Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Now let's Have an Obama-Palin Debate

President Obama’s decision to televise his Q&A with House Republicans was one of his shrewdest political moves since he transformed the 2008 controversy around his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, into an occasion to discuss race in American life.

The hour-long session accomplished two things that Obama has been struggling for months to achieve. It set his political base on fire, even as it set a post-partisan tone that political Independents, who have been straying from him in the polls, like so much.

Evidence of how the base took the event was all over the blogs (Daily Kos, for example, live blogged the event), and tellingly, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow merged their shows on Friday into a two-hour special that broadcast of the entire session, along with commentary by the two of them and Chris Matthews.

For progressives, this was Obama on the offensive, facing down his opponents and getting a chance to confront and coolly undercut conservative claims that have demonized his stimulus program and undermined his battle for health care.

For example, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) claimed that the Republicans’ health plan “would provide health coverage for all Americans” and accomplish all manner of other things “without raising taxes by a penny.” Obama calmly replied that “if you say, ‘we can offer coverage for all Americans, and it won’t cost a penny,’ that’s just not true. You can’t structure a bill where suddenly 30 million people have coverage, and it costs nothing.” Point (and match?) to Obama.

And when Rep Mike Pence (R-Ind.) scored the president’s economic policies for the nation’s high unemployment rate and asked why Obama would not support “across-the-board tax relief,” Obama countered that 1.35 million of the jobs lost this year were lost in January and February, before any of his policies had taken effect. As for across-the-board tax cuts, Obama said he was not in favor of “greater tax cuts for people who are making a billion dollars.” He added:

I may not agree to a tax cut for Warren Buffet. You may be calling for an across-the-board tax cut for the banking industry right now. I may not agree to that. So I think that we’ve got to look at what specific proposals you’re putting forward, and -- this is the last point I’ll make -- if you’re calling for just across-the-board tax cuts, and then on the other hand saying that we’re somehow going to balance our budget, I’m going to want to take a look at your math and see how that works, because the issue of deficit and debt is another area where there has been a tendency for some inconsistent statements. How’s that? All right?

All right, indeed.

The session was a reminder of how few occasions there are in American politics (outside of presidential debates) in which average citizens get to see the parties square off and test their ideas in a real back-and-forth. It’s a flaw in our system. Congressional debates occasionally do this, but many of these are now highly stylized -- and they are not in the easy-going, easy-to-follow format of Obama’s encounter with House Republicans.

But if the meeting was good for Obama with his base, it was also useful for his effort to win back middle-of-the-road voters. Obama was occasionally tough in his repartee, but his overall style was friendly, and he repeatedly spoke respectfully of Republicans. For example, he praised Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) as “a pretty sincere guy.” But underscoring his overall point of how demonized he was in Republican circles, Obama immediately noted that he didn’t want his kind words to be used against Ryan in a Republican primary. So he added: “I didn’t mean it. Don’t want to hurt you, man.” Even the Republicans had to laugh.

More seriously, Obama went thoroughly post-partisan at many points in the discussion, notably with these words:

We’ve got to be careful about what we say about each other sometimes, because it boxes us in ways that makes it difficult for us to work together, because our constituents start believing us. They don’t know sometimes this is just politics what you guys -- or folks on my side do sometimes.

Criticizing your own party at the same time you are criticizing the other party goes down very well with independents.

The Q&A was a smash success, and we need many more. Let’s have Obama do the same kind of session with the Senate Republicans. Then, let’s have him debate potential 2012 Republican presidential candidates, starting with Sarah Palin, and then, perhaps, Mitt Romney. I’m quite serious. Tens of millions of Americans would turn on to politics again. The potential Republican candidates will accept, if only for the publicity and a chance to prove they can take on Obama. And no, let there be no media moderator, no one keeping time, no one to give one of the participants a chance to hide. Just the two of them, and they can take the discussion wherever they want. The beauty of the Baltimore event was that it was just Obama and the Republicans, with no one outside politics getting in the way.

This sort of discussion would be far more enlightening than the average run of televised politics. And it would serve as a reminder that the president is a politician, not a king. The opposition has a right to challenge him. The power of the leader in a democratic republic comes not from force but from persuasion. Let the Republicans step up and test Obama’s ideas against theirs. It will be fun to watch, and good for the country.

Here’s hoping that what happened in Baltimore is the start of something big.

By E.J. Dionne  | January 30, 2010; 6:35 PM ET
Categories:  Dionne  | Tags:  E.J. Dionne  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Bin Laden on climate change
Next: The gross public penance of Edwards's former aide

Comments

YES!! YES!! YESS! Set the date immediately. Studying and memorizing answers cannot EVER replace true knowledge of a subject gained from following it for years! It would be HILARIOUS!! You can just fake an inexperienced vacant life and brain SO FAR! Even her gullible would finally see her for what she really is, a money-hungry FRAUD!! You betcha!!

Posted by: Maerzie | January 30, 2010 7:54 PM | Report abuse

Now we remember why we elected him as Commander-In-Chief. There is no substitute for brains, as he ably demonstrated. No TelePrompTer, no script, no staging. The Republican house members, on the other hand, had obviously spent days beforehand cribbing their notes in anticipation of an ambush. It certainly didn't go according to plan. He handled them, schooled them, at their own event. They all shuffled back to the bus this morning, sputtering and indignant, knowing the whole world had witnessed it.

Posted by: alarson1 | January 30, 2010 9:56 PM | Report abuse

Good article, Dionne, except for the title where you suggest letting Sarah Palin, queen of trailer trash family values, debate President Obama. That wouldn't be fair. It would be putting a female pygmy up against the Terminator. She would go down shouting, "You betcha, you betcha," and she would lose bigtime. Don't embarrass the poor little bimbo.

Posted by: dsrobins | January 30, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey EJ just as long as that pathological liar sociopath arrogant Marxist fool in the
Oval Office Barack Hussein Obama cannot
use his idiotic teleprompter okay?.....

Yep,you betcha Sarah Palin would kick that
stumblebum Barack Obama stinking arrogant
mumbo jumbo butt! Get 'em Sarah Palin!

Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012!

Posted by: sherrykay08 | January 30, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse

You are such a cheerleader! You buy this post partisan crap? It would be all well and good if it were not for show. I think other independent minded voters will not be fooled by this. The reality is that single party rule - whether dems or repubs - does not work in this day and age. Whether under Bush or Obama, both parties get full of themselves and forget about the average citizen and forget that we are a middle of the road country - not too far left or too far right. EJ and his fellow WPers? Well, they are way too far left!

Posted by: sagedutch | January 31, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

How obvious the maturity and quality of posters is from the content they expres! Sarah Palin definitely does draw the juvenile brain, trailer trash type misfit. As the saying goes: "Birds of a feather flock together."

Posted by: Maerzie | January 31, 2010 1:00 AM | Report abuse

Quite obviously, Dionne didn't like the points President Obama scored by being himself! It's been Obama's style since college! It was pretty hard to twist THIS one into a negative!! Hopefully, Obama will continue to give these Republican journalists a little more difficult time than they've had in the past!

