President Obama: One of the Greats?

This image is taken from the Washington Monthly which has a story The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama.   I’ve been puzzling my liberal friends and annoying/shocking my conservative buddies by repeating my prediction that President Barack Obama will likely be remembered as one of the great Presidents in US history.

Liberals believe that Obama has somehow not been strong enough, some claim he’s been “GOP Lite.”  He caved on the debt ceiling, extended the Bush tax cuts and hasn’t stood up to the GOP.   They see his efforts to make deals with Speaker Boehner as having been weak and foolish.  To many on the left Obama is a militarist who has continued US policies in Iraq and Afghanistan, doing what he needs to to curry favor with the Pentagon.   Moreover, he’s too close to Wall Street, having used advisors like Summers, Geithner and other “insiders” instead of embracing radical reform.   Instead of pushing change, he’s trying to be liked by Republicans who want only to destroy him.

Republicans think Obama has been dangerously radical, weak on defense, and unfriendly to business.   They see the modest compromise ridden health care reform the Democrats see as sometimes worse than doing nothing as some kind of radical dangerous burst of socialism.  Sometimes the criticism is bizarre.   Newt Gingrich warns that Obama has been “pretending” to be reasonable for four years in order to slam his agenda down our throats after his re-election.

The often bizarre beliefs his opponents hold about him is indicative of Obama being a transforming President - when the country is in transition, many people don't like it!

In short, the extremes of each party have tended towards seeing anything not in line with their perspective as bad.  They are in two parallel universes, showing the depth of the partisan division over Obama’s Presidency.

Given tea party noise, continuing unease about the economy and the partisan divide it’s easy to miss all that the President has accomplished.  That list of fifty accomplishments is pretty substantive, and beyond what most Presidents do in their first four years.  Now some on the right might think some of these accomplishments are mistakes — policies we shouldn’t have engaged in.   But that’s a different issue.   In terms of getting things done, Obama has been an effective activist President.

Rather than put together an argument about why he may be destined for greatness, I’ll channel an historian from the year 2050…hold on, turning out the lights, starting the seance…OK….

“Why do we consider President Obama to have been one of America’s great Presidents?  Well, in 2008 the United States slipped into a severe recession caused by thirty years of deficit spending and current account deficits as the country binged on cheap consumer goods produced elsewhere and bought with borrowed money.  Many said the US was in collapse, and predictions ranged from complete breakdown in authority to a weakened state groveling to the Chinese to keep them from dumping dollars and treasury notes.   Two dubious wars had divided the country, harmed the economy, tarnished America’s image and seemed to symbolize US decline.

President Obama came into this horrible situation and arguably prevented the Great Recession from becoming a depression.  Forging a compromise heavy on tax cuts to help please Republicans, the stimulus package of 2009 helped save the US and arguably the globe from a spiraling depression.   Obama also continued President Bush’s policy of rescuing the credit markets with the Troubled Asset Relief program, which also staved off depression and prevented a banking collapse.

His first years were rough, even as he engineered major changes like a health care reform program that over time has cut US health care costs and which now enjoys immense support.  He supported the civil rights movement of that era by ending “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” carefully bringing the Pentagon on board to undercut opposition.  In foreign policy he not only patched up relations with the rest of the world (being more popular abroad than at home during his first term), famously getting along with leaders of diverse views, but he also took a stance for freedom, helping push out dictators in the Arab Spring.

When the global economy turned around his second term, his popularity grew, and many now credit President Obama with saving the US from decline as a superpower.  He recast US policy as one of working with like minded states to pragmatically solve problems, beginning the alternative energy cooperative that has allowed a smooth shift from fossil fuels to alternatives in a way that did not bring about a feared oil catastrophe.   As one biographer put it, ‘President Obama is a major reason why ‘peak oil’ became simply a transition, not a disaster.’

His shift of emphasis from hard power to soft power, as well as limited American involvement won support at home from a public weary of middle east wars, and caused other countries to recognize the need for cooperation – America isn’t going to do it alone. It paid dividends when diplomatic pressure forced Iran to give up its nuclear program and gave room to Iran’s dissidents who ultimately forced the clerics to move towards a truly democratic and modern Iran.  Obama’s shift also turned the US into a kind of hero to the Islamic world, credited with helping end the regimes of Mubarak, Gaddafi and Assad.   Without a mix of US pressure and support the Saudi Royal Family would have never ceded power without a fight.

