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Was this really the "single largest failure" of President Obama's first 2 years?

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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 04:23 AM
Original message
Was this really the "single largest failure" of President Obama's first 2 years?
http://talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/2012/07/why_the_t...

<snip>
In hindsight, an inability or unwillingness to phase out the Bush tax cuts for high earners before the 2010 election was the Democrats single largest failure of President Obamas first two years. That single omission underlies so many of the difficulties hes faced in the ensuing year and a half that its difficult to fathom how different the political landscape would look today if Dems had handled things differently in 2009 or 2010.

But they didnt do it in the brief period when they had 60 votes. They didnt do it via the budget process, which wouldve required rounding up only 50 votes, and they were so scared of every GOP utterance by the fall of 2010 that they didnt even effectively turn GOP hostage-taking into an effective political weapon. Senate Democrats fractured over whether to set the expiration threshold at $250,000 or $1 million, and even at that higher bar they werent able to unite in a way that clarified the Republicans politically noxious legislative strategy. House Democrats were in even greater disarray. It was a mess.

<snip>
I think thats almost entirely attributable to a commitment to purpose among Democratic leaders that just wasnt there two years ago. The White House deserves a lot of credit for that for stepping up a month ago and yanking Congressional Dems out of the politically palatable but substantively lazy consensus that they should draw the expiration line at $1 million. Once that was done, Harry Reid and other Dem leaders made clear, both publicly and privately, that politics and leverage were on the Democrats side in this fight, and that political consequences of rebuffing the President would be devastating.

Toward that end, Harry Reid stared down Mitch McConnell in a way he just didnt try in 2010. McConnell voluntarily dropped a filibuster, ostensibly to prevent Democrats from dragging the fight out for months and months, and identifying Senate Republicans as the key antagonists. He hung that anvil around John Boehners neck instead.

....more
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 04:56 AM
Response to Original message
1. Domestic policy speaking, my vote would go to giving up the public option to the health insurers and
Edited on Sat Jul-28-12 04:57 AM by No Elephants
drug reimportation to big PHRMA and general failure to use the afforcdable care act to actually make health care affordable.

I value human life and health like that over tax money, but then, I have nothing in earth signs. I was once told that means I am not in the least bit practical.

So, pay me no mind.

But, yes, bypassing Congress to give this up as practically his next domestic move was significant.

Cause we all remember the privotal confrontation in the 2008 campaign by not Joe the not Plumber of the Tea not Party.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I think this was when DU jumped the shark...
We had so many DUers that surrendered without a fight and insisted Obama extend the taxcuts, rather than fight for unemployment benefits extension. I think this was primarily why the Repubs won back the Congress in 2010.

I agree with you about the public option.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 05:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. ONE extension of unemployment benefits was nowhere near enough.
Edited on Sat Jul-28-12 05:14 AM by No Elephants
And, if i recall correctly, the whole issue of extensions, let alone the 99ers, was immediately dropped after that for good, so how concerned was anyone about that group, really?

Bear in mind, the Democrats controlled Congress in December 2010--and for four years before that, for that matter. They could have repealed the tax cuts whenever they wanted, including by reconciliation. Or passed a bill at any time saying what would happen when the cuts expired. Indeed, people were allegedly pissed that the uncertainly lasted up until December 2010, which did not allow businesses or individuals to plan ahead sensibly.

Word was, Geithner, who turned indie from Republican only after Obama approached him for his current position, did not want taxes to go up during a recession, in the belief that would make matters worse. (Typical Rethug economics.) And that was why Obama did an end run around Congress and dealt directly with McCaonnell.

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 05:21 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. P.S. As far as DU, I joined after the primaries, but posts I have seen since
suggest that the primaries were a hot time at DU as well.

But, I remember dissent starting when Obama appointed Rahm and the rest of his cabinet, including Gates and Timmeh, then asked Warren to give the invocation at the inauguration. And the division deepened as the ACA process wore on. I know that, by the time Obama called the public option a "sliver," I was more than ready for someone a lot less center right.

