There Is No Bargaining

Josh:

This isn’t only about President Obama’s negotiating acumen. In conversations with the president’s key advisors and the President himself over the last three years one point that has always come out to me very clearly is that the President really believes in the importance of the Grand Bargain. He thinks it’s an important goal purely on its own terms. That’s something I don’t think a lot of his diehard supporters fully grasp. He thinks it’s important in longrange fiscal terms (and there’s some reality to that). But he always believes it’s important for the country and even for the Democratic party to have a big global agreement that settles the big fiscal policy for a generation and let’s the country get on to other issues — social and cultural issues, the environment, building the economy etc.

There’s no incentive for Republicans to settle. There is not, and never has been, any incentive for Republicans to solve problems politically. It’s not what they do. They don’t get elected to solve problems. They don’t get elected to lower taxes. They don’t even really get elected to cut spending. They get elected because liberals suck, full stop. And as long as they can still make the argument that liberals suck, they don’t need to do anything else.

So, I mean, go ahead and make them all kinds of offers. Go ahead and demonstrate your good faith, Mr. President. It’s the 240th time you’ve done this, but this time surely it’ll work.

A.

6 thoughts on “There Is No Bargaining

  1. But he always believes it’s important for the country and even for the Democratic party to have a big global agreement that settles the big fiscal policy for a generation and let’s the country get on to other issues
    This is how-you-say “unmitigated hooey”.
    I understand why some of Obama’s more fervent supporters may feel that this is why Obama seeks to gut Social Security, but there is no reason for Marshall or anyone else who can give it a moment’s consideration to think this.

  2. TJ says:

    But he always believes it’s important for the country and even for the Democratic party to have a big global agreement that settles the big fiscal policy for a generation and let’s the country get on to other issues
    If he really believes this he’s a moron. How to you actually resolves other issues with a frozen fiscal policy?

  3. report says:

    Depressing.

  4. joejoejoe says:

    I started a petition on WH.gov asking that the White House use CPI-E to adjust for inflation. CPI-E has historically run 0.1% higher than existing benefits. E is for elderly. I thought if the petition got answered it would force the Obama administration to explain why Chained CPI is somehow better than the purpose-built index which measures the expenditures of people age 62 and up. I know this is kind of wonkish and in the weeds but I think forcing the administration to talk about CPI-Elderly makes them have to explain what they really want to do is cut Social Security. That’s something they don’t want to own.
    Sign the petition if you agree. If we get to 150 signatures the petition goes live on WH.gov and then maybe groups like AARP will pick it up.
    http://wh.gov/MC91

  5. gratuitous says:

    Just so. The Republicans are going to say mean things no matter what the President proposes. So why not pander to the base, cater to the people who elected you? As long as it’s a hopeless, going-nowhere proposal anyway, why not throw a bone to the folks who put you where you are? This Grand Bargain nonsense serves only to depress your supporters, lessen enthusiasm, and make it tougher for real proposals in the Democratic tradition to go anywhere.
    Or is this like Michael Jordan shooting free throws with his eyes closed? You know, just to make the politics of it all look more difficult?

  6. Aaaargh says:

    The central problem is Obama thinks of himself as Lincoln, when he is really James Buchanan.

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