Historical causality is often hard to label.   Things had gotten so bad by 2008 that perhaps any leader would have become great, the times can make the man.   But President Obama’s pragmatism, willingness to compromise, and recognition that the US could no longer say “we lead, you follow” helped guide the US from its unipolar moment to its position of multipolar cooperative shared leadership.   It was in his second term that the initial plans were created to recast the power grid, restructure the American tax code (which had become byzantine in its complexity by 2008) and ultimately put the US on a path of sustainable success…”

Bringing about "change you can believe in" doesn't happen overnight.

The reality is that President Obama took charge at a time when the country was in transition, and at this point, if you see above the noise and uncertainty, there are real signs that we’re making progress.   We’re not only starting to restructure the economy but recast our role in the world and set up policies with an eye on a very different future than the world of the 20th Century.

Yes, his foes will never accept that — many still hate FDR, and no one denies his greatness.  But President Obama is in the midst of a transformative Presidency, starting the country on a new direction.   That is a recipe for greatness.

Advertisements
  1. #1 by lbwoodgate on March 10, 2012 - 03:55

    It’s usually true that if you’re making some people angry then you’re probably doing something right. History is always kind to public figures but only by virtue of hindsight. It is true though that much of what causes confrontation in the present becomes the catalyst necessary to make the needed transitions for our future.

    A compelling argument Scott.

  2. #2 by Black Flag® on March 10, 2012 - 07:23

    hahahahhahhha

    Well, continuing war, economic deprivation, destroying civil rights makes one great, you’re right!

    ahahahhahahhahahah

  3. #3 by lbwoodgate on March 10, 2012 - 12:26

    Uh oh, Scott. It seems Yves Smith over at naked capitalism has seen this PR attempt by the Obama administration and offers some counter points to your argument.

    “Just when you think things have gotten as bad as they can, whether in matters of great import of small, they manage to get worse. I should be inured to relentless Obama propagandizing by now, but to make sure the public doesn’t miss the fact that they are lucky enough to be governed by someone possessed of true genius, the pre-election PR is now taking on heavy-handed cult of personality overtones. As if Obama has enough in the way of personality for anyone to notice.

    For instance, I’d like to know what sexual favors were exchanged to get this Washington Monthly puff piece published: “The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama.” And no, this isn’t meant to be ironic. The artwork depicts Obama being added to Mount Rushmore.”

    How would you respond to Yves’ comments?

    • #4 by Scott Erb on March 10, 2012 - 12:56

      Yikes. Well, I’d tell Yves that I cited that article because it reflects thinking I’ve had for awhile, and that was without sexual favors from the Obama administration. It is interesting that the “counterargument” starts with the premise that the argument is wrong, mocks it, and treats it as propaganda. He never actually addresses the substance. Of course, time will tell…

      • #5 by lbwoodgate on March 10, 2012 - 21:37

        “It is interesting that the “counterargument” starts with the premise that the argument is wrong, mocks it, and treats it as propaganda. He never actually addresses the substance.”

        I agree and thus I don’t think her argument shoots yours out of the saddle. Yes, Yves is a woman and British I believe. She has shown overall that she supports Obama over what the GOP offers (what reasonable person wouldn’t) but she has been quick to criticize what she sees as foibles that delude his “potential greatness”.

  4. #6 by Alan Scott on March 10, 2012 - 14:13

    Scott,

    Even if I was on your side and believed in everything President Obama was doing I would cringe if somebody said that he would go down as a great President . He has been in office 3 years and other than the financial crisis, he has not faced a defining moment . Bill Clinton, who I can’t stand has a far more credible case that if not for the Lewinski scandal , he could have been almost great . George W. Bush leading us through 911 and two wars can make a case . History will judge the long term effects of his wars. Harry Truman was judged great only years after he left .

    You are far too premature . Even JFK did not serve long enough to be judged ‘ great ‘. President Obama will have to have a much more amazing second term before anyone besides his most loyal partisans believe him to be great . So far his greatest claims to fame are being the first Black President, putting a hit on Bin Laden, and jamming through Obama-Care . The last one will have to somehow not be the disaster my side believes it must be, for President Obama to be regarded higher than Bush or Clinton .

    • #7 by Scott Erb on March 10, 2012 - 17:23

      I’m not saying he’s great now – if he loses his re-election bid, then he won’t be there long enough to achieve that (and I certainly don’t consider JFK great). But he came into office at the right time – the US was at the deepest point of a huge economic crisis that was more than a recession, and two wars had divided and weakened the country. The US was at a point in history where the old way of doing things no longer worked, and my argument is that Obama’s accomplishments so far and the things he’s doing in foreign policy especially is setting up him being a transformative figure. It’s similar (and in fact even worse) than the conditions Ronald Reagan inherited in 1980 — I’d argue Reagan’s positive reputation rightly or wrongly rests less on what he did than the timing of when he was President. He didn’t defeat the Soviet Union, for instance — his spending on defense was lower than Carter’s projections and he stopped the defense build up in 1985 — but he was there at a time the world was changing. Obama’s got the same advantage.

