David Limbaugh
Do you think it's conceivable that yet another round of dismal economic news might cause President Obama to finally dig deeply enough in his id to find some hidden humility and consider reversing course? Let's be serious.

Why should he do that when it's much easier -- and more profitable politically -- to just demonize Republicans?

But will there ever be a time when the inescapable reality of our impending financial panic will compel him and other Democrats to act like grown-ups and help solve this problem before it "solves" itself and destroys countless people and institutions in its wake?

How long can they remain in public denial? Maybe the gravity of the crisis works against those who are attempting, in good faith, to solve it. Things surely couldn't be as bad as the prophets are warning. After all, we've been subjected to endless doom-filled conspiracy theories and Armageddon has yet to occur.

We actually have award-winning economists out there downplaying the situation and even suggesting that the problem is that Obama hasn't spent enough. Others grudgingly admit there's a problem but deny it's urgent.

Indeed, for all the ominous predictions out there, there is an equal countervailing climate of skepticism, dismissiveness and, on the part of the Democrats, willful obstruction.

But the Republicans, at least lately, are finally beginning to dig their heels in, refusing to raise the debt ceiling without the Democrats' agreement to major spending cuts -- now. And it looks as if the Republicans might just be serious this time.

Not surprisingly, the administration's response is not to compete with them in a frugality contest, as common sense would counsel. Rather, it is to focus its energy on convincing the public of the allegedly catastrophic consequences that would ensue if we were not to raise the budget ceiling -- never mind those that will bury us if we don't address the crisis.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is to meet with freshman GOP congressmen to discuss these issues. Based on one freshman's pre-meeting statement -- "After the meeting, I believe Secretary Geithner will see how serious we are ... about getting our debt and deficit under control" -- it would appear that Geithner is entering the lion's den.

Why would he? Well, he has nowhere else to go. He realizes -- even if some of our feckless colleagues on the right do not -- that Congress holds the cards. The freshmen have the leverage, and they are the ones demanding remedial action.

Sure, he might just be narcissistic enough to think he can use his powers to persuade them to act against the nation's long-term best interests.


David Limbaugh

David Limbaugh, brother of radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh, is an expert on law and politics. He recently authored the New York Times best-selling book: "Jesus on Trial: A Lawyer Affirms the Truth of the Gospel."

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