Guest blog: Response to congressional opposition to the tax deal

So where was all of this opposition during the Bush administration? How come these democrats can stand firm against Obama and were hardly heard when Bush was president? Why didn't Bernie Sanders and other progressive stalwarts stage some drama against the original tax cut legislation or the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq? And why are the tax cuts for the wealthy the only issue when around 3 million need unemployment benefits? 3 million people represents a lot of people with large political and economic implications. Why should Obama pay attention to forces like us who couldn't get out enough voters in the last election? What is going on here? Why is this all on him? Don't we have some concrete political role here? Is it really to attack this president as if he is the same as Bush or, from what I can tell, maybe worse in many minds? How does this further progressive political power? Or have we finally decided that we will never actually achieve any real power (except in our polemical dreams) so crabbing at the powerful is the only role we can fulfill?

These democrats can not win this battle and they know it. This all seems symbolic at best. I refuse to rally around a force that is already defeated just because they allow me to show off my progressive flag. We need some actual long term strategy here that is based on achieving actual measurable political power. Remember, the Repubs took around 40 years to put their programs in place. Even though Obama has made some very serious mistakes, in particular a half-hearted stimulus program, I don't see this deal as the end of the world and there are many aspects of the deal which are needed. The Repubs have demonstrated they have the upper hand on this, what do we do concretely to take that away? From what I see, the symbolic gestures we are seeing, especially with all of the emotion here, just show our weakness.

The best we can hope to achieve is no deal, then who will be blamed for the lack of unemployment benefits. If you were unemployed, how much solace would you take in knowing a few rich people would loose a few tenths of a percent of their wealth to taxes?

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  • Enough of this handwringing and fretting. Remember: we have the power to deny our opponents something that they really, really want, merely by not bringing this bill forward in the House.

    Let's do that.

    And then let's sit back and watch what they do while the clock runs out.

    Posted by Trailer Trash, 12/12/2010 4:27pm (7 years ago)

  • The 2000 election was to some extent a referendum on the tax cuts, so there was less moral high ground in saying 'This is not what the American people want'.

    Of course, at that time there was still a lot of noise about 'Bush didn't really win', so the high ground may have been there--it just had a more politicking sort of feel, I guess.

    Not sure why nothing happened in 2003. They've got to feel like Obama owes it more to them to listen than Bush did, seeing as he's their party.

    Posted by Luca Masters, 12/12/2010 10:10am (7 years ago)

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