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Sheesh. In his big battle over the debt ceiling, Barack Obama waved his white hankie of surrender, allowing the loopiest of the tea party extremists in the Republican House to slash some $1 trillion from national programs that ordinary Americans count on. Obama’s bad deal also puts Social Security and Medicare at risk, while promising to make our depressed economy (and even the deficit) worse. And he cravenly conceded to the demand by GOP/tea party extremists that tax-dodging corporations, hedge-fund profiteers and the richest 1 percent of our nation’s plutocratic elite keep every dime of their subsidies, tax breaks and other federal giveaways.
Not to worry, though, for Obama now says that stage two of the deficit reduction process will be better. The pampered and privileged few, he insists, will also have to “chip in,” and that he’ll be “fighting for” fundamental principles of fairness.
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But we’ve all seen again and again that this guy “fights” by backing up and begging for compromise. He talks tough about fighting for fairness “next time.” When will next time be now?
I know a bit about fighting, having been a small guy growing up in a small Texas town where confrontations often popped up. I learned early on that you should never hit a man with glasses; you should hit him with something much heavier. The heavy “something” that Obama has at his disposal is the fact that the American people are overwhelmingly on his side in this fight.
Rather than playing budgetary patty-cake with Republicans in the backrooms of Washington, negotiating over how much of FDR’s New Deal to throw out the window, he needs to FDR-up, get out of Washington, and rally the majority to go after the greedheads and screwballs with a bold program to get America moving again – moving upward and moving together.