Kathleen Parker: Obama expressed himself but he failed to listen

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  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 7, 2010 11:37 a.m.

    In the fall of 2008 as the economy tumbled precipitously under President George W. Bush's watch, Congress authorized the Treasury Department to spend $700 billion in a financial rescue plan called the Troubled Asset Relief Program. (TARP's spending cap shrank this summer to $475 billion as a result of financial reform.) TARP's largest programs included capital injections into banks, loans to the auto industry, direct support to AIG and the government's foreclosure relief efforts, mainly the mortgage modification program. Shortly after TARP, Congress passed a separate housing bill that authorized the rescue of the quasi-governmental housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

    The Treasury has doled out more than $548 billion. Almost half of that -- $238 billion -- has been repaid to the government via interest, dividends, fees or repurchased stock warrants.

    Further more, the government did not 'take over 1/6 of the economy with Health Care'. We got no public option. Nada. Insurance companies remain our go-to.

  • Christy Beaverton, OR
    Nov. 6, 2010 4:06 p.m.

    patriot | 11:11 a.m. Nov. 5, 2010
    Cedar Hills, UT

    It seems to me Obama is being asked to go to a place he has never been - the middle. Always a far left radical,Obama has no idea where the middle is and no one around him to show him the way.


    And by 'middle' you mean 'right', which you think is representative of where all Americans are. But guess what? That's just not reality.

    What IS reality, is that Obama needs to move back towards the left, and stop trying to appease the hard right at every turn. This is why we have weak health care reform and a weak stimulus.

    Calls for the President to 'compromise or else' are frightfully hypocritical.

  • William A Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Nov. 6, 2010 12:49 p.m.

    *** "96 months (8yrs) for America to get into this mess. Less than 24 months before people claim Obama isn't listening." ***

    I make no defense of Republicans, who, along with Democrats, helped cause this mess. But if you gotta problem with the Democrats getting thrown out after 2 years (4 years, actually - they won cntrol of Congress in '06) then take it to James Madison, George Washington, et al. They're the ones who provisioned for biannual House elections.

    Two years is plenty of time for the Democrats to prove they aren't up to the task.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 10:04 p.m.

    I don't think obama failed to listen. He failed to believe. He failed to believe we could demand what we demand, consequence free. Yet we do, and we've shown Obama this. He's gonna get the door. My take on it is this: Pony up. Fix it. I want to see a republican or tea party president or whatever it is we apparently want in two years. If obama's policies are arrogant and stupid, show me humble and smart. Cough, please.

  • CJ Murray, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 6:35 p.m.

    Great article. We should always remember that most autocrats like Obama aren't capable of listening to any opinion other than their own. This guy is so over the top he truly believes that he is smarter than every one else in the country, Lord Obama knows best and if all of us fools were only smart enough to get it we would go along. The arrogance and hubris of this man knows no boundaries. His policies are so stupid, ill-conceived, and radical it is amazing that anyone thinks he has any brains at all.

  • working class Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 3:12 p.m.

    Re: KM "...to have you say that socialism is comming is just naive." I am a socialist and I know more about it than you'll ever know. Liberals are not socialists. Liberalism has done some good things, but it is ineffective in dealing with capitalism's final crisis, which in case you haven't noticed, it is in.

  • Redshirt1701 Deep Space 9, Ut
    Nov. 5, 2010 2:48 p.m.

    To "Pagan | 1:13 p.m." once again you are wrong. You seem to have forgotten the Bush's medicare drug program. That was an expansion of the Federal Government's oversight of the healthcare industry.

    Bush's goals for healthcare during his term included:

    "Refundable health care tax credits to cover millions of uninsured Americans;

    The promotion of the recently enacted Health Savings Accounts;

    An expansion of traditional public programs- S-CHIP and Medicaid-to cover uninsured children;

    An expansion of federally funded community health centers and clinics;

    Major changes to the health insurance markets through the establishment of broader association health plans, state-based health insurance pools, and interstate competition among health insurance plans; and

    Tax deductions and tax exemptions to enhance long-term care and to cope with a rapidly aging population." (taken from "An Examination of the Bush Health Care Agenda" at the Heritage Foundation)

    I don't know about you, but Bush's plans sound a lot like what went into Obamacare. Bush wanted state insurance pools, and expansion of entitlements.

