In the Arena

Obama’s Mandate For Moderation

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M. Spencer Green / AP

The stage is vacuumed as last minute preparations continue for President Barack Obama's election night party on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012, in Chicago.

We have reached a turning point in American history. It is no longer possible for a rural, regional, racially monochromatic political party to win the presidency. We are now, manifestly, a different country. The South, though a more complex region than ever before, won’t rise again until it resolves the issues that have marked its difference from the rest of the country since the land was colonized. President Obama, freed by victory to return to the grand rhetoric that marked his rise to power, acknowledged this demographic earthquake in the very first sentence of his passionate acceptance speech: “The task of perfecting our union moves forward.”

The line echoed two essential events in the history of the country: the Constitution’s mandate to “form a more perfect union” and Abraham Lincoln’s crusade to preserve that union. It marked the end of a 50-year era in American history, a time when the Civil War was fought again through the civil rights movement and a succession of Sun Belt Republicans revived the radical individualism that has been present in the nation’s character from the start. But on election night 2012, the solid South was fatally pinched as Virginia — the heart of the Confederacy — stubbornly remained blue, and Ronald Reagan‘s West continued its transformation into a region dominated by a rising generation of Latinos as well as the freethinkers who legalized marijuana in Colorado and continued to vehemently support liberal social policies along the West Coast. All that was left of Richard Nixon’s Southern strategy was Scots-Irish Appalachia and the German-Nordic stripe of prairie states. It was American politics at its most primal.

(Election 2012Photos From the Finish Line)

Barack Obama now lives in history as a transformative figure, but it remains to be seen if he will be a successful President. If the tectonic significance of the election was clear, the short-term path toward a less imperfect politics remains as difficult as ever. It will, and should, be argued that the election was a mandate for moderation. The last month of Mitt Romney‘s campaign, when he rushed to the center and suddenly made it a race, ratified the real will of the people: a sensible centrism that runs deeper than the overcaffeinated bluster that seems to dominate the media. The election hinted that the third rail of American politics — the certain death that comes to those who question entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare — is beginning to lose its juice. But the rail has been replaced by a rut: the immense power of special interests, left and right, to prevent compromise and of the right-wing media to sow cynicism about any form of government action.

The task of breaking that deadlock may prove more daunting than winning re-election. Obama no longer has to worry about electoral politics, but his most immediate challenge is to become a more effective politician. How does he do that? Despite the postelection recalcitrance from Republican congressional leaders, especially the sour Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, there is shared political interest in getting the so-called fiscal cliff behind us. McConnell may be chastened by the election results, in which Tea Party candidates in Missouri and Indiana lost seats that should have been safely Republican. More important, Republicans in both the House and Senate may take a lesson from the results and begin to cluster closer to the center.

(PHOTOS: Last Days on the Road with Obama)

Two Republicans to watch in the coming months will be Senator Lamar Alexander and House Speaker John Boehner. Alexander, a relative moderate from Tennessee, resigned his Senate Republican leadership position this past year and joined the bipartisan forces — the Gang of Six — trying to develop a budget deal. By leaving the leadership, he may have become a leader, providing a path for some of his colleagues to move toward compromise. As for Boehner, he has a decision to make. He came very close to closing a budget deal with the President in 2011 but was daunted by his ambitious deputy, Eric Cantor, and the Tea Party caucus. Obama was daunted too, by his liberal partisans — but he doesn’t have to worry about that so much anymore. A bipartisan compromise can be had if Boehner and Obama work their way out from the middle of their parties to a bipartisan majority.

On election night, Obama said, “I look forward to sitting down with Governor Romney” to find ways “to move this country forward.” He should be very serious about that. Romney’s campaign may have provided the key policy path toward a budget deal. Romney suggested that taxes be cut 20% across the board, and that, of course, won’t fly. But he also suggested that tax deductions and old-age entitlements be severely limited for the wealthy — and that might well prove useful, a way to maintain current tax rates while raising revenue toward a $4 trillion deal. The President has proposed a limited version of this in the past, only to be thwarted by Republicans. We’ll see what Boehner and Alexander think about it now.

