Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Flash Mob Punditry: Villager's Reaction To Obama's Speach And Boehner's, um, Answer

Immediately after Obama's address to the nation about the GOP created debt crisis, which he closed by asking that Americans contact their representatives to demand progress, the reaction from the vox populi was clear. Even before House Speaker John Boehner delivered his non-response response, Internet traffic in the US spiked sharply. Servers handling traffic for the House and Senate crashed. Phone lines of individual congress critters jammed. At one point phone traffic into and out of the DC area snarled, leaving callers with "all circuits busy" message.

But how did the all important villagers, the inside of the beltway punditry, react? The clear consensus, with the exception of Fox News,of course,  is that Obama used his bully pulpit to kick some GOP butt.

Business and senior editor for The Atlantic Monthly, Derek Thompson said...

It's hard to see how the Republicans' position upholds their own economic principles, much less demonstrates an ability to work within a divided government.
--Republicans say they want to promote job growth. But by insisting on upfront spending cuts, they'll reduce overall demand, force massive state and local layoffs, and reduce help to the unemployed.
--Republicans say they want to eliminate uncertainty in the economy. But after pushing negotiations to the brink of default, many are insisting on holding this fight between one and three more times before the 2012 election, which multiplies the chance for a financial crisis.

--Republicans say they want to reduce the deficit. But they've rejected a $4 trillion deficit reduction package over a small portion of tax increases, even though effective tax rates are at their lowest since before Reagan's tax cut, and even though tax increases were a part of budget reform under both Reagan and the first President Bush.

--Republicans say they want to appease the rating agencies. But S&P has said it prefers Sen. Reid's all-at-once approach precisely because it doesn't try to ensnare the president in another debt ceiling debate in an election year.

--Finally (and least importantly) Republicans routinely appealed to popular opinion polls to criticize the stimulus, health care reform, and the White House. They've been notably quiet on polling showing a consistent preference for tax increases in the debt ceiling deal. Republicans call higher taxes on the rich "class warfare." If that's right, America is overrun with class warriors.
Forbes personal finance writer Janet Novack, reported...

It’s not clear, however, that Boehner’s two step plan would head off a credit downgrade. On July 14th, Standard & Poor’s warned that the United States’ AAA sovereign rating was at risk unless politicians could agree to a package that would reduce the deficit about $4 trillion. The rating agency also said it would consider a short term increase in the debt ceiling as evidence that the feuding Washington pols will not be able to reach agreement on deficit reduction for several more years, which would be “inconsistent with a AAA sovereign rating.”

Also on Forbes, from policy editor Rick Ungar...

While President Obama chose to rely on making a case for a more balanced approach, even quoting the words of President Ronald Reagan to make his case, Speaker of the House John Boehner, in his rebuttal, took a decidedly more political tone by bringing up issues such as Obamacare and even suggesting that the President was seeking a ‘blank check’, a charge that makes little sense in light of the President’s efforts to accomplish even greater cuts than the current plan proposed by Boehner.
As the Speaker chose to be less complimentary of the President than the President endeavored to be of Mr. Boehner, it would be fair to say that Mr. Boehner stretched the truth a bit when claiming he had bi-partisan support for the Cut, Cap & Balance Act, as only five of the 193 Democrats serving in Congress supported the legislation.
This is the latest compromise that has failed to gain support from the Tea Party wing of Boehner’s party and has raised concern that passage of such a compromise would result in a downgrade in the government’s credit rating. As for that bi-partisan support in the Senate, I suspect Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid, might take exception to Boehner’s suggestion that he supports Boehner’s latest efforts.

At the Washington Post, E.J. Dionne offers a typically astute analysis...

President Obama made clear tonight that the debate over the debt ceiling is not left vs. right. It’s center vs. right. There was nothing remotely “left” in this speech, unless you count higher taxes for corporate jet owners and a few other populist bits.
As for Boehner’s speech, he looked pretty good — that green tie was striking — but his speech was directed more to the right-wing base than to the crisis at hand.
My hunch is that Obama’s speech spoke more to middle-of-the-road Americans than Boehner’s did because Obama was clearly talking to them. Boehner has to prove over and over that he’s faithful to the folks at the right end of his caucus, and it’s starting to take a toll. That’s why Republicans may yet find themselves wanting to get the debt-ceiling matter out of the way without forcing another round of this madness.

Eugene Robinson, also writing for the Washington Post, nails it...

Well, that was interesting. President Obama warned that House Republicans were holding the economy captive “unless they get their way.” Minutes later, House Speaker John Boehner issued a list of ransom demands.
If Obama took pains to sound reasonable, Boehner went out of his way to demonstrate that Republicans will not be reasoned with. “I’ve got news for Washington: Those days are over,” he barked. “Not so fast ... This is just not going to happen.”

Washington Post political analyst Chris Cillizza offers up...

Obama was all cool reason — making a case for why passing the debt ceiling is necessary to keep the economy on firm footing and quoting the likes of Ronald Reagan and Thomas Jefferson to argue that compromise is part of being American.
Boehner was all white hot passion — blasting President Obama for his “business as usual” approach to governing in Washington and repeatedly insisting that it was the president not the Congress who was standing in the way of debt limit deal.
After what amounted to an appeal to our better angels by Obama, Boehner’s decision to come out swinging against the president was striking.

Oh, and Rupert Murdoch's Fox News? The headline on their political blog was...

Obama: I'd Like 'to Bypass Congress and Change the Rules on My Own'

Apparently they really do live in their own world of stupid. Bit of a shame that their idiocy is why we now are staring into the financial abyss.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comment Policy: Anyone can comment. Registration is not required. There is no moderation. We do not censor or remove comments. Your comment should show up immediately.

The only exception is we will remove any comment that identifies, targets, threatens or in any way harasses any private individual.

Comments that include excessive vulgarity, racial slurs, death wishes and WILD ALL CAPS RANTS may be featured.

In recognition of the fact that this is very probably an entirely unworkable policy so vague as to be completely meaningless and therefore ultimately unenforceable, we reserve the right to do whatever the bleep we might bleepity-bleep well feel like doing at any bleeping given time. Please adjust your clocks accordingly.

BTW, "we" is me. If you don't like it, feel free to complain. Make sure you include excessive vulgarity, racial slurs, death wishes and WILD ALL CAPS RANTS.