The Bully Pulpit Answer

From Obama’s 60 Minutes interview:

You know, now I will say that when it comes to some of my supporters, some of my Democratic supporters who express some frustration, part of it, I think, is the belief that if I just communicated things better, that I’d be able to persuade that half of the country that voted for John McCain that we were right and they were wrong.

And, you know, one of the things that I think is important for people to remember is that, you know, this country doesn’t just agree with The New York Times editorial page. And, you know, I can make some really good arguments defending the Democratic position, and there are gonna be some people who just don’t agree with me. And that’s okay. And then we’ve got to figure out a way to compromise. But even as we acknowledge that, this is a big country. And that, you know, there are conservatives who are good people, who feel very strongly about their ideas. That I’m never gonna persuade on some issues.

I think what’s still fair to say is that I can do better than I’ve done in painting a picture for people about where we need to go. That pulls people together as opposed to drives them apart. And that’s one of my central tasks over the next couple of years.

Here’s the full video.






66 replies
  1. 1
    tommybones says:

    Great. He still thinks these guys want to compromise. He still thinks the GOP was voted in because the public wants their policies in place, regardless of how harmful they will be. The fact is, when people are suffering, they will vote out those in power and will do so again until someone, somewhere has the courage to do the right thing. He already compromised. It didn’t work.

  2. 2
    Chris says:

    “People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.”

  3. 3
    Paul Moeller says:

    … and then there’s a lot of really ignorant people who vote against their own best interests and are too damned uninformed (or just stupid) to realize that they are hurting themselves. They don’t know what they believe, and leave it up to the loudest voice to tell them.

  4. 4
    Trabb's Boy says:

    Not the answer. A nicely made strawman argument. No one expects him to convert John Boener to Keynesian economics. They expect him to describe the option of a good, decent society where people have some responsibility for the good of the whole to the millions of folks who don’t think about politics much.

    But I think he is a true believer in the notion of compromise as the way to reach the best answer in a democracy. Sigh.

  5. 5
    aimai says:

    I’ve got to say that I agree with Chris, up above. Obama seems to have forgotten the part of being a community organizer which includes making your case, to your community, for getting the things done that the community needs. It isn’t all about bringing together two “sides” all the time–sometimes you have to actually make your case and fight for it. Sure, lots of Republicans don’t think like the NYT editorial page–who the fuck does?–but that doesn’t mean that their real interests are being served by their faux masters on the far right.

    This isn’t about opposing vision to triumphalism, its not about believing that “we’re always right and they’re always wrong.” But sometimes, god damn it, we are right and we know we are right and we have to fight to do the right thing *even if we can’t bring those thumbsuckers along with us yet.*

    Its like being a doctor: your patient doesn’t always know what’s right for themselves medically, or can’t perform the procedure themselves. You don’t get to just say “I should have explained it better” or “compromised” like maybe we could treat cancer as not cancer for the sake of your delusions. If you know what you have to do you have an obligation to try to do it regardless of how ugly the fight.

    aimai

  6. 6
    debit says:

    @tommybones: So, what should he do? I’m asking seriously. He has to run the entire country, not just the parts colored blue. The red parts have elected people we don’t agree with, people he doesn’t agree with, but there they are. Does he tell them to fuck off? Does he tell them no, we won’t even sit at the same table, no we won’t even talk, no there is no chance we’ll ever see eye to eye so we’ll just put everything on hold for two years? And then what?

  7. 7
    Maude says:

    I heard on my radio this morning that Politico has a very negative article on Obama,
    Has this country gotten nastier or has the meaness just gotten louder?

  8. 8
    Max Power says:

    If you believe in something, and convincing your opponents doesn’t work, then you have to fight them.

    That’s what Obama doesn’t get.

  9. 9
    Benjamin Cisco says:

    I think what’s still fair to say is that I can do better than I’ve done in painting a picture for people about where we need to go.

    Sounds like he gets it.

    That pulls people together as opposed to drives them apart.

    Sounds like he doesn’t.

