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Time: Obama Averted Disasters, But Getting Credit is the Hard Part

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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:22 AM
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Time: Obama Averted Disasters, But Getting Credit is the Hard Part
The New Republic recently asked an intriguing question about the U.S. intervention in Libya: Why isn't Obama getting credit for preventing an atrocity? The answer is obvious when you think about it: because he prevented the atrocity. It's hard to get credit for avoiding a disaster when it's impossible to prove the disaster would have happened without you. Social scientists call this the counterfactual problem. There's no double-blind study to show what would happen in an alternative Libya where the U.S. didn't intervene. If you want credit for stopping a disaster, you have to wait until the disaster is already under way to act, like President Clinton did in Bosnia.

This is a problem for public policy because preventing disasters is infinitely preferable to stopping them in progress. And it's a political problem for Obama, who kicked off his re-election campaign on Monday. He is the counterfactual President, not just on his Libya policy, but on almost all his policies. And as his aides often complain, "I prevented a disaster" is a lousy political slogan. Or as Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts has put it, "It would have been even worse without me" ain't much of a bumper sticker. (See why Libya is a watershed moment for Obama.) "That's us: avoiding even bigger messes since 2009," one senior aide told me before the midterms. "It's a fruitless message."

The most extreme example, of course, was the $787 billion stimulus package that Obama signed during his first month in office, when the economy was shedding 700,000 jobs a month. The immediate goal was to avoid a depression, and in that sense it was a tremendous success, stopping the hemorrhaging and stabilizing the scariest economic situation since the Great Depression. The Congressional Budget Office and other independent analysts estimate that without it, the unemployment rate would be 2% higher today.

The rest of the article is here....http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,2063033,00.htm...

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wndycty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
:kick:
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JTFrog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. K&R!
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Tippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 07:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
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nevergiveup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R
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mopinko Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. reminds me of a doctor i once heard explain why
they are always trying to cut the health department, why no one cares much about public health. he said their motto was 'when we do a good job, nothing happens'.
it is an impossible sell.
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dennis4868 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I like that analogy.....
Hopefully Obama will get the credit he deserved in November 2012.......he sure deserves it!
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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
7. K & R.
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Tarheel_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:14 AM
Response to Original message
8. K&R....
:kick:
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rury Donating Member (629 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:29 AM
Response to Original message
9. K&R!!
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Proud Liberal Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:33 AM
Response to Original message
10. It's surely no fun for him
Edited on Mon Apr-04-11 10:33 AM by Proud Liberal Dem
to have to clean up Junior's messes and then get pile-on from everybody- left & right- for not fixing (and/or reversing) things fast enough. Looking at it from that perspective makes me feel better about what he has done (is doing) and why we would be making a HUGE mistake by getting rid of him in 2012 IMHO.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:40 AM
Response to Original message
11. 'Can't prove a negative,' and people are too stupid to digest details.
This is why teabaggers won.

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flamingdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 10:42 AM
Response to Original message
12. This is so true, but most people prefer to believe extremist theories
and don't do the work to know the technical work done to solve thorny problems.
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GameOn Donating Member (86 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:09 PM
Response to Original message
13. K&R!!!!
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:12 PM
Response to Original message
14. Wow, they are giving out the plastic trophies already, and we still are fucking around there.
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TomCADem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Apr-04-11 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
15. Because The Corporate Media Is Too Busy Pushing Astroturf Campaigns?
Thousands of people marched on Koch's offices in DC, but will this get noticed? Of course not, but is it the protestors fault? No. It is the corporate media suppressing the truth.

http://thinkprogress.org/2011/04/04/2000-protesters-mar...
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
16. K & R
:thumbsup:
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Keith Bee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 04:06 AM
Response to Original message
17. Self-promotion
He needs to do some!
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KurtNYC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-05-11 07:51 AM
Response to Original message
18. so Time is giving Obama "Mission Accomplished" in Libya ?
They write as if it is over. And WTH does "preventing disasters" "in progress" mean ? I know their circulation is dwindling but can't they afford someone who can write grammatical sentences.

Obama is going to be a tough sell in 2012 but not because bombing Libya (on the 8th anniversary of the Iraq invasion) was the 'avoidance' of 'disaster.'

Bush bombed Iraq on March 20, 2003 and declared "Mission Accomplished" on May 1.
Obama bombed Libya on March 20, 2011 and Time declared Mission Accomplished (and they seem sincere about it) March 31, 2011.

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