Obama Sux/Rulz!

I don’t think anyone’s posted about the Obama administration’s decision to review pending deportation cases and use prosecutorial discretion on non-violent cases and cases of children of immigrants:

But White House officials and Congressional Democrats said they expected the measures would lead to relief during the coming year for virtually all young illegal immigrants facing deportation who might have won legal status under a bill called the Dream Act. A proposal to benefit illegal immigrant high school graduates who came to the country before they were 16, it failed in the Senate last year.

If that’s too Obotic for you, even Kevin Drum agrees with Brad DeLong that there were things the Obama administration could have done to help the economy, but didn’t.

Share On Facebook
Share On Twitter
Share On Google Plus
Share On Pinterest
Share On Reddit

181 replies
  1. 1
    Comrade Dread says:

    There are some areas where Obama is good, and an equal number of areas where he is quite bad.

    As he is a left-leaning centrist establishmentarian, that’s probably to be expected.

  2. 2
    Emma says:

    @Comrade Dread: Yep. Although I will admit that I find DeLong sometimes smells a bit of “if WE were back in power it would be different.”

    I guess I’m having problems with the sudden idealization of Clinton’s years in power. They fucked up health insurance, signed NAFTA, and cut assistance to the poor. So although I admire some of the things his administration did, the onslaught of Clintonites who know better is becoming tiresome.

  3. 3
    Samara Morgan says:

    nah, O is a machiavellian pragmatist.
    plz give a link where you think he could have “done more”.
    nice to see you owning your Obama concerntrolling instead of using one of your glibertarian rentboiz as a mouthpiece tho.
    :)

  4. 4
    schlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    @Comrade Dread:
    Not seeing the ‘left-leaning’ part

    @Emma:
    I think a large part of that remembered fondness for Clinton was that he fought back. Even when he lost or did the wrong thing he never adopted Republican rhetoric and “punched above his weight”. Sadly, O often make the case that the Republicans are right by using their themes and framing instead of punching at any weight.

  5. 5
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    If that’s to Obotic for you

    if that’s *too* Obotic for you.

    @Comrade Dread:

    There are some areas where Obama is good, and an equal number of areas where he is quite bad.

    Really? So all things equal out, right?

    On balance, I’d say he’s more good than bad. But YMMV.

  6. 6
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    he never adopted Republican rhetoric and “punched above his weight”.

    “The era of big government is over.” – Bill Clinton, 1996.

    ETA: and if you’re not seeing the “left-leaning” bit, well, that’s just sad.

  7. 7
    MikeJ says:

    Don’t forget how the immigration issue shows how much he hates teh gayz:

    The same day, an undocumented Mexican woman in Colorado, Sujey Pando, also learned her deportation had been scrapped, because she married her lesbian partner in Iowa. Federal law does not yet recognize same-sex marriages, but as far as the Obama administration is concerned, same-sex couples who get married in states with marriage-equality laws fall under the administration’s definition of “family.”

  8. 8
    jwb says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite: You weren’t paying much attention during the Clinton administration, were you? Triangulation was his middle name, and the Clinton punching from the left was nearly as bad as the Obama punching from the left.

  9. 9
    barath says:

    I hope that someday soon there’s popular understanding that energy constraints are the main and permanent problem with our economy. As long as our economy is highly dependent upon oil we’ll keep having oil price shock induced slowdowns and/or recessions. Oil production isn’t going to increase, and is only going to decrease in the coming years. This means more frequent recessions from which each recovery is only a partial recovery.

    I’ve wondered why there isn’t more recognition of this – is it that it’s too simple?

  10. 10
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @arguingwithsignposts:

    It’s what happens when you lean so far left that left looks right. ;)

  11. 11
    xian says:

    cool how the president gets to “use reconciliation” single-handedly.

  12. 12
    Brian S says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite: Never adopted Republican rhetoric? Isn’t he the inventor of the “Sister Souljah” moment?

  13. 13
    cleek says:

    @xian:
    Congress is just a figment of your imagination.

  14. 14
    Hal says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    “I think a large part of that remembered fondness for Clinton was that he fought back. Even when he lost or did the wrong thing he never adopted Republican rhetoric and “punched above his weight”. Sadly, O often make the case that the Republicans are right by using their themes and framing instead of punching at any weight.”

    You can’t be serious. As others have said, “Era of Big Government is over”, his Sistah Soulja moment done purely to let white working class voters know he wasn’t too black, signing DOMA and endorsing on southern radio stations, welfare reform etc etc.

    I think Clinton was a pretty damn good President, but this revisionist history drives me insane.

  15. 15
    TK-421 says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    plz give a link where you think he could have “done more”.

    My God. If you want a link with suggestions of what more the Obama Admin could have done, it’s right there in the post.

    And Brad DeLong’s post is just the latest- this “what could he have done/do?” debate has been raging among economists for months now. They’ve come up with plenty of ideas, most/all of which do not need Congressional approval.

    But whatever, that’s an inconvenient truth and must be ignored no matter the cost. Another example: I once provided General Stuck with a bunch of links detailing these things (again, economists have been discussing this for months). He point blank refused to read them. And here we have Samara Morgan pretending that the links provided in the post don’t exist. Awesome.

    This ignorance in defense of the Obama Admin looks pretty willful, IMO. The Admin is not doing well on the economy, and there is no spinning that.

  16. 16
    barath says:

    This ignorance in defense of the Obama Admin looks pretty willful, IMO. The Admin is not doing well on the economy, and there is no spinning that.

    True, but none of the suggestions from the punditry, from Krugman on down, make sense in light of the energy bottleneck that’s causing our problems…

  17. 17
    NonyNony says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    Even when he lost or did the wrong thing he never adopted Republican rhetoric and “punched above his weight”.

    Sigh.

    Other folks have already hit you for this, but I feel like I’ve got to pile on.

    Clinton lost on the gays in the military issue. When the compromise position became Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell he cheerlead it as a great compromise. Then when it became obvious that the Defense of Marriage Act was going to make it to his desk one way or another, he became a proponent of that too.

    On “Welfare Reform”, once he saw what direction the Republican Congress was going to go with it he got out in front and talked it up. He’d long been a big proponent of NAFTA and Fast Track (both of which were things that the previous Bush administration had been salivating over).

    In short, once the Republicans took office (and even before, to be honest) he never really “fought back” against them on a policy level. He found a way to spin things so that it looked like he was getting what he wanted (he was a master of the Pee-wee Herman “I meant to do that” reversal – one of the things that pissed the Congressional Republicans off at him so very much was his ability to take credit for their legislation), but he didn’t really “fight back”.

    The perception that Clinton “fought back” comes almost entirely from the “Travelgate”, “Whitewater”, and Ken Star witch hunts. Where he didn’t lie down and take a pummeling but did, in fact, fight back. But on policy? Clinton was a doormat on domestic policy after the Republicans took the House in ’94. A doormat who could convince you that he was getting what he wanted, but a doormat nevertheless.

  18. 18
    Danny says:

    even Kevin Drum agrees with Brad DeLong that there were things the Obama administration could have done to help the economy, but didn’t

    Because Kevin Drum is some kind of shrill for establishment democrats so him agreeing with DeLong on something is somehow noteable? Drum’s a contrarian – read his blog on any given day and the chance is about equal of him agreeing with Obama, Jon Huntsman and Jane Hamsher.

  19. 19
    Kane says:

    In his next post, Delong examines the life of Jesus, arguing that he could have done much more.

    It’s all so easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. The reality is that Obama has already had more legislative success than any modern president, and his first-term isn’t even over yet. And all in the face of Republican obstruction. I’ll match Obama accomplishments against Clinton, Reagan, and Johnson any day.

  20. 20
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    But what if that’s not Obotic enough? I demand a long list of accomplishments, and pictures.

    BTW, did anyone catch the pictures from Libya of citizens waving US flags, that were not on fire. There was even one of a group of men on their prayer mats, bowing in front of the US flag. The images were collected on DK. I would supply a link, but I try to go to only a few sites at work, pretty much this and xkcd.

  21. 21
    Bill H. says:

    But White House officials and Congressional Democrats said they expected the measures would lead to relief during the coming year for virtually all young illegal immigrants facing deportation who might have won legal status under a bill called the Dream Act.

    Well, not to get all constitutionalist on you, but if Congress rejects something and Obama proceeds to do it by executive order, why do we think that’s a good thing? Because we approve of Obama and we approve of the action. All well and good.

    But if Congress rejected an corporate tax cut and a Republican president implemented it by means of executive order, how would we feel about that?

    The validity of an action does not depend on who is doing it, or on who likes or dislikes it.

  22. 22
    FlipYrWhig says:

    The idea that Bill Clinton, of all people, “never adopted Republican rhetoric” is one of the most spit-take worthy comments I have ever, ever seen on this blog.

  23. 23
    Samara Morgan says:

    what is wrong with you?

    it failed in the Senate last year.

    but it passed last month by executive order.

    of course Obama is going to review cases that should have been covered.
    i didnt see you fuckers even mention it here, but hotair and the freepers almost stroked out.

  24. 24
    Admiral_Komack says:

    @Kane:

    Thank you.

    I’m tired of the Clinton revisionism.

  25. 25
    boss bitch says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    Even when he lost or did the wrong thing he never adopted Republican rhetoric and “punched above his weight”.

    Say what now? Isn’t this the guy that the left accused of engaging in triangulation? And what about this quote ‘the era of big government is over?’ Clinton was better because even though he pushed right leaning policies he didn’t TALK like it? and he fought? WTF?

  26. 26
    Tim P. says:

    Clinton is becoming the Reagan of the left: an idealized icon that one can project one’s own hopes/dreams/programs onto. What Clinton/Reagan actually did when in power is besides the point.

  27. 27
    Admiral_Komack says:

    “But what if that’s not Obotic enough? I demand a long list of accomplishments, and pictures.”

    But…but…that will force Glenn Greenwald to have a sad…and imply somebody is a Nazi.

  28. 28
    NonyNony says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    The idea that Bill Clinton, of all people, “never adopted Republican rhetoric” is one of the most spit-take worthy comments I have ever, ever seen on this blog.

    Yah. It’s not quite up there with a prediction of “peak wingnut”, but it’s certainly a head-scratcher.

    I do think a lot of folks look back more fondly on Clinton’s presidency than it deserves. W made Clinton look a lot better, for one thing. And while I personally think that Obama isn’t much different policy-wise from Clinton[*], I can see how people might project more of a “fighter” image onto Clinton than he actually had. Mostly because the right-wing threw up such bullshit against him that he was constantly fighting against that his policy rhetoric gets lost in the general idea that he “stood up to Republicans”. Which he did, just not on policy, where he more often took on right-leaning rhetoric (something that irritated liberals to no end at the time and was a direct driver of the idea that there wasn’t a “dime’s worth of difference” between the Republicans and Democrats ca 1999).

    [*] If anything, I think Obama is actually somewhat better than Clinton at avoiding right-wing rhetorical tricks. He’s slightly better at indicating that he doesn’t think the Republicans are right in their thinking, but that we live in a democracy and they have the majority so there need to be compromises, yadda yadda. Of course he seems to have internalized Chicago school economics (as Clinton did), and often that peaks out. But I think it comes out in areas where he actually believes it’s true, rather than Clinton’s opportunistic “Sistah Soujah” triangulation crap. (That doesn’t make it better, mind you – I could give a rat’s ass about what a pol “really and truly believes in their hearts”, but it makes it different).

  29. 29
    Kane says:

    Clintonian triangulation.

    When your name is tied to an ideology and political strategy that includes the word triangulation, it’s probably not wise to argue that you’ve never adopted the opposition’s rhetoric and views.

  30. 30
    Dennis SGMM says:

    Clinton? Meh. He’s the one who signed the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act (AKA Welfare reform) into law. He signed the Iraq Liberation Act, a measure calling for regime change in Iraq. He’s also the one who signed DOMA into law. Political parties need heroes, no doubt about it. Making Clinton into a Democratic party hero is just as bullshit as the Republicans’ hagiographic treatment of Reagan.

  31. 31

    @Odie Hugh Manatee: #10

    It’s what happens when you lean so far left that left looks right. ;)

    Not directed at me but I’m also guilty as charged. Twice a week I have to remind myself that the man never promised to agree with me on everything.

  32. 32
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    I also vaguely remember Clinton signing some bill that allowed our banks to go hog wild on the economy.

    Yup, quite the liberal that Clinton was. Not.

  33. 33
    askew says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite:

    Clinton never adopted rightwing frames – are you kidding? Remember his speech “The era of big government is over”? Or how about the entire school uniforms debate, welfare reform and his atrocious record on the environment due to his arguments that regulation was bad for the economy?

    I am so sick of the idolization of Clinton. Obama has been a more effective and more progressive president than Clinton. The only thing Clinton was better at was getting his people on TV 24/7 arguing his points. Unfortunately, those same Clintonites are still hogging the few Dem slots on TV and they love nothing better than to take shots at Obama. Imagine if we had a media that actually talked about Obama’s accomplishments.

