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Posted at 9:11 AM ET, 01/27/2011

David Axelrod: "No grand repositioning"; Obama is a "progressive"

By Greg Sargent

David Axelrod chatted with around a dozen bloggers at the White House late yesterday, and I got a chance to ask him to respond to all the claims -- coming from left-leaning, right-leaning and nonpartisan observers alike -- that Obama is in the midst of an ideological makeover in the wake of the 2010 losses and in preparation for reelection.

Axelrod adamantly denied there had been any discussions about repositioning at all and reaffirmed that Obama is a "progressive." Axelrod's answer, alternately frustrated and pleading, is worth quoting at length, because it captures something interesting about the collision between Obama and Axelrod and Washington's permanent culture.

Axelrod acknowledged that something fundamental about Obama's public persona had been "ground down," and also shared an anecdote I hadn't heard before about his big breakout speech at the Democratic National Convention in 2004:

I'm not going to change the nature of this town and the nature of our politics....But we tend to sit on the back of the truck and look at what happened before, and then define what's happening now in the context of what happened some other time.

So, Bill Clinton repositioned himself to the center, and that's the prescription for what you do and so on. I guarantee you, as God is my witness, we have not had a repositioning discussion here. We have not talked about, "let's move three degrees to the right." That's not the way we view this.

It is true that we have to go back to first principles and really think about what it is that drives us and what it is that has been so central to Barack Obama's public life and outlook. Because some of that has been sort of ground down in the minutia of day-to-day governing here...

I mean, there's nothing that the President said last night that I couldn't draw a straight line from to speeches that he has made way back to 2004.

I got a reporter's inquiry, `the President seemed very optimistic and he seemed to be talking about American exceptionalism last night, and is this a reaction to the elections?' And I said, go back to his convention speech in 2004.

When the President got the call that he was going to give the keynote speech at the convention in 2004, I was with him. We were driving in a car in downstate Illinois, on some dark road somewhere with bad cell service. So we had to call back and confirm that he actually was going to be the keynote speaker, because the call got dropped. And the first thing he said was, "I think what I want to do is wrap my story in the larger American story and talk about what it is that makes us who we are."

And it's something that he believes deeply in, and it's what he talked about last night...I mean, there's no doubt he is progressive in his outlook and that's what he believes in. But he has never been particularly dogmatic...His fundamental view is you don't have to agree on everything, or even most things, to work together on some things. And so there was no sort of grand repositioning...

But I'm not going to defeat this. I had a politician in this town say to me, after the speech in Tucson, "Boy, that was a great speech. I can see he is really thinking about re-election." And I'm thinking, "What are you talking about?" Because I spoke to the President before and after that speech, and I'll tell you what he was thinking about more than anything else. He was speaking about a nine-year-old girl who was about the same age as his girl. And he was pretty broken up about it. And all he wanted to do was speak to that moment.

But everything in this town gets evaluated in that way, and that's just the way it is. Anybody who says that, I will give them a volume of Barack Obama speeches going back many, many years, and I will defy them to say, where has he changed? Where is he different? Where is his basic approach different than it was when he started on this journey five and six and seven years ago?

Axelrod, of course, has contributed to the excesses of Washington culture. But as the above captures pretty neatly, he's also long been said to be genuinely ambivalent about it and even disappointed that he and Obama have failed to change it in any meaningful way.

By Greg Sargent  | January 27, 2011; 9:11 AM ET
 
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Comments

Funny how the liberals always supported Bill Clinton -
- no matter how Conservative he got

- no matter how much Bill Clinton gave Wall Street what they wanted

- no matter that Bill Clinton deregulated derivatives

- no matter that Bill Clinton gave China a sweet Free trade deal amide a rash of allegations of illegal campaign money

- no matter that Bill Clinton gave Indonesia a sweet Free trade deal amide a rash of allegations of illegal money from that country

- no matter that Bill Clinton was lying in Court

- no matter that Bill Clinton had girlfriends and trashed them in the press

IN contrast, Obama has to worry about his left


THAT HAS TO BE RACIST !!!!!

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 27, 2011 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Seriously folks

The left never treated Bill Clinton this way.

There must be some hidden motives.

The only possible explanation is the left really doesn't feel this way about all these issues, they MUST have a hidden motive of RACISM to be constantly complaining about Obama this way.


That has to be it.

This is DIRECTLY IN LINE with what Obama's people have been saying all along. I can draw a straight line over the past few years of HIDDEN MOTIVES TIED DIRECTLY TO RACISM.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 27, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are on the right track, it seems. Gallup has Republican approval much improved over last year. Obamacare repeal must be a good thing.

PRINCETON, NJ -- Americans' opinions of the Republican Party have improved to the point where now more have a more favorable than unfavorable opinion of the party. The last time more Americans viewed the GOP more positively than negatively was in 2005.

In March, just after President Obama signed the healthcare reform bill into law, 41% of Americans had a favorable view and 54% an unfavorable view of the Democratic Party, the worst Gallup has ever measured. Three other 2010 measurements showed similar scores.

The Democrat media knows all this. That is why the Obama, media bobbleheads are furiously hyping everything Obama, including Obama's tepid, lifeless SotU speech.

The propaganda war has been declared. The Obamacrat media has but one goal now. That is to destroy the opposition and get their DEAR LEADER re-elected in 2012.

The Obama mediaites are like soldiers and the keys on their boards are like the triggers of guns, the words like a blizzard of bullets.

Sarge Greg is up for the RED STAR for duty above and beyond. That guy is officer material.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 27, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

The problem with the left is this: the liberal agenda is supreme.


The left doesnt really care about Obama ther person - it is the agenda they care about.


AND the left doesnt really care that the government is supposed to REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.


For the left, Obama was elected to REPRESENT THE LIBERAL AGENDA, NOT THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY.


It is that simple - there has been a fundamental disconnect between the left and DEMOCRACY ITSELF.

Reconciliation was a CLEAR BREAK between democracy and AUTHORITARISM.


It is that clear and simple.


The liberals want to IMPOSE their agenda -

They don't want to tell people they are changing what is taught in schools - that young children are getting taught the gay agenda

They DONT want you to VOTE on that


The gays do NOT want votes on gay marriage, they lose everytime. They want GAY JUDGES, EVEN CLOSETED GAY JUDGES, TO LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE.


The left wants to TAX YOU whether you want it or not.

The left WANTS to Tax you using a POLL saying that the people want the individual benefits WITHOUT REGARD FOR THE COSTS OR THE TAXES.


The left has JUMPED THE SHARK - it is completely ridiculous now.

AND we still hear comments from the left that they do not understand why the Right feels the way they do - or even why the Right is VOICING THEIR OPINIONS.


Astonishing how stupid and tone-deaf the left has become
.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 27, 2011 9:43 AM | Report abuse

The problem with the left is this: the liberal agenda is supreme.


The left doesnt really care about Obama ther person - it is the agenda they care about.


AND the left doesnt really care that the government is supposed to REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.


For the left, Obama was elected to REPRESENT THE LIBERAL AGENDA, NOT THE PEOPLE OF THE COUNTRY.


It is that simple - there has been a fundamental disconnect between the left and DEMOCRACY ITSELF.

Reconciliation was a CLEAR BREAK between democracy and AUTHORITARISM.


It is that clear and simple.


The liberals want to IMPOSE their agenda -

They don't want to tell people they are changing what is taught in schools - that young children are getting taught the gay agenda

They DONT want you to VOTE on that


The gays do NOT want votes on gay marriage, they lose everytime. They want GAY JUDGES, EVEN CLOSETED GAY JUDGES, TO LEGALIZE GAY MARRIAGE.


The left wants to TAX YOU whether you want it or not.

The left WANTS to Tax you using a POLL saying that the people want the individual benefits WITHOUT REGARD FOR THE COSTS OR THE TAXES.


The left has JUMPED THE SHARK - it is completely ridiculous now.

AND we still hear comments from the left that they do not understand why the Right feels the way they do - or even why the Right is VOICING THEIR OPINIONS.


Astonishing how stupid and tone-deaf the left has become
.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 27, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Battleground

You are correct that the democrats have crossed the line into propaganda.

It is true.

And to bring up the Nazis - people often wonder how the Nazis got everyone to cooperate with them during their rise to power. Look at how the democrats like Greg Sargent have thrown ALL ANALYSIS to the side.


Greg is NEVER critical of Obama or the liberals.


Greg soley repeats the same PROPAGANDA of the left, over and over again. This is not up to the standards of a major American Daily.

Greg Sargent belongs in an authoritarian country, writing the party line.


Seriously folks, this has gotten ridiculous.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 27, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I sympathize. How could it possibly be the case that one man, or even one administration, could somehow re-arrange or re-jigger - in a "everything is suddenly changed" manner - something as vast and complex as the US government/media/corporate structures that are in place. It's a deeply delusional hope that this could happen.

Posted by: bernielatham | January 27, 2011 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Battleground-

The approval of Democrats also improved and is now 46% favorable and 47% unfavorable. This has steadily improved since health care reform. So there are any number of narratives you can try to advance in the face of these numbers, but the most likely explanation is just a more favorable view of government in general rather than some single issue transformation.

The improved opinion on government makes a lot of sense given the recent extension of the tax cuts, repeal of DADT, and ratification of START, all of which were popular. Of additional interest is the Democrat view on all 3 of those topics matched the view of the American public. Most Americans wanted tax cuts extended for everyone but the top income brackets, wanted DADT repealed, and wanted START ratified. Republicans opposed all of those positions.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 27, 2011 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Homosexuals are all weepy again and on the verge of a collective hissy-fit. Their #1 crush, Barack H. Obama, didn't mention homosexual marriage in his SotU message.

The insensitive beast!!!

Obama knows that the homosexual agenda is a political loser. Homosexualizing America's fighting forces blew a chunk of his political capital away just as the Obamacare boondoggle did.

Obama's electoral wallet is getting mighty thin and he has the homophillic left to thank for that.

The political LEFT really takes that socialism stuff to heart. The LEFT takes but never gives back.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 27, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Greg:

That's a load of horsesh*t. Obama didn't change the DC culture because he embraced it the day he was elected. Obama immediately tuned out the American people and turned into an inside player cutting dirty deals in secret with Big Business and Conservatives. Obama abandoned the American people and asked nothing of us even when we were eager to help. Instead, he let the phony Tea Party run the country. Obama never even bothered to activate his political organization until it was re-election time.

Obama a Progressive? Ridiculous. And it is pathetic that Axelrod is still trying to sell that nonsense after all Obama has done. Axelrod is just playing re-election games with Progressive Opinion Leaders. Same as that nonsense about redefining the center as whatever Obama does. Hooey. If Obama has become a Progressive all of a sudden we'll know it by what he does not what his flak says. We'll see whether Obama can bend the Right to his will. My guess is he folds like a wet noodle just like he's done since Inauguration day.

In my opinion.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

For example:

The Arab Street is our friend.
Now they know. So do the Persians.

Parading around on Al J does not turn their crank anymore.
They know the Saudis, the oil money in geberal will **never** help them. Iranian people know too.

America, with its communications freedoms, we may have won WW.3, but only if we get out of the neo-con wars.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 26, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Totally off thread, but, Ms. Second Amendment Remedies is Going to Iowa. She really *is* clueless.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 27, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

More O/T -- Why is the GOP keeping so many secrets?

"The Republican Party is the party of K-N-O-W. We know how to lower the cost of health care. We know how to take care of the uninsurable. We know how to put patients in charge of their health care and have a market-based, patient centered health care system that's not going to kill jobs like ObamaCare is going to do. And we know how to stimulate the economy. We know how to create jobs in the private sector. We know how to prevent this huge government takeover of health care as well as all of society."

http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2011_01/027721.php

What ever happened to John McCain's secret plan to get Bin Laden?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | January 27, 2011 10:14 AM | Report abuse

pragmatic- Great link, I'll rest a lot easier now, knowing that the GOP has it all figured out. Now that I know that, I can just cast my straight republican ballot. Man, what a great start to the day.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 27, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Greg, I agree with Axelrod about Obama's consistency and am glad you asked the question and gave us the whole response. I don't think it will change the conversation though. People jump to their own conclusions and rarely look back.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 10:18 AM | Report abuse

More OT:

Sarah Palin says that the USSR won the space race, but the cost of it is what forced their collapse. (Guess she doesn't want to credit St. Ronnie's arms race if she can get in an Obama bash instead.)

LOL
------------
"He needs to remember that, uh, what happened back then with the communist U.S.S.R. and their victory in that race to space," the Fox News contributor said Wednesday night, reacting to Obama's reference to Sputnik in his State of the Union speech. Palin called the Sputnik name drop one of the "W.T.F." moments in the speech, a play of the President's call for "winning the future."

"Yeah, they won but they also incurred so much debt at the time that it resulted in the inevitable collapse of the Soviet Union," Palin said.

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/wtf-sarah-palin-thinks-the-ussr-won-the-space-race-video.php?ref=fpa

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 27, 2011 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Obama is cynically looking over to the left saying, "I was here all along, where were you?" Alexrod is trying to jump start "The List". It won't work.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 27, 2011 10:23 AM | Report abuse

"People jump to their own conclusions"

Forming a view based on evidence and reality is not jumping to conclusions. It is the opposite.

"and rarely look back"

Re-election BS is not new evidence.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:24 AM | Report abuse

fromhappyhour:

Bernie's "front groups" sceptic oppo this year: $1Bil

http://climateprogress.org/2010/09/27/dirty-money-oil-companies-special-interest-polluters-spend-millions-to-kill-climate-bil/

Most recent numbers I could find (fast) for US Govt:

"Federal climate change funding, as reported by OMB, increased from $2.35
billion in 1993 to $5.09 billion in 2004 (116 percent), or from $3.28 billion to
$5.09 billion (55 percent) after adjusting for inflation and also increased for
technology, science, and international assistance between 1993 and 2004" {snip}
Page 9.
http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d05461.pdf

I'm confident that's gone down significantly 2005 to present.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So, don't expect me to buy into the narrative."

I don't even expect you to buy a Slurpee, much less a narrative outside yo-bubble.

Posted by: tao9 | January 27, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

ashot.

Sure the Democrat party has improved it's image over last year. It's a natural and here's why:

The American electorate just got most of what it wanted, neutralization of the Obamanation. Most of the nasty, little Obamacrats, in the House, were given the bums rush outta town. America cleaned house and now it's happier with the results. The Democrats are greatly reduced so the Democrat party is no longer as much of a threat. People hate it less.

Americans' current 46% favorable and 47% unfavorable rating of the Democratic Party is among the worst for Democrats since 1992, but is an improvement from 2010.

And it is my opinion that the Democrats do as well as they do because 90% of the media is relentlessly PRO-DEMOCRAT.

Propaganda is a powerful tool to use on those you can easily fool. America has more than it's share of those.

