A Deal That Would Be A Clean Win For Obama

Via daily kos, Politico is reporting on a rumored proposal on the debt ceiling that would be a clean win for President Obama:

Desperate to get out of the political box they helped to create, Senate Republicans are actively pursuing a new plan under which the debt ceiling would grow in three increments over the remainder of this Congress unless lawmakers approve a veto-proof resolution of disapproval.

If this is the end result of the Debt Ceiling Kabuki, then President Obama will have won. Period. No cuts for the debt ceiling. A de facto clean raise of the debt ceiling. Moreover, Progressives and liberals would have won too, because cutting Medicare and Social Security would have proven to be utterly anathema, no matter what Obama wants to do.

I think the chance of this deal happening is zero. But, if it happens, then I will have been completely wrong about these negotiations. But I don't think I am, and I still think deep spending cuts will be the price the GOP extracts for raising the debt ceiling. But it would be great if I was wrong.

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    If the GOP "loses" (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:17:46 PM EST
    They will have no one to blame but themselves, because Obama is as big a rube as they could possibly deal with.

    Also, I don't think even this "clean" deal is good for anything.  This economy is corrupt to the core, and until you clean up the corruption and genuinely punish the criminality that runs this mess...absolutely nothing significant will change.

    IMO, this entire mess is part and parcel of America's delusional need to do everything BUT what needs to be done.  

    IOW (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:19:44 PM EST
    Without a real and radical reformation of Wall Street, America will continue to stagnate, because the organized crime that controls the real levers of finance will still be free to do the damage they love to do.

    IOW part 2 (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:23:14 PM EST
    A win for "Obama" is not a win for the country, as we have seen again and again.

    This one is (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:25:17 PM EST
    *sigh* Whenever you (none / 0) (#13)
    by observed on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:27:21 PM EST
    are completely certain of the right negotiating course, Obama goes the other way.
    I agree that on the face of it, this looks like capitulation, but surely the details of how those votes are constructed matter.
    Anyway, the House Republicans won't go along.

    It may be a win (none / 0) (#40)
    by Left of the Left on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:36:27 PM EST
    for Obama, I would agree. But there is a difference between earning something and having it fall into your lap. This isnt the first time he's signaled a desire to "fix" SS, and it wouldnt be the last.

    It's good in that (none / 0) (#20)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:37:17 PM EST
    default is avoided an no cuts are required. No it doesn't come anywhere near to ending the nation's economic woes but it at least gets this debt ceiling idiocy out of the way at zero cost.

    Won't the debt ceiling idiocy (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:53:28 PM EST
    occur 2 more times to a lesser degree with McConnell's proposal.

    The debt limit would be increased three times during Obama's term: First, by $700 billion over the next few weeks, then $900 billion in the fall and another $900 billion in the spring, McConnell said.

    Also there is this:

    The bill would require the president to recommend spending cuts -- without revenue-raisers -- in the same amounts of a debt ceiling increase request, although actually passing the cuts would not be necessary to raise the debt limit.

    While the cuts don't have to pass, they do put Obama on record on what cuts he wants to make. Hopefully his strategy won't include putting the safety net programs up for grabs again. Grover Norquist as come out in favor of Mitch McConnell's proposal. My natural reaction is if he likes something, it is not a good thing.  



    It gives the Republicans cover (5.00 / 1) (#108)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:36:40 PM EST
    with their base though without them having to take any blame for crashing the economy or making any cuts when people are in economic pain and really suffering.  They kept the nation safe from disaster and if cuts don't take place it is in the end the Presidents fault, if they do take place in the end it is the President's fault.  It is brilliant for them in that respect, they will only infuriate tea baggers...not moderates and not indepdents....just the crazies.

    The point is (none / 0) (#48)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:03:07 PM EST
    they've conceded on the $2 trillion in cuts. The rest are just details now.

    Cuts that the president is obligated by law to suggest, but which don't have to pass? No one will take this seriously. If I were President I'd suggest lots of cuts that all happen to fall heavily in GOP districts.


    Norquist (none / 0) (#149)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 04:52:53 PM EST
    and the GOP in general may be reacting to their masters on this one.

    It's never made sense to me that the business community would go along with taking such a huge risk.


    Yup. The nation's economic woes (5.00 / 2) (#77)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:37:40 PM EST
    haver nothing to do with the deficit or the debt ceiling.

    People care about jobs and the value of their homes. If the pols would devote half the energy to that theat they did to this whole debt ceiling nonsense, maybe we would get somewhere.


    The problem is I think Obama wants to cut.... (5.00 / 5) (#16)
    by magster on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:31:01 PM EST
    Medicare and Social Security.

    The next biggie is the budget -- he can always try (none / 0) (#56)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:55:09 PM EST
    to get the cuts to SocSec and Medicare done then.

    The substance of it would be (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:45:02 PM EST
    that Congress reserves the right to override the President's veto and not raise the debt ceiling. The Republican base will say no way.

    I think Boehner will propose a bill with huge spending cuts and provision to raise the debt ceiling, and then bring it to the floor as a divided question.

    Congress reserves the right to override a (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:16:50 PM EST
    President's veto.

    Think about how stupid that is.


    It's so stupid that nobody could (none / 0) (#36)
    by andgarden on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:26:42 PM EST
    accept it as a deal.

    what's that saying (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CST on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:44:10 PM EST
    you will never go broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

    I would say the same goes for congresspeople, no?  Maybe even more so.

    I don't expect this to actually happen.  But it would be awesome.


    Why not? (none / 0) (#39)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:36:04 PM EST
    It's just accepting something that is already true.

    Ezra (5.00 / 1) (#32)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:13:40 PM EST

    House Republicans, who already hold the majority, can't possibly accept this deal. It would mean they have to take a vote to hand power on the debt ceiling over to the White House. "We, the House, hate this and it will not move," a House GOP aide told the National Review. "It would basically mean that the president only needs one third of either body to raise the debt limit, meaning that we would cede our majority status in the House. Can you imagine how insane this would make the grass roots/tea party -- we have the numbers to stop an increase, but we completely give up and let Dems uphold a veto with a one-third vote. No way." Speaker John Boehner's spokesman Michael Steele, meanwhile, said, "the Speaker shares the Leader's frustration," but stopped well short of saying he shares his solution.

    You need about 25 Republican votes for this in the House by my count.

    I agree (none / 0) (#34)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:15:57 PM EST
    But it would be great if it would happen.

    A "win"? (5.00 / 3) (#51)
    by shoephone on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:16:08 PM EST
    Not IMO. More like a "save," considering that this nonsense never had to happen in the first place. Wasn't it concluded here, there, and everywhere that the 4th section of the 14th ammendment allows the president to ignore the debt ceiling? Oh, I guess I'm supposed to genuflect and wildly applaud now that the kabuki  performance is coming to a close.

    I do not understand: (5.00 / 5) (#53)
    by mjames on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:41:38 PM EST
    A supposed Democrat put cutting Social Security and Medicare on the table - no less in a deficit discussion that has absolutely nothing to do with Social Security. How is this a win?

