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I have watched commentators on the left and right declare his presidency dead. What I have not noticed is a critique of those taking the poll. A richly deserved critique

Obama's marks are so bad in the Gallup/NBC poll, political "pundits" like NBC political analyst Chuck Todd said, that it's "as if the public is saying, 'Hey, buddy, your presidency is over.'"

According to the poll, 41 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s performance as president, tied for the lowest point in his presidency. His approval rating on foreign policy sits at 37 percent, setting a new low.

A majority of voters — 54 percent — also said that they don’t believe Obama “is able to lead the country and get the job done,” compared with 42 percent who said they think he can. (Read more: http://www.politico.com/....)

I wrote about this yesterday at http://www.dailykos.com/... laying out my belief that what the poll most accurately reflects is how deplorably unaware most Americans are of political realities, history and current events.

The facts are that Obama has faced unprecedented, highly organized, well financed opposition from the GOP and its backers since the first day of his first term. In spite of this, he has an impressive list of accomplishments as outlined in my 6/18 diary.

I suspect he will continue to act using the same tools he has utilized with increasing effectiveness: Executive Orders, Target Public and Organization Pressure, Alliances with Interest Groups, and Day to Day Administration of the Executive Branch to Favor his Agenda. Congress cannot act so he does and will continue to do so. Obama's initiatives regularly gets just under the 60 vote super majority needed in the Senate for most actions and the Democratic minority' overwhelming majority stands with him, but it does not matter. All that the GOP need do is obstruct and they do.

MUCH OF THE CRITICISM OF MY DIARY FROM YESTERDAY CAN BE CAPTURED IN COMMENTS LIKE THESE:

- Blaming people for pols' lack of popularity is a moral and practical failing.
- People remain unhappy and disturbed so it is natural for them to blame the President.
- My position is unacceptable: People who cannot see the awesomeness of President Obama are clearly too dumb to have their opinions count... even if those people represent 60% of the population.


MY RESPONSE: Ignorance is not bliss. It is a blight.

The unhappy public is moaning in the wrong direction, about the wrong person and playing into the hands of those who will hurt them a lot more if they get the chance (by winning the Senate for example).

When the people do not do due diligence, do not take their citizenship seriously, do not regard their vote as the ultimate clout....then the liars win and win easily.

And in turn, polling supports those lies and many, who know better, do not challenge the underlying disengagement, distraction and indolence of the public in service to the fear, anger and anxiety that motivates so much of their political lives giving propaganda its power.

Studies of how much Americans understand the workings of the government at all levels show that most have only the vaguest idea of how bills become laws.

Studies show that most Americans have only a rudimentary grasp of American History, of the role of leaders, of movements in political thought and social policy, or even of those they regularly vote for.

Oddly, nationwide surveys find that the coaxial and digital revolutions and attendant changes in news audience behaviors have had little impact on how much Americans know about national and international affairs. In fact, as compared to 25 years ago, the knowledge base has shrunk in no small part to the amount of misinformation absorbed by many for whom very simple formulas with a visceral edge are far more appealing than the nuanced approach that serious study requires.

A Case in Point: Medicaid Expansion in Missouri
I live in Missouri. a place where misery does indeed love company. Our GOP legislature has blocked ACA Medicaid expansion AND managed to engage in an effective disinformation campaign that continues to convince the working poor (those most affected) that Obama is keeping them from getting good medical care because he will not let the states design their own "state-based common sense, competitive inter-state system."

I belong to a group, backed by a former veteran GOP Senator and the Chamber of Commerce, that is working to get our Assembly and Senate to reconsider but we are making very little headway against the most transparent of lies and the tissue thin explanations offered by the GOP.

But folks do not want to believe....they do not want to think otherwise...so they embrace the absurd...and they are hurting. When asked why- a majority say: "That Damn Obama!"

John Adams wrote that the most important duty of a citizen is to stay informed. Being knowledgeable of how government works and participating in the Republic's life are essential tests of a democracy. Our public fails those tests regularly.

Originally posted to murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 05:57 AM PDT.

Also republished by History for Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (20+ / 0-)

    "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

    by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 05:57:28 AM PDT

  •  Aside from the fact that the "1%" apparently (6+ / 0-)

    own the media, the other thing to remember is that the media is cowed because the right wing, and especially Christian Nationalists, have been attacking and harassing the media and media professionals for decades.
    If progressives hope to carve out some some space in the media universe where honest and factual reporting is the rule they are going to have to fight for it, relentlessly, persistently, over a long  haul.

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:16:52 AM PDT

    •  Agreed and let me add....$$$$$ (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alice kleeman

      William Randolph Hearst who headed the Tribune Corporation in the 19th Century said that stories are chosen and told to attract readers. To do that he advocated sensationalism, tabloid news reporting captured in his famous quote: “If it bleeds, it leads.” and “For a newspaper man the only good news IS bad news.”

      The news media exists because it makes money and money is made by attracting readers, viewers, listeners and commenters. SO….they do what attracts and that often means that balanced truth telling suffers.

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:47:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ah, the tangled inner world of the Obama militant. (5+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew, elwior, cville townie, valion, Victor Ward
    Hidden by:
    CwV

    When Obama was at 75% in the polls (back in pre-history), the  prescient public had recognized true leadership.

    Now that he has cratered, the public are ignorant fools all.

    While we are a stupid, obese, and uninformed country, critique of Obama may still be rational and valid.

    Bad polling numbers don't prove a politician is good.

    •  There is nothing tangled about it... (9+ / 0-)

      When the numbers were 75%, I thought "the public sees something new and shiny".  When they fell below 50%, I thought "The public is ready for a new toy".

      Most people are shallow in their thinking.  They get their news from one source, do not think critically and as long as things are going well for them, feel they are going well for most people.

      The Reagan "feel good" years are a case in point.  Reagan was the most inept moron to be put into office since Hoover; was a proven liar, incompetent, and fraud.  His "balanced budget" left the US in the biggest dept hole in history.  His foreign policy was a disaster.  He traded arms to terrorists in violation of the law for kidnapped Americans and single handedly led over 300 Marines to the deaths in Lebanon.

      Yet ask most of the public today and they will bleat that he "defeated Communism" and restored America. Even liberals will repeat that line of crap.

      Bad polling proves nothing.  Obama is doing a great job considering what he has to work with.

      Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

      by LiberalCanuck on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:43:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Obama's "great job" is in the eye of the beholder. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        River Rover, elwior, valion, Victor Ward

        There is room for principled, rational dissent with that view.

        The diarist asserts negative views of Obama stem from ignorance.

        Some do. Some, however, are grounded in critical thinking, progressive values, and passionate engagement with reality.

        •  Let's see some of that vaunted critical thinking (0+ / 0-)

          at work. I provided a long, long, long list of accomplishments and five major thematic narratives....all that I see you doing is saying that there is another argument to be made. Make it and I will respond.

          "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

          by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:53:29 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This diary is about Obama's poor poll showing. (0+ / 0-)

            And your claim that poor showing is due to voter ignorance.

            Out of respect to your topic, I tried to stay on subject and avoid letting the thread degenerate into further pie fights over Obama's accomplishments or legacy.

            That debate has been covered amply in many other diaries.

            If you've read some of them, hopefully you can allow that Obama critique can be the fruit of reflection thoroughly grounded in factual reality.

            •  You point is that Obama is as poor a performer as (0+ / 0-)

              the polling indicates is it not? Isn't that at the root of your position? So, substantive claims of under-performance are essential in analyzing your claim.

              Frankly, I am interested in seeing if you can derail my thinking.

              I gave an example of Hispanic leadership angry at Obama for not getting immigration reform done. Their belief is one reflected by a number of Hispanics in the trenches. But what is the logic of that position. I have challenged this elsewhere. Show me the path to getting it done that is the President's to take.

              I also pointed out how ACA Medicaid expansion has not happened here in Mo and now those who are blocking it are blaming Obama for not getting it done. When challenged they cannot argue their own point.

              If you can, I will reply in kind.

              You are asking me to attach your position in these post to critiques of Obama presented elsewhere. Sorry, you need to stand up for your position. Pick a topic and let's go.

              "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

              by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:27:37 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  I hold the same opinion of those who agree with me (0+ / 0-)

        but do not know why....

        I worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and supported his reelection in 2012. Whenever someone would say "I love Barack" or gush about what a "great person he is" I asked why they felt that way or thought that way. Time and again, I got blank stares.

        Political illiteracy flows in both directions. The 2010 fiasco where so many of those who voted for Obama in 2008 failed to follow up is ample proof of this.

        "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

        by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:51:57 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  kinda tacky to lead with the ad hom (9+ / 0-)

      The "Obama militant"? Meh.

      But I agree that the public hasn't gotten smarter or stupider. When Obama was at 75%, that's what we call the "honeymoon."

      "[C]ritique of Obama may still be rational and valid." Well, yeah. I think practically everyone here would agree that some criticisms are valid, others aren't, and the validity of some is genuinely difficult to assess.

      "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

      by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:46:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Diarist's ad hominem: Obama's critics ignorant. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Victor Ward

        The diarist said of those dissatisfied with Obama: "Ignorance is not bliss. It is a blight."

        Painting all Obama critics as ignorant working poor misled by GOP propaganda irritates me almost as much as the GOP propaganda itself.

        •  pshaw (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rithmck, murphthesurf3
          Painting all Obama critics as ignorant working poor misled by GOP propaganda irritates me....
          Cheer up and read more closely?

