Democrats and Tea Leaves

So Obama has new low approval ratings for his handling of the economy. And let me guess, he and his handlers will read that to mean that they have to tack EVEN farther to the right, capitulate EVEN more to the Republicans, embrace EVEN more economic policies that have been utterly disproven over the last 30 years. It looks like that will be the case, if any of the leaks about what his big jobs speech after vacation in early September will entail. Tax breaks for this and that, vague noise about rebuilding infrastructure, etc. In other words, just a continuation of the pabulum they’ve given us ever since they decided not to try to fight the intransigence of the tea party.
It won’t work. It’ll only send the approval ratings lower still. It’s like they don’t even notice the same polls show that low as Obama’s approval is right now, it’s still miles above that of Congress.
What would make the poll numbers go up, and would have a chance of really doing something about job creation would be something really bold. Kennedy man on the moon by the end of the decade bold. We’re early in a decade. Why not say we’re going to put America back to work by rebuilding our infrastructure while we build a smart grid and wind and solar power across the country. Why not say we’ll be completely off foreign oil by the end of the decade. Point out how good that would be for national security. Point out how many jobs it would create. Ask for money to do it; the people will be behind you. And if the Republicans in congress won’t budge, sell it by giving huge tax breaks to companies that manufacture clean energy here, and hire American workers. Why not have some vision?
We’ve tried the timid thing for a couple years and it hasn’t led to good times. Even the one big victory, health care, is rarely mentioned by Obama or the Democrats. Sure, it could have been better, and there is a lot of good in it, yet the party has simply given the narrative on health care back to the right, back to the insurance companies, without even a fight. If they won’t even defend and tout their own victories, then I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that they don’t understand why their poll numbers are so low.
Who knows, a bold vision might even give investors hope and stop the slide on wall street. At the same time, it probably needed to come down some. That’s what happens when you design a system of bubbles and bursts. Pundits keep wondering when housing prices will fully recover. Huh? The reason the bubble burst is that things went crazy and everyone’s home was valued at something like double what it was actually worth. Don’t we want values to settle close to something real? If housing prices return to pre-bust levels, won’t that simply be just another bubble ready to burst? I digress; my point was that Obama needs to learn much better how to read tea leaves.

And a random thought: It was interesting that the past couple weeks many of the main MSNBC anchors have been on vacation. I know it is August and vacation time and all, and I can’t help but thinking they just wanted to avoid having to cover the silliness of the Ames straw poll. I mean, if a big time anchor thinks a story is really important, when have they not rescheduled vacation. So kudos to them for giving the Iowa silliness of the past couple weeks all the attention it deserves.


About JP

We're two guys who met in college, in 1980. We've stayed in touch, and like to talk politics, current events, music and religion. JP is nore liberal than Sid, but not in every way. We figure that dialogue stimulates ideas, moderates perspective, and is in general friendly. These are things we need badly in these dangerous times. The blog name is taken from a song by Bruce Cockburn.
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