Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Meeting In The Middle

So let's see if I understand: Conservative NYT columnist David Brooks, who recently made waves across the intertubes by saying Republicans were being ridiculous, now says both sides are being intransigent, and it's Obama's fault. (So no one could mistake his argument for coherent, in the same column that takes Obama to task for "losing his cool" and speaking to the American people, he also says that speech got Congressional leaders to start doing their jobs. You can work on that one. My point is merely what's obvious.

To review: way back when, so-called budget negotiations began with each side staking their positions. For Ds, it was no cuts in social programs, and raising taxes on the wealthy. For Rs, it was no taxes, no closing of loopholes, and drastic cuts in social programs.

Time passed. People "negotiated." President Obama offered significant cuts in social programs, enough to piss off his constituency, and agreed not to raise taxes, but only to close egregious loopholes. In response, Republicans agreed to.... nothing. Their position changed from no taxes, big cuts, keep the loopholes, to no taxes, big cuts, keep the loopholes.

And the pundit class (trying hard not to be, you know, factual and therefore "liberal") manages a straight face while saying both sides are unwilling to budge.

Whatever else is true about the parties to the debate -- and who the hell knows what's true any more? -- it's only Democrats who've been willing to compromise. Sure, Rs have offered varying levels of cuts. But's it's always been cuts only. It's always been an approach which will coddle the wealthy, and will screw the non-wealthy, the environment, the future. It's Ds who, in the spirit of America, have actually conceded ground. Maybe they should, maybe they shouldn't. But they have, and Rs have not (while lying about the reasons). To argue otherwise is to see that which is not there.

Imagine that: making stuff up and calling it an argument.

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