Understanding through Discussion


Welcome! You are not logged in. [ Login ]
EvC Forum active members: 167 (8188 total)
Current session began: 
Page Loaded: 12-22-2014 9:49 AM
88 online now:
Aussie, Golffly, kjsimons, Malcolm, Percy (Admin), Tanypteryx (6 members, 82 visitors)
Chatting now:  Chat room empty
Newest Member: Golffly
Post Volume:
Total: 744,361 Year: 30,202/28,606 Month: 1,931/3,328 Week: 93/614 Day: 32/61 Hour: 2/3


Thread  Details

Email This Thread
Newer Topic | Older Topic
  
Prev1
...
78
9
1011
...
27NextFF
Author Topic:   The Awesome Obama Thread II
Omnivorous
Member (Idle past 3 days)
Posts: 3355
From: Adirondackia
Joined: 07-21-2005


Message 121 of 397 (651924)
02-10-2012 7:50 PM
Reply to: Message 120 by Straggler
02-10-2012 7:29 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
Straggler writes:

How much can one compromise before betraying the founding principle at stake?

That is surely the source of disappointment and disillusionment that many legitimately feel?

The GOP is prepared to destroy the nation in order to save it. That is the source of disappointment and disillusionment that many legitimately feel.

Obama could have refused to compromise, and thus would have achieved nothing at all for the voters who put him in office.

He would then face a snowball's chance in hell of reelection, and a Republican president with a Republican Congress would be in position to do inestimable damage.

What could be a greater betrayal than that?


"If you can keep your head while those around you are losing theirs, you can collect a lot of heads."

This message is a reply to:
 Message 120 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2012 7:29 PM Straggler has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 122 of 397 (651931)
02-10-2012 8:56 PM
Reply to: Message 110 by Straggler
02-10-2012 6:35 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
What I don't really understand is your position that Obama has met every expectation that anyone who was inspired by his previous election campaign could reasonably have expected.

Well, it's pretty simple - "reasonable expectations" have to take into account that domestic policy happens primarily via legislation, and the President is not given power to create law under our Constitution.

If your expectation starts "I expect the President to get a law passed that-" then I can stop you right there, because your expectation is unreasonable. The President doesn't "get laws passed." He signs laws that Congress drafts and passes. That's how it works and that's how we want it to work. The President has no power to end the Senate filibuster or reverse a Senate hold, or to overturn votes in the House or Senate, so if any of the 100 Co-Presidents in the Senate decide something isn't going to happen, it doesn't.

False hope which you seem, frankly, in denial about.

I do deny that the Obama campaign engendered anything except a strong message that the people's involvement in politics and in their communities didn't end on Election Night. We are the ones we've been waiting for. I don't understand how you take the message of Obama's acceptance speech and turn it completely around into some kind of messianic exultation.

Well because more was expected and hoped for.

Yes, but unreasonably. Like the song goes, Obama never promised a rose garden. People who thought that the election of Obama cleared the way for every aspect of their own personal interpretation of the progressive agenda were always going to be disappointed no matter what happened. For that matter, not everybody agrees on what the progressive agenda should be! As we're seeing this week, Catholic Democrats have a much different view about an employer's obligations to provide health coverage to their employees than liberal Dems. Fully two-thirds of registered Democrats wanted Guantanamo Bay to stay open and they supported the efforts of their representatives in Congress to block Obama in that respect. You can't please everybody, not even all liberals.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 110 by Straggler, posted 02-10-2012 6:35 PM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 125 by Straggler, posted 02-13-2012 11:47 AM crashfrog has responded
 Message 126 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 1:46 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 123 of 397 (651932)
02-10-2012 9:02 PM
Reply to: Message 117 by Omnivorous
02-10-2012 7:19 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
I don't grant the same concession to the GOP members of Congress. They are not defending and preserving their vision of America, they are defending and preserving their class and its power.

I think you'd find, if you were able to ask them, that that is their vision of what is best for America, and that they view it as completely consistent with the Founder's original intent, with the Bible, and with an ethos of service to "We, The People".


This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Omnivorous, posted 02-10-2012 7:19 PM Omnivorous has acknowledged this reply

  
dronester
Member
Posts: 1144
From: usa
Joined: 11-19-2008


(1)
Message 124 of 397 (652302)
02-13-2012 11:10 AM
Reply to: Message 106 by Rahvin
02-10-2012 5:43 PM


"No blood for oil"
Rahvin writes:

I dislike the "no blood for oil" meme, not because I disagree with the sentiment, but because it had really nothing to do with reality. If the US had wanted control of Iraqi oil, we would have it...and we do not.

The hegemony derived from the control of oil (energy resources) is the reason for the american invasions into the middle east:

The Bush Jr. Admin had ADDITIONALLY hoped there would be big oil payoffs, but you're right, it didn't happened (the Iraqis fought successfully to ultimately control their own national energy resources.) Although the ULITMATE goal of stealing the oil was NOT achieved, the CONTROL of the oil was the main reason for the Iraqi invasion, not the oil profits:

1. . . . a central component of the Persian Gulf resources that the State Department, in 1945, described as "a stupendous source of strategic power, and one of the greatest material prizes in world history", namely the region's vast reserves of crude oil. Middle Eastern oil was regarded in Washington as "probably the richest economic prize in the world in the field of foreign investment", in what President Eisenhower described as the most "strategically important area in the world".
http://www.chomsky.info/articles/20021203.htm

2. Read the mission statement for the now discredited Project for the New American Century. Bush Jr.'s cabinet comprised most of these members. Since 1998 (BEFORE 9/11) they strongly pushed for an Iraqi invasion to secure Iraqi's energy resources and to exert America's lone superpower status.

