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What if Obama didn't Compromise

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout: Debate & Discussion' started by rocketsjudoka, Jul 29, 2011.

  1. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    This is a tangent off of the 14th Amendment thread but I was thinking about what if Obama isn't invoking the 14th Amendment because he is willing to consider default as an option if that might force the Republicans to compromise with him. Now I admit to this being speculative but given how much criticism Obama has taken for compromising so much with with Republicans I am just wondering what people would've thought of Obama if he hadn't compromised so much.

    What if he didn't compromise on health care and insisted on a public option? What if he didn't compromise on ending the Bush tax cuts?
    What if he didn't compromise regarding investigating Bush Admin. officials?

    Given the situations at the time I suspect that either some (maybe all) of the things he got from those compromises (health care law, DODT repealed, Unemployment benefits extended and etc..) might not have been passed but at the sametime Obama might not have been considered as a pushover and might be in a stronger position politically.
     
  2. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't suggest that Obama ought not compromise. First, that's no way to do business (as the GOP is proving). Second, it's not in his bones. He is a compromiser/pragmatist/deal-maker at his core. There's nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think that's a great quality.

    I just wish he didn't come to the table with his first offer already containing significant compromise. I do believe that if he hadn't taken his first meeting with GOP leadership having already removed single payer from the table, he would have had a much better shot at a public option. He offers too much in the beginning especially when he has learned definitively he is not dealing with reasonable people.

    Another thing I think he badly fails to do is to use the bully pulpit to explain to the American people that his proposals are actually directly in line with what they say in polls that they want. Taxes on the rich/cuts AND revenue as part of a deficit reduction plan is very popular with Americans. It's off the table now. Every component of the health care bill, with the possible exception of the mandate, is popular with the American people, but they are not hot on Obamacare. They're for most everything in it, but they have been persuaded against the plan because they don't understand it's exactly what they say they want. Same goes for middle class tax cuts/unemployment extension without extending cuts for the rich.

    On virtually every issue, he is in line with popular opinion but is either unwilling or unable to explain that to the American people when he has the biggest microphone in the world.

    It is so ironic that during the election people said he was all pretty words and no substance. It turns out that eloquence has been his main failing, while he is actually pretty good at getting big stuff done. It's often not stuff I want done, but it is big stuff nonetheless. And as many problems as I have with the health care legislation in particular, there is no denying that it is a major win for Obama and more importantly for the American people. It's sad that they don't know that because he has failed to tell them.
     
  3. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    p.s. to RocketsJudoka: missed you in the Krugman thread. ;)
     
  4. Sweet Lou 4 2

    Sweet Lou 4 2 Contributing Member
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    whenever the economy is weak so is the president. That's the bottom line.

    Obama has to compromise simply because he doesn't have the political power to take a hard stand. Look at his approval rating - it's at an all time low despite his compromises.

    Live by the economy, die by the economy.
     
  5. Northside Storm

    Northside Storm Contributing Member

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    On the one hand, there's an idea that these days, whatever you can get from the GOP, you take.

    Then again, one has to wonder...

    what would have happened if, for example, Eisenhower had refused to nationalize Faubus' National Guard? Even though Eisenhower was not a known advocate of desegregation, and may have even had some sympathy for segregationists, he moved on that, and confronted it head-on.

    American history was forever changed for the better because of it.

    When you're the President of the United States, you have the bully-pulpit, and the power to effect change on a massive scale.

    Maybe these days are bad days for transformational moments, but I still believe there is much to be done, and much the President could do to help things along. I'm reserving judgment however. I think Obama is reserving his energies for bigger fights in the future, and that a second-term Obama will be a much more assertive president.

    One can only hope so...
     
  6. Major

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    What's the point of being in a strong position politically if you don't use it to accomplish anything?
     
  7. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/morning-jay-why-left-so-frustrated-obama_577729.html?page=2

    By the way, this notion of compromise as inherently virtuous is garbage. We've compromised ourselves to a $14 trillion debt (on the shoulders of those who don't have a seat at the negotiating table). Just because you go along to get along doesn't make you righteous.

    The only thing that matters is the outcome, not whether it was achieved through compromise. Does Obama really think if he is perceived as a compromiser it will save him from economic reality?

