Opinions, Context & Ideas from the TPM Editors TPM Editor's Blog

First Divide, Then Conquer

AP Photo

This is like Christmas for Democrats. Watch the video in that post if you don't believe me.

Either Republicans kill the budget process and own all of the subsequent brinksmanship, particularly over the debt limit, or they have to discipline these freshmen and incur the wrath of the notoriously passive GOP base voters.

Thus the obvious course of action for Democrats is to do... nothing! Or rather, nothing other than to continue pressing for formal negotiations and letting this internal fight continue to play out in public until either one faction wins or the debt limit fight supersedes it.

In theory, Democrats could force the issue by introducing a legislative motion to appoint conferees. John McCain and Susan Collins' comments today suggest they'd have the votes for it. But it would also precipitate a vote-a-rama almost nobody in either party really wants to endure simply for the purposes of doing what should be automatic. And even if that weren't a problem, why should Democrats intervene to rescue the GOP from Cruz and Paul?