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The incredible shrinking President Hour by hour he gets smaller and smaller
NY Daily News ^ | June 7, 2014 | Walter Russell Mead

Posted on 06/08/2014 8:12:08 PM PDT by neverdem

It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

Less than two years after voters gave President Barack Obama a strong mandate for a second term, the White House is struggling against perceptions that it is losing its grip.

At home, the bungled rollout of the Obamacare website and the shocking revelations about an entrenched culture of incompetence and fraud in the VA have undercut faith in the President’s managerial competency.

Abroad, a surging Russia, an aggressive China, a war torn Middle East and a resurgent terror network are putting his foreign policy credentials to the test. With the GOP hoping to seize control of the Senate in November’s midterm elections, and the inevitable decline in presidential power that occurs as second term presidents move toward lame-duck status, Obama risks being sidelined and marginalized for the remaining two years of his term.

Last week’s tempest over the Bergdahl exchange seemed to roll all the President’s troubles together into a single storm. The decision to free five Taliban fighters from Guantanamo in exchange for an American soldier with a complicated past energized the President’s opponents, befuddled and angered important Congressional allies, and renewed questions about the political instincts of the President and his closest aides. The White House apparently thought that the release would be a moment of national unity and celebration and arranged for Sgt. Bergdahl’s parents to meet Obama in a highly publicized Rose Garden ceremony that now looks like a huge political blunder.

It’s been a long and bumpy road to this point. Few American presidents came into office viewed with so much optimism and hope. Obama was swept and re-swept into office with a clear expectation that being smart — or at least not being stupid — would be enough to mend fences around the globe and at home. Things aren’t so cheery now, and not being George W. Bush may not, it appears, be sufficient.

Obama is not, however, prepared to pick up his toys and go home. Stymied in Congress, where a coalition of Republicans and red state Democrats have effectively blocked his major initiatives in both the House and the Senate, the President is determined to use his executive powers to carve out a legacy whether Congress likes it or not. The new EPA regulations to cut CO2 levels from power generators and his decision to sidestep Congress on the release of five Taliban prisoners at Guantanamo in exchange for Sergeant Bergdahl show a White House anything but resigned to the prospect of presidential decline.

In both foreign and domestic affairs, Obama has plenty of executive authority to use. Moreover, the signature accomplishment of his first term, the ACA health care law, is potentially the most significant piece of domestic legislation since the 1960s and was written to give the executive branch the power to redesign much of the American health system as the President’s appointees in the federal bureaucracy set about implementing the law. The Dodd-Frank Act, intended to stabilize Wall Street and prevent another 2008 style financial crisis, gave the executive branch broad authority to re-regulate the financial sector.

Why, then, does a feisty President with more power than any of his peacetime predecessors, one who is determined to use those powers to the max, look so much a victim of events he can’t control?

It isn’t for lack of ambition; Obama aspires to be a transformational leader at home and abroad. The ACA attempts to redesign an industry that accounts for 17.2 % of GDP. The EPA’s new regulations cover 66% of the country’s energy production. Overseas, he’s picked goals like getting a global climate treaty, destroying Al-Qaeda, democratizing the Arab world, eliminating nuclear weapons and achieving détente with Iran.

These are big goals; achieving them would give Obama a significant place in the history books. But there’s a catch; large and complex projects are hard to carry out, and the President seems to consistently underestimate the difficulties in turning compelling visions into practical programs. As a result, he now finds himself haunted by goals and expectations he set for himself, caught in a gap between promise and performance that has proved unexpectedly hard to close.

The implementation of the ACA was problematic in ways that go far beyond the famously awful website. While a substantial number of people have gotten access to health insurance thanks to the law, the implementation challenges remain epic — and the public still isn’t fully behind the new system. Many of the law’s provisions have already been suspended, amended, and reinterpreted so many times that it is now probable the President will leave office without being able to roll the whole law out as projected. Even government accountants have given up figuring out what the law means or how it will work: this week, the CBO stated that it was henceforth impossible to score Obamacare.

Meanwhile, the problems at the Veterans Administration — problems candidate Obama vowed to fix back in 2008 — erupted last month in a scandal that 79% of Americans blame at least in part on Obama’s management. A shock poll in The Washington Post showed 48% of Americans now think that President George W. Bush was better at “getting things done” than his replacement-compared with 42% who think the opposite.

Meanwhile, President’s Obama’s repeated calls for gun control legislation and immigration reform have fallen flat.

Overseas, the gap between promise and accomplishment is, if anything, more daunting. Early in his first term Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in a decision that struck even his most ardent admirers as premature; there isn’t much talk today of a repeat visit to Oslo.

Not since the end of the Cold War has an American president faced this much disorder and trouble in the world. The “reset” with Russia ended with the attack on Crimea. The Arab Spring has foundered in chaos, dictatorship and war. The President’s declaration that “Assad must go” has proved as hollow as his demand that Syria cease chemical warfare attacks on its citizens. Al-Qaeda and related jihadist groups are active and growing from West Africa through Central Asia; in some ways the terror threat today is greater than ever before. The war in Afghanistan, a war that candidate Obama vowed to win, is sputtering inconclusively toward a less than stellar close. An increasingly feisty China is challenging the United States and its allies, and North Korea grinds grimly ahead with its nuclear program.

Once again, the President seems to have underestimated how much effort would be required to achieve the goals he set out. He clearly underestimated the difficulties of building a stable and businesslike relationship with Russia and was shocked and surprised at Putin’s attack on Ukraine. He underestimated the difficulty of getting the Israelis and Palestinians to reach a peace agreement, overestimated the strength of the democratic forces in Egypt, and seems not to have fully understood the difficulties in winning the Afghan war until after he committed American troops to a surge. His administration has also seriously underestimated China’s readiness to oppose American policy in the Pacific; the South and East China seas are becoming more dangerous and more militarized by the day.

With 30 months to go, Obama still may have a chance to regain control of both the domestic and international agendas, but to do that he’s going to have to change his approach. He needs to focus on the nitty-gritty, day-to-day business of governing; six years into his administration, the public is fed up with promises and hungry for concrete accomplishments.

President Obama needs to show that he knows how to get things done, or increasingly the world will move on as if he wasn’t there.

Mead  is the James Clarke Chace Professor of Foreign Policy and the Humanities at Bard College, and edits the American Interest Online. Follow him on Twitter @WRMEAD


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: obama; obamaepicfail
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1 posted on 06/08/2014 8:12:08 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

Ok, I call BS on the very first sentence.

The voters did NOT give him a strong mandate for a 2nd term.

He won re-election with a smaller percentage of the vote than he won his first election by.

The margin in the electoral college was smaller too, in 2012 than in 2008.

He was a rare presidential re-election in which the candidate lost support between his first and second elections.

Even Bush, who won two very close elections, gained support in his re-election, compared to his first election.

Ok, will keep reading some more now.........


2 posted on 06/08/2014 8:14:16 PM PDT by Dilbert San Diego (et o)
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To: neverdem

He needs someone in this country to give him the Wyatt Earp treatment. Unfortunately the only one doing it is Putin.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26kXGVolzLQ


3 posted on 06/08/2014 8:17:58 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: neverdem

***Hour by hour he gets smaller and smaller ***

Same with Jimmy Carter. In his last two years, cartoonists began to draw him smaller and smaller.


4 posted on 06/08/2014 8:20:11 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar (Sometimes you need more than seven rounds, Much more.)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

I just wish he would follow his dream, return to Indonesia, and become a ladyboy prostitute.


5 posted on 06/08/2014 8:24:02 PM PDT by cripplecreek (Remember the River Raisin.)
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To: neverdem

He is now making no attempt to conceal his contempt for America and all it represents. God Save the Republic!


6 posted on 06/08/2014 8:25:15 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the gun..eat the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: neverdem

Way past time to flush this arrogant turd.


7 posted on 06/08/2014 8:25:35 PM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: neverdem
With 30 months to go, Obama still may have a chance to regain control of both the domestic and international agendas,

No way. Why would he be able to change the scandal pattern he has had since Day One?

Most people think the scandals just started a year or so ago. But that's because they weren't in on Michelle's SpainGate, Copenhagen and the Olympics, the overturning of leaders in Libya and Egypt the Beer Summit, etc. etc. etc. since the media didn't report those widely. I think the change in reporting began with the "red line" of Syria. The media took more notice.

Obama's governing style is to create scandal after scandal and that will continue. The difference is that now the public is paying more attention so it's possible people will begin to see who Obama really is.

8 posted on 06/08/2014 8:26:16 PM PDT by what's up
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To: neverdem
Less than two years after voters gave President Barack Obama a strong mandate for a second term

One of the axioms of media bias is to reverse statements such as this to see if the converse makes more sense. Thus:

"Less than two years after voters once again told the Republican Party that their Presidential candidates need to be actual conservatives..."

The prosecution rests.

9 posted on 06/08/2014 8:27:51 PM PDT by Colonel_Flagg ("Compromise" means you've already decided you lost.)
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To: neverdem

Really good article. Thanks for posting.


