Laughably, GOP wants to blame divisiveness on Obama

From The Hill:

“Republicans are seeking to portray President Obama as the divider-in-chief, arguing the presidential candidate who trumpeted hope and change four years ago is now running an increasingly negative campaign.

Their chief argument is that Obama’s attacks on the wealthy are meant to incite class warfare and a heightened us-versus-them mentality never seen before in present-day politics.

But Republicans also point to Democrats’ “war on women” and the contraception mandate in Obama’s healthcare law, which they argue is an attack on religious freedom.

Even the lead-up to the anniversary of the death of Osama bin Laden over the last week was used by a sharp-elbowed Obama to divide the nation, Republicans say.”

Politically speaking, it’s a smart if cynical strategy. Millions of Americans are indeed worried about how divisive our debate and rhetoric have become, and how difficult it has become to reach compromise. They understand at a gut level that it’s an unhealthy state of affairs, and that if allowed to fester it could threaten the nation’s long-term security, prosperity and unity.

Among Republicans, the fact that the divisiveness is almost entirely their own creation doesn’t faze them in the least. Like a spouse abuser who blames his violence on his victim, the Republican Party hopes to blame the whole mess all on Obama.

The truth is, Obama infuriates the Republicans simply by waking up as president each morning. Under the rubric of “taking our country back,” they have challenged his status as an American, they have impugned his faith and they have even questioned his loyalty and patriotism. From the very beginning, they have pursued a conscious strategy of refusing to compromise in any way whatsoever, to the point that they have purged any in their own camp who dare to even suggest such a course. (See Lugar, Richard)

There is no better illustration of that dynamic than what happened with the health-care debate.

When he came into office, Obama abandoned the more liberal public-option approach to health insurance that he had campaigned upon in the ‘08 race. Instead, he embraced an approach that had been pioneered by a Republican governor in Massachusetts, that had been championed for almost a decade by a former Republican speaker of the House from Georgia and that had been created by the most important conservative think tank in Washington.

But what was his reward for seeking common ground? Instead of winning bipartisan support through his embrace of the health-care mandate, Obama found himself condemned as a socialist who was out to undermine the foundation of American society. And that pattern has held throughout the course of his presidency.

Even then, it took Obama a while to come to the realization that no matter what he did, there would be no compromise. The only thing that his opponents wanted from him was his surrender and then his disappearance. That was their price for “unity,” and now they want to blame him for refusing to pay it.

– Jay Bookman

994 comments Add your comment

Normal Free, Plain and Simple

May 4th, 2012
8:08 am

Rockwell

May 4th, 2012
8:08 am

You could always quit…

stevie ray..Clowns to the Left and Jokers to the Right..here I am...

May 4th, 2012
8:08 am

JAY,

My son? Why not call for calm given our system of innocent until proven guilty? Have you read the entire Krauthammer response instead of selective picking of nits? I reckon you will insult him now…

President Blameless Despite None of us being better off…needs to go build a constitutional library citing his vast knowledge about anticipating SCOTUS interpretations…Too bad the alternative isn’t very comforting either….

stands for decibels

May 4th, 2012
8:09 am

If this isn’t WAR ON WOMEN, how do you want to call this?

Dunno about the still-hung-over Doomy (it’s ok, bro, you’ll sober up one day!) but I want to call it “2012 electoral collapse for Gooperville.”

I’d like to think that even in this largely anti-democratic Republic of ours, people do have a breaking point, and 24-karat a##holes like our GOP house members and governors will be called to account for their unabashed a##holedness.

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:09 am

“So I’m a dumb idiot to disagree with you…”

nope, you’re a dumb idiot because you obviously don’t know the facts and seem quite happy to remain blissfully ignorant of them

Nancy Pelosi on Health Care: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it.”

thank you for illustrating my point so succinctly – I provided you the complete quote above and yet you STILL cling to misquoting her.

there are none so blind …

Gale

May 4th, 2012
8:09 am

Peadawg: I want Hillary for Prez too. I had not really thought about her on the ticket to jazz up the election, though. It would do that. And, it would not be the first time the second term VP slid into the top seat. I was thinking this morning that I could not vote for Prez this year because I don’t like either. That VP would change my mind.

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
8:09 am

Hate to break it too you, but this is nothing new.

It is hard to quantify such things, and I am unsure if that is so or not.

I will say that I have NEVER before January 21, 2009 seen so many people go berserk publicly like the cons did though.

It took all of two days for a massive and hateful propaganda campaign promoting that the president “fail”. Headed by such infamous liars, louts and luminaries like Rush “Slut, prostitute and FemiNazi” Limbaugh and Rick “The dangers of contraception in this country” Santorum.

And may others including the entire gang of CPAC creeps.

Their collective poison and dementia has oozed non-stop since before the man was even inaugurated.

THIS is the now de facto legacy of such scummy little men as Lee Atw@ter, Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove.

Adam

May 4th, 2012
8:09 am

Jay: Anything that Obama does that you do not like is “divisive,” and “unity” would require his surrender.

Right on the nose. Bulls eye. And other cliches that happen to show definite truth. :D

Brosephus™

May 4th, 2012
8:15 am

Bro… you have a short memory. Both Bush and Clinton suffered in the same way. The attacks from the opposition were frequent, acrimonious and unrelenting.

Gotta play the Bullsh*t card on that one. They faced attacks, but it wasn’t anything remotely near what’s going on nowadays. The crap that’s going on now led to a credit rating drop of all things. My memory is quite fine.

Peadawg

May 4th, 2012
8:15 am

Gale
May 4th, 2012
8:09 am

I don’t trust Romney and Obama does so much bs that gets on my nerves; I can’t vote for them either. I’ve already decided I’m writing Hillary’s name in for President.

stands for decibels

May 4th, 2012
8:17 am

And SR, yeah, I read Kraut’s current wanktarderycolumn. That’s five minutes of my life I’ll never get back.

Mick

May 4th, 2012
8:17 am

**The crap that’s going on now led to a credit rating drop of all things**

Yes, the height of lunacy – trying to cut off the head to save the body…

TaxPayer

May 4th, 2012
8:19 am

Mad Max,

The original meetings on Obama’s healthcare legislation included folks like Mitt:

The Massachusetts healthcare law has been a nettlesome problem for Romney. It was one of the major achievements of his tenure as governor – one that he used to tout. But the state law included a requirement that individuals buy insurance, much like the individual mandate in the Obama law. That idea, which originated as a Republican proposal, has since become toxic among GOP voters. Romney’s opponents say he will be unable to attack Obama on the healthcare issue because of his record, and clearly the Obama campaign will try to make that prediction come true.

Then, there’s this.

What you got. Something from Newt perhaps.

