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I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
12-04-2012, 10:43 AM
Post: #1
I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
So we have the first 4 years during which, we are told, President Obama "negotiated with himself." We are told that he capitulated to Republicans. We are told that he had the people, and he didn't use us. I think you all know what I am referring to here even if I didn't articulate it correctly.

I, and I think most of the rest of us, viewed that not as some kind of capitulation but rather as a reality. President Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi knew the score. A lot of effort goes into whipping up the vote and they know who is going to vote for what. Does a public hissy fit make any difference? They like to point to Lyndon Johnson as someone who could get legislators to vote his way, but that was a different time and a different era. I just don't think those tactics would have been that easy, or that effecting during the first 4 years.

So now of course I'm not going to call President Obama's tactics a hissy fit. Things have changed. Republicans have held to their severe obstructionist tactics and have not gained any ground. Rather they have lost ground. The "fiscal cliff" is arguably a loser for Republicans since the Bush tax cuts are gone if they do nothing and at least as far as the polls show, they take the blame for any negative impact. What does President Obama have to lose here by standing his ground?

I think he's made that calculation. However I'm having some trouble reconciling the pre-2012 administration's efforts versus what we're seeing now. I seriously don't want to buy into the radical leftist notions of President Obama capitulating, negotiating with himself, or not being a progressive. On the other hand there's just enough plausibility in that radical leftist notion to give me some pause.

What do you all think?
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12-04-2012, 12:23 PM
Post: #2
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
I think the President is ultimately a pragmatist, realist and tactician.

In 2009 he had enough sway and votes to get the ACA and enough stimulus put in place to keep the economy from complete collapse. Then the entire agenda got completely put off the rails by the 2010 election and obstinate obstructionism.

In spite of that those setbacks he gave just enough to the Republicans for them to be smug, satisfied and even a bit overconfident. This kept them from seeing the onrushing cliff that they and their mob were headed toward. Namely the irrefutable fact that while they had gained an overwhelming victory in a battle that victory had stretched their supply lines (ie the goodwill of the voters) as well as left them in a vulnerable position for a rear guard attack (the new deadline for the Bush tax cuts to expire).

Now, because Obama played the long game and allowed the Republicans a quick short term victory, they find themselves unable to garner the support needed to sustain the battle and the so called "fiscal cliff", it turns out, has them facing the unfortunate choice of jumping or fighting a retreating battle through well entrenched positions of the left and across a well laid minefield.

The ultimate end to this struggle is not exactly clear but to me it is clear that by not sacrificing too much in those early battles while exposing the weaknesses of his opponents and diminishing their strength he now has the tactical advantage.

GOTV in 2014
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12-05-2012, 08:46 PM
Post: #9
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
This is a pretty good explanation:

(12-04-2012 12:23 PM)pappy Wrote:  I think the President is ultimately a pragmatist, realist and tactician.


<...>

Now, because Obama played the long game and allowed the Republicans a quick short term victory, they find themselves unable to garner the support needed to sustain the battle and the so called "fiscal cliff", it turns out, has them facing the unfortunate choice of jumping or fighting a retreating battle through well entrenched positions of the left and across a well laid minefield.

The ultimate end to this struggle is not exactly clear but to me it is clear that by not sacrificing too much in those early battles while exposing the weaknesses of his opponents and diminishing their strength he now has the tactical advantage.

I would go farther and say that once the Republicans fail the 'fiscal cliff' challenge (which they can't win), Obama will have all the leverage he needs to run a few other things through.

I'm glad that I always kept some faith in him, I have plenty of reason to believe he'll step up for The People.
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12-04-2012, 02:35 PM
Post: #3
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
All I know is the idea that he had "the people", ie them, in his corner is ridiculous. They are the ones who have finally come around to the reality of where we are economically and politically. They will call an end to the Bush tax cuts for the 2% a win, where 4 years ago they would have called it caving because *all* the tax cuts weren't ended. Obama is certainly tougher on the tax cuts for the rich this time because he knows he's got that one beat. We voted for it twice. He does have the hand there. Just like he had the hand with insurance subsidies, but *not* single payer. If they try to end any specific piece of Obamacare, they will lose and the left will call it a win, even though they hated it 4 years ago. Anything to give themselves credit for things they had nothing to do with. They didn't read the specifics of his objections to NDAA a few years ago, so don't understand his position now. They didn't read the specifics on the Keystone Pipeline delay, and are going to be flabbergasted when he approves it. Or blame it on Susan Rice's investment. Sometimes the left lives in as big a fantasyland as the right. I say that out of frustration because you can't win anything if you don't know what you're fighting.
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12-04-2012, 03:30 PM (This post was last modified: 12-04-2012 03:31 PM by MilesColtrane.)
Post: #4
Obama won this when the GOP agreed to across the board cuts...
if the debt reduction supercommittee didn't reach a workable deal last year.