(PHOTOS: Last Days on the Road with Romney)

But Romney may have a larger role to play, if he and Obama can come to a meeting of the minds. Faced with a bloated federal bureaucracy after World War II, Harry Truman embraced a leader of the opposition party, former President Herbert Hoover, to lead a bipartisan commission that actually reformed the government. That seems the sort of thing that might be right up Romney’s alley. Some of his most effective moments during the campaign were his recitations of government waste — the 47 job-training programs run by the federal government, the sedimentary layers of outdated and intrusive regulations, the number of bureaucrats involved in acquisitions at the Pentagon. There is political peril aplenty in such a move. But if the details of the arrangement could be negotiated, there would be the possibility of redemption for Romney and bipartisan credibility for the President — and a sleeker, more effective government as well.

During the campaign, Obama was caught whispering to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he would have more “flexibility” to negotiate a missile-defense deal after the election. In fact, the President now has a range of possibilities for progress overseas. There are strong signs that Iran, crushed by economic sanctions, will be ready to make a deal to limit its nuclear program to peaceful uses, strictly verified by international inspectors. There is also, as always, an opportunity elsewhere in the Middle East. For his first overseas trip in his second term, the President should finally visit Israel, which will have its own election two days after Obama is inaugurated. He should celebrate that remarkable country but also make it very clear that now is the time for a two-state solution — which means a halt to Israel’s illegal settlement expansion and an end to the refusal by Hamas, and other Palestinian extremists, to recognize Israel. (Hamas, which faces the same brand of Salafist opposition as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, might be ready to play.)

There is other crucial work to be done, like creating a more perfect Obamacare and putting climate change firmly back on the table. There is also immigration reform, which will be a true test of whether Republicans have read the election returns. Indeed, that is now the crucial question of American politics: Do Republicans understand that they went too far, that they’ve reached a demographic dead end? I watched Fox News for much of election night. The conservative voices were stronger, as usual, but the overall coverage was admirably fair and almost balanced. Fox even stood firm, on the side of reality, when Karl Rove, the godfather of the old GOP, disputed the network’s call of Ohio for Obama. That may have been an outlier. The best ratings may be in continuing to demonize Obama. But as the man said in victory, “We are not as divided as our politics suggest.” And it now seems clear the country has accepted this man as President and is anxious to move on. If Obama can prove himself a more deft politician than he has been and the Republicans accept the obvious lessons of this race, there is room for some optimism that, yes, we can.

PHOTOSThe Campaign in 100 Objects

166 comments
Ralph
Ralph

But as the man said in victory, “We are not as divided as our politics suggest.”

Hmmmm, we seem to have an electorate that wanted divided government so one party could not run over the other. There was no mandate for either party.

superlogi
superlogi

Actually, I believe Obama has a mandate to tax and spend, worry about deficits later than sooner and not to tinker with either welfare or entitlements.  Oh, and the only tinkering around the edges of reforming the tax code mandated is to make it even more "progressive" than it is.  The voters have spoken and they will have to endure the results.  It's just that simple.  This was done once in the past in American history during the "Great Depression" my old man lived through and the results are historical.  Unfortunately, we didn't learn from them.

musiclover76
musiclover76

mmm-lets see. the fiscal cliff is looming, obama gives a speech and is now heading for the orient, and you think he will become a moderate AND sit down with mitt. roflmao

sampurdue
sampurdue

I thought your 11/19/2012 column was thoughtful and constructive. I've been a subscriber for over 55 year and tend to scan some of your columns occasionally to keep me in touch with the left. I'll pay more attention to you and less to Zakaria who captured me in 2005 with The Future of Freedom and again in 2009 with The Post American World. I hope the President is up to your challenge. I still see him as a bully and certainly not a competent or effective leader.

zaglossus
zaglossus

I don't expect the new multi-cultural America to be any better than the old white one. In fact I would say America's best days are behind it for reasons that have nothing to with ethnicity.

Fla4Me
Fla4Me

Joe, For a future piece, how about "How False Equivalency Led The Press And The Right To An Election Night Surprise". For many of us here, the President's sweeping victory on election night was totally expected. We looked at the data available and saw an almost impossible path to victory for the Romney campaign. Yet, so many in the press and those on the right seemed genuinely surprised by the outcome. I can only think they fell into the trap of believing their own spin. You don't have to give me any credit for the story idea.

reallife
reallife

People, people, people... you better get out of your blogosphere, your twitter and facebook "little playground" and  go onto the real world for a change. This article is, like the "little fantasy world" you seem to live in,  a nice piece of fiction. What a crock.

jones.thais
jones.thais

Congratulations President Obama on a hard fought and finally,  won campaign. 

