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The Hill broke this story, and their headline was copy-and-pasted word for word onto Daily Kos.

Reid Rules Out Grand Bargain

But IMHO both of these outlets have totally buried the lede.

Reid said he and President Obama were too willing to compromise in talks that took place in 2011 and 2012, and that he intends to drive a harder bargain going forward.

“If you give a bully a dollar today, they ask for a dollar and a half tomorrow,” he said in a radio interview with Nevada's KNPR. “It has taken a while for all my caucus to come to that understanding. And quite frankly, the President, wonderful man that he is, he doesn’t like confrontation and he likes to work things out with people.”

Democrats too willing to compromise with right-wing fanatics?

Who knew?

So Harry Reid is shocked, shocked to discover that there is gambling going on in this saloon, and his side has been losing every bet, year after year after year.

This sort of announcement makes him look a little slow.

“It has taken a while for all my caucus to come to that understanding."

Gosh, Harry! That's quite an understatement!

For example, thousands and thousands and thousands of left-wing bloggers have been screaming that message at you ever since 2002.

"Shut up about bi-partisanship!

It's just a code-word for endless war and gigantic give-aways to the rich!"

This was already obvious to my hamster in 2010!

But God forbid that Harry Reid should learn anything from my hamster or the humble blogosphere, and even if he didn't, it's still a relief that he eventually puzzled it out.

Good for you, Harry!

Better late than never!

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Comment Preferences

  •  one clue might be "all my caucus" (12+ / 0-)

    With the slim majority he has in the Senate, he needs virtually every single Democratic vote to make any progress - that's why we still have a filibuster.  It seems he could not get a 51 vote majority to kill it.

    Maybe now that 'all my cuacus" is coming around, that can change too.

  •  Well... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quill, OregonWetDog
    thousands and thousands and thousands of left-wing bloggers have been screaming that message
    Drowned out by thousands and thousands of RIGHTWING bloggers and Mainstream Media and Campaign Donors and Conventional Wisdom......

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:01:21 AM PDT

    •  Not really (5+ / 0-)

      because all those sources kept telling everyone Democrats Are Internally Divided!!

      So it wasn't drowned out, per se. It was strategically mentioned as often as possible, as long as it could be spun negatively and never ever as if it was good or common or reasonable to be debating inside the party itself.

      (just sayin' !!)

      This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

      by lunachickie on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:29:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And Democrats weren't internally divided? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        TheMeansAreTheEnd

        Seems to me that much of the Left Blogosphere and Left Punditocracy was at war against the Democratic Party, often ignoring the Republicans and the Rightwing entirely and blasting every move by Democrats from Obama on down from 2008 onward. The more moderate Democratic commenters were calling for bi-partisanship and compromise and the Pure Left were considering that a sign of perfidy, calling for "Spine" while proclaiming the Democrats "spineless" and excoriating anyone who acknowledged the existing conditions. The Republicans got the message and refused to compromise, showed their spine, as it were.
        Democrats like Reid and Obama heard US all bemoan the polarization and dysfunction and figured that working with their opponents was what we wanted, "reach across the aisle", "come to a consensus"... They tried to deliver on that and got their 4sses handed to them.

        If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

        by CwV on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:40:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Please re-read (0+ / 0-)

          what you are responding to?

          You mentioned

          Drowned out
          The divisions were not drowned out, they were strategically mentioned by the compromised press.
          all those sources kept telling everyone Democrats Are Internally Divided!!

          So it wasn't drowned out, per se. It was strategically mentioned as often as possible, as long as it could be spun negatively and never ever as if it was good or common or reasonable to be debating inside the party itself.

          Nowhere do I say Dems weren't divided.

          Oh, and blaming the divisions in the party for the "bipartisany" that went on for far too long is well on its way to silly-dom. But, carry on!

          This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

          by lunachickie on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 08:56:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  and inevitably (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lunachickie, Frank Whitaker

        the democratic wing of the Democratic party will be compared to the teabaggers, and the feckless fluffers of the punditocracy will prattle of internal wars and applaud cooler heads in both parties...

  •  Not to Mention a Century and a Half of Historic (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Yellow Canary, quill, ybruti, OregonWetDog

    fact about what policies produce which outcomes.

