Monday, December 06, 2010

The End of the Obama Presidency...

The  Presidency of Barack Obama  ended  today.

The Republican Party has  discovered  the sad and very inconvenient  truth about Barack Obama,    President Obama, is a good man,  an intelligent man,  who is very weak.  President Obama is not a Leader,  he is a negotiator, and not a very good one.  On issue after issue, from Health Care Reform, to Wall Street Reform,  Congressional Republicans, found that President Obama, seemed to prefer a really bad agreement,  to no agreement.

As a result,  the GOP learned very quickly , that it was all too easy to  back  the President into a corner,  where his natural  urge to "find common ground",   meant  he would abandon  his stated principles and  simply  give in and give up. All the while making  very eloquent statements about the  value of  bi-partisanship.

Today  President Barack Obama  apparently decided he doesn't want a second term.  The great  irony here is  that he will likely suffer the same  electoral fate as the first President Bush.  George HW Bush agreed to the 1990 budget deal  with Congressional Democrats.  Then in 1992 the Democrats turned around and attacked Bush for  breaking his  "read my lips" pledge on no new taxes.  

Make no mistake, in 2012 the GOP will  firmly lay the deeper hole, that this  "compromise" will dig  in terms of the deficit and the National Debt, firmly  at the feet of  the President and the Democrats.  You can almost see the ads,  labeling  the trillions of dollars of added  debt as the  "Obama  Record".

This deal is  the GOP's  biggest Christmas wish come true.   The Democrats have just lost  their only  real campaign issue.  The wildly unpopular  "Bush Tax Cuts for  Millionaires  and Billionaires"  are now officially the "Obama Tax Cuts for Millionaires and Billionaires".

The one year  extension of  Unemployment Insurance benefits is a very good thing,  but  to think it could not have been accomplished  with out caving in on tax cuts  for the  wealthiest of the wealthy is  the biggest  political cop-out since Bill Clinton signed  the Defense of Marriage Act.

With solid majorities in both  houses of Congress  the Obama Administration refused to even consider using even the threat of  budget reconciliation  to get his agenda through congress.  

From National Public Radio:
Budget reconciliation, a provision of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act, is designed to force committees to make changes in mandatory – or entitlement – spending and revenues.  The rules for budget reconciliation in the Senate restrict the procedure to provisions dealing with the budget. They also set strict protocols for consideration of the bills in both chambers. Under the procedures for reconciliation bills, debate in both houses is limited to 20 hours, and no Senate filibusters are allowed.  

Congress has used reconciliation occasionally for non-budget legislation, including rewriting health care and welfare policy, as the Republican majority did in passing major welfare reform in 1996. 
Resorting to budget reconciliation is the legislative equivalent of breaking out the heavy artillery in a pitched battle. Since the early 1980s, it has been used 19 times, primarily to steer controversial fiscal and budgetary policies through the Senate, including former President Bill Clinton’s fiscal 1994 deficit reduction and tax package and President George W. Bush’s major tax cuts.

So instead  we have had two years of  eloquent words, and abandoned priorities. I never thought I  would  look at the Obama Administration,  and find myself wishing  it was more like the fictional Bartlett Administration  of  "The West Wing".

It will be very hard  for Democrats to  campaign as the antidote to GOP fiscal insanity,  when their track record is just  as crazy.


Biki said...

His presidency began with such hope bouying up the spirits of our country, only to slowly lose hope in yet another politician. The system is broken, but I cant see any fix.

Anonymous said...

Wow... didn't realize Obama cave in so easily.... to so many things... esp tax cuts to the corporate rich that will ship the job overseas... you're right this is the end of Obama presidency