JONATHAN COHN JUNE 15, 2011
Everything you need to know about politics right now is in the following two paragraphs, from a blog item that Time's Michael Grunwald wrote at Swampland:
The Republican Party, after converting huge surpluses into huge deficits during the Bush era, after opposing deficit-reducing health reforms, student loan reforms and big-bank taxes during the Obama era, after continuing to clamor for trillions of dollars in deficit-expanding tax cuts while gutting House pay-as-you-go rules to make it easier to expand the deficit, has somehow managed to re-brand itself as the party of fiscal responsibility. It’s a remarkable political achievement. ...
It’s not Obama’s fault that Republicans are irresponsible. But he’s not powerless. He’s not voiceless. It was no coincidence that when he laid out a strong case against GOP fiscal insanity in his George Washington speech in April, Republicans hated it, screeching that he was the meanest, nastiest, most partisan President in the history of Kenyan sharia socialism. Apparently, he touched a nerve. But he hasn’t touched it again. Ultimately, if he can’t create a political atmosphere where irresponsibility is punished, the irresponsibility will continue. And he’ll be held accountable for the consequences.