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Post Partisan
Posted at 03:45 PM ET, 10/30/2012

PostScript: Cohen, Obama and fighting for issues

Even the horrifying pictures out of Manhattan and Appalachia today can’t distract us here in the PostScript bunker from the most important issue of the day, comments-wise: Does President Obama rule or suck?

We’re all hanging out in Richard Cohen’s 5,000-commented column, which presents us with a conundrum. He argues that Obama sucks, but only because of how awesomely he promised to rule. Also, he says, Mitt Romney sucks more, so Obama must rule a little bit — just not in a way that makes Cohen as excited as watching old footage of Robert F Kennedy, who wore on his face, Cohen says, his determination to the cause of fighting poverty.

Commenters were trying to parse this on the vaunted Internet Rule-Suck continuum.

olddesert_rat says Cohen’s ennui isn’t even about Obama, it’s about the media’s lost innocence:

Mr. Cohen has some good points in this article. I disagree with his conclusion because we now live in a digital age with a 24-hour news cycle and an abundance of radio talk shows. . . . This country seems divided rather than unified, and in this circumstance it’s rather hard to find a direction.

AsperGirl says Obama couldn’t have gotten ANYTHING done if he were focused on a cause instead of staying afloat:

As a former Clinton supporter, I’m not a big fan of Obama by any means. But this article is ludicrous. The President can be about causes in times of peace and prosperity, not in time of global financial crisis and war.
I think of the things Obama has approached properly, one is avoiding playing ideology-man and espousing extraneous causes, making it clear that working on core issues is a priority.

PostScript coughs three times, and the middle cough sounds like “FDR.”

SeaTigr says there’s only one candidate he or she can really trust:

President Obama lost my vote the moment he signed the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act], with its provision ‘allowing’ the government to imprison American citizens indefinitely without trial, and again when he authorized the assassination of an American citizen.
I honestly don’t know who I’ll be voting for on 6 November. Maybe I’ll write in myself as a candidate.

flyover22 thinks it’s odd that Cohen is so disappointed and yet will still support Obama. flyover begins by quoting Cohen:

“I will vote for Obama with regret. I wish he was the man I once mistook him for.”
One of the purposes of elections is to weed out ineffectiveness, corruption, and waste. You have made a strong case about Obama’s lack of leadership skills and ineffectiveness. I would agree.
Carter was ineffective, we elected Reagan and it worked out well. Bush I was a bit detached, we elected Clinton and it worked out well. These elections caused a realignment and a reset of the government to the electorate’s expectations.
Although Romney may be no better, why use your vote to confirm existing and proven mediocrity?

HistoryBoy sees a similarity in the hopes Cohen had for Kennedy and for Obama at the same point in their careers, arguing that there’s no real reason to believe Kennedy would have fulfilled his potential any more than Obama did:

The reality is that Bobby Kennedy died when he was 43 and his potential was never fully realized. Obama has had to actually lead the country. Cohen lives in a dream world where Bobby would have ended the Vietnam War immediately and totally eradicated poverty. But the reality is we have no idea what Kennedy would have done if elected President. If anything Bobby was a pragmatist, just like Obama, not some starry eyed dreamer.

Woodette thinks that in the real world, pragmatic problem-solving is at least as caring and compassionate as zeal is:

President Obama has been a real-world president, dealing with the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression. RFK unfortunately did not survive to become president, if he had been elected. The comparison here is highly suspect. So, Obama is not our “savior.”
However, he’s been a fine president, and I am looking forward to supporting him in his second term. Even Governor Christie can see that President Obama cares about people.

The Christie interview Woodette references is here.

PostScript is not totally sure if the consensus comes down on this one for rules or sucks, and it’s making her uncomfortable — just like people not hating Pepco as much all of a sudden, or trying to figure out whether Obama faked Christie out with politics masquerading as coordinated federal disaster response, or whether compassion and politics just found themselves on the same side, or whether, conceivably, politics took a break for the day. Or something like that.

By Rachel Manteuffel  |  03:45 PM ET, 10/30/2012

 
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