The long-running feud between President Obama and the GOP House leadership is raging once again. Obama has been telling college students in swing states that Republicans aren't committed to preventing federal student loan rates from doubling, scolding Congress for playing politics instead of passing laws. House Speaker John Boehner responded Sunday by charging that it's Obama who's poisoning the atmosphere in Washington, "diminishing the presidency by picking fake fights" with the GOP. Whose fault is it that the two parties can't seem to work together?
That's easy. Republicans are the problem: Blame the GOP for Washington's dysfunctional state, say Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein at The Washington Post. In recent years, thanks in part to the mobilization of social conservatives and the emergence of Fox News, he the party has shifted so sharply to the right that nobody batted an eye when Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.) claimed this month that dozens of House Democrats were card-carrying Communists. When one party goes that far to the extreme, it's "nearly impossible for the political system to deal constructively with the country's challenges."
"Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem"
Democrats are the ones who left the mainstream: If Republicans refuse to compromise and filibuster to block the Democrats' agenda, says J. Robert Smith at The American Thinker, it's only because the GOP is using the only means it has to "stop Uncle Sam's dramatic leftward lurch" under Obama. This administration has pushed through a "jaw-dropping increase in the national debt" and a "massive government takeover of health care." By trying to push back, Boehner and his troops are doing what the "loyal opposition" should do, and trying to keep Obama from leading the country to financial ruin.
"Blame Republicans for everything, say two D.C. scholars"
Both sides have scored their points. Now it's time to work: The last thing this country needs is more pointless standoffs like last year's debt-limit debacle, says Rhonda Swan at the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post. Now "Obama and the Republicans have made their political points" on the showdown du jour — student loan interest rates. As usual, both sides are digging in their heels over how to pay for the bill — in this case, $6 billion for keeping rates at 3.4 percent instead of letting them rise to 6.8 percent. But we've had enough of this "political theater;" it's time to "find a political compromise."
"Defuse another debt bomb"