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Barack Obama, Negotiator

At his press conference yesterday:

The president demanded that the Republicans surrender their most powerful bargaining chip—the debt ceiling—first and then “I’m happy to have a conversation about deficit reduction.” Translation: Give me everything I want first and then we’ll talk.

He threatened that “If congressional Republicans refuse to pay America’s bills on time, Social Security checks, and veterans benefits will be delayed.” Translation: I’ll choose not to pay the bills that will cause maximum political blow-back and the mainstream media will see to it that the Republicans bear all the blame.

He lied that “The last time Republicans in Congress even flirted with this idea, our AAA credit rating was downgraded for the first time in our history.” It was, of course, downgraded for the long-term outlook of the federal government’s finances, not for any delay in raising the debt ceiling.

He blamed “some House Republicans, [for insisting] that, ‘Nope, we gotta do it our way. And if we don’t, we simply won’t pay America’s bills.’” Translation: I get to refuse to negotiate, you don’t.

He slandered the party that controls one house of Congress: “But it seems as if what’s motivating and propelling at this point some of the House Republicans is more than simply deficit reduction. They have a particular vision about what government should and should not do, so they are suspicious about government’s commitments, for example, to make sure that seniors have decent health care as they get older. They have suspicions about Social Security. They have suspicions about whether government should make sure that kids in poverty are getting enough to eat or whether we should be spending money on medical research.” Translation: Republicans want children to starve, old ladies to freeze in their beds, and cancer to run rampant.

He implied that Republicans favor “corporate loopholes” in the tax code by saying that “it makes a lot more sense for us to close, for example, corporate loopholes before we go to putting a bigger burden on students or seniors.” Translation: My billionaire pals, such as Hollywood, “green energy” crony capitalists, and Chuck Schumer’s hedge fund tycoons paying only 15 percent on their nine-figure incomes, keep the loopholes I insisted on including in the fiscal cliff deal. The brain-dead Washington press corps will never call me a hypocrite.

I have only one question. Where did President Obama learn the art of negotiation? Ramallah?


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