Yglesias Award Nominee

Sep 7 2012 @ 11:39am

Screen shot 2012-09-07 at 11.25.10 AM

"The question is, did he let the air out of the balloon here? Lose the momentum that gathered with such undeniable force over the previous two nights? I suspect he may have. If he comes out of this convention with under a three-point bounce, that will constitute a horrible missed opportunity. This thing was teed up for him to build a five-point lead. If there’s little movement in next week’s polls, then there’s also little doubt whose fault it is. Michelle did her job, and Clinton more than did his," – Tomasky.

I get what Michael is saying. By Obama's standards, this was an average speech. The thing is: I'm not sure a soaring piece of rhetoric would have been more effective, given that people want more than soaring rhetoric at this stage. What it lacked was a single dramatic shift from the first four years. Unless you count what I and Digby immediately noticed:

when Governor Romney and his allies in Congress tell us we can somehow lower our deficit by spending trillions more on new tax breaks for the wealthy – well, you do the math. I refuse to go along with that. And as long as I’m President, I never will.

I refuse to ask middle class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut. I refuse to ask students to pay more for college; or kick children out of Head Start programs, or eliminate health insurance for millions of Americans who are poor, elderly, or disabled – all so those with the most can pay less.

Digby worries – and I hope – that this means that Obama is prepared to put Medicare on a much more serious path to lower costs if he can win tax revenues that do not disproportionately fall on the middle class. In other words, the sentence I was waiting for:

Now, I’m still eager to reach an agreement based on the principles of my bipartisan debt commission. No party has a monopoly on wisdom. No democracy works without compromise. I want to get this done, and we can get it done.

And we can only get this done if Obama wins this one handily and the Democrats retain the Senate. The GOP is just not serious about the debt and not serious about the compromise needed to get it. Anyone calling for more tax cuts and more defense spending than even the Pentagon wants and rules out any new revenues is not a fiscal conservative. He's a modern, deficit-busting Republican.

(Chart from Pollster – sans Rasmussen, made as sensitive as possible.)