Does The Obama Administration Even Want To Win In November?

By Simon Johnson

Increasingly, senior administration officials shrug when you mention the November mid-term elections.  “We did all we could,” and “it’s not our fault” is the line; their point being that if jobs (miraculously at this point) come back quickly, the Democrats have a fighting chance – but not otherwise.

It may be true, at this point, that there is little fiscal policy can do that would have effects fast enough; and monetary policy is out of the administration’s hands.

But ever so quietly, you get the impression the Obama team itself is not so very unhappy – they know the jobs will come back by 2012, they feel that Republican control of the House will just energize the Democratic base, and no one will be able to blame the White House for getting nothing done from 2010 on.

When you push them on this issue, they snap back, “Well, what do you want us to do?  What’s the policy proposal that we are not pursuing?”  But this is exactly the wrong way to think about the issue.

The point is that the administration has lost control over the narrative.  Why have we lost 8 million jobs since December 2007?  Why will debt-GDP rise by 40 percentage points relative to what the CBO baseline would have been?  Who is responsible for this deep global disaster?

The president has only addressed this head-on once – when he launched the Volcker Rules in January.  That was a good moment, grabbing attention and focussing it in a productive direction.  But it proved fleeting – Secretary Geithner was spinning it away within 7 hours – and there has been no follow-up in terms of clear political messages.

There’s no story in the culture about what the big banks did and why.  There is no attempt from the top to push through the key message for the day – financial reform – and to explain what this can do and how.  The adminstration, in effect, is not even trying.

The inner team apparently thinks that 2012 will go just fine – as long as unemployment is down around 6 percent.   And, they reason, the people who lose their seats this November won’t be around to complain.


If the administration fights hard and loses in November, that is one thing.  If it fights on clear issues – forcing the other side to support Too Big To Fail structures – they may still lose, but such a loss will clearly communicate that the political strength of the big banks is now out of control.  That is an issue to run on – and win big – in 2012.

And if the administration doesn’t even care and hardly tries now, who will come out for them (or send a check) in two years?

The Obama team – both political and economic wings – seems to feel that their base has nowhere else to go, and all they need to do is drift towards the right in a moderately confused fashion to assure re-election for the president.

Jimmy Carter had the same sort of idea.

131 thoughts on “Does The Obama Administration Even Want To Win In November?

  1. And now, with 20% real unemployment, they’re going to try and legalize the illegals. Holy dumb politics Batman!

    They won’t reform the financial system because they need money from the financial system to get elected. It is that simple. Obama has done all he can.

  2. they know the jobs will come back by 2012

    Oh they do, do they? And what is the engine that will drive this employment recovery? WPA and government service could definitely soak up a lot of jobseekers.

  3. Simon, please don’t make me believe that you don’t see what is going on. JoE gets it. This is about contributions. As long as no one pushes against the major campaign contributors, and yet talks enuf BS to convince a few voters, elections can easily be won. Any TRUE stance against the big banks, pharma, health insurers, automatically pushes contributions to the other side and results in Democratic loses.
    I cannot believe you are that naive about how things work in Washington.

  4. You’re assuming that Obama gives a sh%t about the Democratic party. The man is obviously a Republican Trojan Horse. The administration is hoping the Republicans win control of the House so that they can more easily give in to Republican demands. Obama the man is bought and paid for by the oligarchs of this country; he is not and never has been a ‘progressive’ politician.

  5. Considering that the US political system is really a one-party system disguised as a two-party system, the Democrats’ sanguineness about loosing is not that surprising. It doesn’t really matter who wins. The job (for the wealthy) will get done.

    If there really exist a progressive wing in the Democratic party, they should just break away and form a new party. Then the remnant of the Democratic party would probably join the Republicans. Forgive me for dreaming aloud.

  6. Simon, for the first time you’ve written something that strikes me as just awful. You hhave ia bad readn ogf the game here. First, they care – you didn’t cite any sources. Seems like you’re venting.

    Look at the environment now and explain to me how he can force people to listen to Volcker. He can’t. No human could. It is toxic; politics is basically broken – and it’s because of the role of money in the system. That’s why both inter and intra-party factions have aligned in the way they have.

    Second, unless unemployment spikes this year, Republican takeover of the House is unlikely, even though they will make large gains…and they would make gains under nearly any circumstances since the Democrats won more seats than they should have in the last 2 cycles. I think Obama does not need unemployment to be 6 percent to win in 2012, although that low number would probably guarantee a victory given the weakness of the opposition party, which has cleavages that can’t be made to go away.

    I think reelection is not a problem for him unless unemployment goes over 10% in 2012. Contrast his approval ratings now with Reagan’s at a similar time; Obama is doing much better re: voter approval.

  7. If Mr. Obama fights hard for the middle class and loses, the base will turn out to support him, and do it in droves.

    If he does not show us that we matter, why bother? I vote because it’s my civic duty to do so, but my Democrats made it real hard for me to care. Mr. Obama excited me, but he’s acting like the middle class has no value to him. That’s a mistake.

    He should release fire and brimstone from his bully pulpit, directed at Wall Street. He should demand Congress develop programs for middle class relief, not Wall Street relief. And if he does not, he’ll have to see if he can bankroll his campaign with only Wall Streets help. Because his base won’t waste their time. Rightly or wrongly, we won’t waste our time. Or our money.

  8. Obama could have regulated predatory banking system.

    Obama stimulus could have been payroll tax holiday so money do into pockets of working americans, and not democrat vested interests (wall street, SEIU, Unions at GM, Govt workers)

  9. Sadly, I’m inclined to agree with those who have stated that the real reason he’s not pushing harder on the banks is that he, like all the rest, may well be just in thier pockets.

    But it’s something I still hold out hope is not true. And until it’s established that it is, I continue to wish that both Obama and the Democrats as a whole would get behind a message exactly like the one you describe. When you listen to how the right talks about all this, you quickly realize that there is a huge understanding gap on the part of most Americans with regard to what was and is at play with regard to the crisis and subsequent responses to it. Bridging that understanding gap in a way that goes beyond the lowest populism and cheap shots (think: the Toyota hearings) is, admittedly, not an easy thing to accomplish. But as hard as it might be to do that, I believe the payoff might be more than enough to offset the campaign contributions. After all, if you’ve read Freakanomics, it seems quite likely that if Obama has a groundswell of support, the money will come anyway because everyone generally wants to say they backed the winner.

  10. unemployment will be easily higher than 10% by 2012. I would dare to say that this number will be achieved by end of 2010 and even reach 12% by 2012. Don’t ask for proof – just extrapolate the existing trends and factor in higher indirect taxes and expenditure cuts to fight increasing deficits at all national, state and city levels. Actually, the ONLY way we did not reach the 12% unemployment in 2009 was b/c of a stimulus package that resulted in millions of state-sponsored jobs, and this is all over. Obama will have a really hard time but Republicans will have an even harder one. In any way, what matters the most is that neither party knew what the heck was going on and how to address it effectively. They all learn as they go.

  11. Tom:
    Obama has disappointed many who were looking for “Change we can believe in.”

    JoE, ep3, and bungalowbill:
    Like Tom, I was one of those where were disappointed. I now believe that the only hope is to support publicly funded elections. For those who are interested in a *real solution*, check out:

  12. so simon, you’re saying that if they regulate and break up the banks, that’s going to restore full employment by november? huh?

  13. It would be good timing:
    the original WPA sewer and water projects have a design life of 75 years.

    Does anyone case to guess what the chances are that this infrastructure has (collectively) been upgraded in the recent past?

