Wednesday, August 10, 2011
When President Obama offered to slash Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid to get a debt deal with congressional madmen like Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Eric Cantor, many liberals and progressives started to wonder aloud, just what does Obama stand for?
Can anyone name Obama’s principles? Something he will not bend on? A progressive priority he will defend to the end?
Does Obama even think of himself as a progressive? He once pointed to a glass half-filled with water and told Sen. Bernie Sanders, “That’s the problem with you progressives. You see this as half-empty.” You progressives?
But does anyone think that the guy who hired Tim Geithner, Rahm Emanuel, Larry Summers, William Daley, Peter Orszag, Ben Bernanke, etc. is remotely progressive? If you looked throughout the whole country, could you find more conservative, establishment Democrats? Barely, if at all. And, of course, some of those guys aren’t even Democrats.
Now, the Obama supporters won’t believe this either. They’ll blame the messenger as usual. But go ahead, ignore this message at your peril. Apparently, the people at the White House think they’re such geniuses. “Did you know it turns out centrists decide elections?” This is the kind of politics you learn in third grade and they think they’re playing three dimensional chess. Yes, independents are important, but they hate weakness in their leaders. Giving the Republicans everything they want every single time doesn’t appeal to any independents and will lead to half of your own voters staying at home.
Unfortunately, this is the only guiding principle Obama has — compromise.