Obama Strains to Get Liberals Back Into Fold Ahead of Vote

Without offering regrets for policy choices that have angered liberals, President Obama is arguing that the Republicans are far worse.

Comments: 125

  1. Remember what Molly Ivins once wrote: "I have voted for candidates who were teeth-grindingly awful simply because they were an eyelash better than the other guy." Hold your nose and vote, folks.

  2. Obama's blown THE opportunity of a lifetime. A huge disappointment. The admin's made its bed, now it's probably "nap time". Brought it on themselves. Sad.

  3. As much as I despise Republican Presidents, I do admire how they are smart enough to take care of their political base. Democratic Presidents apparently think they can take their base for granted while seeking some mythical bi-partisanship with people who hate them and would not cooperate with them on a cure for cancer. What is up with that? Why the need for acceptance from the enemy? Why the disdain for the base? Paging Dr. Freud....

  4. As a self-professed whining liberal, I don't need President Obama to tell me to vote Democratic. I am one of the few fortunate citizens to have a true Progressive (Maurice Hinchey) representing me in Congress. Unlike Obama, Hinchey would rather be a fighter who sometimes fails (at single payer health care, for example) than a politician so afraid of failure he doesn't even throw the first punch.

    I will continue to criticize Obama's pro-corporate, right of center policies - but that doesn't make me an enabler of Republicans and their Teabagger offspring. I resent that the President equates such criticism as an enthusiasm gap. Maybe if he had fought harder for what he promised in his campaign, he wouldn't have this problem. Just who is doing the whining?

    So-called voter apathy is simply a straw man Obama has erected to blame for his own dwindling popularity and expected Republican gains. Instead of criticizing his base, maybe he could try hurling a little more invective in the right direction - and by that, I mean the nihilistic, loony far right direction.

  5. Americans have poor memories. Obama just needs to do is remind Democrats what it was like under Bush. He can't be vague, he needs to be SPECIFIC.

  6. Give me a break! Obama is finished. Over. A total loser. He has ruined the USA. Get rid of him. He's a total joke now!

  7. "The left has nowhere else to go." This is Bill Clinton all over again. Well, you may get your support this time, Mr. President, but sooner or later we will build a mass movement that is both democratic and socialist. So far you are "President Disappointment" to many of us.

  8. "Stop whining!"--so what if the banks got all that taxpayer money, then turned around and bought up other banks, refused to loan to small businesses, and merrily raised credit card interest rates through the roof.

    "Stop whining!"-- so what if you lost your house, even though we Democrats passed a lame housing preservation act that doesn't help that many people anyway. All those people who have no homes just are not looking at the alternatives.

    "Stop whining!"--so what if I sold you out on health care, with no public option (you know the strongest tool to get pricing down) and no revocation of the anti -trust exemption, which if removed would have reduced premium rates by 10%. So what if the "reformed"--read: rearranged chairs on the deck of the Titanic--health care law is just a windfall for healthcare companies.

    JUST STOP WHINING!

    Well, start governing like Democrats who care about instituting real reform in those above mentioned areas. Then we'll stop. Until then: SEE YA!

  9. Do these polls consider where the person resides? If you live in a district that has 80% registered Republicans, and you are a registered Democrat, your vote won't matter anyway. Your vote only matters regarding the local issues on the ballot, and if the polls indicate that a certain ballot proposal is supported anyway, then why vote. Perhaps that is why some people say they aren't voting.

  10. Obama told us every day that he ran for President & every day that he's been President that The Republicans are the bad guys.

    Meanwhile, since he's been in charge, his party - the supposedly "good guys" - have done more damage to the middle class and poor than any liberal wants to admit.

    We got hoodwinked into thinking he was the real deal.

    Never Again.

  11. As a proud left-wing extremist (so to speak), let me say: I am not done complaining, but I am also not going to sit this election out. If the publicans (I use the King James terminology) lose this one, what do they do then? After a brutal assault on the middle class and united antagonism to the economic interests of their country---all perpetrated for short-term political gain---what do they do if that political gain fails to materialize? Think about it. Because if they win, all those assaults will (in their eyes) be vindicated, and multiplied.

  12. Obama's been a huge disappointment: Bush3 civil liberties record, lack of focus on the economy and unemployment, and eagerness to capitulate to lobbyists and replicans. My vote means absolutely nothing in my redneck state, but if it did, I would chose to sit out and let the Faux News crowd take over the country and let them take us back to Bush-Cheney years just to spite the idots presently in the White House.

    Enough of the teleprompter president.

  13. What is missing from this article about the enthusiasm gap is that it is not primarily about Democrats versus Republicans. It is about analysis versus emotion, about the head versus the heart. That is much of what energizes the passion of tea party adherents. The Democrats have never really understood this dynamic. The Republicans, after the Goldwater debacle, learned the lesson well.

    It is also about stodgy and boring versus outrageous and entertaining. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi inspire exactly no one under thirty, certainly not the way the President did. As politics and campaigning have become more and more a spectator commodity, where texting and tweeting are considered grunt work, the more flamboyantly extreme candidates, such as O'Donnell, Angle, and Paladino appeal to the many folks hooked on on television "reality" shows. Politics is not simply entertaining, it has become entertainment.

  14. What a disappointment Obama has turhed out to be as president.

  15. This shows how stupid Obama is. We liberals supported him from 2007 onward, not because we thought he was liberal, but because we thought he was intelligent. He has proved he is neither.

    This country needs a fundamental turn to the Left. We veered to the far Right 30 years ago - and there has been no counterbalance since. As Alan Greenspan said: "Clinton was the best Republican president of my lifetime."

    But Obama has changed nothing. He tinkers a little here, a little there. His campaign was run on "change" but he has been a president of, by, and for the Establishment. And that Establishment has failed - failed miserably in every area that matters. Our foreign policy is a joke; we are jerked around by tiny countries. History will show we fought & lost two wars against third-world, third-rate countries in the last ten years.

    Our economic policies are devoted to giving everything to rich people, and the middle class has been destroyed. Obama did nothing here. He gave away the public option on health care in secret negotiations with the health care industry. He refused to give us jobs programs like the WPA & CCC - instead he offered tax cuts to business. His stimulus was only half the size needed – typical Obama weak tea. He did nothing on the environment or immigration.

    The country is dying, & we needed critical care - strong, intelligent leadership, and new, intelligent policies. Obama has given us nothing but a continuation of the old. And that's the reason we liberals despise Mr. Obama.

  16. Because what? That the liberals have some kind of choice between technocrat Obama and the most ignorant, irresponsible and corrupt Republican Party that anyone can remember (and that's saying a lot)? OK, fine. Stay home and sulk. By the way, they're hoping you'll do just that.

  17. Liberalism is what makes America great. Liberals care about the plight of less unfortunate Americans. For the liberal minded voters to stay out of this mid term election, the return of the Republican Party in control of Congress is assured. Who would want that in view of what they did to the nation under George Bush.

  18. We support you Mr. President. As a person whose family was denied health insurance simply because we were having a child, I salute your hard work on the health care issue. Thanks for carrying the water for the weak and powerless among our citizens.


  19. Mr. Axelrod believes independents simply vote against the majority party?

    Independents only vote against the majority party when they feel like the majority party has abused its power.

  20. "White House strategists are counting on Mr. Obama to energize, cajole, wheedle and even shame the left into matching the Tea Party momentum..."

    The irony, lost on the Obama administration, is too much for me. Obama cajoling, even SHAMING the left that elected and was then betrayed by him, is counted on and encouraged.

    And why are is the left so dissapointed with him? Because he refused to cajole, wheedle or shame the conservatives and instead chose to meekly capitulate to their demands to the point of gutting the very reforms he was elected to enact.

    And now he has the gall to be personally piqued at the left?

