The Debt Deal: Obama

By YeOldeScribe ~ August 24th, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

We’ve done our best to be impartial of President Obama, as we’ve criticized several of his decisions in full-length posts. But it shouldn’t come as a secret to any of our log-time readers that we’re Obama fanboys. However, we’re not supportive of the President because he gives great speeches, or because he brought ‘hope’, or simply because he’s black. Sure, it helps that he’s one of the most eloquent speakers the White House has ever seen (or maybe he just appears that way in contrast tour previous leader). The man (or at least his speechwriter) knows how to deliver an address to spark the masses. No, we’re fanboys for a different reason: his tenacity.

Before the Crisis

In fairness, we never thought Obama should have ran in 2008. Originally, we had no idea who to support, and then our writer gave up his predisposition and eventually came to his senses, realizing that Hillary Clinton was a viable candidate. But once Obama announced he was running, it was as if he had already paid the deposit to the moving company for his relocation to Washington and didn’t want to waste the money. Obama was driven. Even in the glory days, when he had a majority in the House and a supermajority in the Senate, Obama hammered through one of the biggest changes to health care our country has ever seen. Once those majorities were lost, some people (including us) thought that his power would be lost with it. But Obama proved us wrong again, thankfully.

Obama seemed determined to right some of the wrongs he made in ’09-’10. In fact, he was even man enough to admit that the sweeping gains made by Republicans were a sign that he needed to do things differently. At the time, we just wrote that off. Those are just things all politicians say, we thought to ourselves. But Obama made it clear that he actually believed in the words; that he actually believed he had heard the American people demand that his administration change its ways. He responded in a way no other President has – by passing 4 critical pieces of legislation through a lame duck congress – not despite the Republicans, but working with them. But his determination and new-found willingness to compromise was tested in 2011 harder than it should have been.

During the Crisis

We’ll just go outright and say it: Obama prevented two major government crises on his own that were caused by the Tea Party. For the analysis on why the near-shutdown of our government and the debt crisis were both the fault of Tea Baggers, we urge you to check out our previous post on the issue. But how do we know Obama prevented them? Well, because the only other group of people that could have done it were the Congressional Democrats, and they couldn’t even agree amongst each other, much less come up with a sensible battle plan to save our nation from economic and political ruin. In both cases, Obama was the negotiator. And he did his best not to be a Bruce Willis “The Sixth Sense” style negotiator, either. He gave both sides some things they wanted, and forced them to realize that they were going to have to live with some things they didn’t want to. He forged a compromise – twice – despite both sides despising him, albeit for entirely different reasons. Some of our friends have said that because Obama had to abandon some of his positions, he’s not a true Democrat anymore. Others argue that he was too quick to give things up, and that he gave up too much. We’ll grant the 2nd argument – to a point. Yes, Obama did seem to be the first person willing to strike a deal. He was the first person willing to buck his own party in order to take care of business. In doing so, maybe Republicans got the longer end of the stick. But the point is, at the end of the day, the only winners were the American people, because a deal was reached.

Others are quick to assign the downgrade of our economy by S&P as a failure to Obama, that he somehow should have prevented it. But you can’t have it both ways – either he negotiated too quickly and gave up too much, or he came to the table too late and refused to give up anything until it was too late. Personally, we’re inclined to think that Obama did exactly what he had to do. Yes, he let the Republicans “win” so that America didn’t shut down and so that America didn’t default. Yes, he pissed off his own party. But at the end of the day, he got the job done. Perhaps it’s the best sign of a job well done that no one has walked away from these two crises a clear winner. No one is completely happy, and no one is completely left out. Obama not only appeased everyone as much as he could, he made things happen that no one else in Washington could.

What it Means

Well, no good deed goes unpunished, and Obama is going to take some heat from die-hard liberals for negotiating and making the concessions he offered. They see his actions as a betrayal, and they want to know that he’s still got their interests at heart. Whether or not he does is debatable, but we’d like to think that Obama doesn’t see his job as forwarding and protecting Democratic interests anymore; instead he correctly views his job as President of the United States as doing what’s necessary to protect America’s interests.

Maybe Obama’s change of heart isn’t the best of news to the hard-core blues out there, but to us purples (and to America as a whole), it’s the best news one could hope for. It appears like we have a President who is willing to cut through the BS of Washington in order to execute his duties as President. He’s willing to swim upstream if it means getting over that dam. He’s willing to carry the nation on his back, because both parties have forgotten that they’re supposed to be acting in the best interest of all their constituents, not simply those that happened to vote for them in the last election.

But it’s also good news for Obama. When the dust settles, he’ll have won over the independents and moderates because he’s shown that he can do the job he was elected to do whether or not anyone is rooting for his success. He’s shown that he can handle the pressure, handle the opposition, and most importantly handle his duties. Liberals might be a little ticked at him, but they’ll still vote for him.

We’ve been saying all this week that 2012 is going to be a messy year, and it still definitely will be. But we still believe that not only is Obama the right man for the job, he’ll get to prove it for another four more years.

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