Latest Threads
Latest
Greatest Threads
Greatest
Lobby
Lobby
Journals
Journals
Search
Search
Options
Options
Help
Help
Login
Login
Home » Discuss » Journals » spooked911 » Read entry Donate to DU
Advertise Liberally! The Liberal Blog Advertising Network
Advertise on more than 70 progressive blogs!
spooked911's Journal
Posted by spooked911 in General Discussion
Mon Aug 22nd 2011, 12:02 PM
this post sums up my feelings pretty well--

http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2011/08/def...

The point here is not to endlessly criticize the President, nor is it to ignore the very real constraints placed on him by the right wing propaganda infrastructure and the Republican House, as well as his need to look forward to re-election in 2012 with independent voters who are wary of "government spending" and desirous of "compromise." It may be that between the S&P shakedown and the GOP House's willingness to take the entire economy hostage, some version of austerity was necessary, and that a real jobs program in the wake of the 2010 elections would not have been possible. The counterargument by Administration defenders against Krugman and progressives is that we lack the political savvy to understand what is politically possible given realities in Washington. That we're political rookies, so to speak.

But let's say the defenders of the Administration are right on the political realities of the situation. That doesn't mean the President had to embrace austerity with open arms. He could just as easily have laid out his jobs program and his desire to put America to work, while warning about the effects austerity would have. He could have called out House Republicans for taking the country hostage, and made clear that he was signing austerity measures under duress. He could have demanded real concessions in exchange for the austerity measures put in place.

We've all been stuck in no-win situations before, where our only options are bad or worse because our hands are being forced by others. Smart people know that the way to handle those situations is to get everything we can out of the bad deal, while making it clear that it isn't how we would have preferred to handle it. When things go wrong, we make clear why they went wrong, and hopefully we get more leeway to make the right choices next time. This is basic politics--and not just Washington politics. It's basic family politics, office politics, organizational politics.

But the Administration didn't do that. It chose to embrace austerity. Even if austerity was inevitable, the embrace of austerity was an unnecessary slap to the face of the progressive base, of intelligent followers of Keynes' economic ideas, and of working people everywhere, while doing little to shore up the President's credibility with independents or feed the confidence fairy in the markets. The reason that many progressives are so over the top in suggesting that the Administration is corrupted and acting in bad faith is because it's an easy answer to a hard question: what is going through the heads of the policy and political advisers at the White House? The embrace of austerity seems so basically stupid from both a policy and political standpoint that people looking in on the situation from the outside are left with either corruption or weakness as an answer.
Discuss (8 comments) | Recommend (+12 votes)
Greatest Threads
The ten most recommended threads posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums in the last 24 hours.
Visitor Tools
Use the tools below to keep track of updates to this Journal.
Random Journal
Random Journal
 
Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals  |  Campaigns  |  Links  |  Store  |  Donate
About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy
Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.