I’m Exhausted, and I’m Not Even There

Profile of Axelrod in the NY Times:

David Axelrod was sitting at his desk on a recent afternoon — tie crooked, eyes droopy and looking more burdened than usual. He had just been watching some genius on MSNBC insist that he and President Obama’s other top aides were failing miserably and should be replaced.

“Typical Washington junk we have to deal with,” Mr. Axelrod said in an interview. The president is deft at blocking out such noise, he added, suddenly brightening. “I love the guy,” he said, and in the space of five minutes, repeated the sentiment twice.

***

In a lengthy interview in his office on Wednesday, Mr. Axelrod was often defiant, saying he did not give a “flying” expletive “about what the peanut gallery thinks” and did not live for the approval “of the political community.” He denounced the “rampant lack of responsibility” of people in Washington who refuse to solve problems, and cited the difficulty of trying to communicate through what he calls “the dirty filter” of a city suffused with the “every day is Election Day sort of mentality.”

When asked how he would assess his performance, Mr. Axelrod shrugged. “I’m not going to judge myself on that score,” he said. But then he shot back: “Have I succeeded in reversing a 30-year trend of skepticism and cynicism about government? I confess that I have not. Maybe next year.”

The criticism of the administration’s communication strategy — leveled by impatient Democrats, gleeful Republicans, bloggers and cable chatterers — clearly stings Mr. Axelrod, as well as the circle of family, friends and fans he has acquired over three decades in politics as a consultant and, before that, a reporter for The Chicago Tribune.

I wonder who the “genius” on MSNBC was? When was Sirota last on?

But I’d be tired if I were Axelrod, too. If I were him, I would have already resorted to the summary execution of a number of Democratic Senators and the Stupak 12 in Congress, half the President’s “allies” in the blogosphere, and the entire Republican representation would be in Siberia. But that is just how I roll.

But no wonder they are frustrated. Look once again at the list of accomplishments in one year, notwithstanding the fact that we staved off a complete economic collapse, and then realize that this is being deemed a failure- by the Democrats (and that list is four months old). It is ridiculous.

Hell, they are on the cusp of delivering a health care reform package that wildly exceeds Howard Dean’s wet dream a couple years ago, and Dean himself was briefly acting the “genius” on cable tv trying to kill the bill. Meanwhile, members of the legislative body, the folks responsible for writing legislation, led by Democrats, are whining publicly that Obama should have written the bill and just given it to them. And there is a good chance that a couple of nutjobs butthurt about the public option and some fetus fetishists allied with Stupak might very well kill the bill.

I’d be tired too. In fact, I am. And the best part is going to be listening to the concern trolling of people linking to this piece, worried about the Obama administration’s fall, without so much as mentioning they have spent the last year tripping them up, whether it be for reasons of self-promotion or because their pet issue wasn’t dealt with first.

To me, nothing sums up the fail of the Democratic party and the blogosphere more than the Dawn Johnsen affair. For a year, she was blocked by an obstinate GOP, and rather than attack the Republicans, we got months of “Why isn’t Obama doing more?” nonsense on the blogs. Some went so far as to suggest that this was just Obama’s way of thumbing his nose at progressives, and that it was a plan to screw them over.

And now that she has been renominated (because Obama really doesn’t want her) andr it looks like Dawn will be at the OLC shortly? Crickets.






126 replies
  1. 1
    Max Power says:

    Gee, just when I was expecting to read another “insider” story on how awesomely awesome Rahm Emanuel is, I get an “insider” story on how other White House staff totally suck big time.

    At least we’re getting both sides of this story.

  2. 2
    Dimmic Rat says:

    America will never fall to red obamunist scum.

  3. 3
    eemom says:

    Splendiforous post, Mr. Cole.

    I like Axelrod. He seems like a down to earth, not full of himself kind of guy. Of course he hates the cacophany of assclowns that are deafening us.

  4. 4
    4thelulz says:

    @Dimmic Rat: 0/10 Please try again.

  5. 5
    Citizen_X says:

    I would have already resorted to the summary execution of a number of Democratic Senators and the Stupak 12 in Congress, half the President’s “allies” in the blogosphere, and the entire Republican representation would be in Siberia. But that is just how I roll.

    Ah, so you are a commie. ; )

    And an Obot! I NEW THEY WERE TEH SAME!

    But yeah, I wondered at the fact that Dawn Johnsen’s installment was being ignored, too.

  6. 6
    burnspbesq says:

    Just once before I die, I would like to see a Democratic nominee look a Republican senator straight in the eye in a confirmation hearing and say, “Senator, with all due respect you have no idea what you’re talking about.”

    Grassley can go fuck hisself.

  7. 7
    Dee Loralei says:

    Righteous rant sir! This is why I keep coming back, well and Tunch and Lily also, too.

  8. 8
    ruffles says:

    Apparently at the end of last year, Reid had the votes (60 minus Nelson plus Lugar) for cloture on Dawn Johnson, but they ran out of time (remember what else they were doing) due to the debate time required.

  9. 9
    Elisabeth says:

    Meanwhile, members of the legislative body, the folks responsible for writing legislation, led by Democrats, are whining publicly that Obama should have written the bill and just given it to them.

    This pisses me off more than anything. How about Congress doing it’s effin’ job. They get paid for it (and health care, too).

  10. 10
    smileycreek says:

    I felt the same way listening to (tabloid queen) Arianna Huffington, Bill Maher, and Michael Moore complain about how little the administration has accomplished, and how much more Obama should have done in his first 100 days.

    Grrrrrr.

  11. 11
    Citizen_X says:

    @Dimmic Rat: Boy, I gotta hand it to you guys: I can’t even satirize you fuckers fast enough to keep up anymore.

  12. 12
    Mnemosyne says:

    And now that it looks like Dawn will be at the OLC shortly? Crickets.

    Not only crickets, but it will magically disappear from the list of outrages, never to be spoken of again. This from people who insisted that the appointment of Johnsen was the Most. Important. Appointment. EVAH!

  13. 13
    Midnight Marauder says:

    To me, nothing sums up the fail of the Democratic party and the blogosphere more than the Dawn Johnsen affair. For a year, she was blocked by an obstinate GOP, and rather than attack the Republicans, we got months of “Why isn’t Obama doing more?” nonsense on the blogs. Some went so far as to suggest that this was just Obama’s way of thumbing his nose at progressives, and that it was a plan to screw them over.
    __
    And now that it looks like Dawn will be at the OLC shortly? Crickets.

    You nailed it with this, Cole. And I have to say, if this is the pushback against Rahmfest 2010, then keep it coming please.

    When asked how he would assess his performance, Mr. Axelrod shrugged. “I’m not going to judge myself on that score,” he said. But then he shot back: “Have I succeeded in reversing a 30-year trend of skepticism and cynicism about government? I confess that I have not. Maybe next year.”

    Fucking brilliant.

    +4

  14. 14
    tomvox1 says:

    Holier Than Thou Hamsher never not looking for sellout scalps to purge for party purity:
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....87707.html
    I have really come to despise this woman. I don’t think she is what she claims to be but is actually a Fifth Columnist for the Right and trying to gum up the works with her Tokyo Rose demotivational shtick. Either that or her ego is an enormous soul sucking black hole that can never be gratified by anyone resembling a realistic political leader.
    Whatever…to me she is the Liz Cheney of the Left: a bomb thrower without responsibility or portfolio.

  15. 15
    Elisabeth says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Even -if- when Johnsen’s finally seated in her office some folks will claim that it would have happened sooner if Obama had just fought publically for her nomination.

