Obama Calls the GOP's Bluff on Debt Ceiling

The Washington Post's Eugene Robinson breaks down Obama's beat-down of the GOP strategy. 

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President Obama calls the GOP's bluff. (Getty)

In an op-ed, the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson highlights President Obama's approach to dealing with the GOP's bullying tactics over the debt-ceiling debate. Robinson maintains that the president's "in-your-face attitude" seems to have thrown Republicans off their stride. Their march to default on the nation's financial obligations came to a screeching halt.

The president is not having it or hearing their outrageous demands, but is insisting that they do the right thing and in a timely manner. Check out this excerpt from Eugene Robinson at the Washington Post. Do you think the president will win the fight over the debt ceiling, or will the GOP prevail?

Here's how to negotiate, GOP-style: Begin by making outrageous demands. Bully your opponents into giving you almost all of what you want. Rather than accept the deal, add a host of radical new demands. Observe casually that you wouldn't want anything bad to happen to the hostage you've taken -- the nation's well-being. To the extent possible, look and sound like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining."

This strategy has worked so well for Republicans that it's no surprise they're using it again, this time in the unnecessary fight over what should be a routine increase in the debt ceiling. This time, however, something different is happening: President Obama seems to be channeling Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver." At a news conference last Wednesday, Obama's response to the GOP was, essentially, "You talkin' to me?"

Obama's in-your-face attitude seems to have thrown Republicans off their stride. They thought all they had to do was convince everyone they were crazy enough to force an unthinkable default on the nation's financial obligations. Now they have to wonder if Obama is crazy enough to let them.

He probably isn't. But the White House has kept up the pressure, asserting that the real deadline for action by Congress to avoid a default isn't Aug. 2, as the Treasury Department said, but July 22; it takes time to write the needed legislation, officials explained. Tick, tick, tick ...

"Malia and Sasha generally finish their homework a day ahead of time," Obama said, gratuitously -- but effectively -- comparing his daughters' industry with congressional sloth. "It is impressive. They don't wait until the night before. They're not pulling all-nighters. They're 13 and 10. Congress can do the same thing. If you know you've got to do something, just do it."

Obama's pushing and poking are aimed at Republicans who control the House, and what he wants them to "just do" is abandon the uncompromising position that any debt-ceiling deal has to include big, painful budget cuts but not a single cent of new tax revenue ...

Read more at the Washington Post