Jerome Horwitz

May 4th, 2012
8:19 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GI7-m919ynU

Forty two years ago today four students were slain by paniced Guardsman. Truly a black eye for America. I remember the outrage I felt as a student at the time and the arguements I had with my Dad about the war and the protesters. About 15 years ago we were watching some History Channel program on the war protest movement together and I looked at him and said “They were right” and he quietly replied “I know now”. My point is that many in the so called Establishment of today call the OWS protesters the same names as the Viet Nam war protesters of 40 years ago. Be careful as history may just judge them far more favorably than you.

Jm

May 4th, 2012
8:20 am

Mick

I just want to get one of the following in

Surfing
Sailing
Some astronomy

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
8:20 am

I would go so far as to say the Jms, rags, 71s, JKL2s, etc of this country not only want the President of the United States to fail, they want the entire federal government to fail.

Hell, they wouldn’t be sad if capitalism itself failed.

Looked at how the fools completely shrugged off the corporate destruction of capitalism in September 2008. And still hold none of the men responsible……………… responsible.

As long as those very unindicted conspirator heroes of theirs in the 1% are doing fine, they could really care less about anyone else.

Even themselves, their parents, their spouses and children and their communities.

I’ll never be able to figure them out.

Jerome Horwitz

May 4th, 2012
8:21 am

Oh, and thanks to Normal for the reminder. And questions lingers today. What jackass ever gave live ammunition to these Guardsman? What danger were they ever in that deserved an armed repsonse?

Peter

May 4th, 2012
8:22 am

The truth is there is NOT a single Republican who can tell us How to pay for the Bush Wars.

Mick

May 4th, 2012
8:24 am

jm

Working weekend for me, finally evicted a tenant without all the usual mess; now I have to go see what condition or rather what destruction will need repair…I’m cautiously optimistic but ready for the worst…

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:24 am

Bro – 8:15

and THAT, my friend, is why you are my HERO

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
8:24 am

Gotta play the Bullsh*t card on that one.

Ditto.

For the same reason as almost always.

Where is the first scintilla of evidence to prove this claim?

There is none.

Opinions are not facts.

Gale

May 4th, 2012
8:24 am

Peadawg, A write in sounds like a plan. I wrote Hillary in for President in the last election. Time for a rebellion against the two party system that wants to direct our thinking.

From the Center

May 4th, 2012
8:26 am

From where I sit, the Democrates and the Republicans are a mirror image of each other. Their ideologies are polar opposites, but their political tactics are the same.

St Simons - we're on Island time

May 4th, 2012
8:28 am

“They were right” and he quietly replied “I know now”.

You don’t have to Google or cite what you know is Right, mon.

It’ll all be clearer next year, when we get to the New Time.

Jm

May 4th, 2012
8:29 am

Mick

Being a landlord is a giant pain in the rear

I can identify

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:29 am

“It’ll all be clearer next year, when we get to the New Time.”

after Daylight Savings?

Adam

May 4th, 2012
8:31 am

Time for a rebellion against the two party system that wants to direct our thinking.

Every time I have heard this prominently from the left or other third party factions, the right has won the election. Just sayin.

Gale

May 4th, 2012
8:31 am

New Time, USinUK ? Are you referring to the demise of DST? My dreams would come true.

Brosephus™

May 4th, 2012
8:32 am

USinner

:oops:

I just call it as I see it. Each president in recent memory has faced ever increasing opposition. However, to claim that Clinton and Bush had the same opposition of Obama is crap.

One of the things I always look at when grading an administration is the advisors and appointments that are made. Obama has not filled all the positions in his administration yet, and his term is almost up. At one point, the Senate was placing holds on EVERYBODY that he nominated, so he quit nominating people. That is a very serious breakdown of government. When one party does that, what else do people expect will happen when the other party is in office? We’ll see the same thing. I don’t think any administration should finish it’s first year in office without filling every position. You can’t claim someone’s a failure when they don’t have a full team playing, and that’s what we’ve had over the past 3 plus years.

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:32 am

EXCELLENT – it’s not just British companies that are seeing shareholders rise up and say ENOUGH

Citi is not alone. FirstMerit of Ohio also lost a shareholder vote in April, having granted its chief executive a steep rise despite single-digit returns on equity and a depressed share price. Three other large American financial firms received less than 65% approval on pay-related votes, a symbolic if not actionable threshold, according to Semler Brossy, a consultancy that began last year to collect data on these votes.

http://www.economist.com/node/21554196

MORE OF THIS PLEASE

Rockwell

May 4th, 2012
8:33 am

JamVet,

Been outside for a walk lately? Enjoyed these beautiful warm spring afternoons? You are obsessive in your hatred for the right. Chill dude. Your ramblings and baseless accusations are starting to get old. Take a breath man, sky is not falling….yet.

Oh, and add me to that list of folks hoping the president fails. Not so much the ENTIRE federal government. I heard Obama’s plans and ideas (hope and change thing) in 2008. I don’t agree with them, so I hope he fails. Simple as that. It is the same position you have for every Republican.

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:33 am

Gale – 8:31 – I’m struggling to understand the ongoing need for DST … pick a time and stick to it, I say.

TaxMyEnemies

May 4th, 2012
8:35 am

Taxpayer,

You didn’t offer any “truths” that I’m missing. Let me know if you can.

Brosephus™

May 4th, 2012
8:35 am

From where I sit, the Democrates and the Republicans are a mirror image of each other. Their ideologies are polar opposites, but their political tactics are the same.

You might wanna adjust your seat then. The reason they appear to be the same is because one party in particular veered so far from the center that they upset the balance of the entire system. The reason that Democrats use the same tactics as the GOP is as simple as this:

If you’re in a fight and someone continues to punch you in the nose, do you:

A) continue your preferred method of standing there and absorbing the punches?

or

B) adapt their techniques and punch back with equal force and intensity?

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:35 am

Bro – I know – and let’s not even BEGIN talking about judicial nominees …

kayaker 71

May 4th, 2012
8:35 am

So, let’s just tax the tweet out of all of those evil 1%ers. They are certainly the enemy and what is causing those unemployment figures. They are also the reason why my house is worth less and why my neighbor was foreclosed. They are certainly also the reason why our debt is more than our GDP and why we have gazillions of dollars in outstanding debt to China and Japan. They must be the reason why Holder is hesitant to prosecute “his people” and why Bozo is so upset with that “stupid Boston cop”. Most of us never seen a poor person offer anyone a job. And you can’t keep beating business to death until it’s morale improves. When you demonize someone often enough, they will take their business elsewhere.

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
8:35 am

My point is that many in the so called Establishment of today call the OWS protesters the same names as the Viet Nam war protesters of 40 years ago.

Beautiful post, Jerome.

Those people knew they were taking a righteous stand, one that was inherently dangerous and in the best traditions of The Boston Tea Party, Frederick Douglass, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucretia Mott, New York City’s Stonewall Inn gay protest and beatings, textile factories in Lowell, Mass., where the first labor unions were formed, the railroad strikes in the Southwest led by the Knights of Labor – which thrust unions and their demands into the national spotlight-, Martin Luther King Jr and many other American patriots.

And would not be deterred by the conservative thugs of their time.

Nor will we.

http://static.guim.co.uk/sys-images/Guardian/Pix/pictures/2010/11/11/1289494354269/Antiwar-demonstrators-tri-001.jpg

Thomas

May 4th, 2012
8:36 am

U.S. Economy Added 115,000 Jobs in April; Unemployment Rate Dips to 8.1%

Laughably and sadly no one in DC is concerned about the millions of folks who are no longer even counted in unemployment

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:37 am

“Laughably and sadly no one in DC is concerned about the millions of folks who are no longer even counted in unemployment”

no one????

REALLY?????

that’s your position???

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
8:37 am

Not so much the ENTIRE federal government.

Not so much???

You would have probably fought for the British.

Peadawg

May 4th, 2012
8:37 am

“From where I sit, the Democrates and the Republicans are a mirror image of each other. Their ideologies are polar opposites, but their political tactics are the same.”

Amen!

Normal Free, Plain and Simple

May 4th, 2012
8:38 am

Gale

May 4th, 2012
8:24 am

Ordinarily I would agree with you but not this time in our history. Write ins would only weaken the votes for president Obama and we have to keep the radicalization that the GOP eats and breathes from ever becoming the holder of the White House. That would be a very nasty end of America as we know it.

Joseph

May 4th, 2012
8:38 am

Have you actually listened to Obama’s words Jay? Or maybe you just stand there in awe and have absolutely no understanding of what he’s saying. He is without a doubt the most divisive President in my lifetime. You never! And I mean never heard President Bush openly criticize democrats while in office. Not even Dick Cheney did that. Bush stated on many occasions that we must work together to get the country’s problems solved. You don’t hear that from this pathetic President. Obama had complete control for his first two years in the White House yet still complained that Republicans blocked his every move. That’s simply not true. He couldn’t even get dems on board for most of his radical plans…..

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:40 am

some of the interesting data behind the jobs numbers:

The report also showed a drop in long-term unemployed Americans. The number of people unemployed for 27 weeks or more decreased as a percentage of all jobless, to 41.3 percent.

The number of temporary workers increased 21,100. Payroll at temporary-help agencies often slow as companies seeing a steady increase in demand take on permanent staff.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-05-04/payrolls-in-u-s-rose-115-000-in-april-jobless-rate-at-8-1-.html

Normal Free, Plain and Simple

May 4th, 2012
8:40 am

Joseph is ticked off because President Obama is telling the truth

Peadawg

May 4th, 2012
8:41 am

“we have to keep the radicalization that the GOP eats and breathes from ever becoming the holder of the White House”

I agree but I’m not going to blindly vote for Obama like some will. I will happily write in Hillary’s name.

Adam

May 4th, 2012
8:42 am

You can’t claim someone’s a failure when they don’t have a full team playing, and that’s what we’ve had over the past 3 plus years.

EXACTLY

Adam

May 4th, 2012
8:43 am

The Unemployment numbers are out! Yay! That means I get to look at Table A-15 again. BRB

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:43 am

[...] blame” by…blaming all of the world’s problem’s on President Obama.  Jay Bookman at The Atlanta Journal Constitution adds: Among Republicans, the fact that the divisiveness is [...]

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

May 4th, 2012
8:43 am

U.S. Economy Added 115,000 Jobs in April; Unemployment Rate Dips to 8.1%

Can you just imagine how much lower the rate would be if the GOP had not been such obstructionists.

26 months of jobs growth and the GOP says we aren’t cleaning up their mess fast enough and offer us Romneys Bush-like economic plan “updated” that caused the problem as the solution.

What a hoot.

Doggone/GA

May 4th, 2012
8:44 am

“From where I sit, the Democrates and the Republicans are a mirror image of each other. Their ideologies are polar opposites, but their political tactics are the same.”

And that would be true if we had a hundred political parties and not just two.

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
8:45 am

Joseph, 8:38 am

In all due respect, Joseph, it is my opinion that you are only looking at the surface. In any good play, one has to read a character’s motivation and intent beyond what he simply “says.” Iago in “Othello” comes to mind. Same thing hold’s true in life, and especially in politics.

USinUK

May 4th, 2012
8:45 am

nooooooooooooo … Cheney NEVER criticized Dema

WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) – In the sharpest White House attack yet on critics of the Iraq war, Vice President Dick Cheney said on Wednesday accusations that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to justify the war were a “dishonest and reprehensible” political ploy.

Cheney called Democrats “opportunists” who were peddling “cynical and pernicious falsehoods” to gain political advantage while U.S. soldiers died in Iraq.

The comments were the latest salvo in an aggressive White House counterattack on war critics, launched as Democrats step up their criticism of the war and polls show declining public support for the conflict.

Cheney repeated President George W. Bush’s charge that Democratic critics were rewriting history by questioning prewar intelligence on Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction even though many Senate Democrats voted in October 2002 to authorize the invasion.

Adam

May 4th, 2012
8:46 am

As I suspected, the unemployment numbers show that each and every metric (that’s U-1 through U-6 for those paying attention) has either decreased or remained the same. U-6 is down over 2 percentage points since its height, and the other unemployment figures continue to drop.

Good news for the economy, no matter how much the naysayers wish destruction on us all :)

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
8:47 am

He is without a doubt the most divisive President in my lifetime.

Opinions are not facts.

And this????

And I mean never heard President Bush openly criticize democrats while in office. Not even Dick Cheney did that.

Are you ________ me?

I could list dozens and dozens of quotes to disprove those outrageous lies.

So could you, if you took about thirty seconds…

http://tinyurl.com/6pby6vm

http://tinyurl.com/76nd9ue

I swear that some of you Bushbots are certifiably insane…

kayaker 71

May 4th, 2012
8:49 am

Do I want this clown to fail? Damn right. The majority of Americans do not want to live in an Obama America. When you write off the most economically important segment of the electorate, white working America, that gives you some insight into who this Chicago thug thinks is important to America’s future. After three and a half years, we still have record unemployment, record foreclosure on private homes and commercial properties, more people on food stamps than at any time in our history and a 41% increase in entitlement spending. We have spent more money for nothing than at anytime in our history. “Saving GM?” Saving it from what? It would have been better for the American taxpayer and for GM to let it fail and recover like any other industry. At least it would not be union owned with a debt to the American taxpayer that will likely never be paid off. Do I want this jerk to fail. Damn straight, I do. And so does the majority of the electorate.

lovelyliz

May 4th, 2012
8:55 am

Nobody passes the buck or self-victimizes like the neo-cons

Gale

May 4th, 2012
8:56 am

Normal, the argument against write-ins is the same case made against 3rd party candidates. The two parties no longer care about the 60% of the middle voters (my estimate) because we are not the one contributing millions to their campaigns. I am very tired of winners proclaiming a mandate from the people over a slim win.

