Making Bad

Experiencing a little buyer’s remorse villagers?


“Barack Obama feels more and more like a president from the Jimmy Carter tradition: well meaning but ineffectual”.

Peter Oborne from  ‘In this grave crisis, the world’s
leaders are terrifyingly out of their depth’.

“IN contrast, when faced with the greatest economic crisis, the greatest levels of economic inequality, and the greatest levels of corporate influence on politics since the Depression, Barack Obama stared into the eyes of history and chose to avert his gaze.”

Drew Westen from  “What Happened to Obama?”

“Obama has suffered, in part, from a clarity gap. Even his own supporters aren’t always sure what he’s willing to fight for.

“He needs to plant a flag somewhere,” complained William A. Galston, a former top aide to then-President Clinton. “I don’t care what color it is. But periodically planting a flag and then lowering it is no way to inspire confidence.”

The president took a clear position on only one issue in the debt ceiling negotiations: He said any deal had to be “balanced,” meaning it had to include new tax revenue as well as spending cuts. But in the face of Republican opposition, he backed off even that one demand.

Obama’s negotiating victories in the final deal weren’t on matters of substance, like tax revenue. They were on matters of process: on making sure another debt-ceiling vote doesn’t happen until 2013 and making sure the mechanism for choosing further spending cuts isn’t tilted in the Republicans‘ favor. Try selling those to voters as a victory for the beleaguered middle class.”

Doyle McManus from “Obama’s clarity gap

“The one thing I might say is that we shouldn’t really wonder what happened to Obama — he is who he always was. If you paid attention to what he actually said during the primary and the election, he was always a very conventional centrist. Progressives who flocked to his campaign basically deluded themselves, mistaking style for substance. I got huge flack for saying that at the time, but it was true, and events have borne it out.”

Paul Krugman from “Stuck in the Middle”

“I think that – I don’t – I’m not sure that that’s true. I – I think that it is working. I think that people still, you know, in my interactions with the American people, they liked the guy a lot. They respect him a lot. They don’t feel that he’s in touch with their lives, and his calculation is this, that as this goes on – and – you know, he will be the least damaged of all the various parties.

And that’s what we’ve seen. His standing in – standing in the polls have gone down, but the Republicans’ standing in the polls has plummeted. And so, you know, he’s got to be feeling not terrific at this point, but not too bad politically either, because sooner or later the Republicans have to choose some candidate to oppose him and that candidate is going to have to make a calculation about how close to the Tea Party – which does remain a minority of a minority – how close to the Tea Party does the Republican presidential nominee want to be?

And so, I think the president is bemused by all of this and kind of horrified by the nonsense he’s – you know, that he’s had to deal with. He’s made concessions, unlike – as Arianna was saying – unlike anything we’ve ever seen a Democratic president make before. He proposed raising the age of eligibility for Medicare to 67.

I’m not sure I’m in favor of that.”

Joe Klein on on Global Public Square

The signs were all there in 2008.  It’s just so many people chose to ignore them.  Now, well,  now, we are so f’d.  Go ahead and add to the list.  The Sunday talk shows are full of pithy quotes.

21 Comments on “Making Bad”

  1. Outis says:

    Who could have known?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

  2. Delphyne says:

    Yes, the sign were there for ANYONE to see, if they simply looked. I can only shake my head in disgust at the willingness to be blinded by the lies of Obama and the (un)Democratic Party.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I see Joke Like is still defending him. He thinks we like Obama. Sorry Joe. Wrong again.

    • Sima says:

      The final sentence is rich… ‘I’m not sure I’m in favor of that…’ Is he in favor of all the other Republican crap Obama has endorsed?

  4. JeanLouise says:

    That was a riveting article by Drew Westen. I know that I’m dreaming but if someone credible decided to primary Obama, she should immedicately hire Westen as a senior adviser.

    • Valhalla says:

      I’m not sure. If you read the whole Westen column, he still thinks that Obama somehow changed, rather than he (Westen) and all the other cheerleaders were purposefully blind to who Obama was all along.

      That one excerpt is fairly powerful as he’s written it, but Westen’s column still leaves a sense that Obama could somehow now “choose” to do right after all.

      Of course, perhaps Westen is still in the middle of his OFB detox. The gradual disillusionment of all the screaming fans from their self-induced adoration fest seems to follow a particular path. The leap — not the final one but a big one — from making excuses for Obama to admitting he is (at all) wilfully failing us is toward the downside of the learning curve.

      I occasionally feel as if I should be more tolerant of the detoxers, but I still can’t quite forgive them for all the bullying and race-baiting and intentional self-delusion. Plus, unless a lot of them step up the process, they’ll still be voting for him in 2012 regardless.

