Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Independent Voters and the Debt Debate


  • How Obama Can Be a Non-Partisan President (Jacqueline Salit, Huffington Post) For many independents, it's not enough for Obama to simply criticize Congressional leaders for their partisan intransigence. He has to show that he's willing to back certain structural changes in the political process that make such intransigence more difficult. This means taking a stand in support of open primaries where independents can vote, which are currently under fire from right wing Republicans. And, imagine the shock waves that would follow an Obama appointment (in consultation with leaders of the independent movement) of two independents to vacant seats on the Federal Election Commission.
  • The Real Debt Deal (Dylan Ratigan, Huffington Post) We need a new global restructuring of our obligations, a new Bretton Woods or Brady Bonds solution. Greece should not be descending into poverty, it has an educated workforce and wonderful traditions. American homeowners shouldn't be under siege by creditor predator banks, and millions of us shouldn't be unemployed as debt-holders forced into a Survivor-like fight with each other over scraps. We cannot allow giant creditors to turn fights over debt into currency wars, and then into real wars.
  • Voters dis dysfunction: Hear that D.C. debt ceiling players? (Posted by Joni Balter, Seattle Times/Ed cetera) And mostly, I have been thinking about independent voters in particular who, as a group, expect flexible, creative ideas for problem-solving, and, holy cow, that means both sides have to give a little to help the country. 
  • Partisan Myopia Can Be Deadly - Republicans are fixated on the conservative base, but independent voters could make them pay for that in 2012. (Charlie Cook, National Journal/Off to the Races) Independent voters are overwhelmingly nonideological and don’t like Washington, politicians, or political parties. They hate the fighting and the sophomoric, partisan towel-snapping that is routine here. Independents are pragmatic. They just want the place to function.
  • EDITORIAL: Debt crisis gamemanship (North County Times and The Californian opinion) As the past three presidents have shown, it is the center ---- the independent voters unaffiliated with a political party ---- that controls political power in this country. And the center is demanding that Congress raise the debt ceiling
  • Hope Fades for Much Good to Come From Deficit Fight (By GERALD F. SEIB, Wall Street Journal/Capital Journal) Oddly, both the president and his Republican foes sensed that a big deficit-cutting deal was in Mr. Obama's interests, which, given the counter-intuitive way Washington works, probably made it harder to achieve.
  • The real deal on the debt debate (By: Joe Scarborough, Politico) That’s a trifecta worth playing for a president who desperately seeks approval from the same independent voters who elected him in 2008 and abandoned him two years later. The White House sees its rivals destroying themselves, so should they interrupt all the fun with a deal that is actually good for America?… The center of Ronald Reagan’s party cannot hold because there is no center to a political organization whose most influential members of late have been Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
  • CBS Poll: 71% Disapprove of Republican Handling of Debt Limit Crisis (POSTED BY JOE GANDELMAN, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, The Moderate Voice) A new CBS news poll has bad news for Republicans on the debt limit, politician-created crisis: Americans are unhappy with the political class’ performance on the issue but give Republicans ratings so low that they virtually spell out t-r-o-u-b-l-e with the independent voters the GOP will need to win in 2012.

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