JohnD from www.armedrobbery.blogspot.com/ left this comment on my blog the other day..
Interesting post, EKG. It’s nice to see the left has found a new target for its vitriol now that George W. Bush is out of the picture.
“Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.”
-Eric Hoffer, THE TRUE BELIEVER (1951)
I’m sure Palin-bashing is a pleasant distraction from President Obama’s serial failures. At the very least, hatred for her has provided the faithful with a rallying point.
I ignored his glossing over of President Obama being a target of vitriol himself and asked him to enumerate Obama’s ‘serial failures’. His reply was
Failure to get his health care bill and Waxman/Markey passed, even with total Democratic control of Congress; extraordinarily high unemployment rates; a rapidly rising deficit (over and above what was “inherited”); failure to close Guantanamo; take your pick. You can throw in failure to secure the Olympics for Chicago and declining poll numbers too.
as I started to answer him, I realized that these questions and answers deserve more space than the comments section of another blog-post. So I decided to answer them here….
First off, John.. I don’t know you. I don’t know if you are an extreme right winger, I don’t know if you are unbend-able in your opinions, I don’t know if you tow the party line no matter where it takes you. I know you are a friend of Mike’s, but I don’t know if you are as obstinately against looking at things from another perspective as he is or not. Because of this… uncertainty, I am answering with the assumption that you can see a different way of viewing things if shown, or explained.. I’m assuming that you are moderate and not hard-extreme like Mike.
No one likes to be blamed and no one likes their party to be blamed… but no one likes the other party to actually be at fault and share none of the blame and instead pile it all on one side. Of course I am going to place blame with the GOP on many issues, what I will wait to see from your reply to this is if you can see why I would blame them.. maybe not that you agree that they are to blame for alot of it, but maybe..hopefully.. you will admit that they do share, alot, in what is going on today. This is not a ‘well he did it first’ kind of blame. I believe I am laying out a valid argument. I hope to get more than “well you did it first” or the condescending “LOL” and “eyerolls” from you in your reply.
Now, on with the blog.
I agree with you John, it is Obama’s failure that Health reform has stagnated. He took it on faith that when Grassley, Snowe and other (R) said they were willing to work on a bi-partisan solution,they meant it. The rest of us were hearing Grassley call it a ‘death panel’ and how people should fear Obama’s health reform and how he’d never vote for it when he was home on the weekends, but the ‘bubble’ Obama lives in, the same that all Presidents live in, prevented him from hearing that “weekend, rally the base” talk.
I don’t think it was until Lieberman’s extreme, blatant and almost joyful bragging of this ‘partisan ‘obstruction’ that Obama finally wised up. When Lieberman, who just a few years ago ran on his “medcare for 55” policy and was saying everywhere he could that this was the only solution he would support…immediately turned against it because, as he said, ‘well since liberals like my plan, I’m against it now’, I think the President started seeing what he was up against, and what he was up against was illogical and unreasonable opposition. Do you atleast agree that Lieberman’s flip on his own idea and the reason he gave, prove this illogical and unreasonable position?
Even if you don’t think it was illogical or unreasonable, how can you fault President Obama for not getting things done in that kind of atmosphere? We aren’t talking about anything rational that can be explained or even expected. Republicans and that includes Lieberman(I), were turning on their own plans, things they had campaigned on, the second after President Obama said “Hey, you know what.. your way does sound better so let’s include it”
On Jan. 7, 2009, two weeks before Obama took office, the CBO reported the deficit was projected to be $1.2 trillion
At least you gave blame to Bush for the 1.2 trillion of it..
The CBO – which provides the official estimates of the budgetary impact of legislation and events such as wars and recessions – cites the housing market collapse and the financial market turmoil as the main culprits for the shortfall. The federal government has tried to combat the crisis by so far committing $7.2 trillion in investments and loans primarily to financial institutions.
The current recession “will probably be the longest and the deepest since World War II,” the CBO said. The economic deterioration since September, which was the last time CBO made deficit projections, is the biggest contributor to a sharp decline in tax revenue projections. The CBO expects tax revenue in 2009 to fall by $166 billion, or 6.6%, from the previous year’s collection.
That revenue decline, in turn, is the biggest reason for the worsening outlook over the next decade, said Diane Lim Rogers, chief economist at the Concord Coalition, a deficit watchdog group. “The revenue effect is huge.”
and Obama does own his own share.. But we know that he does not ‘own’ the entire problem. Why is it then that he is saddled with it? Where was this outcry of ‘budget deficits’ going back 3 years and more? How is this President Obama’s doing? He added to what was there yes, but what was the alternative when he stepped into the Oval on day one? You and I along with McCain and so so many others, know that had he won, McCain would have had to do the same exact things Obama did and would have had the same exact deficit today.. This really isn’t an Obama issue.. we all know this but since it’s going on under his watch-he gets the blame..Ok fine, but then we do have to put blame on the person who did create it. No, this isn’t a “he did it so I can to” this is a ‘I really had nothing to do with all of it, so stop blaming it all on me argument and that is based in reality, not GOP partisan amnesia and fantasy.
When Obama stepped into office he had to deal with 2 unpaid wars, unpaid tax cuts, a wall street collapse, a housing market collapse, an infrastructure that had been neglected for 10 years. The Bush budget deficit projections never included the war price, when Obama put it into his, like it should have been done in the 1st place.. it didn’t help his numbers at all, but atleast it was honest. Unlike those who are supposed to give us ‘fair and balanced’ news..
During the April 3 edition of Fox News’ America’s Newsroom, on-screen text repeatedly falsely claimed that President Obama’s $3.6 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget is “4x bigger than Bush’s costliest plan.” However, President Bush submitted a $3.1 trillion budget for FY 2009. For FY 2008, Bush submitted a $2.9 trillion budget.
**Link to screen shot**
But Obama deserves the blame for all this hiding, collapse and the unpaid bills that all came due just a few short days before he came into office? Which turned out to be more than anyone.. anyone ever expected as more came to light in the coming days after his inauguration? If you truly feel this blames lays on President Obama’s lap, can you explain how you came to that decision?
Yes.. there is.. but you can’t look at 700,000 jobs lost per month when he got there to 11,000 in December 2009 and call that a failure.. and you can’t look at the numbers we were at, are still at now and expect it to change the next day.. or even the next year, not if you’re also not going to allow a larger stimulus bill/recovery act. So Obama was wrong on his optimism those 1st days that the unemployment numbers wouldn’t rise past a certain level, fine. But is he to blame that the numbers rose to that level or just to blame for not realizing just how bad things were a split second after he got there?
Is it the loss of jobs you blame him for or the bad prediction on jobs lost?
Like it, love it, hate it… when no one else is spending any money… the government has to. For the Government to also stop spending money is a catastrophe on a scale that we’ve never seen before. When no one, banks, businesses,people on the street are spending anything.. the government has to. It has to beg,borrow and yes, steal to spend money in order to get people spending money spending again. McCain,Romney,Huckabee.. Reagan.. all would have had no choice, given the exact same circumstance, but to do the same. Or they would have watched while the country crumbled into oblivion the way Nero did. The ones like Mike, who argue that no, the government shouldn’t have spent a penny, can’t prove that their way would have been the right way or that we’d be any better off. They can’t prove it because there isn’t a time machine to take us back. So to me this argument is one of pure partisan fantasy. It cannot be proven and yet the GOP swears their way was the correct way. What’s worse is, they make 1/2 the country believe in this unprovable feary-tale. This is where the ‘faith’ and almost ‘religious like’ belief comes into play and it is the cornerstone of a lot of the GOP’s argument..
You can’t prove God doesn’t exist therefore he must be real.
They can’t prove no stimulus or Tarp would have worked better, therefore it must be true.
I call bullshit on both accounts… You want me to believe we shouldn’t have spent the money on the banks and on the recovery act, then prove it to me. Prove to me that not spending it would have worked better, that we would be in a better place, telling me you are right only because you say so doesn’t work, I am not a believer in your religion I need more proof than that.
By the way, John.. Most of the “YOU” I use are not directed at YOU.. it is a general term used when speaking. I hope you understand that.
Failure to secure the Olympics?
Are you kidding? 1/2 the country didn’t want the Olympics
Forty-three percent (43%) of Americans say it’s a bad idea for President Obama to go overseas at this time to help Chicago make its final presentation to the International Olympic Committee
John Boehner blasted the President for trying to get them
“Listen I think it’s a great idea to promote Chicago but he’s the president of the United States, not the mayor of Chicago,” Boehner said. “And the problems we have here at home affect all Americans and that’s where his attention ought to be.”
and every night they were rewarded with their opinions by the likes of the GOP and Fox news telling them how bad it would crush us, how much money it would take, how horrible it would be. How dangerous Chicago is
Yes, Fox news is a factor when they have the massive viewer ratings they have, add them into Rush’s 20 million people a week rating and all of them chiming in on the evil that is the Olympics and why would we get it over a country literally begging to have to it because they want it?
But ok, Obama didn’t get the Olympics… that’s a failure on his part. But is that really something to hold against him? out of everything… is that an issue that truly pisses you off and just sticks in your craw?
I’ve thought about this. Was Obama the naive one to think he could wave his ‘magic negro’ wand and close Gitmo? Or were we the naive ones to think he could wave his ‘magic negro’ wand and close Gitmo? I think it was both. I think a lot of us listened to his speeches and felt the inspiration and hope in that new era he talked about bringing. I think those of us who didn’t roll our eyes and didn’t decide that election night to do everything we possibly could to make his life hell and oppose everything.. everything he tried, actually believed this was the guy to change Rome back into the days of it’s purity,prosperity,glory and power. We (wrongly) assumed that Washington was also sick on the status quo, that Washington wanted to move on to a better place. That the country didn’t care if it was a Republican or Democrat, man or woman, black or white in office, we just wanted hope and change and not more of the same thing we had had for so long. We were all naive.
President Obama owns the failure to close Gitmo, but he doesn’t have sole ownership. Jesus, trust me I know it’s like a broken record to say the GOP also owns this since they stood in the way and did everything in the power to make sure 1/2 the country was against closing Gitmo and bringing the detainees here..but it is the truth. Through fear mongering and out right lies, GOP congressmen,governors,speakers,pundits went out to their communities , viewers, listeners and said “No way! Not in my yard, these guys are dangerous,these guys can’t be held in our prisons, these guys are super-powers that can only be controlled in Cuba” and we both know, hell we all know this is factually untrue. We are holding terrorists right now on our soil, we are holding terrorist right now in our prisons, we have been holding them for years. We are holding people who are worse! We, as Americans, have some of the most dangerous criminals in the world in our prisons right now. We have brain-eaters,baby-rapers,kidnappers,tortures,sex-slave traffickers ,abusers,bombers,pyromaniacs,serial killers, mass murders.. and we have extremely smart and devious criminals like Madoff, Abramoff and hunderds of others. But somehow we’re ill equip to incarcerate men who have probably never had running water until they got to our prision camp?
That’s the most bogus of all feary-tales ever told. This idea that America is too weak, too incompetent and unable to imprison anyone is incredulous. If this is your belief, that we are just unable to rise to meet this ‘danger’ can you explain your reasoning to me, explain it without “Because they should be in a military tribunal”
All of this leads to a drop in polls. You’ve seen the link to the numbers of Fox and just Rush, that doesn’t include Beck and all the other conservative radio. When they are all, from top to bottom on the same line in the play book, all condemning,ridiculing, mocking, lying,inflating.. all giving out the worst of the wosrt bias,slanted partsian spin.. add that in with an entire section of Congress that doesn’t just stand in the way, but also makes up feary-tales and they believe it, polls are going to decline. How could they not?
And what about that anyway. Isn’t it normal for Presidential numbers to come back down to a reasonable level?
The other day I was reading the comments on a reputable news sources story about this Baradar capture, 75% of them were things like “Well, now that we can’t waterboard the guy the CIA will never get anything out him, Thanks Obama for ruining this country once again!” If the only tool in the CIA arsenal is waterboarding… then we really are fucked. Because it’s the opinion that begs the conclusion that the CIA has always and only water-boarded prisoners to get information and it was just the 2-3 years that they were legally allowed to that the were able to function at full capacity in the light of day. The point I’m making is, somehow people think that CIA doesn’t know how to get information from anyone without waterboarding them? Is this not the most insane thing you’ve ever seen? Why is this?Where did they get the idea that this was the only tool the CIA had? If you can truthfully answer that, they you should be able to understand most, if not all of what it is I’m trying to show you.
Who is to blame for this? Not Obama.. but it is what he must fight against. The problem is you cannot argue with someone with that mindset. Their belief is again, religous like.. and cannot be changed,altered or enlightened.
Finally, I saved the best for last… “even with the democrats in control of congress”.. This is the most used response that I see for pretty much everything. This idea that just because the Democrats had a filibuster proof margine and didn’t use and some how it’s their fault is ridiculous . Listen, I’m going to tell you a secret that could get my liberal-card revoked ( 🙂 ) unlike the GOP, there are different levels of (D). We don’t all think with one brain, we don’t all follow the leader like a flock of birds, that is what makes us ‘liberal’ or the favorite slam of the GOP, ‘radical’ . We think for ourselves and decide accordingly and not according to party/leader doctrine. We are just not that ‘religious-like’ in our faith and the following of party ‘dogma’. There are Democrats who don’t believe in abortion, there are some like me who believe in the death penalty and guns rights. To condem anyone.. any party for not just towing the party-line is asinine and to blindly follow the party-line used to be a bad thing.. but today, with the entire GOP saying “You can’t even get your party to all vote the same way and use that fillibuster proof majority” is so exquisitely sad, but still not as sad wanting and forcing any one party to act that way. I just can’t believe anyone, anywhere would want and encourage people to just blindly vote all (D) or all (R) depending on their party and then ridcule and condem anyone when they didn’t.
Besides any of that, this isn’t a one party system, the other side is supposed to help govern also!
