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stanleybmanly's avatar

And speaking of pragmatism, would you describe Obama's second term as more doggedly pragmatic?

Asked by stanleybmanly (22380points) September 20th, 2015 from iPhone

It’s rather clear that the Congress stomped all over whatever naive idealism he brought with him into office.

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13 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

IMO for Obama to earn the title of pragmatic he would have had to have found a way to negotiate with the Republicans to move some of his ideas and policies in his second term. Something I have not seen him accomplish. A Milton Friedman quote speaks eloquently to this….

I do not believe that the solution to our problem is simply to elect the right people. The important thing is to establish a political climate of opinion which will make it politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing. Unless it is politically profitable for the wrong people to do the right thing, the right people will not do the right thing either, or if they try, they will shortly be out of office.

Obama as our elected leader of our country has failed to foster that political climate that would do what Milton speaks of…in fact he has done the opposite. In my 30 years of political observation I have never seen a more dysfunctional Congress.

I would label him more of the idealogue he was in his first term and still is today. The only accomplishments of Obama that are noteworthy are what he has pushed forward by Executive Privilege or bundling his pet policies with other legislation that would be political suicide for a Republican to vote against. Hardly pragmatic IMO.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@Cruiser But isn’t that EXACTLY the definition of pragmatism? The day he was elected, it was announced flat out that the primary goal of his opposition was to avoid his reelection. He was told to his face than ANY measure or proposal that he dared touch was going nowhere. And yet he foolishly assumed that no sensible collection of people no matter how ideologically driven would be prepared to wreck the country in pursuit of said ideology. I fault him for taking so long to understand that this is PRECISELY the case. It amounts to a realization that rational behavior is not to be expected from a pile of blockheads. The pragmatic course is therefore to proceed without or rather despite them. The fact that the blockheads are complaining about being ignored and relegated (as far as possible) to irrelevance is rather amusing.

Cruiser's avatar

I see what you are saying @stanleybmanly but my understanding of pragmatic is being practical and nothing that Obama has done politically speaking has been practical and IMO more reflective of an idealogue. He has carried his ideological past with him into his Presidency and makes no effort to hide it…in fact just the opposite. Of course he has tried to be practical and jokes about it all the time and the Republicans as well have gone out of their way to interfere with Obama’s ideological agenda and IMHO for more than a few good reasons.

I think it is borderline insane to think we as a country can move in the direction that Obama has taken us without a budget in over 7 years and nearly doubling our debt. Hardly pragmatic or practical.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Forget about practical or pragmatic and consider the word “necessary”. Even the obstructionist Congress came around to financing the bailout. The recession alone GUARANTEED rising debt in the face of falling revenues, and Obama for all his supposed liberal ideology REDUCED THE FEDERAL DEFICIT. And back to pragmatism. Just where should the blame fall for lack of a budget. Are th folks promising “no compromise” involved at all?

ragingloli's avatar

That is like blaming the Jews for not opening a dialogue with Hitler.

Cruiser's avatar

So @ragingloli So the end justifies the means and why I despise fascist Socialists so much and why the 2nd Amendment is so sacred to those of us who believe in the Democratic process outlined in our Constitution.

ragingloli's avatar

Entirely missing the point.
The fascist republicans had already made their mind up about opposing Obama with everything he wanted, just like Hitler had already made his mind up to exterminate the Jews.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli So you can honestly compare/characterize/justify what Obama is/has done to Hitler? That even for you is a bit of a stretch. Obama has effectively neutered Boehner and McConnel but I would hardly compare that to the horrific extermination of 6 millions Jews.

ragingloli's avatar

Pretty thick today, eh.
I am comparing the republicans to Hitler, and Obama to the Jews.
Obama tried to compromise with the neonazi gop, and the result was a gift to the private insurance industry, instead of a proper universal healthcare system.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I too feel that there were very few opportunities for compromise afforded Obama from his opposition. The fact that he was reelected pretty much cinched the plan’s failure in regaining the Presidency for the GOP, and Boehner immediately moved to restore a more normal relationship between the 2 branches of government and caught instant hell for his efforts.

elbanditoroso's avatar

Not sure I agree with the word ‘pragmatic’ in the question.

I think after the 2nd inaugural, when it was clear that the R part was not going to do anything of value, he said “what the fuck – I’ll just do what I please” and not try very hard to placate the R party.

If anything, he was being pragmatic in his first term, and he threw caution to the wind during the second.

And he has been damn successful at it.

Cruiser's avatar

@ragingloli I may not be the only thick one here as to compare Hilters Annihilation of 6 mil Jews to Obama ram rodding a POS legislation down the GOP throats is ridiculous at best and you have no stake in the matter, For me it is nothing to joke about in either situation you choose to make your points with. If you could choose a better comparison to make to Obam than the Nazi’s I may react more favorably to your points. I found 4 Nazi officers dress uniform knives, Swastika pins and arm bands in my dad’s dresser drawer after he passed away that I cannot explain to my clearly upset Jewish wife.

Pachy's avatar

No. It’s doggedly aggressive. He wants to do good and he wants to leave a positive legacy after 8 years of dogged roadblocking.

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