Drew Westen on Barack Obama

Have you wondered why this President is so ineffective, so weak in the face of irrational, violent opposition in Congress, so unwilling to take a stand?

Drew Westen nails the story. A must read.

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24 Responses

  1. For someone who didn’t intend to “diagnose” at a distance, Westen did a damn fine job of it. Obama showed promise but looks increasingly like a flash in a pan rather than a leader burning hot with passion.

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    • Ya. I keep trying to put my finger on why I have such mixed emotions about Obama. On the one hand, I had high expectations which don’t seem to be coming close to being fulfilled. On the other, I want him to slam back at these assholes in Washington, like Boehner and Cantor and his response always seems to be “Yes, Massa”. (I know that sounds racist, but it makes a point – he’s being far too obsequious).

      Jesus, I wish he’d get a backbone. If he doesn’t we’re doomed in 2012, and then we’ll be stuck with Romney, or even worse Bush the Third (Perry)

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      • Let’s not forget the Fascisti Favorite, Michelle ‘Batshit Crazy’ Bachmann. With Obama perceived as a 60-pound weakling, the economy in tatters, jobs rarer than a sane Republican, and Republicans pandering to the worst instincts of the mob, the Minnesota Psycho could well be the Republitea nominee and carry the election.

        Romney is already widely perceived as a panderer and a weak sister. Perry can point to jobs in Texas, sure, but otherwise he leaves, I believe, an ugly religiofascist scummy taste. And when you watch him and listen to him, I think it’s obvious he’s trying to do a Reagan imitation – I’m not sure that’s forgiveable among the Republidummies.

        The really tough thing is going to be to decide whether to vote for Obama or vote third party. I’m more than a little tired of voting for Democrats who turn into Republicans at the sound of a loudmouth thug like Boehner saying ‘Boo’ and whose policies are dictated by the corporacracy in any event. I’m seriously thinking that maybe the country needs a dose of what it apparently wants, which is a Bachmannesque presidency and the ugly consequences that will follow. Maybe then we can rebuild this country into something civilized instead of the cold-blooded, hate-your-neighbor savagery the Republicans are dedicated to creating.

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        • I’m not really worried too much about Bachmann, despite this article, or maybe even in spite of it. I think she’s a looney, and once the focus is on her exclusively (if she got the Republican nomination) her loonieness will scare most voters right into Obama’s arms.

          Not so much Romney or Perry. They’re doing a good job disassociating themselves from the looney. Especially Romney. Perry may have some problems in that area.

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          • You are, of course, assuming the electorate can distinguish a loony from a sane person. I’m not that optimistic, since the electorate seems to have gotten it backwards the last few years.

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            • Well, call me naive, but they did a decent job when confronted with Sarah Palin in 2008. And Bachmann is far loonier, and less experienced.

              The Tea Party people will love her, but they are still a statistical minority. The only reason a lot of them were elected in 2010 had nothing to do with the inability to perceive their loonieness, but the economy. They pandered to the fears of many about “Big Government” and the lack of jobs, and were able to get enough votes. I wouldn’t be surprised to see those up for re-election in 2012 (from the House) getting a good run for their money, now that their constituents have actually seen them in action for 2 years.

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            • Well damn, spanqi, I don’t want to call you naive, but if you insist… As for 2008, I suspect John McCain had a lot to do with Palin not making it into the VP’s office. If I recall correctly Palin was always more popular than McCain.

              Bachmann is pandering to fear and ignorance, and loony as we know she is, she may sound damn good to the frightened and the ignorant and the just-plain-fed-up. And as I said someplace else she’s not stupid, just delusional: unfortunately a lot of voters share her delusions. I’m not so sure we can count on the TP crowd giving up on their pet loonies in 2012, and with the influx of cash the brain-damaged right wing of the Supreme Court has chosen to allow to flood the political system…

              Nah, can’t do it, can’t call you naive. But I do disagree.

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  2. A somewhat less charitable explanation is that we are a nation that is being held hostage not just by an extremist Republican Party but also by a president who either does not know what he believes or is willing to take whatever position he thinks will lead to his re-election.

    Damn good article, man. I’ve said it before. Obama’s presidency can be summed up in one sentence. In an effort to please everyone, he ended up pleasing no one.

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    • He sure as hell hasn’t pleased me, but then I’m just a grumpy old guy.

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  3. I’m trying to think of a true story Obama could tell people.

    America, a whole bunch of you are knuckle-dragging morons. You’re so hell-bent on depriving others of good health care, new infrastructure, and good education that you’re letting the nation turn into a rat hole where bridges collapse, people drown, whole school systems cheat on the test that teachers teach to.

    America, you shameless sacks of know-nothing koch-worshipping toadies. Your asses are not going to get rich quick. Stop letting the wealthy hoard all the money.

    America, you slobbering pack of obese bigots…about the birth certificate, fuck off. You’re embarrassing.

