Beltway Spin Podcasts

Friday, November 5, 2010

When Is Staying On Defense A Good Political Strategy?

While watching the President's Midterm News Conference the other day all I saw was our leader reacting on every front. Since when is reacting to everything your political opponent throws your way a good political strategy? The sign of any strong leader or political party is that they stay on the offensive, they set the debates, and the parameters of the debate. They do not let their political opposition define and control the debates.

Ask yourself this question. When was the last time over the last two years has President Obama or the Democratic leadership in Congress defined and controlled a debate on any number of the numerous issues facing this country? Health care, the Bush Tax Cuts, Unemployment Extension, Job Creation, etc. Even an issue like unemployment extension, which should have been a gimme for democrats politically, the President and the democratic congressional leadership were generally missing in action every time the extensions came up for renewal. Can anyone imagine FDR missing in action on extending unemployment benefits in a depression like economy? Each time a vote came up in the Senate to extend unemployment benefits and it was blocked or failed to pass, the POTUS should have immediately taken to the airwaves in prime time and called out every politician who blocked or voted against the extension by name, party affiliation, state, and list the number of unemployed in each of those states. How long, once the light was shown on these individuals, do you think they would have been able to continue to obstruct against the extension? These individuals would have been bombarded by their constituents phone calls and emails. The obstruction would have probably lasted only a few days. But yet this strategy was never even attempted by Harry Reid or the POTUS. And so the last renewal of the extension dragged out for months, instead of just days. I wonder how many more Americans lost their houses during that time period?

Why doesn't this President and Congress (particularly the Senate) want to lead? Instead you have the POTUS talking about compromise with the very people who are trying to get him out of office.

Now on the issue of the Bush Tax Cuts you had White house Press Secretary Robert Gibbs signaling that the White house was open for compromise. Really? At a time of US deficits reaching in the trillions the White house is willing to negotiate with Republicans about trying to extend the tax cuts to people making over $250,000? According to an article written today in The American Prospect, the White house may agree to extending tax cuts for people making around $500,000, further adding more deficits for tax cuts for top income earners. Once again, the hapless President and Democrats in congress are making an issue that should be an easy issue to stand with working Americans on, tax cuts for the middle class versus tax cuts for the wealthy, another issue to cede away to Republicans.

At this rate, does any thinking Democrat see no way to avoid another slaughter at the polls in 2012 by deflating your base with more nonsense stances on what should be clear bread and butter issues on protecting the middle class?

No comments:

Post a Comment