The Art of Political Deflection

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Yes, I am of the right-of-center persuasion, so I am under some sort of ideological compulsion to defend my cronies in the House of Representatives and lob some partisan criticism at President Obama.

In my defense, my critical pieces on President Obama pale in comparison to the number of times in which Obama has blamed President Bush for the nation’s current woes. By the end of this post, you’ll say, “Dang Ted, you are right!  I still don’t agree with you about many things, but you have hit the nail on the head.”

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President Obama was at a Texas fundraiser when he said the following, “This has become the least productive Congress in modern history, recent memory.  And that’s by objective measures, just basic activity.”  And, in this case, President Obama is correct in saying that this has been the least productive Congress in modern history but I would warn you, in the words of the great Obi-Wan Kenobi, “[Obama] is a politician I have observed that he is very clever at following the passions and prejudices of the Senators.

 

The 113th Congress’ record can be seen as unproductive but what many politicians, Democrat and Republican, try to conceal from the public is that the 3 branch government system is designed to be this way.  You might say the United States government is frequently mired in partisan gridlock, but what we aren’t taught in schools is that gridlock is actually a good thing in governance as stated by George Will.

 

Super_Android_13!_-_Goku_deflectsWhat President Obama is trying to do is to deflect responsibility for his policies by blaming his political adversaries.  It’s a clever strategy and both parties do it but this is not what candidate Obama that promised us when he spoke of Hope, Change and Transparency.  He simply cannot afford to devolve into the patterns of previous administrations.  When President Obama says that this particular Congress has been the most unproductive in modern history, here is your chance to outsmart the president by simply looking to history.  

You can fact check me if you’d like, but before there was a 113th Congress, there was a 112th Congress, more importantly, a 111th Congress.  If you look carefully, you will find that Senate President was Joe Biden.  The Senate President Pro Term was Senator, and former Klansman Robert Bryd.  The House Speaker at the time was Nancy Pelosi.  

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Former KKK Employee

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Vice President

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Speaker of the House

Fine, big deal Daniel.  You know how to hyperlink to Wikipedia! What point are you trying to make?!

 

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Well, When President Obama took office, he had what we like to call a Super Majority.  President Obama is a Democrat.  Joe Biden (Senate President) is a Democrat.  Nancy Pelosi (House Speaker) is a Democrat.  Our government is not one monolithic entity in which it pens laws a will.  The Supreme Court is supposed to be non-partisan while the Executive and Legislative Branches are partisan. It is set up this way so that each branch can keep the other branch in check.  

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Again… your point?!

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You sure are #BOSSY

Ban Bossy


While the 3 branches of government keep each other in line, there is little oppositional friction when 2 out of the 3 branches of government are controlled by the same party, as was the case with the 111th Congress.

Super Majority is like a planetary alignment; whatever party that is in charge can set any agenda they want and there will be little that the minority can do to stop it.  The unintended side effect of a Super Majority is that your party will accept full responsibility for any failures of said agenda.

My point?  The most transparent and transformation administration in the history of these United States is trying to deceive you by stating that the country is suffering because of the Republicans in Congress.  

Why is the most transparent and transformative president trying to do this?  I can only conclude 2 things:

william-haefeli-perhaps-your-performance-anxiety-wouldn-t-be-so-bad-if-you-performed-better-new-yorker-cartoon1. Performance Anxiety: President Obama was not confident enough in his policies to be held accountable for their possible failures.  If a law is passed with only one party supporting it, that party will either be hailed for their greatness or voted out of office in disgrace.  When President Obama says that this Congress is unproductive, he is counting on you to forget that he had absolute control of government the first two years of his administration.  He chose healthcare over jobs.  Now that he does not have the control he once had, he is shifting the blame.  I am sensing a pattern here.  For the first two years of his administration, he blamed President Bush.  When his party lost the House of Representatives, he blamed Bush and the Congress.  In the wise words of Bono, “Will it make it easier on you now. You got someone to blame?”

 

 

procrastinationdemotivator2. Laziness: Perhaps the Democrats in D.C thought that they were going to have this Super Majority for a lot longer and felt that they had time to implement most their policies.  They had every reason to believe this delusion because much of America was still under the influence of Hope and Change.  The citizenry at large believed Obama when he promised a new atmosphere in Washington D.C  The political winds are not subject to campaign rhetoric or historical moments and they quickly change (#CaptainObvious).

But Ted, every president and or politician does this.  The game in D.C is to try to get something done and if you can’t, blame others for your mistakes.  Republicans are no better!

I totally agree.  The Republicans had a Super Majority a couple of years back and whined and complained that they could not reform Social Security.  Back then, they were deflecting too!  This should make the philosophy of small and limited government more compelling, should it not?  

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But why is President Obama under so much scrutiny and political pressure?  Again, I can only think of two reasons:

 

Racist1. His Race: Since he is a White-Black African American all his troubles stem from his race and ethnicity.  This being the easy and intellectually bankrupt conclusion of small minds.

2. His Campaign Promises

Every politician will run on the concept of change but when a politician starts to promise you hope and planetary recuperation a warning flag should stand up and you should run in the other direction.  What sold Obama to the America people was, in large part, a different type of governance.  He promised us different type of administration.  Well, reality always wins in the end and what we really got was more of the same.  It was Obama that set himself up for all of this criticism because he promised so much.  Perhaps the American people were dumb enough to buy into it, but that’s another topic for another time.

President Obama is willfully trying deceive you by placing the blame at the foot of the 113th Congress.  Ask yourself this question whenever you hear him complaining about opposition and not being able to get things done, you will now be able to ask this question: “Why didn’t you do this when you had the 111th Congress at your disposal?”

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