He knew that there would be no deal and has now forced the Republican's hand.
The planting of the "fiscal cliff" meme and dire doomsaying isn't working for the GOP and it didn't create a public outcry to cut entitlements.

Boehner has been playing checkers with a 3D chess master.

[Image: 12_15obamacheckersvschess.jpg]

"I'm not a member of any organized party. I'm a Democrat." -Will Rogers
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12-05-2012, 08:15 AM
Post: #5
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
Sandnsea nailed it. The difference is quite clear. This time around he can stand his ground b/c a) he has nothing to lose and b) the people voted for it, twice. The republican notion that he has to have face to face bourbon drinking sessions to garner support from teaparty congressmen is a fallacy.
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12-05-2012, 12:20 PM (This post was last modified: 12-05-2012 12:21 PM by Velleity.)
Post: #6
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
We, myself included, are certainly inclined to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt.

I caught part of Zbigniew Brzezinski on Joe Scar this morning and he was mildly criticizing President Obama for allowing erosion of Presidential power and influence, and suggesting the President Obama needs to tighten that up in his second term. I do respect Zbigniew and it helps that he unloaded both barrels on George W. Bush for lying us into a war that ended up working out badly.

You all are saying what I expected you to say, which is fine of course. Smile

But clearly President Obama wasn't perfect. Right? There's room for improvement here based on experience.
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12-05-2012, 06:32 PM
Post: #7
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
(12-05-2012 12:20 PM)Velleity Wrote:  We, myself included, are certainly inclined to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt.

I caught part of Zbigniew Brzezinski on Joe Scar this morning and he was mildly criticizing President Obama for allowing erosion of Presidential power and influence, and suggesting the President Obama needs to tighten that up in his second term. I do respect Zbigniew and it helps that he unloaded both barrels on George W. Bush for lying us into a war that ended up working out badly.

You all are saying what I expected you to say, which is fine of course. Smile

But clearly President Obama wasn't perfect. Right? There's room for improvement here based on experience.

Of course your right, there is always room for improvement and I look forward to the day you improve enough to admit WE were right all along!

Tongue


Hiding

GOTV in 2014
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12-05-2012, 07:55 PM
Post: #8
RE: I am a little conflicted in my thoughts, please help
(12-05-2012 12:20 PM)Velleity Wrote:  We, myself included, are certainly inclined to give President Obama the benefit of the doubt.

I caught part of Zbigniew Brzezinski on Joe Scar this morning and he was mildly criticizing President Obama for allowing erosion of Presidential power and influence, and suggesting the President Obama needs to tighten that up in his second term. I do respect Zbigniew and it helps that he unloaded both barrels on George W. Bush for lying us into a war that ended up working out badly.

You all are saying what I expected you to say, which is fine of course. Smile

But clearly President Obama wasn't perfect. Right? There's room for improvement here based on experience.

I'll disagree with Zbig another day, I like the way Obama handles foreign affairs. Room for improvement? Oh yeah, I wish he cared more about Chinese labor than Chinese currency. I wish he had made some kind of remarks about the dead factory workers in Bangladesh. I wish he was crystal clear on how the bundled mortgage securities were intentionally packaged and sold with no regard to the consequences. i wish he'd figure out a way to push the benefits of a green economy better. I want a solar hot water heater in every house dammit. So sure, lots of room for improvement. But I bet there are as many people who think my wish list is crazyville and i understand that's what makes it difficult for him to do his job. He's a parent of tweens and knows all about picking your battles. It'll probably serve him well over the next few years.
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