Obama’s Rolling Stone interview

Pres. Obama gave an hour-plus interview the other day to Rolling Stone head honcho Jann Wenner. My main purpose here is to provide a link for those who would like to read it for themselves, which I recommend with the warning that it is long. (Pause here to note irony of your humble ink-stained writer of too many long posts warning you about someone else’s piece being long).

I won’t try to summarize it (couldn’t be done, it covers almost everything) nor excerpt it. My own (brief) reaction is that it is a reminder of how smart, calm and purposeful the guy is. Righties will note that the questions all come from the left. Wenner wants to know why Obama hasn’t done more. Obama wants us to appreciate how much has been accomplished. At the end, there’s a cool discussion of the day Bob Dylan came to the White House. And then a coda: After the end, after Obama had left the room, he came back in to yell at Dems and other progressives who, according to the punditocracy are so dispirited that they will sit on the sidelines in the midterm election. “Inexcuseable,” he called it. Also “irresponsible.”

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 09/28/2010 - 04:17 pm.

    The reaction I’ve heard is even dye-in-the-wool leftists are getting sick of Obama’s whining.

    Honestly, I really don’t think Karl Rove could have done a better job of ensuring the Democrat party will watch from the bleachers for the next ten years.

    Meanwhile, Jimmy Carter is taking the once in a life time opportunity Obama has provided to extract his legacy from the bottom of the barrel; but true to form he’s making a hash of it.


  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 09/28/2010 - 07:07 pm.

    Whistling in the wind, I’m Whistling in the wind ….

  3. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 09/28/2010 - 08:25 pm.

    Well, let’s see…

    Under 8 years of Republic rule, the financial system self-destructed due to greed and the abandonment of regulation, 4,000 young Americans were killed during the invasion of a country that had never done us any harm and posed no threat to us, a federal budget surplus was turned into a 1.3 trillion dollar debt, the federal government saw its largest expansion since World War 2, wages remained stagnant while the economic gap between average Americans and the top 1 percent grew greater than at any time since the days of the Robber Barons in the late 1800s, and, when Obama took office, we were in the midst of the worst economic “recession” since that one most of us didn’t live through in the 1930s.

    Every attempt to deal with every one of those issues has been relentlessly blocked by the Party of No, meaning not only “no” to particular policy proposals from either the White House or the Democratic side of the aisle in the Congress, but also “no” to any policy that did not begin with the words “tax cuts for the wealthy.” I can’t help but wonder at what point Jim DeMint became ruler of the United States, since by placing a “hold” on legislation in the Senate, that single Senator can basically bring the federal government to a halt. Even Republics ought to be outraged by that rank abuse of Senate privilege. I think those on the right will not be so enthused about that tactic should a Democrat apply it to a Republic legislative proposal if Mr. Swift is correct about the next decade.

    Of course, if Mr. Swift is correct (and Republics have shown that, while they may not have any worthwhile ideas, they make superb demagogues: see Bachmann, DeMint, Palin, O’Donnell, Angle, Emmer, etc.), and Democrats watch from the sidelines for the next decade while the same people who brought on the current disaster are once more put in charge, one shudders to think of the enormously expanded scale of the disaster, and the consequences for the country.

    I read the whole interview, and it IS long, but while I’d still like him to be more aggressive, especially since Republics have shown themselves to be uninterested in the welfare of the society as a whole, and frankly, I’d like him to be more openly liberal, he’s still the guy I voted for, and will vote for again if I have the opportunity. Obama is right on target in the “coda” at the end – there’s no excuse for Democrats to sit at home during this mid-term election, especially given the dreadful alternatives being presented by Know-Nothings on the right. Demagogues are put off by people who are cool and articulate, and Obama is nothing if not professorial, so that explains a portion of the hatred directed at him from the right. Vested interest and prejudice account for some of the rest. Beyond that, others can speculate.

    As for Jimmy Carter, alas, I fear Mr. Swift is right. I like some of Carter’s instincts, but he has political skills similar to my own, apparently, which makes even his single term in the White House a bit of a miracle, or mystery, depending upon one’s proclivities.

  4. Submitted by Lora Jones on 09/29/2010 - 09:24 am.

    You nailed it, Mr. Schoh, with the exception of your last paragraph.

    If Reagan had been prosecuted and jailed for his treasonous dealings with Iran prior to the 1980 election as he should have been, instead of being elected and ripping the solar panels off the White House roof and undoing the energy initiatives Carter had put in place, our economy and our environment would be in a much better place. We almost certainly would not have had the BP oil spill. Is Jimmy Carter charismatic or “politic” as in jumping out in front of the likeliest parade? No. Is he “politic” as in “politics is about improving people’s lives?” Most definitely.

  5. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 09/29/2010 - 10:08 am.

    What this country needs is not fewer Democrats in the Congress but more – enough to allow Obama to actually accomplish some of what the progressives in his party expected him to accomplish.

    As to those progressives – some of them almost seem to have wanted Obama to have adopted the fascist (that’s right, I said FASCIST) approach of Dick Cheney, assisted by his lapdog “W,” during the months immediately following September 11th, 2001, who forced large numbers of police state and fascist-leaning policies “down the throats” of the America people (even though many of those policies clearly violated the Constitution).

    In wishing for Obama to be, or at least sound, more fascist (rather than accomplishing what was possible), some of those on the left reveal that their own psychological dysfunctions equal those of the Tea Party folks.

    The pain they hope to inflict on the “Democrats” will actually be inflicted, not only upon themselves, themselves, but on most of the rest of the population of the US, not to mention that our constitutional democracy would likely be wounded sufficiently to render it unable to function.

    If you, my fellow progressives, don’t want the Tea Party to begin to gain control over the levers of power in this country, you’d best get out and vote against them on November 2nd.

    And, by the way, if you don’t necessarily love the candidates the Democrats are putting forward, you can address that by getting involved in the process beginning at the Precinct Caucus level. Give yourselves a few years’ attendance (because it rightfully takes that long) and you’ll be well known and well respected enough to change the Democratic party from the grassroots up (which is the only way it really works).

    Then, of course, the only way to ensure that the need to find campaign money doesn’t corrupt the good people you help send to Washington, is to help pass a constitutional amendment to force time limits and strict public financing on all campaigns for president and congress. IMHO, that’s the most important goal of all reasonable political involvement. Lacking that, the big money will always run things to a great extent than is useful or helpful, no matter which party is in power.

  6. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 09/30/2010 - 09:29 am.

    Mr. Kappahahn: I hope you are writing opinion pieces and letters to the editor to Minnesota’s major dailies and Twin Cities neighborhood papers.

  7. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/02/2010 - 08:20 pm.

    I wonder if stuff like this, or the President’s interview in Rolling Stone for instance, are the right method. Any attempts to excite the base seem to only upset independents. It’s strange, but I think the President in the article was right to say what he said (but wrong to say it or advertise it), which is: how is it possible for his base to be upset with him. My thinking is that doing what they want is precisely why he’s in so much trouble. They’re such a strange bunch. I don’t like what they stand for, but it does seem the President is the responsible version of what they stand for. It just seems that most people are freaked out by even the responsible version, let alone the screaming variety. There’s punditry for you.

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