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Opinion: Four More Years Of Gridlock

The Right Politics

The 2012 presidential election results gave the United States Congress little reason to end the gridlock that has plagued President Barack Obama for the past two years. After all, the politicians who have stopped Obama have little incentive to not continue stopping his moves since 49 out of every 100 Americans wanted Obama sent packing back to Chicago and only 50 out of every 100 have supported his extended stay in the White House for four more years.

More than simply the lack of a commanding vote of approval which the president obviously didn’t receive with the numbers that came up from Tuesday’s presidential election, the president has not changed in one crucial way in four years. He still does not know how to get people who disagree with him to work with him. Even the most liberal of Democrats must agree that Obama’s inability to get foes to work with him is severely impeding any progress this country.

Of course, the die-hard Obama supporters who got the president reelected talk about those “damn” Republicans who won’t work with him, and they refuse to admit that the lack of cooperation from others could have – and does have – most to do with President Obama’s lack of ability to compromise. Other presidents, including former Democratic President Bill Clinton, who worked wonders for the nation and, in particularly, for the nation’s economy, mastered the art of compromise. Clinton, of the Democrats, and Reagan, of the Republicans, knew how to sit down and talk to politicians – away from the media and public eye – and compromise. Until Obama learns how to do this – and there is little sign that he will develop this much-needed presidential characteristic since he hasn’t learned to do it in the past four years – the nation gets nothing accomplished other than those moves that are made without any Republican support.

Case in point – if Obama only would have made some compromises on the Affordable Care Act before passing it, it likely would be found palatable to more than 46% of Americans at this time, as 54% of Americans don’t want it. And there is no sign that the Republicans in Congress or the 54% of discontent Americans regarding the bill are going to stop complaining about it anytime soon.

Again, with the election results as close as they were, congressmen can point to the desires of their constituents to back their lack of agreement with Obama on most anything as they have in the past two years of Obama’s first term.

Obama’s lack of ability to compromise and total inability to “win politicians over” to his way of thinking is one of the biggest reasons Obama’s non-supporters wanted him out. Perhaps, for his own legacy, he should at least consider taking up the art of compromising and start meeting his political foes half-way during this second term. Such a change in Obama’s way of running the government is essential to any productivity in Washington, D.C. in the next four years.

Obama’s blaming of Congress for four more years is not going to get anything accomplished. But then again, he got elected on little more than a “blame Bush” and “blame Congress” campaign. So, he just might keep playing the “blame game” for four more years – with his supporters’ blessings, of course.

Whether Obama’s supporters demand it or not, it’s high time he starts working with and respecting the other people who got elected to Washington just as he did. Otherwise, get used to the gridlock because it’s going to continue.

About Scott Paulson

Scott Paulson writes political commentary for and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.


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