Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


State of the Union

posted by Scot McKnight

ObamaGrav.jpgWhat did you think of the President’s speech? Anything raise flags for you? Any major shifts?

I’ve done my best to convince myself that the media are overswarming this State of the Union address, and I keep saying to myself, “Good grief, this is just one year in.” But the facts keep defeating that thought: with elections looming this Fall, with the defeat of a Democrat in Massachusetts — the only State with a comparable health care plan — and with the news frenzy over what the polls are saying, we have to own up to a reality: This speech really matters, and what matters most for me is that he has to gain the confidence of those who are on the fence. Diehard Dems are with him no matter what; diehard GOP aren’t with him. But can he convince the rest?
What are you thinking about tonight’s State of the Union address? Are you “ho-hum” on this one? Do you think this is a make or break speech? 


Advertisement
Comments read comments(64)
post a comment
Mike Clawson

posted January 27, 2010 at 5:54 pm


Are there any non-diehard Republicans anymore? I mean really, the whole party’s strategy revolves around throwing a wrench in anything Obama tries to do. Do you think any of them would dare break ranks and actually support the President on anything? I don’t see any reason to think that Obama can convince the GOP of anything – you can’t convince people who aren’t even listening.



report abuse
 

John W Frye

posted January 27, 2010 at 6:16 pm


Thank God for die-hard Republicans who helped keep the USA from becoming a socialist society. Obama and his Saul Alinsky trained czars attempted something unprecedented…bring hope and change in the form of hackneyed socialism. I have friends in Ukraine who are aghast at the gullible American public who couldn’t see through Obama’s grand scheme. Ukrainians have lived through what Obama tried to do here and they are grateful to be liberated from it.
Obama is tanking and I don’t think he or the left will recover. Tonight’s speech will be full of poll-tested cliches and Obama will whine again about what he inherited.



report abuse
 

pds

posted January 27, 2010 at 6:49 pm


Mike #1,
Way to blanket stereo-type and vilify 100,000,000 people. I guess only the Left is “listening.” Listening to the people?
Latest news:
President Obama will ask Congress Wednesday night to repeal the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.



report abuse
 

Clay Knick

posted January 27, 2010 at 7:09 pm


I hate to do this, I can’t believe I’m doing it…yawn.



report abuse
 

pds

posted January 27, 2010 at 7:33 pm


Clay #4,
You are right to yawn. They tend to ramble on about with lots of platitudes. 10% of the speech will be noteworthy. I will read about it tomorrow. This one may be slightly more noteworthy, given recent events.



report abuse
 

Dan

posted January 27, 2010 at 7:45 pm


This has been an extraordinary year. A massive spending bill intended to revive the economy, much of it set aside but not spent with unemployment conservatively lagging at 10%. Congress has massive bills being passed that have not been read by members of congress with no chance for public comment or even knowledge of what is in them. The deficit in one year has ballooned to several times the size it was when this administration started, to the point where foreign countries are beginning to abandon the US Dollar, further devaluing our currency.
We have had conferences on major policy issues being held behind closed doors with the opposition locked out and not consulted. We have terrorists being given the the same courtroom rights for war crimes that citizens expect for domestic crimes being tried in venues that will virtually guarantee significant advantages for terrorist organizations. We have had the essential takeover of major industries.
And after one year the only response to criticism is “look at what we inherited from Bush!”. And the best the major media can do is refer to ordinary folks who oppose all this with a vulgar sexual slur of contempt…”teabagger”. To be clear, this is not about Obama – it is about Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Dodd, etc. I will not wish them personal ill, but I hope their political careers end soon.
There is nothing Mr. Obama can say that I will trust or believe. I won’t watch – I’ll read about it tomorrow and weep.



report abuse
 

bob petersen

posted January 27, 2010 at 10:18 pm


blah, blah, blah. I don’t trust one single thing that man says except what he says he is going to change for the liberal left. that is all I believe he will fight to do. He is employing a wonderful method of preaching though. We might all take notice of this closing summation.



report abuse
 

Don Rose

posted January 27, 2010 at 10:55 pm


When the messenger is a proven liar and deceiver, what could he possibly say that would be believable or trustworthy? I don’t trust the man, therefore, his words are of no value to me.



report abuse
 

susan dean

posted January 27, 2010 at 11:03 pm


President Obama’s state of the union speech was great and I support him and his team 100 percent



report abuse
 

RB

posted January 27, 2010 at 11:29 pm


Two trillion dollars later. Obama is going to get serious? With what? He’s already spent more than our great grandchildren can hope to pay back and for what? He bailed out the cause of the economic collapse and has done almost nothing for main street. He doesn’t have a clue. He only speaks to placate the polls. Then and now it’s all the same. Unbelievable, the blame toawards past administrations that were at least providing homeland security at all costs. he has admitted his own failure in this department. So just what the heck has he accomplished besides aa mega defecit of the coarse of one year with little to no results and pissed of Nation. And, how can he speak against special interest and foreign monies in politics. Isn’t that what got him elected or have all forgotten about all the money from unknown soarces etc. I didn;t vote for him and I am going to change form democrat to republican. His fair left socialist ideas scare the h— of me. Including traveling the world and making appologies for America no one in America asked him to make. Hindsight is twenty twenty and that’s for sure. Then again, in hinds sight alot of Americans are kcking themselves for voting this socialist into office. God help us all!



report abuse
 

Vicki L

posted January 27, 2010 at 11:35 pm


Don, well said.
Mike, why would I break ranks and join a man and his minions who promote and would institute policies that I will not morally support? Surely you aren’t suggesting we should all abandon our beliefs for this man.
He got elected because he gives convincing speeches and the majority of American’s, tragically, are easily swayed by impressive speakers. Tonight’s speech is no different than any of his campaign speeches, but sadly we don’t get to vote this time.



report abuse
 

Scott Eaton

posted January 27, 2010 at 11:39 pm


The president was too flipant. He tried being too “folksy,” too casual, too cute. He came off as a jerk. It was a turn off. Serious issues need a serious address.
He talks about bi-partisan politics, but he is the most partisan of all. Has he really extended a hand across the aisle – no. If he really wanted to get this health care reform passed he would invite leaders for the Dems and the GOP to sit down and hear them out. He hasn’t done that. Where’s the transparency? The open debate?
This speech was insulting.



report abuse
 

Murkey Murkey Me

posted January 27, 2010 at 11:47 pm


If you believe anything he said tonight, I have some swampland in Louisiana I’ll sell you.
RB is right. The man is clueless. He has no idea what We the People really want and really stand for.
God bless America, and I mean that literally.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted January 28, 2010 at 12:22 am


I loved this speech. President Obama is still “the only adult in the room.” I’m one of the angry Americans he was talking about. A few years ago in 2004, I was so fed up with the Democrats that I changed my registration to Republican (but voted for John Kerry).
It took me a couple of decades to become disillusioned with the Democratic Party but only 4 years to realize the Republican Party may never again be “the party of adults.”
The Republican leaders of the House and Senate haven’t learned a single thing nor changed one iota, after a decade of running our country into the ground, they have the same attitude of arrogant triumphalism as they did when they controlled both Houses of Congress and the Presidency. I can no longer take them seriously or listen to them without screaming at the television (and I mean screaming, not yelling). They have no ideas and no principles.
But being the Party of No has real risks. If the Repubs don’t succeed in destroying Obama’s presidency as they hope, he will become 10 times as strong as he was on the day he was inaugurated. And, I look forward to that day.



report abuse
 

Luke

posted January 28, 2010 at 12:28 am


Good grief, I’m surprised to read such hateful & condescending remarks in what is normally a civil & constructive environment. Question the man, criticize him, make suggestions, but don’t get all apocalyptic doom & gloom and act like he’s on some conspiracy to make us socialist. The effect political propaganda has on people simply amazes me time and time again. I’m always tempted to throw my hands up & withdrawal from the whole thing because adherents to both parties are just impossible to talk to. The American political climate disgusts me (trust me, I said the same things when Bush was in office & the left were utilizing the same rhetoric).



report abuse
 

Debbie

posted January 28, 2010 at 12:30 am


This evening I found the State of the Union speech to be informative, uplifting, and equally as challenging to both parties.
While I might not agree with all the policies our President advocates, I do believe his agenda is a solid foundation for improving the lives of most Americans.
As a nation we need to push past the unrealistic expectations we hold for our elected officials. Recognizing that with 300+ million Americans, the challenges facing our nation, and that of the world will take more than one man, one party, and four years to resolve.
I believe he is trying to do his best.



report abuse
 

Michael W. Kruse

posted January 28, 2010 at 12:46 am


Debbie #16
You’re being entirely too reasonable. :-)



report abuse
 

chad m

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:37 am


wow. definitely didn’t expect to see comments like this here. one question to Republicans: what are you so afraid of?
i’m sort of confused by Christian Conservatives who are all of a sudden outraged by our presidential policies. no problems when we’re torturing people and going to war illegally, but all of a sudden the country is going to hell? hmmmmm.
i’ll admit it. i voted for G. Bush twice and voted Obama in the last election. i’m not saying Obama gets a free pass. everyone has to account for their decisions. but why did more people not become outraged at our torture practices? why now, after all the craziness of 2000-2008 are we so fearful and angry?
i’m not a die-hard anything. i am a Christ follower, and i wish we could all just get along! seriously, how can anyone expect our country to improve while we throw poo at each other from across the aisles? good luck. if you’re worried about the future of our country, do something to make change that matters. quit complaining and change your community. think local first.



report abuse
 

Mick Porter

posted January 28, 2010 at 6:55 am


Wow, I live in a country where Christians generally have little interest in politics (Australia) – so these strong reactions really stand out. One thing that I do find disturbing is how much focus you guys have on the welfare of your own country. Doesn’t the gospel push us into a global concern?



report abuse
 

D

posted January 28, 2010 at 8:00 am


Chad asks, “what are you so afraid of?”
I’m afraid of debt my children will never be able to repay, hyperinflation, interest rates that could skyrocket (I remember the Carter years). I’m afraid of rationed health care (I have an acquaintance who lived in Canada who waited months for a Cancer diagnosis). I’m very much afraid of civil trials for military crimes where the defense may well demand information that will compromise intelligence sources and broadcast that information to terrorists, where jurors will fear for their lives as they sit in judgment on those who may have slaughtered civilians. I’m afraid of the “fairness doctrine”, afraid of Obama’s stance on life issues where he repeatedly beat back a simple effort to ban infanticide in Illinois.
Shall I go on?



report abuse
 

kevin Chez

posted January 28, 2010 at 8:13 am


Whenever I see these politicians (either party) all gathered together I think about the line in the movie Gladiator – “the time for honoring yourself will soon be at an end.” I hope so.



report abuse
 

Tim

posted January 28, 2010 at 8:25 am


I ditto your comments ‘D’. I am VERY afraid of all of those issues. What troubles me most is his inexperience and his inability to make a decision. Can we face a few facts here? The claim to ‘freeze spending’ is nothing more than grandstanding to the public. The administration has over $525 BILLION already appropriated to spend on just about anything that they want to term ‘stimulus’ efforts. Do they really need more? How is it that Ford can get through this economic downturn, but we had to bail out GM? Free enterprise does not mean turning to “Papa Obama” for a loan whenever you can’t cut it on your own. Business needs to be able to sustain itself. If my business needed a loan, I would go to the bank. If the bank turned me down, then maybe my business SHOULD fail! Government has it’s hands WAY to deep into our pockets and lives already. And if this Govt healthcare plan is so great, why is the President and every Congressman and Senator exempt from it? That good, huh?
People need to do their own research, quit listening to the media put their slide on it, and get past the speech and really understand what is happening. If I wanted a good speech, I would play a Tony Robbins tape!



report abuse
 

Tim

posted January 28, 2010 at 8:32 am


Does anyone recall the campaign promise to eliminate pork barrel spending from any bill? How long did THAT last? And the promise to allow the public 2 days to read any bill that comes to him? More political promises people- wake up!



report abuse
 

Dan

posted January 28, 2010 at 8:48 am


D was actually me. Hate this comment tool.
I’m even more afraid of the way the process has been corrupted. Passing bills in the dark of night, bills which no one has read, demanding a vote when no one has read the bill, rushing to vote when the public has had no opportunity to even know what is going on. This is not the way leaders behave who believe in democracy. That scares me to death.
And the hubris. Joe Biden is now complaining that the 60 votes need to pass a bill is somehow an example of Republican obstructionism! As if 60 votes were never required in the history of the Country? As if this was some new right wing plot. The arrogance and willingness to outright disregard plain truth is mind-boggling.



report abuse
 

EllieDee

posted January 28, 2010 at 9:01 am


The one thing I agreed with in the Presidents speech was that “we the people” have lost trust in Government. We seek people who will do what they say, and know enough about Government , to not make promises they cant keep. We want fairness for all, and a GOvernment who will make bills, that are so good, we dont have to pay people to pass them. We dont like to be bought, or bribed, so we want our representatives to feel the same way. The only way Government will begin to work, is if we limit their terms of service, so that they cant get so comfortable they forget who they are working for.



report abuse
 

Jon Berbaum

posted January 28, 2010 at 9:05 am


Wow, I too am surprised by the strong words and fear accompanying we interpret and discuss national politics. Makes me glad to be anabaptist, learning church/state relations from Yoder instead of Luther or Calvin.



report abuse
 

Frog Leg

posted January 28, 2010 at 9:18 am


What these comments show is that everyone is speaking different languages when it comes to politics. We really have created our own contemporary Tower of Babel here.



report abuse
 

Phil

posted January 28, 2010 at 9:32 am


Dan (20 & 24),
Canadian Health-care has its issues, I’ve had illness in my family, some times it’s quick, other times not, but imagine as millions of you are, you lost that job that had those benefits? Imagine that you made just enough, but never enough. (I’ve worked in the states in Social services and know from first hand experience what this looks like). I know of more American’s that are in dire, dire straights due to medical debt, but they are so thankful that they don’t live in a socialist country like Canada. Well, I on the other hand am quite happy. I can just imagine the extreme toll that lifestyle induced illnesses will cause on insurance companies and the increased costs associated with this, costs that will affect business owners and employee’s dearly. The thought that people get filthy rich off of the sick, sickens me. I’m not talking about doctors, nurses and hospitals here, but insurer’s. It’s a business and don’t forget it.



report abuse
 

Mike Clawson

posted January 28, 2010 at 10:42 am


pds (#3) – 100,000,000 people? Last time I checked there were 219 Republicans in the House and Senate.
And what stereotype? What vilifying? Can you name any of those Republicans who would believably break ranks on a filibuster and let Obama pass his legislation? It’s not a stereotype or an insult if it’s true.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 28, 2010 at 10:44 am


