Wednesday Open Thread [1.29.14]

Filed in National by on January 29, 2014

This is hilarious:

Gingrich’s reaction is even better:

Andrew Sullivan:

The metaphor of the soldier slowly, relentlessly, grindingly putting his life back together was a powerful one for America – and Obama pulled off that analogy with what seemed to me like real passion. One aspect of his personality and his presidency is sometimes overlooked – and that is persistence. He’s been hailed as a hero and dismissed as irrelevant many times. But when you take a step back and assess what he has done – from ending wars to rescuing the economy to cementing a civil rights revolution to shifting the entire landscape on healthcare – you can see why he believes in persistence. Because it works. It may not win every news cycle; but it keeps coming back.

If he persists on healthcare and persists on Iran and persists on grappling, as best we can, with the forces creating such large disparities in wealth, he will look far, far more impressive from the vantage point of history than the news cycle of the Twitterverse sometimes conveys.

This was True Grit Obama. And it was oddly energizing.

When the book closes on this Presidency, given all he has done, President Obama will rank pretty high. Not among the greats like FDR, Lincoln, and Washington. But I think he will be regarding among the very good: Kennedy, Reagan, Clinton, Eisenhower, Truman; and not among the very bad: Carter, Bush II, Nixon, Hoover, and Buchanan.

David Graham from The Atlantic:

As expected, Obama didn’t offer many huge initiatives. But this was not a downcast president, nor—with a couple notable exceptions—was it a stern scold attacking Congress. Obama seemed energetic and ready for his “year of action.” Yet many of the policies he talked about tonight were exactly the same ones he mentioned last year. With midterm elections on the horizon, is he likely to make more progress in 2014 than he did in 2013?

First Read:

“When it came to the issues, Obama’s State of the Union was agreeable in tone — he laid out what he was for (on the economy, immigration, health care) but did so hoping that some Republicans could agree with him. It wasn’t confrontational. And not surprisingly, it tested well: According to CNN’s instant poll, 76% of viewers had a positive reaction to the speech (though the sample was made up of a disproportionate number of Democrats because those folks were more likely to watch the address). It also seemed designed to unite the Democratic Party ahead of this year’s upcoming midterm elections.”

Ed Kilgore :

My general reaction was that this was kind of a minimalist version of one of those second-term Clinton SOTUs that covered a lot of ground and conveyed the sense that the president was snapping his fingers impatiently at the louts sitting down there on the other side of the aisle. I regret he didn’t hit the inequality theme a lot harder—profits sky-high, wages stagnant, long-term unemployed left behind—but he made for some uncomfortable moments for GOP solons on the UI and minimum-wage issues.

And this is welcome news: Politico reports that senior House Republicans are “privately acknowledging that they will almost certainly have to pass what’s called a clean debt ceiling increase in the next few months, abandoning the central fight that has defined their three-year majority.”

“The reason for the shift in dynamics in this fight is clear. Congress has raised the debt limit twice in a row without drastic policy concessions from President Barack Obama and Senate Democrats, essentially ceding ground to Democrats. Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are again ruling out negotiations over the nation’s borrowing limit, which would leave Republicans fighting against a unified Democratic front. It’s a tricky situation for the GOP in an election year: They would have to pass a clean debt limit bill or risk default.”

Indeed. As it will be for all time. The Obama Doctrine has been established. Congress is the one that pays for the spending it approves of, without any negotiation or concession from anyone. That is the way it was before Obama, always. And that is the way it will be during President Clinton’s and President Castro’s two terms.

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  1. jason330 says:

    …”the very bad: Carter…” Oh yeah… Sooo… terrible.

    – Restored American’s faith in government after Nixon
    – Negotiated the release of the Iranian hostages.
    – Created the craft brewing industry out of thin air.
    – Linked American foreign policy to human rights.

    I hate that the bullshit GOP spin about Carter has been so internalized by Democrats.

  2. Delaware Dem says:

    – Restored American’s faith in government after Nixon

    Not really, otherwise Carter would have beat Reagan.

    – Negotiated the release of the Iranian hostages.

