Woohoo! Democrats get unemployment benefits extended! How can anyone think the Republicans are losing? There is no Rope-A-Dope. Lawrence O'Donnell may be dumber than Jane Hamsher. Republicans have won the framing. They're winning the battles. And the way things stand now, they may win the war. It's all about the debt and the deficit. Ratings agencies warn that if the deficit isn't reduced by the 4 Trillion Dollar magic number, the credit rating of the United States will be donwgraded.
They're negotiating on their terms. Mitch McConnell came up with a face-saving out for the Republicans, which is all cuts and no revenues, while 'compromising' on raising the debt ceiling.
But that wasn't good enough, so Harry Reid, the helpful foot soldier, stepped in to help McConnell make it better for Republicans, essentially taking the Biden Talks proposals, and appointing a commission to look for even more cuts. But not revenues.
But that's apparently not good enough because it doesn't inflict enough pain on the poor and the middle class, so now there is another fallback plan. And how does this get sold to Democrats? By giving them something that they should already have anyway, something that should not need to be negotiated, something that should never be a bargaining chip in the first place.
Republicans refuse to consider tax increases or revenues, or loophole closing, or anything you want to call it. Boehner and Cantor both go to their caucuses and come back with the same answer - no deal. So, of course, let's find a way to get the Democrats to agree to what the Republicans say:
Now, it seemed odd that McConnell would unveil a plan Dems could support, only to have Harry Reid make it deliberately worse. As I understand it, though, Reid is principally concerned with crafting an agreement that can pass. The odds of “Clean McConnell” quickly passing the House are awful, so the Reid/McConnell discussions are about threading the partisan needle.
And how to get Democrats to vote for it? Why, give them something they would have, or should have already had anyway:
And what about Dems, who aren’t likely to approve of a Plan B that includes $1.5 trillion in cuts but nothing in the way of new revenue? Rumor has it the plan will include a few sweeteners for the left, including a possible extension of unemployment benefits, while shielding entitlements from the list of cuts.
The President is still pushing for increased revenues.
(If this diary seems disjointed it's because I hit publish before I intended to and then meant to delete and start over but there were already comments. The edit function does not work properly in my browser).