Glenn Thrush, writer for the Politico, recently produced an e-book on the Obama campaign, that caused quite a stir. While many have focused on the many conflicts the campaign has suffered this year – an issue with which they did not contend with as much in 2008 – there is another damning aspect of the book that was vastly under-reported.
Essentially, the President was willing to place his re-election bid above the needs of our economy and our national defense.
Excerpts from the book claim that Obama rebuffed pleas from Nancy Pelosi of all people, to reconsider the sequestered defense cuts because doing so would make reelection more difficult.
Here are a couple of quotes from Thrush’s work that stand out:
“In mid-2012, the House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, requested a sit-down to ask Obama to reconsider the billions of defense cuts that would kick in automatically as part of the 2011 budget deal. The cuts included in ‘the sequester,’ she argued, would hurt Democratic House members with major defense contractors in their districts. They were asking for an alternative state of cuts, or any kind of plan that would keep local employers – and, by implication, local contributors – happy.”
“Obama told the former speaker what he had been saying for months – that he wasn’t budging on the defense cuts. Doing so would surrender his only leverage in forcing House Republicans to accept the expiration of tax cuts for the wealthy – the only weapon he had against their efforts ‘to delegitimize me,’ as he put it. Moreover, he bluntly called on Hill Democrats to reorient their priorities – from them to him. ‘Look, guys,’ he told Pelosi, Harry Reid, and several other congressional leaders, according to a person briefed in detail on the interaction. ‘I plan on winning this race. If I don’t win, then anything we say now doesn’t matter. I plan on winning this race. So let’s figure out how to win this race.’”
These are stunning claims that demonstrate a President willing to sacrifice the good of his own country, the good of the military men and women that he leads, for the good of his own political aspirations.
And now, Jake Tapper of ABC has another stunning followup to the story.
White House officials today acknowledged that they had not met the deadline to outline how the president would make the defense cuts required by law to be made because of the failure of the bipartisan, poorly-named Super-committee to agree on $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction over the next ten years.
Because of the failure of the Super-committee, a self-imposed sword of Damocles will fall, requiring $1.2 trillion in spending cuts that neither Democrats nor Republicans desire, specifically $109 billion from Pentagon and domestic spending in just the next year.
In the fine Washington tradition of never giving anything a name that makes sense to anyone outside the 202 area code, these cuts are called the “sequester.”
Cuts to military and defense spending to the tune of $1.2 trillion, AND the administration broke the law? Are you outraged yet?
Tapper outlines just how devastating this series of events is:
These cuts are set to take effect on January 1, coinciding with the expiration of $4 trillion in lower tax rates enacted into law by President Bush and extended by President Obama. Combined with the expiration of a payroll tax cut, the whole shebang – assuming no compromise is reached to delay the massive tax increases and spending cuts – is referred to as the “Fiscal Cliff.”
Weren’t Democrats trying to convince us last night that this President drives the car forward, while Republicans go in reverse? That might actually be a truthful statement – the Obama administration is trying to drive the economy off a cliff, and Mitt Romney is trying to backpedal away from it.
In a statement, Sen. John Thune, R-SD, author of the bill said that “Americans of all stripes are required to play by the rules and follow the laws of the land. Unfortunately, by disregarding the sequestration reporting deadline, the Obama Administration seems to think it is above the law. The American people deserve to know the president’s plan for implementing these cuts, some of which our military leaders have said will compromise our nation’s ability to protect itself. Every day that the administration delays being transparent with the American people on the sequester moves us one day closer to going over the fiscal cliff.”
Mitt Romney added the following statement:
“A year ago, Barack Obama set in motion the sequestration process that is leading to imminent disastrous cuts in our military might. The President is required by law to tell the American people how he would implement these cuts. But he has chosen to ignore the deadline for doing so. The American people have had enough of evasion and enough of finger pointing. They just want answers. Secretary of Defense Panetta has said these cuts will be devastating to our national security and our economy. It’s time the President stops stonewalling, stops dismantling our military, and starts providing answers.”