So how are people feeling about President Obama, seriously?

I’m curious how people on the left are feeling about President Obama in this fifth year of the Obama presidency.

A reader wrote me yesterday and felt that Gaius was being too hard on the President.  I don’t necessarily agree or disagree about “too hard,” but Gaius has certainly been more annoyed than I at the President of late.  And I’ve been trying to get a sense of whether some of the base’s annoyance with the President has lessened in the last year, gotten worse, or what.

In my case, it’s a touch call.  I write about, and fight for (and about) a lot of issues.  But anyone who reads this site regularly knows that my personal passion, outside of chocolate chip cookies, gardening and Paris, is gay rights.  And on gay rights, the President has done well.  Oh, there were some rough patches (to put it nicely), but in the end – and it’s not yet over – I can now safely say that President has done a good deal right on gay rights.

And I wonder sometimes if that’s why I’m not as ticked at him as many of my progressive friends, because we all have our pet causes, and my pet cause isn’t doing badly at all.

Protester during Obama’s “I can’t close Guantánamo” speech: “You are commander-in-chief”

Now, not that it didn’t take some major teeth-pulling to get us to the point where I can say that the President has generally done well on gay rights.  I still think that it took far much effort on the part of a lot of us to get him to the point where he got DADT repealed, stopped defending DOMA, and endorsed gay marriage.  But in the end, he did a lot of what we asked (in large part).  And certainly that colors my perception – not of the man, but of his presidency.

On a lot of other issues, not so much.  If civil liberties – and extend that to liberties abroad (a la drones) – are your thing, you won’t be as contented.  Or on the economy, and specifically banking reform.  On the environment.  And we can easily go through a litany of issues where aspects of the base are not terribly pleased with the man.  But, while I try to follow every issue (since, like Sarah Palin, I read everything), I know best gay right.  And on that, in spite of our unrequited desire for the President issue an executive order on ENDA, I can now say he’s done well.

NB One of the points I constantly try to impress on my friends in the administration, and elsewhere, is that “success” with a particularly constituency isn’t simply checking enough boxes on the to-do list, though that does help.  It’s also about keeping that constituency in mind, and constantly trying to push their agenda, and keep your promises to them, in everything you do. And not in a forced way, but rather that you don’t only think of the gays, or the environment, or Latinos, or whatever once a year when that one big bill comes around.

The symphony of governance should be a never-ending quest to advance the President’s agenda, and his campaign promises included, in everything the executive branch does on a daily basis.  And sometimes it doesn’t feel that way, even to the gay community, a group that got a decent amount of what it wanted so far.  It feels, sometimes, like we’ve had to force the administration to help us, rather than the President simply be a fierce advocate for his own promises.

So, I’m wondering how the rest of you are feeling about President Obama?  And I’m asking generally – not just about drones, or PRISM – but generally.  How are you feeling about the man now, in his fifth year, and why?


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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254 Responses to “So how are people feeling about President Obama, seriously?”

  1. 1/0 says:

    Im upset over: still troops overseas, prosecution of snowden,manning,barrett brown, aaron Swartz…let’s see…im also upset about the heightened police state, the NSA, no attempt to clean up Washington at all…fast and furious (Holder needs to be held accountable!) no prosecution of the Bush Administration, The bailouts was a stupid idea, still too involved with Israel, the Benghazi incident was very poorly handled, Obama did not consult Congress before firing into Libya, and he lets his errand boy Jay Carney do too much talking for him. I’m just going to call him Black Bush from now on. No discernible difference in ideology.

  2. samizdat says:

    Go F yourself, tool.

  3. BillyHewitt says:

    You are sick. Obama is sick because he is paranoid and wants to interrogate 300 million terrorist suspects and if these peasants protest then loose the drones and blast them peasants

  4. BillyHewitt says:

    The US is the greatest terrorist state in the world thanks to foreigner President Obama and the thugs at NSA. Badgerite must be a code name for Attila the Hun.

  5. BillyHewitt says:

    Russia is jailing homosexual foreigners. We should do like wise.

  6. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Haven’t you heard of Loving vs. Virginia? That’s the point where the federal government became involved with marriage issues.

  7. karmanot says:

    It’s called CIVIL RIGHTS. Got it?

  8. thurmanater says:

    I’ve always thought social issues should be dealt with at the state level. What in the hell does the federal government have to do with with gay rights, gay marriage and etc.?

  9. Whitewitch says:

    You must be in my generation – because we truly understand the pendulum which swings both ways…I too hope to see it swing into better times.

  10. JamesR says:

    THANKS Whitewitch Like and love back at ya.

    To quote Ben Franklin: “We must, indeed, all hang together, or most assuredly we shall all hang separately.”

    Hopefully I will live to see the pendulum swing back http://www.patheos.com/blogs/slacktivist/2012/02/18/the-biblical-view-thats-younger-than-the-happy-meal/ as we have the historical tradition, even if most have forgotten http://www.alternet.org/story/154125/5_brave_religious_leaders_who_fought_christian_theocracy_in_america

  11. Whitewitch says:

    Rats – I thought it was the best – well after The Big Bang Theory.

  12. Whitewitch says:

    Frankly, that is the real core of the problem. I either don’t vote, or I vote for what “I Hope” (note the word HOPE) of the lesser of two evils, or as you phrase it the “good guy” and then hold my nose. The sad part is that many of President Obama’s Cabinet are exactly the same as Bush’s….

    How about we work for real change…with a dash of hope.

  13. Butch1 says:

    He can’t even hide it anymore. They are dead without any sparkle in them. That happens after you have told hundreds and hundreds of lies. It catches up with you. ( Shark eyes to match the pseudo smile that has rows of teeth behind the first row ) He’s an intelligently dangerous man.

    I only wish he would focus as much attention on the rich and their taxes as he has on us and our meager earnings and savings.

  14. Whitewitch says:

    He truly could have been a great and saving grace for this country – sadly he was always a Reagan and he lied about that. I believe that many in the left are dangerous too – as they are sneaking the ugly in.

  15. Whitewitch says:

    James R – I read this entire post and actually cried. Exchange Gay Man with Women (Single Mom) and Gay Marriage with Birth Control/Abortion and I am standing with you on each and every point. It is funny that all we hear are christian platitudes about anything that actually affects us as individuals. I could not have stated anything more beautifully that you just did. Thank you. Alas I long for the Love Button on Disqus.

  16. Whitewitch says:

    Disinformation Much? This is so typical of the postings I see from people who believe (or are part of) the governmental mind set. Having been a “contractor” for governmental agencies I could curl you hair with some of the stuff I have seen. And keep in mind that often the people overseeing the “contractor” have absolutely no computer knowledge whatsoever. In fact, there was a time (I hope it is not still so – but it probably is) that they hired contractors because the Fed Employee would not learn the new system and since they were not required to…they still sat at the desk, collected the check and let the contract employee run the show.

  17. JamesR says:

    LOL and Thanks, I think.

  18. karmanot says:

    I apologize for being rude.

  19. karmanot says:

    Totally wrong. You clearly do not know what is a democracy.

  20. karmanot says:

    Pinning any hope on a tool like Gore was a misdirection most of us did not anticipate. he folded like a paper tent.

  21. karmanot says:

    “every bit of opprobrium I can muster.” As long as you flush it’s OK by me. Let’s see: 24 up votes to your 1…might want to reconsider.

  22. karmanot says:

    “it’s really the system that’s the issue” True, Obozo is just the symptom.

  23. karmanot says:

    and the bobble head!

  24. karmanot says:

    “I am not the Judge of All Things.” Well, if that ever happens, I volunteer to be your assistant!

  25. karmanot says:

    Very Like. Obozo doesn’t have a scintilla of imagination or greatness in him….much like Clinton.

  26. karmanot says:

    True, and the bar is set so low now, that not even a worm could do the Limbo.

  27. karmanot says:

    Vote in conscience for not the two parties, dimwit.

  28. karmanot says:

    I’m in compassionate mode today. :-)

  29. Butch1 says:

    I guess my point was he had a choice and a better person would have chosen to be a better president. He lied to get into office and has lied ever since to stay there.

  30. JamesR says:

    Monumantally sad.

  31. JamesR says:

    True. And risking the “a” word here goes: A real President, a true Commander in Chief who risks and sacrifices the lives of others must be willing to risk assassination. Not just from the krazy, as is always a defensible risk, but assassination from the powers that be. So far I see nothing he’s done has risked that. Has cost him anything real. A great president would have put his neck on the line, and I don’t see that here. In fact, I see the opposite, So he lives, and our Country dies. Now – this time in History – is when we NEEDED a Great president and REAL change. They kind that’s personally risky. I wish no man’s death, but so many men and women have died are dying and will die because of Obama’s cowardice I am glad and grateful I am not the Judge of All Things.

  32. JamesR says:

    Sorry Nonong MyBad. I didn’t read properly, and I couldn’t find any reference to your approving of the withdrawal, yet it was a topic downthread, why I didn’t make it specific to you. I did pose it as a question and leave it, THANKS for the response and the correction,

    – it’s just that every time I see the withdrawal mentioned t’s in context that ot’s an Obama “achievement” whereas it’s a BUSH achievement, which is just a bitter and stupid LOL. I used your comment to point that out. To someone who knew but didn’t mention it, and it was 5 AM sorryaboutthat.

  33. JamesR says:

    LOL Like people say “with all due respect” when they are about to say the opposite, Good catch

  34. Jafafa Hots says:

    And the Clinton/Obama primary split the Dems.

    Guess what – in a real political party there can be more than one faction. The more popular one gets the nod to run.

    We don’t have coronations here. Sorry.

  35. JamesR says:

    If a 29 year old IT tech contractor knows an aspect of international data transfer structure, China most certainly knows it and most certainly doesn’t give a rat’s ass further than designing countermeasures.

    It’s US who didn’t know it, and US who should give quite more than a rat’s ass, and should immediately institute our own countermeasures. Most of us that is…

    And whoa Badgerite with your assumptions regarding this man’s credibility. If someone were to ask me a good decade or so ago if my country would TORTURE people, and render them to gulags a la the Soviet Union I would not have believed it either. Credibility is as credibility does, though the credulous all behave the same. And that’s not like badgers.

  36. Jafafa Hots says:

    You know a good reason never to vote for a Democrat?
    Because Democrats always tell you not to vote for the person you want in the office.

    They always tell you that a vote for anyone but the Democrats is a vote for the Republicans… when in fact the closer truth is that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for the Republicans.

    “There are worse choices than us” and “If you vote for someone better than us you’ll be sorry!” don;t really make for compelling slogans.

  37. Jafafa Hots says:

    That’s “Nobel.”
    And he did win it for something – for being elected.
    Big whoop.

  38. Jafafa Hots says:

    Just look at all of the liberals now defending it.

  39. JamesR says:

    “Mediocrity” is a rather forgiving word for you Karmanot LOL

  40. Jafafa Hots says:

    Obama didn’t stick his finger in the wind and decide to support marriage.
    Biden stuck his foot in Obama’s mouth and forced him into “evolving” to that position.
    He only came out with that because Biden accidentally forced his hand.

    All it was was damage control. That’s the only way Obama ever supports LGBT people – when he has to for damage control.

  41. Jafafa Hots says:

    I think he was just trying to break it to us easy that in the end he would leave use shoeless.

  42. Jafafa Hots says:

    Even disregarding that spectrum, we can be disappointed that he isn’t who he told us he was. In many ways the total opposite.

  43. Jafafa Hots says:

    Same here.

  44. Jafafa Hots says:

    Hey you’re a quick one.

  45. karmanot says:

    Got your lesser of two evils turban in a twist again I see. No, I didn’t vote for Nader. I was as gullible back then as you still seem to be.

  46. slideguy says:

    So Badgerite, why do you suppose this kid decided to make an enemy of the most vindictive administration of the most powerful nation on earth?

  47. karmanot says:

    Yep, That gigantic Embassy that requires thousands of employees and is about the size of the entire Vatican state is Iraq’s version of Guantanamo.

