You can always count on two things from Barack Obama. One, he doesn’t really mean what he says no matter how emphatically he says it, and two, he really doesn’t want to cut any government spending other than defense and doesn’t want to be held accountable for anything.
So the president who zapped Republicans for wanting a short-term debt ceiling fix now wants…a short-term debt ceiling fix. According to the AP, Obama is asking for a short-term budget fix to delay the across-the-board automatic sequestration cuts.
Is this the Republicans’ “Maneuver X” at work?
Consider, then, “Maneuver X.” As modified to fit the current political environment, it would mean that Republicans remove all pressure. They should give Obama his debt limit increases without preconditions, and they shouldn’t allow any government shutdowns.
Meanwhile, Republicans should use their majority in the House to pass bills that actually do address the nation’s problems — its economic stagnation, rising energy and health care costs, mounting debt and so on. At the same time, they can keep blocking major new expansions of government.
This two-pronged strategy would allow Republicans to isolate Obama and establish themselves as the responsible ones. If he refuses to get serious about addressing the nation’s debt problem, it will be a lot harder to escape responsibility if he can’t point and say, “Hey, look over there, House Republicans want to blow stuff up.”
In the unlikely event that this forces Obama to get serious about tackling the national debt, great. But if he doesn’t, Obama’s legacy will be that of a president who came into office promising to make the “tough choices” necessary to solve our nation’s problems, then proceeded to duck them. Meanwhile, Republicans will have laid out their own vision, and their candidates will have a stronger case to make in 2014 and 2016.
This strategy depends on the media reporting the sequence of events fairly so that the American people are aware of what’s going on and know where to assign blame. That’s about as likely to happen as Janet Napolitano taking border security seriously.
I’m not saying that the Republicans have many good options here. They don’t. It’s just dubious to expect that the media will get anywhere near the facts. The GOP are going to have to find a way to get around the media gatekeepers who are going out of their way to avoid putting two and two together.
Such as: Just yesterday, Obama called for even more tax hikes, to go along with the tax hikes he already got on January 1. He missed another budget deadline and has not detailed when he plans to hand in his legally required homework. He is still doing everything he can to wriggle out of the 2011 deal, which he proposed and then lied about during the debates, that created the sequestration threat in the first place. Instead of staying home and doing his job, he is seeking even more power in the form of gun control, pushing proposals that would not have done a thing to prevent the Newtown massacre.
The man simply isn’t serious about governing in an honest, straightforward way. The icky details don’t interest him and never have. He’d rather campaign against your right to defend yourself, and build up racial tension over immigration and border security for the political benefit. While he’s waving “reform” on the right, he has gutted immigration enforcement on his left to the point that the 9-11 hijackers would have been spared deportation under current rules.
Shouldn’t the American people know that Obama has opened up a security hole that once led to the deaths of 3,000 Americans and global war? It’s kind of a big deal. Why isn’t this creating even a mild stir in the media? Because they’re on his side on this and every other issue.
The GOP’s current strategy depends on these people reporting fairly about budget arcana that makes even the most diehard blogger’s eyes glaze over. So, adjust your expectations accordingly.