The failure of us.

In the last 10 days or so, I have been engaged in a old-fashioned “Jane, you ignorant slut” debate with another blogger over President Obama.  His “Case” is that we ought to have agreed upon “standards” by which to hold the highest office in the land.    His challenge to liberals was to be civil and basically agree with him on his “standards.”  Which, in and of itself is laughable because the Constitution itself has set up their own standards.  But now that a non (half)-white man is in office and was elected by the clearest majority of any Democrat since LBJ, they start talking about standards. Here is the complete post:  http://votenobama.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/what-is-the-presidents-constitution-does-it-matter

Here in part is my response:

  1. I have read this three times and still don’t get at what the author is striving for. Is he making the case for the President’s moral fortitude or his lack thereof? Or is it that he doesn’t believe in America? I don’t get it. I hope this isn’t about the President’s skin hue or his background. He was born in Hawaii and if he’s half-black, so what. Rights are in reality, man given privileges and “Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is in the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution. But hey don’t let the facts get in the way of a argument against someone based on hate.

    • Hi rollingwheelie, perhaps it could have been more clear but the point is what is the President supposed to do? What is his constitution? Using Historical examples and documents, we have 5 principles the President is supposed uphold. The point is that usually when people debate politics they just give opinions and nothing gets accomplished, like two ships passing in the night. The point here is to establish legitimate standards for judging the performance of any president objectively. So, the question is, are these standards for judging legitimate? Should anything be added or subtracted from the list.

      The hope is to end the meaningless commendations that say, “I just like him.” Shouldn’t we all have absolute standards for judging that we can agree upon?

      • Somehow, you equate the President as being without morals. I don’t think that argument holds water and here’s why. All Presidents are limited in scope in what they can and can’t do. The President, by design, was to not have absolute power or be a “ruler”, like the English King was perceived to have. In reality, just like today, the monarch has no power (except to accidentally have their ex-daughter-in-law killed in a car crash in a tunnel in Paris). I was talking with a conservative friend of mine recently who said to me that the mess we are in doesn’t lay at the President’s feet, it is on the Congress and even she admits the Tea Party has no business calling the shots the way they are. And please don’t get me started on Grover, Rush and the clowns running to lose to the President next November.

  2. Hi rolliingwheelie, I haven’t equated anything to the President yet. No detailed commentary was given in this piece. It is merely about trying to find objective standards by which to judge the president. I’m in total agreement that the President doesn’t have absolute powers like a monarch. Let me try to direct you back to the point…are these 5 points worthy standards for judging a President? If not, how do you suggest we judge a President’s performance fairly and objectively?

  3. I mean, I can point out moral failings in every President from Washington on up to Obama. That doesn’t mean that they weren’t worthy of the office or had the morals to hold the office. Of the 43 men (remember Grover Cleveland was elected separately twice) who have been President, I can only think of perhaps three who should never have been President. Buchanan, Andrew Johnson and Harding (who was dying even as he was nominated). Bush is another story altogether. Taft was a glutton, both Harrison’s were ill-prepared for the job. Lincoln suspended habeas corpus, FDR hid his disability, as did JFK. Does that make them immoral or unfit for the job? In most cases, no.

    OK, now that we have that established, lets see what the jist of what you are getting at. If you are implying that President Obama is a agnostic, atheist or Muslim, or that being one disqualifies him from being President, that’s a false premise. If you say that he is lacking in leadership and seems to be too eager to please everyone and appease those who openly despise him, then we might have something to discus.

    You seem to have a disregard of the facts of what the greater truths are in this case. And I have tried to point out some of those truths. Whether you see them in a clear light or not is the question.

    • Hey Rollingwheelie, I think you missed my point. Of course certain presidents will be judged poorly by our standards and some will be judged well (like Lincoln and Washington). Nobody will be judged perfectly. Performance will be judged relative to the standard. If you don’t like the standards we suggest, what are the standards you suggest? I don’t think there can be a good thoughtful discussion until we find objective standards. My goal with you on this post is not to criticize any president yet. My goal is to find agreeable standards. So again, I ask: what standards should we use to judge whether a President is doing a good job or not?

  4. Your title is “The Case Against President Obama” And then you lay out a ambiguous article stating nothing. You say you are trying to assertate “objective standards by which to judge the president.” Which standards are that? Yours, mine? Grover Norquist’s, Rush Limbaugh’s, Donald Trump’s? If you ask me, your objective standards are totally subjective. Standards are like beauty, in the eye of the beholder. And if your argument is to get a Democrat like myself to vote for someone other than the President in 2012, good luck with that.

