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A no-confidence vote for Obama

By Richard Cohen

Elections are about many things: local candidates, the economy, the national picture and, of course, that indefinable something we call the zeitgeist -- a Teutonic shrug of the shoulders meaning who the hell knows. But this election, while about all those things and more, was also about the commanding loss of public approval, even respect, accorded Barack Obama, and his odd, if inadvertent, cooperation in his own vilification. He is a man who blurs his own image and has allowed others to define who he is and, more often than not, who he is not.

The consequence has just been written across the electoral map - the loss of the House to the Republicans and the narrowing of the Democratic majority in the Senate. Of course, high unemployment and high economic anxiety played a role, as did the American proclivity in midterm elections to keep the party of the president honest by slapping it around a bit. But what is striking in the exit polling is the number of people who think the country is on the wrong track (61 percent, a landslide figure) and who also have lost faith in Obama - a 55 percent disapproval rating.

Obama has not earned these figures. The country may be on the wrong track, but the GOP has not the slightest idea of what the right track might be. If it is the balanced budget Rand Paul favors, that would sink the economy right off the bat. If it is a tax decrease, that would not help either - and where would the budget cuts come from to make up the difference? Obama's prescriptions for the economy were sound, but they have been caricatured and vilified. His one supposedly overriding talent - his rhetoric - failed him. He somehow let others do the talking.

The upshot is Obama as a Muslim, Obama as an alien, Obama and death panels and Obama as a socialist. Shelby Steele, something of an intellectual (Stanford University's Hoover Institution), even attributed Obama's purported "otherness" to a "sense that he is not truly American." Obama, he wrote, is some "child of the 1960s," which means of course an irrational aversion to war and an innocent's view of national security. And yet, Obama has escalated the war in Afghanistan, has not prematurely ended the one in Iraq and so thoroughly adopted the national security measures of the previous Bush administration that he has been accused of being Bush all over again.

The roughing up that voters just gave the Democratic Party shows a lack of confidence in Obama. FDR did not end the Depression, yet the voters stuck by him and his party. They liked the man, his buoyant optimism. They connected. The same is true in the case of Bill Clinton, who knew how to use his midterm drubbing to become the comeback kid.

Obama may learn from this election. But his challenge is not just to tailor his programs to the new reality, but to take stock of himself and the image he conveys. As it is, he has the bedside manner of a doctor who is annoyed at the patient for getting sick - and there's the prospect of the patient firing him two years from now just to feel a little bit better.

By Richard Cohen  | November 2, 2010; 10:50 PM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Next: The simple explanation for the 2010 elections

Comments

"Obama has not earned these figures (a 55 percent disapproval rating)".

On the contrary, yes...he...has!


Posted by: wcmillionairre | November 3, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

Let the impeachment proceedings begin!

Posted by: wewintheylose | November 3, 2010 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Interesting.

FreeRepublic has been promising the hicks and goobers that it manipulates a sweeping Republican victory for months.

But 7 or 8 minutes after the Democrats took the Senate the site went dark. And it's still dark 1/2 hour later.

I suppose there is now a meeting going on how to explain to the rubes and goobs how this very normal swap of mid-term seats is a "sweeping victory" for the GOP.

We'll have to tune into Hannity tomorrow to hear how the rubes and 'baggers are to be hoodwinked on this mediocre performance.

Posted by: Miss_Fedelm | November 3, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse


Let the impeachment proceedings begin!

Posted by: wewintheylose

---------------------------------------------


I believe the POTUS actually has to break a law before impeachment proceedings can begin.

Sadly, just being an unpopular dumb-ass (with apologies to the Democratic Party mascot) is simply not enough!

Posted by: wcmillionairre | November 3, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

If this was a Parliamentary Democracy, Obama should have been forced to resign.

Posted by: maitami | November 3, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

If this was a Parliamentary Democracy, Obama should have been forced to resign.

Posted by: maitami | November 3, 2010 12:40 AM | Report abuse

"Obama has not earned these figures."

Typical comment from a delusional lib who oozes utter disdain for most American voters. A delusional lib who just can't possibly fathom why anyone would vote Republican. A delusional lib who thinks, "Democrats lost seats, therefore, Americans must be stupid."

Hey Mr. Cohen, try getting out of your East Coast urban high rise condos, get in your car (do you even have a car? Know how to drive?) and take a road trip to what you Libs call Fly-Over Country, stop, meet, and actually try to get to know a good chunk of America you portray dim-witted, country-bumpkin, gun-toting, militia-loving, racist yokels.

Posted by: joelwright1 | November 3, 2010 12:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree with you Mr. Cohen, however, I believe that Americans have lost their fortitude. They give up way too easily and vote their frustration rather than their wisdom.

Posted by: paris1969 | November 3, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse


Major brands always give out their popular brand samples (in a way it is similar to coupons) I use these guys to get mine http://bit.ly/aJWSXv enjoy your samples

Posted by: johngalvin03 | November 3, 2010 1:25 AM | Report abuse

This has NOTHING to do with President Obama.

This is about the "It's the economy, stupid".

Posted by: maritza1 | November 3, 2010 2:07 AM | Report abuse

This is about the "It's the economy, stupid".

NOT: This is about Stupids that do not get the economy.
Sometimes, democracy does'nt work

Posted by: marioliggi | November 3, 2010 2:33 AM | Report abuse

If this is a "mediocre performance" on the part of the Republican Party, it is nonetheless the best ousting of the incumbent House party since 1938.

Well played by Pelosi and her now unemployed Nancy Boys.

Posted by: EnoughISEnough | November 3, 2010 2:35 AM | Report abuse

Obama allows others to define him, because Obama has the mentality of a child.

Obama talks smack/ crap like the little boy on a playground.

Obama has proven time and time again. That he[Obama] is anything but presidential.