  34. 34
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    I have contended, for quite some time now, that Bill Clinton was the best Republican President we’ve had since Eisenhower.

  35. 35

    @barath: #16

    none of the suggestions from the punditry, from Krugman on down, make sense in light of the energy bottleneck that’s causing our problems…

    If you’re talking about peak oil, this ‘energy bottleneck’ isn’t likely to go away. But you’re right in that the nation as a whole has not even addressed that issue.

    Denial is not only a river in Egypt.

  36. 36
    TK-421 says:

    @Kane:

    It’s all so easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. The reality is that Obama has already had more legislative success than any modern president, and his first-term isn’t even over yet.

    Yes, because criticizing an Administration’s complacency in the midst of the Second Depression is so unreasonable and irrational (and shrill).

    It’s all so easy to dismiss legitimate criticism & suggestions as “Monday morning quarterbacking.” The only problem is that this dismissiveness requires that we ignore the fact that these suggestions could be enacted today. It’s not just hindsight, but actually a way forward.

    But never mind that all. Why? Because JANE HAMSHER MICHELLE BACHMANN RICK PERRY!, that’s why.

  37. 37
    Emma says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite: Yes, but Clinton was a white man with a roguish charm and the c_jones to screw an intern in the oval office. Bubba loved him in many ways (I don’t mean the crazies, I mean everyday Bubba). For better or for worse, Obama is the Jackie Robinson of politics. He will be depicted as “angry black man” and “MalcomX” (not that any of the jerks understand Malcom X, but that’s neither here not there). Obama has to keep his temper.

    And I’m sorry but any man who goes after entitlements and signs a law that screws the common man out of jobs doesn’t qualify as much of a liberal to me.

  38. 38
    TK-421 says:

    @Bill H.:

    The validity of an action does not depend on who is doing it, or on who likes or dislikes it.

    Totally co-sign that baby. If a hypothetical McCain Administration had (hypothetically) been this cautious and complacent on economic policy, the very same people defending the Obama Administration would be roaring mad.

    But for a lot of people, who is doing it matters more than what is being done. I hate that kind of raw, unprincipled tribalism.

  39. 39
    Raven (formerly stuckinred) says:

    @TK-421: Well lah-dee-dah!

  40. 40
  41. 41
    aisce says:

    it really speaks a lot to the complete dysfunction of the alleged “progressive” blogosphere that the news of the administration stepping up to do the right thing on deportation policy isn’t considered an unalloyed good thing, and an impetus to elect more democrats to congress and pressure them to finalize the policy change in legislation.

    also, too, something something obots firebaggers, whatever, fuck everybody.

  42. 42
    William Hurley says:

    Actually, there’s been a fairly average volume of commentary on the Administration’s sudden change on deportation investigations – shifting from mass, faceless execution of “law” to an individuated mode.

    Among the commentaries, BLOG posts and examinations of the policy shift I’ve seen, there’s an even divide over the political motivation behind the sudden change. Though, despite the split in interpretations, all reviewers I’ve read point to the unprecedented aggressivity and breadth of the Administration’s “detain and deport” actions in light of the deleterious effect on the social fabric and politicization of the Latino and Hispanic communities.

    Also note that the precedent set by the Administration has given implicit endorsement to immoral (and illegal!) state level programs designed solely to identify and detain suspected undocumented immigrants – often resulting in great profits or other revenues for those states. It is essential to remember that the Administration’s new policy is applied post-detention.

    As such, the change in Administration policy has no impact on the rate of arrests/detentions, the duration of a detention nor the impetus behind “round-up” actions pursued by states’ agents.

    One might be moved to compare this policy adjustment to the Administration’s HAMP program, were the objects of detention properties not human beings. Still, the Administration’s shift deserves positive response only if and when the shift is followed by more steps to correct heinous policies and redress powerful lingering concerns among all people effected by national immigration policy. To be clear, that latter group is all Americans given the pervasive use of “illegal” immigrant labor across a multitude of industries in every corner of the nation.

  43. 43
    ericblair says:

    @TK-421:

    My God. If you want a link with suggestions of what more the Obama Admin could have done, it’s right there in the post.

    I read it over, and am pretty dubious. “Use Reconciliation to get a second stimulus through Congress in the fall of 2009”, and “Use Reconciliation to pass an infrastructure bank”, for example, doesn’t exactly sound like Obama can do it singlehandedly, does it. There were still a lot of blue dogs to contend with.

    “Nominate a Fed Chair who takes the Fed’s dual mandate seriously and pursues policies to stabilize the growth of nominal GDP”: that sounds like a personal opinion more than an objective criterion.

    “Take equity in the banks in January-March of 2009 and keep them from lobbying against financial reform.” What? Even if this was legally or politically doable, having the US government selectively buy up and silence public entities like this sound like a banana republic.

    “Announce that a weaker dollar is in America’s interest.” Great. Does he have Congress and the Fed to back him up on this policy change? Besides the fact that he’d get demagogued to death on this since 98% of the population doesn’t understand what this actually means and the media’s not going to help.

    For the other stuff with TARP and HAMP, I think Obama could have started something going singlehandedly, but Congress could sure shut it down by taking the funds away any time they felt like. They did that pretty efficiently with preventing Obama from closing Gitmo, for instance. He needs Congress’s implicit consent to do these things.

  44. 44

    Cool, it’s a fresh Tuesday morn and all the whackadoodles arrive with their own special flavor of trollage nonsense, to start the day off.

    I figure by election day, this place will look like a scene from Terminator where the firebagger machines roam the blogggy landscape firing off bursts of plasma bullshit, while the rest of us humans scramble around in the rubble barely dodging the incoming, and maybe squeeze a round or two of Obot Plasma, just to let them know we are still here.

    And like always, somebody out there will get rich from it all.

  45. 45
    Comrade Dread says:

    @arguingwithsignposts: I tend to care more about civil liberties issues, interventions, and the economy, so my perspective is more negative than positive, but I’m still perceptive enough to realize that my bias and personal priorities do not represent the sum of his base.

  46. 46
    catclub says:

    @barath: Yep, a simple problem that has run up against physical law -(There is no free lunch.)

    Most popular approach seems to be to ignore it and hope for Drill baby drill to bring deep satisfaction.

  47. 47
    catclub says:

    @ericblair: ““Nominate a Fed Chair who takes the Fed’s dual mandate seriously and pursues policies to stabilize the growth of nominal GDP”: that sounds like a personal opinion more than an objective criterion.”

    How about: nominate a fed chair who is not a republican?

    It is similar to department of defense, too important to allow a democrat to be in charge. Yes, I know that NOW, 2 1/2
    years into his term, there is a democrat at Defense.

  48. 48
    Origuy says:

    Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, plans to hold hearings on the topic of immigration with the express purpose of trying to “embarrass the President”.

    Last week, he said he was going to focus on a “jobs agenda”. Guess we see where his priorities lie.

    (h/t Juanita Jean)

  49. 49
    Kane says:

    @TK-421:

    The only problem is that this dismissiveness requires that we ignore the fact that these suggestions could be enacted today. It’s not just hindsight, but actually a way forward.

    No, Delong does not provide viable suggestions that could be enacted today. It is simply a wish list. A wish list like that of a child wishing for a pony for Christmas without a thought or care about the costs or practicalities.

    Delong’s wishlist includes, “Use Reconciliation to get a second stimulus” and “Use Reconciliation to pass an infrastructure bank.” Reconciliation isn’t a magic wand. Show me where the 60 votes in the Senate are that can overturn objections to the reconciliation. And the suggestion of firing and hiring a new Fed Chair; yeah, that’s really going to help the stability of a fragile economy. And the suggestion to announce that a weaker dollar is in America’s best interest will surely build consumer confidence.

    There’s a reason why Delong’s wishlist are written in one-liners. Because if he has to actually think things through on how to make things happen politically, his wishes expose his lack of seriousness.

  50. 50
    ericblair says:

    @TK-421:

    If a hypothetical McCain Administration had (hypothetically) been this cautious and complacent on economic policy, the very same people defending the Obama Administration would be roaring mad.

    A McCain administration’s stated policy included corporate tax cuts, refusing to bail out the domestic automakers, more offshore oil drilling, and tossing everyone on the individual health insurance market. I think most of us would be pretty relieved if he was cautious and complacent, considering the alternative.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kane:

    Delong’s wishlist includes, “Use Reconciliation to get a second stimulus” and “Use Reconciliation to pass an infrastructure bank.” Reconciliation isn’t a magic wand.

    Reconciliation also can’t be used more than once per Congressional term, so not only would DeLong’s “solution” have precluded getting PPACA through, he’s going to need to choose which of his two proposals he wants more, because you can’t have another stimulus and an infrastructure bank if you’re going the reconciliation route unless you put them in the same bill.

    DeLong is a good economist, but he’s more than a little shaky on the rules that Congress operates under.

  52. 52
    kay says:

    @ericblair:

    TARP

    I have a question on TARP. Is the money still there, still available? It was my understanding that the financial regulation legislation limited the amount available in TARP, from the original (too large) amount allocated to a smaller number, to reflect what they had actually used.

    I don’t think the original amount is still available.

  53. 53
    Danny says:

    @ericblair:

    For the other stuff with TARP and HAMP, I think Obama could have started something going singlehandedly, but Congress could sure shut it down by taking the funds away any time they felt like. They did that pretty efficiently with preventing Obama from closing Gitmo, for instance. He needs Congress’s implicit consent to do these things.

    Another problem with DeLong’s suggestions Re: TARP and HAMP is that there’s no discussion of exactly what actions the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act and ARRA allows for. IOW, it’s not at all clear to me if DeLong’s understanding of “Hav[ing] a real HAMP to refinance mortgages” would require new legislation or not.

    He doesn’t say. He just says the program is not good enough and it should have been better, without proposing how it could have been made better. That’s fine, but on a list of examples of things that Obama – rather than congress – could have done better, it’s somewhat lacking.

  54. 54
    ericblair says:

    @catclub:

    It is similar to department of defense, too important to allow a democrat to be in charge. Yes, I know that NOW, 2 1/2
    years into his term, there is a democrat at Defense.

    Is there a particular issue you had with Gates as SecDef, or how a Democrat would have acted differently? He supported repealing DADT and lifting the ban on women in submarines, as well as shitcanning some major weapons programs and planning for cuts in future acquisition. I don’t see much daylight yet between Gates’s and Panetta’s positions, except Panetta’s now pushing back against more defense cuts.

  55. 55
    Tom Q says:

    People tend to throw around “Use reconciliation” in the most ignorant sort of way — as if Harry Reid could at any time have got things through with 51 votes but chose to demand 60 for the challenge of it. Reconciliation is, as others have noted, a once-a-session tool, and one with significan limits (it’s not permitted to increase the deficit, for openers). It’s right up there with “bully pulpit/make them REALLY filibuster” as magic wand techniques Obama could have used if he only wanted it as much as the emo-progs do.

    As far as the Clinton/Obama comparisons — yes, people are commenting on a version of Clinton that never existed in reality. The kicker is, it’s mostly these same people (or their descendants) who never stopped griping about Clinton while he was in office. Even in ’96, when Clinton was headed to easy re-election, you kept hearing “What choice do I have?” from the super-progs. My analogy at the time was Mike Schmidt of the Phillies — during his whole time as a player Phillies fans complained how he didn’t measure up to his poential, never came through in big moments. Then, when he retired, they suddenly started describing him as the greatest third baseman in history. I imagine he’d have preferred a little of that in real time, and Clinton the same.

    It occurred to me last night, listening to some dilettante liberal explain how he’d “swallow his anger and vote Obama” (anger! Jesus Christ!): Obama’s accomplishments to date dwarf most recent recent presidents’, most emphatically the idiot who preceded him. Yet in 2004, GOPers couldn’t have been prouder to support Bush for re-election; they bit into his shit sandwich and told themselves it was sirloin. While our guy has to endure this endless squealing from people who’ll say, in effect, sure, we’re eating meat again, but we should have got better quality meat, from a better store, and I’m going to spend most of my time moaning about that. Why do Democrats do this to themselves?

  56. 56
    catclub says:

    @ericblair: How many GOP presidents have appointed democrats as secretary of defense?
    My guess is zero.

    How many GOP presidents have appointed Democratic Fed reserve chairs? Again, my guess is zero.

    Clinton had William Cohen.
    Clinton appointed ‘the maestro’ Greenspan.

  57. 57
    Danny says:

    @ericblair:

    I wonder if one reason that Obama kept Gates was that he knew Gates supported several progressive policy objectives and thus could provide bipartisan cover?

  58. 58
    catclub says:

    @Tom Q: “(it’s not permitted to increase the deficit, for openers)”

    Huh? the 2001 tax cuts passed under reconciliation. The reason the tax cuts were scheduled to expire was that they were passed under reconciliation rather than regular order.

    My understanding is that the bill must be budget related.
    But that does not mean it cuts the deficit.

  59. 59
    OzoneR says:

    Announce that a weaker dollar is in America’s interest.

    just like that, announce it, and POOF! 10 million jobs.

