Obama on Social Security and Medicare

Here goes:

"What we have done is kicked this can down the road.  We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further," he said.  "We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else's."

And on unions:

The president-elect also gave his support for legislation that would
make it easier for workers to unionize, but he said there may be other
ways to achieve the same goal without angering businesses. And while
many Democrats on Capitol Hill are eager to see a quick vote on that bill, he indicated no desire to rush into the contentious issue.

"If we're losing half a million jobs a month, then there are no jobs to
unionize, so my focus first is on those key economic priority items I
just mentioned," he said. "Let's see what the legislative docket looks

Is that a "no"?

The real question for progressives to ask is why this is happening (in the interests of fairness, I should add that libertarians need to ask themselves similar questions about the Bush years).  It is too soon for them to vilify Obama, so you'll either hear mutterings about him not being bold enough or just not hear much at all.  The deeper reality is that Obama understands that this country was set up to be governed from the center and he'd rather start there than move there after two years of failed attempts to do something else.  Don't be taken in by those funny maps they show about how the Democratic legislators are further left than before; the more power you have, the harder it is not to govern from the center.

The bottom line: If I'm happy so far, a lot of you out there have to be unhappy.


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