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Salon: "All signs point to a fight-the-power S.O.T.U...and even Democrats are voicing doubts"

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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:17 AM
Original message
Salon: "All signs point to a fight-the-power S.O.T.U...and even Democrats are voicing doubts"
Monday, Jan 25, 2010 09:26 EST
War Room
Can the big speech save Obama?
All signs point to a fight-the-power State of the Union. And even Democrats are voicing doubts
By Gabriel Winant



At crucial moments in President Obamas career, theres always a speech to be given. The defeat of his partys candidate in Massachusetts, which has resulted in healthcare reform teetering on the brink, is clearly such a moment of crisis. Lucky for the president, late January is traditional speechmaking season: This Wednesday, hell deliver what is formally his first State of the Union address. (He gave a similar speech to Congress last year shortly after being inaugurated, but it was not a State of the Union.)

Since Republican Scott Brown won the Massachusetts race last week, the White House has struck a noticeably more populist tone. Presidential advisers, and the president himself, have been at pains to say that the same basic phenomenon that elected Brown -- dissatisfaction with how Washington is doing business -- also elected Obama himself.

"The same thing that swept Scott Brown into office swept me into office," the president told George Stephanopoulos. "People are angry and they are frustrated. Not just because of what's happened in the last year or two years, but what's happened over the last eight years."

The State of the Union gives the president a chance to initiate his argument for the coming weeks. But some Democrats are chafing at the approach hes taken, which recalls the feistier spirit of the presidential campaign. There are some doubts about whether Obama has the chops to pull of the populist tone thats seeming likely now.

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2010/01/25/...
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gkhouston Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:18 AM
Response to Original message
1. No. A big speech can't save Obama. Big action, however... n/t
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Amerigo Vespucci Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. Agreed.
A possible first step might be dealing with that Geithner / Bernanke thing, especially in light of Geithner "warning" what will happen if Bernanke isn't reconfirmed: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/01/25/geithner-warns...
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Zoeisright Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #1
28. +100000
Unless he starts actually DOING something instead of talking about it, there's no hope.
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Phx_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
31. He doesn't need saving.
Asshole.
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Solomon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:18 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. +1
:thumbsup:

Thanks!
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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:28 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. +100000
n/t
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:56 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. +1 n/t
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #31
41. That's the meme now..left and right..thanks
for bringing some reality on board.
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DarthDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:19 AM
Response to Original message
2. No, That's Not The Reason for Their Doubt

They (and these Dems, if they exist at all, are in the Senate) are just worried about upsetting the status quo. Harry Reid probably assumes, correctly, that if Obama goes all populist, then his little run in Nevada is over. Too bad, Harry!
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:22 AM
Response to Original message
4. It's a good start to blame Bush, but we need to move away from his policies
Guantanamo? Still open. Bush and Cheney? Still no charges against them. Environment and climate change? I heard Copenhagen was a bust. USA PATRIOT Act? Last I heard, libraries are still being snooped at - and what about our phone calls and e-mails? Health care? The insurance companies are at the reins for now.

President Obama needs to roll up his sleeves and get down to the people's business, not just what Rahm says is a great idea.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. When did Obama promise to prosicute Bush and Cheney?
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Keep my house out of foreclosure....
and I don't give a RIP what happens to Bush and Darth Cheney. The problem with some Democrats is that they want to keep fighting the last war.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. It's the DOJ's job, BUT...
...there's a reason why the Oval Office is called a "bully pulpit."

And it's Obama's sworn obligation to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. That includes Bush and Cheney.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:34 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. OK, so you made it up.
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derby378 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. Made WHAT up?
:shrug:
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Fire1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:20 PM
Response to Reply #8
47. NEVA! But that's just one little item on some people's
'personal' wish list. As hard as it's been getting some form of HCR, he's got PLENTY of time to prosecute Bush and Cheney! :sarcasm: :puke:
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:23 AM
Response to Original message
5. What's that word that keeps coming to mind?
On, yeah, pandering.
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:26 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. To who?
You?
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dgibby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:36 AM
Response to Reply #7
16. Hardly! n/t
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Renew Deal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:26 AM
Response to Original message
6. The people that have caused these problems (congressional dems) are "chafing"
Hopefully Obama can beat them into shape. :spank:
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Jeff In Milwaukee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
9. "Some Democrats are chafing at the approach"
Which Democrats?

