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President Barack Obama addresses the annual Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Phoenix Awards dinner in Washington on Saturday night.


President tries to reprise organizing that helped him to 2008 victory

President Barack Obama came out swinging against Republicans in a fiery campaign-season speech to black lawmakers Saturday night, urging them to "guard the change" he was delivering with the kind of organizing that propelled the civil rights movement.

With the GOP hoping to regain power on Capitol Hill in the November election, Obama described his adversaries as "a crowd ... that wants to do what's right politically, instead of what's right — period." He never named the opposing party, referring to it as "the other side."

"I need everybody here to go back to your neighborhoods, and your workplaces, to your churches, and barbershops, and beauty shops. Tell them we have more work to do. Tell them we can't wait to organize. Tell them that the time for action is now," Obama said in his remarks.

The words of America's first black president showed a deliberate effort to recapture the enthusiasm that had helped him win the White House in 2008, after polls showed African- Americans much less likely to vote than whites this year.

"The last election was a changing of the guard — now we need to guard the change," Obama said.

He said the recession had struck "with a particular vengeance on African-American communities" and he defended his approach to reviving the sour economy.

Members of "the other side," Obama said, "want to take us backward. We want to move America forward. In fact, they're betting that you'll come down with a case of amnesia. That you'll forget about what their agenda did to this country when they were in charge. Remember, these are the folks who spent almost a decade driving the economy into a ditch. And now they're asking for the keys back."

With polls showing his party facing a wide "enthusiasm gap" with the GOP, Obama sought to rally an important constituency in his speech.

"What made the civil rights movement possible were foot soldiers like so many of you, sitting down at lunch counters and standing up for freedom. What made it possible for me to be here today are Americans throughout our history making our union more equal, making our union more just, making our union more perfect," Obama said. "That's what we need again."

The caucus is reeling from ethics charges against two leading members, Democratic Reps. Charles Rangel of New York and Maxine Waters of California. Republicans are preparing TV ads spotlighting the cases, even though House trials are now not expected until after the November election.

The cases complicate an already difficulty electoral landscape for Obama's party, with polls showing Republicans energized and Democrats unenthusiastic about the vote.

A recent AP-GfK poll found that 84 percent of Republicans believe their party will seize control of Congress in November. Just 51 percent of Democrats thought their party would keep it.

While neither party's rank and file thinks much of politics these days, Democrats' feelings have slumped badly. Just 26 percent said they're "excited," compared with 80 percent when Obama was elected.

For Obama, the caucus dinner at the Washington Convention Center capped a week of concerted outreach to minority supporters, a traditional wellspring of Democratic strength.

The effort began Monday with a White House reception for black college officials. It included speeches by the president on Wednesday to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and by first lady Michelle Obama to a black caucus legislative conference that same day.

Last week, Obama was interviewed on "The Tom Joyner Show" radio program, which enjoys a large black audience.

Black caucus members have been staunch backers of the first African-American president. But they've also voiced concern that he hasn't done enough to help struggling black families.

They point to persistent high inner-city unemployment and a new census report showing a jump in poverty on Obama's watch. The poverty rate was 14.3 percent, with the ranks of working-age poor at the highest since the 1960s. For blacks, the rate was 25.8 percent and for Hispanics it was 25.3 percent.

Obama told Joyner he knows unemployment has been "brutal," especially among African-Americans, but he compared the economy to a patient recovering from an accident. "It can't run yet, but it's walking," he said.

The president told the Hispanic group he is committed to an immigration overhaul, even though it has stalled in Congress. He blamed GOP opposition and said Hispanic voters should keep that in mind.

"You have every right to keep the heat on me and keep the heat on the Democrats," he said. "But don't forget who is standing with you, and who is standing against you. ... Your voice can make the difference.

As to the charges facing Waters and Rangel, Obama has mostly sought to keep his distance.

Rangel, a 40-year House veteran, won renomination Tuesday in a crowded Democratic field in his Harlem district in New York City. Facing 13 ethics counts, Rangel has vigorously fought the charges, shrugging off pleas from fellow Democrats — including Obama — to consider stepping aside.

