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Is it the Beginning of the End for Obama?

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On the campaign trail, Obama was portrayed as a moderate, willing to extend the olive branch of bipartisanship. Then he became known for his views on the redistribution of wealth, revealing himself to be a liberal. Next, he was branded a socialist. But was he ever thought to be scandal-ridden and incompetent? Not until now.

In a time where Obama would do well to seem calm, collected, and in charge after a knock-down, drag-out fight over healthcare, the chinks in his armor are beginning to show.

BP and Barack: A Love Story

Despite what Ken Salazar, Obama's Secretary of the Interior, has said about keeping a "boot on the neck" of BP, Obama's actual dealings with BP seem to indicate otherwise. In fact, out of all of BP's contributions to federal candidates, the President ranks #1 among its recipients. I suppose this conflict of interest might make it more difficult for him to apply pressure with that size 13 1/2 heel. Oh, why do we always hurt the ones we love?

His hesitance to do anything at all in the midst of this crisis (besides hang out with the Duke basketball team and Bill Clinton) bears a strong resemblance to the left's caricature of a supposedly uncaring President Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. However, while Bush only took a mere four days to physically arrive at the scene, Obama's arrival to Louisiana took nearly two weeks

Is it a lack of compassion? Is it incompetence? What is it that keeps Obama at the point of being so stupefied? At any rate, something needs to happen before James Carville blows a gasket over this

I'll Have Mine Chicago-style, Please

At press time, there are two scandals on the horizon where the White House has dangled the carrot of federal jobs to Democrats in primary races for political reasons. Apparently, Obama didn't learn much from the Blago scandal, but I suppose the Chicago culture is so ingrained in the mindset of the White House that it's difficult to resist.

The first case involves Joe Sestak, a Democrat who challenged and prevailed over the Obama-backed Arlen Specter in the Democratic Senate primary in Pennsylvania. Supposedly, the White House via Bill Clinton offered Sestak the position of Secretary of the Navy if he would drop out of the race. He probably should've taken it, considering that he could still lose to Pat Toomey in November. 

The second instance involves Colorado Democrat Andrew Romanoff being offered an unknown position if he would drop his challenge to Senator Michael Bennet. Apparently, it's pretty lucrative to challenge sitting Democratic congressmen in the primaries. Are there any other positions open that you'd like to tell us about, Mr. President? 

From FDR and JFK to Carter and Nixon?

Obama was supposed to be a legendary president in the mold of FDR and JFK. After all, BHO does have a nice ring to it, doesn't it? Instead, he has taken up the policies of Carter with the transparency of Nixon. Will "I'm not an ideologue" become the next "I am not a crook"? 

In record time, Obama's presidency has taken a turn for the worse. Between a massive oil spill (resulting from a rig that won a Safety Award from his administration) and two back room deals, will the Obama administration survive politically until 2012? Some don't think so.  

This November could simply be the last nail in the coffin for his hopes of a two-term presidency unless he significantly alters course.

  

 

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About Braden

  • Clavos

    According to Fox News, the position offered to Sestak was merely a seat on a presidential advisory committee, with no remuneration, which makes the WH offer even more senseless, since it clearly was not attractive enough to entice Sestak.

  • Baronius

    I read the American Spectator article. The whole discussion seems a bit ahead of itself. Political fortunes always change. I mean, the Republicans have been patting themselves on the back about their November 2010 wins for at least a year. Optimism is fine, but don’t count your chickens before they hatch. And that’s with regard to the 2010 elections. 2012 is an even longer ways away.

    This article and the one in the American Spectator don’t mention the most important factor in Obama’s theoretical slide from power. If you want to know whether the salmon are running, watch the bears; if you want to know if there’s any political opportunity in 2012, watch Mrs. Clinton.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    And until then, even more important if also more boring: watch the unemployment rate.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    If things were to be bad enough to tempt Sec. Clinton to run in 2012, the Dems would lose anyhow. An insurgency campaign against an incumbent nearly always ensures that [McCarthy in ’68, Kennedy in ’80, Buchanan in ’92]. [BTW, I think there is virtually no chance she will run.]

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Nearly always ensures that?

    Has there been any instance of a president succeeding another president from the same party in circumstances other than term limits, resignation or death?

  • http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/author/danmiller/ Dan(Miller)

    Please permit me to be the very first to note the obviously racist nature of this specious article. Not only does it suggest that President Obama may have problems — obviously a patently glaring racist attack — it clearly states that the chinks in . . . [President Obama’s] armor are beginning to show.

    As all right thinking people know, “chink” is a term of gross racial disparagement and is so viewed by those of Asian ancestry. This hardly obscure reference to the now gloriously amicable relationship between China and the United States, so despised by rightist racists simply because it is the product of President Obama’s mature diplomacy, is terrible! The author should be deported to Singapore and flogged unmercifully.

    Gosh Darn! This is as horrible as a Washington Post headline tattooed indelibly in my memory many years ago, Chinks in the Alliance, referring to certain alleged problems arising in the wholesome alliance between two peace loving, enlightened and gallant comrades in the war against capitalist oppression, Russia and China.

    For Shame! I say, For Shame! This simply goes to show that Conservative bloggers from Alabama and other Confederate states can’t help themselves; political correctness reeducation camps are needed, instanter! Where are the defenders of Truth, Justice and the Politically Correct American Way?

    Dan(Miller)

    Sob, I can’t take it any more. The End Times must surely be upon us.

  • Baronius

    Clinton: “I’m not speaking for the administration so I will preface that with very clear caveat. The rich are not paying their fair share in any nation that is facing the kind of employment issues, whether it’s individual, corporate, whatever the taxation forms are.”

    When your Secretary of State is making unvetted statements about fiscal policy, you’ve got bigger problems than an oil spill.

  • http://www.heloise8@wordpress.com Heloise

    Here’s some buzz for you I called this Obama’s bay of pigs as in BP. Rush spun it even better to Obama’s “Bay of Rigs” gotta love that one.

    Besides “I can bash Obama but you can’t” won’t hunt with even the stanchest of Dems. They are all throwing mud. And the latest is Blago who is out of the crook’s closet and might stab Obama, Rahm and Valerie in the back without drawing blood.

    Can’t wait. Will he last until 2012? Who knows? But he probably won’t win re-election because as I say “experiment over!”

    Heloise

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I don’t know what point you think you’re making, Baronius.

    That quote out of context may make it seem Clinton was criticizing White House policy. Not even a little bit.

    Read the whole article: a speech at the Brookings Institute followed by questions from the audience. It was the very last question, and this is what was asked [by Kemal Davis, a Turkish national and former UN anti-poverty official]:

    …how do you think we can manage the balance between fiscal responsibility, which is, of course, very necessary, but also attention to the most vulnerable, the poorest segments of both American population and worldwide population, and the need still to strengthen this recovery, to strengthen employment…?

    Her answer was quite long, not the one tiny sound bite you quote, and it was clear she was talking about multiple countries, not the US specifically. And she emphasized convincingly both then and several times earlier that she was very supportive of Obama’s economic policies.

    She’s an amazingly smart and articulate woman. You’re trying to portray her as a sneaky game-player.

  • Jamison

    Dans comment is too funny to be serious. Tell me its satire.

  • Clavos

    Try to figure it out for yourself, Jamison…

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    A few months ago I presented the prospect of Hillary Clinton being in the right place at the right time. There are PLENTY of people out there who would take her as an alternative to a Republican. If the Democrats fare poorly in November, the Secretary of State is out right after the holidays. She writes a book. Does some policy speeches. Visits a few heads of state. Wines and dines Hollywood. And she’s Teddy Kennedy to Jimmy Carter Obama. The difference? Hillary is a woman — and a quite brilliant one at that.

    The Senate Democrat Leadership steered the entire 2008 Presidential Election Barack Obama’s way. Everyone in D.C. knows it. Hillary Clinton was screwed over by her own peers in the Senate, NOT because of Bill but because she is a “SHE”. Senators Reid and Schumer talk a good game but they’re as Victorian as a Mormon missionary when it comes to women. Democrat House members will feel the pain in the next Congress. It will be a coalition of women, LGBT and Independents that force Hillary into candidacy status.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    After scanning the contents of this rather slanted editorial commentary, I shall employ the expression “balderdash” to describe this drivel only because I consider myself too refined for the term bullshit

    Ooops; did that slip out?

