Bystander in Chief


At a recent press conference, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was upset (video embedded below) that Obama didn't swoop in and save the supercommittee from itself, bemoaning "a president who's a bystander in the Oval Office."

I was angry this weekend, listening to the spin coming out of the administration, about the failure of the supercommittee, and that the president knew it was doomed for failure, so he didn't get involved. Well then what the hell are we paying you for? It's doomed for failure so I'm not getting involved? Well, what have you been doing, exactly?

He's the one in Washington, and he's got to get something done here, and it's not good enough just to say, 'Well, I'll get it done after the election.'

Frustration at a Congress that hasn't passed a budget in almost three years is understandable. So are complaints against Obama for putting off difficult political decisions until after the election, as he did with the Keystone XL Pipeline. Still, it's hard to get behind Christie asking Obama to save us from a supercommittee failure that doesn't make much difference (but was probably still the best possible outcome), or demanding more from Obama on budget issues at all.

Maybe Christie is simply parroting GOP rhetoric against the do-nothing president. Meanwhile, the left is gearing up against the do-nothing Congress. We should be so lucky.

From the December 2011 issue, Editor in Chief Matt Welch on do-something punditry.

More Reason on the supercommittee here, here, and here.

H/T to The Hill.