Thursday, July 30, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
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And I was so intrigued that I signed up. Now, I can get pointy grassroots ideas right where they're born. Brain food. Straight to my brain. It's a no-brainer and free, no less. I was afraid I'd have to pay $19.95 or more, but no. I can ideas right where they're born, for free. I can't wait. They had me at Conservative.
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
As she said in her final farewell address (we hope):
Yes. It's all so obvious. If you're not running for re-election, you shouldn't be in office. Brilliant. Apparently, the purpose of democracy is to have popularity contests. And what's stupid is that it'd make much more sense if she just said that all the attacks on her were distracting her from office, which is why she was stepping down. But of course, that's what the scandal-ridden always say when a scandal chases them from office, so perhaps she was trying to avoid the cliche.“Some still are choosing not to hear why I’m charting a new course to advance this state,” she said, adding that “it should be so obvious to you.”“It is because I love Alaska this much, sir, that I feel that it is my duty to avoid the unproductive, typical, politics-as-usual, lame-duck session in one’s last year in office,” Palin explained, reprising some of the rationale she laid out in announcing her decision to resign earlier this month.
And of course, the most likely theory is that she's a computerized chatbot with pre-programmed phrases and is merely selecting these phrases at random from her stored memory. Because that's most definitely the way she talks, particularly with her unproductive, typical, lame-as-usual, empty phrase sessions. The wonder isn't that she's incoherent, but rather, that anyone imagines she's making any sense at all.
Friday, July 24, 2009
I'm not supporting any theories at all here. Just asking questions that need answers and there's no harm in that. Lots of people believe in Mr. Claus, including our impressionable youths, so it just makes sense to ask questions about his existence and why we haven't yet ended it. But all the same, anyone still asking for Obama's birth certificate is absolutely nuts, and I say that as the guy who secretly wants to nuke Santa (not that I'd ever admit to it).
No harm in asking questions. The people with the agenda are the ones who won't ask.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
For example, saying that someone "acted stupidly" isn't the same as saying that the person is stupid. Everyone acts stupidly at one time or another, but that doesn't make us all stupid. And if Obama's "acted stupidly" quote was as offensive as his critics suggest, they would use that quote rather than paraphrasing his quote into something he didn't say.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
It's as if it hadn't occured to him before that we all pay for things we don't like and that our system of government isn't based upon us only financing the things we want financed. But of course, in our government, the majority picks people to represent our interests and we all agree to go along with whatever those representatives do (within certain limitations, of course). That's how it works. That's the system. And so you get stuck financing wars, abortions, Halliburton, welfare queens, and any number of other egregious things that chap your hide.
And while it's not a perfect system, at least we get to have some say in where our money goes, and that's the whole point. And if you feel that you'll never be part of the majority and don't like how things are run, leave. It's that simple. And sure, my dad could argue that he's a Veteran who fought for our country and somehow deserves special considerations. But no. Soldiers fight for our democracy, not their own personal dictatorships. And democracy today means paying for abortions, even if you don't like them.
The Price of Freedom
And the other part of this is that abortions are most definitely the cheap way out for my dad. According to this site, a first trimester abortion costs between $300-$600, while a second trimester abortion can go up to $5000. Not chump change. But in comparison to the cost my dad would have paid to have that fetus birthed, fed, educated, and quite possibly imprisoned; abortion is definitely the cheaper option.
Of course, my dad might not want to have to pay to birth, feed, and educate that fetus (the prisons he'll pay for). But too f-ing bad. That's not the deal. If he wants to get involved in the decision of this baby's birth, then he's reponsible for the outcome of that decision. And again, if he doesn't like it, there are definitely other countries which won't require him to pay for shit he doesn't like.
Somehow, I suspect he'll miss the stuff he does like, however. Like not living in a country full of stupid hungry children whose parents couldn't afford birth control. Sorry dad, but that's the price of freedom in America.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
the legislation "has never contained anything that would force Catholic hospitals or Catholic personnel to do abortions or to participate in them."
Horn says he became suspicious when he came back from a trip out of town to find his government-issued rectangular coffee table replaced with a round one.Uh, yeah. That's a bit suspicious. Now, assuming there's something to this, what the fuck? You're planting a secret listening device into some dude's house, something that should be discrete and unnoticeable (or so I would imagine), and you have to replace the dude's coffee table to do it? Seriously? And it wasn't even the same shape? Incredible.
