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  •  This was a brilliant move by Obama (17+ / 0-)

    only if three things happen. One, if Boehner rejects it and ends up looking like the guy who wouldn't take yes for an answer, two, Obama doesn't come back with another overly generous offer, and three, Boehner rejects that too.

    Well, the first has happened. But what made Obama so sure that it would? How did he know that Boehner would reject his offer to cut SS and end up looking like a greedy idiot? What if Boehner had accepted it? Then we would have had a deal and there would be no going back. Was the cut to SS worth the concessions Boehner would have made in return? I think not.

    So it may have been "brilliant", but it was also very risky. And I'm not even talking about the deal not being that good for us, in addition to the cut to SS. I'm talking politically, as it would have weakened Obama's negotiating position for future cliffhangers, like the 2011 cave on the debt.

    But hey, Boehner blinked and Obama won this round, so either Obama really is brilliant, or just very lucky. Not sure I want my president playing high stakes poker with a bunch of crazy people who want to kill old people.

    But what now? Will Obama jump, or is he doing to do so damn fool thing like make another unnecessarily generous offer, to look "reasonable" and not mean? I wouldn't at all be surprised if he does the latter.

    If so, what will Boehner do, balk again? He knows he can't, because it'll fail, and this time Cantor WILL mount a coup (assuming one isn't in the works already). So he'll have to accept. And we may well end up with a deal just marginally better than the one Boehner rejected, but much better than it needed to and could have been.

    What Obama should now do is make a much less generous offer, basically the one he drew a line in the sand on weeks ago, with maybe a little sweetener to let Boehner save face. And then see what happens. Most likely, Boehner will reject it, and over the cliff we go.

    But I'm betting that Obama makes a better deal than he needs to. We'll probably still go over the cliff, but it will weaken Obama's hand after the 1st.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 08:32:15 PM PST

    •  Good stuff (4+ / 0-)

      the part I disagree with is that Boehner blinked.  He didn't really blink (give in) - he failed to achieve his handpicked strategy. (I don't know what metaphor is better though)

      Good comment.

      •  I meant that Boehner threw away a great offer (0+ / 0-)

        from his pov, not knowing if he'd be able to get a better one instead, or even one as good again if he couldn't. Brinkmanship is a smart play with a weak foe, but you can only hold out for so good an offer, and Boehner held out for one round too many. To me, that's blinking. I mean, look what just happened.

        I think we're saying the same thing with different words. Not sure it matters. But even though Obama won this round, I'm not sure if it was brilliance or dumb luck. Can he really read Boehner and the GOP that well? Or did they outdo themselves in the stupid department this time?

        I have no idea what happens now. The GOP refused to pass a much better deal than Obama's ever going to offer them (I hope!), so how do they now bring themselves to accept anything that Obama offers them, which is going to be worse than what they themselves rejected tonight?

        Or could tonight have been a masterstroke of misdirection by Boehner (or perhaps Cantor), trying to make Obama believe that they're so crazy that they won't accept an offer even more generous than the one they turned down this week, leading him to offer one anyway, believing that they'll reject it and end up looking even more greedy and assholish than they do now, which they will then ACCEPT, having out-rope-a-doped the rope-a-doper-in-chief?

        Or are they really this crazy and stupid, willing to go over the cliff to avoid accepting anything less than unicorns and moonbeams, and what happens when they don't get those unicorns and moonbeams after the 1st, will they eventually break, or will Obama keep moving towards them?

        I still think that Obama's best move is the Michael Corleone: Nothing.

        Meaning, his original deal: taxes go up on $250k, no benefit cuts, some spending cuts. Take it or leave it.

        But they won't take it, they're that crazy and irresponsible, so then what?

        Which is why I believe Obama will cave in the end. It's almost like he has no choice. He just has to do it in a way that minimizes the pain for the country, and maximizes the political pain for the GOP, in anticipation of 2014.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:21:43 PM PST

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    •  High stakes poker with crazy people who want (5+ / 0-)

      to kill old people is what a whole lot of Republican voters in an astonishing number of red states seem to think is the best use of the President of the United States's time and energy.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:20:20 PM PST

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      •  The GOP is in a trap of its own making (4+ / 0-)

        It knows that the best deal it can hope for is one that's far less than its crazy base expects and demands. But if it accepts such a deal, there will be hell to pay, both within its caucus, and in 2014, as many non-crazy incumbents get primaried by teabaggers (allowing Dems to take some seats a la Christine O'Donnell). So it has to hold out for as long as possible. But the longer it does that, the more it pisses off swing voters, also hurting it in 2014.

        So they're damned if they do, and damned if they don't--and sooner or later, they'll have to do (meaning, agree to a deal). Which, I'm guessing, means that they'll probably stretch this out long enough to piss off swing voters, but end up with a deal that pisses off teabaggers (us too, most likely), meaning that they could lose the house in 2014 on both their right and left.

        What I'm thinking is that Obama knows that the only way to reach a deal with them is to offer them a bad deal from our pov. They're too crazy and irresponsible and afraid of teabaggers to accept anything better. But he's ok with that, because it sets them up for defeat in 2014, allowing Dems to take back the house and not only repeal this deal, but improve on it (from a progressive pov). But he's going to get a lot of heat from the left if he does this, and it's going to dampen Dem turnout in 2014, so it's a big gamble.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:33:16 PM PST

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        •  I have to say that I didn't think the GOP would (5+ / 0-)

          screw Boehner like this.  That they would be so extreme.  I thought they'd opt to preserve the Kabuki drama in which they play the part of an organized, determined, powerful force.  

