The Obama White House's plan on the debt strongly resembles the Obama White House's plan on everything else. An Obama speech:
Obama plans to address the nation at 9 p.m. Monday to talk about the stalemate and is expected to discuss the contending plans arising in Congress and the need to act on one of them. A statement from Obama's press secretary Monday afternoon voiced support for the plan from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, calling it a "reasonable approach" that both parties in both chambers should be able to support.
Oh, good -- that's just what we need. Another public statement from the president on the debt crisis. Tonight will mark the fifth televised presidential speech or press conference on the subject, none of which has contained a specific plan. In fairness, this speech will be slightly different because the president will be advocating an actual path forward: Harry Reid's latest proposal. Just to clarify, this is not Harry Reid's bipartisan proposal that Obama personally scuttled over the weekend (now known as Boehner's new proposal).
I would not be the least bit surprised to hear a very partisan speech from the president tonight. Why? Because that's how he rolls, and because the Left isn't going to be pleased with whatever variant of the Reid plan ultimately passes -- which I suspect is a fairly likely scenario at this point. Don't believe me? Turn on MSNBC right now. The president needs to punch at Republicans to mollify his base and salvage this mess, so brace yourselves for a rhetorical orgy of strawmen and demonization. Speaker Boehner is slated to respond to the president's remarks immediately after he wraps up.(Story continues below...)
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Also note that this is a prepared speech, not a press conference. This is probably a smart move by the White House communications team. A presser would actually allow reporters to ask uncomfortable questions about the events of the last 48 hours, such as, "why did you kill a bipartisan compromise over the weekend, and why specifically is Harry Reid's plan any better than John Boehner's -- the plan that Reid reportedly supported until you nixed it?"
The tweet of the day on this topic goes to Dave Weigel:
@daveweigel - GOP: "We need a plan, not more speeches." Obama: "Did you say SPEECHES?"
See y'all at 9pm.
UPDATE - According to Nancy Pelosi, it's time we usher in an "era of austerity:"
Pelosi opposes Boehner's plan, natch, presumably because it's just too darned austere. How austere? It cuts, er, $25 billion in discretionary spending next year. Yeesh. UPDATE II - Grover Norquist and Allen West support Boehner's plan. And Ramesh Ponnuru serves up a helpful sliver of context:
It is clear we must enter an era of austerity; to reduce the deficit through shared sacrifice.
@RameshPonnuru - People forget that Harry Reid deliberately chose not to raise the debt ceiling while Ds still held House. http://bit.ly/qI8E7h