I've noticed something about you, sir. Actually, many things, most of them good.
I've noticed that you are smart, well read, well spoken, and apparently, a student of history. Unfortunately, like others before you, you tend to pick and choose the examples and lessons with which you feel most comfortable, not the ones you need to heed.
If I may, I'd like to raise a few minor points that can quickly prevent your administration from falling into a gutter. A rut. Potentially, an abyss.
You really blew it with health care. Even you acknowledged that you erred in hiding in the Oval Office, June, July, even August, while your political enemies were pressing lies like Death Panels, cutting health access, and forced abortions. When several US Senators BEGGED, literally BEGGED the White House for a hint of what you wanted in a final bill, you were resolute. Quiet. Resoundingly silent.
By doing so, by hiding in the White House, you almost blew it. But for some liberal activists, including several liberal radio personalities, you would have maintained a stiff upper lip, and waited until the Congress presented you with a final package. No infighting, no arm twisting, no going out and pounding the flesh pushing for an agenda (while responding to the out and out lies being spread at the time.).
Even you recognized that you fucked up, Mr. President. You are about to do so again.
Did you notice that when you stand up and fight, the country responds? When you stood up to that mittwit Romney, your numbers rose? When you attacked the GOP for silly policies, your numbers rose even further? And when you campaigned even harder on the street, with the people, not only did your numbers rise again, but your enemies began bitching that you weren't playing fair. (Insert Boehner, McConnell, Kyl, Cantor, or a variety of other TeaBuggered GOPers)
Now we face a time when conventional wisdumb claims that we face a fiscal cliff. It is not cliff to move all tax rates back to CLinton numbers. Hell, we not only had a growing economy, WE HAD A SURPLUS! What would be wrong with a small increase in taxes, if we have a growing economy and a SURPLUS? What could be wrong with our bloated defense budget being cut by a few hundred billion?
Your problem, Mr. President, is not that you don't compromise enough. That has never been your problem, despite your enemies' oft-quoted attacks.
Your problem, one that will dog you throughout this fiscal negotiation hedge and if you fail, throughout your second term, is completely different. Your problem, Mr. President is that you have two, not one parties with whom you negotiate.
First, you negotiate with the GOP, and like clockwork, shortly afterwards, you negotiate against yourself. No matter how strong you and your message bearers appear in the first half, the GOP has your number. They know that you are an impatient man, one who can be waited out. After sending out Biden, Durbin, Pelosi, and Schumer, all saying that SS was off the table, what happens? We find that you went ahead and put it back into the negotiating mix.
Shame on you, sir.
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Now, just today, you demanded something of congress that they will find even less appealing than your demand that congress provide you with a health care bill in June. NO, make that July. Would you believe, like Maxwell Smart, August? PLease Congress, please, could you see to doing something by December?
What happened to health care is about to be repeated on gun control. You gave Congress a demand, give me a gun control fix by January. This was so reminicent of your Health Care demands a few years ago, that I felt this eerie tingle down my spine, as though the ghost of wasted presidencies of the past had made his way to Washington. Just in time for Winter Solstace, or whatever holiday you christians are declaring war on today.
At least you put Joe Biden in control, which unlike your Health Care Fiasco had no assigned leader, no defined task, and no rudder with which to steer. Joe has the utter contempt for bullshit which makes it far likelier that he will actually come up with a hard hitting topic.
But, even when 80% of Americans want some gun control, some solutions to 20 yr olds snuffing out innocent children's lives, we come right back to the real problem.
Once again, you will have two groups with whom to negotiation. First, you will negotiate against the GOP (read teabuggerers, NRA members, and Gun Owner Assocation morons), after which you will negotiate against yourself.
In advance, I say, shame on you, sir. Just because I have a creepy sensation of that ghost I mentioned reappearing on this issue, too.
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There is a way out of this mire of quag which you create for yourself. GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE.
Seriously. There is something corrosive that goes on inside that building. You get a barrage of bad advice, you forget how strongly real people feel about these subjects (Tax the rich, save SS and medicare, AND pass rational gun control). Your staffers do you no favors, sir. Inside the bloatway, all you see are the trappings of power, the pampering, the butler, the chef, the atttention paid to every detail in your absence, and solely for your benefit. Inside the bloatway, you quickly find a bubble building up around you, forcing you to play it safe, forced by your aides to play it safe, aiming for compromise, whispering for you to ignore the fucking liberals, aiming for the middle.
STOP THAT. Right now. Get out of the White House. Start pushing for a fiscal solution THAT KEEPS YOUR HANDS OFF SS and MEDICARE and that does not punish the elderly with a fucked up measure of inflation. Go give speaches, talkes, round tables, and town hall meetings. PUSH, Mr. president, and you will succeed. The GOP hates when you do that. For one, it is extremely effective. Two, they have no response to such power and impact. Three, it pisses them off terribly. And finally, four, it makes them look like what they are - greedy, small minded, protectors of millionaires who care nothing about helping the poor, the unemployed, or those in need.
Get out of the White House, Mr. President, away from your bubble, away from the White House, and away from your corrosive aides and advisors. Get with the people, and as you saw in november, they will get with you. And, as an added bonus, they will reinforce your good ideas - increasing taxes on those making 250k and higher, and passing meaningful gun laws.