  48. karmanot says:

    “Our standards set so low, how much further can they drop?” I’m thinking Biden or Hillary for two.

  49. karmanot says:

    “Let me be perfectly clear” is the prefix for every lie he is about to tell. It’s Obozo’s version of the Bush smirk.

  50. karmanot says:

    It could happen!

  51. karmanot says:

    Elegant MF. Well done!

  52. karmanot says:

    Same here. I also voted against the dreaded Feinstein.

  53. karmanot says:

    Yet again the old false argument of the lesser evil. FACT: neither McCain nor Romney are president. Obama stands on his own record of mediocrity.

  54. karmanot says:

    Any credibility you once had is long since fled. Typically, you mollycoddle any fascist tendencies of the Feds and wave your patriotic flag. It reminds me of that scene in Star Wars where, “democracy ends with cheers and applause.”

  55. Cletus says:

    Thanks!

  56. Sweetie says:

    Whoopee, since he can’t have a third term.

  57. Sweetie says:

    1. Hong Kong is not China.
    2. Prove it.

    He wouldn’t have high-ranking politicians calling him a traitor and things like that if he were just a crank. The government would expose him. The “how could a low-level IT tech have access” meme fails. IT pros aren’t particularly surprised.

  58. Sweetie says:

    “he could have been a great president.”

    I wish that were the case. Two points.

    1. A great person would never be allowed to occupy the office.
    2. A great person who would manage to beat point #1 would either be killed or would be converted into not so great.

    However, I do think it’s reasonable to conclude that he could have been better.

  59. Sweetie says:

    “imagine what the country would be like today if he had dismantled the
    surveillance established by Bush, made a big deal about it, and we were
    struck again.”

    wow.. just.. wow

  60. Sweetie says:

    lol

  61. Badgerite says:

    Just an aside, not only did Snowden run off to China, that bastion of free speech and human rights, to ask for ‘asylum’, his claims in the Guardian interview that a low level IT tech, such as himself would be accorded the ability, legally to wiretap anyone up to and including the president, does not pass the laugh test. In short, he’s lying. There is no way that could happen, legally. The stuff coming out of his mouth is tending to resemble the kind of stuff one used to hear about the CIA having killed Kennedy, etc. The report that the NSA is given direct access to servers of major internet companies has also been debunked pretty thoroughly. A drop box for efficient collection of data that has been request via court order is hardly direct access to any and all information on the internet. When you exaggerate to that level, it is called lying. And the credibility of the whole report goes out the window.

  62. Badgerite says:

    Just an aside, not only did Snowden run off to China, that bastion of free speech and human rights, to ask for ‘asylum’, his claims in the Guardian interview that a low level IT tech, such as himself would be accorded the ability, legally to wiretap anyone up to and including the president, does not pass the laugh test. In short, he’s lying. There is no way that could happen, legally. The stuff coming out of his mouth is tending to resemble the kind of stuff one used to hear about the CIA having killed Kennedy, etc. The report that the NSA is given direct access to servers of major internet companies has also been debunked pretty thoroughly. A drop box for efficient collection of data that has been request via court order is hardly direct access to any and all information on the internet. When you exaggerate to that level, it is called lying. And the credibility of the whole report goes out the window.

  63. samizdat says:

    Well, for a fascist, a despot, and a war criminal, he’s not too bad, as those things go.

  64. samizdat says:

    Well, for a fascist, a despot, and a war criminal, he’s not too bad, as those things go.

  65. Ninong says:

    Yes, I think you have “missed something.” Look up the word “excluding” in the dictionary and that will give you a clue.

    I have already discussed the fact that Obama tried to keep troops in Iraq longer but couldn’t because Iraq wouldn’t grant them immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts. Maybe I shouldn’t have pointed out that the Republicans would have kept us there longer because that sounds like it’s congratulating Obama for something he tried to get around but I thought my previous sentence “excluding anything that has to do with either Iraq or Afghanistan” made it clear that I wasn’t.

  66. Butch1 says:

    The minute I see him speak on the TV I watch his eyes. They are the eyes of a liar. They are dead from the past five years of lying to the people of this country. He knows it and some of us know it. Many others are starting to awake to the fact that he’s been lying to them, especially the seniors and especially the veterans.

    He’s the Commander in Chief and when you lose the respect of your subordinates because they have watched him stabbing them in the back when he has promised to support them if they become injured in war, it doesn’t make them want to support him or new people wanting to join a service that treats them like dirt. His words are empty and meaningless now that most know he is nothing more than a liar. It’s a shame because he could have been a great president.

  67. I didn’t say he wasn’t acting like one. I do think the problems run deeper than him. We give the president a little too much credit and it’s really the system that’s the issue more than him. We don’t really know what a tyrant is like in the US but we do know what a corrupt government is like.

  68. lilyannerose says:

    How much is Obama and how much is Republican obstruction? In the end better Obama in the White House than McCain or Romney. Which really isn’t a ringing endorsement of his Administration.

  69. JamesR says:

    Obama’s lunch got eaten day 1. Sometimes it just doesn’t get more complicated than that.

    All his opining about how fasting mid-day is a great compromise between breakfast and dinner still leaves him hungry and beaten. And all his policies dead. All the ones he himself could have put forth. What a waste.

    PS – I have seen Obama work and work hard, I don’t think I’ve ever seen him fight. There is a difference.

  70. JamesR says:

    He is a man of many words. That apparently all mean nothing.

  71. Jafafa Hots says:

    Well, I’ll sure never vote for HIM for President again!

  72. Jafafa Hots says:

    Becca, you just don’t understand! This is a two-dimensional world! There can only be two positions on any issue, thus we only need two political parties.
    The GOOD one and the EVIL one.
    You’re either with us or against us.
    You’re helping the terrorists.
    Which side are you on? Are you red or blue?
    Why do you hate America?
    A vote for someone you like is just a vote for someone you DISLIKE!
    Axis of Evil!
    My country right or wrong!

    Wait, hold on, I lost track there somewhere. What were we talking about again?

  73. JamesR says:

    Manual “like” very much. Something very un-natural about Obama. He may say he ‘gets’ some issue or another, but his actions prove he cannot have. I have no idea who that person inside Obama is, who is (or more likely is not) getting it. Save a principle-less dogged yet indolent weakling or naif.

  74. Jafafa Hots says:

    It was clear to me from Obama’s positions that he was far more conservative than he let on BEFORE his first election.

    He supported some of Bush’s unconstitutional positions on detention and surveillance.

    I was living in FL at the time, preparing for am move to NY. I was delayed for months taking care of a dying relative, so I ended up voting in FL. Since it was a state that could go either way and was so close, I voted for Obama over McCain/Palin.

    If I had been in NY (a sure-win for O) as planned my vote would have been for a third-party candidate, but FL needed every non McCain vote they could get.

    Second time around I lived (as I do now) in CA – which Obama could not possibly lose, so I was free to vote my conscience and I voted for Jill Stein. I don’t regret that vote.

    If I’d voted for Obama, I would be regretting it.

  75. Jafafa Hots says:

    So many seem to forget that he only managed to “evolve” to the point of supporting marriage equality because Biden trapped him into it days earlier because of a slip of the tongue.

  76. JamesR says:

    Yeah, Damn. Can’t “like” via Disqus (and I in NO WAY LIKE THIS) but I can post my complete agreement and well said.

  77. JamesR says:

    God needs an embassy?

    – Oh wait, that IS the Vatican!

    I’ll keep my pain, thankyouvrerymuch…

  78. JamesR says:

    Um, the Iraqi withdrawal was a treaty signed by Bush… To congratulate Obama for doing it is to congratulate him for not unilaterally violating a treaty, right? Have I missed something?? (Plus there’s still plenty of us there.)

    Our standards set so low, how much further can they drop?

  79. JamesR says:

    Yes, as genuine as the accent he uses. Kissinger only loses his in private when really angry, Obama can only maintain his for speeches. As if we’re not worth it nor paying attention.

  80. JamesR says:

    PS – trial and error has just shown that there’s apparently a word filter here – is that new? Never posted the word I tried before, but it went with my rape analogy and rhymed with half of country. Pronounce with schwa and you’ll get it. (We’re ALL getting it.)

    I understand the relief from burden this provides the moderators, and understand you must get a lot of profane SPAM, still sometimes the old words are the best, as the old concepts are in play. Apparently it’s not all of Carlin’s deadly seven: Shit, Piss, Fuck, ____, Cocksucker, Motherfucker, Tits – it’s *Cənt* here apparently. I can live with that, your call but didn’t know ’till now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seven_dirty_words#The_words and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqvLTJfYnik

  81. Monoceros Forth says:

    But to compare Obama to an arbitrary standard that’s somewhere between Teddy Roosevelt…

    You’ve just vitiated your own argument. You’re admitting tacitly that there’s a spectrum of real, actual Presidents who range in quality from as low as Nixon to as high as Teddy Roosevelt. You also admit openly that Obama’s about as good as the guy at the bottom of that spectrum. We’re not disappointed that he’s worse than some mythical strawman superman; we’re disappoint that he doesn’t even rise as high as the middle of that spectrum.

  82. JamesR says:

    Well, you did name the blog “Americablog,” not ‘half-a-basket of gayrightsblog’ so there’s where to start.

    America.

    All of it.

    Just the fact I admit to voting for him, I’m pretty sure because it was on a paper absentee ballot, but that’s only because our system is so broken I chose sanity over insanity for the sake of what’s left of the Republic. For starters – that is not anything Obama or super whoeverpresident could fix in a day or a term or two, but the voting system? IT’S FUCKING BROKEN! And. for starters, because that’s where democracy starts, Obama has been completely silent on this issue. He’s even been silent on racial gerrymandering and racial disenfeanchisement the boldest and nakedest I have ever seen, and again crickets. Begging the question of whether he wants not to appear “too gay” he can’t even appear “too black” – a level of pathetic pathology again the depth of which I have never publicly seen, fitting in a literary way, and fitting in a way a dick is so far up our nation’s ass it’s like it’s part of us now.

    As a gay man, I know what it’s like to experience less civil rights than my fellow citizens, again not to beg a question, that of whether we all have less rights in a society when one group is deprived, I actually HAVE LESS RIGHTS than the majority. This experience informs my perception of OTHER rights other groups, classes, and even nations do not have. It makes me more sensitive. It makes us all more sensitive, and naturally produces common cause, in people with natural emotional and political instincts.

    Obama does not have this sense. He grew up NOT deprived. Save the ubiquitous social discrimination he could encounter, and of course the target he NOW is for our small percentage of crazies, he has never ever had to fight for his rights. He was born in MY generation, and it’s the post rights-fighting generation. For him. When you can’t get a cab in front of your house because you’re black, yet have a chauffer and will for the rest of your life, well, it’s not an ordinary experience. Neither are international schools prep schools and Harvard.

    I voted for a potential Malcolm-X, or a possible Frederick Douglass. Call my cyincal-sounding bones naive – but there IS always hope, at least at first. What we got was Uncle Tom. Or worse – only History will reveal that. The fact that he’s not Bring ’em Young does not change what he is, again, my vote and my support of some of the decent things he’s done does not change this – the excuse that a President has done some decent things – like that’s a positive – was the one and only argument those who supported and those who tolerated Bush gave. Remember?? They had to look at that to avoid the pain, like a rape victim telling herself or himself it’s not that bad, endure, isolated parts of it may even feel good, it will be over soon. To each his own, I am not judging. I prefer the pain and the awareness.

