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. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    Yeah see I'm not finding anything in your post history so I'm just going to assume you've never been wrong until proven otherwise.

    Kimball too.
  2. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I think I beat everyone here by a long shot for the award for Admitted wrongness, so by that standard I think I win. ;) It isn't as if the left leaning posters, you included Rogue, do it except when they go through some wide ranging change of their political and/or religious beliefs.
  3. Rogue_Ten Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Aug 18, 2002
    star 7
    Well in my case I'm just actually smarter than all y'all, "left-leaning" posters included.

    Also Espy you've had a whole lot to be wrong about. Still do. The hits can keep on coming... if you believe in yourself.
  4. GrandAdmiralPelleaon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2000
    star 6
    You really should be careful if you're going to talk about the Mitterrand presidency in such broad ways, because Mitterrand had a rather varied presidency. I will however, add that the origins of AFP go a bit further back than the '50s, although, presumably, you just wish to bring up post-WWII history. Fine.

    I'm not quite sure where you get your information about 'Urba'. Urba did end up being quite corrupt & adept at funneling public money into private accounts, but you're giving them rather zeitgeist qualities here. It was mostly about campaign-financing, unless of course, you've got some alternate history you wish to share. Please, source me. As far as I know, Urba made sure that companies got public contracts & then funneled part of the money for that purpose expended by those companies into PS-campaign chests. Corrupt? Sure. However, I don't see how this weighs on AFP.

    Ah yes, the KGB influence, I can imagine, must have been particularly strong between 1991 & 1995. Again, proof please. Especially about the part that Mitterrand being more interested in Urba goals than Soviet influence & how he totally like was being permissive about that. Now, do you think everybody put into place between 1981 & 1995 is still there, that the president is the only one putting people in place in the first place? That the changes in management & the privatization of parts of AFP had no influence?

    Tut-tut, the only point you made was that a left-leaning politician might have, in his day, put figures in a public agency that were of left-leaning origin. You left out then, the fact, that over the last 15 years, France has had right-leaning presidents. Of course, they were completely inept at naming the
  5. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I haven't followed Obama's term so far as much as those who live in the US, but he does seem in many cases to be a bit hard done by.
    Do people seriously expect the economy to just magically restore itself in 2 years or that unemployment will suddenly vanish? Obama isn't freakin Superman.
    We in the UK will have to suffer for nearly a decade under heavy spending cuts before the economy recovers properly, most people accpet that and won't blame the current government for doing what it had to do given the situation.

    There seem to be a lot of unreasonable expectations put on him, and the public will complain even more that he "isn't doing enough" once he isn't able to pass legislation because he's opposed by the Republican majority. As if that would be his fault :rolleyes:

    An article in today's paper made a good point that Obama is down but not out, citing his problem is similar to that faced by Ronald Regan during his first mid-term as President and he was re-elected.

    "of course, as one senior administration official puts it, "expectations were impossibly high". So high, in fact, that they obscure that Obama has already notched up a significant record of achievement. One close adviser says that "it stands comparison with any presidency since the war"; scholars have compared it to the legislative accomplishment of Lyndon Johnson. In just two years, Obama has passed healthcare legislation that eluded presidents for a century; reformed the financial regulation of Wall Street (though not nearly enough for those on the left who wanted to see an assault on the bankers and their inflated pay); bailed out and rescued the auto industry, thereby saving hundreds of thousands of jobs; and passed a $787bn stimulus that may well have prevented wholesale economic collapse"

    Personally I think any Republican advantage is a bad thing, but it looks as thought the great change America longed for they just don't have the guts to stick with. Another George W Bush may be on the way at this rate.
  6. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Apparently, they do.
  7. Ben_Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2001
    star 5
    People in this country spend millions of dollars (if not billions) on weight loss programs and diet pills, thinking that they can get rid of years of accumulated fat from french fries and no exercise, within a month.

    What else did you expect? America is the nation of instant gratification. If the country had said, "give Obama more time" and said "no" to the party that left our economy in tatters, I'd be very surprised.
  8. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    I expect the leading world nation to lead by example and support a President who wants to bring good change to the nation, not go backwards by voting for far right-wingers and crazies who think Global Warming is a lie, refuse rights for Gay People and mix religion too much with politics.
    Large parts of America still seem to live in the 1800s, not in the 21st Century.