3. Read about the Hydrocarbon Act. Except for three scant lines, the entire 33-page hydrocarbon law creates a structure to facilitate the privatization of Iraqs oil. Simply put, the resolution demands the privatization of Iraqi oil by blocking over a billion dollars in reconstruction funds if the Iraqis refuse to comply. Its passage sends a strong message that the United States is not in Iraq to help the Iraqi people or defend democracy, but that this war is solely about oil.

Kucinich: Congress Endorses Blackmail of Iraq 
http://kucinich.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?Docume...

4. When American troops illegally and immorally invaded Iraq, the troops didn't guard the hospitals, police precincts, or museums of priceless, ancient antiquities. But, what did they guard successfully? Answer: The Ministry of OIL Building.

5. Dick Chaney's secret meetings with Oil Companies.
America faces a major energy supply crisis over the next two decades, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham told a National Energy Summit on March 19, 2001. The failure to meet this challenge will threaten our nations economic prosperity, compromise our national security, and literally alter the way we lead our lives.

The Washington Post reported on November 15, 2005 that it had obtained documents detailing how executives from major oil corporations, including Exxon-Mobil Corp., Conoco, Royal Dutch Shell Oil Corp., and the American subsidiary of British Petroleum met with Energy Task Force participants while they were developing national energy policy. Vice President Cheney was reported to have met personally with the Chief Executive Officer of BP (formerly British Petroleum) during the time of the Energy Task Force's activities.

On July 18, 2007, the Washington Post reported the names of those involved in the Task Force, . . . Among those in the meetings were James J. Rouse, then vice president of Exxon Mobil and a major donor to the Bush inauguration; Kenneth L. Lay, then head of Enron Corp. . . . Red Cavaney, president of the American Petroleum Institute; and Eli Bebout, an old friend of Cheney's from Wyoming who serves in the state Senate and owns an oil and drilling company.[12]

Most of the activities of the Energy Task Force have not been disclosed to the public, even though Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests (since 19 April 2001) have sought to gain access to its materials.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_Task_Force

The CONTROL of the oil was the main reason for the Iraqi invasion. "No blood for oil" was/IS an accurate meme . . .

quote:
NATO says found Afghan children dead after air strike
By Rob Taylor and Mirwais Harooni | ReutersKABUL | Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:44am EST

NATO aircraft and ground forces attacked insurgents on open ground in the Najrab district of Kapisa, said Brigadier General Carsten Jacobson, a spokesman for NATO's 130,000-strong International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

Afghan government officials showed gruesome photographs of eight dead boys, and said seven of them had been aged between six and 14, while one had been around 18 years old. They were bombed twice while herding sheep in heavy snow and lighting a fire to keep warm, they said.


http://www.reuters.com/...an-airstrike-idUSTRE81C0MU20120213


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Rahvin, posted 02-10-2012 5:43 PM Rahvin has not yet responded

  
Straggler
Member
Posts: 9988
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 1.5


Message 125 of 397 (652319)
02-13-2012 11:47 AM
Reply to: Message 122 by crashfrog
02-10-2012 8:56 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
Before taking part in this thread I had concluded that Obama was just another disappointment of a politician. Since talking to you I have come to realise the following about Obama A) He's black B) He's probably the greatest leader ever.

This Foreign Policy Dithering and this Link are not untypical of the sort of coverage here. Is this sort of coverage not also reasonably prevalent on your side of the pond?

Here's an extract from the second link:

quote:
"Time magazine's cover featured a photo-montaged image merging Obama and Franklin Roosevelt, hailing "the New New Deal". There was a breathless expectation that Obama was poised to solve an economic crisis with a programme of investment and government activism that would not only put Americans back to work but rebuild the country, preparing it for a cleaner, greener future. And of course Obama would put aside the reckless, swaggering foreign policy of his predecessor, would reach out to the Muslim world and would doubtless replace discord with harmony across the globe. It was not just those who were there on that bright January morning who got caught up in the excitement of all this promise. Less than nine months later, the Nobel committee gave Obama its peace prize.

Now all that seems a long time ago. Conservative Americans, especially those who live in the Foxosphere, never believed the hype anyway. But since then, many of the one-time true believers, Democrats and liberals, have lost their faith in Obama. They believe his presidency has been a terrible, historic letdown; that he has not delivered on his promises; that instead of bringing radical change, he has provided more of the same; that he has been a weak, querulous presence in the White House, unwilling to make enemies, unwilling even to define himself or make clear what he stands for.

The specific charge sheet against Obama could run for several pages and then several more. On the economy, the president is blamed for a lack of ambition, for passing a stimulus package of $787bn that, say the critics, should have been nearly twice the size. Obama erred, too, by allowing Democrats in Congress to write the stimulus bill, packing it with pet schemes and pork that would do little to get the economy moving. In an attempt to win Republican support which never came he also weighed down the bill with too many tax cuts. The result was action that was simply incomplete, leaving unemployment hovering around the 9% mark for most of Obama's presidency.

Former admirers say he was too weak on the banks, failing to declare war on those who had caused the 2008 crash. The clues were there in his senior appointments. While some liberals had fantasised about a dream ticket of Nobel laureate Paul Krugman and former labour secretary Robert Reich, Obama filled his two key economic posts with Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner, both schooled by Robert Rubin, former co-chair of Goldman Sachs. Obama did legislate on financial reform, but the bill did not go far enough, with no restoration of the Depression-era Glass-Steagall act, which had previously separated casino and retail banking. Nor was there any action to cap the pay of top executives, even in companies majority-owned by the US government. It's not that Obama fought and lost on these issues. In most cases, he did not even fight.

His signature achievement, the passage of healthcare reform, also dismayed as many liberals as it delighted, chiefly because Obama surrendered on the so-called public option which, while not exactly establishing an American NHS, would have at least offered a government-run insurance programme as an alternative to the private sector. That made Obama's bill no more radical than one proposed decades earlier by Richard Nixon, or the one passed by a certain Mitt Romney when he was governor of Massachusetts.

In his inaugural address Obama spoke often and poetically on climate change. He vowed to "harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories". But there has been no action and not even any serious advocacy. Aware that Republicans do not even believe there is an energy problem, he has shied away from offering a solution.

Those of us watching from afar have felt versions of this disappointment. Plenty of Guardian readers would have cheered when Obama used his first day in office to sign an order for the closure of the detention camp at Guantnamo Bay and chose to make his first presidential phone call to the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. But, thwarted by a Republican refusal to allow any ex-Guantnamo detainees to set foot on US soil, Obama has been unable to make good on that day one order: Camp Delta remains open. As for Israel-Palestine, on which he had promised to work from his first day in office, the US role has been ineffective or even, by some lights, counter-productive."



This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by crashfrog, posted 02-10-2012 8:56 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 127 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 2:25 PM Straggler has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 396 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 126 of 397 (652347)
02-13-2012 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 122 by crashfrog
02-10-2012 8:56 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
The President doesn't "get laws passed."

You're right in that he doesn't get a vote on the legislation, but there have been some presidents who very much "[got] laws passed." LBJ was famous for his ability to convince legislators - in any party - to vote for what he wanted. He would make promises, make threats, cajole and pressure, and in the end, people would often walk out of a meeting feeling like they'd been steamrolled, but would vote the way he wanted.

Other presidents have been very effective in using the bully pulpit to get popular support, making it untenable for certain people in the opposite party to oppose the president's agenda. JFK was an amazing speaker. When Obama campaigned, I was blown away by his speaking ability, but after he was elected, he seemed to decide to retreat. I understand his belief that it would be better to distance himself from certian laws in order to let the Senate or the House work out their compromises, but I believe he was wrong. He should be using the one great power of the presidency, the bully pulpit, combined with his natural oratoric skills to push his agenda. He's begun doing that lately, but I'm not sure how much of that is "campaign Obama" coming out rather than "governing Obama" changing.

All in all, I think he did a good job, but I do think he could have been more effective and gotten a bit more than he was willing to compromise away in the end had he fought harder, and in public.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 122 by crashfrog, posted 02-10-2012 8:56 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 128 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 2:34 PM Perdition has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 127 of 397 (652357)
02-13-2012 2:25 PM
Reply to: Message 125 by Straggler
02-13-2012 11:47 AM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
Well, look. Thanks for making an incredible case that Obama's critics are completely incoherent, at least: "He doesn't try hard enough to compromise with Republicans. Wait, no, he tries too hard. He's not doing enough to sway public opinion. Wait, no, all he does is make speeches. His agenda is overambitious, Wait, no, it's too conservative. He doesn't defend his positions. Wait, no, he's too defensive. He defers to Congress too much. Wait, no, he's overreaching."

Is this sort of coverage not also reasonably prevalent on your side of the pond?

It's completely prevalent, and this is exactly the sort of thing I've been talking about the whole time. These criticisms of the Obama administration are all based on a completely fictitious notion of Presidental power. Obama can't give orders to Congress. They don't have to do what he says.

I mean, I don't know if that's hard for someone from a country with a Queen to understand, or what. Congress is a completely different branch of our government, it's almost entirely responsible for the nation's domestic policy, and it doesn't take orders from Obama.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 125 by Straggler, posted 02-13-2012 11:47 AM Straggler has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by Straggler, posted 02-16-2012 3:00 PM crashfrog has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 128 of 397 (652361)
02-13-2012 2:34 PM
Reply to: Message 126 by Perdition
02-13-2012 1:46 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
You're right in that he doesn't get a vote on the legislation, but there have been some presidents who very much "[got] laws passed." LBJ was famous for his ability to convince legislators - in any party - to vote for what he wanted.

