In the space of about a week, Obama smacked around the Republican party on health care and on recess appointments, slapped the Prime Minister of Israel upside his head on settlements, and brought the President of Russia to heel on nuclear arms. Then he said it was his best week in a long damn time and flew off to Camp David for Miller Time and basketball. Clearly the experiment with being the go-with-the-flow touchy-feely nice guy is over.
I think Obama has hit his Gettysburg moment.
As we know, Obama reads his Lincoln. For the first two years of the Civil War, Lincoln, a novice in military affairs, listened to his incompetent generals and let them run the war their own way, until their incompetence and sheer laziness became so obvious that he had to fire four or five of them in a row – McClellan, Pope, Hooker etc, some of whom would have been okay with negotiating a peace rather than winning. Lincoln finally lost his shit when Meade won the pivotal battle of Gettysburg and then halted his army’s advance, pompously informing Lincoln that he had managed to drive the enemy from “our soil”. Lincoln went ballistic and pointed out that it was ALL our soil, the North, the South, everything: that was the entire point of the war. So Lincoln said he wanted Grant brought in from the western theatre to lead the fight, and when staffers complained about Grant’s occasionally scary casualty rates, Lincoln wasn’t interested: we’re going to free the slaves, we’re going for victory and not a negotiated peace, Grant is going to kill people, he’s going to win the war, and we can all go home.
Obama is in the same frame of mind. Everyone told him to take it easy, go with the flow, give the Republicans what they want, let Harry Reid take the lead, ignore the liberals in favour of tacking toward the center, and be Mister Nice Guy absent-minded professor dude. He tried Mister Rogers and it didn’t work.
This isn’t just about health care anymore. Now Obama’s pissed off.
As tough-guy wannabes around the world have learned – the Somali pirates, Putin, Netanyahu, Mitch McConnell – Obama is big trouble when he’s pissed off.
Now Obama is going to dedicate the next seven years to destroying Republicans at every level, and making the entire Republican party extinct for the next thousand years.
The Republicans could have gotten almost anything they wanted from Mister Nice Guy. And they blew it.
“You don’t tug on Superman’s cape…”