Washington has many lazy habits, and one of the worst is a reflexive tendency to see equivalence where none exists. Hence the nonsense, being peddled by politicians and commentators who should know better, that “both sides” are equally at fault in the deadlocked talks over the debt ceiling.Click here to read Robinson’s full column.
This is patently false. The truth is that Democrats have made clear they are open to a compromise deal on budget cuts and revenue increases. Republicans have made clear they are not.
Put another way, Democrats reacted to the “grand bargain” proposed by President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner by squawking, complaining and highlighting elements they didn’t like. This is known throughout the world as the way to begin a process of negotiation.
Republicans, by contrast, answered with a definitive “no” and then covered their ears. Given the looming Aug. 2 deadline for default if the debt ceiling is not raised, the proper term for this approach is blackmail.
Yet the “both sides are to blame” narrative somehow gained currency after Boehner announced Saturday that House Republicans would not support any increase in revenue, period. A false equivalence was drawn between the absolute Republican rejection of “revenue-positive” tax reform and the less-than-absolute Democratic opposition to “benefit cuts” in Medicare and Social Security.
The bogus story line is that the radical right-wing base of the GOP and the radical left-wing base of the Democratic Party are equally to blame for sinking the deal.
READ MORE: “American Mainstream Rejects GOP Debt Line,” by Steve Benen (Washington Monthly).