Reliving The Nightmare: The Washington Post Revisits The Grand Bargain


Elias Isquith

Elias Isquith is a freelance journalist and blogger. He considers Bob Dylan and Walter Sobchak to be the two great Jewish thinkers of our time; he thinks Kafka was half-right when he said there was hope, "but not for us"; and he can be reached through the twitter via @eliasisquith or via email. The opinions he expresses on the blog and throughout the interwebs are exclusively his own.

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6 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Welcome back, E-Man.Report

  2. Avatar North says:

    Indeed welcome back; even if it means revisiting this particularily messy subject.Report

  3. Avatar BlaiseP says:

    As I remember that dreadful summer, Obama had long since abandoned any semblance of bipartisanship.   The 2010 elections revealed America was in the grip of yet another fugue of partisan paranoia.

    The GOP’s numerical superiority in the House was an illusion:  the Tea Party’s sudden rise had come at the cost of party unity.  These newly-minted Congresscritters were in no mood for compromise nor were they going to take any direction from GOP party leadership.   Gone were the Blue Dogs, the nemesis of Bill Clinton:  2010 sealed their fate.

    Obama played his hand rather better than WaPo would have it.   The old truism of “You can only make peace with the real enemy” was never truer than in those fateful budget negotiations.    If bipartisanship had failed with the various commissions, those commissions had lacked the mandate only power can provide.    The power brokers had been kicking the political can down the road for at least a decade, allowing this crisis and that political reality to define the course of the ship of state.

    Neither side had any real advantage.   Boehner had no mandate:  the Tea Party made sure he didn’t.   That’s why Eric Cantor was over there at 1600 Pennsylvania and not just Boehner.   Obama knew it.   The authors of that WaPo article seem to feel Obama didn’t know how to play a hand of bridge.   He did, and knew who was holding trumps:  he was, not Boehner.