Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz: “Obama in all his glory”

Hi guys,

Here’s a very important column. Gideon Levy is as far as a lefty Israeli pundit can be. He is also one of the most respected, and often quoted by people like Andrew Sullivan.  Levy was – and still is – very  critical of PBO’s Middle East policy (Not tough on Israel etc.), and for some reason he thinks that PBO’s reelection depends on his foreign policy. Therefore, it’s very pleasant – and important – to see how impressed he is by the way PBO is handling Egypt-Gate ;).

Barack Obama, the man of promises, flickered to life last week. Packing his bags to leave the Middle East, and perhaps the White House as well, the U.S. president suddenly returned to what he was supposed to be: the leader of the free world heralding change and “yes we can.”

After two years of letting the Middle East down, after inexplicable foot-dragging in the region that threatens world peace the most, Obama appeared in all his glory. It was neither another useless military invasion nor meddling on behalf of another despot, but the right intervention at the right time for a right and just goal.

It’s very easy to criticize him about how his country supported a dictator for three decades, how it abandoned the dictator when he weakened, how it continues to support other dictatorships in the region while there is no way of knowing what will come of the Tahrir revolution. These are empty words. Recognizing the limits of power, Obama couldn’t have done anything to topple President Hosni Mubarak before the Egyptian people were ready for it, and he couldn’t have done anything to save Mubarak, whose fate was sealed by his people.

Even if the worst scenario happens (which is doubtful ) and the Muslim Brotherhood rises to power in Egypt, the United States will be perceived as having stood in the right place without inflaming the hatred against it. The Muslim Brotherhood will have to remember this, and with them the masses of Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims.

It’s impossible not to be reminded of Obama’s Cairo speech and to cite its key sentence: “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” A year and a half after it was delivered, the speech has turned into action. The president of the United States can no longer be accused of making empty speeches and hollow promises. His stance with the demonstrators is indeed a new beginning. It won’t immediately erase the burning hatred for America, but it will echo for a long time among the Arab peoples, who will remember how Obama acted at this decisive moment.

“Quiet panic” is underway now in Washington and Jerusalem, in the words of two senior writers for The Economist, Peter David and David Landau, whose fascinating conversation was carried on the magazine’s website over the weekend. It’s understandable. But driven by this quiet panic, Washington, unlike Jerusalem, has done the right thing. While Jerusalem is talking only about the dangers, Obama got on the back of the galloping Egyptian camel and made the most of the chance to ride it. Now we can only wait and see what grows out of Egypt’s February revolution; we can also see how the U.S. president continues his momentum for democratization in the Middle East.

But here another dictatorship is hiding behind the only democracy in the Middle East. Here another people is living without freedom and rights. Here other demonstrators are shot by the authorities and trampled by settlers. Ahead of his time, the founding father of this people, Yasser Arafat, proposed his own “million man march” on Jerusalem. It hasn’t happened yet, but it can, and it had better not, because it will end in blood. That’s why the United States must lead a change in this people’s fate as well. It can do it.

As a pragmatic president, imbued with ideology but not a romantic, Obama must draw his own conclusions about Egypt: that dictatorships ultimately fall, that the American and Israeli interest is not to get caught in the turmoil that could spin out of control, and that the world’s masses of Muslims and Arabs will continue to watch how America treats its closest ally.

Israel is not Egypt. It is (still ) a democracy for its citizens, and the alliance with it is deeply rooted in American public opinion. Precisely for that reason, the United States must act more decisively in the two countries’ common interest: to be accepted in this boiling region. Last week the U.S. president took a historic first step in that direction. Israel should have been happy with Obama’s behavior. An America accepted by Arab peoples is also good for Israel. This step must not be the last.


213 thoughts on “Gideon Levy, Ha’aretz: “Obama in all his glory”

  1. A thoughtful article. I especially love the paragraph that begins:

    It’s impossible not to be reminded of Obama’s Cairo speech and to cite its key sentence: “I have come here to seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.”

    History is for the long haul, and so is our President.

  2. PBO is handling this crisis very well. I shudder to think of the way in which any of his Presidential rivals would have reacted.

    I am grateful to have this man at the helm in the USA,

  3. I just think Mubarak may last until September and I think that is really bad, I hope the opposite would happen. Why don’t this guy just “leave” already?

  4. Still early on west coast; maybe east coast getting snacks ready for super bowl.

  5. I could just imagine all the phone calls he’s getting from Israel. STOP IT STOP IT, MUBAREK NEEDS TO STAY.

    I think he’s handling this situation very well.

  6. “…flickered to life last week.”

    “…suddenly returned to what he was supposed to be:”

    This kind of commentary has become comical to me. It’s basically become a robotic talking point for most commentators in the Major Media. You get the sense it’s almost painful for them to say something positive about President Barack Hussein Obama, so they have to temper it with these little false disclaimers.

    Of course, to anyone who has paid just one iota of attention to what the Obama Admin has been doing, or is not purposely trying to diminish our President which I think is the case with a lot of the commentators, we know nothing has changed. We know this is already one of the most accomplished Presidential Admins in history, and the recent work is simply more of the same from our President.

    It amazing to think what’s going to get done in the next six years, as long as we all work, each day starting now, to make sure the Major Media/Repub Machine isn’t able to fool enough people to put in more liars (sorry, WWOD…Republicans, yes that’s it) in Congress, or worst case scenario, get President Obama out of the White House in 2012. It’s up to each and every one of us right now!

  7. The most amazing thing happened in Cairo today, I was so happy to see Christians (Coptics) did Sunday-Mass in the “Tahriry Square” that is unpresedented. This is not a “Muslim Brotherhood” thing it is the Egyptian people wanting their God given freedom. I like that.

  8. I often wonder if people really think that President Obama is infact “magical” and could have waved a wand and solved everybody’s individual problems instantly.

    I admit that before President Obama, I didn’t realize how the American President was expected to solve most things around the world.

  9. I hear you. I HATED those comments. What my Grandmother used to call “nice-nasty”.

    It makes me want to fight even harder for his reelection, and stand up for him wherever and whenever I can.

    But I think our President has a long view — and is steadily walking towards history, no matter what these petty pundits throw at him.

    He is standing up against the fire hoses and against the dogs. That might not be in his personal history, or family history, but it is at his core the type of person he is.

    He inspires me every day to be a better person.

  10. It started after “that one” took office. That the Prez. has to solve all problems around the world. If he didn’t , well it is his fault! we will see what will happen after these six years pass and the “next one” take office.

  11. You’re so right on this bonkers. We keep seeing these kinds of media commentaries almost every month which ironically invalidates their claim that President Obama has “returned” to anything. This is one of the most consistent Presidents we’ve had in recent times and he now has a track record to prove it. The MSM is making a caricature of itself to the point where I can predict what angle they will take when an event first happens.

  12. Leader of the Free World, that’s what they always say, no matter who is in office. Imagine the weight of that title!!

  13. No, rritz; it wasn’t this bad. I am old enough to remember at least three Presidents. It was never this bad. The criticism this guy endured is just amazing and it is really sad.

  14. Again, he’s looking at things from the perspective of a very-far-left in Israel. That’s the base if his positive and negative POV. But he’s a very smart man and he’s on our side.

  15. LOL, that happens when people have gone over the top and strayed from reality, instead relying on fictitious narratives about an incompetent sellout of a POTUS. When a huge event which the media has to cover takes place, people can see POTUS with their own two eyes and look askance at the media, they simply assert that POTUS’ competence and skill is brand new. I’ve seen this happen over and over and over again in the new and national media where pundits, blogs, etc. have gone from covering the POTUS, to trying to dictate his every move, using negative media coverage as a means of trying to force President Obama to implement their ideas rather than acting as good faith information consolidators. Not surprised that this is taking place internationally as well in places in which POTUS’ approvals are not as high.

