what are barack obama's flaws?

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foreign policy naivete. biggest thing that worries me about him by far. if he gets elected, pulls us out of iraq, closes gitmo, and restores civil liberties to their pre-9/11 status, and then ta-da something actually blows up, how many times is he going to say "uh um" during the press conference in which he capitulates to the chickenhawks in both parties screaming for his head

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

thank u deeznuts i am serious about like actual clintonesque character defects not more empty lolz how everybody except us is superficial & racist

and what, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

what elmo and tom said, basically--the dude comes across as too trusting in america's ability to be smart about shit

max, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

not good at speaking for 10 second clips on the 6 o clock news

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

hard to say but i think he believes his own hype at this point

messiah complex (likely to evolve into martyr complex)

elmo argonaut, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah what max/tombot/elmo said fourthed.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:51 (nine years ago) Permalink

might not be able to tame congress and end up like Clinton in 1994

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

Also a bit of what deez said - I'm worried he's setting himself up to disappoint everyone.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

has convinved people like me to be largely uninterested in this question

gabbneb, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

He has a bit of this tendency to come off like "I fully understand this problem because I've read many essays about it." Which makes me like him and wince at the same time.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

if he gets elected, pulls us out of iraq, closes gitmo, and restores civil liberties to their pre-9/11 status, and then ta-da something actually blows up, how many times is he going to say "uh um" during the press conference in which he capitulates to the chickenhawks in both parties screaming for his head

It's hard to see how staying in Iraq is helping to prevent domestic terrorism. Even McCain wants to close Gitmo. I doubt civil liberties will go all the way back to pre-9/11 status, and not sure if Obama is even suggesting that they should

o. nate, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 20:58 (nine years ago) Permalink

has convinved people like me to be largely uninterested in this question

-- gabbneb, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:55 PM (7 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

shock of shocks

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:04 (nine years ago) Permalink

what elmo and tom said, basically--the dude comes across as too trusting in america's ability to be smart about shit

-- max, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 8:48 PM (16 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

i really want to believe this is true, but it sounds the kind of bs that be lipped by his supporters - his flaw is that he's TOO right about everything? ill take that.

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

foreign policy naivete. biggest thing that worries me about him by far. if he gets elected, pulls us out of iraq, closes gitmo, and restores civil liberties to their pre-9/11 status, and then ta-da something actually blows up, how many times is he going to say "uh um" during the press conference in which he capitulates to the chickenhawks in both parties screaming for his head

-- El Tomboto, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 4:45 PM (22 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

this is more lol gwb put u in a jackpot sry!

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

i am really curious as to what hes gonna do w/the gitmo dudes who we have evidence against thats inadmissible due to torture tho

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:10 (nine years ago) Permalink

i wonder about his ability/willingness to get his hands dirty and wrestle things to the ground. saying you're willing to talk to iran/hamas/whoever is all well and good, but if you go into those situations you have to go in saying, "here's the deal: you can get this and this, you can't get this and this, and we're going to have to fight about this and this -- but if the fight goes on too long, you get nothing." the bushies have been terrible at that stuff, so it's not like the bar is set particularly high, but it would be nice to have someone who can actually get some things done. (wouldn't have to be him personally, but he'd need some hardball players around who knew how to do that.) (same applies in dealing with congress, obviously.)

tipsy mothra, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

deex -- i didn't say he's overly correct, but i think he may be presumptuous that America will be eager or grateful about implementing the changes he wants

elmo argonaut, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:12 (nine years ago) Permalink

also I am dead serious that his uh um uh tic that he has when you can tell he's thinking on his feet is really not reassuring at all

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

he actually comes across as a guy who would be an absolute expert at that kind of stuff to me tipsy

