Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Taking the Long View


For all those doubting Thomases, including myself, here is a good article on Obama's first term by Andrew Sullivan, in which he stresses the "long game" Obama has taken and how it is finally starting to pay dividends,

What liberals have never understood about Obama is that he practices a show-don’t-tell, long-game form of domestic politics. What matters to him is what he can get done, not what he can immediately take credit for. And so I railed against him for the better part of two years for dragging his feet on gay issues. But what he was doing was getting his Republican defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs to move before he did. The man who made the case for repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was, in the end, Adm. Mike Mullen. This took time—as did his painstaking change in the rule barring HIV-positive immigrants and tourists—but the slow and deliberate and unprovocative manner in which it was accomplished made the changes more durable. Not for the first time, I realized that to understand Obama, you have to take the long view. Because he does.

33 comments:

  1. "Obamacare" doesn't work?

    Tell that to this young lady:

    http://a7.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/403648_10150561355985586_736875585_11297889_1930339143_n.jpg


    As we discussed a while ago, 45,000 Americans die every year from lack of health insurance thanks to RepubliCON care. Because of President Obama's reforms that young lady will now live and she will pay back all that has been invested in her through her productivity and tax payments. If she has children, society will be benefited even more through their contributions.

    Why hasn't the right wing news media discussed any of that??

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  2. Sullivan defends "Obamacare," noting that it is "not fiscally reckless; it is fiscally prudent," by making "making 44 million current free-riders pay into the system."

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  3. This is a good overview from a conservative point of view. Sullivan did, after all, support Reagan. It leads me to question again the almost robotic way Americans vote now -- "R" versus any sense of what you might actually get with that vote. Or what it might mean to the future of the country.

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  4. Nice to see at least one neocon who sees the "silver lining" in Obama's administration. After all, he essentially curried their favor during his first term, as he had in the Senate before.

    Liberals have much more to complain about than do Conservatives, yet to listen to the Republicans candidates you would think Obama was so far left that he was promoting Marx.

    Gingrich continues to claim Obama has put more persons on food stamps than any other president, when it was his predecessor who deserves the title of "Food Stamp President."

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    1. But note how the Democrats fail to set the record straight. As always, they are too afraid to do so.

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  5. ... and you wonder why the state of education in this country continues to drop,

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/republicans-vow-protect-high-school-dropouts-barack-obama-184402291.html

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  6. I thought it was a pretty good State of the Union address and one that seems to push the Republicans back on their heels. Nice to see Obama take the offensive. I just hope he keeps it up through the Fall.

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  7. High school dropouts, the Republicans have your back.

    Yes, of course they do. They count on their votes.

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  8. I, too, was enthused by Obama's address, and 91% of Americans agreed with him which is amazing when you think about it. But they won't necessarily vote for him -- also amazing -- so he needs to keep promoting the message. There's lots of republican noise out there right now.

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  9. I see the Repugs already had Jan Brewer take a hit at Obama,

    http://www.latimes.com/news/politics/la-pn-jan-brewer-obama-welcome-20120125,0,5568347.story

    You have to marvel at how quickly they try to steal the thunder from his SOTU speech. Great photo op for the Arizona governor with her re-election bid coming up soon.

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    1. Brewer is often referred to as "Otis" after the town drunk in the Andy Griffith show. No surprise.

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  10. I learned on Rachel Maddow's show tonight that the 91% approval for the SOTU speech was for his 2011 speech. If you google polls Obama state of the union, the 2011 CBS News website comes right up and shows 91%.

    I don't see anything in google for 2012 but also found 83% for his 2010 SOTU.

    Wasn't there a poll after the SOTU this week?

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    1. Thanks, Marti! (I'll try this new system of direct reply ...)

      I looked for 2012 and didn't find it. Surely someone polled it?

      But interesting that 2011 was at 91%. Sure didn't make any difference.

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  11. It seems that Obama really hit it in the SOTU speech. I read the speech and listened to excerpts. There was something in it for almost everyone, which is why Daniels and Romney sounded like nothing but sourpusses afterward.

    After all the GOP infighting these past few months, it seems Obama is looking better and better among independents.

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  12. Likewise, Obama's job approval keeps inching up. it is now in the 46-48% range, about even with disapproval. Congress has a 13% approval and 82% disapproval by comparison. A pretty fair indication where Americans feel the problems lay.

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  13. Here's a link to the Lizza article:

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/01/30/120130fa_fact_lizza?currentPage=all

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  14. Thought you would enjoy that. It wasn't as good an article as I had hoped, but I found the choices Obama had to make -- both political and economic -- interesting to read about. I think what's missing in all of this was his inability to also do the "selling" at all those decision points. But hopefully he's back at it now.

    Romney isn't going to be a pushover particularly now that he has Michelle Bachmann's debate coach. And for some reason still unknown to me, half the population believes all of that stuff he says in spite of all the evidence over the last 30 years to the contrary. Who you gonna believe -- Mitt Romney or your lying eyes?

