Tuesday, August 25, 2009

My Comments on the Comments

A commenter told me he was disappointed in Pres. Obama and his list is included. I wanted a chance to refute his claims as to why he was disappointed and see what it was and if I could make him happier. Here is his list.. I will try to answer them after.. Please leave anything you would like to add in the comments.. Thanks all.

• Obama was anti-Iraq war when Bush started it, but he has been way too slow shutting it down.

He is still Anti-Iraq war and is following his time line and the time line he was given by the commanders and by the SOFA. Actually I believe they are going to be out sooner than they planned even so. It does take time to move men and equipment out of battle. It would be nice to be able to just say "Come Home" and they all magically appear.. but it doesn't work that way...

• Obama has expanded the foolish Afghanistan war. What are we accomplishing there?

This was something he said he was going to do.. There is nothing here that is new or not stated all along. Why are you surprised over this. He ALWAYS said he would do this. It was his intent all along to escalate the war in Afghanistan. He never hinted, stated or implied anything to the contrary.

• Obama has not shut down Gitmo, and has continued Bush rendition policies. A detainee has recounted recent torture under the Obama administration. Obama has continued Bush detention and torture policies.

No, he hasn't continued the torture policies. That is just not true. He is shutting down Gitmo and if he had been allowed to do it it would have been done. Congress is the one who blocked him, by refusing to grant him the money needed to get it closed. To lay all this on the President is just wrong. As for renditions, yes, but they weren't just Bush policies, those have been in place since Eisenhower.. They are policy going back years and years. Nothing is going to change them, I am afraid. Now they are just more in the open.

• Obama has been way too wimpy in this health care reform fight. He ought to tell the Blue Dogs to get on board or else, the way Bush or LBJ would have done. There's one instance where he should have followed Bush's example. I'm afraid his bipartisan stance is going to allow the Republicans to win.

Did you read my earlier post at all?.. He is doing much better than LBJ did when he passed Medicare. To say he is doing better is trying to rewrite History and is just plain wrong. LBJ got a mediocre bill passed and then with add ons later we got a decent bill that made Medicare what it is today. To say he has been way too wimpy is just being silly and rather obtuse.

• His economic recovery gave billions -- trillions to the banks without helping the little guy at all. The banks responded by tightening the screws on their credit card customers and giving huge tax paid bonuses to their top execs.

His economic recovery?? That started under BUSH... here we go rewriting history again. Remember that was in September of 2008, and there was nothing that Barack Obama could do except vote for or against it, he was still candidate Obama at that time. Since then yes, after the election he has had a little hand in some of this, and most of his policies have been geared toward Main Street.

Where's the Change We Can Believe In? Obama is even distancing himself now from Eric Holder's prosecution of Bush's War Criminals. He opposed publication of more torture photos. Bush's people did things we executed Nazis and Japanese for. Obama would rather let it slide. I am puzzled by Obama. He is a Constitutional scholar. I just don't get it.

This last one, I answered at your blog but will do it again here, Yes, Pres. Obama has distanced himself from AG Holder and the prosecution of any and all war crimes. That is considered Separation of Powers and is defined in the Constitution. He should do that. To do anything less than that would be to become more like Bush and that's not what we want. That's what Bush did.. was to circumvent the Constitution and politicize the Attorney General's Office, yet you are asking him to do just exactly that. Sorry, but that's not what I voted for and that's not what I would want him to do.

I hope I answered your questions and helped you some. I am not the only one who feels this President has done well so far and is getting a bum rap. There are several others who feel the same way.

I think there are a lot of people who are jumping on the Obama has failed bandwagon very early in this presidency. And for some reason they are on the left side of politics. Frank Schaeffer sees the same thing. Here is his take on it:

The Left Is Also Obama's Problem
Can the left learn to keep its mouth shut once in a while? Does the American left know how to win wars or just skirmishes? Does the left want change or does it demand perfection? You can't have both in this life.

No one has been a tougher critic of the Republican Party, the Religious Right and various wing nuts out to destroy the Obama presidency than me. Few ordinary Americans (that I know of) have taken more heat (and hate) for their support of the President than me either. Former right wing religious right leaders like me are never forgiven for joining the reality-based community!

Believe me, with my old "friends" on the right I don't need more enemies! (Just check out Fox News smearing of me last week with insanely out-of-context clips on the O'Reilly Factor lifted and edited from Maddow interviewing me.) So I'm hesitant to knock the left. I guess I don't like the idea of all sides pissed off with me at once. But in the light of how and why the debate over health care is being dominated by the loony right maybe the left is partly to blame for the stalemate on health care reform.

Last week the New York Times noted a lack of enthusiasm on the part of Obama's former foot soldiers when it comes to rising to the occasion and pouring on the support for health care reform. ("Health Debate Fails to Ignite Obama's Grass Roots," August 15.) Why the lack of enthusiasm?

It's because the left has made the classic mistake of going for a whole loaf and therefore risking getting nothing. The left has proved itself as impatient as the right and just as shortsighted, given that the lefty sniping at the Obama administration started almost from day one. And now after barely six months in office the people who worked so hard to get him elected have seemingly lost their enthusiasm for another fight on behalf of Obama.

What sapped the yes-we-can optimistic, hope-filled bedrock supporters' will? Who sapped it?

There is a connection between sniping from the left -- the drip, drip, drip of criticism, the demand for instant perfection, be it from those taking shots Obama's economic policy and claiming that the President is in the hip pocket of Wall Street -- and those saying he cut some sort of evil deal with pharmaceutical companies, and the lop-sided "debate" on health care. The right didn't sap anyone's will who voted for Obama. The left shot itself in the foot.

It seems to me that Obama's critics on the left just don't understand governing. If Franklin Roosevelt had had this quality of "support" from his bedrock constituency there would have been no New Deal and we would have never entered the war to defeat fascism. In fact today's left seems to have a death wish of exercising the "right" to snarky frivolity when it's time to get serious.

The American left has a choice: follow our moderately progressive Democrat president and support him when he most needs it most, or allow our whole project to be derailed by the far (increasingly fascist) right. If it is derailed, sure -- the Republicans played a part. But so did the know-it-all left, all because the left's pontificators -- including those right here in the Huffington Post -- would rather be heard than humbly offer their support to our President (or anyone else) and see change actually happen.


It strikes me that the left suffers from a sort of crazy First Amendment knee-jerk twitch comparable the the right's sick Second Amendment twitch! The right thinks it must collect guns, the left thinks it must express opinions, and damn the real world consequences. Hey, so Obama fails! Well at least I got my say!

The right is irredeemably sick. The left is just silly. Together the silly and the sick may just do us in. If Limbaugh gets his Obama-must-fail wish, look in the mirror.

On the right the election literally broke their racist brains. This is now the day of the old angry white men once again. And how has the left responded? Did we circle the wagons and hang tough with our young black president? No everyone waded in.

The open question is this: Is the left going to be dominated by its talkers or get on with governance that can only happen with near infinite patience and loyal support? Does the left know how to follow a leader and get something done?

Q: "You mean I have to behave like a regular citizen once in a while and let the people I elect do their job?!"

A: If our self-styled free thinkers decide loyalty is beneath them and have forgotten how to compromise and live in the real world, a few election cycles from now the left is going to find itself reduced to screaming down their far right opposition at town hall meetings.

We have a great president. We have a chance for real change and we'd better use it. Sarah Palin and company are waiting in the wings.

My old friends on the far right are counting on the stupidity of right wing white America to believe their lies. They are also counting on the left being so in love with the sound of its own voice that the left can't govern.

How different things would be right now had everyone who voted for President Obama stuck by him and his administration with total determination, and waited until he had a chance to implement -- and test -- his programs, before wading in with the nit-picking.

The left faces the implacable and loony right. The chips are down. Support the President.

And once again, from one of my favorite bloggers, Bob Cesca, and if you don't read him you really should.. he says this.. and this was a couple of weeks ago:

The Republicans, talk radio and Fox News are fabricating off-the-wall lies practically on a daily basis. The Healther crazies are mobilized by corporate lobbyists. Blue Dogs are holding up progress. The corporate press is all but signing the death sentence for Healthcare Reform 2009. And the public option? Jesus H, I long for the days when we were just fighting for that -- now it looks like we'll be lucky to get any sort of healthcare reform in general.

So what do we do when these enemies are so well defined and screaming out for razor-sharp counterattacks?

Why, we're liberals and progressives. We attack each other, of course!

For example, four of the eight Recommended Diaries on Daily Kos are screeds attacking the administration. I don't know quite what to make of this dynamic, but the overall narrative seems skewed and misguided right now. I can say for certain that, whether justified or not, there's a time and a place for everything, and, right now, there are a clear set of opposition targets and they're ripe for the picking.

Adding... To clarify, I don't have any problem with being critical of the Obama administration or holding him accountable. I've gone down that road many times. And I will probably flip my shit if he signs a healthcare reform bill without the public option. However, what drives me insane is this exaggerated whiny "he's betraying us!" or "he's just like Bush!" horseshit.

Bob goes on in that post to site this list, which comes from a commenter at DailyKos called jonnie rae..

He stabilized the markets, so 401Ks are starting to slowly come back and we are not about to meltdown anymore.

Unemployment numbers are coming down dramatically from when he took over.

GDP went from 6.5 shrinkage to 1 shrinkage since he has been in office.

Tens of thousands of state employees still have jobs, and services are maintained because of his stimulus.

He ended torture.

He IS closing Gitmo.

95% of Americans are receiving a tax DECREASE.

He provided unemployment, food stamps and a 65% reduction in Cobra for those who lost their jobs.

He set new emissions standards.

He protected wilderness land set for oil leases.

He got Pakistan to agree to fight the Taliban, which Bush never could. The top leader was taken out this week.

He nominated and got confirmed the first latina Supreme Court Justice in history.

He signed Equal Pay for Equal Work, Children's Health Bill and Credit Card Reform.

He has a first time home owner's credit, a modification of mortgage plan in place. (This needs work, but it is in place)

He has made it easier for students to get college loans. (UMass just gave a 1500 rebate to all students because of the stimulus money.)

He has improved America's image around the world, especially with Muslim countries.

He got the 2 NK journalists out.

He got the non-proliferation treaties going again, and he will chair the next meeting. Already an agreement exists to reduce Russia's and US's arms.

A significant amount of the bailout money is being paid back. This is a good thing.

He has taken on healthcare, the most difficult thing to pass in the US. I am not completely happy with how he is doing it, but he is doing it.*

He ended the abstinence only thing. And the law that said a pharmacist could refuse to give birth control pills to women if they so chose.

He is sticking to the timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq.

He got funding for the useless bomber cut.And those heliocoptors. He plans to make more weapons' cuts.

He has cut 2 trillion from the budget over the next ten years.

He has taken on energy, the second most difficult thing to pass in the US and it has already passed the House.

He saved the American auto industry. (Cash for clunkers is doing great too, both for the industry and jobs, and for the environment.)

He is building a green economy for the US. First steps in the stimulus, others in the energy bill.

More jobs will be created in transportation when rest of stimulus kicks in in 2010.

He is facing complete disrespect and vilification from the media and the wingnuts,getting more than 30 death threats per day,and still goes on, calmly and with determination and intelligence.

* He has no champions in the Senate, only a small group of obstructionists who seem to have been given all the power by Harry Reid. The insurance industry has convinced people that he is Hitler; and this is only the beginning. If Pharma gets into it, what do you think will happen to healthcare? They have way more money than the insurance companies. You want him to fight all the corporate interests which actually OWN this country, including the Senate and Congress,and you want him to do that virtually alone? The left has attacked him almost from day one. The right is throwing the kitchen sink right now.

Now, if this isn't enough there is also this article from the Washington Monthly and Steve Benen who quotes E.J. Dionne and they are talking about how Pres. Obama is not getting the credit he deserves for the financial crisis and how he handled it.

It is a great read and you should check it out. They lay it out that Bush got credit for how he handled 9-11 even though he mis-handled it before hand.

He also quotes Ezra Klein who states that because Pres. Obama didn't let the crisis get out of hand and stopped it before it went out of control people don't realize exactly what he did.

Those are my thoughts and some thoughts of others around the web.. let me know what you think. Tell me and we can fix this together..


Sue said...

