President Obama was supposed to be announcing an important compromise, as he put it, on tax policy. Normally a president, having agreed with the opposition on something big, would go through certain expected motions. He would laud the specific virtues of the plan, show graciousness toward the negotiators on the other side—graciousness implies that you won—and refer respectfully to potential critics as people who'll surely come around once they are fully exposed to the deep merits of the plan. Instead Mr. Obama said, essentially, that he hates the deal he just agreed to, hates the people he made the deal with, and hates even more the people who'll criticize it.This is what I meant when I said Obama doesn't have the temperament to triangulate. He's too morally self-satisfied to compromise effectively. He's supposed to increase his standing when he makes a deal. With this, he just made himself look petty and supercilious.
Friday, December 10, 2010
Triangulation, Ahoy! A good observation from Peggy Noonan today, apropos our advice to Obama. Peggy says: