Bully for them

Politico today (link goes elsewhere, don’t worry):

Historians who try to rank the 44th president in our national pantheon are surely going to ask why he has not made better use of his “bully pulpit.”

70 replies
  1. 1
    c u n d gulag says:

    It’s hard for the bully pulpit to be heard over the screaming, shrieking, and whining of the Reich-Wing “Echo-Chamber,” and the ‘wineing’-and-dining DC MSM Villagers cocktail party chatter.

  2. 2
    RosiesDad says:

    Sure to make Charlie Pierce want to guzzle anti-freeze yet again.

  3. 3
    IowaOldLady says:

    The leaders of the R party can’t “bully pulpit” their crazy wing. How deluded do you have to be to think the president can? Seriously. Why would you think that?

  4. 4
    Snarki, child of Loki says:

    @RosiesDad: Damn, Pierce better not be starting an anti-freeze shortage, right in the middle of a nasty cold winter!

    I blame Politico.

  5. 5
    El Caganer says:

    Good Christ, not this tired theme again. It’s risen more times than Christopher Lee in Hammer films.

  6. 6
    RosiesDad says:

    @Snarki, child of Loki: I blame Obama.

  7. 7
    maximiliano furtive, formerly known as dr. bloor says:

    So. Fucking. Stupid.

  8. 8
    Chyron HR says:

    Why are you second rate bloggers treating these world-famous journalists as your public enemy number one? What is the cause of your reflexive and intransigent pigheadedness and self-delusion?

  9. 9
    Waynski says:

    @RosiesDad:

    Sure to make Charlie Pierce want to guzzle anti-freeze yet again.

    Bartender. Prestone. Make it a double.

  10. 10
    Baud says:

    Conservatives often parrot left wing memes about how Democrats suck. This isn’t surprising.

  11. 11
    WereBear says:

    In other news, toddlers just need to be told what they are not supposed to do.

  12. 12
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    Somebody shoot me. Just shoot me.

  13. 13
    Comrade Jake says:

    Yes, if by “historians” they mean “retired bloggers” then that is probably correct.

  14. 14
    Jeremy says:

    The bully pulpit doesn’t work in this day and age. Hell President Bush couldn’t get much done with his own party during his second term and he used the bully pulpit. The republican party today is a far right fringe party so it doesn’t matter what President Obama does or says because he can’t negotiate with crazy people. I’m so sick of hearing about the bully pulpit when it comes to this president.

  15. 15
    Donut says:

    Speakinf as someone who once pursued the academic discipline, I started to write up a rant about this, but all I really want to say is I can’t wait for the end of Obama’s term, and this only because the man wil finally be unleashesd and won’t have to worry about political considerations when he speaks his mind. Motherfucker is going to fuck some people up, rhetorically speaking. That is all.

  16. 16
    dmsilev says:

    Raise the Green Lantern.

  17. 17
    Patrick says:

    One really has to be an idiot to ask that question. Our economy was basically coming to an end when Obama took over, GM was about to go bankrupt. the Dow had been crushed. bin Laden was alive and well. Our country was in the middle of the idiotic Iraq war and the world for the most part didn’t think very highly of us. If you had a pre-existing condition, you were basically forbidden health insurance. This was America 2008.

    Forward to 2014 and look at us now. President Obama has done a hell of a job. He should be ranked in the very top tier of our Presidents. Unless of course, one cares more about their own party than their country, like FoxNews does.

  18. 18
    balconesfault says:

    The point of the bully pulpit is to speak directly to the constituencies of your political opponents, right? And that’s going to work well in districts where the majority of voters would respond to Obama reaching out to shake hands by going “stand your ground”?

  19. 19
    raven says:

    Nice comment:

    Politico motto, “we ask rhetorical questions because breathing through your mouth and thinking at the same time is hard”

  20. 20
    Baud says:

    @Patrick:

    One really has to be an idiot to ask that question.

    Then it a question that will surely be asked many times in certain circles.

  21. 21
    rikyrah says:

    Gov. Chris Christie has new childhood pal to shove into Bridgegate traffic

    Lt. Thomas (Chip) Michaels, who went to high school with the governor, took David Wildstein on a tour of Ft. Lee traffic as the mess began. Following the tour, Michaels texted Wildstein, ‘I may have idea to mak ths beter (sic).’
    Comments (31)
    By Bill Hutchinson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

    Published: Sunday, February 16, 2014, 2:29 PM

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new.....z2taS127dL

  22. 22
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Patrick: Yeah but he didn’t close GITMO like he said he would.

    (hits sarcasm off button)

  23. 23
    JPL says:

    Historians will write that the extremists created a damned if you do, damned if you don’t presidency.

  24. 24
    Jeremy says:

    @Donut: I feel the same way. I can’t wait to see it because I think the Obama’s are going to be very vocal especially about our crappy beltway press.

