Obama Wins: There’s Something to be Said for “Just” Surviving!


Paul Krugman, who admits he was wrong for misjudging Obama on refusing to negotiate the debt ceiling, admires Obama for playing his cards right. The Republicans have caved in.

And it’s a big deal. Yes, the GOP could come back on the debt ceiling, but that seems unlikely. It could try to make a big deal of the sequester, but that’s a lot more like the fiscal cliff than it is like the debt ceiling: not good, but not potentially catastrophic, and therefore poor terrain for the “we’re crazier than you are” strategy. And while Republicans could shut down the government, my guess is that Democrats would actually be gleeful at that prospect: the PR would be overwhelmingly favorable for Obama, and again, not much risk of blowing up the world.

The key point to remember here is that Obama achieves his main goals simply by surviving. …Paul Krugman, Economics and Politics

A cave is a cave. Frankly, I wish we could brick the exit from the cave and leave the Republicans inside.

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Greg Sargent has this from Nancy Pelosi, team member.

“We need a clean debt ceiling increase and a bipartisan and balanced budget that protects Medicare and Social Security, invests in the future, and responsibly reduces the deficit.

“This proposal does not relieve the uncertainty faced by small businesses, the markets and the middle class. This is a gimmick unworthy of the challenges we face and the national debate we should be having. The message from the American people is clear: no games, no default.”

And Sargent adds:

This is getting very, very interesting. Pelosi is leaving the statement deliberately vague. It demands that Republicans go all the way and formally remove the thread of default from the discussions for good. But it isn’t quite conclusive on whether Pelosi could support a clean three month debt ceiling increase in the end. The idea seems to be that by leaving this unclear, it leaves the GOP still twisting in the wind.

A House Dem aide tells me the goal is to put pressure on Boehner to come up with the votes for this himself, at a time when House conservatives may not be willing to support the three month extension, since it amounts to surrender. The other point here is that Pelosi is signaling that if Boehner tries to include any trickery in the three month debt ceiling bill, he’ll have to find the votes for it himself. ...Sargent, WaPo

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An interesting coincidence. About the time the new, revitalized, not to say threatening, Obama For America was hitting the headlines again with its new mission, the Republicans caved. Maybe Republicans got a sudden vision of the future. Whatever. The new OFA has become “Organizing for America.” It will make use of the enormously efficient, effective, overwhelming campaign organization that has put Obama in the White House once and then twice — against tough odds.

Jamelle Bouie writes in the Post:

…It’s hard to say if grassroots action will be effective in pushing Congress to move on the president’s agenda. But given the huge infrastructure developed by the Obama campaign — including millions of email addresses and volunteers “tagged by geography and degree of devotion,” as Politico puts it — there’s no excuse for not putting it to further use.

The new OFA could, however, have an impact on Obama’s agenda in another way. The central political problem faced by Democrats is this: How to make the midterm electorate look like the presidential one, rather than the older and whiter electorate of, say, 2010? A large, well-funded grassroots organization, devoted to persuasion and activism, could become the key tool to reactivating 2012 voters, and bringing them to the polls in 2014.

If the primary obstacle to Obama’s policies on guns, immigration, climate change, economic stimulus, taxes and other issues remains GOP control of the House, the organization could conceivably aid in the 2014 push to recapture the Lower Chamber. While that’s a long shot, an effective OFA could conceivably make it somewhat less of a long shot. …WaPo

How about 2016 and beyond? Have we finally got an effective Democratic National Committee standing in the wings, ready to replace its moribund predecessor?

Cross-posted from Prairie Weather

Author: PRAIRIE WEATHER

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7 Comments

  1. An effective DNC? I am wondering if that is hopeful or scary or maybe both…

  2. It depends on whether the Democrats in that database are as ideologically demented as the Tea Party members are. Could be a clash of ideological idiots.

    Most of us simply delete any emails that keep coming after the election from every successful and unsuccessful candidates and all their minions. They will have to advertise a new organization and send no more than one email per week/month (they can ask us which we prefer) to garner any support.

    At the conclusion of the interview Stewart said he had just one more thing to ask the President: “We have been speaking now for 12 to 14 minutes, and I am curious – how many emails during that time do you think your campaign has sent me?” Sounding like someone as versed in CRM as he is in public policy, the President quickly replied, “It depends on whether you’ve maxed out.”

    Read more: http://www.mediapost.com/publi.....z2IRtUOOGy

  3. I think its a big mistake to refer to the GOP actions as caving in. For starters, its the right thing to do. They should not be publicly embarrassed for basically coming to their senses. When you achieve a victory through negotiation and not force, and you are going to be dealing with the same people again soon, its important that agreements can be made without losing face every time a compromise is reached. To do otherwise triggers a primal pride response detrimental to future negotiations, which we are clearly going to have.

    And lets not confuse this agreement as the result of an effective DNC, lol. The GOP was about to hang themselves with the rope Obama gave them, and decided at the last minute not to. This had nothing to do with Pelosi or Reid, and a heck of a lot to do with Boehner and Cantor getting the Tea Party knuckleheads to take a bite of the reality sandwich in front of them or go to bed hungry.

  4. slam

    Exactly! I cringed to see Rachel Maddow using the “they caved” meme. Awful!

    We msut be ever chary of bruising those egos; after all they wouldn’t be in Congress in the first place if they didn’t have such big ones. :-)

  5. Well said slam.

  6. If anyone really thinks this was about the economy, or what is good for the nation, then they haven’t been paying close attention to the Republican party of late.
    From day one of Obama’s presidency in 2008 they have shown exactly where their priorities were. To defeat Obama. They have shown they were not above using ANY tactic or means available to achieve that end.
    I for one think Maddow said it like it is. This is all about a POWER struggle for the REPs. We already saw that last time. And it will continue to be for the next 4 years like it was for his first 4.

  7. I find it hard to understand Post writer Jarnelle Bouie’s reference to race:

    “The new OFA could, however, have an impact on Obama’s agenda in another way. The central political problem faced by Democrats is this: How to make the midterm electorate look like the presidential one, rather than the older and whiter electorate of, say, 2010? A large, well-funded grassroots organization, devoted to persuasion and activism, could become the key tool to reactivating 2012 voters, and bringing them to the polls in 2014.”

    Read more at http://themoderatevoice.com/17.....3xbRCkz.99

    I suppose because Obama is the first black President, and that, since black members of Congress have always been in the minority, Bouie considers it important to emphasis that the 2010 electorate was composed of too many white thinking Americans who opposed Obama, at least in part because of his race. However, I think the most important part of Obama’s ability to inspire the electorate stems primarily from the content of character he has displayed.

    It is true that the President has angered today’s GOP by actually having gall enough to pass health care legislation without their full consent or participation, and, I suppose they have leveled all sorts of slanderous charges against him— including his supposed socialist leanings, and his consequent secret plans to seize government ownership and control of the banks, his presently fiendish attempt to take the weapons of gun enthusiast away by force, as well as a long list of other concocted offenses, but I would hesitate to say that the future electorate has been stymied by purely racially determined myopia. Many of us who voted for and continued to support the President, were not swayed by racially “liberated” Democrats or, biased “white” policies—but rather by the unconventional attitude of the President—not a white or black President—conceivably held back by a white and less progressive electorate. It is the content of his Character, as MLK stated,which really attracts voters, and his dedication to democratic principles that most offends Republican congressmen.

    If race is a factor at all, it is one that has been present for many years. And, no matter what the composition of the electorate might be, the fact that a Black President with a Muslim sounding name was elected to the highest office in the Nation, speaks volumes about the great number of voters who disregarded race in order to elect the person they saw as best qualified to lead. The goal of Congress from here on, should be to show at least some willingness to listen to the policies this person promotes, and not to engage in the continuing petty Obstructionism, that has given all Republicans bad press as a result! An effective Democratic party depends on the ability to choose compassionate policies no matter what its demographic make-up might be.

    I suppose that, in our society , race will always be involved in some ways but, although there is an “older” electorate, I doubt that it derives it’s values mainly from racially divisive issues, rather than its progressive heritage embodied by the agenda of the President.

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