Tag Archives: DADT

President Obama is like an abusive parent

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President Obama signed the law that repealed the “Don’t ask Don’t tell” policy that had prohibited gay people from serving in the military. If you read the blogs and websites that lean left you would think it was Bastille Day. Don’t get me wrong I think it’s a good thing but the exuberance of the event outstrips the over all accomplishments of the President so far. He reminds me of a moody abusive parent where one moment it is all loves and hugs and the next minute you get locked in a closet for waking him up from a nap.

Here is one example from Talking Points Memo:

President Obama this morning signed into law the bill repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

“I am just overwhelmed,” Obama said as he took the stage among chants of “Yes we can!” and whoops from the audience. “This is a very good day.”

“No longer will our country be denied the service of thousands of patriotic Americans who were forced to leave the military, regardless of their skills, no matter their bravery or their zeal, no matter their years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay,” he said. “No longer will tens of thousands of Americans in uniform be asked to live a lie.”

Obama was joined on stage by Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, Sens. Joe Lieberman, Susan Collins and Harry Reid and Reps. Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer and Patrick Murphy, an Iraq War veteran who had pushed for DADT repeal.

Obama Signs DADT Repeal Into Law

Or this from Washington Post’s Greg Sargent:

The White House:

Finally, the White House. Obama had been criticized for months on don’t ask don’t tell, with advocates complaining that his administration aggressively defended DADT in court and that he wasn’t doing enough to rally the Senate to pass repeal. But the botton line is that the White House did everything possible to create the political climate necessary to make this happen. The Pentagon report and the testimony by Robert Gates — and his public round of interviews calling on Congress to pass repeal for the good of the military — were major game-changers.

Also: For all the criticism of the Obama tax deal, today’s victory stands as partial vindication of his strategy. Getting the tax deal wrapped up early made the time for repeal, with only days left in the lame-duck session.

This is an important victory for the White House in another way. It will quiet all the talk about Obama’s supposed “triangulating,” because it demonstrates — for the time being, anyway — that even as the White House sees a need to trade away some core liberal priorities to compromise with Repubilcans, Obama seems to want to bring the left along with him, to whatever degree he can. This will make it tougher to argue that Obama’s strategy is to deliberately alienate the left in order to win back the middle of the country.

This moment in the Senate will take its place in the history books alongside other ground-breaking civil rights votes, and stands as an important reminder that as broken as our system seems at times, progress towards a more just and inclusive society is still possible.

DADT repeal wins!

And from “Mark Warner is God” on Daily Kos:

The bottom line is that no one will remember these people in 2 years when Obama crushes….WHOEVER. Members of this very group will either (1) not even remember that they were ever angry at Obama or (2) assign themselves credit for pushing Obama to the Left and facilitating his win. And that’s fine. Because in 20 years – when people take the long view – people won’t call Barack Obama a “dangerous” president. They’ll see things like the DADT repeal (YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!), healthcare reform, and other liberal reforms and rather calmly say things like, “You know, that Obama was kind of annoyingly pragmatic, but he really moved the country to the left on an insanely wide range of issues!”

PS: YEAH DADT REPEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Left’s Anger at Obama is FASCINATING

And these are just a few examples of the mass celebration over the repeal of DADT.

But for every “bone” like repeal of DADT we then get a sick upside the head like the Bush tax cut deal.

As a friend of a friend on Facebook noted:

The problem with that is [compromise] only works if you extract something of value in return. He’s done that once or twice, most importantly with the tax cuts/unemployment benefits. But too often his foes have no interest in working with him and he winds up either with nothing (the Dream Act for instance) or has to water down and dilute his initial plans to the point where the final product is far weaker than it started out (Health care, net neturality rules).

DADT was one of those public winning laws. Civil rights laws usually are popular with the public. The Tax cut deal was also popular with the public because most people like tax cuts even if they don’t consider the long term effects.

I think I understand what the President is doing but there are many issues he has been short on that can’t be made better by the win on DADT.

I just hope I don’t wake him up from his nap too early.

West Point cadet who resigned over “DADT” newest addition to Famous Findlayians

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Katherine Miller resigned from West Point in 2010 in protest of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. She resigned rather than lie to continue her military career. She was ranked 9th in her class at the time. Her story made national news which included being a guest of singer Lady Gaga at the MTV video music awards on September 12th 2010. Graduated from Findlay High School.

It is my pleasure to add her to my Famous Findlayians web page

My problem with President Obama

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At the end of July, I wrote a post about President Obama’s video address to Netroots Nation – a group of liberal bloggers and Internet users. I complained that Obama and the Democratic leadership in Congress were not using their Congressional majority to pass laws that would actually help regular Americans. They had compromised too much with the GOP. It seems more people in the Netroots are coming around to my feelings.

I wrote:

The pundits have been complaining the President hasn’t been out banging the pots and pans about his agenda being passed and I think I know why. I think they know the bills – like Health Care reform (HCR) and financial reform – don’t mean anything to regular people outside of DC. HCR won’t really take effect until 2013 (one of the compromises that watered the bill down) and the financial reform didn’t punish the bankers that screwed our economy. You would think that any “victory” would have a ticker tape parade with a band and party favors but nope.

It’s as if the administration wasn’t surprised at getting limpy bills passed.

That’s what’s so sad. The Democrats pissed away their power these past two years. They had such great potential.

I am also mad because I have no alternative. I will have to hold my nose and keep these losers in office because the alternative – the GOP – is much worse. And the White House knows it.

Netroots, President Obama, and the Democrats – a sad rocky relationship

Ian Welsh, on Crooks and Liars, wrote an excellent essay that describes my problem with the President better than I did in my July post:

If Obama had wanted a $1.2 trillion stimulus, say, he should have asked for a $1.6 trillion stimulus. Then “moderate” Republicans and Dems could have negotiated him down $400K. This is basic negotiation, which anyone who has ever negotiated in a third world bazaar knows—you start off with an offer far higher (or lower) than what you’re willing to accept, and leave room for the inevitable haggling.

The same is true of health care reform. If you’re negotiating for a public option—if you actually want one, then you don’t throw single payer advocates out. You act as if that’s something you’re seriously considering, you talk about polls showing it has majority support, and you then “compromise” to a public option.

This sort of self-defeating, pre-negotation concession has been a repeated pattern for the Obama administration (assuming that Obama does seek Liberal ends).

Obama has a huge slush fund with hundreds of billions of dollars and all the executive authority he needs to turn things around.

If Obama is not using that money and authority, the bottom line is it’s because he doesn’t want to.

Putting aside the question of what Obama could have accomplished already, if he wants to help everyday Americans, turn around Democratic approval ratings in time for the midterm elections, and leave behind him a legacy of achievement, he can still do it. If he wants to.

What Can Obama Really Do?

It also seems Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos and one of the founders of the Netroots agrees:

This goes beyond “doing something”, and into the realm of actually doing something to excite the base. The administration has done virtually nothing designed to reward its partisans. Half measures and compromises with Republicans who voted against final legislation certainly doesn’t count. Failing to follow through on promises on everything from comprehensive immigration reform to DADT doesn’t help. Fighting to open up more shoreline to drilling doesn’t help. Lilly Ledbetter was a step forward, then the Stupak Amendment was two steps back.

In fact, from the beginning, this administration and Democratic congress seemed more concerned with “bipartisanship” for the sake of bipartisanship, than they were in passing the best possible legislation possible. Harry Reid came off the gate in 2008 by immediately whining about “60 votes” — something I don’t recall ever hearing from Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The Obama Administration indulged Max Baucus’ “negotiations” with Republicans Mike Enzi and company, even as those Republicans publicly bragged that their entire strategy was to delay and obstruct.

People may whine about cable hosts and bloggers who point out these failings, and try to shoot the messenger. But we don’t have a noise machine like Fox’s. Rush Limbaugh reaches a third of the conservative base on a weekly base. There is nothing even remotely close to that on the Left. Limbaugh’s weekly audience is 20 million. Keith Olbermann’s is maybe a tenth of that.

No, this mess is the administration’s making, with a healthy assist from Harry Reid’s Senate. The shame is that Nancy Pelosi’s House, which did its job, will bear the brunt of the voter backlash. But the White House won’t be spared.

The impending November of Doom

I admit I live in a sort of bubble since I read and participate in the Netroots. Someone who isn’t as super-informed like me might have a different view but my fear is since the mainstream media has failed in their job to report the facts, then it might be very bad for the Democrats in November.

I really don’t see a wave of incumbents being thrown out. In fact most of the incumbents who have lost lately were Republicans who didn’t fall into the Tea Party line.

I hope I am wrong and while there are some losses, the Democrats can try to pass their agenda but this time without sniffing the ass of the Republicans. The Democrats pissed away their opportunity to reform all the shit we put up with under President Bush.

The President knows what the issues are, as he said during his speech announcing the end of combat in Iraq:

Throughout our history, America has been willing to bear the burden of promoting liberty and human dignity overseas, understanding its link to our own liberty and security. But we have also understood that our nation’s strength and influence abroad must be firmly anchored in our prosperity at home. And the bedrock of that prosperity must be a growing middle class.

