28 June 2011


The president needs to give a big speech as soon as possible, in which he directly accuses the Republican leadership of trying to hold our entire nation hostage, risking the economic calamity that would result from a default on the debt to try to extort extremely unpopular policies from the White House and the rest of Congress.

He should lay out just what’s at stake, just how calamitous a default would be, and just how reckless and undemocratic the Republicans are being, threatening our whole country with economic disaster to get their way.

Then he should lay out what it is they want… things that are extremely unpopular by all recent polls: extended tax cuts for multimillionaires and billionaires, no increase in taxes for hedge fund managers who pay a lower tax rate than their secretaries, deep cuts to Medicare and other essential programs, on the backs of old people and the middle class, plus no revenue solutions at all, not even cuts to unneeded oil industry subsidies or changes to other corporate tax breaks and giveaways, and no significant military cuts.

He should say that his administration and the Democrats in Congress are trying to strengthen and preserve the Middle Class in this country, while the Republicans are doing everything they can, even threatening the destruction of our economy, to preserve the extreme wealth and power of the richest Americans and corporate interests; even opposing changes which would encourage employers to keep jobs here in America and sensible cost controls for medical care to rein in the cost of insurance and Medicare.

He should say the Republicans are not being honest with the American people. They are not doing a thing to help out the Middle Class, but are working only for the very rich and powerful corporations, and they oppose the measures in the area of infrastructure development and jobs programs designed to get America working again. Emphasize (use Ross Perot pie charts, for Heavens’ sake!) how American middle class and working peoples’ wages have been flat, while the richest have gotten richer and richer, and it’s time to restore some fundamental fairness. Show (with charts) how just restoring the Bush tax cuts for the richest and some sensible cost controls on medical reimbursements would erase the deficit. Show (again with charts) how some judicious borrowing for jobs programs now would increase revenues, get America working again, and actually help eliminate the deficit more quickly, whereas huge cuts in public sector jobs proposed by the Republicans would just make matters worse.

Then directly face the American people and ask them for their support. Ask them to write to their Congressman (give them a way to do this, right then and there) and DEMAND that they vote to end the debt ceiling and cooperate with the president to get this job done NOW.

Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. A friend’s comment:
    “Well, I agree on the issues but not necessarily on the strategy. This president walks behind the scenes. He is cautious, too much for me in many cases, but with the twisting of anything said by the FOXonians and their lips of rectum walls, rhetoric often fails to convince. The cowards on the right are bating and bating him to make a weak move. He does not do it! Ranting about what we all know is true is a weak move.

    There was rumor of a deal planned for week of July 7th. If no real progress, then is the time to act, and best done through a troup of Democratic voices, not just the Pres. This way there would be a choir of confirming voices as speech, talk radio, TV interviews, news releases and emailing to make the statement large.”

    To which I replied:

    I think Obama is not a progressive at all, but I’m trying to be one of hopefully many thousands who are seeking to pressure him to “triangulate” more towards economic populism. And as for strategy, it seems to me the strategy of “working behind the scenes” and negotiating against ourselves, has failed miserably. I think a direct appeal to the public, with Ross Perot style pie charts and “straight talk,” although hardly Obama’s natural style, would stand a very good chance of being effective. Even Republicans fear an outraged and engaged public. Majorities now say they want to see tax increases on the rich and they want Medicare and Social Security to be preserved intact. So these positions, if framed even halfway well, are WINNING issues for us, and we just need a viable narrative and impassioned presentation. Obama is perfectly capable of that, if only he believed in the same things we do. I really think the chief failing is that we have a moderate Republican in sheeps’ clothing in the White House…. again…. just as we did in the 90s. Next time, we had better elect a real progressive or the Rightward shift in America will have surely become irreversible.

    And I never suggested the President should be alone. In fact, he should get on the horn to Pelosi and Reid and tell them to whip their delegations into shape to get on message and stay there, and to form a solid rank, making clear to their members that defections will be PUNISHED. This is the way the Republicans work, and this is WAR, so we have no choice but to follow suit. And ALL Democrats should appeal directly to the public to make clear that they’re pissed, and they WON’T allow the Republicans to destroy the economy, or destroy the only Middle Class social programs we have.

    I am deeply, deeply suspicious of any “behind the scenes” “deal.” Look what happened in December, when Obama telegraphed, in advance, a willingness to sell down the river the expiration of Bush tax cuts for the very rich, and then, sure enough, agreed to extend them. We would have been better off just telling the Republicans to pound sand and let the Bush cuts expire entirely. So if they cut a deal, watch out. It will likely give the Republicans most of what they want.

    If you doubt, by the way, that Obama (and most other Dems these days) are not really progressives, take a peek sometime at what Richard Nixon signed into law, or what Dwight Eisenhower said in speeches. Both of them were FAR more progressive, in actual legislative policy, than Barack Obama. During the Nixon era I could never have imagined myself saying that 40 years later, but it’s true.


Gyromantic Informicon. Comments are not moderated. If you encounter a problem, please go to home page and follow directions to send me an e-mail.