    And suppose the left supports him in November, then what? Thanks for your votes but don't expect anything in return because Obama is too concerned about his hopeless pursuit of bipartisinship? No thanks.

    Why doesn't he simply go and get the votes of all those conservatives and Republicans who he endlessly, pathetically appeased by discarding his campaign promises to the people who actually voted for him. I'm sure Olympia Snowe and Chuck Grassley will be out there fighting for him.

    Fool me once...

  21. Well, President Obama is 500% correct, the Republican alternative is far worse..The once proud party of Lincoln, Eienhower, & Rockafeller has been replaced with the likes of Michelle Bachmann, Jim DeMint, Tom Coburn, not to mention Republicans' countless bizare senatorial candiates this year, etc....The current republican party is one that is purging all of its moderate members leaving only an extreme far right brand of social conservatives & tea partiers...

  22. "At the end of the day, whatever issues we have with what the White House says, we can have that conversation on Nov. 3.”

    I won't hold my breath. Obama seems to have closed his ears to the base to date, I am not convinced he'll open them up any time soon, whether Dems hold or not.

    This notion that "liberals" are low in number needs to be interrogated. Why is this the case? I think no one is effectively articulating progressive ideas in a way that people can grab onto something solid. There is SO much solid progressive work to be done in the 21st century, and it feels like we are running out of time.

    IMO, Obama is setting us back by not using a strong, to-the-point voice and actually leading the country. Way too hands-off with Congress. Speeches are too wordy: We're not all lawyers or academics. And for Pete's sake, humane ideas from the Left are nothing to be ashamed of! It is SO appalling that we have devolved into an angry, reactive country.

    Buck up? I'm gonna grit my teeth and vote democratic, of course, but not because I am "bucking up." Wow, what a way to win my vote: tell me that the alternatives are worse? You didn't think I could figure that out on my own?

    No more hope I guess. So Obama team, what are you thinking that your legacy should be? "We were the least offensive option"?!?!

  23. People are tired and disgusted. The collapse of the treasury under Bush Inc., is still not fully understood politically. Obama took over the controls is a nose dive and managed to bring up the nose before it hit ground.

    These smart guys on Radio, the ones who say things like "Standing up for America", get rich on false economics, false history and false expectations.

    Lets hope there are enough people who vote their conscious mind and not sleep walk in a trance of daily propaganda financed by the faceless corp. gods and their servants.

  24. I'm a proud liberal and have had my share of disappointments with President Obama, but I am highly enthusiastic about making sure that the Democrats keep and perhaps even expand their majorities in Congress. Progressive change is always a long, hard battle, as President Obama warned us repeatedly during the 2008 campaign. And we have had some major successes in the battle to recover our economy and soften the blow of the Bush Recession on the middle class, working class, and poor, on health care reform (no more pre-existing condition exclusions for one), Wall Street reform (a consumer protection bureau), student loan reform ($68 billion going to students rather than banks), and credit card industry reform (no more changing your interest rates on past balances). And, all of this was achieved in the face of historically unprecedented Republican obstructionism.

    Yes, significantly more progress is needed in the future. But the way to achieve that is to aggressively fight to win the November elections and then push the Democratic majorities to do more, not to sit on our hands and let the Republicans turn the clock back to the failed policies of George W. Bush.

    www.winningprogressive.org

  25. A vote for the Democrats is the worst possible alternative -- except for everything else. My Democratic Congressmen in VA11 has dome everything short of asking for Obama's birth certificate. He's for extending the tax cuts to the wealthiest 2% because somehow 3 trillion more in debt is prudent in his mind. And yet, I will hold my nose and vote for him because the alternative is neo-fascism. But oh please God deliver unto us a real reasonable alternative so that we can send all these clowns home.

  26. I'm bad, but I'm better than the option. Isn't that what wife beaters say to their victims?

  27. The alternative is disturbing....Joe Miller the bright Tea Party (TP) hopeful is running on a platform to eradicate the minimum wage. Doesn't 85% of Alaska's population earn a minimum wage?
    Then there is Nevada's Sharon Angle who confessed to a Tea Party candidate that the Republicans have no principles. She is right about tthe latter. But,ouch, biting the hand that feeds you. Oh yes, she and Ken Buck would like to eliminate Social Security, too. Everything is "unconstitutional"( people will start believing they are experts if they keep invoking the Constution). And then there is the star of the TP Rand Paul who said that civil rights movement and laws should never have been implemented. And the Grand Master of the TP, Sen. De Mint stated that gays and single women should not be teachers!(In case our children get immoral ideas). And then there is secret agent O'Donnell ( and witch by night) who was "privy to secret information" about China taking over America. And of course NY's 'mafia' Palladino routinely emails porno and racist material. And boy if he gets mad, run!
    Seriously, who will vote for these disillusioned, self absorbed and deeply paranoid fools???

  28. Obama had to try for bipartisanship -- it gives him political cover to then go ahead and do stuff. have you every heard the term "crazy like a fox?"
    Bill Maher had a great line last week about how hard it is for Obama to get credit for stuff; the disgruntled left really, really needs to get over it because the alternative truly is too ghastly to contemplate!

  29. Liberals will probably vote "anything but Republican" for these midterms, but come 2012, we expect actual choices in the primary. And there may come a time when "anything but Republican" does not mean Democratic.

  30. More families are being torn apart by ICE agents under Obama's supervision than Bush. Meanwhile DEM. could had stopped this whole thing on the first year, voting for a Comprehensive Immigration Reform, now it seems that the propaganda from the far right its getting its momentum and no one wants to even mention it on this side of the aisle...
    It was Bush who “socialized” the Banks not Obama, why Dem, do not talk back when they can? Bill Clinton never left them win on the scream game. Maybe Obama needs to hear from the old charismatic boss how to go about dealing with the GOP

  31. Count me out this year and probably 2012 for the record. Obama has failed to get us completely out of Iraq, while escalating the war in Afganistan. He bailed out Wall Street and ignored the needs of the working and middle class. He compromised the healthcare bill to such a degree its questionable whether it will improve much of anything. He has been arrogant and aloof from the people that made his election possible. I will waint untill 2016 before I cast another vote. By then the oppoutunity for a real progressive to win will be there. After the Tea Party influenced Republican party bottoms out the country with their tax cutting feed the rich policies alienate the country even more than Bush in 2008. OBama will match Carter as a one term failure of a President.

  32. All we wanted, Mr. President, was for you to lead us to a different place. A place where education was valued, where infrastructure was going to be rebuilt, and where health care was going to be available for everyone. Oh, and where the tax policy was going to be fair.

    Instead there's been a great deal of equivocation. Plain and simple. "Well we'd like to but we can't..."

    The country wanted to move, wanted to change, and this opportunity was tossed aside in favor of a kind of Rockefeller Republicanism.

    Historic opportunity missed, Mr. President. And it ain't comin' back anytime soon.

  33. President Obama, I am one of many who worked on your campaign. Listened to your promises, expected you to work for change you can believe in. I believed you when you decried the wars, the secret meetings, the influence of special interests. I was heartened to hear you stood for the need for a "public plan" in Health Care Reform, along with a host of other stated objectives. Today, I read of Daschle's confirmation that the Public Option was taken off the table at the outset of negotiations. He claimed that needed to happen in order to get "stakeholders" to the table. The American citizenry are not stakeholders? Only corporations have a "stake" in affordable health and well-being? The other rub: You, Mr. President, continued to say you were fighting for it. We all know now that this was a lie. You have expanded Bush's warrantless wiretapping, expanded illegal extraditions, have expanded prosecutions of whistleblowers, reversed yourself on Telecom immunity. Pledges, promises, statements to do one thing followed by betrayal after lie after failure.
    You seem much more eager to please republicans, while you and your administration repeatedly deride "the left" mock "hippies"d, voters are "f-- ret--ded". It seems to me, and many progressives who did, in fact hope for change, it seems our hopes are an illusion and the change we get is in the wrong direction.
    So, we get to vote LOTE.
    yay.

