Obama on the People's House
His polling numbers continue to slide in the midst of debt ceiling negotiations that are as stagnant as the economy. Consequently, our President has gotten desperate, and desperation is hardly a friend of level-headedness.
Obama campaigned as a populist-as a man of the people who would go to Washington and serve their interests. As time went on, Obama pushed policies that were decidedly unpopular. His "czars"-all of them undeniably and unashamedly liberal-deliberately avoided the constitutional (and for Obama, inconvenient) process of confirmation in Congress. He forced through a very unpopular health care bill, so much so that it was the key thrust that resulted in the "shellacking" of Democrats last November. Despite his actions, Obama still managed to play the populist role. He was doing these unwelcome actions for the sake of the American people.
As the debt ceiling negotiations have sent him further into desperation, Obama's true colors have shown. This has perhaps never been so obvious as in his comments to Hispanic-rights group La Raza earlier this week.
Perhaps Obama is attempting to capitalize on the numbers that show that 46% of Americans believe Congress is corrupt, or perhaps he believes the American people assume their politicians are as philosophically distant from them as they are geographically.
Regardless of his intention, what Obama has probably forgotten in his desperation is that Congress -- and particularly the House of Representatives -- is the most direct representation of the American citizenry that we have in the federal government. We voted for these people because, presumably, we believe they best represent our districts. When Obama attacks the House of Representatives, he is directly attacking the American people who voted for them. After all, that is essentially the definition of a representative-one who stands for many.
Obama told La Raza that "Some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own, and believe me, right now, dealing with Congress, the idea of doing things on my own is tempting."
Let's read between the lines:
"Believe me, right now, dealing with the Republicans in the House, the idea of doing things on my own is tempting."
Now let's incorporate our definition of congressional representative:
"Believe me, right now, dealing with these American people who gave Republicans the House, the idea of doing things on my own is tempting."