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Opinion

Opinion

For GOP, Obama is the problem

August 7, 2011

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Ladies and gentlemen, here he is, “your boy,” that “tar baby,” the president of the United States, Barack Obama.

Ahem.

The first title was bestowed upon Obama by political commentator Patrick Buchanan on Tuesday, the second by U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn on the Friday before last, the third by the American electorate in November 2008. If the first two seem to cancel out the third, well, that’s the point. One hopes they will help the president understand something he has thus far refused to grasp about his political opposition.

Namely, these people don’t want to be friends. They don’t want to compromise for the greater good. They don’t want to solve problems unless by problems you mean his continued tenancy in that mansion on Pennsylvania Avenue.

They have not been coy about this. Rush Limbaugh said it (“I hope he fails”) when Mrs. Obama was still picking out a dress for the inauguration. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in November that, in a time of war and recession, his No. 1 goal is to deny Obama a second term.

Yet somehow, the Obama brain trust, a term herein used advisedly, always seems caught off guard by the ferocity, velocity and fury of the response to him. They were surprised at the verbal and physical violence of the health-care debate, surprised at the hardiness of the birther nonsense, surprised by the stiff defense of the Bush-era tax cuts.

Now, they are surprised the GOP would rather see the U.S. economy go off a cliff than surrender the aforementioned tax cuts for rich folks. So the debt ceiling gets raised in exchange for cuts to services for the poor, who shortsightedly failed to hire lobbyists.

It is time Obama quit being surprised by the predictable, time he understood this is not politics as usual, not Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neill snarling at one another by day and having drinks by night, like that old cartoon where the sheepdog and the coyote punch a time clock to signal the beginning and end of their hostilities. It is not Bill Clinton living in a state of permanent investigation, nor even George W. Bush being called incompetent all day everyday.

No, this is a new thing, repulsion at a visceral, indeed, mitochondrial, level. Obama’s denigrators are appalled by the newness of him, the liberality of him, the exoticness of him and, yes, and the blackness of him.

“Your boy?” Really?

Sure. Why not. Didn’t Rep. Lynn Westmoreland call him “uppity”? Didn’t the ex-mayor of Los Alamitos, Calif., send out an email showing the White House with a watermelon patch?

See, here’s the thing: If, as is frequently said, Obama represents America’s future, what do they represent?

You know the answer. Worse, they do, too.

Still, what matters here are neither their feelings nor his. No, what matters is homeowners dispossessed of their homes, workers who can’t find work, sick people who can’t afford health insurance, American soldiers on patrol in hostile places.

The president is a basketball fan, so surely he knows it is sometimes necessary to throw an elbow on your way to the goal. This is one of those times. His instinct to compromise, to work with the opposition to solve problems, is admirable.

But Obama needs to understand: As far as they are concerned, they have no problem bigger than him.

Leonard Pitts Jr., winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, is a columnist for the Miami Herald. He chats with readers from noon to 1 p.m. each Wednesday on www.MiamiHerald.com.

Comments

Getaroom 3 years, 4 months ago

Lame post ksrush(limbaugh) I am sure once Snappy Poppy wakes up and Merrill posts, there will be an equally lame post.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I guess it's ok with folks like ksrush for people to call the president "your boy" and a "tar baby".

Hmmm.

xclusive85 3 years, 4 months ago

Just as it is ok for people to call our governor Browncrack, Brownbackistan, Brownbrokeback, and any of others? Come on, it happens on both sides. Not that it makes it ok.

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes, I'm sure our cracker of a governor gets so tired of being called a honkey all the time.

xclusive85 3 years, 4 months ago

Why is one form of namecalling any better than any others. The intent is the same, to hurt, correct?

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

You can't see the difference between calling someone names because of their policy positions and calling them names because of their race? Really?

There's a big difference between "Nobama" and "Tar baby," just as there's a difference between calling my favorite ball of "chootspah" crazy and calling her another word that begins with c. It's a false equivalency to brush off blatant racism or sexism just because the other side makes up a few childish nicknames

xclusive85 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think I was brushing off either. That's the difference. I was saying that neither one is appropriate or should be used. You on the other hand think that horrible, uncivil behavior is acceptable in some cases and not in others. By the way, I don't really approve of what Brownback or Obama have done (or not done) to date. You just don't see me slurring or slinging mud at either one.

