Patterico's Pontifications

8/27/2011

Obama and the Imaginary “Competency Crisis”

Filed under: 2012 Election — Karl @ 9:39 am



[Posted by Karl]

Obama backer Mort Zuckerman has complained about Obama a number of times before.  However, his latest WSJ op-ed raises the prospect of a so-called “competency crisis” — a charge we have seen elsewhere in the establishment media.  It is an imaginary crisis, reflecting a cognitive dissonance that may affect the 2012 election beyond the opinion of one pundit with a touch of buyer’s remorse.

Zuckerman posits: “It is the president’s job to offer a coherent program for the twin threats of a static economy and an unsustainable explosion of our debts and deficits.”  Yet in Zuckerman’s view, Obama is to be faulted for: (1) unrealistically suggesting our problems can be solved by higher taxes on millionaires and billionaires (although Mort supports such taxes); (2) failing to lay out serious tax reform proposals; (3) failing to address entitlement reform as baby boomers have begun to retire; and (4) not building alliances with businesses large or small.

Zuckerman suffers from cogintive dissonance because he backed a progressive ideologue for the presidency in 2008.  In nerdspeak, Mort’s complaints are not bugs, but features of a progressive presidency.  He is complaining that a shark is acting like a shark.

Moreover, Obama has been pretty competent in imposing his leftwing agenda on the country.  Granted, the taxes passed during his term are not scheduled to take effect until after 2012 — and he has thus far failed at hiking taxes on the wealthy.  But Obama got his massive Keynesian stimulus package, his virtual government control over our healthcare, and issued a record number of big-ticket regualtions of the remaining parts of the private sector (one EPA regulation is estimated to cost upwards of $90 billion per year).  These accomplishments have done little to nothing to solve the big problems Zuckerman identified, causing his cognitive dissonance.

By itself, Zuckerman’s mental confusion is essentially irrelevant.  His op-ed closes by asserting “the president will have to raise his game to win a second term, especially if the Republicans find a real candidate.” (Emphasis added.)  Here, Zuckerman signals his willingness to let Obama scare him back into the Democratic fold.  The 2012 GOP nominee will almost certainly be more open to tax and entitlement reform than Obama has been, but with the possible exceptions of Huntsman and Romney, doesn’t anyone who has observed Zuckerman over the years believe he would dismiss the rest of the GOP field?

However, Obama’s Zuckerman problem goes beyond Zuckerman. It goes beyond the higher-level Democrats who talk smack about him off the record

Obama’s problem is manifest in the disillusioned hipsters who supported Obama so enthusiastically in 2008.  Hipsters are not a huge demographic, but they tell us something about how serious the erosion in the youth vote is for Obama.  Obama’s problem is manifest in the six-point advantage the GOP maintains with likely voters on the generic Congressional ballot. 

Obama’s problem is laid bare in a recent PPP/Daily Kos/SEIU poll showing a record low in Democratic enthusiasm for 2012.  Obama’s losses are not among the true believers, but among the so-called moderates (read the whole poll to see whay they’re so-called).  Roughly 60% of liberals and conservatives are “very excited” to vote in 2012; only 40% of so-called moderates are.

The message of these trends is that there are many people with the Zuckerman problem who will never be asked publicly about their support for Obama.  Some of them will resolve their cognitive dissonance the way Mort likely will, i.e., by deciding that the GOP nominee scares them too much.  But many of them may resolve their cognitive dissonance they way Zuckerman suggests in his op-ed, i.e., by concluding Obama is incompetent — and thus not worth turning out to support in November 2012.

In 2008, Democrats had a five-point turnout advantage; in 2004, the partisan turnout was roughly equal.  “Moderate” turnout was roughly 44-45% in both years, but went 60% for Obama in 2008, and only 54% for Kerry in 2004 (the difference being roughly 2% of the total).  For that matter, Obama did better than Kerry with self-described conservatives.  Obama’s incompetency is an illusion, but one that could prove fatal to his chances for re-election.

–Karl

72 Responses to “Obama and the Imaginary “Competency Crisis””

  1. “Moreover, Obama has been pretty competent in imposing his leftwing agenda on the country.”

    Karl – Competent at imposing a leftwing agenda? Obama’s a damn centrist! He should have gotten a public option, passed cap and trade, raised taxes, passed immigration reform, closed Gitmo, prosecuted Bush and Cheney for war crimes, etc., etc. He’s a dismal failure.

