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  •  Mole333, I remember Eisenhower's (6+ / 0-)

    presidency, so I've got you beat by a few years.  There are some very important differences in Obama's presidency and the presidencies that I admire the most, notably Kennedy's and Johnson's.

    Both of the presidents I admire had some very blatant faults, and to answer your suggestion that progressives of today would be protesting many things that Johnson did: I agree, because I joined the anti-war protests against Johnson.  But at the same time, we realized the importance of his efforts to develop important social safety net programs, and we knew, that he agonized over his failures.  I know that personally because I had a friend who worked in his White House and he told me that Johnson was  deeply hurt when people suffered during his term in office.

    Kennedy inspired us to be better than we were, to believe in higher and more noble ideas...Obama inspired us, but he did not deliver and that is his biggest failure.  One of the cardinal rules of politics is that you cannot offer platitudes if you do not stand by them.  Obama is seen as a very weak president who crumbles at the sign of the slightest pressure from Republicans.  Johnson and Kennedy were very strong Presidents.  Carter, not so much.  Clinton was too flawed and too corrupt.

    I could list many differences, but the one that I think counts the most is how the nation as a whole feels under Obama's presidency.  This is a very dark time in our history.  Most of my friends are so discouraged by his policies and the effect they have on their personal lives that they no longer consider themselves to be Democrats.

    At least under Kennedy and Johnson, normal, daily activities worked...under Obama, nothing works the way it should.  We struggle all the time with problems that have no one answers your call when you telephone about your issues with AT&t...and if you get through, then you are promised solutions that never struggle with your bankers, your insurance companies, your children's schools, and the list goes on and on...

    We want our lives to work again without having to constantly fight...under Obama's presidency, we've done nothing but fight...and he has been too aloof and unconcerned by what is happening to ordinary people.

    He's much too weak of a leader.

    •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I don't have as distant a perspective, but I think at least some of what you mention (the failure of things to work at a basic level) are not Obama's fault and have been a deliberate Republican policy since Reagan that no Democrat has been able to counter so far. And the unelected Bush did more to dismantle America than anyone before him...though I do remember what the right wingers did to California thanks to things like Prop 13 and the Gann Amendment.

      Personally Clinton made me feel the most like things were working despite the problems you refer to.

      Here's a question, again for discussion not because I disagree. If Obama (race issues aside) were handed the situation Kennedy or LBJ were, would have have done as well as them? Quite possibly not but I am not convinced. And had he been in Clinton's shoes I think he might well have done better than Clinton and been remembered as one of our best Presidents.

      That said, good points and exactly the kind of discussion I want. Not sure how much I do or do not agree, but again, this is the kind of perspective I want to hear.

      FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

      by mole333 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:20:17 PM PST

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      •  Obama would have been way over his head (0+ / 0-)

        if he had been handed the same type of problems.  He is good at foreign policy on one level, but he is not well received or liked by many of our allies.  They idolized Kennedy, but they think that Obama is in the pocket of Wall Street.

        Here's a look at some of LBJ's accomplishments:

        The Civil Rights Act of 1964, the 24th amendment, Medicare, Medicaid, the 25th amendment, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Higher Education Act, the 1965 Voting Rights Act. He also played a part in getting the civil rights acts of 1957 and 1960.
        Those were monumental accomplishments that were never watered down.  Obama has done more damage to those programs than any of his predecessors.  Remember, he is the first president to ever put any of our social safety net programs on the negotiating table.  Big mistake.
        •  I must disagree with this: (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FG, Terri, mole333

          "he is not well-received or liked by many of our allies".

          I'm not sure which allies you are talking about. Here in Canada we admire and respect him very much. More than any other president  since Carter. What countries do you think don't like him?

          You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

          by Thomasina on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:53:47 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Read a lot of newspapers overseas. (1+ / 0-)
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            A lot of our allies think he has been corrupted by Wall Street, and they have a very low opinion of Democrats in general who they see as being very weak and lacking principles.  And as a lifelong Democrat that makes me sad.

            Many do not like his policies on drones, and they think the policies of the Treasury Department have caused a lot of damage to the world economy.

            Actually, I think Obama would fit in quite well in Canada, and that's not being facetious.  I love parts of Canada, especially Vancouver, but the country has changed a lot over the last ten years and I can't put my finger on the political pulse of your country, but it seems to reflect neo-liberal to conservative views that I don't share.

            •  I guess there are concerns and criticisms from (0+ / 0-)

              folks around the world, but I still disagree with your original statement that he is not liked. Maybe the rest of us are more willing to accept that he is not perfect because our own leaders are so mediocre.
              And yes, he would fit in very well here in Canada, I wish we could have him instead of our current leader or any of those vying to replace him.

              You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

              by Thomasina on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:18:12 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Working primarily with foreigners... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Thomasina, Larsstephens

            I get some of their perspective. I think currently most foreigners I know still LOVE Obama. And were thrilled that he was re-elected. BUT to some degree this is still because he is so much better than Bush. They also have considerable criticisms of him. By comparison very few foreigners I know had anything but love for Clinton. He seems more admired than Obama by the people I work with and they seem less critical of him. The only exception is many people I know from Russia aren't so fond of Clinton because of his Serbia policy.

            Just a sampling, the folks I hang out with on a regular basis include people from: Mexico, Japan, China, India, Israel, Ukraine, Uruguay, Germany, Italy, Spain, Philippines...just off the top of my head. Not a statistically significant sampling, but a variety.

            FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

            by mole333 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:32:30 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Clinton is very well-liked now. But at the time of (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              his indescretions and other problems, opinions were not so high. I think a president's true popularity only becomes obvious aftre a few years have passed. Clinton is respected now, and I am sure that Obama will be too, when history looks back at his  tenure.

              You cannot cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water. Rabindranath Tagore

              by Thomasina on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:20:34 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  True... (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Though as far as I am aware Clinton's indiscretions mainly mattered here in America and then mainly among conservatives. Most foreigners I knew, including some conservatives, couldn't understand why America was making such a fuss about it.

                But I do think it is well after the fact that a politician becomes more respected because then the kind of perspective I am discussing in the diary starts applying.

                Oh...and I forgot the kid from Nigeria in the lab next to me when I mentioned people I work with from other countries.

                FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

                by mole333 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 07:52:41 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, and I forgot to respond to this: (0+ / 0-)
          Personally Clinton made me feel the most like things were working despite the problems you refer to.
          Have you forgotten how devastating NAFTA was to our nation's manufacturers?  It did more damage than anyone could have ever imagined.

          And you don't hear anything about Obama's new trade deal, which could prove to be more devastating than NAFTA.  Why doesn't that cause you concern?

          Obama could still be a great president, but only if members of the Democratic base hold his feet to the fire and make him quit giving so much power to the people who have caused so much destruction to our nation.  I mean, if you look at simple things, like his decision to sell access to his inauguration: those type of decisions are more important than people realize.  If you are willing to overlook that, then you have really lost your way.  It is called selling access to your administration: in other words, corruption...and don't be so naive to suggest that it doesn't prove anything.  

          The same with his decision to kill innocent children with drones, his prosecution of whistle blowers (who expose crimes), his unwillingness to prosecute financial criminals, his decision to fill his administration with Wall Street insiders, bankers, and Republicans; all of those decisions are incredibly discouraging: if you support them, then you might be a member of the wrong party because those are not traditional Democratic policies.  

          No offense, but are you not even the least bit concerned by all the corruption?  Just think of this: under his administration, he says he just doesn't have the money to support our safety net programs, but he still found one trillion dollars to give to the people who caused our financial crisis.  How can you overlook that?  Think of all the people who have lost their homes or pensions. Under his guidance, the poor are poorer now than they have been in a long, long time, but the rich are more wealthy than they could have ever imagined.  How can you accept that as progress?  How can you say that he could be a great president with that type of imbalance.  I don't understand your reasoning.

          •  I wonder if you could (2+ / 0-)
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            FG, Terri

            point me to a source that demonstrates what you are saying about NAFTA. I've seen a lot of people say this, and point to a few examples, but I haven't seen analysis that looks at the overall impact.

            "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

            by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:10:55 PM PST

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            •  Globalization lead to job loss in US. NAFTA was a (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              part of it so it gets blamed. Overall, NAFTA had a small positive impact on US economy.



              •  thanks for the links. (0+ / 0-)

                I also wonder what the impact was on the Mexican and Canadian economies and their workers.

                "Okay, until next time. Keep sending me your questions, and I will make fun of you... I mean, answer them." - Strong Bad

                by AaronInSanDiego on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:31:56 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Pretty strong benefit to Mexico, effect on Canada (0+ / 0-)

                  about the same as on US.

                •  This is what drives me crazy. The link to (0+ / 0-)

                  the American Economics Perspective was a 2001 article.  Here is a more recent look at NAFTA's effect on our economy.

                  To say it had a positive effect on our economy is misleading.

                  The US goods trade deficit with NAFTA was $94.6 billion in 2010, a 36.4% increase ($25 billion) over 2009
                  NAFTA benefited a select few, but its effect on the manufacturing industry was devastating.  I saw the results.  In the industrial area of the north, many plants were closed because of NAFTA.  Some areas looked like ghost towns.
              •  Untrue. That was NAFTA. (1+ / 0-)
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                All 50 states and the District of Columbia have experienced a net loss of jobs under NAFTA, with the U.S. losing 766,030 actual and potential jobs between 1993 and 2000 (see NAFTA’s Hidden Costs from the report NAFTA at Seven ). With exports from every state being offset by faster growth in imports, net job loss figures range from a low of 395 jobs lost in Alaska to a high of 82,354 in California. Other hard-hit states include Michigan, New York, Texas, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Indiana, Florida, Tennessee, and Georgia, each with more than 20,000 jobs lost. These states all have high concentrations of the kinds of industries (motor vehicles, textiles and apparel, computers and electrical appliances) that subsequently have expanded rapidly in the maquilidora zones in Mexico since the implementation of NAFTA.

                The U.S. manufacturing sector lost 544,750 jobs (72% of all jobs lost) between 1993 and 2000, due to growth in the net export deficit between the U.S. and Canada (see the methodology section and the accompanying table). One of the hardest-hit sectors within manufacturing is electrical electronic machinery (108,773 jobs lost), which includes home audio and video equipment (28,995 jobs), communications equipment such as telephones and cell phones (33,254 jobs), and appliances such as refrigerators and washing machines (data not available for this sub-sector). Other hard-hit industries in the U.S. included motor vehicles and equipment (83,643 jobs lost), textiles and apparel (83,258 jobs, combined), and lumber and wood products (48,306 jobs). The service sector also lost 112,499 jobs as an indirect result of the loss of markets to foreign producers of traded goods. This includes legal, accounting, and data processing services that are used as inputs to traded goods production, and also temporary workers that are contracted out to the manufacturing sector.

                    Overall, the states with the most job losses are: California (82,354 jobs lost), Michigan (46,817 jobs), New York (46,210 jobs), Texas (41,067 jobs), and Ohio (37,694 jobs). Many other states have lost tens of thousands of jobs, as shown in the attached table.
                    Within the states, job losses by industry reflect the geographic distribution of major industries in the United States. For example, employment in motor vehicles and equipment has been particularly hard hit by NAFTA in Michigan (25,912 jobs lost), Ohio (9,826), Indiana (7,119), Tennessee (3,658), Illinois (3,468), and California (3,002).
                    The electronic equipment sector has also suffered, with large losses in California (14,332 jobs lost), Indiana (9,721), Illinois (8,316), New York (6,288), Texas (6,170), and Pennsylvania (5,042).
                    The textiles and apparel industry is concentrated in Los Angeles, New York City, and the South, with major job losses in North Carolina (10,781 jobs lost), California (10,756), New York (7,901), Alabama (5,126), Tennessee (4,982), Georgia (4,900), Pennsylvania (4,869), and Texas (4,733).
                    The lumber and wood products sectors have lost jobs in the Northwest and Southern states (some of the latter are hard hit by job losses in furniture production). Hard-hit states in this industry include Oregon (3,427 jobs lost), California (3,337), North Carolina (2,592), Texas (2,376), Washington (2,324), and Alabama (1,991).

                Overall, the eastern portion of the U.S. has experienced heavy job loss (over 10,000 jobs lost per state). A review of NAFTA at its seven-year mark shows that the results are mixed and the agreement’s benefits somewhat dubious. A large and growing body of research has shown that NAFTA has also contributed to rising income inequality, suppressed real wages for production workers, weakened collective bargaining powers and ability to organize unions, and reduced fringe benefits. Trade was expected to increase the wages of the workers producing exports, but growing trade deficits have meant that the number of workers hurt by imports has exceeded the number who have benefited through increased exports.

                •  Is this due to NAFTA or after NAFTA? Not the same (0+ / 0-)

                  thing. Most of these jobs went to Asia that had nothing to do with NAFTA. The report you cite doesn't say where they get the job loss numbers.

        •  So what you are saying... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Is you rate LBJ higher than Obama because of his domestic accomplishments but despite his foreign policy? Given how much emphasis you put on drones elsewhere that may not be entirely consistent unless you put so much emphasis on domestic that LBJ's Vietnam policy is forgiven. Drones are not my idea of a great thing but compared with FDR's bombings during WW II and LBJ's Vietnam policy I am not sure Obama comes anywhere close to doing as much damage. Doesn't mean you shouldn't criticize his policy, but it just seems you are missing my point in your anger at Obama.

