American Enterprise Institute’s John Fortier: Government Gridlock if Obama Can’t Move to the Middle

Kicking off his nationally syndicated “Neal Asbury’s Truth for America Show” on WZAB-AM, Neal Asbury opened the show by suggesting it was time for the administration to stop looking for reasons to explain their failure during the midterms, and to stop blaming it on poor communication. “It’s not about what they said, it’s what they did,” said Asbury.

Asbury took the administration to task for their failure to successfully advance America’s policies during President Obama’s Asian visit. “China actually has assumed the senior role in the US/China relationship and took a neutral stand after North Korea attacked South Korea. Germany has broken ranks with the US. The G-20 rejected US economic policies, and South Korea rejected the Free Trade Agreement that was forged three years ago,” said Asbury. “We have become a fading power. We will only be treated as a superpower again when we change our national leadership,” concluded Asbury.

Neal’s first guest on Truth for America was John Fortier, a scholar with the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and principal contributor to the AEI-Brookings Election Reform Project and executive director of the Continuity of Government Commission. A political scientist who has taught at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Delaware, Boston College, and Harvard University, Mr. Fortier has written numerous scholarly and popular articles.

Fortier suggested that the election results in 1994 and 2010 share similarities for Republicans, but also presents a warning against taking their new plurality for granted. He pointed to 2006 and 2008 as good years for Democrats, and that the Democratic majority gave way to relative parity in 2005 when President Clinton was able to move to the middle from the left.

“Obama is facing ideological differences over the debt and the deficit. I don’t see any room for compromise. Congress is too polarized. Pelosi also has made it clear that she is not willing to compromise. But somebody is going to have to blink on the Bush tax cuts,” said Fortier.
Fortier predicted that Obama will take the tax extension off the table, and that the Bush taxes will be extended or at least two years. “Let’s see what happens in 2012,” said Fortier.
Fortier believes that the START Treaty will be passed, but not his year, and that Obama will be able to work with Senator John Kyl, the lead START negotiator.

To win in 2012, Fortier predicted that Obama will have to win at least two out of the three large Midwest industrial states: Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan. He also predicted that Obama won’t carry Florida, North Carolina or Indiana, and that Wisconsin is a 50/50 proposition.

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