    Although I will say that a bigger deal should have been made over the TSA guy’s blocked nomination. I’m not sure we even have a new nominee at this point. Most people don’t care about a DOJ attorney but they’d care about the head of the TSA.

  16. 16
    Dennis G. says:

    Nicely done.

    And the craziness just keeps rolling on.

    There is this bit of ‘wisdom’ from Jane and this offer that can easily be refused from Michael.

    How does Rahm do his job and kill all these puppies? It is insane to see so many misdirect their energy, rage and efforts. And yet here we are.

    Cheers

  17. 17
    Max Power says:

    And I hear you on Democratic infighting John, but you know what I’d like to see next to that list of accomplishments? I’d like to see a list of things where Obama has failed after going down fighting.

    His list of accomplishments is a list of things he’s been able to get done just phoning it in, in the wake of the Bush era that left him with huge majorities everywhere.

    Sure, Health Care will be a big win, but it’s a victory marred by the painful, endless series of prenegotiation concessions Obama made, apparently in hopes of votes from the Idaho Militiamen wing of the Republican Party. I’d be happy with no public option if Obama had just put some fire into his fight for it.

  18. 18
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    Outrage is a drug for too many on the tubes. Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the jungle. …. up a river that snaked through the web like a main circuit cable plugged straight into hamsher et al////

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Elisabeth:

    Most people don’t care about a DOJ attorney but they’d care about the head of the TSA.

    Minor point of order: the OLC is in the White House not in the DoJ proper. I agree with your point about the TSA affecting more peoples’ lives. Oh and small defense of Geithner: the vast majority of his Congress-approved staff are still being tied up in the Senate. If Obama could recess appoint any of them it should be the holes in Treasury.

  20. 20
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    May I offer you and O-Bot fist jab? Ezra Klein summed this up nicely a couple weeks ago, we have a congressionally-centered political process, and a presidentially-centered, and obsessed, political media. Ya wanna throw rocks? Throw ’em at Bart Stupak and Raul Grijalva. At St Dennis and Mike Acuri. And Blanche Lincoln and Jim Webb.

    I wonder who the “genius” on MSNBC was? When was Sirota last on?

    Steve Clemons?

  21. 21
    tatere says:

    how does Johnsen getting past the same committee that she got past before equal being confirmed “shortly”? it’s not like it hasn’t been noticed, but not much has changed – except that a recess appointment seems more possible now, maybe.

    not that that’s really central to the main point of the post, i think.

  22. 22
    eemom says:

    @tomvox1:

    excellent! Couldn’t have said it better myself, and nobody despises Hamsher like I do.

    The Liz Cheney of the left, indeed. And with equal qualification to claim to know what the fuck she’s talking about.

  23. 23

    At the risk of repeating myself: Obama could personally find a cure for all illnesses, fix the economy, and capture Osama bin Laden and the fucks who are whining now would still whine and continue to whine until he left office and then they’d whine about the next person in the White House. Why?

    It’s who they are, it’s what they do.

  24. 24
    Elisabeth says:

    @Yutsano:

    Thanks for the clarification. Kind of makes my point, too. I halfway pay attention and was misinformed. :)

    I read somewhere that Obama couldn’t fire Geithner if he wanted to because he couldn’t be sure he’d ever get another Treasury Secretary and because so many other nominations are waiting confirmation.

    BTW, is Bunning still holding all the nominations?

  25. 25
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Whatever…to me she is the Liz Cheney of the Left: a bomb thrower without responsibility or portfolio.

    With the notable difference that we will never see Jane Hamsher as a panelist on a Sunday Gasbag Show, or repeatedly given prime real estate in the Kaplan Daily Hiatt.

  26. 26
    Elisabeth says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    Steve Clemons?

    I was really disappointed to see him jump on that bandwagon.

  27. 27
    robertdsc says:

    And now that it looks like Dawn will be at the OLC shortly? Crickets.

    Not to rain on the parade, but she has to get a vote before the full Senate first. She couldn’t get one the first time. This is what I’ve talked about when I’ve said in the past that Obama has to push for his nominees. She has the votes for passage, presumably, but Obama has to get Reid to put the nom on the Senate calendar. Otherwise, passing her nom out of the SJC a million times won’t matter.

    At the very least, she (and all the other nominees) should have been recess-appointed already, but that’s a topic for another day.

  28. 28
    harlana peppper says:

    Honestly, can we refrain from kicking Dean here? Does anybody listen to him, really? So why is he a threat? He should be listened to, but isn’t. I don’t understand the Dean-hating. I just don’t get it.

    (red wine diet kicking in)

  29. 29
    Mnemosyne says:

    @tatere:

    The fact that she was re-nominated after half the lefty blogosphere was telling us that Obama only nominated her so the nomination could fail is where the disconnect is.

    If Johnsen’s first nomination failed because the Obama administration didn’t really want her for the job — which was the commentary at the time — why did they re-nominate her? Because they really, really don’t want her for the job and wanted to slap progressives in the face even harder?

  30. 30

    Meanwhile, members of the legislative body, the folks responsible for writing legislation, led by Democrats, are whining publicly that Obama should have written the bill and just given it to them.

    Christ, there’d be a big ass fight over the swooning couch if he did.

    “How dare the Executive branch interfere with Congress? Such arrogance has never before been seen in these United States of America!”

  31. 31
    Yutsano says:

    @Mnemosyne: Believe it or not, that was the far left’s argument. Obama was just sticking the shiv in even deeper by re-nominating her then not standing behind her. It drove me nuts when I read that.

  32. 32
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Yutsano:

    Talk about retrofitting the facts to fit your worldview. Yeesh.

    @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    I’m still convinced that three-quarters of the trouble with the Senate is jealousy. They’re all pissed off that this young, charismatic, half-term Senator is President when half of their presidential campaigns flamed out on the vine, so they’re going to undermine him at every turn to “prove” that he never should have been elected over them. It sure would explain a lot of what Dodd’s been up to, among others.

  33. 33
    Jeff Fecke says:

    @tomvox1:

    God, I love that. Shorter Jane Hamsher: Lynn Woolsey is worse for progressives than Grover Norquist.

    Honest to the ceiling cat, if you’re reading Lynn Woolsey out of the progressive movement, there is no progressive movement.

  34. 34
    Comrade Kevin says:

    You know how Jane Hamsher could do the most to help progressive causes? She could shut the hell up.

  35. 35
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Elisabeth:

    BTW, is Bunning still holding all the nominations?

    I think he’s busy looking for his marbles.

  36. 36
    Malron says:

    I’ve always loved Axe for his biting sarcasm. His rant was spot on – as was yours, John.

  37. 37
    Malron says:

    @Mnemosyne: @kommrade reproductive vigor:

    I’m still convinced that three-quarters of the trouble with the Senate is jealousy. They’re all pissed off that this young, charismatic, half-term Senator is President when half of their presidential campaigns flamed out on the vine, so they’re going to undermine him at every turn to “prove” that he never should have been elected over them. It sure would explain a lot of what Dodd’s been up to, among others.

    I think you just scored a direct hit.

  38. 38
    Maude says:

    I used to think there was something wrong with me that I saw so may whining, self absorbed, ignorant, arrogant, lazy, somewhat stupid, tunnel visioned people.
    Their motto is first, do harm.
    I can’t think of anything amusing to say about this.

  39. 39
    Toni says:

    Meanwhile, members of the legislative body, the folks responsible for writing legislation, led by Democrats, are whining publicly that Obama should have written the bill and just given it to them.

    Isn’t that what Bill Clinton did in 1994? He wrote his own bill and sent it to congress who promptly told him where to shove it. He even held up the veto pen. Could you imagine the outrage if Obama had done the same thing? He would have been accused of being arrogant, of thinking he is better than Clinton by the same people whining now.

