In the history of mankind, many republics have risen, have flourished for a less or greater time, and then have fallen because their citizens lost the power of governing themselves and thereby of governing their state. TR


As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Obama Shuns Boehner

Despite proclaiming that he’s eager to work with Congress on new legislation this year and determined not to let the country to drift over the looming “fiscal cliff,” President Obama has mostly stopped meeting with the main person who can help him get that done, House Speaker John Boehner.

The country faces a massive tax increase and draconian automatic spending cuts at the end of the year if budget deals aren’t reached. Yet Obama’s last meeting with Boehner was more than two months ago, on May 16 at the White House. It was one of only two meetings Obama has had with Boehner all year.

John Boehner at the White House
Boehner during a rare appearance at the White House.
photo by Keith Koffler

What’s more, both sessions were what’s known as bipartisan, bicameral leadership meetings, meaning the leaders from both Parties of both the House and Senate were on hand. Such gatherings generally include little substantive work, with both sides offering up politically attuned position statements, well aware that any bold idea or offer of a concession will subsequently be leaked to the press by the other side.

The White House teed up 2012 with a spokesman’s remarkable statement that, “In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012 . . . the president is no longer tied to Washington,” adding that securing a year-long extension of the payroll tax cut was the last “must-do” piece of legislation for Obama.

The White House subsequently tried to reel that one back in, suddenly proclaiming it wanted a robust working relationship with Congress and hoped to get all kinds of great things done.

But the year has mostly panned out as first forecast, with Obama having little formal contact with even members of his own party while unceasingly wandering the country panhandling for campaign cash.

Instead of doing the grueling business of working with Congressional allies and antagonists to craft legislation, Obama has instead issued a series of executive orders that have left some wondering whether he is trying to import the legislative branch up Pennsylvania Avenue and into the White House.

Bill Clinton proved in 1996 that enormous things can happen on Capitol Hill during a presidential reelection year, as he worked with Congress to pass Welfare Reform and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Ironically, Obama has issued unilateral executive policies that seek to undermine both laws.

By the way, the other meeting between Obama and Boehner was February 29. Seems it took an extra day tagged onto the year for the president to fit the Speaker in.

31 thoughts on “As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Obama Shuns Boehner”

  1. obama apparently can only do one thing at a time. It is ironic that obama has gutted two of Clinton’s signature pieces of legislation via EO. I’m sure that really pisses off wild Bill. As far as the fiscal cliff goes, They think that obama will win reelection and they can do something during the lame duck. If he loses, he will do nothing….screw the peasants!

    1. bill "gettinthescoop" joe

      I say we just go off the fiscal cliff. Let’s stop collecting taxes all together, maybe a 1% VAT tax instead of the federal income tax. Then, let’s stop spending money at the federal level. We can privatize the military, which can then collect money directly from citizens on a per person basis depending on whether they would like military protection. Everyone will carry a bag of gold, since the fed will no longer exist. And we can all ride horses on dirt roads because we will not longer have a federal highway system. We should also end all oil subsidies because all federal spending should stop. And most importantly we should end federal crop insurance which will allow the free market to reign supreme, forcing most farmers to go bankrupt and destroying the heartland. Then, we can all work at Chic-fil-A and other fine establishments, such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster and — if someone earns a college education and a juris doctor — even the Cheesecake Factory! What an excellent world it would be. I am so excited. If you aren’t, you’re not a true American.

  2. This is what happens when the country elects someone who has NO history or working well with others, who beleives he is completely right on all issues, who surrounds himself with inexperienced people who will not challenge his views. You get a dictator. I am increasingly afraid that is what/whom the country elected.

  3. Great article, Keith. I’m just afraid you are whistling against the wind… Why should the imperial president bother meeting with crybaby Boehner? He knows he’s got the quisling in his pocket, just like every other go along to get along establishment Republican in Congress.

    Besides, Boehner is too busy working with McCain and Grahamnesty to beat down Michele Bachmann and four other brave congress members for having the audacity to question Islamic infiltration in our federal government.

    Mark Levin had a great interview with Andy McCarthy about the issue, and how it may soon be time for conservatives to give up on the Republican party. My guess is they have become too corrupted by graft and power to defend our Constitution.

    1. Well, BO is the President and should be at least meeting with the opposition leadership. PERIOD!

      And I just don’t believe that Boehner isn’t doing everything he can do considering that he leads ONLY ONE HALF of 1 of 3 branches of government. Not exactly coming from a position of power. Let’s see what he can do if he can have a Senate to work with. After all, there has been almost 100 pieces of legislation that has gone from the House to the Senate and just sits on Reid’s desk.

