Quelle Tristesse!

Obama vs GOP
In what will go down as one of the most egregious acts of calumny, many smart people accused Barack Obama of being incredibly brilliant and politically savvy, in addition to having the highest IQ of any political figure ever to set foot in Washington, DC. Some of these people hung on to that defamation in the course of the first two years of the Obama administration. Every display of ineptitude and every questionable political act were justified with “he knows exactly what he’s doing”, or “he got the enemies where he wants them”, or “he’s playing eleven dimensional chess”. Now the whole experiment is taking worrisome a turn.

At this point, the verdict on the Obama presidency seems to be a variation of the same idea: He is not who his supporters thought he was and he is by miles not “the one we’ve been waiting for”.

1st School of thought: Barack Obama is an incompetent bumbler who lacks the training and probably the personality to be POTUS. Moreover, for some incomprehensible reason, he seems to be dead set on being liked be the GOP, who in turn would like nothing better than crush him. (Sub-group: Obama was never the candidate of change he pretended to be, he is the incarnation of the status quo.)

Frank Rich has a very interesting op-ed column today, detailing many of the sorry aspects of the Obama presidency so far, especially the length to which he would go to please the GOP, without success, of course: All the President’s Captors

THOSE desperate to decipher the baffling Obama presidency could do worse than consult an article titled “Understanding Stockholm Syndrome” in the online archive of The F.B.I. Law Enforcement Bulletin. It explains that hostage takers are most successful at winning a victim’s loyalty if they temper their brutality with a bogus show of kindness. Soon enough, the hostage will start concentrating on his captors’ “good side” and develop psychological characteristics to please them — “dependency; lack of initiative; and an inability to act, decide or think.”
This dynamic was acted out — yet again — in President Obama’s latest and perhaps most humiliating attempt to placate his Republican captors in Washington.

This column is a good companion to Paul Krugman’s latest in which he pretty much throws in the towel:

Mr. Obama, who has faced two years of complete scorched-earth opposition, declared that he had failed to reach out sufficiently to his implacable enemies. He did not, as far as anyone knows, wear a sign on his back saying “Kick me,” although he might as well have.

[…]

What’s even more puzzling is the apparent indifference of the Obama team to the effect of such gestures on their supporters. One would have expected a candidate who rode the enthusiasm of activists to an upset victory in the Democratic primary to realize that this enthusiasm was an important asset. Instead, however, Mr. Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake.

I would like to step back and address another issue: Obama’s preparedness and his personality to be POTUS.
Throughout the 2008 Primaries, Hillary Clinton kept making the point that she had garnered enough experience to get things moving in the right direction in Washington, DC. Unfortunately, that argument was ridiculed by Obama’s supporters. Now, it has become clear how detrimental Obama’s lack experience and knowledge of “Washington” is. Some of this is not necessarily Obama’s fault: Through his meteoric rise, Obama did not have the time to cultivate relationships necessary to get some things from law makers. Sadly, his cold and aloof personality just compounds the problem. Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei, political hacks from Politico, wrote a surprisingly insightful article laying some of these problems bare.

In his effort to change Washington, Obama has failed to engage Washington and its institutions and customs, leaving him estranged from the capital’s permanent power structure — right at the moment when Democrats say he must rethink his strategy for cultivating and nurturing relations with key constituencies ahead of 2012.

Then there are faux pas like these:

On their own, some gripes about Obama look like little more than trivial violations of Politics 101. But they have had the cumulative effect of leaving the president and his team isolated from many of the constituencies required for success in Washington:

— When Obama was giving the commencement address in the University of Michigan’s “Big House” stadium last May, he mingled in the home-team locker room with university deans and regents. Across the tunnel, in the visitors’ locker room, several members of Michigan’s Democratic congressional delegation — including Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin and House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers Jr. — waited patiently.

Some had brought grandchildren so they could get their picture taken with the president. But they never got to see him. Obama didn’t cross the tunnel to see the lawmakers.