  5. You haven’t made a point. You keep on spouting about “agreeable standards”, but there are none. We each measure success (and failure) differently, unless you’re a fan of the Detroit Lions and Chicago Cubs. After the first five Presidents, there have been arguments for and against all of them.

    And what exactly do you mean by “the President’s constitution?” His demeanor, his mindset, his understanding of the Constitution? His personal “constitution” – as in how many times a day he hits the facilities? I don’t understand your reasoning. Nor your logic?

    I will give you a reminder. As a result of the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the resulting “impeachment” of President Clinton, a member of the 1997 Green Bay Packers refused to attend the honorary ceremony at the White House the following summer. Well, a few years later, he was caught in a hottub with three underaged girls and was made a permanent resident of the State of Wisconsin for the next 12-20 years. That’s the hypocrisy of those who claim “family values.”

    The Republicans have no ideas. They have been running on fear since 1968. The want to demonize those who they are against and leave the poor, disabled, the old and infirm to fend for themselves. They want to suppress voting, strip unions, and, in the words of Grover Norquist “Shrink government down to where you can drown it in a bathtub.” President Obama has taken step to reduce the size of government, if you look at the “grand bargain” that he and Boehner struck that the Speaker was forced to walk away from called for more cuts than anytime in the history of this country. But because of the Tea Fleas, he had to back away. Everything that this President has supported, the Republicans are against. And several of those were things they supported. He’s even pointed that out in speeches. I just don’t understand. You “case” is based on what?

    • I’m sorry rollingwheelie, but I think we’ve reached an impasse. If we can’t agree on standards (as you claim) then there is no basis for discussion. All we can do is hurl our own opinions at each without engaging each other. I desire peace and unity and think the agreeable standards are the only way to begin to try to achieve that. If you know a better way, please let me know. As it is, it appears to me that you embrace a relative standard and just want to sling mud at anybody you think you can stick it to (including me). I’m not interested in that. I’m interested in finding, if possible, a basis for agreement and ultimately peace.

      I probably won’t respond to any further comments unless there is some reason to believe we can agree on something substantial. I am not interested in endless debate, so please don’t take it personal if I don’t respond to your next post.

  6. GoDogGo says:

    ” President Obama has taken step to reduce the size of government,”

    I just choked on my drink while reading this comment. I wish you’d written this earlier Rollingwheelie so I could have identified you as a blithering idiot and avoided wasting a few minutes of my life reading your posts.

  7. “Blithering idiot.” Oh boy, along with “crippled”, “retarded”, “handicapped”, I suppose I have been called worse. I could list some of the things that he has done, but obviously, you wouldn’t buy it. This Post is directed at Democrats, but everytime I bring up a point, a Tea Flea like yourself jumps in to say I am wrong. You want to talk about standards…Here’s one…How about actually electing a President and understanding that his role is to keep Congress in check. Congress is the legislative branch in this country. And when you racist motherrapers (channeling Arlo) get off your “God and Country” kick and look at who’s to really blame for the mess we are in…then maybe we can talk. Otherwise it’s the Germans and French in 1917. And as long as i’m here (for the last time) when the Republicans stop denying science, acknowledge old people, poor people and the disabled, among other things, then maybe i’ll vote for one. Like I did with Governor Miliken.

  8. OK, i’m going to take one more stab at this, then i’m done. Your statement about “liberals being open to conservative ideas and principals,” is a misnomer. You imply, by the “historical precedent”, set by President Washington, that all President’s should follow.

    He must be humble and God-fearing. He must realize that he needs God’s help and our success is in God’s hands.
    He must be wise.
    He must be honest.
    He must be a servant of the people, from whose consent he gets his constitution of power and authority.
    He must preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

    First of all, those conclusions are based on what Washington said, not by decree of any one or any “leader.” I have never questioned the President’s faith or his belief in “God.”

    “He must be wise.” To which I quote the Greek poet Aeschylus who said “Against our will, Wisdom comes through the awful grace of God.”

    Honest. See Dick Cheney. Then get back to me about honesty.

    A “servant of the people.” Maybe in 1789, but in 2011? How about explaining Grover the 50-year-old-virgin to the Founding Fathers.

    And the last one: Richard Nixon, Georgie the Rancher. Enough said.

  9. GoDogGo says:

    Rollingwheelie: Wow. Like most mealy mouthed liberals, you tap dance around a direct question by slinging mud and hateful epithets. I don’t think the question was for you to take what George Washington thought and use that to sling mud or engage in other smoke and mirrors. I simply pointed out that you were behaving like a misguided idiot, but perhaps we can rectify that by direct exchange of ideas.

    Please directly answer the original question. What do *you think* the standards should be by which we judge the performance of a president?

