Funny, a few months ago, despite deciding not to vote for Obama for a second term, I had that feeling that voting for the other guy an losing might still be a win-win outcome. After all Obama would be entering a second term. With the Clinton’s at his side he would probably come around to becoming a centrist, unafraid to partially alienate his base, and committed to getting past the roadblocks of the last few years.
After the election, the immediate sentiment regarding the fiscal cliff was leaning center from both sides of the isle. It was the right leadership at that moment and I bought it, sucker that I am. I genuinely believed that the road blocks were behind us.
Then about two weeks ago I watched Obama 2016, the documentary. When I finally turned the TV off, I went to sleep with a forbearing that my win-win scenario may have been a pollyannish dream of some positive outcome.
This is not a review or summary of that movie, suffice to say it gave me more confidence that I was wrong in assuming that Obama and Compromise might be two words fit to print.
The US economy is a well oiled machine, and the inter workings of commerce are so “just in time” these days that brinksmanship can have a real effect on jobs, prices, wages and consumption.
Brinksmanship at this stage will also have knock on effects to our credit ratings which you could argue are meaningless in print or interpretation anyway.
But a country at the brink of default once generally gets more than a one notch downgrade as we did last August. A country at the brink of default twice in two years certainly is a higher risk in non linear terms than it was the first time for a variety of reasons including the political impasse that got us there, possibly twice now.
But what are the real risks for Obama to play this game of cat and mouse with the US economy? Zero. As a second-term president with a dogmatic view of the world there is no losing. If we go over the cliff the disruption will create more opportunity for him to take credit for the “leadership” that follows.
Obama’s paternal condescendance towards the GOP will only be beaten by the wisdom of a grandfather figure at least as intelligent and prosaic as Obama is. Boehner is not that person. McCain was not either. What we need is a grandpa with accomplishment that brings power and a wisdom that understand the fight of the fatherless son.
My only certainty now is that the deck is stacked for the car to go over the cliff. Best we can do is to get out of the way, and if your dark minded to get a good seat and try to video tape the dramatic views.
CNBC.com Article: Obama to Stress Need to Raise Debt Limit ‘Without Drama’
President Barack Obama will renew his case for tax hikes on wealthy Americans to avert a year-end fiscal crunch and call for a smooth increase in the nation’s borrowing limit in a speech to a business group on Wednesday, a White House official said.