For months Obama loyalists at places like Daily Kos have argued against the evidence of their own senses. They insisted critics were wrong to call the president weak and rudderless. They remained confident Obama would stop caving and call the bluff of the wing-nuts who were threatening actions that would lead to default on the national debt.
The true believers were way off, probably because they couldn’t, and can’t, admit Obama has turned out to be exactly the wrong person to lead the fight against Republicans determined to use the debt issue to destroy the social safety net and maintain huge tax breaks for the rich. The loyalists will keep the faith even though, as Paul Krugman wrote yesterday
The deal itself, given the available information, is a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better; and most important, by demonstrating that raw extortion works and carries no political cost, it will take America a long way down the road to banana-republic status.
Obama is not a Democrat. In fact, he is somewhere to the right of Richard Nixon on most issues, although he is, of course, much cooler than Tricky Dick. In the end, Mr. Cool called our bluff, not the GOP’s. He gambled that even progressive Democrats will stand with him in 2012, because we have no one else to turn to as a viable candidate. It’s time to prove him wrong.
There has been much talk about how self-defeating it would be for Democrats to give up on Obama, but wouldn’t it make sense to try to draft Sherrod Brown or Howard Dean or Elizabeth Warren — feel free to suggest others — if only to disrupt the Dem establishment that stood solidly behind Obama even as he began to talk about dismantling Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid?
I’ve heard stand-up comedians who make better sense than Obama. That’s it — Lewis Black for president! At least he wouldn’t let himself be made a fool of by Mitch McConnell, the human tortoise, or by that great statesman John Boehner.