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Talking on a cell phone during a movie is rude. Urinating on someone is unacceptably rude. You are essentially saying "People do rude things all the time. This happens on both sides!" and that's where your false equivalency comes in. The two actions are not, in fact, equal.

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

And I suppose the shorter answer is because one is insulting to an individual and the other is insulting to a group.

xclusive85 3 years, 4 months ago

And there it is, it is ok to be insulting to an individual but not a group? Really?

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

Yes. Really. If someone runs for office, they're volunteering to hear personal insults along with the praise. My neighbor, on the other hand, did not run for office and doesn't deserve the insult spillover.

Kate Rogge 3 years, 4 months ago

In this case, I think the difference is upon what basis am I calling names. Is it based upon Governor Brownback's behavior (which can be changed) or President Obama's race (which is immutable)?

Pete_Schweti 3 years, 4 months ago

Oh, it's not just the GOP that he's a problem for...

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

"For American, Obama is the problem" Your headline was wrong. I fixed it for you. You're welcome.

quik 3 years, 4 months ago

How about, "For Obama, Obama is the problem." In an interview with Matt Lauer in '09 he said that if the economy has not turned around by his third year, he's a one-term president. We've got 6 months to go, not looking so good.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

This column ought to cause many to question their irrational hatred of our President. Sadly, it will not. So long as the greediest and most ruthless have their propaganda networks, they will exploit America's racism for fun and profit.

tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months ago

And the vast majority of Americans, middle class and poor, will suffer, but will they wake up to this obsession, and vote for people whose main goal is to help America? Will they vote for someone who isn't constantly running for office and whose only goal is defeating the opposing party? Will they vote for someone who defines themselves as Americans first, party affiliation and religion, second? Doubtful.

bradh 3 years, 4 months ago

Racism? Pitts is the most racist person in America. Shoot, he thought KC putting up poles around the sidewalks downtown was racist, not an attempt to keep bikes from hitting pedestrians.

Propaganda? What was this article? Nothing but propaganda. The whole economic failure of Obama's first 3 years was the Republican's fault per the article. It seems to me that the President has to take responsibilty - every President before this one has, Democrat or Republican. As Truman said, "The buck stops here." The article acts like Obama has been open to bipartisanship. He hasn't. He invoked seldom used legislative manipulations to make sure the Republican's voices couldn't be heard to get his health care bill passed. He wasn't willing to work with Republicans, or many Democrats, on getting the debt increase bill through. The only thing he wants from the other side is someone to blame.

After 3 years, the blame falls squarely on Obama. He obviously can't fix the system and won't work with others, which he needs to do if we are going to get anything fixed.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

So Bush took complete responsibility for 9/11 and the economic mess under his administration? I must have missed that part.

And you'd give full credit to Clinton for balancing the budget and leaving surpluses? Seems unlikely.

I just don't understand this sort of partisan thinking at all.

It's obvious to me that both parties, and most politicians, try to use events to their advantage, and look to avoid blame if things go wrong. Your examples are one-sided, and ignore the intransigence of the Republicans in refusing to consider raising revenue, for one thing.

Working together is the only way we'll ever fix things, but both sides are bad at that.

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

How do you determine which is better? Do you have a methodology or do you just know "better" when you see it?

funkdog1 3 years, 4 months ago

Yeah, here's a methodology: compared to Bush Jr., Sarah Palin, Rick Perry and Michelle Bachman, Obama is articulate, educated and extremely well-versed in world politics (he knew to look for Bin Ladin in Pakistan, while the Bush administration refused to go there).

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

ksrush, you spot it so easily from Reid -- and I agree, Reid was ridiculous in his comment -- but you refuse to acknowledge similar racially insensitive comments coming with far greater frequency from conservatives and those in the GOP. Why is that?

