Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Eric Boehlert of Media Matters already addressed much of what's insufferable about this sneering takedown of Barack Obama by Mark Halperin, but I just want to address this regurgitation of undigested GOP talking points on Halperin's part:

Moreover, there is a growing perception that Obama's decisions are causing harm -- that businesses are being hurt by the Administration's legislation and that economic recovery is stalling because of the uncertainty surrounding energy policy, health care, deficits, housing, immigration and spending.

We had a similar reference to "uncertainty" from Charles Krauthammer last week:

As if this were not enough, Congress adjourned without even a vote -- nay, without even a Democratic bill -- on the expiring Bush tax cuts....

It's not just income taxes. It's capital gains and dividends, too. And the estate tax, which will careen insanely from 0 to 55 percent when the ball drops on Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Nor is this harmless incompetence. To do this at a time when $2 trillion of capital is sitting on the sidelines because of rising uncertainty -- and there is no greater uncertainty than next year's tax rates -- is staggeringly irresponsible.

"Uncertainty"? Sorry, that's a crock.

We all know, more or less, what's going to happen in the midterms: Republicans are going to win back the House or come close, and probably not win back the Senate but come close. And we all know that, health care and the very early stimulus and bailout bills aside, the administration and the Democrats can't pass anything right now even with the current large congressional majorities. Since we also know that Republicans won't achieve veto-proof two-thirds majorities in both houses, or even come close, we're absolutely certain to have either stalemate or "compromise" that will essentially be Democratic capitulation to the right-wing agenda.

And since "uncertainty" is a shorthand way of saying "lack of clarity on the question of whether Democrats will continue advancing their radical Kenyan Marxist agenda, it needs to be said that there is no freaking uncertainty. There won't be a real energy bill. There won't be an immigration bill. There's very little likelihood that Democrats will be able to do anything with the Bush tax cuts other than renew them in toto.

Health care? The only uncertainty (in the plain sense of the word) is the extent to which Republicans will be able to undo the Democrats' legislation, with Blue Dogs' help, or by means of denial of funding, or by patiently waiting until (in all likelihood) they control the entire federal government after the 2012 elections. But that uncertainty is being created by Republicans. It's not Obama's fault, or Reid and Pelosi's. They passed their health care bill. They reduced uncertainty.

"Uncertainty" has been a right-wing talking point since '09. It's a favorite talking point of John Boehner and Eric Cantor and their ilk. But it's nonsense.

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