MustafahDhada
MustafahDhada

It is clear, the Tea Party-infused conservative right returns to Congress severely chastised if not maimed... At present, I hope democrats do come to see that the November electoral contest was a battle in part over culture and values, not just over change; the battle forward however is and will be to empower women, a woman as President, women in equal numbers with men in Congress, women as leaders in all walks of life; the battle therefore is not solely against proponents of dogma, and faith-based policies… The present administration may now have an opportunity to redress the balance of socio-economic inequities – but it will have to act with lightening speed. Otherwise, the prospect of returning to gridlock will increase as we near mid-term elections, which will provide an opportunity for the conservative right to come back, and this time with renewed vigor re-crafted to attract a new electrical and wider base.Should we be faced with another four years of gridlock, I wonder what is to become of us? With the rise of the net, the persistent bickering among politicians and party apparatchiks, an increasing social disconnect amidst us, and nation-wide disillusionment with politics there does seem to be a need for a paradigm shift.In days bygone it used to be “it is the economy, stupid.” We then gave change a chance. I wonder if today “it is culture, stupid.” If so, then the age of political ideology may well be over. We need to consider a constitutional convention to address issues exacerbating the present state of our disunion: electoral reform aimed at direct democracy, finance campaign reforms, reform of the judiciary as a value and culture neutral bench with term limit appointments, civil personal and reproductive rights, right to bear arms perhaps, and the place for religious narratives in American public life and public policy.The culture wars threaten the text of American secular pluralism. God as a narrative in public policy threatens to either determine the course of reproductive rights, or silence discourses on human origins, and on advances and applications of science and technology. The right to bear arms has already traversed its original intentions, from a right birthed in a trough of exigency and need to a right borne out by an influential trilogy of culture, testosterone, and ersatz justice. The present structure for financing elections allows the might of money to manipulate collectively the popular voice of the Republic. And as I said this before elsewhere and in greater depth, the list continues. (See Empirical Magazine, November Issue.)If these issues lead us to revisit and revise any or ALL aspects of the constitution, so be it. If these issues mean convening the largest meeting of people that the republic has ever seen in its history, so be it. Rather that than continue with gridlock.Not to recognize the perils we face ahead is to fall silent. Sentient citizenship urges us not to. I say this to echo Rev Martin Luther King, "A time comes when silence is betrayal. That time has come for” me – and perhaps for some of you. Let us rise and march to demand a permanent shift in the paradigm – not just change but constitutionally induced transfusion in everyday political life in America.

tbbaot
tbbaot

Obama a moderate...that's a joke right?

SeanWhite
SeanWhite

On the topic of "a more perfect Obamacare," the only thing I truly resent about the law is the individual mandate/"tax" (even though I already have health insurance). In my opinion, I would personally be willing to let the whole thing go if they either replaced the mandate "tax" with one of the many viable, indisputably constitutional alternatives (e.g., conditioning guaranteed issue/community rating on immediate purchase of health insurance, threatening imprisonment for people who fail to pay for their medical SERVICES, etc.) or, barring that, amended the law to make clear that they will never try anything like this ever again with respect to any other good or service and that the mandate/"tax" shall not serve as such a precedent.

BillPearlman
BillPearlman

Why should Romney come aboard an administration that accused him of murder. Look, the facts are the facts, I don't like it. But that's what it is. America voted for Obama after 4 yrs of seeing what he is. Why should he change.

MBS1117
MBS1117

I would like to suggest (putting politics and egos aside) that President Obama choose Mitt Romney as his next Treasury Secretary.

Romney would initially refuse, but Obama would need to be forceful...

I doubt Romney will run for POTUS in 2016. By accepting what is arguably the most important Cabinet position, he can cement his legacy, put his skills to excellent use, and help turn around the country. He could reach across the aisles in both chambers, and lend enormous credibility to our international financial and trading partners.

If it was good enough for Alexander Hamilton, it would be good enough for Romney.