  10. 10
    mai naem says:

    @Maude: Is this snark or for real? As the other Roger Ailes says its PoliticHo. I watched a bit of Morning Ho this morning. Since when did Republicans have say in Democratic Party leadership? I don’t remember Nancy Pelosi or Steny Hoyer telling the Republicans to get rid of Eric Cantor or John Boner. WTF? My teevee is going to be destroyed by 2012. Good thing the price of teevees has gone down so much.

  11. 11
    vtr says:

    He seems to be proposing compromise with a party with no intention of compromising. One that will absolutely nothing to improve the economy in general. Ever.

  12. 12

    I don’t think that more speeches from Obama would have made much difference.

    In the near future, however, problems are looming and having a president who really thinks that it is his duty to go out and explain things might be good.

    What would have helped in the last election? Don’t know.

    Californians, bless their hearts, did not follow the big money. I am very happy to see that. Maybe, just maybe, the republic is not on the auction block.

    In the rest of the country, much of the population seems to have progressed to a right wing, proto-fascist position. This is troubling.

    By proto-fascism I mean a desire for homogeneity in philosophy, religion, and perhaps even ethnicity, all enforced by authority. I believe some folks are willing to see force used to achieve this homogeneity but hope that others are not.

    Interesting times.

  13. 13
    HRA says:

    @Maude:

    It’s both nastier and louder. It’s not exactly new either.

    For some unforeseen reason on my part, I had a couple experiences with the nasty as a customer for the first time 20 years ago. That was definitely unheard of at one time.
    It has grown greatly and widely since then.

  14. 14
    UmYeah says:

    this country doesn’t just agree with The New York Times editorial page.

    The NY Times editorial page has conservatives on it constantly.

    WTF in holy hell does that even mean?

  15. 15
    Napoleon says:

    @HRA:

    ?? You are quite cryptic – explain more.

  16. 16
    Napoleon says:

    I have so had it with Obama. He truly is clueless AND ball-less.

  17. 17
    JMY says:

    @aimai:

    Obama seems to have forgotten the part of being a community organizer which includes making your case, to your community, for getting the things done that the community needs.

    But you’ve forgotten that this isn’t some community in the urban areas of Chicago.

  18. 18
    cleek says:

    does Obama not understand that “the people” are upset with a strawman version of him? the public really doesn’t know a fucking thing about any fucking thing, and they’re mad at what the GOP says is reality. Obama could have made the case for actual reality there, instead of publicly stroking the compromise idol again.

  19. 19
    tommybones says:

    @ debit

    Start by fighting against the tidal wave of false information which has fooled half the country into voting for the GOP. Instead, he seems to have given in to the idea that those people have chosen a different way. They haven’t. They voted based on falsehoods. Inform the public, instead of legitimizing these falsehoods with a humiliating commitment to further compromise. He knows the GOP policies will make things worse, and only a fool would believe he won’t be blamed when they do.

  20. 20
    debbie says:

    He has to keep trying to compromise. If he decides to be the Deciderer, well, we’ve been down that road already, and look what it got us. He just needs to keep up the effort to find a compromise, step back, and let the other side paint themselves as fools and idiots if they insist on continuing.

    I do wish he’d step up and make a statement about all the demonizing and racializing that’s been coming from the right. Call the conservatives out on the demeaning and destructive nature of it. Say how it’s not just coming from the fringe — that state GOP leaders participated and that it can only reflect poorly on the Republican Party. Remind them that the nation spoke out November 2008, and the Republicans deliberately chose to negate that from Day 1, and now they are expecting a totally different reaction after the 2010 election, No politicizing, just point out how the Republican MO is tearing the country apart. He doesn’t have to launch a counterattack, just acknowledge that it’s happening and that it’s wrong. Give it the light of day.

    He has to keep doing the right thing and persevere.

  21. 21
    Guster says:

    Good lord. He honestly thinks the NYT describes the outermost point of appropriate leftie discourse, doesn’t he?

  22. 22
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Politics ain’t bean bag.
    And this: “You know, now I will say that when it comes to some of my supporters, some of my Democratic supporters who express some frustration, part of it, I think, is the belief that if I just communicated things better, that I’d be able to persuade that half of the country that voted for John McCain that we were right and they were wrong.misses the point entirely.

