February 24, 2010

David Axelrod "would love to live in a world where the president could snap his fingers or even twist arms and make change happen..."

So, an autocracy? That would be swell?
...but in this great democracy of ours, that’s not the way it is.
Damn! This terrible democracy. Oops, I mean this great democracy of ours.

That's from a NYT article by Sheryl Gay Stolberg that's mostly about Barack Obama's lack of skill in getting members of Congress to do what he wants. It begins with a description of a January 15th meeting in the White House, in which Obama was "playing 'marriage counselor'" with various members of Congress. Supposedly, "he coaxed, cajoled and prodded them," but in the end people, including Obama, were frustrated and angry. Stolberg then analyzes Obama's ability:
Ever since his days as a young community organizer in Chicago, Mr. Obama has held fast to the belief that by listening carefully and appealing to reason he can bring people together to get results, an approach that in Washington has often come up short.
He's dealing with members of Congress, not local Chicago people. Why would his listen-and-reason approach translate easily to this new environment? Maybe he should have taken a little time to work in the Senate and get to know its ways and its characters before deciding he was ready to be President.
Mr. Obama has not been the sort to bludgeon his party into following his lead or to intimidate reluctant legislators. And while he has often succeeded by relying on Democratic leaders in Congress to do his bidding — the House and Senate, after all, both passed versions of the health legislation last year — it is not clear whether his gentle, consensus-building style will be enough.
Stolberg tries to burnish the Obama image, but read between the lines: The point there is that he hasn't led. Stolberg quotes Representative Louise M. Slaughter, a New York Democrat: “If you are asking me if he dominates the room, I would have to say no.”
But his defenders and some historians say that perhaps more than any modern president since Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. Obama has been aggressive in trying to work his will with Congress. During his 13-month-old presidency, he has had countless one-on-one meetings with lawmakers — a technique that some scholars and strategists say evokes memories of Johnson...
But he's not much like Johnson. Johnson was quite a different sort of character, but he'd developed his skills by operating in the Senate for 12 years.
Members of Congress do not find him intimidating; they are more apt, said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, to view him as “a friend.”...

“He always starts off with a policy argument, making the intellectual case for his point of view,” [Senator Evan] Bayh said. “Secondarily to that, there might be a discussion of some of the political ramifications, but he always starts off with, ‘Look, this is why I think this is right for the country, and I respect your point of view, I know where you are coming from, but here’s why I think we need to do it this way. Can you help me?’ ”
And why should that be enough? Do a ritual of listening and calmly laying out reasons, then tell people — nicely! — what you'd "need" them to do. I guess the members of Congress don't take orders, even if the President is nice and friendly and even if it worked in Chicago. They really do represent people in this great democracy of ours, and they quite properly stand their ground in the face of the President's ambition. It's called separation of powers.

***

A reading for the day. From The Federalist Papers, Number 51:
But the great security against a gradual concentration of the several powers in the same department, consists in giving to those who administer each department the necessary constitutional means and personal motives to resist encroachments of the others. The provision for defense must in this, as in all other cases, be made commensurate to the danger of attack. Ambition must be made to counteract ambition. The interest of the man must be connected with the constitutional rights of the place. It may be a reflection on human nature, that such devices should be necessary to control the abuses of government. But what is government itself, but the greatest of all reflections on human nature? If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. In framing a government which is to be administered by men over men, the great difficulty lies in this: you must first enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place oblige it to control itself.

83 comments:

jpr9954 said...

Given that Obama spent most of his time in the Senate running for President, I don't think it is any wonder that he hasn't mastered the skills necessary to move legislation. And I thank God for that every day!

gardeningasylum said...

Okay, so Obama's problem is he's too reasonable? Look at his history - he's never brokered a deal,solved a problem, led a real world organization. His idea of leading is giving speeches restating his demands.

Jason said...

Scratch a libtard, you'll find a fascist.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AllenS said...

Presently, Obama can snap his fingers, and a Chevy will be built. Soon enough, he'll be able to snap his fingers and your tonsils will be gone. Give him time.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

The liberal willingness to turn themselves over to tyranny is frightening. Would the writer have wanted to live in a world where George Bush could have had these powers? Why do they never understand that it works both ways?

