No Disrespect

Posted on August 10, 2011 by

Reply to “One Term” Comments…

I admire Barack Obama. 

I don’t believe he’s a sell-out, an opportunist or a coward. 

He is failing because his opponents are vicious, uncompromising zealots who endanger the nation and harm innocent people. 

His approach doesn’t work.  His handling of the debt-ceiling crisis confirms this.

And I don’t think he can find his way out. 

I will obviously support his re-election, but I’m afraid he will lose. 

That’s why I’m groping for an alternative. 

I sometimes think that if the republicans had treated the president simply as a political adversary and not an enemy, the Obama Administration could have been moderately successful (Reagan vs. the Democrats).  But the-no-prisoners strategy by republicans in 2009 required a much different kind of leader.  A real son-of-a-bitch.  That’s not Barack Obama. 

It’s unrealistic to believe the president will change.  His decency, compassion, sharp wits and conviction could have made him a fine president under different circumstances. 

Maybe his attributes and assets are what the country needs and he can help us heal.  That’s our hope for a second term. 

But can we risk it? 

Without a killer instinct, Obama seems incapable of finishing off his opponents.  

And we know that they’ll keep coming at him until he’s destroyed.

Comments (12)


  1. Bill Thomas says:

    Lou, I agree with much of what you have written, but I still feel that President Obama needs (and deserves) a second term. The President was handed the biggest mess of the last century– more challenges in less time than any president in recent history.

    Most importantly, Obama needs to stay in the game, if only to block that gang of marginal candidates that the Republicans have put forward to date from ever setting foot in the White House except for a dressing down or a bill signing. (Remember those?) Are they serious? This group of Republican presidential wannabes is the worst yet. Is this really the best that the Republicans can put forward?

    You can call me a Disappointed Democrat, but I will stay with President Obama for a second term, and I will hope and pray that he finds his center, and his balls, and soon. Yes, he is a centrist, and an enabler, and far too cautious, and on bad days an over-thinking wimp, but consider the alternative. The take-no-prisoners approach of the Tea Party Republicans is force to be reckoned with, much like a schoolyard bully. The only solution is to punch them back and keep on punching.

    A man with the rhetorical gifts of President Obama should be able to make mincemeat out of them, if he would only engage. That goes for the rest of the Democrats, too. What the heck happened to fighting for what you believe in? The best Democrat in the U.S. Senate is an Independent– Bernie Sanders. God, what I wouldn’t give for a Democrat with some balls or ovaries, or something approaching a fighting spirit. That goes for you and me, too.

  2. bob waggoner says:

    Lou I disagree with Obama losing in 2012. but only because he has no serious opponents. As far as the debt deal is concerned when Booner walked out that Friday, when Obama held a meeting the next day, I would have told Booner to tell the tea baggers, that he was going to raise the debt ceiling without their support and take that hammer away from them, then the ball would be in Booners court and he would have to deliver.

  3. Alan K. says:

    Very well-stated and reflective, I think, of where so many of us are. The son-of-a-bitch Presidential template is Lyndon Johnson with a little Harry Truman to temper it.

    I share all your disappointments but think much of Obama’s problem lies in his reliance on certain advisers which are not serving him (or us) well. We could start with Timothy Geitner but its the ones that are closer–largely unknown to us–who have consistently given him advise away from his base. What’s the old line about the definition of a ______, is someone who keeps doing the same thing over and over and hoping for a different result. While still being a gentleman (and a skilled politician) Obama should lay a bear trap for the Republicans from which they will be unable to extricate themselves; one that will out them, once and for all, as venal and disloyal to America. Then, he would be the TRUE Messiah that they disparagingly call him now.

  4. Don Keefer says:

    Yes, we were hoping for a new FDR (complete with an environmental WPA and CCV; as Matt Damon put it, we were “Hoping for Audacity”), but it’s looking more and more like we got Herbert Hoover, or maybe Jimmy Carter, better at diagnosing and describing a “malaise” than at curing it…Someone needs to let him know that it’s OK for a Gentleman to fight, when provoked; and provoked he certainly has been…

  5. maya says:


    I appreciate where you are coming from and I agree with you about being concerned about Obama’s chances, they are bullies and he is dealing with them in an ineffective way.

    Indulging myself with a tiny anecdote from what just happened:

    Toronto has been taken over by Tea Party folks with no minders and they keep making mistakes but we (and I mean me too) are to isolated to build off of the mistakes.

    The mayor put out a survey that was patently ridiculous–*which do you think is most important–Fire, Ambulance, 911* was an actual question. We all took that survey, and we thought because we took the survey and the results were in our favour, we won. NOPE. They created a FB group to get the quotes and stories they wanted, and I was let on (I guess their commie, pinko, filter was not strong enough).

    So I got about 200 of the people of the 800 to say–if it is between taxes and service cuts, I’ll take a tax increase. And I copied the names of all the participants and now I am trying to pull together a group of smart Torontonian activists and communications folks to use that list to build a thoughtful dialogue about what was said in the group (where we were basically being used as cats in a cage). They were people I wanted to engage with, and I want to build that to create a real movement.

    In 2004 I got to have a 2 hour long talk with the guy who was running Northern WI for the Republicans (I was working on the Kerry campaign). Basically he had been there for a year, mapped local issues and anger, and built a responsive, operation that was local. No flyers, showing up at school boards and listening and building a way to stoke people`s anger with local issues–and he said he left an operation in place to keep doing this. Basically this is what he was doing—building a community of his outspoken folks and activists.

    We have the resources and the organizers to really listen and build, but we must not just make them into our mouthpieces. We have to start building an operation that actually uses the organizers to build and listen.

    It is not tough, get people who the thoughtful activist would be excited to talk with (a person who they feel has some celebrity) and who the right winger would want to talk to as well–a mayor or politician is fine, but not generally a progressive, a person like an Obama really– and get people genuinely engaged and then staff the these activists–but let them talk and help them do what they want to do, as an equal, not a fixer.


  6. Salvador Sanchez says:

    It is great to see that you’re still breathing after what you wrote yesterday. A true leader must be a son of a bitch when provoke Lou. I found so many contradictions in your piece above– are you apologizing? In addition, I agree that Obama does not have the steely perseverance needed to move a progressive agenda forward.

  7. Stephen says:

    I don’t think he is a coward either. He is some part lawyer and some part organizer. Maybe mostly lawyer. Lawyers are trained to win arguments. They are not trained to run organizations or governments. Obama does not get it: how to win by action and manoeuvre.

  8. So the choice is clear: wake up and smell the coffee (which smells like crap) or drink the Kool-aid we’ve been drinking since JFK got killed, or was it when they chased the commies out of organized labor? What I’m reading here is pure Kool-aid:, “if only he would engage”- Headlines: “He Does Not Engage, He Capitulates”..period! “certain advisors which are not serving him”….Does anyone know who his largest campaign contributor was? Goldman Sachs! He didn’t do “eenee-meanee-mynee” he picked who they told him to pick because They are running this show- not the other way around. If you want “backbone” in a Demo Pres you are going to have to fight for it; a non-corporate party and leader-and his name will not be Barak O-fkg- Bama.

  9. Matt Kimbrough says:

    Lou, while it is possible that Obama will not be re-elected, the historical fact is that ANYONE ELSE we were to choose today would absolutely lose. A choice to challenge any President’s incumbency that is serious has always led to the defeat of that party. It polarizes the party into individual concerns, wastes millions, and invites voters to abandon him. With the safest candidate (sic) on the Republican side being Mitt Romney and all the other realistic choices being dangerous if not fatal to the republic. We need to rally around Obama and renew the Populist Movement for Progressivism.

  10. Rey says:

    No way he can lose Lou to this group of Republicans that have pushed to the front of the stage…now what he can lose and is losing while he is re-elected and currently in office are the fights on issues that most Americans are in agreement on and that matter the most to them…so the question remains…why? he had public muscle behind him…why is he holding back? The holding back is what is even making some question if he should be
    re-elected…if he went balls out holding the position of fairness & justice in important matters…nobody but the LOONY RADICAL REPUBS would have issue with it and the next election would be a no brainer. So again I ask…why does he tread this path with his current manner?

  11. Jory says:

    Hello Lou:
    President Obama will be re-elected. I believe the Americans see it quite clearly – it’s the press that is absolutely showing no respect for our President. Obama has been a target of Republicans who refuse to see their own part in the mess that Obama took over – get it – this is a result of Bush – nothing less, nothing more. Our President is being disrespected, personally I feel because he is black. President Obama is the most decent, smart, patriotic president the United States has ever had. He is positive and optimistic in his vision for America. As a black man it certainly appears that he is demanded to perform four times better than any President in history and then I ask myself – will that even be enough.
    Sarah Palin made a comment that our President was arrogant towards John McCain, OMG what would we have done if she was our Vice President – the lady can’t even read; she makes me ashamed of being a white woman. I will support Obama in our next election, personally I think he is doing an amazing job with what he was handed and no doubt has bigger “balls” than you imagine.

  12. To all watching and speculating on the “horse race” element of who will be the next presidential candidate, you may want to notice that your pocket is being picked while you’re so intently watching. There is an ongoing debate between the 2 parties as to how to divie the proceeds. If we re-elect Obama will there be anything left that he and Geitner will not have sold off to Wall St? Social Security, Medicare, the schools? How ironic that even the people in a mini Apartheid state like Israel “get it” and we Americans are waiting for Brian Williams to tell them which horse is ahead.

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