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Excerpt: "President Obama's fruitless three-year search for compromise with the Republicans ended in a thunderclap of a speech on Tuesday, as he denounced the party and its presidential candidates for cruelty and extremism."

President Obama came out swinging yesterday, denouncing the GOP budget. (photo: Getty Images)
President Obama came out swinging yesterday, denouncing the GOP budget. (photo: Getty Images)

Calling Radicalism by Its Name

By The New York Times | Editorial

04 April 12


resident Obama's fruitless three-year search for compromise with the Republicans ended in a thunderclap of a speech on Tuesday, as he denounced the party and its presidential candidates for cruelty and extremism. He accused his opponents of imposing on the country a "radical vision" that "is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity."

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential front-runner, has embraced a House budget plan that is little more than "thinly veiled social Darwinism," the president said, a "Trojan horse" disguised as deficit reduction that would hurt middle- and lower-income Americans.

"By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that's built to last - education and training, research and development, our infrastructure - it is a prescription for decline," he said, speaking to a group of Associated Press editors and reporters in Washington.

Mr. Obama has, in recent months, urged Republicans to put aside their destructive agenda. But, in this speech, he finally conceded that the party has demonstrated no interest in the values of compromise and realism. Even Ronald Reagan, who raised taxes in multiple budget deals, "could not get through a Republican primary today," Mr. Obama said. While Democrats have repeatedly shown a willingness to cut entitlements and have agreed to trillions in domestic spending cuts, he said, Republicans won't agree to any tax increases and, in fact, want to shower the rich with even more tax cuts.

The speech was the first time that Mr. Obama linked Mr. Romney, by name, to his party's dishonest budget and discredited trickle-down policies. As Mr. Obama pointed out, Mr. Romney described as "marvelous" a budget that would drastically cut student financial aid, medical research, Head Start classrooms and environmental protections. Mr. Obama further ridiculed the budget's deficit-cutting goal as "laughable" because it refuses to acknowledge the need for new revenues.

The speech was immediately attacked by the House speaker, John Boehner, for failing to deal with the debt crisis, but Mr. Obama pointed out how hollow that charge has become. "That argument might have a shred of credibility were it not for their proposal to also spend $4.6 trillion over the next decade on lower tax rates," he said. The math is, in fact, quite simple: cutting both taxes and the deficit can mean only more sacrifice from the middle class and the poor, ending the promise of Medicare and Medicaid. Over the long term, the deficit can be brought down through a combination of cuts and new revenues; doing so immediately, as Mr. Romney and his party want to do, would reverse the fragile recovery.

Mr. Obama provided a powerful signal on Tuesday that he intends to make this election about the Republican Party's failure to confront, what he called, "the defining issue of our time": restoring a sense of economic security while giving everyone a fair shot, rather than enabling only a shrinking number of people to do exceedingly well. His remarks promise a tough-minded campaign that will call extremism and dishonesty by name. your social media marketing partner


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+30 # indian weaver 2012-04-04 15:25
Obama certainly has plenty of ammunition to shoot down the Republican's destructive agenda. Why didn't he start the shootout from day 1 instead of wait until we've dug deeper into fascism 6 ways from Sunday over the past 3 years under his regime? Obama increased the deficit by a record amount, worse than dubya. And sold us out to the evil stink in america - the banks. None of the criminals were indicted who destroyed my country. Why not? Where was Obama 3 years ago? Already sold out. Desperate now? Please listen, we need help, we the People. Who are you? Where are you? What are you? Our president? I've yet to see one in the White House for years now - they are few and far between anymore. How long do we wait, as the country continues to crash and burn, before the People have had enough? Obama is and has been simply too late with too little - no guts.
+22 # 2lilluc 2012-04-05 07:08
Sad to say, I have to agree with you on much of what you say although I disagree that Obama "sold out." I don't think he knew the extent of, nor the vicious manner in which this hateful Republican Party would oppose and try to destroy him. I think he was trying to be a good guy and find some compromise. Maybe I'm wrong but unfortunately the result was catastrofic and now we wade through a stinking mire and watch as our country falls to pieces. I too wish he had had the guts to indict the criminals, including former president and vice president, who destroyed this country and set us on the path we are currently hurling down! But, you know, it would have been seen as vindictiveness and the Repubs would have had even more of a field day, twisting and spinning... Still...
Lately I often find myself wondering, is America going to have to fall apart completely in order for us to build her back up again? My great hope is that with Obama's second term, all bets are off! No more compromise, no more Mr. nice guy, no more allowing this Republican party to continue with their hateful destruction of our country. They are like poisonous vipers. They lie, cheat and steal. Reverse Robin Hoods!
You are right, we the people, really do need help! I think it's going to have to start with us...the fight that is....
+3 # CL38 2012-04-05 11:22
You prefer to put back into power the very people and party whose policies brought the '08 economic crisis -- including banking, mortgage and Wall Street scams -- and ran up the deficit to 5.07 trillion?

