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Richard Gwyn begins: "As was bound to happen, an article has just appeared, in the Washington Post and so in a respected, mainstream newspaper, calling on President Barack Obama to declare he will not run for re-election in 2012."

President Barack Obama, photographed during a Rolling Stone intyerview, 09/28/10. (photo: Reuters)
President Barack Obama, photographed during a Rolling Stone intyerview, 09/28/10. (photo: Reuters)

End of American Dream a Nightmare for Obama

By Richard Gwyn, Toronto Star

21 November 10

s was bound to happen, an article has just appeared, in the Washington Post and so in a respected, mainstream newspaper, calling on President Barack Obama to declare he will not run for re-election in 2012.

According to political commentators Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell, "America is suffering a widespread sense of crisis and anxiety" that Obama is magnifying because he "has largely lost the confidence of the governed."

In order to "galvanize the public for the hard decisions that must be made," they urge that Obama make an "explicit" announcement that he will be "a one-term president."

To pick holes in Schoen and Caddell's analysis is easy. A president who turns himself into a lame duck is scarcely likely to be able to mobilize the American people for the kind of decisions - not just hard ones but brutally hard ones - that lie ahead of them.

On the substantive point, though, they are right. Americans are facing a wrenching change of life that in an odd way Tea Party supporters, for all their superficiality, have expressed better than anyone else.

The core of the change of life America is undergoing is that it is ceasing to be an exceptional nation.

It will remain for a long time more powerful and richer than anyone else, and continue to exert immense cultural appeal, for a long time.

But it's in a phase of inescapable decline. This sense of contraction, of children's lives no longer being better than those of the parents, was, surely, as much the cause of the anxiety and anger expressed in the mid-term elections as the specifics of unemployment, mortgage foreclosures and wage cutbacks.

Decline has happened before to Rome and Britain and France and Spain. And, as is worth noting, to China also.

As was the case with these national empires, and others, this phenomenon has mostly been self-inflicted.

America tried to do everything - to police the world, to run the world's financial system, to maintain its people's standard of living far beyond its economic and financial ability to pay for their bills.

And now it's broke and exhausted. In Afghanistan, its military options have narrowed down to finding an exit strategy that avoids humiliation.

At home, it is entering, an era of austerity. No longer - any more than can Ireland or Greece or Portugal - can it avoid paying the pile up of bills, even by devices such as that of the Federal Reserve in temporarily shrinking the value of its outstanding bills by printing money.

There is of course the staggering budget deficit. Yet proposals by a bipartisan commission set up by Obama to suggest ways to squeeze the deficit down by $4 trillion over four years have provoked, from the Democrats, "simply unacceptable" and, from the Republicans, a refusal to even talk about closing tax loopholes.

This is only the best-known deficit. As considerable is the deficit in the form of the liabilities of so-called entitlement programs. The employee pension plans of the states are underfunded to the tune of $3.4 trillion.

And there's the cruellest deficit of all, that of the gap between rich and poor. America's top 1 percent now get one-quarter of the national income. Their gain has come mostly from the middle class. Again, it was the Tea Partiers who best understood the American Dream has passed them by.

Obama has not in fact "lost the confidence of the governed." Indeed, 47 percent told exit pollsters they wanted him to run again in 2012. He has, though, lost his voice.

If Obama spends the next two years telling his people the truth, he may well pay the ultimate political price.

But he would have fulfilled his own dictum, as he told TV interviewer Diane Sawyer, that "I'd rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president." your social media marketing partner


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+103 # Activista 2010-11-21 21:28
Washington Post, NYT, WSJ - media controlled by US oligarch - who got $3 billion from Republicans - are now "Will of the People?"
Money, money, money - culture of money and greed - and Rome is burning.
Obama is O.K. - get rid of Clintons and neocons - stop wars - stop $7 million per day for bobms to Israel - and we will be fine.
+53 # vincent 2010-11-22 00:05
I second this reply...get out of the war BIZ, thats #1, bring manufacturing back, get rid of the Bush Tax cut for the richest. War alone is 2 trillion +, probably more...our biggest export, arms and the wars to use them. What if that energy went into saving the planet or Education or Mass transportation, or Wind and Solar...seems simple!
+19 # DaveW. 2010-11-22 11:34
vincent, You make cogent points but leave out over-all concern of WHOEVER runs our government. That simply being the continued extension and maintenance of EMPIRE. The real problem is that Avarice and Ambition have replaced Altruism and Ability and we are rotting from the inside out. In the not to distant future, the very foundation that supports the Empire, and the Oligarchs and Plutocrats that "feed" off of it, will collapse from the "dead" weight of the bloated hierarchy at the top. Then, the aforementioned "investor class" will simply pick up their looted treasures and move to another locale they can likewise exploit until it too eventually collapses and so on, and so on down the line. Until, and if, lower and middle class Americans of all ethnicities, gender, sexual orientation and age realize that the enemy "lies" not in one another but behind the walls of financial institutions, mega mansions and the halls of our government institutions in many cases, we will be doomed to follow in the footsteps of previous empires who forgot that the "cream on the top" is the first to spoil.
-41 # eljosco 2010-11-22 05:58
it sounds like the followers of Chavez
+6 # karenvista 2010-11-22 18:38
Quoting eljosco:
it sounds like the followers of Chavez

You're mistaken. It sounds like the enemies of Chavez who have brought this on. We who will suffer are like the followers of Chavez. Haven't you noticed how he walks around in crowds and rides in open vehicles when our presidents have to be protected from the "people."
+15 # heraldmage 2010-11-22 20:22
What exactly is wrong with Chavez? He believed the people should control the country & own the natural resources rather than rich & corporations. He & his ideas were demonized labeled communistic to prevent loss of profit & power.
When people finally elected governments & prevented assignations & coups natural resources were nationalized, land was redistributed. under democratically elected gov't. The number of people living in poverty has been reduced, literacy increased, free health care, infant mortality decreased. The standard of living for the people has increased & democracy thrives.
These countries were labeled "axis of evil" because they took the power, and money from the privileged few & put into the hands of the people. Our ruler don't want us to realize that we the people may be better off using a different economic model. They act like Capitalism/priv atization is Constitutional mandated but it isn't. The "free market" system is not mentioned in any of our documents. It was imposed by the younger sons of British aristocracy & merchants, the founding fathers. A remnant of the feudal system without titles
Nothing stands in the way of profit & power.
+2 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:15
Quoting eljosco:
it sounds like the followers of Chavez you have a clue as to what Chavez was all about...
-34 # Annette Smith 2010-11-22 07:57
Yes, money and greed are the watchwords of the day. But how can you lump the Clintons and neocons together? Stop wars yes. But Israel needs to be protected.
+12 # Terry 2010-11-22 16:22
Can you say "Glass-Steagall "? If you can, then that's why we can safely lump the radical 1990s and 00's deregulators, including Clinton and the neocons, and Rubin and Greenspan and Geithner and Summers ALL together as the main reason for the current financial and economic collapse. And the fact that Obama has hired many of the same foxes to guard the chicken coop means we can blame him too.
+2 # heraldmage 2010-11-22 19:16
The Clinton's entered the White House as paupers living off the state. They left the White House with a $10 million mortgage with no job just president retirement as income. Their home renovation paid for by the people for security. We the people paid for Chelsie's education through College. There is ample proof to support contribution of the financial sector, corporations & Israel to the maintenance of their lifestyle.
I happen to like Bill Clinton he was a good president & left the country in better shape than in got it, but that doesn't negate corporate & foreign ownership & imperialist policy
+3 # Virge 2010-11-24 14:04
That's Capitalism at its finest! Greed seems to go along with wealth.
-61 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-21 23:13
So Obama would rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president. I'd say the odds are that he will be able to accomplish neither.
+38 # Annette Smith 2010-11-22 07:58
He has accomplished more in 2 years than Bush did in 8! In fact, he has started a turnaround in the destruction that Bush and the neocons left in their wake. I'd say he's already been a pretty good Pres. in only 2 years.
+7 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:06's the problem. Are you better off than you were two years ago? No, you aren't. On the other hand, things could have been worse and Obama stalled that. Okay then: you have a stalemate. Now, will that stalemate hold? Do you really think so? DO YOU REALLY THINK SO?....Really? Ya' wanna bet? Do you really think that Obama will actually reverse the downward trend? Slow it down maybe? If you think that's success you're full of it. Yes, he did more than Bush in 8 years. Who couldn't have? Could anyone have done any worse? I'm not saying Obama hasn't done good but I find it unbelievable that he has actually accomplished anything more than a stalemate and neither he, or perhaps ANY leader in the current climate, can really solve anything. Why? Because the people who hold the purse strings say so and short of pulling off a military coup, neither Obama or anyone in office is going to actually hand the government back to the people and anyone who says differently is smoking some mighty potent weed. Obama nor any president has the means to turn this around. I think that's up to we, the people. Question is this: Do we have the guts or are we going to remain Wussies...uh,sh eeple?
0 # True Progressive 2010-11-23 16:23

I think you're one of the most insightful posters here. Your negative 61 rating shows that the sheeple live on the left as well as on the right. The presidency of Barak Obama is an utter and complete failure. The man is a coward and a sell out. He'll go down in history as a milquetoast first termer and a punching bag second since it already seems apparent that even if he bests Caribou Barbie in 2012, the Rethugs will still finish then what they started three weeks ago.

