Friday, October 04, 2013

Reality is not your friend, Republicans

By Michael J.W. Stickings


After struggling for weeks and weeks in stages one through four, Republicans are finally entering the final stage of grief over the death of their belief that President Obama would begin offering concessions in exchange for an increase in the debt limit.

The catalyzing event appears to have been an hour-plus-long meeting between Obama and congressional leaders at the White House on Wednesday. Senior administration officials say that if the meeting accomplished only one thing it was to convey to Republican leaders the extent of Obama's determination not to negotiate with them over the budget until after they fund the government and increase the debt limit. These officials say his will here is stronger than at any time since he decided to press ahead with healthcare reform after Scott Brown ended the Democrats' Senate supermajority in 2010.

There's evidence that it sunk in.

Yes, and this is why we're now hearing more nonsense about a Grand Bargain, as the Republican leadership is desperate to come away from this self-created disaster with something, anything with which to claim even just a trace of victory.

The only thing that might change Obama's position is if Boehner decided to sprint into his waiting arms, burning his bridges to House conservatives behind him. If Boehner wanted to finish the budget deal he almost reached with Obama late last year, revenue and all, then throw in a debt limit increase, and a budget for the government, Obama wouldn't freeze him out. But it doesn't sound like that's what Boehner has in mind.

And Republicans wouldn't allow it anyway. Boehner is fucked, you see, and so is his wretched party, as long as the president stands firm.

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