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With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed. Consequently he who moulds public sentiment goes deeper than he who enacts statutes or pronounces decisions.

— Abraham Lincoln

Barack Obama made very clear in his statements before, during and after the campaign that he did not think any one president could accomplish major changes all alone. He has said on multiple occasions that he doesn't have all the answers. He has said that no party or person has a monopoly on good ideas. He has said that change will not come from himself, but from the unity of millions of people demanding it. He has said change is slow, difficult and, at times, frustrating. At many opportunities, he has made an effort to make sure the people understand their role in his presidency, which is to act as agents of change where he cannot.

It's a persuasive argument. I'm convinced the nature of our times demands much of what the President says. What I am not convinced of is that this state of affairs means our President has to accept unnecessary limits on the breadth and depth of the changes he advocates. Nor am I convinced that this means the President should stop being a public advocate and simply become one of many negotiators around a table. I am not saying the president could be "more progressive." I'm saying the range of possibles could be far greater because of the very reasons that the President outlined above. The President won the election convincingly. His party has been given, by the people, large majorities in Congress. The people are, more than they have been in years, receptive to broad, deep and fundamental shifts in the direction this country is headed. What seems to be holding back all this change is presidential leadership more concerned with process and procedure rather than removing minor obstacles using the mandate of popular will.

In the past, the most effective presidents understood that speaking publicly and rallying people was one of their primary powers. Greater than the ability to veto budgets. Greater than the ability to command armies. Greater than crafting regulations. The quote above from Abraham Lincoln illustrates that Lincoln believed that what won him the office in the first place was what would sustain him as an effective leader. The great presidents were shocking in their claims of power because of this popular support. We know FDR's words about fear in his inaugural speech. What is less known was the explicit threat he made, justified by the power of his popular mandate:

I am prepared under my constitutional duty to recommend the measures that a stricken nation in the midst of a stricken world may require. These measures, or such other measures as the Congress may build out of its experience and wisdom, I shall seek, within my constitutional authority, to bring to speedy adoption.

But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses, and in the event that the national emergency is still critical, I shall not evade the clear course of duty that will then confront me. I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

Here was FDR, freshly elected, telling Congress that if it does pass his agenda, he's going to demand something akin to the Enabling Act of 1933. He hints at the threat of exercising martial powers as great as those that Lincoln used during a period of armed insurrection! It seems the people were not shocked or appalled by this. Powers that be wailed and cried and repeatedly called FDR a dictator, much as they did Lincoln. But because the people were with him, Congress decided it had better pass the New Deal. Not all of it, of course, but most of it.

Lincoln even managed to change the Constitution more to his liking, very much involving himself in passing the 13th Amendment. These are expansive, wide, broad views of presidential power mainly resting on the ability of these men to shape public opinion with their words. I doubt either of them would have let themselves get hemmed in by something as trivial and mundane as Senate reconciliation procedures or cloture votes. As Lincoln said, with the people behind him, he could not fail.

The times today require the public to become more than passive observers of the political affairs of this nation. On that, President Obama is right. The times also require presidential leadership that expands the range of what is possible and keeps the public engaged. Reformist presidents, at their best, capture the public sentiment and use it to push through the measures that entrenched interests are firmly against. President Obama has been a good legislative leader. He has, to his credit, taken on some very tough and complicated issues. But as a political leader, he has largely withdrawn from engagement.

A reform president cannot be sucked into the sort of thinking that says "the campaign is over." The campaign is never over for a president taking on the status quo. It is certainly never over for those powerful forces fighting against change. The ability to rally the people to his cause is the strongest muscle any President has. Like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to remain strong. There is never a time to "stop playing politics," as the President always begs of his opponents. Democratic government is inherently a political business and any president is inherently a political leader. When making fundamental change, politics must be played—and played to win.

In 2008, we saw the mettle of candidate Barack Obama engaged in political combat. It is time for that Obama to make a comeback and stick around.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:00 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Real change must be permanent. (20+ / 0-)

      If we learned anything from Prohibition, it is that making a rapid change is politically possible, but maintaining change is not so easy.

      Advocating incremental, progressive change instead of instant overwhelming change is the difference between realism and idealism. And history is on the side of realism.

      Speaking as a member of the base, I don't think I am being undermined. I am grateful that my leader seems to share my ideals. At the same time, I realize that not all Americans share them, at this time. So if a leader who shares my ideals can nudge more of us into the direction I would like to see us go, that's fine with me. It just tells me that my leader is a realist. It also tells me that my leader can lead.

      I may be disappointed in the rate of progress, but I won't lose sight of the fact that progress is taking place. And I will feel more comfortable that the progress will be lasting.

      Health care reform could have gone a lot further than it did. We got part of what we want now. The chances of getting more later are looking much better now than prior to HCR. That's real progress. I suspect that if HCR had gone further, the "repeal" movement, though noisy and not likely to go anywhere now, would be a real threat. As it is, those politicians who are still yelling "repeal HCR" are now those who are avoiding undermining their base.

      If I take your comment literally, I would have to conclude that you approve of the politicians who will not undermine their base by continuing to yell "repeal HCR."

      The foolish and the dead alone never change their opinions. James Russell Lowell

      by Serendipity on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:12:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Really interesting comment, thanks. n/t (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        foufou, amk for obama, MyMy
      •  Actually (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, mightymouse, blueoasis, bren
        Real change holds no matter how rapidly implemented when it is good policy.

        Prohibibition wasn't.

        It was convenient to just ignore the new deal, which was the context of this diary and much more relevant.  

        Any particular reason you decided to go with the equivalent of marijuana legalization to make your argument?

        "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

        by justmy2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:21:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually, no it doesn't (5+ / 0-)

          Change that comes too fast always creates a higher level of anxiety that can lead to a violent backlash. People don't change quickly. Think of your own life. Have you ever gone from being one person to totally being another without a gradual, incremental development?

          An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

          by sunflight on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:37:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  It only creates anxiety for those (6+ / 0-)

            who are happy with the status quo.  For them, no change is preferrable, and if it has to change, then the slower the better.  

            They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

            by dkmich on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:02:59 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No, that's not true (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              417els, Eric Nelson

              Even when people want to change, it provokes anxiety. I'm a professional counselor who helps people change every day, people who want to change and are thoroughly unhappy with the status quo. Change always makes people anxious because when you change, you don't know what the future is going to look like. In order to change, you have to be willing to go through a transitional period of instability, and that's scary for most people. It doesn't matter whether the changes are desired or not, or positive or not. It's simply how the process works.

              An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

              by sunflight on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:45:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Please read my comment below. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                dkmich

                http://www.dailykos.com/...

                I think you have rather missed an important point:  the change needed is a change in the government, but the effects on individuals is of less change than if we don't make the change in the government.

                Health care reform is another example.  Single payer would be a "big change" for the government, but in practical terms it would mean much less change for people in their relationship with their doctors than the current "oh, the insurance company changed their minds, you have to change your doctor again" situation.

                -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:19:54 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Single payer would be a huge change (0+ / 0-)

                  It would totally change the healthcare system, put insurance companies out of business, change the way doctors run their practices and hospitals function. It would change almost every aspect of the system, including the way people relate to it.

                  Your point about reform meaning less change in the long run than no change at all is a valid one. But we have to deal with the fact that a lot of people won't accept any change at all unless and until they are forced into it by a total failure of the system.

                  A more essential point, from my perspective, is that people will resist change even more if they don't have hope that things will be better. Just telling them what's wrong over and over again isn't going to make them want change. You have to tell them about vision and possibility, where you want to go, and why the direction you are going in is better.

                  An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

                  by sunflight on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 09:57:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  I love change... (0+ / 0-)

                I thrive on change.  The most awful thing in the world to me is monotony and boredom.   Neroden's comment is spot on though.  

                They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

                by dkmich on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 02:24:52 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Excitement (0+ / 0-)

                  is not the same as change. A lot of people say they thrive on change, but what they really mean is that they thrive on excitement. If you were constantly changing--in other than incremental or situational ways--you'd be exhausted because real change is destabilizing and takes a lot of energy and focus to deal with.

                  An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

                  by sunflight on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 06:03:27 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I guess there is no medicare (5+ / 0-)

            EPA, social security, or SEC, or patriot act.  

            Your argument doesn't even remotely stand up to that facts.  You are entitled to your opinion.  Not your own facts.

            "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

            by justmy2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:15:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  What? (0+ / 0-)

              I don't understand what you're saying and I think you may be misunderstanding what I'm saying. Please read my reply to dkmich.

              An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

              by sunflight on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:47:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Anxiety and change holding (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden, blueoasis

                Are two different things.  The items I listed caused anxiety, but nevertheless held.  Si was replying to your original reply which I interpreted as an assertion that rapid polxy change does not usually hold.

                "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

                by justmy2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 04:58:29 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  Confusion: change for citizens vs. for Congress (0+ / 0-)

            Change that comes too fast always creates a higher level of anxiety that can lead to a violent backlash.

            While this is true, the problem currently is that the legislative and governmental change which we need -- which seems "radical" -- is actually designed to reduce the amount of change which is going to happen to the citizenry.

            Shutting down offshore drilling -- big change for the government, minor change for the citizens.  The BP oilpocalypse -- minor change for the government and BP, ENORMOUS CHANGE for everyone else.

            The climate change disaster is a great example of this.  We can either have disastrous, massive, huge change, or we can have some governmental change.  Which is gonna cause the bigger anxiety and backlash?  The environmental disaster is.

            In dictionary terms, the "change" we need, "radical" though it is for the government, is intensely conservative and is designed to allow people to keep living their lives.  

            The change which will be forced on people if the right-wing policies are allowed to continue is much larger.  

            Another example.  Everyone who loses their job due to the economic collapse?  That's change, and that's change Obama should be more aggressive about preventing. But to prevent it he needs more "radical" economic policies....

            -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

            by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:17:46 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  I hope many people on this site read your comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fogiv, moonpal, Eric Nelson

        and decide that you have made some really good points that they can agree with.  

        "It's a sight to see." Pres. Obama - Dec 8/09 and Jan 16/10

        by Observerinvancouver on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:21:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's not either/or (6+ / 0-)

        Sometimes a little nudge is what's needed. Sometimes a push. Sometimes an army. Leadership is all about having the right convictions, not necessarily knowing the right solution but doing the right things right and adapting.

        Some slow growing cancers call for watchful waiting, some can be medicated away, some need to be cut. But time, and timing matter and you can't nudge away a fast growing cancerous tumor that will, in a short time, become inoperable and then kill the patient.  

      •  so you say (7+ / 0-)

        Advocating incremental, progressive change instead of instant overwhelming change is the difference between realism and idealism.

         

        I have a real problem with that.  It is judgmental and states that people who stand on priciple can't tell reality from a hole in the wall; but since you went there... To others, claims of realism may be seen as fanciful and self-serving.  A handy excuse for not being willing to take risks or fight for a principle.  Characteristic of a personality more comfortable with compromise and capitulation.  

        I suppose you are his base, but so is Senator Levin and a whole bunch of other elected Democrats who have had their reforms (single payer, audit the fed, Volckler Rule) undermined by Rahm and the WH - not Republicans and not progressives - but centrists and Blue Dogs supporting "realistic" maneuvers to incremental or no change.

        I was speaking generally; but since you brought it home to Obama, I won't argue that.

        They're asking for another four years -- in a just world, they'd get 10 to 20. ~~ Dennis Kucinich

        by dkmich on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:00:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  History is on the side of faster change. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think you quite get it.  History is usually on the side of incrementalism -- but sometimes change has been "bottled up" for decades and is overdue.  The Civil War is an example; the Civil Rights movement is another.

        We are at another such moment, specifically in relation to environmental protection, and probably a few other things.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:10:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama's Base in Now Moderate Republicans (10+ / 0-)

      The progressive rhetoric of the campaign is but a whisper now. His new base of moderate Republicans has a rather large flaw: There ain't none! I believe that Obama is the best 1950's Republican President ever...

    •  It was worse than just undermining the base... (5+ / 0-)

      With a strong 60 seat majority in the Senate he essentially told the Dems not to use their power, preferring instead to gut everything he campaigned on just to win over a few on the Right.

      His attempts to play hardball now in the Senate are too late, thanks to him.  The Blanche Lincolns won.

      •  I only 80% agree with you.... (0+ / 0-)

        With a strong 60 seat majority in the Senate he essentially told the Dems not to use their power, preferring instead to gut everything he campaigned on just to win over a few on the Right.

        Yes...

        His attempts to play hardball now in the Senate are too late, thanks to him.

        I'm not sure about that.  If he really attempts to play hardball -- if he tells Reid "We need to get rid of the filibuster.  Do it.  Who have we got, and who do we need to convince by making their beloved legislation go down in filibuster flames?" -- then he could have success.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:12:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  125% agreement. (30+ / 0-)

    Your very well put together diary is totally on the spot.

    We need to see candidate Obama make a return to the public bully pulpit and realize that he has to fight for the changes America needs right now instead of expecting the Americans who agree with him to do all the work.  He has the power, we can have his back.  We can't get near as much accomplished without his leading the charge.

    Gone: other things to do.

    by emsprater on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:09:49 AM PDT

    •  You forget. It's not about him, it's about us. (5+ / 0-)

      So it's our fault if change doesn't happen.  Too bad we couldn't vote for us, but had to vote for him (or McCain or ?).

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

      by accumbens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:18:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Voting .... (18+ / 0-)

        ...is no the end of the process.  By voting for "Obama" does not mean you get what you want.  It means, if he wins, that you get a president who is roughly on your side.  The rest of the work remains ahead, and you cannot simply sit by and wait for another four years to vote again.

        Or,I guess, you can.

        Important whining and Red Sox stuff at http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/

        by Barth on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:35:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  So he's by my side. That's comforting. (7+ / 0-)

          It would be more comforting if acted as President as he did as a candidate and if he acted as President like he said he would.  But he's by my side and that's just great.

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

          by accumbens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:48:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  roughly.......that's pretty iffy (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            dfarrah, blueoasis, lcarr23
          •  Obama has made more of an effort (10+ / 0-)

            to live up to and keep his campaign promises than any president in my lifetime ... despite having to do it under the most difficult of circumstances.

            •  But he is judged by a completely different (10+ / 0-)

              formula (it's the formula with the Black tax added to it).

            •  but results? (5+ / 0-)

              yes, it is difficult. But without results, the effort is only so meaningful.

              We face a serious crisis with energy & sustainability, and a related economic crisis, both of them a long time in the making but coming more to a head as time moves along. The times call for greatness and an insistence on results. We have had a lot of presidents who were not quite up to the task, or worse.

              The diarist made a good point about how our greatest crisis presidents were not shy about pushing the envelope to get things done.

              An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

              by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:36:47 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Results ?? !! ?? (4+ / 0-)

                Every president in my lifetime has paid lip service to the idea of some type of comprehensive health care reform.  Before Obama, not one of them even had a program get out of committee ...  AND he did it on the threshold of a near-total economic collapse.

                Results ?? !! ?? Have you any idea what it takes to shut down a major weapons platform once it is already in production?  It's the closest thing there is to touching a political third rail.  Yet Obama stopped the F-22 stealth fighter program when he hadn't even been in office FOR SIX MONTHS !!  How many states - read Senators - were parts manufactured in ??  46 ??  How many districts - read Representatives - had jobs tied to it ??

                This is what Wikipedia says about it:

                "On 21 July 2009, the United States Senate voted in favor of ending F-22 production, in the face of intense lobbying by President Obama against funding the planes, and threats to sign what would have been his first veto."

                Contrast that with Bill Clinton, who couldn't even shut down production of ballistic missile submarines years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.  Were all of Obama's critics on kos pilling on Bill Clinton when he hadn't even been in office for two years?

                How can the American public go from setting the bar so low for Bush - lower than the bottom of an arroyo in Death Valley - to having demands of Barack Obama that are so high, he's expected to run the 100 meter hurdles in Denver and finish the race with a pole vault ???

                The reason the Republicans remain as close to power as they do is, obviously, not because they serve the best interests of American public.  It's because they know enough not to frag their own.  

                When they circle the wagons, ALL their guns point outward.

                •  So do you think the results of the current govt (6+ / 0-)

                  are adequate relative to the problems we face?

                  If not, what should happen? What should those of us who feel that time is short do?

                  It's clear that Congress is barely functional. However, if a dysfunctional Congress keeps Obama from substantive & necessary achievements, that can't be considered a success.

                  thank you.

                  An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                  by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:07:39 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Thanks for the sincere question (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Eric Nelson

                    No, I don't think the "current government" is adequate ... but it is the one we have to work with.  What "should happen" is that, at every available moment, we have to be attacking across the aisle.  And the way to do that is to control the narrative.  

                    That starts with watching our language very closely ... and the left has been terrible about that.  If we cannot be circumspect about what we say and where we say it, then progress and change will have to wait until we learn to.

                    IF the planet can last that long.

                    •  He may mean well (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      churchylafemme, blueoasis

                      but this incrementalism is not going to cut it, frankly.

                      Unfortunately for us all, we are at a point in history which demands much stronger leadership. We don't have the luxury of waiting 20 or 30 years for substantive changes. We just don't.

                      Watching this administration 'nibble around the edges', begging for bi-partisanship, and capitulating again and again to the party that seems intent on destroying the country, drives me mad.

                      Our window of opportunity is closing.

                      •  LOL " ... not going to cut it" ?? !! (3+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        lightshine, Eric Nelson, chicagobleu

                        What does that even mean?  Cut what?

                        Stronger leadership ?!!?  Obama has no lack of leadership at all - my two illustrations above being salient examples.  By any measure, he's an extraordinary leader.  He's leading in exactly the way a mature, educated, articulate adult centrist politician would be expected to lead.  Likewise, the substantive change he represents is exactly the substantive change one should expect from a mature, educated, articulate adult centrist politician.  

                        This administration is not "begging for bi-partisanship".  This administration is not "capitulating again and again to the party" across the aisle.  This administration is doing exactly what anyone who was paying attention 3+ years ago would have expected them to be doing.  If what they're doing is driving you mad, it's because you are disillusioned with them.  And if you are disillusioned with them ... well, that means that you've bought into some illusion to begin with ... and they're not to be blamed for that.

                        Your "window of opportunity" opened more than three years ago - and closed on 2/5/08 . . . because that was the last day that picking the next POTUS was decided.  If we're very lucky, the next "window of opportunity" won't open until sometime in 2015 ... and close again on Super Tuesday in 2016.

                        Watch for it.

                        8~}>

                        •  the window of opportunity (0+ / 0-)

                          is the obvious failure of R leadership and the associated crises that led to D victories in 2006 - 2008. It's not clear that these majorities/support will be maintained, so the opportunity for D-led change may be ending.

                          We'll see.

                          An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                          by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 05:23:22 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                    •  I meant the "results" we get from this setup (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      neroden

                      I believe we agree that they are and will continue to be inadequate vis a vis the crises we face.

                      We can yell at the R's, of course, and that is always a good idea. However, methinks the anger at Bush, a motivator to vote D in 2006 - 2008, has faded. So we need results to get victories. It appears the current constellation of president/legislature is not going to bring us those results.

                      So what to do about it?

                      Regarding control of the narrative, the President has a big role there.

                      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

                      by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 05:21:34 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  As far as the results go ... (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Eric Nelson

                        Actually ... hard to tell.  Considering the limitations of the system, it might well be that we're actually getting as much from it as we possibly can.  I know, I know.  On the face of it, it would seem hard to believe.  But ironically - because of the very crises we face - Obama might actually turn out to be a head worthy of chiseling into Mt. Rushmore.  Stranger things have happened in American politics.

                        And no, "yell"ing at the R's won't be quite enough.  Yelling about them to the I's, and the disenchanted D's, is always certainly in order.  That's what regenerates the motivators of '06-'08.

                        And, as I've already proffered, there have been "results".  Plenty of them.  But they're overlooked and under appreciated by the glass-half-empty spelunkers cloistered in the cave with the rest of the "WAAAAA ! (sniffle sniffle)  I'M DISAPPOINTED IN OBAMA" yodelers.  I try to explain to them that all that cave-dwelling leads to is getting covered in guano in 2012 ...  when people ask them why they're supporting Obama after spending most of his first term bitching about their bitter disappointment in him ... and they just seem like they're batshit crazy.  But too many of them still insist on being obtuse about it.  

                        More's the pity.  

                        And it pays to remember what the MSMs interest is in his defeat - or, his being less effective - or even just seeming less effective.  The closer the race, the higher the profits.  Remember what they did to Rodham's supporters.  

                        They played them like a kazoo.

                        •  If this is as much as we can get (0+ / 0-)

                          from the system, then it's time to replace the system.  

                          After all, we're currently sleepwalking into global apocalypse thanks to global warming.  Unless we can get more from the system, your children (if you have any) will probably live to witness massive worldwide famines.

                          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                          by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:23:21 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Yes, indeed. (0+ / 0-)

                            Perilous times, to be sure.  And it does seem bound to get worse before it gets better.

                            But delusions that Obama - or any POTUS - can somehow reverse those trends by diktat don't really serve us well.  WE have to be the upheaval we know is required.  WE have to remember ourselves every morning when we wake up. WE have to reassess the tape every night and reprogram ourselves before we turn in.  WE have to become very serious people, very focused people, very disciplined people, if the great ship is to turn before it hits the shoals.

                            We have to make change our "god".  And by that, I mean change in our own lives.  And that "god" has to be worshipped daily.  WE have to make sacrifices before that "god" every day.

                            How many people who complain every day about our oil-inspired foreign military misadventures, or the BP catastrophe in the gulf, are still using fossil fuel for transportation?  How many are still purchasing plastic products?

                            Americans are funny.  We're willing to spend the time and effort hammering our elected representatives to the ground with rhetorical platitudes - but it's too inconvenient for us to even consider a personal sacrifice a small as car-pooling.

                            We will either BE the change we want to see in the world ... or we will get exactly what's coming to us.

            •  How short is your lifetime? (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              emsprater

              In my lifetime, Bill Clinton made just as much effort to live up to his campaign promises.  Carter did too as far as I can tell, and the rest were Republicans, so of course they were liars.

              -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

              by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:21:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I've been voting since Nixon's (0+ / 0-)

                second term ... but I followed politics avidly when I was a teenager.  And no!

                No president in my lifetime has gone so far out of his way, so far beyond reasonable expectations, to make good on his campaign promises.  Not Carter ... and certainly not Clinton.

                And what makes Obama's effort all the more astonishing is that so much of what he campaigned on was proposed before the global economic meltdown - so he had every reasonable excuse to tell the public, "Well ... I said that before the current financial crises ... so that will have to wait for a more opportune moment in history."  But he never said that.  He had the most legitimate excuse in the world, but he hasn't used it.

                When I realized he was going to move on HCR in his first year, I almost fell over.  Were I in his position, I wouldn't have even touched that until the second year of my second term.  He invited a firestorm of criticism about what it would cost and how ill-prepared we were to shoulder that burden after all the bailouts, the stimulus, the ongoing wars and the deficit he inherited from Bush.  But he went right after it - because he campaigned on it - because he believed it was necessary.

                I may have a boatload of problems with Obama's policies - Afghanistan atop the list - but when it comes to personal integrity, he is head and shoulders above every POTUS in my lifetime.

      •  I wouldn't vote for "us". (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, 3goldens, emekz1, v2aggie2, foufou

        "Us" is easily pacified by the idiot box. "Dancing With The Stars " is on. That's all "us" needs. If "us" was to make its voice heard, "us" could make things happen. Back in the late 60s and early 70s, "us" gave enough of a flying shit to take the message to the streets and get others engaged in what was going on. Now "us" is lazy and lackadaisical.

        Come To Arizona - It's a DRY Hate!

        by kitebro on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:50:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Corporate Owned Politicians + Filibuster=Disaster (6+ / 0-)

        Are you tired yet of not only fighting the Nihilist Party, but the Democratic Party, too? I'm damn sick of it. I wish more prpgressives were. What is your answer to: Where else do we have to go? I enjoy the "Primary the Blue Dogs." That will not change the corrupted two-party system. We simply have an oligarchy which doesn't give a tinker's damn about the unemployed or any other issue important to the boarded-up Main Streets of America.

  •  'Obama Needs To Ask BP CEO For Advice" (14+ / 0-)

    That's what they were screaming about last week on Fox. And the guy turned out to be the lawyered-up-stooge we knew he would be. And yet we go from week to week and hoax to hoax with never a look back to see what nonsense we were supposed to obsess over as recently as last week.

  •  The world is a totally different place than it (22+ / 0-)

    was when Abraham Lincoln was President.

    •  How politics works is still the same. (29+ / 0-)

      The President is the focal point for the public, for setting a national tone and agenda.

      What we'd call "leader" in any day since George Washington.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:15:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but how it is covered has changed dramatically (18+ / 0-)

        that is key

        the public engages or not in a very different way

        "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

        by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:18:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Modern mass-reach media (18+ / 0-)

          has done everything it can to keep people from any meaningful say in their own governance.

          The only real way to bypass them is for a President to go on TV and rally the people to activism and unrelenting pressure on Congress.

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:25:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  When we start blaming the media (14+ / 0-)

          for public frustration we've thrown in the towel and admitted defeat.  The media is a reality for any politician today.  It might be satisfying to bitch and moan about how the media is out to get you (and I really don't think this is the case with Obama), but it doesn't do any good.  We knew the Bush administration was done when all his supporters started blaming the media and yet continued to maintain that there was deep wisdom in his handling of Katrina and Iraq.  I find it deeply disturbing to hear the same intellectually lazy blaming of the media going on here.  This doesn't bode well for where we're at and how things are going.  The media is what you blame when you've lost the argument.

