The Obama Renaissance

By James Kwak

President Obama is enjoying something of a political resurgence, at least among the commentariat. Ezra Klein points out that his approval ratings remain higher than those of his Congressional opposition, as opposed to Clinton in 1994 and Bush in 2006. In The New York Times, Michael Shear says the lame-duck session of Congress could be a “big win” for Obama, and Matt Bai hails the tax cut compromise as “responsible governance” and says it could lead to a successful presidency.

Obama is certainly in a decent position politically, and I would bet on him to be reelected comfortably in 2012. First off, his opponents in Congress are deeply irresponsible (admittedly: The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”) and face a huge political problem within their own party: a significant portion of the conservative base really does want lower deficits, yet the only thing the Republican caucus knows how to do is cut taxes. Klein points out that the Republicans will eliminate House rules that spending increases or tax cuts have to be offset elsewhere, and will instead say that “tax cuts don’t have to be paid for, and spending increases can’t be offset by tax increases.” Second, the Tea Party and Sarah Palin mean that Obama is likely to face an opponent who has been pulled dangerously close to the lunatic fringe during the primary (or, even better yet, Palin  herself). And third, there’s triangulation.

Bai basically parrots the Obama administration’s line: they did the tax cut deal because it was good policy, it would stimulate the economy, and they got a good deal. In other words, it’s not a cynical political tactic, it’s good governance. And as I’ve said before, I think the Obama team may actually believe that, because their idea of good policy was centrist to begin with.

Did you notice that their key talking point on the tax cut issue was about not raising middle-class taxes in the middle of a recession? Well, this conveniently overlooks one key fact: they wanted to preserve the Bush tax cuts regardless of economic conditions. Even I forgot (until Klein reminded me in a post on something completely different) that the administration wanted to make the middle-class tax cuts permanent. Remember, these “middle-class” tax cuts go up to $250,000–around the 98th income percentile. And for true ordinary American households, they are negligible, because those households don’t pay much income tax; as of 2009, according to the Tax Policy Center, middle-quintile households have an average income tax rate of 2.3 percent. (They pay much more in payroll taxes.) So even Obama’s preferred policy — killing the tax cuts on the super-rich (over $250,000) and keeping them for the upper-middle class and the moderately rich — is a regressive policy: it lowers the tax burden on people making more than average, thereby forcing the government to cut services that benefit everyone.* And it increases the pressure to cut Social Security and Medicare, which do benefit ordinary people.

So no, I don’t think Obama is abandoning his principles for political advantage; I think these are his principles. And while I’m upset at him, I’m upset at him for being wrong on the policy level, not for abandoning anything or selling out. I think a lot of the bitterness on the left comes from people who thought he was more progressive than he is, and now feel betrayed. As I said in January, I always thought Obama was a moderate who looked like a progressive (certainly the most moderate of the three main 2008 primary candidates), and, as Nate Silver said, “what Obama has wound up with is an unpopular, liberal sheen on a relatively centrist agenda.” What’s happening now, if his good run continues, is he is shedding the liberal sheen and getting a centrist sheen on a centrist agenda. And politically, that’s all good for him. Combine that with his obvious political skills, and the future looks bright for him.

* I know that the administration also supported extending other tax cuts and credits that are more progressive, but those were mainly intended to be temporary, such as the tax cuts in the 2009 stimulus bill.

57 responses to “The Obama Renaissance

  1. “Obama is certainly in a decent position politically, and I would bet on him to be reelected comfortably in 2012.”

    I beg to differ! It’s a long time, anything can happen. And we have not even begun to stop the downfall…

    However, if you extrapolate from today, Obama would lose. Today, Obama HAS NO BASE LEFT, and the Republicans could bring either McCain or Romney…

  2. My take for 2012 after realizing change I can’t believe it: If Obama’s 2012 re-election strategy is to move left to re-energize the dispirited hopeful voters who got him elected, he is going to have to buy his liberal support with a repudiation of the right who played him, and got him to call it “compromise.” The damage done to the middle class and progressives over the past three years will take a generation or more to fix and it has to start in 2012 with or without Obama. If he can’t be the change we hoped for, we can retire him as a one time failed president.