    That said, it’s still gratifying to see POTUS credited for his beyond skillful handling of this situation. I think that he set the right tone and was thrilled to see a departure from the America-centric, bellicose times of old. Because the bottom line is that the Egyptian protests were about Egypt and Egyptians looking to go in a new direction and create a government more suitable for the people. This simply wasn’t about the US IMO. Good morning and Happy Sunday everyone!

  16. Good morning all, and thanks BWD, for digging up this article, which was indeed a great read.

    The disclaimer that Levy “for some reason” thinks that PBO’s presidency will hinge on Foreign Policy is spot on. In the entirety of American political history there have only ever been two instances when Foreign Policy outweighed Domestic Policy as an election issue: the WWII years, and the Vietnam years.

    What is perhaps unfortunate about this is that if the body politic was more focussed on foreign affairs, they might take more notice of some of the gargantuan accomplishments of the Obama administration in this realm.

    Particularly in the Middle East – I noted in a comment to the last thread that PBO inherited what was by any reasonable definition an unadulterated disaster from his predecessor, and yet in the space of just two years he has managed to reshape America’s ME Policy into something that might not be a clear-cut success, but is at least starting to look salvagable. We are at long last on the verge of pulling completely out of Iraq, and this year the process should begin of doing the same with Afghanistan. It is yet to be determined how successful PBO’s other diplomatic initiatives in the region (including Egypt) will be, but he is more and more looking to leave office as the President who did more to positively impact the Middle East than any of his predecessors, indeed quite possibly than any other major figure in the history of Western involvement in Middle Eastern affairs.

  17. I still do not know enough about the situation in Egypt to intelligently comment on what our President should or shouldn’t do. However, I am convinced that President Obama is doing everything humanly possible to ensure the most positive outcome for the people of Egypt. He has called on other leaders in the international community to offer their input/suggestions for a peaceful resolution.

    What puzzles me most is why everyone is looking to him alone as being the savior of Egypt. It’s really scary to see the signs that imply “Obama, do something!” Is this President Obama’s call, alone? As someone mentioned in an earlier post, he is our leader (of the U.S.) not theirs (Egypt). While I am impressed and inspired that people of the world are looking to his leadership, I am saddened that all the world’s burdens are placed on him. I am comforted, however, by the way he has approached the issue (and all others)-—not jumping to a knee-jerk reaction but rather studying the situation and offering guidance on the critical roles that Mubarak, the army, and the people of Egypt must play in making a peaceful and lasting transition to democracy for their country.

  18. Everyone is either: at the store shopping for ungodly amounts of food or sleeping in so they can party all night after the Packers win:)! I know that I am the only one up at my house right now…just the way I like it…my coffee and my sane place:)Good morning to everyone. Have a “super” day.

  19. hellow fellow canuck. I’m in Central Ontario, how bout you. Good to see another canuck here.

  20. Saku, you are right. I lived through Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush and I have never seen the expectations of a president this high.

    I remember way back when I used to watch TV. I was watching Chris Matthews one day, when he said that POTUS could not be just a mediocre president, he had to be exceptional.

    While it was OK for his precedessors to be C and B students, POTUS had to be an A+++++++ or else he would be considered otherwise.

    But I thought back then, the mere fact that this African American man was elected president of this country, is more than any kind of mediocrity.

    As I have said over and again, the double standard afforded this president is just galling.

    But I take comfort everyday that he has consistently but gently shoved their words down their throats over and again.

    He continues to inspire me.

  21. I go back to LBJ and short of Watergate I have never seen a president so beseiged by a hostile press. When you consider the bootlicking these same guys did for Bush,an administration most feel was among the worst in history it makes you wonder if the press is merely incompetent or just another arm of conservative politics. At least Fox is open about the fact that will lie, cheat and steal on behalf of consevatism, but that just gives cover for the others to claim that by comparison they look fair. I gave up watching all local news channels in 2002 because of the hyperventilation about every single subject. I gave up on national television news in 2009 because of the relentless negativity about PBO. I have never regretted the decision.

  22. Seems I learn from PBO daily. In this instance, it’s watching him leave plenty of room for his opponents/critics to walk back their positions. He doesn’t confront, doesn’t call them out, just stays steady. And when they’re ready, reaches out a hand. I’m thinking of his one on one meeting with McCain this past week. And he does it with Republicans in Congress. With media critics. Sometimes Gibbs and others in the administration get frustrated and lash out, but it’s not coming from PBO. If there will be peace in our time, in our own country and in flash places around the world, it will begin with this inspiration. For me, I will try to go forth today ready to listen and not judge and to leave room for reconciliation.

  23. I just think Mubarak may last until September

    I just think someone persuaded the Muslim Brotherhood that it might be more expedient to really get rid of Mubarak by talking to Suleiman.

    Come to think of it, it seems that several opposition parties have come to the same conclusion.

    After all, the best counterargument against “After me, chaos” is to create peace-on-the-ground by offering an alternative.

    Of course, for this to be happening, you need a community organizer …

  24. Did anyone see the photo of all the Muslims praying during a call to prayer and the ring of Christians locked arm in arm to protect them all in the square? Amazing photo! The President is doing the right thing. I have to wonder how many would just love to see perpetual upheaval in the Middle East just to line their pockets or cling to power…what if all the demonizing of others was only from those that stood to benefit from constant turmoil? What IF, the people all really wanted to live peacefully, with rights and dignity? Hard to keep up with all the difficulties of this region of the world, it’s been going on for so long,but, per chance that things in Egypt go the way I hope they will, will the house of cards fall down? Will the Middle East move to be a peaceful place with more tolerance of all its people? Huge implications are at stake here, and the President, taking the long view OVER the horizon, not just what “appears” to be the case based on preconcieved notions, is doing the right thing. I am proud of him, proud of his team, and I must say that Hillary has really come into her own.I shutter to think what could have been, and am grateful beyond words to have this man sitting in the White House right now.

  25. Good morning everyone,

    Just to let you know there was a protest by Egyptians in my town yesterday. My husband and I went down and covered it for our website.

    Contrary to what the MSM and some lefties others want to think that POTUS is being blamed for the crisis (as if he can just wave a magic wand and make everything OK), the people at the protest were calling on the one persone responsible for their problems: Hosni Mubarak.

    There was only one poster there calling on the president take action now.

    I videotaped three young girls, while my husband interviewed them, and to me, it was some of the most powerful words coming from the mouths of babes. They were between ages 11-13. But my with my tech-challenged self, I couldn’t upload video. I tried uploading to our facebook page, but it rejected for being more than two minutes.

    In any case, the point I am trying to make is that the Egyptian people know what has gone on in their country for 30 years and they know where the blame lies.

    We have a short story about the event and slide show of the demonstrators, if anyone is interested in checking it out here:

  26. I recall that during the election campaign, there was a quote by an Israeli activist: “What this country needs is some tough love from a friend”.

    Of course, he supported Obama.

  27. I remember more, but this is the first Presidency I’m really, really, really paying attention to.

  28. Yeah, thank you Africa, but how long does he has to take this nonesense? That is my concern, there is a concerted effort from the media (left or right) to discredit him ALL THE TIME. There wasn’t a single issue that he wasn’t criticized about, everything he does is either “naize” or flat out wrong. Even among the nice ones (the one written by the media personality in Israel) there is a hidden nonesense if you try to read it all very carefully. At some point you just say what is wrong with these people in the MSM??

  29. short of Watergate I have never seen a president so beseiged by a hostile press.

    Well, you can say that again. I do remember Watergate (I was 17 at the time): One man with a sign “Impeach Nixon” in front of the White House.

  30. Interesting points Axrendale. May I ask you what you think of what happened yesterday re Frank Wisner, the man who went to speak to Mubarak on behalf of the administration ? It was certainly jaw-dropping to hear Mr Wisner’s public comments in support of Mubarak. The administration obviously distanced itself very quickly from those comments.

