President Obama’s answers to the questions from today’s press conference on the debt ceiling talks were more informative than his brief and at times sketchy opening preamble. The president had the kind of look on his face that said “answering your questions will definitely be easier than dealing with the motley crew I’m meeting with this afternoon.” The quotes below pretty much spell out the message the president was trying convey to the American public in his own words:
“The reason we have a problem right now is because people keep avoiding hard things.”
“If we are going to solve the problem, there are only a finite number of ways to deal with it.”
“I have a stake in John Boehner successfully persuading his caucus that this is the right thing to do.”
“I’ve said to them, ‘let’s go!’”
“I’m willing to move in their direction to get something done.”
“I do not see a path to a deal if they don’t budge period.”
“Let’s go. Where are they?”
“This is the United States of America. We don’t manage our affairs in three month increments.”
“The professional politicians know better.”
“This [debt ceiling crisis] is not something I am making up.”
“The majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements.”
“I will not sign a 30 or 60 day or 90 day extension.”
“We might as well do it now. Pull off the bandaid. Eat our peas.”
“Let’s do it. I’m prepared to take significant heat from my party to get something done.”
“We are going to get this done by August 2nd.”
The Republican Party has essentially said “I will burn down the entire country if you don’t give us what we want.” Sounds pretty damn patriotic if you ask me.
The only good thing to come out of these debt ceiling negotiations are better articles in the nation’s largest newspapers. Some of our leading columnists seem to be frightened enough to really dig beneath the rhetoric surrounding this issue and actually string together a coherent set of facts for a change, instead of passing off the same old hoary political chestnuts as incisive political commentary.
I’ll take it any way I can get it.