Sunday, August 14, 2011

In the World of the Damned

("White House Debates Fight on Economy")

It is the worst of both worlds. While the financial crisis continues unabated, the Democrats contemplate whether to support an additional stimulus package, which they believe will have no chance of passage in the House of the fiscally irresponsible, or rather suggest small measures which might become law, but will do little to reverse the economic chaos. Damned by their adversary if they do try big ideas, and damned by their own if they don't.

This has been the central plight of this administration from the start. While the Republicans, fueled by the Tea Party, have offered their own vision without compromise, the Democrats have not. This was first evident in the health care debate. To the consternation of many, the single payer option, deemed unwinnable, was discarded before the fight even began. Thus, the discussion was not of competing beliefs, but of the Republican mandate against the Democratic request. It moved the conversation and the legislation further and further to the right. And the result is but a watered down version of the Romney health care plan.

Republican intransigence and Democratic "pragmatism" has only increased over time as the Republicans have grown more emboldened with each success. The debt ceiling fiasco, the latest, and most devastating example of this endless pattern, cut over 2 trillion dollars from an economy that can ill afford to be less than it is today, and brought the threat of imminent calamity to our doorstep.

As a Democrat it has been painful to watch the President and his party compromise the life out of their principals and their vision. It has made them weak and ineffective. When the White House discusses where to go from here, decide for demanding bold and decisive action. It may not, and probably will not, win the votes of the opposition but it will win respect from so many who have grown weary of negotiation solely on the Republican's terms. It is past time to stop talking in half measures and tepid proposals.

1 comment:

David B said...

While the President sits hiding in his oval office, other reasonable people have come forward with ideas to stimulate the economy. The main problem is JOBS. Henry Lowenstein, in Wednesday's letter to the Times, and reprinted today, give us a blueprint. I disagree with raising the age for Medicare and meanstesting for Social Security. The President should come out of his cave, use his bully pulpit to crisscross our Country, pushing for a program for job creation. The GOP will fight back, but the public understands that after all the rhetoric, Americans needs jobs.