Tuesday, December 07, 2010

(Facepalm-Worthy) Quote of the Day

""I will take John Boehner at his word."

-- President Barack Obama

It took a really long time for it to come to this, and I still believe he can turn it around -- but the guy is starting to lose me. He was admittedly in a tough spot on this one -- he's dealing with stubborn howler monkeys who aren't the least bit interested in what's good for the country; they simply want to ensure a return to power -- but it just fucking pains me to see the tire marks all over the back of someone so undeniably bright and competent.

(Adding another quote from Obama: "Take a tally. Look at what I promised during the campaign. There is not a single thing that I’ve said that I would do that I have not either done, or tried to do. And if I haven’t gotten it done yet, I’m still trying to do it... This isn’t an abstract debate. This is real money for real people and it will make a real difference in the lives of the folks who sent us here... I’m not here to play games with the American people or the health of our economy. My job is to do whatever I can to get this economy moving. My job is to do whatever I can to spur job creation. My job is to look out for middle-class families who are struggling right now to get by, and Americans who are out of work through no fault of their own." I wanted to put this up to highlight the fact that I really do understand the dilemma this man is facing at every turn, particularly when it comes to the unfortunate tax cut compromise. Obama is up against people who don't give a hint of a shit about the average American, and they'll burn the country to the ground if they have to, as long as the end result is that they can spin it against their political enemies and put themselves back in control. What we're witnessing right now proves flawlessly Bob Novak's maxim about the difference between Republicans and Democrats: Obama is actually interested in governing; his enemies couldn't care less, they simply want power. At some point, though, Obama is going to have to say enough is enough.)


Anonymous said...

I'd love to take the Andrew Sullivan view that Obama is outsmarting them again in the long view, but given the election results when exactly is all this cleverness supposed to bear fruit?

Maybe it would just be base pandering to pull the rug out from under Jowls McConnell, but isn't that part of the political game too? If Republicans really want to nuke Iran, does he have to go along with that too because otherwise they'll throw a tantrum?

When they've spent the last year whining about the deficit, how hard is it to turn that back on them now?

ntx said...

This pains me too. I hope Boehner and his thugs left the White House with the sense that they had spent at least some political capital in service to their masters.

But Obama is right. His job is to look out for middle class interests. In the best of all possible worlds, he could do that and also exact a measure of justice by making wealthy people pay more of their fair share. But exacting justice is NOT the goal.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be a one-issue guy, but Obama started to lose me as soon as his education policy became clear. That was over a year ago. Events in the interim haven't made me feel any better. Like others have commented, I'd love to believe there's a grand plan to all of this, but I'm losing faith in a hurry.


Deacon Blue said...

"When they've spent the last year whining about the deficit, how hard is it to turn that back on them now?"

Because they'll simply argue that more tax cuts for the wealthy will translate into more jobs for everyone else and more prosperity for the entire nation.

That despite the fact that such tripe hasn't been borne out since such madness began with Reagonomics/trickle-down theory back in the 1980s.

The truth is that too many working-class folks believe that, no matter how much of their livelihood has been stolen away over the past 30 years or more.

As long as many in the masses believe that drivel, the GOP will always be able to justify tax cuts for the wealthy.

And if Obama tries to turn that back on them, he will be accused of being a whiner and a socialist (and "urban" which seems to be the latest code-word for "nigger" with regard to our President)

Anonymous said...

I think someone with not much real political experience must be stressed out of his mind facing all this. Like most presidents, look how gray his hair has become in just two years. Even though we tell our children they can grow up to be president someday, would we really want that for them? Nightmare job, especially if you really care. All that said, he's losing me, too.

pcBobby said...

He's a one-termer no matter how you slice this up so he might as well say, "Screw the Bush tax cuts. Let's kill off the last vestige of the irresponsible Bush era." This disappointing president doesn't have the guts to say any of this because he wishes to be gentlemantly and compromising. Guess what, Chez: F*CK THAT! These bastards sacked Obama even before the ball was snapped to him. So, screw it! It just doesn't matter! It just doesn't matter! Tax Boehner's tanning bed and smokes. Tax the lazy ass wealthy who just sit on their nest eggs not creating one job. Why should they get a tax cut?

Riles said...

You know, this fucking "savior" thing wasn't born on the Left. That's just another slam from the Right. Hannity calls him the Chosen One every chance he gets. People looked to Obama only to "save" us from the Bush administration and their horrible policies and actions, not to perform miracles. Does anyone here expect miracles?? Doubt it.

So, Obama doesn't need to tell us he isn't the savior. His base doesn't want him to be. They/We just want him to govern with the Left's values in mind! This includes at least attempting to live up to some of his campaign promises. The perception is that he compromises without really putting up a fight. That fiery press conference yesterday would have been better (a better show at least) if it was BEFORE the deal was made, and served to pressure the Right to give in a little more.

Other than the race thing, I'm more and more astounded as to how the Right (the people, not the politicians) still hates Obama. He compromises on almost every deal, and serves their interests far more than a Dem president should. I think it really goes to show how Fox & Right Radio can distort the truth.

Jester said...

A lot of people voted for this guy because he looked like someone that apparently doesn't exist any more: a tough, smart, pragmatic Dem, in the mold of FDR. Probably complete with FDR's ability to be duplicitous when the situation called for it. Someone who would fight for what he believes in, but would compromise on minor points to get the big victories through.

Hell, he might even see himself this way.

Problem is, in trying to be pragmatic and trying to be tough, he is indeed picking up big victories (health care, Iraq, handling of the economy), but he's also racking up huge losses (everything else). And even worse, most of what he loses, he loses through horrible negotiating. He's incredibly naive, sometimes trying to see the good in everyone when sometimes there's no good there to be found. Even negotiating against honorable men, he gives away his negotiating positions FAR too easily. At least some of this is some ridiculously un-Presidential impatience. Making big changes takes a lot of time, and this guy just isn't willing to put in the hours. Ironic, given what a tireless worker he seems to be.

@Anon 12:46: Yeah, the Presidency ages everyone who's sat in that chair except for Nixon, who thrived on the stress. One year in the White House is like four years in any other job.

So yeah, he's lost me, too. He should have been Veep, to Clinton. In 2016-2024, he would have been one of the greatest Presidents in the country's history. In 2008-2012, he's naive and mediocre.

drater said...

I don't get it. Bush didn't need a supermajority to pass his tax cuts, they passed 51-50, that's why they're temporary. Why not let them expire and pass Obama tax cuts for the middle class the same way? So they expire in 10 years, I can live with that.

drater said...

With apologies for the double post:
Jester, I can't believe Obama is that naive. Look at his cabinet and staff, a lot of them are veterans from the Clinton administration, they know exactly what they're dealing with. I truly believe this administration has deliberately sold us out, much as I hate to say it.

Graphix468 said...

Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

Listening to, or seeking the advice of Clinton is brilliant.

Public abdication of the throne is a sign of weakness heretofore unheard of.

He is not the man we thought he was.

But it just goes to reinforce what I have believed for many years; that office is poison. Clinton is a special man.

Politically, he captured lightning in a bottle when he got elected, but he is quickly becoming the Ryan Leaf of presidents. One-term, unmitigated disaster, second only to Jimmy Carter.

denesteak said...

he's acting like he's not from illinois...

all that said, this is more important than re-election. Let him speak!!