  34. I was a huge Obama supporter, and contributed to his campaign many times, but scolding "liberals" for only "checking in" with our support is insulting. Support is a two-way street.
    As a gay American still waiting on action on Don't Ask Don't Tell, ENDA, and the Defense of Marriage Act, none of which I now expect the Obama administration to actually act on, I've been continually disappointed by my President. He once described himself as a "fierce advocate" for gay rights. But from his first actions as President-Elect, singling out Rick Warren during inaugural ceremonies, to his governing philosophies, repeatedly "reaching out" to the right-wing, the corporations, Wall Street and the banks, it's hard to be enthusiastic about helping the Democrats get re-elected.
    I understand that the Presidency is not all-powerful and that the President does not rule by decree, but had he just attempted to achieve some of the goals progressives and liberals hoped to achieve, our attitudes would be much different. Perhaps after a drumming in November, Democrats will remember that it was their base of young, liberal, gay and union voters who put them in control of Washington.
    But just "checking in" with your disaffected base in October of an election year doesn't cut it. It's your actions while governing that I pay attention to.

  35. H.C.
    Resign your present post and commence an effort to snatch Obama out of the White House.

  36. Obama has displayed himself as a unstrategic compromiser, and has regularly failed to take principled stands from the inception of his presidency: he did not have the DOJ conduct a serious and full investigation into what was apparently a widespread violations of the law in the name of national security, propped up the banks but did not demand reform, etc., etc.

    As (in many but not every way) a classic liberal who was an early and ardent supporter of Obama financially and otherwise, at this point I would find supporting him to betray my principles - let's hope that the Dems suffers significant losses and there is a shock to the party - we need a new figure - one both more principled and and more strategic - to enter the fray - perhaps through a third party . ...

  37. If the Democrats cared about the people, they would have gotten rid of the fillibuster and passed a pure jobs bill stimulus, real health care reform, and real financial reform, or as close as they could come with 50 plus Biden. Instead they've given us a dog's breakfast and told us that we have to vote for them because the Republicans are so much worse. Though true, it's not a very compelling argument.

  38. Apparently, the consensus on these pages is that the president should run against George Bush. That works fine in Fantasy football, where the 1984 Chicago Bears can play the 1965 Green Bay Packers. Unfortunately, that's not case here. The argument of 'we're incompetent but they're worse' might sway the base, but few others.

    Happy November, liberals. Just not this one.

  39. I'm positive that when push comes to shove, liberals will show up at the polls in November. The problem is that Obama's centrist, corporate-and Wall Street-friendly approach has failed, and will continue to fail regardless of whether the Democrats hold the House.

    This was not the time for half-measures, and supply-side lite policies. Obama and Bernanke restored the banks and the corporate elite to health - but ultimately left the rest of us (and especially the unemployed and under-employed over fifty years of age) to whither on the vine, dependent on the kindness of strangers. And now everyone is ticked off, even the unrepentant fat cats he restored to health.

    Barack talks about us bucking up - but maybe it's time for him to instead grow a spine. Because for an alleged Chicago politician, he sure governs like a narcissistic wimp to me. Dude came to a political knife fight armed with one of his 2008 campaign posters rolled up to resemble a club. Where's Sean Connery's character from "The Untouchables" when you need him...

  40. When one-party rule only represents 20%, how can they think the other 80% will not be voting just to stop their ideology?

    What a tragic moment in American history as we flip to NOT-Bush43 to NOT-Obama when all we want are real jobs, a safe place to live, and federal and state governments that are competent and pragmatic.

  41. As a life-long liberal Democrat, I recognized during the primaries what Obama was and would be as President. Even though I "hoped" for the best, he has surpassed my most negative expectations.

    Obama is Dubya 2. A corporatist through and through. Someone who believes assasinating US citezens is a-okay, and claims "state secrets" as to the reason.
    According to Pelosi, Obama had the opportunity to push for single payer, and it would have gotten through, but he didnt bother to lift a finger. Now we're all faced with higher premiums and the insurance companies are loving them some obama.

    Wall Street? Banks? Lovin' them some Obama. Guantanamo? Iraq... a shell game.

    Never vote for personality over principles. Never vote for empty suits. Never vote for the inexperienced. Never vote for someone who had to be dragged over the primary finish line by the DNC/RBC. Never vote for anyone who bribes Super Delegates. Never vote for anyone who talks about "getting in their face", or "they bring a knife, we bring a gun". when encouraging their fans. Never vote for anyone who uses the "racism" accusation willy -nilly or whenever anyone criticizes them.
    In other words, never vote for snake oil salesmen.

    I wouldnt vote for Obama even if I was his VP running mate.

  42. I wonder if Obama realizes that liberals spelled backwards is slarebil and I wonder if the liberals realize that Obama spelled backwards is Amabo. And there lies the problem. The problem with the liberals is that while they believe they are the progressives, their programs actually are taking the country backwards in the direction of socialism and the welfare state, two failed forms of government intervention in national economies. Even the Chinese who had been the Chinese communists now have become the Chinese capitalists (actually fascists).

    Obama who rightly can be called Amabo because he has done more twists, turns, and spins from prior political positions that it is hard to predict which way he will turn, whether he is Obama or Amabo.

    Obama and Amabo have succeeded in the rare achievement of alienating just about every interest group in the country that had previously supported him or only disliked him, ranging from liberals, to centrist Democrats, to independents to moderate Republicans. The only people who now like him are the right wing Republicans and conservatives who like him for essentially destroying the Democratic Party's hold on Congress.

  43. It's very difficult to see all of Obama's accomplishments when practically the entire media is owned by right wingers who have no interest in having Americans know about these things.

    When Obama held a huge rally in the midwest last week, which got 26,000 Wisconsin students (there were only about 17,000 in 2008, so this is big) it was hardly covered anywhere. there was a mention in the times, and the event itself was not on one single news network. it was not even on c-span 1... it was hidden deeply away over on c-span 3.

    The fact is that even though the republicans and blue dog democrats watered down much of what obama wanted to do, he has accomplished a lot to save us from the disaster that was about to happen as a result of bush and what the republicans have done to us, squandering so much of our money with all that deregulation, two unnecessary wars, huge borrowing sprees to give tax breaks to just a few hundred of the richest billionaires...

    It's true, that obama should have been going up against the bad guy republicans from day one, like FDR did... because most americans have no understanding that 60 was the new 50 in the senate and the republicans have had just enough power in the last two years to pretty much stop every single thing of any real value from ever making its way through congress.

    So now he will pay the price for being too much of a centrist. I'll be voting for the democrats this November, but yes. I will not deny how disappointed I am with how well the republicans have kept really good things from happening, and how democrats didn't stand up for themselves enough.

  44. A little late for Obama to wake up and smell the coffee.

    How about being out there and working on behalf of his agenda everyday. Instead, he let Fox news and its paid staff (currently on many ballots) seize the agenda and define him.

    If he had thrown his weight between issues from the public option to the a vote on letting the Bush tax cuts expire for the riches.

    We don't just need a smart leader, but someone who is a strong and visible leader.

  45. "Americans have poor memories. Obama just needs to do is remind Democrats what it was like under Bush. He can't be vague, he needs to be SPECIFIC."

    Bush - Obama ... one and the same.

  46. Criticizing your base does not increase votes. Most liberals are turned off by the hypocrisy and condescension of the president saying we should vote for Dems simply because the Republicans are worse. Instead of using blaming rhetoric, the president should be honest and explain to voters that he intends, after the election, to discuss ways to reduce Social Security benefits and that he plans to choose a corporation CEO as his new economic advisor. Then voters would have some real reasons for voting for or against these policies.

