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 Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?, cover story from Newsweek Magazine
earthmother
Posted: Jan 19 2012, 05:15 PM
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Andrew Sullivan: How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics
Jan 16, 2012 12:00 AM EST

The right calls him a socialist, the left says he sucks up to Wall Street, and independents think he's a wimp. Andrew Sullivan on how the president may just end up outsmarting them all.

------------------

You hear it everywhere. Democrats are disappointed in the president. Independents have soured even more. Republicans have worked themselves up into an apocalyptic fervor. And, yes, this is not exactly unusual.
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A president in the last year of his first term will always get attacked mercilessly by his partisan opponents, and also, often, by the feistier members of his base. And when unemployment is at remarkably high levels, and with the national debt setting records, the criticism will—and should be—even fiercer. But this time, with this president, something different has happened. It’s not that I don’t understand the critiques of Barack Obama from the enraged right and the demoralized left. It’s that I don’t even recognize their description of Obama’s first term in any way. The attacks from both the right and the left on the man and his policies aren’t out of bounds. They’re simply—empirically—wrong.

A caveat: I write this as an unabashed supporter of Obama from early 2007 on. I did so not as a liberal, but as a conservative-minded independent appalled by the Bush administration’s record of war, debt, spending, and torture. I did not expect, or want, a messiah. I have one already, thank you very much. And there have been many times when I have disagreed with decisions Obama has made—to drop the Bowles-Simpson debt commission, to ignore the war crimes of the recent past, and to launch a war in Libya without Congress’s sanction, to cite three. But given the enormity of what he inherited, and given what he explicitly promised, it remains simply a fact that Obama has delivered in a way that the unhinged right and purist left have yet to understand or absorb. Their short-term outbursts have missed Obama’s long game—and why his reelection remains, in my view, as essential for this country’s future as his original election in 2008.

The right’s core case is that Obama has governed as a radical leftist attempting a “fundamental transformation” of the American way of life. Mitt Romney accuses the president of making the recession worse, of wanting to turn America into a European welfare state, of not believing in opportunity or free enterprise, of having no understanding of the real economy, and of apologizing for America and appeasing our enemies. According to Romney, Obama is a mortal threat to “the soul” of America and an empty suit who couldn’t run a business, let alone a country.

Leave aside the internal incoherence—how could such an incompetent be a threat to anyone? None of this is even faintly connected to reality—and the record proves it. On the economy, the facts are these. When Obama took office, the United States was losing around 750,000 jobs a month. The last quarter of 2008 saw an annualized drop in growth approaching 9 percent. This was the most serious downturn since the 1930s, there was a real chance of a systemic collapse of the entire global financial system, and unemployment and debt—lagging indicators—were about to soar even further. No fair person can blame Obama for the wreckage of the next 12 months, as the financial crisis cut a swath through employment. Economies take time to shift course.

But Obama did several things at once: he continued the bank bailout begun by George W. Bush, he initiated a bailout of the auto industry, and he worked to pass a huge stimulus package of $787 billion.

All these decisions deserve scrutiny. And in retrospect, they were far more successful than anyone has yet fully given Obama the credit for. The job collapse bottomed out at the beginning of 2010, as the stimulus took effect. Since then, the U.S. has added 2.4 million jobs. That’s not enough, but it’s far better than what Romney would have you believe, and more than the net jobs created under the entire Bush administration. In 2011 alone, 1.9 million private-sector jobs were created, while a net 280,000 government jobs were lost. Overall government employment has declined 2.6 percent over the past 3 years. (That compares with a drop of 2.2 percent during the early years of the Reagan administration.) To listen to current Republican rhetoric about Obama’s big-government socialist ways, you would imagine that the reverse was true. It isn’t.

The right claims the stimulus failed because it didn’t bring unemployment down to 8 percent in its first year, as predicted by Obama’s transition economic team. Instead, it peaked at 10.2 percent. But the 8 percent prediction was made before Obama took office and was wrong solely because it relied on statistics that guessed the economy was only shrinking by around 4 percent, not 9. Remove that statistical miscalculation (made by government and private-sector economists alike) and the stimulus did exactly what it was supposed to do. It put a bottom under the free fall. It is not an exaggeration to say it prevented a spiral downward that could have led to the Second Great Depression.

