Obama, GW Bush, FDR and Presidential Leadership Paul Losch's Community Blog, posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Sep 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Some of my thinking here is based upon some opinions by national columnists and other readings of late, so it is not entitely original.
I have learned in recent readings that FDR in the 1930's largely ignored the Republicans in Congress when he was working to pass certain major initiatives, such as Social Security.
I witnessed with GW Bush that he and the GOP controlled Congress in the first 6 years of that administration largely ignored the Democrats to push through their agenda on various things.
I am tempted to send to our current President a copy of "The Prince."
Obama deserves credit for seeking consensus and compromise. When it can be done, that is a healthy thing. The test of his mettle as a new President is how he will act when consenus and compromise appear to be unattainable in the national health care dicussion.
I had a free afternoon in Austin Texas about a year ago, and I went to the LBJ Library on the UT Campus. The public part of this place understandably downplays the Viet Nam fiasco, and plays up the many things he did accomplish around voting rights, civil rights, and related legislation. LBJ was a powerful personality, and a great deal of what was accomplished in those bills that were passed had to do with his strong persona and an inate instinct to know when to unload the opposition in order to get things done.
The health care policy that will be passed can not please everyone, and at this point, I think Obama needs to look at recent and not so recent predecessors and get his agenda passed with the Congress that enables him to do that, and give up on the notion that he will be able to get the loyal opposition in the GOP to get on board.
It was a noble thing to attempt, but it failed. Time to play hard ball. Bring on Rahm Emmanuel after Labor Day.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 5, 2009 at 2:20 pm
Bill Moyers called for Obama to do just what you suggest.
However, Obama is facing increasing opposition in his own party.
He may well face a 2012 challenge in his OWN party?
For example, Keith Olbermann said the president has
“compromised on everything so far and as self-defeating as it may be, the progressive caucus and progressives would abandon him if necessary, if this was to be the policy of this administration into 2012.
If it’s necessary to find somebody to run against him, I think they’d do it, no matter how destructive that may seem.”
Obama is facing polls showing a rapid drop in his approval, diminished support from independents, factions within his Democratic Party and a united Republican opposition see GallupWeb Link
Politicians are hearing directly from their constituents and are worried about holding their seats in 2010.
What happened to bring Obamas popularity down further than that of any new president in polling history save Gerald Ford?
Posted by James, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Sep 5, 2009 at 4:38 pm
As I predicted in an earlier thread, Barack Obama is in trouble, because he failed to take on the issue of health care in an honest way, and with a warrior attitude. He allowed Sarah Palin to set the tone. He should have just stuck it back in her face, and argued that death panels are what we need. By denying the reality, she was able to drive the process. This is stupid politics.
We need death panels, and we get them by getting single payer. We should not be hiding from this fact. The NHS in England has them, and Canada has them. Rationing in realistic ways, including pulling the plug on granny, is the only way we can provide health care to those who need it the most, and still cut health care costs.
I agree with you, Paul, it is now time to play hard ball. Rahm Emanuel is the perfect guy to bring us death panels, with no apologies. Barack needs to unleash him.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 5, 2009 at 8:20 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Why not, before declaring war on 49% of the population, first correct the cause of this crisis, the mandate that health care facilities serve everyone without consideration of ability to pay. This unfunded mandate, plus the failure to enforce our immigration laws, was a tax on the paying ill, assessed by the caregivers in any way they saw to recover their costs.
Instead of single payer, let the government be the last resort payer, picking up the tab for anyone the IRS determines is unable to pay. This would allow caregivers to price their services on cost plus a reasonable fee, knowing they will not get stuck, an incentive to be competitive. Perhaps this last resort payment could be funded with a 90% tax on all punitive damage awards.
See, Paul, how easy it is when you try to solve the problem, not put horns on the other guy.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 5, 2009 at 11:37 pm
I see that Obama has fired Van Jones at mid-night tonight, how did he get through any decent vetting process is the question.
"President Barack Obama's adviser Van Jones has resigned amid controversy over past inflammatory statements, the White House said early Sunday.
Jones, an administration official specializing in environmentally friendly "green jobs" with the White House Council on Environmental Quality was linked to efforts suggesting a government role in the 2001 terror attacks and to derogatory comments about Republicans.
The resignation comes as Obama is working to regain his footing in the contentious health care debate".Web Link
Posted by mystery solved, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 6, 2009 at 2:14 am
It is no mystery how this happened but Obama's situation is a mess.
Bush was not a leader, the American people were fooled that he was after 9/11 but his later foolish missteps and awful miscalculations cause his presidency to fail. Obama came out of the gate running strong but he has no legs to finish what he started. What is clear is that Obama is not a leader. He wishes to be all to all. This is not possible. Take a look at what happened in August health care fiasco. Yet, he will press on with only what he knows how to do - talk. In the end the American people require action. This reminds me of a saying I heard when I was a kids.
In Texas we call that all hat and no cattle. Both men fit the same hat.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 12:45 am
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
We will see what happens with Obama. He seems to have a steady and relentless learning curve. Also I have to wonder if his conciliatory ways of bipartisanship are done knowing full well the temporary setback, but to set the stage to legitimately go more full bore. I think a bit of both.
I also think he is learning that one doesn't attempt to challenge the very entrenched and powerful interests as he has and not receive back a tsunami of orchestrated opposition. Time and demographics is on the side of the change Obama is challenging. Indeed part of me hopes for a setback such that the next wave will be more overwhelming.
As to Van Jones.....
I wish Obama had just said, "you know he is right, the Republicans seem to be winning on healthcare precisely because they do resemble that body part responsible for excrement". This is basically what Bill Maher says alot, slams the Dems for not being mean and nasty, forgoing any gentlemans' rules of political combat.
And as to his signing that petition. I don't doubt that the group running the petition is a bit bonkers on the conspiracy thing. BUT the founding document of the Project for a New American Century, of which Cheney, Rumsfeld, etc. were all members and which called for USA rampant invasion and occupation...mentioned that their agenda could likely not be attained unless something on the order of Pearl Harbor occurred. I don't think that the Bush administration knew precisley when or where the attack(s) would occur. But I do think they were warned by the outgoing Clinton administration that something was afoot and, instead of taking any action, just winked and shrugged their shoulders. Like how just before WWII it was expected and somewhat planned that Japan would attack...but they thought it would be at Wake Island and not Pearl Harbor. But the die was cast as planned in both cases.
And as for the East Bay Express where Van Jones apparently stated that (to the effect of) "after the Rodney King beating I became a communist". So what? Is there any proof that he belongs to any established Marxist-Leninist party? This statement was probably just a flamboyant way of describing his internal radicalization after the events in LA. And it was way back in the 90's.
He is a flamboyant guy, reminds me more of a comedian than a politician. He was hired as an adviser, so I fail to see what the big deal is unless something criminal is going on. I wish Obama had told everyone to just stuff it. But it looks like Van Jones resigned on his own, fell on the sword.
And while Van Jones is being made into a big fanfare, we have what's left of the Republican Party worshiping at the altar of Rush Limbaugh...a man who said that the assassin of Martin Luther King should be given a medal. And even Michael Steele fawns and defers to that man.
So is Obama developing a learning curve and at the same time building steam, momentum and support for the truly big fight? Or is he destined to mimic Czar Nicholas--torn between listening to his wife and her yearnings for peace with Germany and between his pro war military advisors plus his own built in militarism? Nicholas failed to clearly chose one path, either one-- if pursued single minded --would have been better than the juggling of the two.
Posted by wyoberg, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 6:08 am
I will not take issue with most of you as truth has a way of finally winding its way to the top anyway. The coronation of Obama has already come apart. I direct you to a Sunday Opinion in the NY Post by Peggy Noonan, "Young & Clueless". The man is clearly way out of his comfort zone & with so little hands-on experience from the top down I dread the next 12 months. Just sit back & watch the anti-coronation of Obama by a more informed American public who don't live in NY or Palo Alto. [Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
Posted by anti-obama haters of america, a resident of Stanford, on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:27 am
It is so amusing to listen to a few Limbaugh acolytes moan about Obama. They have been unhappy with oBama even before he became president and have set out to denigrate and try to undermine everything he is doing. They throw around terms like "indoctrination", "communist", socialist" and assorted other names to try to make it appear that Obama is not a good american. They probably still believe that he is a muslim (not that that should be an issue, but it is the these people).
Posted by anti-obama haters of america, a resident of Stanford, on Sep 7, 2009 at 10:24 am
Poor Sharon--reduced to looking at Daily Tracking Polls for anti-Obama fodder. Do we take Sharon's postings seriously? she has been denigrating Obama since he announced his run for president? Does it really matter what she thinks? Does she really not know what is going on with the way the President of the United States is treated by a certain segment of the population? She is a part of that segment and she acts all innocent asking for opinions on what is going on.
The lack of respect afforded to the president by the Sharons of the US (who continue to display their lack of patriotism) is unprecedented. The goal of these people i snot the betterment of the country but the destruction of Obama,no matter what the cost.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 3:54 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
So, after 8 years of unending assault, some earned I'll admit, on the previous president, we suddenly have a bunch of born agains, swearing that mocking the president is unpatriotic or outright subversive. Please, you know who you are, just drop that so we can debate on substantive issues.
Posted by James, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 5:48 pm
If President Obama does not demand the public option (single payer pathway), in his speech on Wed. night, his will be a failed presidency. He needs to fight, period. We do not need any more feckless straddling of the fence.
Barack Obama needs to embrace universal health care, as well as pulling the plug on granny ,aka death panels. If he does not, he will lose this debate, and his presidency. That would be a shame, but he has brought it on himself. It really irritates me that he does not seem to have a core spine to him. If he does, now is the time to show it!
Posted by mystery solved, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 7, 2009 at 7:42 pm
----- these complaints are silly.
No they are pointing to flaws in leadership.
Here is what the VIACOM/DNC web site promotes: Web Link
< Swimsuit Models
< Sports Figures
< Rap Moguls
< Skate Board Millionaires
< Singers and Hip-Hop Rapers
A description of "Rights" as if there is a law for all these imaginary education rights.
Here from Obama's prepared speech for the kids tomorrow. He says this:
"I know that sometimes, you get the sense from TV that you can be rich and successful without any hard work -- that your ticket to success is through rapping or basketball or being a reality TV star, when chances are, you’re not going to be any of those things. "
Phew the hypocrisy is getting thick. And the message confused most of these people never set foot in a college classroom as a student, much less graduate.
Effective leadership is not about making speeches or being liked; leadership is defined by results. And results are measured by getting someone else to do what you want done because no real success is possible unless he wants to do it.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:40 am Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I don't know just where or why this practice of "loving" or "hating" politicians started, but the country is going to hell because of it.
Poor imitation Walrus, 8 years, starting with a month's delay for getting up to speed while democraty lawyers trie to throw out enoouigh soldier votes to change the results, a process they perfected later when they stole the Washington State Gooership and the Congressional seat from some little state. Kinda llike when Sanchez voted a whole class of citizenship students to beat B-1 Bob.
While you are loving and hating, you don't watch the other hand, the one picking your pocket and goosing your wife.
Posted by anti-obama haters of america, a resident of Stanford, on Sep 8, 2009 at 7:54 am
Really, Walter, every republican loss is an example of voter fraud? Bush was very popular after 9/11 but squandered that with his ill-fated foray into Iraq--maybe the public did not like the fact that the administration lied about it--so your claim of 8 years of "unending assault" on Bush is just a fairy tale.
Posted by mystery solved, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm
@ Pat, the Ten Commandments for politicians is a start. We the people need to demand this of all our politicians.
leave alone = to refrain from annoying or interfering with
The picture of leadership is the one in focus and you can not be a leader when their are multiple and contradictory themes to your message. This has nothing to do with hate only a simpleton would make that connection. These are factual positions and statements that are contradictory. Mr. Obama for reasons he only knows has taken both sides of the position.
Simply put how can you claim:
LeBron James - a role model - umm what college did he attend?
Kelly Clarkson - offered scholarships yet but decided against college, role model?
Russell Simmons - attended community college and didn't earn his degree, role model?
Tony Hawk - college nope - never attended, role model?
Heidi Klum - from high school to modeling, role model?
Keri Hilson - attended Emory but did not graduate, role model?
This more idol worship of people that have money, fame, and some sort of talent that can be capitalized. This is 100% to the contrary of what this web site promotes. It attempts to sell higher education on the fame of the above mentioned people who have never achieved anything close to a higher education. I say where is the doctor, the machinist, the chemist, the engineer, the physicist or the nurse?
And since today is a day for children's stories I think this educational story fits the bill.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 12:41 pm
Obama's message, "Do well in school, be successful in life," is subversive. The Republican Party's worst nightmare is an educated, thinking electorate. Obama is hitting them where it hurts most. Their desperate, vicious attack is to be expected.
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Sep 8, 2009 at 1:31 pm
For most people encouraging college is a very good thing. But of all the people mentioned by "Mystery solved"....they all probably worked their tails off to get where they are. And for every one of them that succeeds there are probably 10 or more who put in just as much effort or more....and have nothing to show for it.
Bill Gates didn't graduate, but he spent an extreme amount of time "playing" with computers. He even hacked in to extend his time allotment (per the book "Outliers" by Malcolm Gladwell).
Posted by A Noun Ea Mus, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2009 at 2:40 am
Let me address the pronouncements from on high...or rather the denouncements...
"William Shakespeare, and way before him, knew that true leaders do not appear on MSM 4 times in one week."
I must ignore this, too bizarre. If President Obama needs a strategist perhaps you can send in your CV.
"Obama faces a loss of trust issue by main stream of America, he, for a short, while united the divisive Democratic party by his charm and good public speaking."
You wish. The weird and bizarre onslaught against Obama (citizenship "Birther" wackos, Death Panel "Deather" wackos, and other sordid accusations) have all melted away under the light of reason. I think he continues to hit 'em out of the park. His "founding father" icon is Thomas Paine. Ala the Captain Morgan ad, he has a bit of the Paine in him.
"The reality is that we have a country now equally divided 50-50."
Polls by themselves are fickle, can be changed by tweaking both the question themselves and the exact phrasing. Polls do not elect people and should not guide elected officials as to every bodily function. Obama was elected with a mandate to fix our messed up healthcare situation. I hope he takes a "Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead" attack. He has given the right wing enough rope to hang themselves. And they have stepped into the noose and kicked over the chair. Time to leave them dangling and get on with the business of fixing the mess.
"There are far out wings of neoconsevatives and neocommunists in the country, the power is with the mainstream."
Interesting juxtaposition--neoconservatives and neocommunists. It wasn't a problem for you when the neocons held power, wrecked the economy and killed thousands in their lying war....but now you posit some middle ground as a way to call the opposition "communists". Seems a way to channel Joe McCarthy in the Obama era.
"He aspires to a rational approach to decision making, but why did he let Van Jones into the tent?"
Van Jones IS an accomplished person in the environmental arena. The attacks against him were contrived and silly. I, and many others, would agree with his characterization of why the Republicans SEEM to have been winning the debate. I only hope that Obama and the Democrats see them, and raise them 10 on that score. The other charges are too silly to address also. Van Jones has comedic flair and is full of charisma. I don't think we've heard the last of him on the national stage. News at 11.
"At one point Obama had the support of the middle, according to the polls this has gone, they do not trust him."
Ahh polls, polls, polls. When elections go against you, scream about the polls. When the polls go against you scream about national security, etc. 2010 is on the horizon. We'll see. Until then it's President Obama and Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate. They just have to press their advantage and ride roughshod over the obstructionists, that will electrify the majority.
"We need a functional President for the next 3.5 years"
I present you President Obama. Seemed to function quite well last night.
"We do not want neocons nor neocommunists"
"We"? You do not want whom you characterize "neocommunists". You would have no problem if the neocons returned to power.
"From a leadership perspective he needs to take a stand, lead from the middle and stand apart from neocon and neocomm activists."
You wish. There is no middle anymore. If there are any sane Republicans in existence anymore they have allowed Rush Limbaugh and Glen Beck types to set the tone and hijack the party. He has played the "let's be bi-partisan" angle and all it's done is delay things a bit, expose the opposition as politically bankrupt and obstructionist, and now given Obama and the Democrats leeway to go ahead without them.
Posted by mystery solved, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 10, 2009 at 9:59 am
When you sift through the noise and the photo-op moment what remains is the truth, the truth found in reality.
The reality is, we as a nation can no longer afford these people in Washington and Sacramento.
This is not a Bush or Obama thing, nor is it a black, white thing or even a democrat vs. republican thing. You see the color of freedom is green. And in all practical sense these people in Washington and Sacramento are slowly but surely stealing your freedom. And not satisfied with just stealing yours they are happily stealing the freedom of your children.
The question is how much longer are you going to allow this? Of course if you make no decision then rules of history will reach up and make the decision for you. I think we all agree that is a decision we want to avoid.
Posted by anti-obama haters of america, a resident of Stanford, on Sep 10, 2009 at 3:07 pm
Sarah--you are wrong--I am sure it is your dream that Obama is losing his effectiveness as a leader. However who determined how many times a leader can appear on TV in a week to be considered ineffective. Very interesting standards you have for "leadership".
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Sep 10, 2009 at 9:56 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Post-Speech to a Joint Congress, I will stir the pot I first put on this fire.
The back bencher from a GOP district in SC, Joe Wilson, yelling "You lie," probably did more than anything Obama said to make the speech a success. That speaks volumes about both sides of the aisle.
Obama the Community Organizer from South Side Chicago was obliquely exposed last night. I think the "happy talk" ended with the middle of the speech, and he is hell bent to get something done. He will not step on people to do it, he will leave that to Rahm Emmanuel, Nancy Pelosi, not clear who in the Senate, but he made it clear he ain't gonna put up with people who will not go or get along, whatever the agenda. Good for him, that is what strong Presidents do. And what people workin' the 'hood do.
I think the GOP has 2 problems. The main one is that they are not in the majority, and they seem to be acting like they will have nothing to do with any legislation that Congress needs to act on. This is an incredibly stupid strategy, and among othe things, comes across to me as sour grapes for all the unilateral shenanigans that took place when the GOP was in charge of the same body just a few years ago. Ramrod through stuff when you have the power, obstruct what is proposed when you are out of power. Just a dumb approach to being part of Congress or the Senate.
The other problem at present for the GOP is that I don't perceive the party truly standing for anything, and there are numerous so called Republicans who plant their flag as representing what had been a venerable party.
Palin? Limbaugh? O'Reilly? Beck? Mark Sanford? Vitter? Joe Wilson?
All they do is bluster about what they don't like, and offer nothing constructive. It's pathetic.