          •  This is a simple statenent of fact (8+ / 0-)

            identifying key variables that shape the landscape is social science -- not blame

            "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

            by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:45:14 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  No one is disputing this. The point is that (9+ / 0-)

              sitting around bitching about the media does nothing to produce any change.  I also believe that it's potentially dangerous for any political movement as it leads us to dismiss everything that we don't like in the media.  This is how the republicans created a bubble for themselves.  They convinced themselves that the media had a leftwing bias and that therefore they could reject any stories in the news they didn't like.  As a consequence they began creating their own distorted reality and then became unable to respond to the demise of their party and administration because they dismissed these stories from the outset.  I see exactly the same thing going on here with the Obama true believers.

          •  not so fast (6+ / 0-)

            "Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government." Thomas Jefferson

            While it is true you can't Stop at simply blaming the media, that doesn't mean we can't start there

            Democracy requires an informed electorate, with so many misinformed people all espousing the same Right-wing talking points you have to conclude the media is hurting, not helping.    

            The greatest trick the devil every pulled was convincing half of America the GOP gives a damn about them

            by blingbling65 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:52:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Of course, however what I'm witness (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              justmy2, 3goldens, blueoasis

              right now looks exactly like the behavior of the wingnuts when things began to go south for the Bush administration.  They claimed that the administration was the victim of a media witch hunt and that all of Bush's actions were, in fact, right and good.  As such, they didn't respond to the problems that were developing and undermined themselves.  Like you, they spoke of media misinformation and leftwing talking points.  They vehemently argued that people just didn't understand the brilliance of Bush's decisions and how these were precisely the things that need to be done.  Apologists can always come up with rationalizations for policy decisions as we saw during the healthcare debate and now with the handling of the Gulf spill.  That doesn't make these reasons or policies any more convincing.

          •  There's MSM and then there's Fox & Company (5+ / 0-)

            I don't fault the MSM (everything that isn't Fox & Company) for losing the argument. Frankly, I don't know WHY we're losing the argument.  With all the failures of the Bush administration, the idiocy of the GOPers, and the brilliance of Obama (and I'm not being facetious here), I would think we would be winning.  I do think that Fox & Company, a full service, 24/7 disinformation campaign, makes it much more difficult to keep the argument in the realm of the rational.  And, of course, there's BIG MONEY.  Also, Dems are really bad at sustaining an focused argument.  But, I still can't understand how little traction our arguments have with the American electorate.  Or, at least, it would appear from the polls.  Unfortunately, the weakness of our argument (or the perception of that weakness) strengthens our opponents and deflates the ambitions of our Dem politicians.  Obama appears to be particularly sensitive to the public mood and reluctant to attempt to reshape it in any way that would expend political capital.  This makes for a downward spiral.

            One last aside: Obama's campaign army of 2,000,000 (now OFA) has been essentially mothballed except for occasional and very "safe" excursions (e.g. phone banking for Blanche).  I find it maddening that a noisy bunch of crazy tea partiers can suck up so much attention totally unmatched by any progressive counter voice.

            •  As part of OFA (10+ / 0-)

              I haven't been mothballed.  We worked for 10 months on health care and that wasn't safe by any stretch.  Here in Northeast Texas, we still hold 2 phone banks every week.  We have been working on financial reform, and are also working on VOTE 2010 -- reaching out to 1st time 2008 voters.

              I will take any and all volunteers to help us out.  I can people up online if they are interested in helping out.

              Barack Obama for President '08

              by v2aggie2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:29:57 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Great work in a challenging part of the country. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                v2aggie2, blueoasis

                You've got my admiration and gratitude!  It's just that I don't think that OFA overall has been mobilized very effectively.  This my be impossible with the Democratic party structure.  I get the impression that the administration is ambivalent about how much independence and visibility to give to OFA. Perhaps there should be two organizations - one within the party and one without, with many folks probably belonging and active in both.  In any case, it's maddening to see all the media attention lavished on loud-mouthed teapartiers when there are folks like yourself doing such great community activism.

                •  Thanks! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Fogiv, soothsayer99, seethruit

                  I share your frustration in the last sentence.

                  The thing is, during the town hall meetings, there were as many progressives as tea party people.

                  But being loud and obnoxious gets you attention and media coverage.

                  The thing with OFA is, that isn't how we are wired - good or bad.  We just work.  It is pretty unglamourous.  And in East Texas, we are all volunteer.  So we have time limitations.

                  Last week, we held a series of 3 health care forums in East Texas explaining what is in the bill.  And those who attended it really liked it.  We had a policy expert, Anne Dunkelberg with the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) in Austin come give the presentations.

                  A challenge we have with OFA is keeping people engaged on a continuous basis.  The 2008 election was a long road, and it had a definite end date.  With issues, however, you don't know the end date.  Healthcare was the perfect example of that

                  Barack Obama for President '08

                  by v2aggie2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:49:53 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  It's far more difficult to keep the enthusiasm (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    v2aggie2, mightymouse, blueoasis

                    alive over the long haul.  But (forgive me if I sound like a broken record here) I think top management of OFA (as opposed to local OFA doing work on the ground) could make OFA involvement more dynamic.  The emails I get from OFA are depressingly generic and reek of mass marketing techniques. I'm now in the habit of just deleting them, Plouffe's moniker notwithstanding.  But a more dynamic approach that might reignite some of the enthusiam of the Obama campaign would also be more risky.  If it caught fire, you could just guess what Bachmann and Beck would do with it (Brownshirts are coming!, Brownshirts are coming!).  Yet, without excitement, only the most independently motivated organizers will stay active. In many ways, OFA reflects Obama's sense of caution.  This caution is wise for achieving at least modest immediate gains but it may not be wise in the long run.  As I mentioned above, it may not be possible to do both (be prudent, be dynamic) within the same structure.  But I think it's really important for the future of a powerful progressive movement to motivate supporters who were active in the Obama election but who are not hooked up with MoveOn, ActBlue, etc.

                    Thank God there are people like you who can stay the course, glamour or no glamour!

                    •  Interesting points (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      soothsayer99, seethruit

                      and I think you are correct from the standpoint of dynamicness.  I myself don't really look at the e-mails, though I probably should.

                      One think I would do is make it easier to take more action at barackobama.com.

                      Locally is where I still believe we make the biggest difference.  We have a pretty bottom-up structure; for example, the health care forums were a local idea and organized locally.  If there's something you want, you can do it.

                      The key is to find your OFA state director -- hound that person if necessary!  It works.

                      At some point, I'll write a diary on how my OFA experience has turned out since the 2008 election.  I'm proud of what we have done, but it can be challenging.  A lot of the time, the local party may not be happy with you.  They look at you as a competitor, I think.  The OFA way sometimes flies in the face of the old thinking.

                      One of the things on issues is that we have to be pretty disciplined.  This may lead to caution.  However, having run a lot of phonebanks, we encourage everybody to use their own voice -- again, we are bottom-up.  We really did work hard to get a public option on health care reform, and it was part of our scripts.

                      By the way, love your input!

                      Barack Obama for President '08

                      by v2aggie2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 06:03:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  I hope you'll write a diary! Your experience (0+ / 0-)

                        would be both inspiring and useful. And constructive criticism/advice/observations from someone who knows what they're talking about is always best. And it's really good to hear that you've having success with a bottom-up operation.

                        You've motivated me to check back in with some of the super-organizers from the campaign.  There has been quite a bit of contention between OFA staff and non-OFA organizers which may have settled down quite a bit.  In any case, I need to find out where to plug in and be productive.

            •  I think we have a hard time (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, blueoasis, seethruit

              winning the argument because it's very difficult for our elected officials to actually sustain or make the argument.  Washington is so awash in big money that both parties belong to the corporations.  As a consequence, democrats can't give a full throated defense of their positions because they're constantly forced to bend legislation to benefit big money.  The result is that they can only throw crumbs to the American people.  Americans get this.  This is why so few of us vote.  They realize that government is a scam for the sake of big money.  Of the two, democrats are definitely better, but they two are arms of corporations.  Our votes and democratic media such as the internet are our only power.  This is why we have to constantly put pressure on our elected officials to get them to represent our interests.

        •  yes, I totally agree. I am waiting publication of (11+ / 0-)

          a biography that spans three centuries of history of the New America and the Old Great Britain. In 1730 when it opens referencing emigration and trade between the southern colony of Georgia and Scotland and Liverpool it took six weeks to make the passage. The only basic communication was letters and newspapers shared by incomers and outgoers. No telephone, no telegraph, no planes, only ships. News of wars and trends took months to sift though the consciousness of the growing American public.

          Today, everyone knows everything at the speed of light 24/7 and every single individual on the planet is linked via social networking and the internet and every single person has a different opinion and an personal agenda.

          Today's leaders main problem is trying to shut out the cacophony of noise to even have an opinion or arrive at a decision that only they can make. You cannot lead 300 million cats!  all you can do is to try and make yourself heard, seen and listened to over the caterwauling.

          The only leaders that can survive the modern technology are those who like President Obama is apparently capable of staying cool, arriving at a reasoned and basically consensual decision and have the self confidence to rely on the advice of advisers and experts.

          Of course I fully understand that many who are representative of a slice of America who post here want a top down neo-military totalitarian style of imposition of order over chaos. This is not that kind of President. Others will be and this will not be the last major disaster to hit the nation. This is a practice drill.

          We are definitely in uncharted waters socially and culturally on a global level.  Still looking for someone else to blame for our own greed and complacency.

          It's like ythose old maps yous till see 'There be dragons here!!!!' bretahign fire and water!!!

          •  I want new fireside chats (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            churchylafemme, blueoasis

            And in these chats, I want a President who is willing to call out the obstruction and lies of the no-longer loyal opposition party. I would like a daily official refutation of the latest GOP lies. It's not totalitarianism I'm looking for. Just strong use of the bully pulpit. Every day.

            Then, when even the dance with the star people are incensed, I'd like to see some seriously progressive legislation pushed hard. Class war? Yes, we've been losing that one for decades. Can we admit as much yet?

        •  You're ALL Right On Top Of It, But You're Just (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, libertyvalence

          ever so slightly off.

          The media IS the politics, too.  More so today than ever.  

          FDR's genius was as much his policies as his understanding of this principle and the "tools" he had at his disposal.  He "sucked up" to the boys (they all were) from the 'papers far more than Uncle Ronnie on a good day.  We remember the New Deal because it is still an all-oout food fight, but everybody waxes rhpasodic about those radio chats.

          Hell, yes, any of US could run this country if we had a two-month or so lead time before the rest of the country found out we changed the locks on all the Senate offices, or ran the money-rpinting presses double-overtime.

          Media is not there to blame, it is part of the game, and one way to play the game is to assign the media the blame.  (Hey, that's pretty catchy!  Did you think of that all by yourself, fool?)

          In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

          by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:06:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I suppose if one is loking for an excuse (8+ / 0-)

      That's as good as any.

      Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

      by orson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:04:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Avoid popularity if you would have peace." (11+ / 0-)

      Abraham Lincoln, memorial on flickr
      "Avoid popularity if you would have peace." - Abraham Lincoln

      Obama will never be popular with the right no matter how he compromises to woo them.

      We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

      by Duke S on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:09:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, And Believe the Reviews When They Say (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        blueoasis

        "Our American Cousin" is no "The Iceman Cometh"

        In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

        by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:11:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  This assumes facts not in evidence (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ETF, foufou, moonpal, Eric Nelson

        Obama isn't "wooing" the right.  Obama actually BELIEVES that he's the president of ALL Americans - and has actually said just that on numerous occasions.  He has stated, explicitly, that he will NOT be the POTUS of just the Democrats, or just progressives, or just Liberals.

        Just take him at his own word.

        •  wooing or just wrong? (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          churchylafemme, Philoguy, blueoasis, bren

          "So today we’re announcing the expansion of offshore oil and gas exploration, but in ways that balance the need to harness domestic energy resources and the need to protect America’s natural resources.  Under the leadership of Secretary Salazar, we’ll employ new technologies that reduce the impact of oil exploration.  We’ll protect areas that are vital to tourism, the environment, and our national security.  And we’ll be guided not by political ideology, but by scientific evidence." Barack Obama Mar 31, 2010

          We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

          by Duke S on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:21:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And your point is ... what? (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            virginislandsguy, Eric Nelson

            There's no incongruity in what he said.  That statement reflects both his true beliefs and his true intentions.

            Shall I post quotes from Obama promising to reduce our dependence on foreign oil?  Did you think that could be done by NOT increasing domestic production?

            10 years from now - long after Obama's terms have been left for historians to pick over like vultures - there will still be more than 3 million gas-powered vehicles on American roads.  20 years from now, there will still be 1 million gas or diesel-powered engines doing everything from pulling freight trains to harvesting crops to propelling jet-skis and snowmobiles.  And powering military aircraft at Mach 2+ isn't going to be taken over by rubber bands or hamster wheels anytime soon.  Those thrust requirements just can't be achieved by battery power.

            So unless you've got a design for a cold fusion reactor the size of a blender, you're not likely to see fossil fuel extraction and use disappear from within our borders in your lifetime.  And that inconvenient truth is NOT Obama's fault.

            Given that reality, exactly what unrealistic expectations of Obama, or any president, do you still labor under?

            •  From the campaign (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              blueoasis

              "I think it's important for the American people to understand we're not going to drill our way out of this problem." - Barack Obama

              We need to be working to change the "reality" you imagine. Undervaluing the true cost of using oil and giving a massive infusion of government cash to a Nuclear industry that can't exit on its own are solutions.

              The true cost of using oil, coal and nuclear is yet to be paid. We need to change the way we use and produce energy in a massive way. Fuel taxes need to raise and that money needs to go into retrofitting all buildings in America and turning each building into an energy producer. Vehicles need to become more efficient sooner. We need better mass transit options. We need to be perusing these alternatives more aggressively and all subsides and tax incentives for oil, coal and nuclear producers need to end.

              We need more and better Democrats and Campaign Finance Reform.

              by Duke S on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:12:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Once again, you're posting Obama quotes (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                virginislandsguy, Eric Nelson

                as if they had a context that supported your argument.  But they don't.  Obama doesn't believe we can drill our way out of the problem - - - and he said so explicitly.  Yet there's nothing at all incongruous between that quote and what you posted before.  

                Look, if he has his way, by the time Obama leaves office after 8 years, he will have allocated more R&D funds toward alternative energy than the past 6 presidents combined.  Do you think he should concurrently grind the entire country to a halt to satisfy your ideology?  Is that a realistic expectation?  Be honest.  Is it?  And even if he agreed with every word you wrote in the above post, what kind of power have you deluded yourself into thinking he has?

                The biggest irony is that he probably agrees with more of your post than I do.  But if you want to see your best ideals realized, the way to do it is to go after his opponents.

                It isn't Obama who stands in the way of you realizing you dreams ... it's those who oppose him.

    •  That seems to be a defeatist approach to me. (7+ / 0-)

      You seem to be saying that there is nothing that can be done because "things have changed".

      Things ALWAYS change and it is our job as human beings, citizens and as public officials to be flexible enough to change with and adapt to the times.

      It is our JOB to be up to the task in whatever changes time has wrought...if we are not up to the task, we have failed.

    •  Another great excuse not even to try. Thanks. nt (6+ / 0-)

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:04:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What "place" did Obama think world was in? (4+ / 0-)

        If Obama was so sure of failure, so sure it could not be done that he was not even going to try, not even propose the policies he ran on, then he should not have run for president and have let Hillary give it a go.

        Obama pitch was Hillary could not get it done, I can and now we get the excuse that "it's not 1863"...WTF?

    •  Finally!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Eric Nelson

      Politics is local.  Local.  Local.

      See if you can find a map of the election results-county by county-from 2008.  It doesn't matter at all, at all, at all what Obama says to those people in those vast red expanses of the US: they will continue to vote for idiots and against anything not mainstream in 1950.

      Does anyone actually remember how long it took to get us out of VietNam and what all happened to get that done?? It didn't happen because a bunch of long hairs demonstrated.  The "silent majority" didn't even have to exist to control Congress for years and years.

  •  Yeah, where did that guy who ran in (17+ / 0-)
    2008 go?  Anybody see him lately?

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

    by accumbens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:16:56 AM PDT

  •  I'm not seeing the conditions, either with the (13+ / 0-)

    Congress and Senate, or with Obama, that would enable such a change now.  Times are different then back in the 30's, the level and complexity of corruption is higher than ever and Obama's bipartisan approach isn't conducive to an FDR type threat, especially now going on half way thru his term. After Bush, I don't really want the President to have martial powers.  It may be helpful for social issues but a disaster for others. Until the money is out of the system, we're just an oligarchy.  How does a country stop being an oligarchy?      

    "I will no longer be labeled, except as a human being."

    by BigAlinWashSt on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:16:56 AM PDT

    •  Unfortunately... (12+ / 0-)

      ... in our system, unless we tear the whole thing down, that change in a way has to come from the top.

      We can only elect those who will do what we believe needs be done.  After that, all we can do is push those who we elect to do those things.  We can attempt to persuade them, to pressure them, to punish them through not reelecting them if they fail, but we can't control or change directly.  Certainly we can impact through activism, through being heard, through how we cast our votes, but at the end of the day, the change has to come from the top.

      I'd also note that there is a significant difference between a Bush-esque approach, with its signing statements, and a having a strong leader in the President.  To conflate what all that the President can do to lead with the illegal activities of the Bush administration is to undermine what can be legitimately be done.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:27:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know that this is true... (7+ / 0-)

      as we saw when he stepped into the HIR process at the end. He certainly managed to move congress then, didn't he?

      What has a "political realist" done for you lately?

      by papicek on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:40:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's why we call (8+ / 0-)

      for 'leadership.'

      Leaders help change/create conditions that are conducive to what it is they want to do.  BO simply isn't leading.

      The banks have a stranglehold on the political process. Mike Whitney

      by dfarrah on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:35:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only by countering the money interests (6+ / 0-)

      with ENORMOUS popular backlash.  

      That's why I'm worried that things will have to get really, really bad before we have the power to change our system and take it back from the corporations.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:08:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Remember All That "Unity Executive" Shit Uncle (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blueoasis

      Dickey-Dick-Dickhead and the Federalist Society version of "the plumbers" cooked up?

      Well, guess what, me droogies, it is all still right there in place, right there with the Ring of the Niebelungs and the Tarnhelm and all the other evil shit left over when the trolls fled Barack-The-Balrog.  And it all calls to them, "Rahhhm, Rahhm, David, David, come use me, UUuuuse mee - Hey, Rahm, how 'bout a "smoke" break?"

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

      by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  On The "Corruption Now & Then" Bet: I'll See Ya (0+ / 0-)

      one "Tea Pot Dome" and raise ya a "Black Sox Scandal"  (And I'm not all in yet, but I got Ol' Man Joe Kennedy comin' up on the river card!)

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

      by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:49:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, Pelosi's got the House of Reps set up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BigAlinWashSt

      for major change.  

      And there's even hope for Obama's spent-a-year-not-getting-it administration.  Geithner has figured out (after FAR TOO LONG) that the Wall Street banksters act like "warlords" and cannot be treated reasonably.

      Now the Senate.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:28:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  it is not 1863 1935 1963 (23+ / 0-)

    or even 1996

    these simplistic historical comparsons with other  "great' presidents fails to account for the complexitites of our time

    we could start with the 24/7 news cycle right wing MSM and the alleged wisdom of the nagging blogosphere...

    Obaam is gonna do it it in his own way and own time

    "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

    by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:17:01 AM PDT

  •  I never noticed (27+ / 0-)
    Ronald Reagan or Dubya Bush having much difficulty advancing and ramming through "change" that had quite little public support.  Funny how suddenly  all these things that were easy as pie for Reagan and Dubya, done on behalf of the rich and the powerful, it becomes virtually impossible for the Dem president to get anything done that advances the interests of anyone other than the rich and powerful, and even those few, incremental advances of that sort are only accomplished after essentially bribing Corporate America with the lion's share of any and all funding involved.

    Gotta ask yourself why that is, what the difference is, why in the end it's always easier to feed the rich while poor people starve.  I dunno, maybe that's just the way it is under the dictatorship of capital?  And if capital is hegemonic, doesn't that mean the rest of us should be rethinking our approach to political involvement and organizing?

    We who have been nothing shall be all. This is the final struggle. ~E. Pottier

    by ActivistGuy on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:17:14 AM PDT

  •  Few Things Here Bug Me More... (26+ / 0-)

    Than the insistence by some people that we ignore the political environment and circumstances faced by those presidents we compare Obama to.  

    Lincoln and FDR both had Senates with overwhelming majorities, 70-75%.  And a minority party which wouldn't have dreamed of filibustering every single vote put forth by the majority party (as today's modern Republican party is doing), even if they could have.  And of course, they couldn't have, there were no votes to oppose what these presidents wanted.  

    There was essentially, no major opposition to their reforms in the legislature.  At least none that could could be effective.  

    And yet we're supposed to ignore the political realities faced by these presidents, and instead believe that the differences can all be chalked up to their speeches?  To how well they utilize the bully pulpit?  To how well they 'lead'?

    Bullshit.  People remember the speeches, they're taught about the speeches.  They don't remember the realities which enabled those speeches to work.

    •  Pull back from the Trees, see the Forest. (25+ / 0-)

      FDR stood, clearly, for the little guy.
      FDR stood, clearly, against the big guy.

      Everyone in the nation knew these things. You can't substitute "Obama" for "FDR" in those two statements and be creditable.

      This is not a matter of majorities (which, btw, Lincoln and FDR got by clearly standing for one thing and clearly against another, and then backing it up with public statements and actions.)

      Drag in whatever details you want when comparing Presidents, the overriding Political Reality is that our system places leadership on the President. Nobody's asking Obama to smoke cigars and wear top-hats. And since George Washington and the John Jay Act, Presidents have gone to the public to rally them against a recalcitrant Congress.

      We do not, have never, looked to House Speakers and Senate Leaders for political leadership, for rallying the public to act in their own interests. If it doesn't come from the President, it isn't happening. That's political reality.

      Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

      by Jim P on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:42:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Nonsense. (15+ / 0-)

        Our front pager here cites Lincoln, and his work on getting the 13th amendment passed.  His party passed it in the senate, 38-6.  37 of those 38 were members of his party.  That's the equivalent of giving Obama a senate with 75 Democrats.  

        FDR had the equivalent of 65 members of his party in the senate.  

        Lincoln never once faced a filibuster, and FDR was only ever filibustered by Huey Long, a member of his party, who filibustered certain proposals from the left.  Not just because the rules were different, not just because the culture was different, but because the opposition simply didn't have the numbers to sustain one.  

        To ignore that reality when comparing Obama's presidency to their's, and instead invoke various magical words related to leadership is simply ignorant.  

        •  Nonsense yourself. (8+ / 0-)

          FDR stood, clearly, for the little guy.
          FDR stood, clearly, against the big guy.

          Everyone in the nation knew these things. You can't substitute "Obama" for "FDR" in those two statements and be creditable.

          This is not a matter of majorities (which, btw, Lincoln and FDR got by clearly standing for one thing and clearly against another,

          You can't pretend they didn't stand up for one thing and against another thing.

          You can't pretend that their leadership was not a factor in their having majorities in the first place.

          You can't pretend their leadership didn't affect legislative outcomes.

          Well, you can pretend all that, but then you're bending over backwards to tell us Obama is inherently weak and powerless.

          FDR stood, clearly, for the little guy.
          FDR stood, clearly, against the big guy.

          Everyone in the nation knew these things. You can't substitute "Obama" for "FDR" in those two statements and be creditable.

          Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

          by Jim P on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:09:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  To ignore the reality Obama hasn't stood up (7+ / 0-)

          for his so called beliefs like the rule of law, single payer, banning torture, banning secret prisons, the Patriot Act, is simply ignorant.

          I would just be happy if he stops taking Republican ideas seriously.

          If he would have stuck to his guns on the oil drilling he wouldn't have oil on his face now.

          He should have never OK'd drilling anywhere in the first place.

          Stop listening to Republicans and treat them as they treat him.

          Like an enemy.  

           

          "Bush Peed all over the place and they act like Obama is the one pulling up his zipper." - Wanda Sykes.

          by SharksBreath on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:18:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  And When THey Find Out Two More Deepwell Permits (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            have just been issued, well, won't that just be the perfect little shit-storm!

            In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

            by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:28:21 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Magical thinking is the stuff of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          virginislandsguy, soothsayer99

          children, and of schizophrenics, both of whom are dear to me of course.

          "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

          by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:22:39 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Uh Lincoln's opposition walked out of the Senate. (0+ / 0-)

          Way to be selective.  Lincoln didn't face a filibuster because most of his opposition seceded from the Union in fear of him.  Hell, if Obama had convinced the South to secede, he'd have similar majorities in the Senate.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:39:37 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm constantly receiving on-line appeals (0+ / 0-)

        from the president.  A week does not go by without hearing directly from the White House asking for support on one issue or another.  

        •  If he'd support us, we could support him. (0+ / 0-)

          Somehow I don't remember an appeal from him to support any of the progressive causes I support.  Oh, 'cause there weren't any.  :-(  Instead I get appeals to support warmed-over Third Way bullshit.

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:41:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Is the president doing enough right now? (0+ / 0-)

      My impression is our government is not doing enough to address our current reality.

      So it's fine to say, "Obama faces a much different reality than Lincoln or FDR." I agree.

