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The Trouble With Barack (Spoiler: he is not Reagan)--John Meachem

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:08 PM
Original message
The Trouble With Barack (Spoiler: he is not Reagan)--John Meachem
http://www.newsweek.com/id/232167?GT1=43002

Obama is accused of being too radical, but he's been governing from the middle for a year. So why all the anger? Because he's leading with his head, not his heart.

First, a bit of personal history. I am a Southerner, a churchgoer, and a swing voter in presidential elections. I believe America is a center-right nation. I am at work on a biography of George H.W. Bush. I pay plenty of taxes already, thanks, and I have no automatic faith in government's capacity to solve problems. I share these details to make clear that I am not a reflexive lefty. Far from it.

To me, however, the evidence fails to support the contention that the Barack Obama who governed from Jan. 20, 2009, to Jan. 20, 2010the day after Scott Brown's defeat of Martha Coakley in the Massachusetts Senate racewas a Chicago Che or even an unreconstructed Great Society liberal. Obama is essentially a centrist. His world view cannot be easily consigned to the familiar categories of left and right. In fact, those categories have been obsolescent since George W. Bush effectively nationalized the banks and Obama won the nomination on a center-right cultural platform. No matter how simplistic competing cable networks try to make things, when you have a Republican president behaving like a European socialist and a Democratic president who opposes gay marriage and has added troops to Afghanistan, you are living in a volatile ideological age.

ne thing Obama could do without much pain would be to learn from the rhetorical clarity and practical flexibility of a president whose example he has often considered: Ronald Reagan. In legend, Reagan was a model of consistency, a leader who campaigned against government and the Soviet Union, stuck to his principles, carried the day at home and abroad, and became a rightly revered figure.

I am not arguing that Obama has tried to do too much, a trope that seems unmoored from the reality of the office. He could, however, stand to think about a soundbite or two (or three) that would give the country a clear sense of where he wants to leave us after his hour upon the stage.

Obama is no Gipper. He would be the first to tell you that. But there is hope. The last president who averaged a 57 percent job-approval rating for his first year? Ronald Reagan.
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NRaleighLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:10 PM
Response to Original message
1. This. Is. Not. A. Center. Right. Nation. This meme needs to be killed!
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:13 PM
Original message
Meachem is using the Republican ruler to measure weight
he is so stuck in innerDC convention he can't see the top of the bucket
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Skinner ADMIN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think this line is spot-on.
"So why all the anger? Because he's leading with his head, not his heart."
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #2
7. The anger is coming no matter what or how he does anything
but that line is pretty accurate. The rest of the article is a pile of nothing...IMHO
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FrenchieCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
3. Why do these fucking "Journalists" love Reagan so fucking much?
I don't get it.

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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:14 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. He made reportin' easy
no long research to do
no fact checking

early to the bar


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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:15 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Perhaps I'm too young, but I've never seen Reagan as anything other than a disingenuous bore
"The Great Communicator" my ass. He's like the old uncle you're desperate to avoid at the family reunion, because you know if you get stuck talking to him, you're going to hear two hours of made-up bullshit about the good ol' days.
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underpants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:23 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. He was the frontman for the squares, the suits, THE MAN
he played a role and the media ate it up

I graduated high school in '85 and everything changed about the time I entered high school. My brother was grandfathered to buy beer at 18-his class was like watching a '70s retrospective (weed and sex) while mine was buttoned down and working for your career. The fact that sex could now suddenly kill you didn't help.

Basically they swooped in (talk about a radical agenda) and shut down what was the 70's what with the people stopping nuclear power construction, prisoner REHABILITATION, basic skepticism of the military (part of the goverment), good times, workers rights, civility with our neighbors, kids turning their parents in for smoking pot (them hippies is the ones that use drugs...well smoke drugs anyway), and suddenly we all worked for and worshipped the military. Strange days indeed.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:30 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. That's an utterly horrifying summation
And, sadly, not a bit inaccurate.
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Orrex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 05:13 PM
Response to Original message
4. A comparison between *ANYONE* and Reagan should begin with "Reagan destroyed the country, but..."
And I don't think that we're a center-right nation except insofar as that's how the media likes to portray us.
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