One more point: BO has experience co-opting vanquished opponents..See who sits at 22nd & C, NW.

MatthewCreation-stationNoell
MatthewCreation-stationNoell

Ok...I'm guessing either my comments was so on target you could not stand to let anyone see it, or "Fascist Felating Media" is considered out of bounds....toss up in my book......

apr2563
apr2563

Here Joe repeats the conventional wisdom of the echo chamber:

Obama not effective leader (negating all he accomplished his 1st term)

More deft politician (just won a remarkable reelection)

Needs to reach out (ignoring his many entreaties and rejections)

My humble advise to President Obama:  Do not listen to the beltway hacks.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

I would love it if the Democrats would do something about the filibuster rule, but I can understand their trepidation knowing that they may need it one day (even if I don't like ANYONE using it to begin with).  An alternative I would suggest to them to stop all these filibuster threats: make the GOP actually follow through with them.  When they're forced to actually stand up there for hours and hours on end they'll quickly stop doing it.

doddeb
doddeb

Joe, I did not vote for President Obama with the intention that he would mess with Medicare or Social Security.  If he wants to undo the payroll tax cut (provided it hasn't already been done), or means test, maybe we can talk about that.  Otherwise, I don't think that most of us are in the mood for cuts to social programs when the other bloated budget will remain relatively unscathed (defense).  Please get over this knee-jerk centrism.  Just because a policy is agreed to by the folks around the table at Morning Joe, does not make it good policy.

PapaFoote
PapaFoote

The Old Mountain Goat Agrees From "Joe Klein" and "Dana Milbank:

Joe Klein @JoeKleinTIME

Joe Klein is TIME's political columnist and author of six books, most recently Politics Lost. His weekly TIME column, "In the Arena," covers national and international affairs.Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/07/obamas-mandate-for-moderation/#ixzz2Bde4OyxR

-----From Dana Milbank:"...After sleeping on it, Boehner appeared at the Capitol on Wednesday and offered a dramatically different message: He proposed, albeit in a noncommittal way, putting tax increases on the table.“Mr. President, this is your moment,” he said into the cameras, reading, sometimes with difficulty, from a teleprompter. “We’re ready to be led, not as Democrats or Republicans, but as Americans. ... We want you to succeed. Let’s challenge ourselves to find the common ground that has eluded us.”..."-----From The Old Mountain Goat:I always "try", with my "eyes open", to OPTIMIZE "Stuff"!-----

Kiwipolitico6
Kiwipolitico6

I agree the voters delivered a mandate for moderation - however I disagree with this statement:

"Obama no longer has to worry about electoral politics, but his most immediate challenge is to become a more effective politician"

What Obama needs to do now, to secure his place in presidential history rather than becoming an embarrassment like former president Carter, is to become a more effective *leader*.  There's a world of difference between a politician, and a leader.

cosmictinkerer
cosmictinkerer

No, it was not a "mandate for moderation", it was a mandate for creating a more equitable and less stratified society for the 99%. A vote for Obama was a vote against Romney and the 1% who have dominated this country, including by buying legislators and legislation via ALEC for decades. The people want Obama to make sure this is not a country of the corporation, by the corporation and for the corporation, and there is nothing moderate at all about being tasked with such a monumental undertaking.   

T.P.Chia
T.P.Chia

America reached a turning point in history when Obama, the first African-American, was elected President in 2008.  President Obama's being re-elected on November 6, 2012 further confirmed the arrival of a new America, in terms of demographic changes, social and political values that would shape the direction of the nation.

As Joe Klein pointed out: " It is no longer possible for a rural, regional, racially monochromatic political party to win the presidency." The electoral powers of African-Americans, Hispanics--potentially Asian-Amercans too--the liberal-oriented young and moderate white voters (male and female) have decisively defeated the Republican candidate Romney.  Even those who are dissatisfied with the economic recovery still voted for Obama. They voted for Obama's liberal ideas and public policies for America.

Nothing can reverse the trend of moving toward liberal and moderate orientaion in American politics, which favors the Democratic Party. The Republican Party will be in trouble if it does not change its ultraconservative ideology.

Obama may become one the great American presidents if he successfully uses this histotric opportunity to restore America's economic strenghts, and to create a more equitable, just and moral American society. 

ahandout
ahandout

Obamacare is coming.  It's not going to be pretty.  Can we afford health care premiums at all?   