You’d think, listening to the Republican debates, that Obama has raised taxes. Again, this is not true. Not only did he agree not to sunset the Bush tax cuts for his entire first term, he has aggressively lowered taxes on most Americans. A third of the stimulus was tax cuts, affecting 95 percent of taxpayers; he has cut the payroll tax, and recently had to fight to keep it cut against Republican opposition. His spending record is also far better than his predecessor’s. Under Bush, new policies on taxes and spending cost the taxpayer a total of $5.07 trillion. Under Obama’s budgets both past and projected, he will have added $1.4 trillion in two terms. Under Bush and the GOP, nondefense discretionary spending grew by twice as much as under Obama. Again: imagine Bush had been a Democrat and Obama a Republican. You could easily make the case that Obama has been far more fiscally conservative than his predecessor—except, of course, that Obama has had to govern under the worst recession since the 1930s, and Bush, after the 2001 downturn, governed in a period of moderate growth. It takes work to increase the debt in times of growth, as Bush did. It takes much more work to constrain the debt in the deep recession Bush bequeathed Obama.

The great conservative bugaboo, Obamacare, is also far more moderate than its critics have claimed. The Congressional Budget Office has projected it will reduce the deficit, not increase it dramatically, as Bush’s unfunded Medicare Prescription Drug benefit did. It is based on the individual mandate, an idea pioneered by the archconservative Heritage Foundation, Newt Gingrich, and, of course, Mitt Romney, in the past. It does not have a public option; it gives a huge new client base to the drug and insurance companies; its health-insurance exchanges were also pioneered by the right. It’s to the right of the Clintons’ monstrosity in 1993, and remarkably similar to Nixon’s 1974 proposal. Its passage did not preempt recovery efforts; it followed them. It needs improvement in many ways, but the administration is open to further reform and has agreed to allow states to experiment in different ways to achieve the same result. It is not, as Romney insists, a one-model, top-down prescription. Like Obama’s Race to the Top education initiative, it sets standards, grants incentives, and then allows individual states to experiment. Embedded in it are also a slew of cost-reduction pilot schemes to slow health-care spending. Yes, it crosses the Rubicon of universal access to private health care. But since federal law mandates that hospitals accept all emergency-room cases requiring treatment anyway, we already obey that socialist principle—but in the most inefficient way possible. Making 44 million current free-riders pay into the system is not fiscally reckless; it is fiscally prudent. It is, dare I say it, conservative.

On foreign policy, the right-wing critiques have been the most unhinged. Romney accuses the president of apologizing for America, and others all but accuse him of treason and appeasement. Instead, Obama reversed Bush’s policy of ignoring Osama bin Laden, immediately setting a course that eventually led to his capture and death. And when the moment for decision came, the president overruled both his secretary of state and vice president in ordering the riskiest—but most ambitious—plan on the table. He even personally ordered the extra helicopters that saved the mission. It was a triumph, not only in killing America’s primary global enemy, but in getting a massive trove of intelligence to undermine al Qaeda even further. If George Bush had taken out bin Laden, wiped out al Qaeda’s leadership, and gathered a treasure trove of real intelligence by a daring raid, he’d be on Mount Rushmore by now. But where Bush talked tough and acted counterproductively, Obama has simply, quietly, relentlessly decimated our real enemies, while winning the broader propaganda war. Since he took office, al Qaeda’s popularity in the Muslim world has plummeted.

Obama’s foreign policy, like Dwight Eisenhower’s or George H.W. Bush’s, eschews short-term political hits for long-term strategic advantage. It is forged by someone interested in advancing American interests—not asserting an ideology and enforcing it regardless of the consequences by force of arms. By hanging back a little, by “leading from behind” in Libya and elsewhere, Obama has made other countries actively seek America’s help and reappreciate our role. As an antidote to the bad feelings of the Iraq War, it has worked close to perfectly.

But the right isn’t alone in getting Obama wrong. While the left is less unhinged in its critique, it is just as likely to miss the screen for the pixels. From the start, liberals projected onto Obama absurd notions of what a president can actually do in a polarized country, where anything requires 60 Senate votes even to stand a chance of making it into law. They have described him as a hapless tool of Wall Street, a continuation of Bush in civil liberties, a cloistered elitist unable to grasp the populist moment that is his historic opportunity. They rail against his attempts to reach a Grand Bargain on entitlement reform. They decry his too-small stimulus, his too-weak financial reform, and his too-cautious approach to gay civil rights. They despair that he reacts to rabid Republican assaults with lofty appeals to unity and compromise.

They miss, it seems to me, two vital things. The first is the simple scale of what has been accomplished on issues liberals say they care about. A depression was averted. The bail-out of the auto industry was—amazingly—successful. Even the bank bailouts have been repaid to a great extent by a recovering banking sector. The Iraq War—the issue that made Obama the nominee—has been ended on time and, vitally, with no troops left behind. Defense is being cut steadily, even as Obama has moved his own party away from a Pelosi-style reflexive defense of all federal entitlements. Under Obama, support for marriage equality and marijuana legalization has crested to record levels. Under Obama, a crucial state, New York, made marriage equality for gays an irreversible fact of American life. Gays now openly serve in the military, and the Defense of Marriage Act is dying in the courts, undefended by the Obama Justice Department. Vast government money has been poured into noncarbon energy investments, via the stimulus. Fuel-emission standards have been drastically increased. Torture was ended. Two moderately liberal women replaced men on the Supreme Court. Oh, yes, and the liberal holy grail that eluded Johnson and Carter and Clinton, nearly universal health care, has been set into law. Politifact recently noted that of 508 specific promises, a third had been fulfilled and only two have not had some action taken on them. To have done all this while simultaneously battling an economic hurricane makes Obama about as honest a follow-through artist as anyone can expect from a politician.

What liberals have never understood about Obama is that he practices a show-don’t-tell, long-game form of domestic politics. What matters to him is what he can get done, not what he can immediately take credit for. And so I railed against him for the better part of two years for dragging his feet on gay issues. But what he was doing was getting his Republican defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to move before he did. The man who made the case for repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was, in the end, Adm. Mike Mullen. This took time—as did his painstaking change in the rule barring HIV-positive immigrants and tourists—but the slow and deliberate and unprovocative manner in which it was accomplished made the changes more durable. Not for the first time, I realized that to understand Obama, you have to take the long view. Because he does.

Or take the issue of the banks. Liberals have derided him as a captive of Wall Street, of being railroaded by Larry Summers and Tim Geithner into a too-passive response to the recklessness of the major U.S. banks. But it’s worth recalling that at the start of 2009, any responsible president’s priority would have been stabilization of the financial system, not the exacting of revenge. Obama was not elected, despite liberal fantasies, to be a left-wing crusader. He was elected as a pragmatic, unifying reformist who would be more responsible than Bush.

And what have we seen? A recurring pattern. To use the terms Obama first employed in his inaugural address: the president begins by extending a hand to his opponents; when they respond by raising a fist, he demonstrates that they are the source of the problem; then, finally, he moves to his preferred position of moderate liberalism and fights for it without being effectively tarred as an ideologue or a divider. This kind of strategy takes time. And it means there are long stretches when Obama seems incapable of defending himself, or willing to let others to define him, or simply weak. I remember those stretches during the campaign against Hillary Clinton. I also remember whose strategy won out in the end.

This is where the left is truly deluded. By misunderstanding Obama’s strategy and temperament and persistence, by grandstanding on one issue after another, by projecting unrealistic fantasies onto a candidate who never pledged a liberal revolution, they have failed to notice that from the very beginning, Obama was playing a long game. He did this with his own party over health-care reform. He has done it with the Republicans over the debt. He has done it with the Israeli government over stopping the settlements on the West Bank—and with the Iranian regime, by not playing into their hands during the Green Revolution, even as they gunned innocents down in the streets. Nothing in his first term—including the complicated multiyear rollout of universal health care—can be understood if you do not realize that Obama was always planning for eight years, not four. And if he is reelected, he will have won a battle more important than 2008: for it will be a mandate for an eight-year shift away from the excesses of inequality, overreach abroad, and reckless deficit spending of the last three decades. It will recapitalize him to entrench what he has done already and make it irreversible.

Yes, Obama has waged a war based on a reading of executive power that many civil libertarians, including myself, oppose. And he has signed into law the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial (even as he pledged never to invoke this tyrannical power himself). But he has done the most important thing of all: excising the cancer of torture from military detention and military justice. If he is not reelected, that cancer may well return. Indeed, many on the right appear eager for it to return.

Sure, Obama cannot regain the extraordinary promise of 2008. We’ve already elected the nation’s first black president and replaced a tongue-tied dauphin with a man of peerless eloquence. And he has certainly failed to end Washington’s brutal ideological polarization, as he pledged to do. But most Americans in polls rightly see him as less culpable for this impasse than the GOP. Obama has steadfastly refrained from waging the culture war, while the right has accused him of a “war against religion.” He has offered to cut entitlements (and has already cut Medicare), while the Republicans have refused to raise a single dollar of net revenue from anyone. Even the most austerity-driven government in Europe, the British Tories, are to the left of that. And it is this Republican intransigence—from the 2009 declaration by Rush Limbaugh that he wants Obama “to fail” to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s admission that his primary objective is denying Obama a second term—that has been truly responsible for the deadlock. And the only way out of that deadlock is an electoral rout of the GOP, since the language of victory and defeat seems to be the only thing it understands.

If I sound biased, that’s because I am. Biased toward the actual record, not the spin; biased toward a president who has conducted himself with grace and calm under incredible pressure, who has had to manage crises not seen since the Second World War and the Depression, and who as yet has not had a single significant scandal to his name. “To see what is in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle,” George Orwell once wrote. What I see in front of my nose is a president whose character, record, and promise remain as grotesquely underappreciated now as they were absurdly hyped in 2008. And I feel confident that sooner rather than later, the American people will come to see his first term from the same calm, sane perspective. And decide to finish what they started.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012...is-critics.html
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ReElectAlGore2016
Posted: Jan 19 2012, 07:55 PM
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as Sullivan states, the only way out of this mess is to defeat completely the republicantealibertarianparty fully, and like the Dracula story, never let it rise again.
(which is what Obama methodically, has done.

As I have said a long time now, Obama is ropin'the dopes quite well.

(now is it possible, actually possible that Mitt will be tossed aside, and after all is done, Newt will be the Goldwater from 1964?
Could we be so lucky?
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ALGOREismylife
Posted: Jan 20 2012, 01:10 PM
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QUOTE
Why Are Obama's Critics So Dumb?


Well, most of them are republicans, so what do you expect?
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earthmother
Posted: Jan 20 2012, 02:28 PM
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Actually, that's the problem, that many of them are Dems/liberals/progressives/whatever, from the left. Criticisms from the right are to be expected, but when the left turns on its own, as it did with Gore and now Obama, it's not a pretty sight, and usually not based in legitimate criticisms.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 20 2012, 02:54 PM
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I wouldn't characterize Obama's critics from the left as "dumb" and many of the complaints from the left have been because they felt Obama turned on them, not the other way around. Plus, can't democrats be critical of their own side? I think it'd be hypocritical to support some things under Obama while we adamantly opposed them under Bush. And if Obama had a long game in mind, he should have let us in on it, as we can't read minds. We can only go by his actions and decisions he's made.

And of course, he has done good things during his Presidency, but I also think we've had legitimate criticisms too - such as this NDAA - and have a right to express disappointment when he goes against things he DID pledge to during the campaign.

I just wish people would try to understand that there are valid complaints out there rather than characterize his critics as dumb. :unsure:
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ReElectAlGore2016
Posted: Jan 20 2012, 09:49 PM
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QUOTE (earthmother @ Jan 20 2012, 02:28 PM)
Actually, that's the problem, that many of them are Dems/liberals/progressives/whatever, from the left. Criticisms from the right are to be expected, but when the left turns on its own, as it did with Gore and now Obama, it's not a pretty sight, and usually not based in legitimate criticisms.

I agree 100%

any vote against our President is a vote for Mitt or Newt, or a future soundbyte for them to use, which is directly used against our President
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earthmother
Posted: Jan 20 2012, 10:21 PM
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i agree, TfG, that it probably wasn't the most, um, what . . . diplomatic (?) way to phrase the question. I think Sullivan is just making the point that people are criticizing him so strongly when he's actually done a very good job. I don't think anyone's saying that there aren't legitimate complaints or that they don't have a right to criticize him/be unhappy with him. It's just that, as with Gore, people on the right and left are trashing him and criticizing him unfairly. As James and Wayne have posted here, he has actually accomplished quite a lot since being in office, even with a Congress that is largely determined to make him fail. And just because people are unhappy with some things he's done, is that a reason to completely reject him and say he's been a horrible president? Has there ever been a president with whom you've agreed on every thing they did? Has there ever been a president who didn't do some things you thought were wrong? Has there ever been a president who hasn't let you down somewhere along the line? Obviously not. And yet we don't tear them to pieces the way many on the left have shredded Obama. As I said before, it's similar to what they did with Gore. In the end it really didn't matter what the guy did, he was a joke (but we all know otherwise). They're doing the same thing with Obama.
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 02:34 AM
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I think Cenk says it a lot better than I can, as indicated in his rebuttal to Sullivan's piece, as well as additional valid arguments of what's wrong in our government - not just Obama, but the way our government has been operating as a whole for a while now. I don't know why I keep being incredulous how others don't see it. As I've said before, I think it's because people are too busy looking thru partisan lenses to see the big picture as a whole. Sure, Obama is better than all the republican crackpots running for President, but since both sides cater to their corporate owners, he is basically just the lesser of the two evils. What happened to that change he promised as an "Washington outsider?" As President, he should expect criticism not only from the right, but the left as well. Of course, no President is perfect, but Obama is not the first President I've criticized.

I think each of these videos by Cenk is spot on and gives an in depth explanation of Obama's critics from the left.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10177269

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ReElectAlGore2016
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 06:42 AM
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QUOTE (Texan for Gore @ Jan 21 2012, 02:34 AM)
I think Cenk says it a lot better than I can, as indicated in his rebuttal to Sullivan's piece, as well as additional valid arguments of what's wrong in our government - not just Obama, but the way our government has been operating as a whole for a while now. I don't know why I keep being incredulous how others don't see it. As I've said before, I think it's because people are too busy looking thru partisan lenses to see the big picture as a whole. Sure, Obama is better than all the republican crackpots running for President, but since both sides cater to their corporate owners, he is basically just the lesser of the two evils. What happened to that change he promised as an "Washington outsider?" As President, he should expect criticism not only from the right, but the left as well. Of course, no President is perfect, but Obama is not the first President I've criticized.