  60. 60
    cleek says:

    @Tom Q:

    Why do Democrats do this to themselves?

    a former regular had an aphorism that summed this up pretty well, IMO.

  61. 61
    wrb says:

    De Long’s list looks awfully weak when examined closely.

    Some are just speculative hindsight, some are clearly beyond Obama’s power, some would would have little effect. Most combine more than one of these qualities.

    There is also some typical magical thinking.
    “Have a real HAMP” – by wishing, or is a HAMP a little critter to which he can give birth, after a period gestation? Sounds cute, I’ll grant.

    2, 3, 4 and 10 look like the only ones that might both have a meaningful impact and might be doable unless a proponent can show the mechanics of how they could be implemented in face of an uncooperative congress, they are meaningless.

    The most clearly viable idea is Ezra’s, eliminating the payroll tax. I do think Obama could be criticized for not proposing this.
    2,3,4 and 10 are the only ones that might have an effect

  62. 62
    Danny says:

    @Tom Q:

    As far as the Clinton/Obama comparisons—yes, people are commenting on a version of Clinton that never existed in reality. The kicker is, it’s mostly these same people (or their descendants) who never stopped griping about Clinton while he was in office.

    As if this hasn’t been a consistent M.O. of the New Left/Emoproggers since at least the LBJ administration.

  63. 63
    OzoneR says:

    @catclub:

    How many GOP presidents have appointed democrats as secretary of defense?
    My guess is zero.

    Interestingly, since the Defense Department was formed, every Democratic president sans Carter has had a Republican SecDef

  64. 64
    cleek says:

    @wrb:

    The most clearly viable idea is Ezra’s, eliminating the payroll tax.

    which sets up a situation where SS and Medicare start screaming towards insolvency, but fixing their deficits now requires even larger cuts (which the pure left will forbid) and/or even larger tax hikes (which the pure right will forbid).

    i vote No.

  65. 65
    OzoneR says:

    @catclub:

    How many GOP presidents have appointed Democratic Fed reserve chairs? Again, my guess is zero.

    Eisenhower did

  66. 66
    Tom Q says:

    @catclub: The reason they were supposed to expire was to get around the “must be long-term deficit neutral” requirement — it’s called the Byrd rule.

  67. 67
    ericblair says:

    @Danny:

    I wonder if one reason that Obama kept Gates was that he knew Gates supported several progressive policy objectives and thus could provide bipartisan cover?

    I don’t know for sure, but I think there was more than a bit of only-Nixon-could-go-to-China about it. Most people don’t realize that he was pushing pretty hard against very entrenched interests, and the SecDef is not God.

    @catclub:

    Huh? the 2001 tax cuts passed under reconciliation. The reason the tax cuts were scheduled to expire was that they were passed under reconciliation rather than regular order.

    They were sunsetted because they would otherwise increase the deficit beyond the ten-year limit.

  68. 68
    Tom Q says:

    @Danny: No maybes about it. Gates was, first and foremost,associated with the concept of drawing down in Iraq, not the initial invasion, so it wasn’t as if he represented a ratification of the disastrous parts of Bush policy. And having him there has made maneuvering out of both Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as getting rid of DADT, easier to manage with a bipartisan cover.

    This is yet another example of people ignoring the positive results of an action because it didn’t provide emotional satisfaction of sticking it to someone.

  69. 69
  70. 70
    OzoneR says:

    @Kane:

    I’ll match Obama accomplishments against Clinton, Reagan, and Johnson any day.

    That may be the problem. Looking back, I think a lot of people accept the Obama administration has been successful, but that success has come with a price; politically and principally.

    And I think that’s zapped people’s enthusiasm. “If this is the best we can do (and I accept this is), then fuck this”

  71. 71
    Elie says:

    @Belafon (formerly anonevent):

    Wow! That’s amazing…

  72. 72
    wrb says:

    @cleek:

    which sets up a situation where SS and Medicare start screaming towards insolvency,

    Big deal. Their separate accounts are just an accounting gimmick. The goal, if we want to get out of the recession is to increase short-term deficits as much as possible, while injecting the borrowed money into the real US economy, thus increasing the wealth, confidence and spending power, of individual Americans. We want to be borrowing money, collectively, at current negative rates. As much as possible.

    A payroll tax cut does that just about as well as anything, and puts the Republicans in a very tough spot. How do they run against tax cuts?

    Buy itself, it isn’t big enough, most likely, because payroll taxes aren’t big enough to supply the injection needed to close the output gap, but it could be a significant contributor. Orsag’s been calling for tripling the the current break.

    The problem is that the sides have made the possible technical approaches tribal totems and refuse any approach that seems to them an offering to the dark god of the other. Dems and Republicans are both at fault.

    Until one side acts like it belongs running an advanced society and says “fixing this is no matter, I don’t fucking care care if it takes giving your slug god some props,” we are going to spiral downward.

  73. 73
    Elie says:

    @ericblair:

    Most people don’t realize that he was pushing pretty hard against very entrenched interests, and the SecDef is not God.

    ..and even people who SHOULD know, don’t seem to know apparently…

  74. 74
    Danny says:

    @OzoneR:

    And I think that’s zapped people’s enthusiasm. “If this is the best we can do (and I accept this is), then fuck this”

    Well there’s the problem then. That’s a loser mentality.

    Half of the wingnuts really do think abortion is murder and yet all they’ve seen in terms of policy victories in the last 40 years is stuff like bans on late term abortions and parental notification requirements. We have to acknowledge that from the perspective of a true believer that amounts to requiring people commit murder sooner rather than later, and having them inform their parents about it if they’re underage.

    On equality – gay equality, gender equality, race equality – they’ve been pretty much losing. At no point do they ever opt to take their toys and go home.

  75. 75
    TK-421 says:

    @ericblair:

    I think if you want to say “all those suggestions are bad/impractical/etc. and therefore doing nothing is preferable,” then that’s fine. I think that’s the wrong approach and is probably not going to fly politically, but there is IMO a lot of room for debate here.

    What one can’t do, however, is pretend these suggestions don’t exist and therefore there’s literally nothing the President can do. That’s simply not true.

    No, you didn’t say that. But Samara Morgan, General Stuck, BooMan, John Cole, Ezra Klein, and others have been saying that for a long, long time, even though it’s not true. And a lot of the same people (in this example, Ezra Klein) want to feign ignorance about what the Obama Administration could do but won’t.

    There seems to be a very convenient reason for ostriching here- if you don’t know things could be done, then you can very quickly dismiss any criticisms of what hasn’t been done, and maybe won’t be done. If you pretend the Obama Admin is more helpless than it actually is, then their choices to not do things cannot be criticized. Again, how convenient.

    Any time you see someone say “firebaggers/critics/etc. JUST DON’T UNDERSTAND that the President can’t do anything to help the economy,” that’s the convenient defense that is false and is what I’m addressing. You didn’t explicitly make that point, but others have and will continue to do so.

  76. 76
    Elie says:

    @NonyNony:

    What drives me crazy though is not whether Clinton or Obama fought or fight in exlicit, combative, smash mouth ways, but that folks seem to miss their REAL knockout punches. These guys – both of them – were most excellent at letting their oponents screw themselves. To me, that is the most sophisticated, powerful and maddening skill to the opposition: making them blink, making them backtrack, making them sputter. Both O and Clinton are/were great at that and at showing great grace, intelligence and smoothness under enormous pressure.

    I don wan no Rocky Marciano as President. I want effing BRAINS and the ability to dig in and take enormous pressure and abuse for long haul wins — and to be able to see those wins. It takes courage to negotiate and compromise knowing YOUR OWN EFFING SIDE, much less the formal opposition, is going after you. Republican Presidents NEVER have to face that.

  77. 77
    wrb says:

    @TK-421:

    What one can’t do, however, is pretend these suggestions don’t exist and therefore there’s literally nothing the President can do. That’s simply not true.

    That doesn’t follow.

    The fact that suggestions exist doesn’t mean they are things the president can do. He can’t just replace Fed commissioners, for example, despite De Long suggesting it, .

    I’m not positive that at least one of of 2,3,4 and 10 is not impossible, but I haven’t seen anyone lay out a clear, step-by-step route for implementing any of them. If there was such a route, I’d think someone would have laid it out by now and made themselves a hero, so I’m doubtful.

  78. 78
    TK-421 says:

    @ericblair:

    You miss the point of a hypothetical Republican president. I do not throw a hypothetical McCain Admin out as some plausibly realistic alternative, I throw a hypothetical yet implausible McCain Admin out as a thought exercise. To wit: if a Republican president behaved exactly as the Obama Admin on the economy, however unrealistic that scenario may be, would everyone here be cool with that?

    Deep down inside, I believe everybody here knows the answer is no. But rather than explore why Obama Admin Doing X = Acceptable but Hypothetical Republican Admin Doing X = Unacceptable, some would rather change the subject and point out how a non-hypothetical Republican Admin would be worse than the Obama Administration…which no one was arguing.

  79. 79
  80. 80
    acallidryas says:

    I know this thread has changed from immigration to “Obama sux/No you suck!”, but since this is an issue I’m very involved in, I wanted to go back to that.

    Following up on what William Hurley has said above, there’s been a lot of chatter recently from the White House about immigration. I’d say most of us who are really working with immigrants and on reform, though, are not ready to jump in the air and celebrate just yet. This administration has been very aggressive so far about accelerating deportations, and has promised before that their efforts would be focused on dangerous criminals, but we haven’t seen that in practice. In fact, this announcement comes on the heels of the administration also announcing that Secure Communities, a local enforcement program that was supposed to be voluntary, is not a mandatory program–a program that has led to victims of domestic violence and people brought in on minor traffic offenses being entered into deportation proceedings. This program, which comes from DHS, not legislation, could easily either be canceled, or, heck, just not expanded and be returned to a voluntary program, as originally promised, if Obama and the administration are really concerned about who’s being deported.

    So, I guess, yea for this statement, depending on how it plays out in practice. But like most areas that involve civil liberties, I think even the most committed Obot might have trouble touting Obama’s progressive work on immigration.

  81. 81
    Danny says:

    @TK-421:

    Was there ever at some point the case that the President was faced with a real choice – it was up to him – and he went for the wrong option, and because he did e.g. the economy is bad today? Is making him and people in general aware of that mistake necessary to e.g. influence his choices now and in the future, or for some other reason?

    Both those questions need a “yes” answer for the carping of firebaggers/critics to be of practical use on any given issue.

  82. 82
    OzoneR says:

    @acallidryas:

    But like most areas that involve civil liberties, I think even the most committed Obot might have trouble touting Obama’s progressive work on immigration.

    um, this entire diary is touting Obama’s progressive work on immigration

  83. 83

    @TK-421:

    No, you didn’t say that. But Samara Morgan, General Stuck, BooMan, John Cole, Ezra Klein, and others have been saying that for a long, long time, even though it’s not true. And a lot of the same people (in this example, Ezra Klein) want to feign ignorance about what the Obama Administration could do but won’t.

    Listen, I have no idea if the things you and DeLong are proposing can be done under Obama’s authority alone. I kind of doubt it though, because most appropriations that come out of congress, and their respective legal mandates, come with fairly precise instructions on how and when and on what those monies can be spent by the Executive Branch.

    While I can’t speak for the others you list, I have never said the president is completely powerless to do things to help the economy. Or that might help the economy. That complex beast that no one, not Kthug, or Obama or anyone else fully understands what makes it ultimately tick, especially when it comes to creating permanent private sector jobs.

    Obama in his capacity, can propose the congress pass this or that spending/legislation, but it is congress that passes laws, not the president.

    But what really pisses my off about the activist left on the internet, is that they don’t tell the whole truth. Go look at the extra stimulus Obama tacked onto the Bush tax cut extensions, along with a number of other add ons to other bills here and there, and the total actual stimulus spending is pretty much around what Krugman et al had been advocating.

    So it is fundamentally dishonest and false that Obama has been sitting idly by, doing nothing. He hasn’t got a new bill passed with shining neon titles of “Stimulus Bill”, but that is optics playing by activists, and not based in reality. That is what I object to.

    And Obama, acting in accordance with the powers and limits of the powers of his office, will be rolling out a new jobs proposal to beat the wingers over the head with, in a couple of weeks. That is not doing nothing.

  84. 84
    MBunge says:

    To wit: if a Republican president behaved exactly as the Obama Admin on the economy, however unrealistic that scenario may be, would everyone here be cool with that?

    Here’s a hint. When you have to admit up front that your hypothesis is wildly unrealistic, it means you’re not making a credible or legitimate argument. The main reason why some folks are more or less cool with Obama’s economic performance is exactly because they recognize how much worse it could be and probably couldn’t be much better than what it is.

    Or to put it more simply, if a Republican President had joined with Democrats to do what Obama has done economically over the total opposition of his own party, a whole lot of people would probably be slobbering all over that President as a great statesman who put his country above partisan interests.

    Mike

  85. 85
    Danny says:

    @OzoneR:

    Sure, I’m not disagreeing, only opining that it’s a problem if one’s objective is more progressive policy victories in the future.

