Obama's Left, Right and Center

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Jonathan Alter, Newsweek columnist, MSNBC contributor, and the author of The Promise: President Obama, Year One, and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation, talk about the Obama agenda, the angry left and right, and the coming midterm elections.


Jonathan Alter and Katrina vanden Heuvel

Comments [17]

The Truth from Becky

DAVID - Get new friends! and don't believe the hype!

Jul. 13 2010 10:43 AM
Edward from NJ

Here's a suggestion. If you're a progressive who isn't happy because the President hasn't done enough about whatever you think is the most important issue, complain on your blog, facebook and twitter. When a polling company calls you to ask how you think the President is doing, tell them he's doing great. The swing voters of American politics like to back a winner, and if Obama's approval ratings look bad it only helps the Republicans.

Jul. 13 2010 10:43 AM
Bryan from bushwick

The problem i have with all the punditry is that they exit to vilify the "other". I am a fan of Obama and think he's doing fine. You can turn a cruise ship around on a dime. But at the same time he is being undercut by news outlets who survive by pitting one side against another and saying that the other is so bad and doesnt represent america. Christina was doing the same thing saying that Boehner is so far right that he is not like us. Well, he has been elected so he must represent someone! We are doomed to cycle of red/blue, left/right without moving forward if we cannot get past the good/bad dichotomy of talking-heads politics. IMHO

Jul. 13 2010 10:32 AM
David from Nyc

Brian, this is said but a true, fact I have literally heard this from African American friends I have, that they only voted for Barak Obama because he was black, many only wanted to make history, and in the fall during the mid-term election and his re-election you will not find the same wave of support. This is sad because I believe he truly wants to bring our nation together and bring real positive change, and give power and a voice to many that never had a voice.

Jul. 13 2010 10:30 AM
Gene from NYC

Nice to hear the adults get a word in edgewise. Balanced, wise, practical.


Jul. 13 2010 10:29 AM
Sam from NYC

Obama's problem, and this is our Democracy's problem in general, is that the legislation itself is no longer relevant, only the spin. No matter what Obama tries to accomplish, no matter how populist or pro-worker the legislation may be, the right-wing and its media outlets are able to spin it as an element of a socialist takeover and people actually believe it.

Jul. 13 2010 10:28 AM
The Truth from Becky

Damn shame that anyone in this Country is hoping for the office of the President to fail, they should be sent to Russia for the next two and a half years!

Jul. 13 2010 10:26 AM
The Truth from Becky

I think things are moving along as well as can be expected considering how many tantrums the repubs throw after every proposal that comes forth for progress.

Jul. 13 2010 10:23 AM
Eric K

This is not about Obama. This is about the American people. The American people are by nature never satisfied. They hold the contradictory views that government should get out of the way but before it does, it should do something. Americans want to be able to say they dislike an active government (after being won over by the Right Wing in the Great Political Bully Debate) but also want government to act. The people will vote against someone who gives them what they want because they don't want to admit they wanted it.

Except of course come Election Day 2012, all people will remember is the campaign. Nothing that came before. So who knows what will happen.

Jul. 13 2010 10:21 AM
The Truth from Becky

FYI one thought he could "walk on water" why that would be blasphemous now wouldn't it?

Jul. 13 2010 10:20 AM
The Truth from Becky

Yes Brian, that is a very simplistic view of the President's supporters...clearly you are not receiving texts or emails from the campaign...just because President Obama supporters are not inciting violence like the tea party idiots doesn't mean they are not still out there.

Jul. 13 2010 10:20 AM
amalgam from Manhattan by day, NJ by night

You said it Brian, I would say that at least 1/3 of the American population (if not more) are hoping that Obama will fail, and consequently the U.S., so that their version of America will be put in place.

Some started out with that desire, some have arrived at it more recently, but the sentiment is still prevalent.

It is indisputable that Obama has helped to stabilize the economy, without taking on the "big banks" and other special interest from the outset as he should. He has always portrayed himself as a moderate, fairly corporatist politician, so people's varied expectations pre-election were projections that were bound to be dashed.

Katrina is right that we need to hold Obama's feet to the fire and get the left, the young, and new voting blocks that were mobilized more organized.

Jul. 13 2010 10:19 AM
Yosif from Manhattan

Katrina laid it out very well. One thing I would add as a big disappointment would be leaving the "loyal Bushies" as federal prosecutors across the country after a year and a half. Bush, and Clinton all cleaned house here when they came in, and like the MMA this has ramifications (i.e. Don Siegleman)

Jul. 13 2010 10:17 AM
Juli from Skillman, NJ

A great deal of progress has been made during the Obama administration. Healthcare has moved forward. Unemployment has gone down. Economic progress, not perfection, has been made.

The big argument that people seem to launch is the lack of bipartisanship; but, those that make that argument need to really look closer at the true perpetrators of that lack of bipartisanship-Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell. They are not Obama. I just wish that more people could see this point.

Jul. 13 2010 10:15 AM
shaun from nyc

Lest we forget that Obama is a member of the Democratic Party, a centrist, corparatist political machine. Why are we so shocked that his presidency is not as "progressive" as Leftists want it to be?

A truly progressive presidency will only occur when a Green Party member is in the White House. Until then... nothing but baby steps toward a progressive agenda.

Jul. 13 2010 10:14 AM
Jennifer from Chelsea

Obama is doing the best he possibly can and really doing well considering. He passed a stimulus to stop the downward slide, and did the impossible and passed health care!! I blame the Senate for being idiots and/or demagogues but I am willing to give Obama more than just a year and a half to fix 8 years of mess! Yes We Can!!

Jul. 13 2010 10:12 AM
The Truth from Becky

I wonder how I always get left out of these random surveys...the opinion Brian just made does not include me. I think he is doing very well considering the starting point.

Jul. 13 2010 10:08 AM

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