Did Obama get what he wanted?
August 5, 2011 9:48 AM Subscribe
With the conclusion of the debt ceiling debate ending in another defeat for liberals, the emerging narrative is that Obama is weak, a poor negotiator who was out-maneuvered by Republicans and forced into the agreement because of strategic errors. But Glenn Greenwald tells a different story:
The evidence is overwhelming that Obama has long wanted exactly what he got: these severe domestic budget cuts and even ones well beyond these, including Social Security and Medicare, which he is likely to get with the Super-Committee created by this bill.In a blog post entitled The Debt-deal, or, the Chickens of Third-Way New Democracy Come Home to Roost, bloggers at The Current Moment take the long view, seeing this recent defeat as the culmination of 20 years of austerity measures led by the Democratic Party, and linked to a broad trend in the Western world:
The general point is that the Tea Party added a touch of crazy, and Obama added a touch of ruling class cool, to a much more general problem for the Left. The mainstream parties of the Left, from New Democrats to Spain’s Socialists to British Labour, have been preaching austerity and a new era of limits for decades. In such an environment, austerity in a time of recession, extended joblessness, and growing inequality seems like the reasonable thing to do.Corey Robin, author of The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin, put the question on his Facebook page, and sparked a debate among leading leftist academics that was noted by WSJ.com:
Obama continually craves – or rather demands – progressive credentials. Beyond mere triangulation, it’s as if he understands his signal accomplishment to be the translation of progressive desires into neoliberal politics...
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