“This one edges the Great Society. It’s astonishing what they were able to get done”


The Do-Something Congress

With an approval rating in the teens, Congress right now is about as popular as Julian Assange at the State Department’s Christmas Party — or Sarah Palin at The Nation’s editorial meeting, or President Obama at a Federalist Society convention.

And, politically, the Democratic-controlled Congress took a beating from voters in November, as Republicans won back control of the House and picked up seats in the Senate.

But lost in the poll numbers and the voters’ message in November is this one unmistakable fact: This Congress, which likely will come to a close this week, accomplished more, legislatively, than any other Congress since the 1960s (the Great Society) or the 1930s (the New Deal).

In the past two years, it has:
— expanded the safety net with the health-care law;

— invested billions in the nation’s roadways, airports, schools, and green technologies with the stimulus;

— reformed the nation’s financial system with financial reform;

— passed billions in tax cuts for Americans with the stimulus and the extension of the Bush-era tax cuts

— expanded civil rights with the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

And in its final piece of business, the Senate is currently working on one of the White House’s top foreign-policy goals: ratification of the New START treaty with Russia. Then throw in all of the other legislation enacted this Congress, like credit-card reform and the Lilly Ledbetter anti-pay-discrimination act.

“I would probably rank the New Deal [Congress] first,” congressional scholar Norm Ornstein told First Read. “I think this one edges the Great Society. It is at least on par with the Great Society.”

“For all the dysfunction, it was just astonishing what they were able to get done,” Ornstein added.

Many can take credit for these accomplishments. President Obama (who spent his political capital on these legislative items, especially health care). Democratic leaders (who had to placate everyone in their party from Bernie Sanders on the left to Ben Nelson on the right). Democratic members of Congress (many of whom cast tough votes). And, at least on the tax-cut deal, congressional Republicans (who bucked growing conservative resistance to the legislation).

// snip

Of course, the Democratic-controlled Congress biggest failure was losing 63 House seats — the most since the 1940s — and control of that chamber, as well as losing six Senate seats.

Yet as we — and others — have pointed out before, political power in Congress comes and goes. What truly matters is what you do with it when you have it.



130 thoughts on ““This one edges the Great Society. It’s astonishing what they were able to get done”

  1. With McConnell all over the tv giving threats about what he is going to do to President and Democrats. We need to start planning. what can we do to keep the pressure on Republicans. 1st we need to take the message he sending and view it as a threat and say republicans are threatening the American People. How about starting tomorrow we do a series of phone calls Asking McConnell are republicans threatening the American People we need to get this kind of language viral.

  2. Another excellent post BWD.

    It’s amazing to see how much our President has accomplished over the two years he has been President.

    Of course, the lunkheads on BOTH sides will do everything in their power to glorify Obama as a failure.

    While I admit that Obama could have done better on certain issues, he’s done the best job possible with the circumstances given him.

  3. to keep it going we have to help him and let hm know we are behind what wants to do . Don’t be afraid to challenge the republicans he has the people behind him.

  4. I suspect many Republicans will fold this next year and end up supporting Obama’s legislation. They already dropped the holds they’ve been having on Obama’s nominees since he was inaugurated.

    I also suspect that there will be Republican Party in-fighting. The Tea Party Congresscritters will battle it out with the reasonable Republicans. I predict Speaker Boehner won’t know how to keep them in line and will be a gosh awful House Speaker this next year and will remind the nation why his party was voted out of power in the first place.

  5. It too often fought itself and got caught up in turf wars that saw them at times cut off their noses to spite their faces.

    The House brought the bloodbath on themselves, so while they might have whittled down the blue dog ranks they did so at the loss of the majority. Let’s see how progressive-friendly the bills coming out of the House are over the next two years. Given how bad the economy was and how it should have improved in two more years, I can’t see another wave giving the Dems back the House unless the GOP goes full teabagger and runs Palin on their Presidential ticket.

    If the House didn’t go scorched earth on the HCR bill, I think it could have been seen much more favorably and that could have been good for 15 House seats and a couple Senate seats being held.

  6. I think President Obama actually has the uppper hand, but we have to be more vocal to back him.

  7. Rand Paul and his nuttiness could make up for the lot of them. It only takes one in the Senate afterall…

  8. Terrific. I’m heartened to see this pushback against the meme of a big-spending, do-nothing Congress. I was, and am, unhappy with the grandstanding re: the tax cut deal. However, it is undeniable that Dems made major achievements and brought this country back from the brink of utter collapse. Reid indeed herded some majorly diva cats, and it’s my firm belief that Speaker Pelosi is going to go down as one of the best House speakers in history as well as the first female. Way to represent for women, Nancy! I look forward to efforts to persuade the public to reexamine the GOP’s successful caricature and parody of this terrific stateswoman who is clearly “in it” to successfully help people.

  9. I think it’s interesting that all kinds of people are now noticing the enormous amount of good that has been accomplished. Where have they been? Better late than never, I guess. I feel a momentum switch. Repubs are finally being criticized for some of the outrageous obstruction and increasing segregationist type talk, and Pres. Obama and the Dems are finally getting some recognition for a pretty amazing list of accomplishments, and they clicked them off despite the hostile political climate and unprecedented amount of money and power lined up against them.

