Saturday, September 11, 2010

Cenk Ugyur and Bob Herbert on Costly Political Miscalculation of Obama Administration

In the news today: two good pieces of political commentary on the drastic miscalculation of the Obama administration in listening to the advice of New Democrats like Rahm Emanuel, and tacking right when it ought to have tacked left.  From the outset of the administration.

Cenk Uygur comments at Alternet today on Emanuel’s costly political miscalculation, noting that the message Emanuel has sent Obama’s progressive supporters—get lost until we need your money and your vote—is resulting in the possibility that 5-10% of “likely” Democratic voters will stay home in the fall elections. 

Uygur’s conclusion:

Rahm was supposed to be some sort of political genius. But it has turned out to be the exact opposite. He blew it. He had no idea what he was talking about and it looks like his party is about to lose a massive amount of seats. Why? Because Rahm was wrong, completely and utterly wrong.

Will they learn the right lesson from this and actually try to deliver on change in the next two years after this election? Very likely not. Instead, they will get someone new to come and whisper in their ear that the president must play the same old Washington games again and that the election was a sign to go further right. That'll be another disaster and you can trace that back to the original Rahmism - the belief that power must be accommodated, real change is not possible and that your own voters should be ignored. That is what is 100% wrong and what got the Democrats into this mess in the first place.

And Bob Herbert notes in the New York Times today that the failure of the administration to address the dire economic challenges of the nation (which are decimating the middle class) is rooted in a fatuous commitment to the discredited trickle-down economic theory (the neocon Republican economic theory) of the Reagan administration:

The Democrats are in deep, deep trouble because they have not effectively addressed the overwhelming concern of working men and women: an economy that is too weak to provide the jobs they need to support themselves and their families. And that failure is rooted in the Democrats’ continued fascination with the self-serving conservative belief that the way to help ordinary people is to shower money on the rich and wait for the blessings to trickle down to the great unwashed below.

It was a bogus concept when George H.W. Bush denounced it as “voodoo economics” in 1980, and it remains bogus today, no matter how hard the Democrats try to dress it up in a donkey costume. 

And, as I keep saying, we’re all about to pay a very high price for the moral obtuseness (that’s what it is, at its core) of the current administration, with the fall elections.  We Americans are about to pay that price.  And the whole world is, because of the effect of American political and economic events on the world as a whole.

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