Posts Tagged ‘debt ceiling’

The emperor we deserve?

August 2nd, 2011

Opinion, at least in left-of-center circles, seems to be unanimous that Obama is an abysmally bad negotiator, at least where congressional Republicans are concerned.  I have expressed this opinion myself.  Time after time, he lets them set the terms of debate; instead of staking out an initially maximal position and then retreating from it step by step towards compromise only when forced to do so, he starts out by meeting them halfway and then accedes to the Republicans’ additional demands almost before they have a chance to make them.  He unilaterally disarms, as when he eschewed resorting to the Fourteenth Amendment to trump Congress in the debt ceiling battle.  He insists on pronouncing reliance on the GOP’s good faith and willingness to “do the right thing” despite explicit and unmistakeable evidence that neither of these premises is true.   This pattern repeats itself over and over.  The insufficient stimulus.  Health care reform without even a public option.  Extension of the Bush tax cuts.  The debt ceiling/deficit reduction fiasco.

Unlike George Bush, Obama is not open to charges of stupidity, so alternative explanations must be found as to why he repeatedly wanders down this course of seeming self-destruction.  Popular theories seem to be: