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Old 11-22-2013, 02:28 PM   #271
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Some will say Obama was obstructed. Other will say he was simply ineffective at winning support.

The fact is - he's paralyzed. At home and abroad.

In any group of decision makers - whether it is business, politics, or cub scouts on a camp out - a leader can build consensus and get things accomplished. I think Clinton's second term is usually held out as an example of this.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #272
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Originally Posted by anitram View Post
But "pop culture" doesn't drive policy nor does it have the ability to block bills or block judicial nominations.

True - but "pop culture" does heavily influence voters...especially the younger ones.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:38 PM   #273
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There was no internet in the 70's or 80's but the distain for Nixon and Reagan in the media, pop culture ant the opposition party was obvious. Maybe you need to listen to some old U2 bootlegs with the Ronald Raygun rants.

so you agree -- no president has faced such unhinged opposition before. certainly you agree that the internet has given a new ability for people to surround themselves with only information that is comforting to them leads to increased stratification and ossification of political position. it can happen on the left and the right, but it is self-evident that the right wing information architecture is much, much more sophisticated and entrenched (and profitable) than on the left, and has been since the 1990s. there are simply no left voices that have the power of Rush and Hannity and Fox News. one could counter that, 1) MSNBC is just as bad (which they might be in terms of content, but they have much lower viewership and the left has virtually no presence on talk radio), or, 2) the NYT the WaPo the LAT and NPR and CNN are all liberal, which is simply untrue. further, the effect of calling something that isn't explicitly Right to be by definition Left pulls all discourse to the Right, and when you have a genuine cockup like the ACA website, the actual neutral voices leap to prove they aren't lapdogs. again, everything is pulled to the Right.




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And show me a statement by a conservative major media person about Barack Obama that comes close to what Martin Bashir said about Sarah Palin last week on MSNBC.
i agree it was stupid and disgusting. i also agree that Martin Bashir is virtually unknown, has also apologized, and Sarah Palin is now a private figure making money off selling books after dropping out of the governorship after half a term.

if you'd like me to dig through statements on Obama from Rush and Michael Savage and Alex Jones and Orly Taitz, or any other number of Tea Party leaders, i can, but i don't have time for that.


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To any neutral observer, this has been (and will probably continue to be) a weak presidency.


come on. you're doing exactly what you're complaining about others doing.



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You are absolutely correct. Finding a neutral observer is getting very difficult these days.

a great place to start would be to avoid articles written by the Daily Mail, the Daily Caller, and the Washington Times.


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Why is this even being brought up as the equivalent of a Congress which has factually been shown to be obstructive?
it's because people who say they want facts don't really want facts. they want to feel good about themselves, either through validation or self-righteousness or the sense that my "team" is winning. look at INDY's earlier post about Obama's approval ratings.


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Has a political party ever openly stated that their sole goal was to block legislation in order to win the next election? I'm curious, because it seems unprecedented.
another fact.
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:40 PM   #274
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The fact is - he's paralyzed. At home and abroad.


show me facts that back this up. paralyzed at home and abroad? to what are you referring?

(as an aside, it seems we've made significant progress in Syria and with Iran and containing Bibi, all good things)
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Old 11-22-2013, 02:44 PM   #275
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True - but "pop culture" does heavily influence voters...especially the younger ones.

and business schools and churches and country music and the conservative media entertainment complex have a heavy influence as well.

many movies and TV shows are more conservative than you think. take the History Channel -- it plays to a conservative, male audience. the most popular show on cable TV is Duck Dynasty, also conservative.

popular culture has one purpose: to make money. you don't make money when you make your audience feel badly about themselves or their country or their history. so traditional narratives about upward social mobility, racial tolerance, and overall American "righteousness" are reinforced creating what is an overall comforting, nostalgic and therefore conservative view of the past and the present.

money is made for a handful of companies that are owned and operated by conservatives, who then use their influence to buy and sell politicians who make it easier and easier for them to make money.
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:36 PM   #276
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show me facts that back this up. paralyzed at home and abroad? to what are you referring?
You can use the facts that were posted above. The lack of getting things passed is what I consider a paralyzed president.

Also - Obama took quite a beating in the mainstream press for his handling of Syria. Perhaps it is inaccurate to say he's paralyzed abroad - because we really have no idea what he's trying to do.

When I think of leadership - I think of what I learned in Officer Candidate School. In order to lead - you must be able to provide Purpose, Direction, and Motivation. Would you say that Obama has provided these things to the average American citizen? Maybe (and I mean maybe) he provided the first two with ACA, but certainly not the third.
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Old 11-22-2013, 03:48 PM   #277
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You can use the facts that were posted above. The lack of getting things passed is what I consider a paralyzed president.

so it's Obama's fault the GOP is obstructionist? isn't that like blaming the victim? there are several branches of government, and the president isn't a king. i don't think you want to fall into the mindset where you start blaming things like the shutdown on Obama.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:23 PM   #278
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so it's Obama's fault the GOP is obstructionist? isn't that like blaming the victim? there are several branches of government, and the president isn't a king. i don't think you want to fall into the mindset where you start blaming things like the shutdown on Obama.
I don't think the GOP could pull off the obstructionist game if Obama was better at convincing the American People of his vision.

I agree - the president is not a king. However, when the people believe that their president is intelligent and competent, things get done. Obama does not come across as intelligent (in general yes - but not for such an important position) and has not demonstrated competence in any meaningful way (other than the OBL strike).

