From TPM Reader MM …
We established long ago that my, shall we say imperfect, political instincts are high on the list of reasons why a career in politics was never in the cards for me. Nevertheless I’m not always wrong (e.g., broken clock / twice a day).
You also know that I’ve been a supporter of Joe Biden since the 2020 Dem primaries, and remain a supporter today. No one’s right all the time (though some insist, absurdly and laughably, that they are), but Biden has been doing a pretty good job of getting the job done despite the fact that he doesn’t seem to get much love (or, more importantly, political credit) from voters for it. If he’s calling it a “negotiation”, then so it is, as you pointed out this morning, while noting that in a negotiation you give something in the expectation of getting something. I believe that Joe Biden understands the MAGA House GOP and the weakness of the Speaker perfectly, and has zero illusions about the House GOP’s intention (not willingness: intention) to cause chaos (Trumpism 101: If you can create chaos, create chaos: it drives your enemies crazy, and while they’re busy trying to fix what you just broke, you’re working on the next phase of your treason).
I don’t believe that Joe Biden would sell out his constituents and our nation (after working for a lifetime to sit where he sits), and squander what he’s achieved, just to notch an accord with McCarthy that torches everything he’s worked for so far. I do believe that the President wishes to be seen, andin fact to be, open to a serious conversation with whomever appears to represent the other side, no matter how perilous and fraught the situation appears to be from a logical perspective, and no matter how insincere and unserious his counterparty may be. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists” is a useful slogan, if a touch prideful to my ear, but the reality is that we do it whenever we have to: we just call it something else. Joe just called the ‘negotiation’ a “negotiation”, because that’s him being himself. Sitting down with McCarthy doesn’t mean that he’s planning to give away the Crown Jewels: it means that he’ll be the grownup in the room. I’m confident in Joe’s ability to eat the MAGA GOP’s lunch once again.
I believe that the already-closely-studied-and-agreed-upon-but-very-closely-held Administration fallback play is, in a week or so, for Biden to phone Yellin and say, “Janet, the 14th Amendment says that we’re compelled to pay our debts. Pay them.” And we’ll learn about in a news bulletin: ”Despite the inability of the parties to agree on a path forward, apparently the Treasury continues to pay all of the government’s obligations. This is a developing story.”
I suppose that it will be a developing story. But “full faith and credit” doesn’t get a second chance. Except maybe in quotes, in a campaign slogan. And that would drive the traitors wild.