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THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think John Boehner and I and Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are going to have to sit down and work together...

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."
--Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell

I don't enjoy bashing a President I have been a supporter of until this summer. I sincerely wish the President every luck in the new, more adversarial political climate. He will need it. But there is a tragic disconnect between the President's stated intention of "working with" the opposition, and the leaders of the opposition vowing to work for his ouster in 2012. As their NUMBER ONE PRIORITY no less (please excuse the descent into all-caps, but I mean c'mon....).

Simply stated, if the President is to be taken at his word and the logical extension of his statement taken to the last degree, it means he is willing to work for his own ouster from office. This represents a completely untenable political reality, one that signals utter catastrophe for the country.

Mr. President, we are waiting. We did not hear in your recent remarks any sense of regret at having marginalized and let down so many of your most ardent supporters. We did not hear a willingness to reconsider the wisdom of sending out minions on hippie-punching errands. We have been tough on shortcomings in your policies, but we have been staunch supporters nevertheless. Because we are the only constituents in the country who are animated by the notions of what will happen to society when people like Mitch McConnell are given sway. We would vote for a potted fern if it meant keeping religious fundamentalist proto-fascists away from the reins of power. We take it personally when you are attacked from the right by outright racists who can barely be bothered to disguise their animosity in publicly palatable form. We are stricken, demoralized, outraged, and above all concerned for our futures. Are you?

I don't have a lot of independently verifiable links to proffer in support of a thesis. I'm not a scholar, a journalist, a professor, a political professional. I am not going to pull quotes describing patterns of behavior. Basically I'm just some dumb-ass schlub wondering if his country is heading into incontrovertible decline. All I want is for one question to be considered: Mr. President, in vowing to "work with" your sworn enemies, are you going to assist them in pulling you down?

I know that there is a certain formality that comes with addressing the public after a political "shellacking." I know that it is standard to ask for comity and collaboration, and to make a pretense that all Americans are working with each other toward a common goal. However we are in an unprecedented political climate right now. Desperate times call for desperate measures. The political opposition has made a calculated decision to eschew civility. They did so IMMEDIATELY upon your installation in the White House, Mr. President, especially when the ENTIRE Republican body politic voted against the health care reform package. Mitch McConnell's recent remarks about his desire that you serve only one term are merely the latest exponent of an overt campaign to obstruct your agenda and fight against your political fortune with every means at their disposal, 24/7. Now, with the change in majority in the House, they smell blood, they are taunting, threatening subpoenas, threatening votes on "straight repeal, repeatedly." Given these and a host of similar statements (to say nothing of years of racist emails, accusations of anti-Americanism, calling into question your citizenship), how much longer is this farcical pretense that common ground is possible to achieve going to play out, Mr. President?

I am not a poker player. I don't typically spend a lot of time watching the WSOP on cable tv late at night (though I'm not above playing a few rounds on my iPhone). But I think I know when a bluff is being called when I see one. Mr. President, my challenge to you today is to tell us whether you are you going to fold, or are you going to see and raise? I'm prepared to go All-In, what choice do I have? But I need to know you have my back Mr. President, and I need to know it now.

Originally posted to mrblifil on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 08:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

    •  more mindless bs (0+ / 0-)

      all 'got your back" bs and "going all in" ignorance merely means you don't understand which way is up or down. This president knows better than you what the GOP is trying to do to him. He knows that they wish him ill and won't play straight with efforts at compromise. OK?

      Now begin over with the understanding that everything you've written is old news to Obama. Now he must play the cards that were delt him by the ballot box. Should he say what he has said and assure the people of his good intentions or should he say "oh my I have to please some bloggers so I'll say shit that will doom my presidency so alarmists on dkos will feel better"?

      This is where you set up a strawman and try to knock it down.

      Simply stated, if the President is to be taken at his word and the logical extension of his statement taken to the last degree, it means he is willing to work for his own ouster from office. This represents a completely untenable political reality, one that signals utter catastrophe for the country.

      Now if that is untrue and NOT taken to the last degree everything else you say falls apart. He said he would work with the GOP IF they work with him. Take that to its logical conclusion and you'll understand they will NOT work with him so the rest is meaningless, right? So all you premise rests on bullshit you know won't happen and isn't true. Wake up and try to grok reality. Bashing Obama is too damn easy for those who don't care to think about reality. Yours is a prime example.

  •  Voters want compromise (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mungley, MikeTheLiberal, Jerry056

    Obama needs to trick them into compromise or expose them as not negotiating in good faith.

    You get back what you put in and people get what they deserve - Kid Rock

    by Devil Without A Cause on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:00:26 AM PDT

  •  Did you see Countdown last night? (3+ / 0-)

    The President is going to do the whole "talk and try to work together" spiel, then when they snub him, he's going to FORCE them to make the choice between governing or not.  He's going to make them show the world who their masters are.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:00:37 AM PDT

    •  That's what the "town hall-style meetings" (4+ / 0-)

      with the House and Senate GOP membership were supposed to achieve. They were initially effective, with the GOP complaining of being ambushed and vowing never to repeat the experience. The country was supposed to take from those showdowns the lesson that the GOP had a paucity of ideas. Guess what? Corporate campaign funds trumps common sense it seems. I am simply asking if there is a Plan B, and moreover is Plan B going to be one that motivates people to reelect Dems in 2012, because otherwise everything else is moot.

      •  There is a meeting Nov 18th, Obama & all the (0+ / 0-)

        top critters, D & R. This should be televised, like his meeting with the Republicans. If they don't want to come, he needs to use national airtime to ask WTF, no appointments, 200 plus laws waiting. Easy to say no, easy to say you want me as one term, easy to say you won't fund healthcare. What will you do.

        NO MORE CO-OPERATION CRAP.

    •  He already did that whole "try to work together" (7+ / 0-)

      bit in the past two years, and admonished them for not focusing on governing. Look where that got him.

      I work with B2B PAC, and all views and opinions in this account are my own.

      by slinkerwink on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:06:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bingo (6+ / 0-)

        To the left.  

        The WH and the Senate need to go to the left.  It's good policy and good politics.

        •  I'd be happy if they stayed put at this point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          neroden

          Meaning - they have to stand their ground at the very least.

          They have to define themselves not by what they were able to give to Republicans, but what they were able to give to the public.

          At worst, under this scenario, they would be able to at least show the public what they are not willing to let the Republicans do to destroy the middle class and working people's lives more than they already have.  At best, they might get something good done.

          •  Staying put (4+ / 0-)

            Staying put is defensive.  And a loser.  The Republican House will not stay put. They will attack.   And attempt to hold up the budget.

            America will witness Washington Gridlock and want to blame someone as responsible.

            If we 'stay put' we will held responsible.  No, we must attack the Republicans.  The Senate must pass a whole bunch of new legislation and dare the Repubs to hold it up.  When and if they do, (which they will) we can attack them as the obstructionist they are as the Do-Nothing Know-Nothing House.

            The Republicans will only work with us if they fear losing that framing more than they fear losing $$ and support from the Right.

            Yes, it is that simple.

            Staying put is a loser.  We have no choice but to move to the left.

            •  I actually don't disagree with you, but (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Plubius

              I don't - at this point - have confidence in this administration's ability to push anyone around but liberals - and I don't have much faith in the idea that they would even entertain going left.  I think Obama is an ideological centrist and that he has been terribly inflexible thus far at critical moments when going left really was the "right answer" to a problem - the stimulus being a big thing that comes to mind - and the total abandonment of a jobs program being another.

              So, I'm basically begging him not to go right - stay put at least.  The fact that he picked the deficit as opposed to jobs as a place to "work with" Republicans says to me that we are not only going to go right, but also he's going to allow a bunch of people to get hurt in the process.  Why the f*ck can't they focus on job creation?  It is beyond me.  The Republicans ran on jobs, too.  It is the territory that Obama should claim and focus on forcing the GOP to go left rather than going to the issue on which he will certainly go right - and an issue that people actually don't f*cking care about - they care about jobs and their own financial security much more than they care about national debt.  Head exploding.  Sorry.

      •  "Bad, bad republicans." (0+ / 0-)

        Here's your reward....

        Enough already. Stand up and fight. If you lose, you lose, but at least you tried. That's all I ask.

        by gooderservice on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:37:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  i hope so (0+ / 0-)

      but if their messaging about that is as bad as it has been about their legislative accomplishments, then it will get lost in the media noise.

  •  Of course he will (4+ / 0-)

    IMO Obama isn't going to sit here for the next two years and have noting to show for it. He's going to pass GOP legislation just so he can say he's trying to do something.

  •  Listen to Richard Wolffe (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Timbuk3, Grumpy Young Man

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:02:13 AM PDT

    •  If the White House thinks that their (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, hardhatmama, We Won

      winning issue amongst the public is going to be the deficit and cutting Social Security and Medicare, then they are WAY off track.

      The Republicans ran on jobs - that's where Obama could really hold their feet to the fire and maybe even create some jobs - that would make people happy with him - even if he didn't prevail - he'd be seen as a champion of the people's cause.

      Sigh.

      •  I'm in favor of the president fixing (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        We Won

        Social Security by helping to create jobs, jobs, and jobs, and SS will get an influx of money, and in time, then the cap.  Problem solved.

        Enough already. Stand up and fight. If you lose, you lose, but at least you tried. That's all I ask.

        by gooderservice on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:40:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Raise the cap. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          We Won

          Enough already. Stand up and fight. If you lose, you lose, but at least you tried. That's all I ask.

          by gooderservice on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:40:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That is not a plan that the Republicans (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice

            will support and Obama's commission is totally going rightward on their recommendations.  I think he should focus on jobs creation and let the GOP do its internal battle on the deficit.  He should stay out of that fray because everything that the GOP will want to do will hurt people.

            A jobs program on the other hand keeps him faithful to his base and puts the Republicans back on their heels - AND more importantly than anything might actually HELP people.

            This is a lesson in picking your battles.  A lesson that I do not think that the Democratic Leadership has been great about considering in their dealings with the Republicans and the Public.

  •  It's Hard to Imagine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MikeTheLiberal

    Mr. President, we are waiting. We did not hear in your recent remarks any sense of regret at having marginalized and let down so many of your most ardent supporters. We did not hear a willingness to reconsider the wisdom of sending out minions on hippie-punching errands. We have been tough on shortcomings in your policies, but we have been staunch supporters nevertheless

    ...a dumber speech Obama could have given yesterday than the one you apparently wanted to hear.  Especially if you just look at the actual numbers, none of the things you're talking about had anything to do with the outcome of the election.

    Dear Wall Street: If you want to stop feeling like a piñata, stop stuffing yourself with our f#@$ing candy.

    by TooFolkGR on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:02:27 AM PDT

    •  Youth vote did not turn up (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      neroden, CuriousBoston, hardhatmama

      nor was there an effort to get it to turn out. Where were the concerts, the 30-minute informercials from the President to keep the youth vote involved? They weren't attempted because that demographic had already been demoralized by gutless compromise over gutless compromise enacted in direct contravention to their interests. Popular policies are a great way to motivate turn-out. White House has avoided populist policy making like the plague.

      It is ridiculous to suggest that people voted for Republicans because of issues like jobs and deficits, or any of that other claptrap. The Republican policies in those areas are pathetic and ridiculous on their face. Taxes? Give me a break. Republican policies are demonstrated to be unpopular. Republicans are relying on fear and lies, and they are relying on a demoralized opposition. The latter part is where I think Obama has an obligation to address his own contribution to how bad it's gotten.

      Lemme suggest something to you. When Mitch McConnell speaks he speaks directly to his constituency, who are the wealthy donors that lubricate the patronage machine at which he is installed at the head. Which constituency is Barack Obama currently speaking to, because I swear to God I don't have any idea.

  •  If you haven't already, please send this to the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    slinkerwink, neroden, gooderservice

    WH.

  •  Bill Clinton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, neroden

    Faced with Republicans in both houses, simply got out in front of their issues and took credit for them.

    He won re-election handidly.

    Obama's "problem" is that Democrats are still nominally the majority in the Senate, but not with enough votes to really control the process.

