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Hullabaloo


Monday, January 07, 2013

 
It's not just the Republicans we have to worry about

by digby

Elias Isquith has a good piece up today about how alone liberals are in this fight for reality. Even among other self-identified members of the left side of political spectrum:

Greg Sargent has a report on the White House’s “no negotiation” mantra when it comes to the debt ceiling that I think is supposed to be reassuring to liberals; but it only reminds me how very, very alone we* really are:
Fortunately, it’s becoming clearer that the White House and Democrats really don’t intend to play along. Chuck Schumer reiterated today that Dems will not negotiate around the debt ceiling. Harry Reid has privately told Obama that he will support it if the president utilizes a way to get around the debt ceiling that doesn’t involve Congress. While the President is unlikely to opt for that route, the support for it among Dems suggests they are in no mood to see any concessions made in response to GOP debt ceiling hostage taking.
Isquith goes on to kindly hat tip my absurdly obsessive attention to this subject over the past year and a half, showing just how unbelievable these claims are in light of the history everyone seems to ignore:
It bears repeating that, in 2011, Barack Obama chose to embroil his country in a debt-ceiling showdown. Here’s the smoking gun of a report, seemingly little-remembered by much of the pro-Obama Left (a group among which I’d ultimately count myself) and yet utterly essential toward understanding how we got here:

“I’m the President of the United States,” Obama told Boehner [in 2011]. “You’re the Speaker of the House. We’re the two most responsible leaders right now.” And so they began to talk about the truly epic possibility of using the threat, the genuine danger of default, to freeze out their respective extremists and make the kind of historic deal that no one really thought possible anymore — bigger than when Reagan and Tip O’Neill overhauled the tax code in 1986 or when Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich passed welfare reform a decade later. It would include deeper cuts in spending, the elimination of all kinds of tax loopholes and lower income tax rates for all. “Come on, you and I,” Boehner admitted telling Obama. “Let’s lock arms, and we’ll jump out of the boat together.”
My point is not to re-litigate the summer of 2011 — easily the nadir of the Obama Presidency — but rather to emphasize that this atmosphere of fear and anxiety that’s currently permeating through the liberal sphere is unnecessary. There never was a situation in which Obama had to negotiate over the debt ceiling; and there won’t be one now. He only negotiated before because he wanted to.
Read the whole thing, please. Unless people recognize this simple fact, the next round of negotiations are not going to work. It's up to the progressive coalition of unions, liberal activists and progressive politicians to understand that they are being triangulated against or we're going to hit a wall and this deal will happen.

Roger Hickey at campaign for America's Future wrote a good cris de coeur today that should get your blood pumping. We're all tired of this nonsense, I know. But both parties are hoping they can wear us down so they can pass some awful package of cuts to vital programs (and possibly some phony "tax reform")under the guise of yet another "crisis." It's important that we don't give up. After all, we've been winning. So far.


Update: Krugman. Cutting is counter-productive. But you knew that.

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