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NYT: Obama Must Walk Fine Line To Avoid Blame

From the New York Times:

Obama Must Walk Fine Line as Congress Takes Up Agenda

By JACKIE CALMES | April 7, 2013

WASHINGTON — The days ahead could be decisive ones for the main pieces of President Obama’s second-term agenda: long-range deficit reduction, gun safety and changes to immigration law…

Members of both parties say Mr. Obama faces a conundrum with his legislative approach to a deeply polarized Congress. In the past, when he has stayed aloof from legislative action, Republicans and others have accused him of a lack of leadership; when he has gotten involved, they have complained that they could not support any bill so closely identified with Mr. Obama without risking the contempt of conservative voters…

“Everybody wants him involved to the right degree at the right moment,” [Senator Mark Warner, Democrat of Virginia] said, “but not anytime before or after.”

The challenge for Mr. Obama became evident as soon as he took office, when Republicans almost unanimously opposed his economic stimulus package even as the recession was erasing nearly 800,000 jobs a month…

Though Mr. Obama was able to prevail over Republican opposition in his first two years as president because Democrats had majorities in the House and the Senate, that changed when Republicans won control of the House in 2010, giving them a brake to apply to the president’s agenda…

Now the president’s three pending priorities are shaping up as test cases for how he and Republicans will work together — or not — in his second term.

Each measure — on the budget, guns and immigration — in its own way illustrates the fine line that Mr. Obama must walk to succeed even with national opinion on his side.

Obama does not have public opinion on his side for any of these issues. Not for higher taxes, more gun control, or amnesty.

Privately, the White House is optimistic only about the prospects for an immigration bill, which would create a path to citizenship for about 11 million people in the country illegally

Amnesty is probably the most unpopular part of Obama’s unpopular agenda.

On immigration, Mr. Obama had wanted to propose his own measure because he had promised Latino groups he would do so. But Senate Democrats advised against it, fearing an “Obama bill” would scare off Republicans like Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has presidential ambitions…

“I think he’s handled it just perfectly,” Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York, a Democratic leader who is part of the bipartisan negotiations on both issues, said of Mr. Obama. “He’s mobilizing public opinion. He’s staying on top of the issues and being helpful. But at the same time he’s given us — in the House and Senate — space to craft a bipartisan agreement.”

While Mr. Obama is said to be actively involved in the immigration talks behind the scenes because of that bill’s better odds, on gun measures like tighter background checks of firearms purchasers he is waging his fight mostly in public settings far from Washington. On Monday he will travel to Connecticut to meet again with the families of those killed in the school shooting in Newtown last year. At the University of Hartford, he will give another speech calling for passage of gun legislation.

Even Democrats say these speeches are having no effect on Republican lawmakers…

Yet White House aides predict that if the gun issue dies, Mr. Obama will at least get credit for trying and Republicans will be blamed by the majority of Americans who favor tighter controls…

Americans don’t favor any such thing. But the news media will try to convince them they do. But Obama couldn’t get away with any of this, without a compliant media.

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Monday, April 8th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

2 Responses to “NYT: Obama Must Walk Fine Line To Avoid Blame”

  1. Astravogel

    It’s not ‘gun control’ it’s ‘gun confiscation and government supremacy’.

  2. bousquem25

    Fine line to avoid blame my rear. He’ll ignore what the public wants to pander to the left’s interests and find “polls” that show everyone supports his agenda. Never mind the polls are conducted by leftist partisans and grossly over sample democrats. I wouldn’t be suprised if they mark registered democrats as independents and republicans if they don’t agree 100% all the time with Obama, mearly 99% agreement just about every time. I mean why the heck are we planning to import workers when the unemployment rate sucks, and I’m not talking about what the feds claim is the rate but the true rate the accounts for people who gave up looking and are dropped from the count.




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