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Dox47
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09 May 2012, 12:48 am

Finally, someone comes up with the perfect metaphor to describe my major problem with Obama, and with the people who continue to blindly support him, even if his graphic is awful. You just can't trust what the man says, his actions tell a different story every single time.

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/arc ... es/256836/ \

Conor Friedersdorf wrote:
'Lucy' Obama and His 'Charlie Brown' Progressives

Check out Chuck Todd, NBC's chief White House correspondent, openly speculating that President Obama is going to embrace same-sex marriage because he needs money from gay people. "Gay money in this election has replaced Wall Street money," he reported. NBC's David Gregory agreed. For some reason, neither man seemed to think this theory reflects poorly on the president.

Then the conventional wisdom shifted. Observers were basing their guesses on the fact that HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan and Vice President Joe Biden had both made statements in support of same-sex marriage. The same-sex-marriage supporters who praised these developments were as quickly dismayed when the White House walked back Biden's statements, insisting that like Obama, Biden's views on the subject were still "evolving," a euphemism that seems to mean they'll favor either marriage equality for gays or discrimination against them depending on their moment-to-moment judgments about what's best for them politically.

Sounds like Mitt Romney's position!

Observing all this, Romney 2012 booster Jennifer Rubin aptly noted, "This is becoming the proverbial Lucy and the football. One wonders how often pro-gay-marriage activists, like poor Charlie Brown, are going to fall for this stuff." But Lucy just had one Charlie Brown. Obama has a whole roster of would-be kickers, and a habit of teeing up the ball only to callously pull it away.

Don't progressives see this?
  • Obama tricked the cannabis community into thinking his Justice Department would go easy on medical marijuana in states where it is legal, broke his promise, then misled voters about his options.
  • Obama tricked anti-war voters into thinking that he wouldn't order American troops into battle unless there was an imminent threat to America or a declaration of war from Congress, then went to war in Libya, violating the War Powers Resolution, even though neither condition was met.
  • Obama tricked transparency advocates into thinking he'd celebrate whistleblowers and set new standards in open government. He has prosecuted whistleblowers as aggressively as any president in history, and presided over a dramatic escalation in what the federal government does in secret.
  • Obama tricked executive-power critics into thinking he would roll back the excesses of the Bush Administration. He has transformed those excesses into matters of bipartisan consensus, and gone farther in some respects, as when an American citizen was killed extra-judicially on his order.
  • Obama tricked immigration-reform advocates into thinking he was a fellow traveler, then upset them with Secure Communities, record-breaking deportation levels, and a failure to improve immigration detention.
  • Obama tricked Iraq War opponents into thinking that he would exit the country by the withdrawal date that George W. Bush negotiated. The Iraqi government wouldn't let him keep troops in the country beyond that date, although he tried to break his promise. Now the Obama Administration pays a small army of private-security contractors to protect America's presence in that country.
  • Obama tricked critics of indefinite detention into thinking that he abhorred the practice, only to sign a bill that institutionalized it.
  • Obama tricked critics of signing statements into thinking he wouldn't issue them. But he's done so on many occasions.
  • Obama tricked critics of the state-secrets privilege into thinking he'd reverse Bush-era uses of the tactic. Instead he's continued it.
This isn't an exhaustive list, but these examples are sufficient to draw a conclusion: Progressives shouldn't trust what Obama says, or what they think he believes. They should judge his actions. It's the only way to distinguish between promises he aims to keep and things he's said to mislead small constituencies into thinking he'll do more for them than is justified by reality.


supporting links are in the original article.

Don't get me wrong, Romney is just as bad if not worse, I just can't believe the blinders some people have on when it comes to Obama.


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abacacus
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09 May 2012, 1:47 am

Obama fan that I am, I can't deny that this analogy is indeed perfect and HILARIOUS.


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auntblabby
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09 May 2012, 3:17 am

i'd still rather have the dem's broken "promises" than any rightie's kept promises [to further disenfranchise me and mine]. sins of omission hurt me a bit less than sins of commission, IMHO. :hmph:



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09 May 2012, 4:18 am

The fact is Obama has a lot of allowance to get really awful before he'll lose support because the opposition is such an anathema to some (because they're a woman who enjoys bodily autonomy or basic human rights or something) and not charismatic enough to excite the base beyond "anything but Obama"
Obama is really a centrist. I don't know how the Romney campaign think pointing that out will help with moderates and I know they know there is not a prayer of getting progressives to vote for Mitt. If anyone thinks he's going to address those social issues in a way that would be better for the LGBTQA community, immigrants, or pot imbibers is kidding themselves. At least with Obama he *might* do something for their benefit.
And I also don't see why they want to bring up changes in position because Mitt Romney's core beliefs depend on his audience and it's a major weakness for him. So much of this campaign so far (it's just the beginning, kill me now) has been "I'm rubber you're glue"

Someone who is imperfect but generally means well is a lot better than someone who is perfect at being an ass.


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Last edited by DogsWithoutHorses on 09 May 2012, 2:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

visagrunt
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09 May 2012, 12:32 pm

Political parties are generally content to see these issues punted to the courts (the hypocritical protestations of those who bleat about "activist" judges notwithstanding).

