Monday, February 21, 2011


Republicans would probably have a much easier time convincing the country that their goal is not to shut the government down if they had, as Chuck Schumer said yesterday, actually taken the option off the table a month ago when asked.

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York criticized Republican demands to cut spending in a short-term spending resolution that would continue funding the government while negotiations persist on a longer-term plan.

Appearing Sunday on CNN's "State of the Union," Schumer said compromise is necessary to avoid a government shutdown that will be bad for everyone.

"Here's the bottom line: we have said shutdown is off the table," Schumer said. "Speaker (John) Boehner, (Senate Minority Leader) Mitch McConnell, other Republican leaders have not taken it off the table when asked and there are lots of people on the hard right clamoring for a shutdown."  

Of course, they would also have a much easier time convincing the country that they don't want to shut down the government if, you know, they didn't want to actually shut down the government.  And passing a spending bill that cuts $61 billion from this year's budget and would cost thousands of jobs isn't exactly convincing people that the Republicans are even interested in compromise.  Wisely, Democrats are saying that they're ready to negotiate.

With 12 days left, the clock is ticking.  It seems pretty clear to me that there's a large percentage of House Republicans that are willing to turn John "Orange Julius" Boehner into Newt "Back of Air Force One" Gingrich.  I used to think that the GOP leadership would have gotten their house in order.  But the inmates are truly running this asylum now.

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