I think each of these videos by Cenk is spot on and gives an in depth explanation of Obama's critics from the left.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10177269

You are 100% WRONG.
And I get upset at your throwing "PARTISIAN" out there.

NOONE who gives any political opinion is NOT partisian
I am a democrat.
(by the way, I saw a great line about what a phony Ron Paul is the other day,
and how he giggles,(is that from too much tokin the stuff his supporters love?) while accepting contributions from every tom,dick and john birch society member that ever lived).

You texanforgore are NOT non-partisian. YOU are partisian in your anti-Obama posts (even shaded with your denials of being anti-Obama, even though 9 out of 10 times you renege on that are against Obama, yet think you are holier than thou, when YOU are not.

If you actually cared about the so called soundbytes you claim, then you would know that 99% of Americans get ZERO from any partisians who are not for Obama.

Why, for instance, in any of your posts ever, do you never seem to equate the poor never get anything from a republican a tea party or a libertarian.
(same with minorities?)

I am not a Sullivan fan, nor am I a Cenk fan. Both earn their livings from their positions same as Pat Buchanan and same Fox and Keith Oberman and all the others.

I couldn't stand Hutchin's and his views, but occassionally I could, like you, parse a line and claim he is saying this or that. (or put Tony Blankley who was a much nicer person than Hutch ever was). Doesn't mean I cared what either of the two ever said, except as entertainment value.


Any vote or comment against Obama is giving the enemy something to use in the war for the soul of America.
Obama is the good guy, the others the bad guy
It is that simple

giving fodder to the enemy(and YES :mad: :mad: :mad: ) they are the enemy,
makes it easier for them.

Matter of fact, as Al Gore is on Obama's side, and Al Gore more than any other person was(except maybe for John Kerry) swiftboated wrongly should know is
one should silently give advice, not publicly add to the other side, because people will parse every single word said to the detrement.

It is not partisian to be on the one side that will further America's future instead of return to the wild wild west 1850s.

BTW- great NY Times article the other day about Gay Marriage.
And how as money is always going to be there, big donors now realize that to get things that are great, like 100% of every state allowing gay marriage, they will financially support any and all who vote YES on it nationwide, even if that person is a republican.
Money can be utilized well.
(and it appears NJ will be next and that FatsoChristie no longer has the votes to veto if Gay marriage comes to a vote, because rumors have it the right thing will be done.

(sorry James, I consider Andrew Cuomo's getting it done to be a wonderful thing, regardless if Andrew is not perfect, it is an instance where he used alot of his capital to do so and did not have to(especially with the past revulsion his father used against Ed Koch years ago, shameful that the more liberal Mario stooped to such trash against the middle of the road Koch)(whom btw is now 100% for Obama again after a private conversation on Israel with our President).

As a Gore fan should know, Bush and Gore weren't the same,
and there are good corporation CEO's and bad ones. they are not all the same
And there is good money and bad money
Warren Buffett is not Mitt Romney
George Soros is not the Koch brothers or the Walton family from Walmart.
let's take the conspiracy theorists versions out of things and deal in reality.

and someday, America needs to have the conversation about the fact that Europe is the answer for America, and capitalism is not.
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ReElectAlGore2016
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 06:53 AM
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btw texan4gore
your own state of Texas yesterday
SCOTUS overruled the state on redistricting

agian, proof that Obama and the republicanteapartylibertarians are NOT one and the same

Roberts/Alito/Scalia/Thomas are NOT SCOTUS that Obama or Gore or Jimmy Carter or Ted Kennedy or any sane person would have picked

and more and more, Alito is the single worst person on the court, picked of course by Bush. (Harriet Miers would have been far, far better, and Bush, who was not stupid as he appeared, most obviously named Miers knowing she would never pass, to alleviate him of having to name a woman, and to stealthly get Alito through, knowing that a fight will be made over only one nominee, that it is next to impossible to stop a second.)

so repeat after me
SCOTUS
SCOTUS
SCOTUS

nothing else is remotely close to important but the future of SCOTUS

(without the bad Scotus, Al Gore would have already finished his two terms as the 43rd. President).
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 12:55 PM
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QUOTE (ReElectAlGore2016 @ Jan 21 2012, 05:42 AM)
QUOTE (Texan for Gore @ Jan 21 2012, 02:34 AM)
I think Cenk says it a lot better than I can, as indicated in his rebuttal to Sullivan's piece, as well as additional valid arguments of what's wrong in our government - not just Obama, but the way our government has been operating as a whole for a while now.  I don't know why I keep being incredulous how others don't see it.  As I've said before, I think it's because people are too busy looking thru partisan lenses to see the big picture as a whole.  Sure, Obama is better than all the republican crackpots running for President, but since both sides cater to their corporate owners, he is basically just the lesser of the two evils.  What happened to that change he promised as an "Washington outsider?"  As President, he should expect criticism not only from the right, but the left as well.  Of course, no President is perfect, but Obama is not the first President I've criticized.

I think each of these videos by Cenk is spot on and gives an in depth explanation of Obama's critics from the left.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10177269

You are 100% WRONG.
And I get upset at your throwing "PARTISIAN" out there.

NOONE who gives any political opinion is NOT partisian
I am a democrat.
(by the way, I saw a great line about what a phony Ron Paul is the other day,
and how he giggles,(is that from too much tokin the stuff his supporters love?) while accepting contributions from every tom,dick and john birch society member that ever lived).

You texanforgore are NOT non-partisian. YOU are partisian in your anti-Obama posts (even shaded with your denials of being anti-Obama, even though 9 out of 10 times you renege on that are against Obama, yet think you are holier than thou, when YOU are not.

If you actually cared about the so called soundbytes you claim, then you would know that 99% of Americans get ZERO from any partisians who are not for Obama.

Why, for instance, in any of your posts ever, do you never seem to equate the poor never get anything from a republican a tea party or a libertarian.
(same with minorities?)

I am not a Sullivan fan, nor am I a Cenk fan. Both earn their livings from their positions same as Pat Buchanan and same Fox and Keith Oberman and all the others.

I couldn't stand Hutchin's and his views, but occassionally I could, like you, parse a line and claim he is saying this or that. (or put Tony Blankley who was a much nicer person than Hutch ever was). Doesn't mean I cared what either of the two ever said, except as entertainment value.


Any vote or comment against Obama is giving the enemy something to use in the war for the soul of America.
Obama is the good guy, the others the bad guy
It is that simple

giving fodder to the enemy(and YES :mad: :mad: :mad: ) they are the enemy,
makes it easier for them.

Matter of fact, as Al Gore is on Obama's side, and Al Gore more than any other person was(except maybe for John Kerry) swiftboated wrongly should know is
one should silently give advice, not publicly add to the other side, because people will parse every single word said to the detrement.

It is not partisian to be on the one side that will further America's future instead of return to the wild wild west 1850s.

BTW- great NY Times article the other day about Gay Marriage.
And how as money is always going to be there, big donors now realize that to get things that are great, like 100% of every state allowing gay marriage, they will financially support any and all who vote YES on it nationwide, even if that person is a republican.
Money can be utilized well.
(and it appears NJ will be next and that FatsoChristie no longer has the votes to veto if Gay marriage comes to a vote, because rumors have it the right thing will be done.

(sorry James, I consider Andrew Cuomo's getting it done to be a wonderful thing, regardless if Andrew is not perfect, it is an instance where he used alot of his capital to do so and did not have to(especially with the past revulsion his father used against Ed Koch years ago, shameful that the more liberal Mario stooped to such trash against the middle of the road Koch)(whom btw is now 100% for Obama again after a private conversation on Israel with our President).

As a Gore fan should know, Bush and Gore weren't the same,
and there are good corporation CEO's and bad ones. they are not all the same
And there is good money and bad money
Warren Buffett is not Mitt Romney
George Soros is not the Koch brothers or the Walton family from Walmart.
let's take the conspiracy theorists versions out of things and deal in reality.

and someday, America needs to have the conversation about the fact that Europe is the answer for America, and capitalism is not.

You may think I'm wrong, Clay. That's YOUR opinion. But I don't think I am.

And you can get upset all you want. I'm pretty pissed too. So we're even. Sure, anybody who comments on politics are going to be somewhat partisan to a degree, but there's a distinction between those who look at things objectively, despite which side they are on or lean to, and those that are too blinded by their partisanship to be objective. Who do you think is more credible? Those that will acknowledge things they disagree with or those who ignore wrongdoing just to support their side?

You, for instance, are an enabler for the status quo. You will go along with anything and everything your side is doing as long as it is your side doing it. Kind of a "do as I say, not as I do" philosophy. That does nothing to change the status quo so I must vehemently disagree.

And the mistake you make in all this is that you assume that those on the left criticizing Obama, are trying to get rid of him, or give a victory to the right. That couldn't be further from the truth. The ideal goal here is to wake Obama and all dems for the status quo up and get their attention - try to get them to move back to the left and represent what dems stand for. If they can't do that, then it's time to look for somebody who can. I think the OWS is trying to do this too - though they are supposed to be non-partisan too. Btw, did you hear one of the occupiers question Romney the other day about how can he represent the 99% when he is part of the 1%? Boy, didn't they put him in the hot seat, and his response was very telling as it was so out of touch with the American people. One would have to be a fool to vote for Romney or one of these other nutcase republicans. I didn't even trust Huntsman and he was supposed to be one of the sane ones. What a hypocrite he was to criticize Romney in one breath and turn around and give him a thumbs up after he suspended his own campaign. Are there any credible candidates to the right these days??? At least Obama is sane in that respect. Republicans are too busy looking down their noses and saying what others should and shouldn't do, yet they don't even follow their own supposed beliefs. I may not be crazy about abortion, but I certainly don't support the idea of personhood or banning of all contraceptives. :!:

The reason I've always considered myself a moderate is because I believe there should be a balance to everything. Take abortion, for example. Like I said, I'm not crazy about it. I'd rather people prevent the pregnancy in the beginning, rather than abort it after the fact. But, as I've said before, that is other people's business what they choose to do. I think a fair compromise is not having late term abortions, after a fetus has developed.

Another example is the debt deal. It would have been fair had they both increased taxes for the rich and cut a little from social programs, but republicans didn't want to increase taxes not one penny. I just wanted to see Obama stand firm on some of those issues and be a better bargainer. If a person want $200k for their house, they don't start at $150k, they start at $250k and bargain down. That's the way to get more of what you want.

Now, you may think I spend too much time criticizing Obama than republicans, but the truth is, I already knew how republicans were, so I'm not shocked by their behavior. But, I expected so much more from Obama, hence the criticism. It's like going through the 8 steps of the grief process. One goes from shock to disappointment to anger and other emotions when one is disillusioned. My biggest gripe is how a majority of our politicians are bought by the big banks and other special interests. It affects the outcome of all decisions from the healthcare bill to green energy to the wars, Wall Street corruption and appointing former lobbyists or those with corporate ties to important positions in the White House, and worst of all this freakin' defense bill that is an abomination to our liberties. :mad: It makes me mad just thinking about it. There sure as hell wasn't any bickering between the two parties when they decided to vote for a bill that infringes on our rights. And even detaining suspected terrorists without charging them. How can they detain them if they have no proof of anything?

And like Cenk said, they go after all the little crime while letting big bank corruption run rampant. So how do you think that makes people on probation feel, when they are being punished for misdeameanor crimes such as hot checks, dwi, pom, stuff like that, only to see big crimes get a free pass? Obama should have also pursued charging Bush and Cheney with war crimes. What does that say to the rest of the world that he didn't? He said he wanted to move forward, not backwards. Well, how can one move forward when crimes go unpunished by our elected officials?

And you may think I'm helping the other side by complaining but I don't. I think Obama and all the status quo representatives are doing that on their own but people are starting to walk up, thanks partly to OWS.

I do think Obama is in better shape the the right though. I mean, the whole republican field has been a joke. I couldn't even bear listening to all those debate other than bits and pieces. It just gets sickening after a while.

And while yes, Gore is on Obama's side, he is allowing for objective views on his network, which I respect and admire. If he had somebody on there who was just trying to feed garbage to the base, people would see right through it. I think Cenk and others are just trying to get Obama to move more to the left. It would actually benefit him to do so.

But you think what you want Clay. I may as well pull my hair out than try to reason with you. (Posted Image)

And yes, I'm aware of what happened in Texas regarding the redistricting fight. That comes as no shock after the last redistricting efforts, led by Tom Delay, when the killer Ds, led by our great Jim Dunnam at the time, fled to avoid a vote on it, but were ultimately forced to do so. Republicans tried their best to knock Chet Edwards out of Bush's territory but look at how long it took. It wasn't until after Edwards endorsed Obama and anger over the healthcare bill took hold that Edwards lost his seat here, as well as Dunnam. We lost a lot of dems this last time around. Had Obama fought for the public option and listened to the people over the insurance companies, as well as not extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, I think dems would have been in a lot better shape. That's why we need to let Obama know when we disagree on something. Had he stood up for those things, I think many would have had his back. Just my opinion.
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JamesAquila
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 01:16 PM
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QUOTE (earthmother @ Jan 20 2012, 02:28 PM)
Actually, that's the problem, that many of them are Dems/liberals/progressives/whatever, from the left. Criticisms from the right are to be expected, but when the left turns on its own, as it did with Gore and now Obama, it's not a pretty sight, and usually not based in legitimate criticisms.

