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the polarization of the senate continues...

topic posted Tue, February 28, 2012 - 4:33 PM by  Gerbil
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thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2012...tion/
“I do find it frustrating,” Ms. Snowe said, “that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions. With my Spartan ancestry I am a fighter at heart; and I am well prepared for the electoral battle, so that is not the issue. However, what I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be. Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term. So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.”
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Gerbil
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  • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

    Fri, March 2, 2012 - 11:09 AM
    Yeah, this was sad. Snowe was one of the last rational voices in the senate, but the Neocons have no place in their ranks for dissenters. "Ideological Purity" is a dress-uniform version of the Inquisition. If you're not 100% on board, then obviously there's something wrong with you.

    The nice thing is that Snowe can go home to Maine to a (hopefully) quiet retirement.
    • Unsu...
       

      Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

      Fri, March 2, 2012 - 11:28 AM
      >>>>Yeah, this was sad. Snowe was one of the last rational voices in the senate, but the Neocons have no place in their ranks for dissenters.<<<<

      You make it sound like the party forced Snows out. It didn't. She decided to retire because, evidently, it bothers her that not more Republican senators routinely adopt the Democratic party's view on issues. By the way, who is the Democratic senator who often sides with Republicans and for such bravery is honored for being rational and moderate?
      • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

        Fri, March 2, 2012 - 11:35 AM
        ben nelson of nebraska.

        you might also include jon tester(MT), bob casey(PA), and joe manchin(WV).

        that's an interesting way to frame all this, though. i think it's more that she got tired of dealing with extreme views on the left AND the right and felt that she couldn't sufficiently represent ALL of her constituents, not just the ones who voted for her. nelson is retiring anyway, so his seat will prob go republican and snowe's will prob go democrat. polarization of the senate continues....
        • Unsu...
           
          >>>>>>that's an interesting way to frame all this, though. i think it's more that she got tired of dealing with extreme views on the left AND the right and felt that she couldn't sufficiently represent ALL of her constituents<<<<<<<

          I seem to remember that while running for President, then-Sr. Obama argued that "politics as usual" was the problem. Now that he's President, he sees his biggest problem as being that current Republicans have *changed* and aren't just like, you know, the old-style Republicans, who, you know, were a big part of the problem, right? I'm not wild about the current crop of Republicans, by the way. (I have never belonged to either major political party.) I think Nietzsche was right about this: "the party man becomes a liar." Both parties are more concerned with their own good than the good of the country.
          • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

            Sun, March 4, 2012 - 11:25 AM
            <I seem to remember that while running for President, then-Sr. Obama argued that "politics as usual" was the problem.>

            everybody and their sister runs on that as their platform. your point exactly? almost everyone runs as an outsider. hell, newt gingrich and santorum are both trying to run as outsiders and they were both in washington for years; gingrich being two stopped heartbeats away from the presidency! the best way to get votes is to say that congress is the problem. it's one of the least liked public institutions in the country. contra that, we hate congress but we love our congressperson. bit of dissonance there.
            • Unsu...
               

              Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

              Sun, March 4, 2012 - 11:54 AM
              >>>>>>>><I seem to remember that while running for President, then-Sr. Obama argued that "politics as usual" was the problem.>

              everybody and their sister runs on that as their platform. your point exactly?<<<<<<<

              This: Obama complains mainly about the Republicans who were elected *since* he was elected. (The so called "tea party" Republicans.) When running for President, he held that Washington experience was a *handicap* for politicians. Now he's upset that *these* Republicans aren't like the *old* Republicans whom so many Democrats now claim to love. (They didn't seem so wild about them at the time, but that's another subject.)

              It's FALSE to claim that everyone runs for president arguing that Washington experience is a bad thing, an impediment. Joe Biden and Hilary Clinton, for example, didn't argue this way when seeking the Democratic nomination in 2008. Biden, in particular, thought his long experience in Washington was a great advantage. When Al Gore ran for president, he thought his eight years in Washington as Veep were a key selling point. (Gore didn't win, but he damn sure didn't run as someone who had no experience in Washington and was proud of it.) When Kerry ran for president in 2004, he also thought his Washington experience was a good thing that it gave him knowledge and experience that would help him lead if elected President.

              I think Gore, the Clintons, Kerry, Biden and Richardson are not the least hypocritical when they say, "These new Republicans don't know what the hell they are doing and that's why electing them was a mistake." (<<< I'm not saying that's my view but I think it is a tenable one.) It's something else entirely for a President who ran claiming a lack of experience as a strength to complain about House Republicans not being old hands at politics as usual. They aren't, but isn't that supposed to to a GOOD thing?

              You can"t argue that "the old way is the wrong way" and also argue "the problem with these Republicans is that they're not doing things the old way; all we're asking is to do it the old way!" Now, one could argue that "the old way was bad" and "THIS new way is no good, so let's go THAT way instead." (This is the argument he should be making but he doesn't; maybe he thinks it is too subtle for most voters.) Instead, he argues that THESE Republicans aren't doing "business as usual" in the grand old way.
      • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

        Fri, March 2, 2012 - 11:40 AM
        and really, of course voters on the left are going to applaud someone who votes the way they want. welcome to politics. it's similar thing with lieberman. he gets props for voting with republicans by those on the right and ripped into by those on the left. then he gets applauded when he votes the "right" way and leftists, for some reason, love him again.
      • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

        Fri, March 2, 2012 - 12:56 PM
        <<it bothers her that not more Republican senators routinely adopt the Democratic party's view on issues.

        That is not it at all, she is speaking of the unprecidented polarization of the Senate, such as Republicans fillibustering more than at any time in our nations history. Even going so far as to block issues they once supported simply because they don't want to give Obama a win. As Mitch McConnel said, his number one priority is making sure Obama is a one term President, and that is driving their actions. And while Dems play politics as well, at the very least they were willing to work with Republicans. The problem is that compromise was not and is not being recipricated in any sort of equatable manner by the GOP. They are starting to get the hint that this tactic is working against them in the long run, so they are more carefully choosing their battles now. But just look at the sheer number of judges and even cabinet appointees that Republicans have and are holding up, it is unprecidented in American history.
        • Unsu...
           
          <Even going so far as to block issues they once supported simply because they don't want to give Obama a win.>

          Why is that progressives were pissed off and are still pissed off that obama won far too much of he wanted: war and more war, bailouts to the rich, domestic spying authority, importing the bush administration economic policy team, and much more ... ? :)
        • "As Mitch McConnel said, his number one priority is making sure Obama is a one term President, and that is driving their actions."

          That's because he's just not a good president and started making bad decisions and planting seeds of mistrust within a few months of getting into office. There is a good amount of evidence that his 2nd term is going to be less productive then his first. Why is it a bad thing to want to get rid of a bad president? I do like the spirit of cooperation and hope we find it, but it is very clear that won't happen under Obama.

          Is this want a president who is interested in cooperation does?
          thehill.com/homenews/sen...e-republicans
          • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

            Mon, March 5, 2012 - 11:08 AM
            <<That's because he's just not a good president

            The part you are missing is that Mitch McConnel first said this in the immediate wake of Obama's election, and that makes it clear his agenda is pure partisand politics.

            <<and started making bad decisions and planting seeds of mistrust within a few months of getting into office.

            Which bad decision and seeds of mistrust are you speaking of?

            <<There is a good amount of evidence that his 2nd term is going to be less productive then his first.

            What evidence would that be?

            <<I do like the spirit of cooperation and hope we find it, but it is very clear that won't happen under Obama.

            Are you really trying to say that it is Obama that has been uncooperative with Republicans? Flip the script, it is quite the opposite. Obama bent over backwards to accomodate an obstructionist Congress. Which is why Obama's approval rating hovers around 50% and Congress has less than a 10% approval rating. The American public is quite aware who the uncooperative obstructionists are.
            • The part you are missing is that Mitch McConnel first said this in the immediate wake of Obama's election, and that makes it clear his agenda is pure partisand politics.

