Democrats Are Bad at Politics

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
April 18 2011 3:02 PM

Democrats Are Bad at Politics

I've been getting hair-pulling press releases from Republicans all day, reacting to S&P's Ragnarok assessment of the budget impasse. (Because Congress is out on recess, this debate is mostly being conducted via press releases.) Jake Sherman sums them up . Eric Cantor:

Today’s announcement makes clear that the debt limit increase proposed by the Obama administration must be accompanied by meaningful fiscal reforms that immediately reduce federal spending and stop our nation from digging itself further into debt. For decades, Washington has blindly increased the debt limit while doing little to stop spending money that it doesn’t have, a dangerous pattern that must end.

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Beating that drum again. What's the other side? The White House, which outsourced the response to Mary Miller at Treasury.

S&P’s negative outlook underestimates the ability of America’s leaders to come together to address the difficult fiscal challenges facing the nation.

That's their response? The GOP uses the S&P announcement to demand concessions on the debt ceiling and the White House uses it to beg politicians to come together ? Absolutely pathetic. The full S&P statement makes it clear that both the White House's new plans and Paul Ryan's budget have some good ideas for reducing the debt. The White House's plan includes tax increases (to pre-Bush levels). An announcement like this is an opportunity to sell those increases, which shouldn't be hard, because the increasing on people making more than $250,000 per year are popular. And the White House cedes the field.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. 

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