  14. Insightful article:’The Financial Coup d’Etat: Consolidation of America’s Economic Elite’

    Obama’s Role

    As hard as it is for many Americans to admit, after a year in office it is now obvious, to those who study policy decisions, that Obama’s rhetoric is very far from the reality of his actions. Outside of the tough talk Obama gives concerning “Wall Street Bankers,” all evidence clearly demonstrates that he is their puppet. The list of decisions that he has made to support the Economic Elite at our expense is already extensive.As mentioned before, the fact that the bailout started under Bush and went straight through without a hitch under Obama is proof enough. On top of this, Obama’s campaign was heavily financed by Goldman Sachs, and prior to the election Obama often spoke with Paulson. An analysis of phone records shows that Obama and Paulson engaged in 26 direct calls prior to the election. “Paulson placed more than twice as many individual outgoing calls to [candidate] Obama (14) as to President Bush (6).”
    As soon as Obama was elected, he got rid of all the economic advisors he had during his campaign and replaced them with Wall Street insiders who were committed to “turning the bailout into an all-out giveaway.” He took the main players that caused the economic crisis to begin with, and put them in charge of economic policy.Right from the start he appointed Tim Geithner, Paulson’s right-hand man, to run the US Treasury. Mark Patterson, a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist, then became Geithner’s Chief of Staff with the direct approval of Obama. Geithner has surrounded himself with many aides that formerly worked for Goldman Sachs, “none of whom faced Senate confirmation.” Obama also allowed Adam Storch, a Goldman Sachs VP, to become “the first chief operating officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement division.” Obama even “nominated Goldman Sachs executive Gary Gensler to head the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates futures markets.” Gensler was “a high-level Treasury official in a 2000,” when he helped create a “law that exempted the $58 trillion credit default swap market from oversight.” Another major player in the economic collapse was Larry Summers, who Obama quickly appointed as White House National Economic Council Director.All of this is, in essence, the final stage of a coup d’état, with Obama now serving as their puppet.”

  15. The Democrats’ inability or unwillingness to actually defend the interests of workingpeople in this country only reinforces in me the belief that we need to organize ourselves instead of depending on wealthy elites–nominally left-wing or not.

  16. But they’ve won. They are in power. They are gathering campaign funds from donors and if they lose in 2012, all of the Obama inner circle with have lucrative public and private jobs waiting for them. So, why not support the status quo, rub shoulders with the rich and famous, and enjoy the good life now. Let the Poor and Middle Class eat cake (if they can afford it). Financial disasters are acts of God instead of Man, completely unforeseen, and other utterances of complete nonsense by policy makers and government officials alike just angers the population even more.

  17. I have no idea why every one feels they can slight Carter. On every substantive issue Carter provided the best leadership in my memory. He helped kill inflation, addressed the energy issue, rebuilt the military. He laid the sound foundation for the economy to Reagan’s benefit. He improved US standing in the developing world. Carter has been the best democratic president in the last fifty years bar none. I admit his public persona could have been better.
    Criticize Obama if you will but there is no need to gratuitously trash Carter

  18. Carter took over a bad economy and there was little that could have been done at the time other than raising interest rates and encouraging savings, which he did. As Rakesh points out, we must remember it was Volcker under the Carter administration that rescued the US economy and planted the seeds of 20 years of economic prosperity. The country would be in much better shape if we had a better balance of saving, investment and productive capacity but unfortunately the Obama administration doesn’t recognize this. Carter was a bad politician but that didn’t prevent the Fed from doing the right thing under his watch.

  19. You’re on the money with this one simon. I can see part of your job is to say things a certain way. Yes victiry in November is of a secondary concern compared to keeping the lobby money flowing.

    If the theater is performed correctly they can claim victory while handing the bank lobbies all they want.

    we have seen more than once Mr. Obama only gets out to lead when the poll numbers demand he does so. Why?
    In addition every time we get close to some kind of financial reform, he chooses to push health care refform distracting the public from the fact that he doesn’t really support financial reform.

    One must not forget his statements about Blankfien and Dimon (smart business people). Just look at his appointments and you know where he really stands. I always say ignore the rhetoric but look at the actions.
    His actions appear to be designed for what we would consider a failure. I’d guess he and his contibuters would consider it a success.

    My God, you can’t pressure Dodd, who doesn’t even have to worry about getting elected again to do the right thing?

    Let us also not forget Geitner was the one who made sure AIG folks would get their bonus by inserting it into the legislation at midnight before the vote. Geitner wouldn’t get away with it if it hadn’t been approved. Let’s get real, no way that wasn’t dome with the OK of the president. You and I would have told him to hit the streets after something like that. That big a deal with potential fallout I’m sure was OK’d. Notice the issue has been dropped (LOL)

    How about using the public pulpit to hammer the republicans as being against fairness, against what America stands for (good honest business practices), systemic stability, etc. There are real emotional populist crowd pleasers here for the taking, yet it isn’t done. Because he doesn’t want to galvanize the publics awareness, and get them to take action.

    These are guys who don’t feel they need to get in a car to go down to washington when the weather is too bad to fly to meet with Obama. Doesn’t that show you who the real bosses are in the relationship

  20. There it is, Simon, but the REASON is actually FAR WORSE than you have analyzed:

    The “Obama team” DOES NOT CARE if Democrats LOSE, BIG, in November 2010
    (what Jane Hamsher called the coming “MASSACRE of Democrats in 2010”)

    …NOT because they are “rudderless and listless,” but because RAHM EMANUEL is a JOE LIEBERMAN clone, who, like Lieberman in 2006 and 2008, WANTS Rethuglicans to WIN,
    because both Lieberman & Emanuel are NEO-CONS on the 2 signature issues of Neo-Cons:
    #1. the TRANSFER of wealth, FROM working-stiff Americans, TO THE WEALTHY, via EVERY means possible
    (tax-cuts for rich, war profiteering, DEREGULATION & outright larceny in financial markets, to the ultimate, BAILOUTS, the DIRECT EXTORTION of taxpayer dollars, given to wealthy bankers)
    #2. PRO-WARS. Rahm Emanuel is FAR CLOSER to PAUL WOLFOWTIZ, Michael CHERTOFF, John Bolton, Josh Bolton, Scooter Libby, Doug Feith, and other BUSH ADMINISTRATION radical Right-Wing Republican WAR AGITATORS & profiteers, than he is to ANYONE in the “Liberal,” Progressive, democratic camp.
    Emanuel’s father was an Irgun guerrilla in the wars to establish Israel after WWII… the Irgun only the Likud’s Likudniks.

    Don’t take my word for it, here is DownWithTyranny’s magnificent commenatary, from within days of Election 2006, about how RAHM EMANUEL TRIED to SABOTAGE the Democrats chances for a Majority win in November 2006, because a continuation of a Republican Congressional majority, would have allowed Bush & Cheney to EXPAND the U.S. war in Iraq, in to IRAN.
    Here’s the AIPAC lobby – Dick Cheney’s MOST POWERFUL support group – CHEERING Cheney’s “We MUST BOMB IRAN NOW” speech, at the AIPAC 2007 annual conference in D.C., mere months after the Democratic majority wins in Nov. 2007 put that war-lust on hold…

  21. Extrapolating existing trends led us to thinking housing could never go down in value. It’s a dangerous assumption. I’m not certain unemployment will be drastically less in two years, but I’d lay odds it will.

  22. JP Morgan and Wall Street, and plutocrats such as Ford, or Watson, were big building up the substructures for Nazism. Most went on to support the Nazis directly, and, without them, the Nazis would not have amounted to much.

