This really is an astonishing moment. They’ve ruled out sunsetting the ruinous Bush tax cuts; they’ve balked at a Grand Bargain; they’ve pushed the Democrats to produce a debt-ceiling plan that relies entirely on spending cuts … and they still think they haven’t won and haven’t made their point. And the fracas is only getting worse.
I have every sympathy with the conservative counterrevolutionaries. Their containment of the Obama experiment has been remarkable. But reversal — rollback, in Cold War parlance — is simply not achievable until conservatives receive a mandate to govern from the White House. … Trying to turn a blocking minority into a governing authority — is not just counter-constitutional in spirit but self-destructive in practice.
In this Republican Party, at this moment, if you want to lead the House Republicans, you can’t compromise to get things done. … The problem for Boehner is that the country needs a Speaker of the House of Representatives who compromises to get things done. Even if what’s being compromised is his career.
If the debt ceiling talks fail, independent voters will see that Democrats were willing to compromise but Republicans were not. If responsible Republicans don’t take control, independents will conclude that Republican fanaticism caused this default. They will conclude that Republicans are not fit to govern.