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Thursday, October 27, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — What do you do after hope and change have failed?

This was the question Barack Obama needed to answer in accepting his party’s nomination for a second term Thursday night. Borne into office on the wings of those two words and their promise of a new “post partisan” nation, Obama saw that promise promptly swamped by Republicans who waged a fierce campaign of obstructionism.

Granted, this is not how Mitt Romney remembers it. At the GOP convention in Tampa, he spun a dewy-eyed fable about how Republicans were really, really rooting for the president to succeed but then, gosh darn, he up and disappointed them. But one need only recall Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declaring it his party’s top priority to deny the president a second term to know what a fib that is. Contrary to wishing the president success, Rush Limbaugh, poet laureate of the GOP, said the exact opposite: “I hope he fails.”

So from the beginning, the GOP refused to do. Then, it used the resultant gridlock to blame the president for divisiveness and ineptitude. It was a cynical strategy of legislative malpractice that left Obama looking not unlike Peter Parker pre-spider bite, a hapless nebbish figuratively shoved into his locker, metaphorically robbed of his lunch money.

Thursday’s speech, then, was the coming-out party for the Obama 2.0 that has emerged over the last year, the one who no longer begs the GOP to play nice, the one who takes unilateral action, the one who stands up a little more readily for what he believes, and is not above the occasional cheap shot. It was not the best speech of the convention — Michelle Obama gave that. It was not the best argument for a second term. Bill Clinton made that. But it was a feisty, combative address — a metric of how the man who promised hope and change has, himself, been changed.

Obama needled the opposition at every turn and drew repeated lines in the sand: “I refuse to….” “I will not….” Obama even implicitly rebuked the patron saint of Republicanism, Ronald Reagan (peace be unto him) who famously said, “Government is not the solution to the problem. Government is the problem.”

Replied the 44th president to the 40th: “We don’t think the government can solve all of our problems, but we don’t think the government is the source of all of our problems any more than our welfare recipients or corporations or unions or immigrants or gays or any other group we’re told to blame for our troubles.”

  • Has anyone considered the dichotomy of a message that promotes fiscal restraint and more tax breaks for the wealthy to achieve economic growth; and a tax plan that calls for the elimination of tax deductions that benefit mostly the middle class to offset losses in revenues? I am a firm believer that the key to sustainable economic growth and low unemployment is a robust and prosperous private sector, but I also believe that government has a role in stimulating the economy during difficult times and that it is the ideal vehicle to provide the social programs we need to maintain our standard of living. In my humble opinion, the keys to stimulate a consumer oriented economy such as ours include (1) investments in infrastructure, modernization, R&D and education; (2) tax breaks for the middle class and small businesses; (3) cautious but meaningful spending reductions, (4) lowering interest rates and making credit available to stimulate investment, (5) keeping inflation under control, and (6) finding ways to restore consumer confidence. Tax breaks for the wealthy do not change their investment portfolio or strategies. A $10 million tax break is an accounting annoyance and, often, an embarrassment for most billionaires; a middle class person sees a $1,000 tax reduction as the break they need to afford a new car, replace an old air conditioner, or help pay for their child’s college tuition.
    Mitt Romney, and most Republicans, believe the key to sustainable growth, low unemployment and prosperity depends on our willingness to give more tax breaks to those who have not done anything to strengthen our economy, lower unemployment, or share their bounty with the rest of us since they got the last round of tax breaks. In an effort to project an image of fiscal restraint, Romney’s plan calls for the tax breaks to be revenue neutral. To achieve that laudable goal he proposes an approach that not even the Koch brother have the courage to suggest; Mitt proposes the elimination of tax deductions that benefit, almost exclusively, the middle class to offset the loss of revenues derived from his proposed tax break to the upper 1% of our population. It is not too hard to imagine which deductions will be thrown overboard if Mitt is elected. You can bet the mortgage deduction, college and healthcare expenses, charity and probably the “Married Filing Jointly” will come to an abrupt end. Can you imagine what that would do to most middle class American families? Can anyone imagine what that would do to the real estate and construction industries, to charitable institutions, to colleges and low income students, and to our economy at large? Instead of sustainable and stable economic growth and low unemployment Mitt’s tax plan would create havoc and would destroy our economic model.
    Incredibly, most middle class Republicans continue to support an economic strategy that has been tried before and failed, and that this time includes clauses that would adversely affect 99% of Americans, including themselves. Is their obtuse position based on the belief that there is a chance trickle down may work this time, do they see opportunities that elude the rest of us, are ideology and intolerance so powerful that they are willing to sacrifice their well being and the future of our country to remove a man they hate from the White House, or are they just plain dumb?

  • ykhalim

    Why We Have “No Jobs”
    The Republican/Tea Party’s first priority was to make sure President Obama was a one term president. So, they undermined, subverted, and sabotaged the US economy whenever they could to destroy jobs and prevent job creation.
    They are responsible for the downgrade in the credit rating of the USA – which is treason!
    They wrecked the USA economy, institutions, and world standing from 2001 to 2009, and their actions threatened the world economy. They conducted two wars, and implemented Medicare- Part D, and two tax cuts off-the-books. They added most of the trillions of dollars to the national debt – which they now blame on President Obama.
    They pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist, the NRA, & Wall Street – and their policies favor the rich and super rich.
    They say that Obama created no jobs, when 4.5-million jobs have been created under his presidency. Also, the Republicans-traitors in the Senate and House have been sabotaging, undermining, and trying to destroy the economy with their dastardly deeds of omission and commission.
    Republicans and the Tea Party have been like a ball-and-chain tied to Obama’s leg (and America’s leg) preventing Obama and the USA economy from improving and moving forward – which sabotages the USA economy: and is treason!
    That’s why we have no jobs.

