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

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jedi Merkurian, Jan 20, 2010.

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  1. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    Today marks the anniversary of Barack Hussein Obama II being sworn into the office of President of the United States of America. It also marks a Senate election that many have referred to as a referendum on his presidency. This year has also seen him slipping in various polls as well.

    What do we think the coming year will hold?
  2. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    The Republicans will gain more favor with the American public in spite of thier arguments making little literal sense. Excpect Newt Gengritch to make his play.
  3. Darth_Yuthura Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2007
    star 4
    Depends.

    I believe the Democrats had lost their edge with the Republicans taking back that critical Senate seat. Only a year ago, it seemed they would be hard-pressed to get back into the game. Now it seems the Democrats failure to act will be their demise.

    If Republicans were to essentially stand in the way of any progress over the next year, it would be enough to shift voters away from democrats in the house and senate by the next election cycle. If it's in the Republican's best interests to disrupt the legislative process over the next year, they'll see to it that ALL progress is halted and they'll put the blame of the democrats... saying they were the ones in power. They were the one who didn't act.
  4. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Considering that Brown winning in Massachusetts is a big slap in the face of Obama and his first year by the American people, I'd like to think that he'd actually start to listen to what WE THE PEOPLE want and react accordingly. I have a feeling, however, that his 2nd year will be more of the same "apologizing for America", Bush blaming, closed door dealing, and special interest rewarding politics (whether you agree that he does these things or not is irrelevant IMO since he's clearly developed a reputation for those kinds of things). Watching how Obama, Pelosi, and Reid have been running things over the last year has been like watching a bad nightmare come true, complete with circus freaks and all! Hope and Change? Not hardly or at least not in any way that sensible people had "hoped" for.

    At this rate there's no way he's going to win a second term unless: 1) the opposition can't come up with a half-way decent candidate (considering '08, not in the realm of impossibility) or 2) Obama actually starts to act in a bi-partisan manner and listens to what the people (not just the left-wing fringe) want. Oh, and following up on some of those "promises" he made during his campaign couldn't hurt him either.

    Final note, I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to "bow out" of running for a second term. He's already said that it's not certain that he would run again.

    Now please, "just let me eat my waffles".
  5. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Considering that Brown winning in Massachusetts is a big slap in the face of Obama and his first year by the American people

    You know, it's interesting: I didn't get a chance to vote in that one. So, I believe it was the people of Mass. voting on a senator and that's pretty much all. Obama was not on the ballot, and only a few Americans got to vote on the people who were on the ballot.

    I'd like to think that he'd actually start to listen to what WE THE PEOPLE want and react accordingly.

    Also interesting: There was an election last year where Obama was on the ballot, after he campaigned on certain things and said he planned to take on various items and he won a resounding victory. Also, I'm an American and I would like him to be much more progressive. I want much different things than you do, but in your world, I apparently do not count.

    I miss Brendan so very much in times like this.

    Final note, I wouldn't be surprised if he decided to "bow out" of running for a second term. He's already said that it's not certain that he would run again.


    Please. He will run and he will win another resounding victory in 2012. You can mark that one down.
  6. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    He will probably win in 2012, but his presidency is likely to wind up as consequential as Bill Clinton's was. And without the part where the economy boomed. At least he's smart enough to not get LBJ'ed by his interns.

  7. Jedi Merkurian Episode VII Thread-Reaper and Rumor Naysayer

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    If, by this, you mean "make concessions to the GOP only for them to still say 'screw you' anyway," then I think Obama's done a bang-up job [face_mischief]
  8. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The GOP is whinier than any teenager in history: It lost last in 2006 and 2008, yet refuses to accept its defeat.

    When people say, "I want my country back," what they really mean is that they want whites to be back in power everywhere and for minorities to stop advancing. People hate change, even when they vote for it.

    I'm not sure why I'm posting here, because most Republicans here fill me with nothing but contempt. I'm to the point where I don't think I can have a rational conversation with anyone who believes what mots of the GOP today espouses.
  9. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    2008 is ancient history.

    This election is the third loss the Democrats have suffered since mid-2009. Its not "just" Massachusetts, it was also Democrat-leaning New Jersey and purple Virginia. The Republicans are benefiting politically from their obstruction strategy. Its not going to carry them to new majorities this year, but it is going to prevent all the major changes Obama wanted to bring. And this will provide them with a way to gain majorities again in the future.

    As of 2010, the Democrats' best elections are behind them. Health care reform is either going to get forced through on purely partisan lines or its going to die. So they either ram through an extremely unpopular bill or they enter the mid-terms with nothing to show for over a year of holding all the power.

    Coakley blew this election by being caught completely off guard. And as much as I love to assail the GOP for thinking that obstructing everything will get them majorities or the White House in 2-4 years, the Democrats have arrogantly assumed that the Republicans would only nominate unelectable Sarah Palins and keep them in the clear. Well, how many McDonalds, Christies and Browns is it going to take?

    2008 is over, this is the world we live in now.

    Edit I don't want to be all doom and gloom. Economically, I do think unemployment will fall to 9.2% by the end of the year and the DOW will probably pass 12,000. There likely won't be a sweep of the House or Senate elections in 2010 but nobody can guarantee that, meanwhile like I said.. there doesn't need to be for the GOP to essentially muzzle the reforms it doesn't like. I'm hoping that we'll see improvement in Afghanistan now that the strategy has been decided. Still, this is not going to be a good year for the Obama administration. And they can't expect to get through it by hearking back to 2008, or by blaming George Bush.

  10. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    Check this out for a good laugh! What a great way to start my day. "Bush got Cs. Obama probably failed lunch." [face_laugh]

    Sour grapes? I recommend you take a deep breath and chill. If you really think that the GOP is all about wanting white power and to put down minorities, you are even more out of touch than Obama, Pelosi, and Reid.
  11. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    This is the most racist thing I've seen posted in the Senate. the reason that you,KnightWriter, cannot have a rational conversation with a Republican is because you are not making any rational statements.

    As proof you've reverted to calling "racism" after last night's Democratic defeat. But you, Pelosi and Obama can call us racist extremists all you want. It doesn't make it true. You guys need to understand that the Tea Parties are a representation of the will of the people, not a racist rally. Until you do, I soooo look forward to November!
  12. Vezner Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Dec 29, 2001
    star 5
    By the way, in response to those of you who have claimed that Brown winning isn't a reflection on Obama, I beg to differ. Obama did some serious campaigning for Coakley and despite his best efforts to influence the vote, Brown still won. IMO this victory has everything to do with the people telling Obama and his cronies in congress that enough is enough.
  13. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    J-Rod, do not fool yourself into thinking that the Tea parties represent the entire American population, or that their demonstrations represent the will of the people. They represent a tiny, though loud, percentage of Americans.

    McDonald, Christie and Brown were not and are not tea party guys and you cannot attribute any of these recent victories to the popularity of the tea party rallies. So far the GOP was avoided running candidates that the teabaggers would lap up, and they need to keep doing this if they are going to win more.

    Congrats on your win, but don't learn the wrong lessons from it.
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Looking at what happened in Mass., I don't think healthcare reform is the big challenge to Obama. A majority of Americans want healthcare reform and in particular healthcare coverage for all Americans even though there isn't and may never be a clear majority for the form of reform. Healthcare reform that satisfies everyone is impossible. Consequently, maybe healthcare reform itself is impossible. The entrenched interests of the health insurance, managed care and pharmaceutical companies are too well organized for an unfocused public to counteract it.

    The real issue continues to be the economy. Unemployment remains high. In Massachusetts it's already trending down but still remains above 8%, with broader and more realistic measures of unemployment still well above 10%. High unemployment extending through 2010, coupled with ongoing extreme weakness in the housing sector will continue to create much more political discontent than healthcare reform.

    A second issue is state insolvency. California and Illinois are facing some of the worst crises, but many states have received a round of massive federal bailouts. The revenue picture for the states has little chance of improving in 2010 with high unemployment and a bogged down real estate market. State insolvency will shake up elections and I think confer an incredible advantage to Republicans.

    Recession Continues to Batter State Budgets; State Responses Could Slow Recovery

    The worst recession since the 1930s has caused the steepest decline in state tax receipts on record. As a result, even after making very deep cuts, states continue to face large budget gaps. New shortfalls have opened up in the budgets of at least 39 states for the current fiscal year (FY 2010, which began July 1 in most states). In addition, initial indications are that states will face shortfalls as big as or bigger than they faced this year in the upcoming 2011 fiscal year. States will continue to struggle to find the revenue needed to support critical public services for a number of years.


    Ultimately, what we're going to be looking at is massive power shifts in state after state.
  15. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    Looking at what happened in Mass., I don't think healthcare reform is the big challenge to Obama. A majority of Americans want healthcare reform and in particular healthcare coverage for all Americans even though there isn't and may never be a clear majority for the form of reform. Healthcare reform that satisfies everyone is impossible. Consequently, maybe healthcare reform itself is impossible. The entrenched interests of the health insurance, managed care and pharmaceutical companies are too well organized for an unfocused public to counteract it.

    I disagree... sort of.

    Are americans more concerned about the economy? Probably. But Health Care was not, I think, a winning debate for Obama -- however I highly doubt it COULD have been a winning debate for him no matter the final bill.

    The GOP arguments are simply given to much of a rubber stamp in thier own electorate and too much consideration by those on the other side of the aisle. That is, in comparison. The equivlaent person on the left who says "just maybe that Republican is on to something" is just not matched by an equivalent person on the right thinking a Democrat has any point whatsoever.

    That's not saying NO GOP voter or leaner gives the left thier due. But that they're fewer in number and that much more no representative of thier own mainstream.

    It does not mean Obama will not be re-relected: simply that he will have to work much harder for it than if he were a Republican.


    It does not primarily matter, I think, what the outcome of health care reform is: Obama if wrong will be heavily repudiated in 2012 and if right will at least be not vindicated by anything over a 65% opinion for decades even if it becomes clear he may have been right ten or twenty years beforehand -- his supporters will always give him credit (an ever smaller number unreasonably so) but those opposed will always cite the 2008 election spirit again and again twice or three times as much as any Democrat spoke with rolling eyes about 1980.

    If the economy turns around the conversation will be that the recession was not that urgent and the intense picture will be turned to the defecit.

    Like any president Obama will always be failing SOMEWHERE. The difference is that whatever that failure is, you have a very significant portion of the electorate that will sign on to whatever the argument is chosen to be without question.

    And THAT'S the difference. Not the argument becuase both sides make rediculous claims in equal measure. But that the GOP is constantly validated by its voters. So much so that they are, as has been seen, completely emboldened by thier reception. A Democrat will make silly arguments for political points, but is forgotten. when a Republican does the same they stand a much higher chance of that portion of the electorate signing on to validate thier claims.

    These people are not the majority. But the fact they are essentially an unwinnible block of votes will always tip the benefit of doubt to the GOP no matter how far they fall: the only question is how large that block of votes can remain over the next 10-20 years with birth rates being as they are and immigration necessary for population growth. They will always be on the verge of an impressive comback which will always be in excess to anything the Democrats can muster.
  16. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    J-Rod, do not fool yourself into thinking that the Tea parties represent the entire American population, or that their demonstrations represent the will of the people. They represent a tiny, though loud, percentage of Americans.

    See I think this is both right and wrong. The Tea Parties do not represent an American majority, to be sure. They directly represent, I think, a significant amount of people that is not tiny -- although not particularly large. Larger than the amounts on the left, though.

    But where the major difference comes in is thier INFLUENCE. I think there's a LARGE number of people... perhaps you can call them the "silent majority" although I don't think in this case they're a majority either... that sympathize with the Tea Parties. The sort that say "yeah well they're going overboard but they've got a reasonable point".

    Maybe they do and maybe they don't: that's not the issue.

    The issue is that if we mosey on over to the left and give them a bunch of equally dedicated Michael Moore fans, you'd see a lot less ponderance by less people. More people saying "I might be on the left, but Moore's just not presenting a fair argument".