    Mr. Forsythe

  • http://www.heloise8@wordpress.com Heloise

    Dan I think he meant to say “kinks” in his armour. Oh damn, that’s racist too, so he can’t win. Funny, I have not heard that idiom in a long time. I think he got it right.

    I was the first to say that we should cut Obama some slack. But since BP and the understanding that Obama has his armour chinks have happened because they are full of BP and Sachs money then gloves off or is it boots on the neck? Too funny.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Silas –

    I would have loved to have seen Hillary in office myself – that’s why I was an alternate state delegate for her in the primary. I listened to her – we were no more than 30 feet away – at a rally, and it was really something to listen to her rattle off fact after fact after fact, statistic after statistic after statistic, to answer the questions that audience members asked. She had no notes on her hand, no teleprompter. She didn’t need one.

    That satisfied, I am quite satisfied with President Obama, because considering the crap sandwich he was handed in January of ’09, and looking back on our recoveries from all other recessions since WWI, only one did better, more quickly – and his initials were FDR, for the Depression was effectively over by ’36…but FDR listened to the Republicans in ’36, went on an austerity kick, and we sank back into Depression part II as a result and stayed there until a certain government-funded stimulus named WWII came along.

    But FDR didn’t have two wars to deal with at the same time. Compared to the presidents of history, President Obama has done very well indeed and we can be rightly proud of him.

    Now I’ll sit back and watch the vitriol flow from those who just can’t stand a Democrat in the White House….

  • Baronius

    Handy, we read the situation very differently, even aside from Clinton’s motives. The situation reminds me of Califano under Carter. Califano was an old-style Washington liberal who knew levers of power that Carter’s people didn’t. As head of HEW, Califano went (there’s no better word for it) rogue. Carter wasn’t strong enough a leader to keep him in line.

    Obama has largely isolated Clinton, doing a lot of his foreign policy through envoys. But Clinton has her own power base, and a background on a variety of issues. She’s Plan B for the Democratic Party, even if she doesn’t want to be. Now if she’s speaking off-the-cuff about tax policy, without the okay of Obama’s economics team, that’s a problem.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    I understand that it’s more fun to sling shit around than it is to sing about sunshine and roses, at least for political commenters/venters on a blog site. But I do find all the doomy Obama predictions in this thread pretty ridiculous, if inevitable.

    But really, who could want the job of president any more? There’s always someone to throw mud and call you an idiot. No matter who was president now, McCain or Romney or Ron Paul or Hillary Clinton, their negatives would have been driven up by this point.

    People are full of bile, even if they’re not quite sure what they’re mad about, and the 24-hour megaphones of the Web, cable news and talk radio can make the world seem unendingly ugly and chaotic.

    The amazing thing is that Obama’s favorable ratings remain as good as they are: 47.9% approval, 45.9% disapproval in the latest RealClearPolitics averages. I think he deserves much better than that, but I’m just a boring old Pollyanna in a room full of snarling, chortling loudmouths.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Baronius: as I stated, in context her remarks were about the world, not just the US. [Perhaps you couldn’t be bothered to look at the entire question and the entire answer. But then you shouldn’t draw such sweeping conclusions about it.]

    And at any rate, her words are not at odds with White House policy. If she were going rogue, why would she preface her sentence with that ever so cautious ‘caveat’?

    This ‘hidden Obama-Clinton conflict’ is a favorite meme of conservatives — they really love it. You can find that same fragment of a quote, without any of its surrounding context, on a dozen right-wing web sites, aka ‘the echo chamber.’

  • http://ruvysroost.blogspot.com Ruvy

    I think all this chattering about Obama’s fall from grace are far and away premature. Unless someone can press home the case that Obama’s occupancy of the White House is fraudulent, and make it stick with military leaders in the States, his tenure is assured until 20 January 2013. If the Republicrats keep counting their unhatched eggs this way, the party of Obama-sheep will continue to control congress until then, too.

