I loves me some Alexander Cockburn. The longtime lefty curmudgeon, who lives to be the turd in the punchbowl, wrote in a recent Nation about how the bailout settled the outcome of the election a month before November 4th. More specifically, rather than determine the victor (which he assumes will be Obama), this action will establish how the next administration will rule. Citing past examples of how past elections have forced incoming leaders to tailor their approaches or agendas to new developments in the reality-based world, he thinks the new prez will “meekly surrender” to the financiers on Wall Street.
In Obama’s case, Big Al sees what he considers Obama’s acquiescence to the Paulson-led bailout to take the teeth out of any plan to do anything real in the face of the current fiasco. I dunno... Cockburn is left of left--he describes Paul Krugman as a centrist-- and as such he would tend to think that anything that doesn’t totally restructure the government as tepid at best. But aside from a rather glaring factual error (Lloyd Bentsen was Clinton’s first Treasury Secretary, not Bob Rubin), his larger point is accurate and something I think we all need to expect from an Obama Administration.
Current events will of necessity force the new kids on the block to focus on matters at hand rather than try to enact what they’ve run on, which is why I wish Obama would stop talking about tax cuts. There will not and can not be anything of the sort. Our taxes will be going up. End of story.