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The GOP Has Surrendered for Now — But It Will Try More Extortion Soon and Dems Have to be Strong

October 16, 2013 in Blogs

By Joan Walsh, Salon

Democrats humbled the GOP this round, but they can't hand them what they want in the next.


The conventional wisdom seems to be that Democrats shouldn’t spike the football or dance in the end zone once they succeed in lifting the debt ceiling and reopening government, because decorum. Or something. It would be bad taste and it might even make Republicans crazier. That’s a real risk. I would have denied that crazier than this was possible a few months ago, but I’ve learned: Never bet against their capacity for crazy.

Still, part of me disagrees with that assessment, strongly. I think Democrats should do whatever is necessary to make clear to Republicans that this was a political disaster for them, and a genuine disaster for the country, and it should never be tried again. If humiliation would do that, I’m all for it.

On the other hand, it’s a mistake for Democrats, liberals especially, to celebrate this deal – because we can still lose.

Let’s be clear: Republicans got something for their bad behavior: tougher income verification requirements for Affordable Care Act subsidies, and a shorter debt-ceiling hike than Democrats said they wanted. And Republicans gave…nothing. They merely did their jobs and reopened the government and averted a global economic disaster. They put down the gun, and they released the hostage. That’s all.

They’re also getting a promise of formal negotiations over the budget. Now that should happen anyway, so that’s not a big deal. But Democrats have spent the last month on GOP turf: conceding that they must talk about deficit reduction, with pious nods to Saints Simpson and Bowles and now, yuck, Blessed Leon Panetta — and that they’re open to everything. And most of them mean it.

I just watched Sen. Chuck Schumer tell MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that once this deal is out of the way, Congress will resume budget negotiations, and everything, including so-called “entitlements,” must be on the table. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi was a little bit more balanced, insisting Democrats should only look at entitlement cuts in exchange for more revenues from people who can …read more

Source: ALTERNET

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