Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Blame Game; or, A Hard Package Is Good to Find

According to this poll, "67 percent of respondents said any debt deal out of Washington must include tax hikes for the wealthiest Americans." (According to the same poll, 54 percent blame Bush for the state of the economy, while only 27 percent blame Obama; and "that voters will largely blame Republicans, rather than Obama, if the debt limit is not raised."

According to President Obama (via), he isn't listening:
And I think it’s important for the American people that everybody in this town set politics aside, that everybody in this town set our individual interests aside, and we try to do some tough stuff. And I’ve already taken some heat from my party for being willing to compromise. My expectation and hope is, is that everybody, in the coming days, is going to be willing to compromise.

Because it turns out poll after poll, many done by your organizations, show that it’s not just Democrats who think we need to take a balanced approach; it’s Republicans as well.

The clear majority of Republican voters think that any deficit reduction package should have a balanced approach and should include some revenues. That’s not just Democrats; that’s the majority of Republicans. You’ve got a whole slew of Republican officials from previous administrations. You’ve got a bipartisan commission that has said that we need revenues.

That would be the Catfood Commission, which called for cuts in Social Security and Medicare. As does President Obama. Those polls also consistently show that most Americans do not want cuts in Social Security and Medicare, nor do they care about the deficit nearly as much as they care about jobs.

So he's not listening, or he doesn't care:
We simply need to make these tough choices and be willing to take on our bases. And everybody knows it.
La la la la he can't hear you! -- Not unless you donate a lot more than five measly dollars to his campaign war chest, anyway. Then he suddenly can hear you. Obama knows he's at odds with his base, if by that he means the people who voted for him as opposed to the people who paid for him. He wants to give them spending cuts while pretending that he's interested in cuts that won't hurt them.
And that’s, by the way, what I said in the meeting two days ago. I was very blunt. I said the American people do not want to see a bunch of posturing; they don’t want to hear a bunch of sound bites.
Which is why he's provided us with a bunch of posturing and a bunch of sound bites, no doubt.

It may be that it's not "politically possible" for Obama to do the right thing; he certainly isn't competent to do it, though he seems competent enough as a servant of the wealthy. Thanks to his frittering away the mandate he had when he took office, his party lost their majority in the House, which does make his job harder; but if he'd cared, he'd have done something else. But it's not his fault, it's somebody else's: the Republicans (not all of them, just the radical extremists -- he seems to see Boehner as a moderate), the professional left, those who see the glass as half empty instead of half full, who need to have their heads examined. Obama isn't just the new Reagan, he's the new Nixon.