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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 05:51 AM
Original message
An underperforming president
http://www.economist.com/node/21525395

AT THE very last moment, and just before his 50th birthday this week, Barack Obama got the deal that raised the debt ceiling by between $2.1 trillion and $2.4 trillion and so prevented the United States from going into default on his watch. But this does not mean that the roof is not still in danger of falling in on his presidency. The superstar of 2008, who once looked like a shoo-in for re-election, now appears extremely vulnerable. Despite talk that he will raise a record $1 billion war chest, Democrats in Congress have begun to whisper that Mr Obamas fading chances of winning a second term are coming to depend on the absenceso farof an exciting Republican challenger.

Single events seldom determine the fate of a presidency. Those who said just over a year ago that the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico would doom Mr Obama were as wrong as those who thought Mays killing of Osama bin Laden would make him unbeatable. The debt fight is in similar danger of being over-interpreted. Mr Obamas fate depends more on two big bets he placed well before the Republican capture of the House in Novembers mid-terms. The health-care reform that chewed up political capital in his first two years tanked with voters, and more than $800 billion of stimulus spending has so far failed to deliver the hoped-for growth in jobs. The outcome of the next election will depend more on unemployment than on Mr Obamas handling of the past months comic opera on the debt ceiling.
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Tennessee Gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 05:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Just what is this President supposed to do to create jobs
when the wealthiest corporations and individuals are sitting on their hands with mega bucks of cash? How is he supposed to force them to turn loose of their money and hire people? What incentives are there available to him with his budgetary hands tied by the Republicans in Congress? Nothing will get out of the House because the yahoos control it. And Democrats do not have 60 votes in the Senate.
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. That may be true, but you can't win an election by making excuses...
you have to give people hope, which is what was promised, but never delivered.
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Tennessee Gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:05 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Okay, how does he turn the circumstances into hope?
What needs to happen is the right wingers need to be voted out!!!!
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rfranklin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
18. See the next posting...
There hasn't been enough direct labeling of the right wing efforts to tank the economy. Blame should be laid wwhere it belongs. That alone would create hope.
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Proud Public Servant Donating Member (213 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:29 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. Maybe he can't create jobs
But he can call out the "job creators" who aren't doing their jobs. He can fight hard against the inanity of supply-side economics and the absurdity of imposing austerity measures in a recession. He can stop with the cutesy rhetoric about jet owners and use the bully pulpit to have a direct, matter-of-fact discussion with his countrymen about stagnant wages, the widening gap between the top 1% and everyone else, and what a more equitable, functional society looks like and how to get there. And he can call the GOP what they are -- nihilists and punks who are willing to kill the American economy in their desire to win the next election. It's what FDR would do.
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Tennessee Gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:59 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. I like that. I agree.
He should do that repeatedly. Pound it into the American conscience. Wake them up. Scare the devil out of them so that they pressure the right wing into taking action.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:43 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. WPA
There was another President who made an end run around the oligarchs. What was his name?
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we can do it Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:50 AM
Response to Reply #1
13. We Had House and Senate in 2008 and Wasted It.
Can't seem to see there is no compromising.
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:47 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. For one thing, he can stop pretending the stimulus was "just right"
Since they already knew it was waaaaaay too small. Also, they can stop claiming "the recovery is here!" and being wrong.

He can also keep proposing new bills that get voted down over and over again. Because then you beat it into every voter's head that the Republicans are crippling the economy.

Lastly, corporations aren't hiring because there is no demand. It doesn't make sense to expand the business when there's no new customers. That's why it's critical to properly do stimulus from the government - the government is the only major entity that can hire when it makes no sense to do so.
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Tennessee Gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:04 AM
Response to Reply #14
19. How does he get a stimulus bill passed now with the current
Congressional make up?
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:17 AM
Response to Reply #19
21. My point is it doesn't have to pass.
Edited on Mon Aug-08-11 08:18 AM by jeff47
We lost in 2010 because Congress wasn't "doing anything to fix the crisis". So the voters took it out on the people running Congress. We did not make it clear that Republicans were blocking everything in the senate, so your average voter never knew about the massive number of filibusters.

So you go ahead and propose a lot of stimulus bills. They will not pass. But when 2012 rolls around, the voters will know that the Republicans are the ones blocking action.

Result: We either win by one of those bills passing via D and vulnerable R votes, or we win seats in 2012.
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Tennessee Gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:46 AM
Response to Reply #21
23. Your point is a good one.
Show the public that the President is trying, but the Republicans are blocking. I agree.
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:06 AM
Response to Original message
4. It should be titled - How to destroy a President
The Right Wing and the Corporations they are representing have made it impossible for any Democratic President to do anything.

Where was the blame when Bush created this mess?

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Tennessee Gal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:08 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. The right wing does not care about the mess.
It does not affect them or their big buck donors to their campaigns. Until the voters wake up to the misery they have created nothing will change.
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:49 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Because presidents have no power, and his speeches must be approved by Republicans first
Edited on Mon Aug-08-11 07:50 AM by jeff47
:sarcasm:
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:12 AM
Response to Original message
6. I hope Obama reads this essay, and the last paragraph in particular:
"Any assessment of Mr Obama needs to acknowledge that when he was elected he inherited the in-box from hell: a financial collapse, a prostrated economy, two wars. Now he faces the opposition from hell: a reckless, populist Republican Party whose moderate voices have been silenced by ideologues and which has made throwing him out of office its foremost priority. For these tribulations he deserves a degree of sympathy. But Americans want their presidents to be winners, not victims."
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girl gone mad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:13 AM
Response to Original message
7. k & r
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LuvNewcastle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:28 AM
Response to Original message
8. I try not to judge the President's day-to-day
performance on the job because I realize that he has to work with agendas which take time and planning to carry out. But because he doesn't say much about his position on the issues, he's seen as weak-willed and vacillating. The complaint I hear most from people about Democrats is that they don't 'stand' for anything. They prefer to vote for Republicans because at least they know where the Republicans 'stand,' even if their position is wrong. That is some seriously shitty reasoning, but that is the political reality we are stuck with. If the President believes in basic Democratic principles, and I like to think that he does, there will never be a better time to articulate those principles and begin to assert his own unique position. Democratic ideals are better than those of the Republicans and it's time to remind America why. Obama can try to 'trick' some conservatives into voting for him or he can accept the support he already has and build on that.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:47 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. Except we are now in the reelection cycle. Obama & his handlers think they can capture independents
by being noncommittal. The campaign is already coaching their workers to steer clear of policy questions. I agree, it's time for him to declare just how Democratic he is, principle-wise. I know I'm tired of this Mediator-in-Chief position he's carved out. It's not working.
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tavalon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. A President has two jobs, the private and the public one
It's a distinct possibility that President Obama is good at the first but he is definitely not good at the second one and so is being seen and will be seen by historians as a weak President. And if he is perceived as a weak President, he is, in fact, a weak President.

This Presidency was Obama's to lose and with every passing day, it becomes more apparent that he will, in fact, lose it. And it's too late to primary him even if we had a credible challenger, so he isn't the only one to lose - we all do.
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mmonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
16. I think at this point, he has been checkmated. You can see it in his
demeanor. Speaking of and seeking bipartisan commitments from people who only want to destroy anything he does has put him in a box. I don't think he has understood movement conservatism until the last several months.
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JVS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
20. Yep. Lame duck in the first term.
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oldlib Donating Member (549 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-08-11 08:19 AM
Response to Original message
22. Obama is a politician
pure and simple. I am reading a book "The Bridge" describing his history. What becomes clear, is that politics is his profession. Following his school years he moved to Chicago and ran for State Senator, which he won, and served for a very short period. He then ran for U.S. Senator, which he won, and served for the four years, before running for president. It appears that he will say anything to be elected. At this point he is running for re-election and we can expect the same pattern, of making promises, that he either forgets, or that he is not dedicated to that position. This is, probably, his last effort in politics.
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