December 7th, 2010

VDB NOW OFFICIALLY OFF OBAMA BUS; Current Administration Now Officially Indistinguishable From That Of A “First-Term President Lieberman”

by Philip Baruth

Whether Obama’s deal with the GOP wins passage in the House and Senate, he’s made his own modus operandi abundantly clear: bitch and moan about the unfairness of it all, but govern from the Center-Right. Not appreciably different from the way the health care negotiations were handled; not appreciably different from the way national security issues are being conducted currently, really.

And not appreciably different from the way that Bill Clinton governed, during the boom-boom 1990’s: force-feed Wall Street, give the GOP 9/10 of what it wants and make a Broadway-style production of your efforts to secure what’s left over. Never forget that the economic collapse, what we now still-gingerly refer to as the Great Recession, owes much of its size and impact to deregulation during the Clinton years.

Clinton, of course, understood the importance of resistance as theater, and so reliably every year or so his Administration picked a fight over abortion (a fight that pro-Life Conservatives were delighted to provide) and held more or less fast to Democratic Party doctrine.

Obama has yet to offer his base anything they truly want, anything unalloyed, unsullied, anything uncompromised or unadulterated or untrampled.

Look at it this way: Bush came into office riding a 500-vote landslide. Pundits agreed that he would need to be humble, perhaps put together a Unity government with Democrats. Instead, he rammed through his Party’s signature legislative priority: massive tax cuts that would almost certainly consume the Clinton surplus, and more.

And Congressional Republicans, as their first post-election act of 2010, have made good on their promise to do whatever it takes to protect those same windfall tax cuts.

Put aside that the GOP uses tactics that Democrats find distasteful. The truth is that national Republicans are honest as the day is long about what they plan to achieve. They tell you up front, before each election, that they plan to cut taxes for the rich and deregulate us into a corporate-controlled wasteland, and then damned if they don’t get it done.

National Democrats, on the other hand, seem constitutionally disposed to dissemble.

If you want to know all you need to know about Obama’s deal with the devil here, here’s what Joe Lieberman had to say: “I applaud President Obama and the Congressional leadership for agreeing on a compromise on taxes and moving our economy forward. This tentative agreement is an example of Washington working across party lines to confront the challenges facing our nation.”


Lieberman nearly single-handedly killed both the Expanded Medicare and Public Option versions of health care reform, and here he makes clear that continuing Bush-era tax policy is right up his economic alley.

So think of it that way. It’s not just that Obama hasn’t differentiated himself substantially from George W. Bush. On domestic spying and increased drone attacks and Gitmo and now extending the Bush-era tax cuts, Obama is choosing to govern more or less like a first-term President Lieberman.

Which means that VDB is now officially off the bus. And if any other recovering former Obama delegates out there want to join us, there’s plenty of room. And wifi.