What gets Obama's attention:
From John Hielemann's long story in New York magazine (Hope: The Sequel
) on the Obama administration and political team: (emp add)
[January to August of 2011] had been hell for Obama. After the self-described “shellacking” his party suffered in the 2010 midterm elections, the president had sought to find a way to work with Republicans, to reestablish the post-partisan métier that animated his election. “For the first part of the year, he played what was largely an inside game,” says Obama’s longtime counselor David Axelrod. “The ideas being (a) maybe we can reason with the Republicans and come to some rational conclusions, and (b) maybe people really wanted to see cooperation. But that obviously didn’t work.”
Not just obviously, but screamingly so, as evinced by the reckless Republican brinkmanship over the debt ceiling and the collapse of the grand bargain on deficit reduction that Obama labored long to fashion with John Boehner. By the time the president took off for vacation to Martha’s Vineyard, recalls a senior White House official, “he was as frustrated as I’ve ever seen him.” Most irritating to Obama was the portrayal of him, on the right and left alike, as a terminally weak leader. “We found ourselves in the worst possible situation,” says Pfeiffer, “in which Republicans and some Democrats were using the same talking points to describe the president. That’s a moment of great political peril.”
From the first day of his presidency, Republicans:
- Publicly announce they won't work with Obama.
- Don't vote for any of Obama's policies.
- Slow down and obstruct his nominees.
- Violate decades-long political norms.
And with an even more conservative bunch of Republicans due to the 2010 election:
the president had sought to find a way to work with Republicans, to reestablish the post-partisan métier that animated his election
From Heilemann's story, what animated Obama was (a) irritation with being called "weak", or (b) really bad poll numbers.
Obama and his team were deaf to rational, fact-based arguments trying to convince him that this is not a time for compromise, that all moves to reach a deal merely move the Democrats to the right, and it dispirits his side and emboldens the conservatives.
"the post-partisan métier that animated his election" was part of Obama's rhetoric, and maybe he believed it, but for many observers it was seen as a way of softening the image of a black president for anxious voters in 2008. It certainly was not something that should have been driving political strategy when the reality of the situation was demonstrated once he was in office, and repeatedly afterwards.
If what caused Obama to jettison that approach and get feisty was him being called "weak" by the left, that means those Obots telling disgruntled progressives to quit their complaining are wrong. Complaining, especially ad hominem charges of being weak, appear to be what it takes.
So do it.
It is striking how tone deaf Obama has been from the moment of his election in 2008. Out here in CA, I have the potential opportunity, if it's not too close, to vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party. I plan to exercise that vote more likely than not.
I tire of the Obama fans who just keep taking the insults from his administrative advisers from David Axelrod to Jack Lew and beyond. They save their vitriol for folks like me, and are too wimpy to pick on someone important.
As I have said over at TBogg's place, we don't count. We are just punching bags for the corporate Democratic Party elite who hold the power and their minions who control corporate media.
If Obama loses, it will be because the economy is falling downward and the low information voters (misleadingly called 'independents') decide to vote for the non-incumbent. That helped Obama in 2008 and may do him in in 2012.
Either way, I vote for Obama. I don't vote for Obama. No difference in the result. We who have the views of a Michael Harrington have long been removed from the discourse. We survive for free on the web, but it's not anything that people ultimately take seriously.
And the American middle class continues to fall...
Wow. Been hearing about Obama this past few months in the news and in the net. Obama better watch his back and avoid screwing up.