Politics and Media Headlines 1/25/09
I always believed, when right wingers accused us liberals of wanting America to fail because we didn't like George Bush, that they were really talking about themselves, what they would want if our guy were president. Looks as though I was right.—Caro
Internet Weekly Report
Obama tells GOP: Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh. (Think Progress)
[Friday], President Obama met with congressional leaders from both parties to discuss his economic recovery and reinvestment program, though Republicans did not appear to be interested in compromise. According to the New York Post, Obama told the GOP members at the meeting that they have to stop listening to Rush Limbaugh if they wanted to accomplish anything… When Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) complained about the spending plan, Obama shot back, “I won,” adding, “I will trump you on that.”
This is exactly the kind of talk we internet activists have been asking for from Democrats—for years. I never heard anything like this from Obama when he was my senator, which is one of the reasons why I was leery of his presidential candidacy. Now, if he’d just apologize for his part in the sexist hate perpetrated against Hillary and push the DNC to change to a more democratic nominating process, I might actually start to like the guy.—Caro
Rep. DeFazio: ‘I Think Obama Is Ill-Advised By Larry Summers. Larry Summers Hates Infrastructure’ (Think Progress)
[Friday night] on the Rachel Maddow Show, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) said the amount of infrastructure spending in the legislation is “not enough.” He argued that if the Republicans are recycling failed ideas of the past, “we don’t need to buy them off with $300 billion in tax cuts.” DeFazio said Democrats in Congress originally proposed more for infrastructure spending, but the effort was shot down by Obama advisers… DeFazio is right about the value of infrastructure. Significantly more “bang for the buck” comes from direct investment in infrastructure than from any type of tax cut… DeFazio is also right about the need for a productivity-driven stimulus package, one that meets short-term and long-term economic needs.
Nice Guys Finish Muddled (by Paul Rosenberg at Open Left, thanks to Economist’s View)
On the one hand, Obama can fight for a stimulus package that's big enough to do the job, and earn the enmity of the establishment media, along with the majority of the Beltway establishement. A quick end to his presidential honeymoon. Or he can get a package almost certainy doomed to fail, which means he gets clobbered a little farther down the road, and everyone else gets to say, "Well, we tried to go along with him, and look what it got us." This is what the options look like from within the Versailles frame… But Obama has repeatedly echoed the Versailles frame that perversely and a historically casts Democrats s[t]icking to their guns as "politics-as-usual." Right now, with over 80% approval, is the best possible time for Obama to commit to a plan big enough to work, and then dare others to oppose him.
Political Concerns and the Stimulus (by Chris Bowers, thanks to Susie at Suburban Guerilla)
People don't care how many Democrats and how many Republicans vote for this bill. People don't care how much Obama appeared to be seeking Republican input or not. The only thing they care about is whether this helps turn the economy around… Making sure the bill works is also an over-riding concern for those of us who are excited about the rapid shift toward left-wing political sensibilities in this country. After decades of neoliberal and conservative dominance in Washington, D.C., we have entered a new moment of left-wing possibility… If we pass a crappy bill out of a desire to look bi-partisan, or to not appear left-wing, than our currently dominant political position will quickly evaporate.
Obama’s Right-Wing Dinner Friends Rip His Stimulus Package: Worst Bill In ‘Galactic History’ (Think Progress)
Several days before taking office, President Obama traveled to George Will’s home to dine with a handful of conservative media elites. The beltway conventional wisdom suggested that Obama’s aim was to “neutralize potential adversaries” by way of a “charm offensive.”… Just one week later, Obama’s right-wing acquaintances have already shown the futility of engaging in a good-faith dialogue with them. While Obama pushes his vision for the economic recovery package — his first real battle against the conservative establishment — the dinner’s attendees are on a no-holds-barred offensive against it.
Some things just don't change (by Joan Walsh, Salon)
I'm starting to wish we could elect the White House press corps every four years along with the president… [O]n Friday [Chuck Todd] asked whether Obama would consider vetoing any stimulus package that didn't get Republican votes, to show he's serious about bipartisanship. Again, I ask, why does bipartisanship always mean Democrats caving in to Republicans? Did anyone in the White House press corps suggest that George W. Bush, who won by a slimmer margin than Obama, ought to veto bills that didn't get Democratic votes in 2001 or 2005? I don't think so.
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