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Obama so far

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Quackers, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    Bottom half president to me. Got a bad hand, but hasnt done particularly much to improve or worsen it, but he goes from middle to back half for the atrocious decay of constitutional rights he supports in the name of security against a meh threat. His foreign policy is a bit of a mess as well, has no solid unified vision of what to do. Arabic Spring did an exceptional job of highlighting this, rather than committing to standing with the US allied states or committing to standing with protestors or simply staying completely out of it he took an up the middle approach that only succeeded in him losing respect from all sides.
     
  2. Dachs

    Dachs Hero of the Soviet Union

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    In most respects, I don't see how he's much different from any other president, given the criticisms people have made of him.
     
  3. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    Well, he's a bigger disappointment 'cos he's black (fo' shizzle!) and everyone thought that if he could be so Magical a Negro that he'd manage to become President, then he'd be a better President than any since Carter.

    Like it or not, Clinton had flair.
     
  4. zjl56

    zjl56 Emperor

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    Your going to have to have a pretty stellar argument to convince me that Carter hurt the U.S by getting achieving unprecedented progress like the Camp David Accords which finally broke the back of the coordinated Arab effort to attack Israel.
     
  5. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    Carter ended preexisting supply side inflation as best a president can, slowing down price raises and dropping structural unemployment (at supply-shortage prices) the best a president can. He almost certainly went over the top by appointing Volcker on top of de-deregulating natural gas.

    I'm not sure what you think he did wrong from anything other very leftwing critique, which I might be partial to if its economically sound. But anything right of his own position, I can't imagine what that would be.

    And we can't blame Iraq II on Carter.
     
  6. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    Is it even possible to be a good President?
     
  7. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    I'm not sure it is. But you can certainly be better than terrible, and we should applaud those who do, while striving to do better.
     
  8. Phrossack

    Phrossack Armored Fish and Armored Men

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    Presidents are rarely applauded. Mainly they're just hated after a brief honeymoon period when voters actually think the new guy will be better than the old one. It's an impossible job with unpleasable bosses and which attracts greedy and/or incompetent people.
     
  9. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    We can applaud the good things. But it's often hard to know when it's their fault it wasn't better and when it's their achievement for improving or driving things to be as good as the good ever gets.
     
  10. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Carter was dead wrong on inflation. He threw gasoline on a fire.
    We had a longstanding relationship with the Shah of Iran. There were issues, largely because he was very unpopular with the radicals. Carter through the Shah under the bus, protecting Khomeni instead. In one action, Carter gave aid and comfort to our worst enemy in the region, destroyed our stongest ally and removed our primary military outpost in the region. 12 years later Iraq invaded Kuwait in the region where Iranian based US forces had patrolled. The Iraq War follows from the wreckage of the Gulf War like WW II followed from WW I. There were other factors, of course, but the removal of the American military from the scene was a principle element. Note that it occurred again in the last four years.

    Volker was indeed a Carter appointment. It was 3rd quarter 1979, so it was not even a last minute action. Volker started jacking up interest rates, which was instrumental in losing Carter the election. To give credit where it is due, Carter got that one right. He was a man of great personal integrity. I would love to have him as a next door neighbor. That does not prevent him from being one of the three worst Presidents of the century. Ford was not. Ineffective is less harmful than wrongheaded.

    J
     
  11. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    It's interesting you posted twice that Carter was wrong on inflation, both times after I posted why he wasn't, without addressing my point about why he wasn't nor demonstrating how he was. "Throwing gasoline on the fire" is a descriptive metaphor but it's meaningless unless you can, I dunno, actually make it meaningful.
     
  12. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Take, for example, the gasoline tax, which subsidized foreign producers. That is just the most egregious misstep, but in the entire century, I challenge you to find a worse case than that one.

    J
     
  13. Hygro

    Hygro soundcloud.com/hygro/

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    How did the gasoline tax subsidize foreign producers?


    I can think of more egregious missteps in the 20th century, even if we narrow things to economic policy. Such missteps include the budget cuts in 1936-1937 that plunged the country into a recession bigger than any in American history save the one that preceded it by just a few short years.

    But at least that recession proved the theories we needed to promote growth from 1938 until the oil crisis and resulting rise of post-Austrian economics aka U. of Chicago economics. Incomes across all 5 quintiles of wealth during that time almost equally rose by more than 100%, largely on the back of correct economic policy.
     
  14. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    Reagan weakened the CAFE standards that Carter had imposed. Carter was absolutely in the right, and Reagan was absolutely in the wrong. So on energy, oil at the very least, Carter was dozens of times better than Reagan. The gasoline tax was the right thing to do. Domestic US production had passed peak with the technology available at the time. There was no way to become more independent of oil without encouraging major reductions in it's use. Carter was right on that, and Reagan was wrong. Carter's move to reduce gas use and his appointment of an inflation fighter to the Fed did a lot to lower oil prices worldwide. It helped lead to the collapse of the OPEC pricing structure. And that in turn badly hurt the USSR.

    The Reagan administration went the other way. It actively lobbied OPEC to raise oil prices to hurt American consumers and the economy, reignite inflation, and give the USSR an economic boost. GHW Bush went to Saudi Arabia to ask for higher oil prices when he was VP.

    So if you look at what was actually done, Carter was in the right, and Reagan tried to ruin it all. Had Reagan not been elected the US economy would be stronger today, and oil prices lower.
     
  15. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Start with that one. If you want exactly backward, it seems a good place to start. Carter did not end inflation. During his term it worsened, sometimes dramatically. To the extent his policies had any effect, it was negative. Your statement is not true at any level. There is no such thing as supply side inflation. This is a non-sensical phrase. Inflation arises from shortage, not supply.

    As to what he did wrong, I already pointed out the biggest gaffe. The reverse tariff on processed petroleum products was catastrophically bad. It caused massive business failure and corresponding unemployment. We have never recovered. It was the worst single executive act of the entire century. The fact that he chose to call it a "Windfall Profits Tax" exemplifies his complete devotion to style over substance.

    Yes we can blame the Iraq War on Carter, though Clinton had a large hand as well. You can line up dominoes, but they stay up til the first one is pushed. Carter did that.

    J
     
  16. Harv

    Harv Emperor Supporter

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    “Recession is when your neighbor loses his job. Depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his.”

    ― Ronald Reagan
     
  17. onejayhawk

    onejayhawk Afflicted with reason

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    Agreed. Carter was a dreadful President, while Reagan was at worst a good one. History has already spoken to that extent. CAFE standards are not the least of Carter's misguided thinking, but repealing them was a step in the right direction.

    J
     
  18. Takhisis

    Takhisis Free Hong Kong

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    If you're going to argue such dogmatic positions, why not actually make a logical argument?
     
  19. MagisterCultuum

    MagisterCultuum Great Sage

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    It is not the job of the president to take the lead when it comes to drafting legislation. The presumption that the executive should also play the role of chief legislature is a huge part of what is wrong with the modern presidency.

    Obama actually campaigned against some of the worst provisions in the healthcare bill (like the individual mandate), while Hillary Clinton was campaigning for them. Clinton had more supporters among Democratic Congressmen, so the bill they passed was really what she wanted.

    I agree that Obama should have vetoed the bill, and probably encouraged members of his own party to consider some of the more reasonable republican suggestions, but such behavior would be very unusual in a partisan political environment. It is rare for a president, particularly in his first term, to veto any bill that the bulk of his party supports.

    The congress did act to stop him from fulfilling some of his promises, but they would not have been able to do so had he signed a few executive orders and begun implementing them on day one rather than waiting so long before taking any action.


    It is possible that Harding was actually the first black president. At least, his political rivals frequently accused him of being part black. He denied it, but there is still some controversy as to whether at least one of his great grandparents could have been black.
    It was certainly possible for the healthcare bill to be worse. There could have been actual death panels. It could have divided the whole nation into de jure health care monopolies. It could have mandated that everyone be an organ donor, and that the state keep track of everything we consume in order to adjust coverage accordingly. It could have created a government corporation which competes against supposedly free market corporations while also having the power to set minimum price floors for their products higher than that which they charge. (Obama actually suggested in the primaries that it could work like the United States Postal Services, which has that authority.)


    Harding had his flaws, particularly when it came to picking corrupt cabinet members, but he was still better than the majority of US presidents. I'd say that every president we have had since Harding was worse, with the exception of his VP and immediate successor Calvin Coolidge. I'd like Coolidge better though if had chosen to veto that immigration bill which Harding had worked to get passed, instead of signing it in honor of the last elected president while only making a powerless signing statement expressing disappointment over how its final form was rather racist against Asians.


    Carter, while certainly not a good president, was not quite as bad as is commonly believed. He is the one president since Coolidge who actually deregulated and shrank government. His problems were largely the result of Nixons' many truly terrible decisions. Although supposedly a conservative, Nixon was responsible for huge amounts of government overreach and should be considered far to the left of Carter.

    While I would very much like such patents (and plenty more) to be revoked, I don't think that this is within the preview of the President's constitutional authority.

    Of course, he could easily refrain from negotiate secret treaties which would impose truly draconian restrictions on free speech in order to make the privilege of intellectual property more valuable.

    His handling of the Snowden affair is a travesty, but not unexpected. Presidents have never really liked whistle blowers, and Obama has a long history of being even less transparent than most.


    I don't think being a good president would actually be all that hard, but it is practically impossible for a good president to be (re-)elected. The type of person who would desire the power of public office is very unlikely to be a decent leader.
     
  20. Ziggy Stardust

    Ziggy Stardust New Englander

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    Yes you can. And you did. Making it credible is a lot harder though.
    I'm sensing a pattern here. I'm sure you can claim Reagan, Bush Sr and Bush II had nothing, or very little, or at least less than those nasty DemoPrecies, to do with it, with the same amount of credible reasoning? :)
     

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