Obama is clearly winning in the current version of the Duopoly battles. That includes, but isn’t limited to, the Super Sequestration Deficit Cliff Grand Bargain production, brought to us, unfortunately, by DC Electeds on behalf of those for whom they actually work. In this act of the Obama Years segment of the ongoing theatre that is national politics, post-re-election Obama is playing a stronger version of himself, and to this point, he’s winning. That doesn’t necessarily mean a “win” for we the people. There’s a lot of “he’s better than the other side,” and I certainly won’t argue with that. But we’re still stuck in Lesser Evildom. And I, at least, see no move-out date. In fact, to a large degree, I don’t see the “conversation” moving beyond the “my dog’s less evil than your dog” level.
Both sides use the “you have nowhere else to go” argument — in governance as well as elections — which will keep working precisely as long as we accept that those are the only options we will ever have. You know, until somebody else does something about it. And when “somebody” works at doing that, they will be discounted, derided and demeaned.
What follows are several examples of what people are saying about this particular moment in Lesser Evildom. OF course, that’s my descriptive term. (emphasis added throughout post)
If you can get past how horrifying it is, the looming ‘sequestration cuts’ crisis is fascinating. It’s like watching a bunch of gambling addicts play craps by throwing dice into a four-dimensional wormhole. There are so many variables that neither side can possibly know the true outcome of a failure to make a deal — which means the only certainty is that what we’re watching is irresponsibility on an epic scale, wherein both of our major political parties seem to prefer government by random outcome over one managed by sensible compromise.
William K. Black, Obama Could End the Sequester:
The point … (is) not who should be blamed for the insanity of the Sequester. The answer was always both political parties. I raised the President’s efforts to save the Sequester because they revealed his real preferences.
While this country remains under economic siege and is bleeding profusely from many self-inflicted wounds, those who were given the responsibility to find the ways to stop this hemorrhaging have now proven that they are not up to the task.
How far behind the rest of the world can we continue to fall on holding the Wall Street traders and tycoons to account for the mess they made of our economy?
Bill Moyers and Michael Winship, The Revolving Door Spins from Sea to Shining Sea:
To those who would argue that the notion of a perpetual motion machine is impossible, we give you the revolving door – that ever-spinning entrance and exit between public service in government and the hugely profitable private sector. It never stops.
When the Business Insider polled registered voters and asked for their preferences among three Congressional plans floated to avoid the looming ‘sequestration’ cuts in Washington, they found that when stripped of their partisan labels, the policies most favorable to the majority were those offered by the progressive wing of the Democratic caucus.
Note the irony between this poll, and what Solomon reports below.
While still on the caucus roster, three-quarters of the 70-member (Congressional Progressive Caucus) seem lost in political smog. Those 54 members of the Progressive Caucus haven’t signed the current letter that makes a vital commitment: ‘we will vote against any and every cut to Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security benefits — including raising the retirement age or cutting the cost of living adjustments that our constituents earned and need.’
The President’s ‘sequester’ offer slashes non-defense spending by $830 billion over the next ten years. That happens to be the precise amount we’re implicitly giving Wall Street’s biggest banks over the same time period.
We’re collecting nothing from the big banks in return for our generosity. Instead we’re demanding sacrifice from the elderly, the disabled, the poor, the young, the middle class — pretty much everybody, in fact, who isn’t ‘too big to fail.’
That’s injustice on a medieval scale, served up with a medieval caste-privilege flavor. …
And remember: The White House represents the liberal side of these negotiations.
All of this, of course, comes from the Left side of analysis. I very honestly don’t know how much is “progressive,” and how much is “liberal, in today’s Left.