Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Obama Mans Up

It is good to see Our President taking up the populist banner and telling us it's time to "soak the rich." I guess Plouff and Axelrod finally figured out that the old Clinton approach of "triangulation" wasn't working, and it was time to try the old Clinton approach of "doing whatever the polls say." A sizable majority of Americans want the rich to pay significantly higher taxes. Now, so does Obama.

"Class warfare," say the Republicans. I don't know about you, but I saw the class war begin thirty years ago, and guess what, fellow proletarians? We lost. If there really were any "class warfare" going on now, it would have to be a counterrevolution. The rich won the war outright, culminating in the Bush income tax cuts and, more important, the reduction of capital gains taxes to 15%.

I'm still not at all persuaded that Our President is on Our Side, but if it keeps Rick Perry out of the White House, whatever chicanery he attempts is okay with me. More important, delivering a strong, populist, anti-fat cat message could help the Democrats weaken or break the Tea Party grip on the Republican Party and the House, and also hang onto the Senate.

As for economic stimulus, the new tax proposals, even if they were enacted into law, would not do any more than the similarly doomed JOBS proposal; but, like the JOBS plan, they make for good politics. Anyway, the actual proposals don't matter, provided the president is seen as aggressively asserting his belief in them.

An unspoken but obvious truth of American politics is that independents don't know enough to make rational choices. Granted, most registered Democrats and Republicans also don't know shit from Shinola, but at least they have people telling them what to believe.

Independents ignore policy, and vote based on personalities. They particularly look for strength. One must hope that fourteen months is long enough for America to get over its perception of Obama as a wimp. If not, a raging asshole like Rick Perry might be our next president.

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