President Obama unleashed his inner Alinskyite on Wednesday, storming out of a meeting with Congressional leaders and White House staff after threatening the GOP House Leader Eric Cantor with a parting "Eric, don't call my bluff."
Presidential it wasn't, and loyalists in the MSM immediately began to spread covering smoke from Obama allies like Harry Reid blaming the GOP Leader for refusing to be filibustered or bullied in the long series of pointless meetings arranged by a desperate president to try and change a political dynamic that sees his approval rating plummeting in poll after poll.
Last month in New Hampshire, would-be GOP nominee Mitt Romney pronounced this a "failed" presidency, and evidence for that conclusion is mounting daily as the president, either overwhelmed by his own incompetence or frozen by his extreme ideology --or both-- finds himself unable to lead. The petulance that marks the president whenever he is in a jam returned, and the instincts of the old "community organizer" took over, and the collision with Cantor underscored Obama's sheer inability to cope with opposition.
The GOP won the last election, of course, and in overwhelming fashion. The electorate renounced the vast spending and indiscipline of Obama's "stimulus" and Obamacare and demanded a retrenching, but not via a massive hike in taxes.
As Paul Ryan pointed out on my program Thursday, massive tax hikes are already built into the law for 2013 thanks to Obamacare. The president's insistence on even more taxes now is simply an attempt to turn America into Western Europe, and this is not where the country voted to go. From Ryan:
Let’s never forget the fact that the first two years of the President’s presidency, they passed all these tax increases that kick in, in 2013. So people don’t know this necessarily, yet, but the U.S. economy is going to get hit starting in 2013, you know, a little more than a year from now, with about a $1.5 trillion dollar tax increase. And it’s a tax increase that uniquely hits job creators, small businesses. More than half our jobs come from successful small businesses. They file as individuals. They’re the ones that bear the brunt of this, and we wonder why we’re not creating jobs today, because we’re going to have a huge tax increase that’s already going to hit these businesses, and they’re saying yeah, we spent all this money, now help us raise some more taxes on top of this to pay for it. And we’re just not going to go down that path.
The Congressional Republicans thus have to prepare themselves for a fierce attack from the president using his pals in the White House press corps which has twice in a week refused to press a president paddling towards the fiscal falls. If indeed a default would result in four figure market drops as some analysts --not all, but some-- predict, why isn't the MSM demanding of the president details on the spending cuts he has put forward, exact outlines of his tax proposals so the public can review and pass on them?
When the president announces a willingness to cut off social security checks, how can the "press" not ask him about the concept of trust funds violated, of lock boxes broken open and of a hundred other alternatives? Would he really let granny go hungry while the EPA writes rules on carbon trading that the Congress insists not be issued?
All the GOP can do is point out the recklessness and immaturity of an in-over-his-head president and try to minimize the damage from now until January 2013. The tantrums will grow in frequency and the rhetoric in temperature from 1600, but the coolest heads ought to prevail in the GOP House Conference as they have in the Senate GOP Caucus. There is no need to match the president outburst for outburst, but just the requirement that every GOP leader repeat again and again: "We won't be raising taxes. The president needs to send us his non-defense cuts."
That's the only message the GOP needs. That and "register to vote" as the country cannot afford another term of Saul Alinksy's Amateur Hour.