The Obama fans are busy trying to rationalize the terrible debt deal that the Democrats agreed to last night. There is nothing good about the deal other than that the debt ceiling was raised, helping to prevent the world economy from going into a tail-spin. In other words, the radical GOP wingnuts threatened to allow a U.S. debt default unless the Democrats agreed to drastic cuts, no revenue creation and no extension of unemployment benefits. Yeah, great compromise. I think the word is “capitulation,” actually.
The best part of all this is that now we get to listen to President Obama and the media elites, millionaires all of them, talk about how this was necessary “for the good of the country” and it demonstrates that President Obama is willing to take on his progressive base and move to the center. Move to the center? How about lurch recklessly to the hard right? As for the progressive base, Team Obama made clear early on that hippie-punching was its favorite sport and that there was absolutely nothing to lose by throwing liberals under the bus because it would appeal to independents.
So, how many bridges do you think this debt deal will build? How many jobs will it create? Oh, about zero. This is the thing about the Beltway media- they are about as far removed from the ordinary concerns of the average American as one can be. Well, other than members of Congress and the President. While they’ve been beating the debt drum along with the GOP, polls continue to show that most Americans are worried about jobs, jobs, jobs because, you know, it’s hard to pay your mortgage or rent if you don’t have one. My next door neighbor is a union roofer. He hasn’t worked in over a year. Do you think he gives a sh*t about the national debt? No he does not. I know this because I asked him.
I find it fascinating that all these fiscal hawks who now demand a cut for every dollar increase in spending a) didn’t seem to care about this when the GOP was in charge for eight years and b) don’t want to lay any responsibility at the feet of our endless wars and c) have trouble with math in that they think they can balance the budget without raising one dime in revenues. That the Democrats willingly signed off on this nonsense tells us all we need to know about what the party is willing to stand up for: nothing. We’re back to trickle-down economics because, well, that worked so well in the past.
Economist and NYT opinion writer Paul Krugman seems to be one of the few people to not have his head firmly lodged up his backside. He has a good piece up (from yesterday) that hits all the major points about this crummy debt deal, the most important of which is that Obama has zero leadership skills and surrenders at the first sign of disagreement. Why on earth would the GOP ever compromise at this point when all they have to do is stamp their feet and scream “no” in response to everything? Seriously, what has Barack Obama NOT caved on? Bush tax cuts, healthcare, financial reform- all of it has been one major capitulation after another, dressed up as compromise. Sorry, but you can’t put lipstick on a pig. The GOP has Obama’s number and it’s on speed-dial. There are going to be more battles ahead prior to 2012 and there is absolutely zero reason to think President Obama will suddenly start to grow a spine and stare down the GOP.
So, President Obama, what is your plan to create more jobs? Oh, right, you don’t have one. Never mind.
It really is amateur hour at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.