Third Party & Independents Archives

Divots not Pivots From the White House

Who in Obama’s inner circle invented the Pivot-Figure-of-Speech-Thingy? Did the President himself after a game of hoops with his security staff start using the term in a meeting? Did they decide to use it later in press briefings? While it may seem a little silly to speculate on such a topic, what is definitely beyond silly is the overuse of the term, which has now made another appearance, as Obama is apparently planning a “pivot to lawmakers” as reported in the WSJ. That’s a total of perhaps over 14 pivots, and the jokes about spinning in circles and pivoter-in-chief are barely funny anymore. The only remaining question is, is the whole pivot thing a snotty little fraternity house insider joke? Especially in this latest use of the term. After executive action on immigration and Cuba, two vital issues that the President did an end run around Congress on, what possible meaning does a pivot to lawmakers have? Aside from a wink to his own supporters?

The better sports metaphor is, in fact, golf. It's really about divots not pivots. Obama is not on the same court as Congress engaged in vigorous competition, he's off by himself on a sequestered golf course, swinging his clubs at his distant adversaries and leaving chunks of dirt and turf in his wake; ugly little precedents on executive action that may, and likely will, allow future occupants of the White House to undo what Obama did. And as much as his staff may try to repair the damaged grounds, the cracks are clearly visible and mark a future path that is not a particularly pretty, especially for members of Congress. So perhaps one could say that Obama is divoting the Constitution, throwing chunks of turf at the separation of powers, whether he originally intended to or not. And by now, he should fully realize the consequence of what he has done. Maybe there's a good reason that most of America's recent presidents were either governor immediately before, or at some point before, becoming president. Or were vice-president. They had to learn to govern in conjunction with a legislature, or watch from the vice president's office while the president governed. Obama's rise to the White House was astonishing. No one in either party would have predicted it a few short years before he won. His legacy will be something else, however.

Posted by AllardK at January 6, 2015 7:59 PM
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