Although much remains to be seen about the debt limit negotiations, it’s remarkable that they’ve reached the point where President Obama is drawing praise from Rep. Allen West. West, of course, is one of the most conservative and outspoken GOP freshman. He is willing, however, to give Obama credit for his willingness to consider spending cuts:
“I want to take this moment to commend President Obama for facing the facts that in order for us to bring our fiscal house in order, we need to take necessary steps to address mandatory spending such as Medicare and Social Security,” said West, a tea party favorite known for his withering criticisms of the president.
“For too long individuals and special-interest groups have used these programs to demagogue and scare seniors in order to gain a political advantage,” West said. “President Obama says he finally realizes that to save these programs we need to make significant reforms, and I support his goals.”
Elsewhere, the liberal Kevin Drum believes that Obama’s rightward drift on the issue of entitlement spending is a product of Obama’s sincere belief that reducing spending is the right thing to do:
I think it’s now finally time to stop pretending that Obama has miscalculated, or blundered, or been out-negotiated, or somehow forced into a bad position. Rather, everything he’s done for at least the past six months is consistent with the idea that he considers the long-term deficit a problem, he wants to address it, and he views the debt ceiling talks as an ideal opportunity to do so with bipartisan cover. Obama isn’t doing this because he has to. He’s doing it because he wants to.