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By now everyone should understand that the GOP fury over Obamacare is a head fake, and their real goal is more budget cuts.  Everyone and their brothers, including the Repugs in the house and senate, knows that it is next to impossible to defund Obamacare.

Form todays Washington Post Wonkblog

Democrats believe Boehner is going to come to them in a few weeks and say that as much as he agrees the debt ceiling simply has to be raised there's no way he can raise it without concessions given the promises he's made in public and to his members.
below the fold:

Remember in 2011 when the Rebugs were demanding a balanced budget deal?  At the last minute, to avoid a default, they dropped the balanced budget and got "98% of what they wanted" when the Dems had nothing to negotiate with and caved like a house of straw.  This is almost an exact replay of 2011.  The players are the same, the Dems are making the same mistake, and the only thing that is different is that this time the Repugs are making a fuss over Obamacare instead of a balanced budget Amendment.

Where is the Dem counter offer?!  Once again, all the Dems are negotiating with is "don't defund Obamacare".  When the Repugs come back and give the Dems exactly what they're asking for, and then demand more deficit reduction, which the public foolishly supports, it will be the Dems who will get the blame for going over the cliff.  Remember, the public hasn't seen any negative effects from the 2011 GOP sequester victory.

Instead of demanding a jobs creating infrastructure program, or a tax increase on the rich to reduce the deficit, or an increase in the minimum wage... the Dems have nothing to bargain with when the Repugs pull the bait and switch.

Millions of people are getting hurt by the GOP sequester victory.  Many government employees are being hurt directly, and the drag on the economy is hurting many others indirectly.  Long term economic growth from investments in science, healthcare, education... is being crushed by these insane cuts while additional cuts will empower the Oligarchs even more.

Hit the phones! Call your Senators and House members and tell them to get something on the table so they can fight the GOP bait and switch plan.  We're tired of losing economic fight after economic fight and watching our economy deteriorate as the Dems cave again to hostage takers because they're the worst negotiators on the planet.

We are having this fight today, because the Dems appeased the hostage takers in 2011.  Let's not fall into this trap again, let your representatives know that we won't watch the great society be torn apart piece by piece.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Why should the Dems make a counteroffer (14+ / 0-)

    to a nonstarter like this?

    Making a counteroffer makes this sound like a negotiation.

    We need a Michael Corleone style "My final offer is nothing."

    The Democrats' position, as detailed by the President, is this: The full faith and credit of the United States cannot become a bargaining chip.

    If the GOP insists on playing this game, then we have to call their bluff. Full stop. Because if we start bargaining on this, they'll only do it again, and again.

    Let's make our stand here, and let the chips fall where they may. Better this than the death by a thousand cuts that repeated negotiation-by-hostage-taking will bring us.

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:24:30 AM PDT

    •  was 2011 a negotiation? of course it was. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo, Justanothernyer, joanneleon

      This is all about who will get the blame if there's a default, and if the Dems aren't prepared to trade a rise in the minimum wage for more deficit reduction, the public will blame the DEMS and we lose 2014 big.

      There is no way in hell we can simply refuse to negotiate when publicly supported deficit reduction is on the table.  It would be political suicide.

      •  I don't see the public support for debt reduction. (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        erratic, FloridaSNMOM, millwood, trumpeter

        It's smoke.

        Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

        by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:40:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  In this poll 59% want debt reduction (0+ / 0-)
          59 percent of Americans want the government to make national debt reduction its top priority, even if it comes at the expense of kick-starting the economy. Only a third think the focus should be on stimulation.
          It's a 2 year old poll but I doubt the numbers are much different.
          •  a 2 year old poll??? ridiculous. (5+ / 0-)

            Use a coin -- it's more reliable.

            Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

            by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:06:25 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's higher now in this 2013 PPP poll (0+ / 0-)
              Currently, 72% say that reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority, up 19 points from four years ago.
              •  pollwatcher -- that's a PEW RESEARCH poll, not PPP (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                erratic, trumpeter

                and if you'd looked at these 'wishlist' multiple-response, answers by Party-Affiliation:


                You'd see that the growth in deficit-mongering has been largely among Republicans, and that the "danger" to Dem Reps among their more-likely voters [Democrats and Independents] for prioritizing Social Responsibility Issues vis a vis Deficit Reduction is negligible.

