It seems that President Barack Obama may be interpreting the so-called shellacking (not outside recent historical norms as I discussed in a previous post) to his seeming tilt to the working folk of America. As a result, he will tilt further right politically in the next two years, especially as he nears his own re-election.
I say that President Obama was already tilted toward the right of center and the elites long before the 2010 election, especially since he stated that the health-care bill that was passed with a split in the Democratic Party was a bill with Republican underpinnings.
Even with President Obama’s and the conservative Democrats’ accommodation of the Republicans (who refused his entreaties), Democrats in swing districts still lost. Perhaps since those Democrats were Republican-like, the voters decided to vote for the genuine article.
Regardless of the reasoning for the loss of Democratic losses, the election left the method of some Democrats to lean toward Republicans (and abandon true-believer Democrats) as a failure. An example of this was seen by the slow-footed response to the wrongful treatment of Shirley Sherrod.
Some issues coming up will show what President Obama will do in light of a shift in the political reality. Consistent with his 2-year attempt to satisfy Republicans, I believe President Obama will continue to conduct his politics that way now that Republicans, for now, control the House of Representatives. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has made it clear that President Obama must essentially become a Republican to satisfy them.
On the issue of extending the “Bush tax cuts,” President Obama stated an implicit willingness to provide an extension.
So my goal is to sit down with Speaker-elect Boehner and Mitch McConnell and Harry and Nancy sometime in the next few weeks and see where we can move forward in a way that, first of all, does no harm; that extends those tax cuts that are very important for middle-class families; also extends those provisions that are important to encourage businesses to invest, and provide businesses some certainty over the next year or two.
And how that negotiation works itself out I think is too early to say. But this is going to be one of my top priorities, and my hope is, is that given we all have an interest in growing the economy and encouraging job growth, that we’re not going to play brinksmanship but instead we’re going to act responsibly.
His press secretary followed up with a confirmation of the plan to negotiate with the GOP on the Bush tax cuts.
MR. GIBBS: I don’t want to do the negotiations here, but we’re certainly open to listening to their position, talking about it and working together to find a compromise that moves this issue forward. Our biggest concern is if this Congress does not act by the end of the year, taxes for middle-class families is going to go up. We can’t, and we shouldn’t, let that happen. We have the power to change that and I think the power is sitting together and coming up with a plan that works for both sides. I think the President is confident that we can do that.