Thursday, September 08, 2011

Thoughts on Obama's speech in real time--with the help of some beer!

Strange things about the Obama speech.

The president talks about getting things done that both parties should agree to but he has not told anyone what he wants to do. "You should pass this bill right away!' --err, I mean as soon as I write it. I suppose it makes sense. The president announces he will announce a major new jobs policy to meet the unemployment emergency--err, just as soon as I get back from vacation and demands that Congress then pass this urgent and utterly unobjectionable piece of legislation as soon as he writes it. Makes perfect sense. If the crisis answering policy can wait till after his vacation why should his denunciations of the Congress for not passing his bill have to wait on the bill actually being written?

Why do we need to focus on repairing bridges when we just borrowed 800 billion for infrastructure spending and "shovel ready projects"? Ok, that was small minded. There was only about $100 billion for infrastructure in the last $800 billion stimulus.

The implicit assumption behind every argument--no, explicit--was that the only reason anyone could possibly have is to oppose this was partisan self-interest.

Rachel Maddau is the real kicker. She says that Obama is being nice by saying to Republicans saying, "You are better than this." That you know that the policies you advocate are not really good and the policies of mine that you oppose are not really bad. You are not really bad people but you just succumbing to the temptation of denouncing everything I propose for partisan gain, but I forgive you.

The strange thing is that Rachel thinks this is a way of reaching out. She really doesn't know how condescending she sounds. She really doesn't imagine that anyone could have principled reasons for not favoring these proposals.

She contrasts the President to Harry Truman who just says that Republicans are bastards who don't care about the poor. Speaking as one of those Republicans I would much prefer just being called a bastard than Obama condescension. My God, there is no intellectual reason to oppose Obama's proposals? No one actually disagrees with him, there are just some people that have let their own political self-interest but get in the way of what they know is right. The condescension is so thick it is disgusting.

It is noteworthy and laudable that the President said we would have to have some "adjustments" in Medicare and Medicaid--i.e., cuts. That does take some courage and is a real contribution to the debate.

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