Archive for Thursday, January 21, 2010

One year in, hope harder to come by, Obama finds

January 21, 2010

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— At 8:35 a.m. on Jan. 21, 2009, Barack Obama walked into the Oval Office for the first time as president, the hopes of the nation on his shoulders. He spent 10 minutes alone, soaking in the moment, then set about trying to deliver on the bold promises he had laid out in his inaugural address a day earlier.

At precisely the one-year mark in his presidency, Obama awoke Wednesday to headlines shouting about the Republican takeover of a U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts, an election that represented far more than a shift of a legislator from one side of the aisle to the other.

Gone was the Democrats’ filibuster-resistant 60-seat majority in the Senate, and with it a clear pathway to Obama’s prized health care overhaul.

Gone, too, was the sense of heady optimism that infused the country 12 months earlier to the day.

The yes-we-can candidate had summoned the nation to join him in “remaking America” and confidently proclaimed: “What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them.”

One year later, the ground has shifted beneath Obama.

‘Everybody is behind him’

The snapshots of Inauguration Day 2009 began well before dawn, when energized Americans streamed from jammed subway stations and made their way by foot toward a Capitol bathed in lights. Undaunted by the cold, they were determined to be part of the historic collage.

“Everybody is behind him,” said Mikki Hill, 26, who had come from Winston-Salem, N.C., and dared to speak for all the world. “Everybody’s come from as far as the Earth is wide.”

The economy was seizing, joblessness was creeping up, more troops were headed for Afghanistan.

And yet, for all the perils of the day, it was a moment of possibilities.

“Change has come to America,” the White House Web site trumpeted within minutes of Obama’s swearing-in.

And people believed it.

By a 3-to-1 margin, Americans that day said they felt more optimistic about the future of the country, a poll found.

‘It’s never easy’

There would be no victory lap for Obama on Jan. 20, 2010.

Instead, Republicans spent the day savoring the broader implications of the election in Massachusetts.

House Republican leader John Boehner saw it as a powerful manifestation of a political rebellion that’s been brewing all year, a backlash against big government, reckless spending and not enough focus on getting Americans back to work.

“Anger is now pointed at us because we’re in charge,” Robert Gibbs, the president’s spokesman, allowed. “And rightly so.”

Obama himself owned up to a failure to communicate.

Hopping from crisis to crisis, he told ABC, “we lost some of that sense of speaking directly to the American people about what their core values are and why we have to make sure those institutions are matching up with those values.”

Thinking back to her husband’s campaign, first lady Michelle Obama said everyone remembers what he said about hope.

“But we forget about all the other stuff he said after that, that it’s going to be hard and it doesn’t happen overnight,” she said. “It’s never easy, and we’re feeling that right now.”

‘Do they really get us?’

Obama took office with a sky-high 74 percent approval rating and two-thirds of Americans expecting him to be an above-average, maybe even outstanding, president.

His approval rating’s down to 56 percent now, and only about four in 10 people see him as an above-average chief executive.

But Obama, the candidate who was so captivating to Americans a year ago, said people are feeling a “remoteness and detachment” with the technocrats in Washington.

“Do they really get us and what we’re going through?” he wondered aloud Wednesday, then framed a more hopeful outlook for Year Two:

“I think that I can do a better job of that — and partly because I do believe that we’re in a stronger position now than we were in a year ago.”

Comments

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

The writing on the wall says that Obama needs to use the power he has to tell the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to go to hell. Neither rightly gives a crap about their constituents-- or should I say the only constituents they give a crap about are the ones who can fund the $millions they need to get re-elected.

So, keep it simple, Obama-- put up good, concise measures that we all know we need, and make the Republicans and Blue Dogs vote them down and then try to explain it to the voters come November.

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/us-voters-less-optimistic-about-obama-show-polls/108961-2.html?from=tn

"Three-quarters said they liked Obama. But just 22 percent said they were "optimistic and confident" about his presidency-a 10-point decline from a year ago. By comparison, 27 percent were "pessimistic and worried" about his presidency, compared with just 9 percent a year ago, when many hoped he would lead the nation into an economic recovery."

"by a nearly 2 to 1 margin, independents said they would prefer Republicans to control Congress after November."

That didn't take long at all, did it?


just_another_bozo_on_this_bus (Anonymous) says…

"The writing on the wall says that Obama needs to use the power he has to tell the Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats to go to hell."

I see poor old boohoozo's lack of reading comprehension extends to the writing on the wall.

So, your razor-sharp political acumen leads you to believe the voters in the commonwealth of Massachusetts were so displeased with the Democrats for not working hard enough towards a liberal agenda that they picked a Republican to replace Ted Kennedy and work towards that liberal agenda?

Brilliant as always, Herr Klowne.

"Neither rightly gives a crap about their constituents— or should I say the only constituents they give a crap about are the ones who can fund the $millions they need to get re-elected."

And for the $64,000 question, boohoozo, which candidate in the 2008 presidential election got 52% of the votes from people making more than $200K compared to 46% for his opponent?