  10. The media played a big part in getting the tea Party in, Now they are seeing that the country is moving back. We are back to fight off wishes of secession, states rights and right wing hate. All bought up and promoted by the media.

  11. People are awaking to the fact, that the information source they trusted. lied misrepresented information, judged without evidence. Rachel is not the only one who needed to apologize, their are many others. Fox should be called out for their leading the government takeover lie.

  12. So true tulips. I think that the tax deal also crystallized some matters: President Obama’s style in terms of advocating for and securing the most progressive outcome which he perceives is possible was on clear display and negates this thematic of a non-fighting, non-principled phony. Quite the contrary, this is clearly someone who has a very unique politicking style, one which produces results. Certainly not perfect results, but the ball is moving.

    I also think that the media might be awakening to the myth of a Democratic/progressive/liberal base who loathe or are deeply disappointed with this POTUS. One would think that POTUS has no base of support based upon this myth. While our spokespeople are keen to speak for us, the polling just doesn’t quite match these claims of the disappearing base.

    I think that POTUS obtaining the trifecta of pulling a stimulus out of nowhere, passing START, and passing DADT repeal–all measures deemed politically impossible by several members of the chattering class, has opened some eyes to the veracity of the WH. I can’t wait to begin working with OFA on the DREAM Act.

  13. Absolutely; Fox”News” is a major source of disinformation. I love MediaMatters because they watch them like a hawk.

  14. Thank BWD for this post. I feel it is a tragic unjustice that the Democratic house of reprentatives was booted out when it was the do-nothing Republicans that blocked and complained for two solid years. The American people are so confused and fickle. I hope in the next two years we bring back more Democrats into the house, senate and work like dogs to get President Obama re-elected ( not that America deserves him). The future of America depends upon it. Thank you Nancy Pelosi for a fantastic job! Now the Teapublicans have to govern and not sit back and obstruct.

  15. Hey – GMTA. I believe that as well. Some because they have teeny, tiny, little consciences, others because it’s easier, and they are lazy, some because associating with a two term (you heard me right frustrati) POTUS might not be such a bad idea. In the House, I’ll bet some are indeed scared…of Boener, but because he nuts, not intimidating. “Let’s get far, far away from the weirdo…”

  16. The level of misinformation was as severe as the period during the run-up to the Iraq War. It was that bad. Swing voters were tricked pure and simple IMO.

  17. FoxSnooze went to court to defend the right to lie and won, so don’t expect any apologies from them.

    They are the proud propaganda media outlet for the Nazi Reich Wing, Hitler and Goebbels would LOVE FoxSnooze if they were alive today.

  18. Now to get some Prag Bloggers on TV. Maybe one with an appealing Australian accent?

    Norbrook – are you out there? Do you communicate verbally as well as you do in writing??? 🙂

  19. Are you including Boehner in the “reasonable” category?

    I’m not sure any of the Repubs can be considered reasonable. Maybe reasonable on rare occasion.

  20. The campaign of fear won in 2004. People were afraid of being attacked by the bin Laden boogieman and that President Kerry would do nothing to keep us safe.

    Now that President Obama is in office, the reich wing is attempting to make him the boogie man, Willie Hortonize him. They want their viewers to be afraid of anyone of color, that’s why they hosted a Secessionist Dinner in South Carolina. They’re proud racists and make no bones about it either.

    Thankfully, they’re just a fringe minority, even if the Census reflects gains for them. The gains only will affect local level elections because as the saying goes, politics is local.

  21. This will be a very unhappy New Year’s for the frustrati, if any can still complete a reality check. Well, bite me. (sorry) I know it’s not over until it’s over, and I should be indulging in COLD repasts now, and Buddhists should not even think, let alone post comments like that…but hell, it’s been a long week 🙂

  22. Thank you. Test results are as good as they could be under the circs. Soon, the “adventure” begins. Write me sometime for dets.

  23. Good; I’m happy to hear that bit of good news; I love reading your commentary here and at BWN, always!

  24. And am I the only one made more comfortable by the quiet intelligence and maturity of people like Senator Kerry and President Obama rather than fearful? I guess that I diverge from a significant portion of the country in that respect. I am so much more comfortable with adults in charge than with cowboys, tough guys, and drama kings/queens or divas. Too much drama doesn’t feel safe to me.

  25. When I mean “reasonable Republicans” I mean the ones like Murkowski and a few others who won’t play partisan politics on most pressing and important issues, not the loudmouths like McConnell, Kyl, Graham and McCain.

    Heck, Boehner was reasonable when he said he would have voted FOR middle class tax cuts had the Democrats fought for them before the midterms, now isn’t that scary?

  26. You know Gn the same old quotes always come true. WHEN YOU DIG A DITCH FOR SOMEONE MAKE SURE YOU DIG ONE FOR YOURSELF. I will be optimistic about President Obama. Because his heart is in the right place.

  27. you know fox could be stopped. If we all boycott I mean really boycott. No matter how sensational they get. we boycott thru cable, movies and just shut them down. we will win. we allow fox to do what they do because we don’t stick together or have a plan.