Or perhaps this guy's insane. Perhaps there was some perfectly good explanation for why his coffee table changed shape while he was out of town. Perhaps it was bored. Or perhaps this guy is totally insane and it was a round table the whole time. I don't know. Sure, you'd think if his case had no merit that the government wouldn't require a head and former head of the CIA to lie about it. But maybe it does. I don't know. This isn't really my area of expertise, not having been a spy or anything.
All I know is that people are f-ing crazy, aren't nearly as competent as they'd have you believe, and will generally do a far more piss poor job of covering anything up than you'd possibly imagine. The wonder isn't that we find out about conspiracies, but that anyone believes in them at all. Remember, either the CIA is incompetent for doing such a botched job in tapping this guy, or the DEA was incompetent for hiring an insane person. Either way, it doesn't speak well of the government's ability to keep a low profile.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Christians gave us Sundays. Unions gave us Saturdays. Discuss.
Do you believe that God will punish Newt Gingrich the way he deserves to be punished? Why or why not?
God's purpose for Earth: Test of Morality, Test of Faith, or just screwing around.
Name three things God did wrong. Give specifics.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In 2008, Hispanics, according to the latest figures, were 7.4 percent of the total vote. White folks were 74 percent, 10 times as large. Adding just 1 percent to the white vote is thus the same as adding 10 percent to the candidate's Hispanic vote.And we're to imagine that these are the same white people who are voting today, and that McCain should have wooed those same white voters that Nixon and Reagan got. But of course, even Reagan's most recent victory was twenty-four years earlier, and many more of these Reagan voters will be dead by the next election. And that's not to mention that Nixon and Reagan were at the beginning of the Southern Strategy, back before the non-racists realized what sort of party they were voting for.
But even Ronald Reagan never got over 44 percent of the Hispanic vote. Yet, he and Richard Nixon both got around 65 percent of the white vote.
And the problem is, are there whites left who don't realize that Republicans are racist? I mean, of the 43% of whites who voted for Obama, were a few of them anti-black bigots who rejected McCain because he wasn't racist enough? Because it seems to me that the Republicans have just about all the racists they're going to get and it'd be damn difficult to even squeeze an extra 1% of whites by being more racist. And if electing a black president wasn't enough to scare the racists into voting Republican, I honestly can't imagine what would do it.
And sure, yeah, Bush, Reagan, and Nixon got more whites than McCain, but is there some evidence to suggest that this was because they were more racist than McCain? Or that racists were more likely to reject Kerry than Obama? That seems extraordinarily unlikely. Statistically, it should be argued that Obama was simply more popular than Kerry was, so it just made sense he'd get more white people. I doubt McCain lost the racists to Obama.
Wrong Side of Demographics
And of course, even his basic numbers are wrong. Sure, whites made up a much larger percentage of the population than Hispanics, but that includes lots of deeply Republican states that McCain was assured victory in. New Mexico, on the other hand, had 41% Hispanic vote and soundly went to Obama after repeat Bush victories. Similarly, Florida had 14% Hispanic vote, which is twice as much as the nationwide total Buchanan used for his calculations. Winning an extra racist in Mississippi isn't a zero-sum game with losing an Hispanic in Florida. For Republicans, such a trade-off would be a definitely loss.
And as I'm sure you know, these demographics are just getting worse for Republicans. Even in Texas, which is a mandatory win for any Republican nominee, only 63% voters were white, with 20% Hispanic. By contrast, Texas voters were 73% white in 2000, and only 10% Hispanic. It's as if that 10% shift went directly from whites to Hispanics in just eight years. Sure hate to be on the wrong side of that trend.
And Obama won the under 30 vote in Texas, and did well with the 30-40 age bracket. But it wasn't because young white Texans were voting for Obama (they didn't), but because so many young voters were minorities. 7% of Texas voters were blacks or Hispanics under 30, while 9% were whites under 30. Can you imagine how different presidential politics will be if this trend continues and Texas some day has almost as many minority voters as whites? This isn't at all unlikely.
But please, Mr. Buchanan, feel free to alienate these voters as much as possible, as 30% of them were dumb enough to vote Republican. That's the same number of young whites who voted for McCain, so by Buchanan's logic, this is a even swap. But of course, I somehow doubt the 30% of whites who voted for Obama did so because McCain wasn't racist enough, so I doubt there will be any swapping going on here.
Not All Whites Are Racist
And really, Buchanan's problem is that he's looking at the wrong numbers. It's not about how many whites there are compared with non-whites. We need to look at how many racists there are, versus non-racists. Unfortunately, that's generally not a question asked during exit polls.
Because lots of white people also reject race-baiting, and so you can't include them in the numbers of whites who race-baiting might woo. Sure, 74% of voters were white. But 43% of those voted to elect our first black president. I suspect race-baiting is unlikely to work on them. Indeed, my calculations suggest that Buchanan's strategy actually risks offending almost 54% of voters, in order to woo a shrinking demographic of racists. Not that many of that 54% was within Republican reach, but again, there aren't a lot more racists left to woo either.
But of course, all this is a long way of saying that Buchanan is an idiot. Besides being entirely immoral, his rationale for race-baiting is a strategic error, as it merely doubles-down on a racist gambit that has already shown itself to be counter-productive. As Carpetbagger suggested, it appears that Pat Buchanan isn't aware of the fact that many white people actually reject racism. And if any racists haven't figured out yet which party is the one for them, then they're obviously too stupid to vote.
True, Buchanan's race baiting might possibly attract new converts. But at this point, they're losing ten votes for every one they might possibly gain. Sorry Pat, but you've already got the racists and it's clearly a shrinking demographic that already wasn't enough to defeat a black presidential nominee. Like it or not, America is a tolerant nation and the bigot vote is simply too expensive for a party with national aspirations. But as with Carpetbagger, I certainly hope Republicans are dumb enough to follow Buchanan's advice to the end.
[Full Disclosure: I was eating Mexican food when I wrote this, which might explain my pro-Latino bias in this post.]
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
But oddly enough, in both cases, neither of them felt comfortable when I asked them if abortion should be illegal. It wasn't even meant to be a "gotcha" kind of question at all, as I was trying to lead my point somewhere else, yet both of them hesitated when I asked and clearly felt uncomfortable with the idea. My dad went so far as to say that he doesn't think abortion should be illegal, and he didn't believe me when I suggested that Republicans want to make it illegal. Now, this is the same dad who doubted Obama's citizenship, based partly on a misunderstanding of which of Obama's parents was from Kenya. So while his conservative views are entrenched, they're not necessarily the best informed.
And yet, I suspect that this is the case with quite a few people. Their opposition to abortion is firm and they're more than happy to talk about third trimester abortions until the cows come home, yet when it comes to the actual issue of punishment, these people really aren't thinking this through all the way. Hell, they didn't even want to talk about how their position uses the government to impose this on people.
Because yeah, sure, abortions aren't the best option in the world. In fact, they're a pretty piss poor option for dummies who forgot to use a rubber. But...when it comes to imprisoning doctors for committing abortions, that's really just not their style. Nobody gets an abortion without a good reason. Sadly, my mom disagreed with that, though I don't think she knew what she was saying.
Oh yeah, Six Flags sucks ass.
Friday, July 10, 2009
And if you didn't already, be sure to re-read my piece on Obama Independence Day, though I'm sure it's not necessary, as all of you were there at the time. It was definitely a very "happy" Obama Day, indeed.
And finally, you won't want to miss my double pieces on homosexuality: The Myth of Homosexuality and The Gaying of RedState. There will be three quizzes on this topic tomorrow night, so please take notes.
And the dumbest thing you could do would be to not follow my wonderful Twitter feed. Read my twits.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
And in that, we're supposed to believe that she was acting like us regular folks, which should make the media's hatred of her more endearing for us. And no, Palin isn't being attacked for breaking these "commandments." She's being attacked because she's a moron who, according to her supporters, made an epicly moronic decision. So here are Simon's three commandments.
Thou Shalt Not Surprise the Media
Don't surprise the media? Palin's very nomination was a HUGE surprise to the media, and they loved her...at first. The surprise was hailed as a stroke of genius, and after her convention speech, lots of folks thought the tide of the election had turned in McCain's favor thanks to his surprise pick for VP. And no, it wouldn't have mattered how many trial balloons and pre-announcement announcements she had made beforehand, it was a crazy idea no matter what.
And of course, he's got this backwards. Palin's resignation doesn't seem batshit crazy because it was unexpected. It was unexpected because it was such a batshit crazy thing to do that nobody could have predicted that she'd do it. And it didn't get any less crazy after she did it. Similarly, no one expects me to try to jump off a bridge, and they'd consider me crazy for not explaining afterwards why I did it. That's what explanations are meant to do: Make people understand why you did something.
Oddly, Simon cites Bob Dole's resignation from the Senate as proof that it's normally considered acceptable to quit office to run for president. Except, Dole quit because he had just won the Republican nomination, quitting on June 11 after the last primary ended on June 4. And even still, as this CNN article from the time says, Dole didn't want to step down, but was pressured to do so by his aides and fellow Republicans. Dole didn't do this to "run for president," as Simon suggests, but because he was already the Republican nominee and was getting his butt kicked.
Palin, on the other hand, hasn't said she did this to run for president. In other words, this was an entirely different situation. Perhaps if Palin had admitted that she did this for 2012 it would seem less bizarre. But Simon later insisted that he doesn't think she did this for 2012, so he shouldn't even get to use this comparison. He insists that even Palin doesn't know why she stepped down, but again, this is very reassuring and not at all bizarre.
Thou Shalt Not Upset the Pooh-bahs
This one is odd, as I fail to see how Palin's resignation would "upset" the "pooh-bahs." If anything, I'm sure they're quite happy about it. They didn't want her as the candidate, so they're more than happy that she decided to end her career early. This was as upsetting for them as it was for Obama when McCain "suspended" his compaign. But then again, I just did a quick search and see that Simon thought McCain's suspension wasn't "as dumb or as desperate as it looks." Uh, yeah, it was.
And seriously, it's obvious that the Republican Party "Pooh-bahs" have a pretty damn low standard when it comes to their candidates (George W, anyone?), and the only thing Palin did to offend these pooh-bahs was that she was a narcissitic loonball who betrays her allies and refuses to learn the party's version of reality. And in politics, that's a death sentence. They're happy to accept narcissistic loonballs, but they have to be their loonballs.
He also tosses out the attacks on Palin's rambling resignation speech, by saying she's "plain-spoken." And he acts like that's a good thing. And we're to imagine that this fits into the "don't upset the Pooh-bahs" commandment? Huh? I think this fits into the Thou Shalt Not Sound Like a Moron commandment that people only adopted after Bush proved it necessary.
But at least Bush tried to gain a basic grasp of the issues at hand. Palin works entirely in empty soundbites and cliches. While Bush reveled in the clever half-truths he was fed, Palin resents the very concept of truth. She's like Bush, but without the shred of empathy needed to know how to lie properly.
Thou Shalt Pander to the Few, Not Speak to the Many
This one is the funniest, as all Simon does is quote John Weaver suggesting that Palin can't expand her base, to which Simon responds by pointing out that the shrinking Republican Party means that Palin's base makes her the most powerful Republican in the party. In other words, Simon says that Palin is being attacked for only talking to the few, while ignoring the many.
And I agree with that completely. Palin's appeal is extremely limited. And for as much as dopes like Simon want to imagine that Palin is a plain-spoken regular person who upsets the Establishment due to her great appeal to the masses; the truth is that Palin has no such appeal. The majority of people do not flock to Palin or appreciate her for being a regular person. She's a rockstar with the very few who are more ignorant of the issues than she is. And the more she tries to talk to the many, the worse she does with them.
And that's the thing: For as much as Palin and her supporters are trying to cast this as her behaving like a regular person; regular people don't do this either. We don't quit our jobs without explanation. We don't make epic changes in our lives without thinking of the consequences. This isn't just weird in the world of politicians and pooh-bahs. This is weird to the rest of us too.
And Simon would know this, if he lived in the real world, rather than the bubble he created for himself. But of course, that's one of the groups who like Palin the most: The ones who are out of touch with rural life, but want to imagine it has something to do with the type of person Palin is.
And now Politico's Roger Simon mockingly writes:
Sarah Palin is a sinner. She has violated several commandments and thoroughlyAnd yes, what a "savage beating" it is. I mean, people asking questions. And speculating. Endless speculation, which is then followed by more unanswered questions. Simon even quotes CNN's Rick Sanchez daring to speculate that Palin's pregnant. Does it get any more savage than that? I'm sure Obama and his terrorist pals feel much sympathy for Palin's plight. Nothing is more insulting than to speculate that a mother might be pregnant again.
deserves the savage beating that she is now getting from political mandarins and
Crazy Like a Crazy Person
What is it about Palin's spontaneous resignation from politics that people find "bizarre"? I mean, sure, even a Palin fan like Simon doesn't understand why she quit and offers in her defense that he thinks she did this without any forethought about her future. But what's odd about that? As Simon says:
Having said all this, I do not think Palin is being crazy like a fox. I don’t think she has planned out what she will do in 2012. I think she has quit her job, is doing what she wants to do and is reserving judgment about her future.Yes, this is certainly an admirable trait in someone who has aspirations of becoming the most powerful person in the world. No plans. No strategy. Just quit her job and doesn't even want to think about the future. Ahh, how refreshing. Just like us regular folks, who quit our day jobs with no plans for the future. This is my kind of candidate and I'm an idiot. Seriously. She wasn't being crazy like a fox. She was just being crazy. There's a difference.
