How Obama Has Let You Down Today

Things I’ve learned in the last 48 hours from progressive blogs and Obama supporters:

Janet Napolitano should resign.

The Kaiser Foundation is needlessly shilling for Obama.

Despite what public watchdog groups state, Obama is just like Bush regarding lobbyists.

Peter Orzag getting married is proof the Obama team is nothing but beltway insiders.

Obama is playing 11 dimensional chess with his appointments to appeal to the base only to stab them in the back a year later.

Obama has let us down by failing to wave his magic wand and make Republicans and Ben Nelson confirm his appointees.

Obama is, literally, Judas.

I’m sure I’ve missed some other things, so make sure you too tell us how Obama has failed you today. Also, if any of you try to refute what I have said here or try to state something positive, you are an Obot incapable of critical thinking and unable to see the real truth.

342 replies
  1. 1
    eemom says:

    dude, you are SO asking to get on Jane Hamsher’s shit list.

  2. 2
    Chad S says:

    @eemom: Don’t you mean Grover Norquist’s shit list?

  3. 3
    Jim says:

    I blame Obama for Mary Landrieu. And wind chill. I’m really pissed about the wind chill.

  4. 4
    Stroszek says:

    Seriously, you’re just begging for the FDL photoshop treatment.

    In other news, how long before Bill Kristol becomes a guest blogger for HuffingtonPOS?

  5. 5
    Dr. I. F. Stone says:

    With each passing day, Obama looks as if he couldn’t ride a bike and fart at the same time.

  6. 6
    Mark Centz says:

    Links? Examples? Or is that asking too much when name-calling those DFHs is enough?

  7. 7
    Demo Woman says:

    you are an Obot incapable of critical thinking and unable to see the real truth

    Guilty! He did not disappoint me today.

  8. 8
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Stroszek:

    Or seeing tea bag parties with signs of Witch Doctor Obama side by side with Obama = Bush ones.

  9. 9
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Me, I’m awaiting the same fate as the Mensheviks and the SR’s — either Siberia, or a cafeteria in lower Manhattan. You can’t get thwartships to the Revolution and not pay the price.

  10. 10
    Jim says:

    I wondered what you were all talking about wrt Hamsher’s shit list. I see Katrina vanden Heuvel is the latest corporate sell out to the O-Body.

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    Obama failed when he scared the press pool by rushing back to his compound today. There was an ambulance and everything! And then he failed again because he did all of that just because some kid had a minor injury. He worried the press for nothing! It’s all made worse by the original failure of taking a vacation at all, let alone inviting friends along. How dare he!

  12. 12
    dmsilev says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    With each passing day, Obama looks as if he couldn’t ride a bike and fart at the same time.

    It’s true that George W. Bush was the master of that particular combination.

    -dms

  13. 13
    beltane says:

    This is why my blogroll has been pared down to this beacon of sanity, BooMan’s beacon of sanity, and GOS, where I comment frequently in order to help maintain sanity. Sully’s blog, while not exactly a beacon of sanity, is the only place you will find news from Iran juxtaposed with news of Bristol Palin’s custody proceedings against Levi Johnston.

  14. 14
    LT says:

    Does anyone else think the Left would do well to shut the fuck up with the “Cheney released the guys who led Sunday’s attempted terrorist attack!” thing going around right now? Releasing people from Gitmo (and you know they had to be the ones with the very least evidence against them for Bush/Cheney to release them) was a good thing. Even if they try to harm us afterwards – it’s a good thing.

    And: This will hurt future releases that should happen.

  15. 15
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    With each passing day, Obama looks as if he couldn’t ride a bike and fart at the same time.

    Good one, Joe Klein.

  16. 16
    Studly Pantload says:

    This is happening on Obama’s watch.

    Nuff said.

  17. 17
    Tattoosydney says:

    I have to wait in line longer at Schipol, and it’s all Obama’s fault.

    However, it’s ok because today I received my pony, and a big fat Soros cheque.

  18. 18
    Max says:

    You forgot… Hillary would have fixed the economy, ended the wars, universal health care for all (for free), jobs all around and we’d all be thin.

  19. 19
    beltane says:

    @Jim: We need a list of the sellouts. I still can’t get over the fact that in Hamsher Land, Bernie Sanders is an enemy while Grover Norquist is a friend.

  20. 20
    mutt says:

    blowing up random peasants. Believe it or not, I find that truly disgusting. Even when Obama does it.
    http://chris-floyd.com/compone.....-icon.html

  21. 21
    Ruemara says:

    Obama has failed me. Not only is my fire not keeping me as warm as I’d like, I also have to make dinner. And I didn’t get a unicorn for christmas. Worse than Bush.

  22. 22
    valdivia says:

    @LT:

    this.

  23. 23
    Epic Fail! says:

    Given that every single republican in this country prays for nothing else than that the current administration should FAIL, I give Obama credit just for making it through his first year. PARTY FIRST – Long live the Grand Obstructionist Party! NOT. I am so looking forward to them being as relevant as the know nothing party – which is kind of a good idea for their re-branding campaign.

  24. 24
    Tom Hilton says:

    I didn’t get the promotion I was hoping for because Obama didn’t push hard enough for it.

  25. 25
    Joe Lisboa says:

    POTUS let me down today by addressing me like an adult on the subject of terrorism.

  26. 26
    freelancer says:

    I’m not linking directly, but did you read the Huffbagger article labelling Obama as a literal Judas Iscariot?

    Jesus Christ.

  27. 27
    Corey says:

    Who said anything about Obama being “just like Bush” about lobbyists?

  28. 28
    4tehlulz says:

    Obama had that kid injured so he can look like he cares.

    /FDL

  29. 29
    YellowJournalism says:

    I blame Obama for the airport mess. My family members are leaving from Edmonton today. Their flight is in 45 minutes and they’re stuck in the middle of a huge line at customs, depsite showing up the advised two hours early. My sister said there was a news crew filming the long check-in lines. She said she’s going to give me a full report of the fuckery they’re sure to experience.

    Like someone has previously said on here, the news in Canada has been pretty sedate regarding the attempt and the TSA freak-out. Alaska is helping passengers by alerting them by phone of the new changes. They called here to let my family know that they needed to arrive two hours early. The Alaska call came an hour and a half before the flight. My family had already left for the airport and were in line at check-in.

  30. 30
    Seebach says:

    If I my humbly beg for mercy, can I request everyone send positive juju towards my girlfriend’s new $1000 laptop that she got for Christmas. I spilled water on it, and I would like for it to still live. I am unworthy of such mercy, but she didn’t deserve this.

  31. 31
    mandarama says:

    John Cole, I love you. But instead of proposing marriage, I would like to be one of your wacky siblings. Since I’m already asiangrrl’s doppelganger and latts’ real-life sister, I’d be bringing a lot of fun snark to the family. And my own ugly holiday sweater.

    Oh, to answer the original question…Obama failed me today by not making corporations develop sugar that doesn’t make you fat so all the cookies in my house would be calorie-free. These five Christmas pounds I’ve gained are a slap in the face! Or, uh, a slap somewhere.

  32. 32
    John Cole says:

    @Mark Centz: For christ sakes, don’t play stupid.

    Napalitan- Sullivan

    Lobbyists and Orzag- the comments section here.

    Kaiser- FDLaction

    Dawn Johnsen- Emptywheel and Digby

    Judas- Huffpo

  33. 33
    Tom Hilton says:

    Seriously, you’re just begging for the FDL photoshop treatment.

    I predict Jane will post a picture of a whitened Obama and John Cole in blackface as a couple of vaudeville minstrels.

  34. 34
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @LT:

    does anyone else think the Left would do well to shut the fuck up with the “Cheney released the guys who led Sunday’s attempted terrorist attack!” thing going around right now? Releasing people from Gitmo -(and you know they had to be the ones with the very least evidence against them for Bush/Cheney to release them) was a good thing. Even if they try to harm us afterwards it’s a good thing.
    __
    And: This will hurt future releases that should happen.

    I think the Left would do well to focus and sharpen that line of attack, if it’s one that they’re actually going to use. I would imagine that the point of the criticism isn’t that “Cheney releasing people from Guantanamo is a bad thing”; but rather, we spent the better part of a decade snatching up random, typically innocent individuals all over the globe and imprisoned and tortured them under the banner of “THESE GUYS ARE THE WORST OF THE WORST!”

    So what do you expect after you spend 5 years torturing a completely innocent person–after snatching them up with some good ol’ extraordinary rendition–and radicalizing them against a nation that they once viewed in a favorable light? If indeed former prisoners at Gitmo were behind the attempted Christmas Day terrorist attack, then message that needs to be pounded home from now until Bush is sitting in front of a judge at The Hague is “This is a direct result of the unfiltered lawlessness created by the Bush Administration’s torture regime.”

    If that is the message the Left came with, then I would tell them to keep Bringin’ Da Noise and Bringin’ Da Funk.

  35. 35
    Comrade Luke says:

    Can we add caving on the climate change bill to the list? Or do just have to wait until it becomes official?

  36. 36
    Mark says:

    Well, I tell you what, there is something of consequence I blame Obama for today.

    My mom is 59. She’s been unemployed for 10 months. The COBRA subsidy that Obama gave away to Snowe and Collins last February disappeared for a month and was thankfully resurrected for another six months.

    But what’s the plan after that? Jobs don’t seem to have benefits anymore, and my mom can’t qualify for individual insurance. Her rejection letter came from Kaiser today – it read “You were rejected because you visited the doctor for treatment for a minor ailment in the last year.”

    Things Obama could have done that would help my mom and the millions like her:

    – Not wasted a big chunk of the stimulus on tax cuts
    – Had an actual focus on job creation, not just GDP growth
    – If he was too wussy to raise taxes on people making just $250k a year to pay for HCR in 2010-2013, he could have pushed for the creation of a federal catastrophic health insurance plan

    Filling his finance staff with Rubinites, being tone deaf on unemployment, passing HCR that does nothing for four years (and having no interim solution) because he doesn’t whiny to offend whiny New Yorkers who say $250k isn’t enough to live on in Manhattan, and folding as his opening move on the stimulus. Are these not legitimate failures? Would they really have taken a magic wand to make happen?

  37. 37
    Studly Pantload says:

    @Seebach:

    Sending rays of the FSM’s healing marinara out toward the aggrieved laptop’s (and your sex life’s) way.

  38. 38
    South of I-10 says:

    I still haven’t received my freakin’ pony!

  39. 39
    John Cole says:

    @Corey: El tiburon.

    Not sure why some folks keep acting like I am making this shit up. There is a quite vocal contingent who are doing nothing but screaming fail, fail, fail, and I am somehow a hippy puncher for pointing it out.

  40. 40
    Mumphrey says:

    @ Davis X. Machina:

    I want a thwartship, too. Where can I get one? I think Congress should begin giving out grants for thwartships as well as scholarships. Seriously, I know what it means, but I just love how it looks like some kind of noun. May well be the best word I’ve seen all year.

    As for the other stuff: What the hell is wrong with people? I mean, yes, Obama’s let me down about some things. He’s made mistakes and goofed up from time to time. He’s human. I guess that’s news to some people. Seriously, did they think he was going to wave a wand and make everything peachy in one day? The mess Bush left behind is going to take years to clean up, and I’m glad we have somebody leading the crew who knows what he’s doing.

  41. 41
    Tomlinson says:

    Freezing rain and spitting snow here. Obama is in Hawaii, golfing. He may or may not have failed me, but he is making me powerfully jealous.

    (That’s about the end of the line for things that Obama has that I want, though.)

  42. 42
    Tom Hilton says:

    @LT & @Midnight Marauder: I think an additional (related) line of attack is that Cheney et al. were just spectacularly incompetent at figuring out who was dangerous and who wasn’t.

  43. 43
    0whole1 says:

    I refuse to comment on any post that contains the word “truth” in it.

    Oh, wait a minute.

  44. 44
    mandarama says:

    “Man the thwartships!”

  45. 45
    LT says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Well, okay. I knew I was being loose saying “Cheney” and “it was a good thing” in the same thought – so what you say makes perfect sense.

    Except for the fact that nobody gets nuance…

  46. 46
    Comrade Kevin says:

    Obama turned me into a newt.

  47. 47
    Violet says:

    Obama failed me by not inviting me on his Hawaiian vacation.

  48. 48
    Dilbatt says:

    I have to admit that I am getting sooo tired of this. I am definitely not one of those people who thinks that Obama can do no wrong, but I definitely think Obama is getting hit from all sides. Everytime I watch the Ed show and listen to him talk about the Public Option, I just want to turn the channel. There comes a time when you have to admit that the ship has sailed. Yes, I am disappointed. Does that mean I am going to stop voting the Democratic ticket? No.

    I am sure that some people believe that everything is Obama’s fault. I am not one of them.

  49. 49
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    Obama framed Roger Rabbit.

  50. 50
    NobodySpecial says:

    @Seebach:

    If it’s just water, just let it dry thoroughly. It SHOULD be fine.

  51. 51
    Cain says:

    @dmsilev:

    It’s true that George W. Bush was the master of that particular combination.

    Granted, it did help him with much needed propulsion, that’s why he was able to get ahead of the rest of the group he was cycling with.

    cain

  52. 52
    LT says:

    @Tom Hilton: I’m fine with adding that (except for my comment about nuance…)

  53. 53
    El Tiburon says:

    Balloon Juice – The place where overwrought straw-men come to flourish.

    The only thing I see happening here is that many of you think the crowd at a golf tournament is too loud and over-the-top.

    Are we not capable of criticizing the President when it is warranted without being tarred and feathered as claiming he has no clothes on and is worse than Bush?

    Greenwald (who evidently can criticize with impunity) has made several arguments where Obama seems to be worse than Bush on major issues. Are we not allowed to get on the soap box and yell it at the top of our lungs? Or is it always going to be STFU?

    Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, you people act like criticizing the President and his administration with piss and vigor is bad for the country. This is exactly what this country needs.

  54. 54
    freelancer says:

    @South of I-10:

    I still haven’t received my freakin’ pony!

    That is the distinct impression I got watching last week’s Bill Moyers with Taibbi and Robert Kuttner.

    I love Moyers, and Taibbi’s writing is incisive, but it was too much to try and watch them woulda shoulda coulda as if Obama was going to magically change Washington’s self-fellating infrastructure.

  55. 55
    Martin says:

    @Violet: Obama totally shot that kid in the face with a 3-wood. The ambulance and motorcade was only to cover his Cheneylike ass. Expect him to demand an apology from the kid in a few days, as well as bill the kids father for the medical care because he hadn’t paid into the public option.

  56. 56
    Max says:

    @Mark: There is a provision for COBRA extension in the jobs bill going thru congress.

    Call your congress critter. Obama has already said he wants it.

  57. 57
    MikeJ says:

    It’s my guess that Obama is somehow responsible for the godawful UI mess that is the iPod nano plus iTunes. What a beautiful, beautiful device ruined by brain damaged software.

    Damn you Rahm Emmanuel!

  58. 58
    Dr. Loveless says:

    Jane Hamsher’s shit list.

    Grover Norquist’s shit list.

    Shouldn’t these two be portmanteau’d by now? I think Jover Hamquist has a nice ring to it.

  59. 59
    Martin says:

    @Seebach: Pull the battery, make sure it isn’t plugged in, stick it in the sun to speed evaporation. Wait several days.

    It should be fine so long as the water doesn’t short something, which can only happen if it has power. $1000 laptop tells me it’s a Mac. If it’s truly new and still busted after maybe 4 days, head into the Apple Store. Odds are they’ll make it right.

  60. 60
    Colette says:

    Oh goody! An Airing of Grievances! (My family’s on Festivus was so disappointing.) So, Obama let me down today by not personally performing CPR, a fireman’s carry, and a tracheotomy with a ballpoint pen on that kid in Hawaii. Also by not taking his shirt off while not doing any of that.

  61. 61
    Cain says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Obama framed Roger Rabbit.

    LOL! POTT!

    cain

  62. 62
    Califlander says:

    John, a self-proclaimed Tory like Sully does not qualify as a progressive. Yes, he loathes Palin — what thinking person doesn’t? — and so he supported Obama, but don’t conflate him with anyone on the left.

