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(Photo credit: Reuters)
At a new media roundtable discussion yesterday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi had an answer for the question Republicans and the traditional media drug up from zombie Reagan over the weekend: Are you better off today than you were four years ago?

Nancy Pelosi is unequivocal:

Our country is better off. Our country is better off than where we were. President Obama, this extraordinary president, in a very extraordinary time, pulled our country back from the brink of depression, a meltdown of our financial institutions, a deepening of our deficit. In the first two years, three and a half million jobs were created with the Recovery Act. President Obama was a job creator from day one. One week and one day from his inaugural address we passed the Recovery Act, the auto rescue, just two name a couple. [...]

In one year, in one year under President Obama's leadership, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the Bush administration. [...]

So, fundamentally, our country is better off than it would have been if we'd continued down the path that the Republicans had us on. Mitt Romney wants to take us back down that path. The President wants to go forward, they want to go backward. They are advocating exactly the same policy.

There's no question that the country is better off than the day George W. Bush left office. There's also no question that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would take us right back there, with even more tax cuts for the wealthy and even less oversight of the financial system that brought the economy crashing down.

(Transcript below the fold.)

Q: On the question, are Americans better off than they were four years ago, how do you respond to the question [Republicans] are posing? Are Americans better off than they were four years ago?

Pelosi: Our country is better off. Our country is better off than where we were. President Obama, this extraordinary president, in a very extraordinary time, pulled our country back from the brink of depression, a meltdown of our financial institutions, a deepening of our deficit. In the first two years, three and a half million jobs were created with the Recovery Act. President Obama was a job creator from day one. One week and one day from his inaugural address we passed the Recovery Act, the auto rescue, just two name a couple.

It's no comfort if you don't have a job to say "well, it could have been worse." It could have been much worse if we had elected a Republican president. When we lost the House, then the Republicans, who could have done much more if there was any level of cooperation, on jobs, but then they said "no, no, no, a thousand times no." Which meant millions of jobs not created. [...]

In one year, in one year under President Obama's leadership, more jobs were created in the private sector than in the eight years of the Bush administration. So all this talk that we're talking about, public, private [...] one year, more public [sic] sector jobs than eight years combined of the Bush administration. [Q: Public or private? I'm sorry.] Private. Private. Underline, exclamation point, exclamation point, exclamation point. Private sector.

They thought that coming in and taking all the public sector jobs, police, fire, classroom and all the rest was a good thing? Whatever you think about the education of our children and the safety of neighborhoods, maybe that's something that's not important to you, these are consumers. These are consumers and their value is attested to for what they do for our community. But they are also consumers. So that hurt our economy.

So, fundamentally, our country is better off than it would have been if we'd continued down the path that the Republicans had us on. Mitt Romney wants to take us back down that path. The President wants to go forward, they want to go backward. They are advocating exactly the same policy.

Originally posted to Joan McCarter on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:32 AM PDT.

Also republished by I Vote for Democrats and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  the reason this question hurts a bit: (12+ / 0-)

    the problem is that a lot of us are not better off than we were 4 years ago, even if the trajectory or whatever is better.

    even when you know intellectually that the other guy would be worse, it's difficult to pull the lever for somebody who has presided over 3.5 years of your struggling and misery and dashed dreams.

      •  Exactly (27+ / 0-)

        There's a Kossack with the sig that reads

        "Keeping millions unemployed to put one man out of a job"

        That really sums up the "patriotism" of the GOP, doesn't it?

        Romney's religion is only an issue because he's a high priest in the Church of Mammon.

        by ontheleftcoast on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:50:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And paying taxes to foreign governments (6+ / 0-)

          To avoid paying a fair share of federal income taxes.

          The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

          by Mimikatz on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:20:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  The patriotism of Richard Burr (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Appropos of the convention in Charlotte, NC, it would do us well to remind everyone where NC's Republican Senator Richard Burr thought we were four years ago--

          In the fall of 2008, during that year's financial crisis, Burr described his response to problems in the U.S. financial system:

          "On Friday night, I called my wife and I said, "Brooke, I am not coming home this weekend. I will call you on Monday. Tonight, I want you to go to the ATM machine, and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take. And I want you to go tomorrow, and I want you to go Sunday." I was convinced on Friday night that if you put a plastic card in an ATM machine [sic] the last thing you were going to get was cash.[18]"

          This statement attracted considerable attention from the national press when an April 2009 story in the News and Observer made it more widely known.[19] In late April, Burr told WFAE, a public radio station in North Carolina, "Absolutely I'd do it [again]." He said that "The exact situation we were faced with was a freeze bank to bank. And as I stated, my attempt was to make sure my wife had enough cash at home to make it through the next week." Burr also said that "It was not an attempt to run a bank," and "Nor was it a bank that was even considered then or now to be in trouble."[20]

          Ryan lies; seniors die.

          by NCJan on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:57:45 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or his fellow "patriot" Rep Lyin' Ryan (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            NCJan, a2nite

            who found out about the banking problems and called his broker to short bank stocks. These scum don't care one tiny bit about the country or its people. They only care about the size of their bank accounts.