A non-partisan study found that, by 2017,individual premiums in Ohio will increase by as much as 85 percent. In addition, Obamacare will deeply cut Medicare Advantage for more than700,000 Ohio seniors enrolled in the program. And more than 30 percent of Ohio physicians say that they will place new or additional limits on accepting Medicare patients. 

http://www.forbes.com/sites/aroy/2012/10/29/in-ohio-obamacare-to-increase-individual-insurance-premiums-by-55-85/

DavidBell
DavidBell

I stopped reading at the statement saying that the will of the people was a reasonable centrism. This is what Romney promised, and it was rejected. What the public said they wanted was a leftist government that, in the words of Bill O'Reilly, will give them "stuff". Romney was the hope for the path out of the malaise. What we will have is four more years of non-communication between the parties and Emperor Barack the Scolder ruling by fiat and Executive Order against the will of the people. This is what you wanted, America.Read more: http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/07/obamas-mandate-for-moderation/#ixzz2BbITgvMJ

glennra3
glennra3

@musiclover76 President Obama is not going to become a moderate.  He is and always has been a moderate.

Just ask liberals in the Democratic Party.  We know he is not one of us.

Fox News, talk radio, and the far right echo chamber have done a disservice to Republicans by pushing the wacky notion that the president is an extremist, a socialist, a communist, and/or a radical Muslim.  Unfortunately, many Republicans believe this silliness.  These are the same people who were convinced that Mr. Romney was heading for a landslide victory.

Turn off the wacko-media, go outside and meet your neighbors, left and right, and realize that America is made up of lots of different types of people, but politically, most of the country remains solidly in the middle, leaning slightly to the left (as does the president) or slightly to the right (such as Indiana governor Mitch Daniels).

Let's put an end to demonizing those with whom we disagree and recognize that even those who hold political opinions we know to be wrong, hold them out of a conviction that they want to do right by America.

Mac29
Mac29

@reallife On the contrary, I find the supposed agenda a reach, as far as being doable, but a rational assessment. The stupid GOP still has their rape theorists and global warming deniers from places like Indiana and the deep south, that will continue to stymie rational policies. Like McConnell: a misguided anchor around their ankle. Both parties are their own worst enemies, true. Like high speed rail is needed in Ohio. Oh well. Still, we'll have to listen to the pod people from the Foxbot for the foreseeable future because it's a free country. And it really is all Obama's fault.

Mac29
Mac29

@MustafahDhada  God as a narrative in public policy could also apply to people like James Watt back in the 80's administering the Interior no less. How's that scary thought for anyone concerned with environmental issues these days. I think a compromise could be reached for pipelines but the rush to frack is insidious and without adequate oversight, and I mean stringent, it is highly misguided. I agree the gas would be sold on the world market and not even benefit our energy independence. Maybe that Saudi prince was right, we really will still be on middle east oil 100 years from now. The wingnuts have got to go.

I think you're looking at things correctly but overestimate the will of the people to get out of their seats and do anything. The reaction to various voting issues lately is a clear example. Non action will continue, we're just a lazy people. Any wonder how we got sucked into not one but two wars with: no thought how to sustain them, no thought how to pay for them, no exit strategy. It's like regulation of industry. The right rails against what it views as government intrusion but has no comprehension of history. Or what's right. This is how we get 25 years of no changes to CAFE standards. That and industry welfare instead of sound policies like reforming education. 

Non-thinking, total hands off let the cards fall where they may. Thirty years of GOP philosophy has brought us to this. Evolution of practices, be it women's issues or representation, or other issues won't get solved until the GOP comes back from the edge. I hope enough reps do just that after this election, and see the light. At least in many areas the demographics will dictate that. Others will be social outliers.

I have no doubt that not even a fraction of your list of cultural items won't be addressed. Besides citizens not caring, enough, the pols also have their hands full. But God I'd like to see any movement on elections. Especially after Citizens. THAT is true evil. Thanks GOP for our wonderful insane SCOTUS. One problem we face is that the GOP will win in four years. I'll bet the farm on it. Look at history. Unfortunately that's not a good thing but it will stop any overreach the dems get. No, just like northern Europe, most have more to worry about than marching in the streets for ERA and such. Sadly. But this is what we get for 30 years of trickle down, Ayn Rand and "exceptionalism" bullcrap deceivement. Revamping the constitution is just never going to happen. But your heart is in the right place.

