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.