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For years progressives have been screaming at Barack Obama to do the right thing on marriage equality and immigration (among other things), not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because it's the POPULAR thing to do.

Gay rights:

Strong public support for same-sex marriage exceeds strong opposition by a significant margin for the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polls, and African-Americans have moved more in favor, perhaps taking their lead from Barack Obama on the issue.

Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, steady the past year but up from 36 percent in just 2006. Thirty-nine percent “strongly” support it, while 32 percent are strongly opposed – the first time strong sentiment has tilted positive. Six years ago, by contrast, strong views on the issue were negative by a broad 27-point margin.

Immigration:
President Barack Obama is winning the opening round in the battle over immigration, according to a Bloomberg poll released today, putting Republicans on the defensive with his decision to end the deportations of some illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

Sixty-four percent of likely voters surveyed after Obama’s June 15 announcement said they agreed with the policy, while 30 percent said they disagreed. Independents backed the decision by better than a two-to-one margin.

And remember when opposing the Catholic bishops on access to contraceptives was going to cost him big with the Catholic vote?
Eighty-two percent of U.S. Catholics say birth control is morally acceptable, nearing the 89% of all Americans and 90% of non-Catholics who agree. The level of acceptability on this issue is far greater than that of the other 17 issues Gallup asked about this year.
And remember, these were the HARD decisions, the supposedly politically difficult ones. Yet not only have they proven to be political plusses, but you know it's true because Republicans have—by and large—shut their traps about them.

I'm not talking the fringe wackos like Tony Perkins, the Catholic bishops, or the Minutemen types or their allies in Congress like Michelle Bachmann and Steve King, but those who are trying to get elected in politically competitive places. Like Mitt Romney.

And by and large, that's the difference between activist progressives and their teabagger (and theocratic) counterparts—we're trying to move the Democratic Party and its politicians into the American mainstream. The other side is doing the opposite.

If only Obama had moved quicker on these issues (and others), perhaps he (and we) would be in better political footing. But hey, better late than never, and if nothing else, it looks like Obama has truly learned his lesson—people respond positively when he leads, not when he sits around and begs recalcitrant Republicans to join him.

Originally posted to kos on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 10:58 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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  •  Tip Jar (232+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cooper888, Calvin Jones and the 13th Apostle, Cinnamon, Supavash, jrooth, high uintas, My Spin, devtob, puakev, Dauphin, TomP, spunhard, assyrian64, lilsky, wu ming, mariachi mama, ColoTim, Shahryar, angry marmot, jbob, Phoebe Loosinhouse, blueoasis, TracieLynn, Garrett, triv33, sjburnman, millwood, bythesea, kjoftherock, Railfan, maryabein, sofia, Ed in Montana, TimmyB, shaharazade, Andrew C White, ChemBob, rasbobbo, Renee, jeopardydd, Melanie in IA, chimene, jdmorg, Haf2Read, Arahahex, fayea, kevin k, implicate order, gizmo59, DianeNYS, annrose, cybersaur, StellaRay, EdinStPaul, filby, deep, chrississippi, hulibow, zerone, Pithy Cherub, OLinda, HamptonRoadsProgressive, chris m, avsp, Brown Thrasher, Only Needs a Beat, mapamp, uciguy30, p gorden lippy, doingbusinessas, means are the ends, kimoconnor, mconvente, sydneyluv, blueoldlady, SoCalHobbit, 2thanks, MKinTN, azrefugee, Mokurai, anodnhajo, pat bunny, markdd, lastman, bronte17, boadicea, happymisanthropy, Barbara Marquardt, glitterscale, vacantlook, deha, n8rboy, Yellow Canary, Miggles, Carol in San Antonio, cotasm, Land of Enchantment, Tod, CT Hank, leonard145b, blue aardvark, bluehen96, SpecialKinFlag, NormAl1792, Lost Left Coaster, jayden, Jim R, RagingGurrl, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, oxfdblue, sfbob, jfromga, petulans, deepeco, FogCityJohn, 2laneIA, Bernie68, SteelerGrrl, itsbenj, absdoggy, democracy inaction, ratzo, Deadicated Marxist, elwior, Fe Bongolan, Libby Shaw, Lefty Coaster, joanneleon, cpresley, Lost and Found, PaDemTerry, Mac in Maine, eve, GeorgeXVIII, jennyp, grrr, Sylv, TexMex, SoCaliana, revsue, Therapy, blueoregon, Brooke In Seattle, SuzieQ4624, nannyboz, Thinking Fella, patchmo13, WisePiper, The Raven, Neon Vincent, SME in Seattle, mikeconwell, BarackStarObama, shopkeeper, elengul, Brainwrap, eeff, psnyder, northsylvania, twigg, stagemom, james321, djMikulec, antirove, Meteor Blades, oldliberal, bfitzinAR, edsbrooklyn, vcmvo2, Involuntary Exile, MJ via Chicago, angelajean, rmonroe, wdrath, Haningchadus14, Calvino Partigiani, entrelac, susakinovember, SeaTurtle, reflectionsv37, xaxnar, MikePhoenix, bostonjay, temptxan, dejavu, bwintx, YucatanMan, Spirit of Life, BachFan, eru, Williston Barrett, Rumarhazzit, Rogneid, GainesT1958, maybeeso in michigan, political junquie, Celtic Pugilist, TigerMom, Persiflage, chuckvw, annieli, flumptytail, HappyinNM, wilderness voice, ajr111240, rbird, Knucklehead, G2geek, Joieau, blue denim, mcgee85, renbear, politicalceci, trumpeter, conniptionfit, TexDem, zorp, Ian S, xenothaulus, maxcat06, Nada Lemming, mayim, mwjeepster, wv voice of reason, Shrew in Shrewsbury, Ironic Chef, Jommy, Hayate Yagami, Jaleh, Dave in Northridge, desert rain, Lucy2009
  •  Indeed... (49+ / 0-)
    If only Obama had moved quicker on these issues (and others), perhaps he (and we) would be in better political footing. But hey, better late than never, and if nothing else, it looks like Obama has truly learned his lesson -- people respond positively when he leads, not when he sits around and begs recalcitrant Republicans to join him.

    May 9, 2012 - Evolution Day

    by cooper888 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:00:54 AM PDT

  •  Imagine that! (17+ / 0-)

    The people actually like it when a leader finally leads!

    Who'da thunkit?

    “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

    by jrooth on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:02:30 AM PDT

    •  if he's way behind (11+ / 0-)

      public opinion on these things, and has to be dragged to it (such as with the latest immigration position), then is he really "leading"?

      •  Well ... what's that old canard? (4+ / 0-)

        A "leader" is someone who sees which way the parade is going and rushes to get in front.

        Although I'd say that even though he was somewhat late to these parades, both his stance on gay marriage and now on immigration are moving public opinion to a meaningful degree.

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:58:47 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  "that old canard"? (4+ / 0-)

          is that a statement made in an attempt to dismiss what I was saying without actually having to provide argumentation against it?

          we seem to have a differing opinion on what "leadership" is, and I'm not sure there's anything either of us could do to convince the other person that their chosen definition is incorrect.

          I will point out, however, that at least on immigration, Obama didn't "rush to get in front". He was instead "pushed" to the front, in large part by a determined and brave protest that was gathering steam.

          •  It was more of a commentary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            chuckvw

            on the fact that actual leadership is an extraordinarily rare thing, and that in general we Democrats have to make do with the behavior described in that old canard.

            If you were to look through my comment history, you'd find many, many references to our "leaders" (with the quotes around the word) for precisely that reason.

            “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

            by jrooth on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:21:23 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  I Would Say that Obama was Pushed to the Front (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            George Hier

            more so because this is an election year.

            "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

            by Aspe4 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:34:18 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  When Obama (3+ / 0-)

      was running and came here and posted diaries, one of my chief complaints of him was that he was too reactive and not enough proactive.  He concerns himself more with what people think than what he can persuade them to think.

      This is a classic example of real leadership that actually changes the game:

      ...African-Americans have moved more in favor, perhaps taking their lead from Barack Obama on the issue.
      I just wish Obama would realize that proactive leadership is far, far better than the reactive kind he has historically been so fond of.

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

      by democracy inaction on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:07:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But isn't our democracy... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek

        supposed to be "by the people, for the people" and who knows better what the people want, than the people.

        He could be a little stronger in terms of presenting himself as a leader on issues, but just because he doesn't strut out and tell people how he thinks this country should, doesn't mean that he isn't shaping it.

        It actually takes a much stronger leader to accept construtive criticisism and lead by consensus, rather than by brut force.

        Facts are liberally bias

        by SuzieQ4624 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:50:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Proactive leadership (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dallasdoc

          does not equal leadership "by brute force."

          Sometimes the right thing to do isn't the popular thing to do, ask Abraham Lincoln about that one.  I'm sure he was accused of far worse than leading by brute force.  But history remembers him as a strong leader for doing the right thing, not for leading by consensus.

          But doing the right thing when it is also the popular thing should be a no-brainer, which is the point of this diary.

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

          by democracy inaction on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:20:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  exactly right. and it works. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SuzieQ4624

          See my other comments in this diary about waiting for tipping points and then causing them to tip conclusively.

          That's better than just making gestures.  

          "Minus two votes for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

          by G2geek on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:36:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That sea change wasn't all due to Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      vcmvo2

      I would bet that that seismic attitude change since 2006 has a little something to do with the "It gets better" campaign, and the fact that there are a lot of tremendous gay ambassadors right now (Ellen DeGeneres, Neil Patrick Harris, Jim Parsons, etc.)- some of them married and in long term relationships. The President may have helped with attitudes in the Black community somewhat, but I think the change is more due to young people and Generation X not harboring hate like previous generations.

      This clip of Howard Stern (NSFW due to language) pretty much sums up where middle America is headed on this issue - skip to 9:15 for the best part:

      •  Not all, no. (0+ / 0-)

        But I think he has had a meaningful effect.

        “What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?” - Sherwood Rowland

        by jrooth on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:26:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama's big mistake (39+ / 0-)

    is that he truly believed he could help heal the bitter partisanship that has been ripping Washington asunder increasingly over the years, but particularly since the Lewinsky scandal and even more since 9/11.

    No, check that. That wasn't his big mistake. His big mistake was refusing to admit that dream was never going to be realized when it became painfully obvious to everyone else.

    We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

    by raptavio on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:06:21 AM PDT

    •  So he shouldn't have tried n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Ed in Montana, sethtriggs

      Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

      by jsfox on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:07:56 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, he should have. (20+ / 0-)

        But he should have quit when it was clear that the guys on the other side of the aisle weren't operating in good faith.