    Guys like Braden should hold their tongues and let the BP oil slick work its way up the Atlantic coast, closing beaches and killing fish as it goes. Obama will fall in his own oil slick in G-d’s good time.

  • Baronius

    Handy, I’ve read the question. I read the caveat. To me, the caveat is much more aggressive because it clearly stated what I’ve been claiming: that a top administration official didn’t bother checking with the policy spokesmen before making a statement outside her domain. (And yes, her comments can be applied to the US, and would accurately state her position if applied to the US.)

    The rest of your reponses in 17-18 were just complaints about political groupies, GOP groupies in particular. Lumping people together shouldn’t be part of your new bipartisan spirit, Handy. I don’t think it’s accurate either. Some conservatives have commented about Clinton’s statement, pulling the partial quote from the Politico article. But they’ve commented on the tax implications of it, not on the impropriety of the statement itself.

  • Cannonshop

    Obama is the “Twilight” generation’s idea of a President, just like the sparkly vampires of Twilight demonstrate their idea of a healthy relationship. He’ll be in a long time, regardless of what he does, or what happens. It’s about the Personality Cult, not the policy.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The presidency has been about personality and character for ages. Obama’s far from the first example of a president elected for his image and he won’t be the last.

  • Clavos

    The presidency has been about personality and character for ages. Obama’s far from the first example of a president elected for his image and he won’t be the last.

    Quoted for Truth — unfortunately.

    We’d do a lot better if we elected on merit.

    But we never will.

  • Baronius

    OK, Clavos, suppose it’s all up to you. Who would you want to see become President on merit?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    It will never happen because a president is a mere figurehead in American politics.

    The vested interests are the ones that rule, and our so-called executive is but a skipper whose main purpose is to keep the ship of state on an even keel.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I didn’t say it would happen. I’m giving Clavos and anyone else who want to play a “free spin”. Who would you pick for President? Who are these great men that the frivolous American political process is ignoring?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I understand it, Baronius. I only alluded to the impossibility of the proposition given the state of American politics.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    BTW, I am surely glad you’re still talking to me. I would hope we’re not totally estranged.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    But FDR didn’t have two wars to deal with at the same time.

    Yes, he did, Glenn. The war in the Pacific and the war in Europe, while both part of what we now in hindisght call the Second World War, were essentially completely separate and unconnected campaigns.

    And both were fought on a far, far larger scale than either Iraq or Afghanistan.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    @ #24: Wasn’t it Plato who argued that the best leader was the man who didn’t want the job?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Yes. One might argue that our way of life was on the line. The present wars are just for the image, to reinforce the belief in “our way of life.”

    Quite a difference, I’d say.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    Most likely it was for the best all round that he put paid to the dog’s dinner

    Jeff

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I’d agree that’s the best criterion.

  • Baronius

    Plato also argued that the best man for the job would be a philosopher, so he was definitely angling for a promotion. Realistically, though, no one is going to take a job that they don’t want, under normal circumstances anyway. I’d want someone who offered more than an unwillingness to be President. My dog groomer doesn’t want to be President, and he’d be terrible at it.

  • Jeff Forsythe

    I believe Mr. Bush was a university cheerleader at one point?

    Mr. Forsythe

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Senior or Junior?

  • Clavos

    I believe Mr. Bush was a university cheerleader at one point?

    Good training for president; that’s the job description in a nutshell.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Glenn, I honestly WISH Hillary was President today. And I will continue to maintain that Chuck Schumer is a pandering political hack who doesn’t believe what he says. He says he’s a champion for women — he’s not. Hillary Clinton was shunned by Schumer due to genitalia, period. He’s no champion of NY and any wise Democrat New Yorker would be wise to find an alternative Democrat or Independent to replace him. As a matter of fact, if I were a citizen of NY I would write in Elliot Spitzer instead of casting a ballot for Chuckie. Now before the rabid anti-Clinton folk come screaming out of their self-righteous woodwork, please do not compare Hillary to her husband. They are quite different individuals and I believe that a Hillary White House would not have been populated with the folks Barack Obama selected. What the MSM fails to report is Hillary’s roots. She was raised in the Midwest with Republican values. She may be “Progressive” but she’s responsible.

