I have thoroughly enjoyed the new superbad Barack Obama that has magically appeared after his re-election. Maybe he’s hanging out with Jay-Z more or SuperFit Michelle has slipped him some Deer Antler Spray but this post re-election-I never have to run for office again Obama has really been feeling himself. After first term of taking the middle road on every issue post election Obama will talk about all the gay marriages and black kids dying in Chicago that he wants to and nobody can stop him. He’ll force a stumbling bumbling possibly incompetent Chuck Hagel down the Republican’s throats (echoes of Harriet Miers) just because he can. That’s right Obama’s goin’ H.A.M to Show these GOPers who he AM! Which is great in theory, but there’s one little problem. New badass Obama is hamstrung by first term Obama was always got played by the GOP in every policy battle. And that is why we’re in our current sequester mess.
This sequester is a result of Obama’s lousy negotiating skills in his first term. He was constantly trying to play the “Daddy” telling the GOP to eat their peas or otherwise be responsible. That’s just his personality. So he agreed to the sequester because he figured the idea of across the board cuts was so abominable to Republicans and Democrats alike that they would have to come up with a better plan in 20 months. Yet here we are at 19 months and 25 days and nothings been solved. The best way to understand why this deal was bad from the start is to envision three college roommates who always have a stack of dishes in the sink after late night spaghetti dinners and early morning hard-scrambled omelets. You know the types:
1. The Clean Freak: This is the person who hates seeing dirty dishes, and will wash everyone’s dishes no matter what whenever they pile up (even if they complain all the time and leave passive aggressive post it notes all over the house reminding everyone)
2. The Specifier: This is the roommate who sees the rising pile of dishes but will only wash and put away his specific dishes. (This is also the roommate who marks everything in the house including which detergent is his.)
3. Dr. No: This is the roommate who will not wash dishes no matter how much of a mess they or anyone else makes. When they run out of clean dishes they’ll use paper plates. When the paper plates run out they’ll get take-out. If they run out of money they’ll mooch of a friend. No matter what they aren’t washing dishes. Just cuz. (This is often a mixture of being passive aggressive as well as lazy and just plain ole obstinant.)
The problem is that Obama is obviously the first roommate. He’s the guy who always wants those dishes clean and tries everything in his power to fix the problem. Angry notes (speeches to Congress), “House Meetings” to write out a dish-washing schedule (the Super-committee) but he kept forgetting that the Republicans are all basically Dr. Nos. They aren’t cleaning those dishes no matter what and they’d rather see a health inspector shut down the house than be seen as cleaning dishes because the Clean Freak asked. But after the election Obama wants to forget that he was that guy. H.A.M-Obama wants America to forget that he agreed to this dumb deal (along with the GOP) two years ago when he was still playing nice roommate. Most of America doesn’t remember that guy and will blame the GOP but none of that will matter when massive layoffs and furloughs start happening in a week due to this government ineptitude. So what’s the president to do?
Well if Obama’s gonna go H.A.M. he should take another hint from his political muse and cut buddy Jay-Z and “Show ‘em how to do this son.” He is the president of the United States. Obama can continue to fund various parts of the federal budget through executive order or by demanding emergency funding of some variety. He doesn’t want to do this, if violates the spirit under which the deal was initially agreed upon and sets a bad precedent but so what? He’s not running for office again, the political consequences are negligible. The White House Throne is Obama’s let’s see if he knows how to really lead from it.