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Pax Obama?

Reading tea leaves, seeing olive branches. Via the WaPo:

Quickly pivoting the political conversation from President Obamas reelection to Washingtons looming budget battles, House Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday offered a potential path to compromise, saying Republicans are willing to accept new revenue to tame the soaring national debt and avert an ugly battle over the approaching fiscal cliff.With Obamas decisive electoral victory and Republicans hold on the House, with a slightly smaller majority, Boehner (R-Ohio) said Tuesdays election amounted to a plea from voters for the parties to lay down their weapons of the past two years and do whats best for our country.

NYT take here.


Commenting Guidelines

Reason to hope. Perhaps it won't be a long, harsh winter after all.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the markets don't make much of it. "Remarks late in the trading day by Republican House Speaker John Boehner, suggesting that he was open to compromise with the president, did little to assuage investor concerns, with stocks sinking lower after his remarks."'ll have to see how well Speaker Boehner's initiative survives a probable Tea Party backlash.

David, as a former journalist to a practicing one, I have to ask, Do you like that use of "pivoting" as a passive but transitive verb? Or will you try to hold the line against such iconic cliches?

Boehner also said that any deal that includes higher taxes must also include entitlement reform, because entitlements are driving up the deficit. So much for his learning anything from yesterday's results; Social Security and Medicare are paid for by dedicated taxes and are not contributing to the deficit. Since liberals were unhappy during Obama's first term with what they saw as his willingness to give away bargaining chips before he had to (e.g. the public option), they'll need to keep Obama's feet to the fire before we end up with a "reform" of Social Security and Medicare that raises the eligibility age to 70 or higher.

This conciliatory move by Speaker Boehner reaching out to the MAN with the most political capital of the moment [i.e., President Obama] is really the first thrust in the coming very bloody close-in knife fight that will play out during the lame duck session within the Republican House caucus.There is no love lost between Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Given how Cantor's political gambit [an alliance with Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell] to sabotage the Obama presidency has failed so utterly, this may be Boehner only chance to get rid of his unctuous and infuriating No. 2.Cantor, allied with the House "Tea Baggers," bears the main responsibility for blowing up any deal on the deficit and taxes with President Obama during 2011. If the voters sent any message to the Republicans in this election, it is to lose the extremist nut-cases. It would seem that Cantor was their main enabler. I don't know if Boehner is powerful enough in his own caucus to ditch Cantor, but it couldn't happen to a more deserving insufferable prig like Cantor.

Jim,Thanks for starting the canonization process for Obama. I was wondering how long it would take here at dotCommonweal.

Little Stone:But wasn't the first miracle the presidential election result in 2012?

Tom Blackburn, I am a terrible grammarian, and have legions of copyeditors to thank for my survival in journalism. The locution does give me some pause, however. At the same time, I like it when writers try to be a bit innovative, or don't slavishly follow rules. Journalism is not art per se, and is written on the fly, and we tend to rearrange cliches as best we can. Everyone once in a while that results in a new cliche. OTOH, I have a list of favorite targets that are like the proverbial nails on a blackboard -- irregardless, general consensus, "impact" as a verb. It amazes me how often you see them in places that should know and do better.

How about peace with the big banks who campaigned bigtime against the president?"Del Friscos, an expensive steakhouse with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Boston harbor, was a festive scene on Tuesday evening. The hedge fund billionaires Steven A. Cohen, Paul Singer and Daniel Loeb were among the titans of finance there dining among the gray velvet banquettes before heading several blocks away to what they hoped would be a victory party for their presidential candidate, Mitt Romney.The next morning was a cold, sobering one for these executives.Few industries have made such a one-sided bet as Wall Street did in opposing President Obama and supporting his Republican rival. The top five sources of contributions to Mr. Romney, a former top private equity executive, were big banks like Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Wealthy financiers led by hedge fund investors were the biggest group of givers to the main super PAC backing Mr. Romney, providing almost $33 million, and gave generously to outside groups in races around the country.On Wednesday, Mr. Loeb, who had supported Mr. Obama in 2008, was sanguine. You win some, you lose some, he said in an interview. We can all disagree. I have friends and we have spirited discussions. Sure, I am not getting invited to the White House anytime soon, but as citizens of the country we are all friendly.Wall Street, however, now has to come to terms with an administration it has vilified. What Washington does next will be critically important for the industry, as regulatory agencies work to put their final stamp on financial regulations and as tax increases and spending cuts are set to take effect in the new year unless a deal to avert them is reached. To not have a friend in the White House at this time is one thing, but to have an enemy is quite another."


About the Author

David Gibson is a national reporter for Religion News Service and author of The Coming Catholic Church (HarperOne) and The Rule of Benedict (HarperOne). He blogs at dotCommonweal.