Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Posted at 8:36 AM ET, 12/ 6/2010

The Morning Plum

By Greg Sargent

* Deal takes shape on Bush tax cuts: The President is privately signaling that he will agree to a temporary extension of all the tax cuts, but only if the GOP agrees to extend unemployment benefits.

GOP leaders appear willing to agree. At this point it's only a matter of "when" Dems agree to a temporary extension of all the cuts.

This will be galling to many liberals. As Senator Dick Durbin put it yesterday, giving tax cuts to millionaires is "unconscionable." But if Congress also votes to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, they will have salvaged a major victory from the lame duck wreckage that will make accepting the tax cut deal a heck of a lot easier. This is the only way prevent the lame duck session from ending up a total disaster for liberal Dems.

* Obama will publicly suggest outlines of deal today: Check this out, from an email that a White House official sent to reporters this morning, outlining what he will say today in North Carolina:

The President will also renew his opposition to even a temporary extension of the Bush tax cuts if it does not include an extension of benefits for the unemployed and extensions of the other tax cuts that benefit middle class families. Without them, taxes would still rise for 95 percent of Americans.

Emphasis mine. So there you have it: Obama will suggest publicly that his opposition to extending the cuts temporarily depends on whether unemployment benefits (and various tax cuts associated with the stimulus) are also extended.

* But the White House is still pushing for DADT repeal: In some heartening news, White House officials are reportedly signaling they want a deal on the tax cuts wrapped up quickly, in part to make time for DADT repeal.

Key takeaway: The question remains whether Senate Dem leaders will make time for extended debate and amendments. If the White House's signal that it wants repeal to happen is genuine, and if GOP moderates continue indicating they could vote for repeal, it becomes that much harder for Dem leaders to punt on making the time necessary for it to happen.

* "If not now, when?" And as Jonathan Capehart notes, Harry Reid and friends had better extend the session if necessary in order to get this done, because it's only going get far more difficult if we put it off..

* "Pass the damn repeal": Steve Benen keeps up the drumbeat, arguing that if Dems don't extend the session in order to pass repeal this year, "it's very likely Congress won't even consider it again until 2013, if not even later."

It's worth adding another reason it would be folly to put this off: It would squander the momentum gained by the Pentagon report and Robert Gates' powerful public testimony in favor of repeal, which were big-time game-changers. Do. It. Now.

* Important point about DADT: Wesley Clark comes up with the key pushback against those arguing that repealing DADT will cause disruptions: Yes, repeal might be minimally disruptive, but not nearly as disruptive as the uncertainty created by the current policy remains. Do. It. Now.

* Things that aren't going to happen: Paul Krugman gives voice to the growing number of Congressional Dems who are privately pushing Obama to let all the tax cuts expire, to set a precedent for not giving in to Republican "blackmail." Not going to happen.

* Obama "weakness" drumbeat continues: Bill Maher says Obama is "wimpy" and "wussy," and Frank Rich suggests Obama has Stockholm Syndrome.

Apologies for being a broken record on this, but the meme that Obama is weak and won't fight is well on its way to becoming part of the narrative, and the White House is going to have to deal with it sooner or later.

* Counter-intuitive take of the day: Laurence Lewis suggests that Obama may be trading away core progressive priorities not because he's weak, but because he isn't really all that progressive.

* Bonus counter-intuitive take of the day: As Jonathan Bernstein notes, those who are upset with Obama and Dems for not playing hardball should also keep in mind that the last two years were among the most productive ever in legislative terms.

Thirteen years of war: General David Petraeus tells ABC News he isn't even sure of victory by NATO's 2014 deadline.

* And Lugar wants Republicans to start being "constructive": Senator Richard Lugar, who is still trying to get the GOP to support New START, wonders when his party is going to make a new start at being constructive and showing real leadership.

What else is happening?

By Greg Sargent  | December 6, 2010; 8:36 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, Morning Plum, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans, gay rights, taxes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Sunday Open Thread
Next: How Dems can still eke out a bitter but significant victory

Comments

Obama is so weak he can't even stop the Afghan disaster because he isn't sure of victory.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Obama has the CARTER Syndrome, with the latest evidence being his complete ineffectiveness against Assange's espionage. I think that Assange is a high-tech terrorist. He's done enormous damage to our country and our relationship with our allies. He should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and if that's a problem under current law, we need to change the laws.

