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Many commentators and observers, including this writer, argued for a far more aggressive and comprehensive strategy from the White House for getting America out of its economic morass.  Obama's team chose a half-hearted, half-assed stimulus package, and the result is what we see today. Don't get me wrong, the stimulus helped. But it is running out, and you can see the effects that the empty well is having on state and local governments as they proceed to cut education and essential social services and programs.

Unemployment is high, twice as high for blacks, and the jobs aren't coming. 80 percent of recent college graduates are moving back home. And there is talk of a double-dip recession on the way, as housing prices are falling, with a faltering real estate market threatening to pull us back down in the hole. The President's abysmal failure of a foreclosure relief plan is blamed, in part, for the economic woes.

A new Washington Post-ABC poll reveals that President Obama has lost his post-Bin Laden bump in popularity. And more importantly, by a 2-to-1 margin, Americans believe the country is seriously on the wrong track. Nine in 10 rate the economy negatively, and six in 10 say the economy is not on the road to recovery. About six in 10 give Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. This comes on the heels of the departure of Austan Goolsbee -- one of Obama's progressive-leaning economic advisors -- who was frustrated that the President abandoned more stimulus investment to spur the economy, opting instead to pursue the folly of attacking deficits.

Polls at this early stage in the game don't mean a whole lot, but it is worth noting that Obama leads 5 of 6 Republican contenders, and is in a dead heat with Mitt Romney. I believe that Obama could handily beat any empty suit the GOP throws his way. Given the proclivities of the Republican primary electorate, I'll bet that Romney's status as frontrunner will be short lived. I will bet on Sarah Palin or someone of her ilk. Howard Dean said himself that Sarah Palin could defeat Obama in the general election, particularly with unemployment as it is.

Now, do I really think that Palin is presidential material? Not for a moment. Her latest gaffe -- actually a botchery of the historical account of Paul Revere's ride, in which she claimed Revere warned the British -- shows how ignorant and flighty the woman truly is. That is precisely why she could win. I don't trust the American electorate, especially when times are tough. Too many Americans drink the stupid juice when the economy is in the tank, and pull the lever against their own economic interests. Or, demoralized and disenchanted, they just stay home and don't vote at all. The results of the 2010 midterm elections provide all the evidence you need of that proposition. Voters cast their ballots for some of the most regressive governors, state legislators and members of Congress one can imagine.

The country is hurting, but instead we get voter ID legislation, decimation of labor rights, criminalization of abortion, Vouchercare, and laws banning sagging pants. We knew they would do something like this, even though they didn't explicitly say they would. The Republican track record on overreach speaks for itself. And the lackluster Democrats did their best to bring a GOP victory last year, eager as they are to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Although Palin and the other Republican hopefuls hardly seem viable candidates at first glance, consider Ronald Reagan. People laughed at the prospect of an actor becoming president. His opponent, the incumbent, was smart and capable, and didn't drag the country into war. But Jimmy Carter was done in by stagflation and the Iran hostage crisis, not to mention an intra-party challenge from Ted Kennedy, and two opponents in the general election.

If the economy continues to suffer enough, as it appears it will, Obama should take heed. Americans will elect the factually challenged, knowledge deficient and intellectually starved if given half a chance, which is why Obama needs to get serious about jobs, jobs, jobs. Regardless of how much he can accomplish on that front between now and Election Day 2012, he needs to get started yesterday. And it is time for him to ignore the Republicans. They have two goals in mind: First, to wreck the economy for 2012, and second, to establish a nation fully owned and operated by religious fanatics, the greedy and the unstable. They are making good on both of these promises.

That's the short term situation. Obama must find some jobs or he'll be out of one. Now, here's the long term problem, which leads us back to the short term: America is a feudal capitalist state with the highest inequality in the industrialized world. The inequality has widened over three decades, and is now at chronic proportions -- the highest since the Great Depression. The elites have decided to ride this one out, not through economic growth, because all they have to do, they've decided, is to squeeze as much as they can from the rest of us sharecroppers. And they're doing a superb job of it. Favorable tax policies and deregulation ensure that they get more and more, and the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision allowed them to buy the political system outright. So, a bribery-based political system -- concerned only with the next election cycle -- serves the interests of a crony capitalist system that cares only about the next quarterly profit statement.

