The President is finally becoming an expert at explaining things. His inability to do so in the past has been one of his biggest weaknesses.
In Tuesday’s presser, President Obama agilely wove a personal comparison for folks watching at home that they can relate to. They don’t get to not pay their mortgage and if they do, the bank doesn’t just stop charging them. Obama explained that it’s the same with not raising the debt ceiling.
Obama pointedly said about the Republicans, “That’s not how it works in our personal lives, I don’t know why people think that’s how it works in government.”
The President explained that the debt ceiling does not increase our debt, grow our deficits or allow for a single dime in increased spending.
President Obama clarified his terms for talking to Republicans, and no, he’s not backing down from his original stance that he will not “negotiate” with a gun to America’s head. He will not negotiate when Republicans are threatening to default. Extortion can’t be a routine part of our democracy.
“I will talk about anything. What will happen is we won’t agree on everything. I recognize that there’s some House members where I got clobbered in the last election and they don’t get politically rewarded for being seen negotiating with me. But I’m willing to work through those issues. The only thing our Democracy can’t work through is when one side says unless I get my way, I’ll threaten to shutdown the American government or refuse to pay our bills.”
The President explained, “If you don’t pay your mortgage for a month or two, you’re not saving money and you’re hurting your credit.”
Taking it further, Obama said, “You’re going to have trouble borrowing and now you’ll have to borrow at a higher rate.”
When asked to hypothesize down the line re picking winners and losers, Obama said, “I am going to continue to be hopeful that Congress does not put us in that situation.”
Obama broke down the vulnerable people, from seniors to disabled veterans to business, counting on the bills being paid on time. Again Obama made use of the personal analogy to our mortgages.
The President noted that it’s particularly funny to hear Republicans, who claim to be the party of business, say that not paying the debt is no biggie, when any business person will tell you that it is a very big deal.
Obama called it out, “If Republicans are serious about wanting to have a talk, there’s no reason to have that threat hanging over the conversation.”
I say, see if your ex thinks you’re being honest about negotiating if you empty the bank accounts first and put a gun to their head. No? See Republicans.
The President explained that Democrats are willing to fund the government at levels that they think are harmful in order to put country first. He is correct. The Center for American progress made a graph:
One of the reasons Republicans get away with this kind of behavior is that the public believes GOP lies about the situation. President Obama defused the power of Republican lies among the non-partisans today, by breaking things down in simple language. Obama finally overcame his messaging problem today. It’s anyone’s guess if the media will pick up on it.
Speaker Boehner is afraid that Democrats are out to annihilate Republicans, as Republicans are annihilating America. The truth is that Republicans are annihilating themselves in one huge, epic, frightening temper tantrum.