  3. Blunt Instrument

    Obama is certainly in a decent position politically…
    Only because he has managed to lie low while the buffoons in congress draw all of the negative attention away from him. America doesn’t necessarily like Obama; it just hates congress more.
    2009 to June 2010 was about Obama. He was the instrument of hope and change and America’s collective focus was (unrealistically) on what HE would do to make things better.
    The second half of 2010 was about congress. Now that the mid-terms are over, the attention will slowly shift back to the office of the Presidency over the next 6 to 12 months.

    … and I would bet on him to be reelected comfortably in 2012.
    Fair or not, the president owns the economy; and the state of the economy dictates the presidental election. If things improve by November 2012, you may be correct. But if they do not, his chances of reelection will be slender, regardless of opponent.

  4. Blunt Instrument

    the super-rich (over $250,000)
    Does making $250,001 per year really count as “super-rich”? High-earner, certainly. It is quite a bit above the median, but I always imagined “super-rich” as someone like Thurston Howell III. I know many people who make over 250K, and none of them call their spouse “Lovie.”

  5. So if you made 250,001 your taxes would have gone up by a horrible… 3 cents. It’s a MARGINAL rate.

  6. Blunt Instrument

    Not the point. I’m objecting to the LABEL. What we call things affects how we perceive them. I’m just not sure $250,001 qualifies you to be perceived as “super-rich.”

    I’ve had this discussion with a number of high-earners (who make more than $500K) and they practically all (honestly) put the “super-rich” perception point at closer to $400K.

  7. Penguin for President

    In an era where candidates are marketed like toothpaste, and the majority of American people never cease to amaze the world with their bottomless stupidity, it wouldn’t surprise me to see either Obama or Palin at the helm of our sinking nation.

  8. You seem to imply with this post that Progressives were flying high prior to 2008. This seems odd.

    Also, as Kwak points out, the President never sold a major progressive agenda, his health care plans during the election, for example, were more conservative than either Clinton or Edwards’. The “dispirited” voters can be upset, but they should be upset with themselves for voting for the candidate that was more moderate than the others. Instead, though, they seem to be blaming the President for “selling out.”

  9. Absolutely. The far-left (although, the far-left in the US would barely be center-left anywhere else) allowed themselves to believe the Republican propaganda of him being a commie-socialistic-fascist.

    He never presented himself that way. Looking back, its clear he was always presenting himself as a mediator, who would bring both sides together.

    “Yes we can” = “Yes we can bring both sides together and come to an agreement to move forward”.
    “Put away childish things” = “Be willing to compromise”

  10. Oh Penguin, you have my vote…..

  11. Why all of the quibbling about labels and whether those in the top 5% are super-rich or just well off. The point is that the high the household income, the greater the tax cuts, and a line needs to be drawn somewhere in the extension debate.

    This is precisely why the Bush tax cuts should have been allowed to expire so that a meaningful debate on taxes could take place.

  12. Ezra-don’t-call-me-so-far-up-D.C.’s-incestual’s-you-know-what-Klein. When the day does come when D.C. becomes it’s own tiny country, and the rest of us can go on our merry way, at least they’ll have a nice metro to zip them around.

    And what kind of leader worries more about getting re-elected than the good of the country? Oh, just every freaking president since Jimmy Carter. Though GBush1, who was obviously a crook, and a devil, RAISED taxes, ’cause it was the right f.ing thing to do.

  13. BS.

    Other than promise: the end of Bush Tax Cuts, re-working of NAFTA, ending the war in Iraq(can 50,000 be called ‘police action’ II); a public option; close GITMO; end don’t ask, don’t tell; ‘fix’ immigration; fight ‘lobbyists’ etc., he was Reagan redux.

    Of course I don’t remember him mentioning he’s going to set up an (unelected)’debt’ comission headed up by the right wing cranks, whose stated goal was to end ‘entitlements’(ie Social Security), then when they can’t get that passed he circumvents The House of Representatives and cuts Social Security anyway. If you could send that speech along to me I’d appreciate it..

  14. So, just for clarity’s sake: what fraction of a percentage point of the upper tier of income does one have to attain to qualify as “super-rich”?

