Saturday, April 9, 2011

Shutdown averted - but the GOP hostage-takers are still firmly in control of our "debate!"

I'm glad that a potentially disastrous, hurtful government shutdown was averted, but it was averted largely on terms the GOP set out early on - with Democrats agreeing to larger spending cuts than Boehner had initially proposed (before his "Tea Party" wing weighed in with their extremist agenda.) Paul Krugman, I think, makes a valid point for Democrats and the White House to consider on the deal's implications and aftermath:
The GOP "negotiates"
(I)t’s one thing for Obama to decide that it was better to give in to Republican hostage-taking than draw a line in the sand; it’s another for him to celebrate the result. Yet that’s just what he did. More than that, he has now completely accepted the Republican frame that spending cuts right now are what America needs.

It’s worth noting that this follows just a few months after another big concession, in which he gave in to Republican demands for tax cuts. The net effect of these two sets of concessions is, of course, a substantial increase in the deficit.
There has to be a better way to get this fundamental message across to the public - that the GOP, consumed for over thirty years with an ideology of tax cuts as the solution to every problem, is NOT even serious about the deficits they brandish like a club, so much as attacking government's role in helping seniors, the disadvantaged and increasingly a struggling middle-class which has seen their wages stagnant, their homes devalued and their jobs at risk.

Update: Steve Benen has a bit more "nuanced" view than Krugman's, HERE.
More:  The Winners? - "Tea Party Activists Give Boehner a Nod of Approval" - Wall Street Journal, HERE.

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