10 posted on 06/08/2014 8:34:13 PM PDT by leapfrog0202 ("the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of personal discovery" Sarah Palin)
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To: neverdem

Damned shame the nipplehead American people ever gave him a second chance.

We bear a lot of that blame, by NOT voting.

We could have stopped a lot of this, if we could have gotten aligned.

Damn the GOP, they are setting us up for failure again.
Then they go smoke cigars and drink cognac with the libs, pat each other on the back in private clubs and congratulate one another.

“Boy we sure put one over on the rubes”

THROW THE BUMS OUT!! *but pick your battles*


11 posted on 06/08/2014 8:34:55 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem

Oh? There was a time when Obama had managerial competency? - and that was acquired at - um, where? Baskin Robbins? Got it - awesome, yo.


12 posted on 06/08/2014 8:38:26 PM PDT by atc23 (The Confederacy was the single greatest conservative resistance to federal authority everac)
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To: what's up
Obama's governing style is to create scandal after scandal

Right out of the Alinsky play book.

Never let a crisis go to waste, and never forget to create the crisis, with plausible deniabilty.

13 posted on 06/08/2014 8:39:28 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem

Note to the American people: do not elect another narcissist sociopath as President. Obama is demonstrating that they are completely incapable of executing the duties of the office.


14 posted on 06/08/2014 8:43:04 PM PDT by centurion316
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To: Dilbert San Diego

“Less than two years after voters gave President Barack Obama a strong mandate for a second term...”

He won by fewer votes. These people are amazing.


15 posted on 06/08/2014 8:43:30 PM PDT by Luke21
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To: neverdem

>Hour by hour he gets smaller and smaller<

.
No, he is just shedding his masks — what you see today is what he has always been.


16 posted on 06/08/2014 8:46:49 PM PDT by 353FMG
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To: neverdem

17 posted on 06/08/2014 8:47:01 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (Lost my tagline on Flight MH370. Sorry for the inconvenience.)
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Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: from all our legends, mythology, and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins — or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom — Lucifer.

From the forward to "Rules for radicals" by Saul Alinsky

18 posted on 06/08/2014 8:47:02 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: Luke21

And are we certain there wasn’t vote fraud to get him over th top with those?


19 posted on 06/08/2014 8:47:05 PM PDT by No!
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To: neverdem

The NY Daily News punts pretty much to the left so overall it’s a cave-in...


20 posted on 06/08/2014 8:50:56 PM PDT by bronxville (Margaret Sanger - “We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population,)
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To: 353FMG

Choose your Masques.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-vqepLziio

They’re handing out the weapons
And your armour’s ready too
But the most important item
Has been left up to you
You must make a firm decision
And once it’s made you’ll find
That the form that you have chosen
Can entirely fill your mind

For the mask you have selected
Stands for Chaos or for Law
And you cannot take it off now
‘til you’re no longer in the War
And the Masks of War are grinning
And from under them you howl
Out the slogans of the part you play
for the Battle’s starting now

Choose your Masks
The ranks are forming
Choose your Masks
The day is dawning
Choose your Masks
And choose the side that you’ll be on
And learn the words of your new song
For the Battle will be long.....so long........


21 posted on 06/08/2014 8:51:42 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: UCANSEE2

Remember how mercilessly Clint was mocked for that?


22 posted on 06/08/2014 8:52:41 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem
Here is the Grand Total Obama "Legacy".


23 posted on 06/08/2014 8:52:49 PM PDT by InterceptPoint
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To: mylife

I don’t know anyone who didn’t vote.

However I do know that the GOP set us up.

The intersection here, is who gets our vote when set up.

It won’t be for the set up candidate.

If we can continue to grow that kind of voter, then we won’t be “set up” again.

Now *that* is the only allignment there is, in my book.


24 posted on 06/08/2014 8:55:27 PM PDT by RitaOK ( VIVA CHRISTO REY / Public education is the farm team for more Marxists coming.)
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To: 353FMG

He is a chameleon, shedding masks.


25 posted on 06/08/2014 8:56:40 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: RitaOK

It has been a difficult war.

Lord we are trying to root out the rot.


26 posted on 06/08/2014 8:58:21 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: RitaOK

I don’t know anyone who didn’t vote.


Plenty of FReepers didn’t vote.


27 posted on 06/08/2014 9:00:07 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: laplata

And that is statistically why we lost.

Oh I know the long and the short of it, but it sure would be easier to get our guys in with the GOP than with radical liberals in charge.

I think it was a major mistake.