    I’m not completely down on this President — yet. But every day that goes by is an opportunity lost. I admire his cool. I admire his deliberative nature. What I don’t admire is his reliance on Rahm Emmanuel. This President needs to get tough. And he can convey his message without being out of character. Just come forth. State the facts. Tell us that this is no time for hysteria. And then tell us we all need to grow up and realize that these are difficult times and he just does not have all the answers. We can’t blame the government for every one of our woes. That being said, Gov. Deval Patrick lost my vote today. I spent 4 hours in the Massachusetts RMV and have to return on Monday. Let’s just say BP is doing a better job in the Gulf than the Patrick Administration on maintaining a responsive government agency. So, if I were Barack Obama I would tread lightly in supporting the Governor. The people of Massachusetts are not happy as evidenced by Scott Brown’s election. Forgive my rant. I’m frustrated.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I always liked her spunk, Silas. I was rooting for her all the way throughout the primaries. I don’t know how different things would be with her at the helm – she’s just as much a political animal as Obama, perhaps even more so – but one wonders.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Perhaps, Roger. But she’s got a handle on the issues. And she’s got a keen awareness of the global perspective. Her tenure in the Dept. of State has been incredible. Behind the scenes it seems to be common knowledge that State Dept. employees are happier now than they’ve been since the days of Madeline Albright. Let’s not forget that the previous Administration treated that department with contempt and suspicion by according the Dept of Defense anything it wanted.

    But back to Barack Obama. The President can’t wait until the results of the November election to chart the course for the second two years of his Administration. He needs to demonstrate some drama. Not by whining. Not by using the bully pulpit but by executing a change in White House staff with surgical precision.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I sure hope so, Silas, and with surgical precision, yes.

  • Arch Conservative

    You can take the boy out of Chicago but you can’t take Chicago out of the boy.

    That’s what we’ll all be thinking when even the hopiest and changiest finally come to regert drinking the kool aid.

    In New England we call the place where you take your trash “the dump.” I don’t know what it’s called in other parts of the country and I guess if you lived in New England and wanted to be pretentious you’d call it the “waste station,” or the “waste management center.” Anyhow………….I went to “the dump” this morning and I saw a bumper stick on a Ford pickup that read “Two Parties. No Choice.” Pretty good for a Satturday morning at the dump.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    Hey, what’s that word for a person who thinks it’s okay to call a 48-year-old African American man “boy”?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Archie’s standard vocabulary.

    I’m certain he thinks nothing of it.

  • Arch Conervative

    Of course I think nothing of it, the same way El Bicho thinks nothing of injecting the issue of race into everything.

  • zingzing

    hate to agree with archie on anything (it’s bound to happen now and again), but in the phrase “you can take the {x} out of [y],” etc, the “x” is usually “boy,” (at least when referring to males,) right? sure, it’s not the most pc choice of words, but archie prides himself on being so anti-pc, it almost becomes a pc thing all over again.

  • http://www.maskedmoviesnobs.com El Bicho

    “the same way El Bicho thinks nothing of injecting the issue of race into everything.”

    That would be a great point if I did, but I don’t. Of course, if you can provide evidence to support that statement, feel free.

    Being ignorant of your racism doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Now if you want us to believe you are completely ignorant of the history of the deragotory use of “boy” with African American males over the years, I guess that’s possible considering how unintelligent most of your other comments are.

    zing, hate to disagree with you, but Obama was never a boy in Chicago, so the phrase doesn’t apply.

  • zingzing

    “zing, hate to disagree with you, but Obama was never a boy in Chicago, so the phrase doesn’t apply.”

    well, that’s true. technical, given the context, but true.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    One wonders, though, about Archie’s courage, to use this lingo in a Harlem bar.

    Of course, the likelihood is Archie never made it to Harlem, because if he had, he’d never come out alive.

