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Obama so far: Weak and NaiveFollow

#1 Jul 27 2011 at 7:22 PM Rating: Good
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Let's be honest, he's been a below average President so far. He squandered a massive amount of political capital to accomplish very little. He's shown both the inability to effectively communicate with the American people, and also the inability to win political battles. You've got do be able to do one of those things to lead this country, preferably both. He's been an empty suit, so far, and he's shown an almost overwhelming desire to please old white men and avoid conflict. That's probably a great instinct when you're trying to land a job out of Harvard Law, but it's the opposite of leadership. If he stepped down today and I was called upon to write his political epitaph headline it would be this:

Mild Mannered House Negro Assures Nation He Hasn't Stolen any of the Silverware.

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#2 Jul 27 2011 at 7:31 PM Rating: Good
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Seems pretty par for the course as far as incompetence goes. Next election we should just elect a suit and save ourselves the headache.
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#3 Jul 27 2011 at 7:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Maybe this whole "first black President" was just a failed experiment. Should we wait a few cycles before going with "first female President" or just rush Hillary right in?
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#4 Jul 27 2011 at 7:35 PM Rating: Good
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Let's be honest, our of the 43 men who have run your country, I'd be willing to bet at least half of them were rather lacklustre.
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#5 Jul 27 2011 at 7:49 PM Rating: Decent
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Let's be honest, our of the 43 men who have run your country, I'd be willing to bet at least half of them were rather lacklustre.

I don't think that's true, really. It's easy to judge leaders who I dislike as ineffective but they frequently aren't. Bush was astonishingly effective. Clinton also. Bush Sr. less so. Regan was effective, Carter, taken in terms of what he attempted to accomplish, was reasonably effective at passing legislation. Ford is the most recent President who was anywhere near this weak. Nixon was effective, Johnson was amazingly effective, Kennedy less so, but getting shot in the face tends to put a damper on what you can get done. Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, all obviously effective.

"The Black Gerald Ford" doesn't seem like something to aspire to.
#6 Jul 27 2011 at 7:49 PM Rating: Good
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Whether it excuses him or not, it is an atypical environment. This is quite possibly one of the worst Congresses in history of the United States. A record setting number of cloture motions filed and complete inability to work together on what should be entirely procedural matters like raising the debt limit.
#7 Jul 27 2011 at 7:51 PM Rating: Decent
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Whether it excuses him or not, it is an atypical environment. This is quite possibly one of the worst Congresses in history of the United States. A record setting number of cloture motions filed and complete inability to work together on what should be entirely procedural matters like raising the debt limit.


There's a compelling argument this situation is the result of his weakness, not the cause.
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#8 Jul 27 2011 at 7:52 PM Rating: Good
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I think you guys should just disband and exist as sovereign states. You had a good run.

Or better yet, just kick out places like Texas.

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 9:54pm by Nilatai
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#9 Jul 27 2011 at 7:54 PM Rating: Good
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I think you guys should just disband and exist as sovereign states. You had a good run.


Why not? Worked out well for you blokes in Ireland.
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#10 Jul 27 2011 at 7:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Exactly! Wait a minute, that's the exact opposite of true!
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#11 Jul 27 2011 at 7:57 PM Rating: Good
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Maybe not all 50, but at least dump the ones that go out of their way to identify themselves as "The South."
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#12 Jul 27 2011 at 7:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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Maybe not all 50, but at least dump the ones that go out of their way to identify themselves as "The South."

Tried it once, and all it got us was a mediocre Tom Berenger movie.
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#13 Jul 27 2011 at 8:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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Why don't you declare war on "The South", then just not show up and let them secede?
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#14 Jul 27 2011 at 8:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
Why don't you declare war on "The South", then just not show up and let them secede?

We could use them as a buffer between us and the Mexicans!

But then who would mow our lawns? Smiley: confused
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#15 Jul 27 2011 at 8:03 PM Rating: Decent
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lolgaxe wrote:
Maybe not all 50, but at least dump the ones that go out of their way to identify themselves as "The South."


Hey! I love the South!!!!! Just not necessarily the people.... but that's also everywhere for me.
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#16 Jul 27 2011 at 8:04 PM Rating: Good
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There's a compelling argument this situation is the result of his weakness, not the cause.

Care to share it?
#17 Jul 27 2011 at 8:06 PM Rating: Decent
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Demea wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Why don't you declare war on "The South", then just not show up and let them secede?

