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Old 12-18-2013, 02:43 AM  
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The Year Of Disappointing The Liberal Base: Obama, 2013

The Year Of Disappointing The Liberal Base: Obama, 2013
by Liz Halloran



President Obama talks about drones and national security earlier this year at the National Defense University in Washington.


Carolyn Kaster/AP

It's been a long, disappointing year for many of President Obama's most ardent supporters.

From drones and Syria to immigration and the Keystone XL pipeline, the list of issues on which the president has induced frustration and disillusionment is not a short one.

And fallout from that restive base is reflected in Obama's dismal year-end poll numbers.

His approval rating has sunk to a low point, trust in his ability to do the job has eroded, and, as a new Washington Post poll found, he has lost ground among "key members of his winning electoral coalition" women, liberals and younger voters.

Granted, persuasive arguments can be made that the president faced nearly insurmountable odds in attempting to get his agenda passed in a cantankerous and deeply divided Congress. And for every infuriated supporter, there are many more on the conservative side with much bigger, louder gripes about the commander in chief.

Contributing mightily to the president's present poll predicament is the botched rollout of his signature health care law that's a given. But let's take a year-end look at other ways the president has provoked his loyalists.


Drones
Pressured by his base to come clean on the use of drones for so-called targeted killing overseas, President Obama during a May speech at the National Defense University defended his administration's "heavily constrained" use of the remote aircraft to kill suspected terrorists. He acknowledged that their use "raises profound questions," including the extent of civilian casualties. At the time, Obama said he'd declassify information on a strike that killed an American citizen, al-Qaida leader Anwar al-Awlaki.

But his follow-up has been less than stellar, according to a recent assessment by the online investigative site ProPublica. Among its findings: The administration has not provided promised transparency about drone-related civilian deaths; it has not defined who can be targeted; and it has not provided a "precise legal rationale" for the strikes.

Here's what liberal Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson wrote this month: "I believe historians will look at Obama's second term and see the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, despite its rocky launch, as a great moral triumph. I fear they will see the drone war as a great moral failure."


Spying
The administration was knocked on its heels when National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden revealed this year the reach and depth of the government's blanket electronic surveillance of American citizens. That was followed by revelations that the NSA was also snooping in electronically on dozens of foreign leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel. The New York Times argued that Obama lost credibility on the issue, and the U.S. technology industry has been furiously working on ways to prevent the government from mining its users' data.

Obama's assertion that he was unaware that the NSA was spying on Merkel and other allies may be true, but didn't reassure his base. By November, writing on the liberal Daily Kos website, Laurence Lewis wrote that to reclaim credibility on the NSA/spying scandal, Obama should fire NSA director Gen. Keith Alexander and National Intelligence Director James Clapper. Wrote Lewis: "Failure to do so will continue to call into question what the president and the White House truly intend, and of even more critical importance, who is really in charge."

This week, a U.S. court weighed in with a decision that excoriated the NSA's collection of Americans' phone calls as "almost Orwellian," and an infringement on Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures.


Syria
Liberals were initially divided on Obama's plan to intervene in civil-war-torn Syria, but they all wanted more answers. The Congressional Progressive Caucus sent the president a list of 67 questions they wanted him to answer, from defining how Syria's use of chemical weapons threatened U.S. national security to the role of the United Nations Security Council in authorizing force. Obama's announced intent to seek congressional authorization for airstrikes inflamed liberals like Noam Shreiber ("Obama has resorted to non-Syria arguments for intervening in Syria because he can't justify an intervention on its own terms") to Michael Cohen ("If anything, the fact that Obama was forced to rely on contradictory and deceptive arguments to sell the American people on the idea of military intervention in Syria did more to undermine the case for intervention than reinforce it.")

The backlash led to a presidential step-back. He ultimately announced he'd pursue a diplomatic solution one that analysts largely agree is now in shambles.


Keystone XL Pipeline
Environmentalists argue that building the 1,200-mile pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska and on to the Gulf Coast, where oil would be refined, would hobble efforts to battle climate change. The pipeline would carry tar sands oil, and the leaders of 350.org, a global group that works on climate change issues, has pressed Obama to rule against the pipeline project. They argue that it promotes dirty energy and would ultimately lead to climate-damaging emissions.

Obama has yet to determine whether he'll grant a federal permit for the $7 billion pipeline project. In a June speech on climate change, here's what she said:
"Now, I know there's been, for example, a lot of controversy surrounding the proposal to build a pipeline, the Keystone pipeline, that would carry oil from Canadian tar sands down to refineries in the Gulf. And the State Department is going through the final stages of evaluating the proposal. That's how it's always been done. But I do want to be clear: Allowing the Keystone pipeline to be built requires a finding that doing so would be in our nation's interest. And our national interest will be served only if this project does not significantly exacerbate the problem of carbon pollution. The net effects of the pipeline's impact on our climate will be absolutely critical to determining whether this project is allowed to go forward. It's relevant."

Here's a prediction from Carol Browner, Obama's former chief climate change adviser, in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times: "I think at the end of the day he will say no, but there will be some twists and turns before we get there."


