Yale law professor Daniel Markovits argues in the Los Angeles Times that the GOP lost the debt-default deal.
Markovitz argues that a national default would simply have handed the GOP what they have been after all along -- a "draconian roll-back" of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
Markovitz acknowledges the validity of criticisms of the deal from the left but he considers it a major victory that the President extracted any concessions at all from tea party-led Republicans who would have been perfectly content to accept default. The bargain, he writes,
does indeed impose cuts that will slow the economic recovery and unjustly burden working Americans. But the deal is much nearer an affirmation of the president's core commitments than a surrender. Moreover, the deal that the president got is much, much less bad, from the progressive point of view, than a coldly rational observer would have predicted. The reason the president beat the odds is simple: The Republicans blinked.
Given their starting posture in the negotiations and "the tea partyers' apparent commitment to ideological purity over electability" Markovits counts it as a minor miracle that the Republicans agreed to anything more than a short-term rise in the debt ceiling.
The deal that was struck is dramatically — shockingly — better from the Democrats' point of view.
Read the entire op-ed in the Times for Markovits's detailed reasons the GOP lost in this deal, including his assertion that Democrats are now in a stronger position to end the Bush tax cuts.
The radicals in the Republican Party dragged the country to the edge of a cliff, but they failed to push us off; and they were even forced, at the last moment, to pull back.
Progressives have reason to lament the incremental cuts in the deal. But that which does not kill a social contract may make it stronger. And neither progressives nor the country should lose sight of the fact that the core institutions of ours — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — have all been reaffirmed.
The readers' comments in the Times are mocking Markovits's "spin." What do y'all think?