    Is it possible that like JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Barack Obama is facing some dissension within his own administration ?

  31. I agree with you 100 percent. It is galling. It is nonesensical. That’s why I think it is incumbent upon us as best as we can and within reach to do what we can to call on them on this sort of thing every time we see or hear them.

    The way I handle it is that I write them, and I tell them exactly as I have mentioned here about the double standards they apply to the president. I would wager that Chuck Todd, Josh Marshall, Sullivan and so many others are tired of hearing from me.

    I e-mail them every time. Of late I have busy with school and have not had too much time to read, but I think this is one way we can push back.

    Then there is this wonderful blog that affords us the chance to have these kinds of discussions.

    But you are right, it just has to stop somewhere. The press is one thing, but people in his own party and those who consider themselves experts on every issue just boggles the mind. I used to comment at some other blogs, but I have long since given up because it is difficult to hold a conversation with some people who are hell bent on criticizing no matter what.

    It is frustrating, no doubt.

  32. I liked it, too. The Christians protected the Muslims while they were praying, and now the Muslims will protect the Christians. Would the whole world work as well!

  33. Africa:

    Loved reading your site. It’s very moving to read and feel the heartache you must feel when your mother country is in turmoil, and no matter how far we are by distance, home is closely kept in our hearts. This revolution is a shockwave to the world. It takes all of our intention, prayer and hope that the right thing, the best thing happens for the people of Egypt.

  34. Good Morning Everyone:

    Again, thanks for your thoughtful communications on the work of our POTUS. He has a huge amount of work to do, and as far as we all can see, he is doing just that. I have also been around to see many Presidents of these United States, but this one works so hard in that Oval Office. I am so grateful and proud to witness this great history.

    All of you young people are so inspiring to me. You make me proud to be a senior who has been faithful to take part in our history. No, I do not remember the hateful things being said to this degree about other Presidents. However, I have noticed one thing about POTUS, he moves on, brushes the dust off, carries himself with diginity, and think about how he can help our nation and others to be treated fairly, and with dignity.We are so blessed to have him as our POTUS. And we are so blessed to have BWD with this wonderful site. We will make it in 2021, if we will keep working, thinking positive thoughts about our POTUS and VPOTUS. Be proud of the work that you all are doing. Trust me, WE Will Win and We Will Be In A Better Place for our future with POTUS. Keep his elegance, his patience, his calmness, and his love for the people. Thanks for allowing me to share my thoughts with you all. I love this site. It is comfort to come here and read and listen. Thank you BWD!!!!!!!!

  35. Is it possible that like JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Barack Obama is facing some dissension within his own administration ?

    Wow, that is absolutely not possible at all, just because one person say something contrivetial doesn’t mean that there is a problem of “the Cuban crisis” proportion, not even close. Anyway what makes you think this big all of a sudden? Because of Wiseners’ statement or something else? Just asking.

  36. Good morning everyone! A good column and so many good comments. I date back to Eisenhower! Though my first real memory of an election was JFK. And I agree, there has never been anything quite like this. And, frankly, I blame a lot of the weird, unbalanced expectations on racism. But there are a couple of other factors that I feel are important. One is that the Republicans, starting with Clinton, have pushed the idea that first Clinton and now PBO are invalid, not true Americans, etc. Clinton had a lot of garbage thrown at him, too. After all, he was impeached for lying about an affair with an intern, an effort spearheaded by a man who was having an affair with an intern.

    Another factor, of course, is having to come up with news to fill 24 hours. This isn’t new to this presidency, but it’s more and more competitive, so everyone involved has to be more and more hysterical, or so they feel, to get an audience. They have to keep saying something, and they have to get everyone’s adrenaline rushing, otherwise the audience will drift off to the million other distractions of cable and internet. (This is why I have my first rule of news gathering: never listen to anyone who’s paid to talk for more than 3 minutes.)

    Another aspect is an amazing lack of historical perspective. I assume Gideon Levy is well educated in history, but to say that it’s been a whole year and a half since Obama’s speech and now he’s at last doing something about it is myopic. A year and a half? Maybe PBO had other things on his plate! Maybe he can’t step in and tell ME countries how to run their affairs! Maybe he takes the long view! Maybe a year and a half isn’t even an eyelash wide in historical time! HIstorical time every once in a while gets kaleidoscoped down, as it is now in Egypt, but in general, time takes time.

    The seeds of what is happening in Egypt were planted a long time ago. It’s an ancient and noble civilization. I certainly think that PBO’s Cairo speech helped water and fertilize those seeds, but, as a gardener, I can guarantee that yelling at seeds doesn’t make them sprout faster.

  37. Agreed! You are a bit older than me, but not by much…I have seen a lot, but nothing like this! Your last paragragh….priceless!

  38. Print pool report #2
    Motorcade rolled at 9 sharp. Past Washington monument, joggers and a few tourists. Uneventful, motorcade stopped at lights.
    To Fort McNair for basketball. POTUS seen chatting with Chicago buddy Eric Whitaker walking into gym. Other guests include Marty Nesbitt and Reggie Love.
    Many thanks to fellow Press Two poolers for help on IDs.
    At 9:10 we’re holding in van.

    Read more:

  39. Even if the worst scenario happens (which is doubtful ) and the Muslim Brotherhood rises to power in Egypt, the United States will be perceived as having stood in the right place without inflaming the hatred against it. The Muslim Brotherhood will have to remember this, and with them the masses of Egyptians, Arabs and Muslims.

    Here’s what the Muslim Brotherhood said about offering a candidate:

    CAIRO, Feb. 4 (UPI) — The Muslim Brotherhood, banned in Egypt, won’t offer a candidate in September’s presidential election, a spokesman told al-Jazeera television Friday.

    “We have said clearly that we have no ambitions to run for the presidency, or posts in a coalition government,” Mohammed al-Beltagi said.

    The White House currently has no problem with the Muslim Brotherhood:

    Egypt’s opposition groups – including the banned Muslim Brotherhood – have responded warily to the government’s offer to set up a committee on constitutional reform…..

    Opposition groups have told the BBC they are sceptical of the government’s good faith.

    It was the first time the government and the Brotherhood have held talks….

    Our correspondent says there was a wide array of opposition voices at the talks, along with a number of other “wise men”, including top business figure Naguib Sawiris.

    Key opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei was not at the talks…..

    The participants also rejected foreign interference in Egypt’s affairs and said they would work towards the peaceful transition of power, the reports said….

    US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s attendance but would “wait and see” how the dialogue developed….

    The Muslim Brotherhood denies accusations that it is seeking to create an Islamist state in Egypt.

  40. Good Morning All,

    I am probably one of the few people who will not be watching the game today. I will take a walk or maybe go to a movie. Have fun watching and may your favorite or chosen team win!

  41. They already have. A virtually unreported story was about Muslims protecting the Coptic churches during Christmas, after the bombing of the Christian church a few weeks before. The Muslims surrounded some churches saying, “We are all Egyptians.”

    But don’t expect American MSM to say anything good about Muslims.

  42. I heard yesterday that his worth is $70 billion? How did he accumulate that kind of wealth? When this gets out, the people will be really mad. The average person lives on a petence with no jobs and high food prices.

  43. I’m 60 years old and I’ve never seen it this bad. Nothing close. There was always a pulling together behind the President in times of crisis. But not Obama. It’s a phenomenally ugly thing.

  44. John Kerry waS great on MTP! He totally supports POTUS, no hedging there!
    Also, David Gregory is Crass! Hate him! After the several interviews, it was all about St. Ronnie, so I changed it! David Gregory seemed to be in a better mood, talking about his hero, Raygun! LOL!

  45. Also, did you hear that Michelle Obama has signed up, wait for it, Bristol- to be on her anti teen pregnancy council? True story! Holy smokes batman!

