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Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:30 PM

A thread in which I defend President Obama, the man

I'm pretty darned disappointed in President Obama at times, particularly WRT matters of war. It's kind of a personal thing for me and it's darned close to being a deal breaker for me. But the president is taking a lot of flak for possibly settling with the banksters for the mortgage industry collapse. There is a lot of fault-finding with this decision and to be perfectly honest I'm not a fan either but -- and maybe this is just the NyQuil talking -- I'm going to defend the president's actions. Not for practicality but for his personal character.

No, really; totally true story. I will defend Obama here, on DU, a progressive web forum.

Supposedly the bailouts were meant to recapitalize under-capitalized institutions. If their assets were too low that would prompt further capital loss, i.e. a run on the banks. That could lead to depositors recovering only pennies on the dollar, if anything at all. That would also deepen the lack of capital. Business loans, consumer credit, etc would dry-up and the economy would grind to a halt. It sounds reasonable -- on paper -- but practice is another matter altogether as we have seen. I disapprove of the bailouts but I understand the stated intent.

If that was the intent, and that is the intent stated by Obama, it would be naive to think he will see these institutions DE-capitalized with lawsuits and punitive damages. Obama isn't going to give with one-hand and take with the other if he was convinced in the first place his action was the best one to take. It would be naive of his critics if it weren't so silly. We can mount a thousand arguments as to why it may have been a poor policy but unless we are convinced beyond argument that Obama acted out of malfeasance we must admit Obama personally believes he acted out of pragmatism and probably reluctantly at that.

Conversely, those expressing such high volumes of electronic outrage are probably not going to make good on their discontent in any measurable terms. They are accusing Obama of selling-out, of being corrupt, of acting with malice aforethought. Yet, they will more than likely knuckle-under and pull the "D" lever the first Tuesday of this upcoming November on the pretense that our worst is better than their best.

I'm sorry but that is just contemptible. It is akin to being a wife who constantly accuses her husband of keeping a mistress but insists on cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and being sexually available lest she be left alone. Even Marianne Gingrinch had more self-respect than that.

But I do not believe President Obama is acting in malfeseance. Whatever criticisms there may be found this and many more conspiracy themed indictments leveled against him seem to speak more of the critic than the accused. Even when it comes to the war, something that shatters my heart, I do not see nefarious but only dreadfully misguided policies setting precedence for future abuses at the hands of less honorable men.

But that's the point then; isn't it? He is an honorable man. That's why those times when he does disappoint the sting is so much more keenly felt.

And before anyone hauls-off and calls me a dirty RWer for defending the bailouts --which would be a wild misrepresenatation of what I wrote -- please be advised my husband is a dirty, dirty -- dirty -- RWer and he absolutely abhors the bailouts as an assault on free markets, government meddling, etc.

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Reply A thread in which I defend President Obama, the man (Original post)
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2012 OP
zipplewrath Jan 2012 #1
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2012 #4
zipplewrath Jan 2012 #6
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2012 #8
zipplewrath Jan 2012 #11
leveymg Jan 2012 #2
tabatha Jan 2012 #5
leveymg Jan 2012 #12
Nuclear Unicorn Jan 2012 #7
Enrique Jan 2012 #3
frazzled Jan 2012 #9
TBF Jan 2012 #10

Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:34 PM

1. Good people do bad things

he can do all the wrong things for all the right reasons.
He can also be operating within a bubble in which he does not see the harm he is doing.

I don't really care. At the end of the day he is either right or wrong. It's our job to tell him which. We certainly can't leave it to the right wing.

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #1)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:40 PM

4. So true and would that such was the case

But how many times have genuine criticisms devolve into absurd theories about Obama being a corporatist/MIC/fascist tool? If it's just hyperbole it's self-wounding hyperbole.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #4)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:42 PM

6. And blind support

One could make similar descriptions of the full on blind support and defense that is often offered up on his behalf. It's the political equivalent of "helicopter parenting".

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Response to zipplewrath (Reply #6)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:47 PM

8. Hopefully, in my OP I've maneuvered between the margins of the extremes

Yes, there is criticism to be had but even that should be an appeal to the higher-good which we all believe is a part of the President's character but we doa disservice to him, our ideals and ourselves if we remain uncritical in the face of error.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Reply #8)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:00 PM

11. Don't confuse the office/institution with the man

Much of the criticism is that the man has established the same institution as his predecessors. An institution with all the faults and foilbles that are well known. The vast majority of what you read is an expression of the office/institution he has created. An institution far too deferential to the powerful, far too out of touch with the individual.

As I say, good people do bad things. No one is perfect and no one creates the perfect office. If he hears it from his supporters, it must sting much worse than from those he never agreed. I suspect that is why we hear the "retarded/sanctimonious/drug addled" kind of reactions from that office. Criticism from ones "friends" stings much worse. It's also probably that to which most attention should be paid. He is better served from us being a touch "unbridled" than from a disapproving silence.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:38 PM

2. He's a fine man, with many virtues. Just not a very progressive President.

And another war would be the deal-breaker for many of us.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:42 PM

5. There will not be another war.

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Response to tabatha (Reply #5)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 03:15 PM

12. It makes me nervous to hear that so often from you.

Last edited Tue Jan 24, 2012, 08:19 PM - Edit history (1)

Imputed meaning - those who want war aren't sure the public is ready for it, and damn well don't want the rest of us to start mobilizing against it.

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Response to leveymg (Reply #2)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:43 PM

7. You know, if someone took a potshot at the US or its troops

that would NOT break the deal for me. Libya, OTOH, was breathtaking in its pointlessness and the precedent it set for any successor with militarist ambitions.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:38 PM

3. Obama gets tons of love

and people moderate what they say about him personally more than they do for other politicians, based on their regard for him as a person.

I think that's a good thing, by the way.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:47 PM

9. Well, the deal hasn't been made yet

But one thing should be noted: no deal will protect the banks or individual bankers from criminal charges. That is not even on the table. The only thing being discussed is civil proceedings.

But anyway, thank you for your reasoned thinking on this issue. I'm waiting to comment on it until some kind of agreement is actually reached, because I've seen all-too-many "predictive" opinions about so many things that "may" happen, that turn out not to happen in that way, to want to even address any of the rumors. The sad thing, is that once these "he MIGHT do X" memes get started, it is nearly impossible to refute them: they take hold tenaciously as being actually true, even when they turn out not to be.

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Response to Nuclear Unicorn (Original post)

Tue Jan 24, 2012, 02:48 PM

10. I don't give a pass on SOPA but I am more lenient on the banking -

The banks should've been nationalized rather than bailed-out in my view (or rather the two should've gone together, much more oversight and at least part-ownership by the government in light of any bail-outs). When we look at the wars and banking issues though I think the two go together - Obama is playing clean-up in a big way after the disaster that was GW Bush.

I've said many times and I'll keep repeating it - as long as we have capitalism we are going to have these issues, and we are going to have players like GW Bush who push it to the absolute limit. Ultimately we have to transition to socialism.

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