This is not how the President behaves towards elderly members of his own caucus. Worst of all, he is not not loyal at all.
Let’s take the case of Nancy Pelosi, who spent all her capital shepherding Obama’s agenda through the House. For that, she was vilified six ways from Sunday. Not too long ago, a poll showed that she was by far the political figure with the highest negatives. Not once did Obama come to her her defense. From the Politico article:

Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) expressed a much deeper frustration to POLITICO: that the president never had House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s back — and it cost both of them. “They not only failed to defend her and her accomplishments on their behalf,” said Miller of the White House, “they failed to defend themselves.”

David Bromwich, in his article The Fastidious President, published in the London Review of books noticed that:

Obama does not like to be associated with defeat. He scuttled his support for several Democratic candidates – Martha Coakley in Massachusetts, Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, Blanche Lincoln in Arkansas – before election day when he came to believe that they would probably lose. He allowed his press secretary, Robert Gibbs, to say as early as last summer that the Democrats might well lose the House of Representatives. This degree of self-protectiveness is unpleasant in a politician, and is bound to make his party ask itself sooner or later: should we be more loyal to him than he is to us?

In Obama’s speeches the word ‘I’ (which appears frequently) and the word ‘Democrat’ (which appears rarely) are seldom found in proximity.

A combination of lack of experience and search for acceptance among the establishment is probably what explains some of his appointments. From David Bromwich:
We are learning now, from such sources as Bob Woodward’s Obama’s Wars, about the oddness of some of the president’s other appointments and his treatment of them. General James Jones, whom Obama had never met, was asked to become national security adviser. Once chosen, he hardly ever saw the president alone. To head the CIA Obama picked Leon Panetta, a former congressman who had served as Bill Clinton’s chief of staff. Panetta was a complete outsider to the world of spies: it could have been predicted that he would be overawed by the company he now kept and come to defend their actions present and past with the anxiety of someone who has to prove himself.

And there’s this:

Of all Obama’s appointments, the most damaging to his credibility with liberal supporters were Lawrence Summers and Timothy Geithner, the chief economic adviser and the secretary of the treasury. Geithner has the air of a perpetual young man looking out for the interests of older men: an errand boy. The older men in question are the CEOs of Goldman Sachs, AIG, and the big banks and money firms. Geithner at the New York Fed had enforced – or, rather, let flow – the permissive policy on mortgages that Summers pushed through in the last years of the Clinton presidency. Summers himself, renowned for his aggression and brilliance, came too highly recommended for Obama not to appoint him. (…) The Obama economic team, with its ‘deep bench’ of Goldman Sachs executives, might have done better if mixed with economists of other views like Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. Obama knew little economics, however, and he took the word of the orthodox.

2nd school of thought: Obama is and has always been a Conservative. He is friendlier and more receptive to Right-wing ideas (err, if by ideas you mean with ideas, toxic and destructive thoughts) because he agrees with them. He despises the Left and he is about to destroy the soul of the Democratic Party. Oh, and his worship of Ronald Reagan should have seriously raised the red flag long time ago.

Adherents of this school of thoughts have become much more blunt and much more vocal lately.
Here’s Yellow Dog, in a post entitled We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For … Because Obama Isn’t:

It’s up to us, kids. This White House cannot lead, does not follow and will not get out of the way.

Face it: we elected a conservative.

Brilliant at Breakfast Jill doesn’t mince words either:

56% of American voters were hoodwinked by a guy who’s more like the Republicans than anyone even now wants to believe; a guy who BELIEVES in torture and assassination; a guy who BELIEVES in tax cuts for the wealthy and screw everyone else; a guy who WANTS endless war; a guy who is all about doing the bidding of corporations BECAUSE HE WANTS TO; a guy who feels every bit as “icky” about Teh Gays as John Edwards did, only who lacks even the courage that a weasel like John Edwards had to admit it; a guy who WANTS to gut Social Security and Medicare; a guy who decided to become president as a kind of ruling class internship; in which he spends four years doing Wall Street’s bidding in exchange for a nice eight-figure gig upon leaving office.