28 posted on 06/08/2014 9:03:44 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: laplata

Millions of single voter conservatives did not show up because they drank the MSMs propagandist.

So it is, sit was.

Let us not make that mistake again.


29 posted on 06/08/2014 9:06:18 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem
The author has omitted in his catalogue of failures to explore Obama's failure in Iran which could be the most serious fiasco of all the Obama years.

Obama's pattern in Iran has been replicated throughout Islam and may well explain the recent prisoner swap. The pattern is to say what is necessary to get elected and then proceed to negotiate away every American national interest that can be identified. If Iran gets the bomb, which now looks to be a moral certainty, the entire balance of power in the Middle East will be radically altered and not to our favor. Iran will be able to intimidate the entire Gulf where much of the world's oil is still produced and we can expect one regime after another to face the choice of arming themselves with nuclear devices or appeasing Iran. The likelihood of atomic war will have increased more than arithmetically.

Note, all of this is being done under the color of successful negotiations no matter how implausible they might appear under a close examination. The same charade was probably contemplated by Obama in the prisoner exchange. He has ordained that America's time in Afghanistan must come to a close and his legacy is in danger; Afghanistan will be left a shambles. So Obama is undertaking a series of negotiations of which the prisoner exchange is merely his opening gambit in order to redefine as a victory that which is in reality a tragic and futile ending to a war costing so much American blood and treasure. He will walk away from an Afghanistan which is breeding and nurturing terrorists proudly declaring victory and citing a series of empty promises which he will tell America is successful policy.

We see the pattern repeated in Israel in which Obama would force Israel into extremely dangerous negotiations with inevitable surrenders but the craven surrender tidied up with a "peace" treaty declaring that black is white.

Everywhere Obama turns we see rhetoric substituted for reality. We see bluster camouflaging surrender. We see a pattern here replayed everywhere Obama casts his gaze. America is under threat from China, Russia, Islam, and communism in Latin America and every threat has metastasized and become more lethal because of Barack Hussein Obama. That is the international picture but we have not even considered the domestic threat to America represented by the shadow government of Barack Hussein Obama.


30 posted on 06/08/2014 9:09:08 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: neverdem
The author has omitted in his catalogue of failures to explore Obama's failure in Iran which could be the most serious fiasco of all the Obama years.

Obama's pattern in Iran has been replicated throughout Islam and may well explain the recent prisoner swap. The pattern is to say what is necessary to get elected and then proceed to negotiate away every American national interest that can be identified. If Iran gets the bomb, which now looks to be a moral certainty, the entire balance of power in the Middle East will be radically altered and not to our favor. Iran will be able to intimidate the entire Gulf where much of the world's oil is still produced and we can expect one regime after another to face the choice of arming themselves with nuclear devices or appeasing Iran. The likelihood of atomic war will have increased more than arithmetically.

Note, all of this is being done under the color of successful negotiations no matter how implausible they might appear under a close examination. The same charade was probably contemplated by Obama in the prisoner exchange. He has ordained that America's time in Afghanistan must come to a close and his legacy is in danger; Afghanistan will be left a shambles. So Obama is undertaking a series of negotiations of which the prisoner exchange is merely his opening gambit in order to redefine as a victory that which is in reality a tragic and futile ending to a war costing so much American blood and treasure. He will walk away from an Afghanistan which is breeding and nurturing terrorists proudly declaring victory and citing a series of empty promises which he will tell America is successful policy.

We see the pattern repeated in Israel in which Obama would force Israel into extremely dangerous negotiations with inevitable surrenders but the craven surrender tidied up with a "peace" treaty declaring that black is white.

Everywhere Obama turns we see rhetoric substituted for reality. We see bluster camouflaging surrender. We see a pattern here replayed everywhere Obama casts his gaze. America is under threat from China, Russia, Islam, and communism in Latin America and every threat has metastasized and become more lethal because of Barack Hussein Obama. That is the international picture but we have not even considered the domestic threat to America represented by the shadow government of Barack Hussein Obama.


31 posted on 06/08/2014 9:09:08 PM PDT by nathanbedford ("Attack, repeat, attack!" Bull Halsey)
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To: nathanbedford

Nice.

bttt


32 posted on 06/08/2014 9:11:20 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Don't be a statist!)
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To: neverdem
Why, then, does a feisty President with more power than any of his peacetime predecessors, one who is determined to use those powers to the max, look so much a victim of events he can’t control?

