Sunday, November 16, 2014

Let the Underestimation Begin...Again

We've seen so many patterns develop over the course or Barack Obama's presidency, from the rise of the Tea Party and their attendant obstinacy and insistence that the president is an illegal alien who's usurped the office and ruled illegally, to foreign leaders who see Obama as weak and unable to guarantee that efforts to change world events will pass muster in the US Congress, to liberals who are disturbed that he hasn't closed Guantanamo and continues to try and negotiate or compromise with a Republican party that will not do either, and then will turn around and accuse him of not negotiating or compromising. (That was all one sentence. Breathe.)

But now both right and left will make their third, and final, mistake, when it comes to the Obama presidency: underestimating him.

The GOP has made underestimating the president, and overestimating its own power and influence, an industry worthy of investment by the one-percent. They didn't think he'd be able to get things done in his first two years, then they thought that health reform was dead when Scott Brown was elected Senator. They then believed that they could stall his agenda long enough to stall the economy, then defeat him in 2012. Finally, they thought that the results of the elections two weeks ago would mean the effective end of his term, and that he would suddenly respect their power so much that he will now support the XL pipeline, slash taxes to the wealthy, militarize the southern border, and convince two Supreme Court justices to resign so he could appoint both Koch brothers to the bench.

So what does the president do? Signs a major climate agreement with China. Signs a trade agreement with China. Talks about sending more military reinforcements to Syria. And this week he will sign executive orders that will give up to 5 million immigrants the ability to obtain Social Security cards, driver's licenses and the peace of mind to know that families with illegal or undocumented parents will not be broken up. Meanwhile, people who try to cross the border will be stopped and deported, and not one immigrant will get legal status or citizenship, despite the GOP's interpretation.

Looks like this lame duck is roaring like a lion and stalking like a tiger.

Let the final underestimation begin.

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