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Is the path to victory on the left?

It is, by now, an article of faith for most folks in the punditocracy that a Democratic President must triangulate to earn re-election. First brought to the public conversation in President Clinton's ultimately successful 1996 re-election bid, the concept is to position oneself as the bridge between two intractable parties/ideologies. Many a column inch has been devoted to alternately insisting that Barack Obama follow the same trail, or praising him when it appears that he is doing precisely that.

Consider this point of praise back in December for the tax cut deal:

Sixteen years ago, Mr. Clinton was in the same situation Mr. Obama finds himself in today: the Democratic majority in Congress swept out of power, and the need to rethink how policy is formed. For Clinton, the answer was “triangulation,” the practice of meeting Republicans part-way, often to the chagrin of Democrats.

Obama already appears to be getting the hang of it. This week’s crackup between Obama and his liberal base over a tax-cut deal he reached with the Republicans seemed poised to threaten Obama’s support among the progressive grassroots, whose energy and donations he will need to win reelection. But just as easily, it opens him up to a second look from independents and moderates who abandoned the Democrats in the midterms and whose support he needs if he wants a second term.

With rare exceptions, it is extraordinarily difficult to find an election analyst make the case that for President Obama to get re-elected, he needs to tack left, at least some of the time.

You are about to read a rare exception. Perhaps not stunning, coming from a site that calls the progressive blogosphere home. Nevertheless, there is a legitimate, data-driven case that triangulation and tacking to the "center" (or, heaven forbid, the "center-right") will not yield President Obama the electoral dividends he seeks.

To make the case, I will use several sets of data. To save us from incessant linkage down the line, let's lay out the sources up front. They are:

  • 2010 Exit Polls, both nationally and from a total of 15 states.
  • 2009 Exit polling from New Jersey and Virginia
  • 2008 Exit Polls, both nationally and from a total of 20 states.
  • 2006 Exit Polls, national House poll only.
  • A trio of late-cycle Independent polls from 2010: a SUSA poll from Georgia, a PPP poll from Minnesota, and a PPP poll from North Carolina. These three polls were chosen for two simple reasons: these were states that did not have exit polling on Election Day, and the poll toplines closely reflected the final result.

Based on the above data sources, there is a reasonable case to be made that a base strategy may well prove to be as sound an electoral strategy as triangulation. This argument is based upon four primary points of emphasis.

1. WHO votes is every bit as important as HOW they vote
As disastrous as the 2010 election cycle was for Democrats, we tend to forget that the Democrats not only carried 90% of the vote among liberals last year, they also carried 55% of the vote among moderates. The disaster for Democrats came among conservatives.

It wasn't necessarily their vote total, though the mere 13% of conservatives who voted for Democrats was substantially less than the 20% that voted for Dems in 2006, or voted for President Obama in 2008. It was the proportion of the electorate represented by conservatives.

Consider than in 2008, when President Obama scored his historic victory, the ideological makeup of the electorate was as follows: 22% liberal, 44% moderate, and 34% conservative. By 2010, the electorate looked dramatically different: 20% liberal, 38% moderate, and 42% conservative.

To put it another way, in two years the liberal/conservative gap went from Cons +12 to Cons +22. And therein lies the landslide.

The gap was even wider in some key battleground states that went away from the Democrats. Pennsylvania went from a 4-point conservative edge to a 16-point edge. Ohio travelled on a similar vector, where an already sizeable 15-point edge ballooned to 26-points last year.

To put it even more simply: make the following assumptions. Assume that Barack Obama gets the same amount of support for each ideological group that he did in 2008. Which is a reach--there is no reason to expect him to get 20% among conservatives again (he also nabbed 60% of moderates and 89% of liberals). But, for the sake of argument, assume it anyway. If the ideological makeup of the electorate does not change from 2010, Barack Obama claims just 49% of the vote. He also heads under 50% of the vote in several states he carried: Florida, Indiana, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia.

One counterargument to this is that the larger presidential electorate automatically presumes a less conservative electorate, because midterm electorates are comprised of more regular (read: conservative) voters. And while that is often true, it is not a guarantee. The Lib/Con spread was actually incrementally wider in the 2004 Presidential election year than it wound up being for the 2006 midterm.

The bottom line is that President Obama needs a Election Day 2012 composition that is at least 60%-65% comprised of moderates (many of whom are left-leaning, but don't want to self-identify as liberal) and liberals. Absent that, even a solid performance with those two groups is unlikely to be a guarantee of victory. He cannot run away from the left and simultaneously expect them to turn out in droves on his behalf next November. The Democrats, and his second term, cannot survive another "enthusiasm gap."

2. Yes, the President does have a little bit of a "base problem"
Another article of faith among the political chattering classes is the notion that the idea that President Obama has alienated the left in any meaningful way is a fiction bounced around among "liberal elites." They often cite polling data, pointing out that Obama's approval rating among Democrats and liberals remains "high." And, indeed, his numbers with those two groups are far from free fall.

But they aren't that great, either.

Consider a recent national poll (PDF) conducted by Public Policy Polling. Independent of their work for Daily Kos, this poll explored the presidential contest, and found President Obama staked to leads over the entire GOP field.

That, indeed, was the good news. But buried within the numbers are two items that should be cautionary notes for Team Obama. The first was an issue of ideological makeup--while there were more liberals than usual (probably because PPP takes the smart step of allowing people to identify as "somewhat" liberal or conservative, allowing some self-professed moderates to out themselves), it also maintained a 41% conservative contingent.

The second issue was that despite a laudable 61/33 spread among moderates, the President's job approval was underwater. The culprit? Godawful numbers among conservatives (more on this later), and the fact that Obama's approval numbers among liberals (both "somewhat" and "very") lingered in the low 80s. That isn't spectacular, when one considers that President Obama locked down 89% of liberals in 2008, and the Democrats snared 90% of them last year, as well.

Some pollsters have it even worse: this week's Marist/McClatchy poll had the liberal job approval numbers at 68/24. Some polls don't have it nearly as bad: this week's installment of the Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation poll had it at 88% approval.

Nevertheless, that is a group that should be pretty close to unanimous. And they are not. If the President cannot up those numbers by a few points, there is serious peril there for him. Because, as you'll see, it might prove difficult for him to get the numbers to move elsewhere.

3. It is nearly impossible for the President to replicate his 2008 performance among conservatives.
There are few reasonable scenarios by which we can assume that the President will, as he did in 2008, attract 20% of the conservative vote next November. The past two years have clearly seen a sharp polarization among conservative voters, who have basically written off both this President and his party.

Consider the PPP national poll from mid-April alluded to above. In that poll, President Obama was in the teens with "somewhat" conservative voters, and in single digits among the "very" conservative ones. This tracks well with this week's Daily Kos/SEIU State of the Nation Poll, where his approval spread with conservatives sits at a mere 12/81 spread.

Furthermore, beyond mere approval numbers, last year's vote tallies also suggest that it is unlikely that the President will see 2008 levels of support among conservatives again. In the twenty statewide races from 2009-2010 which I tracked, the Democratic nominee did no better than 18% of the vote. In the majority of those twenty races, the Democratic nominee failed to crack into the teens, including three races that Democrats actually won. Nationally, Democrats running for the House received just 13% of the conservative vote.

There is some precedent to suggest that Obama's 20% of the vote may have been a bit inflated, owing to conservative mistrust of John McCain. His 20% was substantially higher than the 15% won by John Kerry in 2004, and was also higher than the 17% won by Al Gore in 2000.

4. The President already has a solid standing with moderate voters.
In the blockquoted piece at the start of this essay, the author lauded President Obama for the tax cut deal with Republicans, in essence arguing that any loss of support among liberals would be offset by the re-evaluation of the man among moderates.

Two pieces of data seem to disprove that.

The November edition of PPP's national polling, conducted before the tax cut deal, showed that the President was already doing quite well (61/34) among moderates. He was also doing extremely well (90/8) among liberals. Earlier, I noted where the President's approval now stood in that monthly survey (low 80s) among liberals.

Meanwhile, in that same April survey, where was the President with moderate voters? 61%. A solid performance, to be sure, but also exactly the same percentage support he enjoyed among moderates last November.

Therefore, only two conclusions can be drawn. Either (a) the tax cuts paid no dividends with moderate voters, or (b) any positive re-evaluation of the President post-tax cuts by centrist moderates was nullified by a dip among left-of-center "moderates". Therefore, the overall number remained constant.

You see, a cursory look at polling data reveals one truism: a large number of moderate voters...simply aren't. A load of them are actually left-of-center voters who are uncomfortable, after decades of the term being gradually hammered into an epithet, with self-identifying as "liberal."

The proof is in the data. Even in the ugliness of the 2009-2010 electoral cycle, Democratic candidates carried a majority of the moderate vote in nineteen of the 20 statewide races I tracked. The sole exception was Jon Corzine, who nabbed just 45% of the moderate vote in the 2009 New Jersey gubernatorial election (remember when people thought Chris Christie was a moderate? Fun times.).

President Obama snared 60% of the moderate vote, according to the 2008 exit polls. Looking at the recent polling data, he still draws favorable job approval numbers from anywhere between 54-61% of moderate voters. I wouldn't necessarily argue that he has "maxed out" his support among this corps of voters, but I also think it is silly to argue that there is a vast, untapped reservoir of undecided/hostile moderate voters that Obama could bring home by being more conciliatory to conservative positions.

Indeed, given the fact that moderates tend towards the left-of-center in their voting preferences in recent years, it is not crazy to suggest that Obama might gain more yardage with this group by tacking to the left, as opposed to finding common cause with the right or "center" (which, for far too many in the political analysis community, are interchangeable terms).

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Virtually every poll over the past few months has shared a common theme: the President is on shaky footing with the electorate, but continues to hold leads over the potential GOP field. This rather strange dichotomy is owed to two characteristics of that Republican contingent: they are still very undefined to the electorate, but what the electorate knows of them, they do not like.

Given that a bit of fratricide on the GOP side appears inevitable as the field of declared challengers begins to grow, President Obama will have a great deal of flexibility. Triangulating might allow him to frame himself as the "adult in the room", but it also runs a very real risk of leaving loads of potentially decisive voters on the sidelines. However, the prospect of a real spectacle on the other side may also allow Obama the ability to tend to his base on some big-ticket items and still look reasonable by comparison, given the tea-flavored festival that seems bound to begin (and already has, if the ideologically flexible Tim Pawlenty is any indication).

Certainly, other factors beyond ideological positioning are of paramount importance. If voters still feel the country is off on the wrong track, and that the economy is stagnant, no amount of framing and posturing is likely to resurrect the President's electoral prospects. On the other hand, if genuine signs of healing and improvement lift the electorate's spirits, the President becomes a betting favorite no matter how the GOP primary plays out.

The bottom line here is that there is reasonable evidence that the risks of alienating or neglecting the base could well outweigh any potential rewards for doing so. This is not 1996, and the data makes it a bit tough to see where any erosion in liberal enthusiasm or support is going to be offset by surging Presidential support from the center or right.

Which is something that the Obama 2012 team might do well to consider as they position their man for the inevitable future battles that they will face with the GOP inside the beltway.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:00 AM PDT.

Also republished by The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Get a pair of good shoes and walk with some unions (46+ / 0-)

    Order the Pentagon to get off it's duff and certify a new policy allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

    Easy actions he can do where he doesn't have to go through Republicans in Congress.  Go to work with his bully pulpit and once-in-a-generation rhetorical gifts to defend Democratic programs like Social Security and Medicare, even if only to paint the Republicans as the bad guys.

    "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

    by Uberbah on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:06:22 AM PDT

      •  that's why it's so frustrating... (35+ / 0-) see Dems take an easy win-win-win, something that's good policy AND good politics AND would make the base happy, and turn it into a loss-loss-loss.

        Like going from a Public Option to Romneycare.  Like continuing Too Big To Fail rather than breaking up the banks and helping out homeowners.

        Today's Democratic Party: seldom missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity.

        "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

        by Uberbah on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:55:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Three names (4+ / 0-)

          Ben Nelson, Bart Stupak, Joe Lieberman that is why we ended up with the health care plan we did  

          •  That's Villian Rotation (25+ / 0-)

            Isn't it funny that the one and only time we've heard about this 60 vote "requirement" is when the Democrats held both the Senate and the House?  You never heard it when Bush was president and the Republicans were passing pretty much everything they wanted, with far smaller majorities than the Dems had from 2008 to 20010.

            Even if the three Senators you mentioned were completely intractable, there was reconciliation.  And there was ending the filibuster entirely, which would only take 50 votes + a ruling from the Senate President, who happens to be Biden.

            We didn't get a Public Option because it was more of a campaign slogan than an actual goal.

            "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

            by Uberbah on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:16:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  wrong (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Rustbelt Dem, dmh44, Matt Z, flhiii88

              actually we did and the republicans threatened to completely kill the filibuster. What the republicans were doing was much easier politically to do. Cut taxes and keep wars going. Then targeted Democrats in either purple or Red districts to get their vote, and during 2008-2010 the Republicans targeted these Democrats. You don't seem to understand there is no way to have a functional liberal majority in the Us Senate. When you have 50 states and 100 senators and to even get 60 votes in the Senate in the first place they had to elect Democrats that were almost DINOS, in fact it would be hard enough impossible to elect a simple majority of Democrats that are as liberal as you would want them to be.  

              •  Don't bother (0+ / 0-)

                Uberbah does not argue in good faith.  Don't follow him into the rabbit hole.  

              •  the republicans have kept the wars going (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                enhydra lutris, Uberbah, hardhatmama

                with the unwavering support of democrats.  just as their assault on the 4th amendment has been done with the support of democrats and our republican-lite president.

                big badda boom : GRB 080913

                by squarewheel on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 11:42:50 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Eh? (7+ / 0-)
                actually we did and the republicans threatened to completely kill the filibuster.

      're backing up my 2nd paragraph?

                Even if the three Senators you mentioned were completely intractable, there was reconciliation.  And there was ending the filibuster entirely, which would only take 50 votes + a ruling from the Senate President, who happens to be Biden.

                Thanks for agreeing with me that Stupak, Nelson and Lieberman were excuses and not actual obstacles.

                What the republicans were doing was much easier politically to do. Cut taxes and keep wars going

                Until they had epic back-to-back losses like in the 2006 and 2008 elections, of course.

                You don't seem to understand there is no way to have a functional liberal majority in the Us Senate.

                You seem to be ignoring the fact that when you poll on the actual issues, instead of political labels like "liberal" and "conservative", that the liberal ideas are supported by a majority to a supermajority of Americans.  Including those that live in "Red" states.  Like the public option.  Like allowing gays to serve in the military.

                in fact it would be hard enough impossible to elect a simple majority of Democrats that are as liberal as you would want them to be

                Try explaining how "I want to bring you jobs, health care, education and a fair tax rate, but the Republicans are standing in the way" wouldn't have been an extremely powerful message for Obama to use in any state in the country.

                It's just one he's never chosen to use.