Rather than Obama declaring his lame "duckness" now, I propose that Progressives everywhere immediately start a movement to dump Obama in 2012. Put the SOB on notice that those who worked so hard for him to be president will be off voting for someone else. I know I will.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 14:35
Or another way of putting it: Just like cream, scum rises to the top.

We have a lot of talented and knowledgeable people. They are not being listened to. If their views got only a fraction of the promotion and attention that is given to the blowhard Ignorami that pollute our media day in and day out, we could recover. But the weight of history is against listening to the wise and prudent.

Obama keeps going out and saying how he gets it about how people are having a hard time economically, but what he doesn't get is that it sounds phoney and perfunctory. He's not talking to them but about them. He really needs to spend a lot more time talking to them and just stop talking about them to the press.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 14:56
Quoting Dan Fletcher:
So Obama would rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president. I'd say the odds are that he will be able to accomplish neither.

Odds change as conditions change. There are signs of recovery though slow and painful for a large segment who have lost jobs and homes to foreclosure and who still are not able to afford medical care. How this new Congress will act is anybody's guess. How far will the Republicans go to 'rule or ruin' the nation? When will reforms start to be felt? Will more people stay in their homes due to modification and other measures? Will the wealthiest see tax rates rise and take their assets offshore to keep from paying?

He still has two years in his first term and so much can happen in that time. The odds will keep changing until the last minute. He still has the potential to be successful 2-term president. He needs a better team of advisors. He needs a fresh team and they need to be people who know how to deal with the public and Congress the pathetic excuse for journalists sent to cover him. What happened to Obama, the Flyswatter?
+101 # Bob Sullivan 2010-11-21 23:21
I think if President Obama spends the next two years telling the American people the truth both about the economy and the obstructionists in the Congress, the people will welcome the information and vote accordingly.... ..for his second term.
0 # bjw 2010-11-26 15:01
Yes. He needs to talk to the people of the country and not talk to reporters about the people and how he understands they are angry about not having jobs. He has to get them on his side and go out everytime the Republicans block a measure designed to give them relief. He has to get better spokespeople out on the circuit doing the same thing. The PR team of this WH has been doing a lousy job.
+98 # Louisa Frost 2010-11-21 23:24
Re comments by Activista. It couldn't have been better said: controlled by US Oligarch...cult ure of money and greed...stop the wars and endless militar bases over the world, and the excessive support of Israel. let the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2% expire. Then American can live again !
-34 # eljosco 2010-11-22 06:02
+3 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 06:51
This all sounds good to me too, but it;s really just so much wool-gathering.
-33 # Annette Smith 2010-11-22 07:59
Agree on all EXCEPT Israel. The only democracy in that part of the world MUST be protected.
+36 # phjohnson 2010-11-22 09:31
Israel can protect itself
+19 # andre sorgen 2010-11-22 09:47
Quoting Annette Smith:
Agree on all EXCEPT Israel. The only democracy in that part of the world MUST be protected.

yes, but not at the expence of the Arabs, who still cannot figure out why after WWII Western countries decided to redeem themselves for the sins of Holocaust by creating the state of Israel right amid them.
+7 # Randy Racer 2010-11-22 21:30
Quoting andre sorgen:
Quoting Annette Smith:
Agree on all EXCEPT Israel. The only democracy in that part of the world MUST be protected.

yes, but not at the expence of the Arabs, who still cannot figure out why after WWII Western countries decided to redeem themselves for the sins of Holocaust by creating the state of Israel right amid them.

Oh, Andre, thank you, but the Arab world knows exactly why England and the US created Israel and moved a million poeple from all over the world there, Christianity and oil. Especially Christianity. It is another Crusade. So sad that the whole world must suffer for this religious struggle for superiority. The Bible says that Jesus will not float down from the heavens again until there is a state of Israel. Zionism led to the theft of Palestine after WWII. So sad. So much suffering since. The US has given more foreign aid to Israel than all other countries combined. No wonder the Arabs are angry and fighting us.
+9 # Mike K 2010-11-22 18:12
Isreal needs to stop picking fights with Muslems and give back some of the land they have stolen from Palestinians and Eagypt since the fifties.
-30 # Joseph Y. Arsenault 2010-11-21 23:33
When Barack Obama went to Hilary Clinton in Washington just after he had wrested the democratic nomination and engaged her in his new administration, I hope the secret handshake included the possibility that they might switch positions after four years. In other words, it is absolutely time for him to live up to his own dictum. He said he would rather be an effective one term president than a mediocre two term one. I totally agree!
+108 # realm5 2010-11-21 23:56
Who are you trying to fool? The Tea Party understands that their wealth has been shifted up the top 1%? I rather think not! They have been hoodwinked into thinking they lives are worse, not because they were robbed by the rich, but because those hideous brown-skinned people have taken their jobs and drained their social services.

How has this silly article clarified things for the deluded Tea Party?
+4 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 06:43
This article is ANYTHING but sully. Read it.
+25 # catladyok 2010-11-22 13:05
Hey, the Tea Party is supporting candidates who want to preserve the wealth of the upper 1% at the expense of the dwindling middle class. The Tea Party still doesn't get it. And thanks to Fox News, they probably never will.
0 # bjw 2010-11-26 15:08
I think the Tea Party is a greatly exaggerated media creation. Those elected are going to be like a team of wild horses pulling away in different directions and a wagon that goes no where at all.
+3 # True Progressive 2010-11-23 16:42
realm5, it is you who are deluded. The TP knows exactly where the wealth is going. And they're very OK with that. Alot of them continue to delude themselves with the fantasy that they themselves will someday be rich, and so when that day comes, they too want to share in the tax spoils.

But that's not the main impetus to the TP movement. Its birth can be traced back to 1965 when LBJ signed the Voting Rights Act, thereby enfranchising the nation's people of color. Before then, the Dems had an implicit deal with white Southern males, they would go along with Roosevelt's New Deal so long as the Dems didn't push civil rights. Even though it was the Repub President Eisenhower who first enforced civil rights, the Dems claim and have been given the most credit for the country's movement in that direction.

However, Nixon seized on the white Southerners' sense of betrayal by starting his "Southern Strategy" that lead to so much GOP success in the 70's and 80's. However, that hasn't prevented white middle and lower class men from ending up at the bottom of the economic heap. (To be Continued)
+87 # Clements 2010-11-21 23:59
this is a crock....
a large amount of americans new exactly what Obama faced going into his first term and the fact that he stopped the spiral fall of the economy is enough on its own evething else he has accomplished is icing on the cake.... the republicans and teabaggers just about killed this country..... it was the teabaggers that have a hard time dealing with the fact that they spent most of there life living on barrowed money and now they and the country have had to pay the price.....
+8 # Rick Levy 2010-11-22 00:48
Quoting Clements:
this is a crock....
a large amount of americans new exactly what Obama faced going into his first term and the fact that he stopped the spiral fall of the economy is enough on its own evething else he has accomplished is icing on the cake.... the republicans and teabaggers just about killed this country..... it was the teabaggers that have a hard time dealing with the fact that they spent most of there life living on barrowed money and now they and the country have had to pay the price.....

Clements, perception is everything. Even if Obama has racked up accomplishments , he apparently is clueless about how to sell them or himself to the American public. He's too busy kissing Rethuglican ass to focus on the job that he was elected to do.
+15 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 06:43
No one is saying that Obama hasn't saved this country from free fall but neither can you deny that there are powerful political forces out there who want him gone and will sacrifice this nation to do just that.

