President Obama caved deeply in a debt deal that made the Republicans big winners, with both Andrew Leonard and Paul Krugman arguing that he "surrendered." Their take:
- “In the end, President Obama had to admit surrender,” writes Andrew Leonard in Salon, detailing “a smashing victory for the Tea Party and a crushing defeat for Democrats.” In Obama’s defense, he “had to choose between an awful deal or an outright catastrophe.” But he made a mistake in trying to sell it as a compromise. "The president said it was not 'the deal I would have preferred.' He should have said it's a bad deal that does not address the pressing needs of the nation," but one that he had no choice but to sign.
- In the New York Times, Paul Krugman calls the deal “a disaster, and not just for President Obama and his party. It will damage an already depressed economy; it will probably make America’s long-run deficit problem worse, not better." But the damage won't be confined to those blows. "There will be more choke points where Republicans can threaten to create a crisis unless the president surrenders, and they can now act with the confident expectation that he will."
- But the Washington Post doesn't use the S-word. “For a White House eager to improve its standing with centrist independents who have been fleeing Obama, even a losing deal can be a winning strategy,” write Peter Wallsten and David Nakamura. Obama "can declare himself a deficit hawk as he courts the political middle.”