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WASHINGTON – Admonishing his own party, President Barack Obama says it would be "inexcusable" and "irresponsible" for unenthusiastic Democratic voters to sit out the midterm elections, warning that the consequences could be a squandered agenda for years.

"People need to shake off this lethargy. People need to buck up," Obama told Rolling Stone in an interview to be published Friday. The president told Democrats that making change happen is hard and "if people now want to take their ball and go home, that tells me folks weren't serious in the first place."

The midterm elections are in five weeks and polling shows that Republicans, out of power at the White House and on Capitol Hill, have a much more excited base of supporters than Democrats. Obama, campaigning this week in four states, is in a sprint to restore the voter passion that helped him win office.

[Video: Biden to Dems: Stop whining]

Yet in his attempt to light a fire under supporters, Obama comes across as fired up himself about how many backers fail to acknowledge the progress he sees. He said the glass-half-empty view among many progressive voters can be a debilitating force that distracts them from the real worry: Republicans.

The GOP is poised to win seats in the House, if not control of the chamber, and gain ground in the Senate, too.

"It is inexcusable for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines in this midterm election," Obama said.

The president has been telling Democrats to "wake up" and recognize that he and the Democratic-run Congress have delivered on promises, from a new health care law to tougher rules for Wall Street to more aid for college students. Obama wants disenchanted supporters to see that Republican wins in November would undermine the ability of Democrats to get the unfinished business done, from climate change legislation to allowing gays to serve openly in the military.

Click image to see photos of President Obama


<cite id="captionCite">Reuters/Larry Downing</cite>

What emerges in the magazine story is a stern, lecturing tone from Obama.

It comes mainly at the end of the interview. Obama had wrapped the lengthy Q-and-A session, according to the magazine, but then returned unprompted to make one more impassioned point and unleash on the enthusiasm gap. He portrayed a clear choice between an administration that despite some warts has helped advance its agenda, and a Republican Party that would offer disastrous policies for the economy and civil liberties.

"The idea that we've got a lack of enthusiasm in the Democratic base, that people are sitting on their hands complaining, is just irresponsible," he said in the interview. He said Democrats should be thinking about what's at stake this election "if they want to move forward over the next two years or six years or 10 years."

The Rolling Stone interview was conducted Sept. 17. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the story, titled "Obama Fights Back."

Obama expresses plenty of disappointment over how Republicans made a tactical decision from the start to oppose him, but also offers some "grudging admiration" for its political effectiveness in keeping the GOP united. He said the resulting slog between Republicans and himself — legislative delays and political fighting reminiscent of the Washington he ran against — has worsened public skepticism of government and eroded the feeling of hope that surrounded his election.

The president said he keeps a checklist of his campaign promises and that he has met, by his account, about 70 percent of them.

As for the rest: "Well, that's what the next two years is for, or maybe the next six."

Obama would need to win re-election in 2012 for that latter timeframe to occur.

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.  


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

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Politicians love to blame the electorate for failing to turn out.  I get where they're coming from, but it reflects a serious disconnect with reality, especially if you're at the point where you're publicly chastizing voters for their apathy.  During the campaign, Obama had no problem understanding the concept of putting forth effort to turn out the vote.  Now, he's acting like he doesn't get it. 

And political operatives are ALWAYS credited for when they win.  But when they lose, or are in danger of losing, it's the voters' fault.  Okay.
Hmmmm  ... okay, I'm really not seeing what the problem is here?

Except maybe .... that it's "the truth hurts."

I mean ... he may have been a little (overly) "blunt" about it .... which, perhaps, might have had something to do with the source (he was talking to the "Rolling Stone" magazine ... and lord only knows who actually reads that thing!! ).  But, he's right.  So, it's kinda hard for me to be mad at him for that!

Democratic voters better get off their @$$es and out-vote the Republicans that are going to show up at the polls on Nov. 2nd ... or we are going to be in some deep, nasty, stinky, S.H.I.T. ... that we may not be able to get back out of this time!! 