Courts are easy whipping boys (and, to a lesser extent, girls) when they do things that politicians are content with, but don't want to carry the political can for. Slavery, minority rights, reproductive rights, decriminalization of sexual behaviour, same-sex marriage--these are just a selection of the troublesome issues that have been punted to the courts. This allows politicians to spend their political capital on issues where the courts cannot tread.

I am not altogether displeased to have a Prime Minister sit back and let the courts make a constitutional determination about same-sex marriage or abortion, and to spend his time dealing with issues like fiscal policy. I don't deny that it's cleaner to have Parliament legislate on all of these issues. But that's neither realistic, nor, truthfully, possible.


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TM
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09 May 2012, 2:40 pm

DogsWithoutHorses wrote:
The fact is Obama has a lot of allowance to get really awful before he'll lose support because the opposition is such an anathema to some (because they're a woman who enjoys bodily autonomy or basic human rights or something) and not charismatic enough to excite the base beyond "anything but Obama"
Obama is really a centrist. I don't know how the Romney campaign think pointing that out will help with moderates and I know they know there is not a prayer of getting progressives to vote for Mitt. If anyone thinks he's going to address those social issues in a way that would be better for the LGBTQA community, immigrants, or pot imbibers is kidding themselves. At least with Obama he *might* do something for their benefit.
And I also don't see why they want to bring up changes in position because Mitt Romney's core beliefs depend on his audience and it's a major weakness for him. So much of this campaign so far (it's just the beginning, kill me now)

Someone who is imperfect but generally means well is a lot better than someone who is perfect at being an ass.


I actually wonder how a "real" leftist would fare. A person who supported:

- Gay people having the same rights as all other people.
- Cannabis legalization.
- A single-payer public option healthcare system.
- Gun control.

and such issues.



Dox47
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09 May 2012, 4:13 pm

I found this quote in an article discussing Gary Johnson that seems very apropos and sums up my feelings on the election:

Gene Healy wrote:
One anti-Johnson argument that shouldn't get a lot of traction, however, is fear that the LP candidate will be a "spoiler;" that he will siphon off votes from Mitt Romney in a "lesser of two evils" race between the guy who practically invented Obamacare and the guy who passed it. If the major-party race is a battle between a president who's violated most of his campaign promises on civil liberties and a candidate who's already promised to do worse, then this election has arrived "pre-spoiled," through no fault of Gov. Johnson.


Bold is mine.


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09 May 2012, 5:22 pm

TM wrote:
I actually wonder how a "real" leftist would fare. A person who supported:

- Gay people having the same rights as all other people.
- Cannabis legalization.
- A single-payer public option healthcare system.
- Gun control.

and such issues.

They'd be called the Green Party of America. Who got around .5% of the vote last time, if memory serves me correctly.

Anyway, Obama did formally announce support for same-sex marriage today. Which is good. But I'm cynical. I think that it's more a tactic to appease the left wing of Democrat voters discontent with the last, rather unexceptional, four years. Try to keep them from considering third parties (such as the Greens). I predict that if Obama is re-elected (and I still suspect that he will be) this issue will mysteriously drop off the radar.



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09 May 2012, 5:27 pm

visagrunt wrote:
Political parties are generally content to see these issues punted to the courts (the hypocritical protestations of those who bleat about "activist" judges notwithstanding).

Courts are easy whipping boys (and, to a lesser extent, girls) when they do things that politicians are content with, but don't want to carry the political can for. Slavery, minority rights, reproductive rights, decriminalization of sexual behaviour, same-sex marriage--these are just a selection of the troublesome issues that have been punted to the courts. This allows politicians to spend their political capital on issues where the courts cannot tread.

I am not altogether displeased to have a Prime Minister sit back and let the courts make a constitutional determination about same-sex marriage or abortion, and to spend his time dealing with issues like fiscal policy. I don't deny that it's cleaner to have Parliament legislate on all of these issues. But that's neither realistic, nor, truthfully, possible.

Oh, but that's undemocratic! (To paraphrase dear old Stephen Harper when he was Leader of the Opposition. But we can't expect him to like people using the rights given to them in a document brought by Canada's most left-wing PM in history.)

But actually, I read that this is how the issue was decided in Columbia. The supreme court there ruled that according to the constitution gay people must be given the same rights as straight people and hence the government must institute same sex marriage. The courts gave a deadline and said that if it's not met then they'll just start recognizing same-sex marriages anyway. Quite a victory in a place as Catholic as South America.



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09 May 2012, 6:29 pm

TM wrote:
DogsWithoutHorses wrote:
The fact is Obama has a lot of allowance to get really awful before he'll lose support because the opposition is such an anathema to some (because they're a woman who enjoys bodily autonomy or basic human rights or something) and not charismatic enough to excite the base beyond "anything but Obama"
Obama is really a centrist. I don't know how the Romney campaign think pointing that out will help with moderates and I know they know there is not a prayer of getting progressives to vote for Mitt. If anyone thinks he's going to address those social issues in a way that would be better for the LGBTQA community, immigrants, or pot imbibers is kidding themselves. At least with Obama he *might* do something for their benefit.
And I also don't see why they want to bring up changes in position because Mitt Romney's core beliefs depend on his audience and it's a major weakness for him. So much of this campaign so far (it's just the beginning, kill me now)

Someone who is imperfect but generally means well is a lot better than someone who is perfect at being an ass.


I actually wonder how a "real" leftist would fare. A person who supported:

- Gay people having the same rights as all other people.
- Cannabis legalization.
- A single-payer public option healthcare system.
- Gun control.

and such issues.


I'm pretty sure I'm a bit of a lefty but even i think gun control is about as likely to be successful as the drug war.



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09 May 2012, 6:36 pm

Even foreigners are vaguely aware of this sense of betrayal. I remember how me and a lot of my friends had an ill-defined good vibe when Obama was elected. We didn't really know what he stood for, but he had a progressive "brand" hovering around him. We thought that he was clearly the sort of person who deserved the role of De Facto Ruler of Earth, and wouldn't abuse it.

But then for the next few months everything I heard him say involved the words "compromise" and "bipartisan". Why? I don't understand it. When you are elected almost solely because you are not George W Bush, doesn't that mean that the public has given you a clear mandate not to act like George W Bush?



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09 May 2012, 6:58 pm

I don't know why it's unusual for the Democratic candidate to back an issue supported by a majority of Democrats and Independents. He was looking increasingly out of step with his own party as the polling has been changing fast.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/147662/first ... riage.aspx

And that's a public poll. Who knows what their internal polls are showing. The timing was prompted by Biden, who let his own opinion slip a few days ago. Apparently Obama wasnt going to let this out until the convention.

And how can he betray anyone when he has said it should be left to the states? He's not proposing anything, just offering his opinion after a week of being pestered about it. But it's not like he's done nothing at all on the issue. Conservatives ripped him for neglecting to defend DOMA. Jesus, pick an outrage and stick with it but first make sure you were actually promised something.

This is more of a symbolic statement. The first sitting President to acknowledge a sea change. The gay people I know are happy with it.



marshall
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09 May 2012, 9:59 pm

TM wrote:
DogsWithoutHorses wrote:
The fact is Obama has a lot of allowance to get really awful before he'll lose support because the opposition is such an anathema to some (because they're a woman who enjoys bodily autonomy or basic human rights or something) and not charismatic enough to excite the base beyond "anything but Obama"
Obama is really a centrist. I don't know how the Romney campaign think pointing that out will help with moderates and I know they know there is not a prayer of getting progressives to vote for Mitt. If anyone thinks he's going to address those social issues in a way that would be better for the LGBTQA community, immigrants, or pot imbibers is kidding themselves. At least with Obama he *might* do something for their benefit.
And I also don't see why they want to bring up changes in position because Mitt Romney's core beliefs depend on his audience and it's a major weakness for him. So much of this campaign so far (it's just the beginning, kill me now)

Someone who is imperfect but generally means well is a lot better than someone who is perfect at being an ass.


I actually wonder how a "real" leftist would fare. A person who supported:

- Gay people having the same rights as all other people.
- Cannabis legalization.
- A single-payer public option healthcare system.
- Gun control.

and such issues.


I don't see the fourth as a mandatory "leftist" position.



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09 May 2012, 11:56 pm

marshall wrote:
TM wrote:
DogsWithoutHorses wrote:
The fact is Obama has a lot of allowance to get really awful before he'll lose support because the opposition is such an anathema to some (because they're a woman who enjoys bodily autonomy or basic human rights or something) and not charismatic enough to excite the base beyond "anything but Obama"
Obama is really a centrist. I don't know how the Romney campaign think pointing that out will help with moderates and I know they know there is not a prayer of getting progressives to vote for Mitt. If anyone thinks he's going to address those social issues in a way that would be better for the LGBTQA community, immigrants, or pot imbibers is kidding themselves. At least with Obama he *might* do something for their benefit.
And I also don't see why they want to bring up changes in position because Mitt Romney's core beliefs depend on his audience and it's a major weakness for him. So much of this campaign so far (it's just the beginning, kill me now)

Someone who is imperfect but generally means well is a lot better than someone who is perfect at being an ass.


I actually wonder how a "real" leftist would fare. A person who supported:

- Gay people having the same rights as all other people.
- Cannabis legalization.
- A single-payer public option healthcare system.
- Gun control.

and such issues.


I don't see the fourth as a mandatory "leftist" position.


Seriously. I see gun control as a wedge issue that conservatives market to their base.



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10 May 2012, 5:47 am

marshall wrote:
I don't see the fourth as a mandatory "leftist" position.

In theory it's not, but in practice it tends to be. In Canada the Liberals (centrist), NDP (centre left), Bloc (centre left Quebec separatists), and Greens (arguably centre left) all support gun control, while the Conservatives (centre right to right) are the only ones opposing it. I don't know how the issue fairs in Europe, but I think that their gun control laws are more strict than Canada's ever were.



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