By Susan Duclos
Let's start with a number of inarguable facts:
1) Before the 2012 elections, Democrats controlled the US Senate, Republicans controlled the US House of Representatives and Barack Obama, a Democrat, held the presidency.
2) After the 2012 election, Democrats controlled the US Senate, Republicans controlled the US House
of Representatives and Barack Obama, a Democrat, held the presidency.
3) Despite ranking Congress with low ratings before the 2012 election, American voters reelected Barack Obama, but also reelected Republicans to control the House of Representatives, therefore controlling the purse strings.
Those are facts that are not disputed by anyone.
Americans Voted For Status Quo, Give It to Them GOP
Americans voted for the staus quo, to keep the Washington make up exact how it has been for the last two years, despite bitterly complaining about how Washington can get nothing done.
Nancy Pelosi, minority leader in the House, said that Democrats would take control of the House of Representatives and enough voters cast votes to reelect Obama to have also cast the votes to hand Democrats the House.... they didn't.
Out comes John Boehner with an initial negotiating offer for the fiscal cliff, putting $800 billion in new revenues on the table, without raising taxes... something Barack Obama himself proposed in 2011, as a show of compromise.
Obama counters that with a proposal that offers nothing by way of compromise, spends another $255 billion in new "stimulus, raises taxes. The proposal was so preposterous that one GOP Senator actually laughed out loud and evn the Democratically controlled Senate refused to bring Obama's proposal to floor for a vote.
Obama and Democrats have absolutely no problem continuing on with the status quo of the last two years, so why should Republicans try to break through that blockage?
Why bang your head against a brick wall when the people, the voters, voted to keep that wall in place?
There is an old expression "actions speak louder than words." The results of the 2012 election was the action, so the words --- the complaints, the constant refrain of 'work together" --- are meaningless when confronted with the voter's action of casting their vote for status quo.
In July 2011, John Boehner walked away from talks when Obama moved the goals after they had initially constructed a framework for a deal, and despite polling and dire predictions for the GOP, at the time saying the GOP would be blamed, 2012 rolled around and voters elected the GOP right back into the majority of the House.
The GOP was installed, again, as the firewall against Obama and Democrats. That is what Americans voted for in 2012.
Instead of negotiating with each other, Republicans should insist Obama start negotiating in good faith, or Speaker Boehner should walk away from the talks.
Speaker Boehner, the GOP also won an election, start acting like it.