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December 23, 2010 / hoopersx

Change I Am Learning to Believe In!

 I still believe the tax cuts were wrong, on principle.  I can admit when I am wrong.  Now that all is said and done, those cuts sure seem to have born an awful lot of fruit that far outweighs their down side, IMHO.

Tax cuts for millionaires/billionaires suck on any level.  In particular, I found the idea of giving tax cuts to a bunch of multi-millionaires from Wall Street even more distasteful.  Especially given the fact so many of them were the very people that caused this economic crisis in the first place.  Then to top it all off, after the Fed bailed them out, they gave themselves record bonuses.  Ok.  Ok….  I’ll knock off my continuing tirade and move on, for now.  Those unpalatable tax cuts, to my mind, ended up making the following possible:

1.  The end of DADT.

2.  The passage of the NEW START treaty.

3.  The passage of the 9/11 First Responders bill.

4.  The extension of unemployment benefits.

As well as several other lesser-known bills like the Food Security Act.

I don’t think the merits of any of these bills need be discussed.  You were either for them or against them.  Either way, they passed on Obama’s watch.  Up until the last week or so, Obama’s agenda from his 2008 campaign seemed to be quickly slipping away.  Then in a whirlwind, he suddenly managed to push through a good chunk of those campaign promises and at the same time do something I view as far more important:

Devastate the GOP unity that had been holding everything up for the past two years.

You see, the GOP had been playing their “No” game all year long.  It had been working like a charm.  But I think they made one major strategic mistake; they took control of the House and made large gains in the Senate in the midterms.  Suddenly, they had EXPECTATIONS!  Up to that point they could just say, “Hey, we aren’t in control!  What are we supposed to do?”  But now they were going to be in control in a sense and their base, especially the tea party, would be expecting results.  And the GOP rhetoric all campaign long had been TAX CUT EXTENSION OR DIE!  That’s where I didn’t see the long-con.  All I saw was a GOP that was getting pretty much everything they wanted over the next two years.  I certainly didn’t think that would provide the necessary leverage to push everything else through.  But it did and Obama did.

Once the GOP agreed to the tax compromise, they no longer had cover for their “Do Nothing” policy.  And while some of them kept at it, the ones with half a brain realized that the real mandate of the election wasn’t GOP rule.  It was,” GET SOMETHING DONE FOR A CHANGE!”  Obama recognized that.  DADT, START, Unemployment Insurance and the 9/11 first responders bill all had the support of the American people.  There was enough support for all of them that all the Obama administration and the Dems had to do was give them the press they needed and let that momentum gain steam.  And they did.

I never gave the idea of the Republicans breaking ranks a second thought.  Coming out of the election, they looked completely unified and as crazy as ever.  I just couldn’t wrap my mind around their unity eroding.  And that is why I write a blog only a handful of people read (a few of which are my family) and Obama is our Commander in Chief.  I was playing checkers and he was playing 10 moves ahead in a chess game.  In the course of this lame duck session he has managed to address nearly all of the complaints I have made about his first two years.  Mr. President, I was wrong and my hat is off too you sir!

All that being said, I will continue to critique your administration when I think you are wrong.  That, after all, is what a representative government is all about.  We hold those we elect to office accountable to the promises they make while they campaign.  I think you have done some amazing things this month.  However, I am still going to insist on a Public option.  I’m going to insist on REAL Wall Street reform.  I’m going to demand true Net Neutrality.  But I also understand that these things take time and the small progresses I see in these issues are laying the foundation for larger progress.  And after the week you’ve had I can say once again that you are, “Change I am learning to believe in!”

Oh yeah, as for the name of the site, Obamaisfailing…  Sorry but that stays.  He may not be failing now but he will again and i’ll be here to point that out OR be completely wrong again!  Either way, I’m just a page view whore and it helps drive people here so….  Yeah, I’m a page view whore. 🙂

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8 Comments

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  1. Eris23Skidoo / Dec 23 2010 10:57 am

    I think you might be on to something. I’m going to keep a close eye on Obama. I am still pretty convinced that I’ve been had in believing that Obama was a democrat. It’s very hard for me to get over the idea that he compromised away on the lock-box nature of Social Security funding. Right now there is a $2 trillion surplus in the SS fund. Republicans are going to use this payroll tax as a cudgel in two years and call it a “tax increase” if we don’t renew the tax cut. This will eventually cause SS to lose the stability that it has had for so many years. They keep trying to claim that the SS fund is empty when it clearly has trillions of dollars in it. Now that the lock-box is open, they will loot it and turn those trillions into more tax cuts for gazillionaires. If that happens, you can remember that Obama signed off on this.

  2. Albert Lee / Dec 23 2010 1:41 pm

    As a committed Progressive and an Obama supporter I think it’s important to point out that progressive politics suffers a lack of a coherent message and a gross failure to manage the news cycle. Our media is in love with conflict. They choose conflict over information every time. Where the Republicans always steal the message is they package everything on hyper-moralization of the issues. They turn everything they believe in into a march toward “freedom” and paint the progressive movement as the devil incarnate. Progressives have never, ever been able to counter that. Until that is remedied grass roots progressives will always be disappointed. Obama said fittingly that change must come from the bottom up if it is to do to help the most people. Progressives must learn from the LGBT movement. They hammered the president left and right. He was forced to do something for them or risk losing their enthusiasm. Early on in his tenure he said “make me do it” when referring to his agenda. There has to be a ground swell to move our country. ground swells happen when grass roots efforts are mobilized and not a moment before.

    • Brian Amberg / Dec 24 2010 12:44 am

      This my friend is exactly why I am being so hard on Obama when it comes to this tax compromise. I’m hoping he’ll get the message that he can’t count on our support unless he governs like a democrat.

  3. Elli / Dec 24 2010 11:18 am

    I’m glad to see this post. I got a LOT of shit on huffpo for supporting the president for doing what he had to do, got called an Obama apologist (soooooooo not true. I could probably list more things I’m angry about than things I’m happy about, but whatever), got told I was stupid, selfish (I’m unemployed), and now that this deal has borne fruit it is good to see people acknowledging that. I HATE the tax cuts for fat cats, but sometimes you have to not let perfection be the enemy of the good and take what you can get and run.

  4. Alisha Marold / Dec 30 2010 2:36 am

    Most of the times i visit a blog I notice that most blogs are amateurish. On the contrary,I have to say that you have done a good job here.

  5. T Reap / Dec 31 2010 3:59 pm

    Great post and agreed and just about every point

    Except the blog name… but I get it 🙂

    Regards

    T

  6. petethechihuahua / Jan 8 2011 10:40 am

    Seems to me, the GOP puled off quite a stunt. By holding absolutely everything hostage, they gave no choice but to cave on these rather costly tax cuts. The prez, not being a king or a dictator, ended up looking like a schmuck by simply doing what he was allowed to do by the , if you’ll pardon the expression, job description.

  7. Kelli Jones / Jan 29 2011 2:38 am

    Oh well, people chose him so you guys give him a chance to redeem himself.He failed but didn’t he redeemed himself?At least he made something right to satisfy his people.I believe in too many chances so let him do it his own way.And if he sucked,well,let him.

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