    Does being in the 98th percentile of income really not qualify? Seriously?

    You’re probably using a stricter definition of “super-rich” than I am, but I hardly think it’s Orwellian or something to call the $250k barrier at least considerably more than “just rich.” But there’s also a perception gap driven by how much money you have to make in America these days to maintain what we think of as a middle-class lifestyle. . .

  15. The problem is and will be unemployment, which has been savaged by decades of conventional wisdom on economic policy, by both Republicans and Democrats.

    We will suffer, and suffer more, and suffer more and more and more, until we address this blind spot.

    I don’t think either party is up to addressing this.

  16. The left saw a skinny black guy saying things that pleased them, and said “cool man cool!” and didn’t bother to really check the guy out. “I mean he looked like a progressive”. Now the left realizes it’s been snookered and so the question is can Obama make up enough of the losses on the left to be reelected. I wouldn’t bet on it. His victory margin in 08′ was 6 percent which means that a shift of just 3% (1/33)of the total electorate, or about 1/16 of those that voted for him, would throw the election the other way. Will his loss of those who voted for him be less than 1/16? Will he pick up 1/16 of those who voted for McCain? My guess is he won’t pick up *any* of the McCain voters, and if he loses say 1/10 of those who voted for him, the vote will shift 5%. So the GOP could come out about 4 % points ahead. I know that those who backed him most enthusiastically in the 08 primaries, pushing him to a narrow win over Hillary, are now the most angry and really hate him. A lot of them (how many?) will stay at home or go third party, even if Palin is the opponent.

  17. Herbert Wetherby

    Some of us consider super-rich in terms of years and not dollars, over the course of a life time, who actually spends more money.

  18. Two obvious errors in this article: (1) The appeal to “approval ratings” is only an index of the degeneracy of the American voter. The recent poll also shows an admitted war criminal–GW Bush–with an approval rating one percent higher than Obama. (2) Kwak’s prediction of Obama’s re-election on this and kindred bases is therefore wrongheaded. Undoubtedly the most rotten candidate will “win,” but, given the availability of Palin, Barbour, Gingrich and the like, it is not apparent that Obama is the worst that the system can serve up. Prediction: Either Obama will get even more palpably rotten–perhaps by attacking Iran, a sure vote-getter–or he will not “win” in 2012. In any event, you can bet the farm that things will get worse by the appointed time.

  19. Quite so, but a rebellion among these troops is afoot as can be seen in the 4600 signatures accompanying the open letter to the left establishment found at http://www.protestobama.org.

    Some here might even be sufficiently annoyed to sign on.

  20. I don’t know – I think you’re rewriting history somewhat. Obama rallied on ending the Iraq war, he rallied on ending the Bush tax cuts, he rallied on closing Guantanamo, he rallied on ending the Bush human rights abuses, and he rallied on single payer healthcare.

    All of these things were more “progressive” than say Clinton and all of them seemed to have turned out to be, well, lies.

    The fact is Obama knowingly motivated both the young and progressive and then stomped on the very thing he claimed to represent – hope.

    In the end that may be his worst contribution – taking a generation of highly motivated young progressives and crushing their faith in political change.

    Maybe his supporters were fools to believe him, but I believe he most certainly catered to the idea he was a progressive, even if it has turned out to be a myth.

  21. I think you make a mistake when you assume the majority of the population is “centrist”. “Centrist” policies, as they’re defined in Washington, consist of things like cutting back on social security, lowering tax rates on very high income, etc. Vast majorities oppose such policies. True “centrist” policies in a non-Orwellian use of the word i i.e. supported by vast middle majority of the population – would include things like increasing social security benefits, maximizing the progressivity of the tax code, clamping down on Wall Street, etc. In Washington speak, such policies are “liberal”.

    Our political discourse is quite complex but ultimately it’s oriented toward serving the interests of power.

