Barack Obama’s second term hasn’t even officially begun. But we already know that the tone will be even more demanding and confrontational than his first term. That became clear in the so-called negotiations over the fiscal cliff.
Except there weren’t really any negotiations. It was pretty much “my way or the highway.” One of his most recalcitrant representatives in discussions with Congressional leaders was White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew.
In fact, Lew’s intransigence so infuriated Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell that the normally mild-mannered Republican refused to meet with him anymore. To show you just how extreme Lew was, the Democrats brought in Vice President Joe Biden as a “moderating” influence. Imagine Biden being the calming voice in the room.
So how did all those negotiations end? Here’s how veteran Washington observer Pat Buchanan described the results:
“Rather than do a deal with Speaker John Boehner and offer one-for-one budget cuts for tax hikes, the president forced congressional Republicans into a humiliating climb-down and public retreat that split the House majority asunder. Then he spiked the football to rub it in, saying he had made good on his pledge to make the rich pay.”
Obama then added insult to injury, at least as far as conservative Republicans are concerned, by nominating Lew to succeed Timothy Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury.
John Carney, an editor at CNBC.com, said that by nominating Lew for the Treasury post, Obama was being intentionally antagonistic. Indeed, he is sending a “pointed message” that he is now ready to “pick fights with Congress.”
Indeed, that is precisely what has been happening.
Two years ago, when he was serving as Obama’s budget director, Lew testified that Obama’s budget “will get us ... to the point where we can look the American people in the eye and say we’re not adding to the debt anymore.”
What a joke! Instead of not adding to the debt, Obama increased the national debt by $6 trillion in four short years. His Administration overspent receipts by more than $1 trillion a year every year he’s been in office.
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Chip Wood (photo)