There has been movement in Washington, but a deal has yet to be reached. Yesterday Obama met with a handful of House Republicans in a discussion that has been described by some as “constructive,” “useful” and “productive.”
Republicans came to the table with an offer of a short-term debt ceiling increase. According to Speaker John Boehner, the proposal is to temporarily extend the debt limit, formally appoint budget negotiators, and begin immediate discussions over how to end the partial government shutdown. Did the president accept this offer? Of course not. But whether or not he flat-out rejected the offer or simply wasn't opposed to the offer depends on who you ask. So now the question becomes, where in the middle might they meet?
These talks come well over a week into this partial government shutdown. Republicans had been told for quite some time that there would be no negotiations. None. It was an untenable position that didn't make sense to me. But that was when Democrats likely assumed that the GOP would cave. I would bet that the administration and Democrats are surprised that the GOP has not buckled on this. They didn't think the GOP would call their bluff. But here we are and it feels as though GOP resolve may be stronger than ever. While many were reluctantly pushed to this point, the public's reaction seems to suggest that this wasn't the all-out catastrophe for the Republicans that the media was warning. Having made it over that hump, now the GOP can dig in a negotiate with their interests and principles in mind.
I want to point out that the real reason the GOP is even at this point is because of you. You, conservatives and the American people, spoke out against those who seemed unwilling to fight in Washington. You made a difference by calling switchboards and attending townhall meetings. Between Syria and now ObamaCare, it is clear that the American people have politicians in Washington on their heels. It's about time!
A new NBC poll finds that a majority of Americans believe Obama is putting his own political agenda ahead of what's good for the country. I would agree. Obama doesn't seem to be standing on principle so much as seems to be for hurting Republicans politically and imposing his terrible healthcare on a nation that doesn't want it. In general, there seems to be a general “throw out the bums” mentality directed at all of Washington. This includes Republicans. We will see how this effects the 2014 elections – that's still a long ways away in politics – but there is no doubt that this non-negotiable shutdown hasn't played out the way the Democrats thought it would. Meanwhile, Republicans are energizing their conservative base by standing firm on their principles. That is, of course, unless they cave.