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WilliamPitt Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:04 PM
Original message
The Chessmaster Cometh?


President Barack Obama meets with Congressional leaders, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky), in the White House to discuss ongoing efforts to cut the federal deficit, in Washington, July 10, 2011. (Photo: Doug Mills / The New York Times)

The Chessmaster Cometh?
By William Rivers Pitt
t r u t h o u t | Op-Ed

Thursday 14 2011

Chess can be described as the movement of pieces eating one another.

- Marcel Duchamp


Die-hard supporters of Mr. Obama will happily tell you, in the midst of this deranged debate over the debt ceiling, that the president is playing some form of pan-dimensional chess against a pack of checkers-playing Republicans. The fact that they said the same thing when Obama chose to keep the Bush-era tax cuts for rich people, when he doubled down on Afghanistan, failed to close the Guantanamo prison, and buckled like a punch-drunk fighter during the health care debate, does not seem to matter. They're saying it again, and who knows?

Maybe it's even true this time.

After all, the Republicans in the House and Senate appear to be in a state of total disarray. Mr. Obama's offer to put Social Security and Medicare on the chopping block earned howls of rage from progressives and the left - myself most definitely included - but then a funny thing happened. Speaker Boehner, with his rival Rep. Cantor nipping at his heels, looked Obama's offer in the eye and suddenly walked away. And to top it all off, after weeks of demagoguery over raising the debt limit, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell abruptly coughed up a proposal to pass the debt-limit extension free of strings:

The U.S. political world reacted with confusion on Tuesday to a ground-shifting proposal by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).

The plan itself was clear enough: Republicans don't really have the stomach to allow the country to default on its debt in pursuit of their decades-long goals of slashing deeply into popular entitlement programs. But instead of admitting that and extending President Obama's borrowing authority through the 2012 election, McConnell proposed a Rube Goldberg-esque scheme by which Obama, by accepting some public embarrassment for himself and his party, could raise the debt limit on his own, with no policy strings attached.

No spending cuts for Republicans. No tax increases for Democrats. In effect, a clean debt-limit hike with all attendant political consequences, such as there are any, falling on the latter.


In short, and if I'm reading this correctly, the GOP attempted to hijack the country with a threat of imminent economic calamity in order to kill off Social Security and Medicare, two highly popular programs they couldn't touch under normal circumstances, though they have dreamed of doing so for decades. Mr. Obama, for his part, dangled the opportunity to do just that before Boehner and his crew, with the proviso that $1 trillion worth of new revenue would also be arranged by way of closing a number of tax loopholes favored by the wealthiest Americans.

Despite being handed exactly what he wanted, Boehner cut and run, Cantor continued to dither around the edges, and then McConnell came in with a proposal that Obama asked for in the first place months ago: screw all this extra crap, and let's just raise the debt limit.

I do love good theater.

Mr. McConnell, for his part, has suddenly become Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of his party's base, and in the eyes of the Tea Party freshmen in the House. That is part of the magic of this whole mess: they really did think the GOP leadership, with the business interests that line their pockets breathing down their necks, were actually going to let the debt-limit deadline pass without an extension. The leadership got the base all hot and bothered over a showdown that might finally eliminate that pesky social safety net, and out of a clear blue sky, Mr. Obama offered them the chance to do just that...and they blinked.

And the natives are suddenly restless. Erick Erickson of RedState.com howled that it was time to burn McConnell in effigy (a line he later edited), and offered another suggestion to boot: "So fearful of being blamed for a default, McConnell is proposing a compromise that lets Barack Obama raise the debt ceiling without making any spending cuts at all. Consider sending McConnell a weasel as testament to his treachery." The Heritage Foundation attacked McConnell's suggestion as a "serious walk back," and the ever-reliable Michelle Malkin exclaimed, "We exasperated grass-roots conservatives don't call the GOP the Stupid Party for nothing. Three letters come to mind: W.T.F.?!!"

When Mr. Obama offered up Social Security and Medicare to Boehner and the Republicans last week, the left was understandably astonished and horrified. But when the GOP leadership looked that gift horse in the mouth and walked away, it cracked open another fault line within the ranks of Republicans that may shake, rattle and roll all the way through the primaries and beyond. I was terrified the president might give away the store, but the GOP base was absolutely positive their leadership wanted what they wanted: an end to Social Security and Medicare, the evisceration of the federal government, and the shaming of a president they loathe and despise.

Now, it seems Mr. Obama was in fact playing a pan-dimensional game of chess, and the GOP just got put in checkmate, to the high dudgeon of their core supporters. For my part, I'm more than willing to admit I underestimated the tactics of Mr. Obama on this issue, but when Social Security and Medicare are threatened, a strident response is absolutely required. The situation is far from resolved, however, and I'm not yet ready to believe those two all-important programs are out of the woods yet.

I know one thing for sure: I'm glad I'm not answering the phones in the offices of the GOP's congressional leadership today. The squeals of outrage coming down those lines must be peeling the paint.

http://www.truth-out.org/chessmaster-cometh/1310578994
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paparush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
1. Chess - The game in which pawns sacrificed.
You and I, yeah, we're pawns.
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rhett o rick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. Pawns are sacrificed to save the aristocrats. Nothing new there. nm
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Dawgs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. +1. Who doesn't want to work an extra two years before retirement?
:(
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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
2. I think the thingy about pan dimensional chess is a bit threadbare....
Edited on Thu Jul-14-11 12:15 PM by cliffordu
He just handed them their asses in a good old fashioned hard assed act of politics.

He simply picks his fights. This was one he needed to flummox the ENTIRE republican leadership over, and whattaya know......they are screeching.

They'll not underestimate him again. They are NOT going to start at him thinking he is soft, again.

After what he did during week of the Donald Trump/birther butchering, the Bin Laden 'in your face' occurrence and the Ryan press conference evisceration

and now this really spectacular spanking of the R's I get the feeling that this next year ought to be a lot more of THIS president and less the milquetoast centrist negotiator

But, as always, MMMV......

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 06:40 PM
Response to Reply #2
26. "He simply picks his fights." Wow, finally after two and a half years he's picked one.
I can't wait to see how it ends up.

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cliffordu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 06:46 PM
Response to Reply #26
46. Never enough, never enough, never enough.
The one rule is

Never enough.

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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #46
49. MORE than enough giving away the store instead of fighting. MORE than enough
compromising away the basics BEFORE the fight even begins. MORE than enough saying one thing and doing another.

MORE than enough.

TOO MUCH, in fact.

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fascisthunter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:15 PM
Response to Original message
3. if no Deal has been made, how can you be sure...?
it's a very honest question, not a rhetorical one.(I want to believe that this was the strategy all along, that Obama knew he would "blink".
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. The panic we saw is what happens when people get too far out in front of the news cycle.
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DearAbby Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
5. Ecellent assessment
thanks Will
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
6. The howls of outrage from the left are part of the theater and need to keep happening
The "professional left" was part of what made this whole ridiculous exercise "work".
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #6
20. What a great observation.
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Recursion Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. I love that at this point basically all parts of the political spectrum are disgusted (nt)
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 06:20 PM
Response to Reply #22
50. Centrists are corrupt idiots. (nt)
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #6
34. Yep. knowing your "friends" is as important as knowing your enemies

Obama knew how the fringe left would react too.

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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. "i don't want to play the game better, i want to end the games"
or whatever
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'll go you one further, Will.
The chess metaphor fails because there is a "checkmate" in that game.

Ask any old political warhorse, and he'll tell you there's no "end" to the game Mr. Obama is playing, at least before retiring. It is the GOP/Teabaggers' mistake to think otherwise, too, because as soon as you think you've "won," you let down your guard.

Put another way: them gray hairs ain't growin' themselves. :D
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madamesilverspurs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:25 PM
Response to Original message
10. He HAS to play chess.
Because it would be rude to look Cantor and McConnell in the eye while yelling "Psyche!"



-
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
11. Omama and the others putting social security and medicare
on the table, have nothing to loose.... They have the best health care, and retirement... Now let's put the elected officials entitlements on the table... Then we will talk.... Our elected officials need to share the pain....
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MedicalAdmin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 02:23 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. I heard this in a coffee shop in minnesota.
Lock the legislators in the house and senate without salary or benefits and don't let them leave until they have done their jobs.

