Dumb quotes of the day

>> Wednesday, December 08, 2010

"I understand the desire for a fight. I'm sympathetic to that," [President Obama] says, but "it would be a bad deal for the economy" and for the American people.


"I've just gone through two years where the rap on me was that I was too stubborn," [President Obama] replies to Chuck Todd's followup about whether he gave up too much ground early in the negotiations.


Obama: "I will take John Boehner at his word that nobody, Democrat or Republican, is willing to see the full faith and credit of the United States government collapse. That would not be a good thing to happen."


But Boehner "is going to have responsibilities to govern" once he's sworn in as Speaker of the House, Obama remarks.


Over the next two years, they [Republicans] are going to have to show me what it is that they can do. I think it becomes pretty clear when you go through the budget line by line that if in fact they want to pay for $700 billion in tax breaks to wealthy individuals, that's a lot of money.

"Either they're going to have to rethink their position of I dont [sic] think they're going to do very well in 2012," Obama warns.


Obama closing with some visible irritation: "I've got a whole bunch of lines in the sand."

"This is the public option debate all over again. "He also notes Democratic victories on health care, "something that Democrats have been fighting for for 100 years."

If compromise is unacceptable, "we will never get anything done," he says heatedly.

"We will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctiminoious [sic] about how pure our intentions are" but the American people will still be suffering. "That cannot be the measure of what it is to be a Democrat."

Yeah, well I'm not a Democrat, Mr. President, I'm a progressive and leftist who voted for you with the expectation you wouldn't roll over on your supporters.

And fucking hell, sir, if you don't want my vote maybe you ought to just go ahead and tell me. Just come out and fucking say it: "I don't care if any of my former supporters vote for me." Because--I never thought I'd say this--because if this is the kind of performance we can continue to expect, I might as well vote for a Green candidate in 2012 like I did in 2000, because my vote will be no more wasted than my 2008 vote may have been if this is the way it's going to be.

Mr. President, have you been paying attention? At all? The only people who have been giving you the rap that you've been too stubborn are the Republicans who have vowed to make you a one-term president. The same people you're claiming are going to have responsibilities to govern, even though they have made it perfectly clear that they're willing to let the country go to hell on a rail if it will allow them to cling to power. They said they wanted healthcare reform to be your Waterloo, they indicated a willingness to shut down the government, they have threatened to burden you with subpoenas to prove your citizenship and whatever other horseshit they can dream up, they say (again) they want you out in 2012: why the fuck won't you take their word for that? Responsibility to govern? It is entirely to their advantage to shirk the responsibility and then claim it was your fault for being too stubborn, too liberal, too ivory-tower, too, too, too whatever and they'll bring things to order with their "commonsense" approach to running the government as a business.

And do you know how they're going to balance the budget with their tax breaks for the rich? Surely you do, because they've been saying for years, for decades, they want to "starve the beast". "Starve the beast." They're not going to suddenly realize they can't have runaway military spending and tax cuts for corporations and billionaires, no, no, no, they're going to announce what they already take as a matter of faith in their flinty little hearts: that you can't have tax cuts and Social Security, tax cuts and school lunches, tax cuts and National Parks, tax cuts and environmental regulatory enforcement, tax cuts and a National Endowment For The Arts, tax cuts and disease-prevention programs for foreign countries, tax cuts and unemployment benefits--and they've made it clear time and time and time again what they will choose when they have a "tough choice" between lower taxes and funding anything the government of a modern, First World nation ought to be funding. It's not a tough choice for them at all. They take it as an article of faith that the government that governs best governs least, and therefore the government that doesn't govern at all is the bee's knees--unless it's policing what happens in somebody's bedroom (that's different, that's what God wants).

And they've only been saying this for more than half your entire life, Mr. President--why don't you take them at their fucking word for it?

Their word is that they hate you, they want you to fail, they want your programs to fail, a bunch of them don't even think you were eligible to be President of the United States--maybe you should take them at their word.

And those of us who voted for you in 2008 wanted you to lead, wanted you to show a fucking spine. What we wanted, in terms of negotiation, was for you to go in like a lawyer, like a political broker reared in the smoke-filled-blood-on-the-floor backrooms of Chi-Town, like the charismatic hotshot junior Senator who outdanced the Clintons in the '08 primaries, and we expected you to deal but we also expected that when the other side showed their teeth you'd knock them out of their fucking mouths because we thought you weren't just calm and brainy--we thought you were tough and smart (and the fact you probably don't know the difference might be why I want to fucking weep right now, I shit you not, Mr. President, I am mad enough with impotent rage to ball my fists up in my eyes and scream like a baby).

Well, fine. It is what it is. If there was a God, maybe He'd have mercy on us, but there isn't so He won't, and I guess it's all over but sifting through the rubble when the Republicans are finished with you, Mr. President.


Seth Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 1:31:00 AM EST  

Yep. Got into with somebody the other day about whether Obama ran as a progressive or not. The other person claimed he didn't. I think that's really going out of your way not to notice the way he sold himself.

But fuck it. I've had similar thoughts about voting Green again -- or even Libertarian, given the President's pretty mediocre civil liberties record.... I'm not in a swing state. Why NOT register a protest vote?

Leanright,  Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 8:41:00 PM EST  

A). Eric, you and I are on the opposite ends of the political bell curve. We are both men of intelligence (stop laughing Janiece), therefore we both understand that politicians play to the middle at a difficult time during their tenure. I respect that you REALLY believe that Obama would be different, but, REALLY? Did you believe he would be different?

B). Why would you be surprise that the right would hold out for an extension of tax cuts for ALL classes of American citizent? I hear this time and time again from my liberal friends; that the right just want Obama to "look bad", Really? Like across the board tax-cuts are a NEW idea for us conservatives and we only desire them to spite Obama? Nice try.

Here is the hope you can "hope" for: The Wealthy, as liberals call them (over 250k per year), will see this as the governments calling to expand their businesses, use the extra money to hire another, ie; assembler, receptionist, salesperson, etc....and expand the economy that way.

This was a negotiation, and I commend the President for having the balls to compromise with the other side. Something Clinton was good at. I hope Mr. Obama was right, because, if I'm sitting here at my desk in my office in 2012, and my income is up and unemployment is below 9%, I may be inclined to actually consider voting for him. (Let's not get carried away).

Eric Wednesday, December 8, 2010 at 9:58:00 PM EST  

Gee, Dave, and Bob Cesca almost had me thinking I was being too hard on the President. If he's making you happy, I definitely have to wonder what I saw in him.

Seth Thursday, December 9, 2010 at 11:34:00 AM EST  

Leanright -- that's fine, and I "hope" you're right. But two things, here.

First, many Republicans, especially of the Tea Party variety, screamed blue murder about the stimulus bill, which included hefty tax breaks for small businesses. What happened there? Why no support?

And second, the Republican talking point for weeks now has been that the deficit is the Worst Thing In The Universe -- that it will eat your children's future and put us all in bondage to the thrifty Chinese forever more. So why do they want to extend tax cuts that have been responsible for more than 20% of the deficit since they were inaugurated?

Pre-Reagan conservatives were not obsessed with the idea that tax cuts would necessarily boost the economy, and they certainly understood that tax cuts, when you're already in deficit conditions, do not reduce the deficit.

Personally, I'm not that bothered by deficit spending right now. The best possible time to do deficit spending is in a recession, because interest rates are at the floor, so you get the best possible bang for your buck. But Republican leaders have been all over the media decrying the deficit. They're going to have to choose one: raising taxes or living with deficit spending.

As for Obama's ability to compromise -- that ability is useless when the other side is not engaged in good faith negotiation. Here was President Obama compromising:

Pres: "Hey guys, let's come to some kind of agreement about tax cuts and not drag people's unemployment insurance into it."

Republican leaders: "No."

Pres: "Oh. How about we do everything your way, then?"

Republican leaders: "That's better."

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