From E. J. Dionne, Jr.’s Washington Post column, “Obama can’t cave, even a little, in the face of GOP extremism“:
Now it is said by people who see themselves as realists that, because he is dealing with irrational foes, Obama has to be the “adult in the room.” The definition of “adult” in this case is that he must cave a little because the other side is so bonkers that it just might upend the economy.
Giving in is exactly what Obama cannot do. The president offered Boehner a face-saving way out on Tuesday, suggesting that he’d be happy to engage in broad budget talks if the government reopened and there was at least a short-term increase in the debt limit. To go any further would be to prove to the far right that its extra-constitutional extremism will pay dividends every time.
What’s required from the outside forces who want this mess to go away is unrelenting pressure on Boehner and the supposedly more reasonable Republicans who say they want to open the government and pay our debts. Up to now these Republicans have been the enablers of the tea party faction. They’re the ones who must become the “adults in the room,” because they’re the ones who allowed all this to happen.
Now that the juveniles have had their ineffectual tantrum in the ‘time out’ room, those who have learned the lesson can come out and join the grown ups who are trying to move America forward.