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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Republican Roadblock - Now What?

The President's press conference after the election; transcript here.

Rachel Maddow:

Nicholas Kristoff:
On my blog, a Times reader named Eddie asked about President Obama: “Where is the man I voted for?”

“Does he ever sweat?” Eddie continued. “We’re in desperate times and I don’t see a man who is really affected by it.” He concluded: “We need a committed, passionate person to lead a country . . . not a Sunday school teacher taking cautious, baby steps.”

Well, it’s time for Mr. Obama to sweat like a racehorse. My feeling is that the country has gone too far on blaming its economic distress on Mr. Obama, failing to give him credit for averting another Great Depression among other achievements. But it seems as if Michelle and I may be the only ones who think that way. . . .

Mr. Obama has a far better product to sell than Tea Partiers like Mr. DeMint. But Mr. Obama needs to connect better with American voters. He needs to lose the cool and start sweating — and slugging.

Maureen Dowd:
Barack Obama became president by brilliantly telling his own story. To stay president, he will need to show he can understand our story.

At first it was exciting that Obama was the sort of brainy, cultivated Democrat who would be at home in a “West Wing” episode.

But now he acts like he really thinks he’s on “West Wing,” gliding through an imaginary, amber-lit set where his righteous self-regard is bound to be rewarded by the end of the hour.

Hey, dude, you’re a politician. Act like one. . . .

One top aide told me that the president — who perversely tried to marginalize a once-captivated press corps — was beginning to realize that he had not used his charm as effectively as he could have.

His inner circle believed too much in the power of the Aura and in protecting the Brand. They didn’t think they needed to sell anything or fight back when the crazies started sliming them. They didn’t care that the average citizen needed an M.B.A. to understand the financial plan and a Ph.D. to fathom what the health care plan would mean.

Because Obama stayed above it all on health care and delegated to Max Baucus, he missed the moment in August of 2009 when Sarah Palin and the Tea Party got oxygen with their loopy rants on death panels. It never occurred to the Icon that such wildness and gullibility would trump lofty rationality.

As the president tries to ride the Tea Party tiger, let’s hope for this change: that he puts some audacity in his audacity.

David Mixner:
What is very clear is that is the national strategy of a delaying votes on our action items for freedom over the last two years turned out to be disastrous mistake. Many of us urgently begged for our President and our national organizations not to delay action or we would face a new Congress. Well, that is exactly what happened although no one could have forecast the landslide that took place.

Legislation: The prospects of passing ENDA and repealing DOMA and DADT are slim to none. No matter what the military report says in December the Republicans in Congress are not about to allow LGBT citizens into the military. Our only hope is that the Department of Justice will drop its appeal (yeah, right) or the President issues a stop loss order. I wouldn't hold our collective breath. Although we 'control' the Senate remember this is more a Senate of the Ben Nelsons and Max Baucuses then of our liberal friends. Nothing can get done without their support. Our opportunities have mostly vanished with our inaction over the last two years and we face a tough new world. If the courts continue to side with us, expect the 'constitutional marriage amendment' to be revived and we could be in trouble. . . .

As we continue with the dialogue about what is next we should be respectful of all of our brothers and sisters. There is a lot to discuss. None of us has all the answers but we are doomed if we don't carefully reflect on election day and what is next.

What I Say:  Your Head Trucker has nothing to add to the above.  Except that it's very ironic from a historical point of view that even as China by slow steps becomes more wealthy and more open, the United States seems to be moving in exactly the opposite direction:  repressive, insular, intolerant, and closed off.  Is it possible that we have already passed the high-water mark for gay rights in this country?

And like many of you, I'm sure, I'm totally disgusted and heartbroken over the way Obama gamed us in the 2008 election. So much pretty talk: all hat and no cattle, as we say down here in Texas.

BTW, Butthead Perry walked to an easy victory in the Texas governor's race Tuesday, by about a 2 to 1 margin statewide, with a voter turnout of only 36 percent. Ninety percent of my neighbors here in this rural, Bible-believing county voted for the asshole, and it was pretty much the same story for all the other Republican candidates. Which was only to be expected.

Some days, I just want to get in my truck and drive and drive and drive.

But there's nowhere to go, not really.  Assholes are everywhere, so you might as well just stay home.


dave said...

I for one, am not heartbroken abut Obama's goals, but with the ignorance of the American people who, like children, "want what they want when they want it". The guy's been handed more than anyone at this point could handle and now is being punished for not being the super-human many wanted him to be. After a few years of Boehner & McConnell running things they'll expect yet another savior.

Russ Manley said...

Have to say that I disagree and strongly resent the implication that I am either ignorant or petulant. The man promised many times to be, quote, "a fierce advocate" for LGBT rights and the public record shows that he has been no more than lukewarm at best.

Furthermore, this year, it's 30 years since I came out; 40 years since I fully realized I was gay; 55 years since I was born a gay human being. I'm now well past the midpoint of life, in all probability. So exactly how fucking long am I supposed to go on waiting and waiting to be a full and equal citizen of my own country?

You seem to imply that there's something wrong with expecting a leader you vote for to actually deliver what he promised. Where in the world does that idea come from?

Granted, it's a very tough job, and these are tough times; but you know, the man ASKED for the job. And so far has not nearly begun to live up to his soaring rhetoric. But he himself over and over keeps saying, and I quote - "hold me accountable" - which is exactly what I'm doing, in my small way, on this blog.

Is that not my privilege as a citizen? I really don't understand your thinking here, bud.

dave said...

Whoah, Russ, I think you took my remarks the wrong way entirely.

Sure, I'm tired of waiting for the rights all Americans ought to enjoy (I'm older than you and came out before Stonewall), and yes he did run for the job. But the realities of America are such that it seems no matter how hard anyone tries, the old prejudices (those of the ignorant and bigoted) toxically combined with the almighty dollar prevent forward motion. It is that combination - in American politics read Tea Party/Republican Extremists - that has worked hard to destroy the presidents agenda at every turn and due to an electorate that ignores reality - as I see it - he hasn't had a chance.

I simply do not blame him for every failure, just as I did not blame Clinton for his.

My apologies for any misunderstanding - I am not a writer.

Russ Manley said...

Oh okay Dave, I did mistake your meaning, sorry. No harm done.

And yes it's true the Republicans have very deliberately blocked everything the President has tried to do at every step - and that with the Dems in control of both houses of Congress. God only knows what will happen now with more uglies controlling the House, and only a 2-vote majority of Dems in the Senate.

If I were younger, more adaptable, and financially better off than I am, I think I would be on the road to Canada right now. Seriously.

But the other side of the coin, as the Kristoff and Dowd quotes make clear, the President has not appeared to try very hard to win these battles; nor has he done a good job of selling his proposals to the electorate. I'm hurt and mystified and this failure.

But then I recall what Liz Carpenter always used to say: "Kennedy inspired, but Johnson delivered." That's what's needed, not another Carter - whom I admire for his brilliance and fundamental decency, but who was not quite up to the task, you know?

dave said...

Yep, if we were financially able we'd be Canucks, too.

I think. perhaps, like the very respectable President Carter, Obama believes they will listen to reason - clearly he's very wrong on that.

Russ Manley said...

Sweet reason only works on reasonable people, alas.

Buchanan thought they would listen to reason too . . . but you see what happened.

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