By Gregory K. Taylor
I am not privy to what is going on behind the close doors at the White House during these current “Negotiations” over the debt ceiling. I don’t know if I’m witnessing some sort of Kabuki act for public consumption or a dire portrayal of the economic cliff on which we are all supposedly teetering. What I do know is that President Obama could never win in a game of Poker where victory is often determined by the skillful use of the bluff, the gambit, and the poker face.
President Obama, seemingly, has an innate propensity to fold like a cheap suit in the face of the slightest opposition. He has gained the reputation of being soft in negotiations; a person subject to throwing in a winning hand, a person who will cave, and worst, a person who will offer his opponent the kitchen sink before they’ve even asked for it. Every gambler knows that a decent poker player would never give his opponent(s) “tells” that state his true objective.
Now, either this guy is pow-wow shrewd, or he’s been smoking too long on the peace pipe with the likes of Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, and Eric Cantor—whose stated goal is to make Obama a one-term President. So, why does Obama frustrate his Democratic base by appearing to lack the cojones when dealing with his Republican foes? Where is that feared “Angry Blackman” that everyone initially worried about? What interesting times we live in when the majority of Americans, and I include myself in that majority, want Obama to get mad and fight back. No drama Obama has worn thin.
I recall the promises Obama made during the campaign. When he got elected I remember thinking how I hoped he wouldn’t disappoint all the young people who turned out for him en masse working the internet and phone banks raising funds for him. The enthusiasm level was off the charts and he had them in the palm of his hands. Then chinks in the armor started to appear with his curious prosecutorial reversal on gays in the military (don’t ask, don’t tell), not closing Guantanamo Bay Cuba, abandoning the public option for true universal health care, continuing the Patriot Act, and not supporting the union battles in Wisconsin by speaking out as he said he would.
President Obama appears to have no political convictions that he won’t compromise when challenged. It’s embarrassing. He had better be careful for he is sowing the seeds of his own defeat called apathy. I once heard Martin Luther King say that a man who won’t stand for something will fall for anything. What does President Obama really stand for? And what is he falling for?
I used to think I knew, but I’m not sure anymore.