i’m deeply disappointed in the tone and spirit of these comments.
as christians i think we are free to have vigorous opinions, but all this talk reminds me of the kind of vitriol that people had for Clinton.
Do i agree with everything this president does/believes?
nope.
Do i think Christians need to be a people that is a site of clarity, kindness and reconciliation?
yes.
Do i think that THAT is a non-negotiable?
Yep.
This kind of attitude demonstrates that while some of you may be right about the particular issues, you’re tragically wrong in your ultimate values and spiritual maturity.
The “how” of your opposition matters just as much as the “what”.
In fact, it might be more important in this day and age…
I don’t mean to be insulting, but this kind of tone only rises from a failure to understand that all human systems stand under judgement and will be swept away in the rule of Jesus.
That means democracy and capitalism too. Sorry, just does.
We are the people of God and we are to proclaim a better way and a better day is coming.
Some of these comments cross the line from simple disagreement to unreasonable malice and wrath. Things that Scripture commands you to put away. (I Peter??)
Some of these comments do not reflect the hopeful, bearing, patient love of God. (I Cor. 13)
Some of these comments reject the meekness, poverty of spirit, and the peacemaking heart of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
I’m sad and I’m going to have encourage people who are in my spiritual care to avoid such discussions…and blogs.
Very, very, very disappointing.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 28, 2010 at 10:48 am


i’m deeply disappointed in the tone and spirit of these comments.
as christians i think we are free to have vigorous opinions, but all this talk reminds me of the kind of vitriol that people had for Clinton.
Do i agree with everything this president does/believes?
nope.
Do i think Christians need to be a people that is a site of clarity, kindness and reconciliation?
yes.
Do i think that THAT is a non-negotiable?
Yep.
This kind of attitude demonstrates that while some of you may be right about the particular issues, you’re tragically wrong in your ultimate values and spiritual maturity.
The “how” of your opposition matters just as much as the “what”.
In fact, it might be more important in this day and age…
I don’t mean to be insulting, but this kind of tone only rises from a failure to understand that all human systems stand under judgement and will be swept away in the rule of Jesus.
That means democracy and capitalism too. Sorry, just does.
We are the people of God and we are to proclaim a better way and a better day is coming.
Some of these comments cross the line from simple disagreement to unreasonable malice and wrath. Things that Scripture commands you to put away. (I Peter??)
Some of these comments do not reflect the hopeful, bearing, patient love of God. (I Cor. 13)
Some of these comments reject the meekness, poverty of spirit, and the peacemaking heart of Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount.
I’m sad and I’m going to have encourage people who are in my spiritual care to avoid such discussions…and blogs.
Very, very, very disappointing.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 28, 2010 at 10:49 am


argh. captcha…



report abuse
 

Richard

posted January 28, 2010 at 11:10 am


I read this thread for the first time this morning (Thursday) and the only response I have is “My Guitar Gently Weeps.”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3ixBmDzylQ
To borrow from Bonhoeffer and paraphrase, it’s always difficult to come face to face with the fallenness of our communities- even the online ones.
They shall know us by our political ideology.



report abuse
 

Rick

posted January 28, 2010 at 11:13 am


Mike-
#29- “It’s not a stereotype or an insult if it’s true.”
#1- “…you can’t convince people who aren’t even listening.”
How do you know they are not listening? How is that “true”? It may just be that they do not like, and therefore disagree with, what they are hearing.



report abuse
 

Dan

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:14 pm


Phil. Not opposed to health care “reform”. Opposed to the massive takeover proposed that treats symptoms but not causes. Best path is to think of health insurance like other forms of insurance. HMOs are part of the problem, because we all go to the doctor for everything and the beauracracy of insurance pays for it all inefficiently. There is a disconnect between the cost and the service. If I pay cash for minor doctor visits and reserve the insurance portion for catostrophic matters, insurance costs will drop.
But this is not something the left side of the aisle will consider. Ideologically many want the state to do it all.
As for the comments lamenting the tone of the posts here, my posts have been about ideas, not persons. And the ideas are, to me, worthy of language that suggests the state of the Union is seriously in trouble.



report abuse
 

Phil

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:29 pm


Dan,
Good points Dan, there are benefit’s to our form of healthcare, in that emergencies are handled, generally very expensive procedures are covered, etc. Some time’s there are weights, other times not. You do have to learn to lean on your doctor and be proactive for your own health. Another consideration in the tax money that goes into prevention, etc, that can be deemed social by some, in that regulating food industries, what goes into school’s, advertising etc. This will be a consideration over the ensuing decade as we like the US will face obesity and its effects. The government will try to balance the consumer needs, wants, desires, the corporations desire to make profit, its load on the healthcare system and individual rights and freedoms. My take on the US, will be that fast food and the food, insurance and pharmaceutical industries in general will be the loudest voices, crippling other sectors and the health of the nation in general. Heart Disease in the next few year will be affecting far too many age groups and put a strain on all health systems. There is an opportunity here for profit to out weight the needs of people.



report abuse
 

Phil

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm


Con’t.
Also to say, the Canadian system doesn’t cover anything by all means. You need dental, drug or eye plans, but people aren’t left to themselves in dire need. More work needs to be done in the US, but it will be most difficult because insurers have the most to lose.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm


The only problem I have with this thread is that I see people not holding the Republicans to the standards that they hold the Democrats. It was Ok for Bush to spend trillions killing people and to ignore Geneva Convention; to drop people (citizen and non-citizen alike) into a legal blackhole and deny them their constitutionally-insured rights; to create social programs we had no hope of paying for; for being the primary architect of the bailout strategy; for reducing American civil rights…Where was the outrage then?
We must hold ourselves to the ideals we supposedly represent. “Liberty and justice for all,” not “Liberty and justice for people we don’t accuse of being terrorists or would cost us more.”