Jilli

May 4th, 2012
9:00 am

The author neglected to mention the most definitive incident proving his point. Republican legislators met on inauguration day (during the height of the largest economic disaster this country has faced since the great depression), not to strategize on how to facilitate the recovery or stop the landslide of job losses, they met to formulate their “just say no” game plan to foil this President – and consequently, the nation.

They have continued this mission the entire length of his term with nothing but cynicism and political games and with absolutely no concern to the well being of American citizens and the well being of the nation. And they have the audacity to criticize the Presidents patriotism? Their actions have been downright traitorous, but it appears that there’s more than a few rubes falling for their cynicism, even when it comes at the expense of their own personal well being and livelihoods. Never underestimate the gullibility and the intellectual immaturity of the republican portion of the electorate – the gop leaders certainly aren’t.

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
9:00 am

71, too long.

He’s black, has come down out of the trees and you hate him. That is why you want him to fail.

Rockwell

May 4th, 2012
9:03 am

JamVet

Opinions are not facts….right back at ya a$$hat.

td

May 4th, 2012
9:05 am

Jay

May 4th, 2012
7:48 am

In other words, Stevie, I was right: Anything that Obama does that you do not like is “divisive,” and “unity” would require his surrender

Let us say for arguments sake that you are correct and there is no way the Republicans will support anything he wants to do. Will you also admit that there is no way he will support the Republican agenda?

If we agree and we know that the Republicans will retain control of the HOR and there is about a 50% chance of them gaining control of the Senate, then if this country is as in as bad a shape as you libs keep saying and something has to get done would it not be better for the country if Obama just goes ahead and withdraws from the race as Truman did? Does he not love this country well enough to make that sacrifice for the country?

Rockwell

May 4th, 2012
9:05 am

I am done with this for the day. I part with the words of the great historian, JamVet;

“Opinions are not facts.”

Did you get that Mr. Bookman?

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
9:07 am

So Rockhead, those dozens and dozens of quotes disproving rightwing stupidity are opinions, huh?

Enjoy your life in Delusionville…

kayaker 71

May 4th, 2012
9:10 am

JamVet, 9:00,

If only it were that simple. The trees comment was made about that Black Panther thug that wanted to kill white babies. He damn sure does not belong in a civilized society or would you like him to be your next door neighbor? Maybe invite him to lunch with your children and grandchildren so you can expose them to a little “diversity”. Just don’t turn your back for too long.
As far as Bozo being black……. people I would vote for in a presidential campaign…… Condi Rice and Herman Cain along with Colon Powell would not be bad choices. I don’t hate him, JamVet. I hate what he has in mind for this country. And so should you.

JamVet

May 4th, 2012
9:14 am

71, OK.

I still think you have a lot of work to do to get over your “black problem” though!

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
9:17 am

kayaker 71, 8:40 am

“When you write off the most economically important segment of the electorate, white working America, that gives you some insight into who this Chicago thug thinks is important to America’s future. . .Do I want this jerk to fail. Damn straight, I do. And so does the majority of the electorate.”
===============================================

Listen to the anger and brutality of your remarks, Kayaker. Many Americans do not want to build an America where that type of negative dynamic becomes dominant.

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
9:27 am

And, as I have said many times on this blog, I believe what Obama has in mind for our nation will create a better America – one in which cooperation, equal opportunity for upward mobility, and human values, rather than simply monetary ones, will again prevail through emphasizing government as service, as was true in the Kennedy years. There was a substantive reason JFK’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy, and his brother, Edward Kennedy, fervently supported Obama. I believe they knew Obama shared JFK’s progressive vision for America and Americans.

Adam

May 4th, 2012
9:27 am

kayaker: Herman Cain would be a terrible choice, Condi questionable, Colin Powell I could see supporting myself. so… it’s not so simple as skin color. That IS what you are saying, right?

Terrence

May 4th, 2012
9:28 am

Hee haw all you want Bookman. Gallup shows Obama holding the record for most polarized first and second years in office.

Not a record to be proud of.

Normal Free, Plain and Simple

May 4th, 2012
9:32 am

Gale

May 4th, 2012
8:56 am

I understand your feelings and I respect them. Unfocused actions of anger or disgust could put you in the situation of out of the frying pan and into the fire. I hope you are not wrong.

Mad Max

May 4th, 2012
9:36 am

Bro… the credit rate drop was more a result of the amount we have borrowed with no real prospect of paying it off in our lifetimes and the unwillingness of this administration to address the deficit than it was the result of the squabling between the parties. We kicked the can down the road and we have no plan for getting out from under the debt. And let’s not bring up W, he is no longer president. Obama is and it’s his issue now and he has done a lousy job of addressing it. And soaking the rich will not erase it. So when I say he’s ineffective, it’s because he refuses to tackle the issues of the future that have the potential to make the mess we’ve just been through look like childs play.

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
9:38 am

Terrence, 9:28 am

“Gallup shows Obama holding the record for most polarized first and second years in office.”
============================================

Terrence, Obama probably does hold the record for the most polarized first and second years in office. That is because Republicans were bound and determined that that would be the case. There was no stopping them in their mission to make that polarization happen.

Mad Max

May 4th, 2012
9:46 am

Mary E – almost from the 1st day he took office, he started with the rhetoric like We’fe got the keys now so you all get in the back of the bus and go along for the ride, and then his actions on Obamacare which was crafted w/o republican input caused a great deal of diviseness. He was a person w/very little/no experience running a large and complex organization and that lack of experience and his immaturity in shooting off his mouth is why he has not been an effective leader.

kimmer

May 4th, 2012
9:57 am

Nothing to see here. Just a man with his head stuck in the Mr Obama’s colon. Move along….move along.

labman57

May 4th, 2012
9:57 am

Republicans and tea party pundits self-righteously proclaim that the divisiveness that has been stagnating progress in Congress and that has been evident in the political blogosphere constitute proof that the public is justifiably upset with the policies being promoted by Obama and the Democrats in Congress.

Hmmm. In 1938, Orson Welles presented a Mercury Theatre radio melodrama version of War of the Worlds which was so convincing in its presentation that many panicked listeners believed that they were witnessing a real invasion from Mars. Some folks took up arms against their neighbors, fearing that they were part of the alien invasion.

When Obama was elected, Congressional Republican leaders publicly proclaimed that their top priority was not to improve the national economy, nor was it to improve the security and welfare of the American public, instead it was to do whatever was necessary to undermine the Obama presidency.
In 2009-10, right wing pundits went on the air, and and in an attempt to instill irrational fear and hatred among their listeners, repeatedly proclaimed that health care reform and other progressive programs would result in Armageddon — the end of society as we know it, the onset of a fascist, socialist, tyrannical dictatorship led by a foreign-born, terrorist-sympathizing, Caucasian-hating closet Muslim.

The only difference between the 1938 event and the disingenuous, fear-mongering propaganda campaign that has been waged by the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Coulter, Bachmann, Palin, and others is that Welles did not hit the airwaves on the day following the mass hysteria and declare that the public response was proof that malevolent Martians did indeed exist.