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  15. Mitt benefits by having all these debates, but man he comes across worse than Al Gore and John Kerry. I think Obama is going to have a lot of things working for him come this fall. The economy definitely seems to be picking up. Afghanistan will be in the withdrawal phase. Barring an unforeseen crisis with Iran, Barry should have a lot of momentum, not to mention a lot of ammunition in regard to Mitt's record.

    Mitt is not the type of personality to unite the Republicans. I don't know who he has to pick as VP. One assumes someone young since he is 65. It would have to be someone who would appeal to the religious right wing, and not another Palin.

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  16. I actually give Gingrich credit for his "presence" at the debates. You actually see a thinking, arguing person up there. Not that what he says necessarily makes any sense, but at least he's fully engaged in the discussion. (Well, he slept through one apparently, but for the most part he likes that format.) Romney seems to just be mouthing platitudes, and memorizing responses which he has little cards in front of him -- he shuffles through them up there, which is sort of interesting to watch.

    At least Romney dropped that horrible heh, heh, heh he resorted to when uncomfortable, which was most if not all of the time. I think the coach may make him more formidable _seeming_ in future debates (as he did with Bachmann who was very aggressive in the debates at the end).

    Santorum also picked up in that last debate. He might be a good contender for VP if they think he can deliver PA -- didn't do too well in the Senate race, however.

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  17. On the other hand, a friend sent me this. Not sure if it's factually accurate, but it sounds true:

    "Why do people take such an INSTANT dislike to me?" asked a perplexed Gingrich, to whom Dole explained: "Because it saves them time."

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  18. Santorum would be John Edwards to Mitt's Kerry, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them together in the end. Of course, Obama can't let himself be caught sleeping, which is about the only way he loses this race.

    It really does amaze me that Gingrich has done this well. The guy is simply unlikable but there he is giving the Rom a good run for his money. He's a lot like Nixon in many ways. Shrewd, calculating but at heart a very mean-spirited person.

    That attempt to somehow be above "campaigning" was really something, but he did seem to benefit from it. By making himself look like he wasn't really in this campaign, voters fell for him. The turning point was his "debate" with Cain, where it was revealed he was the smartest one of the bunch. Of course, that's not saying much, especially Cain, who made a damn fool of himself in that one-on-one debate.

    Newt wanted to take Romney on mano-a-mano but Romney wisely passed.

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  19. Newt is the best thing that could have happened for the Democrats. Here he is unleashing his venom on Romney,

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/gingrich-calls-romney-pro-abortion-pro-gun-control-192319661.html

    You just have to wonder what he gains by this. He already is out of the loop with the Republican hierarchy. The anti-Romney vote continues to lead the Romney vote but that was the same last time around with McCain. Gingrich is not necessarily going to pick up the Santorum vote in the upcoming primary, as much as he would like to think so.

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  20. Interesting opposing view about what Florida might mean:

    http://www.nationaljournal.com//2012-presidential-campaign/good-news-and-bad-news-for-gingrich-in-florida-20120130?page=1

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  21. Yea, Newt is definitely the Nixon of this campaign, but I don't think he will pull it out. Nixon did have most of the establishment behind him. Newt seems to rely on political pundits and dubious political figures like Palin and Cain.

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  22. Hey, have some respect for a dead president. As for Newt, he is mentally ill. It's sad that a lot of republicans don't see this.

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  23. Looks like the Republicans could use some group therapy.

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  24. The Republicans seem to be going with a two-pronged attack of Obama. The first is the typical religious fascist angst directed at his positions on civil unions and planned parenthood, and the other is an attempt by neocons to downplay the gains he has made in managing the economy. An example is this cynical article by Stephen Dubner,

    http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/president-matters-much-less-think-freakonomics-stephen-dubner-144453125.html

    which throws out a bunch of irrelevant numbers while trying to make the case that it matters little who is president when it comes to the economy. We have had a pretty stark contrast in the last two presidential administrations, but it seems Dubner is content to accept the opinions of Goolsbee and Rumsfeld as to the president's influence.

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  25. My prediction is that the Republican establishment and Romney will stick with this two-pronged attack until they find that it isn't working, then they'll embarrass themselves and play the race card.

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  26. I fear you predict correctly. (Gingrich already is using it.)

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  27. That's what happens when you have only one page in your playbook.

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  28. Despite every single Republican candidate using PACs and SuperPACs, including Mr. Small Government, Ron Paul,

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/31/us-usa-campaign-spending-paul-idUSTRE80U1OF20120131

    Obama gets raked over the coals (once again) for "embracing" a SuperPAC that supports him,

    http://articles.latimes.com/2012/feb/07/nation/la-na-obama-super-pac-20120208

    It just never ends.

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  29. At times it would be nice to see a little more team spirit among Democrats, but that just isn't going to happen. I also noticed that Harry Reid voted against the political intelligence provision in the Stock Act.

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