The Past 12 Months - A Political Chronicle
"I Don't Mind A Parasite. I Object To A Cut-Rate One."
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George E. Condon, Jr. of the National Journal does a pretty good job of recapping the political happenings for President Obama since his November 2012 re-election. He has rather indelicately titled his article: "How Obama Blew The Entire Last Year," but once you get past the title you should find his narrative to be a pretty accurate description of the way things have been. The story is a bleak one, but it is worth our review and consideration - if for no other reason than WE THE PEOPLE should try to see reality and face facts whenever we can. As a society, we are a lot better off when we do this.

So here is the article in its entirety:

"How Obama Blew the Entire Last Year

In the 12 months since his reelection, the president has achieved far less than he expected and suffered one mishap after another.

It doesn't get much better than the exhilaration Barack Obama felt when he looked out at the hundreds of supporters packed into McCormick Place at 12:38 on the morning of Nov. 7, 2012. There he was, in his hometown of Chicago, flushed with victory, only the 15th incumbent ever reelected to a second presidential term. It didn't seem at all boastful when he proclaimed to cheers that the nation had just "voted for action, not politics as usual."

Now, a year later, here he is, in Washington, sobered by a succession of setbacks and no longer quite so sure that he is seeing anything but politics as usual. For the president, it has been a very tough year. Almost nothing that Obama publicly predicted would follow his reelection has come to pass. He had optimistically proclaimed in a Rolling Stone interview that his victory "might break the fever" with Republicans who had declared their top goal was to deny him a second term. With him never again appearing on a ballot, he said then, his hope was that Republicans "might say to themselves, 'You know what? We've lost our way here. We need to refocus on trying to get things done for the American people.' "

When CNBC's John Harwood reminded Obama of that statement in a recent interview, the president clung to the hope that "the majority of Republicans around the country" want to work with him. But he acknowledged that doesn't seem to include Republicans in Washington. Claiming, "I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party," he added, "Am I exasperated? Absolutely, I'm exasperated."

This, after all, is a president who thought he would be able to avoid most second-term traps. Instead, Obama has suffered through one of the most daunting rollouts ever for the second half of a presidency. His troubles began less than 24 hours after his victory speech, when he learned that CIA Director David Petraeus was quitting because of an extramarital affair. Before the month was out, the Republican-led investigations into Benghazi gained steam, with the controversy claiming its biggest victim only five weeks after the election when Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration for secretary of State.

While this was developing, Obama was engaged in fiscal-cliff battles with Republicans, securing a victory on higher taxes for the wealthiest Americans but allowing the GOP to lock in the bulk of the Bush-era tax cuts. And, as a backdrop to the Washington infighting, on the day after Rice's withdrawal, a gunman shocked the nation by killing 20 children and six adults at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

The new year brought more bad news for the president. Instead of going for immigration reform as his top legislative priority, he squandered much of his political capital on a doomed effort to enact gun restrictions. In March and April, House Republicans battered him on Benghazi. In May, he learned that the Internal Revenue Service had inappropriately monitored conservative groups, putting him on the defensive. At the same time, he came under fire for Justice Department investigations of journalists.

In June, Edward Snowden started leaking highly sensitive and embarrassing National Security Agency documents. By July, Snowden was demanding asylum in Russia, leading Obama to cancel a planned summit with Vladimir Putin at the precise time he was looking to the Russian president to bail him out of a no-win battle with Congress over Syria. It was also in June that the White House had to acknowledge that Syria had crossed Obama's "red line" and used chemical weapons. That led to a request to use military force that seemed doomed before Putin stepped in.

Obama's annus horribilis wasn't over, of course. Still to come was the badly botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act, a mess still awaiting a fix. The result, on the one-year anniversary of his reelection, is that Obama finds himself near a personal low point in his approval ratings. Gallup's daily tracking poll released Tuesday had him at 39 percent approval, only 1 point above his worst showing, in October 2011. In the past 60 years, only Richard Nixon (29 percent) and George W. Bush (38 percent) had lower ratings a year after their reelection. (Ronald Reagan was at 64 percent, Bill Clinton at 60, and Dwight Eisenhower at 58.)

