After the debt ceiling deal was done, all the buzz out of the beltway media was that Washington is broken. People being polled were saying that it's a Washington problem. Not much from journalists who knew that the debt ceiling vote was never intended to be used as a political weapon against an incumbent President. Because doing that could help cause a financial meltdown. Something like what we've been seeing in the markets the last week or so. And not much reporting about the fact that Bush came into office with a huge surplus and destroyed it along with much of the world's economy. Not much about the debt ceiling being raised countless times under all Republican presidents without a fight. Not much on the fact that this was a manufactured crisis completely by Republicans. This time though, that all changed since a Democrat was in the oval office.
And the strategy the administration came up with was to abandon Democratic party core principles to win over the mythical Independent voters and make the tea party look like the radicals that they are and Obama as the only grown up in the room. Obama has succeeded in his tea party strategy since new polling from the NY Times says America can't stand them even now,
So it’s interesting to note that according to the internals of today’s New York Times poll, the Tea Party is rapidly shrinking before our very eyes, and is hemorraging supporters at a surprising rate:
Do you consider yourself to be a supporter of the Tea Party movement, or not?
The 18 percent who self-identify as Tea Party supporters is at its lowest point, tying the 18 percent who supported it way back in April of 2010, when it was first gaining steam as the Congressional races of last cycle began heating up.
But how did it work out overall? The people have spoken and I agree with Kos on this:
There's no surprise. Obama expended a great deal of effort selling this piece of crap deal, and at least 58 percent of Democrats gave him the benefit of the doubt. But what strikes me most about those numbers is the data from independents.
The Obama-can-do-no-wrong camp argues that Obama couldn't focus on the supposedly narrow interest of the Democratic base because at 22 percent of the overall public, liberals can't single-handedly reelect Obama. Therefore, he has to appeal to the all-important independents for electoral reasons. That is, actually, not an unreasonable point. Obama DOES have to keep independents happy in order to win reelection. Can't argue with that.
But you also can't argue with this: if the goal was to impress and win over independents, then mission failed.
Independents sure as heck aren't impressed with the deal. Republicans obviously hate it. So the only ideological group to give majority support are those maligned liberals, but by just a sliver.
And the cost? This deal split the left, demoralized some of its most engaged activists, and saddled us with austerity at a time when the country desperately needs stimulus and jobs. All because of unsupported beliefs that independents are supposedly concerned about the deficit. Or like "grownups in the room." Or something
If Obama spent his time using the bully pulpit by calling this vote a distraction caused by Republicans who created a phony crisis to push their ideological agenda while he'd rather be trying to create jobs, I have no doubt how it would have worked out in the end. Especially since they knew Mitch, Cantor, Ryan and Boehner were all going to whip the vote for the debt ceiling to be raised in the end.
UPDATE I: Hey look, it's jobs time:
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Here comes the pivot many of us have called for. But, with austerity going into high gear, what can actually be done?
The Republican austerity agenda is continuing to hamper job growth, making Obama’s defeat in 2012 all the more likely.
Today’s jobs numbers were better than expected, but as Matthew Yglesias points out, a fundamental problem remains — private sector jobs are growing slowly, but public sector jobs are being lost. Yet Republicans want to cut more government spending — curtailing consumer demand in a desperately weak economy. The press release from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus in response to today’s jobs report implicitly highlights the GOP’s interest in keeping the economy from growing.
UPDATE II: You'd think something would have already been done for our veterans by now: Obama Pushing Jobs For Unemployed Military Veterans
President Barack Obama proposed tax credits for businesses and other initiatives on Friday to help some of America's 1 million military veterans find work. He also vowed to press Congress to get busy on legislation to provide more near-term jobs in general when lawmakers return from their recess in September.