Friday, January 29, 2010

Obama Visits The Republican Congressional Caucus-- As Well As Real Americans-- In Baltimore


Earlier today I saw some of the more partisan and extremist of the GOP obstructionists furiously twittering away about their hatred for President Obama, particularly two noisy closet queens, Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Patrick McHenry (R-NC) who seemed to be operating in tandem, like two giggly little girls.

Oh, of course, Pence and Issa and some of the other hard core haters were doing the same. And then I realized that the big pow-wow between the president and the obstructionists was today-- and in Baltimore, not in Hawai'i. The exotic, luxurious Hawai'i GOP retreat where they're trying to come up with a purity or litmus test that even Mike Castle, Charlie Crist, Joseph Cao, Mark Kirk and Michael Steele can pass, is an RNC meeting and that this one in Baltimore is the one where Obama was hoping to reason with the Republicans about working in a bipartisan manner for the good of the whole country. Judging by the nasty tweets, it didn't work.

As Think Progress pointed out this morning, Obama was there-- at John Boehner's invitation-- to make good on his promise of bipartisan outreach and, as he offered in the State of the Union speech, to welcome ideas from the Republicans. It would be impolite to point out that they have no ideas other than the ones that drove the economy into a ditch and the ones they've hatched to ratfuck America so they can regain power. Wall Street shill Paul Ryan (R-WI) wrote about a so-called GOP road map for America's future (appropriately enough, on the radical right editorial page of the Wall Street Journal. It's actually a road map for the corporations and their wealthy management class to continue exploiting ordinary American working families. But that wasn't something Obama was there to say.

He did, however, point out to them that, for all their obstructionism of the Stimulus package-- every single one of them, without exception, voted "no"-- several dozen of them (68 to be precise) had gone out of their way to try to take credit for the infrastructure spending in their districts that the Stimulus is paying for. Most economists agree that the Stimulus is working and the only dissenters say it should have been much bigger, something the Republicans have hysterically opposed.
In his introduction, Obama gave a strong defense of the stimulus package-- which most economists agree has worked-- saying, “there’s not a single person in here” would who would not be “going home to more laid off teachers,” firefighters, and police officers. Obama also chided Republicans for taking credit for the benefits while also bashing it:
And then the last portion of it was infrastructure, which as I’ve said, a lot of you have gone to appear at ribbon cuttings for the same projects that you voted against. Now I say all this not to re-litigate past, but it’s simply to state that the component parts of the stimulus are consistent with what many of you say are important things to do-- rebuilding our infrastructure, tax cuts for families and businesses, and making sure that we were providing states and individuals some support when the roof was caving in.

If you watched the SOTU address this week, you saw them there, all sullen and pissed off, sitting on their hands when the president talked about creating jobs and educational opportunities for working families. If they weren't such a bunch of pathetic jokesters he might have felt like Daniel going into the lion's den. But he didn't waste his whole visit to Baltimore on these clowns. He also visited the Chesapeake Machine Company where he announced details of the Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Cut, one of his new proposals to create good jobs and bring relief to small businesses. Obama:
“Today, I am proposing what I believe is the best way to promote hiring by small businesses: through a tax credit for companies that add workers and increase salaries this year. Now is the perfect time for this kind of incentive. The economy is growing, but job growth is lagging. This is only one part of our larger jobs package, but it will be a key element to spur hiring and give all small businesses that participate significant tax relief.”

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At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Balakirev said...

For such a supposedly smart guy he sure is completely out of touch with his base. I mean, even though he's extremely conservative, he ought to know by now, a year and more after getting elected, that he owes something to the people he faked out with promises of progressive policy enactment.

At 10:18 PM, Blogger muldoon said...

Balakirev, Obama is not exetremely conservative, he's a pragmatist. Big difference.

Obama inherited an 8 trillion dollar debt, an economy in the tank, and two wars that have to be attended to in some reasonable fashion. Plus, the Congressional Republicans have proven through thought, word and deed that they have no intention of helping our country get out of the mess they got us into.

And that's just for starters. In the health care reform debacle, we've seen how those Dems who are corporate bought can cancel out those who are not--and this, too, is an impediment that Obama must somehow attempt to circumnavigate.

So, considering what he's up against, how could you expect him to enact the kind of change we desperately need in his first year in office? If you have some concrete suggestions, I'm sure he'd be glad to hear them.

At 6:16 AM, Blogger Serving Patriot said...


Yes, he inherited a sh*t sandwich. Whoever won in Nov 2008 was going to eat that delicious treat. (And for the record, Old Man McCain and his Alaskan Trixie were a much worse combination.)

But, BHO also came into office with a strong electoral mandate, a superb majority in the House and a near super-majority in the Senate. In other words, he had all the political power to change the country's direction, move out quickly, hold failed bank/Wall St fraudsters accountable, reverse revenue draining tax cuts, accelerate withdrawals of overseas military forces (and cut defense spending), etc. etc. etc.

None of this happened. He did not even try to keep his Inagural Week promises to end torture and close GTMO... didn't even try to hold accountable the obvious criminality sanctioned by the last Administration. His White House compromised downward on signature public policies even before legislation is introduced, then cowtowed to some of the most rabidly, anti-citizen members of a noisy (and powerless) minority, and then gets ZERO votes from them. The White House even refuses to run against these guys in the public opinion sphere ("they voted against American workers... why should you vote for them?"). Then they went back for more punishment in health care reform!

So yes, I consider myself one of those citizens "faked out" with promises and ticked off at where we find ourselves today. I don't consider the past year at all pragmatist. In fact, I consider downright unfaithful to those who put tremendous energy into the 2008 campaign. It's cowardice in the face of desperate need to change our nation's direction all the while holding the political power to make that change. After selling himself as a FDR, it turns out BHO is instead, at best, a Hoover.

Sadly, we are about to hear for the rest of 2010 that it is the DFH's fault --- we didn't "make him do it" --- blaming that will originate in the Wall Street-centric, corporatist wing of the Democratic Party. Meanwhile, the GOP hucksters, memory free that they are, will claim credit for saving the nation from a "socialist ideologue" and laugh all the way to a stronger minority (or even majority) in the Congress.

And still Rome/America burns...


At 9:07 AM, Anonymous clay barham said...

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At 6:01 AM, Anonymous European said...

It`S only been one year. Calm down. The republicans got America into every little Problem, Mr. Obama has to deal with now.
It´s gonna take decades to get the U.S. out of this shithole and if the republicans still think they should continue to fight an ideoligical war while millions of people in america are without healthcare, the infrastructure of the U.S. is comparable to some third world country, and everybody who ain´t broke yet is still living on creditcards :) they should start waking up.
Everybody who actually believed, anybody could change anything within a year or even one legislation period, while facing the biggest economical threat in years , 2 wars, milllions losing their homes and jobs, international isolation and having to deal with a population who suriously voted for a criminal like Mr. Bush twice, to be their president - is nothing more but a dreamer. Get a life America - who do you think u are ? Be thankful to have a guy like Obama getting down to business. Republicans and Democrats !


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