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After Syria Policy Debacle, Obama's Hold on Congressional Democrats Weakens

One of the consequences of the White House’s Syria debacle is President Obama’s weakening hold on his own party. Assad is not the only person who is less afraid of the American President this week than last. We don’t seem to be hearing much about immigration reform or the Democrats’ other legislative priorities. And Larry Summers, the President’s choice for the next chairman of the Fed, is among the possible losers. The WSJ reports:

Lawrence Summers’s prospects of becoming chairman of the Federal Reserve next year dimmed Friday, as an important Senate Democrat signaled that he would vote against the Harvard economist, should President Barack Obama nominate him to lead the central bank.

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana, considered a political centrist, joins at least three other Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee who are expected to vote against Mr. Summers if he is nominated.

The White House will have to find a way to restore its political authority or we are in for a long period of weak presidential leadership.

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  • Fat_Man

    “we are in for a long period of weak presidential leadership.”

    We have already survived 5 years. We will live through 3 more.

    • bpuharic

      Perhaps we’ll then elect another alcoholic failed oilman who lived on daddy’s money, and got us into the longest wars in US history while presiding over a Wall Street buyout of the economy

      Wouldn’t that be awesome!

      • Banjo12

        What an ignoramus! It’s refreshing to see it in such pure form.

        • bpuharic

          Just out of curiosity…do conservatives EVER have any rebuttal to an argument other than an insult?

          I don’t mind insults. It’s what you guys do.

          But was Bush an alcoholic? Yep. Was he a failed oilman? Yep. Was he bankrolled by friends of his dad? Yep.

          Did he get us into war in Iraq? Yep. Did the biggest depression in 80 years happen on his watch? Yep.

          Your response?

          WAAAHHH!! He’s telling the truth! You guys don’t have much more maturity than a juvenile delinquent.

          • Banjo12

            I shouldn’t feed a Soros troll, but okay.
            Obama used and sold cocaine and other drugs in his college years where his grades were so bad they had to be hidden. Bush is a recovered alcoholic, and more power to him for that. I know left-wing atheists don’t believe in redemption, but the rest of us do. Obama was subsidized — “bankrolled” as you would say — by radicals like Bill Ayer, the true author of his bestselling book, black politicians and Arab money. They got him into elite schools where he wasn’t expected to perform, only look good for diversity reasons. The rest of his career has been much the same. And let’s not get into his time as Bathhouse Barry.

          • bpuharic

            Great! Then he has something in common with Bush, who you guys call a success story.

            And funny Obama wasn’t a legacy student like George was. And didn’t get us into wars like George did. And didn’t bankrupt the country like George did.

            But you guys say Georgie was a success.

          • Fat_Man

            Slorry bup. I don’t feed trolls.

  • Jacksonian_Libertarian

    America has been here before, 30 some years ago Americans were being held hostage in Iran for 444 days, but within hours of Ronald Reagan being sworn in as President, they were all unconditionally released. America will endure, and as providence has shown time and time again, America will emerge stronger than ever, having learned valuable lessons.

    • cubanbob

      I fervently hope you are right but I don’t see any Ronald Reagan’s in the current Republican lineup.

      • Corlyss

        I know. Me neither. My consolation is that I think even Reagan would not be elected the way the nation is going now. Too many people want free stuff.

        • bpuharic

          Reagan’s too left wing for today’s conservative movement.

          Free stuff? Like TARP, Romney’s FDIC bailout, and other welfare for the rich?

          • Corlyss

            “Reagan’s too left wing for today’s conservative movement.”

            Probably true. He was not a social conservative, the kind that unfortunately dominates the primary process.

            “Free stuff?”

            Pick your poison, B. You don’t like bailouts for companies that keep people working. I don’t like bailouts that allow shiftless, no-account free-loaders to bleed the system dry because the policy makers keep expanding the benefits to people who don’t deserve them and piling more and more entitlements onto a system that is already bankrupt morally, spiritually, and fiscally.

          • bpuharic

            Bailouts for companies that keep people working?

            We bailed out the financial sector. We’re down 8 million jobs.

            Shiftless freedloaders? We already know you hate the middle class and think we exist just to protect the rich.

            Bleed the system dry? Mitt Romney got more welfare money in 1 check than a hundred welfare recipients get in a lifetime. At least the working poor WORK for their money while the rich keep taking more and more while giving less and less

            Between 1997 and 2007 the financial sector DOUBLED its percentage of profit as a share of all corporate profits

            We experienced the deepest recession in 80 years.

            How’s that job creation thing going?