Not even LBJ could get everything he wanted - he failed, for instance, to pass any but the most limited health care reform - and moreover, Johnson enjoyed a Congress with a majority of progressive legislators spread across two parties, moderates in the rest, and since this was prior to the rise of movement conservativism, a small number of conservatives were spread out across two parties and multiple independent issues. (All that and he still lost Democrats the South for two generations.) In other words, the difference between LBJ and Obama isn't that Obama's a slacker, it's Congress. Johnson had a whopping 68 Democrats in Congress; Obama's never had more than 58 and it's impossible - literally impossible given US demographic trends - for him to have ever had more than 63. Cloture in the Senate requires the assent of 60. I don't see how you can just ignore the situation in Congress in favor of the mysterious, unspecified power of the "bully pulpit."

He should be using the one great power of the presidency, the bully pulpit, combined with his natural oratoric skills to push his agenda.

But what power to "push the agenda" does that pulpit actually have?

Can you imagine any speech Obama could possibly give that would convince people like Buzsaw that he's not, in fact, a Kenyan Muslim? If your answer (as it must assuredly be) is "no" then you've run right up against the limit of the President's speechifying to overcome the 60 vote requirement in the Senate.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 126 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 1:46 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 129 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 3:25 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 396 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 129 of 397 (652373)
02-13-2012 3:25 PM
Reply to: Message 128 by crashfrog
02-13-2012 2:34 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
Can you imagine any speech Obama could possibly give that would convince people like Buzsaw that he's not, in fact, a Kenyan Muslim? If your answer (as it must assuredly be) is "no" then you've run right up against the limit of the President's speechifying to overcome the 60 vote requirement in the Senate.

You're right, in that he's never going to convince everyone that he's right. All he needs to do, however, is make a majority of voters in a district agree with him in order for the person representing that district to either risk losing their job by going against their wishes, go out and actively campaign against what the president says, or capitulate and vote as the people want.

There are definitely limits on what the President can do, however, Obama has not met those limits. The Republicans have dominated the discussion of just about every policy Obama and/or the Democrats want, even when they were the minority in both houses.

This tends to lead to the impression that Democrats aren't fighters or don't have a position. This is obviously a false perception, but politics is often a battle of perceptions, and the Republicans have been winning that battle for decades. The Democrats need a fighter, and as the standard bearer of the party, Obama needs to be out there telling people what he wants, why he wants it, and why the people should want it, too.

Not even LBJ could get everything he wanted.

No, he didn't, however, he had the perception of being a fighter. Often, the vice-president takes on that role in modern politics, including LBJ right through to Dick Cheney. Biden has been even more absent, at least in perception, than Obama has been. The running jokes on late night TV are that Biden is kept in Cheney's "undisclosed location" in order to stop him from making gaffes and screwing things up more.

Again, perception is everything.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 128 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 2:34 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 130 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 3:53 PM Perdition has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 130 of 397 (652381)
02-13-2012 3:53 PM
Reply to: Message 129 by Perdition
02-13-2012 3:25 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
All he needs to do, however, is make a majority of voters in a district agree with him in order for the person representing that district to either risk losing their job by going against their wishes, go out and actively campaign against what the president says, or capitulate and vote as the people want.

What the fuck? How do you "make someone agree with you"? Seriously, how does that work? Please be specific.

Recall that 27% of Americans think that Obama was born outside the US. That's over 100 million people, which constitutes the combined populations of 40 of the 50 states. In other words, Obama persuading fully three-fourths of the American people might earn him as few as 20 Senate votes, total. But let's say that he's able to be so imaginably persuasive that he's able to persuade 99% of those Buzsaw-like holdouts as well, resulting in at most one state's worth of holdouts. That's a little under a million people, or the entire population of Montana. So, there's an entire state of people who can't be persuaded under any circumstances to support the President's views.

Well, ok, but it's Montana, you say. Er, but wait - Montana's Senator is Max Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, making him the most important Senator in the country. You see, the Chair of the Finance Committee has control over the Finance Committee's agenda, which means he controls what the Finance Committee votes on, and since a bill cannot come up for a vote in the Senate until it's ratified by the Finance Committee, that means Max Baucus, a single Senator who represents less than 1% of the population of the United States, gets to veto Obama's health care bill. That's right - he has power exactly equivalent to the President's veto pen. And there's absolutely nothing Obama can do about it because Max Baucus works for the people of his constituency, not the people of the United States.

So, basically: fuck your bully pulpit. It's worthless. Even if Obama could somehow use speechifying to convince 99% of the American public to support his agenda, it has to be the exact right 99% or his agenda can be completely blocked by one of the Co-Presidents in the Senate. That's all before we get to the point where each individual Senator is able to use their own veto power to extract concessions. You know, maybe Ben Nelson can't live with the public option because he's from a state with a lot of health insurance companies. And, of course, what we know about American politics is that there's over a hundred million people who are exactly like Buzsaw and simply cannot be convinced by any use of the president's "bully pulpit."

There are definitely limits on what the President can do, however, Obama has not met those limits.

Bullshit. Complete bullshit. Obama has left nothing on the table since the stimulus - and maybe not even then, since I've never once seen anyone identify the 60 Senators who would have voted for an unprecedented-in-history two trillion dollar stimulus. It's really surprising that he got as much as he did.

He's a fighter. There's no way you can't say he's not fighting for things. His incredible record of achievement is the proof. But here's the problem - neither the "bully pulpit" nor "fighting" are ways for the President to enact legislation in the United States. There are statutory limitations to Presidential power that simply can't be overcome just because the President really, really wants it.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 129 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 3:25 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 131 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 4:28 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 396 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 131 of 397 (652396)
02-13-2012 4:28 PM
Reply to: Message 130 by crashfrog
02-13-2012 3:53 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
What the fuck? How do you "make someone agree with you"? Seriously, how does that work? Please be specific.

It's called argument and debate. If you convince people that a public option for healthcare is a good thing, in that it will reduce costs, allow you to see any doctor, not just in-network ones, and foster more competition in the private insurance sector, they now agree with you, right? Perhaps "make someone agree with you" was poor wording, but I didn't think it was that opaque.

So, there's an entire state of people who can't be persuaded under any circumstances to support the President's views.

Yeah, but unless they all reside in one state, or one district, this matters how? If they're a minority of most districts, then the person who panders to them exclusively will probably lose.

He's a fighter. There's no way you can't say he's not fighting for things. His incredible record of achievement is the proof. But here's the problem - neither the "bully pulpit" nor "fighting" are ways for the President to enact legislation in the United States. There are statutory limitations to Presidential power that simply can't be overcome just because the President really, really wants it.

I know he's a fighter. You know he's a fighter. Bob down the street? He doesn't. Why? Because Obama's fights are conducted off-screen. If Obama wanted to address the nation, he could be on all four networks, plus the three major news channels. He could argue that this policy will help you in these ways (being a great orator might require him to make this entertaining some way) The Republicans might then create an opposition piece, and it would probably play on the news networks, and maybe even on the regular networks, but not necessarily, and even if it did, it would still set up a perception that "this" is what Obama wants.

A lot of people have no idea what he wants because he's not using the bully pulpit to get his ideas out to the nation. In a hyper-partisan news cycle, it requires great effort to do this, but it is not impossible.

So, basically: fuck your bully pulpit. It's worthless. Even if Obama could somehow use speechifying to convince 99% of the American public to support his agenda, it has to be the exact right 99% or his agenda can be completely blocked by one of the Co-Presidents in the Senate. That's all before we get to the point where each individual Senator is able to use their own veto power to extract concessions. You know, maybe Ben Nelson can't live with the public option because he's from a state with a lot of health insurance companies. And, of course, what we know about American politics is that there's over a hundred million people who are exactly like Buzsaw and simply cannot be convinced by any use of the president's "bully pulpit."

I'm talking about perception here. Those he could never convince can be written off, as, you know, he can't convince them. But what about the undecideds, the fence-sitters, the ones who might be persuaded to agree with him? He's doing little to convince these people. He's conceding a lot of people to the Republicans.

He was elected by people voting for his ideas. Then, when he gets into office, he backs off, lets the grassroots organizations that were built to support his candidacy wither, and makes compromises. Those compromises were necessary. I agree with you, but he doesn't then go and explain the compromises, he lets the news agencies explain them (and they invariably count them as a failure), he lets the Republicans explain them (because they are not afraid to go on TV and crow about what they "made the President agree to" or what"concessions they were able to get."

In response, Obama releases a podcast, or puts a paper up on the White House website. That's weak, it makes him look weak, and it is leading toward the perception that he isn't a fighter, that he's failed at getting his agenda done.

Perception, perception, perception.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 130 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 3:53 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 132 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 4:44 PM Perdition has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 132 of 397 (652403)
02-13-2012 4:44 PM
Reply to: Message 131 by Perdition
02-13-2012 4:28 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
It's called argument and debate.

Come on. You know as well as I do that "argument and debate" doesn't "make" anybody agree with me, it merely gives them the opportunity to and if they choose not to take it, there's nothing that I can do. And the fact that they chose not to doesn't always indicate a deficiency in myargument, but in their thought processes. You're blaming Obama for the actions of other people.

Yeah, but unless they all reside in one state, or one district, this matters how?

I told you how this matters. Go back and read it. They don't reside all in one state; in fact, they're the entire populations of 40 out of 50 US states, or could be. There's no way to take 101 million "unconvincables" and divy them up according to real demographics such that you can get a Senate supermajority.

A lot of people have no idea what he wants because he's not using the bully pulpit to get his ideas out to the nation.

When has the President not used his "bully pulpit" to get his ideas out to the nation? Be specific. Which ideas has he failed to get out there in front of the people?

But what about the undecideds, the fence-sitters, the ones who might be persuaded to agree with him?

What about them? Since undecided people can't vote in primary elections (since they don't affiliate with either party) why would any member of Congress care about what they believe? How could convincing them possibly exert any pressure whatsoever on the Senate?

Then, when he gets into office, he backs off, lets the grassroots organizations that were built to support his candidacy wither, and makes compromises.

