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As Republicans attempt to move the goalposts on federal spending, Harry Reid is warning Republicans their refusal to negotiate or compromise could force a government shutdown—and that if there is a shutdown, it will be Republicans who bear the blame.

In a floor statement early this afternoon (video at top of post, full transcript below fold), Reid accused Republicans of refusing to negotiate and said that if they don't come to the table with some new ideas, they will be to blame for shutting down the federal government. Reid said that while Democrats have shown a willingness to compromise, Republicans have offered "no reasonable cuts" and have shown "no willingness to compromise and no sense of shared responsibility." Reid said we cannot "keep funding this country a couple of weeks at a time" and "if no budget passes and we cannot keep this country running, it will be clear which side will bear that burden."

In terms of style, nobody will ever accuse Harry Reid of being a bombthrower, but his speech laid the groundwork for Democrats to force Republicans to start making compromises. As Reid argued, Democrats have been doing everything possible to reach a deal with the GOP, but Republicans have not responded with any concessions of their own. As long as Democrats remain unified and consistent with this message, they have an opportunity to put Republicans on defense. That's not a guarantee that it will happen, but it is at least a sign that it could happen.

Full transcript:

I remind my Republican colleagues once again tha this weekend's deadline is one that they set. We didn't. We asked for four weeks to work, and they demanded two weeks. They asked for March 18. March 18 awaits us at the other end of this week, so it's time to really get serious.

Last week's budget votes proved what we've been saying throughout this negotiation: we must meet in the middle. The distance between Democrats and Republicans is not measured in money only. I regret to report that so far, we remain far more divided in the willingness to compromise.

Democrats have made it crystal clear that we're determined to pass a budget. We recognize the reality that one party alone will not reach a resolution with the other party's cooperation and consent. We've accepted and acknowledged that we need to share that sacrifice. Democrats are willing to find reasonable ways to do that, and we've offered necessary cuts while strengthening our future, rather than weaken our future.

We're still waiting for Republicans to do the same. They're pretending last week's votes didn't happen. They are covering their eyes and ears to the reality that their proposal, a short-sighted bill that the tea party and House Republicans in the House of Representatives continue to support, was roundly rejected here in the Senate.

We're still waiting for them to bring something, anything, now to the table. And not only something, but something new. They haven't done that yet. Listen to the Republican speeches and sound bites and you'll hear no reasonable cuts, no willingness to offer, no willingness to compromise, and no sense of shared responsibility. You'll hear no new ideas.

We can't afford another week of these games. We cannot negotiate through the media, and we cannot negotiate if one side is unwilling to give any ground.

We can't keep funding the country a couple of weeks at a time. How many times have we heard our Republican friends decry uncertainty, claiming that it hurts job creation and that it worries the markets? How quickly they've forgotten their own advice.

So, Mr. President, it's time to lead. On this question, the Democrats have been very clear. I hope the solution is at hand, but if no budget passes and we cannot keep the country running, it will be clear which side will bear that burden.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Did something just snap into place? (6+ / 0-)

    I smell messaging all of a sudden.

    •  I think it was the sound of necks getting whiplash (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NoFortunateSon, fidel

      from the Democrat's popular "he's up, he's down" drama.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:41:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Republicans are just overplaying their hand (5+ / 0-)

      Obama has next to no backbone and with him leading the Dems the whole party is essentially just as bad.  So, the Republicans can get pretty much anything they want up to a certain point.  The problem is that they seem intent on pushing things beyond that point.  

      Social Security cuts are something that a lot of Dems simply will not be able to cave on.  So, either the Republicans are just trying to push to the maximum, or they are totally out of touch and are going to push way too far and have it blow up in their face.  

      Remember this is a very radical group that's been elected from their side.  They didn't spend a decade reinventing themselves and moving back to the center, instead they moved further right.  So it may be that they are rather out of touch with reality.  

  •  Whatever Reid, in the end you guys always give (13+ / 0-)

    them exactly what they want, and then some.

  •  Does this equal "strongly worded letter"? (7+ / 0-)

    Wake me in the next decade IF the Dems ever really grow a spine.

  •  "Compromise" (18+ / 0-)

    on spending cuts is a joke when revenue is off the table.  

    Y'know, tax cuts for billionaires while defunding preschools is what I EXPECTED from the Reagan administration.  That old Overton window seems to be on the sunset side of the building these days.

    "The extinction of the human race will come from its inability to EMOTIONALLY comprehend the exponential function." -- Edward Teller

    by lgmcp on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:36:58 PM PDT

    •  Especially since 81% of Americans approve (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lgmcp, niemann

      a surcharge on the income tax of those making more than $1 Million per year, including roughly half of the self-identified conservatives responding to the survey.

      http://www.dailykos.com/...

      All hail the 'will of the people'. *

      *Insofar and to the extent that it coincides with the desires of the very, very rich or serves to to excite the passions of the loose threads haning off the frayed ends of the RW fringe.  

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:10:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Don't Hold Your Breath (8+ / 0-)

    The blue dog democrats (in name only) will end up putting the country in the shithole with their draconian cuts to government that will kill jobs.  How any person in their right mind thinks that cutting programs that create jobs will save America is insane.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:37:09 PM PDT

    •  You realize half the Blue Dogs lost (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, arpear

      or retired in 2010.

      LA Times A vanishing breed: Blue Dogs
      November 3, 2010 |  7:25 am

      Blue Dogs, healthcare reform, stimulus, GOP takeoverThe House's shift to the right came partly at the expense of the Democrats most likely to vote with them. The Blue Dog Coalition lost almost half of the 47 members who were seeking reelection -- 22 have been declared losers, and one other (Jim Costa of Fresno) appears certain to end up in that column too. Seven Blue Dogs didn't seek reelection, and all of their seats were claimed by Republicans.

      The 11 Democrats (nine of them Blue Dogs) who voted against the $787-billion stimulus package in 2009 didn't fare well either. Only two won reelection -- North Carolina's Heath Shuler and Tennessee's Jim Cooper. Three retired, and all of those seats went to Republicans.

      Nor did the 34 Democrats (including 23 Blue Dogs) who voted against the healthcare reform bill in March. Thirteen won reelection, and Democrats held on to the open seat vacated by "no" voter Artur Davis of Alabama. The other 20 either were defeated or retired, with their seats taken by Republicans. Several of those -- notably Rick Boucher of Virginia, Chet Edwards of Texas and Ike Skelton of Missouri -- were longtime centrists, even though they weren't members of the Blue Dog caucus.

      Smart people know what they don't know -8.50, -6.92

      by ferallike on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:52:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Was there an actual budget passed by the (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, skyounkin

    House, or are the Republicans still being vague on their exact plans, hoping the Democrats will say "whatever you want"?

    I could have missed that in all the last week's hullabaloo.

  •  For better or for worse, this is clearly the dems (0+ / 0-)

    plan.  Offer concession after concession so that when the republicans do shut down the govt, they can claim it's not their fault.  

    If the republicans were smart, they would play chicken with this strategy, and then after getting concession after concession and constantly moving the goalposts, accept the dems offer and point and laugh at how much the dems gave up and how little the republicans had to give.

    But you know, I don't think they are this smart.

    •  The Repubs are this smart ... (7+ / 0-)
      If the republicans were smart, they would play chicken with this strategy, and then after getting concession after concession and constantly moving the goalposts, accept the dems offer and point and laugh at how much the dems gave up and how little the republicans had to give.

      They've been doing this for a few years now.  Btw, you left out the part where they don't vote the Dems way in the end.

      Also, you can leave it to the Repubs to make it the Dems fault if there is a default.  Count on it.

      The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

      by accumbens on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:44:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It could happen? It should happen, but we are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Demi Moaned, Egalitare

    Democrats after all.

    Never kick a fresh turd on a hot day. Harry Truman

    by temptxan on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:38:23 PM PDT

  •  I had a dream .... (7+ / 0-)
    Democrats to force Republicans to start making compromises.
    As long as Democrats remain unified and consistent with this message, they have an opportunity to but {sic} Republicans on defense.

    Then the good fairy came and turned them all into squirrels.

    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt. Bertrand Russell

    by accumbens on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:38:43 PM PDT

  •  Big IF (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, smiley7, ColoTim, independantman
    As long as Democrats remain unified and consistent with this message, they have an opportunity to but Republicans on defense.

    Given Senate Democrats' penchant for -going off the reservation'. (cf. Mark Warner's comments on Social Security cited today)

    "The smartest man in the room is not always right." -Richard Holbrooke

    by Demi Moaned on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:41:55 PM PDT

  •  amazing (4+ / 0-)

    Dems controlled the congress and the WH, and had to compromise with themselves.  Republicans control one house, and seem to be in charge.  Most of the media will blame us, no matter what.  We need to bring Bill Clinton in as our negotiator--he knows how to be snarky to evil people.

    Apres Bush, le deluge.

    by melvynny on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:42:59 PM PDT

  •  Jeebus... (7+ / 0-)

    To think, the future of the New Deal and the Social Safety Net rests in the hands of Harry Reid.

    There is nothing more powerful in human existence than idea that has been proven wrong.

    by RichM on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:43:07 PM PDT

  •  Government shutdown might be a good thing (9+ / 0-)

    If there is no compromise between the two parties with regard to the budget, a shutdown of everything but essential services (which is what would happen, not a shutdown of EVERYTHING..as some would have us believe) might very well be a good thing for our country.  This would FORCE the two parties to put their heads together and hammer out something fiscally responsible and still be fair and take care of those that need the taxpayer's assistance.  Severe cuts have to be made...and that will mean some suffering most don't want to see.  Eliminating tax breaks and even raising some folks' taxes are also in order.  No way we can get our country back fiscally with no pain.  It just isn't possible.  Those that have should suffer just as much as those that have not.  It's just that simple.

    It may very well take this to shake our hard-headed political bosses up.  We've got just far too much politics goin' on in D.C.   And, it's damaging our country in a very big way.

    •  Shut 'er down! (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JackND, independantman, joy221, SallyCat

      "Lets show the rascals what Citizens United really means."

      by smiley7 on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:48:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I too believe we are reaching a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, joy221

      shit or get off the pot moment in history.

      I'm staying hunkered down and paying off personal debt as fast as possible.

      When in danger, or in doubt, run in circles scream and shout

      by not4morewars on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:54:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  a shutdown of non essential services (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Into The Woods

      wouldn't that far different from the Rep. budget proposal.  Let's try it & see how people react.

      If we like it, we can pass the Republican budget.  

      If we don't like it, we can point to all the services we won't get in a Republican world, with a real world chance to see what the future would be like.

      •  that would be a nice, naive policy... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and I really am not convinced that the government is doing non-essential services.  If we are saying they are non-essential, then why in the reason do we want to fund them?

        •  I agree, and should have put the (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Into The Woods

          non-essential phrase in "".

          My point is that a shutdown will show just how essential government services really are, in a way that I don't think even the TP can miss.

          I don't want a shutdown, or even worse a default if (when) we cannot raise the debt ceiling.  Without totally capitulating to the Republican demands, I don't think we have much of a choice.

          What they want is so far beyond what we can agree to that I don't see any other resolution.  And I think giving is is worse than letting them force a shutdown.

          •  thanks for the clarification. (0+ / 0-)

            I agree with what you wrote.

            A shutdown, however, would not accomplish much without the president being the spokesman and leader that displays how important paying for the society we live in is.  I am not convinced that our president will do this.  After all, he just brokered the deal that extended tax cuts and introduced a cut to the payroll tax.  Now he is saying we should cut spending, but isn't even actively campaigning for the real concrete investments in our future that he has proposed.

            I think the president is more interested in avoiding political conflict and negotiating than he is interested in materially and educationally improving our nation and its citizens for the future.

            Over the past four decades we seem to have transformed ourselves psychologically from a "can do" nation into a "can't do" nation.  Unfortunately, I don't see this changing anytime soon.

            It is amazing how helpless people feel- as if our government really couldn't raise the revenues to pay for our obligations if it really wanted to.  At some point this is really more of a cultural and societal problem where people think that they have no responsibility to pay for the type of society that they live in.  Instead, it is all about cutting spending that helps anyone but ourselves personally and refusing any taxation that would affect us.

    •  It's not just shutting down the government. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, Into The Woods

      It's also the federal debt limit.  We mostly expect the Republican masters won't let their minions in the Congress cause the US to default, but that's based upon faith in some rational thinking.  I'm no longer sure that's the case.

      •  Guess what comes up when the next short extension (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ColoTim

        runs out - the debt ceiling so that literally everything will stop until further notice, and the Rs can sit there and say 'give us what WE want, or we will sit here until people start starving. Maybe they are curious about what a  nation without a functioning national government will look like.

    •  Sorry, But I Am Not Optimistic (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mchestnutjr

      Scott Walker (R-Koch) has had 100,000 people on his front doorstep for the better part of a month telling him he's a f---ing idiot, and he's shown absolutely no sign that he comprehends what he's done wrong, much less any intention to compromise on his "principles".  (Frankly, I'm somewhat surprised the little twerp hasn't hired Xe (née Blackwater) to provide "security" for the Captiol.)

    •  Agree... (0+ / 0-)

      I agree to a point.  I firmly believe that there is a lot of "fluff" in many departments that could be eliminated.  However, cutting services just to cut is not the answer.  And I firmly believe that no cuts should be done until taxes are raised.  And if that means taxes would have to be raised on everyone then so be it.  But the middle class is tired of having to take the brunt of all these cuts.  The wealthy need to start paying their fair share along with big business and especially oil companies.  

      We are seeing everyday some news story where some Republican governor is cutting corporate taxes here and there and taking away benefits from the middle class and poor.  That needs to stop!  If the Republicans are sincerely concerned about the deficit, then they are going to have to stop giving the store away to the wealthy.  It has to stop! The middle class and poor can't take much more of this BS!

      •  1) I don't think that after decades of budget (0+ / 0-)

        slashing by Republicans there is any more "fluff."
        2) Republicans are not sincerely concerned about the deficit. They are only interested in gutting the federal government and repealing the New Deal.

    •  A government shutdown... (0+ / 0-)

      would we even notice the difference?

    •  GOP Gets To Hate Govt but Still Take It's Benefits (0+ / 0-)

      It's part of their "Free Lunch Club" perks.

      Oppose everything.
      Accept all the money from programs you oppose.
      Avoid (or delay) having to face the people that would be harmed by your proposals because the Dems compromise everything to protect the "hostages".
      Effectively shut down the Senate then blame the Dems for not being able to be productive with a majority in both houses and the WH.

      Then, coast through the 2010 election riding their magic carpet of hypocrisy.

      Now that they actually have to join in governing (bills that cut highly popular and necessary programs), they won't have it quite so easy - if (IF) Obama and the Dems give up their hopeless and counterproductive attempt to seperate politics from governing.  

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:21:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McConnell betting W.H. goes into Freak Out mode (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skyounkin, ColoTim, SallyCat

    and give him whatever he demands.

    "We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children"

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:51:43 PM PDT

  •  Harry Reid seems to be one of the few (7+ / 0-)

    Democrats who understands that, once Democratic fingerprints are all over Social Security and Medicare austerity, the GOP is going to vote for the vile, because it's their policy, and then turn around and cast themselves as the only true defenders of Social Security and Medicare from the vile Judas' of the Democratic Party who couldn't wait to destroy it. The Village and the GOP will tag team every Democratic candidate using a united framing front.

    It will all be 100% pinned on the Democratic Party, and it will be devastating to the electoral prospects of Democrats for a long time to come.

