Wed
Dec 8 2010
12:13 am

..."Can It, You Whiners" in two short years.

Obama in 2008, outlining a vision after South Carolina primary:

"We're up against the idea that it's acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election. But we know that this is exactly what's wrong with our politics. This is why people don't believe what their leaders say anymore. This is why they tune out. And this election is our chance to give the American people a reason to believe again.

This election is about the past vs. the future. It's about whether we settle for the same divisions and distractions and drama that passes for politics today or whether we reach for a politics of common sense and innovation, a politics of shared sacrifice and shared prosperity.

There are those who will continue to tell us that we can't do this, that we can't have what we're looking for, that we can't have what we want, that we're peddling false hopes."

Obama today, in a thinly-veiled message to the base:

"If that's the standard by which we are measuring success or core principles, then let's face it: We will never get anything done. People will have the satisfaction of having a purist position, and no victories for the American people. And we will be able to feel good about ourselves and sanctimonious about how pure our intentions are and how tough we are.

And in the meantime the American people are still saying to themselves, [I'm] not able to get health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. Or not being able to pay their bills because their unemployment insurance ran out. That can't be the measure of how we think about public service. That can't be the measure of what it means to be a Democrat. This is a big, diverse country. Not everybody agrees with us. I know that shocks people."

If you want to know "why people don't believe what their leaders say anymore," might I recommend measuring the perceptual angle of difference between promise and deed for your first two years, sir.

I could have a difference of opinion with you but still support you, Mr. President -- if using the base as a punching bag came with a more or less tacit guarantee that you wouldn't, for example, gut Social Security.

With each passing endorsement of large parcels of the opposition's agenda, it becomes increasingly difficult not to wonder about that "peddling false hopes" part. Being told to be satisfied when we are in many cases not, that we've achieved big success when it rather feels like "settling for the same divisions and distractions" is not exactly winning people over when it comes to playing the expectations game, especially in light of the rather ambitious vision laid out some time ago.

Spurning optimism engenders cynicism.

At least, that's what this sanctimonious purist believes.

231
like
Virgil Proudfoot's picture

Obama is just the tip of the iceberg

Obama was just waiting to get some Reps to "compromise" with. He, like the Dem Party leadership in general, can't wait to gut Social Security and further privatize Medicare, which are, respectively, payoffs to Wall Street and the insurance rackets who finance their campaigns. With more Reps around, they can shift the blame and pretend that they were just helpless waifs at the mercy of the big bad Rep wolves, which is the act just demonstrated by the prez on tax cuts. The tax cuts, in turn, further bloat the deficit, making entitlement cuts even more likely.

It's nothing but the Long Con, designed to hoodwink voters into thinking there's some meaningful difference between the Ds and the Rs. As Obama has shown so vividly, this is pure illusion.

We need a party for working people in this country. After all, the rich now have two of their very own.

R. Neal's picture

Beware the payroll tax holiday

The tax cuts, in turn, further bloat the deficit, making entitlement cuts even more likely.

Obama's "Tax Holiday": A Poison Pill For Social Security:

It's no accident that the "payroll tax holiday" was first proposed by sworn enemies of retirement benefits on the deficit commission. We should be asking ourselves: When tax breaks can be designed in so many different ways, why did they choose this way? Why single out the only source of Social Security's funding? Could it be part of a long-term game plan?

Let's play out a likely scenario if this deal is enacted: The 2% tax holiday expires in 2012, an election year. Meanwhile the government debt will have increased by $120 billion, the amount that will be paid into Social Security to cover the cost of this "holiday." Bear in mind: Never before in Social Security's 75-year history has it taken any funds from the overall Treasury. It's forbidden by law from adding to the deficit. That's why it has its own trust fund, which currently holds a surplus of $2.6 trillion. That's money the Federal government has borrowed, and which it's morally (and legally) obligated to pay back so we can receive our retirement benefits.

Flash-forward to 2012: The "holiday" is set to end. Republicans aren't likely to acknowledge that this was a temporary program, any more than they did with the Bush cuts. Any attempt to let the 2% cut expire will be spun as an "Obama tax hike" on the middle class. In order to believe this "holiday" is really temporary, you have to believe that Obama and other Democrats will be willing to take that kind of heat, under enormous pressure in an election year. Any takers?

Extending this 2% cut would gut Social Security's finances forever.

Sven's picture

Lamar Alexander, the Senate's

Lamar Alexander, the Senate's number-three Republican, also said that reform of Social Security should be tied to moving that tax rate back up. "My personal hope is that it doesn't become permanent unless we deal with a way to make Social Security solvent over the long term," he told HuffPost. "You have to remember, the payroll tax funds Social Security and I like the idea of a lower payroll tax contribution, but we've got to make sure Social Security is solvent, which we should be doing this next year as the first order of business."

