Bob Lefsetz Explains It All To You
In the midst of an essay on Louis C.K., Bob Lefsetz (chez Ritholtz) explains what the Lemieuxes and (now, sadly) Mannions of the world keep ignoring:
One of the reasons artists have lost power is they no longer lead.
It’s kind of like our President. He’s so busy appeasing people that
even his natural constituency is turned off.
There are other things that, at best, don’t help. But President Clinton survived “welfare reform“—even though the inevitable consequences were well-noted at the time—because he vetoed bills that were worse than doing nothing.
Clinton’s immediate successor threatened to veto bills that were not to his liking, and went five and one-half years before having to veto one.
Barack Obama often threatens to veto legislation, but no one takes that claim seriously. Indeed, he has done it twice so far, one a procedural play, the other (much to his credit) the Bottom-Fishing and Robo-Signing Retroactive Legality Act of 2010.
A record like makes it rather difficult to run on a “they’re keeping me from doing good things” platform.
UPDATE: Mark Thoma sums up the effect of the Obama negotiation/”leadership” strategy on voters:
I really don’t like that my choices in the upcoming election will be between one candidate who will betray the things I believe in, civil liberties, progressive taxation, etc., etc., etc., and a crazy person from the other side (take your pick) who will be even worse.
My solution is to focus on the Congressional elections and not vote for anyone for president who does not have the qualities I want in a president. Any other approach rewards wrongheaded policies favoring the elite 1%.
good luck with that
i have two senators and a congressman whose vote i can count on to be a political calculation to get them re-elected… no surprise in that,but when they obviously have no interest in the welfare of the country or the people you start wishing for someone who could teach the people (lead?) what is needed.
I did not say I like it, but I can not bring myself to support Obama and my hope is that the Democrats in Congress will take a page from the GOP if there is a Republican president.
i think the page they are likely to take is “tax cuts forever” ,
Dean Baker wrote an article today (sorry, no link) complaining that the payroll tax holiday was a bad idea but that Obama’s people said it was the only stimulus they could get the Republicans to pass. Baker thought that timely better leadership might have avoided this.
He did not seem to feel (as I do) that better leadership could still avoid this.
If the only stimulus the Republicans would accept would be the sacrifice of all our first born sons, would the D’s just have to go along?
i want to say this is a lie (from Obama’s folk). The “progressives” were out there preparing the ground for a payroll tax holiday (they called the SS payrment a “jobs destroying tax”) before the original stimulus (you know, tax cuts for the banks) had really been tried.
it’s hard not to believe this is all orchestrated. though sometimes difficult to tell who knows the score.