We could use them as a buffer between us and the Mexicans!

But then who would mow our lawns? Smiley: confused

The people from Texas who learned ID as science. Y'know, the people who'd be too dumb-as-bricks to do any other work?
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#18 Jul 27 2011 at 8:14 PM Rating: Default
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Nilatai wrote:
Demea wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Why don't you declare war on "The South", then just not show up and let them secede?

We could use them as a buffer between us and the Mexicans!

But then who would mow our lawns? Smiley: confused

The people from Texas who learned ID as science. Y'know, the people who'd be too dumb-as-bricks to do any other work?


Honestly not trying to derail a thread, just want a quick one liner. Do you believe that people who believe in ID are genuinely stupid. I say that in a sense of over all stupid, not "that person is stupid for supporting x,y and z." Don't need an explanation on why you do or don't, just curious.
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#19 Jul 27 2011 at 8:16 PM Rating: Good
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Yes, they're stupid.

edit: And I really mean stupid. Like, on the level of homoeopathy, stupid.

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 10:20pm by Nilatai
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#20nonwto, Posted: Jul 27 2011 at 8:16 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) The observations you've made are so plainly obvious that I don't see what sort of productive discussion you expect to come from this thread.
#21 Jul 27 2011 at 8:25 PM Rating: Good
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I don't think that's true, really. It's easy to judge leaders who I dislike as ineffective but they frequently aren't. Bush was astonishingly effective. Clinton also. Bush Sr. less so. Regan was effective, Carter, taken in terms of what he attempted to accomplish, was reasonably effective at passing legislation. Ford is the most recent President who was anywhere near this weak. Nixon was effective, Johnson was amazingly effective, Kennedy less so, but getting shot in the face tends to put a damper on what you can get done. Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, all obviously effective.

"The Black Gerald Ford" doesn't seem like something to aspire to.


I suppose you're defining effectiveness as the two criteria in the OP? So, for example, if I want to annex Botswana to improve the economy and I convince the American people it's a good idea and win the political battle, I'm effective even if it turns out adding Botswana to the mix has had a les than restorative affect on the economy? I can see the logic of such an approach because it doesn't lead you to try and profile presidents, but if you cut all that out you're not really measuring their effectiveness as a president but rather their effectiveness in one aspect, albeit a large one, of their job.

P.S. Hey Smash, how stupid a comment would it take to get you to go into one of your rants?
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#22 Jul 27 2011 at 8:28 PM Rating: Excellent
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Kavekk wrote:
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I don't think that's true, really. It's easy to judge leaders who I dislike as ineffective but they frequently aren't. Bush was astonishingly effective. Clinton also. Bush Sr. less so. Regan was effective, Carter, taken in terms of what he attempted to accomplish, was reasonably effective at passing legislation. Ford is the most recent President who was anywhere near this weak. Nixon was effective, Johnson was amazingly effective, Kennedy less so, but getting shot in the face tends to put a damper on what you can get done. Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, all obviously effective.

"The Black Gerald Ford" doesn't seem like something to aspire to.


I suppose you're defining effectiveness as the two criteria in the OP? So, for example, if I want to annex Botswana to improve the economy and I convince the American people it's a good idea and win the political battle, I'm effective even if it turns out adding Botswana to the mix has had a les than restorative affect on the economy? I can see the logic of such an approach because it doesn't lead you to try and profile presidents, but if you cut all that out you're not really measuring their effectiveness as a president but rather their effectiveness in one aspect, albeit a large one, of their job.

P.S. Hey Smash, how stupid a comment would it take to get you to go into one of your rants?

You're getting warmer.
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#23 Jul 27 2011 at 8:38 PM Rating: Good
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Care to share it?


I'm trying to think about how it possibly could need more exposition? President comes into office with overwhelming majorities in both houses, accomplishes almost nothing in the face of clearly abjectly adversarial opposition, his party is destroyed in the mid term elections and how his weakness might contribute to the tone of that incoming opposition majority is somehow confusing?

Which argument do you want?

The cognitive one? He conditioned the GOP that political success only required their entrenched opposition.

The PR one? He devalued his own brand by allowing health care to consume a legislative agenda where he could easily have passed multiple politically useful programs.

The economic one? He caved on a "compromise" stimulus number for no particular reason. The political will was there for a larger program, the economic case was clear, that half of an effective stimulus in no way approached 50% in useful effect.

The administrative one? His staff is regularly destroyed by both legislative operations on the hill. I can make specific cases for this if it's really necessary, but it's really not a debatable point.