    He needs economic growth, not PR victories (which he hasn't gotten anyway). Whatever garbage being compromised on in Congress will not achieve that.

    We are falling back into a double dip recession. What does he plan to do about it?

    Obama is going to rely on Mediscare, Class Warfare, blame Bush, and promises of amnesty. That's all he has to run on. Not good enough.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  8. T.Mcgrady

    T.Mcgrady Member

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    Good enough when you're running against the current crop of republicans.
     
  9. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    it's no better or worse than past crops that have produced winning candidates
     
  10. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Who among them do you think has a serious chance of being nominated and then beating Obama? I'm just trying to figure out how crazy you are.
     
  11. Commodore

    Commodore Contributing Member

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    Perry/Pawlenty/Romney all have extensive executive experience and a history of electoral success (in blue states for Pawlenty and Romney). Perry has never lost a race.

    I always wonder why people think because their views are right, they will be popular. People here seem convinced Obama can't lose despite quantitative historical evidence disputing that notion (polling, economic data).
     
  12. Batman Jones

    Batman Jones Contributing Member

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    Oh, you're not crazy. That's refreshing.

    I've predicted here that Perry will win the nomination and give Obama a hard fight. I doubt that Romney has a real chance at the nomination but I wouldn't give him a good chance against Obama. Pawlenty might have a better shot at Obama than Romney but, barring a miracle, he's gone after Iowa.
     
  13. rimrocker

    rimrocker Contributing Member

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    Intellectually, I kind of agree with Kevin Drum. The heart is another story...

     
  14. cml750

    cml750 Member

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    Batman, very good analysis. I believe your are correct. From the current crop of candidates Perry is the only one who would have a chance. If Chris Christie from NJ decides to enter the race, he would do well also. A Perry / Christie battle would be fun to watch.
     
  15. glynch

    glynch Contributing Member

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  16. Deckard

    Deckard Blade Runner
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    Interesting stuff, glynch. We both recall the days of Tricky Dick, so for me, anyway, it's hard to equate the two, but I've said here several times over the years that Nixon (and other Republicans of more recent vintage) couldn't sniff the GOP nomination for President today. While one could compare the two, as the column did, and in that narrow context not be far off-base, at least President Obama has some integrity. What I find interesting is that Texas Senator Ralph Yarborough (D-Texas, 1957-1971) was to the left of Obama, yet served several terms representing this state. Freaky, huh?
     
  17. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    That really is the key question between those who supported Obama in 2008. Many have raked Obama over the coals as "Compromise Man" while many others have pointed out how much he has accomplished.

    I recall not too long a poster here saying Obama had no moral principles because of his willingness to compromise. I think that is harsh but clearly there is a significant portion of his base that does feel betrayed by him and wishes he would've taken a harder line.
     
  18. rocketsjudoka

    rocketsjudoka Contributing Member
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    Keep in mind that Perry has benefited from a split opposition vote. So has Pawlenty and in the last election he ran it took a last minute meltdown by the DFL (Dem) candidate to squeak out a narrow victory. The Romney running now isn't the Romney that won in MA. Basically the Romney policy wise is campaigning against the Romney that was governor of MA.
     
  19. Major

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    I think a lot of those people, like tea partiers, are more interested in winning political fights than actually accomplishing anything. The people on the left, like the ones on the right, seem to think that if Obama just yelled and screamed loud enough, he'd have gotten his way. I don't think they really understand the circumstances here - Dems weren't even fully on board with a lot of those things like a public option or even DADT. And we've seen with the debt ceiling fight how far the GOP is willing to go on the "0 votes from us" strategy. If Obama wanted to get anything done, he had no choice but to negotiate with the Scott Browns and Olympia Snowes of the world. The other option was simply accomplish nothing. And as we learned in the 2010 elections, running on "nothing" - as many moderate Dems tried to do - is a recipe for disaster.
     
  20. Major

    Major Member

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    FWIW from an Obama political perspective, I think the base will come right back into the fold in a Presidential election. It was the same as all the people saying Hillary voters wouldn't vote for Obama. The reality is when you compare whatever crazy stuff a Perry or Romney is going to propose, the left will be back on board. It hurts more during midterms when unbalanced turnout is a bigger issue.
     

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