Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Price of Politics



In many respects, Bob Woodward has become a political hatchet man with his well timed books that take aim at leading politicians without offering much in the way of insight except a few tantalizing bits and pieces picked up by news blogs.  Here he goes again with his 17th book, this one on the debt deal collapse, saying,

"It was increasingly clear that no one was running Washington. That was trouble for everyone, but especially for Obama." 

I hope he goes a little deeper than this in his book.

8 comments:

  1. Heard Woodward on Charlie Rose the other night. Very disappointed. He seemed to view Obama as a political novice in the debt ceiling debates, giving must of the credit to Biden for negotiating a deal with McConnell at the last minute. It was my impression that Harry Reid was the main force behind the compromise from what I read in the news, but then Woodward might be privy to more info. He makes it sound like he has free access to the WH and corridors of Congress. Anyway, here is the interview,

    http://www.charlierose.com/view/interview/12545

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  2. I too saw Woodward on Charlie Rose. I have a problem with Woodward's argument that the President needs to "impose" his will on Congress. Charlie Rose pressed him on that point. I understand Woodward’s contention that it’s the President’s responsibility to lead but how does the President strike a deal with an obstinate Congress whose stated legislative priority is make Obama a one-term President?

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  3. That's how I feel as well. Obama certainly made plenty of overtures and his deficit reduction plan was very accommodating to Republicans but they refused to budge. I got the impression that Boehner was determined to make Obama look bad. However, Woodward seems to think that Obama just didn't want to play the game.

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  4. Shapiro has fun with Woodward's "brand" of "inside-the-White-House" reporting,

    "The problem with Woodward’s fixation on the Oval Office and the GOP congressional leadership is it leads to a lack of journalistic skepticism about the lasting importance of the story he’s telling. The failed 2011 budget negotiations will never be an epic historical marker like the Punic Wars. They represented a burst of heroic posturing by Obama, Boehner and other major figures. But in the end, especially in Woodward’s plodding account, they were just the stuff that schemes—and not dreams—are made of."

    http://news.yahoo.com/bob-woodward-s-budget-bust--why--the-price-of-politics--is-much-ado-about-nothing.html

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  5. For all of Woodward's balderdash, it seems it is Boehner who looks like the novice right now, not Obama.

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  6. I believed in 2011 and I still believe that Eric Cantor's designs on the speakership are driving at least part of the GOP's intansigence. If he ever became speaker, however, it seems to me things would only get worse for the nation. Maybe Boehner is like the boy with his finger in the dyke. Apres moi le deluge.

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  7. Hard to imagine it getting any worse. I think Boehner has just come to the realization that you have to compromise to get anything. Cantor is too dense to have figured that out.

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  8. It just amazes me that Woodward had the audacity to thrust the blame on Obama for the breakdown in talks in 2011. He put quite an offering on the table -- a $4 tril defecit reduction plan that included over 80% in domestic cuts and still the Republicans rejected this and offered a $1 tril deficit reduction plan in its place. The compromise was $2 tril in domestic cuts offered by half-baked Harry Reid. So here we are again!

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