This group has very good reasons to adopt that opinion or to feel reinforced in it. Since the November 2 “shellacking”, Obama and his team has been sending out worrisome signals. Democrats have noticed and have began to seriously wonder. This explains why we have been seen a slew of stories like these recently:

  • On tax cuts, liberals wonder if Obama’s really got their back

    Democrats in Congress are largely united on the major issues before them this month: extending tax cuts for the middle class and the poor, but not the rich, before they expire Dec. 31, and giving more help to the long-term unemployed.

    Yet they’re unable to enact either provision because of united Republican opposition in the Senate. The Senate plans two test votes Saturday on the Democrats’ tax-cut extension plans, and GOP resistance is expected to block both efforts until the Bush-era tax reductions are extended for every income group.

    While most Democrats blame Republicans for the impasse, a lot of liberals are grumbling that President Barack Obama is hurting their cause by not fighting strongly and instead actively seeking compromise.

  • Democrats Spoiling To Fight GOP Blast Obama, Prep To Go Own Way

    Top Democratic activists and lawmakers who allege that President Obama blew it by being too passive during the midterm campaign, are responding in at least two ways.

    They continue to criticize the president heavily. And they’re not waiting around for the White House to ramp up anti-Republican aggression.

  • Democrats unhappy with Obama’s tactics plot change

    Many disaffected Democrats complain that the Obama administration needs to be more aggressive in advocating positions to rally the party’s base and differentiate it from the Republicans. White House officials who attended the Democracy Alliance meeting, including Austan Goolsbee, chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, and Deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina, were pressed about the administration’s stances on taxes, job creation and the environment.

  • This attitude has certainly be prompted by Obama’s eagerness to give away the Democrats’ bargaining chips before Roight-wingers even show up. You just need to open any newspaper to come across articles like these:

  • Obama, GOP in quiet talks to extend tax cuts

    The White House and congressional Republicans have begun working behind the scenes toward a broad deal that would prevent taxes from going up for virtually every U.S. family and authorize billions of dollars in fresh spending to bolster the economy.

  • Barack Obama’s deals may leave liberals behind

    Back from Afghanistan on Saturday, President Barack Obama will find on his desk a two-week stopgap spending bill, designed to keep the government running through Dec. 18 but also marking a deadline of sorts for the quick deals he needs on taxes, the START nuclear arms treaty and next year’s spending.

    Each issue has its own set of variables, but all are interwoven in what’s become a major test of Obama’s ability to cope with the resurgent Republican power after November’s elections.

    Democratic divisions make this task harder since the necessary compromises by Obama will almost certainly come at the expense of the left.

  • Many on the Left seem to have drawn the line on the tax cuts for gazillionaires. Michael Hudson wrote a terrific post at Credit Writedowns explaining what a horrible idea it is and called for a revolt. He is not alone:
    Mr. Obama’s Most Recent “2%” Sellout is his Worst Yet

    Now that President Obama is almost celebrating his willingness to renew the tax cuts enacted under George Bush for the super-rich ten years ago, it is time for Democrats to ask themselves how strongly they are willing to oppose an administration that looks increasingly like Bush-Cheney III. Is this what they expected by his promise of an end to partisan politics?

    To better represent this group, I’ll leave the floor to my peeps at BAR. They have been the proponents of this school of thought since Obama started running for POTUS. So, take it away Glen Ford:
    Obama Moves Effortlessly to the Right

    Only fools should feel sorry for Obama as he prepares for a Republican-led House and weakened Democratic control of the Senate. This is Obama’s “comfort zone,” where he can continue to woo Republicans to join his grand center-right coalition. The only people Obama has no tolerance for are liberalish Democrats, who will emerge relatively stronger in the new Congress thanks to the decimation of Obama’s Republican-Lite friends in conservative Democratic ranks. By freezing federal wages, Obama signals that he has no philosophical problems with the GOP’s general aims.
    True to his center-right DNA, President Obama surrendered critical political ground to the GOP even as the lame duck Democratic Congress remains in session.

    What was that with the “Catfood Commission”?

    On Tuesday, Obama’s Frankenstein, the budget deficit reduction commission – a monstrosity he invented on his own volition, under no pressure whatsoever from his own party and relatively little from the GOP minority – emerged from solemn conclave to announce all 18 members will vote on a “final product” on Friday, December 3. Democratic co-chair Erskine Bowles, a rich former investment banker from North Carolina, and his Republican counterpart Alan Simpson, the troglodyte former Wyoming senator, had earlier released their own, shared vision of a low corporate tax rate, barely existing safety net future. The irascible Simpson predicted that progressives will react badly when they see the end result: “We will listen now in the next few days to the same old crap I’ve been dealing with all my public life: emotion, fear, guilt and racism.” He means that people will be calling him, accurately, a hardhearted, racist bastard.

    For full disclosure, I’m adherent of the 1st school of thought. However, I have noticed that 1st group is getting thinner by the day and that it’s members have either been tuning out, getting cynical, or joining the 2nd school of thought. For example here are some of the post on Brad Delong’s blog, just in the last 2 days:

  • Department of “Huh?!” (Is Barack Obama Stupid? Edition)
  • Can Obama Really Lose a Fight When He Has Two-Thirds of Voters on His Side?
  • Barack Obama Once Again Goes Off Message
  • Mark Thoma Watches the Obama Administration Work So Very Hard to Go Off Message

  • 102 Comments on “Quelle Tristesse!”

    1. I adhere to the second school of thought, obviously 🙂

      I’ve long suspected Obama would have been an openly moderate Repub from the beginning if it was not more advantageous to him to be a Democrat in terms of identity politics.

      His instincts are conservative.

      • mablue2 says:

        I think Obama’s problem or our problem is that he has never really been involved in our battles. He just looks at these things from the outside, in a standoffish manner.

        He has never really been in some ideological fight and he kept wearing that as a badge of honor.

        • Woman Voter says:

          I agree with MaBlue and Obama also doesn’t understand poverty nor does he have an understanding of the hardships working folks go through. My understanding of his ego was when got his own logo (instead of the US), his plane, his big chair etc., …

          His base is the Wall Street Greedos…anyone that thinks otherwise just wasn’t or isn’t paying attention.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Wonk…Yes, I completely agree!

      • bostonboomer says:

        I think his instincts are conservative, but I’m not with either school of thought. I think Obama is an opportunist and that he has no guiding ideology at all.

        Great post, MABlue!

        • mablue2 says:

          I think if I have to narrow it down, that’s the camp I’m in. I just wanted to make 2 groups because I didn’t want the post to be too long.
          I very much like this from Jiff at Brilliant at Breakfast:

          a guy who decided to become president as a kind of ruling class internship; in which he spends four years doing Wall Street’s bidding in exchange for a nice eight-figure gig upon leaving office.

        • dakinikat says:

          agreed on all points!

        • BB @ 1:03:

          I agree that Obama is an opportunist and doesn’t have a guiding ideology, but–and this is just my thinking–the reason that is is because he can’t embrace his true self. He’s a closeted Republican.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Could be. But I don’t think he has a true self. He is empty inside and can’t even get any sense of himself except as he is reflected in other people’s eyes. He is an extreme narcissist, probably a psychopath. He doesn’t have a moral center and he can’t empathize with other people.

            Once he has gotten what he wants from someone (adoration), he doesn’t need them anymore. He can’t stand to be criticized, but it seems that he assumes the Dems and progs will just keep coming back no matter how much he abuses them. That is what happens in personal relationships with narcissists.

            He can’t get what he wants from Republicans, and he thinks he can charm anyone. I’m guessing he either thinks Republicans secretly like him or he thinks he can eventually win them over by giving them what they want. So he keeps on trying.

            This tends to work when narcissists are in personal relationships with wounded people. I don’t think it can work in political situations. Maybe Obama doesn’t understand that some people actually have principles that they sincerely believe in and will stand up for.