Posted by: Maerzie | January 31, 2010 1:10 AM | Report abuse

You can´t be serious? Debate each of the possible Republican candidates? How many would that make? The President is already criticized for engaging in too many extraneous activities, this would only add to them. And as for debating Palin, that would be a cringe-worthy farce since Palin can´t really debate but only drone on with her glittering generalities expressed in byzantine syntax. And if SherryKay08 is typical of her supporters, what´s the point of any debate?

Posted by: Aquarius1 | January 31, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

I totally agree...one hour a month, televised...no moderator, no filters, no instant analyst breaking in to tell you what you heard, no commercials (I would gladly support our tax dollars paying the networks for that).

The President could sit with a whole variety of groups and individuals...governors, mayors, average citzens, wall street CEO's, doctors.

A regular Sunday morning hour, must see TV...before sports takes over in the afternoons...it just might save our democracy and would clearly help us all understand where everyone stands and the value of their ideas and positions. Can you imagine how this might have changed history during the Johnson, Nixon and Bush years.

One of the network geniuses needs to take this on.

Posted by: bob471 | January 31, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

thank you sherrykay08 for a good chuckle first thing in the morning - best way to start a day is with humor.
you obviously didn't watch the encounter of Obama and the Republicans. Your silly hero Sarah gave EVERY speach using a teleprompter - they are very useful, much better than the old cue cards. There were no teleprompters at this event, Obama answered off the cuff, a good smack down each time....how'd Sarah do off the cuff? hahaha hohoho.

Posted by: sharon1015 | January 31, 2010 7:28 AM | Report abuse

I personally believe that Obama should continue to do this - meeting with the opposition in both the house and senate regularly, maybe 4 times a year. Televise it and broadcast in in prime time.

This shouldn't be restricted to just the Obama presidency. I think it should be a requirement for EVERY President. Let them stand and rebut the opposition and debate the issues - defend their positions and rebut the stance of the opposition. This is perhaps the clearest picture of republicans and democrats we've seen in years - it also shined a light on the political games and shot down the talking points. The msm isn't doing this, it doesn't keep the pundits and politicians honest - this type of exposure and dialog is more important than ever - our problems are too big for games and talking points, we need serious governance.

That's just one benefit - the biggest benefit of doing this would in the long run, improve the quality of not only the presidential candidates - but also the other elected officials. More competent presidents, senators - more competent representation? Who wouldn't want that?

Do you honestly think that GW Bush could have responded to that type of questioning with the same level of maturity, comprehension and depth as Obama did on Friday? Do you honestly think that any of those being considered as being "Presidential material" for 2012 could pass that test with equal success? If they can't, are they really fit to serve? Every president should be able to do this - with equal competency - republican or democrat. That's the level of competency that should be required. It should be the rule, not the exception.

It's also just time to end the rein of Attwater/Rovian style politics - it's nothing but a cancer eating this country from within. And the worst part about it is that WE'RE the ones that suffer as a result. It's non-productive and it's certainly not in our best interests or the best interests of this country.

Bravo Mr. President well done! You're setting the standard - the country should thank you!!

Posted by: NotFooledTX | January 31, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

Having further debates between the members of the various government branches, the media and other current private citizens would be a great idea. Here are some debates that I’d like to witness:

--Rush Limbaugh vs. Any Democratic Senator or Congressman
--Sarah Palin vs. Nancy Pelosi
--President Obama vs. Sean Hannity
--Chuck Schumer vs. Scott Brown
--President Obama vs. Glenn Beck
--Justice Clarence Thomas vs. President Obama
--Hillary Clinton vs. Michele Bachmann
--Reverend Jeremiah Wright vs. Harry Reid
--Rahm Emanuel vs. Tom Delay
--Joe Biden vs. Jon Stewart

Posted by: VirginianforFreedom | January 31, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NViPVZOjwUA

Conservative Republican Senator Tom Coburn Of Oklahoma, On the Senate Floor Confessing, with Passion & Fervor The Truth...
________________

"These Debts are not President Obama's Fault, Nor The Deficit is President Obama's Fault, Its the Congress and The Senate's Fault"
___________________

I can Assure You, Fox News Won't have Tom Coburn On their News Programs, After his Confessions On the Senate Floor, to their Fox Minions, I mean Fox Audience

_______________

Posted by: omaarsblade | January 31, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

______________

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/president-republicans-how-can-we-solv
_______________

President Obama: Challenges The Republicans to Fact Check, whose Responsible for the..

[Nation's Debt]
__________________


By Susie Madrak Saturday Jan 30, 2010 8:00am

__________________

While speaking today at the House Republicans' retreat in Baltimore, President Obama explained something to his questioners I wasn't sure he actually understood until now: That he wasn't going to accept Republican bills or amendments that simply didn't work, just so he could claim bipartisanship.

Whew! It's about time.

He also said that he had, in fact, integrated many Republican ideas in the healthcare bill, and proceeded to list them. In fact, he did a great job. He was calm, engaging and evenhanded. And I don't even care if no Republican votes will change as a result - the rest of America saw it, live on TV and then on the news all night.

He was truly excellent.

And in perhaps his best moment, he called Republicans out on blaming him for the deficit:

THE PRESIDENT: Jeb, with all due respect, I've just got to take this last question as an example of how it's very hard to have the kind of bipartisan work that we're going to do, because the whole question was structured as a talking point for running a campaign.

Now, look, let's talk about the budget once again, because I'll go through it with you line by line. The fact of the matter is, is that when we came into office, the deficit was $1.3 trillion. -- $1.3 [trillion.] So when you say that suddenly I've got a monthly budget that is higher than the -- a monthly deficit that's higher than the annual deficit left by the Republicans, that's factually just not true, and you know it's not true.

And what is true is that we came in already with a $1.3 trillion deficit before I had passed any law. What is true is we came in with $8 trillion worth of debt over the next decade -- had nothing to do with anything that we had done. It had to do with the fact that in 2000 when there was a budget surplus of $200 billion, you had a Republican administration and a Republican Congress, and we had two tax cuts that weren't paid for.

You had a prescription drug plan -- the biggest entitlement plan, by the way, in several decades -- that was passed without it being paid for. You had two wars that were done through supplementals. And then you had $3 trillion projected because of the lost revenue of this recession. That's $8 trillion.

Now, we increased it by a trillion dollars because of the spending that we had to make on the stimulus. I am happy to have any independent fact-checker out there take a look at your presentation versus mine in terms of the accuracy of what I just said.