  28. They did a great job and I’m proud of them. The rethugs don’t believe in government so all they will want to do is cut expenses and defund what exists now, except for the military. It’s going to be ugly next year.

  29. There are some great comments on the media here, but I would like to remind everyone that it is the networks that decide who gets airtime. I believe it was Sherrod Brown fron Ohio who highligted this when he was asked why Democrats are not touting their successes on the Sunday shows. So, if we want to hear from more Democrats we need to put pressure on the networks. CNN is notorious for inviting Boehner and McConnell to spew their misinformation without challenging them.

  30. So utterly utterly true: the grave so intently dug for someone else may just be one’s own. Very salient caution against operating in a completely revenge-based fashion (although as humans these feelings are so natural).

  31. I respectfully disagree, Tulips. Murdoch is willing to operate this particular business at a loss IMO. The long hard slog of an educated population, engaging each other voter to voter, is the only way out of this.

  32. Absolutely astounding what was accomplished in as hostile an environment as we have ever seen. The Democratic “super” majority, despite wishful thinking to the contrary, wasn’t real. Thanks to the fools who devised a way for Republicans in Connecticut to reelect Holy Joe, Holy Joe’s alliance with John McInsane and Linsey Graham, getting to 60 was made far more complicated.

    Nonetheless, President Obama was able to get stuff done that has never been done before, to move the progressive agenda forward in the process. Let’s not forget that he did what he promised as a former Senator and let the Congress take the lead on legislation. Now that they have proven incapable, he is in an ideal position to move in so that we can move on to more positive, progressive legislation.

    In the meantime, the losers Regressive Libertarians masquerading as part of the progressive left have been exposed. They will continue to lose and lose and lose. I’d love to see a list of their accomplishments sometime. What would it include? Eric Massa, Ned Lamont (unsuccessful candidate for Senator and Governor), anti-DREAM Act Jon Tester, but what else? Slinkerwink helped lose the TX governor election for Bill White but now she’s a shero on the pale orange Fox affiliate. And on and on and on and on….

    General Larry Platt can revise his famous “Pants on the Ground” song for the Regressives: “Head in the Sand” would be apt .

  33. When Bush was in office the story was that the MSM had on other Republicans because they were the ones in power making the decisions. With a Democrat in power however all of a sudden it’s “he has the bully pulpit, so we have the opposition on to provide balance”.

  34. Flojo good idea. where could we start. A writing campaign, A large petition campaing. How would we go about doing this.

  35. With all due respect, Boehner is full of shit.

    Here’s an article from 12/2/2010:


    As for Boehner being even close to reasonable, he called Obama “chicken shit”. He tried to spin, but I’m still not buying:


    More proof of his unreasonableness:

    Boehner, Cantor take different sides on Nazi reenactor Iott in Ohio


  36. The only thing missing is bringing the unemployment rate down. I agree and have been saying that the first two years of President Obama’s presidency (and the 111th Congress) was more productive than the first two years of any Democratic president or Congress since LBJ and FDR.

    But I have this feeling that unless the unemployment rate comes down, the voters won’t care about all those accomplishments in 2012.

    The business community got their tax cuts for two more years. Now they have to produce jobs. Period. Businesses have a responsibility to produce jobs now. Produce the jobs. The president has done everything he can to encourage job creation. The private sector needs to step up and do their part.

  37. You’re not the only one. So sad that John Kerry couln’t get in the WH. He would have made a good president.

  38. Slinkerwink time is running out, she and others have been revealed. clark57, Jpmasser all of those guys lied and promoted nothing but hate for the past 2yrs. If those on that site don’t see the backstabbing effort they lead. they will be called out just like people woke up about cenk, jane, kos, ed schultz.

  39. Yup; they need to stop sitting on cash reserves and start hiring. I have a conspiracy theory that companies sat on record cash not merely because of demand concerns, but to affect the elections and obtain those tax cuts for the rich. /adjusting tin foil tiara

  40. I understand that, Not when you are fighting networks, we must fight them pocket wise. Maybe along with the voter to voter combat. Look at the great bus boycott they used both methods. They made them see their rules was morally wrong and damaged their finances.

  41. The conservative media was critical of many of the networks after the 2008 campaign for perceived bias to President Obama that they joined the bashing Obama crowd to appease the Right. CNN realized how profitable it was to hype the news that they took they cue from Faux news. MSNBC was in the President’s corner until the viewership was sinking and decided bashing Obama will get more people on the left to watch. There are no credible networks to watch anymore and that’s the truth. If it is was possible, I would love to see a peoples network. A network where everyday folks can talk about the issues of the day and have healthy debates about legislation and educate others. I would call it the “People’s Newshour”

  42. Kerry was a victim of both the fear card in 2004 and bad campaign staffers. He didn’t fight against the Swift Boat lies and his rhetoric of “I was for it before I was against it” didn’t pan well either.

    Kerry was just a bad candidate to put up against Bush, it’s too bad that Obama was still a fresh face that year in national level politics. I suspect Obama would have given Bush a run for his money.

  43. About the only credible network is PBS and NPR on the radio. They’re the only ones who will report all sides of a story and get different views.

  44. No I am totally the same. I like that the FLOTUS also has that quality but funnily I love and am comforted by VP Biden’s ballsy character too. I guess it plays well against the President’s quiet and serious resolve.

