At the press conference on Tuesday, ABC's Jonathan Karl asked the president whether or not he had "the juice" to get things done in Congress. Mr. Obama smiled and quoted Mark Twain about premature demises but the question made the rest of the nation wonder...does he?
It's fairly obvious that the president has a great deal of disdain for Congress. This would include his own party as well as the Republicans. He doesn't have the patience for the schmooze game and he lacks assholeishness of Lyndon Johnson to make people's lives a living hell until they pass what he wants passed. So, he opts to play the long game and that means that in the short term, he looks weak and ineffective. Hence, the comment about juice.
But reporters like Karl should take note of what the president has accomplished thus far. That's pretty impressive, if you ask me. It demonstrates that his opting for longer term victories is a much more effective strategies. Besides, the political media is locked in the 48 hour news cycle and has the emotional intelligence of Kim Kardashian so what do they really know?
What many also fail to note is that conservatives simply don't want to allow the president to win...anything. Senator Pat Toomey, co-author of the Manchin-Toomey gun safety bill, summed it perfectly.
"In the end it didn’t pass because we’re so politicized," Toomey told editors from Digital First Media in an interview published Wednesday by the Norristown Times Herald.
"There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it."
There's a word for that...what is it?....I can't quite seem to remember what it is...hmm...:)
David Firestone echoes this sentiment.
It doesn’t really matter how many business groups say the immigration system has to change, or how many suburban voters are disgusted by the easy access to guns for criminals. For these Republicans, the visceral hatred of the president is their only guiding star, and they are absolutely convinced the voters in their districts feel the same way.
I call it Obama Mental Meltdown Syndrome (OMMS). Not to be outdone by the Bush Haters and still stung by the fact that at least they had a reason to loathe our 43rd president, OMMS sufferers remind of children. They stomp their feet, foam at the mouth, and just can't stand the fact that "the other side" is, in reality, winning. President Obama is transforming this country to a center left one just as Ronald Reagan moved it to the center right. They know this is happening and that's why they are doing precisely what they are doing.
The problem for them, however, is that voters are not on their side. Further, the president and the Democrats have learned that they need to be more aggressive in an ongoing way in rallying support. 2014 is not going to be 2010, hence the transformation of the president's campaign machine into Organizing For America.. If conservatives continue the way they are now and don't pass immigration reform, for example, 2014 is going to be very kind to the president. 2016 will be even kinder.
Moreover, if Hillary runs and wins, which she likely will given all of this and the very weak GOP field, you can say buh-bye to the politeness and soft peddling of Congress by the White House. Heck, she'll make Lyndon Johnson look like Mother Teresa!