It’s apparent as the mole on Barack Obama’s face: (1) Obama is a flim-flam con man who, in order to survive (hint: floozy Ma and sperm donor Pa), learned the ways of treachery and corruption as a child; (2) finessed those “skills” in Chicago; (3) is spectacularly brilliant at the only thing he cares about, namely himself, his “brand” and his advancement; (4) at governing Obama is a boob who cares about policy only as it pertains to his advancement and “brand”. Somehow neither Hillary Clinton nor John McCain or Mitt Romney understood these simple facts about their opponent. It remains to be seen whether the Republican congressional leadership understands these simple facts either.
We assume the current crop of Republican “leaders” have no clue about who they are dealing with because repeatedly Republicans attempt to engage Obama on policy and issues. How stupid are they?
Obama only cares about himself and his “brand”. The Republicans have to target that sole interest if they are to get either Obama’s attention or best him at the current “fiscal cliff” game.
Bob Woodward provides the Republican “leadership” with a clue:
“The veteran Washington journalist added that regardless of what happens with the negotiations, Obama will ultimately take responsibility for any resulting economic fallout.
“This is the Obama era, it is [the president’s] economy,” he said. “Speaker Boehner’s an important player and this is significant, but it is Obama’s job to lead and define — so if there negative consequences here, particularly in the economy, it is going to be, ‘In the Obama era, things didn’t get fixed.’”
We’re not unsympathetic to the plight Republican “leaders” think they are in. We understand the strategy concerns they have. There are many smart bits of analysis we have read which lay out the pitfalls for Republicans in the fiscal cliff and associated fights:
“The GOP seems to think that raising taxes is some kind of a solution. It’s not. It’s a poison pill.
Obama does in fact want to take the country over the cliff. It’s win-win-win-win-win.* He gets to raise taxes (including on the middle class, which he needs to pay for his welfare state), he gets some cuts to the the military he despises, he gets cuts for Medicare (not part of his coalition), he gets to blame the GOP for all of this, and, bonus, he gets to claim the coming recession he’s already engineered is the GOP’s fault, too.
The GOP is in a bad situation and will try to give the store away to avoid this. We shouldn’t. Let Obama have the economy he wants, and let him take responsibility for it, too.”
We really, really, really do understand the difficult spot Republican “leaders” find themselves in. The New York Times gleefully lays out the situation:
“It’s a terrible position because by default, Democrats get what they want,” said Representative James Lankford, Republican of Oklahoma, who admitted his party is boxed in.”
For the future, Republicans have some leaders of consequence as these videos: Rubio, Ryan lay out vision for future of GOP, demonstrate. The problem however is now. Republican leaders in congress don’t seem to have a clue.
That lack of grit is not confined to the Republican congressional “leadership”. Sad to say those that should be leading the fight and pushing their leadership for resolve and grit continue to dream up latter day fights that they might just possibly win sometime in the future if they don’t get outmaneuvered again. The latest disguised capitulation is this “Falling back to the debt ceiling?” proposal. It’s a “give up now and fight later” strategy. It’s foolish.
Republicans need to take some advice from Hillary Clinton. One of Hillary’s most quoted ripostes against Obama in the 2008 election cycle was that in government you have to reach for common ground when possible but sometimes you have to stand your ground in the fight for principles.
For all the flood of words from Obama about cutting the deficit or protecting Medicare or the rest of the nonsense his imbecile disciples guzzle the bottom line is Obama has no principles. For him it is all about “me”.
For Republicans the question they have to ask is if they have principles. If Republicans have principles on issues such as taxation policy and all the myriad implications brought about by the “fiscal cliff” – then now is the time to fight for them.
As much as we understand strategy and the perils involved for their party in the next several months Republicans have to put aside the “stratergery” and ask themselves a simple question “Do I believe what I say?” If you do have principles now is the time to fight. Not at a future date when you will be that much closer to a midterm election cycle which will provide even more reasons to shiver and shake. Now is the time to fight for what you believe in.
A few words of caution: if you are going to cave to Obama’s demand do so immediately and nakedly. Don’t make excuses. Give up immediately and say “we give up”. Don’t make threats you won’t back up. Don’t go into a fight armed with a Q-tip even as Obama shows up with guns and knives.
Keith Koffler is very optimistic about how strong the Republican congressional leadership position is, if only they would see things his way:
“The Republicans Have a Lot of Leverage
I don’t think President Obama wants to go down as the worst president in history, do you?
Well, that’s what going over the fiscal cliff will make him. And that’s why the Republicans have a lot a leverage.
The massive spending cuts and tax increases set to kick in January 2 will cause a second recession, from which we may not emerge for many months. The economy may not really get going for years. Obama will have presided over two terms of economic disaster. It will ruin his legacy, and sow the seeds for a major Republican revival.
Republican revival? But the Republicans are going to get blamed, you say.
They will, in the short run. But in the end, it will be the president who failed to somehow make a deal. Presidents are ultimately responsible for their presidencies. The good ones tame their enemies, pick off some of them and make them allies, and get a good result. The bad ones go over fiscal cliffs. [snip]
Obama hasn’t won any mandate. His election was about little other than villainizing his opponent.”
Republicans will get blamed by Obama and Big Media for anything bad that happens or has ever happened or ever will happen. That’s what Obama does – blame everyone but himself.
What Republican leaders must realize is that if they are going to get blamed they might as well get blamed for fighting for their principles. Not fighting for principles will only lead to infighting within Republican ranks as “compromisers” and “purists” (that’s how Big Media will label the factions) battle it out for control of the party in the wake of the “cave-in” to Obama. Rank and file conservatives and other Obama opponents will be correctly discouraged from standing up for a party that won’t stand up for its principles.
Republican “leaders” of the Republican Party have to chose between this:
If the Republican Party caves in to Barack Obama’s thuggery they will have effectively decided to jump the shark into obscurity.
If Republicans stand strong to their principles it will be Barack Obama who will put the water-skies on and jump the shark. Appropriately, Barack Obama will be in Hawaii on January 2, 2013 as the nation goes over the fiscal cliff.