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I haven't made a political post in a long, long time.

I'd make one now, except just thinking about it depresses me. I was not happy about the results of the midterm, needless to say... and I am even less happy, if possible, about this "compromise" that Obama has made with the GOP on taxes. From where I sit, it smells more like capitulation than compromise. Give a lot, get almost nothing.

Obama is the most intelligent president we've had since Jimmy Carter... and, sad to say, he is looking more and more like Jimmy every day. A good man, but not a good leader. At least not so far. He doesn't seem to have the stomach for a fight. We need another FDR, another JFK, another LBJ. NOT Jimmy II. (And, yes, I know, Obama has accomplished some important stuff. But so did Jimmy. Camp David accords, remember?)

Yeats was writing about his own time in "The Second Coming," I know, but sometimes I think he was prescient:

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

And could that rough beast whose hour has come round at least be... Sarah Palin?

No, please. Tell me that's just a bad dream. Somebody wake me up.



Dec. 16th, 2010 12:26 am (UTC)
Why should a good leader be a fighter over a compromiser, especially when fighting for two years clearly hasn't worked? It's that kind of black-and-white view on politics that put in the highly polarized position that we're in right now.
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:27 am (UTC)
"Fighting for two years clearly hasn't worked," you say. That's not how I see it.

"Compromising for two years clearly hasn't worked," I would say. "Trying to reach across the aisle and be bipartisan clearly hasn't worked."
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Saying something doesn't make it so, and for all Obama has said he wants to compromise, he hasn't, or Pelosi and Reid haven't. Whomever is calling the shots. Do you blame Obama for Pelosi? Can you fault him for her actions? I'm not sure.

Republicans were not allowed a hand in writing any major piece of legislation, not the stimulus, not the healthcare bill. And why? Democrats had supermajorities. Most (read: all) of Obama's problems with congress has been from conservative Democrats within his own party.

With Healthcare Republicans were completely shut out, they had that political theatre televised "lets talk over each other" event, but that was meaningless. Pelosi did not allow them any input in writing the bill, it was rammed through. Then Scott Brown got elected, and rather than deal with a nonsupermajority in the Senate where they would have had to compromise, they used some backroom dealings and chicanery to get it through.

I personally feel divided government is best. There are probably good politicians on both sides but when one side has full majorities it seems the extremes of their party end up in control.

Clinton had Gingrich, Obama will have Boehner. The need to compromise to do anything should temper the extremes of both parties and force more middle of the road legislation, to the delight of the majority of Americans.

The people who won't be happy will be the people on the far left and the far right. Like the people unhappy with this bill. When people on the far left hate it and people on the far right hate it, you know it is a good compromise.
Dec. 16th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
Republicans were not allowed a hand in writing any major piece of legislation, not the stimulus, not the healthcare bill.

This is just not true. The Republicans were responsible for most of the tax cuts included in the stimulus, yet all voted against it anyway. On the healthcare bill, Obama/Democrats started from a compromise position by eliminating the "public option."

Saying that they haven't compromised is provably false.
Yet Republicans have continuously and repeatedly obstructed and filibustered. Hundreds (literally HUNDREDS) of bills have passed through the House, only to be not allowed votes in the Senate due to Republican filibusters and "secret holds."
Dec. 16th, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure the wisdom of arguing with someone who has a donkey kicking an elephant as their avatar. Obviously partisan.

But let me set you straight.

1. Republicans had absolutely no hand in writing the stimulus, even the tax credit portions. If you believe otherwise, provide the link.

2. The democrats did not start out without the public option, they tried it and failed because of lack of support from moderate democrats. The compromise to remove it, and other compromises, were all to appease moderate democrats. Until the election of Scott Brown democrats had the presidency, a majority in the house, and a supermajority in the senate, they could pass anything they wanted. Only moderate democrats stopped things and required compromise.

Also, point of fact, it was literally impossible for republicans to filibuster or otherwise stop legislation prior to the election of scott brown, impossible, by senate rules. Moderate Democrats in the senate such as Blanche Lincoln were the ones who stopped a lot of house legislation, the Republicans, with only 40 votes, could do nothing.

I'm not sure where you get your talking points from (moveon?) but they're leading you astray.

Since the election of scott brown the one major bit of legislation that passed the senate was Finreg, which did pass, and which was the first bill of Obama's presidency that allowed any significant (though still minor) GOP contribution (because obviously, the 60 vote supermajority was gone). The only major Obama iniative that GOP has even had a chance to filibuster was Finreg, and it passed.

I guess it is easier for a democrat to bash republicans than moderate members of his own party. But you must understand a 40 vote minority can do squat in the senate.

Dec. 17th, 2010 11:30 pm (UTC)
Actually, the main problem Democrats had was not with moderate Democrats; it was with conservative Democrats, who still exist because of a historical accident. If you ever look at the political platform of a Blue Dog Democrat, you won't see anything liberal anywhere on it. (Not that many of them exist any more, especially after the last election.) You'll see a lot of conservative positions, and at most a few moderate positions. Blue Dogs, for the most part, didn't join the Republican party because a fair number of Southerners still went by the version of the Democratic party that was conservative, and that most people don't think existed after Eisenhower.

The funny thing is, these conservatives got voted out because they got tagged "liberals." At least it wasn't as tragic as when Saxby Chambliss, a guy who got out of serving in Vietnam, won against Max Cleland, a guy who'd served and lost function in all his limbs in Vietnam, by implying that he was a coward who didn't care about terrorism.
Dec. 16th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
I don't see how reaching across the aisle hasn't worked - this is the first time he has done it.

Up until Ted Kennedy's seat was filled by a Republican the Democratic party didn't even need to talk to a single Republican to do whatever they wanted with nation's problems. They squandered that chance because they couldn't even get their own house in order to pass all (or any really) of the legislation they wanted.
Dec. 16th, 2010 04:34 am (UTC)
Er, even Obama's camp has admitted to not being bipartisan, with Rahm Emanuel goes so far as to say that he encouraged Obama to AVOID being bipartisan when trying to pass the healthcare reform (which Obama said in a later interview helped spur the partisanship and bickering that hurt the bill).

I'm a bleeding-heart Berkeley liberal (hell, I actually live IN Berkeley), but I'm also not so blinded by my own politics that I can't put aside my views when necessary so that I can see things from a more objective standpoint.
Dec. 17th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
disagree george
actually by all reports it has been working. You may not like the results of it but this compromise with the republicans seems to have gained some on their end. Now I am loathed to say that its perfect because its far from that but to say that working across the aisle doesn't work is false.


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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