100 Day Sprint: 8 Reflections on Tampa

So the Republican National Convention is over — I’m sure all of you followed the coverage closely on NCPR’s airwaves.  Here are my eight takeaways, before I head out camping for a few days and leave politics behind.

Four Positives

1.  The message of America as a fundamentally entrepreneurial society, a place where progress happens because individuals hustle to make a buck and build stuff, is a powerful one and it came through loud and clear this week.  Even when all the fact-checkers have done their work, and the footnotes have been applied, Republicans make a strong claim to the idea that this is still the core mission of their party:  freeing up individuals to succeed (or fail) economically.  Like all great political rallying cries, it’s simple and straightforward and, for a lot of Americans, intensely desirable.

2.  The Republican Party as an institution is far more diverse than the Republican Party’s base.  This is a weird reality of modern political life in America.  The GOP is increasingly a movement defined by white, rural folks who want and believe things that are often out of step with the broader cross-section of the US.  But the top elected officials, and name brand politicians — and I’m not just talking Marco Rubio and Condie Rice — come from diverse, complex, cosmopolitan backgrounds.  I think that chemistry bodes well for the future of the conservative movement.

3.  The polls look better and better for Mitt Romney.  As the week progressed, we saw numbers from more battleground states suggesting a tie.  And in a presidential race, when the incumbent is in a tie, he’s generally in trouble.  Romney emerges from the convention with a ton of cash, with a unified base, and with a much broader path to victory than he had just a week ago.  Whatever other quibbles emerge (see below), the convention helped position Romney for an upset victory, something I would have said was very, very unlikely mid-summer.

4.  I think Mitt Romney’s speech honed in on a real weakness in Obama’s re-election message.  Four years ago, when the economy was imploding, Obama pushed some big ideas that weren’t directly linked to the idea of getting people back to work.  Too many of the things Obama fought for haven’t even kicked in yet.  In an election where it’s all about jobs-jobs-jobs, Romney focused instead on nuts-and-bolts stuff.  Whether or not you think his ideas are the right ones, his focus is politically astute.  It feels grounded and, to borrow a phrase that Romney would probably embrace, business-like.

Now four negatives.

1.  Far, far too much of the Republican message is based on big, whopperish, and meaningful lies.  I’m not talking about the little, fudgy stuff that all politicians indulge in.  I’m talking about broad strokes, fundamental things that leave you wondering if these guys even bothered to connect the dots themselves.  When Paul Ryan is suddenly campaigning as a defender of Medicare entitlements, as someone who thinks the government should have saved even more automobile factories, and as someone who supported the bipartisan debt reduction plan (which he helped scuttle), it doesn’t just border on the Orwellian.  It is Orwellian.

2.  Far, far too many of the GOP’s attacks on Barack Obama are based on (sorry for the echo) big, whopperish, and meaningful lies.  If Obama’s record is so bad, make the case using facts and real stories.  Don’t cynically edit video tape to suggest that the president said something that he just didn’t say.  Don’t invent lies about the work requirements in Federal welfare programs.  Don’t pretend that the stimulus was gobbled up by fraud.  If the guy in the White House is really a threat to the Republic, surely you can tell that story right up the middle, with a minimum fudging.  The fact that Team Romney hasn’t gone that route, the fact that they’ve been caught again and again telling fibs, will give a lot of voters pause, especially moderate women who could decide the election.

3.  Republicans still don’t quite know how to talk about the fact that we live in a big, complicated society where government is integral to just about everything we do — yes, including starting and running businesses.  I cover business a lot.  And I can tell you on a simple, factual basis that there is almost no significant economic activity in America today, from Wall Street to farms to the new biotech companies that just moved to Saranac Lake, that doesn’t involve government at some level.  (In the case of Midwestern agribusiness, government is hardwired into industry.)  If the GOP wants to change all that, they need to explain how the change will work.  How do we compete with the Chinese (and the Germans and the Canadians) whose companies are boosted regularly by government investment and infrastructure?  The “I built that” message works politically and emotionally (see #1 above) but it hasn’t been accurate in America at least since government subsidies built the Trans-continental Railroad and the big dam projects in the West.