Obama has inadvertently helped them in this mission by failing utterly as a leader (a person who knows how to beat his own drum and show people that the rhythm is theirs too).
+11 # Lola 2010-11-22 09:51
SELL, SELL, SELL....tht's where the Dems have slipped up. They have accomplished more than people give them credit for simply because they don't sell themselves like the thugs do. Now the thugs on the other hand sell the bad making it sound good and they sell things they haven't even done! Not to mention how they don't even mention the horrific things they do!
He and his party need to sart saying NO and they need to start selling themselves just like a commodity!
0 # genierae 2010-11-24 10:59
JustSayNo: Its the American people who have failed Obama. Willful ignorance is the root of evil that is destroying this country, Obama is the destroyee.
+33 # angelfish 2010-11-22 00:09
WHY is everyone viewing this Presidency as "one term" and/or "a failure", etc, etc, ad nauseum? The MEDIA has a LOT to answer for in how everyone views this Presidency. NO ONE publicizes any of the GOOD that this President has done. MORE good in 23 Months than the IMBECILE Bush Jr. did in his Eight, Long, Murderous years in office. Of course if this President had a scintilla of help from the regressive Republi-WON'Ts he might have accomplished SO MUCH MORE. THEY WANT, NEED, and MUST see him FAIL. They have tried to diminish him as a President, as a man, as a BLACK man, and as a Human Being. Disrespecting the Office, is NOT acceptable! Boehner, McConnell, Bachmann, Wilson, DeMint, et al, need to go back to school to learn proper manners when dealing with their "SUPERIORS". This President has extended his hand in TRUE bi-partisanship time and time again and all they have done is SPIT in it. I am SICK to DEATH of them and their "Tea Baggers", Pitbulls with Lipstick and Mamma Grizzlies! I want CIVILITY back in Washington as well as INTELLIGENCE, SANITY and REASON. They've become Millionaires in Office. They need to stop slopping at the trough and get back to helping Americans!
+3 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:07
angelfish: Amen! Why Obama's plight? Read on: Republicans know that perception is everything, and they also know that a majority of Americans can be deluded into believing anything. They have the corporate media at their disposal and Fox News, being the cable news most preferred by simpletons, is only too glad to dish out its anti-Obama venom. They lap it up, and spread it around like the manure it is. Voila! Obama is toast.
+27 # Paul Marioni 2010-11-22 00:11
Same old "Divide and Conquer". The corporations keep us polarized (you're either for or against President Obama) when we should be united to take our government back from the Plutocrats and restore our Democracy.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 15:14
Deport Murdoch first. He has hurt the economy and cares more about his power and empire than the country. Break up his empire and deport him.
+25 # CaringCanajun 2010-11-22 00:14
It is not President Obama who is failing. It is the ignorant, greedy, selfish rightwingers who think war is a noble calling and hegemony means something other than bully. President Obama is too bright, too good and too compassionate for America. He is a man ahead of his time and Americans won't realize this until it is too late.
+22 # Joan 2010-11-22 00:21
The dirty tricksters are doing everything they can to destroy Obama, which if it happened would mean that the urgent business of the country would not get done. I doubt Obama would be foolish enough to make himself a lame duck. Who would support him if they saw him as a quitter? I don't think that's his nature. I'm still rooting for him.

The decline of the middle class has been going on for decades. The greed of the rich and powerful has sucked up the national wealth, and those who are seeing it for the first time are blaming Obama.
+17 # Rich Sims 2010-11-22 00:23
As soon as Obama stepped into office, as is with any head of state, he becomes an innocent mirror of the collective consciousness of the nation. He can only fulfill what the collective consciousness of the nation is. Something of his individuality becomes secondary and he is a mirror. A country gets what it deserves. Solution: raise the deservability of the people by raising their awareness to a higher level. Obama has accomplished more than the Bush administration could ever conceive of. I've come to the conclusion that most Americans are downright stupid, shortsighted, narrow and impatient. They can't even embrace all the good things Obama is trying to improve getting us out of the Bush/Cheany/Rov e disasters that have destroyed America. Come on People, get real. A president isn't responsible for solving all the problems. His main goal is to inspire the population with vision and purpose so people rise to the occasion and develop their full potential. Obama is fit to run a second term. Don't back down to the complainers thinking that everything should be fixed overnight.
+4 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:29
Uh...I didn't ask him to fix things over night. Frankly, I kinda hoped he'd keep his campaign promises but what the heck...I hoped for too much. But I'm willing to stop blaming Obama because you're right! It's not his fault! There isn't a President anyone can conjure up that will restore our government to the people. Obama can't do it because no president can. That's up to us. And I blame me, and you, and you, and nauseum for expecting him to rescue us when in the end, it is singularly up to us. WE need to stand up and fight, or shut up. I like whining just as much as the next guy but in the end, it's either put up or shut up, and most of us don't have the balls to do either. No one person, president or guru, is more responsible than WE are for doing something about this. I won't even fault Obama for failing to lead. He's an excellent administrator but a lousy leader and he is one because we've been lousy followers. Let's lay the blame where it belongs. If we the people want a government of, by and for the people, we're going to have to TAKE it...not ask for it, not whine about it, but take it because it is OURS. Until we get off our asses, it's our fault.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 15:24
When he was campaigning, he appealed to the better part of our selves which culminated on the night of his election. The attacks began even before he was sworn in and have only intensified. He's going to have to get back out there and win back those who put him in office. Yes, we have been lousy followers. He told us that it was up to us to give him the backing he needed to get stuff done, just as FDR asked for the people to make it possible for him to do things he could not do without their pushing for it. Bad as our times are, they are not as bad as those times were. While it's a good thing, we did not fall as low, we don't have the same incentive to back reforms with as much heat and desperation.
+1 # Jason Russo 2010-11-24 11:40
This is exactly where Obama has failed us though. He hasn't inspired many with vision or purpose, and this is why Tea Party people are up in arms, and liberals are losing their energy.

Believe me, I bought into the hope message for a while too. I was hoping Obama would be a guy who would shake things up, and take stands and speak to and for the regular people of this country.

But, instead, he spends too much time reaching out to Republican elitists, and Wall St tycoons, and insurance CEOs, rather than to the people of this country. And because of that, he has lost his voice, and has no message. And now the news people disrespect him, and act like shills for the executives, and the right wingers yell and yell and act all crazy, and the ignorant believe the lies like tax cuts for the wealthy is good for them, even though none of them are wealthy, or that the stimulus is bad, even though it saved millions more job losses, or that regulating Wall St. is bad, even though those people screwed everyone out of their retirement savings.

Obama, will you please start standing up and speaking out for regular Americans, and stop the compromising?
+21 # AngryMan 2010-11-22 00:27
WTF? Bush was the worst president EVER and he got two terms. (Well, he wasn't "elected" but he served two terms anyway.) GOPers won't play nice so Obama should just pack up and go home? Corporate owned government and the media plays the music ... how very nice. Chicago has long been known for Al Capone. Capone did not hold a candle to the organized crime going on in our nation's capitol. Organized crime does not serve the interests of We The People. Gee, that's a shocker. And with a totally impotent DOJ, we shall see no meaningful change until this country goes Chernobyl. It has been one helluva ride. As old PT used to say ... "This way to the egress".
+15 # Lola 2010-11-22 09:55
Amen!! Only president to be appointed by the Supreme Court and cheated in the second election (along with cheating in the first one). If you think about it, we should never had to put up with him as a president at all. If the thugs would have left things alone and allow Democracy to play out as it should have, we would probably in great shape and the biggest shift of wealth in the history of the country would never have happened!!!
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:16
Lola: If Al Gore had been elected in 2000, think how different things would be now! Yes he would have been loathed by Repubs, but not as much as Obama. Gore is white, and because of that I think that he would have gotten more cooperation from the GOP. They are top-drawer racists, and they are incensed that a black man is in charge.
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 15:26
No, Gore would be gone and Lieberman would still be president.
+21 # mblockhart 2010-11-22 00:34
It's not the end of the American dream necessarily if we pull together and do the right thing. How about we start by making those who caused the deficit and the economic collapse pay back what they owe the rest of us. Raise taxes on higher incomes back where they were before Reaganomics trickled down on us all. Raise the capital gains tax. Keep the inheritance tax. Axe the military industrial complex and tax oil profits.
+2 # karenvista 2010-11-22 20:51
Quoting mblockhart:
It's not the end of the American dream necessarily if we pull together and do the right thing. How about we start by making those who caused the deficit and the economic collapse pay back what they owe the rest of us.

Also, after the Reagan/Greenspa n Medicare tax increase of 1983, which was supposed to fund the Trust Fund to pay for the full retirement of the Baby Boomers, Reagan gave a gigantic tax cut to the rich and when them money ran out they started robbing the Trust Fund. So, since the upper income folks have been enjoying major tax breaks since then, they need to pay it back. Remove the cap on Social Security income and that, by itself, makes Social Security solvent for at least the next 75 years. Isn't it odd that that is literally all that needs be done to completely solve the problem but everybody seems so concerned that the rich might have to contribute that they are all ready to cut Social Security rather than repay the legal liability for the funds that were stolen and used to give tax cuts to the rich.
+1 # heraldmage 2010-11-22 21:45
The only thing that will hurt those whose greed & lust for power caused our current economic crisis is loss of profit.
The people need help to get out of debt. So why not kill 2 birds with 1 stone? Change terms of mortgages by reducing interest rates to 1/2% for 30-40 yrs & credit card & other loans to 1/2% until economic stability for 3 yrs than max increase of 1%/yr to a max of 5%.
This will cover cost of loan admin, provide a minimal profit, while allowing people to stop being a slave to debt & free money to be spent on consumer goods revitalizing the economy. Compliance assured by either change terms or go to jail& pay huge fines. Prosecute not just a fall guy but everyone from the Board of Director, Executives, administator & assistance as well as government officials & staff. Also government should confiscate everything used to defraud & gained as a result. So not only jail & fines but they lose homes, cars, boats, investments everything. If they don't cooperate they go to jail their families become homeless.
All we need now is a party of the people, for the will of the people, to implement our wishes & laws.
+13 # Paul Rosenberg 2010-11-22 00:37
This is a lot more soothsaying than truth-saying. Obama is not even halfway through his first term and all these pundits like to think they know what could and should happen. It's irritating reading these dire pronouncements as if WaPo could read the tea leaves any better than Mister Gwyn, potificating from Toronto. The world is full of surprises, especially in the 21st Century. Instead of wringing our hands about this fantasy garbage we should be rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on what we want to do with our country. It is still OUR country.
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:21
News-flash Mr. Rosenberg. This has never been OUR country. We have been duped since its inception into believing this is a democracy, but unfortunately it has always been a plutocracy. Of the rich, by the rich, and for the rich. The rest of us exist to cater to their needs. Period.
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 15:36
It's more from the same team who set out to change the future by constantly predicting the outcome they were paid to promote. It's Madison Avenue marketing tactics. Create a need, a desire, a craving and sell the sizzle. If only you drive the right car, you will feel more powerful and get the respect you crave.

Bush made his supporters feel certain and powerful, stroked their egos.

Obama people feel helpless and weakened, betrayed and uncertain, insecure and confused. They want the president they voted for and not his timid twin.
+25 # David Allen 2010-11-22 00:58
The alleged "leadership" in the Republican Party never ceases to amaze me. It points out WHY I am a lifelong Democrat and never never will vote for a Republican. For a leader like Mitch McCopnnell to publicly announce that the only aim of the GOP is to make Presidentg Obama a one term president is utterly astounding. N o mention of trying to help the nation in these crfitical times. HELL NO!! Thwey WANT another Great Depression so they can pin the blame on the Democrats and President Obama.The Republicans do not care how many people lose their homes or jobs. With them, it's all politics and I've Got Mine and f**k YOU!
+13 # giraffe 2010-11-22 00:59
The Republicans have a manner in which they give their "own opinion" -- and they have aright to their "own opinions" but they do not have a right to "their own facts" -- and this is what Obama must tell the people - THE FACTS.

I am in a law suit and when opposing councel told the judge "X" -- -I objected (actually I just said that's not true) and the judge told me "He was entitled to his own opinion. LATER judge put that opinion into his final decision and cost my grandchild a freedom.

It is time for Obama to be a better judge than the one I had and tell the AMERICAN PUBLIC the facts (and not give into the other side's opinion).
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:23
giraffe: Sorry about your grandchild, I have grandchildren too, they are so dear.
+8 # bys 2010-11-22 00:59
Well it really doesn't matter if he sticks around for 1 or 2 terms.
He is following somebody's agenda like they all do, and the ones that make it 8 years have an agenda that's more sellable. This poor guy was told to take the blame for a losing hand. I can see it now, all these illuminati types saying who should we give it to? And maybe one of those Bush crime family guys said, Hey give it to the Black guy!!...Obama yer up!------

In a few years they'll be some Obama reconstruction, a library and he'll hang out with Clinton. Hell maybe he'll hang out with Bush.....Or maybe he won't .......Maybe he'll build homes like Carter....excep t I got a feeling Obama's no carpenter!
+20 # chicago 2010-11-22 01:02
+6 # Amir Bey 2010-11-22 01:06
And replace him with who? An even more mediocre president? A Republican from the "No Party"? If Obama would be president for another term he would be better and more productive than what we had before, and superior to the likely alternative. And our "decline" shouldn't be viewed as certain, we still have options.
+16 # Tom Cordle 2010-11-22 01:29
Here's another vote for this post being as big a crock of shit as the WP article. Obama has told the truth -- it's the Party of NO that has lied repeatedly and viciously -- Death Panels, Death Tax -- and the ignoramuses in the Koch Bros financed Tea Party swallow those lies whole thanks to millionaire professional liars Limpbone and Beck.

No, Obama should NOT say any such thing! What he should do is stop this foolishness of trying to cooperate with those who have no intention of cooperating. In short, it's not time to quit, it's time to -- finally -- stand up and fight!
+13 # Regina 2010-11-22 01:29
The American public these days lives by labels, not facts. If someone with a big enough megaphone (like WaPo) declares something, people mistake it for fact. Long before Obama was elected I could see that my kids and grandkids were not going to match my quality of life, though I had surpassed my parents' and grandparents'. Our "malaise" is not Obama's doing -- it was done to us by his predecessors with two unpaid-for wars and revenue shortfall from sunken tax rates for the ultra-rich. Obama's only shortfall was the fact that he didn't have all the change we needed in place by high noon on January 21, 2009, overcoming all the entrenched HELL NO-sayers.
0 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:30
Regina: I think that we need to look at the future of our grandchildren in a spiritual way, not materially. If they turn out to be honest, compassionate, loving human beings, who care about their fellow man, they are rich beyond measure, and not one Republican can understand this. Money and high office have NO power to make you happy. True happiness is a side affect of goodness, and cannot be found in any other way.
+11 # Jane Elliott 2010-11-22 02:15
Hey, people, remember, "Loose talk sells no hot dogs!" If enough of us believe the kind of nonsense that this writer and the teabaggers spout, this country will, inevitably, go the way of the dinosaurs. A country that came through the Great Depression, two World Wars, several unnecessary wars, years of being "led" by presidents like Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush can survive the inconvenience of dealing with this newly-elected group of Know-Nothings. Don't count President Obama out, yet. His biggest problem is that he's too damned smart for the opposition and they'll do what they can to destroy him. We're seeing blatant racism at work here. Stop ignoring the obvious.
+14 # Cabbagehead 2010-11-22 02:16
It can't be too soon to start the divisive buzz that President Obama should not seek a second term. The Tea Party and the neo-cons and the top one per cent will have a greater opportunity to reveal their greed, racism and bigotry as they focus on 2012. The President must find his voice, fire Gates and Geithner, and get Gore and Kucinich into his Cabinet and sign a few executive orders. And sic his Attorney General on criminal bankers, Bushie war criminals and all the big tax manipulators. Then he will win in a walk.
+1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:36
Yes...if he would do these things he'd win in a walk alright. But the question is: Will he? Really? As much as I want to believe it I wouldn't place a one dollar wager on it. In what universe would we have to live in to see the kind of justice you espouse...which all right thinking people would agree with?
+5 # Peter Edler 2010-11-22 02:18
Does it matter who is captain of the Titanic after the iceberg
ripped it open? After the US has sunk, there may or may not
be a lot of talk what made up the iceberg. Most likely people won't have time to think about that - they'll be too busy building
a new America. Or they'll be too busy just trying to survive!
+4 # PJ 2010-11-22 02:51
This is a stupid and superficial analysis, aimed to beating a drum and entertaining rather than offering solutions. There is tremendous resilience in this country. With small businesses starting up and hiring, tax income witl go up as more people have jobs and pay taxes. China will be repaid. The wars will end. And eventually, the top financial echelons will return to the tax rate of Reagan days and pay their fair share.
This has happened before. The mid-70s were much worse, in fact. Much higher unemployment rate. We bounced back, but Reagan's mergers-and-acq uistions allowed big, big international corporations to swallow up the money, and eventually to break all the rules of the market place, including selling phony notes to bankers who thought they were immune from this.
Just need to readjust back to a moral and mutually beneficial society. Democracy.
-1 # JJ 2010-11-22 09:51
Well said, PJ. The defeatism and pessimism I see everywhere is discouraging. The USA has been through worse in the past and come out OK.
+1 # Mike K 2010-11-22 18:17
Yes we went through worse back when the Democrats had Cojones and the Republican party was lead by sane moderate patriots who didn't live in a alternate reality echo chamber.
+2 # karenvista 2010-11-22 21:25
Quoting JJ:
Well said, PJ. The defeatism and pessimism I see everywhere is discouraging. The USA has been through worse in the past and come out OK.

Gentlemen, how have all the economists missed the idea that things were worse in the '70s? I thought everyone had agreed that this was our worst financial experience since the Great Depression.

As for all these small businesses starting up and providing full employment-ther e are two problems here-1) There is no demand because people don't have jobs and the Republicans are even cutting off unemployment.
2) Even very viable medium-sized businesses can't borrow money because banks won't lend to them. Why would a bank take on any risk at all when they borrow from the Fed at 0% and then turn right around and loan that money to the Treasury at 3%? It's a closed loop system that takes public debt and magically turns it into private profit. It's the financial version of the perpetual motion machine.

We will not survive as a country unless these policies, and many more, are changed.
0 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:37
Quoting JJ:
Well said, PJ. The defeatism and pessimism I see everywhere is discouraging. The USA has been through worse in the past and come out OK.

Oh really. I'd like to see what you have to say in two years.
+9 # Ralph Averill 2010-11-22 03:09
Barak Obama is the best man to sit in the White House in my lifetime. (60 yrs.) This country doesn't deserve him. The Republicans who have thwarted his every move, (the party of personal responsibility, my ass!) the Progressives who have abandoned him, the pie-in-the-sky teabaggers and their fairy-tale view of history, the billionaires whose only goal is "MORE for ME!!!".
America has been suffering from head-up-ass syndrome for some time now. It deserves a Sarah Palin for president!
+1 # Dave 2010-11-22 09:49
Quoting Ralph Averill:
Barak Obama is the best man to sit in the White House in my lifetime. (60 yrs.) This country doesn't deserve him. The Republicans who have thwarted his every move, (the party of personal responsibility, my ass!) the Progressives who have abandoned him, the pie-in-the-sky teabaggers and their fairy-tale view of history, the billionaires whose only goal is "MORE for ME!!!".
America has been suffering from head-up-ass syndrome for some time now. It deserves a Sarah Palin for president!

