Now that the president is in his lame duck years, his candor and difficulty working with him has become quite obvious. In other words, he is taking out his aggressions on the Republicans. With his final quarter in front of him, it’s “If you can’t join them, beat them” and he was in full swing on Friday and Saturday.
Since the Democrats lost the Senate, there is a sense of arrogance to the president’s moves. Not a whiff of bipartisanship in the air. Disagree with a Republican? The White House approach is to single a lawmaker out, pick a fight and don’t mince words.
The president has packed fights with the likes of Mitch McConnell, Charles Grassley and John McCain on wide-ranging subjects from climate change to Iran. You might throw in his annoyance on stall tactics to avoid the confirmation of Loretta Lynch as the new attorney general.
On Friday, Obama delivered a testy lecture to Republicans, decrying the long wait Lynch has faced since she was nominated in early November. As the president put it, “Enough. Enough!” he told Senate Republicans. “This is embarrassing, a process like this.”
On Saturday, Obama slugged McCain verbally after his 2008 presidential rival declared a major setback in the Iran nuclear talks after Iran’s supreme leader, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, demanded that sanctions against Tehran had to be lifted immediately after a deal went into place. It sent Obama into an uncontrollable furor. He considers McCain’s words a direct assault on his secretary of state’s credibility. Maybe it is Mr. President.
It is no secret to those who make Washington their living that this administration has lost complete control of its foreign policy and it is spinning out-of-control. The Iran nuke deal is all but dead, yet the president acts as if he has the clout to put a bad deal in place like the Senate is invisible. It is the behavior of a man who has lost control of his office altogether.
The president’s knee jerk reaction to all this is astonishing. “That’s an indication of the degree to which partisanship has crossed all boundaries,” Obama said. “That’s a problem. It needs to stop.” He went on: “We have Mitch McConnell trying to tell the world, oh, don’t have confidence in the U.S. government’s abilities to fulfill any climate change pledge that we might make.”
Republicans maintain Obama would be better off working on bipartisan efforts, such as trade. Stay as far away from the disastrous foreign policy as humanly possible. Top lawmakers on Thursday revealed a bipartisan agreement to give Obama authority to negotiate trade deals without having to face delays in Congress. But many Democrats oppose such deals, fearing they will cost jobs or lower environmental standards.
Lynch’s confirmation has been delayed simply because McConnell has wanted to pass a sexual trafficking bill through the Senate first. Yet the White House paints it as discrimination against women. They’re now borrowing pages out of Hillary Clinton’s campaign book of tired accusations.
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