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President Barack Obama walks along the Colonnade of the White House on his way to the Oval Office, May 3, 2012. (Lawrence Jackson/White House)
(Lawrence Jackson/White House)
NBC/WSJ (PDF). 5/16-20. Adults. MoE 3.1%

Do you believe that it is more important to have––a president who stands up for his convictions, OR a president who seeks common ground?

Stands for convictions 56
Seeks common ground 38

Andrea Mitchell, safely ensconced in her bubble, has a sad.

One other things that's disappointing to say the least in the poll for those of us that like to see things get done, is the question about do you want a president who shows conviction or do you want a president willing to reach compromise and consensus on issues?
President Barack Obama spent the last three years desperately trying to compromise and reach consensus with Republicans on issue after issue.

How much credit did Mitchell give Obama for those efforts? How hard did she beat up on obstructionist Republicans? Zero and not at all, those are the answers. Because when Beltway hacks talk about "compromise and consensus," they're talking about Democrats caving to Republicans.

The irony is that on issue after issue, Obama did very much that! He adopted the Republican insurance mandate idea (straight from the Heritage Foundation and Mitt Romney), pushed for the market-based cap-and-trade system championed by Reagan Administration officials, created the cat food commission and put pretty much everything on the table in a desperate gambit for a bipartisan grand bargain.

How much did that get done, Andrea? Indeed, Obama has accomplished the most when he has surrendered efforts to bring Republicans aboard, whether it's by executive order, or by finding ways around Republican congressional obstructionism like using budget reconciliation to avoid a Senate filibuster when passing his health care law or picking off the odd Republican on a issue-by-issue basis.

The lowest point of Obama's presidency was during the debt ceiling negotiations. His team (and boosters) claimed that independents loved people who compromised! They claimed that Obama would be rewarded for being "the grownup in the room." Yet his groveling at the feet of House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor made him look weak and ineffective, and his poll numbers plummeted as a result.

It's only recently, as he has reasserted himself as a leader in the White House—and yes, as a Democratic partisan—that his numbers have rebounded.

There are differences between the two parties, and they have different approaches. It is okay for them to disagree, and it is okay to air those disagreements. That makes it easier for voters to decide which path to take. In such a world, we wouldn't have Democrats defending a health care law based on bad Republican ideas. We'd be defending a much better Democratic one.

Obama finally seems to have learned his lesson, and we're much better off because of that. And while that may make Andrea Mitchell and zombie David Broder weep, it's clear that a majority of America agrees.

Originally posted to kos on Thu May 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This poll is all adults, (5+ / 0-)

    and there are no specifics on who's in charge or on what issues.  Of course the majority will pick "stands for convictions," because they get to fill in their own blanks.  Add the criteria "President Obama" and "abortion" and "Republican likely voters," and you'd get a result something like 11/87.

    •  i'd bet it's independants who want compromise (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeffersonian, Deep Texan, Matt Z

      and the combination of the left and right who want conviction and see it as conviction for their side only, which puts us right back to square one chasing independents who want compromise

      but maybe that's wrong.  maybe it's more of a mix.  i'd like to know.

      i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

      by Anton Bursch on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:22:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  but for the record (3+ / 0-)

        while i prefer compromise over letting problems pile up for decades... i would still rather see the President act based on his convictions until there is nothing left but compromise or inaction.  it took me a few years of watching the right refuse to compromise and not get booted out of office for it to finally conclude that the President can't start out from a compromising position with the right.  he has to start from the left (not far left though) and go from there.  the right just have no desire to actually govern, so, you can't find common ground with them.  you just have to get as much as you can from them.  which makes them almost anti patriotic in my view.  

        i think my cat is possessed by dick cheney

        by Anton Bursch on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:26:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'd still be for conviction. (0+ / 0-)

          Fuck it. LEt armageddon come. That will hurt whoever pushed us into the corner more than us.

          http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

          by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:41:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Have you sent this to Ms Mitchell? (27+ / 0-)

    I'd love to hear her respond.

    Why does she think there are two parties? So they can act as one party?

    Does she know that compromise with implacable and intractable enemies has been done in the past and not really worked out so well? (Think "Neville Chamberlain") Or are news-readers forbidden to notice history?

    Also, I'm curious if she has apologized on behalf of her husband, Alan Greenspan, who has pretty much done all he could to destroy the US economy.

    Finally, does one have to fail an intelligence test to become a prominent "journalist" these days?

     


    The Internet is just the tail of the Corporate Media dog.

    by Jim P on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:22:14 PM PDT

  •  This has true bipartisan support. (9+ / 0-)

    Democrats want the president to stand for his convictions.

    Republicans just want the president to be convicted.

    Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

    by NMDad on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:25:20 PM PDT

  •  re: debt ceiling talks, it's hard to find anyone (14+ / 0-)

    who thinks he handled that well.   He enjoys significant support on just about every other major decision.  But, on that, everyone agrees he just plain failed.

    And the swift exit of Daley seems to confirm that he shares that opinion.

    "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

    by Geekesque on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:26:12 PM PDT

    •  Even Boehner agrees with that. (9+ / 0-)

      When the deal was done, the Speaker stated that the Republicans "essentially got everything we wanted."

      Of course that didn't stop them from planning to renege on the deal a mere six months later.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:42:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I disagree (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan

      He had two main choices: try for a "grand bargain" or just hold firm on a clean increase.  The second way would be more or less a move out of Bill Clinton's playbook and would have been a bit safer.  He opted for the first approach which was certainly riskier, but they payoff, had it succeeded, would have been to make him look like a guy who can reach across the aisle and get things done, while simultaneously neutralizing an issue that the republicans like to use as a weapon.

      Of course, he didn't succeed, but that doesn't mean that it wasn't worth a shot, and in the end the bill we ended up with wasn't a disaster.

      •  There was never any chance of a positive (7+ / 0-)

        outcome playing it that way.  The only grand bargain that could be struck with Team Teahadist would be utterly ruinous to the country and the party.

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:09:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Riskier "grand bargain"? Give me a break (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ferg, Geekesque, qofdisks, LucyandByron, daeros

        Unless my memory has failed, those negotiations were going on at the end of 2011.

        That's only a few months short of three years -- 1/20/09 to 1/20/12 -- of continuing, relentless Repub obstructionism.

        By mid-2011, it was all too painfully obvious outside the Beltway (and should have been obvious at 1600 PA Avenue), that the "post-partisan era" was a mirage, yet Pres. Obama and his advisers continued to pursue it like the Seven Cities of Cibola.

        For smart people (probably mostly Ivy League graduates), that was awfully ignorant.  And I say that sadly as a fellow Punahou grad.  (I thought by the end of 2009 that he was just giving Repubs plenty of rope to hang themselves before finally springing the trap door; how wrong I was).

        After all the Repub "support" on the stimulus package and the Affordable Care Act which took most of his first year in office, Pres. Obama should have admitted, if only within the White House, that he'd given Repubs quite a few chances to show their willingness, even a scintilla, to compromise.

        So the "grand bargain" was never a choice, just a delusion.

        Nevertheless, despite my comments, "Obama/Biden in 2012"!

        •  no you were right then, wrong now (0+ / 0-)
          (I thought by the end of 2009 that he was just giving Repubs plenty of rope to hang themselves before finally springing the trap door; how wrong I was).

          -You want to change the system, run for office.

          by Deep Texan on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:17:39 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Now we we Nancy Pelosi compromising too (0+ / 0-)

          considering a million buck a year as middle class.

        •  i'm not even in college yet (0+ / 0-)

          and I knew this was doomed from the start. I Think back to why I supported Edwards right up until the scandal hit and that is why. Obama's language NEVER impressed me. All of this bullshit about how we were "one country" always struck me as a load of naive crap. We are not and the only way to unite us is to stomp conservative ideals into the ground until people realize ours work better. That is it. That is all.

          http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

          by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:52:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  We all want to see things done (17+ / 0-)

    But we want the right things done, not just some sort of nebulous "things".  That'
    s why people want politicians with convictions, because when they go to Washington and do things those things are what people sent them there to do, not some bipartisan fluff.

    There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:34:54 PM PDT

  •  Yeah Big Deal. Now Poll Big Donors. (8+ / 0-)

    99-1 to speak softly for bipartisan values and don't rock the effing boat.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:40:18 PM PDT

  •  This is ungood news for Flip Romney. (6+ / 0-)

    Fair's fair. I don't vote in your church; don't go preaching in my government New video: "Clark Vreeland--Stories in My Blood"

    by Crashing Vor on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:41:26 PM PDT

  •  Why would anyone have a preference either way? (12+ / 0-)

    I have a preference for certain outcomes, and whether I support standing on conviction or seeking common ground is a totally contingent consideration.  

    Romney '12: Ron Paul, without the freedom!

    by Rich in PA on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:43:36 PM PDT

    •  Agreed. It's a ridiculous question (8+ / 0-)

      to suggest that it's either stand for your convictions or seek common ground, but one cannot possibly have a strong personal conviction that seeking common ground is a way to achieve progress towards one's objectives and long-term goals. No, it's just "appeasement" and the opposite of having core values. Wrong.

      •  but you're disagreeing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wsexson, daeros

        If your core conviction is process, you're not outcome-oriented: you're process oriented.

        •  Core conviction is process? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan

          Wow, I can't even conceive of that.

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:07:57 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  President Obama's core conviciton is compromise (7+ / 0-)

            I had the honor of meeting President Obama when he ran for the Senate in Illinois in 2004. He was addressing my local county Democratic Party executive committee meeting when he was running in the primary. When I say that his core conviction is compromise I am not being critical of him. He believes that the genius of American politics is the art of the compromise ala Henry Clay.

            The president told us at the time that he held policy positions that were at odds with a lot of our positions, like on gun control (we want stronger gun control laws, he tended to side with downstaters worried about loss of gun rights and hunting, etc). He also had a good working relationship with Republican leaders in Springfield and cited several examples where he brought along some Republican votes on legislation. Remember also that a leading Republican in Illinois appeared in a commercial for Obama in the 2008 primary. I also think that he did not understand the difference between Republicans at the state level and Republicans at the national level.

            The president honestly believes that the best solutions come from compromise. The president also believed that Republicans would deal with him in good faith. I hope he does not still believe this. And I am sure that he has been deeply hurt at a personal level by the antics of the Republican obstructionists.

            I believe that these Republicans really believe what they say and that they eat their own dog food . And they truly believe that government is evil. And that the government that governs least governs best. This explains their obstructionism. They also believe in Plato's Gold Lie, ie telling lies in a good cause is acceptable. So they see their obstructionism as standing firm for their convictions. And I hope that the president finally understands this.

            •  Ah, just a different notion of what constitutes (0+ / 0-)

              a core conviction, but, yes, your point is completely defensible.

              I view compromise as merely a means, but I can see that a conviction, say, that the President is the leader of all Americans -- a damned diverse group -- would require a firm belief in compromise.

              LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

              by dinotrac on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:00:16 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  No, the core conviction is the desired outcomes (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Deep Texan, qofdisks, daeros

          and in my view this is not inconsistent with a core belief in seeking common ground and cooperation as the best means to achieving progress toward those goals

          The poll question sets up a false dichotomy, in my opinion.

          It's funny to me in a way... I remember back in my early feminist days when we used to talk about how it would be so much better if women were in a majority of positions of power, because of their supposed natural tendency to cooperate more and be less competitive and combat-oriented. It was widely believed that this was the key to success in creating peace and prosperity. It was a strong core conviction, I seem to recall. I guess times have changed.

    •  Because . . . (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ferg, TracieLynn, shaharazade, daeros

      people like to have a definite sense of where politicians stand on issues.  So they prefer someone who stands up for his/her convictions.  This really isn't new.  We saw it with Reagan and we saw it with Dubya.  There were lots of people who disagreed with their stands on the issues, but they appreciated the fact that they knew (or thought they knew) precisely where those two men stood.

      "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

      by FogCityJohn on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:56:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I see what you are saying (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Z, qofdisks, shaharazade

      and I think Kos is probably reading too much into this poll, but the results do illustrate that Americans tend to prefer that their POTUS be a leader rather than a mediator.

  •  THIS is what disappoints Andwea? (9+ / 0-)

    Who appoints these assholes?

    Oh, right.

    What do we want? Compromise! When do we want it? Now!

    by itswhatson on Thu May 24, 2012 at 12:54:05 PM PDT

  •  say, Mayor Booker, are you saying that (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CS in AZ, Dirtandiron

    the president is (or has been) an appeaser?

    well done sir.  brilliant messaging.

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:03:38 PM PDT

  •  Seeking common ground IS one of Obama's core (22+ / 0-)

    convictions.

    I disagree with your use of the word "desperately" to describe his efforts to seek common ground and work with the republicans. He has said since the beginning that was the change he wanted to bring to Washington: to end gridlock and get public officials to put aside "politics as usual" and work together. He had done this somewhat successfully at the state level and intended to bring that tone to DC. Because he believes(ed) in it.

    Granted, the republicans in congress didn't and won't ever cooperate with that, or with him on anything -- but making the effort is something Obama deeply believes in and was part of his promises as a candidate.

    I think this whole meme that it means he is 'weak' is wrong and not helpful. Not much different than calling him weak for being willing to talk with other countries instead of just bombing them. People feel safer with him in charge of such decisions because he is perceived as being measured, reasonable, calm, and fair.

    I also don't think he's naive about the chances of it ever working with the current republican party; he was naive when he took office, he even said so himself, but not anymore.  I see him changing the tone lately to be more combative, and they are predictably complaining about it too, which makes me smile.

    •  Thank you, CS in AZ. (5+ / 0-)

      All you said!

      I would rather spend my life searching for truth than live a single day within the comfort of a lie. ~ John Victor Ramses

      by KayCeSF on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:40:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it also polled very well in 2008/9 (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CS in AZ, KayCeSF, Mistral Wind, Matt Z

      he seems like a man of his word here and Americans that paid attention, will recognize the effort.

      even if some of the efforts were directly setup to trap Republicans in a grand scheme to have them discredit themselves.

      which i think he did.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:44:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hopefully he's outgrown that propensity. (6+ / 0-)
      Granted, the republicans in congress didn't and won't ever cooperate with that, or with him on anything -- but making the effort is something Obama deeply believes in and was part of his promises as a candidate.
      Although I'm sure he would still jump at the chance if he had the opportunity.  At heart he's a conciliator, not a fighter.  And if he had a loyal opposition to work with as opposed to a political enemy frothing at the mouth to destroy him, his presidency could be extremely productive.

      "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

      by SueDe on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:49:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  True, that! He needs to play for keeps !!! (0+ / 0-)

      And he will continue to be black, a fact the Republicans will never be comfortable with.

      I think that Republicanism is revealing itself as a personality disorder, not so much an ideology." -- Naomi Klein

      by AllanTBG on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:51:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  then Obama failed miserably (5+ / 0-)
      He has said since the beginning that was the change he wanted to bring to Washington: to end gridlock and get public officials to put aside "politics as usual" and work together.
      Personally, I think that was a stupid goal, so failing to achieve it is irrelevant.

      But if that was his goal, he failed miserably.

    •  Yup, yup, and yup. (6+ / 0-)

      How can you find common ground if you don't know where you're standing.  Compromise and conviction are not opposite ends of a spectrum. They are both essential to good government.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:09:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  "Seeking common ground" = unpragmatic idealism. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      just saying. Right now? The only path to CREATE common ground is to stomp republican ideals into the ground until people realize progressive ideals work better. Remember when they desegerated the schools? they pelted the kids with ROCKS as they went to school. EVENTUALLY the move paid off.

      Same thing here.  Voters need to get a taste of some TOUGH love before "Broad consensus" will form.

      Obama was the champion of "pragmatic idealism" so why does he champion such an unpragmatic ideal? They are united in their hatred of us. I for one, welcome their hatred.

      http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

      by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:59:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Learned his lesson? (10+ / 0-)

    We can only hope.  

    "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

    by dkmich on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:31:01 PM PDT

  •  You miss the point of the debt ceiling kabuki. (7+ / 0-)

    It wasn't about bringing his numbers up, but about bringing the Republicans' down - and it worked like a charm.  Not only did it drop them into single-digit support, but their austerity ideas as well.

    In a two-party system, politics is a zero sum game.  Cratering the opposition amounts to the same thing as boosting your own support.

    Art is the handmaid of human good.

    by joe from Lowell on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:35:02 PM PDT

    •  Precisely. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Texan, MarcKyle64, LucyandByron

      And cratering the opposition works especially well if it allows you to move further toward the lucrative end of political spectrum and muscle in on the opposition's big donors, leaving your former supporters wondering what the hell happened.  

      In the rest of the developed world consumption is taxed to pay for education and health care, in the United States, health care and education are taxed to pay for consumption. Stirling Newberry

      by albrt on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:40:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Except exactly the opposite of that happened here. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        daeros, Deep Texan

        Once the debt ceiling drama went away, Obama moved his rhetoric considerably back to the left, refocusing on the anti-austerity, pro-stimulus, anti-plutocrat message he'd argued throughout 2009 and 2010.

        You might remember this happening - it received an enormous amount of attention on this site, largely from people who took credit for "making" him do that.

        Art is the handmaid of human good.

        by joe from Lowell on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:24:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  i'm not sure whether to like your comment (0+ / 0-)

          or roll my eyes, this could potentially be concern trolling. This is rampant here.

          http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

          by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:04:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  nm, upthreaded. (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

            by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:06:12 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Right-wing garbage and spin (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, cybersaur, ferg, Matt Z, northerntier

    is modus operandi for Mrs. Greenspan.

    (-8.38, -8.00) Occupy!

    by hyperstation on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:35:14 PM PDT

  •  Most politicians "learn their lesson" as they go (0+ / 0-)

    Flip/flops and changes in beliefs and so forth is a norm with most politicians.  A lot of it is, of course, for political expediency but some of it comes from when a light goes on and they realize what's truly "right" and "wrong".  

    Tough to say what drives politicians when they change their stances on issues.  We just have to believe that those issues that our representatives change to our liking is because of that light.  

    So be it for Obama.  And, ugh, so be it for Romney as well.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:35:25 PM PDT

  •  yes, I want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    convictions.

    Just Win, Baby. -- Al Rodgers, Feb. 24, 2012

    by OLinda on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:36:17 PM PDT

  •  As Tom Friedman's mustache contemplates going (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, mightymouse

    back to it's home planet like Bill Gross's did.

    Doctor Mitt Romney Brain Sturgeon-The Operation was a success but the patient died, where's my fee?

    by JML9999 on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:36:17 PM PDT

  •  These two things... (5+ / 0-)

    Are not always mtually exclusive.

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:36:38 PM PDT

  •  Kos - (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Lying eyes, 417els, OjaiValleyCali

    Brad DeLong asks six questions of Mann & Ornstein today, one of which is, "So is the problem that Daily Kos is not strong enough?"

    Since the authors haven't yet answered his questions, he channels your response

    A point of view that has not been well-represented here today is that of Markos Moulitsas Zuniga--of Daily Kos. So let me try to channel what Kos would say:
    It's brilliant.

    "In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican." - H. L. Mencken

    by SueDe on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:38:08 PM PDT

  •  Americans want different things at different times (5+ / 0-)

    and polls show that consistently rather than consistently saying one thing or another.

    but i am sure you knew that.

    check out this poll from 2009:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

    Voters also indicate some frustration with this partisanship. By a large margin, voters would like to see more compromise from their elected officials on both sides of the aisle to get things done. 83% think the parties should compromise to get things done, while only 12% think they ought to stick to their principles.

    SHOULD THE PARTIES?

    All    Reps    Dems    Inds
    Compromise    83%    76%    87%    86%
    Stick to principles    12    18    10    8

    So which is it Kos? or am i right about polls and americans?

    Or is it possible that by showing Americans Obama tried to compromise, which was something that polled very well in 2008/9 and the Republicans refused, has led to a change here..?

    i dunno.  just throwing it out there.

    -You want to change the system, run for office.

    by Deep Texan on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:39:29 PM PDT

    •  It all depends on who, when and how the question (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mistral Wind

      is asked. So yes, I think you're right that the only thing we can tell for sure from polls is that people are fickle, easily confused, and easily lead to certain answers and actions by people who know how to manipulate. Social science also has shown this to be true.

      Another problem with citing a poll showing large majorities who agree with you about something to prove you are "right" about what a president should do, based on popular support, is that large majorities have polled to support things we do not agree with at all... such as torture of suspected terrorists, for example. So... what? The people want it, so therefore the president should do it, or agree with public opinion? No, that only holds when we have polls that appear to show large majorities agreeing with something we want. Otherwise, the polling is skewed somehow, or even if it's not then in those cases public opinion is irrelevant. It's all too convenient.

      Polling is useful only in terms of, and the degree to which, it can be used to help win elections. But that goes only so far, and requires honesty about what various polling means and how to interpret it. Using a certain poll to gloat about being 'right' seems a bit silly to me... but even more so I really dislike the use of "appeasement" in the headline, and "desperate" and "weak" and so forth in the article ... I mean really, what is the point of such messaging? Not only is it incorrect, it's very demeaning. How does this help - especially in an election year, when we need to win ... I really don't get it.

      •  totally agreed (0+ / 0-)

        which was sort of the point of my comment.  i can show other polls that say the exact opposite, depending on who was polled.

        no response from kos about it though.  i would counter it's true Americans don't know what they want.

        and both would be on the same level..  

        -You want to change the system, run for office.

        by Deep Texan on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:24:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  so true, Kos. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    democracy inaction

    excellent post.

    I'm from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner Wing of the Democratic Party!

    by TomP on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:42:47 PM PDT

  •  How many of those polled are Republican? (0+ / 0-)

    Surely they aren't suggesting they highly approve of it when Obama takes a stand?

    from a bright young conservative: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!!”

    by Catte Nappe on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:46:46 PM PDT

  •  Obama finally seems to have learned his lesson? (8+ / 0-)

    Give me a break. This phrase ruins the whole diary, failing to show any respect, any lack of pundit/arrogance, or credit for what has been accomplished that might not have been otherwise. I'm glad we have a President who seems to have a better grasp on the overall picture than either his critics or supporters. Could it be possible that changes in approach have more to do with time and circumstances than "learning" one's lessons? Sure, we all learn as we go, but this phrase puts an unfortunately demeaning and attempt at schooling spin on it: the President gets a gold star for finally seeing what was obvious to anyone with half a brain all along.

    I'm voting for the UPPITY ONE

    by qua on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:47:01 PM PDT

  •  Some people are simply too stupid to understand (5+ / 0-)

    that when one side is expected to continually cave in to the other side in order to reach some sort of forced agreement, under the threat of dire consequences from the other side if it doesn't comply, it's not "compromise", it's not "moderation", and it's not "bipartisanship", but rather blackmail, extortion and appeasement.

    I.e. it's the exact opposite of what these people claim that it is.

    Many if not most people, though, are not this stupid, but merely pretend to be, so that they themselves might appear to be "moderate" to those who are this stupid.

    (Paging Cory Booker stat!)

    Which one Mitchell is, I don't know (although I have my suspicions). But does it really matter? I does not, because in the end, we get terrible outcomes.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu May 24, 2012 at 01:51:25 PM PDT

  •  I reject the poll question (8+ / 0-)

    "Stands for convictions" and "Seeks common ground" should not be mutually exclusive.  BTW, when is the media going to hammer the GOP for not standing for their convictions!  Their only conviction they have is no Obama. in 2009, when Nancy Pelosi wanted a public option, Republicans were calling for a mandate right up until the day President Obama said "Good Idea, let's do that"

  •  When the hell did it become either/or? (5+ / 0-)

    You cannot effectively compromise without principle and you cannot effectively govern a disparate people without compromise.

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:06:47 PM PDT

    •  i know, it's ideology (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dinotrac, Matt Z

      rather than rationality.

      -You want to change the system, run for office.

      by Deep Texan on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:13:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've hit on this before. (0+ / 0-)

      They are right now. This false dichotomy stuff  is true in any other reality. We are living in bizarro world though. we have been for quite some time.

      http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

      by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:21:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Call me burned. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, daeros

    Having said that, I am going to do whatever I can do to see that President Obama gets reelected.  I think that 2013 will be a most interesting year politically, since it will set the course of the next administration (either Obama's or Romney's) with a whole host of problems on the table.  Get through that we may yet have a chance to be a diminished, but potent force on this earth.  If, instead, we melt down under the enormous pressure, it's going to be very ugly for many people.

  •  Well, this poll answers the question of why (0+ / 0-)

    so many people love the Republicans because it's for damn sure that they compromise on exactly nothing!! America loves a bully. How quaint!!

    "Southern nights have you ever felt a southern night?" Allen Toussaint ~~Remember the Gulf of Mexico~~

    by rubyr on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:09:53 PM PDT

    •  I don't understand (0+ / 0-)

      how forcing people to tolerate certain things like gay marriage is "bullying" them.

      http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

      by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:23:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Is it a bug or a feature? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shaharazade, PreciousLittle
    Obama finally seems to have learned his lesson, and we're much better off because of that. And while that may make Andrea Mitchell and zombie David Broder weep, it's clear that a majority of America agrees.
    Markos, I understand your support of Obama and his supposed victimization by the GOP.  Howwever he is more comfortable as a Blue Dog than a liberal Democrat.  His caving or tepid/non existent negotiations with the GOP is a feature, not a bug as many state.

     This is the election season, so if past electioneering is any indication, Obama will voice popular stances on a broad spectrum of issues.  If he wins the election, expect no enactment of his current/pre-election stances and a return to right of center policies.

  •  Of course we want conviction. (4+ / 0-)

    Who needs some mealy mouth who doesn't know what he stands for until somebody else tells him,  or he negotiates/figures  it out.     Everybody prefers honesty to lies, manipulation, spin, and bull shit.

    "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

    by dkmich on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:17:00 PM PDT

    •  Not everyone (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dkmich, daeros

      You'll notice that there is a lot of spin, manipulation and bullshit in this very thread.  And a lot of wishful thinking as there always in in any thread of any diary on this blog that mentions Obama but doesn't offer unconditional glowing praise for him.

      According to the wishful thinkers (and I don't even need to name names, just read through the comments, it is quite apparent) Markos is wrong, Obama is teh great and has never made a single mistake because he's perfect; polls mean precisely nothing, except of course when they confirm our bias (like when they show a high approval rating for Obama) and then polls mean everything.

      There's always an excuse or rationalization and it borderlines on delusional, though not as delusional as some on the right.  And it tends to come more from the center of the political spectrum than it does from the left, my hypothesis is that the more liberal you are, the more reality-based you are and conversely, the farther to the right, the more divorced from reality.  The truth, as we all know, has a liberal (not a centrist) bias.

      This diary shows that Markos is a bona fide member of the reality-based community.  Some of his detractors here?  Not so much.

      Arrrr, the laws of science be a harsh mistress. -Bender B. Rodriguez

      by democracy inaction on Thu May 24, 2012 at 04:50:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  We might have to vote for him, but (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        democracy inaction, daeros

        we certainly don't have to lie to ourselves in order to do it.  No matter how disappointing his first term is, it will be better than anything we'll get from any Republican.   I hate to "compromise and capitulate" away my vote, but hey, the lesser of evils and all that.   I just hope he's learned his lesson and comes out swinging.   Not holding my breath, but I am hoping.

        "bin Laden's dead, and GM is alive" ~ Biden

        by dkmich on Fri May 25, 2012 at 03:25:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  DIA, speaking of reality-based... (0+ / 0-)

        Does the editorial leave you with the impression that Markos subscribes to the prevailing theory that Obama is a much more deeply liberal Democrat than he has actually proven himself to be in practice?

  •  Very well said. (3+ / 0-)

    This post demonstrates why this is your blog.

    If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

    by MikePhoenix on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:17:30 PM PDT

  •  Meh, believe what you want ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, CS in AZ, Wildthumb, Matt Z, Isara

    ... but as much as I wish Obama had been more of a fighter in his first term, I must admit he's laid the groundwork pretty well for campaigning on the idea that he has been the only adult in Washington, DC during his time in office.

    Besides, with all of the flip-flopping Rmoney has done, and his subsequent courting of the right-wing crazies to prove he's really one of them, Obama is actually in a good position to win again in 2012. At that point we can at least hope he will abandon the bipartisanship bullshiat he's been pursuing in earnest ever since the 2010 mid-terms (and even earlier if the truth be told).

  •  This is a perfect example of how (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt Z, daeros

    A poll can be conducted to generate a news story when there is no real news to be had. Andrea Mitchell needs to retire.

  •  Attempting to compromise between a good idea.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    stewarjt, Matt Z, daeros, PreciousLittle

    ..and a bad idea doesn't end up with an acceptable result, and should never be considered a virtue in a politician.

    Bad ideas are like spots on an apple.. they ruin every part they touch.

    "To pass these defendants a poisoned chalice is to put it to our own lips as well." Justice Robert Jackson, Chief Prosecutor, Nuremberg.

    by Wayward Son on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:20:45 PM PDT

  •  Plus it disheartens the base (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    We want something to support and we get pandering to the right, you know the ones who hate us.

    Every time I hear the President say something, I wait for some ignorant ass Democrat to call him out. Whether it is the Mayor of a major city or a Senator from Oregon, I can always expect to see some asshole from the same party try to score points with people who, once again, hate us.

    Just this week Pelosi caves and calls for permanent cuts for anyone making less than a $$$Million$$$ a year. It this going to help? NO, because they fucking hate us.

    I say let them blow up the government, I have enough Spam to make it through to August but no we have to find middle ground, which means no tax increases for the rich, but cuts for everyone else.

    A question, how do you find middle ground with someone who hates you?

  •  A sense of conviction has an emotional side (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    It would seem that most people respond to emotion, more than to any more rational concepts. * The  most evocative speakers, inasmuch, are the speakers who may tend to gather the most attention, within their own respective cultural domains. I wouldn't say that that's an absolute trend, though, just a common one.

    I would say, then, that the most effective leaders somehow manage to speak both rationally and evocatively, speaking out of principle and not just for sake of style. That is something I cannot suggest one could fake, though. I think it's a  matter of principle, throughout.

    * Despite all our efforts in science education, we continue to be swayed by emotional bias. People are, plainly, human.

    My point, then? My point is to think and think rationally. Full cup cheers.

    /Emotional by nature, Buddhist by choice, Daoist in thinking, Pragmatist in the Nuts and Bolts

  •  From the gunny sack (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, democracy inaction, daeros

    containing bits of "political wisdom', one of the dumbest bits is the notion that Independents comprise some kind of warm, rich middle on a continuum between liberal and conservative.

    Wrong. Slightly more than half are solidly liberal in their convictions, slightly less than half, conservative. For the most part, these people don't seem to like labels, or enjoy thinking of themselves as the Gremlin in the parking lot. This is why moving to his left always solidifies Obama's numbers, and groveling to his right tanks them. Simple, right? Not for those of his advisers who maintain said fiction.

    The United States is unusual among the industrial democracies in the rigidity of the system of ideological control - "indoctrination," we might say - exercised through the mass media. Noam Chomsky

    by perkinwarbek on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:27:16 PM PDT

    •  apparentally this is the section of the thread (0+ / 0-)

      where sane people weigh in. Welcome!

      http://www.actblue.com/page/accountabilitynow If the dnc dscc or dccc send you mailers, send that link back to them and tell them you won't send money to people who defend democrats who betray progressive principals! up yours!

      by daeros on Fri May 25, 2012 at 04:31:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  conviction: another euphemism for certainty (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    the need for which is explained by this guy here

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and partisan lying by broadcasting sports on Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:49:51 PM PDT

  •  Got it wrong at the end there. (4+ / 0-)
    Obama finally seems to have learned his lesson
    No, maybe that's correct. It does 'seem' that way. But we'll see if he reverts to Middle Man just after the election.

    How many divisions does OWS have?

    by Diebold Hacker on Thu May 24, 2012 at 02:55:02 PM PDT

  •  Leaders Lead (4+ / 0-)

    For example, LBJ did whatever he had to and signed Civil Rights and Medicare legislation.

    Unfortunately President Obama doesn't fight for the working class or even the "middle" class.  He doesn't fight for anything.  He's a capitualator by nature, a moderate Republican and a sad excuse for what Democrats used to be.

    If he wins the presidency again, it's because the Republicans are so despicable they make him look statesmanlike.  He's the lessor of two evils, but that isn't anywhere good enough for the working class.

    There won't be significant change for the better in this country until we organize a true working class political party.  Our main advantage is that we are the many and they are the few.

    If I was a communist, rich men would fear me...And the opposite applies. The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.

    by stewarjt on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:05:49 PM PDT

  •  “zombie Broder”… HA! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse, daeros

    I’m imagining Broder’s corpse stiffly lurching along, brains hanging from his mouth, muttering “both sides are equally to blame”

    Terrible, I know :)

    Extricandae copiae.

    by Lee on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:22:43 PM PDT

  •  Yes, I want convictions (5+ / 0-)

    but I'm not even getting indictments.

    The thing about quotes on the internet is you cannot confirm their validity. ~Abraham Lincoln

    by raboof on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:23:00 PM PDT

  •  I guess the majority of Americans (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Nada Lemming, Isara

    didn't get the memo.

    Everywhere you will find that the wealth of the wealthy springs from the poverty of the poor. - from The Conquest of Bread by Peter Kropotkin

    by ZhenRen on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:45:50 PM PDT

  •  Les'see now.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    Wasn't Dumbya "re-elected" in '04 because he was a 'man of convictions'?  He took a position and stuck with it until he got something done.  Never mind those things were illegal and unconstitutional.  He had a position and didn't budge.  I seem to remember that worked wonderfully well on spineless Dems who gave the SOB everything he wanted..., and they still haven't repealed those unconstitutional laws (extended them under Obama, in fact) or stopped the illegal and unconstitutional wars.

    Make up your friggin' minds, Repukes.  Man of convictions, right or wrong?  Or man who can compromise, even if the compromising is only one-way, like when Obama gives in to the Repukes time after time?

    I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

    by NonnyO on Thu May 24, 2012 at 03:59:19 PM PDT

  •  Thank you Markos (3+ / 0-)

    I'm glad that at least some progressives are willing to criticize Obama's repeated capitulations to Republicans.  Too many on the left don't want to be seen giving Obama a hard time on his policies.  I'm afraid that most progressives think that calling Obama on some of his BS is giving aid and comfort to Republicans.  The problem has been that Obama has been the one helping the Republicans with his give away the store style of governing.

    As for Andrea Mitchell, who gives a shit what Mrs. Alan Greenspan thinks?

  •  Obama was elected... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    daeros

    with a clear mandate.  Why?  Because people wanted him to deliver on the promises he made to the American people.  And, not just a few people either...  All kinds of people, many who had never voted for Democrats before (and some who hadn't voted for anyone) showed up to vote for Obama.  And, yes, we all appreciate that he is a "grown-up", willing to compromise and make room for other points of view at the table.  But, the Republicans, all of the Republicans, have waged a systematic campaign of immature, obstructionist behavior designed to accomplish one thing: to ensure the failure of Obama's presidency.  It does not matter to them that by blocking the administration's agenda at every turn they are actually suppressing the will of the people.  It does not matter to them that, in an attempt to turn public opinion against Obama, they have appealed to the very worst in their base and used their fear and insecurity to encourage hate and prejudice.  And it doesn't matter to them that it may not be possible for them to get their way, and the best they will be able to hope for is to take us down with them.  They don't care.  They would rather sink the ship than see Obama at the helm.  You cannot negotiate with people like that.  You cannot find common ground.  Unless you are willing to walk away, ceding all power to them, they will not be satisfied.  I believe that our President has compromised enough on the promises he made to the American public in an effort to build a consensus with the GOP.  I say if there is to be any more compromising, then, as a sign of good faith, let it come from the Republicans.

  •  Audacity (4+ / 0-)

    That's the ticket, you can do it. The Democratic party needs to fight for the people, not declare 'victories for compromise'. What's all this nonsense about how we all knew he was going to be a mediator, middleman and the 'adult' in the room. He campaigned as a steely audacious agent for needed bottom up change. What's adult about not doing what you were elected to do. Nothing it just pisses people off and is irresponsible to boot.  

    At least he's making Democratic noises these days, but it would work better if this administration actually had some Democratic or even democratic convictions and a way forward with Democratic principles.. Rather disheartening to people when they see the fierce urgency bearing down on them and all messaging is disconnected from policy that requires some audacity and fight. As for not getting things done who votes for Dems. in order to get a victory for compromise with a bunch of Republican thugs.

    Out flanking the Repugs isn't adult it makes us all lose even when we win.  It's hard to get people to take the bait if they feel that their leader and party will not fight for the people and their common good. This is a two party system and people want a real choice, not Bain/Koch vs. GS/Chase. Peoples bs. meters are on full tilt with good reason.          

  •  sorry, I don't buy it (0+ / 0-)

    While it is implicitly clear that, at this point, trying to compromise with people who have no interest in compromising is futile and self-destructive, how can we really say with a straight face that it's better that politicians should "stick with their convictions." That's not how a Democracy is designed to work, and it's precisely that inflexbility that has caused the current gridlock we have now.

    This is a stupid question, and if it were reframed and broken out, I expect we'd have a vastly different set of results.

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