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I was saddened to hear Obama say that one of his challenges is convincing progressives that they need to be concerned about debts and deficits. I am frustrated that the president would embrace the conservative/republican narrative about democrats and progressives, rather than listening to what we progressives have to say for ourselves. He is essentially accusing progressives of not caring about the nation's future, or at the very least, caring about it less than republicans.

It is not true that progressives are not concerned with debts and deficits. Debts and deficits are the consequences of yesterday's poor decisions, kind of like type 2 diabetes in many cases. Using a bandaid to treat a diabetes has never produced positive results and insulin is only a temporary fix. The superior approach--the one that saves lives, leads to improved well-being, and saves money is to prevent diabetes.

Many of progressives' main positions are steeped in a sense of financial and personal responsibility. Unlike our conservative opponents, we recognize that Americans have a responsibility to protect our nation and our earth for future generations. We demonstrate this in many ways, such as our approaches to social security, health care, the environment, education, and the judicial system.

Conversely, republicans/conservatives obsess over the "here" and "now" of high debt and deficits under the pretense of concerns over their long-term impact. If that were the case, they would not have worked so hard to squander Clinton's surplus in tax cuts for the wealthy.

Tax cuts for the wealthiest have never stimulated the economy and will never do so. Republicans make them to encourage wealthy people to commit more money to republicans right now and to satisfy the antigovernment extremists that they help to create.

If republicans cared about the solvency of Medicare and Social Security, they would work with us on a plan to reduce medical costs in the long-term and keep people people healthier and more productive.

Progressives largely support a single-payer healthcare system as the most effective way to rein in medical costs and reduce the burden on businesses and individuals.

We support treatment for addicts rather than imprisonment, which destroys families, encourages more crime, does nothing to break addiction, and costs society far more than rehabilitation.

Progressives support safe sex education and availability of birth control for the sexually active as a way to reduce unwanted pregnancy and STDs and to keep young women in school. We also support organizations that provide cancer screening for women and abortion rights, with the recognition that unwanted children come with financial consequences for individuals and, in some cases, for society.

Progressives support increased educational opportunities as a way to improve earning potential, reduce crime and poverty rates, and generate more tax revenue and innovation.

Many oppose the death penalty, which imposes a greater burden on the legal system than lifetime imprisonment.

Progressives support renewable energy and energy-saving appliances and light bulbs, which save money in the long-term and could reduce school budgets, for example, "trickling down" to lower property taxes.

We support environmental measures associated with long-term and immediate improvements in health, and ultimately, cost savings. Some measures also protect Americans' livelihood, like laws against pollution that help protect fisheries.

Progressives support exhausting diplomatic approaches to international conflict before considering costly warfare. We support helping those in the world who are less fortunate through education and better health as a way to improve their economic situation and decrease conflict.

We support an avenue to legalization for undocumented workers and ensuring they have proper working conditions and pay and access to services associated with better well being for themselves and those with whom they interact, like driver's licenses, education, and healthcare.

We support smaller efforts, like needle exchange programs, to help prevent the disease transmission.

We support tax penalties that would discourage business from taking jobs overseas; more jobs at home would definitely improve our economy.

We oppose agricultural practices, oil drilling practices, and mining practices that destroy the land/sea, with high risks of pollution or land erosion, for example, and their associated job losses and health risks.

Progressives embrace the reality of climate change and want long-term measures to reduce its observable impact, whose consequences are already costing our government and individuals money.

We support campaign finance reforms and restrictions on lobbying; if companies spent less on these attempts to influence, perhaps they'd have more to pay a living wage or create new jobs.

We support increased funding for science to cure diseases and laws that make people healthier, rather than screw them up, like "curing gayness" or getting rid of seatbelt and helmet laws.

We support higher taxes on people who hoard wealth and companies that pay almost none as a means to increase revenue to improve the lot of all Americans. If republicans oppose this type of "wealth redistribution," then they should put their weight behind higher wages for workers, which would obviate some of the need for it.

This is but a small sampling of the kinds of policies and approaches progressives tend to support, all of which offer financial savings and higher revenues that would lead to less debt and decreased deficits.

Conversely, most of what republicans/conservatives propose constitute a direct road to poverty for many Americans. Their healthcare proposals and Medicare "reforms" promise to snatch healthcare away from many and add to the drain on our health system. Their refusal to support education, a living wage and decent working conditions keeps many below the level of having to pay income taxes, contributes to increased crime and illness and less education and productivity.