  45. I think we need to turn the tables on them by using twitter, youtube to voice our displeasure. CNN is always talking about followers on twitter – maybe we need to start there. Create a newshour on youtube, dissecting the information they present to the public. Show how they tilt the information or the misopportunities by not following through with questions. We should target CNN, ABC, MSNBC, I doubt anything can be done about Fox.

  46. Let us always remember that when you have an intelligent, compassionate, well-read, hard working, and dedicated president in the Oval Office working to get things done for the people who sent him there(and knows it), we have half the battle won already.

    Now as someone has said on this site, we now need to really put our minds, hand, feet, and intellectual wisdom out front and help him in these next two years. The opposition can not win with the hard work and effective efforts that you all point out in 2008. We must start watching carefully how this president makes his moves. He now needs us to put on the gloves, go in the ring with him, and fight with all of our resources to defeat this awful wall that has been put up. Remember he stated in his State of the Union Message,”I do not quit!” We then will not quit. Thanks so much for all of you on this refreshing site. You are the future.

  47. Biden is very charming to me. He’s outspoken, but he’s not a diva or drama king. I don’t see him ranting on my tv every day; he doesn’t seem to do a lot of grandstanding either. He’s truly a terrific VP. The entire First Family: POTUS, FLOTUS, VP Biden, and Dr. Biden are a wonderful example for the country, each in their own unique fashion.

  48. Look up “Comeback Kid” in the dictionary and you’re going to see a picture of Barack Obama. Extraordinary what he’s been able to accomplish with quiet, behind the scenes efforts since his supposedly stunning “defeat” at the polls in November. The man’s a shape-shifter, able to morph into whatever we need to get the necessary legislation passed. I know the purist progressives will have their usual bitter complaints, but they can suck it as, for the first time ever, proud gay and lesbian Americans line up to volunteer for our Armed Forces, while our missile inspectors ready themselves for their next inspection in Russia, and as our unemployed log on and check their bank accounts which have just received the next installment of their uninsurance compensation. Our shape-shifting, cerebral President may quietly celebrate as his enemies ask themselves what the hell just happened and the chattering classes realize that someone just dribbled past and dunked the ball after they declared him out of the game.

    Congratulations, President Obama, the best Comeback Kid this country has ever seen.

  49. Much was accomplished. And, what’s so great is that when the Repub-led House tries to stall all legislation over the next two years, people will look back and remember how much was accomplished when the Democrats led the House. Well, hopefully people will remember. And hopefully it will help us regain the majority in the House and keep the majority in the Senate.

  50. To his credit ClarkNT did post a diary today on DKos congratulating Obama on his DADT win and admitting he was wrong about the strategy of following a legislative rather than executive order method of changing the system.

  51. IMO President Obama never came back, he’s been fighting the whole time. The loud voices of both sides has just been a pitiful distraction from witnessing him get things done.

    I recall when the DOJ came out against the court decision about DADT being unconstitutional, and the poutragers getting their panties in a huff. They were mad that President Obama wanted to take the practical course of repealing DADT as opposed to “judicial activism” from the bench.

    Now the law is repealed and Obama’s approval has jumped up to 55%. Heck, the poutragers aren’t even that upset about the tax cut deal he brokered as much, seeing the numerous other accomplishments he’s had with New START.

    I believe that the people have finally quit listening to the loud voices on both sides and began to see reality.

    As Phil Donahue said when he was handing Bill O Reilly his ass, “Loud doesn’t mean right.”

    It’s sad and disgusting how the poutragers use their emotions as opposed to actual constructive criticism and generation of ideas.

  52. Acually, it would be correct to say he kept the unemployment rate well below what it could have been. Even conservative leaning economists acknowledge that without th stimulus package unemployment could have hit 13% Did that get any play in the MSM? No. What we heard over and over was republcians talking about how the stimulus was a failure without one new job created, which is why 25% of Americans think the stimulus actually increased unemployment.

  53. It does, which is why you’ll NEVER see a reich winger admit they were wrong. They’ll always blame President Obama/Democrats/the left whenever they foul up.

  54. I’m watching Rachel Maddow and she has really come around. I give her credit because she will admit her errors, it takes a big person to do that. 2011 we might see a different Rachel.

  55. Semi-disagree about why he lost. To me, the biggest reason was the same reason that Gore lost. The media. We all know the stories about Gore that got a lot of play, such as being the role model for Love Story, inventing the internet, and so forth, none of which were accurate but which painted Gore as a snob. Against the dow to earth Bush the fact that, if all the votes would have been counted Gore would have won is amazing.

    Same thing with Kerry. The media didn’t have to keep pushing the Swift Boaters lies, but they did. And they never explained the whole meaning behind the “I was before it before I was against it” story, which was all about a disagreement about how the war was to be funded, nor did they mention that Bush was against the bill Kerry did vote for.

    But the biggest example of media malfeasance, IMO, was in regard to the debate where Kerry brought out that Bush had said that he didn’t really think about Obama much and Bush denied it. For that evening only, that was a story and some of the media pointed out that Bush really did say that. But by the next day all the discussion was about how Kerry talked about people having gay children and how awful it was that he brought that up and that he was obvioulsy trying to embarras Cheney. This story carried out for days. This despite the fact that in the Edwards-Cheney debate, Edwards brought up Cheney’s daughter and how he was sure Cheney loved his daughter, and Cheney thanked him for it.

  56. Better late than never I guess.

    Hopefully it’s genuine and not just another “I’m in love with Obama again until he gets re elected, then I’ll bash him again for not listening to the liberal base” moods.

  57. Representative Kucinich once again delivers a needed reality-check:

    Dennis Kucinich Schools the Sanctimonious Left (and Breaks Their Heart)

    Tuesday, December 21, 2010 | Posted by Deaniac83

    You wouldn’t know it by listening to the freakout fest of the loud fringes on the Left and the Right against the recently signed Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, but some pretty high-profile and credentialed liberals voted for this agreement. One of them was Rep. Dennis Kucinich.

    Yesterday, in an interview with MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell, he revealed his vote for the President’s tax compromise, and was refreshingly pragmatic about it.


    I voted for it. But I didn’t vote for it because it was a “tax compromise.” Unemployment is very high in my district in Cleveland, and I couldn’t go back to my district and look at all these people who are trying to survive – not get more tax breaks so they can put more money away but who were living paycheck to paycheck before they lost their jobs, and then once having lost their jobs, they live on unemployment compensation. How can you tell people that, “Well you know the rich are getting richer with this deal, but you know, we’ll take of your problem later on after we fight that battle?” No, I had to vote to make sure that people who are struggling to survive had the means of surviving for the next year and more.



    He seems to have gained some terrific insight during the period of HCR, and has remained level-headed ever since. Noted, and appreciated.

  58. Well said. The roller coaster ride is a media invention. POTUS remains remarkably consistent. Areas where I agree, areas where I disagree; he hasn’t changed a lot from my perception.

  59. Co-signed to the highest level. I’m sure that Kerry didn’t run a perfect campaign, but you are so utterly correct about media excess once again leading Americans to act against our own best interests out of confusion. We combatted this, voter to voter, in 2008 and IMO are going to need to do it again, starting very soon, for 2012.

  60. I agree about Rachel. This is the type of coverage she should have been giving President Obama for the last two years. She and the other professional left pundits hold a lot of blame for the democratic losses in the mid terms.

    This is my opinion and my opinion only, but I hope that we can also band together for a full throttle assault on the despicable republicans who are going to do everything possible to undue the President’s achievements and thus, those things that will help the American people. We must be vigilant about this. We must work to defeat McConnell, Issa, Kyle, Cantor, and all the rest. We cannot afford to be nice and polite about it either.

    We must also be on guard on this site. Again, just my opinion, but I’ve noticed some comments that come across as thinly veiled criticisms of the president. I will not abide by that. We are here to help and lift up the president.

    Our fight is with the republicans.

    One more rant, I’m still disgusted at the American people for voting these slimeballs into office. Totally, totally stupid. Now the President has to save their butts from the evil they supported.

  61. Add to that they are REALLY good friends. The respect and affection between the President and the VP is evident. Same between Michelle Obama and Jill Biden.

  62. It’s wonderful that she acknowledges his accomplishments. The more we hear good news about the administration the better shape President Obama will be for 2012. The next election will be the hardest to win, but I see many more victories for the president in 2011. Mitch McConnell won’t know what hit him.

  63. Now how long will it be before the poutraging purists call Kuchinich a corporate shill and an Obama puppet, claim to never have supported him and call him a traitor?

    They are what upset me even more than Kuchinich himself. They treat him like a progressive hero when he’s just as flawed as every other Democratic legislator out there.

    Not to mention the sheer number of flip flops he had to do in order to run for President not once, but twice, only to lose early on in the primaries.

    And the poutragers were championing him as a primary opponent against Obama in 2012? They need a reality check.

  64. I’d go on to say, the fight is with the partisan hardline Republican obstructionists like McConnell McCain and Kyl who’ve made it clear that their only goal is to ensure President Obama is a one termer.

    Not all Republicans are hardline obstructionists, today’s START treaty vote proved that, as was the DADT repeal vote. Not every single vote on a piece of legislation has to lead to a partisan party line showdown. There are reasonable Republicans out there like Murkowski and Collins. They are the Republicans that Obama needs to court his way, not the loud obstructionists like McConnell, McCain, and Kyl.

  65. She won’t admit it, but she knows she went much too far in her rant about the tax cut deal.

    Didn’t she say that President Obama could become “irrelevant” ? And now she gives him praises…

    Rachel, Rachel,… next time try to take a deep breath before commenting. You have such talent… I really prefer it when you act like a journalist.

  66. I would be very interested in facilitating something like this or at least just helping out with it. My day time job is design and development of high level projects. I love the idea of rationale grounded and respectful people helping to inform others without rhetoric or snark. I want to see more Bill Moyerses and fewer Keith Olbermanns.

    I don’t need someone to tell me what I should think about the news and I think Americans are relying on the news for that. And even more it’s not just about telling us what to think, how to feel, but increasingly reinforcing divisions with hardline ideology. I think we need people on the left who are willing to do that sort of thing but we also need people who don’t. Right now we don’t have a balance.

