• Let me see if I've got this right.

    Republicans hang tough on spending, they're obstinate.

    Democrats hang tough on not cutting too much spending, they're...not?

    Republicans dogged in keeping tax hikes to a minimum, they're blocking a deal.

    Democrats equally dogged keeping entitlement spending cuts to a minimum, they're...not?

    Republicans are obstructionists because they don't agree with the president?

    Democrats are not because they do?

    Republicans are bringing us to the brink because they're not serious about raising taxes, when they've proposed just that.

    But Democrats aren't bringing us to the brink because they say they are serious about cutting spending, but have offered little of that?

    So Congress has to peel back partisan war paint...but not the president whose own partisan strategy he can lay out with a straight face?

    It's understandable for the president to use the bully pulpit to push his case.

    But that doesn't give him the right to fling the bull that the other side doesn't have a case.

    Or...is blocking a deal.

    Nor does it mean the president has to use a shooting in Connecticut...to make his case for "his" deal...now.

    He's right to say last week's tragedy should offer a sense of perspective about what's important."

    But is he saying "his" is the deal that's important?

    And Republicans' deal is "not" important?

    Is he really using a shooting to shoot down the approach the other side is taking?

    I hope not.

    Because I think it's fair to say those of all political stripes were deeply shaken and shocked by what happened last week.

    But that doesn't give the president the right to say, those who oppose him on fiscal issues should humbly fold to his wishes "this" week.

    The president's quite right to say what happened in Connecticut should be a wakeup call for America on gun violence.

    Let's just say it's a huge, if not tacky stretch, to demand Republicans not dare challenge him on what they believe would be a fiscal crime.

    There's a difference between a "state of cooperation" and one of "capitulation."

    Just like there's a difference between understanding a horrible tragedy...

    And...capitalizing on it.