    But obv the economy is a big part of it. The professional hardcore Emoprog crowd would be giving just as much friendly fire if unemployment was at 5%, but their intended audience would be less susceptible to their pitch.

  86. 86
    Elie says:

    @TK-421:

    You just want to be “right” and the “smarty pants”.

    Maybe we would and maybe we wouldn’t say what you say about such an outcome during a republican presidency. Given the crazy of the republicans and the sheer cognitive problems that Mccain seemed to display, things might have been much much worse as well.

    I would never want you on my team to do anything difficult. You would spend your time bitching about how mmuch better you would do things or someone else and your energy, instead of helping the momentum for success go forward, would be about carping and taking the energy out of the effort. You would never fit with the Repubs as they would never allow someone with your negative energy and attitude on their side. I tell you what, I don’t want you either, but as a democrat and a liberal, I have to put up with you.

  87. 87
    TK-421 says:

    @wrb:

    I think DeLong (and Krugman and Konczal) is pointing out that recess appointments might be an approach. I don’t know what would happen if this were tried, all I know is that it hasn’t been tried. To me this stuff is what the Obama Admin should be debating, in an effort to do something about the economy before the 2012 elections. But…they’re not. There are a lot of indications that the Obama Admin isn’t even thinking about this stuff, instead hoping to “ride this out” and simply point to the crazy Republicans to get past 2012. IMO that’s wrong and defending that approach is equally wrong.

    I’m not positive that at least one of of 2,3,4 and 10 is not impossible, but I haven’t seen anyone lay out a clear, step-by-step route for implementing any of them. If there was such a route, I’d think someone would have laid it out by now and made themselves a hero, so I’m doubtful.

    Don’t forget the logic of the defense here:

    – No, we can’t.
    – Our critics don’t understand that we can’t.
    – Their contrary suggestions are difficult/risky, and we could fail.
    – Therefore we won’t try.

    A lot of people forget that shooting down a suggestion for doing something is an implicit advocacy for the status quo. And while there may be many reasons NOT to try something, I don’t think any of those reasons trump the fact that the economic status quo is, for both policy and political reasons, unacceptable.

    If one agrees the economic status quo is unacceptable, then it logically follows that the Obama Admin is obligated to do something before 2012. Whether that something is free trade & patent reform (good luck with that), or Fannie & Freddie implementing principal mods and refinancings, there must be agreement that doing nothing between now and 2012 is unacceptable.

    I have my doubts about whether the Obama Admin actually believes that, which is why I think criticism of their economic policies is justified. And whaddaya know, some poll from a few days ago showed that 77% of Americans disapprove of the Obama Admin’s handling of the economy. It looks like doing nothing is not a politically wise course.

  88. 88
    OzoneR says:

    @MBunge:

    if a Republican president behaved exactly as the Obama Admin on the economy, however unrealistic that scenario may be, would everyone here be cool with that?

    In that world, I’d probably still BE a Republican.

  89. 89

    To me this stuff is what the Obama Admin should be debating, in an effort to do something about the economy before the 2012 elections. But…they’re not. There are a lot of indications that the Obama Admin isn’t even thinking about this stuff,

    Complete fucking bullshit

  90. 90
    Danny says:

    @TK-421:

    Your framing of the issue at hand is wrong, and arguably fraudulent. What the Emoprog crowd are doing is not vocally proposing viable strategies for dealing with future issues – they’re pitching a narrative of recent history where there were a lot of things that were proposed, that Obama opted not to do, and because of them we’re in a worse position today.

    And then, when they are given the opportunity to in effect second guess any course of action that Obama could have taken during his administration with the benefit of hindsight 20/20, the best they can come up with is apparently DeLongs list.

  91. 91
    MBunge says:

    @TK-421: If one agrees the economic status quo is unacceptable, then it logically follows that the Obama Admin is obligated to do something before 2012.

    And the Obama Admin will do something. That’s what the whole upcoming jobs thing is about. But you can’t demand that the Obama Admin do a bunch of impossible, impractical or extremely difficult things while putting forth forth no reasonable way for those things to be done.

    Mike

  92. 92
    lacp says:

    Are there actions the President could take unilaterally that would help the economy? Sure. But what we really need to get out of this depression/recession is a massive stimulus. And that he can’t do.

  93. 93
    ericblair says:

    @MBunge:

    Or to put it more simply, if a Republican President had joined with Democrats to do what Obama has done economically over the total opposition of his own party, a whole lot of people would probably be slobbering all over that President as a great statesman who put his country above partisan interests.

    Maybe to put it a different way with what tk-421 was trying to get at: if the postman drove past and knocked down my mailbox by accident I’d be pissed off. If a, say, Category 4 hurricane made a direct hit on my city and all that happened was that it knocked down my mailbox I’d be deliriously happy. Same outcomes, why the different reactions? Because the range of possible outcomes is very different for the two situations. A McCain presidency would be that Cat4 hurricane.

    This is why Obots look happy to you about obvious half-measures. Your basic common household Obot is figuring out the range of possible outcomes given the political situation in Congress and current laws, and a lot of the time is estimating that the actual outcome ended up on the good side of these possibilities. If Obama had 75 Senators and 300 Congresscritters at his back, and a supportive media, the Obot would probably be a lot more disappointed at the same outcome.

  94. 94
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TK-421:

    I think DeLong (and Krugman and Konczal) is pointing out that recess appointments might be an approach.

    The Senate refuses to go into recess for the specific purpose of preventing recess appointments. So it’s not an approach.

    (There has been some chatter about how the president has the ability to _put_ the Congress into recess, but, even more so than the “trillion dollar platinum coin” idea, it seems to involve reading conflicting passages out of contest and with a twist, and IANAL but I’m not sure they add up.)

  95. 95
    TK-421 says:

    @Danny:

    Was there ever at some point the case that the President was faced with a real choice – it was up to him – and he went for the wrong option, and because he did e.g. the economy is bad today?

    HAMP. That was the Admin’s creation, and it was created as an alternative (and as a block against) the more traditional course of principal modification through the courts (i.e. “cramdown”). If the Admin had advocated for cramdown the way they had advocated for HAMP, homeowners and the economy would be in much better shape (because cramdown would have worked and HAMP is arguably a dressed up form of predatory lending).

    One other minor example is his economic rhetoric. One can debate whether President Obama giving voice to an alternate economic strategy would actually be beneficial (to the economy or his reelection), but I don’t think anyone can plausibly argue that the apparent impotence of his bully pulpit is an argument FOR using the wrong rhetoric. If it doesn’t matter, then why do the wrong thing? No one has ever explained that one to me.

    Where I get tired of this argument is where it seems this is going to go- oh, ok there were some things the Admin did wrong on the economy and oh well. Um…everyone realizes how important the economy is to reelection, right? Everyone understands that this is the logical equivalent to saying “being wrong on the Iraq War is being wrong on just one issue,” right?

    The economy is terribly important, and everyone wants to pretend that it’s all minor nitpicking from firebaggers. That’s not realistic, IMO.

  96. 96
    Elie says:

    TK-421 — “What I think is so important”

    This is what he likes…being the center of a discussion where he controls the topic and lines of inquiry. He never admits anything or ever changes his mind. He is a complete waste of time to discuss anything with since there is no discussion — only his pronouncements followed by feverish efforts by way too many, to show him where he is wrong. He is not interested in learning anything or changing any of his ideas. I have been reading his comments here for a while, and they are always the same and never change. Why bother?

  97. 97
    ericblair says:

    @TK-421:

    I think DeLong (and Krugman and Konczal) is pointing out that recess appointments might be an approach. I don’t know what would happen if this were tried, all I know is that it hasn’t been tried.

    There are no recesses now. The House, under its rules, can keep the Senate in pro forma session at all times. This is happening, so no recess appointments can be made. Our super terrific media may be saying that Congress is not in session, but here’s the current calendar with pro forma sessions. Including today.

    Obama can’t do it because Congress won’t allow him, and nobody knows about it because the media isn’t reporting it.

  98. 98
    TK-421 says:

    @MBunge:

    And the Obama Admin will do something. That’s what the whole upcoming jobs thing is about.

    Ok, so if I understand the logic here: doing something in September 2011 is okay, but calling for the Obama Admin to do something in August 2011, June 2011, March 2011…August 2010, June 2010, etc. (i.e. what Krugman, Black, DeLong, et al have been doing all along) is “firebagging.”

    Do I have this right?

  99. 99
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TK-421:

    One other minor example is his economic rhetoric. One can debate whether President Obama giving voice to an alternate economic strategy would actually be beneficial (to the economy or his reelection), but I don’t think anyone can plausibly argue that the apparent impotence of his bully pulpit is an argument FOR using the wrong rhetoric.

    IMHO the allegedly troublesome economic rhetoric has always been less prevalent and more nuanced than critics accept — for instance, likening the government’s finances to those of a household _and then_ pivoting to explaining why living within our means doesn’t mean cutting everything willy-nilly and may in fact mean protecting “investments” (which means stimulative spending, not cutting, not austerity). Or conceding that some cuts are necessary over the long term but working to shield vulnerable people from short-term impact. Or being clever about numbers so that billions in cuts turn out to be largely vaporware, time and again.

    My personal list of bad moves that concede too much conservative/”austerity” rhetoric is rather short: off the top of my head, the federal pay freeze and the proposal to raise Medicare eligibility to 67. There could certainly be poorly-designed and poorly-implemented programs, but in terms of rhetoric, as far as I’m concerned, the hype in the blogosphere vastly outstrips the reality.

  100. 100
    wrb says:

    @ericblair:

    There are no recesses now.

    Regardless, there aren’t enough open Fed seats for recess appointments to swing the board.

  101. 101
    TK-421 says:

    @Danny:

    …What the Emoprog crowd are doing is not vocally proposing viable strategies for dealing with future issues – they’re pitching a narrative of recent history where there were a lot of things that were proposed, that Obama opted not to do, and because of them we’re in a worse position today. And then, when they are given the opportunity to in effect second guess any course of action that Obama could have taken during his administration with the benefit of hindsight 20/20, the best they can come up with is apparently DeLongs list.

    I’m guessing that you’re conflating the likes of, say, Jane Hamsher with the horde of economists that have slowly become shrill with the Obama Admin (e.g. DeLong, Krugman, Black, Konczal, Bernstein, etc.). I wouldn’t do that if I were you, and I don’t do that.

    I want to be clear- I do not pay attention to and I probably do not support whatever the hell Jane Hamsher is doing today. But just because Jane Hamsher is unreasonable and unrealistic doesn’t mean that ALL critics of the Obama Admin are the same. An economic critique of the Obama Admin’s missteps (and the subsequent defenses of those missteps) is IMO completely reasonable.

    One can support reelecting President Obama while screaming at him to do something about the economy (which are not actually contradictory thoughts). Yet, for some reason, screaming at him to do something about the economy is thrown into the firebagging bin of criticism to be mocked, ignored, etc. I think you just did exactly that.

  102. 102
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @TK-421:

    calling for the Obama Admin to do something in August 2011, June 2011, March 2011…August 2010, June 2010, etc. (i.e. what Krugman, Black, DeLong, et al have been doing all along) is “firebagging.”

    There’s a difference between calling for the Obama Admin to do something and faulting them for not having done it, especially when many of the reasons for something not having been done are out of the Admin’s hands. It’s the distinction between advocating/agitating over What We Need and an economic version of LIHOP/MIHOP, which is my own personal standard for “firebagging”: Obama didn’t do What We Need because deep down he doesn’t really want it and probably prefers the disastrous alternative.

  103. 103
    Danny says:

    @TK-421:

    If the Admin had advocated for cramdown the way they had advocated for HAMP, homeowners and the economy would be in much better shape (because cramdown would have worked and HAMP is arguably a dressed up form of predatory lending).

    How would the Admin advocating cramdown have influenced the courts? Isnt it in fact the case that you want the law changed and you would have wanted that in EESA or ARRA or FinReg?

    I’ll opt not to go there w/r/t to the Bully Pulpit and Adopting the Conservative narrative stuff, because we’ve done that to death, and we won’t agree.

    Where I get tired of this argument is where it seems this is going to go- oh, ok there were some things the Admin did wrong on the economy and oh well. Um…everyone realizes how important the economy is to reelection, right? Everyone understands that this is the logical equivalent to saying “being wrong on the Iraq War is being wrong on just one issue,” right?

    The economy is terribly important, and everyone wants to pretend that it’s all minor nitpicking from firebaggers. That’s not realistic, IMO.

    My macro view on the economy is that the administration has more or less done what they could up to this point and yet the economy is still bad. I blame Reagan, the republican congress of 94-98, the Teaparty movement and the republican midterm win, European austerity and debt woes, before I blame the president. Doesn’t mean that the economy will not bring Obama down in 2012, it certainly might. Doesn’t mean Obama can’t or won’t try to do something about it.

    I just don’t see Firebaggers helping Obama either do something about the economy, or get reelected. In fact I think that if those are their goals, then they’re being 100% counterproductive. And looking at the recent history of progressivism that’s no surprise, because this is exactly how the same crowd behaved under Carter and Clinton too.