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Knowing that there are some like you who have never heard anyone ever say anything bad about President Obama's race (he doesn't go by "Barney" or "O," by the way), Pitts has provided you with some recent examples. You had apparently only know of Reid's comments. Now you know that there are, indeed, Republicans who say things that are insensitve regarding our president's race.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Yep.

He just can win with these folks - no matter what he does, they'll criticize it, even if it makes no sense.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Why do you ignore the racial insults mentioned in the column, instead preferring to attack the writer?

Of course he wants people to read his column - that's how he makes his living.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

I'll look forward to you complaints about one sided reporting on the next Cal Thomas or George Will article.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

You disagee with Obama on anything, and you're a racist. It's been that way ever since Obama pulled the race card on Bill Clinton during the Democrats' presidential primary in April of 2008.

Those on both sides of the aisle who predicted that the election of Obama would not necessarily improve race relations in America were right. No matter how much negative baggage Obama creates for himself, you can't disagree with any of his major policies without certain of his supporters injecting racism into the debate. That's the way it is, and that's the way it will remain - unless the Dems get smart and nominate Hillary in 2012.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

There may be such people, but I don't know anyone who fits that description. For example, I was quite pleased when Obama signed the tax legislation last December.

cato_the_elder 3 years, 4 months ago

Not sure what you mean. I was pleased that Obama agreed to sign the legislation, but it never would have happened without the Tea Party.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

The column includes two obviously racially motivated insults - "your boy" and "tar baby".

You don't consider those evidence of racism?

I think it's perfectly possible to disagree with policies and criticize them without being racially motivated, but those slurs clearly are motivated by that.

chootspa 3 years, 4 months ago

You know, if the tea partiers would just shut up for a second, they might hear a lot of Obama's very own political party disagreeing with him. A lot. Pitt's column spent a great deal of time doing just that.

Sunny Parker 3 years, 4 months ago

The problem is that he is a community organizer and is not qualified to be president!

grammaddy 3 years, 4 months ago

Community organizer AND Constitutional Law Professor.What other qualifications do think a President needs?

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

Looking at the list of presidents that were good, in my opinion, I have found no common occupation that would predict who would become a good president and who would become a bad president.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Should he have been a B-movie actor and governor rather than law professor and senator?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I'd like to see your list of "real" presidents.

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

My list of good presidents would be very short indeed. I'd like to put Washington on that list because he resisted the temptation of turning the presidency into an imperial office by serving two terms only. But he owned human beings, which prevents me from inclusion. I'd like to put Jefferson on that list for several reasons, but he too owned humans. Lincoln certainly makes the grade. Teddy Roosevelt's making of the national park system makes the grade. FDR has to be on my list. JFK gets on if only because we believe he would have achieved greatness had he lived. Carter was a terrible president but a good human being. And just like I can't give Nixon credit for opening the door to China because of Watergate, I can't give credit to Clinton for the economy because of the "Monica" affair. A surprise member of my list would be Ford. For a person not elected either president or vice-president, he accomplished what needed to be accomplished at that time. We needed a caretaker until the next election and he did that very well. That's my list.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I'd give Nixon credit for China, even with his other difficulties.

And, I'd certainly give Clinton credit for the economy, even with Monica.

I have the same problems as you do with our founders, especially Jefferson, who on so many levels seems like such a well-educated and enlightened guy - the slavery thing really doesn't fit with the rest of him.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Sunny, have you read the Constitution? Obama clearly meets the qualifications, even if some tried to convince others that he wasn't an American citizen. He meets the necessary qualifications.

By the way, what do you have against a person working for the betterment of their community? I thought the GOP was in favor of people giving back and serving their communities.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

Or, to arrange the headline yet again: "For Obama, America is a problem". "...Mr. Obama has told people that it would be so much easier to be the president of China. As one official put it, “No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.” " http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/11/world/africa/11policy.html

tomatogrower 3 years, 4 months ago

“No one is scrutinizing Hu Jintao’s words in Tahrir Square.”

No one is scutinizing the comments of the GOP either. "your boy", "tarbaby", "uppity", "watermelon patch". I realize in your circle this is just everyday language, but for most, it's outright racist comments. Nothing of substance, just racism. Did the media scutinize this? I read a lot, but this is the first time I've seen these comments in print. Why weren't these people called on the carpet for these remarks?

