Remember that feeling you had when you finished your last finals exam of the year in high school? How the wind blew perfectly when you walked outside. How the roses smelled a little more, well, rose-y. It didn’t matter what your grades would look like in a week, how your crush dissed you in front of your friends last month, because life is good. The bliss that existed between finishing your final exams and getting your finals grades was...liberating. You could stop caring and just enjoy being you. No pressure from friends or family.
I imagine that President Obama feels exactly like this. The six-plus years of entrenched battle with the Tea Party, the GOP, and even within his own party parallels the battle for high school summer. This type of liberation is typically seen with lame ducks. And while President Obama isn’t quite a lame duck yet, he’s sure as hell quacking.
The loudest “quack” right now is the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). What’s interesting about the TPP isn’t that a significant faction from a certain party is vehemently against it; it’s that the faction is within his own party. Democrat opponents of the TPP strongly believe that it will cause people to lose their jobs and open the floodgates for cheap imports that would subsequently weaken the economy. Supporters from the GOP (you read that correctly) are long-time believers in reducing trade barriers as much as possible.
Given partisan politics as we know it today, one would expect President Obama to “fall in line” so to speak (the President still has to answer to his party’s leaders), especially given the incredibly strong rhetoric his party members are using. But summertime is here and President Obama is showing the world that he is going to do what he wants to do. We can already see this shaping up to be an interesting story with the GOP-led Senate empowering President Obama. How this will end is anybody’s guess. Democrats are adamant in fighting the TPP and are emboldened by the backing of trade unions from every corner of the country. But one thing's for certain-- summertime is here and the president is liberated.