Brosephus™

May 4th, 2012
9:59 am

the credit rate drop was more a result of the amount we have borrowed with no real prospect of paying it off in our lifetimes and the unwillingness of this administration to address the deficit than it was the result of the squabling between the parties.

You obviously did not read the report that was put out that showed that our unstable political atmosphere WAS one of the compelling reasons for the credit drop.

http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?assetID=1245316529563

•We have lowered our long-term sovereign credit rating on the United States of America to ‘AA+’ from ‘AAA’ and affirmed the ‘A-1+’ short-term rating.

•We have also removed both the short- and long-term ratings from CreditWatch negative.

•The downgrade reflects our opinion that the fiscal consolidation plan that Congress and the Administration recently agreed to falls short of what, in our view, would be necessary to stabilize the government’s medium-term debt dynamics.

•More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

•Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.

•The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

I put emphasis on the part where S&P specifically talked about the political atmosphere of our country. Go back and read the actual report instead of relying on the message that the talking heads put out.

Brosephus™

May 4th, 2012
10:00 am

Mad Max

Just for you, specifically from S&P themselves.

http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/articles/en/us/?assetID=1245316529563

•More broadly, the downgrade reflects our view that the effectiveness, stability, and predictability of American policymaking and political institutions have weakened at a time of ongoing fiscal and economic challenges to a degree more than we envisioned when we assigned a negative outlook to the rating on April 18, 2011.

•Since then, we have changed our view of the difficulties in bridging the gulf between the political parties over fiscal policy, which makes us pessimistic about the capacity of Congress and the Administration to be able to leverage their agreement this week into a broader fiscal consolidation plan that stabilizes the government’s debt dynamics any time soon.

Mr. Mustard

May 4th, 2012
11:07 am

Thinking People,

You will not change the dittoheads’ minds, they are uneducated with low self esteem. They must blame minorities for their own failings, because they are too stupid to understand the real economies of our country.

They don’t know history, they only read what reinforces their lost lives. They parrot what the rich tell them to say even though it is against their own interests.

They believe in magic, and invisible beings and free markets and Fox Propaganda.

You see, $8.00 per hour with no benefits for anyone except the hallowed “job creators” is all they deserve because they are not worthy.

The Republicons are pathetic. Keep your government hands off of my Medicare about sums up their intellectual prowess, and they are proud, PROUD of their stupidity.

It is our task, our duty to step over them and strengthen social security, demand universal health care and money out of Congress.

You see, when the Banks, NFL Billionaires, Health Care Cruel Companies, Oil Barrons take government money – that’s GOOD!

When you and I demand a secure safety net so we can work and raise our families without losing our homes after 40 years of age, that’s SOCIALISM.

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
11:26 am

Mad Max, 9:46 am

“Mary E – almost from the 1st day he took office, he started with the rhetoric like We’fe got the keys now so you all get in the back of the bus and go along for the ride, and then his actions on Obamacare which was crafted w/o republican input caused a great deal of diviseness. He was a person w/very little/no experience running a large and complex organization and that lack of experience and his immaturity in shooting off his mouth is why he has not been an effective leader.”
====================================================

Mad Max, Good Morning. I will try to address your points, as I see them, by numbering them below.

(1) “. . .he started with the rhetoric like We’ve got the keys now so you all get in the back of the bus and go along for the ride”

I really think Obama was “playing” with that statement and just having a little “sparring” fun with his opponents, almost ‘tongue in cheek,” if you will.

(2) “. . . then his actions on Obamacare which was crafted w/o republican input caused a great deal of diviseness.”

On this, I think part of the Republican spin, or propaganda, has been in declaring that, “Obamacare was crafted without Republican input.” Remember that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has stated, “Our primary goal is to see that Obama fails and that he is a one-term president.” I think that that has been the Republican mission and that Republicans have had no intention of cooperating with Obama on Obamacare (or little else). Proof of that is that Obamacare was modeled after a Republican plan, one in which Romney designed for his state, and now they all pan Obamacare. I think, at the time – until Obama later realized it was futile to continue doing so – that Obama was sincerely trying to work with Republicans on Obamacare. Many liberals, such as myself, for example, wanted the public option to remain in Obamacare and Obama compromised with Republicans so that the public option was not part of Obamacare. Many liberals became disgruntled with Obama because of that. I was not one of them, however, because I could see what he was up against and I thought that he did the best he could with the support he could muster. Some people do not want any kind of government regulations on medical insurance and that is why they do not support Obamacare, just as they do not support Social Security and Medicare as government social programs, but I am not one of these people. I support all three. I think that these social programs will not only make America more secure (if finances for them are managed) but that they will help to make Americans more humane. As I said in a post earlier this week, I think that many of those who are not supporting Obamacare are working against their own best interests. In a key word summary of what I had said: pre-existing conditions, can’t be kicked out of insurance once you have terminal or serious illness, if you lose job, you still can have affordable health insurance, you won’t go bankrupt because of huge medical expenses with no health insurance or with only insufficient health insurance, you will get long-term medical care (not just emergency room service), your children can be on your policy until they reach age 27.

(3) “(Obama is a) person w/very little/no experience running a large and complex organization and that lack of experience. . .”

I think Obama has run the government extremely well considering that he inherited almost a worldwide financial crash just as he was becoming president. Obama, more than any other person in the called meeting of many economic and governmental leaders by President Bush, which included Sen. McCain, at the time of the financial crisis, showed the most poise under pressure and the most knowledge of what was happening financially. Even Republicans acknowledged that fact. President Bush walked out of the meeting, complaining that he could not control the meeting and that people would not listen to him. This was publicly stated on the broadcast I just watched on PSB, I believe, entitled, “Money, Power, and Wall Street.” What you are quoting, regarding Obama’s lack of organizational experience is, again, propaganda. What you say sounds “logical” if you just look at strict facts, but what is missing in the thinking is that Obama is a very intelligent man who has global insight and that kind of intellect catches on very quickly in any area. Obama had had a financial advisor calling him daily and giving him advice on America’s possible financial collapse. He had gathered in his mind all of that financial advisor’s knowledge in that meeting with Bush and others. He was well-prepared. (Btw, remember in the “debate/discussion” with all of the Republican leaders around a table regarding Obamacare, when Republicans wanted to debate the issues of Obamacare with him, that Obama’s insight and impact on others was greater than all of the Republicans put together.) What is hard for me to fathom is why many of the American people do not value Obama’s elevated intelligence. It used to be, especially in my youth, that intelligence was valued in a president, and now it seems that many Americans are jealous of it and even resent his intellect. Finally, Obama was organized enough to put together a great presidential campaign, over a couple or more years, through which he was elected as the first black president. Considering Jim Crow existed only 45 years ago, that is a phenomenal organizational achievement.

