Friday, October 11, 2013

The Beginning of the End

Here we are. It's Day 11. And still, we're stuck in this G-O-TEA Shutdown Sh*tfest. When will it ever end?

Perhaps soon. Last night, a few Republicans finally signaled willingness to prevent Armageddon. And today, a handful of Republicans have even begun to take responsibility for their misguided actions. Hey, at least it's a start.

And of course, Republicans are now starting to sound somewhat realistic because they're seeing their atrocious poll numbers. They were flabbergasted by the record low they hit in yesterday's NBC-Wall Street Journal poll, and they're shell-shocked by today's batch of Democratic and Republican polls showing similarly awful numbers.

As we've been saying here all week, Republicans have set themselves up to pay the ultimate price for their destructive behavior. That's why they're now scrambling as President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) continue offering them a way out.

"Cooler heads have prevailed, and Republicans have admitted a clean bill to avoid default should be the standard," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Friday. "However ... they're talking about extending the debt ceiling for two months or six weeks -- please. We do not believe a six-week delay of a catastrophic default is enough time to give the economy the confidence it needs."

The two parties are subtly moving closer to agreement. GOP leaders have all but abandoned their Obamacare demands and now simply want Obama to negotiate -- over something, although it's not clear what. The White House meetings, which took place Thursday with House Republicans and are scheduled to take place Friday afternoon with Senate Republicans, provide face-saving mechanisms to both the GOP (who can say Obama negotiated) and for Obama (who can say he didn't concede anything).

Right now, House Republican "leaders" are trying to "save face". Yet while they're worrying about the political optics, many Americans are worrying about how they're supposed to pay the bills and buy groceries. This is why so many Americans are now so furious with the G-O-TEA faction in Congress.

So surprise, surprise, a number of Senate Republicans are suddenly interested in preventing Armageddon.

Though some senators said that any plan they put forth would also need to pass muster in the Republican-controlled House, Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, was eager for the Senate to take the lead in negotiating with Mr. Obama on reopening the government.

“House Republicans so far don’t want to get rid of the shutdown, and I don’t know in what world we’re faring well in the shutdown in terms of policy or politics, so in that sense, yeah, I’d rather have the Senate,” he said.

Well, at least some Senate Republicans are starting to see the light. Senator Dean Heller (R-Why?), on the other hand, is still pushing ridiculous gimmicks. I guess someone's still partying like it's 2012!

Yet while Senator Heller celebrates another chance to remind everyone that he's indeed a US Senator (who won with 46% of the vote last year), his Senate colleagues seem to be preparing to end this pointless Shutdown Sh*tfest once and for all. We don't really know what it accomplished (other than unnecessary economic pain and increased Democratic fortunes for 2014), but we can at least feel a little better about it coming to an end some time in the foreseeable future.

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