Debt Ceiling Deal: Obama 'Surrendered'

Krugman: It's a 'disaster' for the country, and shows he'll surrender again

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 1, 2011 7:24 AM CDT

(Newser) – 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.”

President Barack Obama speaks from the White House briefing room, Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Washington, about a deal being reached to raise the debt limit.
President Barack Obama speaks from the White House briefing room, Sunday, July 31, 2011, in Washington, about a deal being reached to raise the debt limit.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
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