Quotes of the day

posted at 11:05 pm on September 4, 2012 by Allahpundit

President Barack Obama says his Republican challenger has the “wrong vision” for the country. So what’s his?

Some of his agenda for a second term is a continuation of the first. He’d raise taxes on annual family incomes above $250,000. He’d continue to spend on education and green energy. He’d implement the health care law and financial regulations already enacted. And he’d continue to withdraw U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan with a goal of getting them all out by the end of 2014.

Much of his plan is an open question, though, rendered all the more mysterious when he was caught on an open microphone telling Russian President Dmitry Medvedev earlier this year that he’d have “more flexibility” after the November election. To do what isn’t yet clear. Though he’s offered broad themes on the campaign trail, Obama has yet to flesh out the details.

***

What should Mr. Obama push for? The richest American earners must pay more taxes on personal incomes, but the president should also propose comprehensive tax reforms to level the business playing field and encourage growth. A modest carbon tax should also be part of the mix—and I would strongly favor using the revenues to pay equal dividends directly to each American. Dividends would do more for low- and moderate-income families, buffering them against higher energy costs and boosting consumer demand. They also would give all citizens a visible and easily understood stake in the transition to a greener economy…

Perhaps the GOP will remain grumpy about the Affordable Care Act through 2014 and refuse to cooperate on routine legislative fixes. But a second Obama administration can move full speed ahead with the states. With repeal no longer possible, governors of both parties will have strong incentives to accept most Medicaid expansions and get the new health-insurance exchanges right. Mr. Obama should continue to welcome state-level experimentation, so that the best solutions can be found and spread across the land.

***

Above all, we need to slow, stop and reverse climate change. A generation ago, as we faced another man-made global threat, the United States provided the leadership that produced an international agreement to ban chlorofluorocarbons from consumer products. Those chemicals had been destroying Earth’s life-protecting ozone layer.

The coming 25th anniversary of that Montreal Protocol serves as a timely reminder as we confront this generation’s planetary crisis: The world can come together. We can conquer climate change.

Doing so starts with presidential leadership, and the Obama administration has made a good start—most notably through carbon-reducing performance standards like the auto fuel-efficiency standards it issued last week. Fundamentally, though, Americans will need to finally put a price on carbon pollution.

***

The president should approach the Republican leadership with an outstretched hand on a broad front of issues and be prepared to consider steps he has resisted. By doing so, he’ll seize the political high ground. And if the Republicans join him, his second administration would have the best chance to leave the country in better shape than he found it in 2009.

Here’s some of what this might mean:

Reaching a long-term fiscal agreement somewhere in the zone demarcated by the Simpson-Bowles and Domenici-Rivlin commissions.

Stabilizing the long-term finances of Social Security within the framework of the current program, which could be achieved through modest and well-understood changes in both revenues and benefits. For example, earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax could be gradually raised to 90% from 85%, while benefits for upper-income beneficiaries could be indexed to inflation rather than wages.

***

If Barack Obama wins re-election, Republicans will accept the fruitlessness of strategic obstruction. Unencumbered by the imperative to defeat Obama, who will be a lame duck president anyhow, they will begin to work with him on matters of urgent importance to the country.

That’s the White House’s operating theory, anyhow. In their words, the GOP’s fever will break. Or, as Obama himself recently put it, the “blister” will pop, and a new birth of good will will ooze forth into our politics.

There’s just one problem with the theory. Republicans and conservative thought leaders both openly say Democrats are kidding themselves. Even if Obama wins, the GOP is prepared to stymie him all over again — unless he more or less adopts a Republican governing agenda. Some have even used the promise of ongoing obstruction as an argument for a Romney president: Better to let us run the whole show than to keep government divided, because we won’t work with Obama if that happens.

It’s a brazen admission, and one the White House doesn’t really have an answer for.

***

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that if President Barack Obama is reelected, there would be potential under a divided government to make real progress on tax reform and entitlements.

With one caveat.

“I think it depends on whether Obama has an epiphany,” McConnell said in an interview…

“People ask me all the time to kind of psychoanalyze the guy, because I know him pretty well. I have no idea what he really is like,” McConnell said. “I can only assess what he has done. And what he has done so far is neither Reagan-like or Clintonian. And I can’t predict what he would be like in a second term. But I know this: he will not be able to do anything like what he did in the first two years.”

