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View Diary: NYT Sunday FP Story: White House Spin Control On The Pfeiffer “Kerfuffle.” (A Teachable Moment.) (238 comments)

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  •  adopting a centrist position on everything, (33+ / 0-)

    thinking that he can be thereby be a focus of unity and the whole nation will rally around him, has been President Obama's take on just about anything and it shows, in my very humble opinion, an incredible sincerity and an even more incredible naivity

    in fact he's managed to please very few indeed, and certainly  managed to mightily piss off lots of people desireous of a firm stand on some key issues

    when you come to key issues - say, war - a centrist stance, neither too little nor too much, is not a key to success and rallying the nation, it's just the best way possible to be considered a ditherer and dismissed accordingly

    at the moment, after all the hope and hype, of 2008 we're pretty much reduced to arguing that we must vote for Obama in 2012 because (we surmise) a Republican would be worse

    sad state of affairs indeed

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 03:39:35 PM PDT

    •  well, regardless of the GOP nominee - (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      satrap, foufou, Delilah

      Republican voters will turn out in droves to vote against "socialism" -
      the Republican mantra for 2012.
      Haley Barbour is even reminding Republican voters to discard "purity" if they want a Republican president.

      So, hopefully, Democrats won't stay home because they didn't get their own personalized pony.

      GOP = Goodluck Old People

      by MartyM on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 04:16:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Are Obama's positions really centrist? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sephius1, foufou, Delilah, VickiL

      His desire for unity and post-partisanship has been a hallmark. Listen to his speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, and read his books.

      Also, note that it is not naive. Hard liberal partisanship has been demonstrated to be a major turnoff to key demographics in the democratic party.

      •  "demographics in the democratic party" (21+ / 0-)

        DLC?
        New Democrats?
        Third Way?
        Blue Dogs?

        They are the "demographics in the democratic party" that have existed since the late '70's that want the Democratic Party to be more like the Republican Party. The Republican Party has moved more to the right in response. The Democratic Party has moved more to the right in response to the Republican Party. Rinse. Repeat.

        I've had more than enough of those "demographics in the democratic party."

        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

        by Just Bob on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 05:41:00 PM PDT

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        •  Reportedly youth, Latino/a, AA's (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          foufou, missliberties

          Youth in particular respond to polarized campaigns with low turnout.

        •  If You Don't Keep the Door Open (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          missliberties
          I've had more than enough of those "demographics in the democratic party."

          If you want these demographics out of the Dem Party, then we'll never win another election of any consequence, certainly never the Presidency.  When will your ideals gain any ground again if that should happen?  

          •  The door is open and swings both ways (0+ / 0-)

            How many independents feel the same way I do?

            I'm about to become an independent myself.

            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

            by Just Bob on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 09:09:41 AM PDT

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            •  Independents (0+ / 0-)

              Aren't most independents the more centrist people in their parties that eventually go indpendent because they no longer feel wanted in their party, affectionately coined by the partisans the Blue Dogs and the RINOs?  

              •  That certainly has been the case in the past (0+ / 0-)

                and, to some extent, in the present. I don't think we have ever before been faced with the circumstances we face today.

                When both of the major parties have moved so far to the right that progressive values are not embraced or even welcome in either party, we're in uncharted territory.

                This sub-thread is an illustration of those circumstances.

                Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                by Just Bob on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 01:03:26 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I Believe (0+ / 0-)

                  that this President has accomplished much considering the house and senate that he had to work with.  He wasn't content to walk away with nothing so he's made compromises when necesary to at least give Progressive ideals a good start.  

                  You said it your self above -- that both of the major parties have moved far to the right.  I don't think the Dem party has moved as far as you think they have, though and those that have, tend to represent moderate districts that could just as well go Republican.  I haven't counted, but it seems that a lot more of our Dem reps are moderate/centrist than that of the Republican party.  

                  I admit I am a more moderate Democrat, but not of the Blue Dog variety.  I welcome Progressive ideals because they give us goals to work towards.  And, just maybe, if our party had the super majorities needed in both houses, we could make a lot more progress than has already been made.  The frustration for me, with some very leftist Dems is the lack of patience and the public thrashing this President receives from people in his very own party.  

                  Holding one's feet to the fire is fair play, but the level of animosity displayed by many on the Professional Left is just going way too far.  

                  •  I refuse to be held responsible for anything said (0+ / 0-)

                    by others.

                    As I said before, of the two major parties, the Republicans represent the right and the Democrats should represent the left. Yet we have had libertarian economic policy for over thirty years under both Republican and Democratic administrations. It's as if the DLC branch of the party is saying we will pursue progressive goals if Ayn Rand gets to run the economy and will give us the money to do so.

                    BTW, the Progressive Caucus is the largest in Congress, yet the President refused to meet with them during the healthcare debate. That left a mark.

                    Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                    by Just Bob on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 07:29:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I Sure Don't (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Just Bob

                      hold you or anybody other than the people who bash the President responsible.

                      Look, we are all trying to do the best we can working towards a set of ideals that will make this country a better place to live and to raise our kids.  

                      We may have slightly different ways of getting there, but there is no doubt if we all work together, great things can be done.  When we are torn apart, the Republicans make progress and that's something we cannot afford to happen anymore!  

                      You take care.  I have appreciated the back and forth conversation with you.  

                      •  I'm in favor of working together, but (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        VickiL

                        let's not assume it should always be the progressive wing of the party that must give ground.

                        And yes, your perspective is appreciated as well. Take good care.

                        Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                        by Just Bob on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 05:30:19 AM PDT

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                        •  For the Progressive Wing (0+ / 0-)

                          to prevail, we must get more real Progresives in office.

                          That's the key.  Once that happens, then there will be little in the way of achieving real Progressive ideals UNLESS there is a Republican sitting in the White House.  

                          Until that happens, however, my hope is that (as a party) we can be patient, understanding that baby steps may be the only progress that can be made knowing and acknowledging that at least its a step (or two) in the right direction.

                           

                          •  I like (0+ / 0-)

                            the first paragraph.

                            The second paragraph is too twisty for me to follow.

                            I passionately disagree with the third paragraph. There was once a time when all mankind lived in a feudal society. With the Enlightenment came the concept of self governance. We've been working at this for some time now. Baby steps will not inspire. We will govern ourselves or we will be ruled. Sadly, and thanks to Citizens United, we don't even know the names of the rulers.

                            Others have simply gotten old. I prefer to think I've been tempered by time.

                            by Just Bob on Wed Jun 22, 2011 at 06:10:12 AM PDT

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      •  His positions are clearly right-wing. (9+ / 0-)

        And clearly naive.  "Hard liberal" (by which I mean FDR liberal... there are clearly positions far to the left of that in existence which are not popular) partisanship has been proven to be a major turnon to key demographics in the Democratic Party.  It only turns off Republicans.

        Read pp. 1-7 of Krugman's _The Great Unraveling_ (available from Google Books). NOW.

        by neroden on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 05:51:15 PM PDT

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      •  2004 (8+ / 0-)

        is not 2011.  Lieberman used to be fairly decent also.  The President wants to meet everyone in the middle.  When the right moves farther right, the middle moves.  This is the problem he faces.  If you don't stand for anything but compromise, you don't stand for anything.

        Al Queda and Chinook salmon have a lot in common. Everything is fine until the seals show up.

        by Grannus on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 06:16:45 PM PDT

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        •  as much as it pains me to say it... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Grannus, EdSF

          without lieberman (not president obama) there wouldn't have BEEN a vote on DADT  prior to the mid-term elections.

          how would that have worked out for those proud glb patriots serving in our military (who still have to hide, who are still being investigated, and at least one who has lost his job since the vote on dadt)...

          "I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage..." and, also: "Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix." ~ barack obama

          by liberaldemdave on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 09:01:14 PM PDT

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          •  While he may have his moments (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            liberaldemdave

            one correct act does not erase the stain he represents.  I won't miss him.

            Al Queda and Chinook salmon have a lot in common. Everything is fine until the seals show up.

            by Grannus on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 12:14:41 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  nor will i...but let's be REALLY honest about (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Grannus

              where credit is more due on DADT...and it wasn't from a president willing to foot drag until after mid-terms.

              "I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage..." and, also: "Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix." ~ barack obama

              by liberaldemdave on Mon Jun 20, 2011 at 05:25:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But he had to. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Just Bob, liberaldemdave

                Otherwise Republicans would have made great gains in the mid-terms. :-/

                Al Queda and Chinook salmon have a lot in common. Everything is fine until the seals show up.

                by Grannus on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 02:54:46 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  exactly. guess he wasn't reading those 70% (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Grannus

                  favorable polls on repealing dadt...that should have made the "fierce advocate™" craven politician in him kick in.

                  "I believe that marriage is between a man and woman and I am not in favor of gay marriage..." and, also: "Now, for me as a Christian — for me — for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God’s in the mix." ~ barack obama

                  by liberaldemdave on Tue Jun 21, 2011 at 04:05:40 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  hard Liberal Partisanship!! (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        EdSF, ohmyheck

        Who is demanding hard liberal partnership? Something to the left of Lindsay Graham would be nice.