    America, thanks a lot you 23 million apathetic, lazy-ass hick sticks who didn’t vote last election.

    America, you pathetic perma-victims who enabled your own demise with wealth worship and deregulation. How do you like your stock market now, shitbags?

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    • They’d never see that speech, unless American Idolatry, Dancing with The Brainless, and Toddlers With Little Titties was pre-empted.

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      • The Greedies and the Impotents. I guess that’s what we’re watching now.

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      • I wish you guys would stop pussyfooting and say what you really think…

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      • …and those toddler pageants are obscene in a really profound way.

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        • Agreed. It makes me sick seeing little girls paraded that way.

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        • And what the hell do you have against spray tans on 4 year olds?

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          • Well, spray tanning is just too disgusting for words, aesthetically speaking. And besides, being a male of a certain age, I’d much rather be rubbing tanning oil on 40-year-old babes. (Okay, it’s a wild, impossible fantasy, but I’m allowed since I’m an old grump.)

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            • Agreed on the spray-tanning, unless Boehner-orange is your thing.

              Dreaming in Coppertone is always nice.
              .

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            • 😀

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  4. Tell me what you think of this article, Ric: http://www.thenation.com/article/162642/decrying-obamas-centrism-drew-westen-ignores-role-race

    I was thinking along these lines as I read Westen’s piece. And I wasn’t sure I had any business saying what exactly what I was thinking. I’ve spent about 10 years of my adult life in the Birmingham Metro area. Birmingham is about 70% black. This has presented the opportunity of hanging out with, being subordinate to, being friends with, rubbing elbows and working side by side with a metric fun ton of black people. 😀 Here’s what I’ve noticed that’s relative to the Westen article, and I am keeping in mind that generalizations have both merit and shortcomings.

    Black people are not allowed to fuck up. They’re not allowed to have children that misbehave. Men are not allowed to be anything less than perfect gentleman. They’re not allowed to do any thing publicly that would give a bigot ammunition in the argument that black people are inferior. Black people seem to me that they are never allowed to forget that they are black.

    The only time I really think about being white is when a bigot is making me feel embarrassed about being white. And I actually think I got that type of thinking from black friends who seem invariably to take responsibility for their whole race. When Kanye West went off on Bush (and I remain glad West did), my black coworkers were MORTIFIED. For them West was dealing a blow to the whole race. To me, West was saying the goddamn truth. George Bush doesn’t care about black people. What. So, there’s a sentiment in the culture (at least in the South) that one reflects poorly or greatly on the whole, the many. Huh. Maybe black people got this from white people doing it to them. I don’t know.

    But here we have the first black President. He has to work with some people in Congress who just hate him, who believe he’s something between animal and human It’s a fact. Some are thinking it…they make monkey, “white” house, and watermelon jokes. They call him boy and tar baby. Some are slicker and speak in subtleties that even go over my head. But black people know.

    I believe Obama fully understands the waters he’s navigating. They’re dangerous. For him. For his wife and kids. Yet there he is, up there, taking it. Trying. I think it’s naive of him to think he can change the hearts of people so steeped in hate, but I honestly believe he’s trying with everyone…not to kiss Republican ass, but to let all this eventually amount to some important change when he’s finally through. Change that is about more than just governing and policy…though I believe that’s important to him, too. He’s not working with nice people.

    OMG. This comment is embarrassingly huge. But I’ve said my piece. I should post this on my site. And add more shit that I’m thinking. 🙂

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    • I’ll send you a bill for renting space here. 😆

      I get what you’re saying, but while Obama may well be trying to change things, he’s completely failing to manage the perception of what he’s up to, and thus he comes off looking weak and vacillating when what the country desperately needs and wants is strength and political will. What the country sees is a guy who promised to be strong for the people and who has backed down everytime the freaks said boo. In times of such turmoil and uncertainty people want a strong leader who will call out the wreckers, who will stand up for the common good, who will point fingers and take names and give directions. Obama seemed to promise that during the 2008 campaign, and he seemed to be a good and decent man, and thus he was given the trust of the people. (It didn’t hurt that his opposition was so weak.)

      He hasn’t delivered.

      And when you’re not working with nice people, when your opponents crap on you every chance they get, if you don’t hit back, and hit back hard and often, you not only appear weak, you are weak. I used to think he was doing some kind of intellectual jujitsu on the Repugs, and now I think I was wrong. He doesn’t have the tools and the weapons necessary for this kind of fight.

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      • This is what I think I’d do, if I was Obama. Frighten Republicans by proving I’m crazier than they are. Like Bill Maher suggested the other night with the liberal Donner Party. 😀

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      • That was so damn funny when I first saw the film. Still damn funny.

        Remember Gene Wilder and the shaky hand bit? -This hand is steady as a rock, but this (brings up shaking other hand) is the one I shoot with –

        Obama showed us the solid hand in the campaign, but the one he’s Presidented with is the other one.

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