Is Obama Playing Rope-a-Dope?

Here was the headline on Yahoo tonight: Obama bows to Boehner on jobs speech

I can tell you what any progressive who has been paying attention thought, "Oh boy, here we go again."

President Obama has now changed the day of his address to Congress to accomodate the Republicans. They were having a GOP presidential debate on the original date he picked. So, Boehner told him to move his speech. He is the president for Christ's sake. Of course, they should have accomodated him, not the other way around. But as usual, President Obama bowed.

So, this leads to the eternal question of whether Obama is just weak or if he is a brilliant strategist who has been playing rope-a-dope all along. I am so silly that I still had hope. My hope this morning was that Obama was laying a trap for the Republicans. He picks a day for his speech that is the same as the GOP debate. Then if Boehner says he won't let him give the speech on that day, he seems so petty and harsh.

That way, either the president gives his big speech on jobs and bigfoots the Republican contenders or the Republicans look disrespectful and petulant for turning down the president. Well, if you're playing rope-a-dope, that's not a bad manuever. But it turns out that's not what he was doing at all. He just stumbled into this problem and then stumbled out when he let Boehner dictate when he could and could not have his speech. That looks so sad.

You see, if you're playing rope-a-dope, at some point you have to actually swing. When your opponent has worn himself out knocking you around the ring -- you counter-attack. But that counter-attack is never coming. We're holding our collective breath in vain.

Why is this definitely not rope-a-dope? Because Obama hates risk. Even his most ardent supporters will tell you that he does not like to take big risks. He thinks it is imprudent. They see that as one of his strengths. McCain was a wild gambler, Obama was a cautious and smart poker player. That's why he won the election.

But would a man who dislikes risk that much risk his entire presidency on a strategy where he gets pummeled for three straight years and then finally comes out swinging at the very end? No way. That's a tremendous amount of risk. I don't mind taking plenty of risks and I wouldn't do anything half that crazy.

No, the answer is much simpler. He doesn't realize he's getting pummeled. He thinks this is all still a genius strategy to capture centrists by compromising on every single little thing. He is not trying to put on an appearnace of weakness to lull his opponent into a false sense of compacency. He doesn't even realize he is being weak. He's the one with the false sense of complacency. As he's getting knocked around the ring, he thinks he's winning.

These guys in the Obama camp are in for a horrible, rude awakening. Sometime in the next year, they are going to blink and realize they are lying flat on their back on the canvas. Then as they finally stumble up, they'll realize they should have started fighting 11 rounds ago. Then a panic will set in, but I'm afraid it will be too late by then.

Here is what all voters, and especially independents, despise and disdain in a politician -- weakness. Nobody wants to see their leader get beat to a pulp every night and then bow his head again.

There is no secret, brilliant strategy. This White House is in a bubble. They think they're winning when the roof is about to cave in.

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The high stakes in CA-36

Full Disclosure: I'm the media consultant and senior strategist for the Janice Hahn for Congress campaign.

Special elections usually attract a lot of attention. They're correctly seen as referendums on the direction of Congress; a chance between election cycles for people in one part of the country to send a clear message to those in power.

May's special election in New York-26 is a perfect example. Voters in the district overwhelmingly rejected the Republican majority in the House of Representatives. In a historically Republican district, voters backed Democrat Kathy Hochul and in so doing told John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan to take their hands off Medicare, which was a major issue throughout the campaign.

That message to Republicans was unmistakeable. So you would think that for maybe just a second after NY-26 Republicans recognized that Americans weren't going to re-elect people who sacrificed their healthcare to service a far right agenda. Unbelievably, that doesn't seem to be the case. As the Washington Post's Greg Sargent points out, Republicans are in "total denial" that their Medicare plan is deeply unpopular.

It's a good thing we have another chance on July 12 to make it clear how wrong Republicans are on Medicare.

In California-36, Democrat Janice Hahn is facing off against Republican Craig Huey. The stakes couldn't be higher. And yet, this race is not receiving nearly the attention it deserves. It's time to tune in to this campaign and stand up for Medicare. Millions of people across this country are counting on Democrats to defend it. This is your chance.

Craig Huey is running on an extreme agenda. As I wrote recently, Huey has a long record of shady business dealings including working with clients to market a ponzi scheme and targeting seniors with products that claimed to "cure" Alzheimer's disease. Huey got rich off these scams while taking hard-working Americans to the cleaners. So it should be no surprise that Huey supports a similar scheme to turn Medicare into a voucher program leaving seniors vulnerable to the skyrocketing costs of healthcare.

We simply cannot trust someone like Huey in Congress. Giving Huey and his extreme ideas a seat at the table in Washington will enable Republicans to continue down the path towards slashing Medicare.

The contrast between candidates in this race couldn't be more stark. Democrats have an experienced, practical and ethical alternative.

