Obama should be focused on creating jobs and calming a climate of fear that has kept employers from hiring new workers. He clearly is not. The administration didn't even try to sell the notion that its tax increases would be vital in boosting the economy and creating good private-sector jobs. And the White House did not bother to propose smart tax reforms that might have made proposed tax increases palatable.
Instead, the White House has been very open about its true passion, partisan scorekeeping in a high-stakes game of Washington math.
If Democrats have to agree to spending cuts -- that still will put the country $7 trillion further in the hole over the next decade -- then Republicans have to give up something, too, or as the president said of the cuts-only plan last week, "it's not fair."
Thus, in an odd way, Carney was right. If the Senate passes the bipartisan debt ceiling package approved by the House Monday, it will be "a victory for the American people."
Despite a president more focused on partisan scorekeeping than Main Street, despite GOP purists prepared to risk America's credit rating in exchange for a bogus balanced budget amendment, Washington just might pass a good debt ceiling deal.