The First Year of the Obama Administration: Facts, Opinions and Discussions

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by J-Rod, Aug 9, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    If you (and many Republicans) are so convinced that Obama is the 3rd term of Bush, then why don't you like him more? I don't recall you being this vicious towards Bush. If they are 99.9% alike, why the change of heart? o_O
  2. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    This is hardly the congressional situation, and if anything conservatives ought to be well aware of it. Ideologically, the Democratic party is far less "pure" when compared to the Republicans (Whereas Republicans are by-the-by almost always conservative, Democrats tend to vary with a strong tendency towards liberalism, but nothing nearly as defined (Can't remember exactly where I saw this data, so unfortunately I can't link it). That alone would tend to make Congress more difficult to control, even with a majority, but then there's the fact that there are still 40 Republicans in the Senate, and every single one of them has decided that nothing shy of total and complete opposition to any and all policies proposed by Obama will suffice. Given inevitable internal Democratic disagreements (See my first point), getting anything through the Senate becomes an almost insurmountable task thanks to pesky filibuster rules (Which I anticipate will now be defended despite opposition to these same rules a few years ago from the Republican camp).

    To be more frank: No, Obama doesn't control Congress, stop pretending he does.
  3. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    It didn't contradict any of the "realities" in your previous post because it was not meant to. My posts were not directed at an analysis of Obama's time in office, but were commentary on the nature of the discussion progressing in this thread. Particularly, I found a lot of your claims of hypocrisy specious, just as I find your claims that all Obama voters should feel disillusioned and betrayed to be specious.

    Why, for instance, is it so outrageous to argue that saying "wait and see" makes more sense for a President who's been in office less than one year than for one who is 6 or 7 years into his maximum 8?

    But, for the sake of argument, consider healthcare. In the first place, it's different insofar as the issue would not even have come up under Bush (and didn't). Likewise, the specifics of the policies are quite different, with Bush's likely focus having mirrored the Republicans approach of tort reform, tax credits, and personal savings accounts. By contrast, the current plan is colored by a much more liberal approach of employer and individual mandates, heavy subsidies, and new regulation. Among the bill's positive accomplishments, there is new coverage for an additional 31 million Americans who previously lacked it, many of the elements that economists from all parts of the political spectrum agree are necessary for cost control (independent Medicare advisory board, "cadillac tax" to disincentivize continued escalations in spending), special funding for those with traditional barriers to access (eg community healthcare centers should be especially useful for minorities and those in low-income areas), a pivot towards quality-based pay (through electronic medical records which allow easy outcome tracking, much stronger incentives for use of evidence-based medicine, which currently has only something around 50% compliance, and direct restructuring of the reimbursement scheme), and new limitations on abused insurance practices (recision, denial for pre-existing conditions). And this, obviously, is not even a complete listing. All of them are incremental accomplishments, yes, and there are some things that I and others would clearly like to have seen that didn't make it into the final version. It may also be true that you don't like these changes (or perhaps other aspects of the bill). But to realize this much of one's ideals, while winning the allegiance of the major opposition factions from the last time this was attempted is a significant accomplishment. Especially set aside the rest of his legislative pace. And, most importantly for our discussion, it's far different from "a third term of Bush."

    You are pushing your line of argument far harder than the evidence actually allows, I think. At the very least, spare us the analyses of how we should feel. Most people aren't the caricatures of HuffingtonPost sentiment you seem to believe.
  4. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    KnightWriter said...Dear Smuggy, don't you know that Obama has basically continued the vast majority of the Bush administration's anti-terror work? There's been little change between the two administrations in a great many ways, and between the predator bombings and escalation in Afghanistan, to say that Obama isn't taking things seriously is more than a laugh and a half. It's an entire comedy show.

    The KSM trial and attempting to close Gitmo are huge, huge, huge, policy defining changes from the Bush administration's policies. And what about ending the extreme interogation technques. How can you call this "little change?"

    And of course Obama isn't taking this seriously. You show me one point where he is! You can't. He gave the Homeland Security Chief position as a repayment of favor to Napolitano, that certainly isn't taking that position seriously! He is referring to acts of war as "crimes!" Didn't 9/11/2001 teach us the difference between the two? So he's treating terror attacks in exactly the same manner that lead to the September 11th attacks. That's not taking things seriously! And then when he finally addressed the nation four days after this latest attack he didn't even wear a tie!

    I don't feel that he takes this seriously at all...


    See, in this country, it's the president who is the commander-in-chief, not a military official. I know you might like to think that military officials should get what they want, but there are plenty of countries in this world you can move to where you can find things more to your liking. Why not try it? You could report back on your experiences. What fun that would be!

