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Is "trying" enough to make a good leader?

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
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Been having this discussion rather often lately and thought I'd bring it here.

Republicans argue that Obama is terrible because he doesn't do anything. Democrats argue that the Republicans are terrible because they block everything and have sworn to not let anything Obama wants pass.

I argue that both the Republicans and Democrats are terrible.

I don't even know if it's realistic - at least not in today's political environment - but shouldn't a good leader be able to overcome the opposition? If Obama was a good leader, and worth re-election, shouldn't he have been able to sway some of the republicans to his side for some kind of consensus building?

I'll state my position again so there's no confusion. I think both parties are terrible. I have always voted Republican but am definitely not voting for a single one this election. What I'm not entirely sure about is whether I should vote for Obama or a 3rd party candidate. I'm so disappointed in our entire political system and everyone who represents us. They're going to ruin our country by not solving our problems and passing on the problems to the next generation over and over again.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,118
20,790
136
I find the tired old "a pox on both your houses" to be the absolutely worst, most tired thing in all of American politics. It's something that people say because it makes them think that they are somehow enlightened and above the fray, but all it really is is an excuse to absolve themselves of responsibility.

It's not unique, it's boring. You complain about problems not being solved? Go work to solve them, don't just whine about political leaders.
 

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
I find the tired old "a pox on both your houses" to be the absolutely worst, most tired thing in all of American politics. It's something that people say because it makes them think that they are somehow enlightened and above the fray, but all it really is is an excuse to absolve themselves of responsibility.

It's not unique, it's boring. You complain about problems not being solved? Go work to solve them, don't just whine about political leaders.
Have you participated in any politics? Local politics even? I'm more than willing to admit that I am definitely not qualified for it. It's not for everyone.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,118
20,790
136
Have you participated in any politics? Local politics even? I'm more than willing to admit that I am definitely not qualified for it. It's not for everyone.
I have participated in quite a bit of politics, and currently work for a diplomatic and political consulting firm. Why do you ask?
 

DominionSeraph

Diamond Member
Jul 22, 2009
8,392
31
91
I'm sure that there were quite a few opposed to the rape rooms, but Saddam Hussein overcame the opposition. Did this make him a good leader?
 

davmat787

Diamond Member
Nov 30, 2010
5,514
24
76
I find the tired old "a pox on both your houses" to be the absolutely worst, most tired thing in all of American politics. It's something that people say because it makes them think that they are somehow enlightened and above the fray, but all it really is is an excuse to absolve themselves of responsibility.

It's not unique, it's boring. You complain about problems not being solved? Go work to solve them, don't just whine about political leaders.
I will respectfully disagree, as there are plenty of reasons (which I won't go into and derail this into a D vs. R thread) to be fed up with both parties, at least in their current state. Your comment could have easily been directed at me, but in no way do I think it somehow places me above the fray or any better than someone else. Call me apathetic, sure.

Why do feel one has to root for one over the other, when someone feels neither are worthy of rooting for?

Back on topic, I do feel one of the hallmarks of a great leader is getting everyone in their realm to work together to get a job done. In other words, a leader should uh... lead.

However, I think the current state of divisiveness is not an entire reflection of Obama's leadership capabilities. Partly, yes. Rather, I think it is more a reflection of us, those who elect these people.
 
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fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,118
20,790
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I will respectfully disagree, as there are plenty of reasons (which I won't go into and derail this into a D vs. R thread) to be fed up with both parties, at least in their current state. Your comment could have easily been directed at me, but in no way do I think it somehow places me above the fray or any better than someone else. Call me apathetic, sure.

Why do feel one has to root for one over the other, when someone feels neither are worthy of rooting for?
Why are neither worth rooting for? Presumably you have opinions about the preferred direction of the country, so what aspects of this direction does neither party address? I generally find that people focus on a few grievances that neither party does well and use that as a reason to say they support nothing.

It doesn't mean that either party represents all your interests, but that's the fundamental nature of a two party system.
 

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
Well I think that will derail the topic entirely. I'm not going to get into how neither party is solving our problems. That should be fairly obvious to everyone.

I'm really more interested whether or not we judge Obama for his his inability to get things done or judge the Republicans for not letting him get things done. I keep arguing that Obama should be able to overcome the blockages and build some kind of consensus but I'm just not sure if that's even possible.

