You’re not cleaning up our mess fast enough

The Onion reported the results of the 2008 presidential election with the headline, “Black Man Given Nation’s Worst Job.”

African-American man Barack Obama, 47, was given the least-desirable job in the entire country Tuesday when he was elected president of the United States of America. In his new high-stress, low-reward position, Obama will be charged with such tasks as completely overhauling the nation’s broken-down economy, repairing the crumbling infrastructure, and generally having to please more than 300 million Americans and cater to their every whim on a daily basis. As part of his duties, the black man will have to spend four to eight years cleaning up the messes other people left behind.

The Onion, of course, is satire. But Obama’s opponent in the 2012 election, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, seems to regard that Onion report quite literally. Bloomberg’s Lisa Lerer reports on a recent Romney campaign event in Ohio in which the Republican candidate argued that Obama hasn’t cleaned up President Bush’s mess fast enough:

Mitt Romney visited an Ohio factory, closed when President George W. Bush was in office, to make the case that President Barack Obama’s economic policies prevented the facility and others like it from reopening.

Standing in the middle of an empty warehouse floor yesterday, Romney blamed Obama for promoting measures that have slowed the economic recovery.

“It would have reopened by now, but it’s still empty,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee said.

As Steve Benen puts it, Romney seems to be making “the case for Landon/Knox ’36“:

The facts, for those who still care about them, are not in dispute.

When President Obama was inaugurated, the global economy was in freefall. There was a banking crisis, a housing crisis, a jobs crisis, and an American auto industry — the backbone of the nation’s manufacturing sector — that was poised to collapse. There were genuine fears that the financial system simply couldn’t recover.

Nearly four years later, after a series of steps Obama took with no Republican support, an economy that was shrinking is now growing, an economy that was hemmoraging jobs is now adding jobs, and an auto industry that was crashing is now thriving.

  • WingedBeast

    “Despite my party’s refusal to allow Obama to use any of the methods historically proven to speed up an economic recovery, Obama hasn’t cleaned up the economic recession fast enough!  For that reason, you should let my party use the same methods that started this recession in the first place!  Remember, when you’re in a hole, dig until you hit china!”

  • http://thatbeerguy.blogspot.com Chris Doggett

    Nearly four years later, after a series of steps Obama took with no Republican support, an economy that was shrinking is now growing, an economy that was hemmoraging jobs is now adding jobs, and an auto industry that was crashing is now thriving.

    Yeah, that’s all true, but it doesn’t change the most important fact to many Republican voters: the President is a Ni-

  • nemryn

    My favorite Obama-related Onion headline is “Nation Ignores Black Man Asking For Change”.

  • Rob Brown

    Nearly four years later, after a series of steps Obama took with no
    Republican support, an economy that was shrinking is now growing, an
    economy that was hemmoraging jobs is now adding jobs, and an auto
    industry that was crashing is now thriving.

    All of which is good, but it doesn’t change the fact that as far as human rights are concerned there has been far, far less improvement than what I and many others hoped.

    Over on mightygodking.com Christopher Bird recently posted several joke speculations about who Romney’s running mate might be, including the evil Mirror Universe Barack Obama.  It was comedy, of course, but as political posts tend to do some of the comments ended up being serious.  Here’s what I wrote, and it’s applicable here:

    I have a hard time imagining Romney being
    comfortable with Mirror Universe Obama, because that guy would be too
    liberal for him. Mirror universe Obama would, after all, have:
    -Not expanded offshore drilling;

    -Not extended the Patriot Act;

    -Worked to prosecute the people who practiced “enhanced interrogation” rather than giving them a free pass;

    -Fought tooth and nail against the indefinite detention bill, rather
    than finally promising not to veto it and signing it into law while
    saying “Hey, I’m signing this into law, but my administration totally
    won’t do this even though I’m making it all legal, cross my heart and
    hope to die”;

    -Not blocked the Palestinian bid for statehood, thus allowing Palestinians to maybe get a fair shake for once;

    -Not ordered the execution of an American citizen outside the borders of the United States without a trial, regardless of what that person had done;

    -Stopped using warrantless wiretaps;

    -Not extended the Bush tax cuts;