It truly pains me to hear Obama essentially accuse progressives of not caring about our nation's future or of caring about it less than republicans do. I'm not sure if this is about political posturing, if it was speaking without thinking, or if he truly believes what he said. I think he needs an education on what progressive means.

NOTE: Despite my disappointment and frustration, I want to be clear that there is no acceptable alternative to voting for President Obama in 2012. I believe he is a good, if misguided man. I believe he has been dealt a very difficult hand, and is struggling to figure out to accomplish anything when forced to deal with such irrational people as the conservatives in congress. In addition, any gains republicans make in political power will only verify in their minds their absurd approach and push the entire political system to the right.

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Comment Preferences

    •  I agree with most of your concern. That being... (0+ / 0-)

      said, I may not find all that important like you do. I think Obama thinks the same. Not everything you think is important to a democrat is important to every democrat.

      Paul Ryans budget is in fact a suicide note.

      by tdslf1 on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 07:15:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree (3+ / 0-)

        that not all democrats think the same or places the same level of importance on everything, but at the same time, I think these are all policies that various progressive groups have advocated for, which demonstrates that progressives are concerned about the future impact of today's decisions.

        Besides, Obama seemed to be lumping progressives in together, too.

        We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

        by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 08:51:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  He didn't say Progressives don't care about the (0+ / 0-)

          future, unless I heard incorrectly.  He said Progressives need to realize that the debt concerns are real, and that if we can't solve them then Progressive programs - which he supports - will be threatened in the future.

          This is true, no?  

          Those from both parties who look at the numbers say that Medicare & Medicaid spending needs to be balanced, or it'll swamp us over time, more & more each year.

          He's right, imo.  We've got to balance it or we'll lose big as the numbers get worse & worse.  Right now tweaks & taxes can do it, but that'll get harder over time.

          And if we win back our majorities in 2012 we can add more military cuts, and move closer to the Peoples' Budget kind of solution.

  •  Excellent diary CatM (6+ / 0-)

    I'm having a really hard time being as forgiving (for lack of a better word) as you right now.

    This is a crisis I knew had to come, Destroying the balance I'd kept. Doubting, unsettling and turning around, Wondering what will come next.
    --Ian Curtis

    by jethrock on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 05:03:23 PM PDT

  •  He is not a Progressive... (18+ / 0-)

    He's a classic Hamiltonian.  He believes when the Elite do well, everyone else does well.  How many different ways does he have to say it and demonstrate it before people understand?  

    He's not a man of the common people.  It pains me to have to accept this, but it is what it is.

  •  "I believe he is a good, if misguided man." (7+ / 0-)

    Bush's people also believed in his fundamental decency as a man.

    I'm sure it's just a coincidence.

    •  What kind of man he is is irrelevant (11+ / 0-)

      What his policies, actions and inactions are constitute the only sane criteria for judging him as president.  Pretty family pictures, euphonious but empty speeches, fond hopes and implausible projections are entirely beside the point.

      DC politicians don't realize they're corrupt for the same reason fish don't realize they're wet.

      by Dallasdoc on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 05:51:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly. In my lifetime I've known some good (5+ / 0-)

        people who are republicans.  They truly believed in their own way that what they wanted from government was the right thing to do.  At the same time, they were good people, helped others, did good deeds.

        I wouldn't have voted for them, either.

        To every millionaire who decries they don't want their grandchildren paying for the deficit, I say: PAY MORE TAXES NOW and your grandkids won't have a deficit burden.

        by gooderservice on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 07:36:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Not quite the same (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      hooper

      Certainly not what I am suggesting.

      And Bush's people may have thought he was a "good" man, but his actions belied that in many cases; further, based on conservative priorities, I don't think they know what a good person is, in many cases.

      And don't even bother trying to tell me Obama's actions are the equivalent of Bush's. I would fundamentally disagree.

      I don't think Obama would mock a woman on death row, for example, which I think shows a lack of human decency and is what Bush did.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 08:57:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is ridiculous. I cannot believe (5+ / 0-)

    that anyone is truly offended by this. He was clearly addressing this to the Jane Hamshers of the world. There is an extreme left, and if you are not a part of it, then you are concerned with debts and deficits, and it was not you he was talking about. Jeez.

