Political junkies, such this author, didn’t hear anything from President Obama in his second inaugural address that we couldn’t have scripted ourselves; but nonetheless there were some clues that the president has chosen to swing wildly left setting up at least two years of battles with a neutered GOP.
Obama’s speech was directed to the most liberal wing of his party and foreshadowed that he will push to realign the nation towards progressive values that will likely change the nation for a generation to come.
If there was any doubt that Bill Clinton’s end to the era of big government might survive the Obama presidency it was put to rest on Monday. The president also telegraphed the he was ready for a fight and had no intention of backing down.
Even with all the liberal pabulum spewed by Obama during his inauguration speech, some on the left still found a reason to whine, complaining that Obama failed to reject further use of drones and end the kill-list policy for dealing with senior Islamist militants. The most ardent Liberals bemoaned that his second term plans weren’t heavy enough on government action.
Obama delivered a speech not directed at bringing the country together but rather focusing on his campaign themes while attacking Conservatism. Obama’s speech was more a legal pleading for an activist, liberal government and progressive orthodoxy on social issues than a reach out to all Americans.
Obama made it clear to everyone that he would no longer bow to political pressure and that Obama 2.0 would be all about ideology; the era of moderation it seems, if it ever existed, shall be struck from the new Obama administration.
Obama promised, in over-arching rhetoric, that he would stand with the liberal activists if they will only stand with him as he works to erase any remaining center-right core of American politics built by Ronald Reagan and affirmed by Bill Clinton.
The Republicans appear as the 98 pound weakling against an invigorated Obama; they are neither prepared nor have the stomach for the battles Obama is promising. The lack of GOP backbone doesn’t bode well for a mid-term election.
Whining about Obama’s brutish hyper-partisanship comes across more like sticks and stones than political leadership. The weak-kneed GOP leadership seems to still believe that Obama can somehow be shamed or goaded into moderation showing they’ve learned little over the past four years.
Obama has promised to return the fiscal liberalism of the pre-Reagan era while mapping out the most progressive course in social liberalism since FDR. Obama’s communications director told the Washington Post that our current political system is “not worthy” of the moment and of Obama’s aims which translates into: destroying the GOP at any cost.
Remaking America, in the eyes of the Obama and the progressives, is to remake politics by so deflating the GOP that their significance all but washes away; he will use any tool, any issue, any cause to remake American politics as CBS Political Director John Dickerson counseled in a column, “and pulverize” his opponents.
Obama will divide the GOP so that they are merely background noise that will follow his lead or be dashed onto the rocks of political history; and the GOP is doing an exceptional job of aiding the president.
Phase one is to carve up the GOP landscape so that the Tea Party caucus stands alone and the Republicans cannot muster sufficient support to hang on to the House of Representatives; once Obama regains control over all phases of government he will return to where he left off with stimulus, green programs, socialized medicine and the death of carbon-based fuels.
There is little if any signs that the GOP is wising up and will draw a line in the sand. Their pitiful surrender on the debt ceiling shows that they haven’t yet figured out that if their troops aren’t willing to march forward at any cost then Obama will play with them like a cat with a mouse.
The president and the Senate Majority leader have agreed they will take the silly GOP House offer of a three month extension of the debt ceiling as it only requires them to pass a budget in the Senate; it never requires they actually agree with the House on a budget. It’s akin to being told you only need to climb into the ring to be declared the winner. When the Senate passes a radical budget the House cannot pass we’ll be right back to where we are today; you can bet on it.
Obama will demonize them in April for not passing the Senate’s budget and claim they are subjecting the nation to a second recession, while attacking seniors and the poor just to help their millionaire buddies. Sound familiar? Obama only needs a few Republicans to buckle and Nancy Pelosi will drive through the Senate’s budget and debt be damned.
When the smoke has cleared next year, the GOP will try once again to portray an image of strength as they head towards the mid-term elections; sadly it’ll be far too late as their base will have lost any faith in them whatsoever. Obama may well achieve his goal of crushing the GOP. Conservatism’s final hope is a resurgence of the Tea Party and their poor performance in this last election won’t give Mr. Obama much to fear.
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