    Are you talking politics? Well, if you are, then tell me what Democrat in his or her right mind would ever vote for Obama now? He has made his intentions clear. He does not stand for Democratic principles. He created the Catfood Commission and he intends to gut Social Security and Medicare. He has now told us to eat peas. We should have taken better care of our finances (as he hands out trillions to the crooked bankstas).  

    And if he was only joking - or playing - about not sending out the August Social Security checks, then this guy is one sick, heartless jerk.  

    I see nothing even vaguely resembling a win. I see a man so out of touch with his core constituency, as well as all people who will ever need Social Security (and that's pretty much all of us), so unprepared for the challenges of the office, so willing to sell out anybody anytime anyplace, that it makes me sick.

    To top it all off, this was a manufactured problem. It isn't even real. Yeah, this is a real win.

    Nice summary -- and, indeed, Obama has just made (5.00 / 2) (#58)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:08:47 PM EST
    the Congressional Dems' reelection messages much more difficult.  The Repubs can now pound Dems with wanting to cut SocSec and Medicare (and already cutting Medicaid), and the Dems are forced to freakin' explain that was from their titular leader, the president, not from them.

    I still think Obama doesn't give a fig about being a Democrat or the Democratic Party; it was a flag on convenience giving him a way to get elected to high office. It doesn't matter to him that he suggested undermining the greatest accomplishments of the Democratic Party.  

    He does not want to be connected to FDR's New Deal (except to fool the rubes into voting for him) or to LBJ's Great Society (same reason and timing).

    He wants to do what St. Ronnie could not accomplish: Demolishing those social safety nets.


    Lexicon (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Addison on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:13:04 PM EST
    Can you please define what specifically you mean by "demolishing" Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare?

    Making enough changes to make them susceptible (5.00 / 1) (#65)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:39:12 PM EST
    to the attacks from Republicans which have been going on since the programs were proposed.

    And Obama said himself he wanted to make those changes, before he was inaugurated (as well as during the campaign, however, mostly to private fundraisers for big donors).

    Obama Pledges Reform of Social Security, Medicare Programs

    By Michael D. Shear
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Friday, January 16, 2009

    President-elect Barack Obama pledged yesterday to shape a new Social Security and Medicare "bargain" with the American people, saying that the nation's long-term economic recovery cannot be attained unless the government finally gets control over its most costly entitlement programs.


    That discussion will begin next month, Obama said, when he convenes a "fiscal responsibility summit" before delivering his first budget to Congress. He said his administration will begin confronting the issues of entitlement reform and long-term budget deficits soon after it jump-starts job growth and the stock market.


    But he framed the economic recovery efforts more broadly, saying it is impossible to separate the country's financial ills from the long-term need to rein in health-care costs, stabilize Social Security and prevent the Medicare program from bankrupting the government.

    "This, by the way, is where there are going to be very difficult choices and issues of sacrifice and responsibility and duty," he said. "You have to have a president who is willing to spend some political capital on this. And I intend to spend some." (My emphasis)

    Note that Obama brought Pete Peterson on board, a long time enemy of the social safety net programs.

    When Congress refused to set up his requested Cat Food Commission, Obama did so himself and placed implacable Austerians on it as his own picks.  And Simpson? Bowles? He had Peterson run the commission, using Peterson's personal staff. The chairmen's report was a foregone conclusion.

    Obama said that he admired Reagan because St. Ronnie was "transformational" and that he intended to be "transformational" too.


    This group, Third Way, uses lots of terms, talking (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:48:56 PM EST
    points we've been hearing from Obama.

    This post from FDL by Altman and Kingson is a good introduction. It also some refutations of the group's claims.

    In a recent Politico column,  Jon Cowan and Jim Kessler, respectively the president and senior vice-president of The Third Way, criticize "progressives" for opposing deals which cut Social Security benefits.

    They advise the Strengthen Social Security Coalition to "wise up and buck up the president so Social Security reform gets done in the coming weeks."  But their advice belies the expressed wishes of the American people. As  poll after poll indicates, Americans across all age groups and ideologies overwhelmingly favor eliminating Social Security's projected shortfall through increased revenues rather than through reductions in Social Security's already modest benefits --  just $13,000 a year on average.

    Cowan and Kessler state the obvious, that "math knows no ideology," but they fail to acknowledge that they do.  Undisclosed is Cowan's long history of flaming the fans of "intergenerational warfare" and calling for the radical dismantling of Social Security. For instance, in a 1995 Los Angeles Times op ed,  he proclaimed, "The time has come to reinvent Social Security based on a "cut and privatize" approach that will be fair to all age groups."  Although no longer as threatening as when  Newsweek quoted him in 1995 about his plans to "burn social-security cards in New Hampshire" to make a big splash in the presidential campaign, Cowan is hardly an objective voice when it comes to Social Security.

    For all the embedded links, please click through.


    I think Obama wants to cut (5.00 / 3) (#105)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:25:28 PM EST
    Soc Security as much as the Repubs would if they could politically survive it.  Seems to me that what has happened is that Obama was about to get that Social Security cut he has seemed to want from day one of stepping into the White House and he was about to get it along with cover that put the "responsibility" for the cut on the Repubs....and a few Repubs are doing a double take on how this is likely to play out in the end for them.

    Been a while (none / 0) (#2)
    by AngryBlackGuy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:17:36 PM EST
    But I agree with everything BTD said.  If it happens, we need to all run out and buy the 4th Dimensional Chess Guidebook, but it may not.

    But time here helps. Complicated budget changes are going to require a deal in the next few days.  Every day without a deal gives the McConnel option better odds.

    The good news is that even if this isn't realistic, it de-powers the House GOP hostage situation.  There is a way out around the Tea Party types that moderate republicans, at the 11th hour, can take.

    It's one of the most obviously political stunts I have ever seen, but it also says to me that Wall Street has started calling their representatives. I've read stories about Wall Street insiders willing to take tax increases to get this behind us, and we may be starting to see the results of those sentiments.

    We're starting to mess with their money and they don't like that.

    Agree as well. (Good going BTD) (none / 0) (#146)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:24:12 PM EST
    The McConnell maneuver seemed to me to be the needed "blink." Then, I thought "He (McConnell) is laying a trap wherein he & Repubs whine all the way to the election about the alleged misuses of the authority they would cede to the President. Then, I thought "They'll whine anyway." And, then I realized--ta da--that BTD got this one right off: Take the clean deal...move on to jobs, jobs, jobs. (And, let them whine.)

    Sounds very strange. (none / 0) (#4)
    by observed on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:18:17 PM EST
    Harry Reid says he doesn't understand McConnell's proposal, and neither do I.
    I don't think it will happen.

    You don't think (none / 0) (#6)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:19:58 PM EST
    you could get 30 GOP reps to vote for this?  Boehner sounds open to it.  He's trying to turn it into an "anti-tax" solution.