    Ain’t BC great – affords such freedoms to everyone.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Personally, I like Harlem. My favorite Krispy Kreme donut shop is located in the heart of Harlem. More white folk should go to Harlem. Bill Clinton did. He used to be the first Black President. Until Barack upset the apple cart. Now Bill’s just another white trash Arkansas boy – but the Far Right always felt that way.

  • Cannonshop

    #43 “OLD”?? just like the Vietnam Vets I work with still call a 37 year old “Kid”.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, I’m trying to imagine Archie in an all-black bar.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Cannon,

    You’re defusing a bomb after it had gone off.

  • Baronius

    Two parties, no choice? That’s hardly true any more. Look at the votes of the past two years. Look at Paterson’s proposed budget compared to Christie’s. Look at which party is getting serious about immigration reform.

    Sure, there’s no difference between Specter (R) and Specter (D), but there’s quite a difference between Sestak and Toomey. Will we have to keep a close eye on the Republicans to make sure they stay loyal to their principles? Duh. But the principles are right.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “Look at which party is getting serious about immigration reform.”

    Pre-election posturing. The immigration problem was around for years, without being tackled by either party. The politicians are merely responding to the sentiment of the electorate. So it’s the electorate that has changed, not the politicians.

    As to choices – it’s beyond the question of choosing between big or small government. We can’t go back to the former unless we have a secession – splitting the US into three or more semi-independent, semi-autonomous provinces. That would be a radical idea, to reinstate a form of confederacy,

    So the principles (however right) no longer apply to the present situation. They offer no solution unless the radical approach is taken.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Baronius, there are principles which are right. Unfortunately the GOP has been usurped by a band of political religious misfits who don’t give a rat’s ass about this nation and are more concerned about maintaining political and economic power using fire and brimstone as their political weapons of choice.

    Two parties, no choice remain. As long as special interests volley between teams with their money nothing is going to change in Washington. All this “political gridlock” has not one thing to do with the welfare and direction of this country. It’s abut which side gets the cash in this cycle. John “I’m a White Boy” Boehner and Nancy “Shrieker of the House” Pelosi may be from different parties but they wear the same foundation. Well, Boehner’s may be a shade darker.

    I want a more conservative government on matters of finance and national security. What we have now is a hodgepodge of special interests each grabbing their respective piece of whatever crumb pie remains. I want a Congress which spends less time reacting to lobbyist concerns and more time responding to its citizenry. I want a President who relies more on his own instincts than that of his aide de camp Rahm Emmanuel. Believe it or not, I’m one of those “liberals” who actually is grateful that we have the present configuration on SCOTUS. Many don’t agree with the decisions handed down especially in the last year. That’s why we elect a Congress. SCOTUS gently reminds us without actually saying so, that Congress is the problem and, as such, must be replaced.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    What good is it, Silas, that the principles are “right” if they’re no longer applicable.

    You measured response to Baronius is guilty of begging the question.

  • http://delibernation.com Silas Kain

    Measured, Roger? There is NO difference between the two major parties. They claim basic differences but modify them as needed to satisfy the special interests who fund them. We are in a new phase of our political development — The Rise of the Third Right. Am I insinuating that there is a similarity between the New Right and Nazis? You betcha! Those who compare Obama to Hitler have more in common with Hitler than not. Is that inflammatory? Is that politically incorrect? So what? It’s the truth.

    It’s like the way these so-called Republicans deify Ronald Reagan. They’ve got nothing in common with him. And the silence of Nancy Reagan speaks volumes to where she stands. It amazes me that Nancy and Hillary are tied in being the most popular First Ladies in the last 40 years. For all the grief the liberal left gave Mrs. Reagan, I think they now realize that she was the one who tempered Reagan’s conservatism. She was the one who saw to it that Regan, Haig and other Administration officials were fired. She is the one who rightfully carries the Reagan torch. Not the Third Right.

    But back to Barack Obama. I want him to succeed. His success equals our success. Unfortunately, the Third Right doesn’t see it that way. They want him to fail. They want him out of office. Some want him out because he’s a Democrat. Some because he’s Black. Some, because he has a penis. He sure isn’t Progressive. And there’s no way he’s a bleeding heart Liberal.

