The Obama administration is now setting its sights on coming to an agreement (ANY agreement) to forestall the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The White House is sending out signals its “willingness” to appease Republicans by whittling away at Medicare. Obama’s people would allow raising the eligibility age to 67, saving the government nothing but costing seniors billions (if not many lives as a consequence).
What shrewd negotiating skills! It was only a year ago just before Christmas that Obama unilaterally disarmed his bargaining leverage by freezing all federal employees’ pay without as much as a whimper of demand from the other side. Yes, it sent a strong signal to Republicans: “This guy isn’t the Antichrist. He’s Neville Chamberlain incarnate in-the-flesh! We can walk all over him.”
Even the proposed rate increase for incomes above $250,000 is sliced in half – from 39.5% to 37% – gently announced outside the bargaining hall. As if leaking a teaser through the media is going to make Republicans jump to their senses. Progressives should loudly protest, “Hey, President Obama! The math doesn’t add up if you compromise half the projected revenue.”
Romney was correct about one thing: America desperately needs leadership at this time. Obama has the talent, skills, experience, and coolness to lead. But will he? Or will he backslide to his old compromising, consensus-building ways that result in nothing but Munich 1938?
Returning to the Clinton era tax rates would not only stimulate the economy, but put the deficit Genie back in the bottle. Remember the 90s? George Junior was handed a golden goose which he managed to turn into a pile of feces in eight years. (Turd Blossom be praised!) Surpluses changed to deficits; peace turned to war; and America still feels the impact of the idiot(s).
Republicans don’t want prosperity under a Democratic administration; a healthy economy has to arrive under one of their own or not at all. That’s the way bullies behave. “My way or the highway.” So, they kill every bill that has promise and allow only ceremonial bills to come up for a vote that may pander to their righteous base. Washington’s new name is GRIDLOCK CITY, compliments of the GOP. Mitch McConnell is the city’s new mascot; doesn’t even require a mask or costume.
Obama’s people show their cards before the hand is fully dealt – still hoping to get something in return. The pattern of preemptively conceding fundamentals, unfortunately, hasn’t changed since Obama took office. He talks big to his supporters packed in townhalls while selling them short in Washington (Gridlock City); then blames Republicans for hideous outcomes and a nation reeling from paralysis.
Didn’t he just win an electoral landslide and popular vote by nearly 5,000,000 more than the other guy?
Teddy Roosevelt’s refrain was “Speak softly but carry a big stick.” Barack Obama’s is “Speak loudly of hope but stick it to the poor saps that fell for it.” Bush kissed his base; Barack kicked his.
I’ll be frank: this writer is a strong Obama supporter. And that’s why I have written straightforwardly in my criticism. It’s not that we’re unable to see his blemishes and shortcomings. Even Lincoln’s big warts came out in old stills.
All leaders, great and small, are human, as are we all, with common defects and complex characteristics. But when one comes on stage as Obama with such great promise, intellect, poise, and popularity, we expect more than the compromising-to-extinction of the policies and programs we fought so diligently to establish. It’d be better for a Republican to serve than a Democrat lacking spine.
The first Black President must become one of the greatest. And I believe he will, but I hope the eventuality materializes into the present.