David Brooks: Dems offering GOP “deal of the century” on budget; GOP not “normal”

The conservatives are already bragging about the Democrats’ concession on the budget. Here’s David Brooks in the NYT:

Republican leaders have also proved to be effective negotiators. They have been tough and inflexible and forced the Democrats to come to them. The Democrats have agreed to tie budget cuts to the debt ceiling bill. They have agreed not to raise tax rates. They have agreed to a roughly 3-to-1 rate of spending cuts to revenue increases, an astonishing concession.

Moreover, many important Democrats are open to a truly large budget deal. President Obama has a strong incentive to reach a deal so he can campaign in 2012 as a moderate. The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, has talked about supporting a debt reduction measure of $3 trillion or even $4 trillion if the Republicans meet him part way. There are Democrats in the White House and elsewhere who would be willing to accept Medicare cuts if the Republicans would be willing to increase revenues.

If the Republican Party were a normal party, it would take advantage of this amazing moment. It is being offered the deal of the century: trillions of dollars in spending cuts in exchange for a few hundred million dollars of revenue increases.

On the good side, Brooks thinks the GOP is no longer a “normal” party, and he says the conservative Republicans running the party “have no sense of moral decency.” Brooks worries that the public will see that the Democrats bent over backwards in giving away the house during the budget talks, while the Republicans simply said “no.”


But that will take some convincing. And if we’ve learned anything, it’s that Republicans can sell practically any lie, while Democrats can’t sell nearly any truth. Getting the public to accept that the Dems tried and the Republicans didn’t will take a sales job that I’m not convinced the Democratic party is up for. They don’t know PR very well. And worse, don’t seem to recognize that fact (and thus fix it by hiring, and empowering, people who do). That doesn’t mean Dems won’t win this battle – they might. But it’s more likely the President will see an impasse, and cave some more until a deal is reached.

And the oddest party, that’s when the President will point to polls showing the public – which doesn’t have a clue what any of these deals really do – “approves” of the deal and gives him credit for it. All the while, lots of vital government services will be quietly phased out over the next 12 years, fulfilling a lifelong dream of the GOP. But we’ll say we won. Because winning is no longer based on the substance of a deal. Instead, it’s based on any deal having been reached, regardless of the details, so long as the polls approve.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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