                Public Support for deficit reduction, specifically, over all other priorities -- is smoke.

                Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

                by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:46:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  67% D's 71% I's! (0+ / 0-)

                  Yes, it's a Pew poll not PPP.

                  You asked for proof that the public supported debt reduction.  This is about as bad as it gets.

                  At the last minute, in the public eye, this is going to be the Democrats threatening default because they won't support debt reduction that is supported by 71% of the public!

                  How in the world can we go into 2014 with that hanging over our heads?!

                  •  you need to understand the question methodology. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    trumpeter, erratic

                    These are not "PRIORITIES".

                    Asking people to tell you ALL of the things they think are "important" to them gives you a regurgitated list of current events.

                    It's an opportunity to "pick all of the above" without any prioritization necessary.

                    It's about the weakest question that can be used to generate a headline.

                    Without follow up and depth-analysis it's worse than useless, it's manipulative -- and you are falling for it.

                    Is is far from, as you say, "as bad as it gets".

                    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

                    by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:16:15 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                  •  That's not the deficit. That's the sky falling. (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

                    by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:39:22 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

      •  2011 was certainly a negotiation. (5+ / 0-)

        And everyone on the left, including the POTUS, regards allowing it to have become one as a mistake.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:14:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  thats not a counteroffer, thats a cave-in (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pollwatcher, Johnny Q

        Fuck the deficit, its a phoney issue.

        If Dems want more support,  they need to be offering more, like a higher minimum wage, higher benefits for SS.,  mediCare/Aid for all,  an infrastructure bill that creates millions of jobs for needed repairs/improvements. A tax on financial transactions  and really higher taxes on the wealthy.  THOSE are counteroffers  we want to see Republicans voting against.  Actual Democratic positions that speak truth to bullshit.

        don't always believe what you think

        by claude on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:53:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think I made this clear (0+ / 0-)

          I wanted to say, that when the Republicans offer debt reduction, we should have something like you suggested on the table.  Then we would give up our bargaining chip if they give up their debt reduction.  

          The Dems should put everything you've listed on the table at the beginning of the fight and make the Repugs compromise by giving US something rather than every compromise where we end up giving in to them.

    •  Here's coaching from Al Pacino (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I've heard that this is one of Obama's favorite films.

  •  Actually, the real goal is power and for (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    power to be felt, it has to hurt.

    People who presume to rule are not cut out to be public servants. So, the only response is that they must be retired.

    Can the irresponsible be taught responsibility? Not likely. The Cons talk a good game, but they know nothing of caring and sharing. Expecting them to be good stewards is like expecting the lion to lie down with the lamb without taking a bite.

    It may be necessary to declare an emergency, order Congress to shelter in place and lock the doors on the Capitol until an adquate appropriations bill comes out.

  •  Not a good idea to agree that the Debt Ceiling is (5+ / 0-)

    a moment for negotiations.

    Haul back the curtain and mock the GOP severely and endlessly as greedy and/or owned sock puppets of ALEC and its members.

    Nail them as the corporate shills desperate for people to die without food and healthcare that they are.

    Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

    by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 07:32:31 AM PDT

  •  The "counteroffer" is (8+ / 0-)

    Drop dead. We get a CLEAN resolution.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:01:44 AM PDT

    •  Wrong! we need pre-sequester numbers (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      It's a big mistake to accept these sequester numbers as permanent.  The CR should be returned to the house with restored, pre-sequester numbers for the budget.

      We need to stop declaring victory every time we lose.

  •  If the Dem Kiss of Death is for them (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to be judged by the public as being anti-deficit reduction, what tactical advantage would there be to them making a counter-offer that would likely include "increasing the deficit" by supporting social programs or targeting Rep strongholds (eg military funding, taxes), since both would feed Rep narratives?

    And secondly, what's the benefit in proposing a bunch of stuff, if you're just going to use it to cancel out the Rep demands? That seems like a great way to lose political capital with supporters.

    The negative impacts of the sequester continue, and those are owned by the Reps. Forcing a clean vote on the debt limit drops the ball in the Rep's lap - they'll own the consequences if they kill it.

    This diary is based on the expectation that Dems will cave, but given what they've learned from previous incidents, and the "red line" that Obama has drawn, that seems unlikely to me.