  104. 104
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Elie:

    This is what he likes…being the center of a discussion where he controls the topic and lines of inquiry.

    Unless I’ve gotten very confused, I think there is one poster using the handle “TK-421” and another going by “TK421,” and even though they have some similar views, they have different approaches to how they interact with other posters.

  105. 105
    TK-421 says:

    @ericblair:

    Maybe to put it a different way with what tk-421 was trying to get at: if the postman drove past and knocked down my mailbox by accident I’d be pissed off. If a, say, Category 4 hurricane made a direct hit on my city and all that happened was that it knocked down my mailbox I’d be deliriously happy. Same outcomes, why the different reactions? Because the range of possible outcomes is very different for the two situations. A McCain presidency would be that Cat4 hurricane.

    Eh, I don’t think that’s what I was getting at- my thought experiment was more along the lines of “if both Postman John and Postman Barack both leave your mail in the rain (i.e. are excessively complacent in their duties), then why would you only get pissed at Postman John?” For the purposes of the thought experiment, it doesn’t matter what Postman John or Postman Barack would actually do, because we’re dealing in a hypothetical where they both do the same thing. For some reason some people think Postman Barack can be excused while Postman John cannot (and BTW of course the reverse is true). Why?

    If you want to argue that a hypothetical can only be explored if it’s realistic (i.e. Postman John is a f–king hurricane and Postman Barack is way better even if your mail is wet), well, I disagree. I think hypotheticals can have value even if they’re unrealistic.

  106. 106
    wrb says:

    @TK-421:

    screaming at him to do something about the economy

    Is daddybagging unless you’ve identified something that he can do.

    Unfortunately Krugman (a superb economist) et al have been daddybaggin when it comes to implimentation.

    I think Krugman suffers from two problems: he wants public validation of his preferred prescription even more than he wants a solution. He want to win the battle of ideas, he doesn’t want compromise solutions that muddy the pool in which we watch the great lizards of economic theory wrestle, heaving and lashing.

    His economics is tainted by politics, he’s accepted the tribal division of the technical.

    Krugman is the Problem

  107. 107
    TK-421 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Uh yeah, to be clear, I’m NOT TK421. Since I was here first (nyah nyah), I don’t feel the urge to change my handle. I suggested to the other guy that he change it to General Veers. Obviously he didn’t do that. And hilarity has ensued.

  108. 108
    JC says:

    The biggest thing I’ve thought that Obama has conspicuously done wrong, is on the banks. Right now, the NY Attorney General is being pressured to go along with the ‘deal’ on robo-signing.

    There have been few investigations of the big banksters – although now perhaps that is starting to change (or maybe it is just pretense.)

    And then, HAMP, was written as to not upset the banksters as well.

    In addition, the ‘consensus bankster’ party, in the form of Bernanke and Geithner, keep the bankster’s paradise rolling along.

    Secondly, I’m not sure of the political value of ‘Middleman’, and pre-compromising your initial positions away.

  109. 109
    aisce says:

    @ wrb

    if you’re using the word “daddybagging” and thinking you’re making an intelligent point…you may need to reevaluate your life.

    geez, the blogosphere’s got more baggers than a safeway.

  110. 110
    TK-421 says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    which is my own personal standard for “firebagging”: Obama didn’t do What We Need because deep down he doesn’t really want it and probably prefers the disastrous alternative.

    I think there’s more going on here than just the President. When I think of the Obama Admin’s economic policy, I think of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers and my thoughts are not pleasant.

    My own wild speculation is that President Obama personally doesn’t know what to do with the economy (that’s my own personal bias against lawyers shining through), which means that the staff is very important here. Romer, Summers, Goolsbee, and others have all left. So, moving forward, do we have a lot of faith in Geithner? Sperling? Orzag?

  111. 111
    ericblair says:

    @TK-421:

    Eh, I don’t think that’s what I was getting at- my thought experiment was more along the lines of “if both Postman John and Postman Barack both leave your mail in the rain (i.e. are excessively complacent in their duties), then why would you only get pissed at Postman John?”

    Because the President isn’t a blank slate, that’s why. They’re not both postmen trying to do the same thing: they’re trying to do very different things, which was the whole point of the election.

    To me, McCain would be the postman who knocks over my mailbox on purpose, since if I want my mail badly enough the Free Market will make my mail walk into my house from the post office. I’d be glad if he slacks off and doesn’t bother knocking over my mailbox. It sure as hell doesn’t mean I want McCain to be my postman.

  112. 112
    cleek says:

    @JC:

    pre-compromising your initial positions away

    shibboleth

  113. 113
    Yutsano says:

    @TK-421:

    So, moving forward, do we have a lot of faith in Geithner? Sperling? Orzag?

    FWIW Orszag has been gone for over a year.

  114. 114
    Elie says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    I dunno — I only see one TK-421 on this thread and it just drones on.

    gotta go… life is passing by

  115. 115
    Danny says:

    @TK-421:

    I’m guessing that you’re conflating the likes of, say, Jane Hamsher with the horde of economists that have slowly become shrill with the Obama Admin (e.g. DeLong, Krugman, Black, Konczal, Bernstein, etc.). I wouldn’t do that if I were you, and I don’t do that.

    Well, sure. There’s a difference between Krugman – who obv knows his shit w/r/t economics, and tries to be a vocal advocate and promoter of Keynesianism – and Jane, who I basically consider a ratfucker, or at best interested in her own sweet hiney.

    But there’s a sense in which they’re similar and that is that they’re symptoms of the inability of the US left to be effective as a political force, on account of infighting and factionalism. Jane is important, because she was among the first at getting the friendly fire started. The endless complaining, carping, going on and on about if our leaders are actual traitors or if they’re just incompetent: that’s a mass psychosis that the US left is quite prone to catch, while the US right is not.

    E.g. It’s perfectly possible for Krugman to stick to his principled position that a 3 trillion dollar stimulus in 2009 would have meant 700k jobs/month today, while at the same time acknowledging that it’s not fair to demand that Obama had got one through congress in 2009. That he doesnt get that, doesnt make him a Hamsher, just another symptom of the dysfunctionality that allows a Hamsher to not be publicly and vocally kicked out of the progressive movement.

    I want to be clear- I do not pay attention to and I probably do not support whatever the hell Jane Hamsher is doing today. But just because Jane Hamsher is unreasonable and unrealistic doesn’t mean that ALL critics of the Obama Admin are the same. An economic critique of the Obama Admin’s missteps (and the subsequent defenses of those missteps) is IMO completely reasonable.

    In the abstract any critique of alledged missteps could be reasonable. In the real world, any critique of the recent actions of the Obama admin should conform to the criteria I proposed here in order for us to consider it fair. And fair does not necessarily entail useful.

    One can support reelecting President Obama while screaming at him to do something about the economy (which are not actually contradictory thoughts). Yet, for some reason, screaming at him to do something about the economy is thrown into the firebagging bin of criticism to be mocked, ignored, etc. I think you just did exactly that.

    Scream at him to do something all you want, I consider that act about as useful as you screaming at a batter to hit more homeruns. (There’s two ways to do that: “Hit it out of the park” and “You better hit it out of the park this time, you SOB”).

    But that’s not all I object to, but also going on and on about all the times your teams key player screwed up, how useless he is, and how they had reason to expect more, considering how much money he cost and how much money they spend on tickets each year.

    That’s the context in which we’re looking at DeLongs best shot at second-guessing the Obama administration.

  116. 116
    TK-421 says:

    @Danny:

    How would the Admin advocating cramdown have influenced the courts? Isnt it in fact the case that you want the law changed and you would have wanted that in EESA or ARRA or FinReg?

    My understanding is that HAMP had to be enacted into law, whereas cramdowns were already standard legal practice. Cramdowns were perceived by the banks to be bad news (because they’d have to accept serious writedowns on the assets they held), and so they wanted the government to short circuit that. The Obama Administration came up with HAMP as some sort of “third way” compromise between the normal cramdown practice (which might have choked the courts and hurt the banks) and letting the banks do whatever the hell they wanted.

    That was all my loose recollection of how HAMP came to be. Regardless, HAMP as it is constructed is a massive failure. But a better-constructed HAMP could have been put in place (this was all prior to 2010), and many argue (as DeLong does) that a better-constructed HAMP should and could replace the existing HAMP.

    I’ll opt not to go there w/r/t to the Bully Pulpit and Adopting the Conservative narrative stuff, because we’ve done that to death, and we won’t agree.

    Which if I understand you correctly means that PRESIDENT OBAMA CAN’T BE CRITICIZED EXCEPT WHEN HE CAN.

    My only point is, again, an argument that speeches don’t matter is not a sufficient argument FOR making bad speeches. I have yet to hear anyone explain how making bad economic speeches is a good idea.

  117. 117

    @FlipYrWhig:

    Unless I’ve gotten very confused, I think there is one poster using the handle “TK-421” and another going by “TK421,” and even though they have some similar views, they have different approaches to how they interact with other posters.

    There is zero doubt in my mind that either and both of these creatures come from the same fervent evangelical leftist, or quasi leftist libertarian belief. They, or it, has the mindless fervor of a Ron Paul worshiper. There are so many kooks running around the blogs these days, best to sprout wings to stay above it all, or just tell jokes full time.

    They are here to preach and proselytize to the one true way, whatever the fuck that is beneith the layers of wordy mendacity. They are not here with a good faith purpose other than to do their part that Obama must go. Whatever they say to the contrary.

    I’m with Elie, life to short to waste with such nonsense.

  118. 118
    wrb says:

    @Danny:

    I consider that act about as useful as you screaming at a batter to hit more homeruns. (There’s two ways to do that: “Hit it out of the park” and “You better hit it out of the park this time, you SOB”).

    I’ve been thinking of it this way:

    It is like a football running back who when the ball is snapped, screams “throw it in the end zone! The bomb! Points are scored in the end zone, idiot!!!” Meanwhile the other teammates are blocking the onslaught from the other team, open a small hole, and the the quarterback slips through for seven yards before getting smashed down. At which time our running back jogs up and screams, “The ENDZONE you cowardly, spineless stupid fucking sellout”, and kicks the quarterback savagely in the ribs. This happens every play until the quarterback takes a hit in his now broken ribs, the ball squirts loose, and the other team scores. And which point the running back says “See, you ignorant fuck, you should have….”

  119. 119
    cleek says:

    @TK-421:
    no speech Obama could possibly give, is going to make a teabagging House member give a liberal-approved vote for a specific bill. so, in that sense, the muthafukkin Bully Pulpit is completely useless. what magic words will get a teabagger to vote for a 60% marginal tax rate on people making $1M ? there aren’t any.

    on the other hand, it can probably sway public opinion in the President’s favor on some issues. that doesn’t mean he can use it in real time to change House votes, though.

  120. 120
    TK-421 says:

    @Danny:

    Jane is important, because she was among the first at getting the friendly fire started. The endless complaining, carping, going on and on about if our leaders are actual traitors or if they’re just incompetent: that’s a mass psychosis that the US left is quite prone to catch, while the US right is not.

    One thing everyone should remember and then I’ve got to get back to work: liberals are part of the American public too. If everyone here accepts the idea that the American people have a right to be upset about the economy, then liberals have that right too.

    Liberals are struggling and hurting in this economy too, so kindly take that “endless complaining, carping, and going on and on” attitude and shove it up your ass. People are hurting in this economy, liberals included. People are scared about how they’re going to survive this, they deserve and demand help from Washington, they’re not getting it, and they’re angry about that…liberals included.

    If Americans’ complaints and anger about the economy are legitimate, then so are American liberals’ complaints and anger about the economy. To implicitly cordon off liberal complaints from the American people’s complaints is insulting, and I might add incredibly risky in terms of politics.

  121. 121
    wrb says:

    @TK-421:

    You are talking to liberals- liberals who think this stuff is important enough to demand real courses of action that get shit done. Those who just carp and advocate futile courses of action are dilettantes, not liberals.

  122. 122
    Danny says:

    My understanding is that HAMP had to be enacted into law, whereas cramdowns were already standard legal practice. Cramdowns were perceived by the banks to be bad news (because they’d have to accept serious writedowns on the assets they held), and so they wanted the government to short circuit that. The Obama Administration came up with HAMP as some sort of “third way” compromise between the normal cramdown practice (which might have choked the courts and hurt the banks) and letting the banks do whatever the hell they wanted.

    That was all my loose recollection of how HAMP came to be.

    This is Wikipedia:

    Under current United States law, bankruptcy courts are not allowed to perform cram downs (i.e., reduce the principal amount or change the interest rate or other terms) on creditors who hold loans secured by mortgages on the debtor’s primary residences. As a potential solution to the subprime mortgage crisis, legislators and consumer advocates have advanced a proposal to allow cram downs on these loans, and legislation to that effect was introduced for potential inclusion in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.[2]

    However, the financial industry strongly voiced opposition to such a measure, claiming that it would create additional uncertainty as to the value of mortgage loans (and by extension, the collateralized debt obligations into which they are bundled). While the provision ultimately was not included in the bill passed into law, the concept still has advocates and new legislation allowing for first-mortgage cram downs may appear in the future.

