(AP) President Barack Obama speaks to workers about the economy during a visit to Daimler Detroit Diesel...
HOOKSET, N.H. (AP) - Fear and frustration course through the lunch crowd at Robie's Country Store and Deli, a popular outpost 500 miles from where Washington is again locked in tense negotiations over taxes and spending as a critical deadline looms.
"I'm worried," Lorraine Cadren of nearby Manchester says between bites of her chicken sandwich. Her doubt in the nation's elected leaders is palpable: "I'm not sure what's going to come out of Washington next." Not that she has the time to pay much attention; the 64-year-old is unemployed and preoccupied with finding a new job as Christmas approaches.
A few tables away, John Pfeifle shares Cadren's angst while trying to enjoy his $6.99 chicken parmesan special.
"Somebody's gotta have some smarts," says the 63-year-old business owner, complaining that both President Barack Obama and House Republicans seem willing to allow the nation to go over the "fiscal cliff," triggering broad tax increases and massive spending cuts that economists warn could lead to another recession.
"I have no faith at all they'll do the right thing," Pfeifle said of Congress.
And why would these voters have confidence in Washington?
The scene playing out on Capitol Hill is a familiar one as lawmakers with competing ideologies wage an 11th-hour battle to avert a predictable crisis. This one comes just a year after an equally divided Washington nearly let the country default on its loan obligations - a debt-ceiling debate that contributed to the electorate's deep lack of faith in their elected leaders and a drop in the nation's credit rating.
Evidence of Congress' plummeting popularity is everywhere.
From New Hampshire diners to Colorado coffee shops, weary residents report widespread concern. They relate the debate in Washington over their tax dollars with their own lives: average Americans who are struggling every day to make ends meet. And already distracted by the holidays and tired of politics after a bitter presidential campaign, they are calling on Washington to get its act together.
"It's pathetic. Nobody's doing their job," said Laura Hager, a retiree from Lancaster, Pa. "The rest of the country is being held hostage to this entire situation."
She said the uncertainty makes it difficult to shape a personal financial plan; she can't imagine what business leaders must be going through. "Nobody can plan. Nobody knows what they'll do," she said.
Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., warned that the public's disgust with Congress would reach new heights if lawmakers and the White House fail to reach an accord before the year-end deadline.
"Ninety percent disapproval rating is going to go up to 99 percent disapproval," the senator said at a panel discussion last week in Washington on the fiscal cliff's impact on businesses.
Warner overstated Congress' unpopularity, although not by much.
A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that 74 percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job; just 23 percent approve. The figures are virtually unchanged from June and slightly above Congress' recent low point of 12 percent approval during the debt ceiling debate in August 2011.
Some voters are trying to ignore the debate altogether, although near-constant news coverage is making that difficult, especially as Obama and his Republican opponents work to rally their supporters.
In a campaign-style event Monday in Michigan, the heart of industrial America, Obama warned that he "won't compromise" on his demand that the wealthiest Americans pay more in taxes. Polls find that most voters agree with the president's deficit-cutting plan to raise tax rates on income over $200,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples, although House Republicans are reluctant to agree.
The conservative group Crossroads GPS is running television ads across the country describing Obama's solution as "a huge tax increase" with "no real spending reforms.""Call President Obama and tell him it's time to show us a balanced plan," the ad says.
Most voters interviewed in recent days are calling for an immediate compromise and seem willing to raise taxes on the wealthy so long as the middle class is protected.
There is a vague sense that the "fiscal cliff" is more serious than other recent Capitol Hill clashes. But barely a month after the presidential contest ended, most people say they're not following the daily developments that consume Washington.
In a Denver coffee shop, interior designer Roxann Lloyd, 42, is mystified by the sound and fury out of Washington over the cliff.
"I don't think they have any idea what a big deal is to an average person," she said. "I'm just ignoring it."
Lloyd said she isn't surprised by the partisan bickering over the issue. "I don't feel like they are really looking out for us," she said of Congress.
John Baker, 65, a Denver psychologist, said he had little faith in Congress' ability to fix the problem: "I don't think Congress can fix a flat tire."
"It's a typical Washington, 'Let's hit the panic button and keep people scared so they will let us do what we want to do,'" Baker said in a downtown Denver Starbucks. "Ultimately, it will be fixed but not until a lot of pockets are lined."
It's unclear whether members of Congress are hearing the message.
Rep. Charlie Bass, a New Hampshire Republican who lost his re-election bid last month, says it's unclear whether his GOP colleagues will "face the reality that the president, at least at this point, is not going to accept anything other than a tax rate increase."
A stalemate would result in "painful uncertainty," Bass said, offering his caucus a bit of advice: "We best get on with it - get it done."
