I am extremely gladdened to see the President take my advice and unleash some pretty harsh moral rhetoric on the Republicans and Paul Ryan. Without digging too much into the speech itself, I want to note that I doubt this speech would’ve been possible while a government shutdown was going on. Moreover, I think the President basically dealt away a big dollar figure last week so he could have maximum “bipartisan dealmaker” credibility heading into a speech that draws big, bold lines on the budget and clearly aims at making the 2012 election about big issues. From that perspective, last week is starting to look a little “Briar Patch”y – the President established himself as willing to meet more than halfway and made sure the Republicans looked as petty and petulant as possible, and now he comes out and clearly says what he will not compromise or negotiate away under any circumstances. A little political jujitsu from the community organizer.

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