Welcome to PanderFest: Barack Does Fox II

Barack does Fox Part Deux

UPDATE : Seems like I have been relatively moderate in my criticism of Obama after all:
Open Left

I have to say when I saw the Fox interview all I could think of is Sly Stone singing "Love City". Why? Because I witnessed the greatest Republican/Conservative panderfest that any Democrat has done in recent memory. Are you sure that this is the progressive-Democratic demi-god that he is built to be?

Jerome wrote an extensive piece on the front-page detailing his departure from the promise of a public-financed campaign and his departure from his base: the creative class of the Democratic party, who are so bloody "creative" and gullible that they are being taken for a ride by a craven politician.

I will detail two points here:
Not long ago I wrote an angry comment on a classic race-baiting faux concern-for-the-poor diary by a Obama fan in which I said that if Obama lost the big democratic states it is not because of race but because of his policies and if he would lose NC and Indiana if he ran on his policies as well instead appealing to his base i.e. the liberal "creative" (gullible) class and African Americans and for that I listed the following points:

1. Voting for the massive giveaway to oil companies which today is biting these rural counties because of sky-high gas prices

2. Voting with the credit card lobby against setting a cap so now the credit card companies can charge an arm and a leg and continue their predatory practices

3. Not taking a stand on the immigration bill by caving under union pressure; believe it or not these counties right now have a huge and ever growing Hispanic population

4. And now that he is running for president what has he proposed for these people under the burden of high gas prices, credit card debt, losing their homes to subprime lenders and lacking healthcare: NOTHING!! Here is what the Nation wrote:

"Barack Obama's proposal is tepid by comparison, short on aggressive government involvement and infused with conservative rhetoric about fiscal responsibility. As he has done on domestic issues like healthcare, job creation and energy policy, Obama is staking out a position to the right of not only populist Edwards but Clinton as well."

I received this response:

sky-high gas prices?

Thank Bill Clinton's deregulation of the markets. Just one of the Republican wet dreams like NAFTA and welfare 'reform' that Bill made possible which enabled everything from Enron to $120 a barrel oil.

The first order of business to get energy markets out of the grasp of speculators and manipulators and clean up the financial fiasco will be to re-introduce some reasonable oversight and regulation into markets and undo the damage Clinton's deregulation has done. I suppose that now that Hillary is posing as a Crown Royal swigging populist she will say she didn't agree with that policy either.

On immigration Hillary's flip flops on licensing in NY state demonstrates that on immigration just like on the war, the bankruptcy bill and trade Hillary's position is dependent on which way the political wind is blowing that day.

Now keep in mind that the deregulation was passed in 1999 in the wee hours of a lame-duck presidency wracked by impeachment proceedings initiated by a Republican led Congress:

Differing versions of financial services deregulation passed the House and Senate earlier this year, and the conference committee was called to work out a consensus bill and avert a White House veto. The principal bone of contention in the last few days before the agreement had nothing to do with the central thrust of the bill, on which there was near-unanimous bipartisan support

Barack Obama off late had said that one of his priorities will be re-introduce industry regulation, but in true Obama style he does not mention how:

(Mother Jones)
Speaking at Cooper Union in New York City on Thursday, Barack Obama went where few Democrats have dared to go in the past quarter-century: He made a case for more regulation. As part of a speech on his economic platform, Obama depicted the current economic crisis as a consequences of deregulation in the financial sector. "Our free market was never meant to be a free license to take whatever you can get, however you can get it," he said. "Unfortunately, instead of establishing a 21st century regulatory framework, we simply dismantled the old one-aided by a legal but corrupt bargain in which campaign money all too often shaped policy and watered down oversight."

This is quite a statement from a candidate who's received $6 million in campaign contributions from securities and investment firms, just slightly less than rival Hillary Clinton, who cashes in at $6.3 million. Obama's criticism was sharp, but his six-point plan for rebuilding a regulatory structure was short on both details and teeth, and relies on the Federal Reserve, which is like having the fox guard, well, the other foxes. Still, his use of the r-word signals what is at least a rhetorical departure for a party that has been running from regulation for decades.

But is he really for regulation? From today's interview apparently not:

(Fox News Sunday)
OBAMA:  Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

WALLACE:  Such as.

OBAMA:  Well, on issues of regulation, I think that back in the `60s and `70s, a lot of the way we regulated industry was top down command and control. We're going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

And I think that the Republican party and people who thought about the margins (ph) came with the notion that you know what, if you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives for businesses, let them figure out how they're going to for example reduce pollution. And a cap and trade system, for example, is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient.