      But this leads to the question, "So what should Obama do right now, if the current level of progress is not acceptable?" If people say "Obama is doing a fine job," that kind of means people accept that our government will not get done what needs doing.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:57:51 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Concur. (14+ / 0-)

    We don't have infinite time to change how our nation goes about acquiring its energy from finite energy sources; how it uses the limited resources available to it in a world where the energy and resources are becoming increasingly limited.  We don't have forever to address what we can do ourselves to mitigate the oncoming impact of global climate change.  And we don't have forever to address all the problems associated with the growing wealth divide and the continual increase of corporate power.  And the same applies to the wars that we're still too deeply entangled in.

    In the every single one of these cases, there are critical tipping points, that if allowed to pass, mean that change will be that much harder, and certain courses will be closed to us.

    We saw a great man during the election, who was candid about his limitations.  But that candidate was a fighter.  I don't know what dampened that great fighting spirit when he got to Washington, but something did.  It is time to see that candidate make a reemergence and take the gloves off.

    We need truly bold actions directed at practical solutions, not just pragmatic politics.  We need to see the obstructionists on both sides of the aisle called out and chastised publicly for their obstructionism, not bipartisanship approaches; they don't work, and those who obstruct see no down side attached to their obstructionism.  We need those who surround the President and are so skilled at the political game to apply their abilities to making things happen, and not just to self preservation.  Because good solutions are not only necessary now, today - they also lead to the political victories and self preservation that so many seem to be so consumed with.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:20:58 AM PDT

  •  Hmmmm (14+ / 0-)

    He has said that change will not come from himself, but from the unity of millions of people demanding it.

    A question:  Would the nearly 67,000,000 voters who voted for "change you can believe in" be considered "the unity of millions of people demanding it."

    You see that's a very important question because, apparently to some voters and this White House, that wasn't a vote for change but a vote for _______ (fill in the blank).

    It is time for that Obama to make a comeback and stick around.

    Someone please send up a flare when he's spotted.  

    •  Yes, it's not about him, it's about us. (6+ / 0-)

      That's a clever way to say it's not my fault if things go south.

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

      by accumbens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:25:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Answer (10+ / 0-)

      A question:  Would the nearly 67,000,000 voters who voted for "change you can believe in" be considered "the unity of millions of people demanding it."

      No.  Those 67,000,000 voters who wanted "change" did not and do not all want the same things. What "change" meant to each voter was and is different. One change that I wanted and voted for, for example, was a return of the executive branch to its proper role, which was what Obama promised. Others seem to think he meant that he would be a left-wing Bush, forcing his agenda through. They imagined that change meant what they wanted, so did almost everyone else, so it's absurd to think that simply voting for Obama was sufficient effort to put in for demanding substantial and long-term changes in a direction that each voter wants.

      He often discussed during the campaign that one form of 'change' that he considered important was to "end to the partisan bickering in Washington" and get the parties working together to solve problems. Many voters liked that message and they wanted the change to be more bipartisanship, which is disdained here. I could go on... but I trust you get the idea.

      And furthermore, as Obama said on election night, his election itself was NOT the change -- it was the possibility of change -- and he said then that all of those voters would have to remain involved and politically engaged and continue to demand change from Washington DC throughout his presidency. He did everything he could to dissuade the idea that he alone was "The Way The Truth and The Light" who would fix it all now that he won - he said that it would take all us working to enact changes.

      •  By way of counter example... (15+ / 0-)

        ... let's not forget that at it's peak of popularity, a strong PO was polling at over 70% approval.

        Maybe not everyone wanted the same change on everything, but that was something that the nation overwhelmingly did want.

        Then the insurance corporations, the Republican's and the blue dogs went to work undermining it.  That was when the President could have truly risen up and stood for what the nation wanted.  And if he'd pushed hard, if he'd won, it would not only have been a great victory for health care, but also a political one.

        Instead, he went the safe route, the route of the conventional DC wisdom.  And he paid politically for it, and the nation paid for it with significantly less effective health care legislation.

        The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

        by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:58:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am not convinced at all that (6+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          askew, v2aggie2, a night owl, sherijr, ETF, foufou

          the nation overwhelmingly wanted a Public Option.

          There were polls showing that a large majority supported it. There were also polls, at the same time, showing that large majority didn't even know what it meant or what it was.

          I was one of those voters who, had I been polled on it, would have said yes, I support it and think it's a good idea. However, I do not "overwhelmingly" want it -- I wanted other aspects of the health care/insurance reform far more, such as ending pre-existing condition exclusions and dropping people if they need to use their insurance. I wanted the exchange and subsidies. i wanted money for community health clinics and the funding for more primary care providers to go into the field. Many things were FAR more important to me that the government selling insurance. I do not think it was a critical issue to the vast majority of voters outside the progressive blogs.

          And lastly, as we know, polls show a majority support torture of 'terrorist suspects' and a majority of voters support the AZ immigration law. Just because there are polls that seem to indicate a lot of people want or support something cannot be taken as gospel that the president should push it through.

          •  If you don't cal 70%+ approval... (9+ / 0-)

            ... overwhelming public support, then I don't know what constitutes overwhelming support.

            The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

            by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:08:26 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Did you read my post? (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              askew, ETF, foufou

              I answered that question.

              •  Yes, I did. (5+ / 0-)

                And you can't end DC bickering when the Right (and too many of the Blue Dogs) refuse to honestly compromise; when they view bipartisan approaches as signs of weakness.  When that is the response to the open hand of compromise, you remove the offer and get to work at doing what needs be done.

                Furthermore, I did not vote for the possibility of change.  I did not donate, I did not make calls and pound the pavement for a chance at change - I voted for change.  It wasn't "Hope for Change" - it was "Hope and change".

                Finally, just because the public is wrong in it's mob opinion on some things, such as the AZ law, that does not mean that it was wrong on the PO.  Sometimes, good leadership is going against what the mob wants; in other cases, it is giving them what it wants and needs, and reaping the rewards from doing so.

                The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

                by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:19:06 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yes, you did vote for and work for (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  a night owl, ETF

                  the possibility of change, and if you didn't agree with candidate/senator Obama's bipartisanship message and think he was wrong about it, you still worked for him and voted for him -- that was your choice.

                  If you based your decisions on a campaign slogan, which was roundly and rightly criticized at the time as hopelessly vague and essentially meaningless, then I don't know what to say to you, except that disillusionment was inevitable, and this is something I always knew would be a problem for Obama sooner or later.

                  I learned about his feet of clay in early 2007. He had just announced his candidacy and I was intrigued and started studying him. I do not support any politician quickly or easily or based on the packaged image. I watched him give a speech in Selma, Alabama where he told a story about how his father came to American and met his mother, and thus his own very life was a result of, the events of the Civil Rights Movement and the events in Selma Alabama... from the speech:

                  "This young man named Barack Obama got one of those tickets and came over to this country. He met this woman whose great great-great-great-grandfather had owned slaves; but she had a good idea there was some craziness going on because they looked at each other and they decided that we know that the world as it has been it might not be possible for us to get together and have a child. There was something stirring across the country because of what happened in Selma, Alabama, because some folks are willing to march across a bridge. So they got together and Barack Obama Jr. was born. So don't tell me I don't have a claim on Selma, Alabama. Don't tell me I’m not coming home to Selma, Alabama."

                  Problem was, of course, that this was in large part a fabrication, and simply knowing his birthdate and the date of Selma march was all it took for this to be obvious. The campaign had to issue "clarifications" a few days later, when a few in the press questioned it, finally, but it was a story that quickly died.

                  However, it showed Obama was first and foremost a politician, who was running for president, and he needed to earn the support of the black community and address questions that he "wasn't black enough" which amazingly was one of the early "issues" his campaign had to overcome, and was willing to stretch the truth to weave a compelling narrative and connect with voters.

                  I dug much, much deeper into him... read his books, watched or read pretty much every speech he'd ever done, read up on his past, from how he got elected as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review to how he ran for his first public office and what he's done before and since.

                  I did not decide to vote or work to elect him based on a campaign slogan. Doing so is naive, IMO, although I realize it's what most people do (as they do not have the time or inclination to spend that much time researching a candidate) and that's why I knew that his campaign was to get him elected, and if it worked that there would be many disappointed and disillusioned supporters down the road. My fear was that it would happen before the election rather than after, thus losing to the republicans which would have been a monumental disaster.

                  I was amazed, frankly, to watch how the campaign unfolded and grew into a massive movement, based on the by then desperate emotional needs of so may people of this country for 'change' and their need for 'hope' (fill in the blanks yourself on what this means to you specifically) and how he continued to work the crowds and build the momentum to sweep him into the white house. It was politically masterful and will be studied for a long time. Their objective was to win, because Obama knows above all else that he could not accomplish anything if he didn't first win.

                  But I supported him knowing that he -- and even more so David Plouffe and, to a certain degree, David Axelrod -- were at heart political animals who were out to win, and that Obama at heart is a conciliator and pragmatist who believed some of his own rhetoric -- the bipartisanship, for instance -- and was also quite willing to say what needed to be said to win.

                  •  Maybe you dug deeder. (0+ / 0-)

                    But I did not vote for a campaign slogan alone.  I looked closely at all the candidates in the primary.

                    And the bottom line is that he did promise a hell of a lot more than what he's delivered.  Torture, rendition, health care, the wars, the environment, energy approaches... the list goes on and on concerning campaign stances that have been forgotten or reversed.

                    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

                    by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:06:49 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  Wrong! (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Philoguy, neroden, JRandomPoster

                    Yes, you did vote for and work for the possibility of change.

                    I voted for change.  Not wishing for it.  Not hoping for it.  

                    I voted for change as did tens of millions of other voters.  We voted for change and  not "business as usual".

                    Now we can argue this endlessly.  The fact is "you misunderstood" is not a winning campaign message.  "You weren't listening" is not a winner.  

                    It was politically masterful and will be studied for a long time.

                    What I believe will be studied for a long time is the "2008 Obama bait and switch" and how he ended up losing the 2012 election that he almost had in the bag.  

                    I think it will be a study in hubris and arrogance and the belief the public are really idiots who will buy anything.  

                    And Obama's major accomplishment may just turn out to be he got elected.  

          •  Okay then (8+ / 0-)

            Is it really necessary to twist facts to defend your position?  The polls which showed an overwhelming support for a public option were wrong because you would have lied to the pollster?  REally, is this the best you can do?  And then you pull out the red herring of being more concerned about other components of the plan (as if most people did not want all of those components).  Of course, you reach the conclusion (how vain) that everyone else (outside of the left blogosphere) was less concerned about the PO because you were less concerned about it.  Therefore, the polls were unreliable because they don't reflect your view.  Of course, you offer nothing more to back up yor claims.  How lazy and solopsistic can one get?  

            Ah, but the best is yet to come!  The president is off the hook for ignoring the PO polls because, egads, there are other polls that we wouldn't want him to follow.  

            The weakness of your argument belies a desperate attempt to throw anything out to avoid the truth of the situation.  It's intellectually pathetic and of no help to your cause.

            •  Amen. Please stick to the facts, people! (5+ / 0-)

              When you have to twist MULTIPLE poll results to conform to your opinion, perhaps your opinion is just wrong.  Take it as a red flag.

              Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

              by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:22:35 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I did not say I would "lie" to a pollster (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              ETF, ThAnswr

              and I did not twist any facts.

              i said I supported the idea of PO, and would have answered a poll that way, but that cannot be taken to mean that support was "overwhelming" or that it was the MOST important issue to me.

              Polls also did show a majority could not define what the Public Option meant. So their 'support' has to be questioned. How can they truly support something if they don't even know what it is?

              Your rude personal attacks on me don't change these facts or make them untrue.

              •  There you go again (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Philoguy, JRandomPoster, ThAnswr

                You summon the term "facts," but you still present none.  If the support for the PO was so weak, please provide your FACTS in support of your claim.  As well as your claim that support was questionable because people could not define the PO.

                Again, you claim that people could not define the PO (support, please) and then take the logical leap that because of this their support must be questioned.  Of course, you would not consider that perhaps people thought they were going to get the PO that the president campaigned on before the American people.  I am surprised that you did not take your argument to its conclusion- the president never defined the PO in detail on the campagin trail, so his support of it is also questionable.  On that point, you would have some ground to stand.  The president did deny he campaigned on the public option.

          •  And if the Thugs regain the Presidency and have (6+ / 0-)

            large majorities in Congress such as the Democrats have they will use public opinion to successfully push their agenda.

            Dubya even successfully pushed for an invasion that was not favored by the majority of Americans. He wanted to invader Iraq and he got what he wanted.

            Excess ain't rebellion. You're drinking what they're selling. - Cake

            by slatsg on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:45:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  So now the argument is ......... (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Philoguy, neroden, JRandomPoster

            ..... when is support not really support?  

            I thought we left the days of defining the "meaning of is" behind.  

      •  Every argument for action becomes an excuse (7+ / 0-)

        for inaction. Very clever.

        Money=speech; every dollar has a right to be heard. The Supremes

        by orson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:20:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Funny. I thought I wanted what Obama wanted (5+ / 0-)

        Yet somehow he doesn't want those things anymore.

        "Bush Peed all over the place and they act like Obama is the one pulling up his zipper." - Wanda Sykes.

        by SharksBreath on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:20:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It worked out well. ;) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, JRandomPoster

        He often discussed during the campaign that one form of 'change' that he  considered important was to "end to the partisan bickering in Washington" and get the parties working together to solve problems.

        How did that work out for Obama?  

        Yanno, after the first GOP kick to the Obama cojones, maybe Obama should have got a clue it wasn't going to work.  Instead, he continued on.  

        Honestly, at what point do you declare a policy a failure?  At what point do you question either the sanity or the intestinal fortitude of the policymaker?  

        For a president, results is all that counts.  

      •  No? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philoguy, neroden

        No offense intended, but how delusional does a candidate have to be to "campaign on change, win the election by 8.5 million votes, and not see that as a referendum for change?  

        How can a candidate win overwhelmingly and have his party win a majority/supermajority in Congress based on the momentum and not see that as a referendum for change?  

        One has to come to several conclusions:

        1.  The candidate lied
        1.  The candidate is delusional
        1.  The candidate is clueless
        1.  The candidate is afraid of his own shadow
        1.  The candidate is so arrogant as to believe the voter didn't know what they were voting for.

        None of those point to a winning message.  

        •  In all fairness, there is a sixth: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Philoguy, neroden, ThAnswr

          The candidate was not strong enough to overcome the momentum of the DC power games and corruption.

          Still, not a winning message.

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:01:17 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I would concede the 6th if the candidate ..... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden, JRandomPoster

            ...... was a novice to Washington.  Obama wasn't.  

            Washington has been the way it is since the Clinton administration.  Forewarned is forearmed.  

            But, even with possibility of #6, the end result is failure.  Unless, of course, the candidate learns something.  

            There's no indication Obama has.  

            Even with his "dead man walking" speech last Tuesday, he still gave a nod to "bipartisanship"

            So the question is:  Do you reward failure?  

            Quite honestly, I wouldn't feel the way I do if I ever got the sense Obama and his administration fought the good fight and still lost.  

            I feel the way I do because I don't believe there was ever a fight.  I believe the overriding philosophy was to thread a deal through the middle and just expect the voters to fall in line.

            And now November is looming on the horizon and there's unease.  

      •  It's his full time job. Not mine. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        Wouldn't it be swell if the people who are paid exorbitant amounts of money actually did what they were elected to do?

        Sorry, all the work you did last year? All the evenings and weekends you spent helping the "change" politician get the chance to enact "change"? Sorry, none of that counts now that they're in office. You are now required to spend all waking hours calling them on the phone and asking when the "change" will finally happen. Oh, and then the CoS will likely refer to you as Dirty Fucking Hippies and refuse to acknowledge you. But hey! It's almost election time! So pony up, little people.

        It's all our fault that things haven't really changed. I blame myself, really.

        Grr. Do your damn jobs. At least pretend that it matters.

      •  Oh boy, you must be disappointed! (0+ / 0-)

        One change that I wanted and voted for, for example, was a return of the executive branch to its proper role, which was what Obama promised.

        He didn't do that.  Just read Glenn Greenwald for the litany of abuses.

        So I assume you're very disappointed, CS in AZ?

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:42:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  What Did the Buddhist Monk Say When the Hotdog (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JRandomPoster

      vendor asked him, "What'll It Be?"

      One with everything!

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

      by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:31:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Assertions need to be backed up (12+ / 0-)

    I find it difficult to agree with analogies to 1933.  I think the analogy to use is 1800.  Jefferson came into office with the Federalists worried he was going to change everything.  He had bigger majorities to work with, too.  Instead, there were changes made to the Judicial system, the budget focused on reducing the deficit and that of the states, and not much more.  Obama has already accomplished far more in the political arena.  Health care reform is huge.  It is a major initiative that defines his four-year term.  Demanding other things to get done for him to be successful is setting up the Democrats for losses in faith and trust (and votes).

    Anytime a writer suggests that he knows that a famous president or leader would do such-and-such, my assertions radar goes off.  

    •  Hmmm. Jefferson did make some changes though. (0+ / 0-)

      He destroyed the Federalist party -- it never recovered -- and he made the Louisiana Purchase.

      I think you're underestimating the changes made by Jefferson.  But that said, you are right -- Jefferson ran a populist campaign, and then reneged on a bunch of his promises.  A similar bait-and-switch to Obama's.

      The thing is, Jefferson was smart -- he would never have been caught out with stuff like this oil drilling nonsense.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:46:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Well, I think the issue... (7+ / 0-)

    is whether what you're describing the President being in need of is a "comeback".
    Or rather a more realistic set of expectations.

    He SAID it would be hard...and yet we expect it to be easy.
    He SAID it would be long...and yet we expect it to be immediate.
    He SAID it would take conciliation...and yet we expect it to be unilateral.

    The fact that any progress is made in any issue when you have the "just say no" Rethugs in the halls of power is amazing.

    The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it -- GB Shaw

    by kmiddle on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:23:23 AM PDT

  •  In a moment where the Epoch is turning, (17+ / 0-)

    where what is being done now molds the next generation or more, I fear the President's advisors and mindset all spring from the mid-1990s. He has mainly Bill Clinton hands, Crazy George's picks, or Wall Street insiders as his go-to people.

    The "experts" of that era are precisely the people who've screwed up everything they've touched. Their interpretation of the political landscape leaves most of the key features of this current day out completely.

    I hope that he soon recognizes that the effort to revitalize our rotten-to-the-core status quo is a losing proposition, in regards to both the nation's needs and the Democratic Party's standing.

    Until we break the corporate virtual monopoly on what we hear and see, we keep losing, don't matter what we do.

    by Jim P on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:24:06 AM PDT

  •  the BP disaster may be Obama's springboard (11+ / 0-)

    to move forward with stronger reforms because it involves so many issues that affect so many other issues. corp greed so callous that 11 men are killed. this is not the first time, but maybe this time real criminal charges will be prosecuted to deter future corporate conduct.

    special interests getting the regulations and exemptions they want from laws that enabled the predictable harms to happen. maybe now this issue is seriously addressed.

    an environmental and human rights disaster that is likely to be repeated (including the cumulative impacts of several oil spills that might be smaller in size) unless we have a climate bill that addresses real reform and bans offshore drilling.

    I think many public views on variety of issues are changing now that they see the reality of what before may have seemed  a low risk or too abstract.

    heck, when bill o'reilly is supporting and defending obama on the BP escrow account AND the filing of criminal charges, this moment can not be ignored.  

    Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed. Mohandas K. Gandhi

    by Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:25:54 AM PDT

    •  "may be" but won't, alas. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      oscarsmom, CapeTown96

      "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

      by bigchin on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:36:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Barack Obama is not a reformer. He's (8+ / 0-)

      a talker-about-reform, and a dealmaker. He's a basher of his base and an accomodator of his Big Money corporate donors. That's all. Been enough proofs by example of that to eliminate any more benefits of the doubt. The president now has far more make up for with the Democratic base than he is even remotely capable of accomplishing.

      As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

      by Wom Bat on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:00:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hope eternal. Had he delivered Maddows speech. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, missississy, Wom Bat

        He would have had all of America cheering in the streets.  

        But Obama is running out of time and events.

        •  I know. It's terrible to watch. Obama could (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, CapeTown96

          have been one of the alltime greats. Still could, but he won't. In 1/09, people were ready to back him all the way and walk right through the opposition. But now look. He made his crummy deals, and he's sticking with them. Makes a person heartsick.

          As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

          by Wom Bat on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:25:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  NONSENSE (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          virginislandsguy

          If he gave a speech like Maddow but failed to get BP to deliver the $20 bill in escrow funds, you would be the first to criticize and say "Oh he gives fancy speeches and rhetoric, but no action...."

          Now that he delivered action, you are criticizing his speech against that of a pundit who does not have the responsibilities of governing. She can say whatever she likes and there will be no consequences for her, because she does not have a country to govern.

          This was not a campaign stomp speech, it was a gulf spill update with a reassurance to those in the gulf that they would be fully compensated for their losses and damages. It would have been foolish of the president to go on TV giving an angry speech designed to stir up and agigate - blaming and pointing fingers at the very people he has to continue working with. This is still an ongoing disaster, and if the administration is mounting a criminal prosecution, he needs to be very careful about what he says and how he says it.

          Maddows speech was intended to provide carthartic relief for her audience  - which she did quite well. The President's purpose was very different and he achieved his goal quite well too.

    •  Just as the economic collapse (6+ / 0-)

      would be the springboard for banking, wall street, credit card, and health care reforms.  Let's stop dealing in "maybes" and "what ifs" and deal with the facts-- the opportunities for serious change have been and continue to be wasted.

    •  That was a turning point (7+ / 0-)

      and it's not yet been fully acknowledged. Thank you. I was going to write a comment about this.

      We have never had a more ripe moment for change in this Presidency, where public sentiment is available to persuasion. It is both the President's job to persuade, and also ours, as activists and as caring human beings, it is our job to persuade those who have no interest in the President, all of those cynics who say it is impossible to change, this IS the moment, right now, to set aside anger, bitterness, betrayal, and disappointment, and put your shoulder to the wheel of American politics.

      I would not have said that four months ago.

      But now is the cresting moment.

      "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

      by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:26:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  That comment makes me so depressed (7+ / 0-)

      He is clearly going to do nothing of the kind.  Which means humankind is in deeper sh*t than even I thought possible.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:26:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "may be" (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, missississy, CapeTown96

      I agree with that. This is why I have been more disappointed with him recently. I don't see him doing it. I don't see clues that it will happen.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:59:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Obama wouldn't be in office (8+ / 0-)

    if he hadn't promised the people who put him there (not us) to do their bidding.  He has and we are fucked.  The pretty speeches were theatrics for the little people.  The folks Obama truly represents (banks, insurers, military, big pharma, big food) are LOVING this presidency.

    •  no way (4+ / 0-)

      everyone you named is in full throat opposition to Obama and they hate his efforts at reform, every single one. You comments are an example of why reform isn't getting done too many dems have given up and aren't working to force the refoms we all want.

      •  Er, no... Being a yes-man does (6+ / 0-)

        not produce change.  The great scientist Gregory Bateson liked to say that "information is the difference that makes a difference."  Yell fire in a theater one and it functions as information for the other people in the theater.  Yell it twice it's lost it's information value.  Those who brook no criticism of Obama have abandoned their role in politics because they're incapable of producing any information for our congress or administration.  It's as if they don't exist because they merely go along with everything the administration does.  Those of us, by contrast, who hold the presidents feet to the fire, demanding that he represent us against big money and stay true to his campaign promises are the ones who contribute to the production of change.

        •  that and $1.00 (0+ / 0-)

          will buy you a cup of coffee.

          The only change that will ever happen in this country is if

          (a) electronic voting /tabulating machines are outlawed
          (b) political careerism is ended
          (c) everyone in government now is out and replaced by people who embody the values of MOST Americans and not just a fringe few.

          Then we can begin to see some change:

          (d) every constitutional short cut enacted since Nixon through current is repealed
          (e) the "filibuster" is put back into the filibuster
          (f) successive terms in office are prohibited
          (g) primary elections are abolished
          (h) the electoral college is abolished and Americans are able to vote directly for their presidential choice
          (i) Civics, government and history are once again taught in schools
          (j) the conservative media monopoly is broken up;  
          (k) public broadcasting licenses are once again issued only to broadcasters who meet Equal Time standards (YES the Fairness Doctrine and all amendments thereto needs to be reinstated -- Reagan's first official act was to ABOLISH them...and this country has gone straight into the crapper since Reagan)
          (m) "News" is removed from the "profit" center and re-consigned to the public interest obligations of broadcasting licencees;
          (n) the two wars are ENDED and the gazillions spent on them redistributed to taxpayers)
          (o) The Federal Reserve is repealed.

          That's just for starters.  But first, Americans have to understand that they need to get in governments' face.  We need our own Bastille day and soon.  Then, we need about 535 Mr. Smiths in Washington.

          Obama is a fraud, he suckered all of us.  Let's face facts and then move on.

          •  good luck on that shit (0+ / 0-)

            especially this....

            We need our own Bastille day and soon.

            but then after a bunch are slaughtered you want this...

            Then, we need about 535 Mr. Smiths in Washington.

            First murder then fiction. hahahha great political thinking... heh

      •  All of this "full throat opposition" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tmo

        you mention is pure theatre.  In fact, big biz is getting everything it wants and then some.

  •  Obama is a "moderate" (10+ / 0-)

    the mistake too often made on dkos is thinking Obama is such a reformer that he'll man the barricades for progressive ideas. To get that we should have elected Jesse jackson as the first black president. Obama is one who wants to effect change by convincing big majorities to demand it thus he hates to muscle through his agenda over GOP objection much less democratic objections. As you said above...

