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What President Barack Obama needs now is a very thick olive branch. For the next two years, Obama will likely resort to a little-used strategy to manage the Republican take-over of Congress: the art of compromise.

Now that Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, Obama is already planning to meet with incoming GOP Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over a glass of Kentucky Bourbon.

But it may take more than few shots of whiskey to bring Obama and McConnell to a political consensus on a range of critical issues. In Washington, “compromise” is such an ugly word. So here’s what a political gulf sounds like in the nation’s capital.

“Congress will pass some bills I cannot sign. I’m pretty sure I’ll take some actions that some in Congress will not like. That’s natural. That’s how our democracy works,” Obama said at a news conference Wednesday after a nationwide GOP beatdown.

“I don’t believe a thing he says,” Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Wednesday.

Many Republicans have no desire to work with Obama. They haven’t partnered with the president for the past six years and they probably won’t work with him tomorrow. I listened carefully to some Black folks who accused Rep. Marcia Fudge of being an alarmist.

Fudge, a Democrat from Ohio and chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, urged black voters to turn out strong to prevent the Republican control of the U.S. Senate. But they didn’t.

Two-thirds of the American public didn’t vote Tuesday, many of them African-Americans, citizens of color and young people. In Ohio’s Cuyahoga and Hamilton counties — the counties with the largest black populations — turnout was down 21% and 19%, respectively.

Some Black voters thought Fudge was running around screaming “the sky is falling” – but she was absolutely right: The sky did fall and it crushed Democrats all over the country.

Obama lost more Democratic seats in Congress (about 70) than any president in either party since WWII. But what does this stunning Republican landslide mean for African-Americans? Fudge says the GOP plans to cut domestic spending for health care, education and social service programs while also cutting minimum wage and rolling back Social Security.

She also believes Republicans will spend the next two years stalling Obama’s legislative agenda — initiatives that are designed to uplift African Americans, other people of color and the poor – and blocking important judicial appointments.

Democrats were desperate for Black voters to turn out in droves Tuesday to prevent the thumping that ultimately occurred. But did Democrats give African-Americans enough reason to vote?

And what about Democrats who ran from Obama? They distanced themselves from the President and still got clobbered. So much for that strategy. So now the Republicans run the show and Fudge is convinced that GOP leaders will soon move to impeach Obama. Maybe they will; maybe they won’t. But here’s where the subtly of compromise plays a pivotal role.

“On Friday, I look forward to hosting the entire Republican and Democratic leadership at the White House to chart a new course forward,” Obama said.    “Obviously, Republicans had a good night, and they deserve credit for running good campaigns,” the President said.

“What stands out to me, though, is that the American people sent a message, one that they’ve sent for several elections now. They expect the people they elect to work as hard as they do. They expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours. They want us to get the job done. All of us, in both parties, have a responsibility to address that sentiment.”

Today, Obama finds himself mired in his own teachable moment: He can grab a switch from the White House garden to whip Republicans — or he can offer them an olive branch.

The President has made some political missteps, but he vows to do whatever it takes over the next two years to help uplift the American people. I expect two years of dreadful partisan gridlock – but I believe him.

What do you think?

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19 thoughts on “Does President Obama Need An Olive Branch Or A Switch After Midterm Defeats?

  1. blackspeak on said:

    At this point it doesn’t really matter what President Obama does. He’s a lame duck on his way out of office. Its those who failed to “show up” and vote this midterm, especially blacks, the poor, the elderly and others, who will suffer if the GOP decides to more more arcane and punitive than they already have shown they could be. Until black folks learn that EVERY election is a GENERAL election, and forget about the belief that the midterm elections are irrelevant, they will continue to come up short. Sure, President Obama could have used a democrat-controlled Senate or House, to further push his agenda of more infrastructure initiatives to put millions of the unemployed back to work, get a minimum wage bill passed, and improve immigration reform, but none of this will be done. The GOP will pursue its dogged laser focus of repealing the ACA, which will help more people than it will harm, and pursue more and more abortion and same-sex marrige restrictions, more tax subsidies and breaks for the wealthy, with regards to the almost negligible middle class.

