AUDIO: President Obama literally asked us to "hold him accountable"


Thanks to Nicole Sandler, I now have audio from Netroots Nation '10 when President Obama asked Democrats to "hold me accountable". In other words, dissent is healthy, democratic, constructive, and what this president insists upon. And good for him, that's how it should be.

So to those who feel some of us are aiding and abetting the GOP when we criticize the president, please reconsider. Many of us are expressing our opposition to some of his policies, not bashing him. Bashing is unproductive and unnecessary. On the other hand, holding President Obama accountable is healthy and, IMHO, mandatory, if we want him to hear us as we make "our voices heard", and "keep up the fight" (his words).

I will vote for him because the alternative is unthinkable. But I will also continue to express myself loud and clear when I disagree with him, as he has requested here:

We never heard GW Bush say those words. Quite the contrary.

As Nicole and I were saying on her show this morning, Democrats are certainly the more inclusive party, and as such, should be open to others' ideas, comments, and challenges, so long as it's done in a civil manner. We need to stick together, sure, but we also need to be able to express our differences.

  • odedmarer

    critical thinking is positive thinking. science greatly depends on the latter. A president is the CEO of govt. and relies on his constituents, us, for feed back. our criticism is the sensor system that feeds healthy govt. :}

  • NotAnObamaZombie

    We also never heard George Bush say "I inherited this mess" (let alone THROUGHOUT his entire Term). Obama knew what he was getting into, and acts like a petulant child Every time he brings this up (and gets cover from his acolytes, especially in the media)... including, apparently, this site.
    If we're to "hold him to his own level of accountability", then we should ask why unemployment claims continue to rise despite his claims (lies) of adding 2 million Private Sector jobs. Moreover, he should be the "transformative, transparent" politician he ran as.. not one continuously chastising his opponents with political gamesmanship to justify why he can't fulfill the various Promises he made (and has Failed to deliver on)... which I'M personally Proud of; his tactics are Race-baiting, Diversion and Class Warfare.

    He got a FREE PASS from the media during his campaign... it's time his followers wake up and realize that this man's vision for America is to "globalize" it into a nation no more "exceptional" than the next.

    And for these comments, I'll be chided an "ideologue", "zealot", "extremist", yada yada... but before you do, keep THIS in mind (from 'Mike', below) before you call ME "closed-minded":
    "Disclaimer:  I will never not vote.  I will always vote a liberal agenda, and will vigorously support ($$$, volunteer) local progressives."

    I'm no more partisan in my comments here than the next guy... so I'll leave you with this, your Own words:
    "Democrats are certainly the more inclusive party, and as such, should be open to others’ ideas, comments, and challenges, so long as it’s done in a civil manner."

    Are you all REALLY that Open-Minded? We'll see.

  • The thing is to allow a party who continuously lies to it's voters to support its one true base is an alternative that cannot be allowed. You don't like the guys you have on the ticket find good idea guys and help them get the spotlight you think they need. We have a new medium "the internet" we have twitter, google, myspace, facebook, millions of blogs. It was netroots that helped push Obama over the top when in the beginning many INCLUDING other minorities figured he had no chance, minorities have run for the top nomination before and have gotten less than their percentage of the population.

    When you hear a kid in the neighborhood who says he wants to go into politics at a young age, help expose him to more than just whats in front of him, tell him the stories of both sides of the aisle explain to him the importance of compromise. I mean I agree hold them accountable but THEM starts at home, because truth be told there is no THEM it's all US, the UNITED STATES. Every time we allow the word THEM to come into the conversation we concede a little bit more of the board to those who don't have our nations best interests at heart.  It doesn't matter what letter is behind your registration as long as once you vote you stay just as active on the 100th day as you were 100 days before the election. Yes we all love to enjoy the afterglow but the Tea Party started their campaign on Inauguration Day 2009. They never relented, regardless of how untruthful or ignorant the message they never missed a chance to present it.

    That is the future of politics in this country you have to be active 24/7 not just during the presidential election year. There are people who will not pay attention to the facts and will just vote with the fear in their hearts or the anger in their minds. If you feel a republican will do a better job on an issue fine, then vote him in. But hold him just as accountable as you hold the democrat, and hold your fellow voters just as accountable too. We have become a rubber necking society, 911 should be flooded every time we see a bad accident, no we all can't stop but we all have cell phones(okay 98.999% of us have cell phones thus why driving has become worse) and can call to make sure help is on the way. And if you can stop because you have training or experience that will help in the situation then stop, if you have time to try and make sure if there are any who are hurt or trapped that if safe you could help them either escape or find comfort hope until help arrives then stop.

    When did it become evil to help our fellow man? Oh yeah about the same time we decided that accepting help in hard times was synonymous with being lazy. 

  • Thank you so much : ) Your comment was spot on.

  • Mike

    OH.  And meanwhile, on the crazy side of the ledger.  The intraparty tactics of agitation, primary's, loud protest and generally being a thorn in the backside of mainstream politicians has been quite effective .... going on 30 yrs now while the nicey nice Dems continue to get dragged to the right.

  • Anonymous

    And you said it here too - very well!

  • Mike

    Best post evah.

    My only point is this.  How do you hold a politician accountable when you guarantee him your vote (assuming you're not a large donor)?  They know you have no where to go, that you won't vote for the dark side.  

    Nobody knows what I will do when I enter the voting booth.  I might be pragmatic.  I might be more morally driven by conscience.  Who knows?  But what will I tell pollsters?  What will I tell a politician when they violate KEY policy positions that they are supposed to stand for?  And where will my (meager) amount of $$$ go when these guys sell out the base?  What leverage do you have if NOT to threaten to sit it out?  Will Obama (as an example) re-evaluate strategy with good poll numbers or poor ones?

    While your post is right on, I'm not quite sure what "make me" means in real terms, which is exactly why it's so easy for someone like Obama to go to a progressive convention and say this nonsense.  So please tell me, what exact leverage is there for the "base" who has limited donation ability but who is well informed?

    BTW, many of us consider continuously supporting an institution that routinely sells out it's base (and not just on the fringe of issues, MAJOR policy issues) to be irresponsible.

    Disclaimer:  I will never not vote.  I will always vote a liberal agenda, and will vigorously support ($$$, volunteer) local progressives.

  • I've tried in previous posts to address just that. I know. I know.

  • Anonymous

    There's a difference between what you are saying and what I hear from some - those who want to duplicate 2010 and not vote for him or Dems, thereby indeed aiding and abetting the GOP.  No one is going to agree with any politician 100% of the time but ignoring reality and pretending that a primary is the answer (or whatever other inane idea is in vogue at the moment) is just irresponsible.