The feelings on the ground are not happy and 80% of the government here is still functioning under juris rules.
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anamandujano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 01:03 PM
Response to Original message
13. Offering up some respect if this is true. We never know
what's going on behind the scenes or most importantly if Obama is just playing Democrat in the lead up to the election.

That said, it is pure joy seeing Pillsbury Doughboy McConnell do three back handsprings and land on his flaccid @ss with an upside down smile.

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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 01:11 PM
Response to Original message
14. Now that SS/Medicare are a pawn, they will be in play in every game that follows. Is that going to
Edited on Thu Jul-14-11 01:12 PM by leveymg
Masterful move, that.

Who will be blamed? Who has lost the trust of the American people as the party that protects seniors? Who votes? The Democratic Party will be blamed, the Democratic Party loses the trust, and seniors will vote GOP.

Wile E. Coyote. Grand Master. Foolproof Planner. SuperGenius:

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anamandujano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Just asking because I don't really know but,
now that everyone knows how the pukes will react when they push this forward, based on the reaction of the general population (or they would go forward,) maybe it won't be on the table in the future since they know they'll get omelet on their faces each time. Again, just asking.

Also, now that it appears Obama has won this skirmish and there's a large spotlight on the issue, wouldn't it be a good time to announce that the programs need to be strengthened or permanently taken off the table as a bargaining chip? Since the pukes are already stumbling backwards, maybe Obama can gain some more ground for our side, if that is what he wants.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 03:38 PM
Response to Reply #16
24. "IF that is what he wants." That IS, the question.
But, let's not assume outcomes will be quite so one-sided. What the Democrats had to lose was their brand image as the party of the common people. If we lose that, we are just GOP-lite technocrats - the party that protects Wall Street, at all costs.
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Safetykitten Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 01:17 PM
Response to Original message
15. "I'm not yet ready to believe those two all-important programs are out of the woods yet."
So true.
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jtown1123 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 01:35 PM
Response to Original message
17. McConnell's offer, however, is not free of strings. There is some pretty damaging fine print.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 06:47 PM
Response to Reply #17
52. Definitely
Politically, they will now claim unamerican "dictator" with a grain of truth by making unilateral action "official."
It has been ugly all around and no one comes out winning. But, the tea party has lost credibility and shown that their rigid ideology has been bad for republicans, and they are still stuck with them.
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KittyWampus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 02:24 PM
Response to Original message
19. It's not even chess. It's dealing w/ 2 year olds who say "no" to anything you tell them has to be
done.

Obama is just using reverse psychology on the little snot-noses.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #19
53. Yep
Putting forth a strategy of being flexible rather than rigid does make him look like the adult, the smartest, and ultimately the most fit to govern. Meanwhile, the tea partiers can't get along with republicans or Democrats.
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DevonRex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 02:29 PM
Response to Original message
21. Perfect analysis. This gambit holds true in some court cases as well.
In some, he has argued an extreme RW case, only to have the Supes balk at giving hat much power to a Dem president. This has to be used only sparingly and when he knows he will win.
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sweetapogee Donating Member (449 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 02:44 PM
Response to Original message
23. are
high 5s allowed in chess? When do we uncork the champaign?
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-14-11 04:54 PM
Response to Original message
25. This isn't even good theatre...this is bullshit on toast.
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Vattel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 08:51 AM
Response to Original message
27. The view that Obama has been bluffing
is pure speculation. I have not seen a shred of evidence that it is true. I'm not saying it's false. My point is that people like Lawrence O'Donnell are pretending to know things that they don't know.
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
28. Do you really think
that if the Repigs accepted his offer
--cutting our so-called "entitlements"--
(we were, so far, only saved by their tunnel-vision and greed)
he'd back out?
Say he was just kidding?

IMO that is disingenuous, Mr. Pitt;

I expected better from you...

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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #28
32. There was absolutely no chance that they would accept his offer

None.


He knew it.


