At the risk of angering his base, House Speaker John Boehner opened the fiscal cliff negotiations with an immediate offer to raise taxes on the wealthy — maybe not raise them in the way Obama would like (tax-rate increase), but raise them nonetheless.
In response, yesterday, Obama offered an intentional insult that demands nearly a trillion dollars in immediate tax increases, $600 billion in tax increases to come later, and only the promise of $400 billion in spending cuts next year – a promise we all know Obama will never keep.
As if that wasn’t insulting enough, Obama also demanded $50 billion in new stimulus (because the first one worked so well), “an extension of unemployment insurance, a one-year deferral of the sequester, new money to refinance underwater mortgages, a Medicare-doctor fix . . . and a partridge in a pear tree.”
Oh, and Obama wants to bypass Congress when it comes to increasing the debt ceiling. He wants the power now to increase it by any amount he desires.
The thing is, though, Obama isn’t just sticking his finger in the eye of House Republicans with this offer. He’s also laughing his butt off at the mainstream media:
I can do any damn thing I want: I can screw up the BP oil spill. I can screw up Hurricane Sandy relief. My economic policies can fail. My illegal guns can result in dozens if not hundreds of murders. I can send out my U.N. ambassador to all of your Sunday shows to lie about a terrorist attack; and now I can sail us all over the fiscal cliff — and you know what? You jerk-offs in the media will never-ever-ever make me pay a political price, because I own you body and soul.
The media sold every ounce of their integrity to elect and then re-elect Barack Obama, and now they’re tethered to his fate. If Obama fails, they fail. So even when he fails, they have to gin up the Orwellian Machine to say he didn’t.
And Obama knows this — knows he has check-mated the media.
When a politician knows he or she has absolutely nothing to fear from the media, this is what you get: a stagnant economy, failed and incompetent policies that result in actual deaths, deficits so large that just a few years ago they seemed unimaginable, the most divisive re-election campaign of our lifetimes, and the kind of megalomania required to make the fiscal cliff offer Obama just did.
Because no matter what, Obama knows the media will cover for him; and when the media covers for you, that’s just enough of an advantage to get you to 51%.
I don’t care what letter comes after the name, R or D; a sitting president who doesn’t fear the media is an absolutely terrifying prospect.
*This story is part of the Big Journalism Live Blog, which you can bookmark here.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC