Monday, November 12, 2012

Is Obama Laughing Yet at You Suckers Who Thought He'd Change in a Second Term?

I.  Well, here's part of the answer:
President Obama plans to meet with business, labor and civic leadersearly this week about the fiscal slope, according to Reuters. Congressional leaders will huddle with Obama at the end of the week. Labor has immediately and vocally rejected the concept of a grand bargain, at least for now, so judging their behavior after this meeting will be critical. The presence of corporate executives who have pull on Republicans probably matters more than the presence of labor, to whom I assume there will be an attempt to dictate terms. 
After this inside game and as the negotiations continue, the President plans to hit the road in support of a deal, which sounds to me like a terrible idea for him.As he prepares to meet with Congressional leaders at the White House on Friday, aides say, Mr. Obama will not simply hunker down there for weeks of closed-door negotiations as he did in mid-2011, when partisan brinkmanship over raising the nation’s debt limit damaged the economy and his political standing. He will travel beyond the Beltway at times to rally public support for a deficit-cutting accord that mixes tax increases on the wealthy with spending cuts [...] 
And with the election campaign over, the campaign for the Obama legacy begins: Mr. Obama will keep his grass-roots organization in place to “have the president’s back,” as its members like to say, on the budget negotiations and other issues in the second term. Democrats concede that the network has not been a particularly effective legislative lobby to date. But they argue that when it was activated to pass payroll tax cuts and low-interest student loans, the pressure made a difference.Maybe the White House thinks they can seduce their base once more, and I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with them. The Obama coalition has always been more tribal than ideological, willing to take their cues from their standard bearer. 
But maybe it’s worth pointing out that the public soundly rejected the kind of bargain that Obama appears to have in mind. Exit polling shows large majorities opposed to cuts in social insurance. Almost every candidate personally endorsed by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson lost their election. Who exactly will stand behind this effort once it leaves the friendly confines of the Beltway? The grand bargain only works behind closed doors.
The media appears to be pushing people toward thinking the "fiscal cliff" is real, rather than imaginary.  Here's more from David Dayen, who I quoted above, on the "imaginary cliff":
The thing to remember about the fiscal cliff, aside from everything else, is that it’s imaginary. Don’t like the sequester? Cancel it! Don’t like the expiration of an economy-boosting payroll tax cut? Extend them! Republicans don’t want to raise taxes? Let the tax cuts expire, and then pass a bill to cut taxes! Congress can only constrain itself willingly; in reality they have the freedom to do whatever they want.
And they're pushing the blatant lie that Social Security is part of the national debt.

Here's Ronald Reagan to set you - and Obama - straight:

II.  Several of my friends who know how committed I am toward the struggle for Palestinian rights, and the end of Israeli Apartheid in Gaza, the West Bank and in Israel itself, have argued that Obama will implement a new, more even-handed policy in this regard during his second term.  Here's pretty much the first post-election action by his administration:
U.S. President Barack Obama called Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday and urged him not to seek non-member observer state status at the United Nations General Assembly later this month.
Abbas' spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said that the Palestinian president stressed to Obama that he plans on appealing to the United Nations due to Israel's continued settlement construction, the stalemate in peace talks, and settler attacks on Palestinian residents of the West Bank. Abbas also said that he is going to the United Nations in order to keep the two-state solution alive.
Obama's position is that the Palestinians should go back to the negotiating table with the Israelis, while at the same time the Israelis are gobbling up more Palestinian land.  Would you negotiate with someone who was stealing from you every day?


Anonymous said...

So when you can't find a coherent response to comments you just scrub them to make yourself look better?

Did you imagine it worked?

So predictable...

Philip Munger said...

anon @ 12:14 am:

I have no idea what you mean. This blog doesn't get a lot of comments. But I haven't scrubbed ANY in weeks and weeks. None.

Anonymous said...

creating your own version of reality isn't a progressive ideal...