If you understood the nature of today's GOP like Obama does, you would've known it too.
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #32
39. Oh baloney.
Personally I'm amazed you all would even try such a spin so chock full of subterfuge,
so fulsome in the very dearth of evidence (Yeah I know, but I like the disconnect: it fits this subject so well)

but there it is.


It is quite plain to me that with this President it's certainly not Chess, not even regular old 3-Dimensional Chess:

it's What You See Is What You Get.

--not what he says, what you see.
That's extremely clear.


But, y'know, sure, convince me:

give me your reasons why there would be NO WAY the 'pukes would have accepted it?

'Enquiring' minds want to know.

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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. Everything the GOP has done the past 3 years

ZERO Republican votes for saving GM and Chrysler.

ZERO Republican votes for the stimulus.

ZERO Republican votes for basically adopting Mitt Romney's Health Care plan on a national level.


The entire Republican media brigades promoting the eating of unhealthy foods precisely because Michelle Obama is promoting healthy diets.

The right wing arguing against Obama's actions in Libya, which are identical to actions they supported by both Bushes and Reagan in the past.



If Obama agrees with an idea, they run from it.... even if the idea was originally theirs.


It has happened over and over and over again. The Obama Derangement Syndrome has so infected their brains, they cannot bring themselves to agree with ANYTHING he says or does. Anything at all.



By proposing a massive $4 trillion plan that included everything they said they wanted, including closing of tax loopholes that they USED to be in favor of... Obama guaranteed that such a deal would never come to pass.


Given the same offer by a GOP President, they would have snatched it up in a second.


Obama is using their own irrational hatred of him personally against them. He got Mitch McConnell to offer up essentially what Obama wanted in the first place, just because it appears to be counter to what Obama wants now.



If Obama said the sky was blue, they'd pass legislation declaring it to be red.



If you haven't seen that from the GOP during the past 3 years, then I don't know what else I can tell you.
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:56 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. To pass up a plum
and such a ripe, sweet, delicious, highly desired,--indeed, something to salivate over-- plum!

as starting the encroachment of The New Deal;
not to remove. Oh no.
But to Privatize.


They utterly desire removing blocks from the very foundation of the best legislation ever passed in this country.

Well, the best if one is focused upon helping the people instead of serving the oligarchs.


...as was put so aptly,
nay, CROWED OVER by "the Third Way" sociopaths
as so bravely 'touching the third rail of politics'


No Repiglican politician could ever broach that subject,
the howling would never cease.
They could NOT touch it;
that is, unless they wanted to lose their cushy, powerful job.
So what happened? How did it come about?

They got a "DEMOCRAT" to do it.


It's not Chess. It's not even checkers.
It's as simple and as blatant as a quick game of Snap,
or more appropriately: War.


For crucial legislation all this President has done is back-room, closed-door deals
giving away his bargaining chips before negotiations had even begun.

I used to think he was unprincipled; now I think he knows exactly what his principles are and he does not hesitate to act upon them.
Any observation of his actions, not his pretty words, evinces that.

This President is only a Democrat because the 'Pukes would never run a black man;
so the Democratic Party was his only option to achieve his goal,
which he did,
and is now governing as his Reagan-loving soul see's fit.

If I were a Repig, then I'd be happy.
But I'm not.
Either.

When,
IF
your eyes are ever opened, I don't think you'll be happy.


Of course, it's JMO
You, of course, are certainly free to hold your own.
History will most likely prove one of us right,
and I do believe that would be me.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 08:38 PM
Response to Reply #44
47. if repigs were happy with him, they wouldnt be trying to defeat him
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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 07:15 PM
Response to Reply #47
54. What?! Are you serious?
It's Republican's MAIN JOB to be unhappy with a Democrat -- ANY Democrat.

Plus they feel, and probably rightfully so, that once a Democratic politician has set a precedent (Yeah I'm talking about cutting SS & Medicare/Medicaid) then THEY can take over and 'do a much better job'.


C'mon -- child could tell you that.
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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:00 PM
Response to Reply #28
38. Are you smarter than a 5th grader?
We have to deal with them on THEIR level or they won't be able to understand what we are talking about.

They are NOT smarter than the average, normal 5th grader!!

