I don't believe you. I've watched you for years and I've never believed you. You want the same 5 million+/year deals you see the other purveyors of outrage making. You're a one-note pony. You deal in anger and will brook no countering arguments because to do so might imperil your personal aspirations.
I've seen you sitting across the table from economists who flat out claim that TARP was critical and necessary and stopped us from going off the cliff, to which you shrug and say, "Well, I don't agree with that."
Bully for you. That makes you any different from the devoid-of-facts chucklenuts at Fox News how, exactly?
If you like Cenk, don't bother coming over the jump.
You say: Mrs. Obama can you please tell your husband two things. One, we elected him for change and I'm beginning to think that he doesn't know what we meant by that.
Who is this mythical "we"? And what "change" did "we" ALL want? I'm curious because I voted for President Obama - I donated the max to his campaign. I fought for him in every discussion over politics throughout 2008.
And this part of your mythical "we" got exactly the kind of change for which I voted.
I got the most productive legislative two years of my lifetime, and EVERY ONE of those legislative changes went in the LEFT direction. Every one. From ARRA to PPACA to Lily Ledbetter to Credit Card Reform to Financial Reform. Every one.
I got a President who saved GM and Chrysler and didn't destroy the unions in the process, but rather, helped facilitate a new partnership between union and management that has GM roaring back with a vengeance.
I got a President who re-focused our military efforts against the people who actually attacked us, and who are trying to attack us again. And even there, he's searching for a responsible drawdown, by every account.
I got a President who worked with Russia (instead of blustering "We are all Georgians now!") to isolate Iran, and who spoke to moderate Muslims in the manner of the olive branch. When George Bush called Iran a member of the "Axis of Evil," people who knew that region whispered that the moderation movement in Iran had been set back a decade or more. Ahmadinejad grew stronger.
No longer is that the case. President Obama can't take credit for Iran's Green Revolution, but the moderation movement is roaring back against terrible oppression in no small part because Iranians don't think US warplanes will be melting their cities anytime soon.
I got a President who, for the first time in US history, made the Federal Government responsible for the health care of every American. Yeah, it's slower than I had hoped and a lot less comprehensive than I had hoped, but it's there. After the full implementation of PPACA, for Americans making up to 400% of poverty level, the cost of health insurance cannot exceed X% of their income, with the government subsidizing Y. X is a fixed number, whereas Y is the additional cost. Understand that? When the cost goes up, the increases will be borne by the Federal Government under the subsidies of PPACA.
If that's not a framework for true change, I don't know what is.
Do we watch the same Senate, Cenk? Do you really believe that President Obama could have flipped Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson or Blanche Lincoln? No, you don't, which is why I don't believe you.
Why do you think so many Independents and even Republicans voted for him in 2008, but are now leaving him in droves? Do you think they were expecting him to have more conservative policies? No, of course not, they were expecting him to do the same thing progressives wanted, and the one thing that we actually all agree on, change the system. I often hear the President talking about how he couldn't do more because he couldn't get sixty votes or that he did the best he could within the realities of Washington. He might actually be right about that, but we didn't want him to accept Washington. We want him to change Washington. We don't want the lobbyists to run the place any more. And unfortunately, they still do. That's what everyone is disillusioned by.
Where to begin with this idiocy?
Do you read Andrew Sullivan, Cenk? He's one of those conservatives of whom you speak. He still supports President Obama, and greatly so. He appreciates that President Obama is putting policy over politics, and often cites other conservative bloggers who understand that President Obama's achievements, like PPACA, will outlive his tenure, whereas many of the blustering fiat bombs President Bush threw in the mix have not and cannot.
Do you have any evidence that conservatives like Colin Powell no longer support President Obama? And I don't mean a critical comment here or there, I mean evidence that people like Powell wouldn't vote for him again against a McCain or Palin or a Romney. That's your benchmark in your above comment.
But let me add a couple of more points to your claim - Why do you think so many Independents and even Republicans voted for him in 2008, but are now leaving him in droves? - because here's the thing: they're not. You're full of crap.
Polling of independents shows a drop, indeed, but how many of those "independents" were registered Republicans in 2008? Aye, there's the rub, because after the drubbing in 2006 and 2008, many Republicans abandoned that party moniker and claimed to be "independents." Hard-right, super-conservative "independents" who NEVER supported President Obama and never would.
And by the way, if so many Republicans supported President Obama, how did John McCain get so many votes? I mean, the difference in the voting population in 2008 compared to 2010 - minorities, young people - pretty much explained President Obama's margin of victory, so where are these fictitious Bush supporters who suddenly saw the light? Where's your evidence?
Do you need evidence? Do you EVER need evidence?
Can you please ask your husband if he realizes that? He seems to be trying so hard to please everyone in Washington, but that's exactly the opposite of what we want. If he's doing his job right the entrenched powers in DC, whether it's the politicians or the Washington media, should be livid with him. If they're happy you're on the wrong path. We want you to turn their apple carts over. All these people got to where they are within this system. They're motivated to protect it. You should be storming their castle. You're the President you have the power to do it we don't that's why we elected you.
Geez, Cenk, if you don't think that the conservative side of America is livid with President Obama, I guess you missed the tea parties. And, let me see, where did that anger come from? Americans for Prosperity, the Chamber of Commerce, the Koch Brothers - are you really arguing that these status quo power brokers LIKE President Obama? Really?