(4)” . . .and his immaturity in shooting off his mouth is why he has not been an effective leader”

I simply do not see Obama as either “immature” or “shooting off his mouth”; in fact, I see quite the opposite in him, on both counts. I think that those are simply labels, perpetuated as spin and propaganda by the demagogues such as Rush Limbaugh and others. Limbaugh refers to Obama as the “boy president.” I would judge the name-caller and not the one “named.” I see Obama as a man of grace who has a kindly yet mischievous wit, intelligence, and prudence. He is, also, a president who loves this nation and its people.

Mad Max

May 4th, 2012
12:28 pm

BRO The outlook on the long-term rating is negative. We could lower the long-term rating to ‘AA’ within the next two years if we see that less reduction in spending than agreed to, higher interest rates, or new fiscal pressures during the period result in a higher general government debt trajectory than we currently assume in our base case.

If this wasn’t a problem, the political would be a non issue

Jeffrey

May 4th, 2012
12:45 pm

Here are the titles Jay did not use for this post:

Laughably, Democrats wants to blame divisiveness on Republicans
Laughably, Democrats wants to blame divisiveness on the Tea Party
Laughably, Democrats wants to blame divisiveness on Wall Street
Laughably, Democrats wants to blame divisiveness on Fox News
Laughably, Democrats wants to blame divisiveness on talk radio

We have this saying up in the Hills about shoes that fit…

Mad Max

May 4th, 2012
12:56 pm

Mary E – It’s called maturity and leadership. Your 1st impression is what defines you and what you see as quick wit, others saw as sharp tongued and insulting. For someone who was going to reach accross the aisle and bring bipartisanship back, he failed and alienated the other side by his “quick wit” and one upsmanship. That stuff is fine when you are with the guys out of the public eye, or maybe on a blog but you don’t get out of the public eye as president and he failed coming out of the blocks and set the tone for his presidency.

As for the Republicans wanting to make him a one term president, both parties have done that after each election cycle. That’s why we have elections: to see if we still want the incumbant.

Regarding his organizational skills, he is a great campaigner, as evidenced that is all he has done. He never stayed in one of the elected offices long enough to do anything; now he has the top job and people will hold him to his accomplishments. Remember that his signature is Obamacare which may be rulled unconstitutional. He has fought and campaigned against the state of Arizona which passed a law modeled after the federal law because he didn’t wqnt to enforce it and he may lose that. He has likened the Arizona law to the human rights violations of China! He has supported some radical Islamic groups in the “Arab Spring” with his global view of the world.

As for your infatuation with his intelligence, there are a lot of dumb people with high iq’s. I have not seen him demonstrate that intelligence in practice.

Silvio Levy

May 4th, 2012
1:36 pm

Mary Elizabeth, why bother replying to Mad Max? He manufactures quotes out of whole cloth, or believes manufactured quotes he picks up in his relentless hatred.

Plus, he is _Mad_ Max.

Still, I admire your patience.

Silvio Levy

Silvio Levy

May 4th, 2012
1:52 pm

td, Obama HAS supported the Republican agenda. Obamacare was first put forward by Republicans during the Clinton years; it’s indistinguishable from the plan Romney created for Mass., except that Romneycare was more liberal (Obamacare has strong provisions against payment for abortion).

Obama bailed out banks, like Bush did, rather than bailing out individuals in need.

Obama continued the wars that Bush started. (Admittedly, it was not very Republican to actually get Osama — when the fear factor goes down, it’s harder for Republicans to win).

Obama continues to prosecute the war on drugs, to hold prisoners without trial in Guantanamo, to let the people who allowed 9/11 to happen go unpunished, to increase surveillance on the public while strengthening government secrecy — all continuations of Bush practices.

Frankly, I regard Obama as one of two decent Republican presidents we’ve had this century (the other was Eisenhower).

Silvio Levy

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
1:56 pm

Mad Max, 12:56 pm

Addressing each of your paragraphs:

Para 1: Look back. I never used the word combination that you say I wrote, i.e.,”quick wit.” With the word “wit” I had used the combination of words, “kindly yet mischievous wit.” You combine your words “quick wit” with “oneupmanship.” Evidently, that is how you see Obama’s wit, which to me implies that you have a kind of resentment for him – because of his intelligence (which “quick wit” means).

But there are many other interpretations of Obama’s wit or humor. In my first point above, I had used the words “sparring fun” “playing” “tongue-in-cheek” to describe his humor with his “we have the keys to the car and Republicans can sit at back if not in agreement” remark. “Tongue in cheek” means “insincerity,” “irony” or “whimiscal exaggeration.” Of course, Obama was sparring with the Republicans and he wanted to make a political point, too, that the Republican ideological goals for our nation were not his (nor mine, nor most Democrats). He was gently pointing out to them, through humor, that the American people had elected him based on those goals and that Republicans had crashed their car (Recession). The “back of the car” was an ironic twist in that black people had to sit in the back of the bus for generations, but a new day had arrived in America. The tone in which he said both was playful or whimsical and certainly not mean-spirited – just an exaggerated illustration for a humorous “dig” at his opponents. “Roasts” of politicians and celebrities do those kinds of “digs” all the time to one another, in sparring humor, and both parties usually laugh. I think the fact that many Republicans took such umbrage with Obama’s humor is testimony to their intense dislike for him, but I really see that as their “problem” if you will, and not his. I do not think that he has done anything to have created such intense dislike in them for him.

Para. 2. Most parties do not announce their major goal is to discredit and take down a president. That was way out of proportion to what has been done in the past.

Para. 3. Your list seems like a litany of dislikes for the president. The Arizona situation has a states/federal pull regarding immigration. That will be resolved in time. Why such intense dislike for him over that issue? Obama is not supporting “some radical Islamic groups.” He is supporting the right of people everywhere, including those within the Arab Spring, to have their own self-government – the same egalitarian concept that Jefferson had voiced. That is the essence of democracy.

Para. 4. You use the word “infatuation” instead of the more prudent (and correct) word “acknowledgement” to describe my thoughts regarding Obama’s intelligence, which is a subtle way of demeaning of my judgment. You are wrong. The correct word is my “acknowledgement” of Obama’s intelligence. And I do see that he has intelligence above the ordinary, and I do think that intelligence combined with humanitarian instincts is an excellent attribute for a president to have, as Jefferson, Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelts, and Kennedy had.

You write that you have not seen him demonstrate that intelligence in practice. Obama demonstrated his intelligence in having the poise under fire as well as shrewdness to become the first black president, in getting a national healthcare bill made into law, a feat that had been attempted for 50 years without success, in the debate/discussion with Republicans about that healthcare law which I described earlier, in all of his major speeches, in his “coolness and control” of mind during the execution of Osama bin Laden, which he witnessed as it was occurring, among many other examples.

Mary Elizabeth

May 4th, 2012
1:57 pm

Thank you for your remarks to me, Silvio.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 4th, 2012
4:58 pm

Doom — “I’ll make it so simple even you can understand it.”

