Wednesday, October 02, 2013

The lack of rudder

As much as President Obama is being blamed for the stalemate that is Washington DC, has no one really noticed that the spitting match actually comes down to John Boehner and Harry Reid?  This president is merely a sidebar in this drawn out sand-box drama.  The House passes a bill (allowed by Boehner) and sends it to the Senate; Harry Reid makes a decision on behalf of the entire Senate. The Senate offers something back to the House, but Boehner decides what the House will consider.  And the President of the United States stands off to the side and says, "Nasty Republicans!"

I have some advice for these many members of the Congress who claim to be frustrated by all that is going on: remove the current House speaker and the Senate majority leader from their posts, and stop the nonsensical talk of impeachment.  It will not be the president who will cost you your jobs, for he is entirely too insignificant.  Impeaching this president will be as meaningless as he already is, it will be futile, and it would be a colossal waste of precious time because the Democrats simply will never vote to convict anyway. 

No, the problem is not the White House in this one.  In fact I dare suggest the White House is the very definition of impotence in this matter.  This president will not deal face-to-face with the Republicans (it has been reported he has made a few phone calls, but he also called the newly elected president of Iran.  Take these calls for what they are worth.); this president will only go to an open microphone and insult the Republicans, somehow believing he can shame them into submission. 

This president overlooks or chooses to ignore one very important item, however: this Affordable Care Act which is at the heart of this shut-down was passed in the shadows by the Democrat-controlled Congress and received not one Republican vote and in fact lost several Democratic votes.  Therefore the congressional Republicans who were in the Congress when it passed and the newly seated Republicans who came to Congress as a result of voter backlash in 2012 are simply not free to go along with ObamaCare.  Their constituents prohibit it!  These are the very constituencies that did not carry this president in 2012.

The House is firmly in Republican hands, and the Senate is under Democratic control.  What should a president be doing?  Dealing with reality, not fantasy.  This president can only wish that somehow Republicans will come around to his way of thinking.  This president can only wish he could offer such a compelling argument through his public insults that the Republicans would finally see the light. 

This is not going to happen by his calling names and casting blame.  If anything, this president's public lambasting of the Republicans will only steel their resolve as it well should.  This president is seriously missing the boat on this one by making clear his refusal to sit face-to-face like a grown man with these duly elected Republican members of Congress and negotiate an end to this nonsense.

This president does not have to negotiate, however, and he obviously does not want to.  He is in his final term.  He has no other elections to worry about, no other political decisions to be concerned with.  And since this president has made himself very clear by his past loftiness, he does not even want this job because this job would require him to get serious about working toward a reasonable solution to a legitimate problem rather than hoping a solution will fall into his lap.  As many have said in the past and as is becoming more and more evident, this president is clearly not up to the job.  What is at hand requires a leader, and this president is not that leader. 

So we are stuck with Harry Reid who runs the Senate like his own personal fiefdom (actually setting in concrete the idea of this president's impotence); we have John Boehner who is doing virtually the same thing in the House, and both refusing to blink.  This president does not (by his own clear choice, mind you) even factor in.  So we have this massive ship without a single rudder.  Of course there is stalemate in Washington DC!  What else could possibly come as a result?

Neither Republican majority nor Democratic majority will break the log jam or serve the nation well.  A nation as ours requires an engaged leader, not an elected figurehead.  It is little wonder nothing constructive will happen anytime soon.  Not until Democrats stand up to Harry Reid and not until Republicans stand up to John Boehner will anything useful come from this Congress.  If we really want to talk about "term limits", let us consider limiting the terms a single person can hog-tie an entire chamber of Congress.  This president is not the problem; one must actually be in the game before one can be blamed for costing the game.  Reckon?

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