While we wait for the children of Washington, D.C., to get their acts together and fully fund the government (and that means Republicans and Democrats) Bob Woodward of the Washington Post had a salient point to make this morning on the teevee show "Morning Joe."
Said Mr. Woodward:
"Can I enter in here just for a moment because I think it’s a good question. And there is something the president could be doing. He said he will not negotiate on the debt ceiling. A reasonable position. “I will not be blackmailed” he said. But he should be talking. They should be meeting, discussing this, because as I think Steve Ratner showed earlier, the American economy is at stake and the president, if there is a downturn or a collapse or whatever could happen here that’s bad, it’s going to be on his head. The history books are going to say, we had an economic calamity in the Presidency of Barack Obama. Speaker Boehner, indeed, is playing a role on this. Go back to the Great Depression in the 1930s. I’ll bet no one can name who was the speaker of the House at the time. Henry Thomas Rainey. He’s not in the history book it’s on the president’s head. He’s got to lead. He’s got to talk. And the absence of discussion here, I think, is baffling element."
If you listen closely, you can almost hear the gasps of Democratic political spinners as they try to figure out how to counter Mr. Woodward's sensible observation.
The president will talk to terrorists in Iran and listen obediently to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin on Syria, even play golf eight weekends in a row, but he can't be involved in discussions regarding the fiscal management of America.
As I pointed out yesterday, Politico reported that Obama's instincts were to sit down with Congress, but Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid threw a fit and told the president if he did that, he wouldn't go. So, the president didn't talk. And now we are in a shutdown.
Obama's been an unwise president. Reid's just been his old jackass self. The GOP has been, well, the GOP -- too often taking one step beyond prudence in the name of an ideology that is tough to reconcile. All together, they did their parts to bring us this government shutdown. None of them should be excused for their role in this mess.
But the president bears the most blame. This is his watch.