Dancing With Myself

Obama and company learned:

“How did it take them three weeks (and two days) to offer nothing but President Obama’s budget?” A GOP leadership aide asked me rhetorically.

We’re seeing two things here. One is that the negotiations aren’t going well. When one side begins leaking the other side’s proposals, that’s typically a bad sign. The other is that Republicans are frustrated at the new Obama they’re facing: The Obama who refuses to negotiate with himself.

That’s what you’re really seeing in this “proposal.” Previously, Obama’s pattern had been to offer plans that roughly tracked where he thought the compromise should end up. The White House’s belief was that by being solicitous in their policy proposals, they would win goodwill on the other side, and even if they didn’t, the media would side with them, realizing they’d sought compromise and been rebuffed. They don’t believe that anymore.

Meanwhile, McConnell thinks the old rules still apply:

So this afternoon, Mitch McConnell made the most specific “fiscal cliff” offer we’ve seen thus far from Republicans. Here it is:

    In an interview in his Capitol Hill office, Mr. McConnell said if the White House agrees to changes such as higher Medicare premiums for the wealthy, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age and a slowing of cost-of-living increases for programs like Social Security, Republicans would agree to include more tax revenue in the deal, though not from higher tax rates. […]

    Mr. McConnell offered his ideas as examples of the structural changes Republicans are looking for. “The nexus for us is: revenue equals genuine entitlement eligibility changes,” Mr. McConnell said.

McConnell’s offer is this: We’ll give you increased revenues via the closing of loopholes — and in exchange, you give us the entitlement reforms we want, plus the tax rates we want.

That’s not much of a compromise. Indeed, it’s not new. As Steve Benen noted recently, that essential arrangement is what Lindsey Graham offered last Sunday.

What is funny is that McConnell actually thinks what he wants matters. It doesn’t, because whatever Obama can negotiate with the House will pass the Senate, no matter what Mitch wants.

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122 replies
  1. 1
    rikyrah says:

    Go Mr. President.

    Go Mr. President.

    Fuck Turtle Lips.

  2. 2
    schrodinger's cat says:

    John Cole@top
    We can has a picture of the tabbeh kitteh with an aftermarket tail, plz? After all we are a Tunch worshiping website, the politics is incidental.

  3. 3
    BGinCHI says:

    The more the GOP part of the Senate slides toward irrelevancy, the louder they screech.

    Keep screeching, assholes.

    And wait til filibuster reform: then they’ll have to talk for many hours and can you imagine what will come out of their mouths?

    Finally people can hear what they believe.

  4. 4
    JustRuss says:

    Is anyone really buying the “close the loopholes” BS? Those loopholes exist because of lobbyists who carry big check books. Until K Street is boarded up they’re not going anywhere. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot or a liar.

  5. 5
    MattF says:

    And no filibuster reform, and take back Obamacare, and make Susan Rice go away, and stop being popular with Asians, and Bengazi Bengazi Bengazi, and… and… and…

  6. 6
    demkat620 says:

    I am sure Mitch is sooooooooo thankful Mourdock and Akin and the rest of that delightful teaparty crowd made sure he will not get to be Majority Leader.

    I hope dealing with these Tea Party clowns gives every single republican agita.

    Keep fucking that chicken boys.

  7. 7
    Tonal Crow says:

    What is funny is that McConnell actually thinks what he wants matters. It doesn’t, because whatever Obama can negotiate with the House will pass the Senate, no matter what Mitch wants.

    You’re assuming that Udall, Reid, et al will really reform the filibuster.

  8. 8
    schrodinger's cat says:

    They sound like kids throwing a tantrum.

  9. 9
    lol says:

    It’s because Obama has leverage. He gets most of what he wants if nothing happens and anything bad will be blamed on the GOP.

    And unlike the lame duck session in 2010, he doesn’t have any high priority legislation (DADT Repeal, START, Unemployment, etc) being held hostage by this.

    Different circumstances require different negotiation tactics.

  10. 10
    Marty says:

    You gave the wrong link for the first quote. What’s the right link?

  11. 11

    Unrelated but the Romney face tattoo guy said he wants to have that stupid tattoo on his face removed. Shocker.

  12. 12
    Tonal Crow says:

    @BGinCHI:

    And wait til filibuster reform: then they’ll have to talk for many hours and can you imagine what will come out of their mouths?

    I hadn’t considered that argument for filibuster reform. It’s a good one, ‘cuz it’ll be all Akin, all the time when Republicans are filibustering.

  13. 13

    Oh man teh facebooks is blowing up with this. We put mortgage deduction on the table! Show us entitlement cutz! This has to be bipartisan!
    Those are desperation moves.

  14. 14
    Zifnab25 says:

    It doesn’t, because whatever Obama can negotiate with the House will pass the Senate, no matter what Mitch wants.