Back at Robie's, store owner Debbie Chouinard says she's burned out from election season and "tired of all the bull."
"I honestly haven't been paying attention," she said while feeding her 2-year-old granddaughter lunch during a brief lull. "People should be working together to get this country going."
Associated Press writers Nicholas Riccardi in Denver and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.
"It's unclear whether members of Congress are hearing the message."
Seems that they're hearing SOME message, but not necessarily the right one. They hear nothing about compromise or doing what's right. Apparently, they're listening to the lobbyists and others with pull, not their constituents.
It kind of disturbs me that the president is "campaigning" about this, travelling here and there. Shouldn't he be busy working to try and resolve this?
The news was showing several snippets of his speeches in different places (one in MI, where they're fighting over the "right to work" issue)...and he was really slamming GOPs...basically laying all the blame on them. That's just not right...and he continues to be very divisive.
This article I think reflects how most people feel. Tired of the bull, is right. Both sides need to get their sh*t together, and Obama needs to be brainstorming, not out on a campaign trail. Very disappointing.
No, I am not disappointed in Obama at all and I say we have had enuff being held hostage by Grover Norquist. Im ready to jump off that cliff! Obama will not cave on this and I personally am totally happy about that.
I don't care anymore if we go off. I'm with the group of people that says "let's give the president EVERYTHING" he asked for in his proposal so he is accountable. Otherwise, for whatever reason, the GOP gets all the blame while both sides are equal in that to me.
But I don't care if we go off the cliff. I'm done worrying about it. I do, however, agree that Obama needs to quit the campaigning 'convince' people he is right. I was sick of campaigning while the election was going on.
"You're disappointed in Obama ?
What about the Republicans who refuse to compromise ?"
Being too close to center to agree with either, *I* am disappointed in them all, because they're acting like babies. I don't like that Obama is "campaigning" to get his way; this isn't a campaign, this is our lives. Nor do I like being held hostage by the Republicans. We all have to come to terms with the idea that part of the country thinks like Obama, part thinks like the Republicans, and SO many of sit in the middle, seeing both sides, but not really agreeing with either.
Just because Obama won the election, doesn't mean that the majority of the people agree with him. Some voted for him, simply because he's a Democrat, others voted for him simply because he's black, other voted for him, because, while they don't agree with ALL of his policies, but they come closer to the beliefs of certain voters. The very same goes for the Republicans. Right or wrong, many voted for what they perceived to be "the lesser of 2 evils"......... or not necessarily FOR a candidate, but AGAINST another candidate.
I think more and more of us are thinking like teko --- let's all hold hands and jump at the same time........
Yes, I am disappointed in both sides. I think Obama has been unreasonable from the beginning, and I'm tired of hearing that he has the right to be unreasonable because he won the election. Are we going to hear that during any and all negotiation? If so, then I agree with SM...the GOP should just cave all together and let the whole thing lie on his shoulders (which it won't anyway).
I think it's in poor taste that he's campaigning to garner even more support...talk show hosts, now public appearances. Wouldn't it be more useful if he were sitting at a desk, trying to figure this out?
I'm also disappointed in the GOP, for their comntinued stance on the tax hikes. While I agree with their stance, it's time to compromise.
Generally speaking, it's a shame that Obama spends SO much time reminding us who the majority chose. I don't take his win away from him...but what about the LARGE % of people who DIDN'T choose him? Do we matter at all? Does he care at all what we think? I'm, guessing no...because he continues to remind us over and over and over that "the people" have spoken. Well, not ALL the people...but most.
I would like to see him do more than propose a ridiculous unreasonable plan, then blame everything on the GOP. Yes, I'm very disappointed. I've tried to remain open minded, even with my bias...but I don't like what I've seen so far.
Well I voted for him, not because he is black or because he is democrat, but because I agree with him. No tax rate hike, no talk. By going over the cliff, it cuts everything they agreed to a year and a half ago. They created this cliff, no compromise on the horizon, lets jump I say! But I find it sort of interesting that they set this up in case they could not compromise and a year and a half later are in the same situation. JUMP
Hey, I'm with ya. I don't care anymore. I'll be just fine. The Democrats and the Republicans both aren't working together. So, let us go. I just want Obama to OWN that he sent us ther as much as the GOP.
If the GOP worship Norquist more than they care about us and want to hold 98 percent of the people hostage over the tax cuts for the two percent, it says it all imo. And according to the polls, most americans feel the same way. Let em all expire and let the pain begin! I have nothing to lose so lets do this!
