Obama shows rare courage

By , May 9, 2012 10:38 pm

I haven’t been all that happy with President Obama – especially when compared to the unrealistic world-changing expectations I had for his presidency. I was against the auto industry bailout (I was wrong about that), I was against the Obama bailouts, and I was against his extending of the Bush tax cuts, I thought his alternative energy policy was weak bordering on non-existent, his prosection of the Wall Street evil-doers was a joke, and so on.

He had a lot of good ideas that any sane person would agree with that he couldn’t get done because he wasn’t dealing with sane people – he was dealing with a Republican Party dog that was being wagged by an intransigent, far-right, scorched-earth, teabagger tail of the Republican party that has single-handedly brought normal government business to a stand still. On balance – when compared with the Republicans – Obama is the only game in town. He has a boatload of good ideas that would appeal to most liberals and moderates. Unfortunately, the Republicans have turned their compelling small-government message into a fiscal disaster that is basically tax cuts that aren’t paid for, wars that aren’t paid for, presciption drug benefits that aren’t paid for ….. all wrapped up in a blanket stencilled with “it’s the socialist Kenyan’s fault”. Pure Bullshit. The far-right wants the budget deficit addressed. So do I. They want it addressed with cuts alone. The part of the world that lives in reality knows that is not possible. Even when Obama offered plans that had $2 in spending cuts for every $1 in increased taxes – the Republicans said “no”. I’m still waiting for the Republican plan that addresses the deficit with spending cuts alone.

All that said, a president is measured by his ability to accomplish things and bring the people to his side. Obama hasn’t done that.

But today – Obama showed why he is worth voting for. He addressed a politically dangerous topic and stated in unequivocal terms that he is in favor of gay marriage. Downright refreshing.

30 Responses to “Obama shows rare courage”

  1. bogofree says:

    Looks like Bumpkin spent the evening reading Mother Jones and Huffington Post. So this is his moment of courage? No…his moment of courage would had been to deep six the Patriot Act and remove our occupying army from Afghanistan in January of 2009.

    Has he know replaced Jimmy Carter in your pantheon of “Great” Presidential leaders?

  2. Mary M says:

    And the Democrats have submitted a budget when?

  3. Stephen McKinnon says:

    So let me see, I should vote to keep Obama as President for another four years so he can raise the national debt by another couple of TRILLION dollars? Or because he sanctions the Senate in blocking the US from having a budget each year? Or so we can bail out a car company (PS GM has the Volt, how are those sales going vs Ford that is turning a profit without the bailout PPS Ford is a car company), Or maybe because he STOPPED the Keystone pipeline that would have promoted thousands of construction jobs that would have promoted thousands and thousands of tax dollars in many states, No forget all that we should vote him in because he supports Gay Marriage? What a joke!

  4. bumpkin says:

    Categorizing the auto-bailout as anything other than an astounding success is ridiculous.

  5. Stephen McKinnon says:

    Categorizing the bailout as anything but absurd is, well, absurd. And those words are from a capitalist, ME.

  6. Stephen McKinnon says:

    BTW you are sooo upset about exorbitant contracts why aren’t you seeing the absurdity of a UAW contract that calls for the Auto Company to pay union workers to sit in an office area (100s of them) and do nothing, but getting full pay. And your tax money and your kids future tax money is going to be spent to support that bailout.

  7. bumpkin says:

    I am equally against private unions. The cost of the bailout is debatable and tied to GM stock price. Even high estimates of the cost means that auto bailout is a minor part of the debt problem. I’m sure that you are comfortable blaming the whole debt problem on Obama. The bigger problem is Republican intractibility that is driven largely by the teaparty.

    I can’t do anything about the UAW and am doing what I can at the local level to control costs.

  8. Rich P says:

    boy, I never saw a liberal blog column with all conservative readers before. Makes for good reading. I must add that for the first 2 years, Mr. Obama had an all democratic congress and still got nothing accomplished. He has managed to alienate both Republicans for being too socialistic and Democrats for not being enough. At what point do we change the name from Bush Tax Cuts to Obama’s Tax Cuts… After all it has been almost 4 years now. I’m just sayin…!!

  9. bumpkin says:

    They became the Obama Tax Cuts when he extended them in 2010 – albeit under pressure from the GOP.

    Much of the deficit problem was inherited from Bush – where was all the concern over deficits when Bush was president? The auto bailout was done with money from Bush’s TARP stimulus. I was against all the stimulus programs.

