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After the Republicans shamefully torpedoed ratification of the UN treaty Convention On Persons With Disabilities in the U.S. Senate yesterday, Harry Reid question the GOP's capacity for rationality, in the so called "fiscal cliff" negotiations.

"Consider yesterday's failure, the disabilities convention, at the hands of the Tea Party," Reid said on the Senate floor. "This shouldn't have been a battle, but extreme elements of the Republican Party picked a fight where there was nothing to fight about." ...

"This treaty, already ratified by 125 countries, would hold foreign nations to the same high standard of treatment the U.S. already maintains for people with disabilities," Reid said. "And it would safeguard American citizens traveling, working and serving abroad."

"These are the same Republicans with whom Democrats are supposed to reach an agreement to protect middle-class families from a tax increase," Reid said. "It’s difficult to engage in rational negotiation when one side holds well-known facts and proven truths in such low esteem." ...

“I still believe there are 26 reasonable Republicans willing to put their promise to serve constituents ahead of their pledge to Grover Norquist," Reid said, referring the the leader of the anti-tax group, Americans for Tax Reform.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D=NY) thinks many Republicans would be willing to vote for the Democratic middle class tax bill if House Speaker John Boehner would let them take the vote, saying "[t]he House Republican leadership are like generals hunkered away in a bunker unaware that their troops have already laid down arms."

Speaking of the possibility that the GOP make not have the rational capacity to negotiate a resolution to the fiscal cliff issues, let me briefly mention the latest rumor from capital hill with regard to what has been called the GOP Doomsday Scenario, which I've reported here twice, previously, (see archives,) and which I am writing up a longer post on, "even as we speak."

Late last night I read a rumor reported on ABC News entitled Republican Doomsday Plan: Cave on Taxes, Vote ‘Present.’

Republicans are seriously considering a Doomsday Plan if fiscal cliff talks collapse entirely.  It’s quite simple:  House Republicans would allow a vote on extending the Bush middle class tax cuts (the bill passed in August by the Senate) and offer the President nothing more:  no extension of the debt ceiling, nothing on unemployment, nothing on closing loopholes.  Congress would recess for the holidays and the president would face a big battle early in the year over the debt ceiling. ...

As part of the deal to allow the House vote on taxes, those automatic defense cuts could be put off for a year.

So, the most plausible political expectation at this point will be a "two-step" punt. Get the middle-class tax cuts out of the way before the holidays, and take the rest up in the next year.

Please note how this matches up with President Obama's saying there isn't enough time to negotiate all these issues but we need to make a "down payment."

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Comment Preferences

  •  Lead, Follow, or get out of the way... (9+ / 0-)

    Is this their doomsday plan?  Get out of the way and wait until next year?

    Ok, I guess I'll take that.  It's not going to get any better for them.

  •  I never expected to fall in love with Harry Reid (9+ / 0-)

    but it's happened.
    Time after time he's directly taken on the Republicans and, using his special brand of dry humor, skewered them.
    I know there are things on which we don't agree (gun control, religion?), but Harry, I love you anyway!
    I'm going to send the man a fussy lacy valentine in February, I swear.

    We're not perfect, but they're nuts! -- Barney Frank

    by Tamar on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:19:25 PM PST

    •  Yes, I agree. When he gets passionate about (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, Tamar, Smoh, wilderness voice

      something he can be awesome the way he articulates his distain for the opposition.

      Many times over the last decades, though, he then retreats back to "real-politik," for example by holding back in pursuing impeachment of Bush, or even aggressive Congressional investigations.

      It was almost humorous how aggressively he went after Mitt Romney -- appreciated, but so passionate one might almost get the impression he personally despised Romney, or perhaps, felt Romney was an embarrassment to their common faith?

      But, the man seems to be exceptionally intelligent and well organized beneath that mild mannered veneer.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:31:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  in better times, it might be out of bounds (7+ / 0-)

    but today, in light of republican actions (and inactions), one's hand is practically forced to call into question g.o.p.'s capacity for rationality.

    "everybody's got something to hide except for me and my monkey." -john lennon

    by homo neurotic on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:24:21 PM PST

  •  I don't see the "doomsday" plan happening (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HoundDog, ColoTim, Smoh

    Any Republican who signs the discharge petition or votes present if a vote is allowed will be targeted in the primaries.
    The president has asked specifically that they let the middle class cuts through while dealing with the rest later.
    There is no Republican in the House who is going to be seen giving the president exactly what he has asked for.
    We'll go over the "cliff" and then in January some sort of deal will be reached to restore the middle class cuts and most of the spending cuts (especially for the military) will be put on hold and the can kicked down the road once again.

    •  You may be right. I tip your comment out of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fat old man, Smoh

      appreciation for intelligent conversation, not necessarily agreement.

      It seems almost 50%-50% at this point.

      But, I do not think we should fear the fiscal cliff so much we do something strategically catastrophic like accept the chained CPI to Social Security, or increased Medicare age of 67 rather than accept military reductions in sequestration.

      Howard Dean has been saying sequestration is the best deal progressives are going to get as the GOP will never ever again agree to military cuts.

      Our plan ought to include a freeze so inflation gradually reduces our bloated military spending back to historic averages for peacetime.

      There is not way we can reduce social spending enough to match the reduced tax revenue the GOP is now capping at enough to sustain military spending at this level.

      This is Ronald Reagan's and Lee Atewater's and Democrats are very close to being duped into it because in a game of chicken, whoever cares most loses.

      We have to start educating our people that a two quarter recession would be less bad then the next 100 years of reductions of Medicare, Medicare, and government pensions this "chained CPI" of Bowles-Simpson that the GOP is trying to sneak under the transom with all the smoke and mirrors.

      It is an easy way out for the President and our Democratic leadership because 95% of the population or more do not understand it.  But, they will besmirch their  historical legacy, and fracture the Democrat Party if they unnecessarily agree to such GOP tripe that is essentially using military spending to squeeze out social spending voters would never go for directly.

      The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

      by HoundDog on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:52:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't fear the cliff (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HoundDog, Smoh

        Nearly as much as most of the deals that have been proposed to avoid it.
        There is too much at stake and too many people watching for a deal to be struck now, that's why I think what will happen is mostly nothing. Congress can end the sequestration any time it wants to, and those defense cuts will hurt a lot of places so there won't be a lot of trouble getting enough Dems on board. When it becomes obvious that no deal will happen, they'll just kick the can again.

  •  We need to find some way to hold the most extreme (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Smoh, Mr MadAsHell

    tea party obstructionists accountable, and vote them out in 2014.

    We can't just leave this to our default level of political process, but need some dedicated full time think-tanks, grass-roots orgs, or some boost to our 2014 and 2016 electoral strategy.

    I've been encouraged by the occasional post by the OFA folks that they might try to maintain their momentum and organization in a more grass roots interim until we start setting up campaign offices again.

    Yesterday President Obama asked Chairwomen Debbie Wasserman  Schultz to head the DNC again, and I'm thinking of writing her a letter with some suggestions that we amp up a more progressive and more proactive focus where we perhaps get the superior voter management software we used and get it into volunteers hands so they can use it at home.

    We may have an opportunity to amp up our operations here by incorporating features of the database and software organization into a DK version 6 software upgrade.

    Then as volunteers if we wanted to make a few highly focused, high leverege, phone calls on a spontaneous whim, we could pull down the "Activism" menu to the right of "Dairies" and click on "Daily Phone Targets" for Issue X, and it would have the phone number, suggested pitch, and note field, so we could also see notes previous Kossacks leave about their calls or intelligence findings.

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 12:41:42 PM PST

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