  46. I’ll never forget the little boy asking him “why do everybody hate you”? I just wanted to cry. The President gave an assuring little laugh and smile, toughed that young man on the shoulder and assured him that they don’t, that it’s just politics. If that were only true.

  47. You’re right, ax. FP has never been the decider for american elections. (If that had been the case, shrub II would’t have happened).

    Majority of americans are wilfully ignorant of what’s happening in Egypt and rest of them will join them shortly. As Colbert said about american attention span, the superbowl coming up soon, can’t you folks wrap it up by then ?

  48. Unfortunately, the MSM is having its effect on the perception of Obama in this crisis. When you have him attacked by the crazies on the Right and then the likes of alleged progressives doing the same, the polls are reflecting it.

    Don’t say to ‘ignore’ the polls. They are showing the symptoms of the disease that is our awful MSM.

    And they had to work pretty damned hard in this case: we had a President who immediately walked up to the line of supporting the will of the Egyptian people, but like a great statesman, said that an orderly transition would be expected. Just when you think there’s no way it can be spun negatively, you get the loons on the right and the likes of Howard Fineman and for God’s sake Eugene Robinson, thinking the crisis should enfold with the attention span of a TV movie. Without knowing all the facts. Without knowing who is in charge of this uprising and what the consequences are. Just demanding their feel-good insta-Messiah.

    What the hell do WE do? How to WE counteract it, other than just telling each other to ignore the polls? We are at a perilous time in history. McCain should be tried for treason for unleashing Sarah Palin on us, the tea party IS the Republican party, and you have the frustrati doing all they can to sink this Presidency.

    How do we fight it?

  49. From what i’ve read the MB is very centrist, the western media is trying to make them out to be some radical organization

  50. Really ? One more poisonous tooth of rw attack snake pulled out and put into a good use ?

  51. 3 weeks ago, Romney visited Israel, now Huckabee is doing his show from there, next week Haley Barbour is going there!
    WTF? And Netenyahu sees everyone of them! I think Old Bibi is praying for a republican in 2012. Just my assessment!


  52. Who is shoqvalue ? He/she has got a great turn of the phrase.

    This mugging was so detached from facts, reality, or ethical anchors, that it was clear to all but her staunchest supporters that Ms Hamsher’s moral ship may have finally broken free of its tenuous moorings, capsized in a vicious rip current, and was sliding on down toward Titanic town.

  53. Don’t know! I read it on OFA, marbwi comment! It about floored me! Bristol said that My mother is not happy, and then she said, Oh well!

  54. Important questions. Seems as if the netroots sprung up in response to a similar period of MASSIVE disinformation during the runup to the Iraq War, as we watched in horror as trusted stalwarts like Colin Powell and embedded media journalists aided and abetted the GOP’s falsifications and lies. The netroots has (to be blunt) utterly lost their minds now that our guy is in the WH and is too busy playing pretend president to step up to the plate and provide a counter to the disinformation.

    All I can say is that this is why it is imperative to start building new spaces and spreading the word, while avoiding the distraction of spaces which would have us believe that there is a fractured Democratic base in their gambit to try to grab an undeserved seat at the table in the WH. That the American people cannot correctly answer questions regarding HCR is a disgrace and indictment of the national media.

    Solution? Leave places where the curtains are always drawn, it’s always raining, and there’s nothing but anticipation for the next story which can provide a basis for overreaction and spreading the meme that this brilliant WH is incompetent. Focus instead on building positive information sources from which we can branch out into the comments sections of NYT, WaPo, etc., with our views and understandings.

  55. Carl Bernstein gives a very interesting behind the scenes report of the finesses of the transition period at the dailybeast.
    Perhaps someone with better active command of english than myself can make a summary for this community,


  56. Africa

    Thank you so much for this blog posting. It was very encouraging to see folks supporting their families in Egypt. I can understand how they can be worried and hopeful at the same time.

    We were in SF last night and there was a large protest downtown. I would be interested to learn how many American cities have protests in support of the Egyptians.

    It is hard to know what we can do to be supportive.

  57. A case of, “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer?” (Not that Bristol is the “enemy” but she IS the antithesis of where Mrs. Obama would likely stand on the subject)

  58. Good morning All. I have a problem with Israel. During the 30yrs of peace with Egypt what has Israel done to promote peace with its surrounding countries.Israel leaders are spoil and arrogant.

  59. I heard about the Seattle rally and for those who know and understand Seattle – the rally was peaceful, the speakers brought tears to eyes, the rally ended on time and all went home, and there were 4 mounted police and 4 riot police for show.

  60. Thanks a million for this link. Between the essay and the comments, the enormity of how liberals and progressives are being poorly served by some of our self-appointed spokespeople becomes clear. They distract us from a very solid, ambitious, and well-funded point of view on the right which is seeking to undo every single gain of the 111th session of congress.

  61. Very interesting…

    From Mark Schmitt on Obama’s “theory of change.”

    The reason the conservative power structure has been so dangerous, and is especially dangerous in opposition, is that it can operate almost entirely on bad faith. It thrives on protest, complaint, fear: higher taxes, you won’t be able to choose your doctor, liberals coddle terrorists, etc. One way to deal with that kind of bad-faith opposition is to draw the person in, treat them as if they were operating in good faith, and draw them into a conversation about how they actually would solve the problem. If they have nothing, it shows. And that’s not a tactic of bipartisan Washington idealists — it’s a hard-nosed tactic of community organizers, who are acutely aware of power and conflict. It’s how you deal with people with intractable demands — put ‘em on a committee. Then define the committee’s mission your way.

  62. Contrast President Obama’s careful, under the radar approach to this crisis with what $arah Palin said about it in her speech at the Reagan Museum:


    I’d love to know how to do blockquotes and font changes if that’s possible, BWD.

    Anyway, this quote tells us just how great the chasm is between our educated, sober, and thoughtful POTUS and this Tea Party fraud.

  63. Acckk!! Apparently I stumbled over something which deleted the quote. Let’s try it again:

    “It’s a difficult situation, this is that 3am White House phone call and it seems for many of us trying to get that information from our leader in the White House it it seems that that call went right to um the answering machine. And nobody yet has, no body yet has explained to the American public what they know, and surely they know more than the rest of us know who it is who will be taking the place of Mubarak and I’m not real enthused about what it is that that’s being done on a national level and from DC in regards to understanding all the situation there in Egypt. And in these areas that are so volatile right now because obviously it’s not just Egypt but the other countries too where we are seeing uprisings, we know that now more than ever, we need strength and sound mind there in the White House. We need to know what it is that America stands for so we know who it is that America will stand with. And we do not have all that information yet.”

  64. Interpretation? The woman is an idiot who couldn’t get as much as a B in an 8th grade English class.

  65. I’m looking forward to it. That blowhard and serial sexual harasser O’Reilly has been bragging all week about how this will be the biggest TV interview EVER. I’m sure he thinks he’s got some killer questions for Obama. I believe Obama is going to be very laid-back and relaxed and careful not to tell O’Reilly how stupid his questions are in an effort to reach the audience, some of whom might still be rescued from their flirtation with the Tea Party and mindless GOP talking points. I predict that we will see another rise in Obama’s popularity in polls next week, perhaps by as much as a full point.

  66. Since I’ve read “The Promise” by Jonathan Alter, I’ve realized that Barack Obama has sometimes to deal with entrenched cultures within the government who are not necessarily prompt to agree with his ideas. In the Afghan war review for example, President Obama was the one who pushed for a plan of withdrawal beginning July 2011. And he had to confront serious dissensions.

    I’m simply saying that in the case of the Middle-East, there are opposing points of views within the government apparatus and some people may have a LOT of difficulty to accept the vision and strategy of President Obama.

    Anyway, I hope for the best and I have a lot of confidence in President Obama. He’s a man ahead of his time in my opinion. And I wish things were easier for him. He has so many obstacles and so many constraints to deal with.