    I’m thinking you have no clue where to start.

  10. GoDog…You are the one attacking me, not the other way around. “Hateful epithets?” You called me a “blathering idiot.” I have not called you anything. Unless you really are Grover Norquist. The standards by which we should judge a President? It varies from President to President. Can you really judge any President against any other? It’s all subjective. Some people loved Kennedy, others hated him. Some think Reagan is the greatest President of them all, others don’t. Some feel Carter was the worst, others see him as being unfairly treated.

    I have a clue. Trust me, you try living your whole life in a wheelchair and not understand why. I have cerebral palsy, you uncaring piece of shit. I live on next to nothing. People like you who vote for scumbags like walker and scott and then make disabled people and old people and the poor jump through hoops to even eat, let alone vote. Reagan villified us, said we didn’t count. Bush gave the store away and now we have a President who wants to make things a bit more fairer and you scream “Socialism.” Go tell it to Flush the Magic Drug Addict. We are not your problem. The Koch brothers, the DeVos family and the shit heads in Congress are. You continually vote against your own interests. Cut Social Security, Medicaid, medicare.

    And Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe would have told Grover to go sit on it, find a woman and get laid. Instead, the Republicans all get down on their knees and suck it.

  11. GoDogGo says:

    Rollingwheelie: I’m a very caring person and I’m concerned about your misguided ideals! You’ve obviously drunk very deeply from the liberal Kool-aid and are in desperate need of a dose of reality. Obama has had most of his only term in office to fix this mess, which has only spiraled out of control and down the tubes. He is obviously unqualified and unfit for the job of president and it shows in most of his decisions. It reminds me of Nero fiddling while Rome burned. Blaming anyone else for the current state of affairs is highly unproductive as this is Obama’s mess, his to fix or to pass on to the next President.

    Your plight is unfortunate. Life hasn’t been fair to you based on what you’ve related. It would seem that your issues are coloring your outlook as to the bigger picture of what this country needs in a leader. We do not need bigger government. We do not need Chairman MaoBama to redistribute wealth. Government is the worst place we can put our money. If you are unable to provide for yourself, there are better ways for you to receive help than the Federal Government as they will inevitably fail you and waste the money of the taxpayers that worked hard for their incomes. There should be a mechanism for State and Local Government to step in on one level and community and church groups on another.

    I think your answer that “it varies from President to President” is a typical liberal answer. It *does not* vary. I think the point of this blog is to discuss the core values that would apply to any true leader, most especially the leader of our great country. There is no negotiation, no compromise. We are not going to say “we’ll forgive a little dishonesty because he/she sure took care of the little guy.” That is pure horseshit and shows a lack of moral or ethical fiber.

    Since you seem to lack the capacity to put them out there, I’d say that attributes such as integrity, strength, political and financial acumen, grace, charisma are all desirable and important to a leader. We should measure the performance of the President on his handling of domestic and foreign issues, the economy and the overall health of the Nation.

  12. And I would rather drink Kool-Aid over Tea. I go back to what I originally posted on Facebook. I will never vote for any of these jokers running against this President next year. You wanted an open-minded liberal and I tried drawing you out on making points. You and your friends refuse to do so. You call me names and then accuse me of hateful name-calling. I understand you think Obama is a heathen and a communist and all that, despite everyone forgetting the Rev. Wright and the hub-bub about that.

    You say that I should be getting money from churches and service organizations and that State and Local Government should “help.” That is so condescending and patronizing that it makes me physically angry.

    I will leave you with this, my christian counterpart. A few years back, because of some poor choices on my part, I was rendered homeless. I called the shelters and the “Salvation” Army and they all said that they couldn’t take me in because a) I was a single man and b) because i was in a wheelchair. I called Community Mental Health, (Local government) and they interviewed me. A week later, they called me and told me I was “too high functioning” to qualify for their services. I responded to them “Because I can wipe my ass, I don’t qualify?” They said “essentially, yes.” A couple years later it was found that the head of CMH was holding back funding and using the money for his own use. His party affiliation…Republican.

    What “saved” me? It certainly wasn’t (Republican) Jesus. It was my own resilience and my friends and family. You imply that I somehow don’t belong in society because I don’t believe in the same things that you do or have an overriding hatred for the (current) President. You imply that I should be relying on others and that the Government will let me down. Well, trust me, they have. But I don’t have a way to change my physical body or my circumstances, so, I can only accept my reality. My misguided ideals? Interesting way to put it, I suppose.

    • GoDogGo says:

      You know what they say about making assumptions, don’t you wheelie? You don’t know me, so don’t make a huge ass of yourself pretending that you do. Most of your posts directed at me are predicated on some sort of personal knowledge of my political, religious and social leanings, of which you have very little.