    Obama sent a financial regulation reform bill since June of last year to congress. The house stripped out portions of it and the Senate has ignored it and is doing their own thing. If that was the better strategy, the Senate would have passed it already instead they don’t have a bill yet.

  40. 40
    Mnemosyne says:

    Geez. Can things even flame out on the vine?

    May be time to start getting ready to head out for dinner.

  41. 41
    Karoli says:

    What Comrade Kevin said. x 10.

    I’m starting to wonder if Grover and Dick made a large donation to FDL before the healthcare battle began. No one has been a stauncher friend to the right than those claiming to be far left.

  42. 42
    Joseph Nobles says:

    I’m one of the ones hacked off about the Dawn Johnsen nomination, and I’m glad to see that we’re right back to where we were last year. Now let’s see if the vote happens.

  43. 43
    kay says:

    The stimulus was a massive funding mechanism for progressive priorities, included the promised tax cut for lower and middle income people, and it shaved two points off the unemployment rate.
    It’s a big liberal success in any rational analysis.
    I’ll be dancing in the aisles if the health care bill, when it passes, works out as well as stimulus has.
    And I’m thrilled about Dawn Johnsen. I read that last week and was really pleased.
    Incidentally, Johnsen’s pending confirmation lends credibility to the idea that Craig was fired because he couldn’t get nominees through. Not because Rahm hates liberals, as was widely rumored.

  44. 44
    Newsie8200 says:

    After the “political community” and the media was so wrong, so often in 2008 (as documented quite well by a lot of election post-mortems, including Plouffe’s book), you’d think that some of these guys would at least think about the possibility that they’re wrong.

    Obviously, not everything has gone according to plan for the White House, but the idea that everything should go perfectly or that nothing has been accomplished is absurd. And the lack of praise for all the things that the WH has done right is puzzling. How the hell are non-progressives going to side with progressives on future legislation if progressives don’t stand up for shifts to the left (no matter how small)? I wrote about this at DailyKos.

    I suppose it’s comforting to know that many of the loudest critics from the left aren’t even Democrats and are actually to the left of many people who self-ID as liberals. Unfortunately, these people are used by the media to represent the rest of us.

  45. 45
    eemom says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    With the notable difference that we will never see Jane Hamsher as a panelist on a Sunday Gasbag Show, or repeatedly given prime real estate in the Kaplan Daily Hiatt.

    and with that, you have nailed the true source of the smoldering hatred she directs against Obama, Raaaaahm, Woolsey, freakin Caroline Kennedy, and countless others. She wants desperately to be exactly what she purports to disdain — a Beltway Insider.

  46. 46
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @kay: Sometimes I think you and I are the only pro stimulus hawks on the blogs. Left or right.

  47. 47
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Newsie8200: Fix your linkage dude. You caught a chevron when making the link. Now we have the dread Big Blue Letter and the FSM is not laughing. Bad shit always happens to WP when this happens.

  48. 48
    ksmiami says:

    No – I am a pro-stimulus hawk too… I studied the Great Depression and the real problem was that everything came crashing down at once, there was no safety net, no credit available from banks – most banks failed except Giannini’s so I give the President kudos for doing as much as he could at the moment. I think more stimulus is needed, but shoring up the financial sector did work, highways and bridges ARE being built and slowly, slowly, we will fix our infrastructure and our withering middle class. They just need to do a better job of talking about the successes and criticize the phony deficit hawks. The midst of a recession is not the time to worry about debt and eve though we have som weaknesses, people all over the world still invest in the US, still come to our colleges, still trust us to do the right things.

    I have never seen such a bunch of negative, unpatriotic Americans as the current Republican party. They really really want us to fail, but all signs are pointing to the reverse. And then where will they be?

  49. 49
    rdldot says:

    @kommrade reproductive vigor: Thank you for spelling ‘whine’ correctly. It’s not that difficult a word – why do so many people have problems with it? Sorry, off topic.

  50. 50
    kay says:

    @tatere:

    tatere, Johnsen getting past the committee AGAIN should tell you something about Obama.

    He doesn’t quit. Health care has now been declared dead, I think, 4 times.

    He’s still out there. He’s been hitting it for a year and half, and they have thrown everything they could think of at him, and he hasn’t quit.

    At what point do you stop insisting this person is weak? What’s the definition of “fight”? Are we that literal and obtuse, on the Left, that we have to SEE and HEAR the fight? Tenacity IS fighting.

  51. 51
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I think it probably only gets credit in hindsight, if that. It’s politically difficult to pat yourself on the back for a 2 point drop in unemployment.

    It looks a little callous. But

  52. 52
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @kay: The stimulus part you are correct. It is the long term funding for prog causes that gets dissed by other progs that is annoying to say the least. The wingers get it and it’s why they hate it. But then I’ve said that before, many times here.

  53. 53
    robertdsc says:

    Incidentally, Johnsen’s pending confirmation lends credibility to the idea that Craig was fired because he couldn’t get nominees through. Not because Rahm hates liberals, as was widely rumored.

    Craig was White House Counsel. He has no bearing on getting nominees through. Rahm, while White House Chief Of Staff, has inserted himself into the legislative process several times, most often with awful effects. Rahm’s supposed ability to muscle votes through of course, came to naught during the December HCR phase with fucknut Lieberman. Of course, it’s Rahm’s Blue Dogs that have helped water down the House bill and are the ones who are balking at the more moderate Senate bill. You’d think because they got elected by Rahm, they’d owe him a little something. Now they’re holding up the process and Rahm is nowhere in sight.

    Funny how that works.

  54. 54
    Ash Can says:

    Look once again at the list of accomplishments in one year, notwithstanding the fact that we staved off a complete economic collapse, and then realize that this is being deemed a failure- by the Democrats (and that list is four months old).

    The whole post rocks the house, but this one sentence stands out. Hearing people, especially on the “left,” declare Obama a failure/just like Bush or insist in their infinite brilliance that HCR or some other legislation still in the works is dead makes me want to throw things. Heavy things. At them.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Max Power:

    And I hear you on Democratic infighting John, but you know what I’d like to see next to that list of accomplishments? I’d like to see a list of things where Obama has failed after going down fighting.

    Thanks, but I got more than my fill of Noble Failure during the Clinton administration. I’m ready for some success, even if Obama doesn’t beat his chest about it the way you want him to.

  56. 56
    kay says:

    I don’t know Dawn Johnsen, but I thought the personal tone that was taken by some of her supporters was downright offensive, and borderline demeaning, to her.

    This idea that someone as accomplished and professional as her was “slapped in the face” in some big overly personal drama made me cringe. She had trouble getting through the Senate because the GOP Senators are bitter assholes. How that turned into “Dawn Johnsen is a victim of her boss, that abusive Barack Obama!” is beyond me.

    Turning Dawn Johnsen’s career into some ridiculous pseudo- boyfriend drama made me really uncomfortable. I wouldn’t want advocates doing that “for me”, personally.

  57. 57
    benintn says:

    John Cole is correct.

  58. 58
    kevina says:

    So Sully comes back from vacation cranky, not optimistic (He’s convinced at least 50k US troops will be in Iraq for a long time. I worry about that, but am not convinced, at all, it will happen.).

    The good thing is he tackles the “Obama gave it all to Congress!” argument, and demolishes colleague Clive Crook.

    I know there are times when he gets on nerves, but moments of genius like that are why I ALWAYS read Sully.

