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Obama Blows off Deals With GOP, Creating Era of Bad Feelings ^ | May 6, 2014 | Michael Barone

Posted on 05/06/2014 1:49:29 AM PDT by Kaslin

Second-term presidencies are an opportunity for bipartisan compromise. The institutional stars are in alignment to address long-range problems not amenable in other circumstances.

The president is barred from running for a third term and thus does not have to worry about his next campaign. In Congress, members of the president's party, with some reason to fear losses in the off-year election, may be willing to compromise before their bargaining leverage weakens.

Members of the opposition party may be more willing also, since their hopes of getting a new president of their own party have been at least temporarily dashed.

Second-term presidents over the last generation have tried, with varying results, to achieve breakthroughs. Ronald Reagan, after cutting tax rates in his first term, called for further cuts combined with elimination of tax preferences that had encrusted the tax code.

House Ways and Means Chairman Dan Rostenkowski and Senate Finance Chairman Bob Packwood -- a Democrat and a Republican -- achieved a historic breakthrough with the tax reform legislation of 1986, thanks in part to intensive coaching from Treasury Secretary James Baker.

Bill Clinton, re-elected in no small measure because of his acceptance of Republican welfare reform legislation, negotiated long and hard with Speaker Newt Gingrich. Both men's staffers feared that their discursive principals would give away too much.

But they reached a grand bargain on Medicare and, with help from a gusher of revenue from the tech boom, a pathway to balanced budgets.

Unfortunately, their discussions of Social Security were terminated by the outbreak of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The stars abruptly fell out of alignment.

Most Republicans felt obliged to impeach a president who had lied under oath in a federal court proceeding. Most Democrats felt obliged to defend a president whose misconduct seemed unrelated to his official duties.

George W. Bush also tried for bipartisan reform in his second term. It was obvious then (as it is now) that Social Security was on an unsustainable trajectory. Benefits were set to exceed revenues (as they have) and the onrush of Baby Boom retirees was just ahead.

Bush laid the groundwork by privately negotiating with Democratic lawmakers and with interest groups concerned about the elderly. He had hopes they would come around.

But in 2005, with disorder in the streets of Baghdad and New Orleans, Bush's job approval sank. Senate Democrats relished campaigning one more cycle on Social Security, and House Republicans were unwilling to go ahead without any chance of Senate approval. The Republicans suffered a "thumping" in the 2006 election, leaving the stars far out of alignment.

Like Reagan, Clinton and Bush, Barack Obama has at times acknowledged the long-term unsustainability of current programs. The tax code has become encrusted with preferences once again, Social Security is still facing stress and Medicare threatens to gobble up larger and larger shares of the nation's economy.

Entitlements threaten to squeeze out domestic spending that Democrats favor. And, as former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta argued in the Wall Street Journal, the sequester cuts are hobbling the military as foreign threats increase.

But in his second term, Obama has shown zero interest in bipartisan reform. He campaigns on mini-issues such as the minimum wage and patches up Obamacare with executive orders that put him on the cusp of ignoring his constitutional duty to faithfully execute the laws.

Some stars are in alignment. Old campaign ploys are out of date. Democrats' attempts to win the elderly vote on Medicare and Social Security failed in 2012. Republicans have accepted an increase in high earners' tax rates.

And House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp has come forward with a serious tax reform proposal.

But Obama seems uninterested. He sent Camp's negotiating partner, Finance Chairman Max Baucus, to China. He has stayed in campaign mode since he broke up the "grand bargain" talks with Speaker John Boehner by upping the ante in August 2011.

He let Russia know that "after my election I have more flexibility" -- with results now grimly apparent. But he has not shown more flexibility toward congressional Republicans.

Now the prospect of a special House committee investigating the White House's attempt to obfuscate the Benghazi attacks threatens to throw the stars further out of alignment.

Only once before has America had a third consecutive re-elected president -- James Monroe. His presidency became known as the Era of Good Feelings.

Historians will need another label for this one.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: barack0bama; gop; obamalies; republicans

1 posted on 05/06/2014 1:49:29 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

I don’t want an “era of good feelings” with Democrats. I want to defeat them. They are the enemies of freedom and this nation.

2 posted on 05/06/2014 1:55:42 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Rempublicam)
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To: Cincinatus

It isn’t just the Democrats that are the enemies of this Republic.

3 posted on 05/06/2014 2:27:51 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Cincinatus

Civility, polity, discussion, are dead thrice over.

The current resident of the White Hut has no interest other than the destruction of America—fundamental change.

