Barack Obama – A real life Jed Bartlet

Excellent, realistic, full of truth and free of lazy, phony “progressives” purity piece from Jamie Fuller:

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This image (and the 2008 national security campaign literature trumpeting the phrase “Pragmatism over ideology,” which was regurgitated in the piece) captures the ultimate truth of the Obama presidency—something that will be overlooked in the inevitable columns that will challenge Obama on the civil-liberties shortcomings presented in the Times piece. Obama never ran as a liberal warrior, and he certainly hasn’t governed as one—the mantle of progressivism is one his base put on him. In truth, Obama has always fancied himself a Bartlet—his steadfast pragmatism and nonideological swagger tempered with a dash of idealism and a healthy scoop of intellect—and that’s the face he and his administration (which was most cooperative with theTimes) try to present in this piece.

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New CBO Report Finds That Even Now Hundreds of Thousands of People Still Owe Their Jobs to the Recovery Act

Oh, what do you know. Mitt Romney lied again. Asshole.

A new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report estimates that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) increased the number of people employed by between 200,000 and 1.5 million jobs in March.[1]   In other words, between 200,000 and 1.5 million people employed in March owed their jobs to the Recovery Act.  This estimate, by Congress’ non-partisan economic and budget analysts, is more comprehensive than the 160,000 jobs that ARRA recipients reported in April, CBO explains.

 

“There are those who tell the truth. There are those who distort the truth. And then there’s Mitt Romney”

Once a month you can find someone on the MSM pointing to the obvious: Mitt Romney is a disgusting liar. Not that it changes anything. AnywayEugene Robinson:

Every political campaign exaggerates and dissembles. This practice may not be admirable — it’s surely one reason so many Americans are disenchanted with politics — but it’s something we’ve all come to expect. Candidates claim the right to make any boast or accusation as long as there’s a kernel of veracity in there somewhere.

Even by this lax standard, Romney too often fails. Not to put too fine a point on it, he lies. Quite a bit.

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Yes, he does. He’s a lying piece of shit. And he’s tied in the polls with most honest president in the history of this country. This is where we are now.

 

Plouffe: “This is going to be a very close race, but I’d rather be us than them”

Long and interesting New York Magazine piece about the campaign strategy.

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They will pummel him for being a vulture-vampire capitalist at Bain Capital. They will pound him for being a miserable failure as the governor of Massachusetts. They will mash him for being a water-carrier for Paul Ryan’s Social Darwinist fiscal program. They will maul him for being a combination of Jerry Falwell, Joe Arpaio, and John Galt on a range of issues that strike deep chords with the Obama coalition. “We’re gonna say, ‘Let’s be clear what he would do as president,’ ” Plouffe explains. “Potentially abortion will be criminalized. Women will be denied contraceptive services. He’s far right on immigration. He supports efforts to amend the Constitution to ban gay marriage.”

 

The Obama effort at disqualifying Romney will go beyond painting him as excessively conservative, however. It will aim to cast him as an avatar of revanchism. “He’s the fifties, he is retro, he is backward, and we are forward—that’s the basic construct,” says a top Obama strategist. “If you’re a woman, you’re Hispanic, you’re young, or you’ve gotten left out, you look at Romney and say, ‘This fucking guy is gonna take us back to the way it always was, and guess what? I’ve never been part of that.’ ”

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But Plouffe, recalling George W. Bush’s effective double-barreled attack on John Kerry as both a flip-­flopping phony and a liberal extremist, maintains that the two threads will be merged into a single yarn: “When Romney tries to Etch-a-Sketch, we’re not just gonna say, ‘Oh, there goes old Mitt Romney again! Who knows where he stands?’ We’re gonna say, ‘He is once again showing he’ll say anything—he has no core.’ But we’re also gonna say, ‘We know where he stands; he’s way off to the right on abortion, contraception, immigration, and gay rights,’ and hold him to those positions.”

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Then there is the exposure part, which entails subjecting the Romney record to withering scrutiny. The assault on his time at Bain has already begun, but soon Chicago will train its fire on his tenure in the Massachusetts statehouse. “He made similar promises in 2002 about what he was going to do for Massachusetts based on his experience in the private sector,” says Obama’s deputy campaign manager, Stephanie Cutter. “ ‘I’ve got all this great experience creating jobs and turning around companies! I’m gonna turn around Massachusetts!’ Well, there’s a reason why he never talks about his Massachusetts record. Because economically, it didn’t work.”

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What’s clear is that an Obama victory could have profound political implications for the future of the Democratic Party. When 44 arrived in office, some forecast that he might usher in a New New Deal. (Nope.) But if he gains reelection by consolidating his party’s position with the electorate’s ascendant demographic forces, Obama may succeed in creating a viable post–New Deal coalition on which Democrats can build for years to come. “Ronald Reagan turned a whole bunch of people who are now seniors into Republicans,” says Messina. “What is happening now is that young people, women, and Latinos are becoming Democrats. That’s the coalition Obama brought; demographics brought it, too. And for the next 30 years, it is going to be a real challenge for Republicans.”

