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Posted at 4:10 PM ET, 11/19/2010

Sherrod Brown: Obama needs to fight harder and "sharpen message"

By Greg Sargent

I chatted with Senator Sherrod Brown this afternoon, and he confirmed in unusually blunt terms that Senate Democrats are unhappy with President Obama over his failure to fight harder in order to draw a sharp distinction with Republicans on kitchen-table issues important to the middle class.

"He needs to sharpen his message," Brown told me. "The president needs to make clear whose side we're on."

Politico reported today that Senate Dems privately lit into Obama yesterday at a tense caucus meeting, complaining that he was not showing enough passion and was being overly compromising in the face of Republicans who are determined to destroy him.

Brown didn't comment directly on what happened at caucus, but he confirmed that the general sense among Senate Dems is that Obama needs to be more confrontational towards Republicans, in order to make the difference between the parties clearer. "The caucus broadly wants to see the president stand up and fight and make the distinction clearer than any of us have so far," Brown said.

Brown warned that reaching a compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts temporarily would only further set back Dem efforts to draw a sharp contrast with the GOP. "He needs to articulate every day that he's fighting for the broad middle class, while Republicans are for the rich," he said.

Brown also suggested it would be a setback to such efforts if Obama and Dems embrace cuts to Social Security and Medicare, as Obama's fiscal commission leaders have suggested.

"The president has to make clear whose side we're on," Brown said. "The Republicans want to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare. Democrats are on the other side, advocating for the middle class. We need to affirmatively and strongly make that contrast."

By Greg Sargent  | November 19, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Senate Dems  
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Comments

Not sure how a Senator saying this publicly helps the cause but I do agree with the sentiment 100%

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 19, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I'd settle for Senate Democrats making it clear who's side they're on.

Posted by: klautsack | November 19, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Brown warned that reaching a compromise on extending the Bush tax cuts temporarily would only further set back Dem efforts to draw a sharp contrast with the GOP.


~~~~~

Greg - didn't you have a "historic footnote" just the other day that Obama and the WH WANTED the Senate to take a vote on the tax cuts BEFORE the election and Congress wussed out?

This smells like congresscritters blaming their inaction on Obama.

Posted by: HansSolo | November 19, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Greg,
The first time I saw Obama fight for something since he finally got engaged in the health care fight was his fighting for the START treaty. He may not win that fight but at least he is fighting for it because he believes in it.

If Obama could fight for middle class tax cuts, unemployment benefits, and jobs half as hard as he is fighting for the START treaty then Democrats would be in better shape.

Does Obama and his team get it? Don't they know that they have to change course? I see Harry Reid revamping the Senate in both policy and communication where he is putting Senator Schumer in charge to combine a sharpened communication strategy with policy making. I am very hopeful because Schumer is a master at that. He should coordinate communication with the White House.

However, I don't see the Obama team doing any major changes to improve their communication shop. Maybe they are doing things behind the scenes and will unveil their changes at the end of December or early January but so far I just see a little shuffling of people around without bringing in new people with fresh ideas.

Glad to see Axelrod leaving and Plouffe coming into the White House. Plouffe is far better than Axelrod.

Posted by: maritza1 | November 19, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

While I tend to agree that Obama needs to be a bit more aggressive with Republicans, it's also laughable that Dems in the Senate think he needs to sharpen his message. Why don't they look in the mirror? Evan Bayh, anyone? When Dems are willing to push back on the B.S. by Bayh, and, Conrad, and Nelson, THEN they can start telling the WH how to sharpen the message.

Hey Greg!

Posted by: CTVoter | November 19, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

"The Republicans want to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare."

No they don't (unfortunately)

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 19, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Brown said: ""The president has to make clear whose side we're on," Brown said. "The Republicans want to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare. Democrats are on the other side, advocating for the middle class. We need to affirmatively and strongly make that contrast.""

Didn't the Democrats unanimously vote to, you know, cut 1/2 a trillion dollars from Medicare? How's Barry supposed to argue in favor of not cutting it when he just, less than a year ago, signed a bllmthat did just that?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 19, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Obama gives the public too much credit for their perceptive abilities and attention span. The messages have to be short and, most importantly, repetitive. Keep repeating. Say them over and over agian. Like an echo. Repeat them. Like a mantra. Repetitive. Did I mention they should be repeated?

Posted by: trblmkr1 | November 19, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

How long does Sherrod Brown have left on his term???

He is going to be voted out -


So, I wouldn't really listen to much he has to say, because he really has no idea how he is going to be re-elected. What he wants to do first, is take the money from the left. So he will say ANYTHING.


Once he has the money, he thinks he has a fighting chance.

But he really doesn't.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Hey, CT, good to hear from you.

I can only wish you'd spend as much time here as you do at TPM. :)

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 19, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

A Democrat with a position. What a refreshing difference. I didn't think democrats stood for anything until the GOP tells them what their position is. And that's when they learn it from Fox...

Fox = The democrats is trying to raise taxes in the middle of a recession that will kill jobs and small business... NO, Dems want to keep the tax cuts in place for 98% of the nation and any small business making over $250K after payroll, reinvesting, paying off suppliers etc... Really isn't a small business...

Posted by: soapm | November 19, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This whole thing is to get the left to give as much money as possible to the democrats - it has nothing to do with what the right message is to win an election.

Or how to govern the nation properly.

They just don't care about anything more than the left's money.


.

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Did I miss something? Axelrod is leaving?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | November 19, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

NoVAHockey, You are more than welcome to opt out of any benefit you wish But stop trying to make decisions for the vast majority who support contributing to the social well being. As you are against anyone telling you what to do, we are utterly opposed to your trying to tell us what to do. Take a hike, loser.

Posted by: fmamstyle | November 19, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

And which side, exactly, is that? What is the top and the bottom (or the sides) of this "broad middle class."

Not all Republicans want to private Social Security and/or cut Medicaid. But what does it mean when Brown says "Democrats are on the other side, advocating for the middle class." What do the Dems plan to do to save it? In the end, it's just raise taxes more, which inevitably will hit that same "broad middle class."

And the Dems spent these last several months railing "the rich," for what good it did them. The term and the argument have simply lost any impact.