When Obama told an interviewer he hoped Rangel could "end his career with dignity," the lawmaker snapped that the president hasn't been around "long enough to determine what my dignity is."



http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/39...litics-decision_2010

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Xeon wrote:
Well, it's pretty much a no brainier. Negroes will have to show up at the polls in mass. Probably won't though and they we have no one to blame for the consequences of their failure to participate. Oh well........

What's a negroe? Are your parents negroes?


What consequences? Amnesty for illegal immigrants with a continued unsecure border?
I have no problem admitting this... Obama is being a real asshole right now.  If he'd done things the way he should have been from the start, he wouldn't need to be asking black other black politicians to be galvanizing black folks.  

For such a smart guy, he really has been utterly foolish, knowing that passion is what got his base out to elect him in 2008, why would he adopt such a hands-off, passion-extinguishing approach to his base as president?  Now he can forget it.  If the dems hold on to congress, it won't be because of anything "No Drama Obama" is doing.
I feel your pain Vox, but I blame Congress, because no matter what a sitting president wants to do, it has to be approved, pushed through Congress, so it has been Congress that has stifled the progress of Obama's campaign promises.  The republicans by voting against each and every thing President Obama has tried to do out of racism, and the democrats sitting and doing nothing when they had total Congressional power to make everything happen.

This is going to be a bad election term.  Once the republicans regain power this time, you can as much as guarantee that it will be the beginning of the end of America as we know it this time.
DAM!!!!
I'm not overly impressed with the direction the POTUS is going and if I do find out that a certain statement he made is true he may lose my vote. Then the republicans are about to offer Palin or O'Donnel as their saviors, which will definetly cause them to lose my vote, so I guess I will pencil myself in as the best candidate.
Sunnubian Reference:
I feel your pain Vox, but I blame Congress, because no matter what a sitting president wants to do, it has to be approved, pushed through Congress, so it has been Congress that has stifled the progress of Obama's campaign promises.
I blame democratic members of congress for not getting out there articulating liberal ideals and offering a counter-argument to all the BS and fear-mongering that has been spoonfed to the public by the right, however, the president stifled people who would have his back with his insistence on including republicans and kowtowing to a defunct conservative philosphy, stomping for the most blue-dog candidates who turned around and were noncooperative with his agenda then attempting to intimidate outspoken liberals like Kucinich, and on top of that he and his administration officials have been publically critical of liberal/democratic ideas as if liberal ideas about governance are too simple/stupid and conservative ideas MUST be included.  Why would democrat members of congress support him?  


He continues many of the bush policies with respect to Iraq, Afghanistan, Gitmo, the Patriot Act.  He doesn't speak forcefully (or backtracks) on police brutality.  As indicated by the Shirley Sherrod and VAn Jones issues, he is concerned about what Glenn Beck and Fox news have to say more than what his own base thinks.  It was obvious that behind closed doors negotiations with big Pharma and Big insurance was allowed to water down the healthcare bill and drop the public option - which left us still at the mercy of Big Insurance.  "He's not just the president of Black AMerica" has become the standard auto-response to any questions about the plight of Black America.  He publically utters that right wing "rising tide/trickle down will lift all boats" BS and he has stacked his administration with people who contributed to the economic mess or at the very least are not agents of "Change".  What does congress have to do with that?


Floating around the internet is a list of all the things this administration has accomplished and that's very good.  But on these issues which are crucial to morale, the chief, not congress is responsible for them.
Reference:
I have no problem admitting this... Obama is being a real asshole right now. If he'd done things the way he should have been from the start, he wouldn't need to be asking black other black politicians to be galvanizing black folks.

For such a smart guy, he really has been utterly foolish, knowing that passion is what got his base out to elect him in 2008, why would he adopt such a hands-off, passion-extinguishing approach to his base as president? Now he can forget it. If the dems hold on to congress, it won't be because of anything "No Drama Obama" is doing.

As usual, I can't really argue/dispute what you're saying here .... but, me, personally ... I'm not really mad at the President for those things.  The reality is that then-candidate Obama is the same man that now President Obama is.  He has always been "No Drama Obama" from the start ... and his actions and decisions and policies haven't really changed from who he has always been.