    I hope he does (none / 0) (#8)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:21:57 PM EST
    This would be an amazing deal for the President.

    This is the best terrain the GOP could have and if they cede it and want to fight it out on the budget, a government shutdown is not nearly the threat of a debt default.

    Plus, Obama would have stared them down. Totally changing the dynamic.

    This would a huge huge event.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:29:19 PM EST
    We're still talking about re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.  The real economic problems in the country are being ignored worse than ever.  Trillion dollar financial theivery cannot, in any logical way, result in a positive future.  Corruption needs to be tackled harder than ever in this nation, and the lies about money from those who control it MUST be countered.

    We really are a nation that seems incapable of looking in the mirror.


    Sure (5.00 / 1) (#17)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:31:32 PM EST
    economic problems remain but a clean debt ceiling bill prevents the worsening of the economy at least.

    This trumps everything else on the table.


    The debt ceiling is B.S. (none / 0) (#18)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:34:34 PM EST
    It's been BS since it was enacted in 1917.  

    We are still, IMO, incapable, pathologically incapable, of truly addressing the problem -- that we are slaves to pot metal and paper and electronic blips, thanks to the thieving financial class who, really, controls the country.

    What, the markets will react well to this deal?  The markets are corrupt to the core and represent NOTHING but the same people who have destroyed the economy.

    It will, in my IMO, be soon forgotten when the next crash comes very soon.


    But hooray if it happens I guess (none / 0) (#19)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:35:30 PM EST
    Because, in truth, I don't want an R president, I'd rather have a D who has finally overcome his stupidity and found his little nads.

    Yes, but (none / 0) (#150)
    by cal1942 on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 05:26:35 PM EST
    only for a moment.

    Afterward there is a huge mess as Dadler touched on but the task won't be tackled by this administration.


    I think the timing is curious (none / 0) (#14)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:28:37 PM EST
    it sounds like this was announced almost "too soon" to trust on McConnell's part.  

    Gotta disagree, BTD (none / 0) (#33)
    by kempis on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:14:35 PM EST
    What it sounds like to me is that the GOP wants to squirm out of making any real choices so that they can go back to what they're most comfortable with: hammering the "liberals" as a bunch of "tax-and-spenders." They want the debt ceiling to be raised, but they want Obama to do it--so they can fire up their base by railing against Obama's "out-of-control spending." And, yes, the GOP base is that dumb.

    Yes, if the GOP does not get to cut (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Towanda on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:03:46 PM EST
    taxes, this will be the excuse for continuing to refuse to create a single d*mn job -- part of their plan to be sure that they win in 2012.

    Short-term win for Obama does not mean a long-term win for Obama, and definitely not for the rest of us.  I am so weary of the short-term wins to hike his approval polls for a few days.


    The GOP seems to think (none / 0) (#38)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:33:28 PM EST
    their base is dumb enough to believe that the debt ceiling it about to be raised entirely by Obama without any approval or concessions by the GOP, but the outrage going on on the tea party blogs right now says they are wrong about that.

    I think that the talking point that will eventually emerge from this will be 'Of course the GOP wanted to raise the debt ceiling. Not to do so would have been a catastrophe for The Markets. It's too bad that the president played chicken on the issue and insisted on tying the raise of the debt ceiling to tax increases. But in the end the GOP won because it got the debt ceiling raise that was needed and Obama failed in his insane bid to raise taxes.'

    If this proposal goes through, the GOP base will eventually settle for this talking point.


    All of which they would have done no matter what (none / 0) (#73)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:27:10 PM EST
    What came out of the McConnell (none / 0) (#7)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:20:28 PM EST
    presser, per TPM:

    The plan is designed to give President Obama the power to raise the debt limit through the end of his first term on his own, but to force Democrats to take a series of votes on the debt limit vote in the months leading up to the election [...]

    The plan would require Congress to pass a bill allowing Obama to raise the debt limit on his own contingent on him taking a series of steps: Obama would have to notify Congress of his intent tor raise the debt limit -- a high-sign to Congress that would be subject to an official censure known as a "resolution of disapproval," and which Obama could veto. If he vetoed the resolution, and if Congress sustained the veto, then Obama would also have to outline a series of hypothetical spending cuts he'd make, equal to the amount of new debt authority he gives himself.

    McConnell proposes extending this process in three tranches, to force Obama to request more borrowing authority, and to force debt limit votes in Congress, repeatedly through election season.

    I don't know what "hypothetical spending cuts" are; what's the point if he's not required to get them enacted?  Hey, whenever I buy a MegaMillions ticket, I think about what I would do with the money, but, that's just wishful thinking.  So what's the point - to have plenty of "this is what the Democrats want to do" hanging over the entire campaign season?  To then be able to get what they want, piecemeal, on a "how about you put your money where your mouth is?"

    Questions I posed in the earlier thread:

    (1)  Will Obama accept this deal?  What happens to his credibility if he now walks away from the relentless talk about how the ONLY way we could ever hope to grow the economy is to "get our fiscal house in order and do SOMETHING about reducing the debt and the deficit?  Is "never mind!" going to be an option for him?

    (2)  Will Democrats really - really - be able to run on Republicans being the party that wanted to end Medicare, or will Republicans be able to neutralize that charge by holding Obama up as Exhibit No. 1 in their own argument that he is no friend to the social safety net?  My guess is that Republicans will handle that part of the game with more finesse than Democrats because Obama's going to be hard to defend on the charge that he was ready, willing and able to cut benefits.

    I'm all in favor of a clean bill, but I think it remains to see if this gambit by McConnell is going to be accepted and if so, if it will end up being as clean as we want it to be.

    Take it and run (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:25:01 PM EST
    This would be a complete win for the President.

    But will it be for US? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by Dadler on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:37:21 PM EST
    No.  Because this entire process, as you have describes, is Kabuki.  

    Do you really see good coming out of an utterly dysfunctional system deciding to continue driving into a brick wall at top speed?


    Yes. Kabuki or no... (none / 0) (#25)
    by magster on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:43:42 PM EST
    ... preserving entitlements and Medicaid is a good result.  Even if it is for just 2 more years, at least that's two more years for the people whose lives depend on a safety net.

    It is kabuki indeed (none / 0) (#75)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:31:57 PM EST
    If nothing certainly bad comes out of it, I will be satisfied. Votes on the budget down the road? Those were coming anyway, and Republicans have to vote too, not just Dems.

    I think both sides are realizing that no one beyind the hardliner Republicans gives a fig about how high the debt ceiling gets raised. It was never worth this whole song and dance. Best to get past it fast. That is a win for Obama.


    I think (none / 0) (#83)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:50:12 PM EST
    possibly the GOP has been exposed for what we know they are, anti-tax freaks.  David Kurtz thinks its time for Obama to declare victory and that it's important he do so.  I agree.  

    But as for this

    Obama needs to quickly move to declare victory in this thirty-year debate on taxes. Do it now, with the biggest, wickedest grin he can muster while Republicans are in disarray fighting amongst themselves.

