Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 11:06 AM ET, 11/24/2010

Yes, but what should Obama do about GOP opposition?

By Greg Sargent

One thing that continues to surprise me is that writers keep making the case that the GOP is devoted to nothing but the destruction of Obama's presidency without explaining what it is Obama should do about this state of affairs.

Andrew Sullivan, for instance, has been making a strongly-worded case that the Republican Party has strayed "as as close to organized vandalism as one can imagine," and today he amplifies the case again:

We have in the current GOP a truly disturbing and cynical view of politics: there is nothing but party and ideology and the former is a vehicle solely for power to enact the other. The zero GOP votes for a stimulus package in the middle of the fastest downturn since the 1930s that was one-third tax cuts tells you all you need to know. And the Republican adoption of utopian, John Birch fantasies about rolling back the legacy of Woodrow Wilson makes any sane engagement with this party impossible. It is no longer run by anyone in Congress, but directed by talk radio, Fox News, Sarah Palin's Twitter account and Manichean ranters like radio host Mike Levin. If any government action is regarded as tyranny, then there is never any way to compromise. The fundamental problem lies with a deranged, ideological and dangerous opposition in a system designed to forge pragmatic compromise.

If this is the case, however, what should Obama do about it? As Sullivan rightly notes, during his first two years Obama was able to accomplish an extraordinary amount despite GOP opposition. But now Republicans are set to take over the House, and the Dems' margin in the Senate has dwindled dramatically. So what should Obama do now? What new methods should he employ to use the power of the presidency to reckon with the new, emboldened opposition?

I got an expert to lay out a roadmap the other day. Former White House chief of staff John Podesta has also sketched out an extensive game plan. The gist of their advice: He should go full throttle on his own where possible -- executive orders, rulemaking powers, and so forth. Meanwhile, he should lay down a clear vision and agenda in the full expectation that Republicans will oppose it, and use the presidential bully pulpit to wage a massive communications offensive hammering them relentlessly for their opposition and intransigence.

This is meant in the spirit of provoking debate more than anything else. It would be interesting to hear from some of our sharpest online voices: How should Obama proceed?

By Greg Sargent  | November 24, 2010; 11:06 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, 2012, House GOPers, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Morning Plum
Next: Majority of Republicans favors racial profiling at airports, while Dems, indys oppose

Comments

How about Obama sticking to his 2008 commitments to bipartisanship and compromise???

That is what the American People want.

AND that is exactly what Obama promised to do for 4 years.


Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Why has the Senate wasted this week? Where are the debates on the START Treaty, the Tax Debate, the Defense Bill w/DADT repeal and the DREAM Act.

Why hasn't debate started already on these?

What's the hold-up?

And what should Obama do? He should sign off on those four before the lame duck and then keep running the Govn't from the W.H. Any agenda is dead unless the Dems reclaim what, 17 seats in 2012 in the House.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Firstly, three Republicans voted for the stimulus, not zero. Secondly, there is not a single tax cut, not one, in the stimulus. I challenge one single person to point to a tax rate that was cut. And what would an idiotic rant from Sullivan be without references to Glenn Beck, Mark (not Mike) Levin, Sarah Palin and Fox News?

I am continually amused by those on the left who automatically assume that opposition to Obama's plans is out of a desire to bring down Obama. This has become gospel on the left. The START treaty is the perfect example. Multiple substantive issues have been raised about the problems with that treaty. But all of that is ignored in order to claim "Republicans are trying to bring down Obama". There are more than enough substantive problems with Obama's batsh*t crazy agenda; obstructionism is definitely not the only reason to oppose him. The stimulus was a wasteful failure. By this administration's own criteria, it failed. And did Sullivan really expect the Republican Party to get behind Obamacare? If the Democrats ever come up with something that doesn't involve spending a trillion dollars, maybe they will gain some support outside of their party.

Maybe Sullivan should stick to Trig-trutherism.