Awesome post Annette and it makes me feel soooo much better! I admit there are times when I get nervous the dems are gonna be pussys just like they have in the past. But then I realize Obama is very smart, he knows exactly what he's doing and I need to relax and BELIEVE in the man I voted for, BELIEVE this administration knows who put them in power and they will not let us down!

themom said...

We need to keep reiterating the "facts" to those who want to twist and spin the acts to date of this administration. There are days I get so aggreavated arguing these same issues with the ignorant.

veralynn said...

Very nicely done Annette.

Mauigirl said...

Excellent post and thanks for all the quotes from the other sources too. You are completely right, the left is being ridiculous expecting Obama to be exactly what they want him to be rather than who he is, which is a practical, intelligent man trying to make changes in a very bad situation. Thanks for posting that list of accomplishments, it makes the point beautifully that he really is effecting change.

NEWSGUY said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NEWSGUY said...

OK, you see the glass half full. That's a legitimate position to take. I see it half empty and I and my "radical lefty friends" have a lot of hope and idealistic aspirations for this presidency. He has important accomplishments.

But it drives me nuts that he can't see that the Republicans have no intention of cooperating on health care reform. They haven't voted with him on anything important. The process isn't nearly as important as the result, and the Republicans have stated clearly they want to destroy his presidency. Health care is a life and death issue. No small thing.

I have left the rest of my reply over at my blog
with a link back to you, Annette.

majii said...

Thanks once again, Annette. I've been trying to make the point on DKos that Obama doesn't mind listening to the ideas of his opponents, and that it doesn't necessarily mean that he will do what they suggest. IMO, there are few national leaders who would welcome and value the ideas of the opposition. GWB certainly didn't. Obama has a different way of doing things. I think listening to an opponent lets one know how/what they think. If used properly, this can help to get one's policies into law b/c it helps one be able to develop effective strategies to pushback against them. I've also been telling them that we need to stay focused on what we want and not divide the party over our differences. I've stated that none of us know the underlying reasons the president has made some of the decisions he has made. There seems to be a need for instant gratification by many on the left. I sincerely believe that Obama has the citizens' best interests in mind, and besides, I'm not a quitter because we must stand in unity and fight for what we need if we're going to stand any change of getting it.

Annette said...


Yes, you see it your way and I see it mine. I see it the way a great Liberal Lion did.. Teddy Kennedy.. He always reached across to the republicans to get things done and it worked... that's who taught and mentored Pres. Obama and that's who he is following.. Maybe he isn't jumping up and down screaming like you want him too.. but he never did.. that's not who he is, who he was or who he ever will be.. and for you to ever think he was.. is just wrong on your part.. you never knew who Barack Obama was if that's what you think or thought he would ever do.

He has done exactly what he said he would do.. all along.. and he really never campaigned on health care for all... that was Hillary.. but he has come around to that position... to make it mandatory.. so he has evolved in some regards.

But as I said.. you and I see things differently... I am more willing to trust my president even after seeing this country get screwed for the last 8 years.. and you aren't ready to do that.

It is time to let the last 8 years go..

As far as him prosecuting anyone.. IT IS NOT FOR HIM TO DO. HE IS THE PRESIDENT. That is the AG's job..

And it is happening.. maybe not as fast as me or you or anyone else wanted.. but it is and hopefully it will happen.. I still am trying to have faith it will happen. That's all we can do. Most people didn't think there would ever be a special prosecutor appointed but there has been. And there have been hearings in the Congress... So there are things happening.. just have to be patient a little longer.. it is hard but we were patient for 8 years what is a few more months.

D.K. Raed said...

This was great, Annette! Where I live, I see first-hand how ready the real wingnuts are to blow it all up and take things back to the stone age. So I see Obama's go-slow-go-smart strategy as a win. If he pushes an extreme lib agenda, he will be toast and 2010 mid-terms will be a repeat of the 1994 gingrich contract-on-america.

I would add that The Stim is working, too. I see it all around me. In my little community, we have road construction/improvement, a much-needed community health center, expanded adult education for non-english speakers, etc, ALL made possible with Stim $$$. Yet the local nutzos complain that UT's unemployment is HALF the national avg. Hunh? LOL, see, they will complain no matter what!