President Obama seems very confused since the victory of Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senate race last week, and he is sending mixed messages.
First, he goes out and speaks before public audiences, stating that he will “fight” for us, and will do so till his “last breath” and will “not rest” in doing what must be done for the American people.
Then his spokesmen on Sunday talk shows–Valerie Jarrett, David Axelrod, and Robert Gibbs–make it seem that he will continue to push his agenda, while admitting things will be more difficult to achieve with the recent Massachusetts election results.
Then, he tells Diane Sawyer on ABC that he would rather be a one term successful President than a two term mediocre President, which adds to the idea that he will fight for his programs, including health care reform. One thing is clear: The New York Times calls on him today in an editorial to continue to fight for a substantial health reform bill as something that cannot be abandoned after so much progress and commitment, the same as the author feels. But yet, one can wonder if the President will bend to the Massachusetts election results and back away from the fight for health care reform.
Now, the news comes out that he wants to cut domestic spending on education, nutrition, air traffic control, national parks and farm subsidies among others to a freeze level, which means behind inflation, over the next three budget years. This “freeze” would only affect the budget by three percent of the added national debt expected, about $250 million out of $9 billion!
The cuts would not affect military, homeland security, veterans, social security, medicare, medicaid, and Obama plans to ask for more money for such programs as child care, student loans, and retirement savings in his State of the Union address tomorrow night.
It is meant to be a gesture, it seems, to conservatives, Republicans and independents who complain about the budget deficit, but it really does little to deal with that issue, and is more just a political act that will not fool anyone, and may be subject to ridicule.
What it comes down to is that the budget deficit is going to grow no matter what is cut, as it is simply a political issue for both sides of the political equation, and no one is willing to do anything really tough in the midst of an economic recession and threats to national security.
But the fact that Obama said to Diane Sawyer about having one term of success rather than two terms of mediocrity may make some wonder if he intends to be aggressive in pursuit of his goals that he was elected on, even if it means not having a second term. Or could it be he may decide what seems hard to believe? That is, maybe NOT seek a second term and sacrifice it to fight for accomplishment of his goals? Is that what we will hear at some point in the next year if his party suffers major losses in the midterm elections? Or despite all his rhetoric and of those in his administration, will he instead abandon his goals at the end?
Stay tuned and be careful to analyze his State of the Union address on Wednesday night as I intend to do! 🙂