Bad Cops and patter talk

Patter talk

by digby

Here's a fascinating interview with Dr. Michael Hudson on KPFA called "Guns, Finance and Butter - Finance Is the New Mode of Warfare"

Guns and Butter - July 13, 2011 at 1:00pm

Click to listen (or download)


“When I was in Norway one of the Norwegian politicians sat next to me at a dinner and said, “You know, there’s one good thing that PresidentObama has done that we never anticipated in Europe. He’s shown the Europeans that we can never depend upon America again. There’s no president, no matter how good he sounds, no matter what he promises, we’re never again going to believe the patter talk of an American
President. Mr. Obama has cured us. He has turned out to be our nightmare. Our problem is what to do about the American people that don’t realize this nightmare that they’ve created, this smooth-talking American Tony Blair in the White House.”


"What is your assessment over the current debate in Washington concerning the raising of the debt ceiling? This debate seems to be taking place between the Obama administration and the Republicans without much input from Democrats."

"It’s a good cop-bad cop charade. The Republicans are playing the role of the bad cop. Their script says: “You cannot raise taxes on anybody. No progressive income tax, no closing of tax loopholes for special interests, not even prosecutions for tax fraud. And we can get a lot of money back into the economy if we give a tax holiday to the companies and individuals that have been keeping their money offshore. Let’s free the wealthy from taxes to help us recover.’

"Mr. Obama can turn around and pretend to be the good cop. “Hey, boys, let me at least do something. I’m willing to cut back Social Security. I’m willing to take over what was George Bush’s program. I share yourworries about the budget deficit. We have to balance it, and I’ve already appointed a Deficit Reduction Commission to prepare public opinion for my cutbacks in the most popular programs. But you have to let me get a little bit of revenue somewhere.”

"In the end the Republicans will make some small token concessions, but they’ll get their basic program. Mr. Obama will have sold out his constituency.

"The problem is, how can Mr. Obama move to the right of where George Bush stood? The only way he can do this is for the Republicans to move even further to the right. So the Republicans are accommodating him by pushing the crazy wing of their party forward, the Tea Party. Michelle Bachman, Eric Cantor and their colleagues are coming with such an extremist, right-wing attitude that it gives Mr. Obama room to move way to the right as he triangulates, depicting himself a the less crazy alternative: “Look. I’m better than these guys are.”

I think he gets the script right. Obviously, sometimes the kabuki doesn't go as planned. Players get carried away or someone falls off his platform sandals. But I think this is pretty much how it was designed to work.