When it comes time to vote do I give Obama more time to get things done or do I vote third party? I could never vote for Romney. Guy is insane as far as I'm concerned.
 

DaveSimmons

Elite Member
Aug 12, 2001
40,736
669
126
Obama tried to build consensus but the Republicans were too focused on not letting him accomplish anything that might help him get re-elected.

Maybe after the elections they'll be willing to work for the country instead, at least for a year or two.
 

Kadarin

Lifer
Nov 23, 2001
44,311
8
81
Been having this discussion rather often lately and thought I'd bring it here.

Republicans argue that Obama is terrible because he doesn't do anything. Democrats argue that the Republicans are terrible because they block everything and have sworn to not let anything Obama wants pass.

I argue that both the Republicans and Democrats are terrible.

I don't even know if it's realistic - at least not in today's political environment - but shouldn't a good leader be able to overcome the opposition? If Obama was a good leader, and worth re-election, shouldn't he have been able to sway some of the republicans to his side for some kind of consensus building?

I'll state my position again so there's no confusion. I think both parties are terrible. I have always voted Republican but am definitely not voting for a single one this election. What I'm not entirely sure about is whether I should vote for Obama or a 3rd party candidate. I'm so disappointed in our entire political system and everyone who represents us. They're going to ruin our country by not solving our problems and passing on the problems to the next generation over and over again.
The Republicans are the problem right now as they are being deliberately obstructionist, and without regard to the future health of the country.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/lets-just-say-it-the-republicans-are-the-problem/2012/04/27/gIQAxCVUlT_story.html
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
Been having this discussion rather often lately and thought I'd bring it here.

Republicans argue that Obama is terrible because he doesn't do anything. Democrats argue that the Republicans are terrible because they block everything and have sworn to not let anything Obama wants pass.

I argue that both the Republicans and Democrats are terrible.

I don't even know if it's realistic - at least not in today's political environment - but shouldn't a good leader be able to overcome the opposition? If Obama was a good leader, and worth re-election, shouldn't he have been able to sway some of the republicans to his side for some kind of consensus building?

I'll state my position again so there's no confusion. I think both parties are terrible. I have always voted Republican but am definitely not voting for a single one this election. What I'm not entirely sure about is whether I should vote for Obama or a 3rd party candidate. I'm so disappointed in our entire political system and everyone who represents us. They're going to ruin our country by not solving our problems and passing on the problems to the next generation over and over again.
Yes and no.

There are skills for presidents, in 'overcoming opposition'. LBJ is a good example of someone skilled that, who could flatter and threaten and manipulate to get votes.

But I'll make two points about that.

One, it's not just 'a good thing'. For one thing, how about Presidents who cut legal corners, threaten the balance of powers, destroy congress and become dicators - 'effective'? Yay.
Another reason it isn't is that it is harmful in the hands of a president who uses it to pass bad policy. Grea,t George Bush got through a bill to destroy Social Security! Yay.

Second, it's only one measure of a President. The most succssful president, it's claimed, at getting his agenda passed since LBJ is Carter - but he doens't get much credit for it.

It matters that a president has a good agenda, apart from this issue. I'd much rather he not get through good policies than not get through bad ones, if that makes sense.

Having said that, no, it's not reasonable to expect a President to overcome determined opposition. Our government is set up to distribute power, and he can be blocked.

If he can't be, we have that dictatorship.

FDR was a great president with a lot of power, frustrated, with good reason, by a politicized right-wing Supreme Court while he tried to save the country. But when he tried to add more members to the court, he lost - would it be better had he won and we had that larger court ever since?

Blame goes to the people for electing obstructionists against a good president, but if they do that's what they get.

The shorter answer to your question though is that a president needs to have that skill to be effective, pretty much - and IMO, Obama's been weak at it.

But even if he were very good at, he wouldn't get anywhere with this radical obstructionist Congress. And they are where the blame belongs, with their voters and donors.
 
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elitejp

Golden Member
Jan 2, 2010
1,080
19
81
I would argue that both partys are just trying to get re elected and therefore truly do listen to the public (or I should say the voting public) and therefore the bad leadership is also due to the Countries citizens. I aslo dont believe that eithor party is SO responsible for the countries mess but rather both have had an equal part to play. Some people just want to just point their finger and think its always someone else s fault, go right on ahead. But i dont see that as a realistic viewpoint.

