The Washington Post today says that Obama’s “deficit reduction” speech will do so by “promoting a bipartisan approach pioneered by an independent presidential commission.” The Shrill One rightfully eviscerates this idea. But let’s not panic. Yet.
Krugman says that the President will “more or less endorse” Simpson-Bowles. But that’s not what the article says; in fact, it’s not quite clear what the article is saying. One of its alleged reporters is Peter Wallsten, formerly of the Los Angeles Times and co-author of possibly the worst article in the entire 2008 Presidential news cycle, which argued that basically Obama and McCain agreed on all the major issues. He seems committed to High Broderism, even after the death of The Master.
The article is lazy in general, arguing, for example:
Independents abandoned the party last year as concern grew about government deficits and spending. But Obama also must worry about his liberal base, which views protecting entitlement programs central to Democratic Party orthodoxy.
There is actually no evidence for the first assertion; it is essentially recycled Beltway orthodoxy. What happened last year was a supercharged Republican base. And Social Security and Medicare are not “central to Democratic Party orthodoxy”: they are fabulously successful and fabulously popular programs among the entire US population.
I have no confidence that Obama won’t sell Democratic Party principles down the river; Congressional Democrats heard about his plans for the speech from David Plouffe on the Sunday shows. Trinagulation is alive and well at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
But it’s going to take more than this article to persuade me that it is happening here. Ezra Klein says that the White House tells him that it is not endorsing Simpson-Bowles, and that “this will make sense tomorrow.” We’ll see.