              Doesn't matter, the other side has said very simular things about almost all presidents. Obama did not win any friends and did not change anything. This is not a matter of who is to blame, only productivity or lack of it.


              <<and started making bad decisions and planting seeds of mistrust within a few months of getting into office.

              Which bad decision and seeds of mistrust are you speaking of?

              I wrote a post about that a few months ago which I will try to find. But refusing to meet with republicans and publicly blaming them at every turn because he thought he had control of both houses and didn't need them; that didn't do a lot to win friends. The health care quest made him a lot of enemies too; not only on the opposite side of the aisle. I'm talking more about being playing the political game and creating or losing political capital; it's an ugly game we all wish was not there, but it is and Obama lost it pretty quick.


              <<There is a good amount of evidence that his 2nd term is going to be less productive then his first.
              "What evidence would that be? "


              Look at his record during the last four years and the fact that he can't coexist with the other side. Pretty self explanatory. Again, it doesn't matter who is at fault or who the bad guy is.



              " Are you really trying to say that it is Obama that has been uncooperative with Republicans? Flip the script, it is quite the opposite. Obama bent over backwards to accomodate an obstructionist Congress. Which is why Obama's approval rating hovers around 50% and Congress has less than a 10% approval rating. The American public is quite aware who the uncooperative obstructionists are."

              No, not saying that at all and not blaming any party. Just saying Obama can't get anything of major significance done, unless you count Obama Care which just plain is not going to work well and was an issue that he decided to tackle at the exact wrong moment in history so he could appease his base.



              I voted for Obama, I bought his proposals and was willing to give him a chance and see if he could make it all work. After four years, I think it is clear he can't deliver. I like Obama the man, I hope he makes a ton of money on book tours and the speaking circuit. But it's time to just accept that he can't do the things he talks about. Really, what makes anyone think his 2nd term will all of a sudden be a love fest? He doesn't have democratic control in both houses like before; he blew that. The right will hate him just as much if not more as we've all been hearing about, and he will keep blaming them, nothing will change.
              • Here it is, from my rant about how much I disliked his State of the Union address:

                -------------

                One thing that particularly bothers me is his continual hammering on the idea of non-cooperation in DC, but it was he who created a bad atmosphere. Now he sounds like a kid trying to blame someone and not take responsibility. I thought it was amusing when he started talking in a wishful, dreamy type of voice about how we should work together, that sounded condescending. Every moderately successful president has been able to work with both parties and he started out with a majority in BOTH chambers, for christ sake, and he blew that advantage. Any idea that he can bring or has an ability to bring political unity is delusional. His wishes and dreams to bring bi-partisonship to Washington were either just a big lie or something he is just not willing or capable of doing.

                www.politico.com/news/stor...z1kW6oF4CK
                - The tales of perceived insults are legion. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t get his first one-on-one meeting with Obama until August 2010, almost 20 months into his presidency. A freshman House Republican was told by White House staff that he would need to “behave” if he appeared with the president in Michigan. A senior Senate Republican learned on the Sunday talk shows that the administration had targeted him as a possible vote for the consumer watchdog head — and didn’t hear directly from the White House for three more days, via email from a legislative liaison
                - Obama issued the divorce papers to Congress this month when, in an unprecedented institutional snub, he unilaterally installed a new consumer watchdog and new appointees to the National Labor Relations Board over the objections of Senate Republicans
                - Obama: “I neglected some things that matter a lot to people, and rightly so"
                - Naturally, Republicans see the past three years differently. They felt run over by the White House and dismissed by a president who they say doesn’t understand the Hill, despite his four years in the Senate. A frequent complaint is that Obama did little to build relationships with Boehner and McConnell during the first two years of his presidential term, when he didn’t need them because Democrats controlled both chambers.
                - Obama has frayed nerves and relationships by seizing power from a Congress unwilling or unable to stop him: a Libya operation for which he neither sought nor waited for congressional approval, an endless stream of “We Can’t Wait” executive orders and the president’s relentless criticism of Republicans on jobs.
                - “He already doesn’t have a relationship. It is like cheating on the girlfriend you never visit,” said a senior Senate GOP leadership aide. “She is already pissed at you.”
                - John McCain: "At least under Hillarycare they tried to seriously negotiate with Republicans. There has been no effort that I know of -- of serious across the table negotiations -- such as I have engaged in with other administrations. And that was the commitment that the president made."


                • <<One thing that particularly bothers me is his continual hammering on the idea of non-cooperation in DC

                  The sheer number of filibusters by the Senate proves it to be true, often times over issues that Republicans had previously supported. This clearly demonstrates the gridlock lies with those that won't even allow the issues to come to a vote. The fact that Obama racked up the sheer number of accomplishements he did in the face of such intransigence is nothing short of a miracle.

                  <<and he started out with a majority in BOTH chambers, for christ sake, and he blew that advantage

                  Typical of mid term elections for the sitting President to lose seats, nothing new to Obama.
                • Let's address these slights one by one shall we?

                  1.) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) didn’t get his first one-on-one meeting with Obama until August 2010, almost 20 months into his presidency.

                  Why give preference to a man who stated that his #1 goal is to destroy his presidency? Not jobs. Not the economy. Not the two wars we are fighting. Gaining power for his party is his number 1 priority. Fuck McConnel, he dug his own grave with those idiotic words.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Unsu...
                     
                    <Not the two wars we are fighting.>

                    yes we can fighting just two? :-D

                    in a global zone of percolating violence: mexico, yemen, pakistan, afghanistan, libya, iraq, syria, uganda, drug war, and iran and :-D
              • <<The part you are missing is that Mitch McConnel first said this in the immediate wake of Obama's election, and that makes it clear his agenda is pure partisand politics.

                Doesn't matter<<

                Of course it matters, you said McConnel's words are based on Obama's performance as President.

                <<the other side has said very simular things about almost all presidents.

                Who and when?

                <<Obama did not win any friends and did not change anything.

                No friends and nothing changed? Really? LOL, good one. :)

                <<This is not a matter of who is to blame, only productivity or lack of it.

                That is a false GOP narrative, Obama has one of the most prolific legislative records of any President in US history, ie., productivity. What the real issue here is that Obama is not like Bill Clinton, who was constantly out there promoting his accomplishments. Obama is playing it cool and is quietly racking up accomplishments. Watch as he unleashes this list once the general election begins, even most liberals are not aware of just how prolific his productivity has been.

                <<But refusing to meet with republicans

                You are being rather vague, what specifically are you speaking of?

                <<and publicly blaming them at every turn

                They are certainly to blame for abusing the filibuster rule in a historically unprecidented manner, no doubt about it.

                <><The health care quest made him a lot of enemies too

                Those that opposed Obama's efforts on the AHA were already his enemy, they made that much clear from the get go.

                << but it is and Obama lost it pretty quick.

                Actually he won, the Affordable Healthcare Act passed and is now signed in to law. And while there was brief backlash with the Koch Brothers manufactured Tea Party B.S., that was a temporary setback. Which is demonstrated by Obama's increasing numbers and the Tea Party and Republican numbers decreasing.

                <<Look at his record during the last four years

                I have, you clearly have not.

                <<and the fact that he can't coexist with the other side.

                I would say the evidence clearly indicates the opposite. McConnel's words AND actions demonstrate my point perfectly: 1.) He said his #1 priority is winning the Presidency for Republicans. Not jobs. Not the Economy. Winning power. 2.) Obama has faced the most filibusters of ANY President from an opposition party in the entire history of the United States, of course orchestrated by McConnel. 3.) Obama has also faced more procedural blocks to judicial and his administrations appointmens of ANY President in United States History. 4.) The intransigence of the Republican party has not gone unoticed by the American public, which is why the Republicans in Congress and the Senate have less than a 10% approval rating while Obama has gone up t o 53%.

                <<Just saying Obama can't get anything of major significance done

                Sorry, but that is load of whooie. For instance, if the AHA is insignificant, then why are Republicans pissing and moaning about it? Every president since Teddy Roosevelt has tried to enact some form of comprehensive healthcare reform, EVERY president but Obama has failed. That holds true regardless of if you agree with the reforms or not. I would also say that 1.) Saving the US from going in to a second great depression is pretty significant. 2.) As was saving the US auto industry. 3.) Not to mention Bin Laden and the plethora of terrorists that have been killed under this administration. 4.) Ending illegal US torture so that we are now in compliance with the Geneva Conventions is yet another big one. 5.) Ended Bush era estrictions on embryonic stem-cell research, which will directly help me in a few years when I can get therapy for my disc degeneration disorder. These are just to name a few, his accomplishments are going to overwhelm whomevery his rival may be.

                <<unless you count Obama Care which just plain is not going to work well

                It is already working well, millions of children and young adults now have insurance where previously they had none. What does that mean? My nephew can get the necessary cancer screenings he needs being that he is a recoverin cancer patient. Without the AHA he would have no insurance and could ultimately die without these checkups.

                <<I voted for Obama, I bought his proposals and was willing to give him a chance and see if he could make it all work. After four years, I think it is clear he can't deliver.

                What specifically did he campaign on and was unable to deliver that you supported Marc? Did you expect delivery on every issue in just one term?

                <<But it's time to just accept that he can't do the things he talks about

                Except for the giant list of accomplishments you are unaware of.

                <<Really, what makes anyone think his 2nd term will all of a sudden be a love fest?

                I don't need a love fest, I just need him to continue quietly ticking off accomplishments as he has been doing.

                << The right will hate him just as much if not more as we've all been hearing about, and he will keep blaming them, nothing will change.

                The only constant is change, and once you come to the realization as to how much has changed in comparison to Bush, then I think you will have no choice but to vote from the man getting shit done. : )~
                • "Of course it matters, you said McConnel's words are based on Obama's performance as President."


                  Well, ya. Obama did nothing in 4 years to improve his relationship with McConnel or any other Republican. Is that not a bad thing?



                  <<the other side has said very simular things about almost all presidents.
                  Who and when?

                  Well ok, I'll give you that only because I do not want to spend hours looking up old historical quotes. But if I were a betting man I'd wager that you can find tons of evidence of past presidents not being welcomed with open arms by the opposing party.



                  <<Obama did not win any friends and did not change anything.
                  No friends and nothing changed? Really? LOL, good one. :)


                  Friends on the other side of the aisle. Is that not 100% necessary?


                  "<<This is not a matter of who is to blame, only productivity or lack of it.
                  That is a false GOP narrative, Obama has one of the most prolific legislative records of any President in US history, ie., productivity. What the real issue here is that Obama is not like Bill Clinton, who was constantly out there promoting his accomplishments. Obama is playing it cool and is quietly racking up accomplishments. Watch as he unleashes this list once the general election begins, even most liberals are not aware of just how prolific his productivity has been."


                  You can spin it that way, although when it comes to almost all pressing issues of the time, he accomplished nothing. Look through all the legislation he has passed and tell me how much of it was relating to the most pressing issues of today?



                  <<But refusing to meet with republicans
                  You are being rather vague, what specifically are you speaking of?

                  I've posted links in the past about specific instances.


                  <<and publicly blaming them at every turn
                  They are certainly to blame for abusing the filibuster rule in a historically unprecidented manner, no doubt about it.


                  The blame game doesn't apply. Everything is a two way street.


                  <><The health care quest made him a lot of enemies too
                  Those that opposed Obama's efforts on the AHA were already his enemy, they made that much clear from the get go.


                  Yes, this is why the past presidents who tried to tackle healthcare decided it was a fight not worth fighting. You will lose no matter what you do.



                  << but it is and Obama lost it pretty quick.
                  Actually he won, the Affordable Healthcare Act passed and is now signed in to law. And while there was brief backlash with the Koch Brothers manufactured Tea Party B.S., that was a temporary setback. Which is demonstrated by Obama's increasing numbers and the Tea Party and Republican numbers decreasing.

                  I was speaking of the fact that he lost his majority. You can spin it that way if you want. Yay for Obama Care, it will not work but it passed.


                  <<Look at his record during the last four years
                  I have, you clearly have not.

                  What makes you think that Jeff? Maybe you and I look at it in different perspectives. Since you made an assumption I will make my own, you look at it through the rose colored glasses of ideology and wanting to blame someone; and I look at it in terms of what really matters and what the bottom line will be in 10 years. Like I said, just an assumption though. Not trying to disrespect your opinion.



                  <<and the fact that he can't coexist with the other side.
                  I would say the evidence clearly indicates the opposite. McConnel's words AND actions demonstrate my point perfectly: 1.) He said his #1 priority is winning the Presidency for Republicans. Not jobs. Not the Economy. Winning power. 2.) Obama has faced the most filibusters of ANY President from an opposition party in the entire history of the United States, of course orchestrated by McConnel. 3.) Obama has also faced more procedural blocks to judicial and his administrations appointmens of ANY President in United States History. 4.) The intransigence of the Republican party has not gone unoticed by the American public, which is why the Republicans in Congress and the Senate have less than a 10% approval rating while Obama has gone up t o 53%.

                  And what do you glean from that information? That Obama can not deliver? Or simply who's right and who's wrong?


                  By the way, I am glad for your nephew and agree 100% on health care reform. But not the version Obama forced through.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

                    Wed, March 7, 2012 - 12:03 PM
                    <<"Of course it matters, you said McConnel's words are based on Obama's performance as President."

                    Well, ya. Obama did nothing in 4 years to improve his relationship with McConnel or any other Republican. Is that not a bad thing? >>

                    What did McConnel do to improve his relationship with Obama? Nothing, because his goal is hyperpartisan, as is demonstrated by his vow to destroy Obama before the President had even begun his job. McConnel fucks the relationship up and somehow it is on Obama's shoulders to repair? What has McConnel done to improve his relationship with the President? Relationships are a two way street, and if it is one sided it is impossible to repair no matter what he does.

                    I will adress the rest later, back to work for now. :)
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    <<But if I were a betting man I'd wager that you can find tons of evidence of past presidents not being welcomed with open arms by the opposing party.

                    Nobody said anything about open arms. Again, number one priority is ensuring Obama is a one term president, and said before Obama had even really begun his job. How can you work with someone who has no interest in working with you to help our nation? It takes two to tango as they say.

                    <<Friends on the other side of the aisle. Is that not 100% necessary?

                    You really think the Tea Party types wanted to be seen as cozy with Obama. Again, these kinds of things are a two way street. Stop putting all of the onus on Obama.

                    <<That is a false GOP narrative, Obama has one of the most prolific legislative records of any President in US history, ie., productivity. What the real issue here is that Obama is not like Bill Clinton, who was constantly out there promoting his accomplishments. Obama is playing it cool and is quietly racking up accomplishments. Watch as he unleashes this list once the general election begins, even most liberals are not aware of just how prolific his productivity has been."


                    You can spin it that way<<

                    Obama's legislative and Presidential record is a simple fact, no spin need be invovled. Just because you are not aware of these things does not mean they don't exist. I have been paying close attention and know what is in store for Republicans.

                    <<although when it comes to almost all pressing issues of the time, he accomplished nothing.

                    Pressing issues.....like terrorism, bin Laden, two wars, our economy, and our broken healthcare system? Not only have we taken out Bin Laden, but through the increased use of drones Obama has ordered the killing of a lionshare of Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders. His record in that regard dwarfs that of Bush. When Obama came in to office we were on the brink of a GREAT DEPRESSION, one would think that helping to save our nation from going over the cliff was rather huge. The AHA has for the first time in our nation tackled some very specific problems, such as preexisting conditions and a whole list of things that are saving peoples lives. Sorry, but these don't = "nothing". Don't fall in to the typical Republican trap of overstating your case, it is what was the downfall of the tea party.

                    <<I've posted links in the past about specific instances.

                    And yet you make no mention of the plethora of Republicans refusing to meet with Obama. Rather imbalanced in your criticism here I think. Two way street.

                    <<The blame game doesn't apply. Everything is a two way street.