    -Not be willing to bomb Iran or support another power doing so without
    concrete proof that Iran was definitely developing nukes and was
    definitely planning to use them.
    Mitt Romney and whoever he picks as his running mate would, of
    course, do everything wrong that our universe’s Barack Obama has done
    wrong plus a whole shitload of other terrible things (all kinds of
    deregulation, bringing back DADT, getting rid of anything that even
    comes close to universal healthcare, probably wanting to bomb Iran RIGHT
    NOW, etc), so I’m certainly not encouraging anybody to vote for that
    ticket. I am saying that this is an election where, if you vote,
    you’re not choosing between a conservative and a liberal. You’re
    choosing between a conservative and a right-leaning centrist.

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    Rob here does a great job of demonstrating why Mitt Romney’s plan might work: even self-avowed leftists are more ready to blame Barack Obama for everything than they are to blame Republicans, for everything from Republican-passed legislation to the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Obama didn’t say our shibboleths and he didn’t come out of our progressive blog-poster tribe, and therefore he must take first responsibility if we live in a world where we can’t always get everything we want.

    So for example Romney says Obama’s to blame for the stalled out economy, and we get all angry at him for it, but I’ve spent the last two years listening to blog comment sections screaming that Obama’s to blame for the stalled out economy because the largest stimulus package the Democrats were able to pass was 1/3 of the size of the one that the all-important Paul Krugman said was necessary. Since Romney just mumbles when asked what he would have done *different* on the economy, is what he’s saying now really any different from what we’ve been saying all along? The economy is stalled out, and it’s Obama’s fault, somehow. And if Romney or the media or the blogosphere or whoever can convince you of this, it doesn’t really matter if you *like* Romney, or think he’d be better or worse than Obama, or vote for him even. If in 2012 the left stays home, or tunes out, or focuses on *anything* except winning this election and getting the Presidency and the Congress back, that’s as good from the Republican perspective as if we’d voted for Romney ourselves.

    Remember: In 2010, the Republicans didn’t win because voters turned to the Republicans. They won because of turnout. In 2010 the groups who are core Democratic constituencies, who turned out disproportionately for Obama in 2008, did not show up to vote whereas Republican constituencies were fired up. This was more or less as expected– these are constituencies that historically don’t usually participate in midterms in high numbers– but one way or the other, there was polling showing that had every voter who showed up in 2008 showed up in 2010, it would have been the Dems by a landslide. And because one way or another we didn’t, instead of that first two years of the Obama presidency where the worst we could complain about was that the trillion-dollar stimulus and the health insurance reform and the gay rights bills and the war winddown weren’t happening fast enough or should have been twice as ambitious, instead we got two years of everything in politics being about budget cuts and more budget cuts and dire warnings about “SOPA” and “NDAA” and “CIPSA” every other month.

    But never mind all that, look at this shiny thing Ron Paul is dangling. You sure are disappointed in Barack Obama, aren’t you? Focus some more on how much Obama let you down by bombing Iran (that happened, right?), let the Democrats worry about the election.

  • aunursa

    Blaming Bush worked in 2008.  It won’t work in 2012.

    If Obama’s campaign plan is to shift blame for the past four years to Dubya, the Tea Party, congressional Republicans, the Koch brothers, Big Business, Big Oil, Wall Street, Rush Loudmouth, Fox News, the Supreme Court, Catholic bishops, Bibi Netanyahu, the Arab Spring, and the Recession – I’m sure that Romney and the G.O.P. will welcome that debate.

    “I’m not gonna make any excuses.  If stuff hasn’t worked and people don’t feel like I’ve led the country in the right direction, then you’ll have a new president.”
    - Barack Obama, July 2009

  • LouisDoench

     Have a nice shiny Internet.

  • LouisDoench

     I’m pretty sure he has a more detailed plan than that. ;)
     And I can’t wait to see him debate the Romney-Bot 2012.

  • P J Evans

    Unfortunately, a lot of people have noticed that the Republicans’ only plan seems to be trying to turn the clocks back to 1922. And women, in particular, are not likely to go along with that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Standing in the middle of an empty warehouse floor yesterday, Romney
    blamed Obama for promoting measures that have slowed the economic
    recovery.