    Now JP Morgan-Chase is led by Mr. Dimon, who sits on the board of the New York Federal Reserve bank. Dimon, Obama calls his “friend”.

    There is no hidden conspiracy, as in old times: the profiteers are not trying to hide the ludicrous outrages they commit anymore, and it is as if we were been provoked, just to see how far they can go, because otherwise they are having no fun…


  23. I think some policies they could implement that would bring back the economy are:

    o Force the banks to write down mortgage principals. Get these toxic assets off consumer’s books so they can spend again.

    o Force the banks to write off their toxic assets (or buy them with bad bank idea) so they can lend again.

    o Break up the big financial institutions with anti-trust law as you’ve suggested before.

    o Fire Geithner, Summers and Emanuel.

    What Obama has done is to pull the band-aid off the hairy skin very slowly, thus prolonging the pain forever. What he needs to do is rip it off, endure a quick burst of pain and then get back to healing and normal.
    Thanks for listening.


  24. Its time to realize that we elected a community organizer as President. He champions health care entitlement because that is his nature. Issues such as banking reform do not resonate with him.

  25. Publicly funded elections are the law elsewhere, from europe to Japan (although there is some cheating, of course). Even the UK is thinking about cracking down further on financial contributions.

    Another thing severely repressed in France and Britain are later rewards to ex-politicians. In Germany, the law was long tough, so (conservative Germany’s) Kohl got financially supported by… his (socialist French president friend) Mitterand.

    BTW, I know some (real left) individuals who gave personally much more money to Obama than the fat cats at Goldman. Now Obama does not know them (very best friends before). Why? The answer is obvious, and I will insult no one’s intelligence by expliciting it…

  26. Does Obama even want to win in November? Define “win.” With the friends that he has in the Congress his own party controls, who needs enemies? Let’s see what happens with reconciliation on health care first, which seems to be the President’s heartthrob.

  27. Sure. And Obama could listen to the friends who got him elected to start with.

    But, well, as I said… Deep thought is one thing, and it is tempting, whereas deep pockets are another, which can prove irresistible to those not built of the sternest moral code.

  28. “the US political system is really a one-party system disguised as a two-party system”. “The job (for the wealthy) will get done.”

    Agree completely.

    We need several new parties – all of which would, hopefully, represent average people instead of wealthy folks and big business.

    Next time you vote, choose a third party candidate. If enough of us do that for enough years, real change might come.

  29. It never ceases to amaze me the illogical, lemmings-like behavior of the American Electorate. The US mass media hyping about voters swinging back to Republicans in the next election is one thing, (because they are paid to propagandise the oligarch’s talking points), but why would the voters wish to stick their collective heads under the ever more sharpened guillotine of the Oligarch’s sidekicks-Republicans? Are they masochistic? Can’t they discern such a common ploy of utilizing religious extremes, xenophobia or continuous external warfare to blind the voters from steadily diminished economic status and stake for the masses? Literally the nation is already ‘divided and conquered’.

    Voting back for the Republicans does not help the majority of the Americans at all, but the media seem to predict that’s what the masses will do. A most bizarre phenomenon for the voters to engage in, but in the end the people deserve the government they elect, I am afraid.

    I think the voting base will shrink in November, but will the ruling class care? Not an iota. Vote for some party other than the one you despise most. That might be a drop-in-a-bucket better than non voting of no-confidence.

  30. Mr. Simon, I have generally found you to be a man of some integrity. Notwithstanding your tour or duty with the IMF, in your public persona you put forward, by your tone and intonation of concern, a sensible and sensitive view.

    For some time you have appeared the rising voice of economic reason. Perhaps the disgusting experience with the IMF has had its effect.

    Now that you see the same strategies being played out against American citizens, will you stand up and explain to your fellows what is in store for them?

  31. i don’t think it is gratuitously trashing Carter to observe that “drift towards the right in a moderately confused fashion” is a fair characterization of the runup to the 1980 election.

  32. You have a point. I would add however that an understanding of what happened to Jimmy Carter makes Obama’s behaviour more understandable. Carter began the last great effort to use the criminal justice system to control wall street. Both the Ivan Boesky prosecution and the Michael Millken prosecution were begun during the Carter administration as part of comprehensive effort to stop financial corruption. Wall street responded to this by doing everything in their power to break Carter, including financing the Bush presidential campaign in 1980. Ted Kennedy whose fortune comes from Wall Street attacked Carter as viciously as possible holding up his national health insurance plan in committee and running dishonest attack ads against him in the Democratic Primaries. Carter, as he has said was more damaged by Kennedy than he was the Republicans.

    Given that Obama took several times as much money from wall street as did McCain you would have been far more likely to see reform from McCain. Sarah Palin whatever her faults has at least been clear about how very corrupt wall street is. Don’t assume that Democrats are the party of reform

  33. Are you really serious??

    Obama is an extremely weak “leader” who just wanted to make “history” on the backs of progressives.

    Or were you being facetious…

  34. Obama wants to lose Dem majorities in both Houses, so that he can be the neo-con he really is, with an excuse..maybe the whole Dem party dose..they certainly dont know how to lead.

  35. He was a “community organizer” for a very short time..I have known alot of community organizers, and they dont act like Wall St cronies..

  36. Simon Johnson poses what for him is a rhetorical question (he assumes that poor regulation is the culprit): “Why have we lost 8 million jobs since December 2007? Why will debt-GDP rise by 40 percentage points relative to what the CBO baseline would have been? Who is responsible for this deep global disaster?”

    The answer that reformist academics never consider: Capitalism as a system. It is this system that regulates the regulators. It is this system that requires the recurrent mania of boom and bust. It is this system that accounts for the bipartisan “pass” for Big Finance as usual–which shows up for Johnson as the Obama Administration’s startling indifference to controlling the “narrative” and advancing their Congressional prospects in this year’s elections.

    For those who do not belong to the church of This Time Is Different, the Administration’s weak “narrative” cum sham efforts toward financial reform come as no surprise.

  37. I’m not easily shocked about Washington any more, but
    Simon’s observation and the comments today are very disturbing.They match what I’ve seen personally in trying to get a major jobs proposal considered by the Obama team. It’s hard to even get a phone call or an email answered. If they really think that losing in
    2010 will help them govern and get re-elected in 2012, they’re the dumbest bunch of losers we’ve ever had in office. Say it’s not so Barack!!!
    Ken Davis, Former U.S. Ass’t Secretary of Commerce

  38. Good grief, mw. The mainstream moron media has much less effect on the voter nowadays. Republican victories in Virginia, New Jersey, and Massachusetts happened in spite of the media, not because of media. Harry Reid may not keep his own Senate seat. Does this mean people love the GOP? No, it means the Democrats have made themselves distasteful to voters, through corruption, incompetence, and lack of focus on creating solid private sector jobs.

    But the media have little to do with this. Democrats have soiled their own nest. I say this with unbridled glee. Not that I love the GOP in its present incarnation. On the other hand, their failure has raised Ron Paul’s stature ten-fold. This bodes well for our future.

  39. “Why have we lost 8 million jobs since December 2007?”

    The simple answer is because most probably most of those jobs would never have existed before December 2007, had it not been for the extraordinary financial relaxation that the regulators authorized.

    When the regulators decreased the traditional levels of capital requirements to absurd low levels for what was perceived as having low risks, the AAAs, they released a tremendous amount of lending and investment power in the banks that just had to find an outlet… and so the economy entered into a period were jobs that would in other circumstances not have existed, existed.

    Now, having so much of the bank capital been wiped away and having so many of the AAA rated been downgraded and therefore requiring much more bank capital than what is available, the squeeze is made so much worse.

