In the debt-ceiling standoff, the Obama administration has two options, both lousy, according to Michael Tomasky at the Daily Beast. Republicans are demanding big spending cuts in exchange for lifting the cap on how much money the government can borrow, and Democrats, who have to decide what to do in the next three weeks, can either hold firm or go along. The first course doesn't look good, since the congressional Republicans are just crazy enough to let the deadline slip for raising the ceiling, with possibly catastrophic consequences for the economy. Going along doesn't look much better; spending cuts will hurt the economy and make a bleak jobs situation even worse. So, no way around it, Obama has to give in to the GOP's hostage demands, says Tomasky. But he can do it "sheepishly or aggressively." Tomasky's recommendation: aggressively. The president needs to "show some spine" to his disillusioned liberal base and independent voters, "letting America know that this debt-hostage situation isn’t his idea of responsible governance—and by saying that his primary concern is jobs." Otherwise, "it's going to be a bummer of a summer for the Americans on whom Obama's reelection fundamentally depends."
• 'Barack Obama and the Democrats Need to Take a Stand for Jobs' [Michael Tomasky/The Daily Beast]