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Obama's pessimism, Obama's challenge

What was most striking to me about Obama's presser just now was his surprisingly pessimistic tone: He openly conceded that there are going to be large areas where he and Repubicans won't be able to bridge fundamental ideological divides.

Sure, Obama made the obligatory noises about finding common ground, but quotes like this one signal that he knows how unlikely it is to actually happen:

What yesterday also told us is that no one party will be able to dictate where we go from here. We must find common ground in order to make progress on some uncommonly difficult challenges. I told John Boehner and Mitch McConnell last night that I am very eager to sit down with members of both parties and figure out how we can move forward together.

I'm not suggesting this will be easy. I won't pretend that we'll be able to bridge every difference or solve every disagreement. There's a reason we have two parties in this country, and both Democrats and Republicans have certain beliefs and principles that each feels cannot be compromised. But what I think the American people are expecting, and what we owe them, is to focus on those issues that effect their jobs, their security, and their future.

Judging by the questions asked at the presser, the elite media consensus, at least for now, is that yesterday's results place the burden for cooperation on the President more so than on the new GOP majority in the House. Obama seemed to be deliberately lowering expectations for the likelihood of meaningful bipartisan cooperation actually happening, by introducing the rather obvious reality check that the parties strongly disagree on the fundamentals.

More broadly, the bulk of the presser seemed to display the President feeling his way on a new and uncertain political landscape. His comments, which drew a line against repeal of health reform while signaling a willingness to tinker with the law, suggested he views the next two years through the prism of two core strategic questions:

First, with Republicans moving to roll back key chunks of his agenda, how does he draw a line against those efforts without allowing Repubicans to paint him as arrogant and deaf to the message of last night's results?

And second: How aggressively can he highlight the Republicans' refusal to compromise, and thus claim the moral high ground, without undercutting the impression -- one he clearly wants to feed -- that he's reaching out and trying to establish common ground with them?

It will be interesting to see how Obama, who is one of the most resilient and skilled public communicators and debaters of the last generation, adapts to this sudden new set of challenges.

By Greg Sargent  | November 3, 2010; 2:23 PM ET
Categories:  House Dems, House GOPers, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Did Tea Party cost GOP 50-50 Senate?
Next: Orrin Hatch, on whether he sees wiggle room on Bush tax cuts: "No, I don't."

Comments

"Judging by the questions asked at the presser, the elite media consensus, at least for now, is that yesterday's results place the burden for cooperation on the President more so than on the new GOP majority in the House."

Whenever the GOP win more seats and can influence the agenda, OR lose seats and cannot influence the agenda, the elite media consensus is always to tell the democrats to "move to the center".

Strangely enough, they NEVER, EVER tell the GOP to move to the center.

And the US media is librul?

Don't make me laugh! They're so in the tank for the reich wings, it's not even funny!

Posted by: grosmec | November 3, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are constantly pitting American's against him by stating he's going against the will of the American people.

I wish Dems would take this aggressive stance and just repeat it ad nauseam as the Republicans do.

As far as sheer numbers. Does anyone know how many voted Republican compared to say an election year? Same with the Dems.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 3, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Or, maybe Obama will just quit. He has shown a remarkable lack of stick-to-itivness in the past when bored/frustrated.

Posted by: pmendez | November 3, 2010 2:36 PM | Report abuse

"What was most striking to me about Obama's presser just now was his surprisingly pessimistic tone"

And yet I can't think of a single reason why he should feel optimistic at this juncture. Should he pretend to be? What purpose would that serve?

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Given the election results of yesterday, I believe Obama is obligated to fully cooperate with Republicans on every issue.

It is clear that almost everything that the Obamacrats tried to pull off was wrong.

Let's push Harry Reid out of the way and get to work!

Posted by: battleground51 | November 3, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Given the election results of yesterday, I believe Obama is obligated to fully cooperate with Republicans on every issue.

----------------------------------------
I bet you didn't feel that way when Obama was elected and the Dems had full control. Or even back in 2006.

I'm sure you won't mind if Democrats adopt the Republican definition of "compromise" as they have applied it over the last 2 years.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | November 3, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Huh...this is interesting:

"The polling firm Rasmussen is out with a relatively shocking poll given the results of yesterday's election. Here's the gist:

Hold the celebration. Most voters expected Republicans to win control of the House of Representatives on Election Day, but nearly as many expect to be disappointed with how they perform by the time the 2012 elections roll around.


A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds, in fact, that 59% of Likely U.S. Voters think it is at least somewhat likely that most voters will be disappointed with Republicans in Congress before the next national elections. That includes 38% who say it is Very Likely.

More details here. And before you question whether Rasmussen has a Democratic bias, note Nate SIlver's observation about their election polls last night:

"Rasmussen polls quite consistently turned out to overstate the standing of Republicans tonight. Of the roughly 100 polls released by Rasmussen or its subsidiary Pulse Opinion Research in the final 21 days of the campaign, roughly 70 to 75 percent overestimated the performance of Republican candidates, and on average they were biased against Democrats by 3 to 4 points."

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/03/house-gop-disappoint-2012_n_778281.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 3, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

@sue: We are a nation of cynics.

And rightfully so...

Posted by: sbj3 | November 3, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"And second: How aggressively can he highlight the Republicans' refusal to compromise, and thus claim the moral high ground, without undercutting the impression -- one he clearly wants to feed -- that he's reaching out and trying to establish common ground with them?"

Well, he and his team did a pretty p*ss poor job of doing that the last two years, so I'm not very optimistic.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 3, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"Let's push Harry Reid out of the way and get to work!"

?????? Old man Harry probably ran the smartest Dem race in the country. From 4 points down to a 6 point win. Going into 2012 the Dems best study how Reid did it.
It's a casebook.

As for that Rasmussen poll, it just goes to show that The GOP are more disliked than the Dems. People are either smart enough, or cynical(take your pick) to know that this crew doesn't have a clue in how to get us out of the econiomic morass.
The GOP spouts off the old ideology from 2000-2008, and it never polls well with the public. Let them try anything radical and they will be crushed the next time around. If I were Barack I would tell Boehner and McConnell in private "Go ahead and try to impeach me. I dare you."

Posted by: filmnoia | November 3, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

"Judging by the questions asked at the presser, the elite media consensus"

They're a pack of rabid dogs.

Pathetic. Screw the MSM.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 3, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

@sue,

I'm not sure I would call that poll "shocking." Americans give the GOP in Congress lower approval ratings than they give the Democrats. But when voters are frustrated with the economy, and the Democrats control Congress, the only way to "send a message" is to elect the other party and then pray like hell it doesn't backfire. I don't think yesterday's election says much more than that. Republicans who are opining today about a "permanent majority" are as crazy as Democrats who thought 2008 was the end of the GOP.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 3, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Cynics? No I think we are nation of angry voters punishing politicians who think we don't notice or don't care what they do.

This was a message to the Democrats who sold hope and change and delivered everything the same as it ever was. Last election was a message to the Republicans.

We expect them to lie to us and they should expect us to kick them to the curb, but they don't. The Democrat's inability to determine why they got elected will be matched by the Republican's. This will go on for a few more cycles before we get their attention, the attention we deserve.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

"Old man Harry probably ran the smartest Dem race in the country. From 4 points down to a 6 point win."

I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but it's also important to note that he was running against a complete whackjob.

Posted by: schrodingerscat | November 3, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

@shrinkers: "We expect them to lie to us."

That's rather what I mean by referring to us as a nation of cynics.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 3, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Ambinder:

"The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit."

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/what-now-an-epic-election-meets-the-future/65477/

WOOHOO!

PLEASE do this, Issa!

I dare you!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 3, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Greg:

You should just tell Obama what you told us in your last post.

The GOP really lost the election because the Tea Party stopped them from taking the Senate, so it really was a VICTORY for the Democratic Party.

That should cheer him up.

(Oh, . . . yes I know I'll wait forever for you to admit you were wrong about anything involving the election. I can live with the disappointment)

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's put Greg's two questions in plainer terms:

How can Obama remain intransigent and uncompromising in the face of electoral rebuke, while pretending to do the opposite and successfully blaming Republicans for his intransigence, to his best political advantage for 2012?

Yep, I'd say that's what he is thinking.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 3, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@shrinkers: "We expect them to lie to us."
That's rather what I mean by referring to us as a nation of cynics.

Ooops, right, sorry, I should have said Yes, not No at the outset. Won't happen again...

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Ethan,

The investigation of climate change "fraud" will be followed by an investigation of evolution "fraud" and an investigation of heliocentrism "fraud." Also on the agenda: legislation to change pi to 3, so as improve American competitiveness by raising geometry scores.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

"I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but it's also important to note that he was running against a complete whackjob."