***

If Obama wins, he will almost certainly win with a smaller majority of the vote than he got in 2008, in defiance of the usual trend: Incumbents who win re-election usually do better the second time around. Republicans will almost certainly add to their ranks in the Senate, and may take a majority. No way would they see this set of election results as a “decisive” statement of support for Obama’s views…

The Republicans aren’t going to change. Judging from the interview, neither will the president. He said that after the election he would tell Republicans “you no longer need to be focused on trying to beat me; what you need to be focused on and what you should have been focused on from the start is how do we advance the American economy.” He would reiterate that he has always been open to compromise. And he would “look at how we can work around Congress,” if needed…

If the public renders a split verdict — returning Obama to the presidency and giving Republicans more power in Congress — both parties will insist that it’s the other that needs to “listen to the American people.” The choice before those people is looking more and more like one between Romney and a unified Republican government, or Obama and four more years that look a lot like the last two.

***

Personally, I wish Obama would use this convention to embrace Bowles-Simpson. That would lay the foundation for decades of prosperity. It would galvanize a new center-left majority.

But, mostly, I wish he’d be for something. I wish he’d rise above the petty tactical considerations that have shrunk him over the past two years. I wish he’d finally define what he stands for. A liberal populist? A Clintonian moderate? At some point, you have to choose.

Four years ago, Obama said we could no longer postpone tackling the big problems. But now he seems driven by a fear of defeat. His proposals seem bite-size. If Obama can’t tell us the big policy thing he wants to do, he doesn’t deserve a second term.

***

Nevertheless, the Obama team remains cautiously confident that they are on track to win reelection for the President. As David Plouffe put it in an interview with me, while Obama advisers fully expect the race to be extremely close until the end, as long as he maintains a small but persistent lead in the battleground states, “we’re right on the cusp of victory.”

The Romney camp seems to be hoping for a big, late break of undecided voters his way. But Dems remain convinced they understand who these voters are and what motivates them better than the Romney team does — and don’t see a way that these voters break to Romney in large enough numbers to overcome a two or three point deficit in the key battlegrounds.

“The question is, Is Romney going to get enough of the undecided vote to overcome a two or three point deficit in the battle ground states?” Plouffe told me. “Most assuredly not.”

***


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5

You were way more diplomatic than I was thinking. R. Lee Ermey is pretty good with this kind of thing.

AZfederalist on September 5, 2012 at 1:39 AM

LOL I love that commercial, almost as much as the woodchucks chucking wood!

Night Owl on September 5, 2012 at 3:01 AM

Dire
Bohemian Rhapsody is my all time favorite, I could listen to it over and over as a young-un……

angrymike on September 5, 2012 at 1:42 AM

“Tie your Mother down” is my favorite Queen song, and I got to see it live on their last North American tour almost 30 years ago…

Today (SEP 5) is Freddie Mercury’s birthday…

Khun Joe on September 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

Hey Soloratov, You’re right! I looked up the lyrics, she’s singing “doctor GOOD”. I have a tin ear. More than 40 years, I have been hearing, “DOCTORED WOOD”. TOUCHE’

bigmike on September 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

Forty Years After.

Kraken on September 5, 2012 at 4:48 AM

mika looks like a cat who ate a bird. see’s the speeches which focused on not being able to borrow money from their parents, unlike the romneys

renalin on September 5, 2012 at 6:26 AM

all michael steele had to offer, to compliment moochelle on her dress. that ugly rag?

cannot believe this incompetent fool was ever elected to head the rnc

renalin on September 5, 2012 at 6:31 AM

Amazing.

Even now Obama sees this election as Obama versus the Republican apocalypse. He talks about opposition to him, personally, as if his collectivism, debts and government-dependency are sidelights to the real battle, the Lightbringer versus irrational resistance, instead of the only fight.

What can one say about a man whose ego is so large that Americas future is only a secondary consideration, if it matters in his thinking at all?

As I said: amazing!

MTF on September 5, 2012 at 6:36 AM

Preference cascade in progress

txmomof6 on September 5, 2012 at 6:37 AM

The Convention is showing everyone who Obama and his political party are. My take.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 6:42 AM

http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2012/09/04/DNC-Image-Problems-Continue-With-News-9-Hotels-Have-Recently-Reported-Bedbug-Infestations

INC on September 4, 2012 at 11:17 PM

Why bedbugs? Obama’s EPA has prohibited use of the pesticide which for decades has made bedbugs history. Cincinnati is a leader in bedbug infestations! So a couple of years ago our then Governor Ted Strickland, who gave a shameful speech at the convention yesterday night bashing Romney with lies (and as a former pastor, invoked the Gospel of Matthew to argue against Romney), sent a letter to the EPA pleading for permission to use that “sure kill” pesticide on our bedbugs (Our alternative is to heat up houses to 160 degrees which tends to, you know, burn down houses). So the EPA wrote back and said, no, we can’t do that. It’s harmful to children. It’s for your own good!

Captain, I wish you’d stop being so good to us.

Paul-Cincy on September 5, 2012 at 7:58 AM

 
 
 
You have to really read this to the end…..Vote in November…….

Some of President Obama’s proud accomplishments.

