14
Apr
11

more reaction to that speech

Eleanor Clift (Daily Beast): In his carefully worded deficit speech, the president assured Democrats that his inner liberal is alive and well – slamming Paul Ryan’s budget proposal as “deeply pessimistic,” and vowing that the radical plan is “not going to happen as long as I’m president.”

Obama is a man who rations his emotions, but watching his speech today, and listening to the direction of his reforms, his inner liberal is alive and well.

He would direct less money to the top 1 percent and hold the line for people who have no clout on Capitol Hill. He can’t deliver everything liberals want, but this fight is as much about leadership as it is about the numbers. After a slow start, Obama is suited up and ready for the battle…

…After commending Republican Paul Ryan for coming forward with a plan, he deftly skewered it as “deeply pessimistic” that if enacted would lead to “a fundamentally different America,” one that will leave some 50 million Americans to fend for themselves…

The central issue of our day should be jobs, but Republican messaging and the arrival of the Tea Party has made it the country’s rising debt. Obama enters the debate at an optimal moment when Republicans have put down markers that many Americans find objectionable – from trying to defund Planned Parenthood to privatizing Medicare. A lot of Democrats would like Obama to just say no, but that’s not Obama’s inclination. There is a serious challenge in getting the budget under control. It’s not a crisis, but it is a partisan confrontation about the role of government, and Obama showed in his speech today that he is ready to seize the moment on behalf of his party’s ideals and constituents.

More here

Michael Shear (NYT): In the hours before President Obama’s 44-minute speech on the nation’s mounting debt, liberal groups were whipped up into a frenzy, warning that Mr. Obama was poised to capitulate — once again, in their view — to Republican philosophy on taxes, the deficit and spending cuts.

On Tuesday, one group, the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, wrote its members that in the upcoming speech, “President Obama will do what no Republican president has been able to do: put Medicare and Medicaid on the table for potential cuts.”

The e-mail was an indication that there remains deep suspicion of Mr. Obama, at least among what a White House official once called the “professional left.” The group warned that such a speech would add to a politically dangerous softening of Democratic support for the president.

In fact, the address on Wednesday appears to have done exactly the opposite for Mr. Obama. The speech’s several starkly partisan moments and his willingness to draw clear lines in the sand over the issues of taxes and Medicare sparked a significant amount of praise among liberal members of the president’s party.

“Liberals have wanted a full-throated affirmation of why government is a good thing,” wrote Jonathan Bernstein, a political blogger. “Obama delivered, with perhaps his strongest case for a liberal vision of government that he’s given so far during his presidency.”

More here

Jonathan Cohn (New Republic): President Obama’s speech today was about policy and politics. But it was also about principles, as Obama made clear early in his remarks…

…If there is an essence of the liberal vision for America, that passage captures it. It’s the idea that a modern, enlightened society promises economic security to all, notwithstanding illness, accident of birth, or age. The liberal vision is not an imperative to establish equality, as its detractors sometimes claim. But it is expectation that government will guarantee sustenance, peace of mind, and simple dignity – that the pursuit of these goals will bolster, rather than impede, freedom.

In the era of Roosevelt and Truman, Kennedy and Johnson, Democrats talked openly and proudly of this mission. But in the last few years, at least, Democrats have seemed less comfortable with such rhetoric, or at least comfortable with their loftier ideals than Republicans have been with theirs. This contrast has been vivid in fights over the economy, climate change, and health care, with Democrats making sensible, nuanced arguments about growth rates and Republicans making hyperbolic, simplistic claims about “socialism.”

Not on Wednesday. The president can seem like a compulsive mediator, desperately seeking opportunities to forge common understanding among adversaries. It’s an admirable quality and, frequently, an aggravating one. But in the budget speech Obama drew a clear contrast between his vision of America and that of the Republicans….

…Obama has laid out a credible plan for reducing deficits and, more important, he has described a vision of America he wants to defend. For today, at least, that seems like enough.

Full article here

Jonathan Chait (New Republic): Obama’s Speech: The Umpire Strikes Back….. The President expressed moral outrage in a way I’ve never heard him do before, and in a way I didn’t think he was capable of. After his spokesmen have feebly pawed at Ryan’s plan for lacking “balance,” it was jolting to hear Obama lambaste Ryan with language like this:

“I will not allow Medicare to become a voucher program that leaves seniors at the mercy of the insurance industry, with a shrinking benefit to pay for rising costs. I will not tell families with children who have disabilities that they have to fend for themselves.”

This attack, by the way, is completely fair. Moreover, Obama made the crucial step of attacking Republicans for doing these things while cutting taxes for the rich. It’s impossible to overstate just how commanding a position Obama holds here with regard to public opinion. People overwhelmingly favor higher taxes on the rich. They even more overwhelmingly oppose cutting Medicare. The Republican plan to impose deep Medicare cuts in order to free up room to cut taxes for the rich is ridiculously, off-the-charts unpopular. If Republicans want to take this position, Obama has to make them pay dearly.