    I'm in the I-fucking-love-this-guy wing of the Democratic Party!

    by doc2 on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 05:35:35 PM PDT

    •  I agree... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      zizi, doc2, hooper

      I just finished watching the entire video of today's press conference (since I was at work during it) and I have to emphasize how important it is to actually watch and listen to what he says, to get what he means. Reading live-blog "interpretations" and hearing snips and quotes out of context is not so useful.

      To me, he made excellent sense and I agreed with pretty much everything he had to say. No offense taken whatsoever. But I do understand that obviously the "Jane Hamshers of the world" as you put it, are going to be pissed at him. But that's kind of his point, they are always pissed at him. He honestly gets that but is not going to be swayed by their opinion.  

      I just saw this great short video of him talking about this very subject, it's from back in March of this year, he is speaking informally to a group of college students about politics... he talks about compromising, and principles, and how some people react angrily to compromise ... he uses the Huffington Post as his example... I won't try to explain what he says, I'll just share it below. I think it's worth watching.

      I think the chronic yellers here especially should watch this... if only to understand why your yelling has no effect on him, and never will. (Not that you shouldn't keep it up, if you enjoy it or feel you must.) Understand how he sees his duty as president. People sometimes scoff at the idea that we can possibly understand who he is or what he believes... but if you listen to him it's not that hard to get where he's coming from.

    •  I don't even think (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      the Jane Hamshers of the world (and believe me, she is NOT someone I have any admiration for) are not at all concerned with the future. The type of progressive Jane Hamsher is wants many of the same things that the type of progressive I am wants. We just have vastly different views as to how you get there.

      What I was trying to point out, and perhaps failed to make clear, was that while progressives (of any kind) may not pay lip service to ending debt and deficits like the conservatives  do, the things that progressives tend to value are with an eye toward the future and that includes reducing government spending but through more effective spending and decisionmaking now.

      Whereas, conservatives just want to cut spending in areas that ultimately will cost us far more money down the road.

      And I don't think it is ridiculous to feel offended that he did not take a moment to acknowledge this and instead handed the debate over to the conservatives, as though by wanting different (more humane) approaches, progressives don't care about these things.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You clearly do not read much of what the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      so called "extreme left" has to say. I actually read FDL and much of what you would derogate as the extreme left blogoshpere. I can assure you that debts and deficits make up a good deal of the conversation on those blogs.

      Jane Hamsher, for example, could teach you a lot about fiscal responsibility.

  •  Agreed. (10+ / 0-)

    That was such a stupid thing for the President to say.  Endless wars and tax loopholes are a GOP priority, not ours.  What he said was wrong on every level.

  •  The road to hell is paved with good (9+ / 0-)

    intentions.   Tell the unemployed people in foreclosure he means well.  

    Bottom line.  He condescending, "progressives are too irresponsible to be aware of deficits", and he's no Democrat.  

    If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

    by dkmich on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 05:38:03 PM PDT

    •  He is a democrat (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      He may not be as liberal a democrat as you would like him to be, but he demonstrates in many ways that he is a democrat. And he is not even as conservative as a blue dog democrat.

      I do find his statement condescending, and I'd agree that he's not really progressive. He's more of a moderate democrat.

      As for unemployment being his fault, that is a case of YOU buying into the conservative angle, and I simply do not agree with that perspective.

      It is fair to criticize him, but it is unfair not to acknowledge that tremendous opposition he faces and the extent to which it makes it difficult for him to achieve even what he would like to achieve.

      Where I disagree with him is his willingness to give in--not to fight for a much bigger piece of the pie. He accepts crumbs when he should be going for half a pie or more.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:04:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  A Democrat doesn't cut Social Security. (0+ / 0-)

        A Democrat doesn't throw money down a rat hole for wars and destroy education.   A Democrat doesn't pass a corporate health care bill.   A Democrat doesn't kiss Wall Streets ass.  He doesn't fight because he doesn't agree with Democratic policy.  He is a Republican.    

        Anyone can call themselves anything they want, but it doesn't make it so.

        If you don't stand for something, eventually you stand for nothing.

        by dkmich on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 04:51:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Weak argument (0+ / 0-)

          he does many things a republican would not do, as well. You can find things like this in many democratic presidents' history in some form or another. He may not be a democrat like you, but he IS a democrat. No way is he a republican, and I think you are just engaging in hyperbole deliberately to provoke.

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 06:33:56 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Take out the stuff about diabetes... (0+ / 0-)

    It turns out that combinations of things, like metformin and insulin, can really help type two diabetics.  There's no reason to publish ignorant crap about a subset of the disabled to develop an analogy to republican fiscal policy.