    So what is the answer to our political woes? A parliamentary system? Sounds good to me. Return to the Queen? Sounds even better. Establish a more global system with universal laws and policies? Isn’t that where we are headed? In the end the way I see it is there is a very fine line between lobbying and treason. Maybe it’s time to construct the gallows.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Well, yes, Silas, to the extent you’re trying to give Baronius his due.

    His point about “right principles” may be fine, but unless accompanied by radical solutions, it is mostly moot.

  • Glenn Contrarian

    Doc Dreadful –

    Yes, he did, Glenn. The war in the Pacific and the war in Europe, while both part of what we now in hindisght call the Second World War, were essentially completely separate and unconnected campaigns.

    This is one of the few times I’ve seen you slip up – the wars Obama had to deal with began long before he took office, whereas the wars FDR had to deal with didn’t start until EIGHT YEARS after he took office (six years if you want to just use the date of the invasion of Poland.

    The economic mess FDR faced (and overcame) was epic by any measure – but FDR did NOT have two wars to deal with on his first day in office.

  • http://www.heloise8@wordpress.com Heloise

    The Well from Hell my new title for BP disaster in the Gulf. Thank you BP for the hell hole in the Gulf of Mexico. If we could only shove all the illegals down there maybe we could cap it.

    Who knew that BP was given lease to drill to hell or China which ever came first? I sure didn’t. For not warning us nor making it public enough I blame Obama and the WH. It was a secret deal with no regulation. Now what was done in the dark has come to light.

    For the Hell hole thank you Obama!

  • Baronius

    I’m sorry, Silas, but what you and Arch are saying doesn’t make any sense to me. You may not like what the two parties are representing but you can’t say they’re representing the same thing.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    “the wars Obama had to deal with began long before he took office …”

    True, Glenn, but that doesn’t make them any more momentous.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    They claim to be representing quite different things, but when it comes to the actual practice, they don’t.

    Was there any significant shift in American government in terms of foreign or domestic policy in the past thirty years other than style? And what reason is there to believe there would be now?

  • Baronius

    Since 1980, every Republican administration have taken roughly the same stance on tax policy, missile defense, and Constitutional originalism, and every Democratic administration has taken the opposing stance. There are a bunch of other issues as well, but these three are pretty cut-and-dried in terms of partisan division.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Sure, but how different were the results? The rich have grown richer, the wars are still being fought on foreign soil, no constitutional amendment had passed and no landmark legislation repealed, the collusion between private and public interests and corruption at all level of government continue as they were.

    So my question is – what was the major significance of taking the opposing stance?

    9/11 happened under Bush despite tough military posture; economical cycles have a tendency to occur on their own; and the same goes for economic recoveries.

    Do you suppose we would be better off with Republicans in power to weather this economic crisis? Perhaps yes, perhaps not, we’ll never know. But mistakes were made on both sides – such as corporate bailouts. Even the composition of the presidential advisers – especially in the financial sector – isn’t different. The same ole Wall Street boys. And so are the policies of the Fed, whether under Greenspan or Bernanke.

    So I really don’t see what’s to get excited about the kinds of differences you’re alluding to. What practical difference could or would they make? What practical difference did they make?

  • Baronius

    So these are your standards:

    “The rich have grown richer” – Over the last thirty years, yes. That’s a good thing, if it didn’t hurt the non-rich, and I’d argue that it didn’t.

    “The wars are still being fought on foreign soil” – I don’t know if you’re talking about President Obama and Iraq and Afghanistan, or wars in general. But has any party promised otherwise? I’d bet that every president has had a fighting war on his watch.

    “No constitutional amendment had passed and no landmark legislation repealed” – The 27th Amendment was passed about 20 years ago, which prevented Congress from voting for their own pay raises. Welfare reform overturned one of the major components of the liberal safety net.

    “The collusion between private and public interests and corruption at all level of government continue as they were” – Says who? That’s a pretty open-ended statement to use as a criterion for government change. By its nature, corruption is next to impossible to measure.