      Clinton will never be remembered as great because he just rode an easy decade and the bubble economy. So I’m making this as a kind of social science prediction — and noting that many are under estimating the potential long term impact of the Obama Presidency. We’ll see if the prediction turns out to be accurate or not.

  5. #8 by Alan Scott on March 11, 2012 - 03:40

    Scott,

    It’s amazing how much we agree. ” and noting that many are under estimating the potential long term impact of the Obama Presidency. “. You believe for good, I believe for naught, but we agree on the long term impact . If he is successful he will be the Clement Attlee of America. That is not a good thing .

    I find it funny that I have to defend Clinton to a Democrat . It’s true that he was fortunate to serve in the period between the end of the cold war and the attack on 911.

    He was also in the sweet spot of the oil cycle, but he had a few financial crises he had to handle . In 1994 the Mexican Peso collapsed. In 1997 Asia almost melted down. In 1998 Russia did meltdown. No Bill Clinton had his share of challenges, you just do not remember them because he handled them . He also was able to work with legislators of both parties. In fact he liked the back slapping and private deals. For all of the bitterness between him and Gingrich, Clinton got things done .

    Obama is cold. He dislikes schmoozing even members of his own party. That is not my speculation. It comes from his own people. Since he has been in office I don’t believe we have had a budget. You can’t blame that on the Tea Party . Instead of leading the charge on the stimulus President Obama allowed Congressional Democrats to write the bill almost with out any oversight from him . Which is why it was filled with almost nothing but patronage. Those shovel ready jobs were not shovel ready . I can’t think of another leader who got less bang for his buck than this President got from his stimulus.

    You also mis remember Reagan. Reagan dealt with a Congress controlled by the opposition more than Obama ever had to . And Reagan dealt with the highest inflation in modern history . Reagan inspired confidence. If President Obama does that, I can’t see it.

    • #9 by Scott Erb on March 11, 2012 - 03:49

      Budgets come from the Congress. The President submits one, but Congress has to agree on one to pass it. That at least can’t be blamed on Obama. The crises in Mexico, Asia and Russia were small compared to what Obama has had to face since day one of his Presidency. This is like what happened there happening to the US and Europe! I believe Obama, who is a centrist like Clinton, has tried to work with the Republicans, but the GOP has held back, worried that if they help him chart moderate policies it will make him impossible to beat (and health care reform impossible to repeal). There’s a logic to that, but clearly the Republicans under Gingrich were more willing to work with Clinton than the Republicans under Boehner are with Obama.

      Alan, I was working in Washington when Ronald Reagan governed with a Republican Senate and a defacto majority in the House because so many Republican Congressmen sided with Reagan (they would later switch parties and the conservative southern Democrat would disappear). Reagan got majorities for his policies quite often. Reagan also had lower job approval ratings than Obama (whose personal approval is still at 70%) before the economy recovered in 1984. The Feds under Volcker pierced the inflation bubble in early 1980, one thing that assured a recession and would prevent Carter from getting re-elected.

      Is Obama “cold?” Is that bad? Clinton was a schmoozer, but so are used car salesmen. Generals and CEOs are often cold. Obama is credited with giving inspiring and lofty speeches. He’s up there with Reagan and Clinton on speech making. He seems to have a lot more personal moral integrity than Clinton. I’m not sure why you’d compare him to Atlee. Obama is politically about where Clinton is – a moderate Democrat. That’s why he’s had more problems with the left wing of his party than with the moderates.

    • #10 by Black Flag® on March 11, 2012 - 05:43

      [quote]And Reagan dealt with the highest inflation in modern history . Reagan inspired confidence[.quote]

      No he didn’t, Volker did.

      And Reagan piled up the largest deficit in US history to that time.

      The last great president was Washington

  6. #11 by Alan Scott on March 11, 2012 - 12:20

    Scott,

    No way is Obama a centrist and you are repeating the mantra that Obama tried and tried to work with Republicans but, they just refused . That is simply inaccurate . The compromises the President offered were for the cameras. He has not invited GOP leaders over for informal meetings . When he has meetings, he dictates what he wants and if they do not concede it is put out that they won’t compromise .

    Tell me why there has been no budget for forever ? The Republicans in the House send them to the Senate where Harry Reid lets them die . He and Obama are the ones who will not work with Republicans . Democrats do not even submit counter proposals. And where were the budgets when Democrats ruled both houses ? Republicans had little power and nobody would even buy them a cup of coffee. To paraphrase Nancy Pelosi, ‘ we won , go screw yourselves! ‘ Those two years are something your arguments simply fail to address.