Posted by: omaarsblade | January 31, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

While the lack of a moderator (i.e. "free for all") had many great benefits over the usual moderataor controlled (so-called) "debate" (as discussed above), many of the Republicans' so-called "questions" seemed to be nothing more than canned political speeches intended to embarass or belittle Obama (usually with little obvious merit). Listening to these fools drone on and on was less than enjoyable or interesting. Other than Obama calling them on something, there was nothing to point out or discourage this grandstanding. Obama benefitted nonetheless because he is obviously intelligent, substantive and a good debater and was able to avoid getting down to their level by simply repeating prepared speeches. What might be even better than this single format, however, is to mix it up somewhat to make it more interesting, diverse and in depth and to provide some inherent checks and balances to political grandstanding. For example, first the two opposing politicians can have their free for all for a significant period of time (e.g. half hour). Second, after witnessing this free for all, there might be several politicians from different parties who each get to ask a question with follow up allowed. Third, there might be some number (e.g. 5) of media people who get to ask a question (with follow up question) of each politician. Lastly, there might be a number (e.g. 5) of ordinary citizens from each party who get to ask each opposing politician a question with follow up. There would probably need to be a moderator to direct the audience and participant through these different phases in a cheery, humorous manner, but s/he would not interfere with the action once it starts. This two hours of television should be very engaging and informative. This format might also discourage all of the participants from ignoring substance and displaying mere grandstanding as there is always the danger that some one from the opposite party might turn the tables on them by exposing the motive or lack of substance displayed. This format might also ultimately encourage our politicans to focus more upon policy substance than sound bites and will also be a useful method to respond to inappropriate tactics and pressure from the parties, as this format will ensure that their political actions will now be subject to regular, searching examinations and criticism by the other party, media and public. This would be a very interesting experiment indeed that might trump the popularity of American Idol (I can at least dream, can't I?). They could call it: "Crossfire on Steriods"

Posted by: law1 | January 31, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is a Hollow, Floating, Bubble.

Why Bring Sarah Palin into the Discussion.

She has No Substance, No Validity, No Credibility.

Other than being Attractive, She has No Credence.

The Allure is that Palin is Attractive, which make Men that Follow her, with a Sex Gaze, is based on the Fact she's Good Looking...

But when you Inventory Sarah Palin, she's Not that Good Looking, she's just Good Looking in the Political Arena of her Female Contemporaries, I.E. Alaska's Republican Sen.Lisa Murkowski, who is Not a Barbie Doll, but has The Legal Background, the Education, National and International Experience, Palin could Never, Ever have, yet Palin is Known and Murkowski is Unheard of ??

PS: Reality, Palin is in her Mid 40's, Attractive, But Not Drop Dead Beautiful, as the Media has Portrayed her to be or her Fans. She's a Mother Of [5]..

Reality: How Great Could [It Be] or How Great Could it be [Now]

Posted by: omaarsblade | January 31, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

You're dreaming, E.J., and I know that you know it. Reason? There's too much political risk, with THIS president for the Repubs (who got and would continue to get an industrial-grade spanking), NEXT administration possibly for the Dems--of course, it always depends on the persons involved. Politicians are risk-averse. Obama did it this time because it was worth the risk, the risk of being vanquished by Repubs being vanishingly small and his need to capture control of the discussion being compelling.

It WOULD be great for our Republic.

Posted by: post_reader_in_wv | January 31, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

........with all of the suggestions made by the gop members on Friday, why were none of these implemented over the past 8 years? And to suggest that these policy suggestions would be successful in view of where we ended up in dec 2008 is well, just silly.

Posted by: dougdigiacomo | January 31, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Can you believe the comment made by sherrtkay08? Isn't that scary that someone of her ilk is out there voting, much less, possibly on some school PTA. Superior article, EJ. Some of us knew all along the brilliance of our president Obama. Now, hopefully some of the uninformed citizens will see just how fake the GOP (particularly, Palin) can be. The Tea Party is scary because of their extremes. OMG! Why did it have to take a forum of this type to get people to finally see what is truly going on in politics.

Posted by: cmwb | January 31, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Although my comment is generalized, I think the media could learn something from the Q & A session that we witnessed. Reporters should do less editorializing and present facts not conjecture. Too many times reporters write something without the counterpoint or fact check of what they write. Presenting both sides of an issue is the only way "we the people" can discern for ourselves whether or not the proposal has real value or any value to improve our conditions.

Posted by: alexfekete | January 31, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

The article misses the point of the success of the Q&A session between the POTUS and the Opposition. The press has become complacent on the use of talking points, and does not consistantly challenge them. The POTUS rebutted the GOP points as distorted or untrue, but why a professional reporter with a staff, and media publication access would let a guest hijack there medium is the problem.

The press has contributed to the demise of the tone of the debate. To there benefit in ratings and fame. This is a failure in our system of government. And the ones who are reporting it are the ones who are responsible!

Posted by: spartacus7502 | January 31, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

"For example, Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) claimed that the Republicans’ health plan “would provide health coverage for all Americans” and accomplish all manner of other things “without raising taxes by a penny.” Obama calmly replied that “if you say, ‘we can offer coverage for all Americans, and it won’t cost a penny,’ that’s just not true. You can’t structure a bill where suddenly 30 million people have coverage, and it costs nothing.” Point (and match?) to Obama"

I'm confused. This is what Obama and his minions have been claiming for a year so why is this a point for Obama? I agree it is total BS but so is Obama's constant claims on the issue.

Posted by: usr105 | January 31, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Till Obama steps forward and does something on his own initiative: a presidential decree, the President will be thought of as somewhere giving a speech.

Posted by: dunnage | January 31, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Negative, not happening, EJ. Sorry about that.

Obama is imploding. No one saw his lounge act with the GOP and no one cares.

We know you want the free advertising and think you have a hook for BHO, but it's already gone. No shot in hell Palin is going to allow an embarrassment one-termer to get some free heat off of her.

Triumph in a teapot, Eeg. Glad the Prez got his groove back with the Daily Kos set, but the rest of America could care less.

In the end, it's not about winning Yale-style debates. It's about results, and the GOP will be more than happy to let CBS' new basketball analyst fail spectacularly on that score.

Rhetoric is nothing -- especially when you've nosedived like Barack Obama.

Posted by: Truth6 | January 31, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

If President Obama debated Palin, he would win so convincingly that it would make people feel sorry for Palin. Our Harvard educated President would be called a know-it-all elitist picking on a simple little Alaska hockey mom. I think the president is too smart to fall for that trap.

Posted by: mscarborough | January 31, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey EJ, ever hear the term "Talk is Cheap" because so far that's all BO does, TALK.
And thats exactly what he did with the GOP. TALK, TALK, TALK,
Come back and write a thoughtful column, when BO actually ACCOMPLISHES something!! Because thats why BO was elected, to accomplish something, not to be on a perpetual Campaign!!

Posted by: morphy | January 31, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that Dionne thinks "point and match" to Obama for snarking that we can't "suddenly" cover 30 million without it costing a penny, when he thought we could cover everyone in America and save money in the process.

Posted by: INTJ | January 31, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious some of the commenters did not see the Q&A session or are just anti-Pres. Obama.

Pres. Obama showed he has a firm grasp of all issues and showed the Republicans for what they are - the party of no. If you are in the minority and yet your ideas are still incluced in bills, etc. and then you vote against them - shame on you.