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

Words are just words. They mean what you hear and nothing more. I won't disagree with your allusion to the existence of racism in America, however it is practiced by every person regardless of their color or whatever.

I'll be the first out of the closet. I think the Asian race is superior to all others. I'm not Asian, I'm only white.

While we are on the topic of racism: http://www.todaystmj4.com/news/local/126825018.html Enjoy.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Wow. If you think Asians are superior to all others, what race do you think is inferior to all others?

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

"what race do you think is inferior to all others? "

The rest are about the same.

"So, your concept of race includes the notion of superiority?"

Yours doesn't?

Cait McKnelly 3 years, 4 months ago

You wouldn't know real socialism if it bit you in the a$$.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

What do the insults "your boy" and "tar baby" have to do with his policies?

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

I don't think President Default is going to be much of a problem. The economy is bad now, it will be worse next year. Mr Default is a one-term pony. He's a jimmy carter for a new generation.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

"Often railed against the White Devils ..."

Can you support this claim of "often"?

Also, the America that supported slavery then supported Jim Crow laws then fought against desegregation and continues to lock blacks up with far greater frequency than whites deserves a "GD America" comment.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

No, I'm saying you are taking it completely out of context and suggesting that this is the ONLY thing Wright ever preached. Personally, I would rather our President didn't attend any church. A reliance on a supernatural being means people aren't ultimately responsible for taking care of things. This is what I see wrong with Gov. Perry's disparaging comments about present day America at his prayer gathering. Instead of claiming that we the people need to fix the problems we face, he wants to hand the wheel to Jesus.

Also, Obama isn't our "dear leader." He is not a supreme being or dictator, but an elected official, voted for by the people of the United States. Calling him "dear leader" is only a slam against your fellow Americans. You speak of Wright's hatred for America, so I must ask, why do you hate American voters?

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

BAA, Mitt Romney grew up in a church whose teachings claimed that blacks were inferior humans until they changed the words supposedly stated by god in 1978. Romney was 31 years old by then. 31 years of being told to believe that god had cursed blacks: "... the Lord God did cause a skin of blackness to come upon them. And thus saith the Lord God; I will cause that they shall be loathsome unto thy people, save they shall repent of their iniquities." (2 Nephi 5:21)

Will you hold Romney to the same standard you claim of Obama? Keep in mind, for Romney it was the very religion itself making these claims, not just a disgruntled preacher. He remained in the religion long after he was old enough to choose for himself.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

It was 33 years ago, not 43. I'm also not saying in any way do I believe Romney is a racist. The religion he was in as an adult (aged 18 - 31), however, was grounded in racism and he didn't leave. He chose to stay, which means he chose to associate with a known racist religion, but that doesn't necessarily make him a racist. I would agree with you there. However, you don't give Obama the same credit. You base your opinions of Obama "harboring more racist sentiment" on nothing other than that is what you want to believe. Feel free to think he hates half of himself and the family that raised him if you like.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

The Mormons corrected the word of their god in 1978, but that doesn't make them automatically squeeky clean when it comes to race or unaccountable for their history.

Again, you don't know what was preached in the church over a 20 year period outside of the little snippets you saw, and you can't claim that one brief statement said when Obama wasn't (to my knowledge... I could be wrong) in the audience accounts for everything said over that 20 year period. Once later comments were made Obama did publicly disassociate himself from Wright, something you refuse to note.

Further, and this is the biggest point, is that you are holding Obama accountable for what others have said, not what Obama himself has said. If Wright were to run for president then I would agree that he shouldn't get our votes. Wright, however, isn't Obama. Based on your regular comments, you should have plenty to argue against Obama without having to go into what his preacher, mother, sister or neighbor down the block once said.

What does this have to do with Romney, you wonder? Well, I'm not saying Romney is unqualified to be president based on his association with a formerly racist religion. I'm using it as an example to say that if you only look at one thing and try to say it describes the entire thing, as you are doing with one statement by Wright to describe Obama's church, then you are missing a great, great deal. You are being selective to the point of missing everything else.