    Which is why the filibuster is so important to the GOP. If McConnell can’t filibuster, then Obama won’t be negotiating with the 60th most liberal Senator, he’ll be negotiating with the 218th most liberal House Rep.

    And given the noise Republicans have been making about how incredibly non-binding Norquist’s tax pledge is, rendering the Republicans in the Senate irrelevant is going to hurt McConnell’s political clout tremendously.

  15. 15
    demkat620 says:

    I don’t know what makes me happier. The fact that McConnell will not get the big office he wanted or this next Senate will not include Joe Lieberman.

    Cause both of those things are good.

  16. 16
    Culture of Truth says:

    “How did it take them three weeks (and two days) to offer nothing but President Obama’s budget?” A GOP leadership aide asked me rhetorically.

    A historic victory usually requires 2 weeks of touchdown dancing, minimum, plus a week for recovery.

    Abe himself took 12 days off to handwrite “IN THY FACE, LOSERS!” to every confederate leader after he was reelected.

  17. 17
    gogol's wife says:

    @demkat620:

    Neither Lieberman NOR Linda McMahon. Two actual Democrats from Connecticut, for the first time in a very long time.

  18. 18
    danimal says:

    It’s time to play “CALL THAT BLUFF!”. Today we have Sen. McTurtle.

    “Senator McTurtle, what specific loopholes do you intend to close, and how much revenue will closing these loopholes generate? You have all the time in the world, senator, but your party’s tax legacy expires in 31 days. Go ahead, senator.”

    What comes next? Is there a loophole without a lobby??? Pass the popcorn and watch the next episode of “CALL THAT BLUFF!”.

  19. 19
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    This new reality that the GOP is trapped in must be absolutely terrifying for them. They’re existing in a Star Trek universe where Obama has a beard. And he’s smiling.

  20. 20
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    @JustRuss: No. It’s a transparent bait and switch. They say they’re for closing loopholes to string the Dems along, but they’d just say no to any loophole the Dems proposed closing. The Dems aren’t playing that game this time around.

  21. 21
    General Stuck says:

    Republicans hate change they didn’t orchestrate. Now Obama has planted his flag square atop Mount Wingnut and is proceeding to dine on their livers.

  22. 22
    MikeJ says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I hadn’t considered that argument for filibuster reform. It’s a good one, ‘cuz it’ll be all Akin, all the time when Republicans are filibustering.

    When you have the floor in the US Senate you aren’t required to speak. They may change the rule and require them to stay on the floor (although I doubt it), but they will not require people to speak.

  23. 23
    JWL says:

    The White House should re-release GW’s infamously truthful remark that the rich will figure out the tax loopholes, come what may.

  24. 24
    demkat620 says:

    @General Stuck: with fava beans and a nice chianti

    Had to be said

  25. 25
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Cole said: What is funny is that McConnell actually thinks what he wants matters. It doesn’t, because whatever Obama can negotiate with the House will pass the Senate, no matter what Mitch wants.

    Jed Lewison over at the GOS makes it pee your pants funny:

    Okay, fine, let’s say three-quarters of McConnell’s Republican colleagues couldn’t be swayed by President Obama putting public pressure on them. Three-quarters of 45 is 34. So McConnell is proud that he’s got 34 senators who are unpersuadable. Congratulations, Mitch. You’ve got one-third of the Senate solidly in your corner. Guess what, though: that’s not enough for a filibuster, let alone a majority. But hey, there’s a silver lining: with 34 votes, Mitch McConnell can block any treaty he wants.

    Poor sad clown turtle.

  26. 26
    Culture of Truth says:

    Peter Cushing voice:

    “You would prefer another target, that I close a loophole instead? Then NAME THE LOOPHOLE!”

  27. 27
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? (formerly MarkJ) says:

    “How did it take them three weeks (and two days) to offer nothing but President Obama’s budget?” A GOP leadership aide asked me rhetorically.

    Because this time he’s telling you how it’s gonna be, not asking, asshole.

  28. 28
    demkat620 says:

    Because this time he’s telling you how it’s gonna be, not asking, asshole.

    This.

  29. 29
    Culture of Truth says:

    Guess what the offer will be in another 3 weeks? You’ll love it!

  30. 30
    👽 Martin says:

    @JustRuss:

    Is anyone really buying the “close the loopholes” BS? Those loopholes exist because of lobbyists who carry big check books. Until K Street is boarded up they’re not going anywhere. Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot or a liar.

    They know something has to give. The lobbyists have given way to the billionaires, so the power structure has changed a bit.

    But acceding on tax rates really cuts deep into the GOP ideology – loopholes don’t. They’re going to lose one political backer, but they don’t need to rewrite the party rulebook.

  31. 31
    BGinCHI says:

    @Tonal Crow: I await a Jim DeMint filibuster with much anticipation.

    Or that Ted Cruz idiot.

  32. 32
    Thoughtcrime says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Guess what the offer will be in another 3 weeks? You’ll love it!

    Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wPmTp9up26w

  33. 33
    'Niques says:

    @Culture of Truth: NAME THAT LOOPHOLE

    They can’t. Because that loophole is the mortgage interest deduction that they don’t care about anyway.

  34. 34
    Princess says:

    “How did it take them three weeks (and two days) to offer nothing but President Obama’s budget?” A GOP leadership aide asked me rhetorically.

    I don’t know. How did it take the Republicans 48 hours to put forth Mitt Romney’s budget proposal?

    Even though it was less of a budget proposal than an outline in crayon, I am still tired of hearing about it. He lost. His plan was rejected. Shut up, GOP.

  35. 35
    joeyess says:

    Looney Noonan is at it again with the TipnRonnie canoe…..

    “You watch and wonder: Why does it always have to be cliffs with this president? Why is it always a high-stakes battle? Why doesn’t he shrewdly re-enact Ronald Reagan, meeting, arguing and negotiating in good faith with Speaker Tip O’Neill, who respected very little of what the president stood for and yet, at the end of the day and with the country in mind, could shake hands and get it done? Why is there never a sense with Mr. Obama that he understands the other guys’ real position?

    Yeah! Except for when this happened:

    “Obama Tuesday night trekked to the Chevy Chase, Md., home of conservative columnist George F. Will to talk politics and get to know some of his fiercest intellectual adversaries: Charles Krauthammer, William Kristol, Larry Kudlow, David Brooks, Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, Michael Barone, and Paul Gigot.”

    The Dolphin Queen can’t step out of her own bubble long enough to remember when the President stepped into it.

    Fucking pundits. I was watching ESPN’s Around The Horn earlier and I think the networks should do all political shows in exactly the same fashion; arbitrary scoring and muting the idiots.

  36. 36
    Tonal Crow says:

    @MikeJ:

    When you have the floor in the US Senate you aren’t required to speak. They may change the rule and require them to stay on the floor (although I doubt it), but they will not require people to speak.

    I don’t know enough about the Senate rules to speak authoritatively about this. I would expect that you can hold the floor only by speaking. Perhaps you can show us which rule allows a Senator to hold the floor without speaking.

  37. 37
    sylvan says:

    What is funny is that McConnell actually thinks what he wants matters

    Streiff at RedState:

    Right now we have the best deal we are going to get: real spending cuts against the tax rates going back to the way they were during the Clinton years. The only real issue worth dealing with is indexing the Alternative Minimum Tax for inflation

    Muh freedoms.

  38. 38
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Proposed New Negotiating Position:

    Close the loopholes? STFU and close your piehole!

  39. 39
    Culture of Truth says:

    @Thoughtcrime: Not even the fee for the gaming license… That reminds of this:

    Nov. 30 – “Health insurers that want to sell plans in states that refuse to enact the U.S. health-care overhaul will have to pay fees for the federal government to regulate them.”

  40. 40
    slag says:

    The White House’s belief was that by being solicitous in their policy proposals, they would win goodwill on the other side, and even if they didn’t, the media would side with them, realizing they’d sought compromise and been rebuffed. They don’t believe that anymore.

    Qoi? People changing their beliefs in the face of contrary evidence. Inconceivable!

    About damned time.

  41. 41
    Mike in NC says:

    “How did it take them three weeks (and two days) to offer nothing but President Obama’s budget?” A GOP leadership aide asked me rhetorically.

    Rhetorical question to GOP: Is our assholes learning?

  42. 42
    joeyess says:

    OMG. Tweety just said that the American public voted WAY more liberal this time around and he’s not sure what’s happening.

    face/palm

  43. 43
    Bulworth says:

    In an interview in his Capitol Hill office, Mr. McConnell said if the White House agrees to changes such as higher Medicare premiums for the wealthy, an increase in the Medicare eligibility age and a slowing of cost-of-living increases for programs like Social Security, Republicans would agree to include more tax revenue in the deal, though not from higher tax rates. […]

    Hahahahahahahah

  44. 44
    IowaOldLady says:

    @joeyess: Peggy Noonan is a silly woman. I laugh at her and then ignore her.

  45. 45
    Lev says:

    How many House votes can Mitch McConnell deliver?

    You have to love people who just can’t stop talking even if they have nothing worthwhile to say. That guy Reince Priebus annoys the shit out of me because he has no power and nobody voted for him, yet he’s always giving a quote to someone. Oh, for the days when National Committee chairs were people even political junkies weren’t even aware of.

  46. 46
    Brachiator says:

    @JustRuss:

    Is anyone really buying the “close the loopholes” BS? Those loopholes exist because of lobbyists who carry big check books. One man’s loophole is another person’s essential deduction.

    And the language framing is typical BS. As far as I’m concerned, the preferential tax rates for the wealthy is a big freaking loophole.

    And as a gesture of good faith, let Romney release all his tax returns, and let’s see what loopholes he used, and may need to be closed.

