At his late-afternoon press conference on the debt ceiling fight yesterday, the president made clear he doesn’t want a short-term fix.
“I don’t think that the American people sent us here to avoid tough problems,” he said. “That’s, in fact, what drives them nuts about Washington — when both parties simply take the path of least resistance — and I don’t want to do that here.”
He said the nation has “a unique opportunity to do something big” and shouldn’t “kick the can down the road” on the broader issue of government red ink.
But is a grand bargain really a possibility here? This is the least productive Congress in recent history–whether measured by number of votes or significant bills passed. The GOP majority is taking its “small government” philosophy to the extreme, effectively halting progress on every issue. And with loud voices on the right essentially denying reality and saying the government won’t–even that it can’t–default, Obama’s “nuclear” option–invoking the 14th amendment to say the debt ceiling is unconstitutional–is looking more attractive.