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chicago dyke's picture

I just loafed this over at S'ville.

I 'd like to add a bit about the "how." that is, how "he could've done better." one of the frequent critiques of "far" lefties is "well, what more could he have done, smarty pants?" and i'd like to point to the model of LBJ and Truman, for two recent dem examples. nobody ever, not ever, asks "why do the rethugs maintain a United Front, but dems don't?"

and that makes me insane. everybody pretends like there's "nothing any leading dem can do" about Blue Dog senators. that's such utter crap. if you want a senator to act in a certain way and you're preznit, you, um, use executive power, n shit.

you come down hard on your out of line fellow party member, and rock his/her world. it Can Be Done. and has been. i just really wish this point were more discussed, because it leads to the inevitable conclusion: the dems are the way they are because they like being the New Repubicans. from the Leader on down, they bash leftists and fail to enact policy even while holding a majority because they don't want to pass bills that make things right and better.

You know...

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Submitted by jawbone on

to the rubes (voters) at election time to mislead and misinform them. Definitely not to inform them of what he actually means to do. Think SocSec.

The Diane Rehm Show had a panel of Repubs and one WSJ reporter on to discuss how the Republicans and Tea Partiers are, uh, going to get along. (Audio at link.)

The Tea Party spokesperson was a young Texas libertarian -- he's willing to let his grandparents get SocSec, but said he has no expectations SocSec will be there for him and he's perfectly willing to manage his own retirement, thank you. He wants to phase SocSec out and require other people to handle things on their own.

The Repub spokesperson tried to finesse the SocSec issue by saying there should be a portion of SocSec given to individuals to invest, in what he didn't say. Just let them keep it? Didn't quite sound that way.

No one mentioned that there seems to be a chasm within the Tea Party between the "Keep your hands off my Medicare" angry (older) citizens and the libertarians who want to get rid of SocSec and Medicare. The Repub also wants to get rid of parts of the Obama health insurance reform legislation. Oh, and he kept referencing their shiny new Pledge to America, their suck up to Tea Partiers with a title that's supposed to remind them of the pledge to the flag.

Jobs? Why, the magic of tax cuts will permit all the people with money who haven't been hiring to suddently find it irresistable to hire like mad and open new businesses or facilities to hire even more! I can't recall if it was the young libertarian or the Repub, but one of them said it was better to lower taxes and have the money invested in overseas facilities or whateve the wealthy wanted to do with it than to have the government fund actual jobs for the jobless. A new line seems to be that if the government funds stimulus for jobs it means other jobs can not happen because it's a zero sum game.

No one mentioned how a consumer economy functions when the consumers don't have the wherewithal to, like, buy stuff. No jobs, no disposable income or, well, no income at all.

On Fresh Air today Robert Reich says he sees 4-5 years of muddling along in a stuck in place economy. At some point, he thinks people will wake up and realize that an economy where 1% of the people garner 23% of the wealth just doesn't function. He also said he sees the wealth transfer continuing, the top 1% getting even richer, the disparity even greater until the government makes changes such as FDR did.

He said he really likes Obama, but Obama missed the chance to make meaningful changes in the financial sector and also missed the opportunity to even begin to reverse the flow of wealth to the top 1%.

He opened by discussing a 1920's banker and mogul, a MOTU...from Utah!.., Marriner Eccles who FDR actually had testfiy to Congress in 1933, prior to FDR's swearing in, about what was causing the Great Depression and what to do about it:

.. [Eccles].advocat[ed] many of the measures that would become cornerstones of the New Deal. While traditional economics stressed a hands-off, open market approach from government and balanced budgets, Eccles proposed public works to relieve unemployment and direct relief measures, as well as a minimum wage, unemployment insurance, and old age pensions. He was appointed assistant to the secretary of the Treasury and then left after ten months to become chairman of the Federal Reserve Board in 1934. Established, major bank executives initially underestimated the somewhat obscure Utahn, but Eccles's diplomatic skills and expertise made him an influential policymaker. He wrote the Banking Act of 1935 and moved to restructure the Federal Reserve System. Although New Deal policies did not end the depression, they did help to ameliorate the worst suffering and stabilize the country's financial structure. (My emphasis.)

There was no jobs recovery because businesses had few to sell to: The middle class had been decimated by wealth flowing to the top 1%. FDR and Marriner Eccles realized that and --listen up here, Obama et al-- did something about it.

Those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat, and Obama and his econ team are hell bent on proving that.

Too bad they're taking the country down with them.

There's no excuse for what Obama et al decided to do -- except it was what they wanted to do.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

thing, unless...oh wait! In the most flagrant portrayal of brute power display by this administration, Kucinich boarded AF One as a single-payer, at least "robust public option" (I know) supporter, and climbed down those stairs with his tail between his legs and whipped like mad for the HCWhatever bill. So, yes, they do know how to use it, they just use it in the wrong way, at the wrong time, for the wrong things. Maybe we can't see it so nakedly as the Kucinich event, but I'm sure it's happening all the time. And they get angry at the DFH's for seeing through their excuses.

ms_xeno's picture
Submitted by ms_xeno on

...his health coverage is juuuuuuust fine, I'm sure.

There are people who defend him by claiming that Obama's goons threatened his life. As if millions of lives here and around the world aren't threatened every day by people like Obama and his loyal allies-- who prize the party above all else, including the people they're supposed to serve and protect.

Eat my shorts, Dennis.

Submitted by Hugh on

It's not arm twisting. Both the President and the Congress could have investigated the Bush Administration which was one of the most corrupt and criminal in our history. That alone would have kept Republicans and Wall Street on the run for years. Beyond that actions like closing Guantanamo, undoing DADT, reining in law enforcement and intelligence agencies, ending the wars, returning to rule of law, ending the abuses spawned by the war on terror, seeing that regulations that are already on the books were strictly enforced, all could have been accomplished by Obama just on his own.

Remember too that it was the Obama Administration that greenlighted BP's drilling the Macondo well that blew out.

And of course even if you bought the meme of the obstructionist Republicans, why is it exactly that the Democrats never fought for any of their issues? I mean even if they lost, they could at least identified the villains for all to see. In the Senate, they never forced the Republicans into a straight up filibuster.

Even if Congress had done nothing, there were a million things that Obama could do to effect the change he ran on. He not only didn't do any of this stuff. He did the opposite, not in a few areas, but across the board. What we have been seeing for the last 20 months is Obama's and the Democrats' agenda.