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Second round of stimulus cheques?

June 26 (Bloomberg) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said the U.S. will continue dealing with ``short- term pain'' from an economic slowdown and the country needs a second round of stimulus checks to spur consumer spending.

``We know that consumer confidence is at all-time lows. We have to give people some sense that they could absorb the rising costs in gas, food and medical care,'' Obama said in an interview with Bloomberg Television today in Pittsburgh.

Yeah, feeding money to inflationary pressure is going to relieve inflationary pressure...

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 26, 2008 2:46 PM

seriously: what's our option?

Obama's a politician 1st: a compromiser, a triangulator, a smooth talker, a panderer, and he'll betray every progressive goal there is in the name of expediency & the middle ground.

but he'll also likely be the best president of our lives.

Posted by max solomon | June 26, 2008 2:50 PM

Obama fans before Clinton quit: "Obama is above everyday politics. He will bring change and is a new kind of leader."

Obama fans after Clinton quit: "Of course Obama has to mouth compromise on FISA, the death penalty and gun control. It's just politics. He needs to do what he needs to do to get elected."

Posted by Mason | June 26, 2008 2:52 PM

This is pure, uncut pandering. This has not been hopped on by baking soda, sugar or baby laxative.

Pandering -- as pure as god intended.

Posted by Jubilation T. Cornball | June 26, 2008 2:52 PM

I believe he'll continue to do so (ie. buck liberal orthodoxy). I'm especially curious to see if he comes out against school vouchers or not. DC Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, the NEA and basically the educational establishment are against them. However, many minority parents favor them especially in DC and other urban areas where public schools are problematic.

Posted by lark | June 26, 2008 2:53 PM

Finally! A democrat who knows that you cannot please everyone. Better to take a stand that some will disagree with than to take no stand at all.

Posted by Mrs. Jarvie | June 26, 2008 2:53 PM

Eli, I had sex with Obama--or at least I'd like to say I did to hopefully score some PR. But I'm so scared of your commenters with their vitriol and death threats. Please e-mail me and I will give you all of the juicy details with some pictures I got from We can also talk about how terrifying your commenters are. Omg scared.

Posted by anonymous slog commenter who is afraid of other commenters killing him | June 26, 2008 2:55 PM

I also disagree with SCOTUS' blanket prohibition on the use of the death penalty -- it is, after all, a powerful disincentive -- but I recognize that there isn't a lot of consensus there. As for the Second Amendment, anyone who didn't read the 'militia' bit as a subordinate clause was engaging in wishful thinking.

So really, the only thing that worries me is the FISA compromise. Beyond being bad legislative precedent, it shows him as lacking a real spine and gives me a bad taste in my mouth. I was hoping he'd not bend over for his lobbyists, like every other legislator.

Posted by sociallytangent | June 26, 2008 2:55 PM

I'm mostly just concerned about how all this will impact his "Most Liberal Senator on Earth" rating from National Journal.

Posted by Just Sayin' | June 26, 2008 2:55 PM

Max is correct. Still kinda steamed about FISA, but he is keeping the "He's gonna let people rape our kids" crowd quiet, and the Heller decision is the correct one. Chicago has a handgun ban, and people are getting gunned down here every day. A ban makes no difference to criminals. My A-#1 Senator Russ Feingold, friend to left-minded people everywhere, praised the Heller decision. I'm not worried. President Obama = an actually stronger America, an America not gripped by fear and neocons.

Posted by P to the J | June 26, 2008 2:56 PM

Barack will be way better than John McCain or any other republican candidate, but this is exactly why I haven't bought into the Obama hype.

I remember in 1992, going to a party to celebrate the Clinton victory. He was going to revolutionize politics. He was part of the new generation. He got it. And he caved on gays in the military within a month, and health care reform went nowhere. It's that kind of shit that made people vote for Nader in 2000.

