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President Obama's Fighting Words

By Kelly Thomas - Posted on 04 April 2012

Link from CNN. I think many of us-especially those of us who criticized President Obama for being too soft and compromising too much during his presidency-were pleasantly surprised at the sharpness and tone of his remarks yesterday during his speech which pretty much sliced and diced the Ryan-Romney Budget.

Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama launched a major assault Tuesday on the House-passed Republican budget proposal embraced by front-running GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, calling it "social Darwinism" that would stifle the American dream.

In a speech to a media luncheon, Obama described the measure -- prepared by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and passed by the House -- as a "Trojan Horse" that is disguised as a deficit reduction plan but actually imposes a "radical vision."

"It is thinly-veiled Social Darwinism," Obama said. "It is antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who's willing to work for it -- a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class."

He added that "by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that's built to last -- education and training; research and development; infrastructure -- it's a prescription for decline."

My thoughts on why this was a genius move.

1. It immediately made news because of all the intense whining on the right. How dare President Obama be so mean to poor Paul Ryan? Ryan cares so much about the deficit but President Obama is just not serious/where is HIS plan? President Obama knew it would drive them crazy. Afterall, they are used to him just being Mr. Nice Guy and trying to negotiate even when they make it clear they will not budge an inch. They don't like this "taste of their own medicine." Where is their punching bag? Team Obama knew the far right would not just ignore this instigation and would take the bait easily.

2. Since they are on the defensive on the Ryan Budget, the media will cast it's focus accordingly and ask them to defend it over and over, which is hard to do when you are asked for details. Republicans may have had a winning issue on gas prices but they feel compelled to abandon that to defend their big budget ideas. Score 1 for President Obama getting the upper hand.

3. It forces Republicans to defend something that is indefensible. A budget which gives further tax breaks to the rich on the backs of the poor and Middle Class. And it still increases the deficit! Since they can't rebut the facts, they are left with "President Obama is just trying to divide the nation and inspire Class Warfare." The reality? The majority of people know that "trickle down" does not work, know the Ryan Plan is a recipe for disaster and support higher taxes on the rich rather than cuts which impact the poor and Middle Class. President Obama answers these accusations with "It's not Class Warfare. It's Math." Another winner for the president.

4. President Obama weaves Ronald Reagan into his speech, saying that even his ideas would be rejected by the current Republican leadership. He even gives examples! Bonus points on that one-must have really driven the far right crazy!

By invoking Reagan, a beloved Republican, Obama sought to take GOP charges of Obama extremism and turn them back on the party. He cited a presidential debate in the current campaign in which the entire field of Republican candidates rejected the idea of $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax hikes if that were offered in a debt-reduction deal.

"Ronald Reagan, who, as I recall, is not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control — that for him to make a deal — he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases," Obama said. "He could not get through a Republican primary today."

Obama, in fact, managed to mention and associate his thinking with six Republican presidents, from Abraham Lincoln to George W. Bush.

By contrast, he portrayed today's opposition leadership as abandoning centrist positions and compromise.

"We have to think about our fellow citizens, with whom we share a community," Obama said. "This sense of responsibility to each other and our country, this isn't a partisan feeling. This isn't a Democratic or a Republican idea; it's patriotism."

5. President Obama joins Ryan and Romney at the hip. Romney has embraced the Ryan Plan so now he needs to own it. He can't run from it even when he gets into "Etch-a-Sketch" mode.

6. President Obama has learned a few things from the Tea Party success. He is using words like "Social Darwinism, "radical" and "extreme" to describe this plan.

7. President Obama and the Democrats may not have put out an official budget plan but they are certainly proudly listing many BALANCED budget ideas and showing how they contrast with the Ryan-Romney Budget plans.

I know some will say: "Well we have a good 'Campaigner-in-Chief' but I'd rather see our President using his energy to work with Republicans and compromise to get a bipartisan budget actually passed" But the Republicans made it clear long ago that they have a "my way or the highway" attitude which will get us no where. So at least the President can campaign on his budget ideas and can accomplish much more in a second term if the election yields overwhelming support for his ideas and rejection of the Ryan-Romney Budget.

It's about ******* time! Call all these asshats out! They are still trying the Grover Norquist way of cutting essential programs, giving the wealthy undeserved tax breaks, and letting the poor and middle economic classes make up the difference.

Even the wealthy should be against this nonsense (thank you Warren Buffett), especially the wealthy who provide goods and/or services to the public as the primary source of their income (I know wealth and income are not the same thing-- that's why I said those who provide goods or services to the public as their primary source of income). If the middle and lower economic classes have no money to spend for these goods and services, how are these wealthy that provide these goods and services any better off, even with a tax cut? It is not at all logical. And how is the deficit decreased by LOWERING government revenues? Again not logical.

I hope Ryan and the other tea party crazies get booted out in November.

Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. 

And so did E.J. Dionne in the Washington Post.

