The GOP’s Stuck Pig Problem
The GOP has been very upset with President Obama over the last couple of days. They’re squealing like stuck pigs, mad that Obama apparently has learned a valuable lesson about governing alongside the GOP. His proposal on settling the fiscal cliff issue contained something previous Obama Administration offers to the GOP didn’t, during his first term so far: leverage.
For some reason – assuming the best of the right, I suppose – President Obama has negotiated with the GOP in a very silly manner. Previous Obama deals with the GOP on issues like the stimulus, health care reform, and the debt ceiling made the assumption that the GOP is an actual rational entity and not a giant ball of emotion powered by Rush Limbaugh and Fox News.
Under Obama’s faulty assumptions (and common sense, to be honest), the GOP would be capable of seeing some of their ideas included in liberal-leaning legislation because they lost the 2008 election and until 2010 didn’t have the House. In response, the GOP chose to effectively shut down the government and hope they could do enough damage to win the 2012 election.
That didn’t work, and now after admitting that Obama campaigned on a left-leaning platform of raising rich people’s taxes they can’t even go to the tired well of “but he campaigned as a moderate” that they went to with him before and with Clinton.
On Obama’s side, he seems to have realized that baking in the GOP’s previously endorsed positions just makes them turn against their own ideology in the hopes of holding up their prime directive: opposing Obama. So now, hopefully, he’s doing what you’re supposed to do while negotiating. You start with your strongest position then work towards a compromise. This ensures that the right will also give up things.
The whole reason we are facing the fiscal cliff is thanks to Tea Party intransigence surrounding the debt ceiling. If we go over it, it will have been because the GOP continues to value party and ideology over country, to the detriment of both quite frankly. As with the Gingrich shutdown of the 1990s, the GOP will be blamed for this, while Obama is likely to get the credit regardless of how middle class tax cuts end up being preserved.
They are stuck, and the President is not nearly as naive as he used to be. Squealing time.