    While certainly we would all agree that letting the military decide when to make war and on whom to make it has historicly been a disasterous move, you would have to admit that giving the military a mission then refusing to give it the resources to carry out that mission has also been proven folley by history.

    Wouldn't you? Sure you would.

  5. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8


    What exactly is wrong with treating it as a crime? Per the US federal law, that's what it as. What distinction are you making, here?
  6. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    J-Rod, I seriously recommend switching to decaf. That post is just...wow...you're complaining about someone not wearing a tie. Are you for real? Did Miss Rod not give you that present you really wanted for Christmas? Also bonus points for the cute use of calling it 'extreme interrogation' instead of the torture everyone knows it to be. Soo....'Not being willfully ignorant' is not on this year's resolutions, is it?
  7. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    As I said, it's an act of war. To treat it as a simple crime invites more acts of war. Google 9/11/2001 to see the results of treating acts of war as if they are only criminal transgressions.

    And FIDo, the Sons of Anarchy Season one Blue-ray was under the tree. Very happy Christmas at Mr. and Mrs. Rod's house!
  8. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    How does treating it as a crime "invite more?" Perhaps more importantly, seeing as how, presumably, we treated 9/11 as an act of war, then doesn't the attempted bombing prove that that also "invites more acts of war?" How is this supposed to work, exactly?

    EDIT: First page Google results to your suggested search query gives, among other things, a New York City mayoral simulator and a stupid Truther conspiracy book about insider trading. Is that what I was supposed to see? Lol.
  9. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
  10. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    That's exactly the point, when we treated it as war these things didn't happen. Hell, the last time something like this happened was Richard Reid's shoe bomb atempt in December of 2001...before we mobilized for Afghanistan or Iraq.

    Now, because the enemy feels more confident that we have reverted to a stance of ignoring the call to war these types of plots are again occurring. To these guys, a trial (better yet a show trial as KSM will get to have) is much more preferable than tanks, missiles and infidels trampling on their holy soil.

    It is exactly what I said would happen and now it is. I wasn't wrong then (can't revise history this close to it actually having happened) so I can't be wrong now.
  11. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    J-Rod's concerns on that front actually don't seem too different from Maureen Dowd's comments in her column today:
    You might think it's childish, but there are quite a few people out there that expect the President to respond publicly to events like these. As Dowd said, "At least you have to seem concerned."

    Kimball Kinnison
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    To me, the only argument that the attempt was "caused" by the Obama administration is that it was meant to be a direct retaliation for alleged anti-terrorist military actions in Yemen.
  13. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, it is childish to expect the president to comment on every little thing so some people feel 'safe'. I don't think your sense of personal safety should be dependent upon one person. If it is you're a pretty sad individual. Yes, I know quite a few people need their diapers changed every now and then by the President, but I would think something as statistically low as being involved in a terrorist incident should fall pretty low on everyone's priority lists. Especially when we've got asteroid impacts, the yellowstone volcano, gangs, and Avatar's crappiness to contend with which are much more likely than being involved with a terror incident.

    Edit: And who honestly takes Maureen Dowd seriously?
  14. Kimball_Kinnison Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    My point is simply that there are actually quite a few people out there (from both the left and the right) who expect the President to react visibly to such events. That's why, from a political standpoint, it is important for the President to seem to be responding, not just simply responding to the events.

    Kimball Kinnison
  15. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    I suppose he needs to buy such people pacifiers as well, maybe some talcum powder. Sorry. I find appeasing these types to be ridiculous because the more you appease these schmucks the more is expected of the President. Maybe he can move a mountain next or better yet: smite some people with his mighty veto pen. I'm not saying he shouldn't comment or anything, but expecting immediate gratification from anything he might say the day of or the day after is just silly. And I wish these people luck functioning in society.

    Edit: Not to mention J-Rod's lovely critique of his lack of a tie.
  16. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    When it is the normal Maureen Dowd, I don't. But this is not a normal Maureen Dowd column, and that is what makes it a biggie. She's ripping Obama, and arguably from the right to an extent. Yeah, she throws the digs in at Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld, but she is undeniably saying that he doesn't seem to have taken the attempted bombing of Flight 253 seriously.

    It's on thing when Dick Cheney said Obama did not take terrorism seriously. It's another thing when that kind of criticism comes from Maureen Dowd.
  17. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    If you are so convinced that Obama is the 3rd term of Bush, then why don't you like him more?

    Why, for instance, is it so outrageous to argue that saying "wait and see" makes more sense for a President who's been in office less than one year than for one who is 6 or 7 years into his maximum 8?

    I can take AG and JW's questions both together, because the answers are simple. Why? Because of of the types of decisions being made, that's why. Let's start over. Except perhaps for lighting of the White House Christmas tree, "closing Gitmo" should be about the easiest action a President could undertake. That is, if they had a plan on how to do it in the first place...

