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Only Palin Can Make Me Vote Obama

I’ve had my share of disappointments with President Obama in his nearly two years in office. But after today’s press conference where he pledged to fight against deficit busting tax cuts in the next election year in 2012, I just have to part company. I think this pledge is a lie. I don’t know whether the President is lying to himself or us, but his pledge is simply not credible.

One of the reporters at the press conference asked the obvious question (for a change):

      Q    Some on the left have questioned — have looked at this deal and questioned what your core values are, what specifically you will go to the mat on.  I’m wondering if you can reassure them with some specific things in saying, all right, this is where I don’t budge.  And along those lines, what’s going to be different in 2012, when all these tax cuts again are up for expiration?

And got this answer:

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, what’s going to be different in 2012 we’ve just discussed, which is we will have had two years to discuss the budget — not in the abstract, but in concrete terms.  Over the last two years, the Republicans have had the benefit of watching us take all these emergency actions, having us preside over a $1.3 trillion deficit that we inherited and just pointing fingers and saying, that’s their problem.

      Well, over the next two years, they’re going to have to show me what it is that they think they can do.  And I think it becomes pretty clear, after you go through the budget line by line, that if in fact they want to pay for $700 billion worth of tax breaks to wealthy individuals, that that’s a lot of money and that the cuts — corresponding cuts that would have to be made are very painful.  So either they rethink their position, or I don’t think they’re going to do very well in 2012.  So that’s on the first point.

I realize it’s foolish to make confident predictions about the future. I will this time anyway. The Republicans will make the same argument about the cuts in 2012 that they did this year. They will repeat their assertions that tax cuts don’t have to be “paid for” because it’s the people’s money. Never mind that’s the people’s bills and Republicans spend as much as Democrats, just on different stuff.

The Democrats will continue to have a majority in the Senate until 2012, so the Republican House will continue to have a whipping boy to foist future deficits onto.

The only thing different in 2012 is that President Obama himself will be up for re-election and whether the “temporary tax cuts” will be extended will depend on the President’s willingness to endure commercials about him presiding over the “largest tax increase ever.” If not he’s not willing to fight in 2010 when his job is in no jeopardy, I can’t believe he’ll take an unpopular position when his job is at stake.

I’m still not sorry that I voted for Obama in 2008. I think that the McCain/Palin presidency would be a greater train wreck for our country than Obama’s is proving to be.

But in 2012 I will gladly back a primary challenger to President Obama, if they have a demonstrable record on civil liberties and alternatives to war and/or fiscal responsiblity. If such a candidate doesn’t win the Democratic nomination, I’ll look at alternatives. I’ll at least listen to the Republican alternative in the debates, though I’ll probably vote either Green or Libertarian.

UNLESS the Republican party puts Sarah Palin back on the ticket, whether President or VP. I think the country would be so ill served by such a divisive, bitter, thin skinned quitter that if she’s on a major party ballot, I will vote once more for the President. I won’t contribute to his campaign or walk for him, but I’ll vote for him.

Should things radically turn around in the next few weeks, I reserve the right to change my mind. But I don’t think I’m going to be less disappointed.

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