    By that great middle of the GOP and Democrats, the GOP middle will give a larger benefit of the doubt to thier own side. By contrast the same people on the left require a greater amount of critical thinking from thier own side before they'll consider it a whole lot. At best what you'll often get it "well they've both wrong, this guy's just a lot MORE wrong than that guy".

    You can think of it as Republicans being loyal and Democrats aren't, generally.

    My position of course is that any significant party loyalty when you're not an actual paid member of the party is a rediculous notion.
  17. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Lots of good points.

    I particularly agree with Jabba. It usually comes down to the economy. I'd add that it doesn't logically follow that a state that has (near) universal coverage would vote against health reform in the sense that is being suggested. They already have it, so other issues would be more prominent. The longer the Democrats are in office, and the longer our economy sputters, they will (rightly or wrongly) be held liable.

    Gonk

    Very good analysis on voter behaviors. Any reading of a liberal blog shows that many are relentlessly critical of Obama and the Democrats, for better or worse.
  18. Ramza JC Head Admin and RPF Manager

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    I dunno, I found the actual racist remarks over in some troll threads to be more racist than speculation that race may have something to do with the frustration.

    Hypothesizing that social factors including race could be motivating factors behind a cause is not racist. While I don't think race is the driving impetus behind the tea party movement, I think we, as a country, need to stop thinking that race is never an underlying cause behind anything. We have not progressed that far. And yes, that would include not jumping down the throats of anyone who dares to question motivational purity on the grounds of possible racism.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    It looks like party loyalty and is impossible to tell from party loyalty, but it's really that Republicans have captured a core voting sub block that is more clearly defined ideologically and more predictable than any coalition the democrats can string together on a perpetually ad hoc basis.

    Part of that too is that the right has successfully framed "anti-liberal" as a legitimate political position that pulls voters together, as you suggest, in a way that being "anti-Republican" never has and never will. The Fox News business model is built around reinforcing that idea: "I don't know what I believe in, but I know what I hate, and what I hate is bleeding heart liberals and everything they stand for."
  20. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Wasn't there a poll that showed about half of the polled agreed with what the Tea Parties were trying to accomplish?
  21. Gonk Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 1998
    star 6
    It looks like party loyalty and is impossible to tell from party loyalty, but it's really that Republicans have captured a core voting sub block that is more clearly defined ideologically and more predictable than any coalition the democrats can string together on a perpetually ad hoc basis.

    Actually yes: I suppose that's right. The GOP is itself not guarenteed these votes -- only so long as it remains a predominantly conservative party and is percieved as such.

    Therefore the only way to compete against the GOP for this advantage is to move to the right of them: something the Democrats would have to undergo a major policy shift to do and would take at least 10 years after Obama is through... and probably at least another 5 or more before that sort of thing could even begin to happen.

    The GOP therefore is really only politically threatened in losing this block by having to contend with a 3rd party that would be even closer to the right than they are.

    I'm not certain that the system would or wouldn't be able to sustain 3 simultanious parties. However I think it's a given that a third party to the right of the GOP would be a vastly more successful party than any equivalent that ran to the left of the Democrats.

    I'm not sure how liberals became successfully 'labeled'. But in my experience for something like this I don't blame either the person that got the label or the person that put it on them -- becuase people are always just going to call one another names. The blame rather rests with the passive preponderance of people that READ or HEAR the label, and think that it has any bearing on reality, whether it's taken as a gospel or a witty rejoinder with a healthy dash of truth.


    Wasn't there a poll that showed about half of the polled agreed with what the Tea Parties were trying to accomplish?

    Exactly. And while that poll may not be entirely accurate, I figure it's probably accurate enough.

    Mind you those people probably either don't really know what the Tea Parties really WERE trying to accomplish (it could be argued more than half the people participating in the Tea Parties didn't really know what they were trying to accomplish either), or they are idiots. In fact, probably bigger idiots than many of the people participating in the Tea Parties themselves: at least people acting like idiots shouldn't be expected to know how foolish they are or look.

    After all... what WERE those people trying to accomplish? Just stop a health care bill? Yeah, right -- the notion of the American citizen being just that much more 'into' certain random bills (Health Care, Gun control, Taxes) than any other nation on earth gets a bit old after a while.