Posted by: Defund_NPR | November 3, 2010 3:06 AM | Report abuse

Republican pundits and politicians will insist that the election results are proof positive that the American people want Obama and the Democrats to be run out of town for their willful destruction of America as we know it. Well, they are feel free to engage in hyperbolic rhetoric if they must. It's what right wingers do best.

But exit polling tells a different story. The vast majority of folks were not thinking about Obama as a socialist/fascist/closet Muslim, nor expressing anger about Obamacare, nor the Stimulus bill, nor Arizona's immigration law, nor abortion rights, nor nuking Iran, nor DADT.

It was a vote to express their concern about unemployment. End of story.

A since the Senate is still controlled by the Democrats, and since a Democrat still lives in the White House, the Republicans will not be able to implement any of the irrational promises that they made during the election campaign:

No repel of the health care legislation

No privatization of Social Security or Medicare

No extension of the Bush tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy

All that they will be able to do is what they had already been doing via the Senate filibuster -- stall the economic recovery and prevent needed regulation and reform.

The Senate will most likely change the filibuster rules at the start of the next Congress, so at least key appointments that had been blocked by the GOP may finally be approved. Essentially, there will be a role reversal between the two Houses. The Senate will now strive to implement proposals and policies that are part of Obama's agenda, and the House will prevent them from coming to fruition.

And each side will blame the other for the lack of progress that happens over the next two years.

Posted by: labman57 | November 3, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Um ... OK Mr. Cohen. You are one of the experts. I'm not.
I still remember these words, from 2009 .... like no others, : "We're going to try a uniquely American solution to our healthcare situation", or words close to that.
The Congressional dissatisfaction ratings have been tanking ever since.
The "President" spoke those words. Almost as if K. Rove and Dana P. had scripted them.

Posted by: deepthroat21 | November 3, 2010 3:19 AM | Report abuse

The voters just handed the Democrats their worst drubbing since 1946. Democrat incumbents by the score were thrown out by their voters. The blame? It goes to President Obama and his less than stellar White House staff. So now the President and his staff have to deal with the consequences. The most stunning thing was the revolt of the MIdwest. A regular blood bath. Amazing. The one thing that complicates all this is the almost two dozen Democratic Senators up for reelection in 2012 will of course have to look for number one, not worry about the wishes and demands of the White House staff. It is going to be ugly and while the Democrats remain in nominal control of the Senate, in fact a lot of Democrats in the Senate will need to trim their sails to the new wind direction. Ah, well, live and learn.

Posted by: SanchoK | November 3, 2010 3:46 AM | Report abuse

impeachment should not be even considered for Obama. The GOP will want him to run against in 2012. the new Republican majority should set their sites on guys and gals like Eric Holder, Janet Nappy, Ken Salazar, and everu czar that Obama has named. those folks will have new visibility and accountability to the American people in January.

Posted by: hokie92 | November 3, 2010 6:10 AM | Report abuse

"He is a man who blurs his own image and has allowed others to define who he is and, more often than not, who he is not."

This is hilarious. Sorry Cohen, the voters have discovered exactly who Obama is -- a man who has lived most of his life in a bubble, and who's primary accomplishment is writing a book about himself. He's no longer able to get by on promises and instead must run on his record, which turns out to be either unpopular or non-existent.

Posted by: joeschwind1 | November 3, 2010 7:02 AM | Report abuse

mr. cohen -- where the 'f' were you before the election? you are spot on -- but a day late and a dollar short... your views are not hindsight either.

the GOP and it's business allies who campaigned to keep the average american enslaved (95% of all households earn less than $100,000 per year) -- and have put all the economic pressure on these average wage earning households, not even attempted to share the pain that they and wallstreet caused.

when you ask the republican congresswoman, marsha blackburn from tennessee, what programs and budget items will you cut in order to balance the budget -- she is freaking clueless or else knows full well her party needs to make concessions on their tax policy in order to reduce deficit spending and pay down some of the debt (the GOP created 2001-2009).

somehow i think the GOP is full of not-so-bright marsha blackburns, because when she says "go through the budget line-by-line", i know she's an ignoramus and has a simpletons understanding of the federal budget and the mess the GOP created.

Posted by: FranknErnest | November 3, 2010 7:09 AM | Report abuse

Two years ago, the American voters were bedazzled by a nice looking, articulate black man who espoused 'dreams of his father.' Few read his books in reality, if they had they would have found those dreams came from a man who regularly abandon his children and and responsibilities in pursuit of a cause that has long been disgraced, Marxist Socialism. After Obama was elected and began the trek up this same road, the American people woke up and realized they had been bamboozled. They want dreams of their fathers - to work hard at a decent job, opportunities for education they choose and not the government, the right to live free from government interference in their daily lives. This is the American dream, something Obama does not understand because of his background. He is just not quite an American. Yes, he was born in Hawaii, but he never really grew up here. He just doesn't get it. It's past time for him to go.

Posted by: Joe4 | November 3, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Comedy Central appearances don't inspire confidence?

Try the Cartoon Network next, Snagglepuss would like to interview you.

Obama was completely unprepared when elected and utterly unprepared to do anything positive for this nation. Resign now, for everyone's sake.

Posted by: NoDonkey | November 3, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

somehow i think the GOP is full of not-so-bright marsha blackburns, because when she says "go through the budget line-by-line", i know she's an ignoramus and has a simpletons understanding of the federal budget and the mess the GOP created.


Posted by: FranknErnest
=====================================
You mean that when candidate obama said he'd "go through the budget line by line" he was offering proof that he is an "ignoramus"?

Of course since a budget was never done by the House the "line by line" promise is meaningless.

