Wednesday :: Nov 12, 2014

Six Years In, And Still Clueless


by Deacon Blues

I'm not sure whether to be madder and more disappointed at the diminishing prospects for the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) long-term prospects, the news that Obama is seemingly daring the GOP to impeach him on immigration, the news that the administration is giving a top Treasury slot to a M&A hack from Wall Street, or the news that Obama's ISIS policy has already run aground.

Yes, the four conservative hacks on the Court decided to hear the ACA appeal in their ongoing effort to kill the landmark statute. Forget all the talk about how unlikely it is that even the conservative bloc would knowingly vote to strip health care coverage from millions of Americans. Get this through your heads: the five conservatives on the court, even the somewhat revered Anthony Kennedy are nothing more than right wing political hacks wearing robes. These five had no hesitancy about gutting the Voting Rights Act and suppressing the votes of millions of African Americans, seniors, and college students. Does anyone really think they’d stop for a minute and care at all about stripping health care from millions of families?

Yes, Obama has the executive order authority to relax deportation requirements, and yes, he should hold this over the GOP’s heads to get something from them elsewhere. He also knows however that the possibility of him taking this action drives the GOP nuts, and threatens whatever collaboration, even limited, can take place with the GOP in 2015. So to even let it leak that he’s planning to move ahead anyway leads me to conclude that the White House’s real strategy is to drive the House GOP into an impeachment fury. If Obama goes ahead with this now, without trying to get something for not doing it, it means he’s inciting the GOP to go crazy.

And really, the best you can do to fill a domestic policy senior position at Treasury is to appoint a Wall Street mergers and acquisitions banker to the job, instead of someone who might, you know, be an expert on job growth and growing median incomes?

No, instead I’m just befuddled that we’re learning this afternoon that Obama is already rethinking his ISIS strategy, and wants it recast to include getting rid of the Syrian regime. Yes, Turkey and the moderate states wanted this from the outset, and yes, the hardline Republican critics have beaten the drums for this from Day One. But if both John Kerry and Chuck Hagel have been saying that the political assumptions and strategy behind this policy were flawed all along because it was a Fool’s errand to assume you could successfully roll back ISIS without dealing also with Assad, then one wonders who authored the strategy that only focused on the Iraq part of this problem without also dealing with the Syrian part of the problem? Well, those of us who are students of the Obama foreign policy legacy know the answer: the White House and National Security Advisor Susan Rice hatched this strategy rather than the foreign and military policy professionals at State and Defense. They did this to Hillary in the first term, and the White House staff is still botching things up in the second term. Incredible, simply incredible.

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