Posted by: Bob65 | November 24, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Y'know I'm really tired of those who keep saying that he should use the bully pulpit. Face facts folks. There is NO BULLY PULPIT. What I mean to say by this is, given the 24/7 newscycle it's power is extremely degraded. I'll show this with a Q. How many folks knew O was in Indiana yesterday? Or in Lisbon a couple of days prior? That's what I thought. Now contrast that with the headlines BRISTOL Palin was generating yesterday and you begin to see the problem. This is why those who attack their communications really need to see the bigger picture that the office of the Pres is not as strong as folks say it is.

Posted by: calchala | November 24, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Podesta.

I also think Obama should use the bully pulpit in a full-throated way, and take his case directly to the public. I think he should get out among people more, do more town-hall meetings, and do more media interviews that target specific audiences, like The View. I think he should hammer home his message.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 24, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Shorter Bob65: "Obama needs to do everything the Republicans want in order to gain their support."

Posted by: CaptainNoble | November 24, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

"Secondly, there is not a single tax cut, not one, in the stimulus. "

Pants on Fire.

"Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009."

http://politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/jan/28/barack-obama/tax-cut-95-percent-stimulus-made-it-so/

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The liberals have to remember something: the line was crossed with the Iraq War.


Traditionally, the parties present a united front on wars and foreign policy.

All of a sudden, the democrats vote for the Iraq war, then they turn their backs on the effort. Even worse, they tried to turn the war into a partisan issue to drag Bush down.

There are numerous video clips of democrats including Bill Clinton saying Saddam had WMD - but it was Bush who got all the accusations.

That was completely out-of-bounds. Bush didn't lie - and when a country goes into a war, a country FINISHES a war.

The democrats were wrong.


For the record, I was against the Iraq War before we went in there. I was surprised that the democrats supported the War Resolutions.

However, once you are IN a war, a nation can not quit. NO MATTER what.


The liberals and the democrats are the ones out-of-bounds with their wacky liberal agenda, teaching kids about gay sex at a young age, amnesty for illegal aliens, and re-distributions of wealth and whatever other hate-mongering they want to do.

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Bob65: "Secondly, there is not a single tax cut, not one, in the stimulus."

We see you have no clue.

http://thefinancebuff.com/2009/02/tax-cuts-in-stimulus-bill-updated.html

* Making Work Pay: For 2009 and 2010, $400 per person tax credit for AGI under $75,000; phased out to $95,000 (double everything for married filing jointly).

* One-time $250 payment to Social Security and other fixed income recipients.

* AMT patch for 2009: increase AMT exemption amount from 2008 levels by $500 per person or $1,000 per couple.

* First-time homebuyer tax credit: If you never owned a home in the last three years and your AGI is under $75,000/$150,000 (phaseout to $95,000/$170,000), and you buy a primary residence between Jan. 1 and Nov. 30, 2009, you get an $8,000 refundable tax credit, which does NOT have to be repaid if you hold the home for three years.

* Tax deduction for buying a new car: If your AGI is under $125k/$250k (phaseout to $135k/$260k), and you buy a new car (not used car) under $49,500 after the law is signed until the end of 2009, you get a tax deduction for the sales tax. No deduction for car loan interest. Non-itemizers are also eligible for this deduction.

* Expanded HOPE credit for education and renamed to American Opportunity Tax Credit.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 24, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

This is clearly placing the cart before the horse. The proper order in which to consider the next two years is: goals, strategy, tactics.

What are Obama's goals? The goals of his opposition are quite clear: reduce government spending, confront the deficit, roll back the size and scope of the government. This set of goals provides a structure around which to formulate strategy and tactics.

If Obama's goals are the continue implementation of the liberal dogma, he neeeds to develop strategy and tactics that will achieve them. If his goals are something else (one can only hope) then the strategy and tactics are different.

For example, if Obama's real goal is another term as president, his behavior might be more concilliatory as he makes choices designed to enhance his popularity. This would sometimes come at the expense of the liberal agenda, just as Clinton went along with welfare reform.

so let's ask the first question first: what are Obama's goals for the next two years. Then we can review what moves make those goals possible.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 24, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Shorter bob65: "I don't know what I'm talking about, but I know some names."

Keep f-ing that chicken.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 24, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I've said it here before, but Obama needs to use the Bully Pulpit. Go directly to the voters - more live press conferences and Oval Office addresses on major issues. Bypass the cable pundits and the rest of the MSM that will spin and twist his comments. Bush gave a prime time address about being against stem cell research, which is hardly a pressing issue to the others we have now.
Going to the industrial Midwest (Kokomo) yesterday was also a good start to 2012.
The White House needs a communications strategy that shows that Obama is a sole figure (even an underdog) fighting for YOU, against the forces of the GOP who only care about their corporate masters and their drinking buddies on K Street.
This tactic should bring the white working class blue collar voters back into the fold. Throw the term "class warfare" back into the faces of the Right

Posted by: filmnoia | November 24, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

The subjects Mike mentions above need to get sorted out first. Obama needs to stick to his guns, following the agenda that got him elected. A mid-term election that always, historically, goes against a President's party is no reason to panic. It could have been much worse, and the media are amplifying the Tea Party and GOP, giving them the aura of a mandate they don't have.

Agree there is no bully pulpit, but messaging HAS to get better. Also, Obama has to pick some fights and be determined to push his policies even if Congress shuts them down. You don't have to win every fight, but you sure as hell have to fight.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 24, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

The goals of his opposition are quite clear: reduce government spending, confront the deficit, roll back the size and scope of the government. This set of goals provides a structure around which to formulate strategy and tactics.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 24, 2010 11:31 AM

Reduce what specific government spending?

Roll back the government where, exactly?

Confront the deficit how?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 24, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

Reading these comments confirms what we all know about polarization. The right does not see anything to like about how the Democrats govern. They will never compromise and the MSM will only give Pres Obama sound bites when he is out speaking from his 'bully pulpit'. The public only wants to hear slogans and that seems to be the domain of the right wing

Posted by: lib2core | November 24, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

prag,

skippy just jawbones with no substance. But I bet he'd defund NPR in a heartbeat.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 24, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

"The goals of his opposition are quite clear: reduce government spending, confront the deficit, roll back the size and scope of the government."

LOL

Kyl just got a $200 million earmark for his state.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington at 11:21 AM


You speak of these 17 seats. And yet you still have not learned the central lesson of the last two year - those 17 seats are in Blue Dog districts.

Now, more than ever, in those Blue Dog districts, the democrats are well aware that voting for liberal agenda issues will lead to certain electorial disaster.

And the people in those districts are wary - they do not want to vote for who they think is a centrist democrat only to see that person turn and vote for a liberal agenda.

So, the situation is stark: the votes are not there. It is simple.


___________________________


Take this thinking a few steps further.


Joe Manchin found he could not get elected unless he promised to "not be a rubberstamp" for Obama and the liberal agenda.

You aren't going to find Joe Manchin making any high-profile votes for the liberal agenda any time soon.


In addition, take a businessman in one of these Blue Dog districts who might be recruited by the democrats - how is that conversation going to go???

Is that person going to want to take a year and a half out of their lives - spend all sorts of money to get elected - only to be caught between the liberal agenda and the people of his Blue Dog district???


Why would someone want to do all that only to be pressured in Washington to make votes which are certain to lead to defeat for re-election.


Obama is the one on the kama-kazi mission, not anyone else.

And that is the point - Obama is the one taking these decisions, going far to the left and daring the American People to throw him out of office - even under the threat of false charges of racism.


That is the problem - it is Obama's problem. Not the Blue Dogs's issue. It is the liberal problem that they don't have a majority of votes behind their agenda.

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

And Grassley is fighting cutting ethanol subsidies, unless Coburn and DeMint are willing to cut the oil industries corporate welfare.

I'm glad Grassley openly stated the oil industry is getting subsidies. I bet Republicans cringed when he openly slammed that considering they are a major backer of the GOP.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Mike, they don't want to cut gov't; they want to cut gov't's effectiveness and relationship to the people who make less than a million dollars a year.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 24, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Podesta pretty well laid it out.