  67. ok i didn’t even know u can do html here. here is how u do it. i tried it below

    blockquote in parenthesis,and then your quote and then blocqout in parenthesie with righ slash

  68. Thought I was going to puke when they transferred the cameras over to the shrine to St. Ronnie for more gushing praise of him and all his works. Fortunately, there was a Law and Order rerun featuring my two favorite detectives from the series: Chris Noth and Jerry Orbach.

  69. So funny…Snowflake Snooki from Alaska is at it again. She can trade mark her name all she wants, there are so many nick names that she’d have to trade mark for people not to make fun of her. How does that work? When someone uses your name or likeness, they have to pay her? Maybe that’s how she goes away.

  70. The source of that story is the National Enquirer so one should take it with a HUGE grain of salt.
    Oh, and hey everyone! * waves and fades back to lurker status *

  71. Okay. Well, let’s try brackets:

    [blockquote]Sarah Palin is a caribou-killing, self-promoting, irritating, obnoxious fool.[/blockquote]

  72. I’m making progress, really. This time I’m doing pointy parens with the word blockquote in them.

    Sarah Palin couldn’t find Egypt on a map. For that matter, I don’t think she could find Europe on a map, either.

  73. Okay, pointy parentheses with blockquote in them is the key to a good quotation block for interested bloggers.

  74. It’s the old saying, “keep your friends close and your enemies closer”. Bristol is trying to break away from her mother and if she can see the President and Mrs. Obama up close and personal, Bristol won’t be able to swallow her mother lies. I am no fan of Bristol but she is just a kid herself but old enough to make up her own mind.

  75. He’s a blogger who ended up getting into a twitter runin with Jane Hamsher after he criticized Hamsher’s and Glenn Greenwald’s coverage of the Manning/Wikileaks story.

    Here’s a compilation of the twitter exchange (it gets really nasty when Hamsher goes deep into his personal business and asks permission to “out” him, thus confirming that she has researched his IRL identity and had contact with one of his IRL friends, a conservative):

    All that because he said that Hamsher and Greenwald were playing a little loose with the fact and using hyperbole in the course of their Manning coverage. WOW.

    And here’s shoqvalue’s responding essay:

  76. Posted it on my Facebook and friends from the very wide political spectrum of my FB flocked to the “Like” button.

  77. That is an incredibly helpful article by Bernstein rufus. I can’t thank you enough for mentioning it.

    Here’s a link for folks.

    It had begun to look like the administration was stumbling a bit – with the remarks by Frank Wisner. But as Bernstein points out (and some of his links elaborate), its all about ensuring a legal and meaningful succession.

  78. OMG – this community is AMAZING.

    I had read about that study a while ago and couldn’t find it again for the life of me.

    Now here you are desertflower. I can’t believe it!!!!

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  79. How long before some gasbag questions the “optics” of President Obama taking some well deserved time off. I can just hear it now. With all of the turmoil in Egypt President Obama “gasp” was seen playing basketball. How dare he?

    All I want to know is that he has a mouth guard on. I don’t want anything to cause damage to that million dollar smile.

  80. Happy sunday everybody..!! 🙂

    From my twitter timeline:

    RT @WestWingReport: President back at White House 11:38 after playing basketball. Cops had to shoo away a biker who got too close to motorcade

  81. This is how we do it…tearing down one ill concieved notion at a time. Thanks for doing that.

  82. Typical Seattle:) Good for them. Lived in Belfair years ago when my husband was in the Navy. Loved our trips on the ferry to Seattle. Great city.

  83. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @pfeiffer44: Looking forward to the interview. RT @oreillyfactor:Reminder:Interview with President Obama from the White House LIVE at 4:45 PM EDT on FOX

  84. As I said yesterday…there are names for people like her, none of them nice.She is making herself more and more irrelevent with every passing day.Keep talking, $arah.

  85. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @WestWingReport: Press office has issued a travel lid; looks like POTUS in for rest of the day. 4:45 interview w/Fox’s Bill O’Reilly, then #SuperBowl party

  86. According to the media, President Obama stages a comeback at least once a month. I think much of the “disappointment” with Obama is because he has a more “feminine” (very generally speaking) way of dealing with the world, attempting to accomplish things through compromise and cooperation, which were the only ways open to women throughout most of history. The more immature temperaments in our country see domination and anger as signs of strength, whereas I see them as signs of weakness and insecurity. I think gentleness and strength go together and one does not really exist without the other. The iron fist only maintains the status quo and does nothing to further the progress of more mature human relationships.

  87. Not to let the frustrati in the media and the blogosphere off the hook, saku, but I do think that the Internet and the 24-hour “news” cycle lends itself to more intense criticism. However, the pundits certainly did not rise to the occasion during Resident Bush’s reign.

  88. New Century Woman, I suspect the critics of the President in regard to his handling of the Egyptian situation also do not know enough about it to intelligently comment either. Too bad that doesn’t stop them.

  89. Great coverage of that demonstration, Africa. BTW, myself and my family love your site. I’ve just been lurking, haven’t signed on yet. My nephew-in-law has though and visits the site everyday. I know he has been sending on articles and info from your site to his family and friends. His mother and sister live in France now but he still has a lot of family in Africa.

    Thanks for sharing your link here.

  90. I hope. Packer country here. Support for OUR team which WE own. There is a great blog by Maher on HP about the basic socialism of American football – still plenty of individualism and competition within a socialist framework. Very pragmatic. Hope they can negotiate their differences soon. Negotiation can be very messy, but it beats unilateralism.

    Proud of my President and grateful there is a place where I can express that pride and share our mutual accomplishments.

  91. Bonkers, I totally agree. I think commentators always want to make sure they are displaying their “intellectual brilliance”.

    The glimmer of good has to be stated after they have royally criticized the individual they are analyzing.

    P.S. I am talking about Obama.

  92. No one pays any attention to Jane Hamsher in the real world. Why should we? Whenever she is on Lawrence O’Donnell’s show and my husband sees her, he always asks “Who’s that?” even though he’s seen her many times before. Memorable only to other narcissists.

  93. Excellent comment, HZ and my thoughts exactly. I love the quiet strength and dignity of our Prez. My teenage Grandkiddo said to me the other day: “You know Granny, I think President Obama is like what a real President should be” I am trying to study more in school because he asked us to. I think I trust what he says”

    Out of the mouths of babes and all that….

  94. Indeed – the article was a bit difficult to read. These half-hearted compliments are definitely not outweighed by the largely negative spin they put on their “analysis” of President Obama. It’s like they can’t bear to get the good words out, and they’re clearly living in a reality of their own making.

    I heard someone comment yesterday that President Bush had consistently done so much over the years to stabilize the Middle East and gently nudge Mubarak out of dictatorship, and President Obama had done a little bit too, although his moves were fairly timid. This is not reality. I don’t remember seeing President Bush give a speech in Cairo in his first to eighth years in office that called for peaceful democracy. Maybe I just wasn’t paying attention…

  95. rufus, the article was a great. It sounds like an Obama administation approach, thank you.

    And thank you NLinStPaul for the link!

  96. Africa, that is great. Individual participation is incredibly important if we are going to have a voice.

    Did anyone ever get back to you?

  97. I suspect many resent a leader who outshines them and doesn’t engage in the “shucks, we’re all just a bunch of buddies here” insider elbow-nudging of the previous administration.

  98. One way we ‘fight’ it is to fight the fear in ourselves and look at our wonderful leader to see that the sky is not falling. He doesn’t pay attention to the polls. If you watch this one hour video of David Plouffe speaking about the 2008 campaign you will learn that they didn’t pay attention to the polls or the pundits then and they’re not paying attention to them now.

    When asked what he thinks about Sarah Palin, President Obama replied, “I don’t think about Sarah Palin.” So if he doesn’t think about her, then we don’t need to either.

