“Four presidents in the last century have won 50 percent of the vote twice: Roosevelt, Eisenhower, Reagan, and Obama.” — Bill Kristol, reminding the GOP it’s time to wake the fck up.
I actually quite like it. It reflects on the way that people feel about the Obamas as people, rather than as public figures. The wonderful thing about working for the campaign is not being with the president or on Air Force One or any of the things that would happen covering any president’s campaign. Spending time with that family is the thing that’s so wonderful. What the family is and represents to the country is as much a part of the president’s appeal as his policies. I don’t know why they chose it, but that’s why I like the choice. As opposed to him waving in front of a flag or something more traditionally presidential.
FOX VIEWERS, pay no attention to the GOP’s actual agenda in Washington (more tax cuts for the wealthiest paid for with austerity cuts to your services and programs). Remember, the rich deserve all the money. Instead focus on how many times the Democratic presidents say GOD when compared to Dubya on the Holy Day of Thanksgiving. On the other hand, forget the fact that GWB invaded Iraq based on lies, killing thousands and thousands of innocent people and spending the nation’s treasury to enrich war profiteers and fellow one-percenters. What’s really important is that Dubya said GOD at Thanksgiving more times than Clinton or Obama. You know this is important because Fox made a graphic for you to focus on, to memorize, to crowd out all that other information you don’t need to think about… Raymond Prentice Shaw… Listen…
Steve Benen: Let’s take a stroll down memory lane, shall we? (posted in full):
1980: Ronald Reagan runs for president, promising a balanced budget
1981 – 1989: With support from congressional Republicans, Reagan runs enormous deficits, adds $2 trillion to the debt.
1993: Bill Clinton passes economic plan that lowers deficit, gets zero votes from congressional Republicans.
1998: U.S. deficit disappears for the first time in three decades. Debt clock is unplugged.
2000: George W. Bush runs for president, promising to maintain a balanced budget.
2001: CBO shows the United States is on track to pay off the entirety of its national debt within a decade.
2001 – 2009: With support from congressional Republicans, Bush runs enormous deficits, adds nearly $5 trillion to the debt.
2002: Dick Cheney declares, “Deficits don’t matter.” Congressional Republicans agree, approving tax cuts, two wars, and Medicare expansion without even trying to pay for them.
2009: Barack Obama inherits $1.3 trillion deficit from Bush; Republicans immediately condemn Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility.
2009: Congressional Democrats unveil several domestic policy initiatives — including health care reform, cap and trade, DREAM Act — which would lower the deficit. GOP opposes all of them, while continuing to push for deficit reduction.
September 2010: In Obama’s first fiscal year, the deficit shrinks by $122 billion. Republicans again condemn Obama’s fiscal irresponsibility.
October 2010: S&P endorses the nation’s AAA rating with a stable outlook, saying the United States looks to be in solid fiscal shape for the foreseeable future.
November 2010: Republicans win a U.S. House majority, citing the need for fiscal responsibility.
December 2010: Congressional Republicans demand extension of Bush tax cuts, relying entirely on deficit financing. GOP continues to accuse Obama of fiscal irresponsibility.
March 2011: Congressional Republicans declare intention to hold full faith and credit of the United States hostage — a move without precedent in American history — until massive debt-reduction plan is approved.
July 2011: Obama offers Republicans a $4 trillion debt-reduction deal. GOP refuses, pushes debt-ceiling standoff until the last possible day, rattling international markets.
August 2011: S&P downgrades U.S. debt, citing GOP refusal to consider new revenues. Republicans rejoice and blame Obama for fiscal irresponsibility.
There have been several instances since the mid 1990s in which I genuinely believed Republican politics couldn’t possibly get more blisteringly ridiculous. I was wrong; they just keep getting worse.
I like the LA Times’ take on Obama’s speech:
President Obama will call for shrinking the nation’s long-term deficits by raising taxes on wealthier Americans and requiring them to pay more into Social Security, drawing a barbed contrast with a Republican plan to save money by deeply slashing Medicare, Medicaid and other domestic spending.
Obama will offer some spending cuts, including trims to the Pentagon’s budget, but his speech Wednesday is likely to provide Americans with a vivid choice between higher taxes or fewer benefits, issues that will color the national debate straight through the 2012 election.
Fact: the Democrats need to get out the message, loud and clear, that the Republicans want to cut Medicare and Medicaid and the Democrats don’t. Period. But will they do it?
The Vindication Of Obama’s Egypt Strategy? Andrew Sullivan notes:
While Marc Lynch emphasizes that there “is no question that the first, second and third drivers of this Egyptian revolution were the Egyptian people,” he still praises Obama’s handling of the situation:
The Obama administration … deserves a great deal of credit, which it probably won’t receive. It understood immediately and intuitively that it should not attempt to lead a protest movement which had mobilized itself without American guidance, and consistently deferred to the Egyptian people. Despite the avalanche of criticism from protestors and pundits, in fact Obama and his key aides — including Ben Rhodes and Samantha Power and many others — backed the Egyptian protest movement far more quickly than anyone should have expected.
Their steadily mounting pressure on the Mubarak regime took time to succeed, causing enormous heartburn along the way, but now can claim vindication. By working carefully and closely with the Egyptian military, it helped restrain the worst violence and prevent Tiananmen on the Tahrir — which, it is easy to forget today, could very easily have happened. No bombs, no shock and awe, no soaring declarations of American exceptionalism, and no taking credit for a tidal wave which was entirely of the making of the Egyptian people — just the steadily mounting public and private pressure on the top of the regime which was necessary for the protestors to succeed.
And Bush’s violent means of spreading Democracy may have helped in a roundabout way too.
Michelle Bachmann’s Tea Party response (We’re over here, Michelle…) :
A senior White House official said Obama’s State of the Union address will focus heavily on domestic issues like job creation, reducing the soaring national debt, and his hopes of finding common ground with the new Republican majority in the House.
When it comes to Afghanistan, the official said Obama will use the address to argue that this year marks a turning point that signals the beginning off the end of the long Afghan war. The official said Obama would make clear that 2011 will be the high water mark for the U.S troop presence in Afghanistan, which will decline over the next three years and, at least in theory, be almost entirely out of the country by 2014.
WTF, Huffington Post? This: White House Gives In On Bush Tax Cuts
“That is the wrong interpretation because I haven’t had a conversation with Democratic and Republican leaders,” Obama said of a Huffington Post article suggesting that in advance of negotiations with lawmakers next week, the White House has calculated that giving in on tax cuts for the rich is the only way to get the middle class cuts extended too.
“Here’s the right interpretation — I want to make sure that taxes don’t go up for middle class families starting on January 1st,” Obama said at a news conference at the conclusion of the G-20 Summit here. “That is my number one priority for those families and for our economy. I also believe that it would be fiscally irresponsible for us to permanently extend the high income tax cuts. I think that would be a mistake, particularly when we’ve got our Republican friends saying that their number 1 priority is making sure that we are dealing with our debt and our deficit.”