A question posed by Dan Balz at the Washington Post this morning is in his headline: “Can Obama seize the moment and make Washington work?”
It is fair to expect that the President of the United States must make government work with whatever Congress citizens have served up. He has led us through successive financial crises, wrapping up wars, swatting terrorism, while dodging Republicans sniping at him from within. That is a courageous effort that he has made with intellectual brute force.
The President cannot fix a broken and disabled Congress. Only voters can do that.
However, he can optimize performance by working with the pieces that remain workable. Oddly, that may include Mitch McConnell, his arch enemy, and even wounded Speaker John Boehner. The Republicans may have been sufficiently whipped such that those wanting to survive will find the middle ground where they are needed to produce a functional government.
More boldness is required by all parties and we may not see much of that until after the mid-term elections. Then, one may hope that President Obama will address the problem of how to optimize return on national resources by accomplishing the following things. (a list)
1. Address the obligation and revenue actuarial and shortfall problem.
2. Address the need to accelerate a new energy strategy as a catalyst for change and economic viability.
3. Produce a sustainable economic model to guide America’s future.
See the annotated list for more details. Don’t expect President Obama to complete all of these things, but he should start them. Hilliary or someone like that will pick up the ball and run with it.
“Can Obama seize the moment and make Washington work?
By Dan Balz, Published: October 17 E-mail the writer
It’s rare when a president is given an opportunity to reboot in the middle of a term, but that’s what the end of the government shutdown has provided President Obama. The question now is: What will he do with it?
The first clues came Thursday morning and produced an ambiguous answer. Speaking for the first time after signing the bill that reopened the federal government, Obama was both conciliatory and challenging, offering outreach to some and a scolding to others.An annoyed President laid down the political law. But, will Republicans listen?
His calls for bipartisan cooperation were aimed at what he called the “responsible” Republicans who in the end yielded to the obvious — that their party could not allow itself to be blamed for the first U.S. debt default in history as well as the first federal shutdown in 17 years — and voted to reopen the government and extend its borrowing power.
Obama focused his anger, or exasperation, on those hard-liners in the opposition party who were spurred on by the tea party wing of the GOP and whose tactics led the Republicans into a battle that they could not win and that significantly diminished the party in the eyes of many Americans.