President Obama took to the podium last week and urged citizens to contact Congress and tell them to “get to work” and stop “playing politics”. Many American’s did just that, while many others responded by calling the White House to tell Obama that the 2010 elections were about real spending cuts and to get with the program. By Friday Obama had taken his campaign to Twitter, sending out tweets targeting specific Republican House members and urging his followers to contact them. Many of Obama’s followers did just that, but the President also lost 40k followers that day. Many who “un-followed” the president did so because they found the political spam annoying and sort of “weird”. Meanwhile, as I reported Saturday, Moody’s maintains that no deal currently on the table reduces spending enough to protect the country’s AAA credit rating.
Since the Tea Party came to Washington Mr. Obama has been reduced to protecting as much of his agenda as possible and focusing on the 2012 election where (he thinks) a victory would free him up to accomplish through executive rulemaking, the things he can no longer get through Congress. It is amazing how much the debt and budget battles of the last 9 months have diminished Mr. Obama and the Presidency itself. Mr. Obama’s own budget was voted down in the Senate 97-0. In fact, until the Tea Party came to town The Democrats who controlled Congress had failed to pass a budget at all for two years. A White House source was recently quoted as saying they were hoping for market panic like the one 2008 to frighten Congress into submission. When that is the best plan the White House can come up with, they have to know they have lost.
Back in April, Obama was forced to accept spending cuts for the remainder of the current year’s budget even though he said he would not do so. Then he said he wanted a “clean” debt ceiling increase with no strings. When Congress ignored him he said he wanted a “balanced” bill with a mix of tax increases and spending cuts. When Congress continued to ignore him he began running around like the kid who never got picked in gym class trying desperately to appear as if he was relevant to the game. Obama is now likely to sign a debt ceiling increase that is all spending cuts, the only question how much spending the Democrats will be able to retain. This is because the only thing Obama really wants is any bill that takes this off his plate until after the 2012 election. He knows this is a losing issue for him and, being a politician, electoral considerations trump everything else. I wrote previously that the Tea Party has yet to realize what a stunning victory they have managed to achieve.
Obama did attempt to use veto threats to block and obstruct any deal he didn’t like, while publicly calling the Republicans “obstructionist” for not just drinking his Kool-Aid and rolling over. With polls showing that most fair-minded observers and voters see through Obama’s propaganda he will have no choice but to sign whatever deal Congress sends him and then try to take credit for it. At this point he is playing a prevent defense and attempting to convince an ever smaller pool of supporters of the need to keep spending levels high while at the same time pretending he has suddenly discovered that budgets should be balanced. The man who promised to “fundamentally transform America” and “hold back the rise of the oceans” has been reduced to the little orphan Oliver asking if he could “please have some more”.