Thursday, December 13, 2012

BarackObama.com Unveils "Fiscal Cliff" Webpage Attacking the GOP

    In a tactic reminiscent of union negotiators, even as President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner to discuss how the "fiscal cliff" might be avoided, the president's lingering Barackobama.com campaign site was unveiling a new page [original deleted - cached here; cache now expired; screencaps here] entitled "FISCAL CLIFF: GET THE FACTS AND GET INVOLVED", attacking congressional Republicans for their plan:
  • Willing to taxes increase on the middle class and small businesses to keep taxes low on the most fortunate families.
  • Guts investments in education and other areas vital to rebuilding our economic future in the name of lower taxes for the most fortunate families.
  • Have proposed deep cuts in Medicare.
  • Would use the threat of damaging the full faith and credit of the U.S. government to force more spending cuts next year.
    Visitors then have the opportunity to see the impacts in their home state, followed by an action list which included calling representatives, calling or emailing friends, and calculating personal savings from the president's tax plan.  This follows the long established pattern from the presidential campaign.

    Was the website released in response to the outcome of the meeting?  It is difficult to say. Obviously the site has been in production for a while, but one assumes if significant progress had come from the talks, the Obama team would have held off on this assault.  The Washington Post reported the outcome of today's hastily called late-afternoon meeting:
President Obama summoned House Speaker John A. Boehner to the White House Thursday, but their talks over the looming “fiscal cliff” failed to break the impasse over taxes and clear the way for a deal to head off painful austerity measures set to hit in January.
After the 50-minute session in the Oval Office, aides to both men described the meeting as a frank exchange and said that the lines of communication remained open. But Boehner prepared to return to Ohio for the weekend, with no further negotiations on his schedule.
    The Post story is headlined "Obama, Boehner meet on ‘fiscal cliff,’ but no deal is reached," but the actual web address of the article includes how the story was originally presented by the Post: "gop-republicans-dig-in-on-fiscal-cliff-talks."  Whatever was discussed in the meeting, Speaker Boehner would probably be justified in feeling he'd been sandbagged by the White House as this new attack website was launched shortly after it ended.  One wonders what effect this tactic might have on those "lines of communication."

    One footnote: Even though this new "Fiscal Cliff" webpage concerns a policy fight between the sitting president and the Congress, the ubiquitous "Donate" button appears in the upper left hand corner of the page.  A full five weeks after winning re-election, President Obama is still not one to let a crisis, or a fund raising opportunity, go to waste.

Update:  Based on this tweet, it appears the Obama team held some kind of conference call/training last night regarding the fiscal cliff:

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