So, after acting like total jackasses for the last year and a half, the House Republicans are returning to town, and having a party caucus (no Democrats invited, of course) thirty hours before the financial cliff hits. How is this being described in the mainstream press? Well, let's try the AP for a sample:
"GOP willing to bend on issues after election...For years, Republicans have adhered fiercely to their bedrock conservative principles, resisting Democratic calls for tax hikes, comprehensive immigration reform and gun control. Now, seven weeks after an electoral drubbing, some party leaders and rank-and-file alike are signaling a willingness to bend on all three issues."
And how's that working out for them?
"Boehner's attempt to get his own members on board with a deficit-reduction plan that would raise taxes on incomes of more than $1 million failed last week, exposing the reluctance of many in the Republican caucus to entertain more moderate fiscal positions."
In other words, a few sentences from Republicans means more to the AP than the endless obstruction on all three of these issues that has prevented a shred of real progress on any of them. The mainstream press will latch onto any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to avoid dealing with the Republican sabotage of the country that goes on every single day.
Here is what I predict is going to happen about the budget: Tomorrow, the last day before going off the fiscal cliff, the Republicans are going to present a proposal which has been specifically designed to contain so many poison pills and so many giveaways to the ultra rich that it is utterly unacceptable to any Democrat, or for that matter, to any rational human being. The press is then going to produce an avalanche of disingenuous reporting, praising the Republicans to the skies for being so reasonable and bipartisan. Then, the Republicans and the Press are going to link arms and spend the next two years pretending that it was the Democrats that refused to compromise; all in an effort to duplicate the election of 2010, where endless Republican lies managed to convince too many people that it was the Democrats who crashed the economy, the Democrats who threaten Social Security and Medicare, the Democrats who piled up our gigantic budget deficits.
Things have changed since 2010. But, have they changed enough? I guess we'll see.