When did he "let them whither"? You're aware, of course, that it's against the law for the President to simultaneously operate a grassroots political organization, since that's an enormous conflict of interest with his role as the entire country's President, right? So when you say he "let them whither", when exactly did that happen? Did it happen in 2009 as he implored the Democratic grassroots to come out in favor of health care reform? Doesn't the Democratic grassroots that overwhelmingly answered "lol, no, we're tired, you do it" to Obama's exhortations bear the blame?

I agree with you, but he doesn't then go and explain the compromises, he lets the news agencies explain them

Obama made over 400 appearances before the national media in the first year of his term alone, plus more than twenty town hall meetings, plus 42 news conferences, plus 150 interviews with newspapers, television reporters, and bloggers. In fact in the entire 365 days of his first term as president, Obama was outside of the public eye for only 21 days. Could you be more specific about the cases where you feel Obama has shirked from advocacy? Please identify the agenda items for which you believe Obama did not speak from the "bully pulpit" to the American people.

Perception, perception, perception.

I'm also talking about perception - specifically, your mistaken and faulty perception that Obama doesn't address the American people on the issues of the day.

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 131 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 4:28 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 133 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 5:31 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 396 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 133 of 397 (652428)
02-13-2012 5:31 PM
Reply to: Message 132 by crashfrog
02-13-2012 4:44 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
it merely gives them the opportunity to and if they choose not to take it, there's nothing that I can do.

Yes, but if I don't even bother to make the argument, who is that going to convince?

There's no way to take 101 million "unconvincables" and divy them up according to real demographics such that you can get a Senate supermajority.

You said:

quote:
Recall that 27% of Americans think that Obama was born outside the US. That's over 100 million people, which constitutes the combined populations of 40 of the 50 states.

Last I checked, 27% is less than 40%. So there is definitely a way that I could group these people such that we could create a 60% supermajority in the Senate. In fact, if you made them 27% of every state, that would seem to make a 100 seat Ubermajority.

Now, I realize this is not the way it is set up in reality, but I don't really think we can write off the entire population of 20 states, let alone 40 states. And you're talking straight population numbers, not likely voters. I also know that making it likely voters currently makes your point even stronger, but why is that? Could it be that there are a large number of people who see no reason to vote for democrats because they either see little to no difference between the two parties, a la Ralph Nader, or belivee that the difference is that the Democrats are the party of no ideas while the Republicans are the party of bad ideas, a la Lewis Black?

Where do these perceptions coem from? Could a Democratic Party that works as hard as the Republican Party to get its message out and fight for their ideas maybe get a bit more traction?

When has the President not used his "bully pulpit" to get his ideas out to the nation? Be specific. Which ideas has he failed to get out there in front of the people?

I like politics, that was one reason I volunteered to run Politicus Maximus when Percy was asking for someone to do a politics board. I know the benefits of a public option in healthcare. I saw very little coverage of anyone fighting for this idea. Let alone Obama.

Obama signed the Executive order closing Guantanamo. He doesn't have the power to actually do anything about it though. There was a bit of fanfare about him signing it. I haven't heard it mentioned since, except by upset liberals claiming that Obama didn't do anything about it. Why hasn't he been on TV saying that Guantanamo needs to be closed, but Republicans in Congress are holding this up?

I could go on. He gets on TV talking about jobs bills and some economic things, but he's pretty absent on social issues. I know what he wants, and I know that he doesn't have much power to make things happen in Congress, but he can certainly make it part of the discussion.

Just recently, there was the sort of controversy over forcing religious institutions to offer contraception through their insurance plans. Republicans and some fundamentalists shrieked, the majority of Americans either supported the decision or were apathetic to it...he added a stipulation that the religious institutions didn't have to refer anyone or do anything proactive in regards to contraception, but all insurance providers needed to offer it. A masterful stroke, in my opinion. How was it spun in the media? "Obama compromises on contraception" as if it was a defeat and not masterful political jujitsu. People were wondering if it would be an election year issue. MSNBC.com said that this is a win for Obama if no one is talking about it this week. How is that a win? He should be on TV touting this move, letting the people know that he's sensitive to religious issues, but doesn't want to leave anyone unable to get contraception.

Where is he?

What about them? Since undecided people can't vote in primary elections (since they don't affiliate with either party) why would any member of Congress care about what they believe? How could convincing them possibly exert any pressure whatsoever on the Senate?

Who said anything about primaries? They could lose a general election, especially in a purple state.

Doesn't the Democratic grassroots that overwhelmingly answered "lol, no, we're tired, you do it" to Obama's exhortations bear the blame?

Absolutely they do, but I can't exactly say he was omnipresent in asking people to come out in support of universal health care. I heard Republican after Republican eviscerate "Obamacare." Death panels were everywhere. The Democrats wanted to kill Nana.

The Democratic answer?
"Uh, no we don't."

The Republicans have a massive noise machine. The Democrats don't....what they do have is the presidency.

Obama made over 400 appearances before the national media in the first year of his term alone, plus more than twenty town hall meetings, plus 42 news conferences, plus 150 interviews with newspapers, television reporters, and bloggers. In fact in the entire 365 days of his first term as president, Obama was outside of the public eye for only 21 days. Could you be more specific about the cases where you feel Obama has shirked from advocacy? Please identify the agenda items for which you believe Obama did not speak from the "bully pulpit" to the American people.