    •  If you do not stand for something, (10+ / 0-)

      you stand for nothing.  Great leaders stand for something and they fight to get it. I am beginning to wonder what the President really stands for.

      More tax cuts would be gluttony in a time of starvation. That is not America. That is a nation about to be plundered, and a people laid to waste. - Charles Blow

      by gulfgal98 on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 06:03:22 PM PDT

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      •  Comity. (7+ / 0-)

        Obama pursues comity at the utmost.  And that's great when both (or all if there's multiple) sides operate in good faith.  But the Republicans don't do that; they only have a desire to destroy the Democratic party and regain power.

        •  It's true. When both sides have the true (7+ / 0-)

          best interests of the nation at heart, sitting down to broker an agreement is a decent thing to do.

          But when one side wants to utterly destroy the nation - and make no mistake, look at what the last 30 years of trickle-down, free trade, neo-liberal bullshit have done - then sitting down at the table and pretending you are all reasonable people is a suicidal thing to do. We've seen the results several times.

          There are times when what is needed is a hard, long, very public, political battle to clearly demonstrate to the public at large where each side stands.  Look at what happened after the "destroy Medicare as we know it" budget was passed:  The public responded and the Republicans took shelter. Now, just imagine the president himself was lighting the fires under the Republicans, excoriating them at every last chance.

          But no.  We have a "won't put the gloves on," "won't enter the ring," "doesn't believe in boxing" president.  Just won't fight back no matter what.

          It is a delusion that the nation will see him as the calm moderator in chief and rush to his support. He barely beat McCain and the idiot from Alaska - a few percentage points - with fiery speeches. But now that we know very well his style of governing, it is a different political landscape.

          Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

          by YucatanMan on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 11:16:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Where have I heard this before? (6+ / 0-)
        If you do not stand for something, you stand for nothing.  Great leaders stand for something and they fight to get it. I am beginning to wonder what the President really stands for.

        Sounds similar to this guy:

        Anthony Weiner: Obama Is 'Not A Values Guy'

        On our side is this weird squishy affirmative sense of what government should do and how we're opposed to this cut and that cut, rather than saying, 'Here are the things: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, environment and education. We're not cutting those. Those are off the table. That's non-negotiable,'" said Weiner, adding, "We haven't really done that very well.That's because the president fundamentally -- he's not a values guy.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

        The President needs to model himself on Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner. Make shrill soundbites, throw red meat to his base and skip over the hard, serious work of negotiating with elected officials that represent people that are not his base.

        What is the enduring legacy of Alan Grayson and Anthony Weiner other winning news cycles?

        Ted Kennedy knew how to get that television to pay attention to him, particularly during his impassioned plea to get the minimum wage raised.

        But that was not the bulk of what he did. That is not why he has an enduring legacy. He did the hard work of putting his head down and drafting legislation. He even tried to work with Richard Nixon to get comprehensive healthcare passed.

        Did anyone question his core beliefs, when he reached out to Nixon?

        Much has been made about how intransigent the right has become over the last few decades, but has anyone looked at how rigid and condemning the left it is unless every piece of legislation is enacted and bully pulpitted precisely the way they have dictated it?

    •  Best Comment I've read in weeks. (7+ / 0-)
      it shows, in my very humble opinion, an incredible sincerity and an even more incredible naivity
      Someone recently called it a lack of maturity - a seasoned knowledge that your opponents would take advantage of you, so you have to always push back much harder than you compromise.  Or "incredible naivity." Yup.
      when you come to key issues - say, war - a centrist stance, neither too little nor too much, is not a key to success and rallying the nation, it's just the best way possible to be considered a ditherer and dismissed accordingly
      Watch for it coming: Obama has been weak on jobs. Obama has been weak on ... "everything."  "You cannot know what Obama stands for, because he won't take a stand."  The voting public has always dismissed ditherers.  Ask Jimmie Carter about 1980.  

      Whether or not it is a fair accusation, if you don't exhibit strong leadership on a consistent basis, you get slapped with "weak" and "dithering."  Watch for it -- it is coming in this campaign. Republicans will be all over it.

      we're pretty much reduced to arguing that we must vote for Obama in 2012 because (we surmise) a Republican would be worse
      So, the choice is slide toward disaster slowly or rapidly. Hell's belles!  Let's blow the wheels off and get there now.

      Then, when people realize (or fail to appreciate = end of our nation) the utter disaster that Republican policies are, we can get to work putting the country back together again.

      If I hear that goddam shtick about "the car in the ditch" again, I'll puke.
      If that's the best Obama has for 2012, he's a goner.

      Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better. -- Harry S Truman

      by YucatanMan on Sun Jun 19, 2011 at 11:06:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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