Monday, September 26, 2011

Blowback from Obama's Congressional Black Caucus speech

President Obama's credibility and his continued efforts to distance himself from the Democratic base affected even his generally liberal speech on Saturday to the Congressional Black Caucus, despite the speech combative tone against the Republicans.

California Congresswoman Maxine Waters was willing to go on the record criticizing Obama's speech, whose last portion was an exhortation to go campaign for the home team: Blue Texan, Maxine Waters (D-CA) Not Amused by Obama's Badgering Firedoglake 09/26/2011.

Anthea Butler at Religion Dispatches also criticizes the speech in Obama's Preaching Doesn't Reach 09/26/2011:

While my Twitter feed was filled with happiness about the president finally "speaking the truth," I was perturbed by his rhetorical delivery and statements like "taking off your slippers." Seriously. Has the president ever asked a white Democratic audience to "take off your slippers?" ...

Let me say it more bluntly. The president said at the end of his CBC speech: "[I] expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying. We are going to press on." ...

All of this has come at a time when the president's approval ratings have hit a new low of 41%, and the black unemployment rate is at its highest since the Reagan administration, 16.7%. The president's largest decline this past month in approval ratings is among African American voters. No surprise. Pandering to black church stereotypes of preaching, trying to hoop, and banging your bully pulpit isn't going to win 2012. [my emphasis]
These reactions reinforce my impression that Obama's President Pushover act has hurt him badly, especially the debt-limit fiasco. It's nice to hear combative words from Obama. But it's much harder to get worked up about them if you have reason to think he doesn't take them seriously and that he'll fold badly in any negotiation with the Republicans.

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