As Republicans offer up any number of dirty bombs hidden in their “bipartisan” one finger salute, it only highlights the fact that they have not offered one single thing that Democrats have on their agenda.
Republicans offer to end their sequestration. They offer to end their hostage taking of the government. They offer to end holding the debt ceiling ransom.
None of these “offers” is a Democratic goody. In exchange for Republicans dropping a few loaded guns, Democrats get to enact more Republican fiscal ideology — ideology that Republicans couldn’t even make work when they tried. Republicans have not offered one single thing that Democrats want, like passage of Obama’s jobs bills or money for infrastructure (perhaps an easier sell for Senate Republicans).
After this tug of war, the country will end up operating more to the right than what they voted for. That’s the cleverness of Republican pushiness. They keep waging war on sanity, and in the fight, Democrats end up accepting their promise to stop bombing the country in exchange for Democrats giving them more power. This is the usual scenario in an abusive relationship. The abuser blames the victim for his/her own actions and then demands concessions in order to stop abusing — The big promise that never happens.
It’s not as if Republicans are winning this argument. They left marks on their victims this time, and the entire country can see them. It’s no longer “he said/she said”.
In fact, Republicans are only negating their own ideology that government is evil and should be strangled. One of the ways the Republican shutdown of the government is backfiring is that people are already beginning to appreciate government. I warned Republicans about this when they started this jihad against reality to no avail. When you take away something you’ve been demonizing, people have a chance to see that it’s not really the evil thing your party claims it is.
People actually like having public services, they want their neighbors to be taken care of, they want our disabled veterans to be taken care of, they don’t want children to starving and going without medical care. Yes, Americans actually like government, they just didn’t know it. And they also like ObamaCare more than they did before the shutdown. Thanks, Republicans.
The longer that this goes on, the more the public will get an even bigger idea of the good things government does.
It’s not enough that Republicans cease aggression against this country. That is not a “give” to Democrats — that is a give to the country. Republicans are like a dry drunk offering to stay sober if you pay them. Staying sober is their responsibility and problem, not Democrats’ and certainly not the country’s.
Republicans need to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps and offer something real or they aren’t really negotiating at all.
Democrats need to hold tight and refuse to negotiate over ransoms. They need to get something from their agenda or it’s not a negotiation. And again, when budget conference comes — if Republicans ever have the nerve to come to reconciliation without a gun — Democrats should wait until they get something on their agenda. Voters elected Democrats because of their agenda.
We deserve a jobs bill. We deserve an end to damaging Republican austerity. It’s what we voted for.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.