    Most of the President’s supporters are frustrated in large part because he has not effectively executed a communication strategy that shows the value of his approach compared to the empty worthless criticism of his opponents. Most of the President’s supporters don’t think he (or anyone) can persuade those who voted for John McCain, but understand that if he keeps the majorities which elected him in to office that it is not politically necessary to convince or persuade them.

    And FYI… In Washington state Democratic candidates by and large did not run away from the accomplishments of the last session, they trumpeted those accomplishments. WA lost one house seat – the open seat.

  23. 23
    jinxtigr says:

    Guys, breathe. How fucking more clearly does he have to say “Some people are never going to agree with me and my policies. Even as I say compromise you have to remember this country is so big that some people can’t be compromised with. Rather than do what they ask, I have to explain my side better, keep repainting my same old picture of where we need to go rather than use theirs…”

    Come ON. Do you not have any sense of how to spin a statement to make it seem like he’s reaching across the aisle constantly just looking for cooperation? Do you not understand the importance of leaving their constituents lots of ‘outs’ for softening their position, finding points of agreement even if they don’t want to, making them say “Well, I agree with that part, but” as often as possible?

    You CANNOT get mad at Obama spinning stuff to make it seem as though he doesn’t believe the wingnuts are Nazis. He’s not SUPPOSED to believe the wingnuts are Nazis. That’s your job, and vote against them on that basis, and stay involved and have influence because they sure do. Obama HAS to keep the avenue of possible communication open even to would-be fascists, because it’s his job.

  24. 24
    debit says:

    @tommybones: Inform them how? He has town halls. He has rallies. He gives speeches. Newsflash: the news doesn’t cover them. When was the last time you saw a cut from a Gibbs briefing, unless he made some sort of gaffe? Remember when Obama met with republican members of Senate and made fools of them? That was great, wasn’t it? Too bad Fox cut away when it became clear Obama was cleaning their clocks.

    I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but the media wants the narrative to be that he’s a loser, he’s beaten, he’s Jimmy Carter without the cardigan. So how does he get anything out that screws up that narrative? Please tell me, because I’d love to know.

  25. 25
    windshouter says:

    As a leader of the Democratic party, the President’s job is not to convince the 40% or so of core Republicans that his ideas are right. It’s to convince the 40% of democrats and 20 % of independents that his leadership is responsible and getting us to where we need to go. The sad part is if he doesn’t do that, not only to Democrats lose, but people become alienated from the process and either don’t vote or vote for the most passionate person because at least they care.
    You can only really compromise from a position of strength and you get that strength by being willing to make a case.

  26. 26
    Guster says:

    @debbie:

    If he decides to be the Deciderer, well, we’ve been down that road already, and look what it got us.

    I see that all the time, debbie, and it makes me a little crazy. The problem with Bush/Cheney wasn’t that they were decisive. It wasn’t that they were forceful. It wasn’t that they didn’t compromise. It was that they were wrong.

    He just needs to keep up the effort to find a compromise, step back, and let the other side paint themselves as fools and idiots if they insist on continuing.

    What benefit accrues to us and to the country by letting them paint themselves as fools and idiots? They’re painting themselves as fools and idiots who are driving the national discourse and winning elections. I wouldn’t mind some of that paint.

  27. 27
    gogol's wife says:

    @Guster:

    For a mainstream publication, the New York Times editorial page (NOT the op-ed page, which is not what he said) is in fact the leftmost edge of what is seen by the people in this country. And even those who see it are a tiny minority. Have you ever read a local newspaper’s op-ed page? Or try the Wall Street Journal, which is given out free every morning in many hotels.

    People seem to forget that George W. Bush was trying to do things that were IN LINE WITH the interests of the moneyed classes and corporations. Obama is trying to go AGAINST them. Being a bully like George W. Bush would get him exactly nowhere. I would really like to see his critics try to accomplish a small fraction of what he has.

    I give up on this country, not so much because of the ignorant masses but because of the people who are supposed to know better who will not give him a break.

  28. 28
    PeakVT says:

    this country doesn’t just agree with The New York Times editorial page.

    Yeah, because it defines a mushy middle that nobody likes, other than Villagers.