  25. 25
    Xboxershorts says:

    Why don’t we ask Senator McCain and former Speaker Newt Gingrich about this inability of the president to use the bully pulpit effectively on this weeks Sunday Morning Talk shows.

    (Subtle sarcasm here)

  26. 26
    Elizabelle says:

    @Patrick:

    Well said, Patrick.

  27. 27
    Patrick says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    I was about scream my head off. I am glad you added the word sarcasm to your comment. It still amazes me that some people choose to blame Obama for Gitmo, but somehow think Bernie Sanders is the best Democrat ever.

  28. 28
    Baud says:

    Next in Politico: Historians debate whether Obama’s heavy reliance in teleprompters prevented him from being a more effective president.

  29. 29
    Ben Cisco says:

    Yes, because the Neo-Confederates can’t wait to take orders from a Ni-CLANG!

    Politiho can shove that bully pulpit up their fascist-enabling asses.

    Sideways.

  30. 30
    Lurking Canadian says:

    @Donut: does he get to give the 2017 SOTU? ‘Cause that could be epic.

  31. 31
    slippytoad says:

    @Chyron HR:

    It’s pretty funny when you think about it really. The complete, utter failure of American journalism (and I do think as a profession in this country it is in a state of total disarray), is the reason bloggers exist. Someone has to actually fucking report on the elephant in the room, a task at which American journalism has gotten extraordinarily good at avoiding (or, in other words, they’ve gotten extraordinarily, shockingly, embarrassingly and stupidly bad at reporting the plain and obvious truth when it might embarrass or inconvenience their benefactors).

    I treat journalists as beneath bloggers and citizen reporters. If I’m to pay attention to a journalist, they’d damn well better show they’re serious about the job and not some blow-dried corporate fucking tool.

  32. 32
    ericblair says:

    Hypnotoad/Green Lantern 2016!

  33. 33
    Bob says:

    That short paragraph, at the link, is objectively incoherent.

  34. 34
    Patrick says:

    @slippytoad:

    I treat journalists as beneath bloggers and citizen reporters. If I’m to pay attention to a journalist, they’d damn well better show they’re serious about the job and not some blow-dried corporate fucking tool.

    We saw it first hand just some 10 days ago, when the CBO reported that 2-3 million people would choose to leave their jobs as a result of the ACA. Most of the Villagers somehow took that as a really bad thing. If they had just bothered to think (which seems to be too much to ask these days), they would have seen it was actually very good news.

  35. 35
    Anton Sirius says:

    Dear Politico: Historians will have more important questions to address, like figuring out whether your vacuous, juvenile, semi-coherent drivel was one of the leading causes of the degradation and bastardization of the institution of journalism in America, or merely a symptom of its collapse.

  36. 36
    Baud says:

    @Patrick:

    Actually, the media initially reported it incorrectly as a loss of jobs available rather than people choosing not to work.

  37. 37
    Botsplainer says:

    So between last night and this morning, journalists are back to being fresh dog shot betwixt our toes.

    Good to know.

  38. 38
    Keith G says:

    In several interviews, President Obama has mentioned that he could have done a better job getting his side of the story out there. I trust that he is being sincere and accurate on this self-evaluation. Former White House Communications Director Anita Dunn has stated that the White House fell behind in the messaging wars over the ACA at great cost.

    The President said early on that he is unconcerned with the news cycle. That’s his right, but that artifical news cycle is the very way many citizens get their first (and sometimes only) look at an issue. This White House has been hurt by allowing others to define the debate on may key issues. I have read reporting (John Dickerson, among others) that folks inside the White House acknowledge this.

    All presidents do some thing well and other things …not so much.

  39. 39
    Cassidy says:

    @Chyron HR: Honestly, I can’t trust anything our FPers have to say until Greenwald has weighed in. Then, I can be perfectly confident that they’re parroting some jackassery that has already been filtered through a paid editor. I care about jobs like that.

  40. 40
    AxelFoley says:

    @Patrick:

    One really has to be an idiot to ask that question. Our economy was basically coming to an end when Obama took over, GM was about to go bankrupt. the Dow had been crushed. bin Laden was alive and well. Our country was in the middle of the idiotic Iraq war and the world for the most part didn’t think very highly of us. If you had a pre-existing condition, you were basically forbidden health insurance. This was America 2008.

    Forward to 2014 and look at us now. President Obama has done a hell of a job. He should be ranked in the very top tier of our Presidents. Unless of course, one cares more about their own party than their country, like FoxNews does.

    This. All this.

    They’re gonna spend the rest of President Obama’s time in office trying to discredit everything he’s done. He’s been one of the greatest Presidents this country’s ever had, but watch them try to tear down his accomplishments. And a big reason they’re doing this is to try to discourage any other minority from running for President.

  41. 41
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Keith G: but that’s not what the “bully pulpit” is. Bully Pulpit Theory tells us that the president can get items on the agenda passed by appealing to the public, who then pressure their elected officials, who then support the president’s agenda because they want to win over their voters. That doesn’t happen anymore. Why? Because politicians rarely change their views just because of what the public says it wants, and the public refuses to punish them for ignoring them. So here we are. Whee.

  42. 42
    Cassidy says:

    They’re gonna spend the rest of President Obama’s time in office trying to discredit everything he’s done.

    And that’s just the suburban liberal contingent.

  43. 43
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Donut: Yes to unleashed Obama speeches. Also his Presidential memoirs.

  44. 44
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Lurking Canadian:

    Not the SOTU, but if history is any guide, he will probably give a Farewell Address to the Nation.

  45. 45
    Ben Cisco says:

    @FlipYrWhig: Thank you for this.

    Also, the concept of a “bully pulpit” requires a functional news media, which we do not have. Which anyone with an IQ over 20 already knows.

  46. 46
    ruemara says:

    @dmsilev: win.

  47. 47
    Xantar says:

    @Keith G:

    To be fair, I think the Obama Administration’s approach has the advantage of keeping an eye on the long game which works out well in certain instances. Ignoring the news cycle served them very well during election campaigns when all the “who is currently up” punditry proved to be useless. I think the difference is that campaigns have a definite date when we find out whether the strategy worked or not. Trying to get an agenda passed is different because in that case it really does require a constant pressure and buildup. How much of that is actually under the control of the President is debatable.

  48. 48
    dmsilev says:

    @ruemara: Wish I could take credit for that, but I’ve seen that particular phrasing used before by other people. Just seemed apt for this particular thread.

  49. 49
    slippytoad says:

    @AxelFoley:

    They’re gonna spend the rest of President Obama’s time in office trying to discredit everything he’s done.

    Discrediting themselves in the process. This is the End of Corporate Media. The shrieking and hollering is merely the death rattle of an institution that slit its own throat about 20 years ago. It’s axiomatic: corporate-sponsored news media are liars and will tell you little or nothing of value.

  50. 50
    Bokonon says:

    @Cassidy: Actually, I will raise the ante. Based on the noise I am hearing from the GOP’s base, I predict that Congress will try to impeach the President once the midterm elections are over (particularly if the GOP gains a few seats and feels safe).

    Reason? They will invent something. Executive orders being an abuse of power, something like that.

  51. 51
    IowaOldLady says:

    @Bokonon: I fervently hope so. The last time they impeached, things didn’t work out.

  52. 52
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @dmsilev: Your go-to guy for all things Green Lantern is Scott Lemieux at Lawyers, Guns and Money,

  53. 53
    catclub says:

    @Bokonon: I think Charlie Pierce(?) is saying: “You know, if they really thought he was breaking the law on those ACA changes or other executive orders, they would take him to court. But actually, no.”

    How bad is my memory that Bush was taken to court for various things. Of Course Cheney basically won his ‘I am the fourth branch of government, neither executive nor legislative branch.’ Neither fish, but very foul.

  54. 54
    Cassidy says:

    @Bokonon: That would be amazing.

  55. 55
    Emerald says:

    @AxelFoley:

    They’re gonna spend the rest of President Obama’s time in office trying to discredit everything he’s done. He’s been one of the greatest Presidents this country’s ever had, but watch them try to tear down his accomplishments.

    Example: the Syrian chemical weapons. All he did was reach for his holster, and he’s not only getting rid of all the weapons, which is much more than he’d asked for, but he got the Russians to pay for it.

    That astonishing accomplishment is treated as a failure by our media.

    ‘Nuff said.

  56. 56
    Archon says:

    I really underestimated the amount of backlash there was going to be from Obama’s Presidency. His election (and re-election) has shaken American right-wing mythology to it’s core. Now a large percentage of the beltwary press may not be activist conservatives but they are believers in the right-wing mythos that Obama’s Presidency should have been impossible and it was only possible because he essientially mesmorized the gullible masses with his “speechifying”, and easy charm.

    From that point of view Obama should have been able to accomplish anything he wanted and failure to do so was due to a lack of confidence and/or fortitude. In essence, to people like the “journalists” at Politico the answer is, “Doesn’t Obama know he’s a con-man?”.

  57. 57
    Suffern ACE says:

    @IowaOldLady: Yeah. They only held power for eight more years after that.

  58. 58
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Keith G: Yep. This part yes. The ACA summer, the first two summers actually, were just odd. The President goes off to Martha’s Vineyard and it was like the entire high end of the Democratic party decided that summers in DC were when you took vacation. Maybe so, but they really did allow the right wing to fill all of that otherwise empty airtime. Same thing happened over the Christmas holiday when the underwear bomber struck. It was like the only person available for comment was Pete King who spent that Christmas scaring as many people as he could. I know Democrats like their families and want to spend time with them, but sometimes you need to be around to push back.

