July 29th, 2011
08:08 PM ET

Letters to the President: #921 'One step forward . . . one back . . .'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has vowed to strike down the GOP plan to deal with the debt ceiling, but the House Republicans passed it this afternoon anyway.

Dear Mr. President,

Did you see House Speaker John Boehner this afternoon? Wow. Talk about fired up. The speech he gave on the floor was crazy fired up, especially for him, because as you may know, he’s not exactly a lightning bolt kind of guy. But then I suppose you can’t blame him.

He was really up against it with his tea party pals. They have held his feet to the fire over this whole affair, and to be frank, in a one-off way they’ve done the same to you. Now, of course, the question is: What’s next?

I have the feeling that even Machiavelli might find all the possible twists and turns a tad daunting. As a practical matter it seems as if what this really means (since your whole team says the measure passed this afternoon is going to be killed) is that now everyone can get serious about real and final negotiations. And I suspect the biggest player at the table now is going to be the clock.

I don’t mean just in a “wow, time is running out so we better get busy” way. But rather, I have the feeling that the clock will now start giving cover to people on both sides of the aisle. After all, when you are playing chicken with a catastrophe, bailing out too soon just makes you look silly, but bailing out too late looks foolhardy, and the entire DC crowd is bordering pretty darn hard on the latter.

So I suspect what we’ll be hearing a lot now from both parties is, “We are working out a final deal. It is not the deal we want. But heck, the sky is about to fall, what else could we do?”

Fair enough. As long as we get past this crisis so we can finally turn our attention to the next one.


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Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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Filed under: Letters to the President • Opinion • President Barack Obama • T1
soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. Linda Pickett

    I have no idea of what I am doing and I have no idea of what to do about it. Do I finally tell them now?

    July 29, 2011 at 11:42 pm |
  2. Suzanne Lee

    "Don't make me come over there..."

    July 29, 2011 at 11:16 pm |