Economy

The President's Speech Wasn't For You

Unless, of course, you're an independent moderate voter.

Once again, it was a campaign speech intended to paint the Republicans as spastic unreasonable children.

If you happened to be offended by anything he said, be it about "compromise" or the extent of the cuts, good. We're supposed to be pissed off. As long as the left is pissed, it gives the president's approach legitimacy with the middle, and even some reasonable conservatives.

But know this: when the president is re-elected with a gigantic mandate, he will definitely not be governing from the middle. In fact, by my tally, he hasn't been governing from the middle during his first term either.

  • jayinatlanta

    Bob, you had me until your very last sentence.

    I think it’s pretty clear that the President is a centrist:

    – Bends over backwards to try to make healthcare reform bipartisan (gets zero Republican votes)

    – Waters down his true ideals on a Wall Street reform package, again due to an effort to be bipartisan

    – Reinstates Bush tax cuts

    – Produces a surge of troops in Afghanistan, retains upwards of 40,000 in Iraq, and starts (or joins, if you wish) another military conflict — however justified — against Libya

    – States willingness to make cuts to Medicare and Social Security that a Republican president would have had a hard time putting on record

    I think the President has done an outstanding job in the midst of some awful crises, and I support him. But honestly, he HAS been “governing from the middle during his first term.”

    Regardless, I hope you’re correct that he’s reelected in a landslide, and that, throughout his second term, he twists arms and takes names like Johnson. All in the name of a Great Society.

    • ranger11

      I don’t believe this president was a centrist during the first two years of his term. Also, he’s not going to turn into LBJ. What is he the Incredible Fucking Hulk? It’s funny how much people love LBJ now when they probably would helped in primarying his ass in ’68 with McCarthy and RFK.

  • Watch the kind of shit we can get done if we get all three branches back with a filibuster proof majority.

  • gescove

    I dislike being played for the outlier on the politcal bell curve that I am, but I understand it. If this is indeed the WH strategy then I hope it works – it seems like a heck of a gamble – particularly given the WH support of cuts to Soc Sec and Medi/care/caid.

    Dave Atkins gave a similar analysis yesterday over at Hullabaloo. But his takeaway was that the strategy might peel off too much support for President Obama. Unfortunately, thereisnospoon’s conclusion was jaw-dropping:

    “How long can the Democratic Party run headlong from its base even as Republicans eagerly rush to embrace theirs, before the liberal base gives up and goes home even if it means Michele Bachmann in the White House? It seems the President and his advisers are willing to test those limits. Time will tell if it blows up in their faces in 2012, or if they are vindicated. I’m just not sure which result would be the worse for the country.”

    Holy crap! He’s not sure which is worse? Really? Umm… I’m pretty certain that I prefer Obama, warts and all, to Bachmann. Let the Republicans embrace the know-nothings of the Tea Party… it is a death embrace.

    • The Firebaggers need to wake the fuck up and understand that if enough of them, in their snit, take their ball and go home, the only alternative is that all the reins of government would be once again handed to the Republicans. Trust me on this: This crew would make W et al look like moderates if not progressives…

      • Scopedog

        Brian….they should have realized this back in 2010. And yet some of them are spouting the usual bully-bull about how they will stay home in 2012 or even supporting a primary challenge against President Obama.

        Some are even calling for impeachment.

        It’s not the TBs or the Repubs, but the Firebaggers (and others or the Far Left). And at the risk of sounding cold and blunt, I really do not believe that they give a flying fig if the Republicans take over and finish the nation off with a double tap to the back of the head. Some of them want this to happen, for the whole thing to come crashing down, or that a bunch of right wing madmen (or women) in command of all three branches will bring about a massive progressive surge from the population.

        Missing from this, it seems, is any concern for the millions who will lose a great deal from the Republican programs that are guaranteed to screw over everyone who is not filthy rich.

    • Point well taken. President is addressing independents. Most people don’t realize he is also speaking to world markets. They watch every word he says and doesn’t say. I think the far left expect him to wear a cowboy hat and make threatening statements.

  • MarshallLucky

    So, the President is going to spend the campaign ignoring (or actively repudiating) the left to court the middle. But when he’s re-elected he’s going to do a big face turn and come out as a died-the-wool progressive for his second term? How do you figure that? If he wasn’t interested in our political support when he needed it why would he start fighting for it when he doesn’t? And is there some expectation of a landslide shift in Congress in 2012? Because without that I see no reason to expect anything but more deadlock.

    • You can’t win general elections without independents. Get over it–it’s a fact of life.

  • mrbrink

    I don’t know, Bob.

    Ed Schultz was doing his show today and said: “I’ve never supported the president more than I do right now.”

    I think there was something for everyone in that speech.

    • Unfortunately, with Ed, by this evening he could be back to how the president has let progressives down by caving and just maybe he won’t vote in the next election.

      • mrbrink

        I know. Up and down. He’s a victim of dysfunctional liberal peer pressure sometimes.

  • I work with people who were aware that there was a developing problem, but not aware of the extent. This speech spoke directly to them. Some of them had been on the fence, but after seeing The Grown-Up vs The Drunken Tangerine, they realized fully what was up, and have begun contacting their congresscritters to get on a compromise yesterday, and stop with the spending cut worship.

    • “Drunken tangerine” is an awesome description! I love it!

      • I’m sensing a new drink on my horizon.

        • Or, an excellent name for a new soap!

  • JMKirker

    Precisely – the difference in President Obama’s address and Speaker Boehner’s rebuttal was striking. The President was speaking to the nation as a whole, and the Speaker was talking to the people who have already drank the far-right, disaster-capitalism Kool-Aid.