  67. When I learned that Dr. Biden still works as a community college professor, I was just so utterly impressed. These are great people in the WH by any objective standard.

  68. I have no problem with criticising the President as long as it is done in a constructive manner and not in a name calling way. As BWD said in the beautiful “I am Grateful” post, he is imperfect. And he woudl be the first to say, don’t believe something is right just because I say so. His problem with the part of the left that was complaining so much was not that they disagreed with him, but the manner they went about doing it.

  69. That’s why I’m skeptical. She’s loving Obama for now, until the next nontroversy… then it’s right back to “Why isn’t Obama listening to the liberal base?” rants again!

    Sometimes I wonder if these cable TV pundits just love to hear themselves talk.

  70. To say it just slightly differently, I can criticize a specific action (or non-action) without diminishing my high regard for the person.

    He would tell you that just going along with everything he says or does is not uplifting. I am proud as hell of both my kids (both very successful adults) and still at the same time criticize some of their actions.

  71. I agree. The math does not favor the tea partyGOP. Boehner can get a majority with rank and file GOP plus the remaining Blue Dogs a lot easier than with the extremist Baggers. Or, he says NO for two years and enters the 2012 election having done not a damn thing. The 2012 election will have 2008 size turnout which will swamp these teabaggers. Plus, given their disdain for all things non-white (I say this as a whitey myownself) they are absolutely underestimating President Obama. I am loving this presidency and am so grateful for this site blackwaterdog. Merry Christmas everyone

  72. I’ll repeat what I’ve said in another thread this week. Dennis Kucinich had an epiphany when he met with President Obama on Air Force One the week before the Health Care vote.

    I suspect the meeting was emotional. Because after that, Mr. Kucinich was expressing a lot of empathy for the President, saying that he was trying to make progress in very difficult circumstances, etc…

    But, more importantly, It’s like President Obama convinced him of the virtues of pragmatism and incrementalism. Convinced him that helping people NOW was the most important thing. More than ideological battles.

    Seriously, Dennis Kucinich has changed since this meeting.

  73. I think the ones left are pet people and deadenders. The deadenders and the brilliant minds you mentioned are co-dependent. Blades kicked the Pragmati (BWN term) out, or they left on their own accord. If anybody goes back because they think DK4 will be better, I will be disappointed.

    My guess is DK will take on the stench of loserdom. They made their little nest of vipers, now they may lay in it.

  74. And when Obama called him out, they were like “How dare he call us out!”

    Well yeah, if you were receiving baseless accusations from your side buried in hyperbole and emotion, would you sit back and take it?

    And a lot of their disagreements wasn’t over actual policy, it’s the personalities. I remember seeing a lot of Huff and Puff posters calling for Tim Geithner’s, Rahm Emmanuel’s, Larry Summers, and Ken Salazar’s heads on sticks.

    Of course only Summers and Emmanuel left, and it wasn’t due to the poutraging either.

    Also I’ve noticed with a lot of them, whenever you attempt to correct them with facts, you get labeled “Obamabot” and are accused of being a shill for Wall Street. I thought I’d hear baseless hyperbole like that from the reich wing, but not the left wing.

    The poutragers are exactly why liberal/progressive are considered dirty words in this country. They base so many of their views on emotion and allow others to form their thoughts for them.

  75. Hey check out this video… I was kinda shocked that Huckabee sounded reasonable and understood that partisan bickering and purity is not the way to govern. He sounded pretty decent, but not enough for me to vote for him. hahahah

    The video is 6 min long. He just had Charlie Rangle on his show and they were discussing him afterwards.

  76. The PL pings from hero/betrayer. Perhaps at some point they will stop the quixotic quest for the Perfect Liberal Savior Come to Take it to the MAN™ and leave the hero/betrayer roller coaster once and for all. All of these politicians are human beings: all Dems have their strong areas, and weak areas, with some having more strong areas than others. But no one’s perfect or will be in agreement with the purist fantasy while having to work to actually make things happen.

    I’m just glad that I got off of that roller coaster and will not be along for such that emotionally exhausting ride of running from crisis to crisis to crisis.

  77. I just want to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to each and every one of you. I will be headed out of town for the holidays, so enjoy the season and keep up the good work!

  78. Yes it does take a lot and for that i give him credit, but he needs to pipe down that we can do it our self mentality. He does’nt speak for all Lgbt and he can make things worse. regardless i will still and always fight for anyone equality whether you agree with me or not.

  79. Good advice for everyone: deep breath before overreacting. I need to take that advice myself at times.

  80. A Time to Reflect(Obama Administration accomplishments)

    White House White Board: Health Reform & Rate Review

    “Census 2010 shows red states gaining congressional seats”

    U.S. Retail Sales Growth Accelerated to 4.2% Last Week

    Senate Looks To Restrict Guantanamo Prosecutionshttp://blog.dearmrpres.com/

  81. I’m not sure it’s wise to call your opponents slimeballs. Or call for full throttle assaults on people. I think we do want to tackle the issues. It’s issues that matter, not parties,not people, in my opinion. I have been a Democrat all my life, but I can recognize that some Republicans have helped the president and I think we should give them our love. The president has reached out to Snowe, Collins, Lugar… and now they have helped him. We need moderates from all parties to work on issues. We want to get good things done, right?

  82. Chuckabee lost all credibility with me when he joked about Obama being shot back in 2008, not to mention him being too much of the reich wing Bible thumping Republicans.

    He needs to stick to his FoxSnooze gig of making up reich wing propaganda and quit attempting to run for President.

  83. I think that we’re much better off continuing the process of decentralization and building up smaller spaces rather than concentrating our voices in a space which is not on the same page editorially. I’m unconcerned about dkos either way; they can pivot and try to regain the magic of years ago…or not. Who cares. So long as it is understood that the voices there merely speak for themselves rather than the larger Democratic, progressive, or liberal communities, they can have a ball. Purity partisans in Lollipop Land don’t hurt anybody insofar as they are not paraded in front of the camera as representative of us all.

  84. I agree. If Senator McConnell is foolish enough to make it his agenda to further harm Americans in an effort to defeat President Obama in Nov 2012, he will achieve the exact opposite.

    The next two years will be very different for President Obama than the past two. He has necessarily focused on the near collapse of the global economy, two wars, huge defects in the American economy, enormous disparity in health care access, to name a few mega issues.

    The American people will now be reminded, daily, by the President (AND ALL OF US – importantly) of not how nasty, macho, political, etc., he was, but how productive, empathetic he has been – all the while withstanding an absolute obstructionist Republican Senate and House, and vicious attacks from both ends of the political spectrum.

    That is our job – we need to deliver a simple, constant message. The President served ALL Americans, while the entire Republican Party, the majority of the commercial media and fanatics on both ends of the political spectrum did everything they could to HARM MOST AMERICANS.

    We need to deliver that message – and all the well documented facts – to each person we know and do so in the same spirit of genuine concern for their well-being that our President has extended to every American.


  85. I agree lorray. Too much of the last two years has been us vs. them, and recently, us vs. us.

    The poutragers have probably been moreso a thorn for President Obama than the Party of No have. Imagine if the poutragers just allowed President Obama to govern as opposed to complaining how he supposedly sold out Main Street, is a Wall Street puppet, is worse than George W. Bush/Ronald Reagan and has set liberalism back decades… all rants based on emotion and not verifiable facts.

    I love beating up Republicans as much as the next guy, but when it involves people’s lives, I’ll support any and all Republicans who want to quit the hardline politics and get things done for a change, especially with that tax cuts deal. Just because Republicans supported it doesn’t mean that it was a bad piece of legislation, it just shows that they actually wanted to get business done as opposed to just saying NO for political gain.

    If any Republicans need to be beat up, it’s the loudmouth obstructionists like McConnell, McCain, Kyl who grandstand to the Nth degree. They were the ones bitching about the New START treaty, about how they feel we don’t have enough nukes to blow Russia up. They are the ones who need to be bloodied to a pulp.

  86. If people like Rachel use less snark and do away with being cutesy and report the news as it is and call out the republican lies with all seriousness, I am sure many swing voters will take note of that and will start backing this president and the dems. As it is, she is only preaching to her base by her antics.

  87. That’s true. The president’s policies saved the U.S. from a second Great Depression. Without the stimulus bill, saving GM and Chrysler, and the responsible way that they handled the financial crisis, we could have seen 20% unemployment or higher.

    But 9.8% unemployment is still too high. The new normal shouldn’t be 9.8% unemployment. This country is used to 4 or 5 percent unemployment, anything higher than that and people think the economy is bad. Reducing unemployment is an important thing over the next two years. Most of it has to come from private sector job creation, something that President Obama is not in full control over. He has laid the groundwork and now those businesses need to create the jobs.

  88. Don’t fall into the trap. This guy will be the perfect VP candidate for Mitt Romney in 2012. Won’t be on the top of the ticket because he is said to have some pretty inflammatory sermons from his days preaching. But as a VP heassures the evangelicals who would never vote for a Mormon, while not nearly as attacked because he’s the bottom of the ticket and the focus will be on the top of the ticket.

  89. Rachel isn’t a journalist, she’s a pundit.

    She has been preaching to the choir as of late, but she’s been one of the few pundits of the left to actually interview Republicans and expose their hypocrisy. She did it with Rand Paul, and Sarah Palin had a bitch fit about it.

    Now with her bashing Obama and saying he could become irrelevant, only to apologize and love him again… that reeks of opportunism, which is why I’m still skeptical about her.

    Thus far, the only cable TV pundit who has been defending Obama consistently has been Lawrence O’Donnell. He’s been defending Obama while these poutraging pundits compared him to Neville Chamberlain and said he was worse than George W. Bush. He even took Jane Hamsher and Alan Grayson to the woodshed for their baseless hyperbole.

    And note, Lawrence O’Donnell is the ONLY cable TV pundit who has had first hand experience lobbying legislation in Washington. Of course there’s the right winger Joe Scarborough, but he’s hardly been an Obama fan and of course has been carrying water for the Republicans more times than not.

  90. I disagree. When you have the now infamous “bully pulpit”, hiding behind “I’m a pundit, so I can say whatever without due analysis”, gives them a complete pass when they have a journalistic responsibility to inform and educate the public.

