Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hey Boehner -- Do The Country a Favor and Quit!

Harry Reid has some advice for Republicans on negotiation tactics:

True compromise means no one gets everything they want, but unless both sides come to the negotiating table with an offer, you can't even begin the negotiation. In fact, unless both sides come to the table with an offer, there is no negotiation.
 Over the last week, Republican leaders from both Chambers have complained that Democrats put forward a proposal for resolving the fiscal cliff that reflected our priorities--our priorities. What did they expect?

My guess is that Boehner expected exactly what he got. Something Reid probably knows. What he may not have expected is Reid suggesting that career suicide might be a good idea:

It will be hard for Speaker Boehner to pass our bill--no, it wouldn't be hard at all; it would be so easy. Every Democrat in the House will vote for it--every Democrat in the House. To reach 218 votes, which is half plus 1 in the House, it takes only 26 reasonable Republicans willing to put the needs of the middle-class demands ahead of Grover Norquist. That is so simple.

  So when my friend, the Speaker, says he can't pass it, that is simply without foundation or fact, and it is not true.
So, all Boehner needs to do is cave to the Democrats offer, find 26 like minded Republicans, and end this fiscal cliff nonsense. He's a liar if he says otherwise. Of course, that would probably be the end of Boehner's  career as Speaker, but, hey, that's OK:

As my friend and colleague, the senior Senator from Missouri, Claire McCaskill, said on a Sunday talk show yesterday, John Boehner has a decision to make. This is what she said: ``He's got to decide, is his speakership more important or is the country more important.'' That is a pretty easy question to answer for everyone. It should be an easy
question to answer for Speaker Boehner.
 We anxiously await Sen. Reid's defiance of his party and his President on a matter of principle. Heck, I'll settle for a budget.

It's rhetoric like this that makes it very hard for there to be any deal on fiscal matters. When leaders (as opposed to backbenchers) engage in it, you have to figure that the leaders really don't want the deal.

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