4.  Republicans are still trying to win by making nervous, angry white people more nervous and more angry.  A lot of the GOP’s leaders know that the “real America” no longer looks like the America that their white, rural Christian base prefers, and never will again (See #2 above).  And they know that the vast majority of new Americans, and people of color, are incredibly industrious, driven and responsible.  They are exactly the kind of people who will build the next America.  But in this election cycle, the GOP has doubled down on the message that “entitlement people” and people without proper birth certificates (closeted Muslims, most likely) are in cahoots with shiftless government bureaucrats.   The goal (apparently) is to steal from decent, entrepreneurial white Americans in the heartland so that lazy bums in places like Chicago and LA can lie around on couches watching TV.  This message — and the effort to stifle voting in black and Hispanic neighborhoods — may win Republicans an election in 2012, but it’s bad for the country and bad for the future of the party.

So there are my thoughts.  Still a lot to chew on.  Social issues?  Clint Eastwood?  Comments welcome below.



109 Comments on “100 Day Sprint: 8 Reflections on Tampa”

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  1. Pete Klein says:

    No, I didn’t follow it closely but I do have a few observations.
    First, I am better off now than I was 4 years ago. Second, Clint is not a comedian and he should know that “a man needs to know his limitations.” Third, if Republicans actually believe in individualism, then why do the believe Romney can solve their economic problems? If you are waiting for the government, if you are waiting for either Romney or Obama to fix your problems, you aren’t much of an individual.
    If America were a fundamentally entrepreneurial society, a place where progress happens because individuals hustle to make a buck and build stuff, Americans wouldn’t be looking for a president or a political party to solve their problems.

  2. Larry says:

    Damned by faint praise! You’re not fooling anyone by putting your four “positives” up front. I still maintain that most (on both sides) can’t tell the difference between opinion and fact. I can hardly wait for the Democratic version.

  3. Mervel says:

    I watched three speeches, Christy, Rubio and Romney so I can’t comment on the whole thing.

    Maybe we are trying to read to much into what a party is? Why not just look at the job that the president needs to do.

    Let’s face it Obama on the numbers has not done what he said he would do, that’s the case I think that needs to be said. Emotions about white rural america versus mutli-ethnic and racial america are interesting, but in the end if you don’t have a job and the economy stinks, and poverty is increasing; they don’t matter very much. At some level we have to look at outcomes and performance.

    If the Republicans can get people to focus on this very weak performing president (on the outcomes), I think they have a shot.

    I was worried about the lack of comment on foriegn policy, what are these guys really going to do if they are elected? Have they made a commitment NOT to re-invade Iraq or attack Iran? I think the Democrats should actually focus on that a little.

  4. PNElba says:

    “This is a perfect representation of the campaign: an old white man arguing with an imaginary Barack Obama.”

    Jamelle Bouie

  5. Larry says:

    A national political convention is an intensely partisan event much given to hyperbole, spin and cheerleading. The Democratic convention will be very similar to the Republican. The American people must investigate, evaluate and above all, determine what is factual and what is hype.

  6. Peter Hahn says:

    They have made an obvious calculation that there is no penalty for bald-faced lies and maybe something to be gained. Im not sure what that says about their audience. Maybe its all wink-wink and lets hope the “undecided” aren’t paying much attention. All they have to do is convince people that there is no objective judge of fact – that everyone is biased so maybe its all true.

  7. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Nobody is going to bring up what this election is REALLY about: control of the Supreme Court for the next generation.

  8. Larry says:

    Conservatives generally do not believe in the inherent stupidity of the American people and so trust their ability to understand political rhetoric and make informed choices, unlike Liberals, who think us all to be so stupid that we need to be told what to believe and to have the government see to our every need.

  9. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    No Larry, most people on both sides know there are huge numbers of people who dont pay close attention for a variety of reasons – lots of them because they are working too hard and are too tired – so they know that their opinion can be manipulated by sound bites and talking points.

  10. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Remember when Dan Quayle was ridiculed for not being able to spell potato?

    Yes, the good ole days. Now we have Paul Ryan who told lies, and maybe they can quibble about the wording in a legalistic manner, but if I had told similar whoppers my parents would have either sent me to my room or washed my mouth out with soap if I tried to insist I was telling the truth.

    And how is it that Republicans can constantly run against government, guys like Paul Ryan who is a Lifer in DC? Oh that’s right! See my post above.

  11. Mayflower says:

    And, Reflection #9: Four days of politicians boasting of their own accomplishments instead of promoting the candidate. Four days of emotional life stories about any and everyone except the candidate. All leading to the great moment when the spouse takes the stage to promise that her husband is actually funny and has always been really nice to her.