Say what you will about China, but at least they never pretended to operate under any pretense of democracy. However, China does look one hundred years into the future, when America can barely look past the latest episode of Celebrity Apprentice. And as China silently colonizes Africa and wrests the leadership in renewable energy, the U.S. has no industrial policy other than military contractors. We can't even build a national high-speed rail system because the superstitious among us brand it as socialist big government welfare spending.

These are the problems that President Obama must face, because hell, world leaders are paid to do that. He can solve this whole thing tomorrow is he just calls for a new New Deal program already. But will he have the courage? Time will tell, but the President, like this sad nation, is short on time.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Are you fucking serious? (13+ / 0-)
    He can solve this whole thing tomorrow is he just calls for a new New Deal program already.

    All he has to do is call for it, huh? Are we back to this type of magical thinking? How about instead of writing an Obama woulda-shoulda-coulda diary, you call some republican house reps and put the pressure on them. Obama can't do anything with the congress he has now. And he could hardly do anything with the one he had before.

    This comment may not be reproduced or excerpted on other sites without my express written permission.

    by psilocynic on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:14:55 PM PDT

  •  Ok - so what is the remedy? (4+ / 0-)

    GOP says

    "cut taxes and kill Health Care Reform and Financial Reform - especially E. Warren and Consumer protection" - which is nonsense.  

    The GOP House will not approve ANY new jobs bill.  Period.  End of discussion.

    so what do we do?  (serious question)....

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:17:54 PM PDT

    •  you know what, that is what I elected (8+ / 0-)

      Obama to figure out and act on. It is his job.  I'm sick of hearing that he is handcuffed into total inability to do anything because of the republican house. Maybe we wouldn't havea republican house if he had done something in the first place. If he can't do anything, what was the point of electing him? Who needs an ineffective, ineffectual president.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:32:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Seriously? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        shrike, FiredUpInCA, amk for obama

        As a general rule I agree w/ you, but that's just wacky.

        •  By that, I meant that I agree w/ you (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          FiredUpInCA, amk for obama

          most of the time.  Not that comment, though.  If the hardline GOP controls the House, there is literally nothing Obama could do in terms of legislation that could survive.

          •  he should have done something before there (6+ / 0-)

            was a republican house. if he had, there might not have been a republican house.

            so, i guess there's nothing he can do now right? so he should sit there behind his desk in the oval office, being a figurehead. right?

            "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

            by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:43:53 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  As I told you in the "Romney speaks for me on jobs (3+ / 0-)

              diary that you and lots of "true progressives" supported, vote for your guy Romney then.  Romney is happy to lie to you about his "my plan to slash taxes further for the rich and remove all regulations will create an economic boom!" and your mindset is to embrace such nonsense rather than face this reality:  some problems are simply IMPOSSIBLE to solve in a certain timeframe.  

              2+2 = 4, not 5, no matter how hard you try.  And saying, "I elected Obama to figure out how to make 2 + 2 =5" is stupid.  And childish.

              BTW, even Krugman has admitted that even if his proposal for a 3 trillion dollar stimulus had passed, he can't be certain it would've done much better than the stimulus that was passed (maybe knock a half percent off the unemployment rate or so).

              Second, in today's world so much is technologically based, that you can't just hand out jobs to guys off the street.  THey need to be technically skilled to take those jobs.  And yes, that includes blue collar jobs.

              Third, the WPA paid people crap wages, and often times to do nothing of note.  Lots of the jobs were make-work jobs, which was essentially just printing money and handing it out.  The WPA failed, as did most of the New Deal itself, if success is to be measured by meeting the goal of ending the depression.  Now, there were better jobs programs in the New Deal, that provided REAL jobs at better wages, but those programs cost so much that they were only funded on temporary bases (Congress had to keep renewing the funding ever few months or so), and they were eventually terminated.

              Finally, the only reason the WPA and other NEw Deal programs passed was because the country had already gone through four years of Great Depression.  The public and political sentiment of today isn't anyhwere even CLOSE to what it was like after 4 years of Great Depression.  WPA can't be passed in today's environment.  THe diarist and his supporters like you are calling for Great Depression remedies (that failed) in order to address Great Recession problems.  The two circumstances aren't the same - the public sentiment is different, the political environment is different, the standing nat'l debt is different, the technology of the day is different (which affects what kinds of jobs would be created and whether folks would be qualified to fill them in the first place), etc.

      •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        It is as if the slogan is "Change you can believe in, maybe sorta, but the GOP won't like it so I have to make nice with them, even though they want me and the economy to fail."

    •  choice seems to be push hard or shut up (0+ / 0-)

      an all out offensive by the President and the Democrats would be useful, even if it's only to get the word to low info voters that it's the Republicans who are being obstructionists, that it's the Republicans who aren't letting the economy come back.

      The alternative is to shrug and say it can't be done and thus, not try.

  •  He could solve it tomorrow? (9+ / 0-)

    All Obama has to do is announce the re-birth of the WPA tomorrow and his troubles are over? Why haven't you suggested this to the White House? I'm sure they would go ahead and do as you suggest. All you have to do is persuade them how easy it would be. While you're at it, maybe you should explain how they would get a big jobs bill through Congress.  Or does it matter that such a proposal would never pass? (It would not even come up for a vote in the House.)  Then all you need to do is explain how it doesn't matter that such a program would never pass, it will solve all Obama's problems just to announce it.  Then I'm sure they will thank you and say, why didn't we think of that.


    •  MAGICAL BULLY PULPIT!!!! (4+ / 0-)


      "I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD"
      - hatemailapalooza, 052210

      by punditician on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:24:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obviously there's more to it than that (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ssgbryan, jgnyc, Brooke In Seattle

      Such an idea has to get out into the public and become part of the dialogue.  As the president, he is the best person to articulate it.  Sure, there will be lots of resistance in the GOP-controlled Congress, but what will be Obama's narrative for 2012?  I tried and they shot it down, or I didn't try because i didn't have the intestinal fortitude to try?

      •  You have a point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        sorry for being so harsh. But I think you are missing something about this administration. They don't like to lose. They only propose what they think they can get accomplished. That frustrates a lot of people on the left who would just as soon see the president push forward with more progressive positions even if they get defeated. But you have to admit they've gotten a lot done with this strategy.

        On the other hand, if it is a question of Obama's re-election campaign, as opposed to actually getting something accomplished, then you probably have an even better point. Because it can be a successful strategy to run against a Republican Congress that is blocking the President from getting things done that the people want. And they might want to use that strategy if they have to. But it is probably too early for that.  Let's see if they try that tactic in 2012.

      •  His strategy is to tell people that despite (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ssgbryan, Brooke In Seattle

        the fact that they are really suffering don't have a job and have been foreclosed on, that it is much better than it would have been if he wasn't President and that even though they don't have jobs or homes, other people do.

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 04:03:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  obviously, his solution of telling the Senate to (4+ / 0-)

      scale down their proposed jobs bills, is a much better approach.

      "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

      by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 04:01:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I agree with you. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    eXtina, jgnyc

    I believe the economy in general will be Obama's downfall.  Maybe he's too insulated.  Maybe he thinks it will be as easy as the last time.

    The housing market + unemployment + the high price of gas = somebody else.

  •  I agree...reactionary voting is (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    something that can be expected if there is no effort made toward the economy and jobs.

    However, I'm not sure that the "powers that be" will allow anyone other than Obama in the White House as he has proven so useful to them.

    A chat with you and somehow death loses its sting ~ Black Adder

    by trinityfly on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:25:40 PM PDT

  •  For starters he could not encourage the Senate (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DarkestHour, BradyB

    to make their jobs bill SMALLER because it's TOO BIG !!!!
    Start with something big then whittle down if you have to, to get it through. And, how is a jobs bill too big anyway?
    The House rejected the WH's proposal for more business tax cuts via cutting the SS employer part of the tax. Fine, then don't cut business taxes anymore since it's already been done 16 times under this adminsitration. Do some direct stimulus - don't thwart Senate's efforts - and get some job creation going.

    Oh, and do something about the problems in the housing market (other than 'penalizing' the three worst bank offenders who aren't doing anything to help the problem.

    37% of Americans approve of Obama's handling of the economy. 37% that's some serious shit. the other 63% are not going to go to the polls and say well yeah he could have done something if he had a more willing Congress. He has got to do something.

    But I hear that his plan for reelection is to visit states and tell people what a good job he is doing, that there really are a lot of jobs out there. That he has written off the recession hit BLUE states that he won last time as unwinnable this time around, and is crafting a new strategy of some other states, like Georgia, swinging Democrat this time, and winning with a much lower margin.

