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Like a duck hit on the head.

(An analogy attributed to Lincoln I remember from K Burns' Civil War show long ago!)

I don't have much profound to say right now. I do think this budget fight is the crossroads which will either enable or kill chances at all manner of progressive initiatives.

And I am fascinated by the GOP's utter inability to get its head around the situation.

Last night, we hear T Cole expressing willingness to pass the tax cut for 98%. Man, that seems to open the door.

Today, the GOP can't figure out what it wants to do.

It can't even figure out its own position!


The stress of trying to maintain its ideology in collision with an utterly hostile reality is rendering it incapable of even making a proposal.


FWI, I am optimistic that either ...

The tax cut for the 98% will be passed now, and then tough budget battles will be fought next year.

or ...

We go over the Fiscal Curb, the 98% tax cut will be quickly passed then, and the GOP will be even more profoundly weakened.

It's an amazing time. And it will change the political game for decades.

What do you think?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (6+ / 0-)

    "I'm a dweller on the threshold ..."

    by thresholder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:31:55 AM PST

  •  Romneyitis... (4+ / 0-)

    ...windmilling on the positions.

    They haz it!

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:37:57 AM PST

  •  I think you are right. (4+ / 0-)

    I am feeling very cocky.  Boner embarassed the shit out of everybody when our credit was downgraded.  Let the AH do it again and see what happens this time.

    I used to be Snow White. And then I drifted. - Mae West

    by CherryTheTart on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:38:17 AM PST

  •  I think taxes will revert, cuts will bleed, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wilderness voice

    and the stalemate will continue.

    After that, the Republicans will get carjacked by Libertarians and rapidly recede, gibbering to nobody in particular.

    Moderation in most things.

    by billmosby on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:45:29 AM PST

    •  Partial agreement (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I agree with your header.

      But I do not think stalemate will continue UNLESS the Dems surrender unnecessarily.

      The Thug position is politically untenable. It's a disaster, and they know it ...

      But they can't let go of their fantasy world.

      That party is being shattered by its own internal conflicts.

      The stalemate will not continue.

      "I'm a dweller on the threshold ..."

      by thresholder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:48:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  It will continue for a while, (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib, FiredUpInCA

        but then Republican disintegration will loosen their stranglehold on the House. I'd give it a few to several months before that happens. One factor will be the rather large number of people who will be caught by an unmitigated AMT.

        I wish it would go easier, but after watching the political system operate these last couple of decades I really think it has that much inertia.

        Moderation in most things.

        by billmosby on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:51:48 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I think it was Stalin (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    grrr, HugoDog, SilentBrook, Calamity Jean

    who said that the best strategy in any negotiation is to let the other side think you are insane. I think if this is their plan, they are succeeding.

    The world is a den of thieves and night is falling. -Ingmar Bergman

    by Pirogue on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:48:26 AM PST

  •  There's No Option for Progressive Initiatives. (5+ / 0-)

    As long as the Republicans control either chamber there's no physical way to pass progressive initiatives.

    The Republicans are not about governing, they're about ruling, and since their rule is to disempower government, stalemating it works fine for them.

    I said before the election that the Republican response would be escalation because that's the only response a conqueror ever makes. They're really not interested in the opinions of their target.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 10:57:04 AM PST

    •  This viewpoint is out of date. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, FiredUpInCA

      Honestly, it is.

      Nothing has ever been more holy to the modern GOP than tax cuts for the wealthy.

      And we're seeing that they are cracking under the strain of defending those cuts.

      If they can't defend wealthy tax rates, then they'll be less able to stonewall other initiatives.

      It is incorrect to see the GOP machine as all powerful. All political machines break down when they fail to adapt to changing realities. That is happening to the GOP.

      And people do not generally remember that political capital expands and contracts based on leaders' actions in changing circumstances.

      If we go over the cliff, the GOP's clout will be dramatically reduced. The caucus will begin to break up. I predict that some will leave the party, some going DEM but others going Libertarian or perhaps a moderate conservative party.

      The GOP is being hammered. It cannot sustain its own ideology.

      The implacable, stonewalling discipline of the past is breaking down.

      Don't despair, man. You're seeing Sauron's troops shatter.

      "I'm a dweller on the threshold ..."

      by thresholder on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:23:16 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  thresholder - I don't agree (0+ / 0-)

        There will be no deal for the 98% before 1/1/13 and no deal for the 98% in the first several months of the 113th Congress. A deal on the grand bargain will be reached before the August recess but both sides will have to compromise or there will be no deal. The deficit hawks in the GOP like (but cannot state in public) that by combining the sunset of the Bush tax cuts and the $100 billion sequestration the deficit will be cut by nearly $500 billion a year. It is my view that the GOP feels no serious pressure to make a short term deal and the Dems rightly feel they have leverage so they aren't willing to deal either. We will go over the fiscal ramp and see how it feels and who has pressure that results in motivation. I am not convinced that pressure will be exclusively on the Republicans, regardless of the efforts of the President and Dem leadership.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 11:53:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hadrian's wall: sometimes conqueror's can't escala (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, Calamity Jean


      Hadrian realized that continuing to try and conquer ever more would collapse the Roman Empire by extending them into untenable positions that not only handed irresistible advantage to 'barbarians' but also disastrously weakened Rome by stretching its forces past breaking.  He chose to hold what Rome had instead, a decision History applauded with centuries more of Empire.

      This is the Thugs* position (tho without the guarantee, indeed even the likelihood, of maintaining their empire in the House and various states as the demographic hordes poise to overrun them).  I suspect they will try Hadrian's solution too, trying to define and then defend a 'core' of their recent victories ideological significance.  It is not unlike what Ds did after Reagan.  The reason being it is the most politically achievable.  Of course, the problem for Thugs is - as for Rome - the hordes will only continue to grow and demand their leaders (hopefully Ds) get them a slice of the American Dream too (not unlike most of the hordes facing Rome, who often just wanted to be brought into the Empire).
      *P.S.: Glad to see someone else calls them what they have become.  While not all Republicans are Thugs, the Party is, having become nothing but a bunch of bullies and criminals bent on destruction and nihilism like some cultists worshipping the worst aspects of Kali.

  •  Do They Seriously Want S&P & Fitch Up Their Hineys (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, Calamity Jean

    again?  At Christmas, are they actually dumb enough to destroy the credit of the US one more time?

    They're playing in the dragon's courtyard right now, & they know it.  Boehner's bluffing to keep the Baggers off his back.  Republicans wouldn't be shredding Grover Norquist right before they go home for Christmas if they were going to default us again.  Their constituents would shred them.

    You almost have to pity their current state....their attempt to destroy Susan Rice is so cheesy & obvious & cynical & blatant.  They will do anything to get John Kerry's seat back.  That's how bad it is for them.  

    They are toothless......even in the House which has the lowest approval rating in recent history.  

  •  I think Obama has the GOP behind the eightball (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, FiredUpInCA

    Slow thinkers - keep right

    by Dave the Wave on Thu Nov 29, 2012 at 12:33:10 PM PST

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