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

No BAA, it happened every day, 24/7, without stop. That one clip defines everything Wright is and everything he represents. And we know this because, you know, we have that one clip. I'm sure Mitt Romney need not worry because after 1978, nobody he has ever been associated with has ever said anything racist on camera, right?

You see, you fail to address the basic question of whether or not Obama is responsible for what others say and do. Is he?

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

To understand black liberation theology, you have to understand it in the context of slavery, and the widespread mistreatment of black people in this country, who didn't even achieve legal equality until the 1960's (only 50 years ago).

And who still face unequal treatment today - they are incarcerated at a much higher rate than is warranted by the statistics.

Is that the America that you love, and think we all should love and support? Or, is it a good idea to look at those things, and criticize them?

You and others say, correctly, that one can criticize Obama and not be a racist - it is equally true that one can criticize this country's policies and not be "anti-American".

Especially if those policies and practices are ones that aren't aligned with our greatest ideals - all men are created equal, etc.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

I didn't say it was "ok" to be racist - I said if you want to understand black liberation theology, you have to understand it in context.

It's admirable that your ancestors worked hard and overcame difficulties, of course.

But there's a fundamental difference between immigrants who came here willingly as free men/women, and black people who were enslaved.

I think it's hard for anybody who hasn't been through that to really understand what it must have been like.

None of your examples include a governmental policy that allows you to be enslaved, beaten, considered property, and lynched, or calculates you as worth 3/5 of a white person.

Sylvie Rueff 3 years, 4 months ago

As a woman qualified for senior discounts, and a Kansan to boot, I would be pleased to call President Obama "My Boy". Call me an Obama-Mama. I think he is doing the best job possible, under the circumstances, in these very trying times. If only we could all learn to overcome our differences, pitch-in and work together to meet and surmount the challenges we are facing today, and those looming ahead...

Liberty275 3 years, 4 months ago

"think he is doing the best job possible, under the circumstances"

So do the athletes at the Special Olympics.

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

The Mope in Chief is a problem for some on the sinister side of the aisle. "There is no question that organizing a 2012 primary challenge against Obama will be an difficult undertaking, but it is absolutely necessary, and will drastically increase the likelihood of either getting a decent progressive presidential candidate for our party in 2012, or else in pushing Obama back into the Democratic fold, which he has all but left at this point...." http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/12/06/811424/-2012-primary-challenge-against-Obama That was actually posted a couple of years ago. Nothing seems to have changed among the professional leftists.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

A whack job like Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, or our homegrown favorite, Sam Brownback on the right is apparently perfectly acceptable, but a challenge to our right of center President by those left of center is a problem?

beatrice 3 years, 4 months ago

Mope in Chief? Really? And what have you accomplished? Oh, that is right, you told Merrill you don't like him copying and pasting. Guess you don't like the competition.

pizzapete 3 years, 4 months ago

Didn't the CEO's of Enron, Halliburton, BP, etc,, call Bush "our boy", too?

Mike Ford 3 years, 4 months ago

it's nice to hear aowg's complain about Mr. Obama on here. Your tone gives you away as angry ole white guys or aowgs. Pick up that Archie Bunker sense of togetherness and run to your nearest fundy church and justify your comments with your biblical interpretations. They all do that right???? my ex grandfather does it....

Darrell Lea 3 years, 4 months ago

I agree with Leonard Pitts. I support the President of The United States. God Bless America.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

Especially in a time of war.

Remember when criticizing the right winger President was unpatriotic because of the potential harm that might come to our precious troops overseas if our President was criticized?

Nice of the repugs to wise up in time to go after a "Democratic" President.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Thanks for that reminder!

I had forgotten about that - anybody on the right able to explain that one? We're still fighting several wars - why is it suddenly a good thing to publicly attack the president now, when before it was a terribly bad idea?

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

Looks like that would be a big fat "No."

purplesage 3 years, 4 months ago

Seems to me, Mr. Pitts, that it took two obstinate positions to create the recent debacle in Washington which has now resulted in the USA losing AAA credit rating. He'e been there too long to blame George Bush for that.

