cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
We are watching a sea change unfold in Washington, D.C. as President Obama pretty much tells the Republicans they have no place to stand to apply any leverage.
Republicans thought/hoped they would be able to rely on the debt ceiling to negotiate spending cuts, and they have talked about that off and on for the past few weeks. President Obama, during his press conference yesterday, simply told Republicans they will not be able to hold the country hostage using that approach. He demands they simply capitulate and give him the money he needs because “we are not a deadbeat nation” and this is ‘only spending required of me to pay for the things you’ve already instituted’.
Republicans had hoped to use the budget process to engage the White House in discussion, but the White House has said it won’t have any budget ready by the February 4th deadline. Maybe the White House is stealing a page from the U.S. Senate that hasn’t produced a budget in nearly four years. Of course, any White House budget can be simple fiction and still qualify as an offered budget.
Even before the inauguration, we are seeing the likely shape of things to come during the next four years. President Obama is going to do what he desires, when he desires to do it and Congress, more to the point the House, be damned if it thinks it can forestall any of the actions. The President will use creative Executive Orders and likely can get a lot of what he wants done in that manner.
There is no watchdog press to bring anything out that might be embarrassing to the President. That thing posing as a press corps is a mere shadow of its former self that must be an embarrassment to the strong-willed reporters and editors of years past. Fox News is the only thing even remotely resembling a questioning press agency and it is ridiculed as a right-wing nut factory with no defense offered by any of the other press corps entities.
There is a now questionable U.S. Supreme Court after the twisting effort by the Chief Justice to declare ObamaCare fully legal; this is not as trustworthy a court as had earlier been thought by conservatives, and new appointees are likely during this term.
So, the ‘future’ appears to be an unfettered arena simply made available for the President to do with as he wishes, and he appears quite willing to assume that mantle of responsibility and get on with getting on.
There seems only one question worth posing at this point. “How far will the President get with his second term goals given the lack of any viable opposition?”
If Republicans think they have any hope of being the “loyal opposition”, they had better get moving or they’ll be playing catch-up for the remaining four years of this Presidency...and beyond.