If men were angels, we would need no government. Liberals live in a fantasy world of what they believe "should" be.

- Lyssa

jayne_cobb said...

AllenS,

Sadly my tonsils were stolen by my surgeon and sold on the black market.

TRO said...

These arrogant fucks just can't accept that the United States of America isn't Chicago (politics-wise that is).

Jason is correct, they are fascists. Fortunately for America they are incompetent fascists.

TRO said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Maguro said...

Even in Chicago, what did Barry ever accomplish, other than getting himself a good deal on a house? His big issue was getting asbestos out of a housing project, and that never went anywhere.

He simply has no idea how to work with other politicians to get things done, and thank God for that. If he were as adept as Johnson we'd truly be fucked.

oldirishpig said...

I'm sorry, but where did you get the idea that being 'nice and friendly' was any more effective in Chicago than DC? 'Business' is done in Chicago on the basis of who owes what to whom and can they make it stick... Remember, Obama was a failure as a community organizer. It wasn't until he became some local politician's apprentice that he began to achieve 'success' (defined locally as moving up the electoral ladder, not necessarily legislating)but I see no signs he held any chits in the game. The one and only question in Chicago politics is, was and always will be, "Who sent ya?". Who ever got a job or a city/state contract through Obama?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

When people first started talking about Obama as a serious contender for the presidency, I laughed. I said, "sure, go for it," that Americans would take one look at the young, young-looking, clumsy and inexperienced man and write him off as a precocious child trying to play grown-up.

Clearly, I was wrong. But not by as much as I thought. Congress is doing just that. Good.

- Lyssa

MadisonMan said...

Who was the last competent politician?

Jason said...

In the Presidency? Bush. Clinton. Reagan. Bush I was a competent executive, but not so much a politician, though he did build an extraordinary coalition for the Kuwait war.

Bush II's coalition was larger, broader, and even more extraordinary, but he never got the credit for it.

Jason said...

Rahm said "Everyone likes the President to twist arms, unless it's their arm being twisted."

Who is this fucker? Goebbels?

AllenS said...

Jane--

My tonsils were removed at a place in St. Paul, MN called Anchor Hospital when I was a kid. At least I got some ice cream out of the deal.

Dave said...

'If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator.'

W.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I guess we're now seeing his community organizing skills left something to be desired too.

Quayle said...

This is Axelrod trying to keep his job in the WH.

Can you imagine the CYA activities going on over there.

I'd be surprised if they spend 40% of their actually doing real work.

AJ Lynch said...

When Obama was a community organizer, he mainly spoke with others who tended to think just like Obama. Based on these far left circle jerks, Obama became convinced he was the "Great Persuader"! Too funny.

TRO said...

"If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

Bush was joking and everyone knew it. Does anyone think Axelrod was joking?

And there have been a few incompetent presidents. The most recent was Carter, someone Barry seems intent on surpassing.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Who was the last competent politician?

That's rather easy MadMan. Clinton for starters. I think he's a buffoon but was smart enough to shelve his loony bin liberal beliefs and govern as a centrist. Reagan, Bush II. Regardless of what one may think of their policies, they knew how to prioritize at least and were able to get things done on a bi-partisan basis.

Obama had a full year of massive Congressional majorities and still couldn't get his bill passed. That's incompetent personified.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Dave, there's a heck of a big difference between "easier" and "would love to live in a world where."

If you read W's
full statement there
you'll see that he was clearly acknowledging that he was not a dictator, and stated "that's OK".

Hoosier Daddy said...

The most recent was Carter, someone Barry seems intent on surpassing.

Carter's downfall, it can be argued was Iran coupled with a stagnant economy. The pessimist in me foresees a repeat of history with a stagnant economy in 2012 and Iran detonating their first nuclear warhead.

You heard it here.

CDid said...

For some reason, this reminds me of a piece Peggy Noonan wrote for the WSJ on January 28th:

"James Baker, that shrewd and knowing man, never, as Ronald Reagan’s chief of staff, allowed his president to muck about with congressmen, including those of his own party. A president has stature and must be held apart from Congress critters. He can meet with them privately, in the Oval Office. There, once, a Republican senator who’d announced opposition to a bill important to the president tried to claim his overall loyalty: 'Mr. President, you know I’d jump out of a plane for you if you asked, but—'

'Jump,' said Reagan. The senator, caught, gave in.

That’s how you treat them. You don’t let them blur your picture and make you more common. You don’t let them call the big shots."

Quayle said...

The Incredible Shrinking President.

MayBee said...

And why should that be enough? Do a ritual of listening and calmly laying out reasons, then tell people — nicely! — what you'd "need" them to do.

This worked for Obama when he was speaking with people who basically agreed with him anyway.
As others have mentioned, as a Community Organizer and State Senator, whatever deals he made either didn't have follow through, or they had someone like Tony Rezko providing muscle for him.

Barack Obama has never done a job without the path already being cleared for him. From the way Tribe escorted him through Harvard Law, to Axelrod getting opponents' divorce records released in his US Senate Race, to the back-stabbing Senators conspiring against Hillary Clinton.

And now he's the most powerful man in the world, and he has no experience in forging a path, and he doesn't know what to do with real opposition.

traditionalguy said...

Who elected Axelrod? Does he think he is Merlin the Magician of elections that now wants to rule through his creation, the Boy King Barak?

Joan said...

“If the president weren’t tough, if the president weren’t committed, if the president didn’t believe that this was an imperative for the future of American families, businesses and the sustainability of our budget, this thing would have been dead six months ago,” David Axelrod, Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, said in an interview.

As my 11-year-old would say, OMG. It wasn't that long ago and already they've forgotten the tortured history of health care reform. Six months ago was August, and we were only 7 months into Obama's term... and it is, effectively, when "health care reform" died because Reid promised to push it through before the August recess and failed. Then they scrambled around for 4 months while opposition to the bill grew until they were able to gin something up that would pass on Christmas Eve.

If they were living in the real world, they would have let it die in August!

I didn't have high hopes for Obama because of his inexperience and his lack of an organization, but so far it's much worse than I expected; he has surrounded himself with incompetent fools. I guess we just got lucky.

Fred4Pres said...

Who voted for these jokers?

Oh yeah, you did Ann.

To be fair, there are GOP members who think the same crap.

TMink said...

Comparing Obama to Johnson is absurd. Obama is Johnson in his dreams! Johnson got things done, something that our current president could not manage even with majorities in both houses.

Trey

slarrow said...

President Obama's also always suffered from the more-power fantasy. At every level where he met resistance and failure, he seems to have convinced himself that he simply didn't have enough power to get things done. The fault wasn't in him but in his position, so he'd go look for a higher position.

Now, as MayBee astutely points out, there's no place higher to go, he's got the most powerful position in the world, and he still can't get it done. It'll be interesting to see if he ever realizes that the fault lies not in the stars but himself. Would be nice, but it hasn't happened yet.

garage mahal said...

Back in the real world, unemployment is way down, stocks way up, and Taliban captures surpass in one year the previous eight.

Big Mike said...

Scratch a lib[eral], you'll find a fascist.

@Jason, did Jonah Goldberg pay you to post that?

Jason said...

No, the term is libtard, not liberal. They are not the same thing.

And I was saying that long before Jonah Goldberg.

lyssalovelyredhead said...

Garage, when did unemployment go way down? (BTW, I do give kudos to the president on Taliban captures; he's been worse than I expected on most things, but better than my very low expectations on the war effort).

Either way, what does any of that have to do with Althouse's post?

former law student said...

Why would his listen-and-reason approach translate easily to this new environment?

Why wouldn't an approach that worked with the most talented of Harvard Law students, with the poorest of Chicago public housing residents, and with the often fractious Illinois state legislature, work with the US Congress?

Are they that unreasonble and unwilling to listen?

From the Fall 2008, HLS Bulletin: Obama displayed other traits, besides eloquence, that would define his success as a presidential candidate.

“You could see many of his attributes, his approach to politics and his ability to bring people together back then,” says Michael Froman ’91, who worked with Obama on the Law Review.

As a campus leader, he successfully navigated the fractious political disputes raging on campus.

By 1991, student protestors demanding that the school hire more black faculty had staged sit-ins inside the dean’s office and filed a lawsuit alleging discrimination.

