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Obama Can't Blame GOP For His Worst "Bipartisanship' Blunder

By       Message Robert S. Becker     Permalink
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"Gee, What GOP Plot Wrecked Us?" by Lisa-- Washington Post Media Group

Turns out, the progressive base wasn't the first -- or foremost -- array of Democratic loyalists "disgruntled," indeed mishandled by a White House "fortress" mentality.  Pushing 800 days, the Obama administration battles a fiercely regimented opposition handcuffed not just by its unfocused vision but seriously "frayed relationships" that divide the White House from its own cabinet.

Detailed by the Washington Post, this news clarifies a variety of infamous Obama surrenders in advance and campaign betrayals, producing leadership gaps that wound the left (certainly unions) plus explain the midterm "shellacking." Didn't Democratic exposure buoy the GOP's resurgence from the dead?  Don't crashed ships of state, like any shipwreck, often sustain the survivors?

Because the neophyte Obama banked on "bipartisanship," even brinksmanship with shrill belligerents, how could Job One and Two and Three not be to shore up his own unimpeachable team against an incredibly unified foe? Mystifying in its magnitude and two-year duration, this self-induced, team-dividing negligence represents the rare recent fiasco caused solely by Democrats.

Revenge of Rahm

Led by foul-mouthed Rahm Emanuel.  Indeed, for me Obama's continued wobbles reflect the implicit Revenge of Rahm and the Remnants of Summers -- the triumph of arrogant, establishment aides whose insular White House remains out of touch with centrists, Congress, and party loyalists.  What else explains successful GOP reigns of terror, verbal and political?   

Interesting is how long it took the mass media to disclose this dysfunctional, intramural schism.  Whatever, as veteran Anne Kornblut details a smug, know-it-all Obama administration disconnected from its own demoralized and disempowered cabinet (except for stars at State, Defense, Education and Justice).  Though her soft-pedaled language is impersonal, Kornblut doesn't shy away from implying serious discord, even a broken marriage.  The White House now openly admits a "troubled," "badly frayed" relationship between two "deeply disgruntled" sides.

Incoherence, the Enemy of Leadership

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For the left, this huge split helps explains extensive policy incoherence, plus appalling follow-up and dreadful framing.  I think it's why Obama appears all over the map on his big five challenges: endless wars, rampant corporatism (and now, union-busting), mastery of finances (taxation-budgets-jobs creations), foreign affairs/anti-terrorism, and the ongoing, desperate need to re-Constitutionalize America.

In fact, policy incoherence spreads out, whether gay marriage-DOMA, gun control, Wall Street bonuses (and bad fixes), health care passage-rollout, environmental protection (no blueprint, mixed cues), or energy policy (no plan, more deepwater wells)?   Add garbled responses to overseas upheavals (the bigger the street protest, the more unsure the Obama steps), plus tragic regression on Gitmo, Bush military tribunals, and unending incarcerations, even punishing Bradley Manning in advance.

Three months into this presidency, I challenged readers to identify when, if ever, this president risked political capital, honored progressive values, and delivered one definitive win for the left. I wait in vain on slow war withdrawals, predatory taxation, control of the Pentagon, even ending mistreatment of prisoners.  A few marginal gains do not equal one systemic, progressive win into the third year.

A Bust on Union-busting

Take Wisconsin -- where despite overt local requests this White House refuses to let VP Biden or Labor Sec'y Solis show up, let alone defend collective bargaining rights -- another campaign betrayal.  As the Huff Post reports, the head of the nation's largest nurses union, Rose Ann DeMoro, dismissed Obama as largely a bystander: "we're feeling a sense of betrayal from him and not liking it much."

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Obama cultists can dish out excuses galore, forever invoking inherited economic and military messes from W.  Okay for one year, but not three or four.  What "anti-war" candidate inevitably trusts the warrior Bush pick at Defense, Robert Gates?  What "economic reformer" stands by Summers or Tim "no jobs, no relief" Geithner or re-appoints inept Ben Bernanke.  These guys are the status quo, don't predict accurately, or reveal special gifts beyond political maneuvering. 

Eventually, Kornblut finds a Democratic insider and Emanuel ally to explain how this mess occurred. Rahm, admits the operative, not only didn't "set priorities but instead only called to complain when things went wrong. "Rahm was always moving too fast, thought the Cabinet was useless, didn't have time for it.'"  Sounds like a great boss, more like the mismanager-in-chief. For me, Obama began to stall from this moment forward.

The Buck Stops at the Top

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For a decade, Robert S. Becker's rebel-rousing essays on politics and culture analyze overall trends, messaging and frameworks, now featured author at OpEdNews, Nation of Change and RSN. He appears regularly at Dissident Voice, with credits (more...)

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