      1. Boehner and the “young guns” have been using that “one half of one third” excuse ever since the Republicans took over House leadership. Maybe if Boehner was as hard on Democrats as he is on his own caucus, he might get something passed by Harry Reid. The House holds the purse strings, which is a position of great power, and they could at least stop the funding of ObamaTAX. Boehner has already said he has no intention of standing in the way of funding this leviathan. In fact, Boehner has done precious little to slow the stem of taxpayer money hemorrhaging from the Treasury.

  4. I simply don’t understand how the Press can continue to prop this man up. I suspect that if he is re-elected (God save us) even if there is a switch in the Senate and the House stays in Repulican hands, the changes won’t be sufficient enough to overturn vetoes, which means everyone is going to have to work together (novel concept). He’s a spoiled child who has had pathways opened up for him his entire life. How middle class people can believe he is watching their back is beyond explanation. Most of us know someone where we work or worked that slided through everything, got the accolades, heck of a nice person and behind their back we are complaining that they are all talk and no action.

    1. Could not agree more, Wendy. I don’t think vetoes will be a problem though since He (capitalization for the God like monarch) will simply issue executive orders and govern by fiat. The House and Senate will be disbanded and their chambers turned into …….(sigh)

  5. And if anyone from the Romney campaign reads Keith’s blog right after Romney returns from his overseas trip he should reach out to the Congressional leadership both Dems and Repubs and have a sit down. That would demonstrate:
    1) Working with Congress – something Obama even with both the House and Senate in control of the Dems failed to demonstrate.
    2) Eagerness to work with both sides of the aisle, again Obama can not claim to have any serious intentions of working across the aisle in the past and in a next term.

    1. KmB, when I first read your comment, I admit I laughed. Then I thought about it. You have a great point. The Repubs (hopefully) will all attend. Any Dems really interested in this country would also. High turnout of Dems and Bam gets a slap upside his head of near Biblical proportions!

    2. The Dems wouldn’t meet with him, but he probably already has meetings with the GOP leadership. In fact, I would surprise if that isn’t already happening.

  6. Such lies from Boehner!! He knows all he has to do is kneel and Obummer will feel his capitulation through the force and no meeting is necessary!!

  7. “The White House teed up 2012 with a spokesman’s remarkable statement that, “In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012 . . . the president is no longer tied to Washington,”

    This is the ‘moment’ when impeachment proceedings should have been started! First, the imposter-in-chief outsourced H/C to Pelosi/Reid while he and his entourage went on a two-year oddesey to foreign lands….bashing Bush and apologizing for America. Then, when he returned to find his poll numbers down to 38% and suffered the greatest mid-term defeat in 70 years…the new Majority leader became his scapegoat. He told Congress to go to h*ell and said he was going to take his case ‘to the People’ ….and took off on a two-year cross-country campaign tour filled with lies, obfuscations, and executive orders.

    There is a better than 50-50 chance this diabolical Kenyan Marxist will get another bite of the apple. If he does, he will inherit his own filthy mess and he will have nowhere to hide and no one to blame. The damage will be irreversible..Americans will riot…and impeachment is sure to follow. He will end up in the dust bin of history.

  8. I worked in the Hart Building back in 2006-2008. For a time we had a office near junior Senator Obama. I was in a few meetings with him present and sadly he was more like Carol Mosely Braun than say a Clinton or a person that is well spoken even if they are jackals. He does not grasp business, law, or policy even on an academic level because he has zero experience in these areas. I deal with affirmative action people, female and minority in government all the time. Typically hired and given the title and then two other people are hired to do the work. That is what Obama is about with Lew being the brains around the WH.

    1. Great insider information. Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m not surprised with his lack of knowledge. You can’t go through high school riding around in a choom wagon and get accepted to ivy league universities unless you’re getting a mighty powerful hand up.

    2. Or…and this drives me straight up the wall. The people who have been around a long time in a government job/department, and they get promoted because of seniority, but they are seriously lacking in brains, motivation, professionalism, and skill.

  9. “The White House teed up 2012 with a spokesman’s remarkable statement that, “In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012 . . . the president is no longer tied to Washington,”

    Yes, Obama teed right up to the golf course and hasn’t been seen since. i read somewhere that he hasn’t had a morning economic briefing in at least a year. It’s not part of the morning daily briefings. I’ll try to find the article and link to it.

  10. Very interesting, Brian W. Before the election I remember one of the senior Senators (can’t recall who it was now ) groussing about the fact that Obama would rush down the Capitol steps whenever he saw a gaggle of reporters and cameras interviewing other Senators about the days activities. He would then proceed to hog the cameras and actually claim that he was the one who introduced whatever legislation they were discussing. This particular Senator was so furious, he said he was sorry he had befriended Obama. What a skunk!

  11. “In terms of the president’s relationship with Congress in 2012 . . . the president is no longer tied to Washington.”

    Well, we couldn’t have said it better. Now, can we make that permanent?

    “with Obama having little formal contact with even members of his own party while unceasingly wandering the country panhandling for campaign cash.”

    The Panhandler-in-Chief

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