Catching Up with the Obama Dilemma
I haven’t had much to say the last bit, because the rest of the blogosphere and even mainstream pundits are catching up to where I was a while ago. Let’s see where we are, and where we’re going.
1) the stimulus bill was neither big enough, nor well enough put together to do the job. However many jobs it “saved and created” they weren’t enough.
2) Obama is not in the least interested in doing progressive things unless great pain is inflicted on him, personally. This is most likely because he is not a progressive.
3) On civil liberties, Obama is probably actually worse than Bush. Yes, that’s quite an accomplishment, but there you have it.
4) He’s an incompetent leader, who over-centralizes decision making, refuses to delegate, then makes decisions slowly and badly.
5) His courtiers are not the problem (although they’re almost all scum), he is the problem: he chose them.
6) The spring job recovery is already petered out, and around the world virtually every major economy other than China is turning to austerity, including the US. US cities and States are in a horrible state, gross income is down, and bank lending is still not recovering. The US economy has become more oligopolistic and more sclerotic than ever before, with the major firms who run the economy making their money by squeezing little people who have nowhere to turn. Thanks to Bernanke, Paulson, Geither, Bush and Obama’s bailouts, and refusal to engage in meaningful restructuring of the economy or the financial industry, their profits have recovered. That means, to them, that the crisis is over.
7) Election results in the midterms are looking really bad. I was warning about this in beginning of 2009, because if Obama’s economic policies didn’t work, and if he continually alienated the base, it was going to cause problems. The only thing Obama and Congressional Dems have going for them is how bloody awful the Republicans are. But being the lesser evil isn’t always enough. Liberals and progressives can’t vote Republican, but they can refuse to donate, not volunteer, and in many cases, not vote.
Going forward Obama is faced with a choice. He won’t do enough to make the base happy, because he genuinely doesn’t believe in any progressive ideals. What he can do, however, is goose the economy. He has most of the TARP slush fund to play with. He could dump it into the economy post-haste in order to rescue the mid-terms.
Whether to do so is a dilemma for him. On the one hand standard methodologies are still showing that the Dems (barely) hold onto the House, and keep the Senate. But it isn’t much of a stretch for the Republicans to win the House.
If they do so, Obama’s presidency is effectively over. The Republicans will Clintonize him, tying him down in a blizzard of subpoenas and fake scandals. He will get nothing done for the next two years, and will probably lose re-election.
On the other hand, if he spends the money in 2010, it won’t be there in 2012, and after all, Dems might squeeze through without it.
I’d feel sorry for him, but he’s made clear that he isn’t a Democratic president, and he isn’t a liberal or a progressive, so I see no point in wasting any angst on personal problems he himself created. All of this was totally predictable, and was, in fact predicted by multiple people.
Obama never made a sincere effort to fix the economy, to end the wars, to stop civil liberties abuses or to revamp the financial industry.
As he reaps, so he sows. It is unfortunate Americans have to suffer even more than he does (he’ll be taken care of after he leaves the Presidency, never fear), but such is life. Maybe it’s time to stop voting for people who say they love Reagan and that they don’t believe in Democratic solutions to problems.
We’re still in a Depression
Why it is never in Congress’s interests to look after Americans