Wash. Post: Obama the Failed and Hard-Edged Partisan President

-By Warner Todd Huston

The Washington Post did an amazing thing over the weekend. It published a story that highlights the critical failure of the President to achieve what could have been a signature success in his first term, that of achieving a budget compromise with the GOP.

The Post, usually a paper with a center left perspective, really took Obama to task for creeping up to a compromise with GOP House Leader John Boehner but then abruptly pulling away, jettisoning the nearly accepted compromise, and slamming the GOP with his left-wing ideology instead of reaching the agreement that was just within his grasp.

Many Republicans are likely glad that Boehner’s reaching out to the president was slapped away by a hard-core, left wing hand, but the facts on the ground are — at least according to the WaPo — that it was Obama that torpedoed the compromise, quite despite his lies that it is the partisan GOP what done the dirty deed.

the Post describes the situation back in July of 2011. John Boehner the establishment Republican and leader of the House had crept into the White House through a side door that the media could not see. He brought with him the Tea Party-linked Eric Cantor, a “good sign” that the GOP was ready to compromise, says the Post.

An agreement was just about accepted by the Republicans, establishment representative and Tea Party representative alike ready to push the go button. Then Obama abruptly withdrew all his compromises and slammed the Republicans with his earlier, hard-partisan, and unacceptable demands.

Result: FAIL.

Here’s how the Post puts it:

What happened? Obama and his advisers have cast the collapse of the talks as a Republican failure. Boehner, unable to deliver, stepped away from the deal, simple as that.

But interviews with most of the central players in those talks — some of whom were granted anonymity to speak about the secret negotiations — as well as a review of meeting notes, e-mails and the negotiating proposals that changed hands, offer a more complicated picture of the collapse. Obama, nervous about how to defend the emerging agreement to his own Democratic base, upped the ante in a way that made it more difficult for Boehner — already facing long odds — to sell it to his party. Eventually, the president tried to put the original framework back in play, but by then it was too late. The moment of making history had passed.

The actions of Obama and his staff during that period in the summer reflect the grand ambitions and the shortcomings of the president’s first term.

A president who promised to bring the country together, who confidently presented himself as the transformational figure able to make that happen, now had his chance. But, like earlier policy battles, the debt ceiling negotiations revealed a divided figure, a man who remained aloof from a Congress where he once served and that he now needed. He was caught between his own aspirations for historical significance and his inherent political caution. And he was unable to bridge a political divide that had only grown wider since he took office with a promise to change the ways of Washington, underscoring the gulf between the way he campaigned and the way he had governed.

In the end, that brief effort, described by White House officials as the most intense and consequential of Obama’s presidency, not only illuminated pitfalls in the road he had taken during the previous three years but also directed him down a different, harder-edged, more overtly partisan path that is now defining his reelection campaign.

The Post story outlines the whole timeline of the President’s initial, hard-left, partisan demands, the gradual compromises, the GOP’s coming toward the president, and Obama’s ultimate and surreal withdraw of all compromise and his reassertion of his original, hard-left demands.

This story truly reveals that Obama is the most partisan, hardcore, left-wing, uncompromising man ever to sit in the Oval Office. So much for being a uniter, a president of all the people!

Not only that, but so much for this president telling Americans the truth. HE was the reason this compromise broke down, yet he’s gone forth in speech after speech claiming that it was the GOP that walked away from the negotiation table. The man lied bald-faced to the people.

Yep. Total fail.

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