    I believe that’s the core of the argument, the issue that sparked this thread – those who choose to ignore the pain and violation of the rape, to wait, to look for good within evil, coincidentally sparing themselves more pain, and those who cannot do that and have not moved from their (our) outrage because our outrage has not been addressed. There are those who can live with political outrage and parse it out, to let it – to MAKE it – not control your life consuming it with anger, and those who have learned to live despite it. The Bush years taught me that. As did the AIDS years – you can be angry, you can retain anger and moral outrage, but at the same time you MUST not let it consume you and must live – despite it. But you still *have* the outrage. People reading just this blog and just my posts owhn Obama and Bush might assume I am a festering sputtering ball of spit and bile. Well, part of me is LOL – but it is reserved for when and where I can properly express it. It certainly is not the black box ballot. Others simply cannot process the anger and betrayal – or rather they need to process it, they cannot handle it, so they start at it and work backwards and numb themselves, or simply tell themselves it’s not so bad. And bank their fires. Again to each his own but then they still canNOT say what is is not. It is at it is. How you feel about it, what you do about it, well, you do what you can where you can.

    So to make a short conclusion of that last paragraph, I have common cause with an Obot, because WE have common cause as AMERICANS, it’s just I prefer my Emperor naked. It is what it is. Let’s work with what IS.

    Here’s what IS:

    1 Electronic Repuke-owned ‘proprietary’ unverifiable vote stealing devices, that render our Democracy a sick hollow joke and our politicians ultimately all Alvin Greene. Obama? Crickets.
    2 Unverifiable mortgages following close at heel, people in MY AMERICA still being thrown into the streets because of them. Obama? crickets.
    2a Not ONE banker in jail, indictment, Grand Jury investigation, regulatory agencies even further neutered.
    3 Guantanimo. [everything about Guantanimo ellipted here for space]
    4 Extrajudicial killing of American citizens (If you don’t have life you have no other rights)
    4a Drone everything
    5 BP Pwns us, as does TransCanada. Although to be fair he never campaigned against them…
    6 Mild insurance reform coupled with the equivalent of a mandated private tax. Passed off as Health For Everybody nothing to look at go home you got what you wanted. Which does apply to the insurance companies, they got what they wanted.
    7 Our infrastructure crumbling, millions out of work, labor wasted bridges falling, no leadership no change no ideas just the inertia of entropy chaos and decay.

    Do we need more? There are plenty more. I thank Gaius et al here for posting about it. And humorously tip my hat to the fact that NOTHING he’s posted about has been called in to question. Just the fact it makes some readers feel bad. ROFL Get over it Marys, it’s what’s happening. Wake up. Yet there is more:

    8 The Patriot Act, NDAA, National Security State Fatherland Security what-has-happened-to-my-America Terrorists Have Won acts. So Wrong I truly don’t know where to begin, so like point 3 I will just leave it.

    Though the faux-outrage over the ‘betrayal’ of what little has been revealed of the National Security Surveillance State is as naive as delicious. Though pathetic. As if the ATM after the assraping were a surprise! To those of us who are aware of our raping: not a surprise. (Not using “ATM” as acronym for Automatic Teller Machine, Google it)

    9, last one I will enumerate, simply this administration’s first DOMA brief, lack of leadership on it and DADT, Tepid foot dragging fear and recalcitrance, victories some are eating as manna he shit out his Unicorn ass rather than from legal rulings and the Tide of History and public sentiment Obama resists. Opaquely. Now ENDA and immigration thrown under the bus. Oddly I’d have more respect for him if he were doing that just to spite Glenn Greenwald because at least he’d have been doing it all on purpose.

    Not to mention the ‘sequester’ that he is NOT DOING ANYTHING ABOUT as people die. Literally, die.

    More death. No rights when you’re dead…

    Not using his political power to change things but to rest in it, to whine in it, to retreat to it cyclicly, yet not wade into one of the most historically terrible deadlocked Congresses, at the worst time, so far, or not even trying! – and to the Obots let me cite example: to not be perceived as trying is the same if not worse than trying secret. A public loss after a public effort is not the same loss as a drop-the-ball. Don’t care what eleventy dimensional chess he’s playing in secret, of he’s not playing publicly he’s lost the power the public gave him. His real power. He does not know how to use this power. In nerdspeak he’d be a Dunsel. This applies to everything he’s said he wants to do and hasn’t.

    But back to the original topic, the impetus of the thread, in a nutshell: The Gay rights achievements he has done WE HAVE DONE. I am not so easily bought. Especially when it’s with the currency of our own fucking efforts. I am sad for you John, if you are truly that purchasable, and that cheap.

    I will NEVER FORGET the President who said NOTHING about a most corrosive carpet-bagged amendment in North Carolina – ONE WEEK before the election, such as it was, he came here and went on Jimmy Kimmel and NCState and talked about Student Loans. Not that that’s not a pressing issue, but the State wasn’t voting to amend the Constitution against Student Loans that next week. One week AFTER that vote. that he could have made a real difference weighing in on, education the voters on, he gave some smarmy interview about how he personally likes the Gay Marriage now. WTF? So many layers of WTF. Thousands of straight families and children directly affected by this amendment, (Gay Marriage was already illegal,) it was a SEEN and KNOWN side-effect of this ALECvomit, hurting CHILDREN and this president DID NOTHING when he could have at least tried, because it had the stink of The Gay on it.

    This tells me ALL I NEED TO KNOW. This tells EVERYBODY all ANYBODY needs to know, of they choose to look. If they choose the pain. If they choose to acknowledge they and their country are being raped, not just their own cənt.

    Just as the AIDS issue was more than just The Gay and the disease but about Ronald Reagan being an inhuman POS who allowed the worst part of our worst national nature to surface and grow, The Gay issue is for Obama another opportunity and another canary. Which while half-alive still shown the way he ‘leads,’ how he behaves, who he is. “At least he’s not Mitt Romney” is not an achievement nor a fitting epitaph, though it looks like it’s all he’ll get. Heckofajob.

    And if you’re reading this Barry, Please for the sake of the Nation DO THE RIGHT THING(S.) A good year and some months left to make an effort. Failing in a good cause doesn’t make you a failure, failing because you didn’t try does.

    PS – you wanted feedback – please feedback on this:

    Regarding the National Security Information State – I note with irony. please someone prove me wrong, Disqus behaving very much as though it’s a tool of the State as well – it takes over, and, ironically for the web, takes what was public and then hides it! Second generation interweb tactic – seriously – ALL info is archived, but now not everyone can see it. Am I the only one who sees this? Who at least sees this as a symptom of such a thing?? Comments are not searchable because the length is truncated requiring refreshing as spiders don’t. and all content from two years ago here and on other Disqus blogs IS GONE. ALL the debate about DOMA, immigration, etc (EVERYTHING) is fucking GONE. Where? Will it return?? It’s not here now, not here for anyone to research not here for me to insert a link to as I can – as I archive what I write and have tested the old links – it is not here. Debate is silenced, erased, your blog is cheapened, stolen, hollowed out. If I were you, John, I’d hire some real programmers and build your own site so you can archive what you’ve built in a way that can’t be erased or denied access to – that’s the whole POINT of a blog, isn’t it? It’s one of the few freedoms WE STILL HAVE. Until some faceless corporation wipes it away eh?

  83. JamesR says:

    How I wish you were wrong. But you’re not.

  84. JamesR says:

    Big like, and like THANKS FLL

  85. JamesR says:

    Yeah, that guy I voted for in 2008 was awesome. Too bad he didn’t become President.

  86. Bill_Perdue says:

    No quite true. Obama has a lot backing, including Reid and Pelosi. Your whole party is rotten to the core and it’s not just Obama’s fault.

  87. JamesR says:

    The Fourth Amendment not being honored and restored by any sitting President is a disgrace and treasonous oath violation of each one. To you it seems lalalalala it will happen anyway – to you, to all of us – whereas the Chief of State CAN stop it, is OBLIGATED and SWORN to stop it, and is FORSWORN by continuation of treasonous policy or inaction to end it. Period, End of a discussion that is not a discussion. Few things are as absolute as a Sith might prefer, the Constitution must be one of those things or our Country is nothing. (And he’s fucked with more than just the 4th amendment)

    We are experiencing austerity and he’s paving the way for more austerity. He has validated those hawks and empowered them. I’d like to say your vision of the America you want is different from mine, but it looks like the vision of the America we actually inhabit at this moment is radically different as well. Good luck with that, Ostrichite might be a better moniker.

  88. JamesR says:

    Yes, different ring of Hell for ya when you know better.

  89. JamesR says:

    I too am now done with Democrats. Big Like, thanks.

  90. HolyMoly says:

    On Guantanamo, Obama did NOT want to close it down. He merely wanted to MOVE it to another location (Illinois — GITMO North — same injustices, different place). Congress refused to fund the move. He turned this loss into a “win” — “I wanted to close it down, but Congress wouldn’t let me.” And many fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

    On Iraq, Obama did NOT want to bring the troops home. Bush had a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Iraqi government that put an end date on the occupation. As that deadline approached, Obama attempted to persuade Maliki to allow the troops to remain (the main point of contention being that U.S. troops must be immune from prosecution in Iraqi courts). Maliki referred the Obama administration to Parliament, where there was no way in hell they’d approve an extension. Long story short, if O had his way, we’d still have a large occupation force there (in addition to the “embassy”). He was able to turn his loss into a “win,” though, for the election: “He brought our troops home! Vote for him!” And many fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.

  91. Ninong says:

    It’s a tempting thought to just abandon the whole mess but it isn’t going to happen. That’s just wishful thinking. Obama would have to have the support of a majority in both the House and the Senate agreeing with him on that.

  92. BeccaM says:

    Actually I’m suggesting we pull out and just abandon everything the previous administration destroyed during their eight years in office, including their 3/4 of a billion dollar “embassy” (sic) boondoggle.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/750-million-united-states-embassy-iraq-baghdad-2013-3?op=1

    And a price tag to run it of some $3.5 billion / year. For one frickin’ embassy in one country. (Up from $1.5b a couple years ago.)

    http://www.npr.org/2011/12/18/143863722/with-huge-embassy-u-s-still-a-presence-in-iraq

    I say we wait until the Iraqis can guarantee the safety of a foreign embassy on their soil, which is the normal order of diplomacy, on their own. The mistake made in Iran isn’t that we didn’t have a military fortress in place. It was that we failed to remove our diplomats in time.

  93. karmanot says:

    What alternative?

  94. DonewithDems says:

    There are so many problems with Obama’s administration I don’t know where to begin. He’s been a big disappointment from the day he decided not to investigate the war crimes of the Bush administration, the failure to go after the rogue banks, the dragging of his feet on LGBT issues, the constant cave-in he calls negotiation, the perpetuation and enhancing of the erosion of civil liberties started by Bush and on and on. He had to be dragged kicking and screaming to the few LGBT victories that he deigned to support. I don’t call that “doing well”. He’s a lying, fraud only slightly better than McCain or Romney would have been. I voted for him the first time. I didn’t make that mistake the second time. From now on my votes go to real liberal progressive candidates and most will not be Democrats.

  95. MichaelS says:

    Ha, thanks! The scary thing is, that was just off the top of my head… When I stop to think further about the disaster he has created, I shiver:

    Codifying forever 95% of the Bush tax cuts (even the Repugs knew they would bankrupt the country when they passed them, that’s why the cuts had a 10-year expiration date)… and now Obama has helped the Republicans permanently “starve the beast.”

    Then of course was his “brilliant” plan to corner the Republicans with the sequester deal in order to extend the national debt limit, because he didn’t have the courage to use his OWN authority under the 14th Amendment to extend the debt unilaterally. Now we are stuck with these cuts… forever. (Does anyone think for one minute that Bush/Cheney would have hesitated to do so?)

    Much more, but must stop thinking about this…. I’ll bust a blood vessel.

  96. FunMe says:

    How do I feel about Obama? Well, let me put it this way. After voting for him in 2008 and being upset with him after the many times he betrayed the American people by going back on his promises, I decided NOT to vote for him in 2012. This was the first time I did not vote for a Democrat for President. (No I did not vote for a republicon … I think Mickey Mouse got my vote).

    So do you really want to know how I feel about Obama?

  97. Ninong says:

    Are you suggesting we pull out altogether and just abandon everything the previous administration built during their eight years in office? That would never fly politically. We’re stuck with what the Bush-Cheney team built.

