Obama’s Manufactured Crisis

Obama is a manufactured crisis of epic proportions.
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The White House and its press corps have come to a consensus that the recent shutdown/debt limit debate was a “manufactured crisis”–the implication being that it was manufactured by Republicans. That is untrue–first because President Barack Obama and the Democrats could easily have averted a crisis if they had been willing to compromise, and second because forcing such confrontations has been their strategy since 2011.

The debt limit was not a priority for the Tea Party until the Democrats made it one. In the 2010 elections, the subject almost never came up. There was certainly no plan to shut down the government if the Republicans did not get their way. Rather, interest in these confrontations came from the Democrats and the Obama administration, who saw the 1995-6 crises as models for how to defeat congressional Republicans.

That is why, as the 112th Congress took office, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner sent new Speaker John Boehner a letter warning of the consequences of failing to raise the debt limit. The new Congress had no plans to block an increase. But like George Stephanopoulos’s infamous question about contraception early in the 2012 Republican presidential debates, Geithner’s letter intended to make the debt limit an issue.

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