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

yah he def should cut that out xp

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:14 (nine years ago) Permalink

nodding slowly and looking thoughtful is the way to go

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

his uh um uh tic that he has when you can tell he's thinking on his feet

this doesn't bother me so much -- it's campaign season and he has to be excruciatingly calculating about his diction. when he speaks off the cuff he gets in trouble, but really only because he running for office

elmo argonaut, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

or alternatively quit being so optimistic about your fellow humans that you keep getting surprised by shit, like Wright dropping an atom bomb on you on national television

El Tomboto, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:16 (nine years ago) Permalink

xp Still, I think Hillary is a better extemporaneous speaker.

jaymc, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

his almost musical hand-gesture of 'conducting' a discussion / 'putting a fine point' on an argument

it's like the new bubba remote

elmo argonaut, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think Tom's point is that Obama is going to cause terrorism to happen, just that when it does he's going to look bad.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

you guys all seem to think obama waaaaaaaaay less pragmatic than i do, i guess

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

I actually HOPE he's more cynical and pragmatic than I'm giving him credit for.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

eh tom did begin his post w/"foreign policy naivete." soo...

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think Tom's point is that Obama is going to cause terrorism to happen, just that when it does he's going to look bad.

-- Hurting 2, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 9:18 PM (9 seconds ago) Bookmark Link

isnt this precisely cuz its easy to paint him as a pussy/pushover, which you guys all seem to be buying into?? i think hes far from either of those things. and i dont mean to draw this into electability issues, just that im more interested in what might be lurking behind the 'optimist' facade

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean, this guy is naive?? he comes across as a freaking borderline genius to me

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:21 (nine years ago) Permalink

The Bush adminstration has done so much to restore if not empower the executive branch that I doubt President McCain, Clinton, or Obama would be so eager to rescind those powers -- why would you?

I wish he was an atheist -- with his oratorical skills he could do lots for the millions of us who want to hear a convincing defense of godlessness put to theists. And yet, and yet, I suspect he IS less of a god-fearing man than he pretends. Something about his preternatural coolness bespeaks a kind of deism.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

might not be able to tame congress and end up like Clinton in 1994

Can't see that happening. He's got too many friends there already on both sides. Senators apparently luv the dude.

xp Still, I think Hillary is a better extemporaneous speaker.

unless you ask her about bill's position on nafta and she goes into that uncomfortable cackle that's soooo painful to watch.

kenan, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

just a little armchair psychoanalysis, let's all be cool

elmo argonaut, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:24 (nine years ago) Permalink

its funny how everyone buys the optimist/naivety package - its a symptom of dumb cynicism - those two really dont have to come together

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

in fact i bet that obama is closer to the optimist/cynic model

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

its funny how everyone buys the optimist/naivety package

^^^. The right wing has been all "SEE? SEE? AUDACITY OF HOPE MY ASS!" the last couple of weeks; they've accepted the narrative that Obama is a New Kind of Politician. To me he's "new" only in that he understands the importance of words and is uncommonly quick-witted.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah i dunno if thats directed at me or not but i agree -- im not saying i dont believe the guy isnt genuinely optimistic, but i def dont believe he's remotely naive, like not even remotely remotely xps to jhoshea

deeznuts, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

not directed at u in the slightest deez

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

paranoid/optimist ^^^ lol

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

More on Obama & civil liberties: he voted to make permanent all but two of the PATRIOT act provisions that had been originally passed with an expiration date - so not exactly a wide-eyed innocent on that front.

o. nate, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

i mean, this guy is naive?? he comes across as a freaking borderline genius to me

Early on I thought he came off as naive when he said that having lived abroad was a foreign policy credential. Like not only naive for thinking that (which he might not have, really), but naive for thinking it sounded good.

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

i really don't think disappointments with an obama presidency will be with character flaws per se.

something that occasionally makes me uneasy about his campaign rhetoric is that he'll elide the differences between kinds of identity, most problematically ethnic and economic identities. being Latino isn't really like being rich even though there's a fair degree of mystification cast over class as culture in this country. i don't really know where i'm going with this; it fits his overall message well to talk about the poor/rich divide as bridgeable, but that's a divide that economic policy should be targeted at eliminating or at least bringing closer, it's not like the problem is, oh if only poor people and rich people could just sit down over coffee and talk.

horseshoe, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:48 (nine years ago) Permalink

which i'm sure he knows and in part he's hemmed in by the landmine that is talking about class in America.

horseshoe, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh if only poor people and rich people could just sit down over coffee and talk.

-- horseshoe, Wednesday, April 30, 2008 5:48 PM (5 minutes ago) Bookmark Link

http://img505.imageshack.us/img505/3448/l10342545qc8.jpg

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

(ahem, not that I've seen it.)

Hurting 2, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:55 (nine years ago) Permalink

isn't the deal with character flaws you see powerfully ten years after that they're the things you saw as VIRTUES at the time

no one's going to be lookin back at president two-term obama and sayin "yes how did i not see he was naive?" -- what will piss you off abt him will be a quality you were pleased abt back when you voted for him

mark s, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

he will beat me in basketball and steal my girlfriend

jhøshea, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

maybe but i was really (maybe willfully?) blind to the bill clinton is untrustworthy thing in the 90s. i can see how it was the flipside of his charm in retrospect, i guess.

xpost

horseshoe, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

edwards was better at talking about class that obama, as i remember, but i also think its "easier" to talk about class as a white guy than it is as a black guy

max, Wednesday, 30 April 2008 21:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

Top

daavid, Monday, 12 February 2018 18:00 (two months ago) Permalink

Your autocorrect is killing it today

El Tomboto, Monday, 12 February 2018 18:17 (two months ago) Permalink

I'll never forgive Barack Obama for buying into the Right's Faux *austerity politics* & hence inculcating a whole generation of Liberals into buying into the same bullshit.

— #GeniusTweeter (@prisonculture) February 22, 2018

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:21 (one month ago) Permalink

Entire Dem party was guilty of this, yet strangely the US overall did not fall for this nearly as badly as our counterparts in Europe.

Moodles, Thursday, 22 February 2018 20:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm not sure who or what prisonculture is, but I suspect they're unaware of or actively seeking to misrepresent the fact that federal spending during the three fiscal years in which it was determined at least in part by the combination of President Obama and a Democratic Congress, that is FY 2009-2011 (the latter year compromised by the threatened government shutdown after Republicans took over the House of Representatives), was larger as a percentage of GDP than any previous fiscal year in American history excepting some of those during and/or immediately following American involvement in the two world wars (FYs 1919, 1943-46), and included as an integral component a stimulus bill that was comparable to or greater than FDR's New Deal spending, arguably the largest such package in American history. Spending during the remainder of Obama's term, during which Republicans controlled at least part if not all of Congress and used that control in unprecedentedly obstructionist fashion, was at roughly the levels that prevailed during Democratic congressional control from FYs 1980 through 1994, when the Gingrich revolution broke Democrats' Congressional stranglehold, and higher than any year that followed until the financial crisis. None of this is to say that it would not have been better to have had an even larger stimulus package in 2009 or more spending thereafter, or that the administration should not have expended more political capital towards one or both ends, but I suspect that the relevant politics are something that prisonculture may know similarly little about. For what it's worth, note that when the Republican Congress dismissed President Obama's final budget sight unseen, the clearest picture of the farce into which the budgeting process has turned, he responded with an appropriately academic proposal described as "aggressively liberal" - https://www.politico.com/story/2016/02/obamas-radical-final-budget-218944.

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:39 (one month ago) Permalink

LINE BREAKS FFS

NEW CHIMP THREAT (bizarro gazzara), Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:41 (one month ago) Permalink

otm

Le Bateau Ivre, Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:42 (one month ago) Permalink

To the extent that the government practiced relative austerity during the Obama years, it was a function of legislation passed by the post-Tea Party Republican Congress under threat of failure to raise the debt ceiling, which was estimated to potentially have devastating effects upon the economy.

