Axelrod explains it all …Posted: January 27, 2011
A tweet and facebook post from Digby alerted me to an Axelrod/Blogger “roundtable” where he explained the semantics game in the SOTU. I just found the SOTU contradictory and rather schizophrenic. Except for the fact he still appears to know nothing about economics, Obama was full of on the one hand on the other hand kinds of policies. It was full of dichotomous metaphors along the lines of building up things while tearing them down and defunding things down while investing them up.
Chris Bowers has further coverage here at the Giant Talking Cheeto. It appears the usual “neoliberal” apparatchiks were there. Digby calls it a matter of semantics. Digby also believes we’re about to see a campaign of ‘strengthening Social Security’ argument by doing things that actually weaken it. She calls it “strength through weakness”. It’s that old Reagan game of labeling offensive, deadly missiles ‘peacekeepers’ to make them sound less offensive and deadly. She’s got a really good list of examples where the language mixes up the intent of the actions. At least some one else is noticing the schizophrenic policy and language.
As far as I can tell from Axelrod’s conversation with the bloggers and everything we’ve seen and heard from the political establishment, the only real “principle” here is bipartisanship. Obama gets high marks from the Villagers and Democrats when he forges a bipartisan deal with the Republicans — no matter what the deal is. That he was praised and rewarded for cutting taxes for the wealthiest Americans in a time of deficit fever tells you how far the American people have fallen down the rabbit hole. Don’t think he doesn’t get that.
Here’s the bottom line on Social Security from Chris Bowers who–at the moment–is less than enthusiastic. Let’s see how long that lasts.
The answers that we received are not answers that will make anyone entirely happy. Here is what I took from them:
- The Obama administration is not willing to repudiate the “crisis” narrative surrounding Social Security that dominates the national political media.
- President Obama explicitly repudiated privatization of Social Security in his speech last night, and David Axelrod reaffirmed that repudiation today.
- If there is going to be a “bi-partisan” agreement to alter Social Security, it will be brokered by President Obama himself. Congress is not going to pass a deal to which President Obama has not given his prior approval.
- President Obama strikes generally strong notes in defense of Social Security when it comes to other possible ways to cut the program. However, other than privatization, both he and his administration are unwilling to get too specific about where the line is drawn.
At least now, there’s a general realization that this doublespeak means we’re going to clearly get the pro-business, highly Republican alternatives for the next two years. Obama has gone full throttle on the Chamber of Commerce agenda and language. At this point, however, I think there’s also a general recognition that that the access bloggers will eventually throw their hands up and throw in the towel behind Obama because of the usual deal. That is the Republicans are clearly bug fuck nuts so we can do worse. The Republicans seem hell bent at showing exactly how worse they can be right now. Even Bohenerella couldn’t shut up Michelle Bachmann and her twisted sister audiovisuals and crazy delivery to some camera some where stage right. Don’t even get me started on her revisionist history of slavery and the founding fathers. She’s a good example of what you get when you dumb down education via religication.
All you had to do was listen to Paul Ryan and Michelle Bachmann to see that both have a less than firm grasp on reality and the facts. They are deniers of history, economic theory, science, math, and facts. The more they speak, the more those independent voters flip the approval switch on the Presidential mumbo jumbo policy gumbo. This just puts the president in the catbird seat to continue the Corporate Takeover of America and its institutions.
Many Republicans clearly don’t get this. Maybe it’s because they’ve been deliberately confused by the Fox News Channel for so many years that can’t conceive that a black democrat can be a 1980s style Reagan Democrat. The deal is that now that many Democrats have taken the blinders off, there’s less than no place to go. It puts every one squarely in the corner of being between a Democratic President driving a Chamber of Commerce Agenda and the completely insane wing of the Republican party whose face includes two women that are just out there dividing and conquering the independent women vote like two bats out of the batshit crazy cave. Don’t forget that the ‘serious’ facetime goes to equally nutty nutters like Paul Ryan with white faces, blue suits, and those extra dangly appendages that are supposed to indicate gravitas.
How long will it take for all the liberal blogs to get in lock step with the doublespeak again after a period of grumbling? We can’t possibly capitulate to this agenda. First and foremost, we cannot let them normalize this level of unemployment while tearing out safety nets and quietly encouraging states to go bankrupt. Why are AIG and Goldman Sachs not too big to fail but the possibility of failure of California and Illinois and probably New Jersey is a reality show in the making?
Why are we deliberately following and creating policies doomed to keep us in a permanently split economy with high unemployment and no buying power for any one but about the top 5%? Don’t think that those people won’t keep getting rich because all of their resources are deploying to other countries with full subsidies and encouragement of the government. This miserable situation right now is the new normal with the exception that as more of us fall of the radar, lose our homes, lose our jobs at an age where we will find it difficult to find a job, and have no credit, there will fewer safety nets. We’re going to turn into one of those soviet cartoons where generations of a family are all crammed into a two room apartment at this rate.
Meanwhile, no one is speaking up with the alternatives to the corporate take over scenario. Not one politician is bucking the head of the Plutocratic Party. Not one Republican speaks out against the rise of the Birchers and the Theoclans then manages to see the light of office these days. What does it say when Democrats are afraid to be liberals and Republicans have no fear of carrying the John Birch Society banner?
Few economists have a bully pulpit and they seem equally shy at times. C’mon, we have lawyers in economists’ positions these days. The economists left the west wing. What does this say? We must still have Bushies in the DOJ because all that comes out of the DOJ is people chasing down whistle blowers and defending women and GLBT hostile policies and patriot acts that violate civil liberties. Where’s the enforcement of the Sherman Antitrust Act? Why are they defending executive branch overreach and ignoring civil liberties? What does that say? Why is BP getting away with murder? Where’s the over-regulation of food safety and worker safety for people down here in the Gulf? Our problems have not come from government overreach but from corporate abuse and they are getting away with it. Plus, they’ve moved on to gut the arctic wilderness? Same with any one that’s been foreclosed on in the last five years. The Financial and Oil industries keep making record profits. Are they really suffering from a lack of competitive advantage or abusively high corporate tax rates? Hell no! They’ve got near monopolies and tax subsidies that create zero effective corporate tax rates. But that’s not the memes pushed in the SOTU? What does that say?
Well, I’ll venture what that all says. Ninety five percent of Americans are so f’d. We are so f’d. This is bi-partisan national suicide.