What should liberals do now to help keep the President on track?

Filed in National by on November 12, 2012

I took a lot of shit around here because I pissed and moaned about how the President handled himself in his first term. (Apparently pissing and moaning is not considered constructive.) My point was that Republicans only understand boxing gloves and I wanted more boxing gloves from the President. More Muhammad Ali and less Jackie Robinson. Anything less, I argued, was a misreading of his enemies (yes, I said enemies) in the GOP.

But the President had a feckless Senate that couldn’t get enough of pretending that the Republicans called all the shots and there was no real mandate, or whatever… water under the bridge. That’s ancient history.

What do we do now? Today. What should I do in the next 5 minutes, to help Mr. Obama follow through and have a successful 2nd term in office? I’m honestly asking.

About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (19)

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  1. cassandra_m says:

    5 minutes has me stymied since there is alot going on. So here are a couple of ideas beyond 5 minutes:

    Make sure that Carper, Coons and Carney know that you want them to support the President’s agenda. Not sure how much good that will do. But you can bet that GOP congresspeople are getting an earful right now.

    Support filibuster reform. Full Stop.

    What would it cost to do polling here in DE re: cuts to SS and Medicare? I’d bet those numbers would be influential. But we’d have to raise money, so there goes 5 minutes.

    Have to think of more.

  2. Jason330 says:

    It is a good start.

  3. Walt says:

    Obama had a big platform of changes he wanted to get made when he was running for his 1st term. His campaigners were even set up to continue lobbying for those changes once he won. When he finally did win, he put his entire “machine” in mothballs and promptly paid on some union debts by fucking over the bond holders in the GM bankruptcy. Other than that he didn’t do much except for Obama Care.

  4. Jason330 says:

    Yeah. That and save the country from complete fiscal meltdown. Nothing much really.

  5. kavips says:

    Actually you need to get down into the issues and write about them. I’m thinking back on “wind” here. Signing pledges and clicking boxes on Daily Kos that say sign this petition, has no effect. The other side is doing the same, and perhaps clicking ten times to your one.

    Ideas trump mechanics. Let me start you in the right direction. Exactly “why” is raising the top marginal rate better than what Carper proposed in the News Journal, to follow Romney’s lead and get rid of tax cuts and deductions for the wealthy?

    Do you know? Do your readers know? It might be smart for both of you to find out before it is too late.

    The one single thing the Tea Party got right, was that the electorate should lead their politicians by the nose, and not the other way around….

  6. puck says:

    Make sure that Carper, Coons and Carney know that you want them to support the President’s agenda.

    And which agenda would that be?

    I most certainly do not want them to support anything like Obama’s Compromiser-In-Chief agenda they supported in 2010. Let’s see the legislation before we give our reps a blank check to follow Obama.

    For me there are a few red lines: No tax cut for income over $250K, no cuts to Social Security or Medicare. These are tried and true Democratic agenda items; let’s start with that and see if Obama can stick to it.

    I admit Obama’s campaign rhetoric gave me a great liberal buzz, but now it’s time for Obama to walk the walk.

    Then, we all need to re-read Bowles Simpson, and wake up to the poison pills in it. Top marginal rate 28% (paid for by unicorns dancing through loopholes), ominous “broaden the base” taxation, medical tort reform. Yet Obama keeps coming back to Bowles Simpson like a dog returning to his vomit.

    Hey, if we really want tax cuts that will actually provide stimulus, how about repealing taxation of Social Security checks and unemployment benefits? (brought to us by Reagan to defray the deficit after his first round of tax cuts for the rich).

  7. anon says:

    Filibuster reform sounds awesome until Republicans have the White House and a Senate majority and are trying to put the fifth vote on the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.

  8. puck says:

    “paid on some union debts by fucking over the bond holders in the GM bankruptcy”

    No tears here. The bond holders (as a class at least) grew fat by defaulting on the pensions of the workers who made them rich. Investment is risky – deal with it.

  9. cassandra_m says:

    You should familiarize yourself with the current front-runner of a proposal to reform the filibuster. Reform does not always mean eliminate. There are other ideas out there too, but this one is a good start.

