In politics, as in comedy, timing is everything. The country is not ready to believe what the commission is saying. On the right, tea party members think the budget can be balanced with spending cuts alone. On the left, Obama’s liberal base thinks the job can be done by cutting defense and taxing millionaires. In the middle, independents think entitlements are not spending, at least not the kind you can cut.
What needs to happen is political show-and-tell: an educational process showing tea partiers that repealing the New Deal isn’t going to happen, liberals that cherished domestic programs (including some for the poor) will need to be sacrificed, and independents that middle-class subsidies need to be rethought. When enough people in all three groups understand they can’t have their first choice, the balanced approach will have a chance.”
- Jonathan Rauch in his op-ed on Obama’s best strategy in the deficit debate: Play golf and let the budget debate simmer down.