    • @ykhalim With your permission i would like to re post your comment on FB giving you credit of course. This totally reflect whats going on right now and i could not have said it any better. Well done!

    • sigrid28

      Hope and change: easy to initiate and sustain through faith, spread effortlessly.

      Stand and fight: very tough to accept, complicated to strategize effectively, and maybe not enough time to carry through, especially on the scale of an entire country.

      Like planting land mines in pianos and statues, as did the Axis powers in Italy in World War II (think of scenes from “The English Patient”), the Republican enemies of Obama’s second term have spread their hostility on a local level via Alec and TruetheVote. In Iowa, Florida, and Ohio, Republican stand-ins now find it is an “emergency” to scour the registration rolls for fraud. In Florida, the ballot is ten pages long, each to be fed through a scanner. In Iowa, Republicans have had counties send out officious looking duplicate registration cards, often not even required to vote, which have the effect of confusing voters. On the top of these cards it says in bold: Voter Information and Check-in. Add to this the strategy of lying. Add to this the strategy of carpet bombing the airways.

      How are Democrats manning the barricades? In Iowa, the local, clublike Democrats work at cross purposes against Obama for America workers (not locals), who told me knowing about TruetheVote was above their pay grade. Finding it impossible to do anything substantive to get out the vote with either of these, I was delighted to find the national Barack Obama website, through which I could make calls. It cut me off after ten calls the first time I called, and after one the second time. Of these eleven calls, only one person answered the phone, and he said he was voting for Romney. How to stand and fight with such dysfunctional organization?

      Now, I find even formerly neutral television coverage from ABC and CNN, as well as AP, seems to be flacking for Republican lies under the guise of “fact checking.” A few reporters are working the follow-up questions needed to reveal Romney-Ryan fabrications, and even a few horrified Republican spokespersons have come forward on this score. Is this stand and fight mode when it comes to preaching “Truth to the face of Falsehood” (Melville’s words), or just shadow boxing by television personalities?

      As for the ads, designed and set forth by Obama’s crack marketing operation, I confess I am incompetent to judge. I just hope they are doing a better job than the guys on the ground and in the truth posse.

      As for how Obama and Biden must debate, I point to the fine martial art of Aikido. They must extend the hand, flex the wrist, step back, and let their opponent fall from the imbalance of his own impossible position (read: greed agenda and mendacity). Now, harder for Obama and Biden than executing the move that lets gravity do its work, they must not extend a hand to help either of their opponents get back up. Obama and Biden must remain calm and superior, even friendly, yet hesitant to insult their opponent by offering to help, as Romney and Ryan fall down, over and over again. Voters need to learn the hard lesson that hate cannot win in the beginning, in the end, or anywhere in between. The audience must see that the compassion of those who govern MUST and WILL stop where the lives and well-being of citizens are threatened. That is stand and fight.

    • marriea

      Boy, did you say a mouthful… truthful words have been spoken….but white American ain’t hearing it because they think that the kings will reward them….Yeah Right

  • Ed

    What happened to “Hope and Change”? The repubs have done their best to crush our hopes and have blocked every change. They intend to destroy america if necessary.

  • clarenceswinney

    “ President Obama could rightly claim that if he had been
    able to sign into law a jobs plan along the lines of what the
    House Progressive Caucus has proposed for the past two years
    we would likely see two million more people employed today.”

    President Obama sent to Congress the American Jobs Act, estimated by experts to create 1.3 Million jobs in 2012 and 800,000 in 2013. The bill was filibustered by a united Republican minority in the Senate; none (not even one) would cast one of the 60 votes needed to allow the legislation to go forward to full debate and an up-or-down vote. House Republicans kept a companion bill from even reaching the floor in that body.

    Great jobs creation could have occurred from job proposals in the Caucus “People’s Budget” in 2011 and “Budget For All” in 2012. VP Candidate Paul Ryan was a key in opposition to those bills.

    These facts should be known by the voters before they vote. Democrats fail if they do not use these horrid facts to reveal the “true” character of Republicans in today’s Congress.
    The do not deserve re-election.
    clarence swinnney

  • clarenceswinney

    Obama is learning how to attack in course from Clinton
    Facts-Numbers not just words

  • viva !! Obama…Cabrones!!!!…ajuaaaaaaaaaaa

  • Melvin Chatman

    WARNING: “SPINAL SITING” in the Democrats!
    That “Stem Cell” stuff just may work!

  • According to the BBC Yemeni forces killed Said al-Shihri, the number 2 Al Qaeda leader in the Arabian Peninsula. At this rate they are going to have to select virtual leaders…couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of thugs.

  • I am so happy to read that people are finally opening there eyes and seeing the truth in what has been going on in America. these comments reminds me that there is a God that see and know and at the right time he will open up the eyes of the people . the reason we have no jobs is not because of president Obama, but the very rich that could provide jobs in this country, but took them over seas so that they could pay very little for labor and make big profit, billions of dollars that they can put in over seas banks and pay no tax on. And to make things worst sometime their tax return gets stolen.