    Goddamn, I know that Obama’s stubbornly tied to the idea of compromise and consensus building, but I wish he would stop with “the rich should pay their fair share, let’s compromise” and offer two essential nuggets:

    The Bush tax cuts were always designed to be temporary. Their time has passed. They’re done. They are no longer on the table as an item of negotiation. Done. Move on.

    Talking about any other version of these cuts is not productive. The tax cuts did not sufficiently stimulate the economy or bring new jobs when they were first tried. And extended. And they are not a drag on the economy.

    The old approach recommended by the Republicans failed, and it was a gesture of goodwill to try some of them one last time. Now it’s time to fucking move on.

    I think that the supposed fiscal cliff might bring more pain than people realize if this crap drags out too long. On the other hand, the remnants of the Bush tax cuts would be a pointless, more destructive drag on the economy.

    The Republicans can only lose on this one. If they want to be stubborn, screw ’em.

  47. 47
    quannlace says:

    The inability to speak in specifics seems to be a Republican disease. They don’t like Obama’s budget? And it’s obvious they don’t . Fine. Propose your own. You’ll close tax loopholes? Which ones? Changes to Medicare funding and eligibility? Exactly what? Trying to get the Republican side of Congress to be specific is like trying to nail oatmeal to the wall.

  48. 48
    joeyess says:

    @Bulworth: It is funny. They want to enact Mitt Romney’s plan…….. even though Mitt and the GOP got their asses handed to them.

  49. 49
    Citizen_X says:

    @MikeJ:

    they will not require people to speak.

    Then I look forward to Ted Cruz’s interpretive dance on the dangers of Agenda 21.

  50. 50
    KCIvey says:

    I really don’t understand how anyone whose job is supposedly real news can report that the “concession” the Republicans are offering as part of the deal is to allow Obama to enact Mitt Romney’s tax plan, without in some way reacting to the utter insanity of it. But no, it’s just treated as if it were an actual concession.

  51. 51
    MikeBoyScout says:

    How stupid are Republicans?

    If a fiscal-cliff agreement includes tax-rate increases, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the Republican whip, will oppose the deal.

    [NRO, so no linky]

    Guess what numb nuts? You already voted for increased rates. They become effective in January 2013.

  52. 52
    Felonius Monk says:

    Elections have consequences, but assholes are still assholes! Is anyone surprised?

    Democrats, liberals, progressives — all of us who live in the real world — need to hammer home the fact that low tax rates on the wealthy does not create jobs.

    The “so called job creators” need to create jobs first and prove it, then they can receive a tax break. The tail has been wagging the dog too long on this “job creator” bullshit.

  53. 53
    Mike in NC says:

    @Lev:

    Reince Priebus

    Damn. Why hasn’t he announced that he’s stepping down from the RNC to spend more time with his family?

  54. 54
    Jay in Oregon says:

    Too bad we’re not talking about John Boehner, because this clip would fit nicely:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?f.....tXc#t=392s

  55. 55
    Suffern ACE says:

    @JustRuss: the loopholes they want to close are the ones you use. The reason their plan didn’t add up is that they wanted to deny that they were broadening the tax base such that the lower and middle classes paid for the tax cut for the wealthy.

  56. 56
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    How about this; write a new tax code with no deductions and base the tax rates on the projected revenue? That would definitely close the loopholes.

  57. 57
    sylvan says:

    @joeyess:

    Chris Mathews hails from the Rizzocrat era of Philly politics, as does Michael Smerconish.

    They treat politics like sports writers.

  58. 58
    Mike in NC says:

    @Brachiator:

    I think that the supposed fiscal cliff might bring more pain than people realize if this crap drags out too long. On the other hand, the remnants of the Bush tax cuts would be a pointless, more destructive drag on the economy.

    In other words, Dubya is the freakin’ gift that just keeps on giving!

  59. 59
    Lol says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    You don’t have to hold the floor. You just have to object and the Senate will be tied up for days EVEN IF THE MAJORITY HAS 60 VOTES. that’s the real broken thing in my view and why holds are so powerful. Holds are just indications that the Senator plans to object. It doesn’t matter for big legislation but a slew of low level nominees? The Senate can’t afford to spend months doing nothing.

    If they can get rid of that, I’ll settle for the 60 vote threshold hanging around for the time being.

  60. 60
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    What is funny is that McConnell actually thinks what he wants matters. It doesn’t, because whatever Obama can negotiate with the House will pass the Senate, no matter what Mitch wants.

    So Mitch McTurtle, the majority leader of Big Nothingburger, is now negotiating on behalf of the Republicans in the House, a chamber of Congress that he doesn’t even control. This is all getting so ridiculous that I may need Fiscal Cliff Notes to keep track of it all before it is over.

  61. 61
    joeyess says:

    @sylvan: Back to the point of my post here: @joeyess:

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @JustRuss:

    Anyone who says otherwise is an idiot or a liar.

