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Watching history repeat, sadly.
07:06 AM on 04/30/2013
Ms Drew said, in her decidedly unbiased 2nd paragraph, "Yet if the health care law is allowed to work, despite continuing Republican efforts to try to make sure that it doesn't, and if we take into account some other victories -- the Lilly Ledbetter Act, the stimulus that was as large as the political market would bear, the Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill, the largest since the New Deal if Congress will let it be implemented -- his presidency could go down as a time of historic achievement."

Trust me, they will go down as historical economics accomplishments... much the same as the bombing of Pearl Harbor changed the course of history.

Time to retire.
06:23 AM on 04/30/2013
Republicans hamstring, hobble, and frustrate Obama using all their institutional powers, then DC pundits accuse him of a lack of "leadership". There is something sick about all this.
Kevin Close
09:07 AM on 04/30/2013
You hit the nail on the head "bobh"!!! F&F'd!!
06:15 AM on 04/30/2013
"This isn't to say that there haven't been some legitimate grounds for criticizing Obama's dealings with Congress. He left the writing of the stimulus and health care bills to legislators, leading to rather messy processes and laws; and his greatest failure on the health care bill was that he didn't get across to the country what it would do -- a lapse that cost him dearly in the fateful 2010 elections. He hasn't always been the most skilled of negotiators and many Hill Democrats expressed despair that he gave away too much too soon."

A leader and an administrator can be two different jobs, but some for some jobs one is required to be both. A leader projects a a lucid and persistent focus that appeals to public values and concerns and persuades enough people to pull in the same direction to produce movement. And that is a force even an obstinate Congress can't ignore.

"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail. Without it, nothing can succeed." - Abraham Lincoln
06:48 AM on 04/30/2013
Exactly. but the only thing i've noticed is that the public sentiment has become nothing more than a petty "us vs them" attitude.
07:12 AM on 04/30/2013
Everything seems clearer in hindsight.
07:58 AM on 04/30/2013
It was clear to many of us back then too. Only, instead of listening to us, the President would come up with derogatory names for us, such as, "the professional left."
05:54 AM on 04/30/2013
Basically, what she's saying is that the system has failed and will continue to fail. And she's right.
...but on the other side, it didn't say nothing.
07:17 AM on 04/30/2013
We should abolish the Senate. They represent the powerful within the various states - not the people there. The vast discrepancies in population etween states creates many profitable opportunities for moneyed interests to purchase influence, as it is quite easy to "outbid" the people of North Dakota or Idaho in regard to nationally significant legislation.
05:53 AM on 04/30/2013
For whatever reasons, let's just say he is extremely ineffectual except when he is furthering the right wing agenda, which is most of the time.
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03:32 AM on 04/30/2013
Don't waste your considerable talents Elizabeth. It's well known that this presi-
dent does not even talk that often to Senators and House members. Whether
he's an arm-twister is not relevant when you are a leader that can only communi-
cate on a campaign trail that seems endless. Obama depends on a freindly media
to push issues, but is failed leader for the very same reason.
Rn Case Manager-mother-grandmother-daughter
02:13 AM on 04/30/2013
Time for Americans to do the arm twisting.
07:59 AM on 04/30/2013
You have to become a billionaire first.
Rn Case Manager-mother-grandmother-daughter
03:31 AM on 05/01/2013
We have the numbers, they have the money. As long as we don't let them keep us from voting, they can not win in the long run.
01:26 AM on 04/30/2013
No Liz, the point is he took his foot off their throats. You can't make a deal with a block party.
07:12 AM on 04/30/2013
We're not talking about your fantasies here. The president has to deal with reality.
08:02 AM on 04/30/2013
Or he could have molded reality. Take gay marriage for example. He has had a tremendous impact on that movement. With only a few words of support, he has changed that issue forever. If he is such a fan of Reagan, he should know that power. I don't doubt he does. Why, then, is he so silent on so many of the most important issues of our time (I don't count gun control on that list)?
01:13 AM on 04/30/2013
What critics of Obama are afraid to admit is that our democracy is in trouble. Majority rules no longer applies in America, and hasn't for some time. Mitch McConnell is the real power in the Senate and our government, and will continue to be as long as he has 40 votes. Not only can he stop legislation, he has and is exercising the power to shape it. Until we acknowledge that democracy in America is currently a fraud, things will only get worse.

In my home state, we have a constitutional amendment that allows the minority to control the budget. As a result, it became rarer and rarer for a state budget to pass on time, and then with less and less of the things the majority voters wanted until an independent committee drew up legislative districts and we adopted a primary stance that allowed the top to vote getters, regardless of party, to contest in the general election. The result is that we don't have the gridlock we've suffered for years.
02:34 AM on 04/30/2013
Majority rules no longer applies in America, and hasn't for some time.

