Thursday, April 11, 2013
Obama's Grand Bargain Obsession
Jon Chait has a solid analysis of the desire for Obama to craft a "Grand Bargain".
But here is the problem: Republicans surely grasp this as well. They don’t wantto clear away the black cloud hanging over Obama’s presidency. That black cloud is the only thing they have going for them. The recovery, while slow, is likely to churn along through 2014 and probably 2016. Obama has conducted his foreign policy in a popular way, has generally owned the center on social issues, and, thus far, escaped even the slightest whiff of scandal. For Republicans to stand beside Obama and announce that they have solved the “deficit crisis” would retroactively legitimize the entire Obama presidency. The hated stimulus, Obamacare — all of it could now be justified to skeptical centrist voters as necessary steps to achieve popular goals.
Yes. This exactly.
Maybe this is one of the Eleven Dimensional Chess moments where Obama knows the GOP will spit the bit. But I do honestly think they seem to think that this time may be different. They seem to think the election taught the GOP something.
And I think that's fundamentally foolish.