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The coming clash between Obama and the GOP

By Jonathan Capehart

As I contemplate the new governing reality President Obama will face after Tuesday's midterm elections, I keep coming back to a comment he made to Rolling Stone that I guarantee will come to define the battles between him and a resurgent Republican Party.

When asked what surprised him most about his first two years in office, Obama said, "The issues that cross my desk are hard and complicated and oftentimes involve the clash not of right and wrong, but of two rights," he said. "And you're having to balance and reconcile against competing values that are equally legitimate." The problem for the president -- and the nation -- is that he faces an opposition that thinks the policy prescriptions that make up the Obama agenda are neither right nor legitimate and that is determined to stop him.

From Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.): "The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

From House Minority Leader -- and perhaps future Speaker of the House -- John Boehner (R-Ohio): "This is not a time for compromise, and I can tell you that we will not compromise on our principles."

Obama has principles, too. "I'm looking at the best options available based on the fact that there are no easy choices," he told Rolling Stone. "What I'm trying to do...is to keep a North Star out there. What are the core principles we're abiding by?" He laid out those values throughout that interview.

In a White House meeting with Democratic and Republican congressional leaders just days after his inauguration, Obama said to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.), who went to the meeting with a one-pager on what the GOP would like to see in the economic stimulus package, "on some of these issues we're just going to have ideological differences." And in response to badgering from Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) over cuts in individual tax rates, Obama famously said, "I won. So I think on that one, I trump you." What some took as an arrogant remark, I took as a statement of fact. The American people elected him to make decisions, and he made no secret of which way he'd go.

When faced with two competing ideas, it is the president's job to decide which one to accept. And pretty much for the last two years, the mission of the Republican Party has been to obstruct ideas from Obama and the Democrats without offering many legitimate ones of their own. Unfortunately, it appears we're doomed to a replay of this short-sighted tactic for the next two years. As Dana Milbank wrote Sunday, "[T]here are no authority figures to say 'no' to the angry, the rude and the violent," who are expected to sweep into the House and Senate when the 112th Congress is seated next year.

The nation has incredible problems that demand leadership to solve them (or at least try to), not just from the White House but also from the Republican congressional leadership -- whether they are in the minority or the majority. For Obama to make the right decision in a clash of "two rights," it will be incumbent upon the GOP to actually present him with some.

By Jonathan Capehart  | October 31, 2010; 6:50 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Obama was elected to change Washington not America, on Tuesday the citizens will send a reminder to Obama.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | October 31, 2010 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Capehart's commentary, like most others, assumes that everyone in politics looks upon the election campaign as the prelude to a struggle of ideologies in Washington.

He should consider the possibility that the reality is the other way around. There is a large and influential industry that has grown up around the campaign. Many politicians are reflexively responsive to it. When Mitch McConnell says his top priority is to make Barack Obama a one-term President, he is merely saying what the campaign operatives who surround him think -- naturally enough, because they are campaign operatives, and seeking ways to throw out incumbents of the other party is what they do.

The phenomenon afflicts both parties, but especially the GOP. This is in part a legacy of the younger George Bush, a politician with limited skills as a public personality who relied for his electoral success on campaign organization, tradecraft, and of course fundraising. Most Republicans in national politics have followed his example, seeing that Bush achieved the ultimate in American political success -- election and reelection as President -- despite many liabilities, of which the greatest was that he was a dramatically bad President.

So the next two years aren't going to be about who reaches out to whom or who proposes constructive policy proposals. They're going to be about how President Obama is able to govern while dealing with an opposition party that will not be thinking of anything but how to position itself and its officeholders for the next campaign.

Posted by: jbritt3 | November 1, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

You are so right Mr. Capehart. What will it take for those who oppose Obama to begin working with him? Our problems grow more serious by the day & still the goal of the GOP is obstruction. Obama is NOT our enemy, but you would never know it from reading many of the comments posted here & in fact across the internet. What fools we are spewing hate toward each other. Of course that's easier & not nearly as scary as facing up to the grim realities of the state of the world.

Posted by: mathteacher | November 1, 2010 12:23 AM | Report abuse

If Americans think that the GOP with all their Tea Party add-ons will make this country a better place for everyone, then they will get to experience it. I believe that the GOP will lead us to the very depression that the Obama Administration saved us from. Vote for those who tell you what's wrong rather than offering real solutions and all you get is more wrong for them to tell you about.