This excuse…“Hey, you guys control congress.. it’s not our fault” and those using it are right though, the problem is the next thing they say to their audience,readers,constituents… and the next thing is invariably
“The Democrats need to listen to the country and work bi-partisanly”
In one hand there is a dare to use the majority, in the other.. a crying to all who will listen that if we don’t do something…have rallies, write letters, send in campaign money.. the Democrats will use their majority. It’s insane! They are literally damned for not using it by the GOP and some of their own and damned if the think about using it.
So John, what would you have them do? Which ‘evil’ do the Democrats pick? Do they follow in the last administrations path and issue Executive Orders, recess appointements, signing statements and push through everything the President says to push through no matter the consequence and just hope that the GOP won’t cry about it too much? Do they forget their own values and beliefs and just vote (D) all the way down the ballot like the GOP does and is encouraging, or really, daring them to do? What is your solution to this? When one party refuses to even come to the table don’t they force the other party to act as a single mind? Force the other party to do it all on their own, with their own philosophies?
Maybe the GOP is comfortable using a single-mind, but this is not and has never been the “Democratic” (party or poltical system.) way..
The GOP has blanketed the world with this falsehood that they want bi-partsanship on every issue, and yet just last week when invited to a health care summit, an ‘exachange of ideas’.. quite a few high ranking GOP’ers said they might be willing to come to the table…. just come to the table now, not vote a certain way or concede a certain point, but they might show up to the President’s bipartisan effort for health reform meeting but only if the Democrats dropped their health reform idea and adopted the GOP version. Eric Cantor flat out said that the “only way to bipartisan cooperation is if the Democrats fully embrace the GOP plan!” What? How is that bipartisan? How is that anything other than a great big “Screw you, It’s my way or no way and that’s the only bipartisan I agree with.. do it yourself if you don’t like it! Just remember I will blame you for doing it yourself if you do”
You cannot, as the losing party give that kind of demand.. that kind of close-fist demand.. and then claim you are the bipartisan party, yet they do, and no one calls them on it. So I ask you once again, is this really an OBama failure and where is any ire at the party that is actually holding bipartsianship hostage?
To me President Obama failures are..
He has moved away from a public option. He promised me a public option and I believed him. He has let the message on this and so many other issues get away from him. He had the advantage and he expected to find ‘Statesmen’ and ‘Adults’ in congress who wouldn’t bastardize everything they could to score a political point and while he’s finally decided to come out swingng and get the truth out.. he’s wasted vaulable time and his ‘capitol’ in the interim.
I see it as a failure that he is still giving contracts to the likes of Blackwater and doing it even though we know they are the evil of all evil. Why do we need to privately fund any war with a bunch of mercenaries? Why do we need them for private security? Why can’t we use the money and build up our military and pay our troops more? Atleast they have rules,laws and codes they must follow. Blackwater and the likes do things with our money and in our names that I do not think the majoirty of us want done in our name. I do not agree at all with their continued government funding. Bring the military back to do the jobs in our name with the honor and integrity that they will bring with them.
I see President Obama’s lack of authority with Wall Street as another failure. He needs to force those CEO’s to either get their sweet-ass to the proverbial ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.. or risk immediate stripping of the ‘handout, even if that means selling off part of the company to get back the money given to them. I don’t know who these people think they are, but when the President of the United States tells you to come to a meeting.. your sorry ‘hand-out-taking’ ass better get there before the ink is dry on the invitations. I don’t care if it was ‘foggy’ or not, take the damn train.
I don’t care about GOP crying that “OBama hates capitalism .. Obama is an enemy to buisness” because it’s a load of crap, what we had leading up to this meltdown was not capitalism .. it was rape pure and simple. It’s time Obama starts acting like the President he is and do something about these guys.
And finally.. He has failed at installing a new way of doing it, he has failed at starting a new era of bi-partsianship. He hasn’t failed for the lack of trying, he’s failed for the lack of realism. He believed he could change the climate of hate that is the US congress. Not a single congressman from either house or either party can say or do anything without checking a poll 1st. They are not there to govern like Obama is, they are there for the power and the paycheck. It is President Obama’s failure to not see this that irks me the most. It is his failure to not see that, no matter which way he goes the entire Right side will be against him as proven time and time again, even by adopting their own policies.. they will go against him. They will and have cut off their noses to spite their face.
President Obama is already lambasted as a socialist even when he’s cut taxes and wasn’t the one to create the largest ‘socialist program’ in a generation or more. Well, if they are going to call him one anyway, then why not use that and go more radical on his ideas. We just proved a lot of the country is pro-radical change, even our supreme court is. So it is a failure on Obama’s part not to use the gift he’s been given by the Right. He will be slaughtered and lied about by them no matter what he does.. so he might as well do as he wants.
John, thank you for your comments.. I hope I have addressed them in a way that maybe didn’t change your mind.. but atleast gave you a different point of view and a way to look at it