Well, who are the Democrats worshiping? Why won't they bend either? So much blame on the GOP when Obama's proposal showed EXACTLY how much he wants to work things out. We are going off the cliff AS MUCH due to Democrats as Republicans. And I'm fine with that. I hope there is backlash against BOTH sides (AND obama).
Obama ran on letting those tax cuts expire. He said he would not compromise on them a second time, we agreed and voted him in. The gop watched that campaign just as much as we did, if we go over the cliff it will be on the GOP and the majority of voters feel that way. Now we got all this panic about this cliff which probably amounts to a molehill anyway. The next battle will be the debt ceiling being held hostage so the country will default on its bills. Just watch.
I suspect that somebody is going to cave, in order to not be "blamed", but if they don't, as I said earlier "Let's all hold hands and jump together"....
I guess the next "message" to Congress will be 2014; anybody want to take bets as to whether they will get the right message or not? I'm guessing not any more than the past elections because they don't get the "right" message.
Ha, well---- some big spenders want to have NO debt ceiling. Dems (along with the president) are as bad at working with Republicans as Republicans are with Democrats. EVERY American should feel let down by our government.
You got to pay the bills and allowing the gop to hold the debt ceiling hostage and use it to shut the country down is stupid. Pure stupidity. We have been thru this before and the pres says no more. What do you think we should do? Just shut it all down? Well hell, lets do that too! Im good with that!
Well, thank goodness my husband gives me a debt ceiling or I'd spend the country into bankruptcy. Obama and I have a lot in common. (okay, I threw myself under the bus to make a point. I'm actually quite responsible with the money I have and don't overspend. And I'm honest about it when I'm running out of cash and we have to cut back.)
Short memories, Bush raised the debt ceiling 16 times without narry a complaint or a raised eyebrow. Now lets just put it in perspective here. Two wars on the tab and in the same frame of time tax cuts to boot. Would your husband call that a sensible move? So they want to do the same things all over again and make the cuts permanant and pay for it by cutting spending. LOL, To hell with medicare and social security,screw them people, who cares, but we will not give on the tax cuts for the two percent cause we took an oath yu see
This is a waste of time. You see it one way and I see it the polar opposite, so lets just leave it there shall we.
I've said, by the way, that while I do not feel it is fair--- in these difficult times of great debt and financial issues in our country, that yes, we have to tax the top 2%. I would love it to be the same way tax cuts are in that it goes for a certain period of time like 2 years or 4 years and then the govt. re evaluates just as they are the Bush cuts now. But whatever. Desperate times call for desperate measures and we do need money right now. I just hate to see it go to expanding any programs.
You simply can not just keep spending when you don't have it. I'm not trying to screw anyone but if we don't pull it back in---- we enter unchartered territory (oh no . . . we won't have the Bush years to refer back to, WHAT will we do???) for debt.
It's funny how taking an issue that effects 98% of Americans and asking those same Americans for their support and for their voices to be heard, is considered campaigning....The point is the President has laid down a plan that includes BOTH Revenue and cuts to Medicare (on top of cuts already made to medicare) like the repubs want. However, the repubs don't like the way he cuts Medicare. They want him to cut it their way but they won't specify. The President was VERY clear that if he was re-elected, he would let the tax cuts end for the top 2% income earners and continue them permanently for 98% of Americans. The republicans are holding this deal up. Why? beats the heck out of me.
"Short memories, Bush raised the debt ceiling 16 times without narry a complaint or a raised eyebrow. Now lets just put it in perspective here. Two wars on the tab and in the same frame of time tax cuts to boot. Would your husband call that a sensible move? So they want to do the same things all over again and make the cuts permanant and pay for it by cutting spending. LOL, To hell with medicare and social security,screw them people, who cares, but we will not give on the tax cuts for the two percent cause we took an oath yu see
This is a waste of time. You see it one way and I see it the polar opposite, so lets just leave it there shall we. "
The US hasn't won a war in over 60 years. The first thing we should do to help the economy is stop funding these endless wars.
To me, this is the number one reason why Bush's name keeps popping up.
He sent us into this downward spin.
Well, in all honesty, I never see open discussion with people sharing how they see things as a waste of time as that is how we all learn. I've said before that respectful discussion plants seeds that eventually may grow. While someone like myself feels a particular way or thinks a particular way about something today== it does not mean that I won't take a thought put in my head about something by someone, ponder, think and grow and either change my opinion, have new understanding of why things are happening the way they are, etc. It is only a waste of time when we don't respect how the other person feels and thus, refuse to even think about what they are saying. For me, I view it all as an opportunity to enhance my current thinking and while I tell you how I feel today, that is not meant to just argue. Rather, I was viewing it an honest exchange of how someone else sees an important issue in this country.
