Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Obama & The Big Chill (Annotated Links)

Totally ignoring the dire consequences of losing his base, Obama prepares to throw yet another bone to the Right in his State of the Union extravaganza. The President is not the only one who can make a cold wind blow:

Conscience of a Liberal - Paul Krugman: Obama Liquidates Himself: A spending freeze? That’s the brilliant response of the Obama team to their first serious political setback? It’s appalling on every level. . . And it’s a betrayal of everything Obama’s supporters thought they were working for. Just like that, Obama has embraced and validated the Republican world-view — and more specifically, he has embraced the policy ideas of the man he defeated in 2008. A correspondent writes, “I feel like an idiot for supporting this guy.” . . Right now, this looks like pure disaster.

Open Left - Paul Rosenberg: It's Official: Obama is an idiot: Obama is now intentionally recreating FDR's mistake of 1937, when he prematurely cut back spending to try to balance the budget, and sent the country into a new recession. Specifically: He's going to announce a spending freeze on domestic programs (but not, of course, on the military) that is "projected to save $250 billion." The rationale is that he wants to appease folks worried about runaway deficits. Which is just what FDR was worried about in 1937. This is Bush-style idiocy. There is no other word for it. Adding insult to injury, at the same time, he's also proposing more Ronald Reagan/GW Bush tax cuts... which will, of course, increase the runaway deficits.

NY Times - Bob Herbert: Obama’s Credibility Gap - Who is Barack Obama?: Mr. Obama . . has positioned himself all over the political map: the anti-Iraq war candidate who escalated the war in Afghanistan; the opponent of health insurance mandates who made a mandate to buy insurance the centerpiece of his plan; the president who stocked his administration with Wall Street insiders and went to the mat for the banks and big corporations, but who is now trying to present himself as a born-again populist. . . The president . . all of a sudden is a man of the people. But even as he is promising to fight for jobs, a very expensive proposition, he’s proposing a spending freeze that can only hurt job-creating efforts.

WaPo - Ezra Klein: The Obama administration loses the deficit -- and the spending -- argument: This video is not good for the White House. It shows Barack Obama repeatedly, and eloquently, rejecting John McCain's proposal for a "non-defense spending discretionary freeze." We need a scalpel, Obama says, not a hatchet.

Obama Campaign Against Spending Freeze

Firedoglake - Blue Texan: Obama, the Spending Freeze and the Joe the Plumberization of the Democratic Party: [H]e is validating decades of right-wing complaints about “wasteful spending”, that “big government” is really the problem, that defense spending is sacrosanct while programs for the stray animals are expendable, and most recently, that government spending somehow caused the Great Recession — all in an era in which Americans brought Democrats to power to do more, not less. Do they think this will appease Republicans? Hell no. Do they think this will win teabagger votes? Please. This is truly a policy without a constituency. It’s unforgivable.

[Mr. Freeze graphic via twolf at firedoglake]