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Obama as incompetent complainer

President Obama's press conference the day after the great loss was revealing, and also unimpressive.  This president--the most liberal ever elected--did not defend his policies, but rather made excuses and talked about how he should have been a better marketer.  He certainly did not admit that the shellacking he took had anything to do with the fact the the American disagreed with his principles and policies!  At one point he said that maybe the health care legislation could be "tweaked", but he didn't want to "relitigate arguments" (what a silly courtroom term to use in this context!) over its central elements.  So much for his ability to compromise.  At one point he implied that he should have better explained to the American people that the economic crisis forced him to expand the size of government, but he really wasn't doing it on principle.  Please, that's embarassing.  Everyone remembers Rahm Emmanuel's comment that the economic crisis allowed progressives a great opportunity "to do things you could not do before,"  but they assumed the argument had been out there for almost a century!   Obama was just the man--with his massive intellect and cool demeanor and great rhetorical skills--to take advantage of this crisis and persuade the people to lurch left. He pushed the policies through, but didn't persuade.  And there is the crux, the people did not like the enormous expansion of government that followed; they were not persuaded. That's the short of it, and he still doesn't get it.  Good for Boehner and his Republicans.
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Excellent post, and something I've noticed throughout the election season. Do you think he's really that obtuse that he really thinks it's a matter of selling/marketing his programs, or is he unwilling to admit that people just don't like big government for some reason? I think his progressive vision believes, "If people would only understand and were more enlightened and educated, they would accept and praise what I am doing." He really doesn't seem to understand why opposition exists.

Tony, In a way that's too difficult to answer....I think he really buys into the Progressive vision that you mention and that explains why he doesn't understand opposition and thinks partisanship is a great evil.

A link to commentary plus the whole transcript from the press conference can be found here (on Daily Kos)--amusing to see, also, that in addition to believing they did not market well, they also believe that they did not move fast enough!

I thought he acted stupidly with the "relitigate arguments" in regard to the EPA and GHGs. He contended that the EPA was under "court order" to control GSGs, while in fact the finding is that GHGs fall under the "Clean Air Act" and the EPA should consider enforcement, which, with any federal agency, is a opening for mischief.

A little market research might have saved our presidential salesman a whole lot of political grief. Even now, wouldn't it be nice if he took a break from his agenda and looked at the market for his ideas? You cannot sell something people don't want. That he and his Democratic Congress could not put together a coherent piece of legislation and yet were going to force us to buy it -- inchoate and ugly as it was -- that was most unpersuasive of all. Those guys did not look like experts, they looked like a clownish demolition team and not just with the health care legislation.

How was he not trying to persuade us to buy all the "junk" he was selling over the whole of his presidency? The guy never shuts up. He is talking at the American people all the time. There are just some things no one should buy. Those are the things he keeps pushing. His variety of non-partisanship is one of those things: the shut-up-we-won version. Ah, I found the proverb I wanted: "He that answereth before he heareth sheweth himself to be a fool, and worthy of confusion."

He thought there were arguments before?

He's all style and coolness, in denial about life/the universe/everything. I don't buy the conspiracy theories about his 'masters', or even his birth cert. They're unnecessary. Because, unfortunately, the large majority of the American people are likewise in denial. How else would they stand for, e.g., the grossly unConstitutional ponzi scheme of Social Security to run for lo these last 8 decades? We have met the enemy and it is us. If we won't follow our own Constitution, then we'll follow some fool like Obama.

Maybe we're seeing the beginning of a resurgence of adherence to the Constitution. Maybe someday someone like Rand Paul will be able to actually articulate the fact, which I'm sure he well knows but was too savvy to say it out loud during the campaign, that SS is unConstitutional, as well as oh maybe 90% of what the Fed Gov't does these days, and we should be debating how to most equitably end it, not how to fix it.

What happened to the old reverence (2003- Jan. 2009), the sacred rule not to attack The President during a time of war (and here I speak of Iraq and Afghanistan, not The Culture War) ??

Apparently, the president has given an interview with 60 Minutes about how he failed in his "leadership style" to "persuade the people" about how great his policies were rather than acknowledging either their failure or the fact that a significant portion of the American people did not like the big government/big debt policies. Headline from AP: "President Barack Obama is acknowledging in the wake of this week's election rout that he hasn't been able to successfully promote his economic-rescue message to anxious Americans."

I'll tell you what, Craig, I won't criticize President Obama in time of war when he acknowledges that he's fighting a "War on Terror." Deal?

The drones over Pakistan and the thousands of additional troops to Afghanistan weren't acknowledgement enough? (This is about you following the FoxNation fixation on the specific phrase, isn't it??)


Ah yes, Kate, the Muslims have had their hearts hardened by... Obama. I suppose the only soft spot left in them (when those homicidal monsters even have such a thing!!!) is that for George W. Bush, who let his actions of peace and love in the Muslim world speak for themselves.

Actually, there's a kernel of truth there (in the premise). When one has no expectations they can't be disappointed, but when they have a sliver of hope, that creates room for disillusionment and worse.

Hope toward what state of the world?

Hope for the return of the caliphate. That's just what the Kenyan-in-Chief's going to give them.

No, what's odd is a refusal to call a war on terror a war on terror. What's odd is having a postmodern presidency. What's odd is just how obtuse you are in not recognizing just how much conservatives criticized George Bush while he was president over federal intrusion into the private economy, education, and society just as they are doing under President Obama in a time of war. Your feeble attempts at pointing out "contradictions" come to nothing. I guess I'll await another of your off-topic comments about Keith Olbermann . . .

Craig, you were criticizing Tony Williams' suggestion that Obama had declared a non-war with terror as a "Foxnation fixation" and it isn't -- unless the Christian Science Monitor is now in cahoots with Fox News. I thought he had a good point and had just seen that and have seen other articles with the same interpretation of or wonderment at Obama's rhetorical spins -- if he says we are not a nation at war, then are we free to criticize him? Or must we shut up, Craig?

I've often found myself wondering -- if Craig didn't exist on this blog, would NLT have to invent him? Such a lightening rod! And for all that, so very lame!

Keep up the great work, Craig. Conservativism is (alas) usually at it's best when on the defensive.

Kate - Your logic is off; just because FoxNation has had a particular fixation on Obama's rhetoric regarding how he approaches utilizing military and other resources to defeating terrorists (and keep that in mind, one can be just as committed to defeating terrorism without focusing on the military, since terrorists don't work as military units), that doesn't mean that other conservatives haven't pushed the same concern. It's just that Fox has focused on it a great deal. In the case of your link, we get an opinion piece which was originally published in Irving Kristol's National Interest journal. The CSM is hardly "in cahoots with FoxNews" just because they published it; remember, the biggest critique of Fox is that they blur the line between facts and opinion (and entertainment) all the while making the ridiculous claim that they do no such thing. The CSM just published it as an opinion - fine with me.

The silliest thing is just that Muslims would harden their hearts (and thus be inspired to wreak havoc of various sorts) only now, because of Obama. Again, the only way this makes a shred of sense is if we take into account the hope-followed-by-disillusionment factor, based on the chasm between Obama's campaign rhetoric (although even that included talk of bombing Pakistan, so it's a stretch) and his post-election actions in regard to a less aggressive approach to the Muslim world (as in, not invading and bombing their countries and suchlike).

I found this to be the best part of the article:

"When looking beyond the nuanced language and appealing promises, what Muslims around the world see is an administration that has ramped up the war in Afghanistan; is killing scores of Muslim civilians with drone strikes; continues to hold more than 1,000 Muslim detainees in Guantánamo, Bagram, and other prisons; and maintains seemingly unconditional support of Israel."

[and here comes the punchline - the next sentence is...]

"This is not to critique these policies, but to point out that they do not match the raised expectations of the Muslim world and have only muddled Obama's oft-stated goal of turning Muslims toward America and away from extremist movements."

Oh yeah, heaven forbid that we critique the policy of killing civilians via drone strikes.

The thrust of his piece is basically that Obama should work harder to keep people frightened and not be afraid to tap into the bigotries at the root of the Islamophobia in some segments of the American populace - it's a good strategy.

As even Gottlieb admits, Obama has been "maintaining nearly all of Bush's hard-line tactics" in actually fighting terrorism. And instead of the right thanking him for that (what happened to him helping terrorists in their next attack?), they instead chose to get their panties in a bunch over the phrase "war on terror." It's ridiculous.

"if he says we are not a nation at war, then are we free to criticize him? Or must we shut up, Craig?"

Thanks for going back to my original point (which was only facetious, in pointing out the bankruptcy of the right's scoldings of those criticizing GWB "in time of war"). Just as I did then, I not only think you have the right to criticize the POTUS in a time of (actual or contrived) war, I even encourage you to utilize that right. By all means, make that right mean something.

That doesn't mean that your expressed views will be exempt from rebuttal, debunking when they are weak on the facts, or scathing critiques.

Redwald - My being a "lightening" rod is just my attempt to bring some levity to all the vitriolic politics.

As I said, I needn't have stopped with that article. I simply never think of CSM as being right-wing, which I thought would offer validity for you.

As to Fox News being biased and saying or even thinking it is not, I ask for what feels like the hundredth time: SO WHAT? You could say the same thing of every news media outlet in America and the world. Who do you find unbiased, currently? Who is "fair and balanced" in ways Fox News is not? Fox hires liberal commentators -- Juan Williams is just the latest example. Who of the liberal media hire conservatives?

"This is not to critique these policies, but to point out that they do not match the raised expectations of the Muslim world and have only muddled Obama's oft-stated goal of turning Muslims toward America and away from extremist movements."

Creating confusion and sending mixed messages leaves our allies in the Muslim world without clarity as to our intent and reliability. That seems like a bad idea to me, but what do I know? I am a conservative.

Thank you for encouraging us to criticize the president no matter what. I think Obama is an incompetent complainer, too. Debunk that, please.

we get an opinion piece which was originally published in Irving Kristol's National Interest journal.

Irving Kristol founded The National Interest some 25 years ago. It was conveyed to the Nixon Center seven years ago at the time Mr. Kristol retired and closed his other quarterly, The Public Interest. Irving Kristol had, during the last 3d of his career, a somewhat different take on foreign affairs than did his son. Among the Nixon Center's trustees and administration are Henry Kissinger and Dmitri SImes; among the frequent contributors to The National Interest is Andrew Bacevich.

just my attempt to bring some levity to all the vitriolic politics.

We often do not see ourselves as others do.

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