As President Obama and the Republicans craft a deficit plan that only a small minority in America want, there were two telling stories today in the paper about the downfall of Democrats. They were, Rightward Tilt Leaves Obama With Party Rift, and Why Voters Tune out Democrats. In the first article, it points out that Mr. Obama may be vulnerable because the very independents he is courting with his headlong rightward rush will be disenchanted because the policies he is embracing will leave the economy in 2012 in shambles. And what I find really insightful is that while the White House assumes that given the choice between a return to Republican failure or him in 2012, his base will have to vote for him, the article notes that many will just not care anymore. They won’t be able to turn out the vote like they did in 2008.
In the second article, from a pollster who has spent years polling the public, he finds: “Oddly, many voters prefer the policies of Democrats to the policies of Republicans. They just don’t trust the Democrats to carry out those promises.” And right now we are seeing why this distrust is a realistic perception. The Democrats cave and they keep moving the country right, so why would you trust them to run government. I think in the last few months American Progressives are waking up to this fact and Obama is in real trouble in 2012 because so many just don’t think it matters any more how they vote. He has proven that to us. With Democrats unable to just say no, the Party doesn’t matter any more. It stands for nothing.
As a personal note, no he is not in an impossible situation. The Democrats could say no to his capitulation and then he could invoke the 14th Amendment and get the debt ceiling raised saving the country from Bankruptcy, but that would take a real commitment to Democratic ideals and leadership. He has repeatedly shown he does not have either.
On leadership, there are two indicators. The first is that while he can speak well, most of us don’t listen any more because, well, as was told in a story last week, Henry Waxman in a meeting with Obama had the audacity to ask, “Do you mean that or are just going to cave?”. The other indicator is, explain to me Obama’s plan for the economy. Last week he gave a speech where he said that we needed a balanced approach and supported a plan without one. I have no idea what he thinks will fix the economy and my guess is neither does the rest of the nation. That my friends, is not leadership.