#1  
Old 08-05-2011, 03:17 PM
Obama isn't weak (he just isn't a liberal)

Obama isn't weak (he just isn't a liberal)

The president has the political muscle to enact a progressive agenda, but he doesn't want to

Quote:
Barack Obama is a lot of things -- eloquent, dissembling, conniving, intelligent and, above all, calm. But one thing he is not is weak.

This basic truth is belied by the meager Obama criticism you occasionally hear from liberal pundits and activists. They usually stipulate that the president genuinely wants to enact the progressive agenda he campaigned on, but they gently reprimand him for failing to muster the necessary personal mettle to achieve that goal. In this mythology, he is "President Pushover," as the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently labeled him.

This story line is a logical fallacy. Most agree that today's imperial presidency almost singularly determines the course of national politics. Additionally, most agree that Obama is a brilliant, Harvard-trained lawyer who understands how to wield political power.

Considering this, and further considering Obama's early congressional majorities, it is silly to insist that the national political events during Obama's term represent a lack of presidential strength or will. And it's more than just silly -- it's a narcissistic form of wishful thinking coming primarily from liberals who desperately want to believe "their" president is with them.

Such apologism, of course, allows liberals to avoid the more painful truth that Obama is one of America's strongest presidents ever and is achieving exactly what he wants.

Obama is not a flaccid Jimmy Carter, as some of his critics insist. He is instead a Franklin Delano Roosevelt -- but a bizarro FDR. He has mustered the legislative strength of his New Deal predecessor -- but he has channeled that strength into propping up the very forces of "organized money" that FDR once challenged.

On healthcare, for instance, Obama passed a Heritage Foundation-inspired bailout of the private health insurance industry, all while undermining other more-progressive proposals. On foreign policy, he escalated old wars and initiated new ones. On civil liberties, he not only continued the Patriot Act and indefinite detention of terrorism suspects but also claimed the right to assassinate American citizens without charge.

On financial issues, he fought off every serious proposal to reregulate banks following the economic meltdown; he preserved ongoing bank bailouts; and he resisted pressure to prosecute Wall Street thieves. On fiscal matters, after extending the Bush tax cuts at a time of massive deficits, he has used the debt ceiling negotiations to set the stage for potentially massive cuts to Social Security and Medicare -- cuts that would be far bigger than any of his proposed revenue increases.

As hideous and destructive as it is, this record is anything but weak. It is, on the contrary, demonstrable proof of Obama's impressive political muscle, especially because polls show he has achieved these goals despite the large majority of Americans who oppose them.

Importantly, though, Obama himself has not suffered from equally negative polling numbers. While his approval rating is not terrific, he is in decent shape for reelection -- and, more significantly, he has suffered only a minimal erosion of Democratic support. He is relatively popular, in other words, despite advocating wildly unpopular policies. Thanks to that reality, every one of his stunning legislative triumphs now has the previously unprecedented imprimatur of rank-and-file Democratic support.

In forging such bipartisan complicity with what were once exclusively right-wing Republican objectives, Obama has achieved even more than what he fantasized about when he famously celebrated a previous bizarro FDR. In an illustrative 2008 interview with a Nevada newspaper, Obama lauded Ronald Reagan for "chang[ing] the trajectory of America" and "put[ting] us on a fundamentally different path."

Reagan was a truly strong executive -- but the Gipper was nothing compared to our current president.
  #2  
Old 08-05-2011, 03:26 PM
I agree he isn't really a liberal but how would you define the political spectrum QUENTIN?


Obama is left-wing in American politics but in terms of European politics, he's center-right.
  #3  
Old 08-05-2011, 03:49 PM
If he was a true leftist Washington would have become a totally different realm of politics. For the most part it's business as usual.
  #4  
Old 08-26-2011, 11:22 PM
I'd say Obama is pretty much square in the middle of American politics. That's probably why both sides of the fence hate him.

If you believe the old adage that if both people walk away from a deal feeling like they lost then it was a perfect compromise then Obama is at least good at finding middle ground.

I guess I should add that the middle ground between crazy and stupid isn't exactly a good place to be.

