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The Atlantic's "Obama Doctrine" Interview

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  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    If you haven't read this interview then I would encourage you to do so.

    The Obama Doctrine: By JEFFREY GOLDBERG


    This was one of the most complex and deep interviews of the President that I've ever read. He explained his philosophy of international politics in a way that he has never done before and also called out world leaders who use America as a scapegoat while at the same time asking for our security and monetary assistance.

    I have always thought that President Obama is one of the smartest President's we have had and this interview only solidified that belief. He explained, in detail, how he goes about all of his decisions and why things aren't as black and white as the media portrays them.

  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Thanks Jared. I certainly agree with your assessment, and also Jeffrey Goldberg's. It also reaffirms my belief that we need to elect presidents who are critical thinkers and not married to any ideological worldviews. When a candidate says he is not going to compromise while in office, then in my mind that disqualifies him/her for being elected president. They can take their ideologies to Congress and fit in well there, but not the office of the presidency of the United States.

    President Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    jaredsxtn, that type of thinking isn't unique to Obama. It simply fits this model and to some it is a successful model. You are happy with the ACA and particularly the pre existing condition feature. The reality is there are innumerable ways insurace companies violate the conception that pre existing conditions are not restrictive and disqualifying. The difference between political human rights and populist human rights is large enough to deny human rights exist politically. At the particular time I was in the UMWA labor union the concept of human rights was totally egalitarian. Any benefit was everyboy's benefit. A guy I respected and learned a lot from when I was an officer was Jim Russel. He explained rights to me like this. He said if we went on contract strike and the company offered attractive but graduated and qualified conditions we turn it down. Everybody gets the same and after all is done and all we get is a can of beans, open the can of beans, count them out and divide them between the members. If all we got was a half a bean that was what everybody got. It served the UMWA well. My dad passed in 2001 and until my mom passed in 2014 she continued to get his UMWA pension and benefits which among other things was 100% no exclusion health care. That is what the ACA should have been. It isn't, the politicians gave the money away. On top of that other politicians convinced people it wasn't there money in the first place. What you end up with is politicians compromising their duty to build their legacy. Yes the ACA is legacy for Obama just as is his diplomacy.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Portland, OR
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    Schmidt Wrote: Thanks Jared. I certainly agree with your assessment, and also Jeffrey Goldberg's. It also reaffirms my belief that we need to elect presidents who are critical thinkers and not married to any ideological worldviews. When a candidate says he is not going to compromise while in office, then in my mind that disqualifies him/her for being elected president. They can take their ideologies to Congress and fit in well there, but not the office of the presidency of the United States.

    President Obama will go down in history as one of the greatest of all time.

    I agree. Compromise is not a dirty word and that is the only way things actually get done in this country.

    And I also agree that he'll go down in history as one of our greatest Presidents. The scary thing is that it might take a Trump Presidency to remind us of that.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Portland, OR
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: jaredsxtn, that type of thinking isn't unique to Obama. It simply fits this model and to some it is a successful model. You are happy with the ACA and particularly the pre existing condition feature. The reality is there are innumerable ways insurace companies violate the conception that pre existing conditions are not restrictive and disqualifying. The difference between political human rights and populist human rights is large enough to deny human rights exist politically. At the particular time I was in the UMWA labor union the concept of human rights was totally egalitarian. Any benefit was everyboy's benefit. A guy I respected and learned a lot from when I was an officer was Jim Russel. He explained rights to me like this. He said if we went on contract strike and the company offered attractive but graduated and qualified conditions we turn it down. Everybody gets the same and after all is done and all we get is a can of beans, open the can of beans, count them out and divide them between the members. If all we got was a half a bean that was what everybody got. It served the UMWA well. My dad passed in 2001 and until my mom passed in 2014 she continued to get his UMWA pension and benefits which among other things was 100% no exclusion health care. That is what the ACA should have been. It isn't, the politicians gave the money away. On top of that other politicians convinced people it wasn't there money in the first place. What you end up with is politicians compromising their duty to build their legacy. Yes the ACA is legacy for Obama just as is his diplomacy.

    What does the ACA have to do with foreign policy? This entire article was about Obama's foreign policy doctrine, not health care.

    But I will fight you to the end of the earth about the ACA being a bad law. You might be frustrated with it, but ask the people who were denied health coverage for any reason under the sun if they are frustrated with it. Ask the people in the states who actually expanded Medicaid if they are frustrated with it. And ask the people who didn't go bankrupt due to medical bills if they are frustrated with it.

    Would I like the law to be expanded and have a single-payer system? Hell yes. But to suggest that the ACA is worse than what we had before is sheer nonsense.

  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    ACA has a lot of features and benefits. But the shortcomings affect a particular group. Unrepresented, impoverished, no recourse, in reality not able to take advantage of subsidies and a host of other exceptions that that group of people are exposed to because of the nature of their shortcomings. This group typically changes jobs frequently and subsequently the maladies causing and resulting from their status is a drawback. There is a time limit for applying for subsidies as well as a time limit for retaining greater degree of coverage from an initial policy to a new one. All conditions caused by a lack of knowledge or facility with rules and protocol that most people take for granted. A lot of short comings for low incomes plus a total denial of any coverage for this group in states that did not expand Medicaid/Medicare. So a small percentage overall by number but a huge percentage of most coverage denied. In other words it hurts most those most likely to suffer the most by denial of coverage. So the group that will suffer the most is the group least likely to get any help. Nothing to say but "who cares". The reason I sight ACA instead of foreign diplomacy is the working of Obama's mind was brought up. ACA was easier for me to illucidate discrepancies where objectivity is selective.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    I shy away from diplomacy critiques because I think more is going on that we are privy to. ACA is not susceptible to current and future events .
  • Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Chet Ruminski Wrote: ACA has a lot of features and benefits. But the shortcomings affect a particular group. Unrepresented, impoverished, no recourse, in reality not able to take advantage of subsidies and a host of other exceptions that that group of people are exposed to because of the nature of their shortcomings. This group typically changes jobs frequently and subsequently the maladies causing and resulting from their status is a drawback. There is a time limit for applying for subsidies as well as a time limit for retaining greater degree of coverage from an initial policy to a new one. All conditions caused by a lack of knowledge or facility with rules and protocol that most people take for granted. A lot of short comings for low incomes plus a total denial of any coverage for this group in states that did not expand Medicaid/Medicare. So a small percentage overall by number but a huge percentage of most coverage denied. In other words it hurts most those most likely to suffer the most by denial of coverage. So the group that will suffer the most is the group least likely to get any help. Nothing to say but "who cares". The reason I sight ACA instead of foreign diplomacy is the working of Obama's mind was brought up. ACA was easier for me to illucidate discrepancies where objectivity is selective.

    Chet -- This is precisely the point that I keep harping on. The Affordable Care Act was a "large compromise" law. President Obama admitted it as such when he barely was able to get it passed despite all the best behind the scenes arm twisting. But nevertheless it was a good law...it could have been better, but it was the best President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi could deliver given the opposition not only from Republicans but also blue dog democrats...and also one mealy mouth Josef Lieberman. Since it's passage, Republicans have done everything they can to undermine it, bringing lawsuit after lawsuit. Many of those in the suffering group that you cite as being denied coverage are those who live in Republican controlled states that didn't expand Medicaid as a result of the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote undermining that part of the legislation.

    The success of the ACA is largely a result of the "working of Obama's mind" to compromise to get something passed rather than get nothing, as was the case with "HillaryCare". Whether it's foreign policy, rescuing the economy or domestic policies on health care, President Obama does not adopt an "all or nothing" approach. He is an incrementalist as is Hillary Clinton, satisfied to make some progress now and saving the rest for a later day. He thinks long term for the greater good of the American people.

    If you are one of the millions who really believe that Bernie Sanders's idea of a single payer universal health care can pass through Congress due to the shear will of the populist socialist revolution putting pressure on the conservatives in Congress to pass his legislation without compromises, then you will become disillusioned and cynical, just like the many Obama supporters who thought they were electing a king with dictatorial powers, and quit his bus in the 2010 election.

    The ACA discussion is off topic, but the Obama Doctrine on foreign policy does in many ways mimic his approach to getting the Affordable Care Act passed. I ask, is that bad?

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt Wrote:
    Chet Ruminski Wrote: ACA has a lot of features and benefits. But the shortcomings affect a particular group. Unrepresented, impoverished, no recourse, in reality not able to take advantage of subsidies and a host of other exceptions that that group of people are exposed to because of the nature of their shortcomings. This group typically changes jobs frequently and subsequently the maladies causing and resulting from their status is a drawback. There is a time limit for applying for subsidies as well as a time limit for retaining greater degree of coverage from an initial policy to a new one. All conditions caused by a lack of knowledge or facility with rules and protocol that most people take for granted. A lot of short comings for low incomes plus a total denial of any coverage for this group in states that did not expand Medicaid/Medicare. So a small percentage overall by number but a huge percentage of most coverage denied. In other words it hurts most those most likely to suffer the most by denial of coverage. So the group that will suffer the most is the group least likely to get any help. Nothing to say but "who cares". The reason I sight ACA instead of foreign diplomacy is the working of Obama's mind was brought up. ACA was easier for me to illucidate discrepancies where objectivity is selective.

    Chet -- This is precisely the point that I keep harping on. The Affordable Care Act was a "large compromise" law. President Obama admitted it as such when he barely was able to get it passed despite all the best behind the scenes arm twisting. But nevertheless it was a good law...it could have been better, but it was the best President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi could deliver given the opposition not only from Republicans but also blue dog democrats...and also one mealy mouth Josef Lieberman. Since it's passage, Republicans have done everything they can to undermine it, bringing lawsuit after lawsuit. Many of those in the suffering group that you cite as being denied coverage are those who live in Republican controlled states that didn't expand Medicaid as a result of the Supreme Court by a 5-4 vote undermining that part of the legislation.

