Why Sane Bargaining Looks Strange
washingtonpost.com — Obama is criticized for making life difficult for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) who has to bring around a rather right-wing caucus. Sorry, but demanding this sort of solicitude doesn’t fly anymore. Boehner rather brilliantly used the “I have to deal with this crazy uncle in the attic” gambit to extract a lot of concessions in 2011. The intervening election means they won’t get a similar gift this time. Obama has to win something for his own progressive supporters who rightly feel empowered by November’s results. Two can play the crazy-uncle game. So a normal negotiation looks strange only because the past two years have been so utterly abnormal, driven by tea party extremism and an irrational hostility to Obama, a fundamentally moderate man who has already shown a willingness to offer more than his share of concessions. Boehner knows this, which is why everyone (especially Wall Street) should calm down.