    Do you want to try again to find something where Bush and Obama are different?

  • Tami Herriman, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 2:41 p.m.

    To cjb:
    "What Obama has accomplished is for the benefit of all Americans." And all Americans, including our grandchildren, will be paying for this "accomplishment". Thanks but no thanks.
    The health care package that included mandatory coverage and the Louisiana purchase is not the kind of improvement I want from my government.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 2:10 p.m.


    The years 2002-2007 were pretty darn good - unemployment below 6% , new construction everywhere, jobs plentiful ... and all of this after the horror of 9/11. Things really started to change after your democrat's took over in 2007 (both houses of congress). Barney Frank and Chris Dodd fell asleep at the wheel overseeing the banking committee and democrats put pressure for "easy loans" which did indeed boost home owner ship but pushed us toward the edge of the financial cliff as well. Bush was also fast asleep during this time period but please don't even try to paint all of the Bush years as bad ... they weren't. Remember, Bush was re-elected BECAUSE he and his policies were still popular. OBama on the other hand has managed to single handidly destroy his party in just 24 months time... losing 64 seats in the House and 11 governorships. Obama has been historic only in the destruction he has brought upon his own party!!

  • KM Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 2:04 p.m.

    "only this time socialists will emerge." What? Haven't you been paying attention to the people and groups that have risen to the most influention positions in our country. Obama and his ilk make the word socialism sound too soft. When the government takes over industries like, banks, Automakers, and 1/6 of the economy with healthcare, to have you say that socialism is comming is just naive.
    "economy is on the way up?" You gottanother thing comming, brother. We are being set up for the ultimate fall. Wait just a little longer for all the funny money policies to take effect. Cloward - Piven anyone?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 1:13 p.m.

    'As for Obama, name something that he has done that Bush didn't. Smarter people than you have tried to answer that....' - RedShirt | 12:19 p.m.

    So glad Redshirt dosen't lower himself to insults in this thread.

    But I guess making assumptions about a persons inteligence isn't 'offensive, off-topic or misrepresentative.'

    But to answer your question:

    I realize you will criticize having healthcare for Americans, and you will, however, trying to distract from the topic does not negate that Bush failed to do this for Americans.


  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 12:19 p.m.

    To "Pagan | 11:43 a.m." once again you are wrong. It has been 97 years in the making.

    Lets have a trip down History Lane.

    First, you have the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in 1913. The bank was established with the mandate to prevent all future recessions. I don't think it has stopped one yet, delay yes.

    Next, you have the creation of Fannie Mae in the 1930's, and the government backed home lending companies that followed. This lead to lowering lending standards, and more risky loans.

    Move along to the 1960's. The Feds had a great idea to let banks securitize loans. That turned out well didn't it.

    1979 gave us the CRA and even lower lending standards for mortgages. This was amplified by Clinton and lawyers until 2008.

    Next, from 2000 to 2008 Republicans wanted to put more oversight and control on Freddie and Fannie. They listened to the Democrats, and did nothing.

    As for Obama, name something that he has done that Bush didn't. Smarter people than you have tried to answer that, but it turns out that Obama=Bush.

  • Shawnm750 Lehi, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 11:51 a.m.

    "As a result of what he has accomplished health in the future America won't be just for those who can afford it. The American dream of decent health care for all is about to become reality."

    I wouldn't bet on it. You're going to see numerous health care providers that either decide to close their doors to new patients, or simply decide to close their doors altogether because they'll be forced to provider services at a government regulated or no cost. And since the remaining providers will have to absorb all those patients whose provider is no longer around, and those who previously weren't able to see a provider, what do you think will happen to wait times? How does that improve the quality of care for people?