Posted by: paris1969 | November 1, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Competing values that are equally legitimate? If they were so equally legitimate why is Obama in such a hurry to change our fundamentals and transform this country. Wasn't it Obama who said he wasn't going to listen to failed theories of the Republicans. Wasn't it Obama who said he knows there's going to be philosophical differences but he won and the Democrats have the power now. Obama talks about changing our American values every chance he gets. He calls it moving forward. Obama is transforming our business structures with his regulations and laws. Where's this equally your talking about. It's Obama's way or else he's shutting you out like he did with the Republicans after he was sworn in. After the election Obama expects the Republicans to pick up where the Democrats left off. Obama is the one whose hard wired so far left he can't see beyond his Utopia vision he has for this country. Where have you been? I wouldn't call socialism and our American values and principles equally legitimate. One's free and the other is slavery.

Posted by: houstonian | November 1, 2010 12:58 AM | Report abuse

Obama refused to work with or listen to the republicans. Now the voters will send him a message.

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 1, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

Interesting argument. However, I question the use of the "values" argument when, for example Health Care, we had a chance to pass a bill that would lead to universal health care but wouldn't leave the dems open to the criticism that they did virtually nothing to control costs and merely shackled small business with uncertainty re costs when making hiring decisions. The "value" is health care for all. The decision to go all out was not a "value" judgment. It was an overreach which turned off a majority of the 80% of Americans that do not consider themselves liberals. Damn the torpedoes is not an option when you come up for election every two years. I voted dem for senate & house secure in the knowledge that we'll have a partially divided government no matter who I vote for, but if the pres and Congress don't slow things down so that our country can get on its feet again I'll vote republican, or if available, a moderate third party candidate. Unfortunately, I think Capecart is probably right and the republicans and democrats will blow it. I don't think that any of us believe that the Nancy Pelosi's of the world were ever really interested in compromise. As they say down south "that dog don't hunt."

Posted by: Fergie303 | November 1, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

Capehart says "if only the Republicans would sit down and work with Obama and the Democrats". Let's see, I seem to remember that Obama said that elections have consequences and "we won". Well it means the same when the other side wins.


Obama and the Democrats overreached, and in their zeal to push their progressive agenda through, they forgot who sent them to Washington. "We the People" will remind them, LOUD AND CLEAR, this Tuesday, November 2.

WE'LL REMEMBER IN NOVEMBER!

Posted by: barrysal | November 1, 2010 2:09 AM | Report abuse

Who is this "We the People" some of you make reference to?

"We the majority of People" elected President Barack Obama by over 67 MILLION voters in 2008.

YOU PEOPLE the party of NO, who hate everything, acted like he lost the election in 2008!

President Obama will still be president after November 2, 2010, and WE the Majority of Americans that voted for him, still support him. Congress has no power without the President.

Even if Republicans win Congress on Nov 2, 2010, they are still losers. Because WE the Majority of Americans say so!

Our Constitution speaks to a majority and to a minority and to rights woven from notions of decency and justice. We should never shrink from reinvigorating those rights. Obviously Republicans hate American and the Constitution, they have claimed to read.

Posted by: joemcnamara1 | November 1, 2010 2:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but gays, illegal immigrants, freeloading whites and blind voting black people do not control this country. We are taking our country back Tuesday. Be with us or be part of the problem.

Bye bye democrats

Posted by: COOLCHILLY | November 1, 2010 3:17 AM | Report abuse

Barry will throw a series of tantrums ans, like good adult parents the GOP will say NO.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 1, 2010 3:39 AM | Report abuse

Barry will throw a series of tantrums ans, like good adult parents the GOP will say NO.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 1, 2010 3:51 AM | Report abuse

"President Obama will still be president after November 2, 2010, and WE the Majority of Americans that voted for him, still support him. Congress has no power without the President."

Right. Not to worry. No matter what happens, Obama and Congress will still be right there, dishing it out for our corporate masters.

Posted by: fzdybel | November 1, 2010 4:14 AM | Report abuse

Americans voted against Bush when they voted for Obama. They didn't vote for Obama.
While in power the Republicans saw to it that a college degree meant only debt, health care was a privilege, and our foreign policy was slowly dictated by Europeans, their former colonies, their Canadian and South American allies.
It is for very short-sighted power that Republican campaigns now seek to polarize Americans by class, race and other social divisions, and revive historical mistrust and resentments in a period when we need national unity among our different races, classes and regions. Has any Nov. 2nd Republican candidate offered to unite Americans in common goals? On the contrary.
But the problem with the politics of hate and division in 2010, unlike pre-1990, is that political divisiveness will come back to bite innocent Americans in ways no one can foresee either domestically, overseas or both.
In bringing down President Obama and the Democratically controlled Congress Republicans are smashing national unity for good like Humpty Dumpty fallen down. And no political party will be able to put him back together again by democratic means. That strategy means bitter, even violent social discord. A united China, a united Russia and a united Europe win in every political dispute with a divided Republican led America.

Posted by: thedefendantX | November 1, 2010 6:57 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Once again I've run out of popcorn. Here is what troubles me. CRAZY has gone mainstream, I mean too many Americans are backing, or at the very least giving credibility to, certifiable tea-party candidates. The inmates are running the asylum and the normal people appear indifferent. Christine O'Donnell has witchcraft and financial problems, Sarah Palin has a dysfunctional family and is a quitter, Rand Paul thinks that discrimination against "blacks" is alright, social security is against the constitution and that the Federal Government went too far and they all want to give the multimillionaires even more money with permanent tax breaks while they gut Social Security by trying to privatize (read steal) it. WHERE ARE THE ADULTS! And now the Republicans want us to believe that "what they didn't do during 8 years of the Bush Administration and what they did do during 8 years of the Bush Administration" will WORK THIS TIME! Another blogger said it far better than I could have ......."Being Crazy in America is all right with me, I like crazy people and hopefully our crazies go to Hollywood, make movies and entertain us. I do not like crazy in my politics or running the government. John McCain you SOB, I blame you for making crazy mainstream by selecting Sarah Palin as your running mate and I blame Neiman Marcus for outfitting her!" I blame the Republicans for almost destroying America but I give them credit for having the "balls" to ask America to let them finish the job!

""Demagogue: One who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots." ~ H.L. Mencken"

Posted by: Taylorsucram | November 1, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

the musical score for Tuesday night

tuesday night will need theme music,

so as a public service for spanked members of the obama regime

and their defeated dem enablers,

here is the musical score with direct You-tube weblinks...............

I. dems lose 39 seats in house and control

don’t fear the reaper
by blue oyster cult

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUO_5EALZoM

II. dems lose 54 house seats and 10 senate seats

wipeout
by the surfaris

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UofdWQG346k

III. dems lose veto proof majorities house and senate

God Bless America
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LSarhZpnMs

Posted by: ProCounsel | November 1, 2010 7:34 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, if you cherry-pick quotes and you are really cynical, you can make this argument.

On the other hand, when you include comments like "Republicans are gonna have to ride in the back", you note that both Obama and Capehart are cynical and dishonest.

Posted by: bobmoses | November 1, 2010 7:36 AM | Report abuse

The parties reflect the thinking of Americans. From after WW2 to about 1972 there was a sort of consenses on how things should be run. Now there isn't agreement and the political parties reflect that divide. The voter in the middle has to show their disagreement by voting for individuals that are further to the right or left then they are and than those elected claim that those moderate voters were voting for extreme solutions. Sigh!

Posted by: Ralph_Indianapolis | November 1, 2010 7:40 AM | Report abuse

Let’s pick apart some of these comments and put them in just a little more perspective shall we…

“Obama is NOT our enemy” a quote from mathteacher in this string... No he isn’t mathteacher, but it was in fact Obama himself Spanish language radio station where he said to Latinos that they need to help him defeat his “enemies”. Well who are his “enemies” mathteacher, well when you get right down to it, they are We the People…

Another quote from mathteacher – “What fools we are spewing hate toward each other.” No mathteacher, and I can only speak for this conservative, I’m not “spewing hate” towards anyone, but that “hate” has been felt many times coming my way from hundreds of liberals out there in the ether.

Houstonian said -- “Competing values that are equally legitimate? If they were so equally legitimate why is Obama in such a hurry to change our fundamentals and transform this country.”
GREAT QUESTION Houstonian, I’ve asked that very question many times in strings much like this one and it has NEVER been answered or even explained.

“Congress has no power without the President.”

Please explain this comment joemcnamara1.

More joemcnamara1, “YOU PEOPLE the party of NO” YOU PEOPLE joe, come on man…

“Even if Republicans win Congress on Nov 2, 2010, they are still losers. Because WE the Majority of Americans say so!”

Could this be just a taste of the “HATE” you liberals say we conservatives are all about Joe? Whatever happens tomorrow Joe, WE THE PEOPLE SPOKE. But tell me Joe, if the democrats lose big time tomorrow will you still say “because WE the Majority of Americans say so” because it WILL be the SAME American PEOPLE doing the voting… LOL!!! Please respond…

Posted by: vatownsend | November 1, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Obama must not veto (Obama has said: He will use the veto pen if Republicans win back a majority in the House,http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/126695-obama-prepared-to-dust-off-veto-pen) anything because the GOP will win tomorrow. The reasons the GOP will win tomorrow is because Americans do not approve Obama's policies such as amnesty for illegal aliens (law breakers), heath care, etc.. So it is not a good idea for Obama to veto anything. Why? Because Americans are the ones who will be represented by the GOP. Obama must do what Americans want. Obama cannot and must not do anything against the will of the American people. The GOP will represent the will of Americans. So Obama do not do anything against the will of the American people. The GOP will work for Americans. Since you Obama have demonstrated that you do not work for Americans, you work for illegal aliens (you filed a law suit against SB 1070 and want amnesty for illegal aliens), we do not trust you Obama. You and the Democrats have to go. And we will replace you in 2012 Obama because we do not support a president who works for illegal aliens (law breakers).

