Eric Alterman often annoys me, but I think he is dead on today
I admit that perusing the back-and-forth news accounts below can make for a somewhat depressing read—they only serve to highlight how little progress liberals have made in shifting the debate on this issue in the last decade and a half. But the political lessons learned in the trenches of the 1995-96 debt limit skirmish are worth revisiting. The public, as my very last example demonstrates, respects and ultimately rewards those political leaders willing to stand up and fight to protect and preserve the promises made to them by their government. Willingly negotiating those social compact promises away in the interest of seeking some ephemeral ‘grand bargain,’ however, not only makes this a less vibrant and just nation for its citizens, it’s a risky (if not fatal) proposition come Election Day. So, here’s hoping that, in this last case, the current occupant of the White House understands both the real-world and political value of history repeating itself.
Unfortunately, I think Obama is addicted to seeing himself as "reasonable" and thus will continue to cut his own throat—and ours along with it.