Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The myth of Obama's "blunders" and "weakness"

From Glenn Greenwald courtesy of Digg:

With the details of the pending debt deal now emerging..., a consensus is solidifying that (1) this is a virtually full-scale victory for the GOP and defeat for the President (who all along insisted on a "balanced" approach that included tax increases), but (2) the President, as usual, was too weak in standing up to right-wing intransigence -- or simply had no options given their willingness to allow default -- and was thus forced into this deal against his will. This depiction of Obama as occupying a largely powerless, toothless office incapable of standing up to Congress -- or, at best, that the bad outcome happened because he's just a weak negotiator who "blundered" -- is the one that is invariably trotted out to explain away most of the bad things he does.

It appears to be true that the President wanted tax revenues to be part of this deal. But it is absolutely false that he did not want these brutal budget cuts and was simply forced -- either by his own strategic "blunders" or the "weakness" of his office -- into accepting them. The evidence is overwhelming that Obama has long wanted exactly what he got: these severe domestic budget cuts and even ones well beyond these, including Social Security and Medicare, which he is likely to get with the Super-Committee created by this bill (as Robert Reich described the bill: "No tax increases on rich yet almost certain cuts in Med[icare] and Social Security . . . . Ds can no longer campaign on R's desire to Medicare and Soc Security, now that O has agreed it").

More here.

Well, this all seems to be working out as expected: Obama is Bush in Democrat's clothing. The wealthy elite get everything, and the American people get nothing. Actually, less than nothing because they're about to suffer massive spending cuts to programs that provide vital services. It's all pretty sick.

Really, this Greenwald post is yet another extraordinarily persuasive argument that liberals have essentially been locked out of the Washington discourse. I mean, when politicians and pundits almost completely across the board assert in lockstep that massive cuts to historic social programs amount to the liberal position, then there is no liberal position. I mean, there is, indeed, a liberal position, but it doesn't matter to anybody in Washington. To them, Obama is "liberal."

I wonder what that makes people like establishment-media-exception Rachel Maddow? I wonder what that makes me? Because if Obama's a liberal, then I must be to the left of Stalin! Of course, I'm not, but you get my drift: actual liberal views in the mainstream discourse are cynically substituted with this neoliberal bullshit championed by right-wing Democrats like Clinton and Obama, and the nation suffers greatly as a result--if you don't have the full array of political options in front of you, then you don't really understand what's going on, which is pretty much how the establishment wants it, you know TINA, and all that horse manure.

I really wonder if I should ever have kids. The nation they stand to inherit is not going to be the one in which I grew up, to put it kindly. That is, bringing children into the dark future now facing us may very well amount to an immoral act.