Sunday, October 20, 2013
Is Maureen Dowd getting it wrong here?
The question at hand is whether Bill-Clinton-like-schmoozing is the appropriate behavior for President Obama now in his interactions with Congress, as Dowd suggests, or if instead the real game is to orchestrate a way for Democrats to retake the House in 2014.
Charles Blow argued for the alternative yesterday and suggested the game is to box the Republicans into uncomfortable positions.
Also, in Dowd's column the Panetta quote seems to me taken out of context. It was offered before the deal on the Debt Ceiling was struck. In retrospect, it seems Panetta was wrong here. Obama played his cards right, at least until the crisis was over.
There is something to be said about having the victor behave in a magnanimous fashion. But that is when the war is over. If this is just one battle and there are still many more to be fought with the current Congress, slapping backs and having Congressmen over to watch a movie at the White House seems like a wrong approach to me. Dowd's approach would make more sense if non-Tea-Party Republicans made a break with their Caucus.
Until then, game on.