Janice Hahn has promised to protect Medicare while making smart cuts in Washington and investing in tomorrow's jobs. That's the type of leader we need right now. Someone with common sense solutions who is not beholden to an extreme political dogma. Someone who fights for hard-working people.

In four days, we have the chance to stand up to John Boehner, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan. By sending Janice Hahn to Congress we can force the Republicans to face reality. They will have no choice but to see just how many people across this country are against their Medicare scheme. We can send Paul Ryan's plan into a tailspin on July 12.

Janice needs your help in the final days of this campaign. Donate. Spread the word. Volunteer if you're in Southern California.

The stakes couldn't be higher.

GOP Torn Between Tea Party, Wall Street

MSNBC host Cenk Uygur speaks with Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) and political analyst Richard Wolfe about Republicans clamoring for huge budget cuts while trying to appease Wall Street which wants to increase the debit ceiling.

 

Rush Limbaugh Rips Boehner, Defends Big Oil

Rush Limbaugh was not happy with House Speaker Boehner after he said oil subsidies should be cut. Cenk Uygur breaks it down.

 

Lawmakers Consider Alternative Plan to Break Budget Impasse

Washington – Details of a secret Congressional plan to break the long-standing deadlock in budget negotiations leaked out Thursday. US lawmakers are considering the use of an unorthodox method favored by the Kyrgyzstani Parliament – sacrificial sheep.

Although Kyrgyzstanis use it for banishing the twin devils of ethnic strife and revolution, Kyrgyzstani oil lobbyist Zhogorku Kenesh said the ritual could be redesigned for US budget purposes for as little as KGS 7 billion Kyrgyzstani som and an arranged lesbian marriage of President Obama’s eldest daughter Malia Ann Obama to Kyrgyz President Roza Otunbayeva.

The initial proposal, offered by Republicans, called for 6 sheep to be slaughtered and placed on a huge altar recently dedicated at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA. However, the proposal immediately met resistance from members of the Republican’s own Christian conservative wing.

“We’re not so bothered by the pagan ritual – after all, it’s for debt reduction and tax incentives for conservative Christian churches – but slaughtering 6 sheep is totally unacceptable,” said Bryan Fischer, Director of Issues Analysis for the American Family Association.

666, The Mark of The Beast
“The number 6 is an important, symbolic number for Christians. It constitutes one-third of the dangerous mark of the beast, 666. By allowing this number of the Muslim devils in this most unholiest of ways, we are inviting doom and total annihilation by one-third of the Islamic radical empire,” Fischer said.

In order to save the fledgling compromise, Sen. Harry Reed (D-Asslandia) stepped forward with a proposal to raise the number of sheep to be slaugtered to 7. However, Tea Party activists in the Republican caucus killed the idea.

The Partiers insist on cutting the sheep budget by 99% and the abolishment of President Obama’s signature health care bill. According to the Republican Institute of Financial Analysis, the sheep cut alone would erase the Federal deficit within 90 days. Republican officials described the Institute’s findings as, “very insightful”.

“We have to watch out for this sort of insidious attack on our freedoms,” said Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (R-Moronohoma). “First we’ll be required to sacrifice sheep every evening before dinner and once lulled by the aroma of the devilish flesh, carted off to concentration camps operated by the socialist Federal Emergency Management Agency.”

Liberals were equally disappointed with the plan. Broadcaster Rachel Maddow, speaking on condition of anonymity on her news show, floated the idea that all sheep be supplied by local, humane farms that do not use hormones on their animals.

Maddow Touts Sacrificial Celery
“I’m vegetarian, so I’d prefer they sacrifice stalks of celery myself. However, I advocate bipartisanship with those asswipes over at the RNC,” she added. “Anything to make those skeevy bastards look bad.”

Further problems are expected from a Republican-sponsored rider to the bill. Called the “Rich People Are Better Than You Act”, it requires most of the leftover carcasses be distributed to the Top 0.999% of wage earners, along with a $356,000 tax credit just because.

Democrats object to the best meat going to the wealthy, wool-clad elite while only the offal, eyes, and tail are promised to the bottom taxpayers.

The Republican plan calls for middle-income families to pay a 37% tax on all orders of lamb chops or rack of lamb served at the haute Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA. Democrats also expect Republicans to cut the entitlement after its passage and repossess the sheep parts when low-income families default on their orvis aries windfall. The low-income families will likely be taxed an Offal Abatement Fee of about 69% to cover the costs of removing the left over pig.

With the new proposal already on bumpy footing, Republican lawmakers have called for Newt Gingrich to mediate the ongoing disputes.

“Newt’s the perfect man for the job. Very fair. A very learned man. And, he’s a hell of a Republican,” said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Sheep Sexingville, VA).

“Not partial in what so any way, except in his strong American belief in the truth,” Cantor added.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

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