P.S. I'm still holding out for some giant scandal announcement, which would make me have far more faith in Palin's sanity than her current explanation offers.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Saturday, July 04, 2009
"The way we are going, if you are the Junior Jaycees president in Memphis you
could be in line for the nomination."
Funny, cause it's true. But of course,let's not forget the real joke: This is how they ended up with Palin in the first place. After Bush, the Republican bench was so lightweight that a half-term governor of an isolated state was the biggest "star" they had. But hey, she also received a whopping 909 votes to win a landslide victory for her second term as Mayor, and there aren't a lot of Junior Jaycees who can say that. After that, two years as governor of Alaska was merely icing on the presidential cake.
Seriously though, this is a big reason why worries of Republican dynasty were always greatly exaggerated. After George W, there just wasn't anyone the base would love who could be trusted by the establishment. And with the Bush name in shambles, I'm not sure if that'll happen again any time soon. And while McCain tried to thread the needle by having a running mate the base could love, even that wasn't good enough for the sensible establishment-types running the party. The Republican base absolutely refuses to allow sense to have anything to do with their party, and I support them in that entirely.
Friday, July 03, 2009
Thursday, July 02, 2009
I mean, the man had just lied repeatedly about the biggest topic of the day. The war in Iraq will be a legacy that will haunt Bush's presidency until people stop talking about him. And in that quote, he insisted that he really wanted peace, but that Saddam was making it impossible. Here's another quote from that day:
Again, I hope this Iraq situation will be resolved peacefully. One of my New Year's resolutions is to work to deal with these situations in a way so that they're resolved peacefully. But thus far it appears that on first look that Saddam Hussein hadn't heard the message.See? He's no war monger. Saddam is. And if Saddam had just gotten rid of the weapons that he had already gotten ridden of, Bush could have gotten his New Years resolution of peace that year. And the whole interview was pathetic. Sure, some good questions. But all answered with lies. followed by jokes about four mile hikes and cheeseburgers.
Typical George W. Bush
But that's not the truly sad part. The truly sad part is when the CNN boneheads started talking about the footage they just saw. Again, by the end of 2002, everyone knew we were going to war with Iraq. It was a done deal, and all that was happening at that point was the sales pitch. And while it's hard for reporters at the scene to call the president a liar to his face, we all knew that he was lying. But what did the dummies at CNN talk about? Cheeseburgers.
So, they had the chance to discuss the most important issue of the day, but instead gave us a reminder of what a fun president Bush is, sandwiched with a regurgitation of Bush's lies without even a hint of questioning them. She even talked as if the decision to go to war hadn't already been made, and what a tough decision that would be; due to the "human cost." Oh, George Bush. What a humanitarian!
KYRA PHILLIPS: Typical George W. Bush style, making a serious point, in addition to having fun with reporters there. He's not on his ranch in Crawford, Texas, but outside a coffee shop, where, of course, reporters follow him everywhere he goes, asking him about Iraq, making comments.
Our Suzanne Malveaux wasn't at the coffee shop, but she is there at the ranch, listening, hearing these comments for the first time. Suzanne, I want to know if you're going to take him up on the invitation for a four-mile hike?
SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: Hey, I'd love to, maybe even a run, if he extends the invitation. But as you mentioned before, President Bush talking anywhere from cheeseburgers to North Korea.
[....edited out pointless recap of North Korea]
Of course, he contrasted that with the situation of Iraq, saying, again, he did not expect that Saddam Hussein would disarm. He also brought the fact that he has defied the international community on various occasions through broken resolutions.
He went on to say that his New Year's resolution would be that conflicts be resolved peaceful will you, but said Saddam Hussein has not heard the message. What was interesting, the president also talked about the cost of the war. We have not heard this from President Bush. We've heard about how difficult it would be for him to make the decision, whether or not this country would go to war, the human cost. Today, he talked about it in terms of economic terms, saying this economy cannot afford an attack. He also went on to say that an attack by Iraq or a surrogate would cripple the U.S. economy. So all of these points, the president making, and, of course as you mentioned before, his New Year's resolution, trying to keep off those cheeseburgers -- Kyra.
