Once again, the worm has turned and Barack Obama has emerged from a key debate with some portion of the successful outcome. Like a deus ex machina, he reentered the fray at the eleventh hour and pushed the process over the line – he had done this successfully in December causing a flurry of legislation to become law.
He can and does extract victory from the jaws of perceived defeat. Republicans, remember this during the campaign for 2012: he’s the one with a proficient fund-raising and voter organizing machine behind him. Does “Organizing for America” ring alarm bells? You had better update that computer system and program at party Headquarters. You should fall behind some recognizable leader as early as possible.
But what does this budget battle say about politics and the American brand of democracy in 2011? Volumes. But because it will be discussed narrowly in the main stream media it is important to have a competent autopsy.
CNN’s Fareed Zakaria thinks he has it all down and it is a simple thing to tie up the loose ends and press on into the future. The key to all of this comes from bringing the Republicans and their modus operandi to heel:
It used to be that in Congress you became famous by creating big, bipartisan deals and passing big, bipartisan legislation. There was an understanding that you were solving problems. You were never going to get exactly what you wanted but it’s a country of 300 million people and not everyone agrees with you and it was important to get some progress.
Right now the way you become famous in Congress seems to be to actually not do a deal – to show that you have stood up to the evil forces on the other side.
You can see that most vividly on the Tea Party. The Tea Party’s constituency, or its base, clearly seems to be more interested in them not actually doing a deal than in them doing a deal. This is ultimately puzzling because the Tea Party is real – I give them a lot of credit for raising the issues they have raised.
But they are one segment of the country. Unless they believe that they should have the ability to – by some kind of dictatorial fiat – impose their will on the rest of the country, then they’re going to have to give and that’s the part that seems to be lost here. That’s the part which says, “Okay, you know our preference is for 10; yours is for 50; so how about 25?” And you make a deal and you split the difference that way.
There is not a mention of the divisiveness that Barack Obama introduced into the first two years of his administration and the bloody battle for health care. The Constitution was the wounded party in that one, not the Republicans.
Republicans are fighting for something that allows for no compromise with the kind of “regime” the Democrats have established. THEY have produced the dictatorship that rules by fiat, not the Republicans and THEY have made the Constitution the victim of “friendly fire.”
These are two ideologies that have been at odds since the time of Karl Marx. It is not as simple as Zakaria paints it and he has used liberal brush strokes to paint his canvas. The solutions he claims are very straightforward:
I think that the solution to the budget is actually relatively straightforward, with one caveat. What I would do is this: I would eliminate almost all tax deductions, loopholes and what are called “tax expenditures,” which are effectively giveaways in the tax code that are almost always in return for campaign contributions. [CNN]
Dream on, Fareed. There is a battle here for the future of this country governed by founding principles. Perhaps structurally efficiencies need to be added, but this country’s principles today are almost unrecognizable. This battle will not be easily won and there is no compromise possible in this instance.
Either you are going to operate within the law or you are not. Barack Obama is not. He is a dictator – an arrogant, pleasure-seeking one at that – who demonstrates by his very lifestyle and his policies that spending like his vision of the “rich” is the way out. In this instance, he views the solution in robbing from the rich to give to the government. He wants the power that comes with money – other people’s money. The battle continues.