Are we seeing a new President Obama? Yes, I hope and believe so. And it’s uplifting, even liberating. Finally.
Republican commentators like David Brooks regards himself in his column today in the new York Times a “sap” for believing that Obama wanted to move beyond the ideological stalemates. I don’t know Brooks, he might be a sap, but what he fails to point out is that the party of “no” is the reason for this new and more fighting, partisan tone from the White House. Obama has tried the reasonable, bipartisan approach for three years, in vain. So…
As Steve Benen writes on his Washington Monthly blog:
“What the columnist (Brooks) refuses to understand is that Obama still believes in the governing style Obama talked about in 2008. But I desperately want Brooks to answer one question: what happens when the president is the only one willing to adopt this posture, and his ostensible partners in governing — congressional Republicans — refuse to even consider compromise? In all sincerity, what choice has the GOP left for Obama?”
Another Republican commentator, Fred Barnes of the Weekly Standard, writes that Obama has now entered a “pathetic phase.” But isn’t it so, that the Republicans in Congress are the pathetic ones, locked in, as they are, in their stubborn, repetitive denial of the necessity of a balanced approach, with both cuts and new taxes, in order to get America out of this deep and painful economic mess.
The fact that Obama’s approach is also fair, lends it even more credence. It’s extremely difficult for me to understand the anti-tax sentiments of the Republicans, which have been so bad for America, as Michael Tomasky writes today in the Daily Beast. No one loves to pay taxes, but they are needed. Americans are not over taxed, and some, certainly, are under taxed. It’s time to remedy this this matter.
So, the big fight is on, and it’s a good fight. As Tomasky writes:
“This tax fight will be the great test of the Obama presidency. All else—stimulus, bailouts, financial reform, even health care—was prelude. The tax debate is the money shot. If he wins this one, all the failures, even the calamitous debt-ceiling agreement, can be forgiven. Mr. President: Show us the money.”