But has Obama changed? According to Conservative media, not one bit. So I guess a different question begs to be asked as well. Have the Republicans changed in any way to work with the President in a bi-partisanship way? You see, bi-partisanship requires two players, hence the "bi" part. Which gets me to my point.
All week I have been reading how Obama has not changed and that his "failure to lead" will be the downfall of "his legacy as President." Even today, an article by Dana Milbank from The Washington Post Writers Group seems to argue that Obama's charm offensive was not serious. According to Milbank; "It was a caution to those swept away by the notion that an entirely new and amiable Obama White House has suddenly emerged: Charm is hard." "The charm offensive - both toward lawmakers and reporters - is a welcome development. But the meals and the House (and Senate) calls don't necessarily mean things will change." Milbank clearly is claiming that despite all of the obstructionism we have seen from the GOP in Congress, Obama should make a better effort to be "Charming" to the Republicans? He goes on to say again "Charm is hard" but he fails to explain why it is so.
How charming can one expect Obama to actually be now that GOP House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) has published his budget proposal for 2014? According to The Associated Press, the budget Ryan proposes includes a repeal of Obamacare, privatizes Medicare into a Voucher System and claims it can balance the deficit by 2023 without increasing tax revenues. What happened to eliminating tax loopholes and deductions? Oh that's right, deductions that favor the Middle Class will be eliminated, not deductions for second homes, yachts or jet planes. Does this remind anyone else of the movie "Groundhog Day"? The GOP plan calls for the exact measures articulated in the 2012 Presidential election that were rejected by a majority of American voters. As you should recall, the issue of Obamacare being Constitutional was ruled upon last year by the Supreme Court. As you should also recall Obamacare was the cornerstone of the Obama/Biden re-election platform. Now most rational folks would presume that if the President and Vice-President overtly embraced Obamacare as the centerpiece of their re-election platform and Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan made repealing Obamacare theirs, then the election should have resolved that issue, right? WRONG! Paul Ryan and the GOP are once again making the repeal of Obamacare the centerpiece of their proposed Budget. Worse yet, they know up-front the proposal will be Dead on Arrival ("DOA") in the Democratically controlled Senate and it was so defeated (as I was writing this) in the Senate by a vote of 52 opposed with 45 in favor of it...in other words, along party lines. More importantly, why would the GOP introduce such a bill it knew would be immediately defeated in the Senate? According to ABC News OTUS, because "The Republican sponsors of the repeal knew it would fail Wednesday but said it was important to put senators on the record." And some consider this an indication of real political leadership? And some claim Obama needs to be more "Charming" when it comes to negotiating with the Republicans!?"
I raise this issue because a strong majority of Americans voted to retain President Obama and Obamacare. We also voted to put leaders in place to work together to move this country forward, not continue to get bogged down in petty partisan arguments. So if Obama's charm is met with this type of GOP gamesmanship, perhaps Obama needs to take the gloves off. As Harry Truman once said; "I never did give anybody hell. I just told them the truth and they thought it was hell." Couldn't President Obama use a little "Harry Truman" these days? Isn't it time to stop playing games in Washington!?