  29. 29
    MikeBoyScout says:

    @24 debit:

    Yes, the cards look to be stacked against him in executing a communication plan, but that’s not a reason to give up or back down. It is a reason to build a better plan.

  30. 30
    Keith G says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I don’t think that more speeches from Obama would have made much difference.

    This statement is specifically correct, but generally wrong. Or as Vince Lombardi said, “Winning is not a sometime thing. It is an all the time thing.

    While folks like to bitch about the “permanent campaign” (especially of the other party) previous administrations have shown the value of an effective, multi-leveled, 24/7 message machine.

    Good policies are usually necessary but not sufficient to West Wing success in and of themselves. Apple, Sony Samung all make good products, but that is not enough. They continually find innovative ways to get in touch with consumers.

    A Democratic president need to be innovative and relentless in his/her outreach as well. If Obama doesn’t learn this and react, he *will be* the next Jimmy Carter, a president who I idolize, but who was defined by his opponents as a feckless leader and was beaten by a unashamed master of 24/7 messaging.

    I edited out a cut and paste mistake.

  31. 31
    jinxtigr says:

    The ‘New York Times editorial page’ thing is an obvious dogwhistle, guys. Do you not actually understand that the wingnuts consider the NYT to be essentially Pravda?

    The fact that the Times is itself compromised and tainted with the crazy doesn’t change the fact that wingnutistan views it as arch-liberal-ville. In saying this, Obama is saying a trivially obvious truth- not everyone agrees with the NYT editorial page- and spinning it in such a way that it speaks directly to the wingnuts in their own words, words they’re familiar with.

    It is not in ANY sense a tactical loss for Obama to say “hey, there are extreme rightwingers around and they are citizens”. This is self-evident. It’s not like they’re Voldemort and you have to never invoke them or they might appear. It’s not like product placement where Obama’s assumed to be endorsing them just by mentioning them.

    But Obama saying “Not everyone agrees with the NYT editorial page” is a COSTLESS way to say a thing that compels the wingnuts to say “Yes! I agree with Obama about that, he agrees with me about that.” It’s not a policy statement he can be held to, it’s an outside observation that implies insider knowledge of the wingnut mindset. If he can say that, it suggests he IS one of them- except he’s not, it’s a ploy, and furthermore a ploy that does not extend a policy proposal he can be held to.

    It’s clever. And it’s not an isolated move, either. It’s part of a concerted effort to undermine the wingnut crazy, an effort that is necessary.

  32. 32
    Corner Stone says:

    that if I just communicated things better, that I’d be able to persuade that half of the country

    He does not need to convince “half” the country.

  33. 33
    Maude says:

    @mai naem:
    I heard it on Bloomberg Radio.
    I don’t read Politico.
    Don’t smash the tv until there’s a huge sale.
    I have noticed that the Righties are telling the Dems and everyone else what to do.
    On the bright side, Bush is doing his book tour and that ought to be good for a few laughs.
    What idiot admits to commiting a war crime in writing?

    @HRA:
    But it seems that people feel as if they can say anthing they want and not give a hoot how they hurt people.
    I think it’s because we are in a narcissistic time, starting with Raygun.
    It’s all about MEEEEEEEEEE.

  34. 34
    Guster says:

    @gogol’s wife: Yes, but Obama isn’t ‘most people in this country.’ The NYT editorial page cheerled the invasion of Iraq. The NYT editorial page is a pretty accurate reflection of the center of the left, wouldn’t you agree?

    When Obama says “this country doesn’t just agree with The New York Times editorial page,” he’s saying, “the center of my party is too far to the left of this country.” He’s saying, “This is a center-right country.” He’s the leader of the party, and he’s out there saying, ‘a blandly mainstream take on my party’s core principles is something that this country rejects.’

    I would really like to see his critics try to accomplish a small fraction of what he has.

    Huh?

    And I’m sorry that you give up on this country. That is very sad.

  35. 35
    A Duck says:

    Not convinced.

  36. 36
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Lunatic: Give me four million dollars and a helicopter or I kill all eight hostages!

    Sheriff Obama: How about two million dollars and a Ford Fiesta and you only kill four of the hostages?

  37. 37
    tommybones says:

    @debit

    Perhaps he can start attacking the false terms being used constantly, which have fooled the population for generations? Like “job creators.”

    Explain how DEMAND creates jobs, not more money for the wealthy. The wealthy got more money the past 10 years and jobs went in the toilet. Jobs are created when the consumer class has money to spend. The rich can get richer, but until the middle class has money to spend the rich have no incentive to create a single job. Demand creates jobs. Challenge the false talking points.

    Ask the GOP to explain why more money in the pockets of the wealthy would make them create jobs if there is no one to purchase the product or services? Drive these obvious points home. He’s never attacked this. Instead, he simply relies on the idea that the wealthy need to sacrifice. It’s not a sacrifice. It’s basic economics. The wealthy will gain from the middle class having more money.

    Teach the population.

  38. 38
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    Similar losses in the House and Senate happen nearly every midterm election cycle. The real shocker would have been if the Democrats had actually held onto those seats in the face of 9.6% unemployment.

  39. 39
    gogol's wife says:

    @Guster:

    You write, “And I’m sorry that you give up on this country. That is very sad.” I lived through Nixon, Reagan, and both Bushes, but I’ve never been this despondent. Because in those days there was no one like Obama. Now there is, and he is attacked from all sides, instead of being supported by the people who should be supporting him. Your “Huh?” speaks volumes.

    The right-wing Christianist base did not, I assure you, agree with George W. Bush on everything. But for the most part they supported him and avoided criticizing him in public, because they knew that the alternative would be nowhere as near their goals as he was. For some reason, the people to the left of Obama cannot adopt this (mature, I would say) attitude. If he’s not exactly where they are, they can’t stand it and have to go on television to scream about it.

  40. 40
    Guster says:

    @jinxtigr: Yeah, but he didn’t say ‘not everyone agrees with the NYT editorial page,’ he said ‘this country doesn’t agree with the NYT editorial page.’

    And I think you might be right that he’s trying to say something that wingnuts will agree with, so they’ll think, ‘Yes! I agree with Obama on this one.’ But then they’ll think: “See? Even soshulist Obama admits that the country doesn’t agree with the NYT editorial page!’

    I don’t understand how this undermines the wingnut crazy. Doesn’t it just co-sign it?

  41. 41
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Shawn in ShowMe:

    You’re correct that the party in power usually loses seats in a midterm – just not this many. The average loss in all House midterms back to 1930 was 29 seats. You have to go back to the 1938 midterm, in which FDR’s Democrats lost 72 House seats, to beat this year’s losses.

  42. 42
    MikeBoyScout says:

    One more comment…

    President Obama has been very successful. But the past is not the issue with his performance. The issue is the future; not his, OURS.

    The failure of last week’s election is not that seats were lost, or even that the Democratic party lost the majority in the House.

    The political failure was losing to such a demonstrable set of losing criticisms and sell-out losers.

    The policy failure is that with soooooo much that must be accomplished as a result of the miserable failure of the Bush administration, the loss of the power of the majority in the House makes it that much more difficult to accomplish what is needed, and puts each and every non millionaire citizen in a very precarious position.

    We each need to do better, and the President needs to do better.

  43. 43
    Guster says:

    @gogol’s wife: I stand by my ‘huh!’

    You seem to think that if I cannot perform as well as a politician, I have no standing to criticize him or her. Do you think the same about cops and lawyers and athletes?

    If the right-wing Christianist base didn’t criticize Bush as much as the left-wing moonbat base criticizes Obama, that is perhaps because they are wired for authoritarianism more than we are, perhaps because they are more mature than we are, or perhaps because they felt Bush was fighting for their values more than we feel Obama is fighting for ours.

    Bush’s base believes in crazed militarism and invading Muslim countries for no justifiable reason, and a buttload of profit. So Bush fought like hell to invade a Muslim country for no justifiable reason, and a buttload of profit. Hell, he tried to privatize Social Security: a third-rail issue. Yes, the media is in his pocket, yes he gets a pass on everything for 9/11 and being a regular-white-guy-have-a-beer-Republican. And no, I don’t think Obama could’ve pulled an AUMF on health-care and gotten us to single-payer. But I’m trying to think of a single big issue on which Obama laid down a marker to the left of where the country was (in the same way that the invasion of Iraq and privatization of SS were to the right of where the country was) and fought for it in an extremely public way, win or lose.

