Jewish World Review July 15, 2011 / 13 Tammuz, 5771
By Jonah Goldberg
A lot of conservatives are having fun at President Obama's expense after his latest gaffe. In the midst of testy debt-limit negotiations, Obama told House Majority Leader
The first rule in bluffing is to keep it a secret that you're bluffing. So, technically speaking, that's like a con man saying, "Don't give any weight to the fact that I'm lying."
And while I do think Obama is not telling the truth about a great number of things, conservatives should look closer to home if they want to criticize impolitic truth-telling.
Senate Minority Leader
High among the problems with McConnell's plan is how hard it is to explain. But basically, Republicans would give Obama all of the responsibility for proposing specific spending cuts and for raising the debt ceiling three times up to
Conservatives are split on the idea. Personally I think it might be the least bad of the currently possible options.
But what's particularly frustrating is how McConnell is selling his proposal. In an interview with radio host
"I refuse to help
McConnell is right. But McConnell isn't a pundit. Why the hell is he reading his stage direction out loud? Last fall, he said that the "single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president." Most conservatives agree with him, because without a Republican president, you can't repeal ObamaCare or do the other things conservatives believe are necessary to set the country back on the right track. Democrats see things the same way, but from a liberal perspective.
But Democrats, for all their internecine squabbles, have the discipline to take the high road rhetorically.
Republicans have a habit of seeming like actors who first want to know their "motivation" and then read it instead of their lines.
In 1991, President
Politics is about show, not tell.
His remark about not calling his bluff notwithstanding, Obama has at least demonstrated the political professionalism to read his lines. His refusal to sign a short-term debt-ceiling extension is, according to him, an act of moral leadership, high-minded pragmatism and flat-out bravery.
"I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this," Obama reportedly said about his determination to have a long-term deal. He says he wants the deal because America can't continue to kick the can down the road, even though that's what he did during his entire presidency until the
My suspicion is that if he read his stage direction instead of his lines, it would sound very different. Something like: "I want to be positioned as if I'm taking the high road, but I'm really just trying to kick this can past the 2012 election. I want to keep asking for things Republicans won't agree to so I can paint them as irresponsible. So, whatever you do, don't call my bluff."
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