Does Obama Have Stockholm Syndrome, Or Is Greg Sargent Misreading Obama’s Press Conference Comments?

And the plain fact is that Obama has reiterated that the same spending and entitlement cuts he offered in 2011 are still on the table, even irking his own base in the process.

— Greg Sargent, this morning

That really surprised me, so I clicked the link Sargent offers, which turns out to be to a transcript of Obama’s Tues. press conference. Here’s what I think Sargent is referring to, although Obama’s comments pretty clearly referred to his Dec. 2012 fiscal-cliff-crisis offer, not his debt-ceiling-crisis Aug. 2011 offer:

The proposals that I put forward during the fiscal cliff negotiations in discussions with Speaker Boehner and others are still very much on the table.  I just want to repeat:  The deals that I put forward, the balanced approach of spending cuts and entitlement reform and tax reform that I put forward are still on the table.   

I’ve offered sensible reforms to Medicare and other entitlements, and my health care proposals achieve the same amount of savings by the beginning of the next decade as the reforms that have been proposed by the bipartisan Bowles-Simpson fiscal commission.

In an update this afternoon, Sargent says Dem Senate leadership is willing to propose further spending cuts in exchange for the closing of the most outrageous oil-and-gas-industry, other corporate, and hedge-fund-manager tax loopholes.  But I think it’s a safe bet that the Senate Dem leaders are not considering anything similar to Obama’s panicky Aug. 2011 offer.  

But even though what appears to be at issue is Obama’s Dec. 2012 offers, not his Aug. 2011 offer, he needs to confer with Senate Dem leaders.  He may have Stockholm Syndrome, but they don’t.  Is he really planning to offer the Repubs something that would not receive 50 Dem Senate votes?  Especially when all he really has to do is bring a couple of easy-to-understand pie charts with him to his State of the Union address, and illustrate something that most Americans do not know: that as part of that Aug. 2011 Republican hostage-taking, he and the Senate Dems agreed to huge spending cuts, with no offsetting tax increases on anyone?

Good heavens.  I do realize that pie charts aren’t as theatrical as real-Americans-as-props-sitting-in-the-audience.  But they’re really easy to invite.  

And they don’t even need a security check.

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