Published: The Huffington Post 2010-12-07 11:04:32
Oh, that was a great performance by the President last night!
I thought I watching the intellectual return of the Chevy Chase pratfall. The incompetent act of changing a light bulb played for laughs by a supposedly low-wattage President (Ford).
This was a supposedly high-wattage President (Obama) who can't figure out which way the bulb turns. (clue: Rightsy-Tightsy, Leftsy-Loosey) He set us up so beautifully as he said how much he didn't like this or that. Then he jammed us. He screwed the bulb to the left and shattered it on the floor.
What should he have done?
How about some brinksmanship? Screw that light bulb in to the right!
The unemployment benefits were timed to end in December -- remember the summer? Now THAT is a real pressure point that was left on the table! He could have used the prospect of all those unemployed folks sharpening their farm implements to go after their local congressperson.
You thought the Tea Party was angry? He would have unleashed the real anger of our nation directly at where it belonged -- the GOP obstructionists and the Democrats who let this sink in the Senate.
Get ready to push 40,000 volts through that light bulb!
By the way, you cannot tell me there weren't guys in the Senate looking at the calendar this past summer as they debated extending the unemployment benefits saying, "Oohhh look at what else ends after Christmas."
Why wasn't the campaign promise on the $250k border on the tax cut extension dealt with DURING the summer? What would this single issue alone -- with its fat 70% idea approval rating -- have done for Congresspeople in tight races? That have won at least a few of those seats that went for the GOP? How many Democratic Congresspeople went down because the Democrats had the whole shooting match and did nothing?
I can deal with nothing being done back then if Obama is going to use the impending pressure of a complete meltdown to his advantage. (Yes, Mr. President, you are allowed to scare the hell out of us if that is what you need to do to git 'er done.)
He took all the pressure off. The Senate can have a nice Christmas, how nice of him.
What should he have done?
How about making the GOP soil themselves with the idea they were on the hook for the tax increase? They did everything they could to stop progress, now let them live with their victory. Remember there are people sharpening their farm tools out there...
He could have used the timing of all of this stuff. He could have gotten up from the table and said, "Fine, you voted against everything I put out there. You own it. I did my part."
The President can tell the Congress he won't see them until at least the Monday after Christmas. The President can say to these guys, "Go Home, enjoy spending time in your district, no problem."
As he walks out of the room he can look back and say to them, "Enjoy your holiday. I'll be talking to your constituents."
Meanwhile, the President could get the Democratic Party to organize unemployed families to start singing Christmas carols at the homes of those Congresspeople who voted against the President.
He could have used the Christmas break to break the GOP. He would have instantly fired up his base. "If you want that unemployment extension, you will need to help me fight for it. I am not doing this by myself." We would have flipped the switch and taken the day.
What does he do? He caves.
As it sits now, we are borrowing more and more from our kids! Unacceptable!
It is not just the GOP that is doing this, it is the Democrats.
In chicken, sales or negotiating, the first one who blinks loses. Obama has become President Blinky.
The GOP played the brinksmanship game when they voted all this stuff down. (Now, they know they can do whatever they want because they got President Obama to back down.)
What will he really go to the wall for? We had to drive him by the scruff of the neck to get the partial pieces of HCR done. How's that DADT going? What is up with all those bankers and their bonuses?
If the next two years are looking like these first two he can forget re-election. Even if we personally wanted him and did everything we could for the guy, he will lose. This was the breaking of the "No New Taxes" pledge. It isn't that he isn't a nice guy, that IS the problem -- He's too nice of a guy. He needed to deliver a hard foul and could not do it.
I am looking for a new set of light bulbs with enough wattage to illuminate our problems while we can actually work on them.