Republicans Still Blocking Budget Deal
Tonight's meeting at the White House didn't produce a budget accord. It's becoming more and more apparent that this is a game, being milked by House Speaker John Boehner and Republicans who have insufficient power or smarts to do anything but bluster.
I hope Obama doesn't make any concessions. It's pretty apparent Boehner will have to give in tomorrow, or face the wrath of the public when the reality of what a shutdown entails finally sinks in.
We're being set up for a last minute deal. Does anyone doubt an agreement will be announced tomorrow? This is all like a poker hand, and the question is, who's bluffing?
Avoiding a shutdown is good. But the games, and rewarding the losing players with concessions, are not. Obama should hang tough, refuse further budget cuts, and call Boehner's bluff. [More...]
If Boehner's stupid enough to let the shutdown happen, the blame will fall on him and his fellow Republicans, where it belongs. Concessions by Obama will just allow the Republicans to crow they won and they're tougher than Obama.
Boehner's already stepped in it. Obama has the chance to make him own his failure. Obama needs to hold firm. Concessions will provide Boehner with just the slither of justification he needs to avoid looking like a complete incompetent. Concessions will also make Obama look like the loser.
Bipartisanship is over-rated in a lot of circumstances. Sometimes, it's a sign of weakness. This is one of those instances.
Update: From John Pulls a Boner: It appears his fall has already begun.
Just since January, Boehner's national approval rating has plummeted by 18 points. At the outset of 2011, 35% of voters approved of the job he was doing while only 28% disapproved and 37% withheld judgment.
But in the past eight weeks his approval has declined by 10 points to 25%, and his disapproval ratings among voters has risen 8 points to 36%. What's most startling about Boehner's fall is that the numbers are not from any particular segment; everyone is down on him, including his own base.
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