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Thread: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    My thoughts on this issue:

    Holding the media responsible for public perceptions is a convenient rationale for political leaders from both parties to explain why they have not met goals, among other things. However, almost always it is only a small part of the story. Instead, one needs to look at the interpersonal dealings: how the political leaders and their rivals interacted, the degree to which they focused on ideological goals at the expense of common ground, etc.

    It is early to write any kind of historical narrative on the Obama Administration, but the early contours are emerging:

    1. Fiscal stimulus: He devoted a lot of energy to get this legislation passed. The nation was facing what amounted to an economic emergency so to speak. Maintaining TARP (a last act of leadership by the Bush Administration) and adopting a stimulus program were key aspects of what amounted to an economic stabilization and turnaround strategy. The stimulus, though, was viewed through an ideological lens outside the economics profession, which mainly regards it positively though having fallen short of what was required given the post-stimulus data that emerged. The recession was deeper than had been known at the time. From a political standpoint, political capital was expended due to the ideological gap. Historians probably will judge him as demonstrating leadership on this issue.

    2. Affordable Care Act (ACA): Health care reform is viewed through an ideological prism. That access was lacking (as shown in the high incidence of uninsured persons), medical costs were rising persistently faster than inflation (complex reasons e.g., early deployment of technology when cost efficiencies are poor), and outcomes on key benchmarks (also complex) were lower than numerous developed countries (so-called "peers") indicated a need for reform. How to reform the nation's health system saw the two parties as far apart as one could possibly get. Aside from small aspects of the ACA e.g., creating an access mechanism for people with preexisting conditions, there was almost no common ground between the two parties. The ACA was a legacy goal for President Obama and he succeeded in having it enacted, it survived constitutional review, and it was a focus of a disastrous shutdown strategy launched by Senator Ted Cruz et al. Its rollout was also very bumpy. Following on the heels of #1, the ACA hardened the ideological divide and it was probably too much for the GOP to bear, limiting opportunities for future pragmatic collaboration. Historians will likely judge him as demonstrating leadership on this matter, but making a fateful choice that could only dramatically impair his ability to work with GOP going forward. Choices have consequences.

    3. The rise of the Tea Party movement further hardened the ideological divide. That the Tea Party movement's momentum has stalled and its influence is slowly decaying is not going to lead to a dramatically different opportunity for collaboration following the 2014 elections. There might be some modest changes, mainly in avoiding the near self-inflicted debt ceiling crises and unnecessary government shutdown that dominated the most recent years, but not much more.

    4. Fiscal differences: Both sides essentially "blamed" the other for the failure to reach a grand budget accord. The reality is that acknowledging sincere differences precluded a deal at the time would have preserved latitude for future efforts at collaboration, particularly if events narrowed some of the areas of difference. One can expect blame from certain members of Congress who are in almost continual campaign mode. The President could and should have been more diplomatic. He wasn't. His blunt public comments amplified the perceptions stemming from the ideological divide.

    5. The President anecdotally has spent less time nurturing and sustaining relationships with key Congressional leaders than some of his predecessors have. President Reagan and Speaker O'Neill, for example, spent a lot of time talking. So did President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich starting during the government shutdowns. Reagan and O'Neill built a personal relationship that transcended their deep political differences. Clinton and Gingrich built a working relationship after those shutdowns that allowed them to get things done for most of the rest of President Clinton's second term. One cannot same the same for President Obama. IMO, he could and should have had a much better relationship with many of the GOP leaders, excepting the Tea Party members who are much more wed on ideology than practical problem solving. He didn't. Hence, those Congressional leaders had less incentive to be pragmatic and accommodating than might otherwise have been the case.

    In sum, the President had to deal with a structural environment that was trending more and more ideological, in large part due to factors beyond his control. That limited some of his opportunities. He also made choices that built the policy road ahead: fiscal stimulus (necessary, IMO, and not a "deal breaker") and the ACA (a key goal, but not necessary in the same sense the stimulus was, but a legacy goal that he was determined to realize). He also did not make the kind of effort needed to build strong personal relationships with Congressional leaders (Democratic and Republican), and this further limited his opportunities.