Posted by: cathyjs | November 3, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

"where would the budget cuts come from to make up the difference?"
How about cutting the presidential spending, for a change? Is anyone asking why President Obama has booked a whooping 800 luxury hotel rooms for his 2 day visit to Mumbai later this week? The President has not only booked "an entire 5 Star hotel" but additional hundreds of rooms for his crew and other people traveling with him to India this weekend. Such extravaganza? From a president whose people are being crushed under unemployment and foreclosure?

Posted by: JyotiMumbai | November 3, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Both FDR and Clinton came to office with significant political and executive experience.

This is what happens when you elect a neophyte, especially one who is a self-infatuated messianic dilettante.

Posted by: thebump | November 3, 2010 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Obama is a nice, intelligent man but has zero leadership/political skills. He defaulted his responsibilities to Pelosi and Reid. His thin resume is coming back to haunt him. He was raised by whites in a bubble, coddled by white liberals and pushed onto the national platform by the white Democratic Establishment before he was ready. He was sold as a Black candidate but is not a product of the Black American experience and seems alien to both blacks and whites. He's an oddity that just didn't work out, let's move on.

Posted by: RitaSantaFe | November 3, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Always the apologist, you have accurately described Obama and the characteristics of the man that have made him so unpopular with many Americans some of whom he has labeled "enemies"! What a stupid thing to say yet how illuminating -- and how damaging to his presidency.

Posted by: baltic | November 3, 2010 8:45 AM | Report abuse

You are absolutely right. All Obama has to do is tinker with his image and messaging. Other than that he is doing a great job.

Posted by: jy151310 | November 3, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

cohen quote "Obama has not earned these figures. The country may be on the wrong track, but the GOP has not the slightest idea of what the right track might be."
*******************
Ah, Cohen of the Journolist Cohen's just proves once again that he and the Dims are braindead! How can you be a PAID writer and not understand the simplest concept about these results. That the vast majority of the public REJECT YOU and BO and the LIBS policies. Simple as that!!

Posted by: morphy | November 3, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Obama has been exposed for the thug Chicago politician and divisive partisan community organizer that he is. This from Politico says it all:

Independents have since soured on his leadership, unnerved by the deficits and stimulus and bailout packages that the White House said were essential to avoiding a full-fledged depression.
Obama campaigned for president on a message of hope and inclusiveness, but as he tried to rally Democratic voters this fall, he resorted to harsh campaign language. By the end, he was referring to Republicans as "enemies" and insisting that they take a "back seat" to Democrats.
"In going into such partisan, harsh, class-oriented and divisive rhetoric, he's given up the magic of his candidacy," is the tough assessment of Lanny Davis, White House counsel in the Clinton administration who counts himself an Obama admirer. "This is what he has lost. And I don't mean diminished; I mean lost. It's tragic."

The only bone I have to pick with Lanny Davis is, what is tragic about a charlatan being exposed.

Posted by: GaGator | November 3, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Too many of the policies that were those of the last administration have continued under Obama - rendition, Gitmo, Patriot Act, and increased use of mercenaries. Plus, Obama promised to listen to the people and he has not done that. His government officials are too distanced from the everyday life of the citizens and hold their meetings in closed-door sessions where the average person has no voice.

As a long-time Independent, my votes were for the candidates that hold my viewpoints on various programs and policies. Looking at those votes, you would see a split between R and D and G and even L - choices made after checking voting records, history of the candidates, programs and plans they had in mind for the future of our country.

Frankly, I think many voters saw this election as a choice of the lesser of two evils - and not much difference between the two.

Posted by: Utahreb | November 3, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Too many of the policies that were those of the last administration have continued under Obama - rendition, Gitmo, Patriot Act, and increased use of mercenaries. Plus, Obama promised to listen to the people and he has not done that. His government officials are too distanced from the everyday life of the citizens and hold their meetings in closed-door sessions where the average person has no voice.

As a long-time Independent, my votes were for the candidates that hold my viewpoints on various programs and policies. Looking at those votes, you would see a split between R and D and G and even L - choices made after checking voting records, history of the candidates, programs and plans they had in mind for the future of our country.

Frankly, I think many voters saw this election as a choice of the lesser of two evils - and not much difference between the two.

Posted by: Utahreb | November 3, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

....now if we could just figure out a way to vote idiots, like Mr Cohen, from the media, life would be somewhat "normal".

Tax cuts need to be funded? Please sir, go listen to JFK in 1961-63 talk on tax cuts. He will tell you, you are completely uneducated on the matter.

Posted by: adumbrate | November 3, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

@joelwright1

Having a bit of an inferiority complex, are we? Feeling ignored? Always helps bashing someone to hide one's own insecurities.


Posted by: Astitva | November 3, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

How can Cohen seriously not even mention the disastrous consequences of the so called 'stimulus' wealth distribution from the private sector to the public sector and the massive government expansion that is Obamacare?! Both have crippled job creation exactly at the most crucial moment of need. Mr. Obama and his party richly deserve this smack down for enacting policies that come not only at the worst possible time but that the majority of the American people disapprove.

Posted by: bn0424 | November 3, 2010 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.

Cohen's column is irrelevant. As usual.

Posted by: postfan1 | November 3, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Dare I say what was said before he was elected, that is, he didn't have the experience, a couple terms as senator, one natty speech at the Democratic convention and a huge opportunity when a country was tired of two wars and wanted something different (and yes, Bush may be seen as a failure b/c of those two wars, but it is pretty amazing how long he kept it together, really, the ranks never broke)

So no surprise, yes he's intellectually smart, yes he managed the big surge to get elected, but he's green, a political novice that doesn't know what to do when the tides roles back out. He should have know about the aberation that got him elected, he should have know this country is probably a little to the right and that would come back with a vengence (history lesson: the Carter administration ended with Brzinkski as their front man, start left, end up right, it happens everytime)

He is still our president, here's to hoping he even knows how to readjust.