    As far as that embassy compound is concerned, that’s the staffing level — including security contractors — that the State Department has determined necessary to prevent it being overrun by locals a la Tehran in 1979.

  98. BeccaM says:

    Can you imagine the uproar if any nation tried to build a highly fortified compound containing 17,000 foreign employees — including 8000 troops and security personnel, with air-missile defenses and machine gun emplacements — in the middle of Washington or NYC? And that furthermore, this hypothetical nation asserted full diplomatic immunity for every one of those 17,000 employees?

    We’d call it what it looks like: A occupation military base masquerading as an embassy.

  99. AdmNaismith says:

    Yes, all of this is traced back to the warning about bin Laden that was ignored. The question is: Was the (much, much smaller) intelligence community trolling data they way they are now to produce the question of why those guys were learning to fly but not land airplanes?

    I submit there is better police work to be done that does not shred the 4th amendment.

  100. Bill_Perdue says:

    Reading is fundamental.

    Democrats are the enemy (and so are Republicans).

  101. Jonas Grumby says:

    Pretty early on in his first term, it was obvious to me that Obama was a Reagan Conservative. I, quite frankly, can’t stand him and think he wasted a golden opportunity. Despite a handful of successes, I think he’s been a disaster. Yeah, yeah, ya can’t get anything through the GOP filibusters and House, but you can lead and fight. He does little of either.

    That being said, he is LEAPS and BOUNDS better than anything that crawls out of the GOP primeval ooze. And while I will gladly hammer Obama, Reid and some others on blogs and in answers to polls, I will never, ever pitch a fit (like many Liberals did in 2010) and fail to vote Dem. The Right is dangerous not just to America but to humanity.

    In short, can’t stand Obama, but voting for he and his anyway.

  102. BeccaM says:

    I’m tired of that bullshit false dichotomy retort.

    No. I didn’t want McCain or Romney. I don’t want to have to choose between Greater Evil and Lesser Evil.

    What I want and will affirmatively vote for is Not Evil.

  103. slideguy says:

    OK, that clears it up. Any politician whose positions aren’t exactly congruent to yours is a gangster.

  104. Naja pallida says:

    Makes you wonder how much calculation went into that picture of him early on in the 2008 campaign, with his feet up on a desk, and the soles worn out of his shoes. It was that exact picture they used to shoot down McCain as being so rich and so out of touch that he didn’t even know how many houses he owned, and to make fun of Palin’s expensive hair-dos and wardrobe.

  105. mpeasee says:

    …yes, he is right and has been right; but he ruined the chance for the green party to really become a movement, Nader crushed the grass and ground roots of a party the really could have been nurtured in a real congressional or senatorial challenge, now we have tea baggers.

  106. Naja pallida says:

    And that, I believe, is the real Obama. Introverted, contemplative, indecisive, and would rather be off someplace reading a good book than participating. Actually gets offended when he’s confronted and forced to give an opinion or make a choice. The man who gives the lofty speeches that makes people want to jump up and shout “Preach on, Brother Obama!” is an act, a face he puts on. Not to say he isn’t a great actor. I just don’t think he’s a particularly good President.

  107. mpeasee says:

    …you forgot the “eye roll”…

  108. mpeasee says:

    …i believe in spirits, souls, consciousness…what is wrong with that? Not sure that I understand what Tinkerbell’s living or dying has to do with Nader.

  109. Bill_Perdue says:

    Elizabeth Warren is a zionist, so the answer is yes.

    Bernie Sanders is the best we have but he enables Democrats who are thieves and gangsters, just like Republicans. Raul Grijalva was in MECHA and I first heard of him in Tucson in 85 or 86. He’s like Ernie Chambers in Nebraska and a very few other Democrats. They enable gangsters and are in the wrong party. It they left and became independent or openly socialist leftists I’d support them.

  110. zorbear says:

    and contractors…

  111. zorbear says:

    You’ve just described the guy who showed up for that first debate with Romney. Remember him? Mr. Bored Stiff and Too Proud to respond?

    Anyone that hadn’t figured him out after the first four years shoulda hada clue right about there…

  112. slideguy says:

    You consider Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, and Raul Grijalva gangsters?

  113. zorbear says:

    Well, I hope you don’t expect the guy who shines the shoes of the guy who shines the shoes of the guy who shines the shoes of the guy who shines the shoes of the Ambassador to shine his own shoes — now do you?

  114. mirth says:

    Someone like that did climb the political ranks and did get elected, and if he had been genuine, if he had done what he promised, no congress could have stopped him. The will of we citizens would have stopped their bullshit right quicklike.

  115. Bill_Perdue says:

    No, he’s a Democrat, and they and Republicans have few differences.

  116. carl says:

    I’m not thrilled with Obama at all, and for exactly those disappointing reasons and others. He’s about as far left as Nixon – and accomplishes less (I’d still vote for Nixon over Romney any day btw). But to compare Obama to an arbitrary standard that’s somewhere between Teddy Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi – to who we WISH he was – isn’t useful either. That person – if she ever existed – could never climb the ranks to get elected. If elected could never get anything done because the whole system is operating at cross purposes. Obama is almost as good as we can get with the way things are – Hilary might have been slightly better – but not by a lot.

  117. mirror says:

    I’m with Monoceros Forth. He has shifted the “Overton Window” rightward all by himself. I’ll even take it a step further. I think that is what his backers intended. I’ve grown steadily more displeased as his presidency has gone on. I honestly think he is as big a tool as Bush, perhaps more so because we can’t say he isn’t smart enough to know better.

  118. mirror says:

    So, now you are showing the same objective, to get left of center people not to vote. Isn’t that what the GOP wants? Sounds like you agree with them. You want the those dissatisfied on the left out of the mix.

  119. mirth says:

    All of your comments give me warm fuzzies. I love reading you.

  120. Edeiwmurk Nivek says:

    There is a difference. It’s just smaller than the difference between either of them and acceptable.

  121. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    Didn’t you vote for Nader? You get the government most people vote for, and most people…well, disappoint.

  122. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    4 lights dog srsly jst 4. lol cardassians.

  123. runfastandwin says:

    If you truly think there is no difference between say John Bolton and Hillary Clinton then I cannot take you seriously. It’s like telling me Walker Texas Ranger is the best TV show ever made…

  124. Edeiwmurk Nivek says:

    Because there are more than two parties. And if the major parties start losing votes, they will change their platforms to get them back. I’ll “throw away my vote” on the Greens until Democrats stop censuring their progressive caucus and stop running center-right candidates like Obama.

  125. runfastandwin says:

    So you are a guy who believes both parties are equal. Then why bother to vote?

  126. Snaggletooth says:

    This comment is exactly why I like seeing you here.

  127. Bill_Perdue says:

    By the time a candidate makes it to a national level, he, or she, is a gangster.

  128. Edeiwmurk Nivek says:

    No more unhappy than I am with Michael Taylor at the FDA, Roger Beachy at the USDA, Hillary Clinton (who also has ties to Monsanto) being the SOS, etc. etc.

  129. Bill_Perdue says:

    He’s a worse union buster than Bush. Like Bush, he does nothing real about unemployment, poverty and homelessness, which he helped create. How is that a good choice. http://www.blackagendareport.com/content/obama-administration-withholds-home-foreclosure-aid-hardest-hit

    He’s just as much a mad dog warmonger as Bush. How is that a good choice.

    He murders US citizens but only if they’re Arabs and muslims. How is that better than GW Bush or B Clinton.

    He and the Fed gave 10 times as much in bailouts to the rich and their banks. McCain or Romney would have done the same.

    He’s much worse than Bush and Clinton when it comes to the Bill of Rights and civil liberties. How is that a good choice.

    He rebranded after spending years as an active, dangerous bigot who wrecked our chances for marriage equality in California in 2008. How is that a good choice.

  130. slideguy says:

    I voted for him the second time as a form of damage control. The other guy was so much worse. But I have no illusions that a real populist can make it through the gauntlet put up by the six huge corporations that control the national discourse now. The corporatists now own Congress, the courts, and the media. By the time a candidate makes it to a national level, he, or she, is owned.

  131. caphillprof says:

    You are living in the past.

  132. hippysuperstar says:

    He’s not perfect, but he’s a helluva lot better than the alternative.

  133. Whitewitch says:

    Shoot Bill – I upvoted you – because I totally agree with your first sentence…how can someone so right about something be wrong….guess that is me as well.

  134. Bill_Perdue says:

    Obama has enormous power and he uses it to bust unions, kill US citizens and spread war and mass murder from Tunisia to Pakistan. No excuses.

  135. Bill_Perdue says:

    Clinton, Gore and the Supremes gave us Bush Jr.

    People who voted for Obama’s wars, union busting, Bill of Rights gutting, homohating and racism are traitors.

    Obama racist murders of American citizens should get him impeached and convicted but Republicans will never do that because they like it.

  136. runfastandwin says:

    So then you’d also be happy with John Bolton at SOS, Pailn as VP, Inhofe at EPA, Ghomert at AG, Rand Paul at SCROTUS for life, etc etc etc because it’s not really the President that has anything to do with your day to day life but the 2500 or so appointees that actually run the government. Sure you would…

  137. mirth says:

    Another comparison of Obama and Bush:

    After 9/11 the US and the world opened their arms to Bush and us; in 2008 the US and the world opened their arms to Obama and us.

    In both instances, there were few limits to what good could be accomplished and, in the case of the extraordinary enthusiasm for Obama’s promises, demonstrating the true spirit of my country, no Republican congress could have stopped him.

  138. Whitewitch says:

    Do you think that is what John was asking? Is there no room for discourse – only your rude comment that if we are 100% behind the President we are evil Repub-cons in disguise. Gezeee.

  139. Edeiwmurk Nivek says:

    Actually, I would. Because they would be doing essentially the same things, but Democrats would be resisting.

  140. Chris G. says:

    I like President Obama and agree with John that he has done some great things for the lgbt community BUT I also realize, as John pointed out, that we have had to push really hard to get him to do these things. If the lgbt community and our allies hadn’t pushed so hard for such things as DADT repeal, would the president have used his political capital to help our community? A true advocate would not need us to coerce and force him/her into doing the right thing. If he was really on our side, it seems we wouldn’t have needed Dan Choi and other gay vets to do things like chain themselves to the White House fence to get Obama’s attention.

    When I also look at the way he seems to be willing to go along with Republicans on so many issues that we progressives hold dear, it seems to me that he is much more of a conservative Democrat or perhaps even an old-time mainstream Republican than a true progressive/liberal.

    Even the legislation that will define his legacy, so-called Obamacare, was essentially copied from a conservative think tank. Not once did he ever propose a single-payer system like Medicare as a solution.

    If he truly is our friend and advocate, why is it like pulling teeth just to get him to do the right thing for each and every issue?

  141. runfastandwin says:

    What a load of BS. If you think that Romney would be a better president than Obama, or Obama is worse the jr, then you are stupid and deserve every bit of opprobrium I can muster.

  142. karmanot says:

    I guess you trolls prefer Palin.

  143. runfastandwin says:

    Nader gave us Bush jr almost as much as the people that voted for Bush jr did. He is a traitor to the cause.

  144. runfastandwin says:

    I guess you complainers prefer Presidents McCain and Romney then.

  145. karmanot says:

    “He is demonstrably more intelligent than the man he replaced.” Compared to an amoeba that is true.

  146. karmanot says:

    “It does not sound like most of the commenters (sp) here did.” What condescending bullshit! Denigrating the considerable thought that most of us have devoted here to the tenure of this disaster of a president. So, my dear, in a nutshell FY.

  147. mirth says:

    Once the traitor-to-his-voters surprises hit us, my biggest surprise of all: Obama is a simpleton.

    “A person who is felt to be deficient in judgment, good sense, or intelligence; a fool.”

  148. Sweetie says:

    Pronunciation is not a mark of intelligence as much as it’s a marker of locale.

    And, intelligence isn’t nearly enough to be a good leader. One needs wisdom even more.