            Romney's religion is only an issue because he's a high priest in the Church of Mammon.

            by ontheleftcoast on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:06:03 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  that's exactly true (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        psyched, Heart of the Rockies

        which is why the President's #1 job should have been to break their obstructionism so that he could then have fixed the economy properly.

        A herculean task, to be sure.  But otherwise the country stays in a Depression and the President gets some blame for the state of the country during his term.

        •  "A herculean task, to be sure". (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          breathe67, milton333, Spanky

          The reason it's "herculean" is that Hercules was a mythological character.

          •  sure (0+ / 0-)

            it was probably unlikely to work, but it would have been the single greatest thing he could have done for the country, both at the time and for the future.

            •  What should he have done? (0+ / 0-)

              I've often said that Pres Obama should have been a better advocate for the Affordable Care Act.  Should be better about clear examples of why it benefits people (e.g., I have a kid with a congenital heart defect.  ACA is not all I would have wanted, but there's lots in there to make me happy).  

              But even I recognize that all that does is reach the American people.  Maybe persuade them to vote in Dems.  Maybe lead them to put pressure on their Congresspeople.  But there's no direct way to counter a Congress that has vowed to obstruct you from day 1.

              Thought is only a flash in the middle of a long night, but the flash that means everything - Henri Poincaré

              by milton333 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:45:44 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  a number of things (0+ / 0-)

                for example, large things such as put the obstructionism front and center when he had the most leverage (we are in a free-fall, and they won't pass my stimulus (not the republican tax-cut-heavy version). or smaller things like not laying off so many federal workers.  there are lots of things.  please undesrstand that he's been far batter than any republican would have been, but considering that both the country and Obama's political fortunes would have been better if he had rocked the boat more regarding the economy rather than giving into the GOP so much, then yeah, he should have done so.

        •  So he should have stood in front of them with (0+ / 0-)

          a weapon and forced them...even after they all as one vowed to obstruct? Exactly how could he have forced them to go with the program? And the answer is to reward them and let them continue the policies that brought us to the point we were in in 2008? Didn't voters try that in 2010? Did being downgraded really help anyone?

          It is almost like someone is a guard at a bank but is given a mall caliber weapon with only 6 bullets for defending the bank. The guards ability to do so is limited because someone keeps letting in people with intent to rob the place and reporters who want to slam him for shootin anyone. Now you say the patrons of the bank are gonna stand there and say you should have defended us... that jerk just took my money, my purse, my wallet... that guy is looking up my skirt, that person is... Gee whiz I think I will vote for others just like him who want to make laws so that what they do is legal... Yeah that will work.

          A President is not an emperor despite what GWB thought.

          How can you tell when Rmoney is lying? His lips are moving. Fear is the Mind Killer

          by boophus on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:31:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  yes (0+ / 0-)

            like Clinton did with the budget shutdown.

            there was massive demand for something to fix the economy, right after Obama won a landslide election. The country would have turned on the GOP so fast had it been republicans bend or no fixes to the economy.

            if he broke them at that point, the last 3 years would have had a ton less suffering by millions, and obama would be riding a better economy towards a second term. instead, cutting deals with them, continuing tax cuts, etc has mired us in a continuing depression, and that's not good for the country or the President's political fortunes.

            •  Oh, dear. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              shoeless, milton333

              Obama got elected on the promise that he'd 'heal' the partisan divide. Bad choice in retrospect, but also not a good place to start out from to 'break' the other side.

              Not to mention that you can't really, realistically, 'break' one of this country's two major parties. Karl Rove tried, and he failed.

              There are criticisms to be made of Barack Obama's first term, but counterfactuals aren't the way to make them. Simple fact is that, yes, the economy could be a lot better, that the President has limited capability to influence it, and that on every other subject most of us care about, he's been really damned good. Better than any President in my lifetime, certainly.

              Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

              by MBNYC on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:31:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  you are telling me (0+ / 0-)

                "no we can't" or "no we couldn't" and I reject that. I don't believe that.

                I think there's a chance that if it was "we are in an economic freefall and the republicans won't pass anything" rather than "hey, look, I'm put a bunch of tax cuts into the stimulus and that's fix things!", we'd be better off right now.

                The fact of the matter is that President Obama's fortunes were going to be in large part predicated on the economy.  By continualy compromising the the other wisde, and putting in a bunch of their ideas, it's harder to point at them now and say that you couldn't do anything because of the people you in effect agreed with and passed some stuff with (stuff that wasn't sufficient).

                •  uuhhg, typos (0+ / 0-)

                  typing too quickly.

                •  Okay. (0+ / 0-)

                  So you definitely haven't been paying attention. Sorry, it's true.

                  What you're choosing to ignore is that the data environment the Obama administration based its decisions on was faulty. The economy was worse than anyone, including government agencies, thought it was at the time. Q4 GDP for 2008 was down 8%+, not 3%, the number the administration was basing its plans on. 750,000 jobs lost per month until ARRA was passed and the bleeding slowed.

                  But that doesn't really even matter, because your argument is political. You're saying, without evidence (due to the nature of your argument), that Obama should have just killed off the GOP and be done with it, in which case, we'd be out petting unicorns right now. That would have been my personal preference as well, but the fact is it didn't happen, and couldn't. They made clear from the start that there would be no compromise. You can re-litigate that fact till the unicorns come home, but those are indeed the facts.

                  So what do we do now?

                  How about this: we get our guy re-elected, give him a nice leftie Congress (as opposed to those neo-Confederates running the joint now), and make damned that sure that he's learned his lesson. A really good place to get started on that would be to, I don't know, offer a critique that's based on what happened, not on what we wish might have happened.

                  Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

                  by MBNYC on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:01:05 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  you are not understanding my point (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm fully aware that they originally had outdated data (that's where the "8% unemployment" comment came from that the GOP is grossly missusing, for example.

                    I'm not blaming Obam for that at all.

                    I'm saying that the single worse thing for both the economy and his political fortunes was letting the GOP obstruct and cutting deals with them that wouldn't fix things.  when President Obama came into office, it was probably the single greatest opportunity in our lifetimes to do damage to the GOP, with the eocnomy in free-fall and a new president coming to office. if there's ever a time to make them look like evil obstructionist monsters, that's it. would it have worked? I don't know for sure. But I do know that if it didn, we'd have a generation of benifits, starting quickly. instead, we got more tax cuts and a continuing Depression. It's not Obama's fault, of course, but it's a disaster for millions of lives and it could possibly cost him a second term.

                    •  Okay, now we're getting somewhere. (0+ / 0-)

                      Like I said, I don't necessarily disagree. I just don't see the value, unless Barack understands all this - and I think he does - in rehashing this entire fight. I mean, who does that help?

                      Not us.

                      I just want him to get a second term, pack the Supreme Court with good liberals, and basically do what you're talking about: make the GOP irrelevant. So let's all help him win.


                      Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

                      by MBNYC on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:41:47 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  we are "rehashing it" (0+ / 0-)

                        because the subject was "are you better off now than 4 years ago", so the discussion of the economy and what the President did or didn't do is front and center.

                        Which is why the GOP wants that question to be the discussion in the first place, and why it appears they've done a good job with making that question front and center since even on here we have multiple diaries about it right now.

                        I have little hope for things to get better under Obama's second ter munless he can somehow break through the GOP's obstructionism.  Obviously, a romney win would be much worse, actually doing damge rather than just not getting better as is likely under Obama.  but either way, I think the country is screwed.

                    •  Interesting discussion but (0+ / 0-)

                      Obama had sealed his fate on the economy months before when he hired Robert Rubin to advise and Larry Summers to lead his economic team. He wasn't going to get much in the way of forceful advice from the likes of them. This is all about the road not taken.

                      It's going to be difficult to believe President Obama really means it this time when Timothy Geithner is still Secretary of the Treasury.

                      Obama 2012/Romney 1040/Ryan 4:01

                      by ebrann on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 01:40:03 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

      •  Which is why the Dems need to expand (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shoeless, milton333, NCJan, tb mare

        on what Nancy said, and tick off a list of job bills the President requested from Congress in his State of the Union speeches, and how many of those he actually got (and how many got to the Senate with poison pills relating to the Repubs radical social agenda).

        The most violent element in society is ignorance.

        by Mr MadAsHell on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:27:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Right (7+ / 0-)

      Which is why this election is close. By most objective measures -- inequality, wages, poverty -- the country is worse off, and the fact that Romney eagerly asks the question and Dems struggle to answer speaks volumes.

      When Pelosi says --

      our country is better off than it would have been if we'd continued down the path that the Republicans had us on
      -- she's absolutely correct, but she's not answering the question directly, instead offering a conditional.

      Better to play offense and focus on who Romney is and what he would do, instead of defensively arguing that we're better off than we would have been if...

    •  Job wise, I'm not better off (9+ / 0-)

      I don't blame that on Obama -- I blame it on the 8 years that led up to a catastrophic collapse.  Would I have liked someone other than Geithner and Summers?  Sure.  Did they keep me in this horrible state job-wise?  No.  The Republicans did that.  

      When the question is asked -- are "you" better off . . . .?  I could answer no  many times during my lifetime if I focused on one issue.  Am I better off not having hateful, war-mongering, amoral assholes who should be tried in the International Criminal Court running this country into the ground?  The answer is an overwhelming yes.

      I've lived long enough in this country to know that politicians are not pure of heart -- and if they were -- we'd be royally fucked.  I've never, ever gotten all I wanted:  LBJ -- we got Civil Rights Act, Voting Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and Lady Bird.  We also got the big lie: Gulf of Tonkin Resolution and a "Conflict" which killed over 58k of Americans alone, a couple of which were my friends.

      So, if you want perfection, I think the Mormons have a planet for you.

      " My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total." Barbara Jordan, 1974

      by gchaucer2 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:19:48 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Of course America is better off... (7+ / 0-)

      ...but the recovery hasn't been shared with the Middle Class.

      The stock market has doubled in value, corporate profits are setting records, job creation has been on the plus side for over two years, and productivity continues its long increase creating wealth for those that make their money off their money.

      The problem is that the increase in the productivity of our economy, the fat profits earned off the work of wage and salary earners has not been shared with those that have created that wealth.  Flat incomes and the creation of lower-paid jobs to replace those lost during the Bush Administration merely continues a trend of shifting wealth to the top 5% of the richest among us is a trend that goes back to the Reagan Administration.  And it remains the prime objective of Republican Policy -- accelerated by Bush's tax cuts for the rich and put into hyper-drive with the Romney/Ryan platform for more tax cuts for $billionaires and increased costs for health care shifted to consumers and cuts in government services.

    •  I personally am not better off (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      investorb, MBNYC, NCJan, DSPS owl

      Both my husband and I are in businesses that have been hurt by the recession and have not fully recovered.  No tears for us, because we're still in the 1% of income earners (albeit pretty far down at the bottom of that 1%).  

      There is no question that the country is better off than it was on the day that George W. Bush left office. No question at all.  As Joe "Release the" Biden so succinctly put it, "Bin Laden is dead and GM is alive."  Not to mention the addition of two moderate-progressive Supreme Court Justices, the enactment of the ACA, a restoration of our prestige abroad, and the end of the Iraq War.

      Are we where we want to be? Of course not. Is President Obama perfect. Of course not.  Do I want him guiding our nation for the next four years? Absolutely.

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

        there sure as heck is a question about whether the country is worse off now. the banks are bigger, our politics are even more awash in dirty money, many millions of people have gone so long without work that they basically have no hope of ever recovering, etc.

        this was all caused by republicans, sure. but while Obama stopped the imminent bleeding, the wound never really healed.

        •  If our country was a patient, we are out of the (0+ / 0-)

          ICU but the underlying disease will take considerably more treatment and rehabilitation.

          I know of a woman who had a devastating stroke and lived to tell about it and rehabbed enough to be able to describe what that was like.  She said it took eight years to get back her function through hard work and unimaginable perseverance.  

          I look at the economic information I can get access to and it seems to me we are basically reset to the status before the crash in many measures.  What we don't have now is the housing bubble to mask what still needs to be done.  

          We will continue to make structural changes if we re-elect the President and we won't be like this four more years from now.  Elect Romney and God only knows.

          •  Romney would obvious be far worse (0+ / 0-)

            but I see nothing to suggest that things will get measurably better under Obama than it's been the last 3.5 years. that's the political problem here for an incubent.

            •  The difference is that I see everything to suggest (0+ / 0-)

              that things will be measurably better.  The scale of the difference will depend on our resolve to work to elect the President but also the supports in the Senate and Congress.  I really want to see Pelosi with that gavel in her hand again.  This is going to take each of us participating in ways we haven't before.  No matter the level of our willingness to help in the past we need to up that considerably.  Yes We Can is not a pipe dream if we mean it.  I know I do.  If we work together there is nothing beyond the realm of possibility.

              •  if (0+ / 0-)

                a) the President couldn't do what's needed to fix things because the Republicans obstructed him, and
                b) there's nothing to suggest that the republicans will stop obstructing him,

                then it folows that:

                c) there's nothing to suggest that he'll be able to fix things in his second term.

                seriously, what's going to change?

    •  That's why she said the country is better off (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mdmslle, shoeless, cheerio2

      And it's important to add that we are all not as well off as we would have been had the GOP not obstructed everything Obama tried to do.  And would you be better off by returning to the policies of the Bush years, with wars and deficits and incompetence at every turn?