Posted by: jhtlag1 | November 3, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

Obama made an incredibly large miscalculation when he abdicated moving his agenda to the leaders of the House and Senate. I'm sure many of his people thought it would buoy Nancy Pelosi to be seen as being a major mover of the Dems legislative agenda, but instead it allowed conservatives to tar Obama with Pelosi's ineffectiveness in reigning in her own caucus.

Just as bad is the fact that Harry Reid has proven to be an ineffectual leader in the Senate, which opened him up to a challenge from a total wackadoodle. It's staggering to consider how weak the Dems leadership in Congress was and to consider to fact that Obama stepped back and "let them legislate."

I have a number of criticism of Bush the lesser (that would be W.) but he at least knew that he was armed with the bully pulpit and used that to his advantage. If President Obama doesn't learn to do the same thing moving forward he's going to find that the message will continue to be defined by others, as will the nation's agenda.

Wake up Mr. President, lest you be left behind and be viewed as weak despite your formidable accomplishments!

Posted by: scott032 | November 3, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Obama is truly unAmerican in a sense that he has not had an American upbringing. Where are the BSA, baseball, football, American friends in childhood, service to the country, etc. Just name one, just one.

Posted by: rustynailx | November 3, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

'Let the impeachment proceedings begin!

Posted by: wewintheylose

---------------------------------------------


I believe the POTUS actually has to break a law before impeachment proceedings can begin.

Sadly, just being an unpopular dumb-ass (with apologies to the Democratic Party mascot) is simply not enough!

Posted by: wcmillionairre'

sadly, Issa and crew will 'Whitewater' BHO, delaying real change and work...
Nixon payback aint over

Posted by: mloaks | November 3, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

To say Obama "somehow let others do the talking" is factually incorrect. He gave over 200 interviews in his first two years - about twice as many as any other recent President. He was allowed to sell his health care plan in a 30-minute session on ABC that amounted to being an infomercial and not an interview. He is spending taxpayer dollars touting his plan in Andy Griffith health care commercials at an initial cost of $700,000.

He has called for Latinos to "punish our enemies" and told Republicans they can sit in the back of the bus while he drives the country through a series of left turns.

No, Mr. Cohen. The President has been doing his own talking from coast-to-coast frequently and loudly. His problem is that mainstream America doesn't like what he's trying to sell.

Posted by: dmdoleman | November 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Cohen and the rest of the Dems claim it is impossible to cut spending in any meaningful way. That is simply not true. The massive new spending that has been added to the budget since Dems took control of Congress amounts to nearly $1 trillion per year. Much of that going to Dem special interests and highly questionable Dem pet projects.

In fiscal year 2007, federal spending was only $2.7 trillion. There is no good reason for the budget to skyrocket permanently by nearly $1 trillion during an economic recession.

We do know the right thing to do. Germany, for example, took the exact opposite economic approach than Obama's 'stimulus' to nowhere.'
Germany cut spending and cut taxes. Last week they reported thier lowest unemployment rate in 18 years!

Posted by: mgsorens | November 3, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

I am so proud of my state-Massachusetts for bucking this trend. People knew they made an awful mistake electing Scotty "Centerfold" Brown and have worked hard to correct that decision.

Posted by: missgirl | November 3, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Miss_Fedelm
"I suppose there is now a meeting going on how to explain to the rubes and goobs how this very normal swap of mid-term seats is a "sweeping victory" for the GOP.

We'll have to tune into Hannity tomorrow to hear how the rubes and 'baggers are to be hoodwinked on this mediocre performance. "
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

Dear Miss Fedelm,

It would take extreme agility, wit and the flexibility of a contortonist to be able to adopt a position that credibly could call the GOP gains in the House and the Senate "not sweeping."

If one looks at turn over in the House in every election since 1932, the average turnover of seats is about 30. GOP gains in 2010 are at near historic levels. That's not hyperbole, those are the facts.

On the Senate side, the GOP captured at least 6 new seats. This is no small feat as it is double the average seat turnover.
Again, this is not hyperbole, but facts.

In no way are these comments intended to support or justify the GOP. They are cold numbers that anyone would be too blind not to consider carefully ... and too parisan not to consider "sweeping" by any measure.

Posted by: argie | November 3, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

Obama hasn't earned it. Right, trying to start a race war between whites and Latinos by saying we're their "enemies" and they should "punish" us. These kind of moronic statements are inexcusable, unpresidential, and destructive to the country. But then Obama, as a bone fide narcissistic personality disorder, can't handle the least bit of criticism and loses all impulse control when he is.

Shelby Steele is "somewhat of an intellectual?" Let's amend that to read, "Shelby Steele is somewhat more of an intellectual than you are, you callow little fellow."

Posted by: tom75 | November 3, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

More tripe from WP's worst columnist. It's always the messenger, not the message, right?

And with Obama, he just needs some tweaking.

Bull.

The Dems were thumped because their ideology is wrong and they led the country with hubris and condescension.

Good night Nancy - we hardly knew ye!

Posted by: pararanger22 | November 3, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Both Jimmy Carter and President Obama are nice guys and very bright and excellent college professors. Sadly that does not make you a great president.

Posted by: FLvet | November 3, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Neither Republicans nor democrats distinguished themselves while George Bush was President ... they just spent, spent, spent. When Obama was elected, the democrats went into spending overdrive. The republicans did just what they should have done since Obama refused to compromise on any significant area. However, now the republicans have to step and show what they have. If not, they will probably be wiped out in 2012. The one real plus they have going for them is that Obama is an arrogant, ideologue who does not have the capacity to change or work with others as has been shown by his very limited legislative experience. Remember, that he was only an accidental Senator in Illinois. He had no chance at election until his opponent wiped out at the last moment on personal issues.

