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Negotiating with the Devil

[This post was written by David Freeman, one of our readers, about the Debt Ceiling compromise.]

The Three Compromises That Proved It Is Folly To Negotiate With The Devil

The Compromise of 1790 prevented (for a time) Civil War.

The Compromise of 1820 (The Missouri Compromise) again delayed Civil War.

The Compromise of 1850 delayed Civil War one last time.

These three events gave compromise a bad name since, even though they extended slavery, war was not prevented.

The Capitulation of 2011 – maybe this’ll work better.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    The point is that the compromise can be changed down the line. Nothing is set in stone. After the tax cuts expire on January 1st,2013, we will have the money to reinstate what we need.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Permalink
  2. starluna wrote:

    I do hope we’ve avoid disaster. However, if push came to shove, I’d be willing to give up Texas in order to establish the A More Perfect Union.

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 9:24 pm | Permalink
  3. rk wrote:

    I’m for it. What do we have to do to get rid of Texas!?? (my home state)

    Monday, August 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Permalink
  4. Arthanyel wrote:

    I posted a detailed comment on the “Chicken” thread, but after calming down and looking at the details (and as more details have emerged) it appears clear that this actually was about the best deal possible under the conditions in Washington, and the stage is set to negotiate a real moderate plan in the commission – and they are guaranteed a straight up or down vote. And if they can’t do it the debt ceiling still gets raised and the 2012 elections set the stage for the new Congress to do whatever the voters request.

    So it is essential that EVERYONE makes sure that EVERYONE gets out and votes in 2012, because it is quite possible that real long term solutions will be put off until after that and we need to make sure that the next Congress has enough power to force changes through – and we need to make sure they are the right changes.

    And if the Democrats go back to having a complete majority, hopefully they will be smart enough this time to ignore the remaining Republicans completely and just do what is right for the country while they have the opportunity.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 1:26 am | Permalink
  5. Falkelord wrote:

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 2:04 am | Permalink
  6. David Freeman wrote:

    The problem with making a deal with the devil is, you never understand what you’ve agreed to until after you’ve committed.

    For example: “the stage is set to negotiate a real moderate plan in the commission” sounds good but isn’t it more likely that Boehner and McConnell will place Paul Ryan clones on the committee and the selected Democrats will be Blue Dogs? The devil is in the details and we just passed a bill without details. That’s a pretty big leap of faith.

    EBDOUG and ARTHANYEL both emphasize the importance of the 2012 election and rightly so. But the 2012 election was going to happen anyway. Is that what we bargained for?

    But like I said in my post, “maybe this’ll work” and maybe Obama plays a really mean fiddle:

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 5:50 am | Permalink
  7. starluna wrote:

    David – So far, Obama’s fiddlin’ has been pretty good. He beat down the default demon. To get rid of the conservative devils, though, requires all of us to pick up an instrument.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 6:32 am | Permalink
  8. Starluna. I’m still wishing Obama had been a bit more “staunch” to the media (I know that the work of government is compromise, behind the scenes) so as to be seen as stronger.

    But, for now, I still can’t see a better person to lead us (my crack in another thread about Hillary Clinton notwithstanding). So, I guess I need to learn to play the drums, eh? 😉

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 7:57 am | Permalink
  9. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Mitch McConnell: “It set the template for the future. In the future, Neil, no president — in the near future, maybe in the distant future — is going to be able to get the debt ceiling increased without a re-ignition of the same discussion of how do we cut spending and get America headed in the right direction. I expect the next president, whoever that is, is going to be asking us to raise the debt ceiling again in 2013, so we’ll be doing it all over.”

    This is what happens when blackmailers are allowed to succeed.

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 10:43 am | Permalink
  10. Arthanyel wrote:

    Agree, Starluna – preferably a blunt instrument 🙂

    Tuesday, August 2, 2011 at 12:52 pm | Permalink