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No one should expect President Obama to fix the Democratic Party, much less America, all by himself

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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:40 AM
Original message
No one should expect President Obama to fix the Democratic Party, much less America, all by himself
That, right there, is the key to our dilemma Democrats, as a group, are the problem Not just expectations of drastic change from the top down.

We have seen the enemy, but a lot of us are loath to realize that the enemy is us.

Instead of taking the battle to the people and fighting for something as simple as voting rights for all Americans, we pretty much have ceded that the job of championing Democratic values political battlefield littered with massive right wing propaganda.

We've let the Right dictate the rules of the game, in that we've allowed them to be the "Default Party", with the Democratic Party belongs to "UnAmericans". That's the present image and we're doing very little to reverse this trend.

We are not taking our message to Middle America's low information demographic. We are not invading the Right Wing's God's Country and taking the rabid right to task on their own ground. Instead of talking to people, we are talking OVER them. There is a palpable contempt for Fly Over America, you can see it right here on DU every single day.

The Pro/Anti-Obama rhetoric is symptomatic of our inability to further the cause of Democrats outside of ourselves. As long as we point fingers at each other, it too easy to allow the Right to have free reign in the realm of Fly Over America. We complain about them, but little more.

The mistake that most of us who complain about, what we know are, wrong policy decisions by the Obama White House fail to make the simplest of associations that easily explain the root cause:

That money, corporate power and influence has created its own self-perpetuating reality by which America in survival bound to adhere. We HAVE become a nation by, for and of corporate power. Individual citizenship has little value when weighed against the might and scope of Corporate Personhood. Unless we make our own clothes, build our own transportation, grow our own food, generate our own energy and barter without money, we are all beholden to the corporations that provide these functions. They hold us hostage Not because we allow them in so much of our lives, but merely by the fact that we cannot control their excesses and tame them for the betterment of society at large.

Take the Tar Sands controversy for example Of course, this is something that should be opposed. But lost in the struggle against it is the fact that it's part of much larger old, gas and non-reawable energy behemoth. Simply, how many people who were arrested in front of the White House arrived there WITHOUT the use of carbon emitting transportation? People who took a diesel powered bus, or train or gas driven vehicle, in an indirect way are ALSO part of the problem. We all are part of the problem, as long as we allow the Oil and Gas industry to operate untouched.

They are the primary reason why America does not have an extensive and viable renewable energy infrastructure and, as such, have made us all coconspirators with them by necessity. We should concentrate on changing the nature of energy production itself. Turn oil and gas to such an inconsequential aspect of out live the it becomes just as relevant as the ancient, prehistoric bio-matter from which it came.

Corporate viability is intrinsically linked to the way of life on this planet for all of us. We are held hostage by it.

The result is that ANY person who sits in the Oval Office is bound to serves the needs of the corporate infrastructure, lest all of our lives are in peril. The presidency, by definition. is NOT responsible for setting the nation's direction, but is bound to MANAGE, or preside over the direction set by the Congress itself, which makes the laws of the land.

Unless we change the fundamental make up of Congress and ground level political make up of all the congressional districts, these pissing contests over whomever we think should be the best president amounts to no more than useless bickering.

You want a better President Well, we better get working on making a better AMERICA.

Our first function should be to create the grassroots foundation to build that better America. Local and state elections, voter registration and education, media response and public policy advocacy are the keys. It should be organized and coordinated. It's should be loud and persistent. Most of all it should be simple and easy to understand.

We can't be talking over the heads of the folks in Fly Over America What have to communication with them in ways that they can understand.

Most of all, to remake the Democratic Party the REAL party of people, we need to make fundamental changes. We have to ENGAGE, instead of ceding. Define what it means to be an American and remold the idea of what id default. Create better national priorities.

We have to be more proactive in areas of America which see very little of us right now.

The work will be hard. But then, anything worthwhile usually is.

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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:46 AM
Response to Original message
1. he's breaking it more
there were issues that the democrats took stands on, and then Obama triangulated them away. It's not entirely that simple, but it's true, and it's the thing I'm probably most upset about.
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cali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. He's got the bully pulpit and he's NOT leading.
you make it sound like he's utterly powerless. and that's a crock.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:55 AM
Response to Original message
3. Two things
First of all, we gave Obama the most Democratic Congress in a generation, and he squandered it, badly.

Second of all, there are many things that Obama could do on his own, such as implementing the EPA smog regulations, or stopping the Tar Sands pipeline. Yet these actions, which are the sole purview of the Executive Branch, he's not doing them.

Furthermore, while we do need corporations in this country in order to make the economy function, that doesn't mitigate the simple fact that our government, our society now puts the welfare of corporations above that of people. Corporations are regulated less and less, and when they create a major disaster, such as this recession, it is we the people who pay the price, not them. They get bailouts and loans, we get thrown onto the economic garbage heap and are stuck paying the tab for their fuck ups.

We have had brave Presidents that have successfully taken on the corporations before, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt come to mind. There is no excuse not to do so again. Otherwise corporations will, as we're seeing now, drive our society into the ground for their own benefit.
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BNJMN Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. Awesome.
Obama doesn't seek to excuse himself.

Why should we make excuses for him?
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
33. "we" may have elected obama, but we did NOT give him the most Democratic Congress in a generation.
What I am referring to is the blue dogs. No matter how much we would like to delude ourselves, most of the blue dogs can be considered to side more closely with republican rather than traditional Democratic values.

To me there were some issues that should have been taken to the people instead of captitulating. That was where I think Obama squandered it. HCR was written by the insurance companies, not for the people. Two years were wasted throwing tax breaks at the most wealthy, and it has been shown long ago that trickle down economics does not create jobs.

Where were all these infrastructure jobs that were going to be created?

If we win in 2012 it will be because the independents will not vote for the clowns that the republican party is offerring, not because of what the Democrats have done the last two years.



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Mr Deltoid Donating Member (694 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #33
42. Blue dogs my ass
Edited on Mon Sep-05-11 11:28 AM by Mr Deltoid
Obama is to the right of the blue dogs from what I can tell.
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Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:58 AM
Response to Original message
4. Here is a question for you, if he had done this he wouldn't have been alone.
Why he didn't change the filibuster rules when he had the house and senate?
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:02 AM
Response to Reply #4
7. I hope that you're being facetious
Because anyone with a rudimentary knowledge knows that half term freshmen senators are pretty much back benchers without any pull.
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BNJMN Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:08 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. Like the Tea Party you mean?
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. That makes no sense
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 08:12 AM by MrScorpio
You're equating an entire coalition with one junior senator.

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BNJMN Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
21. You're right, I was making no sense.
Confused filibuster with something else. Sorry.
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Little Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:18 AM
Response to Reply #7
14. They are suppose to be led. No, I was not being facetious.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:20 AM
Response to Reply #7
17. Senate rules are changed on a majority vote. The Dems fought HARD to preserve the fillibuster.
:hi:
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:41 AM
Response to Reply #7
23. Compare what he did in the Senate to Freshmen Franken
and Merkely. Also, contrast. Do this for your own elucidation, as you are preaching with high blown arrogance about rudimentary knowledge. Freshmen Senators compare to other Freshmen Senators, with ease and there is much to be learned about the individuals and about the Senate by doing so.
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asjr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
5. President Obama has become the
country's punching bag. Not just Republicans, but Democrats also. We elected him then expected him to work miracles overnight. And if he doesn't do it overnight we start badmouthing him. When we begin to turn against him is creating Republican talking points. Never mind that they are responsible for the mess we are in, we enable them to keep saying it is all Obama's fault. It gets old reading that he is not the person someone voted for. Presidents never are. But this one, whatever his faults may be, is a hell of a lot better than the previous president and those who are running on the Republican ticket.
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BNJMN Donating Member (461 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:02 AM
Response to Original message
6. Don't make promises you can't keep. When he said "fundamental change to the way things are done in W
Washington." Some people believed him.

What the hell?
Why else would he say it?

It wasn't impossible.
We had the Super Majority.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:08 AM
Response to Original message
9. Democrats held both houses of Congress and the Presidency..
They gave us a quintessentially Republican health insurance "reform" that centered around the individual mandate for private insurance that Obama specifically campaigned against.


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Historic NY Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #9
24. Thank those blue dogs & those that get boat loads of lobbyist cash..
then we have a Senate with asinine rules which allow one asshat to muck up the works. Too much time was spent negotiating with ourselves as the clock counted down. Obama had ideals but apparently the good ole boys wouldn't go for nothing beyond the status quo.
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Fumesucker Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:53 AM
Response to Reply #24
29. The Senate votes on the rules at the beginning of each new term..
The Democrats could have made the filibuster into something that took actual effort.. If they had wished to do so.

None of this was some dark secret at any point, anyone who lived through the Clinton years knew the Republicans were going to make things as difficult as they possibly could.

