Monday, January 21, 2013

Obama Campaigns And Fails to Lead

There is a lack of a big agenda in President Obama's second term, as it has been laid out to date.  No doubt liberals are feeling a bit of disappointment as their hero continues to simply campaign in a very un-unifying way instead of taking the reins of leadership in Washington to move big items forward.

It is not “big” to reduce every opportunity for major consensus on fiscal reform to the lowest common denominator of action so as never to disappoint his left-wing base. It is not unifying to claim Republicans harbor “suspicious about government’s commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat.” Too often he sounds more like his campaign hacks David Plouffe and David Axelrod than the president of the United States.
When it comes to demonizing his opponents - the GOP - his biggest supporters, the national media, are only too happy to help out.  In Sunday's New York Times, the editorial board tore into newly elected Texas Senator Ted Cruz.  Senator Cruz is a threat to President Obama's agenda, such as it is, because he is a popular Hispanic Republican from a very red state.  He is articulate, aggressive, personable and a very happy warrior.

From an editorial in  The New York Times:
Ted Cruz, the newly elected Tea Party senator from Texas, embodies the rigidity the public grew to loathe in Congress’s last term. He is bursting with fervor to fight compromise and consensus-building in Washington wherever it is found. Unlike 85 percent of the Republicans in the Senate, he would have voted against the fiscal cliff deal. He says gun control is unconstitutional. Breaking even withconservative business leaders, he would have no qualms about using the debt ceiling as a hostage because he believes (falsely) that it would produce only a partial government shutdown and not default.Considering the damage that this kind of thinking did to the country and the Republican Party over the last two years — a downgraded credit rating, legislative standoffs, popular anger, a loss of Republican seats — it might seem obvious that the party should marginalize lawmakers like Mr. Cruz. Instead, they continue to gain power and support. Party leaders named Mr. Cruz vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.
Yes, true to form, The New York Times editors blame Republicans for the country's woes and not joint blame for Democrats or the President  himself, who has proven time and time again that he is incapable of working with Congress and Republicans in particular.

In this article in Politico, Senator Cruz is described as coming forward as an "answer man" for leadership on issues such as immigration reform and outreach to the Latino community from the GOP.

“There is no doubt Republicans have got to do a better job with the Hispanic community. … Immigration matters, especially tone. No one is going to vote for you if they think you don’t like them,” he said at a recent gala for the American Principles Project. “Republicans need to remain a party that supports securing the border and at the same time, stopping illegal immigration and at the same time, welcomes and celebrates legal immigrants.”
“I’m something that’s not supposed to exist — a Hispanic Republican.”
President Obama did not reform immigration policy, as he promised on the campaign trail in 2008.  He promised to do that in his first year in office, as a matter of fact.  Instead, he was obsessed with little more than ramming through Obamacare for the first two years of his first term.  Now that there is a presence of strong conservatives in Congress - like Senator Cruz and Senator Rubio - with Latino heritage, a vacuum of leadership on the issue is being filled.  Therefore, these Republicans will be demonized by the media in the coming months to promote whatever President Obama brings forward, if anything.

Without a true agenda and the knowledge as to how to work with Congress, all that is left is to demonize the GOP and hope that the press continues to play along.  President Obama's word mean little in the grand scheme of his administration.

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