There are two ways to read the current stalemate in the debt-ceiling negotiations. There’s David Brooks’s take, which is that watching Republicans pass up “the deal of the century” should leave conservatives convinced there’s something wrong with the GOP. But you can also read it the opposite way: Democrats control the White House and the Senate, Obama is the most popular national political figure, a balanced approach to deficit reduction outpolls plans made entirely of spending cuts, and yet Democrats are still offering recalcitrant Republicans the deal of the century rather than taking to the ramparts. What’s wrong with them?
It’s safe to say at this point that the White House is starting to get the credit it wants for working hard to find a compromise even as Republicans work hard to resist one. But that’s not a triumph of messaging. It is, if anything, an understatement based on the White House’s willingness to give congressional Republicans a much more lopsided deal than Reagan, Bush or Clinton presided over. Republicans might be fools for passing on it, but if and when they finally say “yes,” a lot of Democrats are going to be wondering whether the Democrats were suckers for offering it. MORE...
Thursday, July 07, 2011
Ezra Klein: "The budget deals of Reagan, Bush, Clinton and Obama, in one chart "