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Funny how President Fuck You is making all these populist proposals....

... now that there's no chance they'll be enacted.

"Losing" in 2010 sure was useful, wasn't it?

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danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

But if he's making the right noises and drawing attention to the issue I think that's helpful. Who cares whether he really wants it or not? He's getting people talking about taxing the rich. That's the right conversation to be having. One of the right ones, anyway.

Submitted by lambert on

The Obama campaign in 2008 was a fantastically smooth bait and switch operation. Without the switch, we'd be having this conversation in 2009, when there was a hope in hell of getting any of it done.

You want to airbrush the switch, and enable the bait again.

That's wrong on substance, and wrong on tactics, as well.

NOTE You write: "No populist proposal will pass right now." Exactly my point. Obama's not stupid, or at least not stupid about electoral politics; look at his record. So he must know this is all just shilling to suck in a few marks and rubes. So why didn't he advocate these policies when they had a chance of actually passing, in 2009? One obvious answer is that he didn't want them to pass. Note that I'm not trying to look into Obama's heart, if any, just making an argument about political tactics.

danps's picture
Submitted by danps on

Phrases like "he must know this is all just shilling" and "he didn't want them to pass" are descriptions of what he is (presumably) thinking.

I don't recall any rhetoric about taxing the rich during the 2008 campaign. It may have come up a couple times but I don't remember it getting hit over and over again the way I do HCR. What I've seen, and again this is just observation, is that he'll soft pedal the message. When the Bush tax cuts came up he said he wanted them to expire but didn't exactly fight for it. Could be the same thing he's doing now - bring it up, say it's good policy, but not make it a centerpiece of his campaign or rhetoric. That strikes me as being most likely based on what he's done in the past.

But even doing that is helpful. Not as helpful as it could be or as I'd like it to be, but getting the village to burn a few cycles considering the subject is good. Not a great good, but a small one. But still good.

Submitted by lambert on

I'm not trying to look into Obama's heart, if any. I'm trying to model the behavior of an adversary, and motive counts. "Know your enemy and know yourself." This is not a narrative of weakness.

As for "not hearing" in 2008, sure, people did hear what they want to hear ("... blank screen on which people project..."). But whatever people thought they were going to get with hopey change, bigger banks, richer rich, poorer poor, Social Security cuts, Medicare cuts, and on and on and on were most assuredly not part of the projection. Like I said, bait and switch. That Obama's trying the bait again should be no surprise at all. Any consideration of "the subject" needs to be put in that context, otherwise it's part of the next round of bait.

Submitted by lambert on

How far away that seems. I was into full financial crisis mode by then, wasn't paying atttention any more.

Good catch.

Submitted by Hugh on

Obama has a record. It is one of a conservative Blue Dog corporatist. So when Obama sounds a populist note, and its rhetoric without any substance, then we know it's false. Given his unpopularity, it is hardly earthshaking to ascribe his turnaround on the rhetoric as desperation. But it is the desperation of the conman. Faced with the possibility that his cons are coming undone, he does not respond by coming clean but with another con. You see if Obama were sincere, a laughable concept in itself, he could start by dumping his neoliberal, kleptocratic advisers. He could instruct the Justice Department to open investigations into the massive frauds on Wall Street. He could end the wars. He could investigate Bush era criminality. There are a hundred things he could do. Instead he confines himself to remarks about something he knows will never happen and which he has no intention of fighting for.

I for one have no problem with ascribing motives to people who are robbing the country blind and trashing the Constitution. Kleptocracy has been building for 35 years. It didn't just happen. It's the product of criminal elites. I don't see the point of acting like they didn't know what they were doing and what they continue to do.