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This Rolling Stone Interview With Obama... Well Let Him Tell You...

Permalink 09/28/10 16:07, by OGRE / (Jeff), Categories: Welcome, News, Background, In real life, On the web, History, Politics, Health Care, Gulf Oil Spill, G-20, Strange_News, Stimulus Spending, U.S. Economy

I can't believe what Obama is saying in response to these questions! Take a look at this interview on Rolling Stone's website. It's a rather long interview, but there are a few points in here I have to cover. This is very telling.

- Jann S. Wenner

You've passed more progressive legislation than any president since Lyndon Johnson. Yet your base does not seem nearly as fired up as the opposition, and you don't seem to be getting the credit for those legislative victories. There was talk that you were going to mobilize your grass-roots volunteers and use them to pressure Congress, but you decided for whatever reason not to involve the public directly and not to force a filibuster on issues like health care. What do you say to those people who have developed a sense of frustration — your base — who feel that you need to fight harder?

- Obama:

That's a bunch of different questions, so let me see if I can kind of knock them out one by one.

One of the healthy things about the Democratic Party is that it is diverse and opinionated. We have big arguments within the party because we got a big tent, and that tent grew during my election and in the midterm election previously. So making everybody happy within the Democratic Party is always going to be tough.

Some of it, also, has to do with — and I joke about it — that there's a turn of mind among Democrats and progressives where a lot of times we see the glass as half-empty. It's like, "Well, gosh, we've got this historic health care legislation that we've been trying to get for 100 years, but it didn't have every bell and whistle that we wanted right now, so let's focus on what we didn't get instead of what we got." That self-critical element of the progressive mind is probably a healthy thing, but it can also be debilitating.

So, Obama admits that the Health Care Reform Legislation is really just leftovers. The health care legislation Obama rammed through is nothing more than a continuation of the dream American socialists have had since the early 1900s. The only difference being that socialists called themselves socialists back then.

When I talk to Democrats around the country, I tell them, "Guys, wake up here. We have accomplished an incredible amount in the most adverse circumstances imaginable." I came in and had to prevent a Great Depression, restore the financial system so that it functions, and manage two wars. In the midst of all that, I ended one of those wars, at least in terms of combat operations. We passed historic health care legislation, historic financial regulatory reform and a huge number of legislative victories that people don't even notice. We wrestled away billions of dollars of profit that were going to the banks and middlemen through the student-loan program, and now we have tens of billions of dollars that are going directly to students to help them pay for college. We expanded national service more than we ever have before.

How is it that that having majorities in both the Congress and Senate constitutes, "the most adverse circumstances imaginable"?

I didn't know that the job of the U.S. government was to wrestle profits away from one group, and give it to another. He uses this as a set up to then brag about expanding national service?

The Recovery Act alone represented the largest investment in research and development in our history, the largest investment in infrastructure since Dwight Eisenhower, the largest investment in education — and that was combined, by the way, with the kind of education reform that we hadn't seen in this country in 30 years — and the largest investment in clean energy in our history.

Remember the code word is "investment". When democrats spend tax payer money it isn't spending, it's "investment".

You look at all this, and you say, "Folks, that's what you elected me to do." I keep in my pocket a checklist of the promises I made during the campaign, and here I am, halfway through my first term, and we've probably accomplished 70 percent of the things that we said we were going to do — and by the way, I've got two years left to finish the rest of the list, at minimum. So I think that it is very important for Democrats to take pride in what we've accomplished.

Obama has completed about 70 percent of what he set out to accomplish. The public, now seeing what Obama wants to accomplish, is clamoring to stop him from accomplishing the last 30 percent.

All that has taken place against a backdrop in which, because of the financial crisis, we've seen an increase in poverty, and an increase in unemployment, and people's wages and incomes have stagnated. So it's not surprising that a lot of folks out there don't feel like these victories have had an impact. What is also true is our two biggest pieces of legislation, health care and financial regulatory reform, won't take effect right away, so ordinary folks won't see the impact of a lot of these things for another couple of years. It is very important for progressives to understand that just on the domestic side, we've accomplished a huge amount.

Somebody should have told Obama that before gave speeches claiming that as soon as he signed the bill things would change. Remember the people who were showing up at doctors offices want their "free health care"?

When you look at what we've been able to do internationally — resetting our relations with Russia and potentially having a new START treaty by the end of the year, reinvigorating the Middle East peace talks, ending the combat mission in Iraq, promoting a G-20 structure that has drained away a lot of the sense of north versus south, east versus west, so that now the whole world looks to America for leadership, and changing world opinion in terms of how we operate on issues like human rights and torture around the world — all those things have had an impact as well.

This is a flat-out joke. The U.S. is the laughing stock of the world with Obama in office. Doesn't anyone remember the Olympics? Obama shows up for Chicago, and is knocked out in the first round of voting.

What is true, and this is part of what can frustrate folks, is that over the past 20 months, we made a series of decisions that were focused on governance, and sometimes there was a conflict between governance and politics. So there were some areas where we could have picked a fight with Republicans that might have gotten our base feeling good, but would have resulted in us not getting legislation done.

I could have had a knock-down, drag-out fight on the public option that might have energized you and The Huffington Post, and we would not have health care legislation now. I could have taken certain positions on aspects of the financial regulatory bill, where we got 90 percent of what we set out to get, and I could have held out for that last 10 percent, and we wouldn't have a bill. You've got to make a set of decisions in terms of "What are we trying to do here? Are we trying to just keep everybody ginned up for the next election, or at some point do you try to win elections because you're actually trying to govern?" I made a decision early on in my presidency that if I had an opportunity to do things that would make a difference for years to come, I'm going to go ahead and take it.

This is crucial to understanding Obama. Obama admits here that if they were to debate the Republicans; it, "would have resulted in us [Democrats] not getting legislation done." Why would that be? Why if the legislation is "good" for America would it have failed in the public arena?

I just made the announcement about Elizabeth Warren setting up our Consumer Finance Protection Bureau out in the Rose Garden, right before you came in. Here's an agency that has the potential to save consumers billions of dollars over the next 20 to 30 years — simple stuff like making sure that folks don't jack up your credit cards without you knowing about it, making sure that mortgage companies don't steer you to higher-rate mortgages because they're getting a kickback, making sure that payday loans aren't preying on poor people in ways that these folks don't understand. And you know what? That's what we say we stand for as progressives. If we can't take pleasure and satisfaction in concretely helping middle-class families and working-class families save money, get a college education, get health care — if that's not what we're about, then we shouldn't be in the business of politics. Then we're no better than the other side, because all we're thinking about is whether or not we're in power.

This is Obama projecting. Obama doesn't want to help middle-class families. He demonizes high achievers. He doesn't try to lift up the middle class. He only makes legislative decisions which result in the punishment of high achievers. In this climate, why would anyone want to become an achiever? It's obvious that if you become successful you are to be punished. Who wants to work their way up to the "hated" class?

Why not actually help people, by getting out of their way? Why bring one group down? Why not work to bring all groups up!?

Shouldn't a government OF THE PEOPLE actually help THE PEOPLE, not just SOME of the people?

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