  59. 59
    kay says:

    @robertdsc:

    That isn’t what the White House said, robert, and it isn’t what the “liberal blogosphere” said either. Marcy Wheeler wrote a post where she simultaneously 1. accused the WH of lying about the justification, and 2, congratulated the WH for hiring counsel who could get the nominees through. That was a thing of beauty. Incoherent.

    In fact, Craig’s replacement was widely reported to have been hired because he’s a long term Democratic player who would have more success getting nominees through than Craig did.

    That was the justification the White House gave for getting rid of Craig.

    If nominees start getting through, I think it’s only fair to revisit the accusations that were made.

  60. 60
    benintn says:

    and in response to Max Power… I’m not as big a fan of self-sabotage or self-immolation as you are. Your need to see Obama “go down” fighting might say more about you than it does about Obama.

  61. 61
    kay says:

    @robertdsc:

    Who got Sotomayor through? Planned the whole thing, start to finish?

    Craig.

    The other judicial nominees, too, and, not incidentally, Dawn Johnsen.

  62. 62
    WereBear says:

    @Mnemosyne: Yes, it’s true:

    They’re all pissed off that this young, charismatic, half-term Senator is President when half of their presidential campaigns flamed out on the vine, so they’re going to undermine him at every turn to “prove” that he never should have been elected over them

    And some people, I’m sure, are using that very excuse to mistrust the President, too.

    Because if you never believe in anything, you’ll never make the wrong assessment and be seen as a fool.

  63. 63
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    You kept brining it up, so I finally looked at the much-maligned stimulus, and you’re right.
    What sucks from my perspective, because I’m shallow, is had the stimulus not been dissed to the extent is has been dissed, House Democrats could RUN on it. It went to their districts. The projects are visible.
    I don’t know that they can do that, because the thing’s been so misrepresented.

  64. 64
    sparky says:

    it’s getting kinda tiring to see “criticism of Obama=FDL” over and over again. y’all might wanna take your fingers out of your ears sometimes. some other people, without ever reading FDL might think things are not going that well. to wit:

    a. that TPM list is pretty pathetic. most of it is executive orders. if you want to call that an accomplishment, fine. but really, it is crumbs. better than GOP crumbs, absolutely. but that’s about it.
    b. as people other than moi have argued, giving the insurance sector pride of place in the health care discussion is not going to end well.
    c. Afghanistan
    d. Pakistan
    e. Yemen
    f. stimulus–dollars short as the latest joke jobs bill demonstrates
    g. financial non-reform
    h. outsourcing torture. and in this regard who cares who is at OLC since after all the Obama administration has now officially whitewashed the Bush administration’s efforts there?

    i can go on, but seriously, you got a few social issue crumbs and otherwise got expanded empire activities abroad, naked handover of the treasury to the oligarchy, and pretend reform otherwise.

    basically you’ve been sold the equivalent of a shiny whistle for a leaky raft in the middle of the atlantic. during hurricane season.

  65. 65
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @robertdsc:

    Funny how that works.

    A big part of what has and still is going on is electoral posturing by dem CC’ers living in reddish districts that have been most affected by the GOP tea bag horseshit. Now Stupak is a fucknut for sure, a Gooper in dem clothing, I think. And I seriously doubt he personally is motivated by just the abortion issue. There are games within games being played around this sensitive legislation that has been for a long time the bread and butter of Plutocratistan in this country.

    The original House bill with Stupak language never had a chance of surviving to be in a final bill. It was done as cover, in case nothing came out of the senate on HCR, and BD’s had stuck their neck out for nothing by passing what gives appearance to and is easily demagogued by wingnuts as tax payer money for abortions.

    Everyone on capital hill knows that big insurance has for decades received subsidies and through employer based insurance programs, tax money has indirectly gone to pay for abortions. That is why the senate had sane language in it along the lines of The Hyde Amendment which forbid direct payment of federal funds for abortions. and because senators are statewide reps and not as vulnerable as House members in red districts.

    Stupak doesn’t want HCR to pass in any form, and is why he is pressing on with this horseshit, knowing full well a final bill with his language in it will never pass the House, because it would to a large degree, over time, gut Roe V Wade.

    The other BD’s, or enough of them will vote to pass a final bill without Stupak’s horseshit language on abortion, just barely, and the most vulnerable BD’s will vote no. But not enough to kill the bill. Kubuki is all it is, and ass covering, except for Stupak, who has alternate agendas.

  66. 66
    eemom says:

    can I join the pro-stimulus club?

    And it WOULD have been better, were it not for the harsh political realities that are so very far beneath the dignity of the O-basher purity brigade.

  67. 67
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Mnemosyne: Thanks, but I got more than my fill of Noble Failure during the Clinton administration.

    A-fucking-men. Losing valiantly may look great when some future David McCullogh writes your bio, but in the short-term, when lives are affected, losses lead to more losses. And the people writing the first, current draft of history will all say Obama lost because he was too far to the left, didn’t reach out to Republicans, blahblahblah. And to far too many people, who think Cokie Roberts and Tom Friedman are sharp and insightful, that will make a lot of sense.

    (Scott Simon and Juan Williams were sneering about “Chicago politics” this morning, harping on the brother of the Utah congressman who got a judgeship, they were all but saying flat out, in return for the ‘critter’s vote on health care. That’s the reality we’re dealing with, not the fevered, principled dreams of Jane Hamsher and Michael Moore.)

  68. 68
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @kay: Part of the reason it has been vulnerable for dissing, is the fact it was sold as “a stimulus bill” and most people when in painful current economic situation expected it to do more than it was capable of doing in such a short period of time. The big and important chunk of cash was for developing long term new markets, or stimulus down the road. But if they had sold it as that then it might not have passed, and been so large.

    It is fully expected that wingnuts would glomm onto to this and diss it cause it wasn’t devised to do that much stimulus immediately. I don’t think progressives should be helping them is all, when they are constantly crying that Obama isn’t progressive enough and are too lazy to look at the stim bill for what it mostly was. A huge prog wet dream of funding long term prog goals. Or, progressive in a big way. And passed by ObamaRahma.

  69. 69
    Deschanel says:

    Christ, can we retire the juvenile stupid insult of “butthurt” when you deem objections from the left stupid and invalid?

    There is no site or blog I read regularly (hundreds) where “butthurt” is used so often, so freely, when talking about politics.

    And I have no idea what it is supposed to mean. Stupid hippies got fucked in the ass metaphorically by supposed allies? And are mocked because ideas like single-payer are stupid hippie ideas and they deserved to get fucked in the ass till they’re sore?

    What a weird fucking expression, “butthurt”. It’s a really gross, weird and juvenile expression and it seems every damned post on BJ has it. Get over the fad. Become a better writer. I bet it sounded funny in 2007, but is really a tired worn out Internet thing now. Maybe work on a new descriptive with your writerly powers, if you’re any sort of good writer at all.

  70. 70
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @Deschanel: Would WATB be better to your liking? It means the same thing about folks like you.

  71. 71
    Lawnguylander says:

    @Deschanel:

    As a first time commenter here I am obviously the right guy to work out a deal with butthurt little you. How about you drop the self pitying hippie references and BJ agrees to stop referring to people like you as a being butthurt? deal?

  72. 72
    K. Grant says:

    @sparky:

    c. Afghanistan
    d. Pakistan
    e. Yemen

    You willing to actually unpack this part of the list? Did Obama not say that he would take the fight to where he thought the fight actually was? Did he not say this repeatedly during the campaign? This is not some anti-war type, he was always for vigorously prosecuting the war, and argued that the move to Iraq was disastrous because we took our eye off the ball in Afghanistan/Pakistan. Should we not then rate his effectiveness in this field by what is taking place in these countries?