                    Then why are you playing the blame game and putting it ALL on Obama's shoulders?

                    <<You will lose no matter what you do.

                    Except for Obama, who won. :)~

                    <<I was speaking of the fact that he lost his majority.

                    That would have happened regardless of the AHA. The economy had not yet had time to imrove to necessary levels mixed with the fact that the party of almost every sitting President loses seats during midterm elections.

                    <<it will not work but it passed.

                    It is already working, AND saving lives might I add.

                    <<What makes you think that Jeff?

                    Because you keep saying he did nothing of significance, which is a demonstrably mistaken assertion.

                    And ultimately I think that the AHA will be an asset to the Democratic party. Ending insurance companies dropping people because of preexisting conditions by iteslf would have been a SIGNIFICANT change to our healthcare system. Not only was that accomplished, but now your children can stay on your insurance up to the age of 26 so they can go to college without worry. Not only that, but insurance companies will forced to justify their rate hikes, they will have to spend 80% of every dollar on healthcare. Any one of these as standalone legislation would have been huge. Obama suceeded in all three issues, not to mention many others bundled in to the package.
  • “I do find it frustrating,” Ms. Snowe said, “that an atmosphere of polarization and ‘my way or the highway’ ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions"

    I got to say that a my way or the highway attitude is exactly the attitude Obama had back way back when he (thought) he had control of both houses. Not that hasn't changed his tune since, but he has had a lot to to with initialing the divisiveness that has ramped up during his time in office.
    • <<I got to say that a my way or the highway attitude is exactly the attitude Obama had back way back when he (thought) he had control of both houses.

      I don't beleive that for a minute, Obama worked hard to compromise with Republicans from the get go, and Republicans were having none of it. Remember, they were blocking everything back then to being that the minority in the Senate can block legislation by way of the fillibuster. What is telling is the sheer number of fillibusters that Republicans employed, more than any Senate in the history of the United States, that alone proves my point.
      • I could site specific examples of polarizing and insulting stances Obama took in his first year in office but the bottom line is that Obama is the most polarizing president ever. More then Bush or anyone else.
        www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/...og.html

        Republicans or democrats will always stand in each others way, that isn't even the issue, just a fact. The stakes are too high for the president to waste time pointing fingers, all that matters are results, Obama is still promising the same things as if it was still 2008 campaign. He just hasn't gotten results, that's all that matters. I'm not prepared to wait 4 more years and hope that my president accomplishes something meaningful.

        If he can't come close to having some control over congress, like every successful president has done; then I don't see anything good coming out of his administration.
      • Unsu...
         
        >>>>>>I don't beleive that for a minute, Obama worked hard to compromise with Republicans from the get go, and Republicans were having none of it. <<<<<<

        I disagree with this and for a simple reason: Obama's idea of compromise means being patient with you until you agree that he is right. (I voted for him, by the way. I'm no hater. But he lost my support a couple years ago and I don't see him winning it back.) The mystery of Obama is that, for all his rhetorical skills, legal training, and likeability, he has a hard time persuading anyone who doesn't show up agreeing with him. To this day, he struggles in defending his own health care plan, which continues to inspire much opposition. By way of contrast, Howard Dean is a vibrant champion of the health care plan. One may disagree with Dean about it, but upon hearing him, one knows that he understands it, and understands that is not perfect but is, on balance in his view, a good thing. When Obama talks about it, you only learn what he thinks of people who oppose the plan. This never changes their view of it.
        • The mystery of Obama is that, for all his rhetorical skills, legal training, and likeability, he has a hard time persuading anyone who doesn't show up agreeing with him.>>

          How Obama is at fault for the entire Republican party turning into a pack of over-the-top racist Pollyannas is a bit mysterious. Maybe it could just be the Right has the same predictable obstructionist hissyfit whenever a non-Republican is president.

          No one can "persuade" some maniac willing to destabilize the government in order to win of anything.
          • Unsu...
             

            Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

            Sat, March 3, 2012 - 11:40 AM
            >>>>>>How Obama is at fault for the entire Republican party turning into a pack of over-the-top racist Pollyannas is a bit mysterious.<<<<<

            R, no one is surprised that you are unpersuasive.
            • Re: the polarization of the senate continues...

              Sat, March 3, 2012 - 12:55 PM
              << R, no one is surprised that you are unpersuasive. >>

              How nice of you to personalize this, Em.

              Meanwhile, back in the Actually Happening World, the Republican party and the corporate-sponsored far-Right media tapeworm it hosts continue to anger and alienate millions of ordinary Americans in an election year for no good reason at all-

              << On Friday, President Obama called a law student at Georgetown to tell her not to take it to heart that Rush Limbaugh had called her a prostitute. “What was really personal for me was that he said to tell my parents that they should be proud,” the student, Sandra Fluke, who, needless to say, is not a prostitute, told Andrea Mitchell, of MSNBC. Is anyone proud of Rush Limbaugh—even anyone in his own party? Before answering, one should read his full remarks about Fluke, who had been a potential witness in a hearing, convened by Repulicans, on health-care coverage for contraception at institutions with religious connections. (Georgetown is Jesuit.) On Wednesday, Limbaugh called her “a slut” >>

              Read more www.newyorker.com/online/bl...z1o5Z88dzx

              You can go right ahead and call that kind of crap he and Santorum ladle out caviar if you like, but the shit smells like fertilizer even from here. You can even go and blame me, everyone here, the global news media and all those damn dirty Democrats for having the temerity to notice this Tourette's style madness if you like, but the fact remains these jerks are making themselves politically radioactive, perhaps forever.

              There's still hope. You can always lie down in front of the polls on Election Day and demand to see everyone's ID. Other than that, I don't think there's much for the president's critics to do but perhaps relocate to Chile or Honduras.
              • Unsu...
                 
                Limbaugh was wrong to call Susan Fluke a slut. Having done so, he should apologize to her.

                Here is something she didn't mention when testifying: at Target stores in Georgetown, the pill sells for nine dollars a month (without insurance). Curiously, two months ago, no Democrat in America was complaining that we are living under an effective ban on contraception in the US because Catholic institutions don't cover it in their employee insurance. In 2008, when running for president, then-Senator Obama did not see it as a horrible thing that he would fix if elected. I don't remember any pressure groups arguing in the early days of his administration that this should be a priority. It wasn't an issue at all. (You'd think Nancy Pelosi would've fixed this while she was speaker of the House, but curiously, she never brought it up at all.)

                More women of childbearing years in the US have access to contraception than to dental care and fresh fruit in the dead of winter but no one claims we live under a ban on dentistry and fresh fruit. We don't, and we don't live under a ban on contraception now either. (If "ban" means Catholic institutions aren't providing it to their employees, then we're under the ban *now* because the law requiring them to hasn't gone gone into effect.)

                Nevertheless, the Democrats are much more excited at the prospect of running on the issue on contraception (-all the while claiming they are mortified that this subject came up at all when the economy is so fragile; how *dare* those Republicans bring up *contraception* at a time like this!) than on Obama's stewardship of the economy and his health care plan.

                That's because more Americans think the President's handling of those things is bad than good. He has failed to persuade them otherwise.
          • "Maybe it could just be the Right has the same predictable obstructionist hissyfit whenever a non-Republican is president"

            Do you think of office of the president should use excuses like that?
            • Unsu...
               
              >>>>>"Maybe it could just be the Right has the same predictable obstructionist hissyfit whenever a non-Republican is president"<<<<

              Bill Clinton was much less popular than Obama when he took office, and Republicans accused him of crimes as well as error, but he convinced some of them to go along with him. (He also had to persuade fellow Democrats who opposed some of his agenda, such as welfare reform.)

              Further, for the first two years of his presidency, Obama had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. That's when health care got passed, as well as the stimulus package, and the President *still* has a hard time persuading a majority of the American people that those were good ideas. The main reason Republicans won back the House in 2010 is that so many Americans found the president unpersuasive!

              (For the record, I don't think the current Republican leaders are good persuaders either. The difference is that I never expected that they would be.)

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