  63. 63
    Anya says:

    @Violet: How long before the RNC issues a press release denouncing Obama for wasting taxpayers’ money on this kid.

  64. 64
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we not capable of criticizing the President when it is warranted without being tarred and feathered as claiming he has no clothes on and is worse than Bush?
    __
    Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, you people act like criticizing the President and his administration with piss and vigor is bad for the country. This is exactly what this country needs.

    LOLWUT? (link to inanity):

    Fact is, Obama is NO better than Bush on Afghanistan.
    Fact is, Obama is appears to be worse than Bush on using drones to bomb targets in Pakistan
    Fact is, Obama is NO better than Bush on indefinite detention and other related civil right issues
    Fact is, Obama is NO better than Bush in giving trillions to the Too Big Too Fail financial industries.
    Fact is, Obama appears to at least be enabling a massive tax-payer butt-kiss to the healthcare industries.
    __
    Sorry, you all can take your Stockholm Syndrome and your pacifiers and go sit in front of the boob-tube. I guess I’m more of a Hamsherite. I’m mad as hell and I ain’t gonna take it anymore. It would be nice to see some of the same passion from the rest of you.

    Your “piss and vigor” sounds a lot like a whole bunch of uninformed wanking.

    @LT:

    Well, okay. I knew I was being loose saying “Cheney” and “it was a good thing” in the same thought – so what you say makes perfect sense.
    __
    Except for the fact that nobody gets nuance…

    Honestly, I lament that fact every day.

  65. 65
    bey says:

    @Seebach: How much water? Where did it land?

    I hope you unplugged it and yanked the battery asap. Open it and turn it face down on a towel. Resist all temptation to turn it on for 48 hours to give it plenty of time to dry out.

    /good vibes and crossed fingers

  66. 66
    Martin says:

    This is exactly what this country needs.

    Yes, repeatedly blaming the President for failures of Congress. That’ll force them on the right track!

  67. 67
    John Cole says:

    Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, you people act like criticizing the President and his administration with piss and vigor is bad for the country. This is exactly what this country needs.

    Please. Criticism is great, the problem is you all have overdone it. You know what else is great- exercise and vitamnins. Find me a doctor who would recommend running on a treadmill for 23 hours a day and then spending the other hour eating vitamin c pills.

    You all are so intent on criticizing everything for the “health of the democracy” that liberals have basically turned every fucking accomplishment of the last year into a loss because it isn’t what you think it should have been.

    800 billion stimulus- fail, because it wasn’t big enough and featured tax cuts.

    HCR reform that does a lot of things- total fail because it is not singlre payer or the public option.

    Slowly ending Gitmo- fail, because it wasn’t done right the fuck now. Can’t wait for the pivot to closing Gitmo being a failure because Supermax is not as nice as the sunny cells in Gitmo.

    And on and on and on and fucking on. This isn’t hyperbole or strawmen. And when someone says- “slow down there, emopants,” you all go into your “criticizing the government is the cornerstone of Democracy” bullshit.

    You know who else is criticizing the President for everything? Teabaggers. Maybe you all have found your match.

  68. 68
    Jim says:

    @freelancer:

    them woulda shoulda coulda as if Obama was going to magically change Washington’s self-fellating infrastructure.

    I actually wish Obama were a little bolder in this regard. I think booting Lieberman out of his chairmanship would’ve caused short-term pain and done some long-term good, but we still wouldn’t have sixty votes, and the filibuster would still be there. But that’s a problem (timidity, chasing after a fantasy ‘center’) that is far deeper and more widespread in the Democratic party than just Obama, and that’s why Obama can’t really address it and… it’s a vicious circle.

  69. 69
    mr. whipple says:

    Obama didn’t bring me a pony for Christmas.

    Sure, Christmas was days ago, but I’m going to hold this grudge for a long, long time.

  70. 70
    Ripley says:

    There’s a Lady Gaga song stuck in my head, and though the links to Obama are convoluted, I sure blame him. I blame him hard.

    It would be irresponsible not to speculate. Connect the dots, sheeple!

  71. 71
    Left Coast Tom says:

    Obama has let me down by not using the UN Weather Control Machine to give me a waist-deep powder day. I only had 1/2 foot of powder yesterday, and today was only good for snowshoeing.

    /festivus

  72. 72
    John Cole says:

    @Califlander: I said progressive blogs and Obama supporters. Does Sullivan fall into one of those categories? Why, yes, you state he does.

    WTF are you complaining about?

  73. 73
    danimal says:

    Obama still hasn’t taught the Merkin people anything about cost-benefit analysis, risk ratios and the difference between a million, billion and trillion. Incredibly stupid commentary is the result, and I’m disappointed.

  74. 74
    The Moar You Know says:

    I blame Obama for the existence of Orly Taitz, which has lead directly to this and to the fantastic sequel, a total orgy of butthurt which lead to me laughing so hard that people walking by my office kept asking me what was so funny for over half the day. Since I’m not especially social and don’t like answering questions, especially politically-overtoned questions, that was kind of a drag.

  75. 75
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Can we add caving on the climate change bill to the list? Or do just have to wait until it becomes official?

    No, we have to wait until you can read English. Obama can’t do shit about the Senate since he is no longer a member of that august body. So the EPA is doing it. To quote the source you link: “These are indeed good policies! Notice anything they share in common? That’s right: they bypass the U.S. Congress.”

  76. 76
    robertdsc says:

    hippy puncher

    I have grown to detest this phrase a great deal in the past few weeks.

    I’ve said all I’m gonna say about POTUS failing in past months. I’m not going to say anything else. That’s my new year’s resolution, lol.

  77. 77
    donovong says:

    Obama has let me down by virture of the fact that he has not magically corrected all the insipid bullshit security theater that is the TSA. Sure, it has taken 9 years to fuck it up this completely, but it MUsT be Obama’s fault that it is not completely efficient, cheap and effective by now.

  78. 78
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Hiya! Obama has let me down today by not personally escorting me to Taipei, from where I am sending this post.

    Security was smooth and fast at Minneapolis International. Japan security–a breeze. Taiwan immigrations–a snap. Very uneventful and smooth 13 hour flight to Japan and a bit of turbulence on the 3 hour flight to Taiwan, but I am here in one piece about ready to eat some Taiwanese baked goods.

    Nihao ma from Taipei, bitchez!

  79. 79
    freelancer says:

    @John Cole:

    And when someone says- “slow down there, emopants,” you all go into your “criticizing the government is the cornerstone of Democracy” bullshit.

    For a second, I strongly considered changing my handle to ’emopants’.

  80. 80
    Mary says:

    @Seebach: I have spilled liquid onto my laptops three times and only by the grace of God and intense research on the internet on how to protect the warranty have I been able to save these laptops.

    If you are able to save your girlfriend’s laptop, please get her a keyboard cover.

  81. 81
    Martin says:

    @Jim: And Obama can’t do any of those things. Jesus, people:

    Obama is in the White House, NOT the Senate.
    Harry Reid is in the Senate, NOT the White House.

    And Harry Reid can’t strip Lieberman of his chairmanship, only a caucus vote can do that. Feel free to go after Reid for not calling for such a vote, but I suspect our ire belongs with the caucus and not any one individual.

  82. 82
    valdivia says:

    Orzag got married this is Obama’s fault that I won’t have him as a fantasy anymore. Damn him.

  83. 83
    Mark Centz says:

    Thanks, but it’s not. matter of playing stupid to ask someone to show their work. That’s something that made life in blogostan so damned rewarding. For instance, Sullivan isn’t someone I’d think of as “The Left” and comment flamers can be found of any flavor on just about any subject- mocking flamers is scoring awfully cheap points. I might say the same thing about Huffpo, but you’ve got me there. Digby & Emptywheel can hold their own in a reasoned discourse, and you haven’t really made your case against theirs, YMMV.
    Thanks for the response though, that’s another thing about blogostan that’s damned rewarding- engagement.

  84. 84
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @John Cole:

    And when someone says- “slow down there, emopants”

    I just wanted you to know that I will be shamelessly using the term “emopants” all throughout the next year. Matter of fact, I might even get the bandwagon up and running right now. Thanks for the belated Christmas gift, Cole!

    @Mark Centz:

    Digby & Emptywheel can hold their own in a reasoned discourse, and you haven’t really made your case against theirs, YMMV.

    It’s called “The Archive.” You should really check it out.

  85. 85
    robertdsc says:

    Greenwald (who evidently can criticize with impunity)

    I don’t read GG, but has he said anything nice about Obama since January 20th?

  86. 86
    John Cole says:

    @robertdsc: Yes, a number of times.

  87. 87
    Anya says:

    @John Cole: You forgot to add that his statement about the terrorist attempt sounded just like Bush. I ventured into GOS and I read several comments complaining about how he sounded just like Bush.

  88. 88
    Ash Can says:

    Obama hasn’t sent me any pineapples or macadamia nuts from Hawaii, the bum. And I voted for him and everything. Phooey.

    Oh, and the Bears suck this year. I’m sure Obama’s responsible somehow.

  89. 89
    MikeBoyScout says:

    In addition to my dryer not functioning properly, what has Obama done today to help President McCain or President Gingrich?
    And also too other stuff from WINGNUTIA!

  90. 90
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Martin: Well it IS easier to focus your frustration on one person rather than think about all the machinations in place which have to be overturned in order for things to change. More comforting, too.

  91. 91
    John Cole says:

    @Mark Centz: Sorry, I was rude earlier.

    Just so sick and tired of the slow-motion suicide.

  92. 92
    Martin says:

    @freelancer: I’d consider ‘Princess Emopants’, personally.

  93. 93
    HumboldtBlue says:

    Yeah, that evil Digby pointing out that harsh critics of torture, illegal spying and other unlawful happenings have yet to be addressed means she is surely just a fucking Obama hating fool. I mean, who the fuck cares if we still operate secret prisons, routinely violate the human rights of other human beings across the globe, amirite?

    Fuck you Cole, go back to the idiots who spawned you already. Get the fuck back in bed with Gingrich and Delay, please regale us with some more tales about how horrible those goddamned Clintons were and then pat yourself on the back for coming to your senses for five minutes as the people you blindly followed fucked this country in ways Vitter never dreamed of. If rightfully criticizing the current administration because they have allowed the same fucking Wall Street crooks and the same fucking war-mongering-torture-loving monsters walk away scot-free with a big fucking bag of goodies is a bad thing, well let’s see some more of it.

    Of course, if not, we can all just read that dipshit Sullivan, who, when he isn’t crawling into Palin’s panties is getting his in a wad because he’s a hypocritical fuckbucket who deserves every sling and arrow of ridicule that can be thrown his way. Fucking wankers club, indeed. I have your tea bags right here you right wing fucksicle.

  94. 94
    El Cid says:

    Are you saying Obama is the new ACORN? ‘Cause, I thought ACORN caused all the bad things in Uh-merika, thanks to Jimmy Carter, the CRA, Barney Franks, and stealin’ elections?

  95. 95
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Somebody needs a centrist hug?

  96. 96
  97. 97
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @John Cole:

    Just so sick and tired of the slow-motion suicide.

    And contrary to folklore and song, it is not painless.
    That is Obama’s fault too, also.

  98. 98
    Martin says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I suppose the same reasoning leads to people taking an assault rifle into the workplace. All of life’s problems resolved with a click of the trigger. Well, until the sirens make you realize you’ve only made things worse and maybe it was necessary to respect the machinations after all.

    Enjoy your Taiwan trip. My coworker is there now. I’m looking forward to the goodies she brings back.

  99. 99
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Obama failed me by making me gain weight over the holidays.

  100. 100

    @El Tiburon:

    Are we not capable of criticizing the President when it is warranted without being tarred and feathered as claiming he has no clothes on and is worse than Bush?
    __
    Greenwald (who evidently can criticize with impunity) has made several arguments where Obama seems to be worse than Bush on major issues. Are we not allowed to get on the soap box and yell it at the top of our lungs? Or is it always going to be STFU?

    Talk about strawmen? Have you read any of the front page posts about the financial bailout?
    Have you read any of the serious comments (i.e., not snark, not BOB) which said he was exactly as bad as if not worse than Bush?

    I don’t read Greenwald, because he wastes too many words getting to his point (like a good lawyer), but I’d be curious to know how he is IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM *worse* than Bush on anything?

    I could see where he could make the argument that some of obama’s continuation of bush policies in the GWOT are *as bad as* Bush, but not *worse.*

    But you’re also talking about a president who’s been in office for 11 months, not 8 years. A little perspective might be in order.

  101. 101
    freelancer says:

    @Martin:

    Baron von Emopants

  102. 102
    KevinD says:

    @John Cole:

    This isn’t hyperbole or strawmen.

    Yeah, that post right there pretty much defined hyperbole and strawman.

    I think I’ll take a break from this venue for awhile, you and DougJ’s “LEAVE OBAMA ALONE!!” rant is really tiresome.

  103. 103
    freelancer says:

    @KevinD:

    Somebody’s emopants must be cinching up their firebag.

    EDIT: Do I win the thread yet, or no? I made myself tear up with that one.

  104. 104
    John Cole says:

    @HumboldtBlue: You know who else agrees with those things? Me. You know who was one of the first people to talk about (repeatedly) our insane drone policies? Me.

    But you know what? I don’t think you can turn the ship of state around that quickly. I don’t think you can dismantle the national security state overnight. Obama is moving in the right direction, and even folks like Greenwald and Bacevich, who are both harsh and accurate critics of the admin on policies, will note that in many areas, they are moving in the right direction.

    All I want is some perspective.

    At the same time, I was livid about the aerial attacks in Yemen that once again missed their target, and then what happens- someone with Yemeni ties tries to blow up an airliner, so maybe I don’t know everything that is going on in the world.

    Christ, this time last year I was convinced we would be invading Iran or committing suicide in Georgia. We’re moving in a better direction, and shit is not perfect, but I retain the right to call bullshit on the “EVERYTHING SUCKS” brigade.

  105. 105
    Martin says:

    @freelancer:

    Field Marshal Emopants

  106. 106
    robertdsc says:

    Security was smooth and fast at Minneapolis International. Japan security—a breeze. Taiwan immigrations—a snap. Very uneventful and smooth 13 hour flight to Japan and a bit of turbulence on the 3 hour flight to Taiwan, but I am here in one piece about ready to eat some Taiwanese baked goods.

    Glad you got there OK. Have a good time.

  107. 107
    Studly Pantload says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Piquant, if perhaps lacking in Shakespeare’s soul of wit, brevity. The Vitter reference surprises nicely, but the right wing fucksicle finish leaves the palette unrefreshed. I give this two and one-half out of five flames.

  108. 108
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @KevinD: @KevinD:

    I think I’ll take a break from this venue for awhile,

    Watch so the door don”t bump yer arse on the way out.

  109. 109
    Dreggas says:

    Obama failed me by not leaving the golf course to come personally assist me in fixing a few bugs in the software I work on thus making me stay late at work.

  110. 110
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @freelancer:

    Baron von Emopants

    @Martin:

    Field Marshal Emopants

    Ensign Emopants

  111. 111
    RareSanity says:

    Obama has failed me by making the interwebs available to @HumboldtBlue.

  112. 112
    Comrade Luke says:

    @MikeJ: I can read English, asshole. I was being sarcastic.

    Though I’ll add that since Obama has no sway with Congress he shouldn’t get any credit for when bills pass either.

    Hope he turns the heat down in the White House and recycles, since other than using it as his temporary residence he doesn’t really do anything.

  113. 113
    Martin says:

    Watch so the door don’‘t bump yer arse emopants on the way out.

    (Freelancer and I are trying to get a theme going here, if you don’t mind.)

  114. 114
    mandarama says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I just wanted you to know that I will be shamelessly using the term “emopants” all throughout the next year. Matter of fact, I might even get the bandwagon up and running right now. Thanks for the belated Christmas gift, Cole!