The facts: after spending the $231 billion surplus he inherited from Clinton, Bush left a deficit of 5.07 trillion. Obama added 1.44 trillion.
+22 # Rick Levy 2012-04-04 20:11
It took three years for Obama to become clear on the concept? And just in time for the election season too.
+21 # Ralph Averill 2012-04-05 03:53
Actually, it took three years for Obama to realize that there would be no doing business with Republicans. Respectful negotiation and compromise, the very soul of the democratic process, no longer exists in the US Congress, thanks to the Republicans. Was Obama naive? Maybe. I'd say he was an optimist with an over-estimation of his own powers of persuasion. Maybe I'm naive too, but at 61, I doubt it.
It's all about Congress in 2012!
+14 # Regina 2012-04-05 12:11
No, it took three years for Obama to learn that there was zero compromise, that there was zero possibility of accommodation, that if he adopted a proposal previously advanced by the Spite Gang they would immediately reverse their stance. His opposition was so hell-bent on making him fail that they chose to wreck the country rather than work with him. We've had some nasty opposition in previous administrations , but there is one factor of difference this time: Obama is black.
+2 # ericlipps 2012-04-05 16:57
Quoting Regina:
No, it took three years for Obama to learn that there was zero compromise, that there was zero possibility of accommodation, that if he adopted a proposal previously advanced by the Spite Gang they would immediately reverse their stance. His opposition was so hell-bent on making him fail that they chose to wreck the country rather than work with him. We've had some nasty opposition in previous administrations, but there is one factor of difference this time: Obama is black.

Bill Clinton wasn't, but was treated, if anything, worse than Obama has been, despite bending over backwards (forwards?) to accommodaate Republicans on bankig regulation, welfare and so on. So far, Reopublicans aren't ginning up an impeachment of Obama (though I admit it might be just a matter of time).
+44 # Tigre1 2012-04-04 21:33
Of course, four years more of Obama MAY buy enough time for far-sighted Americans to amass enough to move to another country, perhaps one with fewer stupid public gun wearers and no drones to keep track of them...there might be an opportunity to improve one's standard of living somewhere south of here...but make no mistake: SCOTUS is owned, Congress is owned, DOJ is owned, and YOU...if you are reading this and care...YOU are NOT the owner.
-20 # Ralph Averill 2012-04-05 03:54
Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out.
+11 # RLF 2012-04-05 05:17
The Fed is owned. The SEC is owned. The military is owned and that should scare people!
+3 # rockieball 2012-04-06 08:16
Especially since during G.W.'s term he all but privatized the military after the Iraq invasion.
+3 # 2lilluc 2012-04-05 07:09
True that.
+12 # giraffee2012 2012-04-04 22:57
No matter what you think of Obama - if you don't vote for him in 2012 - you will get worse. Mitt is also owned. He's a spoiled rich person - who got his degree "WHERE"? His record at Bain is nothing short of screwing a bunch of companies on their way down-out (etc) and he's owned by the filthiest "deficit" fix ever proposed in this country.

You will hear more from President Obama - and compare: Romney doesn't say "what he'll do for you" - -only what he'll do for his "OWNERS" - -the same mantra as FAUX.

Romney's negative ads do nothing to tell us "what he can do for us" -- typically a negative ad slams the opposition. But that has been the mantra of the GOP/TP
-8 # paulrevere 2012-04-05 11:29
I'd draw note that the only advantage the left gets from voting for the bomberman is a slower drip of the poison to WETHEPEOPLE and our milleniums long quest for a level playing field for ourselves and our posterity.
If mittens is elected there will be a resultant clarity on the left...nothing like a good finger in the wringer to get our attention cause at this point the obvious conflict about an obvious shill is obviously not uniting US in common mind and awareness of who is NOT doing our bidding, nor ever will.
What is that line about a leopard and his spots?
-12 # paulrevere 2012-04-05 11:42
I am absolutely flabbergasted everytime someone ascerts finger waggle, finger waggle comments about things will get worse. Not paying attention is my take.

The obomberman's list of attrocities world wide and his list of moves cascading our once great beacon of human integrity (in spirit I mean, since US actions post Civil War have been atrociously corp-opted) on into a veritable police state, easily exceed what bushco so overtly revealed as an ongoing internal process.

Wake up friends for the only real answer is removing all of these usurpers through the long and arduous processes outlined in OUR founding documents...wit h acute attention to the admonitions about long trains of abuses deeming a right and a duty for WETHEPEOPLE to throw off such so called government!
+15 # Tazio 2012-04-04 23:00
Say what you will.....there are only two choices this election, President Obama or Nit Mormony. No contest.

Not voting because Your High Standards weren't met is to fall into the evil Republican trap. That's what happened in 2010.