    Barack Obama made very clear in his statements before, during and after the campaign that he did not think any one president could accomplish major changes all alone. He has said on multiple occasions that he doesn't have all the answers. He has said that no party or person has a monopoly on good ideas. He has said that change will not come from himself, but from the unity of millions of people demanding it. He has said change is slow, difficult and, at times, frustrating. At many opportunities, he has made an effort to make sure the people understand their role in his presidency, which is to act as agents of change where he cannot.

    With this understood liberals who want action should quit sitting on their hands crying along with the wailing rightwing, they need to get to work convincing people that the reforms we need are in their best interests. For Obama to move he don't need his supporters calling him names and deconstructing his every word or action. He needs more and better democrats who have his back on the issues and are out there at work making sure things like HCR are understood and supported by the mass of people.

    •  Well, if he campaigned as a moderate, I missed it (14+ / 0-)

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

      by accumbens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:30:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Me, you and millions of others. (9+ / 0-)

        What a winning strategy:  You misunderstood.  ;

      •  For sure, I never thought him a progressive. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        3goldens, neroden, ETF

        Lotsa people here want him to be. Moderate? Maybe on social issues.

        I never thought of him as a 'reform' President. A centrist is going to make changes, yes; reforms not so much.

        And when a centrist candidate requires bipartisan support when he takes office, well that means a whole lot less change.

      •  Many people did miss it, that is true (3+ / 0-)

        A great many people projected their wishes onto him and imagined what they wanted to see, instead of researching him and learning about who they were supporting.

        •  In other words, you can't believe what they (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          3goldens, Philoguy, neroden, missississy

          tell you and how they act.  Certainly, nothing new or different there.

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

          by accumbens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:23:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  And others went off what they saw and read. (6+ / 0-)

          And I still don't think that the conclusions were poor ones, given the data we were given.

          On wars, we had him saying that we had to win in Afghanistan, and withdraw from Iraq.  We had his famous speech concerning Iraq.  Who would have thought that complete withdrawal from Iraq would come to mean 50,000 permanently stationed troops, and no announced definition of what compromises victory in Afghanistan?

          Similarly, who would have taken his words on torture and the rule of law to mean continuing FISA, to increase operations in Bagram, to continue rendition, and to stomp down on whistleblowers instead of the actual criminals?

          Given what was on his web site, which was in favor of a PO and against mandates (whereas Hillary's was the opposite), who'd have imagined that he'd take the stances as the HCR debate continued that he would?

          He openly mocked "Drill, baby drill".  Who would have thought that he'd try to open up more offshore drilling?

          The list goes on.  GLBT rights, controlling Wall Street, the environment, energy issues... He may not have been everything that everyone thought he was, but Candidate Obama most certainly painted a different picture of what he'd do than what President Obama is doing.

          Many may have seen more in him than he was actually promising.  But seriously - if there was blindness on the part of the voters, it was certainly encouraged by the campaign, starting with the "Hope and Change" slogan itself.

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:34:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The right moves steadily righward... (6+ / 0-)

      ... constantly.  And they manage to sell their bullcrap to their base, fooling them into thinking that their corporatist solutions are somehow going to help the people on Main Street.

      It seems that in the President's and his administration's attempt to find bipartisan solutions and work with both sides of the aisle, the President is also being moved to the right.  Even what was considered centrist two years ago has been moved to the right.

      And the right is not afraid to be heard, and to stick with their guns.  They embrace the politicians and supporters who push hard for their goals, who put their right wing solutions first, and fight hard for them.  It sometimes seems that instead of the left worrying about the politics of the big tent so much that we should be worrying about the solutions that the politics of the left are supposed to be concerning themselves with.  If we were to do this, the politics would take care of themselves rather nicely.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:40:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The question isn't what he is (4+ / 0-)

      It's what the country needs... right now.  Not two to four years from now... maybe... if only the village will let me...  We are at one of the most dangerous crossroads we've come to in our history.

      I really thought Obama had the mettle to rise to this critical moment, despite his have-it-both-ways campaign language. Maybe not.

      www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

      by chuckvw on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:29:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  hahahahaha! (17+ / 0-)

    The new self-proclaimed "true progressive" whine: Obama isn't as good as Lincoln.

    (facepalm)

    Thanks for the early morning lols!

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:28:06 AM PDT

  •  Countering GOP lies (7+ / 0-)

    The campaign is NEVER over.

    Particularly because the GOP is a power-seeking, not governance seeking, party.

    The leadership lies daily about Obama--shakedown, Obama's Katrina, yada yada--solely for the purpose of undermining him.

    Obama has to campaign just to stay even.

    And campaign harder to win.

  •  Sounds like (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tote, m00finsan

    you are "saying the President could be 'more progressive.'" And then explaining why and how.

    There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

    by srkp23 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:29:53 AM PDT

  •  This is just one (9+ / 0-)

    minor detail which is different about our current President:

    Governing while in brown skin

    Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

    by pvlb on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:30:48 AM PDT

    •  thank you!! yes the First Black POTUS (7+ / 0-)

      should just really be more like a dead white guy

      right......

      "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

      by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:14:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You're not suggesting that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden

      we shouldn't elect people of color because they're unable to do an effective job, are you?

      •  Black Tax (10+ / 0-)

        and you should know it

        Twice as effective and still the sniping

        "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

        by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:33:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for doing (8+ / 0-)

          the legwork, Sis Sooth. I didn't feel like reproving the same shit for the upteenth time.

          Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

          by pvlb on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:36:47 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I'm not sure what that link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chumley

          has to do with my question.  It seems to me that you're suggesting that Obama can't be an effective president because of the color of his skin.  Given that the presidency is about effectively representing the people, not about the president, that leads inexorably to the conclusion that we shouldn't elect people of color because they're unable to do what they're elected to do.  I think you need to significantly rethink this line of defense.

          •  Obama IS an effective president (9+ / 0-)

            the overt and color-blind racists just have real hard time giving him any credit

            "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

            by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:40:46 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But now you're changing the goalposts... (0+ / 0-)

              initially the thesis was that Obama can't do anything because of his skin color.  What is it?

              •  no stop willfully mis-reading (4+ / 0-)

                "....while there is a soul in prison, I am not free." Eugene V. Debs

                by soothsayer99 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:40:10 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'm not willfully misreading... (0+ / 0-)

                  This thread began with the assertion that Obama couldn't accomplish as much because of his skin color.  As someone who voted for Obama, campaigned for Obama, and gave far more money than I could afford to Obama, I find this line of argument extremely disturbing.  It entails that I was misguided to do these things because social conditions are such that he is unable to do his job effectively.  Again, I think you should rethink your argument, for it entails, from a pragmatic point of view, that regardless of our own positions on race, we shouldn't elect people of color because they're unable to effectively represent our interests due to racism.

                  •  I guess you enjoy (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pvlb, soothsayer99

                    re-interpreting other peoples comments. I'm not your only victim.

                    Come To Arizona - It's a DRY Hate!

                    by kitebro on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:48:26 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That is absolutely not what is being said (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    kitebro, soothsayer99

                    What is being said is that POTUS is not receiving credit for his achievement, something which is demonstrably true in a diary which completely glosses over the manner in which both Lincoln and FDR made concessions to the respective status quos of their contexts, even while on the way to greatness.  I know my slave ancestry wasn't lauding Lincoln when his efforts to compromise the country out of the Civil War.  These are aspects of otherwise great presidencies which are simply glossed over and ignored.  This diary makes me very sad.

                    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                    by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:23:24 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

              •  Who the fuck said that? (5+ / 0-)

                Sooth has provided information that The President is MORE effective than other effective Presidents.

                I'm suggesting that an Angry Black Man attitude of 'fuck you all, I'm going to do whatever I think should be done', might just render The President The Dead President.  For which I substantiated the idea.

                And just to dispel false equivalencies between The President and FDR, please have a look at this diary by Puakev and his comment here and do a little research into the composition of the 73rd through 79th Congresses of the US, and what the makeup of the 96 member senate was.  I've done that research, I'm not doing it for you.

                Equivalencies between FDR and The President are false ones, which betray the ignorance of those drawing the equivalencies.

                Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

                by pvlb on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:42:43 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  You said that... You're saying that (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  chumley

                  the president can't rise to the challenge because it would brand him as an "angry black man".  Unfortunately Americans don't have the luxury of dealing with the limitations imposed on higher office by racism when faced with a tanking economy and a looming environmental catastrophe.  If what you say is true it entails that Obama is not the president for our times because he faces limitations that prevent him from doing what needs to be done.  My point is that your line of argument is self-defeating.  Additionally, "getting angry" isn't the only way to work the bully pulpit.  Y'all should really stop making excuses.  I endlessly hear about how Obama is powerless from the apologists.  All that tells me is that he shouldn't be president.  I prefer to believe he's not powerless.

                  •  Go right ahead (4+ / 0-)

                    and spin.  You should work for someone who's elected.  What you're persisting into reading in that bears no remote resemblance to what I've said, written and substantiated could really come in handy for someone.

                    Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

                    by pvlb on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:21:23 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  What you claim (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    ETF, soothsayer99

                    "needs to be done" is a road to nowhere.  Ranting and raving wouldn't solve a damn thing.  President Obama is not a progressive version of Bush, and all of the people holding out for a bunch of footstomping, screaming, red meat and nonsense are in for a very long 7 years.

                    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                    by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:26:07 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Putting pressure on the administration (0+ / 0-)

                      has already had a significant impact on his policies and decisions.  By contrast, those who simply accept and support everything the president does might as well not exist as they don't influence policy in any way.

                      •  LMAO (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        soothsayer99

                        Downplaying his achievements is not "putting pressure."  POTUS loves dissent from what I've read and am sure has seen or heard these FDR/Lincoln arguments, and his view of blogs and the media is very well known (he simply has a poor view of us and would likely be rolling his eyes at the factionalization on all sides here, putting us all on ignore).  But if folks want to imagine otherwise, be my guest.  From what I'm seeing, this person responds to logic, facts, and reason as well as people maturely seeking consensus rather than dividing into factions and fighting; if this blog wants a pipeline into the WH, that would be a much easier route than simply screaming about everything and hoping that it attracts attention.

                        climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                        by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:04:03 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Wow, now who's putting words in (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          TJ

                          the mouth of others?  Nowhere did I talk about the president's achievements or lack thereof.  I was referring to the pressure we've put on him regarding financial reform, healthcare reform, and more recently the BP oil spill.  Public outrage over his handling of these things has, in each instance, been accompanied by action on the part of the administration in a more leftward direction.  That's far more than can be said about the inaction of those who believe that everything the administration is doing is hunky dory.

                          •  I couldn't disagree more (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            soothsayer99

                            with the exception of HCR, in which pressure placed upon congress yielded results.  I think that POTUS' plans for the oil spill are what they are, and have nothing to do with the 24 hour news cycle whether on TV or blogs; he openly said as much to people clamoring for theater and using the lack thereof as an excuse to spread lies about POTUS supposedly not doing anything about the oil spill.  All that's being achieved is to make this blog less and less reality-based, which is truly a shame.  I have so much affection for this blog, and don't want to see it detached from reality or overrun by ideologues who admit no facts or nuance.

                            climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                            by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:11:08 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Really, you don't think growing (0+ / 0-)

                            public outrage played a roll in him stepping up his trips to the gulf, coming down harder on BP, giving his speech, and getting the 20 billion out of them?  There is a group that's become less and less reality centered, but it's not among the progressives.  The Obama apologists increasingly sound like Bush true believers that had convinced themselves that every decision Bush made was brilliant, that the media just wasn't truthfully reporting things, and that all of Bush's great accomplishments just weren't getting reported.  If I hadn't known you for so long on this blog I would seriously wonder if you weren't a plant.  The narratives between apologists in the last administration and in this administration sound uncannily similar.

                          •  I think that from the beginning (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            soothsayer99

                            he chose to investigate what was happening, and get familiar with the facts, chugging along towards solutions as the media demanded a Commander Codpiece moment which he simply refused to give them.  You really think that people like Dr. Chu give a flying fuck about sensationalists in the media?  LOL!!!!!!!!!

                            I can back up all of the above with FACT.  Not narratives or insults about being like a Bushist, but documented fact.  That anyone thinks that POTUS pulled a twenty billion dollar escrow fund out of his behind in response to the ignorance of the 24 hour news cycle is evidence of the drama addiction which the traditional media cultivates.  And that escrow fund is only reported because it's easy to understand and catchy; POTUS has done much more than that and from jump has chosen to go all in, in direct comparison with the oilish Bush I's response to the Exxon spill.

                            And I could really go there in terms of matching your insults tit for tat yet am choosing to set an example of civility and will simply state that you are incorrect.

                            climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                            by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:51:57 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

      •  Of course I am (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927, sherijr, Adept2u, foufou, soothsayer99

        /snark

        What I'm suggesting is that perfection (in every individual's personal interpretation of what that means) not be the standard of 'effective'.

        And, isn't there some statistic out there, that The President has been more effective than any other in getting legislation through congress?  Even more effective than LBJ?

        Master's degreed tri-lingual professional looking for work. Email in profile.

        by pvlb on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:36:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, but I am not buying. (16+ / 0-)
    Do you see any hints that the GOP will ever crumble from pressure and yield to the majority?

    I do not. Congressional GOP are rock solid in solidarity against everything the President and the dems are proposing. That ain't changing...no matter how many great speeched the President gives.

    As has been pointed out,Lincoln and FDR had real majorities,with opposition not nearly as unified as the GOP is now against Obama.

    As for Bush getting tax cuts and war votes...well,tax cuts are a much easier sell to american voters than tax increase(duh) and costly programs...period.

    As for the War...bloodlust was in the air after 9/11...another easy sell to voters.

    None of these kinds of iniatives compares to painful changes that Obama wants to push thru like cap and trade,healthcare for uninsured,immigration reform..you know, stuff that actually rocks the boat for voters.

    The GOP has one plan...oppose everything. They have the votes to make it work. Nothing that the President can do to change that..nothing.

    •  Why would Pukes ever yield to (4+ / 0-)

      the majority? President Obama has seen to it that their intransigence carries no costs for them. Obama's reaching out to Repugs has been an exercise in futility--or perhaps in naivete, or perhaps in covering Dems' intent not to pass any progressive legislation. Regardless, Obama's quest for bipartisanship has continually rewarded the GOP. Just 18 months ago, Repugs was all but written off for the next decade. They probably won't capture either house of congress this November, but they've come a long way back. Bipartisanship: a damn stupid hole in the ground, down which Barack Obama's presidential leadership has mainly disappeared.

      As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

      by Wom Bat on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:54:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Be specific. (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        askew, GN1927, ETF, foufou, moonpal
        What exactly should the President do to make them pay for their obstructionism?
        Should he arrest and detain them?
        Outside of that,how can he make them pay?

        Unless he can somehow take their power to vote in congress away...they are out of his reach.

        •  In my opinion, (0+ / 0-)

          arrest and detention are a great idea! With all the dismal stuff happening now and his pretty-speech play losing its punch, what the president needs is a snappy panem et circenses routine like clapping Boehner and McConnell in irons. The WH should give you a job.

          As a scientist, Throckmorton knew that if he ever were to break wind in the echo chamber, he would never hear the end of it. --Bulwer-Lytton Contest entry

          by Wom Bat on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:30:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  "The Cult of the American Presidency" (9+ / 0-)

      That would be a more appropriate title of this diary.

      In modern times, things just don't work the way the diarist would like them to.  Parties have become much, much more ideologically homogenous, and it's difficult to be as omnipotent as the diarist describes when 40% of the country is always going to be dead set against you.

  •  This is exactly right... (9+ / 0-)

    Those who have been frustrated with the last year often get a lot of flack for believing the president is "superman" or that he can just "wave his magic wand" and make things change.  That misses the entire point.  Everyone understand that the administration won't get everything it wants.  What's so frustrating is that these things aren't even put on the table and that no attempt is made to persuade the American public that these things are best for American.  Step up to the plate President Obama.  Use that great rhetorical talent you have to persuade the American people.  The only way these things will become possible is if people get persuaded.  Stop behaving like a member of the senate and define your vision.

    •  This is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philoguy, Robobagpiper

      pretty much how I see it.  There are strong, convincing arguments to be made that Democratic policies can change things for the better and we have no one on our side who can get the attention to make these arguments but the President.

      The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. - 9th Amendment

      by TracieLynn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:55:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  we want to see them try harder (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Philoguy

      esp. by speaking out more.

      Here's an apropos comment from his science advisor re global warming:

      When asked by Rick Piltz of Climate Science Watch when the President will address the American people in a speech focused specifically on climate change, Holdren answered:

         "I certainly expect that there will be at some point going forward – I can’t tell you exactly when it will be – but there certainly will be a major speech by the President that puts this all together in a forceful way. Because the fact is, it’s true: it’s not enough that I’m out there saying it, that Steve Chu’s out there saying it, that Jane Lubchenco’s out there saying it. It is far, far more powerful when the president says it.  And he will do that...The President understands with crystal clarity what a big deal this is....He believes in it.  He understands it.  And we’re going to get it done."

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:05:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  my 91 year old Grandfather (20+ / 0-)

    made a really powerful observation(at least to me) last week.

    He said that just watching politics play out on tv, reading about it on the internet, and/or listening to political pundits on the radio just perpetuates the illusion that you are actually involved in the political process.

    you aren't, you're only watching it go by

    The greatest trick the devil every pulled was convincing half of America the GOP gives a damn about them

    by blingbling65 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:31:38 AM PDT

    •  Your grandfather is quite a (0+ / 0-)

      cynic and he's right - if people are ONLY reading about politics and passively listening to political news. I would like to think that the people here at Daily Kos are here because they are getting informed and staying involved by writing letters and emails to their representatives and making sure that their voices are being heard. If we are not doing that, then we deserve whatever we get, which probably will not be what we really want.

      He who is carried away by his own importance seldom has far to walk back.

      by StateOfGrace on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:14:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  There's a lot of truth to this, but (0+ / 0-)

      I'm not as pessimistic as that.  I think collectives like dailykos and Moveon have been very effective in putting pressure on the media and our elected officials and moving them, ever so slowly, in a leftward direction.

    •  Wish grandfather a happy Fathers Day for me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ETF, foufou

      and thank him for speaking this insight to all of us.

      Thanks for sharing it.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:54:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But Even People Watching the Circus Parade (0+ / 0-)

      can get elephant shit all over them.

      (Tell Grmaps that one and tell me if he laughs his dentures out. - no offence meant to your grandfather).

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

      by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:43:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting view, but (10+ / 0-)

    based on a view that many Kossacks have, but aside from our saying it to one another, does not appear to be supportable.

    You say:

    The people are, more than they have been in years, receptive to broad, deep and fundamental shifts in the direction this country is headed. What seems to be holding back all this change is presidential leadership more concerned with process and procedure rather than removing minor obstacles using the mandate of popular will.

    On what is this based?  Is the public really receptive to these "broad, deep and fundamental shifts" or just passively waiting for whatever they are "given"?  Will they give up their big cars and SUVs without incentives to do so?  Will they pay more for electricity as changes in the way it is delivered are imposed?

    Or will they complain about big government and their "taxes"?

    We know what the news media will say and do?  Will the public disagree? Or will they just change the channel?

    A president can only lead if he has support from the public to do so.  The fundamental changes that President Roosevelt brought on were, sadly, made possible by the near demise of countless numbers of Americans.

    A public which defines civic responsibility as being to vote every fourth year and to otherwise sit back and talk about "what Obama has done" is bound to be disappointed constantly.  People who believe that the things they say to their friends and neighbors basically represent the majority opinion of the country, will almost always be mystified as to why the President doesn't just "do" what we all want, or say what we all believe.

    I posted that last paragraph  here yesterday, but either the headline or the lead did not appeal to many people. Still, so many want the world to be different than it is, that they believe that by saying so it is so.

    Important whining and Red Sox stuff at http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/

    by Barth on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:31:53 AM PDT

    •  Obama doesn't even have support from (10+ / 0-)

      progressives never mind the public  

      A president can only lead if he has support from the public to do so.

      [W]e got our mops and brooms out, we're cleaning stuff out, and they're just sitting there saying, `Hold the broom better, that's not how you mop.'

      by Kitty on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:00:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  President Obama has tremendous (4+ / 0-)

        support from all progressives so long as he doesn't push through legislation that disproportionately benefits big money.

        •  where is it? (7+ / 0-)

          progressives supporting Obama and given him credit for anything is just about non-existent.  

          [W]e got our mops and brooms out, we're cleaning stuff out, and they're just sitting there saying, `Hold the broom better, that's not how you mop.'

          by Kitty on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:32:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Go back and reread what (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Robobagpiper

            I wrote carefully.

            •  I stand by my statement (9+ / 0-)

              you are implying that Obama, community organizer gets no support because he loves big money.  In other words he is a corporatist.  As soon as he stops sucking up to big money, he'll get some support from you.

              o.k.   over and out

              [W]e got our mops and brooms out, we're cleaning stuff out, and they're just sitting there saying, `Hold the broom better, that's not how you mop.'

              by Kitty on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:40:58 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Although Obama's recent handling (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mightymouse

                of BP coupled with a few statements he and members of his administration have made, I don't see how any reasonable person can argue, with a straight face, that Obama's policies so far haven't been disproportionately tilted towards corporate interests.  Whether we're talking about the Wall Street insiders he packed his financial team with, his handling of the financial collapse and his give aways to big money over the American people, his legislation that benefited insurance companies, or his capitulation to big pharma, he has again and again sided with corporations.  To that list we could add his support of politicians like Blanche Lincoln and Joe Lieberman or his misguided attempts at bipartisanship.

                •  This is how Republicans survive (0+ / 0-)

                  These slogans---the suggestion that the President serves "corporate interests" and is unworthy of support---the pox on both their houses approach where those who would otherwise support a Democrat either stay home or coalesce around Henry Wallace in the 1950s, John Anderson in the 1970s and 80s, Ralph Nader thereafter are the gift to Republicans that keeps on giving us a President Reagan or President Bush.

                  I am a reasonable person.  President Obama is the most progressive president we have had since Vietnam swamped President Johnson.  He is up against forces much stronger than those allayed against Presidents Johnson and Kennedy and the voters, a stupid lot easily led around by loud voices on television, are philosophically split almost down the middle.

                  The boycott by those who can't support a president if he does not agree with them on every single issue, tilts the whole field the wrong way.

                  So, thanks.

                  Important whining and Red Sox stuff at http://edsbarth.blogspot.com/

                  by Barth on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 07:01:17 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Progressives have been kicked in the mouth. (0+ / 0-)

        Too many times by this president.

        That I would have never seen coming from his campaign.

        I was a Hillary supporter. I'll give her one thing that
        she would have known that Obama hasn't figured out yet.

        That the GOP wants to destroy him.

        How can you negotiate with someone who wants to see you fail.

        Then kick the people in the mouth who supported you.  

        "Bush Peed all over the place and they act like Obama is the one pulling up his zipper." - Wanda Sykes.

        by SharksBreath on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:31:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder what (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    badger, TracieLynn, esquimaux, orestes1963
    the philosophical discussions will be like around here when the Catfood Commission recomends a 25% cut in Social Security payments. We need to organized on this FAST.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:34:33 AM PDT

  •  Missed opportunity (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Philoguy, mightymouse, bigchin

    I think he could have molded public sentiment to his favor if he'd been more daring from the start. But the window of opportunity is closing quickly. Soon, the Dem majorities will be weakened or lost and the chance to set a new course for America will be gone. At this point, if I had to sum up Obama and the Dem majority, it would be, "missed opportunity." They don't come around very often.

    •  Like arrest Bush and Cheney day one. (0+ / 0-)

      The rule of law would have returned and the GOP would have acted like the cowards they really are.

      He wouldn't have half the problems he has now with the
      GOP if those two criminals were arrested.  

      "Bush Peed all over the place and they act like Obama is the one pulling up his zipper." - Wanda Sykes.

      by SharksBreath on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:33:40 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Window of opportunity"? (5+ / 0-)

      He never had a "window of opportunity".  He walked into a disaster on day one.  We were on the verge of financial collapse.  Everything that has and has not been done is connected to that reality.  

      "Armageddon was yesterday. Today we have a serious problem."

      by Lying eyes on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:56:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Excuses, excues (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Philoguy

        The window of opportunity I was referring to is the rather rare event of a president having big majorities in the House and Senate from his own party. What better situation to have when walking into a disaster on day one. But you raise an interesting point. He not only could have used those fleeting majorities to make bold changes but he could have also used the actual disasters themselves to argue the need for bold changes. (Think shock doctrine in reverse). But those kind of bold initiatives only seem to occur when conservative are in charge.

        It's all oil under the bridge now. The window is closing. For whatever reason, Obama chose to not take advantage of these gifts.

  •  Obama has failed the "leadership" test so far. (10+ / 0-)

    Someone made a desperate attempt to compare Obama to Teddy Roosevelt and in so doing highlighted Obama's failure of Presidential leadership.

    TR and the bully pulpit, laying out the progressive policy and why it is right and fighting for it, certainly compromising as political realities demand on the final result but first and foremost staking out THE RIGHT THING TO DO AND FIGHTING FOR IT.

    Looking at health care example, Obama never did any of the basics of good leadership.

    A. He never laid out the progressive policy (European health care systems).  Obama never even proposed the weak reforms he campaigned on such as public option.

    B. He never explained why health care needed it (20% of GDP in US vs. 10% in Europe, 40,000 dead a year, bankruptcy or health choices).

    C. He never fought to make the right policy happen. He started with worst case compromise and got less than that in the process. He excoriated liberals for almost passing public option.

