Why is the Democratic Party Allowing Obama to Destroy It?
Mike Whitney declares:
This is Barack Obama’s economy now....
Obama's failure will likely result in political change that will deliver the White House to the GOP in 2012. Then the deficit hawks will control both houses of congress and the White House, and they will slash spending and push the economy into another Great Depression. This is not speculation. This WILL happen. Obama has made sure it will happen by shrugging off the warnings of every competent economist in the country, all of whom have said repeatedly that we needed more stimulus to lower employment, to reduce the output gap, to increase GDP, and to put the economy back on track.
It's not that Obama merely brushed off the considered advice of liberal economists like Joseph Stiglitz, Robert Reich, Paul Krugman, Mark Thoma, Dean Baker etc etc etc. But he also ignored the main players in his former economics team; Lawrence Summers, Christina Romer, Peter Orzag, all of whom strongly recommended more stimulus (to avoid another downturn) in editorials in leading US newspapers.
But Obama knew better than all of them, after all he was a community organiser, right? Besides he had other things in mind, like hammering out a structural adjustment plan (the "debt ceiling" agreement) that would constrain public spending forever making it impossible for the government to increase deficits even in an economic emergency. In other words, Obama was fulfilling the right wing "wish list" to strangle big government and to ensure that entitlement spending faces savage cuts in the future.
That was the game-plan, right?
So, now the economy is headed back into the toilet; manufacturing is sputtering, consumer spending is off, business investment is falling, GDP is barely positive, housing remains in a historic swoon, unemployment is stuck at 9.1 percent, the 10-year Treasury is signalling "deflation", 47 million Americans are on food stamps, and there are NO NEW JOBS. And -- Oh yeah -- Obama is still jabbering about "cutting the deficits". Does that sound about right? Obama can't fix the problems the country faces because he's owned by Big Business and Wall Street. Everyone knows that. But to continue to pretend that the Democratic Party is a viable alternative to the GOP, is beyond misguided; it's delusional. The policies that are presently in place--and which are largely supported by the Dems in Congress--are destroying the economy, the country's reputation, and our children's future.
In “What Democrats Can Do About Obama” Matt Stoller takes on the issue of Obama’s destruction of the Democratic Party. Stoller discloses that Obama's approval ratings are now in the 30s. His disapproval ratings in the 50s.
On the economy, 71% of Americans disapprove of what the president is doing. Obama’s jobs speech according to Stoller will assuredly inspire no excitement among those passing these days as his followers.
In a Labor Day open letter to Obama, Ralph Nader implores him not to make another “tepid” Labor Day proclamation. He calls after the Obama who promised to raise the minimum wage to $9.50 from $7.25 by 2011. Nader maintains this alone would pump $200 billion in consumer demand into the economy. Nader also encourages Obama to promote his long forgotten promise to labor of a card-check legislation. Obama's support for this had motivated AFL-CIO members to help elect him.
Nader also stresses that Obama must address the reality of poverty in America -- "inceasing child poverty, hunger, homelessness, mass unemployment and underemployment."
As big business abandons American workers and takes jobs and industries to communist and fascist regimes abroad--regimes that know how to keep workers in their place at 50 or 80 cents an hour--reactionary Republican governors are stripping public employees of their collective bargaining rights. These Republicans are laying off their teachers and other workers so they do not have to repeal the corporate welfare drains on their state treasuries. Dozens of corporate welfare tax abatements, subsidies, giveaways, bailouts and other freebies are embedded in their state laws.
When the Wisconsin workers protested and filled the square in Madison, Wisconsin, they were expressing your "fierce urgency of now." But you would not go and address just one of their rallies to support their jobs and rights.
Just before the last big rally of some 100,000 people from all over Wisconsin, the state federation of labor invited the Vice President to speak to them in Madison. The White House said no. Isn't Joe Biden known for saying "I'm a union guy?"
Can you imagine a national Republican presidential candidate refusing an invitation to speak to 100,000 Tea Partiers by comparison?
Nader's dire prediction about the inevitable boycott of the 2012 election by Democratic voters:
But then these Democratic workers, you may believe, have nowhere to go in November 2012. That's right, they don't have to go anywhere; they can stay right at home along with their volunteer hours and Get-Out-The-Vote calls. Political withdrawal is real easy to do. Remember 2010. Remember the sharp drop in the youth vote. You may be met with less enthusiasm than Congressional Democrats encountered in 2010.
Stoller asserts that according to Gallup, from 2008 to 2010 “the fastest growing demographic party label was former Democrat.” When Obama took over the party 36% of Americans were Democrats. Now 31% are.
Stoller lists the rationalizations the Democratic Party has to retain Obama: 1) he passed major legislation, 2) his presidency is historic, 3) the economy was already in trouble.
But Obama continues to ignore the will of the Democratic voters with the relentless and vicious wars, the bailouts, the paycuts, the foreclosures.
Tragically, the Democratic Party leadership can not rally to put forth a challenger to Obama though Stoller maintains 31% of Democratic voters want one.
Stoller describes the Democrats as in “institutional crisis.” He defines the Democratic Party as "an uneasy alliance of financiers, conservative technology interests, the telecommunications industry, healthcare industries, labor unions, feminists, elite foundations, African-American church networks, academic elites, liberals at groups like MoveOn, the ACLU and the blogosphere" who "are frustrated, but not one of them has broken from the pack. In remaining silent, they give their assent to the right-wing policy framework that first George W. Bush, and now Barack Obama, cemented in place. It will be nearly impossible to dislodge such a framework without starting within the Democratic Party itself."
Stoller seems to think the only hope of salvation of the Democratic Party and a robust 2012 Democratic candidate would be if components of the AFL-CIO would announce that their support is not locked into the “legacy” Dem Party behind Obama. Since the Obama administration is profoundly anti-labor, this should not be such a stretch he contends.
In a few months, we’ll know better if Obama still looks like a loser next year. If he does, that does not mean the Democratic Party must follow him down the path to oblivion.
Will Richard Trumka take his job seriously, Stoller asks. Stoller:
I wish I could say I was optimistic that party leaders will step forward and start the debate Democratic voters need. As for many, the last few years have shattered my faith in the political process. Obama has basically endorsed every major plank of George Bush's administration, yet Democrats still grant their approval. What we're finding out is that Obama's pathologically pro-establishment and conflict-averse DNA was funded by party insiders and embraced by liberal constituency groups in 2008 for a reason.