The subject of the piece is Allen and VandeHei’s report that broad agreement exists on the correct policy agenda, as revealed to them through “conversations we have had over the past three months with top lawmakers, officials, their senior aides and the CEOs who advise and lobby all of them.” The story proceeds to describe the obviously sensible agenda agreed upon by these sources: It is vital to reduce the deficit through tax reform and stingier entitlements, along with more free trade, resource extraction, and liberalized immigration.
This is far from the Randian paranoia that has spread among so many millionaires in the Obama agenda. Indeed, I find most of it fairly sensible as policy. What makes the consensus so astonishing, and even nauseating, is the degree to which those who share it show no awareness of their own insularity. Their shared sense of a smart economic growth strategy excludes any monetary or fiscal plan to bring down unemployment through higher consumer demand, a position that commands strong support among economists. Their list of ailments also excludes skyrocketing income inequality and out-of-control carbon emissions. (Though, at the end of a passage extolling the glorious possibility that American oil production will exceed that of Saudi Arabia within a decade, VandeHei and Allen do note, “No doubt, there are environmental concerns, especially for drinking water.” Well, yes. Also for the future of the human race.)
...while Chait whistles past the graveyard of his own chummy, insular piece last March of how Obama failed liberalism so badly in 2011 by extending the unemployment benefits and payroll tax cut (and putting the House GOP in its current bind) that he got re-elected by liberals, the cad. I pointed Chait's nonsense out back then:
Chait argues that President Obama wanting a deal -- any deal, mind you -- led him to treat the GOP as good faith partners when they were clearly not. Republicans, he goes on to say, were going to screw POTUS and the country no matter what Obama did. This is where Chait's argument turns into purist whining: There was nothing President Obama could have done that would have changed the outcome of the GOP screwing us over (indeed, the GOP is now signaling that it will simply ignore the debt deal), and at the same time he didn't do enough to change the outcome. It's just meaningless stupidity, brought about by the "liberal" Washington Post unloading this hit piece on the President, and Chait absolutely takes the bait, re-fighting the same arguments we had in 2010 and 2011 about "but if Obama had done THIS and LISTENED TO HOW SMART I AM..." five minutes after saying there was nothing he could have done.
Funny how that works, Jon. There's really not too much difference between you and Politico on that issue. Check a mirror next time you want to complain that the inside baseball game is turned up too loud.