Asking again: Is Brown's election in MA a referedum on Obama administration

Okay, it's gotten way off topic so new topic.

When Obama was elected, Democrats, pundits, news organizations all claimed that the landslide was a referendum on the Bush administration.

So, is the election of Scott Brown in a heavily Democratic state and the election of two other Republicans in the fall also a referendum on the Obama administration?

I think it is. As were the Tea Parties in the summer. I think people are so very frustrated that their 'representatives' are not listening to them that they are letting them know of their unhappiness via the voting booth. As it should be.

What I do find encouraging is that they have had a pretty good turnout in all three elections. Higher than usual, so it's good that people are getting involved. I think I read that the MA turnout was somewhere around 51%....which is just astonishing and very heartening...we're getting involved again.

Now, can we keep it on topic this time?
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I'm from New Jersey, and I can categorically state that our gubernatorial election was NOT a referendum on Obama. It also wasn't a referendum on the Democratic Party. It was a referendum on Jon Corzine, who was by all standards a crap governor. No more, no less. But let me tell you: I love it when people try to tell me how and why I voted, how and why my family voted, how and why my friends voted. It's like, thanks for speaking for us.

I don't see how the NJ or MA elections could be a referendum on Obama and his "radical" liberal policies when we voted for Obama in November '08. It's like, I knew I was voting for a progressive income tax, I knew I was voting for a stimulus, I knew I was voting for a surge in Afghanistan, I knew I was voting for health care reform, probably with a public option. Why would our state suddenly change its mind about Obama because he's trying to do what we elected him to do? It doesn't make sense!

In terms of the health care debate in particular, I don't see how Brown's candidacy represented the antithesis to Obama's reform efforts. Brown voted for MA's health care reform legislation in 2006, which included an individual health insurance mandate, insurance exchanges, government affordability credits and insurance regulations just like the House and Senate bills. A large majority of MA residents support those provisions and want them to continue. So instead of being a referendum on Obama and his liberal policies, maybe it's a referendum on Congress and the ridiculous way in which they've been treating this and other issues: with obstructionism from both Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats, which results in offensive and costly bargaining and political deals (Ben Nelson and Nebraska being just one shining example).
CG since 07/26/09
I don't think it is, but I understand very little about why people vote the way they do.

I imagine there will be sweeping changes in the next election cycle, and I wouldn't call that a referendum on Obama either. The Democrats have a majority in Congress and can't seem to do diddly with it. That should hardly be placed on Obama's doorstep.
Minneapolis, MN
lol no not at all. I think you and other conservatives are trying to spin it some type of weird way. The only dummies at that tea party thing was a bunch of idiots who watched Fox news and let Glenn Beck talk them into believing extreme foolishness like the healthcare bill was a plot to kill old ppl and babies. The only referendum on Obama I saw was a bunch of racists and self hating Americans that let their ignorance and their hate get in the way of things that would more than likely help them and other people.
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Originally Posted by subbrock
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Last edited by Cali Chik; 01-27-2010 at 11:04 AM.
I imagine there will be sweeping changes in the next election cycle, and I wouldn't call that a referendum on Obama either. The Democrats have a majority in Congress and can't seem to do diddly with it. That should hardly be placed on Obama's doorstep.
Originally Posted by Poodlehead
Agreed with this.

Besides, from what I understand the Democrat candidate for Kennedy's seat hardly campaigned at all. It's no wonder she lost, and she deserved to. So I'd say Brown's win is more of a referendum on his idiotic opponent who thought going on vacation during the race was a good idea. Hopefully other complacent politicans took notice of that fiasco.
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It's not only a referendum on Obama (look at his current approval ratings), but of the entire extreme left wing of the Democrat party. I think a lot of people expected (though I'm not sure why) that Obama and his ilk in the Congress would govern more from the center, like Clinton did.
The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics - Thomas Sowell
It's not only a referendum on Obama (look at his current approval ratings), but of the entire extreme left wing of the Democrat party. I think a lot of people expected (though I'm not sure why) that Obama and his ilk in the Congress would govern more from the center, like Clinton did.
Originally Posted by Scarlet

Actually, the lefties (like myself) are kinda pissed at Obama, because he IS governing more from the center. He promised us things he is not delivering.
Yeah, I don't often hear that people are accusing Obama of being really left, except people who are so far right they aren't aware of what "really left" means.

Obama is a moderate. You have people on both extremes pi**ed at him. That was why I voted for him and knocked on doors for him, because I wanted a moderate. I thought that's what our country needed, since we're so polarized. And so far I'm getting pretty much what I expected from him.

A lot of people thought he was super liberal, but if you look at what he campaigned on, the actual planks of his platform, he never has been. This misapprehension of him being an über-liberal was pointed out during the campaign, but it didn't garner much attention. The assessment at the time was that because he's black, he's perceived as more liberal than he actually is. I can dig up some opinion pieces from back then if anyone's interested.

As for the referendum thingy, people see what they are primed to see. Any evidence that reinforces previously held beliefs is pounced upon. Contradicting evidence is ignored. Nothing new in that.
Yeah, I don't often hear that people are accusing Obama of being really left, except people who are so far right they aren't aware of what "really left" means.

Obama is a moderate. You have people on both extremes pi**ed at him. That was why I voted for him and knocked on doors for him, because I wanted a moderate. I thought that's what our country needed, since we're so polarized. And so far I'm getting pretty much what I expected from him.