Posted by: post2009 | November 1, 2010 8:03 AM | Report abuse

The Tea party and its candidates have said they will:

Spend tax payers money on attempting to impeach Obama;
Do away with Social Security as we know it;
Do away with the EPA;
Do away with public education;
Do away with the Department of Education to get rid of gay teachers, single women who are sexually active in unmarried relationships;
Do away with Medicare;
Do away with the minimum wage;
Do away with unemployment benefits;
Repeal health care reform;
Repeal banking/wall street reforms;
Pass legislation to force women who are impregnated by rapists to give birth;
Pass legislation to force women to have an unborn child, even if it means losing her own life;
Pass laws to outlaw birth control.

How can your family survive another GOP administration after the last one: halved the Value of your 401k, knocked tens of thousands off the value of your home, put half your neighbours out of work and foreclosed their homes, quadrupled the price of gas at the pump and almost bankrupted America with 12.5 trillion dollars of GOP debt?

The GOP raided the medicaid and social security piggy banks last time they were in, but what can you do against the Palin inspired Tea party plan to end medicaid, medicare and social security within one year of power?

Don't you think that the GOP's foreign money masters are going to come calling for their debt?

Is just two years enough of a punishment for what the GOP did to you your family, friends, neighbours and America?

The Tea party have also vowed to rip up the US constitution starting with the first ammendment.

Sharron Angle is already telling reporters "to ask the questions we want to answer, so that they report the news the way we want it reported." Those who do not are told to "shush" or like every other foreign money Tea Party Puppet the candidate walks out on any interview where they dont like the question. Sound a little bit like commie China to you?

Now Palin is so Paranoid that she is saying anyone who writes a word in the media or where ever about a Tea party candidate, that is not aproved by Palin's Im-Purity Goons are 'Corrupt #@$~@rds'

Christine O'Donnell is not interested in the US Constitution because like every othe Tea party candidate she is intent on ripping it up, starting with that pesky First Ammendment.

And knowing the personalities of people like Palin, Limbaugh, Beck and Rove; how long after they have ripped up the US Constitution would it be before they would seek to find out who wrote and read what.

Awake America the enemy is at the gates.

Posted by: walker1 | November 1, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

The new republican congress will be voted in with a mandate. Will the democrats go along with their plans or say no".

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 1, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

"The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president."

Typical Rescumlican outlook... the country can go to hell, as long as we stop a Democrat. Screw the economy, what's important is keeping Obama to a single term. It sure has shown in the last almost two years, and with all the money being spent by corporate interests to scare people, it might work. Then the Repukes can finish us off, for the benefit of their corporate masters'interests.

Posted by: daweeni | November 1, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

walker1- you can go back to Obama headquarters now. They need you to make up a fresh batch of koolaid..

Posted by: JUNGLEJIM123 | November 1, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

"Typical Rescumlican outlook" What?????? Big deal, the republicans want to vote out a far leftist president and his far leftist policies. Why is this a surprise?

Posted by: Jmacaco4 | November 1, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

You are obvioualy left leaning, as is Milbank. Obama did not make clear his agenda when he was running. He made people believe that he would be "post partisan." It was clear to me that he was lying, but too many others did not see thru the charade. He and Pelosi and Reid were anything but post partisan. They did not compromise as they worked to ram their agenda of big government thru Congress. Why do you believe that the Republicans should compromise if they gain more power. The Republicans did have idfeas. It is just that the Democratic leadership did not like their ideas so they trashed them. The Democrats believe that big government has the best answers while the Republicans want to leave as much power as possible at more local levels. These are two basic principles which at this point seem to be very hard to compromise on.

Posted by: pprucci | November 1, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Let's see, McConnell and Boehner announced before Obama took office that the Republicons were going to be united in opposing what ever Obama proposed. They kept their word. Yet it is now that Obama did not work with them. Convoluted logic at best. Take the commission to recommend changes to make the economy stronger. Republicons were all for it until Obama started pushing it. Then even the Senators that proposed it (Republicons) voted against it. In health care, many of the features were widly supported by Republicons, and what did they do voted against it in total lock step with McConnell. These are just two examples. No other President has had to face this nonsensical method of governance. When W took office even the minority Democrats worked to pass some of his priorities, not so with the Republicons when Obama took over. So where are we now. I offer congratulations to the Republicons on this election, it is well bought and paid for. To the Democrats, I hope you have learned a great lesson from the Republicons and that is to vote against everything they propose. Does not matter if it contains many things that Democrats endorse you have to vote no because as John Boehner states this is not the time to compromise. To the "independents" I hope you will be fair and endorse this method of governance by the Democrats because voting for the Republicons is an endorsment of that method and what is good for them should be good for Democrats.

