« NYT seduced by neuroscience again | Main | The unwritten rules of academia »

October 03, 2011


John Harwood correctly characterizes the current Obama campaign approach as one seeking to utilize wedge issues. Up until now that's been a term that's been used, at least in the Times, almost exclusively to refer to Republican attempts to exploit divisive social issues. It'll be very interesting over the next year to observe whether the Times's reporters and editors will, like Harwood's blog entry, apply that term to Obama, or whether (my guess) they come up with a more sanitized, less pejorative descriptor when the subject is Obama. As hack TV reporters love to say when closing their stories, only time will tell.

IMHO the two people consulted by the New Republic gave some excellent reasons why a majority support aspects of Obama's so-called "jobs" bill, but a majority oppose the bill itself.

Another way to look at it is that a lot of Americans support lower taxes and oppose higher spending. This is a consistent position. Many of us support tax cuts, because we expect that a limitation on federal revenue will limit the government's ability to spend more and more of our money.

If Obama proposed a bill that did nothing but reduce the FICA assessment, that bill would get majority support. However, his actual bill includes a bunch of new spending. That's why it's opposed by a majority.

I was proud of the Republicans for standing up to the principle that extra spending in one area needed to be offset by cuts somewhere else. Congress has agreed to cut the deficit by a fixed amount. If they add new spending outside of the agreement, then the additional new spending sabotages the deficit reduction.

The agreed deficit cut is $150 billion/year IIRC -- only about 10% of the current deficit. However, if Congress and the President add new spending, then there might not be any deficit cut.

It's interesting how this was perceived by the public. My closest friend is a liberal Dem. His understanding of the issue is simply that the mean Reps didn't want to provide disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Irene. Not only does his version miss the actual political battle, he was unaware that the money as issue wasn't about Irene. FEMA already had enough money to cover the victims of Irene.

Christie made his announcement not to run today because had we chosen a fat man for President it would not prove to be salvific for them or the nation.

The comments to this entry are closed.