  10. puck says:

    Filibusters always hurt Dems and never help them.

    When’s the last time Democrats filibustered anything? In 2005 when Dems tried to filibuster some Bush nominees, Repubs threatened to take away filibuster, and Dems crumpled like wet Kleenex.

    Don’t you wish Dems had called their bluff then, and gone into 2008 without a filibuster?

    First of all, we will never be able to filibuster an anti-Roe nominee, because never again will we know a nominee’s position on Roe or anything else. In that case Dems only recourse is to vote No only because the candidate was named by a Republican. A GOP nominee’s position will be unknown, and the Repubs will always be able to get enough Dems to approve.

  11. puck-

    Many bondholders were pension funds. Blue & white-collar workers’ retirement funds. They got fucked over in the auto industry bailout. A big pension fund like CALPERS might be able to absorb that kind of loss w/o much pain, but it’s brutal on the small funds.

  12. Ezra Temko says:

    The first thing to do to support Obama being the president we want is to get him to do the right thing on the fiscal cliff. That means not prioritizing deficit reduction during a recession, increasing revenue by making sure wealthy people and big corporations are paying their fair share, and making sure a budget deal does not cut the programs and services that support working families and our most vulnerable citizens.

  13. Liberal Elite says:

    The fiscal cliff will hurt Republicans FAR more than it will hurt Democrats. Virtually every one of those beltway bandit companies that provides contractors to the Federal Government (at grossly inflated prices) is owned and run by Republicans. The also donate a lot to the GOP. They’re all about to go nuts.

    Obama just needs to sit tight until the GOP stew is cooked. He can then get nearly any deal he wants. All he has to do is show some patience.

  14. cassandra_m says:

    Ezra is right here — that more Grand Bargains aren’t especially helpful and I think that the people who really want them are within the confines of the DC Beltway. And the thing that they know is that they can sell the *cooperation*, while investors run for cat food stock. The key is to provide more pressure on the President and Congress on better policy so that they can’t just retreat to hurtful *cooperation*.

    But here is another idea (not a 5 minute one tho) — what does it take to create a SuperPac? One that could do its own advertising to set up pressure on the local Congresspeople?

  15. Jason330 says:

    Yesterday – to hold myself to the 5 minute deadline, I wrote to John Carney’s guy, James Allen, asking for a meeting to discuss Rep. Carney’s plans for holding out against right-wing lunacy. No reply yet.

  16. puck says:

    All Obama has to do is go 49 more days without signing tax cuts for the rich. Carney, Coons, and Carper could help by telling the President they won’t support a plan that cuts taxes on the rich (in my fantasy world).

    81 Senators voted for the Bush tax cuts just two years ago. They aren’t going to filibuster it now. Obama is the only backstop.

  17. cassandra_m says:

    Here is one more thing to do. Not in the 5 minute range, tho — The Third Way Must Die. They are partisans of the Grand Bargain and since they sound reasonable, they get to the front of may press rolodexes.

  18. puck says:

    The deals are already forming in the back rooms. Remember the 2010 tax vote and the public option vote? There’ll be a good bill and a bad bill on the Senate floor, and we’ll all be rooting for the good bill, but Obama won’t show us his hand publicly until a few days before the vote.

    I guess I’ll try to fire off a letter or phone call tomorrow just to impress them with my own red lines on tax cuts and social benefits. But I still have no idea what the lame duck will bring. I’ve never heard Obama himself promise not to expire tax cuts on the rich. Well, not since 2008 at least.

    And I think that omission was deliberate. Remember when Obama claimed he never campaigned on the public option? Now he could just as well claim he never campaigned on expiring tax cuts on the rich.

  19. Ezra Temko says:

    Because of Grover Norquist’s tax pledge, it will be interesting to see if Republicans let us go over the cliff so that they can pass a tax cut for 98% of Americans (or rather 100% since the top 2% would still see a cut in lower marginal brackets) and never have “raised taxes.” Political theatre considering it is the same thing as voting to let the tax cuts expire for the top 2% prior to 12/31.