I agree that the bully pulpit isn't what it used to be, at least not for a Dem, what with Fox and the rest of the echo chamber, and most of the media more concerned about their own taxes than the good of the country. But Obama should continue to give speeches, and he should start talking more about the challenges that face us and what he's proposing to do, specifically foreign affairs and global warming, maybe education and jobs too. The more he spells out the challenges that face us, the more evident it is that the GOP has no ideas but tax cuts! Especially for the rich! And cut government! Especially for everyone who isn't rich!

We are likely to have a series of natural/human-aggravated disasters that will remind people why we need a competent government. He should seize those moments and by contrast remind people how a GOP Pres responded.

But it really is dependent on the economy, and there he should stop stroking Big Business and do more for the middle class, to say nothing of those just falling through the cracks.

Posted by: Mimikatz | November 24, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"The START treaty is the perfect example. Multiple substantive issues have been raised about the problems with that treaty. But all of that is ignored"

Yeah right, nice try.

They bring up substantive issues as a way to OPPOSE THE BILL, not to improve it. Beyond that, they use these issues that may or may not need to be addressed to SCARE the pants off of Republican voters.

You know that, but you are a liar.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 24, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

I hear ya, sue.

I think President Obama should challenge the new GOP majority in the House to submit some specific proposals designed to reduce unemployment. They claim this great mandate as a result of the Dems alleged failure to focus on the economy. What is the GOP plan to put people back to work? Please tell us you have something more than tax cuts for the rich and please don't tell us what you DON'T want ... what is your plan?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 24, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@mikefromArlington: "Under the stimulus bill, single workers got $400, and working couples got $800. The Internal Revenue Service issued new guidelines to reduce withholdings for income tax, so many workers saw a small increase in their checks in April 2009."

. . . for 1 or 2 years, until these tax credits expired. I'm not positive, but I don't think there's any tax break or credit from the stimulus that will be in effect for 2011.

Thus, they are arguably not tax cuts (as they do not cut rates, per se, but are credits or rebates and were very temporary), although the Bush tax cuts, with their built in (if involuntary) sunset also made those temporary tax cuts, at best.

@lib2core: "The right does not see anything to like about how the Democrats govern."

What does the left like about how Republicans govern?

That being said, I don't know that nobody on the right sees nothing to like about how Democrats govern. My problems with Democrats are only marginally more significant than my problems with Republicans and then, not always. I have more trouble with politicians and the political class generally than either party specifically. I'm okay with the Democrats and, policy wise, now that they are apparently accepting the previously conservative premise that lower taxes for working folks is a net positive, I have less and less to dislike about them from a strictly ideological point. And I like Obama. I didn't vote for him, but I see plenty to like, and think most of the criticism from the right of Obama and his administration runs the gamut from plausible-but-shallow to baseless and irrational.

And Democrats are not incapable of sloganeering, it's just what their sloganeering reveals about the orientation of the party generally, and what they think of the great mass of the electorate in particular, that might tend to be the problem. In may not be the messaging, but either the message, or those stumping for that particular message. Could be.

@pragmatic: "Reduce what specific government spending?"

Corn ethanol subsidies, and hopefully even more forms of corporate welfare. As for confront the deficit, I dunno. But we will see. Some of the freshman class talk-the-talk, but it remains to be seen if they can walk the walk (I fully expect: "Well, we tried. Now let's get to processing some pork!")

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 24, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

And especially the poor and the poor working class BG.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Supporters of Obama and his policies need to support him. Let him do his job. He has enough enemies already. Their failure to vote lost Obama considerable power from the last election. Next they need to counter the disinformation in comments from RedState for example. Stand up or you will be mowed down because one thing about the Reds; they fight hard, they don't quit and the means justify the ends. They aren't much for "democracy" and love their wealthy few.

Posted by: LillithMc | November 24, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Reagan would be shunned in today's GOP.

He extended unemployment benefits for three years while running huge deficits. It's about ready to run out for 2.1 million Americans.

I sure hope American's wake up to the fact the GOP doesn't care about U.S. wages, period. As far as they are concerned along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Americans can't compete because our wages are too high.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

I see, rather than think about what Obama's goals are or should be, folks like pragmatic and sue want to argue and hurl insults.

