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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:49 AM
Original message
Yes, they're scared and clueless
Stress will bring out an organisms or an organizations defenses, and the beleagured Obama administration is looking mighty defensive these days. The great unwashed public isnt buying its PR about its supposed accomplishments, such as the disgrace that it misbrands as financial reform (which 80% are skeptical will prevent a future crisis) and health care reform (which a recent poll shows disapproval v. approval in a 4:3 ratio).

Yet this is an Administration that, ironically, seems to think its Faustian pacts with corporate interests can be sold to a presumed-to-be-clueless public with artful PR. But this supposedly media savvy bunch has persistently violated a fundamental rule of marketing: you dont misrepresent your product. While politicians all oversell what they can accomplish, the Team Obama campaign has become increasingly desperate as the inconsistency between the Adminstrations product positioning and observable reality become increasingly evident. As we noted in March:

The widespread, vocal opposition to the TARP was evidence that a once complacent populace had been roused. Reform, if proposed with energy and confidence, wasnt a risk; not only was it badly needed, it was just what voters wanted.

But incoming president Obama failed to act. Whether he failed to see the opportunity, didnt understand it, or was simply not interested is moot. Rather than bring vested banking interests to heel, the Obama administration instead chose to reconstitute, as much as possible, the very same industry whose reckless pursuit of profit had thrown the world economy off the cliff. There would be no Nixon goes to China moment from the architects of the policies that created the crisis, namely Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, and Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers.


To put it more simply, its the policies, stupid. The Obama Administration appears pathologically unable to see that its flagging poll numbers and the high odds of credibility-sapping Democrat losses in the mid-term elections are the result of errors in judgment. But instead, it is now reduced to trying to shift blame for its flagging fortunes onto.evil pinkos! This would be comical if it werent utterly pathetic.

What passes for the left in this country has been so marginalized that it has limited sway to begin with (although the public is strongly supportive of some positions they defend, such as preserving Social Security and Medicare). And Team Obama would have to have a badly distorted self image to think its centrist (at best) policies qualify as progressive. A more logical explanation is that the Administration presumed it could either co-opt or corral enough liberals so that any salvos from that flank would be limited to those deemed so extreme that their opposition might actually be a plus (think the controversial Noam Chomsky). Jane Hamsher has chronicled the aggressive Obama efforts to shackle liberal groups...

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2010/08/frustrated-white...

Yves Smith is the author of the book "Econned" and has been consistently right about the economy. This whole article is a must read. Reference links are at the site.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:52 AM
Response to Original message
1. Bashed from the left and bashed from the right
You too would be scared.

No matter what they do they will be bashed by one or both sides. Has any President faced this much criticism? On going, 24/7 bashing from all sides?

You too would be clueless.
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:56 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. The bashing from the right..
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 06:59 AM by sendero
... was to be expected. Where Obama went wrong was in thinking that ANYTHING he could do would stop it. In a vain attempt to appease these rabid fools, he has now pissed off the left.

For a master politician he really does seem to be clueless. He must have been asleep throughout the entire Clinton administration to not get what is going on.

The other key error he has made, apparently in the name of appeasing the right, was to not emphasize FROM DAY ONE that the economic debacle was created by republican policies. His feeble attempts to do so now are not going to work THIS HAD TO HAPPEN FROM DAY ONE. Again, for a master politician his missteps are monumental.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. He took office with great intentions of getting everyone to work together
That may have been his flaw and he may have gone too far and that is where the left began to bash him dragging him further into the frey.

The GOP is going to regain power both in Congress and the White House and if you think things are bad now, just wait!

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Bandit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. And Liberals will get the blame because they saw it coming immediately when Obama started giving
Republicans credibility on the issues..Republicans have proved time and time again they have no credibility yet Obama has insisted he will give it to them. Liberals want the correct thing done for the country and that does not involve ass kissing the Republicans..Do what is right first and fore most and then try and cozy up to them if that is what he thinks has to happen. don't give in to them from the very get go.
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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #13
22. Asskissing when asskicking from the get go was needed
I still come here , though im rapidly getting too tired to deal with my own ongoing health crap I keep holding on when I want to give up altogether I have spent 30 years trying to talk reason to people and im reaching that I dont give a fuck attitude pretty fast. I can't take the disappointment and shit samiches anymore.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:32 AM
Response to Reply #3
15. You know the line in "Animal House"? The "Hey, you trusted us!" one? Republicans to Obama.
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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Aww, he's just one big misstep, isn't he. You must be soo
disappointed.

His other huge error is believing his base would support him. I'm so glad you are so aware. :eyes:

Give me Obama any day, still, and I challenge you to name someone who could or would do better. I can accept that he's not perfect. Some people assumed he was so set themselves up for a letdown. And here it is.
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:01 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. +1000
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:06 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. You assume that a muscular left approach coming out of the White House
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 07:19 AM by BeyondGeography
would get the same happy treatment from the media and from public opinion as Bush did in the early days. You are completely wrong.

