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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fat lot of good it’s done Barack Obama to pose as The Great Compromiser. The more “Grand Bargains” he’s proposed, the further Republicans have fled in the opposite direction. Is it really possible that Obama mistook the U.S. government for the Harvard Law Review, where his reputation as a fair-minded mediator earned him universal respect?

With yet another round of budgetary hostage-taking and government shutdowns threatened this autumn—throwing Americans out of work and stifling the economy—isn’t it time Obama adjusted to GOP radicalism?

Historian Rick Perlstein (the author of Nixonland) put it this way to MSNBC’s Steve Kornacki:

The reason Obama’s rhetoric and his whole strategic approach to his presidency fails is because going back six years or more, he fundamentally misunderstands the Republican Party. He doesn’t understand [how] they behave, this kind of Leninist cell waiting in the mountains, waiting for the final apocalypse…

Barack Obama is constitutionally incapable of saying, ‘we have adversaries.’ That every time a Democratic president comes in that they handle the government more effectively. Every time a Democratic president comes in, they create more jobs than the Republicans. But to say that would be constitutionally impossible for Obama because he needs to tell this story about reconciliation—there is no Red America, there is no Blue America.

Nobody made Obama endorse deficit-cutting as the centerpiece of his economic policy. But he ought to notice that with the federal budget deficit shrinking at an unprecedented rate—the FY2013 shortfall will be less than half of the $1.3 trillion gap George W. Bush left behind—GOP leaders keep falsifying reality. On Fox News Sunday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor brazenly insisted that Congress should be “focused on trying to deal with the ultimate problem, which is this growing deficit.”

Which is worse? Whether Cantor knows he’s blowing smoke, or doesn’t know?

Neither did anybody make Obama embrace the misleading metaphor about how in tough times governments need to tighten their belts like families.

However, almost every family borrows to finance long-term purchases; government needs to invest for the future too.

Unlike your family, the government can create money. It’s precisely when private enterprises can’t invest that government should. By accepting the “belt tightening” metaphor, Obama even made it harder to credit the (too small) 2009 stimulus bill’s role in halting the economy’s free fall.

With an allegedly “Socialist” president talking like a GOP banker, the radicalism of the Republican right has become invisible to many. In Arkansas, we have a Washington libertarian hero named Tom Cotton running for the U.S. Senate. Tax-hating billionaires are promoting him like an American Idol contestant. He announced from his (childhood) home in Yell County—one county west of where I live.

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Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • JD Mulvey

    Mr. Obama isn’t the person to carry this message, sadly.

    • jmprint

      Name one mad cow deceases teabagger that is.

  • Dominick Vila

    President Obama compromised on issues ranging from the Single Payer system, to closing the Guantanamo prison camp, delaying the withdrawal from Iraq and Afghanistan, the tax rate increase for individuals earning over $250K and many other policy proposals. What did he get in return? Nothing!

    • sigrid28

      You point to compromises that didn’t result in reconciliation, but had to be done (arguable, I know) to pass legislation, in some cases, to get on with it in others. You’re right, Lyons’s is right about a way to play offense: talk over the Republicans. I’ve thought for some time that that is exactly what the president is doing, while at the same time casting his eye on the future. He speaks over the heads of many low-information Americans who vote Republican by setting forth his own goals in the framework of the future, rarely disparaging Republicans. Is that compromise?

      • Dominick Vila

        Compromise has been a positive contributor to progress and a higher standard of living. Unfortunately, the days when people discussed their differences and sought middle ground are long gone. The goal now, confirmed by none other than Mitch McConnell, is to achieve narrow political goals rather than improve the welfare of the people.
        President Obama does have a tendency to be too professorial and often talks over the heads of the uninformed. I believe that is a contributing factor to the ability of ACA and gun control reform opponents to control the agenda and get the upper hand.

        • sigrid28

          Believe me, I know what you mean when you use the term “professorial.” For a Democrat who avoids this register, I’d point to Joe Biden–so maybe he should be part of the talk offensive. Never in a million years could President Obama capture Biden’s folksiness and seem sincere while doing it. The president does use humorous quips, often when taking on Republicans–like capturing their fondness for using cuts to cure every problem. He is also limited by the gravitas of his elected office, which many have challenged him to give up. My solution would be to fill the airwaves not only with the president but with his surrogates.