Well said EM! :clap:
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JamesAquila
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 01:44 PM
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QUOTE (earthmother @ Jan 20 2012, 10:21 PM)
i agree, TfG, that it probably wasn't the most, um, what . . . diplomatic (?) way to phrase the question.  I think Sullivan is just making the point that people are criticizing him so strongly when he's actually done a very good job.  I don't think anyone's saying that there aren't legitimate complaints or that they don't have a right to criticize him/be unhappy with him.  It's just that, as with Gore, people on the right and left are trashing him and criticizing him unfairly.  As James and Wayne have posted here, he has actually accomplished quite a lot since being in office, even with a Congress that is largely determined to make him fail.  And just because people are unhappy with some things he's done, is that a reason to completely reject him and say he's been a horrible president?  Has there ever been a president with whom you've agreed on every thing they did?  Has there ever been a president who didn't do some things you thought were wrong?  Has there ever been a president who hasn't let you down somewhere along the line?  Obviously not.  And yet we don't tear them to pieces the way many on the left have shredded Obama.  As I said before, it's similar to what they did with Gore.  In the end it really didn't matter what the guy did, he was a joke (but we all know otherwise).  They're doing the same thing with Obama.

Again very well said EM! No President is perfect. There are several issues that I disagreed with Clinton and Gore about and there are several that I disagree with President Obama. But I have never been one or two issue voter. So far I think President Obama has done a good job for the most part. He campaigned as a moderate Democrat and has governed as one, so I can't complain.

I think the problem on the is twofold. First, many saw him as the anti-Hillary and projected their own views on to him without really listening to his position on many issues.

Second, there is an inmaturity by many on the left. They want everything 100% their way and they want it now. They don't have an understanding of how government works and constantly make the perfect the enemy of the good.

The result of the two is very unfair criticisms of the President for not delievering on something that he never promised in the first place such as single payer healthcare. Blaming the President for not closing GitMo when it was Congress, including many Democrats, who blocked him for doing so. Another example is 'Don't ask, don't tell'. The President promised to repeal it in his first term. However, the fact that it took two years wasn't good enough for some. They wanted it done on his second day falsely making the claim that he could do it by executive order despite the fact that it had to be repealed by Congress.

In some cases, I think there are some on the left who look for reasons to bash the President. They want things totally their way and don't accept that is not how this country works.

I can't help but go back to a post I made almost three years ago about this and sadly despite all the President's accomplishments, it is still true today.
http://z8.invisionfree.com/Al_Gore_Support...topic=11172&hl=
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ReElectAlGore2016
Posted: Jan 21 2012, 03:51 PM
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I would say, without a hesitant doubt, that President Obama is now one of the five best and most proactive Presidents out of the 44(actually 43 different ones).

Very few are greater.

And oddly enough, on the non-domestic issues, I would venture to say on
international affairs and all, Obama is #1 or #2 most positive president.
And only liars on the far right can say the world is a worse more dangerous place now than it was in 2003.

You have to be president in the first place to actually attempt or to do anything.
And to be president there are things that have to be done to remain president.
One of those things is to not let the opposition side (anyone against Obama partisians) have an opening to claim elsewise.

As long as there are republican representatives in the house like Peter King, long Island NY) who say 911 911 911 911 911 911 911 for anything, well Peter King says it all.

And the republicans and pseudoDino's like Joe Lieberman have been in charge of the house/senate meaning Obama never had the mythical 60.

So Congratulations Barack Obama on a job well done, and on your on coming
major victory in November.
He roped the dopes again like Ali did to Foreman,
and as smooth as Al Green's singing (see the vid to the Apollo Theatre fundraiser where he sang) :clap: :clap: :clap:


(btw James, if that thread wasn't locked due to Chad's fighting, I would love to edit my post(#2) out as I no longer think that way about #42. It took the idiot
republicantealibertarians to make me realize how wrong I was about BC,
and a village of Obama haters and Hillary herself, to realize how great Hillary is.)

This post has been edited by ReElectAlGore2016 on Jan 21 2012, 03:54 PM
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Texan for Gore
Posted: Jan 25 2012, 12:27 AM
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EM, I have a confession to make. When you first started this thread, I thought you were the one asking the question "Why are Obama's Critics so Dumb?" because I thought the original title of the article was "How Obama's Long Game will Outsmart his Critics?" James had already posted the article under that title. Yeah, he beat you to the punch again. :P

Anyway, while I was waiting in the dentist's office this afternoon, there was the latest Newsweek magazine staring me in the face (Damn, can't even get away from politics in the dentist's office. :dripple: ) with the title "Why are Obama's Critics so Dumb?" plastered on the outside, so I realized that you were just taking the title from the outside of the magazine. It doesn't use that as the title inside the mag though.

Anyway, I just thought that was funny, stumbling across that article (ONCE AGAIN) without even trying and making that realization. Of course, after your last post, it did sound like it came from Sullivan. Anyway, I had to pick up the magazine and flip to the article. Whew! I was saved by the bell (from having to read the whole thing over) as I was called in for my cleaning. :laugh:
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