Skip to main content

Tariff issues
Political debate and policy

President Obama sent a letter to House Speaker Boehner and Senate Leader Reid requesting a joint session of Congress to listen to his address on the economy and the jobs crisis:

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. Leader:)

Our Nation faces unprecedented economic challenges, and millions of hardworking Americans continue to look for jobs. As I have traveled across our country this summer and spoken with our fellow Americans, I have heard a consistent message: Washington needs to put aside politics and start making decisions based on what is best for our country and not what is best for each of our parties in order to grow the economy and create jobs. We must answer this call.

Therefore, I respectfully request the opportunity to address a Joint Session of Congress on September 7, 2011, at 8:00 p.m. It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the Middle Class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order. It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy, and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that. [Emphasis added]

Ezra Klein rightly notes "the basic political reality of the day: in order to pass, legislation requires bipartisan support." That is certainly true at this time. However, he wrongly concludes that "[i]n order to get bipartisan support, legislation requires compromise." Legislation also gets passed when one side gives in to the other.

In the end, that is really what politics is—one side winning the political and policy debate. Democrats and Republicans simply do not agree on policy and objectives. And they are not likely to agree on policy and objectives any time soon. That's what elections are for.

The other error in Ezra's calculations is the view that passing legislation is the goal. Addressing and solving problems is the goal.

The president will speak to the Congress and the Nation on the problems that are paramount at this time—the weak economy and lack of jobs. In his letter, President Obama promised to propose "bipartisan solutions." I don't have a problem with the president's use of this language—it seems shrewd politically to define your views as "the middle." I would have a problem if in fact all the president does is propose "bipartisan solutions." The reason for this is there are no "bipartisan solutions" to our economic and job woes. Republican proposals will not work. Indeed, Republican policies have been incredibly damaging to the economy and to the jobs situation.

Happily, it seems the president realizes there are no "bipartisan solutions." The New York Times reports that "[President Obama] has concluded, Democrats say, that Republicans will oppose anything he proposes, and with an election looming, Mr. Obama must make clear what he stands for." Indeed.

So does the speech matter? Ezra Klein writes that "I’m not a believer in the power of presidential rhetoric to move the opposition, but there’s no doubt that, when yoked to the right policy proposals and legislative strategy, it’s capable of moving the agenda. And this is a good time for the Obama administration to move the agenda." Presidential rhetoric has never DIRECTLY moved "the opposition," but if it moves the country, that causes the opposition to move. Either by changing their position or by getting voted out of office. The former is not going to happen, but it is time for the president to begin to focus on the latter.

As for "moving the agenda," well, there is never a bad time for the president to do that. And for all the mockery of the all powerful bully pulpit, there is not a person in the world more capable of setting the agenda than the president. The president chose to set the deficit cutting agenda (in my view, a terrible mistake). And now he has the opportunity to set the agenda on jobs. It is a tremendous opportunity. Historically, presidents, great and awful, have done so, especially in the last century. More on the flip.

Some have argued that presidential speeches do not matter. Standing in isolation, this is generally true (but not always). But as the launch of a debate, a presidential speech can, and almost always does, set the agenda and the terms of the debate. Even "presidential speeches don't matter" adherent Jonathan Bernstein writes:

Presidential speeches are not, however, always a waste of time, even if they don’t really move public opinion or change votes in Congress. High-profile speeches certainly can put attention onto an issue that a president talks about. That can be important because it will give political actors something to support and to oppose, even if it doesn’t change minds. It can also send clear signals about a president’s priorities. [Emphasis added]

This is, in fact, the true meaning of the "bully pulpit," the president's ability to put an issue, on his terms, on the front burner. This is no small thing. Certainly President Obama's focus on deficit reduction put that issue on the front burner.

A speech is a start. And given the lack of attention to job creation and the economy in Washington, the president really is starting with a clean slate in terms of the debate.

Historically, presidents have been able to launch new issues and reframe existing ones. The granddaddy of them all for me is FDR's first inaugural address:

The key passages (imo of course):

Plenty is at our doorstep, but a generous use of it languishes in the very sight of the supply. Primarily, this is because the rulers of the exchange of mankind's goods have failed, through their own stubbornness and their own incompetence, have admitted their failure, and have abdicated. Practices of the unscrupulous money changers stand indicted in the court of public opinion, rejected by the hearts and minds of men.

True, they have tried. But their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit, they have proposed only the lending of more money. Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They only know the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.

[...] This Nation is asking for action, and action now. Our greatest primary task is to put people to work. This is no unsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously. It can be accomplished in part by direct recruiting by the Government itself, treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war, but at the same time, through this employment, accomplishing great -- greatly needed projects to stimulate and reorganize the use of our great natural resources.

[...] We must act. We must act quickly. And finally, in our progress towards a resumption of work, we require two safeguards against a return of the evils of the old order. There must be a strict supervision of all banking and credits and investments. [...]

These, my friends, are the lines of attack. I shall presently urge upon a new Congress in special session detailed measures for their fulfillment, and I shall seek the immediate assistance of the 48 States.

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

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

For the trust reposed in me, I will return the courage and the devotion that befit the time. I can do no less. [Emphasis added]

Yes, FDR had just won a landslide election. Yes, the Democrats had swept to overwhelming control of the Congress. But a vision was needed to leverage those political tools to good effect. FDR's inaugural speech set the terms of the debate of what we needed to do and what we were going to do.

Yes, there was continued and determined followup. But the speech signalled all that came after. FDR's first inaugural speech mattered. It framed the debate. It showed the way.

This is but one example of a presidential speech "mattering." There are many others. And the course of American history demonstrates how partisan speeches have shaped the debate on policy. I often reference Abraham Lincoln's 1860 Cooper Union address as perhaps the height of political speechmaking. But it is important to also remember the many speeches Lincoln gave in his losing Senate race in 1858. Even losing political candidates can move the debate.

Lincoln's speeches were partisan about policy. FDR's speeches were partisan about policy. Indeed, as I wrote last week, Barack Obama's 2008 nomination acceptance speech was partisan about policy.

In 2006, when the notion of a President Obama seemed much farther in the future than reality provided, I wrote a post titled What Obama Needs To Learn From Richard Hofstader, Abraham Lincoln and FDR. I wrote:

[...] Obama has learned nothing from Lincoln and nothing from Hofstadter. As wonderfully talented a politician he is, until he does, he will not best serve the interests of progressives and the Democratic Party.

To conclude this piece, I want to discuss one overlooked insight of Hofstadter that is highlighted and yet curiously devalued by Professor Wilentz. To me it holds one of the central principles of a triumphant liberalism, one that even today's conservatives can not challenge:

The Age of Reform's greatest achievement, often overlooked, is in its reappraisal of the New Deal, reviving and reinforcing the more positive passages in The American Political Tradition. Whereas most historians (and many New Dealers) saw Roosevelt's reforms as a continuation of Populism and Progressivism, Hofstadter affirmed the New Deal as a sharp break with the past. The old sentimental, quixotic, and self-deluding forays against capitalism gave way to Keynesian policy and the provision of social welfare. Nineteenth-century individualism and anti-monopolism fell before a fuller appreciation of the inevitable size and scope of American business. Cities and urban life, including the party political machines, which had been the bane of Jeffersonian liberalism, became an accepted, even vaunted element in the New Deal coalition. Under FDR, in short, American liberalism came of age.

Following the long-term abandonment, at least philosophically, of New Deal liberalism by both major political parties, Hofstadter's account of the New Deal's spirit repays a new look—not as an exercise in nostalgia but in order to help recover and refurbish a suppressed but still essential American political tradition. As was his wont, Hofstadter overstated his case, underestimating both the intense social conflicts that helped push the reforms forward and the degree to which Progressive ideas (particularly in the area of labor reform) guided New Deal thinking. But simply by identifying the change and by portraying what Hofstadter called the New Deal's "chaos of experimentation" as a sign of vibrancy, not weakness, The Age of Reform concisely defined the transformation of modern American liberalism, two years before Schlesinger took up the issue, in much greater detail, in The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919-1933. For that, apart from everything else, Hofstadter's book retains some of its old luster—and has even acquired a new urgency.

