“Faced now with the choice between partisan politics and a risky high ground, the president has an opportunity to leverage this ‘victory’ for a long-term budget deal that raises taxes and tames entitlements. Obama won. Now can he lead? Does he have the guts to anger liberal backers with a budget deal on Social Security and Medicare? Is he willing to engage sincerely with Republicans? Does he want a legacy beyond winning two elections and enacting a health care law that, judging by its horrendous launch, may never live up to its promise? If the answer to those questions is ‘yes,’ Obama has hidden his intentions well.”
Give me a fucking break. Why is it that these idiot pundits always turn to “can he lead and can he engage with Republicans?” The only thing, THE ONLY FUCKING THING, that is preventing a pretty massive Grand Bargain in DC that will anger us liberals is the Republican intransigence on not raising one more cent in revenue. They refuse to close loopholes and tax giveaways for their rich friends and corporations, because it increases their taxes. When will Ron Fournier ask the Republicans when they will engage?
Eugene Robinson thinks Obama has now changed the dynamic:
President Obama’s victory this week was as complete and devastating as Sherman’s march through the South. But there is no early sign that the zealots of the anti-government far right have learned the lessons of their defeat — which means that more battles lie ahead.
House Speaker John Boehner was not being honest Wednesday when he explained the GOP surrender as, “We fought the good fight; we just didn’t win.” This was not a good fight. Republicans picked an objective that was never realistic — forcing Obama to nullify the Affordable Care Act, his biggest achievement — and tactics that amounted to self-immolation. [...] What we won’t see [in future negotiations] is the old pattern of the GOP smashing the crockery and getting its way. Obama has shown that even the most irrational of tantrums can be stilled by the power of no.
No, the dynamic has not changed. Just like after their landslide losses in 2008 and 2012, the Republicans have decided that they lost because they were insufficiently insane.
KENTUCKY–US SENATE–Public Policy Polling: Alison Lundergan Grimes (D) 45, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) 43.
48% of Kentucky voters say they’re less likely to support McConnell for reelection next year because he supported the government shutdown, compared to only 34% who say they’re now more likely to support him.
I wonder if McConnell’s own internals showed that, which is why he stepped forward to make the very public deal with Reid.
Harry Enten: “The indispensable Cook Political Report has only has 13 Democratic-held seats listed in the relatively competitive tossup or “lean” category. Of course, Democrats need to take 17 seats to win the House. The ratings reflect, among other things, a lack of strong challengers for the Democrats and lack of retirements by Republicans. The thing is that expert ratings (like most polling) are not all that predictive a year out from an election. At this point in the 2006 cycle, there were 17 Republican seats in the lean or tossup categories. That’s well short of the 30 seats that Democrats would ultimately take from Republicans.”