                "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

                by Uberbah on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 04:57:15 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  THAT Kabuki was for SC nominees only. Dems (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                shaharazade, Uberbah, KingCranky

                NEVER held tough on actual legislation; BushCo got everything they wanted except privatizing SS and selling our ports.  Dem excuse FAIL

                The Republican motto: "There's been a lot of progress in this country over the last 75 years, and we've been against all of it." ~ Hillbilly Dem's 78-yo Dad

                by JVolvo on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 05:57:38 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

          •  and what party did they belong to, again . . . . ? (6+ / 0-)

            As you correctly point out, the Repugs were never our problem.  

            Dems are.

            You can of course wave your arms and declare that they're not True Scotsmen.

            In which case I will ask you why they have castles in Scotland, then.

      •  It's The (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Right (meaning Left) thing to do.

        The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

        by stewarjt on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:19:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Unions Aren't "Left" (0+ / 0-)

        The fringes are getting further and further away from the middle, and just like fringe, it's thinning.

        For the votes Obama might pick up from gay activists, for example, for each one of those he picks up, he'll lose two moderate/moderate-conservatives who are opposed to those activists' ideologies but who support instead things like union rights, universal helathcare, and ideas vastly more popular [Public Option ran at 70% + last year].  

        So he has to sit down and do the math.  All democrats do running in 2012.  Fringe left votes require that he sacrafice an election.  You will remember that oddly, of all the issues the GOP galvanized 100% "NO" on against Obama, they eeked out just enough congress people to pass the repeal of DADT.  They know if the dems embrace the fringe left, they will lose two votes for every one they gain.  The GOP "helped" that along quite nicely.

        Obama's real problem is not being aggressive enough.  Just talking aggression doesn't cut it.  People want delivery.  His healthcare submission to the GOP was a FAIL.  People don't elect weak failures to the Oval Office.

        If dems did nothing but embrace healthcare and promise on their mother's grave to put single payer or public option in place with a majority takeback of Capitol Hill, then maybe, just maybe we might trust them this very last of last times.

        •  except "fringe left" = majority of the country (14+ / 0-)

          You brought up gay rights....well even a strong majority of conservative voters favored ending DADT.

          You poll on the actual issue (as opposed to conservative vs liberal labels) and it's usually the case that the "far left" position is the one supported by a majority to supermajority of Americans.

          "Pragmatists don't DO things! They explain to you how things CANNOT be done." - AndyS In Colorado

          by Uberbah on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:20:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Prop 8 Was a Lesson Missed (0+ / 0-)

            I appreciate the things you're saying.  However, Prop 8 in California reflects why we cannot always rely on polling to tell the truth about which way voters actually lean behind the curtain.

            Polling going into the CA election that year showed Prop 8 defeat a strong winner.  Election results however showed it a strong loser.

            What happens just prior to special interest pushes that aren't popular is sometimes people within those ranks, even within prestigious pollilng institutions go "loyal" on their agenda.  What that means is a poller can ferret out people who might likely support an idea and get a false-positive.  This is helpful in the "it's going to pass anyway so you might as well vote for it and not be on the losing team" strategy.  But apparently voters in Cali felt so strongly opposed to gay marraige that this didn't have an effect.  Or worse, it had a negative effect.

            Polling is tricky.  It's more and more weird as the years go on and truth takes a back seat to mayhem and manipulation from both sides of the aisle.  

            The lesson of Prop 8 in CA was not lost on Obama's political strategy machine though.  And now would not be the right time to force the issue.  Suffice it to say that a far left agenda will never make it without the middle.  You can get mad all you want to but if you shoot yourself in the foot, you have nobody but yourself to blame.  Sometimes it's really hard for pro-gay advocates to wrap their head around the idea that their movement isn't as popular as "polling" says it is.  This is going to be a long uphill battle.

            •  You realize that the polls swung in the (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              keikekaze, JVolvo, Uberbah, priceman

              last two weeks, right?

              That having the Democratic Candidate continue to claim that Gays and Lesbians don't deserve to marry because God doesn't like it swung quite a few of those votes?

              It took Obama to get 8 passed.

              "We hope Iraq will be the first domino and that Libya and Iran will follow. We don't like being kept out of markets because it gives our competitors an unfair advantage." John Gibson, CEO Halliburton Energy Service Group

              by JesseCW on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 03:53:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  alas, the polls show you are simply wrong (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc, keikekaze, Uberbah

          and will be more and more wrong in the future, as simple demographics removes all the old conservatives and puts the younger browner generation into power------a demographic which is far more liberal on social issues than either the Repugs or the Dems.

          We are seeing the end of the conservative "revolution". Simple demographics is inexorably killing it.

          Our day will come.

        •  Unions are left, which is why the so called center (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          as well as the right do not support them. They also will not support health care if it can be represented in a way to trigger the mainstream voters' jealousy+greed and fer complexes.

          Downthread you mention prop 8 but seem to miss what that was all about. That was the last minute christian blitz convincing the fearful faithful that they risked burning in hell forever along with us infidels if they supported equality for evil sinners. More and more college kids, however, are answering "none" or equivalent to questions as to which sky father they worship, and playing the fearful faithful will be less and less effective each year. Meanwhile, in the short term, Obama cannot possibly become sufficiently repressive and theocratic to gain the support of those bozo's, so pandering to them will not help.

          That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

          by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:34:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You're right about one thing: (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Uberbah, KingCranky, blueoasis, aliasalias
          Obama's real problem is not being aggressive enough.  Just talking aggression doesn't cut it.  People want delivery.

          Otherwise, you contradict yourself:

          Fringe left votes require that he sacrafice an election. . . . They know if the dems embrace the fringe left, they will lose two votes for every one they gain.

          --but, you add--

          If dems did nothing but embrace healthcare and promise on their mother's grave to put single payer or public option in place with a majority takeback of Capitol Hill, then maybe, just maybe we might trust them this very last of last times.

          If "single payer" isn't a so-called "fringe left" (i.e., left) issue, nothing is.  And yet, as has been pointed out elsewhere in this comments thread and everywhere else except Redstate, a majority of American voters take "fringe left" (i.e., left) positions on just about every economic issue, across the boards, from health care to re-regulating Wall Street to raising top marginal rates and corporate taxes to closing corporate tax loopholes.  What's more, the economic issues are the ones people care about most in difficult economic times.  The best political strategy Obama could possibly come up with in 2012 would be to embrace the left, loudly, clearly, and unmistakably, and not only in words but in actions.  And not only the best political strategy, but the best moral one as well.

          "Americans are a wonderful people: They will always do the right thing--after exhausting every other possible alternative."--Winston Churchill

          by keikekaze on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 05:08:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why Trust Them (0+ / 0-)

          Have trouble trusting them, well, focus on the primaries and replace with ones you don't like with a fresh set.
          The only way you will ever get universal health car, high taxes for the excessively rich, legalised marijuana and a justice system that targeted those that corrupted government and corporations, is to change those that run for election.
          If the same old, same old, Republicans and Democrats run for the election, then you have already lost.

      •  As with his predessor and previous Presidents, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PhilJD, KingCranky

        it all politics all the time.  I'll wait to see where Obama lands after his current and newly regenerated honeymoon with (pandering to)  his liberal base is over after 2012.  Assuming, that is, that he gets another 4 years.

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

        by accumbens on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:34:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  all of those things would be good (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      take away god's omnipotence and he's basically an ex hippy who sold out in his 30s to work in commercial real estate - me

      by Anton Bursch on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:44:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  An excellent analysis. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris, JVolvo, Uberbah

      Being from the Democratic wing of the Democratic Party, I have been moderately disappointed with Pres. Obama and his Administration.  Yes, I was disappointed that Baucus wouldn't give universal single payer a seat at the table and yes, though it is much better than nothing, I suppose, the extant healthcare law is so convoluted and complex that It will probably be a nightmare to administer and for users to negotiate.

      Remember Medicare Part D?  The unfunded mandate that does not allow the government to negotiate prescription drug prices with big pharma?  Of course, Part D was done by the Republicans and they should be blamed for it.  I am curious; however, as to why the Dems and Pres. Obama have not sought to correct this travesty within Part D.  If I were a suspicious person, I might believe that the Dems are almost as in cahoots with big pharma as are the Repubs.

      Pres.  Obama and every Dem on my ballot will receive my vote in 2012.  They will receive it because the Repub alternative is much worse.  Being least worst strikes me as being a weak position to campaign from.

      As always, my campaign contributions and shoe leather will re-appear when Pres. Obama and the Dems in general quit dis-respecting liberal/progressive Dems.

      After all, for progressives, taking one for the team is desirable, but all too often at present, we are taking one from the team.

      by El Tomaso on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:00:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  15M pro-cannabis voters (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Those favoring legalization span the political divide. Picking up those votes should be fairly simple... reschedule cannabis to schedule II or III (no Congressional intervention needed). But does O have the courage to do it?

    •  Its not just percentages, its also numbers (0+ / 0-)

      Democrats lost 43% of their 2008 vote totals in 2010, while Republicans lost 13% of their 2008 vote totals. Where were the missing voters? Every poor and working class community in the country.

      Kos is completely right when he noted that 2012 is not 1996, because there's an economic depression out there and people are voting for their pocketbooks and are perfectly capable of voting with their feet.

      I have a freshly printed dollar (worth at least 50 cents) that says voter numbers will be down in the next election. Those losses are likely to be felt entirely on the Democratic side, unless this president figures out what party he belongs to.

      Ignoring the economic fate of the bottom 40-50% of this country has been the single biggest buzz kill for this party and - by far - the most foolish set of political decisions its leadership have made.  

      Even more than the ideology, this election will be driven - as were the last two elections -  by bread and butter issues that neither party have given more than lip service to.

      You can't triangulate it, you can't game it and if a moderate Republican shows up as their standard bearer, you won't be able to fearmonger your way around it.  If this party wants to win an election in 2012, they better find their inner Roosevelt asap. Because the joy has gone out of the room and we're a thousand miles from getting it back.

  •  Wrong! Clinton kickd GOP to curb in budget battle. (11+ / 0-)

    THAT is how Clinton changed the dynamic after the Congressional elections put GOP into power after Democratic Congress pissed off voters by failing to pass health care reform.

    The whole "Clinton triangulation" discussion is chattering class self indulgence as the facts are starkly different.

    Clinton took on the GOP Congress and Newt Gingrich, stood up to them and beat them badly.  He offered them some olive branches after that but the key was standing up for Clinton's one big good thing, balanced budgets and fair taxes, and winning.  

    Obama failed both those challenges.  Obama caved in to GOP and US is worse of for it.

    Clinton deserved to win.

    Obama deserves to lose.

  •  This (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jawis, skyounkin, cdreid, enhydra lutris
    He cannot run away from the left and simultaneously expect them to turn out in droves on his behalf next November.

    He's not quite over the horizon yet, but...

    •  It seems to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, enhydra lutris

      that the voters who didn't turn out in 2010 were the irregular voters, not the committed Democrats.

      If Obama makes a committed Democrat happy in 2012 (and let's face it, most of us are going to turn out to vote no matter what, because that's what we habitual voters do), but whatever he does makes an irregular voter unhappy, that's a net loss.

  •  Nate Silver made the 2010 results clear (12+ / 0-)

    29 million Obama voters from 2008 sat out 2010.  The "Indie" voters that showed up were old, white and conservative.  Had those 29 million showed up, the political landscape would be pretty much unchanged from 2008.

    The reason those people didn't show up was due to profound disappointment in Obama.  Sadly, the only thing Obama has going for him now is the utter evil and insanity of the Right that is beyond rational belief.  That will, indeed, get people to who up and vote and he will win.  The Dems will retake the House and a seat or two in the Senate despite the 23-10 Dem v GOP seats at risk.

    As for this liberal, I have been voting since the 60s and utterly refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils.  For President, I will vote Green.  Obama fights for nothing and does even less.  He is the ultimate Trojan Horse.

    I'd rather see America die (it's on it's way and fast) then to vote for Obama again.

    •  I won't be voting for President unless a primary (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Palafox, skyounkin, costello7, cdreid

      results in someone other than Obama on the Democratic line. I will, as per usual since '68, vote a straight Democratic ticket.

      •  No vote for president? (18+ / 0-)

        Oh you will have voted for president.  You will have given a vote to the repubs.  You will be doing exactly what they hope folks like you would do.    Don't fool yourself here.  You may feel good about not voting for Obama, but the rest of us are going to suffer big time thanks to folks like you who think that by not voting it will hurt the Dems.

        Please do it for me and the millions that will have to work until we die if the repubs win in 2012.  Please don't tell me you don't care.  That is exactly how the repubs feel about working folks.

        •  It doesn't matter to some. If there is collateral (11+ / 0-)

          deaths or destruction it is ok as long as they are vindicated because he didn't show up asking them what to do.

          Larger prisons, more wars, elderly working until they die at earlier ages then the current generation. Ho hum we just will live with that to prove a point. Yep lets let the republicans put in a religious right corporate bought president to select another Clarence Thomas or two.  Of course we can bomb bomb Iran to get their oil or invade Korea and Pakistan and ... to help out bringing the armageddon they long for. Perhaps we can shackle women in breeding pens and servants quarters. The hel with women controlling their own bodies... Let the religious right take over... Sex outside of marriage = private prison slavery... abortion for that 12 year old daddy impregnated unthinable, treatment for STDs - no way they deserve what they get...Dress in any way that any man thinks is seductive and get raped- you asked for it... Child labor laws overturned, poll taxes in the form of passports required to vote = $175 for someone making less then $1000 a month- effective way to disenfranchise those you don't want to vote...

          They probably will do it and we will get someone worse then Bush, worse then Reagan, worse then Nixon. .. They say not an effective argument but they are responsible for the resulting human toll of misery and despair and death... Ask the Iraqis. Ask the millions out of work, ask the people who lost homes because Bushes  enforcement of regulations was a wink and a head turn, ask those who have died at the hands of the right wing extremists encouraged by these despicable men.

          You do not move to the left by losing elections because people are upset they didn't get every damn thing they want. You move to the left because you elect more left leaning pols. Maybe the ones you can get into office are not as far left as you want but in many instances they are the best you can get.  I like a 80% full glass that may be hard to swallow if the choice is a 0% glass full of what I want. Pols listen to swing of voters to determine courses and those who don't vote have no influence. They are petulent idealogues who would rather see no results if they aren't perfect results.

          Fear is the Mind Killer

          by boophus on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:41:58 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You buy it you own it (8+ / 0-)

            All those innocents we're torturing in illegal deathcamps? Those are yours. All those people the NSA is spying on in clear defiance of the constitution? Those are yours. All those afghan and iraqi children we're blowing to hell? Those are yours. Tax cuts for the rich? Those are yours. Coming rape of SS and medicare? Those are yours

            Responsibility for your actions. IT isnt just for the other guy. That blood is on YOUR hands

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:52:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  A rebuttal (0+ / 0-)

              "All those innocents we're torturing in illegal deathcamps?"
                   Those are Bush's.
              "All those people the NSA is spying on in clear defiance of the constitution?"
                   Those are Bush's.
              "All those afghan and iraqi children we're blowing to hell?"
                   Iraq?  Bush.  Afghanistan?  You are correct, though I didn't hear all of this screaming when Obama clearly stated during his campaign that he was increasing our involvement in Afghanistan.
              "Tax cuts for the rich?"
                   Those are Bush's.
              "Coming rape of SS and medicare?"
                   That is unsubstantiated speculation that has no business being used as an argument in a blog that is supposed to be reality-based.
                   Come on, now.  It is disingenuous to say that the president or we as progressives "own" a damn thing that was initiated under the previous administration, whom none of us supported.  It is essential that we work at reversing the atrocities that you mention, but you are demonstrating an ignorance of 235 years of American history if you think that the issues that you mention are somehow unique to this time, place, and administration.  You are also vastly underrationg the power and influence of our national security apparatus since the end of World War 2.  Their power and influence has been more enduring than that of any president.  They must be reigned in, but if you are going to be critical, then you need to tell us how you think that they can be reigned in when every president starting with Truman has been unable to do so.