          The diary argues that many citizens don't know how to apportion responsibility between Obama and the GOP. That is open to debate, but it's unreasonable to construe it as a generalization about "those dissatisfied with Obama" and "all Obama critics."

          Coincidentally, I just read a glib Facebook comment about how politicians of both parties should stop "playing the blame game" and just do what's right. Grunt.

          "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

          by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 08:12:59 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  "The blame game" should be summarily executed. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Victor Ward, alice kleeman

            As political metaphors go, few are less enlightening.

            It's indicative of the level of political "commentary" on Facebook.

            People know things have not improved under Obama. Yes, many may not understand exactly why not.

            The less Dems fight tooth and nail for the public good, the less good the public will believe they represent.

            •  What is this lack of improvement that you (0+ / 0-)

              presume is a "given". I want to hear more.

              You talk in generalities. Nail it down. I will bring my tool kit.

              "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

              by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:01:13 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  If you're in the 1%, Obama years were a windfall. (0+ / 0-)

                For anyone in the lower 80-90%, you are worse off.

                The metrics don't lie, and they all say the same thing.

                Here's another example: blacks' share of American wealth is lower than the percentage owned by South African blacks at any time under apartheid. Let that one sink in.

                Yes, the GOP and friends bear much of the blame. But Obama blew historic opportunities for change his first two years with feckless neo-liberal dithering.

                It could be a long time before Dems get another such chance.

                •  And how is this Obama's responsibility... (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  CwV

                  What are those historic opportunities that he blew. Again, be specific. I will readily admit error but I will track down the incidental moments you pinpoint.

                  "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

                  by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:21:51 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  I LOVE..."Pshaw" and also "Huzzah!" (0+ / 0-)

            You get it. Rec'd

            Let me share this with you.

            I worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and supported his reelection in 2012. Whenever someone would say "I love Barack" or gush about what a "great person he is" I asked why they felt that way or thought that way. Time and again, I got blank stares.

            Political illiteracy flows in both directions. The 2010 fiasco where so many of those who voted for Obama in 2008 failed to follow up is ample proof of this.

            "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

            by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:00:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I have the same pedigree. (0+ / 0-)

              The main reason I did not campaign for Obama in 2012 was that I could not in good faith go back to the poor neighborhoods of Philadelphia and NYC and tell the voters that Obama had fought his hardest to improve their lives.

              •  why? (0+ / 0-)

                be specific. what did you want him to do that he did not do AND that could be done?

                I am really interested in having this discussion with you.

                "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

                by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:20:06 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I'll answer here the Q you asked three times. (0+ / 0-)

                  It is astonishing to me you seem unfamiliar with the informed argument that Obama might have done better.

                  I am not the first or only on the educated left to contend so. Many have done so, educated, erudite and activist alike.

                  I'll provide a short list of specific complaints of what Obama could have done better. Many of the squandered opportunities date from 2008-2010 (for obvious reasons). Obama could have:

                  (1). Rejected neo-liberal doctrine.
                  (2). Named a non-neo-liberal economic team.
                  (3). Exacted more concessions from big banks in return for bailout.
                  (4). Enacted a larger, more aggressive stimulus.
                  (5). Expanded the bailout to homeowners, not just big money.
                  (6). Not wasted years pursuing bipartisan budget comity.
                  (7). Not invited Big Pharma and Insurance to write ACA.
                  (8). Pushed harder for single-payer, or even the public option.
                  (9). Not adopted the Heritage Found./Romney Plan as ACA.
                  (10). Issued executive orders on stronger carbon limits in 2009, not 2014, and not presided over massive fossil fuel extraction boom in the interim.

                  Man, that's just for starters. I don't expect to discuss all of this with you. But it's extremely puzzling to me that you say you have not heard reasonable, rational, empirical critique of Obama for what many see as his ample policy failings.

                  •  Know the list.... (0+ / 0-)

                    CHoose one....the devil is in the details and that is also where the truth is.

                    I did not say I had not heard the arguments. I said I had not heard them from you.

                    These generalized, laundry list exchanges get one nowhere.

                    Let me start.

                    (9). Not adopted the Heritage Found./Romney Plan as ACA.
                    What would have been your option? Medicare for All? Public Option? Ok. Which one (or another) and why? Then, could that alternative survive the process that turns an initiative into a bill and then into a law?

                    Let's start there.

                    "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

                    by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:53:10 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Obama pre-negotiated ACA with big insurance. (0+ / 0-)

                      His goal was to be 'bipartisan', transcend politics as usual, etc.

                      His way of doing it was to rake in $20 million in campaign contributions from the health industry, then invite big insurance and big pharma to the White House to literally write the ACA.

                      I'm not making this up!

                      Before his election, Obama promised to fight for single-payer. Once elected, he surrendered without a shot.