I thought the session was brillant and easily showed who stands for what. Pres. Obama did it all without a telepromter - which was a stupid conservative cry - yet Republicans could not ask their questions withour cue cards. This was planned and based on many of the questions they thought they would corner him - no such luck. In fact Republicans did so poorly that Fox did not carry the whole session.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 31, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Typo 3rd par, 3rd line, 7th word should be without.

Posted by: rlj1 | January 31, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

E.J. Dionne? Post-Partisan? That's rich. The Washington Post. Post-Factual.

Posted by: Posteroid | January 31, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

An Obama-Palin debate?

Why not have Lebron James play Gary Coleman 1-on-1?

The House of Commons-like give and take was great and should be repeated regularly. http://www.newsprism.com

Posted by: pcoleman1 | January 31, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Obama's ability to debate has never been in doubt, it's his ability to lead thats in serious question. The tax cut question is a great example. Obama doesn't want to cut taxes for companies making a billion dollars. Great, except that those companies are the ones who hire and pay people to work. No profits, no workers. When was the last time you were hired by someone who didn't make enough profit to pay you. Obama can say something entirely stupid with all moral conscience, but he's leaving millions out of work while he keeps businesses off balance and unwilling to take the risk of hiring anyone. Thanks moron.

Posted by: hdc77494 | January 31, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

On the health care bill, Obama was the one promising not to raise anyone's taxes. No, but everybody will see their health care costs rise precipitiously.

Posted by: hdc77494 | January 31, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

And the point of debating Palin is?????

Come on face it E.J., the reason you want to see such a debate is because it would be entertaining, not that it would resolve issues. It is pure Theatre! That is what the media wants, theatre! Entertainment! Even this meeting with Republicans was theatre and spectacle. Did it change any minds, not for the participants, but perhaps with independents.

Right now, Obama's problem lies more with his own party than with Republicans. Until, the Democrats can develop some kind of cohesive and clearcut mission, they are not going to have any useful strategy. At present, the Democrats are in too much of a disarray to accomplish what Obama wants.

Posted by: RedRat | January 31, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Why do you starry-eyed Obamatrons (ie EJ Dionne) think that this is WWF and your guy can beat the other guy and then everything will be well. First of all Obama is about to go into history as the worst President because he can't lead from the middle, a test of a real President. And second as in the reference to Le Baron James one on one with Gary Coleman, that's the contest you people who are testestorone challenged need to feel superior. Why not Obama and Larry Elder or Dennis Prager. Why can't he face an intellect. We all know Sarah Palin isn't a top intellect. But I do think she has more honesty and integrity than the whole Obama administration combined

Posted by: malinse | January 31, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

And while you libs are gloating about the open press of the meeting with the Repubs. It was they (repubs) who agreed to it. THE DEMS HAVE NEVER TELEVISED THEIRS. They are good at secret back-room health-care meetings though, try televising that then maybe we can talk.

Posted by: malinse | January 31, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Obama's policies weren't in place yet to cause the job losses in Jan/Feb 2008. Granted. However, it was clear from before he was elected what his policies would be - and if you think the private sector didn't act accordingly from the moment it knew he was to be elected, you're as delusional as Obama is. Businesses started taking appropriate action (layoffs, hiring freezes, reduced/eliminated investment, etc) before he was sworn into office *because* they knew what was coming. They didn't sit on their hands waiting for him to start implementing his economy/business/job destroying agenda.

Posted by: Midas2000 | January 31, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

malinse -

Yeah, this is EJ lowering the bar on himself. Such an idiotic article, it boggles the mind. How 'bout Newt vs. Joe Biden? That's a slaughter I'd be happy to watch. Anyway, Obama can "fight" all he wants; the 80% of this country that are not "progressives" have turned against him, and for damn good reason. And I invite EJ to keep up the idiocy, so entertaining, and so damn dumb.....

Posted by: subframer | January 31, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Final comment, then I'll shut up. The repubs had to agree to a pre-determined format that the POTUS and his stooges designed. THEY WERE NOT ALLOWED TO DISPUTE OR FOLLOW ANYTHING THAT OBAMA SAID. THEY COULD ONLY "ASK" ONE QUESTION BUT COULDN'T CHALLENGE OBAMA'S ANSWER. THAT'S WHY SOME CHOSE THEIR TIME TO TRY AND MAKE A POINT. THAT'S WHY IT LOOKED LIKE THEY COULDN'T COME UP WITH A REBUTTEL TO OBAMA. THEY WER'NT ALLOWED TO. BUT INDEPENDENT THINKERS ARE SEEING THROUGH THIS AND WILL SHOW YOU IN NOVEMBER.

Posted by: malinse | January 31, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"...[W]e said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people ... if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."
-B.O.

Newsflash to Obama: We stooopid peasants already figured that out a few months ago.

That one sentence was the most important take-away from the State-of-the-Union address. Let's look more closely:

1) Consider the phrase: "consistent in saying". In other words, it wasn't important for Obama to be telling the truth or to ensure that the bill actually allowed folks to "keep the health insurance" they've got. It was only important to sell this lie by consistently repeating it.

2) Consider the phrase: "got snuck in". This is in the passive voice to imply that it was someone else's fault, not Obama's. This fits the pattern with Obama to always blame someone else for his faults.

3) Also the "got snuck in" phrase implies that the culprit provisions were added later. Actually the provisions were there from the start and were the central idea of the entire ObamaCare legislation: To uproot your private health insurance and replace it with the massive government monopoly known by the Orwellian name "public option".

Obama travelled around the country hundreds of times reading this lie from his teleprompter. Now it is apparent why Obama's handlers always insisted that Obama deliver from a teleprompter, because without it, he is not sharp enough to keep from slipping and occassionally telling the truth.

Obama's fateful decision to go on live TV without a teleprompter, allows us to see once and for all that Obama is a serial liar like Slick Willie but without the charm, intelligence and lip-biting shtick.

Obviously not even Obama believes his own lies. ObamaCare is toast and so is Obama.

Posted by: FreedomFan | January 31, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yeah. Bring it on. Let's have him debate Newt Gingrich or Paul Ryan one-on-one (without his David Axelrod scripted teleprompters). That'd bring tears to your eyes E.J.

Posted by: Publicus1 | January 31, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey EJ Dionne do you still get one of those
Chris Matthews "Tingles Running Down Your
Legs" every time you and WAPO Shills for
your Messiah Empty Suit Barack Obama?...
Since Sarah Palin is the one in touch with
the American people not Little Hugo Chavez
Wannabe Comrade Barack Hussein Obama here!
...Sarah Palin will kick Barck Obama stupid
butt all the way back to Kenya where Obama
came from in a debate between Palin and
Obama,and that goes even if Obama has to
use his Magic Negro Teleprompter as well.
..Elect Sarah Palin President in 2012 and
Scott Brown Vice President in 2012! Bye,Bye
Socialist Democrat Liberals and Obama your
"Chickens Have Come Home To Roost" just like Obama's Pal Rev Jerimah Wright said.

Posted by: carleen09 | January 31, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

YES, and with NO TELEPROMPTERS.

Seriously, I am beginning to doubt the president can have a sucessful trip to the bathroom without a teleprompter in the stall.