              •  and a rebuttal to the rebuttal (6+ / 0-)
                "All those innocents we're torturing in illegal deathcamps?"
                     Those are Bush's.

                Actually they are Clinton's.  He's the one who started the policy of "extraordinary rendition".

                "All those people the NSA is spying on in clear defiance of the constitution?"
                     Those are Bush's.

                Nope, those are Clinton's too.  Warrantless wiretaps were introduced as part of Clinton';s 1995 and 1996 "antiterrorism bills".

                "All those afghan and iraqi children we're blowing to hell?"
                     Iraq?  Bush.  Afghanistan?  You are correct, though I didn't hear all of this screaming when Obama clearly stated during his campaign that he was increasing our involvement in Afghanistan.

                Perhaps you're just hard of hearing, then.  I remember plenty such screaming.  Indeed, I was one of them.

                "Tax cuts for the rich?"
                     Those are Bush's.

                Not any more, they're not. They're ours now. Just like the Iraq War became ours when we chose initially in 2009 to expand it instead of ending it.

                "Coming rape of SS and medicare?"
                     That is unsubstantiated speculation that has no business being used as an argument in a blog that is supposed to be reality-based.

                We'll see.  Given the Dem history of caving in on virtually everything, I consider it much more than "unsubstantiated speculation". And recent statements by several Dems do not increase my hopes.

                    Come on, now.  It is disingenuous to say that the president or we as progressives "own" a damn thing that was initiated under the previous administration, whom none of us supported.  

                But here's your problem---most of the things that happened under the previous administration that we did not support were (1) originally begun under the Clinton Administration, and (2) continued under the Obama Administration.

                •  Some people (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WisePiper, JVolvo, KingCranky

                  arent very good at accepting responsibility for their actions. I supported afghanistan. I was wrong. The people dying there now ARE a stain on my soul. The responder however  simply refuses to acknowledge the policies he is supporting by supporting obama are his responsibility. Reminds me a lot of bush voters..

                  A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                  by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:39:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I was against Afghanistan from day one (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    cdreid, JVolvo

                    And I remember taking an awful lot of guff from people here for it.

                    "Boy I sure do hate being right all the time".  --Ian Malcolm


                    •  MB was against it (0+ / 0-)

                      but he could never put a logical argument agaisnt it in words.  I actually asked him too as i wanted to see the arguments other than "the .gov will f up" to check my rationales. I think it is a conundrum. It is a just war. That could have accomplished good things. But that it was too late once bush and the pentagon terminally fucked it up. So that ones decisions about it really had to be based in emotion and life experience.

                      A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                      by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 01:04:23 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  here was my argument (5+ / 0-)

                        It hasn't changed from day one:

                        Terrorism is a law enforcement problem, not a military problem. If we want to "get" the 9-11 terrorists, the only effective way to do it is the same way we "get" every other terrorist---we arrest them, try them, and put them in jail or execute them. Anything else, simply doesn't work. As the Brits found out in Northern Ireland.

                        Further, the whole idea of "just kill them all and let god sort them out" undermines our own legal system.  Invariably, once we decide that a certain group of people (whether it's "terrorists" or "child molestors" or "liberals") DON'T DESERVE a trial, that we should just kill them on sight, then we start down a path that never ends--as we are already discovering (do "terrorist supporters" deserve trials or legal rights? How about "apologists for terrorist supporters"? If I defend Manning, does that make me a "terrorist supporter"? Where does it all end?) That path always leads to the same place.

                        And more basically, the Taliban wasn't guilty of anything.  They didn't help plan 9-11, they didn't help carry it out, there's not a shred of evidence that they knew about it any earlier than we did. All the Taliban did was allow Al Qaeda to stay in Afghanistan--which is, as far as I can tell, not a crime, and does not make them any more responsible for 9-11 than I would be responsible if my roommate robbed a bank.

                        Furthermore, there were many indications that the Taliban was willing to hand over Al Qaeda leaders to the US for a trial. The Taliban was, at the time, wanting an oil pipeline to the Baku oilfields and was trying to make nice-nice with the West. According to press reports at the time, the Taliban went so far as to ask a Muslim religious court if it would be proper to turn Bin Laden in (the problem being that Muslim law mandates that guests must always be protected under the rules of hospitality). The Muslim court agreed that Bin laden COULD be handed over under Islamic law, since the rules of hospitality require that a guest must act in such a way as to not bring dishonor or danger upon his host.

                        So according to press reports at the time, the Taliban told the US they would be willing to talk about handing over Bin Laden, but first they wanted to see the evidence indicating that he had done it (a not unusual request that is routinely made every single day in extradition courts all across the world). The US instead flatly refused, and demanded that the Taliban hand him over immediately. We wanted the war, not Bin Laden. We wanted blood revenge, not the niceties of a trial. We wanted 3,000 dead brown people. It was pure raw emotion that motivated us. We collectively went batshit nutty and lost our minds.

                        And finally, it was crushingly apparent to me (and others) that once we invaded Afghanistan, we'd be there forever. There is no country on earth more suited to insurgent guerrilla warfare against a highly mechanized army--as the Soviets found out to their cost. It would be a war that we would never win, and would never end.

                •  You're making my point (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  I will concede that the policies that you noted above began with Clinton--I was wrong.  However, this makes my point about these policies now being long-term policies that neither the current administration nor we as progressives exclusively "own".  I'm 44 years old and have been following politics for most of my life.  You can talk to me until you are blue in the face, but you will never convince me that Clinton received half of the criticism for the policies that you acknowledge that he instituted, that Obama is receiving for those same policies, that he inherited, that you acknowledge have been in place for 15 years through two prior administrations.  I did not hear talk from anyone in '94 or '95 about primarying Clinton, or critisism of Clinton with anywhere near the venom that occurs with Obama.  You can say that there really was such criticism, or that there were no netroots back then to act as a forum for such criticism, but I was there, and the criticism was not nearly as intense.  I do clearly remember progressives at that time who were frustrated with Clinton's moderation, but very few of them talked about withholding their support of him.  Apparently, progressives in the '90's had more of a sense of the importance of keeping the Republicans out of the White House.  Why this is not as important to modern progressives, with the Republicans more batshit crazy than ever, is beyond me.

              •  Well as long as you can rationalise (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                JVolvo, KingCranky

                how its not your fault. How its not your responsibility. Just because Obama continues Bush policies, because he fights for them in court. Because he expands them.. not your problem as long as you can blame it on someone else somewhere.

                As i said before:

                Personal responsibility. It isnt just for the other guy.

                A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:38:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  Nah, when you buy into it and support it, it (0+ / 0-)

                becomes yours.

                That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

                by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:59:23 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  Nail meet head (9+ / 0-)

          It is absolutely stunning to me with the country on the edge of falling off a cliff that these Naderites are back fighting harder against the president than the GOP they don't have to guts to take on.

          Here's my take:

          1. With 20% of the country being liberal this is most definitely a center-right country. It has been since 1970. No fuzzy math changes that. A democrat needs to triangulate to some extent because their are twice as many conservatives than liberals in this country.

          2. The democratic infighters definitely drove conservatives from the party in 2010 by pulling their support or staying home. While this satisfies the ideological battle they couldn't win at the ballot box against the GOP it resulted in the party being smaller and less effective. Liberals love to blame Obama for this but the reality is they cut off their nose to spite their face. You got exactly what you didn't vote for, Tea Party republicans.

          3. Going left is not a path to victory in 2012. At least that can't be proven yet. The only big election that's tested this revival on the left was the WI-SC race and they lost in a state Obama won handily in 2008. Until the progressives get serious again about winning elections and prove you can win in this new environment on a progressive message, it would be suicidal from a political strategy perspective for Obama to take this path.

          4. The democratic party would be better off folding up their tents than let the Naderites and None of the Abovers have input into the direction of the party. The second you negotiate with the hostage takers on the left you've lost. You give in one one issue and they'll keep threatening to "vote green" or stay home on another issue until you are so far out of the mainstream you become unelectable.

          5. Once you go home stay home! If you think people in the party have any interest in pandering to professional quitters you're crazy. Its your right to vote the way you want. Put don't expect democrats to beg you to come back. In politics, once you quit, no one wants you back.

          6. You are never going to have an elected president that can pass 100% of liberal litmus tests. In this era of politics there are no electable liberal national candidates. Obama and Clinton are probably about as good as we can do. If you win 70% of the time with these guys its better than winning 3% of the time with the alternative.

          At the end of the day politics is politics. If you aren't thick skinned enough to be dissappointed occasionally maybe you should stop worrying about it. Crazy teabaggers will no doubt be happy to tell you how to live your life.  

          •  Those "evil naderites" (4+ / 0-)

            were here speaking out, in marches on DC, screaming and fighting across the country against Bushco when the centrists  being very very very quiet for fear of being branded a "democrat traitor" and voting for Bush sr.

            Who's attacking progressive values and the democratic base here exactly? You are. By supporting right wing ideology you own it. Look in the mirror

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:54:22 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  baaaw (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfarnell, cdreid, GMary, JVolvo

            same old "no we can't, grow up" defeatism that will do it's damndest to ensure everyone holds their nose and votes for Obama because the other guy is worst. this is how we lost the midterms, remember? people stayed home, because the Dems had an "enthusiasm gap" and people didn't feel like it even made a difference to vote for a Blue Dog.

            and over and over we hear that we can't put forth someone who's "too progressive" or the conservatives in this country will laugh at us. guess what: a vote for Obama is a vote for the status quo, and his second administration will be just as much of a backslide as his first. we're not gaining much now; we're just playing defense all the time while our leader gives in on easy issues he should fight. we're spoiled, petulant people who aren't getting what we want? cdreid is right. you vote for Obama, you own his letting Wall Street get too big to fail, you own Bradley Manning, you own all of it. i won't, and if the Dems lose because they don't even act enough like Dems, i will accept the consequences. maybe next time they'll learn

          •  You forget the moderates when you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            J M F


            because their are twice as many conservatives than liberals in this country

            You completely leave out the moderates who consider themselves neither conservative or liberal but lean more to the left than to the right.

          •  you are simply wrong (5+ / 0-)

            Poll after poll after poll shows that the US public is far more liberal, on nearly every issue, than EITHER party is.

            Remember the 70% voter support for the public option?

            The democratic infighters definitely drove conservatives from the party in 2010 by pulling their support or staying home
            Once you go home stay home!

            First off, I'm GLAD if conservatives were driven from the Dem party.  We're not a conservative party--or at least we SHOULDN'T be. There already is a conservative party. We don't need two. So let the conservatives go where they belong.

            But here's the part I don't understand.  On the one hand, the blue-pennant-wavers tell us dirty fucking hippies that it's all our fault that Dems keep losing.  And in the very next breath, they tell us to shut the fuck up and go away because they don't need us anyway.

            Make up your goddamn mind. Do you want us, or don't you.

            If you want us and our votes/support, then give us something in exchange for them.  They're not free.

            If you DON'T want us and our votes/support, then just tell us to go away. Stop accepting our campaign checks, stop asking us to do GOTV, stop allowing us to register and vote as Dems. Win your elections without us, and you'll never have to pay attention to the DFH's ever again.

            How'd that work out the last time?

            •  You and your damned silly facts (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              this guy has never read a poll in his life. Liberal vs conservative numbers in this country are historically a virtual tie as well with liberals normally having a couple percentage point lead. And as you said americans favor progressive policies by 60-70% margins. But these closet republicans were never big on facts.

              A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

              by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:42:51 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Just so you know what happens if you (13+ / 0-)

        throw your vote away:

        We could get a Rethuglican in office.

        A glimpse of what to expect with a Rethuglican in office:

        Deficit Commissions

        Reduction in Social Program funding / benefits

        Attacking Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid under the guise of "deficit reduction" and eliminating government waste

        Wall Street connected thugs appointed to positions of authority over our economic policies - possibly even going so far as to have a Bankster Thug in the White House in a senior position (like Chief of Staff)

        An attorney general who is a Corporate Counsel with a history of defending heinous acts by corporation(s)

        Tax Cuts for the wealthy

        Austerity and "Shared Sacrifice" as cornerstones of economic policy

        No strings bailout for banks (like Bush)

        No prosecutions of banksters

        No serious attempt to institute real reform / regulatory oversight

        So... before you throw your vote away by not voting for Obama, I ask that you consider the above as a warning for what to expect from a Wall Street loving Rethuglican President.

        Obama "fights hard". Who did he fight against to get JP Morgan in the White House? Who did he fight against for Alan Simpson(R) co-chairing his "Deficit Commission"?

        by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:21:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not alone (9+ / 0-)

      I, too, refuse to endorse this administration's policies.

      No nation can be great if it allows its elites to loot with impunity and prosecutes its whistleblowers. Geithner is destroying the things that made America great. -- Bill Black, white-collar criminologist & a former senior financial regulator

      by jboxman on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It was liberal leaning Indie's that didn't show up (9+ / 0-)

      He lost their confidence by moving to the right, and they didn't show up in 2010.  He has to win them back, and he won't with triangulation.  He is in real danger of losing in 2012.

      Saying you'd rather see America die than to vote for Obama, is one of the most absurd, ridiculous, statements I've ever seen.  The amount of suffering under the results of any Republican, for generations to come, will be unimaginable.  It is truly a very cruel statement to make.

    •  wow- talk about voting against your best interests (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wishingwell, virginwoolf, Matt Z

      If the GOP did ONE thing to help the average worker, Unions would donate to THEM.

      by MartyM on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:17:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  False. (7+ / 0-)

      The reason those 29 million voters didn't show up is because those 29 million voters don't show up for midterms.

    •  you'd rather see America die than vote for Obama? (0+ / 0-)

      i would rather see YOU die then see America die.

      take away god's omnipotence and he's basically an ex hippy who sold out in his 30s to work in commercial real estate - me

      by Anton Bursch on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:48:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, hold it (0+ / 0-)

        no body's going to die, least of all America. When I see someone on the left or the right shrieking how some thing or other is destroying America, I just have to laugh. These people must be either 12 years old or have no sense of history. Come on. Anyone who lived through the 60's and 70's knows what we're going through today is nothin'.

      •  That is cruel, you would rather see (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IndieinVa, dmh44, enhydra lutris, Matt Z

        a person here die...WTF is that about ? I am tempted to HR.  That is , to me, an attack.