    Robert Sapolsky of the Stanford School of Medicine: “But what about a person who has competence but no warmth, desire or empathy? That’s a sociopath. Sociopaths have great theory of mind. But they couldn’t care less.”

  149. Sweetie says:

    That’s called cahoots. It’s what our Plutocracy party does.

  150. Sweetie says:

    “The Jonas Brothers are here. Sasha and Malia are big fans. But, boys… don’t get any ideas. I have two words for you: predator drones.”

    http://warincontext.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Abdulrahman-al-Awlaki.jpg

  151. Sweetie says:

    The context that matters most is what he could have accomplished and what he has chosen to accomplish and try to accomplish.

  152. Sweetie says:

    “I think ‘what if McCain/Palin/Romney/Ryan had won??’. THAT’s the standard for an F.”

    Don’t you mean Hitler, Pol Pot, and Stalin?

  153. Ninong says:

    “I ask the same thing: What legitimate diplomatic purpose is served by 17,000 embassy ’employees’? What exactly are that many people doing?”

    Apparently that’s how many people it takes to operate that gigantic embassy, which is more like a small city, plus hired civilian contractors to safeguard personnel and property. Ask John Kerry what they’re all doing. It’s not like Obama built the damn thing. That’s was “W” and his minder, the Phantom of the Naval Observatory, who are to blame for that.

  154. Badgerite says:

    I have to say, at least I had a realistic sense of the man I was voting for and a realistic sense of the country I am living in. It does not sound like most of the commenters here did. I always thought that he was far more of a moderate than the net roots people,who seemed to see him as the progressive messiah, thought he was. And I am not disappointed in that. Quite the contrary, he is exactly who thought I was voting for. The only one running in 2008 who could have given him a run for his money in terms of accomplishments at this point in his presidency would be Hillary Clinton, I think. His first priority is what I thought it would be, protecting the country from another successful terrorist attack. And lest you think that that is of no consequence, do try to remember what happened after the 9/11 attacks. All the things you complain of now, the country being continually on a war footing, Gitmo, Prism, drones, Iraq, the AUMF, all had their origins in the one mistake made at the very top when Cheney and Bush did not listen to the heated warnings of their intelligence agencies all summer long that the US mainland was going to be hit by Bin Ladin. He’s made mistakes, but as yet, not that kind. A slippery slope can be fought against and pushed back. An avalanche, not so much. He has kept the austerity hawks at bay and thereby saved the US economy from being wrecked by them as they have wrecked Europe’s. LGBT rights has made a lot of progress. The Fourth Amendment has suffered. But that was going to be so no matter who was in the Oval Office due to the events of 9/11 and gains in technological ability. Again, uniquely within the control of Congress. I would vote for him again without reservation.

  155. Bill_Perdue says:

    His presidency is unraveling,

    “On June 10, 2013, President Obama announced his intention to nominate Jason Furman to become the next Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. This is a big-time, highly influential post. So what kind of economist is Furman? For Furman, Walmart is nothing short of a miracle for
    America’s poor and working class folks. For him, progressives should be cheering the firm: he even wrote a 16-page paper entitled: ”

    Furman is a rightwing anti-union thug. “he doesn’t much care for those who question WalMart’s approach: In the 2006 dialogue with Erhenreich on Slate, he upbraided activists who had pushed the firm to increase wages and offer better benefits: “The collateral damage from these efforts to get Wal-Mart to raise its wages and benefits is way too enormous and damaging to working people and the economy more broadly for me to sit by idly and sing ‘Kum-Ba-Ya’ in the interests of progressive harmony.”

    And so are Obama and H. Clinton who spent six years on the Wlamart Board of Directors.

    Obama’s already admitted that he’s a Republican and a Reagan admirer. This nomination combined with the fact that he’s a long time lap dog of the rich, Bill of Rights basher and a a mad dog warmongering are what define him, not his rebranding on marriage. policies.

    Democrats are the enemy. (And so are Republicans)

    Support Wal Mart stirkers. http://www.labornotes.org/blogs/2013/06/show-some-real-employee-appreciation-say-walmart-strikers-week

  156. mooresart says:

    I’ll be succinct: Obama is a false prophet but then aren’t they all?

  157. lileasy says:

    Wow. What a community of geeks. Gotta love it. And, by the way, best thread ever.

  158. BeccaM says:

    In the worst of the Star Trek movies, Captain Kirk asks, “What does God need with a starship?”

    I ask the same thing: What legitimate diplomatic purpose is served by 17,000 embassy ’employees’? What exactly are that many people doing?

  159. karmanot says:

    Rome rose, Rome fell. It took about 700 years. America will be lucky to squeak past 300.

  160. Ninong says:

    That humongous embassy compound in Baghdad, which is nearly as large as Vatican City, opened shortly before Obama took office. It was part of Dick Cheney’s plan to assert American power in areas with valuable energy resources. I believe it employs a staff of more than 15,000 but they’re all State Department employees and civilian contractors. As far as I know, the only American military there are the less than 200 Marine guards, typical for an embassy of that size.

    No doubt a lot of the State Department’s civilian contractors employed by the embassy and the various consulates in Iraq are former military. I don’t know of any US combat troops in Iraq and I don’t think we have any military trainers left there either. Nothing there now but Marine guards. It wasn’t that Obama didn’t try to keep some US troops in Iraq longer, he simply couldn’t because Iraq refused to continue to grant them diplomatic immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts for any alleged violations of Iraqi law. We refused to allow any US troops to become subject to Iraqi “justice.”

  161. carl says:

    His record exists in context, not as some isolated artifact out there to be evaluated. Taking it out of context renders it meaningless. If MPRR & O were running I’d still get out and vote for O hands down. Meaning the relevance didn’t just vanish into thin air after the last election.

  162. karmanot says:

    pppffftt Sorry Mr. sad, but Truman was a savage hustler, creator of the security police state and proud of wiping out 80,000 civilians in one nucular stroke.

  163. karmanot says:

    He did say he’d walk a mile in our shoes. Except, we don’t wear Gucci loafers and walk on carpets.

  164. karmanot says:

    “what if McCain/Palin/Romney/Ryan had won??” They didn’t win. Obozo is judged on his record, not what might have been.

  165. cole3244 says:

    if obama is the opposition to the right we are in more trouble then we know and the war is already lost, splitting up the spoils is all that’s left to do.

  166. lileasy says:

    Yes. Yes. And yes.

  167. carl says:

    If this were a rational period of politics and there were semi-rational candidates on both sides, before and after this President, I’d give him a ‘C’ or a ‘D’ – good on some things very bad on some other things, and work for a better candidate. But in today’s climate simply being a rational human being is amazing to have, so with that standard I’d give him a ‘B’. If I think about assigning an ‘F’, I think “what if McCain/Palin/Romney/Ryan had won??”. THAT’s the standard for an F – and by that standard Obama is a shining star with some blemishes.

    I don’t get into the mud-slinging or “either your for or you’re against” logic. Yes, Obama is part of the agri-corp-military-industrial context – but in our system at this time is anything else even possible? I don’t like it but neither will I single Obama out as a new McCarthy/Stalin/EvilOne because of a few things I don’t like. It’s the system that needs to change, and focusing on the current sucker in the office is a waste of time. Great for outrage de jeur, but not very productive.

  168. earnie says:

    My take – Obama has been a disaster for Democrats and Progressives. I voted for him the first time – and can state – yes it would have been worse not to vote for him However, I refused to vote for him the second time. He is a coward and a liar. He never fights for anything even if its his accomplishment (i.e., ObamaCare). And without a doubt he lied about what he stood for the first time. He is a moderate to right wing Republican – he has Zero progressive tendencies. I was fooled the first time and I refused to be fooled a second time. It has been depressing on so many fronts to waste the opportunities we had to do good for this country in the last 5 years.

  169. Monoceros Forth says:

    Indeed. It’s still an occupation. (I won’t call it a “war” exactly.)

  170. Naja pallida says:

    The guy I voted for in 2008 was going to do everything in his power to fix the mistakes of the Bush era, not compound upon them nor continue them. He was going to make bold decisions to put us back on the right track, because it was the right thing to do. I have no idea who that guy in the Presidency is now, but he isn’t the guy I voted for. I see a weak-willed man, led around by money like a donkey with a carrot on a string over its head. A man who considers the Presidency as an office that should be uninvolved, and above the fray, as far from a chance at getting dirt on his shoes as possible. But in general, seems disinterested in making use of the office he holds for the greater good.

  171. lileasy says:

    Damn, MichaelS. Just damn. If I could give you a hundred upvotes, I would.

  172. mirth says:

    A war criminal, a liar, a simpleton, a “Let’s see how the wind blows on this one” opportunist, a 1%er wanna/gonna be, a blue-tinged GWB.

    Bottomless contempt.

  173. BeccaM says:

    The ‘end’ of the Iraq war is an illusion, and despite official statements that we no longer have a military presence there, this is not true.

    An embassy does not require 17,000 personnel — but that’s what they have in Baghdad, in addition to the thousand or so at the various consulates scattered around the country . A military occupation base does. In yet another instance of turning centuries of international law on its head, the U.S. has unilaterally asserted that diplomatic immunity can be extended to military personnel.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/oct/25/us-departure-iraq-illusion

  174. jad says:

    He was the best of two awful choices… I was born during the height of of the United States greatness and to now see its free fall into darkness is so so sad. I have lived during the time of the greatest President (Truman) this country has ever seen and now the worst we have ever seen (President Bush #2, President Chaney and now Obama). I am glad I had no kids to feel guilty about passing this awful world on to and glad I will not have to be around much longer to see the end of this once great country.

  175. Ninong says:

    Early in his first term, I was disappointed but hopeful. Slowly I becamed disillusioned and realized that Obama was more of a typical Chicago politician, like his friend Rahm Emanuel, than I expected. Therefore, any progress on gay rights would come only because of political pressure from the base or through congressional pressure in response to constituent pressure. That barely worked to get DADT repealed in the nick of time.

    On financial reform, I have been very disappointed. The same can be said about the environment. On foreign policy issues, excluding anything that has to do with either Iraq or Afghanistan, I have been satisfied. Of course, I can’t say I’m happy with the situation in Guantanamo, but Congress, with the help of Democrats, has blocked him on that. It took too long to get out of Iraq, but at least we’re finally out of that hell hole. A Republican administration would have kept us there another 20 years. We’re accomplishing nothing in Afghanistan. All the billions of dollars we’re spending on building new power plants will be for naught as soon as we leave because the corrupt Afghanistan administration won’t be able to keep them running. Afghanistan is a primitive country with a tribal society — not ready or willing to change to the sort of modern democracy we’re trying to impose on them.

    My bottom line on Obama is that I’m a lot more satisfied now than I was during the summer of 2010, but I still have a nagging feeling that he’s a lot more politically pragmatic than his fancy speeches would lead one to believe. He’s way to willing to “compromise” with the Republican leadership in the House than I think he should be.

  176. karmanot says:

    Very astute observation.

  177. karmanot says:

    And you probably believe if you squeeze your eyes real tight, cross your fingers and wish—Tinkerbell will live.

  178. karmanot says:

    Nader was right and still is right.

  179. DrDignity says:

    Dear John, Gay marriage is inevitable like rain. O just stuck his finger in the wind to see which way it was blowing. I, too, was a believer in hope & change, but what we really got was Bush on steroids. O’s secrecy, his unbelievable cold, calculation & use of the drone program is a war crime. His “moving forward” stance at the beginning of his reign looked the other way when real war crimes should have been investigated, exposed & turned over to the world court. The propaganda machine & the journalist as stenographer with the mantra “Be afraid, there are real enemies lurking, we are at war” red herrings are clear manipulations of the populace, especially the killings in our names. The covers & excuses for crimes against the nation & the tired red herrings have really become a source of irritation. The spooks at NSA may believe their mission is to protect & serve. On the contrary, their days are numbered at those jobs, like the rest of the do-nothing Congressmen, the war profiteers & their apologists. We the People is not afraid of their intimidation of the free press, the snooping they are doing, the kangaroo courts for Bradley Manning. I hope they will spell my name correctly on my own personal dossier. But please note, I am not afraid of the militarised police. The American people will rectify these egregious power grabs & squelch the rise of this police state which I call the United Stasi of America. John, see O now as an actor in a big kabuki theatre production with a cast of thousands with its own side-shows & scandals. He’s not really pulling the strings. You never see those folks. Dom

  180. karmanot says:

    Gauis has long been on my hero list along with Greenwald and Taibii

  181. karmanot says:

    “unless Harry Reid gets serious” ROTFL

  182. karmanot says:

    “but he is not a king.” Aha, he has taken it upon himself to write an assassination list and the right to murder any human being on the planet on his say so. He’s worse than a king, he’s a tyrant.