        We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

        by raptavio on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:15:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no, he should have realized it sooner (12+ / 0-)

        The Republicans made it clear right away. Not mid 2009 after the usual "honeymoon" period, but right away with the first votes of the 2009 session, that they would say "no" to everything. The President should have called them on it in February or March.

        •  I have been out talking (14+ / 0-)

          voters and have been for the past year. Let me give a bit of heads up. Most that I have spoken with appreciate that the President tried and tried again. He kept trying to make it work by reaching out his hand. In the end he looks like he cares, he looks like the adult and the Republicans look like all they care about is their own power.

          Republican Family Values: Using the daughters from your first wife to convince everybody that your second wife is lying about your third wife.

          by jsfox on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:31:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  As long as that narrative is gaining traction it (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TracieLynn, jfromga, thinkdouble, Aspe4

            might have been worth it. I haven't seen much evidence that it is gaining traction though. I hope you are right.

            Poverty = politics.

            by Renee on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:33:39 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Exactly (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jfromga, Aspe4, sethtriggs

            They don't see all the times he tried. They only see SOME of them. And now they've seen enough to know a) that he DID try and b) that the GOP are obstinate asses.

            it's like the bully who teases you unmercifully, but only when no adults are around.

            You can't attack him until the ADULTS realize he's the bully.

            You can goad him into revealing that, but you can't respond in kind until they know.

            Otherwise YOU get branded the bully.

            •  Whose fault is it that (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              George Hier, snoopydawg, wsexson

              "they don't see all the times he tried", exactly? Couldn't he have made that case a long, long time ago himself? If he can't grab ahold of the media, then no one can, and if that's so, how did they see the times he tried at all?

              "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

              by bryduck on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:22:46 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It wouldn't matter if the press made a big deal of (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                glorificus, sethtriggs, zizi

                it every single time.

                Most people just don't pay attention to politics ALL the time. And if you try to ram it down their throats, they'll just TURN IT OFF.

                You can't MAKE people pay attention.

                I don't know crap about sports. It's not because it's not AVAILABLE, or even pushed in my face. It's because I don't watch it, and don't pay attention when it IS on.

                That's the way most people are with politics. It doesn't interest them. They don't go out of their way to find out the info, except when they need to (and often not even then).

                If people don't know about the positions of the candidates, or their ideologies, or their history, it's not because the information isn't available, or even pushed in their faces at times.

                It's because they don't want to find out, and aren't interested.

                I don't know how you change that.

                A bully pulpit only works for those who listen. If your audience is asleep, or walks out, the biggest bully pulpit in the world can't help.

                •  Then we are f&*^ed. (0+ / 0-)

                  But I think you're wrong. These people are paying attention--to the wrong things, the wrong people, and the wrong ideas. It is the President's job, and the job of all our leaders in Congress to figure out how to stop those listeners/watchers from getting bad information. Reversing decades of media consolidation, campaign finance reform, making the most out of when the mics and cameras are on you, etc. It's a long, tough row to hoe, and it can only be done by those in power.
                  Your assumption that it is the same people watching every speech (which is the only way one would feel as if something were being rammed down one's throat) is incorrect, I think. People watch a speech here and a speech there, or if a topic is of special interest to them they might pay more attention to it for awhile longer. If they hear nothing consistently, they will not be impressed or turned on, they will think the speakers are inconsistent and incoherent. You have to repeat yourself to get heard correctly by more than one audience, and every speech is before a new audience.
                  Let's play a game and assume I don't know the answer, or am a new voter. How would I know what each party stands for? How would I get that information? You assume I don't know because I am not interested, but in reality, it's not that easy to find out, because everything I hear or see is produced by a biased source. If I am trying to be a critical thinker, to whom do I turn for something real? Republicans I can understand, because they are almost all on the same page rhetorically (lower taxes! lower taxes! lower taxes!) all the time. Democrats? Not so much. I hear the President, who I would assume is the leader of his party, trying to work with the other side who have already said they want to destroy him--what message does that send me? I see legislation passed that is marginally helpful to some, but the debates and the "sausage making" were confusing and filled with conflicting messages from the Dems at all levels. Are Russ Feingold and the Nelsons really from the same party? It's almost impossible to tell judging by what they stand for and what they say in public. So when I go to vote, and I see a "D" next to a candidate's name, I have nothing to go on to help me decide if that guy/gal's ideas are consonant with mine, and all I've heard for weeks/months is that s/he will destroy my entire world. At least with an "R" I know where he stands, and Obama wants to work with him, so he can't be all bad.
                  Where will I find the truth?
                  A bully pulpit works only when the message is the same each time it's used. The message has to be larger than this issue or that piece of legislation, however; it has to be "this is what my party/group believes, and this is what those guys over there believe, and we've created a bill that gets us closer to that, but those guys want to stop it and us. Vote for us to get this done." You have to draw lines in the sand repeatedly, and you have to always be on the same side of that line, and you have to tell people where you stand every single time you speak, because the audience that's hearing you today is not the same group of people that heard you yesterday, because those people are at work, or playing ball with their kids, or watching a game, or whatever.
                  Inconsistency has killed the Dems for decades, and it has to stop, and Obama is the leader of the party, full stop. He's the only one who can do this part of it. Work with Republicans? Only if they agree with me and what I want. End. Of. Story. When he doesn't do this, nobody knows what he wants.

                  "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

                  by bryduck on Wed Jun 20, 2012 at 10:52:16 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  voters?....which voters? (0+ / 0-)

            "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

            by justmy2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:41:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  they appreciate it... (0+ / 0-)

            but will they vote for him?  Those two do not automatically go together...

            there is a reason his likeability is higher than approval...

            what many of us are saying is that you would likely have gotten the same results if he fought and lost....many voters would say they appreciated the initial efforts and his courage of his convictions.

            The right question is do you think the President's policies were successful.  If not, do you think they can be successful in the next term.

            "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

            by justmy2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:44:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  not quite true -- there were a handful (6+ / 0-)

          who played along with PBO, most notably Olympia Snowe on HCR, who pretended for months that she was open to reform. A couple also participated in the stimulus (Arlen Specter, who was then still an R, and Susan Collins, who extracted her pound of flesh as did a couple of the DINOs (Ben Nelson)).

      •  I wish he hadn't (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        George Hier, snoopydawg

        I wish he'd seen the writing on the wall like the rest of us did long before he was even a Senator and then governed accordingly.  He'd have gotten a lot more done.  Sure the GOP would have wailed and whined but they're doing that anyway and would have done that no matter what Obama did.  He should have given them something to whine and wail about.

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

        by democracy inaction on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:13:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Obama... (9+ / 0-)
      he truly believed he could help heal the bitter partisanship that has been ripping Washington asunder increasingly over the years, but particularly since the Lewinsky scandal and even more since 9/11.
      Yep. But no surprise there. Obama has always made bipartisanism a priority ever since his "no blue/red states" speech in 2004.

      Clinton was similar imo. I think both men are confident they can persuade anyone. However the right wing extremists who now constitute the bulk of the Republican party just rewards those persuasion efforts with hatred and utter contempt.

      Being that that's the case why not go all "FDR" and not give a flying fuck what the extremists think? The hate will be the same anyway and youll be given reward points for showing leadership (as Obama has actually shown recently on gay marriage, immigration).

      The problem I think for guys like Obama and Clinton is to admit they CANNOT change extremists minds.

      "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

      by assyrian64 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:18:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree about Clinton. Narcissism (18+ / 0-)

        was his overriding reason for being bipartisan - he can't stand not being loved by everyone. He wants to win everyone over by virtue of himself. His achilles heel. Always has been. Obama is the opposite, he is fixated in an analytical/rational sense on the process of government and overcoming partisanship that way. They make for an interesting study in contrasts over an issue which they fail to solve

        If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

        by DoctorWho on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:31:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting comment . . . (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher, jfromga, tb mare
        •  Why they do what they do... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DMo, Brown Thrasher

          Yep. We disagree. I think Obama's need to be liked is very similar to Clinton. His style is more analytical but the end goal is the same. Of course it should go without saying this is just speculation.

          Further lets not take away the fact that Obama and Clinton are not left Democrats anyway. Their corporate friendly beliefs inform their actions as much as their psychology.

          But it is interesting nonetheless to speculate why these smart men would continue to try to kick Lucy's football again and again.

          "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

          by assyrian64 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:46:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          vcmvo2

          you're being overly unfair to Clinton, but apart from that there is some truth to what you say. Clinton worked with persuasion, Obama with reason.

          We have just enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another. -- Jonathan Swift

          by raptavio on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:07:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree about your (0+ / 0-)

          Clinton comment. It was not narcissism but a rather typical behavior of an abused kid. He grew up with an alcoholic stepfather who abused his mother.

          It's classic behavior of an Adult survivor of child abuse. He is a really good politician but like a lot of people he has his own demons that he has had to deal with.

          He is charismatic and that has helped him bridge over a lot of his problems.

          Mitt on the other hand has none of the qualities that make President Obama, Clinton, FDR etc...such compelling figures. It really leaves me wondering why on earth he wants to do it when he so dislikes people and policy.

          In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

          by vcmvo2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:48:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Not quite so (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Brown Thrasher, vcmvo2

        Clinton thinks he can get opponents to bend on the current key single thing.  And he was/is relatively successful at that, to listen to Newt Gingrich explain how it went back then.

        Obama thought he could change the playing field, reestablish the 'let's split the arena and the Branches down the middle' federal partisan modus vivendi of the middle and late Cold War and Chicago/Midwestern politics.   That and his relative unwillingness to side on social rights and political rights issues point to a very definite, infuriating, unwillingness to understand the Culture War on its real terms.  In the end the undue moderacy and slow political learning curve of his Presidency only be explained by absorption with the economic problems and a desire for reelection greatly exceeding his desire, or faith in, for decisive policy achievements.  

        •  Clinton... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Brown Thrasher, Shahryar
          Not quite so. Clinton thinks he can get opponents to bend on the current key single thing. And he was/is relatively successful at that, to listen to Newt Gingrich explain how it went back then.
          Clinton's opponents were pretty good at getting Clinton himself to bend as well, as evidenced when he signed away Glas Steagel, thus enabling the Republicans to crash our economy in 2008.

          "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

          by assyrian64 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:54:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  well (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            George Hier, vcmvo2, chuckvw, wsexson

            that's not something his opponents had to 'bend' him into doing. Summers and Rubin were right there next to him saying "get rid of this thing and all will be dandy!"

            Think of me what you will, I've got a little space to fill. - Tom Petty

            by itsbenj on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:58:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  It was a rather different political climate (0+ / 0-)

            then; it's surprising how much good he got done with a lot less of the country siding with him, and substantially more of it against him, than does Obama.

            The financial sector would've done pretty much the same to the same effects in 2008 anyway.  The financial industry became anarchic and embraced a culture of unashamed irresponsibility and steal-all-you-can corruption in the Reagan era.  Which was a follow on to the government becoming the same during the Nixon years and Cold War military spending sprees- the government numbers became lies, the financial sector learned to overcorrect for them, and corruption and cheating and a culture of lies around money and operating on credit and speculation wandered down the political and socioeconomic pyramid.    

            2007-08 was not merely failure at the top, it was failure due to consumer debt peaking as the bottom of the social pyramid that had any wealth- the working class- had maxed out their easy mortgages and credit cards and used up the money.  2008 was the bust when the whole place had maxed out its credit line.  It would easy if it were merely the repeal of Glass-Stegal; then we'd reimpose it and things would correct and Obama would get reelected easily.

            There was a larger phenomenon at work, a need to sate a need for...stuff.  Big houses, big cars, big lawns, big boats, big asphalt sprawls, big screen TVs, loads of bright colored electronic crap, plastic space-filling kitsch galore, big gobs of food, lots of hot water and heating and air conditioning, extravagantly costly medical care and high tuition for anything.  A lot of people did not want to feel materially limited anymore and borrowed to dispel the feeling that they were, well, poor and constrained.  If quality remained unobtainable, quantity did not.  This was an economically whacko society from the mid-80s to the mid-00s and probably still is, though a lot of people are in horrible hangovers from it and others remained or have become sober again.

      •  When should bipartisanship end? (0+ / 0-)

        Perhaps when the opposition is batshit? Excuse me, but a lot of this "reaching across the isle" is beltway CYCA, Cover Your Corporate Ass.

      •  I contend they do not believe it at all. (0+ / 0-)

        But use it as a means to maintain the status quo.  Instead of implementing policies they were voting in to fight for, they run out the clock chasing unicorns.

        NOW SHOWING
        Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
        Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

        by The Dead Man on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 05:00:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  mistake was that the bitter partisanship existed! (0+ / 0-)

      it was faux!  it was the .001% v. the rest of us.
      all he had to do to mend the fences was ram thru a progressive agenda that perp-walked wall street...and all the people, (including the tea party at the outset) would have "healed" the divide, the entire nation and the world!!!!

      why people on the right think that collective bargaining for teachers is worse than plans to PROFIT off little childrens' test scores, i'll never know...

      by stagemom on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:06:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And it was always his blind spot (0+ / 0-)

      It was the main reason I was a Hillary supporter during the primaries and the ensuing civil war on dkos.

      Eventually I became comfortable with Obama, but most people here saw Obama differently than he really has always been.

      He is cerebral and that is not a fault especially in the foreign policy area. But he never got the full extent of the vast right wing conspiracy that Hillary knew about.

      And his election brought out the hate and barely noticed racism in the right wing. They could not believe that they had a black President. They wouldn't and couldn't admit that so they had to turn him into a socialist etc... when in fact Obama has always been fairly moderate.

      I think it's hard to get any politician in a power position to take a really truly left position because of all the demagouging that goes on 24/7 with Fox and the RWNM. They never stop.

      Think about it historically why did it take so long for Lincoln to issue his Emancipation Proclamation or for Woodrow Wilson to more or less "give" women the vote? And of course there are more examples with FDR and social security and how it was restricted at first. It's one of those things that we have to fight and re-fight all the time. Political ineritia. It's not enough to just elect the right people to office and then kick back. We, the voters, have to stay engaged because the right wing voters never rest. If it's not a major election then they are working to get on school committee boards and voted into office as sheriff like Arpaio. And once in they never leave.

      We have to learn to be like that. Ever watchful and not just engaged every 4 years. We have to continue to build grassroots and if necessary to keep crashing the gates.

      It's not just our money that is required, it's our voices and our own willingness to work to keep the government we want not the one they're willing to give us.

      In our sleep, pain which cannot forget falls drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own despair, comes wisdom through the awful grace of God ~RFK

      by vcmvo2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:37:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If he really believed that (0+ / 0-)

      he was profoundly naive. If, as I suspect, it was all kabuki from the start, we can never expect anything better.

      2013  will be a simpson-bowles kind of year. A full on blow-shit-up war with Iran? The sky's the limit!

      "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." - Ray Bradbury

      by chuckvw on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:02:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Democrats are the Washington Generals (11+ / 0-)

    If we keep rooting really hard, they'll beat the Harlem Globetrotters, right? They're trying to win, aren't they?

  •  IMO (6+ / 0-)

    It all comes down to the Prez' basic idea of government, it's Civics 101. Or was. Remember ObamaRama? His theory of how power and electoral success bring certain obligatory perks w/it runs counter to the street fight that real Washington politics have become.

    Yes, I think he really has finally learned what reality looks like and that is a good thing.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:06:56 AM PDT

  •  Serious Answer: (25+ / 0-)

    Because way, way, WAY too many independents and "moderate" Republicans still vote Republican. So when Obama takes these progressive stands, it doesn't get him any of these "moderate" or "independent" votes, but it (sometimes) loses him votes in the white working class and in the south.

    So even national polls show these issues/votes as popular, they don't help Democratic positions as much as they should (except by exciting the liberal base, which is no small thing).

    The votes Obama needs to win? The white working class. The people (often) most turned off by these votes -- which major help from the assholes at Fox, of course.

    If moderate Republicans or Republican-leaning independents were aware of just how radical their party has become, it might be different. But it's not.

    For this country to ever change, these are the people who need to wake up and leave the Republican party in droves. If the circle of the suburban parents of my progressive friends are any indication, they're still not waking up.

    Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

    by BrentHartinger on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:07:37 AM PDT

    •  My point being... (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      benheeha, Halandri, Aspe4, vcmvo2, sethtriggs

      I think it's most complicated that Markos (who I totally respect) suggests.

      Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

      by BrentHartinger on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:08:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Asdf... (13+ / 0-)
      The votes Obama needs to win? The white working class.
      If Obama's team continues to hammer Mitt on his Bain past (proven effective as per polls) and would step up and begin proudly telling folks that his health plan will give 30 million more people insurance shortly (instead of keeping quiet about it like Romney) he would gain some votes here.

      Its not rocket science. Use the old Dem points and stop giving a crap what Harold Ford thinks.

      "Patients are not consumers" - Paul Krugman

      by assyrian64 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:23:25 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  He could do something really radical (12+ / 0-)

      and draw a line in the sand on Social Security and Medicare.  I mean does anyone know where the party stands?  Are they waiting for a tweet from Alan Simpson?

    •  They aren't going to be waking up if the dems are (11+ / 0-)

      not showing them the difference between the two parties.

      Poverty = politics.

      by Renee on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:37:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think they'd by HORRIFIED by their party (4+ / 0-)

        Just horrified by what the Republicans are doing, which is DRAMATICALLY different than the Democrats in virtually every respect. I don't just see how anyone can still imply, at this point, there's no difference between the two parties. That seems delusional to me.

        But it's all moot anyway. They DON'T know what the Republicans are doing, they don't see them as radical (for the most part). The Supreme Court is going to undo 70 years of precedent and the New Deal? "Well, Obama clearly overreached with health care reform."

        They buy the Fox bullshit, and the CNN "balance."

        Romney is a "moderate" in their eyes, and I'm not sure Obama acting sooner on same-sex marriage or immigration changes that.

        Meanwhile, it DOES change how the white working class sees him: it makes them see him MORE as a socialist/terrorist.

        That's what we're up against.

        And honestly, I don't see how reinforcing the meme that "Obama is unprincipled and weak" (as Kos is doing) helps the situation.

        Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

        by BrentHartinger on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:12:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  but (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, justmy2, chuckvw

      Obama rolls up his sleeves and takes the risk of alienating joe sixpack voters.  He never takes the risk of standing up for the economic interests of joe sixpack voters.  So your explanation doesn't make sense.

      all morals are relative, but some are more relative than others.

      by happymisanthropy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:26:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think people are waking up and realizing that (0+ / 0-)

      For the GOP, the emperor has no clothes

      --Enlighten the people, generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like spirits at the dawn of day. - Thomas Jefferson--

      by idbecrazyif on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:30:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yup. I learned this over the weekend. (3+ / 0-)

      Even people of my family who consider themselves "independent" are not that impressed by the repeal of DADT, marriage equality, immigration, etc., etc.

      See, these things don't affect their lives nor their wallets.

      The economy sucks, and IMHO, largely because the republicans made the decision that they were going to take down this President along with the country's economy if they had to, hoping that the majority would blame Obama.

      According to this weekend's discussions, both republicans AND Obama are being blamed, and more than a couple of people said they weren't voting at all this time.  A pox on both houses, they say.  NOTHING I said changed their minds (including the fact that republicans are filibustering EVERTHING.  I asked my brother to tell me how the Prez can get around that.  He said, "there's a way", but nothing specific about what that "way" was - sigh).

      It was very discouraging, since they were so wrong on so many levels, but would hear none of it.  My only hope is that something I said would sink in in the next few months.  My brothers were on an anti-corporation rant ("both parties are owned by the corporations!") and how they're destroying the economy and the country.  I told them all they had to do was look at Citizen's United ruling, 5-4 conservative RWNJ republicans, and ask themselves if they were willing to risk having another conservative RWNJ republican appointed by a Pres Romney.

      We'll see.

      •  Your Brothers are Right on This Point (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        edwardssl, chuckvw
        My brothers were on an anti-corporation rant ("both parties are owned by the corporations!") and how they're destroying the economy and the country.
        The repeal of the Glass-Stegall Act was bipartisan. The Democrats could gain a lot of support if they were a true opposition party and fought the repugs and their corporate masters.

        "The problem with posting quotes off the Internet is you never know if they're genuine."--Gen. George Washington at the Battle of Gettysburg, February 30, 1908

        by Aspe4 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:48:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, I specifically mentioned glass-stegall. (0+ / 0-)

          But I also reminded them that the only reason we weren't further along on the road to a complete corporate take-over is because many Dems (not all) have been standing up to it.  And Bernie, of course.

          One thing's for sure, I don't have a short memory, and I remember the nightmare of the GWB administration.  I know just how bad, how much WORSE, it can get.

          As long as the repubs are a threat, I'll be working hard, both in elbow-grease and financially, to make sure the Dems prevail.  IMHO, anyone who can't acknowledge the very real republican threat is sticking their head in the sand.

    •  Newsflash...you don't convert independents (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Superpole, wsexson

      by acting like the other side...it makes them question why they are voting for you...

      fix the economy...independents will come....this isn't really hard...

      "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

      by justmy2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:47:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  you're wrong (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      greenbell, burlydee, FogCityJohn, wsexson

      many of these issues are popular with swing voters. the centrist independent swing voter is largely mythical.

      The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

      by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:09:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, they're "popular" (0+ / 0-)

        They're still voting Republican. That's my point: these social issue votes don't move these "independent" voters toward Democrats, but they DO move the white working class toward Republicans. That's the conundrum.

        Yes, these issues get the Democratic base excited, which is fantastic. But what Kos is missing in his post is that they DON'T move these big majorities he's talking about (at all, as far as I can see), and they might even hurt Obama among the white working class.

        It's not nearly as clear as Kos suggests that the "right" and "popular" thing is necessarily the BEST thing politically.

        Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

        by BrentHartinger on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:25:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  you might want to take a look (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Don midwest, chuckvw, FogCityJohn, wsexson

          at the 2010 exit polls. because if obama had aimed large with the stimulus rather than preemptively and unilaterally compromising before negotiations had even begun, we likely would have had a very different mid-term.

          you also might want to visit markos's post from a week or so back with polling showing voters prefer politicians who take stands to politicians who seek compromises.

          The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

          by Laurence Lewis on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:03:29 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Do you have anything to back up "they're still (0+ / 0-)

          voting Republican" argument?  I think people make the mistake of thinking the parties are fighting over a fixed number of voters.  As if there are 100 voters and each side is trying swaying them to their side.  In reality its more like there are 100 voters on the left, 100 voters on the right and 100 non voters and both sides spend endless time trying to sway the voters but not enough time trying to sway the non voters.  I think part of Obama's success in 2008 was his ability to draw some of these non voters to the table while conversely the GOP voters were depressed due to Bush's record and their candidate sucking.  

          All it takes is 2% of people to decide they don't want to vote for either candidate or they don't have the time to swing an election.  When Dems don't reach out to non-voters (or non-consistent voters) and doesn't energize their base, they loses.  No amount of pandering to the righ on gay marriage issues will ever turn a Republican into a Democrat.  But supporting gay marriage may cause a couple people who were on the fence about voting at all, too vote.  

    •  "THEY".... (0+ / 0-)
      For this country to ever change, these are the people who need to wake up and leave the Republican party in droves. If the circle of the suburban parents of my progressive friends are any indication, they're still not waking up.
      I see... change is contigent on the THEY... "them" over there, those people need to do something tangible, not you?

      How about the "democrats' doing something about the millions of eligible voters who left the democratic party in droves?

      BTW, THEY are saying the same exact thing about you.

      "The fundamental strength of the economy is unimpaired". Herbert Hoover December 2, 1930

      by Superpole on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:37:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't get your point (0+ / 0-)

        These Democrats left the Democratic in droves because the Democrats were progressive on financial issues ... to vote for a party that was far, far, far, FAR less progressive on these same issues?

        As for "doing something" about these folks, how about, say, health care reform?

        The fact is, change IS contingent on "them." Are you suggesting we clone people? This is this country's voting population. I'm talking about reachable "moderates" who don't understand how radical the Republican party has become. They're pro-choice-ish, they don't hate gays ... and they still take the Republican party very seriously, and only vote Democratic after, say, eight years of Republican disaster.

        That's the problem we face: reaching these folks. And God knows, I try.

        Kos was making the point that Obama should have taken these progressive stands long ago, that they're widely popular in general. And they are. But my point is, they don't seem to make these "moderates" more likely to vote Democratic: they still see ROMNEY as moderate, not just on these issues, but on most issues.

        Meanwhile, the white working class sees these stands as wildly off-putting.

        What do I base this on? Dozens of conversations with family members, and friends family members.

        Explore "Brent's Brain" at http://www.brenthartinger.com

        by BrentHartinger on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:03:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  i know of quite a few moderate r's who voted (0+ / 0-)

      for obama in 2008 & say they're going to again in 2012.

      apparently as far as they're concerned, he's the best republican running . . . & maybe that's been his strategy alll along.

  •  First let me run it by a focus group (18+ / 0-)

    Then I'll get back to ya with a comment I feel comfortable giving at this time.

    "All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree" -- James Madison

    by paulitics on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:07:44 AM PDT

  •  Btw-on immigration (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cinnamon

    I saw dreamer on Up this weekend who gave Rubio credit for getting the President to move after they had a meeting with Rubio a few weeks ago (not that it was true, but perception is reality).  Rubio seems to be given some credit on this, totally unnecessarily.

    that is the price for delay....the full advantage will not be reaped because the President's intent was brought into question by the delay.  Hopefully, it isn't bad, but imagine if this would have been done during the height of the Republican primary where there was no opportunity for hedging.

    Oh well...opportunity lost...but at least something was gained (and that opportunity was also missed)

    "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

    by justmy2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:09:11 AM PDT

    •  Except that (12+ / 0-)

      Rubio is rejecting all credit and actively condemning the move.

      And the DREAM Act came up during the primary, remember? Romney said he would veto it and that he supports Arizona's approach to immigration. So what opportunity was lost, exactly?

      If anything, it's harder on Romney now because he's trying to "etch a sketch" away his harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric.

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:19:35 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am just reporting...the Dreamers met with (0+ / 0-)

        Rubio, after having another bad meeting with Obama.  They were actually about to go public with a demand for Napolitano's resignation.

        So when this came out, at least one of their representatives said that she thought both the President and Republicans like Rubio deserved credit and she didn't think it would have happened without Rubio.

        Sounded crazy to me, but the point I took away was the President lost a lot of capital with the deportation gambit in an effort to get votes without prior agreement.  He subsequent statements didn't help.  

        Check out UP from Sunday when you get a chance.

        "But once John Boehner is sworn in as Speaker, then he’s going to have responsibilities to govern. You can’t just stand on the sidelines and be a bomb thrower." - President Obama, 12-07-2010

        by justmy2 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:47:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I had a poli sci (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sethtriggs

          professor once who would point out that people often vote for irrational reasons,  his favorite example being the old lady who thought a candidate killed her canary.

          Sounds to me like one person makes false promises and the other wouldn't promise what couldn't be delivered, ie, the Dream Act.   Many people believe a snake oil salesman's promises over being told to lose weight by exercise and diet.  It is the way people are.

          Rubio never introduced a bill, he was part of voting against the real Dream Act.  Who would actually believe, if being realistic and facing past actions not just promises,  that he had the intentions and the support of his party to do something concrete on this?  

  •  I was talking this over the weekend (15+ / 0-)

    I am absolutely going to vote for President Obama in November, but, playing armchair quarterback over the last 4 years, he had two years to "get things done" and then 2 years of this obstructionist congress.

    I truly wish that a simple "Medicare for all" public option had been passed quickly, without allowing the process and the national dialogue to be tied up for 18 months of debate in the name of bipartisanship. It would have made these other issues' time come sooner to the forefront, and been more effective overall.

    And now with the ACA hanging in the balance, this SCOTUS could very well wipe out the single biggest victory of this presidency, as flawed as the final was.

    Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

    by Cinnamon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:09:20 AM PDT

    •  I'm beginning to believe it might help Obama (10+ / 0-)

      if the Supreme Court overturns the whole ACA.  He will be able to run against both the Supreme Court and Congress and he will have a list of things that the Republicans have just taken away from America, like no pre-existing condition denials, keeping kids on parent's insurance, closing the prescription donut hole, and many of the other, popular things.  The one thing that's unpopular about the law, the mandate, will be impossible for the Republicans to run against because it will be gone and they'll have to answer how either they'll not have any replacement for these popular provisions or how they're going to do it in the face of AHIP opposition (because without the mandate they're going to face huge hikes in costs which will drive people away until they need it).

      I'm hoping the Supreme Court doesn't toss the whole thing out, but if they do, I think it gives the Democrats a huge election year boost.

      •  Which is why (8+ / 0-)

        you are seeing big Republican supporters like United Health Care doing a head-fake and claiming that they will continue supporting the popular parts of the ACA regardless of whether or not the Supreme Court decision is.

        Of course, these are just words and without strict regulations and laws to force them to behave ethically we know how empty these promises.

      •  However, it seems people do not (5+ / 0-)

        really vote on policy issues no matter how much those policies affect them.  They seem to vote on personality.  If the Supremes throw out any of the ACA, it will make Obama look like a loser.  People don't like to support a loser.  Fools vote against their own interests in order to feel they are supporting a strong winner.  Yay team!

        I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

        by fayea on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:42:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I hope you're right (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        high uintas, ColoTim, sethtriggs

        But I don't  have insurance right now. Unemployed and can't afford it, and got turned down because I was supposed to have a stress test re:some episodes of rapid heartbeat, but it was scheduled for the month after I lost my job - - couldn't afford the test out of pocket, so because I didn't  have it, and can't prove I DONT have a heart problem, I got turned down for the "bargain" insurance.

        I worry about my daughter. She is insured through my Ex, but she has 2 different chromosome deletions, one of which could possibly be passed down to grandchildren someday.

        We need a single payer system, but I am SO afraid that the SCOTUS will take the ACA away.

        Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. ~ Yoda Political Compass: -8.50, -6.46

        by Cinnamon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:12:28 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Cinnamon (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mmacdDE, jfromga, ColoTim, sethtriggs

          I really feel your fear on this, mr.u and I went "naked" after we blew through our savings on COBRA after he lost his job of over 2 decades in '07. We were both 57yrs old and being without ins. was too scary to even think about.

          I have pre-existing conditions, asthma and auto-immune illness, three herniated disks in my lower back and I don't even want to go on...mr.u has high blood pressure and medically treated high triglycerides (lethally high) and high cholesterol. We were saved when he got a job as a Jr. High custodian. A union job, public employment, just what is being attacked now.

          For your sake and the sake of everyone who is vulnerable I want SCOTUS to uphold the law, then I want better. I want single payer.

          "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

          by high uintas on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:40:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It might help Obama (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim, sethtriggs

        but it would be a real problem for me and my 25-year old son with a pre-existing condition.

      •  bingo. the roberts court will cut their own (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        throats if they throw out the aca -- & the gop's, too.

        lovin' it!  :)

    •  Remember the first two years (10+ / 0-)

      had an obstructionist Senate for all but 9 months or so. I know, I know, excuse-making, but we can't just overlook the record number of filibusters during those first two years.

      You never trust a millionaire/Quoting the sermon on the mount/I used to think I was not like them/But I'm beginning to have my doubts -- The Arcade Fire

      by tomjones on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:24:58 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bingo. (20+ / 0-)

    Leadership is about leading, not going with what the consultants say or listening to conventional wisdom.

  •  I also think that there is an argument to be made (4+ / 0-)

    with regards to timing--by inaction or whatever you call what the President has done on marriage equality or other issues, there comes more discussion about "what is he going to do" and that also drives opinion as well.

    I hope I'm making sense.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:16:30 AM PDT

    •  That's how I've been feeling (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zenbassoon, deep, SethRightmer, Deep Texan

      These two pivot points have felt very similar in execution and effect.  I have to wonder what other good policy surprises they've got hidden up their sleeves.