Wilentz is both incisive and dull in this passage. Incisive in recognizing the sharp break that the New Deal represented and dull in misunderstanding that while the ideals of the progressive movements that predated The New Deal nourished it, the fundamental rethinking of the role of government, particularly the federal government was, in many ways, revolutionary. I think Professor Bruce Ackerman's conception of a "Constitutional Moment" best describes it:

Under [President Bush]'s leadership, the American people would have initiated a new constitutional order that had self-consciously repudiated the regime founded by Franklin Delano Roosevelt; the era of Social Security and the United Nations was now dead, and the Court was going to build a new constitutional system based on very different premises.

There would have been nothing unprecedented in this scenario. This was precisely how Roosevelt created the modern constitutional regime in the first place. His eight appointments to the Supreme Court repudiated the laissez-faire constitutionalism of the preceding era and created the activist national government we know today. Indeed, if the New Deal-Great Society regime is going to die, there is a certain propriety in seeing it killed in precisely the same manner in which it was born.

To be sure, Roosevelt had far greater popular support in triggering his constitutional revolution than Bush could ever claim. When he filled his first seat with Justice Hugo Black in 1937, 76 out of 96 senators were New Deal Democrats. The New Deal Court's repudiation of laissez-faire constitutionalism proceeded with the support of majorities in every region of the country. This obviously would not be true today, even if the president's dreams had been fulfilled.

Professor Ackerman's theory is more complex than this short description—it requires the book length treatment he has given it. But the significance is the same. FDR changed our philosophy of government and the FDR liberal philosophy remains that which we follow today.

How did FDR do it and can Democrats defend FDR liberalism today? Maybe not by calling it FDR liberalism but they surely can and do when they have the courage of their convictions. The most prominent of these instances was the fight to save Social Security. Faced with Media hostility, Republican demagogy and flat out lies, Democrats rallied to the FDR liberalism banner and crushed the Republican attempts to roll back the clock. FDR would have been proud of Democrats in that fight. No triangulation. Good old fashioned political populism won the day.

And that is FDR's lesson for Obama. Politics is not a battle for the middle. It is a battle for defining the terms of the political debate. It is a battle to be able to say what is the middle. [. . .]

So after all that, what do I think the president should say in his speech on Thursday? Simply this, he should say what HE thinks we need to do to address our economic and jobs crisis. Not what "bipartisans" think we should do. What HE thinks we should do. Will it happen with this Congress? Of course not.

But the battle of ideas—this "partisanship" over policy—is what will set the stage for the choices the American people must make in the next election. The nation needs the debate.

And the president must lead it.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  the Executive only frames the policy agenda, sorry (4+ / 0-)
    And for all the mockery of the all powerful bully pulpit, there is not a person in the world more capable of setting the agenda than the president. The president chose to set the deficit cutting agenda (in my view, a terrible mistake). And now he has the opportunity to set the agenda on jobs.
    It's only the sausage casing for governance

    I am off my metas! Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03)

    by annieli on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:19:52 AM PDT

  •  Political debate. 1932 (5+ / 0-)

    FDR Campaign piece on ebay:
    http://www.ebay.com/...

    Nicely done...focus on veterans.

    As for who sets the agenda nowadays, it is the Conservative owners of media, PR firms, and think tanks.

  •  Been A Long Time Comin' (8+ / 0-)

    "Happily, it seems the president realizes there are no "bipartisan solutions."
     Time to awaken & smell the hate dear Mr. President.

     

    Why do Republicans hate America and want to see it destroyed?
  •  solutions (10+ / 0-)

    If what I read is correct, Obama is going to propose thing like the Georgia work for nothing plan as incentive to get people to work.  I have the lowest of expectations for the Obama jobs program.  He hasn't shown any interest in anything other than Rethug programs to deal with the economy since his tepid stimulus deal.  His team in this arena are all failed financiers.

  •  Old themes, but important ones (23+ / 0-)

    To harp on your point that there must be winners and loses, Barney Frank in 2008:

    I am very proud of many of the fights I engaged in in the nineties, as well as the eighties and before. Senator Obama . . . bemoans the "same bitter partisanship" of that period and appears to me to be again somewhat critical of those of us who he believes to have been engaged in it.

    I agree that it would have been better not to have had to fight over some of the issues that occupied us in the nineties. But there would have been only one way to avoid them -- and that would have been to give up.

    This seems quite topical in light of the EPA smog decision last week.

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:25:58 AM PDT

    •  This also speaks to what has been (16+ / 0-)

      somewhat missing in this administration - that there are policies worth fighting for.  

      The bully pulpit won't help much if the president doesn't have policy ideas worth promoting.  I don't want to speculate on what he will say, but I sure haven't heard anything exciting yet.

      So, Armando may be correct that Obama is ready to abandon recycling republican ideas, but if he doesn't have some of his own to spark the passion of the country, we're in very deep trouble.

      Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

      by TAH from SLC on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:37:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  As I have always said. . . (cue reversal) (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Armando, TAH from SLC, MadRuth, m00finsan

        Ok, so I read the polls.

        by andgarden on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:39:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The elctorate have a buying decision to make. (0+ / 0-)

        A portion of that electorate already know which way they will go in this buying decision.

        Next, another segment of the elctorate are pliable and can be swayed, depending of course what their "hot button" issues are. There is more, but for all intents it will likely come down to one or two main issues crtitical to them personally.

        Next, is another portion of the elctorate that don't normally involve themselves with voting. Be it local or national politics; a large swathe just don't vote.

        In 2008 we saw the immense power of GOTV with first timers or seldom voters. I don't have the numbers at hand but if I recall, it was significant.

        So what is the sales plan?

        The president has to sell himself (again) to the people. Not to the people that have no intention whatsoever in voting for him. It's the other Americans his sales pitch needs to reach.

        He needs to build his value and hammer it.

        The people have to have a reason to purchase this president. If President Obama does not define his value, there will be no reasonable expectation to buy.
        Notice it is not values. Instead, his value to America

        Create the excitement and emotion to purchase President Obama. The GOTV which is critical can be adressed in many ways by just getting people excited and involved. (again)

        Sidenote: I will vote for Obama. However, the liklehood of me invoved with GOTV is squashed right now. I need to be sold too.

        The competition is selling too. However, their product line is inferior. As the president (salesperson) he must be proactive and hit them and hit them hard. Give the people an easy or at the very least an easier buying choice.

        The essence is people make most of their buying decisions based on emotions.
        Rick Perry is a perfect example of this BTW.

        There is more and this post is already too long.

        Take a hint from Madison Avenue, or better yet hire someone from Madison.

        The competion has been outselling the Democrats and this president.

        It's time to take control of this sales/messaging process and go for the close. The competion will look for every weakness real or otherwise and sell their inferior product to America.

        Our brand is better. So Proove it and close this sale.

        "The greater the ignorance, the greater the dogmatism." Sir William Osler

        by wxorknot on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:13:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Divided Government is a Failure (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, SoCalSal, magicsister

    Unfortunately, this will be the message from the GOP going into the next election.

    We really have to do Better.

    Notice: This Comment © 2011 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:26:24 AM PDT

  •  Wonderful post Armando. (11+ / 0-)

    This is welcome news indeed.  I think the rhetoric of bipartisanship was useful before the midterms.  Clearly he got stuff done.  But now, it's past time he went after these bastards with both barrels.  Speech-Gate might prove to have been a blessing after all, if Obama thinks it provides him with the justification to stop playing nice.  After all, they clearly disrespected his office.

    I'm glad he seems to be planning on taking the fight to them.  Bring it on, bastards.  I'm looking forward to making Boehner cry again.

    No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

    by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:32:17 AM PDT

  •  46% still blame bush...while 28% blame (11+ / 0-)

    Obama for the lack of jobs problem.  60% blame a gridlocked congress.  I'm with you Armando...it's time to go big and make the party of hell no remind us all who they are and if they care about America.

    •  Agreed (5+ / 0-)

      The opportunity is right there.

      •  When has Obama ever siezed opportunity? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay, jimreyn

        Last I can remember is ca. March 2008.

        Where is that Obama now?

        We we hoodwinked.  I don't expect anything better than giveaways from this president and hope for nothing but stalemates.

        We're a long way form Change we can Believe In (TM, Bullshit)

        •  In the 2008 General Election (0+ / 0-)
        •  2012 campaign slogan? SSDD - we can't believe it? (0+ / 0-)

          Anyone else wonder what the "smartest kids in the room" (The WH staff) will come up with? Be the Change and Change we can Believe in 2008 will NOW be USED by the Rethugs against DEMS in 2012 - oh ya....it will be hysterical..whoo hoo!...seriously it will not..sad actually...

          DEM ELECTED CLASS - got/get your message loud and clear > "Progressives not welcome here". Moved to "Decline-to-State" Summer 2011.. Faithful DEM no more. Time, Energy, and Money$ best spent elsewhere...best-o-luck 2 ya...

          by AustinSF on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 05:31:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  True But (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Most Americans are forward looking, and Bush is no longer on the ballot. As for the political gridlock, its very possible that they could break the gridlock by electing Rick Perry president and give the GOP the majority in the senate. Even though people disagree with Republican policy, at least they are able to get things done. Reagan did it with a Democratic controlled House, and Bush did it with a Democratic controlled Senate. If the Democrats can't get anything done with huge majorities in both the House and Senate, they might as well vote Republican if doing something is better than doing nothing.

      This is why I believe that the only way the Democrats can get control of the agenda is to play a tit-for-tat strategy with the GOP. The GOP is playing hardball with the Democrats because they got away with it in the 1990s when Clinton was president. The Democrats did not respond in kind with George W. Bush was president. Thus, they know that playing hardball against the Democrats works for them, and they will pay no punishment for using bullying tactics.

  •  Obama has a horror of confrontation IMHO (5+ / 0-)

    Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:38:16 AM PDT

    •  A larger horror of losing (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shaharazade, magicsister

      reelection I think.

      As every pol must.

    •  He's in for a rude awakening if that's the case. (4+ / 0-)

      Quite a few of us former supporters would love to bend his ear.

    •  Why do you think he has a horror (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, Robinswing, magicsister

      of confrontation?  If he hasn't done it to your satisfaction, it means he's afraid of it?

      I don't think so.

      No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

      by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:51:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Let's put it this way... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jimreyn

        He seems to put an enormous amount of effort into running around the ball to use his forehand as opposed to using his backhand when it is needed.  In tennis, this means that you can miss a lot of returns that get you the points that give you wins.

        •  Well, I appreciate the metaphor. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Armando

          I think it's fair to say that he's been politically averse to confrontation to this point.  However, I don't that makes him personally averse to it in any way.

          No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

          by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:04:55 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I see little in his biographical data that (7+ / 0-)

            suggests anything other than him being quite affable and congenial throughout his career and even life.  He's good at getting along.  That's an admirable trait, but when you come up against people who don't want to get along, you have to apply other tactics when your charm fails to persuade.

            •  And what "biographical data" would that be? (0+ / 0-)

              Did you log a chart of the number of time he's confronted people in his life?

              No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

              by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:13:44 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  You don't go to Harvard Law and get (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                angstall, RainyDay, jimreyn

                on the Law Review by being a confrontational figure.  You don't waltz into a Senate seat by pissing everyone off or get the Party insiders nod to run against an established political figure... or four... by pissing people off.  People like to think that Obama was sort of a man made by the people, but the reality of Washington politics and more so Presidential politics is that no one is made by the people until they are made on the inside first.

                •  In order words, ... (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  SoCalSal, soccergrandmom
                  You don't go to Harvard Law and get (0+ / 0-)
                  on the Law Review by being a confrontational figure.  You don't waltz into a Senate seat by pissing everyone off or get the Party insiders nod to run against an established political figure... or four... by pissing people off.

                  You don't get very far being a confrontational simpleton.  On that point, we agree.

                  No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

                  by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:30:50 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well, not when you come from nowhere. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    RainyDay, jimreyn

                    If you have lineage and or money in this era, you can do just about anything you want as long as your tribe is loyal, strong and powerful.

                    Outside of the breaking laws and shredding the Constitution, if GWB had applied his tenacity and ire to good rather than evil, I think that he might have been a pretty good President.  He sure as hell got his way and kept the American people with him for a long time - even though he was screwing them.

                    Imagine that applied to good and positive advancement - it is really needed right now with all of the nuts running around the Hill - we need a determined, clear and strong leader who is resolute about his ideas and policies.  There is too much at stake not to have that and too many people totally off the rails.

          •  for some the fight is all that is..for others the (0+ / 0-)

            fight is but an means to an end.

            /If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer/. Thoreau

            by hron on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:32:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  As a matter of fact ... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal

          I remember reading news reports about then Senator Obama taking Lieberman to the woodshed on the Senate floor during the '08 campaign in a semi-private verbal altercation.

          Obama definitely has fight in him.  He just choose to play his cards close to his chest, and I can appreciate the fact that there are many reason's why he'd do so.

          No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

          by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:10:47 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  But he didn't have it in him to (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RainyDay, jimreyn

            publicly go after Lieberman did he?  Or he thought that would be more of a liability than a help - but even that call at that juncture when it was so clear that Lieberman had abandoned his sense of party loyalty is dubious.  If Obama had tried this friendly game with the GOP for 6, 9 or 12 months and then pivoted, I'd give him more checks in that "fighter" column, but he did not.  It is September 2011 - nearly three years into his Presidency and the White House is just now signaling that maybe the opposition is going to oppose them no matter what they do.  I think they are either slow on the uptake or lacking the inherent traits that one needs to fight when there is no other option.

            •  It was public. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              SoCalSal

              It was reported.  If Obama didn't want us to know about it, it wouldn't have been reported.

              I mean, I thought we were supposed to be more sophisticated observers of politics.  Just because a President or Presidential candidate doesn't stand up and say "J'accusse!" in front of the entire nation doesn't mean he didn't confront someone publicly.

              Jesus Christ.

              No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

              by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:25:06 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  No that's gossip. (4+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mightymouse, RainyDay, DeadHead, jimreyn

                And I'll bet that if you asked him, he'd say that he regretted a public display of that sort.

                I am really not sure why this is such a debate.  The guy has at times been cooly forceful, but he's pretty much never displayed anger or passionate feistiness in the years that he's been in the public eye - and little in his life journey suggests that he used those tactics to advance himself and his career.

                He would have been perfect for a time when Congressional decorum and statesmanship was observed and honored.

                •  But why does he have to display anger? (0+ / 0-)

                  I mean, why?  For every progressive it heartens, two Conservative Democrats or borderline Pukes start to think he's a scary black guy.  I mean, I do appreciate the fact that so many on our side want to him show some anger, but doing so is costly for him in a way it's not with other Presidents.

                  And also, I don't believe in screaming politicians, because they all make fucked up deals.  That's the nature of politics.  I'd rather a guy tell me the sober truth than someone scream lies at me while he's betraying me behind my back.  I might not like what he has to say.  I might hate it even, but I trust that it's true which is important.  Credibility is everything in politics.

                  No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

                  by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 02:46:35 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  So what? (0+ / 0-)

                    Obama has spent years chasing the votes of those people. Those people respect strength and showing some emotion might actually help him. Right now he looks like a detached technocrat blathering about vague ideas.

                    If you're saying that a black guy can't show anger at the fact that we have high unemployment because of his race then you're also saying that Obama should never have been elected. Apparently a "black guy" can't handle the problems that we have today.

                    It's the policy stupid

                    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 03:17:38 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  No, I'm not saying he can't. (0+ / 0-)

                      Nor am I saying he shouldn't.  I'm just saying actions speak much louder than words.