  183. BeccaM says:

    And about torture from watching “24”.

  184. karmanot says:

    “We always want presidents who are better than we are. That is a mistake, and a recipe for inevitable disappointment.” Oh for Christ’s sake what blather. You get the government you vote for.

  185. karmanot says:

    Agree with this one……

  186. BeccaM says:

    Know who I credit with the passage of the DADT repeal in the lame duck session? It pains me to say it, but the real ‘hero’ was Senator Joe Lieberman.

    He pushed for the standalone bill to be put on the lame-duck calendar. Rounded up the few GOP votes needed to reach the 60-vote threshold. And helped ensure the bill’s passage.

  187. FLL says:

    OK, I’ve had my say about the infestation of comments to the effect of “progressives shouldn’t vote, or at least shouldn’t cast a vote that would make a rat’s ass of a difference” (see my comment below). On to substantive criticism of Obama. The NSA surveillance state is seriously out of control. Even if it all happened with Obama’s knowledge (and it very well might have), he needs to disown the whole thing. I think BeccaM made a suggestion on a previous thread that reporting a crime (such as illegal surveillance or the army helicopter in Baghdad mowing down innocent civilians) should never be a crime in itself. There has to be some push for this to be written into law. The second and last point I’ll make is the obvious historical precedent that FDR, Kennedy and Johnson set by issuing an executive order barring discrimination by the the federal government, which presaged later civil rights legislation. Direct action, as in people chaining themselves to the White House fence, is called for, if necessary. It worked before, didn’t it?

  188. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’ll go further and say that Pres. Obama has gone far lower than mere mediocrity, if only this reason: he’s done a pretty good job of shifting the “Overton Window” all by himself. The idea is this: whether Obama knows or not, whether he’s complicit in it or not, he is the living face of liberalism. Republicans decry Pres. Obama as the most liberal President ever. Now you and I know that’s a big lie. (Whether the Republicans also know it’s a lie I don’t suppose we’ll ever know. Are those clowns even honest with themselves much less with the rest of us?) The point is that whatever Obama does, however right-wing it might be by any conceivable objective measure, is considered to represent the leftmost edge of the Overton Window–cos, you know, he’s the most liberal ever and all. So, by being a Republican with softer edges, Pres. Obama is shifting the entire WIndow rightward, all by himself. The long-term effect of Obama’s presidency goes far beyond being merely mediocre and vacillating.

  189. JayRandal says:

    John – Obama has only basically given lip service to Gay Issues. His allowance of NSA to spy on entire population is deal breaker for me. I give Obama a big fat F-grade now.

  190. Snaggletooth says:

    Honestly, I’m surprised he isn’t egged by members of his own party at every public function he attends. I would think we wold hear entire crowds booing him and people shouting, “You suck!” until entire cities were stamping their feet chanting “shame”… I despise him worse than Bush I or II. I wish ill to the people who go out of hteir way to defend him.

  191. karmanot says:

    It would be hard to overstate my contempt and disrespect for this mediocrity of a president.

  192. HolyMoly says:

    His gay rights agenda, I believe, is nothing more than bread and circuses, measures intended to stifle discontent or divert attention away from other grievances we might have. Not to mention protecting a source of donations and support from prominent, wealthy members of the gay community. And for some people it seems to be working.

    All I have to say is, you can serve openly in the military now (that’s wonderful); you can get married in a growing number of states (not really Obama’s doing, but it’s wonderful nonetheless). BUT get married and serve in the military as you please…it doesn’t change the fact that your communications are being surveilled without probable cause. You can be detained indefinitely with no charges, no lawyer, and no trial. You can be prosecuted and locked up for life for exposing government graft, incompetence, or criminality, while the actual crimes or incompetence are never addressed.

    So, go ahead and enjoy your newfounds freedoms! Just don’t look over there — you will see the hundred other freedoms (and Social Security benefits) you just lost.

  193. Edeiwmurk Nivek says:

    You’re extremely naive if you think Obama has done gays any favors. The DADT repeal was the absolute minimum Obama could concede to a political inevitability; it ensures that benefits for the partners of gay service members and reparation for those wrongly discharged won’t be revisited for another 15-20 years. (If Clinton hadn’t signed DADT in the first place, we could have had it all ten years ago.) And Obama has NOT endorsed gay marriage. Biden cornered him into making a conveniently unverifiable statement about his personal opinion. In the very next paragraph of his statement, Obama emphasized four times that legally, he considers it a states’ rights issue… an opinion shared by at least one of his SCOTUS appointees.

  194. MichaelS says:

    He has turned out to be a disaster for the left… The so-called progressive policies he has implemented (Obamacare) and trying to implement (immigration reform) only codify a VERY poor compromise for the next generation. Then he has implemented TERRIBLE, regressive policies (enshrining the demise of habeus corpus, codifying the President’s assassination powers).

    He is WEAK — the Republicans don’t fear him, nor do the Dems. He has waited until his SECOND TERM to even *try* to get progressive judges in place, whereas by this point in W’s presidency he had re-made the bench. I fear what will happen when he has a Supreme Court appointment.
    He ALWAYS cedes the argument to the right… All we talk about now is reducing the deficit (the Right has won); once the IRS scandal came out, he immediately trashed the policies they were using, instead of possibly DEFENDING them.

    He leads from BEHIND — the **ONLY** reason we’ve gotten rid of DADT is because his hand was forced by activists (had he waited until after the midterm elections like he wanted, we’d still have DADT in place). The ONLY reason he’s moved on marriage equality is because Biden forced his hand.

    I think he’s now terminally damaged, and that perception has now taken hold even among his overseas supporters… On my recent trip to the UK, those Brits who had been staunch supporters are disillusioned.

    He has no interest in the “dirty business” of governing, or leading. I have never seen so much promise and potential vanish so completely and quickly. And, I’m afraid that in the end, he’ll prove to be even more to the right than we think he is now. Even Republican President Eisenhower was far to the left of this Oval Office occupant.

  195. FLL says:

    Obama is weak, by which I mean weak in general. He caves when the pressure is sufficient, whether from the right or from the left. John, your own recent post about the morning after pill (link here) is just one example of Obama caving when progressives provide enough pushback. You sure can’t say that George W. Bush was weak. He dragged the rest of the country (and the United Nations and the rest of the world) kicking and screaming into the Iraq War. And yet I see a commenter below, worfington, who states that Obama is as bad or worse than Bush: “After five years of Obama, I hate him as much as I hated bush. He has been a worse president, something I did not think possible.”

    How is it possible that anyone could come to that conclusion? I believe that Sweetie and I, together, can solve the riddle. OK, I’ll admit that I was just indulging in fiction writing when I created a fictitious commenter, Commenter X, whose mommie and daddy and Uncle Zeke and Aunt Hattie punch him in the mouth rather than invite him to Thanksgiving dinner. Commenter X kisses their ass by trying to “convince” progressives not to vote (not that he succeeds), so that his loathsome Republican relatives (aka “the good people”) can decide our nation’s fate for us. Hey, you guys, that was just a piece of fiction that I wrote for laughs. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that my fellow commenter, Sweetie, would actually add real-life details to this scenario, but here is an excerpt from Sweetie’s comment on this thread:

    “For instance, my mother and sister always vote Republican because of their naive belief that the GOP will end legal abortion.”

    Sweetie, you’re writing my copy for me, and it’s not even fiction—it’s real life! And so, to Commenter X out there who is trying to convince all of us gullible progressives not to vote (or at least to cast a write-in vote for Cher or Mickey Mouse), spare us. Your argument doesn’t win anyone over. Give my regards to your Uncle Zeke and Aunt Hattie, and then tell them to jump of the Tallahatchie Bridge. Someone Mississippi state trooper will no doubt rescue them. Doesn’t the state of Mississippi get more in federal dollars than it contributes?

  196. BeccaM says:

    I’m not seeing all that much progress on gay rights that can be attributed directly to Obama. I’ll limit this comment to that particular area of his presidency, even though my own ‘bright line’ in being very angry and disappointed with him has been how eagerly this president has embraced unlimited authoritarian powers.

    – We don’t have ENDA in large part because the WH failed to lobby for it at all. And for whatever unknown reason, the president continues to refuse to sign the federal contractor non-discrimination executive order he promised throughout his 2008 campaign.

    – We have a hate crimes law that since 2009 has only been used once to prosecute an anti-gay hate crime (Tennessee, Harlan County). This, despite there being thousands of gay-bias crimes that either go unprosecuted or under-prosecuted (i.e., ‘wrist-slap’ charges for horrific assaults).

    – We have the DADT repeal in spite of repeated White House attempts to sabotage it, and without anti-discrimination language only because the Administration insisted it be removed. As I noted a few days ago, the WH was saying in April 2010 that the president did not actually intend for there to be repeal that year at all. In other words, time and time again, Obama weakened the repeal’s chances of passage.

    – We have the Administration signalling that it’s fine with excluding bi-national gay couples from immigration reform.

    And as for the big enchilada, marriage equality… well, we had three years of Obama’s DoJ equating same-sex marriages with pedophilia and incest. Finally he’s come around to saying he’s in favor of marriage equality (I suspect LGBT restiveness in the run up to 2012 was the main reason) and told the DoJ to take an adversarial position on the constitutionality of DOMA. Yet he continues to insist that it’s up to the states — which says to me he’s fine with the idea of a marriage existing and being legal in one state and null-and-void in another.

    I do not believe I’m engaging in hyperbole when I suggest that Obama’s framework would actually allow for a state to criminalize its residents if they get married in another state.

    Even if the Supreme Court overturns DOMA, I don’t see how we can necessarily put this success on Obama’s doorstep because it’s so many other people who have done the actual heavy lifting. Except for putting his Solicitor General in front of the court, Obama’s ‘success’ on LGBT rights seems to be defined mainly as reluctantly getting out of the way.

  197. HolyMoly says:

    I made that observation as well. Is he better than Bush when it comes to speaking in complete sentences? Sure, he is…WAY better. But then again, Romney is too. And so was McCain. Would progressives be praising them? A huge chunk of their policies would have been identical to Obama’s (and Bush’s).

    The only exception would have been social issues, except that I don’t believe Obama did anything for gays out of the goodness of his heart. There was a lot of pressure to bear on him, not to mention wealthy gay donors whose money and support he did not want to lose.

    Bush was more like Harding, who also had a penchant for misusing words or making up words that simply didn’t exist (we have him to thank for the idiotic word “normalcy,” rather than “normality”). But part of me thinks it was a put-on act. I’ve seen old videos of Bush from the 90s where he is quite articulate.

  198. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’m a little tired of the usual excuse that Pres. Obama is really this powerless figurehead who’s helpless in the face of an intransigent Congress. Sure, there are a whole ton of things over which the President exerts no direct control.

    The difficulty is that he doesn’t seem to care even about exerting indirect control. There’s a lot of idle talk about “the bully pulpit” but it’s not total nonsense. Pres. Obama could, if he wanted to, speak out powerfully about legislation pertaining to the policies that he supposedly wants enacted. He could have, for example, made a forcible and public defence of the “public option” for health insurance, a policy that once he had supported–when he wasn’t President. He did no such thing. Rather the opposite, in fact.