I already understand it just fine. The difference is a point of disagreement, not on a factual matter of economics.

“Actually I have had to defend papers and thesises to economics professors but that kind of deflection on your side has no relevance to the point at hand now does it?”

Yes, it does. It points out the fact that you’re relying on cherrypicked data from a partisan organization with an axe to grind — whether you want to admit it or not.

“Stick to the issue at hand champ.”

I am. You just don’t want to be held to it.

“No. it didn’t.”

Yes, it did.

“ANd that would be because external factors such as the looming housing meltdown were coming into play.”

Says you.

“It doesn’t change the straightforward fact that economic growth short term grew immediately after the cuts were realized- a fact you still hate to acknowledge.”

I’ve admitted it many times. The only hated fact here is the one *you* don’t like — the fact that Heritage relied on cherrypicked data.

“ANd if you don’t like the place that the data set ends then I guess that’s just tough for you.”

That’s why I point out that it’s cherrypicked — a fact that *you* hate to acknowledge. :D

“Nothing funny about it. Other external factors were coming into play.”

So you say.

“For example if I remember correctly I believe that employment started to dip the month the Dems took over Congress. I’m certain your crack research team can verify that with the BLS stats. Funny how that happens huh Joe?”

(laughing) :D

You’re actually going to claim that Congress — an organization RENOWNED for moving at the speed of frozen maple syrup — somehow took action SO FAST in January of 2007 that it showed immediate effects on the economy?

Yeah, Doom. (laughing) That’s funny all right. :D

“Do you have any idea just how foolish that sounds Joe Mama? Does your mind actually believe that they or anybody else doesn’t know and acknowledge that an enormous recession hit in 07? Does your mind honestly think that they can hide the fact that this thing called the recession hit in 2007? That’s just plain silly dude.”

It certainly is. So why’d they try to hide it? (laughing) :D

“They ended their data set precisely because it shows economic growth up to when the recession hit. There’s nothing fishy and nothing to hide champ. Everyone knows the recession came next. Geez.”

That’s right. The recession *did* come next.

And it came DESPITE the tax breaks that you like to tout as being so incredibly stimulative to the economy. Tell us, Doom — why didn’t those tax breaks *forestall* that recession if they were so all-fired powerful?

Joe Hussein Mama

May 4th, 2012
5:18 pm

Doom — “Also since you like to talk about data sets and variables perhaps you can acknowledge when reading this that variables change that effect economics.”

I’ve always acknowledged that. However, I’ve noticed that from time to time, you *discount* variables if they don’t mesh with your position.

“All kinds of variables- political as just one example. I sense that your misunderstandings of economics are baed partly in having a static view of things as many liberals tend to have as opposed to a dynamic view of things. I’ll be sure to work with you more on that later.”

And I’ll be sure to explain to you that economic policy doesn’t change instantly just because the majority party in Congress switches. It takes time for legislation to get passed and implemented. (laughing) :D

Joe Hussein Mama

May 4th, 2012
5:31 pm

Towncrier — “Now, to anyone with reasonably good interpretive skills, JHM is aking me to square my criticism of Obama with my vote for McCain when the Republicans were doing the same thing (as if I was going to refrain from voting in light of any failings of the candidate I felt more represented my positions and even though I once said I voted for McCain holding my nose).”

Your “as if” supposition doesn’t mesh with my position at all.

I asked you to square your vote with your public statement about disliking the politicization of certain public matters. You did so, but in a way that excuses your *own* behavior while complaining about that of others.

“This JHM, in his warped reasoning and coneception of things, interpreted as a discounting of the politicization of 9/11″

No, I didn’t. I can speak for myself just fine.

I quite clearly said that you were a hypocrite for excusing your own behavior while complaining about that of others.

” – when, in fact, I was merely saying that when faced with a choice between voting for a candidate or not (the options given me by JHM), I am going to do the former whatever his faults. Implicit in my response was an acknowldegment of the fact that the Republicans have done wrong.”

I recognize that. I’m not impugning your admittedly difficult choice in voting in 2008. I’m skewering you for impugning the difficult choices OTHERS are making in THEIR voting, while having given yourself a pass for the selfsame thing.

You know, you’re really not very good at reading my mind. I strongly suggest you ask me more questions about my positions in the future before you try to divine them by whatever means you’re using. Your methodology just isn’t getting the job done. :D

“Now, JHM, if you can’t correctly assess what is said on this blog”

I see. You’re trying to speak for me, yet I’m incorrectly assessing my own position. It is to laugh. :D

“(where all the *evidence* you so purport to love is squarely before us) and reason correctly from it”

I’ve reasoned correctly. You, however, have misread, misinterpreted and misstated my position yet again. :roll:

“why bother having any discussion with you about matters where the *evidence* is not squarely before us? You are intellectually dishonest or just stubburnly argumentative, in my view.”

Shrug. I’m on record here as being polite to others with whom I disagree — insofar as they’re able to remain polite themselves. You, however, leap to a great many unwarranted and incorrect conclusions, and then deride others for not seeing things the same way you do. From where I’m standing, you’re intelligent, but not particularly well-informed; you’re also well-spoken, but not particularly attentive in your reading of others’ posts.

“Exactly. Engaging you has turned out to be a waste of my time.”

As if your time were actually valuable. (laughing) :D

“Too bad though, because we could probably have some great exchanges if it wasn’t always a p***ing match to you”

Again with the attempted mindreading. Is it possible for you to rise beyond your own biases and examine the arguments of others on their own merits? Or must you simply force everything into a box of comfortable shape and size to you?

“(go back and look at your responses to me in the past month and see that on at least a few occasions this is how you – not me – have characterized our back and forth in so many words)”

I have said that. Except that I’ve quite clearly said that *you* were the one treating our exchanges as a pizzing match, not me. Again, you’re not particularly attentive in your reading of others’ posts.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 4th, 2012
5:35 pm

Towncrier — “Yes it does. But what does it say about lawbreakers? Would you not think it appropriate to apply this biblical precept to legal aliens and get some viable guest worker program in place?”

Being present in the US without proper documentation does not make you a “lawbreaker.” Being undocumented is a document offense; it’s akin to driving without your license and registration.

There’s not even a fine that attaches to undocumented status in the vast majority of cases, let alone deportation; normally, ICE will simply require the individual to regularize their status ASAP and get on with their life.

Joe Hussein Mama

May 4th, 2012
5:38 pm

Towncrier – you’re leaping to conclusions and you’ve badly misread my position regarding the spitting issue. Bear with me and let’s see if I can make things clearer to you.

Once again, you err in linking my position to Lembcke’s. I’m aware of his work, but in our initial discussion, I didn’t cite it. You did. The reason I didn’t cite his work is because I’m not interested in three of Lembke’s four arguments that Jim Lindgren takes on. Let’s look at each one in turn.