    And please notice something. The limited improvement that has taken place during President Obama’s rule has only occurred since Republicans have been able to slow down his wild policies . They are the only reason he has a chance to be reelected .

    Black Flag,

    Reagan got something for his deficits, what did Obama get ? In Reagan’s time it was the opposition party that pushed the big social spending . Reagan had to rebuild the military that Carter allowed to rust!!! One of my brothers served in Korea during Carter and the military universally hated him.

    In Obama’s time the opposition party is the only thing trying to rein in the spending . Reagan supported Volker when his own advisers were against it . Volker could not have succeeded with out Reagan’s commitment.

    • #12 by Scott Erb on March 11, 2012 - 12:57

      Reagan got something for his deficits the same way you’ll get something if you take your Visa card and charge to the max — an illusion of prosperity that inevitably leads to a crisis down the line. Reagan didn’t do it alone, he did it with the Democrats. But the 80s were a fake prosperity built on debt and low oil prices, starting the imbalances that led to where we are now.

      Obama’s definitely a centrist Democrat, when he’s had the chance he’s refused to push the way his left wants and has tried to compromise with Republicans. It’s a propaganda ploy to label him far left. He’s an establishment Democrat, not at all a radical.

      Carter supported Volcker even as his advisors warned him it would cost him the election. But the Federal Reserve Board is independent – neither Carter nor Reagan could have done that much to stop him. Also, Carter started the defense build up Reagan continued, and planned to spend more than Reagan actually spent. Reagan smartly ended the defense build up after Gorbachev came to office.

  7. #13 by Alan Scott on March 11, 2012 - 18:54

    Scott,

    Once and for all President Obama is not a Centrist. But don’t take a dyed in the wool right winger’s word for it. Bill Maher, one of your guys, and as far left as it gets said about the President ” a centrist the way he’s a Christian. He’s pretending to be a centrist. ” Even your guys see through some of the many deceptions.

    Carter used the military to economize instead of cutting wasteful social programs . Reagan then had to fix all of that damage while taming inflation, and encouraging domestic energy production . Just like the Chevy Volt and Solyndra today, Carter’s green energy programs were monumental wastes of scarce resources .

    Reagan was able to cut the defense build up once he forced the collapse of the Soviet Empire. A surge if you will, done correctly . And Reagan did something that Eisenhower failed to do . In the 1950s Ike built up America’s strategic nuclear power because the next war was supposed to be fought with nukes and planes and missiles and no ground pounders . He left our military unprepared for wars like Vietnam . Reagan’s military was built to also win conventional wars, as the two Gulf wars proved.

  8. #14 by Scott Erb on March 11, 2012 - 19:46

    Reagan’s defense spending did not cause the Soviet Union to collapse. That’s not just my opinion, that’s the general analysis of scholars who have studied the Cold War. The Soviet Union themselves (the KGB) predicted economic collapse “in ten years” in the 70s, but Brehznev ignored them. Reagan did well by recognizing Gorbachev was the real thing (the right wing of the GOP was furious with Reagan and his advisors, thinking Reagan had gone soft). Gorbachev could convince the Soviet military he ‘tamed’ Reagan and that helped him both stay in power and cut Soviet defense spending after 1985.

    Obama is an establishment Democrat. That’s why the left wing of the party is so angry with him. I know the Republicans want to pretend he’s radical, but that’s just silly – it’s like when the left called Bush a fascist. Also silly, Bush was an establishment Republican – and I think he had a workable vision for the GOP future which could have made him the transformative President if he hadn’t stumbled in Iraq.

    I showed Carter’s so-called “malaise” speech to a class once and they were amazed. “He had everything right,” one student said, “if only we had started on the path to alternate energy and avoiding debt we could still be a strong nation with a vibrant economy.” Reagan’s policies started 30 years of debt and unsustainability for the US economy. The Democrats helped on this.

    • #15 by Black Flag® on March 11, 2012 - 21:09

      What annoys me is when I have to agree with Scott in his comments about Carter and Reagan – this means I may have to reconsider his opinion on Obama even though I know he is wrong… 😉

  9. #16 by Scott Erb on March 11, 2012 - 19:48

    One reason I judge Obama favorably is the thing I look for in any leader: do they surround themselves with good advisors and take their advice. Obama does that – and it’s been very respected establishment Democratic (and some GOP) people around him. He’s modest enough to know he can’t do it or understand it alone and listens to all sides. That’s the most important trait in a leader, I think.