And that Axelrod guy has the President saying the worst things in speeches; him getting booed.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | January 31, 2010 3:28 PM | Report abuse

"Now let’s Have an Obama-Palin Debate"
-Dionne

Yes let's. First Obama could explain how his massive ObamaCare bureaucracy would not lead directly to "death panels" like they have in Canada, England and elsewhere:

"The panel will “encourage” doctors to adopt the “best practices” the panel recommends by limiting reimbursement rates or even banning alternatives. Likely guidelines will govern who can get elective surgery like hip replacements or new knees based on the number of QARYs “quality adjusted remaining years” the patient has.

For example, in Canada, the drug Avastin is barred by just such a panel despite its proven track record as the most effective anti-colon cancer drug on the market. The ban is not because of any safety concerns, but solely due to its $50,000 annual cost. As a direct result, 41% of Canadians with colon cancer die as opposed to 32% of Americans. It is just these kinds of “best practices” that the panel will have to impose to pay for Obama’s plan.

The panel will likely recommend limits on testing and screening, worsening rather than improving preventative care. In Canada, for example, there is an eight month wait for colonoscopies which leads to a 25% higher incidence of colon cancer."
-Dick Morris

In other words, more Americans will die under ObamaCare. When can we have that debate, E.J.?

Posted by: FreedomFan | January 31, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

This would be forbidden by the Constituion under the Eight Amendments as "cruel and unusual punishment" for Sarah Palin.

Posted by: tgoglia | January 31, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

In an open debate Obama would be mauled by the lip-stick-wearing pit bull, and run trying to find his beloved teleprompter.

Look at what Palin did to ol 'Plugs.

Posted by: FreedomFan | January 31, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@Freedom Fan

HA HA HA HA HAH

The only way Palin survived the debate was by memorizing a few sound bytes and refusing to answer the questions asked.


Obama took on the entire GOP congressional delegation and tore them apart. Sarah Palin can't handle Katy Couric and thinks "What newspapers do read?" is a "gotcha" question.

HA HA HA HA HAH AH AHAHAHAH HAHAHAHH AHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAAHAHAH


Posted by: tgoglia | January 31, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Katie Couric could bring Obama to tears. She loves him too much to destroy him.
One of the arguments Obama supporters often advanced against Hillary Rodham Clinton’s candidacy was her alleged divisiveness.
Clintonistas must have heard countless times that Hillary was too polarizing to win, had too much divisive baggage to govern effectively.
Obama’s Big Media backers touted endorsements by the so-called Obamacans – those high-profile Republicans like the Eisenhowers and the Buckley Jrs. who drank the Kool-Aid.
Clintonistas warned the kumbaya talk was a charade, that Rethuglicans would give Obama no quarter and take no prisoners, and that all Obamabots needed to do was wait awhile: give the GOP a few months and Obama would be just as polarizing as the Clintons.
The Clintonistas were wrong: Obama is now more polarizing that the Clintons could ever hope to be.
A new Gallup poll is up showing a 65 percentage point gap between Republican and Democrat approval of Obama. 88% of Obamacrats approve Obama’s message. Only 23% of Republicans are on board.
Gallup points out that the divide “is easily the largest for any president in his first year in office, greatly exceeding the prior high of 52 points for Bill Clinton.”
Who’s divisive now? Who’s the polarizer now?

Posted by: mharwick | January 31, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

@mharwick
You are delusional if you think Hillary Clinton would have met with any less opposition from the GOP than Obama.

Obama has governed as a centrist and has not engaged in divisive rhetoric of any kind. Perhaps you should watch that Republican Retreat Q&A again, especially the point where Obama points out how his "bolshevik" health care plan is very similar to a proposal put forth by a collection of mostly GOP senators.

The GOP has chosen an obstructionist political strategy and to say no to anything and everything Obama and the Democrats propose, while muddying the debate with lies and misinformation.

Posted by: tgoglia | January 31, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

@mharwick

We'll see what a mindless fool you are next week when Couric interviews Obama:

http://www.mediabistro.com/tvnewser/cbs/katie_couric_interviews_pres_obama_pre_super_bowl_150364.asp

But she also interviewed him during the campaign and he did just fine.

Posted by: tgoglia | January 31, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Palin would win any debate!

Posted by: joynoel3 | January 31, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Palin in a Debate with President Obama, wouldn't be much to see. She wouldn't make it past the Introduction. Let's face it folks, Palin just isn't smart at all. People in the GOP aren't any smarter than Palin, and most of them are so proud of that fact.
It's clear the GOP's agenda of "Dumbing Down of America", is working very well in their Party. The rest of the country, not so well.

Posted by: austininc4 | January 31, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Makes you proud of our President, doesn't it?

Posted by: 12BarBlues | January 31, 2010 7:03 PM | Report abuse

This is typical, brainless, EJ Dionne irrelevance...

But if EJ wants a Palin - Obama debate, sounds good; but the trouble is... Obama's problem is not with Palin - it is with the American people.

So go ahead, EJ and Obama... have your debate - we'll see you in November.

Posted by: wilsan | January 31, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

WOW! Sure looks like all the freaking out
Obama Cult Democrats just went totally
psychotic when SherryKay08 told them the
name of the next President of the USA is
Sarah Palin! Yep Sarah Palin has my vote as
an Independent Voter and so has Sen Scott
Brown for Vice President in 2012. And let
me say Good Bye To Arizona RINO Republican
Has Been Senator Amnesty John McCain as well. You better believe it as the Independent Voters Rule in 2010 and 2012
as the Obama/Pelosi/Reid Socialist Democrats become as extinct as the Whigs!

Posted by: sandy5274 | January 31, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

It takes "Herculean Thinkers" to run a country.During her critique of the SOTU,during the SOTU...her comments were child like...it was OBVIOUS someone had written her comments. There's nothing wrong with that but she attempts to make people think that they were her thoughts. Not knowing the words was obvious:

"Uh, Palin...the word is LACKADAISICAL. Not LAXADAISICAL"

"was struck by MOLEify (Mollify)...

Didn't know the difference between Iraq & Iran....that was last month....You betcha

I don't know about you...but I need more.

Posted by: lindarc | January 31, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse

It takes "Herculean Thinkers" to run a country.During her critique of the SOTU,during the SOTU...her comments were child like...it was OBVIOUS someone had written her comments. There's nothing wrong with that but she attempts to make people think that they were her thoughts. Not knowing the words was obvious:

"Uh, Palin...the word is LACKADAISICAL. Not LAXADAISICAL"

"was struck by MOLEify (Mollify)...

Didn't know the difference between Iraq & Iran....that was last month....You betcha

I don't know about you...but I need more.On the other hand...schedule the debate....

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
George Orwell

Get it Palin??????

Posted by: lindarc | January 31, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin isn't a top intellect. But I do think she has more honesty and integrity than the whole Obama administration combined

Check out "the Odd Lies of Sarah Palin"...the LIES were fact Checked...where have you been???? the lies are actually listed. In addition to the FACT that Palin had so many Ethic problems as Governor. She actually had to leave office because she couldn't continue to pay for her LIES...