    Yeah, from me too. That phrase is a gift that keeps on giving! Speaking of:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    pat yourself on the back for coming to your senses for five minutes

    Five minutes, five years…what’s the diff, right?

    And that image of Sullivan in Palin’s panties…have you no heart? I can’t tell whether to laugh or blow chunks.

  115. 115
    YellowJournalism says:

    My husband has to go back and pick up one of my family members thanks to the airport mess and the wonderful practice of overbooking flights. They wouldn’t even let one family member switch with the one left behind so the left behind one could go home in time for work tomorrow.

    Of course, this is all Obama’s fault and has nothing to do with national irrational freakouts, mismanagement, and crappy airline policies.

  116. 116
    Jim says:

    I think I’ll take a break from this venue for awhile, you and DougJ’s “LEAVE OBAMA ALONE!!” rant is really tiresome.

    Well, fortunately for you there are lots of fora where fantasy-fueled tantrums about WHWHD (What Hillary Would Have Done) and McCain would’ve been no different from Obama (just read that one at Eschaton) and the filibuster is just Obama’s convenient excuse and whatever other counterfactual brings you the perverse pleasure of impotent outrage.

  117. 117
    MikeMc says:

    I’m very disappointed with Pres. Obama! He promised change in the election. I assumed the change would be that my penis would get bigger. It did not. Harrier. Perhaps. Bigger. No.

    Obama never came out and directly said he would do this for me, but, much like Jane Hamsher and single payer health care, I assumed that’s what he meant. I’m siding with Hamsher, Nordquist, and the teabaggers. I want the action promised! My dong demands it!!!

  118. 118
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Martin: Herr Professor Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Emopants, esq.

  119. 119
    burnspbesq says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Jesus Christ on a popsicle stick, you people act like criticizing the President and his administration with piss and vigor is bad for the country.

    No, that’s not what is happening here. What is happening here is mockery of the ridiculous.

    Thoughtful criticism of Obama is welcome, and always will be. However, the current orgy of criticism is largely baseless, and way over the top.

  120. 120

    Obama is worse than Bush on Afghanistan

    This one gets me. Did you just think he was going to withdraw on day one? And leave the mess we made for the Afghanis to clean up alone? WTF, people? Bush neglected Afghanistan for most of his term for Bushies Big Adventure in Iraq.

  121. 121
    freelancer says:

    @Martin:

    lol, so many gems, so little time. “it will be a meme! it will be a meme! it will be a meme!”

  122. 122

    @John Cole: As someone who’s also sick of it, I’m also not worried overmuch over it, over the long (6+ months) term. It’s nearly a Democratic tradition to shoot each other over crap like this, and this is pretty light in a lot of ways compared to the bruising Primary. Go back and read your posts in the “I can no longer discuss the Clinton Campaign rationally” tags.

    On that Open Left article: Why didn’t they just call him King Obama the First? It would make their thoughts and intentions much clearer.

    This whole “Congress is useless” thing is a self-defeating prophesy of the worst kind, and always ends up in tears when we get another GOP administration…

  123. 123
    beltane says:

    @freelancer: You got a chuckle out of me if that makes you feel better.

  124. 124
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Martin:

    sorry, carry on.

  125. 125
    Mark Centz says:

    @Midnight M- thanks, I know about the archive and I’ve been following along as we go, it’s just that I remain unconvinced by John’s reasoning, that was the point about our milage varying and all.
    @John, that wasn’t rude at all considering where we are. I feel like a Menshevik among Cadets, but fuck the Czar!

  126. 126
    Comrade Jake says:

    The fact that he wanted to give health care to 30M people, instead of choosing to cut Joe Lieberman’s nuts off, was the final straw in my book.

  127. 127
    MikeJ says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    Hope he turns the heat down in the White House and recycles, since other than using it as his temporary residence he doesn’t really do anything.

    Again, it was your source that shows things being done by the executive, even when the lege fails.

    You claim to read english. Is it just that you don’t understand it?

  128. 128
    Tom Hilton says:

    @robertdsc: me too. In fact, I want to clarify in case anyone is unsure: I’m not a hippy puncher, I’m a people-who-say-‘hippy puncher’ puncher.

  129. 129
    jnfr says:

    Judging by what I heard on MSNBC tonight, I should be mad at Obama for vacationing in Hawaii while it’s cold here in Colorado. Seriously, here at home we’re cold and mad, and Obama is letting us down by frolicking in the sunshine.

  130. 130
    Linkmeister says:

    @Tomlinson: Hey, I’m on the same island he is; are you jealous of me too?

    Trying to show my mother how to use a mouse on a new netbook is a tad painful; I could use the knowledge that someone’s jealous of me right now.

  131. 131
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @ Mumphrey

    Thwartships. An adverb. Sideways. Like a thwart. The seat in a rowboat. Sheesh. You probably refer to the bow as ‘the pointy end’ or ‘the front’.

    Don’t come up heah to Maine, we will gibe* you endlessly.
    Flatlanders.

    *noun
    an insulting or mocking remark; a taunt : a gibe at his old rivals. verb [ intrans. ] make insulting or mocking remarks; jeer : some cynics in the media might gibe.

  132. 132
    Studly Pantload says:

    @Tom Hilton:

    I find this demeaning to the emopants punchers.

  133. 133
    AhabTRuler says:

    @Linkmeister:

    Trying to show my mother how to use a mouse on a new netbook is a tad painful

    No, that more than makes up for you being in Hawaii.

  134. 134
    jnfr says:

    @Tomlinson:

    In other words, MSNBC is stealing their coverage today from your comment!

  135. 135
    Dannie22 says:

    I’m so over this shit!! I just finished blasting Booman for suggesting that Obama should have changed the tone of Washington already. What a brother can’t get four years! So try and stay sane John. The forces of evil will try to get you as well. May the force be with you.

  136. 136

    This whole thread is just so mid-2008.

  137. 137
    burnspbesq says:

    @HumboldtBlue:

    Yeah, that evil Digby pointing out that harsh critics of torture, illegal spying and other unlawful happenings have yet to be addressed means she is surely just a fucking Obama hating fool. I mean, who the fuck cares if we still operate secret prisons, routinely violate the human rights of other human beings across the globe, amirite?

    Do the terms “limited bandwidth” and “priorities” mean anything to you?” Or do you live in some fantasy world where a President is inaugurated at noon on January 20 and can clean up every mess he inherited from his predecessor by 2:15, 2:30 at the latest?

    Good fucking grief.

  138. 138
    RareSanity says:

    Would I be crazy for thinking that 2010 could be a much “prettier” year for the administration as a whole?

    I mean, Republicans have basically emptied their clip in the first 11 months, everything else will be a rerun. And not the good kind like Sanford and Son, the bad kind like George Lopez or Rosanne.

  139. 139
    Incertus says:

    Barack Obama didn’t get me a job interview at MLA this year. Emopants. (I skimmed the comments.)

  140. 140
    mandarama says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I’d always heard this was “athwartships.” But I get all my nautical knowledge from Patrick O’Brian, so it’s pretty dated.

  141. 141

    @Dannie22:

    I just finished blasting Booman for suggesting that Obama should have changed the tone of Washington already.

    I love how Obama can change the tone when the other party is batsh*t crazy. What was he supposed to do with people who are lead by Rush Limbaugh?

    ETA: I have to say Obama has been incredibly patient through all this stuff. I’d have probably pulled a full John Cole in a national address by now.

  142. 142
    taylormattd says:

    @Mark Centz: you’re fucking delusional or blind if you haven’t seen this stuff on a regular basis all over the left blogs.

  143. 143
    donovong says:

    @HumboldtBlue: Dude, go fuck yourself. If you don’t like it here, go the fuck away.

  144. 144
    nalbar says:

    I’m mad that Obama does not make John Cole give me his dog.

    I wrote the CIA a letter, but no reply.

  145. 145
    Elise says:

    If Obama was as awesome as John Edwards, he’d have taken Congress’s health insurance away by now as punishment for their obstruction.

    Obamafail.

  146. 146
    gbear says:

    The only thing this grateful Obot has to add to this conversation is this.

    Hey AsiangrllMN! The voice of tomorrow… today!

  147. 147
    Left Coast Tom says:

    In a way, the rather lengthy list of stuff Shrub screwed up over the last eight years is what makes me OK w/ a “take what’s on the table now and fix it later” approach to HCR. That, and the fact that I really think HCR will eventually require single payer, which was never on the table – we were never really talking about a complete solution.

    So far nothing’s been done to address CO2 emission. I don’t think next year will see The Problem Solved, but I’d like to at least see motion in the right direction. There have been proposals, largely inadequate, regarding financial system reform, but so far only the consumer credit protection agency has been approved. It’s hard to see how the economy will work in an environment where nobody in their right mind would trust US securities. It seems increasingly likely that Krugman was right to criticize the stimulus package as inadequate (and, as I see it, partially misdirected) – something else may be needed before the private sector finally starts working on its own.

    If I have to choose between a series of half-measures on all these topics versus squabbling over one topic and nothing for the others, I won’t like the choice but I’ll take the former.

  148. 148
    RedKitten says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    ETA: I have to say Obama has been incredibly patient through all this stuff. I’d have probably pulled a full John Cole in a national address by now.

    Agreed. Yeah, he signed on for the job, but man, oh man. What Bush/Cheney did to the country was akin to puking on a suede jacket — you might be able to get it out, eventually. But man, it’s going to be a long, tedious job, and it’ll probably look a fuck of a lot worse before it looks better.

    Were I him, by now I’d be seriously tempted to pull a Cartman and say “Screw you guys, I’m going home.”

  149. 149
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @John Cole:

    I retain the right to call bullshit on the “EVERYTHING SUCKS” brigade.

    And please do, all I was attempting was to make sure the intertoobz were unreadable for some fumbledick who didn’t like my comment, so I guess I have accomplished more than Obama. Time for a beer.

  150. 150

    @Comrade Luke:

    Though I’ll add that since Obama has no sway with Congress he shouldn’t get any credit for when bills pass either.

    I’d 100% agree. Moreover, I assure you Congress 100% agrees, save for partisan sniping.

    That is, however, not the game the media plays. Separating the media view of Congress from what’s actually going on there is pretty key, and pretty depressing to think you have to do it. But no, the preferred role, the Constitutional role, for the President of this isn’t to do anything but sign for it. All this bullshit about Presidents and their agendas is crap brought on by the “need” for politicians to promote themselves (esp. since, in America, Presidents are also the Leaders of their Political Party), and of reporters to justify all that flying around for campaigns, and has been going on for a Very Long Time in America.

    Hope he turns the heat down in the White House and recycles, since other than using it as his temporary residence he doesn’t really do anything.

    See, this is where we part ways pretty heavily.

    I’m pissed as hell over the Obama DOJ pushing for more and more power over state secrets and related acts. I thought the criticism of that same DOJ for that reprehensible Gay Marriage position was spot-on.

    Those are 100% within the Executive Branch, which he runs. Those are his job, and his burden. I agree with much of the criticism about them.

    But the President’s job is not to run Congress, no moreso than it is to run the Federal Court system. There’s damned good reasons to have 3 co-equal (more or less) branches, damned good reasons for a President to stay the hell outta making the sausage of laws. And every time someone on “my” side decides that side-stepping them to get what “we” want is a good idea, I get cranky, and I remind myself that the point of electing Barack — and part of why I’m mad about those rulings — was in part of avoid electing Bush III.

  151. 151
    jnfr says:

    Emopants wins the thread!

  152. 152
    South of I-10 says:

    @freelancer: @Martin: Can I be Princess Emopants? That is full of awesome.

  153. 153
    Comrade Jake says:

    I think what most of you are missing is that Obama promised CHANGE WE COULD BELIEVE IN. I mean, he promised that.

    I want my g-d pony, damnit.

  154. 154
    kay says:

    @Comrade Luke:

    I don’t see what you’re objecting to here. The cap and trade bill is dead in the Senate so the Administration is going to Plan B, and using regulatory and rule changes at the agency.

    The piece you linked to mentioned the political risk inherent in that, as Obama alone will be responsible for any new climate change regulation-related hysteria and political blow back, rather than Congress.

    This seems to be the sort of thing you’re asking for: political risk-taking and immediate action.

    What else do you want him to do?

  155. 155
    mr. whipple says:

    I mean, who the fuck cares if we still operate secret prisons,

    I keep seeing stuff written about ‘secret prisons’. Um, how the fuck are they ‘secret’ if people know they are there?

    One I read about was referred to as ‘secret’ in the context of the Red Cross not getting the access to it in a timely manner, but still getting in. How the fuck is that ‘secret’?

  156. 156
    jeffreyw says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Ah, there you are. I spent a week in Taipei a long time ago. Had a ball, and some seriously good eats. I’m thinking of a street vendor doing Mongolian BBQ, and maybe the biggest lobster I’ve ever seen. My local guide asked me one day if I liked “foreign food”. I allowed that I did. She took me to a special place to get some that night, we sat and she ordered for both of us (in Chinese). The waiter came with our meal under a warming cover, and viola -he whipped off the cover to reveal….spaghetti!

  157. 157

    @Woodrow “asim” Jarvis Hill:

    I’m pissed as hell over the Obama DOJ pushing for more and more power over state secrets and related acts. I thought the criticism of that same DOJ for that reprehensible Gay Marriage position was spot-on.

    I’m curious as to how many of Obama’s DOJ attorneys were on the job when those opinions were drafted, and how far up the chain they go with it? To Holder? To Obama himself? IANAL, so I ask in earnest.

    I wouldn’t put it past some Bush-era underlings to ratf**k the present administration.

  158. 158
    mr. whipple says:

    What else do you want him to do?

    Obama must beat the senate about the head and genitals with his bully pulpit.

  159. 159
    shoutingattherain says:

    My 401K is about 30% higher today than it was a year ago. I blame Obama for that. I don’t really care how he did it. I no longer feel “doomed”.

  160. 160
    Rhoda says:

    Obama didn’t go to church on Christmas and only went publicly three times this year; going to Camp David’s church w/out announcing it. (via Digby)

    Clearly, he’s a Muslim.

    I voted for him anyway.

    But now, he’s not going shirtless in Hawaii! I’m going to have to think hard about 2012 now.

  161. 161
    mcd says:

    I am literally commenting on this post …

    Also. Sully should check his own magazine on how the No-Fly List (and other measures!) sucks. Goldberg did an excellent piece on our airline security kabuki. Check it out.

  162. 162
    Mark Centz says:

    It does feel like 2008 here, and what I don’t get is the idea that lots of us dfh’s think life would be better with Hillary. Hell, most of the dfh’s I know think he’s been too much like we thought Hillary would be, but either of them than any wingnut. And if FDL is pissing folks off, good. The goalposts have been moved so far to the right someone needs to redefine the left sideline and get the posts re-centered again.

  163. 163
    Incertus says:

    @shoutingattherain: Mine’s almost doubled, but it had fallen so much before that it didn’t take a lot to make that happen. Even so, I’m still behind where I was 24 months ago.

    Also, Barack Obama didn’t get me published in The New Yorker this year, so fuck him for that also.

  164. 164

    @Rhoda:

    The Bush family spent eight straight Christmases at Camp David

    That’s so buried in the copy. I honestly hate the WH press corps.

  165. 165
    Bruce (formerly Steve S.) says:

    Obama is, literally, Judas.

    Don’t you get me wrong
    All I want to know is

    Barack Hussein, Barack Hussein,
    Who are you, you’ve got a lot to ‘splain?
    Barack Obama, mes-si-ah,
    Were you really born in Kenya?

  166. 166
    kay says:

    @mr. whipple:

    It was always Plan B, because the EPA have a SCOTUS ruling they can use to regulate (I think) 2/3 of greenhouse gases. Don’t quote me on that number. My husband is an environmentalist. I sometimes go to conferences and such, but I wander around.

    Midwestern senators are scared of energy price increases, even liberal Senators, and Congress in general want some political cover next year, because, despite what almost everyone thinks here (except me) they were given a really ambitious agenda by Obama.

    Stimulus, health care, energy, financial reform. Health care alone scared the shit out of them.

    And, they don’t really want to legislate. Much. You have to stick your head up to do that.