Conservatives and Republicans have barely 10% of the media on their side. It's a miracle that group gets any ratings at all. The fact that it does proves, to me, that American is mostly conservative, in nature.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 27, 2011 10:28 AM | Report abuse

On the bright side, Greg, at least Axelrod didn't call anyone on the Left a f-ing retard. So that's progress, I guess.

Which makes Obama ... a Progressive!

Ta Da!

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne- What do you think about Axelrod's point about Obama's message not changing? You obviously don't see him as progressive, but did you consider him progressive at one point?

Sue- So it wasn't communism per se that led to the demise of the USSR? It was too much debt? Hmmm...that's an interesting tact by Palin. It's also hard to determine what she means by "inevitable" did she mean it was inevitable because of the debt they incurred launching Sputnik or was the demise inevitable in a broader sense. I will give her/her handlers credit for the WTF line. While it's a bit inappropriate, it's pretty clever, too.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 27, 2011 10:30 AM | Report abuse

Wbgonne--Deep and unrelenting cynicism is a heavy burden. I'm sorry. I hope there are many parts of your life that make you happier.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Here is a perfect example of the weak-kneed defensive crouch Obama has been in since Inauguration Day:

"At the beginning of his State of the Union address, President Obama tipped his hat to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who’s now recuperating in a Houston medical facility. But throughout the hourlong speech, he never addressed the issue at the core of the Giffords tragedy—gun control—and what lawmakers would, or should, do to reform American firearm-access laws. That was intentional, according to the White House. An administration official says Obama didn’t mention guns in his speech because of the omnipresent controversy surrounding the Second Amendment and gun control. ...

White House said that to avoid being accused of capitalizing on the Arizona shootings for political gain, Obama will address the gun issue in a separate speech, likely early next month. He’s also expected to use Arizona as a starting point, but make the case that America’s gun laws have been too loose for much longer than just the past few weeks. As the White House prepares its strategy, several gun-policy groups are saying they were burned by the lack of any mention of guns in the president’s highest-profile speech of the year. “President Obama tonight failed to challenge old assumptions on the need for, and political possibilities of, reducing the gun violence—which he suggested should be done two weeks ago in Tucson,” said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, the nation’s largest gun-safety group. No group said it had been consulted by the White House regarding legislative suggestions."

http://www.newsweek.com/2011/01/27/white-house-to-push-gun-control.html

Does anyone else see what is wrong with that picture? In any event, it doesn't matter anymore b/c the Dems don't have the House and Obama will get nothing the Cons don't let him have. For a very high price.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Wow, Novak Djokovic beat Roger Federer down under. Nadal long gone. Changing of the guard?

Republicans have wasted another month playing House. They need to get leadership toot sweet and I am not talking about the nerd with the funny name at the RNC. Are you wing nuts missing Steele yet?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 27, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

I think Josh Marshall gets the credit for the original conflating of the two WTFs. I'm so surprised Palin's writers didn't credit him.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 10:38 AM | Report abuse

ashot: "in a broader sense. I will give her/her handlers credit for the WTF line. "

I give the WTF line right back to her....along with a history book for the period of 1955 to 1991. LOL

Palin-Bachmann 2012
The Twit Twins

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 27, 2011 10:40 AM | Report abuse

What do you think about Axelrod's point about Obama's message not changing? You obviously don't see him as progressive, but did you consider him progressive at one point?

I did consider Obama a Progressive based upon everything he said during the campaign. I stopped believing Obama was a Progressive baed upon what he did once elected. What Obama says now is irrelevant unless he engages in a full-throated defense of Liberalism and the Left. Those are the only words that can change the national debate. And as we see from the gun control example, Obama is still too frightened to even attempt to do that.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Looks like wbgonne has a full blown case of Obama Derangement Syndrome. I wonder if RainForest will save him a seat in the cafeteria...

lol

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | January 27, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

I hate to add fuel to the fire, but if anyone here thinks Obama is a progressive, you probably don't want to read this piece. Axlerod is probably correct that his belief system hasn't changed internally, but his words make it pretty difficult to pin him down, progressive one day, corporate benefactor/beneficiary the next. I keep looking at Third Way and see the Democratic Party of the future.

""Political events of the past two years have delivered a more profound and devastating message: American democracy has been conclusively conquered by American capitalism. Government has been disabled or captured by the formidable powers of private enterprise and concentrated wealth. Self-governing rights that representative democracy conferred on citizens are now usurped by the overbearing demands of corporate and financial interests. Collectively, the corporate sector has its arms around both political parties, the financing of political careers, the production of the policy agendas and propaganda of influential think tanks, and control of most major media.

What the capitalist system wants is more—more wealth, more freedom to do whatever it wishes. This has always been its instinct, unless government intervened to stop it. The objective now is to destroy any remaining forms of government interference, except of course for business subsidies and protections. Many elected representatives are implicitly enlisted in the cause.""

http://www.thenation.com/article/157511/end-new-deal-liberalism

Posted by: lmsinca | January 27, 2011 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama sure isn't talking up illegal immigration and outlaw immigrants anymore.

Maybe that's a loser even THE ONE will not touch any time soon, again.

He blew a wad of political capital on AMNESTY for outlaws from south of the border and, literally, got nothing in return. He's still wiping the salsa off his grinning mug.

That's excellent! America won that one. Obama and his foreign allies lost.

Obama will be pre-occupied with electioneering tricks for the next two years. Maybe the Republicans can do some good, in the meantime.

I hope so. America needs some good news again.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 27, 2011 10:42 AM | Report abuse

"His fundamental view is you don't have to agree on everything, or even most things, to work together on some things;" this to me is the definite take-away message that explains barack obama. why do you think the powers-that-be behind the gop pols had been so threatened by this guy; and explains their last two years (and probably the next two years) doing all they could and can to make sure little to nothing gets done that the president could take credit for?

Posted by: sbvpav | January 27, 2011 10:43 AM | Report abuse

OT Since there is no morning plum.

What is with the deficit HYSTERIA? I watched about five minutes of morning Joe before I had to puke and give it up.

Saying the Deficit represents 70% of our GDP is a borderline LIE. Again...if a couple purchases a $300,000 home with a 100,000 annual salary they don't view that home as 333% of their income. They look at the monthly payments or annual debt and compare that their monthly or annual income...you know as in apples to apples.
If my TOTAL current debt liability (mortgages etc.) represented 70% of my annual income I'd be freaking wealthy!!!!!!

Our current budget has 5% dedicated to interest on the debt...not good...but not a crisis.

I posted a link to an article yesterday several times that CLEARLY explains that debt needs to be placed in CONTEXT...we are being misled by the fear mongerers!!!

Now before another extremist like Brigade whips out some more hyperbole like RUK isn't worried about the deficit...that's a hypberbolic LIE! Stop with the exaggerations OK righties.

The deficit IS A CONCERN. More accurately stated the TREND of the deficit is a concern. But it's way to early to poop our pants like the R's. Remember they are the party of fear and cowardice. If they want to wet their pants fine but let's not join them.

Yes we need to address the deficit and make sure entitlements are properly managed. There are myriad ways to do this..from a simple step like removing the cap on FICA taxes...to raising taxes somewhere else...to cutting spending somewhere else..like DEFENSE!!!!!