Posted by: usr105 | November 3, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I say good riddance to all those 1st and 2nd term Dems who followed Nancy pelosi off the cliff.

Posted by: delusional1 | November 3, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

What an encouraging article...for Republicans. As long as liberals keep asking "How could the American people be so stupid?" Instead of asking "How could we have been so stupid?" The outlook for 2012 looks bright...for Republicans!

Posted by: Drew95 | November 3, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

The country may be on the wrong track, but the GOP has not the slightest idea of what the right track might be.
-------------------------------------------
Cohen, like obama you always justify your opinion with a false premise. obama is done even though he still has two years to preside. He has seriously miscalculated the electorate. He cannot recover from this because he has no apptitude for leadership.

Posted by: Jabber3 | November 3, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

And so now, the morning after, the most pressing question on voters' minds is: Will the Post move toward the center?

Posted by: mtpeaks | November 3, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

A message from the President of the United Satets: Dear fellow citizens. I have been repudiated and I accept it. Today I am resigning and Michelle and I are vacationing in Monte Carlo for the foresable future at your expense. I am leaving the Country in Joe's hands. And I got the last laugh.

Posted by: jdonner2 | November 3, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

The president needs to listen to the majority of America. He passed a Health Care bill without even knowing everything that was in the bill. The majority of americans were against the bill and that started his downfall. Then instead of listening again to the majoriy of americans, he decides to sue the State of Arizona, when once again the majority of americans want the illegals out and our borders protected! Everything the majority of americans want he does the opposite! Now, nothing will get done because everything the Republicans want to put through Obozo will veto it, go on all the talk shows and tell everyone, "The Repulicans won't play nice with us, boo hoo". It's time you stood up Obozo and take responsibility for not being the president everyone thought you would be. You are no leader! 2 years can't come soon enough! Hey Repulicans listen, because like you were voted in, you can be easily voted out!

Posted by: bailey50 | November 3, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

If Democrats think this is anything but a repudiation of their ideology, they're deluding themselves. Historically, Democratic leaders understood that they had to govern delicately and incrementally when they had power, lest they rouse the vast middle majority, the 75% or so of likely voters that polls have long shown consider themselves moderate or conservative--mostly conservative, in fact, if you consider only fiscal issues.

Enter an unknown, inexperienced and--if you don't think he's a liberal, you live in California, New York or D.C.--liberal President, who gets rolled by a bunch of liberal Democratic coots in Congress who've been waiting to grab at the holy grails of Democratic ideology since about 1974. Predictably, they immediately stuff their hands deep into our pockets.

Big surprise? They woke up the grizz and it ate them.

Posted by: LHS2 | November 3, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

The president needs to listen to the majority of America. He passed a Health Care bill without even knowing everything that was in the bill. The majority of americans were against the bill and that started his downfall. Then instead of listening again to the majoriy of americans, he decides to sue the State of Arizona, when once again the majority of americans want the illegals out and our borders protected! Everything the majority of americans want he does the opposite! Now, nothing will get done because everything the Republicans want to put through Obozo will veto it, go on all the talk shows and tell everyone, "The Repulicans won't play nice with us, boo hoo". It's time you stood up Obozo and take responsibility for not being the president everyone thought you would be. You are no leader! 2 years can't come soon enough! Hey Republicans listen, because like you were voted in, you can be easily voted out!

Posted by: bailey50 | November 3, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Hey Obozo, looks like "The Enemy" has entered your barracks! LOL Pelosi, now you will have plenty of time to read that Healthcare bill that no one ready before it was signed...how supid is that!

Posted by: bailey50 | November 3, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Let the impeachment proceedings begin!

Posted by: wewintheylose

---------------------------------------------


I believe the POTUS actually has to break a law before impeachment proceedings can begin.

Sadly, just being an unpopular dumb-ass (with apologies to the Democratic Party mascot) is simply not enough!

-------------------------------------------

Wouldn't $400 million in "aid" to Hamas in Gaza qualify?

Posted by: isaia1 | November 3, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I take an exception to the claim that rhetoric is Mr. Obama's asset. Just recall: Clinging to guns and faith, stupidity, and enemies. I'd say that his biggest asset is his teleprompter, while untethered he is plainly lame.

Posted by: felix155 | November 3, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Hey Mr. Cohen, try getting out of your East Coast urban high rise condos, get in your car (do you even have a car? Know how to drive?) and take a road trip to what you Libs call Fly-Over Country, stop, meet, and actually try to get to know a good chunk of America you portray dim-witted, country-bumpkin, gun-toting, militia-loving, racist yokels.

Posted by: joelwright1

I'm originally from South Dakota. Most of my family is still there (and in Minnesota and Wisconsin and Wyoming and Idaho). I go back at leat once a year. Let me tell you, they ARE dim-witted, country-bumpkin, gun-toting, militia-loving, racist yokels. Anyone with a lick of sense left.

Posted by: mcstowy | November 3, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Wow! Cohen refers to Shelby Steele as "something of an intellectual" - feint praise indeed! Us hoi polloi know too much about the president - he hectors us 24/7. The man is on TV more than Geico gecko. If anything his posturing, equivocating and affected SOUTHERN ACCENT are all too familiar to us.
Yes, the patient is sick - we just expected the "doctor" to help us get better. Instead we're suing him for malpractice.

Posted by: sma2 | November 3, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Obama doesn't have to do a darn thing with his image...not if Sarah Palin is given the Republican nomination for President in 2012. Pinky and the Brain could defeat her without any campaigning whatsoever.

Posted by: forgetthis | November 3, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

"Obama may learn from this election. "

Let's hope not.

Out in two years.

Either McCain or Hillary would have been a better pick.

Obama has been a disaster.

.
.