I blame the Democratic party as a whole for not fixing the damn filibuster, it's broken and wide open for abuse, by design is the only conclusion I can come to.

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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:09 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R n/t
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itsallhappening Donating Member (578 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
13. Nothing but excuses.
"expectations of drastic change from the top down"

Yeah, where did anyone ever get the idea that he was going to work for big changes? I mean, he NEVER mentioned that, did he?

:eyes:

I swear, some of you would make excuses for him no matter what he does.
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Romulox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:19 AM
Response to Reply #13
16. The excuses would have credibility if the OP had been arguing against "Change!" during the campaign.
Spot on.
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:18 AM
Response to Original message
15. Damned straight. Nothing is going to change until we are in the streets
putting pressure on capital. "We have to be more proactive in areas of America which see very little of us right now". Amen.
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End Of The Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:21 AM
Response to Original message
18. No one is asking him to.
We're asking him to act like the Democrat we elected.
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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:23 AM
Response to Original message
19. It's a chicken and egg situation
Do we have to show undying loyalty to Obama before he will advocate policies we approve of? Or does he have to produce before he earns that loyalty?

Because I think we have already demonstrated a high level of loyalty, we voted for him in record numbers and gave him a Democratic House and Senate so that he could advance the policies and programs we supported.

I don't think he has reciprocated. He hasn't demonstrated much loyalty to us and he has even backed off on statements he made during the campaign.

This past week has been the final straw for me. First we had the weaselly statements leaking out of the WH on the tar sand pipeline. Then we learned that the administration was not going to oppose the bush administration gutting of clean air regulations and finally there was the sadly predictable cave in on the date of the jobs speech.

The speech debacle was especially painful to watch. For about twelve hours you had Democrats rejoicing in the fact that Obama was finally showing that he too could actually be a dick - intentionally scheduling an important speech on the same night as their silly ass presidential debate. I remember the shit eating grin on Keith Olbermann's face as he described how uncomfortable this was going to make the republicans. We were all happy campers that night, but even then I suspected that something would go awry, and of course it did. Rush Limbaugh told Boner to oppose the speech date, Boner told Obama to change the date and of course Obama folded.

The date of the speech was not important in and of itself, but the whole episode was a sorry example of how our trust and loyalty to this president gets rewarded. The administration's tendency to cave has become a subject for late night comedians and when that happens you can pretty much assume that there ain't much respect left.

I busted my ass to get this man elected. I donated more money than I ever have in any single election and I delivered yard signs to dozens of houses. I even chased a couple of assholes out of my field when they tried to knock down the large sign I had placed there. I'm sad to say I won't make that mistake again. I'll vote for the president's re-election but that's all he's getting from me. I'm all loyaltied out.
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LWolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
20. I never did expect him to fix anything "all by himself."
It's a reasonable expectation, though, that he support actions to "fix" things, rather than to make them worse.
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B Calm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:40 AM
Response to Original message
22. All I expect is for him to lead us in the left direction
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Angry Dragon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:44 AM
Response to Original message
25. What I see does not match what I hear
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:46 AM
Response to Original message
26. Don't you think we need a new winning direction rather than continue down the same old losing road?
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 08:46 AM by Better Believe It
What you advocate is exactly what most progressives are doing now and have been doing for a long time.

It's nothing unique, novel or new.

And it hasn't been going very well lately.

Perhaps we need to build mass movements independent of the politicians to change things.

That's how we changed things in a progressive direction in the past.

Check out American history on that.
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #26
28. Actually, that's what I'm advocating
Washington politics is a sport that everyone is cheering or booing at around here.

We should build local momentum first Become better followers instead of complaining about how bad the leaders are.
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Better Believe It Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:37 AM
Response to Reply #28
39. The following comment is what I'm responding to. Really .... it's nothing new.

"Our first function should be to create the grassroots foundation to build that better America. Local and state elections, voter registration and education, media response and public policy advocacy are the keys. It should be organized and coordinated. It's should be loud and persistent. Most of all it should be simple and easy to understand."

A whole number of big progressive organizations and thousands of individuals have been doing exactly the above for years now.

We need to build mass movements independent of the politicians.


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Bobbie Jo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 11:17 AM
Response to Reply #39
41. Translation....
"We need to build mass movements independent of the politicians."

AKA: Democrats.

Understood.


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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
27. So, in an attempt to get us to stop blaming each other..
you blame us?