    Heh.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  2. daleyrocks,

    I considered addressing that point. The fact that he could not get everything he would like, even with a Democratic House and filibuster-proof Senate, merely underscores what a far-left ideologue Obama really is. The fact that he got as much passed as he did — even when much of it was/is opposed by most of the people — tells you he’s fairly competent at putting it into practice.

    Obviously, your sarcasm tells me you know this, but I’m clarifying it in advance for the inevitable trolls.

    Karl (37b303)

  3. The best thing that could happen to Obama’s reputation would be to suffer some untimely end, and then he could join that pantheon of mythical figures such as JFK, James Dean, Jimi Hendrix, etc.
    Survival through a repudiation at the polls will see him wandering the globe trailing Jimmy Carter (leading from behind) as a failed U.S. President.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  4. BHO is incompetent. The one thing he has in spades is hutzpah. The audacity with which he operates is staggering. It also reveals a very shallow mind.

    His m.o. is to sit back and let others do the work. If we were talking about Tom Sawyer’s white picket fence being painted, no problem.

    I honestly can not remember a president who is so out of his league/above his capacity. Even Jimmy Carter had genuine intelligence. This tool only knows how to browbeat and shame others into giving him his way. That may be a type of genius, but it is not competency in action.

    His FY2012 budget and his behavior during the debt ceiling fiasco demonstrated the greatest incompetence and failure to lead I have ever seen out of the White House.

    Ed from SFV (7d7851)

  5. “hip” ain’t hip no more
    Obama presidency
    has-been disaster

    ColonelHaiku (8211ab)

  6. presidents don’t “run”
    America, Zuckerman
    liberal blows hard

    ColonelHaiku (8211ab)

  7. We are seeing any number of these hand wringing pieces in the MSM (MODO, Zuckerman, Noonan, etc.) about Obama’s competance or lack thereof and will he be re-elected, blah, blah? The important thing to remember is who do you actually think that Zuckerman, et. al., will rally behind in 2012? If you think it will be Perry or Romney you would be wrong. They will all return to the fold come January 2012 and the run up to the election. With any uptick in the economy Obama’s handmaidens in the press will be singing his praises to the heavens and bashing the R’s. It is what they went to J-school for, this is their guy and they know they did the job for him in 2008. They will not let this oportunity to pass by without a fight in 2012. It is just getting started, it will get much dirty as time goes on.

    BT (74cbec)

  8. Pelosi and Reid where the real power behind the major changes to our laws over the past 4 years. Obama (and last two years of Bush II) just signed them into law…

    Obama has been using executive orders to implement his own agenda outside of congress.

    BfC (2ebea6)

  9. STOP SAYING ‘COGNITIVE DISSONANCE’

    newsflash: Obama’s incompetence is no illusion. It is real, and it is doing tremendous damage to this country and her people.

    Jones (727e71)

  10. Karl – Let’s be honest. At most right now Obama has some issues with his messaging. Stupid American voters don’t care about things like jobs as long as they are getting checks from the government. Our country is not under any fiscal strain. Just look at all the millionaires and billionaires out there who don’t need all their extra money and the government can always print more money to pay its bills if it decides not to raise taxes. Our education system is not broken. All we have to do is throw more dollars at teachers and the performance of our students will improve overnight. This solution have been proven time after time after time in this country.

    Obama just needs to get his mug out there in front of the American public a lot more often and utter a bunch of empty platitudes like he did in 2008. He should continue blaming others for what is going on in this country because it does him no good to accept responsibility for anything and it would be inconsistent with his past behavior. Voters are too stupid to realize that he is just mouthing a bunch a meaningless pablum and the media will lap it up. It worked for him in 2008 and there is no reason to suspect it won’t in 2012.

    With respect to the private sector, Obama has just been too nice a guy with respect to utilizing the tools at his disposal to get corporations moving in the right direction before the election. He needs to ramp up IRS audits, DOJ raids, EEOC suits, NLRB complaints, EPA fines, bank examinations, and the host of other mechanisms at his disposals to encourage corporations to get with his programs.

    Just sayin’.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  11. Remember all of the talk about Obama being a “blank slate”, even from Obama himself? As said already, the issue is not one of Obama being less comptent than people thought, it is that a person can’t be all things to all people. Some voted for him because he represented the new face of the SDS and Weathermen, others because he was going to bring an end to partisan bickering. (Note, the only way to “accomplish” the expectations of both of those groups would have been to imprison all who disagreed with him, no bickering if no opposition.)

