Senator Jim Demint was quoted in 2009 as saying that the healthcare will be the President’s Waterloo. This reference was to the historical defeat at Waterloo that put an end to Napoleon’s rule as Emperor of the French. Well, he may have been right if the Senate did not overplay its hand. About two hours ago, the Associated Press reported on what I believe to be the Senate’s potential Waterloo. The article stated:
The Senate Tuesday rejected a plan backed by President Barack Obama to create a bipartisan task force to tackle the federal deficit this year despite glaring new figures showing the enormity of the red-ink threat.
The special deficit panel would have attempted to produce a plan combining tax cuts and spending curbs that would have been voted on after the midterm elections. The measure went down because anti-tax Republicans joined with Democrats who were wary of being railroaded into cutting Social Security and Medicare.
With Congressional public approval hovering in the teens, the President would do well by taking the bipartisan task force and hitting the Senate over the head with it until they submit. Even Republican co-sponsor of the plan Senator Judd Gregg voiced his disdain for the defeat:
Yet another indication that Congress is more concerned with the next election than the next generation.
Congress has been punch drunk on spending to excess over the past nine years. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. Both sides are party to the spending frenzy. At a time when some level of spending curtailment and reform is paramount to this country’s financial survival, the Senate balks.
The President would do well to use this issue and attack an institution that has approval ratings far lower than his own. If the President does not stand up to the Senate on this issue, he clearly lacks the leadership necessary to bring about real “change” to this country.