  •  Counter-offer? Here's your counter offer; nothing (6+ / 0-)

    Not a thing.  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.

    What the Dems need to the the Thugs is simple:  fund the government like you are legally required to do.  Period.  

    Tax and Spend I can understand. I can even understand Borrow and Spend. But Borrow and give Billionaires tax cuts? That I have a problem with.

    by LiberalCanuck on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:11:15 AM PDT

  •  The Democratic counter-offer should be this: (7+ / 0-)
    "If you introduce a bill on the floor to raise the debt ceiling without any other conditions, we'll vote for it."

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:14:49 AM PDT

  •  The sequester is the best deal available. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is pointless to ask Republicans, whose consent would be required, for a better deal than the sequester.  Democrats should put absolutely no effort into "politics" as commonly understood in Washington, and all of their effort into winning the elections in 2014.  That's the only solution.  If Republicans don't want a budget, or government, it hurts their paymasters more than it hurts us so let them do it.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:31:37 AM PDT

    •  This is starting from the end rather than (0+ / 0-)

      the beginning.  This IS the 2014 election, right now.  Whoever gets blamed for a shutdown, or worse a default, loses big in 2014.

      Of course the Republicans aren't going to go along with a bigger budget, that's not the goal.  The goal is for the public to see the Democrats offering to give up their position for a higher budget when the Repugs are offering budget cuts at the last minute.  Otherwise, in the public's eyes, it will be the Democrats refusing to negotiate with Republicans who are trying to lower the debt burden on our children.  A PPP poll from earlier this year shows the public supports debt reduction by 72%.  

      •  That never works. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        trumpeter, erratic

        Democrats get suckered every time in those pretend negotiations since Republicans just use them to move the goalposts.  I think the Democratic position should be that Republicans are proven sociopaths and the only way forward is to have fewer of them in Congress.  This means (and I am unanimous in this, as Mrs. Slocombe would say) telling the Republicans we regrettably have today that they can deliver a proper debt ceiling increase or they can have a default, and that they can deliver a proper budget or they can have sequester, which (so I'm told) decimates their beloved military and its contractor friends.  

        You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

        by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:20:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  proven sociopaths? I fully agree :) (0+ / 0-)
          or they can have sequester, which (so I'm told) decimates their beloved military and its contractor friends.
          We absolutely don't want another sequester.  This is the trap so many fell into in 2011.  They believed the R's were in love with the military, when today's Libertarian R's would love to have a much smaller military that can't be the world's policeman.  That 2011 sequester may be the most damaging thing to happen to our future since the great depression.  Massive cuts in science and education is a sure way to make sure our children live in a 3rd world gilded age country in a decade or 2.
          •  Science and education are trivial parts... (0+ / 0-)

            ...of our budget.  I'm not inclined to give Republicans their way so those parts of our budget can be slightly less trivial.  It's bad enough that Republicans know there are many Democrats prepared to make bad deals like that.

            You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

            by Rich in PA on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 12:13:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Nobody's buying (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Murphoney, erratic

        what you're selling here.

        Even if austerity is something the public favors (irrespective of the fact that it's a bad idea) the bigger issue here is allowing the full faith and credit of the nation, or even the entire economy to be held hostage by people who want specific cuts to their specific programs, or else.

        We can no longer let that be the game. We negotiate, we bargain, we make deals during the legislative process, but not when someone's holding a gun to the head of the hostage.

        Fuck that shit.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 09:35:13 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  But who are the hostage takers? (0+ / 0-)

          In the publics eye, the Democrats will be the hostage takers for threatening to let the country default because they won't accept debt reduction.

          40+% of the public doesn't even know that Obamacare is the law.  72% want debt reduction.  Who do you think they'll blame when the Dems simply refused to negotiate over debt reduction?

          •  No they won't be. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            erratic, Murphoney

            You can show all the polls showing Americans are amenable to debt reduction you want, but that's not showing the issue at hand, which is how the public views the brinksmanship being played -- which is significantly against the GOP.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:17:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Over Obamacare yes, not over debt reduction. (0+ / 0-)

              The polls are very clear, if the fight is over Obamacare, the public is with us, but in the last minute when the fight becomes debt reduction, the public is going to turn on us.