The most important line in Obama speech was his explanation that Republicans forced him to extend upper-bracket tax cuts, but “I refuse to renew them again”. That’s the line in the sand I’ve been looking for.

More here

Boston Globe Editorial: President Obama … gave a cogent explanation for how mounting government debt will drive up interest rates for businesses and consumers and hinder the nation’s ability to protect its interests abroad. And he noted the public’s complicity in the problem, stating that “most Americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but they like the stuff it buys”. When two-thirds of the federal budget goes to Social Security, health care, and national defense, there’s no use in pretending, as the Tea Party does, that cutting waste and abuse alone will get government spending under control.

Obama made a strong case that part of the fix should include raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans. While the incomes of 90 percent of Americans have declined in recent years, he noted, those of the wealthiest 1 percent have skyrocketed. And not, one might add, because the bottom 90 percent are lazier than the top 1 percent. The sacrifice should begin with those who’ve benefited disproportionately from changes in the economy.

On the spending side, Obama made it clear he opposed House Republican budget guru Paul Ryan’s plan to cut Medicare’s costs by turning it into a voucher program, and offered instead the much fuzzier idea of using a commission to reduce the cost of health care itself. While Ryan’s plan has the advantage of clarity, applying it without also overhauling a woefully inefficient health system necessarily means that many senior citizens would go without care they need.

…While most Americans are understandably concerned about reducing the federal deficit, the country’s economic future depends on its quality of education and infrastructure, as well. With diligence and good will, Congress can find the right balance. Obama deserves credit for challenging both parties to do so.

More here


22 Responses to “more reaction to that speech”


  1. 1 Sonjia Duncan
    April 14, 2011 at 8:19 am

    All thru the self proclaim experts on advising this President from the left and the right my inner voice always says wait until he speaks. He is like that favorite teacher who always has the missing information that makes the most complex course of study clear and easy to understand.

    I love having Barack Obama as my President, I sleep much better knowing he is in charge.

    • 2 HZ
      April 14, 2011 at 11:48 am

      Good Morning Sonjia Duncan: I love your comments. That is what I have done when POTUS is making a speech or a brief announcement. I will not allow these “self proclaim experts”as you so beautifully stated it, in charge of my mental space when POTUS is to give a speech. He is a calmer in the midst of a storm. Thank God for our President, Barack Obama.

  2. 4 obamalia
    April 14, 2011 at 8:39 am

    “I love having Barack Obama as my President, I sleep much better knowing he is in charge.”

    Yes Sonjia, plus I love waking up in the morning knowing he is in charge.

  3. 5 dotster
    April 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

    The pre-speech frenzy was telling. No one waited to hear Obama’s actual words. They were ready to pounce, planning to use this moment, this “sell out”, to raise money and further their anti-Obama crusade. I got Adam Green’s Progressive Change Committee’s email shortly after the speech which was filled with completely false assumptions. They obviously had it all ready to roll, and they appeared extremely foolish with the ‘Obama has failed us’ theme. I unsubscribed immediately with a blistering rebuke of their irresponsible and damaging intentions. I’ve since found out that Green is a big ally of Jane Hamsher, which explains everything. I got 2 other similar dumb messages–True Blue Majority? was one—and I unsubscribed from them also. I don’t know how I got on all these lists, probably from signing a petition. But the professional left seems organized and clearly out to destroy this President, no matter the facts. I puzzle over the motive.

    • 6 hopefruit2
      April 14, 2011 at 9:21 am

      The current “Professional Left” crop compromises mostly wealthy former Republicans, or conservative Democrats (who worshipped Bill/Hillary Clinton) and who may also have issues with a Black man being in charge. This explains A LOT of their seemingly contradictory motives. They hide behind stereotypical “left-wing” issues while pushing a decidely right-wing agenda. When Robert Gibbs dubbed them the “Professional Left” he knew exactly what he was talking about. With the exception of perhaps one or two issues, these people are not genuinely and ideologically on the “left.” They simply use it as a way of furthering their respective professions as TV or Internet Pundits to make more money for themselves and no one else.

    • 7 PoliticalJunkessa
      April 14, 2011 at 9:31 am

      I unsubscribed from the PCCC emails last night and let them know I didn’t appreciate the anti-Obama hysteria. Enough!

      • April 14, 2011 at 10:21 am

        Good on you, what a pile of hysterical crap! I’d imagine they were bitterly disappointed by the President’s speech, nothing in it to attack. They’re a pathetic bunch of haters.

      • 9 Dorothy Rissman
        April 14, 2011 at 12:15 pm

        I got rid of them two days ago. After I refused to sign a petition, they sent me 5 more emails. One of them taking me to an ugly rant on DK.

  4. 10 Carolyn
    April 14, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Paul Ryan thought the President should extend an “olive branch” to HIM??? Wrong way sir! Barack Obama is The President. You are a representative from a tiny district in Wisconsin. Do you see the difference here? You should be the one extending the olive branch!!!
    So glad the President let him get his mean-spirited plan out to the public first! Gave him time to go all over the media touting it…then skewering it and showing it up for what it is: Mean, punitive, un-American. This disciple of Ayn Rand should have no place in determing our policies.

    • 11 Me4obama
      April 14, 2011 at 9:22 am

      Paul Ryan was invited by the President to the speech, he sat in the Front raw and my president whacked him so hard he must have thought the president was going to send him flowers for his radical agenda. God I love this man.

      • 12 HZ
        April 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm

        Good Morning Me4obama: Your comments are on point. It was like placing this student who is constantly raising his hand and trying so hard to show-off for his peers at the expense of the teacher(who by the way is one of the best, if not the best on staff)and the teacher keeps making a note of this type of behavior espcially when the teacher knows that this mess the student is peddling is going to hurt millions in the future and even now, and he says, okay, I am going to show you how to listen. Sit in the front row for now, Mr. Ryan. You have had center-court for too long now. So Tim, my friend, this is how you play this match. Watch! You Got That? I love my President.

      • 13 Dorothy Rissman
        April 14, 2011 at 12:21 pm

        It was a magnificent day, wasn’t it? I ventured out of my family blog sites and tried msnbc. Rachel raved, as did Ed, he is still a pig, and Lawrence were all really happy. My husband and I were giddy as they gushed with joy. The only negative thing that happened was that Dennis the menace was on Ed’s show, and Dennis said he did not trust the president. It seemed like ed was pretty upset with Dennis for ruining a very good day.

        I am sure they will find something new to complain about today.

    • 14 EDP4BHO
      April 14, 2011 at 11:02 am

      “…the President let him get his mean-spirited plan out to the public first!”

      This is one of PBO’s greatest talents……let the fools hang themselves. His close allies and friends always say he’s a great counter-puncher.

  5. 15 Me4obama
    April 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Morning chipsticks and TOD family. His inner Liberal is Alive and Well! What a bunch of Idiots to think he had lost it. And the PCCC should go to hell for deceiving it’s members.

  6. 16 anniebella
    April 14, 2011 at 10:09 am

    There is a difference between us here and some of those Professional Left or Liberals, you see we never stop believing in this President. He still had our support. We weren’t popping up on tv or internet attacking him all the time. I don’t mean to sound hateful,but I want to tell them to go shove it where the sun don’t shine. We have a darn good President and we all should realize that. Of course I do and I know the other people here does too.

    • 17 Debz
      April 14, 2011 at 11:03 am

      You expressed my feelings perfectly. It gets tiresome hearing these PLs constantly doubting not only his motives, but his morals.

  7. 18 CTGirl7
    April 14, 2011 at 10:16 am

    “I may be skinny but I am tough!”
    — President Barack Obama” –

  8. 19 EDP4BHO
    April 14, 2011 at 10:58 am

    “The President expressed moral outrage in a way I’ve never heard him do before, and in a way I didn’t think he was capable of.”

    This comment from Jonathan Chait (last editorial) is ridiculous. Obviously, he never listened to Senator Obama, or State Legislator Obama, give speeches denouncing the Bush policies, and never read his book ‘Audacity of Hope”. President Obama is very passionate about his beliefs- he’s just not a rabid idealogue.

  9. 20 HZ
    April 14, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    The President has spoken! And he will continue to speak. Remember President is a listener. He listens, gather the proper information, and then he weighs in with precision. He is in the Oval Office. He is not running a circus.

  10. 21 Asher in Boston
    April 14, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    These foolish haters are trying to box in the President, always second guessing him. Whats up with that? Good I am not a member of those silly so called liberal groups, if they had sent me an email I would have cursed, ranted and raved so loud they would sue me if at all that is possible. LOL. Because no one, comes between me and my President. And I also can listen and rationalise for myself than them preaching nonsense to us.

  11. 22 cat48
    April 15, 2011 at 12:43 am

    Yep, another classic speech yesterday. What a win for all of us! I don’t understand why the PL feels they have to be reassured all the time. I would certainly not want a relationship with any of them. What chaos & drama!

    I think that John Cole was the funniest short blogpost I read yesterday. He said the president took Ryan to the woodshed and at times looked like he had to suppress laughter when he talked about the Ryan plan. It is laughable that Ryan finds screwing the “little people” so satifying…..just wrong!


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