Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Obamapology, Take 2

The Government We Deserve
Step away from the ledge!

By now, I'm sure you have all heard about how Obama 'caved in' to the GOP, or broke his campaign promise, or whatever.  Personally, I'm really unhappy about it too.  I'm willing to have my taxes go up if it means the rich people's taxes go up too.  All this talk about deficits has been exposed for what it is, just talk.  Just another excuse to bash Obama and the Democrats, and another opportunity for the powerful to raid the treasury.  But...read and listen to these words spoken today by Obama:
"This isn’t an abstract debate...This is real money for real people and it will make a real difference in the lives of the folks who sent us here."
The ugly irony in the tax situation is that percentage-wise, the people on the bottom would suffer the most in a tax increase.   And it was not an idle threat by the GOP; they would be perfectly happy to let millions of folks lose unemployment benefits, and sink further out of sight.  This was blackmail, pure and simple.

While I don't believe in caving in to blackmail, I'm not sure Obama had much choice.  I guess what I'd like to see is a concerted effort to make the GOP pay for this politically, but in the age of limitless anonymous corporate donations via shadowy Super-PAC's, it's hard to see that happening either.

What do you want Obama to do?  I think many people voted for him as if he were the second coming, and we would no longer need to do any more hard work.  All our utopian dreams would become reality.

As long as Americans can be bamboozled into electing Republicans, even if it means harming Americans, we will get treated this way over and over again.

What say you?


Jeff Johnson said...

The way to make the GOP pay would have been to pass the law the Dems wanted (end tax-cuts for rich; retain those for middle-class) and force the GOP to reinstate the tax-cuts for the rich after they take over in Feb. But they didn't do that. It's a mystery to me.

Geoff Gould said...

This is where the disconnect comes. The House did pass those bills. Exactly those bills. But there is no chance of them getting through the Senate. There is a possibility of the Senate rules being changed at the beginning of the next term, but until the "if and whenness" of that comes to pass, the GOP will just kill all legislation that doesn't pass muster with them.

Bob Mc. said...

I don't think making anyone pay is the answer - it only increases the polarization. What I would like to see following these kinds of compromises is not a wimpy compromise statement, but a "full disclosure" explanation of what happened that would educate the public with an eye to the next election. E.g., "I wanted to extend assistance to the unemployed, and pay for it, as well as help the deficit situation, by eliminating some of the tax breaks for the wealthier of us. I was not allowed to do this without compromising on the tax issue. As I had a difficult choice to make, so do you. If you believe in tax breaks for the wealthiest of us as a bargining chip for helping out the man on the street in times of trouble, check out your representative's position on this and vote accordingly - it's your choice. If you are fed up with the inability of congress to work together to find solutions for the issues that are important to you, find out if your rep. is part of the problem or of the potential solution. It's up to you." I would hit this over and over and over again, and not wait until it's merely perceived as next year's campaign strategy.

Tom Mulhern said...

I've said over and over, the Dems have absolutely no idea how to craft and deliver an overwhelming message. From nutball Reagan's "Morning In America" to Mad Man Bush's "Axis of Evil, 9/11, 9/11", the Repubs have been spot-on at finding the resonant frequency of Mr and Mrs mainstrea America. So, even if Obama doesn't execute perfectly, there's nobody in the Dem camp who's making it seem as if he is. It's a lose-lose for everyone. Except the Repubs.

Jeffrey said...

Time and time again Obama has shown a tendency to cave on every progressive issue, whether it be the public option, solving "too big to fail", or standing up to the Republicans on taxes. Obama is giving the Republicans every thing they want on this issue: Tax cuts for the rich corporate funders of the Republicans. He says they will only be temporary, but who knows, he may capitulate again in 2012 and extend them even further. In return for this outrageous tax deal, all the Republicans are giving him is a temporary extension of unemployment benefits, which is not very much. He could of got a vote on the START treaty, the DREAM act, or maybe even a vote on repealing DADT if he fought, but instead he caved. At this point, I'm hoping that Howard Dean, Russ Feingold, or some other progressive challenges him in 2012.

Jeffrey said...

*could have, not "could of"

Anonymous said...

I'm feeling defeated and deflated about the whole thing, but I'll suggest this much: How can we forced the Congresstwats - incoming and outgoing alike - to have a very immediate and very public negotiation as to where and how spending cuts are to take place. The lack of a conversation on debt reduction alongside the charade of a conversation about taxation is depressing to me.


Ric said...

President Bill Clinton once said, "Ideological purity is for partisan extremists." In today's LA TIMES, Doyle McManus points out the value of compromise to get things done in his Op-Ed piece, http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-mcmanus-column-obama-stimulus-20101209,0,2701763.column. I think we need to remember there are about 310,000,000 Americans now, and there are many points of view besides mine or yours about the best ways to do things.