  40. I agree, except that Obama isn’t quite a Trojan horse. He’s been pretty open about reaching out to Republicans, much more so than leftist Democrats.

    I doubt he would even bother with the Kabuki of pretending to “give in” if the Republicans win control in the mid-terms. Obama will just work with them. That’s one of the reasons I don’t think the health care subsidies have any chance of being funded in a 2013 budget, even if health care reform passes this year.

  41. The Obama Administration is showing its true colors. It isn’t up for the fight. They’ve backed off of clear positions at every opportunity, more interested in “bipartisanship” at a moment when it is politically unacceptable to the other side, which has found their soft underbelly. The President has proven that he doesn’t believe in playing to win, that he’s just too nice to be at the top of the heap, that popularity is actually more important to him than effectiveness, and this has backfired by morphing into neither, since effectiveness breeds popularity, and lack of gonads breeds contempt, from your opposition, and from the tax payers. If he doesn’t take a stand soon, the opportunity, as indicated in your article, may now be lost never to come back.

  42. “But ever so quietly, you get the impression the Obama team itself is not so very unhappy – they know the jobs will come back by 2012, they feel that Republican control of the House will just energize the Democratic base, and no one will be able to blame the White House for getting nothing done from 2010 on.”

    So Obama is Machiavellian? And a stupid Machiavellian at that?

    If the Republicans take the House this year, the filibuster won’t matter, and there is every reason to think that jobs will not come back by 2012. The Republicans want high unemployment, to keep wages down.

  43. Yes! Yes. Totally agree.

    For a very, very short while it seemed as though Scott Brown’s significance would be the end of healthcare reform. Suddenly, Obama grabbed the headlines and, for a brief period, it seemed as though his significance would be an explosion of “populist” financial sector reform.

    Unfortunately, to say it “didnt last” is an understatement.

  44. I’ll give you the Democratic cleavages and take the Republican ones every time. It’s the difference between Grand Canyon and a crack in the sidewalk. The Democratic left needs to form its own party with a name like the Socialist Workers or something like that.

  45. Question the premise here: as the line in the sand after November elections will be the GOP refusing to increase the debt limit in 2011. Forcing budget cuts “line by line”, forcing Coburn’s anti-fraud initiatives on Medicare. Remember the $1.9 trillion debt ceiling increase last month – along party lines? Well that finances the over-spending into 2011, but not beyond. So the dynamic will completely change, and the baseline scenario will also change

  46. How about the National Socialist party? That would seem to describe the radical Left pretty well.

  47. Turnover is a good thing. Democratic turnover, Republican turnover,it’s all good. Lots of turnover plus intensifying desperation and corporate predation will give reform a shot in 2012 – provided a third party emerges.

  48. Carter was the best Dem Pres in the last 50 years? Well…there have only been THREE of them (lolol)…Carter, Clinton, and Obama. I though I had heard all of the absurd rationalizations from Leftists, but you’re the first I’ve seen trying to whitewash Carter. He was the worst Pres of the 20th century..hands down…and all the items you cite were certainly not Carter’s doing. Creation of the Dept of Energy is a great example; costs about %60B/yr and what has it accomplished in 40 years? Our energy situation is an utter disaster.

  49. IMO the failure of Obama’s administration so far is due to one primary reason; the House is radical Left and has pulled Obama further Left (on domestic/fiscal issues) than he really wants to go. There were a number of pundits who predicted a year ago that Obama’s undoing would be the House. IMO Obama/Rahm wouldn’t be too upset of the Reps took back the House. It would result in Rep ownership of our problems, would force Reps to really come to the table, and would likely result in a lot of good Centrist (half a loaf) legislation…just like we got in 1994.

  50. If Obama & the Democrats really wanted to create millions jobs, Raise our standard of living, Increase tax collections by billions, Improve our Medical care while decreasing costs, Decrease crime, save 100,s of billions in welfare, Improve our schools while decreasing cost, Provide billions more to simulate the economy etc. etc. all they have to do is Abide by our Constitution against Invasion, Enforce our Immigration Laws & and Honor their Oath of Office!

    Meantime, with 15 million Americans without jobs, & Millions more working temporary & part time jobs, The invasion continues. No Liberal Politician will address the 500 pound gorilla in the room, and millions of invading, plundering, welfare loving, prolific breeding, Illegal Aliens taking millions of jobs that should be American jobs and 100,s billions of dollars in social services that should be for American citizens while driving our standard of living down by estimated 250 billion per year!

    One cannot be political correct and admit that Illegal Aliens are an large part of the problems in this Nation.

    Their negative impact extends to every area from Sub-par loans & defaults, Underground economy, Massive document fraud, Lower standard of living, Crime, Overflowing prisons , Bankrupted hospitals, Failing schools, Property Taxes, Insurance costs, Environment, Culture, Welfare costs, Welfare fraud, SS fraud, Voter fraud, Disrespect for our laws & country, our Constitution against invasion and even Balance of payments occurring from oil and other imports to support the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens in this country!

    One has to only look at Calif. which is basically mostly an Spanish speaking, Bankrupt state that cannot afford to provide Welfare, Schooling, Medical, Prison cells etc. for millions of MS-13 Gang bangers, Drug dealers, Rapist and other assorted Criminals and uneducated, Prolific breeding, third world Parasites from South of the border!

    In a very few years it will be impossible to see where Mexico ends and Calif. begins as both will be an third world cesspool!

    Failure to secure our borders and reward the Invading horde for their invasion and their relatives in an never ending chain with American Citizenship is nothing less than committing National Suicide & will assure our future is an over populated Spanish speaking third world Nation that is an Cesspool of Corruption, Crime, Poverty and Misery modeled on Mexico!

  51. Is it time to ask them to return to their homeland when the maitre is preparing the huge, I do not how many trillion dollars, public debt check he will present you? You want to get stuck with it on your own? Would you not prefer them to hang around and help you pay it?

  52. Obama is at his best when he is against something.

    Obama thinks he can turn things around by jettisoning that distracting Democratic Congressional majority that weighs like a millstone around his neck.

    If you listen to the man he always describes problems in the abstract, not taking any ownership for them even though he is now the Executive in Charge. Rather, he points out the problems and tosses it to Congress, chiding them then, and of course especially blaming the GOP, when they do not achieve success. With the GOP running Congress, Obama will be best positioned to coast to victory in 2012 as “Mediator in Chief”, bridging the divide between the Democrats and the GOP as he throws up issue after issue for them to solve, parliamentary style. This is his model. He thinks he does it well.

    I am not so sure.

    Obama put on that role at the Healthcare Summit and in my mind diminished himself both as to form and substance. He was a lecturing scold and turned his exchange with John McCain into the event’s sound bite. He got off lucky — imagine if it were Republican Paul Ryan’s prescient deconstruction of the President’s math on the costs and tax/deficit impacts of his legislation that made the news? We’d really have a new narrative, but the compliant media doesn’t know quite what to make of Mr. Ryan, how to debunk him.

    In all events it’s a curious strategy for Obama, an almost implausible arc– to run in 2008 as the outsider who really was the clandestine insider and win, and then run again as the faux outsider and try to win once more. It makes my head spin with all the layering; it’s so inauthentic and contrived.

    It would be a mistake to think that Obama and the Left favor the rights of minorities, or women or unions or teachers. Elitists have no constituency but themselves and their unwavering belief in the rightness of their ideas. They create interest groups out of their policy prescriptions, but they are merely the pawns, the means to electoral success. Their ends are less defined, made less distinct because they are based not on popular will but their elitist certainty. As such Obama and the Left really have no natural constituency and instead must find host organizations on which they feed and in which they can hide, parasitic like, as they suck the life out of the nation to feed their egos on seeing their visions installed while enriching themselves not from enterprise but from their control of the levers, including the compensatory ones.

    The Left exists to promulgate its vision based which is derived from their overweening belief in their intellectual superiority to the masses and their unwillingness to dilute decision making by admitting untutored thinkers into the mix. It is wholly anti-democratic and seen in this light would be politically devastating to them, so they must conceal their aspirations. Unwilling to compete in the market based mix of democracy, they seek to change the rules to admit themselves where the tests of the market would otherwise bar the door. In this regard they are indistinguishable from dictators the world and history over. Hail, Caesar, wise as he is!

    The Democratic Party is the latest repository of this elitist vision. The late and unlamented Soviet Communist Party was its modern avatar. That it is a rotting corpse shows how badly these things work out. China is the latest laboratory of a government “elitistocracy” and seems only to be prospering because its elitist leaders “choose” the capitalist way. In America it has heretofore not been a “choice” but a right to enjoy economic freedom. We should be wary of those who would regulate the economy, not because their ideas are not well-intended, but because people are fallible and even if they are good at spotting problems, they may not be good at devising solutions.

    This is the fundamental flaw with living under philosopher kings – they can make terrible mistakes! Aristotle may have had a different experience because his “democracy” was merely the “town hall” of the elitists and hardly representative of the people.

    It took Adam Smith and numerous thinkers to figure out that a true democracy was the workable vision and our founding fathers implemented it. They got it right!

    Lucky us!

    What Obama (and Mrs. Clinton, the lot of them) cannot countenance is real scrutiny of their ideas. But the people are right to be skeptical. If you bill yourself as the “smartest man in the room”, you better be able to take the test and pass with flying colors. Obama is more and more a demagogue and dictator and is going to need an even more venial appearing opponent to defeat in 2012. Bush will be done, so why not the Republican Congress?

    He might just pull it off.

    Because his approach to the economy is so club footed (the incompetence meme, a bad problem solver) the recovery is going to lag and drag on (indeed it’s FDR all over again! Let’s have another entitlement!), this should portend badly for him, but at least he will have (he hopes) the likes of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell to blame it on. He will be glad that he has been able to shape America’s destiny when he sees how bad it is during his election year.

    I think his problem will be money. His campaign was funded largely by Wall Street and other big East Coast and West Coast donors. Other than the Hollywood these folks are dependent on a vibrant economy to succeed personally, which is what they are all about, human nature being what it is. In a desperate attempt to re-capture the populist high ground which he lost when he followed up support for the Wall Street bailouts with buying 2 out of 3 American auto companies, Obama has chosen Wall Street as his whipping boy. Talking about biting the hand that feeds you! He even proposed a tax on Wall Street just to impact the MA Senate race thinking he could pin Scott Brown down on the issue (it failed miserably).

    What Obama must know by now is that the big moneyed interests, who once were captivated by him, now loathe him. They despise the fact that he demonizes them and approaches the financial services sector with so little nuance. For a smart feller, that Obama can sometimes act real dumb!

    The GOP does not need to court or defend Wall Street; it merely needs to vote in the nation’s interest and keep taxes and government interference low for all Americans, including those who participate in the financial world, the goose that was laying the Golden Eggs and will still again. In the world of money past is prologue, you take your losses and move on. We should not restrict ourselves from the opportunity to profit in the coming environment in order to punish the sins of past era.

    Governing principles based on Liberty are easy to communicate, an Elitist vision not so much!
    The Street will discipline itself, because there is nothing more disciplining than losses. No doubt the Banks should have felt those losses more, and the bailouts were excessive not so much in amount, but in the zeal in which they were put in place, giving the financiers the false sense that there was no limit to the government safety net, especially for biggest of the big. They got big for a reason and we should not rush headlong into undoing what the industry evolved to over many years. Better try stemming the tide or reversing the rotation of the Earth!

    Many will learn hard lessons. Let us hope it the politicians and not the people en masse who suffer for it!

    petekent01 (on twitter)

  53. Obama is all talk and no action. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words. He raked the bankers over the coals against the bonuses they paid themselves from TARP. First, he threatened to tax those bonuses but, that very bill died quietly in Congress. Why? Then, he blasted the banks about regulation yet, nothing has been said about the Glass-Steagall Act which the bankers including Greenspan moved to repeal. If Obama REALLY WANTED reform, he could have reinstated the Glass-Steagall Act yet, he backs regulation by the Federal Reserve run by the same bankers who created the mess and moved to repeal Glass-Steagall Act. He is on the bankers side except for the blind who cannot see!

  54. I agree that O is owned by Wallstreet and Big Pharma etc and has made no real effort to protect the middle and working classes against their predation. He also doesn’t seem to care that he has damaged the Democratic party as much in one year of indecisiveness, as GW did to the Republicans IN EIGHT YEARS! Dems have to be heartbroken with that.

    O’s big chance of re-election in 2012 is that the democrats in NH and IA get to pick the Republican candidate. The RINO wing of the party likes it that way because it marginalizes the conservatives. The disadvantage is they get candidates like John McCain and Bob Dole, that repell the base and lose. That is his re-election chance.

  55. Team Obama blew it in the ill-fated quest for bipartisanship in the most divisive circumstances, as well as in courting Big Money, and now they are finished.

    As Jim DeMint predicted, Obama has met his Waterloo. It wasn’t the Republicans, They were just being, well, Republicans. Obama’s Waterloo was himself.

    The people that voted for Obama expecting change are the ones who will suffer for their mistaking a pragmatist politician for a progressive statesman.

  56. So being gleeful about Paul’s stature is different from being in awe of Obama, in what way? It certainly isnt “gleeful” in my “former neighborhood”, but, then, I never thought Obama was anything but a Wall St pawn, so I am not surprised.

    I hear alot these days about a “left coalition” with Paul type Libertarians, but, everytime i have tried to discuss issues with them, I end up getting a lecture about taxes and de-regulation…the real left will never just go with that and no one like Paul (or his son) can win it on their own…

    BTW–there are socialist parties in the US (I belong to one) and whoever here referred to the left as National Socialists is just playing up to the duopoly…

  57. Actually , true progressives will suffer most..those that never fell for his crap..this country wiggles back and forth between the “two” parties….

  58. I am just throwing this out here, but, I think that the GOP may run someone like Mitt Romney (yuck) and win..but, if they try to run an old style GOP, they will lose…true liberals/progressives are NOT going for Obama and, maybe, Libertarians (for lack of better term) will run a candidate acceptable to them..trying to think who that would be…but it wont cause the breakdown of the predominance of the duopoly.

    Obama’s best chance would be for the GOP to do something “new” in 2012 and go for someone like Palin…that would bring out the “liberal” base…if youve noticed on MSNBC and HufPo (Fluffpo) the talking points have shifted from “what Obama will do” or Dems will do, to “look out Palin will do this”…

  59. Obama is pushing healthcare so he can get a Republican Congress in Nov. He knows the American people have rejected his radical left wing agenda and the massive corruption of the Democrats in Congress with their trillions and trillions in debt! He can never win reelection if he has to defend the mess he and the Democratic Congress have created. With a Republican Congress, by 2012, he can run trying to push the blame for his disasterous leadership off on the Republicans! Too bad for those Democrats marching off the cliff for him!!!!