          However, I have to admit that the president and his surrogates are unlikely to reach 1% Republicans committed to hogging their pots of gold and Republicans among the 99% too far gone to realize that they are being duped into voting against their own self-interest. Talking over Republicans (a majority of whom will not change anyway) will do no good unless the president and his surrogates talk to their own Democratic constituents and make sure these voters do whatever is necessary to get themselves to the polls. Right now, Democrats can do other things to support the president’s agenda. I applaud the president’s current initiative to enlist surrogates to encourage the young voters to take advantage of Obamacare.

        • idamag

          For compromise to work, you have to have intelligent people negotiating.

      • idamag

        I, too, have wondered why he did not.

    • highpckts

      And he’ll continue to get nothing if he doesn’t stand up to these guys along with all Democrats! If he folds again, we are in for a world of hurt!

    • kanawah

      Obama trying to “compromise” with the repuCONs and the Transylvania tea bags is like the sea lion trying to compromise with the killer whale who wants to have the sea lion for lunch.

      Every time Obama has made an offer to the republiCONs and the Transylvania tea bags, they have “moved the goal post”. The republiCONs and the Transylvania tea bags have become anarchist and fascist. They must be removed from Washington and all state governments.

  • docb

    Yes, talk and walk over the repub bagger children! The people in the fringe are worthless and destructive and fractured what was a Grand Old Party!

    Blackmail and hostage taking are over … Never in recent history has the bagger Congress been so totally anti-American…up and down the ladder!

  • Catskinner

    The problem he’s got is the only people who will listen are the 47% who don’t pay taxes, and they’ve got a really short attention span.

    • BeckerHead

      Spoken like a true ignoramus……

    • dellmartin

      The people that listen are the 51% that voted for him. The low-information repub voters have bought into the phony theories put forth by the hateful tbaggers in congress who have proved over and over that they hate our president more than they love our country. Shame on them. VOTE THEM OUT OF OFFICE. It’s the only way we can move forward.

      • idamag

        I attend a place where seniors hang out. There is a truck in the parking lot that has “McCain Palin” stickers all over it. One day I was walking out and the owner was with me. He said, “I keep the stickers so they won’t blame me.” I knew this guy years ago. The secretary in our office had just moved there from California. She told me the third time her husband cheated on her, she decided to leave him. Her husband followed her from California to try and patch things up. While he was trying to patch things up with the secretary, he was coming into my office and trying to put the make on me. He is the guy with the pickup. The other day he told me, “I am a Republican.” Yesterday, he had a home made sign on his truck that says, “Hitler is running for president. Don’t vote for her.” Ugly is as ugly does. And that is the new Republicans.

    • jmprint

      Better to have short attention spans then be brains washed zombies.

  • Annemb

    The Teapublicants do not know how to legislate and should be removed from office. They are not interested in compromise … won’t even say the word. Well, how do they think the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were made and approved?

  • BeckerHead

    Republican Strategy
    The Republican’s Leadership strategy is to provide their electorate with a “believable scheme” that explains diverse events in a way that “butters up” the limited capacity/competence of their followers, while being deceptive enough to withstand skeptical analysis. Starting in the late 1970’s, Lee Atwater, the strategist and Republican golden boy, is credited with rolling out the Southern Strategy. In 1981 he said…..”the strategy had been designed to appeal to “the racist side of the voter” without antagonizing other Americans who might be offended by ugly racism. As Atwater explained, “You start out in 1954 by saying, ‘N—–, n—–, n—–.’ By
    1968 you can’t say ‘n—–‘—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like ‘forced
    busing,’ ‘states’ rights,’ welfare, free-stuff, and all these things that you’re talking about are totally economic things and a by-product of them is [that] blacks (minorities) get hurt worse than whites. And subconsciously maybe that is part of it… because obviously sitting around saying, ‘We want to cut this,’ is much more abstract than even the busing thing and a hell of a lot more abstract than ‘N—–, n—–.'” As the Republicans accept the behavior of their leaders of an increasingly harsh environment under a climate of racial isolation, they evolve attitudes, behaviors, and practices that further marginalize the minority neighborhoods and beat down any chance for succeeding in mainstream American society. It is this strategy that is being used in the immigration, healthcare, and unemployment issues. They are telling their scared sheeple that the sky is falling, arm yourselves, and don’t trust anybody that doesn’t look like you. Let’s wrap ourselves with the American flag and have exclusive claim to patriotism and the American way by rolling back the clock to the “good ole days!” This unfortunate strategy, designed exclusively by the NEW RepubliKKKlan Party is clinically ignorant, or just your good ole fashion racism. Yes, through the Reich Wing faction of the RepubliKKKlan Party, the Tea Baggers have been “programmed” by their Ivy League educated leaders to do and say what they are told and don’t you dare question them because you will suffer the consequences. Who are these followers of the Pied Piper of hate? The 60% of Ro-moneys famous 47%………except that they are too dumb to realize it. Yes this “clan” whose majority are white and highly insecure men, have like minds and make each other tingle with hate filled and addle minded conversations and crass depiction of people who scare them….which is anyone with an education, women, minorities and of course Democrats. Like cartoonish robots, the Tea Baggers are devout followers of Rush Limpballs, the NRA, The Faux Entertainment airways and all those bobble head leaders that do not want to solve problems but create fear
    and a division amongst all Americans….this the New RepubliKKKlan Party…-Becker

