When a president tells Congressional members of his own party that his presidency depends on a bill's passage, said president is holding back nothing. He is laying himself bare. That President Obama reportedly did so for the extension of the Bush tax cuts, the first-ever reduction in Social Security funding, and but a year's worth of unemployment benefits, reveals his political desperation. It also puts the lie to the claim often made by some of the president's most ardent defenders that he is at the mercy of a broken Congress, that a president can't or shouldn't interpose in the process of legislating. A president can and should, and every president has. And this president does. As he just did. Now, for this bill.
His more ardent defenders cannot credibly claim that it isn't his job to push legislation. He didn't fight for a public option, but he did fight for the final health insurance bill. He didn't fight for the stimulus we needed, but he is fighting for a bill that could spell the political doom of both him and his party. MORE...
Sunday, December 19, 2010
"The political fights the president chooses"
Laurence Lewis (front page-Kos):