Obama spoke at one protest rally but largely preferred to stay behind the scenes and lead by example, recalls one of the protest leaders, Keith Boykin ’92.

Obama opted against taking sides in the ideological disputes that often divided the politically polarized Law Review staff, casting himself instead as a mediator and conciliator.

That approach earned the enduring respect of Law Review members, including those not necessarily inclined to agree with his political views today.

“He tended not to enter these debates and disputes but rather bring people together and forge compromises,” says Bradford Berenson ’91, who was among the relatively small number of conservatives on the Law Review staff.

Big Mike said...

@garage, in the real world the gains in unemployment do not come from employers hiring but from people giving up and no longer looking for work.

David said...

Presidents come and go; Congress is forever.

Actually, one thing the Obama Presidency (and the Obama is like Bush meme, in particular) proves is that Congress and the Presidency are institutions with their own institutional interests. Presidents always believe in a more powerful presidency; Congress always believes in its prerogatives.

MayBee said...

fls-
I think the excerpt you posted sums up Obama and his successes, such as they were, very well.

“He tended not to enter these debates and disputes but rather bring people together and forge compromises,” says Bradford Berenson ’91, who was among the relatively small number of conservatives on the Law Review staff.

Imagine the kind of important actions the Harvard Law Review undertook. And yet, even then, Obama let people forge their own compromises!

Paul Zrimsek said...

What Garbage means is that unemployment has gone down from 7.7% (1/09) to 9.7% (1/10).

traditionalguy said...

Query: How does an American Oresident gain more power. Lincoln did it by declaring that since he was fighting an insurrection, that the Court and Congress had to step aside and let him finish the fight. Hmmm? Does Barak and the Ax-man see an insurrection? They are certainly imagining one exists among insane unemployed and the Tea Party Nuts back talking the govrnment.

AllenS said...

unemployment is way down
Not where I live.

stocks way up
The stock market is up, but the return on the investment is way down.

Other than that, yeah, everything is great. More war!

garage mahal said...

@garage, in the real world the gains in unemployment do not come from employers hiring but from people giving up and no longer looking for work

Really? Moodys, IHS, Global Insight, Economy.com, Forbes, and the CBO disagree with you.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What Garbage means is that unemployment has gone down from 7.7% (1/09) to 9.7% (1/10).

No garage is quite correct that unemployment is down.

If you work in the Federal government.

garage mahal said...

Who to believe who to believe, wingnut blogs or financial analysts. Hmm. Maybe the 100+ Republicans quietly writing to the federal government for stimulus money for jobs programs back home ?

MadisonMan said...

No garage is quite correct that unemployment is down.

If you work in the Federal government.

I am curious. I know that the Federal Workforce absolutely exploded in size under Bush II. Is that expansion ongoing?

And I agree with some of the answers given re: Competent Politicians. My question should have been: When was the last time a politician was thought competent while in office?

Michael said...

Garage: Don't depend on analysts, financial publications or "wingnut" (oh so painful to have to see otherwise serious people make themselves look stupid using that dated sophomoric term) blogs, depend on the U.S. govt. statistics. The unemployment rate is down from above 10% to 9.7%. Stocks are indeed up from their lows but down from their highs. The 9.7% does not include people who have given up looking or people who are in "jobs" that are entirely commission dependent for income. This latter group may well be "employed" but they are earning nothing. The Government sector has suffered no declines in employment during this horrible recession.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I am curious. I know that the Federal Workforce absolutely exploded in size under Bush II. Is that expansion ongoing?

I'd say that $3 trillion Federal budget is compelling evidence it is, yes.

traditionalguy said...

Garage...The true unemployment rate is close to 20%. That is not funny like Tree Rings and hockey stick graphs from AGW fantasy land. It is a real crisis. If you eat food, I would that you suggest store some away. The entire USA will look like Greater Detroit in a year or two on the current road we are travelling on, and the inflation of all prices has only just begun while the purchasing power of 20% of the citizens is gone with the wind in a jobless recovery.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I know that the Federal Workforce absolutely exploded in size under Bush II.

That's more than OPM seems to know.

Joan said...

That chart is not complete. According to USA Today, the Feds are adding 10,000 jobs per month.