Bring It

Posted by: lindarc | January 31, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

WTF??? You've been shooting some fierce stuff into those veins of yours to even imagine these two are at the same level. I'd say give me some; but I surely don't want what you've got. I've had enough stupid and ignorant forced onto me since 2001.

Save this crap for FuxUS where they are already addicted to it.

Posted by: juggernautenterprises | January 31, 2010 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Dionne seems like slow leaner.

Obama has proven beyond any doubts that he is a great orator (teleprompter reader).

We also know that Obama inherited big mess from Bush. In stead of tackling Bush's mess, Obama has dug even deeper hole.

So we conclude, that great oratory is not substitute for sense of priority and competence.

Dionne is trying to project a war-of-words duel between Obama and Palin resulting in a knockout punch to Palin.

We are not interested in HBO special between Obama and Palin Heavt-weight title.
We want Obama to knockout the menacing Unemployment and out-of-control deficits.

Posted by: vatodio | January 31, 2010 10:16 PM | Report abuse

At first I didn't hear of Obama's successful repudiation of Republican obstructionism because I made the mistake of listening to Judy Woodruff on PBS and a few other partisan hacks on the MSM. I eventually read the transcripts online and realized how slanted the coverage had been. I personally believe the majority of the media are intent on discrediting Obama. They have corporate sponsors and big salaries to protect after all.

Posted by: tryreason | February 1, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Obama acknowledges lying about health care.

"The last thing I will say, though -- let me say this about health care and the health care debate, because I think it also bears on a whole lot of other issues. If you look at the package that we've presented -- and there's some stray cats and dogs that got in there that we were eliminating, we were in the process of eliminating. For example, we said from the start that it was going to be important for us to be consistent in saying to people if you can have your -- if you want to keep the health insurance you got, you can keep it, that you're not going to have anybody getting in between you and your doctor in your decision making. And I think that some of the provisions that got snuck in might have violated that pledge."

(((Quote courtesy of Real Clear Politics Com.)

Excuse me! "Stray cats and dogs"? We need a chief executive, NOT an animal control officer!

Posted by: SickandTired2 | February 1, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

I've often thought that our country could benefit from something akin to the British Parliament's Prime Minister Questions. This is the closest thing I've seen to it, and I think it was a great idea. Regular sessions, weekly or monthly (with different groups), would be a refreshing change for our democracy.

Posted by: durangodave | February 1, 2010 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Beginning at about 3:33, the president says: "When you say that suddenly, I've got a monthly . . . deficit that's higher than the annual deficit left by the Republicans . . . that's factually just not true. And you know it's not true."

At 5:08, the president says: "I am happy to have any independent fact-checker out there take a look at your presentation versus mine in terms of the accuracy of what I just said."

Obama is right. Monthly deficits under the recent Democratic Congresses don't exceed annual deficits under those Republican Congresses. But they come pretty darn close.

Hensarling's comments likely emerged from a release issued by the Republican Study Committee just yesterday, showing that the total accumulated deficit from Republican-controlled budgets from FY 1996-FY 2007 (and factoring in the substantial surpluses run from 1998-2001) stands at just under $1.246 trillion. The deficit run by Democratic-controlled Congresses in just three years — starting with FY2008 and including the latest CBO projections for FY 2010 — is already $3.222 trillion.

That means that over twelve years of Republican rule, there was an average annual budget deficit of about $104 billion. Compare that with an average annual deficit since 2008 of $1.074 trillion — or about $90 billion per month.

Posted by: m11618 | February 1, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

E.J., you progressives are such an enigma. You people trash Sarah Palin as a dope and now you want her to debate the president? If you feel she’s such a dope and yet, worthy of debate with the Messiah, what does that say about Obama?

Oh, one other thing; Obama was too scared to answer the budget question asked by Paul Ryan, because when it come to the budget, Ryan would eat Obama for lunch.

Posted by: JungleCogs | February 1, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Does E.J. read his own columns? President Obama lecturing the Repubs on how providing medical coverage to 30 million additional people can't be done without increasing costs? Refuting his own arguments of the last year? And this is set, point and match? I guess I better stick to football, scoring in tennis sounds too much like scoring in women's figure skating...

Posted by: MikeMcLamara | February 1, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

the only way Palin could win a debate is if her supporters throw pork rinds and spent ammo casings, forcing obama to retreat from the stage. Then she could declare a forfeit...you betcha

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | February 1, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

jfv123
First post: 7/8/2009
Last post: 2/1/2010
Total posts: 31 Mr. Dionne will get his debate wish.

It's called the 2012 election.

Mr. Dionne wants to skip over the November 2010 elections.

I don't blame him. Most Dems would prefer to cancel the 2010 elections.

Nice try.

Report Abuse Discussion Policy
Do you really think she has intelligence to debate anyone with higher than a first grade education if you do you are a very sad robot

Posted by: lildg54 | February 1, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Hey EJ just as long as that pathological liar sociopath arrogant Marxist fool in the
Oval Office Barack Hussein Obama cannot
use his idiotic teleprompter okay?.....

Yep,you betcha Sarah Palin would kick that
stumblebum Barack Obama stinking arrogant
mumbo jumbo butt! Get 'em Sarah Palin!

Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012!

Posted by: sherrykay08 | January 30, 2010 11:27 PM | Report abuse
HAHA IAMLMAO you have got to be kidding she has the mind of a 3rd grader oops thats disparaging to the 3rd graders you guys are a riot let me give you an orgasm I will say the magic words christian conservative family values anti-choice prayer are you quivering yet

Posted by: lildg54 | February 1, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

the only way Palin could win a debate is if her supporters throw pork rinds and spent ammo casings, forcing obama to retreat from the stage. Then she could declare a forfeit...you betcha

Posted by: Please_Fix_VAs_Roads | February 1, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse
I would think Palin would do very well right after she took her purity oath, changed her illegitmate son's diaper, shot a few wolves from a helicopter, and finishing looking at Russia from her back porch and let's not forget that fake bus tour. You slow minded dimwitted idits would follow a robot to the holy grail of christian conservatism are a joke and we should change your names to the American Taliban
Please_Fix_VAs_Roads I agree w/you
RepubliCONS what a nast infestation problem we have

Posted by: lildg54 | February 1, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

choosing presidents based on their prowess of extemporaneous debate is like drafting football players based on their 40 times.

this president is a combine legend but nothing more

Posted by: dummypants | February 1, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

You can't debate with a fraud.

During the recent GOP/Obama give and take Jeb Hensnarling of Texas (with his classic GOP, "my mommy cut my hair for Sunday School" style,) went on a long koolaid ramble tossing out talking points. He was asked to confine it to reality, and would not but kept smiling. When he was done propagandizing Obama had to say, "you and I both know that's not true." A nice way of telling a liar he's been caught lying. None of it mattered to Hensnarling, his smile got broader as he went along.

That's the GOP for you, they are in bed with lies, married to lies. They ARE a lie.

You can't debate when lying is allowed.