    Not gonna happen.  The President isn't going to say "The GOP had a golden opportunity to cut SS and raise the Medicare age."  Because...why the hell would you do that.  And aside from that, unfortunately the current Democratic Party is not into partisan framing.  

    I guess it gives you some room in future negotiations since you know the GOP's weakness is any revenue increase whatsoever and you can embarrass them on that account.  But the debt ceiling is not going to be around when the budget is discussed, and a government shutdown is a less scary prospect, comparatively.


    The proof of the pudding... (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:38:38 PM EST
    the devil is in the details...

    You know how this goes.

    If - and this is a big "if" - this ends up being a win for the people, then I will be glad to acknowledge this as a win for Obama - but if all this is is a political win, that's not going to be enough.

    Seriously, how does Obama just say "never mind" to all the hysteria he has bought into and preached about relentlessly over the onerous debt that is killing the economy; I'm not convinced that he can do that, and have any credibility with those who bought in with him.  Can he take what looks like a gift from the GOP and make it a win for the people, without doing the "reasonable" thing and turning "hypothetical" into "real?"  I just seem him as way too invested (see Deficit Commission) in spending cuts and smaller government at the expense of the people who need it the most to pivot away from it now.

    I hope I'm wrong, but I have no confidence that I will be proven to be.


    No one was listening to him anyway (none / 0) (#76)
    by ruffian on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:34:09 PM EST
    He won't pay a price in the general public for this outcome at this time.

    I agree, take it and run. (5.00 / 2) (#45)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:51:50 PM EST
    Even if this falls through, the president has a win in knowing that the Republicans have been given their Wall St. marching orders for negotiations--trumping fear of the TeaParty Republicans.   However,  based on the Deal, my fear is that the president will take it, but rather than run, stop long enough to help the Republicans out of the hole they dug for themselves and the country--giving more than they hoped to get, such as proposing re-cycling the Catfood Commission's cuts to the social safety net, including sticking to Lieberman's idea of raising the Medicare eligibility age, thereby saving privatizing Ryan, et al.  

    I don't think this proposal (none / 0) (#28)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:03:28 PM EST
    will be the final form of whatever is agreed upon. But it basically indicates that the GOP has folded on spending cuts. They just took the issue off the table.

    What the GOP seems to want at this point is some mechanism that will allow Obama to raise the debt ceiling but will allow them to pretend they had nothing to do with it. Let them have it. The GOP base isn't fooled and is howling with rage.


    The reason I find this story hard (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by observed on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:06:22 PM EST
    to believe is that all reports say that Obama has offered HUGE spending cuts. Why would the GOP now say "oh, well, you don't have to cut spending at all"? It doesn't make sense.

    Yeah the story (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:13:06 PM EST
    is bizarre. But I speculate that what's happened is (a) big players in the markets have told them 'time to end this crap now and just get the debt ceiling raised' and (b) House GOPpers can't agree on where to make the $2 trillion in cuts because they represent different constituencies who will all be affected but in different ways. They want to make cuts, just not ones that will impact their districts and their re-election chances next year.

    They see time is running out and have decided to just give up on the issue. After all, it's just the debt ceiling. Both parties want to raise it and know it has to be raised. It gets raised all the time. The $2 trillion in cuts will come up again as a bargaining chip in some other piece of legislation that Obama proposes.


    It does make sense (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by Lacey on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:32:50 PM EST
    Obama was never serious about big spending cuts. And neither were Republicans. But because Obama threw them on the table, he boxed in Republicans knowing that there was no way they could vote for the massive cuts they have promoted.  

    Meh (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Warren Terrer on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:42:57 PM EST
    He didn't box them in at all. He would have gladly given them the spending cuts if they could have just figured out what they wanted to cut.

    Um, I think Republicans are serious (none / 0) (#42)
    by observed on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:42:55 PM EST
    about spending cuts. We'll see. I don't see McConnell's proposal being accepted. Has anyone seen a response from the White House?

    Clearly I'm too cynical (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by sj on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:46:11 PM EST
    Because what you find hard to believe, sounds very believable to me.  If there are spending cuts now -- which will hurt and hurt big -- the GOP no longer has their fingerprints on them.  It will be because Obama insisted.  And he sounds very invested in spending cuts.

    A possible answer, observed (none / 0) (#147)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:31:19 PM EST
    The Republicans were finding the corner that they somehow stumbled into to be growing smaller. Obama finally got the media and even some of their own spokespeople to question why they couldn't show some flexibility (see Brooks & Borger...and, for the first time ever, the Republican Vincent Carroll of the Denver Post editorial page.) He had outmaneuvered them because their own ride on the Tea Party tiger would threaten to devour them if the budged at all on taxes. The tax purity fed the tiger...and caused public exposure of the fact that Repub philosophy now was only "no taxes." (And, all the while, the tax monitor Grover N was watching.)

    For the Repubs: A self-inflicted Hobson's choice.
    (And, the should have eaten their peas.)


    Sounds (none / 0) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:05:49 PM EST
    like more kabuki theater from the excerpt you put up. I guess we shall see. Apparently the GOP sees this as Obama taking the heat for raising the debt ceiling and they get off the hook on having to actually make the spending cuts.

    Even tea party friends on facebook were enraged by the spending cuts that were being proffered by both the GOP and Obama.


    Well... (none / 0) (#55)
    by Addison on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:51:53 PM EST
    (1) He can say that he regrets the chance to not deal with the "big issues", but that the GOP left him no choice in the face of the financial abyss that a default would bring. So that's a pretty easy answer from the WH

    (2) Obama's plan was to change the inflation rate calculation for SS and raise the Medicare age by 2 years (in exchange for ending the >$250,000 Bush tax cuts). The GOP's official plans involve gutting Medicare and trying to partially privatize SS, and to keep the tax cuts. There's a big difference there, and one that's pretty clear and runs allow "common wisdom" about the parties, even if Obama's actions are disappointing to us.


    Olbermann special comment (none / 0) (#23)
    by suzieg on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:40:17 PM EST
    Wow (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:11:41 PM EST
    As much as Olbie fought down and dirty for his president, he should be blaming himself in part for the actions of the twit in chief.

    Of course, the media that put Mr. Obama (aka the media darling) is never to blame....


    My god! (none / 0) (#24)
    by someTV on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:43:16 PM EST
    almost as optimistic as my mother!  I called to cry and all she could say was I'm an old lady and I can wait...

    You're forgetting how Obama (none / 0) (#27)
    by observed on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 03:47:38 PM EST
    operates. If the Republicans are on Mars, the Democrats on Vensus, and the Republicans offer to compromise on Planet earth,  Obama will insist on Pluto!

    See ya later, Mitch (none / 0) (#41)
    by Addison on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:39:00 PM EST
    The center of power in these negotiations already been shown to be the Cantor-aligned GOP House contingent. Even Obama and Boehner united couldn't bring the Grand Bargain to life over House GOP objections. Just think about that! So why on Earth are we bothering, or even pretending to bother, with the Republican's Senate Minority Leader?

