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“I’m the President of the United States; my words carry weight.”

From the Elizabeth Drew article everyone is quoting:

According to a report in The Hill newspaper in late June, the tough-minded, experienced, and blunt Democratic Representative Henry Waxman of California told Obama in a White House meeting that he’d asked several Republicans about their meeting with him the day before, and, “To a person, they said the President’s going to cave.” Then the congressman said to the President of the United States, “And if you’re going to cave, tell us right now.” The President was reported to have been displeased, and responded, “I’m the President of the United States; my words carry weight.”

Yeah, especially when you tell old people to go die when you advocate raising Medicare eligibility to 67 and cutting back on Social Security -- after bailing out the banksters with $14 trillion, no strings attached, no questions asked.

Have I mentioned lately what an asshole Obama is?

NOTE Of course, Waxman, "tough" though he may be, is wrong: Obama's not "caving"; it's the classic category error. He's maneuvering forcefully and doing what he believes in: Shortening the life expectancy of the American people (and slashing wages by 30%, which explains his DISemployment policies).

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Submitted by mwfolsom on

It's way past time that somebody in the media tells the truth about Obama.

Besides the fact that he's a disaster as a negotiator he's a coward. If he had stood up the the RePublicans earlier we wouldn't be in this mess. But he hasn't and now they have his number and are just going to sit back and wait for him to cave. While they may seem crazy the Pubs know who they are dealing with so why compromise and why do it all at once? They figure he will cave more next time so why not do things in steps.

I wonder what Mr. Lawrence O'Donnell will say about this article after he hallucinated up this great defense of Obama as a master tactician who is playing the RePubs like a fiddle? Wonder what the Obama sycophants will say about this article over at the Daily Kos?

Now please will somebody with a pair of huevos primary this disaster?

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

"Besides the fact that he's a disaster as a negotiator he's a coward. If he had stood up the the RePublicans earlier we wouldn't be in this mess. But he hasn't and now they have his number and are just going to sit back and wait for him to cave."

No, he's a conservative. He agrees with the Republicans.

Submitted by mwfolsom on

Someone called "Countess" makes a good point over at HuffPo about Drew's article -


"There is one essential element missing from Drew's analysis which is the president'­s courting of wall street and the banks which also happens to coincide with his reading of what independen­ts want. If he makes his corporate sponsors happy by going after social security and medicare he believes independen­ts will reward him with votes as well. The blind spot for establishm­ent observers like Drew is that they refuse to acknowledg­e the corruption that dominates the political system which really is the most important part of any decision in Washington­. "

While I tend to view Obama's acts as out and out cowardice which show up as an inability to fight for the things he says he supports others see different reasons to explain his actions. Vastleft above says he's just a Publican at heart - Countess sees crass political motivations as the cause. One of us may well be right. On this only time may tell -

okanogen's picture
Submitted by okanogen on

A pound of shit (or depleted uranium) weighs the same as a pound of gold.

Then again, he may actually be talking about gold. His words are carrying a lot of gold to Wall Street!

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

The fluffers say he leads from behind so I'd say the weight is in his leaden behind which he is so good at talking out of.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

He's indicated his disgust for liberals over and over again, kind of a giveaway, if you ask me.

He ran for expanding the military, for bankster bailouts, for warrantless wiretapping (after he was against it), against gay marriage, for admiring Reagan, for expanding faith-based initiatives, for austerity, etc., etc. True, he occasionally indicated support for better positions than he's practiced, but he's always given plenty of indication that he's a conservative.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

I hate the way that Versailles and Obama and the Congresscritters and the media have appropriated that word (with its connotations of good, monastic virtuosity) and are using it as a euphemism to cover up the real meaning of what's happening here.

We're not talking about "austerity." We're talking about wrecking tens, hundreds of millions of lives. We're talking killing people.

The fact that a euphemism is in play here is a huge marker of what's really going on: a war, a class war.

MsExPat's picture
Submitted by MsExPat on

Also has many uses. But I think we need to fight the linguistic creep that turns violence and evil into subjects of polite discourse.

