We all saw the debt-ceiling spectacle in the summer of 2011. The Republicans in Congress played an incredibly dangerous game of Chicken with the President. If either of them blinked at the wrong moment, the casualty would be American dominance of the world's financial system.
Most Americans, and I would bet a lot of our representatitves, don't understand that it's not so much our military that gives us power around the world, rather it's the fact that our currency, the dollar, is the safe haven for all value, world-wide. If either the President or the Congress dropped the ball, that would have shattered, and we would stop being the exceptional country, and all kinds of bills would come due. Not for future generations -- right now.
I was appalled when I saw the President take the 14th Amendment off the table early in the process. If you recall, the amendment contains a provision that says that the validity of the US debt will not be questioned. Clearly, there was no point debating whether we would honor our obligation. The Republicans can whine all they want. If they want to have an impeachment, the famously coool President would just look into the camera and say he was doing what the Constitution told him to do, and the Congress should get on board. They would still have to get the votes of 2/3 of the Senate, and it was controlled by Democrats, so they can jump up and down all they want, nothing was going to change.
Instead, our dreamy-eyed President decided to negotiate with them! He chose brinksmanship when we should have had some ballsy leadership.
That's why his numbers dropped when he did the same damned thing in last week's debate. We were reminded why this President hasn't yet got the message. The Republicans are dicks. You can't deal with people like that as if they would respond to reason. Romney made that clear from the outset. This debate should have been seen by the President as an opportunity to get something straight.
"I am the fucking President of the fucking United States, and if you don't like that, fuck you."
Luckily there's still time for him to get a clue.
This is not a negotiation with Congress or the Republicans, Mr. President. You are negotiating with your employers, the people of the United States of America. If this election were being held in August 2011, you would have lost. It's time for you to get the message, that we will not accept this kind of leadership in the future.
You have my vote. And my money. But I'm glad that enough of my fellow Americans were willing to tell a pollster that you're too wimpy to be President. So maybe you'll get a clue and maybe in your second term we can get a bunch more stuff done. Or at least Washington will be a bit more quiet and let us get on with our lives, without having everything fall apart for no good reason.
Barak Obama never -- not once, not ever -- governed like he campaigned.
He was, is now, and always will be what -- for most of my life -- was a right-leaning moderate Republican. But the political spectrum has shifted so far to the right, it's difficult to discern.
Obama bamboozled most progressives into betraying our better instincts and voting for him instead of where our true interests/beliefs lie.
As for me, I won't be fooled again.
Well, damn. Never mind. Playing catch-up again here. (Adam's link clued me in.)
Adam, the guy whose writing I like best on this subject is Charles Pierce at Esquire.
Especially this piece.
Chuck, I think he's actually got a pretty good pair when it comes to everyone but the Republicans.
Michael, as recently as the 90s Obama would have been a Republican for sure. But today Republicans are defined by their willingness to set their hair on fire over nothing. It's the Crazy-Making Party. Don't be fooled, of course. Obama is not great. But if we re-elect him, we get to keep what little health reform we've gotten, and we probably don't start a war with Iran. I think that makes the choice a no-brainer. Of course YMMV.
The NYTimes Examiner had an interesting take on this, not disimilar to what Dave is saying
If he was going to grow a pair, the trial by fire of the banking meltdown, budget standoffs, and Afghanistan goat-rope should have helped him sprout some.
The truth is clear now (at least to me) that he is an "appeaser" and he is surrounded by a large number of "advisors" who aren't creative enough to let him off the leash. It shows in his foreign policy, his domestic efforts, his interactions with Congress, and even his debate performance.
So the question is what happens in 4 years if he DOESN'T grow a pair? That's the question that haunts my voting decisions for president as well as a critical Senate race here in VA.