    The true believers aren’t bothered by facts and will still support him. Some who aren’t true Obama believers but believe that “repubs like children to go to bed hungry” will vote for him because they certainly can’t vote for a cruel and heartless Republican. (Again, don’t let facts get in the way). Some people, especially more youthful voters who thought “he was different”, may decide to stay home, having lapsed (back) into nihilism.

    Sometimes it’s hard to believe a smart person can’t see the obvious, but then “a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest”.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  12. He has disillusioned moderates by not solving basic problems.

    He has disillusioned left-wingers by failing to enact everything on their agenda.

    Sounds like a win-win for the other side in ’12 to me.

    Icy Texan (a14dff)

  13. Obama will get the votes from his loyalist – and unfortunately, that will most likely still be race-based.

    Facts take a superfluous role out of necessity when emotions determine his worth. Thus, many voters will vote for him again because there will be a sympathy play and the refrain will be: How could he possibly undue and dismantle everything in just a mere 4 years?.

    It’s always easier to keep blaming Bush, and those hostile, inflexible Republican terrorists.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  14. Karl – I’m trying to noodle through Obama’s messaging and the competency issue with respect to his energy policy. Driving existing drilling rigs out of the Gulf of Mexico and causing the diversion of new rigs elsewhere, closing areas approved by Bush for exploration, terminating existing leases for questionable reasons, and ginning up draconian regulations through the EPA rather than Congress all amount to a public relations bump with which Obama has to deal. Some of the actions, such as those related to the Gulf drilling, if done by a foreign power, would constitute an act of war against America, IMHO. Hence the little PR issue. My recommendation is Obama go with protecting the safety of the American people and environment, even though his scientific reports were faked and his Interior Department was held in contempt of Court. Again, that is in no way Obama’s fault.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  15. __________________________________________

    He is complaining that a shark is acting like a shark.

    That pretty much sums it up. But what makes such people’s delusions or idealism (or stupidity) about Obama even more puzzling — assuming such voters themselves aren’t ultra-liberals — is that, certainly in this age of the Internet, they could have easily found disreputable and non-reassuring information about Obama. It’s not like, say, 30, 70 or certainly 120 years ago when the average person faced a more difficult, lengthy time in uncovering facts and figures about topics, including those related to politicians and policies.

    Beyond that, I often point to the matter of Obama sitting in Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years and, worse of all, being so enamored of Wright to have made him a close adviser. That one — ONE — facet of Obama’s background speaks volumes about the guy. For various voters to have shrugged that matter off or, again, in this age of the Internet, to have been ignorant about it to begin with doesn’t reflect very well on them. But the former is way more inexcusable than the latter. IOW, people like Zuckerman knew full well about the “goddamn America” nature of Obama.

    Mark (411533)

  16. “He is complaining that a shark is acting like a shark.”

    Mark – It reminds me of Hillary Clinton’s phrase in discussing Iraq with Gen. Petraeus.

    To vote for Obama without understanding he was and would act like a radical lefty required a “willing suspension of disbelief.”

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  17. I try not to look a gift horse in the mouth. Both Zuckerman and Noonan have wide readership inside and outside the beltway. They both wrote in support of Obama prior to the 2008 election. Their recent pieces which have knocked the president fairly brutally have made it ever more acceptable for others to question and to criticize Barry far beyond “wingnut fauxy-fox” circles. The cumulative effect of the Zuckerman and Noonan pieces –and their TV appearances in which they’ve been highly critical of the Obama administration– has made it easier for (non-true believer) Obama voters to re access and admit he is not what they voted for, that they do not like the direction he is taking the country, and that they do not want him to be able to continue doing it for 4 more years. It’s easier for people to admit to themselves that they were snookered by a charlatan when they can see others more or less publicly admitting that they were, too.

    elissa (9de90e)

  18. Obama’s incompetency is an illusion,

    Have you lost it?

    Everything this man-child does screams “I don’t know what I’m doing!”

    Obama is a typical leftist, but saying he is a master liberal ideologue or an outright radical gives him far more credit than he deseves. The only thing he vaguely understands are Chicago machine tactics.

    His “leading from behind” strategy for everything tells us pretty clearly he doesn’t know how to lead. He has not made the effort to lay out a coherent agenda on anything.

    Many on the right think his actions prove he is a socialist run amuck, while the many on the left think he’s a sell out who compromises too much.

    It’s astonishing how both sides ignore the obvious truth: he is an affirmative action president giving an affirmative action performance. His previous record was almost non-existent. The only reason he got the nomination was because he was a charismatic “black” guy (actually he was a mullatto, but everyone overlooked the distinction). Had he been white, he would have been out in the first or second primary, treated as a non-entity by the media.

    Again, that’s not to say that Obama does not have far-left sympathies, but it’s incredibly naive to think that his incompetence has not played a vital role as well.

    Chris (b0fa47)

  19. I suspect Chris is a moby in a white sheet.

    Simon Jester (71c865)

  20. I would urge those looking at what Obama’s hardcore base will do to look instead at the effects on the margins, as that’s what I’m getting at when talking about Zuckerman, hipsters, and so on.

    In both 2008 and 2000, Dems had a 4-5% turnout advantage. Both times they got a popular vote majority, but not an electoral one in 2000.

    In 2004, despite a meh economy and an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq, Bush won a fairly narrow victory, largely because the GOP closed the turnout gap (Rove was right about that much).

    Oveall, the demographics of the voting pool have become marginally more favorable to the Dems, but the Emerging Democratic Majority-proponents are concerned about turnout. I was a bit skeptical of this a month ago, but the situation for Obama has deteriorated a bit in that time. After all, in 2000, Dems had roughly the sort of advantage they enjoyed in 2008 and still lost in the Electoral College. This year, they likely won’t have the economy working for them as they did in 2008 (and 2000, though it was deteriorating down the stretch). Team Obama is reportedly looking at 2004 as a model, but that is also a turnout driven way of approaching things. They likely believe that Bush won in 2004 by running down Kerry, when it was more likely driven by supporting the CinC in the first post 9/11 election. That consideration isn’t in play now.

    They can (and will) play on racial guilt/sympathy. But the black vote only increased from 11 to 13% from 2004 to 2008 and only swung from 88 to 95 percent Democratic. There’s probably not enough room for expansion there to make up for losses among larger demographics. The fact that Obama already made his big move on illegal immigration tells you how desperate he is to shore up Hispanic support far too early in the cycle. He was at 44% approval with Hispanics at Gallup last week. Even assuming he can pump himself back up to 67% of the Hispanic vote by November ’12 (an open question), that will still be merely a hold of 6-7% of the overall vote. The issue is where he makes up for some very obvious losses among the youth vote, the working- and middle-income voters, if overall Democrat enthusiasm remains somewhat depressed (I currently assume it will not remain in the basement, due to the fear factor). Dems probably need that 4-5% turnout advantage to be competitive; I’m not seeing how they hold it at the moment.

    Karl (37b303)

  21. “I would urge those looking at what Obama’s hardcore base will do to look instead at the effects on the margins, as that’s what I’m getting at when talking about Zuckerman, hipsters, and so on.”

    I’ll stop.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  22. I believe you are right, Simon.

    felipe (2ec14c)

  23. Note that Chris (18) really doesn’t refute that Obama and the Dems got much of their agenda passed. It could be argued that this was simply the product of the large Dem majorities in Congress. But Carter was frequently ineffectual because he fought or did not work well with such majorities. Obama worked with them, e.g., doing critical things like cutting deals (illusory as such deals my turn out to be) with the big insurance companies, PharmaCos, AMA, AARP, etc., while Pelosi and Reid coordinated the payoffs to recalcitrant caucus members to get ObamaCare done.

    Obama knew what he wanted to get done, and he got as much of it done as he could, given the constraints placed on him by the system. An incompetent ideologue would have pushed too hard on projects, only to see them fail. Obama didn’t do so. That doesn’t make him an incompetent ideologue; it akes him a competent one. If Chris thinks I am unaware that Obama was an empty suit as a candidate, he’s badly mistaken. But he has a record as president that shows him to be pretty capable of getting leftwing things done. As noted, that may not solve America’s real problems, but it doesn’t make him incompetent, merely an ideologue.

    Karl (37b303)

  24. daleyrocks,

    Don’t let me stop you. I enjoyed the heavy sarcasm. I was more addressing people who were seriously falling back into looking at the hardcore base.

    Karl (37b303)

  25. Also, I don’t know that Chris is a Moby. There are plenty of conservatives who simply cannot wrap their heads around the concept that Obama and those like him truly believe that their agenda will produce good results.

    Karl (37b303)

  26. “…like children to go to bed hungry…”

    Didn’t $10MM-Mooshelle say that childhood obesity is an epidemic?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  27. Karl #25:

    There are plenty of conservatives who simply cannot wrap their heads around the concept that Obama and those like him truly believe that their agenda will produce good results.