Last edited by jolanar; 08-26-2011 at 11:29 PM..
  #5  
Old 06-03-2012, 05:30 PM
Reportedly Obama had a dinner with George Will and a bunch of other people from the conservative intelligentsia right before becoming President and he claimed to be a Burkean, which they laughed at him for.

I submit to you that if you look at his track record he is rather unambiguously a Burkean. Of course, this doesn't make him a conservative in the American sense, since, say, claiming you can tear down Iraq and build a new country from the ground up based on American values is pretty much the quintessential anti-Burkean position.

But, let's consider the way he is a Burkean: He clearly sees the individual as encumbered and prone to irrationality, and he definitely believes in slow incremental change based upon existing historical forces. For example, his health care bill -- which, regardless of how a new healthcare law tilted ideologically, it was no doubt economically necessary -- was based upon an incremental shift using a previous Republican plan. His military maneuvers have also been slow and steady, using the previous historical blue print as a means of slowly moving in a desired direction.

Well, whatever: we can go on and on with this but I suppose my point was made.
  #6  
Old 06-05-2012, 02:20 AM
Obama isn't weak (he just isn't a revolutionary)
  #7  
Old 06-29-2012, 04:38 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vong View Post
If he was a true leftist Washington would have become a totally different realm of politics. For the most part it's business as usual.
This.

What bothers me more than anything though is that, since Clinton, as a country we have slowly but surely completely redirected our frustrations with the problems in Washington from just being aimed at whatever current Pres. is in office to also include normal everyday American citizens like ourselves based sole on claiming the same party as said Pres. Guilty by association, basically. Normal people berating other normal people over association..with the President of the United States. Right.

It's disheartening to see us lose track of the real problems and people behind the problems in exchange for turning on each other, as if the other person willingly put that Pres. into office out of spite for America. That is ridiculous. Sure, we have always treated Republicans and Democrats like a competition but lately it more closely resembles a shootout! I would never have imagined that we would be so easily distracted into arguing over party affiliation and treating elections like a circus, while some of the most bogus and unconstitutional laws in history (i.e R.I.A.A) have passed. Especially when anyone with the ability to read and think for themselves has access to literally millions of different news sources online. The most common excuse I hear- that all news is bullshit therefore it's somehow ok to remain misinformed goes out the window because we simply arent restricted to mainstream media in the slightest anymore. If you can form your own opinions, you can find a news site you feel you can trust.

I don't want to ramble anymore but I feel that Obama isn't really the solution or problem. I hate to be that guy but at this point I do truly believe that the only difference between Dem. and Rep. once someone is elected, is the title. While the highest up continue to misinform, dissuade from making positive steps towards change, and threaten things like martial law and the collapse of America as we know it unless bills and regs. are signed (sometimes sight unseen..?!) to members of Congress, who for the most part actually DO want whats best for us.
Press anyone hard enough against the wall though and they will usually try to make a compromise to get out of that situation. In the same sense, once they are willing to make a compromise, the fear that they may get pushed harder next time makes them more susceptible to agreeing with whatever terms you have set. No one wants to lose their job. I'm not sure what's going on behind closed doors these days. I like to think I am MAYBE moderately paranoid, but not too far out or prone to jumping to the most extreme theories out there, but I admit I'm scared of what all we may not know yet.

To be more on topic though, at the end of the day I think Obama gets a really bum rep. For no reason other than the fact that he had the smartest campaign in decades in 2008 and alot of people felt akin to how a lot of us did the first time we saw Prometheus...like we were promised something more. Like Postmaster said though, I see a lot of really good things come out of that administration, regardless of the mistakes that might have been made or the mess they were left with. Want to blame someone for the state of things? I'm not quite sure any of us low level citizens will every be able to put a name or face to that answer for sure, though these days I sadly obviously don't believe the Pres. is in fact the end all, be all leader of America that we are told, and more a vessel for others' motives. IMO most signs point to The Federal Reserve for 99% of our problems, and DEFINITELY 100% of our economic downfall. I also blame the election process and how much of a spectacle it's become. As if it is designed to keep you focused on "All the Drama!"..."The Kardashians Go to The White House" if you will. Hell, I blame myself for not staying as well informed as i probably should have...

