Archive for July 20th, 2010

Simon Johnson Is Half Right

I agree with him completely that Tim Geithner has displayed an uncanny knack for not only surviving, but failing upward, but I just don’t see sabotaging Elizabeth Warren as his Waterloo.  Sure, failing to appoint her to the CFPA would be a huge mistake and disappoint the progressive base terribly, but that’s been Obama’s M.O. for his entire presidency, and I certainly don’t see how Geithner would pay a price for that.  Hell, Obama loves kicking the hippies, he thinks it gives him some kind of centrist street cred, like that’s a good thing.

July 20th, 2010 at 06:34pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Obama,Politics,Wankers


Peter Daou tackles the question of whether passing a lot of crappy watered-down bills that only pretend to be positive reform makes Obama a success or a failure, and ultimately comes up underwhelmed:

What’s far more interesting is that there is one thing Obama can do that transcends the ebb and flow of events, the endless swirl of opinion, the daily wins and losses, the progress and setbacks that constitute governing. It is the one thing with lasting appeal and enduring value and a prerequisite for unqualified success in any endeavor: standing for something worthwhile, for a set of well-articulated principles, and fighting for those principles tooth and nail.

The real Obama paradox is why that hasn’t happened when it’s good policy and good politics.

That is pretty much The Question about Obama and the Democrats.  I can understand pushing for good policy that’s unpopular because it’s the right thing to do, and I can understand (though not particularly approve) pushing bad policy because it’s popular and the politically easy thing to do, but I just cannot for the life of me understand pushing bad policy that’s not popular either.  It’s a double whammy: You take one hit for passing it, and a second hit when voters start feeling its negative effects – or lack of positive ones.

Either Obama and the Democrats are staggeringly obtuse about both politics and policy, or they’re so in thrall to corporate and wealthy donors that they’re willing to sacrifice their seats on their behalf.  Or they think that wads of campaign cash will be enough to convince voters that their policies were actually wildly successful, or that the Republicans are the sole reason that they weren’t.  Somehow I don’t think that’s going to work out real well.

July 20th, 2010 at 11:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Obama,Politics

Welcome To The Club

Is our Hispanic Caucus learning?

A group of Democratic lawmakers wants to use the immigration reform debate to fix one of the most hotly contested aspects of the health care law — provisions that bar immigrants from using new government programs to get coverage.

The move by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus would add a contentious new element to an already monumental task — passing a bill that puts 11 million illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship.

But the lawmakers say they’re merely following through on a pledge they made when the health care overhaul passed in March, and they expect the White House and Democratic leadership to do the same.

Some members of the caucus almost withheld their votes for health reform over what they saw as punitive, anti-immigrant measures in the bill, which bans illegal immigrants from using newly created exchanges to buy insurance, even with their own money, and maintains a five-year waiting period for legal residents to enroll in Medicaid.

They signed on only after receiving assurances that their concerns would be rectified as part of the immigration reform battle, according to lawmakers, advocates and Hill aides.

“The expectation was that everybody knew it was unfair and that a new immigration bill would correct that,” Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told POLITICO.

Asked at what level he received such signals, Grijalva said: “High enough to feel secure about it.”

And you believed them???  Have you been paying any attention at all?  Obama promised labor EFCA if they went along with his terrible healthcare bill, and look how that worked out for them.  You really think Obama’s going to go out on a limb for you when he’s never gone out on a limb for anything progressive in his life?  Yeah, good luck with that.

July 20th, 2010 at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Healthcare,Immigration,Obama,Politics,Wankers

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