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View Diary: Dear Washington douchebags, (284 comments)

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  •  No, I don't presume good faith. (9+ / 0-)

    I presume that people will only do what is politically feasible for them to do.

    Many, many of the House Republicans just got re-elected on the promise of not raising taxes.  If the President wants a deal, then he has to have Boehner go to them and say, I don't care what you promised in your campaign two months ago, you are going to vote to raise taxes because "this" (something the Republicans really want) is what we will get in return, and that's what you can tell your constituents, to whom you pledged not to raise taxes -- you can tell them you did not want to raise taxes, but you voted to do so in order to get "this." That's the only politically feasible way that Boehner can bring any bill to the floor of the House for a vote.  Absent that kind of situation, Boehner will not let a bill go to the floor of the House for a vote.  It's not a matter of good faith or bad faith.  It's simply politically impossible.  

    What the President did is make an offer that gives Boehner no "this" to offer to the House Republicans.  Boehner clearly cannot go to them and say, I know you just campaigned on no new taxes, but you are going to vote for new taxes because . . .  Because why?  Because the President is demanding that you not only don't get anything that you wanted, he is also demanding that you give up the leverage to, in the future, demand any spending cuts?  Why would any House Republican agree to that -- and why would Boehner have any political incentive to push them to agree to that?  

    What the President offered the Republicans is, "you give up."  That's exactly why everybody here is so happy with it.  It's also a definite move to the left from the "balanced approach" ($2.50 in spending cuts for every $1 of taxes) that he campaigned on.  That's a great position if what you want is to stand where we are and have no problem with the so-called "fiscal cliff."  That's a counter-productive move if you want to get a deal with Boehner, because it makes it more difficult for Boehner to agree to any deal.  

    My point was not good faith or bad faith.  It was politics.  And politically, what the President did is make it less likely that the House Republicans will agree to a deal (presumably that raises taxes) and more likely that we will "go over the fiscal cliff."  And, because I have respect for the President's political savvy, I can only conclude that this was a deliberate move on his part, and that he prefers the "fiscal cliff" to a deal with House Republicans.  

    •  You can't make a deal with psychopaths (11+ / 0-)

      The House Republicans exist to NOT make deals.   So the Republican Party can let them spend the next 2 and 4 years NOT making deals and lose the elections or they can figure out a way to medicate them until they are finally voted into the asylum.

      The economy has been looking up the last few weeks. Consumers are spending and confidence is up.   That only affirms to Americans that they made the right vote.  

      •  That's a perfectly legitimate approach to take. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erush1345, OhioNatureMom, Pluto, VClib

        It's perfectly legitimate to say, I do not intend to make a deal with the House Republicans.  Period.  

        Of course, that means that everything stays as is, and  the "fiscal cliff" happens, and no further legislation on taxes, spending, and economy gets passed (including the raising of the debt ceiling in February).  

        And that may well be what the President has decided to do.  It seems that way to me, based on yesterday's offer.  

        •  Disagree (1+ / 0-)
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          Eventually, the House Republicans have to participate in governing. They can either negotiate from their position and make compromises, or they can obstruct - which is what they did for two years. As a result, they would have lost their majority except for gerrymandering.

          Obama made his best offer. They can either sit on their asses or counteroffer and go from there. If they sit, they lose. Some of them know that. Let them pressure Boehner.

          To paraphrase Kurt Vonnegut: Pure joy is waking up one morning to realize that your high school class will NOT be running the country for the next four years.

          by ebrann on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 02:01:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  They already did participate in governing. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It's called the Budget Control Act of 2011.  It's the deal they made to raise the debt limit last time.  That deal is part of the "fiscal cliff."  

            The question is whether they are going to make a new deal to replace that legislation.  

          •  ebrann - why does the GOP lose? (0+ / 0-)

            The next elections are two years from now. My guess is that a "grand bargain" is done at some point in the first half of 2013. What voters will remember the lame duck in 2014?

            "let's talk about that"

            by VClib on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 05:30:08 PM PST

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      •  Republicans are fanatics (8+ / 0-)

        Ideological fanatics throughout history have ALWAYS had the same traits.

        Party loyalty, ideology purity, our team vs your team and self interest ALWAYS come before the American people with these guys.

        The day they are rendered powerless is a good day for America.

        We do need opposing voices and a marketplace of differing ideas.

        We don't need ideological nutcases, self serving conmen and bigots.

    •  President Obama, during the last (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      OhioNatureMom, jabney, HCKAD, elginblt

      negotiations, offered House Republicans 98% of what they wanted, and--as you suggest here--negotiated personally with Boehner, offering what he could to help him sell the deal.  All seemed to be on track and people were holding their breaths.  But at the last minute, Boehner buckled and backed out.  After reasonable, serious negotiations, he even refused to return the President's phone call.

      This is the same House membership we had last time.  For Obama to continue doing all the compromising in hopes that this time there will be good faith on both sides would be foolish.  As Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and hoping for different results.  This particular group of Republicans is not going to give the President what he wants--the nationally-popular expiration of the Bush tax cuts for those in the top brackets--no matter how nicely he asks, no matter what sweeteners he offers, no matter how "balanced" the deal.

      In between the last negotiations and these we had an election.  The President--and his agenda--won the day.  He's in a position of strength.  If we fall off the magic cliff, the GOP won't be able to hold the country hostage any more.  

      "Quiet people have the loudest minds." -- Stephen Hawking

      by SottoVoce on Fri Nov 30, 2012 at 11:17:30 AM PST

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    •  If you think it is unlikely any deal will be done (6+ / 0-)

      Then asking for what you actually want seems only sensible.  

      It scores you points with the base, gives ways to attack the other guy and doesn't give away anything.

      Given how the Rs acted the last 4 years, Obama could offer them Romney's mythical tax cuts and they'd still probably vote against it.

    •  The GOP doesn't have to do anything (1+ / 0-)
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      Taxes ARE going up the end of the year. That's what they agreed to, that's what the law says. The bush tax cuts expire then.

      Same with the increase in tax on investment income. It's already been passed. Same with the cuts to military spending, along with all the other cuts.


      Unless they do something to change them, they happen.

      If the GOP wants any of those things changed, they have to pass something that the senate will agree to and that Obama will sign. Obama has already told them what he'll accept.

      And they can take it or leave it. Leave it, and the bush cuts expire for everybody, sequestration happens, taxes go up on investment income.

      Take the deal, and taxes only change for the top 2%. Totally up to the GOP what happens.

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