The devil at Obama’s door


South façade of the White House, the executive...
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No matter what happens with the US economy between now and November, 2012, the Republicans are going to drag it all, lead and gold, wrapped in a tablecloth, and drop it at the White House door. Of course, it should be that way. The president is the face of federal responsibility, and he is in charge. Rightly or wrongly, he will be both blamed and/or praised for the condition of the deficit and the budget, of unemployment and private sector job creation. President Obama will step up, actually has stepped up, and raised his hand like a guard called for a foul.

The attitude of politicians these days only makes it worse. House Republicans have it in their heads that the public will find the condition of the economy out of Congress’ hands, even when it comes to the current crisis of raising the debt limit before it adversely affects our global economic standing. Asked about the president’s meeting with GOP lawmakers yesterday, to move toward an agreement on the debt ceiling, one House member said, “At the end of the day, [Obama] will have to give in” to the majority’s demands of spending cuts to entitlements, according to a report on Politico.

The Politico story reveals that even though Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH) left yesterday’s meeting saying he and the president agreed that something must be done about the debt limit:

“Boehner’s let’s-get-a-deal-done stance masks a deeper belief within the House Republican Conference — that Obama will back down eventually and agree to its demands, forcing Capitol Hill Democrats to follow suit.”

Why wouldn’t they think that? That’s how it went down with the Bush tax cuts that were extended, even before the GOP majority took over the House. That’s how it was done with the 2011 budget, when it was finally passed. As the saying goes, you teach people how to treat you, and the Republicans in Washington have learned that if they take an intransigent stand, the president will, eventually, give way to their way, even if he has only nominal political cover.

The 2012 election conversation is here, and 2011 isn’t even half over. When Mitt Romney announces he is running, Thursday, an early release of his speech says he will saddle the economy right on the president’s back, saying that everyday Americans are being “crushed by this Obama economy.” Of course, he says he can turn it around as soon as he gets into the Oval Office.

Maybe the reason that the Republicans are having trouble being enthused about the candidates getting in the presidential race is that the best and smartest prospective candidates know that even if they have a better chance of winning than the current pack, they want to wait until fixing the economy is less of an uphill climb. Otherwise, it could be “this Christe economy,” “this Daniels economy,” or “this Perry economy” that is threatening the proverbial greatness of America. It is possible that maybe we’re just not that great. Ya think?

-PBG

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