Archive for March 17th, 2011

Getting a pig to whistle Dixie.

Mar 17, 2011 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Deficit

As time passes and the GOP’s best idea for the deficit is throw red meat at their base and hope it’ll keep them satisfied while trillions continue to accumulate. And people are starting to notice that after the Republicans get done with Planned Parenthood, NPR, teachers, and big infrastructure projects that would bring money to states and create actual long-term growth are turned down…I mean, I just want to keep going on, but the point is that after all is said and done, the GOP isn’t any closer to serious budget reform.

In the poll, 21% of Americans said they believed Congressional Republicans had a better approach to the deficit than did President Obama, while 20% felt the reverse. In addition, 52% said there wasn’t much difference between Obama and the GOP House.

That’s a sharp reversal from last November, when 35% said the GOP had better plan, compared to 24% who said Obama knew best how to deal with the deficit. And while Democrats haven’t soured much more on the GOP’s capability — not very many were so hot on Republicans to begin with — the poll shows Republicans and independents turning away from the GOP in huge numbers.

So is Obama that confident he can call their bluff? Is he actually ready to come in with a plan that will outdo them next year in time to win the election? I’m not confident. But handing the baton to the GOP to demonstrate to the public what a pile of shit they’ve been talking since 2008 is smart and necessary. He signs whatever they come up with anyway, so if they slash the deficit, they did it with Obama!

By doing little and putting the onus on the Republicans who trash-talked their way into office, Obama also illustrates to the public how truly complicated and unpleasant reducing the deficit can be if you immediately rule out denting the military or taxing the rich at historically normal levels.

Worst case scenario, however: Obama has actually bought into GOP rhetoric and is truly just as bad as them, content to try waiting out deficit troubles after making some big promises to capture his second term. Some liberals would say, “Duh!” but I rate it at about 20% probability.

Then again we’re letting ourselves get sucked into another Middle East conflict, so let me bump that up to 35% probability. Naturally, the cost implications ne’er appeared on the lips of any Republican I’ve heard clamoring for war, but feel free to correct me. Please.

-hw