I see just chatting with people that always feel exactly as I do as a waste of my time. ure, it's nice sometimes to talk to someone that agrees with me it is often more interesting to have thoughtful discussion where people can tell me why they feel as they do in a genuine way even if it is different than how I feel.
Our country's debt worries me greatly. That those we elect into office keep acting in quite stubborn ways and refuse to compromise and stick to far left or far right views frustrates me. I'm not convinced at this point that Obama really is interested in compromising either. Those that back him support that, I know. But the same could be said for Republicans that support those who are fighting for the right sided views. I'm looking for something different rather than the same old thing from our government. I'm growing numb to it all though and view Obama, Republicans in Congress, Dems in Congress all as part of an ongoing problem at this point. I want them to work it out. I don't have the answers as to what is best. But I just don't have a lot of faith in our government anymore.
I was THRILLED that some very far right minded congress people were kicked to the curb lasts week. I see that as a move in the right direction for getting things done.
I also think at some point, at some time---- Obama supporters are going to have to move past Bush in terms of making Obama untouchable for criticism.
"SS no way. The president will NOT cut that. SS has NOTHING to do with the deficit. So it's off the table.." As far as I can see, nothing is off the table. They're talking about cutting the cost of living increases. The prices of goods/services continue to rise, but income stays the same. What happens when people can no longer keep up with inflation? What happens after they cut the cost of living increases, but continue to take out always growing deductions for healthcare? We all end up on Medicaid and other welfare programs, because we have nothing left.
We paid into Medicare, just like we've paid into SS; it shouldn't be in the shape it's in either.
SM - I agree with you about disagreeing. It's good to talk to people who aren't of the same mind set, because that's how we learn and/or come up with information that lets us understand the situation better, or change our minds -- "evolve", if you will; however, when someone is SO deadset against any type of criticism, it's hard to have a dialogue.
When you have the same people saying the same things over and over and over repeatedly, I dont think you can call it informative or learning from one another. It is more like combative and the election is over. Sides are still drawn as we see here. So whats the point? It is what it is, you either like it or you dont, and I think it funny that republicans get their panties in a twist every time the policies of the bush administration come up. At some point you will have to admit that starting two wars on a tab and giving tax cuts sent us toppling over. Yet, you think Obama has done such a poor job. I think they call that denial?
If you are so sensitive about the name bush being applied than just supply what ever name you like during those years. How about happy endings? That certainly fits! LOL
Deadset against criticism you say? But we just cannot mention that happy endings name! Come on folks.
All the tax cuts need to expire and we all know it.,
" At some point you will have to admit that starting two wars on a tab and giving tax cuts sent us toppling over. Yet, you think Obama has done such a poor job. I think they call that denial?"
"If you are so sensitive about the name bush being applied than just supply what ever name you like during those years. "
Are you kidding? I've seen every one of us on the right here in CE critisize Bush at one point or another. I haven't seen anyone blindly sing his praises, and say he didn't do anything wrong. Most, if not all of us stated we had issues with the wars and the amount that was spent on them...we have also stated there was a lot he did wrong.
There's no doubt Bush had a hand in the way things are...NO doubt. I don't think you're going to get an argument about that out of any of us...but the further away we move from the Bush years....STILL little to no criticism is given to our current president, who is entering his second term. Talk about denial? This isn't his first rodeo. He said in his first term that he was "cleaning up" Bush's mess. Whose mess is he cleaning up now? Still Bush's?
ANY time Obama is mentioned in a negative light about an issue...it almost ALWAYS goes back to Bush. AT WHAT POINT does Obama get held accountable for his portion of this situation? For the state of our country? He's not 100% responsible, but he's responsible. We're moving into the 5th year of his policies, changes, and decisions. FIVE years. The gov't looks a lot different than it did during the Bush years (in both good ways and bad). You guys want him to get all the praise for his accomplishments...Bin Laden, Obamacare...yet he doesn't earn any criticism? That just baffles me...TRULY. I don't understand that.
He inherited a war and promised to bring ALL the troops home. He moved them from one place to another, and has spent a LOT of money on continuing the war and military presence. You know what? I don't completely disagree with his choices when it comes to the military..but if we're going to lay blame...he deserves his fair share. Now, we've heard the 2014 withdrawl is probably not going to happen. Again, I'm not saying he's always making the wrong decision...but these ARE his decisions. He continued to put wars (and a LOT of other things) on credit cards too,...just as Bush gets hammered for.
Why is he so untouchable? I don't understand it. I certainly don't feel the GOP is untouchable or blameless....no way. They have their own pawn in this game. But why is it that I can admit that, with NO issue...I don't take that personally...but yet when we're voicing our displeasure about something Obama did or didn't do....there are outcrys, and Bush gets blamed. He's not perfect. I respect that you support him, but with all due respect, I don't think you're holding him responsible at all, and that's being very naive, or blindly loyal, IMO.