            • I do see him as empty and very vain. And, he knows no loyalty, that is for sure. I guess I just wonder how much of that would be different (or not) if he thought he could actually win as a Republican–would being able to align with where his conservative instincts are bring out the passion in him?

              It seems like a lot of the dispassionate postures he takes really just amount to chameleon behavior.

            • joanelle says:

              He’s truly a nacissistic opportunist. He’s never defined himself because as BB says he’s empty inside.

              As I’ve said before during the primaries – my first thought of him was the Sellers character from the movie Being There, “Chance Gardener” – he had no real experience and nothing to offer as a leader.

            • bostonboomer says:

              Wonk,

              Obama can’t fake passion because he doesn’t have feelings like you and I do. He is a psychopath. He is lacking in empathy because his brain lacks the connections that allow for mirroring other people feelings as well as his own. He’s unemotional and flat because he really doesn’t experience emotions like we do. I could show you the science on this. Obama is an everyday type psychopath. He’s not a serial killer, he acts out in politics instead.

            • mablue2 says:

              I also found this tidbit remarkable in David Bromwich’s article:

              In a September town meeting, trying to show empathy for anti-tax crazies, Obama said: ‘That’s in our DNA, right? I mean, we came in because the folks over on the other side of the Atlantic had been oppressing folks without giving them representation.’ Folks over on the other side. Oppressing folks. What is happening here? Obama has an obscure aversion to naming a thing by the name of the thing. In the present instance his penchant for steering free of particulars stopped him from saying the simple and useful words ‘George III’ and ‘no taxation without representation’: vivid markers of American history that everybody knows.

              I’ve noticed that a couple of times. I just thought that it was related to his tendency to talk down to people. What’s up with that?

            • Adrienne in CA says:

              Totally agree with BB that Obama behaves like a Narcissist and probable Psychopath. The reason conservative positions seem to come naturally to him is that lack of compassion is a feature of conservative ideology. Of course a psychopath would favor benefitting the small but powerful group who can do most for me, Me, ME! If doing so disappoints the trusting fools who elected you, it’s an added bonus.

              *****A

            • Sima says:

              Interesting analysis, BB and I think you probably are close to the truth. Perhaps if he were a Repub he’d be trying to make nice with Dems by giving us enhanced social security and better health care. Maybe the only concrete thing about Obama is that he only cares about Obama. Everything else can shift as he wills it.

          • bostonboomer says:

            Wonk,

            Obama pretended to be a liberal in Chicago. He was even affiliated with the Socialist party for awhile. He’ll do anything to gain power. Anything. And I don’t see him as very closeted. When even Digby can see it, he’s way out of the closet.

            • I know he ran as a latte/limousine liberal from Hyde Park when it was advantageous to him. By closeted R, all I really meant was that he’s not running on the right ticket. He’s a moderate Republican (by today’s standards)–in everything but name itself.

              You’re definitely right that he’ll do anything to gain power. He’s a climber. We totally agree there. But, that’s just never been a complete answer for me because plenty of opportunists can fake passion. Arianna, Kos, Palin, Tweety, etc. –all opportunists. All of them can argue whatever viewpoint they’ve taken up and while they aren’t credible, none of these characters are as dull about it as Obama. They’re actually tapping into some aspect of their personality somewhere. I do feel like he’d still be just as much an opportunist no matter what but he’d have more a spark if he could run as a Repub. Just a guess.

            • Thursday's Child says:

              Yes. I thought psychopaths could counterfeit emotion quite well.

      • mablue2 says:

        It’s true that more often than not, he displays his conservative instincts. Here is something from David Bromwich’s piece out of the London Review of Books:

        [T]he charge of elitism against Obama finds some basis in fact. He shares with his economic advisers the view that wealth is created by the banks and money firms from the top down: a healthy economy comes from money making money, not from people making things.

        He always sides with the conservatives on economic matters, even within his team.

