Tuesday, December 14, 2010

I'm late re this but still wanted to comment on Obama's press conference following his tax deal. Not long after I wrote, "And is he once again going to command Gibbs et al to lash out against us, the left, as if we were spoiled children who know not what we speak of or believe in?" did it come true, only it wasn't Gibbs doing the lashing but rather Obama himself.

Btw, is it me or is Obama's tone more indignant and hostile when he's criticizing the left than when he's doing the same versus Republicans and the right? Sort of akin to the parents who are meaner to their own kids than to strangers.

In the press conference, Obama attempted to equate the public option and healthcare reform with extending all tax cuts, including those for the wealthy, giving the enemy-of-the-perfect argument a try. Sorry, I don't find the two comparable, making it all seem a bit strained to say the least.

For one, I don't seem to recall Obama being so clearly and strongly in favor of the public option as he was against tax cuts for the wealthy. Secondly, Obama and the Democrats had much more power during the HC reform, to enforce their will, as opposed to coming off a brutal election leaving a lame duck Congress. Thirdly, the Tea Party furor and influence was in its infancy during HC reform, as opposed to now. Finally, most liberals did in fact support the eventual HC reform, even despite it not having a public option, so I think Obama is guilty of amplifying the few to make his point.

So I would argue his tax cut cave is quite different, and given this latest scolding, makes him appear that much weaker.

Let me also say that I fully understand his argument about being held hostage, that if he didn't do this the GOP would've voted against extending unemployment benefits, so Obama was acting as the bigger person and "caving" for the sake of the unemployed. I get that, BUT could we at least hear him be just as stinging and harsh in his comments about this craven maneuver by the Republicans as he was when commenting on the liberals and healthcare reform -- is that too much to ask? As opposed to him graciously and overly-respectfully describing it as the most important issue Republicans feel they must fight for -- no bite, no sting, no condemnation, no harsh tone.

And what makes him think Republicans won't repeatedly use this "hostage taking" tactic over and over again? Why wouldn't they? It worked for them beautifully this time, with hardly a fight and no mean words or mud-slinging. No wonder McConnell and others were praising Obama for acting so presidential. That in itself spoke volumes about how Obama made a mistake.


Anonymous said...

I agree. He as much as calls progressives & liberals scumbags while kissing Rethuglican ass. General consensus seems to be that getting Clinton to vet his tax cut plan was a smart move. To me, it only underscored Obama's weakness: he can't even sell his own policies. Because they are detrimental to the working class and reinforce Rethuglican/corporate power.

The Daily Growler or Daddy O'Daily said...

Obama told you in his book that was published before he won the election that he wanted to be a combination Lincoln and Reagan--that he admired Reagan and especially his free-trade economics--he also said in this book that Wall Street successes were his heroes. In Indonesia, Obama's mother worked for the Ford Foundation and her boss was Timmy Geithner's father...and, too, remember he said he wasn't interested in what happened in the past only in the future...plus, after meeting George W. Bush, rather than handcuffing him and carrying him off to the Capitol jail, said he found him a likable guy...likable enough that he made G.W. an adviser on Haiti (can you imagine his advice?); plus he's fixing to award G.W. Bush with one of those silly Medals of Freedom...G.W.'s idea of freedom is not having to wipe his ass when a servant can do it.