        • f1b0nacc1

          Before Reagan we had Carter, and the knashing of the teeth and rending of garments was loud in the land….
          Before we had Lincoln, we had Buchanan, and the drums of war grew in volume with each passing day…
          In both cases, we had terrible presidents who led us into a dark time in our nation’s history. In both cases, we expected that the problems were beyond our control, and that the outlook was bleak. In both cases, we saw no real hope that any of the candidates to replace these nonentities had any hope of restoring hope.
          My point…you never know what the future will bring…

          • Corlyss

            Very poetic, Scott. IMO the struggle between the payers and the takers that is looming closer with each passing day, regardless of which party is “in charge.” It is every bit as intractable and bitter and unsuitable for compromise as the slavery issue proved to be. I also foresee armed conflict, not on the same scale, but violence nonetheless, as the only way to “clear the air” so that there is an unambiguous winner and loser. It will not be resolved with anything short of a substantive transformation of the American culture and society analogous to that which the civil war produced.

          • bpuharic

            As Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz has pointed out, as has Michael Kinsley, the middle class is the makers while the financial class are the takers. Folks like Mitt Romney live on tax expenditures and bailouts while the middle class is barely making it

            But the Rush (PBUH) classic of right wing extremists now running the GOP fits the class definition of fascists; obsessed with ensuring inequality to the maximum degree possible, they want to ensure the US becomes the best 3rd world country in the world.

          • f1b0nacc1

            Sadly enough, I suspect that you are right, though I do hold hope that when that dark moment comes the Lord (who seems to love America…) will send us another Lincoln rather than the Buchanan we have now.
            Change is coming anyway, as the disruptive technologies that rob power from the middlemen and put it back in the hands of those that create in the first place become easier and easier to obtain while they do more and more. The hordes of takers may find the ground shift beneath them before they are able to do much about it….

          • bpuharic

            Hmmm…Buchanan never killed the leader of an enemy’s organization like Obama did to Bin Laden

            But the right ignores that. They have a narrative. And it can not be changed by mere facts.

            Hordes of takers? The greediest takers in US history was the Wall Street class that sucked 19 trillion in equity, 8 million jobs and 800B in TARP money out of the economy in 1 year

            But we can’t mention that, you see.

            They’re rich.

          • Corlyss

            I certainly mentioned it in one of my responses to you. Come out of your tiny sound-proof room, B.

      • Banjo12

        Ted Cruz is looking pretty good, but then I thought that about Marco Rubio for a while.

    • Corlyss

      I don’t doubt the nation will survive. My question is “will it be a place I want to live?” I’m extremely doubtful.

      • Boritz

        Right. There will definitely be a place on the world map labelled USA.

      • bpuharic

        If America falls it will because of the extremist right that destroys the middle class and turns this country into the best 3rd world country in the world

        • JLawson

          In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s the middle class that’s taking it in the shorts from all the ‘help’ Obamacare’s providing.

          As a member of the middle class, thanks a fucking heap, asshole.

          • bpuharic

            No, I haven’t noticed. Details?

            Oh…and how is the middle class doing when they lose their healthcare when Wall Street blows out their company? They doing OK?

            I can’t help it you’re a Rush (PBUH) bot.

          • gitarfan

            Please don’t feed the one trick pony troll.

          • JLawson

            Yeah, I can tell. Can’t think beyond bumper-sticker length talking points…

            Sorry. I’ll let you folks continue beating him like a pinata. (Not that he seems to notice…)

  • Beauceron

    Haven’t you been reading Slate and Salon or listening to the WH? All along this was a brilliant plan hatched by the President himself, and Putin fell right into the trap. Andrew Sullivan has dubbed Obama “Machiavellian”. No one plays the complex chess game of international politics like our President.

    So, contrary to this caustic article, I rather think even the Republicans will fall in line after our President’s awesome display of trickery.

    • bpuharic

      Yeah you’re right. We should have just gone to war.

      That’s always done wonders for our foreign policy. Iraq turned out SO well

    • Banjo12

      It is pitiful that you rely on Sullivan for analysis. Better you should listen to his “husband.”

      • bpuharic

        Says a guy who gets on his prayer rug and faces the Excellence in Broadcasting network 5 times a day to pray to Rush (PBUH)

    • B-Sabre

      I think you mis-spelled that last word there. It usually starts with a “d”.

  • USNK2

    It is a sign of extremely poor judgment by the Obama WH that Larry Summers is even under consideration for Chairman of the Federal Reserve, solely on the basis of Summers’ erratic temperament, totally unsuited for what is a concensus, and confidence building, management position.

    • bpuharic

      I agree that Obama has been an abject coward WRT Wall Street

      Of course, the right has spent the last 30 years making the rich so rich that no politician finds it worth his political salt to oppose them

      Thanks guys.

  • wigwag

    Every president since Reagan who was elected to a second term has had a disastrous second term with one exception. Reagan’s Administration was paralyzed for much of the last four years by the Iran Contra scandal. George H.W. Bush was thrown out of office on his backside by the fed-up American people. George W. Bush was a disaster in his last four years with the Iraq campaign in extremis, the Afghanistan war in trouble and the American economy collapsing.

    Only Bill Clinton has a moderately successful second term despite the Lewinsky scandal. Actually the Lewinsky imbroglio may have been the best thing to happen to Clinton. The more Ken Starr and the congressional GOP went after Clinton the more the public loved Clinton. Clinton survived impeachment; two Republican House Speakers (Gingrich and Livingston) did not. Not only did Clinton leave office as a relatively popular figure, his wife has a remarkably good chance to be America’s first female president. In the meantime, Clinton’s persecutors have been relegated to black sheep status. Gingrich is a national joke (even amongst Republicans) and Ken Starr can hardly show his face in polite company.

    Note to Obama; find an intern to shtup. It could only help.

    • bpuharic

      Perhaps he should get us involved in war. Right wingers seem to love that.

      • fingulas

        I do remember a TON of left-wing votes authorizing both Iraq and Afghanistan. Faulty memory or something more partisan?

        • bpuharic

          Forsooth! Thou hast wounded me to the quick, knave!

          It’s amazing right wingers think this argument has cache.

          The right impeached a president because he lied about a dress stain

          But when a president from their own party lies us into a 2 trillion dollar war with 4400 dead?

          Mission Accomplished!

    • Banjo12

      Shtup an intern? He’s have to run that past Reggie Love.

  • Bruce

    Having this guy weak is a blessing to the country. He will not be able to impose his left wing agenda as easily. It does not matter who heads the Fed. It is an institution that shouldn’t exist in the first place and without question the Fed misbehaves and debases the currency. It’s what Central Bankers do.

    • bpuharic

      The US rightwing is SO extreme that a moderate president is seen as left. It’ll be a miracle if we survive the age of fascism the right wants to impose on America.

      And the right wing believes in 1 dollar, 1 vote. They’ve gamed the system so that 0.01% of contributors gave 28% of all contributions in the last election. THEN they tell us this is democracy since the rich need more free speech than the rest of us.

      • Banjo12

        A Soros troll earning minimum wage. Ignore him.

      • fingulas

        I don’t know of any conservative politicians asking for $1 = 1 vote. Do you have a citation?

        Obama is HARD left and not moderate at all. This is obvious on the face of it.

        True conservatives don’t want a large military industrial complex any more than true liberals do.

        What we have in power are progressives, who are fascists / communists using a new brand.

        FYI- The EU is so left wing that I doubt there really exists a viable conservative party anywhere in that political structure…so you wouldn’t know what one looks like to begin with.

        • bpuharic

          Ever hear of the ‘CItizens United’ decision? If it wasn’t $1/1 vote, then why did 0.01% give 28% of all contributions? Out of the goodness of their hearts?

          Ah. Proof that he’s hard left is that you say it. Well…permit me to say Romney was a fascist. Why?

          Well, just because!

          The right uses ‘socialist’ like the left uses ‘nazi’. Both are evidence of brain death.

          And the US right is the most extreme it’s been in 60 years

          Go ahead. Google it to see what a lunatic movement you really are

  • bpuharic

    Someone throw WRM a lifejacket, the poor man is drowning. Read Andrew Sullivan’s blog today for a completely different take…one based in reality rather than ideology

    Obama has committed NO US troops, NO US money and has Russia running like a lapdog to do what we wanted Assad to do.

    To the right that’s a failure. After all, if you don’t spend trillions on a wasted war, if you don’t have dead US troops, it CAN’T be a success

    But Iran has noticed that Obama will pull the trigger. They’ve noticed the world has noticed. And they’ve noticed the collapse of the right wing, and the resultant hysteria, as evidenced by none other than

    Walter Russell Mead.

  • Banjo12

    Given Obama’s incompetence in matters large and small, not to mention his racial divisiveness, why wouldn’t we want him weakened to the point of irrelevance.

    • Rick Caird

      Obama was always overrated. He is not particularly smart. He is not really interested in doing the job. He is not at all good at being President.

      The next three years should be dedicated to “First, do no harm”.

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