    Frankly, I’m glad McCain unleashed that fool on the world. She was going to show up anyway, so better we know who she is and what she’s capable of now rather than later. Sure people voted for that pair, but even my very conservative, listens to fox news Republican cousin thinks Palin is a joke. The Tea Party…seriously? They are so patently obvious in their extremism, and their public relations suffers from incompetence to the nth degree. Look at how easy it was for Americans to accept the relationship between the Tea Party and violence after the Tucson tragedy.

    The Tea Party and Republicans make the Democrats look reasonable and centrist by comparison. That’s what swing voters look for. We own optimism and that’s not ground we’re going to cede. As long as we remain calm, optimistic and reasonable when we interact with voters, we will be the more appealing choice, no matter what shows up on the Internet, Cable news or their snail and voice mail boxes.

    Remember the picture of our President that had the text: Relax, I got this.

  99. Excellent comment and I think we are both “of an age” One problem is that so many of the frustrati do lack a real experience or understanding of history.

    This is my own opinion and “I am unanimous in this” (small joke) that so much of this IS racism, pure and simple. Some try to disguise it as “criticism for policy” Others are just blatant racist bigots who can’t accept PBO as the leader of our country.

  100. LOL! I nearly spewed my coffee. There should be an LOL Sara site with pics and captions like the LOL Cats. Thank our lucky stars, indeed. As my Granny used to say: “That poor woman’s brain fell out when she opened her mouth.”

  101. I agree, Bonkers. The loony left in the U.S. (as well as Israel, it seems) are so self centered. Pres. Obama only “comes to life” to them when he takes on THEIR issues (in a manner they agree with). Everything else is meaningless to them. This is a point of view I would expect to find in children. Further proof of Levy’s myopia is his contention that Pres. Obama’s reelection hinges on foreign affairs. How convenient for Levy. To them Obama is not a man, he is a tool to be used and discarded. You don’t respect a tool. A tool is supposed to do whatever you what it to do. You control the tool. By denying respect, they deny his humanity, IMO.

  102. newcenterfem, You are right.

    I just want to add that I see the problem as an inability of this country, and particularly the media, to move forward, away from the old idea that this country is dominant over others.

    I think the Prez. wants for us to be dominant in education, jobs, all the issues that allow a country to be prosperous, but I sense he does not want to play the roll of the bully that tries
    to control the fate other countries.

    Obama is a new kind of President, but the media just hasn’t caught on to that. The President is a diplomat, not a controller.

  103. desertflower, thank you. That idiot is an idiot.

    I hate to say this, as a woman, but I truly think most of her fans like her looks.

    Do you think people would actually vote for her just because of the way she looks and speaks?

  104. Happy Sunday afternoon one and all! I’m trying out a new strategy when I come in late by giving my greeting right away, THEN going to read all the other comments. We are getting so big that sometimes it takes me ‘forever’ to read everyone’s comments – not complaining, mind you.

    That Levy article is one that would be wonderful spread around! It is uplifting when one stumbles on an encouraging, knowledgeable and objective analysis. Especially when it says what I want to hear.;) I have found that I can always swallow criticism of the President (not that there was much here)when it is tempered with fairness and insight, and makes some sense. Step by step, Mr. President, follow your dreams and your plans for the world as it should be! We are trying to follow and support your leadership.

  105. Yep – it answers a lot of questions.

    That link had one to this.

    Read this about de-sublimation:

    In order to regain psychological equilibrium, the mind disavows the toxic facts that initially clashed with the individuals own ideology, non-rationally deeming the facts to be false—without assessing the validity of the facts.

    The final step occurs when the person, who offered the toxic facts, is then non-rationally demonized. The person, here, becomes tainted as a ‘phobic object’ in the mind of the de-sublimated individual. Hence, the other person also becomes perceived to be as toxic as the disavowed facts, themselves.

    At this point, ad hominem attacks are often fired at the source of the toxic facts.

    Might I suggest that this kind of thing isn’t exclusive to the right side of the political spectrum and that those paragraphs perfectly describe the supposed “dialogue” at a certain blog that shall not be named?

  106. I enjoyed your link. I think I am “psychologically healthy” because I try to be open to new information and facts. One thing I just love about this site is everything I learn.

  107. Charmed and Saku, I didn’t mean to imply that I thought it was the same for him as other Presidents. I can see it’s worse… you’ve certainly NEVER had anyone shout out “You lie!” in Congress before! Ever.

    I just meant that the title, ‘Leader of the Free World’ indicated that the rest of the world looks to our President, who ever he is, for some sort of… I don’t know, recognition maybe.

    I see now that I misread your tone.

  108. Thank you so much for providing a place where people respect our President. Whenever his name is mentioned, Obama, not President Obama, it’s something negative. Do you think we could have one day of news where only something positive can be said? No matter what he does or says, he should have said or done it differently. I know that people around the globe see how disrespectful we are to our President, how we hope for his failure, which would mean the failure of our country, and we have the nerve to comment on what others should be doing in the name of democracy.

  109. I’m always late here but I read every comment. I’m not very sports minded but I will wish all you fans great enjoyment in watching the Super Bowl. It’s too bad both teams can’t win so no one will have to be disappointed. ♥

  110. jovie, I just did a Google search and don’t see any legitimate news service reporting that. Where did you hear it? It’s in the gossip sites and on forums. sounds more like an urban legend than the truth. I prefer a legitimate source before I take it as truth.

  111. I wonder too if there will be a time when we can have civility and mutual respect in our political discourse here. Extremism is not limited to the Middle East, unfortunately. One of the reasons I love this blog, besides the information, is the civility. “Respect, empower, and include.” thanks, as always, to BWD for her ongoing moderation!

  112. I don’t think Pres. Obama’s manner of attempting to seek concensus when necessary to get laws passed is indicative of a “feminine” style. He is a realist. He had to compromise with GOP in order to make laws that Blue Dog Dems would vote for. No matter what Obama did or how he did it, the MSM and PL would take the opposite position and deem Obama “lacking”. If he refused to compromise and did not get a Healthcare Law Passed the PL would call him a failure (just as they did when healthcare was passed). Remember how they attacked him about the oil spill? Remember how most of the PL (excluding Maddow) refused to give Obama credit for keeping his promise to get rid of DADT? They all seem to give “advice” that would be politically suicidal. “Get mad Obama”, “show your anger”, “be more like Suge Knight”. Does anybody think that this country would react favorably to an Angry Black Man in the White House? In my opinion, they are just like Rush Limbaugh in that they want this President to fail. Why else keep up the constant negativity. Where even an article supposedly in support of Obama and his policies basically said, despite all evidence to the contrary, Obama was a failure for the first two years of his presidency.

  113. Of course it’s her looks. Do you think anyone would give her the time of day if she was a short old lady with gray hair and wrinkles? Back during the ’08 election, more than one man (Democrats all) said to me: “She is stupid but she is hot!”

    People can be very superficial and many tests have been conducted on how people perceive the character of a “pleasing face” in contrast to an “ugly” one.

    PS: Hi Dorothy!

  114. “We own optimism and that’s not ground we are going to cede.”

    Beautiful! Bravo! Well said and excellent comment.

  115. I think it is different with Pres. Obama. I remember seeing it happen at DKOS right after the election. It was subtle at first. If you were supportive of Obama, you were a kool aid drinker or a Bot. Then people felt pressured to add the caveat “I don’t agree with all of his decisions” to avoid having your point of view demeaned. Since when did the supporter of a politician or President have to agree with EVERYTHING that pol did. Can anyone name a person with whom they agree on everything? It is an unreasonable standard that Pres. Obama is being held to by his “supporters”. Another example, I remember supposedly rational people call Obama a failure after only a month in office. Saying that he does not measure up to FDR. So now if he does not equal or surpass our greatest president’s accomplishments in a few months he is a failure. This is an inhuman standard that I can’t recall prior presidents being burdened with.

