When he negotiated the renewal of the Bush tax cuts in 2010, why didn’t he get himself an increase in the debt ceiling at the same time? The tax cuts expanded the deficit beyond what it otherwise would have been. Republicans dearly wanted the tax cuts extended and would have paid for them. But Obama didn’t negotiate it because he doesn’t know how. Obama has no respect for the base of the Democratic Party and downright distaste for Union People. Obama is uninformed, thinking if he does the Republicans a favor it will get returned. Republicans have told him to his face that they will destroy him yet he continues to live in la-la land. What do we have to do to wake up this arrogrant flip-flop choke and fold fool. All Obama does is talk, nothing more and he has proved that he is an empty suit for almost 3 years now. I have zero faith in Barack Obama’s ability to get the job done.
In this round of debt negotiations, the president drew red lines. He threatened to veto a small increase in the debt ceiling, one that would force him to return to the argument before the election in 2012. By contrast, he has not threatened to veto debt-ceiling measures that cut too deeply into social programs. His red lines are drawn for his political advantage — not to protect his core supporters’ or the Democratic Parties values and interests. His red lines are not ours. Obama deals purely for himself. Clearing up matters for his re-election were clearly job one in Obama’s mind.
Whether its health care or the deficit or now the debt ceiling, direct encounters between Obama and his Republican opposite numbers have always ended badly for the president. Yes, the president faces unusually extreme and intransigent opposition. But that’s a description of the difficulty, not an excuse for failure. Presidents win negotiations when they can mobilize the public behind them. That was Ronald Reagan’s secret weapon in 1981. It has never been Barack Obama’s. And the results are as we all see. Obama can’t seem to make proper use of the bully pulpit. Obama seems transfixed by the sound of his own voice.
Obama has proven himself to be a terrible negotiator, time and again starting from a position way too near what his opponents want. It started with health care reform, when he himself ruled out nationalization and single payer from the very start so that what he ended up with was close to what the Republicans themselves were
proposing in 1993.
If Obama refuses to learn how to negotiate then he should stay completely out of it and let a professional on his staff handle it. Either way quit embarrising the Democratic Party.
Naturally the Republicans will do everything possible to get to deal with a patsy like Obama. If you lose everytime out of the gate you should give up on that particular rodeo. I don’t care how smart you think you are you may lack this skill. Part of Obama’s problem is he does not respect people who have the skill to negotiate.
Beyond that he does not even know the simple rules of the game and yes just like politics it is a game and there are rules. Rule one, go slow. Rule two, don’t give anything away unless you get somehing for it preferably something you want. Rule three don’t talk about the negotiations in public, do your talking at the table. Rule four, wrap your ego in coming out ahead and remember nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to. If the other side renegs on any part of the deal jerk the entire deal off the table and start over from the begining. Be curteous and remain firm. Prepare ahead of time and know what your objectives are and what your moves mean to the scope of where you are taking the deal.
If it ends 50-50 you didn’t win or lose, you held your own.
Holding your own would be a dramatic improvement for
Obama. If you get the big end of any other number set you have some level of win. When the Republicans get 98% and you get 2% that is an embarrisment. Obama needs to realize that he mucked this process up beyond repair and to commit himself to learning how to negotiate. Learn or quit the game, there is no in between. If you get in get in all the way.
The negotiations over the Bush tax cuts ended up giving the Republicans nearly everything they wanted, making the debt far worse while still allowing the opponents to blame Obama for it. His opening move seems to be along the lines of, “Okay, I’ll give you 80% of what you want.” And then he ends up settling for 90% of what they want. After Obama ceeded the 80% before the negotiations started he held his own splitting the remaining 20%
and that gave the Republicans 90 and Obama 10.
Obama lost this negotiations before it even started. Worse, he leaned nothing about negotiating and was just as dumb the next time at bat.
One of the clear differences between Republicans and Democrats is how they wield power once they get it. The Republicans get into power, as they did in many states this January, and they go for broke. They push their agenda through swiftly and strongly and they don’t care what the polls say. They know they have a limited
window in which to work before the backlash begins and they slash and burn to get it done. Republicans don’t even have to control the legislature to control the agenda; one chamber of Congress will do just fine. Obama has let them control the agenda from the start. It is Obama’s fault that he is a pushover. As Democrats it is our fault that we elected a pushover who can’t do the job. If we lie to ourselves and say everything is OK that will be our fault also. It is time to let Obama know we are tired of his do nothing, accomplish nothing way of conducting business.
And here’s the thing that makes it all make no sense at all: The public is on his side. On the policy issues, the public was strongly against the Republican position on the Bush tax cuts and strongly on Obama’s side. On the debt ceiling issue, the public is strongly against the Republican position and strongly on Obama’s side.
And yet he still comes out of it looking like a weak bystander and the GOP still gets nearly everything they want. Even with the people on his side he could not plot a straight line to a win.
Obama is likeable but he lacks the skills to do the job and that’s sad for him and sad for America. There are so many talented people who could help Obama govern but his eye is fixed on that old Chicago bunch who have failed to adequately protect the President so far. The President needs to clean house and get a team together who can do the job. He needs to do it right away.
I was asked today if I will be going to Obama’s birthday party tommorow? The answer is NO. Obama doesn’t have a birthday this year. The Republicans took it away from him in the debt ceiling negotiations.
Amherst County Virginia Democratic News