The wrecker wrecked? 7

Obama may be wrecking the Republican Party, but is he also, in the process, wrecking the economy and so his own legacy?

We think his legacy is already a wreck, and that he being what he is, it couldn’t possibly be anything else. But here is Charles Krauthammer’s view of Obama’s present maneuvers on the edge of the “fiscal cliff”. He thinks that Obama’s aim has long been to use the “fiscal cliff” controversy as a means to wreck the Republican Party, and that he has succeeded.

This quotation is from a transcript in the Daily Caller of an interview with the witty, well-informed, perceptive writer on Fox News.

It’s been very clear from the beginning that [Obama] had no intention to solve the fiscal issues. He’s been using this, and I must say with great skill and ruthless skill and success, to fracture and basically shatter the Republican opposition. The only …  redoubt of the opposition is the House. And his objective from the very beginning was to break the will of the Republicans in the House and to create an internal civil war, and he’s done that. How did he do it? By always insisting from day one after the election that Republicans had to raise rates. There’s no reason at all to get the revenue that he needed and that the speaker was offering him that you had to raise rates.

Obama himself … said … you can get $1.2 trillion by eliminating loopholes, which is exactly what Republicans offered him. … So why did he insist on the rates? He said that is what he will insist upon, and that was the ultimatum. He did that because he knew it would create a crisis among the Republicans, and it did. So right up until now Obama has what he wanted, which was a partisan, political success. He’s been less worried about the fiscal issue for two reasons. Number one, he does not care about debt. He hasn’t in the four years. And number two, he thinks he’s a political winner if we go over the cliff. He thinks he’s holding all the cards.

But it is only a temporary success.

I have argued from the beginning that Republicans should hold out, that they had more strength than they thought. That Obama wasn’t holding all the cards. I think he has the advantage obviously because Republicans … are the ones who will take the blame. But nonetheless, the larger issue, if you are Obama, is not who is popular and who is not, he’s won his last election. That doesn’t matter anymore. What Obama does care about — should care about and does care about is his legacy. If you go over the cliff he may get a bump temporarily and the Republicans will take a hit, but his legacy will be his second term. And if he wrecks the economy, as he would, by not being able to remedy the consequences of going over the cliff, then he’s going to have a failed second term and … history will remember him as a failed president.

Now, what he probably thinks, if he can go over the cliff, the Republicans will take a hit, he will have public opinion behind him. … And then he can undo the damage one issue at a time by getting a reduction by a return of the majority of the Bush tax rates, standing unemployment, whatever else he wants to do he can get that one piece of legislation at a time so that he won’t suffer the consequence of a second recession of nine percent unemployment. So I think that’s his calculation. But I do think that he’s putting a lot in jeopardy. If we go over the cliff, it’s going to be a very shaky response probably from Wall Street. Consumer confidence is going to be hit. He could be damaged more economically, and the country would [be more damaged], than I think he imagines. So I think he could be overplaying his hand. I think he’s been doing that in terms of the fiscal issue. …

I think the Republicans will surely have a much stronger hand, assuming we go over the cliff … because Obama then has to worry about the debt ceiling. Now with bravado he says that’s a game I won’t play. He has to play. He’s the president. He’s responsible for the full faith and credit of the United States. And he’s got Republicans in charge of the House. That’s the will of the people. That’s the result of an election, and they have a mandate as much as he does. He can’t walk away and say I’m not interested in negotiating. He’ll have to. He may not like it, but he’ll have to. That’s where the Republicans I think [have] the stronger hand. … We will really hit the wall on the debt ceiling probably the end of February, beginning of March … and that’s when I think they will have the upper hand, or at least an equal hand.

So  – unlike Humpty Dumpty – the fractured and shattered Republican Party can be put together again? How pleased should we be if it is, we wonder.

  • Jillian Becker

    rogerinflorida – if you have forgotten the recent history of Iran, just put the word “Iran” into our search slot and refresh your memory.

  • rogerinflorida

    The Republican Party is now bereft of any vision, principle or courage, or even indeed of a minimal level of political skill. The Democratic Party on the other hand is clearly working towards establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat. The US economy is not only on the path to ruin it is well down that path. If the RP wants to get back into power it has to articulate a clear message of restoring prosperity to the US. Table thumping about non-existent Iranian threats or threatening trade war with China are going to achieve nothing.

    It is time for the RP to promote economic liberty through the reform of the tax code, national sovereignty through border and immigration control, restore personal liberty and equity by destroying all affirmative action and gender/ethnic spoils politics and allow people to exercise discrimination in their personal and business lives. It is absolutely clear that if the RP panders to colored bigotry it loses, get the white vote and it wins.
    None of this is going to happen, we are now on the cusp of becoming the Northern Argentina.

    • Jillian Becker

      Non-existent Iranian threats? Colored bigotry?

