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.

Mark Mardell Article written by Mark Mardell Mark Mardell Presenter, The World This Weekend

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  • rate this

    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)

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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

    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

    Comment number 301.

    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

    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.


Comments 5 of 304



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