  167. 167
    andrewtna says:

    I don’t know what you guys are thinking. This category should be “Black Bush”

    see here: http://www.pp2g.tv/vZ3x9YXQ_.aspx

  168. 168

    @arguingwithsignposts: There were hints that the Gay marriage bit was drafted from Bush-era appointees.

    BUT. The State Secrets stuff would not be a done-in-one. It’s been ongoing, and even Obama’s been asked why in a Press Conference. But, of course our National Media can’t be arsed to press on this — at least, not until it affects a reporter or “famous” person.

    Because of it’s nature, because it involves highly secret information, it’s all drafted from directions from Obama and Holder down, with significant input from other groups in the DOJ, National Intelligence and the Pentagon, and so on. There’s no way Obama et. al. are letting anyone write these opinions in anything like a vacuum.

    My go-to guy on this is a blogger, Ed Brayton, who writes Dispatches From the Culture Wars. He’s less…lawyer-esqe than Glenn tends to get, but no less pissed about the implications.

  169. 169
    HumboldtBlue says:

    @donovong: Blow me Dong, you fucking jock-sniffing fuck knuckle.

  170. 170

    @kay:

    despite what almost everyone thinks here (except me) they were given a really ambitious agenda by Obama.

    This. This is one of the few things Obama can work on in terms of Congress – trying to set an agenda.

  171. 171
    Citizen_X says:

    Citizen emopants here to say I that I place the blame for every other problem in this country squarely on Obama Lieberman, the collective voters of Connecticut, Ben Nelson, all Republican senators, and most of all, James fucking Madison.

  172. 172
    Incertus says:

    @andrewtna: Black Bush is one of the finest whiskeys I’ve ever sipped, and it’s the only thing with the name Bush on it that’s worth a damn.

  173. 173
    Ailuridae says:

    @kay:

    This. Usually reliable Sherrod Brown was making some noise about the approach Lieberman-Kerry-Graham were doing. If you peel off enough midwestern Dems like Brown and its subject to a cloture vote there is no way to get to 60 votes even added likely Republican Yay votes like Snowe, Collins, Graham and Lemieux.

    Now, there is absolutely no reason that the cap and trade bill or a carbon tax bill shouldn’t actually be revenue generating and, thereby deficit reducing, and not subject to cloture but instead to a simple majority vote.

  174. 174
    BillCinSD says:

    @Comrade Jake: if by give, you mean force people at the poverty line to pay $125 per month for insurance that will likely have too high a deductible to use except in extreme circumstances, then yes I agree with you.

  175. 175
    Dannie22 says:

    @shoutingattherain
    true dat!

  176. 176

    @John Cole:

    Thank you for articulating what I’ve been trying to wrap my frozen noggin ’round for the last three weeks. It’s like the land of batshit crazy is no longer strictly teabagger country, I’m finding it in places I’ve been browsing for years.

  177. 177
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Incertus:

    I used to eat Bush’s Baked Beans until I started talking funny.

  178. 178
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    It gave me pause, when it was announced.

    I’m more cautious than that. I might have just done stimulus and financial reform and talked a lot about jobs, first year.

    You-all were making fun of media with their incessant “is he trying TOO MUCH?” and I was thinking, “yes, probably, but what the hell, why not try?” I was in, I’m not denying that, but I had concerns :)

    It’s a huge agenda. It’s three whole sectors of the economy, for one thing. Finance, health care and energy.

  179. 179

    @Woodrow

    it’s all drafted from directions from Obama and Holder down, with significant input from other groups in the DOJ, National Intelligence and the Pentagon, and so on.

    So I’m wondering how much influence the DOJ, National Intelligence and Pentagon axis had on that. Remember when he was called out by the right for causing hard feelings in the CIA staff for saying he would go after the people who participated in torture (IIRC)?

    I thought the decision to withhold some photos or other was a bad call, but one he probably anguished. And he did open up Dover AFB.

  180. 180
    Ailuridae says:

    @BillCinSD:

    People at the poverty line would be covered by Medicaid. You’re not entitled to your own facts around here, shit-for-brains.

  181. 181
    slag says:

    @kay:

    And, they don’t really want to legislate. Much. You have to stick your head up to do that.

    Indeed. I liked Matt Yglesias’s point about this very problem. Our Senate is encouraged to have no sense of agency.

  182. 182
    Mnemosyne says:

    I got the whole week between Christmas and New Year’s off and I’m home sick with the flu. I blame Obama for spreading H1N1. Also, too.

  183. 183
    CalD says:

    Why does Obama stubbornly refuse to make the whole world smell April fresh? Where is the outrage?

  184. 184
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If I commented on your comments, I would say get well soon:)

  185. 185

    @kay:
    Also, regarding the stimulus, IIRC, there was a lot of bargaining going on there with the intransigent Senate too, and Obama would have probably had fewer tax cuts and more infrastructure if he’d gotten his way.

  186. 186
    kay says:

    @Ailuridae:

    Absolutely.

    Sherrod Brown was uncharcteristically dodgy on energy, and that got my attention.

    He’s scared to death of higher energy prices. That’s a legit concern. A lot of people are unemployed.

  187. 187
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I think they needed it fast, so they did what they had to do to get it.

  188. 188

    @Mark Centz:

    The goalposts have been moved so far to the right someone needs to redefine the left sideline and get the posts re-centered again.

    And what a lot of us are trying to say is that the best way to do that is to Pass Legislation. The crap original Social Security bill — a bill rigged to, among other things, deny my grandparents benefits! — moved the goalposts far faster, and far harder, than all the demands and protests and marching ever could. And most big legislation is just like that.

    Everyone forgets, I think, that Reagan went through the same era of rough popularity that Obama is, now. Reagan pushed the country to the left not in One Giant Shove, but in incremental shoves of policy and legislation — first with compromise with a Democratic Congress. That’s the tack anyone who’s not FDR (and what FDR did was pretty sketchy in places, like packing the Supreme court) has to take, has always taken; yes, even G. Washington him-bloody-self.

    That’s all we’re saying, at heart — or, at least it’s all I’m saying.

  189. 189
    Keith G says:

    Fuck, I do not think I have enjoyed a thread so much since John gave Lily a bath. Where have all the whiny children come from?

    Freelancer and Midnight Marauder are killing.

    @John Cole: I Iike seeing you in a revved up mode, and

    @asiangrrlMN: This hemisphere is a less cheery place in your absence.

  190. 190

    @asiangrrlMN:

    “The maximum will be of 19 °C and the minimum 11 °C .”

    Sounds just as cold as here in the Buckeye.

    Oh. Wait a minute …

  191. 191
    mr. whipple says:

    @BruceFromOhio:

    One by one I’ve unbookmarked some of my favorite sites. Once in a while I stop back to see if the craziness has ended(no), and haven’t added back any of them yet.

  192. 192

    @kay:
    Indeed, and recall that it was Bush’s treasury secretary who did the bank bailout, which Obama gets blamed for too.

  193. 193
    eemom says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    “I have to say Obama has been incredibly patient through all this stuff.”

    That’s because he doesn’t give a shit what lefty screaming copycat teabaggers think, anymore than he gave a shit what the original screaming teabaggers thought.

    Because he has SENSE. That’s why I’m his ‘bot.

  194. 194
    gwangung says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Didn’t someone point out that TARP is going to be costing WAAAAYYYYY less than originally planned?

  195. 195
    Mike in NC says:

    I blame Obama because not only did I have to put on a jacket to go outside today, but there was a shitload of crabgrass in my lawn. I’m backing the Palin/Norquist ticket in 2012!

  196. 196

    @gwangung: I believe so, and the remainder may be spent on another jobs bill. Since Paulson probably just pulled that $700 billion number out of somewhere dark, probably. I don’t think we’re out of the woods by a long shot, and I do wish Obama would listen to some people like Krugman or Volker more.

  197. 197
    Incertus says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: To listen to people like Matalin talk, you’d think Bush took over in 2002 and left office in 2007, and that those seven years were all sunshine and glitter-unicorns.

  198. 198
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I’d always heard this was “athwartships.”

    Good thing I didn’t say ‘cattywampus‘ , i.e. at a (more or less) 45º angle…..or skewwiff….

  199. 199
    gwangung says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: Aint disagreeing on either of those.

  200. 200
    Corner Stone says:

    @jeffreyw:

    She took me to a special place to get some that night,

    I absolutely must get myself to Taipei, forthwith.

  201. 201
    Citizen Alan says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    I think the Left would do well to focus and sharpen that line of attack, if it’s one that they’re actually going to use. I would imagine that the point of the criticism isn’t that “Cheney releasing people from Guantanamo is a bad thing”; but rather, we spent the better part of a decade snatching up random, typically innocent individuals all over the globe and imprisoned and tortured them under the banner of “THESE GUYS ARE THE WORST OF THE WORST!”

    That’s assuming that we let these guys go because they were innocent. Given the generally fucked-upped-ness of the Bushies, I could easily imagine that these guys really were THE WORST OF THE WORST, and the Bushies let them go anyway, either out of some bureaucratic screwup or as a sop to the Saudis. From the beginning, it’s been clear to me that Al-Qaeda has been primarily a Saudi Arabian creature, but we never did anything at all against that nation because Fuckwit George was too busy holding hands and swapping spit with Prince Bandar.

  202. 202
    Mumphrey says:

    @Davis X. Machina

    “Thwartships. An adverb. Sideways. Like a thwart. The seat in a rowboat. Sheesh. You probably refer to the bow as ‘the pointy end’ or ‘the front’.”

    Oh, I know what it means. My great grampaw had his own guano-shipping company. (I never met him, but I’ve heard all about his business–hah!) I just meant that it sounds like a great noun, and that’s how I’m going to use it. I want a thwartship, and so far, Obama hasn’t given me one. That’s how he failed me.

  203. 203

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Remember when he was called out by the right for causing hard feelings in the CIA staff for saying he would go after the people who participated in torture (IIRC)?

    Sure. and I’m actually not overly miffed about that. I think a lot of the calls for that action come from a mixture of revenge and justice, the former of which leaves me coldly concerned. and I understand the weird, frustrating politics behind it all.

    But look. In these cases, the buck really does stop with Obama. This State Secrets stuff is BS. I “hired” the guy in part because he taught Constitutional Law, and I admire Biden in part for doing the same thing. Even if the spooks and the grunts are all screaming for Obama to keep it, the flat-out truth is that he’s perpetuating and enhancing a series of decisions that I cannot find at all supportable under the Bill of Rights. And above all else, it’s his job, his (literally!) sworn duty, to enforce those laws.

    If it’s an issue, a compromise could be worked out, just as the FISA court is such Doubling-down on these acts is not a compromise.

  204. 204
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    We’re moving in a better direction, and shit is not perfect, but I retain the right to call bullshit on the “EVERYTHING SUCKS” brigade.

    Your concerns are legit, everyone else is a whiny DFH that is saying everything sucks.
    Got it.

  205. 205
    Corner Stone says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t think you can dismantle the national security state overnight. Obama is moving in the right direction,

    It becomes even harder to do so when you have your admin push for renewing the Patriot Act.

  206. 206
    Corner Stone says:

    @Davis X. Machina: Or “caddy corner” as we have explored in this space before.
    Some went with “catty corner”.

  207. 207

    @Woodrow “asim” Jarvis Hill:

    the flat-out truth is that he’s perpetuating and enhancing a series of decisions that I cannot find at all supportable under the Bill of Rights

    Did the court actually rule on that? I thought the DOJ was making the argument?

    But yeah, I agree it’s a weird interpretation that Obama should be asked about more often.

  208. 208
    Something Fabulous says:

    @John Cole: Hee. Emopants. Hee.

  209. 209
    Liberty60 says:

    I have taken to calling this the RedState syndrome- the hyperbolic conflation of every issue with Ultimate Evil, where a few disagreements with someone makes them EXACTLY THE SAME AS HITLER!

    Next thing you know progressives will start mailing Obama bags of dog poo.

    Seriously, I was angry from Day One about the national security approach of Obama, but fuck if he isn’t still a mile ahead of anyone else I could have voted for.
    I made this comment over at FDL:

    As a former Republican, I can assure you that Grover Norquist is not your friend; were my house afire with children inside, I would not hold the hose he was using to put it out.

    Why is this shit so hard to do? To say “I like what Obama did here, but hate what he did there”

  210. 210
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Citizen Alan:

    That’s assuming that we let these guys go because they were innocent. Given the generally fucked-upped-ness of the Bushies, I could easily imagine that these guys really were THE WORST OF THE WORST, and the Bushies let them go anyway, either out of some bureaucratic screwup or as a sop to the Saudis. From the beginning, it’s been clear to me that Al-Qaeda has been primarily a Saudi Arabian creature, but we never did anything at all against that nation because Fuckwit George was too busy holding hands and swapping spit with Prince Bandar.

    Very astute points, all around. And this is obligatory, I feel.

  211. 211
    Mnemosyne says:

    @General Winfield Stuck:

    Thanks! Having the kitten sit in my lap while I napped this afternoon helped. I think it even brought my fever down.

    You can comment on my comments when I’m not talking to your boyfriend CS. He just gets a little too worked up when you pipe in.

  212. 212
    Mark Centz says:

    @WJHill- I think most of us want legislation passed, and as there are dfh’s out there saying they’d rather no bill than a bad bill, that also breaks down to those that mean it on the basis that it’s also bad politics and those that that note that saying such things got them more of what they wanted in the their version of the bill. If Short Walk Joe used his powers for good, say.
    And I remember that Reagan enjoyed a burst of popularity- after getting shot & wounded. Not a method I care to repeated ever again, I was around for JFK too, bad juju for the country. And given the mood of the right, I wonder how much the country would pull together after such an event in any case. No, the slogan ‘more & better Democrats’ still applies, and better takes time. We’ll get there.

  213. 213
    El Tiburon says:

    @John Cole: To borrow a Reaganism, “here you go again”

    Please. Criticism is great, the problem is you all have overdone it.

    Back to square one: Hey Hamsher, STFU. Overdone it? What does that even mean? Hey gays, don’t overdo it. Hey, liberals fighting for a public option, don’t overdo it. Please.

    You know what else is great- exercise and vitamnins. Find me a doctor who would recommend running on a treadmill for 23 hours a day and then spending the other hour eating vitamin c pills.

    Strawman flourish. I guess the doctor who tells you to cut out the 5th of vodka and carton of cigarettes is overdoing it. Please.

    You all are so intent on criticizing everything for the “health of the democracy” that liberals have basically turned every fucking accomplishment of the last year into a loss because it isn’t what you think it should have been.

    Bullshit. What we are saying is the minor accomplishments, important as they are, were mostly easy to accomplish. The defining issues of our day have not improved and many have gotten worse. Hello 30,000 additional troops. Hello 17 trillion to the financial industry. Hello massive give away to the healthcare industry.

    800 billion stimulus- fail, because it wasn’t big enough and featured tax cuts.

    Yes. This is true. Many respected economists argued exactly this. Do you disagree?

    HCR reform that does a lot of things- total fail because it is not singlre payer or the public option.

    Bullshit. Single payer has never been on the table and you know it. We hippies gave that up at the get-go. And yeah, it is a failure to have mandates with no public option. This is not healthcare reform. It’s a few reforms of the insurance industry.

    Slowly ending Gitmo- fail, because it wasn’t done right the fuck now. Can’t wait for the pivot to closing Gitmo being a failure because Supermax is not as nice as the sunny cells in Gitmo.

    Double bullshit. Everyone understands the politics of this. The problem is that when and if the prisoners are moved to wherever, NOTHING changes for many of them. Why don’t you get this?

    And on and on and on and fucking on. This isn’t hyperbole or strawmen.

    Bullshit. It is the definition of a strawman. To bring in bullshit about a doctor and 23 hours of workouts is a total strawman.

    You know who else is criticizing the President for everything? Teabaggers. Maybe you all have found your match.

    Oh noes! We sound like teabaggers! You win. Maybe we should modify the Godwin theorem to see how long it takes to invoke the teabaggers to try to prove epic fail on the Hamsher faction.