        •  i would rather any one person die than America die (0+ / 0-)

          America is 300 million people and it America dies not only are the lives of 300 million people destroyed but so is the ENTIRE global economy and the lives of BILLIONS of people

          it's one thing to say you don't want to vote for Obama


          but to say you'd rather see America(and by extension the whole world) die than vote for Obama... that's spitting in the face to everyone who ever risked their life for the people of this country

          you know, if you read what i wrote in the context it was written in you would know very well that i was not 'attacking' or saying i want someone here to die.  i was responding them that person saying they would rather I die and everyone else in this country die than vote for Obama.  did you think about HRing them?  

          take away god's omnipotence and he's basically an ex hippy who sold out in his 30s to work in commercial real estate - me

          by Anton Bursch on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:43:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Thanks so much. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I probably have more years than you to live and so do my kids, since I was a young child in the 60s.

      This kind of statement is just so silly, so selfish, it's breathtaking.  

    •  I won't vote Green, but I'm unlikely to vote for (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama or any Republican.   I am not fooled by Obama's sudden toughness with the Republicans just as he launches his reelection campaign.  How people can be lulled into another Obama bait and switch yet again amazes me.

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

      by accumbens on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:51:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  29 millions of disappointed voters...? (0+ / 0-)

      The vast majority of them, I expect, simply were not motivated or turned on by Obama sufficiently to vote in 2010, is the flip side of how to view the situation.

      profound disappointment in Obama

      I actually think most were simply utterly bored with him by then.

      And as for this:

      The Dems will retake the House and a seat or two in the Senate despite the 23-10 Dem v GOP seats at risk.

      It may not happen unless some Democrat other than Obama rallies the voter. Or, the voter may vote Democrat in these races out of party loyalty and tradition, and for other reasons, and simply not vote for Obama.

  •  "Triangulating" might just be "governing" (10+ / 0-)

    in a lot of cases. I guess the tax cut deal was an example of triangulating for many on the left. But I'm not sure what else Obama was supposed to do in that position. He pushed for a vote on just the middle class cuts before the election, and Congress didnt move on it. I know most liberals wanted a fight, as they usual do, on the tax cuts. They wanted Obama to let it go to the Dec 31 deadline if necessary. I guess that would have been covering his base, but I think it would have been disastrous for a couple of reasons. One, Obama would have broken his promise to not raise taxes on the middle class. And two, there would have not been time to get to DADT repeal, START, the 9/11 health bill, etc.  

    •  why was his promise (10+ / 0-)

      to retain the middle class tax cuts more important than his promise to end the tax cuts for the top 2%?  If he had to break one or the other, why is it automatic that he choose the one that will do the most damage to America?

      I can't be an elitist! I have stupid friends!

      by happymisanthropy on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:17:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Because it's easier to still keep that promise (5+ / 0-)

        I disagree that letting the top 2% keep their tax cuts was most damaging to the country. Having taxes go up on the middle class in this economy, especially with what is happening with gas prices, I think it would drastically weaken the economy. But back to the promises. He can still keep the promise to end the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy. The extension is for only two years. Now there is a lot of valid skepticism whether Obama will end them. I mean, wasnt he in a better position to do that in 2010? I think that's debatable. He could be in  stronger position to veto a bill that extends all the cuts if he gets it in 2012, either before or after the election. But letting the middle class tax cuts expire, even if it was for a little while, it would have caused confusion for the middle class, and definitely would have hurt him more politically, imo.

        •  "and definitely would have hurt him more (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          willibro, happymisanthropy, GMary, Matt Z

          politically imo".  

          You got that part right.  His handlers imagined the sunday bobbleheads and blinked.

          The best thing to do for the country would have been to let all the tax cuts expire, blame the republicans, then demogogue the hell out of writing a new tax cut for the middle and lower classes.  

          That's how a progressive governs and keeps the base happy. It's win win, on policy and politics.  Instead, we got CW Clinton style.  And that's why there is a frustrati contingent in the party.  

          Republicans definitely want to screw me. Democrats also want to screw me, but slower.

          by Nada Lemming on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:31:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  how in the world (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jj32, dmh44, Matt Z, flhiii88

            can you be living in this world where breaking a promise to not increase taxes on the vast majority of citizens is better than breaking a promise not to raise taxes on a tiny minority.

            Unless you're all about pitchforks and torches. Great fun while it lasts, I hear.

            •  Apparently in an alternate one (0+ / 0-)

              from you, where I'm equally flummoxed that you think that letting the TEMPORARY tax cuts expire is the same as raising them.  But then again that's what all republicans think, and it's never registered with me.  

              Republicans definitely want to screw me. Democrats also want to screw me, but slower.

              by Nada Lemming on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 11:21:19 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Because raising taxes (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sam I Am, dmh44, Matt Z, flhiii88

        on hard working middle class families just barely squeaking by in the middle of a a recession would really hurt those families directly and immediately? Seems kinda obvious.

        •  But that sets you up (0+ / 0-)

          to walk into Congress and demand that they cut taxes.  Win.

          I can't be an elitist! I have stupid friends!

          by happymisanthropy on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 11:27:21 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Come on Elmo (0+ / 0-)

          Where did you get the idea that the middle class was just squeaking By.  we are talking about a middle class that makes 100 and fifty to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year.  They could have doubled the middle classes taxes and not hurt them as much as extending the tax breaks of the top earners of the corporate world.  You know the ones that get millions of dollars a year as wages and then get Millions more as bonuses.  The whole government is run by the big corporations and we need a government run by Us.  Mad Mac.

          •  um, no (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            elmo, WisePiper
            we are talking about a middle class that makes 100 and fifty to two hundred and fifty thousand dollars a year.

            $100k puts you in the top 5% of the income pyramid, and $250k puts you in the top 2%. $380k puts you in the top 1%.

            Being richer than 95-98% of everyone else, is not "middle class" by any rational definition of "middle class".

            The median income in the US is around $50k. That would make "middle class" a few percentage points above and below that.

            You know the ones that get millions of dollars a year as wages and then get Millions more as bonuses.

            Um, no again. Much of the super-rich wealthy elite does not make ANYTHING in "wages", "salaries" or "bonuses"---they don't even have jobs. They don't NEED a job, dahling.  They make their living through stock dividends, bond payments and bank interest--things that the IRS classifies, with wonderful honesty, as "unearned income". (which is, incidentally and not coincidentally, taxed at a very much lower rate than the job income that the mere mortals make do with).

            I assume you are thinking of the corporate CEO's with their multimillion salaries.  Alas, though, the CEO's are not the super-rich---they are HIRED by the super-rich to run their businesses so that the super-rich don't have to get their own hands dirty with such work. The CEO's don't own the companies and don't get most of the money from the companies. The CEOs are just hired hacks, just employees.  Highly paid employees, to be sure, but still no different in principle than the janitor. They are not the economic elite--they are HIRED by the economic elite.

  •  All that matters in the economy (8+ / 0-)

    ALL that matters. Only if the election is close will it matter, and even then it's doubtful.

    If the economy is booming in 2012, Obama could verbally insult Van Jones, Elizabeth Warren, Rachel Maddow, and every single liberal in Congress, and he'd still win.

    If the economy is sinking in 2012, Obama could literally follow every liberal idea and praise every single liberal in America, and he'd still lose big.

    The universe will shift around him to grant him re-election if that's what the economy says.

    People panic too much on this site.

    by thematt523 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

    •  but what if the economy (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is sputtering along like it is now, neither tanking nor booming?

    •  Best comment of the whole post thematt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      merrylib, sfarnell

      And you and the others here doing the cheerleading and telling the base that theyre not sufficiently worshipful of the President... is that your plan to get the base to vote for him?

      He's going to lose a LOT of people over his moves right. He's going to lose a lot over the economy.
      He'll lose a lot of those paying attention over his ss/medicare cut trial balloons. etc etc etc.

      Policies matter. For most americans and all a intelligent americans the Policies are why we elect a president. If a president is pushing the other parties policies he's going to have a hell of a t ime getting those people to vote for him again.

      If Jeb Bush were running (a man i revile as much as his brother) Obama would lose 2012 badly. His only hope imho is that they put up a whackjob like palin etc.

      A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

      by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:02:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  No way No how Nobama (5+ / 10-)

    Sorry Barry, the train left the station the day you huddled with Timmy G, Larry S, and Benny B.

  •  Thanks (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jawis, happymisanthropy, costello7, J M F

    for crunching all the #s. The WH seems very sure that Progressives have nowhere else to go. But if lots of Dem voters feel that we're again only given the old lesser-of-2-evils choice, many of them will stay home. This seems very obvious in view of the track record over the last 30 years.

    Let tyrants fear.-Queen Elizabeth I

    by Virginia mom on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:18:45 AM PDT

  •  One rather glaring difference... (5+ / 0-)

    recession and unemployment under Obama is no where near the low levels under Clinton.

    Tacking to the middle or anywhere other than the left isn't going to work this time around.

    About the only saving grace Obama has is that there no credible candidate for the rethugs that a sane person would vote for in 2012--other than Willard "Mitt" Romney and that guy hasn't a hope without the rabid-rightwing nutjobs.

    •  no credible candidate has (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "Here I am, to save the day"

      See Andy Kaufman

      There will be.  What you see now is a Tsunami low tide.  Now's not the time to go beachcombing.

    •  Romney has a chance (0+ / 0-)

       The thing that scares me, in 08 McCain got 46% of the popular vote. The electoral vote made it look like a much bigger majority.
       Obama raised  350 million more than McCain in the 08 race.
         I fear many who voted for  Obama in  08 will stay home in 2012.If Romney is nominated,he will find  as many campaign donations or more than  Obama.
       I have some friends who voted for Obama who claim  they are sitting out the next election for  various reasons, Libya being the most recent excuse.  
       I try to explain  to them if McCain was President we would have troops on the ground in Libya, and who knows where else.
       I  don't think all Republicans are bad, but the last thing I want to see is a Republican dictatorship, with the House,Senate and Presidency controlled by them.
       If we don't get out the vote in 2012, we could easily end up with just that.

  •  I've given up trying to predict (6+ / 0-)

    which direction this administration will tackle a problem from.

    If the price of gas doesn't come down it won't matter which group he panders to.

  •  Vilsack and Salazar (8+ / 0-)

    I can't imagine pulling the lever for him again.
    He has given me nothing.  More off shore drilling.
    His nice nice is beyond acceptable. Geithner, Van Jones leaving, same with Crowleys' resignation. Extending the tax cuts I can't find a thing I admire him for.  He is a liar.
    Close Guantanamo, DADT, Defense of Marriage, Endangered Species threathened, I get more negative email from Planned Parenthood, and all the animal rights groups
    than during the bush regime.  Claim that Manning was guilty.
    Constitutional lawyer please!

    •  Not sure what you mean on DADT and DOMA (12+ / 0-)

      He stopped defending DOMA, and DADT is on its way out. You dont think his two SCOTUS nominees were important?

      •  There are those (9+ / 0-)

        for whom Obama must hew to every pet issue, and he must hew to that issue EXACTLY the way they want.  If he deviates a bit, they are DONE with him. Oy.

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:39:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But I think the kathg makes good points (6+ / 0-)

          You are right, for some, they are stuck on one issue. But I think kathg's criticism are legitmate. My issue is when people act like those criticisms are the entirety of what Obama has done. That's what I worry about. That left wont realize the positive that Obama has done until 2013. When a GOP president and GOP Congress starts undoing the healthcare bill. And the financial reform bill. And the student loan reform bill. And the credit card reform bill. And the Lily Ledbetter Act. And puts DADT back into place. And starts defending DOMA. And starts repealing every executive order the WH has issued and every rule put into place by a cabinet department. And lets not get started out what they will do to Medicare and Social Security.

          •  A LOT of us dont support the healthcare bill (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            J M F, sfarnell

            because of mandates. A lot , a hell of a lot of you, really dont understand what the healthcare bill really does. When the mandates hit people are going to be Pissed. You can spin it as you will but its true. And if mandates are removed.. the healthcare bill is gone. All of it.. it wont work without them.

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:08:47 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  what makes you think (0+ / 0-)

              that the vast majority of voters who hate a mandate won't hate the 8-12% tax increase necessary to run single payer just as much?  The mandate is just a hook for a minority of mandate haters to hang their anger over no public option. If there was no mandate and no public option there'd just be another aspect that minority would hate on.

              •  Links? (0+ / 0-)

                I've not read that single payer would require an 8 - 12% tax increase.  On all brackets?  Where are your statistics from?  Links?  Citation?

                •  look at any country that (0+ / 0-)

                  has single payer/mandated private (non-profit) insurance.

                  Let's take France: there's a 13% tax split 70/30 between employers/employees.

                  Or Germany: it has a 14% tax split between employers and employees.

                  And there's Japan: an 8% tax split between employers/employees. That fund doesn't completely cover costs. The remainder is taken from general funds.


                  •  Thanks for the link (0+ / 0-)

                    I read the info about the different plans in other countries and they seem infinitely better for the middle class.  If the tax in France for example is 13% of wages, high wage earners would pay a lot more for their health care I suppose.  For the vast majority of Americans though, a 13% tax for health care is about what they're paying now in premiums, deductibles and co-pays, but the coverage is shitty and 20% of the money is going to pay for insurance company "overhead" like lear jets, lobbying and executive bonuses.  

                    Am I wrong about this?

              •  When (0+ / 0-)

                they dont have to pay  250-2000 a MONTH just to get healthcare? I think theyll love the fuck out of the 15-30% they save on healthcare

                A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:22:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  that person who pays 250 (0+ / 0-)

                  is that with or without the subsidy? In france there would be no subsidy. Straight 14% of income.

                  •  *POUNDS his head on the table* (0+ / 0-)

                    Without. those are the current rates for garbage insurance. IE covers nothing unless catastrophe happens then will PROBABLY cover 50kish after a 5k deductible. Thats for a single, healthy person. As you age that multiplies.

                    Oveheard for medicare - 3%.
                    Private insurance - 15% admin costs. 10-30% profits...

                    Noone has proposed a french brit or canadian system. Well other than those dishonestly trying to kill universal healthcare. The single most effective system, and the one Real healthcare reform advocates push is universal coverage by an expanded medicare system. That is a straight up, direct, up front savings of  25-35%. And it doesnt include tertiary savings like the end of  a lot of diseases that commonly affect the poor, required universal immunisation etc.

                    And you have the real savings noone talks about. Maximum limits. Meaning it covers expenses up to X. If you want more coverage you buy supplemental. Whether x = 1 million or 150,000.. No coverage for birth control, almost any cosmetic surgery, very very limited psych coverage, and certain "designer" drugs (prozac, vallium, ritalin, etc etc etc you know what im talking about) and a lot more. It provides basic health coverage for Every single american. Stops most of the inflation in its tracks and forces our healthcare industry to return to a science based rather than profit based endeavour.

                    Theres no way to estimate the % because we dont know whether it will be  a progressive tax or not. But id GUESS 10%.

                    A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                    by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 01:20:04 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm going to stop right at (0+ / 0-)

                      your second sentence since it's so very wrong. The Private overhead is including profits, they come out of that 15%.

                      Medicare's overhead needs to go up, not the least to fight fraud. If you include the estimated fraud (and not the mistakes, like re-doing an x-ray because it was done of the wrong body part and medicare being charged for both)

                      If you include that the overhead for medicare is already over 15%.

