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dot.comments says goodbye

I'll soon get to today's comments on an article about President Obama campaigning in a strong Republican district, but first I need to say that this is the final entry in the dot.comments blog. The Post continues to evaluate how best to handle the daily flood of reader remarks. Newer technology is making it easier to highlight quality comments, and Tweets about Post articles are being incorporated into the site.

I've had a blast. This blog has been running since June 2007 and has about 230 entries, most of them -- including today's -- about politics, which is as it should be in Washington. I have been fascinated by the way readers look at the same story and arrive at opposite conclusions about the motives or political leanings of the writer or the newspaper or both. I have been appalled at the absence of decency in many comments, especially about President Obama now and President Bush before. Despite the schoolyard taunts, I suspect both men have tried to do what they think is best for the country, even if not all of us agree on what it is.

On the other hand, I have been pleased and often amused by the way our Readers Who Comment correct each other. For example, in a comment stream on the Wikileaks documents about the war in Afghanistan, Backgroundthoughts asked, "Why can the WaPo give us thousands of pages of classified documents about the Afghan war, but not one page about Barak Obama's SSN, birth certificate, or college transcript?"

To which corrections replied, "Because the Washington Post has better things to do than pander to the delusional lunatic-fringe, to whom no amount of proof will ever convince them that they are wrong."


Now to today's entry, which concerns the president's visit to Richmond, Va., where he directly attacked GOP policies in the middle of Republican Rep. Eric Cantor's district. Not surprisingly, some of our readers are responding with their usual animus for members of the other party, a few are trying to discuss the matter analytically.

We'll start with rtinindiana, who wrote, "Finally! This is exactly what we Democrats have been wanting Obama to do. Confront these guys. get in their face for a change. I doubt Obama will change many minds in Richmond, but it does give many of us unenthusiastic Democrats nationwide reason to believe that the Democrats will put up some sort of fight this fall..."

But fenwick49 said, "the President is gambling his presidential aura in the hopes of rallying his base, but the reality is he is distancing the independent voter by coming off as tone deaf. He should learn from history and recognize as Clinton did that moving left brings you 20% of the voters and moving to the center brings you 50%. Idealism only wins when the country is prosperous..."

taylordon said, "Not sure I understand this type of politicking. Backyards...give me a break. If the media doesn't show he's speaking to 10 people. He and his advisers appear to in free fall by not being able to connect with voters as he did during the campaign. If it worked then why not now?..."

rc95959 wrote, "Its about time he started attacking the ridiculous notion that Republicans have any answers to our problems. The same tired fools handed him the bad hand he has been fighting from day one. Its pure insanity to think that Republicans can offer anything. They are 1000% responsible for the economic crisis to begin with! Please keep attacking Obama!"

CvilleBoy said, "Obama is a terrible President and nothing he says in my backyard, or your backyard will change this fact no less stop the big changes we shall see in November. Oh I can't wait until I cast my vote. Listen to me Obama, you cannot rule from the left, if you want to be a good President, then you must move to the center and you will have to LISTEN to the GOP."

treetopflyer wrote, "Don't sit on the sidelines? Isn't that what you did your first year, letting Congress squabble over health care and refusing to get your hands dirty? You're like a high school kid who suddenly realizes there's a fifteen page term paper due tomorrow and rushes to the encyclopedia to find something to copy. Aloofness, hypocrisy, deceit, contempt, followed by a last minute attempt to do what you should have all along. A winning strategy? Mmmmmmm - no!"

gwshening said, "All these people claim that they are not "Happy" with the progress the Democrats made in the past 22 months. wait to see what will happen to them if the Republican Tea Party takes power in the Congress. Wake up, Democrats and Independents who voted for change two years ago. You want to go back to George W. Bush era? You want to follow Herbert Hoover's footstep? To have a second depression? Yes, that is what will happen if the Republican Tea Party get the power in Washington..."

Geot wrote, "I'm a Republican. Obama is the first Democratic Presidential candidate I've voted for. I must say, he is right on the money in regards to the GOP leadership. They are like a bunch of little Nero's twiddling their thumbs while economy burns, hoping Obama will take the blame, so they can return to power. Let's be honest. They are wealthy, they can weather the financial storm, and really seem more interested in regaining positions of personal power than they do helping middle class America..."

taylordon said, "Lets be real here. This President has done more for this country considering the shape it was in when he took office. To all those who say the opposite....please explain what the republicans have done for this country recently? The president is right when he calls them the party of NO. They obstruct then don't contribute..."

BaysoxFan39 wrote, "There is no way in hell I will vote to put the Republicans back in charge. They ran up the deficit with wars and they tried to fool everyone in to believing the democrats did it. The national GDP was increased each year a Republican lived in the WH from Reagan to Little Bush. It went down during the Clinton and now Obama presidencies. That should tell you enough. Two years in and it is Obama's fault? Give the man at least his term to turn this around..."

We'll close with jsasnooky, who wrote,"Confrontation is sometimes a good thing-especially so when you confront on the level of ideas,math,and policy. This forces your opponents to be more specific,not what we are used to hearing from the seasoned pontificators. There's a new tone,not just from Obama, but from the political crowd."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  | September 30, 2010; 8:35 AM ET
Tags:  Cantor, Obama, Politics, Richmond  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Obama and the apathetic left


Dear Doug,

I have enjoyed your blog very much over the years. Always interesting to see what people are thinking - or at least commenting on. Not sure everyone was very 'thoughtful'. Good luck with future ventures.


Posted by: jdhohman | October 1, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

This is why I hate 'new technology', it takes away what was simple and near just to increase profits.

I enjoyed your column, Doug. Good luck out there. Let us know where you'll be next.

Posted by: coqui44 | September 30, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Doug, I'm sorry to hear that this is the last one. You were an inspiration to me, even when I was too cranky and uppity about my so-called prose to learn properly from you. I did learn a lot as it turns out! Thank you.
Robert MacMillan

Posted by: easymac | September 30, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Well, I'm going to miss this blog.

And I'm going, especially, to miss Fareed Zakaria, who, in my Newsweek this week, wrote that this was his last column for Newsweek. Period. No explanation, and very abrupt. So what is happening to Newsweek? Maybe it is not the Post's business anymore, but if Newsweek loses any more writers of his caliber, they might lose me also. And I have been a steady subscriber for around 45 years; even when I was in the military, overseas, and got the Asian edition. I loved that edition, especially, because it was on tissue-thin paper. That that was cool, and green.

By the way, I wish to report that this is my last post, in the Washington Post, for September. It was a good month, and I enjoyed it.

Sorry to see you go! I will forgo my remaining 2170 characters for the good of the environment.

Posted by: paultaylor1 | September 30, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

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