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Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:05 AM

Gridlock isn't the reason for the endless fiscal cliff negotiations. The Speaker's weakness is

Why Boehner’s hands are tied

"Washington gridlock" isn't the reason for the endless fiscal cliff negotiations. The House Speaker's weakness is

BY STEVE KORNACKI


A popular theory holds that the fiscal cliff/slope/curb negotiations are destined to drag on to the end of December because that’s just how things work in dysfunctional Washington. But that’s not the right way to understand the current standoff.

Yes, it’s true, negotiations are unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, and the possibility that December 31 will come and go without a deal is real. But it’s not generic Washington gridlock that’s causing this: It’s the almost impossible balancing act that the leader of one of the parties faces.

Consider the events of the past few days. Late last week, the White House outlined its opening offer to Republicans: $1.6 trillion in new revenue, a commitment to extract $400 billion in savings from Medicare, an extension of the payroll tax cut and federal unemployment insurance, and an end to debt ceiling brinkmanship. House Speaker John Boehner responded by saying the blueprint wasn’t “serious” and pronouncing himself “flabbergasted.” Then on Monday Boehner outlined his counteroffer, a less detailed call for $800 billion in new revenue through “tax reform” and over a $1 trillion in cuts in entitlement and discretionary spending. The White House, which has said raising rates on high-income earners is a bottom-line demand, declared that Boehner’s plan “does not meet the test of balance.”

This is all fairly typical of the early stages of any negotiation – although, as E.J. Dionne pointed out Monday, it is noteworthy that Obama, who spent the first few years granting preemptive concessions in his dealing with the GOP, is now applying the normal principles of negotiating. More telling, though, is what happened after Boehner released his framework: Restive sounds began building on the right. As Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan reported, Heritage Action blasted Boehner’s blueprint as a capitulation, and some conservative bloggers joined in too. Further complicating matters for the Speaker was his move Monday to deny choice committee slots to three Tea Party purists who’d been thorns in his side – an action that propted further outcry from the right.

full article:
http://www.salon.com/2012/12/04/why_boehners_hands_are_tied/

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Reply Gridlock isn't the reason for the endless fiscal cliff negotiations. The Speaker's weakness is (Original post)
DonViejo Dec 2012 OP
Jackpine Radical Dec 2012 #1
Mr.Turnip Dec 2012 #2

Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 09:11 AM

1. I feel so bad for Boner. Really, the only path to peace for his soul is

for him to resign from Republican leadership, and preferably from politics in general.

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Response to DonViejo (Original post)

Tue Dec 4, 2012, 10:07 AM

2. Cantor has those daggers at his back and his teeth at his neck.

Pathetically weak speaker.

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