Short-arm inspection

Charles Blow

Obama has a list of accomplishments as long as your arm. But a less-than-masterly use of the bully pulpit has allowed both opponents and supposed allies to minimize them. A very vocal part of the progressive base has painted many of his successes as capitulations, while many on the far right have painted them as a threat to the security and solvency of the republic. That’s the problem with lingering too long in the middle: you take fire from both sides.

And then there is the prickly racial question that we dare not raise lest the raiser him or herself be called a race baiter: can the president win back enough of the white and Hispanic support? A Gallup report issued this week found that the president’s approval rating among both whites and Hispanics had dropped to the lowest point of his presidency. Since he was elected, his approval rating among whites has dropped by 43 percent and by 36 percent among Hispanics, but it has dropped nearly 9 percent among blacks.

There is no way to fully understand this racial movement, but there is no denying that it exists. Maybe some blacks are stubbornly sticking with him, in part for racial reasons. Maybe some whites and Hispanics are drifting away from him, in part for the same reasons. Who knows? But the dramatic difference points to something that exists beneath the surface and beyond policy.


Let’s see, he made a speech, and then he made another speech, then he went golfing, then he made another speech . . . oh, wait! Lily Ledbetter!

IIRC, Barack Obama was already black when he was elected. It’s amazing that so many racists didn’t realize it until now.

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15 Responses to Short-arm inspection

  1. Dario says:

    Americans hate Obamacare. Obama can crow about what he sees as accomplishments, but the more he crows, the more people will reminded how much they hate his main “accomplishment”. The other, financial reform is a massive regulation that’s not brought any stability to the banking system.

    That’s it.

    Obama is a loser.

  2. ralphb says:

    NYT: Mr. Banker, Can You Spare a Dime?

    Now this is the Joe Nocera I remember from his years at Texas Monthly.

    His problem was — and is — the same one facing millions of small businesspeople. With lending standards extraordinarily tight in the wake of the financial crisis, banks simply aren’t making small business loans, not even to perfectly creditworthy people like David. Which means he can’t expand — and hire — the way he would like to. Yes, he said, he could continue to plow his cash flow into the business and grow it slowly. But to get the firm to the next plateau, he needs a bank loan.

    “Banks say they have credit to offer,” he wrote. “And they make you go through all the motions. But then they offer nothing.” He tried three times to wrest a paltry $50,000 from two different banks, including JPMorgan Chase, which the firm uses for its own banking needs. He showed the loan officers Blue Heron’s receivables and its long-term contracts. It didn’t matter. He was turned down all three times. No collateral, said JPMorgan. Lack of a relationship, said the other bank.
    On Thursday night, President Obama offered up a series of tax breaks to small businesses as part of his jobs package. “Everyone here knows that small businesses are where most new jobs begin,” he told Congress. I don’t mean to diminish the tax relief, which may, indeed, encourage small businesses to start hiring. But, far more than tax relief, small businesses need credit. That is what the president should be pushing for.

    Three years ago, the federal government used tens of billions in taxpayer dollars to save the banking system. Now, at this dire economic moment, the country needs the banks to return the favor. Pushing the country’s banks to act more like Sterling Savings Bank, and less like JPMorgan Chase, is something that the president might want to put on his jobs agenda.

    Compare and contrast to Mr Blow.

  3. DandyTiger says:

    When I hear that kind of shit I’m usually speechless. It’s like the Bush believers all these years later saying he was the greatest president ever. Seriously, what fucking planet are these people on?

  4. List of accomplishment as long as your arm, lol. I enjoy reading most of Charles’ posts. He’s not afraid to push the envelope, like this one suggesting Progressive Jews were abandoning Obama which stirred up much debate in the progosphere. He also likes to regularly post on facebook examples of racist emails he receives in his inbox, which is enlightening and affecting.

  5. foxyladi14 says:

    can I please borrow that bumper sticker graphic? 🙂

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