    Were it any other country I wouldn't worry, but America has too much influence over the rest of the world and affects what happens elsewhere.

    All I ask is, if America sinks into a pit of despair, it not take the rest of the world with it.
  9. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    Our influence is already waning. I think we'll be firmly in the second tier of nations within a couple decades. The upside is that our mistakes will hopefully have fewer ramifications for the rest of the world.

    Also, I'd like to note that the Republican Party continues to heavily rely on people who will mostly be dead by 2025-30. The Democratic Party continues to do well among those people who will be close to the height of their (our, in my case) by 2030. Turnout numbers don't change the reality that the Republican Party is still seen very negatively by a strong majority of people who are 30 and younger. It doesn't take a political science major to figure out that people aged 65 and older will be dying off in the not too distant future, replaced by people much more inclined toward the Democratic Party.
  10. Kimball_Kinnison Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 28, 2001
    star 6
    The problem with this argument is that it assumes that people never change as they age. History shows that people tend to become more conservative as they grow older.

    Think of it this way, in the last decade, how much have your political views shifted? I think we can all agree that they have undergone a radical shift leftward. In that time, we have also seen users here whose views shifted in the other direction (for example, remember TheScarletBanner?). The opinions that someone holds getting out of college/grad school when they are 25 may be considerably different from the views they hold after another decade of experiences. Many life changes often take place in that decade between 25 and 35, from marriage, to buying a house, to building a family. Those experiences can lead to rather big shifts in political views.

    There's a reason that Winston Churchill reportedly said "If you aren't a liberal at 21, you have no heart. If you aren't a conservative at 50, you have no brain." Life changes people. The youth of the anti-war movement in the 1960s are the same people who were the middle-aged voters in the 1980s. Where they were more liberal in the 60s, they became more conservative in the 80s.

    Kimball Kinnison
  11. DorkmanScott Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 26, 2001
    star 6
    Don't worry, that's not going to last much longer. If they ever get fully back into power, the Right will ride this country into the ground, waving their cowboy hats and shouting yee-haw the whole way.

    If the trend continues, forget the stocks -- this is the wisest economic investment Americans can hope to make.
  12. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    The problem with this argument is that it assumes that people never change as they age. History shows that people tend to become more conservative as they grow older.


    History also shows that people tend to vote more or less the same as they did when they were in their 20s. Today's 60 somethings came of age when conservatism was beginning a new era and they've lived in it since then, voting accordingly. My generation has come of age in a different time, and our experiences with the disaster that was the Bush administration (which made liberals out of hundreds of thousands of us, if not millions) will stay with us for a lifetime. We'll be dealing with the effects of a recession caused primarily by Republican policies (and if you don't think that's what caused it, that's too bad, because my generation overwhelmingly blames Republicans, particularly Bush, for what we're dealing with; in that way, perception is reality).

    No, KK, I think we'll be anti-Republican for life. We'll vote for the occasional Republican, I'm sure (I never will, but I speak of us collectively here), but I doubt we'll ever be anything other than strongly anti-Republican and moderately pro-Democrat. I'm sure we'll get a little more conservative as we age, but not so much that we forget where we started and why we started there. There were people from the 1930s voting Democratic for decades mostly because of Herbert Hoover and FDR.

    Think of it this way, in the last decade, how much have your political views shifted? I think we can all agree that they have undergone a radical shift leftward.

    Forget I had any views before I was 21 or so. I was clueless. As I got more into my 20s, I started getting a clue and that's why I am where I am today. That and the Bush administration. Brendan and the Bush administration are the two things most responsible for making me the liberal I am today. I believe I will be fiercely, passionately liberal for a lifetime, and just as importantly, I believe I'll be making art toward that end as well. In that way, I'll be ever more invested in my viewpoints and will have shared them with others in ways that go beyond just words.

    I did none of that when I started here.
  13. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    Don't worry, that's not going to last much longer. If they ever get fully back into power, the Right will ride this country into the ground, waving their cowboy hats and shouting yee-haw the whole way.

