After the defeat of the would be Republican hostage takers on the debt ceiling bill, President Obama delivered the message to the congressional children that it is time for them to grow up and stop playing games.
In his statement, the president hoped that the Republican games end here, “I’m pleased that Republicans and Democrats in Congress have come together to pay for what they’ve already spent, and remove the threat of default from our economy once and for all. The full faith and credit of the United States is too important to use as leverage or a tool for extortion. Hopefully, this puts an end to politics by brinksmanship and allows us to move forward to do more to create good jobs and strengthen the economy. Instead of wasting time creating new crises, Congress should be focused on creating new jobs and opportunities. That’s what the American people deserve from their representatives in Washington, and that’s what they should get.”
If Obama sounds like a parent telling a child, “I hope you’ve learned lesson,” it’s because that was exactly the message that the president was trying to send. It took nearly three years of constant bluff calling, but the president is hopeful that Congressional Republicans finally get it. They can stomp their feet, and hold their breath until they turn blue, but President Obama isn’t going to reward them for pushing the country towards a financial crisis.
Republicans will never respect this President, but they now fear him, because at least the leadership knows that he won’t blink. Judging from the fact that only 28 House Republicans voted for final passage, and 0 Senate Republicans supported passing the bill in the Senate, it seems that many in the GOP have a lot left to learn.
Make no mistake about it, the Republican hostage strategy has definitely been broken. Hostage taking is only effective when someone is willing to pay the ransom. President Obama demonstrated repeatedly that he would not pay up, so Republicans were left with the choice of either shooting the hostage, or letting it go free. On nearly every occasion, they have chosen to set the hostage free.
The president didn’t take a victory lap, but he is sending the message to the Republican children that it is time to grow up.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association