Paul Krugman, who admits he was wrong for misjudging Obama on refusing to negotiate the debt ceiling, admires Obama for playing his cards right. The Republicans have caved in.
And it’s a big deal. Yes, the GOP could come back on the debt ceiling, but that seems unlikely. It could try to make a big deal of the sequester, but that’s a lot more like the fiscal cliff than it is like the debt ceiling: not good, but not potentially catastrophic, and therefore poor terrain for the “we’re crazier than you are” strategy. And while Republicans could shut down the government, my guess is that Democrats would actually be gleeful at that prospect: the PR would be overwhelmingly favorable for Obama, and again, not much risk of blowing up the world.
The key point to remember here is that Obama achieves his main goals simply by surviving. …Paul Krugman, Economics and Politics
A cave is a cave. Frankly, I wish we could brick the exit from the cave and leave the Republicans inside.
Greg Sargent has this from Nancy Pelosi, team member.
“We need a clean debt ceiling increase and a bipartisan and balanced budget that protects Medicare and Social Security, invests in the future, and responsibly reduces the deficit.
“This proposal does not relieve the uncertainty faced by small businesses, the markets and the middle class. This is a gimmick unworthy of the challenges we face and the national debate we should be having. The message from the American people is clear: no games, no default.”
And Sargent adds:
This is getting very, very interesting. Pelosi is leaving the statement deliberately vague. It demands that Republicans go all the way and formally remove the thread of default from the discussions for good. But it isn’t quite conclusive on whether Pelosi could support a clean three month debt ceiling increase in the end. The idea seems to be that by leaving this unclear, it leaves the GOP still twisting in the wind.
A House Dem aide tells me the goal is to put pressure on Boehner to come up with the votes for this himself, at a time when House conservatives may not be willing to support the three month extension, since it amounts to surrender. The other point here is that Pelosi is signaling that if Boehner tries to include any trickery in the three month debt ceiling bill, he’ll have to find the votes for it himself. ...Sargent, WaPo
An interesting coincidence. About the time the new, revitalized, not to say threatening, Obama For America was hitting the headlines again with its new mission, the Republicans caved. Maybe Republicans got a sudden vision of the future. Whatever. The new OFA has become “Organizing for America.” It will make use of the enormously efficient, effective, overwhelming campaign organization that has put Obama in the White House once and then twice — against tough odds.
Jamelle Bouie writes in the Post:
…It’s hard to say if grassroots action will be effective in pushing Congress to move on the president’s agenda. But given the huge infrastructure developed by the Obama campaign — including millions of email addresses and volunteers “tagged by geography and degree of devotion,” as Politico puts it — there’s no excuse for not putting it to further use.
The new OFA could, however, have an impact on Obama’s agenda in another way. The central political problem faced by Democrats is this: How to make the midterm electorate look like the presidential one, rather than the older and whiter electorate of, say, 2010? A large, well-funded grassroots organization, devoted to persuasion and activism, could become the key tool to reactivating 2012 voters, and bringing them to the polls in 2014.
If the primary obstacle to Obama’s policies on guns, immigration, climate change, economic stimulus, taxes and other issues remains GOP control of the House, the organization could conceivably aid in the 2014 push to recapture the Lower Chamber. While that’s a long shot, an effective OFA could conceivably make it somewhat less of a long shot. …WaPo
How about 2016 and beyond? Have we finally got an effective Democratic National Committee standing in the wings, ready to replace its moribund predecessor?