He never did specifically target Black people for 'galvanizing' around him or his candidacy ... if you remember, he didn't even like to say the words "Black" or "African American" nor speak on specifically targeted 'African American issues'.  In fact, he's doing MUCH MORE of that NOW than he ever has in the past!!

He wouldn't even consider going to any of these "Black con-fabs" while trying to get elected .. but today, he's showing up all over the place on Black-oriented TV, radio, and newspaper venues.  And the fact is ... Black people are not the only constituency he needs to appeal to to show up in November!!!  We are not his "base" constituency ... he was elected by a whole lot of different people that he needs to appeal to again ... if the Congress is going to remain in his favor.

I absolutely agree with you that he did things the wrong way!!!  IMO, pushing for that health care reform bill in the way he did - and at the time he did it - was probably one of the biggest mistakes he will ever make as president.  He squandered over a year of time and political and social clout to come out of it with a pitiful excuse for a "reform package".  But .. in the end, he took what he could get .. not what he wanted or had planned on getting ... because in the end, it's Congress who makes that determination.  He barely got the votes he needed .. and could just have easily ended up with NOTHING .. zilch, zero, nada!!  But in political terms ... what he got it is still counted as a "win".  A hollow victory, yes ... but a victory nonetheless.

I also have to give consideration to the fact that the President was completely inexperienced at that level of politics when he was awarded the job.  And I cannot discount the impact that has on having a plan ... yet not knowing exactly how to make it work!!    You can be a "genius" in the smarts department .... but being completely unfamiliar with something totally new and different for you means that you will encounter a period of "trial and error" before you become anything remotely resembling an "expert" at it.

Having worked as a temporary employee for years, I know what it's like to be thought of as having the necessary skills to do the job presented to you, but having to be taught the intricacies of the particular job at hand.  And yes, I believe errors have been made in the way he's done things .... but, knowing that that was to come .. that it should have been expected ... I'm just glad that he merely put things in the wrong order ... than to have totally f*&^%ed things up with ideas and policies that simply did not work.

The President HAS been successful at just about everything he's done.  We ARE on the right track ... with modest, yet positive gains ... from where we were headed under Bush & Republican policies.  But he has ALWAYS been "hands-off" .. "middle-of-the-road" ... "non-committal" to any one side or constituency .... on the side of the people and corporate America .. and a believer that he could bridge the political gap between Democrats and Republicans.  Nothing about that has changed. And he never gave any indication that it would.

I am not any more disappointed with the President now than I was before he got elected ... 'cause the way I see it, he's staying true to form ... and there was no reason to believe that we'd see him doing (or being) any more than he is right now.  If anything, I think the "hard-headed" lessons that he's learning from ramming his head into that Republican brick wall (and the unbelievable disarray of the Democratic Party itself) might make him more aware and eventually bring him around to be more considerate of the people's needs over that of corporate America (and White, racist opposition to him .. just for being him).

In fact, I believe I see that happening now.  But, I'm not gonna bet the farm on it.  He is who he is.  And believes in what he believes in.  And that was never someone who was going to champion the needs of Black people (or any other single constituency) over anybody else.  As far as he's concerned ... we're ALL in this together ... Black, White, rich, poor, the haves, the have-nots, the young, the old .... and bring all those people to meet somewhere in the middle is ... and will probably always be his primary goal.
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And that was never someone who was going to champion the needs of Black people (or any other single constituency) over anybody else.  As far as he's concerned ... we're ALL in this together ... Black, White, rich, poor, the haves, the have-nots, the young, the old .... and bring all those people to meet somewhere in the middle is ... and will probably always be his primary goal.

Your comments were on the money and ring the truth. Obama is under extreme pressure by those who oppose him ideologically and for being black. If he showed any type of racial partiality or favoritism, that would be the ultimate ammo they (the haters) are desperately looking for. Sadly, Obama has already made a number of missteps that have greatly eroded the confidence of many Americans. And a number of tenacious Negroes have been doggerel in their misguided race  rhetoric  of accusing him of ignoring black people. The health bill he commandeered, the stimulus packages, the assistance (bail outs) loans to banks (and yes, major economists have now said he did the right thing contrary to the bullshit propaganda of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Bachmann, et al..), increased budget for the VA, etc, etc… was in the interest of all Americans. Not just one group.

