Okay, I broke my promise not put President Obama in the title. It was a silly promise that needed to be broken. Right now the Tea Party has set the direction for Republicans. And that direction (drum roll please) is cut taxes for the rich, fuck women, and screw everyone who is not rich with "austerity." The austerity meme goes had in hand with the "shared sacrifice" meme, which means everyone but the rich sacrifice.
If the nation were a sailing ship and President Obama was the captain, then we would say the captain has let go of the tiller and the ship was blowing in the wind. The wind is a strong frigid blast blowing to the right. The President's job is to set direction for the ship of state. President Obama has allowed the right wing blowhards set the direction. They define what is important, not the President.
There are many things that are obvious. First is that the rate of job growth is completely insufficient. Second is that the states, counties, cities and local governments are have insufficient funds to pay for necessary services. Third is that the deficit can be reduced through raising taxes, cutting defense spending, going to single payer health care, . . . Fourth is that cutting social spending such as social security, Medicare, or Medicaid only aggravates the problem. Fifth is that green energy is no longer an option, it is a necessity. Sixth is that education is no longer an option, continuing education is a necessity. Seventh is that repairing our infrastructure and building new infrastructure is no longer an option, it is a necessity.
The president needs to adopt these positions, explain them, and set the direction for the discourse. Unless he does, we are all fucked. I mean rich, poor, old, young, . . . we are all fucked.