    My point remains. Obama did something politically courageous and our ability as a nation to solve problems is hobbled by a Republican party that is help captive to a fringe right element.

  10. Stephen McKinnon says:

    Your initial point of Mr. Courageous supporting gay marriage, sort of falters as Mr. Courageous doesn’t want to make Gay Marriage a plank on the Democratic party. In other words, Mr. Courageous is courageous in word only.

  11. bumpkin says:

    Steve – I understand that your hatred of Obama is great and that your sources of news are all far-right propaganda rags. And I respect your right to subscribe to thoughts and publications that support your world view.

    Many of us see the world as a more complex place that requires us to challenge our preconceptions.

    The simple truth is that Obama could not do anything that you would see in a favorable light. That is your perogative.

    Obama showed great courage on this particular issue. Supporting gay marriage is far from a guaranteed win in the court of American public opinion. You don’t want to recognize that he took a courageous stand because some bullshit right-wing rag fed you the appropriate anti-Obama spin. Good for you.

    I googled for this plank thing and all I can see is that the Internet is alight with reports that gay marriage *will* become part of the Democratic Party platform. Regardless of whether what you said is true or not – when voters go into the voting booth, they will not know or care whether Obama supports gay marriage as a plank – they will know he supports it ….. PERIOD. It was a courageous and LONG overdue action.

  12. bumpkin says:

    @Mary M

    Where did I say that the Democrats had “submitted a budget”? During the debt ceiling debacle last year Obama offered $4T in deficit reductions that included cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security – the holy trinity of Democratic sacred cows. They also wanted some revenue increases. The Party-Of-No said “No” and so we got no significant action on deficit reduction. The far right wing is unable to compromise and it has crippled the country.

  13. bogofree says:

    I guess Moveon and Mother Jones is the epitome of journalism.

    The idea is to get the Republicans all in a lather and blather over a social issue where the focus will be off the economy.

  14. bogofree says:

    Here are two of my favorite sites and I did a quick search and found the following comments. One on Huffington even called for the execution of George Bush. Why not contact the SS on that? This took all of about 30 seconds to find. I can go onto liberal sites all over the planet and find “bad names” directed at Republicans and Bush. And, yes, ditto to conservative sites but the real issue is that the amnesia the moonbats seem to have especially since they have no “Left wing rags.” LMAO!

    I didn’t even bother with Mother Jones. Now I happen to occasionally view all three sites and I can tell you the amp up against Republicans and Bush is and was not only tolerated it was encouraged.

    http://front.moveon.org/exclusive-trailer-for-the-presidents-speech-with-george-w-bush/

    This is priceless. Bush was such a jackass. Not only did he send our economy to the dogs he had the rest of the world hating us. Clinton may have lied, but it didn’t bring thousands of soldiers home in body bags. Obama is the man in charge now and I am ashamed of the “God fearing Americans” that cannot even show the President of The United States the respect he deserves while in office. Please stop drinking the Republican kool aid and turn off Faux News.

    This is priceless. Bush was a jerk. Turn of the Faux News and thoroughly wash the Beck Butt kool aid from your styrofoam coffee cups.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/10/bush-tax-cuts_n_1415186.html

    When you get out of office, it is a daunting feeling,” he said. “I decided to stay out of the limelight.”

    LIAR !!!!!!…war criminal !!!!!!!…he and whole Regime should be in trial found guilty…and executed !!!!

  15. bumpkin says:

    FYI I’ve never read Mother Jones in my life and my MoveOn mails are usually deleted after reading the subject. Obama took a courageous stand – deal with it. Romney was courageous when he reaffirmed his support for adoption by same sex couples – on Fox News and while campaigning in NC. NC you might recall famously passed one of the most restrictive anti-gay marriage amendments in the country. It’s so restrictive it even restricts straight people.

    I can acknowledge when a Republican does something right. The far-rightbaggers can’t. Truth be told I was afraid Romney would beat me up and cut my hair off if I didn’t give him some kudos.

  16. bumpkin says:

    Loved the Bush clips – makes me appreciate Obama even more.

  17. bogofree says:

    What I was pointing out to the pointy headed liberals is their litter box is quite filthy. You harp on the far right “rags” yet I can match them with the far left “rags” word for word.

    I love the fascination with Fox since it is the lone spokesperson for the visual media. Lefties just go all spittle knowing the more they rant the higher the ratings go.