          Every President deserves criticism in my book. With the possible exception of Eisenhower, Republican Presidents back at least as far as Harding are far worse than just about any Dem Pres of the same period. THat is pretty much as given. But even among Dem Presidents I don't see that Obama is much more deserving of criticism than any other Dem President. Both FDR and LBJ have such a high profile that they do stand out for many reasons, largely because, good and bad, they were effective in getting things done. And both did plenty of bad things as well as an amazing number of good things.

          I can accept an analysis where on the balance FDR and LBJ were better than Obama if that is what you are arguing, though your emphasis on drones with Obama means you must REALLY be viewing domestic policies of LBJ as balancing the far more violent foreign policy.

          REading all your comments, this one is the only one that comes close to addressing one of my points, if you are saying LBJ is better. And it still doesn't address the point that letting anger at one man, even the President, should get in the way of focusing on so many other levels of government where we can have more of an impact.

          FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

          by mole333 on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:27:13 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  The big difference (7+ / 0-)

      Both Kennedy and LBJ did not have to fight Congress the way Obama has. It's easy to look strong when your party controls both Congress and the White House.

      Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

      by moviemeister76 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 06:22:03 PM PST

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      •  In a way, you are accurate, but Obama (0+ / 0-)

        has not even tried half the time.  He caves before he even starts.  The biggest problem with Obama is one of integrity.  He makes wonderful promises that only the most naive people believe anymore.  His word means nothing and that is not good.  He is great in situations where he can relate to common people...that is his strength...but it proves to be ineffective because his policies do not reflect the same type of concern.

        If Obama was not strong enough to tackle the Congress he inherited, he should never have run for the presidency.  That might sound callous, but these are very dangerous times and they require a very strong leader, which he is not.  One of his biggest failures also is on climate change.  His record has been abysmal, and it is the single most important issue facing our nation/the world at this moment.

        Part of the problem might be the changes in attitudes of the younger Democratic base.  This group is way too callous and indifferent to the suffering of others, which is the total opposite of how liberals felt during the 60s.  They just do not believe Obama is doing that bad.  They have no idea how many problems they are going to have to deal with because of his policies.

        •  You're making massive generalizations (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          condorcet, FG, Terri, mole333

          And many of them are nonsense. You're doing the typical "blame the young liberals" when it's the older ones in power who are doing nothing to change things. It is the older people in power who are putting forth callous policies. And quite frankly, the liberals of the 60s are the ones in power right now in the Democratic Party. It is never good to generalize.

          Your generalizations about Obama are also not really accurate. There is no Democrat who could have done better. The GOP decided before Obama even took office that they were going to try and ruin him. They would have done it for any Democrat. They are following Newt Gingrich's old playbook from the 1980s to the letter. Luckily for the country, it only worked out for them in 2010.

          I would argue that the folks who are callous are all the people here on DKos who think it's great that we are likely going to go over the fiscal cliff. It might not hurt a lot of members here, but the fiscal cliff is going to have real consequences for the most vulnerable in this country the instant we go over. Perhaps the reason the president has been struggling so hard to make a deal is because he cares more about the people who depend on unemployment benefits than Democrats who only care about how Obama looks.

          Time is of no account with great thoughts, which are as fresh to-day as when they first passed through their authors' minds ages ago. - Samuel Smiles

          by moviemeister76 on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 07:50:41 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Or perhaps, he is just wrong. (0+ / 0-)

            I'm sorry that you think people of my generation are callous.  That is not what I experienced when growing up.  We were very concerned about people in general and we worked very hard to rectify a lot of wrongs.  You should have been there.  It was much harder than anything Obama has encountered, and yet we had the courage to see it through until we won.  We were demonized, spit on, called every despicable name in the book, but we succeeded in changing the political climate in D.C.  We won a lot of victories for the poor, minorities, and women.

            The younger people that I was referring to are the ones who sit by idly and watch innocent children killed by drones and never raise their voices in protest; they're the ones who watch the destruction of our planet but never protest when Obama allows another energy company to rape our land; they are the ones who watch Obama put our social safety net programs on the negotiating table and instead of protesting they scream at all of us oldies to stfu.  They are the ones who believe there is nothing wrong with breaking campaign promises; to them, it is just politics as usual.

            They have no problem with the 17 million children who go to bed hungry everynight.  As long as they can point the fingers at the Republicans, they don't have to feel responsible for enabling a President who has all but ignored the poorest people in our country.

            If you're not one of those type of people, then I have no problem with you.

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