    Mitch McConnell has never been particularly shrewd, and he's off in the far reaches of la-la land here. If Senate Republicans have any sense they'll start looking for a new leader.

    Hey give the guy a break (none / 0) (#47)
    by MO Blue on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 04:57:16 PM EST
    Norquist likes it. What else matters? ;-)

    Norquist is becoming eccentric... (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Addison on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:08:14 PM EST

    Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, says he supports Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's "contingency plan" designed to force President Obama to assume nearly all of the responsibility for raising the debt ceiling.

    McConnell's plan, while it may be a "last resort" option," is simply a recognition of the fact that significant budgetary changes are all but impossible as long as Obama is in the White House. Norquist says it is extremely important that Republicans don't let the president off the hook by "putting their fingerprints on his misbehavior" and agreeing to a lousy bipartisan deal to raise the debt ceiling (particularly one that raises taxes). Doing so would give Obama a huge political victory that is completely undeserved.

    "That would be the worst possible thing because the country would be robbed of a choice in 2012," he says. "We've got time through 2012. The important thing is not to go into [the election] with blood on your hands."

    It seems to me that the House GOP has made it clear that they don't consider wringing huge budget cuts as putting their fingerprints on misbehavior. In fact, they appear to view putting their government-slashing "fingerprints" on the deal as job #1.

    Is Norquist supporting this deal solely because it completely erases the chance of tax loopholes getting closed? He has a history of cutting off his nose so that he doesn't have to pay new taxes on it, after all. Or maybe GOP intra-party politics has just transcended this Earthly realm, and is now proceeds in a dimension which I can neither see nor touch.


    Maybe they're playing 11th (none / 0) (#52)
    by itscookin on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 05:33:24 PM EST
    dimensional chess.

    Hell, give responsibility (none / 0) (#151)
    by jeffinalabama on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 05:54:21 PM EST
    to Captain Underpants, Batman, and Buddy Jesus... it's a good thing. If McConnell and Norquist want to run away from it? Fine.

    he supports it (none / 0) (#152)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:18:54 PM EST
    because he is a capitalist.

    Good on you, and totally agree BTD... (none / 0) (#57)
    by mrmobi on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:04:15 PM EST
    If this is the end result of the Debt Ceiling Kabuki, then President Obama will have won. Period. No cuts for the debt ceiling. A de facto clean raise of the debt ceiling.

    I was never any good at chess, much less 11th dimensional chess, but it seems that today, simply by mentioning that Social Security checks are not certain to go out next month, the President changed the game.

    Even the most craven of the tea-partiers went to town halls last year and screamed  about not having their Medicare cut, so there's plenty of fear about entitlement interruptions from the no-nothing wing of the Republican Party on this, as well.

    That said, this seems (especially the Norquist blessing) too good to be true, but if it happens, it's an epic win, and a chance to put an unnecessary distraction behind us.

    I could be mistaken, but I think McConnell was chosen to fall on his sword on this one to save the Orange-man's speakership.

    Well played, Mr. President!

    I wonder if not only D voters but R voters as well (none / 0) (#61)
    by jawbone on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:14:06 PM EST
    flooded Congressional offices with calls about being furious that any party was messing with SocSec and Medicare.

    One of the early chants of Tea Partiers was made to Dem Congress Critters, telling to "Keep your government hands off my Medicare."

    Perhaps seeing Obama offering to let the Repubs get cuts and "changes" made to Medicare made them as mad at Republican Congress Critters as it made us mad at Obama.

    I wonder if some Tea Partiers might begin to connect the dots....


    Regardless (none / 0) (#62)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:17:18 PM EST
    of how this current crisis finally works out, we do know these certain things:

    1. Wall St. was not going to let a bunch of 1st. Year, unwashed Yahoos destroy their playground.
    2. Obama wants to do the cuts, absolutely & specifically Medicare & S.S. This is his shot at the "Transformational" thing, and he learned the lesson of "Nixon opens China" all too well. He will not pass up this Legacy.
    3. Its been said here at TL several times, and I agree; The mask of Obama being a Progressive, Liberal, or Left Leaning has permanently been ripped off, shredded, and cremated for all time. There can be no question He is a Conservative thru and thru. (and not a compassionate one)

    I have done a lot of study over the past few weeks of this trauma and certain doubts and fears I held regarding Obama's psychological make up are beginning to come into focus. Not being a professional psychologist I've had only my layman's experience on the subject, and a growing body of anecdotal evidence that has inexorably led me to have serious questions as to his  fitness to be a Leader of decent, compassionate, and moral people......the American Public. Its too soon to put it all together in a "paper" for peer review at this time, but I assure you of one thing: You will be hearing much, much more from the professional community whose responsibility it is to know such things.

    My fear is that when the "diagnosis" is finally publicized, a debt ceiling crisis will seem like a walk in the Park versus the dark place this President dwells, and is committed to govern from.  

    Started off somewhat on the rails, at least... (none / 0) (#63)
    by Addison on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 06:23:57 PM EST
    I have done a lot of study over the past few weeks of this trauma and certain doubts and fears I held regarding Obama's psychological make up are beginning to come into focus. Not being a professional psychologist I've had only my layman's experience on the subject, and a growing body of anecdotal evidence that has inexorably led me to have serious questions as to his  fitness to be a Leader of decent, compassionate, and moral people......the American Public. Its too soon to put it all together in a "paper" for peer review at this time, but I assure you of one thing: You will be hearing much, much more from the professional community whose responsibility it is to know such things.

    My fear is that when the "diagnosis" is finally publicized, a debt ceiling crisis will seem like a walk in the Park versus the dark place this President dwells, and is committed to govern from.


    Good grief, this reads like the worst (read: silliest) bits of Jack Cashill or Jerome Corsi. You are going to armchair psychoanalyze him? Ἰατρέ, θεράπευσον σεαυτόν


    You didn't (none / 0) (#68)
    by lentinel on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:04:39 PM EST
    need the current crisis to be able to evaluate the mental capacity of the current occupant of the white house. Nor do you need psychiatric credentials. It screams at you.

    This quote is from the designated rock star in 2006:

    "...what I know is, Joe Lieberman's a man with a good heart, with a keen intellect, who cares about the working families of America."
    "I am absolutely certain that Connecticut's going to have the good sense to send Joe Lieberman back to the United States Senate."

    "Good sense" - to reelect one of the more virulent architects and enablers of the war in Iraq. The "dumb" war.

    Obama, if he ever had any brains, any mental capacity, certainly had lost them by 2006. He traded them in for some old oatmeal.

    There is that saying about power corrupting.
    But ambition to achieve a position of power coupled with a complete loss of any sense of why one would have wanted the power in the first place can make anyone stupid.


    All this excitement for naught (none / 0) (#67)
    by BTAL on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:03:01 PM EST
    Nixed by the WH.