Of course. If he had run againt "Chicken for Check Ups" Lowden he probably would have lost. She was also much easier on the eyes than Angle. Botox works wonders.

"I don't think yesterday's election says much more than that. Republicans who are opining today about a "permanent majority" are as crazy as Democrats who thought 2008 was the end of the GOP."

Or the GOP in 1994. What goes around comes around, or was it something that Sir Isaac Newton said - "for each action.....

Posted by: filmnoia | November 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

There is a problem here

Obama - and Obama supporters are not the one's getting the health care premium increases

The SEIU people get free health care through their labor contracts

All the unions get health care through their contracts

The inner cities get Medicaid and County-supported hospitals


So what is left???


EVERYONE ELSE - WHO DON'T SUPPORT OBAMA ARE THE ONES GETTING THE BILLS FOR OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE INCREASES.


This is an important point - the Obama people are NOT paying the bills.

They are more than happy to send the bills to someone else


It is a FUNDAMENTAL DISCONNECT -


Obama doesn't get it - not only that he is so isolated his people don't get it either.


.

Posted by: SunlightRays | November 3, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

haha. Hamsher made the predictive first strike at the administration, OFA and the DNC.

I'll sum it up for you all.

'It's Obama's fault, they're pathetic, they failed, it was a referendum on Obama, etc etc etc'

Now, if and when the admin is asked about Jane's statement and they defend themselves, Jane can claim to be a defenseless hippy and her followers will all come to her defense.

What a pathetic individual.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 3, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

After the republican landslide in TX, which likely means dismantling of environmental regulations and diversion of taxpayer monies to religious schools, I found Obama's speech an inspiration. Here is a President who is realistic, brilliant, confident, and in control. Here is a President I can put my faith in.

Posted by: hotdiggity | November 3, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Or the GOP in 1994. What goes around comes around, or was it something that Sir Isaac Newton said - "for each action.....

Posted by: filmnoia
+++++++++++

If you're not more careful about what you say, Boehner will sponsor legislation to repeal Newton's Laws of Motion.

Posted by: bearclaw1 | November 3, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

"Voters in Iowa chose to remove three high court justices who helped make Iowa the first Midwestern state to permit same-sex marriage."

Because the only proper function of American courts and jurisprudence is to ensure that all fall under and abide by unquestionable Biblical Law.

Posted by: bernielatham | November 3, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

I believe that I Shrink2 could have beaten Harry Reid. Angle is a symptom of a serious problem within conservative nation. They can ignore that problem and wait to compete for the White House in 2016. This is the thing we learn every election, the more power is concentrated in an office, the more moderate the American electorate becomes.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 3, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

haha. Hamsher made the predictive first strike at the administration, OFA and the DNC.

I'll sum it up for you all.

'It's Obama's fault, they're pathetic, they failed, it was a referendum on Obama, etc etc etc'

Now, if and when the admin is asked about Jane's statement and they defend themselves, Jane can claim to be a defenseless hippy and her followers will all come to her defense.

What a pathetic individual.
Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 3, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

Mike, do you have a crush on Jane Hamsher? You appear to be obsessed with her. Jane Hamsher is NOT the Democrats' problem.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"Judging by the questions asked at the presser, the elite media consensus, at least for now, is that yesterday's results place the burden for cooperation on the President more so than on the new GOP majority in the House."

Whenever the GOP win more seats and can influence the agenda, OR lose seats and cannot influence the agenda, the elite media consensus is always to tell the democrats to "move to the center".

Strangely enough, they NEVER, EVER tell the GOP to move to the center.

And the US media is librul?

Don't make me laugh! They're so in the tank for the reich wings, it's not even funny!

Posted by: grosmec | November 3, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

QB writes

Let's put Greg's two questions in plainer terms:

How can Obama remain intransigent and uncompromising in the face of electoral rebuke, while pretending to do the opposite and successfully blaming Republicans for his intransigence, to his best political advantage for 2012?


_______________________________


Exactly - how can Obama pretend to compromise and the BLAME the Repubicans for everything??


Isn't that the same failed Obama policy from the last two years???

__________________________________


Obama has an additional enemy: the calendar. Obama has only about 10 - 11 months before the primary season starts to kick in and dominate everything


So, clearly Obama has 10 months to "get it right"


Obama doesnt look like he is EVER going to get it right - Obama doesn't seem very smart - and the same ARROGANCE which caused Obama to make the multitude of mistakes will still be causing Obama to make more mistakes.


Obama seems convinced that a COMPROMISE on health care is not the way to go - that is wrong.

Obama would be wise to get health care on the table right away - and get out of the provisions that get most people angry.

A government shut-down is the worst result for Obama - even though Obama may be reading the Clinton confrontations as the way to go


This time is way different -

Posted by: SunlightRays | November 3, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

bernie wrote:

"Voters in Iowa chose to remove three high court justices who helped make Iowa the first Midwestern state to permit same-sex marriage."

Because the only proper function of American courts and jurisprudence is to ensure that all fall under and abide by unquestionable Biblical Law."

OR perhaps an example why having judges involved in an election of an kind is always a bad thing!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Guess what wbgonne, when she's trumpeted on national programs as one of the prominent opposition voices of this admin, she is a problem. When other progressives or Dems see her on national news, some probably think to themselves, hey, she's right! This administration and the Democrats suck. They don't represent me. Why should I care if they win or lose?

She trashes the admin on national TV any chance she gets. She trashes Reid. She trashes the DNC. She trashes OFA. She trashed Sestak.

She's a pathetic spoiled brat who's desperate for attention for what? So she can play the defenseless hippy when Dems are asked to respond to her attacks so all her followers can come to her defense?

Sorry, but my loyalty stands with the party that better represents my views. When someone relentlessly attacks the party I'm loyal to, I tend to strike back.

Not sure what's wrong with my position.

Maybe you should approach your hero as to what exactly she intends to achieve by constantly attacking.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | November 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

45464004 and Bernie

Iowa

OR perhaps the voters believe that the voters should make the decisions on gay marriage - the voters do not believe Judges should be legislating in such an area


Traditionally, in order to define a "protected class" the legislature or the Constitution, State or Federal, - has to DEFINE that "protected class"


The ERA Amendment was an attempt to define gender as that protected class.


The gays have attempt to get the Judges to define the "protected class" It really doesn't work that way.


In California, the gays got a closeted gay Judge to rule on Don't Ask - again that is NOT the way to achieve their objectives. It is just NOT proper to go outside the established legal procedures that way.


.

Posted by: SunlightRays | November 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit."

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/what-now-an-epic-election-meets-the-future/65477/

Gee! That'll make the Chinese and Germans extremely happy. While the know-nothings GOPers engage in a 21th century backassward witch hunt, the two aforementioned nations will keep their alt-energy R&D and manufacturing in overdrive, making stuff and money, providing jobs and grabbing market share while ROFL all the way to the bank.

Posted by: grosmec | November 3, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"If you're not more careful about what you say, Boehner will sponsor legislation to repeal Newton's Laws of Motion."

Can they steal our atoms' freedom to stay still? Hell no they can't!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 3, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Repubicans, twice.

Re-pub-i-cans. Misspelled twice.

Sidenote: If people thought Congress was broken and ineffective the past two years, what do they think will happen now.

Posted by: therewasacatch1 | November 3, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama, and the Dems, challenge, imo, will be to create and push a coherent message for the next two years. Sounds easy? Well it is, for Republicans. I'm no fan of the GOP, but they do have message discipline.

The Democrats, however, have never had message discipline. Need I quote Will Rogers?

So here are a few things I think the Democrats should attempt:

The first thing Democrats in Congress need to do is change the rules for Democrats in Congress. The party leadership should grant itself the same powers that the Republicans give themselves. ei - You go against us we will yank your committee chairmanship, etc. It is much easier to enforce discipline when you have leverage.

The second thing they need to do is a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). They need to keep in mind that it is best to play into a preexisting narrative than it is to create a narrative from scratch.

The third thing they need to do is attack the Republicans where they are strong and turn their assets into liabilities. For instance for some reason the GOP is considered strong on defense (even though the foreign wars brought on by GOP adventurism has seriously weakened our military), fiscally conservative (even though the GOP's economic policies are less than good for the country) and morally superior (that one makes me laugh.)