    If Obama announced that he was releasing everyone from Gitmo and that the US was going to pay to give the detainees job retraining skills in order to reduce extremism, that would be an example of a policy shift. Everyone might not agree with the decision, but it could be respected it as one that upheld his campaign promise. As it stands now, all anyone is going to get is simply the administration wasting hundreds of millions of dollars to move the same detainees to a different location while treating them no differently. Gitmo was a big topic during the campaign, but it looks like Obama spent more time selling Gitmo to get elected, than he did in actually planning out what to do once he got there.

    Or let's say, if Obama ended both the Afghanistan and Iraq missions before tackling things like health care. I could have respected a decision to cease military operations while using that same money to take on new programs, because it would be a financial zero sum. As it stands, we're still spending billions of dollars to fight 2 battles, and adding billions more in additional debt.

    Obama in most cases is just upholding the status quo, and then shotgunning the rest of his policies to see what sticks and what doesn't. One can look to countless examples here that follow that same fault- from how there are still huge gaps in his administration because so many people have resigned now due to a lack of a vetting process, to getting smacked down at the global climate summit for not showing up with a real plan that could be sold to the other countries, to utterly blowing the initial round of economic recovery.

    Obama ran as a liberal without any negative connotations to the term, but what the US public got as President is simply a caricature with no more substance than an Oprah White House Christmas Special. Since he keeps faltering on his core decisions, what makes anyone think that the complicated issues are suddenly going to fix themselves with a "wait and see" approach?
  18. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    No one here has asked him to comment on every little thing. But it's no wonder that we have to have this kind of debate when you, and the President of the United States, feel that this terror attack is just part of "every little thing." It's a very big thing.

    Notice though, the president didn't use the word "terrorist" in his address. This is just another example that he doesn't take terrorism seriously. But the even the newsmen who reported on the address wore ties...
  19. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    FID, I do think you're being a bit inconsistent here.

    People elect the President specifically to hold their hand. Or rather, to hold the hand of the nation. This isn't a new or unreasonable expectation. Do you honestly think JFK would have flippantly dismissed something like this? Or Reagan? I'd imagine that even Clinton would have zipped up his pants long enough to feign empathy.

    While it certainly isn't an Earth shattering, life changing event, I do think J-Rod is absolutely correct when he points out that it's not exactly nothing either. This is another example of something minor that's on page one of the President 101 handbook. if Obama can't install a sense of security and reassurance over a failed hijacking attempt carried out by a incompetent terrorist, how do you think a major Bali bombing/9-11 style attack would unfold under his administration?

    I hope that never happens, because if you think we've seen a large amount of resignations up until now, wait until a really tough situation comes around. Presidential administrations tend to look rather silly when they're all hiding under the Oval Office desk curled up in fetal positions.

    Is this another example that the public should wait and see until we're in the last year of his second term, because he's a slow starter and 2015 is the year when he is finally going to get warmed up and ready to go, so expect big things?
  20. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    An interesting, if tremendously skewed view of reality. Since you seem so concerned about Obama's response (and what you say is the lack thereof), may I point out that Bush, his spokesfolk, and the whole of the GOP touted the documented facts that domestic and foreign law enforcement and intelligence had thwarted "several" attempted attacks since 9/11. Yet Bush did not address each of these planned and thwarted attacks. Additionally, Bush did not immediately respond to the shoe bomb incident that, like this most recent attempt, actually made it to the point initiation, but failed. That's right... Bush waited six days before addressing it. Add to that, it turns out that Bush was in fact at Camp David for the holidays when it occurred, received a coupe of briefings, and was "kept in the loop", but otherwise did not treat it as a national disaster. The similarities between the Presidents' public responses are uncanny, yet the responses from the Right carry a stark contrast.

    As to the "crime vs act of war" bologna: Attempting to kill people is a crime. Attempting to kill people under the flag of one nation taking aggression against another is an act of war. This "war on terrorism" is as much a "war" as the "war on drugs", the "war on poverty" and the "war on Christmas". It's a ridiculously misused term once employed to show the public that "they" meant business about what they were going against, and has now become a method of instilling public hysteria in the name of an act that is in fact and all honesty not happening. There is no such thing as a "War on Terror". If there was, then National Guard personnel would be breaking down the doors of family home everywhere to take down the monster's under kids' beds.

    Obama is finally treating terrorism the only way it can be treated: by calling it a crime and implementing our system of justice for those who perpetrate it. To give it a name (ie Terrorism) and to give it publicity is to give terrorists exactly what they seek, a public voice. They are criminals, murderers, extortionists, and, in a word, evil. But they are not warriors in the true sense of the word (except in their own minds). We should never have treated them as such.