    •  Why would metformin and insulin help? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      Insulin would imply that you are no longer producing enough, at all.  The little metformin might squeeze out would be irrelevant since you are injecting.  Now I can see Actos or Avandia, insulin sensitizers, helping.  Just curious.

      If you enjoy being the frog in the slow-boil then vote Obama, else maybe it's time to turn up the heat. The frog may just jump out and save itself ala Wisconsin!

      by TheTruthIsOutThrere on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 07:39:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have diabetes (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      metformin and insulin are not a cure. They help delay symptom progression but they do not eliminate all the risks of having it. Believe me, my father and grandfather died at age 58 of complications from diabetes, and my great grandfather died of it, too. I am far from ignorant on the subject and take metformin daily myself.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 07:59:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I responded while on my smart phone (2+ / 0-)

      So I wanted to say more.

      What I said in my analogy about diabetes--which I suffer from--was this:

      ...debts and deficits are the consequences of yesterday's poor decisions, kind of like type 2 diabetes in many cases. Using a bandaid to treat a diabetes has never produced positive results and insulin is only a temporary fix.

      Perhaps you did not get the analogy. In many (not all) cases, type 2 diabetes can be headed off by healthier eating and exercise. Obviously, you would not give someone with diabetes a bandaid for the problem, because it would be useless. Typically, you give them metformin and/or insulin, but this is a temporary fix because you have to take it EVERY DAY. It's not like I am going to take metformin for a few months and be cured and get to stop taking it.

      It will probably lessen my chances of heart disease, slow or stop progression of my neuropathy, and delay my need for an insulin-replacement drug. And for insulin-dependent diabetics, insulin is indeed a temporary fix. It does not "teach" your body to start making insulin again.

      Nowhere did I suggest they could not help. I said they are a temporary fix. Just like the proposed spending cuts. They are just a useless bandaid. And even if they are permanent, they are not going to fix the debt/deficit in the long-term. The best approach is to prevent it, and believe me that is the best approach to diabetes, as well.

      I tell my sons almost every day how important it is for them to cut down on carbs, eliminate as much sugar from their diets as they can, make healthy eating choices, and exercise for at least 20 minutes per day to reduce blood sugar levels.

      Too many people think diabetes is just an inconvenience where you can't eat sugar. I try to emphasize to them how it is much worse than not being able to eat a piece of cheesecake or even a bowl of Grape Nuts.

      My feet always tingle and vibrate every day. I get random sharp pains and cramps all the time. I have digestive problems, and metformin upsets my stomach horribly. I have inflammation around my joints (particularly in my hands) that is not arthritis and gets worse if I have any type of carbohydrate. I get fatigued, my hemoglobin is at 8.0 (up from 7.2), and I'm low in B12 (a common complication of metformin).

      So, I really don't appreciate being told I'm publishing "ignorant crap" simply because you don't know anything about diabetes.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:28:49 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  ... (0+ / 0-)

        I've been a type 1 diabetic since I was 14 months old and a type 2 diabetic for some time.  I'm 5'10" 180 lbs and I exercise.  My body produces no insulin and is insulin resistant.  There exist diabetics who are insulin deficient but who are not actually type 1 diabetics, due to obesity or what have you, who are also insulin resistant.  Insulin resistance actually causes weight gain because of the screwed up way the body comes to manage sugars.  There are plenty of people for whom this type of therapy is a lifesaver.

        "Typically, you give them metformin and/or insulin, but this is a temporary fix because you have to take it EVERY DAY."

        A lifelong regimen of medication, exercise and insulin is the answer.  So when I see comments like "They are just a useless bandaid," and you're talking about substances that allow me to breath, that keep my bloodsugar from shooting up to 500 even if I haven't eaten anything all day, that comes across as nuts.  The words "just" and "useless" on what for many is a medical miracle...I can understand that you're frustrated with the way your treatment is going.  An average bloodsugar around 250 or 300 is not fun.  But calling it a temporary fix implies there's going to be some other regimen later on.  Insulin today, something else tomorrow.  That's how tax breaks work.  That's rarely how treating diabetes works.  That's why I got pissed off.

  •  I'm a progressive and I wasn't (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Had Enough Right Wing BS, CatM

    offended.  I have been very disappointed with some of the things he's done or failed to do, but I don't feel that he stands in the way of my ideals ever being realized.  On the contrary, I feel like he is at least paving the way.

