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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 3/11/13

What Is Obama's Political End-Game? Did He Enter Politics as a Democrat Only Because Republicans Are Bigots?

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On Wednesday March 6th, Rosalind S. Helderman of the Washington Post headlined major news, "House Votes to Fund Government Through End of Fiscal Year,"   and she reported there that, "President Obama is focusing on wooing rank-and-file Republicans in the Senate who might be interested in a deal that would pair tax reform that produces new revenues with cuts to entitlement programs." Those "entitlement programs" are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. There had just been a House vote, "passing a measure that funds the government through the end of the current fiscal year," so as to give congressional Republicans added time for using their threat of blocking a debt-ceiling increase, and of their thus driving the U.S. government into default. Dragging out these negotiations this way will give Republicans the added time to force the ultimate tax-and-spend "deal" to end up their way. "The measure was approved by a vote of 267 to 151, with most Republicans supporting it and [by nearly 3 to 1] most Democrats voting against it." House Republicans wanted this measure to pass, and Obama wanted it to pass; but congressional Democrats overwhelmingly did not want it to pass. Then, "After a series of phone calls from Obama to Republican senators who have expressed their interest in that kind of 'grand bargain,' he will take a group of senators to dinner Wednesday evening at the Jefferson Hotel." Obama was working with Republican leaders in both houses, in order to achieve ends that both they and he had been working toward for years.  


The present article describes the ideological war that has been going on, ever since Obama first entered the White House, between President Obama on the one side, and the vast majority of congressional Democrats on the other. No one has written about this before.


Just days earlier, on the morning of Friday March 1st, the President had met with House Republican leaders to achieve, as the AP reported,  "a big fiscal deal that would raise taxes and trim billions from expensive and ever-growing entitlement programs" (the same list: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid).


Also that morning, Les Leopold headlined at huffingtonpost, "Sequester This! How Did We Get Here?" and he perspicaciously noted that, "When Wall Street imploded under the immense weight of its own greed, it tore a hole in the economy.... The combination of the economic collapse and the deficit spending needed to counter it increased the national debt. Before the crash in 2007, the yearly deficit was 1.17 percent of GDP. By 2009 it shot up to 10.13 percent. Even with a weak recovery, the deficit fell to 8.51 [percent] by 2012."


However, what does that soaring deficit spending really have to do with Obama's aim to "trim billions from expensive and ever-growing entitlement programs"? It provides him an excuse to do so, and for him to say that Republicans have "forced" him to "concede" to doing it. Thus, for example, the liberal Mr. Leopold asserted that, "President Obama caved to the debt hysteria."


But what if, instead, he didn't actually "cave" at all? What if he had, from the very start of his Presidency, set up the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and otherwise carefully planned the same general scenario that is now playing out, in order to get the public to accept the "necessity" to cut Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, in order to get this economy out of the funk that was caused by Wall Street's crash, which tanked the entire economy? Obama's record in office suggests that he is, in fact, carefully working, step-by-step, in precisely this direction, toward cutting Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- programs that Democrats started -- and saying that Republicans "forced" him to do this, in order to restore the economy.


Proposals to cut what is derogatorily called (by Republican wordsmiths such as Frank Luntz) "entitlements" have nothing to do with getting to the roots of what actually caused the 2008 collapse, nor with our recovering from it. Those proposals have nothing at all to do with helping the nation to prevent a recurrence of the George W. Bush crash. It's all been a Big Lie. Something is very wrong with the way that the public (with the assistance of both Republican and Democratic media) views the Obama Presidency. The "Barack Obama" that comes through from our President's liberal rhetoric (and from cooperative major news-media of both the right and the left) has simply not been borne out by his actions as President, and it is time for us to recognize this fact.


This is going to be a long article, because its purpose is to replace that garbage with a credible understanding of Barack Obama. Trusting his liberal rhetoric just doesn't make sense any more -- not this late in his Presidency. It's just a front, with liberal touches such as the Violence Against Women Act, etc., in order to cover for a conservative economic transformation of this country that had seemed to be culminating in the George W. Bush Presidency, but which is still continuing with unreduced intensity right up to the present day.



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Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that (more...)
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