    • For everyone person the aka helped … 4 people have been negatively affected. When the aka provision kicks in next year for business’s over (50) employees it will be for every (1) person helped … (20) will suffer. There is a reason obama delayed the mandate for large business’s over 50 people until after the election. .
      it should be noted the architect of obamacare was caught on camera admitting they had to lie and deceive the american public to get it passed
      get educated about the truth

      • blackspeak on said:

        The ACA is not the end-all-to-be-all… It should be the foundation for a single-payer health care system, along with an expansion of medicare starting at age 50, which would be much better and cover more people.

  2. Star Parker on said:

    I am a black conservative. I believe in the truth of traditional values, of limited government, and free markets.

    And I believe in personal freedom and that it is not possible without all the above.

    Our country has been going in the opposite direction and things, predictably, have not been going well.

    The American people spoke last Tuesday, and I am happy with what they had to say.

    But I am also happy that we have, once again, proof that America is still a free country. That when the American people are not happy, they can vote for change.

    This is a great thing.

    But best is when we use this precious gift of freedom to learn and to grow.

    Freedom means making inevitable mistakes, learning from them, changing and improving.

    This points to two watershed events of this election. Election of the first black Republican woman to the US House of Representatives, Mia Love of Utah, and the first black Senator from the South elected since reconstruction, Tim Scott of South Carolina.

    Why should I raise the issue of race when both these newly elected members of congress have made it a point to reject race as an issue in their campaigns?

    In a post-election interview on CNN, when the issue of race was raised, Congresswoman-elect Love said, “This has nothing to do with race…I wasn’t elected because of the color of my skin, I wasn’t elected because of my gender. I was elected because of the solutions that I put on the table….”

    In a post-election interview with Glenn Beck, Senator Scott deplored the “race-baiting” of the Democratic Party during the election and said he is proud that “people in South Carolina vote their issues, vote their values, and not their complexion.”

    So why do I even bother to bring up the news about two new black Republican members of congress?

    I do in hope that black Americans across our nation will look at these two individuals, listen to what they have to say, and more will choose to embrace their message about the importance and beauty of freedom.

    As noted above, freedom is about learning from mistakes and growing.

    Black Americans have suffered greatly living under the thumb of government and believing it is a good thing. But if it truly is a good thing then, today, a half-century after the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, huge differences would not persist in average income, wealth, employment, and education between black Americans and the rest of the nation.

    Black Americans, like all Americans, are free. But blacks must step up and use this freedom to learn. It is time to take a different path. Embrace the freedom, and the personal responsibility that goes with it, that was achieved 50 years ago.

    Again in the words of Senator Scott, in response to being told that he was graded “F” by the NAACP. “….I believe progress has to be made and the government is not the answer for progress. I was a kid growing up in poverty. I had a mentor who was a Chick-fil-A operator named John Moniz who taught me that the brilliance of the American economy happens through business ownership and entrepreneurial spirit…success is possible if you, a/have a good education and b/ have a strong work ethic.”

    Or Mia Love at the 2012 Republican convention: “My parents immigrated to the U.S. with ten dollars in their pocket, believing that the America they heard about really did exist….When the going got tough, they didn’t look to Washington, they looked within.”

    This is not a time for pointing fingers, for blame.

    This is a time to rejoice in the blessings of freedom that Americans have and to pray that more Americans, and particularly black Americans, embrace it

  3. Hello,

    Don’t recognize me? That’s OK, I understand.

    My name was Antonio West. I was the 13-month old child who was shot in the face at point blank range by two black teens, who were attempting to rob my mother, who was also shot. I think my murder and my mommy’s wounding made the news for maybe a day, and then disappeared.

    A Grand Jury of my mommy’s peers from Brunswick, Georgia ruled the black teens who murdered me will not face the death penalty… too bad it was me who got the death sentence from my killers instead, because Mommy didn’t have the money they demanded.

