Sunday, July 31, 2011

As the deal is being done...

More or less what Gerry said:
What worries me is that many progressives seem to have mistaken Boehner’s bad press in recent days for a reversal of results. Make no mistake: Republicans are still running the table, having somehow managed to transform what was once a purely pro forma vote into massive unilateral concessions. The final deal is much closer to Boehner’s than Reid’s, where Reid’s plan was a more right-wing version of McConnell’s, which itself was far to the right of where negotiations began, which itself is far to the right of just raising the debt ceiling without conditions, which is what was done the last hundred times this came up.... [I]t’s a testament to just how badly Democrats have been outplayed on the debt ceiling that some progressives seem to think our side is winning. In fact the Republicans won this game by a mile: they got the drastic, draconian spending cuts they wanted and total control over an automatic trigger for even worse cuts—all without any new revenue whatsoever. Democrats got the good sportsmanship award.
And, as Yglesias points out, this entire affair has most likely normalized taking the economy hostage as a future tactic -- at least for Republicans (obviously, if the Democrats did it, it'd be treason or something).

The only reason I say "more or less what Gerry said" rather than simply "what Gerry said" is because I think this underplays the degree to which the result is along the same lines as what Obama -- and quite possibly a lot of other Democrats too -- has been aiming for. There's every reason to think that Obama has wanted a center-right deal all along, one far to the right of what the majority of his voters want (and most of those that *do* want it did so because of the relentless disinformation and misinformation about what will and what will not actually help them and theirs find jobs). So some of what Gerry makes out to be the Democrats getting punked is actually Obama joining with the right to punk those who voted for him. Not 100% -- this is almost certainly will be a farther-right deal than Obama (or Reid, or Pelosi...) wanted; but Obama has clearly wanted to be forced to move right, and if the Republicans have made him move some degree farther than he wanted, well, that's just business. We all have to sacrifice, right?

And ultimately precisely what degree this is Obama being punked and what degree this is Obama joining with the Republicans to punk us doesn't matter: the long and the short of it is that we're going to get screwed -- not quite as badly as if default happens, I guess, but it's always harder when it's someone you thought was to-some-degree on your side doing the knifing

Oh, and in addition to the link above, another what Digby said bit here.

I suppose that the rumors could be wrong, and that no deal might happen... in which case, instead of Obama joining the Republicans to punk the country, they will have mutually driven off a cliff dragging us behind them. The results will be worse; but saying that shouldn't distract us from how very, very, very bad this deal was -- and how much responsibility Obama has for it. To what degree what was atrocious negotiating and to what degree it was deliberate betrayal can be figured out once the historians pick the documentary bones.

Update: Oh, and via Gerry: what Glenn said.

No comments: