Perspectives on Arizona shootings, Obama, Republicans plus plus

Robert Scheer, Robert borosage and John Nichols discuss the shootings in Arizona and the state of the nation in view of the essential natures of the Obama administration, Republican control of the House and the Democrats on KPFA’s Philip Maldari’s Sunday Show.

The program is a very informative conversation between the three guests and the host. It is well worth a listen and LSW cannot do justice to the range and subtlety of the viewpoints expressed. Nonetheless, here are some of the points brought up, which hopefully will entice the reader to listen to the program:

Robert Scheer tried to shift the focus of the Arizona killings away from the Palin/Republican connection to the miserable state of the economy and the resulting lack of hope for a better future in which the shootings occurred. While serving up an identifiable villain within an easily digested narrative, this narrative does not help to examine the situation. For example, the Democrats’ responsibility for this state of affairs is left out under a narrative placing them as good guys. Their corporate essence is all too clear when examined but somewhat hidden when buried under the good guys bad guys narrative implicit in solely laying blame on Palin and her buddies for the Arizona shootings. This paragraph expresses LSW’s perception of comments made during the program. Scheer wondered about the lack of attention paid to gun control.

The country is in an enormous mess: unemployment is ‘down’ to 9.4% because many people have given up finding work and are thus not counted as looking for work, 50 million have homes under water or lost in foreclosure, 40% will end up under the poverty line at some time in a 10 year period.

What will the Republicans do about that? They say they will improve the economy by dealing with the deficit, cutting programs (that help people?). Will people accept that, prevent unemployment benefits extensions, prevent building roads, programs that might help them find work?

It is up to Dems to make sure battles are not over window dressing (cutting funding to regulatory agencies which while important to avoid can amount to so much kabuki theatre as positions are established for the 2012 elections). But rumors are going around that Obama will in the state of union speech provide at least tacit approval for suggestions made by his deficit cutting commission. Social Security and Medicare may be threatened, by a coalition of Democrats and Republicans.

Will the Democrats look to extend the age of retirement and cut benefits as a way of fixing a non-existent Social Security problem with the ultimate goal to privatize Social Security? Will they look to make Medicare healthy (and fix the nation’s debt problem) by reducing health care costs and taking on Big Pharm and doctors?

The idea that you can cut spending without going after the military is nonsense. The tea bags may well battle traditional Republicans. Will they stick to their positions, Ron and tea bags when confronted by traditional Republicans looking to bring the pork back to their districts as they always had done? The Republicans are not a block, tea bags don’t like Republican Party leaders.

Will the Republican House be obstructionist? But Obama has signalled he will play ball with the Republicans and Sperling and Daley, radical free traders, with Nafta and deregulation on their conscience, are evidence.

Obama may not be obstructed but in league with the Republicans or simply just a Republican. 2012 Presidential race may just be theatre. At the end of the day Obama will ally with the Republicans and look to solve the country’s problems by obsessing on deficits and free trade, and abandoning a lot of the New Deal

Don’t blame immigrants or the Chinese for our problems. We have a one party system for the most part composed of corporate politicians with a few politicians genuinely concerned for the citizens and the country’s future. LSW would again like to urge President Obama switch parties.

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