|'Stay Outta NYC,' Bloomberg Tells Obama|
|by Tom McGregor||Tue, Oct 30, 2012, 10:20 PM|
Apparently, even Democrat Party-leaning New York City residents appear reluctant to let President Barack Obama take re-election campaign photo-ops after Hurricane Sandy devastated the metropolis.
Fox News reports that, “New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg told residents at a Tuesday night briefing that he asked President Obama not to visit the storm-stricken city to view devastation caused by Sandy.”
Bloomberg said, “we’d love to have him, but we’ve got lots of things to do.” Obama has scheduled a trip to New Jersey on Wednesday instead. Bloomberg added, “people understand the storm and he doesn’t have to … he’s got a lot of things to do.”
According to Fox News, “the mayor said he was ‘flattered’ that Obama offered to visit, but ‘the thing for him to do is go to New Jersey and represent the country.”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will join Obama in a tour of devastation in the Garden State.
written by Jonathan Green , October 31, 2012
The fundamental question in this campaign, I believe, is the country’s future economic policy. As begrudging and inconsistent as it is, the Obama policy is generally in favor of further investment in the economy to increase consumer demand, while the Romney-Ryan approach is tax cuts for the rich and regulatory deregulation. The difference between these two policies is not inconsequential. Tenaciously high unemployment and growing poverty is a reality. For millions of working people, decisions made over the next four years will have a direct impact on their daily lives. The same, I think, can be said about immigration policy, reproductive rights, and LGBT equal rights.
Yea, I’ve heard the argument. For every negative thing that can be said about the GOP there’s something awful to cite about the other party; for every positive thing the Obama Administration may have accomplished there is something it did that is grossly offensive. One Left commentator wrote last week that he hoped Obama is reelected because his future failures will further radicalize us. That’s just another version of the tired old, and morally dubious, worse-the-better argument.
There can be no question of the meaning of the election for labor. The anti-labor intent of the Republican Party is spelled out clearly in the party platform and is underscored by the action of the party in state after state over the past few years. There are, I believe, two other issues that are forefront in this period. The first is racism, and there can be no doubt that it is a major element in the campaigns. Something akin to the “southern strategy” is at play and I suspect it will intensify in the coming two weeks. The other is the threat to democracy. This is reflected in the conscious and deliberate voter suppression drive and efforts to rig the system to give financial advantage to capital over labor in politics. For all the talk on the Left about the need for electoral and campaign finance reform, I don’t think there has been sufficient acknowledgement of the fact that things are actually moving in the opposite direction. While I don’t endorse the notion of an imminent “fascist” threat, I think the danger of the assault on democracy is real.
Which brings me to the next question: what happens after the election?
If the Right-wingers win the presidency, liberals, Leftists and progressives will have their backs against the wall, especially if the Right ends up in control of Congress. But whatever the results are, a real danger lurks. While we sleep, plotters are at work aiming to construct a “grand bargain” that will have only negative consequences for working people and the poor. Behind the slogans of “shared sacrifices” and the threat of a “fiscal cliff,” the economic and political elite are working on a “bipartisan” deal that will shift much of the burden of the current crisis of capitalism onto the backs of working people. The gains made in social welfare and economic security, won through struggle over a century, will be put at risk. Think of that every time you hear the words “Simpson-Bowles.”
Economist, Jared Bernstein, has made the point that this is not simply a Right-wing conspiracy. Though conservatives have introduced recent things like Social Security privatization, and private accounts for health care and unemployment, this is not a story of good Democrats and bad Republicans. “It is the story of the ascendancy of a largely bipartisan vision that promotes individualist market-based solutions over solutions that recognize there are big problems that markets cannot effectively solve,” he wrote recently.
“We cannot, for example, constantly cut the federal government’s revenue stream without undermining its ability to meet pressing social needs,” Bernstein wrote. “We know that more resources will be needed to meet the challenges of prospering in a global economy, keeping up with technological changes, funding health care and pension systems, helping individuals balance work and family life, improving the skills of our workforce, and reducing social and economic inequality. Yet discussion of this reality is off the table.”
A critique of the Obama campaign on this matter is still in order, though I doubt it will make much difference at this late date. But progressives must be resolute in defending such critical things as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Vice-President Biden has made somewhat reassuring statements about this matter, while Obama has continued to indicate a readiness to strike a “deal.” Rev. Sharpton is on to something when he says the election is “not about Obama but about yo’ mama.” But the economic security of your mama - and your daddy - won’t be secure after Nov. 6. The struggle continues. Take nothing for granted.
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