The entertainment from the election just won’t stop, although it is sad to see the otherwise somewhat rational and witty and intelligent columnist Peggy Noonan stoop to personal attacks on the President. Her complaint, Mr. Obama is not being nice to the people who would use the threat of not lifting the debt ceiling to impose their views, or who want to radically change social programs.
What was remarkable about the president's news conference Monday is that he didn't seem to think he had to mask his partisan rancor or be large-spirited. He bristled with unashamed hostility for Republicans on the Hill.
Well yes Ms. Noonan, here is President who has taken unlimited attacks for four years, yet still won an election decisively, an election that turned heavily on the issues. So isn’t the President entitled, and correct to say this with respect to the debt ceiling issue.
Pressed by reporters on whether he would negotiate with them to win this outcome, he made it clear he would not. He would have "a conversation." Bloomberg's Julianna Goldman asked: "So you technically will negotiate?"
"No, Julianna," he answered. "Either Congress pays its bills or it doesn't."
There was a logical inconsistency to his argument. A government shutdown would be so disastrous to the economy that he won't negotiate with Republicans if that's what it takes to avert it.
Notice who is at fault here. Ever since this stupid debt ceiling law was put in place legislators of both parties have voted to raise it when necessary. Now when Republicans are threatening to extort concessions from their threat to shut down the government it is those threatened who are at fault, not the extortionists. If Ms. Noonan and others were really worried about the effects of failing to raise the debt ceiling shouldn’t their ire be directed at the ones who would actually do this? Oh wait, that is them.
The real lesson here is that when everyone sees just how un-hinged Republicans have become over the debt ceiling issue because the President has issued his ultimatum it just confirms what this Forum and other have argued about for months. Refusing to negotiate the debt ceiling and calling the bluff of the Republican to use this arcane and useless legislation to impose their defeated policies on the nation is exactly the right thing to do.
It’s just a little sad to see even columnist like Peggy Noonan so irrational about the issue.
But here's a thought you might consider Ms. Noonan if you really do want the President to be nicer to Republicans. Maybe they should be a little nicer to him. Isn't there some rule about gold or something that should be invoked here.