    And then, the Grand Finale: A little glimpse of Reagan’s Sunshine, instantly dimmed by Newt and His Lady, performing a bizarre version of the Doxology. And then, in the prime 10 PM slot, they send out an aging actor to stumble through an unscripted, quite vulgar monologue, directed at an empty chair.

    If this convention and this campaign are supposed to illustrate Mr. Romney’s much-touted executive managerial efficiency, we can only stop and stare. Speechless at last.

  12. Mervel says:

    You don’t have to pay close attention to anything; you just have to look around at your own situation. Things economically are not good right now for a whole bunch of people in the US. This president said he could help fix that, he has not performed on that promise. You don’t need detailed analysis, we know the unemployment rate, we know the poverty rate and we know the amount of debt we have; all going in the wrong direction.

    Its not a hard case to make.

  13. PNElba says:

    I don’t think Americans are inherently stupid, but many do have a problem determining whether something is a fact or not. Some just don’t have the time. Partisans typically believe whatever they are told.

    For instance, Conservatives tell us that Obama has “gutted” welfare by taking away the work requirement.

    I’ve tried and tried to find some evidence proving the conservative “fact” that Obama is gutting welfare. I’ve yet to find any reliable evidence that a nonpartisan, citizen might reasonably accept.

    So there is little evidence to back up that conservative “fact”. Reason tells me that conservatives are lying about Obama gutting welfare.

    Maybe someone can help this stupid American out.

    BTW, it is unacceptible to state that liberals believe all Americans are stupid. It is not a fact. Although I guess some people do have a problem determining fact from opinion.

  14. TomL says:

    So, is it a positive or negative that there was essentially NO concrete policy proposals, except maybe ‘repeal obamacare’? Romney said he will create 12 million new jobs, but he didn’t say how. He said he will get the deficit under control while reducing taxes and increasing the military budget, but he didn’t say how.

    Obama – love him or not – goes into wonkish detail about his ideas, as did Clinton before him. Romney is taking more of the Bush Jr. approach: ‘I am a successful businessman, trust me to figure out a way to my ambitious goals’. In my opinion, it didn’t work out so well last time.

  15. Larry says:

    PNE: I’ll give it a shot.


    Is it any different from the sites I’ve been directed to for the “truth.” No, but once again, we’re still dealing with opinions.

  16. PNElba says:

    Romney has a secret plan to address all your questions. Elect him and then he will tell you. If he tells you now, you won’t vote for him.

  17. Mervel says:

    I don’t understand why they have to reach so much on these issues? Yes Obama allowed a couple of states to reword the work requirements to better fit their circumstances, but I think it was temporary and it certainly was not gutting anything.

    I am glad I did not waste time watching too much of this. For the Democrats I will watch Julian Castro and Obama I think that will be it.

  18. Larry says:

    Secret plans? Much better than secret accomplishments. Elect Obama and he won’t do anymore in his second administration than he did in his first.

  19. JDM says:

    Maybe the biggest positive is the marginalization of liberalism, and the marginalization of political correctness.

    Here’s a good campaign slogan for Romney/Ryan. Hey Obama! Warm up the bus!

  20. TomL says:

    Obama hasn’t accomplished a thing in his first term.

    Other than have had more jobs created by the end of his term, particularly private sector jobs, than where there at the start of his term (something his predecessor absolutely cannot say). And having passed the largest reform to the US health care system in 50 years. And having passed a significant Wall Street reform. And having ended US involvement in the war in Iraq. And having eliminated OBL as a threat to the US. And ended Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell. And saved the US auto industry. And mandated a stop-gap Dream Act. And yes, I can go on.

    It’s like that section in the move ‘Life of Brian’ where a fellow asks & answers the rhetorical “What have the Romans done for us? Nothing!”, then his friends pipe in with the long and deep list of Roman innovations to Palestine.

    When people state that Obama has no accomplishments, they are being silly or ignorant. You may not like his accomplishments, and certainly there are many who don’t, but you can’t say he doesn’t have any.

    As for me, I and my family ARE better off now than when he came to office, as are most people I know.

  21. PNElba says:

    So Larry….you send me to the Heritage Foundation for facts? You have often chastised others here for sending you to liberal sites of information.

    But ok. Here is what Robert Rector says:

    President Obama’s HHS will exempt states from the federal work requirements if they increase by 20 percent the number of TANF cases that lose eligibility due to increases in earnings, a measure called “employment exits.”

    He then goes on to state 4 “reasons” (his OPINIONS) on why this is a weak standard.