This is eerily similar to how I justify car repairs to my wife: by slashing the tires.

bizgrrl's picture

I think my head is going to

I think my head is going to explode. What are they thinking?

From the same article,

Obama, as part of the Democratic package, secured a roughly 30 percent cut in the payroll tax, from 6.2 to 4.2 percent.
...
Democrats have never allowed the rate to be cut, even temporarily, in the history of the program,

It is now time to write our representatives.

bizgrrl's picture

We're up against the idea

We're up against the idea that it's acceptable to say anything and do anything to win an election.

He got that right.

I wasn't quite the believer in the "Yes We Can" mantra. Thus, I'm not so surprised by his actions. Disgusted, yes, for being such a weeny. Is Obama the first Republicanized (not a word) Democrat? Who has been before him? Clinton, Carter, LBJ, JFK. He certainly does not remind me of any recent past presdeint. I'd rather him fight for what is right and be a one term President than give in to what is wrong so that elections can be won.

Andy Axel's picture

I'd rather him fight for what

I'd rather him fight for what is right and be a one term President than give in to what is wrong so that elections can be won.

Instead, he will do the thankless job of brokering legislation on behalf of the grifter class and deride the mildest criticism as wildly inappropriate.

And he will lose regardless.

Factchecker's picture

Well said, Andy. I've been

Well said, Andy. I've been too pissed since the deal to put words together. His campaign photo is no longer on our fridge.

marytheprez's picture

Who is being thrown under the bus?

These "furious Democrats" in Congress, instead of working to HELP on health care, tax reform and environmental issues have indeed betrayed this President and left him out there alone to deal with the Party of NO, really since January 21, 2009. Sure, Barack Obama had lofty goals of working together to accomplish so much for America. He had NO IDEA he would be so hated just for being black. He had NO IDEA that the GOP would be 'true to their ideals' and refuse to vote YES on anything. He had NO idea that corporate America was willing to pay billions to have him fail.
And now we have the Dems, his own party, posturing, whining, and determined to have "their way" or nothing. Hell, some of them are still pissed that Hillary lost...like some here in ole Knox County.
I wonder if any of you who claim to be 'pissed since the deal' would feel that way if you were one of the 2 million unemployed. THEY know who is standing with them...and he is now alone...to help them while the GOP and TEAs continue to block jobs, aid to States, tax help for the middle class. When the children of these unemployed parents ask why they will have little to eat or why they must move out of their homes, what would you tell them? They certainly will not understand that Congress decided that they do not deserve to eat or stay in their homes while Mommy and Daddy try to find jobs that do not exist.

Andy Axel's picture

When the children of these

When the children of these unemployed parents ask why they will have little to eat or why they must move out of their homes, what would you tell them? They certainly will not understand that Congress decided that they do not deserve to eat or stay in their homes while Mommy and Daddy try to find jobs that do not exist.

Neither will they understand that The Masters Of The Universe were given a tax break, supposedly so that they could easily create some of these jobs that don't exist, despite the fact that they've had this bonanza in-hand since the early months of the millennium.

Maybe they'd understand that the kids with the most aren't being asked to share and share alike.

Or maybe we demur on the question of explaining this all to our children and say that we have to do some things that we don't like when we're adults. I'm sorry, but the complexity of the world is not theirs to understand at that age, and we don't need to craft our policies so that five-year-olds (or more to the point, adult people acting like five-year-olds) apprehend and appreciate what we're doing.

He had NO IDEA that the GOP would be 'true to their ideals' and refuse to vote YES on anything. He had NO idea that corporate America was willing to pay billions to have him fail.

Then he either (a) hasn't been paying attention, or (b) he's the biggest naif in the history of executive American politics. Me, I don't buy that "babe in the woods" bullshit. Not for a second.

What he has just communicated, by the way, is that you suffer no consequences for being an ideologue so long as you support a very limited worldview.

democrat's picture

Marytheprez

Smarter crowd here on Knoxviews.com than on Knoxnews.com, where you usually hang out.

Andy Axel's picture

I don't know about smarter.

I don't know about smarter.

Perhaps more immune to guilt-tripping as a political motivator. Perhaps just seeing through the attempt to misdirect deserved attention from Obama's repeated demonstrations of political incompetence to my alleged lack of sympathy and conviction.

marytheprez's picture

Phooey...

I worked so hard for his election, even though our 700 plus Volunteers for Obama here knew he would have little chance of winning here in this racist, deluded, area, where the voters would have rather the Dems run a horse for president than a black man. We, and he, didn't dream of the level of hatred that would be aimed at him as a person BEFORE he was even elected. If you knew about all this evil, Andy, why in the world didn't you speak up?
If you knew in advance that Murdoch's FOX Noise was going to attack, lie, slander, insult him from June 2008 until today, with few people brave enough to counter this hatred, why didn't you find someone this community would respect to stand up to them?
I just listened to President Obama, via our OFA connections,who not only defends his tax cuts plan, but he defined the reason he had no choice. NO GOP Senator would have voted for ANY plan without protecting their billionaire funders. So his plan continues the Middle Tax cuts, cuts for college students, low income families, small businesses and helps the 2 million who are jobless. This was an emergency for millions, and it was more about helping the majority.
If you knew all these dolt GOP Senators were going to say NO, why didn't you call Corker and Alexander before he had to give in to Their Party's hostage taking of us poor folks? I did call 'em, and guess what I got?? Generic form letters. And please, let us know who you would rather have as President? Is there some hidden hero we don't know about that could stand up to the thugs in Congress...I would like to know.

Andy Axel's picture

If you knew about all this

If you knew about all this evil, Andy, why in the world didn't you speak up? If you knew in advance that Murdoch's FOX Noise was going to attack, lie, slander, insult him from June 2008 until today, with few people brave enough to counter this hatred, why didn't you find someone this community would respect to stand up to them?

Excuse me, why is this my problem all of a sudden?

Did you sleep through the Gore campaign? The Kerry campaign? The Clinton presidency? How could *you* not know that the attack machine would be relentless, much less Obama not knowing? Were you in such thrall to the Obama mystique that you believed that all he had to do was offer a Kumbaya and by his mere transformational presence, all would be low taxes and unicorns?

Get real.

So his plan continues the Middle Tax cuts, cuts for college students, low income families, small businesses and helps the 2 million who are jobless. This was an emergency for millions, and it was more about helping the majority.

Fact remains, Obama could still have "helped the majority" while still taxing those who can most afford it. I'd have supported it with the middle class tax rate restored to Clinton-era levels as well, which would have been the adult thing to do if we were interested in not blowing a further hole in the deficit.

NO GOP Senator would have voted for ANY plan without protecting their billionaire funders.

Not to mention the blowback from his own big-dollar funders. Goldman Sachs PAC alone gave almost $1bn to his campaign. (Hm.)

Is there some hidden hero we don't know about that could stand up to the thugs in Congress...I would like to know.

Hidden, yes. Hidden somewhere inside of a man who claims today to be Barack Obama. That was the entire point of my post.

You want to know what will inspire millions to walk through fire to support him in 2012? The re-emergence of that guy that spoke about our power, not about how hard it is to be President. Last time I checked, he more or less volunteered for that job, which tempers my sympathy considerably, more so with every lame excuse offered.

And speaking of hostage-taking, I really don't want to hear about how criticism of this man's political ineptitude rises to the level of not caring about the plight of unemployed families.

bizgrrl's picture

You want to know what will

You want to know what will inspire millions to walk through fire to support him in 2012? The re-emergence of that guy that spoke about our power,

Wouldn't it just be bs to get elected? Not that I wouldn't vote for him if he was the Democratic nonimee.

Andy Axel's picture

I meant that he might

I meant that he might actually translate more of Candidate Obama's rhetoric as President Obama's policy.

But as some had surmised at the time, you can't implement hope, which is about all I'm down to anymore -- as in, "Boy, I sure hope he does the right thing this time."

democrat's picture

Tennesse voters

Tennessee voters did speak up! I think they voted for Hillary Rodham Clinton. Yes I am certain of it. President Obama didn't carry the state of Tennessee in the Primary or the General Election. How much clearer could the voters have been? Just "sayn".

cooperhawk's picture

C'mon

Did you really think any of these guys were going to make a significant difference for the better? You are putting too much trust in the wrong people & the wrong institution.

Factchecker's picture

Coop, that's sounds like the

Coop, that's sounds like the letter in today's KNS that gives credit to the GOP for standing against slavery and pushing for voter rights and civil rights. Yes, they finally went along reluctantly with the latter two and Lincoln's party was about 180 degrees different from today's "conservatives," and they would never even take those stands today. Same with this tax pkg. Reluctance to fight bad politics does not mean Dems are leading in the wrong direction. They're just not opposing the wrong direction with serious fervor.

Andy Axel's picture

The DP certainly had a

The DP certainly had a mandate to get something done. The back-door gutting of Social Security, however, isn't quite what some of us had in mind.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.

More information about formatting options

CAPTCHA
This question is used to make sure you are a human visitor and to prevent spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

Lost Medicaid Funding

To date, the failure to expand Medicaid/TennCare has cost the State of Tennessee ? in lost federal funding.

TN Progressive

TN Politics

Local Media Blogs

Local News

News Sentinel

State News

Wire Reports

Site Statistics

Last 7 days:
  • Posts: 31
  • Comments: 271
  • Visits: 11,727
  • Pageviews: 30,215
Last 30 days:
  • Posts: 123
  • Comments: 1008
  • Visits: 39,361
  • Pageviews: 94,103

TN Progressive

Nearby:

Beyond:

At large: