Monday, July 25, 2011

Cutting Through the Democrat/Republican Reality Fog-Machine

2012
How Obama Can Be a Non-Partisan President (Jacqueline Salit, Huffington Post) Both President Obama and the Republican-led Congress seem to be grappling with this very tension in the budget negotiations going on now. Republicans won control of the House in 2010 because independent voters put them there. Obama won the White House in 2008 because independents chose him. Yet the budget negotiations -- both in their form and in their content -- are thoroughly rooted in a Democrat/Republican reality.
President Pushover (Paul Krugman, NY Times/The Conscience of a Liberal) Even people who are supposedly well informed believe that there was a vast expansion of government under Obama, when in fact there wasn’t. So we’re supposed to believe that independent voters will actually be able to cut through the fog — the deliberate fog of Fox, the he-said-she-said of most other media organizations — and give him credit for spending cuts?
Is Obama seizing the political center? (By Julian E. Zelizer, CNN) Obama has aggressively moved forward on an issue that has caused concern for many moderate and independent voters. By allying with some Senate Republicans, he has made the House GOP look like extremists who are more interested in tying up Congress than in reducing the deficit.
Report: On Debt, Democrats Rebel Against Compromiser-in-Chief (Ari Melber, The Nation) Obama has made Republicans "look bad," Drew concludes, but he is not actually getting much for it.  I'd go even further. By fully caving on this stand-off, where the White House is backed by the general public and large swaths of the GOP (the financial community and the well-informed), Obama would not only fail to impress independent voters, he'd ensure a drubbing on a series of future fights, large and small, with his unreasonable opponents.
Obama takes political, policy gamble on ‘big deal’ (By Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post/Business) Unlike congressional Republicans and Democrats, who have to worry about what primary voters think of a deal when they’re up for reelection next year, Obama is focused on the views of independent voters in the general election. In polls, independents still show support for Obama, but his numbers have come down significantly since he took office.
Matthews Panelist Predicts Obama Will Use the ‘Politics of Fear’ to win re-Election (Fox Nation) New York magazine’s John Heilemann warned Matthews that this time around in 2012, the “hope” is very much gone and Obama’s strategy will be the “politics of fear.”

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