You are right.. but it didn't seem to bother Obama when the majority were against Obamacare..
07:15 AM on 04/30/2013
What this is is a wake-up call for Americans. Don't like the way things are going? Then GET UP OFF YOUR FAT, LAZY BEHINDS and get involved in the 2014 midterm elections. Work for candidates who represent your positions. Donate what you can. Get out the vote.

Don't just sit back and complain. In 2010, that allowed the Republicans to gain more control in Congress.
01:19 AM on 05/04/2013
The real elections are the primaries. With an open primary, a lot of the nastiness left the stage. We had more than a few districts were the general pitted two Democrat against each other. It will be interesting to see how the Republican party responds in the long term.
Jerry Frey
unCommon sense for the common good
01:03 AM on 04/30/2013
Obama is a dud, like Bush was a fool - win, place, show.

"After more than four years in the White House and weeks into his latest effort to woo lawmakers, Obama still isn’t very good at using his personal charm to achieve political success. Yet, it may be one of the few strategies the president has left if he hopes to accomplish his remaining second-term priorities, including a sweeping budget deal and a comprehensive immigration bill.

At this point in his presidency, Obama has pretty much tried it all. He has met privately with Republican leaders in the House, collaborated with bipartisan groups of senators and taken his case to the people, hoping that the power of public opinion could win over his opponents in Congress. This year, for the most part, none of those approaches have worked."
dispensing divinest sense from inns of molten blue
12:10 AM on 04/30/2013
One way to produce a system of government that has a better chance of actually getting things done would be to move toward a de facto semi-parliamentary system of governance. This would require an agreement between the two parties to eliminate the current system of presidential primaries. Instead, have a party convention where the party's candidates for congress and the U.S. Senate pick one person from among themselves to be the presidential nominee. The gubernatorial candidates for the party could also be thrown into the pool of potential presidential nominees from which the congressional and senatorial candidates would make their presidential choice. This would provide an incentive for the voting public to start paying attention once again to congressional and senatorial primary elections, because the people chosen in those primary elections would be the people who would choose the party's presidential and vice presidential nominees. This change could be accomplished without any change to election laws or the Constitution. It would just be a matter of changing the party primary system. The change would not eliminate the dysfunctions associated with divided government, but it would encourage the development of a congress in which at least one of the two parties is in decent agreement with the President, because the congressmen and senators would have had a significant role in choosing the person who became president.
Keith LeBrun
04:10 AM on 04/30/2013
But... one side already is in decent agreement with the president. As noted in the article above, the few Dems who voted against the amendments most likely did so because their choice was already moot and were able to vote in accordance with their districts rather than along strict party lines.

Maybe a better way would be to pass the questions directly to the public in non-binding referendum form, since there seems to be a difference of opinion on exactly what the voting public actually wanted in this case. Both sides have claimed that the public wanted them to vote exactly as they did, and since the votes were pretty much a statistical dead heat, why not go directly to the people and ask them?
07:17 AM on 04/30/2013
Because we are a representative form of government, that's why.

A better idea is for the people to become more involved in the political process. They have to do more than just answer poll questions.
11:57 AM on 04/30/2013
That would be a non-tarter until we remove the influence of money from the political system.  Moving to a parliamentary system, and distancing the public from the selection of the Presidential nominees, would only speed us along the road to full on oligarchy.
I certainly don't want people who are more in contact with corporate lobbyists than their constituencies anywhere near the decision of picking nominees, let alone being the only population elligible to be nominated.
11:53 PM on 04/29/2013
"Distorted as their interpretation may be, many people believe"

No one interprets it anymore. It has been clearly defined in its purpose.
11:42 PM on 04/29/2013
Thank you.
A radical leftist with a JS Woodsworth avatar.
11:09 PM on 04/29/2013
When worried that some Democratic Congressmen would vote against financing the continued occupation of Iraq, Rahm Emanuel threatened not to support their re-election campaigns.

The Obama administration CAN twist arms when the issue is important to them. It's what's important to them that's troubling.
07:18 AM on 04/30/2013
So.... how exactly could the Obama administration "twist the arms" of Republicans?

I don't think threatening not to support their re-election campaigns is going to be very effective.
Love, Tolerance, Enlightenment
10:50 PM on 04/29/2013
Please, Obama is a Reagan conservative. Obama/clinton are DLC/New Democrats. Lok it up. You should have know when you voted.

I still voted for Obama and gand, only as the lesser of evils, and not by much.