"Might've been the losing side, still not convinced it was the wrong one"-Capt. Mal Reynolds. To learn more about me and the blog, read here.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Has Obama Moved The Center Back to Center?

So I've gotten into some heated exchanges the last two days on Twitter. Yesterday I was tweeted by one of my tweeps "While u remain skeptical of the motives of everything Obama does we press on making real progress on real problems being solved"

Really? Ya know, if you are kidnapped and thrown in the back of a van and taken away, it could be said you're making progress getting down the road. That doesn't mean that's how you want to do it or even if it's a good idea because you're gonna end up being thrown off a cliff or buried in a ditch. But my problem with the above tweet wasn't really that people apparently think doing everything the GOP way is progress. The problem I have with it, after a day of thinking on it, is that somehow being skeptical of what a president says is a bad thing.

There seems to be this mentality in the "center moderate Democrat left" (also known as conservaDems to some) that we shouldn't be criticizing Obama because he's a Democrat. That because the right wingnuts didn't criticize George W. Bush and let him push thru his agenda, because he was a Republican, that we should do the same for Barack Obama. I'm sorry but I don't see that as American or Democratic or Liberal. That is an idea that only succeeds in dictatorships and fascist states. The same Tweeter said I was sounding like Glenn Beck. Because apparently Beck speaks a form of english which uses similar words to ones I use in my english. Come to think of it, he uses english words you may use as well. Should we stop using them just because Beck uses them? I saw he used the word "bunny" in reference to a rabbit, should we no longer use the term "bunny"?

So yes, I am skeptical of what the President of the United States says. I am skeptical of anything ANY President of the United States says. I don't care if it's a Roosevelt or Jimmy Carter or Abe Lincoln. Until we know the whole story, which only comes with time and historical review, I am going to continue to be skeptical.

When looking at what a person is saying on tv, we want to know who they are and who they work for. Early in the 2000's there was talk of stock advisors going on business channels like CNBC and Bloomberg and giving advice about stocks that they may have had a financial interest in. Don't you think we should be just as interested in what Obama says and what his interests are in saying those things? I'm not saying he's this evil manipulative person. I'm saying that common sense tells you to discern and examine what those in power tell you.

For me I'm a bit more skeptical of Obama because of his pattern. Tonight (1/26/11) on the Rachel Maddow Show, Rachel talked about how the GOP and the Right had pulled the center to the Right with the help of Bill Clinton. She was absolutely correct. She also stated that Obama had pulled it back more to where he wants the center. She might be correct there also, but it comes with a big "IF".

The "IF" is if Obama breaks with his usual pattern. Over the last 2 years he's espoused liberal, and left leaning ideals but then backs off them. The most recent example being the Bush-now-Obama tax cuts for the wealthy. Within days of making sure the American people knew he was not going to cave on them, he sent David Axlerod out to tell the press that the White House was willing to "compromise". Obama then capitulated as completely as one could without getting Vichy France involved.

Obama constantly undercuts the liberal stand. Prop 8 was struck down and immediately his spokespeople were all raring to let the American people know he does NOT believe in gay marriage. DADT repeal only happened because Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi pushed it thru. A real advocate for repeal would have made it a centerpiece of every single press conference and speech and every time he appeared on camera.

So while Obama talked in his 2011 State of The Union speech about closing the tax loopholes for corporations while lowering the corporate tax rate, the GOP is not going to allow him to close those loopholes. Sometimes you are faced with an opponent who is so intransigent that they can not be compromised with. How do we know that the GOP of 2011 is such an opponent? From Thinkprogress.org:

But at a breakfast event hosted by Politico’s Mike Allen this morning in D.C., which ThinkProgress attended, McConnell expressed a vision of cooperation that looks more like capitulation. McConnell said he is willing to work with Obama, as long as the president “is willing to do what I and my members would do anyway”:

MCCONNELL: If the president is willing to do what I and my members would do anyway, we’re not going to say no and –

ALLEN: But that’s not much of a concession. That’s not bargaining, to just give you what you want.

MCCONNELL: Um, I like to think I’m a pretty good negotiator.

This is the guy leading the opposition. When your opponent says he won't work with you in any way, shape or form, and you keep going back licking his boots to try to get him to work with you, do you know what that makes you look like? A weakling. That is how the GOP sees Obama. They see him as week because regardless of what he says in his State of The Union or anywhere else, they know at the end of the day he wants to be liked so much that he'll give them what they want. Then they have two arguments against Obama that work in their favor and not the country's much less his. And one of them they need not make themselves.

For one they'll say he isn't cooperating enough. For them utter and immediate surrender is the only way they'll see him as cooperating but in order to capitulate for them he has to make a show of "negotiating" and thus they'll say he's too unfriendly to business and to them.

Secondly then his base (you know, the people who got him elected?) are going to look at him playing footsies with McConnell and stay home because they don't see anyone fighting for them.

Paul Ryan gave the official Republican response to the SOTU last night and while it was amateurish, selfish and stupid (for example, Ryan seems to think if you require Social Security you're just lazy) it also highlighted the difference between Republicans and Obama. It said to the Republican base, "This is what we believe in, and Obama does not." And it will work for them.

Obama's strategy of "go along to get along" will not work for him. And if all those people who believe that Obama is fighting for them, who will do it when he's no longer in office? You don't get to make good policy unless you win first.

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