Why are Obama's critics so dumb?

Debate! How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics

On Monday, the excellent Andrew Sullivan (Biography) published a piece in Newsweek magazine that is great reading for folks of all political persuasions:

How Obama's Long Game Will Outsmart His Critics

Despite the title, Sullivan blasts both Republican and Democratic critics of the president by saying that they are taking a much too narrow view of Obama’s policies.

Given how my readers like to bicker over this type of thing, there is LOTS of fodder in here for discussion.

I would love to hear your opinions on Sullivan’s conclusions (and to the trolls of the comments section, please try to debate respectfully).

Let the sparring begin!

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Victor Drover January 24, 2012 at 12:12 PM
Brian, I agree with most the points you raised but I don't think gaining a "broad" consensus is a viable political goal anymore. When Obama did reach out, he was labeled as weak. When he doesn't, he's labelled as over-reaching. I think Obama simply decided to do it his own way and let history decide. It's certainly true that folks don't really feel the leadership of Obama, but as Sullivan points out its a long game hes playing. I don't think folks are used to that. Bush for example was just a partisan as Obama is now, but made rash decisions. Folks liked it "in the moment", but with a final approval rating of 22 percent, I am a little surprised by the common sentiment in patch comments that Obama needs to make quick, immediate decisions to be a good leader. Except in some specific circumstances (when they assassinated bin Laden for example), deliberative patience almost always gives a better end result. I think the Afordable Care Act, the auto bailout, and even things like the recent XL pipeline decision (which will get approved eventually i think) will be seen in the future as good decisions and good leadership. It's similar to the Cold War example you brought up with Reagan. We could have traded bombs and probably ended up as technical "winners", but Reagan was patient. The Cold War was an extremely long game, and looking back we all hail Reagan as a great leader.
Brian Dey January 24, 2012 at 02:00 PM
Victor Drover- In all fairness, Bush had to make rash decisions due to the attacks on the United States; Both wars, the Patriot Act come to mind. In many ways, and we can agree to disagree, but his presidency was completely defined by the events of September 11th. The Affordable Care Act, whether you agree with it or not, is where consensus truly broke down. For the same reasons people are upset about Act 10, the same could be said of Obama and his rush to get the Act done. Many Republicans were just as upset at the passage and how Obama handled it, especially when he stated hedidn't care what the Republicans thought. A true leader will be willing to make the case to either the legislative branch, or directly to the people. Not all democrats were on board, and Mitch McConnell's response was that the priority was to make Obama a one term President. I think both Walker and Obama believed they made there cases running up to their elections, but that they were only heard by those that voted for them and overstated their mandate. A good leader will have to make decisions that are unpopular at times, but I still think at least attempting to reach out and making your case before the decision, is always better than making your case afterwards.
Victor Drover January 24, 2012 at 08:26 PM
While definitely being framed by 9/11, I don't think everything was rushed. The Bush (war time) tax cuts and prescription drug plan for example. I really appreciate your well thought-out comments Brian.
skinnyDUDE January 25, 2012 at 01:02 AM
LOL Guess when someone gives you a definition you do like .....it gets quiet.....very very quiet ! lol
Victor Drover January 25, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Here's the official rebuttal from Newsweek by David Frum. He's a consistent conservative, though moderate on some issues. On TV and in writing, he comes off as a self-righteous douchebag, perfect antidote to Sullivan I suppose :) Good rebuttal, though quite one-sided for the most part. http://www.thedailybeast.com/newsweek/2012/01/22/david-frum-strikes-back-at-andrew-sullivan-on-barack-obama.html


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