Obama's not doing a good job (for the Country or the Dems), but Brown's advice doesn't help very much.

Posted by: willdd | November 19, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

@RedTeaRevolution = "They just don't care about anything more than the left's money."

And the right is different how? Their more open about just wanting money and power even at the expense of the people? They are willing to lie, cheat and vote against their own legislation just to achieve power...

Posted by: soapm | November 19, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

"NoVAHockey, You are more than welcome to opt out of any benefit you wish"

Come on, debate honestly. you know that's not true. There's no opt out. What form do I submit to cancel all future payroll deductions as well as any claims for benefits?

Despite what you think, using force to fund the social well-being does not make you compassionate.

Either way, Sen. Brown is being less than honest when he says the GOP is going to cut and/or privatize entitlements. Greg's noted a ton that the GOP doesn't have any real plans to cut, is focused tax cuts and likely will just run up more debt.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | November 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

AFAIK, the social security privatization proposal is optional. Nobody would be forced into it, but if one liked, one could take a portion of their withholding and put in approved equity investments (probably spyders or qqqqs).

Why does the Left hate that idea so much?

Posted by: sold2u | November 19, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I am getting really, really REALLY tired of members of the media bleating about Obama's failure to get his message out...even you, Greg, who are generally a decent guy, have jumped on the bandwagon.
The part that frosts me is the way the media (and you) acts as if they had nothing whatever to do with this failure. Cut away from Obama's speech to interview the obnoxious Sarah Palin? Has nothing to do with Obama's "failure." Pound the Republican talking points while ignoring the fact that they are lies? Nothing to do with it. Putting actual facts about the health care bill on page c27 (if at all) while front-paging "death panels?" Not a factor.
I used to edit a weekly newspaper, and if someone had told me that nearly half the people in my town thought the mayor was a Muslim and didn't realize he had lowered their taxes, I would have viewed that as a profound professional failure. My profound failure, do you understand that? Not a failure of the mayor to adequately explain his religious beliefs, but my failure to print the truth and refuse to print lies. But you guys just skate, then, no doubt, get together at your little parties to giggle about how dumb we are in flyover country.
Has George Will ever corrected his lies? Of course not...and he pays no penalty, either.

Posted by: kstack | November 19, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Obama distancing himself from the Debt Commission he appointed with certainly solve all the Dems' problems.

That's what great leaders do, right?

Order people into battle and shoot them, if they come back with bad news.

Joe Stalin and Hitler did it all the time. Of course, one won and one lost, so we really don't know, if has any real effect on the outcome, but it sure makes a leader feel better for awhile until reality comes crashing in.

The sharpen the message part is also great advice. I'm sure the public doesn't understand that Obama wants to tax only the rich 2% to help the strugglng 98%. He didn't say that enough. All he has to do is keep repeating that and eventually the stupid public will understand . . . and then all the Dem problems will disappear . . . and then it will be to infinity and beyond!

And if the 2%/98% speech doesn't bring the desired utopia, then surely promising millions of "green jobs" will do the trick. Obama didn't repeat "green jobs" enough either.

Yes, the President has a real problem not being able to repeat himself.

Of course, he can always decide to do healthcare reform for another 15 months. That'll show how good he is at repetition.

Posted by: jfv123 | November 19, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

News to Sherrod Brown.

The Democrats have ALREADY gutted Medicare. It's called the health care bill.

If you don't believe it, maybe you can look at the options available to medicare advantage folks in Northern Virginia. There isn't a SINGLE major hospital available in network within a hundred miles on Humana. Your only other choice is "you can't die quickly enough" Kaiser. So, if you are one medicare and have cancer or a heart problem or anything else, you better have medigap or you are going to be paying a 20% (or 100% with Kaiser) penalty for being out of the non-existent network. One major illness and your savings will be wiped out.

Thanks Dems. How much did you get from pharma for this sell out?

Posted by: tr444 | November 19, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"Joe Stalin"

What, are you on a first name basis?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 19, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

News to Sherrod Brown.

The Democrats have ALREADY gutted Medicare. It's called the health care bill.

If you don't believe it, maybe you can look at the options available to medicare advantage folks in Northern Virginia. There isn't a SINGLE major hospital available in network within a hundred miles on Humana. Your only other choice is "you can't die quickly enough" Kaiser. So, if you are one medicare and have cancer or a heart problem or anything else, you better have medigap or you are going to be paying a 20% (or 100% with Kaiser) penalty for being out of the non-existent network. One major illness and your savings will be wiped out.

Thanks Dems. How much did you get from pharma for this sell out?

Posted by: tr4
-------------------------------------------------------
I just had to tell you.....YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

You are spouting right wing talking points.

As for "Big Pharma" that was all the doing of Repubs remember? And many Republicans got fat jobs with "Big Pharma" for pushing passage of the Bush Meicare Drug Plan.

