Forget Sequester level funding, forget the length of time for a CR, the only compromise worth having is the one that ends hostage taking of the debt ceiling, once and for all!
We all know that negotiating with hostage takers will only lead to more hostage taking. But if the Republican hostage takers cave, does it mean they won't be back? Of course not! They will be back again and again and again, until they get what they want, which is a return to the 19th Century.
Greg Sargent has it right in his Washington Post column, A way out of the crises.
Threatening to not raise the debt ceiling is such a horrific economic weapon, it must never be allowed to be taken hostage again. Democrats have never been, nor will they ever be again, in such a strong bargaining position. To waste such an opportunity on temporary gains, would be the height of irresponsibility. The Democrats are in a position to make huge political gains, and to do something great for our country, by permanently taking away the debt ceiling hostage.
Excerpts from Mr. Sargent's article below the fold.
If Republicans refuse to budge off their insistence on lower spending levels, Dems should call their bluff by demanding a permanent disabling of the debt limit as an extortion tool as part of any short-term compromise.By accepting the lower spending levels in exchange for removing the debt ceiling as a hostage, the Democrats become the reasonable party that is willing to compromise, while the Republicans (who the public is already mad it) becomes the party that is demanding to be allowed to take the debt ceiling hostage again. This concept is so simple, even the public will see it as nothing less than the Republicans demanding their right to be extortionists. This will not be a temporary hit on their polls, it will be permanent.
Such a permanent disabling could be accomplished via the previously-floated McConnell Provision, which would transfer authority over the debt limit to the president, while giving Congress a symbolic way to vote to disapprove of any hikes.
This would be good policy and good politics. It would accomplish Obama’s primary objective: Ending debt limit extortion for good. Dems believe they cannot give anything in exchange for such tactics, because so doing will legitimize them and make more such crises, and with them brinkmanship miscalculation and default, all but inevitable later. Permanently disabling the default threat would help restore some stability.
If Republicans refuse this request, it will be a clarifying moment: It will confirm Republicans are fully intent to use the threat of default as leverage to get what they want in later showdowns. And the refusal to renounce this tactic will become what kills any hopes of a compromise. “If a deal fails on that basis, it becomes clear that Republicans are intent on using this as a weapon of extortion over and over again,” Ornstein tells me. “It changes the agenda in terms of why a deal failed.” Make Republicans defend this position.The next time the Republicans take the debt ceiling hostage, the public may be angry at the Democrats for any number of reasons from Obamacare exchanges, to some scandal, and if the Democrats are forced to negotiate over the debt ceiling again, will we lose a big chunk of Social Security, or Medicare, or national union busting...
Because Tea Party Republicans view the battle against Obamacare as an apocalyptic demographic and ideological struggle to prevent a national alliance of “takers” and their Democratic enablers from transforming the country into something no longer recognizably American, they will continue insisting that GOP leaders keep up the guerrilla resistance by any means necessary — including the threat of default.
The debt ceiling hostage taking is the biggest internal threat to our democracy since the civil war. It fundamentally changes our democracy from majority rule to minority rule, and makes the Democratic party a laughable obstacle on the way to the gilded age.
So phone or email your reps and demand that the only compromise worth having is one that permanently disarms the debt ceiling WMD!