PHILLIPS: You can go on the nature hike; I'll eat the cheeseburgers. Suzanne Malveaux, live from Crawford, Texas, thank you.
Even the stuff about the economy she mentioned was a sick joke. Bush was asked a good question asking how we could afford war during a recession, and Bush just kept repeating that it would cost us more to not go to war, because Saddam will attack us. And the reporter asking the question clearly knew he was being spun, yet Malveaux obviously thought it was a good point and just repeated it mindlessly.
Now, I'm not suggesting she call the president a liar, but you'd think she'd at least have mentioned how he ducked the question, or how his answer only made sense if we were definitely going to be attacked by Iraq. I mean, the war did hurt the economy, just as expected, and you'd think the CNN talkingheads would have wanted to talk about predictions of that happening, just to have something interesting to talk about.
But, no. Saddam was going to attack us, and it just made sense that an attack would cost more than war. Simple as that. And hey, how about them cheeseburgers?
For example, Bush always pretended as if he didn't want to invade Iraq, right up until the moment the bombs started dropping; and then it became the most important mission in history. As a sad reminder, here's Bush on December 31, 2002, when asked about "a possible war with Iraq looming" while at a coffeeshop in Crawford (partial audio here):
And the American -- this government will continue to lead the world toward more peace, and the American people need to be mindful of the fact that our government is committed to peace and committed to freedom. And we hope to resolve all the situations in which we find ourselves in a peaceful way. That's my commitment, to try to do so peacefully. But I want to remind people that Saddam Hussein, the choice is his to make as to whether or not the Iraqi situation resolved peacefully.
You said we're headed to war in Iraq. I don't know why you say that. I hope we're not headed to war in Iraq.
I'm the person who gets to decide, not you. And I hope this can be done peacefully.
We have got a military presence there to remind Saddam Hussein, however, that when I say we will lead a coalition of the willing to disarm him if he chooses not to disarm, I mean it.
Huh. I wonder how that turned out. And of course, by then everyone knew we were headed to war in a few months. But Bush knew he had to pretend otherwise, lest he gave up the pretext that it was all Saddam's fault. And the media went along with it and didn't even mind when Bush would continue to blame Saddam for many more years. And so the media betrayed every semblance of common sense and was forced to pretend as if the decision hadn't already been made.
And so when Obama doesn't draw a line in the sand on the public option, but instead only describes his support as "strong," it sends up red flags that he's about to sell us out. Same for issues like gay rights and saving Social Security. He uses many of the same words that the liars use when they want to lie; in according with media rules which say that it's not a lie if you use agreed upon codewords that might sound like the exact opposite of what you really mean. And so it's only natural for people to be suspicious when Obama sounds the same way.
Target in the Sand
And while there should always be reason to watch Obama cautiously when he doesn't take a definitive stand, it needs to be seen from the other side: If Obama draws a line in the sand on ANY issue, it sends out a strong message to Republicans to do everything they can to defeat him, in order to damage his reputation for getting things done. Any unbending stance by Obama on the public option or gay marriage or Social Security will just make it more likely that we get defeated.
As it is, Republicans already have plenty of reasons to oppose him on these issues. But by staking his political reputation on any specific policy, he's drawing a giant target on himself. And if we get anything short of his stated goal, the media will rant endlessly about how crippled and powerless Obama is. And there's no upside to this, as Democrats won't see a line in the sand as being a requirement for them, and the "centrist" types are likely to see it as a challenge, for them to demonstrate their "centrism" by going against Obama.
And this is how all negotiations work. It's never a good idea to signal to your opponent which issue they can target you on. And for as frustrating as that is for us outsiders, who can't mindread Obama's true intentions, it's unfortunately necessary. And while this is the same thing the Bushies did when they wanted to go to war with Iraq or privatize Social Security, we've got to hope that Obama's doing it for our benefit; not against it. It'd be nice if he could send us special signals that only we could understand, but that's not how it works. The more he assures us about something, the more he's signaling Republicans on where they should hurt him.
And the best we can do is have faith that Obama is intelligent enough to understand why he needs to pass these policies. So far, he's shown himself to be the smartest politician in our generation. Only time will tell if he was smart enough.