      One of these every month or so between now and November would win the election for sure.  The team has to know that.  Were I the Obama administration I'd be looking for more points like this to make similar splashes.  What do you think they'll be?

      Bankers going to jail?  That's the only one I can think of that's within the scope of the executive branch.  

      •  Taking a page from Saul Alinsky's playbook ;) (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Nina Katarina, vcmvo2

        No, really. These two pivot points perfectly illustrate Saul's organizing strategy: let people get fed up, make them holler, and only then say "The people have spoken, and we will do what the people want." It's all about giving your opponents time to out themselves as the bastards they are, and forcing your supporters to become more vocal. Obama was a Chicago community organizer, he had to have read "Rules for Radicals." Saul's system works, and Obama knows it. I've been saying this for a while now, but these two recent developments really prove it, to me anyhow.

        •  well good (0+ / 0-)

          What shall we holler about next?

          •  Drones (0+ / 0-)

            I really do not like robots that kill people. Let's holler about that. It won't guarantee anything gets done (the strategy revolves around pacing and timing, and the people don't get to pick the time, the leader does) but it might help. Actually, I'm pretty sure this one is going to stay banked (Saul says to keep a few fights "in the bank" as it were, saving them for a rainy day) until after the election.

            So, hmm, what can we yell for, that has a chance of getting done? It can't be anything that threatens the real status quo (i.e. bankers), it should be something that threatens the Republicans (i.e. women's rights)

            Okay, that sounds plausible, it's in the news, and has people up in arms right now. So is it something Obama, without the help of congress, can actually move on? Maybe so. He could issue an executive order demanding the military deal with the rape crisis, for example. It's achievable and realistic, and something that will show women he cares about their issues.

            I would not be at all surprised to see Obama make such a move soon.

  •  The Democratic Party lost a lot (20+ / 0-)

    when it became disconnected from the working class.

    When we were the party of working men and women against the interests of Corporate America we knew how to fight.

    When we decided we were instead the party of the professional class we decided that negotiation was better.

    •  Well the working class disconnected from (6+ / 0-)

      the Dems over race and became Republicans so it's not strictly the Dem party's fault per se as to how and why. Those pre-equality Dems were the tough nuts who got things done for good or bad for the middle class. Now they are on the other side and the Dem party has never figured out how to win them back or replace them.

      If I knew it was going to be that kind of party, I'd have stuck my ---- in the mashed potatoes! - Paul's Boutique

      by DoctorWho on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:38:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Now is the time for the party to win them back (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        quaoar, greenbell

        Push for union rights, push for income equality, and push for women's rights because they are a huge part of the "working class", in some families they are the only ones employed.

        We can't put this all on Obama. The Dem party has been divided for a long time between the Ed Shultz wing and the Chuck Shumer wing (for the sake of ease I'm giving them these names).

        The Ed wing's positives are unions which mean big money for Ds. They are loyal and are good at the ground game. Their negative is that some are dead ender racist and homophobic, we will lose that sub-section but can hold the main part of them, IMO.

        The Chuck wing's positive is that they can work the media and influence the Wall St. money. They also are the ones that are more open to equality. Their negative is Wall St. money and the corruption it brings. We have to remember that not all who are monied are evil, but we must guard against the ones who are.

        The Democratic party seems to be stuck between the two, pissing one off to cater to the other. We need them to work together. I know....and flying pigs and unicorns.

        "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

        by high uintas on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:05:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's always easy when it's not your decision (9+ / 0-)

    If all these things were as easy and popular as described, Bush would have done it. If theses issues were so easy and popular, we would not have to lost a single ballot initiative or had states implement noxious laws.

    Progressives need to get, and stay, out in the streets. We need to keep going door to door. If polling=votes, then there would hardly be a Republican to be found.

    We need to stop with embracing polling and embrace organizing and mobilizing. When you go to door to door, it quickly becomes apparent that throwing polling at people is unpersuasive.

    Lastly, we need more people who have all the easy answers to run for office. I'm no longer impressed by people who feel righteous telling others what to do when they could just as easily be the person in the hot seat. Run for office, win, and then show me how easy it is to do these things.

    "There is nothing more dreadful than the habit of doubt. Doubt separates people. It is a poison that disintegrates friendships and breaks up pleasant relations. It is a thorn that irritates and hurts; it is a sword that kills.".. Buddha

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:21:28 AM PDT

  •  Because political popularity is determined (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blueoldlady, Deep Texan, sethtriggs

    at the voting booth.  A decision may be popular with 55% of the country, but if 55% of those who show up at the voting booth are against it, then it's not popular.

    I know some are going to argue that he should make the choice regardless of political cost (then I say, see the ACA), but, if he were to do things like issue executive orders like he did on immigration, he gets voted out of office and they get undone by the next president.  This is why it's far better to get laws passed than executive orders issued.

    As a side note:  Republicans are creating the very imperial presidency they claim to be against by forcing Obama to govern without Congress doing its job.

    Occupy the voting Booth!

    by anonevent on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:30:49 AM PDT

  •  He couldn't have moved earlier on gay marriage (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar

    Remember, he had an evolving position on the subject, which reached fruition a few days after the first polls that showed a majority of Americans now favored gay marriage.

    I'm no philosopher, I am no poet, I'm just trying to help you out - Gomez (from the song Hamoa Beach)

    by jhecht on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:37:55 AM PDT

  •  is this even a serious question? (6+ / 0-)

    MONEY.

    "Popular sentiment" doesn't mean a damn thing. The entire (federal) political system is just a wrapper around the interests of the monied classes, entrusted with making it palatable to the rest of us serfs.

    See Also: "Overwhelmingly popular" public option. "Overwhelmingly popular" idea of jailing bankers.

  •  Markos is usually sharper than this (6+ / 0-)

    That Same-Sex marriage "leadership" is only "the popular thing" NOW.  Had he done this in 2008 he would have handed the GOP the best weapon they could have hoped for and sponsored even MORE state-level bills to ban this outright (which would have passed).

    Immigration is the same thing.  It takes TIME to bring around public sentiment with small steps that highlight specific aspects of how our laws impact American citizens, businesses and residents.  Bush got hammered for being weak on Immigration in 2000 and he was REPUBLICAN.  McCain go the same thing.  

    The contraception one was a no-brainer though.  Everyone approves of that.  GOP played it the best they could by trying to make it a larger issue of government regulating religious beliefs, but that dog never hunted.  If Obama had tried to tax church property, or force churches to marry gays or something truly radical it would explode in his face.  But pointing out this specific issue and talking about how real people are ACTUALLY effected was the smart play and defanged the vast majority of faux-outrage the other side tried to gin up.

    Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

    by Wisper on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:39:16 AM PDT

    •  Backwards (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      George Hier

      I think you've got this backwards:

      It takes TIME to bring around public sentiment with small steps that highlight specific aspects of how our laws impact American citizens, businesses and residents.
      That may be the case if you merely react to the public sentiment.  However, strong moral leadership changes the public sentiment:
      ...African-Americans have moved more in favor, perhaps taking their lead from Barack Obama on the issue.
      This is why Obama should be taking a more proactive approach to do the right thing rather than waiting around for everyone else to catch up before doing the right thing.

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

      by democracy inaction on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:30:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  But that argues against a tipping point (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        zizi

        Your African-American stat is very apt.  The Black Community's initial opposition to gay rights was rooted in the strong role Christian faith plays in their society and a (perhaps related) aversion to equating LGBT Equality to the Civil Rights Movement.

        Had Obama come out too early on this issue, it could have and I would argue WOULD have, given credence to the "Obama betrays his roots" argument.  Would have been used to show that he was out of touch with the a key part of his electorate and could have even helped legitimize a conservative counter-culture within the Black Community.

        We as a nation, not just the African-American section of it, had not reached a tipping point on this.  It was still a matter to be debated over scripture, tradition and MLK references.  It took time for it to come home and become more of an issue involving and impacting our neighbors, our family, and our co-workers who we could identify as PEOPLE and not caricatured straw-men propped up on the other side of an argument.

        This opened the door for a true leader, like Obama, to come in and give voice to the Progressive argument and tip the scales toward equality.  And it worked.  He may have played a little safe for a little too long, but it needed time.

        Like talking up income-inequity and the 1% would have fallen on deaf ears in the mid-nineties.  Like trying to talk about gun-control in today's environment.  There just isn't an opening there yet to do anything but generate profound backlash.  

        It takes grassroot movement first to MAKE the issue then a leader to show us the way out of it.  

        The FDR quote of "Now go out there and make me do it" comes to mind.  And that man, perhaps even more so then Obama (only time will tell), was definitely a LEADER.

        Красота спасет мир --F. Dostoevsky

        by Wisper on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:38:35 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You're kidding, right? (6+ / 0-)

    This is insane. Here's the easy answer; he RUNS FOR OFFICE as a Democrat, and he GOVERNS for all.

    Here's the less obvious reason. Because liberals tend to HELP the right wing depress turnout, and they rarely vote themselves unless a candidate is perfect, for 32 years the right wing has had a disproportionate hold on power. He's trying to break that hold, and YOU, my dear Markos, are helping THEM, not him.

    I would also point out that, in politics, timing is everything. If he had announced his stance on gay marriage earlier, the GOP House that we liberals gave him would have passed a series of laws designed to appeal to their base, and they would have had 2-3 years of momentum to charge them up. As it stands, it's an election year, everyone is jockeying for position, the GOP base is in line behind Romney, and there is absolutely no risk in announcing his change of heart right now.

    Same with his immigration policy. You act as if he's suddenly changed on this. He hasn't. The DREAM Act has languished in Congress for three years, even though he's been for it the whole time. And again, with the timing. If he had announced such a policy change last year, Congress would have skewered him, and the entire immigration mess would have flared up. BY doing this now, the GOP won't do anything, because they NEED some Latinos to vote for them.

    For a guy who claims to be a political expert of sorts, I can't believe you don't understand how important timing is to electoral politics.

  •  It's the Beltway mentality (7+ / 0-)

    and President Obama got sucked into it.  Namely, the President proceeded based on what was popular or unpopular according to the centrist, "serious" Beltway mindset.

    According to this mindset, the American people really want bipartisanship, they want a Grand Bargain to cut entitlements, they think the debt is the most important issue; they want compromise.  And this view holds that things like gay marriage and immigration should be avoided because they make Republicans mad and thus contribute to the toxic political climate that gives the Beltway crowd such a sad.

    But the Beltway crowd has been consistently wrong - gay marriage and immigration reform are popular and won't lead to political death; the American people actually want politicians to stand up for their beliefs sometimes; they don't like Grand Bargains that will cut Social Security and Medicare benefits while cutting the corporate tax rate; and they think the economy is far more important than the debt.

