What if -- instead of blaming Republicans, big oil, the "wealthy" and corporate jets -- President Obama had used his recent news conference to say the following?
"Look, I've tried my solutions, and they've had ample time to work. If they were going to work, they would have done so by now. So I'm going to ask my party to join with Republicans in focusing on the national debt instead of ginning up envy, jealousy and animosity among people who earn different amounts of money. I'm going to prove that I share the American people's fear about this debt crisis and that I recognize there will have to be structural reform to entitlements. It may involve some cuts in benefits, but if we don't do this now, eventually everyone will lose his benefits, because Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security are headed for insolvency -- and much sooner than we thought.
"Endless government spending, I now see, will not stimulate economic growth. I should have accepted that before based on the historical evidence, but my professors kept insisting that Keynesian pump priming would work if we would just spend enough money. But $800 billion wasn't enough? Come on, fellas, whom do we think we're fooling here?
"Accordingly, I'm also going to get real about discretionary spending cuts because trillion-dollar deficits are hardly sustainable. Do the math; you people aren't idiots. In order to close the gap between revenues and expenditures, I also promise to quit demagoguing the tax issue. Though I couldn't see it before, we have a dynamic economy, and I won't be able to raise appreciable revenues by raising tax rates, especially on the highest-income producers and small businesses, which, incidentally, provide so many jobs for Americans.
"Continuing to malign the wealthy and big oil -- as much fun as it is -- will simply not generate any revenue. And about these cuts in discretionary spending, I'm talking about non-defense spending. While my philosophy inclines me to drastically cut defense spending, I must admit that I'm enjoying the luxury of deploying our military assets in various places around the world, even where the United States has no discernible national interest. All this takes money, as did killing bin Laden, which, as you may recall, I did -- virtually single-handedly.
Asymmetrical Politics: Republicans Act Like an Unruly Mob, Democrats Like a Regimented Army | Michael Barone