                      To get to the end: 10%? I'd pay that. It's much more than I'd pay under the mandate.

                      •  The 15% overhead (0+ / 0-)

                        In everything ive ever read werre ADMINISTRATIVE costs.

                        So your rather disengenuous contention is that we must INCREASE medicare overhead to match private insurance overhead. You know what i dont want to make this personally insulting but try that line at Netroots next year and see how fast you get laughed out of the room. Or hell.. try showing me some medicare fraud other than made up shit from freeperville.

                        The numbers are clear and even the righties acknowledge them and always have. Thus why they have to be upfront that they oppose healthcare for those useless poor and old people on principle.

                        As for cost ive been asked by "normal citizens" for cost estimates. You cannot make a cost estimate for a person if you dont know what system youre going to.

                        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                        by cdreid on Tue Apr 26, 2011 at 03:02:28 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

              •  "mandate haters" . . . . .? (0+ / 0-)

                When, exactly, did mandates become part of the Democratic Party platform . . . .?

                And how many of you, uh, "mandate lovers" were out there cheering Romney on, or all the other Repug proposals that featured mandates?  After all, Romney's an honorary Democrat now that we love mandates, isn't he?


                Surreal.  The Dem Party has completely lost its soul.

                •  mandate lover? (0+ / 0-)

                  Just pointing out that it's either a mandate or higher taxes. The money to pay for this doesn't fall off a tree.

                  •  higher taxes on who? (0+ / 0-)

                    Higher taxes on the rich fucks who own most of the wealth in the US? Sounds great. They can afford it.  (shrug)

                    Anyway, I got no problem with higher taxes.  We need government services, and taxes are how we pay for government services. So I have no objection to them.

                    But of course I'm not a selfish greedy bastard who doesn't want any of his money to go to anyone but himself.  I.e., I'm not a libertarian Republican.

                    •  I don't paying taxes either (0+ / 0-)

                      That's how I view a mandate, just another government required payment/tax. In this case I'm not using the gov as a middleman to pay the for profit hospital or doctor or construction crew or other private organization hired to fulfill a particular function but rather another private organization. It's not like the taxes would pay the doctor directly, as in England.

                      I'd prefer the gov be the middleman in this case myself. Single payer is preferable to me, but I'd be open to the French or German models as well.

                      Higher taxes on who? See my comment which talks about exactly who pays in other national programs. Source was .

                      •  um, no, mandates are not a tax (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        Mandates go to for-profit, privately-owned companies selling high-deductible insurance policies that don't cover the costs of actual health care for those who need it, and whose sole legally-sanctioned duty is to maximize the profits they return to their investors, not give you health care.

                        If mandates actually WERE a tax that we paid to the government for government-funded health care services, I'd have no objections at all to them.  But they simply are not. They are profitable payments to a private business that we must make by law.  I can't think of a stupider idea.  It's like "solving" the homeless problem by passing a law forcing everyone to buy a house.

                        It undermines the very basis of Democratic health care policy for the past 50 years. Our policy has always been that health care is a right that all citizens deserve, and it is the responsible of government to provide that service for all its citizens, just like police or fire protection. Mandates simply turn health care into just another private business that is bought and sold like soap or breakfast cereal. It's like saying "we're not going to provide fire departments any more, so go buy your own fire fighters--and here's a small check to help out."

                        It undermines everything we've ever fought for.

        •  Which explains why JP Morgan is his CoS. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          Obama "fights hard". Who did he fight against to get JP Morgan in the White House? Who did he fight against for Alan Simpson(R) co-chairing his "Deficit Commission"?

          by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:26:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  the problem is that he is giving up (0+ / 0-)

          significant and important ground across the board.  So we are in fact losing.

          Look at the way he negotiated the budget deal and had wolves taken off the endangered species list.

          Sure you might consider it a "pet issue", but he has now give the right a real chance to further gut the ESA.

          He continues to do this across the board from drilling rights, to backstopping nukes, FISA, ...

          make no mistake about it, he's giving up important ground on a host of issues, and more importantly giving the republican talking points validation.

          big badda boom : GRB 080913

          by squarewheel on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 11:55:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Congratulations on your third post (6+ / 0-)

      As stupid as it is.

      Did you sleep through the end of DADT and DOMA? Or the New York Democrats blocking the close of Gitmo?

      The Endangered Species Act?

  •  The Democratic Party left (13+ / 0-)

    the liberals (and unions and seniors) at the curb trying to out Republican the Republicans per the economy and foreign policy.  It's only on social issues that we see a glimmer of the old Democratic Party.  Too bad I'm so greedy, I'd like to see Democratic Principles when discussing the economy as well as foreign policy.  

  •  base isn't going anywhere (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sam I Am, flhiii88

    Who are they going to vote for, whatever loon they GOP nominates. Staying home is a vote for the republicans. You want a right winger replacing Ginsburg who is going to be gone between 2013 and 2017, plus Breyer is no youngster and the conservative could easily need replacement, except for new judges they are all getting up there.
    Just keep in mind the alternative.

  •  Interesting assessment. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Vicky, amk for obama, FiredUpInCA, J M F, hmi

    I wonder sometimes, though, what do labels really mean?

    What is a moderate? Or a conservative?

    Personally, hell, I suppose I'm a conservative. But I'm a staunch liberal when thinking about others.

    I've been married and in monogamous relationship for almost 20 years. But whom you wake up next to or how you conduct that aspect of your life is of no concern of mine, as long as you're doing so with consenting adults.

    I personally choose not to have tattoos or my ears (or anything else, for that matter) pierced. Again, it doesn't bother me at all should you choose to be inked or pierced. Now, if you're a friend of mine, I may kid you about having tattoos or odd piercings, but I will not think any differently about you.

    So, if a pollster asked me if I were a conservative or a moderate or a liberal, I would have to say that it depends on what's being discussed.

  •  I gave money and voted for him in 2008 (9+ / 0-)

    But not in 2012.

    He simply doesn't believe in anything enough to go to the mat.

    Not the leader I expected.

    I am a liberal, but not a doctrinaire liberal like so many on this site.

  •  It's all about who gets energized (6+ / 0-)

    The 2010 election was a mirror image of the 2008 election with one side being far more energized than the other.  Depending on who ultimately survives the debacle that will be the republican primary for president, Obama will most likely have to get the energy into his campaign very close to what he had in 2008.  And, as this article alludes to, that will mean two things: 1.  energizing his solid liberal and progressive base and 2.  finding enough issues where independents have big disagreements with republicans and pound those drums as much and as often and in as many places as possible.

    Many republicans sat out in 2008 because of being disenfranchised with not only Dubya but with the republican party as a whole.  Hate them all you want but the teaparty has re-energized many of the conservatives and center-right within the republican party and it is a force now that can't be ignored or just pushed off as some 'fringe group" or a "bunch of radicals".  

  •  Most voters are not ideological at all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jj32, FiredUpInCA, flhiii88

    Yes, you can operationally classify a voter for a Republican as conservative and for a Democrat as liberal, but in a country where not only as many as 25% of all voters think Obama wasn't born in America, but nearly 10% think Hawaii isn't part of the USA, I think it's really pushing it to classify them that way.

    I think that a good portion of the “base” of the two parties may vote ideologically, and a fairly small proportion of other voters do so, but I'd bet that probably for half or more of all voters, there simply has not been sufficient analysis and acquisition of knowledge for anything like an ideologically based decision to have been made. I'd even say that that's true for the Tea Party party, in spite of their efforts to “indoctrineducate” their members: most of them are joining a rah-rah parade, bands playing, flags waving, the blood of gladiators seeping into the sand.

    Successful politicians have always known this, which accounts for the bumpersticker politics we always seem to get. Ideologists forget it at their own peril.

    Greg Shenaut

  •  Good post. (4+ / 0-)

    It should also be noted that a fired up base provides much more than their individual votes. An energized base will give of their time and money, which leads to additional votes. You just aren't going to find as many donors and volunteers in the moderate and conservative camps as you are among liberals and progressives.

    I personally think it is unlikely that I will give of my time and money like I did in 2008. I've even had doubts about voting for Obama at all. And don't lecture me about the realities of the super-majority requirement in the senate. His pre-compromising on major legislation is pretty low on my list of problems.

    My problems are the fact that he has used the states secrets privilege exactly as Bush did. He has continued Bush's policies with regards to the prisoners at Guantanamo, and has codified indefinite detention without trial as a bi-partisan mainstream position. He has done nothing to bring the powerful to justice (e.g., torture enablers, wall street banksters), but has mercilessly gone after low-level whistleblowers who made the public aware of their crimes. He has tacitly supported the abysmal treatment of Bradley Manning, and lied with a straight face about the differences between Manning and Daniel Ellsberg who released the Pentagon Papers. He attacked Libya without congressional approval even though in 2008 he said the president had no such constitutional authority except when a grave and immediate threat to the nation existed. I knew legislating would still be difficult, but each of these issues could have been solved by his word alone.

    I don't want a Republican president in 2013. I fully understand that they would be just as bad, if not worse on each of these issues. But, our political system is broken, and Democrats have no reason to listen to our concerns as long as they know they can't lose our support.

    For better or worse, no one ever gets what they deserve.

    by Jawis on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:31:47 AM PDT

  •  When there is not one major issue that you go (9+ / 0-)

    all out and define yourself as being the people's champion then there is going to be problems.  The wars, allowing tax cuts for the rich to continue, real health care reform (public option), and close of Guantanamo are some of the signature issues where Obama went AWOL.  Going out and beating up Kucinich during the health care battle while leaving Lieberman alone was the kind of defining moment people remember.  While he has done many little things right, it's the big capitulations where not taking a firm stand has lost him one of the most important assets you can have - the respect across the spectrum for standing up and fighting all out for what you believe is right.

    "Politicians have assumed the position of being master instead of being a servant of the people. But changes are happening so swiftly now that the politicians are baffled because it is not they who are bringing them about.
    The people are becoming aware that they, not the politicians, have the answers."
    - World Teacher Maitreya through an associate as reported by Share International

  •  A president for all the states (8+ / 0-)

    One of the reasons I supported Obama from the beginning was his progressive realism. I prefer not having an extremely ideological president.

    •  I couldn't agree more. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      boophus, wishingwell, Matt Z

      I was disgusted as a voter in 2004 at both Kerry and GWB. They were both clearly trying to win by becoming president of enough of the United States. Had Kerry won -- and I voted and volunteered for the man -- he would have been hamstrung almost instantly because he lost everything in the South and the noncoastal West.

      Bush, equally, was hampered by getting shut out in the Northeast and industrial Midwest.

      You can't govern that way.

      Obama, like Clinton, won in all parts of the country. He truly is President of the United States.

      •  If Kerry had won (0+ / 0-)

        Roberts and Alito would not be on the Supreme Court.  

        Those two tipped the SCOTUS balence to give us the Citizens United "Corporations are People Too" Decision and Roe vs. Wade would not be in serious danger of being overturned.

        You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

        by Sam I Am on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:28:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  As I said... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Matt Z

          I volunteered and voted for Kerry, but I'm not sure he would have been an effective president. Believe me; I wanted him to win.

          And yes, he no doubt would have chosen better than Alito and Roberts.

          I just found his campaign to be a frustrating one.

    •  If... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jagger, enhydra lutris, pot, aliasalias

      Geithner, Summers, Bernanke, Holder, and JP Morgan don't qualify as representing an ideology...

      we're in wonderland.

      Obama "fights hard". Who did he fight against to get JP Morgan in the White House? Who did he fight against for Alan Simpson(R) co-chairing his "Deficit Commission"?

      by Johnathan Ivan on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:29:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice navel gazing. (7+ / 0-)

    One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
    A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

    by amk for obama on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:36:48 AM PDT

  •  As long as (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cassandra m, elmo, dmh44
    He cannot run away from the left and simultaneously expect them to turn out in droves on his behalf next November

    is what this site believes, even if he gets elected, he won't have a Congress to work with.  It's interesting that Obama's rhetoric has turned more partisan this year, while he signed a whole lot of liberal bills, including changes to the way healthcare works in this country, over the last two years.  But the only way that we're ever going to get more passed is if the left either breaks the will of the 27% of the country that always votes Republican, or consistently matches that block in votes, in every election, so that the Democrats have a consistent block of people that they know will be there.  If the only group that consistently shows up is conservative, politicians will go conservative.

    Both of these cases rely on the voter to turn out.

    I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. - President Obama

    by anonevent on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:41:01 AM PDT

    •  Excellent Observation (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elmo, wishingwell, Boogalord, Matt Z

      Breaking the will of the 27% means getting out there and confronting their representatives.  There has been some observations this week asking where is the left effort to get to Town Halls and ask congresspeople WHY they voted to end Medicare.  I want to know that too -- there are some folks doing this, but plenty of us here ought to go out to these meetings with a camera and ask and stir up the you-know-what.  Republicans are on the record for ending Medicare for cryin' out loud and we ought to be out there pulling their self-prescribed nooses tighter.  Sitting around stewing about how the President is a disappointment  is sort of useless -- getting out and helping to push Republicans over the cliff they are already jumping over is probably the best thing we could do to change the field.

      We're casting a GTF Outta Here spell on Christine O'Donnell over at

      by cassandra m on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:12:55 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that's Republicans' strength (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z

      and Democrats' weakness. Republicans are loyal, Democrats are fickle.

      •  Too many Democrats take votes (0+ / 0-)

        from their base for granted, while taking dollars from their corporate sponsors.

        Thus Democratic candidates appear, post election, to be ficle to their voters and their grassroots supporters. The corporate money is the real source of power and this provides the real direction for government policies.

        This post election disappointment occurs, on occasion, to Republican voters and their grassroots supporters. 2010-12 appears to be one of those occasions.

  •  Has anyone noticed? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoFortunateSon, COBALT1928

    I've been on DKos now for a few months and I have noticed that there seems to be a great number of people posting here that just don't particularly like Obama or his policies.  No, it's not a majority or anything, not even 50-50, but enough to make one wonder why, on a blogsite that is extremely left-leaning, a democratic president is getting so many negative postings.  I don't get a good vibe on this coming election because of what I'm seeing here.

    I also question a lot about Obama and many of his actions and decisions.  I am very unhappy with his "back and forth" on issues saying one thing, doing another.  But, I lean left but only "somewhat" and consider myself more of a moderate democrat (and have taken heat here for that, don't ya know :-).

    But, my question is, has anyone else noticed that here?  And, if so, why is that?  

    •  Obama has never been very popular here (8+ / 0-)

      Edwards was probably the strongest candidate during the primaries, he won pretty much every straw poll when he was in the race, I dont think Obama won any, until it was just him vs. Hillary. I dont say that to dismiss the very valid criticisms he does get here, but I'm not sure I would equate "left leaning site", to "Obama supporting".

      •  Not true... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, COBALT1928, cdreid

        This site was essentially the Obama hub from fall 2007 to the election.  So never is not true.  He wasn't the early favorite, but Kos' early endorsement turned this site essentially in a spin-off of the Obama campaign.  