    But worse in way, the Beltway folks have been flaky and two-faced.  Obama did much of what they wanted, bent over backwards to appease Republicans, tried to get a Grand Bargain, extended the Bush tax cuts, tried to avoid doing things that would make Republicans apoplectic, and the Beltway folks...still accused him of being too liberal and partisan and mean to Republicans.

    So finally, after President Obama's efforts to make the "serious" Beltway people happy nearly led to his complete political destruction in last summer's debt ceiling debacle, he finally seemed to learn his lesson that the Beltway folks are, well, full of shit and completely out of touch with the American people.

    This should've been crystal clear from the 2008 election - after every single one of the Obama-McCain debates, the talking heads and those representing the "serious" people would declare McCain the clear winner, but then the polls would come in and they would show that among the American people, Obama was the overwhelming winner.  That should've been when the light bulb went off in Team Obama that these "serious" people were seriously full of crap and that they should be ignored and, if anything, ridiculed.  

    But hey, better late than never I guess.

    "Better the occasional faults of a Government that lives in the spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a Government frozen in the ice of its own indifference." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

    by puakev on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:47:43 AM PDT

  •  How's this for a plausible (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar, Brown Thrasher, snoopydawg

    theory?:  
    When one becomes POTUS, the oligarchy sends a crew in to tell you just how much power you don't have and just how much leeway they will give you to say and do things.  Apparently, they are letting Obama have a few tokens of an image of power with the gays and the immigration issues.  Apparently, this might mean that they prefer Obama to be reelected than Romney.  One can only wonder why.

    Apparently, I tend toward paranoia and pessimism.  At times.  

    I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had. - Margaret Mead

    by fayea on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:51:04 AM PDT

  •  Just one quibble with some of the comments (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub, George Hier, snoopydawg

    It's not leadership if you wait to do it until the majority of the country pushes you into it.

    Is Followership a word?

  •  Maybe it is possible (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fayea, Pithy Cherub

    That Obama really did buy into his own "post-partisan" hype, and believed that if he tried to be bipartisan enough, that Republicans would in fact come around on some of his ideas/initiatives.

    If that's the case, then not only did he "misunderestimate" the Republicans, but I think he truly did not expect so many Democrats - Blue Dog or otherwise - to also stand in the way of progress.

    In the past 6-8 months or so, I feel - and it is a gut feeling I guess - that Barack Obama finally had some sort of "lightbulb" moment, where he realized just what he's up against, and just what he needs to do to get anywhere.

    If he really did have such a moment, then maybe there is reason for those of us who were cautiously optimistic when 2009 began to think that should 01/20/2013 dawn, and Barack Obama is taking his second Oath of Office, we might just get some of that real "change" we "hoped" for back in 2008.

    Hey, there's still many months before November, which is forever in the political world. Maybe Barack Obama has a few more surprises up his sleeve?

  •  3 years (0+ / 0-)

    for the 1% followed by 1 year for the rest of us to regain the WH - they all do it.

  •  um, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pithy Cherub, ChurchofBruce, vcmvo2

    so, you're saying he did them when they were popular.  Why didn't he do them when earlier, when they weren't yet popular?  Because it's easier to do them when they're popular.

    You're confusing me.


    "A recent study reveals Americans' heads are larger than they were 150 years ago but sadly there is no indication that the extra room is used for anything." - entlord

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 11:59:12 AM PDT

  •  I disagree with this part: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deep Texan, vcmvo2
    If only Obama had moved quicker on these issues (and others), perhaps he (and we) would be in better political footing.
    I think both of these (marriage and young immigrant) announcements would have been wasted in an off-year.  It forces Republicans to be regressive and recalcitrant out in public.  Yes, it's crassly political, but everything is.  That's a feature, not a bug.
    •  Wasted? (0+ / 0-)

      I believe actual governing was supposed to be sandwiched between elections. Governing is now incidental to raising money and campaigning. Pretty sad really...

      "I don't try to describe the future. I try to prevent it." - Ray Bradbury

      by chuckvw on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:42:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  President Obama will write a memoir (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shahryar

    that exposes his regrets.  Right now it is not politically feasible to acknowledge his missteps.  Sad is there were so many, but the genesis of his issues started during his transition.  The Miller Center for Presidential Studies have spoken about transitions for the last few decades and how presidencies are affected because of the choices made as a president-elect.  Obama filled his White House leadership team with mostly conservative thinkers and conventional wisdom addicts.  His bold moves were the correct ones, the American auto industry save, cash for clunkers, addressing the Muslim/Islamic  national interests.  

    President Obama's less that stellar political moves were the province of a White House staff mindset that played it safe rather than do what the times called for, bold change.  The president's thin skin and lashing out at liberals and progressives because of justified criticisms set him back.  Going for small wins and trying to act as if they were huge victories, a mistake born of a  shrinking confidence.

    Now the White House is using the presidential pen, executive orders and the bully pulpit the way he should have in September of 2009/10.  That will be a regret, just as President Clinton missed the 1994 midterm change.  

    The president decried cynicism during the 2008 campaign.  I truly wonder how much he realizes he amped up the cynicism by not acting in a bold manner consistently and coming to these decisions in an election year.  

    My thought remains that the theme of the Obama 2012 presidential cycle should have been the mantra of Van Jones', Rebuilding America.  

    But alas, at least he does get to the right place more often than not, it just takes too long.

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

    by Pithy Cherub on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:10:13 PM PDT

  •  Spot fucking on. nt (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    justmy2
  •  It's not (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cinnamon, Shahryar

    so hard to do the popular thing. The Democratic DC bubble just has a hard time coming to grips with the fact that reality has a liberal bias and that elections do have consequences. Maybe if they actually believed in democracy it wouldn't be so hard. People voted the Dem's the majorityin 2006-08 because they campaigned as the party that would audaciously do the right and popular thing. They need to learn that if they don't they will lose.

    I also think that the Dems. have become the anti-populist party the third Way party which really pisses people off.  At a time like this they need to at least do something popular and start fighting for the people rather then only offering rhetorical populism that doesn't connect with what they are implementing as far as policy and agenda goes. Makes the current  kabuki a little less absurd if they actually do something Democratic or even more important democratic.    

  •  Because Obama is skeptical of what people want (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cinnamon, greenbell, itsbenj, sviscusi

    That element of the faux-populist conservative critique of him is at least somewhat accurate: he does pay too much attention to what an elite thinks.  But while the faux-populists think the elite Obama relies upon is an effete liberal-to-radical one, the sad reality is that it's more of a High Broderite blowhard "centrist" elite.

    Romney '12: Bully for America!

    by Rich in PA on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:19:17 PM PDT

  •  Kill the cable company monopolies. (0+ / 0-)

    That would be a popular move... except to Time Warner, Comcast, etc.

    If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate.

    by HairyTrueMan on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:20:43 PM PDT

  •  Too bad it wasn't the Pubic Option where he ... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier, Mike Taylor, snoopydawg

    Woke up.

    The above-mentioned issues are good - no - great issues.

    Health care is a mission critical issue to every single human in America and it got missed.

    FYI - the bluedog thing is about my dog ... I'm a liberal left winger and proud of it.

    by bluedogsd on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:27:58 PM PDT

  •  And worth noting (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    in2mixin, Shahryar, Sophie Amrain, vcmvo2

    The length of time you'd have to wait for Willard M. Romney to do one of these politically popular things is measured in kiloeons.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra En théorie, il n'y a aucune différence entre théorie et pratique, mais en pratique, il y a toujours une différence. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:31:02 PM PDT

    •  You sure about that? He doesn't seem (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      to be the kind of guy that holds a consistent thought or action all that long.
      ; )

      "Lone catch of the moon, the roots of the sigh of an idea there will be the outcome may be why?"--from a spam diary entitled "The Vast World."

      by bryduck on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:34:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Know what's easy (6+ / 0-)

    is to not have the pressures of the office and say "hey why aren't you doing this?"

    There's many things that I wished I could have done sooner in my life, but I realize that the reason I did them when I did was I was in the position to accomplish those particular goals at that time that I did them and not before.

    “There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do.”-Freya Stark

    by in2mixin on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:32:21 PM PDT

  •  I suspect he did these things now because (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain, sethtriggs, zizi

    he knew how nobody would be talking about it or thinking about it if he had done it earlier.

    That's America.

    Obama did these things before the election so that people wouldn't forget how important it is to have him in office.

    Cynical? Yes. Practical? Yes.

    I truly believe that if he had done them a year ago, many if not most liberals would be overlooking them in order to complain about the next thing he did wrong - and we'd have an even lower shot at winning the election.

  •  popularity isn't always so obvious (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sophie Amrain, sethtriggs

    If I remember, all the polling on gay marriage in Ca. said most folks were fine with it, before the campaign on Prop 8 got started. Once the political machinery got going, well, we all know what happened. I think it was polling well in Maine too, before it actually came to a vote. Since the only popularity contest that actually counts is the one at the voting booth, it's not always easy to determine what is popular.
    The DPA has pointed out for years that legalizing medical Mj. has been extremely popular, upwards of 75% for more than a decade, but that when asked most politicians believed it was unpopular and would kill them in the polls, and in fact most ordinary people, who approved by 3 to 1, thought they were in the minority, so in some cases it's just ignorance. And there again, when legalization, not just for medical Mj., was first proposed in Ca. all the polls had it winning at first, but in the end it lost.
    What's really popular isn't always that easy to determine, that's why you need to have someone who is willing to do what's right, even if it might not be popular.  

    •  Prop 8 is a poor example, because there was no (0+ / 0-)

      organized opposition to it. I was there, I saw it, there wasn't jack shit being done to counter the professionally run Yes on 8 campaign. It was like the liberal California machine had gone to their analysts, been told that "gays are still icky, be quiet and sit it out" and then actually fucking listened to them.

      They could have run a very successful campaign with the phrase "No on H8, No on 8". Short, simple, catchy. Then here's an idea: run banner-length picture ads with gay and straight widows, telling how long they'd been together with their partner, etc, etc, with the subtext "can you tell which ones are gay?" Blows up the whole "destroying marriage" thing right there. Put those on buses, buildings, everywhere. Bam. Easy. There wasn't a single goddamn thing like that going on. Just a couple of boring 10 inch signs at intersections like usual.

      People love an emotional story. The No on 8 campaign never even tried to use emotion. It was a question of incompetence, not popularity.

      Would it not be be simpler, if the government simply dissolved the people and elected another? Bertolt Brecht

      by George Hier on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:21:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  LOL! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sviscusi, ChurchofBruce, KayCeSF
    If only Obama had moved quicker on these issues (and others), perhaps he (and we) would be in better political footing.
    Some pretty big crystal balls you got there, bossman.  :)

    In fact let's just say it: If Obama had moved on all these things in 2009, he would be running unopposed because no Republican would dare challenge him.

