That’s the recommendation of Charles Krauthammer, and he is of course correct. 2012 will be a referendum on the president’s complete unwillingness to do anything about spending except demand higher taxes and talk and talk and talk.
It will also be about our collapse of standing in the Arab world, the unmatched surge of the PRC and the withering of opportunity in America under Obama, but the president’s fecklessness on spending will be up there in the issue set along with the looming menace of Obamacare.
Friday’s press conference was Obama’s worst yet, with seven minutes of obvious obfuscating blather following Jake Tapper’s pointed request for the precise mention of just “one structural reform” in entitlements that the president was willing to commit to. Nothing followed but words and more self-referential super-ego on display.
The New York Times write-up of the press conference continues the MSM’s defense of the president, right down to the citation of polls the “reporters” argue support the president’s demand for higher taxes.
No matter. As callers reflected this week, everyone knows the score and the debate. The president isn’t serious about anything except raising taxes so he can spend more on favored groups through subsidies and bail-outs. The GOP wants to cut spending of all sorts to get the percentage of GDP devoted to the federal government back under 20% where it has been for decades.
We will muddle through the next two weeks and there won’t be a default or a big win for either side, and the debt ceiling will get raised, perhaps with some spending cuts. The key is for the GOP to continue to demand from the president a list of non-defense cuts. When even one White House reporter like Jake Tapper has the courage to ask even one pointed question, the entire communications strategy should shift to the president’s non-answer.
Two other points.
When will ABC figure out that Tapper on the Sunday show means a complete victory on that morning? I haven’t watched anyone on the weekend save Candy Crowley for months, but if Tapper gets the gig, the TiVo will get set. He and Crowley ask the obvious questions framed in fair ways that reveal the truth of the situation. Really, how obvious do some things have to be for network execs?
Finally, the GOP contenders have got to focus their combined rhetoric on the president’s refusal to lead and his unerring ability to avoid answering any question. The president’s self-absorbed-hectoring-pedantic-professor style has got to be grating even on his most loyal supporters. Clarity and directness from our candidates is the best contrast to offer up these next few weeks.