                      No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

                      by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:17:05 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  And besides ... (0+ / 0-)

              I think defeating McCain was a much more powerful confrontation of Lieberman than yelling at him would have been.  Why give him the satisfaction?  Why raise his profile when you can beat the shit out of him at the polls?

              And when Obama won the election, they asked a sheepish, gushing Lieberman whether or not Obama had called him.  (I'm paraphrasing.) "I've tried calling him, but he's busy I guess," was his response.  

              Revenge is a dish best served cold.

              No need to squabble girls. There's plenty of me to go around. - Pam from True Blood

              by fou on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:29:08 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  Ah yes, what we need it is MORE public fighting nt (0+ / 0-)
              •  No what we need is a better and more (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RainyDay, DeadHead, jimreyn

                effective means to neutralizing and or eliminating opposition than extending a conciliatory hand when the opposition intends to take that hand off.

                Did you know that the reason that people used to shake hands was to check for weapons hidden up each other's sleeves.  It was both a form of signaling that people were not armed as well as a way of actually confirming that affirmation.

                We don't have to check that with Lieberman or the vast majority of Republicans in power - we know that they are ready to pull the knives out.

              •  if that's the only way forward, yes, we need it (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                jimreyn

                Dems didn't start this fight, but they must engage if they want to do their duty, to provide good government for the benefit of the general welfare.

                Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

                by mightymouse on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:08:44 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  That's a Possibility (0+ / 0-)

      Or it could be that he has a naive view about human nature.  That if only he gives them one more concession, he will finally gain some goodwill with the Republicans, and they will reciprocate.

      Hopefully, this is the case and that he has learned from his mistakes and take a different approach when dealing with the Republicans.

      •  Screw that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay, jimreyn

        This kind of reasoning is just a way to self-justify what is plainly obvious: Obama is a weak center-right President who is incapable of firm leadership in a conflict.

        This is the same basic set of excuses that people indulge when they say "Well he doesn't want to look like an angry black man and if you disagree you're racist!"

        •  Whatever he is (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal, jimreyn

          The post is discussing what approach I think he should take in his upcoming speech.

          How about we discuss that?

          Plenty of other places to pie fight.

        •  I Disagree (0+ / 0-)

          Obama's voting record as a legislator and senator suggests that he is a progressive. However, unless you can read minds, we can never be sure.

          What he needs to do in the speech is to establish a narrative and not just a list of programs. The inability or unwillingness to communicate a narrative is a problem for Democrats in general. This probabably occurs because Democratic politicians regard themselves as a product of the Age of Enlightenment, where debate is suppose to be about using facts and logic. On the other hand, Republicans instinctively know the power of framing.

    •  don't psychologize..mirrors and all. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Annalize5

      I must say, I find these Obama is or is not, posts funny, I even part take in them always forgetting that "Obama" as we know is an institution the president's policy positions are not dependent on his persona. The advisers and pollsters tell candidate Obama to do X or say Y. He is a product that is being sold to the American public, you can make the argument that unlike Bush or Perry he is self-aware and know that he is been marketed, we would like to humanize complex things, like shouting in the dark "who are; what do you want" we assume that there must be someone on the other side of that wall of darkness, called 'Obama' or 'God'...this is mistake humans make, they bring the complexities of the world to the level of understanding. Process, the action you see is a result of a process, pollster asks question a focus-group says "we like when X does that"..pollster comes back with "date"..strategist says..we need to do this because data supports and the speech writer writes..Obama is just the vessel.

       Mr Carmaker makes all of the cars rather than...Process, called the assembly line

      /If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer/. Thoreau

      by hron on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:11:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  This is not An "Obam is" post (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RainyDay

        Surely your comment is not referencing my post at all.

      •  hron, this is possibly one of the best comments... (0+ / 0-)

        in this thread. It's a dispassionate assessment of the real "bottom line".

        [...]I even part take in them always forgetting that "Obama" as we know is an institution the president's policy positions are not dependent on his persona. The advisers and pollsters tell candidate Obama to do X or say Y.
        He is a product that is being sold to the American public, you can make the argument that unlike Bush or Perry he is self-aware and know that he is been marketed, we would like to humanize complex things, like shouting in the dark "who are; what do you want" we assume that there must be someone on the other side of that wall of darkness, called 'Obama' or 'God'...this is mistake humans make, they bring the complexities of the world to the level of understanding.

        Process, the action you see is a result of a process, pollster asks question a focus-group says "we like when X does that"..pollster comes back with "date"..strategist says..we need to do this because data supports and the speech writer writes..Obama is just the vessel.

        Thank you for a clear eyed understanding of the "process" as we see it play out against the backdrop of a very human drama, in which emotional "understanding" trumps the hard reality of business as usual. This is certainly nothing new in politics.

        Also, given the technology today as opposed to how Ed Murrow described the use of television below for good or ill, I can only say it pales in comparison to the engines that drive/shape public opinion now.

    •  yes, he is a reconciler, not a fighter. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimreyn

      But then, even a fighter would not help us, since the Dem Party simply has nothing it is willing to fight for. Except last year's Repug Party platform.

  •  People loved FDR because he cared and he LED (12+ / 0-)

    Nobody knows what Obama stands for anymore, or if he cares about their problems.

    You can't govern playing small ball, and you can't win an election playing small ball.  Define yourself, define your opponents, and say what you believe - over and over and over.

  •  It is Wake Up time, isn't it! (5+ / 0-)

    Finally, we are coming to realize that the views of The Right and The Left - our fundamental approaches to government and its role, the importance of seeing to the General Welfare, the use of stimuluses and safety nets in down economic times, the role of laws and regulations to constrain unfettered Rand-ian competition - simply cannot be reconciled. No matter how much good will is brought to the table. That's the reason, as Armando writes:

    ... there are no "bipartisan solutions" to our economic and job woes. Republican proposals will not work. Indeed, Republican policies have been incredibly damaging to the economy and to the jobs situation.

    Happily, it seems the president realizes there are no "bipartisan solutions."

    Speeches - effective uses of the bully pulpit - do matter. The views of the Senate's deadlock-dedicated minority and the House majority following the "Tea Party" like lemmings can control so long as there is no effective leadership to tell the people the truth. But bold statements by a leader - confronting these fundamental differences with reason and experience, not cheap code phrases to incite non-thinkers - are the best tool available given the polarized politics of the time.

    Unfortunately, we'll have government as it is now until the next election. So some compromises are going to be required, if for no other reason than to get continuing budget resolutions passed. But not one should occur without a reminder of how much better it could be with the kinds of policies that built America.

    Obama and strong Democratic majorities in 2012!

    by TRPChicago on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:40:59 AM PDT

  •  "Bipartisanship" is a political buzzword (10+ / 0-)

    that I pray goes away, along with other meaningless buzzwords like "small business" and insidious buzzwords like "entitlements".

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I'd rather not cooperate with people who think the proper way to govern is to not govern at all.

    If we were engineers working on an important project like an airplane or a hydroelectric dam, do we really want someone on our team who constantly tries to convince us that 2+2=5?

  •  When did Obama conclude (7+ / 0-)

    that "that Republicans will oppose anything he proposes?"  I thought that he was so intelligent and was playing 11 dimensional chess.  Obama was warned about the Republicans very early on.  Has he reached the smart conclusion only because he's in reelection mode?  Or has he really come to that conclusion?  I think the former.

  •  Maxine Waters on Meet the Press (15+ / 0-)
    Progressive members of Mr. Obama’s Democratic Party say the president should champion bold government action to revive a languishing economy.  Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press television program.

    “He must have a jobs program, must create jobs,” said Waters. "I am talking about a program of a trillion dollars or more.  We have got to put Americans to work.  I am very hopeful that the president is going to put a big program out there and fight very hard for it.”

    http://www.voanews.com/...

  •  This matters most (25+ / 0-)

    It's a quote from FDR.  And it's one of the biggest truths we've got is that it's fundamentally wrong for able-bodied adults, wanting to work, can't do it.

    Just like it's wrong to have so many buildings sitting empty, gradually falling to ruin, while so many people are homeless.

    (Thanks to Zwoof for getting me to visit the FDR Memorial in DC.)

    The river always wins. -- Mark Twain

    by Land of Enchantment on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 11:48:12 AM PDT

  •  I don't know if I buy that he is just now (11+ / 0-)

    figuring out that Republicans are obstructionists. If so, it's awfully convenient now that the damage is done (weak financial reform, loads of tax cuts/breaks for the wealthy and corporations, preaching the deficit gospel instead of the demand gospel).

    And I'm blue in the face from saying it, but today's Republican Party does not deserve to be an equal partner seated at the table 'negotiating'. The Tea Party is an invention, a worthless scapegoat representing less than 20% of Americans that can be blamed when no meaningful relief for the working class and the poor is passed by Congress.

    So sick of this shit. And unless OFA and the DLC want President Perry, they need to embrace the words and the needs of the people who didn't get it wrong for the past 30 years.

  •  Good Post (8+ / 0-)

    Bipartisanship only works when all sides stop fighting and are willing to be bipartisan. Right now, only the Republicans are fighting and Obama gets blamed for the fighting because the average person on the street believes that it takes two to fight.

    There is a mistaken belief that compromise can only occur when both sides are bipartisan. This is not true. Compromise can occur in adversial contexts, such as negotiating a house sale. The secret to a good compromise when the opposing side is highly hostile, is to be willing to use all of your leverage and fight hard for what you believe in. In Obama's case, this means the willingness to use presidential power and to commmunicate a clear narrative. To continue his bipartisan approach will only embolden the GOP, and cause them to increase their demands and threaten even more government defaults and  shutdowns.

  •  What does he think we should do? (7+ / 0-)

    I'm not at all sure I know.

    If it's more "free trade," forget about it.

    Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

    by Publius2008 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:01:36 PM PDT

      •  Do you have the feeling it is make or (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mdmslle, jimreyn

        break time?  I do (and I can't believe I'm saying this as I thought the debt ceiling deal was the final straw in a long series of missteps).

        If he doesn't have something important to say now on the most important issue of the day, well, then, I agree, forget about it.

        Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

        by TAH from SLC on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:12:57 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

          •  All I've heard are extension of unemployment, (0+ / 0-)

            payroll tax holiday and infrastructure bank.  The first two are not going to create jobs.  The last might, but it sounds like a bureaucracy that might take time to create even if the Congress allowed him to create it.

            I guess we'll find out soon enough.  But I'd also want to hear that beyond saying it what Obama will do to achieve it.  I need to see some fight from Obama.

            Ordinary political process is dead. The Supreme Court killed it. In Chambers. With a gavel.

            by Publius2008 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:28:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have not heard the speech (0+ / 0-)

              Si I do not think I would be doing anything but speculating on the substance.

            •  Infrastructure Bank (0+ / 0-)

              Is also too little too late. It will help put a few hundred thousand construction workers back on the job, and is worth passing. All well and good, but peanuts compared to the number of jobs needed.
              The WPA put millions of people to work within months.

            •  Past history is that there are only 3 ways (0+ / 0-)

              proposed to increase employment (recent history, since WW II):

              1. Tax cuts or credits
              2. Infrastructure (normally highway construction)
              3. Re-training

              There are, of course, lots of other options, but none of those are any longer acceptable inside the Beltway.

              Only (2) actually creates jobs in any quantity, and  then only for people who can work construction for the most part, although with some multiplier effect. It generally happens every presidential election year anyway, so to some extent the expectation is already built into the economy.

              Rumors haven't been anything outside those categories (even emulating the Georgia plan is basically a re-training solution).

              I have no idea what will be proposed in the speech, but I will be amazed if it's anything beyond those categories, which is what it needs to be to accomplish anything.

              If my thought-dreams could be seen, they'd probably put my head in a guillotine

              by badger on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:25:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Why would Obama mention the republicans hand in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JC from IA

    all this (not saying he shouldn't), when dairy after diary, comment after comment, blaming him, hardly if ever mention republicans hand in it? Like the history making filibusters and obstruction for 2.8 years and the consequences? Sounds to me, many are asking and hoping the president do something, they haven't been willing to do themselves.

    •  I assume (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Kaib, m00finsan, DeadHead

      Obama does not take his cues from Daily Kos diarists.

      How about you?

      •  What does this have to do with Obama taking his (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JC from IA

        "cue" from daily kos or not? We are talking among ourselves here, and the comments and diaries i refer to failed to do what i mentioned, whether the president take his "cues" from us or not. What i said holds true for what's said on daily kos. Go read a few and tell me what i say isn't true.

      •  Whenever you assume (0+ / 0-)

        You know the rest.

        I have it on VERY good authority that he has someone cutting out all of the recipes and giving them a go.

        Other then that, not so much

        Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humility; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

        by Chris Reeves on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:22:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Republicans weren't such a convenient excuse (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      m00finsan, GayHillbilly

      For Obama during the first two years of his term.

      And when he has really wanted to do something, like help the banks, he has just gone ahead and done it.

      Don't blame others for preventing things that Obama himself never tried to do...for instance coming to Congress with an adequate stimulus.

      For that matter, the Administration refused to admit that the one that was put in place was inadequate even when history showed that it clearly was.

      Here's a link for you, OrganizedCrime:
      Matt Stoller
      ~

    •  We recognize the Republicans' hand alright (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GayHillbilly

      But we also recognize how Obama gets slapped by the hand then turns around, asks for another, says its his fault, then calls US whiners for pointing out he's just been bitchslapped twice!

    •  because anonymous dkos posters (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, fat old man

      posting on a site for Democrats should act just like the president when speaking to the entire nation in the run-up to an important election.

      sure

      just like when I interview for a job I say the same things as when I go to the doctor.

      yep.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:37:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We have had one sided partisanship for thirty year (6+ / 0-)

    Now that we on the left start to stand up and resist we are told we are extremists and not in the mainstream.  The President's low approval rating is not because he is too "liberal" or a socialist it's because he, like Neville Chamberlain, is a Great Appeaser.  Obama needs to show that he REALLY doesn't care if he's re-elected.  He needs to kick Eric Cantor, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in the nads.  and show them who's in charge.  Take them on and we'll get your back.  Keep backing down and you'll be asking the question "Where did everybody go?"

    “The greatest tragedy in mankind's entire history may be the hijacking of morality by religion.” Arthur C. Clarke

    by spritegeezer on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:06:27 PM PDT

  •  This administration's stronger areas (11+ / 0-)

    don't include messaging and framing the debate.

    Sure, there's a tremendous opportunity for Obama with this jobs speech. There's been lots of tremendous opportunities. That's the problem. They too easily become tremendous missed opportunities.

    Sadly, I'm not confident this new opportunity won't be more of the same.

    It's getting tiresome, and the hour is getting late.

    That said, great post, as usual, Armando.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:06:37 PM PDT

    •  Kind of shocking (7+ / 0-)

      if that is true. And it seems to be true.

      •  easily the most astonishing thing about him (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mightymouse, DeadHead

        That such a brilliant speaker would fail so spectacularly in getting his message out. Most Americans still have no idea what ACA has in it for them despite it being the law for two years now. Why are there no public service announcements telling people about the new aspects of the law as they come into play for example?
        The absolute last thing I expected from this administration was it's inability to control the agenda, and the public conversation. The only time they have truly controlled the public discourse was when they decided to agree with the Republicans that reducing the debt was job no. 1.

        •  that is exactly right! (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fat old man

          Voting for Obama I felt confident that at long last here was a Democrat who could "catapult our propaganda" effectively and counter the RW machine. Someone different from Kerry, Gore, Dukakis, etc. ...

          but he is as inept as the rest.

          I think the powers that be don't allow Democratic leaders to broadcast a Democratic message. Seems crazy, but how else to explain the 3-4 decades of consistently lousy messaging?

          No one sells our government programs, except for the military ones.

          Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

          by mightymouse on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:17:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I wish it wasn't (0+ / 0-)

        I'm sure we all remember that sinking feeling every time Bush stepped up to the podium.

        Fuck, what's he gonna say this time.

        The lack of words from this administration illicits a similar sinking feeling.

        Not the same, to be sure, but discomforting nonetheless.

        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 02:35:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  um (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse
    Happily, it seems the president realizes there are no "bipartisan solutions." The New York Times reports that "[President Obama] has concluded, Democrats say, that Republicans will oppose anything he proposes,

    1.  doubt it

    2.  if true, why did it take him this long

    My heroes have the heart to live the life I want to live.

    by JLFinch on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:10:37 PM PDT

    •  he doesn't want to play this way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JLFinch

      40 percent approval ratings got to him, though.

      the conclusion is that if he gets tough, and the ratings rise, he'll go right back to the other way, because that's what he's comfortable with.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:40:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It makes me sad, that at this late date, we... (7+ / 0-)

    are still debating this:

    In the end, that is really what politics is—one side winning the political and policy debate. Democrats and Republicans simply do not agree on policy and objectives. And they are not likely to agree on policy and objectives any time soon. That's what elections are for.

    Really, seriously, sad....

    “Sometimes, the most reasonable thing in the legislative process is to be unreasonable.” Mike Pence, R-Ind., on negotiating with the democrats.

    by dclawyer06 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:14:45 PM PDT

  •  "We need to put aside politics" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TAH from SLC, Armando, mightymouse

    Obama needs to put aside having his head buried in the sand and realize these people in Congress have NO intention of doing what's best for the country.

    Hey Obama!  Maybe what's best for the country is calling these people out on their plan to steal all of America's wealth and turn us into cattle!

    Am I bitter? You bet I am! We need better than "Bipartisanship" from this corporatist!

  •  Welcome their hatred, Mr. President. (8+ / 0-)

    It's good for ya.

    •  Would that he do something that actually (4+ / 0-)

      justified their hate rather than their mere contempt.

      Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

      by TAH from SLC on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:31:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You got that right. The fact that he doesn't say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, jck

      and do things similar, even drives this "Obama lover" up the walls. I hated it when he went to Pharma during the HCR and made a deal. I hateD it when he extended and went against the FDA, when i consider the consequences of not doing it, were small. Things i don't think he had to do. It seems, everytime his "lovers" push back, he does something that makes it more difficult.

      •  Precisely (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        andgarden, jck
        It seems, everytime his "lovers" push back, he does something that makes it more difficult.

        I think most people here started out as a "lover," being a Democratic blog and all.

        What's been happening over the course of the last three years is people, at various stages of the process, are crossing a personal threshold of no longer being able to continue rationalizing and otherwise defending the administration.

        More and more people seem to be starting to feel that way. I certainly have. Obama's election brought me to this site, for cryin' out loud. I never anticipated feeling the way I do today about the president. And that sucks. It really does.

        He can turn it around, but as I said in another comment, the hour is getting late.

        Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
        ~ Jerry Garcia

        by DeadHead on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 05:48:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not sure if it will make you feel any better (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DeadHead

          but I've felt pretty icky about him since 2007.

          I still voted for him in November of 2008, and will do so again next year.

          Having low expectations means that you probably won't be disappointed.

          Ok, so I read the polls.

          by andgarden on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 06:25:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Low expectations (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            andgarden

            are the only way to fly, nowadays, it seems.

            I certainly haven't been curled up in a fetal position screaming "Why?!," but I certainly feel things could've gone a different direction.

            Obama has done some good things. If nothing else, he reawakened my interest in politics and reminded me why I'm a Democrat. The disturbing part is that the reason he's served as that reminder is completely different now than it was on inauguration day.

            I never thought he was liberal, I just didn't expect him to veer as rightward as he has.

            Hopefully, once again, hopefully, this jobs speech will mark a turning point back in the right direction.

            Only this time, I'm not getting my hopes up. ;)

            Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
            ~ Jerry Garcia

            by DeadHead on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 07:19:39 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Looks like standard-issue Obama Bash fodder. (0+ / 0-)

    With yet another flawed comparison to FDR to boot.

    BFD.  This isn't 1932, this isn't the United States of 1932, and the politics, therefor, are not in any way like the politics of 1932.

    Unless you are prepared to argue that there are certain timeless and immutable political truths, this is all just so much WATB backseat driving.

  •  I think it really sucks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    m00finsan, mdmslle, GayHillbilly

    That our democratic president, who was elected by a bunch of people who were looking for change from right-wing policies (and nothing else!)  takes it upon himself to propose a "bipartisan" solution.

    Is he Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde or what?  Schizophrenic?  He was elected as a liberal and he should be presenting liberal policy.  Let the congress work out the "bipartisan" compromise, but the initial proposal needs to be partisan!!

    Start at the middle, end up on the right.  Fuck it.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:32:53 PM PDT

    •  He hasn't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, smiley7

      Let's talk about what we think he should say (at least in this post) as opposed to pre-criticizing what we think he might say.

      I'd like to keep my posts a non-pie fight zone.

      •  Sorry Armando, but (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        smiley7, m00finsan, GayHillbilly

        he said so himself:

        It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy...

        I don't do pie fights.  When I read this, it really pissed me off.  That's what drove me to make my comment.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:51:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  OK...let's imagine a little... (7+ / 0-)

        a new WPA, CETA, an emergency windfall profit's tax, new progressive taxation on the rich, lowering the Social Security retirement age with increased benefits, a- Medicare-buy-in, regulations that support air you can safely breathe and water you can safety drink, mass transportation and green energy projects that "take us to the moon in a decade," ending the Patriot act...college educations and early childhood education and healthcare for all our children, ending the Wars sooner, bringing back Glass Steagal,

        Plus, taking worldwide leadership in Global Warming

        Damn, must be a pony of a speech in here somewhere..

        "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

        by smiley7 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:56:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  And actually, I agree with you (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, mightymouse

        But the President calls his own proposal bipartisan before he even proposes it??  He's putting the label on it prematurely, not us.  And by doing that, he's setting himself up for failure because the media is going to gauge his proposal from a bipartisan perspective.

        As opposed to saying something like this:

        The GOP has controlled congress for one year, and the American people have yet to see a concrete proposal to create jobs and get this economy back on it's feet.

        Therefore, I, along with those in my party, would like to propose a Democratic solution to this crisis.

        haha.  Right, I know....

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:56:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  he was elected as a liberal? Perhaps that's why (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      La Gitane

      so many liberal's are pissed at him.  He isn't a liberal and never was.  He isn't Bush either.  He is a centrist.  I knew that when I voted for him.

      Yes, I wish he had more "fight" in him, but I'm not surprised that he did not usher in a liberal utopia.

      •  Oh I know (0+ / 0-)

        I agree with you - although I got swept up in the change business, I knew he wasn't a super liberal.

        That being said, I never thought he'd be a liberal conservative either.

        What's amazing, is that the American public would be with him if he veered to the left.  That is what I just don't get.  If he was a true fighter for the people, he would be enormously popular right now, even if he couldn't get his way in congress.

        Now, I just heard some Palinspeak this weekend, and lo and behold! she is starting to talk about being suspicous about those "big money" donors, and what are they expecting of those candidates...

        Now, if Palin picks up the populist mantel, Obama is in trouble.  She'll be the only candidate seen as really standing up for the people.  That woman is not stupid; she is shrewd and she knows an opportunity when she sees it.  Sent shivers up my spine.

        The president better wake the fuck up.  That's all I can say.

        "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

        by La Gitane on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:04:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Anybody heard about a bond issue? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando

    a la war bonds?

    It's the difference between losing a fight and refusing one. (h/t Kossack james richardson)

    by mdmslle on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:44:14 PM PDT

    •  Not much. But the idea has been (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle

      promoted on this site by Annie Elk.

      She doesn't think it would need congress to act, but as she describes it, I think they would have to approve some aspect of it.

      Hey, Republicans, the whole world is watching.

      by TAH from SLC on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:50:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Can't speak for anyone else (0+ / 0-)

    I despise how every thread threatens to turn into a pie fight.

    This post was about the importance of political debate in shaping policy discussions and ouicomes and my view of what the President should try to do in is Thursday address.

    It seems to me that these issues can be discussed without necessarily endorsing of criticizing what the President has done in the past.

    Inevitably, some of you want to turn everything into the same bullshit discussion.

    I for one have had it.

    Take that crap to other threads please.

    •  I think the pie fights are silly too, but (0+ / 0-)

      I think you are wrong in this:

      This post was about the importance of political debate in shaping policy discussions and ouicomes and my view of what the President should try to do in is Thursday address.

      It seems to me that these issues can be discussed without necessarily endorsing of criticizing what the President has done in the past.

      It's rather disingenuous to argue that the Prez's proposals should be discussed without referring to the actions/results of his previous proposals when a large part of the entire debate concerns the previous string of surrenders and capitulations, and the historical probability of yet another one.

      It's like saying we can't discuss the latest attempt by Charlie Brown to kick the football if we bring up the results of all the previous attempts.

      As for me, I think the whole pie fight over Obama is silly and pointless--Obama is not the problem and never was. Our problem is that the Dem Party is not a liberal or progressive party, and until that changes, it doesn't matter a rat's ass who is President. We can reanimate the zombie corpse of FDR or Ted Kennedy and put him in the White House and it won't matter---no liberal agenda will pass because neither party WANTS a liberal agenda. Neither party is on our side, Obama or no Obama. The Dem Party will cave yet again, Obama or no Obama. That is the sad reality.

  •  How right this is... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, TAH from SLC, shaharazade
    ...treating the task as we would treat the emergency of a war

    This recession depression has done more harm to our country than Al Qaeda ever could.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:48:55 PM PDT

  •  When the other party, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, shaharazade

    is willing to sacrifice the best interests of the majority of
    Americans what other choice is there? Limbaugh stated the republican agenda before Obama was even sworn into office. "I hope he fails." Cooperation with those accepting this point of view is impossible and President Obama's refusal to recognize this reality is my own greatest disappointment  in him.

    For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong. H. L. Mencken

    by irate on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:51:38 PM PDT

  •  Even further- (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, mightymouse
    Addressing and solving problems is the goal
    The post elaborated at length, but succinctly:
    The goal is- Applying Democratic principles to address and solve problems.

    -- We are just regular people informed on issues

    by mike101 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:52:11 PM PDT

  •  This all depends on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    what he actually does believe in. If he is a true believer in the bipartisan Third Way, the global new world order type of future, he is not about to get up and start fighting for Democratic reform or values. National interests is thrown about a lot by our pols but globalism that is buy and for the multinational corporations especially FIRE is not in our national interest at all.

    When he talks of shared sacrifice and the race to the top, I for one think he is not talking about we the people or our common good as a society that functions with economic equity. At this point I am hard pressed to believe that the change he works for is democratic and it's not at all populist .

    To me his administration has revealed itself as yuppies on steroids, who are applying a failed theory of global capitalism which is anything but Democratic. I don't buy he's weak or powerless as he gets what he wants through. Plenty of Grand Deals replete with hostage taking and procedural rules have gone down. It's hard to have any credibility about values and our economic nightmare when what your working for is oligarchical collectivism. Profit for the MARKET is his highest priority,  and the real economy the one we live in most of us, is seen as the sacrifice were supposed to offer up.

    Perhaps he will realize that he cannot win unless he does stand up and fight for the people. I hope he see's that people regardless of their political stance are not buying this bamboozle. Something tells me that ego and the blindness of belief, in bipartisanship and the free market, will prevail over the fear of losing.          

    •  sorry Armando (0+ / 0-)

      I believe I did just what you were trying to avoid, and  criticized the past. Policy can be shaped by political debate but since he is an incumbent I cannot see how on Tuesday he can make a credible speech touting populist ideas and fighting for policy that he does not seem to believe in.  

  •  President Obama has a physics political (0+ / 0-)

    challenge. E = mc2  His inspirationarhetoric was once the fuel to energize the masses.

    Mass and Energy are equivalent.  To move the debate he either needs energy to propel the mass or for the mass to become denser for more people to to gravitate towards his presidential style.  Right now mass and energy are dead in the water and there is nothing that can score the necessary lightspeed needed to change the dynamic.  

    The challenge is investing in a speech or rhetorical device that sets a tone for immediate action.  Since the president would be "grounded" by republicans he would need to jumpstart his mass with some energy.

    I am not at all convinced the president will be as bold and as resolute as he needs to redeem his passive lack of energy towards politics.  He needs to show involvement, engagement and a rapprochement with so many people.  

    His lack of partisanship harmed his presidency to date.  The rhetoric now require he do things that show his principles on which compromise cannot be part of the political calculation.  Obama has a trust problem and it can only be solved with the type of introspection that led to Lincoln's Coopers union speech.  

    Every time history repeats itself, the price goes up...East Wing Rules

    by Pithy Cherub on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:56:09 PM PDT

  •  Well (0+ / 0-)

    the elephant in the room is Obama's credibility of which he doesn't have a lot of. I'm expecting it to another of his interminable word salads that are never backed up with actions even if he says the right things.

    It's the policy stupid

    by Ga6thDem on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 12:56:49 PM PDT

  •  What happened in the pass and the real situation (0+ / 0-)

    that still exist, can effect what the president feel he should say, or what he shouldn't. No matter how many suggestions we have. Maybe he knows what kind of speech he should deliver and may even agree. As for using FDR as an example. People can talk big and tough, when the have 65 Dems" + Farm labor and the democratic progressives.  

    Signed Into Law
    On August 14, 1935 President Roosevelt signed the bill into law at a ceremony in the White House Cabinet Room.

    Congressional Vote Totals By Party
     HOUSE (4/19/35)     Democrats         Republicans     Farm Labor                                                          

    Yes                         284                     81                    1                  6

    NO                            15                    15                    2

    SENATE (6/19/35)Democrats     Republicans     Fa          Progressive

    Yes                       60           16

    No                          5                                    , in the senate and 314 in the house, and a large number of republicans voting with you on the 1935 SS bill.

  •  He has a political choice to make, it seems to me (0+ / 0-)

    Option 1:  propose things that have some chance of getting through Congress.  Upside:   The hope here would be that it is enough to show some positive news before  the election, and he can campaign as someone who gets things done. He would campaign as "working to end the gridlock" and someone who can get Washington to act.  If the economic numbers turn even slightly up, he takes credit for "turning things around."  Downside -- no better economic news before the election, and he  still loses on that basis.  

    Option 2:  propose big proposals from the left that have a snowball's chance in hell of seeing the light of day in Congress.  Upside:  He has set out a strong policy difference between himself and the Republicans for the 2012 election.  Downside:  since nothing will get past Congress, there's little chance to show any economic improvement at all before the election and he loses because the economy is still horrible.  

    What some people here see as "Option 3" -- that he makes big proposals from the left and this Congress enacts them -- is about as likely to happen as my winning the lottery.  No Republican in Congress gets any political benefit from voting for a big "from the left" proposal by the President.  (Redistricting over the last couple of decades means that more Republicans are afraid of a challenge from the right than they are from the left.)  President Obama is a realist.   He knows his only two options are (1) propose something that can pass in the hope that something gets done, to help the economic situation, albeit far less than he wants; or (2) give up on getting anything of substance done to help the economy until Spring of 2013, and use the issue to campaign in 2012.  

    •  "Some people" (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, GayHillbilly

      do not exist. NO one has siad what you say they said.

      I will say that Option 1 is a fantasy imo. The payroll tax cut extension (or even inclusion in the employer side)  is NOT good stimulus. It is likely not even stimulative, because it will be "paid for" with spending cuts, a la Cantor.

      There is a lot of delusion in the "pragmatist" wing of this discussion.

      •  I don't see a lot of people here recognizing the (0+ / 0-)

        fact that is not disputable:  if he "goes big from the left," nothing happens in the way of action on the economy until Spring of 2013, and that's IF he keeps the White House and IF Democrats take the House.  