The fourth thing they need to do is what the GOP did to the word "liberal." For what, 40 years?, the GOPers have been turning the word "liberal" into a curse word; the Democrats should do the same thing to the word "conservative." Make it an insult! Every time I hear some lunkhead like Scarborough claim that this is a center-right country because more people identify as conservatives I want to scream. People don't say they are liberal because they don't know what it means, but ask them about individual policies and what do you know, they are liberals.

The fifth thing they need to do is WORK THE REFS! The media pushes whatever story the GOP tells it to because the GOP knows how to push the media around. The Democrats need to learn this skill, and they need to do so today!

This is just the beginning of what the Democrats should do, I'm sure a dozen other things will pop into my mind as soon as I hit submit.

Posted by: nisleib | November 3, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

grosmec FTW

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 3, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

"The GOP plans to hold high profile hearings examining the alleged "scientific fraud" behind global warming, a sleeper issue in this election that motivated the base quite a bit."

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/11/what-now-an-epic-election-meets-the-future/65477/

Gee! That'll make the Chinese and Germans extremely happy. While the know-nothings GOPers engage in a 21th century backassward witch hunt, the two aforementioned nations will keep their alt-energy R&D and manufacturing in overdrive, making stuff and money, providing jobs and grabbing market share while ROFL all the way to the bank.

Posted by: grosmec | November 3, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

All, check out how fast Orrin Hatch shot down the idea of compromise on the Bush tax cuts:

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

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 3, 2010 3:50 PM | Report abuse

The GOP in the House have only 2011 to really attempt a radical agenda. Once we hit Jan 2012 and the primaries start, everyone will be crawling back into their bunkers and doing their fund raising for Nov, so nothing radical gets passed. Obama only has to hold the line for a few hundred days.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 3, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama did not address it in press conference, so maybe Jounolist can help us out here?

Do we still 'gotta ride in back'?

Is he still going to punish his enemies?
(You know, his enemies, everybody does that does bow down and worship your messiah)

Looking forward to your answer Greg.

Millions of Americans awaiting punishment want to know.

Posted by: TECWRITE | November 3, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

At this point 22 months into his presidency, Election Day 2002, George W. Bush had a 63 percent job approval rating in the Gallup poll. The GOP gained seats in both the House and the Senate in the 2002 midterm elections.

Barry the incompetent boob Obama, that headless chicken in the White House, has a 43 percent job approval rating in today's Gallup poll, and lost at least 61 seats in the House and 6 in the Senate. Way to go, Barry.

Miserable failure Obama

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 3, 2010 4:05 PM | Report abuse

A "bridge too far" Mr. President? I agree...I wouldn't compromise with anyone seeking solely to undo, let's say "Affirmative Action". Hey...I was born in Ohio and have 34 relatives in the Berea, KY phonebook who make bourbon. Tired of Boehner & McConnell...too much experience here to listen to that "pro American" spiel from those guys that just seems to put the USA farther behind. Are there ANY jobs in Ohio @ all? Are there any dentists in Kentucky? Are there any GOOD ROADS here in Michigan? No on all counts. Way to go GOP... So play Chicago style stickball with 'em President Obama...send'em down on the Rock Island Line...

Posted by: j-seale | November 3, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats and the Republicans have to work together to keep the government functioning. Passing a budget is a critical item. The big question is what kinds of compromises are going to be necessary and achievable to get the job done. In the best case, the parties will manage to work together enough to keep a basically functional government in operation and to deal with particularly acute problems as they arise. In the worst case, there will be some serious breakdown of government function because of political conflicts. In any case, there are not likely to be any discretionary new initiatives.

Posted by: dnjake | November 3, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

"Miserable failure Obama"

I gather you are euphoric today, but you speak like a fool. Nov. 2002 was in the aftermath of 9/11 and the beginning of a war, when the country was still in some semblance of being united. If I recall, George Sr, had about a 90% positive rating around 1991, and look what happened to him in 1992. If Ohio had enough voting machines in 2004 for everyone who wanted to vote cast their ballot, then we would be in the middle of Kerry's last term. Don't give us a history lesson if you don't know what you're talking about.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 3, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

"If Ohio had enough voting machines in 2004 for everyone who wanted to vote cast their ballot, then we would be in the middle of Kerry's last term. Don't give us a history lesson if you don't know what you're talking about."

As to the first sentence, I would refer you to the second. What utter nonsense.

I doubt many Republicans are euphoric today. We tend to think something very important happened yesterday in the nature of issuing a restraining order preventing Obama from continuing to destroy our country and heritage. But we are keenly aware that this incompetent, arrogant, misguided figure is still President, and our circumstances remain dire, particularly given the products of his two-year reign of error.

