Monday, July 11, 2011


President Obama is doing a Tina Fey/Seth Meyer routine on the GOP, as is the majority sane side of the country, those for whom nation is more important than party. Damned if Obama didn't put more on the table than any reasonable man should have had to, and the prissy Republicans turned down what they and their Teafaction had always said they wanted -- to cut the deficit. Only they refuse to return to the Clinton Prosperity levels of income taxation because it mean more of it would come from the rich. As if that's a bad thing.

The wealthy sometimes create jobs. Sometimes here, sometimes overseas, sometimes they just buy more T-bills, which the GOP is holding hostage to default on. Default on money already spent. By them 2000-2008 and the lower revenue levels through 2012.

The twin lies of their economic narrative fall flat now that our nation's President has publicly admitted that the compromise he seeks, the Grand Bargain to cut $4 trillion over the next whatever years, will cause trouble for him with members of his own party. But he's willing to take the heat -- as long as the other side takes theirs go.

"I will not sign a 30-day or a 60-day or a 90-day extension. That is just not an acceptable approach. And if we think it's hard now, imagine how these guys are going to be thinking six months from now in the middle of election season when they are all up. It's not going to get easier, it's going to get harder. So, we might as well do it now. Pull off the band-aid. Eat our peas. Now is the time to do it. If not now, when? We keep on talking about this stuff, and we have these high-minded pronouncements about how we've got to get control of the deficit, how we owe it to our children and our grandchildren. Well, let's step up. Let's do it."

The GOP aren't negotiating. It's beyond hostage-taking. It's their own Dr. Strangelove Doomsday Machine, their impossible logic of having drawn in the most extreme rightwing elements of political America in order to win elections, only to end up fearing for their primaries.

The question is whether they have a jujitsu move to somehow make a deal while screwing the other 80% of America who say Tax the Rich, or at least eliminate their private aircraft deduction. But if they don't, per Jonathan Rauch (subbing for Andrew Sullivan), this is Obama's moment and the Democrats to come:

I'll always remember the moment in 1995 when I realized that Newt Gingrich's Republican Revolutionaries had gone too far. As you recall, they, like the current bunch, were freshly elected hotheads who thought they had a mandate to get tough with Big Government and believed they could hammer a weak Democratic president into submission. One day my father, a conservative independent who until then had shown little sympathy for Bill Clinton, looked up from his paper, having just read about House Republicans' musing that they might default on the national debt if Clinton didn't knuckle under. "These people," he said, "are dangerous."

Republicans ought to remember that nothing would whisk them back to long-term minority status faster than being perceived by the broad middle as unfit to govern. Obama clearly understands as much and is doing everything in his power to broadcast tough reasonableness. He's setting the Republicans up for another Hurricane Katrina moment—but one of their own making.

I think when all the state layoffs hit, particularly in the new GOP governorships, there will be hell to pay. Layoffs is layoffs, and they did it so fast, they'll still be in office for two or four years while the state is hurting.

Somebody game this out for me -- if the GOP don't raise the debt and the economy tanks, maybe the world economy collapses, what could possibly be their strategy for winning in 2012: Obama didn't assent to our demands, so we shot the hostage?


No comments: