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The Diminished President
New York Times ^ | JUly 31, 2011 | ROSS DOUTHAT

Posted on 08/01/2011 11:29:38 PM PDT by lbryce

By rights, Barack Obama should be emerging as the big political winner in the debt ceiling debate. For months, he’s positioned himself near the center of public opinion, leaving Republicans to occupy the rightward flank. Poll after poll suggests that Americans prefer the president’s call for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases to the Republican Party’s anti-tax approach. Poll after poll shows that House Republicans, not Obama, would take most of the blame if the debt ceiling weren’t raised.

Yet the president’s approval ratings have been sinking steadily for weeks, hitting a George W. Bush-esque low of 40 percent in a recent Gallup survey. The voters incline toward Obama on the issues, still like him personally and consider the Republican opposition too extreme. But they are increasingly judging his presidency a failure anyway.

The administration would no doubt blame this judgment on the steady stream of miserable economic news. But it should save some of the blame for its own political approach. Ever since the midterms, the White House’s tactics have consistently maximized President Obama’s short-term advantage while diminishing his overall authority. Call it the “too clever by half” presidency: the administration’s maneuvering keeps working out as planned, but Obama’s position keeps eroding.

Start with the first round of deficit debates this winter. After the Republican sweep, the White House seemed to have two options: double down on Keynesian stimulus or pivot to the center and champion deficit reduction. Instead, Obama chose to hover above the fray, passing on his own fiscal commission’s recommendations and letting the Republicans make the first move.

The strategy worked, in a sense. Goaded by the president’s evasiveness, Paul Ryan and the House Republicans put forward a detailed long-term budget proposal of their own, whose Medicare cuts proved predictably unpopular.

(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ineptitude; malaise; obama; obamalaise
Barack Obama, a president diminished,
time to stick a fork in him, he's just about finished.

1 posted on 08/01/2011 11:29:42 PM PDT by lbryce
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To: lbryce

No fork yet, there’s more cooking ahead for Zero.


2 posted on 08/01/2011 11:35:51 PM PDT by Pelham (Obama, the vanguard of the proletariat since 2008)
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To: lbryce
Poll after poll suggests that Americans prefer the president’s call for a mix of spending cuts and tax increases

No, poll after liberal poll may have shown that, given the loaded questions the NYT fed the idiots they polled.

Do not confuse what NYC believes with what the US believes. Quite different.

3 posted on 08/01/2011 11:36:05 PM PDT by doorgunner69
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To: lbryce
Yet the president’s approval ratings have been sinking steadily for weeks, hitting a George W. Bush-esque low of 40 percent in a recent Gallup survey. The voters incline toward Obama on the issues, still like him personally and consider the Republican opposition too extreme.

More of the Big Lie. So says the liberal asshats at the NYT.

4 posted on 08/01/2011 11:39:34 PM PDT by liberty_lvr (Drill Gaia like a 3 am prom date)
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To: lbryce
More NY Times spin from Ross Asshat. Citing skewed MSM polls and disregarding that the GOP resoundingly destroyed the Rats all over the country over spending issues in an attempt to make Obummer look moderate. Nice try.

Let's all remember that Obummer was the one to blow up the stupid Boner compromise talks when he asked for massive tax increases. That moved him to the left of Reid and the Senate Rats for crying out loud. The jig is up. Obummers radicalism and incompetence is on display now for all to see. No one is buying anymore.


5 posted on 08/01/2011 11:45:59 PM PDT by Lazlo in PA (Now living in a newly minted Red State.)
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To: lbryce

We’ll see how events play out. But when we get to next year’s campaign, the Obamabots will not be able to portray this debt ceiling thing as some Profile in Courage in presidential leadership. Heck even lotsa liberals are mad at him, both for the results, and because he didn’t take the bull by the horns.

The polling right now for Obama among moderate and independent voters is alarming for the Obamabots. His base is unenthusiastic, but will turn out to vote for him on Nov. 6, 2012. But election related matters such as fundraising and get out the vote drives will not be done with the same enthusiasm, or the same number of people, in 2012 as they did in 2008 for Obama.


6 posted on 08/01/2011 11:45:59 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego
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To: doorgunner69
"Obama chose to hover above the fray, passing on his own fiscal commission’s recommendations and letting the Republicans make the first move. "

The Obammunist appoints a blue ribbon committee to take the heat on proposed economic legislation. Then he tells them to pound sand.

The NYSlimes this is a positive for The Kenyan?

yitbos

7 posted on 08/01/2011 11:49:41 PM PDT by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds." -- Ayn Rand)
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To: lbryce

Any way they spin it, Obama = EPIC FAIL!

Obama is the compleat idiot.

com·pleat

[kuhm-pleet]
–adjective
highly skilled and accomplished in all aspects; complete; total: the compleat actor, at home in comedy and tragedy.


8 posted on 08/01/2011 11:55:53 PM PDT by Jim Robinson (Rebellion is brewing!! Impeach the corrupt Marxist bastard!!)
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To: lbryce

I heard a snatch of some KGO-radio show this evening in which they were discussing (in the context of the debt-reduction legislation) why BO hadn’t accomplished anything. I cringed as I heard the callers chime in about how BO was “so intelligent” and “I really like him” and the host was raising questions about how BO had started out with so much, “we gave PRESIDENT! [BO] the White House, we gave PRESIDENT! [BO] both houses of Congress, and yet he hasn’t really accomplished anything.”


9 posted on 08/01/2011 11:57:24 PM PDT by thecodont
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To: Pelham

I suspect all these headlines of Obama being defeated are deliberately being planted to try to give the GOP the ownership of the economy between now and the 2012 elections.


10 posted on 08/02/2011 12:00:40 AM PDT by The Duke
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To: Dilbert San Diego
His base is unenthusiastic but will turn out to vote for him (Obama)

There's no way he'll get the percentage of his secure voters out this time. The extent and intensity of that effort just cannot be duplicated.

11 posted on 08/02/2011 12:13:54 AM PDT by grania
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To: lbryce

Why does the NY Times still pretend Obama is a moderate? What shills

Can we ban newsprint yet??


12 posted on 08/02/2011 12:25:08 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: Jim Robinson; potlatch; devolve; ntnychik; MeekOneGOP; dixiechick2000

13 posted on 08/02/2011 12:29:14 AM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: lbryce

Obama has been tirelessly huckstering himself, whereas George W. Bush didn’t really try to make himself appealing to the American people in his second term. For Obama to end up in the same doghouse as Bush in spite of great effort, has to say something.


14 posted on 08/02/2011 12:42:42 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page))
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To: GeronL

Their political barometer is their newsroom staff. Obama would be about “center” to them.


15 posted on 08/02/2011 12:43:38 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (There's gonna be a Redneck Revolution! (See my freep page))
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To: grania

Not to mention the voter ID laws being added across the country. Should reduce the dead and illegal votecounts.


16 posted on 08/02/2011 12:51:57 AM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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To: lbryce

he isn’t a president he is a cumunity organizer and Ayers Buddy.


17 posted on 08/02/2011 12:55:04 AM PDT by boomop1
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To: The Duke

Could be.

But I am actually starting to think that certain portions of the media apparat have realized that Obama is a lame duck and are trying to cut ties with him in time to line up behind a primary challenger — which would have to be Hillary, although Sanders is trying to make a splash now in the hope of gaining some traction.

I expect the damage to Obama because of this is a lot more subtle than we as Conservatives can understand because it reflects deeply on what passes as Liberal core values, which are inexplicable to anyone who does not view the world through their lenses.


18 posted on 08/02/2011 12:55:38 AM PDT by Ronin (Obamanation has replaced Bizarroworld as the most twisted place in the universe.)
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To: PhilDragoo

“FAIL”

Very succinct and very apt.

I love your posts. ;o)


19 posted on 08/02/2011 1:01:28 AM PDT by dixiechick2000 (Age, skill, wisdom, and a little treachery will always overcome youth and arrogance!)
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To: lbryce
Democrats could have raised the debt limit prior to the new Congress being impaneled in January 2011. Instead Obama and Reid delayed the issue until it could become an “emergency.”
20 posted on 08/02/2011 1:05:45 AM PDT by Brad from Tennessee (A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.)
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To: lbryce

What was this guy smoking, anyway? In defense of the President, I’d like to formulate some responses to the reporter’s analysis:

‘For months, he’s positioned himself near the center of public opinion, leaving Republicans to occupy the rightward flank.’

Obama’s rebuttal: “I did all that?”

‘Call it the “too clever by half” presidency’

” Who you callin a half wit?”

‘Instead, Obama chose to hover above the fray’

“You callin me a fairy?”

‘the president was pioneering a new American way of statecraft: “Leading from behind.”’

“Alright, mother jumper, pick up that knife “


21 posted on 08/02/2011 1:25:31 AM PDT by haroldeveryman
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To: lbryce

From the article: “This leaves Americans to contemplate two possibilities more alarming than debt-ceiling brinkmanship. First, that we’re living through yet another failed presidency. And second, that there’s nobody waiting in the wings who’s up to the task either.”

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG. Yes, there IS a leader out there - Governor Sarah Palin.

On a historical note, the republic survived a handful of Presidents who are remarkable only by their ineptitude - Polk, Fillmore, Pierce and Buchanan - only to “lead” us to the War of Yankee Agression. Not sure it can survive - without a similar war - this time.


22 posted on 08/02/2011 2:04:14 AM PDT by NTHockey (Rules of engagement #1: Take no prisoners)
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To: GeronL
I think the author was accusing him of being a coward, not a moderate.

They even point out they may be witnessing another failed president, and compare him to Romney (a legitimate comparison) by saying “if you took Romney and Obama’s plans, and met in the middle, you'd be in the middle of nowhere”.

I enjoyed the essay. Good solid analysis, especially since the author is probably a liberal, and probably likes Obama.

23 posted on 08/02/2011 2:11:55 AM PDT by trickamsterdam (District: Red-light...)
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To: Kellis91789
Not to mention the voter ID laws being added across the country. Should reduce the dead and illegal votecounts.

And when you see how politically-active the media has been, it should come as no surprise that they are the same ones who have always been in a position to track all the obituaries nationwide.

24 posted on 08/02/2011 2:13:53 AM PDT by FDNYRHEROES (It's 3 AM. Let me sleep on it. I'll get back to you in 16 hours.)
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To: lbryce
Poll after poll shows that House Republicans, not Obama, would take most of the blame if the debt ceiling weren’t raised.

I would say 'credit' not 'blame.' But I don't endorse irresponsible behavior.

25 posted on 08/02/2011 2:17:12 AM PDT by TigersEye (No dark sarcasm in the press room ... Hey!, Barry!, leave them bills alone.)
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To: grania

Do not underestimate the stupidity of the 53% who voted for Zer0.
Zer0 has another ace -in-the-hole that is the Republican party.


26 posted on 08/02/2011 2:26:34 AM PDT by ChiMark
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To: lbryce
There are two problems with the polls. First, they were mostly polls of adults that used loaded phrases such as "a balanced approach." Many points would've come off if the polls were of likely voters, and the words used were "tax increases."

Second, and more importantly, the American people may very well blame Republicans in Congress more for the debt ceiling crisis than 0bama, but about half of them aren't represented by Republicans. Those who are represented by Republicans don't necessarily blame their guy. On the other hand, 0bama is President of everybody, so he gets no benefit from a "diffusion of blame."

The result is that this debt "crisis" and its handling will turn out to be far more damaging to the President among actual voters than it will be to individual Congressman.

And that's just peachy.

27 posted on 08/02/2011 2:36:54 AM PDT by FredZarguna (535 Congress People to blame, or one President. The math's pretty easy.)
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To: lbryce

They take a poll that tells them people support Obama’s position and blame republicans for not making a deal.

Then they take a poll that tells them the level of support for Obama is sinking.

What more proof is needed to show that their poll methodology is biased or faulty?


28 posted on 08/02/2011 3:14:55 AM PDT by Iron Munro (The more effeminate & debauched the people, the more they are fitted for a tyrannical government.)
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To: thecodont
"I heard a snatch..."

Now, that's just nasty... what did it tell you?

8^D

29 posted on 08/02/2011 3:31:59 AM PDT by Gargantua (Palin 2012 ~ "Going Oval" "Our little pit bull says 'Taste my nightstick!'")
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To: lbryce; Pelham; TruthConquers; M. Espinola; Cincinatus' Wife; Quix; Joya; GOPJ; sickoflibs; ...
Third Way Document Proves Democratic Party Supports Institutionalized Looting by Banks !

Excerpt:

It is one thing to suspect that something is rotten in Denmark, quite another to have proof. Ever since Obama appointed his Rubinite economics team, it was blindingly obvious that he was aligning himself with Wall Street. The strength of the connection became even more evident in March 2009, when Team Obama embarked on its “stress test” charade and bank stock cheerleading. Rather than bring vested banking interests to heel, the administration instead chose to reconstitute, as much as possible, the very same industry whose reckless pursuit of profit had thrown the world economy off the cliff.

But now we see evidence in a new paper by the think tank Third Way of an even deeper commitment to pro-financier policies. The Democratic party has made clear that it supports institutionalized looting by banks, via the innocuous-seemeing device of rejecting the idea of writedowns on bonds they hold.

Policy advisors Lauren Oppenheimer and David Hollingsworth argue that point in the context of Greece, but the exact same logic would apply to banks anywhere. As Michael Hudson has warned:

…the war being waged against Greece by the European Central Bank (ECB) may best be seen as a dress rehearsal not only for the rest of Europe, but for what financial lobbyists would like to bring about in the United States.

And make no mistake about the role of Third Way. Third Way runs the policy apparatus of the Democratic Party. In Congress, staffers attend regular Third Way policy briefings, where the group hands out pre-packaged legislative amendments in legal form, generic press releases, polling around those policy ideas, and talking points. It’s a soup-to-nuts policy apparatus. Most of these ideas are harmless – like increased volunteerism – but some are not, like various tax proposals.

The group has enormous juice. On the Congressional side, it has six honorary Senate co-Chairs, and seven House-side co-Chairs. Jim Clyburn, a co-Chair, is in the House Democratic leadership. Two current cabinet members are former co-Chairs. Steny Hoyer, the House minority whip, held regular briefings for the freshmen member staff in the last Congress.

On the administration side, former Third Way board member Bill Daley is now White House chief of staff. Ron Klain, who was Biden’s Chief of Staff, is now with Third Way. The White House is pretty much full of Third Way-style apparatchiks.

Third Way also echoes, nearly entirely, the White House’s political line (though it is slightly ahead on gay rights). Here’s Third Way praising the Gang of 6 talks, opposing cut, cap, and balance, encouraging entitlement cuts, pushing various free trade agreements

Finally, most of the Board members are from the FIRE Sector (Wall Street and real estate), including the head of equity trading for Goldman Sachs and one of the heads of investment banking for Morgan Stanley. * * *

In short, there is no way in hell that Obama is going to derail the profiteering train being run by Wall Street insiders including that greedy @sshole George Soros.

Wall Streeters Top Obama Re-Election Supporters !

It's high time to suspect Obama of greedy ulterior motives rather than being a socialist reformer. King Zero is not a reformer -- even though he postures and preens like an openly gay ego maniac in love with camera ops. Obama is a profiteer just like his closet supporters.

Rumors abound on the Internet about Obama massing a huge fortune in off-shore trading accounts:

UPDATE: OBAMA OFFSHORE TRADING PROFITS EXCEED 3 BILLION DOLLARS !

If true -- Impeaching BO is the only way to move forward. But today our entire Congress is corrupt. Both the Dems and GOP have been taken over by shills and profiteers. In my view, both political parties are fake. Even our elections are fake for the most part, with voting machines pre-programed to substitute ones for zeros on a controllers' cue.

