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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up (229 comments)

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  •  The buck stops at the Resolute Desk. (31+ / 0-)

    Yes, the Senate is a broken institution. Does Obama ever say so? Nope. Wouldn't want to offend them. Does he ever call them out for their corruption? Does he ever send the media over whenever they are having fundraisers with millionaires? Does he use the podium of the White House briefing room to call out Senators by name, releasing undisclosed information about them and digging up dirt? No. He does't lose the paperwork of their biggest preferred contractors. He doesn't abuse his power by charging a bunch of lobbyists with a RICO indictment, letting them rot in jail for a few months until an appellate judge throws the case out. He hasn't decided to re-organize a few military deployments to move a bunch of federal military facilities out of a Congressman's district.

    He doesn't USE his power to make people obey him because instead of being the kind of guy that hurts his enemies, he tries to make deals with them. That's why his enemies don't fear him and his allies don't either.

    Possibly the only people on planet earth who actually fear Obama's wrath are foreign terrorist. Because he doesn't fuck around when it comes to them. BOOM. Vaporized.

    •  Historians will long consider... (11+ / 0-)

      ...the enigma that is President Obama, and how such a brilliant candidate came to prove so disappointing in office.

      This particular defeat isn't particularly bothersome to me; more worrying is that this President seems to choose his battlegrounds poorly, and has been little more than a cheerleader on the issues that matter most of all: jobs, income inequality, and an increasingly corrupt American political system.

      •  Actually, my thinking (14+ / 0-)

        is that he hasn't been enough of a cheerleader on the economy. Except, however, on this gun bill. I thought he did an excellent job there using the bully pulpit and it definitely moved the polls.

        I'll be writing about this today.

        The problem that occurred here is president obama didn't see that forceful pressure to reform the filibuster, including threats of cutting off fundraising against DEMOCRATS, followed up by some other threats, was what was needed to end it.

        Lets not forget, the gun bill, weak and limited though it was, got 50 Democratic votes. It would have passed without the filibuster.

        But you're right about focusing on guns and deficit. He's just way off from where people are, which is jobs and wages. But the bottom line is the reason Obama isn't out burning down barns over this mess of an economy is because he's mostly satisfied with the status quo.

    •  You're dead on BBB. And so is Dowd. (9+ / 0-)

      At 76, I've seen a shitload of presidents and politicians of all stripes, and it's been clear to me that when it comes to the nuts and bolts of achieving progressive goals, BO just doesn't have the stomach for effective arm twisting.  He sings "nice-nice", is smart, plus all the other good shit we all know about him, but from the git go, he won't "scrum" and thus, throws in the towel, as he has done so many times since day one.    

      •  That's correct. But there's also two other (6+ / 0-)

        things which are that he actually is a very conservative Democrat (more cons. than Clinton) on non-social issues and that he's a lot better at campaigning than he is at governing. Barack Obama may be the first Democrat to win two majority votes in a long time, but Clinton had bigger margins of victory. I'd say I'd rather have the latter quite frankly.

        He's a legislator not an executive. Democrats should learn an important lesson in future because having experience as a governor should be prerequisite for a strong president. Democrats suffer for this president's lack of executive experience.

      •  Arm-twisting is achievable with people (0+ / 0-)

        who are generally constructive, but not with people who live in fear of a primary or who are the result of an extremist faction. Could Kerensky have arm-twisted the Bolsheviks?

        For if there is a sin against life, it consists perhaps not so much in despairing of life as in hoping for another life and in eluding the implacable grandeur of this life. - Albert Camus

        by Anne Elk on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:16:32 AM PDT

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    •  Did he apply pressure on the filibuster? No. n/t (3+ / 0-)

      There are moments when the body is as numinous as words, days that are the good flesh continuing. -- Robert Hass

      by srkp23 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 06:09:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  MoDo got this part right (4+ / 0-)

      No one is scared of the President.

      That is a truism.

      But the problem is the time to create appropriate leverage and political fear was in the first year.  The opportunity to demonstrate consequences for going against the public's will was in the first 100 days of the first term.  And at every chance, the President chose to throw Republicans a life jacket instead of an anchor.

      One could see the rationale based on history and his prior experience.   But the Republican strategy was not well disguised.  The Administration only has themselves to blame for not taking the appropriate counterstrategy.

      Now, MoDo is wrong.  The President really has no leverage.  The only thing that happened was the WH finally saw the consequences of their political decisions.

      "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

      by justmy2 on Sun Apr 21, 2013 at 09:04:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hear hear!!! (0+ / 0-)

        ^What he said---exactly!!!!

      •  Nice thoughts, but not likely (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If that makes you feel better, than go ahead and feel that way.

        Let's remember that the media is telling everyone that Obama NEVER reached out to the GOP prior to the last month of 1:1 dinners, lunches and meetings.

        Now you're telling everyone that he was too nice and too accommodating early on.

        This fascination with trying to explain everything wrong with DC by analyzing Obama's every more is irritating.

        It's really very simple.

        The GOP lost its marbles with the Palin / McCain campaign against the black man from Africa who claims to be born in HI in 2008.

        Ever since then, the GOP has been owned & operated by rich white men who feel that Obama and Libs are anti-American and illigitimate.

        You can play nice if you want. You can holler and scream if you want.

        It won't make ANY DIFFERENCE.

        For you or Maureen Dowd to believe otherwise makes you simply delusional.


        •  Kind of late... (0+ / 0-)

          but your argument is there is no counterstrategy to intransigence.

          That is false.  My point was about the early admin.  And unless you forgot, that was when Congress was dominated by Dems.  So focusing on Republicans and lobbyists was not the only option at the time.  

          I don't have time to list them, but it is simply not true that the best approach was to accept compromise and exercise no exhibition of political principle and power.  

          We will have to simply disagree about how one leverages major political support to move policy.  There is actually a case to be made the President perfectly used his power and got what he wanted in most cases.  But the optics make it more difficult to garner support for these types of issues.  We really will never know.

          It is what it is.

          "Small Businesses Don't Build Levees" - Melissa Harris Perry

          by justmy2 on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 07:51:57 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Can't have it both ways (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Yes, the Senate is a broken institution. Does Obama ever say so? Nope. Wouldn't want to offend them
      So, if you agree with Ms. Dowd, then that statement makes no sense.

      In one instance, you & Dowd slam Obama for not calling out the GOP as unwilling legislative partners ... But her piece today says that Obama needs to negotiate more to get more votes.

      Isn't the problem really just the Senate rules and the fact that the GOP is currently owned & operated by people who see Obama and Liberals as anti-American?

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