    Some progressives take the same stance as the republicans take, like he said, "My way or the highway", and I believe that's what he was addressing.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 06:38:28 PM PDT

    •  That wasn't the impression I got (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Orange County Liberal

      I only read the words, I did not hear it on television. But based on reading it, my impression is that he was projecting that many progressives aren't concerned with debts and deficits.

      And I simply think that is not true, and if he took a moment to think about the kinds of policies many progressive groups advocate for, he would know that such a statement is not true.

      Why is he repeating the conservative perspective instead of sticking up for his base? Why is he acting like we are an obstacle?

      There are ways around this that do not involve giving away our biggest strengths (social security, medicare), but sometimes it seems like he'd rather piss off his base in an attempt to placate the people who will never like him anyway.

      Of course, there are many progressives who have been prepared to hate him since before day 1 and go after him relentlessly, blaming him for things over which he has little to no control, and I don't think he will ever win them over either.

      But he would do a lot better if he at least acknowledged that many of the things that progressives want would help reduce deficits and spending and preserve our nation for the future.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:07:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I really do not understand how you got this out of (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Had Enough Right Wing BS, zizi, CatM

    his press conference today. Basically what he was addressing those who have been attacking him for even discussing spending cuts "in the middle of a recession" (as if he's proposing immediate cuts, which he's not) and otherwise saying that they do not support this deficit reduction plan because it has any kind of cuts.

    It is a fact that there ARE some self-identified progressives who insist that the deficit and debt is completely irrelevant, a big lie that it needs addressing at all.. at least certainly right now during the still jobless economy. They have been attacking him rather relentlessly for even discussing it. You may have missed the rec list over the past few days.

    To deny that anyone on the progressive side has taken this position is simply disingenuous. I've read it all over this site over the past weeks. The overall message has been that he's an idiot for even discussing spending cuts of any kind, and him acting as if the deficit is in any way relevant or important has gotten him branded as "validating republican talking points."

    That is obviously what he was referring to when he talked about having to convince progressives that doing this is important and needs doing. He's been getting a lot of shit for saying that. I don't know how you missed that.

    •  I think you're misreading it (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CS in AZ, Orange County Liberal

      I don't think progressives are saying the deficit and debt are "completely irrelevant." I think they are saying that we don't need to approach them in such a concentrated way.

      For example, it is important to reform our healthcare system. But conservatives, the media, and even Obama on occasion have said things that suggest that if you aren't specifically trying to reform Medicare, you are not dealing with the "problem."

      In this case, the problem is not Medicare. It's how we deal with health issues in this country from the cradle to the grave. If we fix those issues, which many progressives pushed for with a single-payer health plan and many other measures that would improve health, the "problem" of Medicare will resolve.

      Progressives are saying you don't have to make huge spending cuts to attack the deficit and, in fact, the CBO and major economists say that will be counterproductive and down the road increase the deficit by hurting the economy.

      What is being said is that you need to do the right things for the economy, and that will allow the deficit to start self-correcting.

      Maybe he's the one who needs to learn what is important to do and what is not. Cutting Medicare and Social Security or anything that reduces benefits are stupid approaches, just like tax cuts for the wealthy are stupid approaches.

      It's not a problem that Obama is acting like the deficit is important. It's a problem that Obama is acting like the only way to fix it is to take a republican/conservative approach.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:13:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, there are people saying it's irrelevant (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        virginislandsguy

        Here, I give you frontpager Brooklynbadboy from a couple of days ago, in his very popular diary about why Obama is an idiot for acting as if the deficit matters at all:

        2. May as well use this time to talk about what is really important to the American people...JOBS. Why waste time talking about something the public doesn't give a shit about? Let Congress debate over the deficit if they want to. Nothing will come of it because the political dynamics are too significant to overcome.

        That diary, and the comments, are full of varions on this theme ... the deficit is bullshit, nobody cares, he's wasting time even thinking about it... on and on.

        That is the attitude President Obama is trying to address in his comments today.

        •  I get what you're saying (0+ / 0-)

          But what I mean is that one does not have to talk specifically about reducing deficit spending to promote policies that are designed to reduce spending.

          I agree with what you've presented from Brooklynbadboy (whose diary I haven't read) in the sense that we don't need to waste time talking about deficit spending because if we focus on job creation and other progressive approaches to government, the deficit will improve. In fact, increasing the deficit and spending on direct creation of jobs are probably the best ways to reduce the deficit.

