If Dems had refused to budge from the demand for a clean hike, would Republicans have blinked — or would they have allowed default? The bottom line is Dems weren’t prepared to take that risk, and the fast-approaching deadline meant moving to negotiations was imperative. Should Obama have waged a far more aggressive P.R. campaign to saddle the GOP with potential blame for default? Maybe, but public opinion in recent days was running strongly for compromise and against Republicans — and they still continued to use the threat of default as leverage. Could Dems have had more success with a more aggressive approach? We’ll never know. Call it the road not taken.Howie P.S.: The above was published @01:04 PM ET, 07/31/2011 but it showed up on my Twitter feed just now. At
The road that was taken is leading to a deal in which Dems are agreeing to take huge amounts of money out of the economy when the recovery is shaky at best. It also seems to ensure that Dems will agree to entitlements cuts heading into an election where the GOP was supposed to be deeply vulnerable over their drive to end Medicare as we know it. Dems will promise to salvage victory in the form of “smart” entitlement reform. Maybe so. For now, it appears the GOP is on the verge of a huge and unprecedented victory.
UPDATE: As Jonathan Cohn notes, maybe the deal won’t be quite as bad as it seems, but this is the last chance to make as much noise as possible. MORE...
I’m not going to try to figure out who won or who lost in the negotiations over a final deal, if there is one and it passes, until we actually have all the details. It’s certainly a huge win for Republicans over the status quo — but as I’ve said before, that’s mostly a consequence of GOP electoral victories last November. Whether Republicans won more than that victory would have predicted — that’s where we need to study the details. In the meantime, I will push back, once again, at a couple of things that people are saying about the debt limit/deficit deal and the 2012 elections. MORE...From another report just up on HuffPo right now, "Debt Ceiling Deal That Cuts Trillions, Creates 'Super Congress' Announced By Party Leaders":
"This is going to be close. I think in the end, the president and Nancy are going to have to twist arms, and I'm not sure how hard she'll work to do that," the aide said, noting that Pelosi still remembers the infamous TARP vote where she delivered 150 of her members but Boehner did not get 100 of his. "MORE...
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