The expectations one? He campaigned, successfully, on a lot of obviously vapid talking points, transparency, change, whatever. Excusable if you present the illusion that any of these have in any way continued to matter after the inauguration. This didn't take place. If you lie to get elected, and clearly that's required, you need to continue to lie if you win. Transitioning from "Yes we can" to "We all have to sacrifice" doesn't work.

How far do you want to take this? Is the outcome really substantively different than if McCain had won the election? Maybe. The SCOTUS justices matter, but the rest? Hard to say.
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#24 Jul 27 2011 at 8:42 PM Rating: Good
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Kavekk wrote:
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I don't think that's true, really. It's easy to judge leaders who I dislike as ineffective but they frequently aren't. Bush was astonishingly effective. Clinton also. Bush Sr. less so. Regan was effective, Carter, taken in terms of what he attempted to accomplish, was reasonably effective at passing legislation. Ford is the most recent President who was anywhere near this weak. Nixon was effective, Johnson was amazingly effective, Kennedy less so, but getting shot in the face tends to put a damper on what you can get done. Eisenhower, Truman, FDR, all obviously effective.

"The Black Gerald Ford" doesn't seem like something to aspire to.


I suppose you're defining effectiveness as the two criteria in the OP? So, for example, if I want to annex Botswana to improve the economy and I convince the American people it's a good idea and win the political battle, I'm effective even if it turns out adding Botswana to the mix has had a les than restorative affect on the economy? I can see the logic of such an approach because it doesn't lead you to try and profile presidents, but if you cut all that out you're not really measuring their effectiveness as a president but rather their effectiveness in one aspect, albeit a large one, of their job.


He means effective as in "being able to get things done even if conditions aren't perfect". Basically, Obama hasn't been able to get anything done unless he started with an overwhelming majority in both houses of congress already on board. The sign of an effective president is that he can find ways to get congress to pass legislation even when he doesn't have a super majority in the senate and a huge majority in the house. Reagan was arguably one of the best at this. Johnson was also very good at this, as was Nixon. Bush 42 was very good at it. Ditto with Clinton. Both Clinton and Reagan got a lot of stuff done even though the other party controlled congress during most/all of their terms.

I'm assuming that's what he means at least. It's the logical inference from his list. It's not about whether you agree with what they did, but whether they were able to get actual bi-partisan legislation passed. So far, Obama has shown a shocking inability to negotiate with the GOP. Even if you blame the GOP for being the "party of NO", it's still a failure on his part. Evey opposition party can be a party of no. It's kinda up to the president and the agenda he sets to determine whether he works with the opposition party, or works over them. Obama started with such large majorities in congress that he chose a path of essentially ignoring Republicans and passing his agenda right over their strongest objections. Strangely, when he lost that congressional power, he hasn't changed his approach. That's the test of a presidents capabilities, and he's failing pretty badly.
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#25 Jul 27 2011 at 8:45 PM Rating: Decent
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Nilatai wrote:
Yes, they're stupid.

edit: And I really mean stupid. Like, on the level of homoeopathy, stupid.

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 10:20pm by Nilatai


Cool thanks.. Just curious..

Interesting....
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#26 Jul 27 2011 at 8:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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Don't forget the secret conspiracy nut one:
He was actually born on the secret Martain U.S. embassy, so they can't show his real birth certificate for fear of revealing the existance of our semi hostile green neighbors. No, not the canadians.
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#27 Jul 27 2011 at 8:48 PM Rating: Decent
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Almalieque wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
Yes, they're stupid.

edit: And I really mean stupid. Like, on the level of homoeopathy, stupid.

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 10:20pm by Nilatai


Cool thanks.. Just curious..

Interesting....

Uh huh.
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#28 Jul 27 2011 at 8:48 PM Rating: Good
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I suspect that you expected him to come into office and magically fix the budget crisis?

He's delivered on most of his campagin vows. I fail to see how that's lackluster. Is he below-average? Idk. I don't really feel like going through all the presidents to check. But I doubt it.

Besides, how exactly are you going to characterize "lackluster"? Millard Fillmore's presidency marks the downfall of the Whig party (not in any small part because of him). But he also opened up one of the most-influential trade agreements and alliances in American history. Not exactly something to scoff at.
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#29nonwto, Posted: Jul 27 2011 at 8:49 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I'd be interested to see you do it.
#30 Jul 27 2011 at 8:57 PM Rating: Default
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I suspect that you expected him to come into office and magically fix the budget crisis?


