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President Fuck You plans, at some point, to have "ideas" about jobs


Mr. Obama’s senior adviser, David Plouffe, and his chief of staff, William M. Daley, want him to maintain a pragmatic strategy of appealing to independent voters by advocating ideas that can pass Congress, even if they may not have much economic impact [Patent reform!].

But others, including Gene Sperling, Mr. Obama’s chief economic adviser, say public anger over the debt ceiling debate has weakened Republicans and created an opening for bigger ideas like tax incentives for businesses that hire more workers...

Even if the ideas cannot pass Congress, they say, the president would gain a campaign issue by pushing for them.

So there you are.

For "idea" read "bullshit."

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Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

And one of those great "ideas" to "create jobs" (cough, spew), is to pass the 3 trade agreements with Columbia, S Korea, and Panama..and we all know how well the previous ones worked out, both for US workers, and the economies of the countries we let the corporations plunder. And wassup with really losing our sovereignty through crappy trade deals and membership in Timmehs brilliant organizations?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

that none of them seem to understand that 9.1% unemployment might have political implications for them. their total indifference for the lives of ordinary Americans is simply breath taking.

Submitted by jm on

First, there's this laugher:

The administration may also merge the Department of Commerce, the Office of the United States Trade Representative and some economic divisions at the State Department into a new agency, administration officials said. Possible names include the Department of Jobs....

A "Department of Jobs" that includes the Department of Corporate Welfare, the Chief Facilitator of Outsourcing and blah, blah the State Department but does not include anything the Department of Labor might offer. The meta-message here is telling, no?

(By the way, why do we even have a State Department anymore? Treasury and the Fed handle the finances, Defense handles the muscle, Justice paints on a veneer of legitimacy and Madison Avenue couple probably do a more effective job as official negotiator mouthpiece to the dominion. Really, what's the point?)

Then there's the "debate" over how far reaching the ideas should be. We have, on one side, the realism and pragmatism of Plouffe and Daley and, on the other side, Sperling and Romer with their relative boldness.

Press Secretary Jay Carney leaves no doubt as to where the president stands:

If you’re talking about a stunt, I don’t think a stunt is what the American people are looking for.

So, the formulation here is bold=can't be passed=stunt. Carney's choice of words is also telling. It shows me that the administration understands that a tax break to businesses for hiring employees (who will have nothing to do since this proposal does nothing to stimulate aggregate demand) is pointless from a strictly economic perspective. Very few businesses will take advantage of it. That they are repeatedly floating the idea anyway shows that they recognize the political value in appearing to debate alternatives.

This is where Obama shows yet another tell. The bold ideas of Sperling and Romer, which aren't really being considered, and which aren't really all that bold, do define the leftmost boundary of seriousness. This keeps a plethora of unpalatable alternative ideas, ideas that when polled have broad popular support, safely out of sight and out of mind. As the article's author put's it:

...better to do something than nothing....

This highlights the biggest lie of the Obama presidency, that the choices are limited to weak tea pragmatism (the pun is intentional) or sitting around with their thumbs up their butts. For Obama, seriously considering ideas that, by his default, can't be passed is the same thing as doing nothing. This fallacy highlights Obama's biggest weakness going into 2012. Here's the thing, strong leaders create their own opportunities. Sure, sometimes they fail, but they learn from the failure then they try something different. So, by taking the path of pragmatism, either the president is not a strong leader or he does not want alternative opportunities created. Either way, Obama looks bad, at least to people who still hold liberal principles. I guess this is just a slightly different take on the "stupid" or "evil" argument, but it may help persuade some of the shallow-enders.

< /ramble >

quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

also to people who still hold the idea of making a living. As I think DCBlogger said, how can they not see that this is a bit of a problem for re-election?

Submitted by lambert on

They could be in the bubble; everybody they know, and DC in general, is doing just fine.

Or they might not care: (1) they know they're made, so who cares who gets in office in 2012? (2) The fix is in already. (3) Election theft. (4) Something game-changing, like war or a government of national unity to deal with the current crisis (whatever crisis is convenient at the time).

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

The folks who have been there long enough, and are able enough, to build up a network of allies and supporters are "made". Others are probably oblivious, thanks to low unemployment in the DC area, particularly among their friends.

And, of course, we cannot discount that they have motivations not to see, like keeping their jobs or getting better ones.

Depending who in particular we're talking about, some or all of those reasons could be contributing factors.

Submitted by lambert on

It's only a question of for whom (cui bono).

Great comment, though; I'm revising and extending your remarks ;-)

(It's a question of what's visible, I think; we see nothing being done, so assume nothing is being done; but there is plenty being done, at the elite levels and for their benefit, that we cannot see.)

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

if they really don't care about 2012, or they really have not figured out how bad they look.

or maybe there will be a "crisis" that will require a "gov't of national unity".

Lyndon Johnson used to say that unemployment was the most serious political problem because if unemployment got too high even people with jobs would know someone who did not and be afraid. For the current crew of parasites fear is a good thing, it keeps workers in their place. They just can't figure out that 7.1% unemployment was what brought the Democrats in and 9.1% will put the Democrats out of business. They can't absorb the notion that it matters if people have jobs.

Submitted by lambert on

They can't absorb the notion that it matters if people ______ . Fill in the blank, it's true across the board. The political class is completely insulated. The Wasserman-Schulz fiasco in IA is a perfect example. (Ever notice how close the call for "unity" is to blaming everything on "outside agitators"?)

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

Even the right is starting to think that normalizing unemployment is the plan all along.

Obama keeps on saying that he won’t rest until every American who wants a job can get one, but every time he utters those words he either leaves on vacation soon after or goes out for a round of golf. It appears that he doesn’t really care about the nations high unemployment. His actions certainly don’t imply that he does.

Submitted by Hugh on

The whole of the Obama re-election strategy is that he will look better than whatever crazy the Republicans end up with. His campaign people remain confident that most of the base will have nowhere else to go and will be swayed yet again by the lesser of two evils argument.