Whatever happens today on the debt-ceiling deal one thing will be clear: our president has shown no leadership in this crisis. He never offered a specific proposal for a fear to be criticized. That lack of leadership has been tricking down to his Congressional allies who have not passed a budget in over 800 days and have mostly reacted (vehemently and with abusive language at times) to whatever the other side does.

It is so easy for some on the left to criticize every GOP plan as “uncaring”, “terrorist”, etc. That seems to be the strategy of many: offer platitudes about “the poor” and “what will Jesus do” but present nothing specific while lambasting any other proposal. At least Harry Reid offered one plan but our President offered nothing.  The fact remains that, as much as we may criticize this plan or the other, and as much as we get heated from time to time with Republican leadership (and we should), they are the only ones offering specific proposals.  That is leadership, at least this time around.

They have been able to change the discussion into proposals for cutting spending. The left has been reduced to try and hide tax increases and proclaim austerity. You see, by presenting the other side as unwilling to compromise they can say that they tried their best but were forced by those who “took hostage” the process. It is refreshing to see new Congress members who stand on principle, regardless of whether or not you agree with them. President Obama  must ameliorate the anger coming from radicals in the party who still think that spending more cures our economy (yes, they are still that obtuse) and tell to the center that they are being responsible. Politics gets in the way.

Don’t get me wrong, there are Republicans who would have no qualms voting for more spending and more taxes on “the rich” but, as the conversation has changed, they abstain or proclaim austerity as their goal. Both sides can be criticized here! So, if anything good has happened is a change in the conversation that we must continue to push further until we get real, meaningful proposals. Both parties are now aware that politics as usual is over.

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