this is a political post.
It's almost comedy to watch Boehner try to explain himself, and watching his starched and stiff response after the practiced delivery of the President made him seem even more uncomfortable. That he was heard by a CBS reporter back stage telling someone "I didn't sign up for going mano-a-mano with the President of the United States" shows that he really didn't expect things to go this far. He probably didn't help things by mis-characterizing the situation right out of the blocks either.
I've watched a lot of Fox News, the conservative's propaganda machine, and one of the things I'll have to admit is that conservatives have gotten very good at not telling the whole truth, which is fundamentally different than lying. It gives them the same results as a complete falsehood, because parts of it can actually be verified. You get the parsed information spread, but without the later situation of being called out. But every now and then, they have to pretend like the truth doesn't even exist as opposed to their selective story telling method.
The President came to us asking for more money.
Spending bills originate in Congress. Which goes back to my earlier statement that right now, the Congress is really only authorizing the Treasury (via the Executive Branch) to borrow money it previously was aware or should have been aware was going to be needed to borrow anyway. To make is sound like Obama showed up with a list of new projects is misleading. Very misleading.
It's almost like the Speaker is counting on the people listening not being informed as to the basic principles of government. And unfortunately, there is a large enough contingent of Americans who actually fall into that category.
The President seems more concerned about his election.
This might have even been true at one point, but it to hold this one true you have to nullify the idea of the efficient market AND the conservatives complete argument about market uncertainty holding back growth. While the markets aren't really that efficient, they aren't stupid either. The credit agencies looking at the mess we're in now have figured out the conservatives will pull this same stunt for political reasons two more times before the next election in an effort to unseat Obama. Each time they're hoping the President will blink, or at least get blamed for any of the resulting fallout. Which is why those agencies have pretty much said that the good ole US of A would get downgraded anyway unless we adopt a long term plan - the opposite of the plan endorsed by the conservatives.
The United States is a business.
Conservatives love this analogy. Money in, money out. And like most other analogies they like, they only want to use the half that works for them. Yes, a business that spends more than it takes in has to cut its expenses. OR...raise it's revenue. Most business actually chose the second, revenue raising option. They only cut expenses if they can't increase the intake. They also like to pretend it's an outrage that the rich pay 60% of the taxes. But since they actually have 80% of the money, it's not really as much an imbalance as its made out to be. Funny how "freedom isn't free" becomes a just lovely slogan when the bill shows up.
But America isn't a business, it's a government. And government operates differently at a molecular level than a business does. Government needs to meet it's bills, but it's not a business by any stretch of the imagination. An even better model would be the family structure. Because we can turn off the cable, but Grandma has to get her medicine. There are some things we just cannot turn off.
Why is he acting like he just got there.
Boehner has been a Congressman since 1991. When he was elected, Obama had just got hired as a Law Professor and was still just a community organizer. Boehner's opening line made him sound like Captain Renault from Casablanca, announcing he's shocked to suddenly finding out there is gambling going on at Rick's cafe right before the waiter hands him his winnings. He's been there 20 years! He's not part of the solution, he's an integral part of the system he's trying to look like he's not part of. You would think he would play up the veteran angle to Obama's young upstart. Instead, on camera he looks like the guy who's sorry he just foreclosed on you. Well not that sorry. And in this economy its not a good look.
Now we get down the nitty gritty. With the deadline looming larger than ever the idea of sticking the ideals that got you into office are making less sense by the hour. I wonder if anyone has realized that the Tea Party members of Congress has basically stopped listening to their constituents, and now owe allegiance to Grover Norquist and conservative blogger Erick Erickson. But then since the conservatives have turned into a the very thing they like to invent conspiracy fantasies so that they can stand against - a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology - one has to wonder what it will take the wake them up from their dream.
Well, here we go. This is where we separate the men from the ...rest of them.