The end of the world is near—the Reagan world, that is. In one gigantic political battle, we can end the world of tax cuts for the rich, federal government-led attacks on organized labor, mindless deregulation, subsidies for wealthy corporations, war against science and preemptive war in Iraq. The old political world will end on October 1, 2009 —if we just win the battle to enact President Obama’s budget.
latimes.com — Since President Reagan began an era of tax-cutting in the 1980s, lower-class incomes have stagnated and middle-class incomes have increased only slightly, but the incomes of the richest Americans have skyrocketed. If the country is going to recover from today's economic crisis, Obama argues, that is going to have to change.
Barack Obama’s address to Congress last night was amazing. No President has been so good on television since John F. Kennedy. Yes, Bill Clinton was and is a great speaker, but his charisma works best in a live appearance. And yes, Ronald Reagan was a “great communicator,” but he was pretty obviously an actor performing his lines. Marshall McLuhan taught us that television is a “cool” medium, and Obama fits it perfectly. One can’t teach how to be Obama on television, but there are some lessons we can learn from watching him.
The right wing—congressional Republicans, conservative bloviators, and their greedy benefactors—have made a huge political mistake. They are teetering at the edge of a cliff and the question now is whether we progressives will provide a little shove.
Congress is about to send to President Barack Obama the biggest and boldest progressive legislation of the past 40 years. It’s a darn good bill. President Obama and congressional Democrats should be proud, and we should be proud of them.
Only three of 41 Republican Senators backed President Obama’s American Economic Recovery & Reinvestment plan when the crucial cloture vote occurred yesterday (Feb. 9). Last week, not a single Republican supported the bill in the House. This is a case of naked partisanship.
No doubt the mainstream media will cluck its collective tongue and declare that both sides are to blame. But when they say that, it will be patently untrue. The truth is, President Obama bent over backwards to give Republicans the chance to participate in this legislation. There is not a single instance during the 8-year Bush presidency when he made half this much effort to include the Democrats.
No, what happened these past two weeks is that, following the lead of Rush Limbaugh, congressional Republicans coolly decided to slap away the hand that Obama extended to them, and oppose any kind of compromise—entirely for partisan political reasons.
Right now, conservative U.S. senators—both Republicans and Blue Dog Democrats—are thrashing around trying to cut pieces out of President Obama’s economic recovery plan. Our economy is dropping like an anvil in a Roadrunner cartoon, and millions of Americans will be flattened if their arguments are allowed to prevail. Why don't they get that?
Here in Washington, D.C., the word on the street is that the Right is killing us with phone calls to Congress. One congressperson said the calls are running 100 to 1 against the Obama economic recovery plan.
The legislation is now on the Senate floor. If Senators perceive that Americans side with Obama in this fight, that will strengthen the power of progressives in the debate and we’ll get a good bill. If, on the other hand, Senators are feeling the heat from conservatives, then our advocates will be weakened and we’ll get a lousy bill. That’s just the way things work on Capitol Hill.
Those who worked for the election of Barack Obama and are currently sitting on the sidelines waiting to see how his economic recovery bill turns out—it’s time to stop waiting. Stand up and fight!