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Ear to the Ground

Obama Is Going Over Congress’ Head

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Posted on Feb 19, 2013
White House/Pete Souza

President Barack Obama studies a challenge coin presented to him by an emergency responder during a greet in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building before remarks urging action to avoid automatic budget cuts.

On Friday, journalist and historian Jon Meacham said on HBO’s “Real Time” that President Obama should, like FDR and Ronald Reagan, ignore Congress and campaign directly to the American people. It appears that is what Obama intends to do.

The president made an appeal in front of emergency responders Tuesday at the first of a series of events designed to illustrate the impact of the automatic budget cuts set to take effect in March.

House Speaker John Boehner said Republicans have passed an alternative plan, but the president simply doesn’t like it. A spokesman for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor whined that the president “spent more time in 2013 with Tiger Woods than with all congressional Republicans.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell responded by saying the president shouldn’t be campaigning at all.

Since he was first elected in 2008, Obama has faced steadfast opposition in Congress. Even his most popular and compromised proposals have been a tough sell. It’s no wonder then that he feels the need to stage such events, hoping the American people will in turn put the pressure and the blame on their other elected officials.

So why did the public decide to return a divided government to power? Well, it actually didn’t. As you may have heard, in 2012, a majority of Americans voted to re-elect President Obama and a majority of Americans voted to send Democrats to the House of Representatives. It’s thanks to gerrymandering that Republicans came away with a 32-seat majority.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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