Now ... that's what he SHOULDA said!!  Straight up, no chaser!!!  Lay it out on the table, and let's deal with the reality of the situation!!  But, as usual, he went more of the  "diplomatic" -  "kinder, gentler" - "play-nice-with-the-other-kids" route .. and had to do the best he could with it! 

Personally, I don't think the Democrats will be as "lethargic" as the media is making them out to be.  Democrats are NOT the rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, gung-ho, exhibitionist-types that typical Republicans are.  And instead, are more likely to sit back, not 'tip their hand', wait for election day, go out and do what needs to be done!! 

The same way it happened at election time in 2008.  NOBODY (especially the media and their gang of "experts") expected the turnout that actually happened.  At best, they expected a "close" race ... and Obama/Democratic voters left them McCain-ites in the dust!!!    It could/might happen again.  I sure as hell hope so.  'Cause being neck-deep in stinky $#!+ is truly  NOT my idea of a good time!!   

I certainly don't wanna be in it.  And neither should anybody else ... especially those of us who can stop it from happening!!



VOTE NOV. 2nd!!!!!!!!!!
Last edited by EbonyRose
The White House should have "bucked up"and "stop whining" since they got the gig because they are the ones who did not keep the fire burning with the Dem voters all across America.


Despite the recession, the continued job losses, money lost and all the shiggity that had to/have to do, President Obama, VP Biden, DNC Chairman Tim Kaine, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and his inner staff and the House & Senate Democrats went soft and should have been staying on top of their message(s) with the Democratic voters since the election of the President going toe to toe and talking point rhetoric to talking point rhetoric with the Repubs & the Tea party with all these false claims, blatant racism, right wing rhetoric and the constant lies being told.


They allowed the Republicans to control the media agenda & coverage 24/7, in all media formats/outlets and drive the negative messages to all Americans and the result? The President (as of today) still being asked or questions abound if he's a Muslim or a Christain,
the constant racist attacks against him and his family, the media's use of negative polling every day and trying to display his job performance to this point as a complete failure after 2 yearsin office & strenghting of the Tea Party and the rise of the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins when she should have been deemed completely irrevelantand and dissappeared into the frigid snow banks of Alaska after the general election.


And now you have dissapointed Democrats all across the nation who sacrificed and worked their asses off to get Obama elected and VP Biden chosen and now in one of the most critical elections of this nations's history, you say to the very hand that feeds you to "buck up" and stop whining?


Most Dem Americans are not pissed at those comments but the fact that the Prez and the White House don't fight back and have allowed the Republicans and the newly created Tea Party (all one in the same) to run all over you without any equal fight, pushback or stronger feedback from the Dems in regards to fighting back all the lies and bullshyt that they push everyday which overshadows all the accomplishments that the Prez and the Dem have completed.



And the media, they relish in the lies since they knows that it increases ratings.


In the minds of President Obama's inner circle, the magic & success that it took to elect President Obama will return once again in November...but the reality is that most Americans don't vote in November elections and those people who voted Obama in know that he is not on the ballot...it was hard enough getting them out to the polls to elect Obama with Obama being the main factor in but for these elections....for lower level positions where the rubbermeets the road.......it will be much, much harder......and critizing your base does not help at all........they want encouragement, not criticism.......I hope that they realize and understand that.
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The White House should have "bucked up"and "stop whining" since they got the gig because they are the ones who did not keep the fire burning with the Dem voters all across America.

You know, Cholly .... I hear ya!!  I really do.  And I can't say that I necessarily disagree. 

But, let's just look at the flip side of the coin for a moment.  Yes, the President and the Democratic Party have 'dropped the ball', so to speak, and with the excitement and momentum that was built up during the election (not to mention winning a "super majority" in both Houses of Congress), could and should have done a much better job of 1) fighting off Republicans; 2) dispelling the ridiculous lies being told; and 3) keeping the ball rolling among their base ... just to name a few!

I have no qualms with that criticism.  BUT ... the fact is, the so-called "Democratic base" is and has always been a lethargic, sit-back-and-complain-but-do-nothing-to-help-THEMSELVES constituency!!!  Yes, the President owes some markers, especially to those who 'went the extra mile' to make sure he was elected ... but, since then, what have they/we done to feather our own political nest??? 