  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Except Chev, that's not exactly true. The administration is still carrying out military strikes as a matter of anti-terrorist policy.

    Just recently, a UAV strike killed civilians in Pakistan, and the administration treated the deaths as the collateral damage that occurs in every armed conflict. There's some tension in Afghanistan right now because 10 civilians were possibly killed in a NATO anti-terror strike there as well.

    I believe it was Jabba who previously mentioned that this failed terrorist attempt might have been carried out as a response to US Special Forces anti-terrorist operations in Yemen designed to disrupt al Qaeda in that country, which now seemed to have escalated. But I don't remember if anyone responded to his post.

    So the Obama administration is still blending military action/anti-terrorism operations as a continuation of policy. It's a mistake to pretend that there's some sort of shift. I think he's just coming up with different ways to describe the same action.

    It's kind of like in the Stanley Kubrick film Full Metal Jacket, the Marines were ordered to stop using the phrase "search and destroy mission," and substitute "sweep and clear operation" instead. The Marines themselves were still doing the same thing, it was just packaged for the viewers back home. I don't know, I think you could appreciate that it's just half a dozen of one thing, six of the other.
  22. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    The U.S. military has historically taken action countless times without a legitimate declaration of war. What were Korea and Vietnam called? Not war... Police Actions. Remember that we became known by the nickname "world's police"; we got that nickname for a reason; because we intervened militarily. There was no declaration of war against Granada, or Nicaragua, or Somalia, or Lebanon, but our forces were there conducting military actions.

    By our code of law, war can be declared only by Congress. Since the time of Gilgamesh, war has been defined as a conflict between nations/states/governing bodies presiding over land(s). There is no "second nation" in this context of a war on terrorism. It's a propaganda label, pure and simple.



  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I'm not sure what you're saying though. We're not talking about non-declared military conflict, we're talking about using military force as an anti-terrorist response vs one of law enforcement. Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, etc.. could hardly be characterized as anti-terror operations, although the US invasion of Panama was unique in that it was carried out as an extension of US drug control policy. Are you referring to your idea that the "war on terrorism" is an undeclared conventional war?

    Although as an aside, the reality of your post is one that I've been repeating for a good 6 years now whenever anyone mentioned that the invasion of Iraq was an "illegal war." It wasn't, but besides the point, it's just a single example within a long list of US administrations, from either party, acting as the world's police. But that's not the topic here, of course.
  24. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    Mm-hmm, evidently. I'm not referring to Policing vs anti-terror. I'm referring to military action in war vs military action without war. Thought that was clear in my post, but I suppose not.

    As I recall regarding Iraq, Bush called it a war, even going so far as to "declare" it. The GOP called it a war. They even said that Congress had authorized the war when they voted to give Bush the power to take military action against those nations harboring suspected perpetrators of 9/11/01.

    But of course now you and I agree that it really wasn't a true declaration of war, though I imagine we still disagree on the legality behind the fiasco. At least in Afghanistan and Iraq, are targets were "war-like" targets, in that we engaged in the active aggression against the governing bodies of those two nations for the purpose of defeating them. Still, they were not declared wars. Now, of course, they are, by very definition of the operations being undertaken there, police actions. Remember that Bush said the wars were over pretty early on. From there they became missions of occupation.

    We're maintaining a presence to keep the citizenry safe until the new governments can handle the job themselves. That's not the definition of war. Neither is targeting a band of thugs who want nothing more than to kill and spread fear among people the disagree with.

  25. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    Aren't you forgetting something?

    Mr44: I have no desire to try and convince you that Obama has or has not performed well. I am curious, though, whether you'd still try to argue that the healthcare bill (either the Senate or House version) is something that Bush would've done. Alternatively, we might concede that you hugely over-stated your "third term of Bush" case.

    Particularly, since, for instance, there's not much to do militarily. You argue Obama would've had to immediately end both wars to be seen as a credibly changing policy, even though that ignores entirely his actual campaign positions. On Iraq, there is little to do because the SOFA largely reflects candidate Obama's thinking. His proposed plan was mentioned explicitly by Al-Maliki as being the best during the negotiations period, and it's current form, the withdrawal date is only some three months off from the timetable Obama proposed (Obviously not in terms of the calendar date, but rather when one measures time elapsed from the start to the finish of the process). On Afghanistan, he has escalated the conflict, as he always campaigned on doing (he was the most hawkish of the three major Democratic candidates on the Afghan war, and was taking flak for it in the very first debate). Are you really suggesting that he change positions that he's held for years, just so that it can confirm to what is (apparently) your inaccurate perception of what he actually thought?
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.