Shorter President Obama to Republicans: Please proceed, GOP.
A defiant Barack Obama dives into what could be a defining period of his presidency this week, after repeatedly enraging Republicans from afar during his Asia tour.
Obama faces showdowns with the GOP over immigration, the Keystone XL pipeline and his drive for a nuclear deal with Iran, all of which have huge consequences for his political legacy.
Far from being chastened by the Republican capture of the Senate, Obama is setting out to prove he is no lame duck and can still set the agenda.
But the GOP insists the mid-terms gave them a share of power in Washington, and believe Obama risks usurping his authority and even the constitution with his bold new strategy.
Obama chose a highly symbolic setting to set the tone for two final White House years in which he will face a unified Republican Congress.
Side-by-side in Myanmar with the world's most famous dissident, Obama refused to bow to what Republicans regard as the capital's new political "reality."
On the veranda of the lakeside villa from where Aung San Suu Kyi faced down a junta, Obama said he had long warned House Republicans he would use executive power to reform the US immigration system if they failed to.
"That's gonna happen. That's gonna happen before the end of the year."
The president doubled down in Australia on Sunday, before boarding Air Force One for home, saying he would be derelict in his duties if he did not act.
"I can't wait in perpetuity when I have authorities that at least for the next two years can improve the system," he said.
Good for President Obama. It's outstanding to see him not backing down and daring the GOP to make good on its threats. If they want to shut the government down again, let them.
Having said that, it's important to note that Democrats didn't take advantage of the last time the GOP did this, because the shutdown was immediately followed by the Obamacare "failed rollout" news, which of course was not a failure. Still, don't expect the media to keep pounding on the Republicans when this happens. Eventually the blame will shift to Obama for not giving in by our "liberal media".
Still, the GOP is about to fulfill every expectation of what liberals promised would happen in a GOP-controlled Congress, and it's going to be a rough two years for them.