Don't be fooled by the plethora (yes, plethora) of negative anti-Obama ads and carefully crafted rhetoric that is to come.
+12 # BradFromSalem 2012-04-05 09:49
Spot on.

You can bet that the Republicans will target left leaning voters to get them to sit this one out. They are well aware that the Progressives in the US wanted and hoped for much more than Obama has done. So come September and October when you start hearing from PACs with left wing sounding names suggesting that Obama sold you out, check out who they really represent.
+6 # Regina 2012-04-05 12:15
They will also make it very difficult for likely Democratic voters to cast their votes. The totalitarian wannabes will stop at nothing in order to pay their debts to their SCOTUS-approved funders, including their "pledgee" Norquist and the Koch pot-stirrers.
+3 # LetJusticeRoll 2012-04-05 16:00
Yes, and disappointed as I am in the Obama administration, we now *finally* have a movement of people rising up in the US. I'm referring to Occupy and many others. There's plenty of oppression of that movement even under the current administration, but it would be much worse under the Republifascists . Let's give our movement a fighting chance!
+6 # overanddone 2012-04-05 03:49
It has long been my contention, perhaps often in forums like this, that republicans calling themselves conservatives and even the left leaning press echoing that label were misnomers.
What the right calls conservative is by any definition radical. The Press in their descriptions, even those of us involved enough to comment in these forums, should be using the Radical label for the GOP. As there are no more center right republicans, just right wing nut jobs, excuse me, right wing radicals.
+7 # AndreM5 2012-04-05 09:08
"Left leaning press"????!!!???!

Perhaps your mistaken characterizatio n is the best answer to your own question.

The Corporate Press distort and promulgate the twisted labels and concepts. They are the echo chamber for Rove, Heritage, ALEC, et al. Even PBS puts tools from Cato on its broadcasts as if they are legitimate sources of objective information.
+2 # BradFromSalem 2012-04-05 10:53

Overanddone's point had nothing to do with his/her calling a few members of the press left-leaning. The point was valid as was the rest of yours.
-1 # overanddone 2012-04-06 03:33
Agreed, my assertion was that even the outlets of the press and blogosphere that are considered left leaning, use the term conservative to describe even the likes of Rush Limbaugh.
+3 # Regina 2012-04-05 12:20
Consider what they're working to "conserve": the wealth of the obscenely wealthy, which has long been harvested from the sacrifices of many people, not "earned." The language is also bent in their favor, because advertising income is far more important to the media than news communication.
+2 # uglysexy 2012-04-05 04:13
finally...but will he follow through?
And yes Tigre1 SCOTUS is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Cartelopoly or Cartelopathy. Wait till they hand down the
Harmon case decision and purge 5 million people out of their apartments in liberal bastion cities next winter.
+2 # uglysexy 2012-04-05 04:16
another thing that's radical is the paid off media, including the new york times, that did not much when SCOTUS installed it's selection in 2,000 and now with "Corporations United" and the ACA about to be struck down....the discredited humbugs in robes are about to insert themselves again in a presidential race. They are impeachable, the 5 injustices, but they will not be impeached
0 # dick 2012-04-05 05:41
Thank God Obama is moving past his far of appearing to be an "angry black man." We need him angry. But John Boner did not crash our economy. Obama's Wall St. buddies did. Why does he flat our refuse to direct some of his & some of the nation's anger at our worst foes? It isn't right to not indict. So send your $$ to Wisc, Mass, Neb, & RSN, not Barack-Blankens tein. Tell ALL national Democratic fund raisers that they MUST indict banksters or you will not send a dime. Obama disses US by not indicting.
+4 # Citizen Mike 2012-04-05 06:12
Too little too late, but better than nothing. It's a campaign speech designed to fire up his "base," but in past his performance has not lived up to his rhetoric. Still, we have no choice but to support him as The Lesser Evil and hope he will implement at least half-ass token measures to hold back the fascist tide.

Perhaps following Obama's empty rhetoric, some senators and congressmen will pick up this statement and fill it in with real substance.
+5 # 2lilluc 2012-04-05 07:21
I say, It's about time. I would not have liked to be in President Obama's shoes these last four years. This is not a "nice" Republican Party and we can't afford any more compromise.
+11 # humactdoc 2012-04-05 08:27
I support President Obama because of his intelligence and innate sense to work with people who have opposite views rather than calling them Jack A#*es and expecting everything to be done his way like a dictator.
He has had to deal with uber filibustering GOP Congressional leaders whose primary stated legislative goals have been to make sure Obama was not re-elected. Their secondary goal is to shift control and society benefits to corporations and the 1%. Obama has had to struggle to fix the economy with the GOP who aided and abetted destroying it and only propose legislation that will do further long term economic damage.
Obama is an aspirational leader and I applaud him for it!
+6 # tclose 2012-04-05 11:01
Good for the NYT to call a spade a spade too. About time - they have been as reluctant to do this over the past 3 years as Obama has.

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