You're funny :)
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MrScorpio Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #27
35. It's Bitching about Democrats Day today
Didn't you get the memo?
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demwing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #35
38. It's always that day on DU
Factions bitch about other factions, fingers are pointed in all directions, when an honest assessment of the situation clearly shows that its all your fault. :)
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Exultant Democracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
30. No one wanted him to do it alone. We gave him a huge mandate. Bigger mandate than Bush needed need
to change everything.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
31. No one expected him to do anything alone.
He went into office with more votes from more Americans than any President in history. There is not much stronger back up available to anyone, in any job, than the endorsement of millions of individuals. Those same voters also sent him to DC with majorities in both houses of the Congress, a rare treat in the history of the Presidency, a strong mandate from the voters and the majorities to expedite that mandate.
To look at those facts and also at the activism that has been full tilt the entire time and claim anyone is asking him to do anything alone is absurd revisionism. Many of us have demoted him to 'the guy who will have to sign it if we get it there'. I think, Mr S, about all the DU attacks on Dan Choi and the other activists who delivered the DADT repeal to his desk. I think about all the people being arrested over the pipeline scam. And then I see you claiming that people are not acting autonomously, not 'helping' the President? I say pick one. You can not both complain about activism and then complain that people do not do enough. Cake, or eat that cake? Can not be both.
Best change so far, DADT repeal. The road to that signature was a raucous and noisy way. The activist's way. It got done, it took thousands of people, and the entire time, from DU's 'supporters of Obama' all we got was criticism of the activism, and even after the passing of the repeal, attacks on Dan Choi for being an activist. Cake, or eat that cake? Do you want activism, or do you demand to hear sweet talk and kind words? Results or style, form or function, which is it?
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:59 AM
Response to Original message
32. If the office of the president is so powerless why does everyone hate W and why is Perry so scary?
I mean if "Obama can't do it by himself" then neither can any republican, right?
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #32
34. bush received most of the blue dog support. Progressive policies were never supported by the blue
dogs. We got the HCR we did because of the blue dogs, and the insurance companies

The only ones that hate W is the progressives, the independents didn't like him because of the economic collapse his policies created.

I hope people are afraid of perry, but I am not so sure

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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:24 AM
Response to Reply #34
37. We got the HCR we did because that's the Obama wanted.
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still_one Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 10:39 AM
Response to Reply #37
40. and Congress had nothing to do with it? /nt
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 03:07 PM
Response to Reply #40
43. Who gave us the "New Deal' - FDR or Congress?
Congress are the sled dogs and the president has the reigns along with the whip (stick) and rewards (carrot). Simply shrugging and claiming that your dogs only turn to the right is not only dishonest but an abdication of your duties as a leader.

Making apologies for RW policy from a Dem administration only reinforces the belief that voting has no real consequence and that both parties are similar than not.
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:23 AM
Response to Original message
36. Whatever...This has been a baffling presidency
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 10:13 AM by BeyondGeography
We had an attractive, likable, intelligent and inspiring president-elect who promised transparency and meaningful change and we ended up with a passive legislator-in-chief who makes lackluster, often irrelevant pronouncements and isn't making the most of either his gifts or his opportunities.

It's fine to bemoan the state of the Democratic Party, but that's a direct criticism of the President as well, for he is its leader.

My primary problem with this party is that it manages elections and treats ideology as an afterthought. Hence we are still playing Reagan's economic game 30 years later. Obama wanted/wants to change history, instead he is cutting expense-only deficit reduction deals with the Republicans during a recession and extending their tax cuts without a fight. He won't even call them out, having ridiculous conversations with himself about "Congress" and "gamesmanship." If I'm an elected Democrat in Congress, I'm not sure how I would deal with this White House. They have been flaccid and flat-footed from the start, going back to the stimulus with was loaded with unproductive tax cuts as a sop to non-supporting Republicans, the summer of 2009 where the President did next-to-nothing to fight the tea partiers and defend HCR, the Scott Brown fiasco, during which they were asleep at the wheel, etc. The only reason we even got HCR was Nancy Pelosi.

Finally, you're right to focus on communication. Which reminds me what an awful job the President and his spokespeople have done in this department. David "we have to deal with the world as wei find it" Axelrod sucked. Bill Dailey sucks. And Barack Obama, incredibly, to me, has also mostly sucked in this department.
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Eddie Haskell Donating Member (817 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-05-11 03:36 PM
Response to Original message
44. All we want is a leader.
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