  10. #17 by Alan Scott on March 12, 2012 - 01:27

    Scott,

    ” Obama is an establishment Democrat. ” You are right . The establishment has shifted. So by your yardstick he is a moderate . You believe in him, I see only false images. He may win reelection, but his policies will not succeed . He may get on Rushmore if the same scholars who wrote your history of Reagan, write this time period .

    Black Flag,

    You are good at being against people . Can’t remember who exactly you are for ?

  11. #18 by Ron Byrnes on March 12, 2012 - 19:35

  12. #19 by pino on March 13, 2012 - 03:32

    Liberals believe that Obama has somehow not been strong enough, some claim he’s been “GOP Lite.”

    Again I maintain that Obama is not a centrist. He’s a far left loon that is simply ineffective.

    His first years were rough, even as he engineered major changes like a health care reform program that over time has cut US health care costs and which now enjoys immense support.

    But it doesn’t cut costs. And it isn’t immensely popular.

    When the global economy turned around his second term, his popularity grew, and many now credit President Obama with saving the US from decline as a superpower.

    The economy turned in May of 2009 when we came out of recession. The fact that Obama happened to be President is coincidence. And no one thinks that we were in danger of declining as a super power or that Obama saved us from that.

    beginning the alternative energy cooperative that has allowed a smooth shift from fossil fuels to alternatives in a way that did not bring about a feared oil catastrophe. As one biographer put it, ‘President Obama is a major reason why ‘peak oil’ became simply a transition, not a disaster.’

    What nonsense this? In what way and manner have we shifted from fossil fuels to alternative energy? And then, of what “Peak Oil” does this guy speak?

  13. #20 by Alan Scott on March 13, 2012 - 11:59

    Scott,

    Pino is right that Obama-care does not cut costs anymore than Solyndra does a thing to solve the energy problem . It is now a proven fact that most of Obama’s actions have failed miserably to meet ‘ his ‘ predictions and bench marks . We judge the President by his own standards .

    • #21 by lbwoodgate on March 13, 2012 - 16:48

      “It is now a proven fact that most of Obama’s actions have failed miserably to meet ‘ his ‘ predictions and bench marks “

      Nonsense. Right-wing balderdash. Got any authoritative data to back that up and please show what you are calling “most of Obama’s actions”.

      Remember, “some not doing well” doesn’t translate into “most have failed miserably”. Match his accomplishments/failures to other presidents and how does he stack up? Be honest now and not ideological

  14. #22 by Alan Scott on March 14, 2012 - 01:11

    lbwoodgate,

    ” Nonsense. Right-wing balderdash. ” Poor little Liberal, so caring, so forgetful. The only way President Obama looks good is to grade him with a curve. You remember that don’t you ? The class grade was too embarrassing so everybody had their test grades upgraded 5 or 10% so the teacher could tell himself he wasn’t a bad teacher or his whole class wasn’t a bunch of morons. The curves you guys happen to be using are the ” we did not know how bad things were curve “, and the ” George Bush left us a worse mess than we expected curve ” .

    President Obama ( Promised ) he would create 5 million green jobs. That is 10 times the 5,00,000 ” clean tech ” jobs his buddy Gov. Jerry Brown promised. To use your word ” balderdash ” ! Next President Obama said pass his Stimulus package and unemployment would not go above 8% . Actually as the apologists in your camp love to point out the President never said it. But trust me it was said on his behalf.

    And as Pino points out Obama-Care does not cut costs, but since it did not hit fully hit yet your side can continue to spin it . Then there is the good war, the right war, Afghanistan. Your side more than mine is not happy how that has gone .

    Authoritative enough sir ? How he matches up against other Presidents ? Well he does look really good next to James Buchanan. Honest .

    • #23 by Scott Erb on March 14, 2012 - 01:21

      How else do you rate Presidents except on a curve — comparing them with other President. I suspect in no absolute terms does any President look great (unless one looks way back and the blemishes are no longer visible). The health care reforms will cut costs but they’re mostly not implemented yet. If they don’t, then we’ll have to go in and make some changes. In foreign policy analysts almost universally (outside of partisan circles) give Obama good marks, he’s certainly improved the US standing in the world. I do think the administration under estimated the severity of the problem when they came to office and thus were wrong on how fast it would take to recover. But they’re on the right track now, though structural changes are still necessary.

      By objective comparisons, Obama’s had a reasonably good Presidency given the circumstances he inherited, and he’s had quite a few accomplishments (the link in the post to 50 top accomplishments). To become great he’d need a successful second term. But the last four years have brought changes that won’t be undone, even if the GOP wins. The economic collapse of 2008 was a game changer, the country will never be the same.

      • #24 by pino on March 15, 2012 - 03:33

        The health care reforms will cut costs but they’re mostly not implemented yet.

