You would think that a sentient President of the United States would be embarrassed, ashamed, and contrite after one of the more mindless and destructive governmental performances in years. Nope. Not the President who foolishly believes the federal government needs to tighten its belt because he’s clueless about the difference between families and the federal government. Has there ever been a Democratic President more befuddled about what leadership requires?
Having locked his own DemaPod Party into voting to slash $38 billion for their own programs, Mr. Obama didn’t apologize. Instead he thought it was a moment to make another speech urging you to visit the Washington Monument, as though he were George Bush telling you to visit Disneyland. Why anyone would want to watch this spectacle of a government and party betraying their followers and making fools of themselves from the top of the Washington Monument escapes me.
This President owes an explanation to the American people why, at a time when the nation’s critical needs are going unmet at both the federal and state levels, when 50 million people are without health insurance, record numbers in poverty, 14 million people are unemployed — millions for more than a year — and Governors are balancing their budgets on the backs of teachers, firemen, police, health and safety workers, etc, he thinks the right policy is to slash federal spending even though the wealthiest Americans control 40 percent of the wealth and just got hundreds of billions in tax cut gifts.
It is wrong, stupid, cruel, mindless. In short, it’s a mistake. [As Dean Baker reminds us,] Moody’s Mark Zandi just explained that giving the Zombies what they demand would cost up to 700,000 jobs. So if you give them 2/3 of that now, we’ll lose about 465,000 jobs just this round. Yet Obama did not bother to contradict Mr. Boehner, who told the media this package will “help create a better environment for job creators.” In which alternate universe? Is anyone watching Ireland, Portugal, the UK, where these same austerity policies are hurting their economies?
The final vote in favor of setting this travesty in motion was overwhelming, indicating the degree to which Pods and Zombies now control our government. Of course, the richest individuals and corporations walked away from this zombie feeding unscathed.
Worse, Obama and the DemoPods foolishly maneuvered themselves into providing more than enough votes for the “largest spending cuts” in our history just so the 40 or so craziest Tea-GOP zombies could vote still “no.”
That neat trick means the Tea-GOP zombies can avoid responsibility for the dirty work the Obama DemoPods just performed on their own base, but not offend their own zombie base. Then they can come back in the next round, only a month away to demand even more insane cuts than last night’s.
And if you care about the “leadership” imagery, John Boehner just made Barack Obama look like a helpless fool. Boehner will get a few dumb primary threats, but he’s got two more rounds of this to feed the Zombies and he’s perfectly positioned for that.
Worse, Boehner will receive kudos from the Village for getting more than he first demanded and more than he ever expected, at zero cost to his party, while getting credit for being what passes for an “adult” in our nation’s captial. Gosh, he’s not at all like the Zombies whose agenda he just furthered.
“Compromise” is what the polls said Democratic voters wanted, but where are the compromises with the elements voters wanted in the deal? Repeal tax breaks on the rich? Make GE and their ilk pay their share of taxes? Tax the banksters for their casino games? Stop fighting needless wars? Never even considered.
Instead, the “compromise” consisted of the DemoPods giving the Tea-GOP Zombies 2/3 of what they demanded in this hostage feeding, instead of 3/3. But the Zombies still hold the hostages, because this will all replay on the debt limit debate a month from now, when Obama leads the DemoPods to feed the Zombies again.
You really have to wonder how many real people becoming DemoPods it will take before the last human Democrats wake up screaming that Barack Obama is destroying the Party and hurting the country. How much destruction will it take for them to stand up and say, “enough! I won’t let you lead us over the cliff again.”
David Dayen provides a thorough survey of the wreckage and what it means. More human casualty lists are in the New York Times.