While I say go over the cliff too...it's going to be terrible and a tragedy if these two sides can't figure SOMETHING out to avoid the sequestrations. Talk about major consequences. That is NOT the answer. You have all KINDS of programs that will be cut if we go over this cliff. If our LEADERS (all of them...BOTH sides, NO ONE gets a pass)...then shame shame shame on them.
Let me sum it up for you in a much much shorter fashion. It took 8 years for Bush to create this mess, Obama has been appointed to clean it up. Making the mess was a lot easier than the current mess of cleaning it up. We are still dealing with the same policies, ie bush tax cuts, the same crap on the credit card, it didnt just go away ya know, and altho Obama has made mistakes, most of us realize that this mess is alot more convuluted and trying to do it with obstruction for four years I think, is pretty darn commendable on his part. I think we will see a turn around and was hoping for less obstruction. That is why I voted for him. And I support the president in his current stance one hundred percent.
Well okay Teko. I guess I never thought of it as a waste of time to be honest. And never really saw myself as combative but if you say I am, then I'll listen to that and refrain from commenting on the threads posted in which we don't agree. My panties are not twisted but I'm trying to get through the here and now and whenever there is criticism about Obama, it does seem like that is thrown back as the response. Because Bush was a bad president, it doesn't negate the shortcomings of Obama or mean we can't expect certain things from him.
This 'fiscal cliff' stuff was in my mind the first 'test' if you will of all that was said around the end of election time---- that Repubicans and Democrats need to work together and were going to try. I had some optimism that things might be a little different. And it does discourage me the way it is going. I expect more out of these people. Obama's plan or no plan. Republicans plan or no plan. That is ridiculous. Get part of both plans into one plan and move on. I just don't understand why they can't do that.
And here ya go! You just cannot stand the fact that we dont criticize the president. Not tru. I think he has funny ears! Better now? LOL
And he made me mad when he caved to the last hostage situation on these cuts and extended them in order to get the unemployment extended during the holidays so the average jo wouldnt suffer. He said then he would not compromise again and his base is holdin him to it. But we are holding him to that promise. The gop is simply protecting their family jewels by not breaking their pledge to a lobbyist. HUGE difference. imo
Obama has made mistakes, most of us realize that this mess is alot more convuluted and trying to do it with obstruction for four years I think, is pretty darn commendable on his part.
So, he was obstructed by the GOP for 4 years?
Again, all the blame goes somewhere else. That's what I'm saying. He gets a pass on everything. If the end of these 4 years, if things are no better, or God forbid, worse...will he be accountable? Or will it be an unsuccessful attempt to clean up Bush's mess...and GOP obstruction?
This fiscal cliff nonsense is a perfect example..do you think Obama is adding to the turmoil? Is it all the GOP's fault that nothing is getting done? Is Obama being reasonable? Or, does he not have to be, simply because he won the election?
Other than a few of you here, much of his base wants to continue their tax savings. Like I said----- in the begining, I had mixed feelings about it because we were going through a rough financial patch that we'll most likely recover from. So, I thought, another year would be *nice*. But I'm fine with letting the tax cuts expire. However, there will be some folks really hurting and I do feel bad for them.
I always got the impression that Obama himself is worried about those people.
What are you talking about???? I'm not taking anything personally. You are saying it is a waste of time discussing an issue if someone gives an opposing view and that maybe I was combative (I thought that was what you were saying) and I don't want to come across as that. So I apologized for that. But I wasn't trying to be difficult. Or having hurt feelings. Or attacking you.
I mean, OMG, REALLY right back at ya. Very confusing the way this thread is going. And yes, I NOW fully agree---- really a waste of time.
I was talking about conversations in general. We each put our point of view across, as we see it and at some point it ceases to be informative, only combative like our individual opinions should trump the other. I didnt mean you or anyone in particular but more the way conversations ended up. I am evidently way to sensitive this morning and right now am really sorry I said anything. My apologys if I offended you or made you feel singled out. Certainly was not my intention. Now I better go get my morning joe and hope I can communicate more effectively as my day goes on. I hope.
I've seen every republican/conservative here say that Bush botched a lot of things, especially in his 2nd term. And as long as there was a Bush in office, there will always be someone to blame for anything bad that happens.
In regards to the wars. I've seen almost every liberal/progressive/democrat here tout that Obama was ending the wars and that was what he said he was going to do. I've seen 1... 1 democrat here say that they were disappointed in the fact that we are likely to be in Afghanistan past 2014, and they actually blamed the President for going back on his word. (Mrs.P was the only one I saw who said they were disappointed in the President. Most everyone else excused it or completely minimized it as no big deal, when the very same wars were a giant issue under Bush.... these same people say they want "fair judgement" but won't give it themselves. That is unfortunate that they cannot see that themselves.)
It's okay to not see everything eye to eye with the President, people. It's even okay to say that you don't see things eye to eye, or even say that things $uck. It's okay to say something was a bad decision.... it won't make you a bad democrat. Just do it... quit defending the un-defendable.
I've seen 1... 1 democrat here say that they were disappointed in the fact that we are likely to be in Afghanistan past 2014, and they actually blamed the President for going back on his word. (Mrs.P was the only one I saw who said they were disappointed in the President. Most everyone else excused it or completely minimized it as no big deal, when the very same wars were a giant issue under Bush.... these same people say they want "fair judgement" but won't give it themselves. That is unfortunate that they cannot see that themselves.)
That's what amazes me...Obama is doing the same thing Bush did pretty much in terms of deployment of the troops, but he gets a pass. How's that work? Oh wait, I know...because he didn't "start it"?
It's HIS baby now..if he gets the praise for finishing something Bush started (ie Bin Laden)...then he gets the criticism for how he handles something Bush started. Can't have it both ways.
And, the "hostage" references are getting old...and I don't mean that directed at any one person...the media is using that constantly. I think that's ridiculous...and continuing to say such things only fuels the fire with unnecessary drama.
Our own president started that ball rolling...the "hostage" remarks. I find it so divisive and hostile. Drawing those party lines.
If we're going to be fair...Obama is doing enough of his own "hostage holding" as well. I don't see him compromising on his hard lines any more than the GOP has. Works both ways.
SM...I too felt this fiscal cliff situation was a good thing to gauge Obama on, for starters, anyway. Of course I wasn't thrilled by the outcome of the election, but as I've said before,..I want Obama to succeed. To wish anything else would be stupid. He said so much during the election, and especially right after...about working together, compromising, reaching accross the aisle, and man, his FIRST public speech after his victory was anything but. He couldn't have been more divisive, more one-sided...he couldn't have hammered home enough the fact that he won and he was going to listen to those who voted for him. Oh yes...that message has been jammed down our throats so much...we got it.
I don't fault him for being loyal to his party, or those who voted for him..not one bit. but I DO fault him (bigtime) for not reaching out to the rest of us...for seeming to go out of his way to actually alienate us and make us feel that we don't matter. I would have LOVED to hear him even just acknowledge that there were a whole BUNCH of people (nearly half of the country) who sent a different message...MANY of those people being people who elected him the first time...and tell us that we mattered too...that he was willing to compromise, and give a little. Not stand on the line he drew, tell us the people spoke, therefore it's his way or the highway. No way...that's so disappointing. I'm sorry, but out of ALL the people in DC screwing up our lives (and I'm talking red and blue)...he should be held to a higher standard....maybe if he would have LED with compromise....more compromise would have followed. He IS, after all the LEADER.
Instead, he led with hard lines, talks of hostage taking, and an initial offer that couldn't have been taken seriously in a million years. HE has set the tone. He set the bar....and set it low in terms of working together. If people want to say.."he won, he's the boss, he holds the cards, then the exact same principle applies in reverse....a LOT of the dissention, divide and lack of being reasonable falls right on his shoulders.
I'm trying, with all I have to give him a chance...and right off the heels of this election...it's hard not to be just totally deflated. I know it's hard not to defend someone, or a group you support when they're critisized..that's human nature, we all do it.
But, put yourselves in our shoes for a moment..imagine if Romney had prevailed, and he was doing exactly what Obama is doing...reminding the people over and over that he won...and that HE holds the card, with NO message of any sort, no acknowledgement to all of you who didn't vote for him. How do you think you'd feel? Would you feel like this man had your best interests at heart? Bet you wouldn't. And while Obama is going to naturally support the democratic policies, he IS supposed to have ALL of our interests at heart, and when you see the leader of your country pointing fingers, and dangling us all over this "cliff", it's sooo very hard to try to give him any credit, or feel like he's actually trying to resolve this, rather than just trying to be "right", and have most of the people agree he is "right". Who CARES??? I could give two sh*ts who is right and wrong...there IS no right and wrong...it's one side versus another. What I care about is a resolution!
For many of us, this was his first "test", for lack of a better word, and I think many of us feel he's failing miserably. You don't embrace half the country, and flip off the rest of us off. That's exactly what it feels like, too. It's very disconcerting, and not a good feeling. I don't expect him to cave to the GOP, but honestly, I have seen very very little compromise, or reaching accross the aisle from him. I think he'd be content to build a brick wall on the aisle, personally, with a sign on our side that reads, "we won...we're in charge, deal with it."
" I don't see him compromising on his hard lines any more than the GOP has."
He doesn't have to com[promise. He ran is WHOLE ELECTION on raising taxes and HE WON!!!!!!!!!! His line is drawn and it's staying there. The majority of Americans voted for him on that and are still behind him on that particular issue today. The sooner the repubs realize that, the faster we can move FORWARD as a country and get economy booming again, our spending and deficit in order.
He has already compromised on what the repubs want, Medicare. No he will not compromise on taxes and SS. Good for him. I don't want him to and neither does the majority of Americans that voted for him. He has said over and over again that medicare is on the table. In his plan he cut medicare but again, the repubs don't like how he cut it. But yet they won't tell him what they want him to cut. Does anyone here not realize that?! The problem with the repubs is the tea party in the house. They will not get anywhere as long as they continue to let the tea party control them...
"For many of us, this was his first "test", for lack of a better word, and I think many of us feel he's failing miserably.
How so? I need more specifics please...
"You don't embrace half the country, and flip off the rest of us off."
The rest of you? He's trying to get a tax cut for 98% of Americans which for some odd reason the repubs don't want. How is that flipping "the rest of you" off? well unless you fall in the bracket of the people that make $250,000 or more...Then I guess I could understand that but then again, if you do, you've been reaping the benefits of a tax cut for the last 10 yrs....
I can tell you what *I* meant by test--- it was a test for all of them. That they could come together and hash out a plan with parts of both sides worked into one plan. When I say test, I mean for Congress, Dems, Repubs and the president. I really wanted to see them work better together on important issues. I'm discouraged.
The tea party guy last week got the boot which is a step in the right direction for Republicans but what do we do about the far left that won't budge on their end?? Both ends need to bend in a bit and come together. But everyone---- even here--- just digs in and says the other side is wrong period. Can't there be value in what both sides are saying and an attempt made to work a plan taking parts of each or meeting in the middle on some things?
I'm way over the tax cuts. I don't care at all about them anymore. To me, this was just a sign that our government isn't willing to work together--- still! Even after promising they would. Discouraging to me.
" I don't see him compromising on his hard lines any more than the GOP has."
He doesn't have to com[promise. He ran is WHOLE ELECTION on raising taxes and HE WON!!!!!!!!!! His line is drawn and it's staying there. The majority of Americans voted for him on that and are still behind him on that particular issue today. The sooner the repubs realize that, the faster we can move FORWARD as a country and get economy booming again, our spending and deficit in order
^^ This is basically my entire point.
The sooner the repubs realize that, the faster we can move FORWARD as a country and get economy booming again, our spending and deficit in order
Right...like I said:
I think he'd be content to build a brick wall on the aisle, personally, with a sign on our side that reads, "we won...we're in charge, deal with it."
Just because he won the election doesn't mean it's okay for him to be unreasonable. Again, he's the leader...he set this ridiculous tone of nonsense proposals that both sides are going back forth with. Plus, the stuff he "ran on" has changed a few times already....including doubling the amount he stated in his campaign for tax hikes...and the addition of more spending in the form of stimulus funds.
I can IMAGINE if Romney has won and took this same stance...there would be outrage.....I can guarantee you all wouldn't be saying..'Well, he won the election, so he can do what he wants. He doesn't have to compromise".
Having an advantage and being completely unwilling to budge are two seperate things.
I wish the repubs would cave...just get it over with. Someone has to. Just gave, let him "win" his campaign he's busy with....and we'll deal with the consequences.
I, too, am just disgusted with the whole lot of them...
Here's an article I ran across the other day, that points out the 10 people most responsible for the fiscal cliff, and how each one contributed. Yes, Obama is one of them, and it most certainly lays the majority of the blame on Bush. Click through the slide show to see who the people are and their role.
I, too, kind of saw this as a "test" for both the administration and Congress, because I was hoping they were serious about working together, for the good of the entire country. So far, imo, they have all failed miserably. Lines drawn, and absolute refusal to cross them, rarely helps anyone.
Just because Obama won the election, doesn't mean that everyone who voted for him stands behind all of his policies. That's pretty near impossible for any President to have 100% backing from 100% of the people who voted for him. I'm sure there are plenty of people who voted for him would agree to have some programs cut, but not others, specifically, those that they benefit from the most.
I agree with NG - I don't think either the President or Congress is taking into consideration that 1/2 the country holds one view, the other 1/2 holds the opposite and they have to be able to come together.
The tea party nuts put people in office. Do you see any anarchists in office, or strong pro-Occupy people in office ?
