Who is Obama trying to placate with his perpetual capitulation to a small faction of Republicans with whom the overwhelming majority of this country completely disagree?
He's the president of the United States, not just the president of the people who voted for him; I get that. But the tea partiers are another story. They don't accept him as their president, they never will, and they are willing to drive this country into oblivion in the dim hope that Obama will be the one ultimately held accountable, and he will lose his bid for reelection.
Someone will be destroyed when this game has run its course.
Will the country blame Obama if our economy tanks and can't recover, or will most people see the Tea Party as a reckless back-seat driver grabbing the wheel and turning the country sharply into the nearest ditch?
The fact of the matter is that Obama should not be playing this game to begin with.
The moment that Congress was on a path to brinkmanship with the debt ceiling, Obama should have invoked the 14th Amendment and raised the debt limit himself. Problem solved. No circus, no bird-brained politicians strutting around, fluffing up their feathers, and making an international mockery of our entire republic.
Would the Right have cried foul? Of course! They are going to cry foul no matter what the president does. But when the majority of the country elects a leader, that person has been given the right and the obligation to lead!
Our government is not beholden to banks, and our president is not beholden to Congress. Sure there are checks and balances, but if Bush Jr. can get away with ignoring the will of 50% of the population, then I'm pretty sure Obama can get away with ignoring the will of 30% of the population.
Ultimately, the only thing that matters to people is knowing that there is someone in charge.
The fear-charged stampede that drove the markets down today was, I believe, all about uncertainty. What's going on? Who's in charge? Are the banks in charge? What does that mean for the future of our country?
Obama needs to stop trying to reason with people and take command (he's only slightly left-of-center, it's not like he'd do anything crazy). Those who hold left-wing views will abide, those who hold right-wing views will never abide no matter how reasonable he tries to be, and the vast majority of the people in the middle aren't interested in politics at all: they just want to know that someone is in charge, and when they don't know who, if anyone, is at the wheel, they flip-the-hell-out and, in a state of mass confusion and panic, will jump off the nearest cliff.