The Democratic base (i.e. "we the (Democrat) people" have never been the rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, (not to mention lyin', cheatin', deceiving, conniving), activists for our own benefit that the Republican (and now the Tea) Party are!!!  But by comparison that means that they are (and have always been) the content (take what's thrown at us), complacent, unconcerned-enough-to-get-involved, political "base" that refuses to get out there and make some noise .... be a "squeaky wheel" ... and demand that we get oiled!! 

In typical fashion, the Democratic base, (after an extraordinary effort to make sure we gave ourselves the perfect 'set up' that could actually bring CHANGE to the way this country has typically be governed) .... has sat around and done NOTHING to either give the President some HELP on that "change" initiative, nor to stop the onslaught of the (sometimes psychotic! ) Republican opposition that has been threatening to undo everything that they put that that 'extraordinary effort' into to change.

The Repubs (and Tea Party), from the get-go, have staged rallies, marches, called their little press conferences to publicly lodge their complaints (and we know how well that works because the media thrives on controversy .. and the Repubs give them plenty to feed on!) .  But, by the same token, where are the Democrats rallies, marches and press conferences ... in SUPPORT of - not just the President, but for what WE want, need and voted for??

As an example, everybody is mad at the President for caving in on the 'public option' portion of the HCR bill (and they should be!!) .. BUT ... as the discussion and debate was going on about whether or not to force the issue, there was plenty of media coverage about the voices of decent (news stories, polls, coverage of marches of PROTEST) ... but there was NO reciprocating demand from the Democratic voters ... we did NOT write our Congresspeople, did NOT take to the streets, did NOT demand that from our Reps that they fight for that provision!!! 

Nope ... most of us just sat in front of the TV, shaking our heads, watching the steamroller as it slowly set about flattening what WE KNEW was in our best interests ... and didn't (politically) lift a finger to stop it!!!

Now ... no, nobody likes to be chastised and "called out" on their shortcomings.  And I'm not saying that the President, his Administration and the Democratic Party don't have plenty of their own that they rightfully should be called on!! 

But the fact is, the Democratic voters do indeed come up "short" when it comes to political activism ... staying on top of what's happening to THEM in the political arena .... voting in mid-term elections ... supporting and helping the President to fight off the Republican crazies.  And, yes, the President (and the Party) have at times been disappointing ... but, as you said yourself, progress HAS been made ... "change" HAS happened ... policies (in our favor) HAVE been implemented since Obama became President .. and we are in much better shape now than we were or would have been had the unthinkable happened, and were now instead living under a McCain/Palin administration.

Yes, the President and the Democratic Party could be doing a much better job of fighting our battles - we put them there to do a job, and the expectation that they do it is NOT an unreasonable one  ... but ..... IMO, we could (and should) be doing a much better job of fighting for ourselves and winning a few battles of our own, as well!!  And to put it ALL on the President while we sit back and "whine" and "complain" about what's NOT happening, while at the same time not doing anything to MAKE things happen, for ourselves, is not the way this "political relationship" is supposed to work!!!

I think if we "buck up" ... so will they (the President and the Party).
Last edited by EbonyRose
And let me just add one more thing here ....

It's not that the Democrats - both the Party and the voters - are total and complete inactive participants in the political arena ... but they DON'T get the same kind of competitive media coverage and attention that the Repubs do .... simply because they aren't fire-breathing, hatemongers .... which feeds the media's quest for controversy, division, and sensationalized news!! 

Many individuals and groups (such as Speaker Pelosi, the Congressional Black Caucus, Harry Reid and other Democratic Leaders and activists) have a press conference just about every day!!  But, unless you go on the web to the House or Senate website, you're not likely to hear ANYTHING that they have to say!!

The news outlets may cover them, but they don't broadcast them what is being said ... unless they find some kind of mud-slinging, controversy-starting, political-dig slant to one sentence out of the whole statement ... and then they play it ad-nauseum hoping to generate some kind of negative response from the Republican side!! 

