So the latest rumor from the Beltway is that the default avoidance deal will be all cuts and no revenue increases (i.e. taxes on the rich.) There was the usual anguished gnashing of teeth and dismay among the Democrats and D-sympathizers on the board which, at a base level of sympathy, I can understand. After all, you'd like to think that a still-relatively popular president with a pathetically-loyal following and control of the top house of Congress would be able to cut a better deal than everything the opposition party wants and none of what his wants.
But do they want it?
We all know the answer to that because we are all thinking people, rather than believing people. The answer is: Don't be ridiculous. Of course they don't want it.
Almost every member of Congress and the vast majority of Obama's administration are either too wealthy or completely servile to those who are too wealthy to ever want a change in economic policy that imposes more of the public burden on them; regardless of what happens to the little people depending on the programs targeted for the deepest cuts (Social Security and Medicare.) That includes Obama. The election is less than a year-and-a-half away. He can't cut into the loose change of the people who fill his election coffers and whom will be happy to pave the driveway of the rest of his life with gold when he leaves office. He's already raised a record amount of cash. No sense turning off that spigot.
"But how can he do this?!", his erstwhile supporters shriek. It will cost him the election! Interestingly, most of them don't voice the more immediate concern: it's a complete violation of the line of horseshit that all of them fell for in 2008 (and every election prior...) and, for some reason, continue to cling to in the face of all activity to the contrary. It's hard to confront the truth sometimes, so we'll give them that. But will it cost him the election?
Traditionally, on the face of it, you don't want to savage major spending programs right before an election when the economy and employment situation is already weak. The current employment situation in the US would more properly be termed "dire", so it would seem even less intelligent to cut spending in the situation where most sitting presidents start showering programs with money in order to have something beneficial to the peasants to point to on the campaign trail. So, why?
Because, despite all the Obama and Dem supporters' insistence that he has the GOP by the short hairs in this standoff (which, in political terms is probably true) what they don't understand (or don't want to admit) is that the people he really has in his grip are them. You can come to that conclusion simply by listening for the howls of outrage to gradually be drowned out by the sonorous drone: "He had no other choice."
Imagine that these monks are your average Democrats or D-sympathizers; condemned to a life of self-abuse and mindless chanting while their leaders discard them like so much Dark Ages rabble. The image is perfect. They're the mirror image of GOP followers of people like Bachmann and Palin, neither of whom should be allowed near public office if common sense were the determinant of political reality in this country. Those Democrats believe that their leaders won't betray them again and again, despite repeated occurrences of exactly that. They're believers, not thinkers, and they're every bit as dangerous to the body public as the Bachmann hordes, if not worse, because they prevent any real change from occurring while encouraging everyone around them to accept palliatives as real medicine. And, when the Dems are betrayed, they immediately fall to the mantra: "He had no other choice." Despite being a sitting president and controlling half of Congress, he had no other choice. Clinton committed all kinds of perfidy against traditional Democratic values and programs, even while the Democrats controlled both houses, and the Democrat base was still informed that "he had no other choice." He had to go along to get along with people who really couldn't have stopped him, despite much sound and fury to the contrary. But Clinton, at least, was slick while selling his aluminum siding. Obama doesn't even try that hard.
"But the election-!", they scream. "Even loyal followers and, most importantly, independents won't put up with this." Oh, but they will. This is where the short hairs come back in, courtesy of two things: 1. The GOP field is pathetically bad in the eyes of the general public. Even if Obama hammers those least able to resist, the idea that anyone on the GOP side wouldn't do the same thing is preposterous. 2. The age-old Democratic boogeyman about how it could only be worse under the GOP, no matter how bad the current guy is. That's the essence of Democratic politics for the past two decades.
So, no, he won't end up losing the election by showing his true colors here (for only the 30th time of his presidency so far...) People will lap up the "nothing else he could do" mantra and hedge it with the idiocy of the current GOP field and that old boogeyman: "Think of how much WORSE it could be... as it continues to do nothing but get worse. But, y'know, slowly. So, that's better."
The simple fact is this: Obama has too many donors, friends, colleagues, and sycophants who are enjoying the Bush II tax rates, so there's no way he'd stoop to change them, even if he personally wanted to, which he doesn't, based on every action he's taken since he's been in office. If we had more thinkers and fewer believers, perhaps the reaction of the populace (and his supporters) would be different.
Democracy (and its republican bastardizations) with a somnolent electorate ensures oligarchy. Welcome to it.