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Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:13 PM

I Dare You

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_big_idea/2013/02/obama_s_sotu_the_president_dares_republicans_to_oppose_his_grand_plans.html


I Dare You
Obama challenges Republicans: See what happens when you oppose my grand plans.

By Jacob Weisberg|Posted Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, at 3:03 PM ET

Vice President Joe Biden, left, applauds as President Obama gives his State of the Union address during a joint session of Congress at the U.S. Capitol, Feb. 12, in Washington, D.C.

Photo by Charles Dharapak-Pool/Getty Images


Barack Obama campaigned and won re-election without anything much resembling a second-term agenda. On the campaign trail, he called for greater tax fairness, more jobs, and doing something or other about immigration. Seeking refuge in even greater vagueness, Mitt Romney was in no position to call him out.

Since the election, however, the president has been steadily filling in the missing pieces, asserting his renewed mandate on behalf of an ambitious, liberal agenda. As of last night’s State of the Union address, no one can accuse Obama of lacking specifics. His proposals were many, detailed, and in a few instances unexpected. His speech was a deliberate effort to move the national conversation away from an endless budget battle that threatens to overshadow his second term. Looking beyond what he was right to call the “manufactured” fiscal crisis that continues to preoccupy Washington, Obama offered a new program that was broader and more comprehensive than his first term’s.

snip//


Most of this won’t even come up for a vote, of course. While a few Republicans have signaled flexibility on immigration, the current House leadership is unlikely to take up a minimum-wage law or new spending programs. Obama knows that and has incorporated the reality of obstructionism into his political strategy. His big speech set what he hopes will become a lose-lose trap for Republican legislators: accede to his agenda, or face his mobilized supporters in 2014. In his first term, Obama’s message to the GOP was, “I will meet you halfway.” They refused to budge. His second term message is: “Compromise or pay the political price.”

To the public, the implicit message was: “If you want any of this stuff, I’m going to need a Democratic Congress next time.” When Republicans won control of Congress in 1994, Bill Clinton responded with a long list of small-bore initiatives: gun safety locks, school uniforms, the v-chip, cellphones for citizen patrols, and so forth. Clinton wanted to show that he was still relevant and that he could still accomplish something even with a divided government. Obama, by contrast, has little appetite for legislative hors d’oeuvres. His program is designed to show not what he can do with a Republican Congress but what he can’t do with one.

The impossibility of getting much done at present lends itself to expansiveness, at least at the level of presidential rhetoric. Talking about what he would like to do, rather than what he can do, Obama is able to offer a broad agenda around the themes of equality and fairness that framed his second inaugural. At the same time, the president must avoid the charge that he is relapsing into old-school liberalism. Thus he framed his proposals on Tuesday evening as “smarter government” rather than bigger or more government.

This framing is telling. Where Obama may be overreaching is in assuming away fiscal problems that are still very much with us. The American economy is in recovery mode and tax receipts are rising, but a vast structural deficit remains. Absent the kind of grand bargain Republicans are loath even to discuss, federal insolvency will pre-empt the kinds of investments Obama talked about last night. To the delight of his base, the president has found his progressive voice. Only in a context of fiscal rectitude can he use it to bring back government activism.


http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/the_big_idea/2013/02/obama_s_sotu_the_president_dares_republicans_to_oppose_his_grand_plans.html

24 replies, 1842 views

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Arrow 24 replies Author Time Post
Reply I Dare You (Original post)
babylonsister Feb 2013 OP
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #1
savalez Feb 2013 #4
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #5
savalez Feb 2013 #6
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #7
savalez Feb 2013 #8
zappaman Feb 2013 #9
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #12
Blanks Feb 2013 #10
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #13
Blanks Feb 2013 #17
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #18
Blanks Feb 2013 #19
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #21
magical thyme Feb 2013 #11
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #14
magical thyme Feb 2013 #15
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #16
magical thyme Feb 2013 #20
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #22
magical thyme Feb 2013 #23
Sekhmets Daughter Feb 2013 #24
longship Feb 2013 #2
freshwest Feb 2013 #3

Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:18 PM

1. If he continues along this path

he will be setting up a win in 2016 for the next Democratic nomination. I love it.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #1)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:55 PM

4. Do you think it

will be, or even should be, Joe?