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm


The only problem I have with this thread is that I see people not holding the Republicans to the standards that they hold the Democrats. It was Ok for Bush to spend trillions killing people and to ignore Geneva Convention; to drop people (citizen and non-citizen alike) into a legal blackhole and deny them their constitutionally-insured rights; to create social programs we had no hope of paying for; for being the primary architect of the bailout strategy; for reducing American civil rights…Where was the outrage then?
We must hold ourselves to the ideals we supposedly represent. “Liberty and justice for all,” not “Liberty and justice for people we don’t accuse of being terrorists or maybe don’t do what we like.”



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 28, 2010 at 1:44 pm


oops..double post



report abuse
 

Phil Atley

posted January 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm


“The only problem I have with this thread is that I see people not holding the Republicans to the standards that they hold the Democrats. It was Ok for Bush to spend trillions killing people and to ignore Geneva Convention; to drop people (citizen and non-citizen alike) into a legal blackhole and deny them their constitutionally-insured rights; to create social programs we had no hope of paying for; for being the primary architect of the bailout strategy; for reducing American civil rights…Where was the outrage then?”
Where was the outrage, Jeremy? Almost everything you wrote here is factually false. Drop the hyperbole and then perhaps you will be taken seriously. Non-citizens do not have “constitutionally-insured rights.” If you believe enemy combatants were handled wrongly, then specify the wrong accurately. What you wrote is simply false.
I think the Bush administration “bail-out” policy in the fall of 2008 was wrong but in terms of total cost and scope, it pales in comparison to what Obama has done in 2009. Most people were uneasy in the fall of 2008 but not outraged. The reason there’s outrage now and was not then is: 1. the size of the “Stimulus” (800 billion) when added to the TARP 2008 bill; 2. the scope (the 2009 Stimulus was singularly poorly designed for job growth and the only “growth” that rewsulted was, not surprisingly, in government jobs which do not offer permanent economic recovery). Even then, had Obama been upfront and said that the “Stimulus” was about shoring up state governments and giving Democrats in Congress “walkaround money,” people would have been less outraged. Of course, had he been honest about what it was, it never would have passed. Which is why he was dishonest. That people are outraged about the dishonesty should surprise no one. He told them it would bring job creation and when it did not, he should man up and face the outrage.
Taking away civil rights? Regardless whether the Patriot Act did or did not do that, Obama has continued most of those practices. So your remonstrance on this point is moot.
State a reasonably accurate summary of the evils that Bush did and the things that Obama has done and then ask whether we should be more outraged about one or the other. But your account of Bush too hyperbolic to be taken seriously.
Wha



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 28, 2010 at 5:28 pm


because something doesn’t work out doesn’t make it “dishonest”.
that’s hyperbole too.



report abuse
 

Phil Atley

posted January 28, 2010 at 5:43 pm


Nathan,
You miss the point. What was dishonest was that he sold it as a jobs-creating bill when it was not designed to create jobs. If he had sold it as it was, it would not have passed, not in that form. Moreover, he used a sense of urgency to pass it: if it is not passed, unemployment will reach 8 %. He knew it was not a jobs-creating bill.
It’s not a question of “things not working out but I gave it the old college try.” It was the wrong cure for the disease and people in the know at the time knew it. He figured the economy would recover enough on its own that this pork-barrel bill would ride the wave and he’d get away with it.
He needs to man up now. He promised unemployment of no more than 8%. That was a foolish promise but he made it in order to get the bill passed. To give him a pass on this is misguided. I won’t say it’s dishonest because you may believe his spin. But I’d suggest you look behind his spin just for the sake of being better informed.
The dishonesty was in his selling of the bill because he could not have gotten that level of “discretionary spending” (which is what it was) passed otherwise. Only months earlier, a spending bill of 700-800 billion would have been simply unthinkable. He made it thinkable by playing on fear and panic. That’s playing with fire. He got burned. He needs to man up to it.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 28, 2010 at 6:05 pm


Phil: Hyperbolic, fair enough. Factually incorrect? How? While I may have lacked specificity, I’m unsure how I was wrong.
This word “dishonest” is being tossed around like people have a special window into the president’s mind, and its usually being selectively used to only apply to those of opposing political leanings. I have never seen Obama claim that anything done to this point would have a quick effect. If anything, the entire platform was presented with the caveat that it would not be a quick affair. The burden of proof on deception is on you.
Maybe I’m over-applying my own experiences being A) from the South and B) former Army. There appears to be a distinct lack of balance and rational thought being put into the dialogue. Words like “liberal” and “socialist” are evoked as if they should somehow settle the argument. Personally, I don’t buy either of them as valid reasons to not do something.
As for non-citizens not having rights, you are categorically wrong. Maybe a lawyer could come in and tell me otherwise, but the last time I checked:
1. War falls under international law.
2. Non-citizens tried for crimes in the US are entitled to the very same rights as citizens.
3. The US Supreme Court ruled that the previous Administration’s treatment of prisoners was not justifiable. They must either be tried as criminals or treated as POWs, but they are not allowed to play tricksy with the law and declare them neither.
Is the bailout a load of bollocks? meh…ask me in 3 years. I’m not convinced either way at the moment. Am I happy with the democrats in charge? No, but I wasn’t any happier with the Republicans either. If anything, the abortion issue aside, I feel that Bush committed more evil in the name of safety than Obama has with a less than perfect economic recovery package.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 28, 2010 at 6:11 pm


Phil #43: As I recall, none of the job creation plans have been fully implemented yet, and were not promised to be so for another year. The “shovel ready” jobs were most definitely put on a 2 year time line. You are correct in any promise of a cap on unemployment being foolish, however, your charges are heavy and I’d be interested in seeing how you can back them up. Where can you demonstrate that the administration did something they knew would not work?
If it fails, yes, Obama should man up and admit it, but he clearly has a little bit yet before that becomes necessary. Quick fixes are a pipe dream, and were never sold to the American people. Speeches consistently pushed the idea of long processes, risk, and time needed. No one has said it would be done by the end of the first year.
If Obama is guilty of anything, it’s trying to push a healthcare agenda before we were ready to talk about it sanely. On the other hand though, when words like “liberal” and “socialism” evoke such crazy reactions, I’m not entirely sure rational dialogue is even possible.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm


phil,
you may or may not be correct.
but it seems that there’s a lot of “knowing the hearts” and motives of people going around for both parties.
I can’t speak to what Mr. Obama believes or really knows about anything.
Neither can you or any of the pundits.
It’s all spin.
I wonder…
would your attitude/perspective alter significantly if the President did “man up” to your satisfaction?
You have to admit that there is a “nothing good can come from…(fill in the blank) attitude in these polarized discussions from many people.
That’s unfruitful, derisive, and unkind.
My concern is NOT so much with who is right politically, but the rhetoric Christians take up in these discussions.
Directly to your own rhetoric:
“Manning up” is the epitome of hyperbole, thinly veiled insult, and actually contributes nothing to the difficult conversations/challenges that face this society.
As Christians, I would hope that we would find a better way together to address our leaders of whatever party.



report abuse
 

Phil Atley

posted January 28, 2010 at 6:34 pm


Jeremy wrote:
“1. War falls under international law.
2. Non-citizens tried for crimes in the US are entitled to the very same rights as citizens.
3. The US Supreme Court ruled that the previous Administration’s treatment of prisoners was not justifiable.”
Each of these is a half-truth. Do you think I’m so uninformed as not to notice?
Yes, of course war falls under international law. The issue was whether ununiformed, asymmetrical warriors fall under the Geneva Convention or not. If they do not, then precisely under international law they may be treated differently than uniformed prisoners. Honest people can disagree about this.
Yes, prisoners tried in the US are entitled to same rights as citizens. True. But you left something out: military prisoners are often not held or tried in the US. That was not true in past wars. There’s no requirement to try military prisoners in the US. You may believe they should be, fine. But simply to assert the truth you did begs the real question. Nice try.
The Supreme Court ruled the way you described on one case but differently on others. Congress overruled the Supreme Court and so on and so forth. Simply to cite the one SCOTUS ruling without the rest is half-truth.
Look, be angry at George Bush and his administration all you want. It’s not relevant here. You first post was a red herring. We are outraged at Obama and legitimately so. In response, you try to get us outraged at GWBush. Be outraged at him. Let all readers of this blog be outraged at him.
So what???? Even if GWBush was as great a scoundrel and war criminal and wife beater as some people in their outrage think he was
so
what?
It would not make the outrage at Obama disappear or become unjustified outrage _at Barack Obama_. This thread is about whether outrage at Obama is justified.
It is, for the reasons I and others have adduced.



report abuse
 

Phil Atley

posted January 28, 2010 at 6:40 pm


Nathan,
“Man up” simply says, be a man, take responsibility for your actions. He won’t do it. He’s still blaming others. Sorry, I reject your accusation that it’s hyperbole.
And did anyone notice that virtually every comment on this thread defending Obama has concerned itself with “sensitivity” issues: don’t be so harsh, don’t be mean, don’t talk that way
rather than with the issues. Most of the comments critical of Obama deal with substantive policy issues.
If the goal is to maintain civility of conversation, then why were those who were critical of Obama assailed with ad hominem responses from the start, rather than substantive policy rebuttals? That’s how conversation becomes uncivil, when you accuse your opponent’s policy statements of being mean and offer no substantive rebuttal.
Jeremy’s post, to which I initially responded was not a substantive rebuttal. It was a “tu quoque” response: Bush did it too . . . .



report abuse
 

chad m

posted January 28, 2010 at 7:21 pm


i’m still trying to figure out what we are so afraid of? is it a fear of not having as much money in our bank accounts as we once did? is there a threat to the Gospel? aren’t we really more afraid we will lose buying power, comfort, and security?
we were okay with a President using torture because we believed it made us safer. we had less to fear when people were being tortured. we weren’t angry when we went to war against Iraq wasting billions of dollars because we needed someone to blame for 9/11 and we needed to feel avenged.
let’s cling to truth. cling to the Truth and put faith in action to change communities. if every “teabagger” out there did something to change their local community, the country would be a better place. but until we get off our butts and do something to change the communities we can actually change, i guess we can all sit at our computers, create futures in our minds that don’t include the comfort and security of 401k’s and McMansions, and get really scared of that future. but we’re scared of that future for our children, not for us. yeah right.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 28, 2010 at 7:30 pm


I apologize for sidetracking the argument. It wasn’t my point. I was reacting to posts like 2,6,7 etc in surprise as I wasn’t expecting the straw men of “liberal” and “socialism.” I was more pointing out that they are meaningless positions rather than attempting a tu quoque argument. When one invokes “right”,”left”,”liberal” etc as you see in those posts, they are implying that said position is inherently evil or wrong and that the other team is not. Maybe I’m being uncharitable. *shrug* I’m just tired of it.
I will end the sidetrack now with only the comment that both Geneva Convention (GCIV Article 5) and the US Supreme Court (Boumediene vs. Bush) disagree with the accusation that I’m playing with half truths. Unlawful combatants are protected under Geneva Convention. Just not to the extent that a lawful one would be. If we founded our nation on justice and freedom, we need to work extremely hard that we maintain those ideals.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 28, 2010 at 7:38 pm


i’m not interested in defending any particular president.
I’m interested in Christ-follwers not disparaging those with whom they disagree.
“be a man” intimates deficient masculinity if he does not acquiesce to your spin and leave off his spin.
why can’t we, as Christians, just have a simple, but clear disagreement without such jabs toward those we whom we disagree?
My first post sums up my position (earlier in the thread.)
Please read it…
I think it would help you see the point I’m clearly not communicating well.
Nobody says it’s wrong to disagree sharply with Obama or Bush.
But the tone of the earliest comments and your insistence on “man up” fall under my descriptions.
I don’t find them consistent with the comportment of Christian charity and kindness even in the midst of disagreement.



report abuse
 

Mike Clawson

posted January 28, 2010 at 10:38 pm


Rick (#34) – Do you really think there is anything Obama could possibly say that would persuade any Republicans to change their minds and side with him on any significant issue? If not, in what sense can they be said to really be listening to what he has to say? Why would they even bother? Their minds are already made up. Whatever Obama says, they will say the opposite. What would the point of listening be?



report abuse
 

Ted M. Gossard

posted January 29, 2010 at 4:53 am


In this discussion I agree with our Canadian friends, as to healthcare. I’m for universal, government run health care, and I don’t think it has to be at odds with thriving entrepreneurship. Insurance companies should have no say whatsoever on who gets treated and with what.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 29, 2010 at 8:10 am


@Mike Clawson:
Don’t you think that this sort of entrenchment has become characteristic of Christians ever since Clinton?
It seems that Christians have been the most unreasonable and angry when it comes to our last 3 presidents.



report abuse
 

Rick

posted January 29, 2010 at 8:36 am


Mike #52-
Yes they are listening, and some may support him (Snowe comes to mind). However, his positions are too far to one side, especially in regards to the overall direction he wants to take the country.
(I wonder if Republicans, now looking back, find Bill Clinton more acceptable- in terms of governing).
And why cannot the President “change” his mind on some postions? Does it have to be the Republicans?
So let me rephrase your comment #1:
Are there any non-diehard Democrats anymore? I mean really, the whole party’s strategy revolves around supporting anything Obama tries to do. Do you think any of them would dare break ranks and actually oppose the President on anything?
I don’t think the deep concern Republicans (and according to the polls, most Americans) have regarding the direction of the country is totally appreciated by the party in power.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 29, 2010 at 9:04 am


I don’t think its characteristic of just Christians. If anything, it’s more that Christians are guilty of buying into their political ideologies so completely that the Christian aspect of their thoughts gets lost(I’m totally guilty of this). I think we have a mix of two things causing entrenchment:
1. There is a fundamental power shift going on in the US. The conservatives have enjoyed a majority for a long time and the liberals are finding themselves with new found power. Neither side are handling this new situation very well. Outrageously irresponsible and destabilizing voices like Limbaugh, Coulter, and Franken that have no interest in encouraging rational discourse aren’t helping.
2. In the US, we have enmeshed political stances with religious ones. Enmeshment in the really nasty psychology way that is. The two are so inextricably tied together in our minds that we often can’t see how others can feel differently and be believers. This covers everything from capitalism/socialism to welfare to healthcare to human rights. We don’t just say “we as Christians have a responsibility to X”, we say “We as Christians have a responsibility to X by doing X this way.” Those of us on the left are just as guilty here as those on the right. Only God knows how many times I’ve thought “real Christians wouldn’t DO that!” when it was completely irrational.
3. We have been taught that it is completely acceptable to question and assign motives. I grew up with the Evangelical line constantly pounded into my head that non-believers were that way because they wanted to justify some particular action (sleeping around, etc). This is complete garbage and entirely too broad a brush to be painting such things with. However, its a symptom of a bigger issue: The idea that those who disagree with us must be doing so for selfish or dishonest reasons.
We’ve crossed into a dangerous convergence of defensiveness, judgment, and self-righteousness. It’ll be interesting to see how we come out of the other side of it.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted January 29, 2010 at 10:14 am