So this is how our Repubilc ends -- "Not with a bang, but a whimprer."

30 posted on 08/02/2011 3:52:49 AM PDT by ex-Texan (Ecclesiastes 5:10 - 20)
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To: FredZarguna
First, they were mostly polls of adults that used loaded phrases such as "a balanced approach.

Thanks! I was wondering where they found people who would say, "Oh please, give me a tax increase!"

But I don't think the debt issue is going to be particularly damaging to Obama, especially since it seems to have served for nothing but to publicly split the GOP and peel off the new members, thereby undermining the credibility of the party as a party and, I think, ultimately marginalizing the "Tea Party" movement (outside of FR, at least).

Obama's only tactic is to do nothing about anything, mostly because he's too stupid and confused to even understand the implications, but to sweep in and try to claim the high ground at the last moment. And unfortunately, the GOP, which seemed oddly unprepared for this debate even though it was known for some time that a plan had to be developed, obliged as usual by providing a circular firing squad to pick off Obama's opposition.

In terms of the GOP, I think the big failure lay in not supporting Ryan's plan, which was early and good and in fact did not do anything to Medicare that would have affected anyone currently receiving it and only improved it for future recipients. But the GOP did not defend it and retreated in disorder, leaving it to Obama to benefit from the resulting chaos and hysteria.

Obama benefits from situations of disorder and confusion; he doesn't have a plan of his own, fundamentally because he doesn't care and is really focusing on his own ideological objectives. He did nothing during his stint as a state senator, and this was mildly criticized at the start of his campaign, but then the propaganda machine swung into action and nobody cared that he was an idiot; they just wanted to see him coming out from behind those Grecian columns with his dedicated fans fainting in front of him. And I think that's what will happen again.

31 posted on 08/02/2011 4:37:36 AM PDT by livius
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To: lbryce
For months, he’s positioned himself near the center of public NY Times opinion...
32 posted on 08/02/2011 4:46:15 AM PDT by Oldeconomybuyer (The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money.)
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To: lbryce

Its the economy, stupid. This guy is worse than Jimmy Carter. No one likes him and no one wants his policies. He seems to always be on permanent vacation!


33 posted on 08/02/2011 5:13:32 AM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: ex-Texan
"Dear leaders" and their associates never suffer under socialism, it's the dumb masses who bought their socialist class warfare line who end up footing the bill for elites' who have their boot on our necks.

Check out how Robert Mugabe and his race hated, class warfare plays out in Zimbabwe.

How it's being played out in Venezuela under Hugo Chavez

Why Elian Gonzalez could NOT be allowed to stay in America and was given back to Castro.

And how the Left has been systematically indoctrinating American children to hate their country.

Because it is all about the Continuance of Them.

34 posted on 08/02/2011 5:38:13 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Islander7; mlocher; Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!; TruthConquers; M. Espinola; Cincinatus' Wife; ...
Video: -- Coming on 11/9/11 Comet Elenin ... CNN Report -- 8/2/2011

Please check out the related material section and other links to video. News report says debris in tail may devastate planet . . . LOL !

35 posted on 08/02/2011 1:13:00 PM PDT by ex-Texan (Ecclesiastes 5:10 - 20)
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To: FDNYRHEROES

We need a simple piece of regulation that requires a death certificate to be entered into a database and automatically freezes the SS#, removes from voter registration rolls, denies new credit requests, freezes bank accounts and student loan and pension disbursements, passports, drivers licenses, government benefits, etc.

Basically, so when a person dies they cannot continue to live in the system for other people’s criminal purposes.


36 posted on 08/02/2011 10:39:56 PM PDT by Kellis91789 (There's a reason the mascot of the Democratic Party is a jackass.)
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To: Islander7; mlocher; Dubya-M-DeesWent2SyriaStupid!; TruthConquers; M. Espinola; Cincinatus' Wife; ...
Please watch this one but hold to your seats:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWlEbbZb29A&feature=player_embedded

37 posted on 08/02/2011 11:01:03 PM PDT by ex-Texan (Ecclesiastes 5:10 - 20)
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