I think that's pretty diagnostic of the liberal movement in America today: No thought, no insight, no willingness to discuss. Yup.

I suggest that you stay with that mindset and the behavior it engenders. In this way conservatives are assured of continued success at the polls as the condescension and cynicism become more and more visible to the voting public.

So, in the faint hope that someone out there is inclined to actually engage in rational thought, what are or should be Obama's goals for the next two years? What strategy and tactics are best suited to achieving those goals?

These are straightforward questions that business people would ask themselves as they confront dismal past results. If they wish to do better they need to focus their thoughts. Are the liberals here capable of such focus or is this nothing more than a liberal sneer-a-thon?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 24, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Crap. Bob65's head must have exploded when he got bombarded with non-Fox information.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Greg: You keep asking this question and I don't know why since the answer is obvious and has been for 2 years. Obama has to go directly to the American people and tell the truth about the country's problems and his proposed solutions and why those are superior to the Repubs' ideas (whatever they are). Over and again he must appeal directly to the American people. He should stand for press conferences weekly. He should stay out of Congress' nonsense and go over Congress to the people. He should ignore the politics -- defined as the received wisdom as to what is doable in Congress -- and simply state the problem, the alternative solutions, and his proposed approach. That is what Obama is good at. It is the sensible approach in the current environment. And, as we have seen, Obama is clueless politically anyway. So that's my answer. Disagree if you will but there it is. Your query is NOT unanswerable or unanswered.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 24, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Compromise

First of all, the country did not see Obama as a proponent of the liberal agenda in 2008. Obama presented himself as supporting bipartisanship - bringing about compromise - which means CENTRIST policies.


All that is still possible - if Obama wants to move to the center.

The liberal agenda is dead - for a generation at least. Probably forever.


Obama can move to the center - which is what the country thought he was saying he was going to do in 2008. It is the only part of Obama's orginal mandate that he has left.

This is why the 250K issue is so damaging for Obama - it pigeon-holes Obama and the liberals in the far-left again.

The gays-in-the-military and amenesty issues are the same thing - Obama is pushing the left wing issues - and all it is doing is damaging him.


_________________________


It is getting silly to have a conversation like this unless the liberals realize that Obama is destroying his own administration.

The liberals are the one's who have twisted the meaning of the elections.


Obama is on a kami-kazi mission - and the liberals are blaming the Republicans - Why? because the Republicans won't let Obama fly the plane into them ??? Obama is the one who is destroying himself by insisting on policies which the nation does not support.

.

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Mimikatz said -
"I agree that the bully pulpit isn't what it used to be, at least not for a Dem, what with Fox and the rest of the echo chamber, and most of the media more concerned about their own taxes than the good of the country."

This is precisely why Obama needs live prime time events where the voters can hear him unfiltered and not through sound bites. Yes, he should make public apppearances like he did in Indiana yesterday, and on national TV those will be shown through selective sound bites. However, whenever a President(be they Dem or Repub) visits an area, it's big local news and gets more expanded local coverage than we will see on cable or the networks. If he's going to make appearances, just make sure they are in states he needs to win in 2012.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 24, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Podesta was at the Clinton White House when Clinton made most of the decisions which hurt this country massively

- the deregulation of derivatives

- the Free Trade deals

- Pulling our intelligence resources out of the Middle East - leading to 9/11

- The repeal of Glass Steagall

- The Sub-prime Mortgage deals

BOTTOM LINE: The guy's judgement is nothing to write home about.


plus, Podesta has the personality of a wet rag. One might enjoy a conversation with a brick wall more than talking to Podesta

.

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I wonder, when the Senate starts killing everything the new GOP House sends over will Greg call that obstruction?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 24, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

The Question


Is it all about Obama and the liberal agenda - or is it all about the American People and what they want ?

Posted by: RedNation | November 24, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

"Yes, but what should Obama do about GOP opposition?"
---------------------------------------------

Take the blame, obviously. Spineless progressive-betraying wimp that he is. Don't you read your own blog?

