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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Country first?

A scenario is playing out in Washington that will say a lot about the loyalties of congressional Republicans. The early returns are not encouraging.

Quiet talks are underway in the Senate about avoiding the "fiscal cliff," the Dec. 31 deadline when taxes will rise and spending gets slashed.  The deadline was imposed to avoid the last cliff, when the GOP was ready to plunge the nation into default.

What's discouraging about the current talks, as low-key as anything can be in politics, is that the main participants seem to Democratic leaders -- and GOP backbenchers. It's the usual recipe, one that ends up with a deal scotched by Republican leaders more interested in politics over policy.

And of course the talks are not taking place in the House, where the Wild Bunch resides.

But at least the few Republicans in the loop appear to be talking about the Elephant in the Room: The Pledge that lockstep Republicans sign, offering allegiance to Grover Norquist and the fiscal irresponsibility that has led us to the cliff.

The GOP has been clear, from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on down, that the party's priority is making Barack Obama a one-term president. They have placed party over country and its highly unlikely they will countenance any rational solution --  certainly not before an election.

After all, what would Grover do?

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