Are the President and the Democrats over-playing their hand?

While it may feel as if the fiscal cliff debate as been lingering on, and on..and…on. It has only just begun with the President laughable opening gambit, followed by the Republican’s $2.2 trillion counteroffer, which the President and the democrats summarily dismissed.

Yesterday, Marc Thiessen in his Washington Post opinion piece noted:

Obama thinks he has a lot more political capital than he really does. A White House official told Politico’s Mike Allen this weekend that the “President campaigned on this and won.” So what? In 2004, George W. Bush campaigned on Social Security reform and won. How far did that get him? Bush famously declared, “The people made it clear what they wanted. I earned capital in the campaign . . . and I intend to spend it.” He soon learned he had not earned as much political capital as he thought.

It is also important to remember President Obama was elected with less popular and electoral votes than his original election and received 51 percent of the vote. In 2004, George W Bush was elected with more popular and electoral votes than in his primary election. President Bush 43, also received 51 percent of the vote and the Democrats insisted he did not have a mandate of any kind. Look at what liberal columnist E.J Dionne Jr wrote in 2004:

And we are disgusted that an effort consciously designed to divide the country did exactly that — and won. With all his failures, Bush could not count on a whole lot more than 51 percent. Karl Rove and company calculated perfectly, organized painstakingly, greatly increased conservative turnout and produced a country divided just their way.

The opposition should not crawl into a hole or be silent about these things. A decent respect for the outcome of an election never requires free citizens to cower before a temporarily dominant majority. There is, on the contrary, an obligation to stay engaged in a battle that, as John Edwards says, rages on.

Of course, that was then and this is now. Now, the Democrats want Republicans to give up any power they have and just hand it over to the President. Could you imagine how Speaker of the House Pelosi would have reacted to President Bush wanting the power to raise the debt ceiling?

Yea, I know

The double standard is nothing new.

We know how well the Social Security reform worked out for Bush 43, and there is the possibility of similar results for President Obama in this debate, after all as Marc Thiessen concluded:

President Obama is about to learn a similar lesson. Exit polls show just 47 percent of the electorate would support raising taxes on the wealthy — not even a simple majority. When asked if “taxes should be raised to help cut the budget deficit,” 63 percent said “no.” And a 51 percent majority said “Government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.” There is no public groundswell for massive tax increases or more government spending.

Democrats are making the classic Washington mistake of believing their own spin, when they should be heeding the drug dealer’s motto: “Don’t get high on your own supply.”

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3 Responses to Are the President and the Democrats over-playing their hand?

  1. Republicans better start selling their own plan to the public quickly if they want to exploit this and turn the tables, because the media isn’t picking up on it. Sad to see the President playing politics when there’s an opportunity to cut the fuse on the fiscal time bomb right in front of him.

  2. As usual, the Dems are far more effective at slitting their own throats (metaphorically speaking, of course) than are the Republicans of formulating a cogent argument against them.

    It really does go back to P.J. O’Rourke’s old description:
    it’s the Evil party vs. the Stupid party.
    And it’s pretty easy to tell which is which…

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