Posts Tagged ‘Kornacki


rise and shine

President Barack Obama participates in a college affordability roundtable with college presidents in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Dec. 5, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)


9:35 The President departs the White House

12:25 Arrives Kansas City

1:55 Delivers remarks on the economy

4:25 Departs Kansas City en route to Andrews


AP: President Barack Obama is channeling President Theodore Roosevelt, embracing a mantle of economic fairness for the nation’s middle class Tuesday that draws parallels to the progressive reformer’s calls for a “square deal” for regular Americans more than a century ago.

Obama intends to use a speech in small town Osawatomie, Kan. – where Roosevelt delivered his “New Nationalism” address in 1910 – to lay out economic themes of giving middle-class workers a fair shake and greater financial security, concepts the president will probably return to repeatedly during the 2012 campaign.

…. The president will be speaking at a high school about 50 miles southwest of Kansas City, not far from the presidential electoral prize of Missouri, which Obama narrowly lost to Republican John McCain in 2008.

More here


Thanks PoliticalJunkessa


Spike Dolomite Ward (LA Times): ….. I want to apologize to President Obama. But first, some background. I found out three weeks ago I have cancer. I’m 49 years old, have been married for almost 20 years and have two kids…. We’re good people, and we work hard. But we haven’t been able to afford health insurance for more than two years….

…. Fortunately for me, I’ve been saved by the federal government’s Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan, something I had never heard of before needing it. It’s part of President Obama’s healthcare plan, one of the things that has already kicked in, and it guarantees access to insurance for U.S. citizens with preexisting conditions who have been uninsured for at least six months …. for me it’s been a lifesaver – perhaps literally.

….. Which brings me to my apology. I was pretty mad at Obama before I learned about this new insurance plan. I had changed my registration from Democrat to Independent, and I had blacked out the top of the “h” on my Obama bumper sticker, so that it read, “Got nope” instead of “got hope.” I felt like he had let down the struggling middle class. My son and I had campaigned for him, but since he took office, we felt he had let us down.

So this is my public apology. I’m sorry I didn’t do enough of my own research to find out what promises the president has made good on. I’m sorry I didn’t realize that he really has stood up for me and my family, and for so many others like us. I’m getting a new bumper sticker to cover the one that says “Got nope.” It will say “ObamaCares.”

Full article here

Thanks BWD and Donna Dem


USA Today: More than 2.65 million Medicare recipients have saved more than $1.5 billion on their prescriptions this year, a $569-per-person average, while premiums have remained stable, the government plans to announce today.

That’s because of the provision of the health care law that put a 50% discount on prescription drugs in the “doughnut hole,” the gap between traditional and catastrophic coverage in the drug benefit, also known as Part D.

And, as of the end of November, more than 24 million people, or about half of those with traditional Medicare, have gone in for a free annual physical or other screening exam since the rules changed this year because of the health care law…..

Full article here

Thanks Meta


Steve Benen: Politico will host an awards dinner tonight, honoring “Policymakers of the Year” in a variety of categories and fields. That wouldn’t be especially interesting, were it not for the news organization’s choice for “Health Care Policymaker of the Year.”

…..House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan….

…. It’s been several months since the political world debated Paul Ryan’s approach to health care in detail, so perhaps Politico has forgotten some of the more important realizations from the debate. Let’s remind the publication of the relevant details….. (see post)

To know all of this, and give this guy an award “Health Care Policymaker of the Year” anyway, is madness.

Full post here

Thank you FiredUpInCA!


Steve Kornacki: President Obama’s remarks this afternoon captured how dramatically his posture toward congressional Republicans has changed since this summer …. he is shifting the battle to a new, more promising front: the looming expiration of payroll tax cuts.

On this subject, Republicans are increasingly nervous and divided ….. This set the stage for Obama’s appearance this afternoon, where he struck a confident tone and sought to make the GOP squirm even more. Just behind the president was a countdown clock that indicated a tax hike is just 26 days away unless action is taken. He called on Congress to “keep your word to the American people, and don’t raise taxes on them right now,” and belittled the GOP for its seemingly selective devotion to tax relief. “I know many Republicans have sworn an oath never to raise taxes as long as they live,” Obama said. “How could it be the only time there’s a catch is when it comes to raising taxes for middle-class families?”

….This is a new phenomenon in the 112th Congress: Obama and his party seem to have the upper hand – and they know it.

Full article here


They’re eating each other alive, part 36,278:


Statement from the Ron Paul campaign:

“We agree, of course, with former Speaker Gingrich – this is a country of people of enormous talent. Those who deliver thousands of babies like Dr. Paul and those who spend their time focusing on promoting themselves for profit. We even have those who lobby, but don’t call it such because, as they say, they can make $60,000 per speech. While those of us in the Paul camp might disagree with Newt Gingrich about whether Donald Trump is the right man to host a serious political debate, we do agree New York is a wonderful place to go at Christmas. We are sure two average Americans like Speaker Gingrich and Donald Trump will have a wonderful time picking out gifts for their wives. We suggest a place called Tiffany’s, we hear it is quite nice this time of year and given their celebrity status they can probably get special deals and $500,000 lines of credit.”




Reuters: Mitt Romney spent nearly $100,000 in state funds to replace computers in his office at the end of his term as governor of Massachusetts in 2007 as part of an unprecedented effort to keep his records secret, Reuters has learned.

…. The effort to purge the records was made a few months before Romney launched an unsuccessful campaign for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

… Theresa Dolan, former director of administration for the governor’s office, told Reuters that Romney’s efforts to control or wipe out records from his governorship were unprecedented.

Dolan said that in her 23 years as an aide to successive governors “no one had ever inquired about, or expressed the desire” to purchase their computer hard drives before Romney’s tenure.

Full article here


LA Times: ….. Romney says his Bain experience shows he knows how to create jobs …. But a closer examination of the prospectus paints a different picture of Bain’s operation …. Bain expanded many of the companies it acquired. But like other leveraged-buyout firms, Romney and his team also maximized returns by firing workers, seeking government subsidies, and flipping companies quickly for large profits. Sometimes Bain investors gained even when companies slid into bankruptcy.

…. Four of the 10 companies Bain acquired declared bankruptcy within a few years, shedding thousands of jobs. The prospectus shows that Bain investors profited in eight of the 10 deals, including three of the four that ended in bankruptcy.

…. Bain formed GSI in the early 1990s by spending $24 million to acquire and merge steel companies with plants in Missouri, South Carolina and other states. Company managers cut jobs and benefits almost immediately. Meanwhile, Bain and other investors received management fees from GSI and a $65-million dividend in the first years after the acquisition….

Full article here


Morning everyone ;-)



Steve Kornacki: Maybe you remember the much-discussed map that the New York Times ran in November 2008, just after Barack Obama racked up a bigger share of the national popular vote than any Democrat had in 44 years. It really was the perfect election for Democrats, with just about everything breaking their way, and yet the Times showed that in a few pockets of America, Obama had somehow fared worse than his party’s previous (losing) nominee.

This phenomenon was mostly centered in Appalachia, but there were exceptions – like the Brooklyn/Queens-based 9th District of New York, where Obama performed one point worse than John Kerry had in 2004 and 12 points worse than Al Gore had in 2000.

This may be the most important piece of information to keep in mind now that the voters of that same 9th District have just handed national Republicans a dream talking point… there really isn’t much that’s remarkable about the victory that Republican Bob Turner achieved on Tuesday night.

Mainly, it tells us what a simple look at President Obama’s job approval numbers (or the economic indicators that are largely responsible for them) would tell us: Voters are frustrated and eager to register their displeasure with him and his party. This is true everywhere, but particularly in areas like the 9th District, where voters already had clear reservations about Obama even before he did anything as president – back when his approval ratings were still stratospheric.

