"Let me give you an example of what I’m talking about. As you may know, President Obama initially tried to strike a “Grand Bargain” with Republicans over taxes and spending. To do so, he not only chose not to make an issue of G.O.P. extortion, he offered extraordinary concessions on Democratic priorities: an increase in the age of Medicare eligibility, sharp spending cuts and only small revenue increases. As The Times’s Nate Silver pointed out, Mr. Obama effectively staked out a position that was not only far to the right of the average voter’s preferences, it was if anything a bit to the right of the average Republican voter’s preferences.
"But Republicans rejected the deal. So what was the headline on an Associated Press analysis of that breakdown in negotiations? “Obama, Republicans Trapped by Inflexible Rhetoric.” A Democratic president who bends over backward to accommodate the other side — or, if you prefer, who leans so far to the right that he’s in danger of falling over — is treated as being just the same as his utterly intransigent opponents. Balance!"
New York Times, July 29, 2011
First, yesterday's post on why Boehner would pass something in the House that had no chance of becoming law needs, I think, some revision insofar as Boehner cancelled that vote. Now the question is, Why did he cancel the vote? And it could be about gamesmanship. Any suggestions? I need help here.
But here we have the words of Krugman from the Times today, July 29th, and they struck me as interesting insofar as Krugman focuses on the alleged "balance" requirement of the news media. But it seems to me that more interesting story is Obama and why he "staked out a position that was not only far to the right of the average voter’s preferences, it was if anything a bit to the right of the average Republican voter’s preferences." And along the same lines, why does Krugman not find this interesting, at least interesting enough to speculate about why Obama has done this. He does say that Obama has leaned "so far to the right that he’s in danger of falling over" but he does not wonder why. Again, I am not at all sure why Obama has done this but I will offer one explanation that has the advantage of simplicity: This is what Obama thinks should be done and it is what Obama wants to do.
The only other possibility I can think of is that this serves some parochial or partisan interest Obama has, which of course means that Obama is not primarily concerned with governing or its requirements at this point. And if so this would make the story that is most interesting not about "balance" but rather about the fact that neither party is actually or primarily interested in governing.