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Cynical, petty, & lazy: The broken promise of Barack Obama

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by basso, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    Copied from thetransom.org.

    --
    THE BROKEN PROMISE OF BARACK OBAMA:

    If history holds, President Obama’s second term will be marked by fewer legislative achievements, more gridlock, and more contentious ideological division than his first. It is hard to see how this is possible. But I suspect we’ll soon find that it is inevitable. It’s because of the divide between the leader he promised us he would be, and the politician he actually is.

    The ongoing debate over understanding Obama as a politician has moved into odd territory over the past few years – the extremes between being cast as a lightbringer, healer of the planet, solver of all our racial woes, and on the other as a devious socialist bent on national ruin. All this attention gives the man, from my perspective, too much credit for being interesting. He is not all that complicated. The key to understanding Obama from my perspective is the traditional lens of urban Democratic machine politics – an approach bent on bending your foes into caricatures of themselves and organizing your own community into a political blunt instrument to wield at whim. The president is miscast as a wonky technocrat, which he has never been, or a leftist true believer, which is more about the dabbling of his formative years than the man he became. His priority is not policy, nor is he interested in the wholesale remaking of American life into a progressive utopia. Obama does believe the mechanisms of government are better, and produce more ethical outcomes, than the competition of the marketplace – but so do many politicians. But even if he didn’t believe that, Obama would pursue the kinds stakeholder-focused policies he does, because that is how you wield power in the traditional machine politics environment.

    Applied nationally, this approach doesn’t heal the land or the hearts of people tired of partisan dischord – it doubles down on the divides of class and interest, an approach even the left acknowledges has made for a nation more divided. http://vlt.tc/o1b The contraception mandate is a perfect representation of this strategy: a calculated and unexpected declaration that religious liberty extends only so far as the whims of a bureaucrat will allow while benefitting politically from creating a wedge within the opposing coalition and ostracizing those Catholics in their funny hats. These flashpoints are perfect examples of traditional big city politics: you sideswipe your foes with an argument they don’t even expect using the full weight of power, and reap the benefits. This harsh approach has its limits, however – it poisons the well for negotiation and agreement on things that matter – as Obama has discovered on more than one occasion.

    When this power from on high approach runs into barriers, it sparks skepticism – not of the machine politics strategy, but of democracy itself, as Peter Orszag has argued. http://vlt.tc/o1a Orszag, Tom Friedman (“if we could just be China for a day, the experts could impose by diktat what they cannot win through democratic debate”), and others who’ve expressed skepticism in a functioning democracy are really expressing the frustration of those confident in their own abilities to re-order society, to fix things and people, and for the utopian dream of humanity to finally be fulfilled under their august rule. The Road to Serfdom taught us that planners hate to force agreement, but if they feel they must, they will, using any means necessary, and with no compunction. Steve Hayward described Jimmy Carter as a man who ran for office promising “a government as good as the people” and ended his term by saying the people were no good. If the bill fails, perhaps it is because you did not love Obama enough. http://vlt.tc/o1c

    This is the heart of Obama’s underlying critique of those people who disagree with him, which crops up now and again, most recently of Israel: they simply don’t know what’s good for them, and he does. As Joel Kotkin writes: http://vlt.tc/o1d “More disturbing still may be the clerisy’s regal disregard for democratic give and take. Both traditional hierarchies… disdain popular will as intrinsically lacking in scientific judgment and societal wisdom… Such experts, of course, see little need for give and take with their intellectual inferiors, in Congress or elsewhere. This attitude is expressed in the administration’s increasing use of executive orders to promote policy goals such as better gun control, reduced greenhouse emissions or reform of immigration. Whatever one’s views on these issues, that they are increasingly settled outside Congress represents a troublesome notion.”

    Obama accepted the presidency four years ago as someone for whom the hopes of the nation were wrapped up in healing the wounds of the Bush era. Today he accepts it as a self-branded visionary who has revealed himself at heart to be a pedestrian partisan who wants to use the love and affection of his loyal supporters to crush his opponents and their constituencies. This is the essential broken promise of Obama’s presidency and his entire political career. He is not a technocratic wonk or a healer of planets or public squares. The healing he seeks is false talk of goodwill and charity after his opponents have been thoroughly defeated, just as the policy he seeks is the consolidation and cultivation of power. He has four more years to engage in his brand of political rule now – and at the end of it, I suspect we will look back on eight long years full of strife, when little was achieved for a nation where e pluribus unum no longer applies.
     
