The Washington Post

Happy Hour Roundup

* Some recommended takes on Obama’s speech: E.J. Dionne on how Obama has “finally decided to take his own side” in the grand philosophical struggle of the moment, and on why he really needs to stay on his own side.

* Adam Serwer on how Obama just delivered the most full-throated defense of the welfare state — and of the legacy of Democratic presidents -- of his career.

* Ben Smith on how Obama emulated Bill Clinton’s decision to engage the mid-nineties budget battle as a moral and philosophical one.

* The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities on why Obama’s plan, for all the stirring rhetoric, is still fundamentally a center-right one.

* Steve Benen warns that if this is the starting point, a middle ground between this and Paul Ryan would be unacceptable, meaning that Obama’s fight has only just begun.

* Massimo Calabresi says Obama will have no choice but to stage a major showdown over the tax cuts for the rich, in order to give the base something to offset disappointment over other future concessions.

* Steve Stromberg on how the policy details of Obama’s propsal toss the ball back into the GOP’s court and will test Republicans’ seriousness about the deficit.

* Jonathan Bernstein on how Obama’s speech was directed to a surprising degree at liberals who needed to be reminded that Obama does view government as a force for progressive change.

* Jon Chait finally heard some moral outrage.

* The House GOP view: This speech was Obama’s blueprint for reelection.

* If so, Digby says, it will work, because it has the virtue of appealing to liberals and independents.

* Tim Pawlenty comes out against the $38 billion budget deal, suggesting that demagoguing ever further to the right on spending will be a feature of the 2012 GOP primary.

* Watch this one: Rank and file House Dems call on the Dem leadership to take a firm stand in favor of a clean vote on raising the debt ceiling. No flirting with any deals.

* And right-leaning David Frum warns Republicans that they’re dangerously close to deluding themselves into believing that their Medicare and high-end tax-cut policies have popular support.

What else is happening?

Greg Sargent writes The Plum Line blog, a reported opinion blog with a liberal slant -- what you might call “opinionated reporting” from the left.


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