I think we now know what has driven this presidency into the dumpster. Just like Bush, this guy is consumed with building a legacy, and nothing else. He stands for absolutely nothing but his own image. It is utterly shameful. About the only thing one can say to sort of give him a pass is that it probably is largely generational. Like Bush, he really is seriously afflicted by the narcissism of the so-called "me generation."
First, he persisted and persisted and persisted in watering down and dismembering and degrading genuine health care reform, just so he could get something, anything, he could misrepresent as an accomplishment, instead of the catastrophic failure it turned out to be. And his prime enabler, VP Biden, was all too happy to publicly tell him it was a "big f'ing deal." Well, we all know it was an f'ing, alright.
It dealt a death blow to any possibility of establishing a legitimate national health care system in this country for at least another decade or two. But the lame Democratic party, falling right in line like Biden, picked him up and put him on their shoulders as if he had won something, and he has been foolishly walking around with his chest pumped up about it ever since.
This brilliant accomplishment only whetted his appetite for doing great things. It set him up perfectly to be suckered into the lunacy of the manufactured debt ceiling crisis. He could have simply stood his ground as any reasonably strong president would have when subjected to blackmail. He could have and should have just shrugged off the ridiculous threats to send the government into default. He could have and should have plainly assured the Congress and the country that he would order the Treasury to continue to pay the bills, as is the duty of the president. He could have and should have preserved the integrity of the office itself, but he did not. You see, it's hard to stand your ground when you're running around trying to do great things.
At one point, he unbelievably compared himself to Lincoln. Makes you want to heave. Even the very language he used early on in describing what he imagined he was doing was revealing and unsettling. He told us that he and Boehner were working on a "Grand Bargain." How's that for modesty? He couldn't even wait for others, much less history, to decide how this grand escapade would come to be seen. But it really didn't matter anyway, for it was all a farce. Boehner and McConnell were playing him like a drum. They just beat the sillies out of him, the same way he had been beaten in the health care fiasco.
Hubris has a terrible price. But this is a bill we and future generations will have to pay. It is hard to say what the actual cost will be. Who can put a price on what social security and medicare mean to this country and its citizens? It is not too much to aver that destroying them would translate into the end of a real and stable middle class, and a serious demotion for the country as a whole, from first world to third world status. All of that is what this delusional latter day Lincoln "put on the table" for the predatory plutocrats to feed upon.
Another great accomplishment, Mr. President. Perhaps, as my wife joked this morning, you can go off and build houses like Jimmy Carter if you really want to be remembered for something good. Soon.