You may be right with that last statement but I'm hoping you aren't, because we ALL get what they with their collective heads up their asses deserve.
+3 # Pat in Idaho 2010-11-22 15:55
Ralph, you are so right! My husband and I are older than you - old enough to think Obama is the best president we've had in our lifetimes too. Hard to say he's better than FDR, but even though FDR had a very bad time getting things done, at least the America then wasn't quite as crazy as the right-wing is now! We support Obama!!!
+3 # Robin Crane 2010-11-22 03:24
With a few exceptions, these comments show that the American people (excluding the Tea Party) understand what's going on and what's needed. Obama should read this comment line and then act accordingly. Americans may be propagandized by the media organs of the wealthy; they may be seduced by [pseudo]reality TV; they may be desensitized to violence by television; they may be foolishly in love with corporate CEOs; but we have shown that we are more than capable of facing reality if we have some genuine courageous leadership. If we survive as a free nation and true scholarly history is written two hundred years from now, it will report that we were more capable than our leaders gave us credit for, and the leadership was uniquely spineless.
-2 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:40
Absolutely, profoundly true Robin Crane. Despite the nay sayers, it's okay to say that "the leadership (is) uniquely spineless."
+13 # Linda Tinder Sigmon 2010-11-22 03:28
Are you kidding me? The Tea Party people haven't a clue as to what is going on. They aren't even aware that their movement wasn't even grassroots but instead was started and fueled by the Koch brothers and their billions of dollars. President Obama just needs to speak up and call out the bullies for what they are. I'm not sure why he's not doing this. My guess is because he's too much of a gentleman unlike the hate mongers on the right.
+1 # Gerry 2010-11-22 05:58
How convenient and timely that a black man was able to rise from relative obscurity as Obama did. Just when the great house of cards constructed by wealthy white elites starts to crumble, in comes a black saviour. Look for much worse soon, if indeed he it to be a one term man. Wouldn't want any doo-doo to get on the next white man(or woman) who holds the highest office.
+6 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 06:39
Some posts above hit the issue squarely on the head: If, Obama does or doesn't declare a reelection bid, this is a GOLDEN opportunity to call Bitch McConnell's / Boner's bluff on everything from Obamacare to the stalled Start treaty (which everyone 0over the age of ten knows is a mandatory thumbs up). Only if the man goes balls to the wall will the people feel the presence of a leader and consequently reelect him. If he continues to parse, hem and haw...he's out of office and I for one will be glad to see him go!
+14 # rm 2010-11-22 06:41
Does anyone really think a return to the republican style of president -- i.e. Reagan, Bush I and Bush II -- would be any better than Obama. All three recent republican presidents have been mental retards who were totally controlled by right wing or neocon institutions like Heritage Foundation. Increasingly, the repblicans are under the control of AM hate radio -- Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and others.

Obama's probles is that he has tried to compromise with republicans. They have only one agenda -- destroying and defaming him so they can put one of their criminal gang in the white house. Obama and the democrats still control the senate and white house. They will make the next supreme court nomination. They need to "play hardball" with republicans. My bet is that if Obama would move significantly to the left, he'd be re-elected in 2012 easily.
+2 # karenvista 2010-11-22 21:38
Quoting rm:
All three recent republican presidents have been mental retards who were totally controlled by right wing or neocon institutions....

Not to use Palin's favorite word but I have noticed that the Republicans only run mental midgets. Reagan, Bush I, Bush II, and next, it has to be Palin. True story-when George H.W. Bush told one of his best friends he was going to run for President-his friend said, Of what? W's mom, Barbara told him, "George, sit down, shut up and don't embarrass us," when they were invited to dine with Queen Elizabeth II. Point is, they have to elect stupid people because they take direction better. So who is better equipped for the Republicans than Sarah Palin? Of course, if the U.S. isn't gone by then she will be the coup de grace.
+14 # Jawbone Grouch 2010-11-22 07:09
That we have come to this state in the history of our country was predictable;
the Cheney/Bush eight years carry most of the blame for that demise.

The devastation that has taken place with the Republican Party so against the social structure of the Roosevelt years, has left us with a massive collapse of our intellectual capacities.

When education and the humanities are the first thing to go when economic times inevitably come {thanks to WallStreetmenta lity}we get this tragic result.

To expect otherwise only points up the act of living in the past and not preparing for the ever encroaching future.

The loss of President Obama to a single term is the true tragedy of the twenty first century.

This is what hatred and racism and ignorance does to a nation.
+1 # Thomas Sawyer 2010-11-22 07:15
In order to live within our budget Congress has to cut the budget by 41%. No politician is going to recommend that and be reelected until conditions are much worse, say to 2 or 3 years. Why not stop all foreign ais, totaly leave Afghanistan, ban the Koran, and use the returning troops to guard our borders. Then eliminate the FED, set a ninimum stock ownership time frame of two days, and mandate that one can only buy insurance for one's direct exposure.
+2 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:42
Mr. Sawyer: Ban the Koran? Why would you ban this divine book? Just because religious fanatics use it to justify their crimes, that doesn't make such a good book evil.
+3 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-25 00:20
Quoting genierae:
Mr. Sawyer: Ban the Koran? Why would you ban this divine book? Just because religious fanatics use it to justify their crimes, that doesn't make such a good book evil.

You are so correct in this genierae. I reluctantly bought myself a copy of the Koran and, as a study guide, "Islam For Dummies" and what an eye opener! People who have not examined the Koran are not qualified to hold an opinion against it. From my reading there is much to admire and frankly, where I might fault it, I'd fault the Bible as well. The Koran is NOT what most people seem to think it is. You'd think more people would value becoming informed on a book of such influence. Frankly, the Suffi take on the Koran qualifies for me as divinely inspired thought well worth any westerner's perusal at least.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 16:15
I bought a bilingual copy of the Koran with exegesis and historical notes long ago and read it three times. It recapitulates the Biblical stories and adds more modern ones where the New Testament left off. There is an advantage in having a holy book written in your own language rather than in translation even though the poetic language of the Koran is like Shakespearean English for us. One still needs to know the historical context to get the full meaning. We are very far removed from the Old Testament in time and language and customs. No translation can make up for that.

Also, the people in Oklahoma ought to be asked about banning canon law since it plays the same role as sharia. Idiotic fools that they are. Wouldn't know what canon law is either.
+1 # genierae 2010-11-27 16:19
Daniel and bjw: I'm so glad to have your agreement on the Koran. The Sufis are such pure mystics, and yet they have a wonderful sense of humor, they are a delight to read. I agree that the historical context is very important. The Old Testament was written for people who's hearts were not yet open to the spiritual, and so it was speaking to them in their own language. "An eye for an eye", was meant to restrain their brutality, not to encourage more of it, but it was misinterpreted, and used to justify violence. People need to read the Koran, with an open mind, before they demonize it.
+9 # JayR 2010-11-22 07:25
The bill for Bush's 8-year unfunded spending spree, during which he told Americans, "Don't worry, go shopping" has come due. Now, we're so conditioned to having a tiny percentage of Americans bear the entire sacrifice for Bush's two wars (and Obama's by inheritance) we're throwing a 2-year-oldesque tantram. Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell are but the latest voice of the TP whiners calling for spending cuts -- except in their Medicare, Social Security and infinite other government services and benefits.
+6 # rf 2010-11-22 07:26
The Obama administration had better realize that the anger in America is similar with the left and the tea people, even if they are misinformed. His embrace of business as usual, University of Chicago economics people has undermined his credibility. If he can't find a way to show that this goverment is by and for the people, he will be a one term president. He must unite the anger towards the source...big business and big money at the expense of the country. This might hurt fund raising and that is what he is all about so I'm not counting on it.
+14 # missy 2010-11-22 07:45
I think it is disgraceful that we have nowhere to turn for unbiased reporting any more. The media has been taken over by people who want full control of the country . They even want to take away public broadcasting whis is the last place we may get the truth. Anyone who knows their history see the same methods being used here as in another country years ago which brought the world to its knees. Be very afraid.
+7 # Dave 2010-11-22 10:00
Quoting missy:
I think it is disgraceful that we have nowhere to turn for unbiased reporting any more. The media has been taken over by people who want full control of the country . They even want to take away public broadcasting whis is the last place we may get the truth. Anyone who knows their history see the same methods being used here as in another country years ago which brought the world to its knees. Be very afraid.