    And many here do cite or think Rachel as a real journalist, not as a pundit.

  91. Again, I agree we need to focus on those whose sole objective is to destroy the president and thus, destroy our lives. I take it personally. McConnell may be elected by the people of Kentucky, but his decisions affects the lives of everyone in this country.

    And anyone who votes against health care for children and first responders but fights for tax cuts for millionaires, is slime and heartless in my view and deserves to be opposed with vigor. Anyone who calls the President names needs to be called out immediately. Part of what is wrong is that so many of them have gotten away with this behavior, indeed been rewarded for it.

    As a tax-paying American, I have the right to oppose those who are working against my best interest.

  92. Gn i must agree with you again. I have felt much better spirit wise. Im more relaxed and stress free and i have been exercising and meditating. When i was blogging on dkos, i was very hurt by the name calling it as if they were calling me them names. BWD doing her own thing is what really brought me back down.

  93. If I recall correctly, not one Republican stood up and defended the President during the Health Insurance Reform procedure. Not. One.

    Johnny Isaakson is for START, but he’s been an obstructionist on all other major pieces of legislation. Just because he’s not loud and obnoxious does not mean that I won’t do my best in 4 years to get him out the Senate.

    Two much of the last two years have been us v. them? How about the last 10 years? Do you recall how awful the Repubs have been and for how long?

  94. I don’t trust him as far as I can spit, no matter how reasonable he appears today. Give him a day or two, when in a different environment, he will prove otherwise.

  95. Huckabee has a history of making distasteful jokes. References to death, drugs, etc… Pretty creepy sometimes.

    I’ve always felt very uncomfortable about him. I don’t find him sincere. He’s a charmer. The kind of guy who can fool lazy journalists.

    But he’s not a statesman. Not even close.

  96. Color for change has been very effective in dissuading advertisers from subsidizing Glenn Beck’s hate-mongering.

  97. You know GN, I have the same suspicion. I also won’t be surprised if the MSM start crediting the positive economic news, that are directly a result of the President’s policies and programs, to the tax cuts for the rich and the Republican take over of the House of Representative. This is why this site is an extremely important venue to counter the narratives of MSM, left wing haters of Obama, and teabaggers, who are all bent on devaluing the accomplishments of President Obama.

  98. I just love the photos of Barack Obama and Joe Biden together. The connection and the affection come through beautifully in those photos. In retrospect, I kind of think that Biden was the perfect pick . .

  99. Whatever was said in that conversation, Obama should have similar conversations with some of the “liberal” House Dems. They hurt what they claim to their own agenda when they go on TV to attack the pragmatic decisions that, practically speaking, they must know have to be made in connection with enacting pragmatic progressive legislation. There’s a bunch of them who popped on TV to opine about the tax compromise whom I would like to slap silly.

  100. One of the things that bothers me the most about Rachel, Ed Schultz, KO, and the horrible Dylan Rattigan is how little time they spend criticizing the real problem: the Republican Party. Republican politicians do so many corrupt things that merit exposure (look how long it took for us to even finding out about how thye were blocking the 9/11 responders bill) yet all we hear about is Obama not living up to their fantastic expectations. It’s a very twisted and distorted presentation of reality that totally misses the “why” underlying Obama’s decisions. He makes the pragmatic compromises that he makes because they provide the only way he can see to thread the needle through the tiny hole, which is tiny primarily because the obstructionists have been given a complete pass by the media and the pundits.

  101. No, I am in your camp. I appreciate the maturity, and intellect emenating from the Obama Administration. I find the criticism of President Obama for not being emotionally reactive strange, as I view emotions to be subjective. I also think it is abundantly clear that President Obama has a very good and generous heart, and cares deeply for all Americans. To confuse emotion with heart is a mistake in judgement, IMO.

    With respect to problem solving, I believe there is true genius in “No Drama Obama’s” abilities to circumvent the superfluous and emotional, and focus on the practical. I appreciate his pragmatism.

  102. I wouldn’t include Rachel. She has pointed out the obstructionism of the republicans, many times.

  103. When the jobs come back, and they will, Obama will be in a perfect position for a successful run in 2012.

    I expect even greater things from his second term.
    I have faith in intellect, honesty and courage
    and he has these qualities.

    The only cable news I get is CNN and I shoot them an e mail when they do something particularly
    egregious. Someone reads them and if all they do is count the pros and cons that’s better than nothing.

    I plan to start doing “letters to the editor” of
    local papers in the new year.

    In my state, South Carolina, the biggest problem is that people get very bad information. We have low information voters and false information voters (Fox watchers.) People do read letters to the editors, however, and that is one small thing I can do.

    The President has two years to bring our jobs back and get our economy growing. He has just begun the task he set out for himself.

    Just stay with him, people. He is the best we have and he must have this chance. It’s important for America and important for the world.

    This man is special.

  104. I am really pleased with the progress of the agenda since the Congress returned after the lost election. The prior year was a mess and too much in fighting. Now with the New Year comes belt tighting and even thought Social Security will be apart of that, I hope the Congress and the President remember that Sr Citizens live off Social Security and we don’t return to the era of poor houses for Seniors. Also, for a long time SS tax was collected and Congress used a lot of the money to pay for other things in the government

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