Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What Was Expected of Him

As usual Matt Taibbi has an interesting take on the give-away-the-farm deal the Democrats struck with the Republicans to avert a default by the U.S. government. He wonders how is it, why is it that Obama's funding has not slackened in the least although the man has shown himself to be utterly incompetent at just about every turn his presidency has taken. His crass cowardice in the face of a gaggle of lunatics in the House of Representatives is just the latest in a long and lengthening string of capitulations to the right wing. (This is the argument of Paul Krugman and a host of others.) Taibbi doesn't buy this argument. What he says is look at the money flow that continues to fatten Obama's coffers. It has not slacked off. And it's not going to, he says.
 . . . if the Democrats suck so bad at political combat, then how come they continue to be rewarded with such massive quantities of campaign contributions? When the final tally comes in for the 2012 presidential race, who among us wouldn't bet that Barack Obama is going to beat his Republican opponent in the fundraising column very handily? At the very least, he won't be out-funded, I can almost guarantee that. 
And what does that mean? Who spends hundreds of millions of dollars for what looks, on the outside, like rank incompetence? 
It strains the imagination to think that the country's smartest businessmen keep paying top dollar for such lousy performance. Is it possible that by "surrendering" at the 11th hour and signing off on a deal that presages deep cuts in spending for the middle class, but avoids tax increases for the rich, Obama is doing exactly what was expected of him?

Glenn Greenwald likewise believes that it's not Obama cowardice that's to blame, but rather Obama's intent all along. He sets out the argument here. Actually there's a link to an email of his in this piece and that's where the argument is. But here's a starter:
For those who believe this narrative, please confront the evidence [in my email]; how anyone can claim in the face of all that evidence that the President was "forced" into making these cuts -- as opposed to having eagerly sought them -- is mystifying indeed. And, as I set forth . . . there were ample steps he could have taken had he actually wanted leverage against the GOP; the very idea that negotiating steps so obvious to every progressive pundit somehow eluded the President and his vast army of advisers is absurd on its face.
Either way you slice this cheese, the odor is still foul, i.e., Obama did what he intended all along.

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