Bush gave money away to rich people (which pleased the ownership class) and stoked fear (which pleased the media/owners). Obama tries to advance a sense of shared sacrifice, restored government and a constructive vision for the future to an often suspicious population and an always cynical media. Not to mention the stark difference between the Republican Party's unity-through-intimidation approach (which leads them off a cliff several times per decade, so I wouldn't be envious) and our more diverse party's emphasis on consensus building. Obama's (or any Democrat's) degree of difficulty is exponentially higher. It's a tribute to the ignorance and fickleness of so many on the left that they so often join in the pile-on.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:21 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. That may be, but his efforts thus far have yielded mostly iineffectual policy..
Edited on Wed Aug-11-10 07:29 AM by girl gone mad
economic chaos and further encroachment upon human rights.

What good are constructive visions and senses of shared sacrifice without the real strength and courage to move in a direction that measurably improves the lives of citizens?
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ellie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:26 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Economic chaos?
Really?
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:28 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Absolutely.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. The boo-boo didn't get better right away, ergo nothing useful us being accomplished
I'm not going to inundate you with a list, but if you don't think Obama hasn't done anything for any deserving person or group anywhere, what's the point?

As for "economic chaos," American capitalism is chaotic, even moreso when there are no rules and the wealthy are handed virtually everything (including historically low tax rates) without a fight. If you don't see any progress on either of those fronts, again, I can't help you.
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SarahB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:50 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. To expand on your ridiculous strawman argument...
It's not that the "boo-boo didn't get better right away", it's that we've been told it is getting better when in actuality it's become infected and is spreading. The White House's response has been to yell at us for still feeling the pain.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. OK, the world's coming to an end and we're all gonna die...see ya
:hi:
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:23 AM
Response to Reply #9
14. In fact, what we've gotten on the economic front is the opposite of progress.
More Rubinomics/Reaganomics.

12 trillion dollars to rescue a corrupt casino banking system in what was the single largest theft of the public purse in history.

The same players that caused the crisis rewarded with taxpayer-funded record bonuses. Failed management left mostly intact.

Financial reform so weakened and watered down, largely at the behest of the White House, as to be virtually useless.

More slave-labor-friendly trade policy.

A poorly designed stimulus that will have no lasting impact aside from being fodder for the deficit terrorists and anti-government spending types.

An economic system which is now so broken that we have simultaneous inflation and deflation, the stock markets are playgrounds for increasingly lawless "robot" traders, while Bernanke continues to rob savers to feed the useless zombie banks and the Fed pursues that exercise in futility known as quantitative easing because they have no better options.

Housing prices have resumed a downward trajectory after the failure of yet another badly designed stimulus program. Foreclosures are up. Lending is still down.

Consumer sentiment and the small business outlook paint a grim picture.

There are solutions, but, realistically, it is unlikely that the administration will achieve much more at this stage.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
16. He's tasked with cleaning up the biggest mess in U.S. postwar history
which David Stockman himself has acknowledged is GOP created:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/reagan-insider-gop-des...

Now what do you expect when the world's largest economy has to deleverage and downsize? Economic pain and a political bloodbath, that's what. The alternative to the bank bailout was financial collapse (bad for everyone, including you). The combination of entrenched money, a gullible populace and weak political will on both sides of the aisle when it comes to truth telling is a pretty substantial barrier to reform, don't ya think? Against that backdrop, you expect bolder policies to get legislative support when it's all Obama can do to cobble together what he has been able to accomplish, which is not insignificant. Financial reform, to take just one of your hyperbolized examples of "fail," that takes 20% of the bottom line away from banks while dramatically reducing our exposure to the risks that led to the 2008 meltdown is not "virtually useless."

I understand the disappointment on the left; everyone is or should be disappointed about wheat has happened to this country. What's absurd is the constant over-the-top carping about Obama and the minimization of his achievements, the persistent comparisons with Bush and the impatience that borders on petulance coming from people who often seem as faith-based as the fundies when it comes to understanding reality.
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:06 PM
Response to Reply #16
25. Stockman is an idiot who thinks we need to get back on the gold standard.
I have no idea why Democrats are jumping on his bandwagon.

The alternative to the bank bailout was not financial collapse for everybody. Please don't insult my intelligence with such hyperbolic blather. I know the crisis inside and out.

Bondholders would have had to take haircuts, many investors would have been hurt, at least 2 of the big banks would have been put through liquidation. Then we would have been on the road to recovery, preferably with our trillions having been much better spent. There were a dozen better solutions than unfettered bailouts which rewarded the bad players.
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Common Sense Party Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:10 PM
Response to Reply #25
27. Democrats will kiss the arse of ANY Repuke who turns on his party.
No matter how stupid or slimy the repuke.

