Say I was in an argument with a family member, perhaps a family member that I didn't always get along with - but a family member non the less. A person that I would have to live with and deal with for the rest of my life. And a family member that in the end, I would have to admit that I loved.
Now in this argument, let's say I was WAY right and they just happened to be WAY wrong. But being a stubborn member of my family they were loathe to admit this.
Still, I lay out the evidence and decisively show that I am 100% right, and they are 100% wrong.
As they realize this, what should I do?
A. Do a victory dance and multiple hip thrusts in their face.
B. Smirk and pshhh and turn my back and mumble "whatever".
C. Be gracious and accommodating and even "admit" some fault of my own and find some way to give some ground even if I feel that I shouldn't give anything.
Do you see where I'm going with this?
First, a question.
What is leadership?
Is being arrogant and condescending with your opponents always the best approach? Even when your opponents are your fellow Americans? And not just fellow Americans, but fellow civil servants who love their country.
Is it wise to have an unrelenting and unbending ego that blinds you to the big picture?
If I say to someone that I feel I have humiliated, "Yeah, well that's what you get. NOW BEND DOWN AND SUCK ON IT YOU EXTORTIONIST ASSHOLE!!" Does that really get me where I want to go?
Now don't mistake my hypothesis here - I don't for a second feel that the GOP is entirely, or even largely wrong. But if I was a democrat, and my ship was on fire and headed for the rocks I might think twice about kicking republicans overboard just because they keep bothering me with a pesky fire extinguisher and keep grabbing onto the wheel.
Alas, I fear that our president is so hopelessly consumed by his ego, which is saturated with a dangerous infantilism that is fairly common for people his age and of his political bent - that he cannot for a moment see the forest for the trees.
Ultimately, it's his deep down fear and loathing of American exceptionalism that is blinding him to his obligations as our leader. So instead of stepping back and understanding, that just because he has the momentary tactical advantage - he shouldn't necessarily use it to crush his adversaries; as these adversaries are ultimately on the same team as he is. Ultimately, they are his family.
For me to unload on and humiliate an in-law, or a crazy cousin or uncle - just because I happen to be right on whatever topic has come up; would not only be selfish and childish, it would ultimately be destructive to my family.
Obama needs to take a breath, step outside of himself and understand that an unconditional surrender from the republicans simply isn't going to happen. He has within his grasp the ability to at least temporarily dodge the rocks and put a damper on the flames - and he can do it with saving face and getting almost all of what he wants.
But he CAN'T expect the GOP to turn their backs on the people that elected them and get nothing for their efforts. Even if, for arguments sake, we say that their efforts were entirely foolish.
For the record - I personally don't think the GOP was that far out of line; I would have preferred a fight for a delay of the ACA for the individual and a fight to make congress obligated to sign up for it. Not a fight to defund; Obamacare will undoubtedly crash and burn on it's own, but that's neither here nor there and beside my point.
If Obama thinks the GOP will blink at this point as the debt ceiling deadline approaches, he is a fool. And if we default it won't matter the amount of media spin - ultimately his administration, and he himself will bear the blunt of the blame for the beginning of the end in our country.