Barack Obama's second term is off to a very bad start. Even Liberal commentators - at least those with any credibility - are suggesting it may be time for him to lead more and campaign less.
Obama brought a plane load (Air Force One) of relatives of victims of the horror in Newtown to lobby Senators on the eve of a procedural vote, now scheduled for tomorrow, on a gun control bill.
Politico.com reporter Reid Epstein wrote:
”President Barack Obama's gone from ambitious arguments for sweeping gun control to trying to stop a filibuster…and for the first time, Obama began to prepare supporters of gun control for defeat.
Failing would be about Congress if it can't even push through expanded background checks for gun sales - the sliver of his agenda that remains possible.”
Yikes. Not exactly Margaret Thatcher level leadership--seems to me.
That's gun control. Not likely to happen.
What about trying to bring the budget deficits under control. While we await the long-delayed FY 2014 budget from the White House, Joe Klein (of whom I am a huge fan) wrote in his Time Magazine column:
"’Welfare abuse,’ as enunciated by Mitt Romney, ‘has shifted to Social Security Disability…a great many…folks finally figured out there was another scam to be had-social security disability.
I've heard specific tales of abuse all over America on my road trips. Faith in the federal government is shattered as a result.”’
Klein writes that there are too many on the Left who think anyone who suggests they might need help - whether deserved or not - should get it because they believe "free enterprise is inherently unfair."
His conclusion? "That sort of thinking is insidious and morally deficient."
Whoa. Check please!
Oh, we're not done yet.
The Daily Beast's Washington Bureau Chief, Howard Kurtz (also a Mullfave) wrote a column that began:
"Guns, immigration, the deficit…Obama's once-promising second-term agenda is in big trouble."
He goes on to write:
"On every major item on President Obama's agenda, there is a flurry of activity that may amount to nothing…
…The elusive breakthrough is always next week, next month, after the next recess, as soon as this gang or that group reaches a tentative agreement on the possibility of proceeding."
I'm starting to feel sorry for the guy.
Then comes retiring U.S. Senator Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) who is taking a look at the gazillion dollar program we delightfully call Obamacare.
Reporter Paul Bedard, writing in the Washington Examiner, quotes Rockefeller as one of the architects of the 1984 Newspeak-titled "Affordable Care Act" as saying:
"The Affordable Care Act is probably the most complex piece of legislation ever passed by the United States Congress…up to this point it is just beyond comprehension. If it isn't done right the first time, it will just simply get worse."
Without Obamacare there will be an eight-year-hole in the line of Presidents of the United States because Obama isn't getting anything else done.
We have talked before about how quickly Obama, in the first afterglow of his Inauguration, made it clear he would work hard to take back control of the U.S. House so his last two years would have the convenience of a Democratic House and Senate, just as his first two years did.
That lasted until about lunch when it became clear there was no chance, none; zero, that the Democrats would find the 25+ seats necessary to wrest control from the GOP.
His personal admission of defeat came during the aptly named "charm offensive" when he came up to Capitol Hill to meet with R’s and D’s on both sides of the building; and had dinner with a group of Republican Senators.
Yeah, well, he has spent the better part of five years saying horrid things about Republicans on the Hill and saying nothing helpful to Democrats, so this may be a case of - as H.R. Haldeman used to say as Nixon's Chief of Staff - T-L-Squared: Too Little, Too Late.
If Washington Pundicrats are throwing in the towel on Obama's second term, how long do you think it will be before all those Democrats in the House and Senate start running as fast as they cannot just for reelection; but away from Obama.