James Fallows is puzzled:
I Wonder If President Obama Really Believes This: Read the two bits of testimony by Congressional staffers -- one Republican, one Democratic -- about the nihilist freefire zone that is the modern Congress. Then consider President Obama's Labor Day pledge:
We've got a lot more work to do to recover fully from this recession," Mr. Obama said. "I'm going to propose ways to put America back to work that both parties can agree to because I still believe both parties can work together to solve our problems.
An objective observer must of course conclude that in fact there is no way "to put America back to work that both parties can agree to," because not agreeing is, for today's Republican leadership, a paramount goal.
It is admirable, even touching, that the President of all the people states his faith that "both parties can work together to solve our problems." But can he actually "still believe" this? Based on what vote? By what Republican? On what bill? At what point during Obama's time in office? It is hard to imagine that he has not noticed the real-world evidence. So if he has observed reality and knows that no matter what he proposes the GOP simply will not sign on, what's the next move? And lot depends on whether and when the "Mr. Reasonable" strategy pays off"…
Put me down as somebody who believes that the President of the United States should not say things that he believes to be untrue. He is then relying on people's believing that they know what you really mean--that they are in on the con--to keep them from thinking that he is a fool. And being asked to believe that they are in on the con makes most people nervous, or should make most people nervous.
I don't like it.