        • From the Gray Lady, July 2008:

          Challenging Assumptions

          Liberals flocked to his classes, seeking refuge. After all, the professor was a progressive politician who backed child care subsidies and laws against racial profiling, and in a 1996 interview with the school newspaper sounded skeptical of President Bill Clinton’s efforts to reach across the aisle.

          “On the national level, bipartisanship usually means Democrats ignore the needs of the poor and abandon the idea that government can play a role in issues of poverty, race discrimination, sex discrimination or environmental protection,” Mr. Obama said.

          But the liberal students did not necessarily find reassurance. “For people who thought they were getting a doctrinal, rah-rah experience, it wasn’t that kind of class,” said D. Daniel Sokol, a former student who now teaches law at the University of Florida at Gainesville.

          For one thing, Mr. Obama’s courses chronicled the failure of liberal policies and court-led efforts at social change: the Reconstruction-era amendments that were rendered meaningless by a century of resistance, the way the triumph of Brown gave way to fights over busing, the voting rights laws that crowded blacks into as few districts as possible. He was wary of noble theories, students say; instead, they call Mr. Obama a contextualist, willing to look past legal niceties to get results.

          The part in bold always stood out for me as a huge red flag. Also note the underlined part about his criticizing Bill’s bipartisanship.

          • Whoops, fixed it now–I wanted to quote just those four paragraphs. Sorry the excerpt was so long before!

            • dakinikat says:

              Wow, a former student!!! Why didn’t we read these things before?

            • Kat @ 4:47. I was reading them all along–I’ve pointed to this article more than once because it’s such a window into a lot of things. There’s another one from 2008 that was a huge red flag too–that one was in the Boston Globe, about his Harvard Law days. I’m going to try frontpage those two tomorrow.

            • dakinikat says:

              That would be great!! None of this every was really brought up during the primary. They are such red flags and they were ignored.

      • Sima says:

        I started out in the first school of thought, but I don’t think anyone can be that dumb. So it’s dumb by design, and I agree with Wonk, Obama’s a Republican. I bet he switches parties after he’s kicked out as Pres.

    2. SHV says:

      IMHO, trying to explain Obama’s behavior based on political punditry, party politics or just rational analysis is an exercise in futility. His behavior is better explained using the tools of Psychiatry/Psychology. If/when a real biography of Obama is ever published, the reasons for his presently inexplicable behavior will obvious.

    3. NW Luna says:

      I’m #2 with some of #1(not ready for prime time, etc.).

      Has Obama ever met a Republican he didn’t like?

    4. mablue2 says:

      Oh lookee here!
      We are the first people mentioned at memeorandum, again.

    5. TheRock says:

      MaBlue,

      There should be (if there isn’t already) an award for writing with the voice of the disaffected, the unseen, the silent majority. And this post should win it for you. I stand firmly in BOTH schools of thought, and I belong to another subset. I reserve the right to be a very vocal and very proud “I told you so!!!” Clinton Democrat. The rise of the Tea Party is a result of this admin’s incompetence. And based on the earmark numbers, the new House will be just like Bush’s old House. Blame Obumbles. Kudos MaBlue on a GREAT post!!!

      Hillary (I’ll beg her myself if I have to) 2012

    6. bostonboomer says:

      Check out this post from Cenk: Is Barack Obama Stupid?

      http://my.firedoglake.com/cenkuygur/2010/12/04/is-barack-obama-stupid/

      • Woman Voter says:

        Did you see the video… of it?

      • Every time I see Cenk’s name… I remember this…

        • mablue2 says:

          Claire McCaskill? She would be happy to win her reelection bid.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Yep, Cenk was too late to the party. But if convinces anyone, that will still be a good thing.

          • mablue2 says:

            The TYT video is really good. It covers a big part of this post.

            • dakinikat says:

              Did you see this at the Washington Examiner?

              President Obama’s term so far has been compared to many fictional and non-fictional characters: Chauncey Gardener of “Being There” is frequently invoked, along with the self-invented charmer Don Draper from “Mad Men,” and of course there are the usual tiresome comparisons with Hitler that most presidents face these days.