If Sarah Palin turned around tomorrow and said the Republicans are full of guano, DU would be praising her name.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #25
33. Right, focus on the gold bug point and ignore the rest
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 08:08 AM by BeyondGeography
If you don't agree with 75% -80% of what Stockman says in that article, you are plain and simply intellectually dishonest. Plus the main point is that Obama was handed the biggest steaming pile of economic shit that any newly-elected President has inherited since Roosevelt.

I would love to hear your alternatives to the bailout, especially how you would have sold them politically to the Bush Administration, but that would require realistic thinking so I'm not holding my breath.
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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:52 PM
Response to Reply #6
23. and more economic hurt to those of us
who have been getting it in the wallet since raygun.

I did not actually expect too much Change, but I also did not expect for him to follow the turds down the swirlin water in the bowl either.
He just folded right the fuck up.

Yea I realise that ms wasilla would be worse, but godam did Obama have to try to do as badly as mcfailure?
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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #5
29. What you all are basically saying..
.. is that nobody could do better because of media/money/whatever.

Fine - then why should I give a shit who is in office? They are all controlled.

Obama thinking he was going to create a new cooperation WAS NAIVE TO THE POINT OF STUPIDITY. Nobody who's paid ANY ATTENTION to the Repugs since 1992 could possibly believe that.

No, the "spirit of cooperation" is just a cover for "doing nothing".
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-12-10 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #29
34. Or maybe its failure paints the Republicans as unfit extremists much better than out-of-the-box
Edited on Thu Aug-12-10 09:31 AM by BeyondGeography
confrontation would have. And maybe Obama understands quite well what he needs to do politically to stay in the White House for 8 years, which, I hope for even the most disenchanted among you, is much better for the country than a new era of even more backward Republican rule.

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sendero Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. You know...
.. you give the electorate way too much credit.

First of all, he never actually MADE the Republican filibuster which is what he would HAVE to do if he was out to paint them such.


The bare hint of a threat of filibuster is not enough.

Secondly, few people pay that close attention to the twists and turns of a piece of legislation. Hell, it would be a freaking full time job to do so.

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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:43 PM
Response to Reply #1
21. Um if he had even really tried to right the wrongs
he would have gotten something of a pass, instead he 'compromised' flat out gave the store away to the rs....
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JoseGaspar Donating Member (391 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
10. This is a perceptive article.

In a way, it argues that Gibbs' real frustration is in HIS inability to sell his own wares as something more than they actually are... if only people could just act as if they believed him.

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Tsiyu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
17. I don't buy it


Politics is ugly.

All of the players know that by now, certainly.

** came to be hated (so much so that I still cringe if I type his name) as did Cheney, and they railroaded through whatever the hell they wanted.

No, no. They are pissed.

But we are not the Right here. We are thinking people. We do not accept spin and shit sandwiches just because our side sez so. And this pisses them off.

They need to get real with themselves and stop trying to justify giving in to Special Interests like War, Prison, Torture, Pharma, BigAg, OIl, Insurance Industries, banking Industries.



then they won't have a single thing to be all scaredy cat about...



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Catherina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 11:41 AM
Response to Original message
18. Great article. Rec'd. n/t
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:06 PM
Response to Original message
19. Robert Reich said TARP was a failure, so did Dean Baker
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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:02 PM
Response to Reply #19
32. TARP comes out of Bush, oh I forgot that in this new era Bush = Obama!
Give the GOP a kiss for me!
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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-13-10 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #32
36. *candidate* Obama, in fall 2008, worked hard to push TARP thru on 2nd vote
Edited on Fri Aug-13-10 06:48 PM by amborin
it's all on record

all O's phone calls to senators, etc.....

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HillbillyBob Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 12:42 PM
Response to Original message
20. What passes for the left is muzzled , the real left was
marginalized , or assassinated, derided, criminalized by the criminal riechwing assholes. I for one have reached the limit of my endurance.
I am pulling out of all the send us money to defeat the right (but we will kiss their ass so they won't beat ours) .
I have no money left, Im on a fixed (small very small) income while my partner looses part of his in insurance premium hikes every year without a raise and a 75% drop in real income since 98 or so...

I hav reached the point and with my declining health I doubt I will have to worry about the next election. In short Fuck Obama and all his kissass retreads from bushco and clinton administrations.

I quit. I have tried for 30 fucking years. i aint got no more. Its hard to even come to du to read this stuff anymore.
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Steely_Dan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 01:12 PM
Response to Reply #20
24. I'm Sorry To Hear...
about your health.

Although I am relatively healthy, at 57 years of age, I doubt I will live long enough to see this country turn around and do the right thing. That realization came when I began to see that Mr. Obama was not what he claimed to be. He was sort of the last chance. I'm not even sure that we will ever come back to regain the tenets of our own Party.

-PLA
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. I am so sorry to hear about your health, HillBilly Bob
:hug:
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Individualist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 06:08 PM
Response to Original message
26. K&R
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ibegurpard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-11-10 09:00 PM
Response to Original message
30. excellent observations
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