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:19:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  there seems to be (3+ / 0-)

        some semantic confusion here.

        in terms of tradjectory, the country is indeed better off. the free-fall stopped relatively quickly.

        in terms of overall state of things, by many many measures, especially those regarding the poor and middle class rather than the rich, things are worse off.

        as an example, 4 years without a job is worse-off than 6 months without a job, even though the tradjectory (losing the job v. the status quo of remaining unemployed) isn't as bad.

    •  That's the point (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Possiamo, milton333

      It's about more than just you.

      Personally, my spouse and I are not better off than we were 4 years ago; he's retired so our income has been slashed (and finding even a part-time job has been difficult), we've dealt with the death of his father and the issues surrounding care for both his mother and his brother, and a whole host of other personal matters.

      But the country as a whole is better -- we're virtually out of Iraq (yeah, we've still got some troops there but a lot fewer than the Republicans would prefer), millions of kids can stay on their parents' health insurance plans till they reach 26, giving them extra time to find that job that actually provides benefits, many medical services and prescriptions are now provided free of co-pay, we continue to have regulations on safe water and safe food and other "frivolities". Thousands of people in the auto industry and related industries still have jobs and are still paying taxes.

      Last I checked, the motto of the county was still e. pluribus unum..."out of many, one". The Republicans have not yet changed it to "every man for himself." Pelosi's framing is perfect; it's not about individuals, it's about the country.

      "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

      by Cali Scribe on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:49:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  While some may be "worse off" than... (0+ / 0-)
      the problem is that a lot of us are not better off than we were 4 years ago, even if the trajectory or whatever is better.
      they were four years ago, had the economy and GOP policies kept going they would certainly be much worse off than they are now - and millions more would be with them. Unfortunately there is no accurate way to measure that.

      The economy was heading off a cliff, towards freefall, merely avoiding the catastrophe itself is huge.

      "The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously." -- Hubert H. Humphrey

      by Candide08 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:03:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  We fell off the cliff on 9/15/2008 (27+ / 0-)

    The descent was so steep and the bottom so deep that we were still falling fast when President Obama was inaugurated.

    He couldn't stop the drop on a dime, but cushioned the landing with the stimulus and GM bailout.

    Then, beginning the long climb out, the GOP has been obstructing every step of the way.

    The country is much better off today than when the President was inaugurated but we could be a lot farther without GOP obstruction.

    We need to work as hard for a Dem House and Senate as for the President's re-election.

    Some people fight fire with fire. Professionals use water.

    by Happy Days on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:46:29 AM PDT

  •  We still haven't repealed (3+ / 0-)

    Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001


    Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003

    When the successful riders on the American Way pay their way things will be better.

    Trickle didn't trickle but it did trick.

    Hey Ryan, where you goin' with that trans-vaginal probe in your hand

    by 88kathy on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 09:47:42 AM PDT

  •  Not a winning issue (0+ / 0-)

    Nancy should not deal with this question again.  No need to remind people times are tough and many people are not better off than they were 4 years ago.  Move the debate back to Romney's taxes and move on.

    •  WTF?! "Not a winning issue". (8+ / 0-)

      There is no way to avoid it as the republican fluffed MSM have been asking every democrat in sight the same question during the last 24+ hours.  Plus about 68% of Americans believe we're on the wrong track.  It's not an issue to be dodged but confronted.  

      When the great businessman/snark, Herbert Hoover, assisted our plunge into the Great Depression, it took 4 FDR terms and World War II to get us out.  

      This time, we had a bit of foundation still standing and after 3 1/2 years  with unprecedented obstruction we are expected to believe that America should be at a place where we can pretend all this never happened?:  "Barack, the Magic Negro", indeed.

      •  Definitely a winning issue (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pamelabrown, surfbird007

        And a chance for Democrats to hammer their message home. Thanks to the media picking up this question, every Democrat gets to talk about how they staved off economic collapse, despite Republican obstruction, and how an Obama administration will continue to make things right.

        Republicans (and the media) were counting on Democrats to run away from the question, and I think they seriously miscalculated. Basically, they've now given free air time to Democrats to make their (strong) case for Obama's second term.

    •  The question is already out there, (6+ / 0-)

      and Nancy Pelosi answered it quite effectively after Martin O'Malley so publicly botched it, which got the horse race hungry media all hot and bothered.

      I wish more Democrats were as on message as Nancy Pelosi, and she is to be commended for her straight-forward, honest response. What was she supposed to do, dodge the reporter's question? That doesn't tend to work.

