An actual quote from today’s remarks: “There are some in Congress right now who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.” To which Steve Hayes, irked by the sight of yet another straw man being torched, replies, “Who are they?” The answer, I can only assume, is congressional progressives: They’re the ones who refuse to budge on the ruinous Medicare spending that’s rocketing the country towards fiscal collapse, as doing so would forfeit their party’s big campaign issue next year. But in case The One’s referring to tea-party congressmen (as he surely is), what was amazing about the “don’t raise the ceiling” crowd during the debt debate is that they were prepared to absorb a ferocious backlash against their own party in the name of doing something significant, i.e. Cut Cap and Balance, to solve America’s debt crisis. Time and again they were told that the GOP would bear the brunt of public anger if we didn’t make a deal, but they preferred that outcome to a weak compromise because at least there’d be important reform as a result. I know Democrats cherish their belief that the right acts only out of personal pique, not principle — it’s all part of the delegitimization game — but the caucus really was trying to put country first in that debate. Their means and ends simply differ from Obama’s; the fact that The One interprets that the way he does says more about him than it does about them, but Democrats have been begging him to be “bolder,” especially in attacking the tea party, so presumably they’ll be happy today.
The two key sections in the clip below run from 5:30 to 7:15 and 11:00 to 13:00. The grand absurdity of this critique, of course, is that every move this guy has made in recent memory, from yanking troops out of Afghanistan by next year to offering a budget so timid that it received not a single vote in the Senate to deliberately refusing to offer his own deficit-reduction plan during the debt-ceiling debate, is geared towards maximizing his odds of reelection. (It’s, er, not working.) The very last person who should be lecturing others about putting the country ahead of a campaign is the Perpetual Campaigner. But he can really sell the above-the-fray crap, can’t he? Exit question: Wasn’t putting country over party actually the campaign theme of Obama’s last opponent? Wouldn’t be the first time he’s borrowed a slogan from a Republican.