    That’s a communications strategy: fighting for what you believe in. Just talking about what you believe in isn’t.

  44. 44
    noncarborundum says:

    @UmYeah:

    Maybe you mean the Op-Ed page, which has Douthat, Brooks et al. The editorial page (i.e., the actual editorials written by actual NYT editors) is fairly consistently liberal.

  45. 45
    debbie says:

    @Guster:

    What benefit accrues to us and to the country by letting them paint themselves as fools and idiots?

    It gets the Independents back.

  46. 46
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    @Dennis SGMM

    I’d think you’d agree that these aren’t average economic times. Given the hundreds of bank closings the last couple of years, the housing market still underwater from the subprime debacle, and the global economy in a general malaise, today is a lot like 1938. Add to that the fact that white folks love to scapegoat “The Other” in this country, things could have been much worse.

  47. 47
    General Stuck says:

    Obama isn’t the problem, but he could do better. Instead of offering an olive branch to the opposition, he could just consistently tell them to stop whining on blogs, and go suck purple donkey dicks. They serve no useful purpose.

    But with the republican opposition, he should offer an Olive branch, twig size. And then poke them in the eye with it. and he will, now that they are responsible for stuff.

  48. 48
    Blue Neponset says:

    There is a lot of room between persuading “that half of the country that voted for John McCain” and letting the ‘death panel’ meme dominate the news cycle for the better part of a month. It is too bad the Prez is dismissing this critique wholesale. I guess he can just keep doing what he has been doing. That might work someday.

  49. 49
    Cacti says:

    And not withstanding Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold getting thrown out their ass, the firebaggers will stick their fingers in their ears and say…

    “la, la, la, la bully pulpit, la, la, la, la bully pulpit!”

  50. 50
    jinxtigr says:

    @Guster:

    Bullshit. Quote says “this country doesn’t JUST agree with the NYT editorial page”.

    A free country isn’t supposed to JUST agree with only one thing.

    And the reason this, rather than ‘the country doesn’t JUST agree with the need for health care for all’ is a smart concession, is because it’s harmless to point fingers at the NYT as a bogeyman for overliberal causes. First of all it’s not even true, and second of all, they don’t set policy so it’s a deflection of negative energy towards something meaningless.

  51. 51
    Cacti says:

    @Cacti:

    And not withstanding Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold getting thrown out their ass

    Thrown out ON their ass.

    Although, the thought of Grayson and Feingold getting shot out the ass of the firebaggers does make for a funny mental picture.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    @jinxtigr:

    It’s clever. And it’s not an isolated move, either. It’s part of a concerted effort to undermine the wingnut crazy, an effort that is necessary.

    This is the working definition of “11 D Chess”.
    Remember the summit he held with Republicans? And patiently yet repeatedly made them look like crazy fools?
    Yeah. I do too.

  53. 53
    Corner Stone says:

    “Sir, there’s a large iceberg ahead! What should we do?”
    “Continue course. Let’s contact the iceberg and suggest it move out of our way.”
    “But sir!”
    “Damn you Johnson! If you don’t like my decision then there’s the rail!”

  54. 54
    Agoraphobic Kleptomaniac says:

    @jinxtigr:

    If he can say that, it suggests he IS one of them- except he’s not, it’s a ploy, and furthermore a ploy that does not extend a policy proposal he can be held to.

    Co-opt their language and framing and you’ve already lost.

    I don’t know who Obama is talking at in this interview, but all I know is that the last time he’s talked at me and my moderately liberal group of young 20-somethings was when he said he’d shut down Gitmo. It’s all been downhill since there.

  55. 55
    HRA says:

    @Napoleon:

    “?? You are quite cryptic – explain more.”

    There certainly is a short fuse on the part of those serving the public. I went to pay a bill in person at a department store. Something I don’t do as a practice but decided to do it being I was there. I got in the wrong line. There were no signs to tell me otherwise. The clerk went berserk even though I apologized for being in the wrong line.