Meanwhile can we PLEASE get some perspective on our debt...check out a graphic representation of historic reality. We have been in far worse straits.

http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/federal_deficit_chart.html

By EVERY economists measure we were in an economic crisis of HISTORIC proportion. You have to go back to the Great Depression for a comparison. We are currently just a little more than half in terms of the % of debt to GDP compared to the Depression. In other words FDR needed almost TWICE as much deficit spending than Obama...we have been here before. Check out WWII...almost THREE times the amount of deficit than we have right now. Look at how quickly Clinton was able to bring a large deficit under control. And for whatever reason concidence or skill a Dem in the W.H. is ALWAYS better than an R when it comes to the deficit. Just a simple fact.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

Clean out your diapers and relax righties.
The deficit is a problem...it's not a crisis..it's manageable (again see Clinton) and best of all we have a Dem in the W.H. not an R. Check out the chart and regain your confidence...unlike the R's in the W.H. The Dems ACTUALLY DO SOMETHING about the deficit.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Can we still call them the Ditzy Chicks, or did that option go away with Sue Louden's defeat? Oh, for the days of Chickens for Checkups. Heady time here.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Deep and unrelenting cynicism is a heavy burden"

Yes, but not nearly as heavy as denying reality.

"I'm sorry. I hope there are many parts of your life that make you happier."

There are. Thanks for your concern.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:45 AM | Report abuse

"Obama Derangement Syndrome"

Wow. That's the best the Democrats have? A Bush Era retread? Fitting somehow. The ironic thing is, just as with Bush, it is Obama's supporters who suffer from derangement, not his good-faith adversaries.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

The model citizen Charles Hughes Smith:

By now it should be clear even to the most optimistic observer that the global financial system has given itself over to systemic lawlessness. Once international banks were effectively allowed to print their own money in an unregulated “shadow” system and have it redeemed full value by national taxpayers, the charade was over. The only thing left, at this point, given the full cooperation of governments and an eerie world-wide non-enforcement of law, is for banks, like a cancer to savage and consume every concrete store of non-counterfeit productivity and asset value.

Not only have governments from China to the United States committed themselves to a chess game meant to eke out relative advantages on a sinking ship, but they have positively rewarded those who are speeding the collapse. A simple, cannibalistic economic rule now persists until a new system emerges: Economic manipulation, destruction, and extortion are simply more profitable, far more profitable, than good old fashion value creation. Disaster capitalism will be pursued full force.

Whether a country is communist or capitalist, authoritarian or marginally democratic, no longer matters. Citizens globally have been made to be the pawns and patsies of a universal financial Ponzi scheme that can only end in carnage.
...

Read the rest at:

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjan11/Zeus-one01-11.html

Posted by: Papagnello | January 27, 2011 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Nobody really knows what Barack H. Obama is or where he comes from. B.O. is a mystery wrapped inside a riddle.

Maybe if that goofy, Obamacrat governor, in Hawaii, could have found Obama's birth cerificate, we could have began unwrapping the riddle that is our president.

Personally, I think he's an alien from beyond the cosmos. He is a pod person. Obama has no earthly beginning.

Watch the sky! More are on the way.

Posted by: battleground51 | January 27, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

wbgonne writes
"Obama a Progressive? Ridiculous. And it is pathetic that Axelrod is still trying to sell that nonsense after all Obama has done."

Obama is and always has been a progressive. Where the left is annoyed with him is that he's not a militant progressive, instead choosing pragmatism. For instance, on don't ask don't tell repeal, the left was very upset with Obama for not unilaterally changing the rule immediately. Instead, he chose the route of going through Gates, the DOD & Joint Chiefs to address the problem from within the military. That was smart policy & implements the change in a way that coopts some of the criticism from the right. The left was annoyed because they viewed the policy as a moral wrong that should have been righted immediately - they ignore what the long term impact of that move would have been.

Posted by: bsimon1 | January 27, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

I think it's also part of the Beltway culture that if you are a game changer you don't learn that until after the fact. It's only after you've left office, when the commentariart starts putting you in historical context that the way you've changed the culture becomes clear.

Posted by: akaoddjob | January 27, 2011 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The model citizen Charles Hughes Smith:

By now it should be clear even to the most optimistic observer that the global financial system has given itself over to systemic lawlessness. Once international banks were effectively allowed to print their own money in an unregulated “shadow” system and have it redeemed full value by national taxpayers, the charade was over. The only thing left, at this point, given the full cooperation of governments and an eerie world-wide non-enforcement of law, is for banks, like a cancer to savage and consume every concrete store of non-counterfeit productivity and asset value.

Not only have governments from China to the United States committed themselves to a chess game meant to eke out relative advantages on a sinking ship, but they have positively rewarded those who are speeding the collapse. A simple, cannibalistic economic rule now persists until a new system emerges: Economic manipulation, destruction, and extortion are simply more profitable, far more profitable, than good old fashion value creation. Disaster capitalism will be pursued full force.

Whether a country is communist or capitalist, authoritarian or marginally democratic, no longer matters. Citizens globally have been made to be the pawns and patsies of a universal financial Ponzi scheme that can only end in carnage.
...

Read the rest at:

http://www.oftwominds.com/blogjan11/Zeus-one01-11.html

Posted by: Papagnello | January 27, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

I think it's also part of the Beltway culture that if you are a game changer you don't learn that until after the fact. It's only after you've left office, when the commentariat starts putting you in historical context that the way you've changed the culture becomes clear.

Posted by: akaoddjob | January 27, 2011 10:55 AM | Report abuse

All, good new post by Adam Serwer on Obama's challenge in Yemen:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/draft_2.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 27, 2011 10:56 AM | Report abuse

"Where the left is annoyed with him is that he's not a militant progressive, instead choosing pragmatism."

Yes, and that's still happening.

Posted by: akaoddjob | January 27, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"Deep and unrelenting cynicism is a heavy burden."

I don't think that is the reason Mr. Obama's hair is turning gray so fast, it happens to all Presidents, cynical or not, except Reagan. His hair stayed prefect, dementia protects a person from the stress of caring, let alone knowing.

Now the deeply cynical Larry Summers, Peter Orzag, Timmy, Ben and the rest of Obama's friends, that must indeed be a heavy burden, watching the consequences of what they did.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 27, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

ruk--I'm glad you're on this deficit thing. It seems it's the only thing Repubs want to talk about and some pushback with facts is more than welcome.

Btw, I saw the Palin Sputnik clip with Greta Von Susteren, and agree with you that Bachmann sounds better in terms of syntax. They are both in a race for the bottom when it comes to knowledge of history but I think Bachmann is in the lead.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Back OT...Rachel Maddow did an interesting thing at the start of her show last night.

She said..let's look at a President's text of a SOTU. Of course we all assumed she was referring to Obama..clever trick..as she began reading text I said to my wife...man I'm getting old I don't remember him saying that...then I got it...it was Ike's final SOTU...I quickly shared with my wife and she was impressed when Rachel came back with the news that indeed it wasn't Obama but Ike.

Her point. Ike would be such a flaming liberal in today's politics he couldn't even get past a DEMOCRATIC primary much less an R. He would have to run as an Indy somewhere perhaps in line with Bernie Sanders. We have been drug soooo far to the right as to not recognize our former nation. Wahhhh I want my country back!!!

Tidbits...1956 REPUBLICAN Platform...
Pro Union...yes..pro union.
For cutting defense spending! Ike's famous MIC comments applicable here.
For EXPANDING SS.
This is the REPUBLICAN PLATFORM!!!!!
Of course marginal tax rates were over 90% and IKE DEFENDED this by saying..until we have our budget balanced the rich are going to have to pay....WHOAAAA what a concept.

Obama is a progressive in TODAY'S environment. But I understand lmsinca and wbgonne's frustration. Obama is NOT A PROGRESSIVE by historic standards.

I'm over R's and D's...please give me REPUBLICAN Dwight Eisenhower again!!!!

BTW With all the maligning of Obama's Sputnik metaphor...I appreciate his attempt...but his speechwriter missed a critical opportunity...Obama would have been better served IMHO to say something like...REPUBLICANS have given us many great ideas over the years...in the spirit of bi-partisanship I wish to salute a great Republican who gave us the Interstate Highway system, who believed the wealthy should pay their fair share, who warned us of the MIC and spending too much on defense...D.D. Eisenhower.
Ask yourself this...do you appreciate driving on our Interstate highway system instead of the local roads when you're on a long trip? I thought so...so in the spirt of a great REPUBLICAN leader who had foresight and INVESTED in our infrastructure I'm going to learn from the lesson of Ike!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 10:57 AM | Report abuse

"Power is all about access, and evidence shows where the current power resides. National governments in full collusion and cooperation with gigantic international financial corporations, have opened the floodgates of access to the “little people’s” wealth through bailouts, Fed policy, and quantitative easing, and clanged shut the castle door of the financial elite by allowing them to establish the value of their own assets and to concoct, rate, and sell almost any financial asset or instrument with no accountability, transparency, or enforcement."

Posted by: Papagnello | January 27, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

"please give me REPUBLICAN Dwight Eisenhower again!!!!"

The conservatives Ike (rightly) dismissed as fringe & stupid now run the GOP.

Posted by: akaoddjob | January 27, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"American democracy has been conclusively conquered by American capitalism."

The United States is a plutocracy. Americans are slaves to Big Business whose response to the economic crisis is to work its existing employees to death rather than hire new ones. That's why there's no new jobs.

And how can Big Business get away with it? First, they have destroyed the unions so there is no collective power for workers any longer. Second, they threaten to go elsewhere -- a Southern state, China, Bangladesh -- anyplace that doesn't have worker protection and environmental laws. Destroy the unions and globalize the workforce and watch the race to the international bottom accelerate as corporate profits rise and working people sink.

Big Business runs the United States and it runs the world. The DC Pols are Big Business' handmaidens who get smacked down if they dare resist. We need someone with courage to change things. We need fearlessness but since it appears it won't come from the top via our political duopoly, we the people must do it ourselves.

Now I'm off to be cynical and bitter.

Later.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Beware of Third Way.

They are not a progressive's friends.

Posted by: Papagnello | January 27, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@bisimon--Yes. To shorten it, Obama's instincts are progressive and his politics pragmatic.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

@ABC

"Btw, I saw the Palin Sputnik clip with Greta Von Susteren, and agree with you that Bachmann sounds better in terms of syntax. They are both in a race for the bottom when it comes to knowledge of history but I think Bachmann is in the lead."

I absolutely agree with you ABC that no matter which criteria you might choose..the competition for the most ignorant between Palin and Bachmann is very very close. Perhaps we can agree to simply call it a tie. :-) Or as Meghan McCain says...Bachmann is merely Palin lite.

Now if the Steelers and Pack can give us the same kind of competition we are in for a close and exciting Super Bowl.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:08 AM | Report abuse

And before we get too nostalgic about Eisenhower the progressive, let's remember his foot dragging on both McCarthy and civic rights.

Hey,wbgonne, enjoy your day!

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

""Beware of Third Way.

They are not a progressive's friends.""

That's why I keep looking at who and what is coming out of there.

Posted by: lmsinca | January 27, 2011 11:13 AM | Report abuse

@ABC Ike certainly wasn't perfect and as you correctly point out he didn't exactly shine during the McCarthy witchunts. Quite honestly he may have been afraid of ole J. Edgar who wielded incredible influence from behind that skirt of his. In addition, while we all give Ike plenty of credit for his MIC warning..he did wait until he was headed out the door to tell us that bit of truth. Ike never stood up to either General Curtis Lemay...a genuine troglodyte or Allen Dulles of the CIA another turf builder in the mold of that sissy over at the FBI.

Having said all of that...IMHO Ike was an excellent President. I guess it depends if you grade on the curve or simply view him against the recent losers the R's have foisted on us. I appreciate Ike and historians largely agree as he always finishes in the top quarter of Presidents as judged by the scholars. He usually finishes right around 10th.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_rankings_of_Presidents_of_the_United_States

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

"foot dragging on...McCarthy"

Didn't McCarthy insinuate that Ike was a commie sympathizer or plant? That would have put him in quite an awkward spot to do much to suppress McCarthy and that line of inquiry.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | January 27, 2011 11:20 AM | Report abuse

@sue Thanks for that cogent point. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who enjoys history here.

You are correct of course and we could toss in the John Birchers who if my fading memory is correct also accused (in their case I believe it was direct and not and insinuation)Ike of being a communist...and in fact didn't that then lead to William F. Buckley banishing the birchers to the wastelands of the fringe and out of the R mainstream. It still amuses me that the man behind enforcing this fear trotted around in drag...Knowing all that he did to corrupt our system of Gov't..Constitutional power etc...why is J Edgar Sissy's name still on the FBI building. The man was literally a traitor to our American values. I'm offended every time I visit DC and see the FBI Bldg.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

If it quacks and walks like a duck, it is a duck. Obama is not a progressive. He is a centrist who surrounds himself with alot of corporatists.

He definitely talks like a progressive at times though but his actions definitely say no.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | January 27, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

@oddjob "The conservatives Ike (rightly) dismissed as fringe & stupid now run the GOP"

Great point! Which is truly sad for our country.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:28 AM | Report abuse

If it quacks and walks like a duck, it is a duck. Obama is not a progressive. He is a centrist who surrounds himself with alot of corporatists.

He definitely talks like a progressive at times though but his actions definitely say no.

Posted by: theAnswerIs42 | January 27, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Obama's SOTU speech, as loaded on his teleprompter by the most competent dialectians in his radical TSAR corps, can be summarized with a single quote: "We will move forward together or not at all." Translated from Obama's Marxist dialectic the quote is translated as: "Join with me in implementing the Cloward-Piven strategy of spending America's existing economic structure into oblivion, from the ashes of which we shall raise our vision of a Socialist Utopia on the American homeland; or, I will obstruct every legislative move that the new House majority attempts to make." And, Obama's current budget on the table with a CBO projected $1.5 Trillion deficit, an obscene spending level which Obama proposed in his SOTU to freeze for the next five years, verifies Obama's arrogant persistence to continue to govern in direct opposition to the expressed will of the majority of the American people. Compounding the calamitous and unsustainable level of deficit spending, cloaked in platitudes and cliches', is Obama's SOTU pledge to add even further deficit funds for infrastructure, etc., rhetorically disguised as "Investments". If the overwhelming majority of the American electorate doesn't soon open their eyes to the destructive nature of the arrogantly pompous intruder that we have unwittingly elevated to the Presidency of the United States; and, demand Impeachment, our Nation is doomed. Greg Neubeck

Posted by: gneubeck | January 27, 2011 11:31 AM | Report abuse

"But he has never been particularly dogmatic...His fundamental view is you don't have to agree on everything, or even most things, to work together on some things. And so there was no sort of grand repositioning..."

No one is denying that;the problem is that there are some occasions when working together should not mean giving concessions to other side and not getting anything in return.

Posted by: jtadetroit | January 27, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"But he has never been particularly dogmatic...His fundamental view is you don't have to agree on everything, or even most things, to work together on some things. And so there was no sort of grand repositioning..."