Even Al Sharpton saw the potential catastrophic fall out of Obama singling out a special interest race group. As all of you recall, Sharpton and Tavis Smiley went to war over this very subject. And it wouldn’t matter anyway (what Obama proposes or wants) since congress is the only entity that writes the checks –not the president! Without their cooperation or consent –nothing happens financially. And the last thing a congressman or woman wants to deal with this upcoming November, is the bitter wrath of their constituents for supporting a bill that is tailored specifically for Negroes only. Not with this very harsh and crippling economy and the massive national unemployment rate –it ain’t gonna happen…..PERIOD!

ER Reference:
But he has ALWAYS been "hands-off" .. "middle-of-the-road" ... "non-committal" to any one side or constituency .... on the side of the people and corporate America .. and a believer that he could bridge the political gap between Democrats and Republicans. Nothing about that has changed. And he never gave any indication that it would.
He did, however, take advantage of the political mood in the country by running all over the country talking about CHANGE and YES, WE CAN.  Intelligence is the ability to adapt and survive in a changing environment.  sticking with that noncommittal, middle of the road PRAGMATISM as a political philosophy for 4-8 years given the political climate, would not be intelligent.
Xeon Reference:
If he showed any type of racial partiality or favoritism, that would be the ultimate ammo they (the haters) are desperately looking for.
African AMerican sentiment regarding the President's performance is not narrowly limited to "any type of racial partiality or favoritism" (which by the way no one has asked for).  African Americans have a range of opinions about a range of policies and not just whether or not he's done something specific for blacks.  It's a disservice to both the president and african americans to narrow the discussion when a wide range of actions are at issue....


Don't try to frame it as if the only reason for blacks to be disappointed is regarding the mythical "singling out a specific special interest group"  which seems to be ok for Hispanics, Jews, LGBT, Banks, and the middle class to request...just not blacks.   There's a whole host of issues from continuing troop deployment, to supreme court picks, to gitmo, to mortgage reform to the Patriot Act, to the Miranda Rule, to Judicial confirmations and more.


At this point, it's ignorant to talk about a bill specially tailored for "Negroes only" since it's been hammered into the constituents from day one that "he's not just the president of black america".  Most have given up on any equal treatment as other groups like gays and hispanics.  Is it too much to ask for that a Democratic President assertively represent for liberal ideas/governance and act accordingly?
Last edited by NSpirit
Reference:
And it wouldn’t matter anyway (what Obama proposes or wants) since congress is the only entity that writes the checks –not the president! Without their cooperation or consent –nothing happens financially.

Or any other way either!! 

Most people don't understand how vitally important it is to understand that the President controls very little of what the government does in this country.  Except for the authority to veto any bill that Congress agrees on and passes down to his desk for signature ... the Congress is in CONTROL of what does or does not happen in government.  Period.

President Obama didn't drop the public option as an option to the health care bill because he was weak or a coward or didn't have the clout or desire to have it in there.  He gave up his insistence for it because there weren't enough votes on the Democratic side of Congress - let alone any from any Republicans - to get the bill passed with it in there.  It wasn't gonna happen no matter how much begging, pleading, demanding, cajoling the President would have done.  He can't order the Congress - or any member of it - to do things his way.  And that's just the way that is.

He insisted that Congress pass a health care bill as their "first big order of the day"!  And that's about the best (or most) he could do. He could not draft, vote on, nor approve any portion of that bill as the law of the land. That's Congress' job. And in the end, they delivered - what they could, by the barest minimum possible ... BUT ... they did do it. And in politics .. that counts as something big.  At that point, his only role was either to sign it or not.

Now,, I think that was a fight that was ill-timed .. and that if he had waited until after he tackled the economy, a clean energy bill .. maybe even education before waging that health care fight .. he just may have been able (with the swaying of (a more positive) public opinion at that time) to get a stronger health care bill than the one he got. I believe his biggest mistake has been in deciding to tackle issues focusing on corporate America first and the most pressing concerns of the general population of Americans second.

Especially since he's only been able to give them a slap on the wrist compared to what they deserve.  I think had he focused more in the beginning on things like job creation, job training, education (adult and child), making more money available to small businesses (by bypassing the banks) the climate/energy bill .. he'd probably have more of the public supporting him by now.  And if that were the case, now would be a good time to be pushing Congress' (the Republicans) buttons over health care - with a public option - and have a better chance of getting it passed.

But still ... without enough votes in the Senate to get his ideas to become a reality ... all they will ever be is ideas.  He simply doesn't have the authority - himself -to make them any more than that.  And voters need to be keenly aware of that ... especially at this time ... because those very people who make those very decisions are the ones who are about to be elected into office come Nov. 2nd.
Last edited by EbonyRose
ER Reference:
But still ... without enough votes in the Senate to get his ideas to become a reality ... all they will ever be is ideas. He simply doesn't have the authority - himself -to make them any more than that.
In an era where there is a Democrat President and a Democratic majority in congress, why do people find this line of reasoning valid? 


The president and his staff did indeed set the tone for the dropping of public option.  From the get-go they made it known that single payer would not be an option endorsed by the president - consequently single payer advocates were shut out of the beginning discussions and even arrested when they tried to attend discussions hosted by members of congress.  The public option was supposed to be a compromise step down from SINGLE PAYER and UNIVERSAL HEALTHCARE. 


The president set arbitrary deadlines for having a bill on his desk when democrat leaders in congress were in the process of creating/discussing the bill.  The president began to focus on "health insurance reform" rather than healthcare reform in his speeches and prodded congress accordingly.  The president and his staff went the extra step of hiding whitehouse visitors logs, whicih had long been publically available - BECAUSE-they wanted to control the spin about meetings with Big Pharma and Big Insurance reps.  The president then announced that he'd cut some sort of nonbinding handshake deal with pharmaceutical companies to cut millions in prescription costs - which the companies later denied.  This was in exchange for dropping certain caps and not allowing americans to get cheaper prescriptions from canada.  Finally, Rahm Emanuel, and HHS Secty Kathleen Sebelius let the cat out of the bag in the media that the president didn't really consider the public option to be crucial. 

Most importantly THE PUBLIC OPTION WAS NEVER PUT TO A VOTE.  The public option was dropped from the final version of the healthcare reform bill due to cowardice and fear of the possibility that a bill containing the option would not pass.  Whether it would have is not known because it wasn't presented.  Senators threatened to block it and the president signaled that it wasn't all that important, in spite of what the voters who put him in office wanted.

It is simply not true that the president had to take what he could get.  At the time, the president was widely popular, had political capital, cooperative democrats who understood something needed to be done,  and there was political will from the people to tackle the sheer madness that is the healthcare system in america.  He chose half-assed measures  Pragmatism.
Last edited by NSpirit
This is ER's point I want to respond to...
Reference:
He has always been "No Drama Obama" from the start ... and his actions and decisions and policies haven't really changed from who he has always been. He never did specifically target Black people for 'galvanizing' around him or his candidacy ... if you remember, he didn't even like to say the words "Black" or "African American" nor speak on specifically targeted 'African American issues'. In fact, he's doing MUCH MORE of that NOW than he ever has in the past!!
But first, NSPIRIT, you are on the MONEY, IMO, throughout this thread.  I don't even fully agree with all of the specific points (as I'll address by implication within the following post).  But the overall point you're making, and the way you're making it, is 100% on point, and another reason I really miss the "You Rock!!" icon.  But I digress.

The thing is, I don't think we really needed to see Obama stand up specifically for black people, in order for black people to have been excited enough to turn out in 2010.  In fact, that not only is fraught with all the peril we see spoken of (as in, "he can't seem too pro-black, or whites will be alienated," etc.), but it also wouldn't have worked, simply because the vast majority of the congressional elections involve white politicians who don't really have much pro-black bona fides of their own.  Nobody's thinking, 'Wow, Obama stood up for blacks; I'm gonna go out and vote for REID!!"  You know?   

No.  Obama hasn't failed to keep his base excited because he hasn't been pro-black enough.  The reason he's faltering in the passion department is because he has failed to make the case strongly enough for progressive policies.  As a result, the wacko far right has hijacked the debate almost without opposition in the idea battleground.

