Indeed, in almost every sense, Ryan says, Obama has been “fundamentally un-presidential” throughout the summer, “dragging his feet, failing to address the looming debt crisis — which he knows is coming — because he remains committed to his ideology.”
“This is, unfortunately, the way he operates,” Ryan says. “This is his pattern of behavior, this is his personality. For the next 18 months, it will probably be like this. It’ll be in-your-face class warfare, with bitter appeals to envy, fear, and anxiety, plus the demonization of the other side’s motives.”
Ryan, usually a happy warrior on fiscal matters, sounds resigned when asked whether he can help Republicans craft a long-term deal with the president to reduce the debt. Obama, he says, has made such a scenario near impossible. He cites Obama’s remarks to CBS News last week, when he said he could not guarantee Social Security payments, as well as the president’s “very personal” criticism of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at the White House, as examples of the president’s inability to “discuss these issues in good faith.”
“Whenever I hear him speak now, I just shake my head and think, there he goes again,” Ryan says. “When it comes to actually governing, leading and fixing fiscal problems, he is not in the game.” He predicts that, with their votes this week, House Republicans will show that they are.