Deficits, of Budget and Attention
Within 24 hours this weekend, the President tackled two national shortfalls–dollars and cents in the government’s income vs. expenditures, civility and sense in the partisan debate over remedies for an economy ravaged by recession.
In his weekly address yesterday, Mr. Obama zeroed in on seven Republicans who had sponsored a bipartisan commission for deficit reduction but then voted against it in the Senate.
“Now, it’s one thing,” he said, “to have an honest difference of opinion about something. I will always respect those who take a principled stand for what they believe, even if I disagree with them.
“But what I won’t accept is changing positions because it’s good politics. What I won’t accept is opposition for opposition’s sake. We cannot have a serious discussion and take meaningful action to create jobs and control our deficits if politicians just do what’s necessary to win the next election instead of what’s best for the next generation.”
This admonition came only hours after the President’s unprecedented dialogue with Republicans at their Baltimore retreat Friday, which struck some observers as a marital-therapy session for political Bickersons, complaining about failures of communication in their relationship.