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Response to savalez (Reply #4)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:14 PM

5. I like Joe, but

he has sought the nomination twice already and if the third time would prove to be 'the charm' I'm not certain he could hold the current coalition together.

I think what will be needed in 2016 is another unique candidate, one who could hold that coalition. That would be Hillary Clinton. The Clintons were always popular in the AA community, until Bill put his foot in his mouth in SC. But, they have redeemed themselves, Hillary by being such a supportive Sec't of State and Bill with his tremendous efforts on behalf of Obama's second term. Independent women, and perhaps even some luke warm republican women, will support Hillary. The republicans will continue to alienate Hispanics, Asians and every other minority in the country.

A third consecutive term for the same party is really pretty rare in modern American politics. ( FDR during the war years and then a two-term Reagan handing off to G.H.W. Bush) So Dems will need a really strong candidate to accomplish that. I think she's our best bet...but it is early days, who knows what the future may bring?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:20 PM

6. I agree.

If Joe runs I'll support him but I am inclined to agree with you on this.

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Response to savalez (Reply #6)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:22 PM

7. Whoever it is,

we will have our work cut out for us...anyone who thinks 2016 will be a walkover is delusional.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:28 PM

8. Yep

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #7)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:28 PM

9. Not to mention...

I have a feeling it will be Jeb.
One would think the BUSH name would be sullied at this point, but never underestimate those fuckers!
I'll back whomever on the Democratic side as always, but I hope whoever it is knows how to run a campaign like Obama and not like Gore or Kerry.

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Response to zappaman (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:42 PM

12. Yeah...so do I

Yuk...He was my governor...I find him much more despicable than his father or brother.

I am hoping for a woman...I think Warren may be too polarizing, but Kirsten Gillibrand has possibilities. If I remember correctly her district has quite a few registered republicans and she won reelection in 2012. I lean towards Hillary because Bill is still the best campaigner I've ever seen and I don't particularly like him.

I agree, we can't afford another lackluster campaign like Gore's and Kerry's. For the past year or so, I've wondered "where was this Kerry in 2004?" Know what I mean?

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:36 PM

10. Al Gore beat Dubya...

and Kerry beat Dubya that looks like about 6 consecutive terms for democrats.

The biggest victory in this last election was that they put a stop to republicans stealing the 'big office'. If Obama plays this right; there should be no problem getting another democrat elected.

I think democrats need to look past Hillary and Joe though (they're gonna be too old in 4 years). Democrats need to find a southern governor to support in 2016.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:56 PM

13. Name one, please...

Kerry did not win the popular vote in 2004.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0922901.html

Furthermore, when the pundits say 5 out of 6 they are stretching the truth a bit. Clinton won in 1992 with just 43% of the vote. Meanwhile Ross Perot split the republican vote and walked off with 18.9%, leaving Bush with 37.4%. That 1992 election was a very close run thing. Remember the consensus is that Bush lost because he raised taxes, no self-respecting Democrat would have switched their vote to Perot over taxes...but a boatload of republicans did.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:28 PM

17. There are a couple.

It doesn't necessarily have to be one currently serving (or from the south for that matter).

The point is that if we hang on to the candidates that are viable now with the expectation that they will be viable in 4 years; we risk being out of touch and losing the younger voters. If nothing changes; I'd like to see either Joe or Hillary in 2016, but that's a ways off and we live in a constantly changing world. Governors are good candidates because they bring executive branch experience to the table.

The most important thing to focus on now is keeping the senate and winning the house.

As far as Kerry; he won according to the rules. They cheated; they can't win without cheating the way it's set up now. Winning the popular vote isn't necessary.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #17)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:44 PM

18. Blanks...

The GOP may have stolen Ohio...but that was a loss of 118,599 popular votes and 20 electoral votes...so let's say Kerry didn't lose Ohio and those 20 electoral votes had gone to him...He would have won the election, however he lost the popular vote, nation wide, by 3,000,176 votes... That's a margin roughly 6 times greater than the margin by which Gore beat Bush in 2000. C'mon, that would have resulted in a greater theft than the one with which Bush engineered his victory. Popular votes do indeed count.

But back to your original premise....fine, it doesn't have to be a current governor or a southern governor...give me some names of potentially viable candidates. I am not wed to either Hillary or Joe, but I want alternatives who could hold the current coalition together.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:03 PM

19. I don't know of anyone off the top of my head...

and even if I did; they might not run be interested anyway.

That's not really the point; in 1973 nobody outside Georgia would have thought about Jimmy Carter (a man that I believe was an excellent president). So it's too early to start looking realistically at 2016.

Winning is winning and I believe Kerry won according to the rules. It doesn't matter what I think anyway, but Bush's people controlled the federal government. If I remember correctly; Dubya had less than a 50% approval rating just before he was inaugurated. That's just suspicious.

Of course I wasn't as crushed when Kerry didn't get the office as I was when Gore 'lost', but I still believe that they both won.

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Response to Blanks (Reply #19)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:30 PM

21. Okay...

Here's the thing about Carter's win in 1976...

The Dems should have been able to put up a gorilla and still win. The nation was sick of Nixon and his replacement Ford made a critical error in pardoning him. Carter was not a very good campaigner which is the only reason the election was as close as it was. He carried every southern state, which amazes me today. He lost NJ, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, and Michigan as well as every single state west of Missouri except Texas. A look at an electoral map from that election blows the mind.

NY Gov. Cuomo is too New York for the "heartland"... perhaps Martin O'Malley of Maryland, I like him.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #5)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:41 PM

11. you make some good points

I will support whomever.

Hillary has time and again proven to have the political wiles and toughness. Plus she's not another white male. She's too hawkish for me, but hopefully time will blunt that to just rhetoric.

And if she runs, she'll not only win but carry forward the agenda...

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #11)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:59 PM

14. I think some of that hawkishness

comes from her NY constituency. I think she would feel much less pressure to be hawkish in the WH. I have always believed she is way left of Bill on very many issues.

Like you, I will support whoever.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #14)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:16 PM

15. I had thought it was just rhetoric, necessary to make her sufficiently tough

being both a Dem and a woman.

However, as SOS a few years back, she sided with Petraeus for the surge. On the other side was Biden and Gates, who wanted to narrow the focus to a more limited operation focused on al Qaeda.

She and Petreaus won the political battle, but the surge didn't accomplish anything except more death and destruction, and the President ended up having to change directions more to the Biden/Gates plan. Or at least that's my understanding of the fallout...

In any event, it demonstrated to me that it wasn't just rhetoric. But maybe the reality of the last few years has blunted some of her hawkishness.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:28 PM

16. I found this article

in the NYT She sided with Gates for the surge.

With Mr. Biden leading the skeptics, Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Gates and Admiral Mullen increasingly aligned behind a more robust force. Mrs. Clinton wanted to make sure she was a formidable player in the process. “She was determined that her briefing books would be just as thick and just as meticulous as those of the Pentagon,” said one senior adviser. She asked hard questions about Afghan troop training, unafraid of wading into Pentagon territory.

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/06/world/asia/06reconstruct.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

It's a great read.





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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:09 PM

20. well, I used to have a great memory, lol

I was in school at the time, so jamming a lot of factoids into my brain.

But at least I got her side right, versus Biden!

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #20)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:33 PM

22. If I had any left,

I'd give you a heart for that one! I hear ya' loud and clear... I'm getting really good at Googling first.

Happy Valentine's Day magical thyme.

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Response to Sekhmets Daughter (Reply #22)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:03 PM

23. Happy Valentine's Day back at ya!

and thank you for the thought! I wish I could afford to give valentine hearts, but 2 years out of school, I'm still struggling week to week. Hopefully next year I'll be able to spread them around. I am so grateful to see my hearts each time I post. I want to share that feeling...

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #23)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:07 PM

24. Better days are ahead!

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Response to babylonsister (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:19 PM

2. Slate is doing a good job. R&K nt

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Response to longship (Reply #2)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:37 PM

3. +1

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