In an administration, whether you’re the President of the United States or the president of your bar softball league, there’s a seminal moment which defines your term.
For President Barack Obama, that moment wasn’t the passage of his overwhelmingly partisan (and highly unpopular) health care reform package.
Nor was it the stimulus package where hundreds of billions were spent and no jobs were created.
When you look at what Candidate Obama promised and what President Obama delivered, the microcosm of his presidency and the signature moment of Obama’s reign is how he handled the debt ceiling negotiations.
Diane Sawyer, in a heinous moment of journalistic bias, referred to the president as a “hostage” in the debt ceiling negotiations during a recent piece.
Not only was this a pathetic moment for Sawyer (a journalist whom I deeply respect), but it’s simply a faulty metaphor.
This is the way the left has framed the issue because, frankly, they lost on the debt ceiling issue. President Obama promised an end to partisan politics.
He said he would bring unity and change to Washington. Obama would heal the fissures created by the pernicious attacks on liberty that partisan politics and ignorance had created.
A hostage? No, by very definition, President Obama was in charge, at the very least, he was the hostage negotiator. Republicans were intransigent, but so too, were the Democrats.
President Obama failed to recognize that his responsibilities to this country were greater than those to his party, and yet waited until a possible default situation to come to an understanding on the debt.
It’s the president’s responsibility, no matter what promises he made, to be a leader and a facilitator among the parties. Clinton, perhaps more than any modern president, understood how to compromise. That’s why we saw both Democratic and Republican-lead reforms pass in the 1990’s.
No, Barack Obama didn’t rise above partisan politics, he dug into them, while at the same time, using them to scapegoat the Republican party.
Politics cannot be a zero-sum game. The debt-ceiling should never have been the Democrats v. the Republicans, but even if it had to be, the President has to remove his own partisan ideology and work to broker a deal.
But because the President is so ideologically driven, so entrenched in his leftist dogma, it would be literally impossible for President Obama to be a broker of peace in this case.
For everything he had promised, he was never capable of delivering. When it comes to partisan politics, it should have been clear from the beginning, no president so far to the left could ever be a great leader of compromise.
And unlike Clinton – who, after realizing when he took office that his lefty agenda was never passing a Republican Congress, moved to the center – President Obama has had no interest in moving off the demagoguery and into the realm of action.
Ultimately, America got no plan to deal with the debt, no cuts, no tax reform, no solutions. As a nation, we were on the razor’s edge of a historic default and wound up with our credit score taking a hit like we were delinquent teenagers with an American Express card.
Obama the reformer, Obama the post-partisan president, was no where to be found.