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According to the Huffingtonpost Republicans have put revenue on the table.  Obama see's the possibility of a grand bargain and is willing to take it.  A cynic might say that the Republican Party has decide to rehabilitate it's image by getting Obama to agree to something even more unpopular that the shutdown.  This does not go anywhere near far enough.  If Democrats agree to entitlement cuts they will turn the country over to the Tea Party for a generation.

It helps to think of the Republican Party in the context of an abusive relationship (yes I know some people here will object to this analogy).  The abuser punishes the abused for any perceived infraction.  The American people broke the Republican Party, the abuser's, rules in electing a black President.  As such the American people must be punished by the withholding needed government spending.

In failure to support the Republican shutdown the American people again transgressed.  Worse, the abuser was seen as being blocked by Democrats.  This created the idea among the people that Democrats will protect them from the Republican Party.  In order to regain power the abuser must now show that any attempt to to escape the abuse will only cause it to continue worse than before.  As a result the Republicans have taken the option to attack entitlements.  The message this sends to the American people is any attempt to resist will only make the situation worse.

If we posit that the Republican Party will retaliated against those who vote against them, but the Democratic Party will not retaliate against Republican voters, we can break this down into game theory.

Vote Republican, Republican Wins, No Retaliation.  Consider this the kill me last option.

Vote Republican, Democrats Win, No Retaliation.

Vote Democrat, Republicans Win, face the wrath of the party willing to shut down the country to keep your family for receiving healthcare.

Against this form of terrorism, the only response Democrats can give is no.  The Democratic Party must either take the role of the protector of the people from the abuse of the Republican Party or face a continuing string of electoral defeats.  If Democrats allow Republicans to force entitlement reforms is signals to the American people that the Democratic Party will hand their abuser the weapons needed to hurt them.

To remain electorally relevant the Democratic Party must take up the mantel of protector of the American People.  This can only be done by taking the budget weapon away from the madmen in the Republican Party.

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