    Paging Mr. Huge Turtle Faced Asswipe Mitch McConnell to the white courtesy phone.

  63. 63
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @Felonius Monk:

    Democrats, liberals, progressives—- all of us who live in the real world—- need to hammer home the fact that low tax rates on the wealthy does not create jobs.

    This is precisely why the GOP is so utterly desperate to prevent tax increases from going thru. Because the economy is now primed to expand and create jobs and they (the GOP) have just about used up all of their levers of sabotage and economic treason, so there is fuckall they can do to stop it from happening. The only thing the GOP can control is the MSM narrative 4 years from now regarding why the expansion happened and why the jobs came back. Bad enough for them that “it happened under Obama”, but how much worse if “it happened after Obama raised taxes on the rich”. If people get the idea that raising taxes on the rich = economic prosperity, the current incarnation of the GOP will be deader than Jimmy Hoffa.

  64. 64
    MikeBoyScout says:

    BoBo is on NPR with his sad.

  65. 65
    MikeJ says:

    @Tonal Crow:

    I don’t know enough about the Senate rules to speak authoritatively about this. I would expect that you can hold the floor only by speaking. Perhaps you can show us which rule allows a Senator to hold the floor without speaking.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....69117.html

    At no point would the obstructing Republican be required to defend his position, read from the phone book or any of the other things people associate with the Hollywood version of a filibuster.
    __
    “You cannot force senators to talk during a filibuster,” says Dove. “Delay in the Senate is not difficult and, frankly, the only way to end it is through cloture.”

    related, but not on the talk or no talk issue:
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....filibuster

  66. 66
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Thoughtcrime:

    Senator? You can have my answer now, if you like. My final offer is this: nothing.

    And Senator Yertle wakes up the next morning with a horse’s ass in his bed–just like he does every morning…

  67. 67
    👽 Martin says:

    @Mike in NC:

    In other words, Dubya is the freakin’ gift that just keeps on giving!

    You know, it might help if someone on the teevees would point out that the reason that the Bush tax cuts are expiring is that they didn’t have the votes to make them permanent even in 2001 when we were running a surplus. It wasn’t even a hugely popular idea back when it passed.

  68. 68
    sylvan says:

    @joeyess:

    Well, Smerconish admitted he voted for Obama and survived the shitstorm.

    He has since replaced Rush 12-3 on WPHT.

  69. 69
    muddy says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    We can has a picture of the tabbeh kitteh with an aftermarket tail, plz?

    I think it should be a rule that all 3 animals must be shown once a week.

  70. 70
    debbie says:

    Then I look forward to Ted Cruz’s interpretive dance on the dangers of Agenda 21.

    I listened for a bit to Glenn Beck today, hoping to hear his rationalization for having drowned the American flag in his own piss, when I heard an ad for a Web site dedicated to fighting the plot that Obama is now weaving to get himself a third term. The clown car still spins.

  71. 71
    Ash Can says:

    So lemme get this straight — Obama makes a proposal that basically outlines everything he wants, to get negotiations started. Of course he’s not going to get everything he wants, and of course he’ll leave big gaping holes for the Republicans to fill in. Instead of making a counteroffer using that as the baseline, the House Republicans go crying to the press with the offer, thus blowing their own cover in the negotiations, and the counteroffer that does get made comes from someone with no power to draft actual budgetary legislation. all we’re missing now is Casey Stengel standing in the middle of the Republicans yelling “Can anybody here play this game?”

  72. 72
    muddy says:

    @MikeJ:

    When you have the floor in the US Senate you aren’t required to speak. They may change the rule and require them to stay on the floor (although I doubt it), but they will not require people to speak.

    As though those full-of-themselves assholes could refrain from stupid blathering.

  73. 73
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Culture of Truth: as opposed to the three weeks and two days for them to offer the Romney economic plan?

  74. 74
    danimal says:

    How’s this for an idea? Let’s negotiate with the GOP and offer to save money from Obamacare implementation. We can chop entitlement spending and avoid painful service cuts. And not in a small way, I’m talking $500B over 10 years.

    I can’t take credit for this idea, but I think it is the greatest negotiating gambit the White House can play. A big middle finger to the GOP, a way to promote the liberal agenda and a real solution to a policy quandary. Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to reintroduce the public option.

    Gawd, I love this idea, especially at this time while everyone is paying attention and Obama just won reelection. Let’s make this happen!

  75. 75
    Comrade Mary says:

    Charlie Pierce for the motherfucking win:

    All in all, it’s a pretty good deal. More to the point, it is the bare minimum that the country should require based on the policy preferences that it expressed in the last election. And, much more to the point, it is the bare minimum that the majority who voted for him should expect from a progressive president who won re-election in a tough economy by running a campaign based precisely on the principles underlying all of these proposals, and who beat a candidate whose own underlying principles were the exact opposite. …
    __
    It should be made plain to them, by the president, and by the 53 percent of the people who voted for him, that what was presented to them yesterday are the basic parameters of any deal. Period. There will be increases in the tax rates, no phony gobbledegook about “reforming the tax code.” Some people will pay more, and it will be the people who can best afford to do so. There will be stimulus spending, and a lot of it, to fix all the broken stuff we have in this country. (Including the stuff that Miss Sandra broke when she came ashore, despite what indecent extortionate senators from Bugtussle have to say about it.) The deal will lean more than a little on the side of middle-class families and it will spend a lot less time soothing the wounded fee-fees of Geithner’s lunch buddies. And later, when everything cools down, and enough Republicans have regained their sanity, John Boehner has regained his balls from the mason jar in which Eric Cantor has buried them out in the back yard, maybe we’ll talk about some spending cuts and some careful changes in how Medicare is administered.

  76. 76
    joeyess says:

    @sylvan: But that’s Philly. It’s still good news, but I’d sorely wish for that to happen in my neck of the woods. Alas…….

  77. 77
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    If people get the idea that raising taxes on the rich = economic prosperity, the current incarnation of the GOP will be deader than Jimmy Hoffa.

    Unfortunately, voodoo economics has become an article of faith and impervious to facts.
    If the pope cancled Easter because they found the body, Christainity would take at least a hundred years to wind down it’s operation and start closing franchises. I think we’re years away from the GOP flirting with sanity.

  78. 78
    Narcissus says:

    Standard negotiation methods are wrong when Democrats use them

  79. 79
    Roger Moore says:

    @peorgietirebiter:

    Unfortunately, voodoo economics has become an article of faith and impervious to facts.

    Among the GOP true believers that may be true. But there are a lot of people out there who believe that cutting taxes leads to prosperity because it makes a kind of intuitive sense. If there are enough counterveiling facts, though, they may be willing to accept that taxing the rich is good for the economy. You don’t have to convince every hard core Republican to win this one; just enough persuadable people that the Republicans can’t win a majority anymore.

  80. 80

    […] Good point from John Cole on Mitch McConnell’s plan ruling out a hike in tax rates: “whatever Obama can negotiate […]

  81. 81
    Baud says:

    “How did it take them three weeks (and two days) to offer nothing but President Obama’s budget?” A GOP leadership aide asked me rhetorically.

    Um…up till the election, the GOP was saying Obama never put forward a plan to reduce the deficit. Only Paul Ryan had the guts to do that.

    I can’t believe they were lying.

  82. 82
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    You really want to change the Senate rules for maximum effect? Instead of requiring 3/5 of the Senate to vote in favor, a motion for cloture automatically passes unless 2/5 of the entire Senate plus 1 is present and votes against it.

    You have 41 Senators who want to filibuster? Fine. Make them stay on the floor for days on end while the majority sends in one Senator at a time to move for cloture. Let ’em bring in pizzas & bedpans & see how long the fuckers last.

  83. 83
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @peorgietirebiter:

    Unfortunately, voodoo economics has become an article of faith and impervious to facts

    I’m not so sure of that. The Dems just haven’t had a strong enough and simple enough story to kill it, up till now. But consider what happens if taxes on the rich go up just in time for the Obama Recovery. That will make it twice in a row, first under Clinton and then again under Obama, that a Democrat in the WH has presided over both rising taxes and an economic recovery, with George W Bush and his tax cuts for the rich which caused the Great Crash of 2008 sandwiched in between, to ram home the message.

    We don’t have to convince the GOP, we just have to convince enough of the remaining swingable electorate, say another 3-5% beyond what we got this year, to turn voodoo economics into an electoral boat anchor. I think that is do-able.

  84. 84
    Joel says:

    @sylvan: I actually agree with the cons on the AMT inflation indexing. It’s a fair idea. But they probably won’t like my idea that capital gains taxes should be rolled into income.

  85. 85
    Roger Moore says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:
    My understanding is that requiring a specific minority to oppose cloture instead of a majority to support it is part of the filibuster reform that’s under discussion. I think that would be enough to reduce the filibuster to an exceptional event instead of the rule as it is today.

  86. 86
    moops says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    and THAT is the horror that hides behind their eyes.

    Taxes are GOING to go up on the rich, and the economy is going to recover and create jobs.

    except nobody in the bubble will believe it or even hear about it. There might be more people that finally decide to leave the bubble though. That would be nice.

  87. 87
    moops says:

    You can see a GOP Grinch muttering “I’ve got to keep this recovery from coming…but how?”

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:

    Good summary of the tax items actually on the table can be found here

    Senate Proposals to Extend the 2001-2010 Tax Cuts

  89. 89
    Felonius Monk says:

    @JohnCole

    Dancing With Myself

    John, you can call it “dancing” if you wish, but if you keep it up, I think you’re going to need glasses pretty soon!

  90. 90
    MikeJ says:

    @Uncle Cosmo: Is despise “upvoting” or “like” systems, but if those abominations existed here I would use them like a motherfucker on that comment.

  91. 91
    peorgietirebiter says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ: From your lips to God’s ear. Back in 2008 I assumed most people would connect the dots between the Wall Street meltdown and the S&L collapse and quit buying the crazy. 2010 said otherwise. But I sincerely hope you’re right.

  92. 92
    sylvan says:

    @Joel:

    But they probably won’t like my idea that capital gains taxes should be rolled into income

    Nah, they probably won’t.

    They’re not even all that fond of the Enlightenment.

  93. 93
    Gravenstone says:

    @joeyess:

    Why is there never a sense with Mr. Obama that he understands the other guys’ real position?

    The problem, Lady Nooners, is that the President does “understand the other guys’ real position”. He’s had quite enough of their lies and bullshit and their clear intent to never bargain in good faith. So yeah, go crawl into the spirit container of your choice and bother us no further you useless fucking hack.

  94. 94
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    @sylvan:

    They’re not even all that fond of the Enlightenment

    They’re not taking the Endarkenment very well either.

  95. 95
    magurakurin says:

    @Thoughtcrime:

    My final offer is this: nothing.

    Outstanding Red Team. Outstanding. Get you a case of beer for that one.

  96. 96
    danimal says:

    @Gravenstone: Exactly! The GOP’s real position has been “not that” (whatever ‘that’ is that Obama proposed) for way too long. Make them come out with real, scorable proposals that impact real constituencies and then we can bargain. Their real position is governing by bumpersticker, and that dog don’t hunt anymore.

  97. 97
    muddy says:

    I have on the CBS evening news, Scott Pelley starts out saying, If you thought there would be a statesman to bring people together in a compromise in Washington, there isn’t one.

    The top of my head blew off. Yes, there is a motherfucking statesman trying to work things out, his name is President Obama and he was just re-elected by a huge margin. He went on telling us what the Republicans had to say about it, and did not say that they were intransigent or anything.

    I went to the website and wanted to send him an email, but I couldn’t find it. What an asshole.

  98. 98
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    The reason their plan didn’t add up is that they wanted to deny that they were broadening the tax base such that the lower and middle classes paid for the tax cut for the wealthy.

    “Broadening the base” is exactly a nice-sounding term for that very thing. You’ve got to hand it to Republicans: they excel in propaganda.

  99. 99
    Tony J says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    ‘Endarkenment’ made me laugh while pissing envy.

    Magnificently succinct and, obviously, so very stolen.

  100. 100
    Tonal Crow says:

    @Lol: We weren’t discussing the current (ridiculous) filibuster rules, but whether the Udall et al revisions would require senators to speak in order to maintain a filibuster.

  101. 101
    TG Chicago says:

    As I mentioned in another thread, Sullivan is whining that Obama, having just won an election, has the nerve to actually try to accomplish the things he campaigned on. He said that after you win an election, you should be magnanimous enough to give in to everything the loser wants.

    Obama gave Boehner a shot at the better deal before the election. Boehner didn’t bite. Thus, having won the election with these issues front and center, Obama has every right to expect things to work out better for him than last time around. That’s the way democracy works.

    It’s truly one of the more daft things Sullivan has written, and that’s covering quite a bit of ground.

  102. 102
    TG Chicago says:

    As I mentioned in another thread, Sullivan is whining that Obama, having just won an election, has the nerve to actually try to accomplish the things he campaigned on. He said that after you win an election, you should be magnanimous enough to give in to everything the loser wants.

    Obama gave Boehner a shot at the better deal before the election. Boehner didn’t bite. Thus, having won the election with these issues front and center, Obama has every right to expect things to work out better for him than last time around. That’s the way democracy works.

    It’s truly one of the more daft things Sullivan has written, and that’s covering quite a bit of ground.

  103. 103
    Roger Moore says:

    @ThatLeftTurnInABQ:

    They’re not taking the Endarkenment very well either.

    LOL.

  104. 104
    Tonal Crow says:

    @MikeJ: That concerns the current filibuster rules. The topic I was discussing is whether Sen. Udall et al’s rule changes — proposed to be enacted by a majority vote when the Senate reconvenes in January — would require a senator to speak in order to hold the floor during a filibuster. I have heard that they will:

    Udall said ideas still being discussed include cutting down on the procedural steps required to get bills into conference committees with the House, limiting debate on motions to proceed and requiring what advocates call the “talking filibuster.” Under that plan, senators objecting would have to stay on the floor and actively debate to keep the Senate from moving forward with votes. All could eliminate the 60-vote threshold currently required for such procedures.

  105. 105
    MazeDancer says:

    Media working with Republicans to make Republicans defending no tax hikes for rich – an issue on which the election was decided – as “reasonable” and the President as unreasonable for not giving GOP what they want (See Joe, Morning, and his hired hack posse) is so disgusting and so exhausting, I can only say “Go POTUS! Smack ’em hard!”.

    Sick of Democracy being hostage to idiot media and ridiculous, entrenched, supercilious white guy, over-privileged fools.

    Whatever it takes, Mr. President, you do it.

  106. 106
    TaMara (BHF) says:

    @Culture of Truth: Whole thread is full of win, but that comment stole the show.

  107. 107
    Jason says:

    Great, but how can Obama’s team be so dumb as to take a whole four years to figure out what an ambit claim is?

  108. 108

    I don’t think Obama learned anything. I don’t think there was much to learn. Only circumstances have changed. He doesn’t have to appear to be the adult in the room to the public now, but talking nice in public is a good negotiation strategy, so he’ll likely continue. When the GOP had something he absolutely had to have – like a debt limit extension – he negotiated, and consistently got deals they realized afterwards weren’t at all what they thought. At this point, they have things he wants but doesn’t need, and he has things they absolutely need. The process will be very different, but at least some negotiation will happen. Demanding your own way 100% is a really, really lousy negotiation tactic – it only feels satisfying.

  109. 109
    burnspbesq says:

    Fuck McConnell. He should be bound, gagged, stuffed in the trunk of the Thelma-and-Louise-Mobile, and driven off the cliff. And then anonymous stories should be leaked to the Lexington and Louisville papers that he made hundreds of thousands of dollars betting on Duke in the Blue Devils’ recent wins over UK and Louisville.

    Why, yes, I carry in my soul a great deal of enmity toward Sen. Turtle-Face. Why do you ask?

  110. 110
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Roger Moore: Well, yah-fuckin’-hoo! Hope yer right!@MikeJ: Thankyuh. Thankyuhvermuch. Thankyuh.

  111. 111
    catclub says:

    @muddy: “I think it should be a rule that all 3 animals must be shown once a week.”

    Proof of life.

  112. 112
    AA+ Bonds says:

    McConnell’s offer is this: We’ll give you increased revenues via the closing of loopholes—and in exchange, you give us the entitlement reforms we want, plus the tax rates we want.
    __
    That’s not much of a compromise. Indeed, it’s not new. As Steve Benen noted recently, that essential arrangement is what Lindsey Graham offered last Sunday.

    It’s actually Romney’s 2012 platform.

    The press is dumb as a box of rocks.

  113. 113
    Tonal Crow says:

    @AA+ Bonds:

    The press is dumb as a box of rocks.

    …when they aren’t knowingly pushing GOPaganda.

  114. 114
    AxelFoley says:

    @lol:

    It’s because Obama has leverage. He gets most of what he wants if nothing happens and anything bad will be blamed on the GOP.
    __
    And unlike the lame duck session in 2010, he doesn’t have any high priority legislation (DADT Repeal, START, Unemployment, etc) being held hostage by this.
    __
    Different circumstances require different negotiation tactics.

    It’s almost…11th dimensional, ain’t it?

  115. 115
    Matt McIrvin says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Abe himself took 12 days off to handwrite “IN THY FACE, LOSERS!” to every confederate leader after he was reelected.

    I… don’t think that’s an analogy I’d like to think about for very long.

  116. 116
    AxelFoley says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    This new reality that the GOP is trapped in must be absolutely terrifying for them. They’re existing in a Star Trek universe where Obama has a beard. And he’s smiling.

    I’m done with this thread. You already won it.

  117. 117
    AxelFoley says:

    @General Stuck:

    Republicans hate change they didn’t orchestrate. Now Obama has planted his flag square atop Mount Wingnut and is proceeding to dine on their livers.

    With a bottle of chianti?

  118. 118
    AxelFoley says:

    @demkat620:

    @General Stuck: with fava beans and a nice chianti
    __
    Had to be said

    I should have known someone would be me to this.

  119. 119
    AxelFoley says:

    @Culture of Truth:

    Peter Cushing voice:
    __
    “You would prefer another target, that I close a loophole instead? Then NAME THE LOOPHOLE!”

    Thin Black Duke, bro, you gonna have to share your internets with Culture.

  120. 120
    Ted & Hellen says:

    If it REALLY took four years for Obama to figure out the Republicans are bad-faith low lifes who want him to fail and don’t care how they help that happen, then he is incompetent on the face of it.

  121. 121
    Jeremy says:

    @Ted & Hellen: Your deliberately obtuse posture is so transparently obvious. And your contention that you can see the perfectly obvious, while President Obama (a truely remarkable man who will go down in history as one of the greatest presidents ever), is astonishing in it’s arrogance. He knew the Republicans were bad faith low lifes who want him to fail before you ever even knew the name “Obama”, you self-righteos arrogant prick.

    You, and all the other carping emoprogs like you, are totally fucking useless.

  122. 122
    AxelFoley says:

    @Jeremy:

    Well said, man.

    Or, as we used to say, PWN’D!

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