I suspect you don't have a working knowledge of my political philosophy or posting history.

You're wrong. I suspect that's a common occurrence.


He's delivered on most of his campagin vows.


Nope. Not vaguely close. People rarely do, of course, campaigning and governing are barely, if at all, related. Even with that, he's accomplished nearly nothing.


I fail to see how that's lackluster. Is he below-average? Idk. I don't really feel like going through all the presidents to check. But I doubt it.


Yes, you're lazy. It's obvious. Let's not belabor that.


Besides, how exactly are you going to characterize "lackluster"? Millard Fillmore's presidency marks the downfall of the Whig party (not in any small part because of him). But he also opened up one of the most-influential trade agreements and alliances in American history. Not exactly something to scoff at.


This isn't related to anything in this thread. You aren't autistic or something, are you?

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 10:58pm by Smasharoo
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#31 Jul 27 2011 at 8:57 PM Rating: Default
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Let's be honest, he's been a below average President so far. He squandered a massive amount of political capital to accomplish very little. He's shown both the inability to effectively communicate with the American people, and also the inability to win political battles. You've got do be able to do one of those things to lead this country, preferably both. He's been an empty suit, so far, and he's shown an almost overwhelming desire to please old white men and avoid conflict. That's probably a great instinct when you're trying to land a job out of Harvard Law, but it's the opposite of leadership. If he stepped down today and I was called upon to write his political epitaph headline it would be this:

Mild Mannered House Negro Assures Nation He Hasn't Stolen any of the Silverware.


I am shocked just shocked. Who could have seen that electing a community organizer who had never even ran a lemonade stand could have turned out so bad...........
#32 Jul 27 2011 at 9:00 PM Rating: Good
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idiggory, King of Bards wrote:
He's delivered on most of his campagin vows.

Yup, good riddance to Gitmo. Rejoice at the post-partisan era of politics!

Oh, wait.

Edit: In terms of actually accomplishing his campaign promises, I think the only one that we can all unequivocally agree was delivered was his promise not to be George W. Bush. Which is ironic, really, since he's basically continued Bush's tax policies, anti-terror policies, and, until recently when the DoJ stopped defending DOMA, most of his social policies as well. Sure, he **** and moaned about it, but actions speak louder than words.

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 10:05pm by Demea
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#33 Jul 27 2011 at 9:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Just so long as we can all agree that Franklin Pierce was the best president ever!
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#34 Jul 27 2011 at 9:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Lex Luthor rebuilt Gotham after the earthquake when everyone else was writing it off as a hopeless cause. And who was President when Imperiex attacked, and led the coalition against him? That's right, Luthor.

Best. President. Ever.

Edited, Jul 27th 2011 11:08pm by lolgaxe
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#35 Jul 27 2011 at 9:08 PM Rating: Good
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Just so long as we can all agree that Franklin Pierce was the best president ever!


Personally, I've always been a fan of Buchanan's "come hither" eyes.
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#36nonwto, Posted: Jul 27 2011 at 9:09 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I find it difficult to remember more than about 10 of the US presidents.
#37 Jul 27 2011 at 9:10 PM Rating: Decent
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I'd be interested to see you do it.


Get legislation passed that I want?

Done it.
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#38 Jul 27 2011 at 9:11 PM Rating: Good
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nonwto wrote:
I find it difficult to remember more than about 10 of the US presidents.

I figured someone as smart as you could name all 43 men!
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#39nonwto, Posted: Jul 27 2011 at 9:16 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I figured some as * you could be <generally insulting rebuttal>.
#40 Jul 27 2011 at 9:18 PM Rating: Good
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nonwto wrote:
Nilatai wrote:
nonwto wrote:
I find it difficult to remember more than about 10 of the US presidents.

I figured someone as smart as you could name all 43 men!


I figured some as * you could be <generally insulting rebuttal>.

Trying to reach lolgaxe levels of quality posting, huh?

Not really, I just like reminding you that you're not as smart as you think you are. Also I can't sleep.
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#41nonwto, Posted: Jul 27 2011 at 9:19 PM, Rating: Sub-Default, (Expand Post) I'm familiar with the issue.
#42 Jul 27 2011 at 10:06 PM Rating: Good
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Every time he gets to a negotiating table and says "Let's make a deal" the proposed deals just get **** and ****

I'm not sure if it's him or just flagrant incompetence by the whole DNC bloc in the art of negotiation.

