A Breakdown Of Who Wants What In The "Grand Bargain... Or Bust" Soap Opera

Tyler Durden's picture

Still don't have your playbill for the latest installment of beltway Kabuki? Confused by what each actor's motivations are in the "great compromise" farce? Here is The Hill with a summary of who wants what so that the race for this year's Nobel prize in most dramatic on screen teleprompted performance is no longer confusing to anyone, especially since the Treasury Secretary is applying for the Nobel prize for most clueless assorter hanger on, with his "we have no Plan B" approach to worst case contingencies.


Obama wants a grand bargain. But even as he
reiterated this preference at a White House news conference Friday, he
noted that the fallback option offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch
McConnell (R-Ky.) could be a “constructive” way “to at least avert

If the McConnell proposal forms the basis for an
eventual deal, Obama may emerge from the negotiations relatively
unscathed, at least in the short term.

He seemed to be in a weaker
position than Republican leaders just weeks or even days ago. But as
the possibility of default loomed and the president increasingly used
his bully pulpit to cast himself as a reasonable leader frustrated by
Republican intransigence, the ground shifted in his favor.

was the soil in which the McConnell plan germinated. Obama may
ultimately grab it, albeit in the knowledge that shouldering full
responsibility for debt-ceiling increases carries electoral peril next



McConnell’s initial announcement of his plan had all the buoyancy of a lead balloon among the conservative grassroots.

are still unappeased but the idea has unquestionably gained traction —
not least because of the lack of viable alternatives as the deadline
One of the major questions is how much — or, rather, how
little — Republican support it is likely to attract in the House.
Significant Democratic support will almost certainly be needed to keep
it alive.

Even if the plan fails, however, McConnell has
solidified his reputation with all but the most strident of his Senate
colleagues. Many GOP members in the upper chamber are deeply unhappy
with what they see as the cavalier approach of their House colleagues.



Speaker’s standing was diminished when he first seemed to clamber on
board Obama’s “grand bargain” train, and then had to disembark in the
face of opposition from within his own conference. He has also had to
contend with Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) becoming the public
face and voice of House conservatives during negotiations.

Boehner will have to play at the top of his game as negotiations move
toward a conclusion. Another stumble could raise serious questions about
his leadership.

But the Speaker has not survived this long
on Capitol Hill without versatile political skills. In particular, his
willingness to let Cantor move to center stage may rebound to his
advantage, especially as his rival ponders whether to back a deal that
will almost certainly involve painful concessions.



has been more forceful than either President Obama or her House
colleague and sometime rival Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) in
defending social programs beloved by Democrats.

accounts paint her as more willing to compromise behind the scenes,
however, so long as Republicans have to share the pain, too. (“A pimple
on your nose is different than a pimple on an elephant’s ass,” was how
she put it during one meeting, according to the Wall Street Journal.)

meanwhile, has done what Reid does: work behind the scenes on the
details of a deal (some modified version of the McConnell plan), while
throwing barbs across the aisle, as when he called Cantor “childish” and
said that he “shouldn’t be at the table.”



good news for Cantor: he has upped his national profile and enhanced
his standing with his conservative colleagues by playing such an
assertive role.

The bad news: he faces some challenging days ahead, whatever way things play out.

he chooses not to accept a deal, Democrats will redouble their efforts
to portray him as the poster boy of Republican inflexibility.

There is also still doubt about what Cantor would accept, short of the conservative ideal. No one seems to know.

assaults on Cantor, including from Reid, may burnish his status, both
within the party and with grassroots supporters beyond the Beltway.



Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform seems more amenable to a McConnell compromise than might have been expected.

“I think there is an argument for a back-up,” Norquist told The Hill. “I like [McConnell’s] approach.”

Norquist added: “Look, there is going to be an election in 2012. We don’t have to change the world between now and 2012.”

an organization closely associated with the Tea Party was, perhaps
predictably, more scathing of the McConnell plan and of the overall

“We denounced the McConnell plan when the ink was still
wet,” Dean Clancy, the group’s legislative counsel, told The Hill

“The White House talks are a sham because the president
is not really interested in a deal,” he said. “We think he wants a
government crisis that he can blame on Republicans.”



On the left, disappointment with Obama now wears only the thinnest of veils.

Silvers, policy director at the AFL-CIO, told The Hill that “our
members are looking for leaders who care about the things that matter to

Asked whether they were finding such leaders, Silvers laughed wryly and said, “Every day is a new day.”

Richtman of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and
Medicare told The Hill that his organization’s “level of concern was
elevated dramatically when the White House raised Social Security as
being part of a grand bargain.”

Many liberals were actually
relieved when the idea of a grand bargain was capsized by Republican
opposition. But the fluidity of the negotiations continues to cause

“If I’m optimistic now, I might be pessimistic in 10 minutes’ time,” Richtman said.

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BlackholeDivestment's picture

...just heard, Tiny Tim got eaten by Egan.

depression's picture

Extend & Pretend

Eat that Bitchezzz !!!

Clueless Economist's picture

That clown Cramer on MNBS this AM crowed about what a great treasury secretary Geither is and that there are about 95 Tea Party members of congress that are idiots when they insult him.  He said these people have no understanding of the treasury and are clueless about how wonderful Geithner is. 

SmoothCoolSmoke's picture

Cramer is talking his book as usual.  He's long and he know "no deal", stocks swoon.

Kudlow's the same way for the past 2 weeks.  Potential stock swoon way more costly than tax inceases for his buddies.

lolmao500's picture

If they really were honest, they would pass a one month extension bill... and continue with their balanced budget amendment, 18% of GDP in government spending and 800 billion in cuts NEXT YEAR till they get it... screw whoever opposes it.

Don't budge, just submit this bill, again and again, change the title every time it fails the senate vote... reintroduce it again and again and pass it in the house again and again till it passes.

In other news, 111h22 till July 23.

equity_momo's picture

Fuck the lot of them. Muppets.

jimijon's picture

Eric Cantor profited from his airline shorts right before 9/11 very handsomely.


just saying.

oogs66's picture

can't they just end it?

Jim B's picture

It's all Bullshit.....  The Rs will be caving anytime now.....  

LaLiLuLeLo's picture

I hope they pass gas. This fiat vampire will meet it's maker...gold

PaperBugsBurn's picture

I agree. This is all cheap theatrics. The economy is dead. Forty years of neoliberal globalization has done its work well. Perpetual QE will not be tolerated. The euro banksters are being actively wooed by BRICS. It's the world against the dollar.


Golden nukes (and otherwise too, probably) will be deployed.

earnulf's picture

Why actually do anything constructive when you can just kick it down the road, paper it over or bail it out?

Once people wake up and realize it's all a grand cluster, it doesn't matter how far you've kicked it down the road, only how far away you can get from the folks with the pitchforks and hot tar.

lolmao500's picture

And more BS from Obama :

President Barack Obama says America does not need a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and he once again blamed much of the fiscal problem on Bush-era tax cuts. “We don’t need a constitutional amendment to do our jobs,” Obama told reporters at his Friday news conference. “The Constitution already tells us to do our jobs -- and to make sure that the government is living within its means and making responsible choices.”

What a comedian!

XitSam's picture

Obama wants a grand agreement to get past Nov 2012. If he wins, he won't care about anything except golf. If he loses, Republicans get all the blame.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

OK, I get that politicians in general are lying sacks of shit.

But if someone invented a cyborg designed from the ground up to be the perfect lying sack of shit, that cyborg still wouldn't be as big of a lying sack of shit as Obama.

caerus's picture

an acceptance by the president of the "responsibility" for a debt ceiling increase would imo be an unwise ceding of power to the executive branch...it's looking more and more likely, however since congress seems unwilling, as usual, to make the tough decisions

SheepDog-One's picture

Gold is making their decision for them ahead of time! Daring them to print more Fiatsco's.

PaperBugsBurn's picture

Yep... anybody who really understands what's going on knows this is war.


Golden nukes against the juden-fetzen, illuminati dollar, bitches!!

rwe2late's picture


"unwise", but nevertheless the declaration has not been ruled out.


A possible (plausible?) scenario:

Obama declares authority to raise the debt limit as an "emergency" measure to avoid economic calamity.

Congress (mostly Republicans) will then attempt to pass a measure disallowing Obama's executive action. Even if they are able to pass that measure through Congress, they will be unable to over-ride a presidential veto.

It's a win-win for the politicians. Obama gathers more executive power, and gets to claim he saved the nation from disaster. Republicans get to claim they voted against incurring more debt, and against big government "tyranny".

Then on to the next political theater, where both plutocrat parties can dance around some meme like "supporting the troops" as the rationale for continuing the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and escalating the conflicts in Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen, and maybe even Syria-Iran.

tim73's picture


snowball777's picture

...he said, cowering behind a US missile shield.


Gordon Freeman's picture

Joe Kernan just wondered if "maybe Americans have already come too far" in their quest for austerity and fiscal prudence...

You can't make this stuff up.

