Saturday, October 27, 2012

America is Becoming Saudi Arabia?

One of the nuttiest parts of Matt Stoller's nutty story about opposing President Obama in order to further the progressive cause:
This is the shape of the system Obama has designed. It is intentional, it is the modern American order, and it has a certain equilibrium, the kind we identify in Middle Eastern resource extraction based economies. We are even seeing, as I showed in an earlier post, a transition of the American economic order toward a petro-state. By some accounts, America will be the largest producer of hydrocarbons in the world, bigger than Saudi Arabia. This is just not an America that any of us should want to live in. It is a country whose economic basis is oligarchy, whose political system is authoritarianism, and whose political culture is murderous toward the rest of the world and suicidal in our aggressive lack of attention to climate change.
America is becoming a petro-state? Really?

The difference between Saudi Arabia and America couldn't be more stark. Saudi Arabia is a petro-producing and extracting economy. America HAS an economy that does that, along with several other things. America is far more diversified than the Saudi economy; we're even making more things now which, I would have to say, merely includes petrochemicals and is not, in fact, wholly based on them.

This is odd to me because of the billions spent in the stimulus package on renewable energy. If America was really marching towards petro-chemical status as a nation/state, why are we investing in alternative energy? Why is the Keystone pipeline being blocked? Why aren't we extracting petroleum from the ocean off Southern California? I guess I'm not seeing it (primarily because it simply isn't there).

There is no progressive case against President Obama. Losing the White House, or losing the Congress, means oblivion, not progress. If you think four years of Mitt Romney wouldn't matter, think again. His foreign policy advisors are largely neoconservatives who got us into Iraq. His monetary policy is, in a word, cutting: he wants to cut taxes for the rich, cut ties to reality, and cut the Middle Class to pieces. His party wants to end choice and define rape as a procreation event that should be welcomed from God. These people tanked the economy. Period. End of story.
Many will claim that Obama was stymied by a Republican Congress. But the primary policy framework Obama put in place – the bailouts, took place during the transition and the immediate months after the election, when Obama had enormous leverage over the Bush administration and then a dominant Democratic Party in Congress.
Policy doesn't happen in the first months after a President takes control. It unfolds through two budget cycles. Tell me, in the period between the inauguration and the swearing in of the new Congress after the 2010 election, was there any obstructionism? Of course there was. Andrew Sullivan could find it--why couldn't Stoller?
In the end, despite visiting Republicans in Congress Tuesday, stripping out two provisions the GOP objected to, and inviting several Republicans for drinks at the White House this evening, Obama did not get a single Republican to vote for the [stimulus] bill. Obama's efforts did win him some compliments from Republicans who figure they can make deals with the Democratic president when the bill goes to the Senate next week. ... "The president was clear that he was going to continue to reach out to us, continue to listen to our ideas and I think we have to remember we're at the beginning of this process," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told "Good Morning America" today. Those comments marked a softer tone from Tuesday morning, when Boehner and other Republican leaders tried to head off Obama's lobbying efforts by calling on Republicans to oppose the stimulus plan even before the president had met with them.
And that obstructionism paralyzed growth, tanked our economy, and laid the groundwork for a Republican case against re-electing the President based on an economy that was forced to grow in spite of itself. Think about how much better we'd be doing with just a million more jobs, with a million more Americans back to work. We'd see the effects of such a thing in more revenue for state and local governments, more taxes being paid, and fewer people collecting benefits. That's the policy the President has been chasing--putting people back to work. The Republicans have fought to kill jobs in this country. Stoller's argument is ridiculous and ignores the obstructionism that began in the summer of 2009.

Matt Stoller needs to understand one thing--the party of invasive tran-svaginal ultrasounds is the enemy of progressivism, not Barack Obama.

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