Now... if he can just  keep it going, like conservatives do, day in and day out. Goooooooo Mr. President.

oh yes!!!---- his opposers were stunned!! lol   I am sure their thoughts were " how dare he challenge us and shore us up??"!  They were livid!!!--- I hope he throws another real punch at them; because each time he stands his ground boldly, they allow their true vile demeanor to come forth like calling him a THUG!!  I hope he continues to speak boldly  and not be intimidated by these bullies. His opposers can't control their emotions and hateful words so it would work in his favor to continue to provoke these impulsive erratic  opponents. lol

Hey,  PRESIDENT Obama promised transparency, didn't he?

Shoot!  This stuff's better than Area 51!!

Clearly, it's time to break out the GOOD popcorn!


 Each time President Obama's opposers criticizes him, there is evidence of their hypocrisy. Again, his opposers think he is illegitimate and does not have the right to call them out; they get on their high horses and attempt to condemn the President for being BOLD and DIRECT! However, there is proof of their hypocrisy.  Republican Grassley was caught in his typical lie regarding the position of the Courts. He disagreed with President Obama's comment but he made a similar comment in the past; as well as, GW Bush criticized the supreme court. Now all of a sudden Obama is the evil THUG dictator  ( according to his opponents), because he expressed his views about judicial activism.  This further solidifies President Obama's opponents fixation and obsession with capturing what he says and twisting it!---! their preoccupation and Insatiable appetite to attack him so hard reflect their deep resentment of him on all levels!!   here is the article identifying Grassley's contradictions!!

 Their hypocrisy, as evident as it is, will never stop the far right from projecting their faults on to their opponents,  As Karl Rove, in an inexplicable lapse into honesty, once said, "It's not my job to be fair; it's my job to win."

I would imagine that, for among other reasons, GOP and right wing pundits (Brooks, Douhat, etc.) are also trying to shame/coerce/intimidate Obama off of strong positions, much as they did a couple of years ago when he and Dems tried to demonize JOhn Boehner in a feeble retaliation for GOP demonization of Pelosi.  They backed off after a couple of days of blow back from the Right while the assault on Pelosi remains in operation,

I assume and hope that, even if Obama is not 100% comfortable in counter attack, or even occasional attack mode he recognizes that his base won't stand for more appeasement of people who will oppose him at every turn anyway and that the general public will blame both parties for a negative campaign in the fall.

Stay tough, Mr. President. It's the only game in town.

"Their hypocrisy, as evident as it is, will never stop the far right from projecting their faults on to their opponents"  I agree the right wing and extreme  GOP  don''t   "Get it" .   

The  Partisan Politics have been active on both sides since the inception of politics (that is understood), but what is at play here goes beyond just demonization of the President; it is an evisceration of his very humanity. The perception by his opponents is that the President does not even have the same “equal rights” to strongly criticize them on policy issues.  When his opponents fire back at him, they attempt to emasculate him of his very personhood.

There is no comparison as to how the President criticizes his opponents and their very outlandish over the top response. It is very evident in the fact that his opponents all (The majority of the Republican Congress) swore to Rush Limbaugh that their number one priority was to make the President a one term President (make his administration a complete failure), along with their sworn and signed statement by norquist ( A person who is not a part of the white house) to not raise taxes on the rich ( This is unprecedented!! Never happen in the history of politics that politicians will swear and obey a nonpolitician). Also, the Republican congress for the first time in history has allowed the Budget to expire and plunge America’s triple AAA rating down!! Never happen in the history of the US!!! Their behavior goes outside the normal politics. I have not heard President Obama call any of the congressmen personally by a demeaning name; but calling the President a “thug” directly and openly by Republican pundits and politicians are immature and callous.    


The democrats are not innocent; they have been slothful and attempted to bribe the president by not supporting him!! The democrats were still infighting when the President was trying to battle the economic crises!! --- They turned a blind eye and were apathetic in their support of the President. I am not a radical liberal so my views do not align with some of the extreme liberal social issues. I am glad that the President is trying to stay focused and in the middle of the road politically. Hopefully, since some of  the nonproductive and resistant democrats have been flushed out by the extreme tea Party, maybe we will have more moderate Democrats to work with the President. It would be a sad day if extreme Democrats with no holds bar were controlling both branches of Government. I think it would be detrimental if both sides (right and left) were filled with extremism because the President would not be able to get anything done!!

Sadly, there is a Double standard against the President. The right wing can say all types of belittling statements and comments about the President but the President must weigh every word he says about his opponents, hmmmm??? I wonder why?? Could it just be because he is bl****k and illegitimate; therefore, he would be out of his rightful place to attack them??--- I am tired of hearing that the American people would be angry if the President participates in the attack with his opponents but somehow it is okay for his opponents to attack him by themselves??  The American people are sick of hearing the Right wing whether they are engaging in a verbal combat with the President or not!!

I  agree that racial animosity toward the president as manifested in both big time and small time conservative press and politics is widely under reported and under analyzed in the press.