Mike Clawson, you said:
“Do you really think there is anything Obama could possibly say that would persuade any Republicans to change their minds and side with him on any significant issue? If not, in what sense can they be said to really be listening to what he has to say?”
I couldn’t agree more. The Republicans one concern appears to be to win again by defeating Obama, with no acknowledgment that they utterly failed to lead when they had the chance, for six years. Which is why I’ve lost respect for the Republicans in Congress, and don’t feel that they deserve to be taken seriously.
What disturbs me about this is that I’ve also stopped listening. I can’t even listen when a Republican politician or pundit gives their position, I am too busy screaming at the television. If we are all screaming at each other, how will we ever work together as a nation to solve our problems? I see merit in many Republican ideas, but I no longer am able to stomach the Republican leadership.



report abuse
 

Jeremy

posted January 29, 2010 at 10:19 am


I clearly can’t count…



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 29, 2010 at 11:03 am


@ Jeremy, et. al.
but shouldn’t it be of particular concern to Christians when Christians engage in such a way?
To be sure, anyone acting thus is unhelpful and damaging, but there is for me an acute concern and a much deeper offense when those who claim the name of Jesus act this way.
The Church is a different community (or should be). Our values and proclamation transcend the particular needs of a particular nation state.
it’s very hard for me to understand why ANY christian would listen to any of these pundits/talking heads without any serious concern for the kind of attitudinal trajectory they’re on.
If you listen to any of them and get all “into it” and then mirror that kind of tone and rhetoric in your own speech it’s clear that it is not consistent with the witness of Christ or the commands of Scripture.



report abuse
 

Alicia

posted January 29, 2010 at 11:09 am


Hi, Nathan. I think you are assuming that we are all Christians. Currently, I would consider myself more of an agnostic, though I certainly strive to follow Jesus.



report abuse
 

nathan

posted January 29, 2010 at 11:25 am


Hi Alicia,
I’m just talking about the phenomenon of Christians acting this way.



report abuse
 

Mike Clawson

posted January 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm


Nathan (#54) – yes, I do think that sort of entrenchment has become rather characteristic of Christians since at least Clinton, though not just them. As most political historians will tell you, it was really Gingrich and his “Republican Revolution” back in ’94 (of which I was a big supporter at the time) that kicked off the most recent wave of bitter, no-holds-barred partisan politics in which no compromise is possible, and positions are taken based simply on what is contrary to the opposing party.
Rick (#55) – I’d like to hope you’re right about the possibility of Republicans changing their minds about anything, but I don’t see a whole lot of evidence to indicate that this is the case.
As for Obama changing his positions, he already has, repeatedly, and to a significant degree. Just look at his healthcare reform. The most current form of it is significantly different than what he and the Dems originally proposed and what people like me were originally hoping for (personally I would be a lot happier if the proposed reform actually was as “socialist” as all y’all claim that it is – the fact that I’m not is evidence that it is not). All of those were moves to the “right” in the hopes of winning more centrist votes, and yet can you name any Republicans (besides Snowe, whose vote was on a minor step in the process and unnecessary anyway) who have been willing to meet him half-way on any of these compromises?



report abuse
 

Rick

posted January 29, 2010 at 3:21 pm


Mike-
Healthcare is a good example. With it being such a massive shift (“socialist”?) away from the current situation, even a move towards a more “centrist” is still far to one side. And those moves were mainly to make sure Dems at home would not have problems (partly after seeing the pushback during the August break). Getting any Repub to back it was just and extra and to claim “bipartisan support”.
Likewise, the timing is an issue. With gov. spending already so high, and with the economy/jobs being being priorities, those Repubs who might consider it would rather wait for a better period. The fact the Obama still wants it during these situations, just feeds their concern even more.
Think of healthcare reform as a symbolic of the attempts of Obama to change the entire narrative (or meta-narrative) of the country. That is how Repubs are looking at it, and they are greatly concerned about such a massive shift.



report abuse
 

Tim

posted January 30, 2010 at 10:39 am


Personally, I don’t care which party reforms healthcare – I truly don’t. But as much corruption and frivolous spending as our Government is engaged in, I am not convinced, based on past behavior (Medicare/ Social Security) that we should entrust yet another part of our lives into their hands. If this plan is so good, why are they all exempt? Can anyone answer that? There are many other elements that could be changed to reduce the cost of health care without spending this massive amount to cover the estimated 7-10 million people. Let’s start with a proactive wellness program, allow insurance companies to compete in all states, reduce the inefficiencies- all could have a tremendous impact. We are all too busy trying to blame the other side.
Let’s be honest, during these speeches, the opposition sits on their hands- always have, as least as far as I can recall.



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog post Happy Reading!  

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the hand of God's bounty (v. 7a).Step two: David became too

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: Deity or Deism noted: ...this reminds me of why I get a

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's new book is called Almost Christian: What the Faith of Ou

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or two with their hands ... but that's what makes this diet

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.