04 January 2011

Obama Fails at Hold 'Em Poker

Republicans (and some yahoos calling themselves Democrat) are hellbent on destroying our social safety net despite the contrary wishes of the vast majority of American people.  Yesterday, we witnessed a weird convergence of these two indisputable facts as the Republican controlled congress voted to repeal health care reform and CBS Sixty-Minutes and Vanity Fair released a poll indicating that a combined 81% of Americans would either raise taxes on the wealthy (61%) or cut military spending (20%) in order to bring into line the nation's fiscal problems.  A scant handful, almost no more than the margin for error percentage, would cut Social Security or Medicare.

However, late last year President Obama went "all in" and tried to fill an inside straight by giving Republicans an extension of the Bush era tax cuts in order to gain a few palliative concessions including an extension of unemployment benefits for workers displaced by the current depression which was triggered by corporate greed and banking and Wall Street shenanigans.  Well, "the river" gave him no help at all!  Not only did the GOP get an extension of the Bush administration's tax policies, they are poised to rake in all the chips under the guise of Social Security reform.

All of which is to say, even Obama is ignoring the will of the people and gambling away our future.

Obama will want to stay in the game, and in order to do so, he will have to hustle up the means to stay at the table.  If past is prelude to present, we can expect him to capitulate on "entitlement" reform as he did on health care reform, Wall Street and banking regulation, and tax cuts for the wealthy.  In short, he is going to pawn our social safety net in order to stay at the table.

Even before "the flop" of the next hand, we can expect him to ante up raising the retirement age (which hammers working women and physical labor intensive workers the hardest), and reducing future benefits, and never mind that most of America is opposed, he has allowed himself to be sandbagged and an already poor hand is made awful by his lack of courage in standing up to the Republicans.

Already arrogant and out-of-control, the Republicans, financed by multi-national corporate money and pulled even further to the right by tea-bags and tea-hags will check and call, or raise and call him by saddling him with "entitlement reform".  Nowhere in this will you see anything approaching meaningful jobs creation measures..that card has been pulled from the deck.  You see, with an eye on 2012, the Republicans do not want the economy or jobs picture to improve and will check, call and bluff to that end.

You see, the president believes that by posturing to independents he can win reelection.  After all, democrats and progressives have nowhere else to turn, or so the thinking goes.  He's dismally wrong, is underplaying his hand, and will lose the pot...unfortunately, you and I will lose our shirts in the process.


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