George Bush - who ran roughshod over everyone who got in his way and did whatever the hell he pleased, Congress and the people be damned - he broke the hearts of his conservative base by not outlawing abortion and homosexuality. And Obama will break the hearts of all the energized young voters attracted that his campaign is attracting. It's the nature of politics.

Posted by L-Train8 | June 26, 2008 2:57 PM

Last time I ever get fooled.

My only conclusion is that Carlin was right, the reason our politicians suck ass is well, we as a population suck ass.

Posted by bullshit barack | June 26, 2008 2:58 PM

The percentages are staying remarkably consistent as the number of votes climbs.

(Currently 62% / 28% / 10% with 134 votes.)

Posted by lostboy | June 26, 2008 3:03 PM

i'm moderately disappointed, mostly about FISA. i'm not at all surprised though; i have a great deal of respect for obama but i never bought into him as the progressive messiah. i've been sold out by "liberal" politicians countless times before and i'm sure it will happen countless times in the future. being mostly right on the issues most of the time is all i really hope for. at least he didn't authorize a war for political expediency.

Posted by jon c | June 26, 2008 3:04 PM

There is a line between pandering and avoiding political traps; I think Obama is still mostly operating on the latter side of it. Though I must say the FISA thing pisses me off...the man's a constitutional lawyer for Christ's sake. He knows what a sham it is, and he should make the argument that our rights and the foundations of the country are more important than our perceptions of security. All of a sudden he's worried about being seen as soft on terrorism. He shouldn't let McCain do that to him. The people are ready for a new approach...poll after poll shows it.

Posted by Matthew | June 26, 2008 3:04 PM

@2 is correct.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 26, 2008 3:05 PM

I don't even know where I stand on gun control, let alone where Obama should stand.

The death-penalty thing -- is it worth Obama committing political suicide over? It's sad, yes, but putting himself on the side of child rapists would be the end of the whole election.

FISA -- he screwed up. He knows it's the wrong vote and I'm mildly pissed at him.

I still like him and think he'll be a very good president. We'll still have to press on issues we care about and perhaps solve them ourselves, which is how it should be.

Posted by Andy James | June 26, 2008 3:06 PM

You left out the option "I like him more".

It's brazen politic-ing, a quality I expect from someone ruling the demo nomination.

Posted by josh | June 26, 2008 3:06 PM

oh, and @11, i felt exactly the same way about clinton in '92. which is why i have never been able to take all the "hope" and "change" rhetoric too seriously, even though i still think obama was the best candidate out there.

Posted by jon c | June 26, 2008 3:08 PM

@3 - you nailed it. We must be very very carefull about suspending out 4th amendment rights just to get a democrat in the white house. We can trust Obama with these un-constitutional powers, 'cause he's a good guy right?

"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty." - John Adams [1772].

Props to Gleen Greenwald and his commenters for the quote...

Posted by scharrera | June 26, 2008 3:09 PM

Someone who has been built up that much can in no way not disappoint. It's inevitable - That bubble is gonna burst

Posted by PussyDunkinHines | June 26, 2008 3:10 PM

.. at this moment i wished i could pick a combination of the three and would add a few more to the choices.. but i agree with #2 and #11 when i think of the last 8 years i still quiver with being able to choose him and get off so well.

Posted by reverend dr dj riz | June 26, 2008 3:10 PM

Only the FISA position has any meaning at all. The other two are Supreme Court decisions, and while Obama is free to have any opinion he likes about the death penalty or gun control, those weren't his decisions to make, and as President his policies will be unlikely to touch on those areas anyway.

His FISA position is disappointing, but predictable. However, before we shed tears of frustration, it's worth noting that we're talking about a bill that will likely be signed into law in August. He could very well work to undo it in January. And it's also worth noting that the retroactive immunity, while anathema to the rule of law, only applies to civil proceedings, not criminal.

So I'm willing to believe that FISA is the first of many disappointments that idealists will suffer at Obama's hands. But it is possible that it's merely a part of a larger strategy.

