At this point, I think Obama has kissed Democrats goodbye…

As of this morning it seems that Obama is ready to deal with the Right... extend the Bush tax cuts for a couple of years in exchange for one year's extension of Unemployment funding. The tax cut deal is tentative. It hasn't gone through Congress yet (although McConnell is probably dribbling with laughter in his office), but it probably will.

When even Conservatives like Joe Scarborough sees and comments on the fact that Obama is moving directly to the Right... and will not increase job creation much, but will add at least a trillion new bucks to the deficit. And who is going to lend it to us? The Chinese? Are we going to listen to Obama's financial team that extending tax cuts are going to get us out of recession?

And now we won't be able to blame this crap on Bush anymore. Obama owns it and is most likely making himself a one-term President. And a lot of very unhappy Democrats like me will probably help him to become a one-termer. As Joe Scarborough just said: "At least they can't call him a Socialist any more."

I think it is up to Nancy Pelosi (certainly not Harry Reid) to try to hold this arrangement off... and, as I have said before, it would be better to have this whole arrangement with the Right flushed down the toilet and get NO tax cut extensions for ANYONE, than to do anything like what is coming out of the White House. (Steny Hoyer, however, will go along with it... miserable power seeker... and will undermine Pelosi.)

So now we have to pay for increased troops in Afghanistan where we are getting nowhere even faster than before, we have to suffer increasing rather than decreasing unemployment making our tax revenues even lower, and we can look forward to a GOP-controlled future... amazing with a Democratic White House and Senate... which will take us further from the America that was built by generations of progressive leaders from Roosevelt (FDR) through Johnson.

If the Tea Party takeover has taught us anything, it is that we need a new grass-roots progressive movement. And we have to push from the ground up. It's going to take 30 years.

At least.



Tags: Barack Obama, Joe Scarborough, Mitch McConnell, Congress, Nancy Pelosi (all tags)



I'm thinking 5-6 years, not 30.

"It's going to take 30 years.  At least."

I don't think so.  I think it will be much, much more quick than that. Here's why...

Unless you think the job market is going to get a lot better, a lot sooner, the unemployment extension is going to end sooner rather than later.  These poor folks have nothing left to lose.  Think Wall St. and the Dow is going to keep going up?  I don't.  I think we're papering over huge structural flaws.  When it finally blows up, what about those formally middle class people depending on what was left of their 401k?  Pissed off somewhat?  I'd sure think so.  Of course, Obama and the Republics will have removed even more of the Social Security safety net in the name of fiscal austerity.  What happens when Social Security has been crippled?  Finally, what happens when oil prices keep going up along with other commodities and people can't afford to heat their homes? 

Mix these things together and you have one flammable stew.  I think we're talking about Populism writ large.  If government no longer addresses people's basic needs, there WILL be changes.  Our challenge will be to keep those changes as positive as possible. 

by weinerdog43 2010-12-07 09:22PM | 2 recs
Is there a Democratic Party?

We are going to find out this week whether the Democratic Party still exists as a political, policy-making, organization.   For whatever reasons, the president now considers himself to be the leader of the Republican Party.

But what about all those other people?  Several senators and congresspeople who are, nominally at least, Democrats made statements that they disapprove of this wonderful compromise.  Are they going to write a strongly worded letter or do something?

A lot can happen between now and November 2012, so I'm not saying I know what is going to happen on that election day.  But for me, the Obama administration is over.

There aren't even any plans for Afghanistan or Iraq to get better.  They don't even bother to bullshit us about it anymore.  Those occupations will not end until the American empire completely collapses.  There are no plans for the federal government to do anything to promote employment.  The tax cut deal effectively removes the federal government as a player in the economy.  There's no money.  The president has surrendered on every social issue. He will not get rid of DADT.

What's left?  Obama is not even planning anything between now and 2012.  He has no agenda.  He is done.

by James Earl 2010-12-07 11:08PM | 2 recs
no, from a cynical vantage point it may be a good move

I am not going to try to defend the policies. But, from the view of the WH I am sure they feel by giving the Teapots and the GOP their dream...they thereby embrace them on economics....if the economy improves Obama will benefit, and likely the GOP as well in many cases. If the economy struggles along, what will the right attack Obama on then? He can rightfully say...I gave you what you wanted, it is your policy.

As far as the Democrats? Let the GOP nominate Palin, see how long it takes for the party regulars to return to the stable. It smacks of Clinton's triangulation, but Clinton never just showed up one day and sold out everything progressive in one fell swoop. An experienced and savvy politician would not do that....but one just did. Perhaps it will work. I hope the economy improves, even if it helps the dealmakers

by blackflag 2010-12-08 07:56AM | 1 recs
What was the alternative?

Fight Republicans to a stalemate in the Senate?  What comes out of that?  Let's stipulate up front that no one really cares about the deficit.  They talk about it, but no one really cares about it.  Extending the Bush tax cuts added, what was it, like $3.3 trillion to the deficit over ten years and the "liberal" position was to hold that down to a paltry $2.6 trillion?  That was fiscal responsibility?  And consistently less than 20% of the population said "let them all expire".  So the Democrats' hand was to come back in January and make the Republicans filibuster in the Senate while taxes increased during a terrible recession.  That was a pretty weak hand overall.  There's a possibility that the Democrats could have eventually brow-beaten the Republicans into accepting the Democratic position on taxes ($2.6 trillion in deficits), but would they have gotten unemployment benefits, payroll tax holiday, college tuition credit, etc?  It doesn't seem likely.

I think Obama has stolen the narrative on this issue and the GOP is getting set to pass the "Obama tax cut plan".  That's not a small thing.  And public attention is focused well enough on this issue now that it will be difficult for the GOP to obstruct this outright.

It's possible that Obama over-reacted a bit in his press conference yesterday and I think his rant at the end was a moment of truth in expressing frustration with the left.  That may have been unwise, but I tend to agree with the gist of what he was saying.  Look, stalemate is a conservative value.  By definition progressives are trying to move things forward.  To do that almost always requires some compromise.  Achieving nothing but a huge bottleneck in Congress halts progress.

From a political standpoint, the other thing this does is to throw a grenade in the middle of the GOP caucus.  The Tea Party types will oppose this bill, but there may be enough pragmatists left in the GOP that it gets passed.  In that case, the GOP Tea Party base will see this as another Medicare Part D moment and re-double their efforts to primary moderate Senators in 2012.  On the other hand, if the Republicans oppose this, then we're back to square one, which is where we were 72 hours ago.  Except that Obama comes out looking like the reasonable one.

by the mollusk 2010-12-08 10:32AM | 0 recs
Where is Jerome?

Has he gone on strike or something? He has hardly been here in the last few months. He last said he was going to form a new party or something - is he busy with that?

Anybody knows?


by gaf 2010-12-08 11:08AM | 0 recs
Capitulator in Chief

The republicans in the house have already signaled that they fully intend to impeach Obama.  Even though I voted for Obama (and never again), I hope they go ahead with impeachment.  Maybe Obama will learn something about capitulating to his republican enemies without a fight.

by poggy 2010-12-08 02:20PM | 2 recs


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