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View Diary: In 2008 we elected a smart president, but in 2012 we elected a MUCH SMARTER president. (155 comments)

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  •  Barack Obama Is Naive/Innocent, Like Biden Is Dumb (34+ / 0-)

    That's how smart guys get you to underestimate them.

    To this day, lot's of his enemies think Biden is an idiot.

    To this day, lot's of his enemies think Obama is some naive, bumpkin who is easy to roll.

    I like you're diary and recced it, but I disagree.  Obama played the GOP for chumps.  He did what he had to do to be where he is NOW. He DOES play a long game. He DOES play chess (and if the leader of the free world is NOT playing chess, is NOT thinking many moves ahead, then no one is), and sometimes you have to sacrifice one thing for another.  And every time he does, we look back and say "Wow, at the time that deal looked pretty shitty when Obama made it and boy was I pissed, but in hindsight, when I see where it GOT US NOW, it was really quite good, if not brilliant!"

    Time and again this happens, and yet people STILL underestimate him, STILL think he's naive and STILL think he just gets lucky.

    Not me. I see a pattern. I see brilliance. I see thoughtfulness and careful deliberation and planning. I see patience and measured resolve. Nothing lucky about it. Luck didn't get us where we are now with the GOP backed into a corner; good long term planning got us here, laying ground work, subtle maneuvering, coalition building, good use of timing, organization and good old fashioned hard work and elbow grease.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:20:51 AM PST

    •  Republicans believed their own propaganda (15+ / 0-)

      They kept telling the public that Obama was dumb. But they believed their own propaganda. They ran against the cartoon Obama they had created, and it didn't work out so well for them.

      I was listening to the radio about a week before the election, and there was a Romney ad. The ad was raving about $4.00 gasoline. So, I checked the gas prices. In the Twin Cities, gas was as low as $3.14.

      The wolfpack eats venison. The lone wolf eats mice.

      by A Citizen on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:43:19 AM PST

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    •  absofreakin'lutely (11+ / 0-)

      i am amazed by those who continue to underestimate him.

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:51:36 AM PST

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      •  Right?! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Cedwyn, Beetwasher, mali muso, fumie

        It's completely absurd to think Obama could win even the first election as an "innocent."  I mean, what the fuck?  They guy raised $100 million from Wall St.  the first time around.  Are we to believe that he got that money with doe eyes and a song in his heart?!  Are we to believe he defeated Bill and Hillary Clinton with earnestness?!

        I recommended the diary because at least the diarist believes he's smart.  Also, I think it's fair to say he's learned in office.  All Presidents do because no President has ever been President before taking the job.  But there are many around here, front-pagers even, who actually believe Obama is naive.

        It's really fucked up if you ask me.

        •  seriously...a black man (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fou, Beetwasher, mali muso

          named barack HUSSEIN obama who got himself elected president is a bumbling naif.  

          fucking please.

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:18:43 AM PST

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          •  Give me a break, Cedwyn. (0+ / 0-)

            Like I suggested anywhere in my diary that Obama was "a bumbling naif."  See my response to fou, please.

            "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

            by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:14:36 AM PST

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            •  i wasn't referring to anything you wrote (0+ / 0-)

              your diary doesn't even contain the word "naive."  

              i was having an exchange with fou, and my comment only speaks to what fou wrote.

              so yeah, give me a break; you'll notice i rec'd the diary.

              Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

              by Cedwyn on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:26:19 PM PST

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              •  Forgive me if I misunderstood. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Cedwyn

                Fou has called me out repeatedly here, and it seemed to me that you were in agreement with him.  Again, apologies if I misunderstood.

                "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 07:03:38 PM PST

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            •  Stella said learning curve, not dumb. (0+ / 0-)

              The man is smart.  But he made mistakes one makes when learning how to navigate new territory.  FDR made mistakes.  Lincoln too.  Watching BHO during the 2010 campaign, he clearly was over his head due to new territory.  That was StellaRay's point.  Cedwyn is also correct that he is savvy enough to be underestimated ala Biden.  But the two points are not contradictory and Stella never stated he was incapable of using this strategy now.  
              On a separate note, IMHO, the POTUS did not negotiate in a coy way his first 4 years.  He was fairly direct and transparent.  He was trying to be an adult and lead by example.  Unfortunately, he was negotiating with a republic Party who had no incentive to learn to act differently.  In fact, they were rewarded for bad behavior in 2010.  Now they have had a spanking in 2012 and they are in jeopardy and have real consequences that matter to them (they are in decline; their masters will be upset if they destroy their wealth by rocking the stock markets w/ petty bullshit).  So they might now be willing to learn.  But BHO is no longer willing to be teaching them how to play nice.  Now he is ready to just cut them at the knees.  Too bad, so sad.  That train has left.  Suck on it. :)

              Mmmmm. Sprinkles. - H.J. Simpson.

              by ten canvassers on Sun Dec 02, 2012 at 08:46:02 AM PST

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        •  I feel you're going way overboard (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher, fumie

          regarding my use of the words naive and innocent, and defining them in ways I didn't and don't.