Also, another way to work with those obstructing your political path...compromise
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:42 PM   #279
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I don't think the GOP could pull off the obstructionist game if Obama was better at convincing the American People of his vision.








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I agree - the president is not a king. However, when the people believe that their president is intelligent and competent, things get done. Obama does not come across as intelligent (in general yes - but not for such an important position) and has not demonstrated competence in any meaningful way (other than the OBL strike).

i'm sorry but, objectively, you're simply wrong. if anything, the criticism against Obama is that he's too smart -- too professorial, too aloof, too much of an intellectual.

as for competency, aside from winning two elections, his accomplishments are numerous. just to name a few:

1. passed health care
2. passed wall street reform
3. bailed out the auto industry
4. repealed DADT
5. passed the stimulus
6. ended the war in Iraq
7. drawdown in Afghanistan
8. killed OBL
9. recapitalized banks
10. toppled Gaddafi
11. ended torture
12. improved our image abroad
13. tightened sanctions on Iran
14. new START treaty
15. expanded hate crimes protections


now you may not agree with the merits of these accomplishments, or think they are bad things, but we can't argue that these are accomplishments. in the way that i think the Bush tax cuts are bad, they are, nonetheless, an accomplishment.

does that make sense? you're really conflating your opinions on what happened with the fact that something has actually happened.

i'd argue that what's so bad about the rollout of the ACA is that it's the first time Obama's actual competency has been called into question. that's his chief challenge right now.



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Also, another way to work with those obstructing your political path...compromise.

taking just the ACA alone ... it is a compromise. it's a republican idea implemented by a republican governor. the public option was dropped. Obama's critics on the Left think he's far too accommodating of the GOP.
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Old 11-22-2013, 04:49 PM   #280
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Also, another way to work with those obstructing your political path...compromise
Irvine already responded to your first two points quite well, but just to follow up on this. I see plenty of claims that Obama doesn't compromise, or is "ramming things down our throats" or acting by executive fiat only, but that just doesn't quite mesh with reality. Prior to the government shutdown, Obama and the Democrats made a huge compromise by agreeing to the Republican proposed budget numbers, numbers that were significantly below both Democrat proposals and even the Paul Ryan budget of last year. The ACA, as Irvine pointed out, was originally a Republican idea. One that was implemented rather successfully and touted as a significant achievement by Mitt Romney (until he realized he'd be better politically served to pretend it never happened). And it certainly didn't pass into law in its original state without any changes due to compromise.
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Old 11-22-2013, 05:40 PM   #281
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Irvine already responded to your first two points quite well, but just to follow up on this. I see plenty of claims that Obama doesn't compromise, or is "ramming things down our throats" or acting by executive fiat only, but that just doesn't quite mesh with reality. Prior to the government shutdown, Obama and the Democrats made a huge compromise by agreeing to the Republican proposed budget numbers, numbers that were significantly below both Democrat proposals and even the Paul Ryan budget of last year. The ACA, as Irvine pointed out, was originally a Republican idea. One that was implemented rather successfully and touted as a significant achievement by Mitt Romney (until he realized he'd be better politically served to pretend it never happened). And it certainly didn't pass into law in its original state without any changes due to compromise.
Well - I guess we will have to leave it to the historians. If you guys think he's been awesome, there's little I can say to convince you otherwise.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:21 PM   #282
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Well - I guess we will have to leave it to the historians. If you guys think he's been awesome, there's little I can say to convince you otherwise.

That's pretty reductionist, don't you think? I really did spend some time today responding.

I will reiterate my main point.

I'm less concerned with whether or not Obama has brought about good policy than I am with the fact that for a segment of the population ANY policy he advocates will bring about the collapse of American civilization. It's the hysteria and moreover sheer anger that baffles me. You can say that it was bad with Bush 2, and I'd agree to an extent, but the difference is that ears were going in and people were getting killed and being tortured.

Obama is so calm and centrist and almost boring that I'm rather astonished at the vitriol. My big hope was that he would help us get beyond the Baby Boom cultural fault lines that were created during Vietnam. He hasn't succeeded. But that's not for lack of effort.

All that said, my life is better now than it was in 2008. I can get married, I have employer subsidized health care, I have a mortgage at a great rate in a city that gets better by the month, and my portfolio is doing well. While not all of those things are due to Obama, why would I not think he's pretty good?
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:23 PM   #283
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Well - I guess we will have to leave it to the historians. If you guys think he's been awesome, there's little I can say to convince you otherwise.
I don't understand this binary way of viewing things. Has anyone here said he's been just awesome? There's a whole range of choices in between awesome and ineffectual weakling. I think saying "he's not a disaster" or "he actually has demonstrated he's intelligent and has shown competency in several meaningful ways" is quite a bit different than "he's awesome and can do no wrong!"
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:26 PM   #284
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That's pretty reductionist, don't you think? I really did spend some time today responding.
True. I apologize. My free time for the afternoon is running out. I will try to respond as best I can later (unless someone beats me to it). Your posts above do deserve more of a response.
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Old 11-22-2013, 06:48 PM   #285
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Also, another way to work with those obstructing your political path...compromise
With people who have openly declared that they will make his healthcare act his Waterloo?

As for him being not intelligent enough, well that's a new one. I think that he's as intelligent as Bill Clinton, the difference is that he's an academic intelligent person whereas Bill Clinton was more intelligent in an EQ sense.
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