    • jmprint

      And the said thing is that they have reeled in the religious leaders that use the pulpit to vocalize their sour opinions.

  • FT66

    I have never seen a congress (republicans) which is dull like this. No one there is smart. Someone has studied them and decided to throw a bait to them. It didn’t take a minute all of them are in the trap already. What a shame? No wonder their approval rating is just approaching a single digit. Glad am not a republican.

    • kanawah

      Their electorate wants some one in office that makes them “feel smart”, so a house of idiots.

  • Allan Richardson

    Obama is wonderful as a speaker, but for the rest of his term he should ask Biden to write his speeches for him, and teach him how to deliver them VERBATIM. He needs to remind us that the only way that “red and blue” can be reconciled at the VOTER level is to have a good hard verbal battle at the CONGRESSIONAL level. He needs to tell the moderate GOP voters that, since the Tea Party took over THEIR party, their interests and values are better served by voting for HIS party until the “cereal” (fruits, nuts and flakes, one of them actually NAMED Flake) are voted out of office. Then the Republicans can again be a REASONABLE party with a conservative tilt, and we can discuss and compromise again.

    • disqus_LcxpBv2uzz

      In the meantime, Allen, Obama has to get tougher. He has facts on his side, but he is not presenting his case effectively to the majority of the American people. Perhaps he needs to get down and dirty with the opposition, who appeal to anti-intellectual, small-minded elements of the ultra-conservative electorate. I think that element actually values ignorance and makes fun of anything vaguely intellectual, because most people put down anyone they see as smarter than they. It’s a defense mechanism, a way to compensate for their perceived ignorance. And Obama comes across as an intellectual snob to these people (and by jeezus, he’s black to boot! Just another uppity n—–!) I think that Obama needs a combination of Joe Biden, Barney Frank and Tony Soprano to do his PR work!

      • Michael Kollmorgen

        Obama need to start talking Tough, and not in a nice way either.

        I always thought Obama reminded me of Carter, high intelligence, but can’t for the life of them convey to the public what they’re trying to achieve.

        Evidently for the general public, ya got to talk down to them as if they were toddlers.

      • holyreality nailed it years ago;

        LIST THE FACTS Bart, not his real name has an IQ of 64 so he knows how to cut out the bullshut and make it easy for lesser intellects to see the facts.

        President Obama says what I love to hear, but to most folks in our Idiocracy, he talks like a…well look up the movie if you’re inclined.

        Convincing the delusional right that their myths are well, fairytales requires facts, the bullets of truth.

  • bcarreiro

    reverse the psychology on who arent who they say they are………its not a game to the american people. why do all of us comment on the same interest? we ALL know OBAMA can move us forward but republicans…. damn republicans.! Im hated by many, loved by few ………but one thing for sure, respected by all !!! try being honest and work as a team it doesnt cost a thing.

  • Canistercook

    Guess Obama’s system of compromise is another visit to a bunch of college kids to convince them everything he wants is right – more government and more taxes.

    • Sand_Cat

      As usual, you’re way off base.

      • Canistercook

        With 79 percent of babies born in Detroit to single mothers, most failing in school so is our government!
        Sent from my iPad

  • kanawah

    The republiCON party of today has no resemblance of the past. If Reagan wanted to run for president in today’s political environment, he would have to run as a democrat to the left of Obama.

    We need to have tax rates and structure that we had under Eisenhower. The top rate was OVER 90%.

    Today’s republiCONs and the Transylvania tea bags would have coronary if the policies of the republican party of the past were implemented today.

