Archive for September 26th, 2010

The Democrats only failed to go far enough or go down fighting for what was right.

Sep 26, 2010 in Disappointing Dems

Of course, in CW-speak that means you have to accept people voting for any gibbering idiot who has an R next to their name. But in putting that aside and just looking at what the Democrats did and what could have changed perceptions about their efforts the past two years, it seems to me that one answer sticks out like a sore thumb: No epic public works project.

Look at the stimulus: too small, half of it a bunch of tax cuts that most people didn’t notice (because taxes are already low), and a few infrastructure jobs promised aside, stories of misdirected funds that didn’t create lots of jobs. That doesn’t mean it didn’t do a lot of good, just not enough good.

Yet tucked away in it was a billion dollar program that actually hired people. As if the Census jobs weren’t a clear enough sign, the government could, with relatively modest funds, make a dent in job numbers. People with jobs create demand. Demand is what the economy lacks most, not CEOs with unbruised egos. While Republicans are screaming, “We have to make the rich HAPPIER!” Obama and the Democrats could have kept passing smaller jobs bills the entire time, finding work that needs to be done and putting people to work doing it. Hire an extra goddamn guidance counselor, dammit. Most urban schools have 400 students per counselor. That’s not even pretending to care. Put some damn security guards around, hire more cops, fund more after-school programs…I could go on, but the basic principle is hiring people to do jobs that help Americans has a doubly reverberating effect on the economy and our national well-being.

Of course, Glenn Beck might call these programs Hitler youth clubs, so we couldn’t do more. The Democrats chose cowardice and gave us half-measures during a full-measure crisis.

Understanding that all perfectly well, the choice in November remains this: forward, or backwards? The Republicans have tried to make the case that Democratic programs actively hurt the economy, but this is patently ridiculous. Republican policies would actively contribute to our further ruin. No, a simple message needs to be sent to Washington: You’ve still got your jobs, being lucky in your enemies, but grow some goddamn balls and take the initiative or kiss it all goodbye.

-hw

P.S. Yes, I know I’m barking in the dark here. See some more chickenshit Democrats who can’t stand up for what they voted for here.

The Republicans never mean what they say on the deficit.

Sep 26, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Crazy Tea Party People, Deficit, Disappointing Dems

Bruce Bartlett describes what the cheap, “MORE tax cuts now, unspecified minor spending cuts later!” Pledge to America GOP “plan” illustrates:

Today, Republicans believe that deficits are nothing more than something to ignore when they are in power and to bludgeon Democrats with when they are out of power.

It’s important to remember that the deficit was just something the Republicans latched onto the second they were facing the prospect of being out of power. When they lost the elections of 2006 and 2008, they were at the tail end of six years of nearly uninterrupted Republican rule and the verdict was in. They had nothing. No plan for the future, no explanations for their failures, just anger. Whatever they could harness that anger to was good enough. George W. left behind a $1.3 projected deficit? Blame it on Obama, return to blathering about budget-busting tax cuts and vague spending cuts. The Republicans added the Tea Party moniker to rebrand, promised that they really meant it this time, and proceeded to bash Obama for two years without regard for the facts. Now their biggest priority is scaring the Democrats into passing along $3 trillion in tax cuts by declaring total war to win an extra $700 billion for the country’s wealthiest citizens. They were all about the deficit, until they got that tax cut candy waved in front of their nose.

If the next six years actually saw Democratic rule by a party that wasn’t constantly terrified of what people like Glenn Beck say, we’d be on the way back to fiscal recovery. As it is, even if Democrats survive this election relatively intact, they’ll only be more scared. I mean, if you can’t have a victory like 2008 and work up your courage, a close call is going to make you braver?

This country may be entering some kind of paradigm where the party out of power always has the drive, because things are constantly turning into shit. Of course, we’re still dealing with the fallout from GOP rule, but capitalism, the climate, and our resources have combined forces to launch the U.S. on a downward trajectory that we won’t soon escape. If Democrats in power can’t face that fundamental fact and fight for their solutions, then they’re going to get bounced in favor of Republican magical thinking. See, Republicans don’t have any solutions, but they don’t care. They’re just worried about winning elections, so they get their soundbite and go full steam.

The Democrats are in fact the only ones who can be trusted on the deficit, historically and presently. Every one of them can take the deficit issue and shove it right up Republican arses this Fall. We’ll see how many do.

-hw