For me being a good leader requires the leader to make unpopular decisions for the betterment of the whole. i dont think eithor party is willing to do that and I dont thing the public would ever support it. I did hear someone once say which i really thought hit the nail on the head "No one goes into politics to be a politician but rather to help the country and to make a change. As time goes on that individual finds out how difficult it is to make a change or a difference and slowly begins to fall in line with the politics as usual stance"

For me i would happily like to see Obama do something that really helps the country even though I agree more with what republicans are supposed to stand for. Any help is good help, and I could personally care less where it came from, donkeys or elephants, both are ok.
 

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
While several of you bring up excellent points it still leaves me flabbergasted at the sheer stupidity of our system right now.

If I watch a political show with a Democrat, Republican, and the host I watch it with a relatively open mind. At the end of it what do I see? I see both sides making good points, both sides deflecting issues, both sides being articulate - I see two charismatic people acting as the spokesman for their party. What I really am seeing though is two guys who are very intelligent and are playing people like fools. When the vast majority of the country watches these discussions they see their "side" and treat it like a Basketball game. It doesn't matter if the other team makes a good shot, they are only rooting for their team, only spotting the bad calls against their team, and never changing their mind about anything.

We have basically gotten to a point where our politicians know that the vast majority of those out there are stupid and as long as they cater to them they stand the best chance of winning an election. They don't have to solve problems since they can just blame the other side. It's a tried and true formula for success.

How do I vote for Obama when the guy can't get anything done? How does anyone vote for the Republicans when their only goal is making sure that nothing gets done? At this point I just throw my hands up in frustration.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
126
How do I vote for Obama when the guy can't get anything done?
1. Because voting for the other guy will get bad done more than Obama

2. Because it's better to vote for a president with a better agenda

3. Because Obama HAS gotten a decent amount done (ask the auto industry)

4. Supreme Court and judicial nominations

Look, use some common sense. When Republicans get enough seats to obstruct - and even if they don't get enough - what do you expect Obama to do? And what are your alternatives? Vote third party and throw your vote away at deciding who is president? Vote for the disaster Romney who will have a terrible agenda?

You have no choice but Obama unless you want to support terrible things.
 

Double Trouble

Elite Member
Oct 9, 1999
9,276
103
106
I find the tired old "a pox on both your houses" to be the absolutely worst, most tired thing in all of American politics. It's something that people say because it makes them think that they are somehow enlightened and above the fray, but all it really is is an excuse to absolve themselves of responsibility.

It's not unique, it's boring. You complain about problems not being solved? Go work to solve them, don't just whine about political leaders.
I disagree with this sentiment, "a pox on both your houses" is right on. The system is set up such that at this point you have two choices, and in most cases those two choices are lousy. What's more, politicians know how the system is set up and they've become experts at working it, making sure there is no chance of substantive change. Both sides are entrenched with big money backing.

It's our fault collectively as voters that we've allowed things to get to this point, but I don't think it's at all unfair to say both parties suck. Personally, I really don't think I have a party that represents my views. They each have aspects I like, and others I really don't.
 

fskimospy

Elite Member
Mar 10, 2006
71,118
20,790
136
I disagree with this sentiment, "a pox on both your houses" is right on. The system is set up such that at this point you have two choices, and in most cases those two choices are lousy. What's more, politicians know how the system is set up and they've become experts at working it, making sure there is no chance of substantive change. Both sides are entrenched with big money backing.

It's our fault collectively as voters that we've allowed things to get to this point, but I don't think it's at all unfair to say both parties suck. Personally, I really don't think I have a party that represents my views. They each have aspects I like, and others I really don't.
If you don't have a party that represents your views, work to change the one that's closer. Our system will be two parties for as long as any of us are alive, so you have the choice of doing that or doing nothing.
 

Jaskalas

Lifer
Jun 23, 2004
29,793
3,309
126
Back on topic, I do feel one of the hallmarks of a great leader is getting everyone in their realm to work together to get a job done. In other words, a leader should uh... lead.
What if that isn't enough anymore?

