Enjoyed Tomasky’s take on the fact that Obama has finally figured out how to negotiate. Tomasky prefers portions of bread metaphors, whereas I still think you can’t beat yardlines on a football field, but he gets the job done:
That is: If the White House had instead yesterday offered a modest set of specific entitlement cuts and domestic spending cuts, that would have started the negotiations on GOP turf, since those are the two things the GOP wants. This of course is exactly what Obama used to do: As in last year’s debt negotiations, he started by offering the Republicans half a loaf, and the compromise ended up at 75 or 80 percent of the GOP loaf, and Obama looked weak and his voters were terribly dispirited. it took months for him and them to recover.
Exactly. As Ezra put it, Obama is finally no longer trying to negotiate with himself. It’s honestly amusing how much this annoys the Republicans. “What happened to the Old Obama we could just roll over without trying to offer any meaningful compromise on our own?” There’s so used to this that even the generally level-headed David Brooks was aghast at Obama offering up as an opening gambit in the negotiations the policies he actually wanted, rather than what the Republicans in Congress wanted.
We’re all still anxiously waiting for the Republicans to actually let us know how they plan to cut government spending. Oh, Republicans are all for cutting spending when it’s nice and abstract and things like “foreign aid” and “waste, fraud, and abuse” but when it comes to suggesting actual detailed proposals to reduce Social Security and Medicare spending, they seem to have grown oddly quiet. That is, except for when they are yelling that Obama is not proposing any such cuts.