About Obama’s recent comments

There’s a debate going on as to whether President Obama’s recent comments at a fundraiser – where he seemed to criticize liberals – are worthy of note, or simply the standard fare for political fundraiser. Here, first, are the President’s comments:

Democrats, just congenitally, tend to get — to see the glass as half empty. (Laughter.) If we get an historic health care bill passed – oh, well, the public option wasn’t there. If you get the financial reform bill passed — then, well, I don’t know about this particular derivatives rule, I’m not sure that I’m satisfied with that. And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and — (laughter.) I thought that was going to happen quicker. (Laughter.) You know who you are. (Laughter.) We have had the most productive, progressive legislative session in at least a generation.

First, here’s Digby’s take. She wasn’t pleased.

Well, I think at least one thing is clear. Robert Gibbs wasn’t freelancing with his similar comments.

It’s not that rank and file Democrats are congenitally unable to celebrate all the wonderful accomplishments of the Obama administration. It’s that, like Americans everywhere, they are hurting financially and don’t have good feelings about the future. The Republicans are fired up and believe that they can take action to change it by voting for teabaggers. But Dems are stuck in a holding pattern waiting for things to hopefully turn around. They have nowhere to focus their angst so they tune out. In those comments, the president is, at best, ignoring their real issue and saying they don’t know how good they have it. It’s not helpful.

Kevin Drum disagrees:

Come on, folks. It’s a campaign fundraiser. It’s a place where you rouse whichever troops are in the audience and reel off a list of your accomplishments, not one where you hang your head and talk about your failures. It’s a place where you tell a few jokes — like acknowledging the fact that liberals have been devotees of the circular firing squad for as long as liberals have existed. It’s lighthearted after-dinner stuff, not an address to the nation.

I appreciate the need to fire up a fundraiser, but you don’t do it at your own party’s expense. The President could have simply touted his accomplishments. He could have even criticized Republicans. But he didn’t. Instead he suggested that his Democratic critics have a genetic disease, and that’s why they were so upset that the President caved, from the beginning, on his promise to push for a public option.

And even that wouldn’t have been as big a deal had this not been, as Digby notes, part of a larger pattern in which the White House routinely takes jabs at the Democratic base.

But even that isn’t the biggest problem with the President’s comments. What’s most disturbing, I’d submit, is what Suburban Guerrilla notes, albeit a tad more harshly than I’d have done:

I would say that this president’s penchant for sarcastic, not-quite-whiny, “why oh why aren’t they as smart as me” insider riffs is one of his least attractive qualities. Psst, Mr. President? You’re not doing standup — you’re the president of the United States, and the head of the Democratic party. This isn’t the high school lunchroom.

And those of us left living on a wing and prayer thanks to your “half full”, half-assed economic policies just don’t have a sense of humor about our continuing plight. I know it’s been a long time since your mom got food stamps, but you might want to give that empathy thing some thought.

There’s an arrogance to the President’s comments, and an inability to recognize how much he is a part of the problem. What’s increasingly disturbing is that the President just doesn’t seem to get why so many Democrats are so disappointed in him. He seems to believe the apologists’ standard line that we’re all naive purists who simply don’t understand politics.

The comments add fuel to a greater, and growing, concern about the President: that he honestly thinks he’s been doing a great job, and that he honestly thinks his approach to problem solving and legislating – compromise first, then reach any deal you can – is an appropriate way to run a country. Inside the White House they call this success. Outside, it’s perceived by a growing number of Democrats and Independents as weakness.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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  • garcia

    So I should be PLEASED about a HC bill that FORCES me to give $7000 (that I don’t have) a year in deductibles and premiums to the scum at wellpoint BEFORE I can even see a doctor? And all the while the scum at wellpoint get to take 30% off the top. If that is progressive you must be drunk.

  • garcia

    Thanks for the lesson in Rahmonomics…suck enough GOP cock and trust in the “progressives” to fall in line.

    Never again, at least the GOP is honest about wanting to destroy the country, barack pretends to help while driving the knife in repeatedly.

  • tlsintx

    oh bullshit.this “small group of very vocal activists” crap is derailing what the majority of Americans are starving for and thought Obama represented. unless Obama keeps his word, the dems are toast.

  • MG1

    You sound like you just got a temp job working for Robert Gibbs.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    I suspect Obama is merely a yuppie at the end of the day or if we go to Christianity he is the man in the front of the temple.

  • It’s the balance, stupid! the negative points outweigh the “achievements” (whcih are centrist, by the way, and NOT progressive). Especially regarding repairing the damage of Bush’s administrative policies, where Obama doesn’t need Congress support to CHANGE thngs at all, virtually nothing has been done. Still the same old secrecy, infringement of civil rights, right wing bias among officials, and even incompetence (the oil drilling regulation reformed AFTER the big spill). Your lame attempt at pointing to the few “accomplishments” which are nothing but lame compromises doesn’t outweigh all the evidence of a moderate republican course by the WH.

  • synical

    Were you saying something? Whatever you were trying to impart got lost in a cloud of insulting condescension and the Barack Obama is great, Barack Obama is right, propaganda. They say knowing your audience is rather important. It’s obvious you don’t have a single clue about this audience. IOW, you’re not exactly being helpful in advancing your cause by posting this tripe.

  • Yeah, the White House-engineered defeat of the Drug Re-importation Bill was really progressive, wasn’t it? What an accomplishment!

    It was torpedoed because of a well-documented backroom deal that Rahmbahma made with Big Pharma.

    Or do you really feel we are preventing cheaper drugs to come to the U.S. from Canada, because they are not safe?

    That was a campaign promise that turned out to be a blatant lie.

    But, hey, why whine about it?

  • Well said.

  • Wow, where did you go to learn persuasiveness…the Drudge Charm Academy.

    Do you have any clue how offensive this post is? Who, exactly, do you think you are talking to?

    Sorry, but if you think Obama has pushed through much ‘progressive legislation,’ you have a seriously skewed view of the administration. If you think that calling the base ‘whiners’ is going to do anything but alienate your audience, then you have killed off too many brain cells.

    Not sure if you are a paid employee of the DNC, or what, but you need to try a more effective tactic.

    Obama does the same thing. Rather than criticize the GOP, he would rather attack the people who helped get him elected…as if the lack of enthusiasm is somehow our fault.

    Really, give it a rest, please.

  • Roman Berry

    I’ve been wondering about why Obama might say what he did and why the White House would choose to make the remarks public. A letter in response to Greenwald’s post on this issue comes about as close as anything I have seen to a theory that seems to get it right.

    Excerpts from that letter:

    One thing that’s become clear to me is that Barack Obama will say whatever the audience he’s speaking to wants to hear. This sounds like I’m saying the equivalent of “He’s a politician” but actually in the age of instant Internet and TV reporting, pandering that blatantly to whatever group you’re physically standing in front of, knowing that this will be instantly reported to all of the other groups out there, is not even smart politically.

    This became clear to me slowly, most clearly in Obama’s remarks supporting the building of the Islamic Community Center in Lower Manhattan, which many people don’t realize were remarks he was delivering to an Islamic group. This explains the feeling of unreserved support he gave that day, just as his seeming backtracking, qualifying and essentially taking that support back the next day can be explained: He wasn’t speaking to an Islamic group anymore in that case.

