Today’s White House meeting suggests there is no deal remotely in sight on the debt ceiling. A GOP aide familiar with the talks told me, “Today was the most tense meeting of the week. In fact, the president ended the meeting by abruptly leaving the room. During the meeting, the speaker challenged the president to offer real spending cuts. He said the gimmicks and accounting tricks that Washington has used for decades are not applicable here.” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has had enough. “When White House officials attempted to justify budgetary gimmicks, the speaker said pointedly ‘We’re not doing that anymore.’”
At some point you wonder what is the point of keeping the talks from public scrutiny. The pathetically passive media is not demanding particulars from the White House. So, Obama sits back, refusing to present any significant cuts. He’s serious about three things: making the Republicans out to be the bad guys, doing nothing to upset his base and insisting on tax hikes. If this is where he really stands, it’s time, perhaps, to pull the plug or pull back the curtain on the charade.