Going Nowhere Agenda
Finally, a quick rundown on key legislative initiatives supported by his liberal base that the president has failed to advance in 2013, victims largely of political reality and diminished White House capital: gun control, immigration reform and a bump in the minimum wage.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/itsallpolit...ase-obama-2013
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Old 12-18-2013, 02:44 AM   #2
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I had to go in and type out the text for the hyperlinks written into the article. For some reason they wouldn't copy over from the NPR website where the article was hosted. You can read the article (links included) by clicking on the link I provided at the bottom.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:14 AM   #3
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I hope you can assume I know my fair share of liberals.

Of those you listed, only two are actually serious disappointments liberals have with the President. Drones and the NSA stuff have been extremely depressing to liberals like myself, as I've made extremely clear across this forum over the years.

As for Syria, well I don't think that cited much liberal frustration at all, especially since all the President was proposing there was Libya Lite, he wasn't proposing a ground invasion like certain Presidents this century that will go unnamed. Liberals were roughly against it much like the rest of the country seemed to be (I was in support of it, personally), but the temperature wasn't high, in my estimation. There was an understanding amongst all of us that there were no good options in Syria for the US to take -- except the one the President ended up taking, which was getting Russia to disarm Assad for us.

The Keystone Pipeline thing is a bit of a WTF inclusion, here... The Pipeline hasn't been approved, and the only listed prediction was that it won't be. So... what's the problem? That the Obama administration is researching it?

And we both know why Congress has stalled. Trust me, the fact that the GOP has taken its ball and gone home, refusing to govern in tandem with a Democratic President, has not escaped the left.

There have been legit disappointments with this President, two of which have been highlighted in the OP. But beyond that, this listicle doesn't really have its pulse on modern liberalism, or where it stands with this President.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:16 AM   #4
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There is nothing Obama could do that would put Barackshun out of his pants.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:19 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Bewbies View Post
There is nothing Obama could do that would put Barackshun out of his pants.
What a well-reasoned, comprehensive reply to my argument.

I reverse my position on this matter entirely! You all have Bewbies to thank.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:45 AM   #6
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And yet, no matter how much he spits in their face and becomes an authoritarian, they still would vote for him again any day of the week. Because he's their guy, and that's what they're supposed to do.
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Old 12-18-2013, 07:59 AM   #7
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Progressives (aka Democrats) are always going to be dissapointed with how non-progressive a President is. Why? Because advancement of civil liberites do not coincide with the growth of a central government. You can't, on one hand, be a proponent of the expansion of the federal burueacracy, then on the other, bitch about why the government is intruding on your liberties and freedoms.

It's one of the many fatal conceits of liberalism.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:08 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by donkhater View Post
Progressives (aka Democrats) are always going to be dissapointed with how non-progressive a President is. Why? Because advancement of civil liberites do not coincide with the growth of a central government. You can't, on one hand, be a proponent of the expansion of the federal burueacracy, then on the other, bitch about why the government is intruding on your liberties and freedoms.

It's one of the many fatal conceits of liberalism.
strawman much.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:10 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Direckshun View Post

And we both know why Congress has stalled. Trust me, the fact that the GOP has taken its ball and gone home, refusing to govern in tandem with a Democratic President, has not escaped the left.

There have been legit disappointments with this President, two of which have been highlighted in the OP. But beyond that, this listicle doesn't really have its pulse on modern liberalism, or where it stands with this President.
While I agree that the GOP is a hot mess, it's a bit hard to compromise with someone who's idea of compromise is "do what I say".
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:26 AM   #10
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While I agree that the GOP is a hot mess, it's a bit hard to compromise with someone who's idea of compromise is "do what I say".
Explain yourself.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:28 AM   #11
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strawman much.
Do you even know what a strawman is?

You use that word a lot. I don't think it mean what you think it means. [/Montoya]
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by donkhater View Post
Do you even know what a strawman is?

You use that word a lot. I don't think it mean what you think it means. [/Montoya]
It means you've possibly-intentionally misrepresented the claims of liberals to try to make your argument persuasive.
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:36 AM   #13
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It means you've possibly-intentionally misrepresented the claims of liberals to try to make your argument persuasive.
So liberals aren't proponents of a strong central government? They aren't concerned about civil liberties? Which one of these claims have I misrepresented?
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Old 12-18-2013, 08:49 AM   #14
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So liberals aren't proponents of a strong central government? They aren't concerned about civil liberties? Which one of these claims have I misrepresented?
Because the growth of the NSA has nothing to do with any stance liberals have taken.

I assume you are not terribly familiar with how a bureaucracy works. The government is not one entity, it is a web of departments, independent agencies and government corporations. What happens in one wing does not automatically have an effect on anything else.

If you're claiming that, let's say, the Affordable Care Act has caused an expansion in the NSA's powers and abuses, then you're not only making a leap of total faith that has no basis in fact, but you're misrepresenting the claims of liberals.
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Old 12-18-2013, 09:02 AM   #15
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remember when defleckshun used to pretend to be upset about gitmo? all for cash for clunkers? his new gig is pimping socialism.
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