  60. It is absurd to blame all of this on “immigration” per se…some of the things you speak of are a direct result of neolibcon policies that allowed mult-national corporations to “globalize” the economy and continues to allow corporations to treat all workers (but most especially illegal workserz) like crap…that is why corporations like it…they can import a new slave class..NAFTA/CAFTA/PAFTA…if we would make them citizens, they would pay taxes…I dont agree with “open borders” at all, but you would have to specifiy where you draw the line on “immigrant”–anyone whose family is not a Native American or what??

  61. “He’s been pretty open about reaching out to Republicans, much more so than leftist Democrats.”

    Wow, you are really buying what Obama is selling. Have you looked at his voting record? No one is to the left of Obama. He is the embodiment of Chicago politics. He speaks one way (moderately) but does another (totally liberal). However, at this point I am entirely convinced that even an infinite amount of logic will fail to persuade you.

  62. You’re forgetting that by 2012, Obama will have let Iran have atomic weapons.

    History show that Presidents who simply ride out the events that happen around them tend to serve one term.

    Also: Listening to the other side and then saying, “you’re wrong,” is not bipartisanship.

  63. Dave H–have you heard Hillary lately? I am not sure that they will ‘allow” it at all, or may use Israel as a proxy to bomb Iran…

    I dont want “bipartisanship” the GOP never had it..I have firmly held beliefs,,,thats why I dont vote either party of the duopoly…

  64. Chicago politics is NOT “liberal”..Obama was considered a “very reasonable man” when he was in the ILlinois Senate, by all big corporations..he is a corporatist, NOT a “liberal”…corporatists a neo-liberals…

  65. Catlady is correct to observe that Obama “is not and never has been a progressive politician.”

    Evidence of this is offered by two recent policy decisions made by Obama 1) he instructed his Sec. of State to offer billions in foreign aid (bribes) to third world nations. If ever dispensed, most of t5hose funds will end up in the pockets of petty dictators & their cronies. The second policy decision which demonastrates Obama’s not really a Liberal was that he cut the budget of the Peace Corps.

    Peace Corps assistance goes to some of the world’s most needy people, but there’s little opportunity for corrupt officials to skim much money from Peace Corps aid; OTOH, there are many ways to skim from direct cash payments to foreign governments. So, Obama has facoilitated the skimming process with his policy decisions and he has shafted some of the world’s most needy people.

    If Obama’s not a real progressive, then what is he? A narcisistic self-centered polecat. He was clever enough to get himself elected president, but he’s not truly intelligent, or his excessively narcistic self wouldn’t be so clearly & frequently on public display.

  66. As a 15 yr Psychiatric Social Worker, I say that he has narcisstic personality disorder, with delusions of grandeur…many peoele that think themselves fit to be “commander in chief” has this problem, though…

    I think that he is “intelligent” in a rather uniquely “American” way…he is good at public speaking and uses a “preacher type” cadence…he is clever , but not wise, as Native Ams used to say of white folks, and, he has never, ever represented minorities of any kind..
    BTW–the Peace Corps is so broke now, that they put people in horrible parts of town where they cannot be protected…

  67. There are so many dangerous things about this inept Naif in the WH along with his Dem minions in Congress that one is apt to forget just how in one year this character has tried to use his socialist pacifist philosophy to transform America into a Venezuela type tyranny. Whether is is Obamacare with socialist disasters awaiting docs, consumers and patients , to Cap and Tax(trade) faux energy solutions which will not allow us to have our own domestic energy resources, to amnesty, to packing SCOTUS, to appointing leftist commies like Van Jones and other czars who are simply not American in their values, to the Al Queda 7 to Justice, this dangerous man and his advisors think that American voters will swallow all of this socialist baloney like climate et al, and think that well goody, taxes will be raised, spending hikes, and sure Dems might lose some seats, but boy howdy, we will have transformed America!! Yep. Right into bankruptcy and into tyranny where we will not be able to compete with China,Japan, Brazil, India, Russia or even Iran. And don’t get me started how this 47 yr. old Chicago thug has ruined our national security and our responses to Islamofascism! The worst Prez in my 71 years, bar none.

  68. Pretty simple for the Dems to win, any time they like. Just do something about the price of gas (market speculation ups it) and the cost of telecommunication (monopoly power underlies it).

  69. 2010 – 50 = 1960 and, at least in my foggy memory, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson were Democrats.

  70. Unions and government workers – the taxpayer is extorted when government workers unionize. Public employees determine their own wages, not the taxpayer, their employer.

    My other public employee axe to grind – the USPS loses $7 billion per year. They have 10 times as many workers as they need (and there is never anyone at the counter at the Post Office). Media says that they can’t be fired because they are unionized. Truth is, postal jobs are mostly political patronage positions. Your congressperson decides, according to his or her campaign supporters, who gets a job a the Post Office. Because the jobs are patronage positions, those in power – Congresspeople – have huge disincentive to fire these workers. So, I guess as in many cases like pork, taxes pay for Congressional excess.

  71. Clinton wasn’t too shabby. Little war, high employment. He gets kicked by the right AND by the left for his business and welfare policies, mostly. Benificent administration, leaving the country with an impressive budget surplus, the first in centuries. Media blasted the surplus, hyping fantasy-land dangers. Allowed Bush to increase the national debt by about $3 or $4 trillion. “Borrow and Spend Republicans” go after “Tax and Spend Democrats,” with “Tax and Spend” much more fixed in voter consciousness. Noisy bast#@$%, Republicans, aren’t they?

  72. “Obama the man is bought and paid for by the oligarchs of this country; he is not and never has been a ‘progressive’ politician.”

    Bush was a Corporatist masquerading as a Conservative Republican. Obama is a Corporatist masquerading as a Liberal Democrat.

    Both of them were bought and paid for by the Oligarchs.

    The second I heard that Obama had tapped Rubin as his economic advisor when he was still running for President I knew he was bought and paid for.

    The Oligarchs laugh at Partisans on both sides of the aisle. To them they’re nothing more than useful idiots.

    But what Simon is missing in the November 2010 election scenario is the impending bloodbath that’s going to occur for incumbents. Both Republicans and Democrats.

  73. “There’s no story in the culture about what the big banks did and why.”

    Because Obama’s team (Summers, Geithner, etc) represent the big banks. Why would they go against their friends, colleagues and partners in crime?

  74. Obama has made a career out of being a token. He’s just sales & public relations type that you send out to schmooze the customer (in this case us the public). Expecting him to get down and dirty and wrestle with the issues and really confront powerful interests is like expecting a car salesman to fix GM; it’s not his job function, it’s not what he does, it’s not how he’s built. Besides he doesn’t want to take on the elite, he wants to be part of it.

  75. There is so much that is false here, I wouldnt know where to begin…but, if I was 71 , I might think it was true…

  76. Yea, this is all a stage managed production. The powers that be (the financial elite and Corporate America) own the stage (the media) and pay the actors (politicians, pundits, etc.) and stage hands. The narrative is adjusted as events unfold. Each actor plays their part (“cowboy”, “black activist”, “hockey mom”,”maverick”, “liberal”, “teabagger” …) and they all get their money from the same place.

  77. Clinton was a disaster for progressives…he was , as they say, the best Republican we ever had..but, IMHO, we havent had a really decent president in my lifetime.

  78. BTW–most dont realize what an elitest Obama already was…his Chicago mansion is worth $2 million and his fav investment was (prob is) Goldman Sachs…corporations found him easy to work with…he’s a neo-con

  79. Thank you Simon, a great post. And, while I was really pleased by BO winning the election, he now reminds me of Mr. Chance in “Being There.”

  80. KDelphi says, “We haven’t had a really decent president in my lifetime.” Depending upon KDelphi’s age, that’s possible. OTOH, I an old goat remain a strong fan of Jack Kennedy & his presidency
    (in ’63 I was a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in West Africa), but it is my bet that history will consider Ronald Reagan one of America’s greatest presidents, because it was on his watch that our 45-year-long struggle with the Soviet Union, the Soviet empire, was won.

  81. Mr. Johnson wrote:

    “Does The Obama Administration Even Want To Win In November ”

    Another question might be, when do the taxpayers win? When does life start to get better for them. Some of this is too much for my pea-sized brain. :-)

  82. I have understood the regulatory capture by Goldman Sach’s, but to see the “hat-trick” outlined, in plain daylight for all to see, makes me sick… it clear that both sides have been bought and paid for. The next crisis will knock the stool over, and The End Of The American Century will inexorably move forward…

  83. I don’t think Obama wants Dems to lose in Nov, but I don’t think he cares much either as long as he can pass as much of his agenda as he can. Senate Dems messed up his chance to pass health care insurance reform because they didn’t include the Stupak wording in their bill. Democrat politicians like abortion more than they like health care insurance reform. See – “pro abortion” is a more accurate term for them than “pro choice”! So they picked what was most important to them and health care insurance reform will flounder because of it.

  84. Only if Fascism describes the Right…Conservatives seem to be uber-confused about NAZIism and many of them were around to see it!! lol

  85. If you make enough money to pay taxes, you can “lobby”…thats what you guys believe in, right? Use your money..lobby Congress…

  86. Id have to disagree on JFK…he escalated the war in Indonesia and did huge tax cuts..but we wil never know what he could have done…Reagan may remain “great” in the eyes of WASP historian,s but, most younger people know better than that by now…most true convservatives think reagan was a sham…I am trying to htink of someone , historically, that i think was a great president of the uS, and I cant..sorry.

  87. paid for by the oligarchs of this country???

    meaning of course…George Soros perhaps?


  88. I think that those who are sick of both parties, should try to form an alliance on issues of freedom, the Fed, wars of aggression, wall st bailouts etc….uf they say that they want a “free mkt”, lets give them one…if we had one, none of them would be in power…lets “level the playing field”–for real this time.

  89. “Republican Trojan horse”. That’s pretty funny. I’ve not heard that angle yet. Maybe he’s gunning for the leadership of the RNC?
    Get a life, buddy. I don’t think our leader would be caught dead in a room with Carl Rove, if he could avoid it. Republicans suck. They are cruel, nasty types.
    Sneaking into that group, you need to look more than like a Trojan horse. You have to sound like a hater: a hater of Obama, immigrants, most minorities, people on welfare, those who want “health care reform,” those who want “equal opportunities,” and so on. I don’t think President Obama is much of a hater. I’d not expect him to be found in that Trojan horse of yours.

  90. Could it be that liberal ideas just don’t work? After all, liberal ideology has failed in everywhere (California, Greece, Great Britain, the Soviet Union…geez, liberals, figure it out already).

  91. If the conservatives were around to see nazi-ism, wouldn’t that make them better judges of it and it’s ramifications? Seems to me that would mean that you were the one who is “uber-confused” about it. Especially because the Obama administration is using some of the exact same tactics. Last year, you couldn’t get Obama to leave the camreas of the press. Today, all that comes out is press releases and White House photography. The porpoganda machine has begun.

  92. No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of the President.
    The Law of Nations, Vattel, 1758 Used by Benjamin Franklin, John Jay, George Washington and others. Vol. J., Ch.19, Section 212 “natural-born citizens, are those born in the country, of parents who are citizens.
    Per the British Nationality Act of 1948, Obama when born in 1961, was a British Subject at birth.
    Obama s Father was NOT a U.S. Citizen, nor was he an Immigrant to the USA, nor was he even a Permanent Resident of the USA.
    Obama, the Putative US President, was Born a British Subject Governed by the British Nationality Act of 1948, and is Currently also a British Protected Person and/or a British Citizen to this Day.
    The President must be a Natural Born Citizen – US Constitution, Article II, Section 1, Clause 5.
    Obama is NOT an Article II Natural Born Citizen and therefore is NOT eligible to be President.

    We know from 4 SCOTUS rulings that “all children born in the country of parents who were its citizens… ” make up the “natural born Citizen” category. The SCOTUS says that there have never been any doubts as to the status of these children. As to children born in the U.S. to parents who were not U.S. citizens at the time of their birth, there have been doubts. In other words, “natural born Citizen” under this formulation requires two generations of U.S. citizens, one generation in the parents and the other in the child himself/herself who also must be born on U.S. soil. It is important to understand that we are focusing on what is a “natural born Citizen” under Article II which specifies the requirements to be President and not on what a “Citizen” is under the 14th Amendment or under some Congressional Act which does not relate to the Article II of our Constitution regarding natural born Citizenship.

    Obama, while having his mother’s U.S. citizenship generation, is missing that of his father’s, for his father was a British subject/citizen at the time of his birth. He therefore cannot be a “natural born Citizen,” even if the presumptive president was born in Hawaii. Which he; by the way, is not ready, willing nor able to prove in court, under oath.

    We have a usurper in the White House who needs to be arrested and charged with treason. He was never eligible to be President regardless of whether or not he was born in Hawaii!

  93. Its no secret: Obama wants Pelosi to lose her job: And so far, it seems she’s done everything possible to oblige him. I doubt if there’s one Conservative Blue dog Democrat in the House on speaking terms with the witch.

  94. What are you smoking? “post office jobs are patronage jobs” What a crock of BS. The Congress has nothing to do with who the USPS hires. You have to take an exam ( which haven’t been given in quite awhile, due to downsizing of our work force), As for the 7 billion a year in losses, none of that is Government tax funds. The USPS has not received few years any Government funds since 1970. One reason the USPS has had such losses the past few years is that, unlike ANY other branch of the government it is required to pre-fund retiree costs. The Office of the Inspector General has just released a report that said the Feds have had the USPS overpay into this fund by $75 BILLION. Give this money back and we have no losses. As to having 10 times too many employees, we have cut close to 100,000 jobs over the last 5 years through attrition and early retirement offers, only one of which offered a small ( $15,000 ) monetary offer. Name me one other government agency which has cut any jobs lately.

  95. Since when has the Dems cared about the middle class? They care about fomenting class hatred or class warfare, but their policies, social and economic, don’t help the middle class.

  96. Left wing policies do not defend the interests of the work people. But, I do agree that the working people need to organize – by investing, starting, and creating their own businesses.

  97. rhcrest needs to re-read the details of United States v Wong Kim Ark.

    A child born in the United States of parents of foreign descent who, at the time of the child’s birth are subjects of a foreign power but who have a permanent domicile and residence in the United States and are carrying on business in the United States, and are not employed in any diplomatic or official capacity under a foreign power, and are not members of foreign forces in hostile occupation of United States territory, becomes a citizen of the United States at the time of birth.

    Or former AG Edward Bates: “our constitution, in speaking of natural born citizens, uses no affirmative language to make them such, but only recognizes and reaffirms the universal principle, common to all nations, and as old as political society, that the people born in a country do constitute the nation, and, as individuals, are natural members of the body politic.

    If this be a true principle, and I do not doubt it, it follows that every person born in a country is, at the moment of birth, prima facie a citizen; and who would deny it must take upon himself the burden of proving some great disfranchisement strong enough to override the natural born right as recognized by the Constitution in terms the most simple and comprehensive, and without any reference to race or color, or any other accidental circumstance”

    Im no fan of Obama but geez I get tired of this nonsense distracting us from the real issues facing this country.