Please, spare me the incoherent tea party memes. "Turn the apple carts over?" America wanted President Obama to eviscerate the US (world-wide) financial system? Really? I must have missed that, just as you missed the exit polling which showed that 80% of the people who voted in the midterms want Democrats and Republicans to work together and quit the partisan sniping. How does that number fit with your thesis, Cenk?
So why don't we really take a look at what's going on.
The right wing has been running a 24/7 effort to tear down President Obama from the day he took office. Listen to talk radio and from January 21, 2009 on, you'll hear nothing but mockery and attack, attack, attack. Oh, they "gave him a chance" (and their zombie legions "approved" of him - for about a week).
And then they attacked him, on everything, and when the policy seemed impeccable, like extending unemployment benefits, then they attacked "the process," as if it was some ethereal bogeyman ruining everything. "Oh, I could vote for this if [insert Demoncrat here] had only done it by the rules and above-board," assigned Republican X says with a thorough hand-wringing.
What nonsense, time and time again.
They lie about him every day - $200 million/day for his trip to India! - because they know a dirty little secret: first impression is stronger than "correction." They make that claim and conservatives cringe and gnash their teeth, and when the claim is proven false, those teeth-gnashers STILL have a negative feeling of the President, and not of the people who lied to them in the first place. I've been watching this propaganda game since 1993.
The Democrats lost the midterms for the same reasons Scott Brown won in Massachusetts: because of turnout. Now, you argue that it's because liberals are depressed about President Obama's policies, and that may be true for a very tiny percentage.
More than that, it's because the less informed and interested, casual voter (which means MOST of America - have you seen the new polling numbers on how many Americans think their taxes went up under President Obama, or how many don't know the Republicans now control the House?) is hearing only the bad spin and the uncontested lies. Geez, if both the left and the right hate him, he must suck, right?
And this is where I claim that YOU, and so many others like you, the one-note outrage guys, are hurting those very causes you CLAIM to support.
I've used this example before, and I think it right on target: for months, Ed Schultz railed against PPACA (unlike my feeling toward you, I actually believe Ed, and think he was bargaining...poorly...and not simply chest-thumping) for months on end, calling it "no reform at all" and other such things. Then came the Brown election, and Ed was apoplectic, begging the people of Massachusetts to get out there and not give the Republicans the 41st vote to kill PPACA. It was an amazing turn-around, and betrayed Ed's true feelings.
We know how that election turned out.
And here's the kicker, Cenk: the complaining about PPACA from left and right was a big part of Brown's win - which is as incoherent as your diaries, given that PPACA is almost exactly what we already had in Massachusetts and what commands a high approval rating here in Massachusetts! In fact, a national plan akin to ours is a boon to us, because we can't, alone, do anything to control costs without losing our doctors to neighboring states.
Because that's the real point of all of this, Cenk. Are the voting numbers and polling numbers down because of what President Obama has actually done, or are they down because of "death panels" and "tax hikes"?
Because of the policies that are now in place, like CC reform or because of the continual assault on him from left and right?
You talk about "messaging" and pretend that George Bush had this great message machine, and say that President Obama needs to go out and say "X, Y, and Z." But you ignore two things (inconvenient truths to your theses):
- President Bush didn't message, the Republican machine around him, from Fox to a near-total domination of talk radio, messaged for him.
- And, President Obama DOES SAY the things you want him to say. I hear him, and the moment he's done speaking, the punditry (and even KO is very guilty of this) comes on and tells us what we just heard through a tilted and self-serving prism.
"He didn't sound angry enough."
"Why won't he just call the Republicans what they are?"
"Blah blah blah."
Ed Schultz has come around of late. Keith Olbermann is usually pretty good. Rachel Maddow is showing you all how it should be done. You should watch her. You might learn something. She criticizes the President when he deserves it, but even on those issues for which she cares most deeply, like DADT, she at least acknowledges his process in trying to get what they both want.
And she does something which you are incapable of, Cenk: she gives credit where credit is due. Watch her comparison of President Obama's achievements to those of any who have come before. Now that's change I can believe in.
I couldn't get past the irony of watching Michael Moore on Bill Maher (or his recent rant here, for that matter) lambasting President Obama and putting him on notice. Michael Moore made his name because of the auto layoffs in Flint..."Roger and Me" ring a bell? Well, hey Michael, and Cenk, President Obama, without any damned help from the Republicans, just saved what was left of the US auto companies - AND the unions, as well.
In case no one here has noticed, this "letter" wasn't for Cenk. He likely won't read it; he's not here for discussion, as is shown in his disregard for comments. He's here to promote Cenk, and his ticket to seven figures is anger, only anger. He's also smart enough to understand that if the left doesn't promote the good that this White House has accomplished, then no one will, and if he really cared about the changes he says he cares about, he should be smart enough to do the "good" work of balancing his diatribes.
Which is why I don't believe him.
But if you do peruse this, Cenk, then you need only read this last line. Regarding the differences between punditry and actually, you know, governing, as Barney Frank said of Ralph Nader and I say of you: Ralph [Cenk] gets to luxuriate in the purity of his irrelevance.