Monday, July 11, 2011


A couple of snapshots of where conventional wisdom is now. First, from a Talking Points Memo reader a couple of hours ago:

Just a quick ground-level view. This morning Diane Rehm had on a couple of DC pundits, including the Cook Political Report guy, and all of them were lamenting the failure to get a deal through because of elements on the extreme left and extreme right that opposed a compromise. At no point did it seem to occur to any of these savvy political brains that only one of the two negotiating parties was refusing to sign on the dotted line -- for a deal much larger than anything they were demanding only a couple of years ago.

At one point, one guest even mentioned Americans For Tax Reform as a group with extreme views on the far right -- while failing to mention that 99% of the GOP caucus had signed an ATR anti-tax pledge. No such phenomenon exists on the left, but to hear the radio show you would never know it. It just sounds like one more he-said-she-said from Capitol Hill....

Then this, from a chat between Cokie Roberts and host Mary Louise Kelly on NPR this morning:

... KELLY: Before we let you go, Cokie, we should say that you are heading out to California later today, where you will be delivering one of the official eulogies for former First Lady Betty Ford. Tell us how you'll be remembering her.

ROBERTS: ... what she wants me to talk about, what she asked me to talk about after she was gone, was how in the olden days when her husband was minority leader of Congress and my father was majority leader of Congress, that Democrats and Republicans were friends, and that they worked together to get things done. And I must say, she asked me she gave me this somewhat daunting assignment five years ago, but it seems incredibly appropriate today and particularly this week as we see what's going on in Washington right now being very different from what was true then.

KELLY: Cokie, thanks so much....

At this point, I think Jim DeMint would have to cane a Democrat on the Senate floor before the Beltway would begin to ask if maybe, just possibly, there was something other than an equal distribution of partisanship and intransigence in D.C. right now. And I'm not even sure that would do it.

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