Well, the US government is shut down. I love America so the schadenfreude isn’t so delicious, however the final implosion of Obama’s presidency is something to behold. He would far rather vilify his opponents than talk to them. Does he not realise he isn’t campaigning any more, that he never even has to run for another election? He talked about bipartisanship during his first presidential campaign, what a joke.
There are two things to put in perspective, first are the ominous messages coming from Obama appointed security chiefs saying this is negatively effecting US security. Well if US security relies upon park rangers then those security chiefs need their heads looking at. US armed forces and security services are not shut down. Diplomatically the US is somewhat crippled but to be honest that might not be the worst thing in the world. Obama’s diplomatic track record is a litany of failures.
The second is that the Republicans in the past have compromised, to the extent that it seriously weakened their position and they were given nothing in return. I’m sure they have learnt from this so this shutdown could run and run.
The president is calling his opponents ‘extremists’ and the Democrat house leader, the execrable Nancy Pelosi, called them ‘hostage takers’ for not wanting to explode the budget deficit (which is already almost beyond repair as it is) by defeating an unpopular and ill conceived health care bill*. So yes, just the sort of calm conciliatory rhetoric to get the Republican’s running to the negotiation table. (*Obamacare is staggeringly expensive, effectively funded by debt, a poll tax and a heavy business tax)
Does the president not know that Congress sets the budget? Does he not know that a government shutdown will achieve his opponents goals by default? He is the one who has to blink. I don’t expect he will though, bellicose rhetoric and bloody minded stubbornness are his specialties, in fact at the moment he reminds me of Gordon Brown…
If democrats in congress decide they don’t want to go down with a sinking flagship policy then this presidency is over in all but name. Interestingly I think the GOP will be less concerned with their popularity than with defeating Obamacare because it is a massive extension of the power of the federal state, and thus against everything they believe in. This will be solved in the negotiation room if at all rather than the court of public opinion, another factor not in Obama’s favour. After a long hard think the only worthwhile policy change I can think of that Obama has achieved during his stewardship of the oval office is the repeal of don’t ask don’t tell.
Anyway, talking about Obama he has ‘praised Pope Francis for his humility’ for his pronouncements on the issues of contraception, abortion and homosexuality. How magnanimous of him, it makes me want to vomit. The fact is the Pope didn’t pronounce on them because he’s pronounced on them a hundred times before. He’s tired of only talking about what the Church is against rather than what it is for, but I expect that point was lost on Mr President. But yes, it does make me queasy the kinds of misinterpretations Pope Francis is inviting.
I’ve got to admit that while I like this Pope, and I agree with his softening of stance towards homosexuals, which is Catholic teaching anyway, (nothing of substance was said that Pope Benedict hadn’t already said). I probably shouldn’t be so rattled by it, but when you are being praised by the abortionist in chief for his perception of a change in Church teaching… maybe I am starting to look forward to the next Papacy.