Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Obama Gives In To Republicans (Again)

President Obama could have stood firm and demanded a public option for health insurance to break the stranglehold of private insurance on American health care.   He didn't.   He gave in to the Republicans and just put a small band-aid on our broken health care system.   President Obama could have stood firm and demanded strong regulations that would rein in Wall Street greed and protect Americans.   He didn't.   He gave in to Republicans and got a weak regulation bill that has the giant financial firms laughing all the way to the bank.

Now he has wimped out and given in to the Republicans one more time.   Senate Republicans were threatening to filibuster and kill a bill that would give tax breaks to 98% of Americans.   They were doing this so their rich friends and campaign donors (the richest 2% of Americans) could get massive tax cuts (huge cuts that dwarf the tiny cuts the rest of America will get).   President Obama could have stood firm and called their bluff -- and if they actually carried out their threat the Republicans would have incurred the wrath of the voters.   He didn't.

President Obama announced on Monday that he had worked out a "compromise" with congressional Republicans.   What he really did was give in to them one more time.   He gave the Republicans a two-year extension of the massive tax cuts for the richest 2% of Americans (the only Americans who don't need a tax cut).   He said that the Republicans will agree to a 13 month extension of unemployment benefits for jobless Americans.   Somehow that doesn't seem fair.   Those without jobs get a pittance for one year, while the richest Americans get huge amounts of money for two years.

If this is President Obama's idea of a fair trade, then I sure don't want him negotiating anything for me.   And considering he will soon be negotiating with Republicans on Social Security, I have a feeling that I am in a lot of trouble (along with a lot of other older Americans).

I hope the president doesn't think the voters will remember him as the one who gave them a small tax cut when the next election rolls around.   They won't.   The Republicans will get credit for that, and the president will just be remembered as the weak sister who gave in to the Republicans.   If he had stood firm and made the Republicans look like the shysters they really are, it would have been the Republicans who suffered at the polls in 2012.   Instead, it will now be the Democrats who suffer for this in 2012 (unless congressional Democrats grow a spine and stop this travesty, which is not likely).

And worst of all is that this is happening at a time when the Democrats control both houses of Congress.   In January, the Republicans will take over the House of Representatives.   That means the next two years will be full of these kind of "compromises", which is really little more than the president knuckling under to Republican demands (and congressional Democrats meekly going along with it).

Someone said the other day that in these times we needed another Franklin Roosevelt, but what we got was another Jimmy Carter.   They were right.   President Obama promised big changes if he was elected president, but those few changes made have benefited Wall Street much more than Main Street.   I'm disgusted.   Maybe the voters were right last month.   Maybe the Democrats (the president included) are too weak and ineffectual to deserve our votes.   Maybe the Democrats have forgotten they once had real beliefs worth standing up for -- progressive beliefs that would help the Americans who really need help.

Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson are probably spinning in their graves right now.   It's a good thing they aren't here now to see what the Democratic Party has become.


  1. "Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy and Johnson are probably spinning in their graves right now."

    Kennedy? John Fitzgerald Kennedy? Uh... not so much!


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