                      By the summer of 2009 (6 months after election), Obama had himself decided against single-payer or public option. He said so to insiders. Repeatedly. On many occasions. He instructed other Democrats to stop talking about single-payer systems because he would not implement one.

                      Obama decided to break his campaign pledge all on his own. Not in the face of any Congressional opposition. Not in the face of Republican obstruction. Not in the face of a decline in his polling numbers.

                      It only got better. Obama refused even to meet with single-payer advocates. He denied them access to the White House. This is all early on, as the bill was just beginning to be drafted, long before it was rolled out in committee or for votes.

                      Then as he was holding meetings with legislators to craft the initial version of the bill, he sent his health secretary out to brag in public (NPR, June 2009) that neither single-payer nor public option were on the table at all!

                      Amazing. A strong politician might say, introduce a bill with single payer, push hard for it, then retreat to public option if the votes weren't' there.

                      Not our Obama. Oh no.

                      He cleverly pre-negotiated his own chosen, preferred pro-1% solution that forced poor uninsured people to pay premiums they can't afford and left the inefficient, terrible, for-profit American health system entirely intact.

                      •  Sorry it took me a while to get back to you.... (0+ / 0-)

                        I very much appreciate you reply. You have done your part. Now I will do mine.

                        His goal was to be 'bipartisan', transcend politics as usual, etc. Yes. Among Obama's promises was to find ways to work across the aisle. It was that desire that led him to make many compromises with and excuses for GOP opposition.

                        His way of doing it was to rake in $20 million in campaign contributions from the health industry, then invite big insurance and big pharma to the White House to literally write the ACA. That is one way of seeing this. Another way was that he realized that previous attempt (by 9 presidents) to address this issue had failed in the first days because they failed to work alongside the principal power brokers, the stakeholders in the reform efforts. As you say later, despite his earlier statements about endorsing a single payer system of some kind, by the time he was deep into his campaign he had come to realize that that road was not one that was open to any administration. As to taking money - yep. The analysis created for Raw Story by the Center for Responsive Politics, shows that President Obama received a staggering $20,175,303 from the healthcare industry during the 2008 election cycle. He convinced them that he would not try to scuttle the private insurance, private care model and they paid him for his position. Yep.

                        I'm not making this up! I know.

                        Before his election, Obama promised to fight for single-payer. Once elected, he surrendered without a shot. In the early campaign days he certainly embraced that model and then as the campaign moved from "impossible dream", to "implausible", to "somewhat possible" right down to "electable" I see many of his policies "maturing" (you probably have other words). This pretty much captures where he ended up as he approached election.  http://www.politico.com/...  In August 2008 was he still mincing words. Yes. But the shift toward a public option as PERHAPS doable shows that the political realities were known to him. The June statement is the summation of that.

                        By the summer of 2009 (6 months after election), Obama had himself decided against single-payer or public option. He said so to insiders. Repeatedly. On many occasions. He instructed other Democrats to stop talking about single-payer systems because he would not implement one. Again, I agree. Why? He could count the votes. Pelosi could deliver the votes in the House, barely. But Reid could not deliver the Senate. The Blue Dogs, the absent sick, and the absent unfilled seat made the so called Super Majority the equivalent of grabbing a handful of fog.

                        Obama decided to break his campaign pledge all on his own. Not in the face of any Congressional opposition. Not in the face of Republican obstruction. Not in the face of a decline in his polling numbers. Here I think you are wrong per my previous paragraph. Let me add that tracking polling shows that the GOP was quickly successful at creating an extraordinary and largely mythical narrative re. health reform as government takeover, socialist plot, euthanasia machine and resistance was building steadily. Could the Dems have cobbled together a package and forced it through in the first four months? I think so. Even the Blue Dogs would have accepted a Public Option but not medicare for all then. Where the Dems/Obama stragegy failed was in gauging how willing the GOP was to simply not govern but to only obstruct. Today, of course, Obama assumes that the Congress simply cannot get anything done.

                        It only got better. Obama refused even to meet with single-payer advocates. He denied them access to the White House. This is all early on, as the bill was just beginning to be drafted, long before it was rolled out in committee or for votes. Yes,  by the time he took the oath single payer was off the table.

                        Then as he was holding meetings with legislators to craft the initial version of the bill, he sent his health secretary out to brag in public (NPR, June 2009) that neither single-payer nor public option were on the table at all!

                        Amazing. A strong politician might say, introduce a bill with single payer, push hard for it, then retreat to public option if the votes weren't' there. Had Obama done that, the long, long process that slowly eroded much of the middle ground support for the limited reform he got would have been far graver. I believe that his hopes for something would have been dashed and any plan would have ended up on the rubbish pile. One of the reasons he was able to get what he got was that the insurance industry, and the private medical providers (nearly all of them) generally lined up on his side (or at least were mild in their opposition). Even so, it was a close call.

