• Why Is Barack Obama Being So Mean to John Boehner in This Debt Ceiling Negotiation Thing?

    Must be tough being John Boehner. You spend years and years fostering an environment of bitter animosity and fantastical thinking, and then when the day comes that you can make an historic accord and achieve things that no other person in your party has ever been able to do before, for some reason it all falls apart for some reason.

    It just doesn't make any sense!

    [Boehner] and the president pursued an ambitious plan that would have reduced spending by as much as $4 trillion over 10 years. It was a transformative proposal, with the potential to improve the ugly deficit picture by shrinking the size of government, overhauling the tax code and instituting consensus changes to shore up Medicare and even Social Security. It was a once-in-a-decade opening.

    But the speaker’s lofty ambitions quickly crashed into the political reality of a divided, highly partisan Congress. His decision on Saturday night to abandon the comprehensive deficit-reduction package, citing the White House’s insistence on tax increases, was a sharp reversal. It highlighted the challenge he faces in persuading his party to tolerate any compromise on government spending and exposed the fissures within his own leadership team over how to proceed.

    Had Mr. Boehner forged ahead with a plan that fell flat with his rank and file, it could conceivably have led to a challenge of his leadership position, and it would certainly have undermined confidence among conservatives in his ability to lead the Republicans. Even opening the door to increased revenues as part of a deal with Mr. Obama and the Democrats struck many Republicans as a profound misreading of what conservatives, in Congress and at the grass-roots level, would tolerate.

    You know whose fault I think it is? Obama's.

    What is with that guy's unwillingness to compromise on having both sides compromise? It's like he's got this insane fixation in his head that making a deal involves both sides ceding ground. That guy's a crazy ideologue, I'll tell ya.

    Photo by Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Group/Getty Images

    Tags: Barack Obama, Debt, Democrats, Economy, House of Representatives, Money, Republicans


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