    • charleo1

      As you say. To even suggest a 90% corporate rate, has been effectively
      removed from the table by their radicalism, extremism, and refusal to
      make even the slightest compromise, without a knock down, break every
      stick of furniture in the house, brawl. Sometimes a good brawl is a good
      thing. If it’s for the right reason. It may be time President Obama, and true Progressive Democrats showed the loudmouth T-Bag Bullies, we’re not
      afraid of a fight. Moderate Dems, could wring their hands, and hold the coats.

  • howa4x

    Obama needs to force the republicans into actually saying what their counter plan is. They want to repeal Romney/Obama care but what is the replacement and how will they deal with the 32 million uninsured? How will they rebuild the crumbling infrastructure? If their plan is to privatize Social security then exactly how will it work? How will the government oversee investments? The problem Obama has is that every time he promotes an idea he is putting up a giant piñata for the republicans to club. They get to pound his idea with out explaining theirs. The republicans have yet to present their vision of the future. The tax cuts they championed haven’t created many jobs, and spurred to 1% to invest outside our country. Republicans always want to intervene militarily, and Obama has to challenge them on how it would benefit us. He has to get into a street fight with them and start calling them out on everything

    • tax payer

      The 32 million uninsured need to get off their butts and pay for their own health insurance like most of us.

      • howa4x

        you really don’t understand anything about the healthcare system/insurance system. The majority of the uninsured are not the people on welfare who have Medicare. They are the working poor who have to work in minimum wage jobs and don’t make enough after food and housing expenses to pay for insurance. Currently they go to the emergency rooms to seek primary care since private doctors won’t see them and the ER’s can’t refuse them. It costs over $500. just to walk in. When the people can’t pay the bill which is usually, the hospital bills the state for uncompensated care fund reimbursement. That fund come from you the tax payer. Do you got that? Obamacare gives a subsidy to buy private insurance through exchanges set up by the states where Ins companies compete. It is cheaper to subsidize them than have them in the ER. Stop watching FOX non news and understand the facts!

        • tax payer

          People stay working in minimum wage jobs because they want to since they can get all the benefits allowed by this Government. Their grandparents did it, their mothers did it and now they too do it, so it’s a cycle that will never end. Medicare is for those that worked and deserve it. Medicaid is for people that never bothered to earn a good living and don’t qualify for Medicare or Social Security, but do qualify for SSI. Do you also get it.

          • howa4x

            You still drive the myth of republicans. People don’t want to work in minimum wage jobs but sometimes it is the only job they can get. People like the Walton’s who are worth 115 billion only pay the bare minimum to their workers who make so little that they qualify for food stamps and housing assistance, which you pay for. Wal-Mart also has shifted 80% of it’s workforce to part time to avoid paying medical benefits. So what you admire is a company that is shirking it’s social responsibility and throwing that cost upon all middle class taxpayers so they can increase their profit margin. Is this what you love about capitalism? You are also paying part of their medical costs as I wrote before. I know this not by watching FOX news but being on the board of dir’s of a hospital for ten years so if you want to debate me on health care I’m more than ready for you.

          • tax payer

            Let me put it to you this way. If I had a company I would hire only part-time workers, so I could make more money. They are in Business to make money and nothing else. Health Insurance I have and don’t care about others having it or not. People don’t have to ask for help, but they do because they breed too many mouths to feed on their own and they can also have two jobs in order to not beg for help.

          • howa4x

            You are a true disciple of the atheist Ayn Rand. A go it alone type person whose only goal is greed. You seem to care little about the fellow inhabitants of the earth, so I have to conclude that you are an atheist too.. Maybe you would prefer a high infant mortality rate? Or like Texas where if you don’t have the ability to pay you can’t go to the hospital at all. Let people just die on the street. Wait, we still need government to clean up all the bodies, and that raises taxes. People who work 2 minimum wage jobs still don’t have money to pay for insurance. At least Obamacare will give them a subsidy to buy health insurance. I thought that you would like that. Personal responsibility. Then again,maybe we should just sterilize all poor people, or have the tea party governor pass a law that to have kids you have to make at least $20K. But wait. I thought all you republicans want government out of our lives?

          • tax payer

            I care for those that make an effort to be a productive person and not expect us to support them all their life. What is so wrong in actually hoping people will do something for themselves instead of letting them take advantage of the Government. I believe in abortion because we don’t have to feed those babies since their parents only know how to make babies and not support them.

