“Why won’t you compromise on our refusal to compromise?!” – House Republicans
That’s gonna leave a mark
So, this is hilarious. After five years of Republicans refusing to compromise on just about everything and doing all they could to impede any initiatives President Obama put forward, including their own, we get these sorts of comments from GOP leadership regarding his refusal to voluntarily repeal his signature legislative achievement:
It’s time for President Obama to rise above stubborn partisanship
— House Majority Leader Eric Cantor
Grandstanding from the president, who refuses to even be a part of the process, won’t bring Congress any closer to a resolution.
— House Speaker John Boehner
His position — I mean, you’ve seen multiple compromises from the Republicans, and you’ve seen zero — I mean, can you tell me any movement the Democrats have had whatsoever…?
— Texas Senator Ted Cruz
Why won’t the president negotiate and come to a compromise..?
— Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
WHAT IS IT ABOUT MY 43 OBAMACARE REPEALS THAT MAKES YOU THINK I'M NOT INTERESTED IN COMPROMISING? #TCOT
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) September 29, 2013
It’s arguable that we are where we are today, in part, because of previous concessions President Obama made in the past when the Republicans took the country hostage with threats to shut down the government, cut off unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed, and a host of other issues. They’ve become emboldened to the point that they think they will prevail again this time.
Fortunately, we now have a president willing to say this:
President Obama: "I won’t negotiate on anything when it comes to the full faith and credit of the United States of America." #EnoughAlready
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 26, 2013
And, while President Obama is publicly stating he won’t negotiate with political terrorists, behind the scenes, the true bulldog on this is Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
When the president considered sitting down with the four congressional leaders in the White House ahead of the deadline to avert a government shutdown, Reid privately urged Obama to call off the meeting, according to several people familiar with the situation. Reid believed that it would amount to nothing more than a photo-op that would give the false impression that a serious negotiation was occurring, even warning he wouldn’t attend such a session. Obama scrapped it.
Given their hostage-taking behavior, it’s no wonder that a majority of the country believes that the Republicans are acting like “spoiled children”:
Knowing that they will get the lion’s share of the blame when the government shuts down, Republicans have changed tactics and are now spreading the meme far and wide that a shutdown would be the fault of President Obama and the Democrats. It won’t work, of course. Americans may not spend their entire lives paying attention to the antics of Congress but they surely know how we came to this and it’s not because President Obama didn’t try to work with the obstructionist Republicans.
Watching someone punch themself in the face isn’t something you see every day and it can be quite entertaining. If they weren’t risking the economy and inflicting unnecessary hardship on others, it would almost be funny. Sadly, they are and it’s not.
One final point: the idea that Democrats are ignoring the will of the people is ludicrous. Roger Simon at Politico spells it out perfectly:
Except Congress passed Obamacare, the president signed it, the Supreme Court upheld it, Obama campaigned on it a second time and was reelected. So in what manner was the will of the people disregarded?
In what manner, indeed?
If only we could have had an election or something to see if Mitt Romney's agenda should be implemented.
— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) September 26, 2013
UPDATE: As Senators Barbara Boxer and Debbie Stabenow accurately point out, the government spending bill that is under discussion already does represent a compromise on the part of Democrats because it continues the sequestration cuts that they want to end since the cuts are harming the economy and inflicting unnecessary hardship on our citizens.
Senate Democrats dismissed calls from House Republicans to compromise on Obamacare as part of the government spending bill, saying that Democrats had already compromised by agreeing to maintain sequestration.
“It’s the numbers they want,” Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) told reporters Monday. “We are taking their numbers. We’re not happy about that. We’re willing to compromise and take their numbers.”
“What we will send back is already a compromise,” Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) said moments later. “It continues cuts in every part of the budget that frankly we want to fix and replace to be able to restore critical investments, but we are willing to compromise.”