Obama’s Choice

Elliot Schroeder Elliot Schroeder 3 Comments

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Last night has put President Obama into unfamiliar territory. For the first time he faces both houses of Congress in opposition to him. The president has only vetoed legislation twice. This let him easily play the GOP as “the party of No.” But if the GOP pushes reasonable legislation (and not try to impeach the first black president) Obama’s veto score will climb and he’ll be the “President of No.” How Obama will govern is a question. Two options that I don’t see available to Obama are:

1) Triangulate again. Bill Clinton made it an art form to take the best of the GOP congress and make it his own. He still claims it was all him. The GOP didn’t fall for this, which is why Senator Mitch McConnell pushed that the GOP must oppose everything Obama embraces including something in Obamacare that came from Heritage Foundation. This is how Bill Clinton godfathered the “GOP Party of No” because his popularity was built on GOP ideas he stole. The GOP congress will not allow this to happen even if it’s a flat tax.

2) Go abroad. Obama is not comfortable with the world abroad. Ironically from the party that believes in internationalism and global institutions, Obama’s political roots are local from his community organizer days. All of his campaigning from 2008 to now how has been decidedly domestic. He is not comfortable with foreign and defense policy. Biden, Gates, Clinton, Hagel, Kerry are considered foreign policy heavy weights on the left clearly chosen to make up for his weakness on the subject. But with Congress gone, Obama still won’t look for vindication abroad. He just never saw value in investing political capital abroad, especially since every foray has put him at odds with the left he loves.

With his options limited, Obama has two options to govern:

1) It’s all about me. He can push executive orders in defiance of Congress. The intent here is to restore his credentials among the hard left, a sheen that has faded with his wars abroad, leak hunting, journalist targeting, wiretapping and bungling of liberal wishlist items. In the process he’ll become a liberal icon but likely doom the Democrats in 2016 as a party out of touch.

2) Sacrifice for the party. He can take the election as sign, see his lagging poll numbers, and try to work on issues the Democrats can claim credit on and slow the GOP’s resurgence. He can get out of the spotlight and tap ideas from Democratic party potentials to rebuild their bench. The key issue for this one would be immigration reform. Latinos have soured heavily on Obama as they call him the “Deporter in Chief” something that won’t help Democrats especially if the GOP is poised to have a Latino candidate in 2016.

How he will go and how the GOP will position itself in 2016 is what to watch for the next two years.

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Comments 3

  1. I wrote this on my Facebook page and would like to share it with La Rostra. Thanks.
    You all know I am a political person. Yesterday was hard for the Democratic party. Why it happened, anyone can guess. Theories range from apathy, disenfranchisement of the voters, cynicism, big money, the Kock brothers, Obama, and I could go on. However, in the grand scheme of things, it is called Democracy. If you are feeling depressed today, may I respectfully suggest you go for a walk, go inside yourself and see what you stand for, and if you believe in something, go for it. We still live in one of the most free countries in the world. Yes, we have our weaknesses. Yes, we could be better. But if you are truly dissatisfied, do something to make the world a little better. Nothing will change if you moan a groan about things. So come on people, smile on your brothers and sisters. We really are all in this together. End of sermon.

  2. “Why it happened, anyone can guess.”

    It’s a pendulum. My hope is that we make the swing to the right a little longer than normal. Regardless of my hopes, it eventually swings left,,,and right…etc

  3. Satisfied with election results. One can only surmise that Obama will seek blame on anything but the obvious. The content of his character has overwhelmingly swayed voters of all parties to react and send a much needed message, we’ve had enough!

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