In his remarks Tuesday, Obama issued a stern forewarning on the upcoming debates, and reiterated that he will not negotiate with Republicans over the debt ceiling.
“As I’ve demonstrated throughout the past several weeks, I am very open to compromise,” he said. “But we cannot simply cut our way to prosperity.”
“While I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills they have already racked up,” Obama said. “We cannot not pay bills that we have already incurred.”
So… yeah. Three points:
1. When your guy refuses to have a discussion, it’s “principle.” When the other guy refuses, it’s “obstruction.” He may as well stick to saying “DO IT MY WAY.”
2. Why can’t you cut your way to prosperity? If I save $2000 a year, does it matter if I’ve made $30K or $50K? I’m still $2000 to the good in case of an emergency.
2½. OK, that $2000 won’t make me wealthy, but it will keep me solvent… and you have to be solvent before you can prosper. So what’s wrong with a little solvency? Can’t we just start there, and then see if we can take the step to prosperity when we’re sure we’re not just going bust?
Not to troll or anything, but sometimes you just have to shout: WE KNOW YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR BILLS – THAT’S WHY WE DIDN’T WANT YOU TO SPEND SO DAMNED MUCH IN THE FIRST PLACE.
You see, Obama is, as far as it goes, a child. I don’t mean in the Gospel “lighthearted, trusting, teachable, open to joy” sense, either, but in the Epistolary “thinks like a child and acts like a child” sense. He’s not a child at heart, but at mind. An adult would realize the all-cap bolded part beforehand, and thus avoid racking up trillions in unpaid debts in four years. An adult would say, as Obama himself said in the presser, “The fact is, the deficit is still too high,” and then go on to consider any possible way to avoid incurring another one. An adult would admit, at bare minimum to himself, that what has gone on when he was in charge of things was at least partly his fault, and he’s learned his lesson. And above all, an adult would actually learn the lesson.
Obama, mentally, is not that adult. When I hear what comes from his mouth, I can close my eyes and hear the same form of argument coming from a child trying to lie his way out of being caught raiding the cookie jar.
We gotta pay our bills… but we wanted it NOW.
The deficit is too high… but I won’t spend less to reduce it.
Yeah, well, see… it was Congress’ fault!
This last, in fact, is somewhat true, which is the mark of a skillful liar. Toss in a true statement, and then cry foul when it is dismissed as either irrelevant to what’s under discussion or put into its real context. This is especially effective for squeezing free a few drops of sympathy: But it IS true, you’re not fair! followed by some well-meaning dolt saying, “Aw, the poor kid, cut him a break.”
Congress HAS spent far too much. But how? Primarily by refusing to pass a budget of any kind for three years… and that failure originated in the Senate, controlled by Obama’s party, and not in the House, controlled by the GOP. And why? Whose vision were they seeing? Whose policy were they enacting? Whose example were they following? Same answer each time: Obama. He was the “Bush’s deficits are terrible” guy who promptly doubled and tripled them; the “shovel-ready projects” guy who found only after spending $800 billion or so that there weren’t any such projects; the guy whose party was actually in charge of the House for the first two years and the Senate the entire four. Most importantly, he’s the guy who could have been saying “How about a balanced budget?” during this entire time – instead he was the guys whose budget proposals were so much worse than the stuff he’s complaining about that they couldn’t garner a single vote of support in either chamber of Congress for an entire term.
This isn’t a grown-up discussion – it’s a child who is running roughshod over his (at best) tween babysitter (namely, the Congress). Gimme, the Kid President says, and the Congress says no – that’s what any babysitter is primarily paid to do, after all – and the Kid promptly goes off on a snit and threatens to tell his folks (us). The sitter wavers, then caves… and then the Kid reports back that it wasn’t his fault, the sitter let him do it!*
A good parent would fire the sitter and punish the child. The result ought to be a better and more reliable sitter in charge of a better-behaved kid. We have just proven ourselves to be little better than reality-show parents, however, absently mumbling “You knock that off” and threatening dire conquences that never happen. Obama’s contempt for the voting public and their livelihoods and freedoms ought to have been met with a resounding initial defeat in 2006, when he was first elected to the Senate – far less two Presidential terms. At this point, I’m beginning to think that the Kid, irresponsible liar that he is, has a shrewd grasp of things from his own limited point of view: we deserve the contempt. By our actions we’ve proven that we’re more than willing to give in to the Kid just to have a little peace and quiet to ourselves, instead of buckling down to our work. So why should the Kid, or the sitters, bother with their own work?
The result is a spoiled Kid. A child often innocently hurts his parents as a toddler, not understanding the connection between his tiny fists and nails and the adult’s pain. It’s just fun. But as anyone who’s seen a brat knows, once the connection is made, the toddler will often keep doing it, all with that giggly imp’s smile. They quickly learn the fun of wrecking things and getting away with it. (Heck, most modern revenge-fantasy movies and TV shows are just this impulse writ large.) It has to be stopped at once or the child becomes a bully who comes to enjoy causing harm, and possibly ending up as someone who can’t enjoy anything else BUT others’ pain.
* Adding to this problem is the snot-nosed crowd that the Kid hangs with, whom we call The Media. We like to think that they’re a terrible influence on him, when in he’s really the ringleader and they’re the toadies; and their terrible influence is over US.