  2. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost not wrong
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    Cynical, petty, & lazy: The posting career of basso

    [​IMG]
     
    2 people like this.
  3. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    And on the day Mr Obama is sworn into an historic second term, our resident douche can't even show a little decorum or class.
     
  4. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    He's a politician, and to gain power he had to use the help of others... help that he then must repay once he is in power. He had to repay even more debts because he needed the most help to get in to office. He was a junior senator who fell in to a senate seat vacated by a criminal. He then decided to run for president with less than half a term under his belt and no real legislation wins. He had no legs to stand on his own, so he rose on the shoulders of others.

    Now we must repay those debts.

    For what it's worth, I had high hopes for Obama in 2008... and I didn't even vote for him, yet I was excited for his first inauguration. I have high hopes for him now because if he doesn't succeed over the next four years, none of us do.
     
  5. Major

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    Kind of hard to fix Washington when the other party plots your defeat the day you're inaugurated. If one party is just interested in politics and not concerned with the best interests of the country, there's not a lot that can be done.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/04/jean-schodorf-kansas-republican_n_1855033.html


    over a dozen Republican leaders -- including GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) -- held a dinner meeting on Jan. 20, 2009, to plan how to block Obama's agenda and help defeat the president in 2012.
     
  6. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

    -- Mitch McConnell

    how's that working out for ya?
     
  7. Svpernaut

    Svpernaut Contributing Member

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    Yeah, because the dirty tactics are only on one side of the aisle. :rolleyes:
     
  8. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

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    Obama hasn't earned it

    He barely won re-election, and he did so by promising free schit to the "takers" in society. I can't respect that.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    use of "We" a freudian slip?
     
  10. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    more of the cynicism referenced above; he had majorities in both houses for 2 years. i'm fascinated by his supporters unwillingness to hold him accountable- he personally killed bin laden, but can't get a budget deal with john boehner?
     
  11. mc mark

    mc mark Contributing Member

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    As always, you have no idea of which you speak. Show some respect.

    First president since Eisenhower to win two elections with over 51% of the vote.

    Final Tally Shows Obama First Since ’56 to Win 51% Twice

    Obama is the first president to achieve the 51 percent mark in two elections since Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, who did it in 1952 and 1956, and the first Democrat to do so since Franklin D. Roosevelt, who won four consecutive White House races. Roosevelt received 53.4 percent of the vote -- his lowest -- in his last race in 1944.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    I don't usually post in Basso threads but
    [​IMG]
     
  13. Major

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    When Bush was elected, there is no record of anything of the sort, and the party did not in any way/shape/form oppose the major pieces of Bush's agenda in lockstep.

    The whole "both sides do it" argument is lazy. If you have facts, provide them. Otherwise, it's just a way to deflect blame.
     
  14. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    <iframe width="853" height="480" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/qg676L9X0M4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
     
  15. Nook

    Nook Member

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    Brah.... he didn't "barely" win re-election....
     
  16. Nook

    Nook Member

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    So Obama is celebrating his mandate of the people, his inauguration and preparing for his State of the Union next month......

    Mean while.....

    Mitt Romney is eating a $2.00 polish sausage at Costco arguing with the cashier that the onion machine is empty.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. QdoubleA

    QdoubleA Member

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    The childish fury you righties have is the biggest reason you lost the election. Also the reason the young, reasonable Americans who will make up the future are left. No no, keep insulting the president, you're really making a good rational argument and at the same time hurting the presidents feelings. Change up or go extinct, we'll just keep on winning.
     
  18. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    They may be on both sides of the aisle, but it isn't an equal balance at all. The Republicans have done more of it by far than Democrats ever have.

    You trying to act like both sides are exactly the same is too bad.
     
  19. FranchiseBlade

    FranchiseBlade Contributing Member
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    I'm fascinated with how little you apparently know about the procedures in congress.

    edit:: Ahh crap. I wasn't paying enough attention and didn't notice this was a basso thread. I'm done here.
     
  20. basso

    basso Contributing Member
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    you can win, but you can't govern, since you have no idea, or interest in, how to win over your opponents.
     

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