The parties cannot practically surpass a 60% super majority required to actuate control and effect change. This country is ungovernable, can its leaders still be considered good and successful? I might tie to two together, for if you cannot succeed....

Does it matter if success was not possible in the first place?
 

blankslate

Diamond Member
Jun 16, 2008
8,471
423
126
I keep arguing that Obama should be able to overcome the blockages and build some kind of consensus but I'm just not sure if that's even possible.

It's not possible for Obama to do that, the ranking republican in the senate even said so...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-A09a_gHJc

"Our top political priority over the next two years should be to deny President Obama a second term" Mitch McConnel.

As soon as that was said Harry Reid should've changed the fillibuster rule so that just saying "filibuster" wasn't enough to stop a bill.

They should've, at the very least, required the person using the filibuster to stand and talk for as long as they wanted the filibuster to go on... you know the way it used to be.

President Obama really only has control over foreign policy and who is appointed to certain government positions like the Attorney General.

Given what Senator McConnel said and the record number of filibusters used from 2008 to present it's not really realistic to expect much when it comes to domestic laws advocated by President Obama getting passed. Obamacare was such a massive compromise that it looks more like a republican proposal from the 90's than "socialized health care"
 
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randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
Since when do you not have to talk the whole time during a filibuster? When did that change!?

Also, call me way out of he loop on this one but, is it normal or is there even any precedent for voting against your own bill? That link Kadarin posted mentioned them doing this and I had no idea. "I liked it because it was bipartisan. I wouldn’t have voted for it." WTF!?

"And seven Republican co-sponsors of a Senate resolution to create a debt-reduction panel voted in January 2010 against their own resolution, solely to keep it from getting to the 60-vote threshold Republicans demanded and thus denying the president a seeming victory." Ugh, really?
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,826
83
91
sure.

that's why everyone gives GWB credit for reforming out immigration system and saving Social Security.

Since when do you not have to talk the whole time during a filibuster? When did that change!?
I want to say the 70's or 80's? basically, Senators indicate their intent to filibuster and that's it.
 

cybrsage

Lifer
Nov 17, 2011
13,021
0
0
No, trying is not enough to be a good leader. You have to lead, which means you need a concensus. Obama calling the republicans his enemy does not help do that. Had Obama actually been nice to the republicans, actually wanted to work with them instead of against them, then I would give him credit for trying to be a good leader - not actually being one, but trying to be one. At this point, he is not even trying to be one.
 

randomrogue

Diamond Member
Jan 15, 2011
5,462
0
0
No, trying is not enough to be a good leader. You have to lead, which means you need a concensus. Obama calling the republicans his enemy does not help do that. Had Obama actually been nice to the republicans, actually wanted to work with them instead of against them, then I would give him credit for trying to be a good leader - not actually being one, but trying to be one. At this point, he is not even trying to be one.
"If Latinos sit out the election instead of, 'we're going to punish our enemies and we're going to reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us' -- if they don't see that kind of upsurge in voting in this election, then I think it's going to be harder," Obama had said.

Yeah, I'm gonna go with blowing shit out of proportion for 100 Alex.
 

Craig234

Lifer
May 1, 2006
38,584
345
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Senate rules only allow changing the filibuster rule by a 50% vote once every two years.

Harry Reid blocked changing it last time in Jan 2011. He now says he was wrong.

The filibuster was set up for Senators to use with restraint as an emergency type measure not to be abused. Since Republicans abused it, it should be reduced.

I suspect it will be, come January 2013. The Republicans have made 60% needed to win.

But Democrats don't want to lose it right when Republican gain a majority.

However, seeing how bad the abuse was, they might be willing to do so for the good of the Senate, to try to prevent this abuse.
 
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Anarchist420

Diamond Member
Feb 13, 2010
8,649
0
76
www.facebook.com
If Obama was a good leader, and worth re-election, shouldn't he have been able to sway some of the republicans to his side for some kind of consensus building?
There already is a consensus or at least a near-consensus between himself and most of the Republicans.

I think 2 major flaws of the U.S. Federal Constitution are:
the supremacy of the Federal government over the States;
no 2/3 requirement to execute well-defined enumerated powers and the fact that it can be amended without unanimous consent of the States via their legislatures.

In order to have decent consensus policy, we need to revert to the Articles of Confederation.
 

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