KausFiles

Doubling Down on Scorn

Disgusted Headmaster II: Obama has been accused of feeling smugly superior to the conventional pols around him, especially those in Congress. He has now responded with this jobs-bill pitch:

We’re going to give members of Congress another chance to step up to the plate and do the right thing,” Mr. Obama said as he began a three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia. “Maybe they just couldn’t understand the whole thing all at once, so we’re going to break it up into bite-sized pieces so they can take a thoughtful approach to this legislation.” [E.A.]

That should put the “condescension” charge to rest. … P.S.: David Hawkings’s CQ Roll Call Daily Briefing notes that Obama was not  directing his scorn at Republicans. He was talking about all “members of Congress.” When Clinton did this, it was called “triangulation,” though Clinton’s distancing was about substance–he wasn’t as left as the Dems or as right as the GOPs. Obama’s triangulation seems to be about character and intelligence–and his general superiority in those categories. But no doubt his fellow Democrats appreciate his “disgusted headmaster” act as much as the voters do. …

 P.S.: The first bit of the  “jobs” bill involves subsidies to retain local government employees. Even Paul Krugman seems  be wavering on the question of whether this is the most effective form of stimulus, and if he isn’t he should be:  Governments, like individuals, are apt to divert at least some of any new “stimulus” money into paying off their debts, not employing people (which is why direct WPA-style public works projects might be more effective, if they are possible).  Non-government employees may also wonder why it’s  civil servants whose jobs get protected first in the name of Keynes. …

 The Larger Point: Again, if you can’t cut back the government bureaucracy in good times (because there is enough tax money and we have “unmet needs,” etc.) and you can’t cut it in bad times (because we have to preserve those jobs as “stimulus”) when does the government stop growing? Has Obama even attempted to answer this concern? …