Mac29
Mac29

@tbbaot No McConnell as a moderate, an even bigger joke.

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

@MBS1117 

What skills are you talking about exactly?  Mitt Romney was a disaster in Massachusetts and the only reason he 'saved' the Olympics was because he went hat in hand to the federal government for a huge handout.  Who would Romney go looking for a handout from as President?  China, I suppose--but don't worry--borrowing from the Chinese Is Okay If You Are A Republican as we found out during the Bush years.

I'm sick of the mainstream media preternding Romney was anything but the least ridiculous clown in the clown car.  As a politician he has been ridiculously bad and his record at Bain suggests that his supposed financial skills consist mainly of being able to talk companies into dismantling American operations and moving jobs overseas.

If Romney never does another thing in either politics or financial management, America will be a better country for it.

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

@apr2563 Also the false equivalence: Boehner stopped by extremists in his party, Obama stopped by extremists in his. Not true in the least; no "far left" exists in America, anywhere to be as responsible as the far right for deadlock. 

 I will be very grateful when Beltway types stop referring in vague or equivocal terms who is responsible for 300 filibusters in the Senate and 30-something efforts to repeal Obamacare in the House and the other thuggish, reprehensible behavior of ONE single-minded party that is the source of all gridlock. Americans can't vote out the bad guys if the media is too chicken to name them.

MUGger
MUGger

@DonQuixotic I would favor ending the filibuster for judicial and cabinet nominations. However, if you alter the filibuster now, you have to live with that alteration (and any consequent limitations)when you are in the minority and wish to use the filibuster.

outsider
outsider

@DonQuixotic 

Just change the rule so the senators actually have to get up and filibuster it - not threaten. That way if it's needed, then the filibuster can happen - but you can't just blithely threaten to do it anytime a new piece of legislation comes up. 

Want the filibuster? Earn it. 

PerryWhite1
PerryWhite1

@doddeb Hear, hear. Especially since Social Security doesn't have a thing to do with the budget deficit. And especially since it is not an "entitlement" -- a term the GOP has inserted to falsely frame the conversation -- but is instead an earned benefit that I have been paying into since 1975. I have earned my SS and I'll be d@mned if I'll let some millionaire Republican like Paul Ryan take it away and give it to fellow millionaires as a tax cut.

MUGger
MUGger

@Kiwipolitico6 I think you mean "becoming an embarrassment like former (reelected) President GW Bush". Frankly, I cannot recall much that Bush achieved in his second term -- other than a failed attempt to privatize social security, a DOA immigration reform proposal, and an unfunded plan to close the prescription drug loophole. 

 Obama's got some political capital now -- he needs to spend it wisely and avoid hastening his lame duck status. The GOP no longer has the excuse of treading water while they wait for BHO to be voted out of office -- he won't be moving out of the Oval Office anytime soon.

DonQuixotic
DonQuixotic

@Kiwipolitico6 

He won't be an "embarrassment like former president Carter" because he's been reelected.  I know you guys thought mentioning him enough would attach some kind of stigmata to Obama, but it didn't.  Also, Carter was a fine President and a good man.  If you're so upset with the inefficiency of our Government, I suggest you look to the GOP that have completely stonewalled Congress.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Kiwipolitico6 And I disagree with your statement. He has done an admirable job of leading despite the obstructions put in his place by "Party First" traitors like Boehner and McConnell. He needs to stop trying to accommodate these hostage takers and enforce the will of the American people/

yodadog
yodadog

@cosmictinkerer I would be wildly optimistic if I thought "the people" had recognized the elephant in the room, the corporate takeover of our government, but the issue falls mostly on deaf ears. It IS the key to getting back on track in this country: ending corporate campaign donations, banning lobbyists and closing the revolving door between politicians serving on corporate boards etc. and execs becoming government staffers, crafting legislation and writing the rules that make enacted law effective. That and a long list of reforms on Congress. Do you really think Obama has even considered that? No politician will-the people will have to do it.

