Posts Tagged ‘negotiations

27
Jul
11

‘get over it: this is who obama is’

James Warren (The Atlantic): From his community organizing days to the Illinois State Senate, Barack Obama has always put pragmatic deal-making above ideology, even when it angered allies

As President Obama is pilloried by the left, including by bloggers and editorial writers, for supposedly selling them out during debt ceiling negotiations, a reality check is desperately needed.

Get over it, guys and gals, and remember whom you’re fuming over: a deal-making community organizer.

Recognize this man? In a showdown with ideological enemies, he fashioned compromises which made some Democratic allies apoplectic. Republicans weren’t happy, either, with what he wrought but grudgingly realized there were few alternatives.

Throughout he exhibited a preternatural calm, always seeking some common ground among disparate interests as if compromise was a goal in and of itself, not any diminution of principle as some Democrats thought.

Yes, that’s our president, the man at the center of the improbable Debt Debate of 2011. But it was also State Senator Barack Obama a decade ago. The equally rancorous issue back then was the death penalty and the setting was the Illinois legislature. Not much about him has changed.

“His ideological inclinations are liberal but, as far as being a politician, he’s about getting things done. He was always pragmatic and about getting things done,” said Peter Baroni, a Republican attorney-law professor-lobbyist in Chicago who had a bird’s eye view of Obama while serving as legal counsel to Republicans in the Illinois Senate and to its Judiciary Committee.

Full article here

Thanks Loriah

11
Jul
11

monday

Live here

Steve Benen: … let’s note two broader truths. The first is that Republicans don’t really give a damn about debt reduction. They care about taxes and shielding the wealthy from having to pay a little more. The parties, then, are talking past one another — Dems think they’re involved in a good-faith effort to reduce the budget shortfall with a sensible, balanced approach to bring the budget closer to balance. Republicans think they’re involved in an effort to cut spending — not because of the deficit, but because it’s what they like to do anyway — and protect tax giveaways.

… The second is that Republicans, as is their new nature, simply can’t bring themselves to even consider compromise. Americans elected a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and a Republican House. Given these circumstances, GOP leaders are absolutely convinced that the only fair resolution is that Republicans get everything they want, and Dems simply go along. And if Dems balk, Republicans will crash the economy on purpose.

It’s nothing short of insane.

Talks will resume today, and are scheduled to continue, literally every day, until there’s an agreement.

Full post here

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Jonathan Cohn (TNR): Does anything matter to Republicans more than protecting tax cuts for the very wealthy? Developments of the last 18 hours suggest very strongly that the answer is no.

… Such a large deal would have required Republicans to agree to new revenue, in some form. And at least some of that money would have come from higher taxes (in terms of total collections, if not rates) on the very wealthy. Boehner hinted that might be acceptable, as part of a compromise….

But other Republican leaders, like Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and certain conservative agitators, like the writers of the Wall Street Journal editorial page, made very clear they disagreed. No matter how big the Democratic concessions, no matter how risky the prospect of postponing a deal on the debt ceiling, they were not willing to embrace a package that meant higher taxes, particularly taxes on the wealthy. And according to reports in this morning’s papers, those voices finally prevailed.

…. as the skeptics, like my colleague Jonathan Chait, were predicting all along, Boehner isn’t really in charge of the House Republican caucus. The lunatics are. And it looks like they’ve won.

Full post here

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Ezra Klein: The more I hear about the breakdown of the debt deal, the more this seems to have been a straightforward humbling of John Boehner. Here’s how a Democratic aide described the talks to Politico’s Mike Allen:

A number of folks in the room were struck by the fact that Cantor did virtually all of the talking for House Republicans, while Boehner basically just sat there.

Think that’s just Democratic spin? Here’s how a top Republican lawmaker described it to John Bresnahan, Jonathan Allen and Jake Sherman:

“It’s crazy to think the speaker was considering a trillion [dollars] in tax increases. After all, we’re the anti-tax party,” said one veteran Republican lawmaker close to leadership. “Cantor brought him, the economy and our party back from the abyss. Cantor is strengthened, clearly. And it’s another example of the speaker almost slipping beyond the will of the GOP conference.”

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Political Carnival

Thanks desertflower

09
Apr
11

behind the scenes

CNN: … The White House was feeling optimistic that it was on the verge of a deal Thursday night. John Boehner and Harry Reid left the Oval Office meeting, “there was kind of an agreement on a range and agreement on the kind of composition,” said one of five officials who briefed reporters.

But by three or four o’clock in the morning Friday, the officials described a breakdown … “There was a higher number,” said one official, “north of $80 billion dollars. There was also renewed talk about family planning.

As sharp verbal punches were thrown throughout the day on Capitol Hill, the White House kept silent. The president never made any public statements and spokesman Jay Carney never held his daily briefing. That was not by accident…

It was a “directive from him [president],” one official said. The idea was to stay out of sight, avoid finger pointing, and allow negotiators to work out a compromise.

…”Every time the process seemed to get bogged down the president picked up the phone and made clear that we had a responsibility to the American people…that we shouldn’t play politics. He did not want this to become a family planning bill he wanted it to be a spending bill”…

…on Friday the president spoke by phone with House Speaker Boehner four times. He also spoke with Senate majority leader Reid “multiple times”…

During one of the Oval Office meeting this week, one of the officials described how the president went through every controversial rider that Republicans wanted …In describing the tone of these meetings one official said “at no point did the discussions in the room get personal”. The president never scolded Boehner for public comments that appeared to contradict what was being discussed in private negotiations….

Neither side wanted a government shutdown, but the president wasn’t willing to give ground on allowing the controversial family planning rider to be part of the deal. “…we just were not going to move on this”…

….So what forced the deal? “The clock probably played the most important factor,” said one of the officials. With the clock winding down Rob Nabors, the President’s Legislative Affairs Director, was on the Hill, kept the White House informed throughout the negotiation process and signaled that a deal had been reached. It was White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley who informed the president around 10:30pm.

Full article here




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