    Again, not really. The Iranians waited until Reagan was President until they released them in order to spite Carter. He negotiated, but he was not successful.

    – Created the craft brewing industry out of thin air.

    Alright, good one.

    – Linked American foreign policy to human rights.

    Alright, good one.

    Look, I am just not a fan of Carter the President. I am a fan of Carter the man and the Humanitarian in his post-Presidency. But Carter the President allowed Reagan to happen, and we are still paying for that to this day.

  3. puck says:

    Carter’s actual economic numbers are pretty good, far better than pundit memory would have it. Pick any economic stat, and the reality is probably far better than the implanted memories we have been fed.The Carter Administration is looking pretty good these days. His numbers are no worse that Reagan’s first term and a good part of his second term. Economic improvement under Reagan was far briefer than memory would have it; essentially a deficit-funded bubble.

    The biggest crime under Carter was Congressional Democrats opposing Carter’s Democratic proposals as they began to cave to the conservative movement. That is how Carter gained an undeserved reputation for being ineffective.

  4. SussexAnon says:

    William Christopher, Carters Deputy Secretary of State, successfully negotiated the hostage release.

  5. Tom McKenney says:

    Carter’s biggest problem was he thought years ahead in a country that can not think further than a month or two.
    If we had continued his energy policy, we would have a huge edge in alternative energy. The first gulf war may not have been necessary. Bin Laden’s support came from anger at American military presence in Saudi Arabia. It’s possible there would be no wars in Iraq or Afghanistan.

  6. knows better says:

    Carter not that bad all said and done but McKinley should be added to the list for his backing of the monopolies policy. Is wasn’t unti someone put lead in him that Teddy R took control and Teddy took down Standard Oil and Carnegie but couldn’t stop JP Morgan with USSteel and railroads. Off the head but pretty sure on all those but McKinley was BAD.
    Obamaman is HERO status for at least trying.

  7. knows better says:

    oh yeah…McKinley was first ever ‘bought’ prez and that was by the monopolies so he might actually top the list of bad ones in setting the standard in that it could be done. But we still have to VOTE if for no other reason than to cancel out the Fox news educated voters…right Jason 330?

  8. cassandra m says:

    The Story Of President Obama And Army Ranger Cory Remsburg

    This is a truly great story of how Sgt. Remsburg got to sit next to Michelle Obama last night.

  9. stan merriman says:

    Carter’s biggest problem in his presidency was he talked to American’s like adults……insisting they deal with the very real economic problems the country was facing even before Reagan destroyed the economy. American’s were not willing to hear the truth and act on it. Yes, he made mistakes as all presidents do but this was the overarching factor that brought him down.

  10. Camptown Lady says:

    …and dismissed as irrelevant many times.

    Like last night. Neilson:

    8 p.m.

    CBS: “NCIS” rerun (11.4 million, 7.3/11)
    NBC: “The Biggest Loser” (6.6 million, 4.1/7)

    9 p.m.

    CBS: State of the Union address (7.8 million, 4.9/7)
    NBC: State of the Union address (5.99 million, 3.7/5)

    Outdone by The Biggest Loser. The same old shtick is getting old.

  11. Jason330 says:

    You just made Andrew Sullivan’s point.

  12. kavips says:

    Camptown makes me wonder now, if you add NPR, and MSNBC and CNN, and radio, what the totals would rise to?… Then add CSPAN. Then add the net. Don’t know how many Americans are like me and have learned their lesson. I never, ever, ever, ever, ever watch a live political event on a network… preferring to find a live feed somewhere, which has simply an open camera, allowing all to see who and who doesn’t pick their nose during the half hour leading up to the speech…..

  13. Andy says:

    Reagan gets over rated by propaganda from corporate media. His economic policies which are still the rule to this day caused the returning to the gilded age

  14. Camptown Lady says:

    Camptown makes me wonder now, if you add NPR, and MSNBC and CNN, and radio, what the totals would rise to?… Then add CSPAN.

    Don’t know, but probably around 50 million, tops…what’s that, around 15% of the population?