                        Not our Obama. Oh no. I live in a Red State. I live in the midst of the opposition and thus find the pragmatic approach he took (eventually) the necessary one.

                        He cleverly pre-negotiated his own chosen, preferred pro-1% solution that forced poor uninsured people to pay premiums they can't afford and left the inefficient, terrible, for-profit American health system entirely intact. I was trained as an ACA Navigator and worked as a ACA Advocate from August 2013 through May 2014. I can assure you that there are a lot of people I worked with who are paying reasonable premiums and getting the care they need. The stats on this show that my experience is not isolated. The folks who most needed the care- the working poor- were to have been covered by medicaid expansion. Here in Mo. the GOP dominated legislature and a state referendum blocked it despite support from the Chamber of Commerce and a whole flock of former GOP office holders.

                        MY MOTTO: It is foolishness to let the desire for the perfect be the enemy of the attainable good.

                        "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

                        by murphthesurf3 on Sat Jun 21, 2014 at 07:41:26 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  Please then accept Obama critique can be valid. (0+ / 0-)

                          Since you acknowledge that Obama himself promised single-payer then decided to break his promise on his own, for his own reasons, you cannot continue to allege that Obama critics all operate from a position of ignorance alone.

                          You admit Obama was for single-payer before he was against it. You admit Obama broke his promise. You admit he allowed himself to be bought off by Big Pharma and Big Insurance. You admit he invited them to the White House to write the bill.

                          But to you, influence peddling and legalized bribery is mature and wise!

                          No.

                          But you don't stop there. You continually assert and re-assert that any deviation from Obama's ACA strategy would inevitably have resulted in failure to pass any plan whatsoever.

                          There is simply no evidence that is the case.

                          Further, your account does not jibe with Obama's own words from January to June 2009. He told insiders that he was dumping single-payer not for reasons of political strategy, but because he thought implementing that system would just be too disruptive.

                          You can contrive endless defenses for Obama's intentional sacrifice of single-payer -- and for his highly lucrative move of allowing himself to be bought and co-opted by Big Pharma and Big Insurance.

                          But you admit both took place. Thus you have no grounds to claim that Obama challengers have no grounds for critique.

                          •  I never said ALL Obama critics or critiques (0+ / 0-)

                            are invalid. My point was that many, if  not most, in the public who both pan and praise him, or other leaders, or public policy, or....

                            generally act without the kind of factually based, logically considered, reflection that I (and clearly you) do.

                            I do not accept your interpretation re. Big Pharma Money or Private Health Care money donations to Obama.

                            I provided the evidence re. the born-dead nature of a Single Payer based on the Blue Dogs in the Senate, the empty seat, and the two seats often empty because of sickness.

                            No President will admit that he does not have the guns to do the job (which is the genesis of the political strategy statement) but I also think that Obama became convinced that the Medicare for All model was not something that could be managed right now- and was thus too disruptive. Both arguments can be true at the same time.

                            My arguments are no more contrived than yours.

                            My position re. public opinion is not the one you present in your summary of it.

                            "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

                            by murphthesurf3 on Mon Jun 23, 2014 at 09:46:11 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

        •  I did not paint ALL but I suggest that there is (0+ / 0-)

          abundant ignorance on both sides. Still most critiques of Obama do not hold up in fact based, logical debate.

          So....let's hear your side of the story. Pick a point and take it apart. I will respond.

          "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

          by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:58:31 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I have thick skin...no bother....what bothers is (0+ / 0-)

        an assumption that my argument must be erroneous because I am so solidly behind it. I am and I am willing to take on any and all challenges to it.

        Obama does not have my 100 percent support but he has my 75 percent support and for good, sound reasons.

        I believe in a fact based narrative and argument....so I say- bring on the opposing POV and lets talk.

        By the way .....regarding the "honeymoon"....

        I worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and supported his reelection in 2012. Whenever someone would say "I love Barack" or gush about what a "great person he is" I asked why they felt that way or thought that way. Time and again, I got blank stares.

        Political illiteracy flows in both directions. The 2010 fiasco where so many of those who voted for Obama in 2008 failed to follow up is ample proof of this.

        "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

        by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:56:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I had the same opinion then.... (0+ / 0-)

      I worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and supported his reelection in 2012. Whenever someone would say "I love Barack" or gush about what a "great person he is" I asked why they felt that way or thought that way. Time and again, I got blank stares.

      Political illiteracy flows in both directions. The 2010 fiasco where so many of those who voted for Obama in 2008 failed to follow up is ample proof of this.

      Don't put words into my mouth.

      I await your reply.

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:50:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lincoln was also disliked (7+ / 0-)

    Yes, he won office the second time around but he wasn't beloved until he was shot.

    For those of you who prefer Bartlett to Obama, re-watch the West Wing. For those who prefer Clinton, re-watch old news videos.

    by Ptolemy on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:34:16 AM PDT

  •  Poll numbers are fleeting; Obama is for the ages. (12+ / 0-)

    He promised in his SOTU that 2014 would be a year of action, and he's kept his promise.

