Sunday, October 18, 2009

Key to Consensus

I don't entirely agree with this Charles Blow op-ed. It plays too much into what I see as an unrealistic impatience, complaining that Obama hasn't fixed a laundry list of problems of varying degrees of importance, after ten months in office. And while I'm as appalled and disappointed as anyone that our President is escalating in Afghanistan instead of exploring an active exit plan, he did actually tell us he was going to do that during the campaign. So yeah, trying to push him in the opposite direction is fine and necessary, but let's not accuse him of breaking any promises.

All that being said, Blow does a good job of summarizing the issues that irk "the left" but this one point, buried too far down IMO, is the key to the general anger on all sides of the political spectrum.
Obama pledged to stem the tide of job losses and foreclosures and to reform the culture of the financial sector. Well, the Dow just hit 10,000 again while the national unemployment rate is about to hit 10 percent. And the firms we propped up are set to dole out record bonuses while home foreclosures have hit record highs. Main Street is still drowning in crisis while Wall Street is awash in Champagne.

When will this imbalance be corrected?
As the old saw goes, "It's the economy, stupid." When people feel financially insecure, they're more resistant to change. I know it's easy for me to say, but I continue to think if Obama had pushed harder against the Banksters and not rewarded them by bringing so many of their veteran shills into his cabinet, and pushed more strongly on the issues of mortgage cramdowns and bankruptcy reform, the rest of his agenda, like health care reform, would have been easier to sell to wary Americans.

As it stands, the "little people" are feeling sold out in the culture war to the have-mores, and rightly so. They have been. If they saw the people who brought us into this state of economic anxiety actually pay some meaningful price for their criminal exploitation of the system, I think they would be much more trusting.

[More posts daily at The Detroit News]

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Blogger Ruth said...

I recall that lines started forming outside banks that recalled the worst days of the great depression - and now they've gone away. I credit this admin with that success, and do see that there was an abyss just ahead. What the banks have done to their bailout was despicable, but what the public would be suffering without it is worse. Regulation will have to be reinstituted, and it will be, I am sure, slowly.

1:23:00 PM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

That's the problem isn't it Ruth? It surely had to be done, but it doesn't rankle any less to now see the banksters continue to use it for their sole benefit, instead of sharing the wealth, and paying no price for their greed.

10:20:00 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

A definitive mixed blessings - saving the banks; like ending a drought with floods.

11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

Great metaphor.

1:58:00 PM  

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