Silly season

So apparently this is me lately.


Which…ok, fair enough. Back to regularly scheduled programming shortly (with a caveat that Lou here may reappear from time to time).

Until then, I will just point out a couple of very strange things about the uber-triangulation going on with the current budget negotiations. From Greg Sargent:

As part of this drive to ratchet up pressure on Republicans, however, Obama also confirmed in his clearest terms yet that he is willing to give ground on Social Security and Medicare in a way that will certainly alienate many Democrats. In his previous presser, Obama seemed to draw the line against any cost-shifting to seniors. But today, Obama seemed to draw something of an equivalence between Republicans who are refusing to give ground on taxes with Dems who have drawn a hard line against any benefits cuts.

“There is frankly resistance on my side to do anything on entitlemetns. there is strong resistance on the Republican side to do anything on revenues — but if each side wants 100 percent of its ideological predispositions are, then we can’t get anything done,” Obama said. “The leaders in the room here at a certain point have to step up and do the right thing, regardless of the voices in our respective parties that are trying to undermine that effort.”

Note the clever framing that Obama is “giving ground” on entitlements, when he is the one who put them at the center of the debate. I don’t say this as a criticism of Sargent – it’s a central part of the administration’s framing.

Note also the false equivalence. The Republicans, agree with them or not (and clearly I don’t) are doing what they were elected to do – pushing for “100% of their ideological predispositions” – while Democrats (at least the Biden faction) are generally not. Nonetheless, Obama paints both as intransigent maximalists, allowing him to position his preference for cuts that exceed either side’s negotiating stance as making him the pragmatic man in the middle.

It’s silly season, or it would be if the effects weren’t likely to be so severe.

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