    It goes back to his speaking off the cuff at a private gathering in Marin County, saying things he would never dare say in the heartland, and it’s happened over and over. It’s a case of people-pleasing, writ large, and it’s really one of the most exaggerated examples of it I’ve ever seen.

    [snip]

    It seems less a matter of figuring out which are Obama’s “real” innermost sentiments and more a matter of just realizing that there’s no there there. You could say that even as a gross, cynical political manipulation, it’s complete fail in the sense that it alienated progressives just when they needed to do the opposite, but in Obama’s mind, he probably saw it as a complete success, since he gave the message that most satisfied the people who were sitting right in front of him at the time.

    ***End excerpt***

  • Roman Berry

    I followed the link to Kevin Drum. Gotta say that he is getting his oh so reasonable arse handed to him in comments.

    Drum is Drum. He was for the Iraq War before he was against it. He operates out of fear. And I generally don’t read him…unless I’m in the mood for milquetoast. But the way his commenters dissented from his take was worth the click.

  • Roman Berry

    Well, it is a cold turd and not a steamer…

  • Roman Berry

    Hillary didn’t vote for FISA. Obama did. And on the AUMF, you really need to go read Hillary’s floor speech prior to the vote. And ya know what? Given what we know about Obama now, he’d have voted in favor of the AUMF if he’d actually had to face the vote.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    List them, then we will go through the exercise of explaining why those “accomplishments” suck. I guess he has the auto bailout, but as with anything of that nature, the absence of working to change the structural problems make those accomplishments meaningless.

    -Romneycare
    -too small a stimulus
    -HAMP, we need to make sure to get every penny from those losing their homes
    -expanding our predator drone war against the Brown peoples
    -financial reform largely dependent on the head of the Consumer protection bureau actually being installed in office
    -Continuing the Bush negotiated draw down in Iraq. Believe it or not, he wasn’t in President 2007.

    Shall, I continue?

  • rs01

    Once again, you are concentrating on what the President has NOT done (or not done quickly enough for your demands). Please focus on his accomplishments. They are substantial.

  • Threedollarwill

    Good luck to you. You speak for so many who really needed a fierce advocate (in reality) not just someone to mouth empty promises.

  • JamesR

    Are you trolling for ‘Obama Points’ like McCain gave out? http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/06/AR2008080603589.html

  • Griffon

    “Under his leadership, much progressive legislation has passed. Although not perfect, the legislative accomplishments are the most important progress made in decades.

    There seems to be a small group of very vocal activists who are frustrated and upset that not every single campaign promise has been perfectly fulfilled. “

    Absurd exaggeration in order to dismiss justified criticism is the refuge of the cowardly and those compensated to ignore reality.

    Apparently you subsist on posting proclamations that bear little resemblance to reality.

    Were you to stick around and attempt to defend your fantasy, you would be treated to an old fashioned factual ass-whupping.

    Walk away, Rahm.

  • Threedollarwill

    The problem is precisely the President. He routinely fails to lead in any meaningful manner. He appears to be more Reaganesque than could have ever been imagined – completely disconnected from reality.

    “Stop criticizing Obama, who is on your side – at least until after the election.” Too late, he’s already not on my side – he couldn’t wait until after the election. Too busy pandering to special interests and his donor crowd – you know, big pharma, Wall Street.

  • Blueflash

    Whether it’s DADT or off-shore drilling or health care or any other issue Obama’s approach is always so cautious as to amount to no approach. Certainly no one ever feels confident they know where he truly stands. Hey, Obama, being President of the United States is a bit different from being a University of Chicago professor (message – the average IQ is a hundred points lower, so, at a minimum, try being blunt). They’re wrong about the facts, of course, and not that conservatives care too much about facts, but maybe conservatives are on to some basic truth when they say we really don’t know who Obama is.

  • If we’re such a small group, the what the fuck are you worried about? Should be able to win lots of elections without us.

  • Rem

    Please explain, then, why Mr Obama is not doing anything about DADT. All polls say that this is supported.

    Please explain, then, why Mr Obama threw Shirley Sherrod under the bus with no evidence except what was adduced by Fox News.

    Please explain, then, why Mr Obama let BP call the shots.

    I could go on, but I think you see my point. It is not that progressives are throwing a temper tantrum. We need real leadership that is not afraid to counter the Republicans directly.

  • rs01

    The activists in the blogosphere would be wise to listen to the President’s words carefully.

    His references to health care, and financial reform, and the war in Iraq are important.

    Under his leadership, much progressive legislation has passed. Although not perfect, the legislative accomplishments are the most important progress made in decades.

    There seems to be a small group of very vocal activists who are frustrated and upset that not every single campaign promise has been perfectly fulfilled.

    Since these folks are not part of policy making, or legislative endeavors, they are understandably uninformed and frustrated — they need to understand that serious-minded persons in the goverment are working to solve serious problems.

    Therefore, they need to support the President for what he has done, rather than whine about what he has yet to do.

  • mamazboy

    I agree with these posts about voting Green. This two-headed monster has to be stopped somewhere. When we constantly have to hold our noses and vote for “the lesser of two evils” we are ultimately screwing the country and ourselves. And that theory isn’t sound anyway. As well documented by Glenn Greenwald and others (including some mainstream media like the New York Times), some of Obama’s policies have been as bad as, or in some cases worse than, those of Bush and his cronies.

    And another thing: I think Obama says this snarky shit at ritzy events like this for the simplest reason imaginable: because that’s what he believes. Progressives and indies were a stepping stone for his presidency, nothing more, as this phony “fierce advocate” has shown repeatedly.

  • mamazboy

    Of course Obama and the Dems will blame progressives for any losses they incur. They’ll say that we had “absurd expectations” and weren’t “pragmatic” about what can be accomplished in DC. Like Bush and the Republican trash that preceded them, Obama and this Congress is simply incapable of accepting any blame for anything, and — claims of “11 dimensional chess” to the contrary — are apparently not smart enough (or interested enough) to have capitalized on the massive populist discontent that catapulted this disappointment into the presidency. I paid money I couldn’t afford to help elect Obama but won’t do it again, and certainly won’t vote for him ever again. Local races yes, but not this liar.

  • FunMe

    That is Obama’s MO. Insult the very base who will vote for you.

    Obama lost me when he was at the Beverly Hills Hotel and we were protesting him in front. Never once did he acknowledge us respectfully, other than to make joke about us protesters outside. After that I realize Obama was a FRAUD and that he had BETRAYED not only the GLBT community but also the Democrats who brought him into office.

    But little does he realize that politics are no longer like the old days.The “where are they going to go” will not help him anymore.I worry little, because Obama will get his karma for being a CORPORATE WHORE.I believe if Obama’s mom were alive, she would be so ashamed of him.

  • FunMe

    He should just switch parties to the GOP.

    I am NEVER voting for the homophobe Obama ever again, nor will I campaign for him in key states like I did 2 years ago.

  • JamesR

    Presidents should be drafted, like Jury duty ought to be treated.