    Yeah, dare to dream. Winning with a lower margin of victory than the last time. What an endorsement of the job he's doing.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:28:06 PM PDT

  •  It's (0+ / 0-)

    true, we do all make our own beds, but if someone's going to be the imposter in mine, they'd better be up to earning the privilege, every day.

    Being a knock-off is the easy part, you've got to stay there.

    When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace- Hendrix

    by Maori on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:36:50 PM PDT

  •  Goolsbee (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Left to preserve tenure at University of Chicago. Stop listening to people who are making stuff up.

  •  If Obama wins and that becomes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    less and less certain and more and more people are dissatisfied with his handling of the economy (as polls show, this number increases with each month) it will be because the Republican candidates are terrible, not because he has done a great job.

    "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

    by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 03:53:38 PM PDT

  •  Obama could actually fight for a change. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brooke In Seattle, BradyB, eXtina

    "Republicans are mean and they wouldn't let me do anything" is a rough slogan without waiting for the convention in 2012. Does he have the spine to start making the case now? Or have Geithner etc ... explained to him that the banks will torpedo the economy if he tries to go straight to the American people?

    If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

    by jgnyc on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 05:15:30 PM PDT

    •  "Obama is a spineless coward". (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      amk for obama, FiredUpInCA

      That's True Progressive Axiom 1.

      And above, I see True Progressive Axiom 2: "Obama is lazy." (that's in the "Obama couldn't be bothered to do what I say" post).

      It couldn't be that Obama doesn't do what you want because he simply has come to a different conclusion about what to do.  No, he doesn't do what the true progressives say because "Obama is a lazy coward."  When "true progressives" stop embracing the black male stereotypes that have been around for centuries, let me know.

      •  The dkos whiners are not 'progressive' (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FiredUpInCA, jan4insight

        by any stretch of imagination, despite their chest beating ways.

        One bitter fact is two bit hacks populate the third rate fourth estate who are truly the fifth columnists.
        A No-Drama Obama Site & Some Straight Talkin'

        by amk for obama on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 07:20:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  WTF (0+ / 0-)

        > black male stereotypes

        Where did you get that from my comment? I think Obama has a strategy (which I'm not comfortable with but we'll see if it works for him) or, and this is less likely, he's been informed by the financial powers how it's going down and he's either made a call not to go against them or he agrees with them.

        "lazy", "coward", "black male stereotypes"????

        You've got to check your head and actually read comments before posting.

        If you didn't like the news today, go out and make some of your own.

        by jgnyc on Sat Jun 11, 2011 at 07:00:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Obama is on the other team (0+ / 0-)

    Give it up for what he has done for them.  As far as I am concerned he is a lost cause, unworthy of more support.

    •  As far as I'm concerned, (0+ / 0-)

      you know zilch about Obama has actually done in office, and you never supported him anyway.

      (Hey, I can make unsupported statement too!!!)

      The price of apathy toward public affairs is to be ruled by evil men. ~ Plato

      by jan4insight on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:23:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's obviously one of the sockpuppets (0+ / 0-)

        rw trolls you identified , with a far lower UID than you have

        "I'm sculpting now. Landscapes mostly." ~ Yogi Bear

        by eXtina on Fri Jun 10, 2011 at 08:27:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  More than I can absorb! (0+ / 0-)

        I was an early supporter and campaign worker.  I was bamboozled.  I did not do enough due diligence.  After his term started, there was one disappointment after another.  The mask was removed for most of us after the health care "debate" with single payer excluded and the scam of a "public option" alternative shit canned when it was no longer convenient to maintain the fictional support.  Digby tells us what is being cued up next.  Be sure to watch the Lieberman video!  Remember how Obama campaigned for him?
        Moving on, remember the Cat Food Commission?  Who set that up?  POTUS is poised to do deep harm in his role as the great Pre-Capitulator to the social safety net as we know it.  Once again  Digby explains what is in the works.
        Failure to create jobs and provide leadership to help those caught up in the great housing bubble and bankster fraud is a huge disappointment.  Who has profited from Obama policies?  "No Appetite" existed for job creation.
        This guy is supposed to be on my team?  Fool me once shame on you.

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