One-Term President

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

President Obama in January (2010):

“I’d rather be a really good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president,” he told ABC’s “World News” anchor Diane Sawyer in an exclusive interview today.

He isn’t the only person talking about him being a one-term President. In fact, it can be argued that he never saw himself as more than a one-term President whose only job was to enact what Bush couldn’t and keep in place Bush policies.

Indefinite detention? Check.

Obama said the government can crack down on terrorists “within the constraints of our Constitution.” He mentioned Guantanamo Bay detainees, contrasting their treatment with the prosecution of the 1993 World Trade Center bombings.

Obama agreed with the Supreme Court ruling last week that detainees in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have a constitutional right to challenge their indefinite imprisonment in U.S. civilian courts. McCain derided the ruling as “one of the worst decisions in the history of this country.

Give-away to Health Insurance Industry? Check.

It is true that a public plan was part of Obama’s health-care plan, and it’s also true that the public option was an idea being debated in policy-wonk circles during the campaign.

Off-shore drilling? Check.

Obama and McCain also clashed over energy policies. McCain accused his Democratic opponent of recycling impractical ideas by supporting a tax on windfall oil company profits. Obama criticized his rival’s proposed energy plan which called for an end to a federal moratorium on offshore oil drilling.

Close Guantanamo prison? Check.

Obama has been critical of U.S. detention policies and says too many prisoners languish in Guantanamo without fair trials.

End “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”? Check.

President Obama said Wednesday night he will work with Congress and the military to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that bars gays and lesbians from openly serving in the armed forces.

Truly. What has he “changed”?

I won’t post the reality of the Obama administration policies. That is not my purpose. I’m here to ask the question, did President Obama come into office knowing that he was going to be a one-term president, that his campaign promises were lies, and that he would spend that term to further Bush administration practices guaranteeing him only one term?

While everyone on the left talks about multi-dimensional chess, many have watched as President Obama jettisons liberal policies before negotiations even begin on legislation.  Single-payer and public option? Off the table from the start. Individual mandate? In the bill. Now, it’s offshore drilling to start with.

Many of us here saw the betrayal(s) coming long ago. So, it is with some amusement that I read comments at Daily Kos with people totally apoplectic over this newest betrayal. Even better is the front pagers who are scratching their heads after each betrayal.

What policy has President Obama instituted, what position has he taken, that didn’t lose him points with liberals and progressives? And, what has Republicans actually given him support on?

This is the biggest case of “kabuki theater” in American history unfolding before our eyes.

He supports a Republican idea, the GOP goes ballistic, Obama rallies DEMOCRATS to support the idea. Of course, THAT takes a whole lot of concessions to the conservative Dems while threatening the liberal Dems.

Then, in 2012, after shitting on his base for four years, Republicans win the Presidential election (watch, it’s coming), and, we get another four years of a Republican administration doing even worse than Bush (John Yoo will be back, Monica Goodling will be back, Bradley Schlozman will be back, just to name a few).


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  1. that would make a Republican President blush with embarrassment at its rank disingenuousness.

    This, of course, was AFTER doing the same thing with DOMA.  I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised, were there a law on the books making gay people literal slaves, he would defend it in court.

    The rationale is that the Department of Justice is obligated to “defend the laws” even if they are unconstitutional.  But this is both patently untrue and also we have a Department of Justice that has very little interest in enforcing or defending laws on the books, provided they have anything to do with bringing powerful people to account.

    We are rerunning the same shit over and over again with this administration.  How many times do liberals have to be hit over the head by a 2×4 before they realize they’ve been had?  And their own bigotries, where they exist, have enabled this to happen.  It didn’t matter when the gays were being run over by the Obama bus, if you were a liberal who just happened to believe that it was ok to run us over provided you got your way.  

    It was seen as ok to tell the homos to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up when many of my fellow heterosexual liberals thought they’d get all sorts of nifty goodies from the Obama administration.  I know of very few that took it as a bad sign of things to come for themselves, as well.

  2. that Obama’s intent was to willfully perpetuate the Bush policies, nor that it was his scheme from day one. He was coaxed into running based upon his superior oratory, and being not-Hillary.

    What I have come to believe is that he has no core convictions: he is easily swayed by his inner circle. While many would attribute his penchant for contemplating opposing ideas as being wise, I think he does so because he has no position of his own to proffer. Remember, we’re discussing a less than prolific state legislator and US Senator.

    The long term downside of a one term presidency is that we progressives/liberals/whatever will see a marked shift to right wing governance for decades. Jimmy Carter, Take 2.

  3. If America was a Parliamentary government and given the majorities the Democrats have in both houses Obama’s policies would’ve been enacted. But, with members of his own party working against him in the House of Representatives and with the ability of minority Republicans to prevent the passage of any legislation without a super majority is it any wonder that most of those policies haven’t been enacted?  Yes, its one’s right to be disappointed but given the nature of your government the  majority counts for very little.  

  4. mostly, when he states in an article published today, entitled, “Out-Republicaning the Republicans”…

    “It was Bill Clinton who recognized that the categories of conservative and liberal played to Republican advantage and were inadequate to address our problems,” President Obama wrote in his book The Audacity of Hope. “Clinton’s third way…tapped into the pragmatic, non-ideological attitude of Americans.”    

    Clinton’s “third way” was “triangulation,” a term and strategy invented by his pollster Dick Morris. Triangulation is a candidate’s attempt to position himself above and between the left and the right. A Democrat, Clinton insulated himself from Republican attacks by appropriating many of their ideas.    

    Obama is even more of a triangulator than Clinton.”  


    I would only take issue with one statement, the one about such a strategy insulating one from the attacks of the opposition.  The attacks on Clinton, and now on Obama, since the Republicans cannot fault them on their policies, take the form of outlandish personal attacks, immediately transparent to all but the most clueless dittohead.

    Although this may sound cynical, in a sense, I think Clinton and now Obama may welcome the attacks, which provide some useful cover and distraction.  Many Dems, upon seeing seeing “their guy” so viciously attacked, misdirect their energies toward defending him, forgetting to level valid criticisms, of which there are many.  No wonder the corporate media is front and center on this effort, now, as well as during the 1990s.

    To read more, go here.

  5. How temporary must a Chief Executive be feeling when he doesn’t even bother to change out the last guy’s office furnishings?  

  6. Obama is shaping himself up to be a disastrous one-termer, the fraud who perpetuated his evil predecessor’s atrocities.  It’s obvious he’d rather be a “mediocre” one-termer than a good two-termer.

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