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Another Thomas Friedman’ false equivalency BS

Thomas Friedman spent the last year begging for a third-party, who will run on, surprise surprise, basically almost everything that you can find in the Democratic Party platform. But, in a miracle way, this “third-party” will actually be able to do all that. In his column today, it seems like he finally realize that his third party dream will stay a dream, so he took a twist:

President Obama is awesome on policy, but terrible in publicizing his record. Therefore, he should stop attacking Romney and run on Friedman’s awesome third-party platform, Confused? You’re not alone, so is Friedman. He’s so confused, that he completely ignore 3.5 years of GOP sabotaging, and even more, the media’ catastrophic failure to tell the truth and put the blame where it should be. You can read his column here but I wanted to bring one of the comments:

Yes, President Obama and the Democrats could do more to sell their significant achievements to the American people. But this criticism is pretty ironic coming from a columnist who has given us little more than he-said, she-said false equivalency and cheerleading for a third party for much of the past three years.
A primary difficulty that Democrats face with selling their accomplishments is that  the media has almost entirely abandon its traditional role of calling balls-and-strikes and helping inform their readers about the facts of the issues. Instead, the media parrots whatever lines the GOP offers and then simply notes that the other side disagrees. This approach offers readers no basis upon which to judge who is right or wrong, and gives whichever side is most willing to lie a huge advantage.  And time and time again, we’ve seen that the GOP is more than willing to traffic in such lies.
This fundamental failure of our media enabled the health care reform debate to be focused on myths about “death panels” and “government takeoevers,” rather than on the substance of what ObamaCares is really about. It is what allows the GOP to pretend to be the party of fiscal responsibility even as they have driven deficits up for decades now.
If you want Obama’s achievements to be more recognized, talk about them rather than continuing to pretend like we need a third party.

“One photograph that speaks to a way in which Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are profoundly mismatched”

To be honest, I don’t know why the stunning Pete Souza’ photo of President Obama letting a young black kid to touch his hair, turned into such a big item this week, three years after it was published – but I’m so happy it did. Many good stuff been written about it, and this Frank Bruni piece from today’s NYT, is just as great:

FORGET your political affiliation. Never mind your assessment of his time in office so far. If you have any kind of heart, you’re struck by it: the photograph of Barack Obama bent down so that a young black boy can touch his head and see if the president’s hair is indeed like his own. It moves you. It also speaks to a way in which Obama and Mitt Romney, whose campaigns are picking up the pace just as polls show them neck and neck, are profoundly mismatched.

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that more than three and a half years after Obama made history as the first black man elected to the presidency, he still presents more than a résumé and an agenda. He still personifies the hope, to borrow a noun that he has used, that we really might evolve into the colorblind, fair-minded country that many of us want. His own saga taps into the larger story of this country’s fitful, unfinished progress toward its stated ideal of equal opportunity.

And that gives many voters an emotional connection to him that they simply don’t have to most other politicians, including Romney, a privileged and intensely private man whose strengths don’t include the easy ability to humanize himself.

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Andrew Sullivan: “I’m sick of the attempt to describe a pragmatic, sane and successful president as somehow unqualified”

Sully go ballistic on the GOP and their media tools:

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Obama did not have a serious choice; he had a fate. That fate was to pick up the pieces of the most catastrophic presidency in modern times. The final bouquet – after emptying the public coffers with no serious boost to employment, profits or growth – was the financial collapse, which both shrunk the economy, decimated revenues to 50 year lows, and automatically increased spending for the unemployed and poor in desperate need of help. Once you account for that – and the Nutting graph indeed shows that this was baked in the cake by the time Obama was elected – Obama has been, like most modern Democrats, far more fiscally conservative than any modern Republican.

Now you could argue that Obama should have let the auto industry go fully bankrupt, allow the economy to head into deflation and depression without any fiscal stimulus to counter, cut the unemployed off at the knees – and we would be Greece today, underwater in a deepening and self-reinforcing depression. Can you imagine what Romney would have said about Obama’s record then?

And yes, as Suderman notes, the real criticism should be focused on the absence of any long-term deal on entitlements, defense, taxes and spending – a deal that would do a huge amount for business confidence. But seriously: if one side simply refuses to put any serious revenue increases on the table at all, who’s really preventing that effort?

There are legitimate issues to debate with respect to the future in this election. But the caricature of the last three years, the knowing lies that interweave with this false narrative, the attempt to describe a pragmatic, sane and successful president as somehow unqualified to tackle this mess – when the US economy has fared better in this period than much of the West – are deceptions, exploiting pain. I’m sick of them, and the cynicism they represent.

A-FUCKING-MEN.