Thursday, July 15, 2010


A good friend of mine has taken to heavily criticizing President Barack Obama on her Facebook page, torn the Obama sticker from her car and coined the phrase, "Blowbama," which is funny. Her opinion is that the BP killing of the Gulf is so critical to our species that Obama should have quit everything and moved his operations down to Louisiana, focusing almost exclusively on fixing the hole. When I challenged her on it she claimed that from the five major news sources she reads everyday, he didn't seem to be doing anything else.

This is where I wrote:
Clearly not true that it's the only thing that matters. He's about to pass a form of financial reform (that the GOP is already campaigning to repeal), dealing with Afghanistan, North Korea, Mideast Peace, trying to get unemployment extensions passed (which the GOP is opposing), trying to get more stimulus (which the get the idea), working on an overall climate bill, G20 meeting, nominating and shepherding a Supreme Court nominee, passing PTSD benefits for veterans, plus whatever threats and future projects that we do not yet know about are going on.

If you're reading those five sources and not seeing at least some of this, I question the sources or what you're focusing on.

You need to get off your Obama-hate. There's a Tea Party for that. Fine to try on influence/pressure him, that's a good thing to do, but this type of thinking is what got Ralph Nader his support in 2000 and led to 8 ruinous years of George Bush...that Obama is still trying to dig the country out of.

(And added:)

He did get a team of scientists together, perhaps why the cap today. And he's being criticized from the right for the group he put together to study BP fault and report - no oil industry flacks on it!

Since the time I wrote this the financial reform bill, whether you think it goes far enough or not (or are a Republican opposed for those political or ideological reasons to any such regulation at all) has passed the Senate. The BP lesion has been capped and the President has rightly pointed out that, while good news, there is so much more ahead, the problem is far from over thanks to the mega-damage done. And it might leak again.

However, elections have consequences and here's what you get if you keep taking the anti-Obama side, keep Dem enthusiasm low for November and let the GOP take the House or Senate - per Paul Krugman, who hasn't been shy about criticizing the current Administration himself:
Republicans are feeling good about the midterms — so good that they’ve started saying what they really think. This week the party’s Senate leadership stopped pretending that it cares about deficits, stating explicitly that while we can’t afford to aid the unemployed or prevent mass layoffs of schoolteachers, cost is literally no object when it comes to tax cuts for the affluent.

And that’s one reason — there are others — why you should fear the consequences if the G.O.P. actually does as well in November as it hopes.

But this past Monday Jon Kyl of Arizona, the second-ranking Republican in the Senate, was asked the obvious question: if deficits are so worrisome, what about the budgetary cost of extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, which the Obama administration wants to let expire but Republicans want to make permanent? What should replace $650 billion or more in lost revenue over the next decade?

His answer was breathtaking: “You do need to offset the cost of increased spending. And that’s what Republicans object to. But you should never have to offset the cost of a deliberate decision to reduce tax rates on Americans.” So $30 billion in aid to the unemployed is unaffordable, but 20 times that much in tax cuts for the rich doesn’t count.


Of course, flirting with crisis is arguably part of the plan. There has always been a sense in which voodoo economics was a cover story for the real doctrine, which was “starve the beast”: slash revenue with tax cuts, then demand spending cuts to close the resulting budget gap. The point is that starve the beast basically amounts to deliberately creating a fiscal crisis, in the belief that the crisis can be used to push through unpopular policies, like dismantling Social Security.

And this -- remember the Clinton years of GOP noise, misdirection and obstruction:

Republican Rep. Darrell Issa of California has hounded President Obama all year about the apparent job offers the White House made to certain Democratic Senate candidates this election season -- and if Republicans win control of the House this November, Issa intends to significantly ratchet up his inquiries into what he sees as potential administration wrongdoing.

As the top Republican on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Issa would become chairman of the committee if Republicans managed to win the majority this fall. If he became chairman, Issa has said he would double his staff from 40 to between 70 and 80, Politico reports. As chairman, he would also have the power to subpoena White House officials to appear before the committee under oath.

Here's their plan to curtail regulations. Here's their new Tea Party Caucus in Congress itself, led by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). Here's how the GOP (along with a few Blue Dog Dems) are obstructing economic stimulus to keep us from falling deeper again.

So when I read this Blowbama stuff, I just ask that everyone remember, this kind of thinking is what got Ralph Nader enough votes to keep Al Gore from becoming President, opening the door for eight-count-'em-eight years of George Bush, an unprovoked war against Iraq, economic collapse and the relaxation of energy regulations (thanks to Dick Cheney) that brought us the Gulf.

So if Obama isn't the progressive demigod who would likely end up a Jimmy Carter and end up less effective than he is by following the type of "camp out in the Gulf" directives above, if you didn't follow his campaign and learn that he's more of a conservative-progressive, no-drama, not the scary black man President that the Tea Partiers still believe is driving us to a socialist-fascist slave state, then you're missing the point of how politics really works. With everything that Obama is up against, his list of achievements thus far is astonishing.

I guarantee that once Obama is out of office, whether in two years or six, just as with Bill Clinton those on the Left who complain about him now will look back with fondness and think about how much of a better direction this country was moving in before President Huckabee or Gingrich or Daniels or Thune or Pawlenty or Romney.

Or President Palin.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's easy to carp about everything BHO hasn't done; believe me I do it myself every day. But would-be carpers need to take a close look at the Senate before they lay everything at BHO's door. Clowns like Nelson, Lincoln, Lieberman, Bayh, Conrad and Baucus exist purely to subvert any piece of effective legislation. And then there are, of course, the 40 Republitards whose only goal in life is to completely subvert the will of the 55% of Americans who voted for BHO.

Wake up before "Speaker Boehner" becomes a reality.