…. None of this is to say that Turner’s win is a non-story … President Obama is in serious political trouble and is faced with an electorate that could easily deny him a second term next year. But then, that would have been true even if the Democrats had pulled an upset or two on Tuesday night.

Full article here



Nate Silver: …. New York’s Ninth Congressional District has highly unusual demographics, with a set of local issues that are unlikely to extrapolate well to the rest of the country.

… First, there are the local issues – Barack Obama’s positioning toward Israel, Mr. Weprin’s endorsement of a plan to build a mosque and Muslim cultural center in Lower Manhattan, and possibly gay marriage – that will resonate more in Queens than they will in the rest of the country.

Roughly 40 percent of voters in the Ninth District are Jewish, 20 times the rate in the country as a whole. Moreover, and perhaps more important, many of those voters are Orthodox Jews, who often have starkly different political viewpoints than Reform or secular Jews, and who are extremely rare in the United States outside a few spots in the New York region.

There’s also the fact that the district was already behaving unusually in 2008. Despite having a 37-point edge in party registration, Mr. Obama won the election by only 11 points there – barely better than the seven-point edge he had nationwide.

I doubt that there was any district in the country (in 2008), perhaps outside a few remnants of the “Solid South,” where so many enrolled Democrats voted against Mr. Obama.

Full post here


Read Steve Benen’s take on the result here



And don’t forget how Weiner won that seat in the first place – here


Wow, look at that Brooklyn result. :roll:


‘the dirty trick that launched anthony weiner’s career’

Steve Kornacki (Salon): …if this does end up being the end for Anthony Weiner’s public career, it might not be quite the injustice it seems like – at least if you know how his career began.

Twenty years ago, Weiner’s opening came when the City Council was radically expanded … One of the new districts, the 48th, would be in Southern Brooklyn. It was a neat match for Weiner … there was no incumbent, and the population was heavily Jewish. He jumped in the race.

He was not the favorite … as the all-important Sept. 10 Democratic primary approached, the consensus was that he’d come up short…

It was at this point that Weiner’s campaign decided to blanket the district with leaflets attacking his opponents. But these were no ordinary campaign attacks: They played the race card, and at a very sensitive time. They were also anonymous.

Just weeks earlier, the Crown Heights riot – a deadly, days-long affair that brought to the surface long-standing tension between the area’s black and Jewish populations – had played out a few miles away from the 48th District…

It was just days after order had been restored that Weiner’s campaign distributed its anonymous leaflets, which linked (Democrat rival) Adele Cohen – whose voters he was targeting in particular – to Jesse Jackson and David Dinkins, who was then New York’s mayor. It is hard to imagine two more-hated political figures in the 48th District at that moment … The leaflets urged voters to “just say no” to the “Jackson-Dinkins agenda” that Cohen supposedly represented. At City Hall, Dinkins held up the flier and branded it “hateful.”

….Weiner finished in first place … only after the ballots were counted did he admit that he’d been behind the leaflets, claiming that “We didn’t want the source to be confused with the message.”…

… who knows where Weiner would be today if he hadn’t made such a dark appeal to racial hostility days after a notorious riot?

…..Is it unfair if he loses his political future because of a scandal as dumb as this one? Sure. But it’s also not exactly fair that he ever made it this far.

Full article here


‘obama’s “base” problem doesn’t actually exist’

Steve Kornacki (Salon): Here we go again … President Obama is being confronted with warnings that he’s at risk of losing his left-of-center political base.

…As I write this, Obama has yet to begin his deficit reduction speech, but it’s very possible that the liberal commentators who have been excoriating him for the past week won’t change their minds as a result of it. In other words, expect more of these stories in the coming days.

This ought to feel familiar. Time and again during Obama’s 27 months in office, we’ve witnessed eruptions like this, with one-time Obama supporters claiming that because of [insert Obama action here], the president has lost their support for good….

All of these episode have one thing in common: For all of the threats and dire forecasts, Obama’s base stuck with him. At the same time that he was agreeing to extend the Bush tax cuts, his approval rating among Democrats held steady, in the 80 percent range, where they’d been throughout 2010 – and his highest scores were among self-identified liberals.

And nothing much has changed since then … Gallup’s latest poll has Obama’s approval among Democrats at 80 percent. An NBC/Wall Street Journal survey released last week put it at 83 percent – with a score of 79 percent among liberals. We have heard expressions of outrage from left-of-center commentators about how Obama has sold out his old base – but that base, by all appearance, remains very much intact.

…Just because Democrats instinctively tell pollsters that they want taxes hiked on the rich or that they want Guantanamo closed doesn’t mean they hold those views with the same intensity as commentators who live and breathe these issues for a living. What they do feel strongly about is a more basic and personal question: Do they like President Obama? The answer to this, when it comes to the Democratic base, has and continues to be an overwhelming “yes.”

Full article here


chump update: his ‘white house con began 24 years ago’

Steve Kornacki: How The Donald discovered that pretending to run for president can be good for business ….

….Paul Riddell from Texas wrote that he agreed Trump’s “campaign” is a publicity stunt, not just because he did the same thing back in 2000, but because he also did it in the 1988 cycle … it turns out it’s true: The Trumpster’s first fake presidential campaign actually took place 24 years ago…

….he was handed a deal to write the “Trump: The Art of the Deal.” Publication was set for November 1987 … And wouldn’t you know it, a few months before the book’s release, stories began appearing that Trump – seemingly out of nowhere – might jump into the 1988 presidential race as a Republican … “Anyone would be honored to hear this,” he said. Then he swung into action, taking out ads in major newspapers addressing topics ranging from the deficit to nuclear weaponry to Central America. And he scheduled a speech in New Hampshire…

….with his money and bluster, Trump was portrayed as a potential wild card. He denied that he was running – always leaving enough wiggle room to keep the media playing along….Not long after the NH speech, “The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores. It was a runaway hit. And with that, the trips to New Hampshire and the flirtations with the ’88 race stopped. He’d already accomplished his goal: enhancing the Trump brand….

12 years later, with another book to promote, he did it all over again (see here). And now, 12 years after that, he’s back again. (There’s no book for Trump to promote this time, but there is his C-list celebrity train wreck on NBC, which (conveniently enough) premiered just as the Trump for President chatter intensified).

More here


‘why republicans are suddenly afraid of obama’

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, a Republican member of the Cabinet, feigns being a blocking back for President Barack Obama as he arrives backstage to meet with GOP House leaders Jan. 29, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Steve Kornacki (Salon): At Politico on Monday, Jonathan Martin does a nice job explaining the “reality check” that Republicans are now waking up to: Barack Obama seems to be in decent political shape as the 2012 cycle begins, while “breezy predictions of Obama turning out to be the next Jimmy Carter were premature.”

That it’s come to this shouldn’t be that surprising. As we noted over and over last year as Obama and his fellow Democrats braced for a midterm drubbing, the two-year verdict on a presidency is often extremely misleading – as the examples of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton both attest. With his party running Washington and with the economy reeling, it was pretty much inevitable that the first half of Obama’s first term would play out the way it did.

What is surprising, though, is how quickly it’s come to this…..barely a month after the midterms, prominent conservatives were already admitting that he was looking good to win a second term … lately, Mike Huckabee — who might be the front-runner for the GOP nomination, if only he’d get in the race — has been making headlines by talking up Obama’s strength, as he did to Politico:

“The people that are sitting around saying, ‘He’s definitely going to be a one-term president. It’s going to be easy to take him out,’ they’re obviously political illiterates — political idiots, let me be blunt.”

