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

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

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  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Yes that is a very big deal if he wins. Not easy to downplay, but I invite others to try.
  2. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    It would be a HUGE win.

    But I don't think he's going to do it. I think Coakley wins in a squeaker.
  3. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    The win itself would be huge, yes, but you shouldn't read too much into it.

    November is a long time away, Americans have very short attention spans, and anything can happen between now and then.

    Peace,

    V-03
  4. Jabba-wocky Chosen One

    Member Since:
    May 4, 2003
    star 8
    I think Coakley will manage to win, but if she didn't the upset is certainly huge. I'm not sure it says much about the national mood that isn't already evident here, though. There are basically three major dynamics. One, the liberal portion of the Democratic base is dispirited by the compromises necessary with the more moderate and conservative party members, depressing turn out. Two, the conservative base of the Republican party is worked up into a nigh irrational lather at Obama's policy proposals, which would suggest a leftward (if modest) shift for the direction of the country, driving up their turnout to unprecedented highs. Third, independents, are dissatisfied with the resultant paralysis of the political system and generally still possessed with an anti-incumbent fervor (which Coakley, by proxy, falls prey to). In a special election, where things are mostly decided by voter enthusiasm, this is key. In a general election, it is much less the case.

    We'll see how things unfold.
  5. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Terrific analysis Jabba Wocky.
  6. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Going back to this, Charles Krauthammer had an excellent op-ed in today's Chicago Tribune.

    HERE

    WASHINGTON -- What went wrong? A year ago, he was king of the world. Now President Barack Obama's approval rating, according to CBS, has dropped to 46 percent -- and his disapproval rating is the highest ever recorded by Gallup at the beginning of an (elected) president's second year. A year ago, Obama was the most charismatic politician on Earth. Today the thrill is gone, the doubts growing -- even among erstwhile believers. Liberals try to attribute Obama's political decline to matters of style. He's too cool, detached, uninvolved. He's not tough or aggressive enough with opponents. He's contracted out too much of his agenda to Congress. These stylistic and tactical complaints may be true, but they miss the major point...

    It's not about style; it's about substance. About which Obama has been admirably candid. This out-of-nowhere, least-known of presidents dropped the veil most dramatically in the single most important political event of 2009, his Feb. 24 first address to Congress. With remarkable political honesty and courage, Obama unveiled the most radical (in American terms) ideological agenda since the New Deal: the fundamental restructuring of three pillars of American society -- health care, education and energy. Then began the descent -- when, more amazingly still, Obama devoted himself to turning these statist visions into legislative reality. First energy, with cap-and-trade, an unprecedented federal intrusion into American industry and commerce. It got through the House, with its Democratic majority and Supreme Soviet-style rules. But it will never get out of the Senate. But this reflects something larger. In the end, what matters is not the persona but the agenda. In a country where politics is fought between the 40-yard lines, Obama has insisted on pushing hard for the 30.

    Ideas and legislative proposals matter. Slick campaigns and dazzling speeches can work for a while, but the magic always wears off. It's inherently risky for any charismatic politician to legislate. To act is to choose and to choose is to disappoint the expectations of many who had poured their hopes into the empty vessel -- of which candidate Obama was the greatest representative in recent American political history.


    Now, I've highlighted the more partisan points above because the original op-ed was much longer. But the entire thing is worth a read... It's interesting to frame it around expectations going into years 2 and 3 and what they might have in store.
  7. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Mr44, since I'm not American I don't understand the football references but I'm not sure I understand the complaint either. The article describes Obama as being remarkably candid and then desribes how, with remarkable political honesty and courage, he actually takes legislative action to turn his ideological agenda into a reality, an agenda which is described as the "most radical" ideological agenda since the New Deal. Now I'm no political expert, but normally when a politician campaigns on the platform of "change" and then implements that change by actually drafting legislation which transforms that policy into law, they get congratulated. I'm confused.
  8. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But that's not the point of the analogy. The point is that he hasn't taken "radical action," despite the promise to do so.

    The football reference goes like this:

    A football field is 100yards. The 50 yard line is in the middle, and both sides go down to zero from that center point.