Unfortunately, over the last decade, we have not done what is necessary to shore up the foundation of our own prosperity. We have spent over a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits. For too long, we have put off tough decisions on everything from our manufacturing base to our energy policy to education reform. As a result, too many middle class families find themselves working harder for less, while our nation’s long-term competitiveness is put at risk.

And so at this moment, as we wind down the war in Iraq, we must tackle those challenges at home with as much energy, and grit, and sense of common purpose as our men and women in uniform who have served abroad. They have met every test that they faced. Now, it is our turn. Now, it is our responsibility to honor them by coming together, all of us, and working to secure the dream that so many generations have fought for –the dream that a better life awaits anyone who is willing to work for it and reach for it.

Our most urgent task is to restore our economy, and put the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs back to work. To strengthen our middle class, we must give all our children the education they deserve, and all our workers the skills that they need to compete in a global economy. We must jumpstart industries that create jobs, and end our dependence on foreign oil. We must unleash the innovation that allows new products to roll off our assembly lines, and nurture the ideas that spring from our entrepreneurs. This will be difficult. But in the days to come, it must be our central mission as a people, and my central responsibility as President.

President Obama address to the nation 8/31/2010

Speeches are nice but people want to see results – real results. They need jobs, they want the people who screwed the economy to go to jail, they want at least a public option in health care, and they want help to keep their homes.

If the Democrats don’t deliver then they better be ready for if not giving up Congress more obstruction from the GOP and that might hurt them going into the 2012 Presidential elections.

I wonder if the administration is even listening to what is happening outside of DC.

Netroots, President Obama, and the Democrats – a sad rocky relationship

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This weekend had the annual Netroots Nation meeting in Las Vegas. I wasn’t able to attend in person but some of the programs were streamed on the Internet and I did watch some of the keynote speakers. While I do agree with the direction the Netroots take, I was disappointed in the speech by President Obama and appearance by Senator Harry Reid.

President Obama gave a surprise speech by video to the gathering. He again pointed out the legislative accomplishments and then acknowledge the rocky relationship the left has with him. He told the gathered people to hold him accountable.

The President, suffering among this crowd for not being as progressive as they’d hoped, said that he wants the Netroots to “keep making your voices heard, to keep holding me accountable, to keep up the fight.”

Obama said “change is hard … change is possible,” and ended with, “let’s finish what we’ve started.”

Obama In Surprise Message To Netroots: ‘Consider What We’ve Accomplished’ (VIDEO)

That bothered me because we have been trying to hold him accountable and he has blown us off or worse got his attack dogs like Rahm Emanuel to tell us pretty much to f*ck off.

So which is it. Does he want us to hold him accountable or to f*ck off.

I feel like I’m in a scene from a bad buddy cop movie and the President is playing “Good Cop” and his staff is playing “Bad Cop”. UGH!

The pundits have been complaining the President hasn’t been out banging the pots and pans about his agenda being passed and I think I know why. I think they know the bills – like Health Care reform (HCR) and financial reform – don’t mean anything to regular people outside of DC. HCR won’t really take effect until 2013 (one of the compromises that watered the bill down) and the financial reform didn’t punish the bankers that screwed our economy. You would think that any “victory” would have a ticker tape parade with a band and party favors but nope.

It’s as if the administration wasn’t surprised at getting limpy bills passed.

Then we come to Senator Harry Reid. I really wish he had been challenged and lost his primary because as Senate Leader he has been as effective as a wet sponge. He leads by using the 60 vote threshold even though the Democrats don’t have 60 votes. This makes him kiss the asses of the Blue Dogs (conservative Democrats like Ben Nelson) and allowing the Republicans to pocket filibuster bills and appointments they don’t like.

It seemed that the Netroots crowd treated him like a rock star.

The most cringe worthy moment came when Donald Choi gave Reid his West Point ring as a reminder of the bad “Don’t ask don’t tell” policy. Reid promised to keep the ring until the policy is removed. Someone should tell Choi not to expect his ring back because you won’t get 60 votes in the Senate to pass any bill removing DADT in 2010 or ever in the near future.

The repeal passed the House and is now pending in the Senate. Lawmakers hope to attach it to the Defense Authorization measure likely to be debated this fall, but in an election year where control of Congress is at stake, it’s unclear if the measure will make it.

Discharged Dan Choi To Harry Reid: ‘It’s Not About Me Anymore’ (VIDEO)

That’s what’s so sad. The Democrats pissed away their power these past two years. They had such great potential.

I am also mad because I have no alternative. I will have to hold my nose and keep these losers in office because the alternative – the GOP – is much worse. And the White House knows it.

All I can do is only support real Democrats who want to fight for what is right and don’t give a crap about the Republicans or Corporate America.

*Sigh*