    The basic reason for Dem voter apathy is anger and disappointment at all the broken campaign promises and all the pandering to big business and big finance that the White House and Dem leaders in Congress have been doing. The Dem party will be gradually destroyed if its leaders claim that its reason for existence is to be a lesser evil. It's important for Dems to vote, but after the election, it will be essential to raise the level of liberal pressure on the president, who will surely try to move even further to the center-right in order to appease the more numerous Republicans.

  47. To (#6) what planet do you live on. Are you kidding me? President Obama has done more for this in two years than President Bush did in four. It's really no comparison. It's hardly President Obama fault for the precarious state of affairs when he took office. We were facing one of the worst economic situation this country has ever faced since the Great Depression and largely do to the steps that the Obama Administration took that crisis has been adverted. Obama a joke? President Obama passed health care reform something that has allude many of his predecessors. He passed Wall Street reform setting up a consumer protection agency so the American People would not foot the bill for unscrupulous business practices. He responsibly ended the war in Iraq. He has repair international relations with our partners and forge new friendship with other nations. President is pragmatic, eloquent, thoughtful and compassionate. No (#6) quite to the contrary President Obama is a serious man. America is facing real problems and we need real leaders to solve them and I feel quite comfortable with President Obama at the helm. President Obama has not done everything I would have liked him to do and sure in hindsight he could do a lot of things different. But given everything that has transpired with the Bush Administration I am glad to see someone who utterly qualified for the job and not looking to blame other but solve problems. (#6) President Obama is going down in history as one of the most powerful president in modern times. I am talking FDR in terms of the policy initiatives and JFK regarding his popularity and how he will be viewed by the American People.

  48. "As a person whose family was denied health insurance..."

    The good news is you can't be denied. The bad news you have to pay the insurance companies what they want or the government will fine you.

  49. Oh, sure, it's the election season...
    Where is our liberal base, anyway? Let's just pick it up, dust it off, and push it to the polls. November 3-rd, the base can be put away again. With their nonsense liberal issues. Far away. Until 2012.
    What a shame.

  50. We know what we are fighting for: effective, responsive, humane and responsible Government. One that's capable of adapting to changing circumstances or failed policies (tax cut, anyone?). The GOP Elite know that too.

    The major difference between the parties? Republican voters know EXACTLY how their representatives will go about it. To motivate us Democrats you have to tell us how you (and the Congress) are going to FIGHT to get our program enacted. We had a 60 vote majority in the Senate, as well as control of the House. It’s impossible to comprehend how 40 Senators could stop us, no matter how loudly they shouted NO. Time for us Democrats (Independents welcome too) to step up and put them in their place. Tell us how we’re going to make it happen.

    Reduce the party of NO to irrelevance. Republicans are of a single mind, enforced by ruthless attacks on anyone who even questions the dictates of the most powerful. Since they've decreed opposition to everything other than their feeble ideology, bipartisanship is now a moot point. And don’t stop working to hold what we have, but aggressively work win more seats.

    Let's elect senators and representatives that will be more Democrat than DINO or Blue Dog. The Republicans need to be reminded that in 2008 they were resoundingly REJECTED by the MAJORITY of Americans.

    Democrats are like Cats, Republicans Lemmings. Time to go herd some Cats, before the Lemmings get at our granary. Forget the past, no apologies, we MUST know NOW what you are going to DO differently starting November 3rd.

  51. The stock market always does better under a divided-power structure. Under those conditions (whether it is Republican President and Democratic Congress or vice-versa), the laws that are passed are more centrist and therefore better for the country.

    I will be voting to ensure a divided power structure. I have lived in Chicago too long to see the negative impacts (primarily corruption) from a single party system.

  52. To (#6) what planet do you live on? Are you kidding me? President Obama has done more for this in two years than President Bush did in eight years. It's really no comparison. It's hardly President Obama fault for the precarious state of affairs when he took office. We were facing one of the worst economic situations this country has ever faced since the Great Depression and largely do to the steps that the Obama Administration took that crisis has been adverted. Obama a joke? President Obama passed health care reform something that has allude many of his predecessors. He passed Wall Street reform setting up a consumer protection agency so the American People would not foot the bill for unscrupulous business practices. He responsibly ended the war in Iraq. He has repair international relations with our partners and forge new friendship with other nations. President Obama is pragmatic, eloquent, thoughtful and compassionate. No (#6) quite to the contrary President Obama is a serious man. America is facing real problems and we need real leaders to solve them and I feel quite comfortable with President Obama at the helm. President Obama has not done everything I would have liked him to do and sure in hindsight he could do a lot of things different. But given everything that has transpired with the Bush Administration I am glad to see someone who is utterly qualified for the job and not looking to blame others but to solve problems. (#6) President Obama is going down in history as one of the most powerful presidents in modern times. I am talking FDR in terms of the policy initiatives and JFK regarding his popularity and how he will be viewed by the American People.

  53. We will be he ones who will suffer more.

    Vote Dem or face the last 8 years all over again.

  54. "The Republican position is far worse".
    Is that so? Then howcome Obama has not only continued the Bush policies but intensified them--more torture, more renditions, more drone killing of civilians, more wars in more countries. He has not fulfilled one promise he made during his campaign, not one and in fact has made things worse. And he steadfastly refuses to restore the Glass
    Steagall Act. And the global disrespect and hatred has only intensified also.So good riddance to bad rubbish.At least with the
    Republicans there's no pretense. I have always voted Democrat. Not this time.I really don't care anymore.But the Dems are toast.

    iS THAT SO/ HOWCOME oBAMA HAS NOT ONLY C9ONTINUED THE bUSH POLICIES BUT INTENSIFIED THEM,MORE TORTURE, MORE 5R4ENDITIONS, MORE WARS IN MORE CXOUNTRIES. sORRY, AT LEAST WITH THE REOPUBLICANS YOIU KNOIW WHAT YOU;LRE GETTING. aND i HAVE VOITED DEMOCRAT ALL MY LIFE.

  55. Far right-wing Republicans didn't vote for middle of the road Republicans. The Republican party responded and moved further to the right.

    It's time leftist Democrats learn something from the tea-partiers. If we loudly withhold our votes for watered down centrist Democrats, even if that means losing an election or two, the Democratic Party will have no choice but to move leftward.

    Let's not let them take us for granted!

  56. I'm 77, white, former Independent voter who is very happy with President Obama, his vision, his goals and can't stand Republicans or traitors to the President they voted for!

  57. Why would anyone vote for a Crusading Marxist who air raids villages killing innocent Muslim civilians while expanding his unjust War into Pakistan, who happens to be our ally.

  58. Actions, not words.
    We realize Obama's worst nightmare is his base not showing up at the polls, and he should be worried. What has he done to inspire? Maybe, at least, if the dems are voted out the republicans will make things so freaking bad that people -Again!!!- will demand some real progressive action.
    Obama blew his chance. He had the royal flush of electoral victories and could have/should have been moving forward to be one of the greatest presidents. Now he's a little nervous that his supporters are disappointed that he bought the republican's bluff. TOO BAD. Whatever his disappointments may be, ours are worse.

    There is one word Obama should be most afraid of, though: Dinkins. He's on the road to having his entry in the history books - "First black _____". Period, full stop.

    And now, all he can do is threaten us with a return of the country to the evil party. Not good enough.

    Get off yer keister and go earn another victory or accept your defeat!

  59. I may hold my nose and vote for my blue dog congresswoman because her opponent is so extreme. However, my greatest hope is that the Democrats will run someone other than Obama in 2012. He has failed not only the liberals but the country. There are only so many times that one can hold his nose and vote for the lesser of two evils before just giving up. The Democrats have had only one good candidate since Lyndon Johnson, Al Gore, who had the election that he won stolen by a partisan Supreme Court.

  60. We can vote for a moderate Republican like Obama or an even more corporatist Republican. After voting for change and getting a moderate Republican I'm supposed to hold my nose and vote. My enthusiasm knows no bounds.

    Seriously I'd love to vote for a non corporatist, even if they can't win. I like my Senator and Representative and will vote for them, but look out in 2012.

  61. So, the Obama argument is that don't vote for the blind guys but for the one-eyed. Is this a joke? Is this argument the best that the ivy-league educated President can come up with? Is he not happy about the legislative achievements of health care, and Iraq withdrawl he did? We don't need weak leaders like Obama.
    It is time for change, Yes we can!

  62. I'm a life-long Democrat. After witnessing Obama's lack of leadership and the bumbling of the Democratic majority on Capital Hill, I'm not sure if we would have been any worse off with McCain as president. While I will vote in November, it's only because I view it as my duty. My ballot options are dismal. Despite Obama's many promises, I don't expect any of the elected officials to work for the good of the country or the middle class.

  63. A Message to all RATIONAL liberals, independents and conservatives: If you can't muster enthusiasm to vote FOR the Democrats, then muster it to vote AGAINST the Republicans. That's what I did in 2008, and I'm going to do it again in November. I remember how in 1968, Democrats were disillusioned and many sat out the election, and that's how Nixon got in, leading to the bombing of Cambodia, college riots, the murder of students at Kent State, Watergate, etc. And Nixon was a GOOD Republican compared to what these militaristic plutocratic puppets of the super-rich are like these days. In the name of all that is holy, PLEASE VOTE AGAINST THE REPUBLICANS IN NOVEMBER and tell your friends to also before they destroy what's left of the country that they haven't destroyed as yet!

  64. I am a registered independent and I voted for Obama--happily. Can you imagine what kind of a wretched mess we would be in with McCain and Palin in the White House? Shivers.

    Think back just 2 years. The Republican's put Palin on the ticket. McCain of 2000 was just a shadow--completely gone to the dark side.

    Would we have healthcare reform? Where would we be in IRAQ?

    Washington is a mess of petty politics. That is what politics has become. We need to have the stamina to stick it out and keep the Dems in power. Bush the 2nd had 8 years to screw us--why would we give up after only 2 years?

    VOTE Democratic!!! VOTE VOTE VOTE

  65. No, in fact, the Republican alternative ISN'T worse -- but, alas, it isn't any better EITHER!! It doesn't matter WHO you vote for, because they are all in the pocket of the wall street bankster crooks!

    Kurt

  66. I want a muscular, take no prisoners left. I want a left that, when the righties scream socialism! concerning single payer health care, taxation, global warming, corporate interests, gun rights, military spending says: "SHUT UP AND SIT DOWN! You didn't elect me and I DO NOT represent YOUR interests!"

    Izzat happening with the so called Democrats?

    They don't have the courage.

    But, uh, yeah, I'll vote for them over any righty. And I will vote.

  67. Here we go again; Obama blames the Republicans while his administration ruins the country - NERO FIDDLES AS ROME BURNS

  68. Voting AGAINST the other guys is supposed to be THEIR tactic, isn't it?
    Is this really the "change" we voted and fought for?

    I want my base to get pandered to, or at least acknowledged, for a change.

  69. I'll whine , scream and do what ever until the President and his Attorney General do their SWORN DUTY to arrest George W. Bush and Diick Cheney for the war crimes and torture programs, as REQUIRED by their job descriptions.

    If you can't take the heat he shouldn't have applied for the job.
    I'm sick and tried of Presidents that think the constitution is Just a piece of paper, when they cry contract law out the wazoo when it suits their personal agenda.

    As of now he's the non-performing actor in this contract dispute.

  70. I'm really tired of having to choose between the lesser of two evils. Even worse, it has come to be a truism that if a politicians lips are moving, they're LYING--so you can't even be sure you know what anyone REALLY stands for anyway.

  71. this liberal is still with you. always hoping for more, but i realize that i do not live in a country that thinks like i do.... you have my support and you have my money.

  72. Maybe liberals just realized that liberalism is bankrupt and that Obama, the Liberal in Chief, bankrupted it, and they do NOT believe that the Republicans are worse. As a matter of fact there is NO ONE worse than Obama, no one at all.

  73. As a longtime registered Independent, I am taking a good look at the Green and also the Libertarian candidates while hoping that somewhere, somehow we have a viable third party before 2012.

    BOTH parties are so intent on power and money that I have no use for either one. BOTH parties have driven us into the ditch. BOTH parties have forgotten that Congress is supposed to represent the people, not the big businesses and their interests. BOTH parties will lie to get your vote and promise to do better if they are reelected.

    Cynical? Darned right. After 50 years of voting, you get that way when you see the results - and it doesn't seem to matter which side wins.

  74. Never again! Obama will not get my vote nor any of his side kicks...he ran from his base, so now the 'base' has gone for good!

  75. for TOWN DOG CATCHER, I will vote for Obama. As a staunch liberal and long-time Democratic, I enthusiastically voted for Obama for President only to see him morph into George Bush light. I fell for Obama's wonderful campaign speeches about how he's going to change Washington. After that CON JOB, there's nothing that he can say now that I would believe. Fool me once, period.

  76. Far worse than what? 10-25% unemployment, which is what we have now, depending on your socio-economic group, failing schools, debt in the name of TARP, helping millionaires to get richer while the poor get even poorer. Give us a break Obama! We gave you a true chance, myself included, and YOU screwed it up by focusing on a political issue (healthcare)for MONTHS while the economy burned to the ground. Nice work. We won't be wanting an encore. Pack your bags, grab Pelosi and Reid and hit the bricks. There's a university somewhere that needs a "Professor of Rhetoric", hopefully in Tunesia!

  77. >>Mr. Obama told Rolling Stone magazine that Democrats “need to buck up” because it would be “inexcusable” for them to stay home. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. told a fund-raiser recently that the base should “stop whining and get out there and look at the alternatives.”<<

    So the new Obama Mid-term Slogan appears to be: "Quit yer whining, and vote for us because we suck less than the other guys!" Uhh, good luck with that, Mr. President.

  78. Don't vote for my opponent because he is worse than me? Man, that is WEAK.

  79. Obama lost me when he had his lawyers succesfully argue in Federal Court that an innocent, tortured man's suit for compensation should be COMPLETELY DISMISSED solely because it may divulge national secrets.

    Put it down in the history books that it was not until a Constitutional scholar became President that we intetionally rendered our courts no better than Russian courts.

    The man is very bright. Now if only he had a spine.

  80. I don't know how progressives are going to make any gains if they don't go out and knock the wind out of the Republicans' sails. The Republicans need to be run out on a rail - then the blue dogs will need to either step up to the plate or look for a different ticket to run on. Quit your whining and get out and vote or we'll end up in Iran and with no gains whatsoever in the next two years, and you'll have only yourself to blame.

  81. Both Roosevelts, Theodore (Repubican) and Franklin (Democrat) came before the public with guns blazing against the so-called conservatives. Theodore lost the battle, Franklin hit harder and won, for a while at least.

  82. You forget that the democrats controlled congress the last 2 years of the Bush administration. I blame them for the collapse and Bush for letting it happen. Obama took a bad situation and made it worse by increasing the duration of this recession. His policies have been pro big business and anti small business. The corporations are sitting on piles of cash that they got for almost nothing from the current policies. Small businesses have received squat. Without the goose, don't expect a golden egg. Will the republicans change things? I hope so or we will continue our slide into a third world economy.

  83. Left to speaking to 8th graders who yawn in his face with boredom and at backyard barbecues with 23 people Obama hasn't a snoball's chance in hell of changing what is going to be a Democrat rout in November.
    Will he blame it on George Bush? We will wait to see what his teleprompter says.
    This is a President with absolutely NO compassion, no emotion and unable any longer to connect with the American people.
    One time he caught lightning in a bottle now he is left to drinking out of a bottle thinking about the destruction he caused accross America and the world.
    We are fed up with Obama and Democrats.

