* Obama, speaking to the press just now, flatly vowed that he would veto any effort to get around the defense cuts triggered by the supercommittee’s failure.
“There will be no easy off ramps on this one,” Obama said, casting his move as designed to keep up pressure on Republicans to make tough deficit reduction choices. The move suggests Obama has lost any illusions about the ability to reach any deals with Republicans and is moving aggressively to seize the political initiative out of the supercommittee debacle.
* Meanwhile, Mitch McConnell’s statement on the supercommittee’s failure actually calls on the total amount of triggered cuts to go through, as long as they don’t target defense, as the original trigger stipulated. McConnell calls on Obama to avert the defense cuts in the name of national security.
Wait — wasn’t that original trigger voted upon by members of both parties? Either way, if Obama is serious about his veto threat, Dems don’t seem prepared to let GOP national security attacks cow them.
* And Harry Reid immediately goes on offense, signaling that Dems will aggressively use the supercommittee failure to highlight which party’s fiscal solutions are in step with the American people:
“I am disappointed that Republicans never found the courage to ignore Tea Party extremists and millionaire lobbyists like Grover Norquist, and listen instead to the overwhelming majority of Americans — including the vast majority of Republicans — who want a balanced approach to deficit reduction. For the good of our country, Democrats were prepared to strike a grand bargain that would make painful cuts while asking millionaires to pay their fair share, and we put our willingness on paper. But Republicans never came close to meeting us halfway.”
I continue to maintain that we can evaluate whether such statements are objectively true, by looking at the actual proposals themselves, and comparing them to one another.
* Relatedly, a good post from Jonathan Chait patiently explaining to reporters that it’s a simple matter of “reality” that “Democrats are willing to compromise to cut the deficit and Republicans aren’t.”
Not a matter of opinion. A matter of verifiable reality.
* By the way, here’s the supercommittee’s statement finally admitting failure, which seems almost like an afterthought at this point.
* A well-timed CNN poll finds that 67 percent of Americans — and 69 percent of indys and 79 percent of moderates — think the supercommittee should do what the GOP wouldn’t do, i.e., raise taxes on businesses and the rich to close the deficit.
Yes, a big majority also called for spending cuts. But Dems agreed to spending cuts.
* Bernie Sanders patiently explains it to Wolf Blitzer: No deal is better than a bad deal that sells out all your priorities.
As Digby jokes, Blitzer appeared to be “extremely confused by the fact that someone might have liberal principles.”
* Senate Dems rush out a new video tying the GOP to Grover Norquist, and it seems the little-known Norquist will be central to Dem talking points going forward.
* Are the attacks on Occupy Wall Street going bust? Gallup finds only a slight increase in disapproval of its methods, while overall views of the movement and its goals remain roughly the same.
Caveat: Large numbers have no opinion, meaning the movement still has tons of work to do to persuade Americans it represents mainstream concerns.
* A nice E.J. Dionne column that unmasks the real goal of the conservative attacks on Occupy Wall Street, and, crucially, calls on protesters not to make the right’s job easier:
If the occupiers need to battle right-wing efforts to turn them into Abbie Hoffmans and Jerry Rubins (whom many occupiers have never heard of), they also need to resist a lefty sort of nostalgia...Will the Occupy movement play into the hands of its enemies by living up to the stereotypes they are trying to create? Or will it instead move to a phase that builds on its success?
* Mitt Romney is set to go up on the air with his first TV ad targeting Obama on the economy, again presenting himself as the de facto nominee.
* And Jonathan Cohn on the real reason conservatives don’t like the individual mandate: They don’t think government should do anything to guarantee that everyone has access to affordable health care.
What else is happening?