Wednesday, May 4, 2011

That's the sound of political capital going out the window

Barak Obama's audacious and bold "hit" on Osama bin Laden scored him big political points. Americans all across the land were dancing in the streets and much of the world was breathing a sigh of relief that this monster was finally gone.

That was Sunday and Monday.

Now it's Wednesday and for the past two days what has the president done to capitalize on all this goodwill? Did he aggressively move to the one issue that has been dogging him for his entire presidency...the economy?


Did he go after Republican dogma with the same killer instinct that gave him to courage to take out OBL?


Did he attack the ideologues on the Deficit Commission or Paul Ryan and rip into their cold-hearted and non-sensical plan to impose a brutal austerity onto most of the populace?


The fact is, he didn't do any of those things. Instead, he spent the last two days debating whether or not to release the photos of bin Laden with his head blown off.

What a waste.


AP Lerner said...

I hear ya on this. I'd like to see some more aggressive leadership on some of these topics as well. Especially unemployment (obviously)

However, I also prefer a pragmatic, thinking President.

I know Bush sets a low bar, but had he taken out OBL, he probably would have parachuted onto the White House lawn wrapped in the flag while his cronies were fast at work investing this capital to privatize social security or pass a ban on gay marriage....

widmerpool said...

Have to disagree here.

Would have been a strange time to start hammering Republicans. Plus, it would just be burried.

mike norman said...

Maybe you're right, I don't know. I just get the feeling that's the kind of guy he is.

David said...

Dear King Barack the Lionhearted,

I'm just a lowly peasant but I wanted to congratulate you on your glorious victories in the on-going Crusade against the minions of Mahomet.

Now that the country is cheering and singing your praises do you think that maybe you could do something about the rack-renting of Prince John and the lesser lords? I'd like to write more but I need to go out to the forest to gather acorns before the pigs get them all.

I know you are a just and wise ruler and I am your loyal subject always,

David, the lean

Anonymous said...

According to the World Socialist Website:
At a White House dinner on Monday, Obama claimed that the killing of the Al Qaeda leader has provoked “the same sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” and that it was his “fervent hope that we can harness some of that unity and some of that pride to confront the many challenges that we still face.” One of the challenges alluded to by the president is the current wrangling over the $1.6 trillion federal budget deficit, and the debate over lifting the federal debt ceiling.

Matt Franko said...

There seems to have been more unity in 2008 when the Bush Admin got together with the Dem Congress and started sending $650 rebates back out to every taxpayer to help with the gas prices and the faltering economy (and this was PRE GFC).... now today that type of fiscal response just seems SOOOOOOO IMPROBABLE.

I cant help but think the GOP is playing Obama here and actually sacrificing the economy for political purposes by suddenly getting all worked up about the deficit. Back when it was their Whitehouse, they cranked up the fiscal very fast when faced with a very similar economic scenario....

With these gas prices, certain domestic oil related parts of the economy should do better, but the broad economy is going to start to roll over soon unless we get oil back down as a lot of the higher oil prices increase the CAD (approx 8 M bbls/day imports) which will subtract from GDP.

We could use several $100B fiscal response right now just for oil related impacts to the external deficit.

Philip said...

In my view, Obama showed early on that he can't be trusted to act in accordance with what he says. So far, it seems that the main focus of his presidency has been taking vacations. (Not necessarily a bad thing -- he might really mess things up if he were working.)

I'm somewhat hopeful that the Republicans will do what they have done in the past (ie: talk a good game of fiscal restraint when out of power, then spend without concern when in power). This may sound crazy, but Trump actually looks interesting to me from an economic point of view.

beowulf said...

This may sound crazy, but Trump actually looks interesting to me from an economic point of view.

Nahh, it was crazy last week.

Its just peculiar this week. :o)
Check out this poll Jonathan Chait cites. Trump's trade policy is a huge selling point with the GOP base.

The beauty of it is, the harder he goes after the trade deficit, the softer he can go after the budget deficit. Notice how he redirects questions about "balancing the budget" to closing the trade gap? He may be a amateur, but he's the only prominent Republican to oppose Paul Ryan's budget plan (only 6 GOP congressmen voted against it). Which is astonishing when you look at the polls.
The vast majority of Tea Party supporters - 70% - oppose cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, a new McClatchy-Marist poll found... in line with the feelings of registered voters as a whole - 80% oppose proposed cuts to those entitlements... 92% of Democrats, 73% of Republicans and 75% of independents...

That's bad news for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who unveiled a sweeping 2012 federal budget proposal earlier this month that would slash the budget deficit by about $6.2 trillion over the next decade.