Ø  First President to apply for college aid as a foreign student, then deny he was a foreigner.
Ø  First President to have a social security number from a state he has never lived in. CT
Ø  First President to preside over a cut to the credit-rating of the United States. Standard & Poors
Ø  First President to violate the War Powers Act. Libya
Ø  First President to be held in contempt of court for illegally obstructing oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ø  First President to require all Americans to purchase a product from a third party. Obamacare
Ø  First President to spend nearly a trillion dollars on ‘shovel-ready’ jobs when there was no such thing as shovel-ready’ jobs. He joked & laughed about it later, at our expense!
Ø  First President to abrogate bankruptcy law to turn over control of companies to his union supporters. GM
Ø  First President to by-pass Congress and implement the Dream Act through executive fiat. Illegal voters
Ø  First President to order a secret amnesty program that stopped the deportation of illegal immigrants, including those with criminal convictions. Illegal voters
Ø  First President to demand a company hand-over $20 billion to one of his political appointees. BP
Ø  First President to tell a CEO of a major corporation (Chrysler) to resign.
Ø  First President to terminate America’s ability to put a man in space. NASA
Ø  First President to cancel the National Day of Prayer.
Ø  First President to pray with 50,000 Muslims on the east lawn of the White House.
Ø  First President to say that America is no longer a Christian nation.
Ø  First President to have a law signed by an auto-pen without being present.
Ø  First President to arbitrarily declare an existing law unconstitutional and refuse to enforce it. Immigration
Ø  First President to threaten insurance companies if they publicly spoke-out on the reasons for their rate increases. Obamacare
Ø  First President to tell a major manufacturing company in which state it is allowed to locate a factory. Boeing/South Carolina is a right to work state.
Ø  First President to file lawsuits against the states he swore an oath to protect (AZ, WI, OH, IN) Immigration.
Ø  First President to withdraw an existing coal permit that had been properly issued years ago.
Ø  First President to actively try to bankrupt an American industry (coal).
Ø  First President to fire an inspector general of Ameri-Corps for catching one of his friends in a corruption case.
Ø  First President to appoint 45 czars to replace elected officials in his office.
Ø  First President to surround himself with radical left wing anarchists.
Ø  First President to golf 73 separate times in his first two and a half years in office, 102 times to date.At 4 hours a round, that’s 10 forty hour work weeks!
Ø  First President to hide his medical, educational and travel records.
Ø  First President to win a Nobel Peace Prize for doing NOTHING to earn it 2 weeks after being in office.
Ø  First President to go on multiple global “apology tours”‌ and concurrently “insult our friends” tours.
Ø  First President to go on 17 lavish vacations, including date nights and Wednesday evening White House parties for his friends paid for by you, the taxpayer.
Ø  First President to have 22 personal servants (taxpayer funded) for his wife. Hillary had (3).
Ø  First President to keep a dog trainer on retainer for $102,000 a year at taxpayer (your) expense.
Ø  First President to quote the Holy Quran and tell us the early morning call of the Azan ( Islamic call to worship) is the most beautiful sound on earth. Muslim sympathizer at best?
Ø  First President to tell the military men and women that they should pay for their own private insurance because they “volunteered to go to war and knew the consequences”‌. Military would basically work for free!
Ø  Then he was the First President to tell the members of the military that THEY were UNPATRIOTIC for balking at the last suggestion. Who would insure war veterans? At what cost?
Ø  First President to side with a foreign nation over one of the American 50 states (Mexico vs Arizona).

How is this hope and change working out for you?

Every one of these FACTS can be looked up & verified. Do your homework, the media won’t. You don’t have to like Romney to vote against Obama.

 

Hylott

 

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

bigmike on September 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

It would be nice if you guys took that way-off-topic stuff to private chat or something.

Off-topic (but at least somewhat related to HotAir content) is one thing, but using this space as a chat room to discuss random songs is just inconsiderate to those people who come here for the purpose of reading about politics. When you guys take over the message board for private chit chat, you are shutting out a lot of commenters and turning off many more readers.

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM

The richest American earners must pay more taxes on personal incomes, but the president should also propose comprehensive tax reforms to level the business playing field and encourage growth. A modest carbon tax should also be part of the mix—and I would strongly favor using the revenues to pay equal dividends directly to each American.

So your plan for growth is more taxes, more taxes, more taxes, and… more taxes.

Well Theda Skocpol because I care, I’d like to institute an 80% tax on all your take-home income. As taxes will stimulate you and not depress your economic situation I think the best gift I can give you is to take nearly all your income from you.

Please contact me so you can remit your new taxes to me directly… and you’re welcome.

gekkobear on September 5, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Stench.

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 9:09 AM

bigmike on September 5, 2012 at 3:03 AM

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Take the stick out, panfish. Your post has nothing to do with the QOTD topic.