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:47 (one month ago) Permalink

Moo, are you trying to overlook Obama's offered cuts to "entitlements" that he made to Boehner? That whole "grand bargain" nonsense?

curmudgeon, Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:52 (one month ago) Permalink

The Great Recession was driven by austerity, but what kicked it off was an all too present weight of bad mortgage debt. This weight dragged down the economy and made the recession far worse than it would have been. Over 11 million residences, roughly 25 percent of houses with a mortgage, were underwater, or had more debt than their household was worth, as a result of the crisis. In retrospect, for all the drama the bailouts were boring, if also far too generous to Wall Street. The real struggle was this $750 billion of bad debts, an albatross tied to the economy that not only drove down spending and investment—the recession was far worse in areas deeply underwater—but also destroyed neighborhoods and communities through foreclosures.

Rather than using the vast authority, discretion, and funding available from TARP, the bailout bill, to tackle this, Obama’s policy response to troubled homeowners was “Keep Calm and Carry On.” Obama’s administration trusted the predatory financial institutions that created the crisis to manage the aftermath and buried investigations finding that predation continued. The debt was only worked down through foreclosures, and even then it’s still with us—negative equity was a solid predictor of Midwestern counties that flipped to Trump.

A void came to define the rest of Obama’s economic landscape. Picture the economy as it could have been growing before the recession, and then picture the economy as it was. This difference is technically called “the output gap,” but it’s best considered as a missing piece of economic activity and prosperity. Trying to make sense of this vacuum was the central political and economic intellectual puzzle of the Obama years. This difference was the difference between full employment and a weak job market, between more robust wage growth and stagnation, between rich investment and decaying infrastructure. Like a wound that never heals, it created an anxiety over all economic policymaking.

Immediately this absence was understood through the left-liberal theories of John Maynard Keynes. Bad mortgage debt kept households on the sidelines; weak demand and purchasing power kept firms from investing; and collapsing state budgets meant austerity would cut jobs and spending more, creating a vicious cycle. The initial optimism of the stimulus and emergency Federal Reserve actions were meant to counter this.

Though it stopped us from falling into a European-level decline, the stimulus was only enough to stabilize the gap, not enough to remove it. Instead we saw a vicious cycle of severe state and local government cuts, households retrenching following the housing trauma, and firms refusing to invest, all causes and results of austerity. This missing piece of the economy stayed missing, distorting the politics of everything around it. After major 2010 electoral losses, Obama turned to the center and blamed the business community’s fear of deficits, regulations, and “uncertainty,” as well as robots taking all the jobs. After that failed to get a Grand Bargain with Republicans to cut social insurance, Obama retreated to promoting the recovering economic numbers as they came. By the end the numbers recovered to where they were in 2007; yet the tragedy was that Obama originally won in part because the economy in 2007 wasn’t working for everyday people, and they wanted change....

https://www.dissentmagazine.org/online_articles/austerity-obama-years

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:53 (one month ago) Permalink

btw, it is apparent that Moo hasn't read the ILX Style Guide, yet. Writing like a junior partner in a corporate law firm wins few friends around here, regardless of the strength of the brief.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 22 February 2018 21:55 (one month ago) Permalink

i like a little lawyering

j., Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:04 (one month ago) Permalink

I wasn't "trying to overlook" it, but it did not come to mind. What I was responding to concerned actual spending during the Obama years (holding only the President responsible while absolving a mostly-Republican Congress), and did not regard deals that did not transpire and whose content is not publicly known. What has been reported about the 2012 grand bargain sounds consistent with what has been reported about the one in 2013 and what the President publicly stated were his terms for any such approach - that they be revenue-neutral. The deals seem to have fallen apart when Republicans sought to reach agreement on terms that they could characterize as such when in fact they were revenue-reducing. Some commentators on the left suspicious of the President seem to have done the reverse.

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:06 (one month ago) Permalink

btw, it is apparent that Moo hasn't read the ILX Style Guide, yet. Writing like a junior partner in a corporate law firm wins few friends around here, regardless of the strength of the brief.