          If you have read the comment thread as well as my diary, you've seen just how tough I think the president is. But that doesn't deny my feeling that he did not know what he was walking into the day he put his hand on the Bible.  No president does, but then again, no other president has been treated to the most obstructionist congress in history. No one saw that coming, and many were caught off guard, including the president. The fact that he got as much accomplished as he did is testimony to his ability to stay cool and recover his game quickly.  

          One can be tough as nails and still innocent and or naive to an experience not lived yet.  And no, all presidents do not learn in office. GWB's second term was worse than his first.

          And finally as I said in a comment above, I saw a certain stubborness in the president, a couple of beats too long on the bi-partisan thing when it was clear it was going nowhere. He believed he could bring republicans to heel by playing nice. I think it's clear he has re-considered that strategy.

          I don't think it's "fucked up" to consider thoughtful critiques on the president, and I don't think he would think it so either.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:09:26 AM PST

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          •  Honestly, how many Presidents have been (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Beetwasher, vcmvo2

            characterized as "naive"?  Plenty have been characterized as weak, but "naive"?  This President seems to bear that singular distinction.

            The words "innocent" and "naive" have very specific meanings.  I consider the choice of those words to describe this President a poor one.

            •  I would characterize (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fumie

              ALL presidents naive to the experience of the presidency before they've had that experience.  You are seeing insult where none was intended and defining what I said in a way I did not intend it.  

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:30:06 AM PST

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              •  If all Presidents are naive, then there's no (0+ / 0-)

                point in describing any that way because their "naivete" is really a moot point.  I think the more appropriate characterization is "inexperienced."  Many Presidents have attested that nothing prepared any of them for the rigors of the Presidency.

                I think it's absurd to describe any person who succeeds in being elected to world's most powerful office as "naive" or "innocent".    I honestly don't know why anybody would do that.

                •  I think one (0+ / 0-)

                  can be tough as nails, smart as blue blazes, and still be naive and or innocent to certain experiences in life.  We must just agree to disagree.

                  I do appreciate you adding in to the discussion, even if we do disagree. I think your intentions and passions are as fair as mine.  

                  "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

                  by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 11:48:22 AM PST

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    •  wish I could (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fou, Cedwyn, Beetwasher, mali muso

      rec 1000x

      Live your life. Take chances. Be crazy. Don't wait. Because right now is the oldest you've ever been and the youngest you'll be ever again.-- some wise person on the Internets.

      by raina on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 09:44:12 AM PST

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    •  ^^^^THIS!^^^^ (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cedwyn, Beetwasher

      "What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them." -- Pres. Obama (1/20/2009)

      by zizi on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:16:49 AM PST

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    •  I agree with much of what you say, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Beetwasher, fumie, TheDuckManCometh

      but I do think he made mistakes in his negotiating strategies more than once in his first term, and I think we're seeing the course correction now, as you always do with very smart people.  

      There was to me in his first term, the feeling that Obama believed in his abilities to bring us together to be the president of the republicans too, with their respect.  I think there was even some stubborn unwillingness to let that conceit go when it became clear it was not to be.  

      It was often said with frustration that Obama had a tendency to give up too much, too early in negotiations.  We're seeing a very different Obama regarding the whole fiscal cliff fiasco.
      The plan he presented to the republicans was left enough that I can understand why McConnell laughed at it. He saw it for what it was---a message from the president that he won, and things are going to be different this time.

      "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

      by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 10:53:52 AM PST

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      •  I respectfully disagree. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        isabelle hayes, Beetwasher, mali muso

        I don't think for one second that Obama thought he had the ability to change Republican minds.  I don't think for one second that he believed Republicans would negotiate in good faith.

        I look at this way.  Obama was elected during the worst economy since the Great Depression.  According to the CW, no President has ever been re-elected with unemployment above 8%.  So if you're Obama, you know that any extra economic stimulus you can squeeze out of Washington will increase your chances of re-election.  If you're Obama you also know that Republicans are Hell bent on destroying you.  They said so.  Out loud.

