Waiting Until The End
There seems to be the usual angst among some in the media over the weekend at the news that House Republicans haven’t cut a deal yet with the White House. Sure, it’s discouraging to learn that this late in the game the Tea Party crazies are still demanding the defunding of the Affordable Care Act as a condition for any deal on the shutdown and debt ceiling. But from a standard negotiation strategy perspective, nothing will change in this standoff until events reach the point where Boehner has to put something onto the House floor that doesn’t have the support of his full caucus.
If Boehner knows he’s going to have to alienate the Tea Party base with the final vote, and Boehner does know this and knows he’ll need Nancy Pelosi when that time comes, then there’s no reason for Boehner to jump this early. On the off-chance that he can still get something meaningful from the White House, or see if Mitch McConnell can, there’s no incentive for Boehner to act this soon. He might as well wait several more days and see what happens.
The damage to the GOP with the electorate, and to their relationship with Wall Street (and even the Koch brothers) from this wait-and-see approach is now a baked-in the-cake sunk cost; the Tea Party crazies have done serious damage to the GOP as a national party from this point forward. Boehner and Cantor have allowed it to happen and bear the ultimate responsibility for such damage. And with the GOP’s chances to take the Senate now gone for 2014 and 2016 and beyond, national Republicans can look themselves in the mirror at what they cultivated with their crazy base in 2010 and 2012, and what the Frankenstein monster is now doing to the whole party brand.
But as it relates to the current negotiations, no one should draw any conclusions until we get later into the next week. Boehner already knows this will end badly, so why rush to the face-plant now?