Few things drove me to distraction as much as Barack Obama's continual passivity to GOP obstructionist moves during his first term and his fantasy world efforts to appear bipartisan with an opposing political party with about as much reason and good will as a rabid dog. Combine that with his refusal to lead and waiting for Congressional Democrats to lead and the result was my many post excoriating Obama. Thankfully, Obama seems to have learned from past debacles. A piece in Politico looks at Obama's new resolve - and it's likely impact on the knuckle draggers in the Republican Party. Here are excerpts:
President Barack Obama’s stiffening resolve during the fight over the fiscal cliff can be traced directly to the lessons he drew from his hard-won triumph of the 2012 campaign. He whipped Republicans a second time, parried the best attacks they could muster, and is now demanding that they respect the victory, if not the man who won it.
The roots of his new toughness are rooted in the nature of his convincing November win over Mitt Romney. Obama was carried to the finish line by supporters after his epic flop at the Denver debate. That seeded in him a greater sense of confidence and deepened his resolve not to be rolled by a recalcitrant GOP, as he was during the bitter 2011 fight over the debt ceiling, according to interviews with staffers and friends
After his 2008 win, he talked a lot about bipartisanship. This time he’s determined to squeeze it out of Republicans. He believes he owes that to the people who voted for him. . . . . the people around the president now see him as a Democratic Reagan, a resilient and popular figure who can unify the country — if only the dead-enders will give him a chance.
So far, he’s staked out a tough position, refusing to get too specific on spending and entitlement cuts, and threatening GOP leaders — whose popularity is tanking — with the bully pulpit of his inauguration and State of the Union speech. But many Hill Democrats, accustomed to seeing Obama give in, remain only cautiously optimistic. “So far, so good. [But] we’ll see how this shakes out,” said a top Senate Democrat, who is queasy about the administration’s overtures to the GOP on entitlement reform.
But if the 2012 election increased the president’s comfort with public emotion, it also strengthened his desire to ensure that the GOP — a party that has lost the popular vote in six of the last seven presidential elections — doesn’t get a better deal than they have earned. And that means Obama is likely to employ the same mindset that won him a second term: a determination to pursue a core political strategy regardless of the news cycle, tactical shifts by the opposition or external pressure.
I hope the new tougher resolve will continue. Today's GOP is indeed like a rabid dog that needs to be put down and stopped from harming the country as it pushes its insane agenda of reverse Robin Hood policies , racism and religious extremism.