      "Nach dem Spiel ist vor dem Spiel." ~Sepp Herberger

      by surfbird007 on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:30:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And you are better off if you are LGBT and (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the service and/or want to get married, have more choices, and better off if a young person brought here unlawfully, and better off if you are raking in the record corporate profits.

      The scientific uncertainty doesn't mean that climate change isn't actually happening.

      by Mimikatz on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:25:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm thinking that a fair amount of time at the (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, ColoTim, Mr MadAsHell

    convention will be spent in pointing out the obstruction that has kept important things from happening.  The problem will be framing it so it makes people mad at the obstructions without anyone but people whose job it is feeling like it is whining.

    I think they can do it.  

    Also, I would love to have a chair appear onstage at random times when nothing in particular is happening.    Just carried on and put down in different places, them if the pause is more than a few more seconds, picked up and moved, and then quietly removed before the next speaker.

    I wore my big straw hat all summer in 2008 with an Obama bumpersticker on the front of it.  Same this year,  maybe wear it all the way to November.

    Nothing in the world is more dangerous than a sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    by maybeeso in michigan on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:05:36 AM PDT

    •  yes (4+ / 0-)
      I'm thinking that a fair amount of time at the
      convention will be spent in pointing out the obstruction that has kept important things from happening.
      The obstruction was completely deliberate.  McConnell's quote about the primary objective of the GOP House should be repeated everywhere.  They put their own political fortunes ahead of the good of the country and they ALL did it together.  Never in my memory has an entire caucus worked diligently to stop Americans from prospering.  This shocking fact needs to be laid at their doorstep over and over again in this convention.  That way, not only will Obama be re-elected (hopefully in a landslide), but as many as possible of these un-American traitors be tossed out on their keesters.

      "Ideology offers human beings the illusion of dignity and morals while making it easier to part with them." -- Vaclav Havel

      by SottoVoce on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:21:19 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  She's absolutely right. (7+ / 0-)

    The country needs to have this conversation. Democrats need to have it.

    The GOP is counting on Americans having the attention span of a gnat. Maybe we do. But enough people remember just how god-damned awful George Bush was that we can win this argument.

    And if or when we do win this debate and the election, Democrats will have a real mandate to turn the page. Throw in some reasonable economic growth, presto, the entire rightwing agenda gets exposed as the cruel fraud it is.

    Fuck me, it's a leprechaun.

    by MBNYC on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:08:17 AM PDT

  •  And part of this is just the business cycle (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, surfbird007

    From post WWII to present, the average length of time from bottom of the business cycle to the peak has been about 59 months, or about 4.9 years.  Given that we experienced the most severe recession since the Great Depression, it's likely that this recovery is going to take longer than average.  

    Even though Republican obstructionism has drastically weakened the recovery, the business cycle will inevitably move the economy into stronger territory, likely during the next four years.  

    My greatest fear is that Romney wins this election, the business cycle naturally moves upward again, and Romney and GOP policies will get all the credit.  

  •  I think there two reasons (3+ / 0-)

    why the question "Are you better off ... ?" becomes a trick question in our minds.

    1.  When I hear the question, I don't really hear "4 years ago" and so I hesitate ... yes, I am better off than 4 years ago but not than 12 years ago, which is my internal measure.  So, because of my own internal measure, I hesitate ... I have to think 4 years vs 12 years.  I would bet most tpeople don't really think that way, they simply think of what they thought or hoped to be their best years.

    2. I think that, because the whole "put down the proletariat' and the "divine right of the rich" has become so blatant, it it more difficult to be hopeful. It becomes a herculean task. It does not feel like we are better off today because we are more aware of how we are getting screwed while our tools to reverse the situation seem pretty meager.

    We are fighting not just reality but also perception.

    "Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. Liberty without thought is like a disturbed spirit." Kahlil Gibran, 'The Vision'

    by CorinaR on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 10:59:01 AM PDT

    •  PIVOT to 12 YRS ago w/250 Bil $ budget SURPLUS (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      investorb, MBNYC

      PIVOT PIVOT PIVOT, turn it back on them, back on W.

      80 % of success is showing up

      Corporate is not the solution to our problem

      Corporate is the problem

      by Churchill on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:13:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point on 4 years versus 12 (0+ / 0-)

      We spent the entire Bush admin facing massive yearly increased in energy, eduction, health care, and more. Easy access to mortgages created the illusion of prosperity.

      That was on a individual basis. As a nation, trillions of dollars were siphoned out of the treasury.

      "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

      by CFAmick on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:26:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Easiest question to answer EVAH (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mffarrow, MBNYC

    because we were sinking financially; the ship of state was sinking as in going down to Davy Jone's Locker.

    The storm's still brewing, but at leats we aren't IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DAMN STORM.

