My father-in-law and I recently had an email exchange that I enjoyed and thought I would share. The email string started by Thomas forwarding me an email with several cartoons mocking the Obama and the current political situation. Below is my first reply that got things rolling. As always, feel free to comment.
I agree, the Bush administration did a great job of putting us in comical situations that Obama has to fix. Good to see you are finally coming around.
Get over it! You wanted it; you got it. Stop whining!
I’m actually happy with how things are going.
I was running out of jokes about how incompetent Bush was so if Palin would have got in I wouldn’t have had any left.
Focus on today Eric, not on the past or what might have been. Bush was not perfect, but he never claimed to be. Talk is cheap, and when you can’t back it up you look incompetent. I would never want to see an American President as clueless. He appears to be the taking the Jimmy Carter route.
I think he is really starting to get his legs under him in the past few months, it is like he hit Presidential Puberty…or got tired of waiting for Pelois and Reid do their job. That said I don’t like everything going on but I don’t think that is a realistic expectation.
Are you living in a parallel universe? I think he enjoyed more success a year ago. The last few months have been comical. He is focused on passing health care reform. That is the only thing he is focusing on to his detriment. He let Pelosi and Reed set the agenda and the liberals have lead him into a ditch. I can’t think of any successful policy moves that he has made since August. It is one mess up after another. From dithering on OEF to bringing KSM to NYC. Calling out the Supreme Court at a SOTU that turned into a stump speech. He is under attack from all sides. The White House will be turning on itself after 3/18/10 if they can’t devise a way to cram HC down our throats. What are you looking at? Do you like government running your life? Are you not capable of deciding what is best for you and your family?
I will agree that Obama was more effective in pushing legislation through early last year. There were several reasons for that:
- No bill in the past 20 years has been as big as the health care bill, so naturally it has been the toughest
- The economy was still in crisis mode last year
- It wasn’t an election year
- Republicans had not settled on a, “We are against ANYTHING the President is for (except, begrudgingly, Afghanistan). Even tax cuts”
However I think he was doing it in a much different way than he has started to do things now. Examples:
- Previously he wasn’t putting as much pressure on his own party members (Reid was an impediment to this) and now he is
- He was actively muzzling the some liberal activists to try to encourage a move to the middle. However you need the wackos on the far left to serve as a ballast against wackos on the far right
- He let his “Organizing For America” group fall under the DNC and no longer leveraged it. So a lot of the energy of the Obama movement got lost b/c they were no longer engaged.
Maybe all of this goes away again once health care passes.
I think he played the Afghanistan thing perfectly. It was politically tricky issue and ultimately he arrived at the correct course of action and had the proper amount of political theater so everybody could feel comfortable with either the choice or the process used to arrive at it.
KSM isn’t being tried in NYC anymore. The administration realized it wasn’t’ the best idea, they corrected their mistake. I appreciate he didn’t stick by a bad idea just to try to stick by it.
Calling out the Supreme Court
It isn’t unprecedented for a President to call out the Supreme Court during the State of the Union. Teddy Roosevelt and FDR did it and Regan did a few times on much more politically sensitive issues (abortion). On a related note, is it fair to call this Supreme Court an “Activist Court” especially after that particular ruling? I’m thinking the answer is clearly a yes.
Does the Government know best?
Here is the part you are going to jump all over and probably rightly so. The answer to your last question is:
No, the government doesn’t know what is best for me or my family. But there are a lot of people who are complete and total idiots, lazy and generally of little value to society. Generally I don’t care if these people go and screw up their lives, that is their choice…I do care if it affects me. SO, I am in favor of government regulation when it is addressing other people’s greed, laziness or stupidity affecting me.
I repeat are you living in a parallel universe? Do you live inside the beltway?
No bill has ever sought to take over 1/6 of our economy. It screams of a mistake in that one Republican voted for it. The economy suffered because of uncertainty and threats from the White House. They created an atmosphere that caused business to stay out of the lime light. The WH was openly hostile to business. They were friendly to the institutions too big to fail, and allowed regional banks to be absorbed by their friends.
