Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Bone has been Thrown.

I was right again.
Sometimes I sicken myself with my powers of political prognostication.
My last post was, "Throw 'em a bone..." The Republicans are squarely defeated and need only to save a little face.
Over the weekend (because Congress always reads my posts) they came to the same conclusion.We can throw them a bone.
John McCain (no pal of mine) said it in almost the exact same words this morning:
"The Democrats, I think, by doing negotiations now, are doing the right thing," McCain said. "Because you really don't want to crow over a victory. They know they're going to win. They know that. But we need to try to get an agreement that gives some something for the Republicans."
My post suggested to delay the fines for the individual mandate briefly. Not the mandate itself, just the fines.
The actual plan proposed by the Senate (but probably doomed to failure in the House) is even more trifling a concession than what I proposed. To wit, the Senate negotiators proposed:

  • reopening the government through Jan. 15 (no winner); 
  • extending the debt limit until Feb. 15 (no winner);
  • appoint representatives for a budget conference (win/win); 
  • delay of a reinsurance tax to benefit unions (advantage Democrats);
  • income verification for Obamacare exchanges (advantage Republicans, sort of, since the income verification is already basically there, just not handled through the exchange. Quite literally a "for show" concession only.)
As I reflected in my last post, if the House rejects this "compromise" the Republicans therein will appear to be intransigent, irrational, and hell-bent on destroying the economy. If the House approves it, they will have a very difficult PR job to not appear to be pussies. 

My advice to the GOP would be that they don't even try to convince the God-Guns-Gays element of the party that compromise was the right thing to do since that would be a fool's errand. They should reinforce the traditional notion that the Republican party is about millionaires and billionaires and corporations, all of whom know that the acceptance of defeat was in their best interest and send a message to the Tea Party that they are little more than an annoying little fly on the party's shoulder.


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Throw Boehner a Bone and say, "Fetch, bitch".

Throw them a bone:

Its time to throw them a bone. The last shovel of dirt on the grave of the GOP would be "pity concession." The "bigger man" theory would hold that it is now the prerogative of the Democratic Party to accept that fact that it is completely dominant--that it can end the impasse with a temporary concession with the confidence that both houses and the presidency will be in democratic control in 13 months. If we kill the opposition, we look evil and one-party governments are inherently evil. If we let them save a modicum of face and continue to exist as a minority party, everyone wins.

Fetch, bitch:

The offer of a "pity concession" is a win-win for democrats. If the Republicans reject it, they look like the intransigent ones. If they accept it, they look weak. The Democrats have nothing to lose and everything to win. The more offensively picayune the concession the better. How about something like putting off the fines for not having insurance under the ACA for six months instead of suspending the whole program? Let them chase their tails over that. A second benefit of the extending the implementation of the fines (which is already over a year away) is that, if there is any part of the Republican narrative to be believed, it is the sloppy roll-out of the exchanges. Accordingly, there is now a principled reason for the Democrats to delay the fines without looking like they have merely given into extortion.

Please remember the following:
(1) I love politics; and
(2) I'm (almost) always right.