    As for the stimulus – did you not see the reports stating that without it the jobs reports would have been exceptionally ghastly. No, it was not big enough, but my god man, do you really think that anybody could have passed anything larger? Really?

    Honestly.

  73. 73
    Max says:

    @sparky: I heard Obama talk for the entire campaign about increasing our presence in Af/Pak.

    It is dishonest to claim this is a new position for him.

  74. 74
    Yutsano says:

    @K. Grant: Never let facts get in the way of a good purity rant. Notice the list is short answers (mostly all one word) and totally devoid of any accompanying facts? That’s the big tell someone is speaking out of their anal cavity.

  75. 75
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    I hate how sloppy the critics of the stimulus are, and how they all use the same (lifted) phrases. The same exact language.
    Some of the tax cuts in the stimulus are the fulfillment of a campaign promise of Obama’s and they actually benefit lower and middle class.
    Yet, every stimulus rant I read derides the “tax cuts” as if they went to millionaires. Why the fuck would liberals object to a tax cut for middle income earners? Yet, that’s what they’re doing.

    It’s just sloppy.

  76. 76
    kay says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck:

    And, Paul Krugman is excepted from my list of sloppy stimulus critics.

    However, critics cannot just read a Paul Krugman column and repeat his leading paragraph 50,000 times.

    I think you have to look at the actual stimulus, before acting as a critic.

    That’s my new rule.

  77. 77
    AxelFoley says:

    @Comrade Kevin:

    You know how Jane Hamsher could do the most to help progressive causes? She could shut the hell up.

    LMAO, can I co-sign on this?

    /O-Bot

  78. 78
    Newsie8200 says:

    I’m still convinced that three-quarters of the trouble with the Senate is jealousy. They’re all pissed off that this young, charismatic, half-term Senator is President when half of their presidential campaigns flamed out on the vine, so they’re going to undermine him at every turn to “prove” that he never should have been elected over them. It sure would explain a lot of what Dodd’s been up to, among others.

    Dodd wouldn’t do that to Obama. The problem is rounding up support to get the bill out of committee, and he’s had to water it down in the process.

    Obama is generally well-liked personally, but yeah, there’s definitely a little bit of “GET OFF MY LAWN” and “I wanna be president, wah” attitude towards him.

    (And my apologies for the messed up link in my previous post. Anything I can do now to fix it now that the edit window is closed for that comment?)

  79. 79
    lawguy says:

    There is a fair amount of stuff done around the edges that McCain would not have done, but on the whole, on the really important things, he has failed. He failed on climate change, on issues concerning the spying on Americans, on the various wars, on the stimulus, on controls on the banksters, on health care.

    Please, let us not forget how health care started out: A gift of billions to the pharmacutical industry and no public option or single payer. Where are we now no public option and a gift of billions to the pharmacutical and insurance industries. Add that to a promise of what appears to be insurance for 30 mil which will really not provide them with a lot of coverage a gift of 30 million to the insurance industry.

    The difference between McCain and Obama is the difference between an 85 degree slope and a 70 degree slope; its all down hill no matter which one is at the wheel. It would be just a little faster with McCain.

  80. 80
    JMY says:

    I still believe that people in Congress, PUMA’s, Firebaggers, are trying to sabotage this presidency. There is no other explanation as to why simple appointments can’t get an up or down vote, why funding can’t be given to close Gitmo and transfer prisoners to the empty prison in IL, why Democrats in Congress are iffy on HCR. Obama being tough or firing Rahm, Geithner, etc. isn’t going to change the fact that we have a clusterfuck of a government in D.C. “But, but if Obama would have stood strong behind the P.O.” – bullshit – we would be right where we are now.

  81. 81
    craptractor says:

    Axelrod has some fair points but he makes them while leaning on a nice big “either you support Obama wholeheartedly or expected him to fix everything in a year, there is no middle ground” crutch. I have legitimate disagreements with them on several specific issues and after watching the way they’ve operated so far you’ll have to forgive me if I’m not left wondering why the President isn’t nearly half as good at tuning out the bullshit churned up by anyone even slightly right of center. Great, Axelrod’s all wise and above-the-fray and whatnot, good for him. Now what’s the takeaway other than that they continue to triangulate against their own base with the same talking points they’ve been using throughout the term to this point? (can’t fix everything overnight, defeatist infighting, this is a further example of the same old washington mess, etc) … ok great, like I haven’t heard that several dozen times over the last year including every single time I click over to this particular blog. So let’s say I’m just shrill and self-defeating and my hatred for Rahm really has clouded my decisionmaking… that means they aren’t actually considering caving on the KSM trial right? There’s a strong public option on the way? This administration hasn’t actually shown a painful tendency to bargain against itself? They really did have a plan in place in case Brown won Kennedy’s seat? etc? … No? You mean it’s possible for all those things still to have gone wrong even if the progressive base really is a giant circular firing squad?

    We can’t explain it all away with this “omg the progressive base are such jerks” zero-sum talking point game thing. Sorry.

  82. 82
    AxelFoley says:

    @Deschanel:

    Christ, can we retire the juvenile stupid insult of “butthurt” when you deem objections from the left stupid and invalid?

    LOL, u mad?

  83. 83
    John Cole says:

    He failed on climate change, on issues concerning the spying on Americans, on the various wars, on the stimulus, on controls on the banksters, on health care.

    Climate change legislation- stalled in the Senate and presumably dead. Obviously Obama’s fault. If he only used the bully pulpit!

    The various wars- Iraq is winding down nicely, just as promised. Afghanistan seems to be going well, although I hate that we are there and disagree completely with the drone attacks, but we have made significant progress in breaking up Al Qaeda.

    Financial reform is in the Senate, where they are doing whatever they want, and the Volcker rule was just sent there. If Obama had only waved his wand.

    Health care reform is still progressing, and you can deem it a failure because there is no public option, but that strikes me as rather foolish.

    On many issues regarding to national security, I have my disappointments as well. But at the same time, every time Obama tries to do the right thing, the Senate and House are right there shafting him. You have paid attention to the attempts to close Gitmo and move these guys to the states, haven’t you?

  84. 84
    K. Grant says:

    @lawguy:

    Herein lies your problem –

    He failed on climate change, on issues concerning the spying on Americans, on the various wars, on the stimulus, on controls on the banksters, on health care.

    You must live in a context-free utopia where things ‘get done because the proper political will exists’. You do know the proper definition, as per Thomas More, of utopia, don’t you? Knave.

  85. 85
    Bob K says:

    When the other party’s entire reason for getting out of bed in the morning is that you FAIL, and you have DINO’s in you’re own party willing to help them in that effort, little wonder that we all have that “Running On Ice.” feeling.

  86. 86
    Jeff Fecke says:

    @lawguy:

    Great. You support single payer, I support single payer. But guess what? Single payer, if Obama had gone out swinging for it, gets destroyed. HCR is hanging on by its fingertips right now, but something will get done.

    Back in the 70s, we had a chance at something like single-payer. Dems held out for more, the economy tanked, and the moment passed.

    Back in the 90s, we had out shot at ClintonCare. The Republicans even put forward a somewhat sane alternative. The shots were called by the White House, the bill never even got a floor vote, and the moment passed.

    Today, we’ve got…something. It’s not perfect. But it is a bill that at the very least declares that in the wealthiest country on earth, everyone’s gonna get some basic level of health care. We can pass it, and improve it as time goes by — just like we did with Social Security and Medicare.

    Over time, we can add in a public option. We can increase subsidies. We can expand Medicare access. We can expand Medicaid and S-CHIP. We can do all of that, and do it more easily, because the big hurdle? That idea that everyone gets health care? That’s done.

    Or — like Dems in the 70s and 90s, we can hold out for perfection.

    And the moment will pass. And in 2030, maybe we’ll get another chance.

    And maybe not.

    So love single payer. Think it’s awesome. I do. But don’t pretend it was ever an option. Barack Obama could have won your love by failing miserably. Instead, he’s earning your enmity by trying to do what he can.

    You can hate him for that if you want. For my money, he’s doing the only thing a real leader would do.

  87. 87
    Comrade Mary says:

    So love single payer. Think it’s awesome. I do. But don’t pretend it was ever an option. Barack Obama could have won your love by failing miserably. Instead, he’s earning your enmity by trying to do what he can.

    I’m embroidering this and hanging it over my desk. Thanks, Jeff.

  88. 88
    Max Power says:

    I admire the sentiment that leads Obama to want to include “Republican Ideas” in HCR and stimulus bills. But if people want Republican ideas they will vote Republican. To be overly bipartisan in search of Republican Ideas is at the final account un-(small d)-democratic.

    Obama is going to attract a lot of Democratic criticism until he starts to lead from his own values, rather than trying to forge consensus with a right that excuses flying planes into buildings.

    …and a post about Democratic disunity followed by a comment thread filled with backslapping sniping at various members of the left?Talk about your lack of self awareness.

  89. 89
    craptractor says:

    @Max: You seem to be trying to turn a list of things people might find objectionable into a list of things Obama lied about, so apparently there’s plenty of dishonesty to go around.

  90. 90
    AxelFoley says:

    @Max Power

    I’ll quote something slightly_peeved said on another thread for you:

    @slightly_peeved:

    I don’t think the country, as a whole, find his insistence on hearing “Republican ideas” annoying. He’s making sure everyone knows, very clearly, exactly who’s to blame for any legislative roadblocks. Gives him someone to blame if nothing happens, and if big things (such as HCR) get passed, it leaves the Republicans with absolutely nothing to their name. In that case, the Republicans not only have no ideas, they suck at obstructionism as well.

  91. 91
    kay says:

    @Max Power:

    That’s what’s bullshit, though, Max. A lot of the stimulus tax cuts went to lower and middle income.
    They weren’t the most stimulative use of the money, the tax cuts, that’s true. But they did fulfill a campaign promise, and they did benefit lower and middle income.
    It’s as if you heard “tax cut” and your brain shut down. It was a way to get money into people’s pockets. That’s all it was. It had no “agenda”. They had maybe 3 months to get A STIMULUS out, and they jammed it through.
    Objecting to the tax cuts because the phrase “tax cuts” sets off your Republican-meter isn’t independent thinking. Liberals don’t object to tax cuts for lower and middle income. Why would they?
    Did you actually read either the stimulus bill or a summary of the stimulus bill? Have you followed it?

  92. 92
    jim says:

    He failed on climate change, on issues concerning the spying on Americans, on the various wars, on the stimulus, on controls on the banksters, on health care.

    1) The entire fucking world failed on climate change – Copenhagen wasn’t an All-American affair.

    2) Obama repeals the Patriot Act & you get a year or three of relief, then the GOP cakewalks back into power & passes the UltraTurboPatriot Act – enjoy your mandatory tracking implant, citizen!

    3) Wow, I must have missed the surrender agreement ceremony – was that on FOX by any chance? Missed the story about the stronger Al Queda & Taliban marching from victory to victory, too … citation please.

    Or do you mean failure to end the wars? For details of how well that would fly in the long run, see “2” above.

    4) So all the economists saying the stimulus was a shot of insulin to an economy in a diabetic coma, & that if anything it should’ve been bigger (& that the best thing right now for America would be another one) are all tripping balls? Uh HUH.

    5) A hit, a most palpable hit! Too bad it collapses into its own footprint once one applies historical context. That ANY banking reform is so much as tentatively moving through the US government in 2010 is such a bizarre anomaly that I have to restrain the urge to pinch myself – the last time any real reform passed, it was the result of a fucking full-blown Depression.

    6) The HCR bills in the House & Senate were just defeated? Odd – there seems to be a distinct lack of wingnut victory partays over this shocking development. In fact, those bills are such a win for the GOP that it’s increasingly losing its shit at the impending passage of same, on the verge of drowning in their own tears as they see their hopes of a comeback about to burst into flames yet again.

    The Tell: why in hell would the GOP have been fighting for dear life for a year straight to defeat a bill they keep saying will be Obama’s death-knell? Epic Narrative-Continuity Fail.

  93. 93
    Nellcote says:

    Ms. Hamsher needs to run for office. I’m sure there’s a district in SoCal that needs progressive representation.

  94. 94
    RobM says:

    It would be nice if you weren’t an asshat like David Axelrod. The President has accomplished very little in regard to domestic policy. He did not save the economy or the financial system. He saved the financial institutions and continues to suck on their tit like a very tired college professor.

    He doesn’t understand that in order to change something you have to provide a reason for the mob to support you. If he had shown some stones and never allowed a single financial institution to receive a bonus, something he could have the Treasury Secretary do under Sec 200 of the TARP legislation, i.e. by determining that the institutions were not financially sound-which they aren’t he would have wowed the crowd. He could fight them in court and he could let every unhappy employee go to court and deal w/ the fact the institutions were solvent only because of TARP money and the public would have roared their approval. With blood on their lips and their anger sated he could have done anything he wanted. Instead he punked out.

    Everybody understands weakness. They see it in a constitutional law professsor whom thinks he can be President instead of the bench where he really would have done some good. They watch as the Presidentin the name of bi-partisanship drinks piss from the Repulicans as they tell everyone it’s raining. The Democrats watch as he trusts asshat Democrats in the Senate to negotiate w/ Republicans for six months to see nothing done. He backs Blanche Lincoln, Arlen Spector and Joe Liebermann for their Senate seats only to have them spit on his agenda. He creates a coalition of people whom haven’t voted for a Democrat in years, let alone an African American, by building an organization that exists outside the control of the Democratic Party and shuts it down the day after he wins the election(don’t tell me you don’t Obamites whom lived to have their daily email before they hit the hustings during the campaign whom now stare at their computers white noise waiting for a signal). The list goes on and on and on.

    When you finally figure out that you’re backing the jackass end of the party you might want to tell Axelrod.

  95. 95
    kris says:

    It is tiresome to see this repeated equation of Obama criticism=Ms. Hamsher. She is hardly the only person who has criticisms of Obama, and neither is she the spokesperson of all critics. It is simply cheap and lazy.

    Before I go any further, please note that I think Mr. Obama is miles better than any republican opponent, and possibly is the best one can expect from the democratic party given the current nature of politics.

    However, It is really convenient when listing Obama’s achievements to gloss over the civil rights criticisms by blaming the senate for not allowing him to do the right thing. It is also really dishonest. When the latest important whitewash by the Obama DOJ of the Bush administration’s torture policies was announced, there was complete silence and no comments on the Obama administration’s policy here. Also, see the latest indications of further policy in this regard as commented by Scott Horton:

    http://www.harpers.org/archive.....c-90006644

    Or this some while ago by emptywheel:

    http://emptywheel.firedoglake......officials/

    These are just examples. What Obama’s administration has done is tantamount to a tacit acceptance of the Bush administration’s philosophy on many of these matters. I guess, since it is Obama, it must be all right.

    Further, it is so easy to beat up on the progressives as being the ones in the way of health reform-How is it that the Stupaks of the world and the other scum in the senate
    get a free pass? They are the real obstacles to reform of any kind. Instead, one sees the spectacle of the White House bending over backwards to accomodate these people while selling out and bargaining away substantial demands of its core, progressive constituency. This is either political gutlessness or plain corruption.

