Thursday, September 30, 2010

'Obama fights back'

Posted By on Thu, Sep 30, 2010 at 11:54 AM

Eh. Is he fighting back? Personally, I want to see him regain the fighting spirit he exhibited on the campaign trail, back when so many fell in love with the idea of change. I suppose, however, an interview by Rolling Stone, which will appear in their Oct. 15 issue, will have to do for now. It does offer a great deal of insight into what our country's leader faces on a daily battle up on Capitol Hill.

The article is long, but it should be; there's a lot of ground to cover and it's not that often that you can get a major figure, like the President of the United States, to speak so candidly, and at such length, on the record. It's definitely worth a read.

Here's a snippet:

What do you think the Republican Party stands for today?

Well, on the economic front, their only agenda seems to be tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. If you ask their leadership what their agenda will be going into next year to bring about growth and improve the job numbers out there, what they will say is, "We just want these tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans, which will cost us $700 billion and which we're not going to pay for."

Now what they'll also say is, "We're going to control spending." But of course, when you say you're going to borrow $700 billion to give an average $100,000-a-year tax break to people making a million dollars a year, or more, and you're not going to pay for it; when Mitch McConnell's overall tax package that he just announced recently was priced at about $4 trillion; when you, as a caucus, reject a bipartisan idea for a fiscal commission that originated from Judd Gregg, Republican budget chair, and Kent Conrad, Democratic budget chair, so that I had to end up putting the thing together administratively because we couldn't get any support — you don't get a sense that they're actually serious on the deficit side.

What do you think of the Tea Party and the people behind it?

I think the Tea Party is an amalgam, a mixed bag of a lot of different strains in American politics that have been there for a long time. There are some strong and sincere libertarians who are in the Tea Party who generally don't believe in government intervention in the market or socially. There are some social conservatives in the Tea Party who are rejecting me the same way they rejected Bill Clinton, the same way they would reject any Democratic president as being too liberal or too progressive. There are strains in the Tea Party that are troubled by what they saw as a series of instances in which the middle-class and working-class people have been abused or hurt by special interests and Washington, but their anger is misdirected.

And then there are probably some aspects of the Tea Party that are a little darker, that have to do with anti-immigrant sentiment or are troubled by what I represent as the president. So I think it's hard to characterize the Tea Party as a whole, and I think it's still defining itself.

Read the entire article, by Jann S. Wenner, here.

Where did this guy go? Mr. President, I hope you get your "voice" back soon.

Rhiannon "Rhi" Bowman is an independent journalist who contributes snarky commentary on Creative Loafing's CLog blog four days a week in addition to writing for several other local media organizations. Additionally, she's on the steering committee for the Greater Charlotte Society of Professional Journalists. To learn more, click the links or follow Rhi on Twitter.

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