For example, I think I posted last year on how I figured out that "trickle down economics" is inherently a flawed, illogical policy.  But what I just recently remembered is that, up until as late as the 1980s, trickle down economics was not a major part of US economic policy.  Even Republicans (most famously George Bush Sr, during the 1980 primaries) blasted it as "voodoo economics."  Back then, you weren't a communist just for disagreeing with this idea of letting corporate and upper-income greed go unfettered, unregulated and lightly taxed.  In fact, for most of the history of the Cold War, when anti-communism was America's obsession, America did NOT believe in trickle down economics. 

This realization was astounding to me, because these days, they make it sound like the only choices are trickle down economics and socialism.  The reason this has happened is largely because the liberals have been afraid to assert why more liberal policies are superior to trickle down economics.  This, to me, is almost pathologically cowardly, given the fact that we saw the whole model totally fall apart the other year.  You can't watch the system fail, for reasons directly tied to the inherent fallacies of the whole principle, and then seriously be afraid to argue why the system is terrible, unless you are just a self-serving coward. 

In the wake of the economic crisis, Obama and the Democrats had a golden opportunity to advocate for more liberal economic policies, and to make Americans -- including black Americans -- feel excited about them.  And the policies didn't even have to be all that liberal!  Just go back to what was going on for most of the last century -- you know, that century when America first became the historically unprecedented economic, cultural and military power it became. And if they had done that, the liberal base -- including black voters -- would be out there right now salivating at the chance to reelect them in November.  These guys are so pathetic to have missed out on this, that I frankly wonder if they have what it takes to even govern.
I agree with you 250%, Vox!!!! 

Absolutely .... the Democrats are (and have pretty much historically been) cowardly, inept and misguided in their political dealings!!!  You get no argument from me there.  Not even a little one! 

However ... there are two different issues at work, here.  Right now, the President is being lambasted by (some) Black people for his supposed detachment from so-called "Black issues".  According to the media, (which is no reliable or respected source, IMO ... but does have influence over a great portion of the American population!) a good portion of his  Black "base" is disappointed with him right now because he's not adequately paying attention to our issues and has not performed at a level that was expected of him at the time they voted for him.

My point to that is Black voters are NOT his only "base of supporters".  Everybody (else - except most White folks) in America had to vote for him in order for him to win.  What he does or does not do for Black people is important to Black people (and the media for whatever hype it can bring them on any given day!!).  But, the President, himself, sees (and realistically has) an obligation to a whole bunch of other "bases" of people ... with their own issues and concerns ..  and the President being who he (really) is ... feels beholden to and a need to placate and 'pander' to ALL of them!!    Not just us.

Now, personally, I have no problem being mad at the Prez (and his Democratic colleagues) for being weak, mishandling the political climate, mistakes in judgment, etc.  I, myself, believe he/they are guilty of all of that!  But ... the fact is that there are (Black) people who see the President's attitude and actions of not specifically targeting "Black issues" as a personal slight.  There are Black people who voted for him "just because he's Black" .. and have no political consciousness, and therefore are judging him on his "Blackness" .. or the lack thereof.

There are those who would turn out at the polls for him if he were to do a (specifically) "Black" thing for Black people .. and those who will not be there because he hasn't.  And right or wrong, the President (and the Democrats) need to deal with appealing to those people as well.

Now .. as far as the other goes ... I don't know how many times I've already said that I don't think that President Obama has played his cards right in order to win the game.  He's rolled the dice and probably lost as many chips as he's won.  I do still believe, though, that progress HAS been made ... that we are better off now than we would have been had the alternative happened (a McCain/Palin presidency ) [insert "scared shitless" icon here!] ... and that while people are pissed off at him for not him not doing things the way they'd like for him to .. they are not giving him the credit he deserves for what he HAS done!!

He's not who people thought he was or wanted him to be.  But he IS who he has always been.  He's not changed much about himself from who he was as candidate Obama to who he is now as president.  And while people want to blame him for that .. I don't see that as being his fault.  I can't be mad at him because other people have a wrong/misguided impression of him.

