Saturday, October 12, 2013

Negotiating with the Mad Hatter Tea Party

Digby is right in her assessment of the logical negotiating implications of the White House's current position (Trading spaces, kabuki style Hullabaloo 10/12/2013):

Unless the president can extract some kind of ironclad agreement [from the Republicans] to never do this again, which is impossible, the whole thing will end up being a kabuki spectacle that rewards the craziest dancer.

Personally, I don't see how it could ever have worked --- once the dam on the debt ceiling was broken in 2011, I think this was bound to happen. The Republicans will have to lose and lose big, and explicitly because they become so out of the mainstream that even some of their own voters decide they're too nuts to be elected before this fanatical behavior stops. Until that happens, I think Democrats have to start being a little bit more strategic and wield their power more effectively than they have been. These people are nuts and kabuki dances pretending to "win" when you didn't actually win isn't going to cut it.

I have to think, however, that even on a kabuki level, Democrats whispering to reporters that they "recognize" that they're going to have to compromise after they've made such a huge deal out of never giving in probably isn't the best idea. It's hard for me to believe that came from the leadership or the White House because it would be completely ridiculous at this point. [italics in original]
The Republican Party in Congress is acting collectively crazy. They view the 2011 face-off over the debt ceiling as having been successful for them. The Obama White House has lately been saying that they see it more-or-less the same way. This time he needs to stop them cold.

But that only works if he really is willing to use one of the Executive options open to him to stop a default on the federal debt: the 14th Amendment, the platinum coin, or creative bond structuring.

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