…for now, the consensus of the political class seems to be that Obama will be reelected in 2012 – and Republicans seem to be buying into it …. Unlike the Democrats of early 2003, who saw a chance to become the next Bill Clinton, the Republicans of early 2011 seem to fear the prospect of becoming the next Bob Dole.

Read the full article here


‘you know, 2010 wasn’t a bad year for obama’

Steve Kornacki (Salon): It would be wrong to say that 2010 was a resounding success for Barack Obama … but while 2010 provided plenty of reasons for his allies to doubt him, the bigger story of the year was how much Obama was able to accomplish…

…..Nothing better illustrated this than the last two months of the year, after Democrats suffered massive election losses …. the last Democratic president to withstand such a midterm drubbing, Bill Clinton, had no idea how to respond …. but Obama barely skipped a beat. He acknowledged that the election had been a “shellacking,” then enjoyed some of the most productive weeks of his presidency to date.

…..Tax compromise …. it’s not surprising that the initial outrage of elite liberal opinion-shapers didn’t trickle down to rank-and-file liberals. As the details of Obama’s tax compromise spread, in fact, polls showed wide support for it – even among Democrats, and even among self-identified liberal Democrats. Most liberals, it seems, didn’t think that the president had sold them out at all.

There was even more reason for liberals to reach that conclusion as December wore on. By agreeing to terms with the GOP on taxes, Obama ratcheted up the pressure on the Senate’s few moderate Republicans to break with their colleagues on several big ticket items…..

….Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell … here, too, Obama’s long game came in to play: Liberals and gay rights advocates had railed throughout his presidency that he was willing only to pay lip service to the cause of DADT repeal. Actually, though, he was being wisely patient, winning over helpful support from military leaders by refusing to rely on an executive order or the courts and commissioning an exhaustive Pentagon study on the effects of repeal. That report’s release, cleverly timed for the start of the lame duck session, utterly eviscerated every reasonable-seeming concern that opponents of DADT repeal had been touting….

…. the last two months should give those who would cry “betrayal!” pause. Obama demonstrated in 2010 that he is still committed to doing much of what he set out to do – and that he’s still capable of accomplishing a lot of it.

Full article here


‘the lame duck wins are adding up for Obama’

Salon / Steve Kornacki: Despite their leaders’ bluster, Senate Republicans do not have the votes to block ratification of the New START treaty. When a vote to end the GOP’s filibuster was called on Wednesday afternoon, 11 Republican senators broke with their party. With a total of 67 senators voting to kill the filibuster, the path now seems clear for the chamber to formally ratify the treaty, which calls for the U.S. and Russia to pare back their nuclear arsenals over the next seven years, on Wednesday.

Needless to say, this represents a significant political victory for Barack Obama — and not his first one this lame duck session. The White House worked intently to win over Republican support, which was more crucial than usual on START because of the two-thirds requirement for treaty ratification, and overcame a series of increasingly creative objections from some GOP senators who were intent on denying Obama a key item on his December wish list.

…. START still needs to be officially ratified, and the fate of the 9/11 bill is still up in the air; there are signs that Democrats have the votes to pass it, but Republican Sen. Tom Coburn is threatening to kill it with procedural delays. If the bill ends up clearing Congress, it will serve as another clear victory for Obama.

…Think of it this way: If you had said in the immediate wake of the November election …. that by the end of the year, the START treaty would be ratified, DADT would be history, and $300 billion of new stimulus would be authorized by Congress (with Republican support), you probably would have been laughed at. But it will all soon be a reality — and there’s a real chance that passage of the 9/11 healthcare bill will be too.


credit where it’s due?

Salon (Steve Kornacki): ….In a matter of days (if that), President Obama will sign the bill…. and fulfill one of his major campaign promises — one that some of his liberal critics had accused him of shirking.

Obama, it should be said, played this issue remarkably well. To listen to his liberal critics (at least before today), his handling of DADT has encapsulated all that’s wrong with his presidency. He’s lacked, in their telling, both a meaningful strategy and the stomach for a fight with Republicans. But the course he pursued actually made a lot of sense, as Saturday’s vote attests. Obama took pains to get Pentagon and military leaders aboard, commissioning an exhaustive study of the issue and promising them he wouldn’t preempt it with an executive order or legal fight.

