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President Obama’s Second Term

Take a look at the title of this blog. It is called Political Realities for a reason and I take the tag line very seriously. Because of that, I want to remind us all of a certain political reality that will not be going away. President Obama has won a second term. He will be living in the White House for another four years. We need to come to terms with that reality and not mope around. And trust me, I have been as guilty as anyone of moping around because of the defeat we have suffered.

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President Barack ObamaWhat will four more years of President Obama entail? That could be anyone’s guess, but we do have his record to look at. In spite of his rhetoric of wanting to reach across the aisle, his record shows us he is less than willing to do that. His record shows us he would be more than willing to make all the decisions himself, if our system of government allowed that. Because of that, he has practiced a sidestep around Congress, when he deems them to be standing in his way.

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Why does President Obama work this way? Part of it is his personality. He isn’t a natural when it comes to working with other politicians, especially if they have views different from his own. In short, he is aloof and he does not relate, or play, well with others. The excerpts I have read from Bob Woodward’s new book bear that out. He comes across as stuck up and when he and his facts are challenged by those who disagree with him, he does not react well. If you don’t believe that is the truth, just watch the video of his exchange with Paul Ryan during the negotiations over the health care law. Obama was clearly angry and beside himself after Ryan called him on the carpet for his lies.

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Can we expect to see more of the same Obama in his second term? That remains to be seen and depends largely on how willing he is to compromise. It will also depend on how he wants his legacy to be viewed by history.

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(The Hill) But observers and those close to the White House expect that all to change during a second term. They anticipate a more engaging Obama, who will work with lawmakers on everything from the so-called “fiscal cliff” to immigration reform.

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“The signal I’ve gotten from the White House is that they realize they need to do more outreach,” said Jamal Simmons, another Democratic strategist.  “The administration not only needs to do good policy, they need to make sure good politics is also being done.”

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The president is inviting lawmakers to the White House this week to begin discussing a solution for the impending fiscal cliff of expiring tax rates and automatic spending cuts, which many economists warn could spark a recession.

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The article from The Hill goes on to discuss how President Obama is likely to follow Bill Clinton’s example in his second term. Clinton move quickly to the middle and actually accomplished a great deal by working with the Republican-led Congress. That may happen with President Obama, but I am holding little hope for that scenario to play out.

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You see, there is one big difference between President Obama and Bill Clinton. The 42nd President of the United States was/is a man who is a liberal with few core beliefs. He was more than willing to work with Newt Gingrich and to compromise on some of the major issues of that time. President Obama is not Bill Clinton. He is an ideologue and I believe, a man who will be unwilling to compromise with Republicans. He has shown himself to be willing to stick strictly to his liberal beliefs and has thus far, shown no willingness to compromise with his opponents.

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I hope I am wrong. I hope Obama can come to terms with what he wants his legacy to be and see his way to forging a compromise with Republicans that will avert the fiscal calamity that is staring us in the face. We should know how willing he will be in the next few days, and at least by the end of the year. A word of caution to the President. It will take more than soaring speeches and rhetoric to prove me wrong. He says he wants to change the tone in Washington, but his record says he will do no such thing. His supporters may ignore his record, but conservatives will not. We shall see which side of history he wants to be on.

About LD Jackson

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LD Jackson has written 2053 posts in this blog.

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Founder and author of the political and news commentary blog Political Realities. I have always loved to write, but never have I felt my writing was more important than in this present day. If I have changed one mind or impressed one American about the direction our country is headed, then I will consider my endeavors a success. I take the tag line on this blog very seriously. Above all else, in search of the truth.

  • lou222

    I do not believe for a moment that Obama is willing to “work” with the other side of the aisle, not now and not in the future. I believe that he will call the shots and demand that the right move further to the left, if they know what is good for them. I also believe that they will fall in place. The right has been notorious at being soft and able to be molded into what the left wants. There are a handful of Republicans that are fighters, but as we saw with Allen West, they can be taken out by fraud. Boehner is the one that should be standing firm and he is not, he needs to be removed and replaced by oh,,,maybe Trey Gowdy! He is outspoken and goes after this administration. Why is it we do not demand this of our representatives and congressmen? We have Ron Johnson, Jason Chaffez, Paul Ryan, Eric Canton, to name a few….maybe there should also be an age limit for Congress as well as term limits. I think they get in there, continue getting re-elected and fall short on doing what “we the people” expect of them. It would be nice to go to a job, pretty much do nothing other than “vote” and collect big bucks. Ok, I got off topic here, back to Obama. I was very dejected when the vote came in, I knew it was coming when I thought about the massive voter fraud that was taking place. No, it was not legal, but what judge will stand up and fight it, without being taken out, as well? The next 4 years will be one EO after another, until Congress will become “in name only” and will cease to become relevant, in my estimation. Once a couple more of the Supremes are replaced with life long liberals, we are done as a Republic. I read on another blog that we have the Democracy that we deserve and maybe they were not far from the truth, if we can’t keep our Republic, guess that is the alternative. I thought we had a fighting chance, but I underestimated the corruption on the other side, that would win at ALL COSTS. I am from Illinois, I know how Chicago works, and it was put into play on a grander scale. We were hit by massive FRAUD and I will never not believe that. We have 4 years, IF our country can survive that long, to deal with the corruption. If we can’t turn it around by then, our country is lost. Well, that is my thought on this mess, for what it is worth.

  • Brett

    I have read a lot along the lines of “now that Obama has his legacy to worry about”. The subtext of these statements is that because now, with a second term, he can forge a lasting legacy that he will moderate his ways and “come home” to the political middle ground that Americans like to think their presidents inhabit well all is said and done. But I agree with LD Jackson. Obama will likely not change. In fact I predict that if he is really concerned with his legacy he will go hard left, very hard left. His stated goal all along was to transform this country and he can’t do this by going to the squishy middle. Besides, moderating would be a betrayal of his core values. Like this article stated Clinton had few core beliefs. Obama does and that’s why I expect him to take the first exit to utopia and never look back. This will be his legacy.

    • First of all, thanks for commenting on Political Realities. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

      I have little confidence that Obama will change his tactics during his second term. I hope I am wrong, but I don’t believe I am.

  • I don’t think you are wrong, Larry. I will very surprised if you turn out to be wrong. A tiger can not change its stripes. Bill Clinton was an entirely different kind of animal. Obama will be who has always been. We saw glimpses of the true Obama several times during his first term. We will see much more of that Obama in the next four years. Rewarding friends and punishing enemies. Valerie Jarrett said it just before the elections. They will take their revenge. Obama said much the same thing when he said the reason to vote is because that is how you get your revenge.

  • Boehner is already telling House Republicans to fall in line.

    Obama has the whip hand, he has the mojo, and he’s going to use it. His election was a mandate, and the GOP will appear obstructionist if it doesn’t go along.

    I think the GOP needs to argue hard, but if they can’t reconcile with the Senate and the White House, they need to give in to them, while loudly saying they wholeheartedly disagree, but they are getting out of the way to avoid being obstructionist.

    This will bring us a four year test of Obama and the Pelosicrat’s progressive statism.

    Either it will work or it won’t. We’ll know in four years.

    • lou222

      SF, it is sad we are even IN this position to have to do that. I agree, let them OWN the whole thing, see how it goes. Once the free stuff stops, the stupid people will be rioting, let them deal with the stupid people then! We told them what was going to happen, not our problem they didn’t believe us, but we will pay a huge price for THEIR mistake.

  • Mike

    I do think Obama will reach across the aisle and some things will get accomplished at least on the budget side. There is even a renewed interest on the GOP side to conclude some immigration reform so we may something there too. Each side heard the voice of the people in the past two years and I think we’ll see some the change we need; but I’m very concerned about lack of will on the Dem side to take any serious steps on entitlement reform and that is our Achilles heal as a nation. Without that the budget deficit and debt ceiling issues will only pause before taking off once again.

  • The difference between Obama and Clinton is that Clinton moved to the middle after he lost Congress while Obama doubled down. Historically second terms have been a disaster filled with scandal, investigations and core first term advisers and cabinet members leaving. At best second terms feature foreign policy success.

  • Dragonconservative

    Obama’s not going to want to compromise with the Republicans in the House, especially as he’s got the Senate. Bill Clinton went with whatever was popular at the time. Obama will stick to his tax the rich mantra come hell or high water.

    • Mike

      If he can tax the rich by simply putting a ceiling on deductions I think he’d go for that and so will Boehner. Better still if its all part of a bigger package of tax reform.

      • Dragonconservative

        I don’t have a problem with cutting deductions. That’s what Romney wanted to do. But I don’t think that Obama’s going to do that. He wants to increase the tax rate itself for higher-income families.

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  • Arrogant Obama compromise? It won’t happen, and for the reasons you cite, i.e. he is a rigid ideologue. At this point, I have not yet returned to the fray, i.e. started thinking as if we have a viable political system in which anything I or other conservatives can do will make any difference. We can slow the slide into ruin, and that’s about it. More radical measures are needed to stop leviathan, and I don’t mean violence. Red states need to band together and openly defy federal mandates like Obamacare — refuse to implement it. Nullification of unconstitutional federal laws is an option. Those states should refuse to comply with the Supreme Court when it is clearly wrong on the Constitution, as it often is. The Court was originally advisory only, but voted itself more power over the years. The red states must insist it return to its original purpose and mandate.

    • Mike

      I think there is a word for when people and groups organize to decide which laws they will honor and which they will disobey because they consider them wrong. I’m sure it will come to me in a second. But at least you’re not advocating violence. Civil anarchy…very elegant.

      • Actually, Obama has been guilty of deciding which laws he would obey. He has instructed his Department of Justice to not enforce some of the laws he disagrees with, such as the Defense of Marriage Act. He has done the same thing with immigration enforcement.

        • Mike

          Come on Larry. There is a HUGE difference between what Stogie is saying and what Obama is doing. Parents, police, teachers, all choose to enforce certain laws and rules at different times. If Obama says “look, let’s focus our illegal immigration enforcement efforts on the dangerous criminals and spend less time picking up people who live quietly and have been here for 20 years” that is entirely different from what Stogie is proposing — private citizens deciding which laws the Supreme Court of the United States has passed that they personally consider unconstitutional and deciding to blatantly violate them. When private citizens decide the SC has decided laws wrong and they will not abide by those decisions that is called anarchy. As a responsible blogger you should be condemning that kind of talk not encouraging it because you don’t like some of the things Obama does.

          • I am not advocating civil anarchy. However, there is a lot of frustration among some of us, concerning how Obama has conducted himself during his first term, as well as how the federal government is so far out of its boundaries.

  • I don’t expect Obama will work with Republicans – nor they with him. Politics is power and having just won re-election – the second Democrat since @@II – I don’t expect Obama will be feeling like he has to work with the GOP. Clinton, like Obama, suffered a defeat during his first mid-terms but Clinton was less ideological than Obama is and the people he surrounded himself with were, too.