        But your final point is dead on.  The fact that this community was built pre-Obama meant there was always the possibility of a falling out, especially after then Senator Obama chastised members of this site in a manner similar to the views the WH expresses these days.  There is only so much hippie punching that a community can take.

        "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

        by justmy2 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:53:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree with that (7+ / 0-)

          I think the site only became pro-Obama after Edwards left. The bottom line is Obama essentially built his campaign machine in the primaries with almost zero outreach to the blogosphere. It's something that cant really be discussed here because it would be admitting that the blogosphere is less powerful than people here claim it is.

          •  I saw a change before Edwards left the race... (0+ / 0-)

            but that is nothing to quibble about...we agree that this site was not built on support for Obama...

            "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

            by justmy2 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 04:11:01 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I am glad I joined here after Edwards (0+ / 0-)

               I probably wouldn't have joined if I had checked out the Kos when Edwards was popular. I'm glad I came here late.
               I  couldn't  stand Edwards from day one ,for some reason.  He gave me the creeps as I conjured up  preconceived notions about the guy. I had this image of Edwards as a murderer or a serial killer.
                Who knows what made me think  that.. Maybe too many movies? He reminded me of the bad politician, on a movie I forgot the name.
               I went on a last minute camping trip, a couple days before the election and came  back couple days after, feeling no guilt sitting out the election,  not  voting for Kerry Edwards.
               Obama has one thing  Edwards never had and never will.
               Most people who don't like Obama' s policies will admit Obama is a likeable guy,with positive charisma , with nothing creepy about him.

        •  Senator Obama posted here is 2005. (0+ / 0-)

          The issue was the Roberts confirmation.  Obama had in fact voted to maintain a filibuster against the nomination yet several Democrats had voted to end the filibuster which, needless to say, was causing a lot of people on Dkos and elsewhere to sharply criticize those Democratic Senators.

          In characteristic Obama fashion he posted here asking for a more civil tone of criticism towards those Democratic Senators  who voted to allow the Roberts nomination to come to a vote.

          Obama's diary generated more than a few comments which turned more and more angry toward the young Senator.  

          He did return once to this site to respond to the criticism but has not visited here since.  

          You are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts. - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

          by Sam I Am on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:39:11 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  it shouldn't surprise you... (4+ / 0-)
      on a blogsite that is extremely left-leaning

      But you seem to be conflating left leaning with Democratic leaning.  This site is a mix of strong Democrats and strong liberals.  But those Venn Diagrams overlap less and less by the year due to Democrats willingness to veer to the right.

      What you are seeing is the result.

      "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

      by justmy2 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:49:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Posts have agendas. Negative Obama posts (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      moonpal, amk for obama, wishingwell

      could have agendas that are not necessarily to elect Democrats. Not saying it's not OK to criticize or that Obama is perfect.  

      Just saying DK is a big cheese now and that does attract different agendas.

      •  Step carefully (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        denise b

        You start implying that critics of the president are republicans youre not going to like the result. You get decent respect around here. Theres no reason to ruin it with bushesque stuff you know isnt true. Most of your comments are quite reasonable and give things to think about to everyone..

        A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

        by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:15:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Paid posters is what I am thinking in my (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          scariest thoughts. . . are you saying it can't happen here. . . are you saying that DK isn't an obvious target for a dirty trick such as paid posters.

          I think that some of these posters who are so negative are as bad as GBCW. They are suicidal and want to take everyone with them.  Which is why GBCW diarys are banned.

          Thanks for your respect.   Eeyore posts that can't find their tail, aren't at the top of my list.  And do bring me down.  Don't bring me down, no no no no whoo ooo.

          •  No (0+ / 0-)

            but i think its much mroe likely the majority of the paid posters are in the obama camp atm. I Completely agree something needs to be done about it but markos has just opened up dk to roving bands of them.

            I can think of at least 3 posters i think are on the obama team payroll, one or two on the dem party payroll and 3 on the gop payroll so i understand.

            I honestly think the negativity comes from "team playing". You get an obama supporter whos so lost they lie cheat steal trollrate whatever to silence critics. You get a critic who does the same. Each create extremism on "the other side" and it just grows and grows until Legitimate hardcore supporters and critics who speak in realities and actually understand or try to the others points are drowned out. THAT is sad and messed up and im quite sure youre right there are some professional trolls here egging it on on all sides.

            A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

            by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:18:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I think the whole "paid troll" thing is overrated (0+ / 0-)

              Quite frankly, I just don't think we DKossers are important enough for either party to bother with. The Dems don't care what we think anyway, and the Repugs have far more important targets, since none of us are going to vote for them anyway.

              It'd be a silly waste of resources for either party to bother with actually paying people to troll here.  Particularly since, as Dems, we already can't get along with each other anyway.  We simply don't need their help.  

              I think we just have a super-inflated sense of our own importance. (shrug)

            •  I am sure there are people counting (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              we love the numbers.  I wonder if the issue posters, we shall call them, have anything else to say.   They will stand out mathematically.  I don't think they have any issues left after their Obama hatred is spent.

              I met one 'issue' poster who was completely ignorant of local politics in his home state.   Especially because if he had knowledge of local politics, it would have hurt his 'Obama is bad and I should shout it from the roof top' stance.

              Let me explain.  My daughter at one point wanted me to believe something.  In order for me to believe that, I would have had to disbelieve something she had told me earlier.  When I confronted her with the dilemma and told her the 1st and the 2nd thing couldn't be true at the same time.  I said I knew the 2nd thing wasn't true because my daughter would never lie to me.  She said, "Oh yeah I've lied to you 100's of times"

              These things show up.  I have a feeling that a one issue Obama hater will not last.  I trust the system.

              •  Kathy (0+ / 0-)

                im not disagreeing with you. But there are just as many on your "side" though.. they arent reasonable and intelligent like you. Theyre one issue people. Some paid to be here. Some part of pr firm workgroups. I dont think its a LOT of people. I think it is small groups of extremely organised people. Pro obama. Pro dlc. Pro this. pro that. pro the other things. I dont think it taints any group of Honest activists. I do however think they sew discord on purpose and try to control the tone of dk and of  the progressive base. I agree about one issue people as ive posted to a couple batshit loonie haters and worshippers.. you'll be gone just like the hilbots are gone leaving Honest hillary supporters like TRix et al (the vast majority) to clean up your mess. Thing is we have to counter them without insulting or alienating the honest people on the other side of our issues etc if that makes sense. Just as you and I are on opposite "sides"  and can speak reasonably we must make sure not to let our emotions cause us to alienate honest critics or hardcore supporters while still weeding out the trolls and shills.

                A man is born as many men but dies as a single one.--Martin Heidegger

                by cdreid on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 01:27:35 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  apparently you were too dumb to see that (0+ / 0-)

                this poster wasn't saying "Obama is bad".

                Indeed, he has a post in this very thread saying that, if I recall correctly . . .

                "Obama" does not equal "the Democratic Party".

                And "criticism of the Democratic Party" does not equal "I love Republicans".

    •  i'd like to see the part it says you can't (0+ / 0-)

      say anything mean about the president because he's on our side. That seems a very GWB thing.

      there is a difference between "i don't support his policies" and "FUCK BARRY", but still.

    •  Yes. And there are lots of reasons. (0+ / 0-)

      I've actually been around since early 2004 (f/k/a code blue), and have made studying the phenomenon a minor hobby.

      Just remember, this is the Internet. The attitude here in no way reflects the attitude of the Democratic base.

      There have firebaggers
      You have Greens
      You have LaRouchies
      You have PUMAs

      All these people post here. And the louder you are, the more attention you bring to yourself.

    •  This is not an exremely left-leaning site, simply (0+ / 0-)

      a Democratic one. Attacking the left is as popular as criticizing Obama and/or the blue dogs, if not actually more popular.

      Obama is at best a centrist, and actually somewhat to the right of that on many issues, He also waffles and is seen by many as less than committed and less than forceful. Hence he gets criticized  lot.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 02:03:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I notice more than some people (0+ / 0-)

       I'm an independent, "usually" favoring the Democrat candidate.
       I have a mixed bag of friends from both parties, along with a  few libertarian friends.
       I'm not worried about someone who disagrees with a policy or two of Obama.  Most of them will vote for Obama in 2012.
       I distinctly remember some of my friends who voted for Bush in 2000, ridiculing him for many of his policies before the 2004 election .
       When the time came for campaign signs, their yards were littered with Bush.
       The vote Obama is going to have to work the hardest for, the poor who have become poorer in the last two years.
        If they aren't motivated in 2012, we are in trouble.
       I say we as an Independent American, not a partisan.

    •  Exactly because the site is left-leaning, (0+ / 0-)

      explains this:

      on a blogsite that is extremely left-leaning, a democratic president is getting so many negative postings.

      Obama is not left enough, obviously.

  •  It is fun to do this analysis..but here is were (6+ / 0-)

    President Obama needs to tack.  Anywhere that will improve the economy.  Period.

    The political gaming is actually the root cause.  

    A better health care bill, with more immediate results, could have improved the economy and pushed the deficit discussion back due to Medicare cost savings.

    A better stimulus (I am with Krugman, but if there was a better idea that would have been fine) would have improved the economy.

    Better tax policy would force companies to hire for tax savings instead of gambling and handing out dividends due to higher return due to better tax rates.

    Now, my thoughts on all of these are be more progressive.  That may seem to say tact to the left.  But my real point is compromising for the transaction is fool's gold if the transaction has neutral or negative results.

    So we can chase the base, or chase independents.  But neither will have an impact if you don't chase jobs.  Both groups will follow if the economy picks up steam.

    The fact that we are still talking about winning the future instead of surviving the present is all that you need to know about the lack of a strong messaging strategy from National Democrats.

    "Senator McCain offered up the oldest Washington stunt in the book - you pass the buck to a commission to study the problem." - Senator Obama, 9-16-2008

    by justmy2 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:45:48 AM PDT

    •  The fact that they are talking deficit (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      enhydra lutris

      and not jobs is all anyone needs to know.

      Obama needs to talk past Rethugs if he wants a strong re-election.  Let Rethugs talk about deficits until the cows come home and just ignore them utterly.  Jobs, jobs, jobs.

      One of Dems chief problems for decades has been setting the agenda the way Rethugs do.  Dems have become very much a reactive party and that is not the road to electoral success.

      Whatever shows the Rethugs show up on, as example, they always ALWAYS manage to work in their bumper sticker of the moment (right now its "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem").  Dems need to take the same approach; ignore the questions of the interviewer and just talk about jobs--spending creates jobs, unions create jobs, government creates jobs, green energy creates jobs, breaking up the banks creates jobs, education creates jobs, infrastructure investment creates jobs, etc, etc, etc.

      "Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will."—Frederick Douglass

      by costello7 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:07:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Come to the Midwest (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    amk for obama

    Folks here are seeing the destruction of repub rule loud and clear.

  •  will GOP win 'cause dems ignore radio again? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    how many more election seasons will go by with so many races lost or even close merely because the collective left keeps giving a free speech free ride to the right's most important political/media tool?

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:46:25 AM PDT

  •  We were all fooled (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, COBALT1928

    We all bought into a guy with only a slogan. He had nothing on his resume that said he would be a good President. I keep hearing how smart he is, show me something. I'm embarassesd that I voted for this guy in the first place. Is he the best that the Dems have to offer? If he is then God help us all

  •  The Base (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jagger, COBALT1928, Boogalord

    I respectfully disagree. Obama needs to triangulate because he has served for three years as a center right President. And given that the center has shifted to pretty much what used to be called conservative, that says a lot. Given the above many in the base, including me, wouldn't vote for this fraud ever again. I know that the argument is that the world ends as we know it if he's not reelected. On the other hand the world has already ended as we know it and is fast moving toward being totally over with the complicity of Obama and his Administration. I will support local Democrats who are actually Democrats. I will never again support DLC type DemoPubs. I will no longer be in anyones back pocket because no one running for office represents anything near my values or principles.
    given that I am not alone in this position I would suggest that unless he can con, once again progressives by becoming a liberal during the campaign, he better get some of those moderate(ha ha) vote percentages up.

    Recommended by:
    Johnathan Ivan, Jagger, COBALT1928
    Hidden by:
    amk for obama

    I will NEVER work for (or vote for) Obama again.  I only hope that I have an Independent to vote for.  Otherwise, I will stay home for the first election in my life.  I am SICK TO DEATH of this horrible president who has thrown me and my liberal brothers and sisters under the bus, since the day after his electioin.  We are not fools, no matter what he thinks.  No matter how many pretty words and beautiful phony smiles he throws at us, some of us still have principles.  The Democratic Party should have realized that fact a long time ago and given us a choice in the matter with a presidential primary.  Without that, they will lose, and so will the country.  Obama is a fraud and a liar whose actions have never matched his words.

  •  I teared up and popped a cork (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, COBALT1928

    when Obama won in 08.  But now I feel demoralized.  
    When he runs a "I'm going to be a transformational kinda guy" campaign, but then actually performs as an incrementalist, has he not stretched the truth?  Is it naive on my part to expect Obama the Candidate to show up when he is Obama the POTUS?  

    I am a liberal, but what do I say to my nonliberal friends and co-workers when they say "what's the difference, they're all the same"?  Guantanamo is still in operation, torturers from the prior (and maybe current administration) are not in prison and we are STILL in Afghanistan.  What do I say is different about this guy from the others before him?

    Of course I will vote for him in '12.  It woud be sheer lunacy to do otherwise but I surely won't tear up this time.

    FDR said "Now make me do it". I hope Obama wants to do it because we sure are going to make him.

    by Nixter J on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:05:02 AM PDT

    •  A Democratic Congress (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rikyrah, flhiii88

      blocked Obama from closing Gitmo. The people who ordered torture from the previous administration are largely shielded from prosecution simply because of the way the laws are written. Would you prefer the Obama administration prosecute them anyway, knowing that acquittals are virtually certain? And we are scheduled to begin pulling out of Afghanistan this summer (we're already largely out of Iraq).

      If someone can't see the difference between a president who created all these messes, and a president struggling to clean up all these inherited  messes with little help from the members of Congress of his own party, then, yes, they're the voter demographic likely to vote for Palin or Trump.

  •  Impact on Congressional elections too (0+ / 0-)

    The enthusiasm gap also impacts the future of Congress.  If he gets another 2010-style electorate, without his base, then the House stays Republican and the Senate probably falls too.  He gets re-elected but is essentially castrated.

    If on the other hand he energizes his base, then there will be a higher turnout on the left, and the House is back in play, while the Senate has a good chance of being retained.  He might squeak back into power without a few marginal states, but is likely to still have a good electoral margin against the best of the motley field being thrown against him.  So with the base strategy, he can actually do something.

    Perhaps that's what scares the Wall Street guys who were willing to use Obama to get rid of the loser Bush?  Do they want a weak Democratic White House and paralysis?  We should not fall victim to their strategies.

