Monday, July 11, 2011

Obama press conference: This is the United States of America, and we don’t manage our affairs in three-month increments

Barack Obama held another press conference today.

DAMMIT, WE’RE GOING TO MAKE THIS RELATIONSHIP WORK! “As all of you know, I met with congressional leaders yesterday. We’re going to be meeting again today, and we’re going to meet every single day until we get this thing resolved.”

ACTUALLY, IN THE 1780s... OH, NEVER MIND. “We cannot threaten the United States’ full faith and credit for the first time in our history.”

DEFINE “GOOD-FAITH”: “Speaker Boehner and myself had been in a series of conversations about doing the biggest deal possible so that we could actually resolve our debt and our deficit challenge for a long stretch of time. And I want to say I appreciate Speaker Boehner’s good-faith efforts on that front.”

BUT MOSTLY MEANER: “We have agreed to a series of spending cuts that will make the government leaner, meaner, more effective, more efficient, and give taxpayers a greater bang for their buck.”

IF BY “DO ANYTHING” YOU MEAN “CUT PAYMENTS TO THE POOR, SICK AND ELDERLY, I WOULD HOPE SO. OR IS THAT NOT WHAT YOU MEANT BY “DO ANYTHING”? “There is, frankly, resistance on my side to do anything on entitlements.”

IF BY “DO ANYTHING” YOU MEAN “CUT TAXES ON THE RICH AGAIN”.... “There is strong resistance on the Republican side to do anything on revenues.”

UNLESS YOU CAVE COMPLETELY. BUT THAT COULD NEVER HAPPEN, COULD IT? “But if each side takes a maximalist position, if each side wants 100 percent of what its ideological predispositions are, then we can’t get anything done.” Okay, for Republicans the “maximalist position” is the total refusal of tax increases, but what’s the maximalist position this even-handed phraseology is implying has been taken by the Democrats? Not cutting Medicare and Social Security?

WE’RE NOT THAT FAR-SIGHTED: “The things that I will not consider are a 30-day or a 60-day or a 90-day or a 180-day temporary stopgap resolution to this problem. This is the United States of America, and we don’t manage our affairs in three-month increments.”

WHAT IT’S NOT GOING TO GET: “It’s not going to get easier. It’s going to get harder. So we might as well do it now -- pull off the Band-Aid, eat our peas.” Or in Rand Paul’s case, vice versa.

ACTUALLY, THEY WON’T PAY FOR THE HIGHWAY EITHER: “I mean, if the basic proposition is ‘it’s my way or the highway,’ then we’re probably not going to get something done because we’ve got divided government.”

HAVE YOU ACTUALLY MET MITCH MCCONNELL AND JOHN BOEHNER? “And so if, in fact, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are sincere -- and I believe they are...”

OBAMA DOESN’T SAY WHICH OF THE PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS DON’T KNOW BETTER: “I will say that some of the professional politicians know better. And for them to say that we shouldn’t be raising the debt ceiling is irresponsible. They know better.” Knowing and caring are of course two separate things.

THERE’S THAT WORD AGAIN: “I think Speaker Boehner has been very sincere about trying to do something big.”

FOR EXAMPLE, WHEN I PROMISED YOU GUYS “HOPE”: “And this is part of the problem with a political process where folks are rewarded for saying irresponsible things to win elections or obtain short-term political gain”.

AGAIN, IF BY “DO ANYTHING” YOU MEAN “CUT PAYMENTS TO THE POOR, SICK AND ELDERLY: “I mean, the vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements... And I’m sympathetic to their concerns, because they’re looking after folks who are already hurting and already vulnerable”. Note that he isn’t expressing any sympathy for the actual “folks who are already hurting and already vulnerable,” just for the concerns of Democrats on Capitol Hill. I’m sure it’s just an oversight.

WELL NOT WITH AN ATTITUDE LIKE THAT, MISTER: “Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up.”

YA KNOW, AT THIS POINT, I DON’T THINK YOUR WILLINGNESS TO MOVE IN THE DIRECTION OF THE REPUBLICANS IS REALLY IN ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER: “My point is, is that I’m willing to move in their direction in order to get something done.”

YEAH, YOU’D HAVE TO BE A FUCKING IDIOT TO BELIEVE THAT: “I am not somebody who believes that just because we solve the deficit and debt problems short term, medium term, or long term, that that automatically solves the unemployment problem.” So why are you spending all your time on the deficit and none on jobs?

REALLY, JOHN BOEHNER? ORANGE DUDE WHO ALWAYS SMELLS OF BOURBON? THAT JOHN BOEHNER? “My experience with John Boehner has been good. I think he’s a good man who wants to do right by the country.” You know, we made fun of George Bush for saying he looked into Putin’s soul...

“This recession has been hard on everybody...” Has it? Has it really? “...but obviously it’s harder on folks who’ve got less.” So why are you so eager to cut holes in their safety net?

(Update: However, Obama calling John Boehner sincere and a good man who wants to do etc is not quite as bad a judgement of character as that of Nick Clegg, who called on Rupert Murdoch today to “do the decent thing.”)

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