No one is denying that;the problem is that there are some occasions when working together should not mean giving concessions to other side and not getting anything in return.

Posted by: jtadetroit | January 27, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

@gneubeck....Haven't seen you around here before...but a question for you..

Why do you suppose it is that when viewed over the past 50 years it's ALWAYS the Dems who balance the budget while the R's always create a deficit? Just the facts please..no tinfoil hat rants like your last post.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_debt_by_U.S._presidential_terms

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

If Axelrod thinks labeling Obama as a "Progressive" is a positive, he's wrong. The American voters understand what Progressivism stands for and rejected it in November. A Progressive is just another wild-eyed Liberal in sheep's clothing that will be rejected again in 2012.

Posted by: 1republican | January 27, 2011 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Time to actually work...it's payroll day and the ladies get peoed if they don't get paid.
Who doesn't? :-)

Final thought..repeating..

Obama is a progressive by TODAY'S standards.
Obama is NOT a progressive by HISTORICAL standards.

Remember R Ike would be a flaming liberal today...Pro Union...expanded SS...believed in cutting defense...and taxing the wealthy to balance the budget...

Seriously...think about running on that platform today...Obama would get crushed!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

@1republican....and so you are saying unequivocally that REPUBLICAN President Dwight David Eisenhower...one of the heroes of WWII was in your words...

"another wild-eyed Liberal in sheep's clothing that will be rejected again in 2012."

BTW 1R...care to make a wager on 2012?

And the same question for you 1R as all the other uneducated righies (not all righties..just the loons here).

Why do you suppose that Democratic Presidents always reduce the deficit and Republican Presidents always add...Do you care about facts 1R or is your mind so closed to the truth?

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Eisenhower was a fine president in many ways, maybe most importantly in not taking steps to dismantle the New Deal, which gave many important social programs a chance to become more entrenched. What he wasn't was a passionate progressive. It's funny even to think of him that way. For starters, where do you think his 50's mentality would have put him on things like equal pay for women, choice, and DADT?

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 11:50 AM | Report abuse

All, this has to be the dumbest attack on Obama over American exceptionalism yet:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/boehner_obama_didnt_use_phrase.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 27, 2011 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Obama is a progressive by TODAY'S standards.
Obama is NOT a progressive by HISTORICAL standards."

So the take home message is, you think I am an old fаrt.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 27, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

@ABC

I agree that Ike might not have been a "passonate" progressive...but his ideas and the 1956 R Platform were indeed progressive by TODAY's standards.

And amazingly the R's did address equal pay for women...perhaps not in the aggressive fashion of the "women's movement of the 60s but you have to give the Republican's credit where credit is due. One plank of their '56 platform...

"Continue to fight for the elimination of discrimination in employment because of race, creed, color, national origin, ancestry or sex;"

http://scienceblogs.com/dispatches/2010/02/the_1956_republican_party_plat.php

I was 8 in 1956 and I remember how bad it was for women and blacks. To see that the R's even acknowledged as much with a plank in their platform just shows that the R's used to represent America as well as Wall Street. Now the R's represent one thing and one thing only...$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
they could care less about the "average" American.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 12:03 PM | Report abuse

In his State of the Union address President Obama showed himself to be just another cheerleader for an America that is no more and shouldn't even be. What kind of talk is this about out-competing with everyone else, which I guess mostly means China but includes the other nations of the world? Do we really have to see the globe as one big playing field of football thugs whom we have to beat? The thing is, I don't even think Obama is that kind of macho guy but like George Bush the former cheerleader (in a world that wants its men to be football heroes), he has to out-trash talk the big boys. "To think own self be true..." I guess it's too late for Obama to make that his mantra.

Posted by: farhorizons | January 27, 2011 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ruk, no question that today's Republican party is unrecognizable compared to Ike's. But he wasn't on the conservative side of the party that existed even then.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

There you go-even Obama's people call him "progressive", which is far left of liberal. You would have thought that was obvious with his continual high spending habit and his inability to control costs, but now his own people have told the world. The last thing this country needs right now as the budget deficit rises to dangerous levels, is a spend, spend, spend socialist as president.

Posted by: Realist201 | January 27, 2011 12:24 PM | Report abuse

"Progressive" as a noun is a self-serving hoot.

Posted by: dogwolf | January 27, 2011 12:27 PM | Report abuse

"But [Ike] wasn't on the conservative side of the party that existed even then."

Yes, this is a fact. Ike carried the water to integrate the military, he made it happen. He sent the 101st (Air Assault) against Orval Faubus' National Guard. He did some other admirable things. From where he was, he learned and changed during the time he was President. I admire that.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 27, 2011 12:32 PM | Report abuse

my opposition and antagonism to obama has nothing to do with his race. i'd much rather have malcolm x or even james brown in the oval office. than this half-black uncle tom. in new york city, alabama, since ghouliani took office the NYPD has killed hundreds of almost entirely young blacks and all acquitted. and NYC since 911 has had a 'stop&frisk' program "to prevent terrorism" but has a single 'terrorist' been apprehennded? and last year, 575,000 were stopped&frisked here and 81% were blacks witih 9% latino, 4% arabic/moslem and just6% whites in a city 65% white. yet they still deny any racial profiling? and obama stands for this? young black male unemployment in NYC 3x what it was 2006; 25+% now!

something about corporate shill warmongers who run torture chambers that bugs me. i bitterly denounce all such. i denounce bil clinton and his admin for the genocidal iraq embargo which did absolutely nothing but kill hundreds of thousands of innocent kids. he, madeleine albright and the bush people who started that should all still be in prison for massive crimes against humanity.

obama told us all emphatically on 60 Minutes on the eve of his inauguration that "we don't stand for torture!" that he would close gitmo and returnn the US to the rule of law. lying criminal! on febuary 1, 2009, obama re-authorized the bush CIA rendition program of globally outsourced torture chambers. gitmo is still torturing people; including kids, for years and bagram prison is now the much larger one filled with torture. and obama still accepts 'confessions' from years of torture to be 'valid.' this is nazi garbage government as always. just ask a sioux.

obama promised on the campaign trail to fight for medicare-for-all; then did no such thing. obama put balk-us as head of the senate committee in full knowledge that they were both bribed with millions of 'campaign donations.' not once did obama deliver an impassioned speech for universal care. and he left in the blatant poison pill of the inevitable destruction of that insipid 'reform;' the clear unconstitutionality of forcing citizens to buy insurance.

and as with bush, obama, a corporate-communist, has done worse than nothing for the economy and unemployed, which with all the longterm unemployed who no longer get an unemployment check is now at 19%; 30mln americans and their 70mln dependents struggling while the rich get yet more tax cuts; wall street criminals billion-dollar bonuses... bankruptcies soaring for year; ass with foreclosures and homelessness.

and obama continues the drugwar's unconstitutionality (prohibitions require and amendment, eh?) and while 31mln have been sent to prison for harmless pot with apartheid-level disparity, since 1935... 4.8 million died las century from drunk-drivers and still 16,000 a year... last year, still were over 800,000 pot arrests! that's progressive? no, that's rightwing warmongering and criminal treachery

Posted by: tazdelaney | January 27, 2011 12:42 PM | Report abuse

ruk:

""they could care less about the "average" American.""

By which, of course, you mean precisely the opposite. But the original is correct.

Posted by: ScottC3 | January 27, 2011 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Awesome screed taz, you are a natural. With practice (and taking a little time for proofing), you could become a force.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 27, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

@shrink

"From where he was, he learned and changed during the time he was President. I admire that."

