For all the eleventh-hour, “where-was-Obama?” moaning, the bipartisan congressional directive to the White House as the supercommittee did its work was simple: Back off.
That’s right. The message from both Republican and Democratic members of the group was that presidential involvement could only be counterproductive. The more a particular approach was associated with the president, they argued, the harder it would be for Republicans to embrace it. Anything that looked like an Obama “win” would have been unacceptable to Republicans in an election cycle.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
The failure of the supercommittee was as predictable as the lame attempts of Republicans to shift blame. Gotta admit their latest is a level of chutzpah (ask M. Bachmann how to pronounce it) that eclipses all previous efforts. It's Obama's fault, they say.
Right.What a bunch of uninformed or willful liars we have on the right. It's all I can muster not to hate them outright.]
Maybe they're taking that tack because it's obvious that the Democrats on the committee went well beyond halfway. Hard to paper that one over. While Rs refused to consider any tax increases or, amazingly enough, even the closing of the loopholes that allow huge corporations not only to pay no taxes but to get refunds, Ds put billions in cuts in social spending on the table. You can't argue that away (except, of course, to teabaggers, who'll believe whatever the RWS™ tell them.) Grover Norquist pulled the short hairs, and the Rs grabbed their crotches.
So what else is there, other than lying about what they did, but to blame Obama? Bachmann says he was AWOL. Michael Gerson says if only Obama had done something, some thing, everything would have fallen in place.
Really? After years of direct negotiations during which Rs budged not an inch? After declaring their number-one mission -- a priority higher than solving America's problems -- was to see to it that Obama is a one-term president? If he'd intervened in some unspecified way, presumably a way he hadn't already tried a million times, magic maybe, or guns, Rs would have licked milk out of his hand? C'mon, man.
Does anyone doubt that if President Obama had intervened in the committee's work in any way, RWS™ and teabaggRs would have characterized it as arrogant interference? Acting like a dictator (Hitler, I believe, is the teabagger-approved comparison)? Disrespecting the co-equal branch of government? Blamed him for the failure and called it meddling?
Obama's fault. Gimme a friggin' break.
[Added: this essay says it well. To more people than me.]
[Even more: committee members specifically asked Obama to stay away from it: