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*Forever Underestimating Obama*

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AGBF

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They Sure Showed That Obama



I was going to attach some quotations from Frank Rich's column in today's, "The New York Times" to another thread, one questioning whether Obama's presidency has already failed (cough), but I decided that that dog didn't hunt. So here's a new thread. Bob Herbert said it in a column about a week ago, a column in which he called Mr. Obama the chess master. He said that Mr. Obama is always several steps ahead of friend and foe alike. Now Mr. Rich is saying it. I'm just glad to hear it after all the nonsense I've heard.

Here are just a few excerpts that I couldn't resist:

"AM I crazy, or wasn’t the Obama presidency pronounced dead just days ago? Obama had 'all but lost control of the agenda in Washington,' declared Newsweek on Feb. 4 as it wondered whether he might even get a stimulus package through Congress. 'Obama Losing Stimulus Message War' was the headline at Politico a day later. At the mostly liberal MSNBC, the morning host, Joe Scarborough, started preparing the final rites. Obama couldn’t possibly eke out a victory because the stimulus package was 'a steaming pile of garbage.'

Less than a month into Obama’s term, we don’t (and can’t) know how he’ll fare as president. The compromised stimulus package, while hardly garbage, may well be inadequate. Timothy Geithner’s uninspiring and opaque stab at a bank rescue is at best a place holder and at worst a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the TARP-Titanic, where he served as Hank Paulson’s first mate.


But we do know this much. Just as in the presidential campaign, Obama has once again outwitted the punditocracy and the opposition. The same crowd that said he was a wimpy hope-monger who could never beat Hillary or get white votes was played for fools again.


On Wednesday, as a stimulus deal became a certainty on Capitol Hill, I asked David Axelrod for his take on this Groundhog Day relationship between Obama and the political culture.


'It’s why our campaign was not based in Washington but in Chicago,' he said. 'We were somewhat insulated from the echo chamber. In the summer of ’07, the conventional wisdom was that Obama was a shooting star; his campaign was irretrievably lost; it was a ludicrous strategy to focus on Iowa; and we were falling further and further behind in the national polls.” But even after the Iowa victory, this same syndrome kept repeating itself. When Obama came out against the gas-tax holiday supported by both McCain and Clinton last spring, Axelrod recalled, 'everyone in D.C. thought we were committing suicide.'


The stimulus battle was more of the same. 'This town talks to itself and whips itself into a frenzy with its own theories that are completely at odds with what the rest of America is thinking,' he says. Once the frenzy got going, it didn’t matter that most polls showed support for Obama and his economic package: 'If you watched cable TV, you’d see our support was plummeting, we were in trouble. It was almost like living in a parallel universe.'


For Axelrod, the moral is 'not just that Washington is too insular but that the American people are a lot smarter than people in Washington think.'"



Deborah
 

strmrdr

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that dude leans so far left he cant make a right turn.
Deb you can do better than that find me an unbiased source.
 

AGBF

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Date:
2/15/2009 6:46:32 AM
Author: strmrdr

that dude leans so far left he cant make a right turn.
Deb you can do better than that find me an unbiased source.
No one is "unbiased" unless he is brain dead. Everyone has some intellectual baggage. And as for helping you or other Pricescopers find more "moderate" voices...what do you think you hear all day on the radio and the television? What do you think you read in your daily newspaper? All those voices are the "moderate" voices repeating the same old point of view. You don''t need me to tell you where to find it!

Deb
 

ksinger

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Date: 2/15/2009 10:10:35 AM
Author: AGBF





Date:
2/15/2009 6:46:32 AM
Author: strmrdr

that dude leans so far left he cant make a right turn.
Deb you can do better than that find me an unbiased source.
No one is ''unbiased'' unless he is brain dead. Everyone has some intellectual baggage. And as for helping you or other Pricescopers find more ''moderate'' voices...what do you think you hear all day on the radio and the television? What do you think you read in your daily newspaper? All those voices are the ''moderate'' voices repeating the same old point of view. You don''t need me to tell you where to find it!

Deb
LOL! I really do just love you Deb....

I''ve got several pithy quotes on bias hanging around in one of my nerdy "quote files". I think I''ll add that to the list.
 

platinumrock

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Date: 2/15/2009 10:10:35 AM
Author: AGBF





Date:
2/15/2009 6:46:32 AM
Author: strmrdr

that dude leans so far left he cant make a right turn.
Deb you can do better than that find me an unbiased source.
No one is ''unbiased'' unless he is brain dead. Everyone has some intellectual baggage. And as for helping you or other Pricescopers find more ''moderate'' voices...what do you think you hear all day on the radio and the television? What do you think you read in your daily newspaper? All those voices are the ''moderate'' voices repeating the same old point of view. You don''t need me to tell you where to find it!

Deb
Good one, Deb. Even Storm''s commentary about "that dude leans so far left he can''t make a right turn" came from his own bias. He had to look for something. It''s almost impossible to make a statement or observation without some type of preconceived notion or pre-formed opinion. Even the clothes we decide to wear on a particular day or food we decide to eat is influenced by some type of preference.

Even if it''s not there, people will look for something to support their own opinion or refute someone else''s.

And if someone can find a political commentary without some form of bias, I will fall off my couch. I have YET to see that.
 

movie zombie

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Date: 2/15/2009 12:31:50 PM
Author: platinumrock


Good one, Deb. Even Storm''s commentary about ''that dude leans so far left he can''t make a right turn'' came from his own bias. He had to look for something. It''s almost impossible to make a statement or observation without some type of preconceived notion or pre-formed opinion. Even the clothes we decide to wear on a particular day or food we decide to eat is influenced by some type of preference.

Even if it''s not there, people will look for something to support their own opinion or refute someone else''s.

And if someone can find a political commentary without some form of bias, I will fall off my couch. I have YET to see that.
so true.

that''s why there is no such thing as a documentary film w/o bias as just by the mere act of viewing an event, filming an event, and editing event we bring to the table our own perceptions and can actually change an event.

mz
 

platinumrock

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Date: 2/15/2009 1:50:42 PM
Author: movie zombie




Date: 2/15/2009 12:31:50 PM
Author: platinumrock


Good one, Deb. Even Storm''s commentary about ''that dude leans so far left he can''t make a right turn'' came from his own bias. He had to look for something. It''s almost impossible to make a statement or observation without some type of preconceived notion or pre-formed opinion. Even the clothes we decide to wear on a particular day or food we decide to eat is influenced by some type of preference.

Even if it''s not there, people will look for something to support their own opinion or refute someone else''s.

And if someone can find a political commentary without some form of bias, I will fall off my couch. I have YET to see that.
so true.

that''s why there is no such thing as a documentary film w/o bias as just by the mere act of viewing an event, filming an event, and editing event we bring to the table our own perceptions and can actually change an event.

mz
Exactly! Even the words I chose to type have been considered carefully. I can''t just type anything. I also have to care about punctuation and grammar if I don''t want to sound like a moron. And I can''t just respond to anybody in any way I wish.

Everything that we see on T.V., hear on the radio, see in the movie theaters, see on DVD, read on any type of printed material (newspaper, magazine, book), online text, documentary, advertisement, music, etc....has been carefully selected and edited. Everything that contributes to anything shared with the public has been edited in some sort of way. Even the Bible has different versions, and only certain gospels were selected. A lot were left out. Even history as we know it has been pre-selected. Only certain events were important enough to be printed and discussed in books. What about the rest?

We cannot possibly share the WHOLE story in its entirety. It would take waaaay too long to finish and take waaaaay too long to read/listen to. And to share a story or commentary without any type of bias would be BORING. We would be like robots.

Where''s the fun in that?
 

AGBF

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Below are excerpts from a piece on Politico.com. The bias of this source is different from the bias of the source with which I started off this thread.

Deborah


"Public still sky-high on Obama 'brand'"
By: Ben Smith
February 14, 2009 07:31 AM EST

"With Barack Obama’s victory in passing a massive stimulus package marred by days of bad press — as not a single House Republican backed the bill, his health czar went down in flames and his second pick for commerce secretary walked away — the administration has been cut down to size, and lost some of its bipartisan sheen.

Such, at least, has been the beltway chatter, but so far the numbers don’t back it up.


Obama’s approval rating remains well above 60 percent in tracking polls. A range of state pollsters said they’d seen no diminution in the president’s sky-high approval ratings, and no improvement in congressional Republicans’ dismal numbers.


And that’s before the stimulus creates billions of dollars in spending on popular programs, which could, at least temporarily, further boost Obama’s popularity.


'It’s eerie — I read the news from the Beltway, and there’s this disconnect with the polls from the Midwest that I see all around me,' said Ann Seltzer, the authoritative Iowa pollster who works throughout the Midwest.


That’s a perception treasured by Obama’s aides, who spent a two-year presidential campaign safeguarding 'the brand,' as they called it, of a new, post-partisan sort of political figure.

(snip)

'There have been a number of different surveys that have shown that Americans perceive that Obama is extending a hand of cooperation, a hand that the Republican leadership is not reciprocating — that’s very striking in the data,' said Mark Blumenthal, the editor of Pollster.com, who also noted that Obama has managed to remain popular even with some Republicans.'


'Everyone’s talking about spending, spending ,spending and — 20 to 30 percent of Republicans approve of his performance,' said Blumenthal. 'How is that bad?'


Republican leaders make the case that the reassertion of partisan reality will, in time, take the sheen off the new president.


