The PJ Tatler

Last Night was Obama Positioning Himself for Failure?

The morning after his televised address it is becoming increasingly clear this the president’s goal was to position himself for defeat. It may have marked his final end- game play before the Treasury declares national default.

Among the most compelling post-speech assessments this morning is that of The New Republic’s senior editor Jonathan Chait.  He concludes that last night Obama merely was “positioning himself for failure.”

Here is a portion of Chait’s unsettling but on-target analysis:

“I’m not really sure what Obama was trying to accomplish in his speech. I thought he would try to find some kind of lowest common denominator between the Reid and Boehner plans that would stand a chance of passing Congress. He didn’t. Instead he appealed once again to the Grand Bargain. If Obama thinks Congress will pass something like that, he’s nuts. … The most rational explanation for Obama’s speech is that he’s positioning himself for failure. He’s explaining his position so that when Congress fails to lift the debt ceiling, Americans will blame the Republicans and not him. … I expect a week from now we’ll be bracing for disaster.”

The president may try to blame recalcitrant Republicans, fellow Democrats, Congress or the Tea Party. But it happened on his watch.  He is the President of the United States, not a referee.

If Chait is right this could be the most spectacular Oval Office economic failure since the Great Depression.