Friday, February 06, 2009

Here Is Change I Can Believe!

President Bush was nothing if not polite to those who opposed him and his policies. He genuinely tried to reach across the aisle to work with Democrats, just as he did in Texas.

President Obama, on the other hand, seems a bit arrogant ("I won"), a bit mean-spirited (swipes at President Bush on the White House web site and in his inaugural address, with President Bush a few feet away), and a bit amateurish:

A fired-up Barack Obama ditched his TelePrompter to rally House Democrats and rip Republican opponents of his recovery package Thursday night – at one point openly mocking the GOP for failing to follow through on promises of bipartisanship.

In what was the most pointedly partisan speech of his young presidency, Obama rejected Republican arguments that massive spending in the $819 billion stimulus bill that passed the House should be replaced by a new round of massive tax cuts.

“I welcome this debate, but we are not going to get relief by turning back to the same policies that for the last eight years doubled the national debt and threw our economy into a tailspin,” said President Obama – sounding more like Candidate Obama than at any time since he took the oath of office less than a month ago.

This is definitely the change I expected from this man. He's not very presidential. FYI: partisan attacks, bullying, and scare tactics are not leadership. But then again, how would he know? He's never really been in charge of anything before.

His idea of bipartisanship is for the Republicans to do what he wants. Sorry, it doesn't work that way.

I hope he grows into this job quickly, before he becomes a national and international laughing stock.

Update, 2/6/09: On his radio show today, Savage referred to the President as Obama The Petulant. It's fitting.

Update, 2/9/09: This view from across the pond isn't exactly flattering, starting with the title: Barack Obama is a novice - and it shows


Anonymous said...

President Bush was nothing if not polite to those who opposed him and his policies

You're joking, right? The international consensus that apparently every observer (except you) understands about Bush was that he was a "My way or the highway" operator.

"I'm the decider!"

"I earned political capital ... and I intend to spend it." (said of his narrow victory in 2004). If Bush's 2004 margin entitled him to spendable "political capital," Obama earned entitlement to political dictatorship.

The only time Bush reached across the aisle was to slap the Democrats. Republican-controlled House and Senate shut out Democrats at every turn--a level of exclusion that was unprecedented--to circle the wagons and push through every whim that Bush ever had.

The American people have spoken and the Republicans lost. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, there has been no reflection upon how Pres. Bill Clinton suffered his first two years in office. Afterwards, bills were being passed with a non-GOP support and with historical results. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, I cannot remember the last time actual major issues were resolved in any President's first 100 days. Hmmm.

mmazenko said...

Well, I can agree with you on some criticism of Obama, but not the praise of President Bush. He was certainly not the bi-partisan president - claiming a mandate on 51%, planning to "cash in" on the voters endorsement, and using the "you're either with us or against us" tirade against terrorists and countries as well as Democrats.

And, to not see that Bush became "a national and international laughingstock" is to have not witnessed eight years with a TV on, a newspaper open, and and open mind. I didn't vote for Gore or Kerry, nor did I vote for Bush because I have found few more disappointing options than those three men.

Obama's got some time before he approaches that level of ... hmmm ... disappointment.

Darren said...

You know, I'm enjoying this. Libs are now starting to feel only the slightest amount of the heat they directed at President Bush, and they don't like it.

BTW, anonymous, President Clinton only had a Democrat Congress from Jan 93-Dec 94. After that, the Republicans took over, and held the Congress until Dec 08. The major legislation passed during the Clinton years was welfare reform--a conservative idea that has succeeded. But Clinton signed it, and I give him credit for that. I also give him credit for signing NAFTA, going against his own party in doing so.

President Bush *never* slapped Democrats. I defy you to show me a time where he did. He reached out time and again and got his hand slapped away--think Social Security reform.

Obama's been in office 2-1/2 weeks. In 8 years did you ever hear President Bush whine about Keith Olbermann or Air America the way Obama has about Hannity and Limbaugh? I thought not.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to make a couple of corrections.

Welfare reform was sent to Clinton's desk three times. He vetoed it twice to much huzzahing and a blizzard of invective directed at Republicans for, as I recall, "wanting to starve a million, black babies" - that last from the chairman of the Democratic National Committee. Clinton finally signed welfare reform on its third passage because Dick Morris told him he'd better.

As for NAFTA, since I don't believe Bill Clinton has a responsible bone in his body, the only explanation that makes sense is that Perdue and various other business interests had Clinton by the short hair. The notion that Bill Clinton *ever* did anything out of a sense of principle is too ludicrous to consider for longer then it takes the laughter to begin.