Posted by: AIPACiswar | February 1, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

An Obama-Palin debate is an excellent idea.However even Obama has more brains than EJ Dionne, it will never happen

Posted by: diana11777 | February 1, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

How about Obama debates Mitt Romney, and we'll let Sasha and Malia debate Sarah.

Save some time, and the outcome should be about the same. Sarah might even learn something.

Posted by: OldUncleTom | February 1, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm..GOP spanking? Let's see - we have VA-NJ & MA....who is being spanked? While Obama was out there whoring his debacle of a healthcare bill that not even Dems would vote for without being bribed...nevermind including the union tax exemption while the rest of us working slobs paid their share...the American people were worried about jobs. While Nobama was forcing cap n trade = the american people yelled a resounding 'NO'......while Nobama was touting civilian trials for terrorists...the American people were yelling a resounding 'NO'....And Nobama simply stated it was he who did a poor job not communicating the message...LOL....Sorry - Nobama - its the message. The American people 'GET IT' and we DON'T buy it. Sorry - the 3 stooges EJ mentions - Matthews-Olberman-Maddow...LOL..They are laughing stocks...Remember - Matthews calling Saul Alinsky his 'Hero'...Now lib friends - just go look up who he is - and you tell me if thats the American WAY - NOT! Ah - just waiting for 2010 & 2012 slaughter......

Posted by: short1 | February 1, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Maerzie | January 31, 2010 1:00 AM
"How obvious the maturity and quality of posters is from the content they expres! Sarah Palin definitely does draw the juvenile brain, trailer trash type misfit. As the saying goes: "Birds of a feather flock together."

---------
I find this humorous considering this post is completely juvenile. Why can't one post without using terms like "trailer trash?" Shrewd comments like this only makes you look like the comment you projected. Juvenile and perhaps the latter.

I also find it humorous that most of the posters that blast SP couldn't debate her if given notes. These are the people that have seemed to have forgotten the wonderful gaffes that our President and VP endured the public with. Forgotten or given a hall pass.

Posted by: JuJu_13 | February 1, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

@mharwick
You are delusional if you think Hillary Clinton would have met with any less opposition from the GOP than Obama.

Obama has governed as a centrist and has not engaged in divisive rhetoric of any kind. Perhaps you should watch that Republican Retreat Q&A again, especially the point where Obama points out how his "bolshevik" health care plan is very similar to a proposal put forth by a collection of mostly GOP senators.

The GOP has chosen an obstructionist political strategy and to say no to anything and everything Obama and the Democrats propose, while muddying the debate with lies and misinformation.
=================================
=================================
See - and they allow his person to vote? What kool aid are you drinking. Centrist government???? LOL..You are an idiot..I hate name calling - but its about the only thing one can say about your post. Get some education. Healthcare - Cap n Trade - terrorists - Gitmo.....Center Government??..LOL...Obstructionists? Hmm..Now who had all those closed door meetings creatin all sorts of gigantic legislation...where not even many of the dems were included...who had all that transparency - where he violated som many of his own campaign pledges. Sorry my misinformed friend - muddying the waters?? Not even your own party understood or wanted that healthcare debacle. Open your EYES - even the bluest of states - repudiated Obama's agenda..Not the repubs. If it were not against the constitution - I would say that one would have to pass at least a first grade knowledge level of current events before being allowed to vite - unlike this poster. God help us..Please 2010 - come quickly...The kool aid on the left is way too strong for them yo handle.

Posted by: short1 | February 1, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Obama - Palin debate?

That's like me going into the ring against the the world boxing champion.

Posted by: F_L_Palmer | February 1, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

sherrykay:
Hey EJ just as long as that pathological liar sociopath arrogant Marxist fool in the
Oval Office Barack Hussein Obama cannot
use his idiotic teleprompter okay?.....

Yep,you betcha Sarah Palin would kick that
stumblebum Barack Obama stinking arrogant
mumbo jumbo butt! Get 'em Sarah Palin!

Vote Sarah Palin for President in 2012!

___________________________________________

This is what is wrong with our country. Where Obama took on his greatest detractors head to head and impromptu and waxed them and show the glaring difference between him and a candidate like Sarah Palin, who in no way has demonstrated his kind of grasp on policy matters and their was no telemprompter present you idiot it was impromptu. The bigotry of what you have been led to believe is that he could not be intellectually as sharp as was and would need a telemprompter, but there was none and he waxed them even though they had prepared their questions and he lit them up and dispelled all of their misleading and misuided rhetoric.

Posted by: impartial1 | February 1, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

I really do not care what he says in open sessions, its all political fluff from both parties. I want to know what was and is being said at closed and locked door "negotiations" on bills by the Democrats. It is amazing what a little sun light will do to improve the results. When the Democrats open their doors and let the debate be public I might consider them worthy of my vote, until then they are smoke filled room vandals not worthy of my time, my money or least of all my respect!

Posted by: staterighter | February 1, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

vatodio wrote:

Dionne seems like slow leaner.

Obama has proven beyond any doubts that he is a great orator (teleprompter reader).

We also know that Obama inherited big mess from Bush. In stead of tackling Bush's mess, Obama has dug even deeper hole.

So we conclude, that great oratory is not substitute for sense of priority and competence.

Dionne is trying to project a war-of-words duel between Obama and Palin resulting in a knockout punch to Palin.

We are not interested in HBO special between Obama and Palin Heavt-weight title.
We want Obama to knockout the menacing Unemployment and out-of-control deficits.

___________________________________________

You are an example of why the Republicans do no more than repeatr talking points, because your level of comprehensio is shallow. All economist agree that he had to spend to avert a depression. All economist know that the jobs are the last thing to recover in the deepest recession since the depression so the idiots on the right know that all they have to do is oppose and blame the jobless sitution on Obama. Anyone with the sense that God gave to a piss ant would know that this stuff is not the fault of Obama. Now he went into their house with no teleprompter and destroyed these people with their prepared talking points and it was impromptu. It is laughable that these people rail about deficits and entitlements when they ran up the deficits and gave out a prescription drug entitlement that was not funded. They fought a war and kept tax cuts in place that were tilted toward the rich in place and now 13 months after Bush left office they want the public to believe they are the party of fiscal responsibility.

Posted by: impartial1 | February 1, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

m11618 wrote
Beginning at about 3:33, the president says: "When you say that suddenly, I've got a monthly . . . deficit that's higher than the annual deficit left by the Republicans . . . that's factually just not true. And you know it's not true."

At 5:08, the president says: "I am happy to have any independent fact-checker out there take a look at your presentation versus mine in terms of the accuracy of what I just said."

Obama is right. Monthly deficits under the recent Democratic Congresses don't exceed annual deficits under those Republican Congresses. But they come pretty darn close.

Hensarling's comments likely emerged from a release issued by the Republican Study Committee just yesterday, showing that the total accumulated deficit from Republican-controlled budgets from FY 1996-FY 2007 (and factoring in the substantial surpluses run from 1998-2001) stands at just under $1.246 trillion. The deficit run by Democratic-controlled Congresses in just three years — starting with FY2008 and including the latest CBO projections for FY 2010 — is already $3.222 trillion.