    I wonder how Obama’s latest plan to “reform” and “have a look at” social security has become a part of the democratic agenda. He is trying to do what the Bush administration was prevented successfully, by the democratic opposition. See this discussion as an example:

    http://www.angrybearblog.com/2.....l#comments

  96. 96
    CalD says:

    I’m most disgusted with lefty bloggers and the CPC at the moment. Not to suggest that blue dogs never annoy me or that Republicans and a good 80% of the MSM aren’t disgusting enough in their own right, but I expect no better from them.

  97. 97
    General Egali Tarian Stuck says:

    @RobM: Blah Blah Blah./ We get a steady diet of wankers like you. Usually, jackasses with an agenda of one sort or another. They all say the same canned ObamaFail nonsense. What’s your agenda, dude?

  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    @General Egali Tarian Stuck: We must be linked somewhere. He’s posted that exact same rant on two threads so far. I think the agenda is to blogwhore without actually interacting. A drive-by in other words.

  99. 99
    Phaedrus says:

    Haven’t read the entire comment thread but I wanted to do a shorter J Cole :

    The president continues to hold people in cages indefinitely with no cause and now says that he can have anyone he wants assassinated when he feels like it – but you sorry-ass bastards ought to grovel because he’s taken a historic election of change and pissed it away on moderate half-measures.

  100. 100
    bob h says:

    The truth is that when you have a fascistically disciplined opponent determined to deny you accomplishment, and having the legislative tools to do it in the form of the filibuster and holds, it doesn’t matter whether your staff is from Chicago or Oshkosh.

    No one in DC wants to talk about the elephant in the room: How does a two-party system work when one abdicates its role as a responsible participant?

  101. 101

    I’m pretty sure I’ve said it before, but for someone who’s such an awesomely awesome progressive, Jane Hamsher seems awfully concerned with issues most affecting the middle class and pretty much uninterested in the perspective of poor people.

  102. 102
    kay says:

    @kris:

    There is close to a post a day here on Stupak. Nearly one a day.

    What have you done?

  103. 103
    kay says:

    @Brien Jackson:

    They started with “poor people” but once it became abundantly clear poor people would benefit massively they moved to the “middle class”.

    Later they had to redefine middle class as “union members with policies valued at 26k a year”.

    This is what passes for “reality based”.

  104. 104
    AxelFoley says:

    @RobM:

    Rob, snuck over here from J&JP, huh? And still rippin’ on the Prez, too.

  105. 105
    AxelFoley says:

    @Phaedrus:

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Try harder, son.

  106. 106
    slightly_peeved says:

    Where are we now no public option and a gift of billions to the pharmacutical and insurance industries. Add that to a promise of what appears to be insurance for 30 mil which will really not provide them with a lot of coverage a gift of 30 million to the insurance industry.

    Anyone who refers to the bill as a “gift of billions to the insurance industry” hasn’t read it. Simple as that.

    The exchanges mandate minimum amounts of premium spent on care. Preventative care must be free. There is full governmental oversight on rate increases, and insurance companies that increase rates too much can be kicked from the exchanges. The federal government specifies what the plans on the exchange must cover. It’s pretty close to a state-administered (but federally-defined) form of the current FEHBP scheme, down to the fact that Congress will go on the exchanges as soon as they are formed.

    No more recissions because you didn’t mention a pre-existing condition. No extra premiums due to pre-existing conditions – in fact, no extra premiums due to anything but age, location, and being a smoker. Insurance at group rates for the unemployed or small businesses.

    Gift of billions? It’s a kick in the nuts to the insurance companies, as you’d expect from the way they’re fighting it.

  107. 107
    sparky says:

    @John Cole: it’s your blog, so you get to do what you like with it, and you wrote a pretty civil response so let me try to respond–

    first, the big picture, so to speak. as someone upthread said, with a broad perspective you can see that the angle of decline is 70% rather than 90%. in other words, there is no significant change in the direction of the US. many people, especially here, seem to conflate movement with progress, but moving the focus of the permanent war from one area of the globe to another is not progress. nor is enshrining the private sector as the dispenser of public goods, as in health care. and in the area of coercive governance, aka civil liberties, reification of the Bush administration is not progress, though it is movement of a sort. and that leaves aside the willingness to hand over the US treasury to the oligarchy.

    so let’s go to the specifics

    Climate change legislation- stalled in the Senate and presumably dead. Obviously Obama’s fault. If he only used the bully pulpit!

    i would not expect any american president to manage to push serious climate change legislation, nor would i expect any US congress to pass it. there are, simply, no forces aligned in favor of it. that said, Obama could do more on the changing of public awareness–yes, the bully pulpit. but i don’t fault him for that. there are only so many hours in the day and candidly, no one is going to do anything about climate change until enough people in industrialized countries either lose their homes or die from it.

    The various wars- Iraq is winding down nicely, just as promised.

    i am not sure what you mean by this. if you mean that there are fewer american troops there, well, yes, but moving them to afghanistan is exactly what i meant by big picture problems.

    Afghanistan seems to be going well, although I hate that we are there and disagree completely with the drone attacks, but we have made significant progress in breaking up Al Qaeda.

    i am not aware of any reputable non-USG source who thinks Afghanistan is “going well.” and as there were less than 100 AQ people in the country BEFORE Obama’s decision to emulate Bush, i am not sure what you are talking about.

    Financial reform is in the Senate, where they are doing whatever they want, and the Volcker rule was just sent there. If Obama had only waved his wand.

    or perhaps appointed people to positions in his administration who were not architects for and cronies of the people who ran amuck? or did something other than say ‘fat cats” one week and then say “i like banksters” the next week.

    the greatest opportunity in a generation to pass real financial reform and the administration let it drop. instead the continued siphoning of the treasury was, if anything, stepped up.

    Health care reform is still progressing, and you can deem it a failure because there is no public option, but that strikes me as rather foolish.

    fair enough–we will have to agree to disagree on this one. i continue to maintain that a giveaway (yes, it’s a giveaway if you compare the price paid for the crumbs obtained) of the public weal to private industry is a capture from which the public will never (as in not ever) recover. from my perspective, the shift here is as important as the civil rights reification of Bush policies–handing over the powers of the government to private industry is a truly catastrophic idea.

    On many issues regarding to national security, I have my disappointments as well. But at the same time, every time Obama tries to do the right thing, the Senate and House are right there shafting him. You have paid attention to the attempts to close Gitmo and move these guys to the states, haven’t you?

    how about just closing the prison in the first place?
    but, leaving that aside, as you know, that move could happen on Monday via executive order, if someone so desired.

    but more importantly, much more importantly–“disappointments”?
    –saying the US can kill US citizens anywhere any time?
    –outsourcing torture
    –expanding Bagram
    –whitewashing OLC? seriously, as i said above, who cares who is in office if palpable wrongs are ok?
    –you read Glenzilla, so you know that Obama has essentially reified all of Bush’s policies in this area. arguably, that’s worse than Bush, because now it’s official USG policy.

    it’s your blog and you don’t have to have posts about this stuff. but with all due respect i think you have swallowed the D narrative about Obama a bit too much.

  108. 108
    slightly_peeved says:

    nor is enshrining the private sector as the dispenser of public goods, as in health care.

    Except that’s a pretty reductive explanation of what the health care bill does.

    Every private company that participates on the exchange has been approved by the government to offer health plans that fit standards set by the government. If they don’t perform, they get kicked off. If they suck, it’s perfectly valid to petition the government to fix things.

    It’s the same as done in a number of European countries. If Europeans don’t have a problem with private companies in this arena, there are very few Americans who’ll have a problem with it.

  109. 109
    sparky says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Every private company that participates on the exchange has been approved by the government to offer health plans that fit standards set by the government. If they don’t perform, they get kicked off. If they suck, it’s perfectly valid to petition the government to fix things.

    ahh, and what standards would those be? and who would be writing them? you, or lobbyists for pharma? and nothing, i notice about costs. so i guess it’s fine if BCBS raises its premiums 39% a year? after all, that’s what the law says–they are, after all, guaranteed a minimum 20-25% profit.

    yes, the US has done such a great job of regulating private profits in other sectors of the economy! what could possibly go wrong?

  110. 110
    Citizen K. says:

    Hear, hear.

    I knew when I voted for Obama that he was more moderate than I am. I’m not going to condemn him now for not living up to expectations that I never had. He beats the alternative by a long shot, he’s intellectually acute, he works hard, he’s a responsible person, and he wants to make progress. I can live with that.

    As for Bart Stupak, he’s down there with Joe Lieberman in a special tenth circle of hell invented especially for the likes of them. I’ve already written the DCCC that if HCR fails because of Stupak, I won’t give them a dime until he is out of office.

  111. 111
    sparky says:

    @Max: i am NOT saying that.

    i suspect many people here are forgetting that shortly after assuming office, Obama DID exactly what he said he would do–send two brigades to Afghanistan. so yes, as far as that goes, you are correct.

    but the Obama surge has NOTHING to do with that. please do not conflate the two.

    further, i did not and do not think that either escalation was a good idea.

    so, is it your idea that we should not criticize him because he goes ahead with a bad idea?

  112. 112
    Mnemosyne says:

    @sparky:

    ahh, and what standards would those be? and who would be writing them?

    You mean the specific standards that are in the bill that slightly_peeved detailed in the post directly above yours? Where s/he spelled out the specific provisions that are in the bill to cover exactly what you claim to be concerned about?

    I realize that you don’t want to hear anything that doesn’t conform to your pre-fab beliefs, but slightly_peeved told you the exact details and you’re still claiming that there are no details because, uh, shut up, that’s why.

  113. 113
    taylormattd says:

    @Dennis G.: dengre – the sad thing is, I’m not sure her angry is misdirected at all. It’s been largely on Obama (and his aids) for coming up on three years now.

  114. 114
    taylormattd says:

    @slightly_peeved:

    Anyone who refers to the bill as a “gift of billions to the insurance industry” hasn’t read it. Simple as that.

    It’s worse than that, peeved. These people have been told over, and over, and over about how many lives the Senate bill will save.

    They don’t give a shit.

    They’d rather masturbate to hysterical blog posts about the public option than actually see millions of lives saved.

  115. 115
    blackwaterdog says:

    Bless you, John. Between You and Benen, that’s about all the blogosphere i bother to read these days.

    Stupid country, stupid party, both don’t deserve Barack Obama.

  116. 116
    4jkb4ia says:

    Well, I was going to write that it was a beautiful day, the MVC championship was on TV, Pitt had the #2 seed, George Vecsey gave the NCAA the what-for for even thinking about extending the tournament to 96 mediocre teams, and in spite of a hopeless draft by Kit Bond, for whom I apologize to the American people, order was more or less restored to the universe.
    (And SLU would get in if there were 96. It doesn’t matter. The dilution of quality would be too great.)

    But John, all that happened was that Johnsen got out of committee. She got out of committee last year, and couldn’t get a vote. Nor could the committee move her in time to get her rushed through before Scott Brown could take his seat, because they had enough, I think. That nomination was put off twice.

  117. 117
    blackwaterdog says:

    @kay:

    Terrific comment, Kay.

  118. 118
    Donna No Shock says:

    Excellent Post !

    One of the most successful first years of any administration and all we hear from the left and the right (who at times there isn’t an inch worth of difference in their criticism) is that we didn’t accomplish anything last year. Sigh!!!

  119. 119
    Anthony Miller says:

    Excellent article!!! The President cannot govern from the far left or far right. He must approach problems from a pragmatic and pratical point of view which will produce the best solutions for our great country.

    If the Media truly did their research, objectively reported the news and remain professional, President Obama’s accomplishments would not go unnotice by them. They are many. One would think after 8 years of failure of Bush administration the media would find ways to highlight the positives of this administration. TARP money is being paid back with a profit, economy is getting better due to ARRA, legislation was signed to ensure equal pay for women, and decline in jobs is decreasing a little over a year in office.

    If you listen to pundits as they try to up ratings, you would think President Obama and his administration have not accomplished anything.

  120. 120
    sparky says:

    @Mnemosyne: you might want to consider reading a bit more carefully next time.

    i said, in rebuttal–who exactly is going to be writing the standards? ahh, the government, you answer, as if that solved the problem. but it doesn’t. you know why? because the standards are left to HHS to write, and that means they will be written by people influenced by the medical-industrial complex.

    i don’t know whether you have actually looked at the bill, but i have. the relevant portion gives that power to the administration, to wit:
    (b) ESSENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS.–
    5 (1) IN GENERAL.–Subject to paragraph (2),
    6 the Secretary shall define the essential health bene-
    7 fits, except that such benefits shall include at least
    8 the following general categories and the items and
    9 services covered within the categories:
    10 (A) Ambulatory patient services.
    11 (B) Emergency services.
    12 (C) Hospitalization.
    13 (D) Maternity and newborn care.
    14 (E) Mental health and substance use dis-
    15 order services, including behavioral health treat-
    16 ment.
    17 (F) Prescription drugs.
    18 (G) Rehabilitative and habilitative services
    19 and devices.
    20 (H) Laboratory services.
    21 (I) Preventive and wellness services and
    22 chronic disease management.
    23 (J) Pediatric services, including oral and
    24 vision care.

    now, what you should notice about this is actually rather straightforward–there’s no content. so HHS under, say a GOP administration can simply rewrite all the content and thus change the rules.

    if you dig into this at all, you find this flim-flammery everywhere.

  121. 121
    Linda Dombroski says:

    President Obama is doing an excellent job leading our country. The naysayers who say he will not be reelected are only fooling themselves. Do you think, Americans are so stupid that we will elect to put the Republicans in control again. I don’t think so. All of this media bliz stating the Dems will lose control in 2012, is hopeful thinking. See you in 2012!! By the way, these polls are full of crap. I’m white, middle age and was a Republican

  122. 122
    Mr Furious says:

    @RobM:

    When you finally figure out that you’re backing the jackass end of the party you might want to tell Axelrod.

    So, Rob. If Obama is the jackass end of the party, you mind telling us who the frontal lobe of the party is?

  123. 123
    Teaflax says:

    Oh, for the love of…

    “A couple years ago” = Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo.

    You mean “a couple OF years ago”.

  124. 124

    […] Shared I’m Exhausted, and I’m Not Even There. […]

  125. 125
    Da Bomb says:

    @RobM: And yet you even come on this blog to splew your ignorant, know-nothing stances.

    Give it a rest.

  126. 126

    […] A bunch of stupid Dems laert! …no wonder they are frustrated. Look once again at the list of accomplishments in one year, notwithstanding the fact that we staved off a complete economic collapse, and then realize that this is being deemed a failure- by the Democrats (and that list is four months old). It is ridiculous. […]

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  1. […] A bunch of stupid Dems laert! …no wonder they are frustrated. Look once again at the list of accomplishments in one year, notwithstanding the fact that we staved off a complete economic collapse, and then realize that this is being deemed a failure- by the Democrats (and that list is four months old). It is ridiculous. […]

  2. […] Shared I’m Exhausted, and I’m Not Even There. […]

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