Posted by: deminfl | November 1, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

TO ALL AMERICANS WITH MIXED FEELINGS / Stand before a mirror and point for most you are pointing the finger at one of the people who put us in the mess your in / Obama is not the cause of your problems it was 8 years of the GOP and a lack of courage from over 60% of american voters to STAND behind the man you voted for / you listen to made up stories and do not open your eyes to the truth / a wife looses her job = good bye house / you remortgaged as the house gained value / husband looses job = good bye house / who went to war so that all the american people could hail the chief / and now you know the truth of that matter so lets blame Obama who as I see it may be doing his best to get things correct again but l do hope if he looses the race for the big house you get deeper in trouble and after 4 years of this new GOP person you beg that black (half white) man to come back and I hope he tells you I am sorry one time around was enough.

Posted by: njdcap1 | November 1, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Caprhart: Do you also shine President Obama's shoes?

Posted by: richard36 | November 1, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

At least there is the power of VETO. The outrageous right will at least have some check on their stupidity.

Posted by: Geezer4 | November 1, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

The article states:

"What I'm trying to do...is to keep a North Star out there. What are the core principles we're abiding by?" He laid out those values throughout that interview.

And therein lies Obama's problems. His core principles are far left of what the people want and are not in accordance with the constitution.

Obama will continue to be unwilling to compromise and is too inexperienced to start out with a position acceptable to a majority of the american people and the new congress.

So unless he learns and develops new skills expect 2 years of gridlock. (It is hard for Obama to learn as he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.)

But guess what? Gridlock is much preferable to the Pelosi/Reid/Obama years!!!!

Those 2 years were some of the worse 2 years on record for the executive and legislative branches.

Posted by: RandyM1 | November 1, 2010 8:50 AM | Report abuse

The article states:

"What I'm trying to do...is to keep a North Star out there. What are the core principles we're abiding by?" He laid out those values throughout that interview.

And therein lies Obama's problems. His core principles are far left of what the people want and are not in accordance with the constitution.

Obama will continue to be unwilling to compromise and is too inexperienced to start out with a position acceptable to a majority of the american people and the new congress.

So unless he learns and develops new skills expect 2 years of gridlock. (It is hard for Obama to learn as he thinks he is the smartest guy in the room.)

But guess what? Gridlock is much preferable to the Pelosi/Reid/Obama years!!!!

Those 2 years were some of the worse 2 years on record for the executive and legislative branches.

Posted by: RandyM1 | November 1, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

The angry white, frothy-mouthed Right misses the days when they ruled the roost. They can see they are declining in numbers across America and are determined to fight off their irrelevance to their bitter end.

Meanwhile, their transparent racial intolerance is fueling youth and minorities around the Nation to not align with the angry Right.

Hence, the days of the frothy-mouthed Right are numbered demographically and politically -- they are hastening their demise.

Posted by: HillRat | November 1, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

As usual Dana Milbank's Sunday writings had it exactly wrong, the angry, the rude and the violent will be swept out of the House and Senate on Tuesday!

Posted by: rteske | November 1, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

The president enacted Republican policies, Bush's 3rd term, so he shouldn't be shocked when voters elect Republicans because they want change.

Posted by: SanchosR | November 1, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

A republican congress forcing him to the right is an Obama wet dream. Now he will actually have an excuse for his ineffectiveness. In two years he is going to be so bent over and raw we wont recognize anything about him except his smile.Cause he is going love surrending to the republicans.

Posted by: rbprtman23 | November 1, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

For as long as we continue to tolerate the bible thumpers and tea baggers, we will fail as a country.

Posted by: dcp26851 | November 1, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Well, it will now be the Republicans turn to tell Obama "Elections have consequences, WE WON, so WE trump YOU." Bet the lame stream liberal media will howl with disbelief that the Republicans could have the audacity to say that, but conveniently "forget" it is an Obama quote.

Posted by: kavalair | November 1, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I disagree that there are two rights concerning how to do things. There can be lots of right ways and lots of wrong ways to deal with issues and President Obama thought his way was the only way. Unfortunately politics is the art of compromise and President Obama is sorely lacking in this area. He really isn't a politician, he's an organizer and a fighter and that's about it. It took G.W. Bush 8 years to get where President Obama is now after two years. That says a lot.

Posted by: Jack83 | November 1, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

..."I won. So I think on that one, I trump you." What some took as an arrogant remark, I took as a statement of fact....

GREAT!

So after tomorrow, when Obama talks to Republicans and they say 'You lost' will you take that as a simple statement of fact?

Yea, right.

