Get rid of Grover. Neutralize Norquist. Quit the comedian. Leave the Libertarian in the dust. Stop being puppets. Prove that you can abandon the pledge that hinders your ability to negotiate. Raise top tax rates. That will end the power of the pledge. Then we can see if there is a better deal to be had. People voted to return Republicans to the House not because they wanted the Republican agenda but because they like their representatives. This does not give the Republicans any kind of mandate. John Boehner is being strong-armed by the same right wing extremists whose views we rejected in the election; Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor and Paul Ryan. We could probably negotiate with John Boehner but not with these stubborn and arrogant men who exercise a power that is far greater than their position in our government warrants.
The last time we almost had a Grand Bargain, Obama was open to negotiation and he offered to do some of the things that Republicans wanted and Democrats didn’t, namely cuts to entitlements. John Boehner also appeared to offer some wiggle room on taxes, but when Boehner went back to the House they yanked the bargain away and went for all or nothing supposedly on behalf of the America people. And that is what the American people got: nothing. Why would Obama bargain with these people again? If he accepted their offer, lame as it is, just to get a doable compromise, what is to stop the GOP from yanking it away once again in order to make Obama look incompetent? Obama is much better off being as tough and inflexible as these disrespectful “young guns” and their not-so-young cohorts.
One more time: get rid of Grover. Break the back of the pledge. Agree to raise taxes on the wealthiest Americans to show that you are truly done with Mr. Norquist. If you do that then I bet the entire procedure will become easier. You have lost two presidential elections in a row. No matter how committed you are to small government, the American people are not. Get a grip on reality. Can we impeach our Representatives? Let’s find out.