Embracing his inner Jimmy Carter, President Obama revealed a heretofore hidden personality yesterday: deficit hawk. Green eyeshade firmly affixed, the president has the audacity to believe that his proposed $477 billion dollar spending freeze in the middle of the deepest recession in more than twenty-five years is something that will work. It never has. He coulda asked President Carter. Better yet he coulda looked in the mirror and asked himself. Candidate Obama campaigned against John McCain’s spending freeze.
To the consternation of many, President Carter insisted on spending cuts to domestic discretionary programs as unemployment remained stubbornly high. Like Obama, he had an electoral mandate that he squandered and Democratic majorities in both houses that he wasted. He produced no lasting domestic policy accomplishments and presided over a large defense buildup that Reagan continued and took credit for. Ideologically, President Obama, like Jimmy Carter, has been all over the map and it’s hard to keep track.
Obama was against the war in Iraq and then took office and escalated the war in Afghanistan. He railed against the greed on Wall Street and proposed a targeted tax on the banks, but facilitated the bailout of the worst hedge fund speculators and the unconscionable greed of investment banker con artists. He has done next to nothing to confiscate or put the breaks on record bonuses and payouts to the banksters as they tighten credit to small businesses and profess a let them eat cake attitude to the victims of their predatory loan schemes.
Both Presidents are decent men. Both are gentlemen and scholars with a flair for the written word. They also have a moralistic predilection for making self-defeating statements or addresses like Carter’s Malaise speech or Obama’s statement that he’d rather be a good one-term president than a mediocre two-term president. We’ve seen this movie before and this is one celluloid disaster flick I’d rather not sit though. For the sake of the tender feelings of my dear Elie, I’m, not the only one that thinks so.
In his continually futile attempt to be all things to all people and to just simply be liked, Barack Obama has embraced the conservadem me-too approach that has helped many blue dog democrats blur the lines between Democrat and Republican and appeal to fickle independent voters unhappy about the sad state of the economy and the nation’s burgeoning debt.
That is a loosing proposition. No matter what he does, the Republicans will scream bloody murder, call him a socialist, and blow dog whistles to the troglodyte right. The Republicans are the enemy. Period. The President should stick to the somewhat progressive platform he campaigned on, get off his damn knees, stop kissing arses and tell the Republicans and their conservadem handmaidens to go straight to hell. He does not have to submit to the hazing of the corporate media and the right-wing. He controls the message. Its time the Obama White House acted like it. I pray for all our sakes that they stop channeling a dazed and confused Carter Administration.