    I tend to look at criteria like GDP, inflation, unemployment, and debt; domestic security and the security of our allies; crime rate and graduation rate.

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    I tend to look at criteria like GDP, inflation, unemployment, and debt; domestic security and the security of our allies; crime rate and graduation rate.

    Crime rates have been the same; unemployment is related to economic cycles and capitalism’s abuses (remember Wall Street?) Fed’s policies have been virtually unchanged. And what good are graduation rates when there are no jobs?

    Yes, those are my standards. Except for rather drastic measures to deal with the economic crisis, again I’ll argue that foreign and domestic policies, including the fiscal ones, have been virtually unchanged.

    There are no real choices, only an illusion of choice. And it’s not politicians or their policies that are going to get us over the hump – however much they argue otherwise – but structural, geopolitical shifts we are undergoing.

    And when that happens, some politicians will rise to the occasion and claim the credit. Not before.

  • Baronius

    Roger, I get the feeling that you’re talking more about the last 10 years than the last 30. So let’s look at the most visible change in US policy under President Obama, relations with our allies and enemies. Under Bush, our foreign policy was focused on relationships with our traditional allies, along with strengthening ties in Asia. Under Obama, we’ve distanced ourselves from Israel and Eastern Europe, extended olive branches to some of the most brutal Muslim countries, and have been very pliant toward Russia.

  • Baronius

    If you look at fiscal policy in terms of parties, rather than administrations, you’ll see a clear difference there as well. The Republican Congress under Clinton and Bush steadily reduced the deficit (except for the gear-up for the Iraq War). The Democratic Congress under Bush and Obama has, in four years, surpassed the debt load generated by the prior Congress in 10 years.

    I raised one other issue, that of strict constructionism. The pattern is less clear there, because about 50% of the Republican Supreme Court nominees are originalists. 100% of the Democrat’s nominees oppose originalism. Once you take GOP moderation into account, you’ll see the clear division on the Court.

    The way I see it, there are only three possible reasons why a person would say that both parties are indistinguishable: ignorance, exasperation, or extremism. That last possibility reflects a difference in scale. To someone on the Moon, Los Angeles looks close to Seattle. To someone with politics like, say, Cindy or Kenn, the differences between the parties look trivial. But how realistic are their expectations?

  • http://takeitorleaveit.typepad.com/ roger nowosielski

    Baronius, the problem may be precisely that we no longer have expectations, and we try to see a difference when there is none to speak of. But you’re right, perhaps it is about expectations.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    The Republican Congress under Clinton and Bush steadily reduced the deficit (except for the gear-up for the Iraq War).

    And except for a couple of very large tax cuts simultaneous with the war expenditure! Unbelievably reckless from a fiscal point of view. [And you choose to ignore the role tax increases by Bush I and Clinton played in deficit reduction.]

    And your remark about the rich getting richer being a good thing “as long as it doesn’t hurt the non-rich”!!?? You do realize that middle-income and lower income families’ financial situations have stagnated at the same time the wealth of the wealthiest grew enormously [and while the taxes of the wealthy were significantly reduced]?

    And while welfare reform seemed successful during times of prosperity, it has been disastrous during this long, deep recession as state governments go broke.

    Just leaving out a couple of ‘minor’ points changes things rather drastically.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    From the NY Times’s invaluable David Leonhardt [he wrote this 2 years ago, but it’s certainly still relevant]:

    In 2000, at the end of the previous economic expansion, the median American family made about $61,000, according to the Census Bureau’s inflation-adjusted numbers. In 2007, in what looks to have been the final year of the most recent expansion, the median family, amazingly, seems to have made less – about $60,500.

    This has never happened before, at least not for as long as the government has been keeping records. In every other expansion since World War II, the buying power of most American families grew while the economy did. You can think of this as the most basic test of an economy’s health: does it produce ever-rising living standards for its citizens?

  • Faye

    What happened to all the jobs Obama promised? I’ll tell you, they are still in Mexico and overseas. We need our business’s back here.
    We buy too much from China and other countries.
    Another question, why do americans still do business with countries we are fighting with?