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(Note: For the purposes of this diary, I'm talking mostly of politics rather than policy).

So they embarrassed their speaker last night, eh? Honestly it was a dumb ploy by Boehner anyway, I'm surprised that many Republicans signed on to be honest.  I mean think about it--they're signing on to tax increases that have no chance of passing.  

Obama gets savaged a lot from some of us sometimes, but think about it.  By the time this is over REPUBLICANS would've been complicit in "tax raises".  Oddly enough, Obama almost voluntarily signed Dem's onto Social Security cuts.  

Anyway, the main purpose of this diary is that the shrill, talk-radio, redstate types have a sizable hold on congress.  Not a majority, but sizable enough.  GOP leadership has been happy to take advantage of them and ride the wave, but that has been at the expense of taking extreme positions on everything and on losing national elections. They let the plant take hold instead of nipping it in the bud when they had a chance. Apologizing to Limbaugh, threatening US default, self-deportation, etc.  It's all coming home to roost now.  They can't moderate. It's impossible.  Almost any moderating will bring a swift rebuke from Erik Eriksson, Rush Limbaugh, Heritage et. al., and their base. Before leadership could pay lip service.  But now the radio-talk show hosts and the tea party actually have legistlators in Washington who answer to them, above and beyond Boehner or McConnell. Whether they want to moderate or not is not the issue. They simply can't.  And it must be very paralyzing on their leadership. Watch for this dynamic to repeat on guns and on immigration.

Now they're imploding on a bomb of their own making. Good. Let the Democratic party govern, while they sort out their own mess.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I admire our President (0+ / 0-)

    but will readily concede he has made mistakes. I could list off several, as well as some other decisions which were deliberate but with which I deeply disagreed. Of course, I am more liberal than he anyway (I'm pretty sure), so our ultimate goals differ. However, I am not firmly convinced that the chained CPI thing was a mistake. It might merely have been a ploy, a tactic.

    It was predictable that the Republicans would reject this deal. Essentially the same thing happened last time with the debt ceiling increase, when (as I trust everyone remembers), there were a lot more Democratic concessions put on the table, concessions that never came to be because the other side was too stupid and intransigent to take the win offered them. The country as a whole, those not getting every single scrap of news from FOX, The Blaze, and The Drudge Report, saw one side apparently ready to deal and the other side vehemently against any deal whatsoever. It did the GOP no political good then, and it is doing it no good now.

    What clear-eyed observer looking at this year's Republican Party would have concluded that it is significantly MORE reasonable than it was last year?

    Yes, perhaps the President actually did put approximately $130 per retiree per year in benefits on the table with the intention of delivering in exchange for tax increases and some present-day stimulus. I wouldn't say it would be completely out of character. He might think $130/year at present is no big deal and leave any future reductions to be addressed by the Social Security fix that will have to happen at some point in the coming years. I'm not saying he did think that. I'm saying he might have. But perhaps, just perhaps, he was just taking another opportunity to make the opposition look really bad, with little expectation that he'd have to deliver. That's not 11th dimensional chess, that's just politics. The midterms are two years away, and although nearly everyone is sick to death of elections this soon after the last one, the White House doesn't have the luxury of not thinking about them.

    My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.
    --Carl Schurz, remarks in the Senate, February 29, 1872

    by leftist vegetarian patriot on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 08:30:47 AM PST

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