    The success of the ACA is largely a result of the "working of Obama's mind" to compromise to get something passed rather than get nothing, as was the case with "HillaryCare". Whether it's foreign policy, rescuing the economy or domestic policies on health care, President Obama does not adopt an "all or nothing" approach. He is an incrementalist as is Hillary Clinton, satisfied to make some progress now and saving the rest for a later day. He thinks long term for the greater good of the American people.

    If you are one of the millions who really believe that Bernie Sanders's idea of a single payer universal health care can pass through Congress due to the shear will of the populist socialist revolution putting pressure on the conservatives in Congress to pass his legislation without compromises, then you will become disillusioned and cynical, just like the many Obama supporters who thought they were electing a king with dictatorial powers, and quit his bus in the 2010 election.

    The ACA discussion is off topic, but the Obama Doctrine on foreign policy does in many ways mimic his approach to getting the Affordable Care Act passed. I ask, is that bad?

    Schmidt excellent answer. The problem as as I said many times, is the "two" party system. Then indeed you get the "polarization" as well automatically more and more independents are created that way. On top of that an outdated Constitution and form of Government which is not structured as should be in the 21th century by actually representing the present day society people as well industrial revolution. For instance with the "Apple" case, the Constitution plays a role, while the writers had no clue about any cell phone or its existence; so the lawyers twist and turn to make it applicable to todays world. Just look at a supreme court; a very weird setup indeed. So any compromise does not take the independents or others into account. For instance a "compromise" in the Netherlands is done with 11 parties who all participate in getting things done in a Democratic way.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
    Democrat
    Pensacola, FL
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    Schmidt, The problem with incrementalism and compromise is subjectivity. Improving existing systems incrementally will favor voting groups. Progress will be made avoiding controversial and costly issues. Eventually the insensitivity results in a Trump. We all know that and it is probably a waste of oxygen discussing it, but when the feces encounters the rotating blades at least there is a support path. Each time it happens the public is somewhat desensitized to the real answer. It is better to try and fail rather than exhibit total oblivion to the problem and solution. I am flabbergasted at Bernie's progress.
  • Liberal Democrat
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    Colorado Springs, CO
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    Progress is not measured in words or lofty goals. Progress is measured in real action steps forward, no matter how small, and absolutely needs the patience and consensus of those politicians elected by the people to represent them. Yes those incremental steps are not always perceptible for those who always live in the present or those focused only on "what's in it for me". Unless one studies history of progress on a global scale, one cannot have a realistic perspective of the present, or how one can achieve that lofty goal.

    Sanders has lofty socialist goals, but he is in "total oblivion" of how he will work with Congress on a realistic plan to turn our country into his vision of a socialist state like Sweden. When asked "how", he reverts to regurgitating his populist "political revolution" that will somehow make it happen as the "workers of the world" unite in protest against the corporate oligarchs and the "millionaires and billionaires". Yes Sanders has a commendable vision, but if his only action plan to get there is a massive protest movement in "main street", a real people's revolution if you like, well that can get out of hand and ugly. If that is his idea of an action plan to achieve his goals, I don't like it. It's messy.

    On the other hand, if he can really mobilize millions of young voters to become truly "grass rootsy" and become involved in government at the local, state and federal level to understand how our democratic government can work for them if they get off their asses and vote, then yes it might work. Right now in talking and listening to young people at our recent precinct caucus meeting, that aspect of Sanders's revolution is missing. It's all about Bernie and not much else of substance. They expect Bernie to "make it happen" for them if together they can only mobilize enough people to elect him. But they do not even know the names of our local and state representatives where the grass roots movement really starts.

    I hope that Bernie will be more forthcoming in the weeks and months ahead. He says he plans to take his political revolution all the way to the convention. But what then? Shit hits the fan?

  • Independent
    Ft.myers, FL
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    Schmidt,yes you are right. However it is the system here which is broken because no one wants to reform the old Constitution to modern days. Then on top of that we have a supreme court appointed for life, which makes that very conservative indeed, because of no new younger blood in it. Thus a lot of the things which come to light now, have an past cause. Holding onto an 17th century document which does not account for modern technology or science only makes our lawyers richer but does not solve our present day problems. In order to improve governing you can't stick with a two party system; the "mixture" of this country is not really represented; neither are the original "occupants" of this country like Indians, Eskimo's etc., because they can only vote for what the "white" man wants.
  • Strongly Liberal Democrat
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    Pensacola, FL
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    Dutch, There is only one fault to the constitution. That is the abuse of the back door provided by the redress of grievances. Instead of campaign financing the first amendment should be focused on for definition. I read it as permitting a change to existing conditions. The lobbyists have distorted and abused it to the point it creates new law in opposition to results of an election.