It’s the economy, stupid. Obama and his ecoomic advisers still don’t seem to grasp that.
At the same time that the most recent unemployment figures show unemployment going up (again) to 9.6%, listen to tin-eared Obama as quoted in a story by AP at http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5h5u_a2O1LeR9L-ZgKF1Q_k0P18QgD9I0K1Q81:
“We’re moving in the right direction. We just have to speed it up,” Obama insisted, focusing on the 67,000 jobs that private business added last month. He struck both realistic and optimistic tones, saying: “There’s no quick fix” and, yet, “There are better days ahead.”
Eerily, Obama sounds like George W. Bush in 2008: of course, no one believed W either. Americans know themselves what the economy is like and it’s even worse than the official figures because lots of people have even given up looking for jobs. People can either believe their eyes or they can believe Obama and his economic minions like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers who have gotten it all wrong repeatedly. Both men should be labeled serial economic offenders and put away.
The AP article above by Liz Sidoti and entitled “Analysis: Dems Out of Jobs Options Before Elections”
doesn’t contain much hope:
It’s the economy, stupid,” was the oft-repeated message of Bill Clinton’s winning presidential campaign in 1992. The point: Don’t bother overmuch with other issues; elections are won or lost on how people are feeling about their own economic well-being.
Now, the traditional Labor Day start of the fall campaign has arrived. And “Recovery Summer” — as the White House dubbed it earlier this year — is still among the missing.
Making matters worse for the Democrats, early voting gets under way shortly in many states, including several with double-digit joblessness that’s worse than the national average.
Given all that, Democrats who have controlled Congress since 2006 — and during the near-economic meltdown of late 2008 — are bracing for a heavy dose of blame from frustrated voters.
Note too this latest bleak information on the economy and on the jobless came AFTER one of America’s leading political scientists, Prof. Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia, recently predicted that the Democrats would lose the House and would lose 8-9 seats in the Senate (effectively losing that chamber too since Blue Dog Democrats like Ben Nelson usually vote with the Republicans).
Obama and his team just don’t seem to get it. They now seem to be running away from the unemployment crisis, on which they have utterly failed having come up with any major public works projects to reduce the figures, and are blaming the Republicans for trying to kill Social Security.
The only problem with that argument is that it is Obama himself, single-handedly who by executive order has set up his “deficit reduction commission” with people like Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles. It’s also Obama himself (sorry pals, you can’t blame Republicans for this) who picked Simpson and Bowles and all the other cranks who are anti-social security. By Jane Hamsher’s count, Obama stacked his commission with 11 of 14 picks being hostile to social security and many wanting to privatize it. Note too that it was Obama who came to the defense of Simpson after his infamous “1,000 teats” comment.
It was also Obama himself, standing side by side with “my friend Bob [Rubin]” in April, 2006, at the inauguration of the Goldman Sachs funded Hamilton Project who called for cuts in entitlements. That means Social Security. It is no secret that many of the Obama selections to his commission also have ties to the Hamilton Project (like Alice Rivlin and Bowles)whose goal is to cut social security.
So when the drive to cut social security is coming from the White House, it’s a pretty bad strategy to accuse the Republicans of being the people responsible for trying to ham string social security.
In truth, and lots of readers at this site will disagree with this but they are not looking at the facts, Obama has never been progressive nor a New Deal type of Democrat. Instead of studying Lincoln, he should have been studying FDR. Take a look at his autobiographical writings: in them he has a hero but it’s not FDR or JFK, it’s Ronald Reagan.
Face this fact too: in two years, Obama and his administration have done zilch to create new jobs. Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner care more about Goldman Sachs and Wall Street than they do about Main Street, that’s been shown repeatedly.
This is now going to come back to bite Democrats big-time in November, as I’ve long predicted.
But, I disagree with the AP article quoted which indicates its too late for the Democrats and Obama to do anything to stem the tide before the November elections.
BUT Obama has to act fast and:
- Shake up his administration. Get rid of Geithner and Summers and bring in Elizabeth Warren and some economists who know what they’re doing.
- Fire Rahm and Gibbs and bring in some new blood. Rahm was a disaster in similar times with Bill Clinton (and almost got fired them) back in 1994 when the Dems lost Congress. Not only is the guy foul-mouthed, he’s a political dolt, a failure.
- Start some major public works projects to reduce unemployment. That means a new (and bigger) stimulus. Obama was warned two years ago that his economic stimulus plan was too little and ignored the warnings to his (and our) detriment.
- Set aside $100 billion to give to states who can keep on teachers, firefighters and other public workers.
- Fire Alan Simpson AND the entire “Deficit Reduction Commission”. Since Obama set it up himself by executive order, all he has to do is rescind the executive order. He needs no help from Republicans to do this.
- Obama and the Democrats have to come out with a national address on Social Security pledging they will not cut or privatize the most popular program in US history. Obama should also at that time do away with the cap on the social security earnings tax (now at $106,0000) so ALL income is covered: effectively shifting the burden to the wealthy and making social security solvent forever.
- Set up a “Deficit Reduction Commission” that it aimed at all the waste in the Defense Department. Think of all those military bases overseas that we do not need and cost billions yearly. Why do we still need bases in Japan and Germany 65 years after the end of World War II? Those two countries are amongst the costliest on the planet and can finance their own defences.
- Obama and company also have to start listening to people and stop dissing their own base. You don’t win elections, stupid, by pissing on your supporters.
If Obama does nothing except make a few false public relations moves and give a few meaningless speeches, no one is going to care. People want action not words. They want jobs not more promises.
UPDATE: Reuters Story Even More Pessimistic
A September 3, 2010 Reuters story by John Whitesides called “Democrats Face Grim Election Prospects” http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68235920100903 is even bleaker than the AP story in the body of this diary. Larry Sabato is again quoted (with the prediction of the loss of 49 seats in the House and loss of control of that Chamber to the Republicans) along with a Cook Political Report showing 73 Democratic seats as toss-ups, up from 68 two weeks ago and 39 at the beginning of the year.
The article quotes polls showing more than 60% of Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction. A Gallup Poll from Thursday also shows a gap in enthusiasm between the GOP and Obama’s Democrats. 54% of Republicans have given the mid-term elections some or quite a lot of thought compared to just 30% for Democrats. “Every indicator and every measure points in one direction, and that is in favor of Republicans,” said Steven Schier, a political scientist at Carleton College in Minnesota.
It’s going to be interesting to see how Nancy Pelosi acts in the next couple of months. She’s smart and it’s no secret that she’s had some disagreements with Team Obama. If she is on the verge of losing her Speakership (and especially after it happens) I think that you might see her begin to publicly challenge the blunderer Obama.