A lot of people thought he was super liberal, but if you look at what he campaigned on, the actual planks of his platform, he never has been. This misapprehension of him being an über-liberal was pointed out during the campaign, but it didn't garner much attention. The assessment at the time was that because he's black, he's perceived as more liberal than he actually is. I can dig up some opinion pieces from back then if anyone's interested.

As for the referendum thingy, people see what they are primed to see. Any evidence that reinforces previously held beliefs is pounced upon. Contradicting evidence is ignored. Nothing new in that.
Originally Posted by wild~hair
what's funny is that most blacks are actually more moderate than liberal.

Also the only ppl that are extremely pissed are ppl that A) either had way too high expectations (he's still a politician ppl) or B) were haters from the get-go.
- don't let everybody elses long straight weave bum you out. don't let other people's big/long natural hair bum you out either. embrace what you have and rock it with confidence, because that's the only way you'll be happy. and whether you realize it or not you are somebody's influence. show them what it truly means to be confident.
Originally Posted by subbrock
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what's funny is that most blacks are actually more moderate than liberal.
Originally Posted by Cali Chik
Exactly. People are confusedly confused about him, misapprehending their misapprehensions all over the place.

And, BTW, if anyone ever doubted his middle-of-the-roadedness, they sure shouldn't be after this evening!
It's not only a referendum on Obama (look at his current approval ratings), but of the entire extreme left wing of the Democrat party. I think a lot of people expected (though I'm not sure why) that Obama and his ilk in the Congress would govern more from the center, like Clinton did.
Originally Posted by Scarlet

Actually, the lefties (like myself) are kinda pissed at Obama, because he IS governing more from the center. He promised us things he is not delivering.
Originally Posted by RedCatWaves
This.

I don't think the MA election was any kind of reflection on Obama at all. It was a lot like the MN election of conservative Rod Grams to the senate just a couple of years after that state went overwhelmingly for Clinton in 92. The election of a seemingly liberal Democratic president, and then major workings going on on the federal level (and Obama's work load, and list of things actually accomplished, is unheralded in terms of comparing him with other 1st term US presidents in modern history) does, of course, push the opposition into action. This kind of cyclical give-and-take is, at its base, just how politics are meant to work. And it's how our government and nation were built to grow. Two steps forward, one step back. Progress, reactionary, progress, reactionary.
Thanks for the reasoned, well thought out answers. That is what I was going for when it was dragged so far off topic before.

I really was just looking for some opinions...I'm currently working in a very small office and if I can get away without talking to my mentally ill boss, I do...so I needed some conversation.

And no, I don't think Obama is at ALL moderate. I checked out his voting record (when he did bother to vote) and saw very liberal thoughts and policies. Went back and read his speeches, etc. and I don't consider any of it moderate.

Coakley thought the election would be a cakewalk and phoned it in. We don't need someone else like that in Congress.
My son wears combat boots (and a parachute).
The older I get, the less patience I have with cleverness. Thomas Sowell.
Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Benjamin Franklin.
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And no, I don't think Obama is at ALL moderate. I checked out his voting record (when he did bother to vote) and saw very liberal thoughts and policies. Went back and read his speeches, etc. and I don't consider any of it moderate.
Originally Posted by susancnw
Well, in all fairness, that is your opinion of Obama. But I wasn't talking about opinion in my earlier post. I was talking about where he actually stands on the issues as compared to everyone else. If you were to place everyone along a spectrum, he would not fall to the far left or the solid left. He would fall toward the left side of the middle.

If you look at it objectively, he's a moderate. It's why people on both sides aren't happy with him.

I know a whole lot of conservatives think Obama is super liberal. But when all you soak in all day is conservative ideology, of course anything outside of that is going to sound very liberal. Same goes for someone who's only reading the Daily Kos and watching Olberman. They think that Obama has abandoned progressive causes. Both views are insular and distorted.



Yeah, I don't often hear that people are accusing Obama of being really left, except people who are so far right they aren't aware of what "really left" means.

Obama is a moderate. You have people on both extremes pi**ed at him. That was why I voted for him and knocked on doors for him, because I wanted a moderate. I thought that's what our country needed, since we're so polarized. And so far I'm getting pretty much what I expected from him.
Originally Posted by wild~hair
It's not only a referendum on Obama (look at his current approval ratings), but of the entire extreme left wing of the Democrat party.
Originally Posted by Scarlet
No elected official in the Democrat party could be accurately described as "extreme left wing." There's not really anyone in the party who could even be described as "left wing."
One person in the senate doesn't a referendum make.
One week people are on the Brown bandwagon; another it'll be someone else.
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3a/3b
It's not only a referendum on Obama (look at his current approval ratings), but of the entire extreme left wing of the Democrat party.
Originally Posted by Scarlet
No elected official in the Democrat party could be accurately described as "extreme left wing." There's not really anyone in the party who could even be described as "left wing."
Originally Posted by Eilonwy
As a Canadian, I giggle when Democrats are described as left-wing. I would say the US Democrats are more to the right of our Canadian "right wing" Conservative party.

My brother lives in Boston and I asked him about the the vote - he felt that it was indictment against the perceived sense of entitlement of the Democratic party in MA. Too much old school, backroom politicking going on and so electorate decided to kick them in the butt. Nothing to do with Obama.


I would say the US Democrats are more to the right of our Canadian "right wing" Conservative party.
Originally Posted by mad scientist
This seems to be true of Western Europe, as well... Not including the extreme-right, openly neo-Nazi parties, that is.
its mainly the economy. Obama won because the country flopped just before the elections. it would have been dead even if it hadnt. if the country is still ailing come fall more Democrats will drop. if it picks up its status quo. people dont care whos fault it was the economy tanked they just want it fixed.

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