This seems to be the current rallying cry among the conservative commentariat. For example:
Call Obama’s Bluff
by Charles Krauthammer @ the WaPo
President Obama is demanding a big long-term budget deal. He won’t sign anything less, he warns, asking, “If not now, when?”
How about last December, when he ignored his own debt commission’s recommendations? How about February, when he presented a budget that increases debt by $10 trillion over the next decade? How about April, when he sought a debt-ceiling increase with zero debt reduction attached?
All of a sudden he’s a born-again budget balancer prepared to bravely take on his own party by making deep cuts in entitlements. Really? Name one. He’s been saying forever that he’s prepared to discuss, engage, converse about entitlement cuts. But never once has he publicly proposed a single structural change to any entitlement.
Hasn’t the White House leaked that he’s prepared to raise the Medicare age or change the cost-of-living calculation?
Anonymous talk is cheap. Leaks are designed to manipulate. Offers are floated and disappear.
Say it, Mr. President. Give us one single structural change in entitlements. In public.
As part of the pose as the forward-looking grown-up rising above all the others who play politics, Obama insists upon a long-term deal. And what is Obama’s definition of long-term? Surprise: An agreement that gets him past Nov. 6, 2012.
Nothing could be more political. It’s like his Afghan surge wind-down date. September 2012 has no relation to any military reality on the ground. It is designed solely to position Obama favorably going into the last weeks of his reelection campaign.
Krauthammer then goes on to propose that the Republican House pass a short-term debt ceiling hike coupled with budget cuts. Personally, I think Krauthammer is probably right. We really aren’t going to accomplish anything more until we get Obama out of the White House.