    Again, where are the facts proving the “gutting” of welfare work standards?

  22. PNElba says:

    Would enable States to conduct “State Flex” demonstration projects to improve program effectiveness or coordinate a range of programs in order to improve service delivery. Eligible programs include TANF, Food Stamps, public housing, Workforce Investment Act, and child care, among others. HR 4737

    Hmmmm, a bill passed by the House in 2002. Guess who voted for it….Paul Ryan. I guess he was for “gutting” the welfare work requirement before he was against it.

  23. JDM says:

    Obama on defense.

    Romney goes to Louisiana.

    Obama, caught not looking, reschedules for Monday.

  24. Larry says:

    Read my entire post and those in which I have been writing about the difference between fact and opinion – on both sides. Do it even though I know that nothing I write, as either a Conservative or a Republican makes the slightest bit of difference to you or your liberal cohorts. All your relentless name-calling, editorializing and Bush-blaming can’t disguise the fact that the country is in worse shape today than it was four years ago, Obama’s well-meant but empty promises notwithstanding.

  25. PNElba says:

    Larry –

    I apologize. I did not read the last sentence of the post where you linked to the Heritage Foundation.

    But I was looking for facts that show that Obama is gutting welfare and I followed your link purporting to “give it a shot”. Is this the best proof that welfare work requirements are being gutted? If so, can you admit that Romney/Ryan are lying? [ Please tell me that you have something more, Lieutenant]

  26. Walker says:

    “…the country is in worse shape today than it was four years ago…”

    In GWB’s last term, the nation lost some 8.8 million jobs. Since Obama took office, we have regained 3.4 million jobs. (Wikipedia) This is despite Republicans obstructing the administration every step of the way.

    And “Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation.” (Politifact)

  27. JDM says:


    Here is a link showing the detail of the $716B non-lying amount, with a link to the CBO document, in case you’re bored and want to review the actual legislation.


  28. Gary says:

    There seems to be plenty of lies flying around. Harry is still saying Mitt hasn’t paid taxes in ten years. I just want the media to report the lies from both parties and not just what happened in Tampa. Any bets on the reporting of the convention next week? By the way it seems the media is taking issue with some of the policies presented by the GOP. I’m hard pressed to think what if any policies our current administration has put forth. Why hasn’t the media presented a chart of the issues comparing policies?

  29. Pete Klein says:

    The only way a President, Romney or Obama, can create 12 million new jobs is to hire 12 million people to work for the government>
    Is this what Romney is talking about?

  30. PNElba says:

    JDM old man, you are confused. We are talking about the “gutting” of welfare lie.

  31. Mervel says:

    Job creation numbers are utterly meaningless in the face of high unemployment and poverty; both of which have increased a LOT the last four years.

    We can certainly argue about blame; the best you can say about Obama is that he was not at fault but also was inept at solving the countries most basic economic problems. The worst you can say is that he made things worse.

    However; maybe the President of the United States has little impact over our economy, maybe that is the big lie, none of these guys really make a difference, our economy is governed by forced outside of any one governments control and certainly outside of the control of one branch of government.

  32. PNElba says:

    Gary –

    I’d like to know if Harry is lying also. Easy enough to find out. Mitt just has to release his tax returns. It’s almost certain Romney hasn’t done any illegal in his tax returns. So what is he afraid of?

    Doesn’t the fact that he won’t release more than 1 year of tax returns bother you in the least? What if it was a Democratic candidate for president that wouldn’t release his tax returns? Would that bother you?

    And how can you compare policies when we don’t really know what Romney’s policies are going to be? Except those concerning sex that is.

  33. PNElba says:

    Mervel –

    It’s only Republican presidents that have no control over job growth. If jobs do grow under a Democratic president its because of a Republican controlled congress or something a previous Republican president did.

    But here’s something we haven’t tried. Let’s cut taxes on the wealthy. See, if we do that, that money will trickle down and all our problems will be solved almost overnight.

  34. Newt says:

    Just before checking in with Brian’s post I read a blurb in my just-arrived October “Consumer Reports” (p.6) that highlights the cause of a great deal of my fury over this election. To summarize, Capital One is being made to pay $210 million to settle charges of decieving credit-card suxtomers. Almost half will be refunded to 2 million of it’s customers. This is a result of actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an Obama and Democratic congress creation that the Republicans did their best to prevent, and still do their best to stymie.