I hope you tune in MSNBC's nightly lineup for TV news, Missy. They have their bias, but they report from a solid base of facts. With the non-stop bombardment of hate-based, fact-free propaganda spewing forth 24/7 from the right, we need a nat'l news source with a bias toward the truth. And public broadcasting? they do less harm, but sadly run scared in their reporting for the reasons you state above.
+7 # Armando Garcia 2010-11-22 10:48
And they want to get rid of net neutrality which is the only free market broadcast that can not be controlled.
+12 # granny 2010-11-22 07:55
Whoever paid Douglas Schoen and Patrick Caddell deserves a special place in hell. To ask any (DULY ELECTED, REMEMBER) President, who did NOT lie us into a war, who did NOT cause the fiscal mess this country is in, and who is NOT one of the Bush/Cheney hangers on, is hateful and clearly politically motivated. This silly piece demands a strong, loud response across the country, saying we support our DULY ELECTED President Obama - and we want him top stand tall and strong for the things he promised to do.
+1 # Pat in Idaho 2010-11-22 16:04
You tell 'em Granny! I agree completely!
From another Granny!
+10 # galacticnomad 2010-11-22 07:56
The Tea Party does NOT represent me or anyone in my family and wide circle of friends. They are funded by the extreme right and continue to be a source of irritation; loud, embarrassing and crass. Yes, as Americans, (and indeed all citizens of this Earth with the finite fossil fuels and precious resources), we face HUGE choices about how we are going to proceed. If we are to survive as a species, we must make the changes to live in sustainable way. Why not embrace the change and work towards the myriad solutions? It really is up to each one of us.
+9 # Psyche 2010-11-22 08:22
This story and others like it will be surfacing from now until the election in 2012, not with the purpose to promote better governance, but to undermine the leadership and successes of the Obama administration. They want to plant the seed (Suggestion) that he is unable to complete his task to reform the system in Washington ,to bring hope for the country, stability, and transparency that we can see. To accomplish this he has to swim with a 4 Trillion dollar debt, Created by Republican administrations , with his hands tied behind his back, the Senate and its stupid 60 vote rule, and GOP operatives and Right Wing Talk Jocks spreading lies to the Stupid, Simple mass of voters who do not read and are not curious enough to do so. America has spread herself too thin for too long with too much debt and no responsible Leader until now, but alas it is his color, which is to blame. Who would care if the Brain surgeon doing your operation were Colored, when he is the very Best at his art, wake up America, because of your lack of knowledge you should embrace a Smart leader, not mock him.
+3 # othermother 2010-11-22 17:48
Quoting Psyche:
This story and others like it will be surfacing from now until the election in 2012, not with the purpose to promote better governance, but to undermine the leadership and successes of the Obama administration.... spreading lies to the Stupid, Simple mass of voters who do not read and are not curious enough to do so....[W]ake up America, because of your lack of knowledge you should embrace a Smart leader, not mock him.

Actually, Psyche, voters are not a stupid, simple mass. Even in the reddest states. As one friend, a native of teabag land with a high school education and a life of running beauty parlors put it, 'Thank God we now have a president whose IQ is bigger than his shoe size.' Racism is no doubt a factor in Obama's difficulties, but the argument has been made that hatred of the educated is responsible for a lot of the crap being dumped on the White House lawn. Obama needs to find and use his voice. Too many of those who supported him in 2008 believe he has abandoned them and is unwilling to lead the good fight. Gwyn's piece just reflects this.
-1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:48
Psyche, if the only way I have of establishing my liberal/progres sive bona fides is to endorse Obama unilateraly, a capable administrator and one lousy leader, then what's the point of it all? No, I will not give Obama a free pass because he's black, smart and say, stalled our economic colapse (for now). If you really, really believe Obama, in any reality, is about reforming the system in Washington, you're smoking some mighty potent weed my friend.
+12 # Todd Williams 2010-11-22 08:22
Two words here : COSTA RICA. A very welcoming home for ex-pats. Good medical care, strong environmental policy. No standing army. No terrorists. No Sarah Palin!
+3 # bjw 2010-11-26 16:28
I spent two weeks in a hospital there. Not only did I get good care, the food was good. It was what you would get in a good restaurant here.

There are many reasons why there are very few immigrants coming from Costa Rica. Stable government, decent standard of living, reasonable mix of socialism and capitalism. But you can't get work visas. You need a hefty pension or bank account to be able to get a residence card.
+1 # genierae 2010-11-27 16:24
+15 # Stephen Bailey 2010-11-22 08:32
Obama drop out of the 2012 race now? What would that accomplish? Is no leader somehow better than one with 47% approval? Who the hell paid for this ad?
-2 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 09:30
That's the point, we don't have a leader unless you only talk to people of like mind. He has 2 years to get the message out and if he won't or can't, I'll vote for his replacement. This is a country we're talking about, not a pet project.
-1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:49
...damn straight justsoyno2bags!
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 16:33
It is a form of psy-ops. It is another product from the propaganda factory churning out disinformation and trash talk blanketing the media.
+13 # Hya 2010-11-22 08:36
President Obama´s Handlers had better read the signs correctly, unless they too agree that they need a substitute Candidate. The American People have been incapable of understanding his principles of consensus, of civility towards his opponents and have seen this as weakness. They seem to appreciate the nastiness, the plain falsehoods, the deception, the one-liners of the run-of-the mill, as they are tickled, laugh and cheer.

President Obama simply has to change focus, stand up to the Republicans, put HIS OWN STAMP on his Presidency. We can pooh pooh what is expressed in this article, but when the billions of dollars start orchestrating this theme, with the mainstream media following a popular soundbite, it will be too late to stop it The world will be forced to deal with a President Palin, an abhorrence that I cannot even begin to contemplate!
+4 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 08:51
Lots of spleen in the posts above ( and below ), but the point is that there are terrible forces at work in the U.S. and they will rip her apart unless a pressure release is achieved...that would be:

1. A take no prisoners attitude from the Oval Office or
2. Obama stepping down.

Clearly, we can't go on like this much longer what with the Republicans disgracing their President by refusing to attend the bipartisan meeting at the White House and deliberately stalling the most important international treaty since the Eisenhower years; the Start Treaty. The fact is we are leaderless even though Obama has done a superlative management job. A leader is not a manager.
+3 # Gail 2010-11-22 09:08
I believe in Obama -- his brilliance, his honor, his dignity, and his caring for the have-nots in this countryl. How can everybody forget the financial mess and the pointless wars and all the other disasters Obama was handed? The Party of NO kept him from getting more of it straitened out. They didn't want to help this country; they just wanted to make Obama look bad. The polarization was to STOP. If bipartisanship doesn't start working, that will be the death knell for the middle and lower classes. How could the greed get so out of hand?
-3 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 22:54
Well Gail, the partisanship will end when the Party of No says, publicly:

"Gee, we're sorry. We've been nasty and rude because we're such poor sports for not holding on to the presidency. We really do care about what's best for America. We're now going to cooperate to restore the government to it's rightful owner, the people of the United States!"

Don't hold you're breath. If Obama doesn't knock of the Kumbayah crap it's over with. Period.
0 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-25 00:21
To my nay sayers...what's the problem? I'm honestly curious. Do you really think the Republicans are open to reconciliation and apologies that are due?
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 16:39
Yes, but back to your theme of our responsibility to push back on the propaganda machine. It's got to come from below as well as above. Demand better media. Complain to them constantly about the lack of factual content and the dearth of real news.
-19 # TommyD1of11 2010-11-22 09:54
Libs are funny. Libs buy into pie-in-the-sky social programs that don't work then declare America in "inescapable decline" … "ceasing to be an exceptional nation".


We've lost our way and imposed massive debt on the young and unborn, but American Exceptionalism is well within our reach. It's the belief in limited government, free enterprise (in which you vote with your own dollar every time you buy something and you're product/produce r/distributor/r etailer is guaranteed to win “election”), self reliance/respon sibility and, most importantly, that government does not grant us our rights but instead our rights are inalienable given to us by God (or whatever) and the powers of government are limited to those which we the people grant it.

The core American Exceptionalism is that our rights independent of the government.

Our liberties are our true economic engine. If we get back to these principals, if we turn back the well intended but misguided social programs of FDR’s New Deal, LBJ’s Great Society and Obama’s progressivism, than we will once again reignite America’s economic mite and prosperity.
+5 # JJ 2010-11-22 12:32
Yah, 'cause we all know how the US was a utopian meritocracy whose ideals were ruined by FDR's New Deal.
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:51
Tommy: Some people have nothing to say,and they go right ahead and say it anyway.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 17:21
America's economic mite? Might that be the tiny amount less than a penny set aside for charity such as "The Widow's Mite" or the tiny parasites such as the ones that cause mange? That is a mite too small to want to reignite.

