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Michael Gerson: Obama remains buoyant despite his poor record

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  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 8, 2011 11:45 a.m.

    Re: "Your unsupported assertion that his 3 points have never worked is not really supported by history. Please do a little more research."

    I could say the same.

    Clinton's "economic success" was due entirely to being elected during the Reagan prosperity years and in having a limiting, less fiscally liberal Congress to deal with.

    We narrowly avoided his HillaryCare economic meltdown, as big or bigger than ObamaCare, because cooler, smarter heads prevailed, snatching defeat from the jaws of radical socialist victory. But his unprecedented tax hikes were having their predictable liberal effect on a flagging economy by the end of his terms.

    And, of course, his plutocratic, politically targeted regulatory "reform" was the real cause of the banking meltdown.

    A more valid comparison would be to Jimmy Carter, who made a bad economic situation incalculably worse by forcing tax increases and infrastructure "investments" on a shaky economy, alienating real Americans by appeasing to his liberal base in a pathetically unsuccessful attempt at re-election.

    At least Carter didn't double down on a dizzyingly burdensome new regulatory power grab.

  • Salsero Provo, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:49 p.m.

    Republicans don't want to select a nominee who can be President. They only want someone who can beat up on Barack Obama, bloody him, and leave him broken. So what do they do to cap this clown show? They bring out Newt Gingrich who possesses all of the moral negatives they denounce because he is a shoot-from-the-hip mauler they hope will be able to do the job.

    The fallacy of "Obama's failure" was set in place even before he assumed office. The Rush Limbaugh declaration that Republicans make Obama a failure erupted in the guise of the Tea Party to shut down government until they could regain control of the White House.

    The core extremists of the Republican Party are still fighting the 2008 election through a myopic insistance that Obama is not a "real American", he is illegitimate and in violation of the Constitutional requirements for the office, he is a failure, and subject to any number of discredited wingnut talking points.

    However, the Republicans appear to be stumbling over themselves to give Obama a second term. They are much more interested in a destructive fight than trying to provide a realistic, conservative alternative.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:49 p.m.

    procuradorfiscal

    President Obama's remarks were basically a restatement of the policy of a famous Republican President. His name was Teddy Roosevelt. Your unsupported assertion that his 3 points have never worked is not really supported by history. Please do a little more research. For example, look at the economic success during the Clinton Administration when taxes were higher. What does't work is the all to convenient theory of "supply side economics" sometimes called "trickle down", which has been promoted to support a foolish notion that the best way to overall prosperity is to make the rich richer.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:02 p.m.

    Obama's record isn't nearly as bad as people want to believe.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:50 p.m.

    Re: procuradorfiscal - 4:24 p.m. Tooele, UT
    I gotta admit -- it was a good speech. It laid out the best case that can be made for the flawed marxist theory of history and the inevitability of communitarian socialism.

    Reply: I'm confused. Why do you put down your leader?. Did Glenn Beck tell you that?. The pot calling the kettle black?. From 1874 to 1879, non-Mormon politicians from the Liberal Party of Utah gained control of Tooele County, Population 40,735. Does Tooele, UT really love Obama?. President Barack Obama plans to step up the pressure issued at 3:30 PM Salt Lake and Tooele Valleys, UT. President Barack Obama is telling Congress: "Keep your word to the American people and don't raise taxes on them right now." He's pressuring Republicans to extend a payroll tax cuts, saying middle class families need the money. The White House says taxes on the average family would increase by $1,000 if the cuts aren't extended. Some Republicans in Congress support the extension, but there's no agreement on how to pay for it. Who sells Pillow Pets in Tooele, Utah? Where in Tooele utah is hiring 16 year olds?.


    My views.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 4:24 p.m.

    Re: "Obama remains buoyant despite his poor record"

    And it's reflected in his speech in Osawatomie, KS.

    I gotta admit -- it was a good speech. It laid out the best case that can be made for the flawed marxist theory of history and the inevitability of communitarian socialism.

    The problem with both the speech -- and with liberalism, in general -- though buoyant and moving, it's all disingenuous.

    His three points -- (1) raise taxes and soak the rich, (2) increase government regulation and trade union control over the economy, and (3) government takeover of education and infrastructure, will not -- cannot -- accomplish his stated goal of making America more free, fair, and prosperous.

    It has failed EVERY time it's been tried.

