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Obama Uses The Force to Try To Make Republicans Do Right on the Sequester

Last updated on March 6th, 2013 at 09:18 am

Read: Samuel Alito Is The Insurrectionist Threat To Democracy On The Supreme Court


President Obama and the White House are tapping into the power of The Force, and using everything this side of Jedi mind tricks to get Republicans to do the right thing on the sequester.

Here is the video:

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Transcript:

Q Mr. President, to your question, what could you do — first of all, couldn’t you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: I mean, Jessica, I am not a dictator. I’m the President. So, ultimately, if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, we need to go to catch a plane, I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway, right? So —

Q But isn’t that part of leadership? I’m sorry to interrupt, but isn’t —

THE PRESIDENT: I understand. And I know that this has been some of the conventional wisdom that’s been floating around Washington that somehow, even though most people agree that I’m being reasonable, that most people agree I’m presenting a fair deal, the fact that they don’t take it means that I should somehow do a Jedi mind-meld with these folks and convince them to do what’s right. Well, they’re elected. We have a constitutional system of government. The Speaker of the House and the leader of the Senate and all those folks have responsibilities.

What I can do is I can make the best possible case for why we need to do the right thing. I can speak to the American people about the consequences of the decisions that Congress is making or the lack of decision-making by Congress. But, ultimately, it’s a choice they make.

And this idea that somehow there’s a secret formula or secret sauce to get Speaker Boehner or Mitch McConnell to say, you know what, Mr. President, you’re right, we should close some tax loopholes for the well-off and well-connected in exchange for some serious entitlement reform and spending cuts of programs we don’t need. I think if there was a secret way to do that, I would have tried it. I would have done it.

What I can do is I can make the best possible argument. And I can offer concessions, and I can offer compromise. I can negotiate. I can make sure that my party is willing to compromise and is not being ideological or thinking about these just in terms of political terms. And I think I’ve done that and I will continue to do that.

But what I can’t do is force Congress to do the right thing. The American people may have the capacity to do that. And in the absence of a decision on the part of the Speaker of the House and others to put middle-class families ahead of whatever political imperatives he might have right now, we’re going to have these cuts in place. But, again, I’m hopeful about human nature. I think that over time people do the right thing. And I will keep on reaching out and seeing if there are other formulas or other ways to jigger this thing into place so that we get a better result.

Besides the fact that the president got the Jedi mind trick and the Vulcan mind meld confused, he had a good point. Within the Republicans’ blame Obama for the sequester rhetoric is the assumption that the president can do something to on his own to get rid of the sequester, but House Republicans are selling the opposite of truth.

They are trying to have it both ways by blaming Obama for something he can’t do anything about, while they refuse to take action to solve the problem. Contrary to what Speaker Boehner says, the House has not passed a bill in the current Congress to replace the sequester. Since the House controls the purse strings, Boehner can’t punt the sequester over to the Senate and White House. The House has to act, but Rep. Boehner won’t allow any sequester replacement bills to come to the House floor for a vote.

If the president does have a Jedi mind trick, it is his ability to sound reasonable while his opposition goes off the rails. Republicans have not figured out that their hard line rhetoric surrenders the political middle to the president. Obama keeps beating Republicans because he holds the middle ground.

The White House has run with the Star Wars/Star Trek mash up, by tweeting out this image:

The force that is most likely to make House Republicans change their tune on the sequester will come from angry voters who will threaten not to reelect them in 2014. The force of a large majority of the American people is with the president in this battle.

House Republicans may be under the power of the Koch siths right now, but as Star Wars taught us, a popular rebellion will eventually topple even the most powerful dark (money) empires.

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