And all of those forms of advocacy are great. I applaud him for doing it. I hardly saw any of it. There wasn't a townhall meeting near me. I see Michelle Obama more than I see Barack Obama. She's making commercials about health and obesity and exercise. You know, the things she passionate about. These commercials appear on every TV channel you care to see. Obama makes speeches that are easy to turn off, and that I don't even hear about until the next day.

Getting your message out is hard, but Obama uses old media alot, which doesn't have the impact it used to, and uses new media that only appeals to people who are either hardcore politicos or already agree with him.

I don't exactly know what he needs to do...maybe commercials that aren't just campaign spots, but are actual advocacy spots that run year-round. Maybe he needs to come up with something to draw people to his speeches, rather than bore them.

I'm not saying its not tough, and it isn't Obama's fault entirely, its a fault of the Democrats as a party, but Obama is the standard-bearer of the party. As such, the party's faults are perceived as his faults, fairly or unfairly.

I'm also talking about perception - specifically, your mistaken and faulty perception that Obama doesn't address the American people on the issues of the day.

I hardly ever see him, except on the State of the Union...and again, I'm actually interested in politics. I see Republicans far more prominently than I see Democrats.

Again, much of the problem with perception lies with the Democratic Party, but Obama is doing nothing to challenge that perception. What he's been doig obviously hasn't changed the narrative much, so he needs to do something different. The old saying about the definition of insanity comes to mind.

In general, I agree with you. Obama has been a very good president in a very difficult environment and situation. However, he hasn't gotten that message out very effectively. He tries, he says in almost every speech that "this isn't going to be fixed overnight." I understand that it takes time for the economy to recover, it takes compromise to get anything passed in congress. But he hasn't been very effective in getting his successes out there, whereas his opponents have been very good at not only getting his failures out there, but have been very effective in casting his successes as even more failures.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 132 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 4:44 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 134 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 5:55 PM Perdition has responded
 Message 137 by Taz, posted 02-13-2012 9:38 PM Perdition has responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 134 of 397 (652437)
02-13-2012 5:55 PM
Reply to: Message 133 by Perdition
02-13-2012 5:31 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
Yes, but if I don't even bother to make the argument, who is that going to convince?

So which arguments did Obama not make? Please be specific.

Last I checked, 27% is less than 40%.

The states don't have identical populations; two-thirds of Americans live in one of ten states. Each state is two Senators.

You can get to 51% of the US population and still be only talking about having the support of 8 Senators.

And you're talking straight population numbers, not likely voters.

Right, but again we run into one of the ways progressives are structurally disadvantaged in the United States - that 27% rump has a far, far higher voter turnout rate than anybody else, including committed progressives.

Could a Democratic Party that works as hard as the Republican Party to get its message out and fight for their ideas maybe get a bit more traction?

No, because the difference between progressives and fringe conservatives isn't messaging, and it isn't "perception", it's actually a heritable difference in personality type that you can't just overcome with TV commercials. Republicans enjoy these structural advantages because they're the right-wing, which means they benefit both from the preference intensity differential associated with authoritarian personality types and the enormous number of veto points in the Senate, which privileges inaction.

He should be on TV touting this move, letting the people know that he's sensitive to religious issues, but doesn't want to leave anyone unable to get contraception. Where is he?

He's on TV, stupid!

Who said anything about primaries? They could lose a general election, especially in a purple state.

It's a lot harder for an incumbent to lose in a general than in a primary; incumbents typically win re-election in the general 75-80% or more. There's an enormous incumbency advantage in the general, you can usually count on everybody in your party to vote for you, and there aren't enough independents, usually, to swing a Congressional election. Congresspeople are overwhelmingly focused on the primary if there's a primary because that's where the incumbency advantage is the lowest - there's less voters overall, and you can't count on the entire party voting for you because now your opponents have a realistic chance of peeling off your support.

These are just the electoral realities. You don't understand them, so it seems like a mistake to you that Obama doesn't "go after independents." But the truth is that independents exert almost no influence at all on Congressional politics; Congress is overwhelmingly a place of party politics.

The Democratic answer?

Obama's answer was over a hundred public appearances and more than twenty town hall meetings just on his health care bill, all of which you're claiming he did not do.

I hardly saw any of it.

Well, shit, dude, maybe you're not in a position then to judge whether Obama made enough appearances? I mean, isn't that on you? Obama can appear on TV as often as he likes, but there's only four nationwide broadcast networks. Obama has no power whatsoever to prevent you from flipping over to America's Next Top Windowasher or whatever.

I mean you have to take some responsibility for the fact that you just don't give a shit about our politics except when you don't get all the ponies you want. Don't you?

Obama makes speeches that are easy to turn off, and that I don't even hear about until the next day.

What the fuck is he supposed to do, Perdition? Pass a law saying you can't change the channel? Hey, I know, maybe he could make a law where you have to have a special screen in every room in your home which he controls, so that when the President deigns to speak, you have no choice but to hear. We can make it against the law to disable or tamper with these screens, and we can even make them two-way so that Big Brother From Another Mother (maybe I need to work on that name, something... shorter, maybe) can watch you to make sure you're paying rapt attention. I mean, what could go wrong?