Posted by also | June 26, 2008 3:11 PM

Someone who has been built up that much can in no way not disappoint. It's inevitable - That bubble is gonna burst

Posted by PussyDunkinHines | June 26, 2008 3:11 PM

@3 That may be true for his fans, but I don't think he's been disingenuous about how he's presented himself. Even back to his keynote address at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he is a politician who's billed himself as a bridger of gaps, not some rabidly partisan Democrat.

The idea that he would be some super-progressive ultra-liberal candidate is a myth perpetrated by some of his fans. I know there are now disgruntled Obama supporters who really believed that they would be in agreement with everything he said or did, but that expectation really had no basis in reality. If you call this "pandering", all that means is that you made an unrealistic assessment of his actual views to begin with.

Posted by Hernandez | June 26, 2008 3:12 PM

A "true-blue" progressive liberal Democrat will never be elected President of the United States. This election will be won by the candidate that can collect the most swing voters to add to either the red or blue column.

It's called politics kids, if you don't play the game, you can't win.

Posted by Westside forever | June 26, 2008 3:13 PM

A and B.

Posted by w7ngman | June 26, 2008 3:13 PM

It's not uncommon to run towards the center in the general election.

Bush did it--twice.

Fool me once, shame on you.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 26, 2008 3:14 PM

He's (still) the one.

I was indifferent through the early days of the primaries and came to support Clinton if only to counteract the phenomenal blank-slate known as Obama. I'm a skeptic, not a cynic. I expect a politician's first duty is to itself and when its interests overlap with my interests it's a beautiful thing. I anticipate greater overlap with my interests and Obama's machinations than with McCain's. Simple arithmetic.

I also agree with earlier comments re liberal orthodoxy. F'rinstance, liberal orthodoxy about guns and gun control should be about policy in light of what is/ is not deemed constitutional.

Posted by umvue | June 26, 2008 3:15 PM

how come there isn't a box to check if you never wanted him in the first place and this is the reason why. I get it. He is wonderful!!! DONT YELL AT ME PLEASE. But can any of you see why some of us were weary of someone who came off as such a political player and espoused the idea of HOPE and CHANGE instead of concrete ideas. I think it's gonna be hard for the people who looked up to him like the new messiah to see htat he is a political animal who is gonna throw a LOT of people under the bus... AND let's not forget he also came out saying that he believes marriage should only be for a man and a woman... not a good week for his desciples in my book. BUT... i feel no sense of joy in his unmasking... i just hope that the people who feel so hard so fast for him wont fall out of love just as fast.

Posted by ian | June 26, 2008 3:18 PM

That anybody thought Obama was perfect was a straw man created by his critics. It's silly to then participate in the burning of their straw man.

The only message to take away from these supreme court decisions is that it matters who is appointed. Think about that before you risk letting McCain win.

Posted by elenchos | June 26, 2008 3:21 PM

The Supreme Court stuff is irrelevant. He can state whatever politically advantageous opinion on these decisions he wants, but when the chips are down I'm confident he will nominate liberal judges. The fine details of his policy stands just don't matter in this case.

FISA does suck, though.

Posted by MHD | June 26, 2008 3:23 PM

The man needs to win and win big. Bigger than an inconspicuously stealable margin -- remember that the Republicans still own the voting machines and have demonstrated they're not afraid to use them.

It needs to be a landslide. A Clinton-esque, triangulate-the-swing-votes, do-whatever-it-takes landslide.

Posted by flamingbanjo | June 26, 2008 3:24 PM

Mason @3: yes!!

Another example: when Obama supporters assured us that they (and/or their relatives) would vote for McCain if Obama didn't get the Democratic nomination -- and there were many of these on Slog around the caucuses -- this proves Obama's electability and that his supporters are free-thinking independents loyal to people not parties, etc.; when a small minority of Hillary's primary supporters defect to McCain in the general, it proves they're stupid, crazy, sore-loser bitches.

Posted by David | June 26, 2008 3:26 PM

Still better than the cunt.