There's a graph of this somewhere, just having a hard time finding it now.

sunsong said...

Interesting post. I remember Barone writing about how hard it is get anything done in America. I think he was writing about drilling and energy at the time. We have a lot of ways of slowing down or stopping change.

One of society's purposes is to provide order (law and order) and once they reach a point where their highest interest is in maintaining their power - rather than serving the people - change becomes near impossible.

My view is that the best thing that could happen in November is that incumbents of both parties lose - big time! Very big time.

edutcher said...

The Chicago Way is that you snap a finger and guys like Axelrod and Tippytoes call out the enforcers. It was also the Li'l Rock Way with the FOBs. In DC, they aren't the only big fish in the pond and it drives the closet fascists up the wall. oldirishpig and gardeningasylum hit it on the head.

Jason said...

In the Presidency? Bush. Clinton. Reagan. Bush I was a competent executive, but not so much a politician, though he did build an extraordinary coalition for the Kuwait war.

Bush I was terrible domestically and Willie was tone-deaf and arrogant without Morris to guide him. Reagan, of course, had an excellent foil in Tip O'Neill, but he still had to maneuver bills through a Demo-controlled House

former law student said...

Why would his listen-and-reason approach translate easily to this new environment?

Why wouldn't an approach that worked with the most talented of Harvard Law students, with the poorest of Chicago public housing residents, and with the often fractious Illinois state legislature, work with the US Congress?


Barry voted 'present' most of the time in the State Senate and he was a disaster, as oldirishpig notes, community organizing (Altgeld Gardens ring a bell?). As for Haavahd Law, they wouldn't dare deny The Messiah, that would be raaacist.

MadisonMan said...

Re: OPM data. That's a chart I hadn't seen before. Yet I remember many discussions here over the past 5 years about how Government Size under Bush did jump by leaps and bounds. So I wonder who is right?

OPM does show a nice decrease in Fed Employees under Clinton. I'm not sure I believe that.

Montagne Montaigne said...

How dare you invoke the separation of powers while at the same time arguing that Obama is weak! What utter blather and baffling thinking!

Respect for separation of powers is why you keep saying that Obama is weak .

Can you at least get your criticism straight?

Montagne Montaigne said...

Either Obama is a wuss or it's "the Chicago Way" but it can't be BOTH.

Florida said...

"The Chicago Way is that you snap a finger and guys like Axelrod and Tippytoes call out the enforcers."

This is the real truth.

Obama fucked up when he parted ways with his friend - the domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

When Obama was in Chicago and threatened you in that way he does, you know ... while smiling at you ... he always had a credible person in the room to back up the smiling threat ... a guy who had actually bombed people. A guy who would kill for Obama.

People knew who Bill Ayers was. People knew Bill Ayers would kill them if they didn't do what Obama wanted.

Who would kill for Obama today?

Nobody.

And Obama is way too pussy to get his fingers bloody doing it himself.

Fact of the matter is that Barack Obama's ability to get things done was always puffery in the first place.

Name a problem Obama solved before he became President?

Name one he's solved since then?

Obama isn't Vito Coreleone.

Without Ayers, Obama is the cajoling Godmother.

PatCA said...

Sounds like the Obamaba people need to spend more time reading The Federalist Papers and less reading Can This Marriage Be Saved.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

"And while he has often succeeded by relying on Democratic leaders in Congress to do his bidding"

Do HIS bidding? As if he expects to be able to command from upon high and the menials and minions will DO HIS BIDDING?

THIS mindset is exactly what is wrong with Obama and the Democrats. They think they are royalty whose every command should be heeded.

Instead of being elected REPRESENTATIVES of their constituents and REPRESENTATIVES of the Constitution, they think that they are petty tyrants here to command the stupid masses of the people and to command the other recalcitrant elected officials.

"We don't need no stinking Constitution. We are in charge here."

Jason said...

Bush I was terrible domestically

Not so. He got a lot of his agenda passed. EGTRRA. No Child Left Behind. Prescription Drugs. The Iraq War Resolution. Each passed with significant bipartisan support. He was reelected in 2004. Lousy politicians don't get reelected to the Presidency.

He ran aground on Social Security Reform, but that was always a long-shot to begin with. His biggest failing, in my view, came when he didn't put enough executive weight on rolling back the abuses in the mortgage business and slow down the stupidity of Democrats at Fannie and Freddie.

He ran aground again after Katrina, but that argument was always grounded in Democrat lies. FEMA did what it was supposed to do, and did it within its doctrinal timelines. The failings were in New Orleans and Louisiana, not in the Federal government. The ones arguing otherwise don't understand logistics nor the role of the federal government in disaster management.

He paid some lip service to it, and knew he was right, but didn't follow through.

Shanna said...

Garage, when did unemployment go way down?
I don’t think .3% is way down. Call me when we’re headed back towards 5. Also, it’s nice that stocks have recovered somewhat, but the dow is still at the point it was 10 years ago, so I’m not exactly sure that’s a good thing to crow about either. Of course, it’s better than the down sitting at 7k, but still. It’s not fully recovered.

Feel free to argue about whose fault it is, but it’s ridiculous to act like things are all back to normal because they’re not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Feel free to argue about whose fault it is, but it’s ridiculous to act like things are all back to normal because they’re not.

Consider the source. Garage mahal believes in man made global warming after all. Declining unemployment right now is right up there with belief in astral projection.

garage mahal said...

Consider the source. Garage mahal believes in man made global warming after all. Declining unemployment right now is right up there with belief in astral projection.

Exactly. Actual stats and thermometer readings are craaaaaaazy talk! Best to leave this stuff to experts like Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh.

Jason said...

The problem garage mahal has yet failed to grasp is that the thermometer readings he was relying upon has turned out to be garbage.

Hide the decline and all that.

The best we can tell is that there hasn't been any significant warming since 1995.

And as for the anthrogenic component of it? Forget about it. Even if the data sets of temperature readings were reliable they don't establish a significant man-made cause. Not in the least.

What is it with lefties and their unfailing attraction to discredited and failed arguments? Socialism wasn't enough of a world-wide bust for you guys?

edutcher said...

Montagne Montaigne said...

Either Obama is a wuss or it's "the Chicago Way" but it can't be BOTH.

Of course, it can. There were plenty of cattle barons who wanted the branding done, but ran the outfit from Chicago or London, so they didn't soil their spats.

The Drill SGT said...

What Garbage means is that unemployment has gone down from 7.7% (1/09) to 9.7% (1/10).

No garage is quite correct that unemployment is down.


The basic facts are:

1. The number of emplotable Americans keeps rising
2. We are not creating enough jobs to keep up with population growth
3. In fact the total number of jobs is shrinking
4. people are discouraged and leaving the pool of people SEEKING jobs
5. unemployment numbers are based on the number of people actively searching who cant find work, rather than the number of people not working.

Huh? said...

Back up there a minute ...

"Ever since his days as a young community organizer in Chicago, Obama has held fast to the belief that by listening carefully and appealing to reason he can bring people together to get results"

Ya. Those were the instincts on display when he told bankers his administration was the only thing between them and the pitchforks.

The press airbrushing ad nauseum.

Michael said...

Garage:

Reading thermometers is science, but is is not science to read some and ignore others in pursuit of a particular outcome. That is the reason why reasonable people on the right and the left should be concerned about the manipulation of data that has been demonstrated to have occurred. To edit out certain weather station data to impact an outcome is not kosher and it is silly to argue otherwise. At one point liberals were very intent on questioning authority. Now, they appear to worn out with self satisfaction to bother with questioning data they approve of however obtained. Too bad because a lot of people have lost enthusiasm for environmental causes as a result of being (perhaps)duped.

Bill Reeves said...

Does anyone really believe that Chicago Politics are characterized by listening and reasoned debate? The MSM, led by the NYT wrote the narrative for America's First Minority President back in the 70's. The bullets were:

1. Brave new leader from a mew generation
2. Transcends party and cultural divisions
3. Achieves left wing goals through logic and reason.
4. Has no past (except biography)- he is pure, indeed he is our racist, hate filled nation's savior.

The NYT has literally lost the ability to reason from evidence. The Pravda of our time.

orbicularioculi said...

Obama is constantly frustrated as President because the people he is attempting to "convince" that HIS position/s are correct are not Chicago voters.