    In short, I believe he could have done more with the proverbial cards that were dealt. Some of the reduced results are on account of factors beyond his control, but others are on account of factors that were controllable, but were shaped by personal choices and actions e.g., lack of time building personal relationships. Personal relationships are no guarantee of governing success, but they do make things a little easier and, even when sincere differences exist, can avoid the creation of damaging perceptions that amplify those very real differences. Indeed, better relationships with the Congressional leaders might have led to their tamping down the politically-motivated efforts expended on such matters as the Benghazi terrorist attack, etc., that have further poisoned the GOP-Obama relationship.

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'



    Well done Don! I see you've already wrapped up post of the year in January.
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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    Yep. And that same Google takes us right to the quotations and video clips, complete with their sources in full context--context is everything--when Obama has been challenged on ALL those issues. And invariably, without exception, he has not taken personal responsibility for a single one of them. It is always "That is above my pay grade" or "I wasn't in that loop" or "I was not informed about that" or "I found out about that the same way you did, in the newspapers" along with blaming the media, this personality, that entity, and always the Republicans blocking what he intended to do or blowing out of proportion with 'phony scandals' etc. Sure he will expound on the fact that he is 'ultimately responsible' along with his inevitable promise to 'get to the bottom of that' etc.

    But he never does, does he? No order to the Justice Dept to appoint special prosecutors. No updates at subsequent press conferences to report on the progress being made to 'get to the bottom of it'. Nobody is brought to justice. No heads roll. Nobody is even criticized. He makes these grandiose statements and then it right back to business as usual. Once it is off the front page, it is pretty obvious he doesn't concern himself with it at all.

    From your link:
    Going head to head with Mitt Romney in New York, Obama took a far more aggressive tone than in the first debate, which he was widely seen to have lost by being too passive and failing to engage with his challenger.

    “Secretary Clinton has done an extraordinary job but she works for me,” he said. “I’m the president and I’m always responsible.

    “The suggestion that anyone in my team, the secretary of state, our UN ambassador, anybody on my team, would play politics or mislead when we have lost four of our own is offensive.

    “That’s not what we do,” Obama said, turning to face Romney. “That’s not what I do as president, that’s not what I do as commander in chief.”
    And from Forbes:
    The Obama Administration received requests for additional security from the Embassy and the Ambassador himself as early as February. An embassy cable on June 25 expressed fear of rising Islamic extremism in eastern Libya around Benghazi, and noted that the black flag of Al-Qaeda “has been spotted several times flying over government buildings and training facilities.” On August 2, Ambassador Stevens sent a cable requesting 11 additional body guards, noting “Host nation security support is lacking and cannot be depended on to provide a safe and secure environment for the diplomatic mission of outreach,”

    But these requests for additional security were repeatedly denied, as security officials testified before Chairman Darrell Issa’s House Oversight Committee earlier this month

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/peterfer...ction-of-duty/
    Nope. They sent Susan Rice out the very next Sunday to all the morning programs to say that the Benghazi attack was a spontaneous uprising in protest of an insulting video.

    You won't find a quotation ever from Obama admitting that. Nary even a hint of "We screwed up." "We did that poorly." "They got that wrong." "I apologize that we did that" or any such thing. You will never hear him stand up and say that he was wrong to have done that as President or that anything was his fault. Ever.
    Last edited by AlbqOwl; 01-27-14 at 02:48 PM.
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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    Quote Originally Posted by AlbqOwl View Post
    You won't find a quotation ever from Obama admitting that. Nary even a hint of "We screwed up." "We did that poorly." "They got that wrong." "I apologize that we did that" or any such thing. You will never hear him stand up and say that he was wrong to have done that as President or that anything was his fault. Ever.
    Deadline day for Obamacare?s first customers - Obama: We screwed up health law rollout - Finding Obamacare enrollees on the dance floor - POLITICO Pulse - POLITICO.com

    President Barack Obama cited the rollout of the federal Obamacare website when asked about his biggest mistake of the year. “We screwed it up,” he said. “There’s no doubt that when it came to the health care rollout — even though I was meeting every other week or every three week with folks and emphasizing how important it was that consumers have a good experience, an easy experience…. the fact is it didn’t happen in the first month, in the first six weeks that was at all acceptable,” he said at his press conference.
    Are you going to triple-down on being wrong, or just admit you were wrong?
    Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    Here's another one:

    Obama: 'I screwed up' on Daschle appointment - CNN.com

    Daschle, the former Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, withdrew earlier Tuesday as news that he failed to pay some taxes in the past continued to stir opposition on Capitol Hill.