    It seems to me the only thing that causes change is a shit-load of money or a shit-load of bitching. I ain’t got money. But I can bitch.

  214. 214
    jeffreyw says:

    @Corner Stone: Actually, that was after the meal, and it wasn’t all that special a place. I was freaked a bit when a young girl came into the bedroom, opened a cabinet, crawled inside, and closed the door after herself.

    I was all WTF?

    Oh, that’s the house girl, she sleeps there.

  215. 215
    jim says:

    This thread – it seems to be missing something important.

    *ahem*

    ” … I guess I have accomplished more than Obama. Time for a beer.”

    *LOL*

  216. 216
    JAHILL10 says:

    I thought the so-far-left-they-are-starting-to-look-right brigade was simply celebrating Festivus, which culminates in letting everyone know how they have disappointed you in the past year.
    Honestly, all of this kicking and screaming shows a general mindset of thinking that a left-wing president who governed by fiat would be a good thing (the “just-like-Bush” scenario they apparently wouldn’t mind seeing).
    Casting the vote in Nov. 08 was just the beginning. It’s going to take a while to turn the ship of state around and Obama (because he has no desire to be a dictator) can’t do it by himself. But rather than put in the long term effort needed to get the job done, the so-far-left-they-are-starting-to-look-right brigade went into sulk mode before the first year is even up and want to take up with teabaggers. Bunch of spoiled babies. Who said fixing this country was going to be quick and easy and who said the most constructive thing we as citizens could do was sit on the sidelines and bitch?

  217. 217
    Keith G says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Who said fixing this country was going to be quick and easy and who said the most constructive thing we as citizens could do was sit on the sidelines and bitch?

    El Tiburon

  218. 218
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    He just gets a little too worked up when you pipe in.

    It could be love in disguise.

  219. 219
    Malron says:

    @HumboldtBlue: Dude, you should really leave the profanity to the grown-ups. Now, give Mommy back her pc and go watch your Jonas Brothers videos.

  220. 220
    Joe Buck says:

    “Obama has let us down by failing to wave his magic wand and make Republicans and Ben Nelson confirm his appointees.”

    Excuse me? It’s absurd that Obama has had such a hard time getting his appointees confirmed. There’s been a long tradition that these things just sail through. Obama does have some leverage.
    Clinton did better than Obama when Clinton faced a majority-Republican Senate. And the people Obama did get through were such inoffensive moderates that George HW Bush might have appointed them. Progressives have been almost entirely blocked.

    When the Dems threatened filibusters against only a small fraction of Bush’s nominees, the Republicans went crazy, screaming about up-or-down votes and the nuclear option every damned day. They got their way on almost everyone; the Democrats only blocked a few. But Obama never says anything. He doesn’t take his case public. He doesn’t use his power to make his opponents pay a price.

    Of course, it’s not just his fault; the Dem leadership is very weak. Just the same, if this is how bad it is for Obama when he has 60 Dems in the Senate, what’s it going to be like for him when he has only 55 or so next time around?

    He’s got one year now to get anything passed. If he can’t do it now, he’s screwed. He needs to figure out a way.

    You can say that this is not Obama’s fault, but to say so is to say that it’s hopeless, that Republicans have a veto over everything.

  221. 221
    Will says:

    You can say that this is not Obama’s fault, but to say so is to say that it’s hopeless, that Republicans have a veto over everything.

    That’s pretty much it. Great presidents overcome great challenges. Teddy R. had to fight a hostile Congress where his own party had turned against him, but still managed to get a shit-ton done. FDR had to fight Hitler. Lincoln had to fight Southerners.

    Shit is tough sometimes.

    If Obama can’t figure out a way to overcome the challenge of his time, then he will be a one-term president and will probably lose one or both houses of Congress. And as crazy as the Republicans are right now, that will be a fucking tragedy.

    Whining about how hard it is isn’t going to matter. The American voter isn’t going to be swayed with arguments about how they just don’t understand the nuances of legislative progress if they are unhappy.

  222. 222
    El Tiburon says:

    @JAHILL10:

    Honestly, all of this kicking and screaming shows a general mindset of thinking that a left-wing president who governed by fiat would be a good thing (the “just-like-Bush” scenario they apparently wouldn’t mind seeing).

    Left-wing President? Really? Kicking and screaming? To voice the opinion that Obama is continuing many of the destructive policies is now kicking and screaming? I think we DFHs would accept Obama’s failure if he at least came to the plate on a lot of these issues. Contrary to his assertion, Obama stated clearly he was for a public option. By all reasonable accounts he has done NOTHING to make this happen. We don’t want Presidency by fiat, we want him to tackle the tough issues and do down swinging.

    That many of you can’t see this is distressing. Oh well, back to my latte and Volvo I guess.

  223. 223
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Joe Buck:

    There’s been a long tradition that these things just sail through. Obama does have some leverage.

    Not really, most usually do. The ones that get blocked are mostly ideological boogymen or women the other side wants to make political points off of with their base, so they block them, at least for a time, and sometimes longer. Dems did it with people like Bolton, and some others. Or anyone they thought was too wingnutty.

    Judges are some different, and I would agree that wingers get the best of dems, and they sure did Clinton, permanently blocking a number of Appeals Court judges these battles usually center around. But for all other appointments this is and has been pretty much standard for some time.

    What you see as progressive, wingers see as liberal ideologues, that is why they get blocked. Especially when they have said or done things in the past that can be exploited for political gain. More interesting red meat for the RW base.

    And the

  224. 224
    El Tiburon says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    This one gets me. Did you just think he was going to withdraw on day one?

    No, but do you have zero sense of any history? There will be no victory (whatever that means) in Afghanistan. That we are there is making it worse. The brave action would be to begin removing forces and go to Plan B.

    And leave the mess we made for the Afghanis to clean up alone?

    Sadly, yes. We can give them monetary support, but having military forces in Afghanistan is not improving the situation.

    WTF, people? Bush neglected Afghanistan for most of his term for Bushies Big Adventure in Iraq.

    And what do you think is going to happen? How many more billions and American and innocent lives will it take? We are not going to win in Afghanistan. The only way to improve their lives is to get the fuck out. Now.

  225. 225
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Joe Buck:

    It’s absurd that Obama has had such a hard time getting his appointees confirmed. There’s been a long tradition that these things just sail through.

    It’s true that when Clinton was in office, some (but by no means all) of his appointments went through with Republican support. Have you not noticed that those selfsame Republicans (like, say, Orrin Hatch) are not offering the same support to the current president that they did to Clinton?

    (“By no means all” means that the federal judiciary was perpetually short of judges because of routine blocking of Clinton’s nominations by Republicans. But you knew that, right?)

  226. 226
    kay says:

    @Will:

    But why do you think voters are so unhappy with him? I don’t think it’s justified. Obama’s approval ratings are right around Reagan’s at this stage of his Presidency, and they’re above Clintons. He’s doing flat-out great with Hispanics, and that’s an important group for Democrats, in terms of the electoral distribution.

    I don’t object to the policy complaints. I do wonder about making these bold predictions of massive electoral failure. I feel as if the dire political warnings are part of what’s become almost a campaign. There’s nothing really wrong with doing that, “you’ll lose if you don’t go my way”, that’s a campaign, but is it current reality?

  227. 227
    Betsy says:

    @Will:

    Great presidents overcome great challenges. Teddy R. had to fight a hostile Congress where his own party had turned against him, but still managed to get a shit-ton done. FDR had to fight Hitler. Lincoln had to fight Southerners.

    Yeah. And ain’t none of ’em did it within the first year of their presidency. It might be instructive to go back and look at FDR’s *four term* administration.

    @El Tiburon:
    Dude, I think you missed the part where you got pwned by midnight marauder upthread:

    pwnage
    After that, it’s really, really hard to take your self-righteousness seriously.

  228. 228
    Ash says:

    @Will:

    FDR had to fight Hitler. Lincoln had to fight Southerners.

    Obama has to fight Southerners who like to bring up Hitler whilst they take anti-psychotic medication, as it’s the only way they can function in society, since technically, they all have mental disorders of some sort.

  229. 229
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Will:

    Teddy R. had to fight a hostile Congress where his own party had turned against him, but still managed to get a shit-ton done.

    In his second term.

    FDR had to fight Hitler.

    In his third term.

    Lincoln had to fight Southerners.

    Who actually withdrew and formed their own country — they started seceding even before Lincoln took office.

  230. 230

    @kay:

    He’s doing flat-out great with Hispanics, and that’s an important group for Democrats, in terms of the electoral distribution.

    Oh, I can’t WAIT for that debate to come up next year.

  231. 231
    Will says:

    But why do you think voters are so unhappy with him? I don’t think it’s justified. Obama’s approval ratings are right around Reagan’s at this stage of his Presidency, and they’re above Clintons. He’s doing flat-out great with Hispanics, and that’s an important group for Democrats, in terms of the electoral distribution.

    Some of it is unrealistic expectations. For all the people here like to talk about how they understood who Obama “really” was, he managed to engage a lot of young nonvoters with promises of change.

    That was always a dangerous strategy, as we’re seeing right now how a lot of people had very personal expectations that weren’t going to be met. The politics junkies in these parts can mock all the voters who don’t understand the nuances of American politics, but they have to realize that if their lives do not change for the better in the next two-to-three years, there’s a good chance they won’t be going to the polls.

    I mean, this place is as pro-Obama as it gets, and the recurring defenses often take the form of lectures about how Obama does not control Congress, which is true, and that the Republican Party has gone crazy in defense against him, which is also true, and that it’s counterproductive for so many of his former supporters to start turning on him after only a year in office, again true. He’s not a dictator or God.

    But none of this is going to matter if Obama can’t make things better for the average citizen. Losers often have good reasons for losing, but this country celebrates – and re-elects – winners.

  232. 232
    Betsy says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Funny…I’m having the strangest feeling that we’ve had this conversation before…

  233. 233
    kay says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    I don’t think anyone pays any attention to it, partly because it’s a little, oh, I don’t know, venal and political to be pulling out groups, but I’m betting the White House does, and I look at that, because I like to break it down.
    It’s interesting. I think it’s partly because Hispanics are the group that are most likely to have no health insurance, so are feeling some real urgency there, but that’s a guess.

  234. 234
    Ash says:

    but this country celebrates – and re-elects – winners.

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Thanks for that.

  235. 235
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Will:

    FDR had to fight Hitler. Lincoln had to fight Southerners.

    Who would win in a fight: Obama or Hitler?

    Trick question. Obama is Hitler.

    @Will:

    I mean, this place is as pro-Obama as it gets,

    Clearly, you do not get out much.

  236. 236
    Seanly says:

    Obama didn’t mandate that coaches allow my fantasy players to score 3 touchdown apiece. And this is the second week in which he let it happen. There’s no money at stake and I only know one guy in our league, but dammit, I wanted to win the championship!

    And, yes, that includes the opposing coaches too.

  237. 237

    @El Tiburon:

    And what do you think is going to happen? How many more billions and American and innocent lives will it take? We are not going to win in Afghanistan. The only way to improve their lives is to get the fuck out. Now.

    Bullshit. Getting the f**k out. Now. was not what Obama campaigned on, and it won’t improve their lives when the Taliban comes back into power and AQ comes down out of the mountains. BTW, didn’t Obama set a tentative timeline on a withdrawal? We’ll (hopefully) be mostly out of Iraq by 2011, according to the SOFA.

    No, but do you have zero sense of any history? There will be no victory (whatever that means) in Afghanistan. That we are there is making it worse.

    I know there will be no “victory,” but have you ever heard of the term “you broke it, you fix it?”

    Sadly, yes. We can give them monetary support, but having military forces in Afghanistan is not improving the situation.

    I guess we’ll see, won’t we.

  238. 238
    Will says:

    Yeah. And ain’t none of ‘em did it within the first year of their presidency. It might be instructive to go back and look at FDR’s four term administration.

    You’re talking to a guy with a master’s in American history. I know my FDR.

    In FDR’s first term, he was enacting dozens – hundreds – of programs to fight the Depression. A ton of them failed, but the ones that didn’t radically changed the way this country functions to this day. But he looked really fucking busy, and he used his bully pulpit to point at – or manufacture – enemies of prosperity that he could claim that he was fighting.

    He came into office and did stuff through the executive branch. The reason we gauge presidents according to their “First 100 Days” is because FDR did a ton of shit in his first 100 days, and then did a whole bunch more shit in his “Second 100 Days.” There’s a lot of truth to the statement that he was a competent, leftist George W. Bush. He really, really stretched the limits of what the Executive Branch could do. And he made a lot compromises.

    But the flurry of activity was visible in communities. He had financial reform in place within first 100 days, and the WPA was a product of the second 200 days.

    And someone will bring up that he was in a different time with a different Congress and media. That is true. But I refer you back to the idea that every great president lives in a challenging time and overcomes that challenge. Mediocre and failed presidents overcome them.

    If Obama can’t overcome them, he’s going to be another Jimmy Carter. A good man who, ultimately, still a bit of a loser.

  239. 239
    kay says:

    @Will:

    I agree with you there. That if their lives don’t change for the better, or that they don’t perceive their lives changing for the better, Democrats are in trouble.
    Do I think they’re hoping Dawn Johnsen gets confirmed? No. I do not. I think they want unemployment to go down and Congress to complete an assigned task. I don’t think they’re drilling down into the anti-trust exemption, or hoping against hope that Geithner gets fired, either.
    But general uptick in fortunes? Yeah. They want that.
    The liberal policy-to-political argument I read is he can’t get there from here, he must change course, and I don’t know that that’s true. I see the practical reason for making that argument, and I believe a lot of liberals believe he’s on a collision course with disaster, but I don’t.

  240. 240
    Kristine says:

    Um…which site is “GOS”? Please to educate.

    Love “emopants” with much love.

  241. 241
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Kristine:

    Um…which site is “GOS”? Please to educate.
    Love “emopants” with much love.

    The would be Daily Kos, aka “The Great Orange Satan.”

  242. 242
    Will says:

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    If you are talking about GWB, he was still riding high during his reelection. Anyone paying attention knew he sucked, but he projected the image of someone in control. Polls showed that people were starting to doubt him by the election, but Kerry was such an incredibly awkward dork that he skated by.

    The real tragedy of Bush is that his carefully manufactured media image started crashing almost as soon as his second term began. I truly believe that, had the election taken place as little as a month or two later, Kerry would have taken it.

    And contrary to our recent experience, one term presidents aren’t rare. One termers are 29 out of 44.

  243. 243
    kay says:

    @Will:

    But part of the reason FDR did that was it actually crashed, and there was no safety net. None. I don’t know how this gets missed.
    Food stamp use has nearly quadrupled during this recession. There’s not the same sense of urgency or political will because there’s not the same set of facts.
    You saw the polling numbers on the stimulus. People were not clamoring for massive intervention. Obama had to convince them it was going to get bad. They’re completely unconvinced that intervention was even necessary. They’re unconvinced because it didn’t get as bad as the Depression. States poured money in to keep teachers and cops working and it was just taken as business as usual.

  244. 244
    Kristine says:

    @Midnight Marauder:

    Thank you. I was worried for a moment that I was missing something.

  245. 245
    Will says:

    kay,

    I live in the Southeast, and I have a very different take. Things are really bad here. Within a half-hour drive, there are two counties with more than 20+ percent unemployment. Things weren’t exactly great before, but the economic crash hit hard here.

    A lot of people are scared. I work for the state, and last year was incredibly tense, lots of rumors of layoffs that were followed by actual layoffs. The husbands of a lot of the women in my office have lost jobs. And all signs point to next year being as bad or worse.

    Maybe there are places where people aren’t worried about losing their jobs. Here, everyone feels like they are in danger.

  246. 246
    Mark says:

    @Max

    @Mark: There is a provision for COBRA extension in the jobs bill going thru congress.

    Call your congress critter. Obama has already said he wants it.

    I think you’re a week behind. COBRA was extended (as I mentioned) to 15 months in the Defense Appropriations Bill.

