So, President Obama finally inched away from his immoveable-mind position of "No negotiations, period" to sit down with 18 Republican congressional leaders Thursday and ... talk.
The government shutdown is in its second week, the Oct. 17 debt ceiling deadline beyond which lies catastrophe, according to Obama's treasury secretary, looms, and the chief executive's favorability rating has plunged to 37 percent, according to the Associated Press.
Worst still, the first week of his signature domestic policy achievement was an unmitigated disaster, the Chinese essentially ordered America to shape up its financial affairs, and all Obama is willing to do is talk about maybe, possibly, negotiating?
Call Dale Carnegie:
This is not leadership, it's petulance, pure and simple. And behind the petulance is a far more dangerous attitude, intolerance of opposition, dissent, and anything less than total submission to his will.
Barack Obama is a man of formidable rhetorical and ideological achievement and insight who thereby won for himself a permanent place in American history. More important, to all appearances, he is also a good husband and father.
Where's our leader?
What he is not is a leader. Peggy Noonan makes a compelling point in this morning's Wall Street Journal:
"More than any administration of the modern era they know how to talk but have trouble doing. They give speeches about ObamaCare but when it's unveiled what the public sees is a Potemkin village designed by the noted architect Rube Goldberg."
Noonan's bottom line: "It's not enough to talk, you must perform."
That he ascended to the Oval Office amidst the convergence of so many unforgiving problems that demand decisive leadership — the war on terror, the entitlement crush, a staggering national debt, government grown unmanageable — is Obama's worst fortune and America's most pressing dilemma.
In Today's Washington Examiner:
Examiner Watchdog: Canadian officials fired IT firm behind trouble-plagued Obamacare website.
Shikha Dalmia: Obamacare's worst problems may still be ahead of it.
Manhattan Moment: Obama's student loan reform won't restrain tuition cost explosion.
David M. Drucker: John Boehner shifts strategy on debt ceiling, government shutdown.
Rebecca Berg: GOP governors launch a campaign to re-brand their party.
Joseph Lawler: Feds put Bitcoin under the microscope.
In Other News:
The Washington Post: No deal, but hints of progress.
The Washington Post: U.S. losing patience as deadline nears for long-term deal with Afghanistan.
New York Post: U.S. prison guards work for free while prisoners collect checks.
The New York Times: Warning from CIA in 2009 on Snowden slipped through the cracks at NSA.
Washington Times: White House gift shop goes broke.
American Spectator: It's later than you think Sinead O'Connor is a voice of reason.
Washington Free Beacon: Terror threats up in Libya.
National Review Online: The way out.
TalkingPointsMemo: Establishment GOPers assail Tea Party on shutdown.
New Republic: Only one person can make Ruth Bader Ginsburg retire.