Indeed. What a concept..learning..and growing and all that changey stuff. Perhaps that is why I still support Obama...he is one of the few pols around today who I believe still possess that capacity...you now as in learning from your mistakes...adapting to a changing world...

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Obama is a progressive crook from Crook County, Illinois, home of the progressive Daley mafia.

He sometimes talks the progressive talk, but seldom walks the progressive walk. This is how he is going to con the new president from Brazil. She was sent to jail for being a patriot in Brazil and now she is president.

I don't think the new president of Brazil is going to buy this load of crap. Obama is a tool of the big banks and Wall Street. He is trying to turn America into a police state.

Posted by: alance | January 27, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Ike's platform would be run out of town on a rail, as would Nixon's on everything but Vietnam and civil liberties . . . but I think it's much more stunning that Bob Dole would be tarred and feathered in any GOP primary these days. The guy pretty much engineered "Obamacare," although of course he got agreement from lots of Republicans such as Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassly, and to some extent John McCain.

Posted by: justin_timberwolf | January 27, 2011 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Horse hockey.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 27, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Awesome screed taz, you are a natural. With practice (and taking a little time for proofing), you could become a force.
---------------------------------------
Taz Mania.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 27, 2011 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Axelrod is "delusional". As is Obama. As is anyone who thinks liberals gave Clinton a break.

Carolyn Kay
MakeThemAccountable.com

Posted by: CaroKay | January 27, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

"no question that today's Republican party is unrecognizable compared to Ike's"

Just as today's Democratic Party would be unrecognizable to Harry Truman and John Kennedy. So pick your poison. The American political duopoly has been subjected to a hostile takeover by Big Business. The end result is a country so far Right that it is now John Birch Nation. Even when the American people clearly want something "progressive" -- like the public option or raising taxes on the Rich -- the American political system cannot deliver it. That is a complete failure of function. The American political system is ruined and self-reformation is evidently impossible. New variables must be introduced.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"Obama is a tool of the big banks and Wall Street. He is trying to turn America into a police state."
-------------------------------------
What? Wall Street wants a police state?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | January 27, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

"They don't want to tell people they are changing what is taught in schools - that young children are getting taught the gay agenda"
Posted by: Rainforestrising
________________________________________

Wow. I just.... I can't.... I just have no words for this. I'm speechless.

Posted by: Patzer111 | January 27, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"Wall Street wants a police state?"

An incendiary term to be sure but properly considered this is exactly what Wall Street wants. Of course it does. That is the "certainty" that only a plutocracy can provide for Big Business. Citizens are just economic units to be worked on subsistence wages until exhausted and then disposed as trash while companies write their own rules that the government enacts and enforces. We are already there.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 1:56 PM | Report abuse

There were things that Obama and his administration could have done to build a progressive base, but they neglected to take them on in favor of short-term polling gains. Addressing labor and immigration issues will only serve to grow the base, which helps the progressive cause in the long run. I suggest reading this really interesting piece from two professors who basically lay this theory out -- it could work: http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/01/27/democrats-must-avoid-the-trap-of-false-pragmatism-33924/

Posted by: BryceCovert | January 27, 2011 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Obamacare Less Popular than Any Time Since it Became Law


"The January Kaiser Health tracking poll, conducted jointly with the Harvard School of Public Health, now shows Obamacare to be less popular than at any time since its passage. For the first time since Obamacare became law, Kaiser now shows 50 percent of respondents holding an "unfavorable" opinion of it (up from a previous high of 45 percent in this poll), with only 41 percent holding a "favorable" opinion of it. The Kaiser Health tracking poll has always been an outlier poll, showing unusually favorable results for Obamacare. Previously, the largest margin of opposition in this poll was just 3 points, compared with this month's 9-point margin of opposition."


ObamaCare will be repealed.....either with current Senate Democrats (23 of which face election in 2012).....

...or with their Replacements shortly after the election which costs them their seat for not repealing it.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 27, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

"no matter that Bill Clinton had girlfriends and trashed them in the press
IN contrast, Obama has to worry about his left THAT HAS TO BE RACIST !!!!!"
Wow the race card never gets old for your kind does it? Hello little Dem have you ever thought that some Americans are tired of all of Obama's lying? Clinton did not get in trouble just because he got a "Lewinsky" in the oval office. He got people upset because he lied about it!!!

Posted by: Loxinabox | January 27, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"Progressive" = American Socialist

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 27, 2011 2:10 PM | Report abuse

"Understood properly, even legislative and electoral defeat can at times be positive. Democrats have too often in recent years been seduced by a false pragmatism that advises focusing on elections at hand and being wary of taking meaningful risks. But having a political strategy is different from having an electoral plan. It means thinking first and foremost of the long-term goal of building a popular base. Only then will Democratic politicians shape, rather than cater to, the political center."

http://www.newdeal20.org/2011/01/27/democrats-must-avoid-the-trap-of-false-pragmatism-33924/

BryceCovert:

My only quarrel with the authors is that I no longer believe the Democratic Party is capable of reforming itself. Certainly, the past 2 years have shown that even with complete political power the Democratic Party doesn't know what to do because it no longer knows what it stands for. Can that be rectified? Maybe. Will it? Very doubtful unless some event radically changes our current trajectory such as a viable primary challenge to Obama from the Left (highly unlikely) or the emergence of a significant Third Party on the Left, which is very difficult but not impossible, especially since the Green Party is already established throughout the country.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not a liberal socialist: he is a progressive.

Midgets are not short: they are vertically challenged.

Posted by: mmwatch | January 27, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not a liberal socialist: he is a progressive.

Midgets are not short: they are vertically challenged.

Posted by: mmwatch | January 27, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not a liberal socialist: he is a progressive.

Midgets are not short: they are vertically challenged.

Posted by: mmwatch | January 27, 2011 2:17 PM | Report abuse

Obama is not a liberal socialist: he is a progressive.

Midgets are not short: they are vertically challenged.

Posted by: mmwatch | January 27, 2011 2:18 PM | Report abuse

____________________________________

It gets even funnier the more times you say it.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Everything our President say or don't say is going to be picked at by media for trivial negatives. Any fake credit toward him ALWAYS have a "BUT" right after. So he's the best we got no matter the media. He needs to explain decisions like health-care to us, because we've already got his back. Nobodies jumpin on all the chicken-crap fake negatives and fake fear. I'm an American, so what the heck have I got to fear.

Posted by: CTaylor42 | January 27, 2011 2:30 PM | Report abuse

To the ignoramuses like George Dixon...

Please take your weak, poorly thought out manure to red state, drudge or some other place where brains are not valued and blind orthodoxy is required.

George Dixon...please learn the meaning of the word socialist before you come back..either that or get your tin foil hat polished.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

...His fundamental view is you don't have to agree on everything, or even most things, to work together on some things. And so there was no sort of grand repositioning...

That this describes Obama is clear. The question that so many have is what is it that Obama believes in enough to fight for without being prodded and cajoled to do so? Using the word progressive to describe Obama is interesting and I think many other "progressives" would think it is a misnomer. They don't see him as very progressive or at least not willing to really fight for a progressive agenda.

I think that Obama will win a second term but it may have more to do with who runs against him than Obama himself. If the Republicans put up a social conservative who believes we need to spend our time fighting a social agenda, then Obama will win because he will be seen by many, including Independents, as the lesser of the evils. If however for some odd reason the Republicans put up a moderate- I know people will say that can't happen- then Obama may find himself having to fight for his liberal or progressive base and to excite them enough to come out and vote.