          The problem I have with what Obama is saying is that it virtually ignores job creation and doesn't seem to acknowledge the symbiotic relationship between employment and revenue.

          It's as though he's saying, "Since we can't make headway on job creation, let's do this temporary fix and start cutting the necessities we provide for people." That's not going to solve anything in the long-term and when the economy does improve, regaining what we've given up will be next to impossible.

          We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

          by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:07:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, that's not what he's saying (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            virginislandsguy
            It's as though he's saying, "Since we can't make headway on job creation, let's do this temporary fix and start cutting the necessities we provide for people."

            I wonder, did you actually listen to his recent press conferences? From Monday and today... the entire Q&As, all the way through? They are both around 45 to 50 minutes and to me very worth the time to listen to him explain his thinking.

            He really did not say that at all. I didn't hear him suggest anything even similar to that. He is not talking about short term fixes, he's discussing trying to solve a major issue, the deficit problem, for the next decade, which would (he argues) effectively remove their one big objection to increased spending on jobs creation programs and so forth. That is the primary reason for dealing with it now: so that we can do those things by disarming that obstacle. And because he does sincerely believe that getting the debt under control is important for the future of the country, and his address was about why he believes that. Your interpretation that he was somehow 'attacking' progressives is just way off base to me.

            I realize that to a certain degree this is simply a matter of perception. I understood what he meant and it wasn't what you think. But I also know that I'm unlikely to convince you of that. If President Obama's words can't do it, I don't stand a chance, do I?  :) I hope you will consider listening to him again, and try to see it from another point of view, but if not so be it.

            Peace.

            •  I'm still not explaining clearly (0+ / 0-)

              What I'm trying to say is that simply making the specific focus "budget cuts to achieve deficit reduction" is nothing more than focusing on a temporary solution to what is a much bigger problem.

              In my view, this entire approach is a short-term fix. A true fix involves doing the kinds of things that progressives have been advocating for across many decades. That conversation does not even require the word "deficit reduction," because the focus is on making bigger changes to how we approach all sorts of things that ultimately improve people's lives and consequently lead to less spending.

              Yes, he believes getting "debt under control" is important for the country, but he is also promoting the republican approach to getting debt under control, as though the way to get "debt under control" is to slash programs--including ones that are helpful and popular.

              But there's no evidence that doing this is going to lead to long-term reductions in spending. In fact, evidence seems to indicate the opposite--it will lead to more economic problems.

              No matter how much he takes the conservative approach, they will never warm to him. So why doesn't he listen to the people who would gladly support him if he would acknowledge our valid perspectives? If he would have said "Progressives have some really good ideas that we should look at because in the long run, these things are what we need to be doing to reduce spending."

              Instead, he suggested (in my view) that "some progressives" weren't taking a realistic view of the problem and were unwilling to accept that we need to reduce deficits and debt.

              I'm just saying that isn't true. I think some of us just don't think the best way or only way to show you care about this problem is to say, "We must freeze pay for government workers for 2 years" (many of whom are middle class) and taking  funds from programs that either do not add to the deficit or that would not need as much invested in them if we took more progressive approaches to things like health care and the environment.

              I"m really trying to make sense, but it's 3 am here, and I'm tired!

              We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

              by CatM on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 12:05:10 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Also, thanks for reasonable reply and (0+ / 0-)

        respectful disagreement. Very refreshing! :)

  •  About this: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM
    If republicans cared about the solvency of Medicare and Social Security, they would work with us on a plan to reduce medical costs in the long-term and keep people people healthier and more productive.

    Republicans have been trying to repeal Social Security and Medicare since they were enacted.  We don't have national health care because the GOP and AMA fought against it back in the days when it could have been adopted.  Why everyone doesn't know that and doesn't tell Republicans to fuck off anytime one of them mentions either program is why they have a good chance to see their dream come true.  

    •  Exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Marie

      They do NOT care about the solvency of those programs. It's all pretense. All they care about is ending those programs, and it pains me to see Obama act like the republicans are sincere.

      If republicans/conservatives are proposing a change to Medicare/Social security, you can bet it is because they think the change(s) will (1) weaken the programs; and (2) weaken democratic support.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:15:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's called concern trolling. Obama is not (5+ / 0-)

    above that, especially after calling progressives, by proxy, "fucking retards" and "should be locked up" and throwing anything liberal in his administration, or around him, under the bus.    He needs to get whatever progressives and liberals he can, and/or, divide all the rest of the "serious people" from them with this concern trolling.  Mostly the later as he has pretty much lost that segment of his base and the few who will vote for him are doing it out of fear.  A pathetic reason to vote for him at this point in time.