    White House press secretary Jay Carney issued a short statement late Tuesday reacting to Sen. Mitch McConnell's new proposal to raise the debt ceiling in three increments over the remainder of this Congress unless lawmakers approve a veto-proof resolution of disapproval.

    Carney's statement:

    "Senator McConnell's proposal today reaffirmed what leaders of both parties have stated clearly, that defaulting on America's past due bills is not an option. The President continues to believe that our focus must remain on seizing this unique opportunity to come to agreement on significant, balanced deficit reduction. As the President has said, 'If not now, when?' It is time for our leaders to find common ground and reduce our deficit in a way that will strengthen our economy."

    My bolding.

    Yes, an offer he will refuse. (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:12:16 PM EST
    It does not fit the grand bargain scheme. Nice try, McConnell.

    McConnell was trying to shift (none / 0) (#115)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:39:45 PM EST
    the issue back to Obama & WH solely so that he & comrades could sit & cavill every three months, constantly raising the "debt" issue, and thereby setting up 2012 as a continuation of where we are now.  The more I've thought about it: McConnell was trying to dodge responsibility for any agreement/compromise (since the Repubs were losing ground daily in the face of rising media & Wall Street pressures about the certainty of catastrophe to follow stubborness.)McConnellwanted to keep the issue alive as long as possible...a possibility if he could get the WH to accept what should be Congressional responsibility for authorization of spending.

    Oh, and there is the small matter of reported spontaneous Tea Party revolt (the tiger is turning) and Norquist stepping quietly backward. My oh my.

    Now, President Obama needs to turn up the pressure one more notch. Amazing this, isn't it!


    Just keeping the heat on (none / 0) (#69)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:11:48 PM EST
    Boehner said today:

    "His idea if we can't get there, none of us believe we ought to default on the full faith and credit of the United States government," Boehner said. "I think that idea and there are other ideas out there in terms of backup plans. In case we can't come to an agreement.... Everybody believes there needs to be a backup plan if we are unable to come to an agreement. I think Mitch has done good work."

    They're not going to come to any agreement, so I assume Obama will take this out when the time comes.  And the GOP will have a few days to get the caucus in line.

    Although...it will take Cantor to get the GOP in line.  So who knows what will happen exactly.


    Well, let's hope that (5.00 / 2) (#71)
    by KeysDan on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:20:23 PM EST
    for Obama, it is not bust Medicare and Social Security, or bust.

    I expect that you know, as well as I, (none / 0) (#116)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:44:09 PM EST
    that Obama will "not bust" Medicare & Social Security. As well informed as you appear to be, that would be hard to claim with a straight face.

    Christy: (5.00 / 1) (#139)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 11:29:55 AM EST
    While it depends on what your definition of bust is, it is my view that changing the Medicare eligibility age to 67 from 65 busts, or at the very least, busts open, Medicare.  During the discussions leading up to the ACA, we were told that expanding Medicare--for all, for those 55, or even 60 was off the table. These were "extreme". Indeed, such ideas would "bust" the established order. Moving the eligibility age to 67, is very likely to yield marginal or little net gain.  And, when job markets, the need for good health to work longer, costs to employers are taken into account, there is likely to be zero  gain or a negative impact.  

    The net yield is to an ideology that wants to eliminate Medicare as we know it.  This tact should be considered by Democrats as extreme and undermining.  Social security, by the president's own lights, does not contribute to the deficit, his failed Catfood Commission noted the same, yet it is being thrown into deficit ceiling negotiations as another chip. It is sad, in my opinion, when a Democratic senator (Sheldon Whitehouse) finds it necessary to get on television to urge viewers to email a Democratic president to protect social security and medicare.  


    That's because it is part of the game (5.00 / 1) (#140)
    by Lacey on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:07:00 PM EST
    Touching SS or Medicare was never a serious consideration. By tying that idea in with tax increases, Obama knew the Republicans would walk away. To the public, the whole thing paints him as serious about the national issues while the Republicans aren't. It's theatre, all intended to entrap the Republicans. Republican leadership is left with only two options -- blowing up the economy or riling up their tea party base. Neither is a good option.

    I wish I could be as optimistic as you (5.00 / 1) (#143)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:17:30 PM EST
    but I am skeptical of this analysis based on the president's recent comment of "changing" both programs, and other clues such as the proposal itself.    In my view, it is dangerous to offer something on the basis that it will surely be refused.

    So how much would he (none / 0) (#124)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:42:44 AM EST
    have to cut SS and Medicare to qualify as "busting" them?  Just curiously.

    I agree completely (none / 0) (#72)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:26:52 PM EST
    Good to see you back (5.00 / 1) (#110)
    by Yman on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:48:33 PM EST
    ... but I couldn't disagree more.

    and I dont think the changes are (none / 0) (#74)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:28:18 PM EST
    the republicans are on the run.  you can see it in their eyes.
    the 60 minutes thing is going to be a turning point.

    "um, no.  I cant guarantee the checks will go out".


    His statement is not completely factual (none / 0) (#78)
    by BTAL on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:38:09 PM EST
    Using the US Treasury website listing accounts and balances indicates there is enough to pay SS, Medicare, Pensions and Fed/Mil salaries.  It would be an executive branch payment prioritization exercise but the checks could go out and not bounce.

    the point really is that he said (none / 0) (#80)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:40:15 PM EST
    he could not be sure.  are there political reasons he said that?  is the sky blue?

    transplanted from a misplaced (none / 0) (#79)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:39:11 PM EST
    comment in the wrong thread:

    I have been watching the comments here with some amusement recently.  personally I am very impressed with the was Obama has done this.  it as Lawrence says was masterful.

    I have and I am.  I loved the "eat your peas" press conference.  I knew from that day he was going to win.  I have never seen him more presidential or in charge.
    I like the guy more and more.  this little debt ceiling thing must have any [sane and rational] potential presidential opponent thinking bad thoughts about what Obama is going to do to them with the billions the business community is going to give him.


    not to mention (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by NYShooter on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:52:12 PM EST
    what he's going to do to us with the billions  the business community is going to give him.

    The billions (5.00 / 2) (#86)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:53:23 PM EST
    he is getting from that community will mean that cutting social security is a sure thing. He wasn't joking.

    no (none / 0) (#88)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:59:01 PM EST
    it means there will be no cuts to social security

    Obama (5.00 / 2) (#98)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:13:40 PM EST
    has talked time and again about "entitlement reform". He wants to go down in history as doing something "big". You have to remember with Obama it's always about him and nobody else. He has made it clear time and again he doesn't care about the base.

    that would (none / 0) (#100)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:15:24 PM EST
    be because entitlements need common sense reform

    Give. Me. A. Break (5.00 / 2) (#125)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:45:23 AM EST
    Cutting SS benefits-- when it's absolutely not even remotely necessary-- is not "common sense reform" on this or any other planet.

    goodness (none / 0) (#129)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:07:15 AM EST
    when did he cut social security benefits?  I must have missed that.

