Is there a master strategy behind the president’s most recent budget offerings?
It is difficult for someone like me to accept the idea that the president would campaign on a promise not to raise taxes on the middle class and then to shift gears and do something that makes that promise look like it might be countered.
According to some of the things I have been reading on the Internet and hearing in the other media lately, I am not alone in this. I get the idea there are lots of people questioning what appears to be a presidential back peddling on a campaign promise so I am thinking, “What if it is not a back pedal at all but is, in fact, some master strategy move?”
As I recall, Republicans have been trying to achieve cuts in Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid – - and indeed all so-called “entitlement” programs for an awfully long time now – - – ever since the beginning of “The New Deal” back in the days of President Roosevelt if I am not badly mistaken.
The president has looked to me like he has always been in the mode to protect the social safety net and the poor and middle classes and that he has consistently resisted Republican overtures toward reducing or eliminating some of the key elements of the safety net on more than one occasion.
So now we come to the great budget negotiations which for a long time looked like they were stalled and looked to me like they would remain stalled because it seemed that neither side could quite come to an agreement on much of anything – - – and it also looked to me like the Republicans were still out there suggesting that the president was not being serious in negotiating. What I believe the Republicans meant by that was “The president won’t give us everything we want and seems to want some things that we are not prepared to give . . . such as more revenues.” – - the last sentence is my paraphrase and was not necessarily spoken by any elected official that I know of.
It did look to me an awfully lot like there was an awfully lot of stonewalling and obstruction going on from that side of the fence.
Then suddenly – - – and to the surprise, sometimes shock and oftentimes dismay of some Liberals, the president appears to have changed positions and has actually offered Republicans some substantial new concessions on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.
Is the president thinking that the Republicans will decide they are not going to accept any of his proposals in much the same manner that they have boycotted and obstructed almost everything he has ever tried to do ever since he was first elected?
Is the president thinking that he has offered Republicans some tasty plums but that they will never be satisfied with anything he offers and will continue to demand more and more and more and that because of that nothing may ever get agreed upon? If that would turn out to be true, would it tend to make Republicans look like they have problems making governing decisions in an effective manner? Is there a possibility that if people started thinking that side of the fence can never agree on anything that it would reflect negatively on their side in the 2014 elections? Is that what might be part of a masterstroke of strategy at play here?
There is the possibility – - – in my mind at least – - – that the president might be looking toward the 2014 elections.
My question is, “If the Republicans do manage to finally get major concessions from the president on Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, how will it look to their constituencies when those 2014 elections finally do roll around?
How will such an achievement look to voters who might be tempted to say to Republicans, “You don’t support the benefits on which we often depend so we are sure as hell not going to support any of you in 2014? Is such a scene possible? I think it is very possible.
I think the president might know this too! I do not know! I cannot say for sure! But that is what I think and it makes sense to me.
If that is the case, then I think it is one helluva brilliant presidential strategy move. He offers them what they have always wanted and they jump on it and they piss their constituencies off and Democrats sweep the 2014 elections in much the same manner as the Republicans swept them in 2010. That is my amateur interpretation of the possibilities here.
It looks to me like the Republicans involved in these budget negotiations may be working themselves into a corner – - – into a “damned if we do and damned if we don’t” situation.
No matter what, it looks to this blogger – - – and admittedly nothing more than just another armchair politician – - – like the president is firmly in control of the situation and that his leadership is shining as brilliantly as The Sun ever hoped to shine.
I think if the People start to think like I am thinking, then they will realize what is happening with these apparent concessions by the president and they will give their unqualified support to his leadership in a massive groundswell of grassroots approval and Republicans will be forced to break off their attacks on entitlements until and unless they come up with some worth while new concessions of their own on taxes and revenues.
I could be wrong and I am sure the Trolls will tell me why I am wrong, but all of a sudden I am feeling better about all this and I have a gut feeling that it will all work out for the better for everyone concerned.
It may look a little hairy right now, but I think it will all turn out alright in the end because I do not believe the Will of America is the will of fools and that when the voters elected this president, they did the right thing and I think their judgement will be justified in the end – - – like it has always been justified for all the years since the founding of the Nation.
I will never ever say that the will of The American People is anything except what is good and decent and right for the country because it is the genius of that American Will that has sustained us through every period of trial and I think it will continue to sustain us even in these apparently difficult times.
There are clouds right now – - – and a little rain – - – but I think the Sunshine is coming again – - – and soon!
Posted by John at 10:45 pm