Posted by: TECWRITE | November 1, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

It's sad that History is being ignored by the Democrats. Their penultimate hero (FDR) learned in the l930s that deficit spending would not solve the unemployment problem. In l932 there were 12-Million + unemployed (out of 120 Millions). In l938, after incredible deficit spending (sound familiar) there were still 10-Million + unemployed. The answer to unemployment came in the form of WW II. Now we are repeating the mistake and spending our great grandchildren into poverty. Will we ever learn? Don't Democrats ever pay any attention to history? I guess not as they keep blaming Bush but the House has been controlled by the Democrats for over four years and the House holds the nations checkbook....not the White House, The House of Repesentatives! Democrats got us here and they are digging the hole deeper and deeper......

Posted by: ransr01 | November 1, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

So much Right Wing angry rhetoric. That is all they have to offer our country. They have lost sight of the fact that we are all Americans working for the common good. But that good appears to be "their good" and not ours.
We as a country are fractured. Until reason and sanity begin to make their appearance on the Right, we are doomed to become a third world nation.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | November 1, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Obama was elected to change Washington not America, on Tuesday the citizens will send a reminder to Obama.

Amen!
Yes, we will.

Posted by: blevins20061 | November 1, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Obama's problem is that he is too black and too intelligent for a majority of Americans. Many Americans can't bear the fact that their national leader is black.

Posted by: robfield | November 1, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

GOP: the party of Goobers. To cooperate with Obama is to tacitly give him an endorsement of legitimacy. It will never happen as long as the KKK is in charge of the party of Lincoln as it is now.

Posted by: citizen625 | November 1, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

As a devout Republican, I say our Party must never swerve from its core principle: Tell the people what they want to hear, while grabbing all we can for ourselves. We, and our true constituents, the top 1/10th of 1 percent who rightfully own America, know this country is doomed and it is incumbent upon us to carve up the corpse before it get cold and retreat with our spoils into our gated communities protected by our private security guards, while we watch the peasants fighting to the death for the few remaining scraps.

Posted by: senbilboredux | November 1, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans and the George W. Bush Administration were the main contributors to the financial mess the grew on an eight year period. Unrealistically, many in the American public expects Obama to change the course of destructive 8 years in just 2 years. The Republicans know better, but they are riding this TRAIN OF DECEIT to a possible victory on November 2, 2010. How gullible can we be? Capitalistic Greed will and is destroying our great country!

Posted by: abc12 | November 1, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

For those who think Republicans are obstructionist, angry and rude, I would refer them to the Senator Obama who thought Chief Justice Roberts was highly qualified and a good man, and then voted against his nomination. I would refer you to Senator and President Obama's contemptuous remarks about his predecessors, and to his followers nine years of vituperation of is predecessor, beginning with his nomination for the presidency. The birthers wo doubt Obama's legitimacy can be matched by those who insisted Gore won in 2000, many years after the election. The moral here, for all candidates and parties, is that we tend to reap that which we sow. Columnists on important newspapers would do well to remind us of this, occasionally.

Posted by: sailhardy | November 1, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Readers posting "We're taking our country back. Bye-bye Dems" are going to be sorely disappointed in the coming two years. Disappointed because they don't understand how their government works.

If the Tea Party and its republican masters are serious about "no compromise" and if DeMint is serious about "shutting down the government", nothing is going to be accomplished and no problems will be solved.

If extremely conservative voters believe the political rhetoric that their leaders are going to privatize social security, abolish the IRS, the Department of Education, the Consumer Protection Agency then balance the budget by cutting taxes, I would like to hear their explanation of how that's going to happen.

I expect a step-by-step description because the president holds a veto pen and republicans will not have a majority to override it.

So how does electing "no compromise" republicans change anything?

Posted by: dastubbs | November 1, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

WHAT SCARES ME IS PRESIDENT OBAMA SCARES ME LESS
THAN

MITCH MCCONNELL AND BOEHNER THEY SCARE ME MORE. BECAUSE THEY ARE CONTROLLED BY MONEY.

REID AND PELOSI WERE TRYING TO DO THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE 10 YEARS AGO-- TIMING WAS ALL WRONG ,BUT WHAT THEY DID WILL MAKE JOBS.

OUR COUNTRY HAS CHANGED OUR POLITICAL PARTYS HAVE NOT!! WE NEED CHANGE!!

I SAW A POST NOT THE DEMOCARTS OF WW -2 REPUBLICANS ARE NOT ETHIER.

Posted by: theoldmansays | November 1, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

WHAT SCARES ME IS PRESIDENT OBAMA SCARES ME LESS
THAN

MITCH MCCONNELL AND BOEHNER THEY SCARE ME MORE. BECAUSE THEY ARE CONTROLLED BY MONEY.

REID AND PELOSI WERE TRYING TO DO THINGS THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE 10 YEARS AGO-- TIMING WAS ALL WRONG ,BUT WHAT THEY DID WILL MAKE JOBS.