It sickens me that we had to choose between a muslim and a mormon. I voted for the mormon.

4 posted on 05/06/2014 2:35:23 AM PDT by the anti-mahdi
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To: the anti-mahdi

False choices. There were others to vote for. I voted for Virgil Goode.

5 posted on 05/06/2014 2:54:42 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: the anti-mahdi
I voted for the mormon.

Office of First President & Living Prophet®:

November 8, 2012

Fellow MORMON Freeper Christians!!
I must apologize and ask for forgiveness from you all.
As you know, we at Headquarters NEVER tell you pew warmers how to vote. It says so right in our press releases. Anyway, we were ALL thrilled to the max when there were two – TWO! – MORMONs being touted in the primaries: Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman.
Talk in our upper chambers high above SLC was how our gods were favoring us with these men; who had prepared their entire lives for an opportunity to save this Nation; which so badly needs guidance: OUR guidance even! So naturally, I and the other twelve analyzed and discussed the situation.
Consensus was that the voters should listen to the inner urging and vote for the one they wanted; but that seemed to be leaving WAY too much to chance.
I decided, that since I am the ONLY man on earth that can hear GOD’s voice, that I would pray for wisdom and clarity in the matter.
I hadn’t used the fleece in a while, so I questioned GOD with a test. A paper, with Romney on one side and Huntsman on the other was to be placed by the air conditioning vent high above my desk in the sumptuous office the Full Tithers have provided.
When the air would kick in later in the evening, while I was home, the paper would be blown down and whomever GOD wanted would then be visible on the upper surface.
As you can probably guess, when I came in the next day, the paper had landed on my desk, with Mitt’s name on top.
Last night, I was staying late, praying to GOD about how it was even possible that Mitt lost, when the janitorial cleaning crew came in. Being surprised to find me here, they apologized for interrupting me. I said to them, “It mattereth not, as I was about to leave anyway.”
As I was going out the door, the foreman of the crew just happened to mention that my office is ALWAYS so neat and tiny, never anything out of place, that they barely have to do anything to tidy up. Then one of the sweepers said, “Except that time in the spring when we came in to clean and found a paper with Huntman’s name on the floor by your desk. We put it back on your desk and left.
Tommy M.
PS Keep praying that Huntsman will add an “H” to his name. Jon looks so dang effeminate!
Onward to 2016!!!

6 posted on 05/06/2014 3:20:38 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Prepare to be excoriated!

7 posted on 05/06/2014 3:23:28 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

Excoriated ? Moi ? As Willard’s #1 opponent and exposer on FR, I never hid the fact I wouldn’t vote for that Socialist fraud and pathological liar if I was paid good money. If that thing had reached the White House, he not only would not have repealed anything of Zero’s, we’d be facing an electoral blowout this November. Of course, I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know...

8 posted on 05/06/2014 3:38:28 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: Kaslin

Obama campaigned on a radical agenda and he has succeeded beyond our wildest nightmares. With the passage of the ACA, we are now a socialist country. Now he is wrecking our economy with environmental executive orders. In his mind, the Climate Change is just a way to drag us down. He has always seen the US as the grand exploiter of the world.

Why in the world would he compromise? He won. He knows it. That’s why he golfs and cracks jokes on late night TV. He doesn’t care about the elections either because he knows John Boehner doesn’t have the guts to reverse anything. If RATS win, he wins. If RATS lose, he wins. That’s a win/win for him and a losing proposition for our Republic.

We the People are the only hope:

9 posted on 05/06/2014 3:52:02 AM PDT by SC_Pete
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To: Kaslin

My way or the Highway. This is a prime reason the “African government” philosophy never works well.

10 posted on 05/06/2014 6:52:03 AM PDT by X-spurt (CRUZ missile - armed and ready.)
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To: Kaslin
Michael Barone. No wonder I thought I heard the sound of foolish bassoons in the background. Blimpery, trumpery, smugness, and Olympian detachment .... all wrapped up in East Coast Elitist self-consequence.

Nice to see you again, Michael. Please use the door on your left.

11 posted on 05/06/2014 1:21:32 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: fieldmarshaldj

I’ll bet it’s grown back by now: tougher and more resilient than ever!

12 posted on 05/06/2014 4:03:24 PM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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To: Elsie

Notice nobody has since uttered a word about my post...

13 posted on 05/07/2014 3:05:24 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Most of us ain’t AWAKE yet!

(Like ME!!!)

14 posted on 05/07/2014 4:01:56 AM PDT by Elsie (Heck is where people, who don't believe in Gosh, think they are not going...)
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