When the Village Beltway does not like something the logical reaction of the media is liberal crowd should be to shout bias. Except when the Village creates a meme that conservatives like. Than suddenly the Village is composed of good souls wise beyond their years, President Obama’s Speech Gets A Thumbs Down From Political Press Corps
Prior to President Barack Obama’s marathon 54 minute speech in Ohio today, the Obama campaign sent our several statements promising the speech would be a major address framing the campaign going forward. Despite the hype, the speech was mainly a rehash of themes and ideas from the president’s recent stump speeches and his remarks were widely panned as overly long by the political press corps.
[ ]…Before the speech was over, MSNBC’s Mike O’Brien begged the president to stop.
In terms of politics, this speech could have ended about 20 minutes ago. Drive your message, take your ball, go home.
Mike O’Brien (@mpoindc) June 14, 2012
On the air, MSNBC’s Jonathan Alter said it was “one of the worst speeches I’ve ever heard Barack Obama make.” He refused to back down.
Just cheerleading BO doesn’t help him. He needs a sharper, more cogent message with some memorable lines. I ain’t walking my criticism back
Jonathan Alter (@jonathanalter) June 14, 2012
ABC News reporter Devin Dwyer felt like we were all being lectured.
Obama speech in Ohio felt more lecture or courtroom arg than rally. He streamlined pitch, imbued urgency, said voters will break stalemate.
(@devindwyer) June 14, 2012
John Hayward of Human Events compared the speech to a filibuster.
This Obama speech is so long-winded it might be the first attempt to filibuster an election.
John Hayward (@Doc_0) June 14, 2012
Too long? Most speeches by politicians are too long. Nothing new? That’s because President Obama still has the same things to complain about and many of the same ideas. Conservatives have pulled every obstructionist trick to block job creation, to hold the debt ceiling hostage, to fight extension of unemployment benefits. All the while making the deeply bizarre, if not outright sadistic claim that since the economy crashed – the middle-class must have their safety net – Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid – gutted. What sacrifices do conservatives think the bankers and corporations who caused the crash should make? None, nada. Obama gave them their big compromise an extension of the Bush tax cuts to create jobs – we should have full employment by now if tax cuts were the holy grail of job creation that conservatives claim.
The Economist is generally right-of-center. They did not with approval that President Obama had points that should appeal to centrist voters ( though they got snarky about the length of the speech as well), Barack Obama and the economy
Though he addressed a partisan crowd, Mr Obama’s speech was pitched to the centre. Indeed, he seemed keen to steal some of Mr Romney’s thunder among independents by characterising himself as a tax-cutting, business-friendly, lightly-regulating, paragon of fiscal responsibility. “I don’t believe the government is the answer to all our problems”, Mr Obama said. “I don’t believe every regulation is smart or that every tax dollar is spent wisely. I don’t believe that we should be in the business of helping people who refuse to help themselves.” Mr Obama even touted his own record of fiscal conservatism: “Over the last three years I’ve cut taxes for the typical working family by $3,600. I’ve cut taxes for small businesses 18 times. I have approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his.” Jack Kemp lives!( the spelling is British English)
This is where most liberal to centrist voters are. I have never read a major Democratic politician or pundit that loves regulation for its own sake. We need some – that nuclear accident in Japan (Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster) was a devastating reminder that regulatory safety standards of the nuclear energy industry pay off both in terms of public safety ( family values) and in terms of economics (the cost to individuals and business of the Fukushima disaster are estimated upwards of $59 billion). E coli, Salmonella outbreaks in the U.S. have become a pretty regular occurrence. In 2010 is was estimated they cost the public about $3.13 billion a year and caused about 476 deaths. So the food processing and restaurant industries can complain about regulation all day, but who wants to see the cost in lives and dollars without the regulation we have. Conservatives do with the regulation issue what they do with most issues, they over simplify to the extreme and demonize anyone who disagrees. We need some reasonable regulation. Regulations can and do save the economy and businesses money. Despite all their whining the tea baggers have seen their federal and state taxes go down to the lowest level since the 1950s. So sure the far Right is tired of hearing this fact because it takes the wind out of this fantasy they have about draconian levels of taxation.
There’s your “framed choice”. Whereas Mr Romney offers a return to the devil-take-the-hindmost, trickle-down policies that put us in this economic pickle, Mr Obama offers an economy revitalised by a growing middle-class and smart government spending. “This has to be our north star,” Mr Obama averred, “an economy that’s built not from the top down but from a growing middle class; that provides ladders of opportunities for folks who aren’t yet in the middle class.” Not down from the top, but out from the middle. That’s the pith of Mr Obama’s pitch.
Had Mr Obama stopped there, instead of droning on for another quarter-hour, it would have been a strong speech that communicated in clear terms the contrast he needs voters to keep in mind.
That is actually high praise considering the biases of the source. Even The Economist can see that Romney is Bush 3.0 or Bush plus an even deeper war on the middle-class. If you liked Scott Walker(R-WI) and Rick Scott (R-FL) economics – beating up on workers, most of whom were making a modest living in order to give even more tax cuts to corporations swimming in cash, you’ll love Romney. Though America as the land of opportunity will become a quaint old memory – hey remember when you could work 40 hours a week and afford a decent place to live, and send your kid to college, those were the good old days.Romney is good for something. Listen to his stump speeches – too long and lacking reality – and you’ll save the money you would have spent on watching a science fiction movie about time travel and how the hapless antagonist screwed up and erased eight years from human history – Romney’s Big Lie on the Economy Now Bigger than Ever
If nothing else, you have to admire Mitt Romney’s persistence. After he formally announced his candidacy a year ago by declaring when President Obama “took office, the economy was in recession, and he made it worse, and he made it last longer,” fact checkers quickly demolished Romney’s obvious falsehood. But despite his subsequent denial just days later that “I didn’t say that things are worse,” Governor Romney has never stopped regurgitating some version of his “Obama made the economy worse” lie.
Why does Romney even have a chance at winning. Two reason. One is lots of money. The other is the narrative that the media either enforces or thinks it is rude to point out is a falsehood. Conservative Republican Super PACs Buying Democracy Like Its French Champagne
*Down in North Carolina, Republican congressional candidate George Holding received a handsome Super PAC that includes $100,000 each from an aunt and uncle and a quarter of a million from a bunch of his cousins. Yes, nothing says family like a great big, homemade batch of campaign contributions.
* Look at the Wisconsin recall campaign of Republican Governor Scott Walker. At least fourteen billionaires rushed to the support of the corporate right’s favorite union basher. He outraised his Democratic opponent, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, by nearly eight to one. Most of his money came from out of state. More than sixty million dollars were spent, $45 million of it for Walker alone.
*Wisconsin billionaire Diane Hendricks contributed more than half a million dollars on Scott Walker’s behalf. Her late husband built ABC Supply, America’s largest wholesale distributor of roofing, windows and siding. Fearful the United States might become “a socialistic ideological nation,” she’s an ardent foe of unions and, in her words, “taxing job creators.” True to her aversion to taxes, she paid none in 2010, despite being worth, according to Forbes magazine, about $2.8 billion dollars.
*Then there’s casino king Sheldon Adelson, who gave Scott Walker’s cause $250,000. That’s a drop in the old champagne bucket compared to the $21 million Adelson’s family gave to the Super PAC that kept Newt Gingrich in the race long after the formaldehyde had been ordered. According to The Wall Street Journal, Adelson did not long mourn Gingrich’s passing, and has now given at least $10 million to the Restore Our Future Super PAC supporting Romney. By all accounts, what he expects in return is that his candidate hold unions at bay and swear that Israel can do no wrong. ( Adelson has since said that he will be giving $100 million or more to Romney – whatever it takes to get rid of Obama).
*And that’s how the wealthy one percent does its dirty business. They are, by the way, as we were reminded by CNN’s Charles Riley in his report, “Can 46 Rich Dudes Buy an Election?” almost all men, mostly white, “and so far, the vast majority of their contributions have been made to conservative groups.” They want to own this election. So if there are any of you left out there with millions to burn, better buy your candidate now, while supplies last.
As it looks as though Obama will be outspent by the 1% and their PACs, conservatives are complaining about this, “Obama bemoans ‘people hurting out there’ at Sarah Jessica Parker’s $40,000-per-person fundraiser.” There are some wealthy people who care about their fellow Americans – conservative call those kinds of wealthy capitalists – out of touch elites. Conservative do this because they have no shame when it comes to hypocrisy and lies.
The other reason Romney has a chance is the message. Despite MoveOn, Media Matters and labor unions to some extent, the conservative noise machine stills rules – It’s no accident that Americans widely underestimate inequality. The rich prefer it that way
In a recent study respondents on average thought that the top fifth of the population had just short of 60 percent of the wealth, when in truth that group holds approximately 85 percent of the wealth. (Interestingly, respondents described an ideal wealth distribution as one in which the top 20 percent hold just over 30 percent of the wealth. Americans recognize that some inequality is inevitable, and perhaps even desirable if one is to provide incentives; but the level of inequality in American society is well beyond that level.)
Not only do Americans misperceive the level of inequality; they underestimate the changes that have been going on. Only 42 percent of Americans believe that inequality has increased in the past ten years, when in fact the increase has been tectonic. Misperceptions are evident, too, in views about social mobility. Several studies have confirmed that perceptions of social mobility are overly optimistic.
I’m going to repeat myself, but it has been a few months since I last used this analogy. The USA produces GDP. That is capital created by people doing work – creating products, selling products and providing services. The GDP is like a pie. At the end of the work day the top fifth take a the largest part of the pie. They leave the small chunk that is left to be divided up by the people who did the actual work and created the capital. They can do that for a variety of reasons. One is the steady decline in labor rights over the last half century. The other is that we were -especially just post WW II a trusting and ethically based economy – business and factory owners felt morally obligated to pay their employees a true living wage (I do not mean to paint a picture of paradise – there were other issues like gender and racial discrimination). Still the basic cultural bargain was in place. Now employers and their puppets like Scott Walker try to pay as little as possible for labor and ship jobs to Asia. They are not about creating jobs or opportunity or a future. They are all about maximizing their wealth and power. They have trashed the social contract. You can work like crazy. You can work smart. Doesn’t matter, the culture of work has become a game of social Darwinism. Where the game in rigged in their favor. Most Americans will never be compensated in wages, benefits or in social obligations like maintaining affordable public universities or protecting our natural resources. Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to live up to their potential because the people at the top of the ladder do not want them to succeed.