Does Obama understand that Americans are not scared, but angry?

I watched President Obama the past few days, as people’s nest eggs evaporate, and I’m struck by the lack of emotion this leader shows. Dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, he reads from a teleprompter. He spouts garden-variety liberal rhetoric. He promises that Congress will do something when it comes back and that he will have some proposals. Then he reminds Americans that none of this is his fault and blames Congress. … Bill Clinton was able to feel Americans’ pain; Obama wants to deconstruct our pain, and analyze it.

Does the president understand that Americans are no longer looking at him with starry eyes, but rather with cynicism. We’re wondering: is our leader just an empty suit, a James Buchanan-type who will spend his nights raising cash at DNC events while a global economic panic moves forward? We need a leader, damn it! No one expects the president to be a miracle worker, but we’d like to at least have him try to do his job. After the president’s wretched press conference yesterday, where the Dow slumped as he teleprompted through a few minutes, we learned that in a few weeks our leader will have a proposal to offer. The president’s lack of passion and “I’m the third-string quarterback” attitude hints strongly that President Obama is an empty suit.  Even his most loyal supporters are frustrated. (read)

He needs to lead, and his sycophants need to stop frantically telling us on TV or social media sites that the economic crisis is the fault of President George W. Bush. Bush retired long ago; Obama is the head coach. It’s up to him to keep his job or get fired by his bosses.

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33 Responses to Does Obama understand that Americans are not scared, but angry?

  1. Owain says:

    “Dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, he reads from a teleprompter.”

    Be fair, Doug. You forget that the day after the S&P announced the downgrade, Obama did spring into action, and played a round of golf…

  2. rick stewart says:

    doug – this economic crisis DID start with bush and his ridiculous tax cuts and unfunded wars, but it wouldn’t be half so bad today if obama had simply shown a little spine last year and let those tax cuts expire, as they were scheduled to. … count me among the angry.

  3. Bob Becker says:

    We need a leader, damn it!

    Exactly. And we don’t seem to have one in the White House just now.

    He spouts garden-variety liberal rhetoric.

    Well, if that rhetoric happens to be accurate — as, generally, it is — nothing wrong with that.

    As for your headline — “Does Obama understand that Americans are not scared, but angry?” — You’re half right, Doug. This American is both scared and angry.

    Paul Krugman’s column in the Trib today was I thought right on target. It begins with asking why, given its track record, including its track record rating soveriegn nation debt, anybody should give S and P so much as the time of day. Then he considers why we came to the point of a crisis about national debt, and how to handle it. His closing paragraphs:

    What makes America look unreliable isn’t budget math, it’s politics. And please, let’s not have the usual declarations that both sides are at fault. Our problems are almost entirely one-sided — specifically, they’re caused by the rise of an extremist right that is prepared to create repeated crises rather than give an inch on its demands.

    The truth is that as far as the straight economics goes, America’s long-run fiscal problems shouldn’t be all that hard to fix. It’s true that an aging population and rising health care costs will, under current policies, push spending up faster than tax receipts. But the United States has far higher health costs than any other advanced country, and very low taxes by international standards. If we could move even part way toward international norms on both these fronts, our budget problems would be solved.

    So why can’t we do that? Because we have a powerful political movement in this country that screamed “death panels” in the face of modest efforts to use Medicare funds more effectively, and preferred to risk financial catastrophe rather than agree to even a penny in additional revenues.

    The real question facing America, even in purely fiscal terms, isn’t whether we’ll trim a trillion here or a trillion there from deficits. It is whether the extremists now blocking any kind of responsible policy can be defeated and marginalized.

    Full column here: http://blogs.standard.net/the-political-surf/2011/08/09/does-obama-understand-that-americans-are-not-scared-but-angry/

    None of which, of course, counters your observation, Doug, that the Democratic President currently in office has proven himself to be an ineffective leader of his own party, of the Congress and of the nation in a time when strong and effective leadership is precisely what the nation needs from its Chief Executive. One could I suppose try to lay some of the responsibility for his wimpiness on economic issues on Gaither and Bernanke et al., but they’re “all the President’s men” as was once said in different context. His choices. As another Democratic President once put it — a President who surprisingly rose to the level of leadership his times demanded — “the buck stops here, ” meaning the President’s desk in the oval office.

    Yes, we are still dealing with the economic messes created by the Bush administration’s disastrous decisions — to slash tax revenues while hugely expanding domestic spending [medicare drug benefit while providing no, repeat no, funding for it], to needlessly invade Iraq, skyrocketing military spending for a decade at least, and to leave derivatives and credit default swaps entirely un-regulated.] All that’s true.

    But President Obama was elected in no small part to deal with those messes effectively, and to lead the nation out of the morass they created.

    He hasn’t.

    And there’s no place for that buck to stop but on his desk.

    Whether Republicans can offer a candidate likely to do better, one not owned lock stock and barrel by the economic wing nuts ["We don't care if the nation defaults on its debt; we want everything we want or we'll crash the economy and we don't care!"] is another matter. I am not optimistic.

  4. hawg says:

    “Does Obama understand that Americans are not scared, but angry?”

    does anybody, anywhere, even remotely believe that Obama understands Americans at all?

    • Lang says:

      hawg,
      I would love to have you explain Americans since you have implied that your understanding may be more credible than that of President Obama’s understanding of Americans.

      If you so adamantly believe President Obama does not understand Americans. Please share with us your wisdom where he has gone astray.

      • hawg says:

        I do not believe the majority of Americans wanted him to spend more money than all other presidencies put together, most Americans did not want obamacare, hell his own party didn’t want it. his party owns all three legs of the triangle and it still takes 2 years and coercian to pass? makes fun of Americans “clining to their God and guns. is photographed with his hands down during (I forget which, pledge, national anthem) something in which all other democrats have their hands to their hearts. that’s important to Americans.

        and today’s approval rating? that says majority.
        so you tell me, what do you call Americans?

        • Ammon says:

          Hawg, “spend more money than all the other president’s put together?” Dear friend, where are you getting your information?

          http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2011/08/05/economic-meltdown-villain-george-w-bush-s-staggering-debt-numbers.html

          • Owain says:

            Hawg’s post is ambiguous. I’m not sure if he meant that Obama HAS spent more than all other Presidents, or that he WANTED to spend more than all previous Presidents.

            According to Politifact, the budget originally submitted by Obama at the start of this year WOULD have achieved that dubious distinction. That budget was voted down in the Senate 97-0. So yes, Obama WANTED to spend more than all previous Presidents, and in that respect, Hawg is correct, Americans did not want that.
            http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2010/nov/07/eric-cantor/cantor-says-obama-budget-adds-more-debt-totaled-43/

            If Hawg meant that Obama HAS spent more, then I think he’s mistaken unless he can produce evidence to the contrary. I’ll leave it up to Hawg to clarify his position

          • hawg says:

            I’m tempted to say because beck said so, but since you follow beck religiously you would have know that.

            I can’t remember, one of those things that gets batted about, but as i recall, as owain states it was probably “on track” to spend it. and yet I still don’t think Americans want that.

        • Lang says:

          hawg
          Please provide statistics to corroborate all of your claims.

          • Owain says:

            See Hawg’s post just above…

          • hawg says:

            OK, statistics.

            (42%) approximate current approval rating for obama. Americans, by the way
            (58%) approximate current dis-approval rating for obama. also known as a majority in some circles. still Americans by the way, and there fore considered a “majority of Americans”.
            (1) photo of obama not holding his hand over heart. (that I saw, could be more)
            (3) other democrats holding their hands over heart. (maybe 4, I forget)
            (3) legs of a triangle
            (3) the president; the house; the senate. could be compared to a triangle.
            (2) years. approximate time it took his own people (the triangle) to pass obamacare
            (80 million) estimated guns in America. (exact # of “clingers” unknown)
            (many, many millions) unknown exact number of God “clingers”

            that about cover what I brought up?

  5. Lang says:

    “he reads from a teleprompter”

    It looks more like you have a mindless list of aggravations than a real concern for the issue. If the economy is so important why is it relevant that he reads anything from a teleprompter, or a book, or a piece of paper? Remember that old saying “its the economy stupid”? Well the real issue is the economy stupid. Why is the teleprompter so important to you when we are in real financial chaos? Do you think Obama is the first President with pre-written speech’s? You sound pathetic dude, stick to the issue remember its the economy Stupid.

  6. Ben Pales says:

    Angry, tired, Scared, and Fed Up with All of it. Bob has it exactly right in my view.

  7. willbike says:

    George Bush did retire long ago. This does not mean that he did not create the financial crisis, he did. It doesn’t matter how much time passes, facts don’t expire.

    Had the tea party Republicans in the House agreed to President Barack Obama’s proposed “grand bargain” to reduce the federal debt by $4 trillion including cuts to entitlements and increased taxes on the rich we would now have had a credible plan for getting our nation’s financial house in order and Standard & Poor’s wouldn’t have downgraded the United States’ credit rating.

  8. willbike says:

    Now add to that chart some facts. The whole thing came crashing down at the end of the Bush presidency, that is why we had TARP. To say Obama gave us a huge deficit is very naive and simplistic. You would have to either not know the facts or choose to ignore them.

    • Owain says:

      If Obama/Democrats didn’t like Tarp, or Bush’s expansion to Medicare, etc, or any of the government spending enacted by Bush, they could have rolled it all back when Obama took office.

      If you’d like some facts, the fact is, all that spending was legislated by Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, so they liked that spending just fine, and when Obama took office, they not only doubled down on that spending, they TRIPLE downed on it.

      How about those facts?

  9. Lang says:

    hawg
    Now that you have provided me so many facts can you elaborate on how those specific facts and statistics resonate against all of the past Obama poll numbers. How does any activity deemed a previous success contribute to an over all picture of the current climate?
    Please explain….. or Owain? (this aught to be good)

  10. Mary J Gibson says:

    Can some one tell me why Medicare & Social Security are not means tested. It would save enough money to protect the coverage of the truly needy. Elderly. I understand that we, I am 75 and my husband is 80,
    paid into this all of our lives but if we have incomes over $200,000 it would not hurt us to pay for some of our care. I has often wondered why these programs are a give away. It seems far better to have it there if we should need it than to give it all away first come first served ,and probably run out. Are Americans really that selfish? Somehow I doubt it there are so many ways as a nation we could
    figure out ways to keep our Country solvent if we were not so greedy.

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