President Obama — July 12, 2011 at 6:52 am

Lawrence O’Donnell: What you are seeing is the most masterful rope-a-dope ever seen by a president


This made me go to bed late last night. Brilliant analysis. Whenever I find myself doubting what the president is doing, I’m always reassured by recalling how many previous times I have had those doubts only to be shown by the end that his strategy was brilliant and successful, achieving the best possible results given the situation.

The debt ceiling debate is a stunning example of this according to O’Donnell. It’s long, but it’s worth every second.

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What you are now witnessing is the most masterful rope-a-dope ever performed by a president against an opposition party in Congress. It began months ago… Joe Biden then lead negotiations with House Republicans about how to find a compromise position on the White House position of doing nothing but raising the debt ceiling and the Republicans position of cutting $4 trillion in spending while raising the debt ceiling. Biden and House Democrats then rope-a-doped the Republicans into weeks of discussions over trillions of dollars of spending cuts. And during that time, Democrats appeared to be increasingly willing to go along with trillions of dollars of spending cuts — possibly as much as three trillion. Then Biden and the President insisted that there be at least a trillion in tax revenue increases and Republican Eric Cantor fell for the Obama ultimatum and walked out of the talks doing exactly what the President wanted him to do because Cantor was thereby proving to the country once again that President Obama was willing to be much more flexible and reasonable in these negotiations and compromises with Republicans than Republicans were willing to be with the President. Specific policy issues aside, President Obama has already won the public contest of who appears to be more reasonable and he won that weeks ago.

O’Donnell then goes onto explain how Republicans are now running from their own positions with the end of this game very likely leading to a passage of the debt ceiling without any preconditions, the position the President wanted from Day One.

“The more President Obama pushes for the $4 trillion package, the more Boehner retreats from it. The President is finally capitalizing on a phenomenon that has been obvious from the start of his presidency: if he is in favor of something then the Republicans are opposed — it’s as simple as that. Here is the President embracing the Republicans number so now the Republicans must be against their own number. This, THIS! is a work of strategic brilliance by the President.


Meanwhile, Rush Limbaugh says the reason President Obama is pushing the August 2nd deadline is Ramadan starts on August 1st. No shit. Listen to it for yourself, it starts at 1:38.

Obama’s out there pushing this magic August 2nd deadline to get this thing done. That’s because Ramadan starts August 1st. And it’s uh… [laughs] … well it does! Looked it up!