  116. There may be various points of view within the Obama Administration. Obama does not surround himself with “YES MEN” the way Bush did. But I firmly believe that Pres. Obama knows what course he wants to take and will do it his way. You have to tread carefully when attempting to convince an ally to step down. We must have patience and allow things to run their natural course. Pres. Obama has to make sure that a favorable leader to the U.S. steps into the power vacuum. As Iraq illustrates, democracy can be very messy.

  117. That’s funny, Granny!How true is that:)Though she didn’t have much of one to begin with…

  118. Dorothy…as a woman, she offends me. That’s all I care to say about that.She flat out offends me.The guys that love her fantasize about what it would be like to sleep with her (MILF mentality at work…the fact that someone even THOUGHT of that is shallow and offensive)She is NOT, nor will she ever be, Presidential material.I don’t fear anything $arah.Case in point, the front page of MSNBC online…cheering crowds upon hearing that the ruling party players are stepping down and making consessions as to the new govt direction, and below that,$arah complaining that the President hasn’t explained himself on Egypt.Really? She’s a moron.Read the ramble she went on over at Balloon Juice..good lord, the woman speaks in tongues!

  119. What’s going on here without me? 🙂 Is it too late to join? {A bit north of Toronto} Don’t you just envy these guys their President? I lay personal claim to him as a WORLD leader.

  120. Good question lovepolitics. I am sure Mr. Wisner has been chastised.

    This has happened before. Diplomats think they have all the answers, but the problem is they are actually representing the president point of view

    Okay, where are you Axren?

  121. Yes they’ve replied on sometimes — Chuck Todd, Josh and Andrew. I have had an item published that I responded to before at Daily Dish, it was something to do with that woman from Wasilla — it was a while ago. I have since vowed never to use her name or engage in conversations regarding her. I think it only gives her power.

    Also, Josh Marshall, published something I wrote during the oil spill. I was incensed about all those people who were saying that POTUS and his administration had done nothing about the oil spill when it first started. I basically told Josh that the media was too busy running after the Elena Kagan hearings, and were not reporting on the issue. I knew because I live down in the gulf. None of the network stations were leading off with the story until late, and all of a sudden they found religion and wanted to look for something negative to say about the POTUS and the administration.

    Chuck Todd and I have gone back and forth in e-mails on different subjects. When I thought he handled an issue correctly I let him know, but i also called him out on others.

    I sent them numerous e-mails on my issue with people bringing guns to POTUS rallies. I told them I had lived in this country for a long time and never saw the same done at other presidents’ rallies.

    When Josh Marshall wrote about the president losing his swagger, I wrote him about it, too. He wrote back.

  122. I think we just differ on semantics, EricFive, and are in agreement as to how President Obama operates. I used the word “feminine” not as a sign of any sort of weakness, but rather just to very generally compare two different tactics. The confrontational stance that so many seem to want from President Obama could be described as “macho”. You and I are in agreement that the President is far more effective in accomplishing things by operating as he does.

  123. Thank you. I know these people’s pain, because I lived it about 20 years ago. When Liberia, my home country was going dealing with its civil war, as I noted here before, my siblings and myself did not know for six months the fate of my own family.

    Thank God for facebook and twitter now. At least, some of these people are hearing from their folks.

    But if you saw the lady leaning on the wall, she was very emotional just talking about Egypt. She cried the whole time my husband was talking to her.

    Liberia saw its greatest exodus in the 1980s of some of the best and brightest minds. It has been hard for some of us who spent all of adult years out of the country when we could be making a difference there.

    For those who may not know, Liberia was founded by freed slaves from the U.S. And so we thought we shared a deep connection, but during the war we just felt abandoned, leaving thousands to flee and live outside the country.

    Thank God, after many years of fighting, Liberia is on the mend. Now even with our shaky recovery, Liberians are welcoming in Ivorians as they endure their own upheaval.

    Thanks for your kind words.

  124. Thanks WIW. Yes, it was moving. But it is good to see people finally demanding change.

    One of the biggest things for people is that they worry terribly about their loved onesm especially if they have heard from them.

    The not knowing is what gets you.

    It is hard, as I said in the thread above. I know what some of them are feeling.

    You just want the whole thing to stop, you wish, you pray, you cry and you trade stories with your fellow countrymen.

  125. Tigerfists88, I so appreciate your updates and what you share here with us. This message gives me so much hope for a peaceful positive outcome for the Egyptian people.

    Lots of talk has gone on in America about tolerance and unity when we have had nothing but divisiveness. I think the people of Egypt are showing the world and the USA what real unity, real Sister/Brotherhood is. May we open our eyes and learn something from the people of Egypt.

  126. Thank you so much Aquagranny. I am glad to know you are checking us out. We are still a work in progress, and hope to continue to get our name out there so more people can participate on the site.

    Our local ABC station here has expressed interest in doing a story about us. We will know after tomorrow if they decide after their budget meeting.

    Please keep checking us out.

    We are constantly looking to get connected to Africans in other countries. Glad to hear that your family is checking us out, too.

    Soon, we will be adding a food section, with recipes and all from around the continent. Be sure to check it out.

    Thanks a bunch.

  127. Reminder everyone: I don’t know if someone has mentioned this in the comments yet, but PBOs interview with Bill O’Reilly airs during the Superbowl Pre-game show- I looked on O’Reilly’s website (yuck!)and it lists the interview for 4:45 EST on Fox Network.

    Also, BWD, I continue to lurk, and I just want to thank you for all that you do- I appreciate this site so much. I should tell you that more 🙂


  128. ‘Pres. Obama only “comes to life” to them when he takes on THEIR issues (in a manner they agree with). Everything else is meaningless to them.’

    And there, in a nutshell, is the explanation of their ‘he has returned to yada yada’ argument! They only hear him when he says what they want him to say. They know he is there, BUT he only ‘comes to life’ for them just as EricF describes.

    I’ve decided not to blame them for their lack of intellectual oomph, their closemindedness. Really, there’s no sense telling a child he’s behaving childishly, and in this political round they are really ‘children’! Trying to cut them some undeserved slack, in the spirit of the President’s example, I’d also add that they know no better.

    IMO we need to remember that they have internalized their simplistic behaviour over decades and have had it reinforced by the credibility they receive from their avid viewers /listeners /readership. Now they are being tugged kicking and screaming into a different kind of governance/leadership. IMO they are bewildered and can’t admit it. The answer then is to try to squeeze the President into a mold in which he does not fit. Makes me think this is a twist of a sort on the President’s comment about repeating the same scenario over and over yet expecting a different result. Most of these guys are repeating the same analysis over and over even when it has been proven it doesn’t apply to this president. A little bit of light is beginning (I think) to seep through for a few of the less dense ones, or else with increased and extended exposure to the President their learning capacity is being reactivated (ex. Halperin).

    So, when one of them gets it right in an article, or an interview, I am choosing to pat him/her on the head – in a paternalistic way – to say ‘I’m proud of you little Mark. You are starting to understand’. I am restraining myself from saying, ‘it took you long enough’, or any other snarky comment. Instead I’m trying to remember that we don’t all learn at the same time and in the same way, and maybe my positive response might encourage his/her continued enlightment.

    I didn’t mean to go on so long, but in the spirit of WiW’s ‘do something’ approach I’d like to suggest something. When we comment on sites or articles, more of us pro-Obama types could try to refrain from piling on when others snark about the sudden change in the opinions of critic X or Y (like Halperin). As an experiment, let’s commend the change if we choose to comment. Let’s see if over the next year and a half we can effect [Yes, with an ‘e’, although the ‘a’ would work too]the change we want in relation to how the doubters see the current president. In fact, we would only be aligning our efforts with that of the President who never seems to belittle them – at least not overtly. 😉

    {In addition, this gives a way for disenfranchised foreigners(who so want to contribute)like me to feel like they’re participate.} 😉

  129. From my twitter timeline:

    RT @WestWingReport: White House #SuperBowl chow: bratwurst, kielbasa, cheeseburgers, pizza (Chicago style of course), wings, potato salad, 2x-baked potatoes

  130. Good on you, Africa! An added positive thing we can all say about this president is that he has brought many a ‘quiet’ voter onto the ‘action field’ of democracy!