  84. It's truly amazing how Barack "Jimmy Carter" Obama ran such a brilliant presidential campaign, yet now seems utterly clueless as to what this country wants... His current game plan: "Go on MTV! Tell college kids and minorities to get out the vote", even though there is a solid history of these groups not turning out in mid term elections is pathetic. It's over... the republicans are going to steamroll in November.

  85. I feel like all I've ever done is voted for the lesser of two evils. With one exception, I had the honor of voting for Senator Wellstone.

    It'd be nice to actually vote for someone I really appreciate and think represents my political positions. Unfortunately, such a person would not be in the pocket of corporate interests, and as such would never get the funding to have a credible candidacy for any national level office.

    I believe in democracy and will continue to vote, but its starting to feel like a sham and a lie.

  86. Sounds like a losing strategy. How about he instead end the Iraq/Afghanistan war, end the CIA's program of bombing Pakistan with predator drones, stop indefinitely detaining people without due process, stop ruthlessly prosecuting whistleblowers who just want to expose government corruption, stop trying to assassinate citizen's of the United States and trying to shield his administration's law breaking from judicial review by using the states secret privilege, close GITMO, prosecute Bush administration law breakers who tortured people, prosecute those responsible for misleading the public on the Iraq war, make sure Blackwater is shut down and no longer receiving government contracts, etc.

    In other words, how about he actually do something that meaningfully would improve this country? He screwed up fixing the economy and didn't pass a big enough stimulus package, so his hands are tied on that for a while due to Republican and conservative Democrats stonewalling legislation. But this other stuff he has control over. Foreign policy and civil liberties are things he has total control over and can work on to win liberal support. Claiming Republicans are more scary or that Democrats are the lesser of two evils is a horrible, cynical strategy that hopefully fails miserably.

  87. The Obama crowd wants you to believe that if the Dems are shouldered to the rear at the golden trough this coming election, all hell will break loose.

    What’s the difference; Pelosi or Boehner? Both serve the same feed masters—for that matter so does the whole establishment.

    Stay home and cultivate your garden.

  88. Wow! After reading the eighteen angry 'left-wingers' rants above, do they also have a short memory? WE have had thirty (I repeat thirty years) of hard right conservative republican rule)..Thirty folks.
    Did you really think that in 20 months a president with 59 votes in the US Senate could turn it all around the way you want it to be?
    The US House did repeal DADT, they did pass comprehensive energy reform, and with a Democratic majority they could pass immigration reform and enact ENDA. A Democratic majority would end the Bush tax cuts and fix social security. I guess the liberals in this country are as impatient and as entitled as the tea party folks and the white anglo-christians that sit with Karl Rove to rehash history.
    Well at least the GOP goes out and supports their leaders--they elected Bush twice!
    It's a tragedy to read what the writers have on their minds. It sounds like they thought it would be easy. Maybe the conservatives are correct, you'd rather complain than fight the good fight. No modern president is perfect, teleprompters or Mrs. Reagan whispering in Ronnie's ears. The question is where does the left think it is going to go; and where do they think the country would be now if they would have had this attitude in 2008 and McCain and Palin were running the country?

    It's a very sad day in America; I am almost more sad now than when Bush won in 2004. Liberals are cry babies--I want a better country too but I vote and give money and like Republicans I support my guy in the Whitehouse. Democrats in this country are just sore losers, worse yet they are just wining whimps...as Rome burns.............

  89. the opening words of the NYT article say much about the President. "Without offering regrets..."

  90. Obama's problem is that he campaigned as a moderate progressive, but governed as a moderate conservative. Actions speak louder than words, and the sense of betrayal is probably great enough that any amount of pleading isn't going to help Obama in the midterms. Were this a presidential election, and were people faced with a choice between Obama and one other person as president, people would probably hold their noses and vote, as many liberals did for Clinton in 1996. However, this is a midterm, and Obama doesn't have a direct opponent. Instead, he's fighting proxy battles that are between two other candidates, and these he is more likely to lose.

    Guantanamo, after all, is still open. Warrantless wiretaps, instead of being ended, have been protected and expanded. The health care bill was closer to what Republicans have advocated in the past, despite their opposition this time around, rather than to what Democrats wanted. The financial reform was an industry sell-out. Obama is wrapping up Iraq on Bush's timeline, except that he's giving the situation there less attention than Bush ever did. Obama has dithered on Afghanistan, and when he finally made a decision, it was to implement a new version of Bush's surge. Despite learning from Bush how not to handle a major domestic disaster, Obama dithered for weeks on the Gulf oil spill, and then left several different government agencies to squabble over who had jurisdiction. Obama's promise of government transparency has transformed into an administration that is every bit as secretive and tight-lipped as Bush's ever was. Yeah, Obama can make the argument that he's better than the alternative, but when his governing style is mostly indistinguishable from Bush's governing style, it's hard to accept those words.

  91. His stated charge was to "change the way Washington works" and all he did was fall right in line with the way Washington has ALWAYS worked. What a complete sellout. He does not deserve anything from left. This is especially since he has gotten snippy with the left over single payer and their "unrealistic" expectations. The left's unrealistic expectations of this President are based on his speeches and promises which sound more phony with every passing day of this administration. Do the right thing, concede your nomination to Hillary in 2012. But no chance right? Ego before country... self before true liberalism... maybe the next time the Democrats having a sweeping mandate (in 20 years or so) they will finally learn. Congrats to the Blue Dogs, with any luck, most of them lose their seats anyways and they stop hijacking legislation. I'd rather have 100 true liberals in congress rather than 200 spineless corporate sellout Democrats.

    Here's an idea for congress: 25% Tea Party, 25% Moderate Republican, 25% Democrat, 25% Liberal (not to be confused with Democrat). Coalition government like the rest of the world uses... real compromise and real work.

    I'm sick of picking between Coke and Pepsi.

  92. If Obama had stood by his position on the public option and had worked to bring Blanche Lincoln around to his position, he would have retained more support from the liberals and she would have had a chance of being elected. If Obama had stood strong by choice and made clear to Stupak and company well in advance that he would not be played and would primary those he needed to, Obama would have retained more enthusiasm from women and Stupak who was good on other issues would still be in the House. Yes, we have a big tent -- but there are many ways to reduce the number of abortions such as making contraception readily available and providing for children which do not involve denying a woman's right to choose.

    You cannot mollify liberals with speeches -- it is policy choices which matter. Don't expect to ell the same promises twice. Indeed given Obama's current record he should not expect to be able to sell any promises -- only actions will be believed.

    So liberals, hold his feet to the fire -- get out there and work and donate for other liberals and trash and ignore Blue Dogs and appeals from the center for money and votes for those who have shown they will desert the party in a pinch.

  93. Anyone who wants to claim to be a Liberal but sits out this election, better be ready to understand that the only "L" title they will be able to claim will be LOUSE. If you think this president hasn't been "good enough" for you, then get ready for a couple of years of gridlock and pompous gas from Boehner, De Mint, and McConnell. If you loved the Bush/Cheney years, you have a treat in store for you. Given the two thirds rules that prevail in Congress, this administration has leaped tall buildings just to pull in enough votes to accomplish what they have. Throwing in the towel now, will only prove to them that they are right. And we know they are (extreme) right. With the help of the Roberts court, corporate power is already pushing itself into positions of power previously unknown. If big secret money wins because petulant "Liberals" sit on their hands, maybe we deserve what we get.

  94. Sit out this election and run the risk of seeing Sarah Palin elected in 2012?!?!? Good God, NO. I love my children too much.

