After weeks of trying to stay above the fray, President Obama publicly stepped into the standoff over the 2011 federal budget on Tuesday, chiding Congress over its inability to "take care of last year's business... simply because of politics," and offering to broker daily talks until an agreement is reached. If Congress doesn't act by Friday, the government will shut down. At issue are how many billions to cut, and controversial GOP attempts fo defund groups like Planned Parenthood. Obama's used such "'Daddy's home!' moments" to get "bickering" lawmakers to cut deals before, says John Dickerson at Slate. Will it work this time?
Obama can't overcome a Tea Party "veto": The president is doing his best to broker a deal that can pass both the House and the Senate, says Jed Lewison in Daily Kos. But because House Speaker John Boehner is insisting that any budget win the support of 218 House Republicans (the number needed to pass a deal without the support of any House Democrats), he's basically given "Tea Party Republicans veto power." He needs their votes to reach his magic number. And "Tea Party Republicans want a government shutdown." If they didn't, we'd already have a budget deal.
"Report: Tea party Republicans given veto power over deal to avert shutdown"
The president can stop a shutdown... by siding with the GOP: Obama's "fits of pique" over the stalled budget talks won't change political reality, says Hugh Hewitt at his blog. Republicans "shellacked" him in November, and unless the president signs on to the GOP budget, Boehner will have to "patiently explain" to voters that Obama cares more about Planned Parenthood, taxpayer subsidies for NPR and PBS, the EPA's carbon regulations, and health care reform than he does about their "convenience."
"President Obama demands shutdown"
This is all theatrics: Don't believe the "hand-wringers" on either side, says Jennifer Rubin in The Washington Post. Neither Boehner nor Obama wants a shutdown, and Boehner has enough votes to keep the government going for a week, if need be. Boehner just wants House freshmen to know he "gave it his all," which he did. In the meantime, "I sort of suspect that Obama and Boehner are assigning each other sound bites and deciding how close to the wire they want to play this."
"Pundits buy the floor show"