Seriously, Perdition. You're being absolutely ridiculous. I'm sorry that American politics is so boring to you you'd rather change the channel, but you need to take responsibility for that, not blame the President for not being entertaining enough. Jesus Christ.

I don't exactly know what he needs to do...

Then you can't really fault him for not doing it, can you?

Edited by crashfrog, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 133 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 5:31 PM Perdition has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 135 by Perdition, posted 02-13-2012 6:35 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Perdition
Member (Idle past 396 days)
Posts: 1592
From: Wisconsin
Joined: 05-15-2003


Message 135 of 397 (652443)
02-13-2012 6:35 PM
Reply to: Message 134 by crashfrog
02-13-2012 5:55 PM


Re: Next campaign as pragmatic and non-idealistic as the last one?
So which arguments did Obama not make? Please be specific.

How, pray tell, do I determine which arguments he didn't make? There is literally an infinite number of arguments he didn't make.

What is relevant is that he didn't make arguments that convinced people, especially those that agree with him, to advocate on his behalf.

The states don't have identical populations; two-thirds of Americans live in one of ten states. Each state is two Senators.

I know. But, if 27% of the population of each state were the unconvinceable, that would be 27% of the country, would it not? Then, 73% of each state would be at the very least open to being convinced. If those people were convinced and equal portions of each group voted in both Senatorial elections per state, it would end up with 100 Senators on Obama's side, right?

You can get to 51% of the US population and still be only talking about having the support of 8 Senators.

True. But this isn't what I was saying. If you took that 51% and shuffled the people around, such that sheer numbers were the same for each state, but it was now evenly distributed by percentage, then 51% of each state would equal 51% of the country.

Right, but again we run into one of the ways progressives are structurally disadvantaged in the United States - that 27% rump has a far, far higher voter turnout rate than anybody else, including committed progressives.

Exactly. Why is that?

No, because the difference between progressives and fringe conservatives isn't messaging, and it isn't "perception", it's actually a heritable difference in personality type that you can't just overcome with TV commercials. Republicans enjoy these structural advantages because they're the right-wing, which means they benefit both from the preference intensity differential associated with authoritarian personality types and the enormous number of veto points in the Senate, which privileges inaction.

That heritable difference in personality-type also includes the fact that progressives (liberals, take back the word, damnit!) are more open to nuanced, arguments. They also tend to focus on good images, wheras conservatives focus on bad images. Again, we can use this difference in messaging, making the discussion one of positives versus one of negatives, and increase the percentage of liberal voters while decreasing the percentage of conservative voters.

Messaging will still work, it will just take hard work.

He's on TV, stupid!

Unfortunately, I can't view videos at work. I know he's on TV, just not TV that anyone watches.

These are just the electoral realities. You don't understand them, so it seems like a mistake to you that Obama doesn't "go after independents." But the truth is that independents exert almost no influence at all on Congressional politics; Congress is overwhelmingly a place of party politics.

I do understand them, but maybe I'm a bit biased by living in one of the purplest states in the nation, where independents do have a very strong influence. That is why I mentioned that the effect would be more pronounced in such purple states.

I realize that incumbents have an advantage. Many people rate their congressperson higher than they rate congress as a whole. It's them thinking that all politicians are corrupt and bad...except mine.

Obama's answer was over a hundred public appearances and more than twenty town hall meetings just on his health care bill, all of which you're claiming he did not do.

I certainly did not say he didn't do them, in fact I applauded him doing them. I said what he did was not effective. Town Hall meetings are very ineffective, they influence the people there, but by and large, the people there already agree with him. He would need to do many more town hall meetings to influence a sizeable percentage of the population. They're effective in primaries, but almost useless in generals and as a policy pusher.

As for TV, again, he's on TV that people don't watch, which again, is ineffective. He could go on The Daily Show (he did before becoming President, but now it's not good enough for him?) It would reach a younger audience, those very people he needs to reach out to. He could do public awareness commercials, or advocacy commercials that will be run on every channel. It'll reach a larger group of people and give them something to think about.

Commercials work.

I mean you have to take some responsibility for the fact that you just don't give a shit about our politics except when you don't get all the ponies you want. Don't you?

I do give a shit. I love politics. The avergae voter doesn't. They are the ones he's not reaching.

Seriously, Perdition. You're being absolutely ridiculous. I'm sorry that American politics is so boring to you you'd rather change the channel, but you need to take responsibility for that, not blame the President for not being entertaining enough. Jesus Christ.

Wow.

Me: Obama is ineffective in his messaging.
Crash: No he's not, he's on TV everywhere.
Me: Perhaps, and good for him, but its not effective. People change the channel.
Crash: You need to take more responsibility for politics.
Me: Even if I did, how does that make him more effective?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 134 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 5:55 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 136 by crashfrog, posted 02-13-2012 7:11 PM Perdition has responded

    
Prev1
...
78
9
1011
...
27NextFF
Newer Topic | Older Topic
Jump to:


Copyright 2001-2014 by EvC Forum, All Rights Reserved

™ Version 4.0 Beta
Innovative software from Qwixotic © 2014