Say what you will about politicians, most have the ability to recognize bull***t when it is not in their best interests. So, Mr. President "please don't p**s down my back and tell me it is raining".

Hyphenated American said...

I have a feeling that this website is lacking sarcasm, and I am forced to intervene. Here is another perspective on President Obama - putting him in historic perspective.

Here is one from Michele Obama


Barack, as Oprah said, is one of the most brilliant men you will meet in our lifetime. Barack is more than ready. He’ll be ready today, he’ll be ready on Day One, he’ll be ready in a year from now, five years from now. He is ready. That is not the question. The question is what are we ready for? Wait, wait, wait, because we’re ready for change. We say we’re ready for change, but see, change is hard. Change will always be hard. And it doesn’t happen from the top down. We do not get universal health care, we don’t get better schools because somebody else is in the White House. We get change because folks from the grass roots up decide they are sick and tired of other people telling them how their lives will be, when they decide to roll up their sleeves and work. And Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism, that you put down your division, that you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones, that you push yourselves to be better, and that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed."

BTW, if you are looking for more sarcasm, visit my blog

algie said...

Axelrod's Lament

In Chicaagah we know how to deal
with dissenters and bring them to heel
but DC is a bust
Because we just must
Try our true aims to blur and conceal

....uuuu..'o^o'..nn!n....algie
Illegitimi nOn carborundum

cokaygne said...

LBJ is supposed to have said something like, "Grab 'em by the balls and their hearts and minds will follow."

Kyle Beckley said...

Of course Axelrod has dreams of such power. When he coined the phrase, "Yes we can" it was intended in the Royal third person.

knox said...

This doesn't surprise me. Especially coming from someone like Axelrod, straight out of the Chicago Machine.

Methadras said...

Maybe President Barely could run into a room with skimpy harem garb on, look for Major Nelson, fold his arms, and blink his wishes into being. If Barbara Eden could do it, so could he.

JRs Dad said...

When you read Obama's own descriptions of what he did in Chicago, he was always backed up by a threat he didn't have to mention. When you are connected, you don't have to twist arms - "Nice business ya got here. Sure would be a shame if sumpin happent to it."

Behind any pressure within the low income community, or a smiling "suggestion" from a Chicago machine pol, there is always a threat the front man doesn't have to mention because everyone gets it. Jesse Jackson was an overt practitioner of the threat (dumping weapons on someone's desk saying he had confiscated them from gangs and if he hadn't...).

The Chicago Boyz don't understand that the muscle that has always been standing invisibly beside them does not exist in Washington, where a different power structure exists. Hence the frustration; their usualy tactics, which worked so well when everyone understood the implicit threat, have no effect in DC.

George said...

----Actual stats and thermometer readings are craaaaaaazy talk!---


Hmmmm, as I've always suspected; Liberals don't read the news where pretty much every 'global warming' scientific measurement set has been 'eaten by the dog' or shown to be the fantasy of a kid at a Baskin Robbins.

Nate Whilk said...

David Axelrod "would love to live in a world where the president could snap his fingers or even twist arms and make change happen..."

Another power-worshipping liberal. Sieg heil, Axelrod, you jackass.

Members of Congress do not find him intimidating; they are more apt, said Senator Byron L. Dorgan, Democrat of North Dakota, to view him as “a friend.”...

DUH! They're Democrats! Obamao's been consistently more hostile toward Republicans than, for instance, Iran.

Joe said...

David Axelrod "would love to live in a world where the president could snap his fingers or even twist arms and make change happen..."

I think he wishes that because he and Obama really believed that's how it worked. In large part because they say Bush seem to get away with everything as did Clinton. I don't think Obama/Axelrod are alone--I think an awful lot of people who run for President, Governor and Senator think that the person in the office has a whole lot more power than they really have.

mariner said...

He'd just love it if that president were George W. Bush, right?

mariner said...

lyssalovelyredhead:
Why do they never understand that it works both ways?

Because it doesn't work both ways.

When Democrats do it, it's "Stroke of the pen, law of the land. Kinda cool."

When a Republican does it, it's fascism, the destruction of Democracy and The American Way Of Life.

If Bush had done what Obama has already done he'd have been impeached. And Obama's just getting started.