What the Health care bill fixes is the "donut hole"....heard about that?

Posted by: celested91 | November 19, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that AARP sells Medi-gap but not Advantage. Coincidence, I'm sure.

Also, How does Barry giving sweetheart deals to Banks, Insurance companies and drug companies bring him, and the long suffering Democratic majority Senate brethren closer to the "broad middle class?"

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut | November 19, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Soros has taken over the Democratic party. It's now official.

Posted by: Jimbo77 | November 19, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

All I can say is Dems need to get together on a single message and FIGHT. As it is right now, I don't feel like there's anyone in D.C. who has my interests at heart. We're just being steamrolled by the plutocrats.

In my neighborhood alone there are moving vans coming in the dead of night and scooting before the bank seizes the property. Sometimes the bank gets there first. There are a huge bunch of people that are drowning out there and so far the Repubs' answer seems to be pat slogans. The Dems have a real chance here to get support, but it won't happen if they want to play minor league Republicans. The rest of us will just sit out again.

Posted by: Alex3 | November 19, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

Sherrod Brown's spine needs to be transplanted into Obama - very soon.
The tone that the Dems are going to take going into 2012 has to be set during this lame duck session. Obama's State of the Union next year ought to be very interesting. How does Obama walk a fine line between being accomodating and tearing the GOP a new orifice is a trick that may prove impossible, especially with the worthless MSM we have.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 19, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty clear whose side Obama is on.

The rich.

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 19, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

It is just hillarious to hear the Dems, from Obama on down spewing the same rhetoric...."we're for the middle class." Could it be because a HUGE portion of the middle class spoke LOUDLY on Nov 2? But still Dems didn't get the message. We don't need Obama making his "intentions" clear via a message. We understand his intentions, and we don't like them. Plain and simple. On to 2012 and more change that we middle class can count on.

Posted by: ReneesOpinion | November 19, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

tr444: if a Medicare Advantage plan doesn't add most NoVa hospitals, it has nothing to do with health reform.

Brown said: ""The president has to make clear whose side we're on," Brown said. "The Republicans want to privatize Social Security and cut Medicare. Democrats are on the other side, advocating for the middle class. We need to affirmatively and strongly make that contrast.""

Didn't the Democrats unanimously vote to, you know, cut 1/2 a trillion dollars from Medicare? How's Barry supposed to argue in favor of not cutting it when he just, less than a year ago, signed a bllmthat did just that?

Posted by: TrollMcWingnut
____________________
there was no cut to Medicare. the half trillion you are talking about was mostly bad debt offset reimbursement to hospitals that they gladly bargained away in return for 32 million more insured. Medicare is strengthened by health reform, not threatened.

Posted by: JoeT1 | November 19, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

I just had to tell you.....YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

You are spouting right wing talking points.

As for "Big Pharma" that was all the doing of Repubs remember? And many Republicans got fat jobs with "Big Pharma" for pushing passage of the Bush Meicare Drug Plan.

What the Health care bill fixes is the "donut hole"....heard about that?

Posted by: celested91 | November 19, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse
======================
Obama cut a deal with big pharma - that is a fact.

As for your claim that the donut hole was "fixed" - that is a total CROCK. $250 is a drop in the bucket considering how expensive some drugs are.

I'm so tired of you Obama cheerleaders spreading your garbage. People who worship politicians when those politicians are so intent on screwing us over make me sick. You Obama worshippers are just the same as Bush worshippers. Please educate yourself instead of swallowing Obama's lies.

Oh, and I VOTED for Obama. But I never will again.

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 19, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

"Oh, and I VOTED for Obama. But I never will again. "

I, for one, don't believe you. If I'm wrong, may I suggest firedoglake.com. There are a lot of little kiddies there who have taken their ball and have run home.

Posted by: filmnoia | November 19, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

The main problem at the democratic Senators' meeting with Obama - is that Obama doesn't know what he is doing


The democrats have 21 Senate seats up in 2012 plus the two Independents - and the truth is that they are in a serious situation.


If things stay the same, the democrats stand to lose 14 seats.


So, all you democrats who thought it was a good idea to vote for Obama -


How is that working for you now ???

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

celested91

I just spent two hours on the phone with medicare and an agency for helping people understand medicare. Went through the provider list -- all agreed - no major hospitals on medicare advantage. A major metropolitan area with NO doctors representing a major specialty. Why -- cuts in the doctor reimbursement rate -- due to the cost-offset for "health care reform."

I don't have any talking points bud, just endless hours trying to figure out how I am not going to end up $50k out of pocket for surgery and meds next year. If the plans that were available for this year were available for next, I would have no problem.

