Posted on | December 1, 2012 | 7 Comments
Charles Krauthammer on the negotiations: “Robert E. Lee was offered easier terms at Appomattox, and he lost the Civil War.”
What’s interesting is how President Obama is arguing that the election was a referendum in favor of what he calls his “balanced approach” to deficit reduction — i.e., increased taxes on the rich — but his bargaining position in these negotiations is entirely unbalanced: Not only is he refusing to budge an inch on entitlement spending, he actually wants more deficit “stimulus” spending and unlimited authority to increase the debt ceiling.
In other words, as Krauthammer suggests, Obama’s “negotiations” are actually a demand for unconditional surrender. Is this really what Americans voted for on Nov. 6? Ace of Spades sees tyrrany:
Obama is a tyrant. If Republicans do not lift the debt ceiling, it is perfectly obvious what he will do, as he’s argued for it before: Like Putin, he will begin unilaterally asserting power he doesn’t have.
Maybe this is what the 52% who voted for Obama really wanted, a Dictatorship of Hope. On the other hand, Jennifer Rubin thinks Republicans are handling the negotiations well:
For now, however, Senate and House Republicans are playing it right. They have even got the mainstream media to notice how unreasonable Obama’s non-offer, offer is. (“no concessions“). Some even recognized that the president’s “offer” in response to the Republicans’ move on revenue was identical to his post-election opening bid.
In their own ways, Sen. Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner have handled the past couple of days rather expertly. McConnell’s reaction to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner’s ludicrous proposal — laughter — was exactly right. It is a joke, and rather than railing at specific parts, a guffaw nicely communicates to voter how un-serious the president is at this point.
Likewise Boehner’s more-in-sadness-than-in-anger tone after his call with Obama keeps his party from becoming unhinged and keeps a respectful dialogue with the president.
Not really a big fan of “respectful dialogue with the president,” but whatever. The game here is that each side is trying to make the other side seem unreasonable, to affix blame in advance if the whole thing goes sideways. The problem for Republicans is that the media will blame them, no matter how unreasonable Democrats may be. There is thus no possibility of making this a political victory for the GOP, and since the only alternative seems to be knuckling under and giving Obama everything he wants, neither is there any realistic hope of a policy victory.
So, how are those internal polls working out for you, Neil Newhouse? I mean, we’re dealing with the inevitable consequences of defeat. Scapegoating John Boehner and Mitch McConnell for “weakness” in the fiscal-cliff negotations is really just a way of blaming Republican congressional leaders for the defeat of the Republican presidential candidate, and that is neither fair nor pragmatic.
Elections matter. We lost. We’re screwed. Happy Holidays.