          • howa4x

            There was a song a long time ago that said there but for fortune go you or I. I don’t believe in welfare either, since it sets up a situation where the male can’t be in the house and sets up single parent families with no male role model. This condition spawned the gang culture that rose up in the 70’s and still roams our urban areas today with the drug trade as it’s economic base. Our answer to that has been mass incarceration. We spend over $30K per yr per prisoner and that doesn’t count the cost of the judicial system. We have over 2 million people behind bars and we are no where close to solving the problem. What I don’t understand about the right wing is that you all are against the very programs that try to break the cycle of poverty. Head start is really pre school for urban under privileged kids. It has already been proven that this program puts these kids on equal footing with their suburban counter parts educationally, builds the self esteem they need to succeed, and gives them nutritional support which can raise their reading level by 30 pts. This is a small investment in these kids. But the right would rather invest the 30 K/head into creating a class of permanent criminals who no one will ever hire and are part of the revolving door of crime/prison so they can support the gun culture to defend them selves against them. We need to fortify urban schools and teach people how to eat a nutritional diet. You can’t teach kids dumbed down by sugar. this takes a more activist approach to solving this problem in a more efficient and cost effective way. Remember it won’t go away by our ignoring it. We all have to get involved so that this population is not a permanent drain on our future resources. I worked public health for 34 yrs in a semi urban area and had a drug program as one of my divisions. We can detox anyone but there is no where from them to go. No one will hire a class A felon. So if you’re arrested at 17 for a minor drug offense you are stigmatized for the rest of your life and we as tax payer will bear the cost of it.

  • Angel Perea

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Yes, compromise is seen as weakness by the extreme minority of Republicans. So the President must move-on beyond and past these clowns to give priority to address Middle Class Americans economic and social concerns!

    • Sand_Cat

      What do you mean they won’t compromise: isn’t giving them everything they want for nothing a “compromise” if you’re a Democrat?

  • Budjob

    If Jesus Christ was alive and a Republican,you couldn’t trust him and you definitely COULD NOT COMPROMISE WITH HIM!!! I absolutely detest Republicans,ALL of them!!!

    • tax payer

      You still believe there is a Santa Claus too.

  • Lisztman


  • Darsan54

    My Dad was against Obama, but he would have never, ever made it off of the farm if he hadn’t lied about his age, enlisted near the end of WWII and used the GI Bill to get a college education. During the 50yr reunion at a local college, I met dozens of people who said their education via the GI Bill was what gave them the opportunity for a better life. But now, many of them have forgotten what lives were like before all that government dependency. Interesting, I am a Boomer, but I know more about being poor and being hungry than those older than me who actually experienced it on a regular (I have been hungry and poor, but never life threatening.) So the Cruzes, Cantors and Tbaggers just don’t know.

  • middleclasstaxpayer

    Something to consider:

    If you can get arrested for hunting or fishing without a license, but not for entering and remaining in the country illegally — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you have to get your parents’ permission to go on a field trip or to take an aspirin in school, but not to get an abortion — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you MUST show your identification to board an airplane, cash a check, buy liquor, or check out a library book and rent a video, but not to vote for who runs the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If the government wants to prevent stable, law-abiding citizens from owning gun magazines that hold more than ten rounds, but gives twenty F-16 fighter jets to the crazy new leaders in Egypt — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If, in the nation’s largest city, you can buy two 16-ounce sodas, but not one 24-ounce soda, because 24-ounces of a sugary drink might make you fat — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If an 80-year-old woman or a three-year-old girl who is confined to a wheelchair can be strip-searched by the TSA at the airport, but a woman in a burka or a hijab is only subject to having her neck and head searched — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If your government believes that the best way to eradicate trillions of dollars of debt is to spend trillions more — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If a seven-year-old boy can be thrown out of school for saying his teacher is “cute,” but hosting a sexual exploration or diversity class in grade school is perfectly acceptable — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If hard work and success are met with higher taxes and more government regulation and intrusion, while not working is rewarded with Food Stamps, WIC checks, Medicaid benefits, subsidized housing, and free cell phones — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If the government’s plan for getting people back to work is to provide incentives for not working, by granting 99 weeks of unemployment checks, without any requirement to prove that gainful employment was diligently sought, but couldn’t be found — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If you pay your mortgage faithfully, denying yourself the newest big-screen TV, while your neighbor buys iPhones, time shares, a wall-sized do-it-all plasma screen TV and new cars, and the government forgives his debt when he defaults on his mortgage — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots.

    If being stripped of your Constitutional right to defend yourself makes you more “safe” according to the government — you might live in a nation that was founded by geniuses but is run by idiots!