Now ... that's not to say the Dems can't do better or more to get their point across (some choice, cussing-out, rants against the shiggidy the Republicans are putting out could be quite advantageous in this event!) ... but, even their little (weak) opposition might have a little more impact .... if it was actually getting out in front of the public to see.

But that doesn't happen.  And that's not really the Democrats fault.  The (disgusting) media is wholly to blame for what is .. and is not .. considered "news".
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The Democratic base (i.e. "we the (Democrat) people" have never been the rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, (not to mention lyin', cheatin', deceiving, conniving), activists for our own benefit that the Republican (and now the Tea) Party are!!! But by comparison that means that they are (and have always been) the content (take what's thrown at us), complacent, unconcerned-enough-to-get-involved, political "base" that refuses to get out there and make some noise .... be a "squeaky wheel" ... and demand that we get oiled!!
Oddly, when I think of activitists, I think of left-wingers, liberals, and Democrats.  After all, it has been those left leaning activists who are responsible for  a number of policy changes in America...Environmental Laws, Labor Laws, Civil Rights laws, affirmative action, none of these would exist without the activism of the left-leaning, liberal, democrats...
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... but there was NO reciprocating demand from the Democratic voters ... we did NOT write our Congresspeople, did NOT take to the streets, did NOT demand that from our Reps that they fight for that provision!!!
There was a lot of coverage of the support for public option on political websites and on NPR  as well as MSNBC.  The president chose to shortchange the people and ignore the people's will.
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Oddly, when I think of activitists, I think of left-wingers, liberals, and Democrats. After all, it has been those left leaning activists who are responsible for a number of policy changes in America...Environmental Laws, Labor Laws, Civil Rights laws, affirmative action, none of these would exist without the activism of the left-leaning, liberal, democrats...


Hmmm .. it's kinda interesting that you didn't mention yourself when it came to thinking about who and what an activist is.

Not strange, though.  Most people don't.  Which was my point exactly.  Most people prefer to think about others and leave the responsibility of protecting their own (political) interests to someone else.
Last edited by EbonyRose
Quote by ER: "I have no qualms with that criticism.  BUT ... the fact is, the so-called "Democratic base" is and has always been a lethargic, sit-back-and-complain-but-do-nothing-to-help-THEMSELVES constituency!!!  Yes, the President owes some markers, especially to those who 'went the extra mile' to make sure he was elected ... but, since then, what have they/we done to feather our own political nest??? "



ER, I agree, that word "lethargic" is like a 1000 pound ball & chain dead weight around the neck of Democrats when it comes to being consistant in the continuation of staying motivated and involved in politics, especially state and local and IMO, it  seems that the Democratic leadership should have known  or kept abreast of this reality about it's base.........people came out of the woodwork to get this done...even drug dealers & criminals registered & voted for Barack Obama.....the excitement and hard work of  all races to elect of President Obama was likened to a "rise of the Phoenix" phenomeon unlike anything anyone else had seen before in the history of American politics.


It reset the bar & totally chnged the American campaign process (and probably world politics for that matter) and if this phenomeon is similair to a one time world event that shook up the "good ole' boy" establishment and if you want to continue "ridin' that ride" then you have to ensure that those voters, who you know are, for a lack of better words, "fundamentally & politically lazy and disengaged" are always constantly engaged and informed 24/7, despite all the negative noises from the Repub party. As utterly shocked, deflated, dissapointed and defeated as the day Obama won, they should have in some form or fashion, remained road kill (or on critical life support) with a left wing systematic plan of attack equal to or greater than the right wing bullshyt they concocted in order to try and take back power...all bets are off with these idiots and a chosen theme for the Dems?...they were in control for 8 years and had argubly the worst President in American history George W. Bush as their leader....and look what happened......what more do you need to say?