We have to make them understand what the hell we are talking about because they are as dumb as a bag of hammers.

Congress raised the debt ceiling 19 times when Reagan, their demi-gawd, was in the White House.

19 times!!!!

Bush was the one that ran all those deficits sky high from 2002 to 2009.
Bush was the one that signed budgets increasing the national debt by $8.4 Trillion.

So, now the GOPers are talking about a "balanced budget amendment".
They're nuts.
Amendments like that will never be passed by the majority of the states.


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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:08 PM
Response to Reply #38
41. Ah! So polite!
Yes, you guys surely are Obama's Ambassadors! :rofl:

LOL Yessirree you've convinced me of your argument AND to absolutely vote the proper way!


I'm STILL :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:'ing



Oh, and BTW: I'm a member of Intertel.


And, for going on 20 years now,

SADLY,

UNFORTUNATELY,

I have never been wrong on a political prediction.

Can't make the right decision in my personal life for beans,
but in politics,
never been wrong yet.

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Cherchez la Femme Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #38
45. Oh, & please do not forget
who simply adores Saint Ronnie!

I'm not arguing with you about how they gave not only Reagan, but all Repuke presidents, a literal blank check. :shrug:

It's fascinating to me how the Defend-President-Obama-at-all-costs people can 'dis' his very hero.

It's also puzzling.
Interesting, but puzzling.

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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
29. What would happen if they accepted his offer?
Was he really playing around so callously with people's well being?
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. There was a 0% chance the GOP would ever accept any offer from Obama

If the idea comes from his lips, they reject it out of hand - no matter what it is.


He could offer to rename the White House "the Ronald Reagan Executive Office Building" and they would reject the offer.


What he knows/knew... and which you clearly don't understand... is that in offering them everything they want, knowing they would reject it, he effectively pulls Medicare and SS off the table.


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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #31
35. Exactomundo!
I keep waiting for Obama to speak out in favor of breathing!
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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #31
37. No one knows that for sure until it is finished
People are not pawns.

I am going to assume that you will be be horrified if Social Security and Medicare end up being changed as part of this process and are now off the table.
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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
40. I would be horrified if SS and Medicare were cut.... but I know they won't be

ALl you have to have done is watch the GOP over the past 3 years to know that we DO KNOW FOR SURE that the GOP will never agree to any proposal that comes from the administration.

None.



He could come out in favor of mom and apple pie and they would try to push legislation to get rid of motherhood and fruit-based pastries.



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Marrah_G Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 11:06 PM
Response to Reply #40
48. I really hope you are right.
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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #29
33. This argument is getting weaker by the day...
There's not a chance in hell the GOP are going to be seen agreeing with Obama. This pattern started showing up immediately upon PBO's inauguration, and it has never changed course. They want him to accept a proposal from them... they have never and will never accept one from Obama.

Even if they changed their MO on the spot and said ok... it would still need to get through Congress.

The backlash from the TeaBaggers would be massive... as tiny a group as they are, the GOP is scared shitless of them. Let's not forget "Get your Government hands off my Medicare!"

Please... weak.

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scheming daemons Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
30. You got the game wrong, but the sentiment right. Obama's playing poker, not chess.

In poker, the supreme skill is to make your opponent believe something that isn't true. In this case, Obama made the GOP believe that he was willing to cut Medicare and SS.

Obama, knowing his opponents' tendencies well, knew they would not agree to ANY DEAL AT ALL with him, even if he gave them 100% of what they asked for.


If Obama offered to put Reagan's face on Mt. Rushmore, the GOP would argue against it. They will oppose ANYTHING he proposes, no matter what it is.



He knew this.... so he proposed EXACTLY WHAT THEY SAID THEY WANTED. Now they get to look stupid for backing away from the very things they argued for.



It's not chess... it's poker. One could make a case that it is ju-jitsu - when you use what appears to be an opponent's strength against them.


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Major Hogwash Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #30
36. Zactly
These kids these days don't no nuffin.

LoL
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Proles Donating Member (229 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-15-11 02:13 PM
Response to Original message
43. If this is true...
If this is true (and I hope it is), then my perception of Obama would be completely redeemed.