    "I think I screwed up," Obama said in a wide-ranging interview with CNN's Anderson Cooper.

    "And I take responsibility for it and we're going to make sure we fix it so it doesn't happen again."
    Freedom of speech is not freedom from criticism.

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    SOTU is actually one of the reasons he has his caricature. Its simply another campaign speech (and that goes for any president) where he talks like hes lecturing and makes bunch of promises which never happen. If he wants to be seen as being interested in solving problems, practical, and things working better, then he needs to actually act like it, not just talk. As I said above, that means shutting up with the rhetoric and blame. That means only doing things that have some support of Republicans (even it thats nothing). Being practical means understanding that at least 45% of the country DOES NOT agree with his philosophy. And so hes not going to get his way.

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny5 View Post
    It has nothing to do with his policies or personality, but rather his inability to convince you that conservatives are wrong. And so he cant get anything done because people wont allow Republicans in congress to go along with his policies. Because he hasnt been able to prove Rush or Fox wrong.

    Does that sound rational to you? Heck, does it sound professional? Isnt it possible that either Obama is simply wrong, or that people dont beleive him?

    He claims to be interested in solving problems, but rarely talks to congress or even his own appointees. He claims to be practical, but thinks govt micromanaging everyone is going to work? He thinks a lot of the things hes put into play worked better than people think. Ok, Ill give him that. Expectations are pretty low, so the fact that there was a Obamacare website at all is probably better than expected. I seem to recall Obama joking about shovel ready not being so shovel ready after all. GUess thats his idea of working better than expected?

    As Ive said many times before, if Obama would simply get to work, instead of giving interviews, campaigning, and blaming everyone but himself for the poor performance of govt, maybe something would get done. He works a half a mile from Congress. Walk down the street and say hi.
    One does have to consider the fact that practitioners of persuasion science can bypass reason straight to one's emotions. This makes it difficult to discuss ANY issue from ANY side of the aisle. Pollutes our entire discourse.

    Obama ****s up when he decries the other side's use of techniques his side uses just as cavalierly.
    Anyone wondering what I'm talking about start here:
    The Psychology of Persuasion

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    I've noticed over the past few years the idea that one accepts responsibility for an error carries no actual consequences at all. Pretty cool, huh? So Hillary is completely responsible for Benghazi, Obama for the ACA, and whoever for the IRS, Holder for Fast and Furious, and all the main players in all the transgressions are actually better off now than when their supposed responsibility bore down on them. Hilarious.

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    Yes that line was in his press conference that day, including the line implying that he was personally on top of it--translation: it isn't my fault--followed in the next paragraph or two with him blaming the IT contractors and not the fact that it was he and/or his cabinet secretary who hired them. He has never put the responsibility on Kathleen Sebelius where it squarely belonged or ever admitted to anybody that the concept itself is flawed in any way. And since that time he has blamed the media, the GOP, the medical providers, and the insurance companies for the problems that have resulted. Nary a finger pointed at himself personally.
    "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it." --Benjamin Franklin 1776

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    Re: Obama blames media for 'caricature'

    Quote Originally Posted by scatt View Post
    Does that work the other way, or are you just a democrat?
    It works both ways. I wouldn't expect the next Republican President to go on MSNBC, if MSNBC shows as little class in reporting the truth as Fox News has.

    Why would I make a hypocrite out of myself?
    Quote Originally Posted by jonny5 View Post
    Romney isnt President or complaining about the media caricature of him. I dont remember Bush publicly complaining either.
    A) Republicans have been whining about "liberal media" for decades.

    B) There wasn't a Democrat run news station at the time who has sunk to the levels Fox News has.

    C) Don't think your attempt to shift the argument away from where you were wrong went unnoticed.

    If Obama would just shut up, we wouldnt have to call him out on what he says.
    If Republican media wouldn't lie all the time and miscast him as someone he's not, Obama wouldn't have to say anything about the media. It works both ways.

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