    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 Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:03:13 AM PDT

  •  If your hamster ruled the world (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, CorinaR

    We wouldn't be having these problems.  Right Pinky?

    Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

    by yet another liberal on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:06:35 AM PDT

  •  Sometimes you can take a hard line, sometimes (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    polecat, Frank Whitaker

    you can't.

    On the government shutdown and the Cruz call to repeal the ACA, Reid could take a hard line because he was in a better bargaining position -- Republicans were asking for something that (1) called for a change to "the law of the land," and (2) that would require the Democrats to abandon a fundamental, core principle and thus was something they would never do.  

    However, on the upcoming budget negotiations, Republicans have the real leverage, as Ezra Klein says.  After explaining all the ways the Republicans lost the battle over the shut down, he says this:

    But there's one silver lining for Republicans: They held their spending number. Even though Democrats won the 2012 election, Republicans have managed to keep sequestration's spending levels. The continuing resolution that Democrats agreed to before the shutdown, and the CR they agreed to in order to end the shutdown, both keep spending far below what Democrats think is necessary.

    By making this about Obamacare and the legitimacy of hostage taking as a routine political strategy, the GOP lost terribly. But in terms of what fights over bills to fund the government are supposed to be about -- spending -- Republicans didn't give an inch. Sequestration is still there, and it still gives Republicans real leverage in the coming budget negotiations with Democrats.

    In this go round, if Democrats want to get rid of the sequester, as Reid says, then Democrats (1) will be seeking a reapeal of "the law of the land" (the Budget Control Act of 2011); and (2) asking Republicans to abandon their core principle of lowering the deficit (the BCA had a big role in the recent lowering of the annual deficit numbers), and thus something they will not do.

    I'm sure Republicans will agree to more flexibility in the cuts as long as the spending levels (and the deficit) are not increased.  But if Senator Reid wants an agreement by Republicans to get rid of the sequester and increase spending levels, he is going to have to be prepared to offer something really significant to them in exchange.  The thing they want -- cuts in spending in entitlement programs -- he has ruled out, so I have no idea what he could offer them now that would get the House to agree to raise spending levels and undo the BCA. The Republicans have leverage on that, as Klein notes, because if no agreement is reached, the Republicans will simply pass a CR at spending levels consistent with existing law -- which is what Reid says he does not want.  

    Senator Reid scored a big victory by not compromising on the shut down.  But I think people are not being realistic if they expect Democrats to be able to increase spending levels without offering the Republicans something really big in return, which I don't think the Democrats are willing to do.  

    Without compromise, we will end up with the status quo -- BCA level spending, i.e., the sequester.  

    •  Haha (7+ / 0-)

      Give a bully dollar, and then wants a dollar and half.

      Your comment exactly illustrates it.

      Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

      by yet another liberal on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:16:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No, what I'm saying -- as is Klein -- (0+ / 0-)

        is that you have to recognize when you have the upper hand and when you don't.

        Sen. Reid had the upper hand in the shut down, and he used it and won.  

        Sen. Reid does not have the upper hand when it comes to getting rid of the sequester.  Some comments here lead me to believe that some at this site are in denial about that.  

        •  Nonsense (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lunachickie, quill, Tonedevil, svboston

          What you're saying and doing is what Republicans do.  They puff out their chest and claim "WE have the upper hand".

          It's the bullying the always do even when they are getting their asses kicked.

          Republicans: Taking the country back ... to the 19th century

          by yet another liberal on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:22:37 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Yep (4+ / 0-)

            According to these chuckleheads, we HAVE TO GIVE THEM the Grand Bargain.

            No we don't. Really. The Grand Bargain is a joke on all of us. The punch line is "there are plenty of other things they could do to "save" Social Security and Medicare, but so what? Our benefactors want that cut!" and they think we're all so stupid that we'll accept that.

            NO. And bullies--on either side--can go to Hell. They'll not get their cuts without a bloody fight. Count on it, no matter what Harry says now.