    I don’t think that in this matter I’m comparing Pres. Obama to some impossible ideal of a powerful and forceful leader. I’m comparing him to other, real Presidents. Compare Obama to, say, FDR, who could dish out some truly savage criticism of his political opponents, knowing them for what they were–opponents, unalterably so, not potential friends to be soothed with conciliatory words about bipartisanship.

    There’s something bloodless about Obama. He seems satisfied in a pallid, insipid way about tiny measures of improvement, as if some uptick of a fraction of a percentage point in an abstract statistic proves what a wonderful job he’s doing. The country is suffering–real wages stagnating and even declining, tens of millions struggling to find work that will actually pay their bills, everyone except a tiny handful of robber barons sinking into economic Limbo–yet Pres. Obama doesn’t seem to give a damn. You may argue that it doesn’t matter, because of his purported powerlessness, that it’s useless for Obama even to pretend that he gives a damn. But, for heaven’s sake, can’t he at least seem like he cares?

    There’s this as well: he doesn’t take action even when it comes to policies that are arguably his to deal with as head of the executive branch. He could have, for example, issued executive orders pertaining to discrimination against homosexual soldiers in the armed forces. He is, after all, the “Commander in Chief”. Now that’s a term thrown around lightly, dangerously lightly, as though we’re supposed to regard our President as a great Generalissimo and not a democratically elected civil servant. But in this matter at least the President actually does have some direct say. Pres. Truman may not have immediately eliminated racial discrimination in the armed forces with the stroke of a pen but can anyone really say that his executive order had no effect? Yet we’re still supposed to accept the excuse that Pres. Obama was totally powerless and that the best he could do was appeal to Congress. (He likes that, by the way, have you noticed? The phrase “call upon Congress” is probably one of the most common shibboleths in his oratory.)

    You can argue that any executive order Obama could have issued when it came to discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in the military would have been symbolic at best. Well, then, let him give us a symbol! Let us know he actually gives two curses, that there’s someone with some measure of power who is on our side! But no. Don’t we contemn bosses who delegate everything to subordinates and then take credit for the results? Why shouldn’t we contemn Obama for doing the same?

  199. DCinDC says:

    Congress should repeal the Patriot Act.

  200. Indigo says:

    He’s using the tools Bush left him and not doing a terrible job with them. He didn’t close Gitmo because Congress didn’t cooperate. And lots more where Congress didn’t cooperate. Given that the opposition party dedicated itself to blocking his reelection, I’d say he got as much done as circumstances allow. I still like and, like John, his achievements on equal rights for the gay community are important to me. I will not enable another homophobe with my vote, ever! I think he’s weak at keeping the snoops in line, CIA-FBI-NSA-Heimatziercheit and all. Maybe he’s not in control of that branch of government. It seems to run itself like Division on ‘Nikita.’

    Although Obama’s not a fascist, he has done little to modify the fascist system Bush was able to build. That’s my leading issue at this point. I worry that Hillary or her rival might get carried away with all those buttons to push. All in all, he’s no worse than many and not as bad as Samuel Adams although he does have a smudge of Federalism about him. He likes privilege a little too much. Fortunately, he has a lovely wife who has done much for some pretty good causes and his daughters seem well behaved. I like Bo.

    As for one note choirs on climate change, we’re already doomed and the one note choir offers no viable solutions other than hysterical denunciation. That’s not helpful.

  201. Mary O'Grady says:

    Confused. Very confused.

  202. basenjilover says:

    You can put me in “Dislike” column. He was the first Democrat I voted against in last presidential election (I voted for Jill Stein). Obama has this ugly and perverse obsession to appease Republicans ever since Republicans willfully and shamefully made it known their attempt to undermine Obama’s presidency at every opportunity.

  203. Jeffrey Karter says:

    I’ve always viewed him as the lesser evil, so in that light, he’s still doing okay. He’s way too conservative for my tastes, but he’s had a few good ideas.

    I don’t think the surveillance issue can be pinned completely on him. I’m sure that the realities of being President trump the promises made on the campaign trail, and I’m sure some of those “realities” are based on information from the military-industrial-corporate-security-etc complex, so I’m only somewhat sympathetic to that.

    Finally, he is stuck with a bunch of right-wing crazies, especially in the house, so there’s only so much he’s been able to accomplish.

  204. RonThompson says:

    “And I wonder sometimes if that’s why I’m not as ticked at him as many of my progressive friends, because we all have our pet causes, and my pet cause isn’t doing badly at all.”

    That is perhaps the most forthright statement of “I’ve got mine, Jack” I have ever seen at a progressive/left website.

    I have little to add to the list of faults cited by other commenters here. He’s been a disaster for the cause of progressive reform, in the United States and around the world, and his tenure raises the question whether it is possible to have a functioning democracy at this stage of capitalist development and consolidation. I voted Democratic for President in every election from 1984 through 2008, but at this point I question whether I ever will again. I’m feed up to the eyeballs with lesser of two evils politics.

  205. Roman Berry says:

    Obama’s successes on GLBT issues only came about as a result of direct action, protest and believable threats to close wallets and purses that he needed access to for the campaign. In other words, Obama only did what he was made to do. I don’t exactly give a lot of credit for someone only doing what they’re made to do. (See the withdrawal of admin opposition to over the counter availability of Plan B — morning after — emergency contraception for an example. Do we give Obama credit for obeying a court order after first fighting it and being excoriated by the judge as a result?)

    On civil liberties, the man is a Bushian disaster. From the abuse of the espionage act as a tool to imprison whistle blowers and potentially journalists to “signature strikes” and indefinite detention, if people are OK with what Obama has done and is doing, damn if I can see what their problems with Bush were/

    Social Security? Disaster. Never ending push for Grand Bargain austerity? Disaster. Praising Reagan? Disaster. Killing off any chance of a widely available and robust public option (much less single payer) in health care? Disaster. Expansion of the surveillance state? Disaster. Shall I go on?

    How I feel about Obama should be clear. Obama and his zealot supporters are why I no longer would even consider counting myself as a Democrat after a lifetime of believing in the party,. donating to it and busting my arse in repeated campaigns. I’m still a liberal, but I’m independent, and I oppose Obama and the Democratic Party of today in much the same way as I oppose the Republicans. Both parties are courtesans to money, corporations and power. And that includes Obama.

  206. dcinsider says:

    You’ve never read my posts if you think I’m a “full time Barrybot.” Farthest thing from the truth. In fact, no one could ever make that statement and have read my posts.

    Nicho, I expect more from you. I usually agree with you, but I have a slightly different take on this, which does not make me a Barrybot LOL.

  207. perljammer says:

    I see a lot of comments that boil down to, “Well, he’s better than Bush.” I’m not convinced it’s true, but even if it is, it’s like saying Ford was better than Nixon. Is that really a good reason to be happy with what you’re left with?

    He is demonstrably more intelligent than the man he replaced. I’m glad he says “new-clee-ar” instead of “new-cyu-lar” (though the dictionary says both are acceptable). Too bad he’s not the guy he was thought to be by all the people who voted for him to make themselves feel better about themselves.

  208. nicho says:

    Well he is a heck of a lot better than George W. Bush!

    We need to stop with these silly comparisons. Well, he’s better than Bush. In some ways, maybe. Is he better than Romney? Maybe.

    The whole point is that he sucks. Judge him on his own, not in comparison to someone else — especially when the bar is set ridiculously low. The problem is the system, in which we’re forced to choose between two shitty candidates. And Obama is part of the system.

    I personally don’t see where he’s better than Bush.

    Does he once in a while say something nice about gays? Sure, he’s going for votes and money. Of course he does. But when my social security is gone, my Medicare is gone, I’ve got toxic sludge leaking into my front yard, climate change has ruined the environment, and there are no jobs for millions of young people, a few pretty presidential words about gays are going to mean shit.

  209. AnitaMann says:

    My mind has not been changed about Clinton. He firmly entrenched the Democratic party in Wall Street. A lot of the blame for the meltdown in 08 can be laid at his feet. He’s the best campaigner ever, but I wouldn’t want him anywhere near the White House.

  210. Cletus says:

    Well said. As far as the NSA eavesdropping goes, imagine what the country would be like today if he had dismantled the surveillance established by Bush, made a big deal about it, and we were struck again. Freaking D.C. would be in flames right now.

    He has done well within the constraints placed on him and the hand he’s been dealt. Also, I am out of my mind outraged with the abuse he has had to suffer at the hands of what passes for the republic party these days.

  211. AnitaMann says:

    Still, every time he speaks, I think, “yeah, very well spoken, that’s great.” And then I remember his sucking up to Wall Street – as every president has – drone strikes, Gitmo, austerity… and I’m disgusted that this is the best we could do.

    OTOH I have grown to like Obamacare, the more I learn about it. I thought it was a gift to managed care, initially and in many ways it is. But in states that take Medicaid expansion dollars, like California, it will help a lot of people. Like me. The exchange here will save me thousands next year. And if we eventually get single payer, even better. Though I don’t expect to get it under Obama.

  212. nicho says:

    What a mind numbingly stupid statement. But totally expected from a full-time Barrybot.

    Harvey Milk is now spinning in his grave. Obama wouldn’t have been fit to tie Harvey’s shoelaces. Harvey had principles. Obama wouldn’t know a principle if one bit him in the ass. If Obama’s advisers told him he could feather his own nest by tossing gays under the bus, he would do it without breaking a sweat — and then laugh about it afterwards.

    Don’t believe me? Ask Jeremiah Wright.

  213. nicho says:

    just a politician

    Truest thing you’ve said today

  214. Hue-Man says:

    As someone who lives in a parliamentary dictatorship, I’ll remind you that in the USA it takes 3 to tango, otherwise known as a feature and not a bug. Short of issuing a decree of one-Obama dictatorship, whatever initiative you support needs to be measured against what legislation could have been enacted. Again a reminder: “McConnell: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.” Does anyone believe that he could have found legislative support for HillaryCare, DOMA repeal, and 60% top marginal tax rates?

    His biggest failures, in my view, are in the areas he controls without consultation with Congress. First, his failure to prosecute the war criminals of the Bush administration validates terror and murder and weakens the rule of law. Second, his failure to prosecute the criminals at the banks, ratings agencies, and professional firms validates financial gains for the super-wealthy without regard to the law and sets the stage for the next financial collapse.

    My view is that Obama is the equivalent of a chess grand-master who has analyzed the players in the game, set out his 8-year objectives – and perhaps beyond that – and chosen his plays based on winning as many of his objectives as possible. My guess is that he will be well-satisfied with his game when he swears in President Hillary.

  215. sfer says:

    I am concerned about civil liberties. Obama’s administration has taken the position that the president can kill anyone it feels like and that the president can eavesdrop on everyone’s telephone messages.

    I do not want an assassin as a leader. (For the record, I would have to rate Obama superior to the men who ran against him.)

  216. Butch1 says:

    His word cannot be trusted anymore.

    When he promised to protect Social Security and our Safety Net before the election and then turned around and attacked it with a vengeance, you lose the trust of the people. This is only one of the many lies he has told to us. This is a shame and a huge failing of this president. You have to be a man of your word. If you cannot be that, you have nothing and cannot be trusted.

  217. dula says:

    I’d rather look forward than behind.

  218. mwdavis says:

    He’s a good moderate Republican president.

  219. MG1 says:

    Barry, with the help billionaire “Democrats” like Penny Pritzker, Wall Street jerks like Bob Rubin, PR firms, and pre-wired book deals, reinvented himself as “Barack” the community organizer. He ran as a faux progressive to seduce a country desperate for change, but, since his election, he has faithfully served the oligarchs who made him president. His obsession with cutting “entitlements,” his close relationship with “entitlement” cutting billionaire Pete Peterson, and his “cat food” commission, says it all. When he came into office in 2008, he had the wind at his back. He had the House, the Senate and a 72% approval rating. He had the opportunity to lead, to make a huge difference in the lives of ordinary Americans, but he deliberately threw that opportunity away. Barry chose, instead, to be a Wall Street suck-up. He will be rewarded handsomely for his services after he leaves office.

