The president’s press conference earlier this week was an OK start, but please read Talkingpointsmemo.com today “What’s Wrong with this Picture.” The fact is that large majorities of the electorate agree that taxes need to go up for the very rich, and tax loopholes for corporations need to be closed. The vast majority say that ANY cuts to Social Security are EXTREMELY unpopular. And it’s clear that most people don’t really understand what it means to “raise the debt limit,” so polling showing a plurality “against” that are essentially meaningless. But Josh Marshall is right. The Administration and Congressional Democrats MUST stop giving in to the hostage mentality of the Republicans. They must use whatever options, including Constistutional power to protect the full faith and credit of the debt, and TAKING THE MESSAGE DIRECTLY to the people, to force the Republicans to back down; or, failing that, to simply not give in to them. The President can and must protect the integrity of the debt, and he needs to assure financial markets that that WILL HAPPEN no matter what. This will take away the extortion power of the unpatriotic and undemocratic leadership of the Republican party, which is willing to play a dangerous game with the economic health of the entire nation and the ability of our nation’s government to function.