After last weekend’s budget deal, our friends on Left expressed great disappointment over what they perceived as the transformation of their messiah from the preternatural being who was going to heal the planet, pacify the rage in the Muslim world and end the hideously unjust policies of his predecessor into just another two-faced, phony politician. There was Paul Krugman:
What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn’t seem to stand for anything in particular?
And Robert Reich, who likened the Republican House majority to the childhood bullies who threatened to beat him up for the cupcake his mom packed in his lunch:
I hope the President decides he has to take a stand, and the sooner the better. Last December he caved in to Republican demands that the Bush tax cut be extended to wealthier Americans for two more years, at a cost of more than $60 billion. That was only the beginning — the equivalent of my cupcake.
Last night he gave away more than half the sandwich — $39 billion less than was budgeted for 2010, $79 billion less than he originally requested. Non-defense discretionary spending — basically, everything from roads and bridges to schools and innumerable programs for the poor — has been slashed.
The right-wing bullies are emboldened. They will hold the nation hostage again and again.
Ah, the good old pre-school lunch fascist days, when kids could still eat the cupcakes their moms packed for them.
The latest is Ruth Marcus in today’s Washington Post:
I’m no sports nut but I’ve spent enough time at kids’ soccer games to understand that it’s impossible to score if you’re playing on the wrong side of the field. …Which is why I have found the White House strategy for dealing with Republicans on the deficit so befuddling. …
In the aftermath of the Democrats’ losses, the entire debate played out in terms they were destined to lose. If the argument is framed solely in terms of budget cuts, Republicans always win: They are willing to out-cut Democrats. That inescapable tilt was exacerbated by the virtual absence of a White House message about the impact of a shutdown or the cuts themselves.
A second, maddening example of the White House allowing the other side to frame the debate involves the longer-term fiscal picture. The president convened a commission on the topic and then abandoned it. First, he did not lift a finger to help his co-chairs, Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson, assemble the 14 votes necessary to get the commission’s plan a congressional vote. Then, when the plan was released, the president pointedly declined to express a view. He stuck to the vagueness strategy in his State of the Union address and his 2012 budget proposal.
In the meantime, the void was filled — and the playing field was shifted even further rightward — by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. The Wisconsin Republican unveiled a plan that makes the centrist Simpson-Bowles proposal look as if it were written by Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean.
Watching all this angst and gnashing of teeth, I can only guess that they are figuring out that he wasn’t the one they were waiting for.
These whining leftists remind me of the people expressing shock and outrage to waiting television reporters covering one of the most earthshaking events of the day. No, not the developing quagmire in Libya, or even Lady Gaga’s latest stunt, although given Khaddafy’s outfits, distracted viewers could confuse those two stories. I refer to Charlie Sheen’s “Torpedo of Truth” tour. Apparently people who paid to see this show were surprised that it was a pointless, boring waste of time and money. Who could have predicted that? Other than a mentally-challenged monkey, I mean.
Let me speak slowly so that Robert, Paul and Ruth can understand. Barack Obama votes present. That’s what he does. That’s all he does. He made that fact very clear when he was in the Illinois State Senate.
In addition, my liberal friends, he is no doubt delighted at your displeasure, since it allows him to repeat his the threadbare campaign tactic of masquerading as the reasonable, moderate mature practical centrist rather than the radical leftist that he has always been.
So, the One has that going for him and he still has that nice crease in his pants, which means that Chrissie Matthews and David Brooks are still with him.
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