Name calling is pretty immature, regardless of which side resorts to it, and both do. The President is arrogant and stubborn. That is more apparent than his race. I guess I don't get why someone with a White parent and a Black parent is presumed Black.

Why does Mr. Pitt's assume that it is the Republican's fault alone? Not one of his better columns.

Joe Hyde 3 years, 4 months ago

"I guess I don't get why someone with a White parent and a Black parent is presumed Black."

This same question confused me for many years, too, until I figured out that certain American social institutions hold such a negative view of anyone who is not 100% Caucasian that they want anyone who was not born of 100% Caucasian heritage to be forever identified by what they consider to be the "lower denominator".

Which, apart from being plain stupid, is racially self-deprecating. I mean, for someone born of mixed race, one parent white and the other non-white, wouldn't such a baby receive the official "genetically superior" white designation attributable to the white parent? Wouldn't all Caucasian/non-Caucasian children be officially termed "white babies" if only to help perpetuate the presumed genetic superiority that racists and bigots insist comes merely from being white? Wouldn't possessing even the tiniest bit of Caucasian genes be enough to make you a "white person"?

I can't help thinking that the alarm felt by many critics of President Obama actually stems from their shocked reaction to recent scientific examinations of worldwide DNA patterns, studies that have proven that every human now living on the planet has an evolutionary and ancestral history that traces back many hundreds of thousands of years to the early hominids that lived in -- gasp! -- Africa.

Genetically we're all descendants of African parents despite our skin color. But for American white supremacists ignorant of science there's an urgent and deep-seated need to attack President Obama because his mere existence bolsters scientific studies proving that every human is pretty darn smart, and a mixing of racial characteristics is business as usual among any population of humans.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Actually, the S&P spokesperson mentioned both this administration and the previous one in his interview, when discussing what led to this downgrade.

Many politicians are arrogant and stubborn, which is a problem.

scott3460 3 years, 4 months ago

The Tea Party are not "We the People!" They may demand the cow jump over the moon, but that does not mean it will happen.

Quite ingenious of the those socialist-controlled media to hide behind the guise of corporate structures. Are the criminals at the Faux "News" channel part of the commie cabal? I don't think so, but I keep waiting for them to report on their law breaking in the UK, but they never do & so I just can't decide.

Sheesh!

Thank you for sharing your cartoon understanding of black people, however. The unintended humor in your sea of sadness was a nice way to end.

homechanger 3 years, 4 months ago

Equal parts black and white make gray. Therefore BHO is our first gray president right?

Flap Doodle 3 years, 4 months ago

He's proclaimed himself to be black to ensure the retention of the massive voting block of black Americans.

Kate Rogge 3 years, 4 months ago

Years ago in New York I asked good friend of mine - whose mother was American Jewish white and whose father was Jamaican black - why he self-identified as 'black' when he was equally half-white. He said that as a child he chose to identify with the people who made him welcome and who wanted him to be among them. And for him, it was black Americans in their mixed race Lower East Side neighborhood. A cousin of mine was raised in State College, PA by her white mother and grandparents and never knew her black father and his family (the couple separated before the pregnancy was known). She told me she identified herself as black because, despite being very loved by us, her white family, just about everyone else in their Penn State community - both white and black - made it very clear to her as a child that she is black, and not white. It seems to me, sir, that mixed race people have a very difficult time finding a home in either race, but that as long as white people choose to draw back from embracing half-white children as full members of our white 'tribe', mixed black and white children will choose to align themselves with the black race who accepts them. For their own heart's peace, sir. Not to retain a voting block of black Americans.

tbaker 3 years, 4 months ago

Pitts....get a clue. At the risk of sounding redundant, the President is a problem for the entire country, not just the republicans. The man either doesn't know what he is doing, or even more frightening, he does. Consequently, in 530 days we will swear in a new president and Mr. Obama will take his place in the "failed one-term social engineers" section of the history books alongside Jimmy Carter. Soon after the chants of "elections have consequences" will once again commence on this blog, with republicans blaming liberals for the mess the new presidnet inherited, but nothing of substance will change until the country crashes financially, or the politicans muster the courage to make the very hard choices that will be there waiting for the new president on January 21st.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

