Barack Obama performed the latest scene in his ongoing "last reasonable man in Washington" reelection act today, during an impromptu White House press conference following the latest semi-failure of a debt ceiling meeting. Democrats need to untwist their panties about cutting entitlements. Republicans need to stop being monsters. John Boehner, though, is a great guy. C'mon, people: let's stop the nonsense and eat some goddamn peas.
Obama did break a bit of news in the conference. He won't sign a short-term debt ceiling hike of one or two or six or however many months, for additional negotiating time. This is America! he explained. We don't run our government in three-month increments, like some silly country of savages. We're better than that. And this is why we've... wasted several months debating how many trillions of dollars to make in transformational budget cuts while the 10-year Treasury yield is 3% and no one has a job or money?
Then a pivot, to criticize his nemeses, the Republicans. "I have been hearing from our Republican friends that it's a moral imperative for us to tackle our debates and deficits in a serious way," he began, in a light mocking tone. He continued by acknowledging that he has completely accepted this argument. "So what I've said to them is let's go. It is possible for us to construct a package to involve both parties to take on their sacred cows. We might as well do it now, pull off the band aid, eat our peas." Do grueling yard work, clean the toilet, drink poison, wax the floor with a toothbrush, push a boulder up the hill, take an uppercut to the balls, cut our wrists: If we don't do it now, then when?
Still, he understands John Boehner's political dilemma, and why he had to skedaddle from their plan to craft a $4 trillion "grand bargain" deficit-reduction deal, with $1 trillion coming from new revenues, once the dingbats in his caucus got wind of this. "The politics in his caucus have been very difficult," Obama said. "Folks are rewarded for saying irresponsible things to win elections." It's true! John Boehner, specifically, became Speaker of the House by leading such an effort. So let's empathize with him, and not demand that he ever put any pressure on his caucus to return to Planet Earth.
Talks resume this afternoon!
[Photo via AP]