At his press conference last week, Obama renewed his request for republicans to negotiate a grand bargain with the white house on spending, taxes and deficit reduction. So what’s he up to? The answer is gamesmanship!
He’s learned form his first term that merely calling for negotiations works to his advantage. Obama doesn’t have an agenda. he has an inbox. He takes up the issues that come his way—gun control, immigration reform or whatever.
If democrats win the House and hold the senate, his agenda will emerge higher taxes, cap and trade, universal pre-K, a $9 minimum wage and who know what else?
Another is that he doesn’t have to agonize over his economic policy. The economic growth rate is half that a pf a normal recovery and high unemployment’s persists. But on the poll question of who would handle the economy best, he was roughly even with Romney, so the message was, “weak economy—no problem”.
He asked the organization to “spread the word.. particularly among young women” that under obamacare “most insurance plans are now covering the cost of contraceptive care”. “we need all the college students who come through your doors to call up their friends and post of facebook talking about the protections and benefits that are kicking in.”
But he never mentioned the “A” word. That’s verboten when referring to outfits like Planned Parenthood, though they actually perform hundreds of thousands of abortions every year. He can do things that other presidents could never get away with. His speeches and press conferences aren’t flyspecked for false or dubious statement.
It’s now routine for the president to announce he’ll try to achieve by executive order what congress has refused to enact. He’s altered immigration and welfare laws this way. Instead, he’s often gigged by the media for small stuff like devoting too much time to golf and taking too many taxpayers-paid vacations. Obama seems unfazed.
When republicans balk at talks, they’re inflexible and won’t compromise with the president, but if they negotiate they’ll face a choice: either agree to a bad deal that divides republicans or be accused of spurning a compromise. Putting republicans in this box is gamesmanship at its cleverest, but leadership it is NOT.
Sources—weekly standard, Washington post, fred barnes