    Jim

    http://commentsongpe.wordpress.com

  22. I might be off target, but Sarah Palin is very well respected by all woman…and even men? Surprised? I’m not…I like her candor as a “True Teaparty Person”. If Mrs. Palin chooses Cantor as VP she has a shot! Obama doesn’t have enough time left to finish the job that George Jr. messed up, and now that the charismatic embryo “Man Child Emperor” Obama has really fessed-up his already bifurcated party – it’s all systems go for 2012 “Gop-O-Lot/ Wishing I was a Right-Handed Independent”, mayby?
    PS. Johnny (boy) “Ramrod” McCain has alzheimer’s disease of the mouth, and Mitt Romney’s (Army?) polygamist mormons just don’t bake-well in america’s family household kithen? Thanks James, and Simon :-)

  23. DakotabornKansan

    The Obama Renaissance…Mythology of Village

    “The whole dream of democracy is to raise the proletariat to the level of stupidity attained by the bourgeoisie.” – Gustave Flaubert

    What’s happening now, if his good run continues, is he is shedding the liberal sheen and getting a centrist sheen on a centrist agenda. And politically, that’s all good for him. Combine that with his obvious political skills, and the future looks bright for him.

    “Human speech is like a crazy kettle on which we can only beat out tunes fit to charm a dancing bear, when all the while we would fain conjure the wandering stars and make them weep for us.” – Gustave Flaubert

    “It’s not perfect, but this compromise is an essential step on the road to recovery,” Mr. Obama said. “It will stop middle-class taxes from going up. It will spur our private sector to create millions of new jobs, and add momentum that our economy badly needs.”

    Millions of new jobs?

    Mistaken forecasts of self-sustaining recovery were a big part of Obama’s original stimulus mistake. Hasn’t the Obama administration repeated the same mistake with this tax deal?

    What’s next? Obama seems willing, even eager, to join Republicans in cutting Social Security benefits. Inside the Village calling for Social Security cuts is a badge of seriousness.

    “From time to time, I open a newspaper. Things seem to be proceeding at a dizzying rate. We are dancing not on the edge of a volcano, but on the wooden seat of a latrine, and it seems to me more than a touch rotten. Soon society will go plummeting down and drown in nineteen centuries of shit. There’ll be quite a lot of shouting.” – Gustave Flaubert

  24. Blunt Instrument

    You’re probably using a stricter definition of “super-rich” than I am
    Yes, I most certainly am. “Super-rich” implies that you are somehow above the fold. Disconnected from the “common man.” CEO’s are “super-rich”. Movie Stars are “super-rich.” Hedge fund managers are “super-rich”. Wall Street Bankers are “super-rich.” Big law firm partners can be “super-rich”. The “super-rich” vacation in the French Riviera and fly to Paris for the weekend. They have 15000 square foot+ mansions with full-time staff. They are to be admired, envied, and pitied.

    But I know many people who make $250K per year. None of them are anywhere near as affluent as the people that I described above. Practically none of them have been to the French Riveria. Most have never been to Paris. They do not live in mansions. They work like dogs and save what they can for retirement and their children’s education and for a “rainy day.” They do not lead the lifestyles that I would think of as “super-rich.” Being in the 98th percentile of income does not necessarily build the kind of wealth that would qualify you as “super-rich”.

    there’s also a perception gap driven by how much money you have to make in America these days to maintain what we think of as a middle-class lifestyle. . .
    Absolutely true. It also makes my point. If there is “wealth categorization inflation”, wouldn’t it bump the entry point for “super-rich” above $250K?

    I hardly think it’s Orwellian or something to call the $250k barrier at least considerably more than “just rich.”
    So what exactly is “rich”? Is it $100K? $150K? 80th percentile? It all seems rather arbitrary and designed to achieve specific political objectives.

  25. Wishful thinking.

  26. It’s a matter of perspective. The most commonly held job in every state is in the “retail” industry. Sadly, in this day and age it’s not just kids doing that anymore but people struggling to find a better job.

    I don’t care what your friends call their spouse’s, 250,000 dollars a year is super rick compared to 30,000 or less.

  27. Super rick!

    Super rich even.

  28. James Kwak is exactly right … Obama is acting according to what he believes. He is a Clinton-style, pay-lip-service-to-the-left ‘moderate’…. Moderate in scare quotes because what counts for moderate today was conservative 30 or 40 years ago. Obama is in most respects a Reaganite economically. If he is anything like a Democrat, it is only on social issues. That any are still making excuses for him, or applauding him, tells just how sickening a combination of delusion and conservatism has afflicted this country.

