The strategy

What really pisses me off about this is that we simply can’t trust the Democrats not to go along. And if “compromise” on Medicare and Social Security happens, people will be staying home in droves for the next election. Steve Benen:

Look, this is so obvious, it usually goes unsaid, but it’s important to understand. McConnell and other Republicans are eager, practicallydesperate, to make major changes to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security — changes that the public won’t like. What the GOP needs more than anything is bipartisan cover. They want Obama to make it so, to use McConnell’s word, this isn’t “usable” in the next election, because if Republicans tried to do this on their own, the electoral consequences would be severe.

That leaves Republican leaders with two choices to get what they want. Option #1: the GOP can agree to some tax increases and Pentagon cuts as part of a grand bargain with Democrats. Option #2: the GOP can threaten to destroy the economy, on purpose, unless Democrats give in to Republican demands on entitlements.

Guess which one the GOP prefers?

Neither McConnell nor Boehner have been willing to speak publicly about exactly what’s on the GOP’s ransom note, but that’s part of the game, too — they’re keeping things vague so they can wait and see how far Democrats will go to fill in the blanks.

With that in mind, the White House is also effectively left with two options. Option #1: tell Republicans there will be no deal and when the economy crashes, it will be their fault. Option #2: tell the GOP negotiations can proceed after Republican leaders start adding details to their own ransom note.

What do Democrats still stand for? Not much, as far as I can tell.

5 thoughts on “The strategy

  1. And all it would take is one liberal Senator from Vermont or Minnesota to stop everything dead in its tracks, just like when Jim Bunning stopped unemployment extensions.

    All it would take is only one liberal Senator . . . .

  2. Hope the Canadians are going to survive kicking their liberals to the curb. In my dreams, the socialists trounce the conservatives in the next election up there. Meanwhile though, the conservative have a few years to wreck the place, so who knows how honest their elections, or media, will be by then.

  3. Or Option #3 – give the GOP everything it wants because that’s what the White House wants, too. I’m not seeing any reason to believe otherwise.

  4. Hi there;
    I’ve been saying for years that Bill Clinton will go down in the history books as one of the best Republican presidents of the twentieth century. It used to be a joke. Now the present denizen of the White House looks to be actualizing the heretofore risible observation.

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