I especially enjoyed the audio clip at the tail end in which Obama laments the exhausting merry-go-round of "manufactured" crises, for which his party is almost exclusively responsible. And how does the president behave during these standoffs? New York Times columnist David Brooks -- a long-time admirer of Obama's, all the way down to his sartorial elegance -- identifies a pattern of behavior:
Under the Permanent Campaign Shimmy, the president identifies a problem. Then he declines to come up with a proposal to address the problem. Then he comes up with a vague-but-politically-convenie nt concept that doesnít address the problem (letís raise taxes on the rich). Then he goes around the country blasting the opposition for not having as politically popular a concept. Then he returns to Washington and congratulates himself for being the only serious and substantive person in town. Sequestration allows the White House to do this all over again. The president hasnít actually come up with a proposal to avert sequestration, let alone one that is politically plausible. He does have a vague and politically convenient concept.(Tax increases on the rich!) He does have a chance to lead the country into a budget showdown with furloughed workers and general mayhem, for which people will primarily blame Republicans. And he does have the chance to achieve the same thing he has achieved so frequently over the past two years, political success and legislative mediocrity.