Hopes for a deal to end the govenrment shutdown and avert a U.S. default turned to the Senate on Saturday as Republicans said their talks with the Whtie House were effectively over.Complete and total defeat. Total surrender.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told House Republicans at a morning conference meeting that there has been little progress in negotiations with the White House.
Boehner would not comment on Friday. He spent about an hour eating Chinese food and kibitzing with fellow House Republicans in a smoke-filled room in the Capitol before departing for the evening.
The House GOP, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, started this disaster when they couldn't take Democrats offer of continuing the sequester as a victory. No, they wanted more. They wanted to defund or delay ObamaCare. Then they wanted to enact Mitt Romney's agenda. Then they just wanted negotiations. They go none of it, so they decided to shut down the government.
In acts that completely defy even the most gifted political fiction writers, they then decided they loved government and wanted to open it back up, only piece by piece. The disarray and dysfunction of House Republicans, negotiating among themselves, being for government after they were against it, demanding meetings in which they are once again told 'no' and experiencing political ruin are the fruits of their own terribly stupid adventure.
They banked on President Obama caving in for any deal as he had done so many times before. This entire episode was a bet that Democrats would wilt under pressure. But this time Democrats were having none of it. And with a House and Senate caucus purged of some of the worst turncoats like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, Democrats found the nerve and backbone to finally stand up to their demands.
And so now they've decided to go home. For now. What they do next is completely unknown as the smell of defeat settles in. The government will be reopened and the debt ceiling lifted and they got nothing. Nothing.
But make no mistake about it: Democrats must learn that hard and strong is the only way to deal with Republicans. Not 11th dimensional finesse. Not being 'bigger people' or adults in rooms. You have to get tough with Republicans. Beat them and break them because they only thing they respect is strength and authority.
Democrats are the majority party. It is only fitting that they act like it.