OUR COUNTRY HAS CHANGED OUR POLITICAL PARTYS HAVE NOT!! WE NEED CHANGE!!

I SAW A POST NOT THE DEMOCARTS OF WW -2 REPUBLICANS ARE NOT ETHIER.

Posted by: theoldmansays | November 1, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS HAD -8- EIGHT YEARS

GIVE THE DEMOCRATS -4- FOUR YEARS

2012 VOTE FOR CHANGE

I'M NOT HAPPY WITH ETHIER PARTY

Posted by: theoldmansays | November 1, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

REPUBLICANS HAD -8- EIGHT YEARS

GIVE THE DEMOCRATS -4- FOUR YEARS

2012 VOTE FOR CHANGE

I'M NOT HAPPY WITH ETHIER PARTY

Posted by: theoldmansays | November 1, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are SO OVERPLAYING their hand. You will NOT have a mandate. Sorry. You will at best have control of the House, not the Senate and not the Presidency. You will NOT be able to pass ANYTHING without Democratic support, which you will not receive for your radical-right, corporate loving bosses. Obama will use his veto pen for any such legislation if it sneaks through.
So GOP, you have a lesson to learn - comprise and work together or be shown to be the Party of No Ideas once again. Good luck.

Posted by: B-rod | November 1, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

What the Tea Party will find out following the election that "taking back" the country (which I interpret as eliminating deficit spending) is not about gays, minorities and lazy, secular welfare recipients. Those views are misguided. If the Tea Party wants to take back the country (presumably to strengthen the middle class uneducated common NASCAR man) they will find they must target congressional pork, defense lobbyists, big corporations and the uber rich. Just how will they do that?

Posted by: citizen4truth1 | November 1, 2010 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Republicans had -8- eight years

Give Democrats -4- Four years

2012 is for change

Both politial partys need too change

A Third strong Party is born in 2012

Posted by: theoldmansays | November 1, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I have questions which don't seem to have been answered:

1. If the Bush tax cuts can help create jobs, why didn't those same cuts create more jobs when Bush was in office? Job growth was rather anemic during the Bush years.

2. Why aren't the Bush tax cuts creating jobs now? There have been more tax cuts since Obama has been in office so along with the Bush tax cuts, shouldn't we have more jobs created?

3. Why are people who claim that government is out of control and government workers are lazy and get too many benefits running to be part of such a terrible workforce? Could it be for the salary and benefits that members of Congress receive? In other words, they want to become part of why they claim to hate.

4. Weren't healthcare costs rising long before we even heard of Barack Obama? I know my premiums have been going up for the past 15 years and I already knew they would be rising this year before Obama decided to run for president. (Its called a five year plan...I work as a budget analyst)

It's past time for Americans to have a reality check. Many of those who talk about cutting government spending don't have a clue as to what they would cut or the effect that it would have on the same people who are endorsing their candidacy. Of course that goes to the fact that people tend to vote against their interests probably because they don't understand that everyone has to bear a little pain to get spending under control.

Posted by: zzishate@yahoo.com | November 1, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me??? Obama told Hispanic voters to "punish the enemy on Tuesday". I thought the enemy was the Taliban?? Our President represents ALL Americans - so he's instructing people to "punish" Americans who don't share his view?? He's no Ronald Regan - a man who truly reached across the isle! As a Republican who voted for Obama all I can say is tomorrow can't come soon enough!! And I agree, he should be a one term President because he's too arrogant to swallow his pride and move towards the center where the rest of the country lives!

Posted by: mariaestavez | November 1, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Let's start a lottery - how long will it take before the tea baggers realize they've been screwed by the republicans for their votes? And who will they be infuriated with this time around? Certainly not their gullible selves.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/31/opinion/31rich.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss

Posted by: notfooledbydistractions1 | November 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me??? Obama told Hispanic voters to "punish the enemy on Tuesday". I thought the enemy was the Taliban?? Our President represents ALL Americans - so he's instructing people to "punish" Americans who don't share his view?? He's no Ronald Regan - a man who truly reached across the isle! As a Republican who voted for Obama all I can say is tomorrow can't come soon enough!! And I agree, he should be a one term President because he's too arrogant to swallow his pride and move towards the center where the rest of the country lives!

Posted by: mariaestavez | November 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Are you kidding me??? Obama told Hispanic voters to "punish the enemy on Tuesday". I thought the enemy was the Taliban?? Our President represents ALL Americans - so he's instructing people to "punish" Americans who don't share his view?? He's no Ronald Regan - a man who truly reached across the isle! As a Republican who voted for Obama all I can say is tomorrow can't come soon enough!! And I agree, he should be a one term President because he's too arrogant to swallow his pride and move towards the center where the rest of the country lives!