  131. Yes, that was wonderful. There is a large and important Christian population in Egypt. I wonder if anyone here has read “the Alexandria Quartet” by DH Lawrence. I read it many years ago; it taught me a lot about the different sects and religions in Egypt. It is actually quite diverse, and they all get along.

  132. ‘…watching him leave plenty of room for his opponents/critics to walk back their positions. He doesn’t confront, doesn’t call them out, just stays steady. And when they’re ready, reaches out a hand…”

    Yesss! I agree, with emphasis on his leaving room for them to walk it back without losing face/feeling ashamed. Isn’t it a beauty to watch? Frustrating at times because we are so used to the idea of hitting back, but a real live learning experience nontheless. This is one strength I see that some others call weakness. I have never before seen this in action.

  133. Very good comment Eric. What is more lamentable is that Obama is being compared with a mythical FDR and a mythical LBJ. Very rarely are people willing to examine the actual records, as well as the contexts they operated in, of these supposedly great presidents.

  134. Wooow…One of the greatest quotes from Pres. Obama that u’ll ever see…If I had a sig line I’d put it there 🙂

    From my twitter time:

    RT @WestWingReport: President: “the folks who hate you don’t know you…you don’t take it personally…you have to have a pretty thick skin” #egypt #jan25 #obama #reilly

  135. ‘Focus instead on building positive information sources from which we can branch out into the comments sections of NYT, WaPo, etc., with our views and understandings.’

    GN: Thank you for this very practical do-able suggestion. You’ve just highlighted a good connection that I never saw before – that coming to, and making comments on, sites like BWD’s can actually be a practice ground. We can cement our views here (if we are shy, etc.), then ‘branch out’ to those older
    media. Good strategy (or is it ‘tactics’?;)), GN!

  136. Good points Africa. My experience with presidents go back to LBJ, so I’ve lived under nine presidents and I never witnessed the same scrutiny and the same expectations of the previous eight presidents before Obama. Unfortunately this comes with the reality of being black. There is wide spread, and deeply held, belief in the black community that a black person has to be twice as good as a white person before he/she gains respect and recognition.

  137. The president flickers madly, apparently. He flickered to life at the SOTU last year. Taking on the GOP last year. At the passage of HIR. While stumping for Dems this summer. In the lame duck session. At Gabby Gifford’s memorial. At the SOTU this year. In response to Cairo. As far as I’m concerned, you flicker enough, you’re a flame. A nice, bright, steady flame.

  138. ‘I can guarantee that yelling at seeds doesn’t make them sprout faster.’

    :):) It doesn’t? Rats!

  139. VB: Hello, and don’t be afraid to sit awhile. We are friendly folks here and we like company.

  140. Sorry to say! There’s a wonderful children’s book by Arnold Lobel, A Year with Frog and Toad, with a chapter on just this subject. I had a landscape design company for many years, and used to want to give that story to clients. Perhaps we should send it to pundits!

  141. You are right Eric. I noticed that too. I do wonder if they would have done the same thing to any person elected.

    They knew before the election that a Nader type was never going to be elected. And, if he were, he would never accomplish anything because he is a my way or no way guy. (which they adore)

    Almost immediately they tried to pretend that Obama had lied to them. There was no lie. They knew what they were getting.

    But, I also remember a number of comments and slaps at Obama that seemed to be racially motivated. Pretty disgusting comments.

  142. Vicky, I think you have hit on something important. PBO is brilliant, funny, quick,and handsome. I am sure they want to see if they can bring him down a notch.

    They are waiting for him to crack under their pressure and then the media can say, oh, he is so sensitive to criticism. Spot on comment.

  143. Yeah, my first vote was for McGovern, but I never really worked for a candidate until John Kerry.

    That experience was great, even though we lost, I got a feel for Get Out The Vote. It takes participation to the next level.

    I did GOTV in three states for Obama, and plan to do the same, if not more, next time.

    It’s the least I can do for such a great man.

  144. Thanks for the link overseasgranny. Norbrook is amazing in pinpointing the bs from the self-anointed progressives (PL) who have adopted the right wing tactics of bashing the President.

  145. Aquagranny911:

    I completely agree with your statement: “One problem is that so many of the frustrati do lack real experience or understanding of history.”

    Besides LBJ’s domestic successes, which were really a continuation of JFK’s policies (LBJ’s term should really be seen as the second term of JFK-LBJ presidency), I challenge any one to point to another President whose two year record of legislative accomplishments surpasses that of President Obama. By the way, that includes the “GREAT FDR.”

  146. Very well said Carolyn! I too wonder how any other country will respect us when our democratically elected President is not only disrespected but is relentlessly depicted as an illegitimate dictator. I also think people around the globe wonder why some prominent Americans feel that it is the duty of an American president to aggressively interfere in the internal affairs of other countries-especially when it comes to choosing their leaders.

  147. On the other hand… there are so many schools reporting an epidemic of teen mothers. It might help to understand what kind of challenges they’re facing, set up sources of help for them, and then get them to talk to other teens about the realities of teen motherhood. It is another way to tackle the issue – instead of just leaving Bristol out there to hypocritically talk about abstinence, and not offer any realistic solutions or discussions. What she’s doing on her own (or with whatever groups she’s currently aligned with) isn’t doing anyone good, but it’s making her a ton of money. Put her to work doing real good out there. And she’s probably needs access to legitimate people, too. She’s probably getting little advice from her mother, who is busy looking after her own bank account. It can only help her to have access to the wisdom and guidance of Michelle Obama.

  148. You are so right – they’re showing the world what it really means to fight for freedom, and do it with dignity.

  149. Hello everyone. I’m new to this site but have followed BWD, Deaniac, Eclectablog, Norwood, and others for some time now at that ‘other’ site.(:

    I just wanted to say that I agree with the approach suggested by WhatIsWorking and V C prezOfan2 “When we comment on sites or articles, more of us pro-Obama types could try to refrain from piling on when others snark about the sudden change in the opinions of critic X or Y (like Halperin).”

    In fact I’ve been using this approach too over the last month or so when I visit other sites. If I feel that people are more interested in discussion, as opposed to debating, I’ll submit relevant facts which are supported by links where the material can be read in its entirety.

    Sometimes I’ll respond to comments made about what I’ve posted; sometimes I don’t simply because my comments usually result with being called names, such as a “formidable apologist of perfidy” or the discussion evolves into something that I have no interest in being a part of.

    In my opinion, not engaging with individuals on these levels serves two purposes: 1.)it deprives them of the oxygen they crave and 2.)it allows others on the site to read the facts and gives them something to think when they see that I’m not adding to the drama.

    The downside of this approach that I’ve noticed so far is that there seems to be a pattern where moderators actually prevent my comments from getting through if I engage in a discussion with someone…while at the same time allowing really ugly and demeaning personal attacks on the POTUS and moi to sail unimpeded. Maybe I should be discouraged, but it’s just made me more determined to continue doing what I’m doing. Besides, I have this site and others that I can visit afterward to generate a smile and a generous dose of optimism, for which I’m grateful.

    We know we can’t depend on MSM to correct the record or provide accurate information. So, “we have to be the change we want to see.” I hope more people consider using this particular approach because it’s desperately needed to combat all of the misinformation that’s floating around out there.

    Thanks for listening and I apologize for going on and on.


  150. I forget to include GN for her input in this discussion and her insightful comments.

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