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"preventing Obama from continuing to destroy our country and heritage. But we are keenly aware that this incompetent, arrogant, misguided figure is still President, and our circumstances remain dire, particularly given the products of his two-year reign of error."

Your hyberbole is really a joke. By using
words like "incompetent" "arrogant"
and "misguided" I could have sworn you were talking about the Cheney/Bush Admin.,
since those terms were used about them so often.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 3, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

just a quick response to this from nsleib:
=======
even though the foreign wars brought on by GOP adventurism has seriously weakened our military
============

Actually the foreign wars did the exact opposite, they made the US military and the US stronger by far.

Two quick examples: staff colleges and logistics.

No military in the world has more mid level combat tested officers than us now. These officers learned in the crucible of combat and their lessons will be taught to others for generations. No fighting force on earth knows more about combat in ME urban zones than us. What we learned will be used in staff work for a long time to come. We know it works because it was proven in combat.

It is said that amateurs talk strategery while the pros talk logistics. Again, no one knows more about moving men and material now than we do. Further, we chose the locations for our "adventures" well. both A stan and Iraq offer excellent logistics platforms, especially if a conflict with Iran occurs. I believe that the Iranians understand this, probably better than nsleib. After all it is the Iranian military leaders who will have to fight against battle hardened Americans who have men and material at their disposal thanks to the lessons learned in A stan and IRaq.

Our country is stronger for these wars as well. Once again America has the advantage of many combat tested veterans returning to us to make their mark here.

As a resident of Ohio I am thrilled that our new Sec Treas will be Josh Mandel, a two tour Marine combat veteran, with all that that implies.

And how about Allen West? An Army Lt Colonel who will make an excellent congressman. His training and experience will stand him, and his country in good stead as he enters his new role in the house.

I just disagree, the wars did bring us advantages and they did strengthen our military. yes it is strained, but it is better for it all the same.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

in rsponse to:
==========
since those terms were used about them so often.
================

yes, they were. By people like you who now decry the lack of civility in American discourse because Obama faces relentless criticism.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | November 3, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Your hyberbole is really a joke. By using
words like "incompetent" "arrogant"
and "misguided" I could have sworn you were talking about the Cheney/Bush Admin.,
since those terms were used about them so often.'

It's not hyperbole. I meant every word literally.

The joke is your claim that we would be living under Kerry II but for a lack of voting machines in Ohio. You obviously know nothing but believe web legends from kos or digby or other left weirdos of the blog-ether.

The "reality based community" was really in touch with political reality, wasn't it? haha

Posted by: quarterback1 | November 3, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

54465446: "perhaps an example why having judges involved in an election of an kind is always a bad thing"

I would imagine the majority of Iowans disagree, and think judges should be in some way accountable for rulings that legislate from the bench, and contradict thousands of years of understanding of basic human social institutions.

Posted by: INTJ | November 3, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"When other progressives or Dems see her on national news, some probably think to themselves, hey, she's right! "

Mike:

I don't give a r*atsass about Jane Hamsher and she is most definitely NOT my "hero". But she is certainly entitled to her opinion. And if other people agree with her that the Dems are inept, well, that's just the way it goes. Shooting the messenger won't help or change things. You seem to think that if Jane Hamsher just disappeared or shut up, Obama and the Democrats would be doing just great and everything would be peachy. If that is what you believe you are deluding yourself.

More importantly, perhaps, where is your outrage at the Republicrats who are far more destructive to the Dems because they strike at the core of the differences between the two parties and undermines the Dems' attempt to portray themselves as a coherent and viable alternative to the GOP. The Republicrats have done far more to far to damage Obama and the Dems than anything Jane Hamsher ever has or will.

I suppose I wouldn't even notice if you were an equal opportunity basher of all Dems who criticize Obama but it appears your complaint is limited to Liberals. Why is that?

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 5:42 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: nisleib | November 3, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Good advice. I hope Plouffe is now in charge because he might actually listen.

Posted by: wbgonne | November 3, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

Obama/Pelosi/Reid just added 60+ Democrats to the unemployment numbers!
After strong-arming these democrats to vote for the horrendous ObamaCare bill, which resulted in these democrats Losing Their Jobs.... who would want to run on the democratic ticket ??!