            This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

            by lunachickie on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:35:42 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I don't think there will be a Grand Bargain. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Frank Whitaker

              Sen. Reid has made clear that the Senate Democrats will stand firm on that.  I believe him.  And he's being realistic -- the Democrats do not have to give in on entitlement cuts.  And given what he's said, I can't imagine that Senate Democrats will agree to entitlement cuts under any scenario, even if they could get Republicans to increase taxes, which is NOT going to happen.  (See Ezra Klein's take on that.)

              Where I disagree with some here is with the notion that Sen. Reid can get rid of the sequester, as he seems to be saying.  He can probably get Republicans to agree to flexibility in what spending is cut.  But Republicans have made clear that -- even though they don't like the defense cuts -- they are NOT going to get rid of the sequester.   I don't see any real leverage Sen. Reid has to force them to do that.  I don't see a bill to get rid of the sequester even making it past a filibuster in the Senate. And I don't see what Sen. Reid has to offer the Republicans that could make them vote to repeal the BCA. The default is the sequester, so if there's no deal, that's what we live with for the next year.  

              •  New sequester cuts fall mostly on the military... (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                lunachickie, Tonedevil, svboston

                ...which it seems to me gives him some bargaining room. If the Repubs don't want those cuts, they have to give Reid something in exchange.

                •  Republicans are going to keep the cuts (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Frank Whitaker

                  they've made that clear.  The Tea Party group in the House, especially -- they'd far rather keep all the cuts including defense than increase spending.  

                  The people most unhappy with defense cuts are McCain and Graham in the Senate, who carry no sway with the House.  

                  The notion that Republicans are so unhappy with defense cuts that they will be willing to give up the sequester or be willing to raise taxes is something only Democrats are saying.

              •  I expect him to honor his word. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Tonedevil, svboston, Frank Whitaker

                We should all expect that. Unfortunately, we've all been burned before. I support him in standing firm, as do millions of others. Let's see if all our support is enough.
                 

                Sen. Reid has made clear that the Senate Democrats will stand firm on that.

                I won't believe that until it's all a done deal. Remember how he was going to fight for filibuster reform?

                Right. And don't think anyone is going to relax because "some say" Dems will stand firm. We'll be mounting a constant vigil to make sure they do. If they waver, they're gonna hear about it. If they try to do it in secret, they're gonna hear about it.

                No relaxing. No "I Got This, Don't Worry". Nope. Not gonna happen. They need to honor their word, period. No waffling, no qualifiers.

                This all started with "what the Republicans did to language".

                by lunachickie on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 09:02:58 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

        •  You and Klein (4+ / 0-)

          are wrong.
              Reid still has leverage because almost all the sequestration cuts in '14 are military cuts. The GOP and all their military contractor buddies that fund their campaigns want those cuts GONE. Reid's price for removing that will be ending the sequester altogether and restoring funding levels for social programs.  
              What the GOP want is to lift ONLY the military sequester, leave the rest in place, and have the Dems let them cut Soc. Sec. and Medicare. WHY would Reid or Pelosi agree to that? And with Bernie Sanders on the committee, that seems dead.
              IF the GOP walk away from Reid's offer to repeal the entire sequester, the military industrial complex will be screaming at them all through '14. Plus, the harm done to the poor will make them even LESS popular and the Dems get to run ads in military and veteran communities about how Boehner, Cantor, and McConnell are keeping them from being able to do right by their communities.

             The wave in November could be even bigger and in '15, Democrats can wave the entire sequester and return to pro-growth policies.  It's much pain to go through and I hate thinking about what it will cost the country, but this seems to me to be the only strategy that gets us back to sane policy.

          "I was not born for myself alone, but for my neighbor as well as myself."--Richard Overton, leader of the Levellers, a17th C. movement for democracy and equality during the English Civil War.

          by SouthernLeveller on Fri Oct 25, 2013 at 07:54:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  We'll see. I think this is wrong. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Frank Whitaker
            Reid still has leverage because almost all the sequestration cuts in '14 are military cuts. The GOP and all their military contractor buddies that fund their campaigns want those cuts GONE. Reid's price for removing that will be ending the sequester altogether and restoring funding levels for social programs.
            I agree there are a couple of Senate Republicans who think that way -- notably McCain and Graham -- but no Republicans in the House do.
             

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