    The big mistake this president made was expecting that the Republicans would do what was right for the country. Instead, they became the party of "No" and tried to ignite a race war - all to fund the next Wall Street bubble. They are a disgrace.

    As for Congress, there simply is no leadership. Pelosi and Reid expected the president to use them as whipping dogs, and they refused to take control of their respective houses and tame the opposition. They are cowards without vision.

    I'm surprised Obama was able to do as much as he did, given that he had little to work with and inherited the biggest mess since the Great Depression.

    I've got news for all of you disappointed fence sitters: This country's condition took decades to create and will not be fixed in a year or two. There is a man in the Oval Office who is probably the best person for the job to come along since Roosevelt. He's not polishing the "shining city." He's repairing the plumbing, pouring concrete and doing a host of unglamorous, if filthy, jobs. He's taking on all the jobs no one else wants because he cares about this republic more than he does reelection.

    Don't condemn him because everyone else in Washington is too stupid or cowardly to do the right thing.

  95. Obama has done good things since getting into office but he turns out not to be a leader. That's unfortunate, because he doesn't get the credit he deserves. I will vote for him of course, because the opposition is too awful to think about.

  96. Does President Obama really think "Whaddaya gonna do, vote REPUBLICAN?" is a sound strategy for victory? Of course not. As many commentators have pointed out, he's just setting up the fall guy in case it's as bad as predicted: the hippies. As if I hadn't lost some measure of respect for Obama after key leadership failures (throwing the public option under the bus, "turning the page" on, even adopting, the worst of Bush's military and intelligence crimes, burning up the sheets with the special interests he so mendaciously lambasted during his soaring "rope a dope with hope" campaign...uh... even I didn't expect this parenthetical to be so long)...whatever.

    Obama is spitting on his base. Or, at least, his margin of victory. That's about as un-"hope" ful a posture as I can imagine. He really drew the shortest straw in '08 with so many problems. But he failed miserably to capitalize on the real populist anger out there. To blame the hippies makes me lose respect for him.

    The bottom line at this point is that if it's revolution the GOP wants, it's revolution they're gonna get if they keep it up. It's what Jefferson suggested -- does that Founding Father know best?

  97. NO! I will not vote yet again for Democrats who lie about what they will do when elected.

  98. Waiting for a third party choice with a real change of direction.

  99. So Obama's sales pitch has now been reduced to "vote for me, I'm not Republican". When I was promised Change You Can Believe In, never did I consider that I would be handed chump change for the mid-term. Fooled me all right, because I voted for for him in 2008. But he will not fool me twice. No thanks Barry, I'm crossing back to the GOP.

  100. The choice before us is clear : Let the GOP deadlock congress so that nothing can pass or give another Dems another shot and more time. Ihe GOP has no motivation for economy to recover, they benefit from the nation plunging into ruinous depression so that they have better chances in 2012. The Dems want to succeed at recovery. This country is facing several of the greatest challenges over, no president, including Obama is going to solve everything by the 2nd year. By some measure he has accomplished more in 2 yrs than even Bill Clinton in 8yrs.

  101. Obama fails abysmally as a leader, and political strategist. End result: people from both sides detest and, maybe more important, don't respect him. He seems to have no bedrock principles that can't be bargained away because, after all "the end justifies the means." I detest Obama now and feel completely suckered by the bait and switch pulled when he went from campaigning to governing.

    I will not vote for Obama again period.I am tired of being told I should be grateful because of the Bush comparison. I need him to be positive, forward moving, and express passionately held principles which, elections be damned, are worth fighting for. Tragically, Obama is not that fighter; he has been revealed to be weak and not up to the job. If and until he learns to lead, this will be a failed presidency-to our great misfortune.

  102. On the other hand, remember what happened when naive feminists dissed Sen. Gary Hart for his libidinous behavior. They got Ronald Reagan, and the breaks were soon applied to reproductive rights. Vote or be damned to Rovian Hell.

  103. Obama never ran as a liberal. Audacity of Hope was the most centrist book ever written. Hilary Clinton is also a centrist. We never had a liberal candidate..I don't know where some of these recollections come from...but they are way off. One thing for sure, if any progressive agenda is going to move forward, it's up to the congress and that is what this election is all about...It's the congress Stupid. The conservatives are running on fear and hate..certainly that is one thing the left can agree on...and to surrender congress to them undoes everything.....everything from civil rights to the economy. The young Obama presidency has been harshly prejudged by a frustrated country who expect him work miracles in less than 2 years. What we have seen is the true dysfunction of our government, and a bright and talented leader stymied by the local lug heads in congress.

  104. So Obama wants me to vote for him again because under his "leadership" my life will just be chronically miserable as opposed to profoundly horrible under Republican rule? So my choice is between bad (Obama) and evil (Republicans)? Forget it. Both of those options suck.

    I see no difference between Democrats and Republicans other than the tone of their propaganda. The end result is always the same no matter which party is in power -- the little guy (95% of us) always loses.

    Kucinich and Nadar -- these are true American leaders who have our nation's best interests at heart, and they have my support.

  105. I recall President Obama warning everyone who would vote for him, there was no magic bullet, that it would take time to get our country out of the terrible situation Republicans got us into, a war costing nearly 5,000 American lives in Iraq, where my youngest son has served on 2 tours that included a helicopter crash. Total rape of the middle class by crooked corporate traders and special interests groups. I don't know if there's ever been a Republican I'd vote for plus a goodly number of traitors to Obama included.

  106. The ONLY reason I will vote Democrat this fall is because the alternative is so very very very horrible. But that doesn't mean I think Obama has done a good job. Right now he's calling me rich, because my husband and I went to college, went to grad school (still paying off the loans by the way), got respectable professional jobs (finance and market research). We bought a house, which cost a million dollars here in the Bay Area. Last year we paid nearly 100K in taxes, including AMT. This year? Well, we're both unemployed and right now we make $450 a week in unemployment benefits while we look for new jobs. Oh, and we pay $1500/month in COBRA and our childcare costs $1700/month (because you need child care to look for and once you find a job). Yeah, we're sooo rich. Gimme a break!

  107. C'mon lefties, buck up. He's right, you know. It's not a perfect world and you can't get everything you want. If you sit on your hands this election, the Mitch McConnell and the Tea Party wins. Would that make American a better place?

  108. Wheres our third NATIONALIST PARTY?A pox on both parties.The Democrats will not respond to their electorates wishes.But when Israel talks they are like Pavlovian dogs.

  109. Don't Get Testy With Me.

    Mr. Obama, stop it. We gave you the biggest majority in Congress in years and you couldn't do anything with it. Where is the Johnsonesq jawboning? HE would have rammed things through!

    What happened to the public option? What about the torturers? What about the executive-order assassinations? What about the knee jerk support of Bush era lawsuits in the courts? What about the lawsuits of innocent torture victims? They have as much right to special treatment as 9/11 victims. What about unemployment? What about LGBT rights?

    I don't want money - that is what Republicans and Tea Partiers want. I want you to do something for me in the form of legislation. So far it has been one big disappointment.

  110. The GOP is worse, except maybe it is not.

    My congressman is B Frank, the person responsible for the socalled finance reform package, which is just garbage - 2000 pages of regulations the banks will find a way through in about a week

    Barney has, for the 1st time in years, a serious GOP challenger, Sean Beilat. To me, as a liberal, Barney is bad, cause he is a pseudolib, someone who talks big, but doesn't acutally do anything, and Sean is 10X worse - a rightwing wack job.

    But if we get Sean in, maybe he will repulse the voters, so two years from now we can get a REAL liberal, unlike Barney, who is funny and sarcastic, a great standup comic, but he is not a liberal.

  111. ks (107) "Right now [Obama]'s calling me rich, ...We bought a house, which cost a million dollars ...Last year we paid nearly 100K in taxes,"

    So you made several hundred thousand dollars a year. Well, that makes you rich. I am astonished at the people rolling in money who declare that they're "not rich."