The Republicans were not allowed at the table to even present their ideas on “common sense reforms” until Obama’s summit, which showed America that the Republicans did have a plan. The tactic blew up in Obama’s face and showed what a partisan he really is.
Tax cut. That is a bait and switch! Wait until the Bush tax cuts expire!
Pressure on Pelosi and Reid? They are using Chicago style thuggery to intimidate people who disagree with them. Don’t you mean ACORN?
Played Afghanistan well! Tell that to the soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines who died waiting for him to make the only logical choice. He had to find a way to placate the liberals who voted for him to stop the war. He wanted it both ways. He is executing Bush’s plans for OEF and OIF. He puts an idiotic deadline on progress in OEF. Gates tells the truth, conditions on the ground will determine when and if we withdraw. He is weak.
KSM. He should use the same logic on HC. Cut your losses and move on. He is adopting Clinton’s strategy on terrorism. You remember what that got us?
Activist court? You think that political speech should be limited to favor incumbents? If the politician is swayed by the unlimited $ of a corporation, he is a criminal! That’s what expected of a Democrat, a la Charles Wrangle! The court is an equal branch of the government; I would have walked out. He is a big mouth from Chicago. He does not act presidential.
Eric, my son, you have fallen for the oldest trick of government. Give up your freedom and we will protect you. It is a lie from the pits of HELL! This government does nothing well. It only creates more government. It creates a problem, and convinces people that they have the answer to the problems they created. You are much too smart to fall for this blatant manipulation. The freedom of the individual is what makes this nation great. You are abdicating your responsibility to the government. A people unwilling to take responsibility for themselves deserves to be slaves. I thought you were smarter than that. Think for yourself, go with your gut. Think! It ain’t illegal yet!
Well, I guess this means the Obama Administration isn’t going to turn on itself over passing health care. Do you think it might energize and empower them to tackle other issues? If they can pass legislation that Presidents have been trying to pass for 100 years you would think they will be able to get other less contentious bills through too. Immigration reform, financial reform and eduction don’t seem nearly as daunting when the President has already secured a legacy in the first 18 months in office.
Regarding health care I think we can agree that on this:
- Health care costs per person in the US are about double what they are in other industrialized countries
- Health care costs as a percentage of GDP are about double what they are versus other industrialized countries
- More people with access to medical care is fundamentally a good thing
Clearly the previous administration and Republican controlled Congress either didn’t have any plan to address this or didn’t care about it or else they would have passed some legislation to address the issue (since they had the votes). Clearly the American people thought this should be a higher priority and it was one of the reasons that we had a Democratic sweep of congress and the Presidency this past fall. The policies Obama has pursued are congruent with what he said he was going to during the campaign. Since those policies got him elected, and by a margin 14 points higher than Bush’s best showing, it is clear
that he is executing what the People voted him in to do. It is interesting that people only trust and defend the democratic process when they are in the majority.
It wouldn’t matter if the health care bill was perfectly written, the Republicans as a whole have placed their bet that they needed to prevent it from going through and use this as their campaign platform this fall. That isn’t to say that many of them surely have legitimate philosophical differences, I’m sure that the majority of them do. However, universally opposing health care is probably their best political play and although it is frustrating, I understand why some Republicans must have voted their party over their conscious.
I must have misinterpreted one of your statement because I know you can’t possibly believe that money doesn’t affect politics and policies. In fact later in the same email you said, “follow the money”. Which makes it all the more stunning that you support foreign and domestic corporations having the ability to spend unlimited amounts of money on getting their candidate elected. Outside of slavery I can’t think of a single decision that is more of an affront to the spirit of the Constitution and more of a realization of the Founding Fathers worst fears. Tell me that I misread the intent of your comment.
I’m not sure if you followed my thought process on Obama not leveraging all of his tools until recently. The good news for people who helped to get Obama elected is he is finally starting to engage them again. His grass roots organization was re-engaged after the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat and from what I can see it is only gaining more momentum. This was the carrot and the stick that he wasn’t using to motivate his own party as well as the moderate Republicans previously.
It is interesting that you find Obama to be less than Presidential because I can’t imagine anybody less Presidential than our last President.
I eagerly await your response,
I will continue to post the email exchanges as they occur and when I’m motivated.