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:12:32 AM PDT

  •  I'm better off. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, milton333

    Financially, yes -- my home's value has mostly rebounded and my pension fund is finally starting to rebound.  And my taxes are lower (not that I wanted them to be.)  

    But morally -- oh my goodness YES.  I was so ashamed of Bush's wars of aggression and assault on human rights worldwide.   And my legal recognition as a married gay person has inched that much closer to reality.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:17:06 AM PDT

  •  That is half of what the Democrats need to do. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    The other half is to convince ordinary Americans that it means they, too, are better off than they might have been without the current administration.

    For lack of a better comparison, I see painting the 4 year ago picture as something akin to our country on 9/10/2001. We felt safe and secure, but we weren't.  We just didn't know it yet.

    So...even thouth we may seem worse off now in many ways, we could, conceivably, be better off because we've already bounced off the bottom and good times lie around the corner.

    That second part is a tough sell, and Pelosi is temperatmentally unsuited to make it.  Maybe former Pres. Clinton.

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

    by dinotrac on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:17:25 AM PDT

    •  4 years ago was the middle of a crash (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Words In Action, milton333

      The Lehman Brothers collapse was Sept 15, 2008.

      So we're certainly better off than we were 4 years ago. 4 years ago the entire financial system was collapsing. Now we're recovering from that crash.

      Granted, everyone (except the Republicans) wishes the recovery was stronger, but there's no question at all that we're in better shape than 4 years ago.

  •  is the country better off than 12 years ago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Meteor Blades

    as opposed to individuals is not a yes/no question. We are better but it is a choice and it is clear that we will have another serious war(s) under Romney/Ryan in order to prop up the MIC with rearmament and domestic urban militarism to quell racial unrest as civil liberties erode further under the American Taliban

    Don't roof rack me bro', Now the brown's comin' down; Präsidentenelf-maßschach; "Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:21:12 AM PDT

  •  Not being a supporter of Nancy Pelosi (0+ / 0-)

    I know this is an unpopular opinion here, but Nancy Pelosi is more part of the problem than part of the remedy for our country.  She is one of the MOST wealthy people in congress.  I have not seen her present anything that would take away the tax loopholes that the very rich people get in this country.  I have not seen any of her tax returns to see if she and her husband are putting money in foreign accounts to avoid taxes.  I've not seen anything about what percent she and her husband pays in taxes.  I HATED her statement that "you have to wait until it passes to see what's in it" with regard to the Affordable Care Act.  That was say the least.  

    Yes, she's a good democrat.  Yes, she works diligently to get democrats elected and to support anything and everything the democrats in the House support.  I do like her efforts in that respect.  But, I see her as a very disengenuous person that talks out of both sides of her mouth.  

    If she sponsors a bill or some legislative effort to change the IRS code so that it will eliminate most or all of the benefits in it for the richies, then I'll change my mind on her.

    And, I don't want to see some presentation where she voted on something that would do that when it was a done deal that it wouldn't pass just to make it look like she was supporting someting even though it would hurt her and her finances...don't even bother.  Many people know how this voting works in congress.

    The truth is sometimes very inconvenient.

    by commonsensically on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:22:27 AM PDT

  •  Very smart (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    of the Democrats to get ahead of this issue.

    Republicans will ask this question because they hope it's the wedge for undecided voters, as well as the way to suppress enthusiasm for Democratic-leaning voters. And the media will happy ask the question, because its a way of balancing all the reporting about Republicans lies and dangerous behavior.

    Democrats should keep it up: the country is better off than it was 4 years ago. And Democrats want to continue to make things better. Republicans want to bring us back to square one. Every time a reporter shouts that question to a Democratic spokesperson, this is the message they will get back. It's free campaign time to push the meme we want to get out.

  •  I love this woman! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MBNYC, mffarrow, cheerio2

    She is a national treasure and we should hear more from her that from some of those talking heads that usually appear on the TV machine.

    Would that she would run for President because I'd be behind her 1000%!  With her depth of political experience she could be the best President we ever had.

    Nancy, YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!

    "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." - Edmund Burke

    by CyberDem on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:27:01 AM PDT

  •  Good. Stay on message. ALL DEMS. These are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mffarrow, milton333

    the talking points and this is how its said.

    Notice she mentioned the FIRST TWO YEARS.

    Nancy wants the gavel back and by god, i'm going to do what I can to give it to her.

    For the record, I am not a member of Courtesy Kos. Just so you know. Don't be stupid. It's election season. My patience is short.

    by mdmslle on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:27:12 AM PDT

  •  The only way to answer it effectively, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ferg, MBNYC

    from an election standpoint, is emotionally:

    Four years ago, George W. Bush was still in office, and on 9.15.08, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The U.S. economy went into free fall, pulling the Global economy with it. And then Henry Paulson put a gun to our heads and asked for a blank check, with no liability, so he could save all the banks too big to fail.

    Are we better off than that?

    Yes. Of course we are.

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:27:53 AM PDT

  •  Irony??? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Those who can answer an unequivical "yes" to the "are you better" question are by the polls, the least likely to reward the President responsible with their vote and financial support.  CEO- pay up 16% and the top 2% gobbling up 80% of the income gains since the recovery began.  Another point, were all better after 8 years of Clinton?  Not ALL were better even with 23 million jobs. "Are you better off?"  is a really stupid question that should be identified as suvh when lazy media asks it- catch Dean Baker's blog today.

  •  The Bush NIC's final report in 10/08 said, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    as a result of the financial meltdown, from which most Americans would never recover, by 2025 the "United States would be a leader among equals".

    And now Republicans are complaining because we haven't fully recovered in 3.5 yrs despite 212 filibusters? Heck, economists back then thought we were headed into the Second Great Republican Depression from which Americans would never fully recover!

    Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

    by Words In Action on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:30:49 AM PDT

  •  President needs to toot his horn now and loudly (0+ / 0-)

    on what he has done, and what exactly he wants to get done in the next 4 years. There is also a persistent comment he is "anti-business". I heard this again this morning by Mort Zuckerman of US News. He needs to outline what he has done and will do to get business going again in the next 4 in the next few days and on Thursday night. He can do it!!!!

    •  The message has to be "restore demand"! (0+ / 0-)

      Restore demand and business profits and more jobs will follow...

      Purging predominantly minority voters and requiring them to present IDs to vote in the face of VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT VOTER FRAUD is RACISM! I hereby declare all consenting Republicans RACISTS until they stand up and object to these practices!

      by Words In Action on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:42:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sorry, Voters aren't buying it (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier

    NPR reporting this morning that more than a few voters in North Carolina who supported Obama in 2008 are not supporting him this time. That's probably why Obama is losing ground there.

    as I've said many times here: people vote their pocketbooks. there's no way anyone can state the economy is significantly better now than four years ago.

    "A civilization which does not provide young people with a way to earn a living is pretty poor". Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Superpole on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 11:45:11 AM PDT

  •  Something has drastically changed. Its hard to (0+ / 0-)

    take it in just yet because we can see the infection still rages on the extreme right as they direct all of their financial and hate resources against the healthy of this country.

    Its as if by revealing all of their odious agenda the right wing of the GOP has started a program of inoculation.  Our collective social immune system has recognized the threatening cells and our defenses are being sent to surround and neutralize them from all over our national body.

    In this case perhaps the fever was good for us but it is starting to break.  I believe we will recover our health and have the immunity to show for it.

  •  the country is always (0+ / 0-)

    better off economically when the dems are in control, elementary democracy and economics tells you that when more citizens are sharing in the wealth the state is healthier, not a scientific theory but common sense, basically, there is a finite amount of funds the politicians have to distribute, the dems share that wealth with more citizens by their policies while the gop shares the wealth with a much smaller group of citizens, to me its actually pretty simple, that is if you do believe in democracy, if not then you have the gop philosophy.

  •  After 8 years of Bush and the rethugs (0+ / 0-)

    a fucking HAMSTER would have made the US a better place.

    Don't go on the defense, go on the attack. The right is running from Bush, so the answer to the question is to pull bush back into the discourse.

    If THEY want to talk about the Bush years, let them.

    Until inauguration day The USA is in the greatest danger it has ever experienced.

    by Deep Dark on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:44:27 PM PDT

  •  Federal workers have a hard time answering "Yes" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    George Hier

    because they've been denied their COLAS and pay raises every year for the past three years now. They've been sacrificial low-hanging fruit in a number of budgetary "negotiations" with the intractable GOP block in Congress.

    One of the ugly lies that have been made CW by the GOP is the meme that government workers are lazy and vastly overcompensated in salaries and pensions. The last wave of the federal workforce covered by a generous pension plan is retiring now. Current federal workers will not get anywhere near as much, and what they will get will be nowhere near enough to retire on exclusively. Given that pension payouts are based of the salary of a worker's "high three" years, every time Obama reneges on COLAs and raises, that reduces every federal worker's quality of retirement.

    Many of the career federal service positions pay much less in salary and benefits than equivalent positions in the private sector. People go into these public service careers, knowing that monetary compensation will be less, out of a sense of patriotism. It is wrong to penalize people for their patriotism.

    I Refuse to Believe Corporations Are People Until Texas Executes One

    by desert rain on Tue Sep 04, 2012 at 12:53:39 PM PDT

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