Can't settle without talking

Can't settle without talking

With the ongoing stalemate properly perceived as failure, President Obama and House Republicans must start a search for common ground.

It would be a mistake to get too excited, but news reports that President Obama and House Republicans may agree on a framework for budget negotiations is welcome.

So far, neither side is looking particularly good in this political face-off that has resulted in a partial shutdown of the federal government and raised doubts about the country's ability to meet its debt obligations as the nation approaches its debt ceiling.

Make no mistake about it, however. President Obama and House Republicans see the world much differently, and their dispute is much more about policy than politics. Still, it's their obligation to find common ground, and if they can't do so they have failed in their duty.

Although plenty still could go wrong, Republicans may approve temporary funding of the federal government and a small increase in the debt ceiling. In return, Obama has indicated he's willing to negotiate with the GOP about deficits, health care, entitlements and taxes in the hope of reaching a broader, long-range agreement.

Compromise is not a dirty word in the context of our current divided government; it is a necessity. Over the past 10 days, the public has seen what happens when our elected officials refuse to sit down and work out their differences. It hasn't been pretty, and it can't continue. That's why the talk of rapprochement is encouraging.

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spangwurfelt wrote on October 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

And that, folks, is how it looks from inside the cast-iron bubble of GOP ideology.

Outside the bubble, the polls show that the GOP is taking it on the chin.

That's Gallup saying "This is the lowest favorable rating measured for either party since Gallup began asking this question in 1992." And if you look at the chart, you'll see that it isn't a case of both parties getting zapped equally. The GOP blew it, overreached, created a fake crisis hoping for extra leverage, and they're paying one hell of a price.

One that apparently can't be admitted inside the bubble and has to be hashed away with "both sides blah blah blah."

So step one: Republicans should face reality. The gambit failed, and sticking to it will only make it fail worse. Clean CR to end the shutdown. Clean bill raising the debt limit. Stop holding a gun the the head of the American economy and threatening to shoot your hostage with a deep recession if you don't get what you want.

STM wrote on October 11, 2013 at 8:10 am

I too get tired of the "false equivalency" narrative we're being fed.  Here we have a case of the government shutting down because a well-leveraged, extremist faction of the GOP would rather wreck the economy than accept established law and the will of the people.

It is interesting that when the Democrats are at fault, the News Gazette has no trouble calling them out.  When the Republicans fail, there's blame on both sides.


spangwurfelt wrote on October 11, 2013 at 9:10 am

That's the GOP bubble in action. "Your flaws are yours, Dems, but Republican flaws are everybody's."

The News-Gazette knows that the House Republican Caucus has pitched the proverbial petunia on this one, and that their only hope against a 2014 GOP bloodbath is to pretend, "Well, it's not the wackadoodles of the Tea Party, it's not the GOP leadership currently quivering in a corner by threats of Tea Party primaries, it's not the massive corporate funding that astroturfed the Tea Party into being, but, you know, we're like *all* responsible in different ways, you know, so let's change the subject as quickly as possible from how the GOP's self-inflicted crackup is now the number one threat against the American economy."

The Wall Street Journal just released a poll showing that American support for the Tea Party is at an all-time low. Although it never got above 30%, now it's 20%. Opposition is also at a record high at 70%. That's what you get when you overplay your hand catastrophically.

Americans know who to blame. And it's not "everybody." It's not "Washington." It's Boehner and the Tea Party.

Speaking of 70%, that's how many people think that Republicans are putting partisan politics ahead of the national interest, according to the same Wall Street Journal poll. Only 27% - barely one in four - thinks the GOP is putting the national interest ahead of their little gotcha games.

That, me lads and lassies, is the sound of a party committing suicide.

But will such disastriously dire figures ever make their way into a News-Gazette editorial? Nope. The cast-iron bubble doesn't allows such truths through. Heaven forfend that editorial ink should be spilled on *bad* news for the GOP. Git back in the bubble, you varmints!

And in the end, that bubble - and thousands like it all over the country - will doom the Republicans to another half-century of permanent minority status. Given the Boehner/Cruz/Cantor cataclysm, and the immense damage they're about to inflict if they can't screw their heads on straight before we default, it can't happen soon enough.