    There is no plan for 2010-2013. Zero. People who take jobs with no benefits have no means to purchase affordable health insurance. You can’t even buy the $750 catastrophic coverage that will be available in 2014.

    People are hurting today. But the unemployed and the uninsured are getting basically nothing to quell their fears.

  247. 247
    Keith G says:

    @Ash: Yeah that was worth a grin.

    Will’s naivety is endearing and I am not meaning to be as condescending as it sounds (actually not wanting to be condescending at all).

    But none of this is going to matter if Obama can’t make things better for the average citizen.

    Modern presidents politically live or die based on the one thing they have the least control over in the short term, the economy. If the shaky econ progress we have been seeing continues, the midterms wont be a total fuck up. If as some experts suggest, we begin to see steady, but not spectacular growth in about 16 months, Obama will be well on his way to a 2nd term.

    Republicans know this. This is why they are trying so hard to throw the kitchen sink at him. They suspect that the timing of economic conditions are against them and they want to wound Obama now as much as possible, damn the real needs of our so-called nation.

  248. 248
    El Tiburon says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    Bullshit. Getting the f**k out. Now. was not what Obama campaigned on,

    And so…That is not my point. Increasing our footprint will improve the situation how exactly?

    and it won’t improve their lives when the Taliban comes back into power and AQ comes down out of the mountains.

    Oh really. And you know this how? Regardless, the Taliban is their problem, not ours. So, according to you then, we should invade and occupy Pakistan where AQ is, huh? And should we invade every country where a few AQ are located? Bombing the masses does not a victory make.

    BTW, didn’t Obama set a tentative timeline on a withdrawal? We’ll (hopefully) be mostly out of Iraq by 2011, according to the SOFA.

    Okay, so what will be solved by 2011? Will we be victorious? How many Americans will lose their fathers and sons and mothers and daughters? Oh and that thing about killing innocent Afghanistanis creating even more extremists.

    Look, there was nothing really to break in Afghanistan. The warlords still control everything outside of Kabul, just like they did prior to 9-11. They are raking in more in poppy profits while we pay both sides to fight each other and hopefully leave us alone. What is our mission? Who are we fighting? What are fighting for? Afghanistan did not attack us. A few hundred whackos who were camped out in the sticks did.

  249. 249
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    Well this should get interesting . So now you hate and ridicule:

    -right wing blogs
    -“progressive” blogs

    This will be interesting to watch. I’m trying to think of what will be left! Ah I know. See, now the constant citing and linking to Andrew Sullivan suddenly makes more sense ;)

  250. 250
  251. 251
    Keith G says:

    @El Tiburon:

    Afghanistan did not attack us. A few hundred whackos who were camped out in the sticks did.

    Whackos who had the sanction and protection of the good folks running Afghanistan at the time.

  252. 252
    kay says:

    @Will:

    Maybe it’s different here, because I live in the rural rustbelt, and we’ve had a recession since 2006 or thereabouts. We didn’t have the huge gains in housing value, but we still had the foreclosures.
    It’s ticking down in my county. We have a local paper that prints the unemployment rate in HUGE type with banner headlines, because last year was grim. We were feeding kids at the library this summer, because the children’s librarian looked at the free and reduced school meal roster in June and panicked when school let out. “They’ll starve!” She’s a wonderful person.
    It was the worst I’ve ever seen it. My clients are working class. They tell me it’s getting better. The most valuable workers are back to overtime, and it usually goes: “overtime for those who were not laid off, and then call-backs”. That’s what they see happening, anyway.
    I don’t know if it’s going to improve on any election cycle timeline, or sufficiently. But I think it’s going to improve.
    But, I completely know the feeling you’re describing. My practice is such that people cry a lot, they cry regularly, but we had people just breaking down and losing their shit almost randomly when you spoke with them, during the worst of it. They were just strung up tight.

  253. 253
    Will says:

    Will’s naivety is endearing and I am not meaning to be as condescending as it sounds (actually not wanting to be condescending at all).

    Presidents have been re-elected in bad economies. “It’s the Economy” stupid is a nice bumper sticker, but it’s not a universal of American politics.

    The economy actually got worse – twice – under FDR. He just managed the trick of convincing people that he was working as hard as fucking possible to make things better, while also convincing people that the Republicans would make things worse, and people believed him.

    Truman also managed this trick, although much less well. He did this partially by convincing people that fighting the Soviet menace was more urgent than an economic downturn.

    Strangely, GWB is another example of this. The economy got steadily worse under him, but he managed the trick of convincing people that fighting the terrorist menace was more important than the job situation.

  254. 254
    Keith G says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Well this should get interesting . So now you hate and ridicule….

    Ridicule most definitely, We ridicule each other (lovingly) when deserved.

    But as a rule, hate is not involved. Are you projecting?

  255. 255
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    Whackos who had the sanction and protection of the good folks running Afghanistan at the time.

    No one’s been “running” Afghanistan for a long time.

  256. 256
    Elie says:

    @El Tiburon:

    I dont have any problem with criticism that is constructive and not filled with invective.

    The problem I also have, is that too many times, criticism of Obama just seems for its own sake and without an alternative action plan. If we are to trash Obama and what he is trying to do, what is the substitute? Wait for the REAL Messiah? Vote in a revolution?

    Oh never mind. I know none of what I say will mean a hill of beans to you. If all you want is the issue, who am I to deprive you of your need. You are right — we just think Obama is perfect and will brook no criticism.

    Carry on

  257. 257
    El Tiburon says:

    @Keith G:

    Ok, fair enough. So we went in and mostly eradicated AQ. We took out the Taliban. Mission accomplished, right? So why are still there?

    Oh right, the Taliban is back. So we are going to waste billions more and hundreds of more lives to do something I guess. Then eventually leave as the Taliban or whoever comes back into power. Now they will have thousands of angry young men to recruit.

    The military is not the solution. Why is this so hard? It’s like the Soviet’s invasion never happened. There is no victory.

    What is our mission?

  258. 258
    Will says:

    kay,

    I’m in North Carolina, and I firmly believe that the reason Obama won this state is because of just how quickly things turned bad here. We had a booming economy – housing in the mountains and coast, high-tech in Raleigh and banking in Charlotte. All of them plunged in the last year of the Bush administration.

    Things haven’t improved here, so much as stabilized. The construction folks are still unemployed, the counties and cities haven’t rehired the laid off people and there weren’t as many tourists as in the past, but there haven’t been any new, big shocks.

    But the tax numbers are looking grim, especially if holiday sales are as weak as they are looking. If the whispers I’m hearing from work are true, there’s a good chance that this year could see a massacre in state and local payrolls. As those are the best, and sometimes only, good jobs in a lot of communities, that’s going to have a ripple effect.

  259. 259
    Keith G says:

    @Will:

    Presidents have been re-elected in bad economies.

    Name two in the last 60 years.

  260. 260
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    Yer just askin’ fer it arentcha John. Looks like you pulled in some suckers with that bait.

    @eemom: @Chad S:

    What’s this about Grover Norquist stuffing a Hamster named Jane up his ass?! Do tell!

    Also, if any of you try to refute what I have said here or try to state something positive, you are an Obot incapable of critical thinking and unable to see the real truth.

    With those preconditions in mind, how’s the weather John? ;)

    Now I will resume reading all about myself here.

  261. 261
    El Tiburon says:

    @Elie:

    I dont have any problem with criticism that is constructive and not filled with invective.

    Agreed. Who is being invective? Is it okay to use harsh language? I think it’s only the teabaggers and Republicans who are being invective.

    The problem I also have, is that too many times, criticism of Obama just seems for its own sake and without an alternative action plan.

    What? Who are you reading (not counting teabaggers and Republicans and Joe Lieberman? Sorry to disappoint but there are dozens (if not hundreds) of rational voices out there offering all kinds of alternatives to Afghanistan, healthcare, the economy.

    If we are to trash Obama and what he is trying to do, what is the substitute? Wait for the REAL Messiah? Vote in a revolution?

    Criticism equals trashing. Being extremely upset that we are going to waste billions more and more lives for the fuck up that is Afghanistan is trashing Obama? No, I don’t think any of us thought Obama the messiah. But using our rights to dissent I used think was noble.

    Oh never mind. I know none of what I say will mean a hill of beans to you.

    Because you are not saying anything. See above quote re: the Messiah as an example of not saying anything.

    If all you want is the issue, who am I to deprive you of your need. You are right—we just think Obama is perfect and will brook no criticism.

    I still don’t understand what is so wrong with criticism if it has merit.

  262. 262
    Betsy says:

    @Will:
    And you’re talking to a gal with one as well, about a year away from my PhD.

    And what you’re saying ignores all the things Obama HAS done in his first year. From Ledbetter to the global gag rule to the stimulus package to banning torture (that’s just off the top of my head; I’m sure there’s lots of other stuff too), he got a lot of shit done in his first 100 days. The stimulus package in particular, which, while I agree it should have been bigger, still saved the economy from a much worse fate than the one we’ve got. And it was not easy for him to push that through. He has pushed through health care reform, something that has never even passed one house of congress before. These are not minor accomplishments.

    But whatever. I think this is mostly a matter of glass half-full, glass half-empty ways of looking at the world. I agree with everyone that there’s a lot he’s done wrong, and a lot I wish were different. I just don’t think that adds up to him being a terrible president or disappointment or a 1-termer. There is still a lot of time left.

  263. 263
    Will says:

    Name two in the last 60 years.

    Truman. Nixon’s second term came as the country was visibly entering a downturn, although not a terrible one.

    Hell, Carter came damn close to pulling out a narrow win during a recession. If it wasn’t for the Iran hostage crisis, he’d be another example.

  264. 264
    Betsy says:

    And now, to bed, or I risk becoming an xkcd cartoon.

  265. 265
    Elie says:

    @valdivia:

    I hear THAT :-)

  266. 266
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betsy:

    Hey, great minds, etc. ;^)

  267. 267
    Bill E Pilgrim says:

    @Keith G:

    Well, I was really echoing the “blogs we monitor and mock as needed” list on the right, wondering if all of the “progressive” blogs would have to be moved down into that part now ;)

    If JC doesn’t hate say Michelle Malkin’s blog but only ridicules it, well fair enough, though I’d be sort of surprised.

    Really teasing more than attacking here, I just found it interesting that there’s someone so good at taking apart right wing nuttery who is now, and rather suddenly it seems, aiming all of that at “progressive” blogs. And sincerely wondering what would be left, which I’ll be curious to see. Cole has always been unclassifiable, and interestingly so.

  268. 268
    El Tiburon says:

    @Betsy:

    Why are these two camps mutually exclusive?

    Can’t we celebrate the good that Obama has done while also criticizing what appear to be the same destructive policies as Bush?

    And can’t we recognize, as so many astute bloggers have, that Obama seems to be screwing the pooch on so many important issues?

  269. 269
    Will says:

    From Ledbetter to the global gag rule to the stimulus package to banning torture (that’s just off the top of my head; I’m sure there’s lots of other stuff too), he got a lot of shit done in his first 100 days. The stimulus package in particular, which, while I agree it should have been bigger, still saved the economy from a much worse fate than the one we’ve got. And it was not easy for him to push that through. He has pushed through health care reform, something that has never even passed one house of congress before. These are not minor accomplishments.

    I’m a political junkie, and I don’t even know what Ledbetter is. The rest of the stuff is good, but it isn’t penetrating into communities. And while Obama saved the economy, he bungled the public relations part of that effort. Victories shouldn’t piss people off and lower your poll numbers.

    The major exception is the stimulus, but it also wasn’t a visible victory. It was just too damn wonkish and unimpressive in execution. Politics is as much theater as policy, and Obama so far has a string of victories that manage to have little visible impact in the average American’s life.

    Even worse, a lot of those victories have managed to divide and depress the enthusiasm of his supporters. Despite all the “you PUMAs” rhetoric in these parts, I have noticed that a lot of Obama’s harshest critics used to be his supporters.

  270. 270
    Keith G says:

    @El Tiburon: This will undoubtedly be as unsatisfactory for you to read as it is for me to type.

    By and large, military conflict sucks hot Nigerian rocks and I do not like defending such activities. Had we paid due attention to Afg I believe there was a window, say 02-06, when we could have completed a near total degradation of AQ and the militarist branch of the Taliban.

    We didn’t.

    What we did do was convince a lot of good people of Afghanistan that we were for real and that they should stick their necks out by cooperating with us to build a better civil society.

    They did.

    Now they are targets in their own land and as much as it pains me to say it, we are honor bound to try to give those people to organize, strength, and mount a defense of the society they wish to form.

    It aint clean, it aint easy and there will be no John Wayne moments, but some of us believe it is what we owe them.

  271. 271
    Will says:

    And can’t we recognize, as so many astute bloggers have, that Obama seems to be screwing the pooch on so many important issues?

    Yup. The supporters are screaming “clap louder” and attacking other supporters whose enthusiasm flags.

    I’m not even saying the supporters are wrong – and there is a genuine trend of loss of support of any president in his first time – but the fact that the enthusiasm has to be enforced with insults isn’t a positive sign.

    Outside of the online political junkies, I’m hearing a lot of people who like Obama expressing serious concern. People are afraid of losing their jobs, and even if that fear is irrational, people are going to vote on it.

  272. 272
    Keith G says:

    Sorry for a few typos above, I’m a bit weary and the edit function froze up.

    @Will:

    I’m a political junkie, and I don’t even know what Ledbetter is

    Sorry, but that says it all.

  273. 273
    El Tiburon says:

    @Keith G:

    Keith, I am with you. I am not saying we just bail and wave bye-bye and drink fruity drinks on our porch.

    But our military being there is not solving or improving anything. We are just delaying the inevitable.

    Are we going to stay there as bodyguards until the end of time?

    So our mission is to simply protect our friends there? Oh, and who are these friends? I don’t know if there are any reliable polls like there were in Iraq, but my guess is that most Afghanis want us out. I’m sure they’d rather deal with their neighbors and countrymen then then some occupying force.

    What is our mission?

  274. 274
    Will says:

    Now they are targets in their own land and as much as it pains me to say it, we are honor bound to try to give those people to organize, strength, and mount a defense of the society they wish to form.

    That was Iraq. We fucked that up, and now they have the society that Iran wanted them to have.

    In Afghanistan, I strongly suspect that we are trying to give them the society that we, not they, want to form? That’s certainly been the experience of every other major power who’ve tried to reform them.

    I also suspect that 18-20 year old soldiers aren’t the best choices for reforming a society. If we had 100,000 or so extra engineers, teachers, agricultural specialists, Peace Corp volunteers, etc. with skills in the local languages, we might have a chance. We don’t.

    A point of evidence.

  275. 275
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Will:

    This all began with the dropping of the PO from the HC bill, and it wasn’t those of us who were disappointed but understood political realty and the simple math for getting bills passed out of the senate that started the name calling.

    It was those who wanted us to get on the poutrage wagon like good “real progressive dfh’s” that were attacked for being Obama sycophants and sellouts for supporting a flawed bill, for the simple reason that a lot more people would be covered than from no bill at all.

    And I never complain about being mistreated or attacked, I return fire to at least the level I receive it. And it does not matter where it comes from, or what direction left or right. I am about sick of the complaining from the other side of this little intraparty scuffle and their hurt feelings. Politics ain’t bean bags, so please quit whining when people don’t treat you like with kid gloves when you are the ones who started it.

  276. 276
    Will says:

    Sorry, but that says it all.

    Yeah, it does. I’m part of the less than 1 percent of the nation that follows politics closely and – once I looked it up – I remembered the court case, but this isn’t exactly widespread public knowledge.

    Again, that’s probably not Obama’s fault. The playing field may be tilted against him – press sucks, Republicans against him, news cycle dominated by other news.

    But none of that is going to make a dime’s difference if Obama can’t convince people that he is changing their lives for the better.

  277. 277
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Bill E Pilgrim:

    Well this should get interesting . So now you hate and ridicule:
    __
    -right wing blogs
    -”progressive” blogs
    __
    This will be interesting to watch. I’m trying to think of what will be left!