    You fuck with Social Security because the GOP act crazy, and the people will fuck with your job in DC.

    The worst of the worst of the Republicans are acting crazy (these days that would be 'all of them') and taking hostages and trying to bait the yellow-bellied warblers inside the Democratic caucus into appeasing them, and why wouldn't they?

    They've gotten the tax cuts for the rich extended already.

    The Democratic Party has told them to keep trying it because it works.

    •  On the other hand (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arpear, Into The Woods

      if the GOP's Teahadist wing causes an unprecedented US default, the Republican Party will be facing an existential crisis because they will have no cover to hide behind as the pain rolls across the country.

      It would be suicidal.

      There is no Fox News barrage of lies big enough to cover the shitstorm that would immediately unfold.

      The Democratic Party has all the power here, if they just open their eyes and look. It's maddening how obvious the GOP's position of weakness is.

      I'm betting the entire GOP leadership is petrified that the Democrats actually call their bluff and say 'no, no negotiations, you are going to extend the debt ceiling and fund the government, or what happens next is entirely on you.'

       

      •  sigh (4+ / 0-)

        One of the most frustrating things about being a Democrat is this is something that only the Democratic Party could potentially fuck up.

        •  Something Only a Dem Could F-Up. (0+ / 0-)
          this is something that only the Democratic Party could potentially fuck up.

          And yet, they have repeatedly risen (fallen) to the challenge over the last 2 years.

          Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

          by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:27:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I think if the U.S. defaults.. (0+ / 0-)

        Fox news would flush the current Republicans down the toilet so fast they wouldn't know what hit them until they got to the sanitation plant.  Remember that Murdoch is all about making money and the chaos from the U.S. defaulting would not benefit him (he is not the kind of capitalist who makes money as a vulture, but rather by milking things when everything is going more or less fine).  

  •  Doesn't really matter (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marking time

    according to the Daily Treasury Statement, today's cash balance dropped to the scary level of just $14.2 billion. Without the benefit of incremental funding, this is the same amount that the Treasury burns on a good day!

  •  Projection: "DEMS are refusing to compromise!" (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, SallyCat, Into The Woods

    After all, they accuse of of everything else under the sun, why not that?

    They have a 24/7 propaganda channel, and army of hate radio dittoheads, and an entire publishing industry dedicated to invention and limitless distribution of utter BS. A little lie about what is happening behind closed doors won't phase them a bit. That's a fruit cocktail for breakfast, and these guys are used to biting the heads off live chickens.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:55:28 PM PDT

    •  This is why the GOP didn't really mind the TBrs' (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Positronicus

      "demands" to increase the cuts to such outrageous amounts and to such essential programs.

      When Republicans compromise with themselves, they compromise away from the center towards the right.

      When Democrats compromise with themselves, they compromise away from the left and towards the right.

      It's not rocket science on how we get to a point where the public no longer believes we stand for what we say we stand for during campaigns.  

      Are we really going to cut out tsunami warnings?

      Are we really going to simultaneously gut the enforcement of food safety laws and essentially close down the national poison control center?

      Where is the counter-proposal from the Democrats for a surcharge on the income tax of those making more than $1 Million per year (supported by 81% of the American people)?    

      Oh, that would never pass.  Maybe.  But do we think the GOP honestly believes their proposal to cut NOAA and the National Poison Control Center will pass?  Is that the standard for proposals?  

      The GOP knows that once their riduculously absurd proposals are compromised away, they can still retain the not-quite-so-ridiculously-absurd and pretend they are all Obama's  left-wing socialism.  

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:36:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Let's have stronger language (5+ / 0-)

    Republicans may shut down the government if they don't get their way. They did it before.
    btw I just left phone messages with Hutchison and Cornyn (my senators) that I oppose cuts to social security. Also older people do vote.

    •  Cutting Social Security (0+ / 0-)

      I'll be in favor of cutting Social Security right after we begin enforcing the laws regarding abuse of the entitlement systems.  

      Right now?  There is no enforcement...no follow-up.  Taking away from our older generation so as to allow for corruption and people illegally receiving taxpayer money is an abomination.

      Time we put our foot down.  Time we stopped the entitlement abuse.  We could save tens of billions of dollars.  

      •  OK ... (0+ / 0-)

        I am not familiar with abuse that is going on, although I imagine there is some. I would be surprised if it were tens of billions.
        I would want cooler heads to prevail and get this this budget battle out of the way before looking into Social Security fraud.

        •  Kudos, Scott5js (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          scott5js

          Good post.  I think that folks that aren't sure about a particular subject should say so...as you have.  And, you're dead on that Social Security isn't where we should be looking to cut costs.  There are just far too many other areas of waste and abuse that need to be approached before we start taking away from our elderly.  Social Security is an easy target because it can be cut with the stroke of a pen.  Other controls and other means to cut aren't so easily accomplished.  But, with what we pay our legislators and with why we vote for them...it's their duty to put forth the effort to do the right thing and to expend the energy and make the sacrifices to make the best choices.

          'Nuff said.

      •  I'm Assuming You're Speaking of Wall Street (0+ / 0-)

        bailout entitlements and tax-expenditure entitlements to encourage moving our jobs overseas and tax-cut entitlement to the divine job-creators.  

        That kind of abuse?  

        Because if I'm not mistaken, the GOP bill would actually cut funds from those tasked with digging out tax fraud etc.  

        Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

        by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:39:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I agree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scott5js

      Reid's statement is a good start needs to be repeated over and over again in the next few days with stronger language.

      Reid should be clear that the Republican's "my way or the highway" demand is NOT a negotiating position, nor does it express the need for compromise.  Really needs to be hammered.

      The most violent element in society is ignorance.

      by Mr MadAsHell on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:05:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just called Reid's voicemail (0+ / 0-)

      Again I said I opposed cuts to Social Security and older people do vote. I also said I knew the Federal government never had money for anything unless it had a strong and vocal constituency.

  •  Boehner's "one slice at a time" (0+ / 0-)

    comment, I suspect that the republicans are holding a royal flush and the Dems will fold.


    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 01:57:51 PM PDT

  •  Come on, the next step is always the WH... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ColoTim, fidel, SallyCat, Into The Woods

    issuing a statement that undermines Reid's position.

    THEN,  the rest of the Democrats cave.

    Get with the program.

  •  Democrats don't seem to recognize what a strong (5+ / 0-)

    position they are in.  They control two out three branches of the government and the wildly unpopular tea party is driving the other branch straight off a cliff.

    All they have to do is pretend that they aren't afraid of their shadows and they will find that these fuckers have a glass jaw.  They will fold like cheap suits.  But you have to be prepared to get in the ring a throw a god damn punch.

    •  Well, the problem is they have a weak General (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jfern, DarkWater

      And Obama didn't realize he was in a strong position even when the Democrats has massive majorities in both houses.  Even then he tried to "compromise" and pass extremely watered down legislation.  And he never, ever, fought to try to get better legislation, his influence was always to push it right.  It's clear Obama's best trait as a politician was getting elected, and he hasn't fared well at all in terms of actually achieving any sort of Democratic goals.  I don't even include the worthless healthcare reform bill, because it was so bad and insurance premiums simply continue to accelerate upwards.  

    •  but they won't. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fidel

      You know it, they know it, the repubs know it. The media certainly knows it.

      How far to the right do the Dems have to move before you stop calling them Dems?

      by Diebold Hacker on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:35:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sometimes in order to win a fight (0+ / 0-)

      you have to be willing to start one.

      Paul Wellstone.  God we miss him right now.  

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:41:02 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Teabaggers desperately want a shut down (3+ / 0-)

    They are bragging about it.

    http://dailycaller.com/...

    •  And, democrats are banking on it (0+ / 0-)

      It's all about politics...maneuvering.  When will we ever have a legislative body that truly cares about the people in America rather than their own political power?

      I don't we can vote in enough people to overcome our rabid politicians in Washington.

      •  Politics is the way people move the levers (0+ / 0-)

        of their government.

        Nothing inherently bad or wrong with "politics".

        Egypt's revolution was politics - the people grasping the levers of power.

        If the "poltics" focussed more on getting the people engaged and less on scoring points with the media, maybe the process would be more enobling and the outcome better for the common good.

        Playing by the rules created by a bunch of cheats and thieves is, however, not the highest form of politics.  

        Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

        by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:44:47 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And if they are really unlucky (0+ / 0-)

      they will get one.  It will completely destroy the credibility of their fake movement.

  •  Thank you Senator Reid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mr MadAsHell, fuppet

    Senator Reid, I saw these quotes this afternoon:

    In a floor statement early this afternoon (video at top of post, full transcript below fold), Reid accused Republicans of refusing to negotiate and said that if they don't come to the table with some new ideas, they will be to blame for shutting down the federal government. Reid said that while Democrats have shown a willingness to compromise, Republicans have offered "no reasonable cuts" and have shown "no willingness to compromise and no sense of shared responsibility." Reid said we cannot "keep funding this country a couple of weeks at a time" and "if no budget passes and we cannot keep this country running, it will be clear which side will bear that burden."

    Thank you, and keep up the good work.  I believe you are doing everything you can to reach a responsible budget compromise.  I hope it works.

    If the Republicans refuse to do their share, you cannot go any further that you have already gone.  I may only take one to give in to economic terrorism, but it takes two to compromise.  If there is no Republican movement toward the center, you've done all that you can do.

    Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner, the next move is up to you.

    Thank you.

  •  How pathetic is it (0+ / 0-)

    that we're talking about Dems defending SS and HIR and we say "It could happen".

  •  Why doesn't Reid (and Dems) tie this to Wisconsin? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat

    He could use the parallel of the GOP governor in Wisconsin pulling the same crap (moving the goalposts, using unrelated issues -- in this case, collective bargaining -- long after the unions had agreed to pay more for health care and benefits, and refused to engage in good faith negotiations.

    And then Reid (and the Dems) should link to a bigger GOP strategy that is playing itself not only in D.C., but in state capitals around the country, including Indiana, Maine, New Jersey and others.

    What is happening in D.C. is not a one-off. It's a nationwide strategy by Koch-funded, deep pocket interests to ram through policies that favor them and their wealthy cronies while gutting middle class protections and the social safety net.

    Democrats need to connect the dots for Americans.

    The lower and middle classes are getting screwed by GOP hacks across the country.

    Watch Rex, Political Dog give hell to Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, and various rightwing lunatics on Twitter.

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:15:32 PM PDT

    •  Because he (and many others) still think that (0+ / 0-)

      1) They can portray the GOP as "unreasonable" in an inside-baseball kind of way and
      2) That voters value "reasonable" over "fighting for me and people like me".  

      Recent history (rampant and obvious GOP "unreasonableness" followed by 2010 election results where "reasonable" got it's ass handed to it) would indicate they are very possibly wrong on both points.

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 05:49:06 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Compromise = Teapublicans get all they (0+ / 0-)

    want.  That is the only compromise they will ever understand.

    I still feel that they will shut down government because they feel it will energize the teabaggers against unions, women, elderly people, gays, ACORN (who cares if it doesn't exist?), Hispanics, Muslims, Blacks, janitors, and all those scary characters that dare believe that they have rights like rich white men have.

    The only thing stopping them is the tradMed narrative that the Gingrich shutdown helped Clinton get re-elected and we all know what their number one priority is: jobs, nah - deficit reduction - nah, strengthening America - nah, defeating Obama! yeah, that's the ticket!

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:15:43 PM PDT

  •  As long as Democrats remain unified and consistent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat

    well, this is really the problem isn't it?

    Let me state the obvious:

    Democrats will not stay unified and consistent.

    Harry Reid himself will not even stay unified and consistent with himself.

  •  Could, but won't (0+ / 0-)

    Everyone knows that Democrats will cave.

    "Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the president to explain to us what the exit strategy is." - George W Bush

    by jfern on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 02:58:03 PM PDT

  •  Sharrrrrron Angle, I love you. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Into The Woods

    You've made Harry into a new man.

    It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness - Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Fish in Illinois on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 04:02:01 PM PDT

  •  Channeling Trotsky (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Into The Woods, Bob Friend

    There is a trotskyite strategy, which the Republicans seem to be following.

    First you make extreme demands. You do not back down or compromise on those demands.

    If your opponent offers concessions, you insist on your full demands.

    If your opponent gives in, you put forward your next set of demands.

    Repeat the cycle until you end up in a position of total power.

    It is not a strategy which reasonable people, brought up in a political culture that values compromise, find easy to counter (unless they realise that there is no point trying to reach reasonable agreements with implacable enemies).

    There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

    by Gary J on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 04:42:03 PM PDT

    •  The Tea Party and Kissinger's "A World Restored" (0+ / 0-)

      It is actually an apt a description of the Bush-era Neo-Cons, to which I first found it to be relevant, but with the Tea Party Extremists' rise in power and their leveraged control over the ideological helm of the GOP it also applies to them and in turn to the GOP as a whole:  

      ...Diplomacy, the art of restraining the exercise of power, cannot function in such an environment. It is a mistake to assume that diplomacy can always settle international disputes if there is “good faith” and “willingness to come to an agreement”. For in a revolutionary international order, each power will seem to its opponent to lack precisely these qualities. Diplomats can still meet but they cannot persuade, for they have ceased to speak the same language. In the absence of an agreement on what constitutes a reasonable demand, diplomatic conferences are occupied with sterile repetitions of basic positions and accusations of bad faith, or allegations of “unreasonableness” and “subversion”. They become elaborate stage plays which attempt to attach as yet uncommitted powers to one of the opposing systems.

      For powers long accustomed to tranquillity and without experience with disaster, this is a hard lesson to come by. Lulled by a period of stability which had seemed permanent, they find it nearly impossible to take at face value the assertion of the revolutionary power that it means to smash the existing framework. The defenders of the status quo therefore tend to begin by treating the revolutionary power as if its protestations were merely tactical; as if it really accepted the existing legitimacy but overstated its case for bargaining purposes; as if it were motivated by specific grievances to be assuaged by limited concessions. Those who warn against the danger in time are considered alarmists; those who counsel adaptation to circumstance are considered balanced and sane, for they have all the good “reasons” on their side: the arguments accepted as valid in the existing framework. “Appeasement”, where it is not a device to gain time, is the result of an inability to come to grips with a policy of unlimited objectives.

      But it is the essence of a revolutionary power that it possesses the courage of its convictions, that it is willing, indeed eager, to push its principles to their ultimate conclusion. Whatever else a revolutionary power may achieve therefore, it tends to erode, if not the legitimacy of the international order, at least the restraint with which such an order operates. The characteristic of a stable order is its spontaneity; the essence of a revolutionary situation is its self-consciousness. Principles of obligation in a period of legitimacy are taken so much for granted that they are never talked about, and such periods therefore appear to posterity as shallow and self-righteous. Principles in a revolutionary situation are so central that they are constantly talked about. The very sterility of the effort soon drains them of all meaning, and it is not unusual to find both sides invoking their version of the “true” nature of legitimacy in identical terms. And because in revolutionary situations the contending systems are less concerned with the adjustment of differences than with the subversion of loyalties, diplomacy is replaced either by war or by an armaments race. ...

      http://killian.com/...

      Sometimes when life hands you lemons, you should throw them back.

      by Into The Woods on Mon Mar 14, 2011 at 06:01:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Gee whiz. I have read this whole thread as it (0+ / 0-)

    stands, and what I see is the Rs making unreasonable demands, and then the Dems here busily spending their time abusing other Democrats, rather than Rs at all. And then fussing about unity after they've dumped on everyone who doesn't agree with them.

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