Some of this is just bad luck. But some of Obama's difficulties with Congress go back to the campaign he conducted in 2012 and were predicted a year ago by William Galston, Clinton's top domestic-policy adviser in his first term. Writing just days before the election, Galston warned that Obama would "enter his second term holding a relatively weak hand." He lamented that Obama was more focused on tearing down his rival than building a mandate for action in the second term. Today, Galston asks National Journal, "What kind of forward thrust did the president get out of the 2012 campaign?" The answer, he says, is "almost nothing." And that, he adds, allows side controversies to loom larger. "The absence of a clearly etched and publicly supported second-term agenda creates a kind of political vacuum into which problems can surge."

Add to that those House Republicans who think their mandate for obstruction trumps the president's mandate. "In a sense, they don't accept the results of the presidential election," says Bill Schneider of the moderate Democratic group Third Way. "To them, it is still November 2010 and they are still operating on that mandate." Given that GOP mind-set, Schneider says, it was "a bit naive" of Obama to think that his win would "break the fever." Combine that naivete with bad luck, and there isn't much doubt that the exhilaration of McCormick Place is just a distant memory."


But it wasn't all just "bad luck." I believe that in our society, a person creates most of their own "luck." This is especially the case when people are educated, affluent, and have significant social standing, like - say - the President of the United States.

When bad things happen to me, I look to myself FIRST - to see if, as usual, my "bad luck" was self-inflicted. One thing I have found is that LIES almost always lead to “bad luck.” I learned this in my youth, and I taught this lesson to my children at every opportunity.

Hopefully Mr. Obama – even at his age - will learn this same lesson.

Latest Activity: Nov 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

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Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Nov 10, 2013 at 22:14 PM

You reap what you sow

"I have bent over backwards to work with the Republican Party," he added, "Am I exasperated? Absolutely, I'm exasperated."

…and if this statement were true, why wasn’t this process used during the healthcare law process and debates in 2009 and 2010?

…as I’ve said before Tom Price a Representative from Georgia and also a Doctor sponsored and co-authored HR3400 “The Empowering Patients 1st Act”on July 25, 2009 and Pelosi, Reid and Obama bent over backwards to triangulate this bill with theres so much that it was held in committee and NEVER REACHED the floor for a vote!

If only the Democrats would do what they say, and not just say what they would do?

sebekm commented on Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 14:03 PM

Good points. But I dunno - I've always been concerned that the Democrats WOULD do what they say. But that's another story for another day.

But speaking of stories - news stories - on this Veteran's Day, here are the highlights:

*Several Washington Post contributors and ripping the President for his ObamaCare "non-apology" apology. When the Washington Post gets after a Democratic President, you know he's on the ropes. See:

and especially:

*And here's a REALLY good one - also from a Washington Post contributor - which outlines SIX REASONS OBAMACARE WILL ONLY GET WORSE FOR DEMOCRATS. Good stuff. See:

(This article also points out that the tally of panicky "whining" Democrat Senators who are facing reelection and who want some ObamaCare CHANGE THEY CAN BELIEVE IN has reached 15.)

*The New York Post (not a friend of the President) pointed out in an opinion piece yesterday how the "New York Times' Obama Cheerleading Harms The Nation." Predictable drivel from a NY Times competitor, but an interesting read anyway. See:

*The New York Post strikes again with an article which examines how the President is "using food-stamp cash to fund Michelle's "Let's Move"" program. Another interesting read which discusses food stamp numbers, cuts, where the money comes from and where it is going, etc. See:

*Another Obama unfriendly - Breitbart News - reported yesterday that the "Public Revolts Against Obama, Political Establishment's Amnesty Efforts." This one discusses poll results which indicate that WE THE PEOPLE in large numbers don't care for either the President's or the GOP's immigration reform efforts. See:

*And finally, James Carville - Democratic Party strategist, pundit, and liberal television personality has this suggestion for Mr. Obama as a way to "ease his pain" over all the "bad luck" he has been experiencing lately:

Smoke crack.


Yakov Smirnoff says it best: "What A Country!"

sebekm commented on Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 14:21 PM

...oh - one more really good one that falls under the category of "Believe It Or Not" (a.k.a. How Stupid Some Voters Can Be Made To Look). CBS News in Houston reports that:

*A white "anti-gay activist" Republican "passed for black" and defeated an incumbent African-American in an "overwhelmingly African-American, Democratic district" in Houston. Incredible. See:

Funkentelecky commented on Monday, Nov 11, 2013 at 20:20 PM

Check out this Canada Free Press Release HR2300.

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