  • JamesR

    “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere,” – same joke, different suit.

  • mikep

    It was a $30,000 a plate dinner. Pretty clear who he thinks his base is. At least he didn’t use that line about the haves and have-mores.

  • JamesR

    “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain”

    Until after the balloon has taken off without you.

    Right.

  • lausunu

    Whatever BO. Mock me if you will, but I feel betrayed and I know now you will never stop playing to “the middle”. In times of crisis such as we have now, half measures, half empty or half full are not enough. Sometimes your rhetoric sounds like you get it, but you are proving you are just a typical politician caring more for power and influence than substantive results, ever compromising whatever values you may have. I know, that’s just the way it is. Hope this.

    I’ll continue to vote as progressive as I am able with the choices I’m given. I’ll even hold my nose and vote for you if my only choice is some Repug nut job, but…..I can still hope a little, and that hope would be, unless you severely change your ways and show some courage (which by the way is more than just being persistent in compromising on an issue) that you have a primary challenger in 2012.

    Finally, if you know you are facing a “blockade” what do you do? Turn around? Barter your passage by giving up 90% of your cargo? Or do you bring the war ships and blast your way through, so the next ship can succeed. (And no, drones are not an option here, although maybe they should be.)

    PS- I’m sorry, I just can’t clap anymore.

  • tlsintx

    Dear Obama,
    If you’re going to refrain, with an almost religious fervor, from badmouthing GOPers, do the same for your own party members.

  • Rem

    On our side: the first thing this fierce advocate for gay rights did was invite Rick Warren to do the invocation. When he saw how angry this made progressives, he had Gene Robinson give another invocation, which, unbelievably, wasn’t aired.

    He has never been on our side.

  • Rem

    I understand your position. Still, I think voting Green would give the Dems a way of seeing that progressives are fed up.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    I don’t mind people who ended up voting for healthcare. Its tough to stand alone for anything, but I’m not sure if I feel if the Democratic Party is worth saving. I look at their reactions to ACORN, MoveOn (Hillary did the right thing; I’ll give you that), Gibbs, Kaine’s ineptitude, and I don’t hear enough voices telling the President to get his head out of his ass. Yeah, guys like Nelson and Lieberman are bad, but a lot of Democrats keep inviting them to the party despite “being” progressive/liberal on every issue but supporting a process which lets these asshats ruin everything.

    I don’t know who is just beaten down, and who is just hiding behind Nelson and Presidents Snowe and Collins anymore.

  • lynchie

    Last time I checked he is not on the ballot this November. The party asked us to believe they would follow up on their promises. I accept that maybe you can’t always a whole loaf but it would be nice if we fought hard and lost and showcased the continuing obstruction of the Repubs. Instead we have a President who is not engaged and who thinks a half full glass is ok. His continued pettiness and castigation of the people who supported and helped elect him and the majority in both Houses makes me think he believes he did it alone. I say again I will not vote in the next election, not vote for the lesser of two evils, not vote Independent. My vote is and has always been for someone who will represent me and the Liberal beliefs I have carried all my life.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    As Douglas Adams wrote, “Anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. “

  • Blueflash

    Not if they don’t mind Democratic losses to Republicans this November so that they’ve got the excuse they’ve been needing to be just a bit to left of the Repubs and nothing more. Such a drag when you’ve got the Presidency and both Houses and those crazy nagging progressives expect something from a huge victory.

  • naschkatze

    What a good thread. Obama and the DLC should ignore it to their own peril.

  • naschkatze

    Aren’t we still following Don’t Ask, Don’t Give?

  • naschkatze

    My feeling is that the House will go Republican but not in a blow-out. There are about 36 or 38 seats considered up for grabs, and only one of them is held by a Republican incumbent. Right now RealClearPolitics is giving the Democrats 196 and the Republicans 205 so I think it likely that the Republicans can pickup 13 out of 35 or 36.

  • fredndallas

    Neither joke is funny. Liberals being the problem. Or Barack Obama, a Democrat.

  • naschkatze

    Yes because that supposedly worked for Clinton in ’96: the Republican Congress made him more popular after ’94.

  • fredndallas

    If he had campaigned as himself with his beliefs, McCain would have won … exactly!

  • naschkatze

    I’ve enjoyed your comments on HP too. I was a voting lifelong unaffiliated until Obama when I switched to Democratic to vote for him in my state’s closed primary. I have returned to normal.

  • Blueflash

    Hardly the first time that Obama has indicated he feels put upon – poor thing. Who was it who ran the grandiose campaign that promised real change, going so far at one point as to promise that the “planet would now begin to heal”? He said it. If the glass is half full, most of its contents are only there from the perspective of someone who can only envision Republican Crazy vs. Republican Lite. Yeah, and its more than a bit galling that he delivers these self-pitying lines for laughs. Once again, though, gays got there first. Remember his address in California last spring when he was heckled by a protester demanding an end to DADT right now? He could have responded decently (even if it was a heckler in the process of being swiftly removed) by saying something along the lines that he understood that seventeen years has been far too long for an odious and discriminatory policy that should never have existed. Instead his response was disrespectful, self-pitying and intended to get a laugh – Hey, man, give me a break. I’m workin’ on it.

  • fredndallas

    Yeah right Paul. “Facing a ferocious Republican enemy”…that’s exactly how Barack Obama reacted in dealing with them. Are you freaking kidding me?

  • naschkatze

    LMAO

  • fredndallas

    Bought and paid for.

  • naschkatze

    And expect you to suck on it.

  • fredndallas

    “Arrogance?”. Ya’ think? What previously loyal Democrats are upset about is political malpractice and fraud.

    His smug disdain for us “lesser thans” is apparent in his everything. I seriously doubt that his passive aggressive, insecurity-compensating false sense of superiority will ever allow him to grow the balls to face responsibility for his massive fail and do a damned thing about it.

  • naschkatze

    We the people do not elect the president: the powers that be select the president and we just ratify their choice.

  • naschkatze

    I thought nicho was referring to the bishop.

  • naschkatze

    Didn’t Obama tell Glen Greenwald that he could either come inside the administration and work with him or he could remain out in the cold? Greenwald made a hard choice, and John probably has too, especially because of gay issues. Just think how much he would have had to compromise to stay on.

  • naschkatze

    A little OT, but a couple of years ago when Fitzgerald was agitating to remain the USA in Chicago, I saw and heard him in a press conference using the Chicagoese “deez, dem, and doze”. I remember Hillary doing what Obama did during the primary at the Selma celebration.

  • FunMe

    The problem is that my Democrat party has been hijacked by DINOs, blue DOGS, sell-outs and CORPORATE WHORES!

    We need to take it back and kick out those who don’t represent our ideals and policies.

  • naschkatze

    And when I was a first year student in the Episcopal church’s seminar, I studied the Hebrew Bible, and guess what? An eye for an eye was considered a great improvement on what went on before.

  • FunMe

    When you insult your VOTING base, first by not doing what they voted you in for and doing the bidding for republicon policies, and second by continuing to insult them, you pretty have a good chance of losing elections.

    These jerks to need to look at the mirror to see who is at fault for the predicament that they are in.

    They days of voting for someone with a “D” after they BETRAY you, are ovah!

  • naschkatze

    I think Hillary is too wired for war. This may have to do with proving to everyone that a woman can be commander-in-chief. And I think Bill Clinton would meddle too much.

  • Kenthomes1

    Good post. I am voting Green (my conscience) finally. We need a third party/progressive platform. Like someone said on another post – the Dems just will make us implode a little later. This country will not change until it hits rock bottom. Any progressive that does not have an exit strategy, like moving to Vermont, close to the Canadian border – or high tailing it out of the country, is taking a huge chance. Good luck to everyone.

  • samizdat

    Yeah, Dumbya did the same thing.

  • Why? There’s strong suspicion he didn’t want to! He really seems to like the centrist, Bush light stuff he does.

  • Egobamanical!

  • Her votes were as liberal as Obama’s. Hardly a difference. Didn’t you know that?

  • Well, Karen, you’re aware sitting at home will only change things for the worse? Because the analysists of course wll say Dems were not conservative enough, and teaparty repulicans too extremist, so voters couldn’t decide between them? You should at least write in FDR, or someone, to make your point!And then, is there really no good progressive candidate anywhere on the ballot? Not even in some local races?

  • You know, with all the hype about getting “health care reform” passed, how come, in real life, in California, the health insurance are raising rates in the high double digits? Oh, that’s right. The “reform” really doesn’t take affect for a while, and so the insurance companies get to double digit us until “reform” (meaningless “reform” by that time) kicks in. Yeah, that’s the ticket.

  • osage

    FAIR OR UNFAIR, OBAMA HAS/IS LOSING THE ENTHUSIASTIC SUPPORT OF DEMOCRATS/INDEPENDENTS WHOSE FAITH AND EXPECTATIONS HE HAS THUS FAR FAILED TO LIVE UP

    The reason Obama’s poll numbers have dropped is because DEMOCRATS and INDEPENDENTS who voted him into office to implement national health care, eliminate the influence of lobbyists and fat cat campaign contributions over elected officials and government policies, close Guantanamo, restore accountability and transparency to government, expose the lies, illegal acts and cover-ups of the Bush administration, bring our troops home and stop the bleeding of soldiers and the financial rape of taxpayers in Iraq and Afghanistan and aggressively do away with the destructive greed and mismanagement that caused America’s banking, real estate and wall street financial crises DO NOT BELIEVE he has been as ASSERTIVE or as RUTHLESS in accomplishing those objectives as he COULD and SHOULD have been. In other words, he HAS NOT been DEMOCRATIC or PRESIDENTIAL enough!

    As a result, he has needlessly wasted valuable political capital the majority of Americans gave him when they voted him into office! WHY? To give the “appearance” of bipartisanship? Even when it means EMPOWERING and LOSING the upper hand to REPUBLICANS and BLUE DOG DEMOCRATS?

    Why didn’t Obama start using the power the voters gave him immediately? Because he believed Republicans would be “reasonable”?

    Why didn’t Obama start using the power the Democratic voters gave him immediately? Because he was trying to play nice with Republicans? Talk about pissing in a river and expecting it to rise.

    Why has Obama and Emanuel crapped all over Howard Dean whose fifty-state-strategy damaged Republicans and helped get Obama and Democrats elected? How many new Democrats have Emanuel and Kaine got elected?

    Why has Obama all but ignored the warnings and suggestions of Nobel Economists Stiglitz and Krugman, while listening to Geither and Summers?

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    PG-13 revision:

    My Election Day, 2012: Hands, meet buttocks.

  • Now we’re talking. At least for me, that’s what I would like to see … the liberals, left wingers and others finding someone to challenge Obama in the 2012 primary. I don’t want this man as my president for another four years. Hell, I don’t want him around the next two years.

  • mirth

    Ditto for me, synical. Not funny at all. Thanks for saying it so well.

    Good luck to you and your family.

  • Yup, I did. Sry.

  • No progressive candidate running in reasonable distance from your place? I can understand you don’t want to help DINO’s, but the PCCC at least made a stand for the public option. Even if they finally settled for “better Romneycare than nothing”…

  • colleen2

    I’m sorry Grey but Mrs Clinton was and is just as DLC and ‘centrist’ and ethically compromised as her husband. People didn’t listen because they had watched her votes in the senate.

  • synical

    Because he thinks he’s exceptional. He is the exception to reality and the rule. He’s the guy who slaps a “reform” label on a bunch of crap and takes credit for making history. IOW, just another egotistical two-bit political huckster.

  • Boohoohoo!
    Maybe he should have thought about this before stuffing his administration with Wall Street buddies, firing good progressives, delivering republican legislation and doing nothing to repair the reduction of civil rights under the Bush presidency!

  • (on second thought, this comment was a bit too sexist. Withdrawn)

  • Gridlock

    and they keep making us drink it :/

  • Gridlock

    Hillary is no different. Eventually you freaks will realize that.

  • Gridlock

    Satire or stupid, I can’t tell which.

  • synical

    Well pardon me, if Obama’s half-assed, half-full (except for Wall Street where the cup is flowing over) policies don’t warrant a chuckle here.

    My family is probably about 8 months from losing our home. We didn’t buy anywhere near the top of the market, we didn’t buy too big, we didn’t buy for an investment, we bought to have a place to live, a place to plant a garden. We bought on a 30 year fixed rate and are 1/3 through it. We didn’t use our home as an ATM. Now it wouldn’t surprise me in the least thanks to this “nibble around the edges or do-nothing and hope things improve” administration and Congress that my mortgage actually ends up underwater.

    A job would probably help, but apparently jobs aren’t all that important to President Chuckles and his carnival acts (aka as the Geithner/Summers Wall Street Puppet Show).

    Worse, there are people in far worse dire straits than myself. Somehow I don’t think they have a sense of humor about seeing the glass as half full when they can’t even afford the fucking glass.

    I have a sense of humor, but not about war (no WMDs here) and not about a President touting half-assed policies and joking about disappointment in half-full glasses to an audience of the uber-wealthy when the economy is in the shitter for the typical American family.
    Sorry, but that “joke” just doesn’t tickle my funny bone.

  • KarenMrsLloydRichards

    My Election Day, 2012: Finger, meet ass.

  • This is a guy who jokes about using predator drones to murder pop stars while he authorizes predator drones to murder civilians in other countries. Just like Bush and Cheney, he’s not really like you or me.

  • Paul

    You are wrong. The problem is not the president but you and others like you that want everything your own way and don’t give a damn about the problems the president faces.

    The president is trying to get liberals to understand that we are facing a ferocious Republican enemy. He wants and needs our support.

    Stop bitching that helps Republicans and start acting to help Democrats. Stop criticizing Obama, who is on your side – at least until after the election.

  • Butch1

    Are you possibly confusing Eugene Robinson, who appears on Countdown and Maddow’s show with the gay Episcopal Bishop of the same name? It was he whom Obama ( in my book ) insulted by giving him some off the air time slot at a non-functioning microphone to say a prayer. I considered this a real insult. Bishop Robinson was as usual, very forgiving about it, but I think it was planned and showed how much of an homophobic White House we were going to find out, we had.

