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« Pragmatic audacity | Main | Rick Perry and High Philosophy »

August 30, 2011


Peter G

Not exactly a zen like question but what is the difference between pragmatic governing and pragmatic campaigning? I ask, in answer, what is the sound of a giant jobs bill not being passed?


Not far from using the word "cultist" are ya PM?


So who's on the panel that decides whether his jobs bill is bold or not? What is the criteria? Are we just focusing on the dollar amount? how much it pisses off Republicans?

You know what would be bold and exciting? presenting a jobs bill that doesn't require any approval from Congress. I must be in the minority on this but I don't get excited about anything Obama proposes if he has to get approval from Congress.

You will all get your wish for a "bold" bill of course but I swear you better not be a part of the crowd calling him a loser when and if this bill goes down in flames.

Robert Lipscomb

@Alli I am not sure about a panel, but the proposal should be based clean and transparent economic analysis (CBO ??) and should ensure the creation of enough new jobs (insert number here) to cut unemployment in half in half in 2 (3?) years. Make it about jobs creation in short order and to hell with the cost. Let the GOP argue that we can't afford full employment.

If (when) it does come time to pay for it, the message should be the rich now (repeal Bush tax cuts for the rich and tax expenditures) and all of us later (repeal Bush tax cuts for everyone 2 years later). Then let the GOP man the barracades to "protect the rich" to avoid helping everyone else "get a decent job".

Adolf Dricey

It's time that whoever is advising Obama to go short instead of long got to experience unemployment firsthand.

CK MacLeod

I didn't read Chait's position the same way at all. He hasn't been a "go small"-er. "Go big" is a pretty empty phrase. Go big to one observer might be "employ 1 million people fixing schools." Go big to someone else might be world revolution by any means necessary until the last Tea Partier is hanging from the entrails of the last strung up Corporate Lobbyist. I myself would prefer something in between those two, but the more BHO errs on the side of Kenyan Socialite Alinskyism, the bigger target he sets up for the Anti-Government Machine which has been sewing its dragon's teeth for generations and has captured upwards of 50% of the American schizo-mind.

The defense of social democracy (Social Security, Medicare, rights to organize, etc.) is a lot more popular than the social democratic offensive - new, big programs financed on the credit card (even at current special introductory rates). Moving from the former effectively to the latter means setting up a fight that can be won. In that effort, audacity and a constant pressing of the attack, until the enemy formations break and the soldiers flee in panic to be submitted to merciless social democratic non-violent slaughter, would be great, but you don't want to be audacitizing into a dead end ambush unless you've got some secret weapon or an even bigger ambush of your own.

Robert Lipscomb

@CK: Even better phrasing with "employ 1 million people fixing schools."

Each component of his plan should be described with a construct of "Put X people to work doing/building Y".

Then let the GOP argue that jobs building bridges (or whatever) aren't "real jobs".

CK MacLeod

RL - I like that approach. The whole thing could be presented as a full employment plan - how to fill whatever the precise employment/output gap as soon as practicable. So, at the end of the presentation, it would add up to closing the gap and depicting the kind of society we would be (re-)building.

I'm not completely convinced, incidentally, that full employment and high growth under current definitions really IS a desirable goal, but that's a separate discussion probably for some other decade. As a political matter, "employment" and "growth" are nearly consensual, if not sacrosanct.

Roberta in MN

Do you guys ally believe that (anonymous) said this about Plouffe, Daley etc. I don't believe a thing the msm says of whats to come down from the Presidents jobs bill. He has for the last 2 years talked jobs, and putting people back to work. He does what he can within the departments spending their money on stuff to get done. The angst is just nauseating.

Roberta in MN


Marc McKenzie

@Alli: "You will all get your wish for a "bold" bill of course but I swear you better not be a part of the crowd calling him a loser when and if this bill goes down in flames."

That pretty much says it all. No matter what the President says, ultimately, it is CONGRESS who has to vote to pass the bills and then send it to the President so he can sign it into law. I mean, it's just US Politics 101.

As a naturalized US citizen, it always floors me to see people who puff themselves up as knowing more about the US government simply forget this one fact.

What should we do? How about focusing all of our rhetorical energies on hitting the Republicans hard, and making sure the voters out there know exactly what a bunch of mean spirited jerks the GOP is. Complaining about the President is not going to help matters. He could give news conference after news conference and it won't help if public pressure comes down, and down hard, on the Party of "No".

Just my 2 cents.

evelyn ellis

@Marc McKenzie:
Agreed, copied, pasted and emailed. Thank you very much.

Robert Lipscomb

As someone who spent way too much of his youtth in redneck bars, there come a time when you just have to pick sides and fight like hell.

I think it is that time for Obama.

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