I predict that by March we are going to be overwhelmed with stories about seniors who have had their chemo, their bypass surgery etc. etc. cancelled because there was no one in the non-existent networks to treat them and they can't pay 20% of a 100k bill.

I vote that the house and senate agree to have medicare/medicaid as their insurance.

Posted by: tr444 | November 19, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

It seems that, even more than the "public option," that tax cuts for the over-$250,000 income level is going to be the line drawn in the sand that will determine whether Democrats hang together to fight another day or fragment and thereby completely give the Republicans an open field. I am increasingly certain that, if this issue -- which, after all, has been an article of faith among Democrats, including Obama -- is allowed to be "compromised," what will ultimately be compromised is Obama's presidency. Failure to hold the line on $700 billion giveaways to the wealthiest, in the context of failure to extend unemployment benefits and all the sacrifices being asked by various deficit-reduction plans, will, I think, clear the way for a challenge from the left to Obama's renomination.

Posted by: mylesgordon | November 19, 2010 6:03 PM | Report abuse

The Senate Dems are right. How do we get through to this guy, light a fire under this guy. This isn't the guy I thought I was voting for. No bushing way.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | November 19, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

tr444

Are you talking about Northern Virginia or another metro area ?

Posted by: RedTeaRevolution | November 19, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

All, Happy Hour Roundup posted:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/happy_hour_roundup_133.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | November 19, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

AFAIK, the social security privatization proposal is optional. Nobody would be forced into it, but if one liked, one could take a portion of their withholding and put in approved equity investments (probably spyders or qqqqs).

Why does the Left hate that idea so much?

Posted by: sold2u | November 19, 2010 4:56 PM |

Because, by withdrawing "personal" accounts from the overall Social Security system, it would endanger the system's solvency. Same with health care -- that's why the health care law includes and "individual mandate," even though Obama (unlike Hillary Clinton, who knew the issue better) campaigned against it. The math is simple -- the larger the pool, which of necessity must include healthier individuals not likely at a given time to withdraw funds from the system, the more solvent it stays for everyone.
Social Security was founded as a plan for old-age INSURANCE. It was never intended as an INVESTMENT plan. Large risk pools are essential for insurance to work.

Posted by: mylesgordon | November 19, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Let's see.... Obama has been off to Indian, hawking more trade deals and more job outsourcing. His flunkies have been to China, doing pretty much the same thing. Bernanke and Geithner have been shilling for more "simulus" dollars in spite of the fact that everyone knows 90% plus of that money ends up in offshore investments, which are resulting in even greater job losses here at home. Obama is on track to displace more than five MILLION US hi-tech workers with his record numbers of H1-B visas and he and the Democrat's have enlared upon that disaster with new guest worker visas for mall businesses, for nurses and other medical professionals. Commodity traitors have driven the consuer cost of food up by more than 30% and it is expected to DOUBLE by next spring, with the result that starvation, not "food nsecurity", will be a very real fact of life in this country. Obama and the Democra's just finished stripping the last vestages of job protections, pitting US workers directly against hinese and Indian workers that cost an average of $0.91 an hour. Oh, and he is STILL ou there hawking "free trade" as if he didn't have a clue! So, Mr. Sargent, you tell us whose side he is on.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 19, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

The President needs a publicist.

Still, it's better than the GOP, who can't call Bush out of the closet because people hate him so much.

Posted by: lindalovejones | November 19, 2010 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Brown is correct. Mr. Obama's first public confrontation should be with Senate Democrats. He needs to publically and forcefully "call them out". The ultimate tragedy of the 2010 mid-terms was we lost Russ Feingold, but still have Harry Reid. jimsteinberg1 is also correct. Mr. Obama is not the person I thought I was voting for.

Posted by: BBear1 | November 19, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

AFAIK, the social security privatization proposal is optional. Nobody would be forced into it, but if one liked, one could take a portion of their withholding and put in approved equity investments (probably spyders or qqqqs).

Why does the Left hate that idea so much?

Posted by: sold2u | November 19, 2010 4:56 PM |

Because, by withdrawing "personal" accounts from the overall Social Security system, it would endanger the system's solvency. Same with health care -- that's why the health care law includes and "individual mandate," even though Obama (unlike Hillary Clinton, who knew the issue better) campaigned against it. The math is simple -- the larger the pool, which of necessity must include healthier individuals not likely at a given time to withdraw funds from the system, the more solvent it stays for everyone.
Social Security was founded as a plan for old-age INSURANCE. It was never intended as an INVESTMENT plan. Large risk pools are essential for insurance to work.
_________________________________________

The solvency issue only matters if stocks underperform Treasuries over a significant period. I believe the plan allows for a small (5-10%) amount to be invested in stocks. What is the matter with giving young adults a chance for some extra return. Plus, I can't imagine a worse investment right now than Treasuries.

Posted by: sold2u | November 19, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

