The State of the Union Speech and the President’s Credibility Gap 2


New Economic Perspectives has the article The State of the Union Speech and the President’s Credibility Gap by Robert E. Prasch, Professor of Economics, Middlebury College.  There is so much of the article that I would like to excerpt here, but my concept of fair use does not permit me to show any more than what I will show below.

While we are on this subject, I am in awe that in the State of the Union address Obama had the temerity to say, “We should write those rules [on trade]…That’s why I’m asking both parties to give me trade promotion authority to protect American workers with strong new trade deals from Asia to Europe.” They say that if you have to lie, go big. After all, who is the “We” in that sentence? Not working Americans, we can count on that. Not civil society organizations concerned with workplace or environmental issues, to say nothing of people concerned with the cost of excessive patent or copyright protections that have become simple giveaways to firms. No, “We” does not include them, either. The “We” of that sentence refers to the hundreds of corporate lobbyists and trade lawyers who have been working, secretively, cheek-by-jowl with the most virulently anti-labor office in the entire executive branch, the Office of the United States Trade Representative. “We.” I love it. That’s real chutzpah.
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After six years in office, even the most loyal of Democrats can no longer feign to be ignorant of the substance and consequences of President Obama’s economic policies. Remarkably, the income of the median American household declined more during Obama’s recovery than during Bush’s recession! An optimist might describe the Obama Administration’s performance as pathetic or, as is the norm, present multiple excuses for it.
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… in this world of uncertainly and change, we can all rest assured that Hillary Clinton is not, and never will be, on our side. She and her long list of friends in the banks and amongst the defense contractors are opposed – adamantly – to our values and ideals. So, what are we to do?
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…Was all the prattle about “Hope and Change” simply a joke? Was it just a marketing gimmick? I believe that we can now answer that question, definitively.
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Let us be clear, what is being proposed here not about being “revenge” or “being in a huff.” It is a strategy, one that proposes to win by playing the “long game.” As the saying goes, first they will ignore us and then they will insult us, but if can hold the line and deny the time-servers in the DNC the things that they want, they will be forced to negotiate with us. The day after the professional insiders and boot-lickers of the DNC come to learn that they cannot win without their Democratic wing, is the day that they will begin to consider what we want, and actually begin to respond to it. This level of respect will not happen one day before our resolve has been forcefully demonstrated. Not one. So, the question is, for how long do we wish to forestall that day?

I  left a comment for the author on the web site.

Excellent article. Thanks for putting all these issues together. I just got off the conference call with Bernie Sanders. I am beginning to think that I can leave Elizabeth Warren in the Senate and switch to pushing Bernie Sanders for President. He, at least, has shown some interest and some executive skills.

His appointment of Stephanie Kelton as his Senate Budget Committee Chief Economist has given me hope. The hosts of the conference call did not choose to use my question to Sanders’ about what he and Kelton were planning to do. I guess asking about the impact of MMT would have been too specific a question for the conference call. I was just a tad disappointed that Sanders didn’t go into a tirade about needing an inflation constraint instead of a budget constraint on our government plans.


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2 thoughts on “The State of the Union Speech and the President’s Credibility Gap

  • SteveG Post author

    It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I think Obama is too far to the right. I have been saying that on this blog for a long time, and you have been objecting to it for a long time. That he is too far right to me, but is a Socialist to the Republics just shows you how ultra-ultra-right (meaning wrong) that the Republicans are.

    However, Bernie Sanders pointed out in his conference call that the conservatives have their own reasons for disliking TPP and we on the left can work with them to defeat TPP.