Sunday, April 15, 2012

Sunday Roundup: Obama as Sisyphus (Cosby)...rise of the left...finally?

Fareed Zakaria, earlier this morning, pointed to the 'rise of the left' in political elections in France, for example, where the left leaders are championing tax rates for the most wealthy of between 75 and 100%, and in Germany where the Pirate party (seeking a more open and free internet and less restrictive copyright laws, with little more to its policy agenda as yet)  has gained a seat in the legislature from Berlin, and threatens to win a seat in a riding on the French border, where there is a more conservative electorate.
Zakaria's view seems to be that, with the massive bailouts of both banks and corporations by governments, the "right" became terrified of the potential of a tsunami of socialist policies and governments, mobilized and generated movements like the Tea Party in the U.S. and he may be right.
However, it was his own interview with Gene Sperling, the Chief Economic Advisor to President Obama, that pointed to the untentable approach of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, in blocking the jobs bill that Obama sent to Congress, and the failure of the Paul Ryan budget proposal, not only NOT to increase taxes on the wealthy, but actually to lower taxes on all income groups, along with the balanced proposals of the by-partisan Simpson-Bowles committee and his hope that a different attitude and spirit will accompany the coming confluence of factors about to strike in late 2012.
  • the expiration of the Bush tax cuts
  • the onset of the required budget cuts, should sequestering become activated, given a lack of a compromise solution on debt and deficit cutting between the Congress and the White House
  • the reaching of the declared debt limit raising the spectre of a closed government should an agreement not be reached before
And, on NBC's Meet the Press, David Gregory interviewed comedian and social commentator, Bill Cosby, who insightfully and sensitively dubbed President Obama, the Sisyphus of American Politics, pushing the rock up the mountain. Only, from Cosby's perspective, no one wants to speak about either the size of the rock he has had to push, nor the steep grade and the length of the mountain he has had to climb. "It is as if he came into office sporting a budget surplus, given how the people concentrate on the things he has failed to accomplish rather than the stability, perseverance and maturity he has demonstrated under extreme conditions," is approximately what Cosby offered as his analysis.
And we heartily concur with Cosby!
Is the left finally going to come into its own, given the volume and the persistence of the cacaphony of the right-wing neo-cons that has saturated the public discourse for the last decade?

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