    [image=http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_bQ3DREtvr4U/R1MsdrYATjI/AAAAAAAAAAM/VXjD_VpD_C4/s1600-R/Terrain_football_am%C3%A9ricain.png]

    So "50" would be completely moderate. Instead of accomplishing short plays- (as the op ed says that policies are won at the 40 yard line) Obama keeps promising long passes without really gaining anything. The real battle is which side of the middle line you can control- right or left, not how far of a jump you can take at one time. In football terms, that's called a running game. But enough of the football analogy....

    The administration could have taken concrete steps for the economy. Then, look at what needs improving in foreign policy, and then health care. Then, move on to reasonable environmental policy, etc...

    For example, the first step I would do for health care reform is start by looking at tort reform and malpractice policy. Then, I would shore up the current system. (meaning medicare/medicaid) Once those were debated and in place, I would then look at expanding into more universal coverage as a long term/second term initiative. Instead, the administration jumped from point A (private/insurance system) to point Z (European style) without stopping to examine anything in between, and unfortunately for Obama, he lost control of the entire debate. It's a common result that's happened with a multitude of issues this first year.

    Maybe the "Gitmo" issue is the perfect example of this. To get elected, Obama promised in all certain terms that closing Gitmo would be his first act. Well, after a year, it hasn't happened. It doesn't look like it will happen in 2010 either, and maybe it won't at all. The issue wasn't that Gitmo was "bad," or "evil," or the root of all problems. Maybe all it needs are minor tweaks and more transparency? But that's not what was packaged, and more importantly, I don't think anything has really changed policy wise.

    The problem is that Obama's promises get both liberals hopes up and gives conservatives nightmares, (and sometimes even vice versa) but the actual practice never comes about, and as a result, there are a lot of dropped passes, and no one ends up happy.

  9. LostOnHoth Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2000
    star 5
    Well I'm just focusing on the article you posted. When I read it, its says to me that Obama unveiled a radical ideological agenda which involved the restructuring of health care, education and energy, described as "three pillars of American society". The article then goes on to say that the "descent" started when Obama, amazingly, actually devoted himself to "turning these statist visions into legislative reality". The author of the article then criticizes Obama for legislating, for taking legislative action, because "to act is to choose and to choose is to disappoint the expectations of many who had poured their hopes into the empty vessel".

    I don't know, it just seems like an empty criticism to me. I understand the concept of the emptiness of slick campaigns and dazzling speeches, but this article seems to suggest that Obama has actually been busy transforming his policies into law, but then it criticizes him for it. I would have thought there would be more cause for criticism if he hadn't done anything at all.

    I also don't understand how you can criticize a politician for "pushing hard for the 30 yard line" when his whole campaign was about "change". I've always understood the Democrat/Republican political dichotomy to be the rough equivalent to the Labor/Liberal political dichotomy in Australia, that is, the Republicans ignore the poor and needy in favour of big business, step away from government regulation and push for lower taxes. The Democrats then get into office and get all warm fuzzy about the plight of the poor and so increase spending, raise taxes, introduce regulation, spend , spend, spend, fabricate social and economic 'justice', ruin the economy and then hand it back to the Republicans and so the cycle goes.

    I would have thought that when Obama spoke of "change" he was talking about a sharp turn to the left which as I understand the football analogy means pushing hard for the "30 yard line".

  10. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Charles Krauthammer doesn't write "excellent" articles, he writes heavily biased ones give his ideological compatriots exactly what they want to hear. Its like trying to credibly say that Bob Shrum wrote an excellent article, when its really just hyperbole and wishful thinking.
  11. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    Well, Brown won. In Massachusetts! Replacing Senator Edward Kennedy!

    The Tea Parties False? Really? A vocal minority? Really? Corporate illusion? Really?

    No. The government will not tell us what we can do. It is our job to tell the government what they can do! And today, we did!

    They will not fine a person for not having health insurance.

    They will not tax us for years without any benifits just to make a claim of "deficit nuetrality."

    They will not debate behind closed doors after promising transparancy.

    Because we said.

    Obama managed to do in a year what took George Bush (or the media) six years to do...turn a popular president into a reason to change power in this country.

    Good job Obama and Pelosi. I personally hope you ignore the implications of this election and contimue to treat America as if it was Europe.