Dee Dee Meyers, Press Secretary during the Pleistocene Era whose most recent accomplishment is....well she really doesn't have any.

Michael Gerson, former speechwriter to George W. Bush, noted Democrat and Progressive Populist.

:wtf:

The other chafing Democrats include two political consults. Kristian Denny Todd, who has the distinction of having worked for BOTH Gary Condit and John Edwards (stop snickering) and Steve Jarding who is the former Executive Director of the South Dakota Democratic Party.

Color me unimpressed by those chafing Democrats. Obama should bring both Fire and Brimstone to his SOTU.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
10. What ever he says it won't be good enough for some.
On this thread alone there are the preconceived responses to say no to anything.

What's in it for meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee? The rallying cry of the 'base'. Bah!
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:40 AM
Response to Reply #10
17. you must have been asleep
the man says lot's of things and doesn't deliver.

It would be different if he did back up his words with action, but he has been a major disappointment. You can blame voters all you want, but in the end, it's the politician's responsibility. People have gotten nothing from this man, so don't try to make sound as if people are somehow spoiled or selfish, because THAT is a bunch of bullshit.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:01 PM
Response to Reply #17
19. That's your analysis and I disagree with it.
Don't give me that bs about people getting nothing. It's the ones with the inflated expectations that are having a hard time dealing with reality. You don't want a president, you want another goddamm puppet like we had for the last 8 years. Yelling jump and expecting to hear 'how high' went back to texas.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #19
21. the man is a puppet, a Wall Street Puppet
The American people have gotten SHIT from him, just a larger debt, swell speeches, more public defunding which the poor need, massive bailouts for corrupt banks who brought on their own demise, a continued war/occupation, a continuation of Bush's domestic police state policies, and a mandated insurance giveaway, and you bitch about posters who are upset and not "satisfied"? Well excuse us all...

The worst part of this exchange is you don't know the difference between a puppet and a leader. Both Bush and Obama are/were puppets, and until people like you wise up, we'll be seeing more of the same corporate crap with even more apologists. We are sliding into fascism and here you are berating those who criticize the man who could have steered us away from this direction, but instead he surrounded himself with corporate criminals. So one must assume, he's in agreement with those he appointed. He's been a corporate tool the whole time.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:27 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. LOL here's a tissue.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #22
39. Actually, you might want to use that for yourself
since you obviously can't argue your position.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #39
46. I don't expect rational answers from the irrational.
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SteveM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:00 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. If we are "sliding toward fascism," then hopefully he won't call for a gun ban. (nt)
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rapturedbyrobots Donating Member (364 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #21
34. yup. if you believe neoliberal policy is a cure all
for all socio-economic ills...

then you are bound to become a corporate tool. no matter what your intentions may be. and i do believe obama has good intentions.

you can't change the workings of capital by replacing the personnel.
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boppers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:26 PM
Response to Reply #21
42. "Sliding into fascism" , calling for a "leader"...
Was that meant to be "Unitary Executive" irony?
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JoePhilly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #17
38. Bull. We on the left send mixed signals ... and then blame everyone but US.
We are like yippy dogs chasing each other around a bone. Until we get tired, and the GOP Dobermans slobber on the sidelines waiting. Then they take the bone.

Have you every debated a person on the right who is angry about Roe V Wade?

That ruling was over 30 years ago. And those folks are as angry and unified today, as the day that ruling occurred.

Bush had the House, the Senate, and the Supreme Court ... and yet not one effort to over turn that ruling. And the far right is still glued TIGHT to the GOP.

The right is much more patient, and much more able to accept smaller incremental gains then we on the left.

We want it all ... and we want it now.

We have don't have the patience, or attention span, to microwave a pop-tart.

And our "Dem" leaders feel it ... they aren't leaders ... they follow US ... and so they become paralized when WE can't stop bickering internally to focus.

Remember when Bush was President ... THAT focused US ... and we worked together .... now, without Bush ... we fight each other.

And we expect our new President to have "fixed it all" in one year.
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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:17 PM
Response to Reply #38
40. "we"?
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 06:18 PM by fascisthunter
I don't know many liberals that act the way you just described. That sounds more like a put-down of a group you don't like so much. And don't give me this shit about working together because this President turned his back on "us", the left, some time ago.
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That Is Quite Enough Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:35 AM
Response to Original message
14. Of course the Dems are voicing doubts, because...
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 11:36 AM by That Is Quite Enough
A lot of them work for the 'power' that will be the target of this possible 'fight-the-power' address
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 11:52 AM
Response to Original message
18. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't.
We all want him to become more populist but then some say he is just pandering. Then there are the idiots who want to stick with what he was doing before so as not to upset the status quo...the DINOS and Rethugs. They don't WANT him to get angry and more forceful because they don't really want anything to change. Wall St. practically had a funeral last week over just mere words the President spoke regarding new bank regulations.
Bottom line is we want the Rock Obama and we want him to follow through. Show us a fight Mr. President, a real fight, and we will have your back. It doesn't matter if Congress balks, just show us you mean what your say and you don't cave in. Then the public gets behind you, and then Congress has no choice. I am curious as to where we go from the SOTU.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #18
29. He is damned because of what he does and doesn't do
Rhetoric only loosely connected to action doesn't have much traction.

Its not enough just to not be Bush, he needs to make a clean break from the last thirty years of Reaganism or it will continue and increasingly be change we can no longer suspend disbelief for.
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Jennicut Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:58 PM
Response to Reply #29
30. Oh yes, I do agree he has to back it up with action.
But I won't slam it as just another speech. He has a month to act on something, and then I will slam it as empty words.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:05 PM
Response to Original message
20. So it'll be a long on "populist tone" and short on substance?

We heard the "populist tone" during the Presidential campaign.

Just a bunch of hot air!
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shraby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
23. Here we go again, that general term "some Democrats".
It doesn't say a lot does it? Is that the conservadems, the old Democrats, the young Democrats, the gay Democrats, the progressive Democrats? Come on Salon, be more specific.
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burning rain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 12:58 PM
Response to Original message
24. I think Obama & Dems can still recover.
This paragraph gets to a truly horrendous obstacle to decent legislation:

Likewise, to an alien newly arrived on earth, it would have seemed at times this year that the decisive and sweeping election results of November 2008 must have been an endorsement of handing over all political power to one of the Senates centrist hostage-takers -- Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Me., perhaps, or Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., or Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn. To paraphrase Todd and Jarding, an "arrogant and self-serving political establishment" is exactly the phenomenon thats frustrated the Obama presidency so far, even as the public has come to associate him with it.


Fortunately, there is a solution to the problem of the US Senate, and by extension our entire legislative process, being captive to several swing conservatives (I'd have included Mary Landrieu in that list): the nuclear option. We will see whether Democratic senators continue to make a mindless fetish of the filibuster, which enhances states' rights at the expense of democracy and human rights, and is historically the tool of racists. It would also seem that those who favor retaining the filibuster are perfectly happy to continue seeing some 40,000 Americans die each year due to lack of health coverage, given the obvious impediment that 60-for-cloture poses to health care reform..
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Nite Owl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
26. He's one of the best speakers
ever but he needs to listen more than talk right now. He should have peoples committee, made of some of those who have written him. He's been in the bubble of DC and is listening to the wrong people who have no clue what we really need.
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
27. His year on Bush's dime is up.
The public wants results on the promises. It wants more jobs and better jobs.

2008 was about saving the banks.

2009 was about saving Wall Street.

The public can see this. They can see that their diminished hours, diminished pay, diminished benefits, are not a priority. They can see even a health care bill becomes about maximizing profit for that industry, not delivering quality and affordable health care.

The president needs deeds, not words, to impress the public. They're all out of HOPE.
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:10 PM
Response to Reply #27
37. So basically Bush fucked up the world and Obama has to fix in a year? Gotcha.........not
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #37
45. No, but he needed to show real progress, and he hasn't. n/t
n/t
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TexasObserver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 07:54 PM
Response to Reply #37
48. If that's how your mind processes information, I'm so sorry for you.
You have my prayers.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 04:04 PM
Response to Original message
36. Obama's been without doubt the luckiest politician I've ever seen
Edited on Mon Jan-25-10 04:05 PM by depakid
The trouble with that is that luck eventually runs out- and trust and credibility are tough to regain once they're lost.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:36 PM
Response to Original message
43. Populist "tone" won't do jack. Populist ACTION would be the game changer. nt
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stevietheman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-25-10 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
44. It's time for Big Action, Mr. President. Big Words aren't enough any more.
Sorry, I really like you, President Obama, but you need to start DELIVERING.
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