    He can't even call taxing, spending, and regulating what they are, resorting to tired liberal euphemisms like "fair share," "investment," and "consumer protection."

    I wish I could believe the President -- but I can't. He just has too long a history of intentional obfuscation and contumacious prevarication.

    In other words -- he's too good a liberal to believe anything he says.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 7, 2011 3:16 p.m.

    Obama's bouyancy is in the same nature as whistling pass the graveyard

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 2:35 p.m.

    Mountanman: Most of the "Obama" failures you suggest were actually created during the Bush years and before. Like most right wing ditto-heads you are a master of blame transference. Get away from Fox news for awhile and think for yourself.

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:08 p.m.

    Please ignore my previous post, somehow I lost a section of the text through quirky word processing behavior.

    The text was to continue, " . . . Jerry Sandusky and not cheating on two of his wives during his political career, particulary wife #2 during the years he was hounding Bill Clinton for his marital infidelity. Even Michelle Bachmann says that he is "corrupt and despicable" which is even worse than she says about Barack Obama . . . "

  • Mad Hatter Provo, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 12:02 p.m.

    You would too considering that Newt Gingrich is the Jerry Sandusky of the Republican Party today. He can't even , and she wasn't talking about his cheating on two wives in service to his country. Just think, if he were to become president, wife three would have to make space for Affair #3.

    As for Mitt Romney, it appears that no one likes him. He can't even get over 25% acceptability within his own Party.

  • Brother Chuck Schroeder A Tropical Paradise USA, FL
    Dec. 7, 2011 10:01 a.m.

    Middle-class Americans believe their country is on the wrong track, exceeds those who think it on the right track, all caused by Wall Street, K Street and the Koch Brother's Crony capitalism that is the dark side of American politics and economics. The level of corruption in Washington is staggering, growing, and rife in both parties. Congress dispense billions of dollars of favors to political supporters like a non-stop vending machine. Congressional insider trading and stimulus corruption, the phrase "crony capitalism" is getting noticed. If you are a member of Congress and you sit on the defense committee, you are free to trade defense stock as much as you want to. If you're on the Senate banking committee you can trade bank stock as much as you want, and that regularly goes on in all these committees. Right Sen. Hatch?. No shortages of Tea-Party-opinions on the topic and no one correct answer, the GOP don't tend to lean toward full disclosure of conflicts, caused by relationships between politicians and on-air reporters, just lies, sound bites and half truth's, to-cover-up the fact's and real truth, that their Party is crooked as a $3-bill.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:46 a.m.

    Response from Republicans?

    139 Senate filibusters. Almost DOUBLE from when Democrats were in power.

    *'Republicans bail on budget talks, blame Democrats' - By David Espo - AP - Published by DSNews - 06/23/11

    Result?

    *'S&P warns it may downgrade U.S. credit rating' - By Martin Crutsinger - AP - Published by DSNews - 07/15/11

    Credit downgrade.

    And:

    *'Dow average plunges 513, worst drop since 2008' - By David K. Randall - AP - Published by DSNews - 08/04/11

    Continuing obstruction:

    *Senate Republicans likely to kill Obama jobs bill By Andrew Taylor AP Published by DSNews 10/11/11

    Republicans on Foreign affairs?

    9/11 and...

    "The Iraqi regime . . . possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons.' - George W. Bush - Ohio Speech 10/7/2002

    *'US gives up search for Iraq WMD' - BBC News - 01/12/05

    Result?

    *'U.S. Military deaths in Iraq war at 4,485 - AP - Published by the DSNews - 11/22/2011

    Whereas with Obama:

    *'Obama announces total Iraq troop withdrawal' - By Ben Feller - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/21/2011

    Total troop withdrawl, from Iraq.

    I know where my support goes.

    And it's NOT to the Republican party.

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:42 a.m.

    Reversed the Bush-era practice of politicizing Justice Department investigations and prosecutions against political opponents (2009)

    Signed an extension of the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Bill to provide federal research and support for treating the disease (2009)

    Provided increased school projects for Indian lands and increased funds for the Indian Health Service (2009)

    Increased funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (2010)

    Signed Executive Order to promote the federal government as a model employer when it comes to hiring the disabled (2010)

    Elena Kagen appointed to Supreme Court (2010)

    Authorized construction funds for high-speed, broadband Internet access in K-12 public schools (2009)

    Launched Educate to Innovate, a public/private partnership making $236 million available for science, mathematics, and technology education programs (2009)

    Demonstrated an immediate and efficient response to the floods in North Dakota and other natural disasters (2009)

    Ordered that funds be released and red tape be streamlined for the ongoing Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in the Gulf Coast (2009)

    - Established an emergency Haiti Task Force in the State Department

    - Dispatched the US Navy floating hospital (USNS Comfort) and, within 5 days

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:39 a.m.

    Stimulus alone: 1.0-2.9 million Fulltime jobs: 1-4 million.
    Source? Congressional Budget Office (CBO) - 09/08/2011

    Other benifits of Obama:

    Ordered the Pentagon to cover expenses of families of fallen soldiers if they wish to be on site when the body arrives back in the US (2009)

    Ended the Bush-era blackout imposed on media coverage of the return of fallen US soldiers (2009)

    Ordered better body armor to be procured for US troops (2009)

    Funding new Mine Resistant Ambush Vehicles (2009

    Working to increase pay and benefits for military personnel (2009)

    Improving housing for military personnel (2009)

    Initiating a new policy to promote federal hiring of military spouses (2009)

    Authorized construction of additional health centers to care for veterans (2009)

    New GI Bill for returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan (2009)

    Eliminated co-payments for veterans who are catastrophically disabled (2010)

    Instituted enforcements for equal pay for women (Lilly Ledbetter Bill) (2009)

    Appointed Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina, to the Supreme Court (2009)

    Signed the first major piece of federal gay rights legislation that includes acts of violence against gays under the list of federal hate crimes (2009)

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:35 a.m.

    'But in light of objective conditions, Obama should be more vulnerable. Health care reform, his signature presidential achievement, is durably unpopular. Economic growth under Obama has only slightly exceeded the average of the 1930s. Chronic unemployment and housing market declines are at their worst levels since the Great Depression. The number of people in poverty has increased at a record rate. Federal spending and debt are at their highest share of the economy since World War II. America's credit rating has been downgraded for the first time in our history.' - Article

    Selective.

    And Propaganda.

    Promise:
    *'Obama HRC Speech: "I Will End Don't Ask, Don't Tell," Says President Obama' - By CHRISTINE SIMMONS - Huffington Post - 10/10/09

    Delivery:
    *'Obama signs 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal' - By Pauline Jelinek - AP - Published by DSnews - 12/22/10

    Promise:
    *'Obama to pull combat troops from Iraq by August 2010' - CNN - 02/26/09

    Delivery:
    *'Last U.S. combat brigade leaves Iraq' - By Rebecca Santana - AP - Published by DSNews - 08/19/10

    And:

    *'Osama bin Laden Killed: 'Justice Is Done,' President Says' - By DEAN SCHABNER - ABC News - 05/01/2011

    *'We have been waiting for this moment': Libya confirms Gadhafi is dead' - MSNBC - 10/11

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:21 a.m.

    Ah yes our dear leader has his head in the clouds because he's in over his head. You see, his only qualification for his job was as a community organizer, along the lines of Saul Alinsky. We definately paid for what we got with this President.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:07 a.m.

    Redshirt1701, the media writes mostly positive things about Obama? What planet are you living on? A visceral hatred for the President can't cover up the fiction being spouted.

  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 9:04 a.m.

    To Mountanman:

    Here I will also help you out. Obama's record continued:

    #11: The value of my car consistently decreases each year as it gets older.
    #12: My cat penelope died and I've seen other cats in the neighborhood have passed away on Obama's watch.
    #13: I was denied credit for the first time in the history of my life, thanks a lot Obama.
    #14: My lawnmower is still broken, what's going on Obama?
    #15: Gay marriage? Get on it Obama.
    #16: The internet keeps giving my computer viruses. Keep those computer immigrants out! Thanks for everything Obama.

    Hope this helps.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:41 a.m.

    @redshirt1701
    "and the recession that began in 2000, before Bush was in office."

    So Obama is only cleaning up the mess left by Bush. After all, Obama inherited a -700k jobs/month rate, within a year was back to growth and now has 22 straight months of gains.

    @mountainman
    1. He's offered 3-4 trillion dollar deficit reduction deals.
    2. The month the stimulus passed we lost 600k jobs. Obviously we were going to still be losing jobs even if the stimulus created 100k each of the next 20 months. I think what's noticable is that within a year of the stimulus passing we went from -600k jobs/month being lost to job gains.
    3. Where's Boehner's jobs bill to help address that?
    4. Due to lack of spending cuts (maybe Dems fault though they offered trillions), lack of tax increases (Republicans fault), and brinksmanship (Bachmann et al.)
    5. No surprise; republicans oppose every jobs bill.
    6. Cost minimal compared to the other wars.
    7. Debated for almost a year is not a ramming.
    8. Romney wants it to fall more.
    9-10. Overall inflation is low. You literally are blaming Obama for houses costing less and food costing more.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:19 a.m.

    To "Esquire | 7:48 a.m." if Obama doesn't have a poor record, how do you explain the fact that despite the fact that most news agencies only write positive stories about Obama, his approval rating is down to Jimmy Carter levels.

    You also forget that the Republicans were only cleaning up the mess left by Clinton. You know, the terrorist organizations that were allowed to run around freely, and the recession that began in 2000, before Bush was in office.

    We need government to stop trying to "fix" anything. They usually cause more damage trying to fix something than would have occured without the fix.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:16 a.m.

    So just why aren't Huckebee, Daniels, and Christie, running. Public reasons aside, if the President were really this vulnerable one of them would surely swoop in and rush to the white house. Maybe they know something the right aplogists aren't willing to acknowledge..Obamas record isn't really as weak as you pretend, and this isn't a cake walk.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:06 a.m.

    Obama's record:
    #1: A $15 trillion national debt and growing at the rate of about $4 billion/ day with no end in sight.
    #2: Wasted nearly a trillion taxpayer dollars on the greatest financial debacle in the history of the world-"stimulus package." Which caused unemployment to increase, not decrease as he promised.
    #3: 44 million Americans on food stamps, the most in the history, with no end in sight.
    #4: For the first time in our history, America's credit rating was downgraded.
    #5: Consumer confidence at the lowest level since the 1920's.
    #6: Another unfunding and expensive war in Libya.
    #7: Passed Obamacare in the dead of night and behind closed doors and rammed it down the throats of America. Over half the states have filed lawsuits against Obamacare, so far.
    #8: The value of your home continues to decrease with no end is sight.
    #9: The value of the US dollar has lost nearly 30% of its purchasing power during Obama's watch.
    #10: Double digit inflation of food and energy prices with no end in sight. Time for Obama to go before he and the Democrats completely destroy this country!

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 8:04 a.m.

    The people don't like Obama or Democrats... but they like Republicans even less. In 2010 Republians could avoid much scrutiny because they were the minority party. Now that they have the House they get more blame for things not going right and overall people seem to like what the Senate is doing more than the House.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    Dec. 7, 2011 7:48 a.m.

    The thing is, Obama doesn't have a poor record. When the Republicans have been unable to stop him, there have been some awesome accomplishments on a wide variety of initiatives. And even with the Republicans fighting him every step of the way, even willing to destroy the nation to get their way, he has made progress in cleaning up the disasterous mess made by the Republicans.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    Dec. 7, 2011 6:51 a.m.

    Republican claims against Obama are baseless. He has lowered your taxes and is about as socialist as Regan. The republican core will never believe but the republican core is probably 50 million people out of 300 million people in the US.

  • Mike in Cedar City Cedar City, Utah
    Dec. 7, 2011 5:13 a.m.

    Bring on Gingrich! It's no wonder that "Obama remains buoyant"! the Republicans consistently demonstrate that they won't nominate any rational candidate, especially if he is LDS. So they turn finally to a thoroughly discredited political loose canon. Watching the Republican presidential nomination circus transpire this year has given tremendous aid and comfort to Obama in particular and the Democrats in general.

    But the notion that Mr. Obama has a "poor record" is a right wing sponsored label pasted upon him by Republican partisans that wanted him to fail from even before he took office. These right wing reactionaries have done everything they possible to limit or discredit his accomplishments.

    I suggest that the author reconsider this President's real record. Start with a review of his foreign policy and his record on national security. The oft told sophistry that Obama has a "poor record" is a poster child for the "big lie" that once repeated loud and long enough, fools many. This editorial is just one more ditto-head voice pushing that right wing biased political agenda.