Posted by: mariaestavez | November 1, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

In a standoff, conservatives win.

Liberals want to spend more money and want new governmemt programs. Conservatives don't want new government programs.

In a deadlock between the President and Congress, no new money is spent and no new government programs happen, which is fine by conservatives.

Posted by: jfv123 | November 1, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

"What will it take for those who oppose Obama to begin working with him?"

The new question is, what will it take for Obama to begin working with those who oppose him?

Posted by: kitchendragon50 | November 1, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for one of the most honest articles I have read recently.

Posted by: collegebound1 | November 1, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for one of the most honest articles I have read recently.

Posted by: collegebound1 | November 1, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Tomorrow, Nov. 2nd, we will get to right a wrong. This is not about President Obama. One poster was right, Obama was voted in by the people. But NOW, these same people are having doubts. Even the staunch Dems are not as enthusiastic as they were almost two years a go. Obama has moved to fast, to CHANGE America. Most are MAJOR changes. Obama softened his chances for a 2nd term. He was just to eager and was still riding the wave of voters who put him in the White House. Judgment error on his part. Remember too, he surrounded himself with 'newbies'. There were no real seasoned politicians at his table. Oh, there were veterans in Congress. Nancy and Harry, to name a couple. After nearly two years, the two didn't exhibit the professionalism that Congress or the voters wanted to see. Sure, they won the Senate and House, and demonstrated unwillingness to be bipartisan unless they needed the Republicans to share blame on an unpopular bill. They wanted to 'punish' the Republicans publicly. Many other Dems of no use in Congress were either drooling out one side of their mouth, wearing diapers or speaking about some island tipping over! Just to name a few! Lets not forget all the tax dodgers in his cabinet and Congress. I.E. RANGEL! I love that guy! What a pooflinger!

Posted by: TrustNot | November 1, 2010 1:38 PM | Report abuse

barrysal writes: "We the People" will remind them, LOUD AND CLEAR, this Tuesday, November 2."

You aren't the people. The problem that ultra-conservatives like you are upset about is not that Congress and the White House didn't listen to "the people." The problem is that they didn't listen to YOU. They listened to the other half of America who elected the current government. So when you say "we the people are going to take back the government, you're really just saying that the ultra-conservative minority wants to enforce your views on the entire country.
The fact is that this ultra-conservative minority has been an element of America since the nation's founding. It's the same Anti-Federalist crowd that hates all government activity outside of a narrow 18th century view. They are the same Anti-Federalists who originally voted against our constitution and who blocked ratification by 3 of the 13 several states for two years. So nothing here is new. It's just the same old conservatives pushing 18th and 19th century ideologies in a 21st century world and who refuse to adapt and adopt pragmatic, problem solving approaches.

Posted by: RufusPlimpton | November 1, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The GOP and TP are "parties" of (e-)thugs and trolls. Ever tried to debate a Republican or TPier ON THE ISSUES. It's not possible. They don't care about solving the problems that this country has. The Bush years, when most of the problems we have were created or ignored, were just fine by them.

Posted by: ptgrunner | November 1, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Poor teabagggers are in for a rude awakening regardless of the results tomorrow.

You've been had again, baggers. Used and abused. Rode hard and put up wet.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 1, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

to all,

perhaps WHEN (rather than IF) we conservatives & TEA PARTY folks WIN both houses of Congress tomorrow & the new members are installed in JAN 2011, instead of "cooperating with" BHO/the remaining DIMocRATS, we'll send obama/michelle/his daughters on a PERMANENT "all expenses paid vacation" until 01/20/2013. = that would be a GREAT deal cheaper than him being in the WH!
after all, "going on vacation" is what BHO is really good at doing.

11/02/10 is JUDGEMENT DAY for the DIMs.
(IF you are a DIMocRAT extremist, your WAILING, WEEPING & WHIMPERING begins about 7PM, when the first results start coming in from PA.)

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | November 1, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

The good of the nation is subservient to: (a) being re-elected; (b) being in the majority; (c) not budging an inch. I agree with 47% of those recently polled: all members of Congress need to be fired and replaced!

Posted by: abcs86 | November 2, 2010 12:01 AM | Report abuse

This article is so wrong in it's initial assumption that Obama has two rights to consider. His decisions are driven by his values, which are reflected in his policies. Much of the opposition we have seen over the last two years is driven, not by the decision between two rights, but the decisions and policies based on a way of thinking that is taking more and more of our personal freedoms, income, and way of life away and replacing it with an expansive government that not only dictates what you can and cannot do in more areas than ever before, but also feels entitled to your resources. This election is not about choosing between two rights; it's about taking back America and the freedoms we were guaranteed!!

Posted by: hisjoy4u1 | November 2, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

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