    I think what was going on is a fair bit more dynamic than to just call it 'racism' like KW does. But I'm pretty certain it's not REALLY about any of those things. Health Care, Gun control, Taxes... even Freedom: those are the pretext.
  22. J-Rod Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2004
    star 5
    But the claim wasn't as innocent as that. The quote was,"When people say, "I want my country back," what they really mean is that they want whites to be back in power everywhere and for minorities to stop advancing. People hate change, even when they vote for it."

    Clearly it's a claim made on the basis of race. It's ignorant and dismissive. I've got a problem with Obama's policies. That doesn't make me a racist.

    And can we quit using a sexual referance to discribe people who attend the Tea Parties? When in the Hell did the moderating around here get so damned lax? Tens of thousands...hundreds of thousands of people at a rally against government take overs is every bit as American as dozens of people at an anti-war protest. So let's have a little perspective.
  23. ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    If I'm not mistaken, much of the focus of those tea party rallies was on the bailouts and runaway spending. So I don't think it's focused on a specific bill, but the overall sense that we're spending too much and not paying for it, coupled with the ongoing recession and unemployment.

    IMHO, some of it is still a residual leftover from the Perotistas of the '90s. More populist than a simple conservative movement, but not as liberal as Congress.

    In other words, mostly independents without a home.
  24. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    1. As I've said for a year, we will be able to judge Obame's first year after he gives his State of the Union address. What he talks about in it, the tone of it, the reaction to it, etc. will let us judge his first year. He gives it on Wednesday, so by next weekend we'll be able to fairly judge the first year of his presidency.

    2. The Democratic losses in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts are mostly due to them being bad candidates running bad campaigns. While Democrats are still more popular than Republicans, having a (D) next to your name and Obama campaigning for you won't do you any good if you are running a bad campaign. Voters are smarter than that, voting for the perso nand not the party. Obama himself is still popular in the states he won. Also, the only Tea Party conservative to run was defeated by a Democrat in NY-23.

    3. It would be wrong to say Tea Party movement has a single voice, or a single agenda. They are very divided. Back over the summer, people who supported Obama were going to Tea Party events to protest against Bush's bank bailout. Others rail against Obama raising income taxes, when he hasn't. Some rally against socialism, when it isn't socialism. Some are old Confederate supporters who are racially biased. Some are gun rights advocates afraid Obama will take their guns, even though not only has he not, but gun rights have expanded under the Obama administration. Some say Obama is secretly a Kenyan citizen, or a Muslim, or unpatriotic. Some say Obama is attacking Christianity and not working hard enough to enforce Christian values. Some say there were no terrorist attacks under Bush, but Obama has let us down. Some say Obama is being too diplomatic and friendly to our allies. Some believe the Federal Reserve is going to enslave them all.
    My point... there may be "Tea Party" movements across the nation, but there is no national Tea Party movement. It doesn't always make sense, and it's only a vocal minority, and in most cases it's composed of radicals.
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    I particularly agree with Jabba. It usually comes down to the economy. I'd add that it doesn't logically follow that a state that has (near) universal coverage would vote against health reform in the sense that is being suggested. They already have it, so other issues would be more prominent. The longer the Democrats are in office, and the longer our economy sputters, they will (rightly or wrongly) be held liable.

    Going back to what DS posted here, I think you're missing a large driving force behind the issue. I think it also represents a big picture that the democratic party leadership finds completely foreign.

    I think a lot of people don't want the federal government to be put in charge of large slices of their lives. There's a difference between living in a state that has something like locally controlled health care such as Mass..and having health care run by committee in Washington. And so on... You can be interested in health care reform, but not want another massive, bloated institution to be put in charge of it. While I think the tea parties are a vocal minority, and as a result, like all such movements, they capture the lion's share of coverage, but the basic issue revolves around the difference between the above.

    This is the difference that got lost in the administration's push to get it passed no matter what, and what I think contributed to the debate being lost. Using the recent election to pause on health care and focusing on something else is the best thing that can happen for both sides of the issue. I think in the US, it's easier to sell local control, and not the other way around.
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