  •  Choosing between Obama and staying home (7+ / 0-)

    When the 2012 election rolls around, I will carefully consider staying home.  I have found that he is no better a supporter of what is important to me than Bush was.  for those who question me, I respond with this:

    1)  The wars continue
    2)  Guantanamo still open
    3)  Bush tax cuts for the wealthy still in place
    4)  A healthcare law that looks suspiciously like the Republican proposal from the 90s.  No public option.
    5)  An all out attack on whistle blowers (Bradley Manning's treatment is an offense to the Constitution)
    6)  Continued use of the state secrets act to prevent legitimate court cases from going forward
    7)  Soft financial reform in an environment where much more could have been achieved.
    8)  His recent commitment of forces in Libya without Congressional approval - an exact reversal of his campaign position
    9) His refusal to initiate any meaningful investigation of the previous administration massive amount of illegal and unconstitutional acts
    10)  No meaningful policy proposals related to oil drilling regulation a full year after the Gulf disaster

    Against this backdrop, I have a huge enthusiasm gap.  Whether I vote or not will likely be determined by how offensive I find the Republican candidate.    It will not be a vote FOR Obama, it will be a vote AGAINST the other guy.

    I will be carefully weighing the benefit of sending a message not to take my vote for granted vs. the risk of a really offensive Republican candidate becoming President.  Because one thing I know, Obama ain't no Progressive.

    •  Supreme Court appointments arent (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amk for obama, wishingwell, dmh44, Matt Z

      important to you? There's no difference between Obama and Bush on those? It's quite likely Ginsburg, one of the more liberal justices, will retire between 2013-2017.

      •  Kagan? (4+ / 0-)

        Let's see how that turns out.  There were better choices from the liberal perspective, but they involved an ideological fight and if there is one thing we've learned about Obama, it's that the words are tough but the actions are meek.

        •  Ok, but isnt she much better than (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          anyone a Republican would appoint? I think so. Kagan, btw, gave a very strong dissent in a case that upheld tax breaks being given to a religious school in AZ. Obviously, just one case, in her first term, but still. If she turns out to be fairly liberal, I would hope Obama would get credit from the left, although I doubt he will.

          •  That's my point (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I am no longer willing to accept the "he's better than the other guy" argument.  That's what is nullifying my political power.  So unless the other guy is really awful, I might choose to send a message this election.   Short term loss for (hopefully) longer term gain.  

            I guess in a perfect world, Obama would barely win, but not get much of the Progressive vote.   Less damage to the country and it would send a message to potential 2016 candidates that the left wing vote is up for grabs and could be used as a powerful base in getting the Democratic nomination.

            •  But that's the reality of the election (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              dmh44, Matt Z

              And when I say Obama is better than the Republican, I dont mean, "oh, the Republican sucks, but Obama sucks less." Despite his flaws, I think Obama would be SIGNIFICANTLY better than any of the Republican candidates. I would much rather have Obama picking SCOTUS nominees than a Republican. I'm sorry that upsets you, but that is the reality of the election. I know it sucks, it would be great to have a viable third party progressive candidate, but there likely wont be one. If Obama doesnt win, it's 100% likely the Republican will. How "sending a message" by not voting helps the progressive movement I dont know. You get at least four years of a Republican president and a Democratic party that likely has to move more to the right to make up ground to win.  I've seen that happen after 2000, I dont really want to go through that again. I guess some on the left do.

              •  Again please read the totality of what I am saying (0+ / 0-)

                I realize this problem.  If the difference is great, I said I would vote for Obama. If the difference is small, I think there are potential gains in sending a message that emboldens a true Progressive to come forward in future elections or forces future Democrats to go left enough to enact some Progressive legislation.

                If we always use the comparative argument we will always be marginalized by candidates who triangulate.  At some point you have to be willing to take a few hits to maintain your voice and your power.  A message that is apparently lost on Obama and the Democratic leadership.

                •  I'm not sure I understand you (0+ / 0-)

                  If the Obama only has a small lead over the Republican, you WONT for vote?

                  •  Depends on the republican (0+ / 0-)

                    I will weigh the utility of my vote in helping Obama win vs. the longer term message that not voting sends.  That longer term message is that Democratic candidates must keep their pledges to their Progressive base in order to get their vote.  My vote is meaningless if a politician is so sure he has it that he doesn't represent my interests.  And unfortunately, Obama has not represented my interests.

                    The trend for me is very bad.   If you look at my list of 10 Obama "accomplishments" above, you'll understand that I feel Obama is the wrong direction as well.  I feel like the 2012 election is shaping up as a traditional Republican (Obama) vs. a collection of crazy right wingers of varying degrees of danger (the Republican field).  I guess at this point, depending on the Republican candidate, I'm willing to consider sacrificing the slow bleed to disaster that Obama and his ilk represent in order to get the jarring awakening to the republican agenda that guys like the Wisconsin governor represent.  Look at the backlash that stirred.   We need Democrats who stand for traditional Democratic ideals.  If we roll over for anyone who calls himself a Democrat but then behaves like Obama we will never get a candidate who can right the ship.

                    •  I just dont see that working out (0+ / 0-)

                      You certainly have every right to not vote. But what I see happening is we get a Republican president for four years. A Republican president who will repeal health care reform, financial reform, and student loan reform. A Republican president who appoints a right winger to replace Justice Ginsburg and who begins defending DOMA again. A Republican president who brings DADT back.  A Republican president who repeals every rule and executive order that Obama issued that represented progress. Like the rule that hospitals must give visitation rights to same sex couples.

                      All that for what? The possibility of a more liberal candidate in 2016, who if they get elected(no guarantee), would then do what? Have to work four years to just get us back to where we were in 2012. Brilliant.

                      •  I worked hard to elect a Progressive (0+ / 0-)

                        who promised to reverse the Republican damage from 2000-2008.  How's that working out for me?

                        At some point in time, opposition to the current leadership has to be found.  And by that I mean opposition to both Obama-style leadership and Bush-style leadership.  Real Progressive leadership with policies that represent the people.

                        The three reforms you point to barely improved the existing situation and are certainly not progressive.  If you want real reform, stop letting the politicians take your voice for granted.

                        Obama's progress has been minor and he has institutionalized and made bipartisan many of Bush's worst abuses.  Where is the righteous indignation?  Where are the true reformers?

                        Basically, the difference between us is that you are willing to settle for modest reforms and a lot of Conservative leadership to avoid the social policy disaster that the crazy Republicans push.  I understand the position.  Hell, a lot of times I feel the same way.  But today I'm feeling like I need better representation than Obama and I realize I'm not getting it until I insist on it by not allowing him to take my vote for granted.

    •  ... Obama was never a progressive (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amk for obama, Sam I Am

      in the first place.
      We'll make up for your enthusiastic gap don't worry.

      I love me peektures and that is that! Cheerleaders till 2016

      by matrix on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:27:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm sorry Bradley manning is not a whistle blower (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      he committed Treason when you join the Miltary you give up some rights.

  •  As a long time campaign worker (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, elmo, wishingwell, Boogalord, dmh44, Matt Z

    people who say they are Moderates tend to be center left folks and usually can be persuaded to vote Democratic. On the other hand folks that say they are Independents, tend to be on the center right, and are more likely to vote Republican. I have seen this phenom for over 20 years.

    I have a theory, that as the article says, many folks have thought of being liberal for years as being a "bad" thing, but being a Moderate is seen as being a good thing (moderation).

    OTOH if your on the right and let's say your a social conservative but blue collar, the GOP cutting school funding, and free trade stands aren't popular, being independent is seen as being a "free thinker" (the Tea Party see themselves as independent).  The flip side would be a college educated socially liberal Republican, who is anti-tax. They don't like the GOP anti-abortion stands but hate taxes. Call yourself independent and you only have to "defend" the stuff you support.

    Now if you pin many of these folks down, they have voted either for the dems or repubs in 8 of the last 10 elections. But call them a partisan, and their normal response is that "if the _ would nominate someone good, I'd vote for them".

    I always "push" Moderates and Independents when they call themselves that, because most really aren't.

    -1.63/ -1.49 "Speaking truth to power" (with snark of course)!

    by dopper0189 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:15:03 AM PDT

  •  Yes, tacking left now would be smart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The time is right for the dems to claim the middle ground again. Not the middle of the two parties, the middle of where the voters actually are, and that is far to the left of where the dems are currently. If they do not start moving left again soon their future challenges will be from the left- not the right. Meanwhile third parties on the left ought to be organizing like crazy--look at all that open field! It's a damn gold mine!

  •  I'm not understanding why (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, dmh44

    the voters who shifted to conservatism from 2008 to 2010 aren't considered swing voters, as opposed to the diarist analyzing the shift as a permanent change in the proportions of the electorate.

    Why wouldn't this group be considered potentially swing voters?

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

    by dfarrah on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:21:41 AM PDT

  •  Who exactly is Obama's base (6+ / 0-)

    That is a question that analysts have yet to answer.

    For a while progressives claimed a monopoly on being Obama's base and acted that if they deserted him that could cause problems.  In 2010, that did not turn out to be the case; the election was much more complex and turned as much on a saturation media campaign and serious Republican dishonesty as anything else.

    So who now is Obama's base?

    And who do Republicans think their base is?

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:23:54 AM PDT

    •  Part of it Was Females (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Obama draws women voters.. but I think it's safe to assume they're more than a bit ticked off about $5.00 per gallon gas and the cost of 2-3 terminal wars.

      Younger voters? those just graduating from college into this crappy job market? Uhhhhhhh...

      "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

      by Superpole on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:36:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Consider Bush in 2004 (4+ / 0-)

    Steve's excellent post lays out the case very well.  Another example:  George W. Bush in 2004, post-Abu Ghraib, post-Iraq failure, etc.  How did he win?  By ignoring the left AND the middle, running to the far right to please his own base.  And it worked -- simply because his base believed that he was with them, and they worked hard for it.  There's a lesson for the Democrats here, but no one seems to talk about it.

  •  The GOTV is going to be really important (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What I find is a huge problem is that every election, only 36% of people with incomes less than $50,000 vote, when they comprise 75% of the population.  I don't understand why many people with lower incomes and the most at stake are not voting.  Yes, there are childcare issues, work issues, etc. that people have, but it's ONE DAY out of the year.  

    •  yes I have seen that too for decades (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      especially with single parents, people who work 2 jobs and those who work long hours...all have trouble getting to the polls to vote.  As often after work, parents have to pick up their kids from daycare, go home and fix dinner and by that time, the polls are closed.

      That is a huge problem and I encourage these folks to vote absentee in states where there is no early voting.
      We have no early voting in PA so doing GOTV, we give them phone numbers for rides and also help with babysitting.  

      Those who may work a 10 to 12 hour day on Election Day: we encourage and follow up on helping them to get an absentee ballot.  

      People with young children can sometimes have a devil of time fitting voting in with their jobs and other responsibilities. When we run into people lke this or have neighbors with this problem; offering to help them out is so important, vitally important.

  •  Crappy Economy? Skyrocketing Commodity (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bob zimway


    Uhh, don't see much in the diary regarding this.

    last I checked, conservatives, independents and moderates have to buy gas and eat, too.

    BTW, just to cut to the chase regarding exactly how voters feel right now-- approval rating of congress is NINE percent.

    I'm hearing numbers like the average family will be spending an additional $900 bucks on gas this year. if you don't think that is getting the attention of-- and pissing people off-- think again.

    "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

    by Superpole on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 09:34:17 AM PDT

    •  The Bush White House was able to stop (0+ / 0-)

      gasoline speculation in a couple of days, natch, with Cheney running things. They said, This will stop ($4 gas), and it did.

      But Big Oil is pissed at Obama for going after their ridiculous subsidies, and now he will pay. The way he still makes that plaintive 'let's work together' plea to sociopaths is touching, so maybe he'll get a pity fuck out of it. Maybe a fifty cent drop. A dollar's drop will take more than that, I imagine, and will have something to do with subsidies.

      •  Well, It's Good to See (0+ / 0-)

        ONE person here... and apparently only one, gets it; $5.00 per gallon gas is a problem for anyone running for POTUS.

        I wasn't aware Obama is "going after their ridiculous subsidies"... but going after them and actually getting rid of them is not the same thing. and again, I suspect Congress has alot to do with what happens in the end.

        "I don't feel the change yet". Velma Hart

        by Superpole on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 02:30:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're neglecting the main point. (6+ / 0-)

    The reason for implementing liberal-to-left policies isn't because that will please liberal voters. The reason is because they're the right solution to existing problems.

    Voters--the non-teabagger kind--won't care if Obama is "liberal" or "conservative" or "Martian" if they're earning a good income, paying reasonable tax rates, and seeing wars coming to an end.

    The problem with Obama's triangulation strategy isn't that it doesn't feed the base. The problem is that it produces bad policy... and then it doesn't matter how you label it.

    To wit: the insufficient stimulus, the protection of war funding from budget cuts, the attacks on Social Security and Medicare, the half-assed "health reform" law that locked in insurance company profits. To name a few things.

    Over here on the left we're not angry because Obama's pitching his rhetoric to the mythical center. We're angry because the policies behind that rhetoric are counterproductive and stupid!

  •  Cry me a freaking river (7+ / 0-)

    I have kind of had it with the liberals....and I am one!  Here is what I have learned watching Obama.  He realizes that he is the president of the United States and not just the United States of Liberals.  Have I been frustrated with him at times?  Yes but I have been more frustrated by the republicans and the blue dogs.  The problem with our base is that if we don't get everything we want we take our ball and go home whining.  That is why I now have a Governor Walker to deal with.  No president is going to do everything that you want done.  I think we need to all realize this.  If we want more progressive things done then we need more progressive members of Congress instead of tea partiers!!  I will vote for Obama and I will canvass for him.  I don't want a Walker type in the White House.

    •  The Republicans have lulled us with the bat shit (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BenderRodriguez, Matt Z

      they aren't going to run any of the current bat shit.  

      I agree, this Eeyore BS is not going to turn out well for us.

      I wish we could wake up.  There is a Tsunami coming and these Eeyores are beachcombing in the lowest tide ever.

    •  Not so. (0+ / 0-)
      He realizes that he is the president of the United States and not just the United States of Liberals.

      He sees himself as the President of the right and center, and triangulates between those polls.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 02:29:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think he'll go further right. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    COBALT1928, denise b

    Because he's not going to get the $50 and $100 donations from the left, from the little people.  So the only way to get enough cash is to go to Wall Street, the Banks, the establishment.  

    When I was contacted for a donation this time, I told the nice young man why I wouldn't be sending anything in.  Told him I would give to campaigns that I believed would further the progressive cause, and that Mr. Obama had not done that in my opinion.  He said he'd been hearing a lot of that.

    •  Soo.. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jj32, wishingwell, dmh44

      which republican for president are you backing because he/she is going to further progressive causes?

      •  That's not the point, and you know it. (0+ / 0-)

        We participate in our system when we believe in it.

        •  But... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jj32, wishingwell, dmh44

          What are you going to have to believe in with a president Palin?  Are you saying Obama has done NOTHING that progressives can be proud of?  Because if that is the case, I think you are wrong.  Politics and governing is not easy which is why getting involved in it and paying attention to is is not easy because it is FRUSTRATING!  If we got everything we wanted, in my opinion it would be utopia, but there are people out there who think differently.  There are people out there who think it is ok to conceal and carry weapons, which I disagree with and want outlawed but that isn't going to happen even though I know that would be best for the country.  It is a constant tug of war which is why we are all so b****y and angry :)  but we have to keep fighting.

