The Democrats, they better understand something. What goes around comes around. And if they try to humiliate Republicans, things change in American politics, and I know what it’s like to be in the majority and in the minority, and it won’t be forgotten…we’ve got to turn this around. And the Democrats had better help us.John McCain, being rather petulent on “Face The Nation” yesterday. He admitted earlier in the interview that the quest to defund Obamacare was “a fool’s errand” to begin with, yet stood firm that Democrats have a responsibility to help the GOP save face. Because vowing revenge against the guys you tried unsuccesfully to screw over after your plan blows up in your face—that’s true leadership. source
Obama’s view, which I share, is that the debt ceiling fight is far more important not only than the specific policies on the table, or even the catastrophic economic consequences of a debt breach. It’s a fight to preserve the Constitutional order. And conservatives have resolutely refused to grapple with that fact…If the conservative goal is to create the illusion of winning something for the debt ceiling, then they’ll come back next time to win more, and Democrats can’t allow that.Jon Chait’s take on why the Democrats are, in the words of the GOP, “refusing to negotiate.” Republicans would reply that Democrats have used the debt limit as a bargaining chip in the past, and it’s thus unfair to excoriate the GOP for “suddenly” attempting to upend the constitutional order. This is a disingenuous argument, though, as Dave Weigel has pointed out; the House GOP’s conduct now truly is unprecedented. source
I shouldn’t have to offer [the Republicans] anything. They’re not doing me a favor by paying for things that they have already approved for the government to do. That’s part of their basic function of government; that’s not doing me a favor. That’s doing what the American people sent them here to do, carrying out their responsibilities.
President Obama spoke to Inskeep yesterday, hours prior to the government shutdown. The above passage isn’t a departure from what he’s said so far — he’s been openly critical of ‘hostage-taking’ behavior by the House GOP. But the above statement represents the core standoff the President finds himself in, one that the GOP may suspect, rightly or wrongly, they can find some leverage on. Given Obama’s past willingness to wheel and deal in situations when his side can claim a high-ground of responsibility and adulthood, even liberal supporters do have feasible, credible reasons to fear an extracted compromise on delaying or weakening the ACA. If you’re taking him at his word, though, and the words are stern enough to stake his authority on, no such negotiation seems pending.