Obama Grabs His Ankles Once Again (Update)

Whatever You Say!

To the people who really care about him, who wish him well and want to see him re-elected next year, President Obama is such a disappointment, if not a downright embarrassment.

Seriously, given his track record of capitulation, would you want to share a foxhole with this guy covering your six? While you were busy scrambling to load another magazine, BO would be rending his undershirt, turning it it into a white flag of surrender.

Not only does he get his ass kicked regularly by the Rethugs on specific  legislation, he can’t even schedule a major speech on the jobs and the economy, a speech widely perceived as the very foundation for his 2012 re-election campaign,  without cementing his  rep as Capitulator in Chief.

Here’s how HuffPo portrayed the unforced error the Administration has created for itself on the issue of when and where he may address the American people on the economic crisis that threatens to consume them, leading with the picture and caption above:

Obama Buckles To GOP Demands, Postpones Major Jobs Speech

Obama Jobs Speech Thursday Night: President Gives In To Boehner Over Congress Joint Session Address

WASHINGTON — After a vacuous back-and-forth over whether or not the president would be invited to address a joint session of Congress on Wednesday, Sept. 7, or Thursday, Sept. 8, the White House buckled to GOP demands and chose the latter date…

Of course he did. Bending over for John Boner, who in his capacity as  Speaker of the House issued an unprecedented refusal to honor a sitting president’s request to convene a joint session of Congress on the date he requested, is par for the course. (Please excuse the obvious golfing metaphor, but it is a “sport” that both Obama and the Boner enjoy, sometimes in each others company.)

Given the legendary bubble that seems to envelop the White House no matter who occupies the Oval Office, Obama apologists will no doubt consider this fiasco  a “win” for President Moderate:

See how petty and partisan the opposition is compared to our oh-so reasonable President? Surely the invaluable political middle will reward us for our efforts.

Reality check: Is Obama and his political team totally oblivious to the negative connotation of the word “compromise”? To wit: A concession to something detrimental or pejorative: a compromise of morality.

Agreeing to Boner’s ‘request’ that the president postpone his address a day means that instead of competing with the long scheduled GOP presidential debate at the Reagan Library next Wednesday, the Prez will instead  compete with Thursday’s pre-game show of the opening of the 2011 NFL season, which happens to feature a much anticipated confrontation between two prior Super Bowl champions, the Green Bay Packers and the New Orleans Saints.

Personally, given the choice between watching another wonky policy speech destined to go nowhere in a GOP dominated House and the prospect of watching  an episode of Rethugs eating their own,  I would have definitely chosen the latter.  And I definitely prefer watching the opening of the 2011 NFL season to watching Obama try to salvage his presidency by addressing an recalcitrant GOP on its home turf.

As for the thesis that this latest DC soap opera is really an example of Obama playing 11 dimensional chess with the Rethugs; that Obama is just playing rope-a-dope, counting on the Rethugs to punch themselves out, I leave it Cenk Uygur to dispel that illusion:

Why is this definitely not rope-a-dope? Because Obama hates risk. Even his most ardent supporters will tell you that he does not like to take big risks. He thinks it is imprudent. They see that as one of his strengths. McCain was a wild gambler, Obama was a cautious and smart poker player. That’s why he won the election.

But would a man who dislikes risk that much risk his entire presidency on a strategy where he gets pummeled for three straight years and then finally comes out swinging at the very end? No way. That’s a tremendous amount of risk. I don’t mind taking plenty of risks and I wouldn’t do anything half that crazy.

No, the answer is much simpler. He doesn’t realize he’s getting pummeled. He thinks this is all still a genius strategy to capture centrists by compromising on every single little thing. He is not trying to put on an appearance of weakness to lull his opponent into a false sense of complacency. He doesn’t even realize he is being weak. He’s the one with the false sense of complacency. As he’s getting knocked around the ring, he thinks he’s winning.”

Somebody ought to send a container of smelling salts to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, stat.


From the White House Office of Pre-emptive Capitulation comes word that the Obama Administration has overruled its own EPA and will allow electic utilitiy companies (like those owned by the Koch Brothers) to continue their polluting ways.  HuffPo reports:


President Halts EPA Regulation Under Pressure From Business, GOP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday scrapped his administration’s controversial plans to tighten smog rules, bowing to the demands of congressional Republicans and some business leaders.

Obama overruled the Environmental Protection Agency and directed administrator Lisa Jackson to withdraw the proposed regulation to reduce concentrations of smog’s main ingredient, in part because of the importance of reducing regulatory burdens and uncertainty for businesses at a time of rampant uncertainty about an unsteady economy…

The withdrawal of the proposed regulation marks the latest in a string of retreats by Obama in the face of Republican opposition. Last December, he shelved, at least until the end of 2012, his insistence that Bush-era tax cuts should no longer apply to the wealthy. Earlier this year he avoided a government shutdown by agreeing to Republican demands for budget cuts. And this summer he acceded to more than a $1 trillion in spending reductions, with more to come, as the price for an agreement to raise the nation’s debt ceiling…

Major industry groups had lobbied hard for the White House to abandon the smog regulation, and applauded Friday’s decision.

“The president’s decision is good news for the economy and Americans looking for work. EPA’s proposal would have prevented the very job creation that President Obama has identified as his top priority,” said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute.

Republican lawmakers have blamed what they see as excessive regulations backed by the Obama administration for some of the country’s economic woes, and House Republicans pledged this week to try to block four environmental regulations, including the one on some pollution standards, when they return after Labor Day.

But perhaps more than some of the other regulations under attack, the ground-level ozone standard is most closely associated with public health – something the president said he wouldn’t compromise in his regulatory review. Ozone is the main ingredient in smog, which is a powerful lung irritant that occasionally forces cancellation of school recesses, and causes asthma and other lung ailments.

Criticism from environmentalists, a core Obama constituency, was swift following the White House announcement.

“The Obama administration is caving to big polluters at the expense of protecting the air we breathe,” said Gene Karpinski, the president of the League of Conservation Voters. “This is a huge win for corporate polluters and huge loss for public health.”

The decision mirrors one made by Obama’s predecessor, President George W. Bush. EPA scientists had recommended a stricter standard to better protect public health. Bush personally intervened after hearing complaints from electric utilities and other affected industries…

Looks like Bush’s third term is humming along just fine.

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