Sadly, I don't think that has a chance in hell of happening if we wait for the Democratic party to do it.

On the bright side, my buddy says everything goes in cycles and has faith the Party will return to being the champion of people who have to work for a living. I can only hope he's right.
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kentuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 05:30 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. The Democratic Party only moves out of necessity...
The rest of the time, they give speeches and vote with the status quo. It takes a lot of heat to get them off the dime, is my observation.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 05:58 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Lobbyists seem to get them to move fast enough.
Edited on Sat Jul-28-12 05:59 AM by No Elephants
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 06:18 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. I could live with them voting with the status quo.
It's when they vote for NAFTA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the Iraq War and extending the Bush tax cuts that they alienate me.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 06:24 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Not to mention the Patriot Act and the WOT.
My rep, bless him, voting against the Patriot Act and the Iraq War and WOT resolutions.

I will vote for that man until I die. Maybe I'll haunt the polls, too!

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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. And who is that, No Elephants? nt
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 12:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. My Rep is Mike Capuano. He tried for Kennedy's seat, but Coakley beat him the primary, then lost to
Brown.

He is an article from that time. http://www.masslive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/us_rep_m...

He does not have "presence," so I am not sure he will ever win a Senate nom, though I wish that were not so.


I just realized he did not get to Congress until 1999, so he was relatively new to D.C. when he bucked the tide on the war resolutions and the Patriot Act. I think he would still vote the same way though.

He was among those who sued Obama for going into Libya without a go ahead from Congress. I called his office about that and got a form letter. I sensed that he was not comfortable doing it, but felt he had to uphold the law.

I read he is fairly close with Pelosi.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 02:37 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Funny, he married Barbara Teebagy. Teebagy!
Seems prophetic.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-28-12 11:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. I noticed that as well. If Barbara is still married to Mike, though, she has to be either a liberal
or very, very tolerant.

And tolerant and teebagy don't seem to come together too often.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-29-12 12:11 PM
Response to Reply #9
13. Watching the House Financial Services Committee talking with Geithner about his Financial
Stability Oversight Council Annual Report: Capuano mentioned that he was surprised to hear House members who had voted for repeal of Glass Steagall now complaining about "too big to fail." He mentioned that he had voted against repeal.

I just tried to check the vote, but found readily only the Senate vote, which was 54 to 44, pretty much along party lines. http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/106-1999/s105 That means a lot of Democrats bucked Clinton on it, even though their votes, in the end, did not matter. (They had enough to block it by filibuster, but did not, thereby kind of having it both ways.)

I am 100% sure that a DUer posted a couple three years ago that the repeal had been by a veto proof majority, but that is clearly not so. Wish I had checked at the time.
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Enthusiast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-30-12 05:03 AM
Response to Reply #13
14. If Clinton had vetoed Gramm-Leach-Bliley
it might be a different world today. Of course I am not placing all the blame on Clinton, it was a Republican bill all the way.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-30-12 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. As I've posted, Sen. Harkin claims that both Clinton and Greenspan put enormous pressure on Congress
Edited on Mon Jul-30-12 07:58 AM by No Elephants
to pass the bill.

And, I have seen, independently of Harkin's account, a news story that quotes Clinton as having said that he wanted the bill on his desk ASAP.

Moreover, when asked about it during Obama's administration, he still defended it.

So, I don't necessarily agree that this was a Republican bill all the way.

Finally, even if all the above were not so, any President definitely should be held accountable for failing to veto bad bills.

Why on earth not?

Isn't vetoing bad bills part of the responsiblity of a President under the Constitution? Part of the job people elect a President to do?

And, when Congress is controlled by one Party, people very often elect a President of the opposite party, as a check and balance on Congress, for the very purpose of not allowing the Party that dominates Congress to have free rein.

If Clinton had vetoed the bill, instead of trying to get Democrats to vote for it, yes, it would be a different world today, in the U.S., in Greece, in Spain, etc. But it is not a different world today and, for that, I blame Bill Clinton as much as I blame Phil Gramm.
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