Obama on bus tour: I'll never apologize for being reasonable

Fair enough. How about apologizing for everything else?

I can’t believe I thought this bus tour was a bad idea. Good lord — it’s a bona fide content goldmine. Now I’m glad I’m paying for it.

Hitting back against an emboldened GOP, President Barack Obama launched a rare direct attack Monday on the Republican presidential field, criticizing his potential 2012 rivals for their blanket opposition to any deficit-cutting compromise involving new taxes…

“You’ve got to be willing to compromise to move the country forward,” the president said later in the day as he delivered the same message at a town hall in Decorah, Iowa…

“I make no apologies for being reasonable,” Obama declared as he stood in front of a cheery red barn, surrounded by bales of hay.

Remember how reasonable he was when he shamelessly broke his campaign promises about entitlement reform? And how, when Paul Ryan got exasperated at the lack of leadership on this issue of utmost fiscal gravity, he risked political destruction to offer his own solution instead — and got dumped on by Obama at a televised press conference for his trouble? That was pretty reasonable. How about when the “grand bargain” for the debt-ceiling deal was just about to come together, replete with $800 billion in new tax revenues, when Obama suddenly decided he needed another $400 billion in revenue or else his base would be grumpy? That was the end of the bargain, and the bill that did finally pass, of course, produced nothing in revenue. And yet, somehow, on the stump it’s all the GOP’s fault for not putting “country first” and compromising. Reasonable.

In case it’s not instantly obvious what he’s up to here, read Norman Ornstein’s piece at TNR about how an unpopular Democrat once won reelection by dumping on a “do-nothing Congress.” Six months ago, Obama’s model for reelection was Reagan ’84: All he had to do was wait for the economy to wake up and he’d glide to a landslide. Now that we know the economy will be comatose for the foreseeable future, he’s dropping Reagan and shifting to Truman ’48. If he can’t get traction by claiming his problems are all Congress’s fault, who knows where he’ll go next. Wilson ’12? Buchanan ’56? Adams ’96? It’d better be good because there are some mighty loud alarm bells already ringing.

Here’s Chuck Todd commending Obama for having “raised the bar” by promising to offer an economic plan that doesn’t actually exist yet. I wonder if it’ll be as exciting as that Obama budget that lost 97-0 in the Senate. Click the image to watch.

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