What Fresh Hell Is This?

December 8, 2010

To Compromise Or Not To Compromise

A case for compromise as spelled out by the Compromiser-In-Chief:

And a case against, as spelled out by the some of the wingnuts now running the GOP:
Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and John Kline, as part of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, chastised President Obama for not portraying America as a more Christian-like nation to the rest of the world. In a letter on Monday, the caucus complained that Obama omitted the word “God” five times during his recent trip to Indonesia and called on him to correct the record.

The caucus wrote that Obama used e pluribus unum (“out of many, one,” in Latin) as the motto of the United States instead of “In God We Trust.” While e pluribus unum is part of the nation’s seal and has been an unofficial motto since the country’s founding, the group was upset he didn’t use “In God we Trust” in its place.
I'd love to know how they know he omitted the word five times. How many times have I omitted the phrase "separation of church and state" in this blog posting? Anyone have a guess?

Anyway, here's the offensive part of Obama's speech in Jakarta:
But I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope. It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum -- out of many, one. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika -- unity in diversity. (Applause.) We are two nations, which have traveled different paths. Yet our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag. And we are now building on that shared humanity -- through young people who will study in each other’s schools; through the entrepreneurs forging ties that can lead to greater prosperity; and through our embrace of fundamental democratic values and human aspirations.
But let's look at the differing meanings of the two mottos; the National Motto ("In God We Trust") was made official in the mid-50s in order to differentiate the US from those godless atheists, the Communists running the USSR. The other ("E pluribus unum") is actually the motto of the Great Seal of the United States and dates back to the founding of the Republic:

Compromise is usually good. But when the people you have to compromise with don't want to compromise with you and just want everything (EJ Dionne described the Republicans' negotiating tactic as "What's mine is mine and what's yours is mine.") little good can come of it. Giving in to bullies only makes them bully more.

Remember this is the party that:How do you compromise with that? Why would you want to?


CSI w/o Dead Bodies said...

Couldn't they have passed the tax cut for everyone but the rich through budget reconciliation?


rich10e said...

The whining continues even with control of both houses. You'll be sobbing out loud by mid-January at this rate.

Ol' Froth said...

Slightly related, I think the President compromised away Social Security on Monday with the 2% "temporary" payroll tax reduction.

gtl said...

On "E Pluribus Unim:"

Remember that the speech was made in Indonesia, a nation containing many ethnic groups, islands, parts in any way that you look at it. We have our states, our "melting pot." Isn't it obvious that the point was "Out of many, one?"

Seems like a good speech, promoting friendship, for a president to make in a foreign country.

Must everything be a cause for criticism?

Piltdown Man said...

This is a case where, if Obama stepped out into the Rose Garden on a particularly delightful day and said, "The sky is blue," SOMEONE in the the GOP would have a problem with it.

What he hasn't grasped yet, is that he needs to slap these ignorant bullies back. Giving them a "time out" or scolding them isn't going to do it. Like all bullies, they are emboldened by weakness and prevaricating.

Just once I want him to strike back forcefully. He, and the WH in general need to say, "With millions of American's out of work due to a GOP-generated toxic financial meltdown, do these Senators and Congressmen really have time to be obsessing over some 2 minute speech I gave?" Or something like that.

He needs (EVERY TIME) to turn them on their heads. He and Axelrod did this well during the campaign with their "rapid response" team, but seem incapable of doing it now. The GOP has a vast echo chamber in Fox News, but the President has one big-ass bully pulpit -- and he'd damn will better use it!

EdHeath said...

I still think that Obama is trying to avoid direct and probably unpopular conflict with the GOP because then perhaps 2/3's of the country will say "Aha, he is a radical black man". After all, look at rich10e's snipes.

On the other hand, I too think that is a loosing cause. He is sacrificing our economic future in an effort to enable a qualified African American candidate to run for President in the next twenty years. And the irony is that African Americans are likely suffering disproportionately in this recession.

Still, Democrats in Congress could also (or instead) show some backbone too.

Pgh_Knight said...

when you have nothing else to fall back on, you have to make it about race, Ed.

EdHeath said...