      • madamab says:


        Plus, unless a lot of them step up the process, they’ll still be voting for him in 2012 regardless.

        That’s the part that makes me roll my eyes and ignore their whining. To be fair, I think Westen has moved beyond the “I’ll vote for him anyway” stage, but so very many of them can’t, or won’t, “progress” beyond the obvious fact that the only way to pressure a politician who can raise $1 billion at the drop of a hat, is to withdraw your vote from that politician.

      • northwestrain says:

        True — many of the 0bots have already declared that they will vote for him again. Although on the blogs some of these could be paid bloggers — like the last time. Lord knows that the 0 team has the money to fund faux blogging.

        The priority should be — grass roots — Representatives and Senators who are willing to work and represent we the people — not radical extreme fringe groups.

      • Valhalla says:

        mb and nwr — the refrain that the scary Republicans are worse will probably still tip a few of those starting to detox now back into the fold. Plus the Obama campaign machine seems to be coming up with a new enemy to scare the plebes with, the Tea Partiers. Not that the Rs and the TPs aren’t scary, it’s just that when all three are beyond a certain point of scary, the scare tactics should cease to work.

        Plus I wonder how many who are making little squeaking opposition noises now will be sucked back in. I started out making the detox analogy as an analogy, but the shiny-eyed excitement of losing oneself in the exultation mindless fandom is just as powerful a drug. I’m sure it alters people’s brain chemistry, at least for a while.

      • joanelle says:

        And don’t forget the mysogeny – That’s why we have to come up with a strong O alternative to primary him and she can then clobber the Repubs.

      • Minkoff Minx says:

        Oh yes Madamab, they are still willing to support him and will vote for him again. That frightens me too.

        Valhalla, I agree with this:

        I occasionally feel as if I should be more tolerant of the detoxers, but I still can’t quite forgive them for all the bullying and race-baiting and intentional self-delusion. Plus, unless a lot of them step up the process, they’ll still be voting for him in 2012 regardless.

  5. janicen says:

    The fact that the President’s advisors are more concerned with how he comes across during this debt fiasco rather than what he does to fix it speaks volumes.

  6. The Heretik says:

    After reading Westen,I though I was dark on Obama WTF? I find myself saying that a lot lately.

  7. northwestrain says:

    0bowma=R hasn’t changed. He is still who he was before he entered the White House.

    He’s still the man who took a shady or even illegal deal for a mansion his wife found. He’s still the guy who took political contributions when he was state senator from the very man who didn’t repair the furnace in an apartment building in the dead of winter. This freezing building was in 0bowma’s Senate district.

    He’s still the same man who played dirty games in Ohio — telling the voters one thing and the Canadian leaders another story.

    Most of us here aren’t surprised. As Krugman says “The one thing I might say is that we shouldn’t really wonder what happened to Obama — he is who he always was.”

    Here’s a rant about 0bowma’s lack of leadership etc. from a businesswoman —

  8. Gregory says:

    I’ll give him that Jimmy Carter was a well intentioned man who until recently I had always thought got a bad rap; however, his ineptness paved the way for pretty much 30 years of disastrous Presidents excepting Clinton of course and even he had some warts. We wouldn’t be here with multiple wars, burgeoning debt and insane right wing faux Christian rhetoric driving the discourse without that big assist from Carter.

    His complete dearth of leadership allowing the Hostage crisis to persist and his allowing Reagan to basically take the White House unimpeded was as sorry as it gets. He barely campaigned and showed no spine or ability to stand up to petty bullies. He basically turned his back on the citizens of Iran who mostly did not want to live in a Theocracy.

    Fast forward to Obama and I just don’t see the well intentioned part. For my money he seems to be even worse of a President than W. Incompetent, petulant, completely disassociated from the majority of citizens, willing to make senior freaking citizens sacrifice food and medicine to pay for wars and bankers. OMG, what a freaking cluster_____.

    • Sima says:

      Bingo. Can we please get a democratic leader with a spine?

      Of course, Obama has a spine, I really believe that. It just points in a different direction, a rich oligarchy brown-nosing direction.

      So I’m asking for a leader with a spine that points in a liberal-left direction. With no ‘neo’ attached.

  9. Fredster says:

    “I think that – I don’t – I’m not sure that that’s true.

    Love that conviction with which you speak Joe, keep it up.

  10. joanelle says:

    I have never been a Naomi Wolff fan but here End of America back in 2007 appears to be coming true.

  11. Minkoff Minx says:

    Wow, bad weather here in Banjoville…I will try to get a late night post up…