Hunger Is Not Sexy
Hunger is not sexy. Hunger is not the new black. Hunger is not in style, this season or any other. President Obama knows instinctively that the most important issue is this week is whether or not millions of Americans, Americans who won’t be hired anywhere in the next six to twelve months because there are no jobs to be had, will have anything to eat.
…hunger is not sexy…
But in the headlines about who won when President Obama announced his tax cut deal, I don’t see “the unemployed won” or “the middle class won” or “business owners won” being written anywhere .
All I see is “the GOP” won.
Bragging rights for being the biggest, slimmest hypocrites in D.C.? Bragging rights for being willing to abandon American families in their greatest time of need in the last thirty years? A medal for standing up for a tax rate for the top 2% of all Americans, an elite group of people who employ accountants and CPA’s so sophisticated they are able to dictate how much they are going to pay in taxes each year, no matter what the statutory tax rates are?
Meanwhile, my progressive Democratic friends here on the internet are crying in their damn milk like the Grinch stole Christmas. But this isn’t a Dr. Seuss story, this is real life. And your president really doesn’t have a chance in hell of being the president you say you want him to be unless he has the muscle of his political party behind him when he needs it, not when you feel like giving it to him.
When the president has a party that is at best a loose coalition of congressmen and congresswomen who only have the (D) after their names in common, a party that has one batch of members who really wish deep down inside that they were Republicans, and another that feels the president is supposed to act like Ralph Nader and play Don Quixote, tilting at ideological windmills, it’s a wonder he even waits any time at all before charting his own course.
…hunger is not sexy…
Over at sites like Daily Kos, where I am a member, you would think you were at an online wake for the king of the progressive movement the way they are carrying on, all because President Obama didn’t go toe to toe with the GOP all by his lonesome.
Obama should have fought to get 57 votes for his tax plan. That would've shown them who's boss!!!
Thank God these aren’t the people who had to be depended on to power the civil rights movement when it wasn’t sexy, back in the 20’s, 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s, when the revolution was not televised, and no one involved had any idea when they might see the end of the rainbow. Progressives have not even begun to lay the groundwork necessary for selling the country on their brand of politics, selling that will take decades to start making enough sense to the average American to get them to abandon the security of the status quo.
If you look at the numbers alone, the tax cut deal looks to have robbed Republicans blind. The GOP got around $95 billion in tax cuts for wealthy Americans and $30 billion in estate tax cuts. Democrats got $120 billion in payroll-tax cuts, $40 billion in refundable tax credits (Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit and education tax credits), $56 billion in unemployment insurance, and, depending on how you count it, about $180 billion (two-year cost) or $30 billion (10-year cost) in new tax incentives for businesses to invest.
Ezra Klein Washington Post
…hunger is not sexy…
I watched the entire press conference the president gave yesterday to talk about the deal he struck with the GOP caucus in the senate that among a long list of other things extends unemployment benefits by one year to eligible citizens who may need to apply for help over the coming months. I saw a fighter – a president who was struggling mightily to stay true to himself, despite the intense and relentless pressure from all sides for him to abandon his identity and assume another, more overtly macho image. But the world we live in is too complex for machismo to really matter much, unless you believe that political theater is more important than actually getting something accomplished.
What we saw and what I think we'll see borne out by subsequent events is Obama revealing in a very public way the choice he has made between the two political personas he has simultaneously inhabited throughout his candidacy and his presidency. He has tried to be both pragmatist and progressive savior. And even when he stopped trying to be the savior after he was elected, he was at a certain level content to let supporters continue to project that persona on to him.
Today, he very clearly and loudly said: that savior persona is not me. I am the pragmatist. And you know what, I don't have a whole lot of patience for the idealists. I share their ideals, but I don't share their approach and I'm not going to get bogged down in recriminations over not living up to some abstract ideal.
Seminal Moment Talking Points Memo
Now Democrats in the Senate and the House are announcing that they will fight to derail the deal the president has with the GOP because it isn’t what they want. And if these hapless idiots are successful, they will succeed alright. They will succeed in rebranding themselves as the Party of No, a moniker the GOP will be only too happy to pin on their backs.
Meanwhile, President Obama appears to remember exactly what it was like during that period when he and his mother had lean cupboards, the wolf was at their door, and they simply needed a helping hand.
…hunger is not sexy…
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