Posted by: CalD | November 24, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

I'll take a shot at the "What should Obama do?" question.

1) Attack the opposition where they are strong. The GOP's preexisting narrative is that it is strong on defense (ha!) fiscally conservative (bwa-ha-ha) and morally superior (bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha). There is plenty of evidence that none of this is true, indeed, the exact opposite is true. If the Dems can point this out loudly enough, with enough repetition, maybe they can turn the GOP's assets into liabilities. Related to that...

2) Do to "Conservative" what righties did to "Liberal." A lot of very liberal people don't call themselves liberal because over the last 40 years the GOP turned the word "liberal" into an insult. The Dems should attempt to do the same. Lord knows "Conservatives" have behaved in a manner that should make people think twice about self identifying as conservatives.

3) Learn how to work the refs (the media.) Right now the GOP has its mighty Wurlitzer and can push any story, no matter how silly (death panels, ground zero mosque, ACORN). The media needs to learn that it shouldn't take wingnut spew at face value. For that to happen Obama, and Democrats in general, need to learn to work the media.

4) Try to turn the Democrats into a cohesive unit. This one is problematic given the nature of Democrats. But a good start would be for Democrats in Congress to give themselves the same disciplinary tools Republicans in Congress have.

5) Educate the American people about the distribution of wealth in America and how it relates to progressive taxation. For too long Republicans have packaged tax cuts as the cure for everything from small pox to the love of Polka music. Supply side / Voodoo / Trickle Down economics have been in effect for 30 years, and in that time the middle class have been pummeled while the wealthy have grown wealthier. Related to this...

6) Turn the words "Tax Cut" into a sign of hackery. Republicans have way over promised on the potential good a tax cut can have. If you look at what was promised to justify tax cuts in the past and the actual outcome those tax cuts have had, you'll notice that tax cuts are far more useful as a political tool than an economic one.

7) Make the case for government as a whole. Republicans tend to say government is always bad, but as soon as there is trouble they come running to the arms of "Big Government." Point this out loudly. America is the greatest country in the world in part because we have the best system of government in the world. Related to this...

8) The GOP is doing its best to destroy America's government by obstructing on everything. They oppose nominees for positions just to be jerks, then once the vote comes up, after being delayed for months for no reason, often vote nearly unanimously for the person they opposed. No organization, no matter how well designed, can function without its key players. Point this out.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 24, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

All, check this out: The only group that favors racial profiling at airports are Republicans:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/majority_of_republicans_favors.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

first, he should regard all calls for 'bipartisianship' as pure BS from republicans. second, he needs to get his messaging much more out in front - call the republicans 'unserious people promising a free-lunch'. the gop will make this a snap - look at their ear-mark ban that lasted about 48 hours. third, get a handle on foreign policy - our relationship with Pakistan is a joke and our war in Afganistan is going nowhere and never will. None of this will make any differance to the tea-baggers or Fox news, so ignore them, speak only to independants and Democrats - republicans are out to sink the ship; he needs to make this case repeatedly and forcefully.
hope this helps,
mike

Posted by: michael5 | November 24, 2010 12:35 PM | Report abuse

He should activate the secret codes and begin filling the FEMA camps with dissidents.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

let's think about this:
===================
They bring up substantive issues as a way to OPPOSE THE BILL, not to improve it. Beyond that, they use these issues that may or may not need to be addressed to SCARE the pants off of Republican voters.

==========

Just a couple of points:
(1) This is an admission that there are, in fact, substantive issues concerning the treaty.
(2) The senate cannot renegotiate the treaty. The body must either ratify or decline the language as it stands. the relevant phrase is "advice and consent". So raising substantive issues is giving advice. And failing to ratify the treaty is well within the senate's constitutional perogatives. Nothing in the constitution gives the Senate the right to renegotiate a treaty.

(3) Liberals seek to arrogate unto themselves the exclusive right to determine what, if anything, Americans need fear. Expressing concern about the nature of this treaty is clearly NOT permitted by liberal dogma. Just ask Ethan!

