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View Diary: Obama on progressives, deficits, jobs and entitlements (373 comments)

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  •  Setting aside the actual policies (2+ / 0-)
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    vc2, penguins4peace

    and instead, just talking about the politics --

    I think both you and David are misreading what Obama is thinking here -- i.e., I don't think he's saying that he'll convince the "tea party" types... the Eric Cantor types... the Jim DeMint types... that the "house is in order".

    I think he's saying that he can make them irrelevant by convincing the mushy middle that they're irrelevant.

    In effect, the GOP may never give up these as talking points, but their effectiveness as talking points will be blunted.

    Hey - I get it - people here hate triangulation, but for better or worse -- the lunatic fringe on the right DOES have a fair amount of power at the moment.  As much as people here may likewise hate the villagers, Obama needs those villagers to, frankly, be writing things like David Brooks wrote a few days back.

    He needs that great unwashed middle to believe that the fiscal house IS in order so that the next election, when the GOP once again breaks out its favorite, well-worn playback --- the conventional wisdom is NOT that they have a point, as like it or not, I believe it is now... but that they're in tired reruns that are no longer relevant.

    I just harken back to the Reagan comment that Obama made in the primaries that got him hot water...

    If you parsed Reagan moment-by-moment in the 80s, he was nothing even close to the conservative demigod he's become... He raised taxes multiple times... He signed immigration reform... Whether progressives like how he did it or not, he bought another generation worth of solvency for Social Security.

    Yet - today - we all, both on the right AND the left look at Reagan as this seminal national turning point... The left (and I agree) say it was a wrong turn.  The right say it was the right turn.

    The point is that it wasn't any single "thing" Reagan did -- beyond his first (disastrous) tax cut precious little of the substantial legislation he signed was all that conservative (what his agencies did on the regulatory front is another matter).

    If conservatives parsed Reagan moment-by-moment in the 80s (and frankly - some did - see Richard Viguerie's critiques in the early half of the decade) the way liberals parse Obama moment-by-moment in the 10s -- we wouldn't have zombie Reagan today.

    Now... we won't know for a good 10 years or so whether we get a liberal zombie Obama like we got a conservative zombie Reagan, but at a very basic level, I DO think that's the bet Obama is placing.

    I'm not saying every decision and policy ought to be just accepted without complaint -- I'm just saying I think Obama is playing the long game here.

    We've been dealing - for 20 years now - with more of the perception of what Reagan was and the seedlings, not fully formed trees Reagan planted.

    If - 20 years from now - conservatives are dealing with more of the perception of what Obama was and the seedlings, not fully formed trees Obama plants...

    Full Disclosure: I am an unpaid shill for every paranoid delusion that lurks under your bed - but more than willing to cash any checks sent my way

    by zonk on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 04:01:00 PM PDT

    •  what???? (7+ / 0-)
      We've been dealing - for 20 years now - with more of the perception of what Reagan was and the seedlings, not fully formed trees Reagan planted.

      If - 20 years from now - conservatives are dealing with more of the perception of what Obama was and the seedlings, not fully formed trees Obama plants...

      Chicago school = Chicago school. Same damn trees, dude, as to economy, deficits, etc. Trickle down + garrison state; imperialism/militarism + supply side; sorry, can't afford anything but wars & security state. Chicago school is neither innovative nor innovation.

      That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

      by enhydra lutris on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 04:23:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, except he's acting pretty zombie reagan (0+ / 0-)

      like himself.  At least Reagan talked conservative even when he had to do something that made some sense like raise taxes he attacked the hippie socialist commie loving left for raising taxes as he himself was signing the paperwork.

      I Know a place where a Royal Flush never beat a Pair" T. Waits

      by NearlyNormal on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 04:58:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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