Since you brought it up, I urge you to think about the parable of the Widow's Mite and apply it to your notions of social duties and responsibilitie s. It always impressed me as a child in Bible School. Some mites are mightier than others.
+5 # Peter Edler 2010-11-22 10:14
PJ, you say "China will be repaid. The wars will end. And eventually, the top financial echelons will return to the tax rate of Reagan days and pay their fair share." Who's going to pay
China 2 trillion and when? With paper money? The US has been
in wars since the 1940s, more now and longer than ever.
Who will live long enough to see your wonderful vision come to pass? Certainly not you or I or anybody writing and reading these comments.
+11 # Foxtrottrango 2010-11-22 10:34
President Obama is perhaps the most decent, the most brilliant, the kindest, and the most admired president in the entire history of the USA. His only faults (and the biggest ones were he trusted the republicans more than they trusted themselves, and he bailed out the crooks in the banking and marketing industries.) But his biggest disadvantages was that he claim to be black and that was a no-no from Day l, when the entire Republican Party together with their Uncle Toms in tow, decided that they were going to make a one term president with the first black president in the history of the United States, even it it took the country down with them.

Only in a Christian America, folks, can evil such as this exist in the 21st Century.

Unlike Nixon, Reagan, the two birds in the bush, (GHBush&GWBush) , history will be kind to Barack Obama, whether he goes on for a second term or not. People in the far future will still say, IT WAS AMERICA'S FINEST HOUR!
+2 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 11:15
As voters, we shouldn't be trying to win arguments. There is only the practical matter of saving this country.
0 # genierae 2010-11-24 11:59
Foxtrottrango: "he trusted the republicans more than they trusted themselves" That is exactly right. Its a signature of virtuous men that they see everyone as they see themselves: good, decent people who care about the common good. President Obama appeals to the goodness in others, and nothing makes a Republican madder than to be shown who he should be. The contrast to what he presently is, is too staggering to contemplate.
0 # JustSayNo2TBags 2010-11-22 10:51
OK, I'n not getting through to all the well meaning liberals out there. Barack Obama is exactly like a West Pointer on his first tour of field command. He has superior firepower, high ground and the element of surprise and he faces an enemy in disarray and one which has just allowed itself to be outflanked (i.e., tax cuts for billionaires/vo ting no on extending unemployment benefits, snubbing the Office of The President, stalling the Start Treaty)...and STILL he will not lead a charge. I hate to think what his noncoms would do in a battlefield scenario. We need a leader or we will loose the war. Period.
+2 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 23:01
JustSayNo2Bags, people like you and I are going to take hit after hit for speaking the obvious truth. I am fascinated by Obama and admire him greatly. He's the most competent public administrator I've ever known. Gifted even. Maybe even a genius, but....a leader? And shockingly enough, many will assume we're advocating for a Republican the next go around! What a load! Heck, if Obama would just grow a pair I'd be a huge cheerleader on his behalf!
The truth, probably, is that people who love Obama so badly want him to be the leader we wish this wonderful man was, that they are blind to the fact that he is very possibly incapable of leadership.
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 17:38
Of course it is possible that Obama is incapable of leadership, but it is still too early to tell. When he came in, it was a cool-headed manager we needed and one of the things the voters liked about him was his coolness. Nothing seemed to rattle him or shake his confidence in his message. As he managed the great economic meltdown crisis, he was calm and clearly on top of things. He handled all the arrows and mud flung at him constantly. We wanted someone who could fire back with as much heat as was getting. He has stayed cool and that is unsatisfying for many of us.

I just wish we had more appreciation of that cool style which is more likely to keep us out of unnecessary wars. I would like to see more passion on the part of the public in letting the Republicans feel the heat for a change. Whether we can get through their asbestos hides is another question.
+2 # Robert McGinty 2010-11-22 10:54
I strongly urge the President to hire a "damn good" marketing wordsmith, to dumb down his rhetoric for the average citizen with an average public schools education. In short, gear up for his second term as one of the top three Presidents of this country!
Dr. Bob
-3 # othermother 2010-11-22 17:51
You betcha!
0 # genierae 2010-11-24 12:02
Dr.Bob: Obama's mission is to lift people up, not go down to their level.
+4 # enrique 2010-11-22 11:27
Under Clinton the defense budget was $250 billion, now it is 750. There is plenty that could be cut from that. This is an evil that produces new evils. Why is nobody ever talking about that?
-3 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 23:04
Quoting enrique:
Under Clinton the defense budget was $250 billion, now it is 750. There is plenty that could be cut from that. This is an evil that produces new evils. Why is nobody ever talking about that?

...because they know, or believe, in advance, that Obama doesn't have the stones to cut the military off at the knees like he should. That would take leadership and I don't think that even his biggest fans would ever credit him for tackling the biggest pig at the public troff. That would simply be unbelievable but that won't stop his biggest fans from accusing people like me of being a closet Rethugliecon.
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 17:46
Plenty of people are talking about cutting defense but getting little traction. Defense contracts are where there is more waste, fraud and corruption than anywhere else. There are a lot of people addicted to profiting and benefiting from all that spending on defense. Whose ox to gore? Not mine, nor mine nor mine. The universal answer. What Congressman is going to tell his constituents they can do without the defense spending in their district which provides the basis for their economy? The Commission advocated cutting large defense spending on aircraft, ships, landing craft, etc. that we don't need for defense. We find it is to defend the waste, fraud and corruption that is the economic engine of much of the country.
+10 # T.Baggins 2010-11-22 11:35
Does anyone else think it's just too much of a coincidence that Bush/Cheney drove the country off a cliff just before they left office, to the astonishing enrichment of their Wall Street cronies? Then the rethuglicans PURPOSELY "took a dive" by nominating John McCain whom even other rethugs hate, and a bored housewife? They WANTED Obama to win, so they could hang the millstone on a Democrat.

"This is probably significant to my general theory that the last six months of the Bush administration will mark one of the greatest periods of systematic looting in American history. Never again will so many assets be handed off to regulators and corrupt apparatcheks for “distribution” to the privileged. This may make the “privatization” of the Soviet Union to Russian oligarchs look like a cake walk. " -Russ Winter, July 12, 2008

This whole economic "crisis" was planned far in advance, to coincide with Bush's exit, and a Democratic President.

If I thought the evidence would ever be found, I'd bet on it.
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 17:56
I have often wondered about that very possibility. I wondered about it when Carter was elected and the manufactured gas shortage and hostage crisis.

We could really use some patriotic deep throats and whistle blowers to come forward with the proof. It doesn't make sense otherwise.

You left out the importance of Fox and Murdoch to make sure the millstone was hung right where they wanted it and kept there until they were ready to roll back in power for another raid of the Treasury.
+6 # Betty Smith 2010-11-22 11:39
It is astounding that this is even ot there. The bottom line her is, there is a black man in the white house. We thought we saw the racial divide with the OJ Simpson trial. That was nothing compated to what we are seeing as a result of a black man in the white house. Obama is too smart to fall for their tricks. Obama is the chosen one. and my God is not going to allow these hate mongers win. When you see these folks on television, you can see the hate in their eyes. It is as if they are saying "how did he make it and I didn't." the fact that the REpublicans are backing some empty vessel like Sarah Palin tells you a lot about them. They would rather hve a dum brunette in the white house instead of a very very smart black man. Did I ask you "how far have we really come in this country?" And what are other courtries saying about us? It does not mater to the
republicans. All they want is their country back. As if we had no part in building this country. I know a God who can do anything and I know He is going to step in and take care of this too. Let us all keep prayng for Obama, his family and our country.
+3 # othermother 2010-11-22 17:58
I do pray, Betty. But the Republican establishment aren't backing the moose-shooting momma. They're afraid of her. I don't like the fact that Rupert Murdoch pays her a big fee to be a 'reality' talk show host.

The empty vessel may end by filling up at the US Treasury if the President doesn't find his voice again. May God protect and strengthen him.
+7 # Flora Jones 2010-11-22 12:12
I have to agree with many of the comments posted here. The sad few of us have realized that the last administration (Republican) ran this country into almost total annihilation. We became, probably, the most hated country in the world due to ignorant, ineffective, greedy and crooked leadership. It is scary that the American public fail to understand this and will and have voted back in the very same people they elected to help our country but who failed. The very same people who wished publicly that our president would fail and forgetting the fact that if he fails, we all do. Why would you want those people in any kind of leadership role in your country. It hearts me to find that most of America react rather than think.
+1 # wfalco 2010-11-22 12:57
I wonder if this media induced "crisis" in our leadership would have even been discussed if we had a tradional white President. I have argued Obama made a couple of miscalculations (a weak healthcare reform bill and over-emphasis, initially, on getting along with the Republicans)how ever, compare him to other re-elected Presidents. He is less qualified or talented than Reagan and W.? Was this argument of one term discussed much during Reagan's time? (Didn't Reagan have 10% unemployment rate early on in his first term?)
I can only, sadly, conclude that to be a ground breaking black man in America you must be beyond mediocre, effective, or pretty good. You have to be tremendous. If not the critics will howl with glee.(With an underlying message of "I told you so.")
-1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 23:08
Geez wfalco, it is becoming impossible to critisize Obama without the race card being pulled. Maybe some of us who are unhappy with Obama are unhappy with his leadership, and gee, do you suppose that this just has to have anything to do with his race? I, for one, am very unhappy with his leadership, or lack there of, and it damn well has nothing to do with his race.
Just thought I'd throw this out there to support those who fear being accused of being racist because they happen NOT to like his leadership.
+1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-25 00:26
Again, I am curious to know if my nay sayers are actually suggesting that it is racist of me to reject Obama's leadership. It isn't of course but honestly, is it or is it not possible to disagree with Obama's leadership without being accused of being racist? I'd like a real answer. Of course, I just expect more thumbs down but maybe someone would like to propose, along with me, that it's possible to disagree with Obama without being a racist. If passing the race test means that I must endorse in Obama what I actually object to then...well what the heck. I must be racist, right? Is that the message?
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 12:08
wfalco: Obama still has two years to be "tremendous", that's why the right-wingers at WashPost are afraid of.
+2 # bjw 2010-11-26 18:08
Have you forgotten how Clinton was treated? How Carter was treated? How JFK, RFK, LBJ were treated? They made mistakes as well and they were all pretty good overall. The critics are going to howl and attack when and where they see an opening. What is driving everyone nuts is how calmly and cooly he takes it all. So let them attack him for being calm and aloof. Let's see what the results are in the coming months. Let's get the troops home. Let's get clinics in place. Let's take care of the veterans. Let's stop the bogus foreclosures. Let's bring jobs home from overseas. Let's insist on better reporting and media content.
-3 # fredboy 2010-11-22 13:38
The tragedy, of course, is the Democrats did little to prepare Obama to champion recovery and lift America's spirits. So he applied his own experience and tried to comfort, unite, and appease. We needed immediate, constant focus and superb advocacy and clarity.