    We see Obama's failed leadership repeated on almost every issue.  Most recently on the Gulf oil blowout. He never lead on it. Sitting back, as he did on health care. Even his attempt to play catchup when he knew he had failed in leadership on the oil spill was a failure for the same reasons. Obama expects others to set the agenda and then he wants to play Solomon with the resulting "baby". That is OK for justice but it bad leadership.

    Getting back to the TR comparison, TR was arguably America's most environmentally progressive president. To see US Gulf coast destroyed like this, he would have attacked, literally and figuratively. We would likely be seeing BP lawyers arguing for habeas corpus to get execs out of Navy brigs.  We would see armies of people, with TR in the lead, doing an oil Dunkirk on LA beaches.

    Instead we have Obama, sitting back while NOAA lowballs the problem. Sitting back while EPA allows the dispersant disaster. His, now clearly revealed uniformed decision, to push East coast oil drilling. His continued push for Gulf coast oil drilling, including current operating deep water wells which, as we know, are time bombs waiting to go off.

    From beginning (health care) to end (Gulf oil blowout) Obama has failed the leadership test.

    We see the growing discontent on DKOS own front page as issue after issue, liberals and progressives lose and Obama fails to lead, and Obama supporters drop off and DKOS front page criticism ratchets up issue after issue.

    I voted for Obama over Hillary because I thought he would best articulate the reasons for liberal policies vs. Hillary who spoke in Senatorease.

    But Obama has failed to do that in every important issue. He failed the first test of leadership.

    •  Just not true. (7+ / 0-)

      He fought for healthcare reform at a time when many of his Democratic Congressional leaders were practically begging him to back off.  Rahm told him to back off.  They felt it would be too politically destructive to put additional pressure on businesses during a huge economic crisis.

      Of course, Obama was right and the conventional Washington wisdom was wrong.

      Obama pushed repeatedly for the public option and actually got it in the end - a quietly-added nonprofit option that will compete openly with the for-profit systems on the Exchange, and ought to do quite well as a result.

      We had an opportunity to end the employer/business tax breaks that cost $200+ billion each year, and that could have happened if we would have passed something like Wyden's bill instead of the mess that Baucus got through instead.  The labor unions effectively killed Wyden's proposal because they like being able to claim health insurance as part of the compensation package that they can garner for their members.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:52:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Enough people feel he did NOT fight hard (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        CapeTown96

        enough for HCR that it's a big problem for him.  In politics, perception is everything, and he's savvy enough to know that.

        He could have done things differently, and he chose not to.

        Do not make excuses for him.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:41:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Who said anything about excuses? (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          a night owl, ETF

          You don't need excuses when you have the facts on your side.

          The fact is that Obama pushed hard for a public option and got it in the House bill.  He pushed for it in the Senate and got a weakened version.  If Martha Coakley would have won in Massachusetts, it would've been a whole different end game.

          These are not excuses.  They're facts.

          Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

          by Benintn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:26:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  A European Healtchare System??? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nina, mahakali overdrive, moonpal

      Several European countries use private insurers as the basis for their healthcare system, just as we do here. Switzerland is one example.

      Did you have any other points?

    •  And healthcare spending not 20% of GDP in the US (4+ / 0-)

      It's twice as much as many other developed countries but the number is more like 15% versus 8%, or 16% versus 10%.

      Again, I respect your right to your own opinions but you don't have the right to your own facts.

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:53:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I hear this... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Philoguy, Robobagpiper

    ". . . presidential power mainly resting on the ability of these men to shape public opinion with their words . . ."

    Loud an clear.

    What has a "political realist" done for you lately?

    by papicek on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:37:12 AM PDT

  •  He'd Better Hurry, He's Almost Out of Time With (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, Philoguy, Cali Techie

    these sizable majorities. He'll have to move to the center after November.

    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 Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:37:31 AM PDT

  •  Lincoln didn't have to deal with much opposition. (11+ / 0-)

    They seceeded, remember?

  •  Democratic Leadership Opposes Molding Opinion (8+ / 0-)

    That's the job of the Republicans and media.

    Their job is to offer something a little better than the Republicans and pick off the moderates.

    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 Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:39:09 AM PDT

  •  The 73rd Congress (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, citizenx

    In the firt two years of his presidency, FDR had 60 Democratic senators, 35 Republican and 1 in Farmer-Labor party. That is 63% vs. 36%. Before losing MA, 111th had 60 to 41.

    The news: whether you like it or not. -- James Poniewozik

    by RhodaA on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:39:47 AM PDT

  •  Correction: 60% to 40% (0+ / 0-)

    The news: whether you like it or not. -- James Poniewozik

    by RhodaA on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:41:30 AM PDT

  •  .. 'fire in the belly' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, TracieLynn, Robobagpiper

    Barack doesn't have much of it, it's not part of who he is. He does show a flicker of anger, impatience and exasperation, but there's no fire. I read his books, I listened to his speeches. In 2005, I asked him when he posted here where the fire was.

    http://www.dailykos.com/...

    Trouble is, Americans look for that fire in a political leader. In fact, the one thing that can transcend politics is that 'fire in the belly', when tempered with intellect and most importantly, a plan to address the crucial problems we face.

    I don't see it.  

    I post at dailykos, and all I've got show for it is this meta-headache.

    by shpilk on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:42:58 AM PDT

  •  What this really comes down to is the economy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, ETF, JRandomPoster

    The comparisons to FDR are useful. There are VERY similar factors at play. We have a President who inherited a great depression, one that was created largely by the gutting of the Glass-Steagal act of the New Deal. What that President ran on was progressive, anti-corporate change. He's charismatic, a moving speaker, and believes in a larger role for government than the one we have right now, in order to meet our incredible challenges.

    There are other analogies. The Weimar republic and other immature democracies that were also faced with the crisis of the great depression spring to mind. What all these cases have in common is that they constituted an executive override of the legislature, to varying degrees. That is the crux. Crises hapen. There's no need to complicate THAT. In ancient Rome, they had a method of dealing with the crises wherein the Senate granted absolute power to the Ceasar, but after a set period of time, the power ended and things went back to normal. Our constitution doesn't allow for such things, so any time there is a change in power, it leaves legislative residue, if now constitutional change.

    So this is a complex and not-easy debate to win, for either side. But the FDR example seems precisely analogous. FDR DID ask congress for extra power, and got it, changed the country for the better, but didn't alter the fundamental balance of power. Instead, he worked to hold together a "strange bedfellows" coalition and when he couldn't, the policies sucked. Look at the GI bill, and read Ira Katznelson' book, "when affirmative action was white," if you are interested in learning more on this.

    At the end of the day, this diarist makes a good point in that we can't simply let the President fail because he doesn't have the grassroots pressure of a 1970's anti-war movement pushing him to make major change. What we can do, however, is recognize that as a constitutional scholar himself, Obama is operating in all of our best interests as he sees them. I like the comparisons to FDR, but the important difference may well be in personality. FDR was not nearly as wonkish and scholarly as Obama by a long shot. But he was uncannily politically savvy. Perhaps if the country was as scared and ready for radical change now as then, we would actually see BETTER, more PROGRESSIVE changes than even the New Deal could bring. For now though, I wouldn't mind seeing him put resources into changing the filibuster law, provided we don't get killed in November.

    I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

    by tote on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:49:59 AM PDT

  •  This fundamentally ignores (4+ / 0-)

    That no amount of inspiring rhetoric from Obama would make the choices Obama has made less corporatist and more progressive.

    Obama's words can be as beautifully progressive as anyone's.  But it's his actions that must be objectively analyzed.

    And in his actions, he consistently performs as a corporatist.  Putting large corporations and their interests first and foremost, with small and limited benefits for anyone else if possible.

    "It turns out, by the way, that oil rigs today generally don't cause spills." -President Barack Obama, April 2, 2010

    by gila on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:50:53 AM PDT

    •  While true to some extent... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TracieLynn, neroden

      ... strong oratory, calling out the names of those who obstruct change and not rewarding those who stand in the way of change (e.g., Lincoln, et. al.) would have a significant impact, even now.

      Why?  Because it would affect the reelection chances of the legislature.  By getting the electorate energized, which Presidential oratory can do, it would help to push our legislators towards supporting real change.

      It's never to late to change one's approach.  Maybe opportunities have been wasted, but that doesn't mean we have to surrender the possibility of change moving forward.

      The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

      by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:02:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He'd better hurry up then (6+ / 0-)

        Frankly, I don't see it happening. I'm a big fan of the hands-off approach to management, but that doesn't mean you should never ever get involved, especially in a crisis.

        Obama inherited a huge mess caused by policies put in place by the Republicans. He was given the majorities he needed in Congress to get things done, yet very little is being done.

        Why? Lack of leadership. No he's not a dictator, but he's not a figurehead either. He has power and authority but he seems very unwilling to use it. That's fine when things are going well but when things need to be fixed, he needs to pick up a wrench.

        When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

        by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:04:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You can have a "hands off" approach... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden, mightymouse, Cali Techie

          ... and still be a strong leader.

          During my career, I've had all sorts of managers.  The best one's - those that I try to emulate now that I'm a bit more senior - are those who set high goals, and then stood back and let folks get to work.

          But the assumption there is that folks want to work, that they are driven towards results.  When those reporting to you don't want to produce, then you have to get involved, to mentor, and sometimes, get out the proverbial stick.

          One can be a strong leader without micromanaging.  The carrot approach is, IMO, far preferable.  But sometimes, the carrot needs to come out.

          The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

          by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:14:43 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The carrot has been out (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Philoguy, neroden, JRandomPoster

            it's time for the stick. Obama needs to start using the bully pulpit to get Congress, specifically the Senate off of its ass and getting it done.

            Unfortunately I don't think his agenda quite matches ours. He campaigned on sweeping change, but there hasn't been much of that.

            When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

            by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:18:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Agree. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              neroden, Cali Techie

              Though, part of me still thinks that President Obama just might rise to the level we saw in the campaign.

              Maybe I'm naive in this; maybe this is why the whole "Hope and Change" meme resonated with me so much, but there it is.

              The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

              by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:23:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I hope you're right (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Philoguy, neroden, JRandomPoster

                but I lose a bit more faith in that happening with each passing day.

                I knew Obama wasn't progressive on social issues but I figured with having the largest majorities in Congress in a generation he'd be able to reverse a great deal of the damage inflicted on us by Bush and the Republicans. So far that hasn't been the case. He's been mostly unwilling to use the bully pulpit and act like he's the leader of the free world. He's great with the photo op tho.

                When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

                by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:41:39 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Agree--honestly, he reminds me more and (4+ / 0-)

          more of Harry Reid.   "I can't do that because I don't have the votes!" or whatever excuse is convenient for the matter at hand.

          What happened to trying, and showing us it can't be done--rather than spouting a lobbyist-prescribed excuse for not even trying?

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:38:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Activism must be maintained... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, foufou

    ...but it's a from-the-ground-up procedure.

    The times today require the public to become more than passive observers of the political affairs of this nation.

    Yes, but if we laser our attention exclusively at the national level, there's going to be a lot of disappointment at how little change we can effect.

    Real change (the kind that lasts past whatever administration is in place)is a long-lead item. It starts at home: the school board members, the city and county councils, port commissions...even utility district elections are the AA farm teams from which our future leaders on a state and national level are sown.

    That's where the change starts. And although local politics is often thankless toil, that's where the change so necessary will have its beginnings. We're way behind in that venue. Sure, there are critical items on a national level that must be addressed NOW, but sure enough, there will be also critical items that will need to be addressed 20 years from now. Might as well be us doing the addressing.

  •  need president, not legislator (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Philoguy, mightymouse, CapeTown96

    Obama's leadership skills were honed as state legislator, community organizer, teacher, writer, father; in short, as a conciliator. He was never where he learned to bark orders, to run a state or captain a ship.

    No matter what you read about this, the Halter challenge was a show of force by the left. Period.

    by mrobinson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:59:14 AM PDT

  •  Hypothesis: If the markets crash 1000 pts (0+ / 0-)

    ...the day adequate robust financial regulatory reform is about to pass, what will be the response?(An oil hypothetical could easily be substituted.)  

    How will the public respond the next day, as a monumental backlash in the press escalates?

    How will retirees respond as 401k statements arrive in the mail?

    How will the President respond? Will he order the SEC and the FBI to publicly report, in 30 days, the transaction trail of a 1000pt drop?

    How will Congress respond? Will the financial regulatory be diluted?

    We can do this, but it takes conviction, not in everyone but in the President, a critical mass in Congress, vocal taxpayers, and active voters. That's all it takes, conviction.

    I firmly believe the public is prepared and has the right convictions. The 2008 election proved that.    

  •  as POTUS... (7+ / 0-)

    Obama has access to the wisest minds in America.  Not just the yale/harvard duet, but throughout America.  I have not seen that happen yet.
    I have been waiting for leadership from him, from democrats in congress, and see little of it so far.
    Yes, some things have gotten done.  But the mandate given to Obama and the democrats has been wasted and may be gone in November.  If that happens, nothing will get done after that.  Rethugs will make certain of that.

    Never walk into a public restroom while breathing through your mouth.

    by quityurkidding on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:02:14 AM PDT

  •  The Senate rules are the problem. (6+ / 0-)

    Without a supermajority  of a sure 60 Senators in favor of a bill, it seems that any one Senator can close down Congress.  And has.

    The fact that Senators are not subject to recalls also frees individual Senators to vote in favor of Trans National Corporate donors interests, and trust in these rewarded donors financial support when seeking re-election.

    What do we struggle against the most? The inevitable.

    by phonegery on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:02:32 AM PDT

    •  Fact: FDR (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      phonegery, ETF, moonpal

      had 60 dem senators compared to 35 repub senators, in his first two years. Before MA, we had 60-40. That's why I dislike comparisons to FDR that do not mention this Fact.

      The news: whether you like it or not. -- James Poniewozik

      by RhodaA on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:08:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and he still didn't get what he wanted (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nina, v2aggie2, phonegery, foufou, moonpal, RhodaA

        He faced numerous struggles and the need for compromise.

        History wears rose colored glasses.

        Many important pieces of legislation attributed to FDR, like social security, were quite small in scope and expanded only later.

        •  Yes, and (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nina, phonegery, ETF, moonpal

          during his succedding terms, the number of Dem senators increased. I think he eventually had 69. So when the Diarist quotes FDR:

          But in the event that the Congress shall fail to take one of these two courses ... I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power ...

          it gives me strong pause ... and more.

          The news: whether you like it or not. -- James Poniewozik

          by RhodaA on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:05:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Is there a substantive distinction? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden

        How many votes were required to defeat a filibuster at that time?  What is the significance of this Fact?

        •  It's the equivalent of (0+ / 0-)

          have 63 democratic senators now. We could neutralize Ben Nelson, Lieberman and/or take your pick of a few others: Lincoln, Landrieu ...

          The news: whether you like it or not. -- James Poniewozik

          by RhodaA on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:31:38 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You avoided my question (0+ / 0-)

            If each president had enough members of congress to defeat a filibuster, there is no substantive distinction between then and now.  You claimed that the fact that FDR had a few more senators was significant.  I am asking you why?  It can't be simply because 63 is a higher number than 60; there has to be some significance to the difference in number.  Otherwise, it's mere pedantry.  One could argue, well FDR had more southern senators- that FACT is often forgotten.  Big deal.

  •  Obama acts like he lost, not like he won. (5+ / 0-)

    Something is dreadfully wrong in the White House, and with Democrats in Congress.  Some say it's because both groups are being blackmailed.  Some say it's because of where the money comes from.  Some say it's Chicago politics and a simply weak willed Democratic Congress.  I don't know what the problem is, but we see it everyday.  Banks get off, the unemployed are cut loose, BP is given the reins, Goldman Sachs runs the economy, and GM thinks that Americans will spend $40,000 on an electric car that can go 40 miles on a charge (A horse can go farther).

    Credit card companies double payment requirements, and a simple root canal now costs $700-1000 dollars.

    We're laying back, acting like we have no power.  The president is too.  And Congress is acting like an aloof board of directors for a mega corporation, not like a Congress representing the people of the United States.  The Department of Homeland Security says that returning vets from Iraq are likely terrorists, and says the same about anyone citing the founding fathers or the Constitution.  Congress is in the process of vilifying the average American as a terrorist.

    If people don't stand up to this Congress, this president, we will not just lose the nation, but we will be blamed forever for not acting, letting this happen.

    For many all this is academic, to be discussed, but that has gone on long enough.  Now, we need action, and I mean, in the streets.  Or all is lost.  All will be lost. This is no longer a ballot box problem, it goes far far deeper.  Unless Congress is made fully, completely, afraid of the American citizen soon, the country will go down---and our citizen way of life will be trashed.  Congress is out to destroy us and the country, and the president is complicit.  We must act.  Now.

  •  It seems to depend on whether (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TracieLynn, oscarsmom

    one thinks we live in dire times or not.  

    Seems like many people think these are times just like other times and the ordinary politics will work just fine.  I think not.  Could be we have a good, but ultimately the wrong, man for the times.

    Denial is complicity.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:06:33 AM PDT

  •  I almost hate to say this - because it sounds (4+ / 0-)

    a bit like some Tea Party rhetoric - but the fact is, right now the Congress is not afraid enough of the wrath of the people should they fail to act.

    Members of Congress and Senators (especially the latter) are by and large arrogant with their power. But I think as well they generally live in fear, and afraid most of all of the next election and the trouble or succor that money can buy in the coming contest. Public financing of congressional elections is the only systemic cure, I believe, for the power of the malefactors of great wealth that now have our nation by the throat.

    But short to medium term - in this multi-faceted crisis - there is only one way to counteract the congressional fear of the moneyed interests. As this diary suggests, only the President can command the wrath of a wounded nation.

    "Who am I to give science the brush?" Sugarpuss O'Shea

    by semiot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:08:18 AM PDT

  •  If I had one wish. (11+ / 0-)

    It would be for Progressives to forget the myth of FDR and learn the reality. The similarities between the FDR and Obama are far greater than the myth allows Progressives to realize or admit.

    Suggested Reading:Against Despair

    To read through any number of thorough histories of the New Deal is to be struck not by the differences between Roosevelt (man of action) and Obama (pensive equivocator) but by the many consistencies in how politics actually unfolds in real time–the difficulties inherent in trying to effect change, the readiness to accept half a loaf, and the regular reassurances sent to the moneyed classes that the liberals hadn’t taken over the candy store. It’s worth noting, for example, that the second act to become law under the New Deal, after the Emergency Banking Act, which was a progressive piece of legislation, was a conservative bill, the Economy Act. It cut salaries of government employees and benefits to veterans, the latter by 15 percent. Arthur Schlesinger, in The Coming of the New Deal, writes that literally an hour after signing the banking act, Roosevelt outlined this bill to congressional leaders, saying the next day and sounding more than a little like some Robert Rubin progenitor had been whispering in his ear: "For three long years, the federal government has been on the road toward bankruptcy." (And maybe one had: Schlesinger notes that Roosevelt’s budget director, Lewis Douglas, was certainly no Keynesian.) Just imagine Obama having tried something like that, alienating both veterans and AFSCME within a week of taking office. The Economy Act was opposed by many liberals in the House, so FDR turned to conservative Democrats and Republicans, who passed it.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:12:24 AM PDT

    •  They never mention this bill that FDL championed (10+ / 0-)

      the second act to become law under the New Deal, after the Emergency Banking Act, which was a progressive piece of legislation, was a conservative bill, the Economy Act. It cut salaries of government employees and benefits to veterans, the latter by 15 percent. Arthur Schlesinger, in The Coming of the New Deal, writes that literally an hour after signing the banking act, Roosevelt outlined this bill to congressional leaders, saying the next day and sounding more than a little like some Robert Rubin progenitor had been whispering in his ear: "For three long years, the federal government has been on the road toward bankruptcy." (And maybe one had: Schlesinger notes that Roosevelt’s budget director, Lewis Douglas, was certainly no Keynesian.) Just imagine Obama having tried something like that, alienating both veterans and AFSCME within a week of taking office. The Economy Act was opposed by many liberals in the House, so FDR turned to conservative Democrats and Republicans, who passed it.

      http://democracyjournal.org/...

      [W]e got our mops and brooms out, we're cleaning stuff out, and they're just sitting there saying, `Hold the broom better, that's not how you mop.'

      by Kitty on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:17:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Perhaps not forget FDR, but not expect FDR (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ETF, jsfox, foufou, moonpal

      ...solutions are what's needed in 2010. It's good to learn from history but not yearn for the past or repeat it. Good point though.

      •  I am not suggesting forget FDR (8+ / 0-)

        rather loose the myth that he powered over congress or that all that he did was a progressive wet dream.

        In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

        by jsfox on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:56:40 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yup, agreed. (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Nina, v2aggie2, jsfox, foufou
        •  The usual straw man (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Philoguy, mightymouse

          No one thinks FDR was perfect.  It's pathetic that the defense of Obama vis-a-vis FDR has prompted an attempt to discredit FDR's legacy.  How could anyone around here not be aware of every flaw in FDR, as the Obama defenders have attempted to point out every non-progressive move he made.  

          The simple fact is- there is no need to compare Obaam to FDR.  Obama is no FDR and it appears he is unlikely to grow into another FDR.  The hope that Obama would be another FDR has died.  

          •  Oh Jesus give (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ETF

            me a break with the straw man argument crap or please learn to use it correctly.

            In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

            by jsfox on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:33:38 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Stop creating strawmen (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Philoguy, mightymouse

              and you won't hear the complaint.  You argue against the supposed myth of FDR.  Please show me where people have argued that "all he did was a progressive wet dream."  See, that is what you are arguing against.  Please point out the endorsers of this position.  If you cannot point to those people, well, then, your only opponent is the straw man you have imbued with the belief that all FDR did was a progressive wet dream.  

    •  Completely I agree with you regarding despair (0+ / 0-)

      Yet as the article opens, there's a great difference between voices of despair vs. demands for more.

      On the day in late April when Barack Obama gave his speech at Cooper Union urging financial regulation reform, The Huffington Post, one of the most important liberal websites we have, could hardly have made more clear to its readers what it thought about Obama’s appeal to his audience. "Two Presidents, Two Messages to Anti-Reform Bankers," ran the headline over photographs of Obama and Franklin Roosevelt an hour or two after the President wrapped up his speech. Obama, the sub-headlines explained, urged bankers to "Join Us," while Roosevelt had said: "I Welcome Their Hatred."

      Substantively, I can’t say I disagree with the editors’ assessment that Obama’s approach to the Wall Streeters in attendance at the Great Hall was more conciliatory than it should have been. And the reform bill itself, like much of what we have seen in the past year-and-a-half, contained several good and much-needed measures but fell short in significant ways. HuffPo, which I read daily, is right to point that out, just as it was right to cast the proverbial disinfecting sunlight on the White House’s deal with the pharmaceutical lobby during the health-care debate.

      The financial regulation is not going to prevent a repeat crisis. It has been diluted.  

      More generally speaking, as public demands grow and focus, there's this OT criticism vs. despair argument going on in the sidelines. It's really a distraction to policy.

      I do like the link, thanks. But the real issues of despair, election politics, and promotion of the President's image/agenda, no matter how real they are, can't be allowed to hijack policy and public demand.

  •  My beef is not how he speaks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, esquimaux, Robobagpiper, Benintn

    but what he has done to weaken civil liberties. ACLU Executive Director, "I'm disgusted with this president."

    the vast bulk of criticisms of Obama are not grounded in complaints that he has failed to act quickly enough to usher in progressive policies -- but are instead based on horrendous policies which Obama himself has affirmatively and explicitly adopted as his own, many of which directly contradict what he vowed to do as President

    Jon Stewart on Obama's executive power record

    No matter what you read about this, the Halter challenge was a show of force by the left. Period.

    by mrobinson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:14:51 AM PDT

  •  There... (6+ / 0-)

    ... is a Robot Chicken sketch in which FDR is giving his "We have nothing to fear but fear itself speech", and congress keeps suggesting other things we have to fear.

    By the end of it, FDR is saying, "Okay! So the only things we have to fear are spiders, snakes, werewolves, sharks, dying alone, zombies, clowns, heights, big dogs, robots with human brains, Johnson’s wife, AND fear itself!"

    Yes, Robot Chicken is absolutely tacky and crude and all that.  But seriously - this comes to mind whenever I see the administration listening to the Blue Dogs and suggesting bipartisan compromise with the Republicans.

    The inadequate is the enemy of the necessary.

    by JRandomPoster on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:15:12 AM PDT

  •  A President that matches the times (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, mightymouse, Robobagpiper

    I think the flaw in President Obama's leadership style matches the flaw in our society. His popularity was personality based - not character-based. That's not to say he has a deficient character, its just that he really had very little record for people to assess his character on. Its like a president people can drink a beer with to the nth degree.

    Speaking for myself, I became an Obama supporter for 3 reasons. 1. He was one of the few presidential candidates who spoke out against the war (which in retrospect was much easier for him to do because he didn't have to vote on giving Bush war powers). 2. I knew Clinton was the machine-candidate (which really says I knew more about her than him). 3. His speech on race. Which was in my mind the bravest political move my generation. That race speech to me is still his greatest moment and I am still searching for the leader brave enough to make that speech.

    But other than that, Obama has a winning personality. The problem with the personality ethic though is that it isn't always an indicator of character. What he DOES is an indicator of character. The diarist sees Obama's issue is that he is more procedural than idea-minded. That's bad enough in the post-Bush era. Bush did so much that was so bad for the country that fiddling around the edges of it is not enough. But that's not all. There are instances where Obama is EXPANDING on Bush's policies, I'm talking about civil liberties issues. This is dangerous.