  29. Barack H. H. Obama. Who knew?

  30. It seems worth adding that I don’t think Obama is “for” or “against” much of anything, as far as I can tell: he is policy-deaf. He believes that all problems can be talked away, usually by discussions among the rich and powerful.

  31. Bayard Waterbury

    Quite frankly, my dear man, I don’t give a damn about either Obama advantage or disadvantage. What I care about is truly rational government. Neither he, his party, or the opposition represent anything approaching rational government. The latest tax bill kibuki and its predecessor major legislation (not even counting the endless pork barrel crap attached to any of them) is just another attack against anything resembling rationality. It’s kind of like the new airport scanners that TSA is employing. These will not keep us safe, but they make most of us feel secure. Like the tax bill. No one likes taxes, so this is the easiest thing to do, and that piper won’t need to be paid for some time. But, as they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and, once the stream of revenue fails, the states and cities start to go belly up, what then? The next major hanging agenda item aside from START and the Dream legislation (likely to pass in this Congress), is how to bring the national debt under control. Based upon the latest recommendations, it’s my bet that nothing serious will ever happen on that. By the time the time is right (recesssion in the rear view mirror), the debt will be so overwhelming that it won’t be addressable. But, that’s just my opinion. Who cares who is President, or in Congress, if we continue to get a government that is bought by the oligarchs. Remember, our oligarchs are only nominally national. They don’t even care if America survives. They’ve got their money working all over the globe.

  32. John,
    Thanks for the link. It helped me vent tonight, especially after watching Obama and Chris Matthews yuk it up over their tax bill.

  33. Unfortunately, one of Obama’s principals is to campaign like liberal and govern like a conservative.

  34. @ soloduff___”Either Obama will get even more palpably rotten-perhaps by attaching Iran”

    Certainly will get him elected – an absolute!
    Most certainly will bring China into the fray?
    Definitely will bring about WWIII,…?
    Playing the “World’s Oligarchy Game of, “Devil’s Cut-Throat”!
    Certainty of culling the world’s population growth, via consolidating more wealth with the already “Dirty-Thirteen” parsing up the spoils of the “New World Order”?

    “God bless You…Julian Assange”

  35. @ DakotabornKansan___”an integrated society’s continuum spared most often from plebian descent by its holistic master’s
    but why
    should we gaze only upon this daily epithany
    this perplexing diet of ritual episodic wizardry with serendipity
    or shant we lift the pettycoat of nebulous deception
    thus peering at what looks to be a concession nought
    rather that the appetite for the established masters has had its fill
    leaving in its wake a calling card for retribution
    that societies morsel of gratuity having ones zeitgeist duly repelled at ones pleasure
    is but morrows feast latter thy benevolent masters insatiable advarice
    even a lowly snake need not eat for lenghty periods
    but that to our master’s mock”

    God Bless You,…Julian Assange

  36. Let’s remember that the guy posing at the bow of the boat doesn’t control anything. That hidden one in the stern with his hand on the rudder has all the control. I remain hopeful but seriously doubt Obama will figure this out. He looks to me like he really believes he’s been steering the boat so far. He doesn’t even know how political boats work especially as they plow through stormy economic seas. FDR he ain’t.

  37. The DC pundits are very disconnected from the rest of the country. If you’ve somehow made them happy, you can bet that the 99% of America that got screwed will slowly figure it all out.

    Still, Obama’s chances for re-election hinge on the economy. If it’s doing better, he wins, if it’s not, he loses. And the Republicans understand this very well (and have so far acted brilliantly to keep the economy f&*ked up – the latest tax “compromise” is a perfect example.)

    The Republicans are getting very serious about who runs their party and who calls the shots, mostly because they recognize they’re picking the next President. Thye are afraid that the marginal right will have too much power picking a candidate that the rest of America cannot stomach in the general election (but will breeze through the primaries.)

    Obama has abandon his base and can never find enough of the mythical “independents” to make up the difference. His only hope is that the Republicans embrace crazytown when the pick a candidate.

    And the real losers? The 99% of Americans that need some real reform to get good jobs, real health care and real financial regulation because it’s now obvious that it will never happen while Obama is President.

  38. “Our political discourse is quite complex but ultimately it’s oriented toward serving the interests of power.”

    That a very diplomatic and polite way of stating the truth. Thank you, Jim.

  39. “Who cares who is President, or in Congress, if we continue to get a government that is bought by the oligarchs. Remember, our oligarchs are only nominally national. They don’t even care if America survives. They’ve got their money working all over the globe.”

    How true. Now, how to inform a slightly larger number of Americans than the faithful readers of these comments?

  40. So, Glen, when do you think the 99% is going to get mad?

  41. Why quibble? Because it’s tremendously offensive to people making an honest $250K to be thrown into the same category with Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs. Making $250K “entitles” the person to pay a ton of taxes, maybe send his kids to a decent private school so that they’ll have a good chance of being successful in life, and anything that’s left over goes into retirement funding so that he won’t end up being a burden on society. It hardly provides a princely way of life, I can assure you.

  42. Good post james. Very politically objective

  43. “I might be off target, but Sarah Palin is very well respected by all woman…and even men? Surprised? I’m not…”
    earle, there is a world in which this is true, you can call it Planet Palin if you like. And evidently it is your world. But it is a rather small and self-contained portion of the actual world.

  44. Notorious P.A.T.

    There was a time when I would have agreed with this analysis. But, fist of all, the last time a party got hammered this badly in a mid-term, they lost the White House 2 years later. And second, Obama’s numbers are not good, are trending downward, and are unlikely to improve. What’s going to bring his approval up? Cutting Social Security? Staying in Afghanistan even longer? Unemployment is creeping up and the foreclosure mess is just getting underway. My bet is in 2012 voters do what they did in 2010: backlash against the party in charge.

  45. If the country wanted a wider Afghanistan war, big taxpayers bailout for large banks and other politically connected corporate giants such as AIG then they would have voted for McCain/Palin. The Democratic Party mirrors the Republican except on social issues so might as well get the real McCoy in 2012 and vote in the Republicans. Obama had no political agenda other then to mimic Clinton in the 90′s but he has so little political know how even that has become a liability.

  46. “At least among the commentariat.”

    Under certain circumstances, that kind of eloquence could get you rescued by someone like Patton.

  47. Bruce E. Woych

    http://open.salon.com/blog/kevin_gosztola/2009/05/14/obama_employs_bush_administration_tactic_blocks_photos

    The ACLU released a response to Obama’s decision, which was written by Anthony D. Romero, Executive Director of the ACLU:

    The Obama administration’s adoption of the stonewalling tactics and opaque policies of the Bush administration flies in the face of the president’s stated desire to restore the rule of law, to revive our moral standing in the world and to lead a transparent government. This decision is particularly disturbing given the Justice Department’s failure to initiate a criminal investigation of torture crimes under the Bush administration.

    “It is true that these photos would be disturbing; the day we are no longer disturbed by such repugnant acts would be a sad one. In America, every fact and document gets known – whether now or years from now. And when these photos do see the light of day, the outrage will focus not only on the commission of torture by the Bush administration but on the Obama administration’s complicity in covering them up. Any outrage related to these photos should be due not to their release but to the very crimes depicted in them. Only by looking squarely in the mirror, acknowledging the crimes of the past and achieving accountability can we move forward and ensure that these atrocities are not repeated.
    “If the Obama administration continues down this path, it will betray not only its promises to the American people, but its commitment to this nation’s most fundamental principles. President Obama has said we should turn the page, but we cannot do that until we fully learn how this nation veered down the path of criminality and immorality, who allowed that to happen and whose lives were mutilated as a result. Releasing these photos – as painful as it might be – is a critical step toward that accounting. The American people deserve no less.”

    MAYBE WE SHOULD SKIP THE “RENAISSANCE” AND MOVE ON TO THE REFORMATION AND ENLIGHTENMENT?

    FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY, JAMES, FOUNDATION AND DISCOVERY…

    TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE!