So where will you cut 33% from the budget in order to balance it, without raising revenue?

tbaker 3 years, 4 months ago

From John Stossel:

Defense cut by 2/3: $475 billion (Federal Budget, pg. 58)

Medicare/Medicaid*: $441 billion (Cato Institute)

Social Security Means Testing: $170 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Dept. of Education (includes Pell Grants): $106.9 billion (Cato Institute)

Social Security*: $85.7 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Transportation: $84.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Tax Amnesty: $80 billion (Rep. Jared Polis D-Co.)

Eliminate Dept. of Labor*: $78.6 billion (Department of Labor and White House)

Eliminate HUD: $60.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Agriculture*: $33 billion (Cato Institute)

Cut civilian employee compensation: $30 billion (Cato Institute)

Stop maintaining vacant federal property: $25 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Foreign Aid: $21.2 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate Dept. of Energy*: $20.8 billion (Cato Institute)

Eliminate NASA: $19.6 billion (Cato Institute)

Federal Drug War: $15 billion (White House)

Earmark moratorium: $16 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Fannie/Freddie Subsidies: $14 billion (Federal Housing Finance Agency (p. 10))

Eliminate Dept. of Commerce: $13.9 billion (Department of Commerce)

Eliminate Dept. of Interior: $12 billion (White House)

Legalize Pot, Online gambling, Immigrants: $12 billion (Rep. Jared Polis D-Co.)

Privatize Army Corps of Engineers: $10.6 billion (Cato Institute)

Cut federal employee travel budget: $10 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate National Science Foundation: $7.4 billion (National Science Foundation)

End EPA’s State and Local grants: $6.5 billion (Cato Institute)

Repeal Davis-Bacon: $6 billion (Republican Study Committee)

Privatize TSA: $5.7 billion (Federal Budget)

Cut Dept. of Justice’s State and Local grants: $5 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Privatize Post Office: $4 billion (White House)

Eliminate Small Business Administration: $1.8 billion (Small Business Administration)

Lease coastal plain of ANWR: $1.5 billion (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate Federal Flood Insurance: $1.3 billion (CBO, pg. 3)

Abolish SEC: $1.3 billion (SEC)

Eliminate Corporation for National Community Service: $1 billion (Cato Institute)

Suspend acquisition of federal office space: $1 billion (Heritage Foundation)

End subsidies for public broadcasting: $500 million (Cato Institute)

Eliminate the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corp: $480 million (Heritage Foundation)

Eliminate the FCC: $439 million (FCC)

Eliminate the Endowments for Arts/Humanities: $332 million (NEA/NEH)

Total Cut: $1,882,619,000,000

Current deficit: $1,645,000,000,000

Surplus Achieved: $237,619,000,000

(Research by Maxim Lott and Charles Couger.)

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

There are a few ideas on that list I might agree with, but many that I wouldn't.

I suspect the same will be true for other people, but with differing likes and dislikes.

Abolishing the SEC seems like a particularly bad idea, and stands out, along with several of the other complete eliminations of departments.

tbaker 3 years, 4 months ago

The list serves as a good place to start the dicussion - just like you did. Kudos jafs. The part that grinds my gears is the fact the politicans are avoiding this discussion.

heygary 3 years, 4 months ago

“I could end the deficit in 5 minutes. You just pass a law that says that anytime there is a deficit of more than 3% of GDP all sitting members of congress are ineligible for reelection.” Warren Buffett

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Again, I'd suggest you focus on posting comments that don't violate the TOS - then they won't be deleted, even if somebody flags them.

jafs 3 years, 4 months ago

Well, I tend to do my best to make arguments without resorting to personal attacks or insults, even when it's difficult.

As a result, I've had extremely few posts deleted over the years.

I don't worry about having my posts flagged for that reason.

Substantive discussion and argument is welcome - I wouldn't welcome personal attacks and insults - would you?

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