Sound and Fury, Signifying… Something
posted at 4:22 pm on November 6, 2010 by Dafydd ab Hugh
Since I’m speaking about national issues, as opposed to Californian, I’m going to be the glass-half-full guy today.
I’m somewhat optimistic (just a bit) that maybe Barack H. Obama will be able to change course, at least a little, so that we don’t have complete civil war for the next two years — which might well turn off the electorate that just elected the GOP.
In the wake of the midterm elections, the president — after hilariously proclaiming that the Democrats only lost because the TOTUS* didn’t do a good enough job explaining to voters how Obama plans to radicalize America — has actually offered two very substantial concessions to traditional American values:
Mr. Obama this week already has moved, at least slightly, on two major issues.
He said he no longer believes he can pass a broad energy bill that would impose limits on greenhouse gas emissions, and instead called for all sides to work on renewable and clean energy sources, such as nuclear power.
The White House also signaled movement on tax cuts — the issue that deeply divided Congress just before it left town in September, and that will await lawmakers when they return this month.
Mr. Obama earlier said the Bush tax cuts that went to wealthier Americans must be allowed to lapse. But asked about a temporary extension, Mr. Gibbs said Thursday that Mr. Obama would “be open to having that discussion and open to listening to what the debate is on both sides of that.”
One possibility I’ve seen floated would be to extend the Bush tax cuts until — drum roll — early 2013. The point is clear: If Obama loses reelection in 2012, then the next Republican president can try to make the tax-cuts permanent, if he can overcome the Democrats in the Senate.
But if B.O. is reelected, he will have a substantial argument that the American people don’t want them to become permanent, else they would have elected the Republican — who will, naturally, run on a platform that includes permanizing the tax cuts.
And of course Republicans on Capitol Hill would be overjoyed to work with the president and many Democrats in expanding our nuclear reactor force to take the place of as many coal- and oil-powered electricity plants as possible.
All it really would take would be to dramatically streamline the approval process and grant partial legal immunity to nuclear projects, to protect them from baseless lawsuits by environmentalists, which could stymie construction forever. As it happens, a number of environmentalists have already rationally concluded that nuclear power is less damaging to the environment than burning oil and coal; so the opposition is already divided.
I see these as much more significant than does the Washington Times‘ Stephen Dinan. By throwing both Cap and Tax and the Hands-Free Tax Increase under the bus, I think the Obamacle augurs that the era of big transformation has ended — for a time, at least. It’s hard to imagine him permanently giving up his ultimate goal of remaking America as a Eurosocialist welfare state; but Obama is obviously gobsmacked at the moment, unable to conjure a scheme to pull it off.
I still don’t see him as a Clintonian triangulator; but perhaps he is so unused to defeat that, for a while at least, he will be too stunned to resist the pressure to make concessions. Another way of looking at it: Maybe for a few months — before he shakes himself, like a cartoon victim of an explosion, and returns to his natural self — the One will find himself bowing at the waist and kow-towing to his personal, American “enemies,” the way he’s already used to doing to America’s foreign enemies.
Quick, let’s take advantage while it lasts! When Obama comes back to his old, arrogant, messianic self, then Republicans can return to fighting him, hammer and tooth. But perhaps by then we’ll have some substantive and substantial accomplishes under our belts… all the better to head into the 2012 showdown.
* TOTUS: Teleprompter of the United States
Cross-posted on Big Lizards…