That's where I have issues with the Whiite House and the Dem leadership. SOMEBODY (and I was hoping that Prez had somebody in his circle with "African American" acute and common sense eyes and ears to the ground, (that's why selecting the right people with certain skills sets, instead of friends & supporters who you are comfortable with are so important) should have been paying strict attention to this deflation of  the base motivation and keep tellin' the Prez on the regular that despite all that we have to do to turn this sinking ship around, that motivation and excitement that got us here not only has to be nourished & watered by our deeds but by keeping the spirit and energy and it's power running through the veins of our base daily.............they got off their asses en masse across the board (that has never happened before) to get you & us here in record numbers and we have to, despite everything else, to keep that going but instead they took the foot of the gas and off of the necks of the Repubs and allowed them back into the game with some of the stupidest political rhetoric ever seen or heard in this country coupled with their real truth: the outward reality of White, in-bred institutional racism that we all knew existed behind those racist  lying White faces and yet they seem to have caught on when they should have been beaten down........maybe November will be a smaller repeat of Prez Obama'e election in regards to winning seats in the House & Senate which will cause the Repubs to crawl back in their holes (this would really hurt them and deflate the momenteum of the Tea Party) and cuase then to initiate plan B (you know they they got one) but if they gain any traction with enough wins to enact their already known stragety, a return to the past; retain power, go back to the policies that made this mess, deter and repeal the agenda and policies of the Dems & the Prez and settin up for a Repub 2012 victory, then the Dem leadership, the controllers of the message & top down motivation for it's base, only have themselves to blame because they allowed that rabid excitement and passion of the base (unlike anyone has ever seen in politics) to dwindle back down to it's "assumed" reality and if that happens, then the real finger pointing and blame game begins for years to come, from the top blaming the bottom ("buck up & stop whining") and visa versa....but by then, it's way too late.



After 8 years of failed policies, political lies and ineptitude, it was determined that after 2 years of presistiant corrective action, it totally failed to accomplish anything and we the people, decided to go back to the old formula controlled by the very creators of those failed 8 years in order to fix the current condition........that's just crazy.


It will be an complete & total embrassasment and the Repubs (knowing their unashamed & unbridled racist true colors and intentions) will laugh & rub it in the faces of the Dems non stop while they completely dismantle & destroy everything....you think that racism is grabbin' a foot hold with these racist Repub White folks now...let's them win decision making power back in November a la carte and a gear up for a good chance to win the White House in 2012....this country will steadily be in a downward spiral revisiting American history's past once again.
Last edited by Cholly
QUESTION:  How can democrat voters be described as lazy and apathetic and at the same time be acknowledged for coming out in RECORD NUMBERS during the last  election cycle?  Hasn't NQuest already provided stats which debunk this myth of democrat voters being more apathetic than other voters in a previous discussion?  


How is it that voters who came out in record numbers to vote a democrat into office who campaigned on issues aligned with their interests....can be belittled as "lazy and apathetic"? 


ANd how does blaming and chastising the voters, rather than listening to their concerns about the direction things are taking,  increase voter morale? 


After we finish blaming the democrat voters who did their part by coming out, for the phukk-ups of the democratic politicians...maybe these questions could be answered...
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Hmmm .. it's kinda interesting that you didn't mention yourself when it came to thinking about who and what an activist is. Not strange, though. Most people don't. Which was my point exactly. Most people prefer to think about others and leave the responsibility of protecting their own (political) interests to someone else.

      
Last edited by NSpirit
Cholly Reference:
but instead they took the foot of the gas and off of the necks of the Repubs and allowed them back into the game with some of the stupidest political rhetoric ever seen or heard in this country coupled with their real truth: the outward reality of White, in-bred institutional racism that we all knew existed behind those racist lying White faces and yet they seem to have caught on when they should have been beaten down........
Cholly, I totally agree with this point.  instead of kicking republicans asses and repeating the message that republican approaches led to multiple wars on false pretenses, billions drained away and spent in the gulf and afghanistan, outsourcing of jobs, decimating of manufacturing base, a judiciary that is skewed pro-corporations instead of pro-people, an epidemic of foreclosures and the near total economic collapse of the country.  That message should have been played every day IMHO.  But instead, the democrats chose to seek bipartisan agreement...giving a dead party and dead political philosophy LEVERAGE and legitimacy.

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ER, I agree, that word "lethargic" is like a 1000 pound ball & chain dead weight around the neck of Democrats when it comes to being consistant in the continuation of staying motivated and involved in politics, especially state and local and IMO, it seems that the Democratic leadership should have known or kept abreast of this reality about it's base.........
DAMN!!!!!    Well PREACH IT then, Cholly!! 

