|On Tuesday, President Obama spoke at length about the extent to which he and the Democrats had already sold out their base, their principles, and the American people in their efforts to kowtow to the Tea Party. Obama nevertheless said he had learned how to act as if he had a backbone. Few took him seriously.|
Lots of questions are swirling about the government shutdown debate over whether Barack Obama will continue to employ his newfound alleged backbone in the government shutdown-staredown with John Boehner and the Republicans.
But, part of the President’s reckoning in why he shouldn’t need to negotiate, is a premise whose subtext has mostly gone unnoticed by commentators. Obama points out that the Republican demands that he and the Democrats must negotiate to win a CR (to end the government shutdown), and further to agree to the new debt ceiling level (to pay government debts), are unreasonable, given that the current Democratic position is to accept Republican spending levels for a budget agreement.
In fact, the President was explicit Tuesday in explaining how the Democrats have agreed to abandon what they consider proper funding levels, to not merely meet the Republicans half-way, but to capitulate entirely to the Republican budget position.
“[T]he Democrats in the Senate…passed a budget that effectively reflects Republican priorities, at Republican budget levels.”The President added, acknowledging he and the Senate Democrats were willing to be irresponsible and "very harmful" to Americans in their compromises with the GOP:
"[W]hat we’re asking of the Republicans right now is to keep the government open at funding levels that Democrats think are very harmful to the economy and inadequate to make sure that the economy is growing faster, more people are put back to work, and the middle class is growing."Obama complained that even given this fact, the Republicans would not come to a conference committee on the budget, to essentially rubber-stamp the Republican position.
Why wouldn’t the GOP do this?
Speaker John Boehner explained the Republican figuring about this on Sunday, during an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos:
“I and my members decided that the threat of Obamacare and what was happening was so important that it was time for us to take a stand. And we took a stand. I thought the fight would be over the debt ceiling. But you know, working with my members, they decided, well, let’s do it now. And the fact is, this fight was going to come, one way or the other. We’re in the fight.”So, even though Obama and the Democratic Party-controlled US Senate had completely sold out on the budget deal, the Republicans realized they were still dealing with Barack Obama, and they pushed for even more concessions.
Obama The Yellow Belly, Part I
This refusal to ever fight or stand up for anything, which is Barack Obama’s hallmark now, is the same, awful, strategy Obama employed in the 2011 debt-ceiling debate. Recall this is what eventually produced the disastrous agreement leading to the current Sequester cuts—spending reductions that are hurting millions of Americans every single day.
The President complained about this yesterday as well, but the problem for him is that he was the person stupid enough to sign off on it.
Obama in 2011 calculated that if he gave the Republicans everything they asked for, they would then be pliable in any budget negotiations. After all, what’s to argue about if you’ve already rolled over and shown the Republicans your yellow belly?
Obama, who seems adept at winning national elections against Republican buffoons, but hopelessly inept at working with those same buffoons in governing the United States, abandoned any principled Democratic Party position in the 2011 struggle, causing many on the left to rightly characterize his negotiating position as a complete surrender to the GOP.
The White House argued back that, by being “flexible” and ready to compromise, they had shrewdly maneuvered the Republicans into a position that could not help but produce a longterm budget and debt agreement—because without this, the dreaded Sequester cuts (automatic across-the-board government program cuts) would be activated.
Everyone assumed, wrongly, that Obama had won a great victory, by appearing to lose. But the truth was that Barack Obama had established himself as a weakling, who could be relied upon to buckle, indeed to totally sell out the American people, in any negotiation with the enemy. The Republicans took note of this. So did the Russians and the Chinese.
The Republicans simply decided that, rather than ever be seen to agree with the much-hated Barack Obama on anything ever again, they would begin a program of using “principle” as an excuse to cross one red line after another—knowing that Obama would never go to war in response.
The result of Obama’s weakness has been one horrible outcome after another.
Obama The Yellow Belly, Part II
For example, the Sequester cuts that Democrats assumed would force any sane politicians to work out a budget agreement between the parties, were invoked when politicians were unable to do that very thing Barack Obama assured the nation they would have no choice but to do.
The debt ceiling debates—which would have been unthinkable to even have in the past—are now viewed by Republicans as just another useful negotiating tactic to force the hand of the President. And the allegedly devastating effect of a US government default in payment of its bills? The GOP is now dismissing how bad that would be, claiming Democrats are exaggerating the negative effects.
In other words, the Republicans simply move further and more crazily to the right edge of madness, every time Barack Obama crawls into their laps, trying to seduce them through his surrender-monkey brand of compromise.
Even Obamacare itself, increasingly despised throughout the USA, is a product of Obama being too weak to carry the day in pushing through responsible (and more importantly humane) health care reform, and instead adopting the horrible Republican plan, which coerces poor people into buying rotten insurance policies.
In fact, Obama adopted the Republican plan pretty much 100%—even employing the company, CGI, which had set up Romneycare exchanges in Massachusetts.
It has become increasingly apparent, that decision has produced the disastrous beginning of the Obamacare exchanges, which have essentially been untouched by customers or insurance enrollments in the past week and a half, as the web system designed to run the nation’s health care system, has turned out to need a serious crisis intervention of its own.
Of course, you can't blame Obama for the sucky web programming. His minions ordered that up. However, the impression one Obama defeat after another leaves is that he isn't just a lame duck—he's a cooked duck. And the nation is stuck with his leftovers for more than three additional years.
There isn't that much orange sauce in the universe.