Marc Platt's Politics: I'm a Lefty
"The American people are completely fed up with Washington!"
(President Obama 10/17/2013)
Read between the lines. President Obama includes himself and his administration in that one statement, along with the least productive Congress in U.S. history.
We have all read the stories this past month. We know all the players, heros and villains alike (depending which side you favor).
The President and congressional leadership met several times in the final week of the shutdown. Speaker Boehner went on all the news outlets and gave several press conferences and raised his level of rhetoric to an alltime high.
I thought Boehner did a great acting job of sounding angry: "This is not a damn game" he shouted out one morning in a press conference, but it really was a game that played out in a strange Kabuki-like atmosphere.
Boehner was ALWAYS going to take a deal. He really had no choice. His caucus full of radical Tea Party advocates insisted he drag everyone down and get concessions from Obama and his team. President Obama pledged NOT to ever negotiate again after that August, 2011 Sequestration debacle.
I contend that the leaders all cooked up the timetable in the oval office, even at the expense of $24 Billion. Obama knew that Boehner had to take this to the wire. I believe Obama, Boehner, McConnell, Reid and Pelosi played this hand together. Everyone played their roles perfectly throughout the crisis.
This was a political conspiracy in which they ALL participated and the end game may be the elimination of Tea Party dominance of the GOP. Our country NEEDS a strong two-party system.
My question will be answered in the next few weeks IF any of Obama's 3 end-of-year agenda items (Budget, Immigration & Farm Bill) are acted upon in a bi-partisan way. If Boehner brings ANY of these 3 Seanate-passed bills to the floor and allows Democrats to vote along with Republicans, without having to have a majority of Republicans behind the bills, then we will know.
If John Boehner lets Congress start working its will as a whole body, then we can look back on this episode and we will know leadership and Obama teamed up to thwart the Tea Party hold on our country.
The Koch Brothers sent a letter to congress and the White House yesterday walking back their involvement in the "Defund Obamacare" part of the government shutdown and their support of " Raising the Debt Limit."
The Brothers Koch have created a monster in backing all these radical right wing Tea Party organizations and now they are having trouble holding the reins on this runaway faction in congress. This is the monster THEY created. It would greatly affect THEIR bottom line. They will lose billions if the Debt Limit is not raised and they realize it.
The Koch Brothers NEED Paul Ryan more than ever right now. See below for solutions.
"... this doesn't have to be another
crisis. It could be a breakthrough. We have an opportunity here to pay down the national debt and jump-start the economy, if we start talking, and talking specifics, now. To break the deadlock, both sides should agree to common-sense reforms of the country's
entitlement programs and tax code."
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) in Wall Street Journal (10/9/13)
This is how the stalemate is going to end.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan has the ear of the radicals in the house on the right and is helping Boehner and Cantor walk back a lot of the demands the GOP has made, causing the government shutdown.
Ryan is the budget guru in Congress for the Republicans and seems to have the key that will open the government doors. Keep in mind he must walk a fine line with the Tea Party. Even though they trust and look up to him, they are wary of anyone rising to the top of their party.
Just hours after the Op Ed in the WSJ....Ryan reiterated that he still "wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act." That is Ryan keeping the Tea Partiers at bay. These people really have to tred lightly.
President Obama is trying everything in his bag of tricks into getting the Republicans to go where they know they will eventually have to go. That is more to the center and take the "gun aimed at the American people's head" away and start negotiating whatever it is they decide really is negotiable.
The ACA is off the table as far as defunding and repealing, but it is not even close to perfect as legislation. They can all work together to improve it. At some point the nasty rhetoric congress will have to start walking back.
As of October 9, 2013 Congress has a 5% Approval rating overall. Right now there are 17 GOP House seats in play in 2014. The house could turn blue if the Tea Party takes us to the brink.
Paul Ryan could actually step up and take over the GOP if he plays his cards right. He really could be the voice of reason and keep the far right at bay.
One last Paul Ryan quote from the WSJ: "That's why I want a budget agreement—because if we don't make the tough decisions now, we'll face only tougher decisions
later. We can work together. We can do some good. All it takes is leadership—and for the president to come to the table."
This is the real way it will eventually go down.
There is no GOP End Game for the current government shutdown. Obama is not negotiating with the Tea Party political terrorists who have a hold on Speaker John Boehner. Boehner MUST stand up to the Tea Party wingnuts and team up with Nancy Pelosi and get a clean Continuing Resolution passed. It is going to happen, but how much pain will Boehner endure. His Speakership is all but lost anyway.
"I will not negotiate over Congress's
refusal to pay it's bills"
President Obama, September 27, 2013
I know I'm tired of this garbage in Washington. I would imagine most everyday Americans are weary of our government being held hostage by a few Tea Party members, who were sent to DC to disrupt government.
John McCain and his more moderate buddies need to start siding with the Democrats and re-building long-lost bi-partisan coalitions to stop this nonsense once and for all.
I don't need to explain for the umpteenth time how the GOP irresponsibility could cause our government to shut down for reasons that have nothing to do with the deficit. President Obama will NOT repeal his own ACA (Obamacare) legislation. "Not gonna happen" he told the White House Press core.
Obama also laid the law down about the upcoming "Debt Ceiling" issue. He warned Congress to "Pay your bills." The Debt Ceiling limit must be raised so Congress can pay the bills THEY have racked up. Ronald Reagan raised it 18 times in his eight-year term.
John Boehner has postered that Obama WILL negotiate. I'm telling you he won't negotiate like he did in 2011.
The House of Representatives will have to figure out how to undo all the bad will they have created for themselves threatening to shut the government down and/or put the U.S. full faith and credit at risk with this Debt Ceiling Limit business.
President Barack Obama will NOT be the one shutting our government down. This one sits in Congress's corner.
Come on guys and girls...Get your shit together before it is too late.
"If you want to talk about character and American values, fine. Just tell me where and when, and I'll show up. This is a time for serious people, Bob, and your fifteen
minutes are up. My name is Andrew Shepherd, and I AM the President." (Michael Douglas, Aaron Sorkin's 'The American President' 1995)
the real universe that we live in, President Barack Obama will NEVER repeal his own Affordable Care Act. Speaker John Boehner continually calls Obamacare a "failed law" that we must defund and repeal. It is the ONLY card he can play. Obama has three aces in
his hand. Boehner has a pair of 2s.
Eric Cantor is in similar shape. These two guys have to answer to some 20-odd Tea Party members who are keeping them from doing anything OTHER than trying to defund a law that is already in the books and will be further in the mainstream on October 1.
Obama is taking the offensive against the GOP for trying to extort the government by threatening to shut it down if he doesn't repeal his own legacy law.
Obama WILL let them shut the government down. They will lose the House in 2014 midterm elections. Nancy Pelosi will return to her former post of House Speaker. The GOP is gambling with their future as a party and that may be the best thing that could happen to them. They will seriously have to reorganize once the Tea Party element is lessened.
Let's talk Ted Cruz. Obamacare is the ONLY thing he can try to use against Obama. Obama IS the President of the United States, NOT Ted Cruz. Ted ruz will NEVER be the President. He is delusional in his approach. Mr. Obama is much smarter than Cruz politically and will put him out of business for good in this second term.
Boehner and Cantor continually have to butt heaqds with each other AND Tea Party elected officials who only care about blowing Washington up politically. Do the American people REALLY want a government that cannot take care of the people who can't? Do they really want to turn America into a "Blade Runner" rudderless society that is truly run by corporations?
Mr. Obama is setting the stage for a huge showdown with Boeher and Cantor. Obama will win. They will lose and the American people will just have to trust that Obama's administration will maneuver their way through this near impossible battlefield.
As I have been saying in previous blogs, Obama knew what he was doing all along with Syria. He played the press, congress and even the American public with a grand bluff about bombing Syria. I still insist he NEVER had any intention of bombing Syria. Obama and Putin cooked this plan up and executed it. Kerry did a fantastic job selling our threat and even Hillary Clinton helped reinforcing Obama and Kerry's threat. It was masterful and will go down (later) in the history books as a brilliant manuever.
The liberal and right-wing press bought into the threat and riled the people up. Russia did what they intended to do all along...Rid Assad of those chemical weapons. They certainly didn't want the rebels getting their hands on them, or Iran.
All the while, Boehner and Cantor did NOTHING. The only thing they can do these days is appease the far right Tea Party peeps. They are the stupidist men in our government for NOT getting a handle on these people in January, 2011.
Good luck boys with this Debt Ceiling Showdown!
June 23, 2014 Update:
This is the 2nd time I have updated this Blogpiece. Today (6/23/14) Syria completed turning over all of its declared chemical weapons and none too soon. ISIS will NOT be able to seize these weapons BECAUSE President Obama prevented that from happening by outsmarting our own Congress and the neocons like McCain, Ayotte and Graham who have NO CLUE what they are talking about when it comes to our foreign policy. They don't govern, so they flap their lips about war, etc...
You cvan debate me all you want on this, but I saw what was really going on last summer when it was going down in real time anbd I am no expert on foreign policy. What I DO know is I trust this this administration a hell of a lot more than the last one. This is one "I told you so" I'm proud of....
Update: September 10, 2013...Assad Took The Deal that the Russians gave them and they will avert the strikes Obama threatened. Diplomacy can work in 2013...
"Turn it over... all of it...." (regarding Assad's chemical weapons)
John Kerry (September 9, 2013)
Go back and see how the Cuban Missile episode played out. When countries have issues like America, Russia, Syria & Iran, there are often threats made. A lot of stuff THEN gets worked out diplomatically. Russia has JUST stepped in and tried to get Assad to abandon the WMDs. Russia talks tough, but do not really want to engage this way.
Pay attention to what President Obama REALLY is doing and just don't react because you are afraid we are doing a NEW "Iraq War." That is not what is going on folks.
The President can either be crippled by the dysfunction of Congress, or do an end around. Don't forget that Obama can pick up the phone and get Putin on the line at any time. Putin takes the call.
It benefits Russia to have the U.S. as a player AND Syria. Mr. Putin holds a lot of cards in his hand when it comes to Syria. Assad desperately needs Putin's support.
Giving up the Chemical Weapons at this point is a no brainer for Assad, because if he uses them, we WILL bomb him with or without Congress approving.
I previously wrote that Obama would probably hit Syria, but that was before Obama took the brilliant move of buying time before he left the country. President Obama probably NEVER had the intention of bombing Syria. I believe he took a page out of JFK's playbook and keeps buying time until Russia reacts. That is what they did with Cuba. That is what they are doing with Syria.
Syria is busted and Obama does not want to bust out. Diplomatic solutions are what is going on. No war. You heard it here.