Submitted by Lex on

We've been using the word for exactly this kind of behavior for a solid three decades. It's only that until now we've always forced austerity onto developing nations or developed ones in crisis (eg. S. Korea in '98).

Now the Washington Consensus has turned on us, and President Fuck You is ready to take our measurements for the golden straightjacket.

I like the use of the word because, maybe ... eventually ... Americans will catch on that what goes around comes around. We didn't mind when it was other people's grandparents being left to eat catfood for the sake of Wall Street and our 401k's. Why, ole Bill Clinton is a hero even though he spent eight long years doing this to every developing nation he could lay his hands on.

That "austerity" measures are associated with "third world" countries (not in the original definition of the term, but the economic connotation) works. We're well on our way to that end result because of the same people implementing the same practices that litter the pages of recent history.

Submitted by MontanaMaven on

Michael Hudson recently spoke of the evil crap we did to the third world after WWII. The United Nations was going to help all these new nations and other 3rd world countries develop their own agricultural systems. Rockefeller Foundation and others like Ford Foundation (Klein's Shock Doctrine) said, "Nah uh. You have to buy "Murican" food. Farmers and ranchers here actually bought this idea that they are "feeding the world" . Reality is they were starving the world. That is a terrible sin.
To actively starve people??? Gates Foundation and Monsanto are the latest version.

I agree with vast left. Having studied Obama. He is a conservative. He will cave because that is the part he is playing in this farce.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

Though I wouldn't call the "good cop's" actions "caving." As you say, he's just playing his part, in concert with the "bad cops," in getting the mutually desired conservative outcome.

Submitted by mwfolsom on

To say that folks at the Daily Kos have been quiet about this article would be misleading - there are posts in the Diaries but nothing on the front page as you would expect. One that is especially funny is titled:

"President Pushover"? Give me a Break

It begins with:
"I just read bobswern's diary "“President Pushover,” Paul Krugman on Elizabeth Drew’s Latest in the NY Review of Books+". This is not an attack on bobswern. It is, however, a rant on the insidious ludicrousness of what such an article (Krugman's) represents.

Here is yet another opinion piece/person that places the fuss squarely in the place where it least ought to be—the President—instead of attacking the Republicans for everything they're doing to wreck our country."

and goes downhill from there. To be fair there are other posts in the Diaries such as:

Elizabeth Drew Explains Why Obama Proposed Cuts to the Social Safety Net (& alienated Top Dems)+

that are actually sane so dissent does exist at the Daily Kos it just doesn't make it to the front page.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

it's the classic category error

Perhaps, though in this context Waxman's observation might still be true. The GOP no doubt is pleased to think he's caving, and may have used such words to describe his behavior to Waxman.

The thing about this whole debt limit "crisis" is that it makes absolutely no sense if one accepts at what the politicians are saying about it.

Submitted by Hugh on

I agree austerity is class warfare. It is much like lambert's picture of shared sacrifice. There is austerity and worse for us but no austerity for the rich and corporations. Austerity is just more looting of us for their benefit.

Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

is all part of mourning... which i guess is a good thing if you are still just admitting to yourself both monied parties are corrupt to the core and would rather kill and bankrupt you, your nation than even pretend otherwise.

Set questions of individual motivation aside (from money) and just understand they have all...

Rewarded banksters and bondsharks, repeatedly... and are planning to do so continuously. ARe currently lying to you about the entire debt debacle as a false hostage crisis to do more looting now.
Raised health costs, while further strengthening privateers and big pharma.
Have no jobs plan.
Chipped away at SS... with clear intent to do more.
Intend not only to make single payer harder to imagine, but are trying to raise the age of eligibility to medicare now.
Expanded needless war and insane defense spending as a whole.
Prosecuted nobody in a time of systemic criminality.
Protecting criminals, abusing secrecy, threatening whistleblowers, spying on all of us.... and assassinating some Americans with no cause or warrant, much less charge and trial.

and on and on.

Stop bargaining, stop making excuses. These people, their party organizations are not reasonable, not humane, not lawful, not representative. This is a coup a la bipartisan shock doctrine.