          And I'm so relieved that they opened the door for President Obama to walk through, turn around, and say "thank you.  Now chained CPI and SS cuts are off the table.  Don't mind if I do."

          That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

          by concernedamerican on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:44:01 PM PST

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          •  But will he? (6+ / 0-)

            I don't know which is more perplexing, their craziness or his weakness. I know that some here believe that his weakness is actually brilliance, but I'm not so sure about that. Can he really read them this well, or was this a bona fide offer that he intends to make again, or even double down on?

            Too many unknowns (to me at least) on both sides to game this out.

            "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

            by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:50:36 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  I'm with you, Kovie. Completely confused. But (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              kovie, David PA

              enjoying the turn of events.  I sure hope the President walks through that open door.

              That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

              by concernedamerican on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 09:57:40 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  The one thing that gives me hope (4+ / 0-)

                is the belief that while we can't really predict what the GOP will do, it doesn't really matter so long as Obama holds firm and offers nothing more than he already has--if that. If he does that, sooner or later, we win, on politics and policy. There is no long-term bad outcome for us (and the country) if he does.

                "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:09:57 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Boehner's dead if no deal by 1/3 and he knows it. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  He might be dead anyway. But, the one thing working in Obama's favor is that Boehner will try to make a deal.

                  •  Chained CPI needs to be put away in a drawer (6+ / 0-)

                    and not brought out again if Boehner comes back for another try.

                    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

                    by concernedamerican on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:28:57 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  But there is clearly no deal (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    David PA, mmacdDE

                    that Boehner can make that his caucus will agree to no matter how generous an offer Obama makes him. What should be a huge advantage for the GOP (Obama's weakness) is being cast aside by a party of crazy purists beholden to their extreme far-right wing. I hope to god that Obama knows this, so when the 1st comes and goes, his hand gets stronger by the day as it becomes clear that it's the GOP that's holding things up and holding the economy hostage.

                    I was wondering, though, if the GOP is really this crazy and so beholden to the tea party, what could compel them to finally cut a deal that is bound to be far less palatable than what they'd prefer, thus pissing off the tea party? And then I realized that the GOP still has other wings that have so far stayed mostly on the sidelines. Specifically, its corporate wing, ultimately as if not more persuasive as its teabag wing. And eventually, fearing loss of business, it will force the GOP to cut a deal, however unappealing to it. It too might want low taxes and lots of spending cuts, but not bad enough to tank the economy over. This wing is greedy but it's not crazy or stupid.

                    Obama holding firm + voter anger + media criticism + corporate pressure will eventually force the GOP to cut a deal, hopefully a good one. House Repubs are not an entity unto themselves. They can have all the tantrums they want, but eventually they must answer to outside forces--and not just teabaggers.

                    Wait, Obama, WAIT.

                    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

                    by kovie on Thu Dec 20, 2012 at 10:45:43 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Looks like any D+R coalition in the house would (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      FiredUpInCA, Onomastic

                      have more Ds than Rs.  This would get Boehner a deal, but his bringing it to the floor would give Cantor an in to defeat him on 1/3.  Obama knows that his position is stronger if a deal waits until after the first of the year. Maybe Boehner can convince just enough of the caucus to stay with him and vote on a pre-end-of-year deal because it will be a better deal than a post-end-of-year deal.

                    •  Obama (0+ / 0-)

                      has never acted as though he knew this.

                    •  I don't see this as that complicated. (0+ / 0-)

                      Both sides have reasons for wanting to "go over the cliff."  It makes it easier to negotiate deals that are unpalatable to their respective bases.  For the Republicans, that means they get to look tough for a couple of weeks and then finally cave (to some as yet unclear degree) on the tax cuts.

                      Why Chained CPI ever came into this is a big question, because Republicans never asked for it, and it has nothing to do with the debt or the fiscal cliff.  It seems to be just something extraneously thrown in by Obama, that he keeps offering up even though they don't seem as interested in it as he is.  It wasn't even part of Plan B.  After we "go over the cliff," he'll be in a better position to say, "See, I HAD to do that because CLIFF-A-GEDDON" or some other bullshit rationalization.

                      It works both ways.  

                      So Plan B was designed to fail on launch.  There might even be votes on other plans designed to fail on launch before CLIFF-A-GEDDON.

                      Does Boehner look bad right now, Friday, because of it?  

                      Doesn't matter.

                  •  But the tea party wing won't go along (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    PsychoSavannah, David PA

                    They did that last time, and then they lost seats in the election, so they're not giving in this time.

                    The only way boehner gets anything done is to get most of the dems and the few non crazy republicans, and forget the tea party.

                    But if he does that, he's sure as hell not speaker next time.

                    Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Sucks to be him.

            •  I think he can read them that well (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              FiredUpInCA, Beetwasher

              He's had 4 yrs of practice.

              They're pretty predictable. It doesn't matter what he offers, they won't take it. So he offers what is a good deal for them, and they still turn it down.

              Besides, he had to know this would happen. They lost seats this time, even if they didn't totally lose control. The crazies will see that as retribution for giving in to the pres over the debt ceiling, which you know is how they see it.

              So there's no way in hell they're going to go along with anything boehner and the pres work out. They'll see it as a sell out, and last time they did that they lost seats, so they're not doing THAT again.

              Like I said, easy to read. Easier to predict.

    •  "what made Obama so sure " (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It turns out, the guy is pretty damn good at his job.  :)

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