― A is for (Aimless), Thursday, February 22, 2018 9:55 PM (ten minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I apologize for my breach of etiquette, but that is not my aim, nor should it be the purpose of any reasoned argument.

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:07 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm also pretty sure that isn't how junior partners in corporate law firms write

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:08 (one month ago) Permalink

I always assumed that the US had already butchered their welfare state so savagely since the 70's that Euro austerity was merely copying that model tbh. And yes, that might be a very wrong assumption!

calzino, Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:09 (one month ago) Permalink

My scan of that Dissent article, to which I'll try to go back when more attentive, suggested a relative absence of quantitative or other meat on the bones of its characterization of the socioeconomic landscape, but did include a mention of what I think is probably Obama's primary flaw as a public citizen, which is a certain overoptimism about the extent to which the opposition, domestic or foreign, means well (or at least the performance of same). Then again, it was that quality that played a not-insubstantial role in his gaining the office, so it's more a governing than political flaw.

Moo Vaughn, Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:22 (one month ago) Permalink

I apologize for my breach of etiquette

You did not commit a breach of etiquette. You simply erected obstacles to easy comprehension. Our minds here are reasonably porous, but the pore size tends not to admit large blocks of text or long strings of polysyllabic words. This is a common failing and it wisest to accommodate it when writing for human consumption.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:34 (one month ago) Permalink

or just do whatever feels right man

j., Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:35 (one month ago) Permalink

I've never bought the "believes the opposition means well" angle (once ascribed to Obama in a Woody Allen interview I read, fer chrissake); he's smarter than that.

ice cream social justice (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:40 (one month ago) Permalink

whew I'm delighted we can discuss Barack Hussein Obama's flaws for once

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 22 February 2018 22:41 (one month ago) Permalink

I'm not sure who or what prisonculture is, but I suspect they're unaware of or actively seeking to misrepresent

Morbs follows them and pastes them here so

too notch (stevie), Friday, 23 February 2018 09:27 (one month ago) Permalink

I've never bought the "believes the opposition means well" angle (once ascribed to Obama in a Woody Allen interview I read, fer chrissake); he's smarter than that.

https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-02-09/has-anyone-seen-the-president

Back when he was president, Barack Obama told me that only two people treated any interaction with him as a zero-sum game. One was Vladimir Putin, the other congressional Republicans. Both behaved as if there was no such thing as a win-win situation: Any gain for Obama was a loss for them, and any gain for them must also entail a loss for Obama. The moment that the Russian president or congressional Republicans saw he wanted something, they went to work trying to keep him from getting it -- even if it was something they might otherwise have approved of.

El Tomboto, Friday, 23 February 2018 12:01 (one month ago) Permalink

That's more than two people, but hey.

Mark G, Friday, 23 February 2018 12:13 (one month ago) Permalink

what he believed or did not believe is not really the crux of the matter

k3vin k., Saturday, 24 February 2018 23:56 (one month ago) Permalink

Well, on this thread, it arguably is.

Andrew Farrell, Sunday, 25 February 2018 10:47 (one month ago) Permalink

"We didn't have a scandal that embarrassed us," he said. The former president admitted that his team made mistakes, but no massive screw-ups. He then said, "I know that seems like a low bar," at which point the audience burst into laughter. "Generally speaking, you didn't hear about a lot of drama inside our White House," he said. This was the closest Obama came to critiquing the new administration.

https://reason.com/blog/2018/02/26/barack-obama-mit-sloan-sports

reggie (qualmsley), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 02:17 (one month ago) Permalink

you didn't hear about a lot of drama inside our White House

there's always a lot of mini-drama in every WH that grabs attention inside DC, the kind of stuff insiders swap at cocktail parties, but Obama's WH probably generated fewer news stories about internal squabbles and jealousies than any WH I can recall.

A is for (Aimless), Tuesday, 27 February 2018 02:34 (one month ago) Permalink


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