LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I THINK WE HAVE A NARRATIVE, AND GUESS WHAT? IT'S "EXTREMISTS ON BOTH SIDES"
Here it comes: even more so than before, we're about to see the debt crisis blamed on "extremists on both sides." Talking Points Memo reports:
President Obama's quest to reach a historic budget agreement with House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) fell into deep doubt Thursday, after a noisy rebellion by Senate Democrats over reports that Obama might hand Republicans the farm on discretionary and entitlement spending, with few or no guarantees that the GOP will accept any new tax revenues.
If the initial leak was meant to serve as a trial balloon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) shot it out of the sky the same day.... And the administration, clearly in damage control mode, summoned Democratic leaders up Pennsylvania Ave late in the day to clear the air, nurse wounds, and lay out a possible framework for a grand bargain to the skeptical crowd.
By multiple accounts, Democrats left Thursday's White House meeting unhappy....
Yup, it's over. Message: both sides did this -- Republicans because they actively threatened to blow up the entire economic system if they didn't get 100% of a demand completely extraneous to the issue of the debt ceiling, Democrats because they responded to that threat by saying, "Please, may we have 1% of what we want?" Yup -- equal responsibility. The David Brooks column will write themselves.