  98. Obama is the enemy now, there’s no doubt, but this ‘let Iran have atomic weapons’ tack is ridiculous. Are you volunteering your boat for a Straights of Hormuz attack? Do we tell our troops, “Hey, after you sweep up Afgan-land just swing across the border and ‘suggest’ to Iran no nukes for you”.
    The gig is up on nuclear, and our neo-con’ers/Clintonistas in the early 90’s are to blame. If they had spent more time stabilizing Russia rather than exploiting we might not be in this mess.

    This bipartianship b.s. is typical of former Rebups- now-‘independents’. Dude, they ARE bipartisan, and it’s not for us.

  99. “While it would certainly help if the president voiced a more compelling narrative, I am under no illusion that this alone would solve all his problems and ours. It comes back to us: We have to demand the truth from our politicians and be ready to accept it ourselves. We simply do not have another presidency to waste. There are no more fat years to eat through. If Obama fails, we all fail.” – Thomas L. Friedman, “The Fat Lady Has Sung,” NY Times, February 20, 2010

    “The point is that the administration has lost control over the narrative. Why have we lost 8 million jobs since December 2007? Why will debt-GDP rise by 40 percentage points relative to what the CBO baseline would have been? Who is responsible for this deep global disaster?” – Simon Johnson

    Mr. Johnson,

    Like many people, I am still waiting for the “narrative” to emerge after almost two years of financial collapse. I am not holding my breath in anticipation of the report by the Congressional committee. What, exactly, is the “narrative” that Obama should be promoting? Who is writing it? Where is it to be found? When will we get it? And, like many people, I am trying to piece it together from all sources available, this web site being one. We need a “definitive” story to surface as to who, what, when, why, where, how… And the “narrative” has to be true and useful, not politically partisan. I’m not an economics guy, though I struggle to understand how it all works. I mean, I do have skin in the game. Please, draw me a picture.

  100. Does anyone really believe that the financial rape and pillage of the masses can continue indefinitely without a violent response from the victims?

    The fact that so many seem to actually believe there is a government that can be reformed is laughable considering that we are still racing toward becoming a completed fascist state.

    The breakdown in civil discourse, the balkanization of the electorate, the militarization of the police forces throughout the country, a run-away reactionary supreme court, suppression of real news, and the return of McCarthyism to the republican party all indicate the end of the republic is a fait d’accompli.

  101. Since the comments have become diffuse, I pose one for any interested party: Prostitution is called “The Oldest Profession.” How did the woman get the john to pay?

  102. Oh, higgins, my friend..another wrong on SO many levels…first , you must define what you mean by “liberal”..Obama is NOT a liberal (unless you are referring to the Friedmanite vazriety instead of the Adam Snith variety), he is a neo-liberal–neolibcons (as I like to call them) do the same things as neo-cons, but they “feel you pain” while you starve, die from lack of med care, lose your job, etc…

    No where in the US is truly liberal…I dont think that the gov. of Calif could be called liberal nor its fav son, Reagan…Greece was leveraged beyond all plausability, in order to join the EU of wealthy countries, with great help from _-yes–US Wall St , Goldman Sachs, specifically..the same thing happened in a fairly conservative, “wealthy” (top 2%) country under a neo-con prseident…where? Guess…

    UK is not liberal (Anglos are the greediest people in the world) and the USSR (which is now Russian Fed) was a dictatorship–hardly “liberal”…It works pretty damn well in scandanavia, Germany, France, which have, in general, much higher standards of living (I lived in three of them while doing Work Study) ==than we do and much more economic stability..they are happier, healthier and live longer…

  103. go to a porn site–that should tell you…neo-con women believe in it completely..they just marry ugly rich guys who belong to the Heritage Found…I mean, c’mon, why Newton Gingrich otherwise? I have a theory that ugly men feel that they must get rich to have a woman, and, perhaps they are correct.

  104. You know what frightens me, Manny? That the answer to your first question, here in the US, may well be “yes”…Americans have become pretty “comfortable” (at least around 60% of them) with all of their “stuff” (ie crap) that, as long as they can still “consume”, (“we’re all ‘consumers’ now, used to be citizens)many would rather remain as they are than to take a chance on a better system that is sustainable for all…

  105. I completely agree ie how Clinton (mis) handled the collapse of Soviets…I think that Russians could be US natural allies..

  106. I have trouble returning to comments here so i will answer you here…calling socialists nazis ” (or anyone else Nazis) is probably self-defeating, wouldnt you agree? Or are you just so old that you dont care how many enemies the US makes?

    If you are sick of both parties and, you would agree that Obama is not a Nazi, you should work to form coalitions with people who are sick of the govt the way it is…or, if you do think Obama is a Nazi (hes not a socialist either, by a long stretch) then you are so ignorant, I dont have anything else to say to you.

  107. “paid for by the oligarchs of this country???

    meaning of course…George Soros perhaps?”

    Note that I used the plural and you used the singular.

    Do you have a point you’re trying to make?

  108. ep3 you make a good point. The harsh reality is that some citizens believe that attacking big banks, pharma, and health insurers actually hurts them for jobs in the future. Despite the fact that they are mostly the reason there are no jobs.

  109. do de doo doo, do de doo doo

    take. me. to. my. leader.

    do de doo doo

    This guy right here. That’s your 2010 and 2012 D-Party election plan.

    If you can still think about the issues, this could get tiring…

  110. Yes. During the 2010 and 2012 elections, if you dare criticize Bam and the D-Partiers on the blogs in any way, shape, or form the (paid?) BamBots will be out in full force to paint you as a dread–


    Which, completely delegitimizes you and your point, and many of “us” have been saying just that very thing for months on end already, no?

  111. “With the GOP running Congress, Obama will be best positioned to coast to victory in 2012 as “Mediator in Chief”, bridging the divide between the Democrats and the GOP as he throws up issue after issue for them to solve, parliamentary style. This is his model. He thinks he does it well.

    I am not so sure.”

    Obama symbolically embodies “mediation” and “bi-partisan” etc. He’s taken his identity and turned it into a theory of politics.

    This aura he’s projected since his autobiographies (two of them!) and his early adopters in liberal academia were falling all over themselves for it.

    But “mediation” is a skill, and not one that’s possessed “naturally,” but one acquired though significant, hardened experience.

    *Hillary* got that one right. In fact, this is what she was saying in her infamous “it took johnson got the civil rights bill passed” statement during the 2008 Primary. For which she was called a racist by the Obama team.

    Interestingly enough, people are now talking about how Johnson would have twisted arms in Congress to get the bill he wanted.

    Those who have followed the healthcare bill say the Clinton Admin’s own *Rahm* twisted the arms to get the corporatist bill the D-Party leadership wanted for fund raising purposes.

    It’s not popular. But, there’s always the revolving door.

  112. I dont understand how one is supposed to find comments that are replied to here,,,but I would like to answer the guy who said that the Obamabots would be out in force on the blogs when he criicized..I have been what most here would call “liberal” all of my life…I voted Dem or Independent in every election.(until Clinton–he was horrible for progressives).I was banned from, DailyKos and Common Dreams for criticizing Obama.(although still registered as a Dem..)..I will not be a Dem again..they made huge mistakes online. And they thought that they were so clever with it…true progessives dont like being censored anymore than TPers do…

  113. “We need several new parties – all of which would, hopefully, represent average people instead of wealthy folks and big business. ”

    Great idea! Now let’s find some wealthy donors to bankroll the campaign . . .

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  115. The fix for illegals is in the Health Care Bill, this is why we are hearing about a national id card now. Obama thinks all of these new citizens will vote democratic.

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