There’s a big helping of crow being served in the House of Representatives this Christmas along with lumps of coal in many a stocking. The failed House Republican gambit to stall the payroll tax cut extension and unemployment benefits back fired big time. A big kudos goes out to the President for standing his ground even though it could’ve meant a tax increase for most Americans on January first. President Obama showed that he knows the difference between trying to reach a bi-partisan compromise and when he’s just being pushed around.
But the President stood his ground on the deal struck and passed 89-11 in the Senate. Mahalo, Mr. President.
This may be the zenith of the Mitch McConnell block everything strategy. The backlash is looking to be pretty severe for the Republican party. Combined with a weak field of Republican candidates and re-election is looking more and more promising for the President. It would not be surprising if Speaker Boehner was forced to turn over his gavel to someone else, say, Eric Cantor.
And this reversal shouldn’t be all that surprising. Since the 2010 Tea Party election when a number of ultra-conservative freshmen representatives swept the House, the Republicans have offered little (if anything) at all to address the ailing economy. All that they have managed to waste Congress’ time with are things like re-adopting ‘In God We Trust’ as our national motto, multiple bills having to do with interfering with women’s reproductive rights, naming Federal buildings, trying to cut programs, and generally blocking every piece of legislation supported by President Obama. The idea is that if you can’t beat President Obama on substantive ideas then make the President look ineffective. In reality, this President has been one of the more effective leaders in the nation”s history.
It worked for awhile, too during the period when the President was trying to forge bipartisan cooperation. Most Democrats were angered that he was conceding so much. Republicans used every opportunity to compare him to Jimmy Carter. The media is milking the outrage as well gleefully reporting the cost of the Obama Christmas vacation.
But public opinion polls are showing the pendulum swinging in the other direction. This bodes well for the President going into the election year. So Mele Kalikimaki, Mr. President and family. You deserve it.
- House Republicans Blink In Contentious Year-End Showdown (huffingtonpost.com)
- Why GOP Collapse on the Payroll Tax Could be a Turning Point Moment (Huffington Post)