    See, my family made the mistake of being white in a 73% non-white neighborhood, but my murder wasn’t ruled a ‘hate crime’. Oh, and President Obama didn’t take a single moment to acknowledge my murder. He couldn’t have any children who could possibly look like me – so why should he care? I’m one of the youngest murder victims in our great Nation’s history, but the media didn’t care to cover the story of my being killed in cold blood.

    There isn’t a white equivalent of Al Sharpton, because if there was he would be branded a ‘racist’. So no one’s rushing to Brunswick, Georgia to demonstrate and demand ‘justice’ for me. There’s no ‘White Panther’ party, either, to put a bounty on the lives of the two black teens who murdered me. I have no voice, I have no representation, and unlike those who shot me in the face while I sat innocently in my stroller – I no longer have my life.

    Isn’t this a great country, or what?
    So while you’re out seeking ‘justice for Trayvon or Michael Brown’, please remember to seek ‘justice’ for me. Tell your friends about me, tell your families, get tee-shirts with my face on them, and make the world pay attention, just like you did for Trayvon and Michael Brown.

    I won’t hold my breath. I don’t have to anymore,

    Antonio West

  4. Mooshells a tranny on said:

    I’m sure if you asked that down low knee grow he’d tell you what he needs. He needs to go on another vacation to Hawaii to suck off his tranny husband on the beach.

  5. “or a switch”……Michael Cottman I’m not sure if you came up with the title of this article, or if someone else did. Whatever the case the title is an embarrassment, shows amateurish journalism, and an insult to the President. The President is not a kid!!!

  6. lets hope obama finds the middle, just like clinton did. But I’m afraid it is not going to happen.
    obama will continue his course of creating more poor people ( more poor people = more voters for the democrats ) . Obama will also continue to reward his rich buddies by allowing cheap immigrant labor (bad for us) and screwing the middle class

  7. The Republicans “will reap what they have sowed.”. They have been nothing but obstructionists, never have an agenda, every plan they have is to take advantage of the less fortunate; and in the end, they will pay a big price for it!

  8. decpanthers on said:

    He is still the President and when he said he ain’t changing Obamacare the one piece of legislation that got them in a tif. Had the Obamacare been abolished they would have said it was a good plan. The Republicans put the power back in his hand. These fools in Georgia got Perdue going to the Senate and he outsourced jobs and we have the highest rate of unemployment and voted in a Governor who he said he wasn’t going to raise the minimum wage and yet they call Obama the worst politican. The Republicans complained about his policies but have not COME UP with any solutions. Pretty soon all of them are going to have egg on their faces just like they had egg on their faces when they thought Mitt was the President after 1 debate and he had 2 more to go.

  9. For 4 years the Republicans were accused of doing nothing or the party of NO well now
    Lets see if the President will be “The President of No “ the Reps attempted to pass dozens of bills through congress but Harry (the man of NO) Reid in the senate blocked them from coming to a vote now he’s history

  10. seriously on said:

    President Obama should go the way Bush did his last couple of years in the White House, when the Dems took over and would not compromise on anythind and that is execute his executive order when he can, after all they will not support him anyways…There is a good side to be maligned, you do not owe anyone anything and since they will fight against him for the right to not brush their teeth. F-em, and do what is necessary to help this country, which includes saving the country against its own ignorance.

  11. Repubs have never compromised or offered an olive branch. They are bullies who only care about themselves and are so deeply mired in their owns egos that they see nothing but the road to more wealth. 6 years they have done NOTHING. As Allen Clifton wronte in his article on the “forward Progressives” website, the republican lies were stronger than the democratic truiths. I credit Obama for keeping his cool, but Boehner’s comments yesterday about burning the president was racially charged and completely disrespectful of the office of the president. This man (and I use that term loosely) thinks HE is the president! Forget the switch, give them the chair.

  12. Well, people who did not vote are probably the ones that’s going to feel the effect of letting the Republicans get full control. People should “always” vote in elections!

    The Republicans also need to watch their decision-making, because they still have the 2016 election; and what they do in the next two years could effect their outcome. And I still think they rigged and bought the election.

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