    DAMN that feels good to type, even though it doesn't mean anything.  :D

    Too Folk For You. - Schmidting in the Punch Bowl - verb - Committing an unexpected and underhanded political act intended to "spoil the party."

    by TooFolkGR on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:39:35 PM PDT

  •  Reelection (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RichM

    finally got his ass moving, period.

    I didn't abandon the fight, I abandoned the Party that abandoned the fight...

    by Jazzenterprises on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:42:49 PM PDT

  •  Wait a minute! (0+ / 0-)

    You mean I'm not a radical leftist!???

    Romney - his fingernails have never been anything but manicured.

    by Pescadero Bill on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 12:54:05 PM PDT

  •  Timing. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, KayCeSF, zizi

    srsly. In Roundball as in Poker.

    Some things require timing and I doubt that Barack Obama is bluffing.

  •  Now this is what I signed up for! (0+ / 0-)

    Back to the old damn good diary.  Right on Kos!

    We're living in world fascism, but coming up to world socialism. But it doesn't happen without a fight.

    by Deadicated Marxist on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:01:32 PM PDT

  •  Righteous Rant! (0+ / 0-)

    Its so true too.

    The people lead and the politicians follow.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:08:12 PM PDT

  •  Wonder if easing up on marijuana might be next? (0+ / 0-)

    Although, as I think Bill Maher noted, pot smokers aren't necessarily the most motivated voters.

    "Think. It ain't illegal yet." - George Clinton | http://ideaddicted.blogspot.com

    by jbeach on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:10:18 PM PDT

    •  Sheeeit! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson

      I know some who would drag themselves to the polls to vote for anyone who did that, just to be able to chill out with a joint on Friday and not worry about drug tests.

      "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

      by high uintas on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:14:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Being a comedian, Maher is dependent on (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sethtriggs, chuckvw, wsexson

      stereotypes.  There are a lot of mythological stoner stereotypes, most of them are full of shit.  

      Regarding "demotivational syndrome," what came first, teens who don't want to do anything that isn't their own agenda, or pot smoking?  Remember, much of what is deemed laziness is actually a refusal to comply with the demands of others - typically parents and other figures of authority.   This is the heart of teen rebellion, chafing against the restrictions and requirements imposed by any and all authorities.  Passive-aggressive resistance is a very different thing from laziness.  Take that same "lazy" kid and give them the opportunity to work on something that truly interests them and they bring a whole different spirit to the process.

      Plus, think of all these demotivated stoners, past and present: Barack Obama, Ted Turner, Carl Sagan, Richard Branson, Michael Phelps, Al Gore, Steve Jobs, James Brown, (known as "the hardest working man in show business"), Jackie Gleason, Jesse Ventura, Michael Bloomberg, Newt Gingrich, (OK, agreed that Newt is an asshole, but he is very motivated in his assholishness), Richard Feynman, Stephen King, and many, many more.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:41:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Because... (0+ / 0-)

    I think Obama, truly wanted to be a transcendent president.  I think he thought if he brought people to the table, had them express their opinion, and the felt like they could be heard, then he could end the partisanship and move the nation forward.  Look at his legislation - watered down to the point of ineffectualness because he was trying to be accommodating to the other side.  He didn't prosecute torture because he didn't want to do something that would be construed as partisan.  Probably ditto for bank prosecution.  He didn't issue an executive order of DADT, which was perfectly in his power and had precedence, wanting instead to have a legislative solution.   He let the country go to the brink of insolvency without even threatening to use the 14th amendment on the debt ceiling talks - giving Boehner, in his words, 98% of what he wanted.  He doesn't do the right thing because he is waiting for everybody else to see it is the right thing.  That is his flaw.

    'Osama Bin Ladien is still dead and GM is still alive' - Joe Biden "Dems kill terrorist. The GOP keeps them around as a boogeyman - so they can continue to steel."

    by RichM on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:10:32 PM PDT

  •  I would say "MONEY" but... (0+ / 0-)

    there's no downside to Wall Street for allowing gays to marry, nor by giving amnesty to people who weren't intending to follow their parents into less than minimum wage jobs anyway.

    The true hard decisions are about issues that hurt Wall Street, but benefit Main Street.

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:19:04 PM PDT

  •  Amen (0+ / 0-)

    nt

    "You don't have the right facts!"~My Tea Party Neighbor

    by Therapy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:22:14 PM PDT

  •  Nobody is paying politicians to do right (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman

    Whereas thosw with lots of money are willing to pay for special favors or favorite neurotic bonnetbees.

    Don't let millionaires steal Social Security.
    I said, "Don't let millionaires steal Social Security!"

    by Leo in NJ on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:24:30 PM PDT

  •  Jobs? Thom Hartman says 1.9 million trans jobs (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kbman, snoopydawg, chuckvw

    if the transportation bill doesn't pass, Thom says that 1.9 million people will loose their jobs

    right before the election

    why are the dems and Obama not banging the drums on this and other obstructions??

  •  Obama should go for a 'trifecta' (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hollowdweller, 420 forever, kbman

    Same Sex marriage
    Dream Act
    Medical Marijuana

    and let the repub exploding heads fall where they may

    "You've got to be an optimist to be a Democrat, and a humorist to stay one" - Will Rogers

    by KnotIookin on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 01:42:48 PM PDT

  •  This is the kind of stuff that should have (0+ / 0-)

    been happening for years now. Things that he can do totally on his own without congress. I have high praise for his latest immigration move and his support for gay marriage. More please.

  •  Going For A 60% Consensus By Not Taking A Stand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wsexson

    You try to pull in people who would never vote for you anyway.  Somehow Democratic strategists this is a better than trying to get a 52.5% consensus and getting resistance by people who would never vote for you anyway.

  •  Public Option? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike Taylor
  •  Make some noise (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa

    The LGBT and latino communities got what they wanted, but they worked hard for it - criticizing, heckling, protesting and threatening to withdraw their support for the President. What if their strategy consisted of clapping louder and holding off on any pre-election criticism of the President? My guess is that they would still be waiting for Obama to "evolve" on these issues.

    There's more to be done, Obama needs to answer for his appalling record on medical marijuana, torture and white collar crime prosecutions, whistleblower protection, murderous drone campaigns, neoliberal free trade agreements, etc. He also needs to stop compromising on things such as SS and Medicare (the loathsome Catfood commission). Enough with the clapping louder bullshit.

    “In the beginning there was nothing, which exploded.” Terry Pratchett

    by 420 forever on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:07:56 PM PDT

    •  But it is only the clapping that'll keep Romnation (0+ / 0-)

      at bay ...

      Seriously, I am among those who are very disappointed in the lost opportunities from the early days of Obama's administration, along with the other issues listed above.  I could go on AT LENGTH about this, but that is not the point.  The point is that regardless of my disappointment, this is an election year and the consequences of a Romney victory are simply unthinkable.  If there were a realistic alternative to holding my nose while making the sound of one hand clapping, I would jump at the chance.  But that is not the world in which we are currently living.  Instead I will continue to push Democrats for better policies while also confronting Republicans with the glaring inconsistencies of their positions and their stated beliefs.

      Free: The Authoritarians - all about those who follow strong leaders.

      by kbman on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:54:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You have to parse what he means by "hard" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    I don't think he's referring to the voters.

    Hint: follow the money

  •  Popular ≠ Where the money is. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw

    I look forward to a time when this no longer needs to be explained.

  •  The elephant in the room is... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rosarugosa

    ...economics.  He may have done some very good things, but he still is showing some pretty neoliberal tendencies when it comes to the economy.

    And right now, in the middle of the Lesser Depression, the economy is still what is on most everyone's minds.

    Still, I agree with one thing: the real roadblock to economic reform is not Obama at all.  It's Congress.  It always has been Congress, through Obama's entire first term.  And Congress is where I am putting my electoral efforts.

  •  this is true of most progressive issues... (0+ / 0-)

    ...the public supports progressives on most issues and yet...alleged "progressives" find it too difficult to support those issues, full-steam ahead. It's stunning.

    To look at how powerful progressive issues are unto themselves, one has to look no further than Vermont. That state has elected a self-avowed "socialist" (oh, my), but not because he's a socialist, BECAUSE HE HAPPENS TO AGGRESSIVELY ADVOCATE STRONGLY FOR PROGRESSIVE ISSUES, which the public, apparently, likes.

    The public's with us when it comes to making the tax code fairer for the middle class and poor by making wealthy individuals and, just as importantly, wealthy corporations to pay their fair share of taxes. The public's with us when it comes to a public health care system.

  •  The HARD decisions are Economic (0+ / 0-)

    I think the Gay & Immigration Rights are excellent moves forward, but I'm not that impressed...  Those are winning issues that will help get Obama re-elected and help the party for decades.  Brilliant, but not really courageous...

    But it won't fix the unfair economic policies.  The Public Option is just as popular, so is banking reform, so is campaign finance reform.  I think raising the minimum wage could be the kind of bold(?) move that could really help the party.  

    Unfortunately, Obama is so reliant on $$$ from big donor bankers and big corp's.  There will be no changes to the status quo for the wealthy elites.  Why do the elites care about Gay & Immigration laws?  As long as they still get to enjoy the benefits of an unfair economic & tax system.  Goldman Sachs will still run the show.

  •  Because while thing may be popular with the (0+ / 0-)

    people . . . . that doesn't mean the Overlords find it amusing.

     In order to perpetuate the fraud they have perpetrated on the public, they need to perpetuate ignorance and superstition.  Anything remotely resembling rationality is to be discouraged, e.g. the Bush aide who said the reality-based community consists of people who believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality adding that’s not the way the world really works anymore. We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.

    There's the game plan, and to the extent all politicians must buy into that mind set in order to keep the $$$ flowing . . .

    I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever. ~Thomas Jefferson

    by bobdevo on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:39:58 PM PDT

  •  After the election his advisers off the record (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vcmvo2, KayCeSF, zizi

    said that they would push economic issues in his 1st two years, and then focus on social issues his last 2. They said that Clinton trying to do both is what preventing him from accomplishing much.

    For some reason so many progressive leaders have decided to ignore that, and instead insist on this they "pushed Obama" or he is "learning", not that he is doing what he said he would do.

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

    by dopper0189 on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 02:48:27 PM PDT

  •  Uh, because polls are crap!?! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasDan, zizi

    Look, it's very simple- if you tell a pollster you support marriage equality and then vote for people who are against marriage equality- you don't actually support marriage equality. Regardless of how you answered the poll.

    Ditto for immigration, birth control, or any other issue you care to name.

    If the American public actually supported any of this, the Republicans wouldn't have anywhear near the amount of elected officials that they do.

