While the President has talked a lot about the process of the negotiations themselves, why has he not addressed the nation to defend government against the substantive attacks that the Republicans have been making against it. This is a great time to do that. Every American of voting age can recall 9-11, Hurricane Katrina, the BP blow-out in the Gulf, and the Massey Energy mine explosion. The need for an effective Federal government is obvious to most. And there is little the Republicans could do at this unique juncture to respond. I say this because, while in a different era the Republican party might have been able to stake out some defensible middle ground in such a debate, the current bunch cannot. Having voted for the Ryan plan to phase out Medicare, having endorsed the philosophy of Ayn Rand, having drunk Grover Norquist’s Kool-aid, and having engaged in — or failed to stop – the high-risk tactics employed by the “tea-partiers” in the House, the Republicans have now become the party who wishes to reduce Government to rubble.
There is no good reason to believe that Americans want to see their government destroyed, because in a very real sense Government is “us.” What Americans want — all of us — is good, well managed Government that is no bigger than it needs to be. That’s a position the President should have taken long ago. He should do so now.