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  •  They will report what the Repubs are saying about (3+ / 0-)
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    Mr MadAsHell, tb mare, cybersaur

    it.  And that will be the story that sticks while the WH is silent.  Same ol'.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 09:17:30 AM PDT

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    •  Strategic, yes, and that may mean silence. (0+ / 0-)

      We can rant and rail about the GOP, call the Bad Guys names, point out the paucity of their reasoning and the shallowness of their commitment to the public. We can excoriate the President, put him in the same camp, and devise for him all sorts of public behavior to match ours. But none of that has any likelihood of moving the ball. It is about as productive as gnashing our teeth.

      The way forward now is all politics, the reaction of the public and ultimately, the reaction of the voters in 2014. Reason does not influence the Tea-Party-infatuated GOP. Neither do national election results or an appeal to our view of good public policy. Some involvement of some of the Bad Guys is essential to us, whether the issue is immigration reform, gun violence legislation, correcting the sequester, side-stepping the next budget/spending crises and the one after that, etc. That takes strategy and public pressure.

      Public pressure needs to build. The GOP does not feel it, it does not want to feel it and surely it won't for a while. That being so, for now, I'll accept silence. Why?

      The best thing for the GOP is to push back against Obama. He thunders and blusters, so do they, it's Washington as usual, let's go on to the next story. All that zeroes out the public interest and gives the GOP an excuse to do nothing but bluster more. Obama needs to engage them, but he - and we - need an acceptable result. In this toxic political environment, neither side gets its ideal, not even close. Nor is the path to achieving The Possible likely to look good to any of us.

      2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

      by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:12:24 AM PDT

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      •  Since when has Obama thundered about anything? (0+ / 0-)

        He shows little passion, little inclination to take a stand - not just express a preference, but take a stand - and does not really stick his neck out and fight.  That's one big reason why the public is swayed by the Repubs despite their craziness and lying.  They get the attention and the public's ears, while Obama is the "adult in the room" as if being an adult means passivity.

        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

        by accumbens on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 10:22:37 AM PDT

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        •  Since his gun violence speech last Wednesday, ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... April 17th.

          He was visibly angry. It was at Congress and the NRA. It was on a set of issues on which - Mo Dowd at The New York Times and some other whinging nay-sayers to the contrary - the President took a strong stand and put himself and his administration into. In none of those respects was he passive. In none did he fail "to stick his neck out and fight."

          As for the sequester, he is not going to sound like a blustering trumpeting Republican. Getting angry about the sequester now, as a matter of strategy, plays to what the Republicans want. On the budget, the debt ceiling, taxes and spending, President Obama is the adult in the room, the responsible adult, and one of the few. (That doesn't mean I think he's played the strategy well before. I don't. I wouldn't have had him yield on SS, offer up what the GOP was bound to reject or embrace debt-driven austerity in the first place. Woe is in us that he did so. But we're here and now.)

          2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

          by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 11:20:33 AM PDT

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          •  I don't see him going all out on gun control. (0+ / 0-)

            Where was the national prime time address.  Where was Michelle - except for a speech in Chicago - who has made kids health her project (bullets will kill kids a lot sooner than will obesity).  Did he come out more on gun control than any other issue to date?  Yes, but that is not saying a lot.

            Yes, now that the Repubs are pinning the sequester on him it is too late for him to get ahead of that one.  On the economic issues, he's mostly rolled over for the Repubs, including putting chained CPI on the table.  If letting Repubs blackmail you at the expense of the people and pre-capitulating in an attempt to appease them is being an adult, then he sure has been that.  If fighting hard for your principles (assuming he has any) is being an adult - and a leader - then he's failed.  And, yes, woe is us.

            The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

            by accumbens on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 12:01:14 PM PDT

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            •  Then you weren't looking. (0+ / 0-)

              2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

              by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 12:08:15 PM PDT

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              •  I was looking and was looking at this effort in (0+ / 0-)

                relation to his previous efforts on other issues.  I would say he was in fact more out front on this than previous ones, and given how little he's fought on previous issues, he looked pretty good on gun control.  BUT, he still didn't go as far as he could have.  You can grade him on a curve.  I prefer to have more absolute standards.

                The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                by accumbens on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:17:21 PM PDT

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            •  And if he had done a prime time address (0+ / 0-)

              and the bill still failed, you'd find some other reason to blame him. I can tell you're not a fan.

              My opinion is that the failure comes down to we the voters.  While 80-90% of those polled said universal background checks were a good idea, I also heard another poll cited recently that asked where gun control ranked on people's list of priorities. Only 4% listed it as a top priority. And that's what politicians know. It is not a dealbreaker.

