What 'Pivot'? OFA's 'Action August' Has No Events Tied to Economy
Organizing For Action claims that its mission is to "support President Obama in achieving enactment of the national agenda Americans voted for on Election Day 2012." Presumably, on a day-to-day and month-to-month basis, that means it's able to divine the President's priorities and follow them (you see, OFA is "independent," so there can't pooooossibly be any communication between its officials and the White House, cough, cough).
Well, if OFA really is following the President's priorities, one of those priorities is decidedly not the economy, despite Obama's promise in his weekly address on Saturday to "spend every minute of every day doing everything in my power to make this economy work for working Americans again." And yes, I would expect a vigilant establishment press, which we definitely don't have, to notice, and of course they haven't. Edward-Isaac Dovere at the Politico has a list of OFA's "Action August" key event days, which follows the jump:
Kicking off on Obama’s birthday on Aug. 4, they’ll start by promoting the benefits of Obamacare and enrollment ahead of the Oct. 1 deadline.
The rest of the calendar will be:
Aug. 5: Immigration reform
Aug. 13: Climate change
Aug. 21: Gun control
Aug. 31: Immigration reform
The group also announced plans at its summit Monday to do targeted events throughout the month on gay marriage, women’s issues and reproductive rights.
Dovere naturally didn't notice the disconnect between Obama's alleged priorities and OFA's agenda, which is also economy-free in other places.
At OFA's web site, in a July 26 entry called "Ramping Up for Action August," Jack Doherty makes no reference to the economy and links to Jon Carson's July 19 "Action August" agenda entry. Carson identifies the group's four key issues as Obamacare, immigration reform, gun violence (someone should tell OFA that guns are inanimate objects incapable of violence), and (zheesh) climate change. It also has nothing about the economy.
The lack of an OFA agenda item even in the neighborhood of the economy would seem to indicate that Team Obama's decision to visit Galesburg, Illinois last week and to make two other economy-related appearances shortly thereafter might be a hasty reaction to bad news relating to economic growth and the job market coming up later this week.
If and when the bad news comes (even "good" news involving beating expectations won't really be that impressive in historical context), as Paul Roderick Gregory at Forbes notes, Obama will whine about sequestration and not put the blame on failed Keynesianism, which is where it belongs (bolds are mine):
... Obama’s ideological blinders prevent a real pivot on the economy. In his mind, Keynesian stimulus is the only way to fight unemployment and raise growth. Anti-growth redistribution, growing government control of the economy, and restructuring one sixth of the economy can be offset by Keynesian stimulus. No problem.
Obama is now like the western sheriff who has shot all six bullets from his six shooter and has none in reserve. He poured more than a trillion dollars into stimulus programs. ... The hand-in-glove Federal Reserve under the compliant Ben Bernanke has poured even larger amounts into monetary stimulus and unprecedented “quantitative easing” to lower long term interest rates. The result: no credit for medium and small businesses and destruction of financial intermediation.
Obama, in a gross caricature of Keynes, is reduced to arguing ludicrously that we can grow the economy with food stamps and unemployment benefits because of their large Keynesian multipliers. ...
He is reduced to arguing that the failure of the economy to break free of the sluggish economy is due to the miniscule spending cuts of the sequestration and the Republicans’ desire to gut all entitlement programs. Even if the sequester survives past its first year, the CBO projects we will add $2.5 trillion to the national debt between 2014 and 2018.
President Obama refuses to concede that structural factors, largely imposed by his administration, are responsible for the weakest economic recovery of the postwar period.
If this were a different president, and I daresay even a Democrat, the press would be raising the issue I'm about to raise. When something has been shown not to work after almost five years and the person in charge still won't change course, one has to ask if that that person, President Barack Obama, considers the poor results the economy is achieving somehow acceptable.
The fact that OFA isn't even pretending that the economy is a priority with them is an indicator that the answer to that question really is "yes."
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.