Greg Sargent on the Centrist Death Cult and how it enables Republicans:
The GOP’s explicit position is that no compromise solution of any kind is acceptable — this must be resolved only with 100% of the concessions being made by Democrats — which means any compromise Dems put forth is by definition a nonstarter at the outset.
Analysts reluctant to embrace this conclusion — an affliction I’ve called the “centrist dodge” — have adopted several techniques. One is to pretend Dems haven’t offered any compromise solution, when in fact they have. A second is to argue that, okay, Dems have offered a compromise while Republicans haven’t, but Dems haven’t gone far enough towards the middle ground, so both sides are still to blame for the impasse. (The problem with this dodge is that it fails to acknowledge that Republicans themselves have openly stated that there is no distance to which Dems could go to win GOP cooperation, short of giving them everything they want.)
We’re now seeing a third technique appear: Acknowledge that Republicans are the uncompromising party, but assert that it’s ultimately on the President to figure out a way to either force Republicans to drop their intransigence or to otherwise “lead” them out if it.
I’ve never understood why anyone thinks presidents have the magical ability to get Congress to pass stuff that Congress doesn’t want to pass. It’s not just Obama who isn’t magical; Bush couldn’t get immigration reform or Social Security privatization through.
I remember when it was the firebaggers who wanted Obama to be more magically powerful about health care reform. Jim Newell summed it up well:
I’m sure if Obama just had the bill on his desk and gave it to Congress and told them to pass the damned thing, Congress wouldn’t have objected or tried to change anything, and the Senate would’ve passed it all 100-0 through reconciliation—even if they didn’t need reconciliation. This is what the spineful George W. Bush would have done.
Now, it’s the Villagers who want it, and comparison is of course, Reagan and Tip.
But it doesn’t matter how much Ron Fournier and David Brooks blame the sequester on Obama. If the levee breaks, and the cuts comes, local media will give the cuts plenty of coverage, and Republicans will take a political hit.
I sincerely hope sequestration can be avoided. I think it would be terrible for the economy. Like Tim F, I have friends whose scientific careers would be adversely affected.
But if it comes, Bobo and Fournier and Woodward won’t be able to save Republicans’ sorry asses.