Posted by meks | June 26, 2008 3:27 PM

It's been a rough week, let's just say that.

Posted by K | June 26, 2008 3:28 PM

Why even try to inject liberal or progressive into this election? It's not about that.

Aren't people deciding this on the nebulous issues of hope and change?

Anyone thinks they're casting a vote for progressive politics doesn't recognize that it's not on the ballot and it's most populist manifestation left as an option in this election when Edwards dropped out.

You're voting for or against the absurd idea of hope and change in the form of the old guard in a new, more politically viable package. Nobody's voting on anything so pragmatic as left or right.

An elected Obama is not representative of some radical paradigm shift in American attitudes. This is more like Americans toeing the water, still totally poised to go back to the towel and keep reading the same book until the sun comes back out if everything doesn't go perfectly.

Ain't no sunshine. Americans will beat a hasty path back to republican leadership in 4 years if they elect Obama and it doesn't go flawlessly for everyone who swung Dem.

Posted by Sunshine Feels Good, Yo. | June 26, 2008 3:28 PM


...when a small minority of Hillary's primary supporters defect to McCain in the general, it proves they're stupid, crazy, sore-loser bitches.

Not to mention racist.

Posted by Mason | June 26, 2008 3:32 PM

David @34:

Obama supporters assured us that they ... would vote for McCain if Obama didn't get the Democratic nomination ...

... when a small minority of Hillary's primary supporters defect to McCain in the general, it proves they're stupid, crazy, sore-loser bitches

Please.  It was a similarly small minority of Obama supporters, and the rest of us all regarded them as stupid, crazy, would-be sore-losers, same as the face-spiting HRC avengers now.

Posted by lostboy | June 26, 2008 3:41 PM

There's more to the pattern than that.

Now that the goosebumps have subsided, and we know he's an ordinary pol, maybe it's time to re-examine the plain text of some of those utterances that had people swooning in the aisles.

"Progressive" is still in the running, with 1,924 delegates going to Denver.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | June 26, 2008 3:45 PM

Mason @ 38 -- Yes, indeed ... racist, warmongering, back-alley abortionists.

I keep my Iraq War bloody shirt on the bloody coathanger next to my KKK robes.

Posted by RonK, Seattle | June 26, 2008 3:48 PM

The primary presents different contestants and problems. The general is for independents too. You play to the crowd. He doesn't want to make the same mistakes as Dukakis. (He wouldn't execute his wifes murderer and that hurt big time)

Posted by Vince | June 26, 2008 3:48 PM

Well of course he's not as liberal as progressives hope he would be, nor as liberal as many argued during the height of the nomination battle. Everyone who's been around through a few of these cycles understands this, and are going to vote for him anyhow.

The problem is that many of the people who form the core of his support HAVEN'T been around through a few of these cycles. My fear from the beginning has been that the youngsters/recently politically awakened would stop giving his campaign time, money, and passion once the hard block and tackling of the general election started.

The Republicans haven't even started getting dirty yet, and already people are second guessing their enthusiasm for our candidate. The Obama candidacy is an experiment- an experiment to see if the young and the progressive can really field a winning candidate. Get all whiny and pissy and nit-picky, and the experiment won't be repeated.

Posted by Big Sven | June 26, 2008 4:03 PM

@40: Wow, who is this "progressive", and when did Hillary transfer her delegates to him/her? Because she, like Obama, voted "Not voting" on FISA.

I haven't found a statement from her on the death penalty or gun cases, but I would be shocked if her positions differed from his.

Remind me again of how different they are?

Posted by also | June 26, 2008 4:08 PM

^^ let me clarify: I'd be shocked if her position on the gun control decision was different, and am willing to believe her position on the death penalty for child rapists is different.

Posted by also | June 26, 2008 4:17 PM

I can't vote in this poll for some reason, but I'm worried, hopeful, and heartbroken in equal measure. The sad thing is, this is probably as good as presidential politics gets. Yes we can (be disappointed by yet another double-talking politician.)

On the specific issues, I think he nailed the second amendment response, his death penalty answer was understandable pandering, and his FISA vote was unforgiveable pandering. But just because he's completely wrong on that issue doesn't mean he's not likely to be a great president. FDR was the last century's best president, and he threw basically the entire Japanese American population in jail without due process (and tried to pack the Supreme Court with political allies). Lincoln was the best president of the 19th century, and he revoked habeas corpus. Even our presidential heroes made huge mistakes and did unconscionable things. We should hold them accountable, but remember that things can always be worse and that it's our obligation to support the best candidate with a credible chance of winning and then enacting at least part of a positive agenda. That's Obama hands down.

Posted by Cascadian | June 26, 2008 4:19 PM

I like him better now. It shows he's moderate, and willing to consider and come to compromise with the beliefs of people from "the other side" -- exactly what we need in a real uniter.

Posted by Stinky | June 26, 2008 4:21 PM

as others have said above, the only problem here is FISA. i'm very unhappy about that.

i'm thrilled with everything else. i'm an independent. i agreed with both of his SCOTUS responses.

Posted by ironymaiden | June 26, 2008 4:49 PM

The current administration has made me a firm believer in the right to bear arms. I don't find it so farfetched anymore that we might have to defend ourselves against our own government. Sad, but true.

The death penalty thing? I'm against the death penalty in all forms, but as long as it's legal, the laws should have some consistency. I think most people believe that child rape is about as bad as crime gets. I'm not sure I agree, honestly, but I can see where Obama is coming from.

And FISA? I wanna smack him upside the head for that one.

But I'll still be excited to vote for him.

Posted by violet_dagrinder | June 26, 2008 5:11 PM

Lostboy @39:

Sorry, no. Here on Slog at least, it was a surprisingly sizable minority of Obama supporters here on Slog; e.g., regular commenters Cato the Younger Younger, brandon, Original Andrew; #s 8, 26/57, 31, 39 (Bellevue Ave), and 43 from this thread:

And if the rest of you thought that way about them at the time, you sure treated them with kid gloves.

Posted by David | June 26, 2008 5:57 PM

Oh for God's sake, what's the big drama about guns? I don't have a gun, don't want a gun, and have had a dear friend killed by someone with a gun, but I still don't begrudge a gun nut the right to have a gun.

I'd much much much rather see the kind of society where we treat mental illness as a matter of course (as opposed to a matter of shame) and help the nutty gun nuts before they decide to kill somebody (and/or themselves) than worry about someone packing.

As for Obama, as the first black candidate for President, he's going to have to be fairly conservative in his positions to counteract the slime machine they are going to launch against him. Just wait - before this is over, they are going to try to paint him as a southside pimp with a welfare queen wife.

He's not running for president of the Seattle Liberals, you know ;-)

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | June 26, 2008 6:37 PM


Speaking as a former *fervent* Clinton supporter, the SLOG Obama commenters whom I respect gave reasoned, impassioned, often heated, but generally respectful arguments (respectful to me, at least, if not always to my candidate- hiya kesh!)

The assholes? They were just doing their normal thing.

Posted by Big Sven | June 26, 2008 7:52 PM


In my own defense, I never said I wouldn't vote for Clinton in the general election. Or at least I'm pretty sure, unless I was drunk.

Posted by keshmeshi | June 26, 2008 11:01 PM

We'll re-defeat NO-Bama in November!!

Posted by clintonsarmy | June 27, 2008 3:19 AM

the death, after all, a powerful disincentive

It is? How the fuck does anyone know that? Is there some measure that defines how many would be murderers decided not to go through with their crime at the last minute because they were afraid of the death penalty?

I know, I'm off on a tangent, but I couldn't let that go. Obama is smart. I'd rather he break a few hearts AND WIN.

Posted by Mike in MO | June 27, 2008 6:21 AM

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