Liberals to Obama: Attack the tea party!

“I think they shoulder a major responsibility for the blame. They set the agenda,” Baker said. “The advent of such a large number of house members endorsed by the Tea Party made sure that budget cutting was going to be on the advantage. They pressed their advantage beyond which a point compromise was possible.”

Baker characterized the president’s pushback against the Tea Party as lacking muscle.

“The president has to put some muscle in his rhetoric and go after the Tea Party as home wreckers. I think the president in following his own precept in being a conciliator. It’s great and quite noble but he’s in a situation in which he really has to stand up for things in which he believes,” Baker said.

Democratic senators did not think Obama used his bully pulpit effectively to set up the negotiations.