    But I don't blame Obama. We are in a personality-driven age. To those making unfavourable comparisons between Obama and a Lincoln or an LBJ. Don't underestimate the ENORMOUS pressure that the society was placing on them to act. LBJ acknowledged that the Civil Rights Act would lose Dems the South for a generation. Yet he still did it. Why? Because the social and political consequences of NOT doing it would have been worse. I'm not minimizing the great leadership of these men on those matters but I recognize the social forces - driven MAINLY by activism - that pushed them in the direction they went.

    Where is that activism now? Typing away online? That won't cut it. In the times of both Lincoln and LBJ the country was on fire.

    We want leadership - we have to force it.

    It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.

    by Grassee on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:15:31 AM PDT

    •  You're correct (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Grassee

      We as an electorate are more interested in candidates who look and sound good. Kucinich is far more progressive than Obama ever would be and people around here said they liked him but would never vote for him because he was "unelectable," which of course isn't true because if it was he wouldn't be a Congressman now.

      The reasons why he was "unelectable" varied but it boiled down to his appearance. People forget they're voting for the leader of the free world, not their high school homecoming king or class president.

      We haven't had a generation of adults since WWII.

      When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. -Jimi Hendrix -6.0 -5.33

      by Cali Techie on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:14:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  brooklynbadboy - this diary proves why (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, Philoguy, kck, oscarsmom, Robobagpiper

    you are now a FrontPager.

    Not to mention that you advocate my viewpoint with powerful prose, more eloquently than I have been able to do.

    Write on.

    I'm reading you.

  •  careful (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bigchin, Cali Techie, oscarsmom

    Be careful, you might get what you "want."  The president hasn't really limited many of the Bush patriot abuses.  Is Guantanamo closed yet?  He believes in the Afghanistan fiasco--and is possibly on the verge of admitting Iraq is not getting safer.  He hasn't fired Salazar--even after word got out that more wells were given waivers after BP.  

    Obama is infinitely better than Bush--or McCain--but hasn't shown me he's close to being an FDR.  He has sufficiently lessened my devotion--my admiration--my trust.  The future looks bleak --change and hope have dimmed.  

  •  empty suit. n/t (2+ / 2-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, CapeTown96
    Hidden by:
    taylormattd, ETF

    "History is a tragedy, not a melodrama." - I.F.Stone

    by bigchin on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:24:57 AM PDT

  •  2010 is not 1933 (9+ / 0-)

    From the FDR quote:

    I shall ask the Congress for the one remaining instrument to meet the crisis—broad Executive power to wage a war against the emergency, as great as the power that would be given to me if we were in fact invaded by a foreign foe.

    FDR had a congressional majority to give him that authority: 64% in Senate, 73% House in 1933, and during 1937-38, about 80% majority in both houses.
    (Stats from Nate Silver)

    Clearly, Obama's Senate majority is ephemeral, not even a majority because of Republican's use of filibuster.

    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 Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:31:14 AM PDT

  •  Not what you say, what you do (4+ / 0-)

    Obama has done some very bad things. His solicitor general argued to the Supreme Crt. not to review the case of the Canadian man who was rendered from the U.S. [by Bush admin.] to Syria and tortured. This is what Obama did, not what he said.

    Amazingly, Mr. Obama’s acting solicitor general, Neal Katyal, urged the Supreme Court not to take the case, arguing in part that the court should not investigate the communications between the United States and other countries because it might damage diplomatic relations and affect national security.

    What did Canada do that President Obama didn't do?

    In Canada, the government conducted an investigation and found that Mr. Arar had been tortured because of its false information. The commissioner of the police resigned. Canada cleared Mr. Arar of all terror connections, formally apologized and paid him nearly $9.8 million.

    Mr. Arar had hoped to get a similar apology and damages from the United States government but was rebuffed by the court system.

    No matter what you read about this, the Halter challenge was a show of force by the left. Period.

    by mrobinson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:32:11 AM PDT

  •  Tea Party guru, Grover Norquist, is invited (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TJ, 3goldens, Robobagpiper, orestes1963

    ...to spread his anti-Social Security tripe to the June 30 meeting of the President's fiscal commission Cat-Food Commission. What was the campaign promise of candidate Obama? Something about saving Social Security or solving the Social Security crisis?  

  •  It's interesting how people try and draw parallel (8+ / 0-)

    When this has never happened before, or perhaps it happened right in advance of a full scale civil war.  This is the current opposition party.

    I also doubt very seriously you'd find the amount of insults leveled at FDR by democrats as is in evidence in this thread.  Right now in my open comment box im staring at a comment that calls him an empty suit n/t i want to HR it so bad it makes my finger itch, but you know what this is the kind of thing he can expect from his side.  Crazy how anyone can think he could operate any differently.  He can't even raise money for Barbara Boxer (read Democratic lioness) without having someone from our side heckle him.

    My leader is Barack Hussein Obama the finest President this country has ever elected. Face Front and Respect

    by Adept2u on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:37:49 AM PDT

  •  Such as? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    taylormattd

    he (Obama) has made an effort to make sure the people understand their role in his presidency, which is to act as agents of change where he cannot. It's a persuasive argument.

    An example would have been helpful, even necessary to make the point. Instead, the diary reaches back to FDR and Lincoln. If their examples are easily found, why not Obama's?

  •  With respect, (6+ / 0-)

    I agree with your introductory premise and with Lincoln's point of view.

    I disagree with your claim that change isn't being made fast enough or broad enough.

    The Recovery Act is not only a model of government intervention in economic crisis.  It's also a model for transparency and accountability in reporting.  It's a revolution in open-source democracy and fiscal accountability.

    We can find where every dollar has been spent.  We can see where jobs are being created.

    Healthcare reform has now made it the norm and the standard that healthcare is a right and a universally-accessible service, and not a privilege for those with enough money.  While I disagree with aspects of the bill and feel that it is too much of a giveaway to for-profit insurance, I also see the seeds planted for future changes.  And we the people should continue to make the case that we need to put patients before profits and stop the parasitic business practices of healthcare profiteers.

    We've come closer to significant energy reform than at any time in US history.  Waxman-Markey already passed the House by a narrow margin, and it is time for us to exert pressure on the Senate to do the same, or better.

    Most importantly, we stand to maintain majorities in all both houses of Congress and position ourselves well for 2012.  The GOP has been accurately painted as the intellectually-bankrupt, politically-obstructive, and destructive group of blood-sucking, corporate butt-kissing hypocrites that many have always known them to be.

    We are the soul of the Democratic Party and the soul of American politics.  It's time for us to claim our birthright and stop waiting for others to step forward.  We are still the ones we've been waiting for.

    Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

    by Benintn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:46:23 AM PDT

  •  "not saying the president could be "more (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, DKinUT

    progressive." "

    Why not? What's the alternative, the status quo, the unacceptable status quo?

    This above all: to thine own self be true...-WS

    by Agathena on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:49:31 AM PDT

  •  People might be a lot happier.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CapeTown96

    ..if they stopped expecting leadership from Barack Obama.  It's not going to happen.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:50:12 AM PDT

    •  Leaders essential. Obama's failure depressing. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, DKinUT

      Unfortunately, leaders are essential. That's why the big primary fight and election fight over who would be the leader of the US at such a critical time.

      We only had one shot and we elected Obama.

      That we have front page diaries on DKOS lamenting Obama's failure of leadership says it all.

      Countries do fail when they have failure of leadership at critical junctures. US has had 30 years of bad leadership with brief respite of Bill Clinton who reversed damage done during Bush I era.

      We are still in the hole Reagan and Bush II eras (12 years of unanswered deficits, debt, decline) and Obama failure to reverse Bush II damage could prove fatal to US.

      Another Bush in the White House 2012 or 2016 combined with Obama failure to fix problems of last eight years could be last straw for US.

  •  First executive order (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DKinUT, CapeTown96

    I cheered! Wow. So this is how it's going to be. Sweet.

    The new prsesident ordered the military and DOJ to close Guantanamo in one year. Didn't happen.

    No matter what you read about this, the Halter challenge was a show of force by the left. Period.

    by mrobinson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:51:37 AM PDT

    •  Why? (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2, mahakali overdrive, ETF, moonpal

      Because Graham, Lieberman, and a handful of GOP Senators refused to play along.

      The lobbyists just went to Ike Skelton and John Cornyn and a few other key players, and found a way to block the progress Obama sought.

      You and I both know this to be true.

      So why blame Obama?

      Full Disclosure: I am not Ben Leming. But I think he's pretty cool.

      by Benintn on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:55:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because he is the COMMANDER IN CHIEF??? (0+ / 0-)

        Hello, no buck to pass here.

        Rick
        -9.63 -6.92
        Fox News - We Distort, You Deride

        by rick on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:40:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'll Tell Ya Why (and you may be sorry you asked) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DKinUT

        because it was MY FAULT.  I was too lazy to get off my ass and take the Metro into town and handcuff myself to the rail of the Senate gallery and harangue the living fuck out of Lieberman or Graham, until they hack-sawed me outta there.

        And none of YOU did anything more than WHINE about it,either

        Because we don't have the guts to figure out a way to bring airports to a screeching halt with some kind of civil disobedience to get us arrested as terrorist and that would overrun Guantanamo and render it virutally useless.  Or some such other bat-shit stunt that those of you a lot smarter than I could figure out  IF YOU WEREN'T SO FUCKING BUSY CORRECTING EACH OTHER'S SPELLING and OTHER fuckstick "mouth-battles" worthy of a middle school lunch room.  Good Christ, apparently the Clinton strain of the "what the meaning of is is" virus has gone virulent in the progressive "hive."

        (See, I told you you might not want to know.)

        In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

        by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 07:40:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is a problem of organization (0+ / 0-)

          People are finally getting mad enough that there are probably enough people to actually do this, and generate the media reporting on it, and get the public support for doing it, and work out exactly which atrocity to use as the key point for the protests, &c.

          But it doesn't work without leadership and organization.  Those DailyKos lessons in civil disobedience -- wasn't someone going to do a diary series?  Who was that?

          -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

          by neroden on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:08:23 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  I am happy to see this post and I thank you. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3goldens, oscarsmom, JRandomPoster

    It is even, level headed and addresses some of the concerns that people all around the country are voicing.

    We have no time to waste as a country or a people.

  •  Oh for God's Sake... (6+ / 0-)

    This is yet another post that is focused on the cult of the Presidency (with a few mentions about the need for an engaged citizenship thrown in for good measure).  I reject the premise that this country wants fundamental change.  IT DOES NOT. It has always been the case that a few have worked for the many.  That is as it has always been. Those who worked for abolition were the few NOT the many.  Those who worked for the black freedom movement or the second reconstruction were the few not the many.  These changes came from sustained movement building OVER TIME.  Most Americans are not progressive, they are fearful and reactionary. I am on my way to Detroit tomorrow for the US Social Forum.  There will be about 20,000 people there.  That is a TINY group compared to the 320 million in this country.  President Obama has been let down by the populace.  That's a fact.  It is not the other way around.

  •  We didn't expect him to do it himself that's why (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, JRandomPoster, CapeTown96

    we gave him a BIG majority in the House that wanted a public option (or else) with a very smart Speaker who got them to drop the "or else" to pass HIR.

    We als gave him a BIG majority in the Senate where progessive Democrats signed up to introduce a public option after he said it wasn't essential. It passed, such as it is, without a single GOP vote which proved the bipartisan thing was a total waste of time.

    The president should have been (and should be now) working on the Democrats  not the Republicans. He made the Republicans relevant when they were not.

    •  A BIG majority in the house/senate? FALSE (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ETF, foufou, soothsayer99, moonpal

      Your credibility with this post is on the line here. Please show concrete evidence that the president had a BIG majority in the house and senate who wanted the public option.  If you can show me empirical data to support your claim, I am willing to take back everything I said in this post.

      Otherwise, I stand by my statement that you sir, are LYING.

      •  58 votes in the Senate not good enough? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Heh

        Enough with the hyperbole.  

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:29:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You still haven't shown me any evidence (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          v2aggie2, ETF, soothsayer99, moonpal

          Because you say something in a post doesn't mean it is reality.

          Please provide me with DATA from a credible source indicating that Obama had the votes for a public option, but killed it out of his own desire to maintain the status quo.

          The hyperbole rests with YOU who claim that Obama is a liar, and that you cannot trust ANYTHING about him. Yet, you have difficulty providing evidence to back up your claim. Who's the liar? Who should we have difficulty trusting?

      •  The House Passed a Public Option in HR 3962 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, CapeTown96

        Your poor memory and typing in CAPS doesn't make me a liar... Not only did he have a large majority they PASSED the damn public option what the hell else do you need?

        The Affordable Health Care for America Act (HR 3962) passed a vote in the House Nov. 7 (2009)by a vote of 220-215, with 39 Democrats voting against the measure and only one Republican – Rep. Ahn "Joseph" Cao (R-La.) – voting in favor. Among the bill’s stipulations are the creation of a government-run insurance program

        Angry much?

        Huffington Post 02-17-10 The Obama plan bridges differences between the Senate and House plans on issues both large and small, but when it comes to the public option -- the House bill includes one; the Senate doesn't -- Obama is entirely silent.

        As part of a push to pass the public option using reconciliation, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has been collecting both signatures to a letter urging Senate leadership to pass the measure, as well as statements of support from senators.

        TPM Rachel Slajda | March 4, 2010Here is our running list of both statements of support and signatures on the letter, written by Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO). Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office has also said he would support the procedure if it has enough support.

        Signatories (24):

        Carl Levin (MI)

        Daniel Inouye (HI)

        Debbie Stabenow (MI)

        Tim Johnson (SD)

        Robert Menendez (NJ)

        Arlen Specter (PA)

        Jeanne Shaheen (NH)

        Chuck Schumer (NY)

        Frank Lautenberg (NJ)

        Barbara Mikulski (MD)

        Bernie Sanders (VT)

        Al Franken (MN)

        Patrick Leahy (VT)

        John Kerry (MA)

        Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)

        Dianne Feinstein (CA)

        Roland Burris (IL)

        Barbara Boxer (CA)

        Jack Reed (RI)

        Tom Udall (NM)

        The original signatories:

        Michael Bennet (CO)

        Sherrod Brown (OH)

        Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)

        Jeff Merkley (OR)

        Statements of support (11):

        Dick Durbin (IL)

        Patty Murray (WA)

        Jeff Bingaman (NM)

        Benjamin Cardin (MD)

        Amy Klobuchar (MN)

        Bob Casey (PA)

        Ron Wyden (OR)

        Mark Udall (CO)

        Ted Kaufman (DE)

        Maria Cantwell (WA)

        Chris Dodd (CT)

        •  What you have just posted (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          v2aggie2, a night owl, moonpal

          proves that Obama did NOT have the requisite votes for passing a public option. It actually supports MY argument and not yours.

          The only way you can claim that Obama killed the public option, is if 51 senators voted for the public option in the reconciliation bill AND Obama vetoed it. Otherwise, no amount of opinion snippets from Huffington post, or listing of 24 signatures and 11 statements of support will support your claim.

          How do you know that the senators who signed the letters didn't already know that the public option was dead, but wanted to give themselves coverage to protect their reputations?

          So far NO senator or rep has come out and said, "we had all the votes, but the President indicated that he would not sign a bill with the public option."

          •  Your argument is nonsense Obama was not only (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            CapeTown96

            silent he said the public option was not essential. He wasted time in a room full of Republicans complaining they didn't support health insurance reform. No shit. Then he did it again. Meanwhile when the House passed a public option and 35 or more Democratic Senators signed on Obama didn't say a word. Did he go after the votes needed to get it? The only proof is that it wasn't handed to him on a silver platter. The guy did NOTHING to help pass the public option.

            •  Obama said that the public option (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Nina, a night owl, ETF, moonpal

              was not the most essential part of the overall health care package that he was proposing.  And that is true. There are many other elements of HCR that are very beneficial to millions of folks apart from the public option. He consistently said that he believed that the public option was the prefered way to keep the insurance companies honest, and would support it if there were enough votes for it. The truth is, there were never enough votes, and the president probably realized (later rather than sooner, unfortunately) that his "bully pulpit" was much weaker than the lobbying power of the insurance companies, where all the Repubs and some democrats were concerned.

              35 senators signing a letter is meaningless. They could just as easily have  been CYA-ing, knowing fully well that there were not enough votes in the senate. We can both speculate 24/7 about what this represented. But the one fact that we do have, is that there were never 60 actual votes in the senate bill, nor were there 51 actual votes in the reconciliation bill. So the issue of 35 signatures is a moot point.

              •  IF 35 senators signing a letter is meaningless. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                neroden, CapeTown96

                THEN so is "He consistently said that he believed that the public option was the prefered way..." [that] "could just as easily have  been CYA-ing" too.

                Even though (he) "knowing fully well that there were not enough votes in the senate" (for the public option) he didn't even try to get them, but he sure made a big deal out of trying to get GOP votes.

                I think his priorities are screwed up (on forcing everyone to be customer of insurance companies without a public option (that was piss poor dealmaking) and expanding the war (his Vietnam) and expanding offshore drilling (wow, was he wrong about that). It takes a lot of faith and imagination to find the good in these decisions.

                •  Obama does NOT legislate (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  ETF

                  regardless of what he says.  First and foremost, that's the most central tenet of any argument here.  

                  At this juncture, we need to move past Obama and his campaign statements. Just to illustrate this point, Obama campaigned on closing Gitmo, and he signed an executive order to do just that. Is Gitmo closed? And if not, Why?

                  This just illustrates my point, that the president can campaign and propose, but if congress is not going along with it, it's not happening. When a president is faced with an oppostion that is completely determined to vote "no" on ANY of his proposals, and members of his own party form a large tent from conservative blue dogs, to progressive hard left, the President has no choice but to make compromises in order to get anything done. Obama does not have the luxury of telling the blue dogs "to hell with you." He is actually at their mercy because the Republicans have left him with very little room to wiggle.

                  You need to be honest about this - and you aren't. There are more conservative democrats than there are progressive democrats in the senate. Anyone who thinks differently is misguided or willfully ignorant. The president has to work with what he has.

                  •  Obama does NOT legislate (obvious) (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    neroden

                    so what DOES he do? He's a promising making machine

                    the president can campaign and propose, but if congress is not going along with it, it's not happening.

                    So quit promising what he can't deliver when he knows:

                    members of his own party form a large tent from conservative blue dogs, to progressive hard left, the President has no choice but to make compromises in order to get anything done.

                    He needs to be:

                    honest about this - and (he isn't). There are more conservative democrats than there are progressive democrats in the senate (which doesn't explain 35 Senators signing the letter supporting a public option but who is counting?)

                    So from now on ask a Blue Dog what's going to happen or not. To hear Obama talk about anything they haven't approved is just wishful thinking on his part (and ours).

                    •  All presidents and election hopefuls (0+ / 0-)

                      including senators make promises - Obama is not the first nor will he be the last. Although he's treated as though he were the first to ever do such a thing. Didn't Bill Clinton promise universal health care and gays serving openly in the military? No. Yet Bill Clinton had a 65% approval when he left office.

                      The president also stated quite clearly, that all his promises would not be accomplished within the first year or even the first term. He also stated that mistakes will be made along the way; he also stated that there will be false starts, the road will be long and the climb will be steep...I guess you only heard the "promises" part of what he said?

                      Obama could not have predicted that the Republicans would have been so determined to destroy his agenda at all costs - they made that decision AFTER he got elected, and they now have used an unprecedented amount of filibusters.

                      •  You really don't remember the last few years? (0+ / 0-)

                        This is pure bullshit:

                        Obama could not have predicted that the Republicans would have been so determined to destroy his agenda at all costs -

                        You can just look up what the Republicans did under Clinton.  Or even under Bush, when there were massively popular Democratic bills going through Pelosi's House of Representatives.  DailyKos told Obama the Republicans were going to be totally obstructionist before he took office.  Paul Krugman described their behavior in his book The Great Unravelling back before 2004.

                        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

                        by neroden on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:11:07 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                  •  When Obama makes a promise ask one these people (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    neroden

                    if it has a snowballs chance of passing:

                    Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (SD), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Administration
                    Rep. Baron Hill (IN-09), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Policy
                    Rep. Jim Matheson (UT-02), Blue Dog Co-Chair for Communications
                    Rep. Heath Shuler (NC-11), Blue Dog Whip

                    The Blue Dogs supposedly stop Obama. Do you ever see these people on cable TV political shows? If they are Obama's excuse for failure and compromise they ought to get a lot more attention in this community and on cable talk shows. They ought to be infamous here for stopping Obama.

                    •  So why aren't they? (0+ / 0-)

                      Seems to me that people prefer to ignore the realities of the situation in which the president has to operate, and give congress a free pass.

                      •  Why aren't they: because some people believe (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        neroden

                        Obama knows how to get things done and he wants his supporters to believe that. When he can't get it done the narrative is blame the GOP and his supporters go along with that excuse.

                        Rather than tell the truth about who is stopping Obama's agenda (the Blue Dogs) it is politically better to blame the GOP. Blaming the GOP is a fake excuse, but it works.

                        The Blue Dogs decide what gets done or not which isn't something Obama's going to publicize if he wants to look like the guy in charge and "leader" of the party. That's the big lie. The Blue Dogs are the ones in charge.

                        He's pretending to have the ability to fulfill the grand promises he makes then blaming the GOP when these Democrats are the real obstacle.

                        Ironically, the GOP is glad to take the credit for stopping him even when they are not a factor! The narrative from both sides and the media is a crock.

  •  with the support of the "progressives" (11+ / 0-)

    it's a wonder Obama is still in office. Wailing about being tossed under the bus started before the election was called and has never fucking let up.

  •  My thanks to you, bbb, for such a thoughtful, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chumley, mightymouse

    and thought-provoking diary.  Two points within it really resonated with me:
    This:

    The times today require the public to become more than passive observers of the political affairs of this nation.


    As I look around and have been watching something over the past year or so, it is my perception that we, the public, need to do precisely what you wrote.  There is an awful lot of apathy about getting even minimally involved in even local politics.  It's what gives us school boards where incumbents get elected year after year because no one will challenge them and this goes all the way up the line through City, County, State, and Federal government elections.  I would just add that we need good, sound leaders who can influence people to take the risk and get involved and not the Dick Armey-types who are fueling the Tea Partiers.  When people get the idea that their ideas are not wanted, it makes it that much harder to get people to engage and runs the risk of them looking elsewhere to someone/anyone who will just listen to them.  (And I'm not accusing anyone in particular of ignoring constituents----I'm lucky that I have a House Rep. and two Senators who do indeed listen to their constituents and get back to us on issues.)

    And this:

    The ability to rally the people to his cause is the strongest muscle any President has. Like any muscle, it needs to be exercised to remain strong.


    Being old enough to have been in high school when JFK was elected and in high school/college when LBJ was running the ship of state, I can say that both of those men could and did rally people to their causes.  Whether it was JFK and the Russian Missile Crisis or the Peace Corp or LBJ and the Civil Rights Act----they made you feel vested in what they were pushing for.  Johnson, of course, failed on Viet Nam because people became aware of the duplicity and dishonesty behind it.   I haven't felt that ability to rally from President Obama on the big issues.  At times he's been very persuasive but his ability to rally seems to wax and wane and in the interim that loses people.  

    Again, thanks for a good diary.

    You can have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, or democracy, but you cannot have both. ~ Louis Brandeis

    by 3goldens on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 09:59:35 AM PDT

  •  It's amazing you could ignore OFA (7+ / 0-)

    and give Obama advice about how the campaign is never over.

    It's kind of stunning.

  •  What disturbs me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    orestes1963, Heh, CapeTown96

    What seems to be holding back all this change is presidential leadership more concerned with process and procedure rather than removing minor obstacles using the mandate of popular will.

    is that he often refuses to act DESPITE popular will (e.g. public option).

    This makes me distrust everything about him.  It seems more like he is looking for excuses not to enact a progressive agenda, rather than the other way around.

    Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

    by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:01:59 AM PDT

    •  Please show us concrete and direct (7+ / 0-)

      evidence that the public option had the requisite votes in the senate.  Sorry, but "popular will" does NOT pass legislation.  

      I doubt that you ever trusted this president, because your excuse about the lack public option making you "distrust everything about him" is based on a false premise that the President deliberately undermined the public option.

      •  I am not going to beat that dead horse (0+ / 0-)

        The Public Option had overwhelming public support, both popular and in Congress.

        Because we didn't have 60 votes in the SENATE (which represents about 80% of popular support, an impossible standard to meet for ANY issue), is no excuse for Obama, Reid et al. not having supported it.

        Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

        by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:17:50 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  It is not a dead horse (5+ / 0-)

          because you chose to bring it up in your discussion - BEFORE I DID.  Don't try to wiggle your way out of this one. You are being dishonest and you know it. When you make claims you need to be able to support them, otherwise I have every right to accuse you  of spreading fale propaganda. You state in your post that Obama, Reid et al, did not support the public option despite it having "overwhelming support" in the congress.

          Please show us the concrete evidence to back up your claims. If you cannot show evidence, it's because you DON'T HAVE IT, so show me the evidence or STOP SPREADING LIES.

          •  First of all (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            missississy

            Obama denied having campaigned on the public option, which was not true.  That provides pretty convincing evidence of his lack of support for it.  On your other point, there were a significant number of public statements early in the process that there were 50 votes for the PO in the senate, but not 60.  That disappeared when it was decided to use reconciliation.  See, eg, the link to Sander below.  (Sorry if it's messy, but I do not know how to create a hyperlink.

            http://thehill.com/...