On the international scene it's easy to see why Clinton got all sorts of fulsome praise; lapping up valueless praise was Bill Clinton's substitute for a worthwhile foreign policy.

It's worth remembering that the 9/11 attack was initiated and developed on Clinton's watch and was built on repeated, unanswered attacks on American interests abroad. Yassar Arafat was, on the basis of the number of visits that loathsome toad made to the White House, a favorite of Bill Clinton. If we're known by the friends we keep what should we make out of that relationship?

As far as being an international laughingstock, the only people doing the laughing were the extended-pinkie finger effetes whose greatest joy in life seems to be finding something, anything to sneer about. George W. Bush made the perfect foil for those seekers after smugness since his clearly evident sense of responsibility meant that the juvenile name-calling necessary to the establishment of the moral high ground wouldn't have unpleasant repercussions.

For some us being an international laughingstock is a mark of honor given the sorts of sad spectacles we see in so many nations. If we're known by the friends we keep then we're just as well known by the enemies we make and the enemies George W. Bush made were either really dangerous, and many of those have been returned to the biosphere, or inconsequential gas bags. It's easy to respect a man with enemies like that.

Unknown said...

I somehow doubt that if Obama were in debt up to his ears, he would write rubber checks for a trillion dollars as a solution -- but then, the liberals aren't spending their own money, particularly the liberals Obama wants in his cabinet.

The bill has nothing to do with stimulus, recovery, or the economy, and everything to do with bribery and payoffs. I'd love to meet the liberal who is honest enough to admit that, but liberalism and honesty don't go together.

Anonymous said...

You're joking, right? The international consensus that apparently every observer (except you) understands about Bush was that he was a "My way or the highway" operator.

You missed the point of Darren's statement, Anonymous. (Probably intentionally.) Bush may not have agreed with his opponents, but he didn't bad mouth them. At one point he was literally called the devil and yet he said nothing against the man who said it.

If Bush's 2004 margin entitled him to spendable "political capital," Obama earned entitlement to political dictatorship.

2004: Bush won with 51%
2008 Obama won with 52%

Whoa! What a landslide for Obama! Obviously the GOP should just give up now. Clearly, there is no coming back from that. Stick a fork in us, we're done!

Ellen K said...

Part of the reason that many conservatives got irked with President Bush is because they felt he backed down in order to negotiate and get needed concessions from the Democrats. What's happening now is that the Democrats saw the election as a mandate, despite the statistical closeness of the race. They thought they were Teflon and could do whatever they pleased. And furthermore, they were arrogant enough to think just because some Republicans crossed over that they checked their brains at the door. Well they didn't. They are looking at every line of this package and are seeing nothing more than political tribute from Obama to the various coalitions that got him elected. I think the man honestly thought the job of POTUS was a cakewalk and that Pres. Bush was a bumbling fool. What is the reality is that Bush steered us through times far more perilous than we will know for a long time. The notes are in security and won't be out for thirty years, if then. You could see Obama change somewhat after he started getting security briefings. Of course, that didn't stop his silly pandering to the EU by closing Gitmo. But down the road many of the wobblies that voted for Obama are going to see the errors of their ways. I predict a short honeymoon and a very bloody turnover of the House and maybe the Senate the next go-around. Enjoy it while you can Anon. And BTW, I surely hope YOUR job isn't one of the ones cut. Living in the real world can change a man. Maybe that's the change we can believe in.

Anonymous said...

@Neko, I like the way you round. Very creative. Let's review, this time with facts:

Bush 50.7% (286) Kerry 48.3% (251)
Electoral College Margin: 35
Pop Vote Margin: 3M

Obama 52.9% (365) McCain 45.7% (173)
Electoral College Margin: 192
Pop Vote Margin: 10M

Such a squeaker! Obama's EC margin was more than FIVE times Bush's. And his popular vote margin was over THREE times Bush's. The math of it, it's so enjoyable.

But I like that it doesn't concern you at all. I like that a lot!

@EllenK: Thanks for the kind concern. Rest assured, my sources of income are very secure!

@Darren: Make Michael Savage your standard bearer at your own risk. Savage and "appropriate" are mutually exclusive. But the Goebbels-style hate he spews is what gets him ratings. Among a certain audience, anyway.

Darren said...

Anonymous speaks as he flops down before Keith Olbermann.

Anonymous said...

Obama's got some time before he approaches that level of ... hmmm ... disappointment.

I think he's made marvelous strides toward that goal in less than one month on the job.

Anonymous said...

2004: Bush won with 51%
2008 Obama won with 53% (NOT 52%)

Sorry, my bad. I quess that one percentage point does make it "earned entitlement to political dictatorship."

Unknown said...

Your re-write of history is appalling. Many people fault Bush on anything from policy failures to the weather. I tend to think that most of what went wrong wasn't his direct fault, but I've never heard someone argue that he was "polite" during his presidency. I don't see how saying Bush was "polite" could be anything other than again either extreme self deception or an outright lie. You must have not seen Bush speak, ever, his tone, diction, and entire demeanor wasn't "polite" to say the least. I'll give you that he wouldn't usually resort to outright partisan attacks, but that doesn't mean the contempt of his tone didn't exist.

I mean the fact that you even said the word "scare tactics" after the last 8 years is unbelievable, and although I might not agree I'd say that if one is to look at how big "a national and international laughing stock" Bush and Obama are, it's going to take major work for Obama to even compare.

"I'm the commander — see, I don't need to explain — I do not need to explain why I say things. That's the interesting thing about being president."

Anonymous said...

I don't even WATCH Olbermann. But I'm sure you know what happens when you assume...

You rounded Bush up and Obama down in your first comment. Stay complacent and iqnore the real math.

Darren said...

I think you guys don't like the *slightest* attacks on Obama The Petulant; what I say here, and what others are saying, is *nothing* like the attacks President Bush had to endure.

Enjoy. You've got 4 years to learn to deal with it and grow some thicker skin. Maybe The One will grow some thicker skin, too.

Anonymous said...

You rounded Bush up and Obama down in your first comment. Stay complacent and iqnore the real math.

My first post was done from memory and was corrected in my second post by rounding up for both.

Anonymous said...

Seth Meyers nailed it on SNL's Weekend Update. He reported Obama's contrition regarding nominee withdrawals. Meyers objected to Obama's confession of "I screwed up."

"Really?" asked Meyers as a photo of Bush replaced the one of Obama on the screen, "The last guy broke the world."

If your perception of the attacks on Obama is that they are not matched by those on Bush, it may be because Obama's not breaking the world.

It is an indication of Obama's confidence and humility that he can accept responsibility for the mistakes of others. Bush, on the other hand, could never own up to even his own huge mistakes. It's as if he didn't have the intellectual capacity to understand he was capable of error.

And Obama will get his supermajority in the Senate come 2010. He's playing the GOP for the fools that they are. He could bulldoze over them (like Bush did to the Democrats), but that would play poorly. Instead, he offers the GOP heaping helpings of sugar. They reject it and come off as stubborn obstructionists. Then Obama rolls over them because they're impeding urgent measures. The GOP is clueless and deserves to spend time in the wilderness.

Darren said...

Enjoy those rainbows and unicorns while you can.

Anonymous said...

It is an indication of Obama's confidence and humility that he can accept responsibility for the mistakes of others.

Oh, I about bust a gut laughing on that one!!! Humility???? Heaping helpings of sugar? You are way funnier than Seth Meyers. SNL needs you!

Anonymous said...

Enjoy those rainbows and unicorns while you can.

Who needs unicorns when you've got Obama? Every day seems to bring a new gift: Guantanamo scheduled for closure, the international family planning gag rule rescinded, federal land giveaways in Utah halted, real scientists working on science-related policy, generally reversing the Bush disasters with deliberate speed.

In the words of Lennon/McCartney, "It's getting better every day!"

You might object to that phrase given the current economic situation. But since (according to you) Bush didn't cause it, it's not up to Obama to fix it.

Darren said...

I wish he *wouldn't* try to fix it.

Obama is unprepared to be president and is both arrogant and naive at the same time. I sincerely hope he grows into the job, but he hasn't shown any early indications that he's willing to do so.

It's not campaign season anymore, it's time to *govern*. Not *fix the economy*, but govern.

I'm quite curious to see how this Guantanamo Bay thing works out :-0

Anonymous said...

The folks who worship Obama (and I mean that in the most literal way) will overlook the arrogance and lack of governance experience which he regularly displays. When he goes off script, it's quite entertaining and revealing. Frankly, he's not very Presidential, but the folks who worship him really don't care. It's not Obama that we must get used to in these next four years, but rather his rabid followers who will excuse anything and everything he does or doesn't do. I'm simply tired of him using the excuse that he inherited these problems. Does anyone remember that he voted to support ALL of these so-called problems?
I just wish someone would ask him why his wife lost her license to practice law?