We the People

Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Politics and civil commentary with community columnist John Eyster.


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John Eyster
Monday, December 3, 2012


I HOPE SO! Do YOU? Let the REAL NEGOTIATIONS to deal with the "fiscal cliff" BEGIN?

GOOD NEWS with the reports that President Barack Obama did learn the hard lesson of his failure to REALLY NEGOTIATE as he started his first term as our US President. FINALLY, having been re-elected, President Obama is demonstrating that he has learned how to REALLY NEGOTIATE! I am among citizens who are HAPPY! Are YOU?

As I see it, the reality was that PROFESSOR OBAMA who was elected our President in November 2008 was Inaugurated on January 20, 2009 and moved into his “faculty office” at The White House. In retrospect, numerous observers comment on how PROFESSOR OBAMA thought he could sit in his office and then LECTURE as he had done when he taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School (1992-2004).

To be careful about titles, Obama was a “Lecturer” from 1992-1995 and then a “Senior Lecturer” from 1996-2004. There is the INSTITUTIONAL use of titles. In common parlance, the USUAL & CUSTOMARY title given to ALL persons instructing in colleges and universities is, “PROFESSOR.” I myself am a “Lecturer” for the Political Science Department of our University of Wisconsin – Colleges. I am routinely addressed “Professor” by students and my instructional colleagues and the administration in official communications. In some institutions, I would be identified as an “Adjunct Professor.”

Again and again through Obama’s first term, I was among citizens who were VERY FRUSTRATED by his PROFESSORIAL attitude & behavior. President Obama did NOT take the BULL BY THE HORNS and REALLY NEGOTIATE! That was one of the MAJOR worries I shared with many voters on November 6, 2012. I did vote for Barack Obama.

NOW I am more comfortable with PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’s style. I think it is NOW clear that BARACK OBAMA has shifted from PROFESSOR to PRESIDENT. What do YOU think?

Peter Baker reports in The New York Times that President Obama is NOW really NEGOTIATING and the GOP is having difficulty adjusting to the CHANGE OF SITUATION. The PRESIDENT has put his package for negotiation on the table. He now awaits the package for negotiation from the G.O.P. Why is the G.O.P. not responding? Did they forget how to NEGOTIATE?

You may want to read Peter Baker’s “Pushing G.O.P. to Negotiate, Obama Ends Giving In.”

I think Baker makes very significant points. I hope Speaker Boehner and other G.O.P. leaders in our CONGRESS (House and Senate) read Baker’s article.

Baker asserts, “Amid demands from Republicans that President Obama propose detailed new spending cuts to avert the year-end fiscal crisis, his answer boils down to this: you first.”

To my mind, Baker hits the nail on the head stating, “Mr. Obama, scarred by failed negotiations in his first term and emboldened by a clear if close election to a second, has emerged as a different kind of negotiator in the past week or two, sticking to the liberal line and frustrating Republicans on the other side of the bargaining table.” What do YOU think?

I agree with Baker’s review of OBAMA’s “weakness” – failure to REALLY NEGOTIATE during his first term. He argues, “His approach is born of painful experience. In his first four years in office, Mr. Obama has repeatedly offered what he considered compromises on stimulus spending, health care and deficit reduction to Republicans, who either rejected them as inadequate or pocketed them and insisted on more. Republicans argued that Mr. Obama never made serious efforts at compromise and instead lectured them about what they ought to want rather than listening to what they did want.”

The GIST of the present stand-off as articulated by Baker is, “Mr. Obama refuses to propose more spending cuts until Republicans accept higher tax rates on the wealthy, and Republicans refuse to accept higher tax rates on the wealthy while asking for more spending cuts.” I myself agree with PRESIDENT OBAMA. Do YOU?

Republican strategists argue that in resorting to campaign-style events to take his fiscal message to voters, Mr. Obama is overplaying his hand, much as President George W. Bush did after his re-election when he barnstormed the country in favor of a Social Security restructuring plan that he never successfully sold to leaders on Capitol Hill.

I myself am VERY GLAD that US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner represented the President on “Face the Nation” on CBS yesterday, stating that it is NOW up to Republicans to outline more spending cuts than Mr. Obama had previously put on the table. “Some Republicans apparently want to go beyond that, but what they have to do is tell us what they’re prepared to do. And what we can’t do, Bob, is sit here trying to guess what works for them.”

Baker asserts, “That represents something of a shift for Mr. Obama, who did try to guess what worked for Republicans in his first term. When he crafted a stimulus spending program to bolster the economy shortly after taking office, Mr. Obama devoted roughly a third of the money to tax cuts that he assumed Republicans would like. They did not. Likewise, his framework for universal health care included free-market elements that he thought Republicans would embrace. They did not.” GLAD that PRESIDENT OBAMA has LEARNED from experience. NOW, I do HOPE he demonstrates his mettle! Do YOU?

Here we go…

Mr. E.

Last updated: 10:33 am Wednesday, August 28, 2013

John W. Eyster lives in the Edgerton area. He is an adjunct professor assigned with the online/distance education faculty of Viterbo University, LaCrosse. He continues his personal mission supporting democracy/civics education in Wisconsin K-12 schools through Project Citizen, We the People, Discovering Democracy (Milton HS). John is a community blogger and is not a part of The Gazette staff or management.

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