Friday, December 17, 2010

Obama and The Tax Deal

Call us Obama-apologists, call us deluded, call us moderates, call us whatever you will but there are those of us Democrats who can see the rationality behind the actions of Obama in brokering his tax deal with the Republicans. In fact, part of what the Reactionary Left is doing could be seen as part of an overall plan to lay the ground work for some slick political maneuvering.

We really are in a pickle as a party, us Democrats. For the last 4 years we have gotten a lot done to aid our country. There are in fact some really amazing things on the list of at least 100 accomplishments that this administration has done including the signing of the Recovery Act and the establishment of a method to openly track the spending of that Act. I mean seriously, take a look at that list, it is rather incredible. While it is a fact that this administration has accomplished some truly amazing things, it is also true that there are some major short fallings when it comes to the promises and expectations that have not been met.

"Don't ask, don't tell" still exists, as does the Afghan and (de facto) Iraqi wars. There is still this air of Fear and Constitutional pliability out there. Things are not what we expected, but that was always to be expected. Obama has a lot of criticisms out there, and justifiably so in many instances for those without patience. Again, this is to be expected that there would be little patience in the age of instant gratification. We don't vote for big capitol projects anymore because there are those who will not live to reap the rewards, we don't really understand the monetary needs for 10 year plans and 100 year plans. There are many of use who rationalize climate change as a problem for the future instead of something to plan for and attempt to prevent. As a liberal democrat, I understand the frustration at America for a lack of Universal Healthcare and at the inequality in the classes, races, sexes, sexual practices. I am more frustrated with the shortsightedness out there from both sides. We need to try to think beyond the now and look at where things need to go and work hard to get there. We forgot how hard it was to get each step. We expect it as soon as there is a new president when that is not how it has ever really worked.

We all have to remember something, we are hurting, hard. As a country we are in some dire times, people's lives are falling apart. A great accomplishment is to give these people time. Time to help the economy along (remember your Keynesian economics) and find a job. These people who now will not be late on their payments will have a real example of the accomplishments of this administration - their continued benefits. As one of the millions of Americans on some form of unemployment, this issue hits very close to home. Did we give up a lot on it? Yes. Does it send a message to the Right? Yes, but not the one I think has been the most discussed. The Republicans are just as afraid of us as we are of them, perhaps more. The last time the Republicans gained control and threw a tantrum, Bill Clinton just let them have their closed session. They looked like ineffective children and he is currently one of the most popular presidents and is seen as accomplishing at least as much as FDR.

In presenting this current agreement to the right with a bargaining chip of something relatively small, a slight continuation of some of the tax cuts, for the attention and love of the disenfranchised and just to be able to help them seems a fair trade. Obama actually shows himself as a compromiser and unifier. The fact that the Liberal Dems are up in arms about it is a bonus.

To me it just seems like a mind game.

Again, the Republicans have seen what an angry and mobilized Democratic party can do, in the election of Obama, in the reinstatement of their control of Congress during Clinton. The Republicans are afraid. The fact that the Democrats are already frothing at the mouth for a fight, in my mind, is making the slightly bankrupt Republican leadership shake in their boots. It is a huge show of power, especially with Obama's "Let them bring a fight" conversation unifying them and drawing a line in the sand. It would be lovely if this was all planned and thought out by the administration.

Who knows, maybe I am giving them too much credit in their ability to gamble and believe in themselves. We shall see.

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