When competition is the game, it's always best to know and understand your opponent. The only way to minimize surprises and neutralize your opponent's strengths is to have a solid, non-rose-colored glasses comprehension of what to expect from your rival....before the competition begins.
When it comes to being prepared to take on his Republican opponents, President Obama has been naive. As a result of not fully understanding the bad-faith of his political opponents, the nation's economy, and the plight of America's poor and vulnerable have had, and will continue to have, severe damage done to them.
Two examples to support my proposition...
First, the debt ceiling standoff of 2011. Obama had direct talks with Speaker John Boehner during the months leading up to our nation's first credit downgrade. The president felt like a Grand Bargain was within reach. Bipartisan Barack was prepared to offer his opponents cuts to Social Security and other popular government programs in return for higher tax rates on the wealthiest and some chump change.
Those Boehner-Obama negotiations ended when Boehner explained to Obama that the Tea radicals in the House would not accept ANY new revenues. Traditional establishment Republicans, prior to the 2010 midterm mistake, would have jumped at the deal Obama was offering. The GOP has been looking to do damage to Social Security and Medicare for decades....Obama knew that.....and so he incentivized establishment Republicans into brokering a deal by offering SS cuts. Obama wanted a compromise.
What he got was the back of the GOP's hand. Further, when accepting the Budget Control Act, Obama, again, refused to fully comprehend his Republican opponents. The Super Committee was tasked with coming up with a bipartisan compromise to address deficits and debt with the sequester kicker as a deterrent to gridlock. Surely, Obama thought, Republicans would not accept significant defense cuts in the event that a Super Committee agreement could not be reached.
Obama had misjudged his opponent again. He, apparently, gave his opponents some benefit of the doubt. Now, the sequester is dragging the national economy down, just as Republicans hoped it would.
Second, Obamacare. Anecdotes from Mark Halperin and John Heileman's new book have been making the rounds. If the reporting of the two Villagers can be relied upon....a big if.....it seems that Obama simply could not believe that red states would turn away billions in extended Medicaid money provided in the ACA. The president could not accept the thought that GOP governors would deny their own state's poor working families access to medical care, especially when no state dollars would be required for years. The Medicaid expansion offered states an economic windfall in a sluggish recovery period.....an incentive that Obama was certain Republican-controlled states couldn't resist.
Again, Obama didn't fully understand his opponents. GOP states refused to expand Medicaid, wholesale.
Further still, it seems Obama waited too long to concentrate on building Healthcare. gov....because he was waiting for mostly GOP states to see the wisdom of setting up their own state Obamacare exchanges. Obama thought the 2012 election had finally settled the over-the-top opposition to a democratically passed law...."break the fever" dontchaknow.....and so he waited until after the 2012 election to go full out on Healthcare.gov.
It seemed counterintuitive to Obama that Republican state leaders would not control their own healthcare exchange destinies. Counterintuitive or not, Obama had again misjudged who it was he was dealing with. He attributed good faith to red state leaders when all political scouting reports and redstate legislative evidence clearly demonstrated none was deserved.
Obama has made three critical errors so far in his presidency. One is continuing the illegalities of the previous administration's phony "war on terror", in some cases expanding those illegalities. Second is his inexcusable failure to hold Bankster crooks responsible for their evil deeds. The evil deeds which put our economy in such peril. He called the Banksters "fat cats" once......and was mocked to scorn by the Village. Obama gave up.
And the third is not fully comprehending GOP opposition. Obama told Americans over and over in 2008 that we are are not a nation of red states and blue states, but instead, a nation of United States. McCain-voting states couldn't have disagreed more.
Today's Republicans, not all but most, should never have been considered to be loyal political opponents who wanted the best for the nation. Instead, today's Republicans are desperate opponents of America, not just Democrats. The GOP sees the demographic writing on the wall......relying on enraged whites to win general elections is not going to cut it anymore.....and yet that realization hasn't prompted Republicans to temper or moderate their policies or approaches. Instead, those realities have caused the GOP to slam the poor and disadvantaged even harder, propose MORE tax cuts for the wildly wealthy, punish women choosing to exercise their legal rights, conduct multi-redstate vote and voter suppression efforts...and above all, oppose EVERYTHING Obama is in favor of.
How a president could misinterpret those anti-American characteristics of his GOP opponents is above my pay grade to explain. But he did....and the nation is worse off for it.
About This Blog