  48. Re: @ KFritz___”rescued by someone like Patton”
    I watched and listened to “World Focus” religously since late 2009 til the show was cancelled? The following #2/7 comment pretty well sums-up my feelings about Patton. JMHO

    “The U.S. seeks hearts and minds in combatting global Jihad” World Focus

    http://worldfocus.org/blog/2010/01/11/us-seeks-hearts-and-minds-in-combatting-global-jihad/9176/

    Maybe on the periphery, but relevant. You be the judge?

  49. Bruce E. Woych

    Nice article earle.florida: the right sentiment and we need to be affirmative to keep healthy attitudes clear and subjectively reinforced.

    I like the term “MUTUALLY ASSURED PRODUCTIVITY” as a global mantra…pass it around~!!!

    Regards and Merry Christmas !
    Bruce

  50. Bruce E. Woych

    where is the moral standard? What Truth is spoken in these speeches of misinformation of the highest order?

    http://open.salon.com/blog/washingtonpeacecenter/2010/02/18/freedom_rider_obamas_murder_inc

    Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley@BlackAgandaReport.com.
    All Rights Reserved for Black Agenda Report

  51. Bruce E. Woych

    I beg to differ: National Polls do not agree with this propaganda about popularity and Renaissance:

    http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1213-obama-approval-rating-lowest-since-taking-office/

    12/13: Obama Approval Rating Lowest Since Taking Office

    December 13, 2010 by Marist Poll
    Filed under Featured, National, National Poll Archive, Politics

    According to this national McClatchy-Marist Poll, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dipped to its lowest point since taking office. Currently, 42% of registered voters approve of the job the president is doing while half — 50% — disapprove. Eight percent are unsure. When McClatchy-Marist last asked this question in its November 24th survey, 45% thought his performance was on the mark while 48% thought it was subpar, and 7% were unsure. Prior to this survey, voters gave Mr. Obama his lowest approval rating in early October. At that time, 43% of registered voters thought he was performing well in office.

    http://maristpoll.marist.edu/1213-obama-approval-rating-lowest-since-taking-office/

  52. I don’t know how in hell anybody can consider $1.5 trillion deficits a centrist position. Republicans will say they agreed to the new spending only to prevent economy-stunting tax increases from happening. Obama, in justifying the compromise, made noises essentially agreeing with the Republicans about the effect of a rate increase. But Obama/Reid/Pelosi insisted on increased spending.

    To Republicans and independents, this looks like “free spending liberal.” Is this not obvious?

  53. Poor America! Merry Christmas from the boat deck of the Titanic. Can you play ‘Nearer My God To thee’?

    Obama wins in 2012 because the GOP is welded to the Southern Strategy, which Obama neutralizes. The GOP doesn’t have a candidate that can win outside the SS because they have never seen a need for another kind of candidate.

    As for the various Obama legislative ‘wins’: what has he actually done to fix the structure? He only reacts and does so very slowly and @ the beck of his owners on Wall Street. He is the latest in a long series of incompetent and deceitful leaders who never learned know how to use the powers of their office properly and responsibly.

    In this sense they are all the reflection upon our stupid and greedy generational cohort, the same cohort that has destroyed our planetary home and will leave nothing but ashes and dust for our grandchildren.

  54. “As for the various Obama legislative ‘wins’: what has he actually done to fix the structure? He only reacts and does so very slowly and @ the beck of his owners on Wall Street. He is the latest in a long series of incompetent and deceitful leaders who never learned know how to use the powers of their office properly and responsibly.”

    I think you have Obama in a nut shell here. I think this is him exactly except for deceitful, to this I would say naive, and I don’t think he was “big business” at all. I think the recession was way out of his league and that is why he went after the health care first. He now sounds like he knows something, but he was stepped all over by the big banks.

    The taxes are another one of his step aside tactics while I catch my breath moves. He is getting good at holding the shinny object over here while I catch up over there.

    To those who believe Palin is a womans choice, as a woman I will tell you she is not mine and God help us…

  55. Bruce E. Woych

    http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=6075

    January 7, 2011
    New Obama Chief of Staff a Message to Wall Street
    Glen Ford: President Obama is more concerned with pleasing Wall St than appeasing public opinion

    pretty much says it all…