    How to say it? Obama snookered them. (none / 0) (#112)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:19:41 PM EST
    I wonder how (none / 0) (#126)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:45:55 AM EST
    you can type when your eyes are so glassy.

    you would know (none / 0) (#130)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:07:56 AM EST
    also (none / 0) (#82)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:48:07 PM EST
    I think the reason they are on the run is, just was speculated in that msnbc piece, their corporate masters had a little chat with them.

    I have (none / 0) (#85)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:52:30 PM EST
    thought all along that Wall Street would bang on the GOP to raise the debt ceiling and that they would cave if that happened. The problem has been Obama not holding firm and offering up cut after cut for the middle class to take.

    watch Lawrence (none / 0) (#87)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:57:57 PM EST
    he did that for a few reasons.

    1.) he looks reasonable.  like the adult in the room.  "look what I am willing to put on the table, ALL the sacred cows".  as Mitch said today the republicans knew that was crap.

    2.)  he knew it would never happen because nothing is  agreed to until everything is agreed to.

    3.)  this fall he can say "look, I was the reasonable one.  I was willing to give them everything they wanted" (even he knew they could not take it)

    it was brilliant.  admit it.


    Sorry (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:10:58 PM EST
    but I don't see this kabuki theater as brilliant. How is Obama going to campaign against cuts in Social Security when he's the one offering it up. Voters don't care that he's "reasonable" unless he's up against Michele Bachman in the GE.

    People want jobs.


    How does Obama walk away from the (5.00 / 2) (#106)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:26:55 PM EST
    deficit hawkery he's been engaging in since before he took office?  

    How does he now set aside "doing the hard work" of "getting our fiscal house in order" after saying, over and over, that that's the only way to get the economy back on track and make jobs sprout like weeds?

    I think it will be hard to be cast as the savior of the social safety net when he was the one pushing to make the changes.  Willing to put other people's slim grasp on economic security on shakier ground; maybe I'm not a good enough judge of people, but I don't think people appreciate that being toyed with, as if it didn't matter.  Especially in the face of the unrelenting sucking up to Big Money and the MOTU.

    We shall see.

    [nice to see you back, by the way - hope things are going well for you]


    He's not going to even try to (5.00 / 1) (#118)
    by masslib on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:52:36 PM EST
    walk away from it.  I can not fathom where this silly line of reasoning is coming from.  Wishful thinking, I guess.  He's going to keep at it.  he didn't go out there and position himself as the centrist who will take on his own Party over sacred cows for nothing.  And every single person out there saying oh well see, he didn't mean it, it's all kabuki, secretly he supports doubling social security payments and Medicare for All, yada yada yada, are going to have to pound dirt through the entire election cycle as he touts, over and over again, his willingness to tackle entitlements, and then, if and when he wins, if he has political capital to spend, and a willing Congress, he'll do it.  And, if Boehner had managed to get his Party on board, he would do it today.  Of course, Boehner couldn't because they would see these cuts as a huge win for Obama.  really catch 22 the Repubs got themselves in.  I don't quite understand it.

    the same way he walked away (none / 0) (#131)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:09:22 AM EST
    from being against mandatory enrollment, from being for ending the war, for well, do I need to go on?

    Obama is never (none / 0) (#96)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:12:55 PM EST
    going to say "I was willing to cut 4 trillion and raise the Medicare eligibility age!" against someone who wasn't on the record about the debt ceiling in any material way (Romney, presumably).

    I think this may provide insight on pushing the GOP around during the budget debate.  But he's not going to run on this a year from now.


    I think you are (none / 0) (#99)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:13:49 PM EST

    Okay (5.00 / 2) (#102)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:18:42 PM EST
    I'll wait for the "I Was Very Reasonable A Year Ago!" bumper stickers to come out.

    I know (none / 0) (#109)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:42:52 PM EST
    he's not going to say that but the GOP can and probably will say it. They did it in 2010 and it worked for them so I'm willing to bet that they'll try it again. I mean even Michele Bachman is saying that Obama wants to get rid of Medicare so that he can push the elderly into "Obamacare".

    He doesn't have to... (none / 0) (#114)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:29:25 PM EST
    because the reminder will be a cumulative sampling on the do-nothing, compromise on nothing, don't care about the greater good...only there ideology Repubs.  Believe me, there are lots of ways to call to mind this time wasting fiasco by the Repubs...lots of ways to underscore their ideological fealty without any mention of the ins & outs of negotiations (because noone generally remembers negotiations leading to solutions---only the very small percentage died-in-the-wool politicos go there.) Image and overall results.

    exactly (none / 0) (#132)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:10:04 AM EST
    a narrative is being constructed.  and very effectively.

    Exactly (none / 0) (#141)
    by Lacey on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:10:47 PM EST
    But the hate for Obama is so deep among some that they will never see the game he is playing. Obviously he is talking about reducing the debt. People think the debt should be reduced, they will always think that. Is it the number one priority for the average, probably not. But Republicans have said it is their "top priority" when it really isn't. Obama has exposed them now.  

    He has exposed them. (5.00 / 1) (#145)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:22:34 PM EST
    Totally true.  (Although Dems have to be sure to capitalize on the fact that they care only about not raising taxes, even on the stupidly rich).

    Still, I don't think raising the Medicare eligibility age to 67 should be a measure of seriousness or reasonableness.  Even if it is a "game," such proposals should not be taken as a measure of "seriousness."


    tsk, tsk...all in the eye of the beholder (none / 0) (#113)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:23:46 PM EST
    To a lot of people: Obama clearly outmaneuvered them when they (the Repubs) started with the upper voting hand in the House. Simply put: Reasonable Obama vs. Recalcitrant (& petulant) Repubs. As the word on the street is: He was willing to deal in the interest of the country; they weren't willing to give anything. (Even Gloria Borger questions the Repub "anti-tax purity."

    It still has a way to go....


    I take it he's not gambling with your (5.00 / 2) (#119)
    by nycstray on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 10:52:24 PM EST
    ss or mc, right?

    If word on the street is, he was willing to deal (our ss and mc), I really don't see how that's a positive. And then you're counting on looooong memories to hold up to your current version of what he did, during the right wing attacks next year. quite a cr@p shoot there, if your version is even reality, that is.


    its funny how you guys (5.00 / 1) (#133)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:11:56 AM EST
    hear only the bluffs and never the clues.  think about this one. "nothing is agreed to until everything is agreed to".  what would you think he meant by that?

    heres a suggestion.  put the mouse down and back slowly away from the echo chamber for a while.


    I don't think (5.00 / 1) (#137)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:41:21 AM EST
    there's anything wrong with questioning the appropriateness of putting raising the Medicare eligibility age on the table, "nothing is agreed to..." regardless.  Esp. when the reaction on the left from some was "entitlements need reform."  

    When the President says "I'm willing to throw the left under the bus" I'm not going to automatically say "brilliant!"


