That dynamic, coupled with the GOP’s post-midterm swagger, emboldened leaders to insist that the president reschedule Thursday’s much-anticipated meeting until after Thanksgiving to accommodate their schedule, not his. The first post-election meeting between Obama and congressional leaders, billed by Obama as the fundamental first step in the post-election reconciliation process, will now take place Nov. 30th. – Behind postponed summit: GOP distrust of Obama
Pres. Obama’s position continues to deteriorate. The news about the postponed meeting between Obama and Republicans until after Thanksgiving sent an unmistakable signal. But not only is there GOP “swagger,” the reality is Obama has no leverage, because time and again he’s given ground and weakened his own position without any help from Republicans. However, with the Debt Commission, Republicans are seeing Obama send a message that he may also blink on Social Security. So now it’s open season on Obama’s presidency, because they know he’ll deal on anything.
As for Republicans scuttling the New Start treaty, we’re supposed to buy that because Sen. Jon Kyl isn’t satisfied with Pres. Obama’s sweetened extra $4 billion, plus $100 billion more on modernization of the triad of of weaponry, submarines, bombers and missiles, the Republican senator from Texas is going to make sure the New Start treaty lags into the next Congress? Seriously, the White House cannot have really believed it was about anything other than power. They can’t still be that naive.
From the New York Times earlier today:
Mr. Obama had declared ratification of the New Start treaty his “top priority” in foreign affairs for the lame-duck session of Congress that opened this week. But the chances of winning the two-thirds vote required for passage of the treaty appeared to collapse with the announcement by Jon Kyl of Arizona, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate and the party’s point man on the issue, that the Senate should not vote on it this year.
“When Majority Leader Harry Reid asked me if I thought the treaty could be considered in the lame-duck session, I replied I did not think so given the combination of other work Congress must do and the complex and unresolved issues related to Start and modernization,” Mr. Kyl said in a statement. The senator added that he would continue to negotiate with administration officials for a possible vote next year.
A failure to approve the treaty in the departing Senate could undermine Mr. Obama’s broader campaign to curb nuclear weapons and eventually eliminate them. The treaty, which would trim American and Russian strategic arsenals and restore mutual inspections that lapsed last year, was supposed to be the first, and easiest, step in a long-term effort to bring an end to age of nuclear arms. …
The political atmosphere for quite some time has revealed Pres. Obama as losing control over events, with the midterms rendering him at the weakest point of his presidency, which his trip to Asia emphasized. Top that off with Rep. Eric Cantor’s pledge to Israel that the Right’s majority would “serve as a check on the Administration,” which even though it brought out damage control from Cantor’s office over the vociferous reaction to the Republican’s arrogance and overstepping, didn’t make up for what Republicans next moves, now taking aim at Obama on foreign policy.
They are setting the ground work for the only thing they want to accomplish in the next two years: making Pres. Obama a one-term president.
Unfortunately, Barack Obama set this situation up himself. His naivete in dealing with Republicans has been stunning. Telegraphing compromise before each fight on issue after issue, even sending signals that he’s willing to serve up Social Security, as long as it’s a bipartisan commission that recommends it. It’s been the most disastrous leadership flailing imaginable. Now Republicans think they’ve got him where they want him. Right now they do and there’s been absolutely no evidence that Pres. Obama has the political skill to turn the tables.
A good start would be for Obama to pull in the Democrats to tell them to take a vote only on middle class tax cuts. However, right now there’s only one senator weighing in affirmatively, Jeff Merkley, willing to dare Republicans to vote against it.
“Our nation can’t afford failed trickle-down economic policies that favor the wealthiest among us and leave working families behind. I support an up or down vote on middle-class tax cuts and believe that it would be a huge mistake to repeat the Bush giveaways for millionaires and billionaires.“
If Republicans and conservative Dems get their way on Bush tax cuts it will complete the epic collapse of a Democratic majority under Obama’s leadership.
Is there no one in the White House who knows what he or she is doing?