    This action is symbolic of what this election should be about, but is not. Our current financial mess is exactly because of failure of the government to excericise due dilligence over corporate fraud and deceit that led to the inancial and housing collapse that occurred under the Presidency of George W. Bush, which was aided and abbetted by “reforms” under the Republican Congresses (unfortunately, the Clinton administration also shares a lot of blame for these).

    Obama did not go nearly far enough to prosecute these trangressions (in fact almost nothing) but he and the Dems did bring in some to Wall St. and the finanancial indurstry, for which he has been abandonned by most of the high rollers who supported him in 2008.

    Romney at Bain could have, and may have, served as a role model for thise depradations, making his millions by leveraging his corporate takeovers through borrowed money, then leaving investors and lenders high and dry. For example, Bain’s purchase of American Pad and Paper Company result in Bain making $107 million in capital gains on it’s $5.1 million investment. But senior secured lenders received less than $0.50 on the dollar, while unsecured lenders got 2 tenths of a cent on the dollar when AMPAD filed for bankruptcy in 1999. Several hundred employyes also lost their jobs, but who cares about about that? Oh yeah, employees lost pensions were picked up by U.S. Government-funded Pension Benefit Guarantee Corp., thank-you taxpayers This is one of four examples of Romney’s business integrety and acumen detailed in”Romney’s Bain Yielded Private Gaions, Socialized Losses” in, by Anthony Luzzato in that left-wing “Bloombeg Business”, July 15th, 2012. (sorry no link, I’m using my hard copy, but it’s out there).

    What would be the likely future of attempts to regulate and oversee corporate theives if their role model is elected President, and his cronies dominate Congress?

    Yet half the electorate thinks he will make their life better.

    After the financial crimes of 2007-08, and their impact on the lives and fortunes of nearly every non-billionaire American, electing this guy would be, to me, not the least bit unlike Amricans collectively apologizing to Al Quaeda for taking out their leadership, and asking them how we might learn to better pleae Allah.


  35. Peter Hahn says:

    JDM – no one is denying that 716 B was cut from future Medicare liabilities. But if you look at that list of what is being cut, you will notice that no one’s medicare benefits are being cut (other than the temporary subsidies to private drug benefit management companies that were put into the Bush medicare drug plan).

  36. When FactCheck.org started they were confronted with studies which show that when told a reasonably credible lie (especially if told with passion) and later are told the truth, most will continue to believe the lie even in the face of contrary evidence. They are counting on that. It also helps if you have rich friends who can afford to fund the lies being broadcast frequently on TV and radio.

    Rolling Stone ran a ‘bio’ of Mitt Romney’s Bain dealings http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/greed-and-debt-the-true-story-of-mitt-romney-and-bain-capital-20120829 and if everyone read it I don’t understand how they could vote for the guy but hardly anyone will read it because it’s 5 pages on the web and as the journalist character in “The Big Chill” observed people don’t read anything that can’t be read during the average crap.

  37. mervel says:

    We can place blame wherever.

    But you can’t argue with the fact that most people in the US are objectively worse off over the last 4 years than there were over the previous four years. Its just a fact, unemployment, poverty, food insecurity, the list goes on all are worse under this president than under Bush.

    Now we can say that things were so bad when President Obama took over and it was essentially the fault of Bush. But we can’t say that Obama knew how to or had the ability to change these problems, because he didn’t just on the facts. You liberals are just as crazy as the conservatives, what kind of blinders do you have to have to think that Obama has presided over great times in America?

    Things have sucked under Obama for most Americans; but in particular lower income and poor Americans.

  38. hermit thrush says:

    who here is saying that we’ve been having great times in america for the past four years? things certainly have sucked while obama has been president. the point is that he kept them from sucking a whole lot worse.

  39. mervel says:

    I think that is a valid argument to make.

  40. mervel says:

    I wonder if that is why everyone is reaching so much. We have this situation, this Great Recession and our impulse, encouraged by the by the politicians, is to ask who’s fault is this thing, who can we blame. There is no one to blame, its like asking who to blame for an earthquake, there has always been a business cycle no one group can claim to understand how to solve it. So we are left with it could have been worse or under me it would have been “better”. So we focus on all of these side issues and bogus claims.

  41. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Okay, side issues. Why was Clint Eastwood taking a direct quote from Dick Cheney and attributing it to Obama? Remember “go —- yourself”? Has anyone quoted Obama saying such a thing?

    And the governors of states that benefitted the most from the auto bailout bragging about how good their economy is compared to other states? So these guys live in the same universe I live in?