    His accomplishments are many and great. Hell, even Paul Krugman finally gets it.

    He will be regarded as a great president, and polling in June of 2014 will be long forgotten.

    How about I believe in the unlucky ones?

    by BenderRodriguez on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:36:03 AM PDT

  •  I would make a distinction (9+ / 0-)

    I basically agree that citizens, in general, don't pay close enough attention to know whom to blame for bad outcomes. It's not obvious how to change that, but we might as well point it out.

    I also think that some of these poll results should be construed cautiously simply because of how the questions are worded. If many people doubt that Obama is "able to lead the country and get the job done," that in itself doesn't tell us what they think of Obama.

    "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

    by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:38:05 AM PDT

    •  we already... (3+ / 0-)

      can see that political money can literally rewrite history, at least in the minds of the gullible.

      "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

      by JackND on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:02:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  it doesn't even always take money (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elwior, alice kleeman

        Money helps. But rewriting history is as easy as falling off a log, and not only among the gullible. I don't think we're spontaneously very good at objectivity. However, at least some of the "information" we filter out richly deserves to be ignored. Vide: Linda McMahon's Senate campaign.

        "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

        by HudsonValleyMark on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:59:26 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It can and does....look at the money being spent (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alice kleeman

        to take over school boards, and state education departments. The effort to rewrite school textbooks and fully control in class curriculum is not isolated from the wider right wing agenda.

        "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

        by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:13:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I basically agree but want to point out that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cordyc, alice kleeman

      the teaching of civics and American history is fast disappearing in American schools- a purposeful effort I think to dumb down our citizens and to cut many off from the knowledge they really do need to have.

      Further, we live in a culture of constant distraction where media reinforces a message that the truly irrelevant is essential.

       There are a number of studies that are undertaken every year of how aware our citizens are and these get little play for obvious reasons.

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:11:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  So true there is a open ended ? asked in the poll (0+ / 0-)

        and look at the results of what's "important" to those whether they think Obama is doing a good job or not.  Bergdahl, Benghazi and the IRS are far more prominent than with those who see PBO doing a good job.

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 01:58:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I am working with a statitician now analyzing the (0+ / 0-)

          structure of the question and the target audiences. This is looking like a cooked set of books.

          "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

          by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:18:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The Framers Didn't Recognize a Fundamental (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, murphthesurf3, Vicky

    right of the people To Know, which would've put the onus of being informed citizens mostly on us.

    They instead gave our society two fundamental freedoms to assert --press and speech-- so sweeping as to include a right to lie, especially in matters related to our governance.

    Speech freedom is not tied to any speaker and so extends in many ways even to institutions including global and foreign corporations, whereas press freedom is not a human freedom at all but one of a business activity, including foreign and global corporations.

    The framers so valued unchecked and unbalanced assertion that some praised it above any systems of government.

    Assertion unsupported and unrestrained by government must naturally be dominated by the rich and their enterprises. So in our system we have to look first to the global rich for the state of knowledge of the American people.

    We know from measurements that just 5 global corporations provide 95% of the content of news of current events we share in common. That's the foundation upon which our individual pursuit of knowledge is built.

    Our public is drawn from every ethnicity and philosophy on the face of the earth. If our public is incompetent at self informing, then humanity itself is incompetent for self governance. The right has always believed this, and they may be correct.

    On the other hand, we alone among the major nations use our peculiar system of government, we have one of the most anti-systematized means of informing of a democratic people, and we are about the least democratic of the major nations as measured by the frequency of our government ruling for the benefit people when rich ownership objects.

    So maybe the 1 system shares part of the fault with us 1/3 billion individual Americans. If not, if it's mostly the failings of we the people, there's not much point to resisting the consolidation of power by the right.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:40:57 AM PDT

    •  Excellent. Several things to say, one thing to ask (0+ / 0-)

      first, the ask. Can you say more about this paragraph. I want to be sure I understand your POV on this.

      On the other hand, we alone among the major nations use our peculiar system of government, we have one of the most anti-systematized means of informing of a democratic people, and we are about the least democratic of the major nations as measured by the frequency of our government ruling for the benefit people when rich ownership objects.
      Now the things to say. It is pretty clear that most of the Founders and Framers were wary of the "mob"- those who lacked the essential tools to be fully participating members of the social and political order. What were those essentials:

      As painful as it is to admit two of those essentials for these 19th century white males was to be white and a male.

      Then there was the expectation of having a trade, a profession, land.....that which tied one to society's well being and prosperity.

      And the assumption that you were educated, whether formally or informally. Being able to read well, write well and speak well were fundamental to participation in public discourse.

      The colonists were very well read and the newspaper business thrived. Debating societies were commonplace.