"So, keep it simple, Obama— put up good, concise measures that we all know we need"

And perhaps if he had tried that to begin with, instead of the almost 3000 page Frankenstein monster of a healthcare bill ...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

Well, kubacker, I'm glad you treat this just like a basketball game. It's just as simple as "your" team and the "other" team, and, of course, your team all have white hats, high morals and good teeth.

MyName 5 years, 2 months ago

What you mean is you suffer under some kind of delusion. If Cheney can get away with the actual damage he did to the Constitution, I doubt seriously that anyone is going to go after the made up BS that's in your little Richard_Head.

Oh, and lol wut. Arminius?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

"Now that voters understand what a “Progessive” really is, and Hillary announced to the world she is one, her chance to be president after Obama - dead"

Clearly, neither you nor Hilary knows the meaning of "progressive" as it's used by actual progressives. But it's also clear that your political sophistication and intelligence doesn't go any further than looking to Fox and Rush to tell you who is on your team.

jimmyjms 5 years, 2 months ago

Wait a damn minute! We gave this guy a whole 364 days to fix the economy, turn jobs around, avoid a great depression, and wind down two wars...and he hasn't done it yet???

Man I'm so disappointed.

Barry, you're funny. Tell us more about the"free market," since you seem to think you know what it is.

Mixolydian 5 years, 2 months ago

jimmyjms (Anonymous) says…

Wait a damn minute! We gave this guy a whole 364 days to fix the economy, turn jobs around, avoid a great depression, and wind down two wars…and he hasn't done it yet???

Nope. In fact, he and the democrat controlled congress have made things much much worse.

Just raised the debt limit by another 1.9 trillion yesterday, latest unemployment results soared higher, Afghanistan is getting worse and we've just had the first act of terrorism by Al Quida on US soil since 9/11/01.

somedude20 5 years, 2 months ago

If Obama is the "great poser" then what the hell did you refer to Bush as: Darth Vader, cokehead, liar, killer of hundreds of thousands of people, taker of civil liberties, economy killer, cowardly B (don't forget about his stellar military service) ect? What did you refer to Bush as. Remember, Dubya started most of the problems that we are facing now. So, what did you call Bush?

labmonkey 5 years, 2 months ago

Bozo-

I will try to make it simple for you. Most of those who voted for Obama were voting against Bush and the Republicans who became corrupt... they did not vote for his policies. Those of us who work for a living do not want more government intrusion in our lives nor do we need to pay anymore taxes. We do not want to see the debt raised even more. Yes, Bush started the whole spending spree, but how is spending even more going to get us out of this mess? Doing what Bush did, but only exponetionally more will do more harm than good. A pro-life, anti gay marriage conservative just won an election in Mass of all places (and he won with nothing to do with those issues)....that should be a huge sign that even many Democrats do not like what the liberal wing of their party is doing.

Also, what happened to the promise of transparency? Most of what he has and wants to shove down the American peoples throat has been done behind closed doors.

As for jobs....Obama could (although I seriously doubt he will) actually try to be a leader. Without passing more spending measures, push a law through congress that country of origin must be plainly marked on every brand new item sold in the United States, and then go out and encourage Americans to buy American...and using supply and demand, try to convince consumers to demand from manufacturers that more items be made in the USA. This would create jobs without the use of government money. Why not try to use leadership skills to bring us out of the unemployment mess instead of trying to get more people suckling the government teat.

I know, instead of actually considering what I say you will go off and call me an idiot or throw another personal insult....

labmonkey 5 years, 2 months ago

Rukus 3:02....

Very good, consise post.

somedude20 5 years, 2 months ago

and I imagine that calling President Obama names like "poser" "great poser" "PAD" ect helps better the situation, right?

BTW, this whole "poser" BS, is that more of that birther garbage?

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

jimmyjms (Anonymous) says…

"Tell us more about the”free market,” since you seem to think you know what it is."

How about what it's not:

The free market is NOT the United States government using our tax dollars to purchase two of the three big automakers to rescue the president's union buddies' jobs.

The free market is NOT passing a law that says every person in the United States must purchase a product from private companies, e.g. health insurance.

The free market is NOT telling people they have to pay to 'fix' the problem of climate change, even though the so-called 'science' claiming people are responsible for it and capable of halting it is far from proven.

What the free market system IS is people voting with their wallets. The people decide if they want to buy a better-built car for less money from overseas, and if the autoworkers' union can't make concessions that would make their product competitive, too frikkin' bad. The people decide if they want to drive cars that use gasoline or soybean oil, or if they'd rather pay twice as much to buy a product from a company that uses 'green' technology. The people decide if they want to assume their own financial risk related to possible medical costs or pay someone else a fee to assume that risk for them.

Are you starting to get it yet?

Flap Doodle 5 years, 2 months ago

Dear Leader's nice quiet mob-financed mansion in Chicago is probably looking pretty good to him now.....

MyName 5 years, 2 months ago

You know you're getting pretty dang close to libel here snap_pop_no_brain. Maybe you should quit while you're "ahead".

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

I've given up hope. We've become a sharply divided nation of haves and have nots and the haves are winning and will grind the have nots into the ground. People are electing politicians that have no real care for anything but their own angenda that will turn this country into a theocracy. Compassion and mercy are lost. Long term joblessness and unemployment are at the highest it's been since the Great Depression and we have no FDR to lead us out of the wilderness. Plato stated in The Republic that most people are not fit to govern themselves. Although not a true democracy our country has had the longest running representative democracy in the world. After 237 years I am afraid that we are finally proving Plato right.

monkeyhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

Now the almighty leader wants to get into your retirement accounts.

"U.S. investors oppose federal initiatives that would force them to give up control over their 401(k) accounts, the Investment Company Institute said.

Seven in 10 U.S. households object to the idea of the government requiring retirees to convert part of their savings into annuities guaranteeing a steady payment for life, according to an institute-funded report today." http://www.infowars.com/government-wants-retirees-to-convert-401-k-into-annuities/

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

cait48 (Anonymous) says…

"Plato stated in The Republic that most people are not fit to govern themselves."

Plato was born an aristocrat and was a paternalistic elitist who believed only those enlightened through philosophizing were fit to govern the rest of the people, the mundanes. In other words, most people aren't smart enugh to know what's best for them and need to be told.

It's a widely held belief system among liberals.

MyName 5 years, 2 months ago

I don't think that's a completely accurate representation, as Plato didn't really view philosophy as a way of telling people what to do, but as a way of educating them so that they could figure out what they wanted for themselves. I would take a leader with a brain (e.g. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln) over a "mundane" (e.g. Palin, Bush 42, Harding, Grant) anyday.

But then again, who cares about accuracy if it lets you get another cheap shot against them libruls. After, we're only talking about politics and finding meaning in life. It's no more important than a football game. Or maybe Parcheesi.

ivalueamerica 5 years, 2 months ago

This is exactly as I predicted when he was elected. In fact, I am shocked his approval ratings are still above 50%.

He inherited the worst economy and a screwed up government from the most failed President in American history and no man, not even Obama could fix the problem in a year and Americans are notorious for having short memories and little patience.

I also predicted Obama would be a one term president...however, I would have predicted that for anyone who was elected because there is no way anyone could have cleaned up the mess left by the most failed president in American history.

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

MyName (Anonymous) says…

"I don't think that's a completely accurate representation, as Plato didn't really view philosophy as a way of telling people what to do, but as a way of educating them so that they could figure out what they wanted for themselves. I would take a leader with a brain (e.g. Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln) over a “mundane” (e.g. Palin, Bush 42, Harding, Grant) anyday."

Perhaps, MyName, your loftiest goal shouldn't be having a leader with a brain, but having - and using - one yourself.

Plato believed in a very definite class structure, with only the 'best' being fit to rule. He also laid out procedures for educating these philosophers - not everyone, just those who were the best, those fit to rule. Democracy was pretty far down the list of what he consodered the best form of government.

And it wasn't "brains", but enlightenment. Plato wasn't much for real-world concepts, believing ideals were more important that realities. He believed only those who could rise above the constraints of the physical world and be enlightened by the ideals he spoke of should govern (the 'philosopher-kings').

Given the choice of having a mechanic fix my engine, or someone who could sit and ponder the concepts of energy and locomotion, thanks, I'll take my car to the mechanic.

MyName 5 years, 2 months ago

Well I never said anything about what my "loftiest goal" is, so it seems kind of stupid for you to mention it at all.

And I think Plato would probably agree that you should talk your car to a mechanic, but his ideal nation-state (not mine) would not be ruled by a mechanic, and would seem to be more like those of Solomon, or Louis the 14th than anything resembling politics in America. So it seems like a total red herring to try and apply his political philosophies to anyone in America. I'm pretty sure all the royalists left a long time ago.

That being said, if you're interested in becoming President, the first choice in a profession is most likely to be a lawyer, something more akin to philosophy than anything practical.

notajayhawk 5 years, 2 months ago

MyName (Anonymous) says…

"So it seems like a total red herring to try and apply his political philosophies to anyone in America. I'm pretty sure all the royalists left a long time ago."

Well, considering I wasn't the one who brought him up ...

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

Pilgrim2, you can feel the breeze from Reagan's grave at what the "Republican party" has become these days. Sometimes I really wish McCain had become president just to see what he would have done with this mess we're in. But being the Republican candidate after a president that left office with approval ratings darn near in the teens and then shooting himself in the foot by naming Palin as his running mate, he was pretty much doomed to failure. At this point I'll bet anything that McCain is glad he didn't win.

leedavid 5 years, 2 months ago

"One year in, hope harder to come by, Obama finds"

I have more hope now that when Obama took office. Everyday I get more hope. I just keep hoping he changes.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 2 months ago

You keep insisting that Carter was the “most failed president in American history” yet I don't recall the economy being in near this mess when Carter left office nor did he leave the office with approval ratings below 25%. If anything, the closest thing to it occurred during the REAGAN administration. Reagan didn't clean up any messes but his own. But at least he did clean them up. Same can't be said for GWB.

leedavid 5 years, 2 months ago

Cait..... you don't remember the Carter double digits? Inflation, interest rates and unemployment. Double digets in each, I don't know if any other presidents was ever that bad. He lost his job over this. Regan cleaned up his mess.

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