Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Anger, Anxiety, and Legislative Legerdemain

Skill in or practice of feats of magic, jugglery, sleight of hand, trickery.


As tonight’s second GOP debate approaches, I ask- Will it be about Trump’s boastful message of making America great again or Obama’s legerdemain?

Trump is a master at tapping into public anger over the political class and their inability to break the political deadlock over how to stimulate the economy, unshackle innovation, provide health care relief for the middle class, and tackle the chaos of the Middle East.

But the majority of the public has yet to show anger at Trump’s policy contradictions or his lack of specific proposals. Unlike Bill O’Reilly, who says the public is deeply angry at politicians and their lack of performance, Charles Krauthammer defines the public mood as “anxiety” over the direction of the country.

Is the public angry over Obama as a leader? Hard to tell. 50% disapprove of his performance, approve. The are angrier at Congress, which earns a 75% disapproval rating, or the direction of the country a 61% disapproval ranking, according to Real Clear Politics polls.

But one thing is for sure. Obama is a master of political legerdemain. He insists his health plan is a success because his health exchange subsidies have benefited 10 million uninsured people, 3% of the population, while 33 million, 10% of the populace remain uninsured and national polls continue to show disfavor-over-favor the health plan by 10% margins.

The legerdemain is more evident with the Iran deal, which about two-thirds of the public disapprove. Somehow by calling the deal an executive agreement rather than a treaty, Obama was able to get it passed with only a 1/3 approval of Congress.

Obama, it seems, can “do deals” without compromise and without Congressional approval through executive fiat. Whether this legerdemain is necessary because of his lack of experience, his inability to relate to Congress, or his ideology is open to question, but it has left an opening for Trump, who boasts he can “do deals” and overcome political incompetence.

In my case, I would point out the public and political anger is not new, as I indicate in this October 2013 blog.
Looking Back in Anger over ObamaCare

Look Back in Anger.

John Osborne (1929-1994), title of play (1956)

Everybody, especially the American public, is angry about ObamaCare and its baleful effect on the debt ceiling debate.

I am interested in the impasse because I have a book at Westbow Press, a branch of Thomas Nelson publishers, due out before Christmas, entitled Understanding ObamaCare.

It’s About Anger

ObamaCare is about anger- anger over 50 million uninsured, anger over high health costs, anger over the nature of the health law passage, anger over its mounting expense, anger over its broken promises, anger over its unanticipated consequences, anger over its effect on the full-time economy, anger over misinformation and lack of information, anger over failure of political parties to compromise and reach a consensus.

Source of Anger

This anger dates back to the parliamentary chicanery surrounding its passage without a single GOP vote and without consulting Republicans. Anger over the health law was responsible for the Tea Party rise and Democratic loss of the House of Representatives. Anger boiled over into the 2012 Presidential campaign. Anger fueled use of words like “anarchists,” “terrorists,” “extremists, ” and “right wing nuts” to describe the Tea Party. Anger culminated in the House-Senate-Presidential-Red State standoff, partial government shutdown. and threat of government default.

Momentary Insanity

Anger is momentary insanity. What begun as anger has ended in hurt for Veterans and government employees and shame of both political parties. In the case of ObamaCare the greatest remedy may be delay with negotiation.

Anger has fueled debate over ObamaCare and led to partial government shutdown and the threat of government

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