The Obstruction Card

July 5th, 2010at 01:20pm Posted by Eli

It looks like Obama and the Democrats are going to go all in on the “we’re trying to fix the economy but those OBSTRUCTIONIST REPUBLICANS won’t let us!” strategy for the 2010 and probably 2012 elections, probably because bragging about a cheesecloth financial reform bill and a healthcare bill that forces people to buy private insurance is not going to be real compelling:

President Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress are hoping that voters will punish Republicans in the midterm elections for obstructing his efforts to extend unemployment benefits, expand lending to small businesses, and increase aid to struggling state and local governments.

“Republican leaders in Washington just don’t get it,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly video address on Saturday.

I suppose that approach could work, but only if the voters forget all about the previous eight years, where Bush was able to ram through just about everything he wanted despite far narrower congressional majorities (except gutting Social Security, which Obama is now working on).  Given that majority and minority parties had the same tools available to them, why is it that Republicans are able to either block, cripple, or  pervert everything the Democrats try to do to repair Bush’s damage, yet Democrats were helpless to do anything to prevent it while it was being inflicted?

Either the Democrats were too ineffective and weak (or just clueless) an opposition to muster 41 Nays then, or they’re hiding behind a phony 60-Yea requirement now.  Neither explanation inspires a great deal of confidence – what’s the point of voting for Democrats if they can’t pass anything worthwhile when they’re in power or block anything terrible when they’re not?

Obama’s fascination with budget austerity (as embodied by his catfood deficit reduction commission) is not encouraging either:

Mr. Obama’s political aides have tended to emphasize voter worries about the deficit, while his economic advisers have been urging additional stimulus spending.

The thing is, voters are worried about the deficit because they think it’s the reason that the economy’s in the tank and unemployment is almost 10%.  Get the economy humming and hiring, and I can guarantee you that the average voter won’t give a damn about the deficit.  But if you combine a slow economy and persistent unemployment with talk about cutting Social Security, you’re not going to be lauded for your hard-nosed fiscal prudence – no, it’s just going to be further “proof” that Obama hates old people and wants to kill Grandma.  Good luck with that, geniuses.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Elections,Obama,Politics,Social Security

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