President Obama: The Cave-in President

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    The newest debt “deal” continues a long line of Obama administration cave-ins to a minority of politicians on Capitol Hill whose governing philosophy is not to govern. While recognizing the progressive policies enacted by President Obama, his failures to take on the political opposition during politically integral times have left many on the left with the feelings of frustration and betrayal. Is this “our” president or not?

    Assuming that the current budget deal is rushed through both chambers of the Congress, a terrible precedent has been set that may have negative effects for many years to come. The precedent is this: hold the American economy hostage or any other integral systemic feature of American society, and you’ll have your policy demands met! Responsible governing, that’s a phenomenon of previous congress’s.

    As progressives, we have ourselves to blame as well. We didn’t do enough to stop this madness! While the Tea Party put boots on the ground and sent multitudinous phone calls to their legislators, progressives sat back bemused by anxiety, misunderstanding, and frustration. Why is “our” president not defending our policies?

    The open secret about politics is that to be heard you have to speak! Maybe we didn’t speak enough or loud enough. Whatever the answer, we know we have to do more from here on out because our current strategies obviously didn’t work.  

    • As progressives, we have ourselves to blame as well. We didn’t do enough to stop this madness! While the Tea Party put boots on the ground and sent multitudinous phone calls to their legislators, progressives sat back bemused by anxiety, misunderstanding, and frustration.”

      Really, this isn’t about Obama. This is about us.  Look in the mirror, everybody; we’re all responsible for the current situation we find ourselves in.

    • aznew

      my question is what would have been a better outcome, one that was reasonably achievable — given the state of the playing field?

      Obama deserves blame for his mistakes that maneuvered him into a horrible negotiating position where he permitted the economy to be taken hostage — no argument from me there — but once he was in that position, the problem was not that he “caved.”

      What, do you think the outcome would have been different if Obama simply said “No” to the GOP with more conviction?

      In truth, this deal is (or should be) just this side of acceptable to Democrats. Potential tax increases remain in play in the future with the scheduled expiration of the Bush Tax Cuts. Medicaid is intact. The cuts to Medicare are to providers, not to benefits — not perfect, I grant you, but probably not a distinction worth wrecking the economy over.

      A tax increase was never going to be achieved at this stage of the game for a variety of reasons, not the least of which was that a majority of members of the House of Representatives has signed a pledge not to increase taxes in any way. So, complaining that Obama failed to get a tax increase in this deal is true, but it is an irrelevant critique. No one could have achieved this goal.

      That said, I agree with everything you said about the tea party and GOP irresponsibility, but what else is new? We have known for years that the modern Republican Party lacks ethics, integrity and any sense of decency, history or fair play.

      As I have written, this negotiation is just beginning.

    • totallynext

      Support and money in2012.  You should read the post on his facebook news fed announcing the deal…  People are pissed including independents

    • hathaway

      The White House is counting on the short attention span of the so-called Progressives. This deal will be “kinda” remembered, but not enough to cause a single “self-proclaimed” Progressive to do anything different than what they are presently doing.  There’s always some new horror to behold committed by the Republicans which will quickly turn the attention of a Progressive. Obama will swat at that horror with his tiny flyswatter, and the Progressive can go back to what he was doing feeling somewhat satisfied that somebody’s doing something about that nasty right wing fly. I

      believe this pattern has already begun.  Didn’t Obama just do something with women’s birth control coverage?

    • Say What

      Overall the President and his team have made an awful miscalculation regarding the opposition party.  They were silent about TeaParty racism …. they rationalize the 2010 election results …. they legitimize the rantings of Fox News ….

      They just don’t seem to “get it” … or want to admit that their presidency and by extension the Democratic Party is considered illegitimate and incompetent by the Teapublicans. The disaster which was the last decade is shaping up to be another decade of policy disasters.

      Paul Krugman warned last Sunday on ABC News that we’re going to make Japan’s “lost decade” seem mild & manageable in comparison. Bottom line … there is no dealing with the libertarian stoked Tea Party … they are out to destroy, ham-string, dismantle, etc …. the federal government … but particularly anything that would have to do with social programs.

      Obama better be thinking about the Democratic Party before himself … because  he’ll go nowhere fast if the Republicans keep the house and gain the Senate.

      People who say divided government works best are Republicans at heart who had a good 10 year reign …. look where it has left us.

    • commentator1

      We need to acknowledge that the Republicans have some power over the country, the tea party specifically. Obama couldn’t wave his magic wand and make them go away. Now that we have acknowledged the problem, maybe Democrats will get moving and do something about it.

    • Hugo Estrada

      The reality is that we did speak up. We called and emailed congress to the point of bringing down the capitol servers and clogging the phone lines. The problem is that our politicians don’t listen. They only listen to what they want to hear.

      Look at the polls. Most Americans were opposed to the deal that we ended up having. Did that had any effect? No. They just ignored those polls. Had the polls been in support of the deal, they would have claimed that Americans wanted it. But because it didn’t serve their purposes, they just ignored it.

      The main problem is that most of us operate under the assumption that our democratic institutions work. It is not working anymore. Our representatives are not listening. They fear more the backslash of rich campaign contributors than voters. Voters just legitimize the pickings of campaign contributors. Our democracy is broken.

    • Say What

      I don’t know that our Democracy is broken per se … but I do believe that the Republican propaganda machine … and their messaging discipline … has had an ENORMOUS effect on the political process.

      FACTS don’t matter. Truisms (hell outright falsehoods) trump facts … and along with doublespeak one develops the “legitimacy” of the Teapublican view.

      You know … “government is evil” … so blowing it up to save the American people from this evil Washington government is not just okay … it’s the morally right thing to do.  There is a sizable group of people who drink this kool aid every day …. on talk radio … on FOX news … at conservative websites.

      The “Know Nothings” flourish and are nourished by Murdoch’s Orwellian Machine …. because facts are inconvenient truths that some Democrat trotted out to justify spending more of “my” money.

      History will tell whether we’ve just witnesses the snapping of Democracy’s neck…. but I think it’s just whiplash.

    • glennbear

      Keith Olberman now appears nightly (daily replays) on Current TV (Al Gore CEO). Last night’s program on this debt debacle included an interview with Mr. Gore and this special comment from Keith:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v

      I strongly recommend Countdown as an antidote for Fox News posioning. Keith’s comments last night were inspiring.