The real reason that the Republicans are so hot to get the whole tax cut package extended is their wealthy billionaire owners/bosses want them to reimburse them for all the money spent during the midterms, since they'd lose the EXTRA upper 2% tax cut if only the middle class cuts were extended, or the whole package were allowed to sunset. And the Republicans can't extend anything without the help of the Democrats.

Posted by: DrainYou | November 19, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

The solvency issue only matters if stocks underperform Treasuries over a significant period. I believe the plan allows for a small (5-10%) amount to be invested in stocks. What is the matter with giving young adults a chance for some extra return. Plus, I can't imagine a worse investment right now than Treasuries.

Posted by: sold2u | November 19, 2010 6:25 PM

I would have thought stocks' performance over the past few years should have put the idea of privatization permanently off-limits. It all depends on the luck of the draw, when you'll becomes eligible for SS. For those poor souls who started receiving benefits during the downturn, having that money invested in the stocks would have been a disaster. Ask anyone who, because of legal requirements, were forced to begin withdrawals from private investments during that time.
Besides, Social Security is an old-age INSURANCE plan, not an INVESTMENT.

Posted by: mylesgordon | November 19, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Yes. Northern Virginia. Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, Fauquier, Warren, Alexandria, Arlington. Ie. about 3 Million people. On the hospitals, the lack of a major medical center would include Washington Dc, Maryland and Richmond. I'd have better access to medical care if I lived in India. Scary huh?

Posted by: tr444 | November 19, 2010 6:45 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't agree more with Sen. Brown. Obama needs to drop the "bipartisan" BS and get down and dirty with the effing Republicans, the animals that they are.

Posted by: 7891 | November 19, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats need to stop playing the class card. I will never vote democratic again. The issue is not class warfare, it is how do we get our fiscal house in order and specifically how to do we implement the commission's recommendations in coordination with the Republican concerns.

We need cooperation between Republicans and Democrats, compromise and straight talk about the options we have. Class warfare has no place in the discussion.

Posted by: jsands2 | November 19, 2010 6:50 PM | Report abuse

trblmkr1 has it exactly right. Sad to say, but a majority of Americans these are, well, kind of slow. And the "mainstream" press does not help by echoing the lies issued by Fox News.

Posted by: SeattlesBest | November 19, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

Obama seems to take the point of view of whomever he last spoke with. The trick would seem to be positioning yourself to be that person.

Posted by: SageThrasher | November 19, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

What are the Senate Democrats talking about. Obama has made it very clear and the results of this last election proves this. Obama is on the side of the left wing of the Democrat party. Obama's socialist agenda is what got the Democrats their losses and the Senate Democrats want Obama to continue on the road the people said they opposed. The Senate Democrats want Obama to be tone deaf and pretend nothing has changed. We all know what the left wing of the party means by Obama didn't do enough and he has to sharpen his message. The Senate Democrats wants what the left wing of the party wants. Before the elections the left wing of the party wanted Obama to put his heel harder on the necks of the American people. When Obama forced health care down our throats, thats what the left wing was talking about. They wanted Obama to do more forcing, taking and transforming the American people and this country to socialism. Obama even said after this last election, he didn't think he went far enough. This was supposed to have been it. The end of capitalism, free market, freedom of speech, bill of rights, choices, the Republican party, and the Constitution with the election of Obama. The Senate Democrats could care less about immigration, climate change, and Bush tax cuts. If they can't change the American people's fundamentals and transform this country to socialism their dream of living in a country that has no more capitalism, free market and the Constitution is dead.

Posted by: houstonian | November 19, 2010 7:32 PM | Report abuse

"and he confirmed in unusually blunt terms that Senate Democrats are unhappy with President Obama over his failure to fight harder in order to draw a sharp distinction with Republicans on kitchen-table issues important to the middle class."
------------------------------------------
What? The tax hike for the middle class embedded in the ObumblerCare bill wasn't enough? Obama wanting to have energy prices SKYROCKET for the middle class wasn't enough? Are these Senators psycho or what? All of the above are just ADORED by the middle class. Which is why Dem House members were hunted down in the streets and shot in early Nov.

ROFLMAO

Posted by: illogicbuster | November 19, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

If there is one group with no right to complain since they are the root of the problems Democrats have had ... it is the Senate Democrats.

Everything water down has been watered down because of them - not the WH or the House.

Everything that took forever, took forever because of them - not the WH or the House.

Senate Dems - look in the friggin mirror, you jerks.

Posted by: Kristi1 | November 19, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

23 months.

Posted by: logicprevails | November 19, 2010 9:39 PM | Report abuse

I am completely in agreement with Sherrod Brown. They needed to light into Pres O over his complacency towards the GOP. Please remember Democrats, if we didnt want you, we wouldn't have voted for you. We don't want the GOP!!!!

Posted by: pkbishop1 | November 19, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Enough is enough Obama stand up and fight for the middle class tax cuts. There is no compromise with the Republicans they are only interested in bringing you down and helping the Millionaires and billionaires in America. The American people are with you. Stick to your principles and do not back down. You are dealing with bullies on the other side and the American people are depending on you......

Posted by: johnnyk1 | November 19, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

A clear majority of Americans support extending ALL of the tax cuts in the current economic environment ... the Left is in total denial about this hence the current disarray among the Democrats ... this only reinforces the public perception of an unorganized mob beholden to liberal ideology over common sense especially as it relates to the economy ... bottom line they will flail about for awhile with a few meaningless class warfare "symbolic" votes and then we'll get a temporary extension for all incomes for two years ...in the process they will once again reinforce the stereotype ... so just get on with it ...

Posted by: cunn9305 | November 19, 2010 10:30 PM | Report abuse

You guys should stop complaining because, one the health care we have now isnt as good as it was supposed to be. also the law has just been signed so give it some time. so if u want to say u have the right to choose tell that to ur congress men or state official. If you do not have insurance and need one You can find full medical coverage at the lowest price check http://ow.ly/3akSX .If you have health insurance and do not care about cost just be happy about it and trust me you are not going to loose anything!


Posted by: alencary | November 20, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Why are Senator Brown and the other dems so stupid they can not realize they LOST the 2010 election. The whole country, except the most bankrupt coastal states, turned red! Americans do not want what the dems and Obama are pushing down our throats. We do not want George Soros running our government and our lives!

Obama can not repeat the same thing twice. He lies and he can not remember what lie he said last time. Obama lost the middle class when he and Pelosi rammed through the healthscare scam.

I dread the next 2 years when Obama tries to rule by executive order. I trust someone will try Obama and Holder for treason. And get rid of George Soros.

Posted by: annnort | November 20, 2010 6:00 AM | Report abuse

A better take on this meeting can be found be reading Michael Crowley.

But even better is this peice of advice: Democrats in the House and Senate need to quit complaining about what President Obama didn't do for them, and start taking blame for what they didn't do for themselves. After all, it was their names on the ticket, their campaigns to run, their races to win, not his.

If Democrats want a sharper message, they need to get off their tushes and spread a tougher message. If Democrats want a different agenda, they need to set it and share it with the White House. If Democrats want to end Republican obstructionism, they need to stand shoulder to shoulder and fight. That's their job. President Obama has other things to do than wipe their noses for them.

President Obama has exactly ZERO point ZERO votes in the House and Senate combined.

It's time for Democrats -- including the whiny Bill Nelson of Florida (whose state was barely affected by the Gulf oil spill, yet squealed like a stuck pig) -- to quit acting like toddlers, grow up, saddle up and get going.

Head 'em up! Move 'em out!

Posted by: jade_7243 | November 20, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

sold2u,
The reason privitization won't work is that when the people who opted out of Social Security and lose their money will expect everyone that stayed in to bail them out even though they have not contributed.

Posted by: jmfromdc | November 20, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

To tr4 or tr44, the person complaining about Medicare Advantage and health care reform: Medicare Advantage came on the scene in 2003. The problem with not finding a hospital in network does not result from the 2010 health care reform bill. It results from the involvement of private insurance companies in Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are health plans sold by private insurance companies as an alternative to regular Medicare. About 3/4 of people on Medicare are in regular Medicare. If you are among the 1/4 who are in Medicare Advantage it's because you yourself chose to be in Medicare Advantage. As is usual when private insurance companies are involved, Medicare Advantage is trying to make money and Medicare Advantage plans try to entice customers to join by offering some "advantage." Often the "advantage" is some additional service not provided by regular Medicare such as dental care or paying for a gym membership. Of course you don't get something for nothing, so you "pay" by settling for a more limited choice of hospitals and doctors; with Medicare Advantage the doctor or hospital has to be contracted with your particular Medicare Advantage plan, not just with regular Medicare. Your Humana Medicare Advantage plan may not have advertised that down side to you because they wanted you to sign up with them instead of with regular Medicare. So what you have is a private corporation trying to make money "getting between" you and your health care provider. Medicare Advantage has been like that all along; it's nothing that comes from health care reform. In fact, health care reform will help people on Medicare Advantage because it will require Medicare Advantage plans to spend at least 85% of premiums paid to Medicare Advantage on actual medical care (thereby limiting to 15% the amount for profit and administrative costs).

Posted by: ohioguy2 | November 20, 2010 11:52 PM | Report abuse

PS A lot of us in Ohio are very happy with our Senator Sherrod Brown. Senator Brown pays for his own health care because he says he will not accept health care at the taxpayers' expense until all Americans have access to high quality affordable health care.

Posted by: ohioguy2 | November 21, 2010 12:10 AM | Report abuse

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