    If you enjoy being the frog in the slow-boil then vote Obama, else maybe it's time to turn up the heat. The frog may just jump out and save itself ala Wisconsin!

    by TheTruthIsOutThrere on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 07:36:30 PM PDT

    •  I don't blame Obama (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheTruthIsOutThrere

      for the things Rahm Emmanuel said.

      I don't know if it is concern trolling as much as it is trolling for independents. But I think he fundamentally misunderstands not only what progressives want but what independents want.

      And why he would pander to conservatives is beyond me. Can't he see that they hate him and everything they stand for and their only interest is in destroying them?

      I don't get it. If I worked with someone who went around saying that their only goal was to get me fired from my job, I wouldn't trust any suggestion they had to offer, ever. I would recognize that they do not have my best interest at heart.

      Why he keeps taking the republicans' poison pills bewilders me.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:17:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who hired Rahm, Gibbs, who fired Shirley (0+ / 0-)

        Sherrod, threw Van Jones under the bus, ran from Acorn--an organization that did much good and helped him and Dems get elected by nvolving the poor to exercise their Constitutional rights in our failing Democracy?  

        Fair questions: why does he do what he does, work with those who are destroying him, hire who he does?  Obama is, from a liberal/progressive perspective, a major coward and failure.  I did not vote for the cowardly lion and at this point I cannot help but think that he is just part of the MOTU's plan.  

        His actions show me that he is a willing servant continually trying to prove his loyalty without creating a major revolt or failure of the country.  He's been brilliant at that, so far and has been aided by the more right wing assclown Republicans and even crazier teabaggers.  Hmmmm….. there may be a reason for all that.  It's pretty clear both parties are badly corrupted and controlled to varying extents with the money and power of the MOTUs'.   Having the opposition act as they do provides the the Oligarch’s servant, Obama, even more room to maneuver while cleaving the shellshocked Dems and “liberals” too him, still.   Brilliant!!

        If you enjoy being the frog in the slow-boil then vote Obama, else maybe it's time to turn up the heat. The frog may just jump out and save itself ala Wisconsin!

        by TheTruthIsOutThrere on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:28:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  i completely agree with what rahm (0+ / 0-)

      said ... a section of the professional left are exactly that ... retards.

      and just to prove that rahm is the real progressives darling - we in chicago voted for him overwhelmingly ... in rich white liberal wards and poor black liberal wards .. liberals here love rahm

      •  So how is that union busting (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        MrWebster, TheTruthIsOutThrere

        going over? While I can understand why the Cadillac liberals would like him, the unemployment levels amongst the black vote is largely due to policies that Rahm has historically embraced. If they love him they really haven't done much research.

        Painting everyone that might be considered a liberal with the same broad brush is just...retarded.

        •  nope moron (0+ / 0-)

          i'm just painting the professional left with the same brush ... most liberals are NOT the professional left ... and they pretty much love rahm :)

          are u btw suggesting that the black folks vote in ignorance

          •  Hence the usual wailing (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheTruthIsOutThrere

            by the usual suspects just prior (and after, as well) every damn election?  You act like this phenomenon is somehow new. How young/illiterate/stupid (take your pick) you must be.

            Look at the unemployment numbers for black folks and tell me why they continue to vote for the Rubinites best buds. The Chicago School acolytes have clearly shown themselves to have zero interest in black people's well being for decades now. I prefer to think of it as ignorance rather than an economic death wish. Your mileage may vary.

            I doubt most of those designated the "Professional left" actually make their living pointing out what scum DLC/Third Way/New Democrat pols are. If they could make any money at it, the mere idea of a "liberal media" would not be the joke that it is.

          •  Oh come on (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheTruthIsOutThrere

            We don't have to call each other names. You like Rahm, he doesn't. Neither of you are morons.

            We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

            by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 11:08:44 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Since when is the way people vote a (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nippersdad

          indication of how smart -- i.e. well informed on the issues and themselves-- they are?   That is such a rediculous statment to make and somehow link Rahm as the progressives darling.  

          The Obama factor helped Rahm quite a lot, and the controversy that whether he lived here ar not helped him also.  Couple that with the fact that the Chicagoland area is wheathering the economic slump better than much of the nation and that tends to favor percived "moderates".  Rahm got 55%, your general "liberal chicago" vote, but Chio still got 24%--that would be you informed progressive vote.

          If you enjoy being the frog in the slow-boil then vote Obama, else maybe it's time to turn up the heat. The frog may just jump out and save itself ala Wisconsin!

          by TheTruthIsOutThrere on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:48:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Chicago?! Liberals in Chicago are also (0+ / 0-)

        very much part and parcel of the Daily Machine and the politics that has around it.  A working blend balancing a major urban city, unions, and rich and poor.  Still, I would hardly think that liberal as more paternal and Rahn got in at the right time, though a little more time in the election and he might have been in a runoff. Money counts and Rahm ahd much of it behind him.

         It's not proressives that love him by the way, please be careful of the terms you throw around.  It's "liberal" machine democrats in chicago, used to voting Democrat and Rahm got on the ticket.  They really do not know his history very well.  The guy is a DLC tumor, one of the corrupting money for politicis moves in the Democratic party. I would not be too proud to fluff this fuck.  

        If only that invetigations into his earlier dealings pushed by Hamshire and Norquest and others had taken hold, we would not be infected with this tumor.

        If you enjoy being the frog in the slow-boil then vote Obama, else maybe it's time to turn up the heat. The frog may just jump out and save itself ala Wisconsin!

        by TheTruthIsOutThrere on Sat Jul 16, 2011 at 07:34:48 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A fine diary. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM

    I, too, am angry that the president endorses the Fox/Republican big lie that Democrats and progressives are unconcerned about debts and deficits.

    I speculate that the President's offending words are only an awkward and transparent stab at scoring some transient rhetorical points in a completely mindless beltway narrative.

    I loved reading pretty much every corner of CatM's analysis.  But I am a country boy.  So I confess that I most especially enjoyed reading that "we oppose agricultural practices, oil drilling practices, and mining practices that destroy the land/sea, with high risks of pollution or land erosion, for example, and their associated job losses and health risks."

    Gosh ... progressive agricultural policy ... at kos !

    Like CatM I expect to support President Obama in 2012.  

    God bless him, he doesn't make it easy.

    With Debs, "while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free."

    by Barbed Wire on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:25:18 PM PDT

    •  I grew up (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Barbed Wire

      In a very rural community. :) Some of my friends' families were farming families. Commercial farming and large-scale livestock and poultry farming are often very dismissive of the impact they have on the surrounding environment, whereas family farmers tend to be much more responsible.

      I agree, he does not make it easy, and I think your second paragraph (transparent stab) is right on the mark.

      We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

      by CatM on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:34:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't like being lectured! (3+ / 0-)

    I am as adult as him and so are the rest of the progressives here.  

    I am a liberal. So, I should not expect any consideration from the guy I helped elect.

    by waztec on Fri Jul 15, 2011 at 09:34:35 PM PDT

  •  Very much enjoyed the diary, CatM! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, Oh Mary Oh

    Especially the post-script.

    RE:  Obama being a good but possibly misguided man . . .

    I had a similar discussion the other day with respect to something I had written.  A few people asked how it was I could clearly lay out those areas on which I differed with Obama (almost always because I wish he would embrace a more liberal approach), and yet still call myself an enthusiastic supporter of the president.

    Well, what else should one do?  If I could choose between a misguided but well-intentioned Barack Obama and an ideal presidential candidate, I'd choose the ideal presidential candidate every time.  But that isn't the choice presented.

    Instead, we have to choose between a misguided but well-intentioned Barack Obama, and a GOP alternative (whoever he or she may be) who only sees the U.S. and the American people as assets to be looted -- intentionally, consciously and purposefully -- for the further enrichment of the economic elite.

    Obama may be wrong on some things (and, in all honesty, that is how it looks to me, although I have to admit the guy is smarter than me so I could of course be wrong myself), but at least he isn't intentionally trying to wreck the country for the further enrichment of a privileged few.

    No matter how disappointed you may be, as a liberal, with Obama's stewardship so far, the choice we have before us is analogous to choosing between:  (i) the captain who is trying to steer the Titanic into harbour in New York, but might accidentally run it into an iceberg, and (ii) a captain who is staring at that same iceberg and yelling "Full Steam Ahead!" because he just knows -- by the power of Jesus or Grover Norquist -- that the iceberg can't possibly be a threat to our ship of state.

    Given this choice, I know which captain I want to have on the bridge.

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