Friday, July 9, 2010

Dollar Votes Extend To Corporations, Too

The Morning Joe Rebuttal for July 9th, 2010


1) From both sides, the Senator Menendez interview was the crux of the show today. it wasn’t a watershed of new ideas, it was the crux of the dispute. Question 1: from John Heilmann went something like ‘Wall Street is abandoning you, what would you say to them to regain their trust so that they might embrace your candidates and programs going forward”? Answer, They will realize they should thank us at some point. What is going on here? Menendez has gone ostrich on us and just dove in the sand rather than answer the question. If I was Wall Street, I would say AHA, these guys are pandering at our expense and can’t even look us in the eye.

Question #2: 'your stimulus policies are largely a failure how can you expect the people to trust you' (paraphrased from Mort Zuckerman)? Answer: I think you're wrong, and Wall Street should be more to blame than the stimulus. Wrong answer. Why does Democrat after Democrat feed their own disdain? It is simply ludicrous for the Democratic party to on one hand talk about how the stimulus had any effect at all on the financial crisis, while on the other hand ask the taxpayer to fund a second correcting program. Your administration made a drunken sailor prediction on the high water mark of unemployment, using a wishful thinking, algebraic cause and effect rationale relating a truckload of disjointed handouts to a macro economic phenomenon. You have proven that you will play the dysfunctional middle and blunt any program that might resolve the nation’s ills. And today, with stimulus a bad word, you are as guilty as the other side of doublespeak for your inability to be a believable critic of your own work.

What needed to happen right there is more of the Elizabeth Warren ‘People Vs. Companies' stuff where you make your antagonist come to the table via a position of confidence. What happened instead is a guy who seemed a lot like Jimmy Carter, I have no answer and will mumble that same old ‘the American people’ desperation plea and hope people like me with or without substance.

Did Menendez go rogue to be this lacking in credibility? I think the Rahm Emmanuel quotes during the show answer that. This is Bambi wondering why the guys in the militia outfits are shooting at him, folks.

2) Wall Street influenced as much as possible on the financial regulatory reform. They kneaded the process and had a plan to fix the entire bill at the end, ala’ health reform, so that it was a dog and pony show with no teeth. This would make it like every other piece of legislation in the last quarter century. In the ‘people vs. companies’ equation, the companies have won every time.

Financial regulatory reform did not accomplish 90% of what it set out to do, just like health reform. But Wall Street and the health care industry don’t care about their short term victory of influence over the legislative branch of government. Their positon is "we cannot take the risk of having this morph into an organic reform where our market power is diminished and competition erodes our price controls. We may not have lost here, but the existence of something that said we got reformed could enable further challenges and we have to put a stop to any of that momentum."

Thus, these industries are now on the other side. It doesn’t matter what the balance of the Republican agenda is, the pro commerce Barton, Tauzin, Liebermann types need to be re-seated to preside over the government or the landscape is uncertain. You listen to CNBC and all day its ‘uncertainty, uncertainty, uncertainty’ as it relates to the business environment and Obama is to blame for that. Businesses are choosing to horde cash and not invest.

This is business making dollar votes. They are establishing their power over government in what amounts to an economic coup. "We won’t tolerate any ‘for the people’ populism at our expense. We will operate unencumbered free to pursue profits with as few obstacles as possible. If our profiteering results in social costs like oil spills, 40 million Americans without health coverage, 45 million unemployed, or financial panics, the government needs to clean that up at no cost to us and assist in our recovery first."

"Obama, when making deals with us, needs to understand that it will never be enough, and meeting us halfway is seen as a delaying tactic more than any compromise by our side as we wait out the political cycle’s inevitable turn and expect that the other party will return us to the status quo at godspeed."

US commercial interests have now, thanks to Barack Obama, seen the precipice of a return to populism, and they have seen enough. It’s dark comedy in the face of it that the Obama people are looking for ways to placate business rather than reading the double cross writing on the wall. It’s dark comedy that the remaining constituency of the Obama administration, the middle class, sees this first overture go to business rather than people, again.

On the show today, you have a billionaire Mort Zuckerman essentially saying this exact thing out loud, valuable and terrifying at the same time, and you have Pat Buchanan connecting the dots on the Obama administration alienating both sides, then stunningly Mika counts backwards and fades to black quickly, as if that wasn’t in the script, cutting to two pre-recorded segments and signing off. Disturbing, to say the least.

3) I find it on the ugly side of convenience that after effectively sequestering the hate filled extremism of Anne Coulter for the better part of 2 years, now that she has fired a fractious shot at the Republican party she is trending again. I wish this didn’t seem like the hypocritical equivalent of ‘the benefits of brown on brown crime’, but it is. If you are to abandon hate, you have to even when it might be to your short term advantage to show how the other side is shooting at each other.

I wish I could’ve believed Joe Scarborough when he rejected any discrediting of Coulter by saying 'we don’t normally allow her any credence, but this time she has a point'. But convenience ruled the day and like Hitler walking into a bar in New York this past Tuesday while the Germans prepared to play World Cup soccer, Coulter gets to parade around as an example of the kind of extremist right wing anger that used to be OK with 90% of Republicans as recently as 2 years ago.

Back to the bunker, both of you.

That’s all for today, see you tomorrow.

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