    • I think the Iranian Nuclear threat is very real. If nothing else it tips the balance of power in its direction, and they are long time sponsors of terrorism. Israel considers them an existential threat. Bad enough Pakistan was allowed Nukes, and that will come back to haunt us in the near future IMO… to some extent it already does. More nukes in the hands of islamists is a very bad idea. As to color, I don’t care about a persons skin pigment, I care whether they value self determination, personal responsibility, self reliance, willing to defend the country whose benefits they enjoy. I have met many of every color and ethnicity who fit that bill. Republicans must not pander, I agree, they should carry a consistent message to everyone.
      Obama does hold the high cards right now, He holds them because congress is disfunctional and self serving. He holds them and he has been playing them extremely well. This guy and his advisors have out strategized the republican party at every turn, so what do you do when your side just doesnt have the talent to match the other team? You keep taking a lot of hits. I don’t think it turns around until either the economy collapses, we go to war, or both. IMO it doesnt matter a bit what deal does or doesnt get made. the Rebublicans nationally are beaten. On a state level, however, much could be done to resist and frustrate the implementation of what will be mandated federally. Good luck people, but don’t shut out people of color, many of whom are very natural allies. Living in Florida I can tell you there are a lot of Cubanos who are very much in concert with our conservative views.

      • rogerinflorida


        Thank you for your response:
        You may believe that the Iranian nuclear threat is real and
        that Israel considers Iran an existential threat, in that belief you are at odds with many senior members of the Israeli establishment. My question is; is Iran an existential threat to the United States? The answer to that is clearly no. It is almost certain (because of the cover up we will never know for sure) that the shoot down of TWA 800 was an Iranian operation in revenge for the USS Vincennes shoot down of Iran Air 655. What is clear is that Israel and the US
        are engaged in what are clearly acts of war against Iran and have been for many years, what Iran is primarily doing is trying to defend itself against external aggression. This is why Iran
        is (perhaps) developing a nuclear weapon capability, and why that capability is popular across the Iranian political spectrum. It is worth noting that Israel has nuclear weapons including hydrogen fusion bombs and a second strike capability, therefore any Iranian attack on Israel would be suicidal, and please don’t give me the guff about the 12th Imam and the desire to get to paradise, people don’t embark on long political careers in order to terminate themselves in a mushroom cloud. If you don’t believe that the US is
        capable of acting in illegal and aggressive acts I suggest you ask the Vietnamese. I agree with you that proliferation of nuclear weapons is undesirable but that genie is out of the bottle.
        As for caring about a persons skin pigmentation, not caring
        about it is very noble, for you and Ms Becker, however, to paraphrase Trotsky; you may not be interested in racism but racism is interested in you. You have only to listen to black radio programmes, on which the anti-white vitriol is quite astounding, or to leaders of black churches (Jeremiah Wright is typical), or even to black millionaires such as Denzel Washington or Jamie Foxx to
        realize that race is all important to them. Study “La Raza” and tell me that they are color blind. In fact the white race, that is Caucasians, are under attack from all sides, physically and culturally. You can exclaim your open mindedness and be proud of it, but all it does is make you an easier target, as you refuse to acknowledge the agendas of others.
        The original post was about the RP and how are to get out
        from the defensive hole that they are in, my response was that they need to get a political platform that addresses the real problems of the US rather than a mish-mash of tax cutting and world domination nonsense.

        • Okay, well we can respectfully disagree. Whichever of us turns out to be right I am sure we will fight on the same side when it comes down to it. I have heard all the anti white vitriol to which you refer, but not all blacks subscribe to it. Allen West here in Florida is a man I would have been proud to have represent me, but he was robbed in the election as were others I suspect. I am not so interested in being open minded in order to impress people (as liberals tend to be) I am open minded as to who conservative allies in all groups may be, because one can’t have too many allies. The grand Ayatollah Kohmeini uses religion for power, like any other religious leader. Iran is relatively unique in being a real theocracy of that size and strength. If using The “13th Imam” BS is needed to help maintain control, he will spew it. Muslims are crazy. At the end of this I will leave a link to Kohmeine’s own webpage. I have read a lot of it, these guys really are religious nuts who view you and I as the infidel, don’t let the liberals kid you that they are not. Given that Iran has threatened to destroy israel many times over certainly gives one pause. What other countries in this day and age make those threats to another? Does this inspire faith that Iran is a stable, responsible actor that Netenyahu knows it. The Arabs want Israel to dissappear from the middle east. I want Islam to dissappear from the face of the planet. not the Arabs, just the stupid backwards religion, and the culture which rides in tandem with it. If you imagine in some Arayan fantasy that Iran is any kind of natural ally, I have to firmly disagree. But that is my opinion, and i respect that yours differs.;-)

  • liz

    Where I think Krauthammer is wrong is to think that Obama is worried about having a legacy of wrecking the economy. Like he points out himself, Obama doesn’t care about debt. More specifically, he created it, and the consequence of it – a wrecked economy – on purpose. He WANTS to destroy it, a la Cloward-Piven, and rule over the wreckage as dictator of a glorious socialist Peoples Republic. The press will take care of his “historical legacy” by writing propaganda as history. And the Republican Party will “be” history.