Kiwipolitico6
Kiwipolitico6

@cosmictinkerer Does making society more 'equitable' for the 99% equate to 'redistributing the goodies' that the middle and higher earners have struggled hard for, and handing them out to those less fortunate?  That's how words like 'equity' and 'fairness' read to me, when tossed around by Democrats.  Since when did the US cease to become an opportunity society, and turn into an entitlement society?

Arimathean
Arimathean

@ahandout Sooo... the clear majority (60+%) of Ohio physicians say that they will either keep Medicare limits the same or lower them?  Quoting a minority actually makes the opposite point than the one you clearly intended.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@ahandout Can we afford to pay for the medical care of people with no insurance that show up at emergency rooms for treatment? That is the real socialism that you right wingers never want to talk about.

romano70
romano70

@ahandout and the world is coming to an end? And the sky is falling? and gays will force to have gay sex? And cows will grow wings and dump in your head? Go troll somewhere else...you and your party lost two days ago any shred of credibility you had.

t*
t*

@DavidBell No, the country didn't say it wanted a leftist government. Fact is that less than half of the eligible voters voted, and of those half, about half of them voted for Obama. The other half didn't. You can infer whatever you want about those that didn't vote but the real FACT is that there is no mandate. I am a fan of obstructionist politics, I want conflict, and I want no changes. Government is always bad, no matter whether it be conservative or liberal (two complete lies that don't accurately describe the politics of either party). People are only free when the government stays out of their lives, not the other way around.

MUGger
MUGger

@DavidBell I agree -- Romney promised a reasonable centrism, after he had promised, in turn, an unreasonable centrism, a hard-core rightism, and a moderated rightism, mixed in with a promised tax cut/tax reform built on math-like propositions (5 - 3 + 20%  = tax nirvana) and details he studiously avoided disclosing. He was the Janus candidate -- he was for what you were for, until he met another voter who was against it -- then he had been against it from the beginning. In my opinion, he failed because he refused to take a principled stance on most subjects and gave only vague answers to requests for details on his proposals. At least with President Obama, we knew what to expect -- voters, in essence, refused to buy a pig in a poke.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@DavidBell The words of Bill O'Reilly isn't worth the air used in producing them. His ideas of Centrism is guys like Santorum, Perry and Gingritch.

jsfox
jsfox

@DavidBell  Obama is not a leftist or a socialist. He is a moderate Democrat and the fact that you are quoting Bill O'Reilly explains why you are so completely uniformed and believe nonsense.

Belarusa
Belarusa

@DavidBell I stopped reading when the author said whether or not Obama is a successful president remains to be seen.......IF YOU DON'T KNOW BY NOW WHY THE HELL DID YOU RE-ELECT HIM???

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

@PerryWhite1 As they say, when you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you're a Beltway centrist, everything looks like a call for more centrism, even when it isn't.

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

@MUGger

It's not that bad--it works fine in parliamentary countries.  Governments that are given the majority have the power to actually do stuff; that's a good thing!  The opposition is welcome to take their case to the public and the public is welcome to vote the government out of power during the next election, but for the most part, most things do not require opposition consent.  The American system needs a big overhaul.  Right now the only thing American government is good at reliably accomplishing is building a bunch of half-bridges, and blaming the other party when the half-a-bridge turns out to be useless.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@Kiwipolitico6 @cosmictinkerer What world are you on? Guys like Trump and the Koch Brothers got where they got due to accident of birth and gaming the system. All we want is for them to pay the same tax rate as everyone else.

romano70
romano70

@Kiwipolitico6 @cosmictinkerer Again with the socialist conspiracy crap...haven't you guys learned anything yet? Haven't you learned that the extreme individualism advocated by the right had its place in American history but it is time for a more cooperative way of running our societies. Namely, those who have more should give more and those who have nothing (yeah, nothing) won't be able to give anything...in the interest of the COMMON GOOD, which does not contradict, affect or diminishes the INDIVIDUAL good

CharlieSelf
CharlieSelf

@romano70 @Kiwipolitico6 @cosmictinkerer Another point to go with your good post is that the 99% includes the middle. As things have been going, the middle class has been getting gobbled up as the 1% reduces middle class earnings and equity with "upper" class hoggishness. It does seem to me that those who get the biggest slice of the pie should pay for more of the ingredients.