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View Diary: Stimulus spending: Paul Krugman was right (210 comments)

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  •  ice, congress IS the lawmaking body! (1+ / 0-)
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    Presidents don't make laws, congress does. Every president must work with congress. Historically, bills drawn up by the White House get the most pushback from congress. That's what happened to Clinton's health reform proposal, remember?

    Granted, Obama was disappointed/surprised/dismayed when he didn't get any votes from Republicans, but he still has to work with congress to get any laws passed.

    I'm continually amazed that President Obama gets all the blame for the results that only congress can make.

    A president can propose, cajole, negotiate. But force? I don't think so.

    Slavery is the legal fiction that a person is property. Corporate personhood is the legal fiction that property is a person. -Jan Edwards

    by SoCalSal on Mon Jun 14, 2010 at 09:54:58 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, they are... (2+ / 0-)
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      CWalter, Orange County Liberal

      but when you sit on the sidelines and look like you are NOT FIGHTING, that does not sit well out here.  We are starting to see it.  His once coalition is fractured and broken in many places.  Bill Clinton whipped up on congress and the public believed him in the end.  Now we can continue to say, oh well, "he could not do anything because of congress", and it may be true, but politics and the WH is also about OPTICS and looking like you are FIGHTING for something.  Making the public understand.  Most of the public don't understand all the functions of government, but they get congress, votes and the president.  And while this is congress fault, what is wrong with Barack Obama using his bullhorn to the public and saying, "CONGRESS WON'T HELP THE UNEMPLOYED.  THEY ARE BLOCKING YOUR HEALTH CARE INSURANCE".  You don't think the public will get that one?

    •  None would have dared cross him (3+ / 0-)

      publicly at the time the stimulus was passed.  He was too loved and too popular.  He negotiated away any advantage that he had by deferring to Congress and, in particular, the Republcans. I think they thought that they were going to be putting votes in the bank for something else down the line, but that was a huge mistake.  In DC, you take what you can get when you can get it - you don't count on loyalty lasting and you can't count on favors being repaid down the line.

      Anyhow, with Summers and Geithner advising him, he was doomed to fail on this front.  Between the stimulus and pushing banking regulation down the list of priorities, they made sure Wall Street's risks were minimized; and they ultimately exposed Obama to much greater risk.  They might have drank their own kool-aid and really believed what they were saying at the time about unemployment not going about 8% or whatever they were saying then, but the reality was that there was no reason in the world why the stimulus couldn't have been bigger and more aggressive even if 8% was going to be the worst of the numbers.  They left him no wiggle room for miscalculations on the low side; and his political advisors led him to believe that he could easily go back to the well if there was a problem.  Major political malpractice, imo.

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