It would mean that he learned that the GOP is not worth compromising with, and that he will now be playing rough.

But time will tell if this was his plan all along.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 06:26 PM
Response to Original message
51. It depends on whether voters will ignore the ads that will run
proferring that President Obama offered up Social Security to the chopping block.
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loyalsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-16-11 07:23 PM
Response to Reply #51
55. You'd be surprised how many people under 50 think that is okay
According to demographic research that a candidate I know used:
Unfortunately, the educated, professional Gen xers are republicans with comfortable retirement plans and insurance care very little about those things. They are my self-centered peers who opposed any sort of health reform. There are also too many fundamentalists vulnerable to Christian right in my generation.
The generation coming up behind us are anti- fundie and less worried about SS\Medicare.
On the other hand the independent baby boomers are wise to the GOP.

It's possible, that those demographics are regionally specific, but they may have been calculated into that bluff.
It was risky. It made me sit up and take notice, and I'm still watching to see where it leads. As far as reelection, I think he may benefit with independents by staying above the fray with opposition coming from all sides.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 07:20 AM
Response to Reply #55
56. True but seniors are a swing vote.
They as much as any factor were responsible for the 2010 results.
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pampango Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-17-11 07:26 AM
Response to Original message
57. "his debt-and-deficit policy actually reflected a shrewd, progressive, long-term strategic view"
From James Fallows' blog:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2011/07/wha... /

"...despite appearances of President Obama being pushed around and treated like a doormat by more aggressive Republicans, his debt-and-deficit policy actually reflected a shrewd, progressive, long-term strategic view."

"I believe that, when we elect a President, we should be voting for someone who (1) shares one's general political philosophy and orientation and (2) has the intellectual ability, judgment, discipline and personality to make decisions which are as good as they can be under the circumstances. In other words, we should elect someone who we believe has good judgment, not someone who we would like to share a beer with (GWB), whose personal history we like (John McCain) or whose stump speech touches the right bases (John Edwards). It's a truism of national politics that the issues and problems the President has to deal with are largely going to be issues not debated during the election.

By this measure, I fully support Obama, even if I don't like some of his actions. It may sound nave and childish, but I trust him. Despite some of the yahoo comments we read from right wingers on blog sites, he is obviously really, really smart--perhaps one of the smartest guys on the national political scene in years. Based on all we read, he has put together a team which is capable and works well together; there appears to be relatively little of the infighting and drama that has afflicted prior administrations. Decisions seem to be made in a thoughtful, analytic way, with an opportunity for all views to be heard. While political considerations are inevitably taken into account, unlike the prior Administration, this Administration appears to make decisions based on policy and principle, rather than politics, as the primary concern. (It doesn't hurt that Obama was fortunate in being able to draw upon a reserve of competent Democratic talented men and women who gained valuable experience during the Clinton Administration.) The man obviously has a healthy ego (what successful politician doesn't), but it seems to be under control.

Let's also bear in mind that Obama has had to govern in the face of two unprecedented difficulties: the worst recession since the Great Depression and a ferociously obstructive, hyper-partisan and hyper-ideological Republican Party. Both of these have made governance nearly impossible and, since the Republicans regained a majority in the House, essentially impossible at the legislative level."

The last few sentences do highlight what is a long-term problem for the country -- the shift of a checks-and-balance system toward one of frequent dysfunctional paralysis -- and a huge near-term tactical challenge for the Obama Administration. By next year, we'll have a chance to judge whether the President's (apparent) negotiating strategy has "worked" in terms of arresting an economic downturn and thereby making his re-election possible. Within five or six years, we'll see whether it's had the progressive effect these two readers envision. As a reminder, here was the best-case forecast in the previous note:

>>If he succeeds in his big picture deficit plan, he'll go into 2012 having tamed the long term deficit. He'll be in a position to lambast the Republicans and hopefully, gain more control of Congress, and, when he's reelected, he'll have a powerful mandate to pursue his more adventuresome and long-term beneficial programs. It'll take a few more years, but he's a long-term strategic thinker, and I think he'll get us there. The Republicans look like a lot of power-addled men who are really out of touch with the electorate.
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