Monday, January 25, 2010

Getting it? Don't count on it.

Article out of Politico on Friday illustrates perfectly the disconnect between the political/economic landscape in this country and the administration’s and Congressional Democrats’ understanding of it. This lack of understanding the reality of the situation goes a long way towards explaining why the great Blame Bush tour of ’09 has spilled over into the new year and shows no signs of slowing down

“What happened was they got so caught up in all these other issues like health care and cap and trade and all this other stuff, that because of that they maybe didn’t put enough focus on the economy,” said Minnesota Rep. Collin Peterson, a moderate who represents a conservative, rural district hard-hit by the economic crisis.

That’s funny because we thought the very first piece of legislation that Obama was able to push through was Porkulus. You remember Porkulus? $787 billion to ensure that employment would not go over 8%. Seems to us that over three quarters of a billion dollars would qualify as “focus” on the economy.

Administration officials say they get it — with Axelrod recently admitting that Obama’s team is recalibrating and refocusing on the economy. Emanuel, for his part, is now pushing for a stripped-down health care bill that could be passed within a few weeks and force Republicans, for a change, to take a few tough votes.

This exposes health care reform for what it really is. Emanuel sees health care as nothing more than a political tool with which to wield power. He apparently is incapable of grasping the fact that Americans have seen enough already with respect to health care and that the administration has blown through all the political capital that would make a “stripped-down health care bill” a possibility in even a more favorable political climate.

California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who supported Obama’s $787 billion stimulus a year ago, says the president needs to be much more forceful about how, where and why the money was spent if Democrats are going to get credit for attacking the recession in an era of double-digit unemployment.

DiFi sure as hell doesn’t get it, either. Part of the problem with porkulus that was entirely predictable is that no one knows how, where and why the money was spent. When you’ve got money going to congressional districts and zip codes that don’t even exist that ought to be a big hint that porkulus is not the job-creating or saving bill you have been waiting for.

“I think the administration needs to be much more aggressive, and hopefully the president will outline some of this in his State of the Union address,” she said. “We very much need leadership from the executive on this. You can’t just put money out there — even if we had it to put it out there — unless it’s going to produce an actual new job.”

Obama fatigue. When isn’t this guy on television? We’re flat worn out. And aggressive? From what we've seen aggressive translates into attacks on Fox News, Rush, Sarah Palin and demonizing Wall St. Stand by for more of the same.

At the moment, the whole cacophonous crew seems to be united by the fear that no one is safe if a tea party-backed Republican can win the Senate seat the late Ted Kennedy held for nearly 50 years.

Wow. First whiff of legitimacy we’ve witnessed in a straight news item.

As one can readily see from the paragraphs above, they actually don’t get it one bit and we will all be suffering for it.

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