The fact that it happens on the international level along with the domestic makes me lean toward the former, but I wouldn't rule out both.

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#43 Jul 27 2011 at 10:22 PM Rating: Good
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Smasharoo wrote:
Let's be honest, he's been a below average President so far.

Yeah, pretty much. The split of the republican party has had to have made things a bit more complicated in the political arena. He held his ground on the Libya thing - that was ok. Oh and he killed Osama. After a dose of 'restoring science', he's let the big environmental issues wither on the vine. EPA has been a bit directionless.

I'm not enough of an economist to grade him here except the it's obvious that the 'economic recovery' has been lack-luster at best.

He still could pull off a big win with a strong, viable energy policy.

Health care is a losing issue for any president. But needs to be tackled none-the-less. While the policy isn't the greatest - I hope it's a start. If his public opinion numbers have to be sacrificed to at least get a the ball rolling and if he's managed to get it out of the spotlight and out of the public's short-term memory before the next election, then it's probably a good trade-off.

Getting rid of DOMA and DADT are wins in the social arena, but aren't really good indicators of effectiveness.

However this term winds down, barring any earth-shattering revelations or policy disasters, I'll vote for him again.

Second term presidents usually show more teeth.
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#44 Jul 28 2011 at 4:34 AM Rating: Excellent
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Second term presidents usually show more teeth.


Or wang in clinton's case.
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#45 Jul 28 2011 at 6:10 AM Rating: Good
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rdmcandie wrote:
Quote:

Second term presidents usually show more teeth.


Or wang in clinton's case.
Some extracurricular activity would, in all likelyhood, draw the pubbies full attention away from governance. Specially if he was caught **** a whitey.
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#46 Jul 28 2011 at 6:21 AM Rating: Default
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Elinda wrote:
rdmcandie wrote:
Quote:

Second term presidents usually show more teeth.


Or wang in clinton's case.
Some extracurricular activity would, in all likelyhood, draw the pubbies full attention away from governance. Specially if he was caught **** a whitey.


That's actually pretty funny, because I think he would still have a percentage of black support if he were caught cheating with any ethnicity OTHER THAN a white woman.
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#47 Jul 28 2011 at 6:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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I miss Rahm Emanuel.

As time goes on I think more and more that Obama would have been a great Cabinet member. I just don't know who, out of the field of viable candidates, would have been a more effective President. Clinton would, I think, have been even more divisive, if that's even possible.

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#48 Jul 28 2011 at 6:44 AM Rating: Good
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Quote:
I just don't know who, out of the field of viable candidates, would have been a more effective President.


Nick Clegg?
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#49 Jul 28 2011 at 6:50 AM Rating: Default
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Kavekk wrote:
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I just don't know who, out of the field of viable candidates, would have been a more effective President.


Nick Clegg?


I'm not a Obama hater, but he was definitely not the best candidate in 2008.
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#50 Jul 28 2011 at 6:51 AM Rating: Excellent
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I was asked the other day if I was better off than I was 2 and 1/2 years ago.

I actually am, fantastically so. I'm employed (two jobs, in fact), have tucked away 10% of everything I've made toward retirement, and have enough money to cover myself for 6 months if I ever lose employment. I own my car, and my rent is pretty cheap (especially compared to friends I have in Boston, who pay 3x what I do).

I might be an exception, but I realized that's probably why I can't get behind the doom n' gloom I read about so often. I'm doing really well. My entire family is, actually. My parents lost infinitely more when the stock market plummeted a decade ago and the housing market crumbled soon after they bought their house (2005). My dad just went on Medicare, and his insurance costs dropped something like 80%. He also had enough tucked away in investments to retire last year.

I'm not saying that it's all due to Obama, but I certainly feel things could be worse for me personally (since they were before Obama took office). Hopefully other people are in a similar boat as me.

Sorry, kinda off-topic, but tangentially related.
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#51 Jul 28 2011 at 6:54 AM Rating: Excellent
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Almalieque wrote:
Kavekk wrote:
Quote:
I just don't know who, out of the field of viable candidates, would have been a more effective President.


Nick Clegg?


I'm not a Obama hater, but he was definitely not the best candidate in 2008.

That would be... Ron Paul? I still think he was better than Clinton, McCain is pretty much hated by the Tea Party now so he would have been a total flop on both sides as a president... not sure who else was a big name, honestly.
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