    Good job![face_flag]
  12. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2010/01/19/senate-democrat-outlines-nuclear-option-strategy-health-care/

    If the Democrats really do push their Health Care bill through using tactics like this, they are going to feel some serious pain come November. If you have to result to tactics like this to get your bill passed, you KNOW there's something wrong with it.
  13. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Passing a bill with a majority vote is a bad thing?

  14. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    It is when the only majority that wants it is Democrats in Washington. In case you haven't noticed, this health care reform is extremely unpopular in the general public.
  15. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Charles Krauthammer doesn't write "excellent" articles, he writes heavily biased ones give his ideological compatriots exactly what they want to hear. Its like trying to credibly say that Bob Shrum wrote an excellent article, when its really just hyperbole and wishful thinking.

    Sure he does. To me at least, an excellent article is one that outlines a thesis and then supports it to its conclusion. An article isn't "bad" simply because you happen to disagree with it. If anyone is currently channeling William F. Buckley, it's Krauthammer. The main reason being is that Krauthammer is almost always correct in his conclusions.

    There are strictly partisan writers on both sides, and there are excellent writers on both sides as well.
  16. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah. Majority votes are bad if they're demmycrats. 'Cause you know...Republicans never passed crappy legislation through any form of dirty trickery. They're saints. Saints I tell you!
  17. Jediflyer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 5, 2001
    star 5
    Its only mildly unpopular, and that is only due to the fact that many on the left think it is too watered down.



  18. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    I hope you and your Democrat buddies in Washington keep telling yourself that. If you do, you'll lose by a landslide in November. Not that I'm a big fan of Republicans these days. IMO they wouldn't have had a chance at winning the elections this year had it not been for the uber crappy job that Obama and his lackies in congress have been doing.
  19. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2008
    star 7
    No you didn't. You just picked a new guy to tell you what to do.
  20. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Yeah, J-Rod, the people just chose the puppet on the right hand. That guy is still a puppet controlled by the same people, make no mistake.
  21. JediSmuggler Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 5, 1999
    star 5
    It's 56% Opposing to 38% Supporting according to Rasmussen, which has been the most accurate int he last two Presidential elections.

    18% Strongly Favor, 44% Strongly Oppose

    When the strong opposition outnumbers the total support, it's unpopularity is not exactly mild. I'd call it pretty strong.
  22. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    I hope you're wrong but I fear you're right. I've become very cynical of pretty much everyone in Washington these days. Very few senators or representatives have convinced me that they care about their constituents and doing what's right for the country over keeping their power for as long as possible. Special interest groups rule Washington and they will continue to do so until WE THE PEOPLE take a stand and make a change. Maybe this is a sign of things to come and maybe Brown will be the exception to the rule. I hope to God he is but I'm not holding my breath for it either.
  23. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    First, as this thread was discussing the "First Year of the Obama Administration" I think this election does say something important about where it went. Of course a lot can change in a year, and anyone would would have bet against a Democrat winning Teddy's seat a year ago would have been able to make a lot of money.

    I thought Jon Stewart's bit last night was pretty funny, but it wasn't all bad campaigning, Obama went up there and made this a referendum on his agenda himself.

    I support healthcare reform but as a young worker who is insured, I wasn't all that excited about paying hundreds if not thousands of dollars more a year to subsidize the care of the baby boomer generation. Frankly we as a society take too good of the old people because they happen to have a lot more money and votes than do kids. But what politician is going to run on a "just let grandma die" platform?
  24. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    On that point, there's an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey this month (link) that discusses the health care plan with the following:

    32) Thinking about efforts to reform the health care system, which would concern you more?
    Not doing enough to make the health care system better than it is now by lowering costs and covering the uninsured.
    OR
    Going too far and making the health care system worse than it is now in terms of quality of care and choice of doctor.

    The polling results has 40% saying not going far enough, 53% saying going too far, and 7% not sure. Unfortunately, they don't ask people opposed to the current bill if they think it goes too far or not enough, but this question seems to at least shed some light on it.
  25. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Veznerz, our country is controlled by corporatism and the Democrats and Republicans both practice this. So I think you should be against that instead of any sort of 'socialism' in this country. Anyway, go by how I live when considering any candidate: set your bar low that way you'll never be disappointed
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