Posted by: ZZim | November 3, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

Some kudos to Cohen. As opposed to his more delusional colleagues on the punditry left (see EJ Dionne with his rediculous "setback, not defeat for progressives" missive this morning) he can read the writing on the electoral results.

Posted by: mlebauer | November 3, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Some kudos to Cohen. As opposed to his more delusional colleagues on the punditry left (see EJ Dionne with his rediculous "setback, not defeat for progressives" missive this morning) he can read the writing on the electoral results.

Posted by: mlebauer | November 3, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Richard,

People, and ultimately politicians, get defined in the public by their "integrity". The nation is looking for that integrity and the low poll status of all Congress reflects that. President Obama is responsible for his own image in the country. It was not made by Republicans (or Fox), but by his lack of discernible integrity. Post-racial President? Definitely not - he played the race card a lot. Post-partisan President - surely not. What true post-partisan President would promote himself as such and within a week of the election refer to Republicans as "the enemy"? This is Nixonian. Obama deserves all he is reaping. All of those Republican friends of mine and Independents who went for him bolted during this mid-term. It's not the economy, but integrity. Why is Chris Christie succeeding in NJ? Integrity.
Why is it that liberals always end up being apologists and critics of the way the system works, whereas Conservatives end up respecting the electorate (even when they aren't happy with the result)?

Posted by: kwp10021 | November 3, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The so called otherness of Barack Obama has been way overplayed.
In January 2009 he had a 67% positive rating - which I read as
67% of Americans being willing to get behind him and give him any benefit of the doubt. (leaving only 33% who weren't!). The support he has lost over the last 22 months was not due to sudden and increasing bursts of racism, xenophobia, or the like.
It may be true that many people do not see Obama as one of them, but it's not because most of them are bigoted, but rather, because he has distanced himself from their everyday concerns.

Posted by: MaryLouR | November 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

The reasons the democrats should never be allowed in congress or presidency is because when they even fathom what could be a great idea, they do it for the wrong reasons. Example, Health Care reform; it never had anything to do with healthcare and all to do with redistribution of income. Or, immigration reform has nothing to do with immigration and all to do with getting voters, that, because they do not know any better, vote democratic.

Despite Krugman's Nobel prize (about as merited as Gore's or Obama's), he knows as much about economics as this blogger. Mr. Clinton did not become the Come Back Kid because he lost the election; he become the Come Back Kid because he started to demonstrate fiscal responsibility (and though it would have been preferable to do it by cutting spending, he did it by massively taxing the public....which on the long run, caused the problems now encountered).

Posted by: dongiovani | November 3, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"and where would the budget cuts come from to make up the difference? Obama's prescriptions for the economy were sound"

I find it amusing that you Mr. Cohen take the position of defending Obama when all his faults and inexperience are on display for all to see, where4 would the budget cuts come from? how about getting rid of Obama that's where they come from. I guess you also agree on how he is handling Israel?

His prescriptions for the economy are sound, what have you been smoking? is your head that far in the sand? There are none so blind as those that will not see! How about a write up on his trip to India with 3,000 of his friends at 200 Million a day and we both know Obama does not have 150 friends let alone 3,000. Something is mentally wrong with this person as well as a total disregard for the American people, the American process and and his own race.

Obama is an accident waiting to happen!

Posted by: wkcc36 | November 3, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

The real question is how will Obama ever make this up to Jon Stewart. Fruit basket?

Posted by: zippyspeed | November 3, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Face it Mr. Cohen the American people have figured out that O'bama is as unqualified to be President, as O'Donell was to be a Senator. We won't be fooled again. O'bama out in 2012.

Posted by: jjlj | November 3, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

And so now, the morning after, the most pressing question on voters' minds is: Will the Post move toward the center?

Posted by: mtpeaks | November 3, 2010 10:58 AM

You mean away from the far right?

Posted by: missgirl | November 3, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

The real reason is that we've got so many troubles accumulated in a span of decades and American people blame Obama for not fixing them all in less than two years.

Posted by: ExpressReader | November 3, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse


The Dems lost because Obama chose to side with the Wall Street Bankers, and not the people.

When FRAUD and CORRUPTION are so obvious, and he won't even utter the word "Fraud"--we knew we had entered the twilight zone.

The Fraud starts at the Top-- And all of the obfuscation can only work for so long--

Time's up.

http://www.zerohedge.com/article/fraud-started-very-top-government-leaders

Posted by: misssymoto | November 3, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Richard, you've lost it. This column proves you are completely out of touch.

Enjoy the next 2 years.

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

To the contrary, Obama claimed to be the doctor who would cure the country's ills. He failed in his oath and did serious harm.
The country, realizing that, now rejects his treatment, and will get a new primary physician asap!

Posted by: lightnin001 | November 3, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Why do liberals continue to promote this ridiculous notion that somehow people do not really know who Obama is. This is a totally illogical assumption. If it were true, wouldn't his PERSONAL popularity ratings be lower? People reject his policies, and not the person. That is clear from polling data, but liberal journalists like this idiot want some excuse for the rejection of their failed policies. Cohen also says that Obama did the right things with the economy. Apparently, we are too stupid to realize that high unemployment is actually somehow a good thing. And somehow, wasting trillions of dollars that we have to borrow from foreign countries should also be applauded even though it was spent on waste and payback to unions. When is the liberal media going to wake up and understand that we reject the Obama agenda?

Posted by: JohnDavis1 | November 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

o.k. all you little liberals...go to your rooms until you can play nice. And stop drinking the Kool Aid...it will rot your teeth.

Posted by: elk684 | November 3, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

o.k. all you little liberals...go to your rooms until you can play nice. And stop drinking the Kool Aid...it will rot your teeth.