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 24, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

One more: ignore people like Rednation; this is just the fake call for bipartisanship I was refering to.
There is no bipartisanship with the gop - it's all nonserious fakery.

Posted by: michael5 | November 24, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

One more: ignore people like Rednation; this is just the fake call for bipartisanship I was refering to.
There is no bipartisanship with the gop - it's all nonserious fakery.

Posted by: michael5 | November 24, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

RedNation -- you have no clue "what The American People want". The data simply does not support your assertions.

To answer Greg's question: If Obama is going to be a one-term president anyway, he should use every tool in his possession to hammer through every initiative that will save the country from slipping further into plutocracy. Now is the time to double down, not ease up.

He should use the same perpetual war tactics the GOP and their masters use.

If we're in a culture war, Obama should bring the rain. And I don't mean falling water.

Posted by: methuselah1 | November 24, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

He should activate the secret codes and begin filling the FEMA camps with dissidents.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 24, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

That is Now Thinking! First inmate: Agent Orange. Dick Armey can run the GOP like he's been doing for 2 years anyhow.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 24, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Q:What could Obama have done about the Republicans?

A: The economy.

Too bad. He stuck with supply siders, borrowed and spent just like a Republican and, for good measure, he learned nothing about Vietnam and the Soviet (et al) experience in Afghanistan...now, he is just helplessly hoping. The Democratic argument is again reduced to, we're bad but Republicans are worse.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 24, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

skippy, the only reason I've not (yet) fed you to the Troll Hunter is because you make me laugh occasionally.

Like this statement is quite humorous: "These are straightforward questions that business people would ask themselves as they confront dismal past results."

What dismal past results? When? Be specific. Very specific. Support your answer with links to evidence.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 24, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Then by all means ignore my comments. I promise I won't lose a second's sleep over it.

So spare me the "threat" I don't much care what you think of me. After all you apparently think "skippy" is a savagely sarcastic blow to my ego. Yeah, right. that places you right on up there with the sharpest of rapier wits.

It seems that you are in denial about the recent election. Do you think Obama is too?

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 24, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Bob65 @ November 24, 2010 11:21 AM wrote MUCH nonsense:

1. "Firstly, three Republicans voted for the stimulus, not zero." 3 out of 40. A triumph of cooperation. Only 3 had the courage to go against that 'Waterloo' patriotism!

2. "Secondly, there is not a single tax cut, not one, in the stimulus." I beg to differ, as my taxes went down. Not one time give-aways, either, but in every paycheck. Ignorance is bliss, but you really should keep your 'mouth' shut!

3. "I am continually amused by those on the left who automatically assume that opposition to Obama's plans is out of a desire to bring down Obama." Let's see, who said "I want the President to fail'; 'We're going to make it his Waterloo'; 'Our #1 priority is to defeat him in 2012'. Oh, yes, the Republicans. (By the way, shouldn't #1 priority by job creation?)

Posted by: AMviennaVA | November 24, 2010 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Well, he could always try the classical Republican approach for finishing out a first term: wag the dog.

They've been refining the tactic. Nixon inherited his war already in progress, and it was already winding down, so they had to apply their best and brightest to drag it out. Reagan went in too small in Grenada and got his nose bloodied in Lebanon, but it was good enough with the economy coming back and OPEC collapsing. Bush I learned from Grenada - go in big against a weak foe - but Panama was too soon. Saddam gave him another chance but then the Iraqis collapsed like a souffle too far before election day. Bush II learned the lessons from his predecessors: seize the opportunities presented, get the wars rolling early before the midterms, roll out the product in the fall, go in big with shock in awe, make sure there's good video with high production values on cable, personalize the enemy, have a second war as a backup plan if the enemy collapses too early, and plan for a long enough occupation to keep it rolling through the midterms.

Afghanistan is played out. Maybe Obama should take another look at North Korea or Iran or name an easier Axis of Evil closer to home. Bush II showed how the midterms can be used to steamroller the opposition to support the war, but that ship has sailed, and it could make it harder to call them traitors later. And it's not clear that innovation would transfer to Obama's advantage anyway without a better marketing platform.

Posted by: chase-truth | November 25, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company