The Janitor in Chief

Paulie Brading

Nate Silver, Robert Reich, Chris Cillizza and Charles Blow and others have been weighing in on the enthusiasm gap among Democrats for months and months. Polls and charts abound showing a large enthusiasm gap between the GOP and Dems headed into the November mid-term elections, with the Republicans fired up. Other polls indicate the gap between the GOP and the Democrats has evaporated. We know historically Republicans turn out at higher rates than Democrats for mid-term elections.

The one constant in the analysis is the recognition that the sag in enthusiasm among Democrats has been identified in the 50 and under crowd. We also know older Republicans are consistent voters. Remember those under 50 voters turned out in record numbers and swept Obama to victory.

After 18 months in office we woke up this morning after Obama's BP speech. The hot button stories from MSNBC, bloggers on the right, center and left are venting their frustration about the slow response to the devastating environmental disaster. There is a tiny window opening that will hopefully give the Obama administration the opportunity to roll up the Cheney red carpet extended to big oil. We can expect new and much tougher regulations in the future.

All of this plays into November politics. All of this plays into voter enthusiasm.

Perhaps Charles Blow, The New York Times visual Op-Ed columnist nailed it best when he wrote about Obama, "He's mopping up messes made by others, and being chastised for leaving streaks."

Untying knots takes time, strength, patience, and perserverance.

Your thoughts?

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    So we heard last night that this is the opportunity to move toward a clean energy economy and leave behind the dirty technologies that are unsustainable.

    As long as the Dem leadership supports a non-existent and unworkable and very expensive thing called "clean coal", buying the world's dirtiest oil (Alberta tar sands bitumen) and cap-and-trade, we are really not serious about moving to a new energy future, despite what anyone says.

    I heard DeFazio on KPOJ this morning. His words: "the lame cap-and-trade scheme."

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    And, not only that, but finding a way out of the fool's errand of Afghanistan and pulling back other nonsensical military deployments would save us a lot of CO-2 emissions.

    And, tell the hundreds of innocent victims (approx. 700 in Pakistan alone in 2009) of unmanned aerial attacks that they are merely "streaks" left over from George Bush's mess!

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      "And, not only that, but finding a way out of the fool's errand of Afghanistan and pulling back other nonsensical military deployments would save us a lot of CO-2 emissions."

      You're suffering from some serious issues of scale. I'm trying to quit smoking, too- to help with pollution!!

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        Not sure what you mean, Avery. I do know the U.S. military has a larger carbon footprint than most entire countries do.

        As one of the more extreme examples: what's it cost us to get a gallon of fuel to the troops stationed in Aghanistan? $400 per gallon? Of course a lot of that is contractor profit, but it also implies vast inefficiency, i.e., carbon footprint.

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    The escrow account deal just announced to begin to cover the economic damages BP has caused the gulf region is a huge step forward on showing progress and tangible benefits in an aggressive Obama administration in holding a big multinational company accountable for the mess it makes.

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      The GOPers were all deeply upset that BP is being asked to pony up the 20 billion to pay for the fact they ruined a rather large part of the US and the livelihoods and lives of the humans and other creatures who used to call the Gulf Coast their home. I'm sure the American people are going to take up arms on behalf of BP and advance the GOP cause of big oil and Wall St.

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    It seems to me that Obama is acting like a Senator, not a president. Analytical committees meeting for months are great for issues like health care, military strategy and long term economic planning. They are not appropriate for major crises.

    The mess in the gulf required strong and decisive action by the government, not by BP alone.

    Why didn't the President convene a meeting of petroleum geologists, environmental experts and industry representatives (including BP) by the third or fourth day of the crisis?

    I've heard him and others saying BP and the industry were the experts. That is simply NOT the issue.

    There are a number of things Obama could have done right at the beginning of this catastrophe. I'll be glad to list some elsewhere.

    At every turn since his election, President Obama seems to have depended too much on the advice of others and too little on his own instincts. He has sought consensus where consensus was not available - and, possibly not appropriate. I gladly voted for Obama because I believed we needed a president who was smart, knowledgeable and thoughtful. But, we also need a leader. One who will assert himself against vicious and stupid opposition. One who will take charge to insure that all possible resources are brought to bear - immediately - on the worst environmental disaster in our history.

    Barack Obama has not been that leader.

    Obama acted more quickly than Bush did with Katrina. Unfortunately, his failure to demonstrate real leadership in the Gulf Coast crisis may be his historical legacy, rather than his health or stimulus plans.

    I want only the best for the President. But, I have watched him and the congressional democrats fritter away one of the strongest majorities in recent history.

    May all the deities be with us with the right wing nut cases running the congress.

    Rick York

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