Posted by: elk684 | November 3, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

This wasn't about how Obama crafted his image-it was the fact that the policies he endorses are failing to cause economic growth and recovery. Germany tried austerity and it worked for them and 16 countries in the EU are following their lead. Many of us think it's time for America to trying austerity as well.

Posted by: dlraetz | November 3, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Richard, who are you trying to persuade here? Why do liberals always try to lecture people who don't agree with them? Why don't you quit beating around the bush and just come out and say it - that people who voted the Democrats out are just not enlightened enough to understand what is good for them?

Posted by: Matt14 | November 3, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Of course he earned the rebuke. He campaigned as a fiscal conservative when he had no intention of governing that way. If people rejected Bush's big spending, how much more should they reject Obama's bigger spending? The guy spent 700 billion on shovel ready jobs before admitting that there was no such thing. That alone is reason to boot him.

Obama would do better if he had some of FDR's bouyant optimism. All I hear from him lately is how much he hates anyone who disagrees with him.

Posted by: GraemeC | November 3, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

"Many of us think it's time for America to trying austerity as well."

Sure. Define austerity. The 1st thing the GOP wants to do is reinstate the tax cuts for the rich that will add $700 billion to the deficit right away.

Next, they'll want to beef up the Pentagon budget - though actually Obama was doing a pretty good job of that. Apparently, spending far more than all other 192 countries combined is not sufficient to obtain security. After all, there’s still the Klingon threat to consider! And since the F-22 cannot actually fly in the rain or be deployed to any wars, I guess you need to order extra ones to cover these deficiencies.

Then, the GOP will start talking up war with Iran. That should help the economy. Like it did in 2003, when gas prices quintupled following the invasion of Iraq, imposing vast new energy costs on every US employer.

Then they’ll try to repeal Obamacare (AKA Romneycare), and put health spending back on the old model … the one which the Congressional Budget Office said is on course to eat 38% of annual GDP by 2040 and 75% of GDP by 2075.

Yes, I’ve heard all of these proposals from Republicans. The only thing I haven’t heard from ANY Republican, Teabagger, or self-proclaimed conservative is ONE SINGE CONCRETE PROPOSAL FOR CUTS THAT WILL REDUCE THE DEFICIT.

Posted by: kenonwenu | November 3, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Obama and the Democratic Congress were given a mandate in 2008 and not only did not deliver but did not seem to be trying. They deserved to lose. The trouble is that the Republicans did not deserve to win. They want to cut taxes without any plan about how to reduce expenditures proportionately. Maybe they will ask Ben Bernanke to print more money. They also want to reduce government regulation as if the financial collapse and BP spill had never happened.

It is totally unrealistic to expect the economy or unemployment problem to improve in the next two years. With a non-fuctioning government, the best that we can do is learn to speak Chinese.

Posted by: Desertstraw | November 3, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Obama is too far left.

He only appears a centrist to other leftists.

Who are a small minority.

As last night's results show.

His C- results with the economy, etc. so far didn't help the country swollow his leftism any easier.

But the left knows best.

It will all be someone else's fault.

And they'll march into anothe buzz saw in 2012.

Posted by: buddy2105 | November 3, 2010 1:05 PM | Report abuse

Interesting.

FreeRepublic has been promising the hicks and goobers that it manipulates a sweeping Republican victory for months.

But 7 or 8 minutes after the Democrats took the Senate the site went dark. And it's still dark 1/2 hour later.

================================

I suspect you are a member of Democratic Underground. Only DU members obsess so much over Free Republic.

Free Republic occasionally has server hiccups and is unavailable for hours, but it comes back.

We'd hoped to have won the Senate, but the odds were against us. We have narrowed the gap between parties so that we will have no more bills ramrodded over Republican objections. That's not too shabby considering we were down to 40 senators after Spector, that weasel, defected to what he thought was the winning side.

Last night's election was like Gettysburg; we whupped the other side decisively, but they got away to fight another battle.

Posted by: GABinOdenton | November 3, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

"Obama may learn from this election. "

Let's hope not.

Out in two years.

Either McCain or Hillary would have been a better pick.

Obama has been a disaster.
Posted by: ZZim
===================
DUDE you are a clueless idiot..

WE already just left what would have happened had the won.

Presidnet Obama prevented the disaster now you GOP/TP's are all determined to have a real Depression.

Have at it..

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 3, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

There's been some posts here about 'Let the impeachment begin'.

Not gonna happen. There's no point. The 'impeachment' could conceivably get voted in the House, but the Senate (the judge and jury) would not, under any circumstances, ever, ever, ever convict him. Just too many Democrats there.

Some others, though, keep talking about the President's having to commit a crime to be impeached. Not true.

The reasons for impeachment are whatever the House says they are. There are no rules here.

Posted by: paul46 | November 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Ahhhh. I love the smell of whiiiiinnnnnne in the air. Poor little Red Lefties...did mean ole momma "the people" scold you and make you go stand in a corner for being donkeys' behinds? Oh they are such ignorant heartless brutes!!

Don't worry dearies...you can still be what you want to be, a donkey's rearend...and the American people are absolutely confident that you will continue to be one; a leopard can't change its spots.

You see Omama and the Reds are addicts; they are ideologues; they believe they know the truth. However, if they compromise, if they quit chucking around school yard insults, calling people "enemies," "racists," "gun-toting boobs," etc. it might mean that their "truth" isn't actually true.

So...lets get the Red arrogance and condescension show fired up again; probably will start tomorrow with Obama's speech. And, we American citizens will see you again in 2012.

Posted by: wjc1va | November 3, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

What an argument. This essay amounts to "I'm ok, your just screwed up." How persuasive.

Posted by: SeekingRationalThought | November 3, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Shelby Steele did not say Obama's otherness is due to a sense that he is not truly American. He said his otherness is due to Obama being an American apologist rather than an American exceptionalist. Someone who feels his role is to redeem America.