I don't see any far left people in congress.
The country has drifted so far to the right that people like Nixon would sound like lefties today.
The country has drifted so far to the right that people like Nixon would sound like lefties today.
I respectfully beg to differ, OH. While there may be extremist type tea party goofballs (and I truly think they are on their way out...hopefully soon) in office, as a whole....right now, and in recent years, the country has slanted more to the liberal side.
It cycles. My guess is, either after Obama, or after the next dem president after him, we're going to see "control" being taken back by the repubs. It has always cycled back and forth, for many different reasons.
The tea party doesn't stand a chance long term..not unless the repubs don't care about not having a prayer to win elections. The tea party does NOT represent the average conservative in this country.
Respectfully, I present you with some of the democrat parties biggest lefties....
Boxer and Feinstein from your state, if Im not mistaken, Harry Reid, Durbin, Schumer, Kerry, Franken, Rockefeller..... You're pressed to go much further to the left that those guys.
My guess is the republicans will not regain office for a long time. They are totally out of the ballpark in what the country is about. They are a dying party. Many of whom are up for re election in the coming primary, such as Rick Scott, Mitch McConnell and many other misfits. My guess is, their days are numbered.
One of the main reasons Tan Man cannot get a deal is his tea partiers in the party. Oh well, Its his job to get it done and my guess is he will but not till the very last minute.
Without wanting to spend hours searching, here are two brief clips from very different sites, both posted in early 2011..
(You may not like Maddow but she is highly educated and if you read her books, it's clear she is very knowledgeable.)
America's big shift right
Why the country's conservative drift, on a wide range of issues, has accelerated.
"I don't remember, ever, in my 45 years in this business, the debate in Washington being [almost solely], 'What are we going to cut?' " says Sal Russo, a top strategist for the Tea Party Express and a longtime Republican consultant who worked as an aide to Gov. Ronald Reagan and advised Hatch's 2000 presidential bid. "Washington is different than anything I've seen in 45 years."
First Rachel Maddow explained how the center of American politics has drifted to the right over the last 50 years, “The story of modern American politics writ large is the story of your father‘s and your grandfather‘s Republican Party now being way to the left of today‘s leftiest liberals. If Dwight Eisenhower were running for office today, he would have to run, I‘m guessing as an independent, and not as some Joe Lieberman, in between the parties, independent. He‘d be a Bernie Sanders independent.”
Later Maddow added that even Ronald Reagan would not pass today’s Republican purity test, “On the right, the process that has dragged the political center to the point where Dwight Eisenhower would be denounced as a socialist now, Ronald Reagan wouldn‘t even pass a Republican purity test, he‘d be the guy they excluded from the debates for being a wingnut, that process is still very much intact. On the right, things are working sort of the way they always have, if not faster.”
I don't consider Boxer and Feinstein to be of the far left.
They represent my area, and we are progressive and left leaning.
Boxer is one of my favorite long term politicians though I liked her better before she'd been in DC for so long.
Feinstein voted for war, she often goes along with the big money guys. I didn't vote for her when she ran for supervisor or mayor in SF long ago.
She is literally in bed with big money interests.
However, I prefer her to every Republican who has gone up against her for the senate.
Hm. Well, if we are done bashing the various parties---- I can't imagine why anyone is happy with the government on either side.
I'm so disenchanted with Washington. And I'm actually disturbed--- no joke-- with the direction our society is going. And I envision a dim future.
And this is Polly Anna speaking. I've never been a pessimist. But in truth, the disdain and dislike of the 'other' party on both sides makes me feel really hopeless. What do we need to feel like one country again?
I'm not sure what exactly perpetuates this divide. There is a lot of blame spouted in one direction or another but I really don't think anyone is blameless in it. Until people change how they do things in earnest, we'll sink further and further down.
I agree SM...about the divide..and the politicians are the ones who perpetuate it, and the people fall for it, time and again. Our own president is drawing the party lines...how does that bring us together as a nation? It doesn't.
As for the "dying repub party". This same stuff gets touted when a party is in office. The same thing has been said about the dems, whent he repubs were in office. It always cycles, it will again, you'll see. I know you'd rather think that the repubs will die off, so that's fine....but I disagree.
The typical view is that the repub party is the more fiscally responsible one. I don't necessarily think that's true..but those old stereotypes hang around. If we continue to see our economy plummet, people will get nervous and put a repub back in to "fix" the economy. We'll just have to wait and see, but my own very unofficial prediction is, depending on what Obama does...and who runs in 2016, we'll see a power shift then, or in 2020.
Once the tea party loses ground, I believe we will be back to where we need to be, as a party.
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