That's what the lame-duck session should really be dealing with, not DADT. Rep. Issa (R-CA) should also start hearings on what Obama knew and when he knew it.

Even Sen. Kerry (D-MA) agreed that "there is real damage" and said today that Assange should be arrested. "I was very much involved back in the days when the Pentagon Papers came out. This has no relationship to something like that. This is voyeurism. This is sort of anarchal . . ."

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 6, 2010 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Obama totally caves, and Greg comes to his rescue..again... and again and again.

Giving up on the tax cuts itsn't "the only way".. it's the wrong cowardly and sickening way..

and it's going to lead to more Debt , which will allow the GOP to further cut things that support the middle and working class.

Nice job, Obama and Gregg on being Republicans.

Posted by: newagent99 | December 6, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"Anti-Washington" Tea Partiers become corporate GOP establishment overnight, put their hands out and grub for lobbyist $$$

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120502691.html

Gee, what a shock.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

"Anti-Washington" Tea Partiers become corporate GOP establishment overnight, put their hands out and grub for lobbyist $$$

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120502691.html

Gee, what a shock.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

I'm amazed that after messing up this tax cut fight; Congressional Democrats can easily blame the President and progressives will cheerfully take a two by four to the adminstration.

The President stood up for the tax cuts he campaigned on, he won the argument, he told Congress to vote on it, Democrats in Congress disagreed with him and voted against his position. So now, he's falling back to get something with the knowledge that in this economy he can't afford to allow the tax cuts to expire for the middle class.

Barack Obama is not weak. And the White House doesn't really need to take issue with Frank Rich & Co.; actions speak louder than words and the President has been working on the list of promises he's campaigned on and unlike Democrats in '10 he won't run from his record but against the Republicans.

Halperin has a column saying Obama needs a disaster at this point to connect with the American people; the people who seem to like him just fine and the approval ratings that seem to be rising since the midterms.

It's disappointing to see you embrace this meme Greg and ignore the voters.

Posted by: Rhoda | December 6, 2010 9:13 AM | Report abuse

...those aren't really lobbyist dollars, those are free speech, or in Angle-speak, its called juice.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Shrink,

Anyone who honestly believed that the Tea Party was on the side of the regular American on the street is too stupid for words. Republicans are Republicans are Republicans. They are so obviously for the wealthy corporate elite and nobody else that it literally could not be more clear.

There is no other way to put it other than to say that if you vote Republican, you vote for a corporation-controlled country, and NOT one of, by, and FOR The People.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 9:23 AM | Report abuse

...of course I call it pay to play crony capitalism. Anyone who thought the TP was something other than the unreconstructed "values voters" Republican base was a fool. Just look at their candidates.

But they needed a new "brand" to side step the Bush Cheney nightmare so they adopted the mock-colonial, TP get up.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Greg,
Any knowledge of whether Dems have put any consideration into the upcoming vote on the debt ceiling? It seems to me we are about to pass a budget-busting tax cut only to be bashed for raising the debt ceiling by a bunch of Republicans, many of whom will strategically vote against it as soon as they know it will pass.

On the tax cuts themselves: I thought we would have learned from the public option fight, we can't get what we want when we are unable to credibly threaten to walk away from the whole deal. Liberals in Congress were never going to walk away from a plan that insured 32 million people, no matter how favorable it was to the insurance industry. Maybe it was unrealistic to expect Dems to threaten to let all the tax cuts expire, but credibility there would have really strengthened our position.

Posted by: jbossch | December 6, 2010 9:33 AM | Report abuse

I want to note that we have not given the passing of an actual budget any space here. While not sexy, it is actually the first job of every Congress in importance and to have come into a "lame duck" with a continuing resolution was the depth of generic collective irresponsibility.

Having had my rant moment, I ask Greg, and any of you who may know, is actually passing a budget part of the deal on the table? And because passing the budget necessitates lifting the debt ceiling, is that on the table, too?

Please ignore my introductory rant if you think either the DQ of homosexuals in the military or the automatic expiration of the tax cuts is so important that we don't actually need a budget. I do not want to hear from you about that. I want to know if we are going to have a GD budget.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | December 6, 2010 9:47 AM | Report abuse

"...those who are upset with Obama and Dems for not playing hardball should also keep in mind that the last two years were among the most productive ever in legislative terms."

Which is why the whole "weak" meme is truly weak sauce. In light of Obama's accomplishments, the meme simply makes no sense. I mean, the healthcare law ALONE belies the meme: The first president out of about 7 to actually get a sweeping healthcare bill through Congress... Anyway you slice it, that's no small feat.

It seems that some have disregarded a truism, that in terms of the presidency, and virtually anything else in life, repeated success and weakness aren't bedfellows.

But, I don't think that's the extent of the issue here. Instead, there seems to be something else going on:

1) I think that many on the left are conflating disagreements about policy decisions and "weakness." Because they don't agree with the positions Obama has taken, there's no effort to try to understand the positions he's taken. Instead, they simply dismiss what he does as irrational (a al Frank Rich's nod to "Stockholm Syndrome") or "weak" (a la Krugman's last few columns). It's simply an effort to assert the notion that any position other than the most liberal position is "wrong" (i.e., "illogical," "weak," etc.). Frankly, it's to be expected from the left.

And I think that, somewhat counterintuitively, the drumbeat has increased, not because Obama HASN'T been successful, but because he HAS been successful -- just not the way that some on the left would prefer, without hewing strictly to liberal positions. [Still not sure why the assumption was that he would always go the liberal route. He's always been the "no red states/no blue states" guy.]

2) Somewhat of a corollary to Point 1, many on the left have sought to redefine Obama's successes as "failures," because acknowledging his success gives credence to the notion that one can govern from a center-left (that's where Obama is) position and still be successful. Fundamentally, such an acknowledgement is deemed a threat to hardcore liberalism. By the transitive property of these individuals, Obama is a threat to that type of liberalism.

3) One could also take a more cynical view and assert that the left, which has often chastised the right for its ideological rigidity, has demonstrated that it is, itself, becoming increasingly rigid.

Otherwise, one would think that the left would embrace the President who has been one of the most progressive of the modern era, and has done much to correct, or has begun to right, societal balances that have too often tipped against the little guy.

Certainly, more needs to be done, and one should not expect the left to become complacent, regardless of who is in the White House.

Nevertheless, the risks of cutting off at the knees the most progressive president in a generation should be soberly weighed against a seemingly growing need for ideological purity among some on the left.

Posted by: associate20 | December 6, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

Obama is not and has never been a liberal Democrat nor a progressive politician. He's a third-way corporatist Democrat. He's an ally of Wall Street not Main Street. That is why there was no push for true health care reform. What we got was watered-down health insurance regulations. What real value do middle-man insurance companies add to health care? And why didn't mortgage cram-down pass to prevent people from losing their homes? Because the bankers/wall street wouldn't allow it. We no longer have a government of "the people". It's owned by Big Business. We have the best government money can buy.

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

IT'S RAUM'S FAULT!!!1!!111ELEVEN!!!1!1

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

mark_in_austin, that was a "rant"? Not by WaPo standards!

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 6, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

That is how Mark makes fun of other people without actually offending them, since the people who do rant don't get that the joke is on them. To my mind, Mark is saying in so few words, that the problem with this post-it board is people attacking each other instead of the issues.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 6, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

"Apologies for being a broken record on this, but the meme that Obama is weak and won't fight is well on its way to becoming part of the narrative, and the White House is going to have to deal with it sooner or later."

Too late. It is the narrative. Obama is weak and won't fight.

Posted by: elsid | December 6, 2010 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Where are the jobs that the Republicans claim are produced by tax-cuts for the wealthy? If the current tax rates are extended how will that generate jobs next year but it hasn't produced them yet? Let all the Bush tax cuts expire. That law was passed using reconciliation and Cheney's tie breaking vote to pass.

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Actually, I've been reading these comments since before he started posting here, and he's never typed "GD" let alone the full words. So, I take his "rant" as genuinely dumb-founded at the reality that liberals are more worried about DADT than the entire federal budget. I will, of course, leave that to him to clarify if it was "mak[ing] fun of other people."

Posted by: clawrence12 | December 6, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

mwamp:

"Where are the jobs that the Republicans claim are produced by tax-cuts for the wealthy?"

Tax cuts do not "produce" jobs. But a low tax environment is more amenable to job creation than a high tax environment, all other things being equal (which, of course, they never are.)

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

First Read: "Extending the Bush tax cuts for two years -- along with extending jobless benefits and targeted tax cuts -- would likely cost more (approximately $1 trillion) than the stimulus cost (approximately $800 billion). Here's our back-of-envelope math arriving at the $1 trillion approximation: If the price tag of extending the Bush tax cuts over 10 years is nearly $4 trillion, then doing it for two years is some $800 billion. And extending the jobless benefits and targeted tax cuts raises that price tag even higher."

http://politicalwire.com/archives/2010/12/06/bigger_than_the_stimulus.html

Republican Tea Party Logic:

$800B cost of stimulus = "STOP SPENDING!"

$1,000B cost of tax cuts for rich = "WOO HOO!"

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

These Democrat, lame ducks are trying to lay some rotten eggs, that's for sure.

It's a dead duck congress and it should be laid to rest.

Repeal of DADT is just a bone being thrown at the Democrat, leftist fringe by leftover Obamacrats and everyone knows it.

Same with that amnesty for outlaw "immigrants".

These are the most putrid, rotten eggs these disoriented ducks have laid.

Republicans must throw them back in Obama's face.

These "chicken crap" issues must go.

Posted by: battleground51 | December 6, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

"Where are the jobs that the Republicans claim are produced by tax-cuts for the wealthy?"

Where are the jobs produced by massive spending and deficits and "stimulus"?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

battleground51, how do you feel about the new freshman Tea Party Republicans taking lobbyist cash?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/05/AR2010120502691.html

Aren't they supposed to be representing the common person who has been ignored in Washington D.C.?

I thought that's what the Tea Party movement was all about... Am I incorrect? Was the Tea Party movement all about electing representatives who are beholden to lobbyists and corporate money? I thought it was supposed to be about "We The People." Was I was wrong?

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 10:44 AM | Report abuse

All, good post from Adam Serwer on how Dems can still eke out a good deal in lame duck:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/the_best_possible_deal.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

ScottC3:
"Tax cuts do not "produce" jobs. But a low tax environment is more amenable to job creation than a high tax environment..."
So how will extending the current tax structure produce jobs next year when it hasn't generated them yet? Didn't the Clinton tax sturcture generate more jobs than the current one?

Posted by: mwamp | December 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Great work there battleground-
Lame duck, putrid eggs and chicken crap...should we start calling you Old McDonald?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 6, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

~US bishops urge passage of DREAM Act~

The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) is urging Congress to pass the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act.

“Under the DREAM Act, deserving immigrant youth can adjust to permanent resident status provided that they entered the United States before age 16, have been physically present in the United States for not less than five years, demonstrated good moral character, have no criminal record and do not threaten national security, and have earned their high school diploma,” said Archbishop Jose Gomez, coadjutor archbishop of Los Angeles and chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration, in a December 2 letter to members of Congress. ‘This bill also offers students a fair opportunity to earn US citizenship if they commit to and complete at least two years of college or two years of honorable service in the military.”

“It is important to note that these young persons entered the United States with their parents at a young age, and therefore did not enter without inspection on their own volition. We would all do the same thing in a similar situation,” he added. “The United States is the only country that they know. They have incredible talent and energy and are awaiting a chance to fully contribute their talents to our nation. We would be foolhardy to deny them that chance.”

http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=8472

http://www.usccb.org/comm/archives/2010/10-227.shtml

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Obama weak? Not on your life.

Comedian Bill Maher delivered another in the long line of soft-spoken but really bigoted and contradictory attacks on the President. Maher, that stellar humorist that he is, says he's "disappointed" that the President is more "gangsta, you know like Suge Knight." How convenient that the name of the convicted felon appeared on the CNN crawl almost simultaneously for yet another arrest. (Let me also remind readers that Robin Williams made similar jokes before the inauguration.)

But here's the contradictory part: when Republicans -- I think it was Michele Bachmann -- who called the President and his administration "gangstas". Funny... but when the white Republicans said it, it was slammed as "racist" by the left, but when the left does it?

Glenn Beck says the President has a deep-seated hatred of white people. Okay... but when Chris Matthews says the same thing in softer language ("this President is an elitist and can't 'connect' with 'working class whites' because he's not like them"), that's just fine.

Now you're calling him "weak." Not in his DNA. Black folks -- be we of American or African descent -- are not weak. It's just meme white people like to throw around when they come up against the steel-eyed, steadfast determination of a black man or woman on a mission.

Deal with it.

Posted by: jade_7243 | December 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Associate20--That's a very perceptive comment and a good deal smarter than what I've been thinking of saying. But I'll say it anyway. The Republicans have come a long way through ironclad messaging toward pushing received political wisdom much farther right and also into the realm of the afactual. If their main goal is to bring down Obama and liberalism, any chance they could engineer some of the attacks from the left in order to help them achieve it? Could they be that cynical??

I'm not suggesting that Rich and Krugman and others with their anti-
Obama drumbeat on the left aren't sincere in what they write. But there may be people who purport to speak for the left (or someone like David Brooks on the right shaking his head sorrowfully at his suggestion that Obama is dispirited and doesn't like the job) who introduce many elements of the Obama indictment in different venues until it becomes part of the common wisdom, unlike the less mentioned facts of administration achievements.

Posted by: AllButCertain | December 6, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I agree entirely with jade.

"Obama is weak" is utter BS and likely soft racism from the Left.

Let's face reality. Despite advancing many progressive and civil rights causes, the average baby boomer generation Democrat still doesn't quite get soft racism. It is by no means on par with the Right's overt racism, but it is there (and frankly, it bugs the s__t out of me).

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

Obama is not an idiot. Unfortunately, this means the following: He has the ability to crush the GOP here, (who are championing a position with 20% approval). That he won't do it indicates that he knows he can't win reelection without kneeling before the Koch brothers and their ilk. That is truly depressing. Get ready for some learnin' bout creationism.

Posted by: whereareweandwhatarewedoinginthishandbasket | December 6, 2010 11:14 AM | Report abuse

mwamp:

"So how will extending the current tax structure produce jobs next year when it hasn't generated them yet?"

As I said, a tax structure does not "produce" or "generate" jobs. It acts as an incentive on the otherwise very complex process of job creation. If that process is creating jobs, then a low tax structure will enhance the creation, and a high tax structure will restrict it. If that process destroying jobs, then a low tax structure will restrict the destruction, and a high tax structure will excelerate it.

But it makes absolutely no sense to look at a given tax structure outside the context of everything else that is going on in the economy and declare that it "produced" or did not "produce" jobs.

"Didn't the Clinton tax sturcture generate more jobs than the current one?"

No. As I say, tax structures do not generate jobs. One might sensibly say that the economy during Clinton's term, of which the tax structure was a part, generated more jobs than the current one. But that is about it.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Where are the jobs produced by massive spending and deficits and "stimulus"?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 10:42 AM

A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows the Recovery Act has increased the number of workers by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million. The CBO also projects that 3.7 million jobs could be attributed to the stimulus by the end of September.

http://thehill.com/blogs/on-the-money/801-economy/99915-cbo-finds-stimulus-bill-boosted-job-growth

But who can trust the CBO?

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 6, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

ScottC's post is a great reference for why the GOP cares more about low taxes to benefit the rich than they do about policies that create jobs. They celebrate the "incentive" of low income taxes while killing and opposing other incentives that are aimed to create jobs in the private sector.

Quite clearly, people like ScottC are only interested in increasing "take-home pay" for corporate executives and not even remotely interested or serious about job creation policies at the federal level.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 11:40 AM | Report abuse

That's fallacious hogwash Scott.

The idea of tax cuts generating jobs is pure Keynesianism. It comes from the idea of putting money in the hands of consumers in order to generate demand and, therefore, jobs.

Any suggestion that high income tax cuts create jobs because employers will hire people simply because they pay less in taxes in ridiculous on several levels. First of all, taxes are computed on profit and hiring unnecessary employees will reduce profit so logic would indicate that employers would be more inclined to hire useless workers to reduce profit in a high tax environment rather than a low tax environment. Secondly, reasonable employers do not hire unnecessary workers in any environment. So, if their products are not being purchased (demand is low), they will not hire no matter what their marginal tax rate may be.

Posted by: pragmaticagain | December 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

"A report by the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office shows the Recovery Act has increased the number of workers by between 1.2 million and 2.8 million. The CBO also projects that 3.7 million jobs could be attributed to the stimulus by the end of September."

That would be laughable propaganda if it were not so deadly serious and harmful. We got a bunch of temporary jobs at exorbitant cost. Yeah, guess what, if you take $180,000 you can pay someone to dig holes and fill them. Voila, jobs! For a while.

What a great "investment" that all was. That failure of a California solar plant? Yeah, great economic decision, Barry. Just goes to prove we need government to do our "investing" in "new jobs of the future."

And employment really picked up since May, just like they "projected," didn't it?

Posted by: quarterback1 | December 6, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Counter-intuitive take of the day: Laurence Lewis suggests that Obama may be trading away core progressive priorities not because he's weak, but because he isn't really all that progressive."

Why is that counter-intuitive? He did appoint Geithner after all, who has protected Wallstreet above Mainstreet for 2 years now (lets not forget Illegal foreclosures are still occurring). What evidence in Obama's /actions/ would lead you to think he is a progressive?

Posted by: mikediaz1 | December 6, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

"Obama is weak" is utter BS and likely soft racism from the Left."

Ethan, I don't bother commenting here that often anymore but I think you may have jumped the shark here. A lot of these people you're recklessly calling "soft" racists worked long and hard putting Obama into the Presidency because they believed in him as a man and a human being. The fact that he hasn't lived up to their expectations during a time of national crisis has nothing whatsoever to do with the color of his skin.

This is a tough crowd if your a progressive.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 6, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

"A lot of these people you're recklessly calling "soft" racists worked long and hard putting Obama into the Presidency because they believed in him as a man and a human being"

lmsinca, I am not doubting that. I am simply suggesting that many white baby boomers in the Democratic Party still harbor subconscious racial prejudices and that the "Obama is weak" meme is due to this soft racism. You can look at every single legislative defeat and point the blame to the steadfast will of corporate Democrats not to side with transformative change. Every single issue that has failed failed because of corporate Democrats. So why does that mean that Obama is weak? It doesn't. His only weakness was that, Presidency or not, corporate Democrats held all the cards in deciding the final policies. If nothing else, it is the corporate white Democrats who have shown weakness in the face of Republican pressure. The fact that THEY don't get the lion's share of the blame does, in my opinion, have to do with the fact that the political establishment is still coming to grips with the fact that our President has darker skin and a funny name. Again, this is just my opinion, but it is based on the fact that soft (i.e. subconscious) racism DOES indeed exist in the baby-boomer class of the Democratic Party and to suggest it does not exist is, I believe, factually incorrect.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

prag:

"That's fallacious hogwash Scott."

Jeez, I better rethink it then.

"Any suggestion that high income tax cuts create jobs..."

I didn't make this suggestion. Indeed, I specifically rejected it. My point, which you seem to have missed, is that while tax rates do acts as incentives, they are just one part of the overall economy. Therefore, it makes no sense to claim that a specific tax structure is responsible for creating or not creating jobs, nor does it make sense to look at a period in which tax rates were X and compare it to a period in which tax rates were Y in order to decide which tax rate "creates" more jobs. It would only make sense to do so if all other things were equal. But, as I pointed out, they never are.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

lms:

"This is a tough crowd if your a progressive."

Try being a conservative.

Posted by: ScottC3 | December 6, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Try being a conservative."

It must be so hard pretending to support America when you are actually supporting padding the corporate elite's private off-shore bank accounts.

I really feel your pain, ScottC.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Ethan

I'm sorry, but is it your theory that it's the Corporate Dems, especially if they're baby boomers, who are calling the President weak? I haven't seen that anywhere. All this time I thought the criticism was coming from the left of Obama. Obviously the Corporate Dems have held legislation hostage but I don't think it's because of racism, soft or otherwise, it's because they answer to their corporate masters. It sounded to me like you were really saying that calling the President weak, those DFH's stirring up all the trouble, were closet racists.

I'm out.

Posted by: lmsinca | December 6, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"is it your theory that it's the Corporate Dems, especially if they're baby boomers, who are calling the President weak"

No, that was not my theory.

My theory is that it is the behavior of corporate Dems in legislative battles that gave the public and the political establishment the IMPRESSION that Obama was weak. And it is because of soft racism amongst the boomer class in both the political establishment (and political media) and in the Democratic base that this meme has taken hold. To be perfectly clear, I am not saying that this is the case for ALL boomers in the Democratic Party, I am simply suggesting that I believe that it is the boomers' weight and influence in the party that has allowed and even encouraged this myth to propagate. There are many boomers who I believe DO get soft racism and do NOT harbor subconscious struggles on race. You are clearly one of those people. But I think it would be folly to suggest that subconscious -- not overt, but subconscious -- racism is not prevalent in the Democratic baby boomers.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | December 6, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse


The Refi Plus program will waive the normal credit score requirement for a refinance; it will have reduced documentation standards for proof of income; and it will allow for computer-based appraisals, which tend to inflate the value of a home and make it easier to qualify for a refinance. Search online for "123 Mortgage Refinance" they are the best and fast.

Posted by: lindamckee | December 7, 2010 4:59 AM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company