All the GOP had to do was to swallow a couple of tax loophole closures. That's all. There has never been a desire expressed on the part of Barack Obama to really raise taxes on the wealthy.
Historian that he is, Obama knows that no republican congress man or woman has voted for a tax increase since 1991. Not one. Not no time. Not no how. He wasn't asking for anything out of the realm of ordinary. A deal is do-able. John Boehner knows that. Eric Cantor is too busy making a power grab to see it.
Obama has said he would bite the bullet and take the hit on entitlements, in return for minimum cooperation from the GOP. But they don't get it. Or I should say the teabaggers don't understand when to say "yes" to the deal. They've blown it. They've blown a chance to get real fiscal stability through real compromise. Obama wins. The people, the polls say are siding with him against the GOP. The GOP is viewed as cowtowing to the fringe element that is the tea party. The people, even the old people who voted to return power to the GOP during the last election, are wishing for a do-over.
The Tea Party upstarts are already dead. They just haven't fallen down yet. Cantor, Bachmann, et al are deadmen walking. You can't govern by throwing a temper tantrum and threatening to hold your breath if you don't get your way. There must be give and take. Compromise and everybody wins.
Even the right wing economists are saying the tea party is wrong for not supporting a deficit ceiling increase.
During this entire deficit ceiling fiasco discussion, I have felt that I was listening to a Republican President talking to his party about how to govern the people. The people don't matter in this sense. The deficit is going to be balanced on the backs of the poor, right on top of the budget, crushing the middle class. I have called Obama a DINO before and I am more convinced now than ever. He has been pushed so far to the right, he can't even read his own message anymore.
The one certainty out of all this is the rich are going to get richer. They don't lose. They don't suffer. They don't have to bite any bullets.
The only thing going on this weekend is whether or not Obama is going to hand us a jar of vaseline when he asks us to bend over.
The people suffer because there is no one in Congress or in the White House with a big enough brain to see down the road. If there is one lesson to be learned from the first three years of Obama, it is that America is neither post racial, nor post partisan. The can is once again being kicked for someone else to handle. There will be a deal, I believe, but it won't come until August 1st, at 11:59pm.
All this stress and angst is not necessary. The fringe needs to be sent to the cloak room and paddled for being so damn stupid.
This Congress misses the likes of Ted Kennedy and Dan Rostenkowski and Everett Dirksen and Lyndon Baines Johnson. These guys understood the art of the deal and made things happen even when they weren't part of the majority or liked what was on the table. They could see the big picture and even though they liked power, understood they worked for us.
Bet they're laughing their asses off while passing around the scotch and cigars sitting on their special cloud somewhere in the sky.