Saturday, April 09, 2011

And Obama Speaks

Here is an early snippet from his speech after a compromise (which compromised on previous compromises starting from the initial Obama administration's compromise position) which averted the imminent threat of the government shutting down. The president tells us that he got the best deal possible:

Do you notice what he calls women's health? "A social issue". That, my sweetings, is Republican framing.

So what did we get? We didn't get bridges or other infrastructure repaired. That must wait until a gigantic accident happens and the necessary blood sacrifices are made. We got the biggest possible spending cuts (which both parties apparently wanted so very badly) in a situation where recovery is still at most fragile. We made sure that Americans will have less money to spend on all those products that other Americans are supposed to make and thus get jobs! How many extra jobs will be lost because of this budget compromise?

Butbutbut... Planned Parenthood was saved! Until later, at least:
Despite the violent sturm und drang surrounding these negotiations -- including familiar, but tired accusations by Republicans of Democratic infidelity to U.S. troops -- the final deal looks uncannily like the framework the two sides have been working with since the middle of March.
It includes cuts to both mandatory and discretionary spending, and does not include a rider that would have defunded Planned Parenthood -- the final sticking point in the negotiations. Republicans have been promised up-or-down floor votes in the Senate on riders to defund Planned Parenthood and health care implementation.

Washington D.C. women were, however, not quite saved. Ezra Klein points out on twitter that:
The resolution includes rider prohibiting dc from using its own money to help women access abortions.
So the "social issue" of women's reproductive health did slip into the budget!

It was a dreadful speech, especially from a great orator. But I'm much angrier about its contents. Washington insiders live in a bubble and its walls are made of money.