EVERY word you just wrote was absolutely the TRUTH, the whole TRUTH and nothing but the TRUTH!!! 

The only thing I think I would add is that ... I'm not so sure that when it comes to laying the "blame" for all of that, that it's proper to lay it at the feet of the President!!  He is/was, after all, a political "novice" at the time he took this job ... and more than a little naive about what, exactly, was happening around the country - especially concerning him!!  And, as for the "old guard" Democratic leadership ... well, they hadn't ever seen anything like that, either!!  And obviously didn't/haven't know(n) what to do with it!! 

However ...with most of them having been in the game for past DECADES ... their total and complete ineffectiveness (pretty much regarding anything political all across the board) is, IMO, rather inexcusable!!

If you remember ... the PResident refused to believe that there was anyone in the country who was voting for him "just because ...."  He was (mistakenly) so sure that most of us (voters in general) were dedicated to the betterment of the COUNTRY ... that more/most people believed in his vision ... cared about the (rancid) political climate that was going on around us.... and that it was NOT about just him!!

IMO, that was probably the first clue that the President was "disconnected" from the current political reality of both America and the American voter. (Well .. make that the second clue ... because the first was actually that "post-racial" insanity that he came out of the gate with! ).  And since that time, largely I think, due to the inadequate and misguided counsel of the set of inappropriate "advisers" that he choose to surround himself with, he has continued to 'miscalculate' important realities .... and, judging from some of his current actions and speech,  I'm not sure he is yet 'straighten out' about what's really going on in the minds of voters.

But, he better figure it out with a quickness.  Time is running short.  And, as you said, mistakes, are this point, could spell devastation all around. 

But ... I absolutely agree with you.  If you have mule that you KNOW is not about to move, then it's all on you to grab a carrot .. put it on the end of a stick .... tie that stick to the back of its head .... if you intend to get any plowing done for the day!! 

And again .... AMEN to that!!  You hit that nail squarely on the head, fa sho!! 
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QUESTION: How can democrat voters be described as lazy and apathetic and at the same time be acknowledged for coming out in RECORD NUMBERS during the last election cycle? Hasn't NQuest already provided stats which debunk this myth of democrat voters being more apathetic than other voters in a previous discussion?

Because that was only ONE election, N.S.  ONE TIME in any memorable recent history the Democratic base turned out to vote in record numbers.

That is why such words as "unprecedented", "never before ...", and "historic" are the main keywords used to describe that election!!   But ... you cannot base an election history on ONE election  And especially when there hasn't even been another one since for the sake of comparison!!  What happened in 2008 is not a refluction on how voters have voted neither before not since.

What I said to N-Quest is that historically Black voter turnout has generally been in the 50+% range - that's about half .. and that's been in the general elections.  In mid-terms, the number is generally in the 30+% range.  And I suspect that he was able to find out that I was telling the truth about that since he abruptly decided to quit arguing with me about it!  But a quick check of Census Bureau records should show you the same data.  And maybe that will be proof enough for you ... since my saying it will never be enough to convince you.

But the POINT is that, if you look at ALL of the elections that have taken place BEFORE this last "unprecedented" and "historic" election .... you would find that the majority of registered Democrat voters DO NOT exercise their right to vote on a regular basis.  And that it's even more "irregular" when it comes to the mid-term/Congressional elections.

By the way ... did you know that there are more people registered as Democrats in the U.S. than there are those registered as Republicans?? 

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How is it that voters who came out in record numbers to vote a democrat into office who campaigned on issues aligned with their interests....can be belittled as "lazy and apathetic"?

See answer above.


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ANd how does blaming and chastising the voters, rather than listening to their concerns about the direction things are taking, increase voter morale?

Hmmm ... I dunno.    But then ... I never said it did.

What I said is that I agreed with the President, and I believe that what he was saying is true.

For me, personally, I prefer things like the truth and honesty over sugar-coated, warm and fuzzy deceit!!    But that's just me.

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