    It would do you good to be poor or even middle class and see what money actually means.

  112. Obama has been far too cautious and accommodating. What's the point in "bipartisanship" and "compromise" when what the opposition wants is to see your head on a stick, literally, in some cases? Note to Obama: you need to say to the American people, "this is who I am, this is what I stand for, this is what I'm going to work toward and try to achieve," and let us decide at the ballot box in terms of voting for congressional reps who will either resist or advance that agenda.

  113. I'm an unabashed, non-whining liberal, and a life-long Democrat. But, I am disappointed in President Obama. I forgive him for omitting the public option in health care and giving us really a corporate-controlled, Republican-style bill. What I can't forgive his his total legislative inaction on the Bush tax cuts for the rich, the expensive and useless war in Afghanistan, and, most importantly, absolutely nothing on the economic front to create jobs for unemployed and under-employed Americans. The people at the bottom have always been the true base of the Democrat Party and they have been abandoned. The President could have pushed Congress to act on these fronts after his stirring Labor day speech in Milwaukee and he didn't. Yes, I'll vote for Democrats, but I'd much rather have a fourth party on the progressive left not only to balance the ultra-right-wing Tea Party, but also to force the President and his fellow Democrats to move a little further toward the progressive left. That is where the energy is that got him elected, but he's consistently refused to give us the incentive to release it.

  114. Moderates are disaffected not because Obama is too "liberal" but because he is incompetent at administration, and is not a leader. A leader knows what his objectives are, and is adept at espousing his worldview and persuading others to make it theirs.

    Obama has no worldview. He simply strutts around, convinced that his intellect is all that he needs. He is wrong. And the Democratic Party was wrong to nominate him. And the American electorate were wrong to elect him President.

  115. Yep... back to good ol' Democratic principles: "at least we're not the Republicans."

    It was nice to briefly be able to vote for candidates I really thought would implement liberal policies in 2006 and 2008, rather than just voting for candidates who aren't delusional megalomaniacs. But here we are, back to Clinton and Bush era Democratic campaigns. The Democrats - we may stink, but at least we don't stink as bad as the other guys.

  116. Let’s not forget that spending is controlled by Congress, not the President, and that both then-Senator Obama and his fellow Democrats were actually controlling Congress for the last two years of the Bush administration. Further, Obama himself voted for most of the spending he’s now complaining about. He voted for spending on the Iraq war. Obama also voted for the TARP/auto bailouts that came at the end of the Bush administration, both of which Obama and his fellow Democrats wanted to make bigger.
    And since becoming President, Obama expanded the CHIP health entitlement. He passed the “stimulus” spending spree (the largest single spending bill in American history). He’s also signed into law a number of other costly bills that have now inflated the current budget deficit up to $1.75 trillion.
    That’s over 4 times larger than the roughly $400 billion budget deficit Bush left office with.
    Put simply, what Obama is complaining about is a problem he himself created.

  117. So obama is imperfect. I look at him as a transition president. Our political culture, language and constructs are dominated by conservative thought. Just being liberal is thought of as a pejorative. The only way this can change is for democrats to stay in charge for a while. Then gradually things can start to make sense. If we keep flipping back and forth every election, the playing field will remain basically republican. Obama's imperfections are a reflection of political reality. Remember Clinton with his "triangulation". He may have outflanked conservatives but he still couldn't be openly liberal. Democratic Presidents have all practiced their own version of a liberal don't ask, don't tell. Some are just better at it than others. Obama is clearly not very adept, either with policy or language, at mastering the subtleties necessary to outflank his opponents. Whatever, it is a bad idea to give up on him if we want to see a cultural change.

  118. Obama has turned out to be a good looking, fast talking empty suit, which would be ok if he were not president of the United States. The Republican alternative worse? Maybe, but not by much. If ever there was time for a third party (really just a second party because both Democrats and Republicans are so beholden to corporatism and militarism), it is now!

  119. This is one republican that can't wait to vote.

    What do you expect when:
    1. Democrats pass bills without reading them.
    2. Unemployment goes up and up.
    3. Bail out and own a BIG car company.
    4. Bail out and own Insurance companies.
    5. Apoligizes and bows down to Dictators.
    6. Race relations so bad that white people feel guilty for being white.
    7. Calls policemen stupid.
    8. Blames others for his failures.
    9. Passes a health care bill that no one wants.
    10.First day in office signs order to close Gitmo in one year, it's still open.
    11. Foreclosers, need I say more.
    12. Not taking the Tea Party seriously which is now close to 30% of the population.
    13. Won't secure the borders to protect americans due to political reasons.
    14. Talks to a telepromter instead of talking to the american people.
    15. Takes vacation after vacation.
    16. Goes golfing every Sunday instead of going to church.
    17. Drags his feet on the golf oil spill.
    18. Runs up debt to the highest level in history.
    19. Shoves his socialist agenda down the throats of American people.
    20. Gives us slogans instead of solutions. Hope and change, summer of recovery, laser light focus on jobs.

    Yeah we ant more of that. Democrats your chickens have started roosting.

  120. What doesn't Obama get? The people HAVE looked at the alternatives and have found that the alternative is preferable to his agenda. And they'll vote accordingly. This whole myth that people need to be educated to understand the magnificance of his "accomplishments" is condescending and demeaning. It shows just how out of touch liberals are with the majority of the electorate.

    Obama is a disaster. His leadership skills make Bush II look like Vince Lombardi. And November 2 will be a bloodletting of his making.

    We'll let the NY Times can spin it however they like.

  121. Obama did not understand that he had to be in campaign style all two years for selling his policies to the general public. Many years ago, I was to make a presentation to Stanford university committee when my boss told me that they all knew me I had a Ph.D., all my colleagues knew that I had a Ph.D., but I still had to "sell" them my solution by presenting "what is in it for me?" I never forgot that. Obama depended upon his "smart and brilliant" policies but forgot that he had to continue to sell them to the public. Why was health plan good for small business should have been told before it was passed. How will his tax plan help middle America and small business should have been presented long time ago. And he forgot that his promises were made before the economy stared bleeding and he had to stop that hemorrhaging first. We all know that it could not have been done in 18 months but a focused attention to that would have shown that he cared about hurting people - not just the unemployed but the middle Americans and students and women, etc. He was too much committed to his course defined before the seas were calm but needed change of course when a hurricane appeared. And all this became worse because there were menacing Republican pirates anxious to sink his ship. This is where experience does matter. It may be late but he needs to focus on this election like nothing else matters. His priority and only one should be this election. be specific about how his policies will help average American, not broad generalities. Focus, focus, focus.

  122. Oh, and here I thought Obama *was* the republican alternative.

  123. Don't vote. It only encourages them.

  124. We Liberals need to grow the hell up and realize our President was handed a country that was burning out of control.
    He did a great job putting out the fire but he still has a ton of work to do and he needs our help.
    The best way for you and I to help the man is to guarantee he isn't saddled with an ignorant, immature, neo-confederate controlled Congress.
    Let's give him a Congress that doesn't believe Bill Gates needs a tax break but that means we have to grow up, and hunker down.
    The hole left in President Cheney's wake was like the Grand Canyon.
    It will take time to fill in just be patient, be adult, and be united.

  125. The past two years have been worse than disappointing for us progressive Democrats. They have been disillusioning and confusing. Who can we trust? Where should we turn?

    The answer to these questions MUST NOT be apathy or a misguided third-party movement. Our only hope is to work together to strengthen the Democratic Party, make it more progressive, and elect and re-elect Democrats who are not only as smart as Obama but more courageous, more progressive, and more willing to stand up and fight for what we believe.

    This is the only alternative to endless defeat and powerlessness. This is the only viable way to save our country from corporate plutocracy and insane, selfish, right-wing anarchy.