Republicans’ new foe: Barack Obama, guerrilla warrior

Gone is the meek newbie who wanted nothing more than to be conciliatory so that he could get things done when dealing with the folks on Capitol Hill.

The days of  cave-ins and dashed dreams of real hope and change no longer exist.

A new term is approaching  and the President of the United States intends to show Congress that he’s willing to do a little give and take to make things happen, but not like it was in the last four years.  The next four years will be different…

Fortune

Barack Obama handily won the November election. He cleaned the GOP’s clock in last week’s fiscal-cliff deal, seizing control of a supposedly Republican-controlled House. Now congressional Republicans, with a co-joined L on their foreheads and still leaking public support, can look forward to being out-maneuvered in an unwelcome string of upcoming legislative brawls.

As President Obama approaches his second inaugural, one thing has become clear: The 2008 peacemaker politician has emerged as a skilled guerrilla warrior. If Bill Clinton’s tactical legacy was disarming his opponents by stealing their ideas — welfare reform, “personal responsibility,” cutting spending — Obama’s may be his skill at dividing to conquer his Republican foes.

Conservatives were once the reigning champs of honing in and exploiting an opponent’s weakness. Under this President, Lee Atwater’s Sun-Tzu quoting descendants have met their match.

Republicans are gamely trying to spin the fiscal cliff deal as a victory — 99% of the Bush tax cuts enshrined as permanent! But here’s what Obama got: A pass on entitlement reform (which now recedes to the “unlikely” category even as debt-to-GDP ratios threaten the economy); the public triumph of his election-year narrative that taxes are about “fairness” not economic growth; and a chance to divide Republican ranks between those fearful of being blamed for economic chaos and those fearful of losing conservative supporters.

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