Barack Obama is nobody’s fool, but he is reportedly doing a very foolish thing. If news reports about his budget proposals are true, he is sabotaging the Democratic Party’s chances of winning back the House and keeping the Senate in 2014.
These reports paint him as seeking to ingratiate himself with his Republican opponents by offering to trim Social Security. Will this president never learn?
President Obama, hear me now: There is no common ground with the Republican Party. They have only one goal – to make you look bad. Nothing you can do will win them over.
If you are indeed – as the reports say – offering to cut Social Security, you are falling into a trap.
No cuts will be enough for them. The more you cut, the more cuts they will demand.
Here’s their plan: to introduce “austerity” and make life harder for Americans, so voters will become disenchanted with the government – that’s your government, Mr. President. How do you think that will play in the 2014 elections?
Their “deficit reducing” doctrine is a sly rationale for undermining the effectiveness of government and reinforcing the Republican claim that the less government the better. Republicans make no secret of the fact that their aim is to “make government so small they can drown it in a bathtub.” By forcing spending cuts that make the government less and less effective, they hope to create the right political climate for getting rid of government. Get it?
When you offer to cut back the social safety net that Democrats have so painstakingly woven over the years, you are turning off supporters like me, Mr. President.
The irony is that you seem to be campaigning for the 2014 elections already. You seem to have realized that nothing can be achieved with the current Congress and that the only way of implementing your agenda is to put the boots to the Republicans in 2014.
You have seen the polls, Mr. President. You know the Republican Party is on the unpopular side of just about every issue – from gun control to immigration and gay marriage. You can see how they have antagonized – and continue to antagonize – women and minorities.
I realize that you are trying to be clever when you offer cuts to social services in exchange for tax hikes on the rich. But be careful. Higher taxes and reduced services do not sound like a winning platform.
Of course, you know going in that the Republicans will reject your deal, and you might think this will make you look “reasonable.”
But everyone who is open to reason already knows that. Some of us think you’re too reasonable.
All you’re doing now is making yourself look like a wily politician with no commitment to the ideals that Democrats have embraced for generations.
Keep this up, Mr. President, and a lot of us might get the impression that it doesn’t matter who wins in 2014. We might not bother to go to the polls this time.