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The House/Obama Compromise Question-- Should Obama Double Down and Go for BIG Change?

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What if Obama plays hardball with the Republican controlled house and forces them to either brutally punish their constituents with tax raises AND if he forces them to make it a federal law that gerrymandering of districts can no longer produce bizarre shapes and configurations to protect politicians-- that voting districts have to be as compact as possible? 

The Republicans are refusing to admit that Obama won with a big mandate. 

Expect John Boehner to operate with business as usual, sans the handful of seats the Democrats picked up, in spite of the gerrymandering that had been done to make it harder for Democrats to win. 

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell, in spite of an extraordinary repudiation of his GOP brand, will almost surely double down, if that's even possible, on filibusters. 

Pundits are saying that Obama will bend and compromise to work with Boehner and McConnell. But I am wondering. What if he doesn't? What if Obama has Pelosi and Reid proffer legislation that is populist, that reflects what voters really want-- legislation that Boehner and McConnell and their billionaire backers will choke on?

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What if Obama makes it clear that he will sign a bill that continues the tax break for the middle class, for people making under $250,000, but that he'll veto any legislation that continues breaks for the wealthy. 

Every tea-bagger will have to live with the label of having cost most of their constituents more taxes because of pandering to millionaires. 

What if Obama goes even further and ties a tax break to legislation that makes it a federal law that makes it illegal to create bizarre gerrymandered geographic configurations and requires early voting or dramatically reduced numbers of people per voting machine for a polling place?
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Here's a map of congressional district 13 in PA, after the latest gerrymandering, considered by some to be among the worst.

Here's the link to see other districts in PA that are equally ridiculous.

Here's another one-- PA District 11-- over 170 miles from NE to SW edges:

This kind of gerrymandering disenfranchises voters and protects the status quo. it would be easy to make a rule that no distance between two points in a district be more than 20% or 10% more than any other distance, and that no peninsulas or holes would be allowed in the map of any district. I'm sure there are well laid out approaches to eliminating these kinds of abuses. 

Obama has a big advantage now. The Republicans holding the house already have a horrible reputation. If they play hardball on tax breaks for the middle class, they will lose the next election-- big-time, and it will carry over to the senate so the Dems again control house, senate and White House. 

It could mean two years of gridlock-- gridlock caused and continued and perpetrated by the Republicans. If congress goes through another two years as a do-nothing organization the people will vote the do-nothings out. Back in 2010, the Republicans gained 60 seats. For the Democrats to take back the house, the'll only need to win 19 seats.  If the senate goes the same way in 2014 then it's possible the Democrats could actually pull full control of the house and senate. 

Of course, we're talking primarily about corporatists. But still, it's an interesting question. Should Obama hold out for populist legislation that protects the people who voted for him? Or should he betray them, and show he is making deals? 

Experience shows he won't wait, won't protect the constituents who elected him, won't help the Democrats win in 2014. I realize it would take discipline and toughness. It's a long shot. But I'm pretty sure if he took that route we'd end up with a whole new situation-- maybe a new nation. It takes guts and risk taking to make a difference. 


Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind.  Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives  one person at a time was too slow, he founded which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big)  to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project. 

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Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes. Rob is also published regularly on the

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...again, it will be the Democratic Party that wil... by James Hadstate on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 1:58:22 PM
Disppointing Jim is not the same thing as betrayin... by rob Chapman on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 2:13:30 PM
BHO has proven that he is little more than "the co... by Herbert Calhoun on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 3:03:13 PM
Somehow, the fact that he won that election by the... by Sister Begonia on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 11:12:54 PM
Boehner has not offered and acceptabel postion for... by rob Chapman on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 2:21:47 PM
Obama needs to get tough and propose "Wealth R... by Alan MacDonald on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 3:28:37 PM
While we're at it, let's appropriate the language ... by Jack Flanders on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 8:35:05 AM
and Tom Hayden says he shouldn't. It will be inter... by B. Ross Ashley on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 6:54:58 PM
And the gerrymandering maps.Yes, he should be toug... by BFalcon on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 8:25:16 PM
How about we stand behind him on one thing at a ti... by Lynne Kringler on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 12:01:19 AM
I plan to join any demonstration in DC that will s... by BFalcon on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 12:30:18 AM
The current level of gerrymandering is an abominat... by Ralph Dratman on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 10:12:49 PM
Absolutely!  Will Obama go for big change?&nb... by Sister Begonia on Friday, Nov 9, 2012 at 11:10:50 PM
Unless, of course, big change means taking away So... by Lynne Kringler on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 12:07:23 AM
Sister Begonia shalt.... by BFalcon on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 12:31:59 AM
The constitution of the USA gives states the autho... by rob Chapman on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 2:10:35 PM
... by MadAngel on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 4:38:26 PM
Obama is one of the most conflict averse President... by Carol Davidek-Waller on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 4:02:42 PM
Mr. Go-along-to-get-along?  We tied his hands... by Lynne Kringler on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 4:54:25 PM
Stop expecting him to cure everything at once. His... by Lynne Kringler on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 5:00:38 PM
come right out and say John Boner and the Republic... by David Vicks on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 7:54:48 PM
It's already ben proven with Bush's tax cuts hurt ... by David Vicks on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 9:50:13 PM
Republicans: Talk about them while they are i... by David Vicks on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 4:32:27 AM
We do our best work when we don't allow the republ... by janet O'Connell on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 10:50:12 AM
which of course is partly owned by GM and so even ... by David Vicks on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 5:38:29 PM
I hate that phrase and this idea that Bill O'reill... by David Vicks on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 7:03:55 PM