The President’s proposal could be the opening bid in a negotiation with Congressional Republicans. When you combine this substance with the President’s aggressive partisan attacks and framing of the Ryan budget, however, it’s hard to see how this leads to a big fiscal deal this year or next....the chances of a long-term grand bargain in the next two years just plummeted from an already low starting point.
I am afraid that Keith might be right.
President Obama certainly has the ability to disagree without being disagreeable. But yesterday he decided, I presume quite consciously, that demonizing the opposition was the right strategy for him. Perhaps this decision suggests that the speech was written to be the beginning of a heated reelection campaign rather than an invitation for negotiation and compromise. I hope this interpretation is wrong. If it is right, then my hypothetical 2026 speech may have be given a few years earlier than planned.