While it was slow, the beauty of this process was that the final report, released three weeks ago, completely and authoritatively dismantled every rationalization that opponents of repeal could offer. The few moderate Republicans in the Senate who were open to repeal — either because of their own consciences or because of political dynamics in their home states (or both) — had nothing left to hide behind. Remember, it was only after the report’s release that Scott Brown and Lisa Murkowski finally came on board. (The same, for that matter, was true for conservative Democrat Mark Pryor.) For the past two years, Obama has loudly insisted that he was working toward repeal. Saturday demonstrated that there was a method to the madness.

Andrew Sullivan: Do gay activists, including myself, want to doubt it now? ….I reiterate what I wrote barely a week ago: It seems to me the events of the last month or so reveal that the Obama administration has finally delivered the goods for the military, which is hobbled by this dated, counter-productive policy, and for the gay community, by moving the issue deliberately  through the Congress before the executive branch or the judicial branch.

Like 2009’s removal of the HIV ban, which was as painstakingly slow but thereby much more entrenched, this process took time. Without the Pentagon study, it wouldn’t have passed. Without Obama keeping Lieberman inside the tent, it wouldn’t have passed. Without the critical relationship between Bob Gates and Obama, it wouldn’t have passed. It worked our last nerve; we faced at one point a true nightmare of nothing … for years. And then we pulled behind this president, making it his victory and the country’s victory, as well as ours.

This video doesn’t exist

Lt. Dan Choi: “President Obama, you are not off the hook. The compromise bill passed today puts the moral imperative squarely on your desk. Sign an executive order instituting a full non-discrimination policy throughout the military. If you do not, if you drag your feet and politicize this with your theoretical calculations as you have these past two years, you will be guilty of abetting those who loudly proclaim homophobia from their platforms and pulpits. Provide them no shelter or safe haven. Institute justice now….. Do not compare this to the integration of racial and religious minorities in the 1940’s and 1950’s. Integration of gay people has already happened…..”

You can read the whole thing at the link – Lt Choi is a truly remarkable man, which makes it kind of sad that he apparently has as much contempt for President Obama as he does for John McCain, even after what happened today. Or maybe he’s just not big enough to admit he got it all wrong about the President’s strategy on DADT, and that he is, after all, not a homophobe? He could learn from Maddow and Sullivan’s graciousness and honesty.

PS As someone on Huffington Post asked him, how on earth was this a “compromise” bill?

Two months ago:

PS II: I take back my description of Choi as a “remarkable” man – I somehow managed to miss what he said about Harry Reid in October:

“Harry Reid is a pussy – and he’ll be bleeding once a month.”

What a vile misogynist he is.

Thanks to Jessica for letting me know.

I found a good article on the comment here

Good grief, a campaigner against prejudice with a pretty nasty prejudice himself – ah, the breathtaking hypocrisy of it all! How did this guy treat the women he worked with in the army??


‘the liberal backlash that isn’t’

In the wake of his “cave” on taxes, a new poll finds that among liberals Barack Obama is … still wildly popular

Salon (Steve Kornacki): As one prominent liberal after another cried “betrayal!” over President Obama’s tax cut deal last week, I cautioned against reading too much into it: One of the most underappreciated stories of Obama’s tenure has been the consistent disconnect between elite liberal opinion about the president and the view of rank-and-file liberals.

That point is more evident than ever today, with the release of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll — conducted late last week and over the weekend, as the supposed liberal backlash against the deal was at its peak — that shows Obama’s approval rating with liberal Democrats sitting at 87 percent.