SheepDog-One's picture

Bunch of hobos arguin over who gets stuck paying the dinner bill. 

john_connor's picture

He seemed to be in a weaker position than Republican leaders just weeks or even days ago. But as the possibility of default loomed and the president increasingly used his bully pulpit to cast himself as a reasonable leader frustrated by Republican intransigence, the ground shifted in his favor.

Is this the opinion of the "The Hill", or even worse, is it based on the inexact science of polling a small non-representative sample size.

SheepDog-One's picture

No this is more like the drama that goes on backstage in between fights at the WWE show.

buzzsaw99's picture

moody's wants the ceiling raised which means the banks want it raised which means it will happen. give the pugs a fig leaf and more business as usual bitchez.

i-dog's picture

My money's still on a Sept/Oct "surprise" for Syria. They announced the mobilisation to the troops a month or so ago.

NoClueSneaker's picture

You win ...  two slices ( Syria + Lebanon ), b4 swallowing the whole pie ...

THE DORK OF CORK's picture

Yee guys are giving yourselfs the worlds reserve asset every time you raise your debt limit.

Why would you want to stop such a arangement ?

Europe is at the sharp end of this imperial tax as the banks take those new dollars and speculate on Euro debt , commodities etc.

All of our base belongs to you.

Italy vs US: playing a different game

SWRichmond's picture

[Obama] noted that the fallback option offered by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) could be a “constructive” way “to at least avert Armageddon.”

Remove "Armageddon" and insert "Reality."

SheepDog-One's picture

Yea, who are they actually fooling anymore?

Oh regional Indian's picture

SWR, equally important is th efact that he is calling it Armageddon.

That is social engineering.

Sky will fall if ceiling is not raised.

Remember remember 08 September!


Bob's picture

This article severely understates the ire of "progressives" for Obama.  I don't spend much time in any online echo chambers, but I've seen threads a thousand comments long in which 99% of the posts were bitter oaths to never support or vote for Barry again, regardless of how the current drama plays out.  Virtually everyone on the "far left" sees him as a neo-con Trojan Horse.

SheepDog-One's picture

Gee, only took em 3 years to see the obvious.

Bob's picture

You gotta admit that it has become "progressively" more obvious over time.  And, that said, it seems reasonable to give them credit for being willing to change their opinions--there's far too little of that in the world today, imo. 

SheepDog-One's picture

When they finally are forced to face reality that the gig is over and theyre cornered, then it gets real dangerous for us.

Bob's picture

Indeed.  I would hope for real liberals, conservatives and libertarians to set aside their differences and move together on critical issues of major agreement such as defense spending, "Homeland Security," personal liberty, government transparency, rule of law, etc .  

Unfortunately, in addition to our own ignorant biases, the entrenched dog and pony system makes this highly unlikely. 

Oh regional Indian's picture

I remember telling my ex, who was in Paris at the time of his election what I knew of him. She was deeply offended.

Then, back in 08, a group of American Students were visiting th euniversity where I had my company (incubator). I told them a little about Omama. They hated me after that and never spoke to me again. :-) Those of us who knew, knew a long time ago.


Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Friends and acquaintances of mine who are otherwise extremely intelligent are STILL in the tank for Obama-- even though it is obvious to anyone who bothers to look that Obama combines the worst elements of both Bush2 and Clinton.

I would be in utter disbelief except that I was once plugged into the liberal matrix myself-- a card-carrying "Clinton Democrat". It wasn't until a few years after Clinton left office that I had my awakening. Clinton now appears to me as he is, a vile prestidigitator completely lacking any moral center.

As skilled an illusionist as Clinton was, Obama is even better. I fear for the soul of my country, and my countrymen.

SilverDosed's picture

You said it well, as skilled as slick willy was he pales in comparison to the sleight of mind tricks that Obama has mastered.

Oh regional Indian's picture

BB, like all else, even the leader"ship" is evolving. The proles have a lot at stake and no power except outright anarchy to change course.

Palin/Schwazzeneger(sp) 2012.

Count on it. Right alongside King Will I Am!



Buckaroo Banzai's picture

Palin doesn't stand a chance against Obama, Obama is the PTB's boy, the Manchurian Candidate. He will be selected to a second term even if it requires massive voter fraud (which it most likely will). Maybe there is someone on the republican side who is being groomed to take over if Obama fails to carry the PTB water, but if there is, it sure isn't Palin.

Schwarzenneger needs a Constitutional Amendment to get on the ticket, which won't happen.

i-dog's picture

I beg to differ, ORI. My prediction is that there will be no 2012 election...just an election campaign, followed by an "Oops, sorry folks, but the freedom-hating terr'rists are simply everywhere so we're declaring a state of emergency and martial law to save your freedoms. Stay indoors and all hail Emperor Obomber!"