President Obama is using the same "rope a dope" strategy on the GOP that the great Muhammad Ali used to defeat George Foreman in their famous 1974 "Rumble in the Jungle."
Ali taunted Foreman, folded into a clutch, leaned against the ropes and allowed himself to be beaten on his arms and shoulders for seven rounds. Ali was tough and the ropes helped absorb the blows. After Foreman tired, a still-strong Ali knocked him out in the eighth round.
Here is how President Obama's three-step strategy works.
Step one: The President is taunting Tea Party Republicans by refusing to even negotiate their demand to delay Obamacare as a condition of financing the government and raising the debt ceiling.
A giddy House GOP is not only closing much of the federal government as of October 1, they are threatening to default on the national debt in mid-October. Their ransom demand includes:
- Delay Obamacare for one year;
- Authorize building the Keystone pipeline;
- Suspend coal ash regulations;
- Allow more offshore drilling;
- Open federal lands to energy development;
- Suspend EPA carbon regulations
- Require all federal regulations to be approved by Congress;
- Cut federal retirement benefits
- Cut the child tax credit benefits and eligibility;
- Repeal social service block grants to the states;
- Means test Medicare;
- Prohibit various types of lawsuits against corporations;
- Authorize fast track tax reform which means more tax cuts for corporations and the rich;
- Repeal the Public Health trust fund;
By making their demand, the House Republicans have fallen into the president's political trap. They will be creating a global crisis that only Mr. Obama can prevent, which leads us to the second step in his strategy.
Second step: President Obama will wait until the last moment before a federal default, make a national speech about the irresponsibility of the Republicans and then pay the debts of the United States government using his authority under Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to the Constitution which provides:
The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.
Step Three: The House Tea Party Republicans have been frothing to impeach President Obama since they got there in 2011. After the President springs his trap, they are sure to file an article of impeachment and threaten to "primary" any House Republican who opposes them.
Thus, President Obama is likely to be impeached (that is, indicted) in early 2014 for preventing a default on the national debt.
The trial for removal from Office will take place in the Senate, as happened with President Bill Clinton a decade and a half ago. Chief Justice Roberts will preside and Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) will surely want to lead the prosecution.
A Democratically controlled Senate, backed up with votes of centrist Republicans, such as John McCain, will never convict the President. But the drama will sear into the public's mind just before the 2014 mid-term elections that today's Republican Party is unable to govern responsibly.
In turn, the Democrats are likely to make a massive sweep in the 2014 mid-term elections. With a strong majority in both the Senate and House, President Obama will then be able to complete his agenda in the 114th Congress and also put another Democrat into the White House in the 2016 election, thereby preserving Obamacare and the rest of his legacy.
Democratic victories in 2016 will also allow President Obama and his Democrat successor to create a more liberal Supreme Court over the next 7 to 11 years, which can reverse some of that Court's worse recent decisions, such as allowing corporations to contribute to political campaigns.
The irony of the President's rope a doping of the Tea Party is that it is likely to enable Democratic control of the Presidency and Congress for a generation or longer, just as myopic and mean spirited Hoover Republicans did so for FDR and the New Deal in the early 1930s.