  220. dcinsider says:

    Agreed.

  221. dcinsider says:

    Well, he’s not exactly Harvey Milk, but I think he has not been all that bad.

  222. dcinsider says:

    Um, really?

  223. worfington says:

    After five years of Obama, I hate him as much as I hated bush. He has been a worse president, something I did not think possible. He has normalized fascism.

  224. dcinsider says:

    He’s fine. Not a hero, just a politician who doesn’t hate gays. I’d rather be where we are today, with President Obama, than where we’d be today with President Hillary Clinton. I have never forgiven Bill Clinton for throwing us under the bus, and if folks think Obama has done that on occasion, you haven’t lived until you’ve been thrown under a bus by a Clinton.

    I know I will look elsewhere in 2016. Hillary is my last choice.

  225. mpeasee says:

    I am sure he gets positive reinforcement all the time. The President did win a Noble for something…. Oh, and thanks for sharing your perspective on this, it is becoming more and more difficult to find sensible commentary.

  226. mpeasee says:

    I like Nader, but I am tired of Nader…his opinion is appreciated, but it is hard for me to deal with how he split the green party for his rush for political incumbency. Wish he would just write.

  227. keirmeister says:

    For anyone who has media experience, has a public personality, or sometimes works “behind closed doors,” you know that people will always have an opinion of what you are doing – and it may sound correct to someone who doesn’t have all of the information, but may still be radically wrong on many levels.

    POTUS has this problem. We cannot know everything that comes across his desk and all of the different influences and decisions he must balance.

    We can only judge him on what we see; and frankly I don’t have a problem with that. President Obama SHOULD be judged by his actions. That’s all we have.

    Obama has made me PROUD. Obama has PISSED ME OFF. It’s been a rollercoaster with him, but at least he’s a smart person…far better than his idiotic predecessor.

    But should Obama get credit for such a low bar?

    For what it’s worth, I think Obama’s weakness is his apparent pathological need to “try” to work with Republicans. Despite all of his efforts, Republicans (and even the media) say he needs to do more. WTF? I’m not sure if Obama understands the power of calling Republicans bluffs and treating them like the wussy bullies that they are. Americans love a strong leader – someone who sticks to his guns (even if he’s wrong, like Bush was).

    Obama cared far too much about “getting along,” and it seems only recently that he’s learned you cannot appease terrorists. Yes, I’m calling Republicans “terrorists”: they instill fear and cause real harm in order to advance a political (and socioeconomic) goal.

    Now, we’ve seen Obama actually fight for things he really wanted…but sometimes it wasn’t for things we Liberals wanted. That’s where he starts pissing me off. It’s clear he knows HOW to pick a fight, and what he chooses to actually fight for gives us insight into what he actually STANDS for.

    It was clear Obama was never the “Liberal Champion” many of us wanted. But it also seems clear such a person would never get elected President. However looking at Obama’s record in office…it’s still incredibly impressive – especially considering what he’s had to work with. Imagine what he could have done if he had a stronger will, a desire to use his bully pulpit more, and an opposition party that wasn’t BATSH*T CRAZY.

  228. mpeasee says:

    “And I wonder sometimes if that’s why I’m not as ticked at him as many of my progressive friends, because we all have our pet causes, and my pet cause isn’t doing badly at all.”, ” – I can now safely say that President has done a good deal right on gay rights.”

    As a black gay American, this is the biggest problem with the cult of Obama, and it seems as though folks don’t consider the cost that we all have to share for us to have the first black President talk about gay peoples rights. But what is that cost? Is it worth thousand of Vietnamese’s to lose their lives for black folks to have civil rights that is their right.

    I find it heart crushing that gay folks can be so internal; and purposefully blind themselves from the ugly of this President. It is never worth the cost of innocents lives being lost because of civil rights being gain on the other side of the world. It is gross to think that our lives and liberties are matter of some sick perverted game of elitism and we willingly play along.

    We should be fighting unanimously for the right of all people, not just ours here in the U.S.A., this is the real meaning of MLK, this is not just about us! Many of our gay brothers and sisters need to bust the bubble; and many have, but more are needed badly!

  229. MyrddinWilt says:

    Unfortunately the admirals running the show seem to have learned about Cyber from watching SF movies.

  230. usagi says:

    Never liked him, like him less with every passing day.
    How you can say he’s “done well” on gay rights when we could (and in fact should) have had an ENDA Executive Order 5 years ago and it’s not going to happen during his presidency is beyond me, John. The only reason he signed off on DADT was that he saw he was going to lose (funny how that motivates him), and I will never forget how he used the loss of marriage in North Carolina as a boost to his reelection, starting his public “evolution” the day after the vote.
    Apart from that, he’s a lousy executive. He should have seized control of the parts he could years ago and never kept as many hold overs as he did. They’ve been actively sabotaging him for years. He’s now playing catch-up, and his legacy (such as it is) is going to suffer for it.

  231. I agree. I was getting at that a bit, however, what worries me – and what I hear from a lot of people is – don’t criticize him – It could be worse! And that kind of logic gets me crazy. The president needs to be scrutinized, criticized and yes, praised too – but he is not a king.

  232. S1AMER says:

    I’ve lived more than long enough to not expect perfection in any human or in any human endeavor.

    I’m pleased with much of what Obama has done, and I’m disappointed with things he hasn’t done or has mis-done. A few things make me very happy, and some things make me angry. On balance, though — compared to the fact that America could have elected John McCain or Mitt Romney — I like Obama better than most presidents I’ve known in my lifetime (Harry was president when I was born).

    Could we have done better in 2008 or in 2012? Who will we pick in 2016? I remember how many of us were keenly disappointed by Bill Clinton, particularly as his second term was winding down — how many people have changed their minds since?

    We always want presidents who are better than we are. That is a mistake, and a recipe for inevitable disappointment.

  233. jomicur says:

    I have to grant that Obama has done (relatively) well on gay rights. BUT… On his watch this country is rapidly turning into a mirror of the old Soviet Union, with the NSA cheerfully filling the space the KGB filled for Joe Stalin (and yes, I know the process started under his predecessors). Everyone is being spied on by the government. Citizens are arrested, detained and even executed at the whim of the government, with absolutely NO accountability. And Obama, rather than doing what he can to slow or stop that process, is expanding and defending it as vigorously as he can.

    Gay rights, yes. They’re as important to me as they are to anyone else here. But I have to ask myself what seems to me a fundamental question: How much are equal rights really worth in the kind of nation Obama is building?

  234. Rebecca says:

    I agree with everyone here. There are no words to express my disappointment in Obama, and this has been true almost from the beginning of his first term even though I voted for him again. I believe that his legacy will not be a good one, the first words I always think of to describe him are weak and cowardly. Sometimes naive, bordering on stupid, when it comes to his negotiating skills.

    Even on gay rights, it should not have been necessary to push as hard, for as long, as it was necessary to do in order to get him to accomplish something that could have been so much easier. And this has been the case on every single issue. He has been more of an obstacle to progress than a help and, in my opinion, not much better than the lousy Congress we’ve been stuck with.

    What makes me despise the man the most is that he squandered the 72% approval rating he took office with. He could have made such a difference, and he chose not to. His failure has been deliberate and, personally, I find that despicable.

  235. It’s our job to criticize when he falls short, and to praise when he does what he’s supposed to. That’s the nature of the game – there has to be positive reinforcement too when they keep their promises. So it really is a juggling game. You want to set an example – good or bad – that future politicians will follow.

  236. That’s an interesting point about not knowing the ramifications of a cyber weapon. This happened on SG1, when Ba’al turned the Avenger (?) computer virus around on them ;)

  237. MyrddinWilt says:

    Well he is a heck of a lot better than George W. Bush!

    The big question is whether Obama does what he does because it is the most he can get given the Republicans or if he does what he does because he really wants to go no further. But perhaps that doesn’t matter. At the end of each battle with the GOP the GOP has claimed victory but later realized that they got handed a big defeat.

    Obama has done his job well enough that Hillary is almost certain to beat any GOP nominee and Biden has a really really good chance too albeit with more downside risk being part of the administration. So as far as getting elected goes, he was a good choice.

    What I don’t get is the willingness to bend on Plan-B and such. I see no need to pander to the bigot wing of the GOP. But that might well be a generational thing. People born in the 70s really do have a very different outlook to those born in the 50s. And the upcoming generations are even more progressive. I think the issue there is just that Obama is rather older and more conservative on such matters.

    Where we part company is on the whole civil liberties thing and the cyberwarfare thing. I think the whole notion of cyberwarfare is nuts. You can’t know if a cyberweapon will work till you launch it and you can’t predict the effect. And if it does work the opposition can use it against you – like have been done numerous times with Stuxnet. We have the most to loose from that game so why are we starting it? And why the fuck start by attacking a civil nuclear facility? They have one, we have hundreds. We might know enough not to cause a catastrophe but they do not.

  238. nicho says:

    where he got DADT repealed, stopped defending DOMA, and endorsed gay marriage.

    On what planet??????

    DADT was repealed when it looked like the courts were going to rule against it — and the military didn’t want a court ruling that would preclude future rules. Then, and only then, did Obama support repeal. It could, under the right circumstances, be replaced — maybe with something worse.

    He stopped defending one part of DOMA.

    He endorses gay marriage — and leaves it up to “state’s rights,” just like the KKK wanted to do with segregation.

    Bah.

  239. condew says:

    I hope I live to read his memoirs; I wonder if I’ll buy some argument about an obstructionist congress, or some massive rationalization about why he won’t fight for any fiscal policy left of center or prosecute any wrongdoing by the Bush administration or Wall Street. Or maybe he will come clean and admit he’s a Republican who lied his way thru both campaigns and thought that if he wasn’t at least a little liberal on social policies we’d all see thru the lies.

    I kept rationalizing one bad deal and missed opportunity after another, but no real Democrat would just, out of the blue, propose a cut to Social Security.

  240. Whether or not you are too hard on the president is irrelevant. He serves the public, and if you think he’s not doing his job then you need to call him out on it. He’s supposed to hear from the people. Sure he needs to be praised for what he (or she, hopefully one day) does well but if we don’t get at our public servants they get lazy and content and forget our interests. It’s our job to criticize.

  241. TheOriginalLiz says:

    To get elected president, a politician has to sell his soul. He’s paying his debts, that’s all. Sadly, he’s not in the least indebted to the average American.

  242. rhetoricus says:

    Not knowing how much real power Obama has, I have trouble answering this. He has an intractable Congress with whom he has no leverage, and unless Harry Reid gets serious about the filibuster, not sure just what-all he can do. That said, he’s a centrist, just like Clinton. Way better than Romney, and Van Jones wasn’t on the ballot.

  243. Will says:

    Obama is more dangerous than George W was because he is mainstreaming all of the evil things that Bush and Cheney put in place. With all of the serious problems a Romney administration would have brought to the table, at least we would have opposition from liberals.

    I also think he’s a coward and having him in office holds back any progress on the climate change front. I think we need more people telling it like it is on the environment, Gauis has been superb on this front.

  244. Jim says:

    with rhe exception of gay rights, obama is a disaster: no prosecution of bankers, no knocking heads to get jobs legislation, no knocking heads to get a higher minimum wage, volunteered to cut SSI, and now a new treaty to further empower corps.

    if you think gaius is critical, see the interview of nader on democracy now; nader calls obama a great con man. nader has a point.

  245. Whitewitch says:

    Worried a lot of worried. Having supported him against Romney I feel okay about my choice, that said, I wish he would be who I had hoped he would be. In the end, however, how much can anyone be what we want them to be. He could do a he!! of a lot better on Privacy, Gitmo, Iraqi, Afganistan, Banking, Food Stamps, Social Security and Women (sorry still not over the “Best Looking Attorney” comment).

  246. A_nonymoose says:

    Disappointed. Increasingly angry. And a bit afraid.

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