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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 10:45 AM
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During the grim days of 2010, it became common to worry that President Obama was throwing his electoral prospects into disarray. He failed to win over key groups like the white working class, even as his actions divided and demoralized his own core coalition: an emerging, but still fragile alliance of minorities, young voters, moderate suburbanites, and other growing demographic groups. "One hallmark of 2009 and 2010 was the demobilization of the Democratic base," wrote pundit Brent Budowsky in The Hill, explicating this view. In this telling, Obama's compromises on health care, the economy, Wall Street regulation, and tax cuts for the rich had deeply alienated the president's core supporters; the Obama-McConnell deal to preserve the Bush tax cuts, especially, was a cynical feint that would bleed enthusiasm on the left.

In reality, nothing could be more distant from the truth. Far from dividing Obama's coalition, the tax-cut deal is brilliant move that could cement it, in the process winning back some of the white working-class voters who deserted the Democrats in 2010. That's because Democrats' devastating defeat in the midterm elections resulted primarily from the weak economy and the governments perceived failure to improve it, not from any lack of resoluteness in upholding liberal principles or applying liberal rhetoric. Therefore, the central task for the Obama administration after the election wasand isto improve the economy by any means necessary.


If Obama is reelected in 2012, his tax-cut deal will most likely be recognized as the brilliant move that turned the corner for him politically and assured his second term. And liberals who are still upset about the compromise should be careful not to confuse their reactions with those of the Obama coalition's rank-and-file. These voters will ultimately be more concerned with the state of the economy than with discrete policy issues like the level of income tax levied on the rich. In the end it will come down to results. As Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, himself an adopter of ideologically hybrid policies, put it: Who cares if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice?
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Enrique Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 11:25 AM
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1. and think of all the "brilliant" moves Obama can still make before 2012!
cut Social Security -- brilliant!
attack Iran -- brilliant!
privatize schools -- brilliant!
open ANWR to drilling -- brilliant!
make Joe Lieberman his VP -- brilliant!
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DemocratSinceBirth Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 11:36 AM
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2. Your Post Might Actually Make Sense If Obama Proposed Any Of Those Things
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whosinpower Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jan-06-11 01:28 PM
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3. In the end, it comes down to results
If the economy improves, which by Wall street standards - it already is, but by main street standards, it continues to flounder - there is a growing disconnect between the two, which has never been addressed.

But, if the MAIN street economy improves, then the question WILL be framed thusly;
"Do tax cuts work?" Answer - well yes of course it does....and Obama may be seen as a hero - or more likely - the republican ideology will be seen as validated, with a big push on their side to do more of what they want - cut the social safety net.

If the MAIN street economy does NOT improve in real terms, with real growth, and a tangible lowering of unemployment - then the question will be - "Do tax cuts work?" Answer - It is Obama's fault for listening to empty GOP rhetoric. He will not be seen as a hero, and the push will be to impose more austerity measures given the huge increase in the deficit.

And then of course you have the looming debt ceiling hostage. I would propose that the DEMOCRATS take a play from the republicans....stand firm, and with one voice state as a block, they will all vote to NOT increase the debt ceiling until the republicans come up with a plan to reinject the projected shortfall from the payroll tax holiday into the Social Security fund without touching the general account, and without cutting any other programs.

Let the democrats be the hostage takers for once.
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