The concept of a revelation is revealing an enlightening or astonishing disclosure, but often the new information is common knowledge not officially verified by a person in a position of authority. One bit of “common knowledge” is that the 112th Congress was the least productive group in seventy years, and although the congressional record speaks for itself, there was little criticism leveled directly at Republicans for their intransigence, obstructionism, and inability to do their jobs in a timely, responsible fashion. On Monday, President Obama gave the American people an update on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations and for the first time, he condemned Republicans in Congress for waiting until the last minute to do the government’s business and insisting the cutting spending is the only means of deficit reduction. There was nothing new in the President’s remarks, and there are few people who would disagree with his characterization of the GOP, but the one thing all Americans should know by now, is that telling the truth about Republicans will garner outrage and after the President’s statements, Republicans were furious.
The President’s goal was to encourage the negotiating parties to recognize how important an issue the so-called “fiscal cliff” is to Americans’ economic concerns, and claimed the deal was not being achieved using a balanced approach because Republicans were unwilling to negotiate higher taxes on the wealthy. One of the key points of the President’s remarks was the elusive balanced approach Republicans reject as a matter-of-course on nearly every issue they are involved in, and took particular umbrage with congressional Republicans and said, “But with this Congress that was obviously a little too much to hope for at this time.” The President did not say anything that every other semi-intelligent American already knows, and instead of feeling the heat to get something accomplished, Republicans responded like the petulant crybabies they really are.
John McCain assailed the President and accused him of making fun of Republicans and that he “laughed about how people are going to be here for New Year and sent a message of confrontation to antagonize” Republicans. McCain wondered aloud “whether the president really wants this issue resolved, or is it to his short term political benefit for us to go over the cliff.” Apparently McCain has been so focused on Susan Rice and Benghazi, that he has missed the President’s months long prodding to avoid the fiscal cliff by at least expecting the House to vote on the Senate’s bill extending tax cuts for 98% of the population, or that the President made a very generous compromise offer Republicans failed to even consider. The real issue for McCain, and all recalcitrant Republicans, is that the President did not mince words or sugar-coat the GOP’s intransigence on taxes or spending, and sent a message that their tactics of shoving “only spending cuts down — shove spending cuts at us — that will hurt seniors or hurt students or hurt middle class families without asking also equivalent sacrifice” of the wealthiest Americans is not “going to be the formula for how we solve this thing. We have got to do this in a balanced and responsible way.”
Charles Krauthammer went farther than McCain and accused the President of placing “himself above the fray where the children are playing in the sandbox.” It was an interesting choice of words because for the past four years Republicans have behaved like children playing, and it is about time they are held accountable for their inaction and obstruction for the sake of obstruction. Krauthammer also claimed the President “shoved all this down Republican’s throats,” and “ridicules the Congress, rubs in the fact that they were resisting a raise in rates and that he made them do it. I think he wants to go over the cliff, and dare the Republicans to take the blame,” by laying out a “radically oppositionist position with incredible arrogance at a crucial moment in very delicate negotiations.” Translation: how dare the President of the United States tell the truth and demand Republicans do their jobs.
There was nothing whatsoever arrogant or radically oppositionist about the President’s analysis of the least productive Congress in seventy years, and after attempting “delicate negotiations,” compromises, and concessions to Republicans, accurately portrayed the GOP as narrow-minded obstructionists hell-bent on imposing their plutocratic agenda on the nation despite overwhelming public support for the President’s economic policies. What Krauthammer and McCain failed to relate was they did not appreciate having an African American man chastise white Republicans for not doing what they were elected to do. What was missing from any Republican’s outrage was a denial of anything the President said about their “protect the rich” at all costs and refusal to address economic issues using a balanced approach.
Perhaps Republicans understand that this President has had enough of their obstructionist tactics and inability to compromise regardless the gravity of the situation because he, unlike Republicans, is working for all the people and the economic health of the nation. It is interesting that Republicans have accused the President of not taking a hands-on approach to solving the nation’s problems and working with Congress, and when he does prod Republicans to do their job, they rail against his efforts with charges of arrogance and lack of seriousness. The truth is Republicans are in a state of shock that this President has the audacity to be the President, and is running the executive branch like an executive, and not an obedient child. Whether Republicans misunderstood the President’s willingness to compromise and negotiate as weakness, or they just assumed they won the last election; their control issue is rearing its ugly, childish head.
Republicans were handed a sweet compromise from the President they panned on ideological grounds, and it is possible they expected the President to eliminate taxes for billionaires, and eradicate Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and all safety nets out of obedience to Republicans in Congress. However, the President is not the subservient slave the Republicans expect of an African American in the Oval Office, and with one casual fiscal cliff speech, alerted the Republicans in Congress that their intransigence on taxes and Draconian spending cuts as the only means of reducing the deficit is over. President Obama also revealed that he is willing to tell the American people the truth about the least productive, ideologically motivated, and most crybaby Republican Congress of all time.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.