'What’s regrettable is that Republicans are being cast as the partisans as a way to deflect attention away from Congressional Democrats’ failure to craft an effective — and bipartisan — economic stimulus bill,' said a spokeswoman for House Minority Leader John A. Boehner. 'But we don’t control anything in Washington, so using us as a political whipping boy is laughable. At some point, the American people will expect the results and action rather than blame and deflection. Only time will tell when their patience will run thin.'


There’s another possibility, however: That In opposing en masse a stimulus bill that means instant, massive national spending, the GOP is cast as the Grinch to Obama’s Santa Claus. And outside Washington, Obama’s aides anticipate, the spending will drown out the chatter about recent White House stumbles.


'Let’s be honest: Will the economic recovery or Judd Gregg be a bigger discussion point a week from now?' Obama’s chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, asked reporters Thursday.


Pollsters almost universally agreed with Emanuel.
... "
 

Rank Amateur

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And that’s before the stimulus creates billions of dollars in spending on popular programs, which could, at least temporarily, further boost Obama’s popularity.

'Zactly. Everybody has their hand out. It's a great plan!
 

stone_seeker

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Date: 2/16/2009 4:39:14 AM
Author: strmrdr
Here is an unbiased link for ya...


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123457303244386495.html

Nice article. So much for hope. Politicians never change - they lie during campaigns and then say what they have to say to get their agenda passed - including using fear tactics even though they campaigned against it.

I for one am tired of hearing all the gloom and doom reports from these politicians and media. Its very annoying. Life is way too short and anyone who thinks presidents or ideologies influence the natural cycles of markets is just looking for someone to blame.

Bush was a failure..Obama is failing..blah, blah....Same tired story, different generation.
 

AGBF

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Date: 2/16/2009 4:39:14 AM
Author: strmrdr
Here is an unbiased link for ya...
--------------------------------------------------------------------
As I stated above, I do not believe that people with good minds (or functioning minds at all) come in unbiased versions. I looked up the author of the piece you called an "unbiased link" (published in the presumably unbiased, "Wall Street Journal"). When I looked up the author, Bradley R. Schiller, I immediately found a piece he wrote in, "The Washington Times" last year in which he expounds on his philosophy. It seems to me that he does have a bias. Excerpts from it are below. Read them and see what you think.
Deborah

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Friday, October 10, 2008
SCHILLER: The futility of class warfare
Bradley R. Schiller
The “race card” was once an effective ploy in electoral politics. Southern Democrats long used it to rally white voters.
...
The preferred play of Democrats these days is the “class” card. The Democrats have increasingly tried to redefine the “them vs. us” struggle in terms of class rather than color. As they tell the story, economic prosperity is a zero-sum game. Income gains attained by the “rich” come at the expense of the “poor”. Corporations bestow lavish compensation on executive insiders while cutting salaries, benefits and jobs for hard-working Americans. A massive flow of campaign contributions assures that elected officials will protect and serve the rich, while simultaneously cutting holes in the social safety net. Tax cuts for the rich not only fuel conspicuous indulgence among the elite, but diminish spending on health services, school, and the safety of the poor. Wall Street gains at the expense of Main Street. It all boils down to “them” (the rich) vs. “us” (the poor and middle class). Barack Obama has used the “class card” relentlessly to enlist and energize his supporters.

... What frustrates the Democrats' use of the class card is the fluidity of class boundaries in the United States. Successful use of a splintering card requires a clear delineation between “them” and “us.” The race card has a physiological advantage in that regard. But the class card has no such evident demarcation. With the exception of Michael Jackson, people rarely change their color - or even try to. But people do change their economic status with amazing frequency. So it's never entirely clear who's with “them” and who's with “us.” Which makes it very difficult to wage class warfare.

...The Democrats want us to believe that a large section of the U.S. population is trapped in poverty and/or toiling at minimum wages just above official poverty lines. This is presumed to be the core constituency of the “us” team - the people who are permanently left behind as the economy grows and incomes of the rich rise to dizzying heights. But this presumption ignores the constant flow of people in and out of the poverty ranks.
...
...Another rallying point for the class-warfare strategists is the minimum wage. Democrats decry that fact that the federal minimum wage stays so far below average wages. Even with the recent wage hikes (to $6.55 this July, $7.25 next year) minimum-wage workers won't be able to keep a family of four out of poverty. Working long hours at such dead-end jobs supposedly solidifies the position of minimum-wage workers in the “us” ranks.
...
...The relative absence of permanent poverty implies that the “us” ranks are pretty fluid. In extreme cases, people at the very bottom of the income distribution even move to the very top. Horatio Alger stories are more common than most people recognize. Oprah Winfrey - one of Obama's most visible and ardent supporters - herself rose from the bottom to the very top of the food chain. Bill and Hillary Clinton made a similar move. Obama himself didn't start so low nor rise so far up the income ladder, but he clearly joined the ranks of “them” when he started collecting million-dollar book royalties. When these self-appointed champions of “us” play the class card, they must be biting their tongue.
...
...The phenomenon of income mobility is so pervasive that it is near impossible to rally an army of “us” to do battle with “them”. The task is made even more difficult by even loftier expectations of switching sides. Public opinion polls reveal that a lot of average citizens expect to get rich some day. According to recent polls, one out of three American adults expect to be rich some day. If “us” people expect to be among “them” in the future, they are certainly not going to rally to the side of “soak the rich” proponents today. Why raise income or estate taxes that might come back to bite you after you finally “make it”? This pervasive belief in the American Dream - the notion that everyone has a shot at the brass ring - is the most formidable constraint on the effectiveness of the class-warfare card.

...The economy is certainly not a strong suit for Republicans this year. But, clearly, the Democrats are not willing to place all their bets on the (weak) performance of the macro economy. They are hedging their bets by playing the class card - making the election look like an epic struggle between “us” (the vast middle class and poor) vs. “them” (the rich) between “Main Street” and “Wall Street”. Because this strategy is so at odds with both the realities and expectations of economic mobility, it ultimately fails to win the votes it targets.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
 

movie zombie

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the guy is a joke: yes, there is class mobility.......one great big slide to the bottom. since the time of the serfs and feifdoms its been us against them. some things just never change.

mz
 

HollyS

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The title of this thread is "Forever Underestimating Obama".

It isn''t about bias or no bias. I do agree with Deb that there is no such animal as an unbiased point of view/opinion/news, etc.

However . . . . I am not forever ''underestimating'' Obama. Or ''overestimating'' him, for that matter. The stimulus package, P.O.S. that it is, did not pass because he''s got the goods. It passed because our lawmakers are a) idiots, 2) butt kissers of the highest order, 3) cluelessly dangerous when it comes to throwing taxpayer money at any problem. It didn''t pass because Obama is in control of squat. It didn''t pass because he''s ''got it goin'' on''. It passed because no one in Congress has the brains or a good set of you-knows to actually understand the problems, stand up for the right remedies, or, even remotely, fix the problems THEY created.

Remember that the next time you vote. I''m all for a clean sweep in both houses.
 

sklingem

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Date: 2/16/2009 6:54:14 PM
Author: HollyS

Remember that the next time you vote. I''m all for a clean sweep in both houses.
Holly - who should I be voting for if nobody in the Senate understands what is going on??? Nobody?
Or those who got us into this friggin mega mess in the first place??????
 

ksinger

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Date: 2/17/2009 8:52:36 AM
Author: rob09

Date: 2/16/2009 6:54:14 PM
Author: HollyS

Remember that the next time you vote. I''m all for a clean sweep in both houses.
Holly - who should I be voting for if nobody in the Senate understands what is going on??? Nobody?
Or those who got us into this friggin mega mess in the first place??????
Tsk. Calm down Rob. You can vote for that whole army of "Joe The Plumbers" that will crawl out of the woodwork to fill those spots. Everyone knows that their homespun wisdom and vast common sense will save the day....
 

HollyS

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Date: 2/17/2009 8:52:36 AM
Author: rob09

Date: 2/16/2009 6:54:14 PM
Author: HollyS

Remember that the next time you vote. I''m all for a clean sweep in both houses.
Holly - who should I be voting for if nobody in the Senate understands what is going on??? Nobody?
Or those who got us into this friggin mega mess in the first place??????
ALL parties -- I refuse to say ''both'' because there are other parties -- need to find new blood. Somebody who hasn''t spent their life on the public dole, perhaps. People who have run businesses, maybe their own companies; people who do not sit in a corner office and let the ''little'' people do the hard work.

But for darn sure, the career politicians need to go. ALL of them. From every party. It''s time for term limits, which is exactly what our forefathers had in mind, after all.
 

HollyS

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Date: 2/17/2009 8:57:27 AM
Author: ksinger

Date: 2/17/2009 8:52:36 AM
Author: rob09


Date: 2/16/2009 6:54:14 PM
Author: HollyS

Remember that the next time you vote. I''m all for a clean sweep in both houses.
Holly - who should I be voting for if nobody in the Senate understands what is going on??? Nobody?
Or those who got us into this friggin mega mess in the first place??????
Tsk. Calm down Rob. You can vote for that whole army of ''Joe The Plumbers'' that will crawl out of the woodwork to fill those spots. Everyone knows that their homespun wisdom and vast common sense will save the day....
Considering that no one in the private sector truly believes this ''economic stimulus'' will stimulate a darn thing, maybe we need a few people in DC with some ''common sense''. Obviously the Harvard, Yale, whatever grads need a bit of perspective to go along with their high falutin'' education.

And really, I didn''t say anything that should have provoked a smart aleck response.
 
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