      AND there was virtually no censorship.

      Thus, the assertion of the right to speak, to assemble, to publish were enshrined in the Bill of Rights as they know how important they were to the life of the Republic.

      Very well said. Rec'd.

      I wish you would write more diaries. I just read your "CSI Galilee" Quite good.

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:24:12 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How thrilling it must be to have such a deeper (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AlexDrew, Victor Ward

    grasp reality than two thirds of the country.

    Tell us, since you are one of the enlightened few who sees them, how splendid are Emperor Obama's new clothes ?

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 06:57:26 AM PDT

    •  With this comment, if you are (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      murphthesurf3, BenderRodriguez

      maintaining that the average member of the public is deeply engaged in political thought and activity, including participation (you know, because 50% of the population doesn't even vote in Presidential elections, and the percentage of voting goes down from there, especially in special elections and primaries.  What, has it been two whole weeks now that the Majority Leader of the House was defeated by a tiny percentage of his district?,)  that they have a deep, nuanced understanding of how the government works, not just based upon thorough study of the Constitution and Supreme Court decisions, but by their awareness of what actually transpires -- the role of lobbyists, campaign finance, the news media, interest groups, gerrymandering, etc.), I have to wonder where is this "grasp of reality" that you speak of?  Care to explain?

      •  yea I guess your right, rule by enlightened (0+ / 0-)

        oligarchies is much preferable to entrusting the unwashed masses to choose the course the country.

        Democracy is so 20th century, we can do better.  

        Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

        by River Rover on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:32:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Or, we could just educate the electorate, (0+ / 0-)

          no matter how difficult that is.  But, I guess it's easier to assume the unwashed masses aren't capable of that, so we have to live with whatever stupid choices they make.  Wow, you really know how to be condescending, Mitt.

      •  excellent, archived and rec'd (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        anon004

        If you read through my replies to comments here you will see that we are very much on the same page.

        Let me add this:

        What I am saying applies to those who are "on my team" and with whom I side...but that is not to say that can meet the test of knowledge, and experience you spell out in your post.

        I worked for the Obama campaign in 2008 and supported his reelection in 2012. Whenever someone would say "I love Barack" or gush about what a "great person he is" I asked why they felt that way or thought that way. Time and again, I got blank stares.

        Political illiteracy flows in both directions. The 2010 fiasco where so many of those who voted for Obama in 2008 failed to follow up is ample proof of this.

        Thanks...

        "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

        by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:34:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Reminds me of when people voted for (0+ / 0-)

          Reagan in the 1980s.  I can remember when they asked people about issues, they agreed with the Democrats something like 70% percent of the time, which meant they agreed with Reagan only 30% of the time.  When reporters would ask someone why they supported Reagan, their responses were purely emotional - he looks like a President or he gives such a wonderful speech, being able to speak so well for so long -- they had no clue he was reading from a Teleprompter.  I think Iran-Contra was the first time the Republicans realized they could get away with blatantly lying as long as they told a good story.  Remember what Reagan said -- he didn't believe in his mind he'd traded arms for hostages, but the evidence showed that he did.  Not only didn't he get impeached for that, he barely even got a dip in his poll numbers.  I was unable to process that then, and I am still unable to process that now.  It was downright scary.

          I voted for Obama twice and I contributed to his campaign.  I think he's accomplished a lot, especially considering his opposition cares about nothing but making him fail.  Is he perfect?  Not by a long shot.  He's in bed with Wall Street and the Big Banks and he's embraced Bush's security state.  I just wish the opposition could articulate some actual alternative policies, instead of just mindlessly opposing whatever he does, ginning up phony scandals and appealing to their base's racism.  There's enough to criticize legitimately, but instead we get Benghazi-IRS-Kenyan-Muslim-Bumbling-Incompetent-Evil-Mastermind.  It's pure, unadulterated bullshit.

    •  How splendid? (0+ / 0-)

      Did you bother to read http://www.dailykos.com/... which I cited. There you will see the wardrobe laid out for you.

      Take a tour and get back to me.

      BTW I do have a stronger grasp on political, social and economic reality than at least 2/3 of the country. Those measures of political and historical literacy are ones I pass with ease. Debates at sites like these are ones where I have to regularly proved that my claims are as I make them.

      So, cheap shots aside, do you want to debate this?

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:27:30 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  no, it would wast both of our times. (0+ / 0-)

        have fun supporting the oligarchs.

        I'm going back to the right side of history now.

        Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

        by River Rover on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:37:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Anyone who runs from a preentation of reputed fact (0+ / 0-)

          shows either the weakness of their position or a blank faced embracing of ideology.

          Debate requires a willingness to engage.

          You admit that you did not even bother to look at my argument but feel quite comfortable dismissing them sight unseen? Really? Is that the ground you stand on.

