Time to shuffle the deck
By Mike Krauss
Bucks County Courier Times
You have to feel at least a little sorry for President Obama. Once compared to Lincoln and FDR and sure to take his place in the pantheon of great American presidents, he is now risks being remembered as another James Buchanan or Herbert Hoover – arguably the most failed presidents in our nation’s history.
Mr. Obama is hurting from a self inflicted wound. No president in modern history came to the office with more good will and political capital, or more promptly threw it away.
The American people did not like the Wall Street bail out – not at all. Obama helped push it through the Congress.
The outgoing Secretary of the Treasury, Henry Paulson suggested to president elect Obama that, for the sake of fairness, some of the bail out billions ought to go to foreclosure relief.
Obama said “the market” would take care of that.
Then Obama populated his administration with Wall Street agents, the social catastrophe let lose by the Wall Street collapse rolled on, the rich got richer, life got tough for most Americans, has only gotten better for the already well-to-do, and that was that for his administration.
Had the president taken the side of the American people – Main Street, instead of Wall Street – he could have written the kind of universal health care bill the American people support on the back of a cereal box and delivered it to Congress attached to a kite, and it would have sailed through to passage. Greatness beckoned.
But he did not and his presidency began to unravel, a slow and painful drama that has now delivered both houses of Congress to the GOP, which has a really unhealthy dislike of the president.
Now what? What can this president and that Congress agree on? The only things they ever agree on: Wall Street and war.
The care and feeding of Wall Street has been the preoccupation of every American president since Ronald Reagan, and the system of legalized bribes showered on the Congress has insured its support.
And more war seems to suit everyone in Washington just fine; although to his credit Mr. Obama seems to be trying to avoid plunging the U.S. into a third war in the Middle East quagmire.
But the American people need more than that. Americans need good paying jobs, lots of them. Americans need affordable health care, investments in infrastructure, secure retirement for our seniors, world class public education and college education that does not condemn our young to decades of crushing debt.
And Americans want out from the hopeless pathologies of the Middle East, the never ending War on Terror and a life of constant fear and anxiety.
Climate change. Help! Ebola. Watch out! We’re being foreclosed. Oh, God! Where are the kids? Call 911! Terrorists under the bed. The government spying on your every mail and phone call. Make it stop, please!
Two more years. Say it ain’t so. But it will be. Unless.
President Obama should accept the results of the elections for what they were – a resounding vote of no confidence – and resign. He would be succeeded by Vice President Biden, who unlike the president is a veteran of the Congress and has the skill set and temperament to at least attempt a working relationship with that august body.
It would leave a venomous GOP with nowhere to sink its fangs.
And it would upset the apple cart of Hilary Clinton’s march to her coronation as the next president in the Wall Street dynasty. A President Biden would automatically be a contender for the nomination of the Democratic Party.
That alone ought to tempt the president.
What are the odds? Slim to none, I suppose. It’s nice being president. You and your family get treated really well, if you don’t mind the occasional lunatic over the White House fence and the ones in the Congress and half the world’s capitols.
Nevertheless, the president ought to think about this long and hard. It would change everything, shuffle the deck and give the American people a new deal.
But if not to resign, what? Two years of standoffs, shut-downs and speeches no one wants to hear? Is there an alternative? One comes to mind. Fight.
The president could fight for those things Americans want, deserve and so urgently need. And maybe the president can claw his way back to greatness, as the American people claw back their stolen prosperity, security and peace.
It’s a thought.