  18. bogofree says:

    “Steve – I understand that your hatred of Obama is great and that your sources of news are all far-right propaganda rags. And I respect your right to subscribe to thoughts and publications that support your world view. ”

    Could you elaborate, Mark, on just what rags are being discussed? It is your quote in response to Steve. You don’t subscribe or pay attention to some on the far left I have mentioned so you must be interested in those on the right. Which ones? I read both sides of the issue. Try it sometime – may be informative.

    Are there any specific columnist? Some of the most noted on the right such as Michael Barone, Jonah Goldberg and even The Krauthammer occasional throw a bone of praise towards the failed president and administration. But how can that be since you said they don’t? Are there some others you are discussing? Is it selective?

  19. bumpkin says:

    The only one talking about Fox is you bogo – I mentioned them in passing as the outlet where Romney reaffirmed his support of same-sex adoption.

  20. bumpkin says:

    I have seen numerous posts and highlighting of articles by Steve on Facebook. He posts things like The Weekly Standard – a neocon rag, The Washington Times(Rev Moonie), the Boston Herald, NewsMax. You can bet that if Steve posts a link on Facebook – it is something pro-republican, anti-democrat, anti-Obama – or all of the above. Look at his reaction to this post – I spent 95% of listing my disappointment with Obama and what I consider to be his courageous stance on this issue(long overdue) – he immediately jumped on it.

    These days I am reading USA Today and the Washington Post on a daily basis. Both are a far cry more center than the Weekly Standard

  21. bogofree says:

    So you enjoy McPaper? Hmmm…what a person chooses not to read tells volumes about their openness to all points of view. Nothing like a closed mind. Are you the see, speak or hear no evil one?

    I take it you consider the usual left wing bibles like HuffPost in the same category as those on the left?

    No comment on the three columnist I listed? All have done the occasional pro Obama piece. So has George Will.

    Have you noticed how conservative the Post has become?

    As far as Fox I have seen you on several occasions mention it with the all so clever “Faux.” Go into your own archives.

  22. nesmith says:

    I want to know why I should give Obama a vote. What has he fixed that Bush broke? Sway me. Alot of your views on this blog are very conservative. Why do love Obama so? Has he made good on any promises? Has He “fixed” America? Has he even come close? Romney would probably love your posts that cover union issues.

  23. bumpkin says:

    I guess the only reason to vote for Obama is that the Mitt is such a phoney flip-flopper.

    I’m conservative where if comes to fiscal issues but I’m as liberal socially as anyone. I’m in favor of government passing laws to make people do what they won’t do on their own – like the civil rights laws of the 60’s, equal protection for women, clean air/water bureacracy, and so on. If you are a supporter of public unions(I am not) Obama is the best choice. If you are in favor of women having the right to choose and access to reproductive health care(like contraception) then Obama is your man. If you are in favor of a balance plan of tax increases and tax cuts to balance the budget – again Obama. The only problem with Obama’s health care plan is that it didn’t go far enough. I’d like to see a whole hog single payer system. Obama want sane controls in place to prevent a repeat of the last fiscal meltdown – Republicans want it a free for all. Republicans want to get rid of the EPA. They are on the wrong side of history and science on issues like global warming. They want to teach evolution in science class for crying out loud.

    True – Obama hasn’t accomplished all that much. A lot of the reason for that is the party of “No” blocking anything. My suggestion is to look at the top 5 issues you care most about and see where Flip Romney and Obama stand – then pick the one that you like best.

  24. bumpkin says:

    I have to comment on that “why do you love Obama so”. I spent the whole post expressing disappointment in his presidency and 2 sentences in appreciation of his vote on the gay marriage issue. We are on a fiscal road to ruin. I believe the Republican no-tax-increase policy is the plan that will get us to ruin quicker. The Democratic plan will also lead to ruin – it will just take a lot longer.

    Pick your poison.

  25. nesmith says:

    Thanks.There is no easy choice. I dreamt I met Sir Paul McCartney last night.”Ebony and ivory…there is good and bad in everyone”.

  26. bogofree says:

    Mitt’s a “Flip-Flopper” and Obama “Evolves.” Huh? Romney and Obama are the best that can be offered to America? Or Bush, Gore and Kerry?

    What are the sane controls for preventing a fiscal meltdown? Is getting rid of the EPA part of the Republican Party Platform? Is teaching evolution part of the party platform? I did not find those.

    Now certain select Republicans certainly examine things from a “different” perspective but do they speak for the party? Does Dennis Kucinich speak for the Democrats?

    You have done the classic cherry picking and decided that what you hear from one or a small group speaks for all.

  27. bogofree says:

    I’ll give you a little hint on the EPA. The Republicans took a pledge on it. They managed to cut some funding on it but will it be in the current platform?

    Now a further hint on evolution. What exactly is the Republican view on education? Examine the party platform as it now exists and tell me if teaching evolution in Massachusetts or Iowa is part of it?

    On the issue of global warming what was McCain’s position in 2008? What did Huntsman say about Perry regarding this issue? What did Romney do in Massachusetts regarding carbon emissions? So far he is neutral on the issue.

    This is what frustrates be about blanket statements made about a party. Are Democrats all pro-abortion? Just check out Steve Lynch and many, many others. Are Democrats all going lock-step towards a nanny state? Check out the recent Cup Cake Wars.

    The no tax policy? Where was that? Is that similar to Patrick’s pledge to cut property taxes? Was #41’s pledge on “No new taxes” followed? Which taxes should be increased? A national VAT? Personal income? Corporate? Long term gains? I just love it when someone who has CONSISTENTLY followed a pattern of what would be fiscal conservatism is critical of those that would do the same. Do you actually believe that our continued spending patterns should be ignored? That we should continue to deficit in the excess of one trillion a year?

    “discretionary spending cuts, entitlement changes and tax reform” in any deficit-reduction plan. That was the response of 32 senators from the Republican Party and 32 Democrats in a letter to Obama last year. McConnell has even backed off when confronted about Republican positions on “No new taxes.”

    To sum it up the issue is about what to cut and what to tax. Factions within the Republican Party want cut and burn positions on taxes and spending while factions within the Democratic Party want unbridled expenditures and continued deficit spending.

  28. Dave says:

    Most unfortunate that his support for gay marriage was married to a support of ‘states rights.’ i wish he would have backed his support of gay
    Marriage with bold leadership.

  29. Dave says:

    Bumpkin,

    I would like to known why you are so anti-union.
    Are the big auto companies and the cities and towns in MA so fragiile that they can’t stand up and NEGOTIATE a contract ???
    Rather than complaining about unions, how about demanding that the town hire labour counsel and negotiate a deal that the town can afford?

  30. bumpkin says:

    I am anti-union – particularly public unions – because I think their compensation (pay, benefits, pensions, perks) is far greater than equivalent jobs in private industry. This raises the cost of government to me the taxpayer and results in fewer services, fewer teachers, fewer everything. Why should I pay for public employee benefits that I don’t have myself in private industry? Because public employees have so much clout in Middleboro, we routinely give raises and benefit increases that exceed our expected revenue increases – leaving us in a state of perpetual fiscal chaos. I also hate contractually obligated pay increases. When times get tough, town finances take a real beating when we give raises after revenue has dropped. I hate pay raises that are not based on merit. I hate retention policies that are not based on merit. When it comes time to lay off someone, we are guaranteed that we will lay off the most recently hired employee instead of the worst performing one. That to me is just plain crazy. I can’t think of one thing – not even one thing – about public employee unions that is beneficial to me the taxpayer. Quite the opposite.

    Last year I took a look at our OPEB liability. We have something lik $90M in unfunded OPEB liability over the next 30 years. This is a liability is difficult to address because once you giveth – the mighty union will not let you taketh away.

    Let’s take the recent example of a certain department head who had a serious heath issue several months ago. He is going to use his accumulated sick time until October and then retire. That’s like 10 months of salary – my money – that we are giving away. At the same time we need to hire someone to do the work – so we end up paying twice for one position – at least for that 10 month period. Do you think any private company on the planet would have a policy like that? No way – they can’t afford to. Every year at town meeting – we the sheeple vote to give 10s of thousands of dollars in sick leave buy-back for the retiree-du-jour. In my world, we don’t get incentives so that we don’t abuse sick time. The idea that we have to bribe public employees so that they don’t abuse sick time is beyond annoying to me.

    The typical department head in Middleboro retires in his mid to late 50’s. We pay his health care. We pay his pension because his 8% or less contribution does not even come close to paying for what he is drawing. Because our pension/healthcare is so generous, these guys are able to retire in their 50’s and we have to pay for their replacement.

    So that’s it in a nutshell. I think the pay/benefits are too great compared to private industry. Most people in private industry do not have benefits that are even close. Once upon a time, a town employee got little pay and good benefits. Now they get pretty damn good pay and fantastic benefits. It is unsustainable as evidenced by our $90M OPEB liability.

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