    That’s a mild one in comparison to what my daughter had to deal with at the DMV. She had a surname change submitted a few weeks ago. They did not register the new surname on her new license. This past weekend she went to have it corrected. The clerk and her supervisor were very nasty and blamed her for it when it was their error. They claimed they had no access by computer to Albany. My daughter and I both know through work experience the access is available. She was there for about 2 hours. She came home in tears.

    These are only a few examples.

  56. 56
    FlipYrWhig says:

    I’m so mad at Obama I’m finding new reasons to egg myself on and be even more mad about his anodyne political truisms! Be appealing to more people? Never! Wolverines! Rrrrrrrraaaaahhhhhh!

  57. 57
    DaBomb says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I’m so mad at Obama I’m finding new reasons to egg myself on and be even more mad about his anodyne political truisms! Be appealing to more people? Never! Wolverines! Rrrrrrrraaaaahhhhhh!

    I couldn’t have summed it better. This thread has completely went down the shitter.

    People still don’t get it.

  58. 58
    something fabulous says:

    @jinxtigr: Thank you! I was beginning to feel like I had read an alternate-universe statement to everyone else, somehow…

  59. 59
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Max Power:

    then you have to fight them.

    more generics.

  60. 60
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Max Power:

    then you have to fight them.

    more generics. and yeah, I’d like to see him fight the voters. that’ll go over well.

  61. 61
    Suck It Up! says:

    @Cacti:

    And not withstanding Alan Grayson and Russ Feingold getting thrown out their ass, the firebaggers will stick their fingers in their ears and say…

    “la, la, la, la bully pulpit, la, la, la, la bully pulpit!”

    I hope they now realize what a deliberate purge of the blue dogs could mean. A few good ones may get swept up.

  62. 62
    Suck It Up! says:

    Wow, I have to say if anyone is clueless its not Obama. This thread is whacked.

  63. 63
    Elie says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    By proto-fascism I mean a desire for homogeneity in philosophy, religion, and perhaps even ethnicity, all enforced by authority. I believe some folks are willing to see force used to achieve this homogeneity but hope that others are not.

    ..and some of these people are supposedly on the left/progressive.

    Obama is doing a very difficult thing. He is not trying to daddy us and force us to do as he recommends. We are, to his mind, adults (arguable, but tohis mind, we are). If he lays out a clean path, justifies it and we reject it and have two million hissy fits and tear up the house we live in, he cannot stop us. Only we can stop us and focus on serious priorities.

    Our body politic has been treated like spoiled children for decades — everybody telling us everything is just fine — we are the bravest, smartest and most entitled people on this earth and nobody better say different. Each of our cherished important causes is the most important and everyone else better do what each of us says or we are just going to tear everything up and pout and scream.

    You don’t bring people along to maturity and reality by giving them more fantasy and false sense of comfort. You work any meaningful relationship and this is the most important one of our time, the relationship of the civic — of the obligations of the citizen to each other, by indulging in their grievance. Obama will be long gone, (and I am sure he will be relieved whenever that is), but pretty soon, we will have to live with the consequences of this prolonged immature and self destructive period.

  64. 64
    chaseyourtail says:

    Again, liberals are incapable of reading between the lines. He’s not speaking to us. He’s speaking to all of America so he’s not going to tell liberals exactly what liberals want to hear (especially after the Repig victory on Tues.) Obama is striking the right tone by saying that compromise doesn’t necessarily mean capitulation and the “fighting” the left wants to see doesn’t automatically mean winning. You can stand your ground and still find common ground. That’s what the President is saying. And it’s the right thing to say to the stupid Americans masses right now. Obama has made it very clear that he’s not going to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and that extending them for the middle class IS the compromise. That’s what he’s talking about.

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    Corner Stone says:

    There seem to be a lot of people desperate to convince themselves their wishful thinking is the actual reality.
    If you want to play fanciful games of what Obama was “really saying” wink wink hint hint, please go ahead.
    It’s funny that we get the whiplash between, “but that’s exactly what he said during his campaign! Weren’t you listening?” to now when it’s convenient, “But what he’s saying isn’t important! He’s speaking in code for people who aren’t the ones who will vote for him!”

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    DPirate says:

    The Great Communicator. Fear His Rhetoric.

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