Obama & Democrats to Middle Class: Screw You

August 1, 2011

News


You are no FDR, Obama

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.

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About Stacy

Attorney, Publisher, Foreign Policy wonk

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5 Comments on “Obama & Democrats to Middle Class: Screw You”

  1. Carolyn-Rodham Says:

    The man is making it really, really, really hard to support him in 2012. Could it behis strategy is more cynical than we think? Maybe he is positioning himsekf so that whatever happens to the economy in the next year, he can say, “This is the bed the Republicans made for all of us. Now re-elect me to undo all the bad they’ve done.”

    Reply

    • Stacy Says:

      I’m not voting for him in 2012. I’ll write Ziggy’s name in or something. There’s not one damn thing the guy has done that I can support. Ending DADT was really more of Congress’ doing, lest anyone jump out of lurk-world and claim he ended DADT. The dems play gay once a year- when they want to fund-raise, then they go back to jealously guarding their heterosexual marriages against invasion by the Homosexual Agenda.

      I really don’t think he has a strategy other than to try to be seen as the adult in the room- the guy who will compromise at any cost for the good of the nation, blah, blah, blah. He also is trying to appeal to independents. But this isn’t just an Obama problem, it’s a democratic problem. The GOP loves their base, the Democrats hate theirs, except during primaries. Trying to get the democrats organized and on message is like trying to herd cats. I also think Obama’s progressive supporters are slowly beginning to realize that Obama never was and never will be progressive. In other words, Obama doesn’t really have much of a problem with the debt deal because it doesn’t violate his principles because he’s not an FDR democrat. He’s republican-lite.

      We need a progressive third party or a progressive version of the tea party to put the democrats feet to the fire- no more trickle down economics, we need to focus on jobs, affordable health care, reigning in the financial industry to prevent another collapse, a more moderate foreign policy, and we need to enact campaign laws that enables us to get our democracy back. At this point, voting seems symbolic, particularly after the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.

      Unless the democrats pay a price and experience some political pain, they’ll never change.

      Reply

      • Carolyn-Rodham Says:

        I’m writing in YOU.

        Reply

      • Pilgrim Says:

        I sure wouldn’t vote for him.

        As you say, maybe he wishes to be perceived as the adult in the room.

        In my own opinion, I think he’s playing a role, thinking of himself as a celeb, a cool guy. Many saw him, some still see him like that. More and more are finding that scales are falling from their eyes and they don’t like the real person they are seeing. No, not a person, a persona, the proverbial empty suit, the spineless wonder, the one who has no core.

        Reply

  2. Stacy Says:

    Here’s the impact some of these cuts will have on women:

    http://now.org/press/08-11/08-01.html

    [note: comment updated to add this below]

    Good article about how the beltway elites (politicians, media and pundits) are falling back on the lazy interpretation of “well, both sides are unhappy so it must be a good compromise.” Wrong!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/08/01/debt-ceiling-deal_n_914985.html

    I hate when people make false equivalencies. The media do it all the time when they want to defend themselves- For ex ethan bronner thinks he’s objective because he says both sides get mad at him. The question is not whether both sides get mad the question is what they are getting upset about and do they have a legitimate grievance? Similarly, the fact that both dems and repubs are upset does not mean it’s anything remotely like a fair deal. The GOP aren’t stupid- they’ll walk around griping knowing damn well they won. The deal is nothing but massive cuts and that stupid trigger system that gives them another chance to stare down Obama over more cuts in another year. Totally absent from the debt discussion is what impact will it have on actual, real live Americans who DON’T make over $150,000 a year?

    You wait, the next thing on the chopping block will be the middle class tax deduction for interest on mortgage payments- that’s like the only substantial deduction the middle class gets and they are seriously considering doing away with it, you know, to raise money.

    Reply

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