James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal riffs off of Obama's threat not to mail social security checks to your grandmother on August 3rd:
At a press conference yesterday, Obama demanded that Republicans not only authorize trillions of dollars in new borrowing,which at this point seems unavoidable, but agree to what he called "massive, job-killing tax increases" effective in 2013--i.e., after what he expects will be his re-election.
For this he drew plaudits from what used to be called the mainstream media. "Obama Grasping Centrist Banner in Debt Impasse" read the New York Times headline. The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza dubbed him "Dad-in-Chief," explaining: "Boil Obama's message down and you get this: Adults sometimes have to do things that they don't want to do. This is one of those times. So, let's get it done."
The kids are acting up, so he threatens to starve Granny to death. That's just how a strong father behaves.
It looks to us as if Obama may once again be overestimating his persuasive powers by relying for feedback on journalists who, for a combination of ideological, partisan and personal reasons, are predisposed to take his side. NewsBusters.org has a useful compilation of what it calls the "softballs" reporters lobbed at yesterday's press conference. Some of them were actually a bit adversarial, but only from the left.
Our favorite is from Rich Wolf of USA Today: "You keep talking about balance, shared sacrifice, but in the $4 trillion deal that you're talking about roughly, it seems to be now at about 4 to 1 spending to taxes; we're talking about $800 billion in taxes, roughly. That doesn't seem very fair to some Democrats." Mr. President, your massive tax hikes aren't nearly massive enough!
It is not at all clear that the president can prevent those checks from being mailed even if he wants to. It would take a re-programming of the computers to do it, which, as I understand it, would be a massive undertaking.
Besides, I don't think "The Republicans made me do it" would be an effective explanation, do you?