    Does he mean like all those Republican governors refusing ARRA funds because dadgummit they will not support the evil big government?

    Talk about counterproductive :(

  • WingedBeast

    There is a reality regarding keynsian economics and its usefulness in taking us out of recessions, including the Great Depression.  There is a reality regarding the failure of supply-side economics to create the oft-predicted trickle-down effect.  That reality is worth pointing out when people blame the failures of suppply side economics on Keynsian efforts they refused even to allow to come to a vote.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Could we blame the GOP, who from THE DAY OBAMA WAS ELECTED have said that their ONLY GOAL for the next four years was to do everything they could to STOP Obama from making things better so they could retake the presidency? Because if the dems had said that in 2004, they’d be calling for them to be TRIED FOR TREASON. 

    Yeah. Obama is a failure because in four years, with half the government ACTIVELY TRYING TO STOP HIM, he was only able to fix the worst of what it took 8 years for bush to destroy. 

  • Kubricks_Rube

    You may well be right that the President will be blamed for not overcoming Republican obstructionism to do an even better job than he’s done. But that is not an argument for Republican policies or Mitt Romney. You come here to talk polls, positioning, messaging, spin, news cycles, and everything else that may affect the election but does not affect the truth of anyone’s claims or the strength of anyone’s positions. Why not make actual arguments for your candidate and party?

    Also, I’m pretty sure Obama’s plan is not to “shift blame for the past four years” but to focus on “an economy that was shrinking is now growing, an economy that was hemmoraging jobs is now adding jobs, and an auto industry that was crashing is now thriving.” That and:

    http://whatthefuckhasobamadonesofar.com/ 

  • JonathanPelikan

    “Blaming Bush worked in 2008.”

    It also had the added benefit of being true. Still does, too. I have to admit, Conservatives have done an absolutely miraculous job of banishing eight years of betrayal and perfidy under Bush down the memory hole with astonishing speed and consistency. I admit, I thought you guys were going to be paying the price for generations, but within six months to a year, you had your tricorner hats out and teabags armed.

  • Rob Brown

    In 2010 the groups who are core Democratic constituencies, who turned
    out disproportionately for Obama in 2008, did not show up to vote
    whereas Republican constituencies were fired up

    Which begs the question: “Why did people turn out disproportionately for Obama in 2008?”

    It’s because they were tired of the Bush policies, such as the Patriot Act, and they wanted a change.

    If Obama wants the same turnout, he has got to do more than rely on people voting because they’re scared of a Romney presidency.  People didn’t vote for him overwhelmingly back in ’08 because they were worried about what McCain would do, although that was certainly part of it.  They voted for him because they were convinced he’d do the right thing, or at least try very hard to make sure the right thing got done.

    Now, once again, I will quote Mr. Obama on the Patriot Act, and link to the quote:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43180202/ns/us_news-security/t/obama-europe-signs-patriot-act-extension/

    “”[The Patriot Act is] an important tool for us to continue dealing with an ongoing terrorist threat.”

    -Barack Obama, May 2011.

    That’s more of the same bullshit “We’re in a War On Terror, and that justifies anything and everything” talking points that we got so used to hearing from Bush over the years.  We’re just supposed to nod and agree because it’s a different guy saying it now, and vote for him?

    Another thing: this election is different for two reasons.  First, Romney is pretty unelectable, even by Republican standards.  Second, anybody who voted for Republican candidates in 2010 not because they were conditioned to always vote for the GOP candidate no matter what, but rather hoping that the Republican candidates would make everything better, is probably wising up by now and realizing that no, those candidates are not making things better.  So at least some of those people are likely to stay home on election day as well.

    Seriously, if Romney ends up being the next president I’ll eat all of my hats.

    Focus some more on how much Obama let you down by bombing Iran (that happened, right?)

    He’s talked about it, and I’m sure that if he did end up doing it you’d rationalize that for him as well.

  • Rob Brown

    Could we blame the GOP…

    Yes.  I do blame them to an extent, but I’m sick of seeing people telling me “Oh, everything that’s wrong is because Obama was totally powerless because of Republican obstructionism!  EVERYTHING!  If only he’d had Congress on his side, then everything would be wonderful and he’d have kept all of his campaign promises.”

    No.  You can lay the blame for, say, the watering down of the health care bill and it being challenged today at the feet of the GOP.  You can blame them for other things.

    But publicly praising the Patriot Act?  Congress didn’t force him to do that.  Going to the U.N. and making a speech about how the Palestinians didn’t deserve a state of their own when most of the rest of the world disagreed?  Congress didn’t force him to do that either.  Expanding offshore drilling?  That was up to him.  McCain, the “drill baby drill candidate”, gave Obama a public “attaboy” for doing that.

    And then there’s this:

    http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/405274/january-05-2012/the-word—catch-2012

    Yes, the legislative branch has power.  So does the executive branch.  It’s that whole “checks and balances” thing.  If something goes wrong with the country or if United States foreign policy gets more imperialistic rather than less, I’m not going to only blame Congress.

  • Rob Brown

     

    [Blaming Bush] also had the added benefit of being true.

    100% agree, and that is why it pisses me off when I read about an instance where Obama steps into a situation and does exactly what Bush would have done.

    If you want to say he’s better for the country than Romney, you’ll get no argument from me.  If you want to say not to vote for Romney, I’ll say the same thing.

    Praising Obama though, acting like he’s been a breath of fresh air after the Bush years, kind of presses my berserk button, because he’s got a lot more in common with Bush than some people here like to admit.  Particularly when it comes to foreign policy, and foreign policy is what I care about the most.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    All the more reason we ought to have mandatory voting. 

    Of course, the Republicans will never let that happen. 

  • Rob Brown

     

    All the more reason we ought to have mandatory voting.

    I’d actually be in favour of that, so long as your options weren’t confined to the two parties.

    When voting, you ought to be looking at what a candidate has done right and what they’ve done wrong and how serious those things are, not which letter is next to their name.

    The site Kubricks_Rube linked to started really stretching when it said that he appointed the first Latina to the Supreme Court.  I don’t see how that’s relevant, because Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court, and that was groundbreaking, but it doesn’t mean that everybody should have focused on that and ignored all of the shitty things Reagan did.

    And mentioning that he signed an executive order to close Gitmo, which the site also does, is meaningless when it didn’t actually result in Gitmo being closed.  It was an empty gesture and, meanwhile, there’s still Bagram.  If you have not heard of Bagram, you aren’t an informed voter.
    @twitter-312426579:disqus
    “But never mind all that, look at this shiny thing Ron Paul is dangling.”

    I’d have mentioned this sooner if it had struck me sooner; this is exactly what you’re suggesting we do with Obama.  Don’t look at the bad things he’s done, look at the GOOD things he’s done!  He killed Bin Laden!  The economy’s turning around!  DADT is gone!  There’s this Credit Card Bill Of Rights!  Health care reform!  No more torture!

    Those good things are ALL that matters!  Look at THOSE shiny things, and forget all about everything else!

  • Rob Brown

    P.S. The “no more torture” thing may actually be inaccurate, if Daily Kos is anything to go by.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Also?

    The fact that Obama can conveniently blame Congress for failure to shut down the American Gulag is… well, convenient.

  • WingedBeast

    To paraphrase someone else, I’m not going to compare Obama against the almighty, but against the other guy.

    Where Obama has failed in my estimation, it’s been a failure of not going liberal enough.  In terms of Healthcare, he started out giving concessions to Republicans that, even were they operating in good faith, they wouldn’t have given him any credit for.  He didn’t make the straigh out statement that, if America cannot hold POWs in line with our own values, we can’t hide them at all*.  He similarly gave too much too early when negotiating stimulus packages.

    But, let’s compare this to Mitt Romney.  How much is he likely to consider liberal economic strategies, including basic Keynsian economics that have historically been proven to work?  How likely is he to be an advocate for women’s rights, gay rights, or worker’s rights?  Compared to the liklihood of Obama doing that, the answer is “less”.

    Obama isn’t perfect, but we don’t have to have perfect to be fired up.  The guy did do healthcare reform, he did end DADT, and he did extend benefits to civil union life partners.

    *I know I part ways from other liberals on this.  But, if the case is that America cannot prove in court a man’s guilt of terrorist activities because America has failed to act legally, then that’s on us as a nation and we have to let the guy go.  Yes, I know there’s an increased risk of this person attacking the US, but there’s also an increased risk every time a criminal gets away because evidence is deamed poisoned fruits.  Them’s the breaks.  I’d rather fear other people than a government with the constitutional stops pulled out.

  • Rob Brown

     

    I know I part ways from other liberals on this.  But, if the case is
    that America cannot prove in court a man’s guilt of terrorist activities
    because America has failed to act legally, then that’s on us as a
    nation and we have to let the guy go.  Yes, I know there’s an increased
    risk of this person attacking the US, but there’s also an increased risk
    every time a criminal gets away because evidence is deamed poisoned
    fruits.  Them’s the breaks.  I’d rather fear other people than a
    government with the constitutional stops pulled out.

    Good god, this!  What I’m really surprised about is that you “part ways from other liberals” on that, though, because I thought that part of being truly liberal was caring about prisoners’ rights.

    I mean, I have never, ever, heard of a liberal saying “We need to keep this guy locked up, because he might be a dangerous criminal!”  No.  Most liberals are not like that.  Lots of liberals want to see Mumia Abu-Jamal freed, to use a famous example.  Whether he did it or not doesn’t matter (although even if he did, I would say he’s paid his debt to society by now since thirty years is a long fucking time to be in prison), the fact is that he didn’t receive a fair trial and therefore should not be locked up.  At the very least, he deserves a second trial.

    Is that not how most liberals feel about the prisoners in Gitmo and other such places?  Because I gotta tell you, that’s really disturbing if that’s the case.  You do not keep people locked up without evidence, or without sufficient evidence.  It’s just wrong.  If you start talking about the greater good and rationalizing like that, you may as well start calling yourself a Republican IMO.

    But, let’s compare this to Mitt Romney.  How much is he likely to
    consider liberal economic strategies, including basic Keynsian
    economics that have historically been proven to work?  How likely is he
    to be an advocate for women’s rights, gay rights, or worker’s rights? 
    Compared to the liklihood of Obama doing that, the answer is “less”.

    A LOT less, absolutely.  As I said, Romney would do everything wrong that Obama’s done wrong, and he’d do even more wrong on top of that.

    He’s the greater evil.  Obama’s the lesser evil, because he’ll do some things right, and those things will show up on that “What the fuck has Obama done?” site.  I just tend to react negatively when people say he’s good, because no, he’s really not, and see above for the reasons I say that.

  • Xian-x

    I’ll give Obama this much: it does take a lot of audacity to lie to Rolling Stone about marijuana.

    http://justsaynow.firedoglake.com/2012/04/25/obama-lies-about-federal-marijuana-law-to-rolling-stone/

    As Greenwald comments, “Aside from the fact that Obama’s claim about the law is outright false…it’s just extraordinary that Obama is affirming the ‘principle’ that he can’t have the DOJ ‘turn the othe way’ in the face of lawbreaking… The same person who directed the DOJ to shield torturers and illegal government eavesdroppers from criminal investigation, and who voted to retroactively immunize the nation’s largest telecom giants when they got caught enabling criminal spying on Americans, and whose DOJ has failed to indict a single Wall Street executive in connection with the 2008 financial crisis or mortgage fraud scandal, suddenly discovers the imperatives of The Rule of Law when it comes to those, in accordance with state law, providing medical marijuana to sick people with a prescription.”

  • WingedBeast

    The main reason that it parts ways from other liberals is that even other liberals don’t want to be on record as advocating a prisoner’s release after said prisoner launches another attack on the US.

    We operate on the fear of these exact individuals and we forget that the Bill of Rights is not a Bill of Luxories.  These particular individuals getting in touch with the now broken Al Quida and rebuilding is a real threat.  It’s such a big and immediate threat that it’s easy to forget the other threat.

    The other threat is a government that can lock someone away and keep them locked away indefinately on the basis that there are good odds that signifigant portions of the prison population will go on to be threats.  It’s easy to forget that anything that happens to another human being can also happen to you.

    I support a very limited use of the death penalty only in those cases where an individual has proven that it is impossible to stop them from killing.  Cases include serious psychopaths that keep killing despite imprisonment and the Aryan Nation members who have proven that there’s no amount of issolation that can keep them from calling hits from prison.  I feel morally allowed that position *only* because I can imagine myself in that position.  It’s not that I think there are any odds that I will do anything like this or even that I will be accused.  It’s that I realize that being put to death by the government is something that is possible to happen.  So, I can only accept as allowable punishment that which I admit can be applied to me in a specific set of circumstances.

  • Lori

     

    Is that not how most liberals feel about the prisoners in Gitmo and
    other such places?  Because I gotta tell you, that’s really disturbing
    if that’s the case.  You do not keep people locked up without evidence,
    or without sufficient evidence.  It’s just wrong.  If you start talking
    about the greater good and rationalizing like that, you may as well
    start calling yourself a Republican IMO.  

    This is how I feel and I know a lot of other Liberals do as well, but I’m not sure if it’s “most”. We’ve allowed terrorism fears to be hyped up to such a degree that I think even a lot of people on the Left feel differently about terror suspects than they do about other kinds of criminals. That’s wrong on several levels, but it’s true. It’s one of the side effects of the out of control fear-mongering that the Bush administration did after 9/11 and of the fact that we’ve created a climate in public discourse that makes it very difficult to push back against that.

    The Right wing has turned the US into a prison state by using accusations of “soft on crime” to push the justice system off the cliff. Fear-mongering about terrorism has done the same to our foreign policy and our civil liberties. I’ll pick 2 things that Obama has done that I strongly disapprove of—keeping Bagram open and expanding the drone war. I think there are 2 broad reasons he has done those things.

    One is that he has a framework for dealing with terrorism that I think is badly flawed. This was not his area of expertise prior to becoming president and I think he has chosen his advisers poorly and learned the wrong lessons. Those are his errors and his responsibilities and I absolutely hold him accountable for them. I think the Left should be pushing him a lot harder on those issues and working a lot harder to change the frame.

    Then there’s the other part, the Right wing propaganda machine. You know if a attack happens on Obama’s watch Fox & company are not going to give him a freebie the way they did Bush. Bush Kept Us Safe From Terrorists. (Except for that one time, which totally doesn’t count). There were no attacks on Bush’s watch. (Except for that one. Oh, and all the ones that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan where we would not have been if it weren’t for Bush’s policies. Ignore the man behind the curtain.) I think Obama and all the Dems need to worry less about trying to avoid that shit, because that’s pointless, and more about effectively countering it, but that doesn’t change the fact that perceptions about Fox-driven “optics” are a huge factor in current political decision-making. On this issue I think there’s more than enough blame to go around.

  • Rob Brown

    We’ve allowed terrorism fears to be hyped up to such a degree that I
    think even a lot of people on the Left feel differently about terror
    suspects than they do about other kinds of criminals. That’s wrong on
    several levels, but it’s true. It’s one of the side effects of the out
    of control fear-mongering that the Bush administration did after 9/11
    and of the fact that we’ve created a climate in public discourse that
    makes it very difficult to push back against that.

    Sad and frustrating, but seems to be the truth like you said.  I assumed that by the end of Bush’s second term, when his approval ratings were in the toilet, the majority of people had stopped swallowing his bullshit.  The fact that all the people who would have preferred four more years of Bush’s policies voted for McCain and saw their candidate lose in a landslide made me more optimistic.

    But I guess either a lot of self-avowed lefties didn’t want all of what Bush had done in the name of fighting terror reversed, or the new administration felt that some of what Bush had done was justified, or the new administration worried about being perceived as “soft on terror” (just like that “soft on crime” label) and decided to do what they thought would be the most popular thing, rather than the right thing.

    Speaking of being scared of what the right-wingers might say about them if they didn’t govern a certain way…

    Then there’s the other part, the Right wing propaganda machine. You know
    if a attack happens on Obama’s watch Fox & company are not going to
    give him a freebie the way they did Bush. Bush Kept Us Safe From
    Terrorists. (Except for that one time, which totally doesn’t count).
    There were no attacks on Bush’s watch. (Except for that one. Oh, and all
    the ones that happened in Iraq and Afghanistan where we would not have
    been if it weren’t for Bush’s policies. Ignore the man behind the
    curtain.) I think Obama and all the Dems need to worry less about trying
    to avoid that shit, because that’s pointless, and more about
    effectively countering it, but that doesn’t change the fact that
    perceptions about Fox-driven “optics” are a huge factor in current
    political decision-making.
    On this issue I think there’s more than
    enough blame to go around.

    What puzzles me is how Fox News and the New York Post and the WSJ op-eds and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest.  I mean, I’d get it if the majority of the news sources available to the American people had that same kind of right-wing slant, but they’re still just a fraction of the news sources available.  Plus, more people are getting their news off the internet than they were ten years ago, for better or worse.

    And I completely agree that trying to placate Fox News and the rest of said propaganda machine is the wrong move by the administration.  For one thing, it’s futile, because if there’s a Democrat in the White House then Fox News is never gonna give that person a break no matter what.  For another, it’s just wrong; if you’re looking out for the best interests of the American people (and also the world, because America has a pretty huge effect on the rest of the world), then the last thing you want to do is seriously listen to the opinions of somebody like Sean Hannity.

    Keith Olbermann hit the nail on the head a bit less than four years ago:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QncxqHPHhxg

    and

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMtRj6kbxKQ

    If you don’t have ten minutes to watch both parts of the video, I’ll quote the last part of what he said to then-Senator Obama.

    OLBERMANN: “The Republicans are gonna call you the names any which way, Senator.  They’re gonna cry regardless, Senator.  And as the old line goes, give them something to cry about.”

  • Rob Brown

     Oops, what I meant to type after that second quote was “What puzzles me is how Fox News and the New York Post and the WSJ op-eds and Rush Limbaugh and all the rest became such a force.”  Makes a lot more sense with those last four words included.

  • Lori

    But I guess either a lot of self-avowed lefties didn’t want all
    of what Bush had done in the name of fighting terror reversed, or the
    new administration felt that some of what Bush had done was justified,
    or the new administration worried about being perceived as “soft on
    terror” (just like that “soft on crime” label) and decided to do what
    they thought would be the most popular thing, rather than the right
    thing.

    [X] D: All of the above

    A & B are caused in large part by having the wrong framework for thinking about terrorism and C is a sad fact of our political & media culture.

    “The Republicans are gonna call you the names any which way, Senator. 
    They’re gonna cry regardless, Senator.  And as the old line goes, give
    them something to cry about.” 

    Olbermann can be an ass, but on this issue he was dead on and Obama should have listened to him. Or as I’ve put it more than once, might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

    I understand that being the first black president makes that difficult because of the whole Angry Black Man bullshit. But even there Obama can’t win. Some people will call him Angry no matter what he does or doesn’t do and if he doesn’t give people enough reasons to call him an Angry Black Man they call his wife an Angry Black Woman. At that point I figure you might as well say screw it, and just go flat out.

    Of course that’s easy for me to say. It’s not me & my family out there with nothing between us and a bunch of armed nutters except some (possibly hooker-distracted) Secret Service agents.

  • Kubricks_Rube

    Obama’s the lesser evil, because he’ll do some things right, and those things will show up on that “What the fuck has Obama done?” site.

    Just to be clear, I linked to the ”What the fuck has Obama done?” site to counter the idea that Obama will be running a campaign around blaming others. You’ll get no disagreement from me on civil liberties and executive powers, but, as you say, “Romney would do everything wrong that Obama’s done wrong, and he’d do even more wrong on top of that.”

  • Consumer Unit 5012

    I’d rather vote for Democrats and be disappointed when they don’t keep their promises than let Republicans win and be appalled when they DO keep theirs.

  • Rob Brown

     Ah, okay.

  • Rob Brown

    It’s not me & my family out there with nothing between us and a
    bunch of armed nutters except some (possibly hooker-distracted) Secret
    Service agents.

    The fact that this made me laugh isn’t the only reason I clicked on “Like”, but it sure helped! XD


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