So argues Dan Mitchell:
…he miscalculated in thinking that the fiscal cliff tax hike somehow meant that he had permanently neutered the GOP, and he definitely goofed when he tried to use the sequester as a weapon to bully Republicans into another tax hike.
Ignoring the President’s hyperbole about the supposed catastrophic effects of a very modest reduction in the growth of the federal budget, Republicans have held firm.
And the President has suffered a painful political and policy defeat…
I won’t go that far – but I will say that I am pleased that the House GOP wasn’t stampeded by the “sequestageddon” hype being shouted by Obama and his MSM lapdogs. It certainly isn’t working out as Obama hoped – what he clearly hoped for is a divided GOP providing him with more tax hikes…and then a dispirited GOP to be defeated in the 2014 mid terms. He still might get that (the GOP can always surrender later, after all), but so far, so good.
At the end of the day, Obama has done the very worst political thing a leader can do – show himself to be a nasty, unreliable negotiating partner. Knee to groin tactics are one thing: they are, indeed, expected in the rough and tumble of politics. And even a bit of goal-post moving can be part of a larger political strategy to get what you want. But when you are knee to groin and goal post moving all the time, eventually the other side gives up on negotiating. Obama has proven himself a terrible politician – not just now, but all through his Administration. True, he has won some victories, but only by the application of raw, political power. He’s failed to co-opt or divide the GOP while also failing to really give his side all that it wants. Had he at least some times kept his word and had he allowed even a few fig leaves to cover the GOP’s failure, he would have gotten a lot more – and would continue to get a lot more for at least another year (the thing about a 2nd term President is that authority oozes away at a remorseless rate…by this time 2014 everyone will be concerned with the mid-terms and after that all politics will be the growing fight on both sides to win in 2016).
We’ll see how all this comes out but right now the debate is about cutting spending (a strong GOP point), gun control (another strong GOP point) and gay marriage (polls show GOP weakness but when it comes to votes – especially in 2014 – I think this will work to the GOP’s advantage). The GOP mostly just has to sit tight and start working on 2014 messaging – there’s not much Obama can do and what Obama has done promises to make things progressively worse in the United States. The chickens are coming home to roost for Obama and he’s alienated the GOP…whom he needs to help get him out of his jam. This could get mighty entertaining.