He should and I believe will look at what is in the best interest of the nation when deciding about seeking re-election. Democrats should now be busy vetting other potential candidates in hopes of identifying true excellence--jus t in case.

I do not believe Obama would win at this stage. Thus it comes down to whether Democrats will again throw up their hands and toss the nation--our nation--to the wolves.
+7 # Brian Johnstone 2010-11-22 13:44
This country, since Reagan, accelerated by the Bush dynastic clan and yes, even Clinton's slamming of the poor by taking a scythe to what little social safety net there was, has taken on something of the flavor of -from my own direct experience- living in Spain under Franco, Indonesia under Suharto and even a touch of Paraguay under Stroessner (to name but a few of the dictators which the U.S. chose to bolster, especially with arms supplies). The censorship is more subtle but it is there and this article is a good example of where the corporate media are steering the nation. In the foregoing years of dictatorship, you could shop as much as you wanted but try to change the established top-down power structure at your peril! These nations were fragmented deeply between a wealthy/militar y alliance, and those who depended on and supported them, and the submerged majority remainder of the population. The wealthy lived in gated and heavily guarded compounds, declaimed from on high against any measure of social reform through a manipulated press, a militarized police force and secret surveillance complex who could descend on anyone if a certain line was crossed (sound familiar yet?).
+7 # Mitch L. 2010-11-22 13:46
This article gives too much credit to the teabaggers. TheTea Party are a bunch of anarcho-capital ists. They hate government getting in their way of making and hoarding money. They fear government, yet give corporations a free pass.

They hate beaurocrats in Washington, but love them in corporate offices. The tea party makes absolutely no sense to anyone, even themselves! They turn their anger on the poor, unemployed, and illegal immigrants, when these groups are not the problm. When did anyone here ever lose a job to an illegal immigrant? Never! No American ever has. As a matter a fact, the "Take Our Jobs" initiative by the migrant workers recruited a total of 2, yes two, Americans that actually ended up working in the fields.
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 12:20
Mitch L. One was Stephen Colbert.
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 18:16
The Tea Party is a lot like AQ....exaggerat ed for effect, supported by plutocrats, and full of loose cannons and easy -to -indoctrinate lunatics.
+4 # nraydt 2010-11-22 14:45
Which American dream should we worry about giving up? The one that brought so many here who sought the freedom to speak their own minds? How about the one that released them from "serfdom", "slavery",oppre ssion of a huge variety of kinds? Maybe it is the dream of being able to have a job and take care of the family? Or is the big shiny new car and oversized house dream? Maybe its the dream of having so many children? Could it be the dream of being treated as an equal with men, whites, adults, educated, etc? In my mind the President must be focusing on one dream and forgetting that The American Dream has been of many varieties, colors, nationalities, economies, and more in origin and that should be his focus. The young man who already had all he needed and posed the BIG question put the President off his stride because he has achieved several dreams himself - at least that's what I think.
+1 # Edwin Gerard 2010-11-22 14:45
What exactly has President Obama "failed to do", except to render to the Republicans the America they wish to maintain ?
-1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-22 23:12
Quoting Edwin Gerard:
What exactly has President Obama "failed to do", except to render to the Republicans the America they wish to maintain ?

Surely, surely you are being rhetorical. Do you want a list? Shall it be put in alphabetical order? By order of significance? ....and I still say he's been an able administrator but a failed leader.
0 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-25 00:28
Now really...the question stands. Does anyone need a list? Other posters have already done a fine job but I'll gladly quote their lists if that will satisfy anyone.
+2 # Realist 2010-11-22 15:40
Obama's problem is that he doesn't know how to lead. He is a great orator and scholar, but leadership? He was not in the Senate long enough, or high enough, to realize that what a president does is meet with small groups of congresspeople, have them in the White House for breakfast, lunch, even tea, and persuade them to vote for what he wanted. Had he done that, we would have a REAL Health Care Program (like Medicare for All), and people would not have been so upset with him that they voted for the opposition.
0 # Kbat 2010-11-22 18:23
Ditto to the realist!
+1 # genierae 2010-11-24 12:27
Realist: Get real. You can't persuade hatred to do what you want. Republicans hate the very idea of a man such as Barack Obama. He is the antithesis of every thing that they stand for. That is why they are trying to destroy him. Breakfast, lunch and tea, notwithstanding .
+1 # bjw 2010-11-26 18:30
There is always a tendency to fight with lessons learned from the previous war. Mrs. Clinton made a truly valiant effort to come up with a HCR and look what happened. Zilch. Failure. Obama's team tried to avoid her mistakes and made new ones. The entrenched profit making entities were simply more powerful than anyone buy the most savvy realized. They were not going to give up those billions no matter who had tea with whom. When you can convince people to protect their profits above the health of you and your family, that's real power.
+2 # catladyok 2010-11-23 02:04
So ... President Obama is just supposed to roll over and let the money-hungry Republicans siphon off even more tax money to the super-rich???? Are we supposed to accept someone like Sarah Palin, who will bring back Karl Rove and Dick Cheney so that we can go to war with Iran and North Korea? I don't think so!
+2 # dismayed 2010-11-23 05:16
This article gives way too much credit to the Tea Party for understanding the condition America is in better than anyone else. I say bollocks to that. The Tea Baggers may have started out as a grassroots movement, but they rapidly became nothing more than a movement backed by the most extreme right of Republicans. This president has been the most maligned & disrespected any president we've ever had in history. He has continuously reached out in search of bipartisanship & has been continuously rudely rejected & every single thing he has tried to accomplish has been blocked - at great cost to America. It's criminal
0 # Alma Elder 2010-11-23 10:34
So the going gets tough. We need a tough minded President, which Obama is. He has stuck to principles, such as improved relations with other countries and with health care in our country. Change is very difficult, but we need a steady hand. I hope he runs again.
+2 # Rara Avis 2010-11-24 08:34
The article analyzing Obama's position is very correct in pointing out that the American Century is long over and the inescapable decline has begun. But the problem is also that the rich and powerful define the parameters of what is possible in this crisis of confidence. Wall Street just made record profits for a quarter. Their parameters are widening and the field of opportunity is growing for the elite at the top. It is contracting for the rest of us. Going Green and being innovative and bold enough to reach out for that for all our people can yet make the United States a wonderful place to raise the next generation of Americans. But our leaders are wedded to the few at the top who want to shrink those parameters for the rest of the masses of the public. And there, silently sitting in the room is the bigoted elephant that has insisted from the beginning of the Obama Presidency, even before he took office, that a black man in the White House is just unacceptable to them. Cadell and Co. do not even have the integrity to ask for immediate resignation of the President. I ask them, why wait or 2012?
+4 # Todd Boyle 2010-11-24 12:51
If Cadell's article is nonsense, Gwyn's article is even worse. First of all, there's nothing inevitable about the global financial crisis or America's deficits or social problems: they are the result of vast crimes by the world's financial elites-- the destruction of public finances by the "bailouts" of the fake "crisis", and, the competitive tax-cutting by industrialized nations.

The decline in America's *relative* dominance in the world is inevitable-- it is the result of economic development of poorer nations. And that is a good thing for all of humanity. My point is, this is not the end of cultural, social, intellectual, or scientific progress in the U.S. let alone, material progress. Our future is hostage to the predatory rich in our country, who smash the financial bases of education, healthcare, the information commons and even the industrial base upon which they depend.
+1 # Dan Fletcher 2010-11-25 00:30
Elegant, plain and simple, and correct Todd Boyle. Nicely stated.

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