        So what do you do?  Do you open negotiations by with aggressive, partisan proposals that you know are complete non-starters  or do you propose a compromise designed to pick off marginal moderates and make Republicans run from their own ideas in the worst case?

        His negotiating tactics were never going to make us happy in the short term, but there's absolutely no evidence that they were stupid.  Indeed, 332 electoral votes is resounding evidence that they were anything but naive.

        •  Who said anything about "stupid?" (0+ / 0-)

          IMO, you never open negotiations by giving away too much from the get go.  

          And I would ad, that Obama's compromises were met as non starters as well.  He got the Affordable Health Care Act without ONE Republican vote in the house. Compare that to FDR, who got many republican votes for Social Security, same for LBJ with Medicare. (And btw, FDR was also re-elected with an un-employment rate above 8%).

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:24:58 PM PST

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          •  Well, I'd say it depends. (0+ / 0-)
            IMO, you never open negotiations by giving away too much from the get go.
            Well, you'll have to define "way too much."

            Also, what sense does it make to entertain how much to give or not to give to people who aren't negotiating in good faith to begin with?  Now that would be naive.

            And I would ad, that Obama's compromises were met as non starters as well.  He got the Affordable Health Care Act without ONE Republican vote in the house.  Compare that to FDR, who got many republican votes for Social Security, same for LBJ with Medicare. (And btw, FDR was also re-elected with an un-employment rate above 8%)

            That claim is inaccurate.
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

            One Republican lawmaker out of 177 crossed party lines to support the health care reform legislation offered by Democrats.

            Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao, the Louisiana Republican who hails from a decidedly Democratic New Orleans district, voted yea on the final passage of legislation. He joined 219 Democrats to make the final margin 220 to 215 in favor of reform's passage.

            Also, SS only covered widows and orphans in its original incarnation.  It's highly unlikely that that was FDR's opening bid.  He very likely compromised to win Republican votes, and yet you hold him up as a paragon of political strength.  However, since you've stipulated that at least one vote from the opposition party is the threshold between naivete and shrewd political gamesmanship, Obama is in fact in the Pantheon of the greats.  

            And, and, Republicans have voted at least 33 times to repeal the ACA after its passage and ratification by the Supreme Court.  Name one other President who's succeeded in winning that.

            And yes, I realize FDR was re-elected with unemployment above 8%.  Obama was too more or less (7.8% is practically 8%), and both men are the only two Democrats to win 53% of the popular vote.  But these historical comparisons aren't particularly meaningful.  After all, a President isn't necessarily naive if his legislative successes are not won with votes from the other party, or if he isn't re-elected with high unemployment.

            •  I only mentioned FDR getting (0+ / 0-)

              re-elected with a higher than 8% unemployment rate because you had erroneously stated in the comment above that President Obama was the only president to have ever done so.

              Also from Wikipedia on the passage of the ACA:

              The House passed the bill with a vote of 219 to 212 on March 21, 2010, with 34 Democrats and all 178 Republicans voting against it.[1
              Furthermore, my statement about FDR's passage of SS and LBJs passage of Medicare was not in the interest of holding him as some "paragon of political strength" over Obama.  But rather was intended to be about the degree of the current GOP's intransigence towards the president.

              I feel you have cherry picked a word or two you disagree with from my diary and all my comments here and tried over and over to pull me into an argument about it.  Well, you'll get no argument from me that Barack Obama is one smart, tough competitor, a thoughtful man of great grace and dignity, who I am proud to have as my president.  

              I'm not interested in any further argument about semantics.  We've both said our peace.  Let it go.

              "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

              by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 03:27:43 PM PST

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      •  He Implemented A Strategy With Long Term (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mali muso, StellaRay, vcmvo2, fou

        Implications, the benefits of which we are reaping NOW. In that context, his maneuvering back then was quite brilliant, IMO. YMMV. I just disagree, and as others have pointed out and I respect your opinion to the contrary, I do not believe there was every anything naive about any of his very thoughtful, deliberative actions, that seem to have been actually quite shrewd in retrospect and current context.

        This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

        by Beetwasher on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 12:18:42 PM PST

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        •  Disagreements give us (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Beetwasher, fou

          much to think about and challenge ourselves with.  Thanks for adding in.

          "A typical vice of American politics is the avoidance of saying anything real on real issues." Theodore Roosevelt.

          by StellaRay on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 01:18:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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