    The left's belief that polls mean FAR more than they do is one of the biggest factors that lead to their unrealistic expectations, which is one of the biggest factors (and easiest to fix) in their dissapointment.

    I've never understood the cognitive disconnect: Meteor Blades sig (Don't tell me what you believe, tell me what you DO, and I'll tell you what you believe) gets all sorts of praise; and then the same people who praise that sentiment when it applies to people here will turn around and tell me that polls are 100% accurate representations of what America belives- when they're really only representations of what Americans SAY they believe.

    Take a look at what Americans do, and you'll see their actual beliefs- which don't jive with the polls.  Pretty much at all.

    "The future of man is not one billion of us fighting over limited resources on a soon-to-be dead planet. . .I won't go back into the cave for anyone."

    by Whimsical on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:02:21 PM PDT

    •  This assumes falsely, a lot of things (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wsexson
      If the American public actually supported any of this, the Republicans wouldn't have anywhear near the amount of elected officials that they do.
      Because of the way our system of government works, it should be obvious that minority opinions have a strong voice.  For instance, if the entire South is against gay marriage, and they elect congressmen who reflect this belief - in no way does this NOT mean the majority of the country supports gay marriage. You can have very conservative congressmen from very conservative districts skewing governmental policies that don't necessarily reflect the will of the people.  

      By your measure, people supported gay marriage and all those things in 2008, but stop supporting them in 2010?  The Dem and Republican position didn't change that dramatically in 2 years - in fact, I'd say their positions remained static over that time.  Its kind of oxymoronic to admit, but political representation does not always reflect public opinion, especially when taken in national polls.  

      So what happened?  Well in 2008 our side was motivated to vote, and in 2010 their side was motivated to vote.   I don't see a change in views as much as I see problem with turnout and motivation.  

  •  another fine post (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Don midwest

    in service of getting more & better democrats elected.

    High turnout, we win. Low turnout, they win. How many elections do we have to lose before you faux progressives get this? - Milt Shook

    by TexasDan on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:08:23 PM PDT

  •  simple-- (0+ / 0-)

    in courting a popular issue, you may lose more votes with a specific demographic than you may gain from people who disagree with you on numerous points.

    and I wait for them to interrupt my drinking from this broken cup

    by le sequoit on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:39:45 PM PDT

  •  Prologue for the second term, especially with (0+ / 0-)

    a Democratic majority in the House.

    If only Obama had moved quicker on these issues (and others), perhaps he (and we) would be in better political footing. But hey, better late than never, and if nothing else, it looks like Obama has truly learned his lesson—people respond positively when he leads, not when he sits around and begs recalcitrant Republicans to join him.

    slutty voter for a "dangerous president"; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; Warning-Some Snark Above"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Sciant terra viam monstrare." 政治委员, 政委!

    by annieli on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:46:13 PM PDT

  •  The electoral college (0+ / 0-)

    is hugely at fault here, because to win the presidential election, you don't cater to people at large. You cater to a very small subset of the people. It ruins democracy, frankly.

    oops. I hope the gate wasn't too expensive.

    Twitter: @DanteAtkins

    by Dante Atkins on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 03:50:40 PM PDT

  •  Old addage in surgery (0+ / 0-)

    "Don't let the sun set on pus." Some things require action rather than debate. Perhaps Dr. Obama has learned this painful lesson.

  •  After reading about Lincoln's process towards (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi, txvoodoo

    emancipation, I had an online discussion with someone who presented an idea that helped me to clarify my sense of the President's timing.  This well informed person talked about Lincoln preventing a possible genocide against African American slaves in the south by presenting emancipation when the South was weakened enough that this was not likely to happen.

    It has been my feeling for a long time that there is a definite pattern to the President's timing.  He not only moves forward in whatever way open to him if he has been blocked in some direct route and eventually takes his policies forward by doing background work and allowing our social opinion to play catch up.  He is also, in my opinion, protecting the innocents that might be caught up in a back lash if he does not proceed carefully.  I read that right after Lincoln announced emancipation over one hundred people, mainly in the northeast, were randomly picked up from the street by mobs and lynched or killed some other way.

  •  It's important to distinguish (0+ / 0-)

    between saying something is morally acceptable and saying you support it be provided at no cost or that insurance companies are required to cover it.  Lots of people think using botox to remove wrinkles is just fine, but probably most think insurance companies don't need to provide it free of cost.  Many probably think getting sterilized is ok, but probably most don't think that is something that should be mandated under an insurance policy.  Perhaps you'd get a different polling if the question was more in line with the actual issue.

    Moreover, you really have to wonder about how a poll identifies someone as Catholic.  As evidenced by the multiple responses to my diaries received along these lines "I'm a Catholic but  I reject [insert important teaching of the Church]." Hardly a Catholic, just a like a person who rejects the Constitution is hardly an American.  You might retort that the actual label doesn't mean much if the "Catholic" pool seems to vote the way they poll, and maybe you are right but this leads to one other important question.  Will even nominal Catholics at least pause and take a break from the kulturgeist when they see that major archdiocese, Catholic Charities, and about 40 other Catholic institutions have sued the Administration over the abortifacient, contraceptive, sterility mandate?  I think so, but sadly, most won't contemplate the basis for the lawsuits, which is not that the Government must adhere to Catholic teaching, but that the Government should not impede Catholic institutions from following their own teaching.  

  •  First president in history (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KayCeSF, zizi, txvoodoo, blue denim

    to come out for marriage equality

    and the reaction is....

    "why didn't he do it faster?"

    Why would anyone want to run for office?...

    Russ Feingold supports Obama in '12 and so do I.

    by darboy on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:36:46 PM PDT

  •  Impatience of the voters, everyone wants their (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    zizi

    personal issues solved NOW!  No, scratch that, they wanted it done immediately after President Obama took office.

    Interview with President Obama: December 11, 2011  
    The Full Transcript

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

    SNIPPET: (Page 10 at link above)

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: I didn't overpromise. And I didn't underestimate how tough this was gonna be. I always believed that this was a long-term project; this wasn't a short-term project. And, you know, for individual Americans, who are struggling right now, they have every reason to be impatient. They should want all these things solved tomorrow. It doesn't matter how good my economic theories are. If you don't have a job right now, the only economic policy you want to hear is, "I'm hired. I've got a job. I can pay my bills. I can look after my family."

    But what I understood coming in was that reversing a culture here in Washington, dominated by special interests, reversing a political culture that was dominated by polls and sound bites and [a] 24-hour news cycle, reversing structural problems in our economy that have been building up for two decades, that was gonna take time. It was gonna take more than a year. It was gonna take more than two years. It was gonna take more than one term. Probably takes more than one president.

    So I try to keep in mind the immediate challenges in front of me, day in and day out. How do I put people back to work and put steps in place that can help people get in the middle class and stay in the middle class? But then I also gotta take a long view and say, you know, "How are we doing in moving this big aircraft carrier a few degrees to the left then or a few degrees to the right so that we're getting to the place where we need to go?"

    And-- here's the good news. You know, America usually gets there. We do it in fits and turns, but we usually get there. You know, when I was dedicating the memorial to Dr. King, I reminded people, we had a couple hundred years of slavery, and a civil war, and segregation. And it wasn't until 1954 that Brown vs. Board of Education was issued, after enormous battles, generations of freedom fighters. And then it took another ten years before legislation was passed in Congress that could actually give effect to Brown vs. Board of Education, through the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. Then it took another ten years of enforcement before you actually started to see real differences in people's day-to-day lives. Then it took another ten years before, you know, both the economic and the political advancement of African Americans occurred. And we're still not there yet.

    Well, that's true of everything we do. That's true of the ability of working people to get a foothold in this new global economy. It's true of us making sure that we're cleaning up our environment, but also doing it in a way that encourages economic growth as opposed to discourages it. It's true of fixing our education system, so that every kid is learning what they need to. You know?

    These are things that take time. And so we're just gonna keep on plugging away. The one thing I've prided myself on before I was President -- and it turns out that continues to be true as President -- I'm a persistent son of a gun. I just stay at it. And I'm just gonna keep on staying at it, as long as I'm in this office. And we're gonna get it right. And America will succeed. I am absolutely confident about that.

    And maybe people might want to go back further in time and read the transcript in full of his first interview on 60 Minutes:

    Obama On Economic Crisis, Transition
    http://www.cbsnews.com/...

    It seems to me that once in awhile we need to remember what this President has been up against, and re-read his own thoughts about how he would/will deal with all of it.  Legislation takes time.  Good legislation requires steady leadership.

    I have faith he's on top of all of it, and trying to push through every bit of important legislation he can, at the right time.  

    I prefer to be patient.  I can't imagine working with this Congress. He's trying to get this nation back on track.  I have his back.

    Obama is a million times better than the alternative!!!!!!!

    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 Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 04:57:13 PM PDT

  •  If Obama had learned footing he would (0+ / 0-)

    move to break up the banks, or at least support Bernie Sanders' reinstantiation of Glass-Steagle or at least support very strong regulation leading the bankers away from their current course (I asked on Twitter, whether it would hurt the Admin to speak to Ravi Batra, as Batra has requested:  I got crickets in reply...).

    No, he is still a wimp in my book.

  •  Now (0+ / 0-)

    if he would frog march a banker or three and announce that all illegally foreclosed homeowners would get a piece of their fortunes, we would be talkin'.  

    ‎"Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them." --Frederick Douglass

    by Nada Lemming on Tue Jun 19, 2012 at 05:47:27 PM PDT

  •  During the 1950s, Catholics in Southern California (0+ / 0-)

    were practicing birth control. Nothing new here.

    In the area that I lived it was 50/50 Protestant/Catholic, an all but a few families had only 2 or 3 children. The Irish family across the street had 12 children, but they were the exception.

    Most politicians have a hard time seeing the obvious. Wonder why ???

  •  Amen... (0+ / 0-)
    not when he sits around and begs recalcitrant Republicans to join him.
    Amen.  Obama's been doing that for 3 1/2 years, begging the Republicans to come along with him.  Look at all the love the GOP has returned to him.  And he probably  wonders why he's completely gray now and people think he's a pushover.  
  •  Two out of Three (0+ / 0-)

    My take is that President Obama's re-election is going to be a close thing.  So no decision that might cost a few votes is an easy one.

    So as a political calculation the President's immigration decision was not just the right thing to do as a matter of justice but might net him a few votes.

    Gay marriage?  Well it's the right thing to do and could even be a wash as far as votes go.

    Requiring church-affilated non-profits to provide what the law suits call "contraceptives, sterilizations and abortifacients"?   Until the election is over that issue should have been left in the extended comment period of agency rule-making.   The HHS approach was kinda ham-handed: the regulation requires insurance coverage for "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures."  See: http://www.fda.gov/...

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