Had it not been for an apparent “purge” of conservative Representatives from the House Financial Services and Budget Committees, I would herald House Speaker John Boehner for his delicate balancing act as he faces a most difficult situation, trying to stand up for fiscal responsibility against a White House intent on playing political games, often with the cover of the national news media.
Yesterday, Boehner offered a sensible “counter” to the President’s fiscal cliff proposal, though John Hinderaker thinks it “incorrect” to describe it as such, considering that “Obama hasn’t made an offer concrete or credible enough to be described as a proposal.” Without a proposal, there’s can’t be a counter.
Boehner has given a little bit on the revenue side, earning on the ire of some on the right.
Instead of welcoming the Republican attempt to compromise, Obama and his team have dismissed it out of hand, with the president himself calling the plan “out of balance” (a term which could more accurately be used to describe the president’s plan).
. . .it is not at all clear the White House is going to bother making any counteroffer, making it sticky for all those indignant lefty pundits who hollered that the president deserved a response to his offer. Now that he got one, what is the excuse for him declining to respond?
Wouldn’t a grownup in such negotiations make a counter offer? Or at least respond in a more civil tone to the Republican proposal?
Perhaps, the president’s goal is to take us over the fiscal cliff so he can blame Republicans. He does seem more interested in demagoguing the issue in campaign-style appearances and media interviews than in dialogue with top Republicans.
The election is over and the Democrat is still playing politics. Even the voice of the Beltway establishment, David Gergen, thinks the Obama Democrats would rather humiliate the GOP than resolve the issue. Charles Krauthammer agrees, saying his response is “all about politics“.
Kudos to Speaker Boehner for trying. If we had a fair media, he would win the public relations battle, putting the Republicans in a much stronger position than they were just after last month’s debacle.
Even with an uneven playing field, Obama’s overreach still gives Republicans an opportunity.