Today’s news conference provided further evidence that President Obama is determined to push the debt ceiling crisis to the brink. In his statement, the president said nothing new, repeating his demagogic attacks on Republicans and claiming their stand against raising taxes is ideological while deeming his own equally ideological stand on the same subject is moderate and above the fray.
Obama’s position is consistent if unbending. He says the people are with him and the only thing Republicans can do is to accept his “balanced approach” and give in on taxes in order to avoid being blamed for the debacle of a default or government shutdown. The president didn’t budge an inch today as he patronized his opponents and asserted they were listening to no one but “lobbyists and special interests.” With rhetoric like that, how can we avoid the conclusion the president thinks it is in his political interest to bring on the very fiasco that he claims to be working to avoid?
The president was again guilty of everything that he accused the GOP congressional leadership of doing: posturing rather than problem solving and stuck in an ideological position with a refusal to admit the possibility a deal can be made on any terms but his own. He demands specifics on cuts and revenues from Republicans while making “concessions” on the out-of-control entitlement spending that is bankrupting the nation which remain amorphous and loosely defined. His claim to be a budget cutter after increasing the debt and entitlement spending via the stimulus and Obamacare during his presidency raises hypocrisy to an art form. Despite his claim to be the one who wants a long-term solution to the debt crisis, those are terms guaranteed to make any deal in the long or short term impossible.
He’s taking a big gamble not only with the country’s financial health but also with his own political future. He knows the poll figures he cites that back up his insistence on “revenue” increases are manipulated in order to get a result that doesn’t illustrate the people’s abhorrence of greater debt and opposition to raising taxes during an economic slowdown. The sinking economy Obama now “owns” will take a huge hit if he maneuvers the country into a partial government shutdown. He may say the voters are with him, but he’s kidding himself if he thinks he won’t be blamed for his role in this crisis.