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Monday, August 04, 2014

Obama's Legacy: A Political Culture of Cynicism and Partisan Division

The man who was supposed to bring us all together has done the exact opposite!

Last week Obama was on the attack as usual. He told Republicans in Congress “Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hating all the time.” That's standard fare, perhaps even milder than the usual Obama attack. It's as bad as accusing Republicans of wanting "dirty air and water" or wanting poor kids and kids with disabilities to "fend for themselves." When was the last time he said anything nice about Republicans or made a sincere effort to meet them half way on anything? With Obama, it's all politics and attack all the time. Remember, this is the same man who said if Republicans "bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." Then he goes on to lecture Republicans on civility! Yeah, that's the way to bring the country together.

It's no surprise that Gallup surveys show Obama rated as the most polarizing President ever.

Writing in the Washington Times Thomas G. Del Beccaro explores the subject further with some additional insight:
For President Barack Obama, politics is about winning the disagreement, not building consensus. We know why. His career as a community organizer was not an effort to work with others but strictly to inflame like-minded partisans. He always won speaking to his own – no broad consensus or leadership skills needed there.

When he voted “present” in the Illinois legislature, he didn’t have to reach agreement with anyone, either. If fact, Mr. Obama has made a career of not reaching consensus with anyone. For his first act as President, he relied on the partisan House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to pass a spending bill without a single concession to Republicans, let alone their approval. It was victory by force – not consensus or leadership.

Mr. Obama’s ObamaCare approach was no different. In the face of public opposition – not to mention Senator Scott Brown’s election victory – Mr. Obama again triumphed over disagreement. He didn’t need votes from the other side. He just needed the votes of those Democrats already present.
...
Since the 2010-midterm elections, which cost Mr. Obama his consensus proof Congressional advantage, he has purely resorted to flouting the law. He has “governed” by executive order. No agreement with anyone or leadership is needed to use his pen to sign the papers his lawyers have drafted.

In fact, since becoming President, Mr. Obama has not undertaken a single effort at building consensus. Not one. For all the claims of partisanship made about President George W. Bush, Mr. Obama’s immediate predecessor, for better or for worse, Mr. Bush had bipartisan support in several key legislative victories. Mr. Bush had Senator Edward Kennedy support one of his bills, The No Child Left Behind Act, and Senator Bernie Sanders support another, Medicare Part D.
Obama isn't leading, he's playing politics in the most partisan way imaginable. No recent President would have dared to play things this way. Is it any wonder Congress can't pass legislation to address critical issues? Not that Obama cares because he simply uses proof of gridlock as a reason to continue his "my way or the highway" style of one man rule. He's managed to poison the well of polite civil discourse and has the gall to blame Republicans for the mess his lack of competent leadership created. Some legacy!

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