  42. Walker says:

    “But you can’t argue with the fact that most people in the US are objectively worse off over the last four years than they were over the previous four years.”

    Well, first off, yes, you can argue that most people in the US are not worse off now than they were at the end of the Bush II terms. Unemployment, in particular, has gotten slightly better. It’s just not as much better as it might have been if Obama hadn’t been battled to a standstill on one action after another that might have improved things further.

    But much more to the point, what makes you think that Romney/Ryan would improve things? Do you really think that Medicare would be better for senior citizens if it were turned into a voucher system? That Social Security would be better if it were privatized? That if we lowered taxes on the very wealthy even more than Bush II did, plenty of wealth would trickle down on the rest of us?

    Why wasn’t eight years of GWB enough? Were you better off after the end of Bush’s last term than at the start of it? So why would a return to his policies improve things?

  43. knuckleheadedliberal says:

    Okay, the economy. If this has been the main issue why hasn’t the Republican party supported the legally elected President in trying to fix the economy instead of fighting him every step of the way? Obama was elected. He had a mandate from the American people to lead in a time of dire financial crisis and the Republicans acted worse than petulant children, they worked to stifle any progress the President tried to make in helping America turn itself around.

    And they said so on the record. The republican party is bankrupt when it comes to being serious partners in government and the American people should reject them soundly.

  44. Walker says:

    “There is no one to blame, its like asking who to blame for an earthquake, there has always been a business cycle no one group can claim to understand how to solve it.”

    That is just so wrong! This was a business cycle that was created by the deregulation of the banks and exacerbated by the globalization of trade and the export of American jobs overseas by the likes of Bain Capital. Try reading that Rolling Stone piece, Mervel. Sure, it’s biased. But it’s not a complete distortion– it’s basically a description of one very significant piece of what has happened to America in the last 30 years.

  45. PNElba says:

    Okay, the economy. If this has been the main issue why hasn’t the Republican party supported the legally elected President in trying to fix the economy instead of fighting him every step of the way?

    Good question. I wonder how much whining there will be if Romney becomes president and Democrats filibuster every bill in the Senate. I’m guessing Republicans (who tend to have short memories) will go ballistic. They are the party of the angry whether they are in power or out of power.

  46. dbw says:

    Sometimes I think all our years of prosperity has affected inflated our expectations. The public mood in recent years has been decidedly negative. We are all well-versed in the “ain’t awful” stuff–and that is in no way intended denigrate the real suffering that is going on for many folks. On the other hand, the stock market has doubled since Jan. 2009. Instead of job losses of 700,000 a month that carried over into the early months of 2009 we are seeing (modest) gains. The job picture has been undercut by the loss of so many public sector jobs. Many of the changes in the health care law such as coverage for adult children and pre-existing conditions will improve the lives of millions of Americans. We are a great country and a wealthy country, but we are not invincible. The Bush era tax cuts and the unfunded wars of the early 00’s have done profound and real damage, and account for over half of the national debt at this point. It may take twenty years for us to fully recover, if we ever do. The jury is still out. To think that we can or should be quickly recovering as if this were the result of a normal business cycle is not a realistic expectation. In our society where instant gratification has become the norm, being in it for the long haul doesn’t cut it. Yet, that is exactly what is required of us now.

  47. JDM says:

    hermit thrush: ” the point is that he kept them from sucking a whole lot worse.”

    We have enough metrics that we don’t need an imaginary line. Obama’s economy is the worst since the Great Depression. You can pretend it could have been 3x worse or 4x worse, but it’s definitely bad enough to say he could have done much better.

    In fact, few could done worse.

  48. TomL says:

    If blogs existed in 1936……

    “Stop blaming Hoover. FDR has had 4 years, and the economy still hasn’t improved. People aren’t better off. FDR is an ineffectual, do-nothing President who blames things on Congress and the Supreme Court. FDR never ran a business. We need the acumen of successful businessman and Governor Alf Landon to lead this country…..”

  49. mervel says:


    The 8 years under Bush had a lower level of poverty and a lower level of unemployment than Obama, its not hard to look that up.

    Now certainly they could have been lucky, but come on are you so blinded by your a-prior assumptions that Democrats-Good-Republicans-Bad that you won’t even consider the data at all? How different are Liberals than Diito heads, looks to me like you guys are ALL the same.

    Why do you feel so forced to support Obama, just because? The data do not support that things are better under Obama.

    Two choices, the President cannot control these things, Obama failed.

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