POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Friedman: Obama is pushing an agenda for U.S. success in the 21st century; the Republicans and Tea Party so far offer nothing

Posted by Lew Weinstein on April 7, 2010

Thomas Friedman writes in the NYT (4/7/10) …

  • Republicans will have to come up with more than “just-say-no-to-everything-except-lower-taxes-and-more-drilling” to field a credible 2012 presidential candidate. Here’s why:
  • Obama is at least trying to push an agenda for pursuing the American dream in these new circumstances.
  • Obama-ism posits that we are now in a hypercompetitive global economy, where the country that thrives will be the one that brings together the most educated, creative and diverse work force with the best infrastructure — bandwidth, ports, airports, high-speed rail and good governance.
  • And we’re in a world with a warming climate that is growing from 6.8 billion people to 9.2 billion by 2050, so demand for clean energy is going to go through the roof. Therefore, E.T. — energy technology — is going to be the next great global industry.
  • So, government matters. It needs to be incentivizing businesses to build their next factory in this country — at a time when every other nation is throwing incentives their way; it needs to be recruiting highly skilled immigrants; it needs to be setting the highest national education standards and funding basic research; it needs to be laying down the right energy regulations that will stimulate more clean-tech companies.
  • And — something neither Democrats nor Republicans have stepped up to yet — we will need to pay for all this by simultaneously raising some taxes, cutting others and by taking away some services to pay for needed new investments in infrastructure and education.
  • We can’t get away anymore with a G.O.P. that wants to cut taxes but never specifies which services it plans to give up, or a Democratic party that wants to add services by taxing only the rich.
  • One reason the G.O.P. has failed to spawn an agenda for the 21st century is that globalization has fragmented the party.
  • Its Wall Street/multinational corporate wing understands we need immigration, free trade, clean-tech and government support for better infrastructure and the scientific research that is the wellspring of innovation.
  • The Tea Party wing opposes virtually all those things.

read the entire column at … http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/07/opinion/07friedman.html?ref=opinion


One Response to “* Friedman: Obama is pushing an agenda for U.S. success in the 21st century; the Republicans and Tea Party so far offer nothing”

  1. Bob Lurer said

    We cannot stop the Republicans from hating our president and wanting him to fail. After all, they are sore losers and want to gain political clout by clearly being the “party of no,” thinking that this is how they are going to win back favor with the American people. Not so. What these Republicans are doing is showing that they hate Americans and want to see our country fail, not just our president. The constant tirades from the GOP officiates, and the continued obstruction of genuine reform, appointments and necessary programs (some of which were enthusiastically approved of by them during the Bush years), has put this country in an extreme partisan gridlock and has prevented the most necessary of social reforms to take place.

    It is as though the Republicans do not even understand what their constituents want, nor care to know. They are not listening as most Americans are telling them that they need jobs, they need unemployment extensions until they get these jobs, they need medical care and the ability to pay for it through comprehensive medical reform which includes a public option; the list is endless, the American people are struggling, yet, Congress, which is supposed to work on behalf of their constituents, and whose members are elected to “serve” the American people, have become so extremely partisan due to group of senators and representatives who would rather make a dastardly statement than to support our president, the one elected by an American people who want our country to move in a better direction. I have that right to see things improve. We have voted for that opportunity.

    Tom Coburn, a Republican senator from Oklahoma is just one example of a truly clueless official who would rather see our country fail. We owe him our gratitude for making sure the unemployment benefits extension did not get voted on. One person in a country of 300 million people can decide the fate of hundreds of thousands of American citizens because this one person thinks our country should not be spending any more money, for any reason. Simply amazing. Perhaps the senator and the rest of the party of no should give back their own salaries and their own “public option” medical insurance and their pensions since they clearly are not doing their jobs and working on behalf of the country. This is spending our country can certainly do without.

    What President Obama and the rest of the Democrats, people who are tirelessly making every effort to bring this country back into solvency, should realize is that they have to go it alone. The Republicans are thinking only of themselves and their political party; it is not their intention to make things better but only to see a popular leader fail miserably. We must not let that happen.

    Barbara McNamara, Joppa

    Copyright © 2010, The Baltimore Sun

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