Thursday, November 6, 2014

Mr. Subliminal: We Don't Have A 'Political' Problem! We Have A 'Math' Problem!

'I want to come to some sort of compromise'
(not really..but I know I have to..)
One reason why we think not a whole heckuva lot has gotten done on a bi-partisan basis since, oh, say about 1997, is that recent incumbents in the White House and leaders of both parties in the House and Senate have conveniently forgotten how our Founders set the 'rules of the game' at the beginning.

Plus they have forgotten that the word 'compromise' is so deeply embedded in the US Constitution that our Founders didn't even see the need to write it down anywhere. It was just 'assumed' to exist in such a bicameral, joint federal-state, split legislative/executive branch democratic republic they wanted to set up.

In short, Our Founders wanted to make it as difficult as possible for any one person or one faction to get 100% of what they wanted in any session of Congress.


Getting 100% of what you want through any one session of Congress is like trying to run through a land-mined field with machine guns trained on you from both sides and trained snipers 1 mile away shooting at you. If you don't have enough protective outerwear and find cover pretty quickly with friendly allies and shelter, you are not going to make it even 50% intact when all is said and done.

We think President Obama can do the entire nation a very useful service if he would become 'Mr. Subliminal' as Kevin Nealon used to do so masterfully on SNL when it was great, in his State of the Union speech in January of 2015 and lay out the 'rules of the game' that underlie our constitutional government for everyone to see at the beginning of the session.

There simply is no way for Republicans to demand and get a complete repeal of Obamacare in this next session of Congress just as there is no way for President Obama to get any of his stimulus spending bills through Congress either.

Those are just the cold hard facts as defined by the math of the Constitution. Not the politics or the policies of one side or the other.

But, just as that sage old President Ronald Reagan fully understood and used when leading by example, both sides can get maybe 60% of what they want on their specific top priorities if they work together to do so and understand that no one is going to be 100% happy with the end results.

After these past 17 years of poor, misguided and mis-thought out legislation or no action of any consequence on the big issues that face us, we will be thrilled with getting 60% and then hope a future Congress can come back and try to get the remaining 40%.

Everyone should be, just to be honest about it.

(political speech first, subliminal truth second in italics)

'Ladies and Gentlemen. Mr. Speaker and Mr. Vice-President and the American People:

Let me first congratulate the Republicans for winning control of the Senate and maintaining control of the House. darn it all

Elections matter. I 'get it'. not really

I will now list the priorities and challenges for this nation as I see them for the upcoming legislative session of Congress:

  1. We must raise the minimum wage everywhere to $10.10/hour. I know it is not the 'most' important issue today but it is the best political issue I still have in my arsenal to use.
  2. We must defeat ISIS at all costs. other than sending ground troops back over there to fight
  3. We must address global climate change. because that is one of the few issues left for my base
  4. We must address our budget deficits, although they have been gone down by 50% since I took office in 2009, and our national debt. not that I really want to but I can feel it in my stomach just like everyone else that this could get out-of-hand very fast and very easily and it is very scary.
  5. We must continue to find ways to provide universal health care for everyone in this country and also find ways to hold medical care cost inflation in check. just like what has happened over the last couple of years
  6. We must rebuild our nation's infrastructure with a massive federal investment program because this is one of the few things I know I can agree with many Republicans on. They like nice roads and bridges in their districts just like I do.
  7. We must take action to help the middle class do better. because for some odd reason that I can't really fully understand, they have actually fallen further behind during my last 6 years in office as measured by average family household income than under President George W. Bush before me
Now, I know there are differences between us about how you 54 soon-to-be US Republican Senators and 251 GOP House Majority will want to solve these problems. I happen to believe in a more activist federal government emanating out of Washington, DC than you free-market minimalist government conservatives do.

You believe in 'trickle-down economics'. I don't. Therein lies the rub we all have to face.
if you want anything to pass on economic policies, give me 50% of what I want and 50% of what you want and we got a deal. No veto pen will ever see the light of day over the next 2 years.

Let's be honest with each other. I don't control the legislative agenda any more and you don't hold the White House. I hold the very important constitutional trump card the Founders put in the US Constitution for all to see, the Presidential Veto. We don't have a 'political' problem. We don't have a 'philosophical' problem. We have a 'constitutionally-mandated MATH' problem, fellas! Basic addition and subtraction. Plain and simple. That's all there is to it.

So let's say you want to 'repeal and replace' Obamacare. go ahead. Make My Day.

The first thing you might want to think about is what you want to replace Obamacare with. because I sure as heck am gonna rally the troops on my side who have pre-existing conditions and current coverage and make it as difficult politically for you as I possibly can.

If the House passes, and the Senate somehow navigates the 60-vote cloture process and concurs with, a complete repeal of Obamacare, I will veto it. simply because I don't think you can override my veto in the Senate with 67 votes or in the House with 290 votes no matter how large you think your majorities are today. Only 10% of all presidential vetoes have ever been overridden by both chambers of Congress so go ahead...knock yourselves out big fellas!

I recognize that we have to further lower our budget deficits and somehow get a grip on this exploding federal national debt. I tried to work with Speaker John Boehner several times to do a 'Grand Bargain' of sorts on entitlement and tax reform only to come to an impasse over higher taxes and spending cuts when he went back to his Republican caucus and ran into opposition from the Tea Party members and Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi put the kibosh on it from the left.

I promise to work with the Republican majorities in the House and the Senate. especially since I am the only one who can't run again in 2016 and I know it.

The time for action has come. and if you Republicans are really smart, you will work with me behind the scenes starting right now to craft and get a Massive Grand Bargain on Entitlement and Tax Reform. Let's pass it under normal legislative procedure in Congress through the budget reconciliation process that only requires 50%+1 of the vote in the Senate, not the 60-vote hurdle to shut off debate through cloture.

A Democratic President and a Republican Congress is the only way we will ever deal with the tricky issues of Social Security and Medicare, fellas. Take a look at what Bill Clinton and Erskine Bowles did in 1997 with a Republican-controlled Congress and US Senate when they passed Welfare Reform and the Budget Act which led to the only 4 balanced budgets we have seen in America in our lifetimes!

I will provide the political cover from the left for you Republicans to do what you have always wanted to do which is curb the rate of growth in these runaway entitlement programs. Now is your chance. But you only have til October, 2015 to get it right (and I will probably throw in a hike in the minimum wage to 'only' $9.10/hour just to sweeten the deal for my friends and supporters on the left)

May God Bless America. This may be the only way I will get my face chiseled on Mount Rushmore but if history views me as the president who provided universal health care for all Americans AND brought the budget deficits and the national debt down like Calvin Coolidge did, I can live with that.

That's the way things get done in Washington, ladies and gentlemen.

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