HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Twitter:
@digby56
@DavidOAtkins

emails:
Digby:
digbysez at gmail
David:
isnospoon at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic
Common Dreams
AmericanPoliticsJournal
Smirking Chimp
CJR Daily
consortium news

Blog-o-rama

Eschaton
BagNewsNotes
Daily Kos
Political Animal
Driftglass
Firedoglake
Taylor Marsh
Spocko's Brain
Talk Left
Suburban Guerrilla
Scoobie Davis
Echidne
Electrolite
Americablog
Tom Tomorrow
Left Coaster
Angry Bear
oilprice.com
Seeing the Forest
Cathie From Canada
Frontier River Guides
Brad DeLong
The Sideshow
Liberal Oasis
BartCop
Juan Cole
Rising Hegemon
alicublog
Unqualified Offerings
Alas, A Blog
RogerAiles
Lean Left
Oliver Willis
skippy the bush kangaroo
uggabugga
Crooked Timber
discourse.net
Amygdala
the talking dog
David E's Fablog
The Agonist


Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003 02/01/2003 - 03/01/2003 03/01/2003 - 04/01/2003 04/01/2003 - 05/01/2003 05/01/2003 - 06/01/2003 06/01/2003 - 07/01/2003 07/01/2003 - 08/01/2003 08/01/2003 - 09/01/2003 09/01/2003 - 10/01/2003 10/01/2003 - 11/01/2003 11/01/2003 - 12/01/2003 12/01/2003 - 01/01/2004 01/01/2004 - 02/01/2004 02/01/2004 - 03/01/2004 03/01/2004 - 04/01/2004 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004 05/01/2004 - 06/01/2004 06/01/2004 - 07/01/2004 07/01/2004 - 08/01/2004 08/01/2004 - 09/01/2004 09/01/2004 - 10/01/2004 10/01/2004 - 11/01/2004 11/01/2004 - 12/01/2004 12/01/2004 - 01/01/2005 01/01/2005 - 02/01/2005 02/01/2005 - 03/01/2005 03/01/2005 - 04/01/2005 04/01/2005 - 05/01/2005 05/01/2005 - 06/01/2005 06/01/2005 - 07/01/2005 07/01/2005 - 08/01/2005 08/01/2005 - 09/01/2005 09/01/2005 - 10/01/2005 10/01/2005 - 11/01/2005 11/01/2005 - 12/01/2005 12/01/2005 - 01/01/2006 01/01/2006 - 02/01/2006 02/01/2006 - 03/01/2006 03/01/2006 - 04/01/2006 04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 11/01/2006 - 12/01/2006 12/01/2006 - 01/01/2007 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 04/01/2007 - 05/01/2007 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 06/01/2007 - 07/01/2007 07/01/2007 - 08/01/2007 08/01/2007 - 09/01/2007 09/01/2007 - 10/01/2007 10/01/2007 - 11/01/2007 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007 12/01/2007 - 01/01/2008 01/01/2008 - 02/01/2008 02/01/2008 - 03/01/2008 03/01/2008 - 04/01/2008 04/01/2008 - 05/01/2008 05/01/2008 - 06/01/2008 06/01/2008 - 07/01/2008 07/01/2008 - 08/01/2008 08/01/2008 - 09/01/2008 09/01/2008 - 10/01/2008 10/01/2008 - 11/01/2008 11/01/2008 - 12/01/2008 12/01/2008 - 01/01/2009 01/01/2009 - 02/01/2009 02/01/2009 - 03/01/2009 03/01/2009 - 04/01/2009 04/01/2009 - 05/01/2009 05/01/2009 - 06/01/2009 06/01/2009 - 07/01/2009 07/01/2009 - 08/01/2009 08/01/2009 - 09/01/2009 09/01/2009 - 10/01/2009 10/01/2009 - 11/01/2009 11/01/2009 - 12/01/2009 12/01/2009 - 01/01/2010 01/01/2010 - 02/01/2010 02/01/2010 - 03/01/2010 03/01/2010 - 04/01/2010 04/01/2010 - 05/01/2010 05/01/2010 - 06/01/2010 06/01/2010 - 07/01/2010 07/01/2010 - 08/01/2010 08/01/2010 - 09/01/2010 09/01/2010 - 10/01/2010 10/01/2010 - 11/01/2010 11/01/2010 - 12/01/2010 12/01/2010 - 01/01/2011 01/01/2011 - 02/01/2011 02/01/2011 - 03/01/2011 03/01/2011 - 04/01/2011 04/01/2011 - 05/01/2011 05/01/2011 - 06/01/2011 06/01/2011 - 07/01/2011 07/01/2011 - 08/01/2011 08/01/2011 - 09/01/2011 09/01/2011 - 10/01/2011 10/01/2011 - 11/01/2011 11/01/2011 - 12/01/2011 12/01/2011 - 01/01/2012 01/01/2012 - 02/01/2012 02/01/2012 - 03/01/2012 03/01/2012 - 04/01/2012 04/01/2012 - 05/01/2012 05/01/2012 - 06/01/2012 06/01/2012 - 07/01/2012 07/01/2012 - 08/01/2012 08/01/2012 - 09/01/2012 09/01/2012 - 10/01/2012 10/01/2012 - 11/01/2012 11/01/2012 - 12/01/2012 12/01/2012 - 01/01/2013 01/01/2013 - 02/01/2013 02/01/2013 - 03/01/2013 03/01/2013 - 04/01/2013 04/01/2013 - 05/01/2013 05/01/2013 - 06/01/2013 06/01/2013 - 07/01/2013 07/01/2013 - 08/01/2013 08/01/2013 - 09/01/2013 09/01/2013 - 10/01/2013 10/01/2013 - 11/01/2013 11/01/2013 - 12/01/2013 12/01/2013 - 01/01/2014 01/01/2014 - 02/01/2014 02/01/2014 - 03/01/2014 03/01/2014 - 04/01/2014 04/01/2014 - 05/01/2014 05/01/2014 - 06/01/2014 06/01/2014 - 07/01/2014 07/01/2014 - 08/01/2014 08/01/2014 - 09/01/2014 09/01/2014 - 10/01/2014 10/01/2014 - 11/01/2014


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Monday, February 27, 2012

 
New York Times Hits Obama for Hyperpartisanship, Inadequate Kowtowing to Deficit Commission. No, Seriously.

by David Atkins

The Times just came out with its first article in a series called A Measure of Change, supposedly dedicated to assessing President Obama's record. The first article is a masterpiece of of the Church of High Broderism, a four page hit piece on the president painting the Bowles-Simpson commissioners as heroes, calling the deficit "perhaps the nation's biggest problem," and Paul Ryan as a good-faith player who fell victim to the President's hyperpartisan approach.

The entire piece is written in tragic undertones, as if all the benevolent efforts to ignore unemployment while cutting spending to decrease the deficit were stymied by unfortunate circumstances and nasty partisanship that sadly undercut the most holy work in American politics.

Any random paragraph sampling is enough to make an honest and sane person howl. Consider this:
\
But the downsides for Mr. Obama have become clear. His partisan turn undercuts a central promise of his 2008 campaign, to rise above the rancor. And by neither embracing Bowles-Simpson nor explaining his objections and quickly offering an alternative, Mr. Obama arguably failed to show leadership on perhaps the country’s biggest problem. This month, in a New York Times/CBS News poll, 59 percent of Americans disapproved of his handling of the deficit.

Or this:
After a golf game in June, Mr. Obama and Mr. Boehner began secret talks.

In a few weeks, they seemed within a handshake of a potentially historic deal. Mr. Obama offered more than ever before, including changes in the Social Security cost-of-living formula and slowly raising Medicare’s eligibility age to 67, an idea that went beyond Bowles-Simpson. Mr. Boehner would support $800 billion in 10-year revenues.

But in a drama that transfixed the world amid threats of an American default, the talks collapsed, revived and finally died.

The Times knows what dirty hippie bloggers haven't figured out: the threat of default wasn't a hostage-taking con game set up by Republicans, but rather a true possibility created by hyperpartisan intransigence against reaching a nice Grand Bargain. They don't need evidence for that assertion, of course; it just feels right, and allows the authors to stand above the nasty partisan fray, demanding austerity of all the greedy little people.

And then, of course, there's poor little victim Paul Ryan:
“My naïveté was thinking, O.K., we’ll put our budget out there first and then he’ll loosen up and start coming to us and we’ll really start talking,” Mr. Ryan recalled. “And what we got was the back of his hand.”

Mr. Ryan bolted from the hall after the speech. Mr. Sperling ran after him to explain that the Obama team had not known he would attend and had not set him up to witness the attack. “You just poisoned the well,” Mr. Ryan snapped.

Mr. Obama, now hopeful, aides said, that he had set the stage for compromise, met the next day with Mr. Bowles and Mr. Simpson. Both had been in the audience. “What did you think?” he asked, according to Mr. Simpson. “I thought it was harsh,” Mr. Bowles said.

“I didn’t think I was,” Mr. Obama replied.

“I thought it was like inviting a guy to his own hanging,” Mr. Simpson said.

But the authors still hold out desperate hope that welfare queen Medicare recipients will get what's coming to them in Obama's second term:

Since then, in speeches around the country, Mr. Obama has emphasized job-creation spending and tax cuts more than deficit reduction. Gone from his still-pending legislation are some of the concessions he offered Mr. Boehner — presumably in reserve for the elusive grand bargain.

At their recent lunch, Mr. Obama assured Mr. Bowles he would not give up. Mr. Bowles said the president talked of seeing “a real opportunity” for compromise after the election, when Republicans will be eager to avoid the expiration of Bush tax cuts and automatic cuts in military spending — suggesting another chance for a deal inspired by Bowles-Simpson.

“To see his commitment,” Mr. Bowles said, “gave me real hope.”

All mockery aside, the article does have one use value beyond serving as an ipecac substitute. It's a potent reminder that the President, together with Plouffe and Axelrod as political advisers, desperately wanted the Grand Bargain against the better judgment of Democrats with a head on their shoulders:

From the start, some Obama advisers were wary of a commission. But while the administration was consumed in its first year with initiatives that critics would denounce as big-government liberalism — the stimulus package to help revive the economy and the health care law — the president had mused to aides about a bipartisan panel to address the mounting debt. He had inherited a $1.3 trillion deficit for 2009, roughly the size of the 2012 shortfall, and benefits for an aging population soon would increase deficits to unsustainable levels.

In the summer of 2009, he charged economic advisers with researching the history of presidential commissions. Their findings were discouraging: in decades of such panels, only one, the 1983 Greenspan commission to save a bankrupt Social Security system, had produced results.

By 2010, signs of economic recovery alternated with reports of continued high unemployment and home foreclosures. Inside the White House, an intensifying debate over a commission reflected the tension between those seeking continued stimulus, including Lawrence H. Summers, then the senior economic adviser, and those emphasizing deficit reduction, chiefly the former budget director, Peter R. Orszag.

Mr. Orszag argued that forming a panel could buy the administration support for more stimulus measures and time to write a deficit plan. His allies included political advisers David Axelrod and David Plouffe, who saw a commission’s appeal to independent voters.

Mr. Summers had backing from Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner, who shared others’ concerns that a commission might box the president in with proposals he could not support or pass. Also opposed were legislative aides, who channeled the objections of Congressional Democratic leaders to a panel they could not control.

But the president, by all accounts, still favored the idea, arguing it was the only way to get Republicans to accept tax increases and Democrats to support savings in entitlement programs. Ultimately, the White House was backed into creating a panel: it was the price moderate Democrats exacted to raise the debt limit that winter so the nation could keep borrowing to pay its bills.

Alarmingly, it would seem that Larry Summers and Tim Geithner were among the few voices of reason arguing against this foolishness, but were overwhelmed by the President himself, flanked by Orszag, Axelrod and Plouffe.

That's terrifying and depressing.


.

Search Digby!