December 7, 2010

The Punk Patriot Plays Pundit: What Obama Should Do

So there's this hullabaloo about the Bush Tax Cuts.

Here's what's going down:

The GOP is saying that they want to make the Bush Tax cuts permanent.
If we do that, our country is so incredibly fucked, you have no idea. If we dont' start paying back our debts, other countries are going to drop the dollar like it's hot feces, and our creditor nations like China are going to call in our debt. We'd be totally fucked.
We HAVE to increase revenue and pay down our debt.

The GOP is making a power move, saying that "If you don't give us what we want, we're not going to let you have anything!" Basically they'd block every possible vote on things like Unemployment benefits, and other much needed reforms.

Now, I'm going to get super cold and game-theory on you.

What Obama should do is this: Veto the tax bill, force the Bush Tax Cuts to expire, and throw out the Unemployment benefits with it. Then immediately go to the microphones and say, "America needs congress to get SERIOUS. (explain the debt crisis). We gave the GOP an opportunity to give middle income Americans an extension on the tax breaks, while letting the tax cuts for the most wealthy expire so that we can do the responsible thing and pay down our debt.

"The GOP felt that it was MORE IMPORTANT to give the wealthiest 2% of Americans millions of dollars that we can't pay for, that we're borrowing money from China to pay for, than to give the working people of this country the majority of Americans, a much needed break.

Then the GOP will freak out, and accuse Obama of all sorts of things. Who cares what they have to say, it's a bunch of noise.

Obama stays on the offensive, accusing GOP and BlueDogs in congress of opposing the policies that we need to make America great again.

Unemployment benefits end for thousands of Americans.

Hit the microphones, and beat the GOP over the head with it. Blame them for letting them expire, because they were more worried about serving the super-wealthy than helping out the Average American. Lay out a New Deal type plan for putting americans back to work.

Homelessness ticks up as folks lose unemployment benefits.

Once again, Obama hits the microphones, accusing the Congress of inaction, and paint himself as the change agent whose progressive policies will save the day.

Repeat this tactic ad naseum until you beat them into submission.

How do I know this will work?

It's what FDR did.

By allowing the GOP to frame the debate, Obama will inevitably lose:
* the argument
*the war of ideas
*he'll lose ground on policy
* and he might even lose the next election.


  1. I was telling my brother today how one of the reasons America has been successful, and probably any other successful representative democracy, was we historically had strong leaders that really did fight against the odds. Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, LBJ, we had a history of strong presidents, senators, governors, mayors, etc that had the spine and the balls to do what needed to be done. Of course, many other factors and strategies happened, but this is one we vitally need.

    As Thom Hartmann said, we need a Teddy Roosevelt and an LBJ, not this lame duck president we got. I mean, even Nixon did a hell of a lot more (even if it was because of the times) than Obama, and he was a lying shit eating right-wing asshole.


    Maybe not all is lost. Perhaps the faux independent will actually filibuster, but where was all this talk when that shitty health reform bill passed? Well, if he actually does this, I'll be surprised. I sure hope so.

  3. Something I've been pondering this evening:

    "We shall never learn by turning backward and we shall never find the answer by following the soothsayers and demagogues who promise paradise overnight or those whose panaceas are all founded upon money or the manipulation of money. Man's problems are not and have never been solely material problems, nor can they be solved by inflations and deflations or the manipulation of currencies. ... Civilization dies to be revived again only when man through misery and defeat and disillusionment touches bottom and begins again."
    from "Apologia," the introduction to Louis Bromfield's book, A Few Brass Tacks.

    The answer we're hoping for is no not one fearless leader who can save us all. It's not even going to be a group of smart, rich guys who lead us to safety. We have to take care of ourselves, now.

    Just wanted to share.

  4. Totally agree. I've had people roll their eyes at me when I tell them I want to join, or if they don't exist, star groups promoting electoral reform and health care reform in my county, and then saying things like that's fruitless, it's so small, you have to a strong President or blah blah blah.

    There's so much you can do on the municipal level and the beauty is it's not as big a hassle, usually. Electoral reform, as in ranked choice voting, is spreading from municipality to municipality, to the point states are now practicing it in statewide elections (North Carolina) and others are seriously considering it. Here in California, there's a bite back against it with this Top Two shit, but it's just the powers that be pathetically biting back, as we just had a successful high profile RCV election in Oakland.

    Back in the early 20th, there was a major move in cities (such as New York City) towards the Single Transferable Vote which was unfortunately crushed by the mid 50s. It still survives in Cambridge and the move to RCV to me anyway seems like a resurgence of that past movement.

    Health care reform (as in universal care) was until a few years ago starting to spread from city to city, San Francisco being the most obvious, Howard in Maryland too, but unfortunately this crappy federal bill came around, which Obama himself said once was partially for discouraging such reform on the city level. Anyway, I'm blabbering on way too much. The point is, I agree with ya totally.

  5. Your proposal would be an excellent strategy. However, it is based on a flawed assumption.

    Your strategy presupposes that Obama and the GOP are separate entities on opposites sides.

    That simply is not the case.

  6. libhom, sadly, I fear you are right in saying so.

    Since working for Dennis Kucinich's presidential campaign in 2007, and seeing the DNC from the inside, and seeing the Corporate Media's vice-like control of our electoral process, it occured to me that Democrats are often WORSE than Republicans, because they pretend to be different, offering a release valve for the public's outrage that does nothing to change the status quo.

  7. It's kind of an open secret the Dems and Repubs are one of the same. But many still make an argument that the Dems are the "lesser of two evils", which of course to them means they're worth supporting. However..I really honestly think the Dems are the worst of two evils, because they do the Repubs jobs for them, while blaming Repub obstructionism (while controlling all chambers of federal government of course) and giving leftists/progs, etc the idea that they're worth supporting, just one more time...

    I mean really, their actions further push back the political dialogue and mindsets in this country worse than the Republicans. Their horrible fucking republican healthcare bill is a perfect example of this. Only a brain dead retard or someone clinically insane could really believe it's "Socialized medicine", yet, they've got much of the nation thinking as such, people who will say the same things towards single payer when the bill turns out to be shit in action.

    Fuck the Dems, they're just not worth supporting anymore (at least federally).

  8. he did the deal to get dadt approved. trust me, i think he knew social change could be done & still help employment. Hell, 9 yrs of no budget and all of a sudden...we got to have one??? fuk the Ruin Our People party. The tax cuts will expire in question. the gay vote, the blk vote, the vet/soldiers votes, the white vote, hispanic vote will count for the dems in 2012..then hilary in 2016