Obama Reclaiming the Frame?
by Jason Williams, Mon Sep 19, 2011 at 01:39:37 PM EDT
On the policy side of the President's jobs plan and "Buffet Tax" address this morning, reactions are mixed. At FireDogLake, David Dayden likes the move away from the "grand bargain" territory and what appears to be an early goodbye to the super-committee, while John Walker sees the door to Medicare cuts still open. Yglesias sees an open door with a line in the sand: not cuts to Medicare without revenue increases. Aravosis thinks tying increases to even a hint at Medicare cuts is just dumb. And Ezra Klein thinks the White House has learned it's lesson on chasing the "Compromiser in Chief" title: the public "gives no points for effort," they want results.
But the stand out moment for me was the change in frame in the address. Bipartisanship/compromise/balance got the obligatory mentions, but overall the speech elludes to a wiser WH. Via Josh Marshall:
I hope President Obama will keep hitting what I think was his strongest point in his Jobs Act speech. That is, either/or. We can have no new taxes ever for wealthy people or we can save Medicare. But not both.
For the first time in a long while, Obama today at least hinted at an unwillingness to move his goal-posts closer to where Boehner has set his. He grabbed the popular position, drew his base line a little more to the left, and reinforced it with a veto threat. Baby steps. Not shooting for the moon, but after 1 yr plus of reinforcing the GOP talking points on deficit reduction instead of focusing on jobs, this may be the only way out of the woods for the WH and what's left of the middle class.
I'm still skeptical the goal posts won't be moved a thousand times, especially if the possibility of having debt-ceiling circus redux months before the election scares them off the "either/or" theme (Joan McCarter: it shouldn't!), but today's speech was at least refreshing.
Also, Erica Payne and The Agenda Project, way ahead of them: