Regardless of where you stand on the budget debate the most fascinating result has been the undeniable realization that President Obama has been marginalized and is now fighting for a seat at the table. I believe it is a first in my lifetime that a sitting President has been removed from any political debate not to mention one as serious as our budget. It was made clear when Boehner left the White House over the weekend and said he would work with the Congress to fashion a solution. There can be no question that Boehner’s political skills and Obama’s lack of them created this vacuum. The son of a bar tender has outperformed the Professor; it renews my confidence in our system of Government.
Cowboys know a lot about life. For instance they know that as soon as you think you know everything about horses and you can control them, you get hurt. The same is true of power and President Obama has been intoxicated with ego and power from the time he entered the White House, dictating his demands to a Democratic Party that was stunned into subservience by a victory that could not be explained. Most important is that the President believed in his own invulnerability. Only recently have the facts emerged. David Border writing for the Post in an August 9, 2010 article entitled “Senate as Civil as Ever, We’re Told” that Senate Minority Leader Mitch Mc Connell was first invited for a one on one with the President one year and seven months after Obama took office.
In recent weeks Time Magazine stated that the White House didn’t have Boehner’s phone number which was later confirmed by Stephanopoulos on ABC News that a top aid to the President didn’t know Boehner the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives. These are truly amazing revelations when you think back on the relationships that Presidents have had with members of their opposing parties. Reagan with Tip O’ Neil and Rostenkowski. Clinton with Newt Gingrich. While these Presidents fought with leaders of the opposite party, sometimes publically, they respected and knew one another well.
Harvard Professor V.O. Key, Jr. stated in his seminal work, “The Responsible Electorate”: “This narcissistic approach assumes it’s most repulsive form among election winners who have championed intolerance, who have stirred the passions and hatreds of people, or who have advocated causes known by decent men to be outrageous or dangerous in their long run circumstances.” This intolerance fueled the formation of the Tea Party and now has removed him from the favor of his own party.
It is now becoming clear that Senator Reid has had enough and has decided that he will work with Mc Connell to fashion a solution that will work for both parties and the Country. It is also clear that Boehner is willing to work with both parties to do the same. What is Obama doing? Yesterday he dispatched his Chief of Staff and Treasury Secretary to make the argument that the White House is relevant and he is a victim of an economic situation that he inherited.
Through the complexity of the debt limit and budget issue the President has revealed very little understanding or competence appearing to only be interested in getting the matter behind him so he can have a second term. He has simply shown an inability to comprehend the details and a lack of ability to participate in the philosophical debate. Interestingly this debate has been fashioned by the President through the focus he generated by his Health Reform and Stimulus Package that the Country has questioned weather there was any return for those investments. In reality this is a healthy moment in our country to have this debate and Congress is reasserting itself, a shining testament about our Democracy.
The danger is that as this Administration becomes more marginalized it will take more desperate measures to try to prove its status, value and relevance as demonstrated by the scare tactics they are currently resorting to. Don’t be surprised if the Administration delays checks being sent out to get the public upset, after all it was Rahm Emanuel who said “never fail to take advantage of a good crisis.”