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Eugene Robinson: Don’t blame ‘both sides’ for debt impasse

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babylonsister Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:16 AM
Original message
Eugene Robinson: Don’t blame ‘both sides’ for debt impasse
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dont-blame-both-...

Don’t blame ‘both sides’ for debt impasse

By Eugene Robinson, Published: July 11


Washington has many lazy habits, and one of the worst is a reflexive tendency to see equivalence where none exists. Hence the nonsense, being peddled by politicians and commentators who should know better, that “both sides” are equally at fault in the deadlocked talks over the debt ceiling.

This is patently false. The truth is that Democrats have made clear they are open to a compromise deal on budget cuts and revenue increases. Republicans have made clear they are not.

Put another way, Democrats reacted to the “grand bargain” proposed by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner by squawking, complaining and highlighting elements they didn’t like. This is known throughout the world as the way to begin a process of negotiation.

Republicans, by contrast, answered with a definitive “no” and then covered their ears. Given the looming Aug. 2 deadline for default if the debt ceiling is not raised, the proper term for this approach is blackmail.


snip//

I understand why President Obama, in his news conference Monday, chided “each side” for taking a “maximalist position.” For political and practical reasons, it’s advantageous for him to be seen as an honest broker.

Meanwhile, though, the clock ticks toward Aug. 2 and the possibility of a catastrophic default becomes more real. And no one should be confused about what the president confronts: On one side, grousing and grumbling. On the other, a brick wall.
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lunatica Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
1. I adore Eugene Robinson
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CherokeeDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #1
5. Me, too...
He is always a voice of reason in a world gone mad...
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Tippy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:23 AM
Response to Reply #5
11. Me Too..
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LaurenG Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. I do believe it is the right that is causing the problems but no democrat
should be willing to compromise on cuts to SS, Medicare and Medicaid. This is all wrong and I'd like to know how the republicans gained so much power. Could it be they are spoiled rotten and that the democrats rather than set boundaries with them continue to give in to their tantrums. If this is bad for the most vulnerable this is bad for the entire country. We are only as strong as our weakest link and republicans don't seem to get that. Evidently some democrats don't get that either. Where are the noble and honorable citizen politicians? Where are the compassionate corporations? Where are all the family values that are spouted from both sides?

I have taken in and supported over the last 4 years 3 family members. I am now down to two because my mother died last December. My niece and my daughter are now both homeless and if I don't take care of 2 more people they will be left to the human services that no longer exist in this country.

I am worn the hell out trying to help and I am sick to death of the bullshit answer that there is no help to be had because we need to kill people in other countries and we need to save money by outsourcing all our jobs and we can't have socialized medicine because these people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and suck it up.

There is no health care for my disabled sister, there is no disability for her either. There is no help for my granddaughter there is no help for my niece or my daughter. There are no jobs for those who have been injured on the job and there is no more money for their unemployment.

The USA is a screwed up greedy country and those with the most only want more. It's people like me who are taking care of the poor and I'm tired of hearing I have to make more sacrifices. I want my gd country back and I will not settle for throwing the poor and needy under the bus so the republicans can stuff more money into their pockets while saving even more by shipping all the jobs overseas.

What the "f" ever. This country has been hijacked and if we don't do something about it now it will only prolong the recovery for at least two more election cycles. Argh :banghead:
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rosesaylavee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. I wish the majority here would consider these words...
Edited on Tue Jul-12-11 08:38 AM by rosesaylavee
"This is known throughout the world as the way to begin a process of negotiation"

For some reason, DUers and the MSM seem to have this literal interpretation of all words spoken in this process. It's as if they have never in their lives worked to get a compromise on anything... not even from their parents.

Lots of fear driving this interp but I will continue to give the DEMs and President the benefit of a doubt. And YES, I do remember the public option debacle. I still consider myself on their side however and am hoping they will get the most for the people that they can from this.
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mazzarro Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Literal interpretations or not
DU'ers have come to the conclusion that Obama has played this card before and the rethugs came out on top - not once but on so many occasions of playing Obama multi-dimensional chess game.
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. Masters of chess or any other game are not masters because
they play the game, but because they win the game.
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MessiahRp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #13
15. True. Not to mention, if we're to stay with the Chess analogy...
Obama sacrifices too many pawns with every strategic move. I would say he views us liberals as the pawns so our ideas get thrown under the bus immediately. Sure he's captured a few in return and can see their backline a little better now but his entire front line has been captured along with a few knights, rooks and backend pieces of his own. That's a lot to give up in hopes that he can move his King, Queen and Bishop around to do the rest.

It just seems like ultimately to avoid checkmate he throws every other piece of the board out there to be taken, every play.

It's a losing strategy for sure.
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FSogol Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:47 AM
Response to Original message
4. K & R. Eugene Robinson = national treasure. n/t
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liberal N proud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:53 AM
Response to Original message
6. Obama needs to make it clear to America that it is the GOP who is unwilling to deal
He needs to get on the air, prime time and call them out. Use names and take no prisoners.

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tularetom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 08:56 AM
Response to Original message
7. I hope the president's olive branches and offers of compromise
Are simply a negotiation technique designed to paint Boner et al into a corner and not a reflection of his true feelings.

Because these people have one goal. Not to save the country from default and financial disaster, nor to create jobs and preserve beloved social programs for the dwindling middle class. Their goal is simply the political demise of Barack Obama (as well as continuing their reverse Robin Hood stunt of making the rich richer).

He has to pretend he is dealing with serious people. But we are all eagerly awaiting the day when he takes the gloves off and exposes them for what they are.
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Stinky The Clown Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. The only problem, Eugene, is that Obama seems to take a little too seriously his chiding of the left
He's perfectly happy to ignore the left.
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w4rma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:03 AM
Response to Original message
9. It's extortion, not blackmail. (nt)
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Bluenorthwest Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
12. So Gene announce that biparitsan bs is good because it is
" advantageous for him to be seen as an honest broker" and that is a fine theory, but what Robinson and the rest of the Professional Pundits always forget is that an advantage is expected to deliver results. Advantageous for HIM is not his job, actually, he is supposed to represent us.
So while it is fun to speak of chess games, poker hands and advantageous moves, all of those bits of verbiage stand waiting for proof in the form of results, the check mate, winning the hand. A tactic is not advantageous unless it gives one an advantage, and that itself is worthless if one refuses to make use of that advantage by taking the upper hand, taking their king, taking the pot and calling the game over.
The proof, Mr Robinson, is in the pudding, not in the punditry's pontification about the pudding.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-12-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. a person who is not willing to take a stand is usually weak and wishy washy nt
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