A "No" Vote for Obama
Why exactly should progressives vote for Barack Obama again?
This is a serious question, yes, from a guy who wanted Hillary, but the question remains: what can we look forward to in a second Obama term that would demonstrate improvement over the myriad of mistakes and terrible political decisions from the first term?
If you are to believe a piece in today's NYT, there is no good reason for progressives to vote for a second Obama term. Why? Because Obama's political team, the same dimwits who won the battle on the first woefully inept stimulus, are against a second one because they believe voters want deficit reduction more than they want jobs. I guess the clowns at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue don't read the internets or even newspapers, where recent polls have shown by more than a 2:1 margin (62%-29%) that the public cares more about creating jobs than they do about cutting government spending.
So what is the economic agenda for a second Obama term?
Administration officials, frustrated by the intransigence of House Republicans, have increasingly concluded that the best thing Mr. Obama can do for the economy may be winning a second term, with a mandate to advance his ideas on deficit reduction, entitlement changes, housing policy and other issues.
Are you fucking kidding me? Poll after poll make it clear that voters want a focus on jobs above all else, yet Obama's political team wants to sell his reelection on deficit reduction, cutting entitlements, and housing policy?
Mainstream economists, including those who have left his administration, say a second stimulus to kickstart consumer demand is critical, yet Obama's staff says no. To Obama and his staff, impressing the confidence fairies and bond vigilantes is more important than job creation.
But there is little support for such an approach inside the administration. A series of departures has left few economists among Mr. Obama’s senior advisers. Several of his political advisers are skeptical about the merits of stimulus spending, and they are certain about the politics: voters do not like it.
Mr. Plouffe and Mr. Daley share the view that a focus on deficit reduction is an economic and political imperative, according to people who have spoken with them.
William Daley and David Plouffe, neither of whom won the Nobel prize for economics, think that more stimulus will not work, and don't want to believe what all those polls are saying. Instead, with millions of Americans out of work and telling pollsters they want action on jobs, Daley and Plouffe have Obama convinced that economists like Romer, Krugman, Stiglitz, Zandi, and even Feldstein are all wrong, and that a grand bargain is necessary to get the economy going again. In other words, it's 1937 again and a Democratic president has consigned millions to joblessness and ruin rather than fighting for the middle class.
As part of this appeal to centrist voters, the president intends to continue his push for a so-called grand bargain on deficit reduction — a deal with Republicans to make even larger spending cuts, including to the social safety net, in exchange for some revenue increases — despite the strong opposition of Congressional Democrats who want to use the issue to draw contrasts with Republicans.
Obama's team assumes he can cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid and get away with it politically, because they assume his base will still be there for him while he pursues centrist voters. Yet what appeal is there for the Democratic Party to vote for such an agenda, when it totally ignores economic theory and the party's decades of hard work on behalf of the middle class?
Mr. President, it won't matter to you, but I'm done with you. The social safety net didn't cause our economic problems, and yet you insist on offering up FDR and LBJ's legacy just to establish your own legacy. If you can't bring yourself to focus on jobs and homes, then you really are out of touch with everyday America, and not a Democrat. Good luck with those centrist voters because you obviously don't need my vote.
One last thing: unlike this spineless prick in the White House, Hillary would never have run from a fight with the GOP on jobs.