Obama Fed Up With Feckless Republicans

Later, compromise. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Goodbye compromise. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

I voted for President Obama, and like millions of others, had a lot of “hope” for America after eight dark years of a George Bush presidency.  Unfortunately, like the dreams of so many, mine were crushed early on when the president failed to pursue universal health care, and was talking about ending the ban on whaling.  His sometimes obsequious behavior toward the Republicans was downright embarrassing, as was his inability to use the bully pulpit to maintain a majority in the Congress.

The straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back for me was when he traded the lives of thousands of wolves for a budget deal with republicans and refused to even attend international conferences on climate change, because it might offend republicans.  His record on the environment is dismal indeed, and I don’t see that improving. When it comes to protecting our environment he and George Bush are running close race for last place. For that reason and that reason alone I might be glad to see the back of Barack Obama.  
That being said there might be some good news for those of us disillusioned by this president and Jon Terbush of The Week helps us understand:
Having seen his ambitious agenda run aground against Republican recalcitrance, Obama is pivoting to a more unilateral approach to achieve his goals. And when he must go through Congress, Obama has shown he’s willing to eschew bipartisanship when it seems like an impossibility.

If true it appears that Obama has shifted away from dealing directly with Congress when he doesn’t have to, and that’s certainly good news.

“America does not stand still, and neither will I,” Obama said in his State of the Union address last month. “So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that’s what I’m going to do.”

Making good on that vow, Obama has signed executive orders to streamline business regulationsand raise the minimum wage for federal employees to $10.10 per hour. And this week, he called on the EPA to draft stricter fuel standards for large trucks.

The president also dropped a key compromise, one he initially supported, from the 2015 budget that would result in smaller Social Security benefits. Known as “chained CPI,” it would alter how the government calculates benefits increases for social welfare programs, and it’s passionately opposed by liberals and those collecting Social Security.  Doubtless Republicans collecting Social Security are opposed to chained CPI, although most would refuse to admit it.

Certainly, Republicans aren’t completely unwilling to negotiate. They did, after all, compromise on the mini-budget deal that passed earlier this month. But that was more about averting another disastrous government shutdown, and hardly a sign of a rosy new era of legislative bipartisanship.

By and large, the GOP has been either unwilling or unable to compromise with the president. Obama, it seems, has now decided that even trying to compromise just isn’t worth his time.

Rational thinking Americans can only hope that Barack Obama will maintain his steely resolve and not return to his days of pandering to the radical Right.  Those same Americans can also hope that the president will start doing the things he needs to do to protect our fragile environment and threatened creatures.


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Posted by on February 21, 2014. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.
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9 Responses to Obama Fed Up With Feckless Republicans

  1. rowdy62

    February 21, 2014 at 8:51 am

    Mike you are so right. I used to be a big fan of Obama, and would defend him vigorously when my idiotic right wing co-workers would criticize, but after some of his screwed up decisions I started to shift from fanatic loyalty to quiet criticism. I hope he finally does something. Good read man.

  2. James Smith

    February 21, 2014 at 8:52 am

    Considering that he has less than two years to accomplish what he has failed to do in six years, I have little hope for “Change you can count on”. Unless he is talking about the pocket change of the SS increase that has been made.

    A real stimulus for the economy would be an outright payment to all SS recipients of say, $25,0000. People on SS would be more likely to spend it on helping their children travel, and optional luxuries. Even if they just stuck it in a bank, that bank would have more to lend to others.

    Any way yu look at it, it would be better than another version of Reagan’s “trickle down” economics. It was at least well-named. It never amounted to more than a trickle.

  3. Timmy Mahoney

    February 21, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Dude had a lot of shit on his plate Mike but I agree that he didn’t have to be such a pussy.

    • James Smith

      February 21, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      Bingo! Every President has a lot of shit on their plate. Not dealing with it is, to me, an admission they shouldn’t be president.

  4. Jess

    February 21, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Kabuki at its finest. He’s always sick of them yet nothing changes.

  5. Bill Formby

    February 21, 2014 at 12:56 pm

    He has been a disappointment to me or perhaps I was expecting to much from him. I still remember the post I wrote after one his early SOTU speeches where he talked tough, but then it was right back to the same old song and dance. If I had to do it all over again I think I would vote for Hillary. I know would this time if she runs but as much as she has already done I don’t know why she would do it.

    • James Smith

      February 21, 2014 at 2:03 pm

      Good point, Bill. In her position, many people would think, “I’ve had enough of this shit. Let someone else do the clean up now.”

      Still, being the first woman president does carry a big attraction for her.

      • Bill Formby

        February 21, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        She’s not that much younger than us James. I know I would not have the energy to run even if I were a 10 to 1 favorite.

        • James Smith

          February 22, 2014 at 5:29 am

          But you wouldn’t be the first woman president either. (I think) 😉