Hey PK, that is my personal theory about Obama's motivations for his behavior. Although I will say that the behavior of the Republican party and commenters here (including yours) tend to make me think my theory is correct.

Conservative Mountaineer said...

@Ed.. Let me ask you a question.

If I oppose Obama's plan for, say Healthcare reform or Cap'n'Tax, state my reasons why.. am I the racist?

That seems to be what your're implying. If I'm wrong, just let me know.

If I'm not wrong and you consider me racist for doing so, then I assume you would call Liberals in the House of Representatives as racists also. They have come out swinging forcefully against Obama's support of not raising taxes on January 1st. They're opposing Obama. Right?

EdHeath said...

Well, CM, the question of whether you are a racist in this instance can probably never be tested accurately.

First of all, we would have to agree on terms and issues. For example, I say that all other industrial nations are spending less per capita on healthcare and getting better public health results. I am told by conservatives such as yourself that I am wrong on both counts, and missing other important measurements of healthcare success. So when you say you will state your objections, we may well be already talking different languages.

Plus there is no way to put a white Democrat in the White House at this moment to test the behavior of conservatives. Y'all certainly hated Bill Clinton, yet I don't recall seeing people carrying guns at public events or making threats in the 90's (as arguably Sarah Palin is doing repeatedly). Apparently the Secret Service has reported all time records in threats against the current President.

Obviously this sort of thing will vary from individual to individual. I would be willing to concede that some conservatives could hate Obama on purely ideological grounds, except that conservatives are no longer supporting a coherent ideology. Obama has given conservatives huge amounts of tax cuts, starting with 30 to 40 percent in the stimulus bill, but conservatives have repeatedly claimed that Obama has raised taxes (which is again the point that we are not speaking the same language). I mean, this is a Frank Luntz thing, right; pretending not to racist while playing on others racist fears, yeah?

Conservative Mountaineer said...

@Ed.. Keep playing the race card if it makes you feeeell better. I oppose the policies of this Administration mostly on economic and freedom grounds. I don't want the government telling me I *must* buy health insurance, stopping drilling in the US or offshore, tying up millions of acres in the Western US, spending $787B (actually, +$854B) we don't have the bulk going to 'saving' Union jobs, taking over GM and Chrysler ina fashion that pissed upon certain creditors rights, the intrusiveness of TSA. Need I go on?

I couldn't care less about the color of Obama's skin. I oppose his Administration's policies, Ed. For the record, I opposed a number of Bush's policies, such as TARP.

Again, you keep on accusing others of being racist. I think they call that 'projection'.

EdHeath said...

You know, CM, you keep saying that you understand financial matters (by which I assume you mean economics) better than me or most people alive apparently. Yet then you are sloppy, present the shallowest of detail and don't respond to actual specific questions concerning economics. That is a big part of making you not credible when you say you don't care about Obama's race. As they say, the more a person protests their innocence, the more likely their guilt becomes.

Not that liberals/Democrats are not also frequently sloppy and inaccurate, but if the alternative is between sloppy and mean versus sloppy and yet trying to help poor people, then put me on the side of the liberals.

Ol' Froth said...

Most conservatives aren't racist, but its a safe bet that most racists are conservatives.

EdHeath said...

A "fur" point, oh dachshund one.

rich10e said...

once again Ed, I supported Barack Obama for President.I was a Democratic committee member, who lit dropped,made calls, and contributed my time and money to his election. I know it is hard for you to grasp that people can disagree with BHO's policies and not be racist!!But it's a so easy to be close-minded!!Isn't it!

Pgh_Knight said...

why even try?

according to Ed, I am a racist if I disagree with Obama and I "protest too much" if I would attempt to defend myself.

EdHeath said...

Rich, which policies of Obama's are covered by your original comment "The whining continues even with control of both houses. You'll be sobbing out loud by mid-January at this rate."?

The funny thing is I complained about him in my original comment, and you still accuse me of not understanding how someone could have supported him and still come to disagree with his policies.

Bob said...

Piltdown man, please define how the GOP generated the "toxic financial meltdown". Here's a link if you need to do some research.


Bob said...

Maybe you'll leave the whole link here this time, but I doubt it. It doesn't really align with your alternative reality worldview.