But does he stop there? No he wants to bring in play the pay scale of teachers as well. Now why is this unfair? Because even a pea-brained would know that suburban public schools in better school districts have better teaching facilities and are better equipped. In North Carolina home-owners in Orange County Chapel Hill school district pay more to be in this area for their children and same in PA in the Dairylan school district. In other words what Obama is saying is what Republicans have been saying for years: the government is not responsible to better the inner-city schools or the schools of the poorer counties and districts it is the onus of the teachers and if the students do not perform satisfactorily there we will scale their pay accordingly:

I think that on issues of education, I have been very clear about the fact, and sometimes I have gotten in trouble with the teachers union on this, that we should be experimenting with charter schools.  We should be experimenting with different ways of compensating teachers.  That -

WALLACE:  You mean merit pay?

OBAMA:  Well, merit pay, the way it has been designed I think that is based on just single standardized I think is a big mistake, because the way we measure performance may be skewed by whether or not the kids are coming in the school already three years or four years behind.

But I think that having assessment tools and then saying, you know what, teachers who are on career paths to become better teachers, developing themselves professionally, that we should pay excellence more.  I think that's a good idea.

There you have it folks the Democratic/progressive messiah not very progressive after all.

timeo danaos et dona ferentes

Update 2 Some have commented here how his position on teacher's pay makes sense. I would argue against that. I have seen multitude of teachers working on a higher degree but because of low pay in public school the better qualified teachers either work in the public schools of the well-financed school districts or go into private schools. As I have commented below, this however does not address the fact that most teachers who enter teaching which in itself is a low-paying thankless job is trying to improve themselves. So his basic talking point is Repub redux. Pray what "assessment tools" indices and metrics will he use to assess a teacher in a well funded school district like Chapel Hill versus a poorly funded school district like Durham or Fayetteville: again just words, no specifics. Frankly these are apples and oranges. I would have been happier if instead of pandering to his conservative audience by saying he will take on the Teacher Unions he actually laid out a plan for setting some uniform standards in the public schooling system. But that is too much to ask.
UPDATE 3: A commenter picked this one out: seems like Obama wants the industry to set its own standards regarding pollution and enforce it. So I guess "green" Obama will do away with the EPA and all environmental regulatory watchdogs in favor "margins" like the Republicans!! Wonderful!!

Tags: Fox, obama (all tags)



Gullible class? You just lost any

moral high-ground if you were trying for some. Hard to take the rest of what you say seriously at that point.

by heresjohnny 2008-04-27 08:46AM | 0 recs
BTW merit pay based not on performance

but on self-improvement is a good idea for teachers. Teachers who do continuing education should be paid more than teachers who do not but all teachers should be paid more. And overregulation is bad just like pure deregulation is bad.

by heresjohnny 2008-04-27 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest


by obamaforprez 2008-04-27 08:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

The Pander in Chief has got to hillary. With her idiotic threat to anilate Iran! What the hell is she doing if not trying to pander to the neo cons. What, is she trying to become Margret Thatcher. Anyone stupid enough to vote for the Bush/Cheney war and then want to continue with their disasterous forign policy, needs to be kept as far away from the White House as possible.

by venician 2008-04-27 08:54AM | 0 recs
It was only a matter of time

before he did this.  He obviously is not appealing to democrats, he is making a direct appeal to repugs.  Good luck with that one, Senator.  Republicans in red states are going to vote for the real republican--McCain because they know where he stands.  They will vote for the real republican every time!

by 4justice 2008-04-27 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: It was only a matter of time

Uh huh. You're wrong.

What the hell is wrong with working with Republicans? As a former Republican myself, I'm digusted with this attitude. This is what made me LEAVE THE REPUBLICAN PARTY, and you're no better than them. "Oh, people who don't agree with us? Pfft! Forget them!"

Guess what. There's millions and millions of Republicans, and if you want to continue our policy of failing to win elections, then yeah, ignore 'em. They'll keep ignoring you. This is a country we're trying to run, not a freakin' school board. Sometimes we need to have consensus and find a middle ground.

by ragekage 2008-04-27 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: It was only a matter of time

Actually, a large number of Rebubs don't consider McCain a real Republican. I read right wing message boards occasionally and many say they won't vote at all. He may be able to peel off some of those. They're unanimous in their hatred of Hillary.

by Becky G 2008-04-27 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest


Let's ignore Clinton and her campaign have been pandering like hell to Fox News; but that would take away from your message, right? I suppose you had to ignore that, otherwise you wouldn't have been able to post this garbage.

THEN you use it as a platform to rail against an Obama supporter who dared disagree with you in another forum.

THEN, you rail against Obama for daring to say Republicans have ever had a good idea, and then mischaracterize his comments on "merit" pay (which you even quote him admitting, in it's current form, is trash).

Stunning realizations, sir. Only one thing to add.

by ragekage 2008-04-27 08:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

Hey, rage, I have no beef with you, and everyone (including me) seems unusually cranky today, but I am just going to say this.

These are not the World of Warcraft forums.  Lately I have noticed a tendency for a few posters to slap these cute litte graphics on a thread, and I notice it always comes from one side.  And I don't think it is helping you dispel any of the negative cliches or stereotypes that people might have about online Obama supporters when you do this.

So can we try to communicate with words?
(the picture is really funny by the way but that's not my point)

by bobbank 2008-04-27 09:15AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

But pictures are a bona fide way of making a point, and a humorous one at that. It can help diffuse the situation. I suppose I could speculate Clinton supporters don't have a sense of humor. ;)

Check out FARK.com, Bob, and go through some of the forums there. You'll understand more what I mean.

But I gotta say, Bob, it's Clinton supporters like you that are going to make me work for her if she's the nominee. I have a great distaste for the woman, but finding well-reasoned and sane Clinton supporters such as yourself really make me stop and think about railing against her and voting for McCain. None of these trite diaries does anything but drive the rift between us further apart; and so I have a great deal of respect for you.

by ragekage 2008-04-27 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

Oh man, wait. Are you telling me that Obama wants to work with Republicans, and doesn't think they're all evil?

Geez, I don't think I like him anymore.

by RussTC3 2008-04-27 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

BS.  Obama is a progressive.  The only difference is he's a progressive willing to work with Republicans and Independents to find common ground.

by RussTC3 2008-04-27 11:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

Nice catch on another Barack flip-flop: regulation.  Two audiences, two mouths, one Barack Obama.  Where he actually stands is anyone's guess (personally I suspect he leans heavily toward regulation).

On compensation for teachers, though, I will agree with him.  Well, I'll agree with what he said (again, what he actually thinks about it is anyone's guess at this point).  I worry that the Democrats may owe too much to various teacher's unions and advocacy groups to actually undertake serious reform (without first convincing those groups it is the right way to go, anyway).

by bobbank 2008-04-27 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

I tend to think more of the Temptations "Ball of Confusion" -
"Vote for me and I'll set you free!"

Obama is a chameleon.
He will say anything to anybody -
Especially if there is a delegate at stake.
Granted that all politicians do this to some extent -
But Obama performs it to perfection.

by johnnygunn 2008-04-27 09:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

Two things:
on De-regulation and Regulation he is all over the place, so to say that he will take on the business community is false and malicious.

on Merit Pay. Most teachers who enter teaching which in itself is a low-paying thankless job is trying to improve themselves. So his basic talking point is Repub redux. Pray what "assessment tools" indices and metric will he use to assess a teacher in a well funded school district like Chapel Hill versus a poorly funded school district like Durham or Fayetteville: again just words, no specifics. Frankly these are apples and oranges. I would have been happier if instead of pandering to his conservative audience by saying he will take on the Teacher Unions he actually laid out a plan for setting some uniform standards in the public schooling system. But that is too much to ask.

Finally for those who rail about Hillary going on Fox....she might have gone there but she did not (much like her husband) reduce it to a pander-fest. Obama goes on Fox and panders but the night before he spins it as "he will be aggressively taking on Fox". Who are we kidding? Who is he kidding? I guess the "creative" class.

by tarheel74 2008-04-27 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest

deregulation = anti-unions

FDR promoted unions;  Reagan killed them.  Which side are you on?

I am pro-union.

by colebiancardi 2008-04-27 09:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest
It's just not that, when he says he agrees with the Republican idea of deregulation of industry to the extent that he wants them to be in charge of policing their pollution standards etc, it brings us to his Exelon bill in which he cut out the state regulation board and handed the regulation of nuclear pollution to the industry itself. The same applies to the Cheney 2005 Energy bill which he voted for and which both Clinton and McCain voted against.
Imagine this arguably reduces the effectiveness of EPA and enforcement of pollution standards. Does anyone here really thinks that the oil, coal, nuclear and automobile industry will honestly regulate their own pollution standards? NOT.
by tarheel74 2008-04-27 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Welcome to PanderFest


again, too much hands in trusting those nice, friendly corporations that have our best interests at heart.

right.  Love Canal, anyone?  How about outsourcing jobs as well?

by colebiancardi 2008-04-27 10:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Sly Stone???

Why is Sly Stone in Japanese subtitles? Can't he sing in Japanese? At least Cantonese? Geeze, the least they could've done was put white geisha powder on his face. I hate reading subtitles, especially Japanese. That's why Japanese silent movies never caught on here in this country. If it weren't for Talkies, Charlie Chan would've been a flop. Not to mention Bruce Lee. It could've been worse, we could've been watching Sly Stallone in Japanese subtitles, then again I might understand him better.  

by johnny sexton 2008-04-27 10:34AM | 0 recs
Re: Green Obama

What a great quote from the green Obama on Republican superior ideas.  Re:  regulation of corporate America:  "Let them figure out how they want to reduce pollution."

(Keep those foxes in the henhouse!)

by moevaughn 2008-04-27 10:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Green Obama

I am waiting for his apologists to spin this one. But the bigger point is think of the howls of outrage it would have created if Clinton said the same thing.

by tarheel74 2008-04-27 10:46AM | 0 recs


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