If he sticks to only the agenda he has fought for at this time he will have a really hard time exciting the base of the Democratic Party and practically no chance of reigniting the fire he lit under the youth of the nation.

This will be an interesting two years and Obama's progressive credentials will be sorely tested. I surely hope they aren't found wanting.

Posted by: peterdc | January 27, 2011 3:06 PM | Report abuse

The correct term is “liberal,” not “progressive.” Just like all the other names for positions along the political spectrum, “liberal” is a descriptive term. “Progressive” on the other hand is judgmental (and self-awarded), and not everybody shares in that judgment.

Liberals are so very good at thinking up nice warm and fuzzy names with which to describe themselves and their policies.

Posted by: Three3 | January 27, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

@12BB-- "Taz Mania."

Nice.

Posted by: AllButCertain | January 27, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@peterdc Thanks for a well thought out post. Stick around we need posters who use their intellect to make cogent points.

We already have enough wack job birthers, he's a Marxist, Communist, Socialist, Obamacare is a Government takeover...these people are totally divorced from reality.

You make excellent points peterdc. Not sure I'm 100% in agreement...but I'm pretty close to your thinking and there's nothing to really challenge about your observations. Again stick around.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 27, 2011 3:24 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising, either your memory has failed you or you bought into the Republican propaganda machine's first iteration of the "We've elected a socialist president" story.

Clinton came straight out of the "Third Way" movement. He was elected precisely because he was an unabashed centrist who rejected both liberalism and conservatism.

Liberals didn't give Clinton a hard time when he supported policies that were farther to the right than they would have like to see him support because that is precisely what they expected him to do. There was no one in the US during the Clinton years who believed that Clinton represented the left. There were, however, the same politically expedient accusations of socialism, communism, etc from the right that we are hearing today. Then as now, the labels had nothing to do with reality. It was simply the politics of division at work.

Posted by: exco | January 27, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

@tao - you might want to dig in and find out where those funds actually go...

"The Congress has required the administration to report annually on federal spending on climate change. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reports funding in four categories: technology (to reduce greenhouse gas emissions), science (to better understand the climate), international assistance (to help developing countries), and tax expenditures (to encourage reductions in emissions). "

http://www.allbusiness.com/public-administration/executive-legislative-other/861924-1.html

(ya know, on a fast check)

But what's your notion here? That university professors working in the sciences at US universities are raking in the mega-dollars, buying mansions and large sailing vessels and that they actually wouldn't have work to do if not for their perpetration of a hoax? Is it that this research sector has as much money coming in as energy companies are spending on PR to cast doubts on global warming? Do you really believe that? Do you see the situation as massive and ubiquitous false reports by these scientists?

Or I could ask, just how far out on the right wing limb of nuttiness are you willing to climb just to continue believing that energy companies (and related) are dedicated to correctly informing you because that's the proper and common role and behavior of such enterprises - to do what is right for everyone and to be truthful rather than to make profits?

Posted by: bernielatham | January 27, 2011 3:40 PM | Report abuse

exco & peterdc:

Thanks for the thoughtful comments. This place is getting smart!

P.S.. Just so you know, RainForestRising is the MetaTroll and best ignored.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 27, 2011 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"Socialist

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 27, 2011 2:10 PM "
_______________________________________

This word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: Patzer111 | January 27, 2011 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"Socialist

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 27, 2011 2:10 PM "
_______________________________________

This word... I do not think it means what you think it means.

Posted by: Patzer111 | January 27, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

All of our recent presidents, including Obama, have one thing in common - be they "conservative', "moderate", "progressive", etc. They have refused to deal with the biggest issue facing our country, and it sure as heck isn't the deficit. America's ship of state is sinking. There is a huge hole in the hull called "lack of a sane trade policy". As the ship takes on more and more water, the Republicans and Democrats continue to argue about how to rearrange the deck chairs. The whole nation is caught up in "the great deck-chair-arrangement- controversy", paying no attention whatever to the fact that we are all drowning.

Posted by: Jihm | January 27, 2011 5:16 PM | Report abuse

As a past Democrat I never expected that liberalism having gently morphed into "progressivism" would morph yet again, this time into radical socialism and big-brother social engineering and dogma and intolerance. It shocks me the scale and scope of the downfall of the liberal brand which has been forced into a miserly third cousin in an amalgamated dysfunctional family of progressives and socialists and radical leftwing big-brother agitators and community organizers and Marxists and Communists!

Posted by: pouran-doukht | January 27, 2011 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Of course Obama is a "progressive." After all, Progressive is this generation's code word for Marxist.

Posted by: 2WarAbnVet | January 28, 2011 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Words are cheap.

Obama's speeches SAY one thing.

And then he claims either never said it - i.e., being for the public option - or else he does the exact opposite.

So claiming that his speeches haven't changed means that Obama has been lying for a long time.

NO real Democratic president, much less PROGRESSIVE, would have uttered the weasel words about Social Security that Obama uttered in the SOTU. No, a REAL progressive would have unequivcally stated that Social Security would not be cut for present OR future retires, and that rates would never be reduced, period!

David Axelrod is a dishonest prevaricator. No wonder he's such close friends with Obama.

Posted by: solsticebelle | January 28, 2011 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama is trying to hang in there until 2012 and I do not think it is for re-election as much as it is to get America and Americans shoved into the Global One World Order under the UN and put us on our knees. I have said from the beginning he hates America and Americans and his goal is to ruin us economically. How has he done so far? He is not suppose to have control over the auto makers, banks, college loans and health care. He knows if he looses one the rest are going to fall. I wish you would ask him when was the last time he saw Kissinger?

Posted by: egw7777 | January 31, 2011 12:03 AM | Report abuse

Obama is trying to hang in there until 2012 and I do not think it is for re-election as much as it is to get America and Americans shoved into the Global One World Order under the UN and put us on our knees. I have said from the beginning he hates America and Americans and his goal is to ruin us economically. How has he done so far? He is not suppose to have control over the auto makers, banks, college loans and health care. He knows if he looses one the rest are going to fall. I wish you would ask him when was the last time he saw Kissinger?

Posted by: egw7777 | January 31, 2011 12:04 AM | Report abuse

I forgot to mention there are no more Democrats. True Democrats left the building a long time ago. Probably as far back as John and Robert Kennedy. They would not have approved of what Obama is doing and I do not think they would have went along with Ted's letting Obama use him like he did.

Posted by: egw7777 | January 31, 2011 12:09 AM | Report abuse

Wow, could Axlerod be any more in the bubble? Those of us who are actual progressives aren't criticising Obama based on his speeches but on his actions. It is the great gulf between the speeches and the actions that tell us the Prez is no progressive. Aslerod apparently thinks progressives are blind and only hear the speeches and don't see what Obama is doing with his failure to deal with global warming, his failure in Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan. His failure to deal with Egypt and the inhumane blockade and imprisonment of Gaza and the occupation of the West Bank; the bail out of Wall Street and the Bib Banks, the sell out of health care reform, the refusal to roll back the military industrial complex, the sell out of the disaster relief corporatization to businesses like Halliburton, the failure to lead on Don't Ask Don't Tell so that even today he refuses to sign an executive order to stop discharges, refusal to enter the treaties against cluster bombs and land mines. etc., etc, Obama is a complete failure at progressivism. He is a centrist all the way to the core. His actual policies make him a liberal Republican or a conservative Democrat, but definitely not a progressive.

Posted by: gwonderwheel | February 1, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

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