        There's a lot of "I hope he proposes this" or "I hope he proposes that" as if those proposals are actual proposals for legislation this term.  I just want people to remember that, if he "goes big from the left" he is, in essence, saying nothing will happen until at least Spring 2013.

        Some may be ok with that, some not so much.  I suspect partisans from the left are ok with that.  I am not so sure about the less partisan, or those "coveted" independents or swing voters.  It all depends on whom he is talking to Thursday night.  

        •  No matter what he says (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soccergrandmom

          "nothing happens in the way of action on the economy until Spring of 2013," whether "coveted Independents" like it or not.

          Indeed, Obama knows that now, according to the NYTimes.

          You seem the last person not to get that.

          •  Well, here's the question. (0+ / 0-)

            "Something can happen" prior to Spring of 2013 if President Obama makes proposals that can get through Congress.  Legislation can happen.  Whether that legislation will move the economic numbers at all is the open question.

            I understand your premise is that anything that can get through Congress cannot possibly move the economic numbers for the better.  I don't know whether President Obama, or those advising him, agree with you.    

            •  Do you agree with me? (0+ / 0-)

              OR do you believe GOP proposals (which is what can get through) will help the economy?

              •  I think it depends on the proposal, frankly (0+ / 0-)

                I'm not willing to say, "anything the GOP would vote for can make absolutely no difference," just as I'm not willing to say, "anything the progressive wing proposes is good for the economy."   As I've said before, I'm not nearly as partisan as most here.   But I do think we will see from the content of the President's speech whether HE thinks that anything that can get through Congress can do anything to help the economy.  If he goes "bipartisan," I think he's decided that there are some things that can pass Congress that might have a positive impact.  If he "goes big from the left, then I think he agrees with you.  

                Where you may be right, I think, is timing.  It may be too late for ANY legislation  -- progressive or not --  to have an economic impact prior to fall of 2012.  

              •  this morning on MTP the Republican talking head (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                wishingwell

                Paul Gigot (WSJ)  said that no matter what the President does that is BOLD stood zero chance of passing Congress. The others, all said GO BOLD, full speed ahead and damn the torpedoes.

            •  alas, previous history seems pretty clear that (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              soccergrandmom

              1. nothing progressive or liberal will actually get through congress

              and

              2. The Dem Party won't support it anyway.

              So it seems to me that the whole speech is nothing but theater. Nothing useful will pass, because neither party has any interest in passing it.

              And I'm not sure that electing yet more Dems who act like Repugs, will do anything to improve the situation.

        •  "Left"? We have a "left" in the US? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          soccergrandmom

          Where's it been hiding?

          I don't think we've had a "left" in the US since the IWWs all got arrested back in 1919.

          Unless of course you are referring to the plain ole ordinary run of the mill American liberals who would be considered typical moderate Tories in any other nation. . .

          People who think the Dems in the US are "left" should get out of the house and visit overseas to see a real leftist.  They'll shit their pants in terror.

    •  I don't see anyone here advocating this: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Armando, soccergrandmom
      What some people here see as "Option 3" -- that he makes big proposals from the left and this Congress enacts them

      It is indeed rather obvious (at least to me) that (1) the Dems simply have no such "big proposals from the left" to offer, and (2) they have zero interest in passing it even if they did, since the Dem party hasn't been either liberal or progressive since the late 70's, and is now just Repug-Lite. They wouldn't want to pass it anyway even if the Repugs let them.

      It's just arm-waving political theater.

    •  asdf (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse, Armando, dharmafarmer

      Absolutely nothing passed this year short of nationalizing the banking system will work in time for 2012.  That ship sailed in 2010.  Kind of why many people were screaming last year.  

      You have the choice of big image or penny-ante image.  I know which I'd pick.

    •  I haven't seen any option 3ers around here (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Armando, smiley7

      myself.

      it seems widely understood that nothing good will come through Congress. And that the game is to propose good actions and put the blame on the GOP when they are not enacted and the people suffer as a result.

      Play the game to win the next election.

      Here I am! I'm up here! Where are you? - the Red-eyed Vireo

      by mightymouse on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:25:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think the reality is that anything he proposes (0+ / 0-)

      will have as you put it, "a snowballs chance in hell of passing"--the House in particular. The repugs are even opposing continued tax relief because Obama brought it up which should along with all the other Repug BS guide the speech and policy now.

       It's time to go for it as this dairy is suggesting and offer up goals that will actually put the country back on the right track and there is so much to do...the ideas must be bold, notwithstanding, the options that can muster votes now can be included, too.
      Call it option 4

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:27:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is about making a strong speech like FDR (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, mightymouse

    influencing the populous and forcing their representatives to vote with the president. In that case, i understand the reference to FDR. My bad and as Gilder Radner of SNL fame said, never miiind!

  •  I'd say be as partisan as possible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, smiley7, dharmafarmer

    Not only to move the agenda with the public. He's dealing with GOP assholes who have dissed him at every turn, and who obviously have zero fear of him.  Time to instill a little fear.

  •  I still think you overestimate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Armando, DeadHead

    the bully pulpit. You use Lincoln and FDR speeches as examples. They both served in the most extreme moments of our history.

    Look at Carter with energy or W with social security privatization or Clinton with healthcare. Clinton managed to set the agenda but lost. Carter and W weren't even able to set the agenda.

    FDR had a receptive audience: 25% were unemployed.

    Lincoln faced secession.

    Whether those of us on the left agree or not, there is a very widespread belief that debt and deficits are a real problem, at least in the medium and long term. Clearly, Obama thinks so. I think he knows that the solution for long term debt is higher taxes on the rich.

    But this is an important speech. I suspect he's about to try to set the agenda he's going to run on: Tax the rich to pay for infrastructure and, as a result, jobs.

    I think 2012 is going to come down to "tax the rich or suffer." Americans aren't too big on suffer. I think the Dems are on the sunny side of that issue.

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them...well, I have others." --Groucho Marx

    by Dragon5616 on Sun Sep 04, 2011 at 01:46:55 PM PDT

  •  The president must lead (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ga6thDem

    the battle of ideas - but he won't. Not if his performance even as late as yesterday is any indication. Look what he did talking about renewing the transportation bill yesterday:

    At the end of September, if Congress doesn’t act, funding for our roads and bridges will expire....Congress has renewed it seven times over the last two years. But thanks to political posturing in Washington, they haven’t been able to extend it this time...

    He can't even place blame/responsibility for it on the proper culprits. It's not Republicans balking at acting. It's just "Congress's" fault. No indication that it's over any actual values or ideas about what to do and how to do it. It's just "political gamesmanship." Those people over there are the squabbling ones, not me, he's saying. Doesn't bode well for him to start doing partisanship.

    Then there's how he poses the actual policy - not one that he favors or that his party favors, but one that well-recognized partisans on both sides are willing to go to bat for publicly:

    This isn’t a Democratic or a Republican issue–it’s an American issue. That’s why, last week, I was joined at the White House by representatives from the AFL-CIO and the Chamber of Commerce–two groups who don’t always see eye-to-eye, but who agree that it’s critically important for our economy that Congress act now.

    He feels safe in proposing it as a bipartisan solution but still not as his own favored policy.

    So no, he won't be leading any battle of ideas. Choosing to get behind a clean transportation bill is a good thing, but the list of policy ideas that can be presented this way is small and narrow, hence the immobility of this administration, I suspect. To do anything of any significance they're going to have to take a stand their opponents will oppose, and that they just don't seem willing to do. Immobility and protective cover are their only operative policy modes.

  •  The power of narrative flow (0+ / 0-)

    There is something really understated about setting and controlling the narrative flow of the debate.

    If you can hold it, if you can set the grounds by which you and your opposition debate you are already half way to where you are trying to go.

    The longer you debate on the terms of your opposition, the harder it becomes to claw your way back out.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humility; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Mon Sep 05, 2011 at 03:24:46 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site