Some in the media have been hounding President Obama to do more to reach to Republican leaders, as if it were their job to compel a deficit-reducing “Grand Bargain” during a jobs crisis.
But they’ve failed to notice the key aspect of the story: Republican leaders in the House and Senate have refused to negotiate with President Obama at all unless he agrees to drop any demand for new revenues.
This telling detail comes in the seventh paragraph of a story in Tuesday’s New York Times detailing the president’s failed attempts to reach out to the GOP, including a secret invitation to watch the film Lincoln at the White House that was refused by all the Republicans invited:
What spurred Mr. Obama to reach out to rank-and-file Republicans with a flurry of phone calls, meals and now Capitol visits were the recent announcements by their leaders — Speaker John A. Boehner and Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky — that they will no longer negotiate with Mr. Obama on budget policy as long as he keeps demanding more tax revenues as the condition for Democrats’ support of reduced spending on Medicare and other entitlement programs.
So unless the President of the United States gives up on his key demand, the “balanced approach” to the deficit he campaigned and was elected upon, they won’t even negotiate.