Memo to a Reasonable President

I realize that a large part of President Obama’s strategy through the debt limit fight has been to present himself as the grown-up, the reasonable one when everyone else is screaming and yelling. Fair enough. But he should also listen to his most recent Democratic predecessor:

When we look weak in a time where people feel insecure, we lose. When people feel uncertain, they’d rather have somebody who’s strong and wrong than somebody who’s weak and right.

People are not looking to the President to be reasonable. They are looking for him to fix the problem. That’s why unilateral disarmament will not help.

Of course, that’s just Bill Clinton’s view. What did he know about politics? How well does he play 121-dimensional chess?

[Cross-posted at The Reality-Based Community]

Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff is a professor of law at the University of California, Los Angeles.