08 July 2011

Appearance and Reality in Obama's Digital Democracy

I came across this terrific post over at the Harvard Business Review blog. Here is the punch line:
"I'm a citizen of a generation whose future is going up in smoke faster than you can say "credit default swaps." And what you're really telling me is this: in some parts of the world, social tools can fuel the revolutions that topple dictators. Here, in the nation that invented them? They're used for marketing stunts."
The author, Umair Haque, is reacting, of course, to the AskObama tweet-o-rama earlier in the week. He rightly calls it "a meaningless marketing stunt."

So much for appearance. In the reality section we have Paul Krugman here in The New York Times suggesting that it is not just Obama's rhetoric that is disturbingly right-wing. It is his actual political and economic views that are right wing. Talking about Obama's recent interventions in the deficit reduction fiasco Krugman writes:
"So the goal may be to paint the G.O.P. into a corner, making Republicans look like intransigent extremists — which they are.

But let’s be frank. It’s getting harder and harder to trust Mr. Obama’s motives in the budget fight, given the way his economic rhetoric has veered to the right. In fact, if all you did was listen to his speeches, you might conclude that he basically shares the G.O.P.’s diagnosis of what ails our economy and what should be done to fix it. And maybe that’s not a false impression; maybe it’s the simple truth."

That seems just about right to me. After all, Obama appointed the Bowles/Simpson commission and now he is offering precisely the sorts of cuts to Social Security and Medicare that his mouthpieces recommended. There is no surprise here; Obama has been angling to cuts "entitlements" all along.

The next time someone asks what happened to all the moderate Republicans you can reply - They are in the Obama administration.

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