Episode 111 – Obama Surges in Polls, Moves to the Middle, Where Will Republicans Go?

President Obama, through his response to the Tuscon Tragedy, the management of the Lame Duck Session of Congress and improving economic indicators, is moving to the political center and surging in the polls. The latest NBC News Wall Street Journal Poll shows a 15 point differential in his approval ratings, with most people seeing him as a moderate trying to work with Republicans. The poll also shows Republicans as being too inflexible right now, and with pushing things like the repeal of Health Care Reform and possibly anti-abortion matters, are they cow-towing too much to the base and losing the middle? And just who is running the once lockstep and disciplined Republican legislative and message machine? Could it be that winning just one House of Congress is the worst of all possible worlds for Republicans? What will happen at the State of the Union speech, and how will the President and Republicans handle it?

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One response to “Episode 111 – Obama Surges in Polls, Moves to the Middle, Where Will Republicans Go?

  1. Defense spending is probably the primary reason we are in the fiscal position we are in.

    We the people have a misguided need to be the most powerful nation militarily in the world! The biggest problem with this is that in the blink of an eye (or 50 years since Eisenhower’s speech) we went from the most powerful nation in the world – to being the 10X most powerful military nation in the world.

    I’d argue that we should be the most powerful, but defense spending can be cut by huge proportions with zero impact to our national security.

    Should we be defending Europe in the post cold war era? We do. And that gives Europe the financial means to spend the money they are not spending to defend themselves on social programs. Sort of an irony that we can’t afford universal health-care for American’s but we can afford to subsidize Europeans health-care by paying their defense tab.

    Should we be defending Japan? – maybe – maybe not. There is China. But does it really matter if China becomes a dominant military power? It’s going to happen, and there is not a thing we can do about it. I’d rather beat them economically by becoming the leader in clean energy technology.

    But there are good arguments on both sides. Budget cuts might not do it.

    My question is… Why does congress decide exactly how the defense budget gets spent? Why can’t we change that and give the Defense Secretary a top line number and let him/her spend it as they choose? Or let the President decide? Or even the Joint Chiefs as a group.

    Give the power to someone who is not by definition biased about how the money gets spent.

    To our hosts a question – Does the constitution give congress the authority to pick and choose the specific programs the military spends money on?

    Has anyone questioned or tried to change this.

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