Thursday, December 20, 2012

Obama Uses School Shooting in Fiscal Cliff Talking Points

President Obama held a press conference in the White House press room Wednesday with the subject of gun violence on the agenda. Instead, it devolved into a filibuster on the subject of the fiscal cliff negotiations.  It is as though the White House press corps cannot focus on more than one issue at a time.

"This is not some Washington commission", said the president,though, of course, it is exactly that. He announced his appointment of Vice President Biden to head up the 'task force' on gun violence and tasked the panel to present conclusions to him in about a month.  Obviously the majority in the White House press corps were not impressed by this move and went directly to questions on the fiscal cliff when he began calling on them for questions.

The president was particularly narcissistic during his exchange with reporters.  He spoke as though he thinks Republican objections to his proposals solely have to do with them not liking him.  The president continues to sound like a middle school girl.  It is always all about him and it is always the other side who is being mean to him.  It is pathetic, to put it mildly.

President Obama is hell-bent to raise taxes and continue spending with wild abandon. This is the reason that Republicans will not support his proposals thus far. First Obama simply presented his 2013 budget which received not one vote from either side of the aisle in the House or Senate and has also refused the suggestions of his own appointed Simpson-Bowles commission.  Who is the non-compromiser here?

Mr. Obama won't agree even to $1 in cuts for every $1 of revenue. His latest offer calls for $1.3 trillion in new revenues paired with the vague promise of $930 billion in future budget cuts. Mr. Obama's offer also wipes out the $972 billion in cuts agreed to in the July 2011 debt-ceiling deal and adds at least $80 billion in new stimulus spending.
In response, Mr. Boehner has offered "Plan B." Tax rates on annual income above $1 million would rise to 39.6% from 35%, but lower rates on everyone else would become permanent and the Alternative Minimum Tax would disappear.
Mr. Boehner's thinking is that preventing increases on more than 99% of taxpayers could help Republicans escape from a battle they cannot win. Better for the GOP to show the president rabid for more taxes and spending, and then to pivot toward a debate about spending. Here Republicans will hold the upper hand: Mr. Obama needs the House to approve his debt-ceiling increase (likely by March). He won't get it without spending cuts.

A strange narrative began. His real message turned around to exploit the recent mass murder in Connecticut as the reason that opposition in Congress should just fold and accept unconditionally whatever he proposes as fiscal solutions. He went from saying the GOP doesn't like him and is blocking meaningful negotiations out of spite to saying that recent events demand everyone work together.  It was an exercise of passive aggressive behavior right before our eyes.  As Charles Krauthammer said on a cable news channel panel, the president was "excessively self-righteous" in his tone and words.

 And when you think about what we've gone through over the last couple of months -- a devastating hurricane, and now one of the worst tragedies in our memory -- the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good, and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don’t make much sense.
What the president implies is that those with a different political philosophy are not interested in doing what is right for all the country - the greater good.  This is a real character flaw with Barack Obama and it is why he cannot rise to statesman level in leadership.  It is simply not in his character to be an honest agent of leading the nation forward.

Shame on him for allowing this press conference that was to address gun violence to turn into a self-righteous filibuster.  At the end of the press conference I tweeted my feeling after sitting through this exercise:

Well, that's 40 minutes I'm not getting back.

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