Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Jobs Or Deficits?
To prioritize worries about soaring deficits over worries about soaring unemployment in a long term economic crisis, means to reflect the greedy concerns of millionaires over the urgent concerns of average citizens. Obama is now signaling he doesn't think he can get the jobs stimulus through Congress that he wants. He is almost certainly right about this, flabbergastingly enough, given that although the country is filled with non-millionaires in distress, Congress is filled with millionaires who live in a world of millionaires and reflects that perspective more often than not. Obama tends not to fight publicly for things he doesn't think he can get, for fear that this will weaken his position given the current polarization of the country and the debased state of the media. He has probably been sensible in this for the most part, frustrating though it is to watch especially if you are of an activist bent. But in the case of giving up on jobs to genuflect to deficit hawks he is not merely being frustrating but he is almost certainly wrong strategically, since Republican obstruction of job growth is evil and will be seen as evil by majorities (including many Republican-identified folks). In losing this battle against Republicans (as he -- and we -- would, it now appears) Obama is less likely to seem weak rather than strong, but right rather than wrong, and in a way that will strengthen his and Dems' position for 2012 (as his economic policies otherwise no longer look like any kind of sure bet to do, despite his best efforts). If Dems take substantial losses in mid-terms this is a strategy Obama will have to get used to, I'm afraid.