Break out the micrometer: “I’ve marked the Obama cuts in yellow. Repeat: I’ve marked the Obama cuts in yellow.”
At the Corner, Yuval Levin writes, so much for the recent MSM-aided “Obama as centrist” smokescreen:
“Until the last few weeks, there might have been room to wonder whether President Obama might respond to the 2010 elections by moving to the center and seeking some politically advantageous but meaningful middle ground — offering tax reforms, perhaps even some Social Security reforms, and orienting the next two years around the question of who can provide a more appealing, more optimistic, and less painful set of solutions to our enormous fiscal challenge and the coming debt crisis. This budget puts an end to that possibility. The president appears to have decided to spend the next two years pretending there is no problem to solve, and therefore that Republican proposals to rein in spending are just mean-spirited cuts offered up for kicks.
This is, above all, an appalling failure of leadership. When we look back on this period a decade or two from now, I think we’ll identify this moment — the president’s decision about how to approach the budget battle of 2012 — as the last real opportunity we had for a gradual bipartisan course correction. That option now seems closed off, and it is up to Republicans to decide if the alternative is to march off the fiscal cliff in order to avoid political risks or to propose a gradual course correction to voters and make the case for why it is sensible, responsible, and essential.
At the Chicago Boyz econ0-blog, Lexington Green writes:
Instapundit responds: “It’s not 1995 anymore, though.” Yes. True. I agree. It is better now. But, is it better enough? Boehner is not an eccentric visionary like Gingrich, and I cannot see him and McConnell getting punked by Obama the way Clinton did to Gingrich. Obama is not nearly as good as Clinton. The GOP members are, I think, much wiser and more realistic than the hopeful but ultimately naive class of 1994. The new crew is committed to reform, and they have the example of 1995 in front of them. May they learn the right tactical lessons. Plus, things are just way worse now. There is more at stake.Interesting times, baby.
At Power Line, John Hinderaker diagnoses the madness of King Barack:
Obama’s game is transparent, isn’t it? He is playing a game of chicken. He puts forward a series of proposals that he knows are more or less insane; but he also believes that Republicans will come to his rescue. They, not being wholly irresponsible, will come up with plans to reform entitlements–like, for example, the Ryan Roadmap. Ultimately, some combination of those plans will be implemented because the alternative is the collapse, not just of the government of the United States, but of the country itself. But Obama thinks the GOP’s reforms will be unpopular, and he will be able to demagogue them, thus having his cake and eating it too. Is that leadership? Of course not. But it is the very essence of Barack Obama.
“Lenin said there are decades where nothing happens, then there are weeks where decades happen. We are heading into months where decades are going to happen,” Lexington Green writes at the Chicago Boyz blog, adding, “Stay tuned.”