  • Pagan Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 11:43 a.m.

    96 months (8yrs) for America to get into this mess.

    Less than 24 months before people claim Obama isn't listening.

    I don't think this has to do with our leadership not listening (although there is that), but rather...

    I think this is more about unrealistic expectations of the voters and the lies of people out of power.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 11:11 a.m.

    "Here's a narrative: You can't sell people what they don't want, no matter how mellifluous your pitch. This is the clear message of the midterm elections, and who didn't know? "

    This statement pretty much sums up the mid-term election results. Obama - somehow - still doesn't get the message. Go figure. Even yesterday Obama still thinks his policies are correct and refuses to even entertain the idea that he and his ideology are on the wrong track with America. Until Obama can "see" the light there is no hope for the man. Until Obama stops lecturing and starts "listening" he will always be at odds with the American people. It seems to me Obama is being asked to goto a place he has never been - the middle. Always a far left radical,Obama has no idea where the middle is and no one around him to show him the way. For Clinton, the middle was across the street. For Obama, the middle is on the other side of the world!!

  • Irony Guy Bountiful, Utah
    Nov. 5, 2010 9:24 a.m.

    Sorry, Kathleen, but to a great extent it is about people who fear people who don't look like themselves. I know this because I hear it constantly in my neighborhood. My neighbors are scared of the scary black man, no matter how much you protest they aren't.

  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 7:58 a.m.

    Even if Obama turns out to be a one term president, which isn't all that certain as the economy is now on its way up, he will have been a successful president to those who put him into office.

    As a result of what he has accomplished health in the future America won't be just for those who can afford it. The American dream of decent health care for all is about to become reality.

    As a nation we can afford corporate executives who run companies into the ground and still pay them tens of millions to walk away. Any nation that can afford this can afford to see to it that all its citizens get decent health care.

    Given that we are all at risk of losing our jobs, and being able to get only a job that doesn't offer health insurance, none of us should feel that President Obama's accomplishment is only for "the other guy" and not for themself. What Obama has accomplished is for the benefit of all Americans.

  • raybies Layton, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 7:11 a.m.

    Thoughtful editorial. This whole affair with obama's presidency failing due to racism, reminds me of when I worked at a large tech company who appointed its first female ceo. The company got a lot of press for being progressive. there was fanfare. Everyone wanted to meet and associate with her. Then they discovered they'd given the company over to a doublespeaking, machiavellian, tyrant that had no clue how to run a company, let alone one so highly technical. At first everyone was afraid to say that they didn't understand her, or think that her plans were viable, because she was a the company's first female ceo, and so it probably required some getting used to... then after the layoffs, and the mergers and the games, people really started to resent her. Eventually, after the company was gutted of its reserves, most of its core competencies had been outsourced and employee morale was better on the Titanic, this first female ceo was shown the door--not because she was a woman or the employees were sexist, but inspite of it. Had she NOT been a woman, the company could've recovered quicker. The fanfare backfired.

  • T. Party Pleasant Grove, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 7:04 a.m.

    Communist Party USA has had nationalized health care on their platform for a full century. You couldn't expect their sympathizers to turn back after getting this close to it, no matter what the polls were saying. Obama is willing to be a one-term president, if that's what it takes to create his socialist utopia.

    The American people are going to have to get control of their government, or Obamacare will stay on the books.

    Repeal and replace.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 12:21 a.m.

    This from the Washington Post, the election has accomplished something and in the Democrats bought and paid for home town paper.

  • working class Salt Lake City, UT
    Nov. 5, 2010 12:09 a.m.

    "...the midterm bloodbath was a fight over capitalism." Yep - that's true. And if the newly empowered Republicans get their way and throttle federal spending (as well as renouncing federal debt as is the intent of Senator Demint) it will generate a double dip recession which will make our current problems tame. The 2012 election will also be about capitalism, only this time socialists will emerge - real ones, not Demos or liberals. And the socialists will be credible and loaded for bear. What a war it is going to be!