Victory for the Republicans?

 
Capitol building, Washington The stalemate has inflamed opinions on all sides

Washington's Eastern Market is famous for its seafood snacks and the man behind the counter has a fine voice to bellow the orders above the clatter.

"One crab-cake sandwich, no tomato!" he booms. He doesn't adjust the volume when I ask him about the wrangling on Capitol Hill, just a stone's throw away.

"It's DISGUSTING, President Obama should enact the 14th amendment and overrule these IDIOTS!" he yells.

That is one thing the White House has ruled out: using controversial powers to simply raise the debt ceiling without the approval of Congress.

Not because it can't be done, but because of how it would look. Because I suspect we are hours away from the blame game, and analysis of who has won and who has lost.

Some sort of deal between the White House and Republican leaders in the House and Senate seems close. All the irritating and apparently pointless votes of the past few days have been played out. But it was more than the politicians getting it out of their system. It has tested various ideas to destruction.

According to the Washington Post what is emerging from talks looks more like the plan of the speaker of the house, John Boehner, than anything else.

"The emerging agreement calls for raising the $14.3 trillion debt limit by up to $2.4 trillion in two stages, with the debt limit rising unless two-thirds of both chambers of Congress disapprove, according to officials in both parties familiar with the talks," says the Post.

I suspect the difficult thing will not be the leaders sealing a deal but selling it to Republicans in the House, and perhaps Democrats in the Senate. After the agony of getting his plan past his own hardliners, Mr Boehner knows all the demands and bottom lines well.

The sort of deal we seem to be looking at is, objectively a victory of the Republicans.

The Democrats take a lot of pain and can only hope to avoid the worst political damage. But the Tea Party members don't get everything they want by any means and are quite capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mr Boehner's people told me months ago that they knew there would always be a handful who would never support any deal. But that handful or rebels turned out to be a bucketful, sloshing with Tea Party enthusiasm. We will soon see the limits to their purity and the extent of their pragmatism.

 
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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 304.

    Re #303 (Spain)

    "At least 20 people have been injured - including seven police officers - in clashes between riot police and protesters in Madrid.

    Witnesses said police charged into a crowd outside the interior ministry.

    More than 200 police had been deployed on Thursday to close the Puerta del Sol square for the third day running." (BBC)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 303.

    277.Arthur Daley writes "Easy dear Billy. Green Tax. Non tradeable. Tax on Carbon footprint based on gross emisions in nation of manufacture supplemented by goods category plus green fossil / bio fuel transportation tax relating to shipping. "

    LOL!! Yeah that worked so well in Spain we have to try it. The pure genius of thinking raising cost of commerce would reduce outsourcing is astonisjing.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 302.

    301: No, I'm Roman Catholic, but I tend to go to adoration and just pour my heart out to God and listen for whatever inspiration I get. I listen to a tape of the rosary while I'm sleeping, so I suppose you might say I do those formal prayers too.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 301.

    MWSue
    Talking to God is called prayer. Not according to Catholics, who learn prayers to repeat endlessly through their lives. There is no conversation, no talking,there is praying, a specific verbal formula. My background is Roman Catholic,whereas it appears you are practicing a different tradition to the Christian faith,particularly American in its derivation and form. Very evangelical, upfront.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 300.

    Don't you know I am the chosen one

    People should listen and do what I say because I am Barack Obama.

    Michelle and I are on a higher plane than you gun toating angry people.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 299.

    278: There is no difference except that the jihad we are on is based on the "religion" of democracy rather than on a theological religion.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 298.

    274: If the Democrats had been willing to work with Republicans on the health care bill, we wouldn't be in this mess with these representatives in the first place. Both parties need to work with each other and seek reasonable compromises rather than putting their ideology ahead of reality.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 297.

    267: American democracy does not deny religious people the right to participate in the government on their own terms. If the majority wants to make this a religious or secular country they must amend the Constitution, requiring the approval of 3/4 of the states after receiving 2/3 of the votes in each house of Congress. Given the diverse nature of the American people, this is not going to happen.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 296.

    268: Romney is only pretending to be in the middle. As governor of Massachusetts his actions were as far to the left as Obama's. But of course now he's seen the light and opposes what he did.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 295.

    267: You need to make that European democracy. In America all but about 5% of the population has some sort of faith. And the Constitution expressly prevents our expression of our religion from being interfered with by the state. Talking to God is called prayer. Many Americans pray. Are you scared that both Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are both Roman Catholic?

  • rate this
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    Comment number 294.

    266: With the actual unemployment rate at 15% including people who would like a job but are too discouraged to look for one now, the average American may not be able to take care of himself. Given the numbers of layoffs announced recently by Merck, no doubt soon to be followed by other companies cutting their labor forces once again, there are many who would like to but don't have the opportunity.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 293.

    261: In the depression the government hired artists to paint government approved murals on the interior of government buildings. I have seen a number of beautiful post offices with such impressive artwork. It made for a nicer place to live, and employed those who couldn't find other work. The talent was professional.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 292.

    Pmk: But what if you make smart investments?

    Like Madoff?

    He considered himself smart

    Just watch the new Wall ST movie, some financiers willing to sell out their families and souls for money and proft

    These financial and political and corporate people out of control suffer an addiction that is the same as a gambling, drug, alcohol addiction, ect

    They are addicted to money

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 291.

    The more I see of US politics, the more I wish for a pragmatic centre third option.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 290.

    KSc "Financial investment is rewarded, if it is successful, with profit. Profit did not go to the deserving, unless that means the smartest and hardest working."

    But what if you make smart investments?
    And take substatial risks to supply investment capital to inventors who come up with a better mouse trap (say, 3D IC, photonic processor, superconductive power cable) but don't have seed money?

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 289.

    Scott: "Are you saying that no country can be truly civilized that is not socialist?"




    Juding by the outcomes of recent elections in EU countries, quite a few Europeans are getting less&less civilized. :-)

    [Spain is still civilized, but it looks like it won't be after November)

  • rate this
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    Comment number 288.

    "Great result for Beelzebub and Mammon"

    Just because that miracle of face lifting (Nancy P.) called the outcome a Satan sandwich with Satan fries on the side - it doesn't mean it's a heavenly bill designed by angels. It's a temporary compromise which can and should be improved upon in November when a bilateral commission is to recommend further cuts and government reforms.

    We shall see.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 287.

    121 PMK: 'deserving of tax cuts.'

    It's difficult to judge who is 'deserving'. Who owes the most individually, or as a corporation? The formula has always, or until recently, been 'those with the greatest advantage owe the most to society.'
    Financial investment is rewarded, if it is successful, with profit. Profit did not go to the deserving, unless that means the smartest and hardest working.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 286.

    #267. gadfly55
    People do think & believe differently. Also, people are forgetful and make mistakes (and need to sleep and eat etc... - being human, politician or not*). So, all of us hope to have a just government, that grants equality and tries to do well. People can democratically choose autocracy - and it can be bad news, after all we're capable of making mistakes.
    * applies to preachers

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 285.

    Ocareabout,

    Dont you see? CARING is so passe'

 

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