I'll take "How About He's an Intellectual Pygmy With Delusions of Personal Adequacy?" for $1,000, Alex.
33 posted on 06/08/2014 9:12:36 PM PDT by Milton Miteybad (I am Jim Thompson. {Really.})
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To: neverdem

If blacks ever want to vote Democrat again, they should consider the fact that Democrats picked the worst candidate possible to be the first black President which to me is one hell of an insult. They damn well KNEW this guy was an absolute fool, but they pushed him like a God anyway. So now not only is he the first black President but hands down the worst President in this nations history which just does a hell of a lot for black pride doesn’t it.


34 posted on 06/08/2014 9:17:45 PM PDT by GrandJediMasterYoda (Hitlery: Incarnation of evil.)
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To: No!

Sadly, with two U.S. Supreme Court appointments and scores of federal judges, his far left wing legacy is sealed as regrettably it is for this nation. Depite all of this he has 40% of the vote on any time of the day. Solid pro-abortion NARAL and Planned Parenthood; GLTB and Silicon Valley and Hollywood billionaires (Soros?), the cotton and banana plantation crowd, and the left wing media. Any election begins with NY; CA; IL;MA; WA; OR potheads; RI; and VT in the bag!


35 posted on 06/08/2014 9:18:52 PM PDT by Steelfish (ui)
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To: neverdem
little man BIG network!!


36 posted on 06/08/2014 9:19:00 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: nathanbedford

And he started the whole fiasco by not honoring American blood shed in Iraq, while kissing Persias arse and NK arse and Venezuelas arse all of whom were in league.

Oh this fellows is duplicitous and Machiavellian, but he is not stupid.

The king of 3 card monte, a common cheat, but not so common.

Now we have the Bergdahl matter, 5 hardcores in exchange for a traitor.


37 posted on 06/08/2014 9:19:56 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem; All



38 posted on 06/08/2014 9:20:38 PM PDT by MeshugeMikey ( "Never, never, never give up". Winston Churchill)
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To: neverdem

All according to plan...


39 posted on 06/08/2014 9:21:09 PM PDT by Hoosier-Daddy ( "It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices.")
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To: mylife

You’re right.


40 posted on 06/08/2014 9:21:15 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: neverdem

Walter Russell Mead

41 posted on 06/08/2014 9:21:48 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: neverdem

Mead is a Democrat, and has said he voted for Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential Election. In 2003, Mead supported the Iraq War.


42 posted on 06/08/2014 9:23:16 PM PDT by kcvl
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To: Milton Miteybad

IT is about playing the victim card while he holds the catbird seat.


43 posted on 06/08/2014 9:23:54 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem

Obama has it easy. Breaking the china in a china shop is a piece of cake. Cleaning up the mess and restoring order is what will be difficult to impossible. Who ever replaces Obama will have a Herculean task on their hands. And someone on blood thinners should not even try.


44 posted on 06/08/2014 9:25:24 PM PDT by justa-hairyape (The user name is sarcastic. Although at times it may not appear that way.)
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To: UCANSEE2

Got a feeling that when Clint finally leaves this place, he will be going with a smile on his face.


45 posted on 06/08/2014 9:27:09 PM PDT by justa-hairyape (The user name is sarcastic. Although at times it may not appear that way.)
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To: GrandJediMasterYoda

Well said!


46 posted on 06/08/2014 9:27:16 PM PDT by laplata (Liberals don't get it .... their minds are diseased.)
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To: nathanbedford

We had the middle east divided from the Bosphorous straits to the Persian gulf.

Obama walked away and proceeded to enable our enemies.


47 posted on 06/08/2014 9:28:25 PM PDT by mylife (The roar of the masses could be farts)
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To: neverdem

http://thpatriots.blogspot.com/2010/10/shrink-asks-what-is-wrong-with-barack.html

Because Obama will not change. He will not learn from his mistakes. He will not grow and mature from on-the-job experience. In fact, over time, Obama will likely become a more ferocious version of who he is today.

Why? Because this is a damaged person. Obama’s fate was sealed years ago growing up in his strange and poisonous family. Later on, his empty vessel was filled with the hateful bile of men like Rev. Wright and Bill Ayers.

Obama will not evolve; he will not rise to the occasion; he will not become the man he was meant to be. This is for one reason and one reason alone:

He is not capable of it.


48 posted on 06/08/2014 9:28:44 PM PDT by digger48
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To: No!

There WAS vote fraud ...

precincts’ vote tallies were for more than the amount of registered voters....

Stuff like that.

For a good background info, see the book “Votescam” by Collier and Collier


49 posted on 06/08/2014 9:30:34 PM PDT by WildHighlander57 ((WildHighlander57, returning after lurking since 2000)
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Comment #50 Removed by Moderator


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