From TPM Reader JR …
Great post, as always. I ended up reading this back-to-back with articles like this Bloomberg piece, in which House Progressives are vowing to block any deal that negatively impacts things like SNAP.
As I soak all this in, I find myself returning to the same (unfortunate and maddening) conclusion: This was always how it was going to go for the Dems.
I say that for a (imo anyway) relatively simple reason: Dems – especially senior leadership – are unwilling to let the hostage die, and Republicans know it.
The mere fact that negotiations are happening at all validates and supports their presumption that, in the end, Dems will always cave when the economy is on the line. In 2011 they vowed to bludgeon but not outright shoot the hostage, and Obama gave away the farm. Now, ten years later, they ARE vowing to shoot the hostage, and all they had to do was sit back and wait for the clock to run low enough for the WH to come calling. Maybe Biden gives away the farm again, maybe he doesn’t. But in the end, like Obama, he’ll do what he must to avoid killing the hostage. And, like Obama before him, Biden will tell House/Senate Dems to stow the complaints, fall in line, and save the hostage. Why? Because Dems cannot and will not let the hostage die. It’s who they are.
Even if Biden conjures a WestWing-esque moment and tells McCarthy to shoot the hostage if he wants, banking on the 14th Amendment to act as Plot Armor for the hostage, there’s at worst 50/50 odds that Republicans’ backstop – the judiciary branch – kills the hostage for them by blocking the use of the 14th. And since those odds are not something the WH is going to want to bet the entire economy on, that leaves them with only one option – negotiate with the terrorists.
And that, like I said at the top, is where Dems were destined to end up all along.