Oh, this is dreadful. According to my New York Times, the President of the United States is powerless against the determined wishes of a minority in Congress, when his own party holds a majority in both houses. Do we need a Constitutional Convention?
From the Times coverage of the tax cut kabuki theater:
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is holding out for an extension of unemployment assistance and of a variety of expiring tax breaks for low-wage and middle-income workers as part of a deal with Congressional Republicans to extend all the Bush-era tax cuts.
But it is unclear how much leverage the White House has in the tax cut negotiations, given the drubbing the Democrats took in the midterm elections, the tight Congressional calendar, and a threat by Senate Republicans to block any legislation until the tax fight is resolved.
Never mind the President’s bully pulpit and his ability to grab the media’s attention. Last I checked, the Constitution gives the President a very powerful weapon against undesirable legislation. It’s called the veto. VETO. You can look it up.
So I’m recommending White House counsel acquire a copy of this ancient text, sit our President down, and make him listen as they carefully, slowly read the relevevant portions to Mr. Obama. Encourage him to ask questions. Explain how other Presidents have done this. Then leave a large chart with the text of the President’s veto power in the Oval office where he can read it on his own and marvel at the wisdom of the Founders.
Or the President’s advisers can spend some time discussing their next jobs and the meaning of a deservedly lame duck president.