Thom's blog - Tuesday December 14th, 2010
You need to know this. President Obama’s tax cut deal leaped over its first hurdle in the Senate yesterday – setting up final passage of the package tomorrow. In the first procedural vote – 9 Democrats and 5 Republicans stood opposed to the deal including Senators Bernie Sanders – Sherrod Brown – and Russ Feingold. Now in the House – there is still strong opposition to the package as it stands. The two most controversial points of the bill are cuts in the estate tax and cuts in the Social Security payroll tax. A new poll by ABC and the Washington Post shows that 57% of Americans oppose the Social Security payroll tax – as it is a threat to the solvency of the crucial American safety net. But the tax package overall has fairly broad support – with 69% of the population favoring it. So it appears as though President Obama’s political calculation to compromise may have paid off. But – there is no reason to believe those high levels of support will change in two years – when the President has promised to repeal the tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. This Faustian deal made by Obama in the short-term may cost the Democrats their message - and their control of the Senate and the White House - in in the long term.
Thom, you've been a much needed voice of sanity and reason the past two years for me on my morning commute. I want to thank you for that. In the last few days however, you've started to embrace "the lesser of two evils" meme in regards to President Obama. Last week you courageously were holding the administration's feet to the fire, but that seems to be slipping away now.
I'm sorry, but in no way, shape, or form has Obama "compromised". Capitulated is the more accurate adjective.
He's a one term President, regardless of whether he keeps or loses the progressive/liberal vote. (Mind you, I voted for him and donated money). The republicans will see to that by purposely keeping the country mired in recession the next 2 years and hanging him with the blame, which low information voters will swallow unquestioningly. I think your earlier intuition, that if he had gone in gangbusters like an FDR, he would have been a shoe-in for re-election. But of course, he never intended to. At best, he's a corporatist, like Bill Clinton, but without the political skill and saavy. He may even have been a Trojan Horse to bring down the democratic party from within.
In any case, I'm done being frightened by the specter of "the other guy is much worse". The frog in the slowly heating water is an apt analogy. Since the Democratic party seems to have abandoned it's core beliefs, I'd just as soon have the Republicans take it all, and crash everything sooner. Maybe out of the ruins, a phoenix (or revolution) would arise, although in the case of this country, more likely a Mussolini brandishing a flag in one hand and a bible in the other. It breaks my heart to see the slow destruction of this country, loss of liberty, the rise of a new monied aristocracy. I hope in the coming year that you could use your show's influence to help raise a third party, one that was truly progressive and liberal, to challenge the status quo. We could all take a page from Bernie Sanders courage.
Best wishes and Merry Christmas to you and Louise.
Los Angeles, CA