Aquarian Weekly

James Campion

For Good or Ill, President Displays Lame Duck Balls

If the president’s first post-election press conference is any indication, there’s a new sheriff in town. Those are the sounds a man makes when he no longer has to run for office. It is powerful, even majestic, if not terrifying. Makes the most fearless among us truly understand the lofty position of the end game. It rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? End game. No more matches, debating or begging for money or trolling votes. Nothing left to do but talk tough and crack skulls.
– THE EMPEROR’S NEW SHOW – Reality Check: 12/5/12

Support for, or dissent aimed at, the Affordable Care Act such as it is, or this shaky second-term president, who for reasons known only to him has routinely gone completely AWOL when heavy confrontation is called for, or this now utterly obamadisastrous congress, which has sunk to an unfathomable five-percent approval rating with a six percent margin for error (which means there is a good chance no one breathing approves of it) there is one key element that has become abundantly clear to even the casual observer: Barack Obama is a professional politician that no longer has to run for a fucking thing and therefore has the gravitas to go balls-out on whatever lies before him. And this government shut-down, continuing resolution, debt ceiling debacle is a fantastic example.

While the Republican argument is for the president to negotiate an existing law after its rather lengthy trip through every due process provided by the American system, Joe Cool has simply told everyone to go screw. It is quite intriguing, really.

And the polls back up this guts-and-glory play. There isn’t one not manufactured by Karl Rove or some other fossil of the Right that doesn’t shift the piss-wind into the GOP collective face and Obama is, for the moment, taking the day.

The president’s only wrench-in-the-works is this pussyfooting around with exemptions for this and that – corporations, unions, government employees – which appears to irk those polled, but even that group thinks the Republican-controlled congress has gone off the rails.

With Obama’s legacy on the line, the unimaginable complications and red tape to come on his lofty Obamacare, there is much fight in this dog.

Meanwhile, there is budging. The day of this writing, John Boehner’s wholly useless reign as Speaker has netted him several clandestine meetings (the kind that pulled the last debt ceiling silliness from the maw of disaster to a less onerous level) which have gained some measure of temporary deal in the works. This is done as both he and the president have spent day after day in front of microphones pointing a finger at the other in classic political brinkmanship, if not ham-fisted public relations.

But Boehner has bigger fish to fry than a nearly lame-duck chief executive. His caucus, the majority of which thinks the 30 to 40 colleagues who have spearheaded this clusterfuck are further dismantling a wounded brand, are frightened. No one wants to cast any compromising vote with 2014 looming and the horrible shutter of 2010 and 2012 congressional primary bloodlettings fresh in their heads.

And, not to be dismissed, those aforementioned 30 to 40 did get elected by districts vehemently opposed to any national health care system, with the haughty notion that somehow they could stop it; like Mitt Romney’s continued fantasy during the 2012 presidential campaign that somehow the president of the United States could singularly expunge a law from the books by a sweep of his monarchical hand. Does anyone expect them to go back to their constituents and blather apologies about caving?

Boehner has careers and futures to manage. Obama, on the other hand, has nothing to lose. Nothing.

His party? Shit, the vice president isn’t even getting the nomination. It will be Hillary Clinton, who will emerge as the heavy favorite and likely win the White House based on the same key voter demographics which whisked Obama in less than a year ago, a demographic the Republicans have done much to continue to disintegrate. And, as stated here last week, even without this grandstand, the Senate is almost assuredly staying in Democratic hands in 2014, as will the House remain Republican.

With Obama’s legacy on the line, the unimaginable complications and red tape to come on his lofty Obamacare, there is much fight in this dog.

If anything comes out of this mess, it is this; never fuck with a politician who no longer has to answer to the ballot box.


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