That’s essentially where it’s been all year; it represents a statistically microscopic decline from where he stood with liberal Democrats in the last WaPo/ABC survey, taken about six weeks ago. Among all Democrats, Obama’s approval rating in the new survey sits at 79 percent — again, pretty much exactly where it’s been all year. As has been the case throughout his presidency, Obama’s problem among Democrats — to the extent he has one at all — is with self-described moderates and conservatives in the party.

…this is hardly the first time that elite liberal voices have branded Obama a sellout — remember last September, when Keith Olbermann suggested that Obama could face a serious 2012 primary challenge if a public option wasn’t included in the final healthcare bill? Those eruptions all failed to manifest themselves in polls of rank-and-file Democrats, and it’s likely this one will, too.


‘obama’s silent majority’

Salon (Steve Kornacki): Everyone knows that progressives have been growing increasingly disillusioned with Barack Obama since, well … even before he took office…

And now that he’s gone and cut a deal with Mitch McConnell (of all people!) … no wonder Time’s Mark Halperin says the president’s base is “shattered.” And no wonder the media is filled with speculation about a potential challenge to the president in the 2012 Democratic primaries….

It’s a fun topic for cable news and the blogosphere, where liberal commentators and activists routinely brand the president a Judas and threaten to support a primary challenger in 2012. …

There’s just one problem: The premise on which all of this is based is totally and completely wrong.

Liberal commentators and activists and interest group leaders may be seething over Obama, but their rage has not trickled down to the Democratic voters….

…Obama’s approval rating among Democrats has held steady at or near the 80 percent level throughout all of the turmoil of 2010. This puts him in as strong a position with his own party’s voters as any modern president has been at this same point in his presidency…

Look closer and you’ll also find that Obama’s approval rating among Democrats is actually highest among those who call themselves liberals — an 83 percent score in the most recent round of Gallup polling…

…Obama, in other words, seems to have developed his own silent majority … the party’s liberal base still very much likes him; it’s the elites who have turned on him.

At his press conference Tuesday, Obama noted that many of the “purist” liberals now blasting his tax cut deal also savaged his final healthcare compromise earlier this year, which wiped out the public option. It’s an apt comparison. And it’s worth remembering that the cries of betrayal back then did nothing to lessen rank-and-file’s assessment of Obama’s job performance — probably because the main thing they saw was that Obama, unlike every president before him, had actually gotten healthcare done.

Full article here


‘actually, it’s a pretty good deal…’

Salon: The obvious comparison that comes to mind, now that President Obama has officially relented on the GOP’s insistence that all of the Bush tax cuts be extended, is to George H.W. Bush and his decision in 1990 to go back on his “No new taxes” campaign pledge.

…. it could be said that Obama … risks the same kind of congressional and grassroots revolt that Bush faced when he reneged on “No new taxes” in ’90 … but look a little closer and you’ll find good reason to doubt that Obama will face the same intraparty blowback …

….there’s a clear disconnect between the loudest voices on left – the ones that have been branding Obama a sell-out – and rank-and-file Democratic voters, who still approve of the president’s job performance at a rate of about 80 percent.

…. Democrats, by and large, believe that Obama has been operating in good faith … which is why the concessions that he won from the GOP are so important. As part of the deal, expiring unemployment benefits for millions of Americans will be extended for 13 months. Just as importantly, there is now a real prospect that the Senate will act on repeal of the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy and ratification of the START treaty before this month’s lame duck session ends.

.… Obama took the best deal he could possibly get. And he got enough out of it that Democratic voters, who still like him enormously, can rationalize their way to supporting it … no matter how much grief Obama takes from liberal activists and commentators.

… Some of the most vocal liberals will argue that Obama should have refused this deal … this wouldn’t have worked, though … on Monday, he dealt with reality and came away with the best compromise he could get.

Full article here

(There are enough ‘Obama Is A Sell-Out!’ articles out there today, I’ll try to bring you a few more restrained and thoughtful pieces – but for those who want to read the ‘Sell-Out!’ stuff, you won’t have to look too hard!)







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