            •  He did not campaign on the public option (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              moonpal

              during the Primaries. He did campaign before the Primaries, in one speech that I am aware of, about a public option. He did not mention it again for about a year  or more. He then reintroduced the notion of some sort of public plan -- not necessarily THE public option, but some kind of public option (we were very specific on this site that THE public option was not just A public option, and yet he was quite general about it at this point) once the General Election had commenced.

              It's not an entirely truthful claim and never has been. It's extremely easy to follow, especially when you have the internal campaign call scripts with the talking points printed out from the end of January of 2008. In this case, the media was overly broad and a little lazy with their definition of both "campaign timeline" and "public option."

              This site was never lazy about defining it. We rejected MANY public option proposals, from Cantwell's onward.

              "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

              by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:55:26 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I'm not sure I udnerstand your point (0+ / 0-)

                You are not arguing between definite and indefinite articles, are you?  Obama's website included his plank on the/a (it doesn't matter to me) public option.  Are you proposing that this was not the case?  

                •  Partially, I am (0+ / 0-)

                  One being general, one being specific, and both being a HUGE DEAL to this site's HCR advocates.

                  Obama's site proposed a public option AT TIMES. At other times, it didn't.

                  I've had this argument more times than I can count because I had hard copy printouts of the phone bankers script -- with the HCR proposal -- from Jan of '08, when there is NO mention of a public plan.

                  Nor is a public plan the same as the public option. This was a huge point made by HCR advocates here ALL LAST FALL. I was in almost every diary on this debate.

                  "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                  by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:12:02 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

            •  Your "evidence" is based on a lot of peripheral (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GN1927, moonpal

              bits of information and hearsay that are not even central to the question at hand. What Obama said he campaigned or didn't campaign on is irrelevant to the question of whether there were enough votes in the senate to pass the public option.

              The question is: Did congress, meaning the senate,ever have the votes necessary for the public option at any stage? If they did, then why did they not vote on it?

              Have you stopped to consider for one minute the possibility that the senate NEVER had the votes, but were pretending to "put up a fight" so as not to displease their constituents? This is the most likely scenario since no congressman has EVER come out and said that the public option had the necessary votes for passage.

              The only convincing evidence that the president did not want a public option is if (1)he threatened to veto or (2)actually vetoed a majority vote by congress that included the public option. So far, there has been NO evidence of this, and if there was, we would know about it. There are quite a few senators who would be more than willing to "expose" Obama in that way.

              •  So we were lied to? (0+ / 0-)

                The gravamen of your argument is that statements that there were 50 votes at any point were lies.  Bernie Sanders (among others) lied to us?  If your claim is true, shouldn't we be up in arms that our elected officials are overtly lying to us?  

                As for why we did not get a PO, without opening a pandora's box, I would say the president did not support it (see his comment denying campaigning on it) and the senate did not want to pass it either.  That they used the canard of the 60 vote requirement should cause us all alarm.  You can choose to hold the view that the president's position is evidenced solely through a veto or the threat of a veto, but very few people would buy that weak sauce.  

                •  IDK. Show us the 50 votes. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  GN1927

                  Why would an Australian funded by a Saudi care about the growth of our nation?

                  by Big Nit Attack on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:57:11 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  What does IDK mean? (0+ / 0-)

                    All I can show are statements from senators stating that there were 50 votes for the PO.  Surely, you appreciate that, as I am not a member of the senate, its staff, or a friend or relative of either group, I am unable to produce certified votes.  However, I would take the word of our sitting Dem senators on this point.  

                    •  Statements are not evidence (0+ / 0-)

                      Where are the 50 signatures?  Why weren't these 50 senators willing to go on the record and sign the letter for the public to see?

                      Why are you so willing to believe the senators over the president? Is there something that makes them inherently more trustworthy than Obama? And if so, please tell us what it is.

                •  Here you you again (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  foufou

                  You have already accused the President of lying, so why is it so difficult for you to accept the possibility that some of the congressment were also lying?  Most of these people are politicians for decades longer than Obama himself, yet you are so reluctant to think of them as political game-players?

                  Bernie said at one point "I think we have the 50 votes" yet he was not conclusive.

                  Secondly, if there were in fact 50 votes, why didn't these senators provide their signatures? There were NEVER 50 votes. This actually suggests that the "signature" gesture was simply that- a charade to provide cover for some of the democrats. The President was willing to take a hit from the public because he needed to protect several democrats who were not willing to vote for a public option. This was directly due to the Republican obstructionism -because they force the president to work with a marginal democratic congress made of a significant number of conservadems who have to pander to their conservative constituents and to their lobbyists.

                  •  Wow (0+ / 0-)

                    Let me be clear here- I did not accuse the president of anything.  He campaigned on the PO and then denied that he campaigned on it.  That is in the public record.  It is factually supported.  

                    You are calling on me to impute dishonesty to senators without any basis.  You may be comfortable engaging in this kind of conduct, but I am not.  Furthermore, you are asking me to do this to Bernie Sanders, for whom I have a great deal of respect.  That I will not do.  

                    Look, I don't care to rehash the entire HCR debacle with you.  You are of the opinion that everything that could have been done was done and I am of the opinion that we got an expensive crap law that the admin wanted.  We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point.

  •  It's amazing to me how many invoke FDR (16+ / 0-)

    or LBJ here to condemn Obama, but if FDR had been around now and sent Japanese-Americans to Manzanar, and LBJ were around now to be caught lying about Viet Nam,
    hundreds here would be having a shit hemorrhage.                                          

    Oh, and Harry Truman, Vice-President to FDR, sent two atom bombs to explode over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incinerating men, women, children, old people. Yet, he too is invoked fondly here, too, as a contrast to the weak-kneed Obama.

    So Obama close-up might be a fail to some here now, but with history people might look at his overall record and think something else.  

    So get some perspective, and get some grip.

    •  history as wishful thinking (8+ / 0-)

      since people here approach politics the same way, why should they let reality interfere with history?

    •  And it begs the question (9+ / 0-)

      of why people need to go so far back in the 1930's to criticize a 21st century president, when there were Democratic presidents much closer to him chronologically.

      The only reason they do that is because it precludes them from really assessing the situation properly - and allows them to view the past presidents with the rose-colored nostalgic lenses without too much dissonance. As I stated before, it's intellectually lazy or dishonest, or both.

    •  You've got it wrong (4+ / 0-)

      people do not invoke FDR to criticize Obama.  They cite him as an example of an effective Dem president during a pivotal moment in the nation's history.  FDR is widely considered the greatest Dem president.  People cite FDR's actions as a guidepost for Obama; dare I say it, in the hope that he would rise to the same level.  

      Of course, many who feel the need to defend Obama will go to any lengths to denigrate FDR or will adolescently set up a straw man (you all believe FDR was perfect) to argue against because that is the best you can do.  Although you may feel the need to assert that those who hold FDR in esteem deem him perfect, most, if not all, are capable of assessing the totality of his presidency (including Korematsu).  But of course you have to deny this fact because to accept it leaves you with no argument to make.  

      •  We all want Obama to rise to the level of FDR's (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ETF

        legacy; but not all of us expect him to match three presidential terms in his first year in office.

      •  You're full of assumptions and full of (0+ / 0-)

        crap.

        I happen to think FDR is a hero to the working class.

        He is definitely the president I get the most misty about outside of Lincoln.

        But I was showing that people conveniently forget stuff that would make them have a paroxysm of shouting and screaming on this blog: the sending of American citizens to concentration camps.

        Imagine the tantrums here? And I would be upset and disappointed. But I'd still see him as a hero to the working class in America.

        With distance Obama might look pretty decent to the biggest shouters and tantrumers here.

        Stop your goddamned bullshit assumptions.

    •  Exaclty (4+ / 0-)

      And on top of it, this is nothing but that same media canard about Dems as weak and timid, unquestioningly repeated.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:13:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Comments here are a tutorial on MSM domination (10+ / 0-)

    The narrative established by the MSM dominates the discussion of the so-called "progressives" with the focus on politics as a kind of media spectacle - OFA doesn't exist, DOL is invisible, the whole idea of organizing is forgotten and labor unions don't exist.

    •  Pretty much (6+ / 0-)

      This is a parrot of the traditional media whereas this site used to fact check.  I don't trust ANYONE who claims that fact checking the media is a useless exercise.  I cast a skeptical eye towards the media during Bushism, and was correct, and am casting a skeptical eye towards the media (sadly, now including parts of the once-excellent online media) suspiciously now, and I am confident that I will be proven correct.

      Rather than using this space to contrast POTUS' oil spill response with that of Bush I, this diarist is just rehashing a lame media canard: namely, that their failure to report news and facts is someone else's fault.  I could see this same bs on any number of Newsfortainment shows; why do I have to read so much of it here?

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:00:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  OFA *doesn't* much exist. (0+ / 0-)

      It basically got deactivated after the election ended and not reactivated until the very end of the health care bill process.  By which point a lot of the activists had gone elsewhere.

      Organizing is not forgotten, but it's rather hard to do when it's being sabotaged even by the President.  (This phenomenon was documented even during the election.)

      Labor unions have been sabotaged pretty badly and the biggest one sabotaged itself in the last few years, so..... they don't much exist either.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:13:54 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The average Kossack (4+ / 0-)
    longs for the days when there was broad consensus in this country and Republicans were represented by reasonable people like Nelson Rockefeller and and Jacob Javits. Pols like Reagan and Cheney pushed the Overton Window to the right with specific rhetoric and agenda. Our message of " let's be reasonable" won't push the Window anywhere. We need a specific agenda with specific demands or the conservatives will keep winning. Centrism only results from an equal pull from the left and the right. Until recently the conservatives have outpulled us. Nyceve and and Slinkerwink were catigated for making specific demands, but America won't return to the center without a hard pull from the left. The kind Walter Reuther made all his life.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:10:03 AM PDT

  •  Good stuff bbb (4+ / 0-)
    The President won the election convincingly. His party has been given, by the people, large majorities in Congress. The people are, more than they have been in years, receptive to broad, deep and fundamental shifts in the direction this country is headed

    Agreed.  But that capital no longer exists, and unfortunately at the point that it did exist, many argued that it would be foolish to exert such leadership.  The reasons varied from "potus doesn't write legislation, to bipartisanship is more important, to 11th dimensional chess, to the country is center right".

    Whatever the reasons, history will likely show this Administration likely missed, intentionally, a historic opportunity to begin moving the country in a new direction.  Instead, they were unecessarily persuaded by Republican recalcitrance and politcal pundits or their own center ideology  that major change was either impossible or unneccessary.  

    It is funny.  I heard Senator Landrieu and Hailey Barbour arguing today that we can't let BP go bankrupt, but they were more than ready to send the autos down the drain.  It is an example of why holding to the center and not affirmatively making your case is bad politics.  It let's folk like this get away with hypocrisy because one has been busy trying to hold the center through a campaign of one the one hand but on the other hand.

    Calling environmentalists tired is another prime example.

    Leadership means standing for something.  Not looking for the political out 4 chess moves down the line.  If you are doing the right thing, the next move will be easily identified.  When you go against your principles, you are left twisting yourself into pretzels.

    At this point, I am hard pressed to name a Democratic principle that is unquestioned by material numbers of  Democrats.

    Republicans have tax cuts, gun rights, military exceptionalism.

    What are ours?  What case has this President affirmatively made that is consistent with the Democraric platform?

    Universal health care, anti-war, ss and Medicare stability, environmentalism, not torturing or assassinating human beings.

    These don't seem controversial to me if you are the leader of the Democratic party.  But somehow people have convinced themselves that it is more important to find common ground with people that are incentivized to make you fail instead of standing up for your own party.

    The curret state of affairs is the result.

    "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

    by justmy2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:10:12 AM PDT

  •  The average Kossack (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, DKinUT
    longs for the days when there was broad consensus in this country and Republicans were represented by reasonable people like Nelson Rockefeller and and Jacob Javits. Pols like Reagan and Cheney pushed the Overton Window to the right with specific rhetoric and agenda. Our message of " let's be reasonable" won't push the Window anywhere. We need a specific agenda with specific demands or the conservatives will keep winning. Centrism only results from an equal pull from the left and the right. Until recently the conservatives have outpulled us. Nyceve and and Slinkerwink were catigated for making specific demands, but America won't return to the center without a hard pull from the left. The kind Walter Reuther made all his life.

    "...on the (catch a) human network. Cisco."

    by hoplite9 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:10:18 AM PDT

    •  How's About A God-damn Hard Pull Of "In Your (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hoplite9

      face" good ol' fashioned break out the tear-gas demonstrating!

      How 'bout some mother-fucking targeted civil disobediance?  How about some Michael Moore pull-their-pants-down-around-their knees in public shit.

      How about treating Rush Limbaugh like a fucking Siberian tiger fur coat at a PETA convention?

      How about a million people in the steets of Washington, D.C for a "Shove that 9/12 Fuckstick Glenn Asshat Shit Right Back up Your Ass" rally?

      NO?

      You're right.  Too much.  I guess I'll just send my $20 to the "Save The Whales: No-Sushi Fridays" Campaign instead.  (Big FUCKING SIGH)

      In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

      by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 07:27:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The Iraq War protests (0+ / 0-)

        caused people to realize that 'traditional' protesting wasn't working due to media minimization of it.  Therefore effort has switched to the media problem, to wit creating our own media.

        Do we have enough of that that a new multi-million-person anti-war march would get into the public consciousness?  I doubt it.

        -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

        by neroden on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:15:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  The battle was disengaged (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    oscarsmom, orestes1963

    The moment Lieberman was let back in the Senate and Rahm was hired.  It said we don't want to fight anymore and there will be no consequences for going against my agenda.  

    I said so at the time as did many others.  I even removed myself from the subscription list.  I wish I would have been wrong.

    "Ultimately, we need to move beyond the tired debates of the left and the right, between business leaders and environmentalists" - President Obama, March 31

    by justmy2 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:16:08 AM PDT

  •  All progressives seem to do is criticize (6+ / 0-)

    Where are your positive, creative, forward-looking ideas? Do you seriously think change can happen without your help? Well then, why aren't you helping instead of criticizing?

    An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

    by sunflight on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:34:23 AM PDT

    •  Exactly (7+ / 0-)

      Why not use this space to rally people to the progressive cause?  Why use it to simply criticize POTUS ad nauseum, only to turn around and look mystified when the traditional media mirrors these same attacks?  Really defies belief.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:53:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The outcome will be disappointment (7+ / 0-)

        and I don't know why we don't at least TRY, without expectation of any one result or another, without attachment to the outcome but rather ideological support from within that compels us to try, to make the Party more Progressive.

        One way to do this is to simply follow the advice of Howard Zinn, who was my (ex) stepfather's mentor, and look to the historical model of how things have occurred. But this President is in a moment that is unlike any  other in history, in terms of the color of his skin, the makeup of the two party system, global capitalism, ecological disaster, and the split sentiment of the Nation itself... not to mention the technological element of information introduced into that public sentiment. So in our considerations, we should factor these new variables.

        And look to those who did in the face of all odds, without attachment to outcome, but those who did, who struggled, who reached out their hand for progress because it was the right thing to do; not because they believed they would achieve what they reached out for.

        Attitude is everything.

        I do as forcefully and fully without expectation as I would were I to expect results. That is why I am not disenchanted but rather, as fired up as ever to push for more Progressive governance.

        "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

        by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:01:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This is beautifully said (5+ / 0-)

          IMO, the question is: how does one go towards trying to move the party left?  Recite traditional media nonsense about Dems as feckless, spineless, unaccomplished and weak?  What a surprise that this is the narrative.  It has only been the (IMO, nonense) traditional media narrative promoted about Dems for 20 years!  No one is clever for repeating it IMO.  To me, this time would be better spent articulating new and persuasive arguments for progressive legislation.

          Frankly, I could see this same argument in any number of "news" shows.  Which says something.

          climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

          by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:07:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Funny you should say that... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            GN1927, foufou, soothsayer99, moonpal

            As you know, I have no television. But the night before last, I wound up staying in a hotel... for five hours by myself (there's a long, dull story attached to this). Tried watching the news at some point. KO was on, although with Lawrence O'Donnell instead. And then CNN too. I got tired of it all and felt it was very biased, and turned on Julia Childs instead.

            That's pathetic.

            She was making a chicken, as always.

            "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

            by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:22:02 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I love KO because I'm so biased! (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mahakali overdrive, soothsayer99

              I totally understand those who would prefer no bias, but he was a lone voice of sanity during Bushism and I'll never forget it.

              But the excesses of the media should be subject to critique here, not just unthinkingly parroted.

              climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

              by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:26:23 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I adore KO (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                GN1927, soothsayer99, moonpal

                That GBCW the other day broke my heart :/

                O'Donnell leaves me cold, however.

                I like Rachel Maddow too, but not like KO. Unsure why. They're both journalists, a rare thing these days in the wilderness of media.

                "Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted." -- MLK Jr.

                by mahakali overdrive on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:30:41 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Yeah, I hope he doesn't mean it (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  mahakali overdrive

                  He's a smart guy, and is capable of reason and nuance, as he has demonstrated again and again.  It probably sucked to him to read a diary suggesting that he'd been abandoned, when in fact it was just a hot response to those who took issue with POTUS' speech, which IMO didn't warrant accusations of perfidy.  I personally rec'd the diary, and stated my admiration of Olbermann.  Good people disagree at times; I hope he comes back!  He's not a POTUS maligner like some in these parts and spends so much time trying to educate.  I stayed out of his GBCW, and wish him nothing but the very best.

                  climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                  by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:37:06 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly :) n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GN1927

        An inclusive perspective for a changing world: Spiritual Persistence

        by sunflight on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:31:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  How is clapping for Tinkerbell (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CapeTown96

      "helping," exactly?  I'm supposed to pretend to support policies I don't support?  

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:59:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hillbillies, moonshiners, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive

    peach brandy, hogs running out, clannish murders, continuations of feud on internet, widowed families of 22 children, lynchings, evictions, migrant mothers, colored entrances, granite mountains, powerful Virginian matriarchs, powerful Virginian patriarchs, foundings of National Parks, New York City, foolish academics, girls on rocks, deconstructive takes on photography, and, for presidential leadership, Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

    With many many photos.

    What more could you want?

  •  public sentiment is being managed thru 1000 radio (6+ / 0-)

    stations- to a large degree.

    they reach 50MIL and pump out a daily supply of think tank talking points that the republican owned media are very willing to run with.

    when the talking heads say "it's clear what a lot of people are concerned about" they often mean it is possible to say that because limbaugh and hannity have been saying it, reading their daily talking points and creating made-to-order constituencies.

    every election when the GOP wants to disenfranchise brown and poor voters and frighten the base they hype the immigration issue. this time they got the idiot GOP in AZ to go further and in other border states the limbaugh megastations are pumping it full time. in the gulf states the local RW stations will have large numbers of people convinced it was obama's fault.

    political use of events like  the gulf disaster usually gets down to who has the loudest voice and is it being challenged. as long as those radio stations are not challenged the 'public sentiment' will often not be with obama or the dems even though it should be a no-brainer.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:46:51 AM PDT

    •  Exactly right (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      v2aggie2, certainot, ETF, moonpal

      and rather than using the few resources which the left does have to counter that narrative, this space is used to attack POTUS; makes no sense!

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:54:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This space is not the same as a radio station (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse

        This space is frequented by people who hold a set of political beliefs and are generally engaged in the political process.  As such, it is a forum in which we can discuss what is happening in the political arena, how our agenda is faring, etc.  The two media serve different purposes.  That is why people criticize the president here; it is, in essence, part of the mandate.

        •  Or in other words (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soms

          for a variety of reasons, both the right and some portions of the left are invested in floating around a false do-nothing POTUS narrative.  I know this.  I've always been very suspicious and skeptical of the traditional media; that now extends to the online media.

          climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

          by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:44:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well, you deal with the public you have (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            neroden

            not the public you wish you had.

            •  But then it appears as if the solution (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              soms

              is to join in the traditional media's counterfactual narrative about a do-nothing POTUS rather than even trying to fight back.

              To me, I'm not going down that road; people should do what they want, but I never supported the Iraq War because I am hard-headed and think for myself, and will now opt out of nodding to any suggestions FDR and Lincoln are these great heroes compared to POTUS with no discussions of the concessions and compromises that they made in order to implement their respective achievements.

              No thanks; if that were my attitude, I'd be a passive consumer of FoxNews.  Peace and peace out!

              climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

              by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:58:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  My comment was a bit of snark (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mightymouse

                my basic point is that there are a lot of people who are displeased with the pres's performance (news, I know).  You just have to accept that; claiming that people are wrong or short-sighted is not going to get you anywhere.  One can argue policy points, but even there eventually you may just have to agree to disagree.  Personally, I think any comparisons between FDR and Obama are misplaced.    

                •  This belief is because so many people (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  soms

                  with media platforms are disseminating lies for a variety of reasons.  I think that it's unconscionable, and I think ultimately will be unsuccessful, but it's still excrutiating and so very disappointing to see POTUS' dim view of blogs given any justification.

                  Personally, I think any comparisons between FDR and Obama are misplaced.

                  Thank you for telling the truth!

                  climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                  by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:07:42 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

  •  BIG HINT "Thinking" Is Not The Logical Equivalent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DKinUT

    of "a good idea"  It IS a necessary condition, but it is not sufficient to make that "leap of faith."

    (10 points for getting reason and theology to amiably inhabit the same sentence!)

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

    by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:48:15 AM PDT

  •  Another day (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, ETF, foufou, soothsayer99, moonpal

    Another meritless POTUS critique on the front page of dailykos.  I wonder when it will occur to those so intent on "insisting" that POTUS do this or that, how complicit they are in furthering the status quo by using the megaphone at this site to nod unquestioningly at the traditional media's insistence that their failure to report the facts is someone else's fault.

    This is a really vacant diary, for all of its pretensions.

    climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

    by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:50:35 AM PDT

  •  obama can't be an FDR if left won't get his back (11+ / 0-)
    - karl roves invisible political 2x4 may not have the central control it had when bush was in but it still pounds away at obama 24/7 while being practically ignored by those it will harm the most.

    the limbaugh megastations are the power centers of obstruction politics - if progressive groups want to push obama left they need to tell it on signs at their local right wing radio stations where the obstruction starts.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:53:50 AM PDT

    •  Agreed, a thousand percent (8+ / 0-)

      Those who overly criticize this POTUS, or criticize him for imaginary offenses are complicit in maintaining the status quo IMO; they are hardly warriors for the left.

      climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

      by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:56:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  democracy has a knife in its back and the left (9+ / 0-)

        ignores it because the wound is ugly.

        Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

        by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:00:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Well, if depends on what "overly" means. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        neroden, mightymouse, brein, missississy

        Agreed, a thousand percent (4+ / 0-)
        Those who overly criticize this POTUS, or criticize him for imaginary offenses are complicit in maintaining the status quo IMO; they are hardly warriors for the left

        .

        On the latter point, criticizing for imaginary offenses?  Of course.  Everyone should back up criticism with facts.  

        On the "overly" criticize" part... well, that's trickier.  

        Some (on this blog, and elsewhere) do nothing but throw garbage at Obama and seek out every possible opportnunity to call him names.

        Some, like yourself, treat any criticism like a blasphemy and run into every diary that dares to criticize the President, scolding and berating.

        The vast majority of us are between those two unrealistic, emotionally-driven poles.  

        Whether its the crazy anti-Obama screeds that have nothing but poison for the man -- OR the photo worship diaries where people act like POTUS is the second coming -- neither adds much but static to the more intelligent discussion.

        Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

        by chumley on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:38:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Nonsense (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soms, ETF, StepLeftStepForward

          Some, like yourself, treat any criticism like a blasphemy and run into every diary that dares to criticize the President, scolding and berating.

          This is a flat out lie, considering that I have major areas of policy disagreement with this President, starting with Afghanistan.  I simply dislike analysis which glosses over or ignores inconvenient facts.  But by all means, please continue the false equivalencies.

          climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

          by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:41:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hey, I only know you from what you post here. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            mightymouse

            Never seen you do anything but act as diary police, and it's always one subject:  stop criticizing of the President.  And you do a LOT, and with not the slightest nuance.

            Glad to hear you are more balanced in your view of policy, even if you choose to focus only the Obama-blasphemers.  

            But by all means, please continue the false equivalencies.

            The equivalency is true, sorry.  There is an ongoing, tiresome pissing match between kneejerk Obama haters and kneejerk Obama lovers.  It's tiresome.  Probably less 10% of the people on this site, sucking up most of the oxygen.  

            P.S. "Lie?"  And in bold, no less.  Ha!  Pretty worked up, aren't you?  

            Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

            by chumley on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:26:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So you chose to accuse me of something (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              certainot, soms

              which isn't true, because you claim to only see me as a diary police.  When in reality, the most egregious diarists, I don't even read, and merely offer up critique where it is both warranted and has a chance in hell of being listened to.  Yes, I am worked up as your accusation is a not nice thing to do, and yes it is a lie.  The condemnations of President Obama would take up a lot of time here for anyone of fair mind.

              There is an ongoing, tiresome pissing match between kneejerk Obama haters and kneejerk Obama lovers.  It's tiresome.

              This is a very simplistic "both sides" non-nuanced analysis, which IMO you have cast to explain your choice to sit on the sidelines as people flood this site with garbage, merely bemoaning "a pox on both houses!"  Reminds me of true centrists, who straddle the fence and commit to nothing, feeling superior because other people look stupid.

              climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

              by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:33:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ha! (0+ / 0-)

                This is a very simplistic "both sides" non-nuanced analysis, which IMO you have cast to explain your choice to sit on the sidelines as people flood this site with garbage, merely bemoaning "a pox on both houses!"  Reminds me of true centrists, who straddle the fence and commit to nothing, feeling superior because other people look stupid.