  59. 59
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Emerald: Yes, but we don’t get what we want out of that, which is regime change. You see, a lot of the people who are on TV seem to be under the impression that the world is ours to do with what we want and therefore Syria is a loss. As bad as Syria is, it does not have to be our problem.

    They also tend to believe that the world really wants a bellicose US pushing it around. (It provides Clarity!) That’s why they believe that Putin is a manly man who’d respect us more if we were more belligerent. Why Putin would be happier if we tried to bully him more, I don’t know? He doesn’t seem like the type of guy who’d appreciate that much at all.

  60. 60
    Paul in KY says:

    @balconesfault: It’s to talk to all your constituents, those that voted for you & those that didn’t.

  61. 61
    Paul in KY says:

    @IowaOldLady: It worked out well in that his successor lost. That’s what is Most Important right now: Having a Democrat win in 2016.

  62. 62
    Chris says:

    @slippytoad:

    This is the End of Corporate Media. The shrieking and hollering is merely the death rattle of an institution that slit its own throat about 20 years ago. It’s axiomatic: corporate-sponsored news media are liars and will tell you little or nothing of value.

    I wonder. Most of the polls I’ve read indicate that a majority of people to this day think the media is biased, but in the liberal direction. People get the basics right – the media is useless and biased and therefore, why even listen to it? – but the fact that they still get that point wrong, to me, might be the most stunningly successful piece of conservative propaganda of our times. And a testament to how successfully marginalized (even extinguished) liberal voices have become nowadays.

  63. 63
    Paul in KY says:

    @Suffern ACE: In the men’s cross-country ski relay. Pres. Putin showed up & all of a sudden the Russian skiers began sking like their lives depended on it.

    Reminded me of the Rtn of Jedi scene where Vader tells the officer in charge of making the new death star that the emperor will be visiting.

  64. 64
    Chris says:

    @Archon:

    I really underestimated the amount of backlash there was going to be from Obama’s Presidency.

    So did I. In its own way I found the sheer number of psychos who crawled out of the woodwork during the Obama years even more depressing than the Bush presidency. Made even more so by the fact that, coming as it did immediately after the most disastrous presidency in most of our lifetimes, one might have expected that it would take a little bit longer for the hard right to claim that we should all totally trust and follow their lead – or at least that the more “mainstream” institutions like the media would be more eager to call them on it.

  65. 65
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Patrick: Amen!

  66. 66
    Chris says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    You see, a lot of the people who are on TV seem to be under the impression that the world is ours to do with what we want and therefore Syria is a loss.

    A fallacy that goes all the way back to the “Truman lost China” meme of the 1950s.

    Though very curiously, people are selective in how they apply it. There’s a meme that Truman “lost” China, and arguably half of Korea, but there’s no equivalent meme that Eisenhower “lost” Cuba or Egypt. Carter is blamed for “losing” Iran and Nicaragua, but Bush didn’t “lose” Palestine, or Bolivia, when those countries elected unfriendly governments. And so on, and so forth.

  67. 67
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Patrick: Preach!! Politico and its ilk must think we’ve all forgotten the “awesome” Bush years.

  68. 68
    Elizabelle says:

    @slippytoad:

    This is the End of Corporate Media. The shrieking and hollering is merely the death rattle of an institution that slit its own throat about 20 years ago. It’s axiomatic: corporate-sponsored news media are liars and will tell you little or nothing of value.

    I hope so. Remains to be seen what takes its place, but the Sunday shows and network evening news are very often a fail parade.

    And the NYTimes was hollering about CBO ACA job loss too, in its headlines.

  69. 69
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Jeremy:

    The republican party today is a far right fringe party so it doesn’t matter what President Obama does or says because he can’t negotiate with crazy people.

    It’s worse than this. The right fringe often (usually) coalesces around the opposite of whatever President Obama is advocating (for or against), and they act on this, with obstruction mostly now since they don’t have the Senate majority. (This is sad in its predictability.)
    Headline in the NYTimes today “Common Curriculum Now Has Critics on the Left”. One fears that this means an automatic increase in the levels of approval of the common curriculum on the right (fringe), once the idea (“left loons hate it”) percolates into the RWM. (I hope somebody polls this; it would be an interesting test of what we call Cleek’s Law here.)

  70. 70
    Chris says:

    @Bill Arnold:

    Exactly.

    It makes it incredibly hard to govern when your opposition literally has no objective other than “I hope he fails.” I can’t think of any time the country’s politics have been this ludicrously polarized since before the Civil War – or what the hell our side is supposed to do to deal with it. The ball’s either in their court to lighten up (fat chance) or in the voters’ court to stop electing them.

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