POSTED BY ORHAN
Today Glenn Greenwald explained why Obama continually folds on tax cuts to the rich and cuts in social services — it’s not because the President and his advisers are weak, incompetent negotiators unable to stand up to crafty, intransigent Republicans — things turn out the way they do because Obama and the Democrats, with few exceptions, want them to turn out that way:
Conventional D.C. wisdom — that which Obama vowed to subvert but has done as much as any President to bolster — has held for decades that Democratic Presidents succeed politically by being as “centrist” or even as conservative as possible. That attracts independents, diffuses GOP enthusiasm, casts the President as a triangulating conciliator, and generates raves from the DC press corps — all while keeping more than enough Democrats and progressives in line through a combination of anti-GOP fear-mongering and partisan loyalty.
Isn’t that exactly the winning combination that will maximize the President’s re-election chances? Just consider the polling data on last week’s budget cuts, which most liberal commentators scorned. Americans support the “compromise” by a margin of 58-38%; that support includes a majority of independents, substantial GOP factions, and 2/3 of Democrats.
And yes, the President “got tough” in today’s budget speech and swore he wouldn’t cave in to the Republicans: “we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m President, we won’t.”