"Insulting." That is what conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer termed Obama's "plan" to prevent the federal government from falling over the fiscal cliff. But to the Old Media establishment, Obama's insulting plan lacking in specifics was a brilliant "strategic move" that will force Republicans to "offer a counter proposal"--despite the fact that, going back to Paul Ryan's Road Map, the GOP is the only side offering many specifics in this debate thus far.
Before Election Day, President Obama made vague comments about implementing 2.5 dollars in cuts for every dollar of spending increases, but he never really clarified what that meant in real terms, never saying exactly what he would cut. But at least before the election he gave lip service to cuts. This week, though, now that he is safely re-elected, he sent Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner to the GOP leadership to offer a plan that had no specifics, no cuts, and huge spending hikes.
Even worse, Obama wants another stimulus of $50 billion!
Naturally, the Republican leadership in both the House and the Senate immediately rejected the wholly unserious plan. It was such a risible effort that Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell laughed out loud as Geithner tried to explain the President's offer.
Geithner was tasked with the unenviable duty of telling Republicans that Obama wanted $1.6 trillion in tax increases and, according the McConnell, showed "minimal or no interest” in spending cuts.
So what has the Old Media establishment said of this "insulting" offer?
The Hill thought it was a sensible move by the President.
The venerable Washington insider newspaper explained Obama's insulting offer away as but, "the first offer in high-stakes negotiations is almost always a strategic move and rarely accepted by the opposing party."
The Hill then goes on to note that Democrats love the President's absurd proposal saying, "the onus is now on the GOP to reveal their counter proposal."
This is insensible. The GOP has been the only side offering any specifics all along. The "onus" is still on Democrats to get serious in this debate!
For the New York Times, Obama's frivolous proposal was a "detailed proposal" to "avert the year-end fiscal crisis."
Amusingly, even the Times was forced to note that Obama's plan was "short on detailed spending cuts."
For The Washington Post the forlorn hope meeting between Geithner and the GOP was an opportunity to claim that tax cheat Geithner had "rehabilitated his reputation."
To the Post the specifics of the plan were less important than trying to re-inflate Geithner's reputation as he makes for the door -- he is resigning from his cabinet position later this year.
CBS News tried to claim that Obama would "give in on $400 billion in spending cuts," but the truth is there weren't any such specifics in the plan Geithner presented. The only reforms mentioned were to come "later," but no specifics seem to have been delineated. The only thing that seemed assured was that tax hikes on "the rich" and a new stimulus of $50 billion would take effect now.
NBC painted the break down of negotiations as House Speaker Boehner's fault saying, "Optimism about the two parties compromising to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff hit a snag when House Speaker John Boehner said he was ‘disappointed’ in the progress..."
The Old Media is desperately trying to spin this whole debate as mere Republican obstructionism to President "I Won's" brilliant policies.