    Many, many, MANY people, and many, many blogs, that choose not to indulge all the leftier-than-thou posturing. The “progressive” blogs have been a Slough of Despond all year. And the best part is that I have been able to shed blogs left and right and still find amenable places like this.

  278. 278
    Will says:

    General Winfield Stuck,

    If you step above the “who called me a name first” aspect, you have to agree that fact that the president’s victories have a way of splitting his supporters is… not auspicious. I know that some in these quarters have convinced themselves that the doubters have always been secret PUMAs, but my experience and perception is that there’s been a steady deflating of enthusiasm among Obama’s supporters online and in the meat world. I know that I went from sending the dude hundreds of dollars, including money out of an unemployment checks, to my current state as a skeptical supporter who would really, really like to have my doubts assuaged.

    No list of legislative victories or statistics-based projections will change this. And maybe people here are right that there’s just nothing that Obama can do to really improve things.

    But that’s also the difference between success and failure. A noble failure is still, at the end of the day, a failure.

  279. 279
    drag0n says:

    Obama and Holder have made only one REAL MISTAKE… and that is not pursuing war crimes prosecutions from DAY ONE:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUtvgjOu6AY

    I have no doubt that Obama had the best of intentions in this respect but I think this disease will haunt both of his terms in office.

  280. 280
    Xantar says:

    I’m a political junkie, and I don’t even know what Ledbetter is.

    Then maybe you’re not as big of a political junkie as you think. I actually don’t have a Master’s in History, and I do know what Ledbetter is.

    Wikipedia is your friend.

  281. 281
    Elie says:

    @El Tiburon:

    El —

    I am not going to detail every argument and every critique posted over the last 2-3 months — so you will excuse my lack of specificity – or as you say, “not saying anything”

    I have said a whole lot and sometimes too much at times and I know when the party that I am having an exchange with is not interested in a shared communication but just another opportunity to say the same thing.

    I donot waste detailed points or comments in that situation and so, as I said before, who am I to deprive you of your deep pleasure of grievance and complaint. Just not interested … you have found many others here who like chewing on it with you

    Good night all!

  282. 282
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Will:

    The supporters are screaming “clap louder” and attacking other supporters whose enthusiasm flags.

    The denouncers have been screaming “stop clapping” since January 21. I’ve never seen enforced disillusionment before. It really has been a race to see who can profess to be disappointed fastest.

  283. 283
    Keith G says:

    @Will:

    Truman

    61 years ago. I chose my words carefully.

    Carter actually hurts your cause just a bit. Even before Iran blew up, double digit inflation and unemployment all but negated for Jimmy any of the historical advantages that incumbent presidents usually have in seeking re-election.

  284. 284
    Original Lee says:

    I blame Obama for the rescue foster mom not letting me bring my dog home in time for Christmas. Dammit, we all KNOW heartworm is caused by sekrit Mooslim Kenyans in the White House!

  285. 285
    Nick says:

    @Will:

    the WPA was a product of the second 200 days.

    The WPA was created in 1935, over two years after Roosevelt became President.

  286. 286
    General Winfield Stuck says:

    @Will:

    It is a free country, and anyone can support or not any candidate they choose. And change that support accordingly when their expectations are not met by this or that candidate.

    But that’s also the difference between success and failure. A noble failure is still, at the end of the day, a failure.

    And this is the kind of black and white thinking that belies claims by self described progressives of being that. Failure and success in politics hardly ever can be described as all one or the other. It is almost always a combination of both, and with the HC bill getting 94 to 96 percent of Americans covered and 30 million access to health care that can’t get it now will never be a failure in my book and I don’t see how any liberal could say it isn’t progress. Though the method of achieving that ends could be described as largely failure in reducing costs.

    This bill does not signify the end to the struggle to correct the horrid state of health care and it’s delivery in this country. It is one battle with more to come, a battle with a partial victory of saving lives that would be lost with no bill at all.

  287. 287
    Nick says:

    @Will:

    I know that I went from sending the dude hundreds of dollars, including money out of an unemployment checks, to my current state as a skeptical supporter who would really, really like to have my doubts assuaged.

    Take a lesson, you are not a movement.

    I know I went from unemployed and struggling a year ago to employed and prospering now…does that mean everything is peachy?

  288. 288
    Will says:

    Carter actually hurts your cause just a bit. Even before Iran blew up, double digit inflation and unemployment all but negated for Jimmy any of the historical advantages that incumbent presidents usually have in seeking re-election.

    I’m not sure that the incumbent advantage really exists for presidents. Sixty-six percent of incumbents have lost.

    Carter’s presidency is actually really interesting, when you look at the polls. His polls were all over the place, but he kept coming back. He had the advantage of coming into office during a time when Americans were pessimistic about the economy, and they gave him a lot of slack.

    Like Obama, there was also a major disconnect between his media portrayal and the public perception. Carter’s poll numbers actually rose substantially after the sweater speech, despite the fact that the Washington press corps were unanimous in condemning. Hell, they still talk about it as a disaster, despite the fact that it floated his approval for some time.

    On the other hand, his polls sunk below 35 percent after the Israeli-Egypt peace accords. Again, the media lauded him for this, and he won the Nobel Prize, but the public didn’t give a shit. If anything, he was criticized for focusing so much on foreign policy when things were bad at home.

    The incident that sunk Carter was the failure of the Iran hostage rescue. Even then, Reagan and him were running neck and neck until the debates. Once Reagan reassured voters that he wasn’t a Goldwater, they broke hard.

  289. 289
    Keith G says:

    Hey General, good to see you.

    @El Tiburon:

    It is so late ( for me) and I want to respect your efforts at discussion. I am going to take a short cut and try to be as brief as clear communication will allow, though usually I would supply more support.

    I would bet that at some point not that long ago, I occupied a position very similar to yours. What shifted my opinion, to the extent that is has, were a series of conversations with individuals who have served over there. I trust the narratives I heard. These weren’t pols nor pendants nor true believers of any stripe. I sought them out. They were not trying to convert me or rationalize their struggles.

    They want us out. They want us to try one time with sincere effort to give the people of Afghanistan who they worked with a chance to defend the society they desire.

    The Americans I spoke with do not believe in miracles or Hail Marys. They knew there were no guarantees, yet they felt the effort was important, even necessary.

  290. 290
    Will says:

    The WPA was created in 1935, over two years after Roosevelt became President.

    The “Second Hundred Days” was FDR’s second year initiative.

    The “Second Hundred Days”

    Congress also enacted several important relief and reform measures in the summer of 1935 — sometimes called the Second Hundred Days.

    During the Second Hundred Days, those measures enacted included:

    # Joint resolution to abandon the gold standard (June 5);

    # National Employment System Act (June 6), to create the U.S. Employment Service;

    # Home Owners Refinancing Act (June 13), to establish the Home Owners Loan Corporation (HOLC) to refinance non-farm home mortgages;

    # Glass-Steagall Banking Act (June 16), to institute various banking reforms, including establishing the Federal Bank Deposit Insurance Corporation, that insured deposits up to $5,000, and later, $10,000;

    # Farm Credit Act (June 16), to provide for the refinancing of farm mortgages;

    # Emergency Railroad Transportation Act (June 16), to increase federal regulation of railroads; and the

    # National Industrial Recovery Act (June 16), to establish the National Recovery Administration and the Public Works Administration.

    Following Roosevelt’s lead, the government launched a relief program, the Civil Works Administration (CWA), in winter 1933-1934. The CWA provided funds to such authorities as mayors and governors for public projects including road, bridge, and school construction, park restoration, and others. Critics castigated the CWA as make-work, much of it useless.

    And just for the record, here’s the First Hundred Days:

    # Emergency Banking Act (March 9), provided the president with the means to reopen viable banks and regulate banking;

    # Economy Act (March 20), cut federal costs through reorganization of and cuts in salaries and veterans’ pensions;

    # Beer-Wine Revenue Act (March 22), legalized and taxed wine and beer;

    # Civilian Conservation Corps Act (March 31). Three million young men, between the ages of 18 to 25, found work in road building, forestry labor and flood control through the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC);

    # Federal Emergency Relief Act (May 12), established the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to distribute $500 million to states and localities for relief. Administered by Harry Hopkins for relief or for wages on public works, that federal agency would eventually pay out about $3 billion;

    # Agricultural Adjustment Act (May 12), established the Agricultural Adjustment Administration to decrease crop surpluses by subsidizing farmers who voluntarily cut back on production;

    # Thomas Amendment to the Agricultural Adjustment Act, permitted the president to inflate the currency in various ways;

    # Tennessee Valley Authority Act (May 18), allowed the federal government to build dams and power plants in the Tennessee Valley, coupled with agricultural and industrial planning, to generate and sell the power, and to engage in area development. The TVA was given an assignment to improve the economic and social circumstances of the people living in the river basin; and the

    # Federal Securities Act (May 27), to stiffen regulation of the securities business.

  291. 291
    Will says:

    Take a lesson, you are not a movement.

    I know I went from unemployed and struggling a year ago to employed and prospering now…does that mean everything is peachy?

    Umm, I did too. I’m fully employed and making several times what I was, even before I was unemployed.

    But, I’m smart enough to know that anecdotes are not data. That wasn’t my point, but whatever.

  292. 292
    Will says:

    This bill does not signify the end to the struggle to correct the horrid state of health care and it’s delivery in this country. It is one battle with more to come, a battle with a partial victory of saving lives that would be lost with no bill at all.

    You, like a lot of political junkies, are very process oriented. The general public is not.

    Hell, even if the health care bill does turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread, it’s not coming into effect until after the next presidential election. Considering that the details of it are currently dividing Obama’s supporters, I have no doubt that the GOP is going to have a ton of fun demonizing it.

  293. 293
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    The Americans I spoke with do not believe in miracles or Hail Marys. They knew there were no guarantees, yet they felt the effort was important, even necessary.

    They argue from a position of sunk cost fallacy.
    It can’t be denied. I see it and hear it all the time. “If we could just double down. If we just focus. One last effort to REALLY make this right.”
    “We were focused on Iraq but now we have the resources. Now’s the time to make a serious effort.”
    Etc.
    None of them make a rational argument, it’s always an emotional response.

  294. 294
    cleek says:

    You, like a lot of political junkies, are very process oriented. The general public is not.

    the general public thinks evolution is bullshit and that Britney Spears is a Talented Artist.

  295. 295
    Comrade Kevin says:

    I think HumboldtBlue is just mad because someone took away his Mendocino Green.

  296. 296
    Will says:

    Looking back over FDR’s 100 Days, it really is interesting that the only New Deal program that the Obama Administration revived is the CWA (which was really close to the stimulus). It was an unpopular side effort by FDR that was quickly abandoned as a failure.

    It’ll be a decade at least, but I’m really looking forward to the memoirs and histories detailing exactly what is being discussed in the White House.

  297. 297
    Keith G says:

    @Will:

    I’m not sure that the incumbent advantage really exists for presidents. Sixty-six percent of incumbents have lost.

    Modern presidents as a group have done better.

    As I recall, Carter was the first elected president since Herbert Hoover to fail to win a 2nd term. And not since Andrew Johnson had a Democrat not won re-election.

    Truman, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Regan, Clinton (economy trumps blow job), Bush II – all modern presidents re-elected.

  298. 298
    Will says:

    the general public thinks evolution is bullshit and that Britney Spears is a Talented Artist.

    Too bad we live in a democracy then.

  299. 299
    Will says:

    Modern presidents as a group have done better.

    They had the benefit of being president in a period of unprecedented economic growth, power and influence from the United States. They’re the post-WWII Defender of Democracy to American Hyperpower presidents.

    That era seems to be ending quickly.

  300. 300
    Nick says:

    @Will: Hmm, wonder why it took FDR more than two years to start the “second 100 days?”

    You mean even he didn’t fix everything in less than a year.

    So I take it you’ll be patient until 2011?

  301. 301
    Midnight Marauder says:

    Citizens, your assistance is required.

    Does anyone know where I can find replacement pieces for my 11-dimension chess set? It seems that I have misplaced a rook and a few pawns.

    Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

    /O-Bot…AWWWWWWAAAAAYYYYYY!

  302. 302
    Will says:

    You mean even he didn’t fix everything in less than a year.

    You did read the list of things he did in his first 100 days? It was pretty impressive, too.

  303. 303
    NovShmozKaPop says:

    The Kaiser Foundation is needlessly shilling for Obama.

    Actually the Kaiser Foundation’s calculator tells me that nothing will change for me – my family plan will cost as much as unsubsidized COBRA. Oh well…

  304. 304
    Will says:

    So I take it you’ll be patient until 2011?

    I’m actually glad that this style of Obama supporter seems limited to the Internet. As a general rule, being snarky and dismissive of doubt from people on your side isn’t the best way of maintaining power.

    I know that a lot of you guys have built a strawman enemy of Evil Progressives who are stabbing Obama in the back, but there are a lot of people who like the guy and aren’t enthused by his performance thus far. I want my doubts to be proven wrong, but damn if you guys aren’t trying to harden people like me into becoming die-hard opponents.

    Guys, it’s not a smart long-term strategy.

  305. 305
    Nick says:

    @Will:

    I’m a political junkie, and I don’t even know what Ledbetter is.

    This is like saying “I’m a basketball junkie, but I don’t even know who Dirk Nowitzki is.” Then you’re not really a basketball junkie.

    Ledbetter is one of the most significant and delayed pieces of civil rights legislation of our time.

  306. 306
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: With respects, no. I would be no more moved by that ploy than you.

    My energy level, and your desire to wade through my typing, is such that I wont elaborate their discussions.

    These men, and they were all men, work out in the small villages. They are certain that those folks want and need help and are fearful of what will become of them left to the kindnesses of the Taliban.

    I would not be relaying this, much less shifting my opinion on this, if I did not feel that they were honest brokers. It is a painful situation.

  307. 307
    Nick says:

    @Will:

    I think we’ve done all we can possibly do to convince you otherwise, but sometimes you just have to let those who believe in Santa find out the truth for themselves.

    I want my doubts to be proven wrong

    No, not sure you really do. It’s sorta easy to see the bright side of things, but for someone who claims to be a progressive but doesn’t even know wtf Ledbetter is and will turn into a hard core opponent of Obama because of sarcasm from people on the blogs, I’m not sure you’re really worth the time to waste proving to you that you’re wrong.

  308. 308
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G: @Keith G: I’ll never doubt they honestly believe it. IMO it’s just a bad spot to be arguing from.

  309. 309
    Corner Stone says:

    @Midnight Marauder: Isn’t it your rotation to be tongue cleaning the presidential scrote on the late shift tonight?
    Mayhap you can find the items you need there.

  310. 310
    mcd410x says:

    i just don’t give a shit

  311. 311
    Keith G says:

    @Will:

    They had the benefit of being president in a period of unprecedented economic growth.

    Dear god, Will. That was exactly the point of our discussion, remember:

    Presidents have been re-elected in bad economies. “It’s the Economy” stupid is a nice bumper sticker, but it’s not a universal of American politics.

    Maybe a masters in rhetoric would do you better? I hope I am not being snarky and dismissive.

  312. 312
    Will says:

    No, not sure you really do. It’s sorta easy to see the bright side of things, but for someone who claims to be a progressive but doesn’t even know wtf Ledbetter is and will turn into a hard core opponent of Obama because of sarcasm from people on the blogs, I’m not sure you’re really worth the time to waste proving to you that you’re wrong.

    Whoever you are having a conversation with isn’t me. I’m not a hardcore opponent of Obama. Unless he nukes New York, chances are pretty much 100 percent that I’m going to vote for the guy next time. But “Obama: How dare you doubt him” isn’t exactly as inspiring a campaign slogan as “Change You Can Believe In”.

    As for Ledbetter, it’s not one of the most significant civil rights bills of our time. It’s a good bill and a needed reversal after a really fucked up Supreme Court decision – one that happened to overturn a lot of court precedent that did the same as the Ledbetter bill. Obama pushing through the ERA would be one of the most important civil rights bills of our time.

    Seriously dude, it’s a band-aid fix on a real problem. It doesn’t mandate equal pay for equal work, it merely eliminates a bogus hurdles on the standing a person has to sue – with their own money – if they believe discrimination is occurring. It’s not Brown v. Board.

  313. 313
    Martin says:

    @South of I-10:

    Princess Emopants is fair game.

  314. 314
  315. 315
    Nick says:

    @Will: I was under the impression, as you mentioned earlier, you didn’t even know what Ledbetter is.

    You need to keep your stories straight.

  316. 316
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Max:

    That’s one of the reasons I didn’t vote for her, I’m already thin. ;)

    I predict that one day our country is going to reach Critical Ass and BLAM!

    Game over.

    When you have an outlook like this, everything that we do to delay that BLAM! is a good thing.

    @Tom Hilton:

    What about me? I’m a hippy-punching hippy.

    Eh? Eh?! ;)

  317. 317
    Will says:

    Maybe a masters in rhetoric would do you better? I hope I am not being snarky and dismissive.

    No, your point was that presidents lose when the economy is bad. I gave a couple of points of evidence that suggested it wasn’t that simple.

    Then, you limited the debate to 60 years – exactly one year after my last example – and I gave a couple of less dramatic examples, with Carter admittedly being a quibble. You moved the discussion to one about incumbent advantages in the presidency and said that this was an effect of the “modern era”, and I responded with reasons why the post-WWII period might be atypical, along with my suspicions that that particular “modern era” may be over.

  318. 318
    Keith G says:

    @Corner Stone: Oh fuck, I am tired, kid. Gonna be my kinda day tomorrow, cold. So I need to bow out so I can rest up for a busy morning.

  319. 319
    Will says:

    @Will: I was under the impression, as you mentioned earlier, you didn’t even know what Ledbetter is.

    No, I remembered the court case, just not the case name. In the meantime, I used the Google to refresh myself on the particulars.

    My original point was that, despite the fact that I’m pretty well informed, the name didn’t immediately register. I could have Googled it at any time, but my original point was that pointing to Ledbetter! was seriously inside baseball.

    As a counterexample, I can assure you that I would have definitely known what Brown v. Board or Roe v. Wade was if I had been politically aware at the time. It’s a significant victory, but the fact is you guys want to pump it into one of the most significant civil rights victories of our time.

    If it was that, it would be a tad bit more prominent.

  320. 320
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Isn’t it your rotation to be tongue cleaning the presidential scrote on the late shift tonight?
    Mayhap you can find the items you need there.

    That is a very valid suggestion, citizen.

    Your assistance is appreciated.

    /O-Bot…AWWWWWWAAAAAYYYYYY!

    Edit: Your suggestion was right on the nose, citizen. I found the missing pieces in Rahm’s man-sized safe. You can all rest easy. Immigration Reform is going to be a-okay.

    +5

  321. 321
    Keith G says:

    @Will: In all honesty, enjoyed your presence. Regards.

  322. 322
    DougL (frmrly: Conservatively Liberal) says:

    @Dr. I. F. Stone:

    That’s your problem. You think that being able to fart and ride a bike is a requirement. The last president we had did just that all day long which led to drooling idiots like you foaming at the mouth about what a great president he was.

    I am glad to hear that you miss the good ol’ days because I sure as hell don’t.

    @Mark Centz:

    Announcer 1: Wow! FDL is raising hell for the Left and has moved the goalpost twenty yards in their direction. It’s first and ten for the Left!

    Announcer 2: Hold it! FDL has handed the goalpost off to Grover Norquist who was able to move it to the right by forty yards! WTF?!

    Announcer 1: Ouch! That’s gonna leave a mark!

    Yes it will.

  323. 323
    Will says:

    Keith G,

    Thanks. Good talking to you.

    And, as a general note, I think people really need to take things down a jot. I was really not a fan of the health care bill and still think it was a mistake.

    But I honestly believe that this level of discord among Obama supporters is not a good thing, and once you dump all the fucking PUMA rhetoric you’d realize that you are talking about people who are largely on the same side. I know we’re talking about a really small minority of people talking to each other on the Internets, but it’s shocking how quickly both sides turned on each other.

    It’s really not a good sign for the future, folks.

  324. 324
    justme says:

    Oh, alright. I’ll post something beside the link.

    http://ithoughtobamawouldgetmelaid.com/index.php3

  325. 325
    Will says:

    I’d also like to note that you guys should give the Jane Hamsher stuff a rest. I’ve never read her, but it’s really entering into Stanford Experiment territory.

    Seriously. You guys have reacted to relatively mild dissent among the people who come to your blog – and probably have donated money to you – by following the standard propaganda playbook. Jane Hamsher is your new Emmanuel Goldstein and anyone who expresses doubt about the President here is a secret PUMA.

  326. 326
    jwb says:

    @Will: I hope you are delivering this same lecture to those firebaggers of the “left” who are off conspiring with Grover Fucking Norquist.

  327. 327
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @Will:

    I’d also like to note that you guys should give the Jane Hamsher stuff a rest. I’ve never read her, but it’s really entering into Stanford Experiment territory.
    __
    Seriously. You guys have reacted to relatively mild dissent among the people who come to your blog – and probably have donated money to you – by following the standard propaganda playbook. Jane Hamsher is your new Emmanuel Goldstein and anyone who expresses doubt about the President here is a secret PUMA.

    No. Everything you have said here is complete wrong. All of it.

  328. 328
    jwb says:

    @Will: For someone who claims to want to dial down the rhetoric, you certainly do have a talent for dialing it up.

  329. 329
    Will says:

    jwb,

    I don’t read them. Never have. Would be sort of odd for me to show up all unknown like and begin lecturing people that I’ve never interacted with. Been coming here off and one for a few years, though.

    I suspect that’s also true for some of the other people that have been demonized and run off during this little fracas.

  330. 330
    Will says:

    No. Everything you have said here is complete wrong. All of it.

    I know that shots were fired on both sides, but it’s getting a little ridiculous. I really suspect that the overlap in readership between this blog and all the places you’ve identified is pretty small.

    And yes, jwb, it is more than a little irritating to be identified with somebody I’ve never read because I criticized a piece of legislation that even it’s supporters admit is flawed.

  331. 331
    Will says:

    And since I’m a data junkie, here’s a visual map of the connections – via links – of the blogosphere:

    http://politicosphere.net/map/

  332. 332
    jwb says:

    @Will: Odd that you would choose to lecture only one side on civility, but whatever. And I really doubt that you would find anyone not trolling this place who thinks the health care bill is great stuff or that Obama played his hand perfectly and so got the best deal that was possible. (My sense: better than the status quo, probably could have been marginally better had the cards been played differently, big mistake of the whole left—the administration, the congress, the activists—was heading into the August recess without a plan for mobilizing support.) But I think people here get cranky when others charge in claiming that Obama is not operating in good faith, that he simply a corporate tool, etc., when the only evidence they produce is that Obama is not doing what they think he should.

  333. 333
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @jim:

    This thread – it seems to be missing something important.
    __
    ahem
    __
    ” … I guess I have accomplished more than Obama. Time for a beer.”
    __
    LOL

    This really should be in the running as a new tag. That thing is just pure win and a half.

  334. 334
    Will says:

    But I think people here get cranky when others charge in claiming that Obama is not operating in good faith, that he simply a corporate tool, etc., when the only evidence they produce is that Obama is not doing what they think he should.

    And I just asked that you guys take a moment to consider how many people you have accused of charging in from the other side might be people like me who were here the whole time and have never even been to the other side.*

    (*) Actually, I’m sure I’ve been to Hamsher’s site at some point, and I just went there a few minutes ago. Not a big fan of huge group blogs – which is why I don’t read KOS – or walls of text – so no Greenwald. I’m a much bigger fan of blogs with a main voice supported by a small number of commenters, all of whom post short and succinct.**

    ** This has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

  335. 335
    Midnight Marauder says:

    @jwb:

    Odd that you would choose to lecture only one side on civility, but whatever. And I really doubt that you would find anyone not trolling this place who thinks the health care bill is great stuff or that Obama played his hand perfectly and so got the best deal that was possible. (My sense: better than the status quo, probably could have been marginally better had the cards been played differently, big mistake of the whole left—the administration, the congress, the activists—was heading into the August recess without a plan for mobilizing support.) But I think people here get cranky when others charge in claiming that Obama is not operating in good faith, that he simply a corporate tool, etc., when the only evidence they produce is that Obama is not doing what they think he should.

    Co-sign.

    @Will:

    This has absolutely nothing to do with anything.

    There’s your new mantra for the top of the page, Cole.

  336. 336
    mclaren says:

    Like the other progressives, Obama has disappointed me. Withal, consider this list of Obama’s progressive accomplishments.

    I’m not sure everyone else currently slamming Obama remembers the exact Richter 9.5 magnitude of extreme fskcitude we suffered through in the last, oh, say, 3 years of the previous maladministration. I mean, we all literally spent the last months of the previous maladministration wondering, “Okay, what kind of evil monstrous thing will these Hannibal Lecter clones do now?

    The drunk-driving C student in the Oval Office and his torturer sidekick had gotten nearly to the point of biting the heads off live puppies, it was that unbelievable. It was like the final scene in the 1980 remake of Scarface where Al Pacino picks up his grenade-firing automatic rifle and shouts “Say hello to my leetle friend!” People really seriously wondered about evil shite like, would we invade Iran? Or would some mysterious emergency get declared that shut down the presidential elections? Or would we get a mass pardon festival? Or what? It got so crazy there at the end, expected Ming of Mongo in the White House laughing maniacally like pressing buttons labeled HOT HAIL and EARTHQUAKE.

    Things sure as hell ain’t great now, but, man…at least everybody isn’t still running around with their heads in their hands moaning, “What do we do if he gets involved in a third war?”

    Look… A lot of what people hammer Obama for comes down to the American people and the temper of the times. Fact is, the American people love torture. Love it, love it, love it. That explains why Obama has had to move so slow on shuttering Gitmo. The congress loves them some torture, boy. They’re grinning like lynchers who’ve just lit some black guy on fire every time the congresscritters boast and strut about how important the “war on terror” is. Everybody hates the TSA but congress just loves ’cause it covers their cowardly asses. Anything goes bad, the congresscritters yelp and point at TSA and whine “But we tried so hard…”

    Then there’s economic reality. Does everyone remember that the world financial system had just melted down? Banks no longer even lent money overnight? Global shipping ground to a halt? The entire world economy had unravelled?

    Life remains brutal for a lot of people…but at least all the banks haven’t shut down. That was what we were facing at the height of the financial crisis: all American banks were basically insolvent. Close ’em up and lock the doors with chains, America’s out of business. Grass growing on Wall Street.

    That didn’t just come out of Beavis and Butthead in the White House, y’know, the reason America’s financial system melted down had a little something to do with everyone in the country going nuts and flipping condos. Don’t tell me the vast majority of the American people didn’t eagerly buy into the housing mania. It wasn’t just the evil scumbags at Goldman Sachs who tried to get rich and wound up shafting their neighbors, the guy down the street with 3 houses tried it too.

    People who bitch and whine about America’s evil evil eeeeeeeeeeeeevil health care system had an out. They could’ve filled the streets. They could’ve shut down congress with non-violent sit-downs. They could’ve forced the capitol police to beat them senseless, and then, when the capitol police did beat them senseless, more non-violent protesters could’ve taken their place until it became clear that something had to change.

    The only serious protests I saw during the whole health care debacle, when reform was held down and raped like a woman, was…the teabaggers. That’s pathetic. If the American people really gave a damn about fundamental change, they should’ve stood up for it. The only people making serious noise and getting in anyone’s face through the entire health care deform mess (not reform, deform) were the wack-job guys who couldn’t spell, holding up OBAMA = HITLER signs.

    I’m serious pissed by reports that Obama basically negotiated this entire Health Care bill in the early summer and then set things up so that congress took the blame for the failure to generate real reform. Since Obama said he got 95% of what he wanted in the HCR bill that just passed, there seems to be real evidence that that’s what went down.

    Well, if the American people had filled the goddamn streets of Washington in non-violent protests against the health care sell-out the same way the American people filled the capitol mall when Nixon started bombing Cambodia, we’d goddamn sure have a public option right now. Everyone wanted to keep their own insurance and let the other guy take the hit. Nobody really wanted deep substantive change in the whole health care mess, it was “I’ve got mine, let’s tweak it a little and fuck you.”

    People who bitch about Obama escalating in Afghanistan get a horse laugh from me. That’s what Obama ran on. My calculation ran like this: Obama has got his head up his ass on Af-Pak, but at least he’s a data-driven pragmatist, so when things go badly wrong in Af-Pak (as they will), he’ll likely recalculate and start figuring on an exit strategy. I took that trade-off in return for some movement on other issue, because, seriously, who the hell else were you gonna vote for? Hillary? You think the Repubs have thrown everything they’ve got into stopping Obama, hoo boy, wait’ll you see the human wave death charge they would’ve led against Hillary and her hubby. Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, baby.

    Kucinich? Nice guy. Admire his ideals. He couldn’t lead a scout troop out of a pay toilet, though. Seriously, his big idea in the middle of all this boils down to…a department of peace? STFU and sit down.

    So out here in the real world, who the hell else we got? We had Hillary and Kucinich and Obama. Given Edwards’ wealth and background, no real shot there. Who else? Nader? STFU and sit down.

    We have to deal with reality, not some imaginarium of Doctor Perfect. A lot of what Obama has done sucks, and it sucks because out here in the real world that’s about the best anyone could’ve gotten in a lunatic political environment where the Republicans lead kamikaze filibusters against every single frickin’ bill every Democrat introduces in the Senate.

    I’m on Cole’s side in this one. We dodged a serious effing bullet with Palin. Things still suck. The world economy is changing radically, and those sweet jobs ain’t comin’ back, and American middle class looks like it’s sliding down the tubes into oblivion — but that’s the work of giant historical forces like global wage arbitrage that outsources your PhD job to some Chinese PhD willing to work for $5 an hour. I don’t see anyone else, though, not even the reincarnation of JFK, doing much better than Obama has done given the degeneracy of our political system and the dementia in congress and the ruthless march of globalization and the way technology is destroying high-wage high-skilled jobs in America, not to mention the general psychosis of around 27% of the population.

  337. 337
    brantl says:

    Releasing people from Gitmo (and you know they had to be the ones with the very least evidence against them for Bush/Cheney to release them) was a good thing. Even if they try to harm us afterwards – it’s a good thing.

    There is no evidence that the Bush administration ever did anything for reasons other than what was in people in the administration’s own interest, having little to do with the country’s best interest. You assume something not evidenced, and directly contrary to all of their other behavior, sir.

  338. 338
    bob h says:

    The Bush years may become known as The Decade From Hell or whatever, but I am sure the coming one will be known as The Great Derangement or something along those lines. Rationality thrown to the winds, rage and resentment on left and right ruling the day.

  339. 339
    Paris says:

    Why is it snowing only above my driveway? Does it have something to do with the Obama sign I displayed last year? It is irresponsible not to speculate.

  340. 340
    Corner Stone says:

    @Keith G:

    Oh fuck, I am tired, kid.

    I for one get a little sparkle in my giddy-up anytime someone refers to me as kid.
    Makes me feel less tore up and broke down.

  341. 341
    Kerry Reid says:

    I will continue to view Obama as an abject failure unfit to lick the bones of Fala until he shows the same strength of character and courage as The Great Leftist President FDR — by locking up thousands of Americans in internment camps for no goddamn reason whatsoever other than blatant racism and xenophobia.

  342. 342

    Matt Taibbi On Bill Moyers Journal: Health Care Reform, Wall Street, And Obama…

    Key quote: MATT TAIBBI: My feeling on it is just looking more concretely at the health care problem, this is a bill that to me doesn’t address the two biggest problems with the health care crisis. One is the inefficiency and the bureaucracy and t…

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  1. Matt Taibbi On Bill Moyers Journal: Health Care Reform, Wall Street, And Obama…

    Key quote: MATT TAIBBI: My feeling on it is just looking more concretely at the health care problem, this is a bill that to me doesn’t address the two biggest problems with the health care crisis. One is the inefficiency and the bureaucracy and t…

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