Politics and Media Headlines 1/21/09
The audacity of Barack Obama (by Greg Hinz, Crain’s Chicago Business)
Now, we will find out whether he can lead. The word that comes to my mind on this inaugural day is audacity, a word that Mr. Obama is inclined to use himself. It fits him… [Because just] over five years ago, Mr. Obama's public career was one mistake from being over… Another "a" word comes to mind: ambiguity. Will Mr. Obama's ambiguity, his ability to raise political squabbles into the civil ether without ever committing himself, help or hurt in dealing with a Congress that, sooner or later, will reclaim its perks? I don't know, any more than Mr. Obama knows, the limits of audacity. Good luck, Mr. President. I fear you'll need it.
It’s silly of me to ask, I know, but shouldn’t we have found out if he could lead BEFORE we put him in the White House?—Caro
Greater Than The Great Depression? (by Susie at Suburban Guerrilla)
[A] friend … called me after Obama was sworn in. “So no coup or anything,” I said. Yeah, she said. “What if it’s so bad they didn’t even want to steal the election?” I blurted out. “I was thinking the same thing,” she said, not hesitating for a minute.
I think it’s a plan. I think the Republicans wanted Obama to take over, and that they plan to blame all of Bush’s failures on him. And they’ll have great fun digging into that thousand-page oppo research book that McCain never touched.—Caro
Take the inauguration test (by Joseph Cannon at Cannonfire)
President Obama said that programs will end because the very concept of government's functionality is open to question. [Emphasis added.] An actual liberal (which Obama is not) would have … found the posing of that "question" ludicrous.
Shared responsibility (by Paul Krugman)
Barack Obama, 2009: “What is required of us now is a new era of responsibility…”
George W. Bush, 2000: “…[W]e must usher in an era of responsibility.”
Bill Clinton, 1993: “…Let us all take more responsibility.”
The mummy's curse (by Michael J. Smith at Stop Me Before I Vote Again)
The smartest, hippest, coolest President ever, and one of the most arresting speakers ever to seek, much less win, that office, just gave the dullest, blandest, most platitudinous, colorless, and tedious inaugural address I can remember. (And I remember Eisenhower's second.)… The Bush trope of a "war on terror" was fully embraced. People with longish memories may have been surprised to hear that American troops at Khe Sanh were, in some unspecified way, defending our liberties. And then, of course, the new man in the limousine talked a good deal about "hard choices", a very ominous sign. We know already for whom all the choices are going to be hard.
Sacrifice (by digby)
“…Andrea Mitchell: [Obama] wants to take on entitlement reform, there will be greater sacrifice required from a nation already suffering from economic crisis --- to ask people to take a look at their health care and their other entitlements and realize that for the long term health and vitality of the country we're going to have to give up something that we already enjoy.” Right. Old and sick people are going to have to give up something they "enjoy." That's assuming they "enjoy" being able to eat and go to a doctor. Of course, Andrea Mitchell won't have to give up what she "enjoys." She's a multi-millionaire. It's hard for me to believe that we are going to have this conversation while the government is giving hundreds of billions of dollars to bankers who see it as a handout to be used to enrich their stockholders and themselves. And I am as stunned as I always am that we are going to have this conversation while the government insists that the United States must spend more on its military than all the other countries in the world combined.
But I really can't believe that we are having this conversation when social security is well funded for decades and yet the current problems are staring us right in the face… The forces that want to destroy the safety net are influential and well funded and they are selling entitlement "reform" in just the way that Andrea Mitchell describes --- as something the American people must give up in order to set the country on the right course. They will not sit still while someone tries to sell it as anything other than necessary cuts in benefits or complete elimination of the programs. That's the whole point.
And He Said It With a Straight Face… (by Stateofdisbelief at The Confluence)
“We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture, the time has come to set aside childish things.” – Barack Obama. OH REAAAALLLY?? Do you mean like THIS?
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