That means that over twelve years of Republican rule, there was an average annual budget deficit of about $104 billion. Compare that with an average annual deficit since 2008 of $1.074 trillion — or about $90 billion per month.
___________________________________________

You can't be this misinformed. The deficit was 1.3 trillion dollars when bush left office and 850 million the year before. The Democratic Congress came in January 2007 and the 2 trillion dollars of the deficit that you are talking about was becuase of the war wich was started under the Republican Congress and a half trillion dollars prescription drug bill that was never paid for. The Republican Congress and the Bush Adminstration did not even put the war spending in the Budget. SO GET REAL! Universally Economist agreed that Obama had to spend to counter the deepest economic recession since the great depression. Tax cuts in the midst of two wars is imprudent and to leave the other party with a recession that deep and blame the incoming administation is simply playing on the uninformed. They may gain a few seats in the mid term, because the jobs will be the last thing to return and Republicans know that. The stategy will back fire on them when the jobs return next year and they have been nothing but obstructionist. They will get slaughtered in 2012 for the short term political points they are scoring now. They didn't even vote for the deficit committee legislation that 7 Senators co-sponsored.

Posted by: impartial1 | February 1, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

hdc7794 wrote:
Obama's ability to debate has never been in doubt, it's his ability to lead thats in serious question. The tax cut question is a great example. Obama doesn't want to cut taxes for companies making a billion dollars. Great, except that those companies are the ones who hire and pay people to work. No profits, no workers. When was the last time you were hired by someone who didn't make enough profit to pay you. Obama can say something entirely stupid with all moral conscience, but he's leaving millions out of work while he keeps businesses off balance and unwilling to take the risk of hiring anyone. Thanks moron
___________________________________________

How sad that 30 years after Ronald Reagan advocated this trickle down theory of economics that proved brutal to the middle class that you still espouse this policy. Exxon Mobile had more profits than any corportation in the history of the world from 2006-2008 and was given huge tax breaks and they actually slashed some jobs in 2008. This trickle down theory has been debunked over and over throughout the history of the United States and morons like you still regurgitate this crap. The banks were given huge tax breaks and propped up with tax payer dollars and recorded record profits and what did they do gave out bonuses to top executives while hiring was stagnant.

Posted by: impartial1 | February 1, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

A debate with Palin is an absolute waste of time. One, she's a moron. She has little understanding of the major policy issues. She will even by accident provide misinformation to the American people. Two, she's totally not interested in a genuine dialogue. She's 150% ambition, and 0% substance. Her purpose will be to score points and promote her own career, not help the American people. Let her rant on Fox and with Limbaugh. The President shouldn't give her the time of day.

Posted by: kennedys | February 1, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

junglecogs wrote:
E.J., you progressives are such an enigma. You people trash Sarah Palin as a dope and now you want her to debate the president? If you feel she’s such a dope and yet, worthy of debate with the Messiah, what does that say about Obama?

Oh, one other thing; Obama was too scared to answer the budget question asked by Paul Ryan, because when it come to the budget, Ryan would eat Obama for lunch.
___________________________________________

He did answer the question on the budget, go back and listen to the tape. None of those airheads that repeat talking points
could touch Obama and you know it. He has a more comprehensive policy knowledge than Ryan or any of those dopes that read from cue cards after accusing Obama for 13 months of needing a telemprompter. He stood up there and debunked all of that garbage that they feed to you closeted bigots. You can't be dumb enough to think that the people that spent all of the money and allowed the financial system to collapse have the answers 13 months later.
Republicans always rail about spending the money when they are out of power, because they want it to be there to enrich Halliburton and their other Defense Department Cronies, when they gain power again.

Posted by: impartial1 | February 1, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

A point-counterpoint? With Sarah Palin?

That would almost be painful to watch. No, wait, on the other hand, it would be too delicious not to. Mr. Prime Minister v. the Moose Lady Who Can't Utter a Single Declarative Sentence. Bully!

Posted by: cbl55 | February 1, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

EJ, I like your idea but I have a concern that Palin is not currently a government official and debating her does not directly move the country's agenda ahead.

On the other hand, the GOP lives in fear of Palin and the Tea Party, and it is only public debate of Tea Party ideas that can loosen the dark hold of that party on the Republican soul. It might give Republicans a little spine to have some light shed on that darkness.

Obama though should let the Tea Party choose its own spokesperson, through whatever machinations it comes up with.

To all you conservatives on this thread, let me tell you that my mother (an independent) voted for McCain but now she is a big fan of Obama, seeing how hard he has worked and the results he has produced, including his SOTU speech and his visit to the House Republicans. Did you guys see the GDP over the last two quarters? He saved our ass. How can you guys keep sputtering about how bad he is when he's just saved our ass?

Also, I am not at all tired of Obama complaining about Bush and Cheney. That was a really major pile of stink that the last administration left us, not your run-of-the-mill incompetence but a really major big league screwup. How come I don't hear any Republicans saying "I'm sorry"? I would like to hear it from Bush himself and from Cheney, and I would like to see Republicans contribute something to the cleanup effort, instead of whining and complaining about Obama pointing out this inconvenient fact. The great bulk of the deficit is not Obama's fault. The path to recovery requires deficit spending in the short term and healthcare reform to control future expenses in the long term. It is Obama who is leading the fight on both these fronts. I want to see Republicans quit complaining and start helping.

Posted by: DavidH3 | February 1, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Is the date set yet?? I wouldn't miss a Palin-Obama televised debate for all the tea in China. All she has in her head are the things she has memorized since McCain was stupid enough to sic her feather brain onto the country! The pathetic woman didn't even know the duties of the Vice President when he picked her up. She surely did see the money, the notoriety, and the glitter though! The idea of putting someone THAT empty-headed so close to a crucial position, with the potential of affecting our NATION is disgustingly SICK! It's called scraping the BOTTOM of the barrel!

Posted by: Maerzie | February 2, 2010 2:38 AM | Report abuse

How can he fire up his base AND appeal to independents?
By putting on a performance, in which he is a partisan ideologue who says he isn't!
For those who aren't in love with the idea of this President, and who hate the cynical way he uses race and appearance to demonize the opposition, Obama came across as a shallow partisan who can't understand conservative ideas.
He has said before that they are "old ideas" that are not worth discussion, and this performance just reiterated that lack of intellectual flexibility.
It did highlight his propaganda flexibility, where he is willing to do or say anything to raise his polls.
Why would he insist on the event being televised if he really wanted to connect with the Republicans??
And how is he not partially responsible for supporting the budgets his party passed in Congress in 2007 and 2008, when deficits exploded??
How is it leadership to ignore his culpability and only blame, blame, blame?
He used anger and "no" against Bush to win, but now that he faces it he cries foul?
I am a lifelong Democrat who was soured on the party by Obama's cynical campaign, and his lack of pragmatism (real pragmatism, not propaganda pragmatism).

Posted by: johnL1 | February 2, 2010 8:34 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company