    And this only makes sense if you tie yourself to the most caricaturist stereotype available, which doesn't help anyone. I'd say that last night, Boehner gave one of the best speeches I've seen in a long time. While, on the flip side, Obama's response today came off as annoyed, and rather clueless. Or maybe more accurate would be to say not clueless, but certainly "ivory towered."

    And I'd also like to echo KK's response to something that was said. People change. Quite frankly, when many times when we have these discussions, this aspect is intentionally overlooked.

    Marco Rubio was mentioned. A young, Cuban-origin member of the GOP who is a great representation for Latin American voters. Rubio certainly has conservative values closer to William F Buckley than George Bush.

    Tim Scott- black businessman and GOP Congressman from South Carolina...Nikki Haley-strong Indian woman and GOP Governor...Allen West in FL... Jamie Herrera in Washington...

    These are just a couple of examples. To the credit of the GOP, all of the above politicians were elected on their own merits first, and just happened to all have different ethnic backgrounds that made them who they were. Instead of pandering to racial politics, the GOP just made a lot of strides in upholding the values of Colin Powell and others within the party.

    This was certainly a role-reversal election, as the problem is what happened on the other side. Simply the status quo. Harry Reid held onto his seat. Barbara Boxer. Patrick Leahey. Last night, the democrats became the party of the old, white elite, and it will be interesting to see what these changes bring.

    It's certainly a far cry from a year ago, when certain regulars here were convinced that the republican party was on the verge of extinction and they would not listen to anything beyond their own perception. Of course, that prediction was silly then. Neither party is going to dry up as long as they can capture the will of the people, and they certainly both have the ability to change. (as people change as well...)
  14. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    The problem with using TSB as an example of changing views is that he was completely on the leftward side of the spectrum (a communist) and shifted to the other extreme end of the spectrum. So, your mileage may vary with discussing a person like that. I started out as a liberal and I've only gotten more liberal with age. Yes, people do become more conservative with age, but I seriously doubt anyone's going to go from pro-gay marriage to anti-gay marriage without something radical happening in their life. Fear also makes people more conservative as well. Republicans sure like the fear card as they use it in every damned election, problem is that it doesn't last for very long.

    Or to quote a Cracked article:

  15. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    [image=http://www.taxfoundation.org/UserFiles/Image/Blog/sideshowbob.jpg.jpg]

    "Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic, but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold hearted Republican to lower taxes, brutalize criminals and rule you like a King! That's why I did this! To protect you from yourselves!"
  16. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    No offense but I find that to be the single most ridiculous observation that I have read about the 2010 midterm elections. A handful of relatively obscure Congressman keeping their seats is not going to instantly shift the voting demographics of millions of people across the country, nor herald a core change in the demographic makeup of a particular party. And just because all of them happened to be caucasian does not automatically make the Democrats a party of "old, white elites". To suggest so without further evidence (of which there is none) is really sloppy analysis on your behalf.

    KK and KW are both right in a way. KK is right that this new generation of voters will change, and likely will become more conservative as it gets older. But then, what the GOP and Democrats stand for will also be pretty different from the way they are now, so who knows what party will benefit from that. KW is very right about the Hoover-FDR comparison. Kids who came of age in the early to mid-2000s, like me, grew up in an environment where the Bush administration was perceived to be an incompetent disaster that ruined America's world standing. Then we became adults and graduated from college/high school into the worst economy in seventy years.
  17. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    The thing to remember is that election wasn't a "refudiation" of Obama liberalism. If Obama had more proactively and aggressively leaned harder to the left and actually rammed through programs aimed at creating jobs quickly, we would not now be looking at a 65 seat swing in the House. Dems would have easily kept the House if they had urged the president into meaningfully priming the economic pump in ways that benefited the middle class.

    Now it's too late for Obama. The Republican party cares more about getting Obama out of office than it cares about the nation. Fiddling while Rome burns is a strategy that has worked perfectly at every turn, and there is no reason to abandon it now. Mitch McConnell said as much, and he should know what his party's agenda will be. They will oppose any legislation that will lower unemployment if there is the slightest possibility it will help Obama's approval rating.

    No adult supervision is forthcoming from Congress.
  18. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    Ramming things through quickly may not be the most effective way of doing things. The government here has been heavily criticised for how quickly and deeply it has cut spending, which may lead to an economic collapse.

    We here are aware it will take a long time for things to get back to normal. Obama shouldn't rush through drastic programs just to appease voters who have unrealistic expectations of him.
  19. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    As I said, that option is no longer open to him. It should have happened at the beginning of his presidency when time was of the essence. Now that we're securely mired in a stagnant economy with high unemployment likely to linger for a decade, Obama can repent at leisure for the remainder of his single term.
  20. kingthlayer Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 7, 2003
    star 4
    Lets be honest, there isn't much Obama can do to lower unemployment anyway. I hope the Fed can stimulate growth while the economy recovers enough to bring unemployment down into the 8% range by mid 2012.
  21. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Just as an example, if the Obama administration had worked with Congress to act more aggressively to impose mortgage writedown terms on banks and homeowners 2 years ago, he might have also avoided our latest foreclosure crisis and the systemic risks that it now imposes. If he had acted aggressively to oust the negligent management of the big banks, he might have avoided the moral hazard the bank bailout created and incentivized the replaced CEOs and executives to deal with the mortgage crisis while at the same time convincing the middle class that he was actually interested in their recession and not just the recession of investment bankers and shareholders.

    Too late, though. No need to dwell on the leader that Obama might have been. Being President Obama was never going to be easy. He had a 150 day window from taking office to become a historic FDR style leader in a time of unprecedented crisis, and he blew it, just as 99.999% of all other people would have done.
  22. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I agree with that assestment Jabbadabbado. The real problem with the tea party isn't the effect on the Democratic party, but the one it had on the Republicans. Perhaps establishment Republicans had been so corrupt for so long they brought the tea party on themselves, and of course the Wyden/Bennett bill would have been awesome, but now everyone knows the consequence of finding a bipartisan compromise is that you get booted out by someone who doesn't believe Congress should actually be doing anything at all.

    Mike Lee hasn't even needed to hide like Rand Paul, he has been quite clear that the federal government does far too much and is only too happy to shut it all down. Just imagine if someone even more of an Originalist than KK took office.

    PS. Hope you guys like Utah's tax dollars, because we don't want them anymore.
  23. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    No offense but I find that to be the single most ridiculous observation that I have read about the 2010 midterm elections. A handful of relatively obscure Congressman keeping their seats is not going to instantly shift the voting demographics of millions of people across the country, nor herald a core change in the demographic makeup of a particular party. And just because all of them happened to be caucasian does not automatically make the Democrats a party of "old, white elites". To suggest so without further evidence (of which there is none) is really sloppy analysis on your behalf.

    But first off, you just illustrated the trap of racial politics. Notice how there's no answer you could give that didn't seem defensive? Downplaying the re-election of the current Senate majority leader as "a handful of obscure races" doesn't really do anyone justice, as it doens't get more high profile than Reid. But you just gave a variation of the "but I have black friends" defense. Answering back "hey, just because all the winning democratic party candidates all happened to be white old people doesn't mean anything" is the traditional catch-22 of racial pandering.

    But then, that really wasn't my point because there are broader issues here. My post was made in response to specific claims which said that the parties themselves never change. KW concluded that no young people will ever identify with the GOP of this election (or rather they'll all be dead). I'm not sure that's accurate. Dorkman concluded that it will be all cowboy hats and "yea-haws!" Both are assessments that would be accurate perhaps if the year was still 2003. Maybe for them, they'll never move on beyond 2003, but the average voter isn't so single minded because time moves forward, as do political parties. The GOP is much more than Bush in 2003, just as the democratic party is much more than the current President. I'd ask KW which politician a young, ambitious Hispanic law student is going to identify with? Marco Rubio, or Harry Reid? A upcoming female professional? Nikki Haley or Barbara Boxer? It's not like answers to questions like this exist in isolation, but these are the dialogs that should be taking place.

    The bottom line is that traditional stereotypes are breaking down. For this election, what was the average age of the GOP winners? Early to late 40's maybe? What was the average age of the democratic party office holders who were retained? 50's to 70's? For example, for all the grousing about the Tea Party being a haven for racists, the Tea Party certainly had a hand in putting up the most diverse background position winners for this election. Because the Tea Party was like France. It takes all comers, as long as you share the identity. That's what critics didn't understand prior to this election. I said before that I don't expect the Tea Party to last beyond this election cycle, because it was a movement, not an organization- but it specifically had a hand in changing party identities in the US from this point forward, especially as it melds back into the GOP.

    Parties change with the will of the voting people. Moving forward, we'll have to see how each adapts to the political landscape ahead. The last sentence of your own post mirrors my point exactly.
  24. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Mr44

    I'd say that last night, Boehner gave one of the best speeches I've seen in a long time. While, on the flip side, Obama's response today came off as annoyed, and rather clueless. Or maybe more accurate would be to say not clueless, but certainly "ivory towered."

    C'mon man, I know you're an Obama-hater, but Boehner started out giving a good speech, but then for the umpteenth time he started crying and for the umpteenth time started talking about how he used to clean his Dad's tavern. I really can't take both his crying AND his mesmerizing tan.

    Perhaps I'm stupidly optimistic, it wouldn't be the first time, but I think while Boehner may throw red meat to the base, he may be more pragmatic behind closed doors. I do think he'll be better than Gingrich was.

    For all the talk of who the party will relate to, I think the parties adjust to the people and as how the world changes. For example, since the 60s the parties have been shifting as social issues came to the forefront. As we became a more global economy, both parties shifted to a degree on economic issues. Unions became less prevalent, and trade became more of an issue. The perception of certain issues themselves can change over time. We're much more accepting of gays and gay rights than we were even 10-20 years ago. It's hard to predict what will happen, but I think that neither party can claim certainty on the future because people will react accordingly, and the parties will then meet those demands, not vice versa.
  25. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    It's hard to predict what will happen, but I think that neither party can claim certainty on the future because people will react accordingly, and the parties will then meet those demands, not vice versa.

    Exactly, and I completely agree. That's why I think it's folly to predict that "all voters now will be dead" and somesuch.

    Some people here mentioned that Bush was the turning point for their personal political transformation back when they were 22 or so. That's a valid sentiment. But let's say that the GOP "pulls Obama's butt out of the fire," so to speak. There will be a new generation of up and coming people who look to John Kaisch as their inspiration. (or whoever, he's just an example) Obama isn't simply going to remain inspirational if he doesn't do anything that is inspiring. The administration can certainly rebound, and the GOP can certainly drop the ball...I'm not predicting any set course, but then everything will change again. But people aren't simply going to vote for some random democrat because Bush was once President in 2001, if in fact, the party isn't responsive to their needs.

    The point is that neither party is going to coast to the future.

    And BTW, I realize that I have no love lost for the administration, but did you actually see Obama's afternoon press conference? He got his fanny handed to him by the press, and you could almost say Christine O'Donnell would have handled that conference better. The second reporter-The young woman- "Savannah" or "Hannah was her name. She asked some excellent questions, of which Obama couldn't really answer, and actually got a little hot when he said "look, it's only the second question," but what he really meant was "quit asking me these tough questions..."

    The thing that Obama is going to have an uphill battle with is that he basically handed the next two years to the GOP as he said "ok, I suck. I'm ready to listen to ideas now." It could be a shrewd gamble, but which has high stakes.

    Here's a Huffington Post comment, which is brutally honest:

    "This afternoon's press conference was painful to watch. Despite his exuding defeat and weakness, Obama's eager capitulation to everything in the face of any adversity or question is as embarrassing as it is astoundingly scary to watch. Democrats and liberals had better find a replacement/back-up for 2012 because this guy's tires are flat and this country's right wing is capable of electing things that are much more terrifying than Obama's passive descent into hopelessness.

    The President is looking, acting and talking like he's all washed up (and just wants to go home), and I almost wish he would. "Hoping" he's the man for the times has become as futile as hoping for the Cubs. It would be great...but it's not going to happen.

    Draft Dean and Fiengold for 2012 or get ready for the Palin/Paul administration. Obama has no answers or fortitude to enact anything for anyone. His utterly defeated persona is political toast. I blame his vanity and the really bad advisers he surrounds his apparently empty self with."


    LINK HERE
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