Maybe that's the problem? We are so busy blaming this guy or that guy, looking for the easy way out of every problem we face that we simply lost track of what made us American in the first place: Being grateful for the luxuries we ARE afforded and having the balls to say "NO" to truly out of line Government, "STOP" to bullshit laws and regs, and "MORE" help for the people who need it. Not stopping there though, but continuing forward and having the guts to say "We will not let you do this or that to this country without a very serious fight." It's exactly like Jeff Daniels' Will McAvoy said on the first episode of "The Newsroom" in reference to the differences between Americans 30+ years ago and Americans today- "...We didn't identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election...and we didn't scare so easy." Instead we start with those aforementioned things, begrudgingly accept the usual reply of "You idiots just don't understand, we're trying to save the country, which means you will have to suffer for a little while." and end at "Well they aren't listening, so all I can do is wait until the next election and try to get someone better in, in the mean time though- fuck this guy!" It all seems so off base.

Last edited by marilynMONROBOT; 06-29-2012 at 08:22 AM..
  #8  
Old 09-28-2012, 04:01 PM
Obama is trying to put America on the same level as the Third World.
  #9  
Old 09-28-2012, 11:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Colyer View Post
Obama is trying to put America on the same level as the Third World.
Mind you, I am on your side when I say this.

You are coming off like a right wing wacko, racist who just hates Obama. You come out with these blanket statements with nothing to back it up at all. One line statements like that will earn you that rep.

There is some truth to what you said, but you need to add a lot more to back it up. Why do you feel he is trying to put the USA on the same level as a third world country. Quite frankly, I doubt you will come up with anything decent to say. Just be aware how you are being understood here.
  #10  
Old 09-28-2012, 11:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Colyer View Post
Obama is trying to put America on the same level as the Third World.
i dont think that Obama is trying to make a third world country out of America

i have to say that times are tough in America with job losses and other things that are going on

It is hard to put a country back on top straight away it is a huge job

Just say you were in his shoes it would be a diffrent story

i can tell you America is still up the top just like Australia even though both countries are still fighting all diffeent kinds of things to keep money flowing in

Do you know when Bush was in he spent most of the money on fighting while Obama is stuck with having to fix alot of things up
  #11  
Old 09-29-2012, 10:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Colyer View Post
Obama is trying to put America on the same level as the Third World.
Not only are you not providing information to back up this claim of yours, you're using an outdated term that is geopolitically invalid and derogatory.

From the rules:
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoBlo View Post
Please DO NOT ASK PERMISSION if you don't think you're ready to participate in mature, constructive and above all, RESPECTFUL discussions about politicus conversatus.

Last edited by Vong; 09-29-2012 at 10:16 AM..
  #12  
Old 09-29-2012, 10:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vong View Post
Not only are you not providing information to back up this claim of yours, you're using an outdated term that is geopolitically invalid and derogatory.

From the rules:
LOL you make me laugh. Third world country is still a current and not a derogatory term.

Handicapped is not handicable. They are handicapped. Congo is still a third world country
  #13  
Old 09-29-2012, 02:09 PM
The "Third World" was used to describe the areas of the world that did not conform to communism or embrace capitalism (the First and Second World). Since the Cold War is over, and people rarely (if ever) talk about the world in terms of capitalism/communism, it is an outdated term. The term "developing countries" has replaced it to represent the status of non-economically sufficient countries or those who are a budding capitalist country.

And the term is derogatory, as if you were to label a Native American an "Indian". The terms are not politically correct and represent the ignorance of the time they were widely used.
  #14  
Old 09-29-2012, 02:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vong View Post
The "Third World" was used to describe the areas of the world that did not conform to communism or embrace capitalism (the First and Second World). Since the Cold War is over, and people rarely (if ever) talk about the world in terms of capitalism/communism, it is an outdated term. The term "developing countries" has replaced it to represent the status of non-economically sufficient countries or those who are a budding capitalist country.

And the term is derogatory, as if you were to label a Native American an "Indian". The terms are not politically correct and represent the ignorance of the time they were widely used.
I guess we agree to disagree. Like you said (sort of) it is an economic measure not a means of insulting anyone.
 

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