Obama’s Second Term Plan
Attack, attack, and attack some more.
Jan 21, 2013, Vol. 18, No. 18 • By FRED BARNES
He is proactive, however, in a different sense. Rather than compromise with Republicans, he prefers to bludgeon them into a deal almost entirely on his terms. The fiscal cliff deal seems to have whetted his appetite.
Obama is so eager to take on Republicans that he hasn’t bothered to produce a new agenda for his next four years. This is unusual. Presidents normally offer “A Road Map for the Future of America” or something like that, and perhaps Obama will do so in his Inaugural and State of the Union speeches.
But don’t get your hopes up. For now, the president is concentrating on leftovers from his first term—immigration, roads and bridges, energy, gun control. These are issues on which he appears confident of defeating Republicans and, if all goes well, harming them politically.
Tax reform, entitlement reform, serious deficit and debt reduction, a grand bargain on spending and taxes—those are off the table, given that they require real compromise on both sides. And though the economy is dragging and tax incentives and regulatory relief are needed to invig-orate it, these are off-limits to Obama. Is there anyone in his orbit prepared to step up and advise him to propose them anyway, for the good of the country? In a word, no.
Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.