    I agree. It’s so much easier to label everyone who disagrees with you as fools or idiots. It also saves time and effort spent refuting their arguments.

    As for 2012, my hope is that more young voters will vote Republican or stay home. This election will determine their future. I hope they realize it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  28. Obama got obamacare passed, true. But that’s mainly because the massive disgust with republicans in 2008 gave him a broad mandate and an unusually left wing congress. Pelosi and Reid did most of the work there. And even then Obama sustained horrible damage doing so, dropping like a rock in the polls and suffering a massive defeat in the 2010 midterms.

    Chris (b0fa47)

  29. How is Obama to shore up his base when he’s got this going on….

    Qaddafi Regime Offered Kucinich All-Expense Paid Trip to Libya to Broker Peace
    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/08/26/qaddafi-regime-offered-kucinich-all-expense-paid-trip-to-libya-to-broker-peace/#ixzz1WG9hLMjF

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  30. I sorta disagree with you on a few things, with respect, Karl.

    First, while Obama is clearly an ideologue, he really shows no sign of understanding the minutia of policy. He wanted “healthcare reform” but really showed no interest in the details – often campaigning for the legislation in late ’09 with sound bites directly contradictory to the actual legislative details. Almost none of the legislation was written in the White House at all.

    Secondly, I find it hard to believe that Obama actually ever believed that the ACCA bill would in fact reduce costs for the government – the key “good result” that supposedly justified it. The CBO report signaled that clearly to anyone who wasn’t an utter moron. I think that Obama was pushing HCR legislation solely for the political gain of having “done” healthcare not for the self-delusion that the bill actually solved anything. Of course, I could be wrong.

    With the economy, Obama made a stupid bet. He bet in early ’09 that the economy would of its own momentum give us large growth rates by now. That bet was that he could pass a big faux stimulus payoff of pork and go push the HCR legislation and ignore the economy. That bet blew up on him and I think that the White House took many more months than the rest of us to realize that they had screwed up.

    Its my personal belief that the HCR legislation together with half-baked regulatory initiatives and the outright evil attack on oil companies post Deep Horizon are large contributors to the stagnant economy. But it will be years before we can clearly establish that. Now Obama is politically stuck with HCR legislation that is inhibiting economic recovery and that’s why he’s so petulant.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  31. 29…more…
    Will Dennis Kucinich be this generation’s Ramsey Clark?

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  32. SPQR, don’t forget FrankenDodd piled on top of the caustic mess called SarBox!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  33. AD, Sarbanes Oxley was a stupid piece of legislation with some very serious albeit largely unrecognized costs to the economy. But its mostly a drag on the performance of larger companies that don’t really create the bulk of jobs and economic growth during the recession recovery period.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  34. Obama did not get Obamacare passed. Leadership did (Reid, Pelosi, Hoyer). BHO displayed audacity rarely seen, but that is not the same thing as procuring votes in congress. It took unprecedented legerdemain and a fraudulent application of the rules of order to get this abomination to his desk.

    Ed from SFV (7d7851)

  35. Indeed, Ed, arguably the more that Obama campaigned for the legislation in late ’09 the worse it did in polling.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  36. Yes, but it effects smaller companies by imposing very onerous requirements on IPO’s, for instance.
    All-in-all, SarbOx, and now FrankenDodd, have really put a lid on economic risk, and without people engaged in risk, new economic formations don’t occur, thereby decreasing job formation, etc, etc, etc.

    It’s much easier to just pull in your horns, and Go Galt!, until the dust settles.
    The question is, will it take us a “Lost Decade” to sort things out – the Japanese are working on their second decade of their “Lost Decade”, you have to hope that we can do better (optimist-ed), but that all depends on what the voters do next year, it seems.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  37. “Don’t let me stop you. I enjoyed the heavy sarcasm.”

    Karl – What sarcasm?

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  38. ________________________________________________

    All-in-all, SarbOx, and now FrankenDodd, have really put a lid on economic risk

    But ‘ya gotta give the folks at the Justice Department, prodded by Obama’s Attorney General, credit for doing just the opposite of that. For doing their utmost to encourage (or actually force) the private sector to snap off that lid on economic risk.

    This report is about such an amazingly irresponsible, absurd and idiotic tactic and policy, I’m posting it again…

    Investor’s Business Daily, July 8, 2011

    In what could be a repeat of the easy-lending cycle that led to the housing crisis, the Justice Department has asked several banks to relax their mortgage underwriting standards and approve loans for minorities with poor credit as part of a new crackdown on alleged discrimination, according to court documents reviewed by IBD.

    Prosecutions have already generated more than $20 million in loan set-asides and other subsidies from banks that have settled out of court rather than battle the federal government and risk being branded racist…. Settlements include setting aside prime-rate mortgages for low-income blacks and Hispanics with blemished credit and even counting “public assistance” as valid income in mortgage applications.

    In several cases, the government has ordered bank defendants to post in all their branches and marketing materials a notice informing minority customers that they cannot be turned down for credit because they receive public aid, such as unemployment benefits, welfare payments or food stamps.

    For example, the government has ordered Midwest BankCentre to set aside almost $1 million in “special financing” for residents living in predominantly black areas of St. Louis. The program includes originating conventional home loans at fixed prime rates for African-American borrowers “who would ordinarily not qualify for such rates for reasons including the lack of required credit quality, income or down payment.”

    Such efforts risk recreating the government-imposed lax underwriting that led to the housing boom and bust, critics fear.

    “It’s absolutely outrageous after what we’ve just gone through,” said former Rep. Ernest Istook, a Heritage Foundation fellow. “How can someone both be financially stable enough to merit a mortgage at the same time they’re on public assistance? By definition, you don’t have the kind of employment that can support such a loan.”

    As part of settlement deals, prosecutors have required banks to sign “nondisclosure agreements” barring them from talking about the methods used to allege discrimination. Bank lawyers contend the prosecutors are trying to hide the shaky legal grounds on which the cases are built.

    “It’s horrible what they’re doing at the civil rights division,” said Reginald Brown, a partner at Wilmer Hale in Washington, who has represented banks in connection to recent race-bias investigations. “They don’t have any proof, just theories.”

    One such theory — “disparate impact” — holds that merely a difference in loan application outcomes is enough to prove racial discrimination — even if no intent exists on the part of loan officers to contrast based on the color of applicants, and even legitimate business factors — such as credit scores and down payments — help explain disparities in loan outcomes between white and black applicants.

    Mark (411533)

  39. _______________________________________________

    There are plenty of conservatives who simply cannot wrap their heads around the concept that Obama and those like him truly believe that their agenda will produce good results.

    “Good results,” but as defined, twisted and corrupted by a mentality that happily bought into the rhetoric of Jeremiah Wright.

    Not too different from a relative of mine who’s of the left, who I recall on the morning of 9-11 treating a major act of murder as though she were a rubbernecker passing by a bloody auto accident on the side of the freeway. I recall a sickening form of cheap thrills coming out of her. I recall her excitedly calling up a friend (also of the left) and talking to him almost giddily, as though she were recounting the exciting scene of an action movie. Or probably a reaction not too different from what I bet came out of Obama’s former reverend on that fateful day in 2001.

    Or sort of a variation of this…

    Foxnews.com, November 6, 2009:

    How a president responds to a crisis defines him. [W]hen it came to the Ft. Hood shootings, [Obama] twice gave the incident a limited response, devoting little more than 4 minutes over two separate appearances to the 13 dead and 30 wounded.

    In the Tiller case, the president was “shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning.” In the case of the museum attack, Obama was “shocked and saddened by today’s shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum.”

    But when it came to the horrendous Ft. Hood shootings, the term “shocked” was nowhere to be found. Instead, the initial response was shoehorned into comments he made opening the White House Tribal Nations Conference. First there were a couple applause lines to Native Americans and Obama’s “shout out to that Congressional Medal of Honor winner,” who appears not to have won the medal. (Joe Medicine Crow won the Medal of Freedom — the nation’s highest civilian honor.)

    Then the president addressed the shooting. While he called the incident “horrible” and a “tragedy” and urged “prayers,” the response seemed understated compared to the other incidents.

    Two minutes and 39 seconds later he was done and without even taking a breath back to talking about the Native American event.

    Mark (411533)

  40. I agree with Karl that these discussions of competency are just silly and as I said above I believe the real issue for Obama remains one of simple messaging. He and his spokespeople need to get out there in front of the American people more often and tell the truth about his record of accomplishments and plans for the future. A competent spokesperson such as Joy Behar instead of this bumbling idiot Carney would do wonders for his ratings.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  41. daley is channelling his inner sparticvs.

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)

  42. I confess, it seems the only political group currently enjoying any success at creating enthusiasm in the electorate would appear to be the teabaggers. Fortunately, as every poll indicates – support for the teabaggers is vastly outnumbered by those who, even if they can’t seem to drum up enthusiasm for much else, are able to generate the enthusiasm to rid the body politic of this latest scourge. So it’s going to be the 27% against everyone else. Good times.

    Spartacvs (1eef6d)

  43. How do our nuts taste, you hate-filled liar?

    JD (318f81)

  44. “support for the teabaggers is vastly outnumbered by those who, even if they can’t seem to drum up enthusiasm for much else, are able to generate the enthusiasm to rid the body politic of this latest scourge.”

    Sparticvs – Negative campaigning and dirty tricks are two of Obama’s strengths. This is no time for him to experiment or try to teach an old dog new tricks. He needs to go with what he knows. Scare people and smear his opponents. It got him to the White House in 2008 and he’s got the best smear artists in the business working for him.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  45. You’re absolutely right, daleyrocks #40. President Obama needs to repeat his message over and over and over to the American people.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  46. Obama sucks ass at being president. He has no feel for it. He’s a small man possessed of only a feigned dignity, not the for reals kind. He is ungracious, and he is a coward. That’s the crisis of incompetence people are noticing.

    happyfeet (3c92a1)

  47. sporty, his string pullers and the hapless media have the Tea Party confused with the religious right. They think conflating the two is a good strategy, but they are not the same thing. However, I am quite happy to see them continue this “winning” plan.

    Ag80 (9a213d)

  48. Ag – Agreed. That particular message did not work so well for them in 2010. But like a good little secprogg, they just think they did not try it hard enough.

    JD (318f81)

  49. Whatever limitations or weaknesses president Obama may be laboring under, they pale into insignificance beside the epic fail of the tea bagger movement. The electorate knows this and the results won’t be pretty for the tea baggers and all who seek to gain national office by pandering to them.

    Spartacvs (d41c5c)

  50. “President Obama needs to repeat his message over and over and over to the American people.”

    DRJ – GMTA. Absolutely. The more often he tells the American public the truth about his record and accomplishments the better. Voters are just misinformed right now.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  51. Interesting theme, Spartacvs, to demonize every American who disagrees with President Obama. I hope Obama runs with it.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  52. sporty: What an odd statement, but whatever floats your boat.

    Ag80 (9a213d)

  53. If spartacvs did not have hatred and dishonesty, all he would be left with is his stupidity.

    JD (318f81)

  54. Summon the withering judge line from “Billy Madison”

    ian cormac (4e0dda)

  55. Principal: Mr. Madison, what you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.
    Billy Madison: Okay, a simple “wrong” would’ve done just fine.

    JD (318f81)

  56. Speaking of “epic fails,” Fificvs, how is your knowledge of American history and economics going? I mean, since you are so smart and all?

    Simon Jester (71c865)

  57. All Sparticles has are ad homs

    Icy Texan (a14dff)

  58. And the sad and pathetic part of it, DRJ, is that Fificvs could not clearly describe BHO’s policies. That’s not why he is posting.

    Simon Jester (71c865)

  59. Also, isn’t it pudding level delicious to hear Fificvs accuse other people of “pandering”?

    Simon Jester (71c865)

  60. “they pale into insignificance beside the epic fail of the tea bagger movement.”

    Sparticvs – Obama should absolutely run on the demonization of the Tea Party movement, who he claims thwarted him on his grand compromise for fiscal responsibility and reasonableness. It is the only correct path for him to take. Fear and smear is the only way for him to go. We are in complete agreement.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  61. THanks JD, sometimes the simple ‘Argument Clinic’ suffices, but one needs something more bracing on occasion. One wonders if the Journolist are generally as illinformed as they appear. or are they just pulling a Bialystok act ‘a scam like in the Producers’ to satisfy their fans

    ian cormac (4e0dda)

  62. SpartacBS knows about teabagging since Janeane Godawfulman teabags him at his every beck and whim.

    DohBiden (d54602)

  63. Whatever limitations or weaknesses president Obama may be laboring under

    “laboring”??? The King of Vacay? Mr. Travelocity???

    ColonelHaiku (0ab8c6)

  64. “they pale into insignificance beside the epic fail of the tea bagger movement.”

    Seriously? If Spartacvs and the left are still agitating about the Tea Party (see: Maxine Waters), there is a very good reason why – and it has nothing to do with an epic fail.

    Dana (4eca6e)

  65. They are very good at blowing smoke out their stacks.
    Actually accomplishing something: Not so much!

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (3370e1)


  66. Obama’s incompetency is an illusion

    No, that, too, is a feature.

    Smock Puppet, Facepalm Expert (c9dcd8)

  67. Urkel has so crapped the bed no Dimmi wants the 2012 laurels, let alone the fight.

    gary gulrud (790d43)

  68. “I confess, it seems the only political group currently enjoying any success at creating enthusiasm in the electorate would appear to be the teabaggers.”
    I confess that it’s difficult to find a human being who displays such a colossal level of sheer, jaw dropping stupidity, ignorance, and pathetic attention whoring like the sexless loser Spartacus whose only satisfaction in life seems to come from putting their idiocy on display on a regular basis in order to garner attention. Answer the simple question: What do YOU do for a living?

    SPC Jack Klompus (07a5ab)

  69. @ my fellow SP4: what makes you think he makes a living?

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  70. Oops, this can’t be right…

    “…‘If the election were next Tuesday he’d lose. That’s how bad it is,’ said a Democratic strategist…
    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/178515-for-obama-more-storms-on-the-horizon

    Another Drew - Restore the Republic / Obama Sucks! (69a267)

  71. _______________________________________________

    Obama backer Mort Zuckerman has complained about Obama a number of times before.

    A posting at a mostly liberal website and from a person — owner of a business involved in consultations and international relations — who reminds me of someone like Zuckerman (ie, ideologically schizophrenic) makes some interesting points. On one hand, he snipes at former French president Jacques Chirac for having made a comment of a rightist nature, and on the other hand he points out the foolishness of big-government liberalism during a major recession.

    Huffingpost.com, Felix Marquardt, August 29, 2011:

    As an American, I’ve regularly had to deal with — often condescending, if not disparaging — comments from foreigners, especially Europeans, about my country’s presidential contest: the obnoxious/vacuous nature of the debate preceding it, the shocking lack of worldliness of the candidates, the binary nature of their morals and worldview, etc. My turn — for once, I’ll take the liberty of doing the same with my country of adoption and give (whoever might be interested) my take on France and where it’s heading, just as the French presidential contest gets into full gear.

    …Paris just wasn’t “where the world was at” anymore. Worse, in the years that followed, I was appalled to see that the growing unpopularity of the US was almost, though never quite, matched by the impatience I saw in many of my foreign interlocutors’ eyes when I referred to my home country, or anything French for that matter. [But] once again, it’s good to say, “I’m from France.”

    …This is great news in a nation that managed to live in quasi-autarky, politically and intellectually, for 26 years, first under François Mitterrand, a high-official decorated by Petain who managed to persuade the French he was a socialist, then under Jacques Chirac, a pseudo-serious conservative demagogue…. Just remember that in 2004, Chirac actually uttered the following sentence not just in public but as part of an actual speech: “The ills caused by liberalism could be equal to those of communism” in the 20th century.

    [France’s] new popularity might also relate to good old hard power…. President Obama now scrambles to benefit from his belated support to the rebels in Benghazi, let us not forget it was the French above and before all others who had to literally drag the US into supporting the Libyan opposition forces.

    In the wake of Fukushima, a pragmatic nuclear policy has also allowed France, thanks to a national security policy inherited from de Gaulle in the 1960s, to give the country more weight when speaking with the Russians about pretty much anything, than, say, Germany, and its dramatic dependence on Russian gas and oil….

    …Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba from the University of Salamanca, and Timothy J. Kehoe from the University of Minnesota, analyzed countries that experienced great depressions during the 20th century. Their main conclusion? That massive government intervention in the economy to maintain employment and investment during a financial crisis can, if it distorts incentives enough, lead to… a great depression.

    To be sure, a country with a history of mediocre growth, high unemployment, and aversion to risk (most young French people dream of becoming civil servants) which suffers only slightly less than others when disaster strikes can hardly be seen as exemplar. Whatever the reasons for the renewed popularity of the French model, if there is such a thing, bridging the gap between perceptions and reality will prove a daunting task.

    ^ I can easily see Marquardt as being the type who’s sensible when he has to be, but who also will enter the voting booth on election day and — because of his probably buying into the notion that liberalism is for big-hearted, sophisticated people — select foolish politicians (eg, Obama), foolish policies. IOW, he’d be like Mortimer Zuckerman in 2008, if not 2012.

    Mark (31bbb6)

  72. Yikes, the cognitive dissonance in that piece, not too mention errors of simple fact, are striking in that piece, Mitterand was a one time
    Vichy sympathizer, who had contactswith big wig
    Rene Bousquet, Chirac is more a crony capitalist, which is why he is on trial, back in France now

    ian cormac (996c34)


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