          •  Not much point to this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Aine MacDermot

            since you are hearing something I'm not saying.  

            Again, I will support those who I believe represent progressive values and will fight for same.

            It's simple.  It's the only way my views will be represented.

            And yes, I know DK is supposed to be in favor of voting for all who are labeled Democrats.  I disagree with that idea, obviously.

  •  I don't think you can... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    use #4 -  that Obama is already solid with moderates. Just after Obama gave that speech where he called out Ryan and Co and the "open mic" moment, his numbers dropped to the lowest of his presidency.

    Obama may well walk that back since it seems to have backfired.

  •  There you go again (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    enhydra lutris, pot, Palafox, wilky, aliasalias

    Trying to confuse us with facts. Everybody inside the beltway knows it's always a good strategy to punch the hippies, and this White House has demonstrated a solid grasp of inside the beltway thinking.
    Next thing I know you'll be trying to tell us that the progressive caucus' "peoples budget" should be part of the ongoing budget negotiations, just because the public doesn't want SS or Medicare or Medicaid thrashed so we can keep spending money on the wealthy and the Pentagon.

  •  President Obama may not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mariken, wishingwell

    be able to get as much done in a second term as managed in his first two years. The congressional makeup may be worse in 2012. But the Republicans will not have a 2/3's majority either, so having a Democrat in the executive office will certainly stop any damage on the right by the veto.

  •  Obama is not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, dmh44

    going to woo the base next year because [1] they turned their backs on him last year, and [2] his GOP opponent, whoever it is, winning the election (and getting to sign crazy bills, picking justices, etc.) is so terrifying to the base that they won't even risking sitting out again...he has them.

    Independents is who Obama feels he needs...and he's right.

    •  Get some facts. Those who failed to show up last (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Aine MacDermot, pot, denise b

      year were the newbies and independents that he captivate and energized with his promises of change, and who were disappointed in the result.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 02:33:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  you can governor from the left with this congress (0+ / 0-)

    or even in  last one the president can only push as far to the left as the people that are passing laws.  What Obama had when he came in was a workable majority in the House that could pass anything he wanted and for all intents and purposes a republican Majority in the Senate made up of all the republicans plus Ben Neslon, Joe Lieberman, Blanche Lincoln, and several other democrats swing right on some issues enough to almost always have a chronic Filibuster threat and half way thru with the death of Ted Kennedy and the Election of Scott Brown the Democrats didn't even have the hint of an unfilbusterable majority. If you also don't forget the republicans used every procedural trick in the book to make sure that every Obama judge and appointee had to go thru fire and ice to get to the Floor of the senate for approval  and laws were chronically put on secret hold for no reason by the republicans just to cause trouble

  •  title should have read you can only governor so (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    for to the left as congress will let you

  •  not voting for obama (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigBuck, Aine MacDermot, GMary, aliasalias

    certainly went to a lot of effort in 2008 to get the word out and encourage people to vote for obama.  Now we have naked scanners, banker bailouts wars still in iraq and a bigger one in afghanistan and a new one in libya, fisa, mandatory health care from the crap system they were suppose to be fixing.  I did not vote for that change.  Instead I will be focusing on local and state elections for people who actually represent me.  This is the only way to force these people to do the right thing (don't let them crap on you and vote for them anyway).

  •  boo hoo hoo (0+ / 0-)

    that meano barack obama better do what us dailykos folks say or we ain't gonna vote. we's go stay home and applaud president trump. yup. trump will teach that hopey changey guy a lesson.

    "This country was founded on compromise. I couldn't go through the front door at this country's founding" - President Barack Obama

    by AAMOM on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:19:54 AM PDT

  •  I don't understand this line of reasoning (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Micheline, yank2351, dmh44, Matt Z

    "I sent in money and gave my time in for Obama in 2008. I definitely know that I won't in 2012."

    That's not an exact quote but it sums up the sentiment of a few commenters in this thread.

    Here's the part I don't understand. We all know that the Senate is where good legislation goes to die. We all know that the public option that the Congress proposed only covered 6 million people and was not available to anyone who received insurance through their employer--so therefore it was not an option.

    We all know how important it is to de-Roberts the Supreme Court. We all know that on balance it was smart to end DADT by getting buy-in throughout the chain-of-command in the military as they don't have a history of responding to heckling. We all know that this entire country is not comprised of the Daily Kos constituency, which is how Ben Nelson, Bart Stupak and Evan Bayh got elected and the President has an obligation to represent the people who share nothing in common with Daily Kos' constituency.

    We all know that a single issue or two is not enough to abandon a politician over, when you consider that Ted Kennedy voted for Don't Ask, Don't Tell, that Paul Wellstone voted for the Defense of Marriage Act and Barry Sanders added his voted to 89 Senators, in order to keep Guantanamo Bay open.

    So what I don't get is why, given all that we know about a media that doesn't cover teacher protests in Wisconsin but covers Palin in Wisconsin; given all that we know about the stark difference between the agendas of a Nancy Pelosi-led House vs. a John Boehner-led House; given all that we know about politics in this present moment and having had a glimpse of a GOP future as played about by governors working in collusion, why are some talking about what they definitely will not do in support of President Obama.

    Who, after he is gone, are you certain that could garner as many votes, raise as much money, get mostly progressive legislation passed on as great a scale.

    Who are you saving your time and money for? Who do you think is out there, that could have been elected, and that could have done more given all that we know about the congress, media, the Koch brothers and an electorate that polls liberal and votes conservatively, if they vote at all.

  •  O needs to wake up and smell the '1 term coffee' (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigBuck, krose

    The ongoing travesty with Bradley Manning was it for me. Other progressives will have their own last straws. Single payer, etc. Will I vote Repub? Never. Will I give $$$ to Obama's campaign like the last time? Not bloody likely.

  •  Centrist economic theory never worked; (0+ / 0-)

    it has only delayed the inevitable collapse of the U.S. into banana republic status.

    Private capital no longer has need of the U.S. working class as either producers or consumers. Most U.S. workers, because of hard won historical political gains, cannot nor should they have to compete with relatively powerless workers in historically retrograde dictatorships.

    The time for progressive economic nationalism has come, complete with tariffs that take social and environment conditions of production into account and capital controls that fully recognize the social nature of capital formation, lest the Right once more win the game of capture the flag with all manner of attendant grotesque and dire consequences.

    The frog jumped/ into the old pond/ plop! (Basho)

    by Wolf10 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:36:42 AM PDT

  •  From a purely political analysis (6+ / 0-)

    perspective, Obama has essentially reinvented his image and has positioned himself well to win votes from both left, center and right.

    Though I disagree with the December 2010 tax cut deal from a policy perspective, it's pretty clear that it helped Obama politically and recast him to indies and moderates as someone who can be flexible and work his way to solutions even with the GOP.  There is political value in that.

    On the flip side, Obama's budget speech a few weeks ago plus his continued positioning against the Ryan plan reinvigorates the left.  Most liberals have been very pleased with the speech and his public appearances since the budget speech.  By taking extreme positions on social issues and entitlements, the GOP has given Obama the opening to reinvigorate his base and to consolidate conservative Democratic support as well as liberal support while retaining his fair share of indies.

    Obama's only obstacle to re-election is the perception of the economy (currently, gas prices are taking him under 50%) and whether Mitt Romney wins the GOP nomination.  In polling, Romney appears to be doing fairly well and is increasingly looking like a credible choice.  However, if perceptions of the economy improve, then Obama would beat Romney easily. Other GOP candidates don't stand a chance against Obama.

    Alternative rock with something to say:

    by khyber900 on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:36:55 AM PDT

  •  well for example in pa (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Pat Toomey won because congressional districts 8 and 9 and the republican parts of 10,11  while the African American parts of Philadelphia, and Democratic party of the Philadelphia suburbs and the Leigh valley only turned turn out in standard or slightly above standard number for a mid term election

  •  The data you point to explains why Obama all of a (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigBuck, wilky, krose

    sudden is fighting with the Republicans.  He knows he'll need the liberals/progressives back on his side again to win reelection.  It's no mystery that his current toughness with Republicans comes at the same time he launches his reelection campaign.  It seems so obvious to me.

    My guess is once he's reelected, he'll revert to the Obama we've seen for the last two years.  And he will have succeeded in pulling off two of the greatest bait and in US political history.  In fact, he'll go down in history for it.

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

    by accumbens on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 10:56:08 AM PDT

    •  well (0+ / 0-)

      it depends who you stick in there to govern with Obama and if you give him a senate that can get thru the policies that the house proposes

    •  He must really think he is in trouble (0+ / 0-)

      if he is doing this, now.

      Generally, all else being equal, the incumbant gets re-elected. Now things are different now and there is a strong anti-incumbent, anti-government opinion sweaping the country.

      If that is true, even though the Republicans are comically disorganized and lack any credible leadership, whoever they finally nominate will be elected (unless their party fractures and splits as a result into two parties).

  •  i'm still not seeing how the tax cut issue (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    makes Obama look better with moderates. sure their taxes didn't go up, so that's a plus, but there was really no way to do it other than ensuring the super-rich's don't go up either.  that really made him popular with those people? moderates must be very shallow people

  •  Public option (0+ / 0-)

    I would like to know how many of you filled Joe Liberman, Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln's phone line, email boxes and mail boxes with letter say WE WANT A PUBLIC OPTION, or the number of other senators and congressmen that voted against it .  Do you live in their districts? Did you try to sell it in their districts and states during the Debates or did you just yell at the tv. I'm going to tell you there was almost most NO support for the Public option in Nebraska outside of that one district obama won in 2008, and Liberaman was playing to the insurance industry which bribes him and so was Blanche Lincoln  you want to blame obama for what you wanted not getting passed Obama can only sign what gets to his desk and he barely got the legislation that was voted on to his desk.

  •  Triangulation may help Obama (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    but yielding on taxes/budget/unions will screw the people of this country. Which will he choose?

  •  You say he has a base "problem" (1+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:

    and then cite his approval in the high 60s, basically at 70%... The major questions is NOT the approval rating... It is whether they will vote for him... If his approval is 70% but 90% or better vote for him this whole thing is irrelvant and would tend to prove that he needs to "triangulate"

    The key is are those 30% who dont approve going to stay home... The answer I think is no they will not stay home... as you see in 2010 in comparison to 2008... the make up of the electorate that was liberal was 22% in 2008 and 20% in 2010... So they were not the problem. The problem was the MODERATES. Which is who he is playing at when he triangulates...

    •  the base problem is in enthusiasm (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as well as in turnout among the young who were so excited in 2008.  Talk to them and watch the votes fly away.  They feel betrayed, because they have been.  Obama will have to win without them voting at all, and without the rest of us knocking on doors, making phone calls, and donating money.  He might pull it off due to a weak opponent, but he has left himself in a very tough spot.

      •  That did not refute a single thing (0+ / 0-)

        I said above...

        I used the same numbers he sights as being so clear as to why Obama has a base problem and showed the base problem based on those numbers can be used to show the exact opposite.

        The real point is there is no way to tell, the election is a year and a half away, these polls mean nothing and people who try to read into them dont get politics in a 24 hour news cycle. Flux has become the new norm

  •  good stuff (0+ / 0-)

    though I question whether there's anything that can be "done," to enthuse any group. We're in for the doldrums of a divided government and a premature presidential primary/general campaign for the next year or so.

    If you're talking rhetoric, well then he ought to "tack left" simply because, as long as it's just lip-service and optics, a distinct position is much more effective than a nuanced compromise.

    Of course, I think they already know that, which is why the bold language of the past couple weeks. He won't find himself eating crow with this preposterous congress. If Republicans had any sense they'd be triangulating him and muffling any bold declarations by making offers he'd have to parse to refuse. But if they had any sense they wouldn't be Republicans, would they?

    One things for sure: the Ryan Plan and the militant support and showy displays it provoked will go down in history as an epic blunder.

  •  if the impressive republican PR machine (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    makes the republican nominee look sane, Obama is in big trouble.

    need I remind you who was elected in wisconsin, michigan and ohio ?

    many of them were elected by flat out lying and by a lazy electorate who didn't bother to understand what they stood for.

    I think that a republican can certainly win in 2012, and then I'm moving, cause I truly believe things will deteriorate very, very quickly from there.

    big badda boom : GRB 080913

    by squarewheel on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 12:16:26 PM PDT

  •  The more detailed numbers in that new poll from (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Marist are really interesting and show why Democrats should not compromise with the Republicans on either cutting Medicare and Medicaid, or extending/increasing tax cuts for the rich.

    Raising taxes on the rich, and protecting Medicare and Medicaid, are popular with independents/moderates as well as Democrats/liberals.  These are winning issues for Democrats, both the President and Democrats in Congress, unless they make the mistake of compromising -- at which point they'll share some of the blame and the GOP can and will direct the electorate's anger at them.

  •  He'll get the "kids" again (0+ / 0-)

    because as one or another of his advisors has no doubt pointed out, it's a whole new bunch of kids four years later.  Have to come up with snappy new slogan, tho.

  •  It's funny but approproate that the photo... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BigBuck, krose, aliasalias

    ...of Obama is (I think) from Brazil.  If Obama wants Lula's popularity and Lula's legacy, he needs some of Lula's substantive core of favoring equality over inequality.  Lula was a compromiser, but he knew what he wanted for an outcome.  Obama sometimes seems not to know that.

    It's better to curse the darkness than light a candle. --Whoever invented blogs, c.1996

    by Rich in PA on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 02:52:49 PM PDT

  •  Slmetimes "reality" intervenes in the politics (0+ / 0-)

    The infamous "deal" struck by Obama on tax cuts was a trade for a Russian treaty and extended unemployment compensation without which the economy would have already tanked.  The best thing going for Obama and Democrats are the Republicans.  The party that is serious about shutting down Medicare is not going to win an election.

  •  Not sure how the tax cut deal (0+ / 0-)

    has become a situation where Obama wasn't covering the base, since many in the base were pretty damn thankful to see UI extended (a.k.a. additional stimulus for the economy).

  •  2010 was a total messaging failure (0+ / 0-)

    2010 would have been a bad year for Democrats regardless, but Obama failed miserably with messaging. He allowed the GOP to define the major policy debates (financial reform, healthcare reform, and the stimulus) on their terms. When I saw right-wing ads on helathcare reform and their lies go unchallenged for months, I knew the GOP was winning the debate.

    The problem is that the GOP made 2010 about Obama and the Democrats' (perceived) failure to do anything to improve the economy. They knew what issues worked well with their base and what concerns those in the middle had over healthcare reform. They successfully turned enough Americans against Obama on that issue, and they came out and voted.

    I agree that Obama needs his base, but there are some issues that work well with the electorate at large--and some that don't.

    Here are some issues that would play well with the voters:

    Opposition to Medicare and Social Security Privatization
    Raising taxes on the wealthy to fund Social Security and Medicare
    Tax cuts for middle class families
    Developing Renewable Energy
    Infrastructure development and high-speed rail

    But I'm not sure that Americans care about other aspects of the liberal agenda--like immigration reform or closing Gitmo--that much. I'm not sure that those issues would resonate with key voters.

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