          "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

          by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:45:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I looked at your' link and realized that you were (0+ / 0-)

            in too deep be helped.

            Good luck in there and enjoy the Koolaid.

            The country is moving on from it's second disastrous presidency in a row.

            We neither need nor want anymore wise guidance from the oligarchs and their lackeys.

            Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

            by River Rover on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 12:25:36 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Koolaid...ah, you have just let the mask slip from (0+ / 0-)

              your face. A reference to mass murder/suicide of hundreds of women, children, men at Jonestown in Guyana....

              When someone from the right cannot actually argue their case that is one of the parlor tricks they pull out of the deck.

              I am wiling to let you pick the topic, and present your best argument. I will reply. We can go as many rounds as you want to.

              I suspect that it is a challenge you will not take up. Does your argument have the integrity to withstand analysis?

              "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

              by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:30:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Four word oxymoron in your second paragraph (6+ / 0-)
    political analyst Chuck Todd

    We must drive the special interests out of politics.… There can be no effective control of corporations while their political activity remains. To put an end to it will neither be a short not an easy task, but it can be done. -- Teddy Roosevelt

    by NoMoJoe on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 07:06:16 AM PDT

  •  That whole poll is a sham (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    murphthesurf3, BMScott, Vicky

    Look at the internals of who they asked on page 25 here: http://msnbcmedia.msn.com/...(6-18%20Release).pdf

    only 46% voted for PBO and 8% voted for some one besides Romney or PBO!  And 4% of registered voter can't remember who they voted for in 2012.  Really, just really. Less than 1% of voters in 2012 voted 3rd party yet this poll has 11% represented in the answers.  Why?

    Other info also shows that this poll is not reflective of the demographics of the American voter.  It appears heavily weighted toward the RW voter, white and old.

    This whole poll needs analysis by someone better at stats than I am but even with my limited skills it looks like a complete scam and sham to bash Dems and PBO.

    Is Nate Silver still looking at this stuff?  This whole poll needs serious review IMHO.

    Congressional elections have consequences!

    by Cordyc on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 10:44:02 AM PDT

    •  This is the last comment in this thread at the (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BMScott, Vicky, Cordyc

      moment...and boy is it a great one.

      Can I take your post and use it in another diary on this issue. I will give you credit for the insight.

      Can you take the time to expand your comment here to include anything else that undermines the poll.

      You seem to have a knack for doing this.

      Rec'd.

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:39:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks, I wish I had time to write it but be my (0+ / 0-)

        guest to further expand on just how poorly this poll reflects actual demographics.

        When I heard Toad talk about this yesterday something seemed fishy to me.  So I looked at the actual poll.  One guest on expanding upon the things I picked up.  From listening to Nate Silver I've picked up that what he would do was always look at lots of poll and other factual demo data and then rank the various polls according to how they matched up to reality.

        How folks voted really stood out to me.  With only 46% voting for Obama that just glares since PBO got 51% of the popular vote.  The 8% voted for others is also way out of whack since less than 1% of the popular vote went to anyone beside PBO or Romney.  To my simple way of analysis that means there is a 7% error right there.  Who are these folks and why do they have such a heavy weight in this poll?

        I haven't had time to verify either the ages or the ethnic makeup of the US compared to how this poll works out but I can see that Asian is low as are blacks and hispanic/latino.

        I would expect a good poll taking organization to keep calling until they have a factual mix of voters on how folks voted in 2012, age, sex, race and education that match up to the census.  It is not mentioned in the poll but it would be good to have the regional breakdown of the respondents.  My hunch is there is a heavy weight towards the South.

        The bottom line is this whole poll seems to be GIGO, garbage in results in garbage out.

        NBC poll data

        Congressional elections have consequences!

        by Cordyc on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:19:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If I put together something based on your two (0+ / 0-)

          comment in this thread can I send it to you for your review. I would love for you to get credit for it. I think I can put that section into its own box. This could be of real value.

          "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

          by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 02:52:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thanks (0+ / 0-)

            I'm not very good at using the features of DK and I'm not even sure what email stuff goes to from this site.  I'll keep checking here for any message from you.

            But go ahead and expand on just how bogus this poll really is.

            I keep hearing now that PBO has lost so much confidence and I think this kind of bad poll data has to be exposed so the MSM comes back to telling the truth with facts.

            Congressional elections have consequences!

            by Cordyc on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 04:00:58 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  And I am a total stumblebum when it comes down (0+ / 0-)

              to the kind of analysis you are speaking of here.

              Let's use the kosmail system to communicate.

              "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

              by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 09:40:42 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Please check the link, it does not seem to work (0+ / 0-)

      "It is better to light one candle than curse the darkness." (Adlai Stevenson in praise of Eleanor Roosevelt) (Glowing Candle Avatar Adopted in 1986)

      by murphthesurf3 on Thu Jun 19, 2014 at 11:40:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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