Obama needs to make the tea party fear him

In the coming fights over the next budget, unemployment benefits and payroll tax cuts, I want Obama to show the Republican Party in general and the Tea Party in particular that he isn’t afraid to out-crazy the crazies. If that means vetoing bills, taking the fight to individual districts, shutting down the government, so be it.

Of course, the expiration of the extension of the Bush tax cuts in December 2012 will be a major flash point and may require the president to take on his party. As Ezra Klein correctly points out, “[t]o govern responsibly, Democrats cannot simply raise taxes on the rich and call it a day.” Hopefully, by the time that fight is upon us, the folks at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue will have learned that he is not someone to be messed with.