    Not long memories, but (none / 0) (#120)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 11:22:20 PM EST
    cumulative reputation-building. Each time Obama conveys the personage of a reasonable problem solver who wants to tackle the problems of the country, that positive reputation grows exponentially. (As to the innards of negotiations, most people that I have talked with separate results from speculation about what leverage was being used. For most, it is all in the results.) YMMV.

    I sincerely hope you're (5.00 / 1) (#121)
    by jeffinalabama on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 11:45:30 PM EST
    correct. But I don't think you are. I hope facts prove me wrong and you right.

    jeff: I can respect that sentiment. (none / 0) (#144)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:18:28 PM EST
    Ok, so all Obama needs to do is to keep (5.00 / 1) (#122)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:08:31 AM EST
    appearing "reasonable"? Even if he's making sh*tty offers (and sometimes deals) by throwing sacred cows on the table? Really? Lordy, you'd think we never had a President before that appeared "reasonable".

    So glad that Obama is good for some folks sensibilities.


    hmm, while reading the various ways (none / 0) (#128)
    by MO Blue on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 07:22:30 AM EST
    Obama offered to cut SS, Medicare and Medicaid, reasonable was not one of the words that came to mind.

    'Hate to tell you this, (none / 0) (#142)
    by christinep on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:16:25 PM EST
    but going back to some of the earlier polling on why people vote as they do for President: Eisenhower beat Stevenson because people liked Ike's smile. (It may be something more than that, obviously. Yet, people listed the smile as #1.)

    While the non-tangential perceptions are not the only determinor, the character trait perception tends to strongly influence whe why's of voting. Surveys of voter attitudes confirm that every time. But, beyond the goofy "who would you rather have a beer with--Bush or Gore" artificial media frame of 2000, the characteristics that tend to be emphasized include these subjective traits: Leadership (here: see foreign policy & see bin Laden finale); trust (see lots of comments on blogs, even this one, purporting to divine what a particular politician really thinks/motive/etc.); shared values with Americans (a tricky one that--since emotional social issues can play a large role.) Anyway, you get the point.

    The perception of whether a candidate is reasonable or not strongly influences the outcome. And--not always, but often--that moveable, subjective view may well correspond with what is perceived as center rather than the competing ends of the continuum.


    Exactly, Capt. (none / 0) (#117)
    by christinep on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 09:48:28 PM EST
    The small nuclear bomb statement of politics.

    Oh...and then tonight on PBS News, Judy Woodruff elicited from the gentleman representing a bipartisan study group on the matter of default that over 50% of government activities could easily be directly & immediately effected in the aftermath of a default. And, the gentleman went on to underscore that that could mean stopping defense & law enforcement activities to save domestic obligations or vice versa...immediately. (Ratchet up, ratchet up....)


    Perhaps ABG has a point in saying, even (none / 0) (#81)
    by oculus on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 07:46:52 PM EST
    if the whole debt ceiling issue turned out the way we here want it too, we wouldn't be able to type:  good job, Mr. President.  

    Well (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:09:18 PM EST
    there is a mopey whiny fringe at all times.

    It hasn't turned out that way yet. (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Anne on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:11:32 PM EST
    WH issued a statement, referenced above, that the WH remains committed to deficit reduction under the "if not now, when?" theory.

    The game is not up, the deal is not won.

    Plain and simple, there is no reason to trust Obama - or the GOP - on this.  Not yet.


    heh (none / 0) (#97)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:13:04 PM EST

    Brier Patch. (none / 0) (#111)
    by Addison on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:56:26 PM EST
    I don't think McConnell's plan has a chance, but I also don't think the WH would applaud it immediately even if they liked it and were gobsmacked at their good fortune. We're deep into crazy br'er rabbit territory here, I'm afraid. But that said, I also have some doubt that Obama's negotiating advisors would be able to pull off a "don't throw me in that brier patch" move. So maybe they're just being oppositional? Who knows.

    Sure (none / 0) (#92)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:10:30 PM EST
    I'll say that when the debt ceiling is raised without spending cuts.  

    I don't agree with the notion that this is the result of an almost 4 month long "rope a dope" however.  In part because almost no-one believed that at the time, and those that weren't mad about the way the debt ceiling was being negotiated were spending their time arguing about the necessity of spending cuts.  Spending cuts were never the default progressive position.  So I am not abiding by that bullsh*t.

    Don't tell me Obama played a great hand of poker when you didn't realize you were watching a poker being played.


    even if you are correct (none / 0) (#95)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:12:41 PM EST
    perception is reality.  more so in politics than anyplace else

    and Im sorry.  but I think the rope a dope has been obvious for a while.


    I think very few people (5.00 / 1) (#101)
    by lilburro on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:17:10 PM EST
    thought we were going to get out of this without at least some spending cuts.  The blogosphere on Monday was nothing but doom and gloom.

    cant speak for the blogosphere (none / 0) (#103)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:21:37 PM EST
    havent been there much lately. I knew it.

    Hasn't happened yet (none / 0) (#136)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:21:09 AM EST
    stand by (none / 0) (#138)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 09:19:17 AM EST
    we are in the end game.  they are not going to allow this one to go up to the line.

    Booman (none / 0) (#148)
    by lilburro on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 12:49:41 PM EST
    and John Cole were both depressed.  That says a lot I think.

    Here's to hoping you are wrong! (none / 0) (#89)
    by Swiggs on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:05:38 PM EST
    Love ya BTD, but I sure hope you are wrong on this one!!  This would change EVERYTHING.  

    you hope he is wrong (5.00 / 1) (#90)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:07:45 PM EST
    in gods name why?  are you a democrat?

    What do you want O to do? (none / 0) (#123)
    by nycstray on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:10:50 AM EST
    Clarification (none / 0) (#127)
    by Swiggs on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 01:54:09 AM EST
    I want BTD to be wrong that there is no chance that there is no chance of this happening :)

    I agree with him that it would be a complete victory for Obama.  I'm hoping BTD is wrong in his accessment of how likely it is to happen.


    I think he is (none / 0) (#134)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:16:08 AM EST
    heres what we know.

    Obams has said there is no deal, big or small, without budging from the other side.

    they can not budge.  they ran on no taxes.  if the close one loophole the teabaggers will go ape sh!t.

    the corporate masters of the republicans are not about to allow them to drive the us economy off a cliff.  it wont happen.  

    in the end there will be no choice for them but to do this ridiculous magic trick so they can confuse their idiot right wing that the fact that they stopped Obama from raising taxes was some kind of win.

    you know.  when you combine this with what is happening to Murdoch it is turning out to be a pretty good week.


    one other thing (none / 0) (#104)
    by Capt Howdy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:22:21 PM EST

    to see what the rank file teabagger response is to this.

    Blind spitting mouth frothing rage (5.00 / 2) (#107)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Jul 12, 2011 at 08:28:48 PM EST
    YEAH (none / 0) (#135)
    by Capt Howdy on Wed Jul 13, 2011 at 08:17:08 AM EST