              The whole point of this diary is that the "issue at hand" is not the issue we will be fighting over at the last minute of the debt ceiling fight.  It will be debt/deficit reduction, and if we don't have a bargaining chip to give up and show the public we're reasonable people, we will lose again.

              In the end, the Dems will cave on some sort of additional budget cuts, and many here will declare victory.

              •  Your remarks (0+ / 0-)

                are confusing to me.

                On one hand, you insist that the Dems' path to political success is to cave on budget cuts, and then you end with a statement that to me reads as very cynical about caving on budget cuts.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 11:59:54 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  If we don't have a bargaining chip (0+ / 0-)

                  In the end, the Dems will cave on budget cuts.  If we have a bargaining chip, we can give up that chip if the R's give up their demand for budget cuts.  The public will then see the Republicans pushing us over the cliff because they refused to bargain with Dems who were willing to give up their bargaining chip.

                  It's all about who the public will point a finger at in the end.  And if the Dems can't counter the Republican budget cut demand at the last minute, the finger of blame will be pointing at the Dems.

                  We shouldn't be too focused on what the Republicans are demanding now, we need to look at what they're going to be demanding at the last minute of the Debt negotiations next month.

                  •  I think (0+ / 0-)

                    the people are not going to be so ADD as you seem to presume with this.

                    If we keep the message "The full faith and credit of the US is not to be held hostage; we will not negotiate on those terms; the short and long term consequences to the country of allowing this to continue are too steep" we can win, without bargaining at all. Which we shouldn't.

                    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                    by raptavio on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 12:35:41 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  The zombie Grand Bargain will be back (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pollwatcher, bobswern, forgore, Johnny Q

    within weeks. Obama's new way of doing things is to take the negotiations behind closed doors with Boehner.  

    I expect that will happen again.

    We should be preparing for it.

    "Justice is a commodity"

    by joanneleon on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 08:36:14 AM PDT

    •  Exactly! many here are not prepared (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bobswern, forgore

      Many got fooled and thought the sequester was a victory, and now I'm afraid they will think that because the R's give up Obamacare (which they never had a chance to stop anyway) in trade for more budget cuts, many will think another loss is a win.  We can stop this from happening if we let our reps know we know what's going on behind the scenes.

    •  so the Senate had better negotiate...because the (0+ / 0-)

      President is going to negotiate if they don't negotiate, first?

      How 'bout everyone just tell the Pubs to stuff it.  

      The President has already done so.

      Righteousness is a wide path. Self-righteousness is a bullhorn and a blindfold.

      by Murphoney on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:49:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  come back to reality. (0+ / 0-)

        The president said the same thing in 2011.  I would love to see the Dems draw a strict no negotiation line in the sand over the debt limit, but all it takes is one or two blue dogs to fuck it all up.  Once something is on the table, it's a negotiation whether we like it or not, and to go to the end with nothing to bargain with, makes another round of budget cuts a sure thing.

  •  why should we make a counteroffer? (0+ / 0-)

    making a counteroffer is the definition of negotiation and the POTUS has already said he will not negotiate

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights for support in dealing with grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Mon Sep 23, 2013 at 10:49:35 AM PDT

    •  He won't negotiate over Obamacare, not the debt (0+ / 0-)

      How do you think the public will react, when the Republicans give the Democrats a clean Obamacare, and the Democrats then send the country over the cliff because they refuse to negotiate over some debt reduction?  Especially after the Koch brothers spend a few dozen million on TV ads about the obstructionist Democrats.

  •  lower ransom is still ransom (0+ / 0-)

    The House Republicans have made it clear that they won't compromise. So arguing with them about whether we should pay the kidnappers $1 gajillion in ransom or only $0.5 gajillion is a useless exercise.

    The CR already includes, as I understand it, a continuation of the sequester that is already damaging the economy and basic governmental functions. The deficit is shrinking rapidly, although you'd never know it from watching the mainstream media. So the rationales for the Republican frothing about "cut government spending!!!!!" are gone. If cutting spending even more is their real goal, they would leave Obamacare out of the equation. I believe the opposite is true -- holding the economy hostage is a tactic being used to try to coerce Obama into giving up on the ACA which Congress duly enacted in 2010. That's not going to happen, and nothing else will satisfy them. If Democrats try to negotiate on everything else, the GOP will just put the "defund and repeal Obamacare" onto every other bill, from naming post offices on down the line.

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