1) Returning Vietnam vets allegedly being spit on. I am interested in this, for reasons I’ll discuss a bit more later.
2) Lembcke’s claim that the spitting stories didn’t begin appearing until 1980. Well, that’s *Lembcke’s* claim, not mine. I didn’t make it, I don’t support it and I’m not obliged to defend it.
3) Lembcke’s claim that returning Vietnam vets didn’t arrive into commercial airports (San Francisco and Oakland being cited in particular). Again, not my claim, not my issue.
4) Lembcke’s apparent opinion that the spitting stories are dubious *because* many of them involve women doing the spitting. Again, this isn’t a claim I’ve ever made, and it’s not one that I subscribe to. To be completely honest, I’m not sure what Lembcke thinks he’s doing with that argument in the first place. What could he possibly hope to be demonstrating with that claim, even if it *were* true?

So of those four positions that Lindgren questions, only one is of interest to me – whether or not returning Vietnam veterans were spit on. Just FYI, I’m interested in this because I *am* a veteran, and I’m sympathetic to the complaints of veterans returning from theaters of war. However, just like the controversy over Gulf War Syndrome, the cause of those veterans is not helped by rumor, hysteria and faulty memories. Those causes are helped, as Gulf War Syndrome sufferers were, by a cool-headed and rational investigation, followed by marshalling of the facts.

So let’s discuss what Lindgren presented on *that* point in his essay.

1) Apparently, multiple stories appeared in the Bucks County, PA Courier-Times regarding a particular incident and its fallout between the fall of 1967 and the spring of 1968. You can search the archives online, but you get *no* hits on stories that far back. I contacted several three local universities to see if they had or could obtain microfilm reel or microfiche copies of the Courier-Times, but neither GSU, GT or UGA had or could obtain them. I then contacted the paper itself (the Courier-Times now having merged with two other suburban Philadelphia papers and viewable at http://www.phillyburbs.com), but was advised that my only recourse was to physically travel to Philadelphia myself and manually search several *months* of newspapers for a series of stories that Lindgren himself could have identified, both by date and by title. The fact that he did not identify *any* of them in that way renders his ‘evidence’ on that score quite suspect to me. FWIW, had Lindgren actually specified the dates and pages on which the stories appeared, it might have been possible to cajole the Courier-Times staff to make a few Photostats of the stories in question. But as Lindgren didn’t do that, I’m unable to verify his data without a trip to Philly. And though I love cheesesteaks, I’m not going to that much trouble for you or for Lindgren.

2) Lindgren cites a story by James Reston, appearing in the NY Times in October of 1967 that elaborates on spitting incidents. Problem is, there aren’t any stories on that topic *by* James Reston in October of 1967 available online, either behind the Times’ paywall or not. Adding depth to the problem, there *are* stories about the Pentagon protests that Reston was supposedly covering – but their bylines are all for *other* writers, most commonly Ben A. Franklin. Those stories are, however, all behind the Times’ paywall. Now, just as with the Courier-Times pieces, if Lindgren had cited the specifics of the story – title, date and page on which it appeared – then I’d be willing to pony up for an NYT online subscription in order to pull some of these stories by other reporters and review them for incidents of spitting. But he didn’t, and it looks like this piece of ‘evidence’ he cited doesn’t hold up, either.

3) Lindgren also cites a story from the Pomona, CA, Progress-Bulletin of May 16, 1970, involving an ROTC instructor at Claremont Men’s College being spit on. While this initially seemed to hold out the promise of being findable, as the P-B’s archives are browsable by date, there were only three browsable days of the paper in May of 1970. I also tried and the Progress-Bulletin’s searchable archive, but those results are also behind a paywall. However, of all of my searches on various terms that were likely to have been in the story – none of them turned up any hits in May of 1970. Besides, as I indicated above, I’m interested in returning *veterans* having been spit on, not ROTC instructors stationed in the US.

So of the first three pieces of ‘evidence’ proffered by Lindgren, I haven’t found a single one of them to be verifiable. In addition, Lindgren falls far short in his citations of the news stories he’s relying on in order to debunk Lembcke. Normally, when citing newspaper stories as evidence, one would cite the newspaper in which the story appeared, as well as the date/edition of the paper and at least the page (in some cases, also the column number) in order to zero in on the evidence. Strangely, Lindgren doesn’t do that, even though he’s berating Lembcke for sloppy scholarship. While Lindgren may very well be able to refute Lembcke, he’s just as sloppy as Lembcke is, and that weakens his argument to the point where I can’t credit it any further without additional, verified evidence. So given these failures of Lindgren’s evidence to pan out, I’m going to have to ask for more *concrete* examples before I can give him – or you – any credence.

Also, and quite coincidentally, Lindgren belies some significant bias on his own part at the conclusion of his essay when he writes: “On the issues raised by Professor Lembcke, I have to say that I’ll take the world of Congressional Medal of Honor winners and Pulitzer-Prize winning journalists for the New York Times and Washington Post over the professor’s armchair speculations–especially since many of the former actually witnessed the events they described, while the professor appears not to have made a serious attempt to review the available evidence before publishing his book.”

Oddly, Lindgren admits to taking people ‘at their word’ and without presenting detailed citations of his supposed evidence (so that others could easily locate and review it themselves, as is customary in research work) while simultaneously ridiculing Lembcke for slack scholarship of his own. Therefore, it looks to me as if both Lembcke *and* Lindgren are emotionally invested in their arguments. Since I already don’t support or agree with all of Lembcke’s arguments, it should be plain to you that I don’t support or agree with Lindgren’s, either – at least not without verifiable evidence.

FWIW, I’d be quite interested in finding verifiable, documentary evidence of returning Vietnam War vets being spit on – because it’s a topic I find of great interest on both a personal and a veteran level. I’ve been active in veteran support organizations for many years, and while I’m not a member of my local American Legion post (for personal and political reasons), I do contribute to veterans’ causes, both financially and by adding my voice to those of my brothers and sisters in arms when needed.

Therefore, if you think I’m somehow disinclined to believe that such spitting happened simply on ideological or political grounds, you couldn’t be farther off base. If it actually happened, I *want* to know about it. I’d simply like to see *concrete* evidence of it, not just take people’s word for it – as Lindgren is clearly predisposed to do by his own admission.

Mad Max

May 5th, 2012
9:24 pm

ME I repeat the word infatuation and I’ll repeat the word immature. There are black men in the Republican party ME, so now receive Obama’s comments. ?If a white (Republican) man had said that you & the rest of the laft wing crowd around here would be calling for an impeachment; Al Sharpton & Jesse Jackson would be organizing marches & you would not let it die. How come he gets a pass. Where was his judgment then?

Billybob

May 6th, 2012
7:43 pm

de-nial ain’t just a river in egypt is it jaylo’…..it’s like obama, either he’s doing it on purpose or he is the most unqualified man in every room he walks in…..here, in your case it is on purpose, clueless, and wreaks on desparation…..and lies……..but please keep this up b/c you can’t even deflect from hussein’s OWN WORDS