    Doesnt sound to me like your recollection is accurate, how confident are you? You again:

    But a better-constructed HAMP could have been put in place (this was all prior to 2010), and many argue (as DeLong does) that a better-constructed HAMP should and could replace the existing HAMP.

    According to Wikipedia, HAMP was put in place on the authority of EESA and ARRA. Don’t we have to show that EESA and ARRA allows for this better HAMP, or else ask Congress to pass better legislation?

    Which if I understand you correctly means that PRESIDENT OBAMA CAN’T BE CRITICIZED EXCEPT WHEN HE CAN.

    My only point is, again, an argument that speeches don’t matter is not a sufficient argument FOR making bad speeches. I have yet to hear anyone explain how making bad economic speeches is a good idea.

    No, it means that I think that Obama is putting the Bully Pulpit to good use in the real world (which in contrast to the world of magical thinking is subject to constraints, and lack magical artifacts) and that in close to every single time I’ve looked into an alledged case of Obama promoting “conservative” framings and narratives it’s been bleedingly obvious even to me with my very basic knowledge of Rethorics 101 that what was actually the case was that he borrowed a conservative trope and subverted it to advocate the progressive view.

    I opted out because otherwise I’d have to ask you to give feasible examples of how a lack of proper Bully Pulpitting failed to achieve some goal in some particular situation, and I’d have to ask you to provide examples of conservative narratives pitched by Obama, and then consider them, and give you my feedback – and we (obots and emos) have done that exercise many times. I didnt want us to put in the time and effort, but if you insist…

  123. 123
    Danny says:

    @TK-421:

    One thing everyone should remember and then I’ve got to get back to work: liberals are part of the American public too. If everyone here accepts the idea that the American people have a right to be upset about the economy, then liberals have that right too.

    Liberals are struggling and hurting in this economy too, so kindly take that “endless complaining, carping, and going on and on” attitude and shove it up your ass. People are hurting in this economy, liberals included. People are scared about how they’re going to survive this, they deserve and demand help from Washington, they’re not getting it, and they’re angry about that…liberals included.

    If Americans’ complaints and anger about the economy are legitimate, then so are American liberals’ complaints and anger about the economy. To implicitly cordon off liberal complaints from the American people’s complaints is insulting, and I might add incredibly risky in terms of politics.

    I am a fucking liberal, you nincompoop. You cant make something more reasonable or wise by a de facto Ad Hominem where you pretend that you and people like you are True Liberals and I’m not.

    Sorry about language & lack of courtesy, but these ongoing attempts by you Emobaggers to steal the Liberal label for yourself are fucking annoying.

  124. 124
    Tom Q says:

    @wrb: I think this is an exceptionally good analogy. It allows for the fact that the kibitzer’s strategy might have, in some world where eveything turned out ideally, led to more points on the board, but that in the end it helps defeat his own team. And leaves him a smug “they should have listened to me” feeling. Well done.

  125. 125
    Danny says:

    @wrb:

    On the money.

  126. 126
    Another Bob says:

    Notice how the only liberal policies pursued by the Obama administration are those that neither raise taxes on or decrease the profits of the corporate establishment. When industry profits or accountability for corporate executives are on the line, whose side are they on?

  127. 127
    wrb says:

    @Another Bob:

    you’ve got to be kidding

    He said
    need to take some “tough choices” , like cutting the defense budget.
    He stressed, moreover, that the U.S. can not afford keep tax breaks for millionaires , the oil companies and executives who travel in private jets.
    choose this route, the U.S. will have to cut medical research or student scholarships, among other social games.
    “ Before trimming the education of our children (…) seem fair that we ask an oil company or the owner of a corporate jet to give up its tax cut,” said president.

    http://economicsnewspaper.com/.....38828.html

    and

    Obama Seeks End of Corporate Tax Break to Raise $190 Billion

  128. 128
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    Here’s a list (from the Heritage Foundation) on new revenue to fund PPACA. Does PPACA “raise taxes on the corporate establishment? Does the PPACA provision mandating a medical loss ratio of 85% or higher, or else a customer refund increase or decrease profits for the corporate establishment?

    Put another way, you Emobaggers sure are full of shit.

  129. 129
    Shlemizel - was Alwhite says:

    look, I never said Clinton was perfect, I don’t idolize him, in fact I say he is the best Republican President in my life time (back to Ike).

    But he did push back – his health care proposal was just that, HIS. What we got now was Doles counter proposal & it was not like Obama was actually pushing anything it seemed he was just waited for Congress to do something. And Both houses belonged to the Dems.

    DADT was not popular but he did that. The triangulation charge is sure fair but it is also the politics of the possible. Obama could be doing the same but he still does not seem to be fighting FOR something, just waiting for Congress to do something & then he accepts it.

    I am not anti-Obama but I am disappointed he does not fight harder.

  130. 130
    Another Bob says:

    Put another way, you Emobaggers sure are full of shit.

    Danny, I long ago stopped caring about the opinions or the emotional outbursts of disingenuous apologists like you. And the PPACA was designed specifically not to threaten the stranglehold of for-profit insurance/medical/pharmaceutical companies on our healthcare system. Remember the promises Obama made to them behind closed doors? On balance, industry reaped a bonanza on the PPACA.

    In striking the bargain with PhRMA, Obama broke a not-insignificant campaign promise (“Obama will repeal the ban on direct negotiation with drug companies and use the resulting savings … to further invest in improving health care coverage and quality”). Candidate Obama, citing a paper by Roger Hickey, Jeff Cruz, and Dean Baker of the Institute for America’s Future, put the savings at $30 billion a year, which over a decade would be roughly twice the $156 billion savings envisioned by the energy and commerce committee. (Hickey, Cruz, and Baker proposed matching not Medicaid drug prices but those negotiated by the more straightforwardly socialist Veterans Administration.) By this reckoning, Tauzin swindled not $76 billion from President Obama but $220 billion. That’s nearly half what the House health reform bill expects to raise with its proposed surtax on incomes above $350,000!

  131. 131
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Shlemizel – was Alwhite: You seem to be intent on fixing facts around your impressions, rather than the other way around. You see Clinton as a general rule “fighting” even when he was known at the time for co-opting conservative rhetoric. You see Clinton pushing his own health care reform plan, even when the conventional wisdom around then was that he fatally erred by not involving Congress more. You see Obama as a general rule choosing not to fight, even when he has accomplished greatly more than Clinton had at this point. And you see Obama waiting around for Congress, even though the old criticism of Clinton was that he didn’t let Congress feel included. I don’t think the way you’ve drawn these lines is very persuasive.

  132. 132

    @Kane:

    Shhh!! Don’t say that! Don’t you know that would mean that people would have to–gasp!–look up the actual achievements of the Administration and discover that yes, a hell of a lot of things have been done?

  133. 133
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob: Hey, remember how the American Medical Association and the PhRMA association teamed up to doom Clinton’s health care reform efforts, but they didn’t doom Obama’s? I wonder why that happened. I guess we’ll never know.

  134. 134

    @askew:

    “Imagine if we had a media that actually talked about Obama’s accomplishments.”

    Yeah, imagine that. It would also mean that somewhere in Brazil, Glenn Greenwald would be doing an impersonation of that unlucky dude from Scanners.

    Then again, why aren’t we talking more about the President’s numerous achievements? Sure, give criticism when necessary, but how about we actually acknowledge that the guy has done a helluva lot of good, and that a Perry or Bachmann or Romney presidency is going to end up giving us a set of left-rights that we may never recover from?

  135. 135
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    You made a factual claim: “the only liberal policies pursued by the Obama administration are those that neither raise taxes on or decrease the profits of the corporate establishment”.

    That’s either true, or it’s not true.

    I offered facts showing that the PPACA does, in fact, “raise taxes on the corporate establishment”.

    There, your factual claim has been proven wrong. If you were an intellectually honest person, the only correct course of action once you realized that your claim wasn’t true, would have been to acknowledge your mistake and qualify your claim. But you didn’t and hence you’re full of shit and a liar.

    Moving on, it’s of no consequence if the PPACA in the aggregate is likely to increase or decrease corporate profits, since you asserted that Obama didn’t pursue “any liberal policies” that would decrease corporate profits.

    Well mandating a minimal medical loss ratio is a a) liberal policy that is part of the PPACA, and b) all else being equal – is designed to cap the amount of profits that Health Care Insurance providers can make by not spending insurance premium money on buying actual care. It could have been left out of the PPACA, but it wasnt.

    Your factual claim was proven false for the second time.

    As to your attempt to shift the goal posts and demand that the PPACA “threaten the stranglehold of for-profit insurance/medical/pharmaceutical companies on our healthcare system”; well yes it doesnt nationalize the health care industry. You’re free to have a new go and propose that: “Obama didn’t nationalize Health Care – who’s side is he on?”. Maybe that is what you should have done from the start, instead of trying to float (trivially) fraudulent bullshit?

  136. 136
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    Moving on, it’s of no consequence if the PPACA in the aggregate is likely to increase or decrease corporate profits, since you asserted that Obama didn’t pursue “any liberal policies” that would decrease corporate profits.

    But the PPACA will, in fact, increase profits by increasing the number of customers:

    The half-dozen leading overhaul proposals circulating in Congress would require all citizens to have health insurance, which would guarantee insurers tens of millions of new customers — many of whom would get government subsidies to help pay the companies’ premiums.
    “It’s a bonanza,” said Robert Laszewski, a health insurance executive for 20 years who now tracks reform legislation as president of the consulting firm Health Policy and Strategy Associates Inc.

    The medical loss ratio will only ensure that they spend a certain minimum percentage paying for medical costs, which is more than offset by the fact that they’re getting tens of millions of new customers.

    Again, Danny, I find your approach to be disingenuous as always. And please spare me the puffed-up posturing. Like I said, I couldn’t care less.

  137. 137
    TK-421 says:

    @wrb:

    You are talking to liberals- liberals who think this stuff is important enough to demand real courses of action that get shit done.

    Of the people here on these comment threads who like to defend the Obama Admin’s economic policies, I’m not sure what exactly has been “demanded” by them. The only “real courses of action” I’ve seen championed here are 1) elect more democrats (i.e. do nothing until after 2012), and 2) STFU.

    But, as has happened many times before, perhaps I’m wrong. If that’s the case, then what are the “real courses of action” that are “demanded” here by those who think the Obama Admin is doing the best job they possibly can on the economy? What can and should be done on the economy before the 2012 elections?

  138. 138
    William Hurley says:

    @acallidryas: Thanks for the reference/shout-out acallidryas. Symbolic gestures and the ballyhooing of press release quality material may placate the sentiments of certain, narrow demographic slices of the President’s supporters but those who are at the “business end” of these policies – past, present & future – are impressed by nothing less than real, observable outcomes. Until such outcomes are experienced by the communities of Hispanics and Latinos, expecting or assuming that these voting blocks will necessarily turn-out for the President – or his opponent in the generals – is a fool-hardy presumption.

    One question, do you know the ratio or proportion of the ~1,000,000 undocumented persons deported who had family here in the US who hold citizenships?

    Good luck in your on-going work.

  139. 139

    @Another Bob:

    Here ya go.

    Insurers will be required to spend 85% of large-group and 80% of small-group and individual plan premiums (with certain adjustments) on healthcare or to improve healthcare quality, or return the difference to the customer as a rebate.[

    That is a solid lower limit they will have to put into benefits. And yes, there will be more customers to collect premiums from, but they will also have to insure more people and actually pay out when people get sick, rather than drop sick customers from coverage.

    No one really knows whether those two countervailing forces will be a big bonanza for insurers, or pretty much maintain something like the status quo for profits. But for sure, the new regs are a big winner for the public, in about every way, from more secure policies, to guarantees of 80 to 85 percent of monies collected by big insurance going to benefits. And all the other regs.

    My liberal values and loyalties, always fall first on the most people whose lives are improved, and secondly on class warfare issues. Sometimes, like mucking around with life and death issues that is health care access, it is all with first taking care of the poorest and sickest among us.

    The only other way to do this, is with single payer, which clearly was not politically viable at this time, in this country, but at some point we will be forced to adopt it, and in the meantime, a lot more people are helped with the ACA, even with the flaws.

    And why the fuck would you link to an August 2009 article?

  140. 140
    TK-421 says:

    @Danny:

    Thank you for the correction on cramdowns, and I apologize for my own misinformation. This is why I hesitate to try and restate the experts’ arguments, and instead let them make the arguments themselves. In any case, thanks for the correction and I’m sorry for getting this wrong.

    According to Wikipedia, HAMP was put in place on the authority of EESA and ARRA. Don’t we have to show that EESA and ARRA allows for this better HAMP, or else ask Congress to pass better legislation?

