Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wake Up AMerica Podcast #238

This week:
Progressive Idealism vs. Pragmatism
Obama jolts progressives into facing reality.
It's going to be a long two years.
Julian Assange:
Hero or criminal?
join us!
Listen Now! (show#238)


Blogger GDAEman said...

I still need to listen to your podcast, but the word "weak" comes to mind.... not you, Obama. Running scared comes to mind.

The House Dems had a good strategy of decoupling votes on the middle-class tax cuts from the upper-class cuts. Did Obama even try to press that strategy?

Then, when he "negotiated" a "framework" he could have said 3-years for middle-class and 2-years for upper-class, thereby decoupling future votes on the rich and middle-class tax cuts. But he's just kicked the can down the road to a time when Republicans still control the house, and the 60% Senate vote still ensures control by the elite minority.

I understand the pragmatic arguments: Real people need relief, the stimulating effects of the tax cuts, i.e., status quo, etc. But the Social Security holiday seems like a walk down a dark alley... one more pebble on the scale toward saying "we can't afford social security."

Where do we finally take a stand? I don't want to end up like the Palestinians who are trying to negotiate from a position of surrender.

8:40 AM  
Blogger GDAEman said...

Hay Gang, I've now listened to your program. And I've listened to the Rachel Maddow show of 12/7/10 with Simon Johnson and Senator Sharod Brown (D) OH. What sticks in my mind are three things: 1) Brian falling for Obama's rhetoric, 2) Obama's list of what the Republicans supposedly "gave up" in this deal, like Childcare Tax Credits, College Tuition Tax Credits, which were tax cuts added to Obama's stimulus package to presumably attract Republican vote (the Reeps didn't "give these up"), and 3) Brown's convincing scenario of the "fighting" path they could have taken if the White House had coordinated a strategy with the Hill; a messaging campaign, taking the Reeps to the brink and making them blink at the 11th hour.

I think Hugo Chavez was right: Obama is a prisoner. Even if Brown's scenario didn't play out, at the 11.5th hour they could have caved... but they didn't really fight for it.

I know some say that the Reeps also held other legislation hostage until they extorted the tax cuts for the rich, like "don't ask," but if the Dems want to frame and control the message, then let the Reeps dangle in the breeze before paying the hostage ransom.

Brian, you're right about the "message" thing; the Dems seem inept in that regard. But that doesn't square with your view that Obama did the right thing... unless, as you've also said that he "has a plan." Perhaps that plan is letting the Congressional Dems take the hard line so that he can be viewed as acting presidential by taking the high road. Somehow, I'm not sure he is being that intentional about it.

9:33 AM  
Blogger Citizen Shelly said...

Sorry but I think you are trying too hard to excuse Obama. He has become a terribly weak leader and is seeming more and more like a Republican every day. He is weakening our social programs to give tax cuts to the rich while expanding Bush's war! That's appalling, not understandable. If Bush was doing these things you'd probably be a lot harsher in your criticism. It's not pragmatic to give in to everything the Republicans want -- it's weak and cowardly. Add to that that Obama is a die-hard capitalist and would do anything Wall Street asked of him.

It's time to get more critical of a very disappointing president. By trying to accept his bad decisions you are only furthering bad policies. Whatever happened to the people at Wakeup who used to like Dennis Kucinich's ideas?

I don't think Obama is a victim or a prisoner of anything. He was picked to become our president a long time ago because he's very friendly to Wall Street and always has been from Day One.

Obama did not do the right thing and I can't remember the last time he did. Why keep backing the bad decisions he has made?

1:04 AM  
Blogger GDAEman said...

Does the Obama Tax Deal play into the Republican "Starve the Beast" strategy? You might find a recent blog post of mine might to be persuasive:

Obama's long-view on taxes a huge mistake.

4:46 PM  
Blogger Wake Up America said...

Jim, thanks for the comments and Shelly great to hear from you!
I'm planning on reading and responding to some of your points on our next podcast.

11:43 AM  

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