As of this writing, it looks like House Speaker John Boehner has the Republican votes to get his deficit reduction proposal out of the House. Should progressives welcome this development -- say, because it means a debt ceiling deal is likely to pass sooner rather than later? Or bemoan it, as it will put the Republicans in a stronger negotiating position for the legislative endgame?
I really have no idea, so I e-mailed some Capitol Hill staffers more experienced in these matters than I am. Here's what one reliable source, a senior Democratic aide, wrote back:
I can see it both ways-
- It will demonstrate a level of sanity not previously assumed from that body that bodes well for reaching a final agreement.
- It will severely piss off their Tea Party crowd which will diminish the political fervor to support Republicans.
- It will increase their leverage somewhat.
- It will unify them and strengthen Boehner.
- It will make them look more reasonable politically.
Maybe my uncertainty is the right reaction after all.