  • mirth

    True that jokes at these functions are typically lame and meant to be so, but they are also intended to add weight to a president’s record. Obama’s Greatest Hits. Thus, the repeat of ‘historic health care bill’ and ‘financial reform bill passed’ and ‘most productive, progressive legislative session in a generation,’ said often enough to dull truth later on when O, taking a leaf from Blair’s book, repeats them again and again as he builds his personal fortune.

  • I had no idea, either. I thought the guy would at least try to deliver SOME change, whatever limited. If only to improve his chances for reelection.

  • Butch1

    No worries, anger triumphs over apathy.

  • Actually, that Obama gaffe IS more typical of Biden, isn’t it? Strange reversal of roles…

  • Terryand

    Why did he have to do that?

    Biden goes on “The Rachel Maddow Show” and stresses how important it is for the progressives to vote November 2nd. Hell, as far as I’m concerned, Biden was preaching to the choir. The thought that, for instance, Michelle Bachmann might have any kind of leadership role in the next Congress makes me want to puke. I get how important this is.

    But then Obama makes these snarky kind of comments about people who are dissatisfied/concerned with the direction this White House has taken on some issues. You don’t get the base out to vote with this kind of stuff.

  • Butch1

    I think you are correct. After eight years of the craziness of the Bush Dynasty, we would believe anything, I certainly consider myself included in that bunch. It didn’t take long to see the real change we were going to get. I thought it was going to be a change in the policies and direction of this country, ad had no idea it was Obama who would be the change.

  • Had he campaigned as a centrist, McCain would’ve won.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    I know. I have to make up for the walking. I use to hit 150 doors a weekend.

  • Rem

    That’s not true about NAFTA. Bush Sr tried to get it through a Dem congress and failed. It was quite obvious at the time that NAFTA was unequivocally pro-corporation.

    It was Clinton who got it through. I suspect that NAFTA support was Clinton’s ticket to the White House. He took it.

  • Have an eye on your popcorn consumption, Nottimothy!
    :D

  • Rem

    You got it: when I see him speak, I just think, what an asshole.

  • “One of the things Democrats have over the Republicans is our ability to laugh at ourselves.”That’s just a prejudice!:D

    But, seriously, we all know jokes can backfire. That’s why the jokes at such events are often so lame, that’s deliberately so in order not to offewnd anyone. Obama and his team knew that his speech would be reported. There’s no excuse at all for them ridiculing their own voters for demanding CHANGE. That was simply a bridge to far, even for humorous supporters.

  • “Had he campaigned as a centrist” he wouldn’t have won against Hillary! As we Clintonistas prophetically pointed out at that time, it was really a big lie (ok, we didn’t have much evidence, but it simply was to good to be true. Obama had no history of being a rebel). Sadly, people were so full of hope and change back then that they didn’t listen.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    “And some of the other stuff, like NAFTA, more clearly looks like a move in the wrong direction only in hindsight.”

    In hindsight? 60% of the Democratic caucus opposed it, and 100% of the GOP caucus (it changed a little when guys like Virgil switched party) supported NAFTA. There were plenty of people who said it was bullshit.

  • Ditto here, as well.

  • Rem

    Mr Obama lied to the left when he campaigned. Had he campaigned as a centrist, the left wouldn’t be as pissed.

    Another disappointment with the Dems was Barbara Boxer. I went to her email site to send a message in support of DADT repeal. When I got to the issues selection (the email wouldn’t be sent without selecting one of the provided topics), there wan’t anything about DADT. More to the point, there wasn’t one category that stated or even implied gay rights. There wasn’t a gay rights category, no DADT category, no DOMA category, no ENDA category. Nothing at all about gay people.

    Ms Boxer has been a supporter of the gay community and as I understand, she supports gay marriage. However, after having Obama, Gibbs, and the DNC throw gay rights under the bus at every opportunity, I’ve decided that enough is enough. If Ms Boxer claims to be supporter of our community, she should have at least one category on her comments section about gay rights.

    I know Carly Fiorina is a right wing, pro rich, anti-progressive candidate. I don’t like the idea of her as my senator. However, the Obama admin has made one thing clear to me: as it is, this country will become a third world nation in less than a generation with Republican government. It will take about a generation and a half with Democratic government. My thinking is that if we keep the same group–Dem or Rep–that refuses to redistribute wealth fairly, that refuses to pass significant campaign reform, that only gives lip service to civil rights, and that continues to advance corporate interests then what difference does ten to fifteen years make. America, in the end, will be a country of the very, very, very wealthy and the very, very, very poor.

    Because of this, I’m voting Green in the senate. I’ll probably vote Green for every office except Jerry Brown.

    Of all of the Democrats, Jerry Brown has been very progressive and very gay friendly. He gets my vote. I’ll vote Green and hope that if enough people support the Greens, the Dems will get the message.

    I doubt this. My feeling is that corporate interests will continue to prevail. For me, I’d rather vote Green than to support candidates that will, essentially, lead to America becoming third world. And, I am done voting for candidates who are purportedly gay friendly and can’t even include gay issues in their issues section.

    I did go on; I guess I didn’t realized how angry the Obama white house has made me.

  • NotTimothyGeithner

    I’m having a great time. I’ve been able to watch a lot of football I missed when I’ve been canvassing in elections past. Its been great.

  • TC Brown

    Oh come on~ One of the things Democrats have over the Republicans is our ability to laugh at ourselves. I suspect that comment hit almost everyone present in at least one of his examples. It’s what’s called, “putting things in context”. It calls attention to the realities of this administration’s accomplishments, and as Kevin says, it’s what you do at a fund raiser.

  • tsuki

    Here is my problem with a GOP take over.

    I am represented by the bluest of the BlueDog Republicrats.

    The wingnuttiest of the WingNut Teapublicans won the primary.

    The incumbent was against HCR, Financial Reform, is pro war, a balanced budget to Hell with the middle class, and wants to “reform” social security and medicare—those awful entitlements—on a bipartisan basis.

    The WingNut challenger is against HCR, for the “Free Market”, antiworker, anti-union, pro war, and wants to abolish social security and medicare—those awful entitlements. He does not care about any bipartisan BS.

    The BlueDog talks prettier than the WingNut, more nuanced, but there is not much difference in their agendas.

    I am being told that I have to vote, against my own best interests, for the BlueDog because the alternative is SOOOOO bad.

    I have to question. In what way?

    If you listen to their ads, you would think there was a BIG difference. If you look at voting records, not so much.

    I am now supposed to get fired up for Team Obama? Excuse me, it ain’t happening.

  • Yup, Robinson really deserved better than that. A steadfast, merited advocate of liberal values like him. We need more of his kind in the media!

  • Oops, already the 19th? Days are zooming by when you’re having a bad time, really…:D

  • Well, don’t forget that at that time, DADT WAS an improvement of the status quo, offering limited job security for gays if they stayed in closet. And some of the other stuff, like NAFTA, more clearly looks like a move in the wrong direction only in hindsight.

    The times were different then, and Bill didn’t run on a message of change, but on “happy times are here again”. It was more about restoration than about reform. And the voters supported that, even after the Levinsky episode. Can you imagine Obama sailing to reelection in the same way? It’s the economy, again, but Obama is no Clinton. Even though he ran in the footsteps of FDR in his campaign!

  • usagi

    I thought losing the majority was the plan for quite some time, and I’m starting to think they’re actually concerned that it won’t happen in the House.

  • We got a DNC fund-raising letter last week. It went back without a donation, but with a long letter explaining why we were no longer donating.In 2008, we made huge donations. No more.

  • PapaBear

    If the comments at the fundraiser were made to get my money, it was a big FAIL. Not the best way to cajole coins from my purse. I’ll remember this when the DNC comes calling next time.

  • Also, the yellowish color of the liquid is supicious! And it smells…

  • Yup, indeed, so far the whole PR by team Obama seems to be desinged to be attractive to the village idiots. Isn’t there a single guy nect to Obama who carefully teaches him that elections aren’t won in the effing swamps, and that the mood in the rest of the nation is very much different?

  • That’s a valid concern. All his very well known statements about postpartisanship support that. And he didn’t seem to have much problems with delivering legislation that is moderately republican, like Romneycare, at best. That will be much easier for him if the Dem party loses. So, there is strong reason for suspicions that Obama doesn’t really WANTS to win this election!

  • Naja pallida

    I started a post, but then read yours. So instead of just parroting you, I’ll say: “Ditto.” :)

  • KLG

    HeeHee. No, I wasn’t joking. All you say is true but not essentially different from Obama’s voting pattern. As for accepting GOP memes, maybe that is also true. But how is that different from Obama, especially in light of the Catfood Commission (which was totally unnecessary and evidence of acceptance of a GOP meme in spades)? Or Obama’s comfort with the “unitary executive”? I still maintain that Hillary can look the enemy in the eye when it is essential and not blink or back down. Obama has done nothing except backpedal since his inauguration. He is quite simply a liar and a fraud. And I say this as one of his more avid (former) supporters.

  • First they tried to cajole Progressives & Liberals with promises they never intended to keep. We became disappointed and restive.Then they tried political blackmail, threatening GOP takeovers, and a return of McCain/Palin. We got angry.Now they’re trying shame and ridicule? Really, Mr. President, is that all you got? This is the new strategy to get us back in line? Insult us back into supporting you?We demanded change and progress. You gave us triangulation, authoritarian impulses, center-right social policy, failure to lead, giveaways to the GOP, the rich, and corporations, and an endless trail of broken promises — and you actually wonder why we aren’t all patting you on the back.We have an economy in shambles, a rabid right-wing contingent that’s scaring the hell out of us, 10% rated unemployment with far higher numbers for the underemployed and those who’ve just given up, stagnant and declining wages for regular people while CEOs have “who has the bigger yacht and personal jet” competitions, skyrocketing medical costs — and the problem isn’t that you’ve failed, it’s that we’re insufficiently grateful for what you’ve done?You have done one thing the Republicans never managed to do: You’ve made Hope and Change into dirty words.

  • Is there no one in the Obama administration who understands that the way to fire up a depressed base does not include instructions on criticizing our motivations and trying to marginalize us???

    How are we supposed to respond to THAT? Please sir, can I have another?

    If Obama truly had a clue, he would try going after the GOP instead of the progressives and liberals who do the footwork in the Democratic party.

    I am beginning to think he wants to lose the majority.

  • Jude-brown

    Every time I get fired up to work for the Democrats in the mid terms, I read some other dismissive qoute from the Obama administration that derides me, my relatives, my values.

    Thanks for the buzz kill, Mr. Obama.

    I’ve voted Demoratic for 40 years, and will this midterm, because the Republicans get crazier and scarier as the decades go on, although I would never have thought that possible during the Nixon and Reagan years.

    So sure you’ve got my vote, Mr. President, but you sap my enthusiasm for working for Democrats.

    But I’m not your only problem — the enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters, is.

    I also do some counseling and every week I encounter more who have lost their homes, their livelihoods, their healthcare, their unemployment insurance — or are about to lose any and all.

    This is the reality, Mr. President, and it’s disgusting to disparage the hopelessness of those whose life has been destroyed and who ‘ve received little or no help in piecing it back together.

    There’s an enthusiasm gap between the Republican and Democratic voters, Mr President, which you’ve created by your half-measures.

    You are the problem, Mr. President, not I.

  • drdick52

    Sorry, but I have to call bullshit on this. Yes, politics is the art of the possible, but we have no idea what was actually possible. Obama never pushed for or really even advocated any position. He never used his bully pulpit to forcefully advocate for a progressive position and largely delegated responsibility to “do something” to Congress. As the President and leader of the Democratic party his job is to freaking lead. Instead, he started compromising before the opposition even enunciated a coherent position and then compromised on the compromises if they so much as blinked. He has spectacularly failed at one of the central parts of his job as President.

  • synical

    As a former Democrat and now an Independent (thanks Obama! “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I am free from boneheaded Democratic partisanship at last!”), I do think this administration spends entirely too much time and energy trying to woo Independents by kicking sand in the face of liberals.

    As a former Dem the sport offends me, as a current Independent all I’ve got to say, “This is the best you can offer? Kicking hippies? Not jobs, not real reform in any sense of the word. What you offer up after two years of watered down (and pumped up) Republican policies is “Vote for us, we’re not as bad as the Republicans” and “Look, we kick hippies.”

    That shit might fly (and apparently does) with The Village idiots, but it does absolutely nothing for me. Many people in my social circle concur. Except for the Dem partisans, but they’re a lost cause. I know, I used to be one.

  • Eraske1

    One more thing Obama tells the people to hold him accountable hold his feet to the fire then attacks progressives for doing so at a 30k per plate dinner at the home of Rich RichMan.

  • Just an elbow

    And they keep telling us it’s ice….

  • The final 2 paragraphs of this post sum things up perfectly. I could not have said it better myself.
    ————————

    “There’s an arrogance to the President’s comments, and an inability to recognize how much he is a part of the problem. What’s increasingly disturbing is that the President just doesn’t seem to get why so many Democrats are so disappointed in him. He seems to believe the apologists’ standard line that we’re all naive purists who simply don’t understand politics.

    The comments add fuel to a greater, and growing, concern about the President: that he honestly thinks he’s been doing a great job, and that he honestly thinks his approach to problem solving and legislating – compromise first, then reach any deal you can – is an appropriate way to run a country. Inside the White House they call this success. Outside, it’s perceived by a growing number of Democrats and Independents as weakness.”

  • Griffon

    Or just flip the electronic results.

  • synical

    “Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.”

    Pretty words from a man who seems to be not only in need of a soul transplant, but a working conscience as well. Sadly, narcissistic corporatist social climbers have neither soul nor conscience, nor a care for anyone except themselves. Obama is no exception.

    I remember someone once saying they could listen to Kevin Spacey read the phone book. They loved his voice and his ability to impart emotion. That’s what Obama does – he reads (and sometimes writes) pretty words and has the ability to convince people to think he actually means it. He doesn’t. For him words are just a means to a selfish end.

  • Roy

    Im sending your quote to the future Grid:

    They knew the truth; they just didn’t give a fuck.

    You guys and gals in the future that are reading this, its all you need to know about our era.

  • Eraske1

    I have a conservative/moderate leaning independent friend who thinks that Obama isn’t focusing on jobs and should implement an FDR style jobs program along the lines of WPA. He doesn’t like the blame game on bush because with democratic majorities he doesn’t understand why the government doesn’t put people to work. He thinks that nothing should be done in housing because he believes that Obama and dems already bailed out the banks and anything more would be a ripe with fraud. He was for a single payer system like medicare for all and was disappointed by the public option not being in the final bill. He hates the final HCR bill. I point all this out because of this article in huff post about obama putting down the professional left again(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/09/18/obama-professional-left_n_722064.html).

    This passage in particular: Where Obama is shedding support by the metric ton, is within the cohort of the electorate known as “independent voters.” They are either going to stay at home in November or go looking for alternatives. Do you think it’s likely that independent voters care whether we have a Canadian style health care system or not? Do you think that independent voters are the ones who base their decisions on what progressive blog critics have to say? The answer to both questions is “not bloody likely.”

    Independents aren’t wedded to dems. They voted for obama for change and he didnt deliver the change he promised and now they will move on. Just like my friend.

  • ADLEED

    Have been under the impression that politics is the art of what you can do more than what you would like to do! So called Blue dogs have real real consequences to face, Gibbs is not too appealing(regardless of topic), the Warren appointment is not the best nor is Obama perfect, and yes he is unable to cap the well in the Gulf of Mexico! Would have liked a quick implementation of Health Care, but I suspect that the nature of the beast precludes this regardless of options. In due time tea pots needing tempests or vice versa will find or create same! Drum got it right!

  • Roy

    Its called control. It feeds on $.

  • Griffon

    It’s the political version of “The Human Centipede” with Obama sewn firmly onto bush’s backside who, in turn, is sewn onto Reagan’s.

    We need the political equivalent of ‘Raid.’

  • Roy

    I agree. Whatever Obama is, hes not a liberal. Nothing less will suffice. Dealing with corporate funded propaganda and the dissemination of lies needs to stop to have any chance of every regaining our Press (and along with it our Democracy). But yes. Lets start by getting rid of Obama.

  • ezpz

    Oh yes, I’ve definitely noticed that and I find it and him repulsive — not for the southern draw, but for the out and out phoniness.

    I can’t stand to watch or listen to him anymore.
    Haven’t for some time.

  • ezpz

    “I get that it’s cool to look down on the base…”How is that “cool”?I DON’T “get it”.

  • nicho

    One of the most divisive, hateful, bigoted men in the country was the headliner at Barry’s swearing in. Eugene Robinson was relegated to a sideline event and then disrespected to the max. There is nothing else you need to know about Barry.

  • PresPlatitudes

    He really is the Eddie Haskell of the new American century.

    I wouldn’t let my dog imitate him.

  • Ok. Well, at least this time we have company when doing so!

    And then, the family that bangs together gangs together!
    :D

  • nicho

    If the corporatists want Barry to have two terms, he will have two terms. They will ensure that the alternative is so scary that even alienated progressives will crawl over broken glass to vote for Barry and Joe.

  • Yup, the president is a negative value for their campaigns. That’s why so many don’t want to be seen on the same stage with him.

  • “he doesn’t want to be a Democrat or a Republican”
    That’s SO 18th century! A strong caucus within the founding fathers tried this, and failed supendously! Even they soon formed their own party because the inefficiency of “every man for himself” became apparent very soon. Obama is supposed to be an educated man, why does he come up with this lame old idea despite the compelling historic evidence that this doesn’t work???

  • nicho

    Two months? Turn the page on your calendar. Election day is in 43 days. Most people, if they haven’t already made up their minds, will soon. Also, there is a lot of early voting in the country. I will get my ballot in the mail in a week or two. I usually send it in right away. This time, I’m voting for marijuana legalization and I will vote for Steve Pougnet — because I know him and he asked me, and also because Rep. Mary Whitaker Bono Baxley Mack (a champion of traditional marriage) is a douche. I will blank everything else.

  • Griffon

    “He seems to believe the apologists’ standard line that we’re all naive purists who simply don’t understand politics.”It is the indelible hallmark of the charming but pettish bunco artist who promotes and aggrandizes his alleged abilities, then lashes out at critics when his bullsh*t and bluster fall far short of reality.In the Obama version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Barack Baily eagerly takes Potter’s offer of a job, lets Potter jack up the interest on the homeowners who bought at fixed rates through the Building and Loan, then Barack Baily scolds and derides the ‘professional-left, garlic eater’ homeowners for complaining about the reaming they’re getting; reminding them how ungrateful they are and lucky to have any home at all.It’s the damned homeowners’ fault that Barack Baily is in way over his head, you see.

  • synical

    President Obama is congenitally incapable of removing his head from his ass long enough to know what the fuck is going on in America.Some say he’s absolutely fascinated with the beauty of his own colon and enjoys wallowing in the enticing smell of his own shit. Others say that his head is actually up Ronald Reagan’s ass. Don’t know how we would be able to tell the difference when they both produce the same shit.

  • randt503

    Also, imagine if Bush or Cheney ever went to a fundraiser and complained about the religious right! They’d have their heads handed to them.

    Heck, you don’t have to go to fundraiser. Just say anything that Hannity or Rush disagrees with and see the blowback. They’ve trained their leaders to never ever dis the real leaders of the conservatives. We haven’t learned that lesson.

  • Crazy8

    It makes no difference if you call the glass half full or half empty. THERE IS A BIG TURD FLOATING IN THE GLASS.

  • nicho

    I think that the proper term for “smarter bipartisanship” was “triangulation” during the Hill&Bill years. That got us DADT, DOMA, gutting of the welfare system, NAFTA, and the list goes on.

  • randt503

    Obama is keeping to his world view, which is that he is trying to *transcend* party politics. In other words, he doesn’t want to be a Democrat or a Republican. He wants everyone to come to the table and figure out, through compromise, the best course of action for our nation. So he doesn’t want the far right fringe or the far left fringe. But he deals with the far right by ignoring them or throwing them a bone once in a while. He deals with the left by lecturing them on its supposed intransigence.

    Hence the constant denouncements of the far left, the putting off of any issue that might be controversial, like gay rights.

    He doesn’t understand that this is NOT how Washington works. I can’t wait until the next election when he tries to convince us that he brought ‘change’ to Washington.

  • jeffroby

    I don’t disagree with supporting progressive Democrats. Disassociation from Obama would be a good step for THEM.

  • Gridlock

    They’re identical, thus we should be banging our heads on the desk together.

  • Actually, Jeff, the time is in two months. Now is the time to help PROGRESSIVE candidates to win their seats (and the DINO’s be damned!).

    Otherwise, I agree. Even if the primary doesn’t manage to unseat Obama (it depends on which progressive candidates will run), but we know from the last time that this will at least move him to the left. If only temporarily.

  • jeffroby

    Obama’s like the weather, except there’s something we can do about it.

    Dump Obama!

    He has become an albatross around the necks of all progressives. His limp-to-reactionary policies constrain the limits of progressive dialogue. It’s time to start talking Dump Obama and get serious about a 2012 primary challenge to him.

  • Butch1

    OT: Has anyone noticed that Obama when trying to become passionate, starts affecting a Southern drawl in his speech patterns? I couldn’t believe he was pulling that stunt to try and become one with the Southern blacks. At one point in a recent speech, he even did a little studder, alla Pat Robertson for effect. This is really some con-artist we elected.

  • What’s MOST outrageous is that here we have a president who ran on a message of CHANGE, who now publicly ridicules his own voters for demanding CHANGE! This guy obviously is so tone deaf that he doesn’t even notice the obvious hypocrisy. This can’t be excused in any way. Obama = FAILURE.

  • Butch1

    I don’t recall him saying one unkind word to the blue-dogs or anything strong to the republicans, but, boy can he attack his progressive base with derision not once, but numerous times when he’s frustrated with his own failures and we point them out to him. He’s a proud, pompous, and very stubborn man that has his mind already made up before one presents another perspective.

  • Hehehe, I like that. Two years ago, it was the Hillary supporters banging their heads on the desks. Now it’s your turn! Sometimes, life is fair…

  • Butch1

    Weakness, no leadership, no direction than the plan already in process that Geo Bush laid out. What happened to all the democratic ideas and the democratic agenda? All we have seen has been a weaker version of the republican bills being finalized. We did not get democratic leadership, and all the campaign promises were ignored once he entered the White House.

  • Let’s say “smarter bipartisanship”. She wouldn’t give the moon and the stars away for two measly votes. And she may even have started by trying to get rid of the filibuster in the first place. She knows the Senate much better than Obama, so she knows this dire problem for the administration, and she’s power conscious (not to say, hungry) enough to engage such obstacles.

  • michael

    I have one thing to say. One term president….

  • Sure, but imho John is smart enough to play nice guy in the interviews, and not to let them know he’ll play the spoilsport. It doesn’t seem that a single progressive mole managed to sneak into the inner circle. Let’s see how the Warren “adviser” role plays out…

  • elizabethcostello

    Are you joking? Obama is following the template of BOTH Clintons, not just Bill. Hillary voted for Bush’s war; she voted for gutting FISA; she has repeatedly shown that she, like her husband, would accept any and every GOP meme and proposal if it meant advancing her political standing, and she is a neoliberal to the core. Puh-leeze!

  • dula

    exactly why it’s not working any longer

  • Gridlock

    *bangs head on the desk*

    Not this crap AGAIN

  • Gridlock

    They know the truth; they just don’t give a fuck. Corporatists rarely do unless it involves their money.

  • nicho

    I think you kind of answered your own question. They don’t want anyone telling them the truth.

  • silverkjk

    It seems to me that there are several problems with Obama’s statement. First, he seems to not recognize that the history of his relationship with the progressive wing of the party is at best condescending and at worst denigrating and condemning. The “f—-ing retards” comment, the “Where else are they going to go?” comment and the “professional left” comment significantly damaged his ability to criticize one of the Democrats most important constituencies, particularly given that until recently he did not criticize Republicans or Blue Dog Democrats. Second, he seems unaware that at a time of over 9.6% official unemployment (and probably double that if one includes those who have given up looking for work or who are underemployed) his lack of focus on the middle class has had significant consequences within his own party. At another point in the country’s history, passage of the health care bill and the financial reform bill would be significant. Right now, it doesn’t address what people are concerned about on a day to day basis – struggling to survive in a hostile economy. Finally, he presents no cogent argument for progressives to support a Democratic Party dominated by Blue Dogs. Why should a progressive support people whose platforms and performances evidence stances that are similar to those of the Republicans (Essay: Compare and contrast Ben Nelson, Bart Stupak, Blanche Lincoln and the Republican platform). I don’t know that he is seen as weak, simply as uninterested in his base or in most of the country.

  • nicho

    No “bipartisanship?” Surely, you can’t be talking about the same Hillary who prays with “The Family” and who went to sip tea with Richard Mellon Scaife who financed the 8-year assault on her and her family?

  • That nobel peace price was the worst mischoice in decades (even though not the first one), and I’m sure the Swedes already feel mightily embarassed about this. What a screwup!

  • Thx, John. Great roundup, and you properly reflect the position of the progressives on this. Your political experience shows. Damn, why didn’t you get a job in this administration? They desperately need someone to tell the emperor that he has no clothes, and thus that his arrogant praise for his fancy outfit is totally misguided!

  • drdick52

    In fairness, this is generally true of the entire Democratic leadership, especially the Clintons.

  • drdick52

    Inside the White House they call this success. Outside, it’s perceived by a growing number of Democrats and Independents as weakness.

    Add that it is bad politics and you have hit the nail squarely on the head.

  • dula

    Obama has built his entire neoliberal agenda around the hope that Progressives will never shake themselves free from his lesser of two evils shtick. The US already spent her grace period on Bill Clinton. We don’t have the time to coax Obama into real hope and change. The window of opportunity was open a crack…and he shut it.

  • Will

    I get that it’s cool to look down on the base. I get that you need to play to the crowd, especially at a fundraiser like this.

    But I find myself mostly concerned with the “And gosh, we haven’t yet brought about world peace and…” joke. This, from a President who already WON the Nobel Peace Prize – and who, at the time, seemed to take his job incredibly seriously:

    “Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.

    Somewhere today, in the here and now, in the world as it is, a soldier sees he’s outgunned, but stands firm to keep the peace. Somewhere today, in this world, a young protestor awaits the brutality of her government, but has the courage to march on. Somewhere today, a mother facing punishing poverty still takes the time to teach her child, scrapes together what few coins she has to send that child to school — because she believes that a cruel world still has a place for that child’s dreams.

    Let us live by their example. We can acknowledge that oppression will always be with us, and still strive for justice. We can admit the intractability of depravation, and still strive for dignity. Clear-eyed, we can understand that there will be war, and still strive for peace. We can do that — for that is the story of human progress; that’s the hope of all the world; and at this moment of challenge, that must be our work here on Earth.”

    Mr. President, what happened to reaching for the world that aught to be? Somewhere along the way, it seems you decided it was simply too hard to keep trying.

  • KLG

    You know, I never thought I’d come to this conclusion, but we elected the wrong Democrat. Hillary, despite all of her (largely fictitious) baggage, knows who the enemy is and how they should be dealt with. There would have been no “bipartisanship for its own sake.” Instead, she would have fought, publicly and privately, for her (i.e., our) initiatives. And had she come up short after an intense, hard fought battle with the vast right wing conspiracy, we would be preparing in less than two months to send the current incarnation of the GOP and its teabagging nitwits to the oblivion they deserve. Alas.

  • nicho

    Barry has a long and consistent history of mocking one segment of his supposed “base” to get a cheap laugh from another segment.

    I’ve known a lot of politicians over the years. The best ones were the ones who got a laugh through self-deprecating humor, while making all segments of their base feel good about themselves.

    The guy is basically a douchebag.

  • I’d rather be a congenital pessimist than a congenital liar.

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