Left In Lowell

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July 13, 2011

Open Thread: Jitters Edition

by at 7:11 am.

Video update: Aaron Sorkin’s Crystal Ball? Is it creepy or are the GOPers just this lame?

“Frankly, your speaker has it. Am I dealing with him, or am I dealing with you?”

Taegan Goddard, a national blogger type, puts out a bit on the current debt ceiling/deficit talks that strike me. For those following, House Majority Leader and young gun Eric Cantor has aggressively asserted himself in the current talks being held at the White House. The whole thing struck me as odd, because it is Obama that should be the young petulant one in the room. pssst. I heard he is a ….radical.

Anyways, the 2010 election is not likely to redefine decades of brokering between the two political parties. So, why is the gristled John Boehner making a hole and making it wide for Cantor?

“Boehner hardly said a word in the meeting. His stance seems to be: if Cantor didn’t like the grand bargain, he’s welcome to negotiate one on his own. Republicans left the meeting noticeably subdued. Few had anything they wanted to say about it. And Cantor may have just jumped from the frying pan of Biden’s debt talks and into the fire of Obama’s. He has little experience hammering out legislative deals — particularly at this level. He wanted a smaller deal, and now Boehner’s sitting back and watching silently as Cantor flounders.”

It is clear that Obama is moving to the center.

The vast majority of Democrats on Capitol Hill would prefer not to have to do anything on entitlements, would prefer frankly not to do anything on these debt and deficit problems,” he said.

But doing nothing is irresponsible and is really not an option, Obama argued.

“If you look at the numbers then Medicare in particular will run out of money and we will not be able to sustain that program no matter how much taxes go up,” he said. “It’s not an option for us to just sit by and do nothing. if you’re a progressive that cares about he integrity of Social Security, Medicare/Medicaid … then we have an obligation to make sure that we make those changes required to make this sustainable in the long term.”

But why is he trying to drag Boehner with him?

Obama was quick to praise Speaker of the House John Boehner for his work in negotiating a “big” deficit reduction deal.

I think Speaker Boehner has been sincere in trying to do something big,” he said. Adding “he’s a good man.”

Is the Beltway Old Guard, meaning Boehner and Biden, setting a trap?

Update: Dick Howe has a similar diary up - Raising the Debt Limit

Please enjoy this Open Thread.

5 Responses to “Open Thread: Jitters Edition”

  1. waittilnextyr Says:

    This episode should be a case study for future students of politics.

    At one end of the spectrum there is a group whose primary purpose is to dismantle the federal government as we know it. Don’t expect any compromise out of that group.

    At the other end there are those who feel it is their duty to protect entitlements. They don’t want those funds to be transfered to the wealthy via tax cuts, but rather retained for the retirees who are the most reliable voters.

    Obama seems to be the most pragmatic, willing to make concessions that may aggravate his base, yet require similar concessions on the revenue side of the equation. He feels that the current path is unsustainable (a position that is pretty much backed by the debt commission, and the agencies that forecast both Medicare and Social Security Trust Funds). But it is a big problem, and will take substantive changes both in revenue increases and cost reduction.

    As you stated, Boehner appears to be wandering and becoming less relevant, although he may still be the catalyst necessary to bring the House to its senses.

    And then there is McConnell, who now proposes to give nearly unfettered power to the President! Can that be any more than his way of satisfying Wall Street while attempting to pin the problem on the president? A good example of political non-courage if there ever was one.

    -waittilnextyr

  2. joe from Lowell Says:

    It is clear that Obama is moving to the center.

    I think this is a misreading. It is clear that Obama is working to position himself as the reasonable negotiator, bending over backwards to make a deal, in the eyes of the press and public, including rhetorically distancing himself from the left wing. He’s making the contrast with the Republicans, who won’t even back down over an extension of the tax write-off period for corporate jets from 5 years to 7 years, look like stubborn fanatics in the thrall of big money interests.

    But somebody who’s actually trying to make a grand bargain with the Republican Party doesn’t make a trillion dollar tax increase his one non-negotiable demand. That is the one thing that they would absolutely never do.

    This was all an effort to make the other party give in by making them look responsible for thre not being a deal. Someone was going to blink, the Republicans’ backers were going to make sure the debt limit got raised, and the question was whether the blame for the stalled talks fell on the Democrats or the Republicans. Nicely played, Mr. President.

    Can that be any more than his way of satisfying Wall Street while attempting to pin the problem on the president?

    Yes. They’ve done this before. Remember how the Republicans made the Democrats pass the TARP bill? Remember how they complained and complained about not being consulted over the Libya operation, and then refused to pass any bill doing anything when they took the matter up? Yet again, they want to make sure the debt ceiling gets raised, while keeping their fingerprints off of it so they can keep complaining about it.

  3. Right in Lowell Says:

    Joe; positioning himself for defeat (hopefully) as the worst president in history is more like it. If his mouth is open, he’s lying.

  4. joe from Lowell Says:

    What’s the matter, his wars aren’t disaster-y enough for you?

    Or was there a massive terrorist attack on our home soil that I missed?

  5. kmarcin Says:

    Great West Wing reference…FYI season 5 episode 96. I’ve watched it several times this year.

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