              But I have a different character in mind. The more I watch this administration at work, the more I think we’re seeing the first Nigel Tufnel presidency.

              Nigel Tufnel, many will remember, was the fictitious heavy metal guitarist in the fictional “rockumentary” “This Is Spinal Tap.” In a classic scene, he displays his guitar collection and his special amplifier that — unlike all other amplifiers in existence — has knobs that go all the way up to 11, instead of just 10.

              And that’s what Obama has done: In his first two years as president, he’s taken us to 11 in so many ways.

              Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/columnists/2010/12/sunday-reflection-obama-presidency-turns-government-11#ixzz17HDNSso9

            • mablue2 says:

              Wow!

              Throughout the time I was writing the post, I noticed that there were excellent article on the subject coming out of everywhere. Each time I looked even in our own comment sections, there were relevant article.

              I actually added Frank Rich in the last second and thought about replacing all the ones I had chosen.

            • mablue2 says:

              Oh no!

              Forget that article. It’s Glen Reynolds. He is a fucking asshole. What a disgusting creature!

              I don’t care about anything he had to say about anything.

            • dakinikat says:

              I know he’s a fucking asshole, but i liked the turn it up to 11 idea.

            • dakinikat says:

              I’m also still amazed by the Republicans trying to push the socialist meme. He so ISN’T a socialist.

            • mablue2 says:

              Once I realized it was THE Washington Examinier and Instapundit I was done. I’m way to allergic to that combination.

              You probably have to read them, so I don’t have to. Those people give me the cooties.

            • dakinikat says:

              Well, the only way to beat the opposition is to understand them.

            • Minkoff Minx says:

              Dak, that bit about Spinal Tap…Remember that scene were the guys in the band draw a “Stonehenge” looking set they want built for a concert…and they have it scaled incorrectly as inches?

              I just got a flash of Obama sitting at the diner, drawing pictures of what he wanted his “columns” to look like at the DNC….Oh boy, I am going off the deep end. I guess Nyquil and Southern Comfort don’t mix.

            • dakinikat says:

              Yeah, that’s one of the reasons why I thought the analogy was so funny. The column actually brings up the stonehenge thing. Remember it turned out to be like 18 inches tall?

          • Sima says:

            @Dak. Ok, I spit water out all over the monitor reading that excerpt. Nigel Tufnel! It’s perfect!

    7. Minkoff Minx says:

      If it came out, that Obama changed parties, and became a Republican…I would not be surprised.

    8. Minkoff Minx says:

      Challenge Obama from the Left in 2012 Not to Save His Presidency — but the Democratic Party Itself | Firedoglake

      Not sure if this has been posted…Oh and did you see this too:
      New Deal: It’s time to fight back! (UPDATE)
      Cannonfire

    9. Outis says:

      This is a great post and sums up so much information beautifully. I’m still amazed that, now, the articles on O’s incompetence/stupidity/perfidity are coming just as fast and furiously as he was showered with praise in the election. It seems before we were all supposed to ponder the depths of his greatness and gaze at his awesomeness, now we are left to wonder what the hell is he doing (i.e. Huh?). Strange days indeed.

      But the most damning headline is “Obama, GOP in quiet talks to extend tax cuts,” meaning he could soon become the enemy of his own party, with democrats banding together to fight their own president. That is a twist I didn’t see coming.

    10. grayslady says:

      Very thorough post, mablue. Personally, I think option 1 proponents are primarily Obama apologists who are embarassed by earlier support. Option 2 proponents are closer to the mark, but I think you have to factor into option 2 what BB said: “O” stands for “opportunist”. Having lived in Illinois all my life, and having followed politics here actively since the late 1970s, I can tell you that when Obama ran for Senate here, he wasn’t even on the political radar. Meaning, he was a nobody from nowhere. Illinois has always been a state where you pay your dues (or else you have the same name as someone else who has paid her/his dues), so that by the time you start moving up the ladder voters have some idea of your record. These are the “career” politicians here, but Obama was nowhere on that list. That told me early on that here was a wannabe, not a producer. He proved me correct very early on when he was always the last person in the Senate to say how he was going to vote on an issue–calculating to the last inch.

    11. Dario says:

      Both camps are right, incompetence is clear as evidenced by the story of ignoring Democratic leaders, and Obama is a Republican, as evidenced by his elitist support of corporate and interests of the rich. Obama is the nightmare I always knew he was.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Obama is also very weak and inexperienced in matters of the Washington Way of negotiation. (No news to us right?) I really wish we had someone with a spine, like an LBJ or FDR. Someone to stand up for the real Democratic Ideals, cause I’m feeling a bit like I am drowning in a thick molasses. Yeah it is sweet, but it sure as hell will drag you down. (The molasses is my way of describing the Hope and Change that was shoved down our throats.) Desperation is building. When you lose your job, your house, and your livelihood. What the fuck is left? I know that I am not the only person who feels this way. These feelings of undeniable worthlessness are so great. What the hell are we going to do?

        • Dario says:

          Obama is a coward, but with enogh spine to look out for his own interests. I agree with BB that Obama is an opportunist. Left to his own devices, Obama is a conservative, but if necessary, he’ll do what the left wants half-ass, like the stimulus and the health care, always making sure he covers his right wing masters. Please feel free to add to the list.

          Obama is a:
          opportunist
          incompetent
          right wing
          narcissistic

          Obama is not a:
          leader
          courageous (his attacks are always underhanded)
          smart (though he’s opportunistic, he’s shown to betray people he needs)
          academic

          • but if necessary, he’ll do what the left wants half-ass, like the stimulus and the health care, always making sure he covers his right wing masters.

            D and R are just two different rhetorical tools for the corporate interests to get what they want done. The idea that it’s what the left wants, even in a half-assed form, is an illusion I think. The for-profit insurance industry used Democratic rhetoric, perverting true liberalism, to expand its customer base right at a time when their industry could have been rendered obsolete by genuine reform.

    12. mablue: Absolutely brilliant post. It is devastating. We’d like to republish this (or publish something similar by you) on the upcoming New Deal site. If interested, please email me…

    13. HT says:

      I agree with SHV – there is no explanation for Obama other than a medical one.

    14. jawbone says:

      MaBlue — Points 1 and 2 are not mutally exclusive. Obama can be a partially out conservative using the Dem Party to get himself into power and also be too inexperienced and lousy at negotiation to be a good president.

      • mablue2 says:

        I actually forgot to say that there was a lot of cross-pollination going on betwen the 2 groups. It was actually in my draft.

    15. Pilgrim says:

      This is a very good piece by MaBlue2.

      I sort of agree with both schools and pretty well all the commenters here.

      I appreciate one point made by MaBlue2. He points out that Nancy Pelosi knocked herself out working to realize Obama’s agenda, accreting serious opprobrium for herself from all sides, and “never once,” as MaBlue says, did Obama thank her or defend her, although he did manage once to damn her with very faint praise.

      This is a man who doesn’t seem to understand that loyalty is a two-way street.

      Sure, Pelosi was probably in error to support Obama so fervently, and she may well have partly felt animus against Hillary, I dunno, but she is largely dedicated to worthy social and fiscal policies, and she must know, and she must feel anger, that she has squandered much of her own credibility in her efforts for Obama who has returned the gesture with little more than disdain. He would not mourn if the proverbial bus ran over her. She knows that, I doubt not.

      Beware a woman scorned.

    16. Minkoff Minx says:

      Hey MABlue, someone is singing your praises!

      Cannonfire

      “And let’s start with a primary challenge to Obama. The idea gains momentum by the hour. Look at the compendium of opinion in this superb post by madamb over at Sky Dancing. The only argument is whether Obama went rightward by intent or by exterior manipulation.”

    17. Boo Radly says:

      What a pregnant slip.