It’s all part of a wider Washington offensive. As another recent Politico news item reported, “Fix the Debt is ramping back up its lobbying efforts as government funding fights become the topic du jour on Capitol Hill.” Politico listed a group of Republican and Democratic politicians who “met Monday with Maya MacGuineas, head of the campaign, and members of the group’s CEO council and small business members.” [...]So tempting for would-be compromisers among the Democrats, and so unnecessary. Republicans are well aware who is going to get the blame if the government shuts down, and they are the ones over a barrel. Furthermore, a willingness to allow the Republicans to see this out would go some distance to convince the GOP that, yeah, there's no negotiating the debt ceiling.
But can they really come to a deal? Tea Party Republicans are demanding Obamacare’s repeal in return for a budget deal. The President says he’ll refuse to negotiate. Things look hopelessly gridlocked.
Look again. Boehner will want to give his party’s Tea Party wing something in return for dropping their futile Obamacare attacks, and entitlements would be the perfect prize. As for the president, in a terse conversation with Boehner on Friday he merely said “he wouldn’t negotiate with him on the debt limit,” according to Boehner’s office. The president and White House officials have consistently echoed the line taken last Sunday by presidential economic advisor Gene Sperling on a reporters’ call. “The President is not going to negotiate over the debt limit,” said Sperling. (emphasis ours) [...]
And Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma said this: “If we found $700 billion in savings from entitlements—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—it would relieve pressure on the Pentagon and on non-mandatory spending. All the cuts they need are there to avoid a possible shutdown.”
Something else Democrats should think about: cuts to Social Security and Medicare are even more unpopular than a government shutdown would be. There's no need to go there. At all.