    La mathematica è l'alfabeto in cui Dio à scritto l'Universo. Galileo Galilei

    by Pyper on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:09:43 AM PDT

  •  Here are White House numbers (0+ / 0-)

    202-456-1111

    202-456-1414

    If you have issues the WH give them a call.

    Write them; go to WhiteHouse.gov

    Those on the left as Big Ed, your rants over the 21 months have not worked.  We all got opinions  but beating up on WH is just not going to get us any place fast.

    Pres Obama isn't going to be the one fighting GOPers, since he has not done it before.  He needs people who would go to the bat for him.  

    •  Clearly not even a severe beating at the polls (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil, neroden, hardhatmama

      is enough to sway your thinking - and maybe not theirs.

      What am I gonna do to go to bat for Obama?  Call Boehner up and tell him that I won't sign his legislation if it...  lol  That'll whip those Republicans into shape and change the course of history - lol - she said sarcastically.

      Comments like yours just make the case for the "Primary him!" crowd.  If you tell people often enough that the guy isn't going to lead, people will start entertaining the idea of replacing him with someone who they believe will lead.

      •  You don't know how I think. We knew of Citizen (0+ / 0-)

        United ruling in Jan.  Pray tale, what have we done or did to put campaign expenditures as a ballot initiatives nation wide.

        I know there was a heavy lost.  Out players targeted 34 Dems.  The got rid of 23.

        We need to find a way to bit GOPers at their games.

        I will not join those who want a continued tearing down of this president or the Dems.  We still have 2/3 of the government.

        When we scatter as roaches do when lights are turned on, we further demoralize ourselves.

        •  No one is scattering. (0+ / 0-)

          People are talking about what they think needs to change.

          That's not scattering.  That's participating in this Democratic process.

          The idea that constructive criticism can't be tolerated by this President and this Democratic Leadership is partly what led to the severe losses on Tuesday.

          No one is tearing down this President.  Criticizing and making some very good suggestions about how he should change, yes, but "tearing down" is ridiculous rhetoric designed to silence people - that's gone on too long under this Administration and this Leadership.  They were tone deaf and if they don't start listening for the next round, they will lose.

          By the way, I dropped off of this blog for about six months.  I had nothing good to say about where the Democrats were going as the months ticked closer to the election.  I kept my mouth shut.  Now that your precious guy has been given his chance and failed, it is time for those of us who got out of his way to speak up.

          They will listen or they will not.  It will be up to them.  And if they can't handle the criticism, they ought to get out of politics.

          •  Kettle see Black. Look how you have nice (0+ / 0-)

            condescending words for me, but uffda, that wouldn't be silencing dialogue.  Wow! Why, you said so?  Okay.

            Constructive criticism, sure but who decided?

            Oh well, I know when one just wants to argue, so be my guest, you win.  Have a nice evening.

    •  Sure, it will. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mrblifil

      Maybe they'll finally listen.

      but beating up on WH is just not going to get us any place fast.

      Maybe Obama could start reading eleven letters instead of ten each day.

      Enough already. Stand up and fight. If you lose, you lose, but at least you tried. That's all I ask.

      by gooderservice on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:42:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm not beating up on anyone (0+ / 0-)

      I am pointing out that the logical inconsistencies of the President's methods of dealing with the opposition are enormous and dangerous.

  •  Let's see how (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mrblifil, CuriousBoston

    all that compromisin' works out when the supoenas start arriving at the WH.

    Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

    by Virginia mom on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:29:13 AM PDT

  •  When he picks a (0+ / 0-)

    republican as his chief of staff, you'll know he has folded.

    He and his staff will regroup.  relax.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Thu Nov 04, 2010 at 09:36:27 AM PDT

    •  I am relaxed, if urgent (0+ / 0-)

      I'm also alert. So far the signs have not been promising. He won't have "hope" to offer in 2012, and the odds of him being able to point to accomplishment over the next 18 months are none too great. He's going to have to start thinking out of the box and soon.

      Would you tell someone who smelled smoke in their house to "relax," simply because the smoke alarm wasn't screaming yet?

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