The quarterback needs a pep talk

  • President Obama
President Obama (MCT )
December 07, 2011|By John Giokaris, For RedEye

Imagine if national politics were a Bears game. The Democratic Senate is the elusive running back, the Republican House of Representatives is the loud and brash wide receiver and President Obama is the quarterback who makes it all come together.

They may not all get along in the locker room, but they're on the same team. And don't look now, but it's late in the fourth quarter and the home team is down by a touchdown. You thought the Bears had a hard time scoring 7 against Kansas City on Sunday? Try closing a budget deficit in the trillions of dollars.

Now imagine the politicians blow it, leaving everyone disappointed and angry. That's not too hard to imagine after the debacle against K.C., right? That's pretty much how we should feel about the Super Committee's choke job on closing the deficit.

Last week, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie lambasted Obama for his lack of leadership during the Super Committee's failed attempt to make $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. When he heard the president mention that he wasn't going to get involved, the Republican governor asked, "What the hell are we paying you for?"

He's absolutely right. Getting the president to lead on anything is proving to be harder than getting Kris Humphries to sign divorce papers.

There have been genuine bipartisan opportunities in Congress to enact real pro-growth tax reform, real job creation and real debt reduction, and the president's been MIA in all of this. As recently as September, a group of 36 Democrat, Republican and Independent senators, including Illinois Dem Dick Durbin, endorsed a plan in favor of cutting taxes and closing special interest loopholes, and Obama has failed to act.

As Christie pointed out, "If [Obama] wanted to run for Senate again and just be 1 of 100, I'm sure he could have gotten re-elected over and over again in Illinois."

Someone needs to remind Obama that he's an executive now, not a legislator. We elected this guy to be our president to take bold measures, to make hard decisions, and to lead us out of this mess, and he's punting it all to the next election instead. In football terms, he's a quarterback who's playing "not to lose."

The Republicans still are there, in the locker room and on the field, ready to work together to identify spending cuts, but Obama's basically folding his arms and giving up on the passing game. He just keeps handing everything off to the Senate, taking all the pressure off him. Lousy strategy. Even Lovie Smith has to agree, and his team just lost to the lowly Chiefs.

What are we waiting for? As Christie said, "It's not good enough just to say, 'Well, I'll get it done after the election.'" The American public needs solutions now—and another year of uncertainty won't give voters much faith in a president seeking re-election.

But at the very least, can we all agree that the Bears need to win this week at Denver? I mean, have you SEEN Tim Tebow throw a football?


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