                Um, I don't care what it "reminds" you of. Doesn't make it any more true. But psychoanalyze away, what with your mind-reading about feelings.  You and Charles Blow get to share the prize for Mind Readers of the Day!  

                This is a very simplistic "both sides" non-nuanced analysis

                ...Says one of the kings/queens of non-nuanced analysis.  Hilarious!

                Fox "News" = Republican PRAVDA.

                by chumley on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:53:39 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  So basically you are simply here to attack (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  soms

                  as was illustrated by your first comment.  Please have a great day and continue to imagine that you are unbiased merely because you are in agreement with today's BWD diary.

                  climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

                  by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:55:45 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  there is a real problem in evaluating dem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          GN1927

          performance.

          many evaluate obama/dem performance with a very naive knowledge of modern politics. many new voters just started paying attention when obama showed up  and are wondering now why their dreams aren't coming true.

          the PERCEPTION of what is and what isn't acceptable, or where the political center is, is being managed by the right and until that is fixed playing the absolutes is  beneficial to the right- especially when dems have majorities- and the "throw the bums out" works so well for them.

          Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

          by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:51:00 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  So we have to blindly follow the leader (0+ / 0-)

      No matter what he does, in order to achieve what exactly??  My head is spinning.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:57:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  how can dem/obama be evaluated accurately if (7+ / 0-)

        the opposition has a huge advantage in media and their most important weapon is completely ignored.

        american politics is set up to react and evaluate after the corporate think tanks have already framed the debate, after limbaugh and hannity and spawn have already set the media smorgasbord with prechewed talking points.

        that effect on the necessity of obama and dems to compromise is ignored.until the left deals directly with the talk radio monopoly (see my sig) it will often keep piling on with the obstructionists and not even know it.

        Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

        by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:10:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If Obama wants the support of a majority (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw, orestes1963

          he's going to have to choose.  What he's doing now is trying to please everyone and ending up pleasing no one.

          He'll reap exactly what he sows, come election time.

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:22:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  The problem with your argument (6+ / 0-)

            is that it's based on the premise that Obama needs progressives more than progressives need Obama. Progressives will "punish" Obama by staying home, right?

            You need to answer this question: When Republicans take over the house, senate and presidency, who is going to suffer more - Obama, or the "progressive" agenda?  Who will suffer more when:

            1. DADT/DOMA repeal is completely ignored for another 4-8 years.
            1. Ban on Stem Cell Research imposed
            1. More "drill baby drill."
            1. More wars started in Iran, Africa, South America, etc.
            1. Afgan War prolonged for another 8 years.
            1. US image abroad plummets.
            1. Religion trumps science in education, research, government, etc.
            1. No climate change bill.
            1. No tax cuts/investments towards green energy sources
            1. More tax cuts for the wealthiest 2%

            10.Supreme Court nominees from the Teabag contingent

            1. Economy falls completely apart and US sinks into a deep depression, while the GOP "investigates" Obama's birth certificate, his "deal" with Sestak, etc.
            1. Unemployment rises above 15%
            1. Health care reform is repealed
          •  he can't do whatever he wants (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            soms

            he came in with many govt agencies full of bush appointees- that  is especially troublesome in justice and defense and CIA etc., with many fundamentalists.

            and coups (that includes messing with elections and foreign policy, etc.)  and assassinations are not a thing of the past and to allow 1000 radio stations call the president a traitor etc. and say things like "obama's head needs to roll" (limbaugh- 09/10/08) without a peep from the left increases the chances of those actions.

            and i suspect  many obama critics are now jaded because they actually were naive enough of politics they thought obama could do anything he wants. maybe they were apathetic before obama, had never voted before, were young, etc.

            it seems in the game of politics many progressives don't even know they're playing without a front line- they voted and blogged and now they whine while  their guy is getting trashed.

            Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

            by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:54:57 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Are you unable to operate (6+ / 0-)

        outside of this sort of polemic?  I refuse to parrot traditional media nonsense about fearful, weak do-nothing Dems, because that narrative is a very old and phony one.  I want facts.  This has nothing to do with worship, which is coincidentally, yet another right wing contentless narrative re: POTUS' supporters, which should describe the entire site or at least 90% of it.

        climate.gov---POTUS' New Science-Based Climate Change Agency

        by GN1927 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:10:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Either one supports Obama's policy decisions (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          chuckvw

          Or they don't--that's where the focus should be.

          What I object to is people that don't support the policies, but continue to cheerlead for Obama anyway--and tell the rest of us to fall in line.

          Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

          by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:26:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But you're not objecting to his policies. (4+ / 0-)

            You're objecting to him because you object to some of his policies.

          •  problem with that is that it ignores the realitie (0+ / 0-)

            ties of politics.

            can obama do anything he wants? can any of us? we have to criticize but if we criticize from the perspective that the playing field is level or we're playing with the same set of rules i would say the criticism is invalid.

            get the playing field level so jackasses like limbaugh and hannity aren't running a big part of the show for the corporate think tanks  and then the feedback can be a real part of a democracy.

            Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

            by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 10:18:25 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, it's all our fault (0+ / 0-)

      Please excuse me while I flagellate myself.

    •  Isn't it Obama who holds the key (0+ / 0-)

      to combatting the corporatist memes?  How do we have the power to combat the media, but Obama does not?  Haven't we here been arguing for Obama to use the bully pulpit to promote a populist agenda?  That is the only way to remove the right wing stranglehold on this country- to enact pro-people legislation which will result in greater political power.  It is the willingness of our president and other elected officials to cow in the face of the media/republican opposition (oh, we couldn't possibly enact a PO, they'll cricify us for it) that perpetuates the problem.  If we are powerless against the media, let's have that fight now and either prevail or go down fighting.  That is what leaders are for.  We are the troops, not the leaders.  We are there for reinforcement and support.  

      •  media control means obama needs 60 senators (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        soms

        for anything meaningful. all politicians have to at least pretend to be representing  a constituency and it is radio most effectively that supplies those constituencies and keeps the GOP in line and intimidates and threatens and enables the blue dogs, who might as well be called limbaugh dogs.

        and obama doesn't have the bully pulpit- that belongs to the US chamber of commerce and the right wing think tanks who feed the talk radio soapbox.

        the left allows their local RW radio stations to yell over everything dem politicians say or do without a peep in response, and then basically has to wait for the media to throw them a lucky bone once in a while because the right wing's position even more than usual defies common sense and logic.

        Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

        by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:34:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sorry, I disagree (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mightymouse

          I think the president has significant media power- if he chooses to exercise it.

          •  it doesn't really matter what he says (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            brein, soms

            he can announce what has already been done and that will get endless hours of distortion and speculation and analysis from right wing think tanks laundered through limbaugh and hannity and then fox and then the mainstream.

            he can say he wants to do this or that and the right has all the time in the world to distort his motivations.

            how many people listen to his regular saturday addresses compared to limbaugh and hannity- and he only says it once.

            he has those special speeches and to last they have to reach martin luther king standards.

            this is ridiculous. the best time he's had in the media since he got in was for a couple of weeks when he told the GOP senators they wouldn't get anything done if they kept listening to limbaugh. for a short while the GOP media propagandists were related to limbaugh- they had a rush tattoo on their foreheads. but the left dropped the ball.

            Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

            by certainot on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 06:16:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Or else ... what? (6+ / 0-)

    The author writes:

    "It is time for that Obama to make a comeback and stick around."

    Or else ... what?  If he doesn't do that, is the author is going to vote for a Republican?  Or will he vote third party ??  Or futilely throw his money at trying to run a primary against Obama ???

    You see, this is what is so deeply disappointing about the myopia of the left.  It's very easy to spend their days pontificating about what it is time for Obama to start doing ... but they never project that line to its logical conclusion.  Obama is our president - and he's still in his first term.  If we really want him to succeed, all of our guns should be pointed at his opposition.

    If progressives spent 1/10th as much time and energy going after Obama's opposition as they do telling him what he must do, and who he must be, then they'd actually see how much progress he can make.

    Two party politics is a ground game.  If you want to gain yardage, you have to attack across the line of scrimmage.  No team has ever won a game by pushing their quarterback down the field from behind.  

    The only way to win is by knocking down the players on the other side of the line.

    •  Why do you blame the people calling Obama out (6+ / 0-)

      for his policymaking, rather than Obama himself for his policymaking?

      If Obama wants more support from the left, perhaps he should pay more attention to what the left wants.  He has his choices, he can take responsibility.

      Save the parrots: Drink shade-grown coffee!

      by oscarsmom on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:24:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I know I learned something about myself this past (5+ / 0-)

        year. And that is that I'm not as left as I thought I was. Not after reading comments from the left from the past year. Hamsher, Greenwald, etc. Mean spirited left I want no part of.

        But I guess that makes me an Obama loyalist, even though I have fought for liberal causes since he was elected. But I can't seem to get on board with the misery that the left has become. Can't do it.

        It wasn't only the left who voted for this president btw. Lots of Republicans I know worked v. hard for him.

      •  No one is blaming people calling Obama out (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nina, soms, mahakali overdrive, ETF, moonpal

        we are calling people out for using false media narratives to support and advance their anti-Obama propaganda. Take for instance, the claim about the public option that you insist on making while refusing to provide any evidence to back it up.

        This is no different from the likes of Palin, Beck, Bachman, Boehner, et al, who simply say what they want, when they want to appeal to people's emotions, without researching the facts and presenting real data to back up their claims.

        This is what we are combating here. I have no objections to legitimate criticisms of the president's policies, but when people call him "liar" while they themselves are promoting false narratives, rank speculation and outright lies in their claims, I will call out their hypocrisy and duplicity.

      •  You've failed to sidestep the question (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nina, soms, ETF, moonpal

        in my post.  

        OR ELSE ... WHAT ???

        Blaming Obama for his policies - blaming Obama for anything - does NOTHING to further your agenda.  All it amounts to is lower progressive voter turnout in 2-1/2 years - and you won't get what you want from a Republican president!

        We can't afford to be myopic.  Too much is at stake.  It might already take a generation or more just to undo the damage created by the current Supreme Court alone - to say nothing of legislation in the interim.

        You ask me why I blame people for "calling Obama out for his policymaking"?  Because spewing discontent with your own side amounts to nothing but friendly fire. I DO blame anyone who alleges themselves to be "progressive" and yet effectively, willingly serves the interests of the proto-fascists.

        I'm not asking people to be Nostradamus.  But is it too much to ask for people to remember that, like it or not, we're going to have to reelect him again in 2012 ?

        Nothing good ever comes from fragging your own.  

    •  Or else (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      brein

      we don't get the results we need, and likely the D majorities shrink or disappear.

      People voted for Obama for something different. If they don't see it, many of the Indy's won't stick with the Ds.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 05:14:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I disagree with the entire basis of your (9+ / 0-)

    argument--that Obama has somehow failed to lead or shape public opinion.

    Through his leadership, Obama has already made significant changes to the fundamental direction of the country and more are on the way. He is an extremely effective president.

    Those who fail to recognize this can't see the forest for the trees.

    When it comes to Democrats, criticize, don't demonize.

    by Dragon5616 on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 11:35:50 AM PDT

    •  RE: What a lot progressives seem to want (4+ / 0-)

      is for the president to rule by decree; to ignore public opinion (especially from the other side) and use dubious legal methods to force his agenda through.

      You know, just like Bush, only for our side.

      (The idea that championing every cause they want might cause the other side to stop listening to him at all never seems to enter their heads, in exactly the same way it never occurred to Bush that he needed to at least appear to be willing to deal with the Left).

      What this president is doing is actually being president of the whole country, Left and Right. He's doing more than shaping opinion for current policies: he's setting an example (and a standard) for future presidents.

  •  Wrote this diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DKinUT

    almost a year ago when I still had some hope.

    But Barack Obama will soon be home (from Africa), and he really must take off the gloves now if he hopes to achieve anything more than symbolism with his presidency.  Mr. President, we need a plan!

    So far, our president seems content to nibble at the edges, fighting for incremental changes one at a time, an approach which simply exhausts his supporters and invigorates his (our) enemies.

    www.bushwatch.net - Kicking against the pricks since '98!

    by chuckvw on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:33:44 PM PDT

  •  The President should stop being wrong (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, neroden, MrWebster, brein, CapeTown96

    It's not what he says, it's what he has done that is just wrong. I don't give a damn about his style. I just want a president who can obey the rule of law, habeas corpus, Supreme Court decisions, and defend the Constitution.

    1. Guantanamo is still not closed despite executive order by President Obama
    1. The promise  to honor habeas corpus per Supreme Crt. ruling is broken.
    1. Obama administration fought on the wrong side in court and "won"  the power to keep prisoners indefinitely at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan.
    1. End Rendition? No, Obama decided to continue the Bush policy of rendition.

    5.Here's Jon Stewart's list:

    Secret military programs. Invoking state secrets in court, arresting whistle blowers, authorizing kill orders for anyone, even citizens, anywhere in the world if they are named "terrorists."

    1. Military commissions are still in use and the promised prosecutions of 9-11 terror suspects are not going forward.  
    1. The administration still uses state secrets to shield themselves from litigation in court.
    1. There's no prosecution for criminal acts of the Bush administration.
    1. Surveillance powers put in place under the Patriot Act have been renewed.
    1. Most recently, Obama's solicitor general urged the Supreme Court to not take the case of the Canadian citizen rendered to Syria for torture by the Bush Administration, on the grounds that his day in court would affect national security.
    1. Obama promised the end of supplemental war requests in favor of regular order for budgets. He broke that one too.

    http://www.salon.com/...
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/

    No matter what you read about this, the Halter challenge was a show of force by the left. Period.

    by mrobinson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 12:36:30 PM PDT

  •  When Presidents Strike (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, MrWebster, mightymouse

    Obama cannot wait for the public to force changes and the public cannot wait for Obama to start leading. Everyone needs to step up to the plate.

    As for the people, you have to understand that Obama is a "New Democrat", and his aims are not the same as yours. He bought into the principles of the New Democrats, and that's why he has DLC types on staff and gets nearly all his policy advice from the Clinton team. His thinking is that big business is what makes the country powerful and that we have to accommodate them, even if the side effects are a polluted gulf or an occasional nuclear meltdown.

    In a sense, he is leading, he's just not leading where progressives want the country to go and where, objectively, the nation should go. It would be better, in many ways, if he weren't leading, because then progressives could put pressure on Congress for what we want. When Obama goes to the aid of someone like Blanche Lincoln to try to keep her in office, against the clear wishes of his own party, you can see that he isn't just not leading, he's leading in the wrong direction.

    As for us, we can't sit back and let Obama or anyone else get away with screwing this up. Right now we are very likely determining whether the human race survives the century by decisions we make about burning fossil fuels. Right now, we are very likely determining whether the U.S. remains an economic power or becomes an energy colony for the Chinese, by our decisions about free trade. The New Democrats have had the wrong answers on these questions, as we can see by what Bill Clinton did when he was in office. There is no reason to believe that they can solve these problems now because they are still working on yesterday's answers.

    The real answers lie with progressives. At this point, what I want is for Obama to stop blocking the progressive agenda.

    But, if he wanted to be a player in all this, then he could learn a few lessons from his early term in office and make some very significant changes. If he wants to succeed as President, he needs to:

    (1) Get rid of Clintonites on his staff or rein them in.

    (2) Pick progressive policies on key issues, such as trade and energy. That means, specifically, telling Congress to fix the trade imbalances before his first term ends, and it means dumping all support for fossil fuels and replacing it with a policy aimed at renewables and conservation.

    (3) Stop trying to make agreements with corporations and Senate Republicans and start making his agreements with the American people. He needs to target any member of Congress that opposes progressive policy and show up in their district or state to take the case directly to their constituents. A few visits to the constituencies of opponents and there would be little opposition in Congress to anything he wants--as long as he picks an actual working policy.

    And what is that? Where can he find working policies? Well, as I've said before, only progressive responses actually solve the country's problems, and do so in a fiscally responsible way. If you try anything else, you either don't solve the problem or it costs so much you can't pay for the solution.

    So, it's time that Obama got the message: if you want solutions then you have to back progress. If you do it sooner (before the platform blows up and destroys a region of the country) then it might be hard, but you save enormous costs. If you do it later (say, after the arctic ice cap melts down), then you can spend your whole presidency cleaning up a mess.

    You know: Pay me now or pay me later with interest and penalties.

    A good place to start is by cutting off all current and future oil leases for the OCS. Put your thumb in that hole before the whole dike gives way.

  •  FDR's presidency -equally messy process (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hawkjt, brein, soms, QES

    Wish I'd read this article by Jonathan Chait earlier today, when this diary was top of the FP:

    Liberal Despair and the Cult of Presidency

    The New Deal was not a seamless narrative of aggressively liberal steps in which conservatives were sent scampering. It was full of starts and stops, and it took a long time. There were many reasons for this, but a chief one had to do with Roosevelt himself–seen by the more impatient reformers of his day as equivocal and adhering to too few core beliefs, exactly the way some see Obama today. Alan Brinkley, in Liberalism and Its Discontents, reminds us that the general historians’ view of Roosevelt, quite far removed from that presented in the sound bites and summaries employed today, was that of "a man without an ideological core and thus unable to exercise genuine leadership."

    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 Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 01:11:23 PM PDT

  •  The right wing press (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms

    and blogasphere could have hammered Bush for not doing away with abortion. He never lifted a finger on this biggest of social issues for the rightwingers...yet,they held their fire...Why?

    Why? Because they saw the big picture and preferred tax cuts, endless war,drill baby drill, and entitlement program curtailment to letting any democrat gain traction and knock out Bush.

    The left wing is much smarter,just ask them. They hammer the President on not just a few issues,but basically every issue,because he does not go far enough for them. They will hound him from the left,giving the media a chance to leap on the bandwagon,knocking him around. And in the end, the lefties will be proud of their purity, and willingness to knock out a democratic president for their principles...and the right will smile and say''there they go again!''...and exhale as their candidate takes the throne again.

  •  Yea, okay. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    soms, QES

    "A Coup for the Cool One". (Stanley Crouch)

    by blackwaterdog on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:19:00 PM PDT

  •  The subjunctive case is a nice place to be (0+ / 0-)

    omniscient. There is something we all should do but we usually talk about what the other guy should do. It seems like that is thee case here. Let's figure out what is going on and the come up with a solution. It may not even involve Obama.

    Compromise between political parties is nonexistent. Accommodation with the elected government and the unelected  'establishment power centers/corporate oligarchy/ conservative ideology net' or the 'unelected axis of evil' is what passes for government and politics.

    The political parties are nothing more than a top down version of pit bulls working for this axis. Today Rahm characterized the difference between the parties. This is the start of a new blitz by the Democratic hierarchy to win elections.

    The other side uses rhetoric that we on the left discredit because of the content. Followers on the right do not weigh the content, they see that any tool that is used to defeat the enemy is valid.

    As lefties express their anger and perceptions of indignity about this content, the right uses this to reinforce their message that they are fighting a war of survival. They take this anger and inflame it with further outrages.  Rhetoric neutralized, electorate divided.

    Both sides are divided and antagonistic; the axis has succeeded in a divide and conquer strategy. Not that it is a strategy, the mass of cynicism generated by accommodation to the axis obligates this behavior.

    Each group of supporters  is submerge in this theme of a righteous war. A progressive movement is apolitical, local, distributed, focused on providing concrete social justice needs like food, clothing, shelter, legal and medical services that compliment government centralized programs. The movement is a struggle for human rights and social justice.

    Struggle vs. war, a load of sexy bullshit or down to earth believable but boring quotidian determination, better soldiers or better citizens, compromise between ethically elected parties or accommodation to an inchoate mass of cynicism? I see no evidence on any of these pages that anyone gets this.

    Are the progressive Democrats correct? Are they really progressive or just another breed of pit bull? We are still in two wars, this is an inadequate Health bill,  civil rights are being trampled daily in DADT and marriage equality, the Bill of Rights is slowly being eroded on the basis of a ridiculous notion of 'national security'. These are all accommodations to an unelected power center not compromises between political parties. The parties are  both in the thrall of the axis.

     Who is getting fed with all that is on Obama's plate?
    The only thing that I am willing to give him credit for is, beating McCain/ Palin.
    He is president now, he is not strong enough to avoid accommodation of elected government with the establishment/ oligarchy conservative right wing axis.

    Politics cannot work to reconcile the voter with the candidate when a third unelected force has wormed its way into power and cynicism has spread to the left and right. That is what conservatism is.

    Obama is not the issue, the issue is you are disagreeing about something that is not the problem. You've been punked.

    The only way to have believable rhetoric is to compete with the axis and provide help to people. I do not hear anyone thinking outside of the box that politics is in.

    I have suggested ways to begin but they are not as sexy as the 'phony war''.
    If Democrats say that they are different, then why are they using the identical tactics and strategies as R's?

    People, people, people. What did they say after 911, there was lack of imagination?  Has it occurred to anyone that the answers are apolitical? That a unified country can have, has to have two parties.  All that I hear is panic and political bullshit or is it horse shit, it smells the same.

    Liberty Valence Saying, ''consumer protection'' is like saying, ''slavery protection.''

    by libertyvalence on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 02:20:07 PM PDT

  •  Game's over. Next is Apocalypse of the Left (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden

    Diarist states "He has said that change will not come from himself, but from the unity of millions of people demanding it. He has said change is slow, difficult and, at times, frustrating."

    Obama is right, but he did have the unity of millions of people when he won the election by outlandish numbers. The last eleciton was the ultimate act of organization and demand for change.  The millions of people came through.  In response, Obama immediately filled his major cabient positions with corporatet and Wall Street lackies (heck, he wanted to include a wacked out right winger from the NE).

    I will repeat this point.  Obama had the unity of massive millions of people after the election.  Obama lectured us small people, and we responded.  Apparently, it was not necessary for him to act in kind.

    I appreciate the sentiment, but it comes way too close to the rather repulsive Obama apologist argument that the followers, the masses, failed the Leader. Not Obama's fault having to compromise everything away, it was the fault of the wee-people for not giving him an clear, easy, unobstructed, no-work needed path to change.

    Fuck that.

    But the game is almost up in some ways for the Left and sites like this in particular.  Obama means to ravage the working classes with his so-called reform of Social Security after the eleciton (much as Biden did in a less major way with his support of the 2005 bankrupcy law).  

    This fight will divide the Left and bring sites like this a day of self-reckoning as the Democratic Party of FDR will be forever gone destroyed, by both Clinton and Obama.

    •  Nah, climate change will destroy us all.... (0+ / 0-)

      The further destruction of the social safety net will suddenly seem irrelevant as the environmental disasters start to cause massive food shortages.

      The Democratic Party will be the least of the casualties.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Mon Jun 21, 2010 at 12:22:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Excellent points made. Is the Senate..in fact the (0+ / 0-)

    entire legislative branch of Govt. now considered a minor obstacle?

    What seems to be holding back all this change is presidential leadership more concerned with process and procedure rather than removing minor obstacles using the mandate of popular will. - emphasis added

    ..this is the work yet to be done. IMHO

    I don't want your country back..I want my country forward - Bill Maher

    by Eric Nelson on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 07:34:06 PM PDT

  •  HE'S HERE: It's The Phantom of the Kossacks! (0+ / 0-)

    Duh-duh-duh-duh-DUUH.  Duh-duh-duh-duh-DAAH
    It's the PHAN-tom of the Kos-SACKS!
    Duh-Duh-Duh-Duh-DUUUUH
    its the phan-tom of the Kos-sacks.

    In dreams he comes to me, like LSD.
    With bat-shit babble like some old hippie.
    He taunts and teases us,
    For things we've said.
    THE PHAN-TOM of the Kos-sacks typing here
    Inside our thread.

    He sneers derisively at our best Rants.
    He's mocking all of us, dropping our pants.
    Please, Markos, save us now. (He could be RED??!)
    The Phan-tom of the Kossacks typing here
    Inside our thread.

    (with apologies to Andrew Ll...Aaaargh. NEVER APOLOGIZE WHEN YE CAN OVER-DRAMATIZE!)

    Cue the chandelier drop, screams.
    Fade to black.

    In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king; in the land of the braindead, the intelligent person is cast as the village idiot."

    by dendron gnostic on Sun Jun 20, 2010 at 08:02:49 PM PDT

  •  The Assessment Is Simple (0+ / 0-)

    Obama won't fight EVEN when he agrees with what's right. I'm not talking about fisticuffs. I'm talking about engaging in an issue and fighting for that position. He's either listening to idiots or he's battling his own inner demons that make him cower when he faces the "enemy". Either way, it's a bad thing to have the leader in power not be willing to stand up for what he "supposedly" believes. At a minimum he should at least come clean with his base about what he ACTUALLY believes and supports rather than glossing over issues with "we'll try compromise with Republicans". If he compromises any more they'll take videos and post them on YouTube.

  •  I happen to know (0+ / 0-)

    an old saying from Confucius, which roughly translates to "The public sentiment is the grass, while the virtue of the leader is the wind. The wind shapes the grass."

    In our "democratic" elective policits, ones (like President Clinton) who act on the public sentiment or co-op / compromise with it while squeeze some grease out of it, are good politicians. Ones (like Licoln and FRD) who make their own ideals AS the public sentiment are great statemen. Someone tries to only ACT (I mean to act as actors do) stateman, might even fail to be a good politician.

    I am from North Carolina, whose state motto is "Esse Quam Videri", "To BE rather than to seem"!

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