But I also think the double standard in terms of expectations and attack is at least in part a disparity in courage and message skill -- perhaps even a disparity of principle and conviction. Except for Ted Kennedy and Russell Feingold, few major DC Democrats had the guts to challenge Pres. Bush on the Iraq War until the public approval ratings dropped (which took a long long time).  Clinton, Schumacher, and Kerry all capitulated out of fear of being called anti-patriotic, soft on defense, and every other crippling name they have allowed themselves to be tarred with.

By stark contrast, as soon as the Affordable Care Act (the unfortunately and indefensibly labeled "Obamacare) passed  McConnell and the rest of the GOP leadership said openly they were going to campaign against it, even though the public approved of the bill (46 - 40, 14 undecided). GOP said, we can win on this in November, and started working the polls downward.

Amazingly, Obama (and he later admitted to doing this) assumed that once the legislation had passed, he felt he didn't have to keep campaigining on it -- even though his opposition said they were starting the battle over it from day one.  "Obamacare" got maimed  that summer in the Tea Party town meetings. Obama's fighting words are a welcome, if overdue, development.

There is a double standard in reporting on him and tolerating abuse against him which (I think we agree here) has levels of racial prejudice that the press and public are glossing over.  But there has also been a disparity in political intelligence, foresight, messaging, and political conviction.  He may not be able to do much about the former, but it is refreshing to see him doing something about the latter.

I agree his message could have been more proactive, consistent and strong but we differ regarding his conviction; flexibility does not necessarily equal doubt or uncertainty.  Also, I agree that President Obama was a little naive, not politically cunning and conniving like his foes. President Obama completely under estimated his opponents' malicious, manipulative behavior. He has more in his favor than against him. Most of his wise, politically intelligent, proactive message opponents look like circus clowns;  Congress approval rating maybe 12?? so yeah they are pretty smart lol especially with their plans of getting rid of planned parenthood!------ Oh yeah, they ran away virtually all of the moderate Republicans--- how smart they are lol---

Well time will tell what this election will turn out to be. I don't know what it is going take for Obama's base to get motivated but I do know for now he has the women voters, maybe the Hispanic voters. He is picking up in key states. Independents have increased. However, we still have the Obamacare from the Supreme Court lol ---- I am sure it is going to be controversial whether approved or denied but it remains to be seen how a denial will impact the election.   

Pathetic, isn't it?  

How many double-edged swords did you count?

SOPA/ACTA - Borders on the Internet?  

-Sign it- He's into censorship and lacky for the industry, and will snoop all our emails.

-Veto it - He's a Muslim.

NDAA - every-flippin' body signed the bill.

- Sign it - He's a power-hungry despot, usurping the will of the people

- Veto it - He's hates Americans and wants us vulnerable to terrorist attack, therefore, a Muslim

There might be some kind of conspiracy with President Obama.  Have you seen Key & Peele? It was an obvious skit, but I wouldnt be surprised if the POTUS 

(language alert)

Obama Translator

It's FIlarious!  I remember trying to watch one of those town hall meetings.  You could see Obama downshifting.  He had Tech support face!  I KNOW that face.  

You know when you talk to someone so stupid, you figure they must be burning up ALL their brainpower on respiratory functions?  

Yeah, THAT face.


He should prove himself that he is not soft, that he can be a good leader despite countless problems and responsibilities to face.



Here, maybe this can help in one of the president's major problem, how to solve energy crisis:



I wouldn't put much stock in his opponent. The chances of Cantor losing his seat in 2012 are slim and none. In fact, the Democrats will pick up seats in the House of Representatives, but not enough to take back control. There is a better chance of the Dems regaining control of the House than of Cantor losing his seat IMHO.

Dems will take the house and keep semate, They caused a us credit down grade lowest rated congress ever. And POTUS will win election. Obama/Biden 2012. Biden/Obama 2016 and 2020.

Marlin I wish President Obama could stay for 2016 and 2020 LOL but no such thing in our constitution?? LOL anyway I am so glad you are very optimistic because I am truly burnt out now! lol

aww that's too bad!! ---I was hoping someone could send Cantor running lol --- Well I don't know what to think, but something has to happen with this Cantor; he is a cancer to the Party, as well as, he is poison to the administration!

This is a bit off topic but Cantor is facing some heat. I'm sure his huge donation was legal but it sure is pissing off some of his fellow Republicans.: from TPM- "Speaking anonymously to The Hill, House Republicans vented their anger with Majority Leader Eric Cantor for helping oust longtime Rep. Don Manzullo (R-IL) via a $25,000 donation to a super-PAC that attacked him. A veteran lawmaker sized it up this way to the paper: “It is a serious breach of trust,” the lawmaker said. “It sends a signal to the rest of us that if we don’t fall 100 percent in line…they will come after you.” Cantor is in damage control mode, reportedly assuring his members that his donation was purely for the Manzullo race, and saying he does not support the super-PAC’s efforts to defeat other GOP incumbents."

The thing is not for opposing him, but his harsh words are like harrasing someone's feeling. He is too rude and he didn't show any control on his wording.

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