Right now there is a hot race going on for the 2012 nomination as the Republican Presidential candidate. The field has been considerably narrowed down since speculation on who would enter the race began becoming  actuality earlier this year. No longer thought of as viable candidates, except perhaps by the persons themselves and their neighbors at their Labor day block parties, are such notables as Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, and Herman Cain.

Since the 2010 mid-term elections, where the GOP wrested the House of Representatives from Democrats’ control, they have claimed a mandate to impose their will on the American people and “turn things around”.

I find it difficult, though, to find a mandate since those election results came from 435 individual Congressional districts, about 200 of which remain in the hands of Democrats. And many of those seats turned, no doubt, on issues important to local constituencies not necessarily national ones.

Furthermore we just held a Presidential election in 2008 which Obama won, with the highest popular national vote total in history. That sounds like a mandate!

A commenter in another forum said with regard to the 2010 mid-terms:

The letter writer is correct: Obama was given a mandate by the American public. He should have acted like a Republican.

If only he had listened…we would be fine. 

In many ways Obama HAS acted like a Republican.

1. Maintain and prolong America’s involvement in two needless wars wrecking our budget and resulting in high traffic at Dover AFB?   CHECK

2. Kowtowing to Wall Street and huge business and financial interests?     CHECK

3. Permitting the extension of the Bush tax cuts, even on the wealthy?    CHECK

4. Introducing health care reform legislation that includes a mandate for individuals to purchase private insurance, as the GOP did in 1993?     CHECK

4. Promoting the passage of Cap and Trade legislation, first introduced in the Senate by John McCain in 2003?    CHECK

During the health care “debate” (I use the term loosely because it was a pack of lies on one side, ummm the GOP as I recall) When GOP leaders like Boehner complained about what was included and were asked for their input in ways to improve the legislation, they said to completely start over.

Is that cooperation sought? YES   Is that cooperation given? NO NO NO

When Egypt was undergoing upheaval many voices on the right called for military intervention. Obama wisely refrained and Egypt changed peacefully.

When Libya was undergoing upheaval many voices on the right called for military intervention. Obama unwisely did so. Now those same folks on the right claim the intervention was wrong and/or unconstitutional. Which is it, Right?

This recent debt ceiling “crisis” did not appear suddenly in the skies over Wahington like the alien space ships in Independence Day, the need to raise the debt ceiling was known long before July of 2011.

The debt ceiling has been raised on the average of at least once a year for more than a half century with only token opposition.

Knowing the possible consequences for our credit rating and for the economy itself, the GOP artificially created this “sudden” overwhelming concern for the national debt, a product of budget deficits through the years. Amazingly even the Republican plans for budget reform, most specifically the one proposed by Boy Wonder Paul Ryan would have done nothing to eliminate deficits into the foreseeable future.

So unless the country was willing to default on its obligations, the debt limit would have to be raised.

It is argued that Obama hadn’t presented his own detailed budget for consideration. So? When push was coming to shove he held a series of meetings with Congressional leaders of both parties to cooperate on a plan that would try to meet everyone’s major concerns. Indeed, one was formulated that would make cuts more broadly and severely than even the GOP wanted.

The problem? That plan called for revenue enhancements, but for $10 of cuts for every $1 of new revenue. Fair enough, right? But no, the gop had this tinly bloc of memebrs of its own caucus who would refuse ANY and all measures that increased taxes or revenue by closing tax loopholes. Thos GOP so-called leaders were afraid to offend a distinct but vocal minority of their own party.

Leadership is a two way street and when two sides are opposed but have every reason to pursue a common goal, they must both be willing to yield to achieve that goal. Such is the nature of both compromise and leadership.

Bruce Bartlett, whose Republican credentials cannot be assailed, having worked for Reagan, notes the bait and switch tactics of the republicans during the recent debt fight.


In many ways we on the left have much greater cause to question Obama’s leadership than those on the right. Certain members of Congress in both houses have openly vowed to end his Presidency at one term. One way to do this obviously is to stymie him in any efforts to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

By not cooperating on reasonable measures to reduce the deficit the “solution” arrived at practically guarantees no relief before Novenber 2012 and greatly increases the chance of a return to recession which will be in the GOP’s favor facing the voters. The voters won’t look at who caused it, just the President who presided over it.

Now that’s a strategy that benefits the nation.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Please give me your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: