Today I posted my first commentary on Politico.com’s Arena page. I’m delighted to have been asked to be a panelist in this rousing and sometimes rowdy political conversation on the hottest topics of the day. The folks at Politico send us questions and panelists can answer or not depending on interest or expertise. The questions are always stimulating, and on days when I respond I’ll be sure to share them with you here on Heartfeldt. But I hope you’ll join me in checking the Arena out every day because it always gets the political junkie juices going.
And it goes without saying that I want to hear from you–feel free to comment here at Heartfeldt on the Politico question of the day whether you think my response was right on or harebrained.
Today’s question: Congressional Republicans, led by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (Va.), have pulled out of debt-reduction talks with the White House and are demanding that President Obama meet directly with GOP leaders to resolve an impasse over taxes. Republicans said negotiations led by Vice President Biden had ceased making headway.
At this point will House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) be able to make a deal with the White House and Senate Democrats without ticking off his base? And does Cantor’s walk-out give the GOP the upper hand in negotiations?
My response: The Cantor, Kyl, and crew hardline of “no new taxes” cuts the Republicans’ noses to spite their faces. They know full well there will have to be increased revenue as well as decreased spending. And they have no other solutions to offer. They want the Democrats to wear the “tax & spend” albatross, but Cantor has hung the biggest encumbrance around Boehner’s neck.
NPR had cuts of Cantor talking over the last few days and at first, he was all upbeat. By yesterday’s comments, he sounded completely beaten. I doubt that Cantor’s theatrics represent a permanent walking away from the very table the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party worked so hard to get a seat at, however. It’s just a dramatic way to buy time while trying to extract additional pounds of flesh from the American economy already tilted toward the wealthiest few.