But the Conquered, or their Children, have no Court, no Arbitrator on Earth to appeal to. Then they may appeal, as Jephtha did, to Heaven, and repeat their Appeal, till they have recovered the native Right of their Ancestors, which was to have such a Legislative over them, as the Majority should approve, and freely acquiesce in.
-John Locke

Friday, July 22, 2011

US Default Watch, Part 7

Peggy Noonan's piece today in the WSJ echoes some of my thoughts from yesterday.  Specifically, she recognizes some of the strengths and potential for the plan coming from the Gang of 6 - or G6. 

She also points out the lack of actual leadership from the President, and touches on his attempts to reverse-engineer leadership, that is, attempt to demonstrate that the G6 plan is really born from the approach that he has been advocating since...well...since the time he started advocating for something.  We know it's not, but since the President has never given anything remotely concrete (aside from a ridiculous budget in February that failed 97-0 in the Senate) I suppose he feels that he can twist his position into being whatever starts to look popular and promising (Harry Reid's threats to scuttle it notwithstanding).

For the longest time he wouldn't engage, and now he's engaged. For the longest time he didn't care about spending, and now he cares about spending. Good, both in terms of policy and for him. But his decision to become engaged has become a decision to dominate, to have his face in front of the television with his news conferences, pronouncements, and what his communications people are probably calling his "ownership" of any final agreement. He's trying to come across as the boss, the indispensable man, the leader. And, of course, the reasonable one.
And on his recent nose-dive in the polls:
And if you've watched him lately, you know why. When he speaks on the debt negotiations, he is not only extremely boring, with airy and bromidic language—really they are soul-killing, his talking points—but he never seems to be playing it straight. He always seems to be finagling, playing the angles in some higher game that only he gets. In 2½ years, he has reached the point that took George W. Bush five years to reach: People aren't listening anymore.

The other day he announced the Gang of Six agreement with words that enveloped the plan in his poisonous embrace: "I wanted to give folks a quick update on the progress that we're making." We're. He has "continued to urge both Democrats and Republicans to come together." What would those little devils do without Papa? "The good news is that today a group of senators . . . put forward a proposal that is broadly consistent with the approach that I've urged." I've urged. Me, me, me.
 Noonan says what we've all been thinking: the President is in the way.  He can't lead, won't follow, and is desperately trying to find a way to get a solution that gives what he wants and that can  - and here's the important part - help him out in the polls.  In the end, the reality may be that the two goals are mutually exclusive.  We have to wait to see what he decides is more important, when it would be best for him to step off the stage for a minute.

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