Leon Panetta, former CIA Director and Secretary of Defense, told Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC that he thinks that Barrack Obama and his White House team have “given up.”
Says Panetta, “…I have a feeling that the leadership and the president have given up on the big issues facing this country whether it’s immigration or a budget deal or infrastructure funding or trade or energy. There is a sense that you can’t deal with that.”
If that is true—that Obama has “given up”–and even if it becomes a widespread opinion, the country is in trouble during the coming two years. At a point when the media and other elites conclude that a leader is no longer interested in his job and is just running the clock (to use a basketball metaphor appropriate to our current Commander in Chief), they start to find fault with everything he does. There is a tipping point, and the November election, if Democrats lose the Senate, could be that point.
What seems most likely is that the President hopes to rule by decree as much as possible. But, then, he already has been doing that. The way to get along with Congress, in his view, seems to be to ignore Congress and treat it as a mere annoyance. The trouble is, even Democrats in Congress now resent that attitude of contempt.
I have seen this sort of attitudinal change before: in the last years of Jimmy Carter.