Posted by: matt_1344 | November 3, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I actually can't wait for the GOP to show what FISCAL FRAUDS they are with absolutely no plan to attack the deficits (more tax cuts for the rich and their corporate overlords), no plan to help build jobs, and NO plan to address the long-term problems this country faces. But now they can't just sit there and yell "no"...they actually have to propose and DO SOMETHING, which they have no power or ability. Obama is going to coast into victory in 2012 against any GOP challenger. Bet on it.

Posted by: B-rod | November 3, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

Good gracious. The WaPo writers are just so clueless. Perhaps it comes from living in a bubble, perhaps they don't know any real people, maybe they think their "journalism" degree impart some sort of wisdom mere mortals don't have.

Dear Mr. Cohen. The American public who just voted yesterday to throw the bums out, know exactly who Obama and his cohorts are - and they don't like him or them. Period. Perhaps in the future you can do some real reporting, like when his telepromptering lips say one thing and his actions do something else.

Posted by: bandmom22 | November 3, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Miss_Fedelm said:
"But 7 or 8 minutes after the Democrats took the Senate the site went dark."

Are you even aware that only 37 (out of 100) senate had elections ? In other words, there were no elections for the other 63 senate seats.

Of course, you knew this, because you liberals are soooo intelligent.

Had all 100 senate seats been polled, the Democrats would have lost the Senate as well.

Posted by: princeps2 | November 3, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

This election was not about the economy or health care or jobs but all of the above and more. It wasn't anti-incumbant and it wasn't just a vote against the democrats....it was about returning to our roots and being Americans. We have to hit the ground running and realize that this is just the start...2 years from now we can truly take our country back. Alas...poor California is a lost cause. Talk about having to choose between the lesser of two evils :-( I have my 49 star flag ready just in case.

Posted by: hkinsey3 | November 3, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Obo needs to get a limited slip differential on the economy suv he can't seem to get out of the ditch. An oil change and tire rotation (read health care, reward my buddies stimulus ) won't cut it when your economy is stuck up to the axles...

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

Cohen, alone of WaPo's editorial staff, at least acknowleges that this was a vote of confidence in the President and his policies.

But to suggest that Obama does not deserve the result is to insult the American electorate. Typically, mid-terms are rather quiet affairs. Not this one. Americans overwhelmingly rejected the lurch to the left that followed Obama's stealthy, Presitential campaign.

Whether the new Republicans have answers remains to be seen, and Cohen has good reason to be doubtful. But in this case Americans were so certain of the Devil they knew, they preferred the Devil they did not know.

Posted by: dilettante | November 3, 2010 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Dick (and I mean that will all due respect),

The Republicans haven't a clue as to what to do to help the economy?

Brilliant analysis, Dick.

Posted by: churchill99 | November 4, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

Oh, and Dick, you might try reading Shelby Steele occasionally. You may just learn something.

You remember what is to learn something, don't you Dick?

Or do you know everything already?

Such things as Mr. Obama is a once-in-a-lifetime leader, or that his is a vast intellect, or that he is charismatic, or that he has any clue about governing or, perhaps, that he will close Gitmo, the invention of the evil George Bush?

Guess what you do with Islamic terrorists Dick? You extract any usable intelligence from them by any means available and then you lock them in an island prison.

Or stand them against a wall and shoot them, Dick.

Posted by: churchill99 | November 4, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

What is it with the Washington post reporters BIAS. What happened to reporting real facts, right it doesn't sell your papers or push your agenda. When will you stop pushing the lies and the agenda Obama and the democrats want the world to believe. There has to be some honesty in you, Obama can't keep passing the blame. He say's all the time the buck stops here. Every administration get's baggage, and you are rated on how you manage the country with the baggage. He shouldn't even have rating that high!! He double talks everything and misleads you with artificial facts. You guys complained about the debt the republicans put us in, and yet the democrat's tripled it in one tenth the time. He passed a health care bill against the American peoples wishes, and filled it with so many hidden ear marks and attached bills that the health care bill is just a cover story. Stop pointing a finger at others and realize how many point back at you. Brush aside your parties agenda, and stand up and be honest. Is this really the America that you want for your family, your kids, and your grand kids. The simple fact is Obama is the BIGGEST mistake in the history of the United States. You are right, he doesn't deserve these ratings, they should be alot lower!! What happen to the peoples government? Limited government? The right to remove a government that the people don't want. He should step down, or be removed from office. If you were honest with yourself, and wanted what was best for america you would agree. Stop pushing an agenda and stand for America.

Posted by: oppsworld | November 4, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Cohen identifies a big part of Obama's problem as: "the image he conveys". I just don't buy that. He conveys a good image if you put his ideas and policies aside. It's ridiculous for disappointed Democrats to want him to be someone he is not: overtly passionate, indignant, beligerent, impulsive or whatever it is they are and think he should be. I am opposed to him politically, but one of the reasons I respect the man is he's not phony, like say Clinton and Kerry were, and he's not goofy like Gore was. He's also not malicious, like Cohen sometimes is.

Posted by: Roytex | November 4, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Cohen identifies a big part of Obama's problem as: "the image he conveys". I just don't buy that. He conveys a good image if you put his ideas and policies aside. It's ridiculous for disappointed Democrats to want him to be someone he is not: overtly passionate, indignant, beligerent, impulsive or whatever it is they are and think he should be. I am opposed to him politically, but one of the reasons I respect the man is he's not phony, like say Clinton and Kerry were, and he's not goofy like Gore. He's certainly not a sociopath like Edwards. And he's not vicious, like Cohen sometimes is. But his challenge is not just to tailor his programs to the new reality, but to take stock of himself and the image he conveys.

Posted by: Roytex | November 4, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

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