              Sandy Hook is a good example of that. Most if not all of those parents admitted they had not been active in the issue prior to the shooting. Unless people are directly impacted by gun violence, they aren't likely to spend a lot of time lobbying for change and working for pro-gun-safety candidates.  Second amendment defenders, on the other hand, are passionate, even if that passion is often based on misinformation. They are single issue voters and they will punish those who voted yes. But the rest of us will still vote for our "no vote" rep even as long as he or she is right on other issues. That's the difference.

              As a result of all this, I don't think you're going to see Democrats take it up as a national platform issue for a long time.  At this point, people would be wise to look at the states where legislation has been passed, because gun rights groups are now targeting those legislators in hopes of eventual repeal there too.  

              •  I think it's dormant, for now, but simmering. (0+ / 0-)

                The [only] good news is that the NRA is highly unlikely to get anything it wants through, even as an attachment to some unrelated bill in the future.

                It is possible that a law could be passed to put the ATF director post back into normal appointment processes and therefore outside Senate control - and therefore abnegation. And as for tagging explosives that arguably will help in bomb investigations, that's a law that deserves passage and would be hard to lobby against except as some sort of administrative burden (which is a malarky argument).

                Another act of massacre violence will re-ignite the forces behind the bill, as will be well-heeled PACs and Super-PACs doing advertising this year and next, to thank supporters and to criticize and encourage the nay-sayers.

                We will get another gun case up for review that, hopefully, will show limits to the sweep of the Second Amendment, as Scalia wrote in his otherwise dreadful opinion in the Heller DC "self-defense" case.

                Remember, this doesn't have to be "a national platform issue" to be taken up by a majority of Democrats. And as you say, there will be state legislation like that in CT, CO and elsewhere.

                Time will eventually wound these heels. The issue will recur in one form or another, sooner rather than later. This time, it is not - as the NRA has counted on in the past - going away.

                2014 IS COMING. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

                by TRPChicago on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 12:49:28 PM PDT

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                •  I agree (0+ / 0-)

                  that gun safety folks won't go away so easily as in the past. But I just get perturbed with the unrealistic expectations some have regarding what was possible in this latest instance. The thought that if Obama had just given a speech a day or a prime time address that would have tipped the scales is absurd.  

                  I think the gun-safety proponents need to take a cue from the anti-abortion proponents. Focus on the state level, get even minor laws enacted when possible and celebrate those small victories as victories, not as defeats because they didn't conquer every aspect of the issue at once.

                  •  That's not what I said ... (0+ / 0-)
                    if Obama had just given a speech a day or a prime time address that would have tipped the scales is absurd.  
                    Those are your, rather extreme, words.  My beef is about how hard this President tries, including on the gun control issue.  My take is not that hard and, in fact, because he actually went further on gun control than just about any other issue, he looked good on gun control as long as you didn't "grade him on a curve."

                    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                    by accumbens on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 03:11:42 PM PDT

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                    •  Where we disagree (0+ / 0-)

                      Is that I do think he put a lot into the effort, both directly and indirectly (via Biden).  

                      You say my words exaggerate your position, but then you say he doesn't try hard enough. So tell me precisely how he could try harder in a way that would meet your satisfaction?  Do we even know everything he did behind the scenes? I don't. Are you really grading the effort or the end result?  

                      I believe Progressives think Elizabeth Warren tries really hard, she's tenacious, she speaks truth to power, etc. So let's see how many of her legislative ideas become law. Probably very few, and those that do will be watered down or contain compromises that will displease liberals but are necessary to get the bill to pass. What grade will she get?

                      I don't have a problem with people criticizing Obama; I've done it myself. But I also feel he has been worthy of praise at several points over the last 4+ years. If you want to echo the sentiment of Fox News' Roger Ailes and others who call Obama lazy, go for it.  I just happen to disagree.

                      •  The point is how hard he tries. For me, it's a (0+ / 0-)

                        question of how hard he tries.  Whether he wins or loses matters of course, but to lose without trying - or trying very hard - is unforgivable. Taking a strong stand and losing makes a difference if that stand is based on sincerely held values and principles.

                        So, yes, Warren may not get her policies passed, but if she sticks to her guns, I'd give her an A+.  And the grade is not just for trying, but for educating people and demonstrating that some things are worth taking a stand for even in failure.  Can you actually imagine Obama making such a sacrifice?  I can't.

                        The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

                        by accumbens on Mon Apr 22, 2013 at 06:06:51 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

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