and given the amount of time they've had to work together, the relationship between these two men would be well-known.  I have no idea if they ever talk one-on-one; if they ever strategize together on how to deal with the Republicans in the Senate.  I would think that would be a priority for both men.  Surely both of them had to realize that if they wanted to have any legislative victories, they HAD to revise the filibuster rules.  By not doing so, Reid essentially doomed anything Obama wanted to get accomplished.  That just seems very strange to me.  They are in the same Party, after all.  All I can think is WTF?!  What's the barrier(s) between the two of them?

        "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

        by 3goldens on Fri May 03, 2013 at 09:58:11 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This has always puzzled me as well (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, ferg, Mr Robert, JVolvo

          There seems to be no relationship at all.

          Perhaps learning politics in Chicago and Illinois is to blame.  Winning and losing is preordained.  So you only fight fake battles you know you will win.  There is almost no give and take in Illinois politics, especially in Chicago and Cook County.

        •  One I saw was that when Harry couldn't (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, JVolvo, MeToo

          get a deal on the December financial crisis, Biden started working the Senate and came up with it. Whether Harry just didn't put enough effort into the filibuster change because of that, or because of his age, devotion to the Senate TRADITION, plus long friendships with other senior members of the club, we won't be able to guess until different versions of it come out in tell all books.

          Mostly, I just want Harry to chose his golden retirement, soon.

          "People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone. " Audrey Hepburn "A Beautiful Woman"

          by Ginny in CO on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:14:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep---I'm with you about Harry. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MeToo, Ginny in CO

            He's just no longer effective as Majority Leader.  We need new blood in that role.  And good point about Biden working towards a deal last December on the financial crisis.  Something's just "off" about the Dems in the Senate.

            "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

            by 3goldens on Fri May 03, 2013 at 11:26:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Reid famously said "I don't work for Obama" (3+ / 0-)

          in January 2009.

          •  Ah! I forgot that! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            MeToo

            Hmmm . . . . again, though, makes me wonder what brought that on.  I recall being so shocked at the way Reid delivered that comment and thought it was such a mean, uncalled for thing to say when the President was just getting started.  Makes me wonder if those two had crossed swords at some point during Obama's stint as a Senator.

            "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more." - from the prophet Jeremiah

            by 3goldens on Fri May 03, 2013 at 02:11:26 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  bc I'm too busy to post a diary: and most won't (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg

        Ya Know, I think we can come up with a few names and start our own refinement of the process: push for a firebrand.
        have time to read them anyway   : )

        Let's poll DKos for a new Senate Majority Leader

        Sherrod Brown

        Al Franken

        Kristen Gillibrand

        Patty Murray

        Mark Udall

        Bernard Sanders

        Amy Klobuchar

        So, here's my 8... maybe there's someone ppl here are thinking would fit the bill more... We make up the list and Jed runs a new contest for Senate Leadership.

        http://www.senate.gov/....

        The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution. Paul Cezanne

        by MeToo on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:24:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I have to agree.. the WH internal vetting process (5+ / 0-)

      is a really good example.

      He has people assigned to vet the potential candidates, and if those people have a consensus that there is nothing he will have to fight for, the nominee gets the nod.

      Where's the fight?  There is none.. there's only the slow path of least resistance.  He will not take a stand as a leader.. he will only campaign and hope the American people force a change.  But he will not do it on his own.

      And reforming the filibuster will not affect the WH's need for detailed vetting, nor committee member's burdensome questions.

      •  yep (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bdop4, Bon Temps, JVolvo

        it's becoming quite the obvious pattern. The R's have a needlessly detailed and obsessive vetting process for Dem nominations, so now the Dems are just adopting that process for themselves, and if they don't think someone can skate through it without a fight, they just won't bother putting that person forth.

        it's okay though, all these positions will be filled once an R gets in.

        And That Will Be That! haha.

        Banking on the American people to be able to sort all this out and declare the adult in the room the winner is a very big bet. -Digby

        by Boogalord on Fri May 03, 2013 at 10:46:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Add to that Reid's refusal to allow majority rule (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JVolvo, MeToo

      ...and obstructionism and the minority party wins the day.

    •  This is complete utter BS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Tony Situ, Deep Texan

      and I am really getting sick of it.

      The prez is not an Asshole whisperer, and he needs a team of Dems who have his back. More often than not hes out there on his own, where is Reid, Pelosi and the other senate Dems?  When he confronts the repubs, they whine and scream to the press, call him a Chicago thug. Do u remember Halperin calling him a "dick" on national TV?

      The GOP and their minions in the MSM taunted the prez and Dems about not passing a budget for 3 years and the need to get serious about entitlement reform,  now that the Dems passed a budget, prez offered CPI, the GOP are running away as fast as they can from the negotiating table.

      Reid is asking for a conference committee, Mitch et al are blocking it, Ryan is now bitching about a "framework", the MSM? now crickets. Dems should be on cable everyday screaming about GOP obstruction and their refusal to negotiate on the budget. Why aren't Reid and the senate Dems making an issue of this?

      When he tries to cajole and negotiate, GOP laughs at him, gives him the middle finger and the press follows suit.  Bush had an entire conservative news complex who would bully Dems into submission, who/what does the prez have that is similar? Fox would accuse any Dem of treason if they dared to oppose Bush and his policies, couple that with Dem timidity and u have a prez who can easily bend the will of congress. Will MSNBC and CNN call out the GOP on their obstruction? , other than Maddow who would?

       

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