    According to my own reading of Wikipedia, NO:

    As a result of the authority it received under the Acts, the U.S. Treasury Department developed HAMP. Under HAMP, mortgage servicers (those who are commonly referred to as the mortgage lenders) are provided with the opportunity to enter into contracts with the Federal Government (the U.S. Treasury) to modify homeowners’ mortgage loans in a particular and uniform fashion and receive incentive payments in return.

    There is no mention of specific Congressional language that defines what HAMP can and cannot do. HAMP was not actually part of specific Congressional acts, it was simply a program created with the authority given from specific Congressional acts. HAMP was formed as a response to the EESA and ARRA, not as a direct result from EESA and ARRA. At least, not according to my reading of Wiki.

    If Wiki is correct, then Treasury has all the authority it needs to modify HAMP and make it better.

  141. 141
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    The PPACA is legislation with many provisions, and famously over 2000 pages long. To prove or even get a fair clue if it’s likely to increase or decrease corporate profits in the aggregate, we’ll need both a law degree and an expert on the Health Care market.

    That’s why I kept to individual provisions of the PPACA. Any provision could have been left out, including the requirement for a floor on medical loss ratio. The medical loss ratio will – all else being equal – lower or cap corporate profits, because it caps the profit margin / customer at a theoretical maximum of 15% of premiums paid.

    But I’ve already proven your statement factually wrong w/r/t to taxes, and if you demand that we look at PPACA in the aggregate as one example of “policy” – which is an example to complex to easily prove anything – we’ll just look at some other area.

    How about the Family Smoking Prevention Act?

    Provisions:

    – Creates a tobacco control center within the FDA and gives the FDA authority to regulate the content, marketing and sale of tobacco products.

    – Requires tobacco companies and importers to reveal all product ingredients and seek FDA approval for any new tobacco products.

    – Allows the FDA to change tobacco product content.

    – The ban on flavoring applies to any product meeting the definition of a “cigarette” according to section 3(1) of the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act. This includes any tobacco that comes rolled such as cigarettes and cigars, and added to this definition in the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act is any tobacco with the purpose to be rolled such as rolling tobacco.

    – Calls for new rules to prevent sales except through direct, face-to-face exchanges between a retailer and a consumer.

    – Limits advertising that could attract young smokers.

    – Requires cigarette warning labels to cover 50 percent of the front and rear of each pack, with the word warning in capital letters.

    – Requires FDA approval for the use of expressions such as “light, “mild” or “low” that give the impression that a particular tobacco product poses less of a health risk.

    All those provisions are aimed at decreasing smoking in the US, hence the legislation is aimed at decreasing the number of cigarettes sold, thus reducing corporate profits.

    We can go on and on until you concede that one piece of legislation signed by Obama decrease corporate profits, or some policy of the Obama administration does that.

    If you reject the Family Smoking Prevention Act, we go have a look at Waxman-Markey, and on and on.

    You didnt qualify your statement, you asserted that the Obama admin has pursued no raised taxes on corporate america (proven false), and no policies that would hurt profits. We’ll just keep doing this until you concede that you made a silly claim, and opt to moderate it.

  142. 142
    Danny says:

    @TK-421:

    Thank you for the correction on cramdowns, and I apologize for my own misinformation. This is why I hesitate to try and restate the experts’ arguments, and instead let them make the arguments themselves. In any case, thanks for the correction and I’m sorry for getting this wrong.

    That’s cool, but I’d urge you to consider the possibility that perhaps some expert/pundit misinformed you. A good habit is to check if that was the case and let that inform the level of trust you extend to said expert/pundit. (E.g. Brad DeLong asserted on his blog – the same day it was struck – that the debt ceiling deal would lower GDP by 0.4% in 2012, and that was prima facie specious to me and IANAE. He later walked that back…)

    According to my own reading of Wikipedia, NO […] There is no mention of specific Congressional language that defines what HAMP can and cannot do. HAMP was not actually part of specific Congressional acts, it was simply a program created with the authority given from specific Congressional acts. HAMP was formed as a response to the EESA and ARRA, not as a direct result from EESA and ARRA. At least, not according to my reading of Wiki.

    What HAMP can and cannot do is constrained by current laws, agreed? What does DeLong mean by “a real HAMP to refinance mortgages”? He doesn’t say. Maybe he means allowing courts to perform cram down?

    If Wiki is correct, then Treasury has all the authority it needs to modify HAMP and make it better.

    Modify it yes. “Make it better”, well that depends on what “make it better” means, right? You don’t really know what’s wrong with it – right? – only that DeLong et al thinks it’s insufficient. Well, how it is insufficient is central to the question of what can be done to improve it…

  143. 143
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @cleek:

    Why do balloonbaggers do this to themselves?

    A former regular had the logic that summed this up pretty well, IMO.

    The most important thing to Protest People Protesters is their self-image as Protest People Protesters. If they’re the first to denounce them, that gets them mega-points on the Protest People Protesters scale. If they’re wrong, whatever loss of credibility they gain in terms of being reality-based is outweighed by the demonstration of what awesome Protest People Protesters they are. Heck, it actually helps their credibility among their intended, Protest People Protesters audience to be so wrong, because it’s just more evidence of how ideologically soft core they are.

    Balloonbaggers – making the same amount of sense then as they do now.(tm)
    .
    .

  144. 144
    Danny says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas:

    I know you are but what am I?

    Cute.

  145. 145
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    The medical loss ratio will only ensure that they spend a certain minimum percentage paying for medical costs, which is more than offset by the fact that they’re getting tens of millions of new customers.

    You’re right, Obama could have tried harder to blow up the existing system of health insurance tied to employment and run by various profit-skimming middlemen. But he had this funny idea that it might be a good idea to reform health care without utter upheaval for everyone and without being sabotaged by the same big-time wealthy interests who succeeded in sabotaging it the last time. It turns out that one of the lessons of the Clinton-era HCR battle is that people hate insurance companies, but they hate the idea of losing their hateful insurance company _more_. And consequently, trying to reform the cockamamie American health care system turns out to be, shall we say, a wee bit tricky.

    But, no, he should have tried more boldly, even at the cost of failure from lack of support even within his own party, so that he’d be excoriated for trying too hard, for trying too little, for failing, for upsetting too many powerless people, for upsetting too few powerful people, and still end up with nothing to show for it. I’m sure that 16 years from now someone would come up with something you hated slightly less, and we’d have that instead, because Truly Liberal Future President would try even harder. Because everyone knows that when a big initiative goes down to defeat, it makes the next similar initiative much more likely to be better, and pass more easily.

  146. 146
    Christopher John says:

    The revolution has begun.

    I wasn’t expecting it until after the 2012 election.

    I think we’re going to have some surprises.

  147. 147
    Another Bob says:

    @General Stuck & Danny

    I’m not trying to say that there’s nothing good about PPACA, or that it’s worse than nothing, which is what we had before. What I’m saying is that it’s a politically conservative, business-friendly scheme that has its roots in the Heritage Foundation and a well-known Republican governor. It was done with extensive deal-making behind closed doors with those business interests, resulting in measures that will protect or enhance their profits by billions of dollars per year at the direct expense of taxpayers and healthcare consumers. Obama went out of his way to placate business interests and conservative Blue Dog Democrats, while trading away more liberal alternatives for nothing in return.

    @FlipYrWhig

    You’re right, Obama could have tried harder to blow up the existing system of health insurance tied to employment and run by various profit-skimming middlemen. But he had this funny idea that it might be a good idea to reform health care without utter upheaval for everyone and without being sabotaged by the same big-time wealthy interests who succeeded in sabotaging it the last time.

    That just supports what I’m saying. Obama was afraid to challenge industry and never tried. You could make a similar case that it should have been equally impossible to waste a trillion dollars invading Iraq with nothing but fraudulent intelligence and bogus links to 9/11 as the only rationale, but Bush got it done despite the odds because he fought for it. You can argue that PPACA is the best possible deal he could have gotten, but how can you claim that when Obama never fought for anything better?

  148. 148
    Danny says:

    nvm

  149. 149
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    I’m willing to discuss the merits of your thoughts on HCR in general at any time. What I’d like to see now, though, is for you to moderate your claim in #126, and acknowledge that – as it stands – it’s untrue. I showed that it was untrue w/r/t taxes here, and w/r/t to hurting corporate profits here.

    So, either adress the rebuttal, or concede the point.

  150. 150

    @Another Bob:

    I’m not going to argue with your notions of where obama stands as a good or bad president. That is a waste of time for folks like you, whatever your motives are.

    If you are looking for reasons to slam and or reject this president, there are plenty of memes out there to harvest for validation of your disappointment. Some of them with varying degrees of truth to them, others not so much.

    I just know, that all things considered, I can’t think of anyone else that could be doing a better job during these insane and dysfunctional times we are living through. And it is just a plus, personal like of the man.

    Obama is not perfect, but he has gotten some good shit done, even if imperfect. Some folks on the left have just made up their minds they don’t like him, nor care for him being president. I’m glad I’m not one of them.

  151. 151
    boss bitch says:

    Another Democrat Wouldn’t Do Better

    Nate Silver:

    “President Obama’s re-election bid is in quite a lot of trouble, with falling approval numbers and sour economic forecasts. But it’s probably mistaken to assume that those problems would just go away if Democrats replaced him with another candidate. The evidence, if anything, points in the opposite direction: Mr. Obama is more popular than his policies, and probably gives the Democrats a better chance of maintaining the White House than another Democrat would.”

    http://politicalwire.com/archi.....tml?ref=tw

    No Shit!

  152. 152
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    Sure, I’ll concede that there are some relatively minor tax increases on businesses, but the majority of the taxes to pay for PPACA come from individual taxpayers, not corporations. Obama could have chosen to seriously undermine the profits of the healthcare industry, or even eliminate large swathes of them, but he chose a Republican plan instead and made secret deals to protect the profits of industry players. Raising fees on the producers of branded drugs by 27 billion (in your Heritage Foundation list), for example, is more than offset by the deal that was made with Big Pharma that will preserve somewhere between 76-220 billion dollars in industry profits by preventing Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices. Putting some limits on insurance industry profits is more than offset by bringing them tens of millions of new customers. Despite the whining of corporate shills at the Heritage Foundation, no corporations were harmed in the enactment of the PPACA.

    But that’s just one theater of debate. In general, as was the case with so many other of Obama’s major policy initiatives, he seems to be getting his advice from industry cronies (like virtually all of his economics advisers and the chairman of General Electric) while pursuing initiatives that do their bidding.

  153. 153
    Another Bob says:

    @General Stuck

    Obama is not perfect, but he has gotten some good shit done, even if imperfect. Some folks on the left have just made up their minds they don’t like him, nor care for him being president. I’m glad I’m not one of them.

    Well I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t like Obama, and as someone who voted for him twice and contributed to his campaign, it’s not something that gives me any pleasure to say. I don’t like him in general, but he has done some good things like saving GM (at least for now), doing at least some economic stimulus, nominating some Supreme Court justices who aren’t fascists, and most importantly, by not being John McCain or Sarah Palin. I’ll probably have to vote for him again, but it will be with an air of sadness and resignation, and real anger that this is apparently the best that the Democratic Party can now offer us. We could have used another FDR, but we got Ronald Reagan Jr. instead.

  154. 154
    marginalized for stating documented facts says:

    Some supportive comments about Obama:

    (Call the ambulances for the heart seizure victims…)

    Obama has gotten slammed for not offering a big enough stimulus bill to congress. If he’d requested 2 trillion, or so the reasoning goes, congress would’ve cut it, but maybe we’d have wound up with a big enough stimulus that we wouldn’t be facing another recession now.

    That’s great 20/20 hindsight. In reality, however, economists at the time weren’t predicting that the 2007 downtown was the kind of epochal world-shattering economic collapse it turned out to be. You might not recall all the respected economists arguing back in late 2007-mid 2008 that the world economy couldn’t possibly take a serious hit because of the collapse of the subprime mortgage market, because after all subprime mortgages were only 5% of the stock market… You might not recall that, but I do. So under the circumstances, Obama got bad economic advice, and unwisely followed it, but his advisors were giving the same advice almost everyone else was.

    Even Krugman only agitated for 1.4 trillion in stimulus. We now know at least 2 trillion was needed, and probably more. But that’s hindsight. Back then, if you’d mentioned a figure like 2 trillion, every respected economist would’ve answered that you had gone off your meds and needed a dose of thorazine.

    Obama gets hammered on DADT. The reality is that the gay thing is slowly going away as an issue. Time will take care of this one. Doesn’t matter what Obama does. Gays are going to get fully accepted in the military, gay marriage will slowly but surely become legally recognized in all 50 states. Obama knows this, so it’s not something that he would be wise to expend a lot of political capital on.

    Obama gets slammed for not being combative enough. The fact of the matter is that the crazier the Repubs get, the better Obama looks for remaining calm. Plus, if Obama did get combative, guess what the Repubs would hit him with? Correctamundo — the “scary angry negro” smear. So Obama finds himself pretty much between a rock and a hard place on this one.

    Obama needs to get hammered hard on his total contempt for the constitution, the way he’s gotten systematically scammed and rolled by the military, the way he rolled over for the giant health care companies, the way he deep-throated Wall Street and then acted all surprised when he wound up with political-economic syphilis, and the campaign promises he broke. But the hits above, he doesn’t deserve.

  155. 155
    Another Bob says:

    We could have used another FDR, but we got Ronald Reagan Jr. instead.

    Oops, I forgot that there’s a real, not metaphorical, Ronald Reagan Jr., and he’s a liberal sometimes-commentator and not a bad guy. Now Danny will probably bug the shit out of me because Obama couldn’t literally be Ronald Reagan Jr., and Ronald Reagan Jr. never raised the excise tax on businesses importing certain medical devices.

  156. 156
    marginalized for stating documented facts says:

    @General Stuck:

    Obama is not perfect, but he has gotten some good shit done, even if imperfect.

    Ordering the assassination of an American citizen without even charging him with a crime is certainly getting some shit done.

    Whether it’s “good shit…even if imperfect,” well…that’s another matter.

  157. 157
    Jenny says:

    @schlemizel – was Alwhite: How quickly they forget. Dick fucking Morris was his campaign manager. Dick fucking Morris!

    What liberal frame was “three strikes and you’re out”?

    What liberal frame was “ending welfare as we know it”?

    Hmmm.

    Fuck. Clinton even executed a retarded prisoner, Ricky Ray Rector, DURING the campaign to show people he was no Dukakis.

  158. 158

    but we got Ronald Reagan Jr. instead.

    Not even close, but the great thing for you is that you can think and say such utter nonsense. If you feel that way, then why don’t you become a republican and vote for someone that is the next Ronald Reagan Jr. And stop whining how you will be forced to vote for Obama. Remind me not to respond to your whiny comments in the future.

  159. 159
  160. 160
    Another Bob says:

    @General Stuck

    If you feel that way, then why don’t you become a republican and vote for someone that is the next Ronald Reagan Jr. And stop whining how you will be forced to vote for Obama.

    Sorry for not being reverent enough in my criticism of Him. But seriously, I’m just being frank. And I don’t mean Frank, because Frank is a perfectly nice guy and not one whose name I’d want to carelessly bandy about. Nor would I imply anything about Frank Jr., who (from what I hear) is also A-OK.

  161. 161

    Sorry for not being reverent enough in my criticism of Him.

    Yea, right, that must be it. Chat up mclaren some, or now – Marginalized For stating Documented Facts. You two are close enough to broadcasting on the same frequency.

  162. 162
    Danny says:

    Sure, I’ll concede that there are some relatively minor tax increases on businesses, but the majority of the taxes to pay for PPACA come from individual taxpayers, not corporations.

    Deeply misleading, bordering on fraudulent. Out of the 503B$ in new revenue 2010-2019 157,5 Billion dollars is new corporate taxes. 210 B$ is taxing the rich (incomes >250K$/year).

    The rest is the individual and employer mandate which is both individuals and corporations at 65 Billions, and the cadillac tax at 35 Billions.

    Obama could have chosen to seriously undermine the profits of the healthcare industry, or even eliminate large swathes of them, but he chose a Republican plan instead and made secret deals to protect the profits of industry players.

    That may be, but:

    a) Undermining the profits of the healthcare industry is not a policy goal of progressives, helping people is a policy goal of progressives; and

    b) That undermining the profits of the healthcare industry isn’t Obama’s fist priority is not the same thing as him being unwilling to do something that undermines the profits of the healthcare industry if it helps people. You started out by asserting that he wouldnt do the latter – that was proven false; w/r/t to PPACA and in other cases as well.

    You seem to be confused about what progressivism is about. It may be the case that the best solution for UHC – single payer – would also eliminate or deeply undermine the profits of the healthcare industry. But what makes single payer the best solution for Universal Health Care is not that it undermines corporate profits; It’s that it delivers better care at a lower price.

    Demanding that we look at whether legislation undermines corporate profits as a litmus test whether some piece of legislation is useful or “liberal” or “progressive” is deeply stupid.

    Raising fees on the producers of branded drugs by 27 billion (in your Heritage Foundation list), for example, is more than offset by the deal that was made with Big Pharma that will preserve somewhere between 76-220 billion dollars in industry profits by preventing Medicare from negotiating lower drug prices.

    Noting that you’re now comparing PPACA with imaginary legislation that has never existed. Pretending that unconfirmed gossip about a “secret deal” based on anonymous sources is truth received is immaterial because the impact of PPACA is relative to the status quo, not the set of all legislation that could conceivably be passed. If it was any other way, you might as well assert that single payer would destroy trillions in corporate profits and compare the ~160 Billion in new corporate taxes and ~160 Billions in reduced Medicare reimbursement rates to healthcare providers that is in PPACA against that.

    Fact is still that compared to the status quo, PPACA means ~320 Billions in higher corporate taxes and lowered Medicare reimbursement rates. Note that the “huge windfall” of new customers that the individual mandate is supposed to provide Health Care insurers does not help Medicare Providers; the lowered reimbursement rates eats into their profit margins without being offset. So once again there’s egg on your face.

    Putting some limits on insurance industry profits is more than offset by bringing them tens of millions of new customers.

    So you claim, without supporting it. They gain new customers, but the profit margin per customer is capped (to 15% of premiums – administrative costs) and they’re forced to accept all customers, including ones with pre-existing conditions which constrains them from pruning the risk pool.

    Incidentally, those “new customers” now have Healthcare insurance, while they previously lacked Healthcare insurance. As it happens, giving private business new customers is an unfortunate side effect of getting more people proper healthcare if you don’t opt for a single payer solution. A single payer solution won’t get through congress, so more customers for private business was a necessity for HCR. But it wasnt a feature. Getting people more people proper insurance was.

    Despite the whining of corporate shills at the Heritage Foundation, no corporations were harmed in the enactment of the PPACA.

    This is obviously a red herring with some strawman thrown in for good measure. If you had at some point claimed that “Obama wont pursue legislation with the objective of harming corporations” I might have even agreed – that’s true, I dont think that that is what Obama’s first priority.

    But what you claimed was that he wouldnt pass “liberal legislation” if it raised taxes on corporation or if it hurt corporate profits. And I’ve shown that neither is true.

    But that’s just one theater of debate. In general, as was the case with so many other of Obama’s major policy initiatives, he seems to be getting his advice from industry cronies (like virtually all of his economics advisers and the chairman of General Electric) while pursuing initiatives that do their bidding.

    Why don’t you go through Obama’s economic advisory team from 2009 and point out who is an industry crony and who isn’t. Your score on accuracy, transparency and arguing in good faith aint exactly stellar so far…

  163. 163
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    Oops, I forgot that there’s a real, not metaphorical, Ronald Reagan Jr., and he’s a liberal sometimes-commentator and not a bad guy. Now Danny will probably bug the shit out of me because Obama couldn’t literally be Ronald Reagan Jr., and Ronald Reagan Jr. never raised the excise tax on businesses importing certain medical devices.

    No, but I’ll continue bugging the shit out of you for lying like a drunken Glenn Beck and then arguing in bad faith when called on it.

  164. 164
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    No, but I’ll continue bugging the shit out of you for lying like a drunken Glenn Beck and then arguing in bad faith when called on it.

    And you’re a fucking humorless prick. Why don’t you waste your pompous, self-important lectures on someone who gives a shit what you think, if any such person exists. Maybe you could get a job in the Obama administration — I think you’d be perfect as their outreach ambassador to the liberal community. It would be just their style.

  165. 165
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    What you expect a box of chocolates and a pony for being a dishonest fraudulent fuck and failing to own it? I spend time getting the facts straight and sorting out your endless stream of confused bullshit so either cry some more & piss off or go read me debunking you (above) and get back to us.

  166. 166
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    That just supports what I’m saying. Obama was afraid to challenge industry and never tried.

    No, it doesn’t support what you’re saying. Obama could have “challenged industry” and failed spectacularly like Bill Clinton did and slunk away, dooming the cause of health care reform for another 20 years. Because, you see, when you “challenge industry” you might get your ass handed to you, because that “industry” is damn good at scaring people and buying off politicians.

    Instead, he played some parts of “industry” against others, got the fucker passed, and accomplished something that had bedeviled liberals and Democrats for roughly 50 years. You’re welcome. I’ll take success over symbolism that appeals to a fraction of a fraction of a percentage of carping naysayers who are disinclined to give any politician credit for anything every damn day and twice on Sunday.

  167. 167
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    I’ll probably have to vote for him again, but it will be with an air of sadness and resignation, and real anger that this is apparently the best that the Democratic Party can now offer us.

    Oh noes, not “an air of sadness and resignation”! Pull yourself together. This is politics. It’s not about your self-esteem. Stuff sucks and you do your part to make it better. You don’t sulk in the corner convinced you’re the only one who _really_ _feels_ how much it sucks.

  168. 168
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    Bush got it done despite the odds because he fought for it.

    Both Bush and Obama got done what conservative-leaning Democrats were comfortable allowing. Turns out they like wars with specious rationales, and they like not overturning the health-care delivery system of America even when it’s inefficient and wasteful. Don’t like that? Try not to elect them. If by working against them you get a Republican, you’ve just made things even worse. Still want to roll the dice on that?

  169. 169
    Another Bob says:

    @Danny

    I spend time getting the facts straight and sorting out your endless stream of confused bullshit so either cry some more & piss off or go read me debunking you (above) and get back to us.

    Gosh, you’re so important, aren’t you? You do such important work here at Balloon Juice, and practically every post is a monument to that importance. Give it a rest. Get a life, or at least don’t expect people like me to give a shit one way or the other what you choose to do with your free time. Anyway, good for you . . . carry on . . . whatever.

  170. 170
    Uncle Clarence Thomas says:

    .
    .
    @Another Bob:

    Gosh, you’re so important, aren’t you?

    Bob, I guess you don’t realize that Danny is Balloonemo Prime.
    .
    .

  171. 171
    Danny says:

    @Another Bob:

    You’re failing to get the point. My time is of some small value to me. I don’t complain that I’m spending it on getting the facts straight and doing your homework where you wouldn’t do it yourself, because that is – obviously – my own choice.

    But if you think that I owe you a great deal of respect or courtesy when you don’t give a shit about maintaining some basic level of quality control or accuracy in what you claim to be true – well you’re bound for disappointment.

    If you want to opt out of this exchange you’re perfectly fucking free to do so at any time, I’d just wish you’d go quietly, without all the crying and moaning and huwt feelings.

  172. 172
    Another Bob says:

    @General Stuck

    Don’t like that? Try not to elect them. If by working against them you get a Republican, you’ve just made things even worse.

    So “working against them” means being honest about your assessment of the job they’re doing, i.e. criticizing them? Maybe it’s actually Obama’s fault for doing things that cause many of his former supporters to give up. It’s not about ponies, after all, but the rule of law.

  173. 173
    Another Bob says:

    @Uncle Clarence Thomas

    Bob, I guess you don’t realize that Danny is Balloonemo Prime.

    LOL. He’s truly monumental. I think we should commission a statue or something.

  174. 174
    Danny says:

    Sure, I’ll be Balloonemo Prime, you and Uncle Clarence can be the circlejerk boys.

  175. 175
    Another Bob says:

    Don’t try to get jocular with me, Danny. Pomposity is the only appropriate tone for you to take. Now get back up on your pedestal and preen for us some more.

  176. 176
    Danny says:

    First I’m not jocular enough, then to jocular. I would like to appease your delicate nature but you’ll have to allow me some practice. Maybe you and UC can find some private corner and indulge in more wanking and pleasantries in the meantime?

  177. 177

    @Another Bob:

    @General Stuck

    Don’t like that? Try not to elect them. If by working against them you get a Republican, you’ve just made things even worse.

    While it is pointless, responding to your nonsense, I need to make the notation that I didn’t say on this thread what this moron attributed to me. I don’t recall saying it ever, but if I did, then this moron needs to make a ling. Otherwise, this moron can eat shit for being a lying shitweasal.

  178. 178
    Danny says:

    @General Stuck:

    Yep, looks like Another Bob doesn’t care enough about being part of the Reality Based Community to either keep his fucking facts straight, or make sure he attributes statements to the poster who made them. A serial liar as it were, but a stellar protest person.

  179. 179
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @General Stuck: The line was one of mine. I stand by it. If you don’t like politics hinging on what conservative Democrats want, you have a few options. You can try to push conservative Democrats to the left — which isn’t likely to work and, even if it did work, might doom their reelection, leading to Republicans taking their places. Or you can opt out and refuse to support those conservative Democrats — which probably results in Republicans taking their places, because conservative Democrats aren’t only conservative for the hell of it, they’re conservative because they think their voters like it that way. There are only bad options, and IMHO you, we, should try to do the least harm possible.

  180. 180
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Another Bob:

    Maybe it’s actually Obama’s fault for doing things that cause many of his former supporters to give up.

    Or maybe the very small number of “former supporters” just happen to get off on flouncing away and giving up.

  181. 181

    @FlipYrWhig:

    With your explanation, I also agree with what your meant. It just pisses me off when clowns use false attribution for quotes.

Comments are closed.