negotiate

By all means, talk!

| The Republican position in the current Washington standoff has devolved to unceasing demands to "negotiate."

This is something I wholeheartedly endorse: the sane Republican members of the House do need to sit down and negotiate with the Tea Party Mutants in the House. They need to come to an agreement as to how they are going to get themselves out of the hole they have dug — and continue to dig!

Right now, it's impossible to figure out what they really want. At first it was that they wanted to "defund" (ie kill entirely) the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). When that didn't work, they have thrown up one new demand after another, I guess in hopes that one of them will stick.

sumo wrestlers

They're mad at President Obama because he hasn't helped them out of their predicament. But he's serenely repeating his mantra that he's not going to negotiate.

And rightly so: if over-turning law by blackmail is successful, a terrible precedent is set, one that puts our very democracy in jeopardy.

Speaker John Boehner brought this on himself when he could not or would not take control of his caucus. It is true he needs a face-saving way out to avoid utter humiliation ("disrespect" in the words of Rep. Marlin Stutzman, R-Ind). At some point he needs to be able to appear to have gotten something, even though, as Rep. Stutzman said, nobody knows what that something is. I don't however, think it is the responsibility of the president or the Democrats to figure that out; that didn't stop at least two attempts Friday to give him a fig leaf: one didn't work and the second (a discharge petition) will take a while to play out.

Meanwhile, all that is happening in Washington is that everyone is trying their damnedest to make sure that when the music stops, the flying fickle finger of blame is pointing at the other guy.

Last updated on Apr 13, 2018

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