        There is zero chance they cut costs. None what so ever.

    • #25 by lbwoodgate on March 14, 2012 - 02:03

      “President Obama ( Promised ) he would create 5 million green jobs. That is 10 times the 5,00,000 ” clean tech ” jobs his buddy Gov. Jerry Brown promised. To use your word ” balderdash ” ! Next President Obama said pass his Stimulus package and unemployment would not go above 8% .”

      This is it??? This is all you have???

      Poor little conservative can’t count too high or isn’t really paying attention.

      Here’s but a sampling of what this president accomplished since he’s been in office.

      He perhaps could have accomplished a lot more had the GOP not put a brick wall up and obstructed EVERY effort he has made to restore the economy. Yes, he failed to promote a stronger health care reform bill but what he did support and won was the same plan the Repubs offered back in the 90’s. More health care reform we have ever succeeded in getting from any President since Truman put the idea out there in 1949. He could have put together a larger stimulus package but he was willing to compromise with an obstructionist GOP.

      He not a king you know. So it’s not as if these were all going to happen by a wave of the hand or in a vacuum. He was naive however to believe that he could get congress to work with him. That is perhaps his greatest failure. To believe the the Party of No might say Yes at least some of the time.

      So if this is your answer to my query, you have failed miserably.

      But I’m a forgiving person. Perhaps you would like to try again – if you can.

  15. #26 by Titfortat on March 14, 2012 - 01:25

    Hey Alan Scott

    The same can be said for the gipper…………….

    Im not sure if Obama matches up too well……but………you know.

  16. #27 by Alan Scott on March 15, 2012 - 01:56

    Oh here is one more tidbit. The CBO just re scored Obamacare and it is twice the cost that it was supposed to be. As Gomer Pyle used to say, ” shazzam “, boy nobody saw that one coming. If it was so freaking wonderfully amazingly good why did they backload it ? Why don’t all of the benefits kick in immediately ? I mean according to you guys people are out there dying and Obama has them waiting for their benefits. And if it is so stupendous why, oh why, are there 1200 exemptions?

    And if only Republicans actually did obstruct our spender in Chief. Last I heard they did not stop him from spending more trillions that we we do not have. You will notice that no recovery happened while Obama had Pelosi helping him . Things have only improved with the Tea Party slowing Obama and his Kommissars down a microscopic sliver. So you can play your blame Republicans for Obama’s failures to someone who is not mind scrubbed .

    As far as Congress working with him , another myth . The man could have gotten a lot if he had any political skills, like don’t constantly crap on the opposition party. Clinton had a much more hostile House under Gingrich, and got 10 times more done . Your hero couldn’t even get a budget passed when he had both houses. He refuses to work with Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner because he has to show his liberal base what a tough guy he is. Just like the Keystone pipeline debacle was nothing but throwing red meat to the global warming idiots. It had zero to do with the good of the country.

    ” He not a king you know. So it’s not as if these were all going to happen by a wave of the hand or in a vacuum. ”

    No he wasn’t King, he was God for two years. No President in modern history had the kind of power that man had for two years. He still has the Senate and can’t do anything right . And the Republicans have supported him a hell of a lot more in Afghanistan that your boys ever did for Bush in Iraq. And even that is turning to ruin .

    • #28 by lbwoodgate on March 15, 2012 - 07:54

      “As far as Congress working with him , another myth .”

      “No President in modern history had the kind of power that man had for two years”

      ” I mean according to you guys people are out there dying and Obama has them waiting for their benefits.”

      “You will notice that no recovery happened while Obama had Pelosi helping him . Things have only improved with the Tea Party slowing Obama and his Kommissars down a microscopic sliver”

      “He refuses to work with Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and John Boehner because he has to show his liberal base what a tough guy he is.””

      I don’t think I have ever seen so much hyperbole, distortions and utter lies in such a small space. Clearly reason, balanced perspective and civil discourse is not something you are familiar with so pardon me if I write you off for the loon you are. You’re just not worth the waste of energy.

      And for the record you have still FAILED to demonstrate your original presumption that it’s “a proven fact that most of Obama’s actions have failed miserably” Carrying on a verbose, child-like tirade as you have here doesn’t equate into the proof you need to back up your preposterous claim. But then ideological talking points always trumped any validation of them with people like you.

    • #29 by Scott Erb on March 15, 2012 - 13:15

      Alan, the GOP was pretty clear that they felt working with him would give him accomplishments and they wanted to wait him out, hoping to grab the White House in 2012. Even then I think Boehner was game to compromise, but the tea party wing of the party seems to think compromise a bad word. Don’t blame Obama for this – blame Boehner, he failed to control his own party. Obama did pass the stimulus – to stave off another depression, but his plan was always to shift to deficit reduction once the economy started to recover. No one has increased the debt to GDP ratio more than the Republicans under Reagan and later Bush. The GOP decided to obstruct and stall, and the voters will decide this year if they thought that was the right thing to do.

  17. #30 by Alan Scott on March 15, 2012 - 11:23

    lbwoodgate,

    I gave you my best shot and you just dismissed it as ” so much hyperbole, distortions and utter lies in such a small space “. What you were too scared to do was prove me wrong point by point.. Which is what I tried to do for you .

  18. #31 by Scott Erb on March 15, 2012 - 13:17

    Pino, I think you’re absolutely wrong about health care. Moreover, the US had a system to be ashamed of before the reform. 50 million not covered and getting inadequate health care. 17% of our GDP spent on health care. Other advanced industrialized states spending 7 to 10% of GDP, covering everyone, and having stats that show as good if not better health. Our system as it was had failed completely (unless you were wealthy, then you had it good). Perhaps the new system needs more reforms and changes, but we can’t go back to how it was, it was a disaster. It was a source of shame.

  19. #32 by Alan Scott on March 15, 2012 - 21:21

    Scott,

    The Tea Party was not about about screwing the country to screw Obama. They honestly believe that Obama is spending too much. It really is that simple. They were elected in 2010 because their voters are scared to death about the out of control spending . Imagine a group of politicians who actually try to be true to the voters who hired them. What a concept, but it will never catch on in Washington.

    • #33 by Black Flag® on March 15, 2012 - 21:55

      Opps, Sorry had to laugh.

      The TEA party are hypocrites – they are scared to death about spending [i]on other people[/i] but have no qualms about demanding the spending be done on them!

      Don’t dare touch the TEA party’s government loot – but feel free to cut everything else….. (roll eyes)

    • #34 by Scott Erb on March 15, 2012 - 22:07

      I do not think the tea party wants to screw the country, I know they believe what they say. Obama did pass a stimulus because we’re in recession. The recession was caused in part by stimulus spending during a boom, which is economically insane (that happened in the 80s, and again the 00s before Obama). But their refusal to support a bargain with Obama was because Obama wanted 85% spending cuts and 15% tax increases on the wealthy. They wanted 100% cuts, all or nothing. By not compromising, they got neither — or just forced cuts that they’re trying to figure out a way now to avoid.

      The electorate in 2010 was an off year electorate – smaller, older, whiter, wealthier. It’ll be interesting what happens in 2012.

  20. #35 by Alan Scott on March 16, 2012 - 00:09

    Black Flag,

    The Tea Party are the most non hypocritical group to ever take any power in Washington. Un roll your eyes and and give details . So why did you go over to the dark side ?

    Scott,

    The Tea Party believes that compromising to Obama means they get rolled . And that is true . What ever you think about stimulus, it was really about Democrats using taxpayer money to reward their supporters . It was not about stimulating the economy. I back that up with the following facts .

    First of all it did not work . Most of the money did not go into shovel ready jobs. Most of it did not even go to the private sector which is where it should have gone. Which is why tax cuts alway, always work better . No one in central planning knows better than private citizens on how to spend money. Second the Democrats made sure plenty of money went to save public sector jobs, instead of creating private sector jobs . We all know how public sector union people vote.

    Third the money went to reward Obama donors. That is the real shame of Solyndra. $ 500 million for no economic value at all .

    • #36 by Scott Erb on March 16, 2012 - 00:58

      No, the stimulus didn’t all go to Obama donors — that’s silly. You have one company that went bankrupt in a recession that got money because it’s the kind of company we need for the future. They failed. That’s going to happen in any recession. One case does not a trend make.

      The stimulus saved us from a depression, and saved numerous states from massive cutbacks and tax increases. And fear of “getting rolled” is ridiculous. Boehner had a very good deal in the works — mostly spending cuts, few tax increases, even entitlement reform. The American system runs on compromise. If you say that you can’t compromise because you’re afraid you can’t negotiate a deal without getting “rolled” you’re insulting your own side. No, the tea party blew it, and I suspect the GOP won’t get a chance at a deal that good again. Congressional approval is lower now than before the 2010 elections and the Democrats are certain to gain House seats, maybe even control of the House. Compromise is the only game in American politics, that’s how the founders set it up.

    • #37 by Black Flag® on March 16, 2012 - 14:21

      Black Flag, The Tea Party are the most non hypocritical group to ever take any power in Washington. Un roll your eyes and and give details . So why did you go over to the dark side ?

      I gave details.
      They want cuts to programs that they do not participate, and fight against cuts to programs that they do participate.

      They are no different from any other self-interest group.

  21. #38 by Alan Scott on March 16, 2012 - 11:46

    Scott,

    Let me put this delicately , you are inaccurate . Solyndra was not the only case of patronage in the Stimulus. The Bill was fairly rife with it. And as I partially recall it was your guy President Obama who backed out of a almost done deal with Boehner because it angered ‘ his ‘ base ‘. Obama had to keep his Jacobins happy , like John Boehner had to bow to the Tea Party . Congressional approval is a funny number. Does it mean the Tea Party House or the do nothing Harry Reid Senate ? Me thinks you are as biased as I am in your interpretation of events .

    No Obama reminds me of that old song. ‘ poor poor pitiful me, woe woe is me .’

    • #39 by Scott Erb on March 16, 2012 - 13:13

      No, Obama wanted the deal, the tea party wouldn’t accept any tax increases and that made it impossible to make a deal. I think the GOP blew a chance to make real deficit reductions by not being able to compromise. I think that’s a big reason why Congressional approval is so low — lower than when the all Democratic Congress passed things like health care reform. It has to be a reaction to the dysfunction that stymied Boehner, and caused by own Senator Snowe to decide that the atmosphere is too toxic to continue.

      The stimulus was effective in saving states and warding off another great depression. I don’t buy your claim that it was ‘patronage.’

      • #40 by Black Flag® on March 16, 2012 - 14:34

        The stimulus was effective in saving states and warding off another great depression.

        Oopss, trip into fantasy, Scott?

        Stimulus did no such thing, other than setup what will be the greatest default by government in human history.

        Unemployment is worse, recession is about to go deeper (the Baltic Dry Goods Index collapsed), and the debt and deficit go higher and higher.

        Lack of tax increases is what has kept the system crawling – increase tax, and you’ll take out the last leg standing.

  22. #41 by Black Flag® on March 16, 2012 - 14:35

    ..darn! Then why am I complaining about Obama?? The closer he moves the nation to economic collapse the faster the system hits the reset button!

    Go Obama 2012!!

    ..darn! The Republicans will do the same thing Obama is doing (sans Paul)…

    No Paul 2012!! Go Romney Go !

  23. #42 by Scott Erb on March 16, 2012 - 22:11

  24. #43 by Alan Scott on March 17, 2012 - 00:42

    Scott,

    It’s funny how you know something is out there yet it is impossible to find . I knew there was an agreement that Obama broke and now I think I found what I was looking for . In the July 2011 negotiations Obama and Boehner had an overall number and they just had to get the details right . That’s when your guy threw a hand grenade into the mix and blamed the Tea Party. At the 11th hour Mr. Reasonable, Mr. Compromise, Barak Hussein Obama demanded an additional $ 400 Billion in revenues. Boehner said that Mr. Obama had just moved the goal posts. Obama said something else. It was impossible for the Speaker to take that back to his party and the President knew it .

    A real leader would not have played that kind of stupid game with the country’s future . Again you believe who you want to. One of them is lying.

  25. #44 by modestypress on March 20, 2012 - 18:16

    I am wondering if there is anybody posting comments here that has not already made up their mind. Well, I have not completely. So my vote is for sale. Do I have a bid to start the auction off?

  26. #45 by Alan Scott on March 21, 2012 - 22:27

    Modestypress,

    I can’t believe your vote is for sale. Either you are a liberal who believes in what President Obama has done or you are a Conservative who believes the man is a disaster.

    But just for fun, I bid no free lunch . Most liberals can’t conceive of that idea .

  27. #46 by modestypress on March 30, 2012 - 13:32

    Alan, thank you for your comment. Please meet my (naughty) friend, Mr. Sarcasm. I consider it rather simple-minded to divide the world up into “liberals” and “conservatives.” Most people are a mixture of values, attitudes, and behaviors. Most people, for example, consider it inappropriate to let people just die in the street for lack of money for health care, but there are complex issues and choices involved in solving our health care problems. If a person has smoked all his or her life, and then comes down with lung cancer or emphysema, is society obligated to pay that person’s health care? We surely know, by now, that smoking will probably destroy your health; should we try to prohibit it? After all, prohibition did not work very well, with alcohol. Marijuana use is probably no worse than alcohol use; why is one allowed (with restrictions); while the other has been vigorously persecuted, but now is sneaking in as a treatment for cancer and for people in great pain. These are difficult and complicated issues, and do not lend themselves to answers neatly classified into labels and generalizations about liberal and conservative.

    • #47 by Scott Erb on March 30, 2012 - 16:59

      Some don’t want to pay for contraception for college women. Others find it wrong that our tax money paid for a heart transplant for a wealthy 71 year old.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: