Reporting Jon Keller
BOSTON (CBS) – In one of the more dismaying exchanges in a day filled with them, President Obama was asked yesterday by Chip Reid of CBS News about the horrific credibility problem of the ruling class in Washington.
Reid noted the finding of the latest CBS News poll that only one in four Americans felt the president should raise the debt limit to avert economic meltdown. Nearly 70 percent opposed taking action.
Asked Reid, “Isn’t the problem that you and others have failed to convince the American people that we have a crisis here, and how are you going to change that?”
After suggesting the public really wasn’t paying close enough attention, the president said: “This is not something that I am making up.”
Listen to Keller @ Large
How reassuring! And the scary part is, he’s right.
Speaker Boehner, John McCain, pretty much every responsible adult on either side of the aisle acknowledges we need to take action to cover our debts and avoid severe economic fallout from failure to do so.
So why are three out of four Americans not buying it? Call them clueless if you want, but I have another interpretation — baby boomer political leadership has totally blown it, and the chickens are coming home to roost.
Watch Keller @ Large
The generation that controls our political culture has for years now been so polarized, so dogmatic in its political biases, so smug and disdainful of the notion that they don’t have a patent on the truth, that they’ve poisoned the well when it comes time to dope out a solution that’s not ideologically pure in any direction.
The right has nurtured the false notion that taxes are always bad — the left has been dining out for years on the fantasy that the public’s wallet is a bottomless pit.
Are people clueless? I don’t think so. We know both parties have been fiscally irresponsible, have failed to confront basic problems, have pandered and spun themselves into a corner. And we’re disgusted and distrustful as a result.
And I wonder — why should that come as a surprise to anyone?