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This site is the inspiration of a former reporter/photographer for one of New England's largest daily newspapers and for various magazines. The intent is to direct readers to interesting political articles, and we urge you to visit the source sites. Any comments may be noted on site or directed to KarisChaf at gmail.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Looking for the deal -- Editorial, The Washington Times

Some frightened Republicans are ready to settle for nothing

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, walks from House Speaker John Boehner’s office with reporters in pursuit, at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2013. Time growing desperately short, House Republicans pushed for passage of legislation late Tuesday to prevent a threatened Treasury default, end a 15-day partial government shutdown and extricate divided government from its latest brush with a full political meltdown.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Never pick a fight you don't intend to win. That's wisdom from the schoolyard, but it's the lesson many Republicans never learned. It's more important than ever when you're going toe-to-toe with a president and the stakes include a catastrophic health care scheme and funding for the national debt. Unprepared to deal with a man refusing to negotiate, congressional Republicans are eager to give Mr. Obama everything he wants if he'll just stand clear of the exits.

The Senate's initial plan was to play the usual Washington game of bait and switch, funding the government and allowing unlimited borrowing in return for a promise of a committee meeting to talk about entitlement and spending reform, with coffee and tea and maybe the Democrats will bring Danish. It's politics designed to appeal to those who can't remember 2011, when we went through the same charade. President Obama won a $400 billion increase in the credit limit in return for the creation of a "supercommittee" to come up with $1.5 billion in spending reductions over 10 years. The "supercommittee" failed, as President Obama knew it would, and sequestration was the consolation prize.

The House Republicans wanted to beat the Senate to the punch with their own proposal to fund the government until Dec. 15 and raise the debt limit through Feb. 5 in return for a single concession. Congress and the White House staff would put aside their sweetheart insurance deal and sign up for the Obamacare they prescribed for everyone else. Chief Justice John Roberts, whose vote saved Obamacare in the Supreme Court, would have kept his sweetheart insurance. This would grieve the chief justice because he would feel cheated that he couldn't share the misery. This was weak stuff indeed, considering the Republican starting position was defunding Obamacare entirely. The Tea Party balked.

Some pollsters portray Republicans as the losers, but maybe not. The midterm elections are a year away, and voters have shown they're angry with politicians of every stripe. Circumstances constantly change. A new Rasmussen poll finds that 46 percent of those surveyed would give Democrats full control of Congress and 45 percent would give it to Republicans. This is the same even split we've seen in the past several elections.

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