Posted by: ohioan | November 3, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Clinton was in a funk for weeks after the '94 election, so I wouldn't attach too much significance to Oboobma's demeanor the day after.

On the other hand, whatever you think of his ideology, the notion is just laughable that Oboobma's "one of the most resilient and skilled public communicators" in a generation. Were that so, he wouldn't be in the fix he's in.

Posted by: thebump | November 3, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Obama should cheer up and look at the bright side; in two short years he won't have to worry about all this and can retire in Hawaii.

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 3, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"By people like you who now decry the lack of civility in American discourse because Obama faces relentless criticism"

You must be talking about prissy liberals, because you're not talking about me. I like it rough and tumble. Just remember as we have seen in 1994 and 2006, what goes around comes around.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 3, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

What a prissy little man Obama is. His pursed lips, arch tone, doublespeak all are so very grating. Even at this juncture, he still refuses to listen to the American public.

Here's what he and all his lib friends need to take away from the election.

He didn't win. The Republicans won. Get over it.

Posted by: bandmom22 | November 3, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

Obozo is not a pessimist. He is an America hating muslim, third world communist. He want's America to be a third world slum controlled by muslim tyrants.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 3, 2010 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"It will be interesting to see how Obama, who is one of the most resilient and skilled public communicators and debaters of the last generation,..." As long as that teleprompter is on.

Posted by: PS7900 | November 3, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

INTJ wrote:

"I would imagine the majority of Iowans disagree, and think judges should be in some way accountable for rulings that legislate from the bench, and contradict thousands of years of understanding of basic human social institutions."

I think that the Iowa voters, and the voters of any organized body in the country have absolutely no idea who is a good judge, and cannot even name the ones currently employed until they have a ballot in front of them.

That being said, the only people who care and know the judges names are the lawyers who practice before them, and give them campaign donations. You couldn't set up a system more rife with fraud and bribery if you tried.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 7:05 PM | Report abuse

battleground51 @ 2:42 said:

"Given the election results of yesterday, I believe Obama is obligated to fully cooperate with Republicans on every issue."

Right. And I'll bet that if I look at your past posts, there will be one from November 5, 2008 that says: "Given the election results of yesterday, I believe that Republican leaders in the House and Senate are obligated to fully cooperate with Democrats on every issue."

And what to we do about the nagging fact that Republicans won the House but not the Senate? Let me guess. The Democratic leadership in the Senate is obligated to fully cooperate with Republican leadership in the House on every issue, right?

Posted by: exco | November 3, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Bandmom22 at 6:12 pm, you're pretty hot on the idea of people accepting the will of the voters.

So follow your own advice. Stop whining about the 2008 election. Obama won. Get over it.

Posted by: exco | November 3, 2010 8:44 PM | Report abuse

Well, why aren't the "patriotic Clintons"
saying anything. How about that pundit from La., Carville? It's because the Clintons are spending millions on junkets overseas, Hillary is taking sniper fire, Bill did not inhale, etc. etc. etc. They are quiet because they plan to grab the 2012 nomination from Obama as they all laugh as us, the US Citizens.

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | November 3, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Well, why aren't the "patriotic Clintons"
saying anything. How about that pundit from La., Carville? It's because the Clintons are spending millions on junkets overseas, Hillary is taking sniper fire, Bill did not inhale, etc. etc. etc. They are quiet because they plan to grab the 2012 nomination from Obama as they all laugh as us, the US Citizens.

Posted by: gone2dabeachgmailcom | November 3, 2010 8:54 PM | Report abuse

"It will be interesting to see how Obama, who is one of the most resilient and skilled public communicators and debaters of the last generation. . ."

Really? Honestly? Obama is great at giving a carefully prepared speech, but Reagan sure could bring down the house too. And on his feet Obama is nowhere, just nowhere as good as Clinton. Remember that Obama uses teleprompters and prepared speeches in even very informal sessions, and really that's not the sign of a skilled public communicator.

Posted by: mlincoln1 | November 3, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, who is one of the most resilient and skilled public communicators and debaters of the last generation'

Oh, is that a fact, Greg? Maybe if you got your head out of his backside, you'd see what we all now see. An empty suit, and an arrogant one at that....

Posted by: subframer | November 3, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

During the health-care debate, Mr. Obama acknowledged that the Democrats would have to take responsibility for the bill, and said, "That's what elections are for." To his credit, he still understands that political decisions have electoral consequences. He isn't pessimistic. He just respects our political system -- even when he loses.

Posted by: dicklobb | November 3, 2010 9:55 PM | Report abuse

@mlincoln1:
Reagan and Clinton both are considered great communicators still. Teleprompter or no teleprompter so is Obama. And he didn't have a teleprompter when he embarrassed the house repubs face to face in that room in the health care debate. You people are the same folks who probably think Sarah Palin is smart, or that Glenn Beck is credible, or you know....sane. That's laughable. People don't have jobs. That's why the election went the way it did. If people still don't have jobs in 2012, some of those same conservatives who got voted in, will get voted out. Simple as that.

Posted by: ksanders32 | November 3, 2010 10:12 PM | Report abuse

Obama, and the Dems, challenge, imo, will be to create and push a coherent message for the next two years. Sounds easy? Well it is, for Republicans. I'm no fan of the GOP, but they do have message discipline.

The Democrats, however, have never had message discipline. Need I quote Will Rogers?

So here are a few things I think the Democrats should attempt:

The first thing Democrats in Congress need to do is change the rules for Democrats in Congress. The party leadership should grant itself the same powers that the Republicans give themselves. ei - You go against us we will yank your committee chairmanship, etc. It is much easier to enforce discipline when you have leverage.

The second thing they need to do is a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats). They need to keep in mind that it is best to play into a preexisting narrative than it is to create a narrative from scratch.

The third thing they need to do is attack the Republicans where they are strong and turn their assets into liabilities. For instance for some reason the GOP is considered strong on defense (even though the foreign wars brought on by GOP adventurism has seriously weakened our military), fiscally conservative (even though the GOP's economic policies are less than good for the country) and morally superior (that one makes me laugh.)

The fourth thing they need to do is what the GOP did to the word "liberal." For what, 40 years?, the GOPers have been turning the word "liberal" into a curse word; the Democrats should do the same thing to the word "conservative." Make it an insult! Every time I hear some lunkhead like Scarborough claim that this is a center-right country because more people identify as conservatives I want to scream. People don't say they are liberal because they don't know what it means, but ask them about individual policies and what do you know, they are liberals.

The fifth thing they need to do is WORK THE REFS! The media pushes whatever story the GOP tells it to because the GOP knows how to push the media around. The Democrats need to learn this skill, and they need to do so today!

This is just the beginning of what the Democrats should do, I'm sure a dozen other things will pop into my mind as soon as I hit submit.

Posted by: nisleib | November 3, 2010 3:48 PM

=======

I notice that legislating and governing in the interests of the American people doesn't make your list. I doubt it makes Obama's either.

Posted by: robert17 | November 3, 2010 10:19 PM | Report abuse

"Obama, who is one of the most resilient and skilled public communicators and debaters of the last generation"

Good lord. Talk about being impervious to reality.

Obama is a terrible communicator and he has lost every debate in which he has engaged since he came into the office. Shoot, he couldn't even convince the Olympics to come to Chicago.

Posted by: bobmoses | November 3, 2010 10:26 PM | Report abuse

"Given the election results of yesterday, I believe Obama is obligated to fully cooperate with Republicans on every issue."

Please tell that is a joke!? Just like the republicans did when Obama was elected?

Posted by: Selims | November 3, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

True to his nature, Obama once again failed to get the message the voters sent him again. Obama is not capable of understanding the results of this election anymore then he understood the results of the Brown election in Mass. Obama talked about the same things the results of this election were based on. His policies. The American people don't want any part of his policies. Obama won't change course, he expects the Republicans to pick up where the Democrats left off. Obama is still going to be as tone deaf as ever. Obama said he should have done more. That's what the left has been telling Obama since day one. More to Obama and the left is forcing more social justice down our throats.

Posted by: houstonian | November 3, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

ksanders wrote:

"Teleprompter or no teleprompter so is Obama. And he didn't have a teleprompter when he embarrassed the house repubs face to face in that room in the health care debate."

How did he embarass the Reps, since Lamar Alexander had the numbers right and his numbers have already been proven wrong?

"If people still don't have jobs in 2012, some of those same conservatives who got voted in, will get voted out. Simple as that."

Aren't you missing somebody else who will get voted out if people don't have jobs by 2012?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 3, 2010 11:13 PM | Report abuse

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