Digby as usual, has a great post on Obama's continued signaling that he's willing to make significant cuts to a range US middle-class oriented programs. (Off course programs for the poor are also included in that, but to president's -- and Democrats in general's -- credit they no longer try to pretend that there are significant savings to be had there after the long years of neglect and retrenchment.) She's kept an eye on this thread that runs through this administration from the very beginning: of wanting to chart a new course by bringing America's finances into revenue balance by reigning in and cutting government services and rationalizing tax polices, and their frustration, sometimes emotional, at how much political capital they had to spend twisting Democrats arms, only to rebuffed and sometimes treacherously double-crossed by Republican bad faith in its negotiations.
She's outraged by the Obama's baldly stated willingness to throw his supporters under the bus especially of such a statement being made at this late date with all that's transpired over the last four years..
I think many find this particularly irritating, as, even with progressives great disappointments in many of his policies, they have pulled out the stops in their election support of his reelection. We struck me her post, however was the following:
Now one could chalk all this up to election year rhetoric, in which he's just trying to position Romney as a nut and himself in the middle, except for the history of the past three and a half years in which he has said over and over again that he really wants to do this.Perhaps sadly, I'm willing to swallow pretty much swallow anything the President's campaign says provided it gets him elected (over the unthinkable Romney ticket). What mystifies me about this is that there is campaign logic behind it. Nobody cares whether what the deficit is now and especially not what it'll be in 20 years. Certainly no one cares about about Social-Security except that it be left alone. From a strategic campaign perspective, Obama does not need to position himself as moderate and combat the Republican rhetoric of his radicalism, he's been in office four years. Nobody whose opinion can be swayed (either fact or rhetoric) can doubt Obama's moderateness.
His campaign should should have two objectives, one is the turnout his own supporters and the second to peel off a thin filament of the tiny numbers of undecided voters. For the most part his campaign has done an excellent job of executing on those two objectives, particularly his scaremongering (with some justification) of Romney's likely economic policies, and political character, and highlighting the way that government programs under Obama will deliverer significantly more services to Americans that Romney's. (again, a rather easy case to make)
Trying to appear equivocating on Social security gives Obama no electoral advantage. It steps on his message of delivering government service and of of the dangerous radicalism of Romney's domestic policy. And complaining about the meanness of congressional Democrats, and presumably liberal blogger, in a fit of Remney-esque whining
So, Obama's no progressive and wants to go down in the history books as the great uniter who rose above left and right-wing partisan bickering and charted a new course for America's political life -- fine. I personally think that that notion is absurd and not to mention incredibly harmful to most Americans. But why can't he avoid spouting suc self-delusional grandiosity (and really what else do you call his notion of forming a collaborative relationship with Republicans, especially of four years of being in office.) until after the election?