Why Obama failed

September 20, 2011
By

Because he’s not a strong leader:

The president is incapable of making a decision; on the rare occasion when he does, he is ignored, as in the Citi case. During a meeting in March 2009, an annoyed Obama left the room to get dinner and said he wanted a decision when he returned. Emanuel promptly took over, saying, “Everyone shut the f— up. Let me be clear—taking down the banking system in a program that could cost $700 billion is a fantasy.” Romer told Suskind that was the point where Emanuel violated his famous rule to never let a crisis go to waste—with Obama abdicating decision making, his chief of staff had decided on the status quo. “The bottom line is Tim and others at Treasury felt the president didn’t fully understand the complexities of the issue, or simply that they were right and he was wrong,” Alan Krueger (a former deputy Treasury secretary recently appointed to replace Romer as head of the CEA) tells Suskind.

It’s a recurring pattern throughout the book: Obama voices a preference, his advisers overrule him, and he never says boo about it. Elsewhere, he allowed himself to be dictated to. Peter Orszag recalls Summers telling Obama, “I’ll make my argument first; you can go after me.” Orszag was incredulous that the president allowed a subordinate to talk to him that way, and shocked that he didn’t say, “I made that decision a week ago. Just do what I say.” As Volcker put it, “Obama is smart, but smart is not enough. Leadership is another thing entirely, about knowing your mind enough to make real decisions, ones that last.”

132 Responses to Why Obama failed

  1. Thread moderator on September 22, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    The fake Mad Dog’s Mom and the fake Mad Dog are now banned from Polipundit. Also, NYBob will no longer be allowed to post until we get a notarized certificate from a licensed proctologist that NYBob’s head has been removed from his ass.

    Thank you for your cooperation, and kill a commie for Christ.

  2. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    I concede that Obama has been something less than stellar as a President, but he’s still better than Jimmy Carter or Buchanan.

  3. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    - “You cite 1 or 2 black conservatives and say “there is too much evidence to the contrary”, but whenever you are shown actual proof that blacks vote over 95% for Obama, you cannot explain it.” – Easy. There aren’t a lot of conservative blacks – I’ve simply shown you that the ones that are seem to have no problem objecting to Obama. You, on the other hand, have shown no evidence to back up your claim.

    - “You can pretend that over 95% of the 2008 black vote for Obama is trivial…” – Never said it was. There are a lot of blacks that agree with Obama’s policies and that’s why they voted for him. What I disagree with is the position that blacks will blindly support any other black even if they disagree with his policies. This is just not backed up by reality. Black republicans like Alan Keyes, Michael Steele, or Ken Blackwell have never received much black support, certainly not enough to win their elections. Even black democratic candidates like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton have not received overwhelming support from blacks – certainly not enough to even win their primaries. Obama is the only black candidate to get this kind of overwelming support from blacks. For your position to have any kind of credibility, every black candidtate running for office would need to get this kind of support from blacks. And that’s just not the case. I understand that denial and projection are a way of life for you repubs, but this dog won’t hunt.

    - “…but black unemployment is off the chart under Obama and black poverty has significantly increased under Obama, which is going to make it much more difficult for you to explain why 95% of blacks will still vote for Obama in 2012.” – Again, you’re wrong. Most blacks don’t blame Obama for this state of affairs and they most assurdly don’t think that the current crop of republicans will make their lot any better. Especially when they see republicans basing their campaigns on the misguided notion that the poor don’t pay enough taxes, and republicans would rather watch them die in the streets than push for a healthcare plan that would help them. Generally, democrats don’t really attract minorities – republicans just drive minorites to the democrats.

    - “The largest part of the black vote is either based upon empty promises of “more welfare” from democrats, or it is based upon black skin color.” – Actually, most poor blacks see democrats as the only viable choice – they believe that republicans primarily represent just the 2%ers and corporations. Wealthy blacks have pretty much the same views as wealthy whites, and they’ll vote along the same lines – some for dems, but most for repubs. But this is all predictable, so I don’t see why your confused. There simply aren’t enough weathy blacks to make a dent in the numbers. The truly interesting group is poor/lower middlecass whites – lately they’ve been going against their own best interests and voting for republicans.

    - ” In Obama’s case, it is both and everyone knows this to be true.” – With no actual facts to back up your case, I don’t think so. It seems to definately be what you want to believe, however.

    - “Your inability to acknowledge it says more about you than it does about blacks” – I think I’ve shown you the flaws in your logic. The true beauty of America is you’re free to wallow in the pool of your ignorance and bigotry as long as you want – there’s no Adult Swim in Wingnuttia.

  4. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    - “Blacks receive 5.2 TIMES MORE welfare than whites” – I think you mean on average per person, and even then, I doubt your numbers, and you really can’t count the actual number of blacks on welfare that way, which was my original statement. Interesting attempt, though.

  5. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Actually, I’ve recomputed your data, and now agree that blacks received much more welfare, per capita, than do whites. Sorry.

  6. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Given the drop in the Dow today, I may also have to rethink my assertion that Obama is better than Carter or Buchanan. I’ll keep you advised.

  7. Mad Dog's mom on September 22, 2011 at 2:29 pm

    Mad Dog, honey, if you keep stealing names then I am going to have to revoke your Xbox privileges. Good Lord, did I ever raise a stupid son.

  8. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Mom! This is MY website! Please go AWAY! I can steal names if I want to, I think that it HELPS!

  9. NYAndy on September 22, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Easy. There aren’t a lot of conservative blacks
    Mikey

    Laughable answer, but nice try Mikey.

    It’s a well known fact that Obama ran as a strong fiscal conservative
    And yet blacks voted 96% for him.

    Obama promised to “cut the deficit in half”, he promised “net spending cuts” in October 2008, Obama promised to “go through our federal budget, …page by page, line by line, eliminating those programs we don’t need”. And, Obama promised a lot more fiscally conservative policy.

    So, those were are all very “Conservative” promises that Obama made
    And yet blacks voted 96% for him

    So either blacks are very conservative (96%) or blacks voted for Obama despite the strong fiscally conservative promises that he made in 2008.

    Hmm, I wonder why “non conservative” blacks would vote 96% for Obama when he promised to be very so conservative, cutting deficits and spending?
    Maybe it has something to do with his skin color? Nah, couldn’t be that.

    I think I’ve shown you the flaws in your logic. The true beauty of America is you’re free to wallow in the pool of your ignorance and gigantic distortions as long as you want. But the facts are still not on your side.

    Obama ran as a strong fiscal conservative and got 96% support from blacks

    Think about it, but try use some intellectual honesty this time.

  10. NYAndy on September 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    One more little item to ponder, Mikey.

    Obama ran as a fiscal conservative in 2008 and got 96% of the black vote

    But now it’s well known fact that Obama is a reckless, debt increasing, wild sprending spree liberal so the black vote 2012 will prove that I’m correct.

    Since the 2008 version of Obama promised very fiscal conservative policy, and got 96% black vote, then it follows that the 2012 Obama, who is now promising wild tax and spend liberal policy, should get significantly less % of black voters

    That is, unless the black vote is mostly based upon skin color, and not policy.

    Again, think about it but try use intellectual honesty and not liberal spin.

  11. Cain is unelectable on September 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    That is, unless the black vote is mostly based upon skin color, and not policy.

    More precisely, your cherry-picked examples of policy.

    Nice try, but you need to ponder more. Here is something to ponder: why do you feel that you can speak about and generalize the motives actions of blacks? Do you think that might arise from the same self-granted privilege that relegated black Americans to separate but equal drinking fountains? Ponder that.

  12. NYAndy on September 22, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    More precisely, your cherry-picked examples of policy.

    Laughable.

    Even Chris Matthews said Obama looked more conservative in the debate than McCain. Which is not hard to do, but still. Only an intellectual coward would deny that Obama ran as a fiscal conservative.

    Again, 96% of blacks voted for the fiscal conservative Obama in 2008.

    You have no answer for this.

    2012 will also reveal about the same % for Obama even though he is now running as a full blown liberal.

    But, I’m sure you find some way to spin that too.

  13. NYAndy on September 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm

    Do you think that might arise from the same self-granted privilege that relegated black Americans to separate but equal drinking fountains?

    Hey doofus, you do know that Jim Crow laws were from Democrats, right?
    but hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of whatever ridiculous point you were trying to make.

  14. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    “MikeyW” and “intellectual honesty” cannot be legitimately used in the same sentence. “MikeyW” and “not a single working neuron” are properly used in the same sentence, as is “Cain is unelectable” and “flaming douchebag.”

  15. Chief Caregiver, Happy Valley Home for the Feeble-Minded on September 22, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Please excuse the post by the putative Mad Dog’s Mom and then immediately followed by a post supposedly from Mad Dog. Both posts are from a patient here (really more of an inmate) named Robert. By accident he only got half his usual dose of meds today and–well, you can see the results. Sorry.

  16. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    Mom? Are you still here? Can you get me a Pepsi? I am too busy on the internet to go upstairs.

  17. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 4:47 pm

    Hey doofus, you do know that Jim Crow laws were from Democrats, right?

    Heh, heh, I like how you left out the “Conservative Southern White” part and left in “Democrat”! Good thing that they all vote straight ticket GOP now, or else we’d be screwed.

  18. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 4:49 pm

    Only an intellectual coward would deny that Obama ran as a fiscal conservative.

    We really need to get our story straight on this one, because I have been calling Obama a Marxist! Maybe the black vote always goes to fiscal conservative Marxists?

    MOM!!!!! Get me a PEPSI!!!!!!

  19. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    You have no answer for this.

    Maybe because you are being stupid?

    Just saying.

  20. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm

    But, I’m sure you find some way to spin that too.

    I like YOUR spin! Can I lean on your knee? Monkeys fly out of your ass and you make it sound intelligent!

    Well, sort of.

  21. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 5:00 pm

    Again, 96% of blacks voted for the fiscal conservative Obama in 2008.

    I LOVE you, NYAndy! My hero, The Ace, would also try to make them chase their tail disproving hilariously stupid statements such as this!

    Dance, NYAndy, dance! You are my new idol. Dance!

  22. Mad Dog on September 22, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    As the saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    Remember, Mad Dog always has the last word.

  23. Mad Dog's mom on September 22, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Mad Dog, honey, don’t flatter yourself, I think that they were making fun of you.

    Monkeys were flying out of that man’s ass though, that was funny.

    These darn corns, could you be a good son and come upstairs and help me put on my shoes?

  24. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    - “It’s a well known fact that Obama ran as a strong fiscal conservative” – Maybe it was the healthcare reform that threw them off. Or the promise to repeal DADT, or his pro-choice stance, or workforce equality, or the promise to let the tax cuts expire, or that social justice thingy, or help with school loans. You know, that liberal stuff that democrats tend to care about? Blacks care about that, too. Balancing the budget is pretty much a “don’t care” for most blacks. They’re not going to hate him if he does, and they’re not going to hate him if he doesn’t. Obama’s not a far left wing nut like some folks on this site want you to think. He’s pretty middle of the road, and blacks are cool with that.

    - “Obama promised to “go through our federal budget, …page by page, line by line, eliminating those programs we don’t need”. – Who could be against this? Why exactly would blacks be against this? You’re really struggling, here.

    - “So, those were are all very “Conservative” promises that Obama made
    And yet blacks voted 96% for him” – See above. I don’t know why you think blacks would be against balancing the budget or cutting the deficit – Clinton did it, and blacks loved him too (how’s that for consistency?). Blacks actually joked that Clinton was the first black president, not Obama. Republicans were the ones blasting holes in the budget back then anyway, with Medicare Part D, two wars, and massive tax cuts. The same republicans that are now screaming about the importance of fiscal restraint.

    - “So either blacks are very conservative (96%) or blacks voted for Obama despite the strong fiscally conservative promises that he made in 2008.” – You’re off base on two counts: 1 – Balancing the budget is not all that conservative – Clinton did it; 2 – So what – it was Obama’s liberal social policies that made him a democrat and made him appealing to blacks. All of the things listed above were way more important to blacks than reducing the deficit and balancing the budget. And bonus: Look at what the republicans were running: a guy that didn’t even know how many houses he owned. Give it up – there was way more to Obama than fiscal conservatism (which nobody on this site but you will maintain that Obama stands for). The question you should be asking is why did white folks vote for John McCain.

    - “Hmm, I wonder why “non conservative” blacks would vote 96% for Obama when he promised to be very so conservative, cutting deficits and spending?” – Because they didn’t care either way about cutting deficits and spending, but cared a whole lot more about his social agenda, which for some reason, you’re pretending that he didn’t have.

    - “That is, unless the black vote is mostly based upon skin color, and not policy.” – If you assume that blacks have some kind of problem with balancing the budget and reducing the deficit, which they don’t. They were in complete agreement with his social agenda, which no one on this site would say is conservative (except maybe you, because you are so married to the idea that blacks are too stupid to vote for someone that they agree with and will only pull the lever for someone that is the same color as they are. Even though I’ve shown you numerous examples of that not happening).

    - “Think about it, but try use some intellectual honesty this time.” – The irony is astonishing.

  25. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    - “Obama ran as a fiscal conservative in 2008 and got 96% of the black vote..” – So why didn’t you white republicans vote for him? Is fiscal policy the only thing you folks thing you consider when you vote for a candidate? I’m going to assume your answer is no.

    - “But now it’s well known fact that Obama is a reckless, debt increasing, wild sprending spree liberal so the black vote 2012 will prove that I’m correct.” – Well, actually he isn’t. Almost all of the debt increases that we’ve incurred under Obama came from Bush’s initiatives: Medicare Part D, two wars, the tax cuts, TARP. Obama was $1.3T in the hole before he was even sworn in. The only thing that Obama could really be nailed on is the Stimulus, of which about half was tax cuts. The rest of the hole came from lost revenue caused by the economic downturn. Other than the stimulus package, dem legislation under Obama was all paid for – he insisted. Something we never saw from the previous administration, or the pack of republicans in congress right now. Your ODS must really hurt.

    - “Since the 2008 version of Obama promised very fiscal conservative policy, and got 96% black vote, then it follows that the 2012 Obama, who is now promising wild tax and spend liberal policy, should get significantly less % of black voters” – As opposed the previous administration’s borrow and spend policy? Actually, Obama’s trying to jumpstart the economy through targeted spending on necessary infrastructure upgrades. Something you’d object to only if you don’t care if bridges and damns collapse – which you probably don’t. Blacks have no problem with this – as the republican alternative is simply tax cuts to the weathy, which in most cases will not be them. So again, your logic is terribly flawed.

    - “That is, unless the black vote is mostly based upon skin color, and not policy.” – And yet again, I’ve showed you why you’re logic is completely screwed – your assumptions that blacks care about things that they don’t (I think this is called projection, but I’m pretty sure you only care about it because it’s something to feed your ODS), and your total denial of Obama’s socially liberal policies (that they do care about), in a tragically weak attempt to make a point. But it is fun to watch you try.

  26. MikeyW on September 22, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    - “Only an intellectual coward would deny that Obama ran as a fiscal conservative.” – Which, again, is not why blacks voted for him. It’s also not why white republicans didn’t vote for him. Wouldn’t you agree? According to your logic, if fiscal conservatism was such a big deal to republicans, then all the white folks should have voted for Obama over McCain. But that didn’t happen, did it? Could skin color have something to do with it? Unlike you, I’ll give the white folks the benefit of the doubt.

    - “You have no answer for this” – Sure we do. 96% of blacks voted for the socially liberal Obama in 2008. And guess what – he’s still socially liberal.

    - Now give up on the strawman already.

  27. Mad Dog's mom on September 22, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    MikeyW, I am going out on a limb here, but I think that monkeys were flying out of Andy’s ass when he was flatulating randomly the motives of black Americans. Effluvium is as effluvium does, I always say. I wouldn’t waste time on Andy, nor on my good-for-nothing-stay-at-home son, Mad Dog.

  28. Mad Dog's mom on September 22, 2011 at 6:29 pm

    Oh, and MikeyW, Mad Dog always has the last word, and so I am sure he is going to plop a bowling ball turd right down on this thread.

  29. Mad Dog on September 23, 2011 at 7:00 am

    Obama failed because so many of his supporters were like MikeyW (sorry, Sky King, the nonveteran poster/poseur)–arrogant jerks who usually failed to wipe themselves.

    And once again mad Dog has the last word.

  30. Mad Dog on September 23, 2011 at 10:43 am

    That should be “fail”, not “failed”.

  31. MikeyW on September 23, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    Has anyone seen my tweezers? I want to jack off.

  32. Zachriel on September 24, 2011 at 4:22 am

    I’m still trying to get my arms around MikeyW’s assertion that the GOP winning three times as many “flip” special elections than the Democrats is good for the Democrats and Obama.

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