To me, it sounds like Obama has decided to imitate Bill Clinton, except
that he’s going to skip 1994 and jump right to 1995-1996–the years that
gave us welfare reform and the Anti-terrorism and Effective Death
Penalty Act, among other things. Deficit reduction is a classic “Third
Way” policy, but by doing it this way Obama is ceding ground to the
government-haters (who just want to cut spending) without getting
anything (future tax increases, or votes for health care reform) in

And here’s what makes me crazy:It’s not going to work.

Politically, I mean. You know why people care about the deficit? Because Republican fucktrons on the TV news have been yelling unchallenged for a couple of weeks about the deficit, so in some Idiocracy lizard-brain way, they’ve absorbed the narrative that Obama sucks and our economy sucks and our shit’s all retarded because we’re spending too much and it’s the deficit. And stuff. Also.

Of course our Democratic senators are only too happy to nod along and talk about how we have to slow down and care about the deficit because John McCain said so. As if that’s a winning electoral strategy, as if showing up in time to shoot the wounded makes you a war hero, fer chrissakes.

Was everybody in government asleep in the 1990s?This didn’t work. It didn’t make Republicans love Clinton. It didn’t make them want to work with him. They went out every day and screamed about Whitewater and then impeached him for being dumb enough to get blown by an intern.

I really thought we’d learned by now that there is nothing you can do to get a Republican on your side, not really, not when there’s votes to be won by meeting and greeting every teabagger in the lower 48 and calling them all patriots. They’ll all be birthers by 2012, even if Obama issues an executive order giving everybody an Uzi and knocking up all women younger than 28 before banning abortion.

The day after he does that, they’ll be on CNN talking very reasonably about how he won’t compromise with them, not one little bit.



9 thoughts on “Ineffectiveness

  1. This budget freeze stunt is *also* very bad policy. This is what the Japanese guvmint did in the ’90’s, which they call the lost decade.

  2. Appeasing fascists never works. Better to drop a neutron bomb on them and be done with it.

  3. Regarding the freeze: If more people are out of work, more people need welfare which means we can’t freeze it.
    As a side note: I can’t help but hold this article side-by-side with yesterday’s about the 24-hour news cycle and we’re gonna forget Haiti by tomorrow. Funnyt how the big corporation media and the conservative media has no trouble keeping THEIR issues in the public eye.

  4. They’d never issue everybody an Uzi. That’s an Israeli weapon, and it’d piss off the base. Better to go with a patriotic, all-American M16.
    (Case you hadn’t noticed, for all the whining the right does about Israel, they love it exactly the way a fat kid at a birthday party loves cake — it exists only to be consumed, and devouring it is the end of everything.)

  5. If you’re gonna model yourself after success, you need to issue AK-line Russian Rifles.
    Wouldn’t that get an interesting response from the base?

  6. Good point about the deficit, Athenae. We’ve been hearing all this noise about how big the deficit is getting and how dangerous that is for the country but no one ever explains why. And the rubes out there have somehow taken the deficit=bad message and ran with it, but I’ve yet to hear anyone ask the teabaggers why it matters. I doubt seriously that a single one of them can explain it–including Dick Armey and Freedom Works.
    Why even Cheney, who famously said “Reagan proved that deficits don’t matter” goes off every couple of months about the growing deficit. I’ve yet to hear any of the talking heads ask him to square his previous position with his attacks on the administration’s budget policies.

  7. I wonder if Geithner and Summers have pulled the old “bond market will tank” routine on Obama…
    They did that to Clinton shortly before his first inauguration, and Clinton nodded and thought and said, yes, yes, yes, I see (when he probably didn’t).
    There are concerns about too much debt–mostly because interest on that debt eats up money that could be better spent on services. That’s the realistic part of the argument. The unrealistic part is that with foreclosures and unemployment high–and, therefore, demand for services high–it’s an appropriate time to continue deficit spending–which would lead people to believe that their governmentdoes work for them, and that’sexactly what the Repugs don’t want. They don’t want to see government actually functioning as it should, and they sure as hell don’t want the people to think that it does.
    Clinton was just dumb enough to let Rubin and Greenspin punk him, and I’ll bet Obama is no different.
    Buying into policies that will hurt peopleand ruin you politically is always dumb.

  8. The Obama administration has officially Jumped The Shark. You may now return to your regular programming.

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