      Once again, you’ve tap danced around the topic at hand, flinging poo like a primate on exhibit, so trying to discuss something with you is clearly pointless. I’m reminded yet again why it is pointless to try and deal with liberals, who are some of the most inflexible, bigoted, hateful, spiteful people I’ve ever encountered. Your primary goal seems to be airing some personal issues, dirty laundry and hateful grudges, rather than objectively discussing the issue at hand.

      You clearly have a whole host of issues and I wish you the best in dealing with them. I would suggest a good mental health professional if you don’t already have one. Happy holidays and good luck. I’m done.

  13. And you don’t know me either, I am not angry, nor do I begrudge anyone who is better off than me. What I do find rather unfair is that people like you see people like me as a “burden.” I have managed to, even with a disability, live on my own for most of my life, maintain healthy relationships with my parents and family and friends that I have. I don’t blame anyone for my failings in life nor do I care what people like you and the author of this article think of me. As far as my “whole host of issues,” my issues are my own, I don’t need some anonymous pompous ass like you telling me anything. I seem to be on your bad side because I question your right to oppose the President. When I throw up facts and you come back at me and say i’m a “blatherling idiot,” and call me hateful and question my mental stability? You are the one who’s assuming, not me. You are the one who’s hateful, not me.

    Now, those of you who know me well, know that I am not one for name calling, nor do I hate anyone, outside of Matt Millen (for further ruining a ruined football team).  A friend of mine was equally as blunt in his assessment of this exercise in futility..Why in the world  would you waste your time with an idiot like that? The moment someone says that “all of our rights come directly by God,” you immediately know you’re dealing with a cretin. Last I looked, God’s signature is not on the Declaration of Independence or on the bills that created Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.That guy wrote: A president “must be humble and God fearing.  He must realize that he needs God’s help, and our success is in God’s hands.”Idiot.Moron.Cretin.Loser.Worst Person in the World.

    Rick Perry enthusiast.

    The question I have is who are these people and who in the name of Robert Parrish let these folks out of the cuckoo’s  nest? Wait, this is the internet.  And anyone who can string a few words together or put a few bucks into some graphics can have a voice, even if that voice is spitting in the wind?  I guess pretty much anyone.  Used to be you’d watch TV to get your kicks.  Now, instead of laughing at Cliff Clavin’s nonsensical arguments on “Cheers,” we have the World-Wide Web, where people who don’t even know your name can prod, provoke and bully you, which is basically what Rush Limbaugh does everyday on his radio show.

  14. That is really all republicans have left at this point.  They have sold their souls to: A) Wreck the economy and B) Destroy President Obama.  All at once.  They are going after Unions, the social safety net, the middle class, seniors, the poor, the disabled, children, you name it.  Even things they were for, now they are against.    Chris Matthews hit the proverbial nail on the head: http://video.msnbc.msn.com/hardball/45646574#45646574
  15. These people have one goal.  To destroy New Deal America, to return it to the 19th century.  A second “Gilded Age” if you will.  Instead of Rockefellers and Carnegie’s, we will be left with the real life spawn of Gordon Gekko and “Larry the Liquidator,” the Koch Brothers and the DeVos family, who’s main goal is to dismantle public education and  deregulate everything from environmental protections to ending Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare.  Grover Norquist’s wet dream.
  16. These people have made a deal with the devil.  And followed the lead of their fearless leader, Flush Limbaugh, who famously said “I hope (Obama) fails,” four days before taking office.  And a year ago, which Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared “the single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term President.”  Not fixing the economy, not finding ways to put people back to work, but to actively screw the country to rule over the ruins and impose their will over a broken America.
  17. Is there hope?  Under the current circumstances, very little, I can see.  I don’t see how any of these Republican candidates running will be nominated or, if they are, be able to convince middle America to vote for them.  This is a party that refuses to see reality – of climate change, income inequality, the failings of American foreign policy, the endless wars we are engaged in.  They pander to low-information voters, to those who see “The Flintstones” as a historical documentary.  These are people who have talked fear and loathing since 1968, or as Gore Vidal put it, have had no ideas since Teddy Roosevelt.
  18. These are all facts.  The bigger question will be is can we ever overcome our ideological Maginot Line to find common ground?  Or are we doomed to end up like Yugoslavia?  Broken into a bunch of smaller pieces, consumed by other countries or a second Civil War.  We shall see.  As the media distracts us from this possibility, the people in this country are more divided than ever, more pessimistic then even the dark days of the Great Depression and there seems little we can do about it except yell at each other and spit in the wind.
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