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The discussion we never had

vastleft's picture

John Amato:

Obama was elected to bring change to the economy, not to debate the merits of tax cuts all over again. We had that discussion for 18 months and Obama won. Tax cuts lost. Why is the media ignoring that fact?

The problem is, we didn't have that conversation.

I surely wish we did, but we simply didn't.

We had a completely fictitious conversation about how the problems in DC are a partisan "food fight."

A conversation about how Ronald Reagan was a transformative figure who "spoke to the failures of liberal government," which "did seem to value rights and entitlements over duties and responsibilities."

A conversation about how Republicans have better ideas than Democrats in "a whole host of areas," including deregulation and environmental rules.

A conversation about how liberals quaff chablis and lattes.

Now, I'm not flipping the Bozo bit on the Obama presidency. We have one president at a time, and the new one's barely started.

But Obama's vaunted rhetoric always reeked of warmed-over triangulation in a time that demanded much more and was ready for much more.

Lack of pride in — and framing advances for — the progressive alternative is what Obama and his uncritical supporters sowed, and to some or other degree, it's what's for dinner for some time to come, until and unless he conjures up a very different recipe.

Update, 2/10/10:

Obama's vaunted-but-awful center-right campaign rhetoric has, alas, proven a harbinger of a Bush's Third Term presidency. Surges in Af-Pak, ratifying Bush's assaults on the Constitution, putting Wall Street first and citizens last, grotesquely untimely tax cuts and a spending freeze, and a corporatist healthcare "reform" process that made a mockery of claims to be "open and transparent" and to "consider all options."

So, now I am quite sure that I am 2L4O.

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pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

talking about the delay in the switch to digital teevee from analog. She says that the police and fire departments could use the old analog bandwidth, but now that the switchover has been delayed, they won't be able to yet.

Didn't I just read that Verizon and some other telecom had put a bid in for the available space? Do they feed the police and fire departments?

TonyRz's picture
Submitted by TonyRz on

The dead bodies of firefighters and policemen on 9/11 was just one of the props used to push the auction through in the first place, and those same dead cold bodies are now being used by the WSJ to moan about this new delay. And last I heard, NYC was far from ready to all be on the new frequencies, digital TV delay or no.

Anyway, the sale (auction) is long over. Rather than lease the freed-up bandwidth to telecoms, with profit profit profit going into the public till, it was auctioned off. It's now in private hands.

The Obama content here is that he's got a buddy in his administration who used to work for Clearwire, and Clearwire could possibly enjoy a small competitive advantage in the coming months if they can spend those few months rolling out their 3G services while Verizon et al are being held back.

(For its part, Verizon reversed itself and stopped whining about the new delay about 48 hours after they were against it. They're not ready, either. Hyuk.)

Submitted by jawbone on

job for the Obama Stimulus bill. Which we shrill DFHs have been saying for quite awhile.

I didn't stick around to hear too much, but Evan Thomas said that Axelrod and Obama had decided during the elections that they didn't need to respond to criticisms/questions/anything every day; they could just let things ride and stick to their message.. And it worked. But it doesn't work so well when the candidate becomes the elected president, per Thomas. He said Obama doesn't like to have to respond to questions and explain things.

Tweety said during the election the product was Obama, but now that he's governing he needs to help the public understand all sorts of things. So that tactic is not good for the elected official. Hhhmmmm.

Interesting. Seems to be a change among many in the MCM--not just the old switcheroo of turning against a Dem president.. No, not that yet. But there seems to be genuine questions as to what Obama is about.

But I may be too kind to those talking heads.

pie's picture
Submitted by pie on

...but Evan Thomas said that Axelrod and Obama had decided during the elections that they didn't need to respond to criticisms/questions/anything every day; they could just let things ride and stick to their message...

Isn't that what the morons blasted Hillary for during the primary - not responding soon enough to criticism?

I'm on the unmerry-go-round.

Hillary is doing better these days. Wanna change places, Barack?

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

what we had during the primary was the netroots version of Clinton derangement syndrome. It blotted our any reasonable discussion of the unity pony.

chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

what a wonderfully clear post on this issue. thanks!

and thanks tony, for saying with an informed viewpoint what i've been meaning to say for a while. Bruce Dixon has been all over this, at black agenda report. bottom line: public "airwaves" aren't, not according to the dems and rethugs who sell them for pennies on the dollar to their buds.

dr sardonicus's picture
Submitted by dr sardonicus on

But acquiring the equipment to broadcast over them is expensive, and that's where they have us by the gonads. Even if you can find a little 100-watt transmitter, string some piano wire outside your bedroom window, and talk to the neighborhood, as some folks have, there's that little matter of a FCC license.

And someday you won't be allowed to post content to the internets without a government license, either. You read it here first.

Submitted by lambert on

His great track record:

1. CDS during the primary and

2. Rewriting the history after the primary

Truthiness rots everything, as VastLeft is fond of saying.