Democrats will vehemently disagree that they’re selling pessimism. Barack Obama rode to office on a wave of populist fervor, they will point out, and did so on a message of Hope and Change. They will rightly point out that the election of the first African-American President said something very optimistic about America and put us ahead of most of our Western allies in transcending centuries of racial animosity and injustice.
However, there are two problems with this argument. First, Obama ran as a moderate, but has governed as a movement liberal, championing government control of entire swaths of the economy. Second, the progressive agenda is not about optimism, but about futility. It argues that individuals cannot succeed in America without government choosing the winners and the losers. It casts the business world as monolithic villains out to exploit the masses, not as free markets that allow opportunities for success through individual initiative, innovation, and genius. The progressive memes rest on dire warnings of environmental and economic disasters that only statist bureaucracies can possibly avoid.
It’s all about devaluing the individual and hailing the collective. The marriage of the union movement to the progressives is no accident, although it’s bad for the unions in the long run. They both have the same impulse, which is to trump the individual and put a small cadre of elites in charge of all the decisions.
Fortified by the presence of All-Stars such as LeBron James, Kevin Garnett and Carmelo Anthony, the NBA players’ association on Friday let the league know that its proposal for a new deal was unacceptable, seemingly putting a stop for now on negotiations toward a new agreement.
“The players came in there and said, ‘We hope you don’t want to go that way. We don’t want to fight, but if we’re not given any other choice, we’re not going to run from a fight,”’ NBPA chief Billy Hunter said after a press conference.
“So we’re going to make every effort to get an agreement done, we just want an agreement that’s a lot more equitable and one that doesn’t have a structure that’s oppressive.”
President Obama is preparing to use executive power to jumpstart his stalled legislative agenda in a move that some see as hypocritical, given his criticism of former presidents Bush and Clinton for their sometimes controversial uses of executive orders and administrative fiats.
The news comes after the president signed a bill Friday re-instituting the ‘pay as you go’ budget rules that he said today would force Congress to “pay for what it spends, just like everybody else.”
Obama’s decision to bring the rules back is an apparent effort to convince Americans that he is committed to reducing expenditures in Washington, but the bill also lifts the amount the U.S. can borrow from foreign countries by $1.9 trillion.