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Democrats v. Republicans, a Matter of Principle & Political Spine

The wealthy Americans we should worry about instead are the ones who implicitly won the election – those who take far more from America than they give back. They were not on the ballot, and most of them are not household names. Unlike Whitman and the other defeated self-financing candidates, they are all but certain to cash in on the Nov. 2 results. There’s no one in Washington in either party with the fortitude to try to stop them from grabbing anything that’s not nailed down.Frank Rich



No matter how many budget cuts you make you will not create a single job.

Yes we’ve got serious debt issues, but cutting won’t solve our economic growth issue.

It won’t solve our trade policy or the fact that businesses flee the U.S. for foreign markets.

Yet, as Wall Street continues to get big time bonuses Democrats are supposed to cave on the fundamental tenet that makes them Democrats, as well as screw the middle class on the platform of “shock therapy,” the Serious People have bought into the austerity craze and expect Democrats to fall in line.

Would Republicans ever give in on tax cuts? They would never be expected to, but Democrats are expected to yield on their foundational philosophies.

The Right always stands tough, making their principles seem more important.

Democrats always cave, which has been the hallmark of Barack Obama’s presidency so far. It’s anything but laudable, but if there are points for consistency he’s earned them, which is why Democrats have reached a crossroads with Mr. Obama as the cries to adopt the Debt Commission ideas rise from the usual suspects around the media horn, all of whom are taking the conservative side, because after all, their principles must be more important, because the Right will never give ground on them.

Compromise in the face of idiocy is no virtue.

The insufferable reins, today exhibited by Dana Milbank, though he’s got a lot of company:

For a president in urgent need of regaining his standing, the possible results must be tempting: a balanced budget, a shrinking federal debt, a long-overdue rewrite of the tax code, improving Medicare and Social Security solvency in the long run, and easing health-care costs. The political benefits could be equally enormous: taking over the main issue of the Tea Party and building a good relationship with business.

The questions are whether Obama is willing to stand up to Pelosi and whether he can weather the consequences of triangulating against the liberals. So far, so good. “Before anybody starts shooting down proposals, I think we need to listen,” he said from Seoul, in an implicit rebuke of Pelosi. He also said that he’s “prepared to make some tough decisions” and that “we’re going to have to take actions that are difficult and we’re going to have to tell the truth to the American people.”

Once again it looks like Pres. Obama is going to allow himself to get hoodwinked and bamboozled by the Right, while taking on the Left. You know, because that’s seen by the Serious People as a way to triangulate Obama back into the catbird seat.

Democrats have been suckered into believing that the idea bomb floated by the Debt Commission chairmen Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson will solve the midterm voter exodus problem for Obama’s reelection. For a smart man with a good team these men and women continue to react to everything around them and act more like the Not Ready For Primetime Politics amateurs instead of laying down a Democratic offense.

Squishy Democrats applaud the Debt Commission, with pundits applauding the Grown Up Elite, laughing at the Left for daring to stand up on principle. The Serious People are now showing their inner contempt for Democrats. Ideologues across the cable chatter circuit opining about how important the Debt Commission idea bomb floated last week is to accept. Not one of these people dealing with the reality that the cuts proposed won’t solve the jobs issue, won’t deal with the continuing Wall Street gluttony, won’t stop companies from taking their money out of the country, won’t solve our trade policy either.

When Dylan Ratigan brought up all these things on “Morning Joe” last week, Mr. Scarborough cut him off and made light of what he was saying, because it got in the way of the show’s comfy ideological talking points. Ratigan expanding the conversation to real economic policy imploding the “Morning Joe” bubble that likes to keep things on the easy listening Republican, conventional wisdom wave length. Scarborough never mentioning that Reagan’s budget director David Stockman and Warren Buffet think the upper 2% tax cut is nuts.

Republicans standing on principle, tax cuts, austerity and big biz baloney, are always seen as good, principled and showing leadership.

Democrats standing on principle, whether it’s the public option, small business and middle class tax cuts, and now Social Security, are called every name in the book, with the talking head hacks asking “Will Obama stand up to the Left?”

Mr. Obama “stood up to the Left” and went against the advice and rigorous campaigning of movement progressives against his health care bill, which was a debacle of major proportions, jettisoning the public option, and paid dearly for it. Democrats stayed home, with a voter exodus not seen from Democrats in modern history. Tacking further right won’t bring them back.

George W. Bush admits to proudly sanctioning waterboarding, while Dems point and scoff but do nothing. Obama wanted to look forward, but the real reason is that he didn’t want to alienate Republicans and Independents who voted for him. Let’s hope someone in the White House understands that Republicans will never vote for Obama in ’12, with many Independents just waiting for an alternative to both big two parties, no matter what outcome manifests.

Barack Obama won’t even fight when he’s got a Democratic majority and a mandate from the American people. No wonder voters kicked Dems out, while many didn’t bother voting. What’s the point if all you’re getting when you do is Republican lite?

In an age of fed up fury, voters aren’t looking for Obama Beige, which the midterms proved. They’re looking for someone who will stand on a line and lead. So far that’s not Obama or Democrats. It’s Republicans.

The Right doesn’t care what’s said about them when it comes to their core principles. They’re self-righteous about their beliefs.

The Left is expected to cave on foundational tenets of their philosophy, which often happens, because the Right’s self-righteousness brings out self-loathing in Democrats, which is particularly true in the era of Obama, a time when squishy Dems rein.

The difference between Democrats in the Obama age and Republicans in the age of the Tea Party is that the Right’s conscience has risen up to challenge the elite. It remains to be seen if the Left is going to do the same to Obama and his squishy Democratic contingent who aren’t smart enough to know that the Debt Commission won’t create one job, but is backing the Right’s version of political reality, while asking Democrats to give in on what makes them Democrats in the first place.

Obama and his backers, wherever they reside, still don’t get it. As they wait to cave on tax cuts for the wealthy 2%, while contemplating carving into Social Security, as Wall Street bonuses hit at record highs still, there isn’t one person in Obama’s realm that understands that the issue remains JOBS, JOBS, JOBS. But yet Obama and his administration are going to get sidetracked on the austerity push that aids the Right, not the country and certainly not Democrats.

Taking the money that would be used for the Bush tax cuts and announcing something bold, maybe a “Bullet America” project that begins high speed rail, is what could be done in the lame duck session. An Executive Order repealing DADT could be done in the lame duck session, since Obama blew the politics of it from the start, because his ego bet on an election he now can’t cash.

Democrats won’t follow Obama if he channels his inner Republican to the benefit of the Right and at the expense of hard fought and won F.D.R. Democratic principles.

What his current trajectory will mean for 2012, because the base won’t come out if he keeps sacrificing Democratic principles, is another matter all together.

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