Fallon on September 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 9:00 AM

Lighten up, Francis. QOTD has been an overnight free-for-all for years.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM

You don’t have to like Romney to vote against Obama.

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Top o’ the morning to ya, Bmore. Huzzah to your post.

Fallon on September 5, 2012 at 9:15 AM

Mornin’ kingjester, can I top off your coffee?

Fallon on September 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Back on topic.

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM

Fallon on September 5, 2012 at 9:16 AM

Mornin’. No thanks. Working on a Diet Coke at my desk. Hopefully,Bishop or somebody else doesn’t post something that makes me spew it on my monitor. :)

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:19 AM

I think Scooters poll numbers are going to continue to fall. The DNC will not help him one bit.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:20 AM

Lighten up, Francis. QOTD has been an overnight free-for-all for years.

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:14 AM

Yeah, well maybe it’s time things changed for the better. Why do you have to make HotAir host your nightly chat fests about random songs? You guys can take that elsewhere. You turn this place into a cliquey chat room, turning off a lot of readers in the process.

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 9:28 AM

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I, myself don’t stay up. However, don’t you think if the Moderators had a problem with it, they would have stopped it by now?

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Granted, it’s not about the actual QOTD’s, which concern, quite possibly, the single most important issue of the day and one which could actually change life as we know it permanently, but it’s a damn sight better than rock videos.

Cleombrotus on September 3, 2012 at 8:43 AM

Like I said, I was unaware that the comment section of HotAir was reserved for music video junkies.

Cleombrotus on September 3, 2012 at 2:16 PM

I agree with the commenter Cleombrotus, who, like me, appears sick and tired of seeing the “Quote of the Day” threads taken over by rude, cliquey regulars who, thinking they own the place, force HotAir to host their little nightly music video chat fests that have absolutely nothing to do with politics.

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 9:37 AM

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

Yep, we should leave so Kilgore Trout can be pertinent.

Cindy Munford on September 5, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Top of the morning to you Fallon, Cindy and King. That concludes todays lesson on how to handle those pesky panfish. ; ). gilled one, did you see what that young lady did to you and yours? Lol!

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM

gilled one, it was on topic, think hard as to why. Even you should be able to figure it out. Lol!

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Bye.

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Top of the morning to you Fallon, Cindy and King. That concludes todays lesson on how to handle those pesky panfish. ; ). gilled one, did you see what that young lady did to you and yours? Lol!
Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM

It’s disappointing that you people still feel the need to resort to petty, childish insults when responding to someone’s politely-expressed, sincere concerns about commenters who use this as a music chat room.

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 10:25 AM

Any body who thinks that Obama would reach across the aisle and work together with the Repubs is living in La-La Land. Remember what he told the Repubs in that joint conference that was televised “We Won”. This time it would be “I Won”

Herb on September 5, 2012 at 10:27 AM

I, myself don’t stay up. However, don’t you think if the Moderators had a problem with it, they would have stopped it by now?

kingsjester on September 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM

May have been a one-off event, but MKH added a new post at 1:36 AM, well after the QOTD was in full swing. A number of commenters whom you never see late-night on QOTD very quickly began commenting and even some QOTDers joined in. It was a very topical, timely post in itself, but wonder if it occurred to anyone else that, in addition to showing their late-night dedication to the site, the editors were offering an alternative? QOTD seems pretty well established as a music thread, but some may still be up to talk politics. And the bars are closed.

de rigueur on September 5, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Honestly, I couldn’t take more than 5 minutes of this convention.

VBMax on September 4, 2012 at 11:19 PM

.
.
You’re a masochist marathoner compared to me. I couldn’t and won’t take 5 seconds of the DNC libtard bullsh*t-fest!!

Sweet_Thang on September 5, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 8:57 AM

Thanks for the list. I’m sure many more such as E.O.’s could be added if we knew about them. What we do know is enough that any sane person would vote for Romney. Can you imagine what we don’t know?

bluefox on September 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

bluegill on September 5, 2012 at 10:25 AM

gilled one, no reason to be disappointed, its my pleasure. You are a pleasure for me. I love to laugh at you. Whether that makes me childish of petty is yet another question. I don’t feel childish or petty. I do like to treat you well. I’ll try to do a better job. I thought you would really enjoy the video. Did you watch it all the way through? Quite a talent that young lady. I will try to find more mature material for you in the future. Admit it, you laughed, it was fun! Lol!

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 6:13 PM

bluefox on September 5, 2012 at 2:32 PM

You are quite welcomed. I am hesitant to post stuff that is emailed to me. I don’t want to be accused of spamming. I thought that was a nice little list. Plus I needed a place to store it. Lol!

Bmore on September 5, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Comment pages: 1 3 4 5