There's plenty enough to righteously blame him for.  But not being "Black enough" is not one of them.  He never was "Black enough".  And he may never be.  But that isn't (shouldn't) necessarily be a bad thing.  It just is what it is.
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In an era where there is a Democrat President and a Democratic majority in congress, why do people find this line of reasoning valid?

That was a very impassioned speech, NSpirit!!   And a pretty accurate depiction of what went on!!

However, none of that has anything to do with the legislative reality and facts of what went on in government during that bill debate.  And although it was good ... it was ultimately totally besides the point!! 

We can start with the fact that while you describe the President's actions in terms of "The President ..... "set the tone..." or "The President ... made it known ...."  He "set arbitrary deadlines" and "made it known..."  But the problem with that is that NONE OF THAT MAKES LAW!!

He can do all that heeing 'n hawing he wants to .... he can ask, want and beg all he can!!  But ... the point here was to get a health care reform bill signed, sealed and delivered to his desk!!!  And without the CONGRESS .. He could not do NOTHIN' about getting that done!!!  He wanted to do it .. because he had said he would!!  It was a political victory that he both wanted and needed to happen .. in the worst way!!!   But ACTUALLY getting it done was totally and completely beyond his control.

It really didn't matter what "deadline" he set or what "tone" he used.  Until the CONGRESS ... both House and Senate got their $#!+ together ... there was going to be NO bill.

Now ... let's get to the "majority" myth!!    Having a "majority" of members of your own Party in the House and Senate is NOT the same thing as having a majority of VOTES to get a Bill passed!!!   And VOTES are more important because without them ... well, the business of the government just doesn't get done.

You can have 60 members (actual bodies) .. but if you only have 54 of them willing to agree to vote the way you want them to then your "majority" is useless and insignificant.  You need 60 for a mandate.  Without that, you have to start 'negotiating'.

The reality is that while there was a "majority" of Democrats in the Senate ... there were several Senators on the Democratic side that publicly (and no doubt privately as well, in those closed-door, backroom meetings with the President and Democratic leadership) stated they would not vote for a bill with a public option in it!!

They were from a group of Conservative Democrats who tend to feel (and VOTE) for more Liberal social laws, yet tend to lean (and VOTE) on the side of fiscal responsibility ... more in line with Conservative views.

Now, I dunno ... maybe you think they were lying or something ... or, were willing to change their lifelong ideology "for the sake of the Party."  Or better yet .. "the people."    But I can tell you that was NEVER gonna happen ... and, more importantly, the President knew that as well!!  After dropping the public option from consideration, there was STILL a long period of re-negotiation and cajoling ... bribing and arm-twisting ... promises and deals made ... before they were able to get their all of their 60 members to agree to vote for the bill.

The Republicans delayed that vote for almost 2 days with stall tactics .. but, it wasn't until  Christmas Eve ... one week before that "arbitrary deadline" that the President had proposed that the President (and Harry Reid) were able to make that happen.  If they could have gotten it done sooner, they would have.  But they couldn't.  And so they didn't.

The President took what he could get. At that time.  They were able to placate all of the opposition within their own Party to the point where they had the bare-minimum of votes needed to get that bill signed.  It was the best bill he was gonna get. And he had the option to take it or leave it.  And he chose to take it.  And that was the best he could do ... because that's the way politics and government in this country work.

Now .. you can debate the right or wrong of what actually happened ... and why .... and there's PLENTY of wrong to talk about, if you ask me!!  Starting with the President's unshakable determination to get that bill passed, come hell or high water, as the first major victory of his presidency!!  He should have picked another fight, IMO .. which in hindsight, he might actually agree!

But your first and most pressing disagreement should be with the CONGRESS ... and the  flaws in their actions and procedures. 'Cause that was just the Senate .... but, in the House of Representatives where Democrats share and even BIGGER "majority" ... there was still trouble rounding up enough votes there as well (30+ voted against it, if I remember right!!!) ... to get the final bill to the President's desk.

He doesn't have a magic wand.  And as how even he is finding out ... his abilities to enact his policies his way are severely limited.  Both by his own party ... and those who stand in opposition of him as well.
Last edited by EbonyRose

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