Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rewards of Low Expectations

Obama has been doing so little for so long, has spent so much time surrendering to Republicans in Congress, that supporters are absolutely giddy with excitement that he is offering to do anything at all, regardless of how feckless and trivial that thing may be in actuality.

Chris Matthews and yesterday’s guests Eugene Robinson and David Corn were giggling hysterically and literally bouncing up and down in their seats at the prospect that Obama is going to actually challenge Republicans in Congress at long last, now that the popularity of that body is down to 12% and they face 87% unpopularity. That’s like an NFL linebacker picking a fight with a 12-year-old. Not that he shouldn’t have the fight, but it doesn’t take much courage to kick a guy when he’s lying on the ground and all but comatose. Give Obama the paper tiger award.

Just a few months ago Matthews was declaiming on Hardball that "this is America and we do big things," and demanding that Obama create a nationwide high speed rail system spanning the continent. Today he's delerious with excitement over a maintenance program.

Even Paul Krugman is happy with this “jobs plan” after being critical of one that was more than twice as big for being “far too small.” More than twice as big, that is, if you deduct from this one the amount that is nothing more than a continuation of existing policy and tax breaks for business. Since when is tax breaks for business considered to be “stimulus” or thought by Democrats to be a job creator?

The last president to face an economy this bad was Franklin Delano Roosevelt and he didn’t stand around fecklessly flapping his hands, bleating about “bipartisanship” and begging the Republicans to do something. He said that if business was not going to hire the unemployed then by damn he would, and six month later hundreds of thousands were employed by the government building dams which created lakes which people are boating on even today. They built roads that people are driving on as we speak and campgrounds which served as recreation for American families for half a century and more.

All Obama seems able to actually do is shovel money out the door and hope that somebody will pick some of it up and do something useful with it. Roosevelt knew that big business was the problem, Obama thinks they are the solution because they are the source of his campaign funding.

Roosevelt built dams and roads and new recreation facilities for future generations. Obama’s big idea is “let’s do maintenance,” and use the private sector to do it so that they can make some profit, and everybody cheers their silly heads off. Give me a break.

2 comments:

bruce said...

Not to mention is is externally borrowed money. And Roosevelt didn't have the emtitlement programs that Obama has. And don't tell me they (some) are "paid for" by trust funds. I know your argument. And he had more people behind him. probably in Congress, too. But, if your point is Roosevelt is a better leader with bigger ideas and methods, yes, you are right on.

Arthur said...

Perhaps the reason he is "shoveling money out the door" so that the privet sector can make a profit is that is the only thing that has a ghost of a chance of getting through congress. As in however beholden he may be to his big business campaign funders, the Republicans have been bought and paid for most of the last century, and ever increasingly proud of their corporate cravenness.

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