Even Politico can’t spin the GOP’s intransigence in their ‘insiders’ writeup of what happened on the Stupid-Committee. Seeking faux balance, reporters Sherman, Raju and Bresnahan want readers to believe that
fresh stories of bipartisan friendship emerged from this panel
but here are the immediately following examples of bipartisan friendship.
Example One, of Democratic-initiated bipartisan friendship:
Kerry occasionally invited members of the group to dine with him at his Georgetown home, and members would negotiate over Legal Sea Foods and Cosi sandwiches.
Example Two, of an activity presumably to illustrate GOP-initiated bipartisan friendship:
Kyl drew on his 16-plus years in the Senate to counsel Republicans on how to talk to his Senate Democratic colleagues. Kyl said he knew just how Democrats would try to wiggle out of arguments and suggested ways to frame questions and their positions.
Sounds like a senior GOP teaching his junior buddies how to finagle conversations with Democrats. Getting over on framing and positions hardly qualifies as bipartisan friendship. But it shows how the GOP used Democrats’ overtures to their partisan advantage. And this is the first tortured example of how both sides “reached out” to each other, when it’s clear any reaching out by GOPs was to gain partisan advantage while hapless Democrats thought they were making real progress with bipartisan, bicameral bike rides.
The GOP leaders cracked the whip to maintain party unity; the Democrats’ leadership allowed their Stupid-Committee members to wander away from party orthodoxy:
Boehner and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell held frequent meetings to make sure their six GOP negotiators remained united. And they tried to make the case that the absence of White House engagement — combined with an apparent lack of coordination between Reid and Pelosi — ensured that Democrats on the panel were divided on some key issues.
I’m as happy as the next 99%er that the panel “failed:” its mission to crack open the Social Security piggybank and slash Medicare funding was clear from Day One. But when even the most reliable GOP Village pixel-rag can’t provide Stupid-Committee balance between the GOP and Dems to support a narrative that everyone was really nice and tried hard to reach out, you know it was a doomed enterprise from the very start.
Thankfully, the duplicity of the double-crossing GOP may very well have saved America from the negotiation-challenged Democrats’ instincts for a Bad Bargain.